Monday, February 25, 2008

Cleveland Area Prager Group Meeting # 3

Date: February 24, 2008
Location: Panera Bread, Mayfield, Heights.
Length of Meeting: 1:45Attendance: 5
Pragerites: Dianne Mueller, Melissa McCutcheon, Connie Fleming, Maryann Tegowski and Sonino Scardelletti.

The coffee and food were good. The place was buzzing. The owner's making a killing. Many topics were discussed and everyone contributed to the conversation. We talked about the Republican/Democrat Presidential candidates. John McCain most likely will be squaring off against Barack Obama. McCain would, no doubt, demolish Obama in a debate.

But Melissa stated that he must put Barack "on the spot," forcing the Senator from Illinois to make his positions clear on issues like Health Care, the War in Iraq, and Same-Sex Marriage. It was stated that if Obama became President, then another attack on our country would happen in the not so distant future.

Dianne mentioned an interview she heard concerning a politician who wrote a book about people having to "whisper" their views on certain issues. According to Maryann and Connie, that's true, but only if you're on the Right. Left-wingers can trumpet their views and never feel the heat.

The housing foreclosure problem came up. Having not bought a house in over 20 years, I was stunned to learn from the group that lending institutions simply threw out many of the strict "borrowing guidelines" I had to meet in the 80s, thus allowing people to buy homes they really weren't able to afford. A most interesting discussion to be sure.

We all learned a little something from one another. And, since this location is near a freeway, the next "east side" get-together will be at Panera Bread, as well.

Date & time will be provided later. The next meeting will be at Kerry's Place in Westlake on March 9, 2:00.

Look for the "Prager Plaque" located on a table. Then take a seat and start talking about current issues.

God Bless
Sonino "Sonny" John Paul Scardelletti - A Christian

John McCain's townhall meeting in Rocky River today

John McCain's "Straight Talk Express" came to the Civic Center in Rocky River this morning and the man himself delivered one of his "straight talks" to a group of supporters and independents alike. I was lucky enough to get a 4th row seat.

As I've told some of you already, I was not originally a McCain supporter but since Mitt Romney dropped out of the race, I am now officially on record as a McCainiac.

I noticed today during both his opening remarks and the question-and-answer period afterward that there's something quite endearing about a guy who's not afraid to tell you things you might not want to hear.

McCain talked about the "transcendent" threat of our time (radical Muslim extremists), keeping the tax cuts, treating our war veterans to a more efficient way to get their health conditions treated, fuel concerns - from having to get our oil from country's unfriendly to the U.S. - to the need for nuclear energy development. (I think I was the only one in the room who clapped when he brought up the advantages of nuclear energy.)

During his opening remarks, and right through the town hall meeting questions and on to the press conference afterward, McCain answered definitively and completely every question he was asked.

And I've never seen someone so relaxed and confident that on two or three occasions McCain actually revisited a question that someone in the audience brought up. Before he moved on to the next questioner he went back to answer it more fully before he went. Granted, he won't have that latitude during a televised debate, with it's time constraints, but today I was impressed with how McCain handled questions that he felt needed fleshing out.

McCain was a man comfortable in his own skin, and exuded the calm of someone who's got not only experience in the U.S. political arena but has an appreciation of our position in the rest of world.

The crowd enjoyed humorous quips that he borrowed (and attributed) to past politicians; any stand-up comic would be jealous of the way McCain "delivered," albeit to a mostly friendly crowd. I could be wrong but I don't think an unfriendly crowd would have seen a different candidate, though.

I was a little worried that John McCain lacked that attractive "oratory" gene, the one that's prominent in the current Democratic front-runner, Senator Barack Obama, but I'm here to tell you that McCain doesn't need it. Obama may need it, but John McCain's appeal for me was really more substantial and he left me feeling more comfortable, uplifted, and yes, even more confident that he's got all the right stuff to give the Dems a run for their money on the road to the White House.

McCain assured the crowd that he'll be back again, and again, and again, because Ohio is critical to anyone winning the U.S. presidency. So you'll all get another chance to hear the Straight Talker before election day in November.

We know that the stakes are too high - maybe the highest in my lifetime - to relax and coast through this 2008 presidential campaign season, letting others take the lead in getting the message out and just hoping that our guy will win.

I'm fine-tuning my voice and, as Melissa said yesterday in our Prager group meeting, just have to keep on speaking. Hopefully I'll get a little more articulate with practice.

Panera Bread hosts Prager group members!

Panera Bread at the Golden Gate Plaza in Mayfield Heights turned out to be a great place to have our third Dennis Prager Discussion Group meeting.

MaryAnn, Melissa, Sonny, Carol and Dianne met for nearly two hours yesterday afternoon. The political climate, the candidates and the issues were all fair game.

The time flew by and we're looking forward to the March 9 meeting and hearing more insights and opinions from more of you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Blog documenting the quasi-religious Obama phenomenon

I must confess I haven't spent as much time over here as I'd like, being quite busy with my own blog. But having just heard Dennis quip about how all the Obama talk about changing the country "Scares the living daylights out of me" and having had the same reaction myself, I think that Prager listeners would appreciate this blog, "Is Barack Obama the Messiah?"

The title question is asked in jest on the site which is an ongoing documentation of over-the-top religious imagery and references to Barack Obama and his presidential campaign in news, commentary, art and popular culture. From the strange feeling in Chris Matthews leg to Michelle Obama's "broken souls" you'll find it here, along with all manner of collectivist drivel from the usual suspects, Oprah, Gary Hart, Huffington Post, Time, etc.

My favorite portion is on the right side-bar and is entitled "Heretics & Unbelievers". It features sane analysis which demythologizes what amounts to mob hysteria, deftly revealing it as such. There is some truly good comedy writing here; all good horror movies contain large doses of humor -- let's just hope this one doesn't end with this empty suit sitting in the Oval Office. That will be truly horrific for this nation and not funny in the least bit.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Daniel Pipes lecture

Tuesday night I attended the Dr. Daniel Pipes lecture at Cleveland State University. Prior to entering the auditorium I observed a number of security officers and everyone had to pass through a metal detector. I thought that was rather odd but, as you'll read, security of that level was surely needed. About 100 people attended the 40 minute talk, which was followed by a lively Q & A session.

Dr. Pipes, although a supporter of the President, wasn't pleased with the way the Administration has handled the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. He felt, and I agree, that we should be tougher on the enemy. But when he pointed out how dysfunctional Arab nations are compared to America and Israel, that's when some in the audience got hot under the collar and just had to have their voices heard during the 1/2 hour Q & A session.

Most of these people felt they had to make a speech prior to asking their question. One Islamic man started verbally attacking Dr. Pipe for things he's written. However, Dr. Pipes, who took no guff from anyone, boldly told the man that he didn't write any of the things mentioned. A lady at the microphone called him a "liar," but he didn't let her get away with that either. He vigorously defended himself and I was happy to see him do so. He also made it a point to flat-out tell someone when they were dead wrong.

A man, who said he was a soldier who fought in Iraq, claimed that the war was "all about oil." However, his demeanor made me doubt that he actually was one of our fighting men. I've heard many soldiers speak, but this man reminded me more of an angry thug as opposed to a disciplined American serviceman.Dr. Pipes did address the oil question. He told the man, in no uncertain terms and with common sense and clarity, that the war is not being fought for oil, and for him to think such a thing is foolishness. At one point, while Dr. Pipes was answering a question, the leftists in the audience grumbling allowed, to which Dr. Pipes responded, "Are the children finished? Can I go on?" Like I said, he didn't take any abuse from anyone.

I also found it interesting that most of those asking questions failed to address the speaker as "Dr. Pipes." But, knowing how the Left operates, that's really to be expected.

When the Q & A session finally ended I walked up to the stage and thanked Dr. Pipes for his terrific talk. And I now realize how important the security measures were because, if not for them, I can only imagine how much more arrogant and rude those who disagreed with the speaker may have acted. I also believe that Q & A sessions should consist of those in the audience writing their questions down on slips of paper, then having them relayed to the speaker. This would cut out the insults, badgering, and speechmaking that many on the Left partake in when a conservative is at the podium. I must applaud CSU for allowing Dr. Pipes to speak. Many colleges don't want people with his views talking on campus. Universities are simply afraid to criticize radical Islamic terrorism.

Great going Cleveland State University!

So thanks for informing me about this most interesting lecture. I would not have known about it without your considerate letter.

God Bless Sonino John Paul
Scardelletti - A Christian

(PS - Note from Dianne... Sonino, do you remember that grey-haired woman who also went to the stage to shake Dr. Pipes hand and thank him for coming? That was me. I was sitting right in front of the "...Liar, liar!" woman and had to warn her a couple of times to shut up or else. I, too, was very grateful for the opportunity. Thanks, Sonino, for sharing your experience.)