Backtracking on Benghazi

The New York Times, contradicting its own report in September 2012 on the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which resulted in the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, claims to have “new” evidence indicating that Al Qaeda had nothing to do with the attack.

 

The “newspaper of record” claims the blame lies solely on an amateurish video criticizing the Prophet Mohammed.  There was no link to Al Qaeda, the Times reports; no secret deal to send Mohammed Qaddafi’s abandoned nuclear and chemicals to Syria via Turkey

 

The Jerusalem Post, a fairly reliable Israeli newspaper stated from the beginning that the mobs were worked up over the video.  Although Obama’s “red line” quote from Obama in early August 2012 regarding chemical weapons in Syria, “I have, at this point, no ordered military engagement in the situation.  But the point that you [a report at the press conference] made about chemical and biological weapons is critical.  That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns our close allies in the region, including Israel.  It concerns us.  We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.

 

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is [when] we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculus.  That would change my equation.”

 

A “red line” was clearly on the mind of Sheikh Kamai Khatib, deputy chairman of the Islamic Movement in Israel.  He told the Jerusalem Post at a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv that ‘America had put too high a value on freedom of expression, at the expense of hurting others’ beliefs.

 

“We have always said that the Koran, the Torah, the New Testament, all the prophets, all of them are red lines which no one should cross.  Everyone needs to honor and respect them.  Even if I’m not a Christian, I need to honor Jesus and even Moshe Rabeinu [Moses],” he said.

 

However, it’s more likely the mobs were using the video as an excuse to cross the red line in support of Syria and her chemical weapons.

 

Helle Dale, writing on The Foundry blog on Oct. 24, 2012, sums up the episode pretty succinctly:

 

“The e-mails sent around the federal government on the night of the September 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have finally been obtained by the U.S. Media. Since the tragic events well over a month ago, members of Congress have been asking for a clear answer from the executive branch about what really happened on that Tuesday night and what the Administration knew about it.

 

“The evidence is clear: Despite having confirmed knowledge from day one that the attacks were pre-planned terrorism, the Administration chose to cover up that information and hide severe security inefficiencies and grotesque unpreparedness behind an immature YouTube video.

 

“All three e-mails that are now public were sent within two hours, updating in real time the events happening in Benghazi. According to an anonymous source, the cables were sent by the State Department Operations Center to e-mail accounts for the top national security officials at the State Department, Pentagon, FBI, White House Situation Room, and office of the Director of National Intelligence.”

 

What’s more, as the Benghazi attacks remain unsolved and resolved, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sees her chances of becoming President in 2016 withering in the flames of the Benghazi scandal.  The NYT is such a propaganda puppet that it’s willing to contract its own initial report to clear the way for her candidacy.

 

Stevens and the others were killed as they tried to escape the safe house in a car.  Someone with a rocket launcher basically the nuked the car.  The Benghazi mob (led by a local, anti-American constable), the JP reported, were armed with small weapons and grenades.  Supposedly, their protest was spontaneous.  Who then was able to scope out a place to set up a rocket launcher and accurately vaporize the car?  These are poor people.  Benghazi is a run-down city.  Who in Benghazi could even afford a rocket launcher?  Either they looted Qaddafi’s ammunition supply or someone with deep pockets provided them with one.

 

No one doubts that there were mobs agitated over a stupid video.  The riots provided the stage, the theater, for the killers to target the infidel ambassador, who was in Benghazi supposedly to dedicate a new hospital.  A year later, a car bomb detonated across the street from the hospital, causing heavy damage.

 

Another reason for this “new” investigation is to heap humiliation upon Conservatives, still licking their wounds over the Media bruising they got for the government shutdown.  The shutdown was a fight we couldn’t win, it’s true.  We don’t have the votes.  But we have the guts.  Maybe that’s why the Rasmussen Poll voted Ted Cruz the third most influential person of 2013, right up there next to the Pope and Obama.

 

“What difference does it make,” Hillary infamously screamed, whether Ambassador Stevens was killed by Al Qaeda or an angry mob over the Syrian red line or an idiotic video?  She’s right, in a way; that was never the question.  The question everyone has been demanding an answer to is why our consulate wasn’t more secure and its occupants better protected, and why the response to their cries for help was virtually ignored.

 

Hillary was the Secretary of State at the time of Benghazi.  No matter how the New York Times tries to cover up for her, smear mud on her critics, and confuse the issue, the question of Benghazi comes down to where she was at the time, as well as Obama, and why they didn’t respond better to the crisis, whether it was Al Qaeda or Islamic zealots rioting in the streets.

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Best Christmas Present Ever!

I’ve gotten some pretty great Christmas presents over the years:  a dollhouse, a Barbie doll, and life-size doll when I was a child.  I’ve gotten cameras, computers, and televisions, CDs, DVDs, and DVD players.

 

But this year’s greatest Christmas present, notwithstanding help on paying for a Canon EOS D60 DSLR that I got at a bargain price at the N.J. Camera Show, is that the Tattooed Lady, the Neighbor from Hell, the Rat Lady, is moving!  For the last two weeks, I’ve been pretty certain that something was going on.  Her sons were here, carrying things out, cleaning out the basement.

 

Christmas morning, they showed up with a bucket and a bottle of bleach.  Earlier in the month, various backyard items vanished – her birdbath, her garbage pail, her bird-feeders, her plants, her patio furniture, and the fence surrounding the patio.  Her annoying yard lights also disappeared.  The hanging plants on the front porch also had vanished.

 

Dared I hope?  I kept my enthusiasm to a minimum, lest I be disappointed yet again.  Apparently, she meant to leave in September but one of her sons renewed her lease on her behalf.  She was quite furious.  But she stayed on past September 1st and my joy deflated.  However, I suspected she wanted to go (she fairly screamed so at her son) but was having trouble finding a place that would accept an enormous female Black Lab.

 

Then yesterday, a rental moving truck backed up to the front door and they began loading in furniture.  Yes, yes, I thought to myself, rubbing my hands with glee; she really is going.  I find this morning that the moving process is proceeding apace.  There’s one last chair left on her back patio.  When that is gone, I know I’ll be free of her.

 

These last two years and three months have been a perpetual nightmare.  The first summer was the worst.  This summer, I bore her nastiness a bit better:  I simply ignored her.  She vanished for most of last winter, having gone through numerous operations for her condition.

 

Today, patience and steadiness have been rewarded.  She is going – for good.  Peace will reign in SG once again.  I am going to take a walk this morning and buy a new tower birdfeed to celebrate the occasion, and perhaps play the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Handel’s “The Hallelujah Chorus.”

 

Soon, she’ll be “gone, gone, gone!” as Smeagol cried in The Lord of the Rings.  “Smeagol is freeeeeeee!”

 

And so I will be, too!  Hallelujah, readers, and a Merry Christmas and a definitely Happy 2014!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on December 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Christmas 2013

Christmas at our house, when I was a child, was an odd affair.  The holidays were merry, and yet they weren’t.  My mother is one of those people who has “Christmas issues.”  At Christmas time, from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, our house was a torrent of turmoil, anger, frustration, and temper tantrums (mostly hers).

Mom grew up in the Great Depression.  Grandpa lost his job as head mechanic at the Cadillac division of General Motors.  When the family was evicted from their very pleasant apartment, after Grandpa lost, he went to sea as a merchant seaman and Grandma took a low-paying job as a millworker.  She could only afford a one-bedroom apartment.

So Mom was sent to live with her paternal grandmother, “Nonny”, who hated my mother’s mother, for reasons unclear.  My mother was treated pretty much like Cinderella.  Even though it was a big house, my mother’s bedroom was in the basement.  That was okay with her, because her grandmother’s second husband – well let’s just say that Mom felt the farther away she was from him, the better.

Every Christmas we had to sit through the maudlin story of how she made a poor child’s Christmas tree, and her step-grandfather told her to leave her Grandmother alone, that she was too tired and didn’t “want to see your god-damned Christmas tree.”  So Mom went up to the street to her friends’ house.  Their own parents owned a deli which ran from 6 in the morning until 9 at night.  When she got there, Mom found that the family, even though they’d been on their feet all day, weren’t too tired to decorate the tree with their two daughters.  Mom burst into tears.

And she would burst into tears and tell the story every Christmas.  We didn’t think she was exaggerating.  We could see from old photos that “Nonny” – as the family called her – was one mean-looking woman.  An artist who painted her portrait from a photo had to paint a smile on her face.  Her second husband killed one of Mom’s dogs, kicking it and throwing against a wall.

Yikes.  So we could understand how she felt.  But still.  She be in a rage about something and inevitably launch into the Christmas tree story.  My brothers, my father, and I would all look at each other and roll our eyes.

Eventually, my father passed away (years ago).  Brother B got married.  Brother A drifted but always stayed in the nest, and I bought a condo.  Once I had my own place, finding that Brother B’s ex-wife had no Christmas spirit for entertaining guests, not even our family; Christmas came into my charge.

These past 17 years have mostly been merry (except for the Christmas when my mother nearly died from an aneurism).  I don’t allow maudlin tales to be told in my home.  I convinced my mother not to let her long-dead grandmother ruin every Christmas and she complied.

She’s 89 and looking ahead to her 90th birthday with little relish.  All her friends are gone now; her friend E. died last spring; her Dutch friend, Mia, died just before last Christmas.  She had little spirit for Christmas, particularly decorating.  The Ghost of Christmas Nonny had returned.  Oh no.

She said she wasn’t strong enough to decorate the little table-top tree, yet she hauled a load of laundry up and down the stairs of her house, very much against our dictates.  She was depressed and just couldn’t bring herself to do it.  The unwanted memories, the ghosts of Christmas past had returned.

Christmas Eve, she just couldn’t manage the dinner, so I agreed to host it.  We had a new guest for our family gathering.  To my mortification, Mom immediately launch into her own version of A Christmas Carol.  I tried to get her to stop, but that only put her in a worse mood.  Changing the subject helped a bit, but the mood was set.

Brother B was quite late due to an unexpected snowstorm in our area.  After we ate, Mom was so agitated that she wanted to go home, and she wanted me to come with her.  That would have meant sending my guest away early, which I had no intention of doing.  She was also on an anti-man rant.  Men being men, they feel when it comes to all things mechanical that they’re superior.  My mother, whose father was the head mechanic at Cadillac in the Twenties and early Thirties, feels, ‘that’s what YOU think!” and is always trying to prove it.

Big mistake, in my opinion.  But then, unlike my mother, I don’t know a carburetor from a carbuncle.  She does.  Anyway, the contest wasn’t going well for her with my guest (who is a mechanic) and that’s when she wanted to go home.  So she did.  When she realized I wasn’t going to leave without him, she relented and gave me leave to stay home.

I was relieved.  We watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Channel 13 and then “It Happened in Sun Valley” with Glenn Miller and his orchestra.  After he went home, I put on a Christmas CD by the Von Trapp Family.  Glumly, I sat for a long time by little Nativity set on the piano, looking at the infant Jesus, thinking of that peaceful Christmas thousands of years ago, and listening to the sweet voices of the Von Trapp’s (who had their family issues, too).

I suddenly understood what someone meant when they said celebrating Christmas with family is fine, as long as what you’re celebrating is the birth of Jesus, not your family of human beings, with all their frailties and tales of woes.  No wonder people go crazy at Christmas.

I thought back to my own childhood Christmases.  Although my mother made them unhappy, I was always able, at Christmas, to put her angry moods, the bullying of my classmates, my feelings of loneliness, our relative poverty, and childhood ailments aside and feel the cheer of Christmas in the carols that played on the radio, the bright decorations in the store, and our Christmas tree (which my mother always decorated beautifully; perhaps her grandmother didn’t appreciate her efforts but I sure did).

I had resolved earlier to go over to my mother’s house first thing in the morning and decorate her little Christmas tree before she got up (she sleeps late).  Meanwhile, I turned out the Christmas lights and prepared to go to bed.  Once I was ready, I opened up my Bible for my own, personal tradition of reading the Nativity story.  Still my mind was not on Christ’s birth but on my mother’s unrelenting sorrow.  Being almost 90, what, I wondered, could ever heal her of this bitterness?

I sighed.  It was useless wondering.  I returned to my Bible.  But instead of opening up to Matthew and Luke, my Bible opened itself up to Isaiah 14 (verse 3):  “And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve.”

Whoa.  You have to understand that I’m only an average reader of the Bible.  I don’t have any particular verses memorized.  What Bible sayings I learned in childhood, I couldn’t tell you their source to save my soul.  I don’t find Bible verses – they find me.   Knowing what a poor memory I have, I should have committed the chapter and verse to paper, but I didn’t because I was too sleepy.  Isaiah, on the left-hand page, the left-hand column.  That would be enough.

I was able to find the verse again in the morning and wrote it into a Christmas card to my Mother.  I was glad to be going early, before she woke.  I didn’t mind being God’s messenger, but I dreaded an overly-sentimental display.  I decorated her tree, played with the cat, left the card on the table for her, and went home, glad to escape a “scene.”

She called me later to thank me for the card.  Her voice was sad.  I quickly changed the subject the second time she tried to broach the subject.  By the time she arrived for dinner, she was her old, new, old self, the Mom of the last 20 years or so, cheerful and Christmasy.

Some people make such a job of making Christmas merry that they wind up making themselves, and those around them, miserable.  Women, especially, resent all the work they have to do as housekeepers and hostesses.  My mother thought I was being used because I made the dinner and had to clean up.

But I didn’t feel that way about it.  That was part of my Christmas gift to the rest of the family.  If the work was a sacrifice, so what?  Put on some Christmas carols and the work flies by in no time.  There’s a new book out, called “Men on Strike” which I intend to give to Brother B’s gal pal.  She’d like to “secure” him (and so would I – while I don’t mind cooking the holiday dinners for him, I don’t relish having him land on my doorstep every night) but she won’t succeed so long as she follows the “Women’s Playbook.”

I know what I want for next Christmas;  Brother B’s gal pal as my new sister-in-law!

Published in: on December 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Price of “Foul” Play

Fans of Phil Robertson and Clan, of Duck Dynasty fame, are going to the mattresses and the duck blinds.  Remember – these are people who are fond of hunting.  They’re used to being the predator, not the prey.  They’ve created all sorts of websites supporting Robertson.  They urge people to support the family, not the show.  The Conservative website, Vision to America, sent an e-mail out to all Conservatives listing some of A&E’s advertisers, which we will re-share with you.

 

Some of the advertisers lean, not surprisingly, the Young Invincibles (but very Convincables that they’re always right):  T-Mobile, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, Microsoft, Verizon.  All telecommunications whose customers are young and wired; so wired, that if they were deprived of electricity, they would walk around in circles like Zombies if they’re electricity was cut off.  It’s time to send them a message, via their own devices.  E-mail them, Twitter them, FB them.

 

Sensodyne?  Well, if you’re into cultural sensitivity, who better to advertise on your network?  IHOP?  The mecca of the old and hungry, supporting punishment of a Bible-quoter?  They might listen to reason.  Walgreens?  They’re a question mark.  Depends on how invested they are in the Obamacare scheme.

 

Macy’s.  The home of Santa Claus.  Macy’s is a department store headquartered in the heart of Liberaldom, New York City.  You can’t blame them if they duck for cover in this fandango.    They’re a good store that’s been under fire from the city for combatting shoplifting.  They’re usually on the right side of right, even in the middle of a Progressive-cum-Communist city.  I’m for giving them a break.

 

Progressive.  There’s no mystery there.  A campaign against a company that named itself for the Progressive political movement is a waste of Twitter characters.  They’re certainly not going to listen to Bible-thumpers.

 

Bass Pro Shops.  Now there’s a disgrace.  This is a store that caters to fishermen, close cousins of the duck hunters.  Fishing is considered one of the most dangerous professions in the world.  Right up there with lumberjacking.  These are men and women who pray to God every day they go out to sea that they’ll come back safe.  Why in the world would they support A&E in this witch hunt against their customers, God-fearing outdoorsman. 

 

BPS  must be in fear of the outdoorswomen, who are soft on homosexuality, since gayness is more of a “guy” thing.  Outdoorswomen would share an affinity with excluded groups.  But this isn’t the same thing.  A woman can shoot a gun as well as any man, if she wants to (i.e., Annie Oakley).  Two gay men, or women for that matter, cannot produce a life on their own.  That’s one of the many reasons God banned them from His kingdom, although He might forgive those who ask for His mercy.

 

Duck Dynasty supporters (as opposed to A&E), there are your targets.  Happy hunting!

 

 

Sensodyne: 1-866-844-2797

T-Mobile: Twitter @TMobile / 1-877-453-1304

Samsung: (PR department) samsungpr@edelman.com / Twitter @samsungtweets / 1-800-726-7864

Motorola: Twitter @motorola / 1-800-734-5870 / 1-847-523-5000

Walgreens: Twitter @walgreens / 1-800-925-4733

IHOP:  1-866-444-5144 / Twitter @IHOP / 1-818-240-6055

Macy’s: (PR Department) anne.keating@bloomingdales.com, 212-705-2434 / @Macys / 1-212-494-3000

Nokia: Twitter @Nokia / 1-888-665-4228

Microsoft: Twitter @microsoft / 1-800-642-7676

Verizon: Twitter @verizonwireless / 1-800- 837-4966

Bass Pro Shops: Twitter @Bass_Pro-Shops / 1-800-494-1300 or 1-800-227-7776

Progressive Insurance: 1-440-461-5000 / Michele_L_Moore@progressive.com

You can also contact A&E directly at feedbackaetv@aenetworks.com.

 

Published in: on December 23, 2013 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  

A&E “Ducks” Dynasty Patriarch

Being a big chicken about nature and hunting shows, a real suburban gal, the first two minutes of Ducky Dynasty were enough for me.  I was born in Yonkers not Duckville, La. (there’s no such place; I made that up).

 

A&E, in its infinitely diverse wisdom, suspended the patriarch of its highly-popular cable reality show, “Duck Dynasty” for sharing his thoughts about homosexuality with GQ Magazine.  A fundamentalist Christian, Phil Richardson told the magazine that he couldn’t understand the attraction of homosexuality and warned that the Bible, specifically Corinthians 6: 9-10.

 

Sympathetic critics say that he expressed himself rather crudely in explaining his beliefs.  He’s a duck-call manufacturer not a captain of industry, though having read excerpts from his interview, his language is curious for a Bible-thumper.  Still, he more or less got the quote right:

 

“Know ye not that that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind; Not thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

 

A&E, which I guess stands for “Alibis & Excuses” immediately suspended Richardson upon publication of the magazine.  They declared their support for the LBGT community and reprimanded Richardson for his lack of diversity and tolerance.  The LBGT activists are small but noisy clutch, much noisier than the duck calls Richardson and his family hand carve.

 

Byron York, of the Washington Examiner, pointed out on Fox News that Richardson did not actually have freedom of speech.  He does not produce the Ducky Dynasty program and therefore the producers had the right to punish him, as they have their corporate image to protect.

 

Richardson was not speaking on behalf of the program, however, but pointedly noted that these were his own thoughts.  One could argue that the magazine’s reason for interviewing him was the notoriety he had gained through the popular A&E program.  The real question isn’t what he said but why he ever agreed to an interview.

 

The Left is tolerant of any opinion, as long as that opinion is one that they share.  Richardson, a duck-hunter, said nothing about shooting homosexuals as Russian President Vladimir Putin did.  Putin is now under fire from Leftist groups.  Richardson only spoke about the wroth of God regarding the unrepentant.  Jesus said we should not judge; he never said God wouldn’t judge us.

 

Homosexual activists have stepped far over the line of tolerance into the realm of social equality and acceptance as normal.  Homosexuality is not normal; it is not the activity of the majority of adults.  Gay marriage was the last straw for Conservative, fundamentalist Christianity.  Ministers are being threatened, just as we predicted, for refusing to perform the marriage ceremony for homosexual couples.  A Christian-owned bakery was fined and threatened with a lawsuit.

 

Our first allegiance must be to God, not to the state, not human beings, and certainly not Satan (who is seldom mentioned).  Richardson was asked the question about homosexuality (and presumably, gay marriage) and he answered according to his faith and belief, not according to the current, politically-correct standard.  Richardson believes in the truth of the Bible; the truth offended some, and he apologized, which he should not have done.

 

No one wants to see a return of the sodomy laws, where gay people were dragged out of their private homes and imprisoned.  No one wants to see them murdered or beaten, as a former co-worker was.  No one wants to see them denied a job or live in fear of revealing their true nature for fear of retribution (another co-worker at another company).

 

But no one wants to see anyone fired for speaking their mind, expressing their opinion, or citing the Bible as a reference.  Thousands of soldiers died in World War II fighting fascism; yet, here it is, where our companies can fire us for speaking our minds about things that have nothing to do with the company and its business.  Berate your company and you deserve your fate.  But to be fired for disagreeing with the current social canon should not mean the death of your career.

 

Still, common sense prevails.  Powerful people wield their power with a vengeance and smart minions keep their opinions to themselves.  Most people aren’t courageous enough to stand up for what is right.  They also don’t believe that what people do in private is any of their business and that’s true enough.  Not satisfied with a silent quiescence of their situation by the general society, gays balked at staying in the closet where they probably belonged.  The Sixties opened the closet door for them and they’ve been flaunting immorality ever since, pushing the envelope right up to the church door and breaking it down.

 

Whatever else homosexuals do in private, Conservative society balks, silently, at their hamstringing of the clergy.  This should come as no surprise that Leftists wish to defile the Church and defy its teachings.  They hate the Church, Jesus, Christmas, and Christians.  They want license to do whatever they please without any inconvenient warnings that an Almighty Power is scowling down upon their activities.  There is forgiveness.  But that is reserved for the repentant.  They are not sorry for what they do.

 

They don’t have a supernatural power to defend them, so the Political State serves them in good stead of an Omnipotent Being, heaping vengeance upon those who disapprove of or criticize them.  They completely miss the point of God’s existence (for which the rest of us are thankful).

 

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their hunter.  Even if you’re not a fan of Duck Dynasty, even if you cringe at the thought of shooting ducks, or any other animal, even if you think the family looks like distant cousins of the Clampett Family (of Beverly Hillbillies fame), they are a family of faith, stand up for them and with them.  Pray to God that Phil is restored to his place at the head of the family, or better yet, that they find a better venue for their show, mighty but merciful, like God Himself.

 

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

 

Published in: on December 20, 2013 at 9:45 am  Leave a Comment  

A Fond Farewell to Rambling with Gambling

Tomorrow, when John R. Gambling, 63, retires as radio host of WOR’s Rambling with Gambling program, will mark the end of the longest-running radio family dynasty, and it will end an era of radio.

Rambling with Gambling, a news and talk radio program, has been on the air since 1925.  It was hosted by three generations of people named John Gambling (B., A., and R.) throughout its entire 88-year run.  In 2000, its name changed to The John Gambling Show.

The program was on New York’s WOR (AM) for most of its history, with a 9-year switch to WABC (AM) from 2000 to 2008. On its return to WOR, its name changed.   WOR was one of the first radio stations in the United States, which accounts for its three-letter call sign.

Englishman John B. Gambling started the show in March 1925, when WOR was a promotional arm of the Bamberger’s department store in Newark.  My mother was just one year old.  His son, John A. Gambling, became host in 1959 (the year I was born). He brought his son, John R. Gambling, to the show as co-host from 1985 until his retirement in 1991.  John R. Gambling has been solo host since that time.

In September 2000, WOR cancelled the program. At the time, it was the longest continually-running radio broadcast in America, a position now held by the Grand Ole Opry. After a brief hiatus, WABC hired Gambling. WOR owned the rights to the name Rambling with Gambling, so the revived show was renamed The John Gambling Show.  In January 2008, WABC laid off Gambling in a cost-cutting measure.

On April 30, 2008, WOR and John R. Gambling announced the return of the show to its original station. They began broadcasting on May 5, 2008, from 6 AM to 10 AM.  Despite the return to WOR, the new name continued.

Listeners old enough to remember, like my mother and my best friend, say that John B. had a studio orchestra.  Mom says there’s never been a time when she didn’t listen to Rambling with Gambling.  With his Musical Clock, his all-in-fun setting-up exercises, cheerio music, wheezy gags, weather information and news scraps, John B. Gambling was a WOR fixture.

We children grew up with John A. Gambling.  The best part of his show was the bumper music.  Gone was the studio orchestra, and in its place were records – everything from Mitch Miller (“Pack Up Your Old Kit Bag”) to Broadway (“River City”) to the latest fads (“I Wanna Hold Your Hand” – The Beatles).  John A. always had some music queued up to accompany whatever topic he was discussing.

His program also offered the first on-air helicopter traffic reports and school closing notices.  As he read the list off, we would listen anxiously for the name of our school.  We were particularly fond of the alliteratively-named helicopter reporter Freddie Feldman who, unfortunately, died in a helicopter crash.  John A. retired in 1991.

For six years, he co-hosted the show with his son, John R., the current host.  John R. is as different from his father as his father was different from his grandfather.  Yet John R. eventually resurrected the use of music, called “Bumper Music Friday.”  He publicly declared himself a “moderate Conservative” and had such a good relationship with New York Mayor Bloomberg that they had a regularly-scheduled talk on Fridays at 10 a.m.

Gambling recently mentioned that at the beginning of his talk show career he fumbled a bit (as anyone would).  I remember listening to the broadcast and giggling.

“He isn’t very good, is he?” I laughed.  “He’s not like his father.”

“Never mind;” my mother said, with a raised eyebrow, “he’ll get the hang of it.  It’s in his blood and I’m sure his father will help him.”

He did, indeed, and when John R. switched over to WABC, I changed my dial, and when he returned to WOR, so did I.  Mornings weren’t mornings without Gambling.

There was nothing more enjoyable than listening to John R. exclaim about some absurdity or outrageous act of government.  His exasperation was our exasperation.  Like his father and grandfather, he had interviewed many interesting and notable guests.

After 28 years of getting up in the middle of the night to prepare for his 6 a.m. drive-time show, Gambling deserves to retire.  A number of factors have probably contributed to his decision to retire:  his mother, Sally, died this summer; the new mayor, DeBlasio, is basically a Communist and Gambling wouldn’t want to have to invite him onto his program; New York City taxes are going to skyrocket to even higher levels than they’re already at; and, at 63, it’s just time to retire and take life easy, hit the links down in Florida.

Mornings won’t be the same without a Gambling to wake us up.  His sons have expressed no interest in carrying on the show.  Mark Steyn will be replacing him, which is good.

So, farewell to John R. and good luck, and many thanks to the three generations of the Gambling family for truly great radio.

Published in: on December 19, 2013 at 10:21 am  Leave a Comment  

The War Against Christmas Shopping

Dustin Friedland, 30, and his wife had just finished Christmas/Holiday shopping at the upscale Short Hills Mall on Dec. 16th when they were approached by two armed thugs.  Mrs. Friedland had just gotten into their luxury 2012 Land Rover (worth at least $70,000) filled with packages.

Friedland had just let his wife into the SUV and was walking around to the driver’s side when two crooks ambushed him and demanded his keys, a source close to the investigation told the New York Daily News.

The  Hoboken attorney resisted — and in the struggle four shots were fired, one of which mortally wounded Friedland, police said.  His Range Rover was found Monday in the back of an abandoned Newark house, police added.

Relatives described the 30-year-old Friedland as a sensible man who would have avoided violence if at all possible.   The victim wasn’t protecting his luxury SUV, says a source close to the investigation — but his wife , already in the car. One thug had come close to her and ordered her out, but ‘she got a look at him,’ says the source.

The crime occurred at 9 p.m. at night in a mall parking garage.  Most sensible shoppers know better than to go to a mall after dark, at least here in New Jersey.  The Friedlands must have figured since they were together and Mr. Friedland was a guy that thieves wouldn’t bother them.  Nothing bothers a thug when he’s carrying a gun.

It’s unfortunate to note that if Mrs. Friedland had just gotten out of the car, the thugs would have hopped in and driven away.  Mrs. Friendland, it would seem, was standing her ground.  Only there’s no standing your ground unless you have an “a great equalizer” to back you up.  When she wouldn’t get out and Mr. Friedland challenged them, they simply shot him.  She certainly got out of the car then and the thieves drove away.

The luxury SUV (the Land Rover is the official SUV of Queen Elizabeth II and her royal family) was found abandoned behind a house in Newark.  Naturally.  The Land Rover is very popular among the well-heeled.  Essex and Bergen Counties are not known for their wilderness areas, unless you count the Meadowlands.  The LR might be good for crossing the barriers on the approach to the George Washington Bridge when you find you’re in the upper level “Express” lane, hemmed in by tractor-trailer trucks which can only use the upper level of the bridge.  Mondays and Tuesdays are murder on the GWB approach; that’s when the trucks make their deliveries to the City and Long Island and there’s no escape route, no crossover in the island to the local lanes.  That’s when a Land Rover comes in mighty handy.

Despite what their relatives say, the Friedlands probably were protecting their property.  The problem was, they were unarmed and without weapons, you might as well give up.  That’s what the State of New Jersey wants us to do – surrender to the redistribution of wealth.  Had he been armed, and via an open carry law where the weapon would be visible, this tragedy might not have occurred.  The only other recourse was for the Friedlands to throw their hands up in the air and surrender.  Let the thugs redistribute your wealth; it’s just stuff that insurance will pay for.

That’s what attorney Friedland would have advised any client.  He stood up for what is right.  But unarmed, he paid the ultimate price for his expensive car and the expensive items it no doubt contained.  His relatives don’t want the Media and the world to take the opportunity to tisk at Friedland’s obvious “materialism.”

Too bad the world has to be that way.  He earned his money and had the right to drive whatever car he pleased without having to apologize for it or pay for the car with his life.  Short Hills Mall can add all the security they can muster; parking garages are notorious hunting grounds for thieves.  Because any parking garage level is divided into such small, isolated spaces, filled with walls, columns and barriers, the chances of being seen or heard are remote.  There simply isn’t enough pedestrian traffic to deter a crime.  The shortened space between the elevator and a customer’s car is meant to help the package-burdened shopper, but it also assists the thieves looking for a quick hit and getaway.

Darkness aids the thug outside and isolation aids the thief inside.

Working class people haven’t much choice around Christmas time but to shop at night.  If memory serves, there’s not much in the way of outside parking at Short Hills Mall.  Since you cannot carry weapons, carry something loud.  If you’re in the car, set off your car horn.  If you haven’t reached the car yet, take a good look around the garage before you set out for the vehicle.  The moment you use the remote, you alert the thieves to their target (the horn beeps and the lights flash).  Always have your cell phone (and its camera) at the ready to call for help.

And unless your Superman and can stop a speeding bullet with your bare hands, don’t try to be a hero.  I hate that advice, but that’s the reality here in anti-gun New Jersey, where criminals can carry but law-abiding citizens can’t.  If you’re really fed up with the surging wave of car-jackings, be a hero and put those other crooks, the ones in the statehouse, out of work and install politicians who want to protect you, not the criminals, into office.

Vermont has open-carry and very little crime.  New Jersey should ask Santa for open-carry laws for Christmas.  Our lives and our property depend upon it, because we certainly can’t depend upon our current Socialist government.

Published in: on December 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm  Comments (1)  

GWB – Gosh, What Backup?

The George Washington Bridge, spanning the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York City has the distinction of being the busiest vehicular traffic bridge in the world.  With 12 lanes (six lanes on two levels) of traffic, what else would you expect but madness?

The politicos are getting their spans in an uproar of a controversial, unannounced lane closure on the bridge for several days back in September, specifically the access lanes from the town of Fort Lee on the Jersey side.  Not coincidentally, the closures coincided with the 9/11 Anniversary.

The uproar over this bureaucratic snarl has reached the Congressional level.  A U.S. Senator, a Democrat from West Virginia, no less, wants to hold a Congressional investigation on who closed the Fort Lee access lanes and why.  A back-up on the GWB?  My gosh!  Hold the presses, Media!!

Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D) is bound and determined to get to the bottom of this outrageous mystery (!).  His announcement made the headlines of The Bergen Record, the paper of record for all things GWB.  If he’d read any articles in the BR, he would know that Fort Lee has been complaining for years about his town’s strangled streets whenever there’s an accident, road maintenance, or suicidal maniac on the bridge, causing an instant 10-mile back on Routes 80, 46, and 4, as well as other roads on the approaches to the GWB.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the N.J. Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committees, who is continuing his probe, will use his subpoena powers to request Port Authority documents and compel staff to testify at public hearings.

He told the Bergen Record, “I want to get to the bottom of how this could happen and how this agency can exist for so long, when it appears that there is an iron curtain between the [New York and New Jersey sides].”  Investigators can look at the Port Authority, Wisniewski charged, but can’t touch them.  They can’t do anything about what they’re doing.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is a joint venture between the States of New York and New Jersey and authorized by the US Congress, established in 1921 (as the Port of New York Authority) through an interstate compact, that oversees much of the regional transportation infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports, within the Port of New York and New Jersey. This 1,500 square mile district is the region generally within 25 miles of the Statue of Liberty.  The Port Authority is headquartered at 225 Park Avenue South in Manhattan.

The Port Authority operates the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, which handled the third largest amount of shipping of all ports in the United States in 2004 and the largest on the Eastern Seaboard.  The Port Authority also operates Hudson River crossings, including the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, and the GWB.  The PA is also responsible for three crossings that connect New Jersey with Staten Island. The Port Authority Bus Terminal and the PATH rail system are also run by the Port Authority, as well as LaGuardia, JFK International, Newark-Liberty International, Teterboro and Stewart International airports. The agency has its own 1,600-member Port Authority Police Department, which is responsible for providing safety and deterring criminal activity at Port Authority facilities.

Although the Port Authority manages much of the transportation infrastructure in the area, most bridges, tunnels, and other transportation facilities are not included. The New York City Department of Transportation is responsible for the Staten Island Ferry and for the majority of bridges in the city. The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority is responsible for other bridges and tunnels in the area.  New York City Transit Authority is in charge of NYC buses and subways.  Metro North and the Long Island Railroad (all four are divisions of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority), and buses, commuter rail, and light rail are operated by New Jersey Transit, all independent of PANYNJ.

The Port of New York Authority was established on April 30, 1921, through an interstate compact between New Jersey and New York.  This was the first such agency in the United States, created under a provision in the U.S. Constitution permitting interstate compacts The idea for the Port Authority was conceived during the Progressive Era (so says Wikipedia), which aimed at the reduction of political corruption and at increasing the efficiency of government. With the Port Authority at a distance from political pressures, it was able to carry longer-term infrastructure projects irrespective of the election cycles and in a more efficient manner. Throughout its history, there have been concerns about democratic accountability, or lack thereof at the Port Authority.

That’s how, Assemblyman Wisniewski.  If you want to know who was responsible for this bureaucrat behemoth, you have only to look to the date of April 1921, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was Governor of New York state.

Roosevelt’s partner in progressive, bureaucratic crime was New Jersey Governor Edward I. Edwards.  Edwards was a creature of the Democrat political machine.  His best buddies were political bosses.  Eventually, he was implicated in an electoral fraud scandal.  Edwards’ luck ran out quickly.  His wife died in 1928.  He went broke in the Wall Street crash of 1929 and when he was diagnosed with skin cancer in 1931, he committed suicide in his Jersey City home.

Still, New Jersey, New York and Long Island can be thankful to Edwards and Roosevelt for the George Washington Bridge.  Construction began in 1928, making interstate commerce possible between the city and Long Island and the rest of the country to the west.  The bridge opened up the New Jersey suburbs to the crowds of Long Islanders, New Yorkers, and Westcherites looking for greener, less expensive pastures.  By the Sixties, a second level was added to the bridge.

The GWB was also a boon to drug dealers and their customers and terrorists.  The former found their customers could cross the bridge from Bergen County to make their purchases and the latter saw it as a juicy target, much juicier than the World Trade Center.  Horrible as its destruction was, if you think it’s terrible that it’s taken over 12 years to restore Ground Zero, destroying the bridge would have wreaked havoc on commerce for even more years.

The Democrats believe that this unannounced closure was payback by Gov. Christie’s Republicans for the lack of support by Fort Lee’s mayor.  The Dems are hoping this crisis will ruin Christie’s 2016 election year chances.  Maybe the lack of an official announcement was simply to keep the terrorists from finding out.  It certainly was a dangerous time to make such an attempting, tempting Fate to protect the bridge and its commuters.

Long back-ups are no surprise to regular users of the George Washington Bridge.  If an investigation wasn’t such a waste of taxpayers’ money in bad economic times, commuters would probably laugh at the notion of a Congressional investigation.  So many back-ups have tied up the bridge for hours, including one on September 11, 2001, that the idea is risible.

Traffic backs up on that bridge for myriad reasons.  What do you expect from the busiest bridge in the world?  If Congress wants to investigate a GWB back-up, they’d do better investigating the one that kept traffic stalled on the bridge as Mohammed Atta flew his plane overhead and on into the World Trade Center about ten miles down-river, as the terrorist flies.

Published in: on December 17, 2013 at 11:39 am  Comments (1)  

Boehner: Throw Tea Party Overboard

Last Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) attacked the Tea Party, accusing them of “using ‘his’” GOP lawmakers, particularly younger, less experienced representatives to “sabotage” pacts that he and his RINO colleagues were trying to craft with Democrats across the aisle.

The Tea Party – a collection of Washing-based groups such as Heritage Action –  recently attacked the bipartisan budget deal Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) negotiated and unveiled last Monday night with his Senate counterpart, Patty Murray (D-Wash.). 

Boehner complained of enduring years of broadsides, according to the Washington Post.

The paper reports Boehner screamed into his microphone, “Are you kidding me?” in mocking tones, at a press conference on Thursday. 

“I don’t care what they [the groups] do,” Boehner said at one point, suggesting that after years of helping sabotage pacts that he and his lieutenants were trying to craft, the conservative activists had finally begun to “step over the line” by opposing Ryan’s deal.

His comments on Thursday “escalated his feud with outside conservative advocacy groups that have repeatedly undermined his leadership team’s agenda for three years.”

“Frankly, I just think they’ve lost all credibility,” Boehner told reporters Thursday at his weekly press briefing.

The WP believes “the public airing of his grievances demonstrated a belief that he is in a stronger internal position within his own GOP caucus – and more importantly, that his rank-and-file has grown exhausted from the steady drumbeat of threats from the groups that they would back a primary challenger against the lawmakers unless they vote a certain way.

“Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action for America, sharply rejected Boehner’s charge that outside groups such as his have lost credibility by opposing the latest budget deal, saying that conservative organizations are merely reflecting the sentiments of their grassroots activists.

“’The more information that gets out about this deal, the harder it is for members to vote yes and go back home and explain that vote,’” Holler said. “’That’s where the rub is.’”

Believing the only way to win over the “Young Invincible” vote is by compromising, the GOP has compromised with the Democrats and their cheerleaders in declaring Ted Cruz’ stand for a balanced budget and an immediate repeal of Obamacare a total, humiliating defeat for the Senator from Texas.

Obamacare could not be repealed because the GOP didn’t have the numbers.  Well, no kidding?  And who do we have to thank for that but the compromisers of the GOP who put up an unelectable, compromising candidate in 2008?  Who refused to back a legitimate, Conservative candidate for the New Jersey Senate seat?  Who have done everything they can to make sure they’re in lock-step with the Democrats?

The Elephants-in-the-Room believe they’re in a losing position.  Never mind that they put themselves there.   Had they put up a reliable, Conservative candidate in 2008, had they put their influence behind Mitt Romney instead of John McCain, people wouldn’t be biting their fingernails over Obamacare right now. 

And they talk about our fecklessness in shutting down the government?  They’re a bunch of losers; the Conservatives know it and the rest of the low-information voters are beginning to figure it out.  A visible failure of Obamacare is just what the GOP calculates will turn the House and Senate over to them next year.  Heaven help us.

If low-information voters had listened to us in 2007 and 2008, Obama would never have been elected.  If they had just read his two autobiographies, there would have been no doubt about his intentions.  If Congress had listened to us in 2009, if they had listened to the speakers at the Town Hall meetings of 2009, warning about the dangers of Obamacare, we wouldn’t be in this fix, and wouldn’t be in need of a fix right now.

Boehner denounced the idea of frightening the American public with the specter of a government shutdown.  But he has no qualms about the terrifying prospect of a fully-implemented Obamacare, with the Young Invincibles paying for insurance they don’t need, don’t want, and can’t afford, while their elders face the certain prospect of cancellation, denial of care, and even higher premiums for care they won’t be eligible to receive.  All in the name of getting the unreliable, arrogant RINOs elected to Congress next November, with John Boehner in the lead.

Incidentally, the hapless Ted Cruz was named the third most influential person in the world, behind only the Pope and Obama, according to the Rasmussen Report’s latest poll.  Imagine that?  Poor John Boehner only made 4th and Gov. Chris Christie, 5th.

Guess the Tea Party hasn’t totally lost credibility after all.

 

 

 

Published in: on December 16, 2013 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Sandy Hook: The First Anniversary

Tomorrow will be the first anniversary since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.  What have we learned this past year?

 We’ve learned that gun control advocates will exploit any tragedy, no matter the cost to the victims, to garner headlines for their cause.  They don’t distinguish between sane, responsible, legal gun owners and mentally ill schizophrenics who, when they get their hands on guns legally or illegally, wreak havoc and sorrow with their twisted fantasies.

 We’ve learned that people who watch these gratuitously violent movies – of which there have been fewer since the 1980s when I was a movie reviewer and clamored against them in my columns; I was fired forthwith – think it’s the other guy who’s crazy.  They think they can watch these movies and play violent videogames with impunity. They are invincible.  They are sane and reasonable.  They can divorce themselves from the computer-generated killing machines whose identity they assume.  They are nitwits who associate Sandy Hook with a place on the Jersey Shore.  Great waves, rough beach.  The U.S. Army had barracks there.

 We’ve learned that the Media is conflicted on the issue.  They’re understandably sensitive about the First Amendment.  They wouldn’t want to be told what story to write.  They don’t want to put themselves in the position of censoring other writers and artists.  On the other hand, the Sandy Hook story fits in well with the Leftist agenda of gun control and it’s a hummer of a story – Adam Lanza’s mother was a member of the NRA and gave her disturbed son the gun, brought him to the gun range to teach him to shoot, and when her husband became concerned, the couple divorced.

 We’ve learned that in order to secure total safety we would have to sign away every protection we have, particularly the Second Amendment.  Then, not only wouldn’t our children be any safer from the schizo sociopaths, but they’d be prey for the common criminal, as well.  We adults would be in danger, too.  Most importantly, we would no longer be safe from our overbearing government.  They desperately want to get the guns out of our hands.  Adam Lanza is their poster boy for gun control.

 We’ve learned that the Media has failed its Sensitivity Training courses.  A year later, they’re still pestering the residents of Newtown, looking for any story that can keep the gun control agenda alive, at least until the 2014 Midterm Elections.  They want to make the world safe for Communism.  It was one thing for Nelson Mandela to lead a violent revolution against apartheid; it’s quite another for the gun-toting, 2nd Amendment quoting Tea Party activists to potentially stage a revolution against Communism.

 We learned that the government never should have shut down the mental hospitals years ago, unleashing Adam Lanzas onto an unsuspecting world.  We might pity the mentally ill.  But they are sick and sometimes their minds tell them some very strange things:  You don’t need to take your meds anymore; you’re fine.  Those first-graders were the kindergartners who took your mother’s attention away from you (even if you were 19 at the time).  You’ve played the same videos games a thousand times; no one ever died, did they?  Besides, you’ll be dead before the cops ever get to you.  Game over; you win.

It’s time for parents of game boys, fan boys, basement boys, and a few geek girls to grow up and tell them when it comes to ultra-violent video games and movies:  Game Over.

 

 

Published in: on December 13, 2013 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment