Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hillary for State: A Wise and Smart Move

If the reports are true, President-Elect Obama has pulled off a very wise and shrewd move by placing Hillary Clinton in the State Department.

Smart because:
* Hillary has a fairly good knowledge of world affairs and has traveled extensively.
* Hillary was a part of her husband's presidency and was there when important foreign policy decisions were made.
* Hillary has served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and has built knowledge on American forces deployed overseas.
* Hillary is hawkish on foreign affairs.

Shrewd because:
* Hillary is removed as the de facto leader of the Democrats in the Senate.
* Hillary is no longer an elected official.
* When Hillary will be mentioned, she will be a subordinate to Obama.
* If Obama fires Hillary for any reason, he can blame it on "incompetence" and ruin her reputation.
* Hillary will not have a hand in ground-breaking legislation.
* Hillary will not be able to push her signature issue, health care.
* Obama will appear to be reaching out.

India Needs to Send Troops to Afghanistan

Days after the horrific attacks in Mumbai, new evidence is coming to light. There is proof now that elements of the Pakistani government were involved in the attacks. However, it appears very unlikely that the civilian government had a hand in the attack. These troubling signs may be pointing towards war. Instead, India should work to assault the terrorists by joining forces with ISAF in Afghanistan.

The terrorist group that carried out the assault cooperates with al Qaeda against U.S. and Allied forces in Afghanistan. If India were able to join the upcoming surge of forces in Afghanistan, many jihadists will pay the price. India has cooperated with the U.S. in the War on Terror and this action would further solidify unity against terror.

Indians, and the people of the free world are calling for actions against the terrorists. A war against a nuclear-armed Pakistan would be a catastrophe, even if India won. Thousands would die and even if Pakistani Kashmir is taken, Waziristan will not be. By placing 5,000 to 25,000 troops in Helmand and surrounding provinces, the terrorists will know that they will not get away with cowardly attacks like the one in Mumbai.

Quote of the Day-- November 30, 2008

When in 1966 Charles de Gaulle ordered France out of NATO and American troops off French soil, Secretary of State Dean Rusk asked him if that included the American soldiers lying dead in the cemeteries at Normandy and throughout France.

--Charles Krauthammer

Hero: Mithal al-Alusi

Jumping in Pools would like to run a series of some people who are making dramatic changes to the world for the better. They may not be well recognized, but they represent what we desire from humanity. In their acts of heroism, we can appreciate and replicate.

Mithal al-Alusi

Mithal al-Alusi is a member of the Iraqi Parliament and is a secular Sunni. He has worked hard to create peace in his home country. He was one of the top candidates for Prime Minister in 2005.

He has fought for a free, democratic Iraq, despite the fact that terrorists assassinated two of his children. Alusi has strongly backed an alliance with the United States and Israel. He supports democratic nations supporting each other against tyranny. He recently visited a conference in Israel, a major step for an Arab politician. Upon his arrival, he was criticized in Iraq and there was even talk of execution.

Fortunately, Alusi beat the charges against him. In fact, it's not illegal for citizens of Iraq to visit Israel. Novel concept, huh? Now he is acquitted and stands tall as a hero for Iraq and the world. Even the Huffington Post is happy.

Obama's cabinet picks- a review

As a change of pace from video game reviews, here is my review of Obama's Cabinet picks so far.

Eric Holder, Attorney General: I thought it was a solid choice from Obama. The only drawback I see is his involvement in the Marc Rich pardon.

Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense: This is a great pick from Obama. Not only it shows Obama's "bipartisanship", Gates was a bright spot in Bush's disastorous foreign policy team.

That is all for now. Later, I will review Obama's econmic team and highlight some of his bad picks.

Also, if you need to search anything on Google, please use the bar below:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wii wish you a Merry Christmas...

"Just Cause" Review

About a month ago we bought the game Just Cause for the 360. The game's a couple of years old, and I know that (because it made it cheaper). A couple of key points:

* The game's physics are terrible, but sometimes fun. Car stoppage is really fast, especially if you run into a barrier. A motorcycle can stop your speeding car.

* Gameplay flaws: when you run out of bullets in a gun, it won't change weapons automatically. For some reason you have infinite ammo for your first gun.

Also, for some reason the enemy is always shooting at you, even when you are in a civilian car. You can be in the jungle and five police or army cars will arrive out of nowhere and try to blast you.

After you kill an enemy, you not only get their gun/ammo, but you can sometimes get a health boost, effectively turning you into a terminator.

* Saving: The game's savepoints are far away and only automatically save after you complete a game mission.

Overall, the game has some fun points (including Windmills). However, the game is too flawed to make it into a hit. That's why it was $9.99 at GameStop.

Game Rating: 6/10

Come for the Politics, Stay for the Games

Just a heads up: Jumping in Pools will now feature gaming reviews and articles. But, of course, there will be plenty of politics.

A Jumping in Pools Shoutout

This is an official hello from Jumping in Pools to our dear friend Collin Carpenter.

Hey, Collin. Hope you're well and not dead.


RIP, Franken's Senate Hopes

It appears that Al Franken's hopes of becoming the next Senator from Minnesota are falling dramatically. Despite the fact that the vote count was moving his way, Franken's deficit has grown as the recount continues.

And now it appears that Franken's last ditch efforts to add votes into the wider pool has failed. Without more ballots to count, and the recount at 88%, the chances of a legitimate Franken comeback appear slim.

Still, the Democrats are calling foul, even though it appeared that earlier, votes were just "appearing" for Franken:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., termed the Canvassing Board's decision "cause for great concern" and called on Minnesota officials to "ensure that no voter is disenfranchised."

So hopefully Norm Coleman can sleep a little easier.

Quote of the Day-- November 29, 2008

France has more need of me than I have need of France.

--Napoleon Bonaparte

Must be from the Onion: French Say They Need Biggest Condoms

According to a Reuters story, the French of all people, say that they need the biggest condoms in all of Europe.

Considering that the French are well-known as the most arrogant of Europeans, this should not come as any surprise. In addition, the results were found by anonymous survey... another reason to be suspicious. Do we need any more proof but France's military history over the last 192 years to counterprove this?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Quote of the Day-- November 28, 2008

History of Richmondville

Contrary to popular belief, Richmondville was not formed on April 11, 1845, but rather April 11, 1849. All of Richmondville was taken from Cobleskill, when it was originally founded, and in October of 1851, part of Seward was also annexed.

The first settlers were Germans named George Warner and John Zea, who settled near what is now Warnerville. During the Revolution, the Warners were patriots, and, in fact, the first building that the Warners built here was the first in the county to be burned by the enemy. During the same war, John Zea Jr. War killed at Cobleskill, and his brother, Nicholas, was a Tory who fled to Canada. Now, there are no more Zeas left in the county.

In 1778, a small group of Indians was spotted by patriots. Although cautioned not to follow, a group of about sixty patriots pursued the Indians. The patriots were ambushed, and many were killed, while some escaped. During the escape, four heroic souls gave their lives, as decoys, to save the lives of their fellow comrades. The Tories and Indians proceeded to burn homes and barns, but luckily few, if any, women and children were killed.

George Snyder, a Cobleskill native, was born in 1833, and was a veteran of Fort Sumter, where, as you know, the Civil War began. A seminary was built in Richmondville in 1853. Richmondville also had a paper mill, an Iron works, a hotel, and even had the first mail carrier in the county, who delivered his mail by horseback. The town had four churches, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church, The Baptist Church, and the Christian Church of Warnerville. The town also had a bank and a schoolhouse.

One of the citizens of West Richmondville was once a plantation owner, who was spared from a revolt thanks to a friendly slave. Richmondville also had a water-powered facility fed by two reservoirs. In the town and it’s hamlets were various industrial people, including a photographer, and a hop-press maker.

I find it interesting that in every chapter that gives the history of a town, it’s churches are also mentioned. It shows the religious tendencies of the earlier Americans.

Happy Clearance Day

Jumping in Pools would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy clearance day. Make sure you pick up something good and sing:

Clearance Day
Clearance Day
Ooey Ooey, Hip Hooray!
Clearance Day
Clearance Day
Twice the Goods for Half the Pay!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cults in the Valley

Not many know that there was a huge scare about cults in Middleburgh. It, in fact, hit our very High School.

The major cult scare started in late September of 1986, and died down in October. Local residents became frightened and confused to find graffiti that looked like Satan-worshiping drawings. Some graffiti was found at, you guessed it, our Middleburgh High School. Also, a horse had a wound on it’s neck that looked like it had created by a knife.

To calm concerns, and to inform local residents, a huge meeting was held in our high school. Parents Involved in Education, or PIE for short, Thomas Hinchey, a Juvenile Court officer, Thomas Fargroni, a narcotics officer, and Sheriff Harvey Stoddard, all addressed the public.

Mr. Hinchey said “you may find a lot of similarities” between the graffiti in Middleburgh and compared to graffiti made by Satan-worshipers. “Yes, you could have something here, or it could be just a bunch of kids saying ‘hey, look at me.’” Hinchey put forward several things to spot, to see whether or not your children are into Satanism.

He stated, “You can tell a lot from doodling. If a kid has 666, ask him what it means. If he knows, he’s either a Bible student, or he’s into cult activity.” Other things to look for, according to Mr. Hinchey, are any “denial” of Jesus, and listening to heavy metal music.

Another reason believed for the activity was drugs. According to Mr. Fargroni, traffic patterns shows that there was LSD use in Schoharie County. Fargroni believed that the best way to combat drug use is education. Also, Fargroni stated things to look for in a person taking drugs. “The number one thing to look for is character change.” Things to look for are depression, manic mood swings, an inability to concentrate, and slurred speech.

Hinchey added, “Don’t forget, it’s not illegal to worship the devil. It is illegal to vandalize and use drugs.”

Rumors of clergymen being threatened were also cleared up, for there was a fear that Satan-worshipers threatened priests and reverends. Since they were Satanists, it was believed that religious people would be harmed. In the end though, these fears proved to be unfounded, for these “threats” had never taken place.

There was a fear that, if a cult did exist, that they would go crazy on Halloween, so curfews were set. Some of the curfews in place today are there because of the cult scare, including the one on Halloween night. Mr. Stoddard stated that the curfew was put in place as a way to control people who want to wreak havoc in the town.

In the end, the cult was a farce. Much of the “cult activity” actually did turn out to be drug related. So if anyone is thinking about vandalizing anything, don’t claim that you’re a Satan-worshiper.


Times Journal. October 8, 1986. J. B. Mau.

Quote of the Day-- November 27, 2008

What We're Thankful For

Today is a day that we as a nation can come together in thanks for the great bounties that we have been blessed with. We have been blessed with family, friends, and community. We have been blessed with bountiful food and freedom to choose it. We have freedom from tyranny and oppression and freedom to speak and to worship.

We are thankful for our liberty, protected by the United States Armed Forces. We are thankful for their courage and decency. We are thankful for a President who has put liberty first and is willing to lead. We are thankful that other people around the world are now free.

We are thankful that we have something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving

From our friends at Fail Blog.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The United States Stands with India

Today, disgusting acts of terror shook the great city of Mumbai, known once as Bombay. At least 78 are dead in the carnage and more deaths may come. In this time of national tragedy, we cannot look at political borders or boundaries; there should be little distinction between the United States and our ally India. We are all members of the same international community, and we must stand together for justice.

Seven years ago, India was one of the first nations on Earth to offer support and assistance to the United States after September 11th. The United States should do the same. Although I cannot speak for the higher-ups in my country, I offer my condolences to India. But no matter what, terrorists will never be able to take away from India's greatness, terrorists will never shake India's morals, and India will never back down from terrorists.

God bless you, India. We stand with you.

Quote of the Day-- November 26, 2008

A celebrated people lose dignity upon a closer view.

--Napoleon Bonaparte

Our Prayers are With India

Our prayers are with the people of India, who have suffered a tragic terrorist assault. It is our hope that people are able to come together and wish well for the victims. Hopefully the terrorist bastards who could carry out such atrocities are caught and punished.

India has stood with us in the War on Terror and is one of the most pro-American nations on the planet. For such a decent country to suffer such an awful atrocity is outrageous. It is time that the people of the world, and not just the United States, India, and our allies, stand up for freedom and against actions like this.

So India, the United States is with you. Find the bastards who did this.

Savage Terrorist Attack in India

From World Threats:

I hope that the free world can stand up and defend India, the world's largest democracy. We cannot stand for things like this.

Pres.-Elect Obama's First Good Move: Keeping Gates

It looks like President-Elect Obama will keep Defense Secretary Robert Gates, at least for a little while. For the former Senator, this is his first good move as President-Elect: keeping an intelligent person at his position as well as showing a bipartisan flair.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

fail owned pwned pictures
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Quote of the Day-- November 25, 2008

I am a Republican. I'm loyal to the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. And I believe that my party, in some ways, has strayed from those principles, particularly on the issue of fiscal discipline.

Senator John McCain

Bush: Bipartisan to the End

George W. Bush has been called a lot of things. But one of the things that he hasn't been called often is bipartisan. Funny, you think? But if you look at his record, he actually has been very good on this point.

* Bush worked with Democrats to push through Texas education reform.
* Bush worked with Democrats on a Democratic plan to push through U.S. educational reform.
* Bush partnered with Democrats to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda.
* Bush partnered with Democrats to pass the Iraq War resolution. The Senate version of the bill was introduced by a Democrat and in both Chambers of Congress, Democrats flocked to the bill.
* The military under the Bush Administration exposed the abuses at Abu Gharaib.
* Bush has been one of the most pro-environmental Presidents in our history. He has set aside massive acreage for conservation, including the largest tract in American history. ANWR was not drilled in (unfortunately) and Bush was willing to work with Dems to help our environment.
* Bush attempted to work with Dems for Social Security reform.
* Bush helped in the process of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.
* Bush established a bipartisan foreign policy regarding Iran and Syria.
* Bush has worked overtime to ensure a good transition to Obama's administration. This despite the talk of Bush remaining in power through an emergency declaration.

George W. Bush is treated like a clown and a charlatan today. When history looks back on what he's done and the things that he has had to put up with, he will be given a kinder review.

John McCain's Legacy

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quote of the Day-- November 24, 2008

Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our President and fight. We're Americans. We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will.

Senator John McCain

What I Dressed Up For Halloween

Clown Fail
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From our friends at Failblog.

The History of Esperance and Sloansville

The town of Esperance, prior to 1846, was territory in Schoharie. Esperance means “hope” in French. A man who bought Esperance in 1806 was a patriot general, who served in the state assembly , and was appointed to the U.S. Senate.

In 1792, a turnpike went through Esperance and a bridge was put over the Schoharie Creek, but was washed away by a flood in 1798. The new bridge was first used in 1812. One citizen of Esperance was appointed by President Hayes to be the Council of Italy. The first schoolhouse was built in 1805, and a new one was built in 1810. Another resident of Esperance went to the state constitutional convention of 1821.

The first store and post office were both set up in 1805. Esperance’s first fire company was organized in 1868, although receiving a charter to do so 36 years previous. The building being used for an academy was originally built as a horse stable. In Esperance was a cabinet shop, two chair factories, and a paper mill, owned by Dr. Leonard, who was Dr. Best’s father-in-law. A toll booth was built in 1810 and was passed by over 700 coaches a day, and made a thousand dollars a month. Before railroads became prominent, the coach business was popular, with between 40 and 150 passengers daily.

Sloansville was settled around 1756 by Palatines. There were four taverns in Sloansville, and the first Baptist church in the county was created there. Nearby was the Indian stone heap, built because of the familiar legend that one warrior killed another warrior, and in that spot a stone heap was erected to appease the spirits. Kneiskern’s Dorf was located near Esperance.

Lambert Sternbergh settled near the town, and he, of course, was the first person to grow wheat in the valley. The first grist mill was built by John Kneiskern, and stood until 1780. One citizen of Sloansville was the county sheriff during the anti-rent problems. In 1832, the Schoharie Free Press newspaper moved to Esperance, and became the Esperance Sentinel.

Can you imagine that, in our small county, one of the residents was the Council to Italy. Except for Governor Bouck, and eventually President Laraway, Council to Italy is the most prestigious government job held by a resident in our county.

The Next NY Senator Should Be...

With all of the speculation of Hillary going to the State Department, the question of who would replace her has become a hot topic. I don't think she's going (despite all the buzz), but if she does, I want to lay down who should be the next Senator.

Now, I'm inclined for our Governor, David Paterson, to choose a Republican (Giuliani or Pete Lopez), but it seems unlikely. So, since the Senator will be a Democrat, I hope Paterson chooses himself. Paterson was originally named to be Lieutenant Governor so he could be named to the Senate when Hillary became President.

So Paterson could become New York's next Senator. He can choose any non-felon resident of the state that is over 30. Paterson is popular in New York and would easily be reelected in 2012. He is smart, determined, and has shown strength as a fiscal conservative. He is likable and has acted in a bipartisan manner, despite NY's natural inclinations to the Left.

Paterson would do well as a Senator and this would leave the Governor's mansion up to Giuliani to run for the next go-around.

Where Are We Getting All This Money?

We're going to have spent in the neighborhood of $8 trillion over the course of 2008-2009, notwithstanding any unpredicted actions. About $6 trillion of this will be our budget, already bloated and filled with pork as it is.

We spent $150 billion on a stimulus plan earlier this year, spent $700 billion on the real estate bailout and are considering $25 billion for the Big Three. We're looking at a major recession and the deficit growing on its own.

Now we have word of a new stimulus plan that may reach $700 billion more? In addition, Obama may not repeal Bush's tax cuts? So where's the extra revenue coming from.... some of this doesn't seem kosher.

Change, Thy Name is Not Obama

President-Elect Obama's economic adviser, William Daley, said that the Obama administration might "reconsider" increasing taxes on the wealthy. This makes me think, more than worry, about the campaign promises President-Elect Obama has already broken, or is getting ready, to break. Let's see:

1) Well, this one is obvious, taxes on the wealthy.

When Did Rumsfeld Get Respect Back?

The NYT is once again showing its age and naiveté. A guest column was written about the prospect of additional troops to Afghanistan by none other than Donald Rumsfeld.

Now, I like Rumsfeld personally and think that he had good ideas about being Secretary of Defense--when he did it under Gerald Ford. However, Rumsfeld's ideas about fighting counterinsurgency shouldn't be taken too highly. Rumsfeld's brash style is a positive in my book, but in this case his opinion isn't really welcomed.

With Obama talking bipartisanship and gaining a strange amount of Republican support, then maybe he can give Rumsfeld his third go-around as Secretary of Defense. I wouldn't be all that surprised.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

History of Wright

Wright was not an original town in the county. Rather, it was formed from Schoharie in 1846.

The first settlement of the village took place in what is now Gallupville around 1735. The first settlers were the Beckers. On their trip to America, the father died, leaving his wife and children. Down the line, a step-father in the family, named Bashsha, continued the customs of New Year celebrations. There was a target-shooting competition, in which a drunken squaw shot Bashsha.

The other settlers in the early town were the Hilts, Zimmers, and Lawyers. On Zimmer’s farm was built two saw mills by 1765. Because of Hon Yost Becker’s lateness in buying a millstone, the girl he was to marry, married another. Becker was also the commander of the Old Stone Fort during the Johnson and Brant raids.

There is an interesting story that Wright’s first Methodist was thought to be bewitched. Therefore, he was brought to a witch doctor, and was fed medicine and whipped.

In 1782, Tories and Indians attacked the town, killing civilians and burning buildings. There was a skirmish at Major Becker’s house, and one patriot shot the hat off of Crysler. One of those captured in the raid, John Snyder, is said to have killed Seth Henry by dragging him with a rope, beating him, and then tied the rope to a log, and Henry drowned.

One of Major Becker’s sons became an Assistant Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. The other built a fulling mill.

In 1812, a school-house was built in Wright by the early settlers. The Gallup family, the family that Gallupville is named after, were desendents of the pilgrims of Plymouth. In 1825, a post office was built in Gallupville, and a tannery in 1825. There were three churches in Wright, all Protestant.

In the list of supervisors, Dominick and Davidson are the most common names. Amazingly, the real estate of the town was worth over 350,000 dollars.

In my opinion, Hon Yost was probably lucky not to marry his bride to be. She sounds like a gold digger to me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

History of Cobleskill

There are several stories of how Cobleskill got it’s name. Versions of Cobleskill’s name included “Cow-bell Kill”, “Cobble Kill”, and “Cobus Kill”.

Johannes Schaeffer bought 600 acres near today’s village, and Judge Brown’s brother built a mill nearby. Judge Brown’s brother, Christian, was saved by a bird repeatedly landing on his shoulder while Indians were approaching.

The first time the British invaded was June of 1778, under Brant with 200 Indians, and skirmished with Patriots in what is now Richmondville. The Indians burned many buildings before retreating. Some of those, whose homes were burned, fled to other towns, while others like Captain Brown and Henry Shafer had to outrun Indians to safety.

After the war, two drunk Tories boasted of their crimes, and a patriot whipped them and had them pull a carriage with stones in their pockets shouting “king’s money”.

In 1781, under threats from the enemy, citizens of Cobleskill built a fort surrounded by a moat. Tories and Indians attacked the fort the same year.

In 1867, a brick schoolhouse was built in Cobleskill. Abraham Lawyer owned a hotel, the United States Hotel. His father was killed by a rolling log.

Cobleskill had four churches, three of which were Protestant and one Catholic. The Lutheran Church still stands today, built in 1796. One citizen was a Hessian soldier that exclaimed for King George, and was burnt by a patriot and nearly died. Little hamlets sprung up outside Cobleskill only after the Revolution, when the threat of war passed.

Howe’s Caverns was a popular tourist destination, second only in New York State to Niagra Falls. The caves were found by Lester Howe in the early 1800s, and soon the caves were open to the public. Punchkill is nearby the caves, and other hamlets of Cobleskill are Mineral Springs and Lawyersville.

Captain James Dana fought in both the Revolution and against the Barbary Pirates. He was appointed Brigadier General, the first man to accomplish that in Schoharie County. Dana attended George Washington’s funeral in 1799. William Elmandorf fought in the War of 1812, and died at the age of 96.

Henry Smith was elected Speaker of the State Assembly in 1872. Reuben and Minard Harder bought the Empire Agricultural Works created by David Anthony around 1850.

The First National Bank of Cobleskill was created in 1864, with a pool of $60,000. Cobleskill was incorporated in 1868. The most common names of Supervisors were Shafers and Lawyers.

Charles Holmes was born in 1826. He was elected a Member of Assembly and was selected as Judge in 1871.

Jebediah Miller was born in Massachusetts in 1782, and descended from the pilgrims. He was elected to the assembly in 1819 and 1820. When he died, he had no living relative left.

Joseph Ramsey was born in Sharon in 1816. He was elected to the assembly in 1854, and pushed for legislation for what would be the Susquehanna railroad, and was elected Vice President, and later President of the Albany Iron Manufacturing Company.

Thomas Lawyer was born in Schoharie in 1785. He was a lawyer and was elected to the U.S. Congress from 1817 to 1819. He died in 1868.

Charles Courter was born in Schoharie in 1808. He was an esteemed business man and was an Elector in a Presidential election. He died in 1879.

James Tanner was born in 1844. He joined the Union army in 1861. He lost both legs at the Second Battle of Bull Run, and was captured by the Confederates. He later worked in the war Department and was next to Abraham Lincoln when Lincoln died. Tanner was named Commander of all forces in New York, and was still alive in 1882.

Philip Wieting was born in 1800. He was a reverend in life and helped push for a church in Lawyersville. He died in 1869.

Going through the list of names at the end, there are plenty of Vromans, Shafers, Bellingers, Lawyers, Beckers, and a few Murphys.

I wonder how many pages it would take to write a history of New York City.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why Albania is So Great, Part One

I've decided to write a serial about one of my favorite countries in the whole wide world.

So this is Part One:
Albania Sheltered Jews in the Holocaust

Albania, a Muslim nation, was perhaps the most prolific people in all of Europe when it came to saving the Jewish people from Hitler's genocide. Keep in mind, they weren't a neutral country able to let people in on their own. Albania was occupied by Italy. Italy--one of Hitler's allies. Still, the Albanian people put themselves in mortal danger to save innocent Jews.

By the end of World War Two there were more Jews in Albania than beforehand, perhaps the only occupied country to have this honor. For example:

“Why did my father save a stranger at the risk of his life and the entire village?” asked Enver Alia Sheqer, son of Righteous Among the Nations Ali Sheqer Pashkaj, who is featured in the exhibition. “My father was a devout Muslim. He believed that to save one life is to enter paradise.”

At the end of the war there were 2,000 Jews in Albania. There were only 200 in the nation at the beginning. While other nations (France) willingly gave up the Jews, Albania saved them. Albania is also pro-Israel, as well (perhaps the only Muslim nation except Kosovo or Kurdistan).

So God Bless Albania and Kosovo, the greatest nations in Europe.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One thing Obama got right

As, you know I did not vote for Obama, there is one thing he did so far that he did right so far: he called for a college football playoff with eight teams. Personally, I like the plus one system (four-team playoff), but he has the right idea.

It is a lot better than the last time a President has veered into the wild world of college football. Richard Nixon famously declared Texas the champions of the 1969 season after its win against Arkansas. Unfortunately, he forgot Penn State, the second ranked team who was also undefeated as with Texas.

So Barack Obama, keep up the good work, and if you want me to keep you in my good graces, don't declare any national champions prematurely.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

India Blows Up Pirates

Today, an India warship left a "pirate mother vessel" in flames off the Horn of Africa.

Time to Push Forward

Gas is down, oil is down, fuel as a whole is down. The oil semi-crisis of the last year or so seems to be in the offing. During the spike in oil and gas prices, the American public called for alternative fuels; now that prices have declined, it is not time to stop. We must push forward to the future.

Look back at the oil crisis of 1973. When OAPEC (OPEC plus Syria and Egypt) declared an oil embargo, oil prices skyrocketed, forcing the American public to call for new technology, better technology. For that short time, we pushed the limitation of technology, including renewable energies. But when prices came down, the public became quiet.

We must learn from the past to prevent anything like this from happening in the future. Oil prices will not stay this low forever. We are the American public, we are the greatest nation on Earth. We can do whatever we want if we put our minds to it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oil to $40 a Barrel

From the Financial Times: it appears that oil prices may not only dip below $50, but may fall to $40 a barrel.

A recent meeting of the national oil companies in Beijing had predicted oil prices would fall to about $40 a barrel, Fu Chengyu, chief executive of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, told a conference in Barcelona.

“The consensus at the time was that everybody realised the oil price would be even lower,” Mr Fu told the Global China Business meeting. “Nobody knew where it would be but most of them said around $40.”

I wrote that it's unlikely that oil will fall below $50 a barrel. The Saudis are unlikely to allow this. They're the only ones that can make a huge change in the price of oil unilaterally.

Even with a production cut from OPEC, decreasing demand is still cutting into the price of oil. It's even dropped below $2.00 in Palatine Bridge.

Hillary Will Not be Secretary of State

I know that predictions have a way of being wrong sometimes, but it doesn't seem likely that Hillary Clinton will be the next Secretary of State.

She's aiming for the Supreme Court, if nothing else, during Obama's presidency. If Obama gives her the Secretary of State position, then she is out of the national scene. No landmark court cases on the Court and no major bills if she's in the Senate.

Of course she'll be on a lot of high-profile trips, but she'd get more attention as one of her party's leaders in the Senate. And another angle: if there's a problem in foreign policy, she's the Secretary of State. It could be her fault for angering the Iranians or getting the North Koreans to start their nuclear weapons program again. Obama can play that against any of her future ambitions.

I can see why Obama may want her to be Secretary. But I don't see why she'd take it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama is Better than Lincoln

I know that Barack Obama hasn't even taken office yet, but I need to make sure that I get something off of my chest.

Barack Obama is already the greatest President in United States history.

Think I'm crazy? Read these reasons why and you'll agree that I'm right.

* It took Abraham Lincoln two years to free the slaves. Obama is already freeing all of our minds. Which is a greater accomplishment.
*Lincoln and Roosevelt had the Civil War and WWII drag on for four years. Obama hasn't even taken office and the Iraq War is ending. Not to mention the fact that Iran will soon become our strongest ally.
*Obama has declared himself a transformational figure. There is no domestic opposition to him or his policies.
*Obama already has a holiday after himself.
*Obama is also a religious figure, doubling his potential power.
*The recession is over and peace and prosperity has come to the land.

A Useful Chart

song chart memes

Call for Suggestions

Hello, all of the readership out there.
I'd like to ask a question of all of you.
Comment if you want to answer one of the following questions:

What do you like about this blog?
What don't you like about this blog?
What should we write about more?
What don't you want to hear about?
Do you like the format of the blog?
Any other suggestions?

If you like the blog, please favorite it and send it to your friends and coworkers.

Jumping in Pools

Will Obama Be Blamed for This Recession?

This question may seem like a bit of a farce, but I'm serious. The economy's in rough shape and millions are out of work. House sales and construction is down, and it appears that it will only get worse.

Our 44th President, Barack Obama, will take office on January 20, 2009. The current economic downturn has been going on for months. However, when Obama takes office and the economy doesn't automatically right itself, will he be blamed? Will the millions out of jobs call it the "Obama economy" and will realtors blame Obama's real estate policy?

Sounds crazy, no? Well, it happened for our current President, George W. Bush. Memory a little hazy? Our last recession's underpinnings began in 2000. Yes, there weren't two consecutive quarters of negative growth that year, but so far it hasn't happened in 2008. So technically, we're not in a recession. So Bush must be doing a great job, right? So when Obama takes office and the news of two negative quarters comes in, he'll be blamed, right?

It happed for 43. This will be our test to see if it happens again.

Barack Obama is not JFK, FDR, or Lincoln

All I here about now adays is how similar Barack Obama is to the great Presidents. He's young: JFK. He's meeting with his formal rival: Abraham Lincoln. He wants change: FDR.

First, and I want to say this clearly, I have no idea what kind of President Obama will be. He very well could be the next FDR (or Theodore Roosevelt), or he could be the next James K. Polk. There is no way of knowing that now.

Second, and most importantly, these comparisons with great Presidents are irrelevent. President-Elect Obama has plenty of comparisons with bad Presidents: James Buchanan was a Senator, just like Obama. Buchanan was also a Democrat. Warren G. Harding was a Senator, Herbert Hoover was President during economic hardships.

The point is that there is no way to know how he will govern our great land, and that connections draw are simply, in a way, a waste.

Mike Huckabee is So Cool

I don't know if anyone's heard about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's upcoming book. Called Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America, it will arrive on bookshelves Tuesday.

According to Time, Huckabee will not mince words about topics, particularly former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The Huckster lambastes Romney for making believe he was a conservative during the primary season. I happen to agree with this. Romney was a moderate-to-liberal Republican governor. It's this type of Republicanism that appeals to me and the fact that Romney changed so much so quickly just appears phony to me.

Huckabee also makes a good point about the media bias over the "cross in the window ad:"

Why, he asks, was a "floating cross" in the window of one of his ads such a media controversy, while reporters gave a pass to a Barack Obama direct mail piece that obviously photographed the Democrat before a large Christian cross?

This makes a lot of sense to me as a secularist that a major candidate runs draped in the church but is not challenged. Even a hint from a Republican of religiosity is attacked and frowned upon.

I might actually go out and buy the book, if only as a gift for my mother.

In closing, Huckabee had a few words on John McCain: "a true statesman and a man of honor."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm not dead yet

As a response to Matthew, I want to just take this opportunity to tell all my readers that I am not dead yet.

During the next couple days, I will post on why America is NOT a "center-left" country, how that corrlates to my support for the Democrats and explains why Barack Obama is not a Marxist. But alas, I have homework and laundry to do.

Cheers for now.

Also, if you need to search anything on Google, please use the bar below:

Christmas Cancelled

With all the talk about the War on Christmas, it appears that we've found a firm case of it. Except this time it's not in the United States, but in the former Yugoslav republic of Croatia.

Due to the global financial crisis, Croatia has decided to ban certain aspects of the December holiday:

"For that goal we forbid buying of Christmas and New Year's gifts as well as organising of Christmas and New Year's receptions," said Mr Sanader.

Christmas banned? Boy, that sucks.

Remember When Obama Attacked McCain for not Using the Internet?

Hopefully you do. If not, here it is:

One, hopefully you know that McCain does know how to use the internet. Second, it is incredibly painful for him to use a computer because the Vietnamese broke his hands on several occasions.

All right, now look at this article by The New York Times. So Barack Obama will probably not use his blackberry, nor the internet... So all that complaining, all that whining, all that "he's out of touch" stuff was, well, moot. I find it quite ironic that Sen. Obama will probably use the internet as much as John McCain when he's President.

Why Pres.-Elect Obama Will not let GM Fail

GM is stumbling bad and close to a crash. It is lobbying hard for a bailout. I think they'll get it, if not now, then under an Obama Presidency. Here's why:

1. Obviously, they're a huge company, employing a vast number of employees. They're called one of the Big Three for a reason.

2. Sen. Obama wants to look good. Which is better, bailing out a company and saving jobs, or letting it fail? Sure there's much more to it, but that's the way Sen. Obama would want it portrayed.

3. Pres.-Elect Obama does not want to be blamed for any of the economic crisis. An easy way to get blamed: letting a huge company fail.

Where's Joe?

As a writer on our blog, I have to say that we miss posts by our illustrious comrade Joe C. Hopefully he can post a lot. Have you seen him? Where did he go?

It's in his contract.

Post, Joe, Post!

America is Not a Center-Left Nation

There's an article from the Washington Post claiming that the United States is now a center-left nation politically. I happen to disagree with this argument. The U.S. has been a relatively conservative nation. I need no other evidence for this in the 2008 election than the Proposition 8 results in California. As a Republican, I happen to support gay marriage, but even California rejected it.

Many of the folks that vote Democrat, such as the black and Hispanic vote, are socially conservative and church-goers. It's usually only the college student and college professor demographics that are the true leftists. America remains a moderate-to-center-right nation. Pro-gun (good), anti-gay marriage (bad thing), pro-choice (meh), and pro-America!

India to the Moon

India has landed a probe on the moon. Let me be one of the first to say: awesome, India. There is always more room for Democracies on the moon. In regards to the US, this is a clear signal that we need to step up production on space endeavors. As great as India is, we are the United States, which means we are the best in technology regarding space, amongst other things. Let's get a move on it.

If you need to search anything on Google, please use the bar below:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In Defense of Obama

Now, I didn't vote for Obama. I didn't want him to become the next President. The chances of my voting for him are relatively low. However, he will be my President.

And I'm reading such terrible things as this: that people are threatening the President-Elect? Now you can say you won't vote for someone, but this is ridiculous. To threaten a man's life who hasn't done anything to hurt people is horrific. Keep in mind that he has two young children. I know I've been critical of the man, but to go from civil discourse to threatening violence is exactly what America isn't.

In addition, there's talk of an Obama dictatorship? Please... if the guy has despotic plans, he has yet to expose them. When he bans guns... okay, he might want to be crowned emperor.

I hope that Republicans do not fall prey to simplistic hatred. This is the exact thing which has stonewalled and damaged President Bush. This blind hatred, combined with stupidity has led to inane statements like, "There were no WMDs" and how things were better under our handsome friend Saddam.

So let Obama take office before becoming too critical. And thoughts of violence are not only unfounded, but irrational.

I Like Pie

I know that there's been a lot of infighting and fisticuffs over the pie/no pie issue in Congress lately, but I wanted to put my credibility on the line and make an unequivocal and irrevocable statement:

I enjoy eating pie.

I like cherry, raspberry, blackberry, and apple. Pumpkin, too. It's pie eating season. I know that a lot of people may be dismayed at my outlandish statement, but it's time to let the chips fall where they may.

May they eat pie.

Comment on your favorite pie (and if someone says humble, they're banned from the Internets)

Dinars Bekharid

This is transliterated:

Pul e Iraq dinars ast. Dinars ye Iraq kheili geran (gerantar ke $3) bud. Vali, emruz kheili arzan ast. Yek dinar emruz $.00085 ast. Kharidan dinars bahush ast va bara ye ayande khub ast. Ayande dinars ast.

Ba ziad roghan, pul be Iraq miayad. Be to komak bekonid va dinars bekharid.

Shock as Obama Declares Dinars American Currency


A visible pall was over the White House as President Obama announced that the American dollar was the currency of the past. During a press conference, the President announced that the United States dollar was going to be phased out and the Iraqi Dinar would become the official currency.

"The way I look at it is this," the President said, "We, uh, really, uh, destroyed the country of Iran-- Iraq, and we need to make it up to them. And, uh, by using their currency, we can, uh, begin the process of healing."

Reporters from MSNBC called the decision "heroic" and "long overdue." Reporter Bret Baier from FoxNews asked President Obama if the American people would accept his decision.

"One thing, Fox," the President responded, "Is that the American people gave me a clear mandate over that old guy. You, uh, sometimes have to be bold and contiguous."

When asked why he used the word contiguous in his statement, the President asked that Baier be escorted from the room.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan explained later in a written statement, "The Iraqi Dinar was once worth over three dollars. It is unlikely that the dollar would be worth three dollars. In fact, it is only too often that I had to exchange three dollars for one dollar at the grocery mart."

The Dinar is expected to become popular in places such as Massachusetts and Manhattan. Parts of California already use the Iranian Rial as official currency.

"This is a great day." said San Francisco resident Destiny Rainfall, "Hopefully there will be the day when we will not need to use money. Someday." Rainfall then got on her high horse. It is unknown if she will ever get down.

Stock up before it's too late!

Quote of the Day, November 15, 2008

“Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities [Michael Moore].”

--Christopher Hitchens


Friday, November 14, 2008

Prices in 1930

As I read an article on Sheriff Steadman’s murder, I came across an advertisement for a four tube radio. Afterwards, I thought it would be intresting to do a presentation on prices of 1930. I found it especially interesting because 1930 was right in the middle of the depression.

Everyone needs clothes, so I’ll discuss clothes first. I came across shoes selling for about 3-8 dollars a pair, and I also saw an ad for shoes, that were on sale, for $2.50-$3.50. Socks were 10 and 20 cents a pair. Hats were also relatively cheap at 1-5 dollars. And for the ladies, fur trimmed coats were 39 dollars each.

Food, every loves food. Roast pork sold at 28 cents a pound, sausage sold for 28 cents also. Sirloin sold from 32-45 cents, and veal chops sold at 35 cents a pound, so did sliced bacon. Ham sold for 30 cents a pound, while coffee sold for 23 cents, and corn flakes sold for 8 cents. Three pounds of rice sold for 19 cents, about 6 cents a pound, and a half pound of chocolate sold for 25 cents. Rum was 49 cents a pint, while a dozen oranges went for 54 cents. Cod liver oil, a personal favorite, was 79 cents a pint, and for the one with a weak stomach, indegestion pills were 25 cents, for a small bottle, and 75 cents for a large one. And, although it hardly passes for food, aspirin was 49 cents for a bottle. Also, listerine went for 10 cents, for a small bottle, and a quarter for the large one, and tooth paste went for 10 cents a tube.

Believe it or not, they had cars way back then. A 1930 Chevy Roadster went for 495 dollars, while a Ford Roadster went for 435 dollars. A 1930 Chevy Coupe went for $565, while a Ford Coupe came out to be $500. The 1930 Chevy Sedan went for 675 dollars, and the Ford Town Sedan went for $670. Now, you could think that Ford was a better value, but personally, I think Chevy was more expensive because it was, still are, built well, better than Ford. In other prices, a 1927 Model T Sedan went for $175, and the 1926 Model T Sedan went for $100. The “new” Model As went for 550 dollars each. Advertisements also offer cars “as low as $50”, the ads also boasted of “cars with over 50 horsepower”.

Some miscellaneous prices are as follows. Pencils were one cent each and soap cakes were 50 cents a cake. Coffee pots were 55 cents each, while dinner plates were 10 cents each. Hammers were 10, 25, and 50 cents each, according to size, and spark plugs were 25 cents. Paint brushes were 5, 10, and 25 cents, depending on size, and pocket knives were 69 cents to a dollar. Tickets for the Cobleskill theater were 10-40 cents each, and dry cell batteries were 40 and 45 cents.

The oddest, if you could call it that, ad was an ad for “Chesterfield Cigarets”. It’s not odd that it’s a cigaret ad, no, rather it’s who is on the ad. Right on the ad is the picture of a minstrel, not the medieval singer. No, it’s a person white person in black face.

The prices for things were easily found, in fact all the prices I found were in January of 1930. And by the way, the price for the four tube radio was 129 dollars, and that’s excluding tubes.


1. The Cobleskill Times. January 2, 1930.

2. The Cobleskill Times. January 9, 1930.

3. The Cobleskill Times. January 16, 1930.

4. The Cobleskill Times. January 23, 1930.

5. The Cobleskill Times. January 30, 1930.