Saturday, June 12, 2004

John McCain

I will be very glad when John Kerry chooses a VP and stops ruining John McCain's name. I find it sad that the democrats believe that this great Senator would even think of joining their foolish crusade against George Bush. I have nothing but respect for Senator McCain and I find these attempts to make him VP ridiculous. I hope he gets on to choosing whatever leftist wacko he is going to pick and loses the election in due course.

Thank You David

Thank you David for putting the links up there. I am sure my friend will find it as interesting as I did. Sadly some of our oil problems would be solved if the liberals would just let the sane people drill in ANWAR. I am sure the Caribou will be alright and of course if they are not then we have lost a species of animal that while tasting delicious does not serve too much of a purpose anyway. Oh well such is the liberal mind.

Be Careful

Reagan liked to say, "Trust but Verify." When it comes to the internet and chain emails, though, it's "Verify, then Trust." Brian, here's the deal with that chain email, from Snopes:

"If it weren't for all the gross statistical errors and the naïve grasp of oil industry economics exhibited here, this piece might actually have some validity."

Read the whole thing.

I always recommend checking out www.snopes.com first when you hear a rumor on the internet and especially when you get a chain email. They're usually fair, though I've found some pieces where they lean toward liberal interpretations of political events, so do be on the lookout, as with any news source.

Something I would expand on a bit is the fact that oil is bought and sold many times between companies. So Saudi ARAMCO may pump it and put it in a Shell tanker, even though it was sold to ConocoPhillips. By the time it reaches the US, it may have been sold to Sunoco, but refined at an ExxonMobil refinery. Oil from one source is often moved all around the oil market. Just because you bought it from TotalFinaElf doesn't mean that Lukoil or Shell won't see some of that.

Also, I highly recommend checking out the actual Energy Information Administration page from the Department of Energy. You can get real oil statistics there. Another great resource is BP's annual report on world energy: Statistical Review of World Energy.

Where to buy gas

Well as I said earlier I get a lot of chain letters from my friends in my e-mail. Usually I just delete them however this last one caught my eye and I thought I would share it with you guys.

Were to buy Gas
Why didn't George W. think of this? Gas rationing in the 80's worked even though we grumbled about it. It might even be good for us!

The Saudis are boycotting American goods. We should return the favor. An interesting thought it to boycott their GAS. Every time you fill up the car, you can avoid putting more money into the coffers of Saudi Arabia. Just buy from gas companies that don't import their oil from the Saudis.

Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time I fill-up the tank, I am sending my money to people who are trying to kill me, my family, and my friends. I thought it might be interesting for you to know which oil companies are the best to buy gas from and which major companies import Middle Eastern oil (for the period 9/1/00 - 8/31/01):

Shell.........................205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco.........144,332,000 barrels
Exxon /Mobil..............130,082,000 barrels
Marathon/Speedway...117,740,000 barrels
Amoco......................62,231,000 barrels

If you do the math at $30/barrel, these imports amount to over $18 BILLION!

Here are some large companies that do not import Middle Eastern oil:

Citgo....................0 barrels
Sunoco............. .0 barrels
Conoco............. .0 barrels
Sinclair............... 0 barrels
BP/Phillips.......... 0 barrels
Hess...................0 barrels

All of this information is available from the Department of Energy and each is required to state where they get their oil and how much they are importing. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It's really simple to do. Now, don't wimp out at this point... keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!

I'm sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) ... and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!

Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. How would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next eight days!

A comedian's Plan

The following was sent to me by one of my cousins from a comedian that she had gone to see. I believe that it is an accurate (though crude) description of what this country needs to do in order to fight off terrorism and remind the world we are the good guys.

I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for
peace. So, here's one plan:

The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs,
past & present........ You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Noriega, Milosovich
and the rest of those 'good ole boys.' We will never "interfere" again.


We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany,
South Korea and the Philippines. They don't want us there. We will station
troops at our borders. No one sneaking through holes in the fence.


All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll
give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up
and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France should
welcome them.


All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 days unless
given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. NO
ONE! If you don't like it there, change it yourself and don't hide here.
Asylum would never be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers
or 7-11 cashiers.


No "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't
attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home baby.


The US will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy wise. This
will include developing non-polluting sources of energy but will require a
temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to
cope for a while....... The Sierra Club, etc. will have to deal with it.


Offer Saudi Arabia, and other oil producing countries, $10 a barrel for their
oil. If they don't like it, we go some place else. They can go somewhere else
to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling up the storage
sites would be enough.)


If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will
not "interfere." They can pray to Allah, or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement
or whatever they need..... Besides most of what we give them is stolen or
given to the army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything.


We will ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island some place. We don't
need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building would make
a good homeless shelter, or lockup for illegal aliens.


All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call
us "Ugly Americans" any longer.


The Statue of Liberty will no longer say "Give me your poor, your tired, your
huddled masses longing to be free." She's got a baseball bat and she's
yelling, "You want a piece of me?"
Now, ain't that a winner of a plan?

Reagan

I wish that I could add something elegant to what has already been said but I believe that everyone here has summed up what can be said about the funeral. As I went to the American Embassy yesterday and attended the viewing of the funeral I was overcome with joy at the outpouring of support for the former president. I have never cried for so long as I watched the procession and the thousands of people that had gathered to watch the service. I was impressed by the coverage that CNN provided and for once they did not push a left wing agenda. There could not have been a better send off for the legend that we knew as Ronald Reagan. I will be visiting the grave site at the library with Mary in August and I hope that it is capable of conveying the importance that this man was to our country. When I got to the condolences book after the funeral I could not think of anything to write so I simply wrote
"Thank you President Reagan for all that you have done to save our country. My heart is with your family and I wish you all the best"

Well I know that it is cheesy I could come up with nothing else to say.

Friday, June 11, 2004

"It Was Perfect..."

That was what Rush Limbaugh said about President Reagan's memorial service this morning. It was truly exceptional. However, I think that phrase really applies to the ceremony this evening. It was absolutely perfect. The sunset over the California hills he so loved set the backdrop for a very emotional ceremony. Ronald and Nancy had it timed and planned perfectly. The golden glow of the sun illuminated the 40th president's final resting place while it's light seemed to embrace the flags on the podium. It was a fitting, and sad, for me at least, goodbye to Ronald Reagan, the greatest president of the 2nd half of the 20th century.

I really wish I could write something eloquent and insightful about the man, the legend, Ronald Reagan. I'm afraid all I can say is that it's a shame I was too young during his presidency to really remember him. I racked my brain for dim memories, and I remember well his Challenger speech, but I'm certain I only saw it a couple years later. I really think my first presidential memories are of then-VP George H. W. Bush greeting the crew of Discovery on the occasion of their return to Earth after renewing our space program. I'm certain I watched his inauguration 4 months later, and I must have seen Reagan then, but, sadly, I don't remember him well.

It was only during the 90s when I began to read and hear about Reagan, the man, the president, the conservative, that his legend grew in my mind. As I've come to know more and more about him, I've come to admire him immensely. I remember throughout grade school, there would be class discussions, essays, or applications asking about a personal hero. I was never really that sure. I'd usually just choose someone I admired for one thing or another. I used to say astronaut John Young, for his 10 space missions, in 3 different space vehicles, or Admiral Chester Nimitz, for winning the War in the Pacific, or Admiral Raymond Spruance, for his quiet unassuming manner and his bold victory at Midway. Yet, Reagan had all those qualities and more. He was bold, had the courage of conviction, he was a warrior, he was an advocate of space exploration and he walked on the political frontier. He planted his flag in the fertile soil of true conservatism and stayed put. The party and the country came to him. But in the last decade I've come to see that Reagan had all the qualities I truly admire: a great sense of humor, moral conviction, political courage, chivalry, a devotion to his wife, a great and noble humility, a deep and enduring love of his country, a commitment to freedom, a reverence for the Founding Fathers, an appreciation for the military, he was an eloquent speaker and writer, and all around the perfect gentleman. It's clear to me that Ronald Reagan is my hero, and he embodies almost all the qualities that one could want in a person. He is what we should all strive to be. Yet, Reagan is still human. He had his flaws, notably his strained relationship with his children. To me, though, this just makes him more of a role model. It shows that normal people really can be that great.

And so, I'll say farewell, Mr. President. He has arrived at his sunset, though he faces a new dawn in heaven. Today, and through this whole week, I kept thinking of the wonderful, pithy eulogy General Henry Lee gave to George Washington, "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." No, I'm not saying this is also for Reagan. It is Washington's and Washington's alone, for he is truly first in all of those categories. However, I could not help but be struck by the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people who lined the streets and filed by the casket in California and DC to pay their last respects to the president. All across the country, people mourned his passing and celebrated his life, which made me think about "the hearts of his countrymen." I was especially touched by seeing the church bells tolling from sea to shining sea at precisely 1:15 today. So if I might be so conceited as to modify the General's quote, it seems to me that Ronald Reagan will be forever in the hearts of his countrymen.

There are just so many great quotes from people over the past week about Ronald Reagan that I could choose to close with, and just as many from the late president himself. I think, though, I'll have to go with the speech of Reagan's I will always remember before all others, because it is about a subject that is near and dear to me, our space program. Reagan's eulogy for the brave crew of the Challenger never fails to inspire me, and so, I'll use his words for them to say goodbye to him,

We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'


As President Bush said, "May God bless Ronald Reagan and the country he loved."

One of my favorites that was used today

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
l can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
"As ye deal with my contemners, So with you my grace shall deal;"
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on

No Harm, No Foul

I'm going to agree with Kevin and Brian on the stem-cell research. That's a decision I've always thought was incompletely thought out by Bush. As long as we're not actually aborting babies to get stem cells, I support research that has such incredible potential.

However, I want to make a semi-defense of the soldiers Brian criticized. Now, I'm plenty frustrated with the evidence of a lack of respect and common sense in certain places in the military, from the fools in Abu Ghraib to the disgusting sexual predators who have tarnished the reputation of the Air Force Academy, there's clearly a problem, but I don't think a group of soldiers amicably buying drinks in a Czech pub is part of it.

These guys are out there, far from home, to do their duty. They're given their salaries and, what, really do they have to do with them? Their wives, girlfriends, and other buddies aren't around, so they go pal around with each other at a local bar. The government is just paying them for their service, not specifically to go drink. That's just what they do in their free time. As long as they're responsible and can perform their duties the next day, I don't have a problem with it. Certainly not something I'd do, but it's their prerogative. It reminds me of the stories about the Mercury and Gemini astornauts in The Right Stuff. They were away from their families in Cape Canaveral, and since they had nothing to do in the evenings, they'd just go have fun. They were kind of rowdy, though... The soldier's Brian's describing don't seem to have been making any trouble, so I say let them have fun.

A Great Day

This was a truly great day for America, especially anyone who is fond of history. Just the collection of dignitaries that gathered in Washington to be a part of the ceremony, coupled with the tremendous outpouring from the populace these past three days at the Capitol, made this whole process a truly inspiring experience. I truly doubt that if this had been Carter or Clinton being honored with a state funeral the outpouring from the public would be as great. This should serve as further proof that America is a conservative nation, that Americans believe in small government, tax cuts, a strong international presence, as well as honesty, dignity, and humility. America is waiting in line for six hours to catch a glimpse of a great man to whom we all owe so much; and while America is also the ability to walk through campus and protest a war, a la the "New Resistance," I think we can rest assured, as David and I concluded after watching Morgan's cult march on the UC lawn, that the majority of Americans do not and will not buy into the rhetoric of the far left, the so-called "progressives" who in actuality take a good word and distort its meaning. Ronald Reagan was truly the greatest man to serve in the Oval Office during the post-war era (discounting Truman to whom I hold the utmost respect, and who I would say technically was the last president before the "post-war era"). Reagan was flanked by Carter, who is a good man but was not right for the office, and Clinton, who history will prove to be a dishonest and dishonorable citizen of this nation.

Some notes on the week...

1. ABC had the best coverage of the funeral, complete with the clearest picture as well as continuous shots of sites around the world, including Moscow, the Brandenburg Gate, the South Pole, the Reagan Library, Dixon, Illinois, the Reagan Birthplace, Times Square, various Cathedrals across the nation, and the view of Washington from Arlington with the Eternal Flame in the foreground.

2. My fellow La Salle High alum Chris Matthews is quickly falling out of favor with me, due to his perceived hesitance to give Reagan his due compliments these past few days. His support of Kerry also is not something I am thrilled about.

3. Anyone who watched the MTV Movie Awards would have seen the politicizing from Jack Black (Vote Kerry T-Shirt), Sean Astin (Kerry button and sticker), and our favorite person here at the Inner Circle, Michael Moore (an unnecessary video appearance to plug his new slanderfest movie filled with comments about Bush). Among Moore's comments about Bush was an insinuation that Bush wanted this film censored. Hmm, I wonder if Moore thinks Bush owns Disney. I have not seen any evidence of George W. Bush trying to "block" Moore's movie. But as long as Moore tells the millions of young voters watching the show that Bush is trying to "censor" his movie he, and the rest of Hollywood, is happy. This is just increasing my resolve to get Bush re-elected. Bush is not my ideal conservative, and we disagree on a few key issues, but I can't stand John Kerry nor these liberals any longer. To give them power could lead to the demise of American prominence in the world. So, if you want to throw American sovereignty away and allow Kofi Annan and the rest of the corrupt powerbrokers in the U.N. (see Oil-for-Food Program) to control American foreign policy, which will eventually handcuff future generations with regard to domestic policy in a globalized world, vote for the pinko from Massachusetts.

4. I stand firm with Brian in support of stem-cell research.

5. I stand firm with Mary and Brian in support of legalizing gambling in Pennsylvania, thereby going against the state CRs once again.

God Bless Ronald Reagan, and may future leaders follow his example and save our country from the far left, who share neither our values nor our respect for this shining city upon a hill. To close, as we have read many times over the past few days, Reagan's farewell address...

"The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the `shining city upon a hill.' The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. "

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Our tax dollars at work

Last night while going out to the bar with my roommates and some other people on the trip we ran into a group of cadets from westpoint. They were on an all expenses paid trip from the government to study some aspects of the military here and do some basic training. They proceeded to buy round after round of shots for the entire bar. I was only there for about an hour but in that time they spent 210.60 on the shots alone not counting the beers they had already bought. They apparently bought shots for another 2.5 hours after I left. Needless to say I am sad to say that our tax dollars were spent so irresponsibly but I guess that is the price we pay when they send out the army to do a little training. With our growing deficit programs like this need to be stopped. These soldiers were clearly having fun at the tax payers expense and I would disagree with the way the money was used. Sadly however I am sure waste like this will continue to be used.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Unfortunately...

Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond my control, I have cancelled my trip to Washington. I have to be at another viewing on Thursday afternoon and I would be cutting it very close if I went to DC. So Ronnie, I will be there in spirit.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Upcoming Documentary

The upcoming documentary The Hunting of the President is based off the book The Hunting of the President : The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton
by Joe Conason (Author), Gene Lyons (Author). This book which I read while writing my biography of Bill Clinton is an absolute crock. These idiots want the American public to believe that the bimbo eruptions of the Clinton years never occurred. They would claim that it is all a ruse by the VRWC to attack both Bill and Hillary. They believe that Hillary Clinton is a quite martyr who took what happened to Bill with strength and compassion. Like Michael Moore these misguided fools are a danger to society and should be considered pretty much useless by all of society. I cannot express enough disgust over this book and how absolutely horrible it was. It was so useless that I could not even use it in my paper and had to go read another liberal source for my "fair and balanced" perspective.

Reaganomics

As I took a look back today at years of US economic history I noticed some trends from the policies of Reaganomics.

1. The debt load taken on by the Reagan government while staggering brought about such an increase in spending through Star Wars and other defense programs the Soviet's dwindling economy was unable to cope. The spending created new jobs and added a vibrant consumer sector that was backed by government dollars. While taxes should have been raised more to cover this the move still created a way for the economy to recover from a severe recession that was brought about under Carter.

2. The idea in the Keynesian world of fiscal policy is using the government to adjust spending to cover the shortfalls in demand. Reaganomics went one step further by providing jobs rather than just covering the short fall in a downward spiral of demand. Demand during this time period seemed to be consistently not intersecting supply at an optimal level and a continuing fall would have led to the supply and demand curves not intersecting at all which was the Keynesian worst nightmare. This eventuality was stopped by Reaganomics and the wonderful president whose passing we mourned did more than end the Cold War but stave off a recession.

So once again I add a thank you President Reagan and I hope that the foolish liberals will one day realize the good that you did in protecting this country from our enemies both foreign and domestic.

Immortal Words

I haven't been able to write anything yet about the passing of Ronald Reagan, as so many other people have said so much so well, I don't feel anything I write would do the man justice. And yet, I feel compelled to write, that I owe it to his great legacy. However, I'm still collecting my thoughts. I know I promised a post about Saturday's parade, and I still plan to in due time. But for now, I'm thinking of the Gipper, and while there are some wonderful tributes to him, most notably from President Bush, Cox and Forkum, day by day, and of course, the Corner, I think the best way to remember him is through his own words, and I wanted to share some of his farewell address from 1989 with everyone:

...in all of that time I won a nickname, `The Great Communicator.' But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation—from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

...

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: `We the People.' `We the People' tell the government what to do; it doesn't tell us. `We the People' are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which `We the People' tell the government what it is allowed to do. `We the People' are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I've tried to do these past 8 years

But back in the 1960's, when I began, it seemed to me that we'd begun reversing the order of things—that through more and more rules and regulations and confiscatory taxes, the government was taking more of our money, more of our options, and more of our freedom. I went into politics in part to put up my hand and say, `Stop.' I was a citizen politician, and it seemed the right thing for a citizen to do.

...

The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the `shining city upon a hill.' The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Monday, June 07, 2004

A Fond Farewell

I will be incommunicado for a few days because, yes, call me crazy, I am venturing down to Washington D.C. to pay my respects to the greastest president of the 20th century (and I say in all history). Plans have not been finalized yet but I have taken off from work and plan to be in DC from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday night, at the very earliest. Of course, if I can score some tickets to the funeral service on Friday morning, I will be extending my trip. The horse-drawn carriage up Constitution Avenue, the viewing in the rotunda, I can't miss this. You can reach me via cell and you will all be with me in spirit.

Top 10 Business Books

1. McDonald's : Behind The Arches
by John F. Love (Author)
This book provides an excellent look at all of the fast food industry but focuses primarily on McDonalds. Brilliant analysis and an excellent look from a journalists perspectives.

2. The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars
by Joël Glenn Brenner (Author)
This brilliant book provides a look at the way that Hershey and Mars have fought to be the number one Emperor of Chocolate and dominate the market. It also looks at other Hershey sellers and provides some insight into an industry that people never could understand the cutthroat competition of. The author who was allowed unprecedented access at the time to Mars also begins to discuss their decline and the expansion of the “Uncle Ben’s Rice” product.

3. Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies That Make Them
by G. Wayne Miller
This book is another one that shows an industry that people would not believe the competition off. The Toy industry is incredibly vicious and the author goes mostly through the Hasbro company but also works extensively with Mattel to show the contrast of how the toy market is segmented and the mergers that occurred.

4. Jack: Straight from the Gut
by Jack Welch, John A. Byrne
Although I do not agree with six sigma management practices no one can say that this man has not revolutionized the way the business world works. By making GE one of the largest corporations in the world and becoming a management guru his ideas are well worth the read and taking a look at the historic opportunities he helped bring about makes for an interesting read.

5. Iacocca : An Autobiography
by William Novak (Author), Lee Iacocca (Author)
What Lehigh Student would not have read the amazing struggle our former alum went through to rejuvenate Chrysler and bring about one of the most drastic turn arounds in automotive history. This book is a very in-depth look at the way the companies were turned around and also provides some very interesting look at political polices that have affected the automobile industry.

6. Sam Walton : Made In America
by John Huey (Contributor), Sam Walton (Author)
Of course what business list would be complete without a book on the history of the most ruthless corporation in the world. Sam Walton cannot even disguise the fact that he ran competition into the ground and then raised prices once they were gone. Still a fascinating look however at the way that people were influenced by Wal-Mart. (Now the largest employer in the United States after the US government).

7. Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
by Howard Schultz (Author)
Although not heavy on brilliant business strategy this does provide a one of a kind look into a company that has been one of the fastest growing in US History. The company that has tried to bring the experience of coffee around the world and make it popular to go to the hometown coffee shop. The corporation has lost much of what is described in the book, but it is interesting to see where Starbucks was meant to go.

8. Me and Ted Against the World : The Unauthorized Story of the Founding of CNN
by Reese Schonfeld (Author)
This is another book that although not full of great business advice provides an interesting look at the man who invented the idea of 24 hour news. He talks about the way he meant programming to go and about the way Ted Turner forced him out of the corporation. Schonfeld has also founded HGTV and the Food Channel.

9. Secret Recipe: Why KFC Is Still Cooking After 50 Years
by Robert Darden
This book is a fascinating look that develops the idea of delivering a full service meal fast food style. The colorful Colonel combined with the brilliance of Peter Harding (Founder of the Hardee’s chain) go together and helped to explain how KFC did all that it could to become the kings of the fast food industry in an effort to beat out McDonald’s and create a different kind of fast food service.

Tie
10. Taco Titan: The Glen Bell Story
by Debra Lee Baldwin
This is another excellent look at an industry that is highly competitive and very difficult to enter. The development of Taco Bell is an interesting story that began in the fast food world of Southern CA. Almost all fast food chains with the exception of White Castle, Carls Jr., and KFC were founded in CA and the success of Taco Bell provides interesting insight into how to do fast food a different way.

Time to Make the Donuts
by William Rosenberg, Jessica Brilliant Keener
This is the story of a coffee company that finally found its way into doing business the way it should. Be warned Rosenberg does do this primarily to stroke his ego but you can find useful information along the way and see the early development of the fast food industry before there was a McDonald’s and when the idea of Starbucks was completely foreign.


Book Review

Book Title: Nuts! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success
Authors: by Kevin Freiberg (Author), Jackie Freiberg (Author)

This is a feel good business book that passes on business strategies from the only two people who were allowed an inside look at Southwest and their "nuts" style of management. Both of the authors recognize and articulate the various ways in which southwest has beaten out the competition, cut costs, and used successful marketing to its advantage. Although a little cheesy at times with some of the advice it gives this does provide a unique insight into the airline industry and the way that industry is handled. I would give it a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the airline industry or is trying to learn some of the intermediate steps of good customer relations.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Thank you President Reagan

As I watch all of the news sources both domestic from websites (CNN, Fox, Drudge) and then watch the foreign papers (London Financial Times, Prague Post) I notice a stunning trend in that leaders all around the world are once again unified. It is unfortunate that the death of our former great president occurred however at this time we see people having great empathy with the United States. Hopefully this will remind them of what our nation truly stands for and a new set of alliances against the terrorists can occur. The alliances that were broken off by France and Germany because they disagreed with how to handle terror can be reformed.

As a secondary note there is another chapter of this that bears mentioning. Stem Cell research has been decried by many as a great evil. One of my cousin's works on a cure for cancer and he believes that Stem Cell's will hold the fastest as well as best cure for cancer and other diseases. Nancy Reagan has been a large advocate of stem cell research and at this time when we could have found a way to help the president we loved with new research we are reminded that it should have been done. Stem Cell research has a future and it can be a bright and prosperous one for the people of our country.

These are two things we can thank Reagan for leaving a mark on today's world. I would like to thank Ronald Reagan for the following

1. Having the courage to end the cold war and increase spending to a level the Soviet could not match.
2. Undoing the absolute stupidity of the Carter administration and welcoming our hostages home.
3. Taking the time to look at the tax policy in this country and attempt to make some sensible reforms.
4. Understanding who are friends were and keeping alliances with Britain and the Iron Lady Government.

So once again thank you president Reagan. More to come especially after I read the Reagan biography as soon as I get home.

Vienna

As I had gone through the streets of Vienna I saw minor protest against the war in Iraq. One group was about 12 large and at a table getting petitions to have their government officially condemn the war in Iraq. Another group I saw was about 100-150 large and was protesting the war in Iraq by marching through their streets and holding up different religious symbols. On Sunday before I left I was stopped by a group of locals and asked if I was American. I fought the urge to say I was Canadian eh and told them I was American. They said that they thought Ronald Reagan was a decent and good leader. I was impressed that from places where I had seen protest I now saw a group that was unified behind the idea of one of our nation's greatest presidents realizing what America was about. This group was not calling us evil or saying our president was a moron. Instead they remembered the good things we did in the past and are ready to believe for our future. I think there is no greater tribute to Ronald Reagan than an event like that and I only hope it can be replicated all over the world.