Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Have a happy and safe New Year celebration. Please, DON'T drink and drive. Get to your party location and STAY there, and have a Great New Year!

Check back tomorrow for the very first ever Average Joe Radio podcast.


Proceed With Caution

Okay, if you really MUST witness the actual death by hanging of Saddam Hussein, here it is. I caution you, this could be VERY disturbing. Please do not view it with children in the room.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein in the Gallows

The following video of the hanging of Saddam Hussein may contain disturbing images. There is no video of the actual hanging, but it does include video of Saddam being led to the gallows and placed into the noose, as well as images of his body after the execution.

President Bush's Weekly Radio Address

20061230.a.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "Gerald Ford's life spanned nine decades, and took him from the football fields of his boyhood in Michigan to the halls of power in Washington, D.C. At every stage of his journey, he displayed a decency, patriotism, and courage that Americans will always admire. As we say goodbye to the year 2006, we bid farewell to one of the finest public servants America has ever known. We give thanks for the gift of his remarkable life, for the caring man who touched so many lives, and the wise President who helped heal our Nation."

President Bush's Reaction to the Execution of Saddam Hussein

The President's official statement:

Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.

Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.

Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops. Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror.

We are reminded today of how far the Iraqi people have come since the end of Saddam Hussein's rule - and that the progress they have made would not have been possible without the continued service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

Many difficult choices and further sacrifices lie ahead. Yet the safety and security of the American people require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq's young democracy continues to progress.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Hussein Executed - Video

Saddam Hussein Executed

The execution of Saddam Hussein has been confirmed by his legal team.

Video coming soon....


Counting Down

Final preparations for the execution of Saddam Hussein are underway. The Iraqi dawn is only nineteen minutes away.


Hussein Execution Imminent

According to an Arab TV Network, execution witnesses have begun to arrive. Due to an Iraqi holiday, the execution must be postponed if it doesn't occur before dawn in Iraq, which is approximately 10:00 pm EST -- just 34 minutes away.


Saddam Execution Update

A U.S. Court has denied Saddam's request for a stay of execution. As if they would take any action that would allow the world to say that the United States was responsible.

Saddam's half-brother is to be hanged with him. The expected time is just over an hour away.


The Execution of Saddam Hussein

If you haven't heard the news, tune in to your favorite news channel now. Pending the outcome of a last minute appeal going on now, Saddam Hussein is expected to be executed by 10:00 pm EST tonight.


Saddam to Be Hanged Within 36 Hours

NBC News reported early this morning that Saddam Hussein will be hanged within 36 hours. It seems like a rush to me. I wonder if someone has decided that the insurgency in Iraq would weaken if Saddam was out of the picture entirely.

Don't get me wrong -- he certainly deserves the death penalty if anyone ever did. But his second trial hasn't even ended yet.

Well, Happy New Year to everyone but Saddam Hussein, I guess.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Coming Soon

Average Joe Radio.

A little talk, a little rock, without the shock. Always work safe and family friendly.

Coming on New Years Day.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Saddam To Be Executed in 30 Days

From Joel C. Rosenberg:

Saddam To Be Executed in 30 Days
Saddam Hussein will be executed within 30 days. Barring a dramatic last-minute legal maneuver, Saddam will be hanged now that Iraq's High Court has upheld his conviction and death sentence.

Crafty Hillary Misspoke

Hillary Clinton misspoke when she suggested it was time for a “mother” to run for president.

In an apparent effort to score points with women — and moms — Clinton said, “We’ve never had a mother who ever ran for or held that position,” referring to the presidency during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”

Hillary needs to go back to her history books. Victoria Woodhull, a leader of the woman’s suffrage movement, ran for president in 1872 after being nominated by the Equal Rights Party.

She had two children.

Jeb Bush: "I Have No Future"

Buried in the bottom of an unrelated story on (Jeb Bush Launches Pro-Ethanol Group), I found the following interesting tidbit about Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the President's brother:
As for his political future after leaving the governor’s post, Jeb recently told a group of reporters in Miami: “I have no future.”
I wonder if that's his final answer.


Hillary Disavows Her Iraq War Vote

This is starting to sound like John Kerry in 2004 (from
Hillary Disavows Her Iraq War Vote

Sen. Hillary Clinton has for the first time said she would not have voted to authorize the 2002 attack on Iraq if she had known then what she knows now.

Previously the likely presidential candidate in 2008 has said that if the Senate had all the information it has today — about Iraq’s weapons program and the current difficulties in pacifying the nation, for example — there would never have been a vote on the Senate floor.

During a Dec. 18 appearance on NBC’s “Today” show, Clinton repeated that refrain. But this time she added: “And I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way.” ...

Two of her other potential presidential rivals, Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards, also voted to authorize the invasion, but then publicly declared they had made a mistake and called for troops withdrawals.

As recently as September, when Clinton was asked on ABC’s “Nightline” about supporters who wanted her to say she was sorry for voting for the war, Hillary stated: “I don’t think that’s responsible.” ...
Sounds like the entire Democrat party was against it, before they were for it, before they were against it, or some nonsense like that.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
To all people, of all the world, regardless of what holiday you may (or may not) be celebrating this season:

Merry Christmas!!!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Reason For The Season

Merry Christmas!
"In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season: the Christians called it Christmas and went to church; the Jews called it Chanukah and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Chanukah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!"' ---Dave Barry

Saturday, December 23, 2006

President Bush's Weekly Radio Address

20061223.a.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "At this special time of year, we give thanks for Christ's message of love and hope. Christmas reminds us that we have a duty to others, and we see that sense of duty fulfilled in the men and women who wear our Nation's uniform. America is blessed to have fine citizens who volunteer to defend us in distant lands. For many of them, this Christmas will be spent far from home, and on Christmas our Nation honors their sacrifice, and thanks them for all they do to defend our freedom."

The First Lady on Iraq War Support

"First Lady Laura Bush had something to say about Iraq today... during an appearance on MSNBC. Mrs. Bush was asked by Norah O'Donnell why she thinks only two out of ten Americans, in our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, said they approved of the President's handing in the war in Iraq. Mrs. Bush placed the blame squarely on the news media." ---NBC's Brian Williams
Merry Christmas!
"How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments." ---Benjamin Franklin
Merry Christmas!
"It's only in finding and living the eternal meaning of the Nativity that we can be truly happy, truly at peace, truly home." ---Ronald Reagan

Friday, December 22, 2006

Rice: America Ready to Elect Black President


Rice: America Ready to Elect Black President

America is ready to elect a black president, says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The nation's highest-ranking black government official, Rice has said repeatedly she will not run for president... .

Rice declined to say whether she would like to see her predecessor, Colin Powell, become a candidate. Powell is a fellow black Republican.

"I'm not going to give Colin any advice and he's not going to give me any advice on this one," Rice said. ...

On Religion

"America is not a stamp collection with one of each. It's an overwhelmingly Christian country with freedom of religion for those who aren't. But it's quite an expansion of 'freedom of religion' to argue that 'those who aren't' are entitled to forbid any public expression of America's Christian inheritance except as part of an all-U-can-eat interfaith salad bar." ---Mark Steyn

Christmas Spirit

As Christmas draws near, I find myself more taken by the spirit of Christmas this year than I have been in many years. It's been quite some time since I actually felt Christmassy (is that even a word?) at Christmas time, and it's a good feeling to have again.

I left home at eighteen and served eight years in the Active Duty Army. Eight years away from home every Christmas sure felt like a long time. Care packages sent from my Mother and Grandmother helped to make it Christmas for me.

Upon returning home from the Army twelve years ago, I started a career in Retail Management because it was convenient at the time. A major electronics retailer had offered me a position six months earlier during a military-sponsored job fair in Wurzburg, Germany, on the understanding that I would begin upon separation from the Army. During twelve years in Retail Management I have grown accustomed to working extra hours and longer days during the peak shopping season from Thanksgiving to Christmas. This has often meant less time spent with family.

This isn't the first Christmas since my Mother passed away. But it's something I'll never get used to. Mom was the magnetic force that kept the family together. As a family -- and probably individually, as well -- we have not been the same since she left us. I often personally chastise myself for all the time I wasted away from my family during the holidays, forgetting (as it is so easy to do) that we are all only here for a short while.

My Mother is no longer with us. She has received the Ultimate Reward. And my family rarely gets together under one roof all at the same time. But I have a new family now. I have a beautiful wife and two wonderful children. I can't give them everything for Christmas, but I can give them something that has come to mean everything to me: Time. It's what Mom would want.

Merry Christmas!
"It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself." ---Charles Dickens

Christmas Entertainment

Looking for a little good Christmas entertainment? Check these out:
Enjoy! and Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

'Crafty' Hillary: A Mom in the White House?

Breaking from
'Crafty' Hillary: A Mom in the White House?

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton got into the holiday spirit Wednesday, describing her family's Christmas traditions, as well as the political mood, hinting it might be time for a mom to occupy the Oval Office.

"We've never had a mother who ever ran for or held that position," the former first lady told the all-female cast of ABC's "The View."

Clinton appeared on the show to promote the rerelease of "It Takes a Village," the book she penned a decade ago on the importance of community involvement in raising children.

The New York lawmaker, who tops every national poll of potential Democratic White House contenders, is expected to announce her plans early next year. While she revealed little about her intentions, she acknowledged that the concept of electing a woman president is "such a leap of faith."
Merry Christmas!
"Christmas is the day when any gift, however small, should be gratefully received provided it is given with love." -- Clare Booth Luce

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas!
Inspired by Elvis Presley's Blue Christmas.

Kucinich to enter White House race Tuesday

Kucinich to enter White House race Tuesday

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2004, said Monday he is planning another bid because his party isn't pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war.

In a statement, Kucinich said he plans to formally announce his candidacy on Tuesday at Cleveland's City Hall, where he served as mayor of his hometown in the 1970s. ...

Breaking News - Washington Post

MSNBC Breaking News: Washington Post: President Bush plans to expand the size of U.S. military

Find out more at

Gingrich Might Run, But He's Waiting

Gingrich Might Run, But He's Waiting

Newt Gingrich suggested on Sunday he might not run for president in 2008 if a rival has all but locked up the Republican nomination by next fall.

The former House speaker from Georgia said it would not be too late for him to enter the race after next Labor Day, if he believed no candidate had a clear advantage. He praised Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani as the contenders to watch. ...

"Of course I'm thinking about it," Gingrich said. "I hope between now and September, to help create with every candidate in both parties, a wave of new ideas, a wave of new solutions." ...

On the Democratic side, Sen. Edward Kennedy reaffirmed on Sunday that he would support fellow Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, if Kerry were to run again in 2008. ...

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, another likely Democratic presidential hopeful, said Sunday he was undeterred by the early strength shown by Clinton and Obama.

"This is only 2006," Dodd said on a conference call from Iraq, where he was visiting government leaders and troops from his state. ...

The Refreshing (Ahem) Honesty Of Evan Bayh

The Refreshing Honesty Of Evan Bayh

Evan Bayh is a well-regarded, two-term Senator from Indiana but he is not exactly a household name. So when he announced two weeks ago that he was thinking about running for the Democratic presidential nomination, even he knew it was a long shot.

He acknowledged it was a David-versus-Goliath kind of thing, but he remembered that David did pretty well.

True enough, but yesterday Bayh realized why the smart money is usually on the giants — because they are giants — and he quit the race as quickly as he had entered.

"Whether there were too many Goliaths or whether I'm just not the right David, I concluded the odds were longer than I felt I could possibly pursue," he said.

In other words, he took a look, realized he had no chance and decided not to waste his time or the country's.
Thank God for small favors!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hillary: 'Not Going to Believe' Bush Again


Hillary: 'Not Going to Believe' Bush Again

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday she would not support a short-term increase in American troop presence in Iraq unless it was part of a more comprehensive plan to stabilize the country.

Clinton also offered the broadest indication yet that she was close to a decision on whether to enter the 2008 Democratic presidential field. ...

"I am not in favor of sending more troops to continue what our men and women have been told to do with the government of Iraq pulling the rug out from under them when they actually go after some of the bad guys."

Clinton, who voted in 2002 to authorize military intervention in Iraq, said she was wary of increased military presence in the war-torn country.

"I'm not going to believe this president again," Clinton said. ...

Dick Morris: I’m Leaving if Hillary Wins

Dick Morris: I’m Leaving if Hillary Wins

Political strategist Dick Morris is so disgusted by the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency that he’s announced he’ll leave the country if she wins the Democratic nomination.

Appearing on Fox News Channel’s "Hannity & Colmes,” Morris – a former aide to President Bill Clinton – said that Bill and Hillary both suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder: "When they don’t get enough attention, they’re disordered.” ...

Morris dismissed Sen. Barack Obama’s chances of winning the presidency, saying he is the "best thing that’s ever happened to Hillary Clinton. Because he can’t win. You think about the guy for five minutes and you’re not gonna vote for him.”

However, Morris went on: "Obama’s in fact a better first than [Clinton] is. First black is better than first woman, in politics.” ...

Election Hoopla

I've made a few posts, and received some reader comments, about people who already think they know enough to predict the upcoming 2008 Presidential election results. Whether it's John McCain versus Hillary Clinton, or Hillary versus Rudy Giuliani, or even the highly unlikely Mike Huckabee, who currently polls at just two percent among likely voters, everyone seems to have an opinion of who will be the next President of the United States.

I want to know one thing: how? How, with the midterms just one month gone and the campaign season not yet fully begun (though some candidates have been campaigning for years), can these people possibly expect to predict with any degree of accuracy whatsoever how the election will go? Come on, people!

Recent polling shows former First-Lady-turned-Senator Hillary Clinton with a wide lead among Democrat hopefuls, while Republicans poll a statistical dead heat between "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani and War Hero Senator John McCain. With such big names as John Kerry, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney among the also-rans, how can anyone even guess what will happen two years from now?

Remember Bill Clinton? He was once the underdog, too, only to go on to become the only two-term Democrat during my lifetime!

So give it a rest, people. Shut your mouths and open your ears. Maybe then you'll actually hear what the candidates are saying so you can cast an informed vote in 2008.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas!This display was designed to remind us that we have troops serving overseas who will not make it home for the holidays this year. Let's not forget them, or the loved ones who will be celebrating without them.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Washington Insiders: It’s McCain vs. Hillary

More from
Washington Insiders: It’s McCain vs. Hillary

Rudolph Giuliani may presently be the people’s choice for the Republican nomination for president in 2008, but influential Washington insiders believe that when the general election rolls around, it will pit Hillary Clinton against John McCain, not Rudy.

The National Journal asked 220 Democratic and Republican insiders — members of Congress, party activists, consultants, fund-raisers, lobbyists, and interest-group leaders — to list and rank the top five contenders for their party’s 2008 nomination.

The results differed significantly from a similar National Journal survey in May. Back then, McCain led among Republicans, and Sen. George Allen of Virginia was second. After Allen’s election defeat in November, he has fallen out of the picture, and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has taken the No. 2 spot.

Among Democrats, Hillary led in May and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner was second. He too has fallen after announcing he won’t be a candidate, and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has now taken the second spot.

John Edwards placed third among Democrats in the new survey, while Al Gore was fourth and Evan Bayh fifth.

On the GOP side, Rudy Giuliani was third after McCain and Romney, followed by Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee.

“For the first time since National Journal’s initial 2008 presidential survey was conducted in April 2005, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia broke into the top five rankings,” the Journal disclosed.

“Allen’s defeat and departing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s recent decision not to run have created a huge opening for Gingrich.”

The survey also found that 33 percent of Democratic insiders believe Hillary Clinton’s gender would help her in the general election, while 28 percent think it would hurt, and 39 percent say it would have no impact.

Democratic insiders also believe that Barack Obama’s race would hurt him in the general election: 48 percent say it would hurt; 26 percent believe it would help; and the rest think it would have no impact.

A majority of Republican insiders — 52 percent — believe Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion would hurt him in the general election, and only 2 percent believe it would help; 46 percent say it would have no impact.

Hillary, Rudy Lead in New Poll

Hillary, Rudy Lead in New Poll

Sen. Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani are the clear leaders for their party’s nomination for president in 2008, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reveals.

In the poll conducted from Dec. 8 to 11, respondents were shown a list of potential Democratic candidates and asked whom they would vote for if the primary were held today.

Hillary garnered 37 percent of the vote, more than twice the vote of the second-place finisher, Sen. Barack Obama at 18 percent.

The complete breakdown:
Hillary Clinton: 37 percent
Barack Obama: 18 percent
John Edwards: 14 percent
John Kerry: 11 percent
Joe Biden: 4 percent
Evan Bayh: 3 percent
Bill Richardson: 2 percent
Tom Vilsack did not receive a vote, while 3 percent of respondents chose another candidate; 3 percent chose none; and 5 percent said they were not sure.

On the GOP side, Giuliani beat out John McCain by 5 percentage points. The breakdown:
Rudy Giuliani: 34 percent
John McCain: 29 percent
Newt Gingrich: 10 percent
Mitt Romney: 8 percent
Sam Brownback: 2 percent
Mike Huckabee: 2 percent
George Pataki: 1 percent
Tommy Thompson: 1 percent
Two percent chose another candidate; 3 percent chose none; and 8 percent were unsure.

Another recent poll, this one by ABC News and The Washington Post, also showed Giuliani leading all GOP contenders with 34 percent of the vote, ahead of No. 2 McCain at 26 percent.

Florida Execution Sparks Criticism

What expression do you suppose this guy's VICTIMS showed just before he did THEM in? I have no sympathy for someone who gets what he deserves.



Death penalty opponents criticized the execution of a convicted murderer who took more than 30 minutes to die and needed a rare second dose of lethal chemicals. The inmate appeared to grimace before dying.

For more, visit:

Merry Christmas!

Nothing New Or Different About Obama


Barack Obama, D-Ill., said in New Hampshire voters wanted a new vision. But the National Review Online says there's nothing "new" or different" about him: Obama is an extremely liberal-left politician.

Just look at his record.
  • Obama voted against the Bush tax cuts on capital gains and dividends....
  • The young senator also voted against repealing the death tax.
  • He has voted against free trade (CAFTA) and U.S. energy independence (drilling in ANWR), and has opposed lifting a $0.54 per gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol.
  • He's also strongly opposed to personal retirement accounts for Social Security reform, and prefers instead that the government stewards your money.
  • He voted against Supreme Court judges Sam Alito and John Roberts
  • He said no to Patriot Act wiretap extensions....
  • He collaborated in blocking John Bolton's appointment to the United Nations.
  • He voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions twice as a state senator.
  • He opposed the Defense of Marriage Act and stood against the Federal Marriage Amendment....
For more visit:

President Bush's Weekly Radio Address

20061216.a.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "Christmas is fast approaching, and I know many of you are busy trying to finish up your holiday shopping. This week, we received good news about the economy that should brighten the season and keep us optimistic about the year ahead."

fwd: Breaking News

From: MSNBC Breaking News:

AP: John Edwards, D-N.C., to announce 2008 presidential run, officials say

Find out more at

Saturday, December 16, 2006

On Christmas...

"Every December across America the images of the Christmas season accumulate as this great holiday approaches. Preparations are made in homes and churches and shops in every city and town, and the land is full of traditional signs and symbols of its coming... Because of these traditions, no Christmas celebration truly stands alone. For most of us, the holidays bring back such a trove of memories, evoked by things as simple as the scent of pine or the painted scene on a greeting card, that our Christmases become not separate events on a calendar but a chain in which all are linked together as one. This is as it should be, for Christmas is a holiday that we celebrate not as individuals nor as a nation, but as a human family---and not merely as a family living in this age and time, but as a family linked through history, in ways we still cannot fully comprehend, to that First Christmas in Bethlehem." ---Ronald Reagan

On The Minimum Wage...

"Democrats are talking about an increase to $7.25 an hour, and they're promising to push it through in the first 100 hours of the Democratic majority rule. (President) Bush has said he supports an increase, but won't haggle about the numbers in public... Bush has said that he also wants to be sure that the increase is done in ways that won't hurt small businesses. Which is, of course, impossible. Regardless of where you stand in the intense debate over whether increases in the minimum wage reduce the number of jobs available to low wage workers, an increase in the minimum wage will hurt small businesses. Do the math: Suppose you employ ten people, full time, at minimum wage. A two dollar increase will cost you about $40,000 a year. How would we react to a tax of the same size imposed on the same scrappy entrepreneurial grocer or clothing store owner?" ---Katherine Mangu-Ward
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 15, 2006

DeLay Predicts Hillary Presidency


DeLay Predicts Hillary Presidency

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay knows who will be elected president in 2008: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

At a meeting Tuesday in Washington, D.C., hosted by Human Events and the Heritage Foundation, the former Republican congressman also predicted that Clinton's running mate would be Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
Merry Christmas!

fwd: Breaking News

From MSNBC Breaking News:

New Jersey lawmakers pass bill legalizing same-sex civil unions.

Find out more at

Monday, December 11, 2006

Jeb Bush Won't Rule Out Presidency

Now that the midterm elections are behind us, it seems every available politician is throwing his/her hat into the ring for 2008:


Jeb Bush Won't Rule Out Presidency

Ronald Kessler
Monday, Dec. 11, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he is "not ruling in or out" running for president or vice president in 2008.

"I don't know what the future holds for me," Bush told NewsMax as he leaves office this month after eight years as governor.

"To be honest with you, the only job in public life that I've been interested in over the last 15 years has been to be governor. It's been my dream come true. I guess it's hard for people to appreciate, but I've never viewed it as a stepping stone to anything else."

Bush said he would feel comfortable with Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or John McCain as president.

"I like Romney, but I'd also be comforted at night knowing that Rudy Giuliani was leading our nation in a time of war, and John McCain — all three of them," Bush said.

"Being president, your ideology is important, but your character matters a lot, too.

"One of the descriptors of being president that I think is one of the most important, frankly, is, can a father tell a daughter or a son about the president, ‘If you work hard and you play by the rules and you strive for greatness, you can be just like him,' warts and all? Because we're all imperfect under God's watchful eye, and in politics the imperfections are what everybody focuses on. I think they're all three admirable men." ...

...Because of term limits, Bush could not run for governor again. He enjoys a 65 percent approval rating in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. ...

...Bush said one of his disappointments is the death of Terri Schiavo.

"Put aside the politics, which everybody has their own views of . . . the woman [who] was starved to death," Bush said. "That's not something I'm very comfortable with.

"We did our best, we did what we could within the law to save her life. But it was for naught in the end. And we never could change the law that allowed such an occurrence to take place. Seems to me that she should have had a living will, and if it's an oral understanding, that we should err on the side of life. And in our state, that's not the case by the statutes that we have, which is a disappointment."

For Bush, the Schiavo case raised issues about values. Bush sees the war on terror and restoring values as the country's greatest challenges.

"How do we sustain a long-term fight against the jihadists, especially in a free society that's used to immediate gratification?" he said.

"And how do we recognize the importance of wholesome family life, virtues that are timeless, that really have been the linchpin of our country?

"Our strength really hasn't resided in how great our government is, it's the ability to govern ourselves. In the last couple of generations, we have placed huge demands on government. We need to have a conversation about that."

In the meantime, "I don't know what's going to happen to me next," Bush said. "I wouldn't rule it [running for president] out or in. It's not even on my radar." Nor is running for vice president.

Bloomberg: Maybe He Is 'Born to Run'


Bloomberg: Maybe He Is 'Born to Run'

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who repeatedly denies he's running for president, clearly enjoys the song and dance of speculation.

The Republican billionaire dressed up as Bruce Springsteen and entertained guests at a holiday party with a rendition of "Born to Run."

Dressed in a white T-shirt, jeans with a red bandanna over a mullet wig, Bloomberg and his backup band of deputy mayors and senior staffers performed the song at Thursday night's party, with lyrics that fantasize about him launching an independent candidacy and winning the White House.

"I say 'Next stop: Washington!' Cause folks like us, baby we were born to run. We'll win, you'll see, and beat the GOP and Democrats," they sang, according to those present.

The group, who called themselves Mike Bloomsteen and the Bullpen Band, jammed on inflatable toy saxophones and guitars during the musical portions of the hit song. The party was for City Hall staff and was not open to the media.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Dick Morris: Hillary Can Win, But Must Not


Hillary Can Win, But Must Not

Now that Hillary has dropped the coy pretense of indecision that she used to justify her re-election to a Senate seat she no longer wants and has told friends that she plans to run for president, two questions present themselves: Can she win? and, What kind of a president would she be?

She is uniquely able to expand the electorate to bring in millions of women, mostly single, who will vote overwhelmingly for a female Democrat.

The feminization of poverty, long decried by the left, will finally lead unmarried women to show up at the polling place and vote their short-term economic interest and vindicate their gender bias.

In 2000, only 19 million single women voted. By 2004, their turnout rose to 27 million. With Hillary in the race, the single-female vote will probably go up to its proper ratio of the adult population -- 33 million votes.

Can white men outvote single women? Despite the intensity with which white men tend to oppose Hillary, they can't vote twice.

The enthusiasm that will grip many Americans -- women in particular -- at the cultural implications of a woman president will probably sweep through the primaries and cause many to overlook Hillary's flaws and dismiss her defects.

The idea of a woman candidate will prove so attractive that millions of voters will overcome their objections to the specific person who is running.

Her mastery of the establishment of the Democratic Party, her vast lead among ex-officio delegates -- many of whom have received campaign contributions from her coffers -- and the celebrity draw of her ex-president husband will prove hard for a mere mortal to overcome.

But should she win?

No way!

Those who know both Hillary and Bill well and are willing to speak frankly in public realize the fundamental differences between the two and grasp how his abilities are the counterpoints to her defects.

He is intensely creative, constantly turning issues over in his mind seeking new solutions. She rarely has a new idea but specializes in advocacy -- the rote recitation of talking points.

He has an instinctual feel for people and an uncanny ability to read a room and know what everyone in it is thinking. She is obtuse in her understanding of people and ham-handed in her approach.

He cares deeply about being loved. She seeks popularity as a means to the goal of getting elected but otherwise marches to the beat of her inner, liberal drummer.

He distrusts ideology, and his innate perfectionism finds all belief systems flawed. She swallows the ideological line of the guru du jour hook, line, and sinker. During the health-care years, it was Ira Magaziner that pushed her buttons.

When she decided to back the Iraq war, it was the generals who paraded before her committee. She is vulnerable to a cultish adoration of the guys with all the answers.

He lets the give and take of politics wash off his back. A critic is a potential convert whom he hopes to charm over to his side. She has a rigidly dichotomized view of friends and enemies, demanding total loyalty and public silence from the former and maintaining a ruthless determination to destroy the latter.

She is a Democratic Nixon to those whom she perceives as her enemies.

He is a moderate by instinct, seeking incremental change. She devotedly and deeply believes in a European-style socialism in which government takes much more of our national income and offers a far wider array of services and benefits.

He'll raise taxes when he has to. She'll increase them just to redistribute income.

He's most like Eisenhower, Kennedy and Bush Sr. -- feeling his way, acting with caution, and skeptical of all advice. She is more like LBJ, Nixon or Bush Jr. -- determined to charge ahead and do what she thinks needs to be done, torpedoes be damned.

And finally, he knows who he is and, except for his private shortcomings, is not ashamed to let it show. She constantly seeks to reinvent herself and rigidly maintains an almost totally inaccurate image in public of what she is really like in private. He has little discipline. Hers is iron. His caution is innate. Hers is a learned response to what happens when people see who she really is.

He made a very good domestic-policy president. She would be a disaster at home and abroad.
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Saturday, December 9, 2006

Merry Christmas!

President Bush's Weekly Radio Address

20061209.a.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "The Iraq Study Group understands the urgency of getting it right in Iraq. The group also understands that while the work ahead will not be easy, success in Iraq is important, and success in Iraq is possible. ... The future of a vital region of the world and the security of the American people depend on victory in Iraq. I'm confident that we can move beyond our political differences and come together to achieve that victory."

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Iowa Gov. Vilsack Announces White House Bid

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack announced his long-shot bid for the White House, becoming the first Democrat to formally enter the 2008 presidential race.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Sen. Hillary Clinton: I’m Going for It

Reprinted from

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006 11:18 a.m. EST

Sen. Hillary Clinton: I’m Going for It

Sen. Hillary Clinton has come closer than ever to officially throwing her hat into the presidential ring, revealing her White House plans in conversations with several political insiders.

"She said to me, ‘I’m really going to go for this. I’m going to make this effort,’” a New York lawmaker told the New York Post.

"She never said she was running for the presidency of the United States or if she was going to announce – or anything like that. It wasn’t a question that needed to be asked. It was an obvious conversation.”

Another Empire State lawmaker who spoke with Hillary during a blitz of Clinton phone calls on Monday said she "revealed she felt pressure to formally jump into the 2008 White House race sooner rather than later because other candidates are becoming increasingly active,” the Post reported.

Rep. Joe Crowley, a Democrat from Queens, spoke with Clinton on Monday and was convinced she’s going to be in the race.

"She just let me know that what I’d been hearing is true and that she wanted my support and help in any way that I possibly could,” Crowley said.

Clinton also spoke with the Rev. Al Sharpton, Westchester County Democrat Nita Lowey and supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis, a major donor, the Post reported.

Said Catsimatidis: "She wants to get together before the holidays.”

Can she do it? Can Hillary Clinton make it to the White House? She can certainly win the Democratic nomination, I believe. With the Democratic Primaries being limited to only Democrats voting, and with the obvious backing of her husband -- the Democrats Golden Boy -- who else could possibly stand a chance.

The real question is, can she win the General Election in 2008, running against whatever Republican candidate lands on the ticket? That remains to be seen, but I'd bet it will be much more difficult for her than winning the Primary. In fact, having Hillary on the ballot for President might make it even easier for Republicans to hold on to the White House for another four to eight years.


By the way, I just had to use that picture of Hillary. After all, every time the mainstream media prints a story about a Republican, they choose the worst photo they can possibly find. Touche.
Merry Christmas

Ease Your Shopping Woes and Support Average Joe

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. Every time I go into a store I think, "I'm going to do all of my Christmas shopping online this year." I did that one year, and it was so much less stressful.

Well, pardon me for asking, but if you enjoy the blog, and you do find yourself doing some shopping online this year, there are a couple of ways that you can help to support your local blogger.

If you're shopping on Amazon, use my Amazon search box in the sidebar to find what you're looking for. Your search will take you to Amazon's search results, and Amazon makes a donation to support Average Joe American.

If you're searching online for the best place to buy something, use the Custom Google Search above my posts. It will provide you with a real Google search results page (though it will have the Average Joe logo at the top), and if you click any of the sponsored links, Google will make a donation to support Average Joe American.
Also, if any of the items in the Google ads directly below the search box should interest you, give 'em a click. Again, Google will make a donation to support Average Joe American.

None of these methods will increase your cost one cent, and none of them will provide me with any information about you or about your purchase. It's just a nice little way of supporting your local blogger while doing something you would do anyway.

Thanks for your support and your continued patronage.


Monday, December 4, 2006

The Buckeye Drive Time Retooled

I've posted here before about the Buckeye Drive Time podcast. Well, it deserves another mention, as the podcast has been "retooled" in Episode 118, and I think it's great! Sometimes, change is good.

Check out The Buckeye Drive Time by clicking one of the links above, or subscribe to the RSS Feed below.

podsafe music network


Sunday, December 3, 2006

A Thousand Screaming Claymates

Video is Dark. You may need to adjust Brightness and Contrast settings for optimal viewing.
Hundreds of obsessed Clay Aiken fans -- called "Claymates" -- endure sub-freezing weather to get a close-up glimpse of their American Idol.

As I mentioned, I took my wife to see Clay Aiken in concert at the Star Plaza Theater last night. It was a Christmas show in two parts. The first forty-five minutes was Christmas music performed by the Bill Porter Orchestra. The Bill Porter Orchestra is a consortium of musicians from the Northwestern Indiana/Chicagoland area that performs every Wednesday evening at Green Dolphin Street Jazz Night Club in Chicago. Porter, who played trombone with the orchestra during Aiken's second half of the show, made the orchestral half of the show more appealing to the "Claymate" fans by adding his own blend of humor to the show, keeping patrons laughing as they eagerly awaited their Idol's entrance. Though some of Porter's humor was admittedly a bit risque for a family crowd at a Christmas show, any offense taken seemed to melt away easily.

After a fifteen minute intermission, the American Idol runner up took to the stage crooning out the carols in the unique style that has quickly made him a multi-platinum recording artist. In rare form for the night, Aiken also tossed in some humor of his own, engaging in banter with the "Claymates" in the audience and, after a two week silence, revealing what he really thinks about the recent controversy between himself and Kelly Ripa while guest-hosting on Live With Regis and Kelly.

"Was I rude?" Aiken called to the hoard of screaming fans, who roared back in unison, "No."

"It was intended to be," he confessed. "A little." Aiken later returned to the topic when heckling one of his fans who, in her excitement, had pushed aside a fan sitting in the row in front of her: "That was worse than what I did to Ripa." The crowd roared approval. And again later when he threatened to put his hand over the mouth of one of his fans, the "Claymates" erupted.

Aikens playlist included such popular Christmas songs as Sleigh Ride, Mary Did You Know, My Grownup Christmas List, and Don't Save It All For Christmas Day, and "Claymate" favorites All Is Well and Merry Christmas With Love (all of which can easily be found and viewed on YouTube). Aiken -- who is very involved with fans through blogging and online chat -- put on a good show, both singing and joking with fans in the crowd.

What was most surprising came after the show, as hundreds of "Claymates" lined the parking lot in sixteen-degree weather waiting for their American Idol to come out of his behemoth bus and pass in review. He did so, briefly, and as you can see in the embedded video, the "Claymates" loved it. For most of the fans in attendance this was not their first Clay Aiken concert. In fact, many attendees had seen the same show the previous night in Waukeegan, Illinois, and more than a few find their way to every concert Aiken performs. While it was my first Clay Aiken concert, I'm sure my wife won't let it be my last.

Is Clay Aiken the new Elvis? The last time I've seen fans so devoted to their Idol was when Elvis was King. Is there a new King in town? While Aiken calls himself the "King of Controversy," I'm sure millions of "Claymates" the world over call him king of their hearts.


Saturday, December 2, 2006

President Bush's Weekly Radio Address

20061202.a.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)
I'm taking my wife to Merrillville, Indiana, today to see her favorite singer (Clay Aiken) perform a Christmas concert, so I'm posting this link before the President's Weekly Radio Address is available. If you click the link above and don't find it, check back later.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Antichrist Strikes Again?

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Breaking News - AP: Aide says former Russian PM Yegor Gaidar may have been poisoned.
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 07:41:45 -0800

MSNBC Breaking News:

AP: Aide says former Russian PM Yegor Gaidar may have been poisoned.
 Find out more at  

Griping Out Loud

Ranting about driving in the rain. Click here to listen.


Breaking News

-----Original Message-----
From: MSNBC Breaking News
Subject: Breaking News - Hotline:

GOP's Sen. Bill Frist says he will not run for president in '08.

Find out more at

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Is Putin the Antichrist?

When Vladimir Putin first came on the scene in Russia, my wife took one look at him and said, "I think he's the Antichrist." Well, maybe he is. Consider the following from Joel C. Rosenberg:
The assassination of a KGB-operative-turned-critic-of-Vladimir-Putin in London by radioactive poison has stunned the West and raised chilling new questions about who Putin is, what he wants, and how far he's willing to go to get it. It's about time.

And, less than two months ago:

"Russia's most famous investigative reporter, Anna Politkovskaya, was gunned down in the lift of her Moscow apartment block yesterday in an apparent contract killing. A fearless opponent of Russia’s wars in Chechnya who once described President Vladimir Putin as a 'KGB snoop' and compared him to Stalin... .
It kind of makes you wonder just what kind of threat Putin really is to the world. Read the full stories (linked above) and you'll understand what I mean.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Book Review: Saint by Ted Dekker

Book Review
* * *
* * *

How do I write about Saint -- what do I say -- without slipping a spoiler in by mistake? I've only just begun reading the book, and already the first big surprise strikes on page 41 with the mention of Project Showdown. Remember the last book released by Ted Dekker: Showdown? If you read the book, or at the very least my review of it, you'll remember that Showdown was linked to Dekker's epic trilogy, The Circle. It comes as a shock when that first becomes apparent in Showdown, just as it is shocking to discover on page 41 of Saint that it, too, is linked to The Circle through the mention of Project Showdown, which just happens to refer to Dekker's book, Showdown. There's the first spoiler for you. I'll try to keep them to a minimum.

* * *

Dekker weaves such a fast-paced story that you'll likely forget all about Project Showdown, as you tear through page after page until, on page 166, the link pops up again: "Project Showdown was breathing still."

I don't normally write my so-called reviews while in the midst of reading the book, but this isn't the first time I've done just that. When the author finds a way to really get me, I just can't wait until the end to start sharing the experience. But I'll have to wait a little longer, because the book is calling to me, and I can't deny it.

* * *

The intrigue continues in chapter twenty-six as the main character -- Carl, who has just learned that he is someone else entirely (trust me, you need to read the book -- all five books -- to follow this one), returns to his hometown of Paradise, Colorado, the setting of Dekker's book Showdown. There really is no way to explain the parallels between these books without making it sound confusing. You just have to start at the beginning and start reading: Black, Red, and White, Showdown, and Saint. I promise, you won't be confused. You'll be mystified.

* * *

Long before chapter thirty-eight, if you've read most of Ted Dekker's other works, you'll be fully aware that Saint is intricately linked to Showdown, which is just as tightly woven with Black, Red, and White -- the Circle trilogy. Dekker seamlessly ties the five tomes together into one seemingly never-ending story. But on pages 303 and 304, everything changes. Not only do we hear more about Marsuvees Black from Showdown, we learn something that I had not before even considered: Barsidious White -- the wicked villain from House, Dekker's joint venture with Frank Peretti, is also a product of the Books of History from the Circle trilogy. And having learned such a thing, I realize that it was so obvious I should have figured it out long ago.


* * *

I wanted to lay out a storyline here that takes you through the world of The Circle. I failed. I simply can't do justice to Ted Dekker's intricately woven world of The Circle. It's a world that -- though it has never been publicized as such -- spans six novels: Black, Red, White, Showdown, House (co-authored by Frank Peretti), and Saint. Read them all!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

President Bush's Weekly Radio Address

20061125.a.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "This week, Americans across our Nation gather with loved ones to give thanks for the many blessings we share. ... And we're grateful to Almighty God for the freedom to enjoy all these gifts. ... Americans believe that every person has the right to live, work, and worship in freedom. And we're thankful to the men and women of our Nation's armed forces who risk their lives to protect those rights. This Thanksgiving, we are mindful that many of our finest citizens are spending the holiday far from their homes and loved ones, and we know that their service makes it possible for us to live in freedom."

GRIPE! My Mother-in-Law

I've GRIPED about my mother-in-law before, but it's been a little while. I have to tell you, she never seems to run out of ways to tick me off.

My wife and I just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary (on Thanksgiving Day). I gave her a little gift for our anniversary, just to mark the day mostly and not let it go by unnoticed, but her real anniversary gift will be next weekend, when I endure a Clay Aiken concert with her. Last time she went to one with a friend, and her friend made the experience as close to miserable for my wife as she possibly could. It was then that I agreed to go to the next one with her. Now it's time to keep my word.

We made arrangements for our three-year-old son and (by then) seven-month-old daughter to spend the night with my in-laws while we make the nearly two-hundred mile trip to the concert and back. It was my understanding that my daughter -- who has not yet spent the night away from home -- would spend one night with her grandparents before then while we are still in town to ensure that all would go well. Just to ease my own mind, mostly.

On Thanksgiving day, my wife asked her mother when she would like my daughter to spend the "test" night. It was my wife's understanding -- and mine -- that it would be tonight. When my wife called her mother earlier today to make the arrangements to drop my daughter off, her mother said, "You never said for sure what day it would be. Your dad and I might drive down to Gatlinburg for the day tomorrow morning." Gatlinburg?!? From central Indiana to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and back is not a day trip! She went on to say, "I'm sure she'll be okay, we don't need a test night."

That really gripes me! And this is what gripes me the most about it: every time my sister-in-law (my wife's brother's wife) asks my mother-in-law to watch her daughter -- and it's been this way for the entire eight years plus that I've known my wife -- she bends over backwards, cancelling any plans that she may have, to accomodate. Every time my wife calls her and asks her to watch one or both of our kids, she has some more important, more pressing thing that just can't wait. I don't know why she can't seem to make the time to help her own daughter by spending some quality time with her grandkids, but it's really pi$$ing me off!!!

I keep telling my wife that she just needs to be firm with her mother for a change and demand that she act like a mother and grandmother. If I had my way, we wouldn't be going anywhere near there until she straightens up her act a bit. Maybe that would teach her a lesson about family. Of course, it would also punish my kids, and I don't want them to be brought into the middle of this. It's not their fault that their grandmother is basically worthless.


Friday, November 24, 2006

One More Thing

Just one more thing to be thankful for today -- and if you work in Retail you'll understand this -- Black Friday is over! It's come, and it's gone, and we had a great sales day at my store, but I'm very thankful that it's over for another year.


Thursday, November 23, 2006


Among the many things that I already listed for which I'm thankful, there's one thing to add.

Four years ago today, in a quiet little bed and breakfast, with our closest friends and family watching, my wife and I were united in Marriage. Without her, most of what makes me happy and thankful today would not be possible.

Happy Anniversary to my beautiful wife, and Thank You for making my life complete.

Here are some excerpts from our wedding story:

November 23, 2002
Our Wedding Day

7:53 am

Lots to do today before the wedding, but it really shouldn’t take me that long to get it done. I’m going to get started now, though, by packing up my bags for the trip.

9:01 am
She just called me. She seems to have forgotten the pictures of how she wants her hair to be done for the wedding. I have to try to round them up for her and take them to her parents’ house with the makeup that she forgot to get out of the car last night. At the rate she’s forgetting things, I hope she doesn’t forget about the wedding!

10:44 am
After dropping off the dogs at the vet for boarding, I drove out to her parents’ to drop off the makeup she left in the car last night and to pick up her engagement ring so I’ll have it to put on her finger tonight with her wedding ring. Then I stopped and vacuumed and washed the car on the way home, topped it off with gas, and threw away the Halloween pumpkins that were on the front porch (they clashed with the new Christmas decorations). I also called the Cake Decorator before washing the car to make sure everything was going according to plan. She said she was running a little behind, but she had originally planned to be here around noon, so that won’t be a big deal.
For the most part, it looks like things are coming along quite nicely.

11:28 pm
I just talked to my bride-to-be again. I found her pictures for her hair appointment, so I have to take them to the Bed & Breakfast for her mom to pick up by noon. I guess I’ll go get the food, and film, and everything else while I’m out.

12:03 pm
I'm at the Bed & Breakfast, just set up the camcorder for tonight, and the cake decorator just called, so I'm waiting for her.

12:33 pm
The cake made it. I think it looks okay, but I also think she'll be a little disappointed with it. I hope she doesn't let it upset her.
Time to go pick up the food.

1:52 pm
I think my pre-ceremony running around is done. I picked up the food at Sam’s Club, plus a dozen roses for bride and several rolls of film for our trip. I called her mom to have her meet me outside the meadows to deliver the roses while she gets her hair done. I raced home, made a little card to put with the roses that said:

Today you make my life complete.
Today all my dreams come true.

I trimmed the roses, put them in a vase, stuck the card in, and rushed off to meet her mom.
After handing off the roses, I took the food to the bed & breakfast, paid them for the place, and wrote another note that said:

It’s almost time. I can’t wait!

They put it in her changing room on her dress so she’ll find it when she gets there to get ready for the wedding.

2:58 pm
She just called to tell me she was on her way to the Bed & Breakfast. She asked me if the cake looked good, and I said, “Yeah, I think it looks pretty good.” Of course, she knows me well enough by now to know exactly what she said back, “Okay, that doesn’t sound good.” I told her it could look a little better, but it looked pretty good. Of course, I’m sure when she sees it she’ll be disappointed. I wish there was something I could do to make everything go perfectly for her. God knows I’ve tried.

3:05 pm
I feel terrible about the cake. I know that when I saw it, I was a little disappointed. I know that if I was a little disappointed, she'll probably be very disappointed. I just hope she’s able to keep everything in perspective and realizes what really matters today.
I just shaved, but I feel like I can’t take my shower yet, because I kind of expect her to call me after she sees the cake. I won’t be a bit surprised if she calls, and she’s in tears, and she says she doesn’t even want to get married now, because her cake has been ruined, too. I have to be ready to do the best I can to calm and soothe her because, of course, we will be getting married today. I just wish she wouldn’t even look at the cake until time to cut it.
She’s on her way over there now, so she will be seeing it soon, if she hasn’t seen it already. I may call her in a couple of minutes before she has a chance to call me.

3:18 pm
She called. She was crying. She was very upset. She says the cake looks terrible, and she doesn’t even want it there. She wants me to try to find another cake, or maybe even not have a cake at all. She said that nothing is the way she wants it to be, and ended up saying she doesn’t want this at all. She hung up with her mom in the background trying to calm her down.

November 28, 2002

9:12 pm

We returned home last night from our honeymoon in Gatlinburg. It was quite nice. her parents sent us as a wedding gift.
The wedding, after all, turned out beautiful. She was the most gorgeous bride! She got over her fit over the wedding cake and everything went well. Our wedding/honeymoon video tells the rest of the story.
We've both been so happy this past week. So far, life is good.


"If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you don't want." -- Unknown

Thanksgiving Reader Comments


cat said...

Why would it surprise you that many atheists happily celebrate Thanksgiving? It's one of the few great american holidays that is neither christian nor pagan and co-opted by the christians. Think easter (eggs and bunnies obviously the fertility fest of Ostara) and xmas (mistletoe and the yule log long pre-date christianity as winter solstice symbols). Being thankful doesn't require supreme being mythology. Thankfully ;). Happy thanksgiving to you from one of the numerous thankful atheists.

Average Joe American said...

What was the origin of Thanksgiving? Try this: religious pilgrims expressing thankfulness to God their Creator for the bountiful harvest.

How you think that's not religious, I don't know. Without someone to be thankful to, what is Thanksgiving?


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is considered by most to be the start of the holiday season. Every year when the holidays roll around, I start to miss my family. My mother and grandmother, who are both gone now, were like the Super Glue that bonded my family into a unit. Every year they'd prepare a huge turkey feast with all the trimmings, and four generations would gather together and give thanks for all that we had. I don't remember any of my siblings, my nephews, or my neice ever complaining about having to spend the entire day with family. It was just something we all did.

Now I have a family of my own -- a wife and two kids -- and my family -- the one I grew up with -- lives nearly four hours away. My wife's family lives fifteen minutes away, and we spend every holiday with them. I don't get from them the same sense of unity -- of togetherness -- that I felt with my family growing up. There's just something missing there -- I can't really describe it. To me, it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving should feel.

Tomorrow, as Amercians around the world celebrate Thanksgiving in their own way (and did you ever notice that even atheists and agnostics find some reason to get together for turkey and trimmings on Thanksgiving day every year -- I'll never understand that one), my family and I will be with my wife's family, while my brother and sisters, nephews and neice, and grandfather gather together some four hours away. I guess it's a time to make new traditions.

There are many things that I am thankful for, and since that's what this day (tomorrow) is all about, here are a few of them:
My wife, whom -- though we seem to disagree quite often -- I love with all of my heart.
My children, both of whom are healthy and happy.
My country, which -- without question -- is the greatest land on God's green Earth.
My career -- which provides me the means to provide for my family.
Memories, and the people who have helped me to make them.
The future -- as uncertain as it might be.
Here's hoping that you and yours have a safe, loving, memory-making Happy Thanksgiving!


Show Your Support for Blogging

Christmas is getting closer, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and Black Friday -- the busiest shopping day of the year -- is only two days away. Every time I go into a store I think, "I'm going to do all of my Christmas shopping online this year." I did that one year, and it was so much less stressful.

Well, pardon me for asking, but if you enjoy the blog, and you do find yourself doing some shopping online this year, there are a couple of ways that you can help to support your local blogger.

If you're shopping on Amazon, use my Amazon search box in the sidebar to find what you're looking for. Your search will take you to Amazon's search results, and Amazon makes a donation to support Average Joe American.

If you're searching online for the best place to buy something, use the Custom Google Search above my posts. It will provide you with a real Google search results page (though it will have the Average Joe logo at the top), and if you click any of the sponsored links, Google will make a donation to support Average Joe American.
Also, if any of the items in the Google ads directly below the search box should interest you, give 'em a click. Again, Google will make a donation to support Average Joe American.

None of these methods will increase your cost one cent, and none of them will provide me with any information about you or about your purchase. It's just a nice little way of supporting your local blogger while doing something you would do anyway.

Thanks for your support and your continued patronage.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mobile Posting

I've been having some problems lately with making mobile posts from my Palm PDA. I think it has something to do with the beta version of the new Blogger. If you're reading this then they (Google) must have fixed the bug.


"If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you don't want." -- Unknown

Monday, November 20, 2006

Gripe! No Giving Thanks for an Audit

My days off this week are a little out of whack because of Thanksgiving. I would normally be working on Monday, but today I'm off. Which means I missed a conference call at work that my Assistant Manager had to take. He called me shortly afterward with the news that the Auditor is in the District auditing stores this week.

Most companies, including most Retail companies, have some form of internal audits they perform to ensure that certain procedures are being followed and certain standards being met. It was less than four months ago when the Auditor was last at my store. If you haven't done so before, you might want to read about that visit before proceeding:

Audit Injustice
More Audit Rant

This is what really gripes me about all of this. First, the Auditor in my Division is a total joke! He makes things up as he goes along, sometimes literally reversing a company directive and then deducting points on the audit because the company directive was followed rather than what he thinks should have been done, even when I couldn't possibly have known what he thought I should do in advance. Second, this Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday. My store does from four to five times as much business on this one day than on an average day the rest of the year. There are big five-hour specials, with big merchandise displays to set and big ads to put up. My distribution delivery schedule is changed because of the holiday, as well. This means that I'm off on Monday, receive a distribution truck on Tuesday, set a big ad late into the night on Wednesday, am closed on Thursday, and face the biggest day of the year on Friday. And some idiot thinks it's a good time to send an Auditor in? Frankly, I don't care if we fail an audit this week!

But wait, there's more. For the first time ever, my company is using an outside inventory service to conduct year-end physical inventory. In the past, this inventory has always been done by store staff the last two weeks of January. This year, we will have a slew of people in the store on December 7, in the middle of the holiday shopping season, doing our inventory for the first time. That leaves me just two weeks from Thanksgiving to prepare for this inventory. Do you see why I just don't have the time to worry about an Auditor this week?

Whomever makes the schedule for this guy should be replaced by a person with some common sense, because it makes no business sense to be conducting audits (and doing inventory, for that matter), when we should be focused on one thing only: making the most of the holiday selling season.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

President Bush's Weekly Radio Address

20061118.a.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)
In his weekly radio address, President Bush said, "The greatest danger in our world today is that these terrorists could get their hands on weapons of mass destruction and use them to blackmail free nations or kill on an unimaginable scale. This threat poses a risk to our entire civilization, and we're working with our partners in the Asia Pacific region to defeat it. ...

In the long run, the surest path to security is the expansion of freedom. History shows that free societies are peaceful societies, so America is committed to advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternative to repression and radicalism. And by standing with our allies in the Asia Pacific region, we will defend our free way of life, confront the challenges of a new century, and build a more hopeful, peaceful, and prosperous future for our children and grandchildren."

NBC: Hoyer wins battle to become House Democrats' No. 2. Murtha loses.

This may have slipped past you unnoticed, but we may count this as a small victory. Remember how outspokenly opposed to Iraq Rep. Murtha has been?


NBC: Hoyer wins battle to become House Democrats' No. 2. Murtha loses.

Find out more at


It's a bit of a relief that he won't be the House Majority Leader.

Another important point to this is that the Democrats in the House basically defied their "Speaker-Elect," Nancy Pelosi, by electing Hoyer over Murtha. She supported Murtha for the role of Majority Leader. Does this mean that the Democrats will actually think for themselves over the next two years instead of being pawns of the leadership? One can only hope.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

This is a test post using Google Docs & Spreadsheets . If you're reading this, it must have worked. Several months back I swore off Microsoft Office. Too many issues, too much unreliability, and too much Microsoft. Instead, I used Writely (which is now part of Google Docs & Spreadsheets) and Google Spreadsheets when working from my PC. I used (and still use) Dataviz Documents To Go when working from my Palm Handheld . And, unfortunately, I'm still forced to use Microsoft Office while at work.

There have been some great updates to Writely and Google Spreadsheets. They have been consolidated into Google Docs & Spreadsheets, so you can access all your documents (and spreadsheets, obviously) in one place. You can email a document directly to Google Docs & Spreadsheets and access it later from your account (this doesn't work with spreadsheets yet, but I'm sure that's in the works). You can upload from your PC, download to your PC, and save your file in any one of five formats: HTML, Word, Rich Text Format, Open Office , and Portable Document Format. Yes, you can actually create a PDF file from within Google Docs & Spreadsheets. How sweet it is!

I was telling my wife earlier today that you only really need three tools online: Google (and the huge array of services they provide), Wikipedia , and Average Joe Blogs . If only I could get the rest of the webosphere to see it my way.


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