Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gov't Attempting to Seize Smith & Wesson

Marie Llosander

Seemingly in line with other corporate seizures, the United States government appears to be attempting to gain a majority stake in prominent firearms company Smith & Wesson.

Smith & Wesson, one of the oldest weapons companies in the United States, is currently on sound economic footing. However, a clause in the 2009 Stimulus Bill calls for the federal government to seize industries and companies that are essential to the economy or 'government function.'

The Treasury Department contacted the company in March 2009, asking to buy shares at $10 above market price. However, this offer was sharply rebuffed. Similar offers have been made to Remington.

After this rejection, the Treasury Department has declared that it will use mechanisms in the Stimulus Bill in order to override the corporate decision. Smith & Wesson's board of executives have also been informed that this decision by the Treasury Department could not be appealed to any superior court.

See also:
Smith and Wesson will Be Taken Over. Rationing and Shortages are Here... Fool knew

Smith & Wesson Too Big To Fail…You Know What That Means

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Take action in GOP, push Conservatism from ground-up.

I believe in personal responsibility, that when you see a public office needing a good candidate, you run for that office, when you see a clerk being held at gun/knife point - you take out your pistol, call 911, and hold the criminal to police arrive.

Living in Upstate New York is a blessing, you can hunt, fish, sit outside at night and listen to the crickets, and where it comes to politics - Republicans are in charge, good times on the county level are often, all though politics are still brutal up here - even in all Republican areas.

Even with Obama, Democrats gained less then 200 votes more for Obama then Kerry in the Presidential election, however Republicans demoralized - 500 fewer voted for McCain then Bush, yet McCain still won the county by 2,000 votes.

The Republican party in the state of New York is beginning to crumble apart, the Conservative party is standing stronger at times, and they only way the Republicans will keep New York a two main party state, is to go after the youth & young Republicans. I was approached by the County GOP chairman to head a Young Republicans Club, but communications stopped, and the idea appeared dead as well.

That is, until I took matters into my own hands.

With the help of a fellow Republican (more moderate then myself, hey its New York), and County resident, actually I should say donated effort which I am grateful for, we have launched a Young Republicans Club, set to open meeting in late May. We decided after much debate, to launch with four main Conservative principles :

1. Fiscal Conservatism.
2. Limited government.
3. Strong National defense.
4. Family values.

In summary, I and the co-founder have a lot of work to do, hours to put in, and members to recruit. We both realize our party needs to be stronger, and Conservative (I 100%, him in about 80% of areas) more then it has been. I believe all of us can make a difference, by becoming involved in the Republican party and pushing our Conservative ideals, not by trashing the GOP for lack of enforcement of these ideals, while doing nothing yourself.

From the ground up, a Conservative Republican revolution is brewing.

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Quote of the Day

I'm still alive.

-- Joe C.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Did You Vote for Obama?

1. I was drunk.
2. Pat Buchanan wasn't running.
3. Acorn gave me $20.
4. I wanted to see the world end before things got boring.
5. I was ready for change-- but then I realized that that would require changing things.
6. His wife has such poise and intellect.
7. I wanted to see Rahm Emanuel in shorts.
8. Cause I desired Al Franken as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
9. I didn't vote.
10. I wanted to shut Jon Stewart up.

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Signs the End is Near

10. The meteoric rise of World of Warcraft.
9. That one ugly kid in your graduating class who always swore revenge.
8. President Obama's decision to give Iran nuclear weapons in exchange for "ponies."
7. All those people quoting Monty Python.
6. Dick Cheney is hiding in his anti-radiation/furby bunker.
5. This blog.
4. Democrats are trusted again, for some reason.
3. Televangelists.
2. Remember that time when you saw that homeless man and you didn't give him money? Yeah-- you'd better cause you're going to fry for that.
1. The Pope building a strangely large ark.

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Poll Question of the Day

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10 Things You Didn't Know Obama Did in His First 100 Days

10. Challenged Kim Jong-Il to "fisticuffs."
9. Learned where the Middle East is.
8. Declared that he is "more popular than Jesus."
7. Was told that, despite his adamant beliefs, that the United Kingdom was no longer an Absolute Monarchy.
6. Watched more of the NCAA Basketball Tournament than he watched the situation in Pakistan.
5. Realized that "Checks and Balances" had nothing to do with money or banks.
4. Blamed President Bush for every conceivable problem, including his backed-up plumbing.
3. Defeated Chuck Norris in karate.
2. Asked Iran repeatedly, "Why can't we all just get along?"
1. Went to Europe and blamed the United States for hating Europeans. Came back, and blamed Bush for Americans hating Europeans.

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Look-A-Like of the Day

suzanne somers totally looks like janice the muppet
see more Celeb Look-A-Likes

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LOL Cat of the Day

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

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Frodo the Puppet

One of the greatest Phil Hendrie bits of all time, brought to life by an animator:

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Animal Farm Summary

Another classic political text, Animal Farm by George Orwell shows us the realm of satire. A must-read.

The short novel is dystopian allegory in which animals play the roles of the Bolshevik revolutionaries[4] and overthrow and oust the human owner of a farm (Manor Farm), renaming it Animal Farm and setting it up as a commune in which, at first, all animals are equal; however, class and status disparities soon emerge between the different animal species (the pigs being the "greater species"). The novel describes how a society's ideologies can be manipulated and twisted by those in positions of social and political power, including how Utopian society is made impossible by the corrupting nature of the very power necessary to create it. Throughout the novel Orwell shows that no matter how equal a society starts the smarter, richer, or more powerful person (or animal in this case) will come out on top. As the story says, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia destroy any possibility of an Utopia. While this novel portrays poor leadership as the flaw in revolution (and not the act of revolution itself), it also shows how ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution allow the horrors to happen.

From Wikipedia.

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Specter leaving GOP, a blessing.

During the 1980 Conservative Republican revolution, President Reagan introduced a "big tent" philosophy into the Republican party, however this big tent revolved around a set group of Conservative principles which could not be ignored. These principles included fiscal conservatism, limited government, strong national defense, and family values became the set principles of the Republican party.

In reality, Reagan wanted all that agreed with a set number of principles first, then strayed on other issues later. Over the past 4 years, the party corrupted by 5 terms in power began spending like liberals, expanding government, and even at times voting anti-family values.

We reeled from these missfollowings of Conservative principles, even on border security - national defense we balked on, however our principles are coming back to focus.

Enter Senator Arlen Specter.

Senator Specter claims to be a Reagan Conservative, yet he has voted for tax raises & wasteful spending, he has also favored a larger government, and have anti-family values. Specter has been moving towards the left for years, with party leaders constantly backing him, and every we have back him - he ended up betraying us one way or another.

Specter has done a limited of good things, including being a tough ally on national when it comes to terrorism, and defended Justice Thomas to the bone nearly two decades ago, which helped Thomas be accepted by the Senate.

In the end, Republicans in the Keystone state had enough of Specter, and his liberal economic votes :
TARP - supported.
Auto-bailouts - supported.
Stimulus - supported.
Omnibus - supported.
Budget - not supporting as of now, but you never know.

Specter also was afraid of losing political power, so he switched from the GOP to the blithering idiot's on the left.

This is actually not uncommon, Senator Shelby (who did and still does lean right) switched from the Democrat to Republican party in 1994, and Senator Zell Miller (former Democrat from Georgia, who voted with GOP a very good portion of the time) promised to keep the GOP the majority party if moderates ever bolted.

In summary, the Democrat's will have 60 votes in the Senate, meaning they will have control in all branches of government, except in the Supreme Court, Specter would have supported Democrat agenda regardless of party affiliation - I would rather him do it as a Democrat then a Republican.

The party has strayed from core Conservative principles of fiscal conservatism, strong national defense, limited government, and family values - they have payed dearly with two straight horrific elections.

Perhaps now, we will respect Reagan principles which made us both a great party of Conservatism, which all could relate to, and full of wisdom as our founders had.
This is a blessing, in clear view.

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Interview: Darrell Castle: VP Candidate for the Constitution Party in 2008

We are very fortunate to continue our interview series with our seventh individual. Darrell Castle is the Vice-Chair of the national Constitution Party, a party dedicated to a stricter reading of our founding document.In 2008, Mr. Castle was the Constitution Party's candidate for Vice President of the United States. He served our country in Viet Nam in the United States Marine Corps. He believes that Congress holds the sole power to declare war.

Mr. Castle is an attorney in private practice with firms in Memphis, TN, St. Louis, MO, and Kansas City, MO. The Castle Law Firms specialize in Bankruptcy and Personal Injury. Mr. Castle earned a JD in 1979.

Mr. Castle has served the local church as deacon and deacon chairman. In 1998, he and wife Joan founded Mia’s Children Foundation, Inc. (, a Christian mission in Bucharest, Romania which ministers to homeless gypsy children.

Mr. Castle and his wife Joan have been married for 31 years and live in Germantown, TN. Their daughter Joanna and her husband Michael Miller serve with the Navigators Ministry at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

So without further ado:

  1. What is the biggest issue affecting Americans today and how would you deal with it?

The biggest issue facing Americans today is whether we will remain a free and independent people able to govern ourselves and decide our own destiny and that of our children or whether we will be ruled by a tiny elite who will decide those things for us. This question was asked by Thomas Jefferson more than 200 years ago and it is more at issue today than it was in Jefferson’s day. I would return to Constitutional government and the rule of law. The Constitution says that it is the supreme law of the land (Article 6, paragraph 2) and it should be respected as such by elected officials who take an oath to honor and defend it. The United States should avoid sovereignty destroying ideas such as the North American Union which proposes to merge the United States, Mexico and Canada into one regional organization similar to the European Union. We should secure our borders and enforce immigration laws, withdraw from so called free trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, and WTO which serve the interests of foreign governments and international mega corporations rather than the American people. We should adopt a foreign policy of strict neutrality with all nations.

  1. What grade would you give President Obama’s first 100 days and why?

I would give him an A on his returning some degree of dignity and restraint to the office of the President but his overall grade is an F. His first 100 days have been very disappointing because he came to the office with such potential to do great things of a positive nature.

His approach to our economic problems is a strictly Keynesian one which will not work and in fact will make the situation worse. Instead of leading us back to a sound money system he appointed the very people who caused the economic breakdown to lead us out of it. As a result, the American people are committed to 13 trillion dollars in bailout money and for what? The answer apparently is so that Wall Street gamblers will not get what they deserve. This will condemn generations of Americans to poverty and destroy the retirement incomes of millions of Americans. GRADE F

He led the American people to believe that he would restore the Bill of Rights and end the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, and other such legislation, but he has not. He promised that he would restore habeas corpus and he has not. He stated that he would end CIA secret prisons, but he simply transferred them to a different location. His deeds do not match his words. GRADE F

He led us to believe that he would end the war in Iraq. Instead, he now intends to leave up to 50,000 troops there permanently and those being withdrawn are going to Afghanistan. He has spread the Afghanistan war into Pakistan, a nuclear armed country. GRADE F.

He refuses to secure our borders and such refusal is a clear violation of the Constitution (Article 4 section 4) and a violation of the first duty of the President which is to defend America and repel invasion. He now proposes amnesty for those not legally in America. He blames the American people for the drug wars in Mexico and he does these things despite having declared a state of national emergency due to the flu epidemic in Mexico. GRADE F

I could go on, but his overall grade is F. For what it’s worth George W. Bush’s overall grade is an "F-" because of the above reasons, as well as his starting both wars, and his making America a morally corrupt torture nation.

  1. What is the biggest threat to our Constitution?

My answer to question one also applies to this question. In addition, the assumption of power by the executive branch is a Constitution destroying trend that if not reversed will result in an elected dictator. The Constitution is not self enforcing and the people have been unwilling to hold the Democrat and Republican office holders responsible for their degradation of Constitutional government.

  1. Why do you feel that Americans are often uninvolved with politics?

People have lost their understanding of the American system of government and what it takes to keep it intact. Most lives revolve around the necessities of life such as work and families. In addition, many people are obsessed with entertainment such as sports and by the idea of celebrity in general. These things result from 60 years of failed public education which is evidenced by a high school drop out rate of 50% and from consolidated corporate control of the media which refuses to broadcast or print the truth.

  1. Why would your platform help transform American policy for the better?

It would restore America to peace, prosperity, and liberty. The rule of law would apply to those in government as well as to the rest of us. Americans would be safe without surveillance and without the militarized police state we are building. We would have a sound money system. A monetary system free of the Federal Reserve debt based credit system that currently controls our economy. This would allow people to have security in retirement without erosion of their savings by inflation. Our people would be secure from the requirement of unnecessary foreign wars. The borders would be secured which would allow us to eradicate many diseases imported from the third world by people coming to America illegally. The income tax would be abolished and the government would be funded by a low, non-punitive import tariff. There would be an economic boom such as we have yet to experience including technological and innovative advances. Freedom is very popular and it works,

Thank You for the opportunity to answer these questions.

Darrell L. Castle

Constitution Party Vice Chairman

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Quote of the Day

You serious, Clark?

-- Cousin Eddy

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Toomey? Randall Toomey?

Anyone following the news lately knows that Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania recently decided to switch parties due to a strong challenge from the former head of the Club for Growth, Pat Toomey.

Now you would think that that is the story. However, seeing the name "Toomey" bandied about reminded me of Randall Toomey, one of Herb Sewell's cellmates.

Do we want one of Randall Toomey's relatives becoming Senator from Pennsylvania? Well, read part of Herb's "About Me":

I recently was parolled from the Atascadero Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where I was incarcerated for various unmentionable crimes. My confinement by the state of California was a wonderful experience; it gave me the opportunity to meet two men whose minds are more twisted than mine: Walter Bellhaven and Randall Toomey. It was also within the walls of Atascadero where I learned to control the creature. The Creature still talks to me but now I manifest its power through my very important sociological studies and writings. Now that I am again living with the public, surrounded by temptation, I must control the creature!


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Swine flu, retro style

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Senator Specter, goodbye.

Well, I am not big fans of Senators Specter, Snowe, and Collins - mainly for their votes for the stimulus package, and other fiscally idiotic votes in the past, and because they are usually voting against the republican party and the Conservative movement. I am not surprised by Specters departure to the Democrat party, and perhaps it will open the door to a much better Senator in Congressman Toomey who is the GOP candidate as of now.

Specter will not be missed, mainly because he was going to vote with Democrats on key issues anyway, better him be represented by his true colors then having the Republican shirt on, just my opinion.

I will have a full article on the subject tomorrow, and regardless of what the Main Stream Media says - this will help the Republican party more then it will hurt.

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Something We Need to Get

'Warcraft' Sequel Lets Gamers Play A Character Playing 'Warcraft'

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Where's Joe?

We here at our humble blog are confused. It appears that our veteran correspondent, Joe C., is missing.

Where could he be? The jungles of the Amazon? The mountains of Tibet? In his room in Oneonta, NY?

Joe, speak to us, even if you're dead.

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Stalin vs. Martians

Oh. My. God. This must be the greatest game to ever grace the glorious earth. I can hard believe it, but yes, this is a real game trailer for an up-coming game called Stalin vs. Martians in which aliens invade the Soviet Union in 1942, and there is a hundred-foot Stalin in the game. Feast your eyes:

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Schoolhouse Rock: Interplanet Janet

This is dedicated to me, whose work made it possible to post this:

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Specter's Change and the Next Two Years

Arlen Specter, a well-respected Senator from Pennsylvania, has announced that he is switching parties from a Republican to a Democrat. Specter is someone I like particularly, who has been moderate and willing to support our troops. If I was a Pennsylvania voter, I would probably vote for him, not for his party, but on his record.

However, this is still some bad news for an already reeling Republican party. I, as most did, believed that Jim Tedisco would win the special election in Upstate New York, especially after he took the lead in the vote count. However, he somehow lost. Al Franken is also likely to join the United States Senate from Minnesota, after a fishy 'victory' over Senator Norm Coleman.

And now this. The Democrats have large majorities in both houses, as well as the Executive Branch. When Specter switches, and when Franken is seated, then they will have a filibuster-proof majority. Now, this isn't as bad as it sounds. If any defectors jump ship on an imprtant issue, then the Dems can't hold the line. However, on a particularly thorny issue, they can pull party politics and push through some of what they please.

But the news isn't all bad. With 60 votes in the Senate and a majority in the House, the ball is squarely in the Democrats' court. With Obama at the helm and Congress a lock, any major issues that happen in the country will land at their feet. If Congress votes itself a payraise, the Republicans can rightly claim that the Democrats had control. If taxes spike, the same thing. If welfare increases, then the Democrats could get the blame.

But in the world of celebrity politics, it might just take Olbermann and Jon Stewart to offer some faux reason why it's President Bush or Dick Cheney's fault and everyone will fall in line. Who would want to agree with Dick Cheney, anyway?

Albania Applies for EU Membership

Some interesting news as one of my favorite countries has officially applied for membership in the European Union. That's right, Albania is taking another step forward in order to integrate with the Western community. This Muslim democratic state is a stalwart American ally and a great influence of secularism. While it appears that Albania will eventually join the organization, it will take a while.

Mr Topolanek said Albania had undergone "tremendous positive changes", but stressed that the Balkan state was still "facing a huge amount of work".

Albania is not expected to join the EU until 2015 at the earliest.

In addition, Albania has just joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a boon to both NATO and Albania. The small country has contributed troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Darfur. They are also famous for welcoming President Bush with massive celebrations.

Hamlet Summary

One of the most vaunted plays in literary history, here's the summary for Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

The protagonist of Hamlet is Prince Hamlet of Denmark, son of the recently deceased King Hamlet and his wife, Queen Gertrude. After the death of the King, his brother Claudius proclaims himself King and hastily marries Gertrude. In the background is Denmark's long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, and an invasion, led by the Norwegian prince Fortinbras, is expected.

The play opens on a cold winter night at Elsinore, the Danish royal castle. Francisco, one of the sentinels, is relieved of his watch by Bernardo, another sentinel, and exits while Bernardo remains. A third sentinel, Marcellus, enters with Horatio, the best friend of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The sentinels try to persuade Horatio that they have seen King Hamlet's ghost, when it appears again. After hearing from Horatio of the Ghost's appearance, Hamlet resolves to see the Ghost himself. That night, the Ghost appears again. He tells Hamlet that he is the spirit of his father and discloses that Claudius murdered King Hamlet by pouring poison in his ears. The Ghost demands that Hamlet avenge him; Hamlet agrees and decides to fake madness to avert suspicion. He is, however, uncertain of the Ghost's reliability.

Busy with affairs of state, Claudius and Gertrude try to avert an invasion by Prince Fortinbras of Norway. Perturbed by Hamlet's continuing deep mourning for his father and his increasingly erratic behaviour, they send two student friends of his—Rosencrantz and Guildenstern—to discover the cause of Hamlet's changed behaviour. Hamlet greets his friends warmly but quickly discerns that they have been sent to spy on him.

Polonius is Claudius's trusted chief counsellor; his son, Laertes, is returning to France, and his daughter, Ophelia, is courted by Hamlet. Neither Polonius nor Laertes thinks Hamlet is serious about Ophelia, and they both warn her off. Shortly afterwards, Ophelia is alarmed by Hamlet's strange behaviour and reports to her father that Hamlet rushed into her room but stared at her and said nothing. Polonius assumes that the "ecstasy of love"[7] is responsible for Hamlet's madness, and he informs Claudius and Gertrude. Together, Claudius and Polonius set up Ophelia to spy on him. When she returns his letters and he silently guesses what is going on, he furiously rants at her, and insists she go "to a nunnery".[8]

The "gravedigger scene"[9] (Artist: Eugène Delacroix 1839)

Hamlet remains unconvinced that the Ghost has told him the truth, but the arrival of a troupe of actors at Elsinore presents him with a solution. He will stage a play, re-enacting his father's murder, and determine Claudius's guilt or innocence by studying his reaction. The court assembles to watch the play; Hamlet provides an agitated running commentary throughout. When the murder scene is presented, Claudius abruptly rises and leaves the room, which Hamlet sees as proof of his uncle's guilt. Claudius, fearing for his life, banishes Hamlet to England on a pretext, closely watched by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Alone, Claudius discloses to the audience that he is sending Hamlet to his death.

Gertrude summons Hamlet to her closet to demand an explanation. On his way, Hamlet passes Claudius in prayer but hesitates to kill him, reasoning that death in prayer would send him to heaven. In the bedchamber, an argument erupts between Hamlet and Gertrude. Polonius, who is spying on the whole scene behind an arras, panics when it seems as if Hamlet is about to murder the Queen and cries out for help. Hamlet, believing it is Claudius hiding behind the arras, stabs wildly, killing Polonius. When he realizes that he has killed Ophelia's father, he is remorseful. The Ghost appears, urging Hamlet to treat Gertrude gently but reminding him to kill Claudius. Unable to see or hear the Ghost herself, Gertrude takes Hamlet's conversation with it as further evidence of madness. Prior to embarking for England, Hamlet hides Polonius's body, ultimately revealing its location to the King and Gertrude.

Demented by grief at Polonius's death, Ophelia wanders Elsinore singing bawdy songs. Her brother, Laertes, arrives back from France, enraged by his father's death and his sister's madness. She comes onstage briefly to give out herbs and flowers. Claudius convinces Laertes that Hamlet is solely responsible; then news arrives that Hamlet is still at large—his ship was attacked by pirates on the way to England, and he has returned to Denmark. Claudius swiftly concocts a plot. He proposes a fencing match between Laertes and Hamlet in which Laertes will fight with a poison-tipped sword, but tacitly plans to offer Hamlet poisoned wine if that fails. Gertrude interrupts to report that Ophelia has drowned.

We next see two gravediggers discuss Ophelia's apparent suicide, while digging her grave. Hamlet arrives with Horatio and banters with a gravedigger, who unearths the skull of a jester from Hamlet's childhood, Yorick. Ophelia's funeral procession approaches, led by Laertes; he leaps into the grave, cursing Hamlet as the cause of her death. Hamlet professes his own love and grief for Ophelia, and he and Laertes grapple, but the brawl is broken up.

Back at Elsinore, Hamlet tells Horatio how he escaped and that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been sent to their deaths. A courtier, Osric, interrupts to invite Hamlet to fence with Laertes. With Fortinbras's army closing on Elsinore, the match begins. Laertes pierces Hamlet with a poisoned blade; in the ensuing scuffle, Hamlet takes the sword and fatally wounds Laertes. Gertrude drinks the poisoned wine and dies. In his dying moments, Laertes is reconciled with Hamlet and reveals Claudius's murderous plot. In his own last moments, Hamlet manages to kill Claudius and names Fortinbras as his heir. When Fortinbras arrives, Horatio recounts the tale and Fortinbras orders Hamlet's body borne off in honour.

From Wikipedia.

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Quote of the Day

It's Beard-face!

-- Dr. Beardface, Scrubs

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Monday, April 27, 2009

10 Things to Do to Avoid Swine Flu

10. Do not make out with a pig.
9. Do not put lipstick on a pig.
8. Do not call Sarah Palin a 'pig with lipstick.'
7. Despite personal leanings, avoid at all costs eating pig feces.
6. Avoid opening an animal farm with pigs named Napoleon and Snowball.
5. Convert to Judaism or Islam.
4. Talk to Old McDonald about his pigs with an oink-oink here AND an oink-oink there.
3. Avoid eating people who died of swine flu.
2. Do not associate with 'capitalist pigs.'
1. Just do whatever the government tells you.

Also, take all the drugs you can find, whether or not they're vaccines.

Disclaimer: Do not do these.

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Check Out the Schoharie Co. Young Republicans

We're trying to create a Young Republicans club for our County. If interested, please visit our new blog. Send us an email if interested, and you can write for us if you'd like.

We're going to attempt to have a meeting in May.

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A Tale of Two Cities Summary

We are featuring pieces from the greats of literature. So here's some from Charles Dickens' famous Tale of Two Cities.

Book the First: Recalled to Life

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

—Opening line of A Tale of Two Cities[1]

It is 1775. Jarvis Lorry, an employee of Tellson's Bank, is traveling from England to France to bring Dr. Alexandre Manette to London. At Dover, before crossing to France, he meets seventeen-year-old Lucie Manette and reveals to her that her father, Dr. Manette, is not really dead (as she had been told) but has been a prisoner in the Bastille for the last 18 years.

Lorry and Lucie travel to Saint Antoine, a suburb of Paris, where they meet the Defarges. Monsieur Ernest and Madame Therese Defarge own a wine shop. They also (secretly) lead a band of revolutionaries, who refer to each other by the codename "Jacques" (drawn from the name of an actual French revolutionary group, the Jacquerie).

Monsieur Defarge (who was Dr. Manette's servant before Manette's imprisonment, and now has care of him) takes them to see Dr. Manette. Manette has withdrawn from reality due to the horror of his imprisonment. He sits in a dark room all day making shoes, a trade he had learned whilst imprisoned. At first he does not know his daughter, but eventually recognizes her through her long golden hair like her mother's. Her eyes are blue also just like his. Lorry and Lucie take him back to England.

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

It is now 1780. French emigrant Charles Darnay is being tried at the Old Bailey for treason. Two British spies, John Barsad and Roger Cly, are trying to frame the innocent Darnay for their own gain. They claim that Darnay, a Frenchman, gave information about British troops in North America to the French. Darnay is acquitted when a witness who claims he would be able to recognise Darnay anywhere is unable to tell Darnay apart from one of the barristers defending Darnay, Sydney Carton, who just happens to look almost identical to him.

In Paris, the Marquis St. Evrémonde (Monseigneur), Darnay's uncle, runs over and kills the son of the peasant Gaspard; he throws a coin to Gaspard to compensate him for his loss. Monsieur Defarge comforts Gaspard, and Monseigneur tosses Defarge a coin. As the Marquis's coach drives off, Defarge throws the coin back into the coach, enraging the Marquis.

Arriving at his château, the Marquis meets with his nephew: Charles Darnay. (Darnay's real surname, therefore, is Evrémonde; out of disgust with his family, Darnay has adopted a version of his mother's maiden name, D'Aulnais.[2]) They argue: Darnay has sympathy for the peasantry, but the Marquis is cruel and heartless:

"Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend," observed the Marquis, "will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof," looking up to it, "shuts out the sky."[3]

That night, Gaspard (who has followed the Marquis to his château, hanging under his coach) murders the Marquis in his sleep. He leaves a note saying, "Drive him fast to his grave. This, from JACQUES."[4]

In London, Darnay gets Dr. Manette's permission to woo Lucie. But Carton confesses his love to Lucie as well. Knowing she will not love him in return, Carton promises to "embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you".[5]

On the morning of the marriage, Darnay, at Dr. Manette's request, reveals who his family is, a detail which Dr. Manette had asked him to withhold until then. This unhinges Dr. Manette, who reverts to his obsessive shoemaking. His sanity is restored before Lucie returns from her honeymoon; to prevent a further relapse, Lorry destroys the shoemaking bench, which Dr. Manette had brought with him from Paris.

It is July 14, 1789. The Defarges help to lead the storming of the Bastille. Defarge enters Dr. Manette's former cell, "One Hundred and Five, North Tower".[6] The reader does not know what Monsieur Defarge is searching for until Book 3, Chapter 9. (It is a statement in which Dr. Manette explains why he was imprisoned.)

In the summer of 1792, a letter reaches Tellson's bank. Mr. Lorry, who is planning to go to Paris to save the French branch of Tellson's, announces that the letter is addressed to Evrémonde. The letter turns out to be from Gabelle, a servant of the former Marquis. Gabelle has been imprisoned, and begs the new Marquis to come to his aid. Darnay, who feels guilty, leaves for Paris to help Gabelle without disclosing his true identity.

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm

"The Sea Rises", an illustration for Book 2, Chapter 21 by "Phiz"

In France, Darnay is denounced for emigrating from France, and imprisoned in La Force Prison in Paris.[7] Dr. Manette and Lucie—along with Miss Pross, Jerry Cruncher, and "Little Lucie", the daughter of Charles and Lucie Darnay—come to Paris and meet Mr. Lorry to try to free Darnay. A year and three months pass, and Darnay is finally tried.

Dr. Manette, who is seen as a hero for his imprisonment in the hated Bastille, is able to get him released. But that very same evening Darnay is again arrested, and is put on trial again the next day, under new charges brought by the Defarges and one "unnamed other". We soon discover that this other is Dr. Manette, through the testimony of his statement (his own account of his impisonment, written shortly after he was taken to the Bastille); Manette does not know that his statement has been found, and is horrified when his words are used to condemn Darnay.

On an errand, Miss Pross is amazed to see her long-lost brother, Solomon Pross, but Pross does not want to be recognised. Sydney Carton suddenly appears (stepping forward from the shadows much as he had done after Darnay's first trial in London) and identifies Solomon Pross as John Barsad, one of the men who tried to frame Darnay for treason at his first trial in London. Carton threatens to reveal Solomon's identity as a Briton and an opportunist who spies for the French or the British as it suits him. If this were revealed, Solomon would surely be executed, so Carton's hand is strong.

Darnay is confronted at the tribunal by Monsieur Defarge, who identifies Darnay as the Marquis St. Evrémonde and reads the letter Dr. Manette had hidden in his cell in the Bastille. Defarge can identify Darnay as Evrémonde because Barsad told him Darnay's identity when Barsad was fishing for information at the Defarges' wine shop in Book 2, Chapter 16. The letter describes how Dr. Manette was locked away in the Bastille by the deceased Marquis Evrémonde (Darnay's father) and his twin brother (who held the title of Marquis when we met him earlier in the book, and is the Marquis who was killed by Gaspard; Darnay's uncle) for trying to report their crimes against a peasant family. The younger brother had become infatuated with a girl. He had kidnapped and raped her and killed her husband, brother, and father. Prior to his death, the brother of the raped peasant had hidden the last member of the family, his younger sister, "somewhere safe". The paper concludes by condemning the Evrémondes, "them and their descendants, to the last of their race".[8] Dr. Manette is horrified, but his protests are ignored—he is not allowed to take back his condemnation. Darnay is sent to the Conciergerie and sentenced to be guillotined the next day.

Carton wanders into the Defarges' wine shop, where he overhears Madame Defarge talking about her plans to have the rest of Darnay's family (Lucie and "Little Lucie") condemned. Carton discovers that Madame Defarge was the surviving sister of the peasant family savaged by the Evrémondes. The only plot detail that might give one any sympathy for Madame Defarge is the loss of her family and that she has no (family) name. "Defarge" is her married name, and Dr. Manette is unable to learn her family name though he asks her dying sister for it. See Dickens 2003, p. 340 (Book 3, Chapter 10). The next morning, when Dr. Manette returns shattered after having spent the previous night in numerous failed attempts to save Charles' life, he reverts to his obsessive shoemaking. Carton urges Lorry to flee Paris with Lucie, her father and "Little Lucie".

That same morning Carton visits Darnay in prison. Carton drugs Darnay, and Barsad (whom Carton is blackmailing) has Darnay carried out of the prison. Carton—who looks so similar to Darnay that a witness at Darnay's trial in England could not tell them apart—has decided to pretend to be Darnay, and to be executed in his place. He does this out of love for Lucie, recalling his earlier promise to her. Following Carton's earlier instructions, Darnay's family and Lorry flee Paris and France with an unconscious man in their coach who carries Carton's identification papers, but is actually Darnay.

Meanwhile Madame Defarge, armed with a pistol, goes to the residence of Lucie's family, hoping to catch them mourning for Darnay (since it was illegal to sympathise with or mourn for an enemy of the Republic); however, Lucie, her child, Dr. Manette and Mr. Lorry are already gone. To give them time to escape, Miss Pross confronts Madame Defarge and they struggle. In the fight, Madame Defarge's pistol goes off, killing her; the noise of the shot and the shock of Madame Defarge's death cause Miss Pross to go permanently deaf.

The novel concludes with the guillotining of Sydney Carton. Carton's unspoken last thoughts are "prophetic"[9] (that is, they come to pass): Carton foresees that many of the revolutionaries, including Defarge and Barsad, will be sent to the guillotine themselves, and that Darnay and Lucie will have a son whom they will name after Carton: a son who will fulfil all the promise that Carton wasted. Lucie and Darnay have a first son earlier in the book who is born and dies within a single paragraph. It seems likely that this first son appears in the novel so that their later son, named after Carton, can represent another way in which Carton restores Lucie and Darnay through his sacrifice. Dickens 2003, p. 219 (Book 2, Chapter 21)

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

—Final sentence of A Tale of Two Cities[10]

From Wikipedia

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Congressman Paul on the Recent Swine Flu Scare

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Obama Cuts Military Programs

That's right you read it correctly. While expanding the military's role Obama is cutting thier programs. This is a big deal to me as I am soon to be a member of the Army National Guard. Why is he doing this? Who knows? I intend to find out...

Discovering the Origin of the Idiot: A Discourse on Instructive Suppresion of Literature and Its Consequences

Discovering the Origin of the Idiot: A Discourse on Instructive Suppression of Literature and its Consequences


"Every banned book enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

"The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame" (Oscar Wilde)

The two above quotes speak against what I think is one of the most important issues of our generation: censorship. Unfortunately and despite the outcry of the authors above and others censorship of literature, especially in schools, persists. Censorship of literature in schools is a travesty that goes against the purpose of education and must be stopped.

According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, censoring is "examining with the intent to delete or suppress anything objectionable"

Recently in Ridgefield, Washington, a high school teacher has suggested the censorship of any literature that uses the "n" word. This is an attack at Huckleberry Finn, by Samuel Clemens, as well as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. The proponents of this idea say that with a black man in the White House, students should not read a book that has the "n" word in it 200 times (Samuels 52).

I think that this argument is absurd because the emphasis of these works is not on the words they use, but the message they send. In this case, these books aim to promote, in a large part, understanding and peace between blacks and whites. The supposed profanity in these books is used to show the reader the way things were during the time period in which each was written. In fact, during the time periods of all three of these books, the word "nigger" was used quite commonly. To deprive our studnets of these great works will deprive them of a great experience that could broaden their horizions.

The problem with most of these censors is that they are so obsessed with what they do that they don't even take the time to read the types of works they are censoring. This is a backwards practice that needs to be put to an end. Most censors, in fact, say that their main reason for censoring is due to profane language, sexually explicit material, and "anti- Christian" morals, not because of the book's message (Reasons 1).

Who are these mysterious censors? Most of them are parents in organizations like the PTA, who are easily stirred by the slightest mention of something wrong. In fact,between 2000 and 2005, parents were responsible for 1,824 challenges to books as opposed to 207 by school administrators and just 62 by teachers. That means that parents censor books 29 times more than teachers and 9 times more than school administrators (Google Graph 1).This trend shows that because teachers and administrators are around literature and are more involved in the study of it with students, they are less likely to censor it than a parent, who bases their ideas of what is good and bad by what they hear, which is often rumor.

This type of behavior on the part of censors has been recognized by the general public, as is apparent by the court case Island Trees Union Free School District Board of Education vs. Pico. This very important case showed how overzealous the censors have actually become. When three people tried to ban many works including Slaughter House Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, the court decided that there needs to be limits on what the school could actually ban (Island Trees 1& 2).

Censors have gone too far in their role, and have suggested in many states and school districts, the censorship of a very long list of classic literature. These same censors have even suggested banning a dictionary for "objectionable" words! (Books 1)

Many of the greatest authors of all time have been censored or are in danger of being censored, including: Maya Angelou, Anne Frank, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Samuel Clemens, Machiavelli, and George Orwell, amongst others (Banned Authors 1). The full list is far too long to name, and includes some of the greatest names in literature.

In my opinion, censorship hurts education immensely and contributes to close- mindedness and unneeded prejudice. I know this is true because I was once subjected to censorship on a daily basis. I was a student at a Catholic school where the practice of censorship was quite common in all things. To read such literature such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou was an offense considered punishable by isolation in the church's convent with the nuns. Some of my classmates challenged this, and began to seek out such literature on their own. Those who didn't, I realized, had a much more close-minded view of the world around them.

Another example of this destructive practice comes from a friend of mine. She is home schooled in the state of Georgia and her parents decide what she can and cannot read. Therefore, she has to find other ways of getting literature she wants to read. Since she does, she has a far more open view of the world; something that I think would not be possible if she did not challenge her parent's censorship.

In my research, I came across a website dedicated to the censorship of books. It was one of the most absurd things I have ever seen. The mission of the website was as follows:

"Our Mission is very simple. We are seeking to censor and ban books that promote godlessness, homosexuality, racism, indecency, and immoral behavior from our schools, universities, retail stores, and libraries. We want people to be able to live in decent society where they do not have to be subjected to smut in literature. We look to see bad books taken out of school curriculum so young minds do not have to be morally corrupt by immoral literature. Our main focus is to see that these kinds of books are censored in our society and not made available to everyone. They should be locked away from decent society. We use every legal means to stop the production of books that are deemed immoral, racist, and indecent and to let the world know of these kinds of books. We will not stop until these kind of books are censored or banned from society, schools, libraries, educational institutions" (Our Mission 1).

I was absolutely appalled when I found this particular passage, because the home page was covered with the names of books that are in line to be banned. This included Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, by Ray Bradbury and George Orwell, respectively. I also found it ironic that these two books that warned us of a future where books are not only banned, but burned are censored. Who decides what is deemed "unfit" for us to read, and who has that right? The answer is no one! As long as this nonsensical system of banning books based on public opinion rather than experience continues, our world will continue to become less and less a nation in the forefront of education!

Two separate reports that address both SAT and ACT scores in show that the average SAT scores in colleges have fallen for the second year in a row, and have shown the largest decline in over 31 years (Gilbert 1). The average ACT scores in 2005 fell, and at that time only 51% of students taking the ACT and college level classes can read a college level textbook. This is down from 1999, when at least 55% of students could read a college level textbook (Pytel 1).

Why is this? The answer is so obvious that a kindergartner could figure it out: we as a nation are just not reading! In fact, according to the New York Times, fewer than half of Americans over 18 read novels, short stories or plays. In addition, sales of books have diminished in all genres. In 1982 the percentage of people who read books was about 56.9. In 1992 that percentage fell to 54%, and as of 2002 the percentage was 46.7 (Weber 1). We need to read books, not ban them!
For all the time spent trying to ban books, we could be doing more important things like stopping hunger or fixing other current problems. If anything, the focus on censorship is actually causing us to lose sight of some of the issues that are far more important.

We must stop of the censors! How can we as a nation progess, if we cannot or are not allowed to read? We must not be afraid of knowledge because knowledge is power. If this injustice, nay, this travesty continues, we will be degraded to the point where reading or learning at all is considered unnecessary and we will truly discover the origin of the idiot!

Censorship of literature is like a disease that is slowly killing America from the inside out. The ways we think and learn are under attack by this ugly, lie spreading parasite, and it needs to be stomped like the bug it is. If we do not do this, I fear, we will die, a victim to its poisonous bite. Stand up against censorship and help stomp it out today before it is too late!

"Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas." (A. Whitney Griswold)

Works Cited

"Banned Authors." Banned Authors. 12 Mar. 2009 ."Books A-I That have been Censored, Banned or Challenged."
List of Banned Books (A-I). 12 Mar. 2009

"Censoring." Merrimam-Webster Online. 2009. 31 Mar. 2009 .
Gilbert, Mary. "SAT Scores Drop For Second Year In A Row." The Gate. 28 Aug. 2007. 1 Apr. 2009

"Island Trees Union Free School District Board of Education v. Pico." Island Trees Union Free School District Board of Education v. Pico. 31 Mar. 2009 .

"Our Mission." Censor The Book. 1 Apr. 2009 .Pytel, Barbara. "ACT Reading Scores Falling." Suite 101. 7 May 2006. 1 Apr. 2009

"Reasons for Challenging Books." Swivel. 3 Apr. 2009

Samuels, Allison. "Rethinking Race in the Classroom." Newsweek 9 Mar. 2009: 52-53.

Weber, Bruce. "Fewer Noses Stuck in Books in America, Survey Finds." New York Times. 8 July 04. 2 Apr. 2009 .

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Check Out Innominatus

The other day I was checking out a few sites on the internet and found another site that does some satire called Innominatus.

It's sharp, it's funny, and it's politically incorrect. How much more can you ask for?

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Close the southern border NOW!

Most Americans, no matter what the political affiliation, are for a strong southern border - or should I say, building a wall, stopping illegal immigration, and deporting 12+ million illegals back to where they came from. Its not being bigoted as some would lead you to believe, its called being Americans, apart of an American nation with borders and laws, and we want both protected and enforced, period.

Conservatives have pleaded for a tough approach when our borders were crossed illegally, we begged after 9/11 (in relations to tougher border security), we yelled for it, for economic reasons, we wrote about it referring to crime issues, we talked about it relating to violating our laws & borders.
We have been met with silence, ignorance has prevailed on this issue, by both President's Bush & Obama.

Now, we want our southern border shut down immediately.

A dangerous virus has sprung up in Mexico, which has shut down the country, anyone coming from there appears to be sick with this deadly virus, which has no cure, health officials are warning about a possible epidemic. Overall, I could care less what the world does, because the world,unlike America, does not share a border with the epi-center if the dreadful swine flu, and we have constant traffic in and out of Mexico.

America needs to lock down the southern border, only allow American citizens back into the Nation, and temporarily close down all travel into Mexico.

While this would only be short term, we need to finish the border wall pronto, we need the military guarding the border - while Mexico is in a civil war, and crime is spilling over, we need thousands of new border agents, and we need tough policy towards illegals ; deport all of them, and prevent further illegal immigration now.

America is a Nation of many principles & beliefs, following the law one of the strongest, protecting our Nations borders - as we are let me emphasize, a Nation with borders & boundaries, is another which must be respected. While we are in good relation with Mexico as a Nation, we need to take a tough stance towards Mexicans illegally entering the United States.

This is an issue of Laws.
This is an issue of respecting Americas borders.
This is an issue of National Defense.
This is an issue of Economics.
This is an issue of Crime.
This is an issue of Health.

This is an American issue, take a stand, stand with the law, Americas borders & those protecting them, National security, our economy, our tax dollars being spent on border sheriffs & law enforcement, our Nations health as a Nation, and as citizens physically.

Also, this is an issue for a two party system, as Democrats want 12+ illegals granted citizenship for two dominant reasons :
12 + million new Democrat votes, 1 party rule.
12 + million new union members, more money for Democrat party & candidates.

Fight hard fellow Americans, we must stand strong against illegal immigration or else - our Nation will be changed for the worse, forever.

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Quote of the Day

No shenanigans!

-- President Joe C.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Obama so popular? Not really.

Rasmussen polls are the most accurate in nearly every survey I see them release, but today I will be focusing on Gallup.

Gallup reports Obama has a 56% approval rating among Americans, although they attempt to portray him as popular. However, as Judith Kinghoffer displays at History News Network, Obama's approval ratings are actually below average for most of our past Presidents:

Obama - 56%
Bush #43 - 62%
Clinton - 55% (only President that does worse than Obama).
Bush #41 - 58%
Reagan - 67%
Carter - 63%
Ford - no numbers, he was never elected.
Nixon - 61%.

Hmm, interesting? May I also add, that all of these poll results are from past Gallup polls.

Could it be, that the media is covering for Obama at his every call? Yes, I believe that is the case.

History News Network article -

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Poll Question: Should Israel Bomb Iranian Nuclear Facilities?

Feel free to comment, as well.

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Jumping in Pools: Top 10 Cool Countries

I've decided to start a new feature on the blog and all of our writers are encouraged to chime in with their own articles. This time I'll start it off with some of the cooler countries that I like and why. The US is, of course, number one, so we'll skip us for now.

1. Kurdistan: Having put up with 25 years of the rule of Saddam Hussein, the fascist government in Syria, repressive Turkey, and the theocrats in Iran, these people are resilient. While Muslim, they are surprisingly secular and definitely tolerant, sheltering Yezidis and Christians from al Qaeda terrorists. Iraqi Kurds are also the most pro-American people on the planet and fight side-by-side with our forces in Baghdad.

2., 3. Albania and Kosovo: Pro-American and democratic, these poor nations are eager to help spread democracy throughout the world. Albania just joined NATO and has sent troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Darfur to help stop the spread of Islamic extremism. Albania warmly welcomed President Bush during his visit there and is a secular Islamic nation.

4. India: The world's most populous democracy, this nation has moved closer to the United States in the last eight years. Friendly also with Israel, the nation is one of the few in the world with a slim history of anti-Semitism. Tolerant and on the forefront of the War on Terrorism, this nation is one that just screams awesome. India is also sending rockets into space now and may beat us back to the moon.

5. Israel: One of the most berated nations, Israel's democracy is tolerant, despite having hundreds of millions of people wanting to wipe it out. Israel proudly takes on fasicst and theocratic forces, like Saddam's Iraq, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. This nation is one of our closest allies and deserves much more credit than it gets.

6. Georgia: This small country is one of the most pro-America on the planet. Georgia is pushing to join NATO and sent 2,000 troops to Iraq. Georgia also offered 500 to Afghanistan. Unfortunately, Russia's brutal and unjustified attack last August has decimated the nation's infrastructure and military and Russia's dictatorship is actively seeking to topple the Western-backed democracy.

7. Colombia: A democracy that has fought off narco-terrorism, Colombia is the United States' cheif ally in South America. A hedge against Venezuela, this nation is planning to send over 100 troops to Afghanistan. Thanks in large part to President Bush's dedication, Colombia ended much of its fighting with drug traffickers and communist guerrillas.

8. Poland: One of America's top allies in Europe, this nation suffered at the hands of Hitler and Stalin. From the ashes of the Cold War, this former Warsaw Pact nation is a leader in the fight against terrorism. Sending 2,500 troops to Iraq and over 1,000 to Afghanistan, Poland is looking to avoid the mistakes of the past. Poland is also integral to American interests in Eastern Europe, especially when dealing with Russia.

9. The Ukraine: The breadbasket of Europe, this populous democracy has shone as a US ally. Although Russia is pressing on the democratic government, the people have not conceded. Despite Russia poisoning presidential candidate Victor Yushenko in 2004 and rigging the elections, the people rose up and demanded a new vote.

10. Mongolia: Yes, the former home of Genghis Khan, this remote nation between Russia and China has positioned itself in the US bloc. Sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, Mongolia is looking to rebuild after about 70 years of Communist rule. Mongolia warmly welcomed President Bush's visit several years ago.

Bonus Country: Yes, Britain should be on this list, but it's too obvious. Australia is America's tough brother who always seems to be there for us. The Aussies sent troops to Korea and 'Nam, as well as to Iraq and Afghanistan, where they served with distinction. Australia's a venerable democracy who's looking to help its neighbors, especially with its intervention in East Timor.

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