Friday, February 29, 2008


Once upon a time we were taught the amazing benefits of capitalism. How it can fuel the engine of state and raise the standard of living. How everyone had an equal chance to become the next American billionaire. How the accumulation of wealth had far reaching consequences and could be a tool for good.

That line of teaching dates back to the beginning of our nation and has been refined and updated over the years. Created by the public relations offices of corporate American and the Madison Avenue ad agencies whose lifeblood was the contracts they received from those corporations, it was not created for the common good.

There is a charade of benevolence, philanthropy and improved quality of life that may have resulted from the capitalism driving America but it was way down the distribution chain from the board rooms where the art of greed, the accumulation of power, the total disregard for law and the manipulation of governments ruled.

This is not to suggest that all corporations share the same outlook but once they join the elite group of major corporations in America the ethics, loyalty to the nation and upholding of the law seem to become secondary to the quest for the almighty dollar.

Yet it is more than that because questing for dollars is not bad in and of itself, it is the methods one chooses to use that become the choice between good and evil. The Bible says St. Michael cast Lucifer out of Heaven and down to Earth. Well Lucifer must having been wearing a suit and tie and he has certainly made himself at home here on Earth. Remember Lucifer; he’s the bad guy.

So what’s the point you might ask? Well let the facts speak for themselves. Today I am highlighting one of the most critical sectors of our capitalistic society, one upon which every aspect of your life in America is dependent.

Our first look is at the financial institutions which rule the nation from the powerful houses controlling the stock, commodities and real estate markets to the banks throwing credit cards at you. Like them or not you depend on them because they own you. Your homes are mortgaged to them, your pension, 401k, IRA and investments are managed by them, and probably about everything you buy is financed by them.

The really big boys have powerful names like Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, J. P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, UBS Warburg, and US Bancorp. Between them and a handful of others they rule the world financial markets.

So what do they have in common other than being the custodian of everything you have spent your life working toward? Well, how about criminal acts of such magnitude that they have been fined billions, yes billions, of dollars in the last 8 years. What were the crimes? Price fixing, fraud in stock deals, illegal charges to consumers, cheating on taxes, cheating stockholders, filing false financial statements, and cover-ups are just a sample of the actions charged against them.


Citigroup $3,062,150,000
Bank of America/Citigroup $2,750,000,000
Credit Suisse $450,000,000
Merrill Lynch $418,500,000
Morgan Stanley $281,200,000
J. P. Morgan/Chase $2,290,000,000
Goldman Sachs $112,000,000
Lehman Brothers $130,000,000
Bear Stearns $130,000,000
UBS Warburg $180,000,000
US Bancorp/Piper Jaffray $32,500,000
American Express $32,350,000
MasterCard $1,000,000,000
VISA $2,000,000,000

Okay, that is just a sampling of what fines we could find and the total is already nearly $13 billion. That does not count the billions and billions of dollars in sub-prime mortgage losses many of the companies absorbed by backing highly suspect loans. Now don’t you feel better about how your money and investments are being managed?

Of course this isn’t even all of the tragedy of our obsession with capitalist promises. Most of the fines were negotiated with the government and settled without trials, a pretty good sign of guilt. However, the settlements also meant the companies did not have to plead guilty, just admit to the practices and pay the fines. Now that seems efficient doesn’t it? An organization called CorpWatch whose purpose is to hold corporations accountable for their actions explains it as follows.

“Ever wonder why it is that when a company gets caught lying to, and/or cheating investors that they so often settle the case quickly, agreeing to pay millions of dollars back but "without admitting or denying" they did anything wrong?

Simple -- because the IRS kicks back a big hunk of the fine to them in the form of a tax write off.

That's right, you and I -- through the IRS -- subsidize corporate wrongdoing by providing substantial tax breaks to companies that settle shareholder lawsuits or regulatory actions in the right way.

For example, the Wall Street Journal reports that Merrill Lynch will likely harvest a fat $30 million tax write off this year -- a 30% kickback of the $100 million it agreed to cough up to settle fraud charges with New York prosecutors. The key here is that company officials insisted that the following magic words be included in their settlement agreement -- "without admitting guilt." The company had been charged with an elaborate pump and dump scheme in which its analysts falsely promoted stocks in companies underwritten by Merrill Lynch.

By being allowed to not admit guilt, the $100 million payment could be classified for tax purposes as "compensatory" damages rather than as a "fine" for wrongdoing.

This is a longstanding practice with both the SEC and IRS. And, in spite of the cascade of corporate evildoing, the IRS reinforced it in a similar case this April. The IRS ruling not only enshrines the practice but also appears to concede that getting caught and fined for lying and cheating is now a legitimate expense of doing business.

"It appears that the proximate cause of the litigation was the dissemination of false and misleading statements and press releases. Such dissemination of financial information is a routine business activity and therefore the expense of settling allegations regarding disseminating inaccurate information may be considered ordinary."(IRS ruling, April 2002)

Under the IRS's corporate tax rules settlements that result in a company having to pay "compensatory" damages are fully deductible as legitimate business expenses. This includes both compensatory as well as punitive "compensation."

The Political Connection

There you have it, the government rewards the corporations for criminal acts and regulatory violations. These are the same organizations pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the political campaigns of our elected officials. Now just who is being protected?

Perhaps this massive infusion of dollars into campaigns of every major candidate has something to do with the fact they can get away with this practice. So when your favorite politician tells you he or she is looking out for you ask what they are doing to stop rewarding the criminals. If they look perplexed tell them the ones in the suits and ties.


Thirty-two million people can't be wrong can they? More people watch every Idol show than watch the annual Academy Awards or Grammy Awards. Fox and Simon Cowell, the nasty judge and owner of the show, have made it the geatest money machine on television and that does not count the record contracts Simon signs with the aspiring stars, tours, merchandising, record sales and on and on.

In terms of TV ratings, this is number 1 and leaves elections, debates, news and sports except for the Super Bowl eating dust. So to help you follow the show this day, February 29, there are 20 contestants left including 10 guys and girls. In case you want to skip a few shows I will take you into the future to the finals with just four contestants left. Here are the four finalists.
David Archuleta - Murray, Utah

Brooke White - Mesa Arizona

Jason Castro - Rockwall, Texas

Syesha Mercado - Sarasota, Florida

And the winner, drum roll please, the cute little kid from Murray, Utah, David Archuleta who already won the Junior Singer Star Search competition when he was 12. A little Latin, his mom is from Honduras, and a lot Mormom, Utah you know, David will win in a tough battle with Brooke or whoever. Now, instead of being glued to the tube watching Idol you can spend about 6 hours more a week doing something important and still act informed about the Idol or idle news.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


A couple of bands made big news this week as the New York Philharmonic became the largest group of Americans to go to North Korea when performing a concert this week in that city with the strange spelling and having it broadcast nationwide to the communist nation.

They played the American and Korean national anthems and closed with a Korean folk song that brought tears to the audience eyes and a standing ovation for the Americans. Now whether this event has any effect on the rather strained relations between us remains to be seen but once again music may open doors the loud mouth politicians can't open.

Coltons Point Jug Band to Hold Tryouts

There is an unconfirmed rumor circulating that Robert Kopel, newly appointed admiral of the Point now that Admiral Gibby is being held under house arrest, has decide to hold open tryouts for positions in the legendary Coltons Point Jug Band.

Seems Mr. Kopel, hubby to the mysterious Ink Spot, is tired of the constant changes in the band as his prisoners keep finishing their sentences and get released. He is looking for a more lasting solution to the turnover in the band.

Now that the infamous Coltons Point Lighthouse is about to open and become the secret party center for Southern Maryland Admiral Kopel sees a bright future for the Jug Band and wants members he can count on. Stay tuned for audition schedules. The most recent performance of the jug band at the secret Lighthouse groundbreaking ceremony was a real jailhouse rocking good party.


Diane Sawyer was born on December 22, 1945 in Glasgow, Kentucky. Soon after her birth, her family moved to Louisville, where her father, Erbon Powers "Tom" Sawyer, rose to local prominence as a politician and community leader.

She attended Seneca High School in Louisville and in 1963 she won the America Junior Miss scholarship pageant as a representative from the State of Kentucky. In 1967 she received her English degree at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

Sawyer served as a local TV news reporter for WLKY-TV in Louisville, Kentucky and in 1970 White House press secretary Ron Zigler hired her to serve in the administration of President Richard Nixon. Her career exploded on CBS and then ABC where she became the highest paid female newscaster in history while anchoring the ABC Good morning America Show.

She was the first journalist to get an interview with the president of North Korea in one of the latest of her many remarkable achievements. Only today she performed the sacred Fire Walk ceremony on the show, walking across 1000 degree coals as seen below. Diane is married to film director Mike Nichols. Sawyer remains one of the humblest of gifted TV personalities.


Oprah's new boy toy and beneficiary of her overwhelming support, Barack Obama, has survived the last presidential debate with Hillary before the Texas and Ohio primaries next week. While Hillary was way ahead in the polls in the two states her lead has evaporated as her tactics have changed from day-to-day.

We predict Barack will win both states and lock up the nomination just as we predicted he will win the presidency in November. Somehow Obama has avoided the street brawl that Bill and Hillary have tried to induce and remained above the mud slinging.

Note the background of the following picture of the Democratic party poster kids and you will see the world famous revolutionary from South America Che Guevara, the man who helped put Castro in power. The real photo follows.

Now why in the world do you think they allowed Che to be featured with them? I mean he was a leading communist and anti-capitalist, he starred posthumously in The Motorcycle Diaries, and remains one of the most famous revolutionaries in the world.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


We are introducing a new feature of the CPT identifying for you the handful of prominent people in the world we believe you can actually trust. When these people happen to come from the finance sector it is even rarer that they can be trusted. So our first entry into the CPT Trusted Hall of Fame is Mellody Hobson.

Mellody (born April 3, 1969) is the president of Ariel Capital Management, LLC, a Chicago investment firm managing over $14 billion in assets. She is a regular contributor on financial issues to ABC’s Good Morning America. Hobson was born in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Princeton University in 1991 with a degree in South African Studies. She joined Ariel soon afterward as the firm's senior vice president and director of marketing until ascending to president in 2000.

Hobson serves on the board of many organizations, including the Chicago Public Library, the Field Museum, the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Sundance Institute. She is also a director of the Starbucks Corporation, The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. and Dreamworks Animation SKG, Inc.

One of the world's most eligible bachelorettes, Mellody is dating George Lucas of Star Wars fame who also happens to be one of the few nice guys in Hollywood not caught up in the movie industry hysteria. Mellody, way to go girl!


Gone are the good old days when hosts were hosts and they had a great time at the Oscars. I mentioned Billy Crystal and Ellen DeGeneres should be rotating hosts and Whoopi Goldberg should be one as well. Remember when she hosted the awards and Cate Blanchett, one of our favorite foreign actressses was nominate for Elizabeth in her role as the Virgin Queen?

Then Whoopi showed up on stage in the same period costume.

She made some crack about how no one ever confused her with the Virgin Queen. Whoopi is one of a kind and has the acting credits as well.

Monday, February 25, 2008


The 80th Academy Awards seems to have taken the same train as the Grammy Awards and Network Evening News broadcasts when it comes to television viewers, the next great train wreck.

Early Nielsen numbers indicate it will be the worst watched Academy Award show in history, an astonishing 14% lower than the previous worst rated broadcast. That means 21% below last year. Following is the first awards ceremony.

This year the screen writers strike was settled just in time for the Oscars meaning we could count on a lot of stupid jokes again as only the professional Hollywood writers can generate.

The collapse in rating for the Oscars, Grammy Awards and even Network News demonstrates once again how out-of-touch the producers and sponsors have become. I guess they assume they are the experts, so we must like whatever they throw our way.

Wrong. The self-indulgent glamorizing of the gowns and jewelry on the red carpet has nothing to do with the merit of the awards and the creative nature of the performances. The various people involved in hosting related shows have simply worn out the public with Oscar overdose.

Enough of the stupid jokes, idle patter and not-so-subtle attempts to revive careers and TV shows via the Oscar ceremonies. The first flashback of an Oscar winner on the program was of Barbra Streisand. There was a room full of bonafide exceptional movie actors and actresses who had all won Oscars yet they selected Streisand to highlight? What was that all about? No offense Barbra but you are not in the same league as a Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett and many others in attendance.

All four top acting awards went to foreigners. So many foreigners were up for awards that four of the five top actresses were from other countries. A stripper wins the best original screenplay and a couple of Minnesota maniacs win best-adapted screenplay. Diablo Cody was a stripper in Minnesota and the Coen brothers were also from Minnesota so it was a better year for the Golden Gophers than the Hollywood writers. Here is Diablo on strike.

Now the surprise of the evening came from Barbara Waa Waa when her show actually gave us a great look at some of the celebrities up for Oscars or at least associated with the Oscars. I mean Hanna Montana was not nominated but she was giving out an Oscar. Is that surprising since the Hanna Montana show, Miley Cyrus the singer, and her stage show, tour and movie are all owned by Disney? Disney also owns ABC who broadcast the Oscars.

Cut the show back to two hours, get rid of the red carpet nonsense, put Billy Crystal and Ellen DeGeneres as rotating hosts, and let the winners talk and people might start watching again. Of course when you have 28 minutes of commercials every hour even these changes might not be enough.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Boy did John McCain get a rude awakening from his recent editorial endorsement by The New York Times.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain endorsed by influential New York Times
By DAVID GARDNER 25th January 2008

Less than a month after bestowing him with their prized endorsement, on Thursday, February 21, 2008 in an article titled The Long Run the following headline was pasted across The Times.

For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk
Published: February 21, 2008

(For those of you who missed it, it said the following and more. I guess they changed their mind about the Senator or never wanted him to win in the first place.)

WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain's first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.

Stephen Boitano/Getty Images
The lobbyist Vicki Iseman, whose relationship with Mr. McCain troubled some of his aides.

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.


The US Navy today, Thursday, successfully tested the world's most expensive garbage disposal system when a rocket climbed a couple of hundred miles and obliterated a dead spy satellite as it orbited the earth. The dead spy satellite cost about $1 billion when it was launched and hasn't worked since. Classified documents prevent us from determining if it contained parts made in China like everything else being recalled in America.

The ship, rocket and all the other high tech stuff used to shoot down the hapless satellite cost somewhere between $30 - 70 million. Military accountants are allowed a little leeway in budget estimates and the 200% estimate range is well within targets.

Now the fact the dead ship was doing 17,000 mph, was just the size of a school bus, and was hit by a sliver of a rocket doing another 17,000 mph or so makes this well worth the outrageous cost. So for today the earth is still safe, another 1000 pounds of toxic chemicals have been kept in the upper atmosphere to breathe some time in the future, and the spy agencies can now justify another billion dollars for the replacement satellite.

Oh yes, the conspiracy theorists say the Navy didn't shoot it down at all, it was the following hillbilly.


Undercover work by The Coltons Point Times has discovered secret development plans for a major subdivision in Coltons Point with the code name Hillbilly Heaven. Sinister forces behind the plans have not been identified but a mission statement was found along with elaborate models for the development. Fenced in by barb wire, the secret society intends to employ hoards of vicious dogs to guard the complex.

The rambling mission statement, in broken English of course, calls for the overthrow of the Coltons Point government by secretly moving sympathizers of the Hillbilly Heaven cause into the new and rather unique homes to be built on the site. We know the mission statement is authentic because only a fool hillbilly would think there is any Coltons Point government in the first place what with their propensity for conspiracies.

Apparently the purpose of the development is to be able to bring in hillbillys to stack the local vote against the locals, come downers, liberals, conservatives, independents, democrats, republicans and all other forms of degenerates currently dominating the area. Plans will be to secede as soon as enough people have been moved in though it is not clear what they intend to secede from and when.

New settlers must pledge allegiance against the New World Order, pledge to work to overturn the surrender of the Confederate Army to the Union Army at Appomattox Court House, work to ban sushi and other exotic foreign delicacies intended to undermine the will of the American public, and promise to always watch the World Wrestling Federation championship matches.

Secret plans for the new dwellings include the following home edition:

Secret underground hq:

High rise edition:

Model homes will certainly make an impression. Unbeknownst to them, we also discovered the members of the secret society can be identified by the following plaque that must be visible in their private compound, sort of the Hillbilly equivalent to the neighborhood watch signs.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Okay, so maybe we haven’t had daily articles in the CPT. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find anything worth talking about to share? I tune in to morning newscasts and by the time they are done with the traffic, weather and idiotic commercials there is only time for the anchors to give the headlines, we never even hear the stories. The few times a story does slip through it is a rerun of the day before or the day before that. I say the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should revoke the licenses of every TV and radio station claiming to broadcast the news on the grounds intellectual constipation does not constitute a news broadcast.

Of course I then wait for the reader comments to fill my email box as I write so many controversial and provocative articles some are bound to strike a sensitive chord. But no emails show up. Does everyone in Coltons Point suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and no longer have the ability to write? I doubt it. More likely than not they simply are in awe of the stupidity of the world or know better than to make a fool of themselves.

So once again for reader contact I have to find people to interview and the only two I can find this time are Mr. Hillbilly Joe and Mr. Ill Legal Alien. I wanted to achieve a degree of balance in the exchange and what better balance than a Red Neck with an Alien. To be fair I posed the same questions to each.

Do you find the CPT influences your opinions?

Hillbilly: I don’t do drugs.
Alien: Is that a stomach disorder?

No it’s The Coltons Point Times newspaper!
Now do you find the CPT influences your opinions?

Hillbilly: No, but it helps me understand why things are so stupid.
Alien: I like the pictures.

Well where do you get your news?

Hillbilly: There is no such thing as news, just a bunch of twisted truth.
Alien: I get mine from National Enquirer, better pictures.

So what do you get from the CPT?

Hillbilly: An excuse for my migraines.
Alien: Stuff for my citizenship test.

Why are you taking a citizenship test?

Hillbilly: I’m not dude. I'm a proud red blooded red neck American!
Alien: Because I can’t find a place to buy a birth certificate.

Do you pay taxes?

Hillbilly: Not unless I have to.
Alien: Sure, income taxes, social security and sales taxes.

Do you have a driver’s license?

Hillbilly: Of course and I drive two trucks.
Alien: Of course and I drive two trucks too.

Hillbilly: Well mine are registered, taxes paid, and insured.
Alien: So are mine.

Hillbilly: Okay dude, my kids go to public school.
Alien: So do mine.

Hillbilly: Mine speak English.
Alien: So do mine, and you can understand their English.

Hillbilly: You insulting my articulation?
Alien: I’m quite certain you are articulating as best as possible.

Hillbilly: Good because I was about to drop kick you to Texas.
Alien: Then I wouldn’t give you any more of my wife’s enchiladas.

Wait a minute you two. I’m doing the interview so don’t get carried away.
Now let’s go back to the questions.

What is your favorite drink?

Hillbilly: A margarita of course, poured like you don’t own it.
Alien: Bud Light.

And what is your favorite snack?

Hillbilly: Nachos and lots of cheese and salsa.
Alien: French fries.

How about your favorite actress?

Hillbilly: Hmmmm, Selma Hayek
Alien: Jodie Foster.

Well what is your favorite TV Show or movie?

Hillbilly: Hee, hee, hee, the Alamo.
Alien: Beverly Hillbillies, hee, hee.

Your favorite military hero?

Hillbilly: General Robert E. Lee.
Alien: General Antonio Santa Anna.

Okay we are getting nowhere with this interview. We could almost exchange the answers from the two of you and have results more like we should get.

So can either of you vote?

Hillbilly: I refuse to register for such an abominable exercise when the election is already rigged.
Alien: I prefer the candidate who changes their mind the least on immigration before the election.

Do you trust politicians?

Hillbilly: I will double-cross that bridge when I get to it.
Alien: In God we trust in politicians we rust.

Do you have anything in common?

Hillbilly: We lost a war to the Union Army.
Alien: We lost a war to the Union Army.

Amazing guys, united in war and divided in peace. I guess that is a very American thing. Of course America usually isn’t the target but you can’t have everything.

So what do you think about the immigration issue?

Hillbilly: Close the borders to America and stop the millions of Mexicans from coming.
Alien: Close the borders to Mexico and stop the millions of Americans from coming.

What do you think about the language differences?

Hillbilly: If you live here you speak English.
Alien: If only the Americans already here could speak English.

Maybe we should trade the millions of Mexicans in America for the millions of Americans in Mexico? Then seal the border.

Hillbilly: That won’t stop the flow of tequila will it?
Alien: Take back your unsafe, polluting and low paying plants while you are at it.

That’s it, I’m outta here.


Ever since I declared the campaign over and Obama the winner the Clinton camp has been trying to make a big deal out of the words being used by Barack as if english grammer and usage has any place in politics. With our colleges cranking out graduates functionally illiterate when it comes to english grammer and usage does anyone really care?

All you have to do to witness the massacre of the english language is watch the evening news or read your favorite newspaper. Still the Hillary mouthpieces did have a little point. Obama quoted famous people and then quoted his friend the governor of Massachusetts but forgot to credit the sources of all his quotes. Seems there is little room for a bibliography in TV sound bytes.

But to accuse him of plagiarism? Come on Hillary, pull your pants suit up and take it like a man. He managed to turn your words around and you got miffed so you accused him of taking someone else's words and passing them off as his own. We all know who said "I had a dream" and it wasn't Obama. The only thing Obama did wrong was to trust his speech writers too much but that is always a problem for politicians.

No, there are far worse things a politician can do than forget to identify a source of inspirational words. They might just forget to quote the truth. Remember this quote?

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time - never. These allegations are false." January 1998

And then there was this follow up quote.

"I did have a relationship with Ms Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible." August 1998

Perhaps there are times when the public interest can be best served by not mentioning the source of the quotes. This is presidential politics, America's alternative entertainment when the World Wrestling Federation is not slamming bodies on the mat on TV. Remember the words Lewis Carroll wrote in the wonderful Alice in Wonderland.

"But I don't want to go among mad people," said Alice. "Oh you can't help that," said the cat. "We're all mad here."

Friday, February 15, 2008


Startling evidence undercovered by The Coltons Point Times and confirmed through a network of proven psychics and intuitives far more accurate than political pollsters and weathermen has verified that Barack Obama will be elected the 44th President of the United States of America, making history as the first African American president of the nation.

Try as she might, Hillary and Bill just could not stop the Harvard graduate from bringing the string of 20 straight years of Yale control of the presidency to an abrupt and stunning end. In the end the political arm-twisting, special interest dollars, and wheeling and dealing could not stop Barack and neither could the Republican candidate, John McCain, who could not convince the public he was the new candidate for change.

I mean come on, McCain will be 72 this year, 25 years older than Obama. Between the US Navy and US House and Senate McCain will have served the US government 49 years, Obama just 4 years. In other words, McCain has worked for the US government longer than Obama has been alive.

Is there any doubt about who represents the new generation? Besides, isn't it about time the old timers, and there are many old timers in politics, step aside and give the new people a chance? Haven't the old boys done about enough (to) for us? So come next January this will be the new president with his kids.

Now what does turn the election in the end. Well the Democratic Underground seemed to have discovered that Obama is holding back on an endorsement certain to turn the tide of the election when released and eliminate all questions about whether the new kid in town (Obama) has the confidence of those that count.

It seems JC has agreed to come back early to endorse Obama and he is quick to assure the public this return has nothing to do with the End Times. Preacher Huckabee lobbied hard for the JC endorsement but JC happens to like the the sound of a harp more than a bass guitar. Some think Oprah might have arranged the endorsement what with her connections.

So now that we know the outcome of the election next November what does it mean? For one no more obnoxious political ads on TV for the next 8 months. Over $100 million in campaign costs will be saved because no more spending is necessary. It will bring an end to the mudslinging and dirty tricks threatening to make this campaign just like all the others before it. The news media will have to manufacture sensational news about something else besides the election. The rest of the world will breathe a sight of relief that gun slingers no longer control the White House.

As the 44th president Obama will have a lot of mysticism behind him as well. For example take the number 44, 4 + 4 = 8. Obama was born in 1961. 1 + 9 + 6 + 1 = 17, 1 + 7 = 8. He was from Illinois which has 8 letters. John Kennedy was 35th president, also equal to 8. The number 8 is a Fibonacci number.

The Jewish religious rite of brit milah is held on a baby boy's eighth day of life. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that starts on the 25th day of Kislev. Shemini Atzeret (Hebrew: "Eighth Day of Assembly") is a one-day Jewish holiday immediately following the seven-day holiday of Sukkot.

The Noble Eightfold Path in the Buddhist faith has eight steps. The Eight Immortals are Chinese deities. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe that humans are responsible for their actions by the age of 8. The Dharmachakra, a Buddhist symbol, has eight spokes. The Buddha's principal teaching -- the Four Noble Truths -- ramifies as the Eightfold Noble Path. Buddha's birthday falls on the 8th day of the 4th month of the Chinese calendar.

In Christianity it is allegoric to: what is beyond time (because the number 7 refers to the days of the week which repeat themselves), and is the number of Beatitudes. In Islam it is the number of Angels carrying The Holy Throne of Allah in heavens. In Neopaganism there are eight Sabbats, festivals, seasons, or spokes in the Wheel of the Year. In Hinduism its the number of wealth and abundance. The Goddess Lakshmi has eightfold forms. There are eight nidhis - seats of wealth.

And now for a word from our special interest sponsor...

Thursday, February 14, 2008


It is 1876 and the United States is 100 years old. Who cares? Well a lot of interesting things happened that year. Mark Twain released his novel Tom Sawyer. It was the first year Major League Baseball existed. Alexander Graham Bell got his patent and made the first phone call.

It was also the year all indigenous peoples in the US were ordered to reservations. This was not a popular policy among the original Americans. Thus it was also the year Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his Army was wiped out in the Battle of Little Bighorn by the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Custer before and after the battle can be seen in the following pictures.

Yet there was another event that year whose reverberations are still being felt today. It was the year the stuffy old Westminister Kennel Club decided to hold the first national championship for dogs and select the best pure bred dog in America.

For the next 132 years the canine aristrocrats dominated the Westminister Championship just as their blue blood owners expected. Then along came 2008, the year of the oddballs and year of the breakthroughs like Obama for President, Clinton for President, even McCain for President, none who ever had a chance in the past.

Keeping with the national mood for change, lo and behold the blueblood dominance of the dog world came to an end as well with the stunning, astonishing, and heart warming selection of Uno, a 2 year old Beagle, as the Best in the Show, the new grand champion of Westminister.

Now don't take this lightly. In 132 years this working class breed of dog never won. This is like a rank and file union member being named CEO of GM. So along with Snoopy we celebrate this win and pay honor to Uno, the Grand Champion of the Westminister Dog Show for 2008.