Originally Posted 12/29/08
Dick Cheney’s Legacy
It was during a recent interview with Chris
Wallace of Fox News that Vice-President Richard “Dick” Cheney
showed some real moxie under the barrage of Wallace’s
no-nonsense, fair and balanced questioning.
Did Cheney feel any remorse over the way the
Bush Administration had shaped their domestic and foreign policy?
”Absolutely not”, stated the unapologetic Cheney.
“Quite Frankly, I feel very good about a lot of the
things we’ve done in this administration…I think that they
will be viewed in a favorable light when it’s time to write the
history of this era.”
This is coming from an individual who when
asked by the future President, George W. Bush to search for a
qualified candidate to serve as his Vice-President, picked himself
as there were no others capable of manipulating Bush the way
Cheney planned to.
As syndicated columnist Rick Howowitz
recently opined in an op-ed piece in the newspaper,
“Cheney’s judgment as Vice-President has been mostly
terrible, his influence pernicious, his advice consistently
counterproductive, even dangerous…The damage Cheney has done to
America’s security interests in the world has yet to be fully
calculated. Not that
he’ll ever admit to it.”
The Raptor could not have said it any better.
For those of you that voted for George W. Bush for
President, The Raptor has no sense of pity or disappointment.
During those elections held in 2000 and 2004 respectively,
you were voting for the President and the Vice-President was
probably of no consequence in your decision.
Who could have imagined that an individual like Cheney
would end up being so cavalier as to assume that he possessed a
mandate to alter Bush’s message of compassionate conservatism
into a policy of “I don’t care”.
This attitude more than likely manifested
itself subsequent to the heinous attacks of September 11th,
may have performed a yeoman’s task in the aftermath of those
attacks. He gathered
the Bush Administrations advisors in the bunker below the White
House immediately after the planes crashed into the World Trade
Center and Pentagon and made critical decisions which in all
probability saved lives. This
all done while The President was reading stories to school kids
and flying around the Midwestern United States in an effort to
avoid a possible attempt on his life.
The Raptor isn’t sure what gave Cheney the
stones to ultimately be the man he turned out to be.
Horowitz feels that it was some resentment of the officials
of government who stifled President Gerald Ford’s capabilities.
This ultimately led directly to President Jimmy Carter’s
election in 1980. If
Cheney’s grudges (consider his condescending “Go Fuck
Yourself” to Senator Lehey’s questions in the cloak room a
couple of years ago) have led the United States to this point in
history…then it will be good of Cheney to head to his Wyoming
ranch next month to catch up on his quail hunting and the crafting
of his memoirs…that will be another book which The Raptor
won’t read…God Speed…Dick Cheney
Originally Posted 12/2/08
The Raptor has been following the College
Football season very closely this year for a couple of
reasons. First, consider The Raptor's alma matter, Penn
State University. Let face it, The Lions let The Raptor
down...again! After wading through the early part of their
schedule they met up with a very disciplined Iowa team and lost a
heartbreaker by a single solitary point.
Penn State could have been a contender but it
was not to be Cherrie. After besting Michigan State and
Indiana the Lions stand at 11 wins and 1 loss and have been
relegated to the Rose Bowl where they will make their first
appearance there after a lengthy absence. All things
considered, The Lions will more than likely match up with USC and
the game will be interesting. Penn State is led legendary
coach Joe Paterno and a number of offensive threats including
Darryl Clark at Quarterback, Evan Royster at Tailback and the trio
of Norwood, Butler and Williams in the receiving corps. The
defense is spearheaded by defensive end Aaron Maybin, who is a
finalist for the Bednarik award, presented to the best defensive
player in college football. A local boy, Drew Astorino has
seen some action in the secondary along with Senior Anthony
Scaranno. As usual, PSU's linebackers are rock solid with
Navarro Bowman seeing a lot of playing time. Sean Lee who is
on injured reserve will return for a final year of glory as middle
linebacker next season to continue the "Linebacker U"
A second reason to follow College Football is
to live vicariously through my friends who love Notre Dame
Football as much as I love Penn State Football. All I can
say is...God Speed, Charlie Weis.
A third reason to follow College Football is
to enjoy the comedy that is the BCS or Bowl Championship. I
have looked at the BCS data as condensed into a couple of columns'
in the newspaper.
What I see is a logical and totally contrived
process that is designed to drive creeps like Mike Lupica and Jim
Rome wild. These guys could never play football as they are
on the scrawny side so they opine week in and week out about
Alabama, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma. I firmly believed that
Texas would hold it's position, even if The Sooners beat up on
Oklahoma State. Saturday's game between the Sooners and the
Cowboys didn't disappoint and held the interest of The Raptor
until game's end.
Who knows what may transpire this
weekend. Can Florida beat Alabama? Will Oklahoma survive
against Missouri? Is USC going to win in it's annual rivalry match
with UCLA? Only time will tell.
In closing here are some thoughts on the
BCS. Do the computer pollsters talk to each other? Do
the Bowl Regents talk to the pollsters? Do the coaches place
their vote or is it done by a subordinate or perhaps even the
Athletic Director? How can Jeff Sagarin determine that Oklahoma
State and Georgia Tech are statistically more compelling than Ohio
State? Is there any way to police these questions?
Originally Posted 10/5/08
Our national nightmare known as the
Presidential Election is in full gear as The Raptor types
this. So far, our nation and the world have been subjected
to two nauseating debates and a plethora of negative TV spots
which shed a harsh light on the other guy.
With all this awfulness, The Raptor wonders
why any one would want to be President.
At this juncture it would be useless for an
opinion to be rendered on the election since it's too early to
tell. So instead, The Raptor will delve into two subjects
which have manifested at the golf course.
The first is a short diatribe on slow
play. Today was a perfect example of the worst thing that
can occur at the golf course. First, the play was suspended
in the morning due to frost delay. So The Raptor's tee off time
migrated about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, an X-Factor Group
got out ahead of The Raptor and crawled around the course in about
4 hours and 45 minutes...this was much too slow and totally pissed
off The Raptor...four hours 20 minutes is about a long as it
The next subject for consideration is what
The Raptor calls the chatty Cathy syndrome. I am not sure
how it happens but it happens during every round. The Raptor
takes pride in attempting to carry myself around the golf course
in a professional and workmanlike manner.
So to promote fast play, I attempt to keep
chatter to a minimum and that is especially true on the tee.
I try to give my undivided attention to each player and I think
it's safe to assume that I am one of the few and so my playing
partners have been giving me a lot of ribbing lately because I
continually complain about the chatter.
So, for those of you reading this who have received
a lashing from The Raptor over chatter, I am apologetic about
it. It's a good thing that the season is drawing to a close
since I have probably infuriated a lot of my playing partners
Originally Posted 6/15/08
As The Raptor watches way too much TV, he
is continually bombarded by the never ending stream of commercials
that primarily promote Erectile Dysfunction. What is this
world coming too? Here we are fretting about $4.00 per
gallon gasoline and all sorts of other problems too numerous to
note here. Unfortunately it's always about Cialis and
Viagara. I certainly feel sorry for the poor bastard who has
to pop a pill to achieve a boner. That has to be
In addition to the Viagara commercials I
also note the daily dose of Flomax advertisements. Apparently,
Flomax helps a man avoid continually going to the bathroom.
The Raptor is amused by the trailer, where the "actor"
recites a stream do and don'ts. Especially if the erection
lasts more than four hours...ouch!
In the early morning hours the intrepid TV
viewer can pick up information from the "Sex Talk" 30
minute commercial. In this extremely popular video, the
viewer is introduced to a smarmy and manly stud who is joined by a
ugly bug babe with extremely large breasts who interview men and
women about a pill that makes a man's "member" larger.
I believe the big dick pill is either
"Enzyte" or Excite. It probably can be helpful if
all a man does is hang out in the bedroom. But who has the
time. And by the way, how come all the women either in the
studio or being interviewed out on the street are super hot with
their tits sticking out?
Obviously these people have never been to
In an unrelated manner, The Raptor
mentioned earlier that the cost of gasoline has now reached $4.00
per gallon. Recently, while refueling my gas guzzling 1995
Impala SS, I was thinking about a press conference that President
Bush held about 2 months ago.
The President was asked a question which
was obviously not capable of being answered. The question
was a painful example of what an aloof jackass President Bush has
The journalist asked The President to
respond to analysts concerns that the price of a gallon of gas
could reach $4.00 per gallon by the summer months. The
President , in his best look of dimwittedness said something
like..."$4.00 per gallon...I had not heard that".
I have never met President Bush. I
firmly believe that he is not dumb. After all, he is an MBA
from Harvard. However, he has continually had to lie to the
American people because of the ridiculous policies that his
advisors have set in place. Just look back at the vast
quantities of individuals who have fallen off The President's
Merry Go Round.
Ashcroft, Powell, Gonzolez, Rumsfeld, Card,
Fleischer, McClleland and Snow plus others whom I can't remember.
The bottom line is that regardless of who has the office, The
President will always lie to the American people...it's the only
way that policy can be promoted.
If the President would have responded in
any other way to that reporter, he would have signaled some sort
of negative concept which would have been pounced on and made into
a major stumble.
No...President Bush isn't dumb...he is just
arrogant....However, soon he will be a memory...but only after he
writes his book.
Originally Posted 5/19/08
The evening news is always a big part of
The Raptor's routine and lately the news has been all bad...all
It's been awhile since this site has been
updated and there is a reason for it. Time for creativity
has been severely challenged on several fronts. First we are
in the midst of "tax season" which always occupies The
Raptor's time between February and May. Second my regular
day job has been keeping busy as well.
A side note on that. The Raptor works
at a local company the processes among other products, payroll
services. The firm, called ECCA has been in business for
over 30 years and is owned by the Starr Family. Unfortunately,
the principal owner, Hank Starr, passed away last week and this
has really altered the day to day, as the staff attempts to come
to grips with the sadness of Hank's passing.
In addition, two of the firm's longtime
employees, Don and Grace, retired in March, which has left the
remainder working just a little harder. Don was the manager
of the Tax Division while Grace was Hank's Administrative Assistant.
In Don's absence, The Raptor has been shouldering the
responsibilities of the Tax Department. It is a busy job and
requires a good deal of hands on attention.
Three weeks ago, when Don retired, a plan
was put in place that would have advanced a long time employee's
tenure to become The Raptor's Assistant. Unfortunately, that
individual was uncomfortable in the transition and suddenly
resigned rather than take on the responsibility. Since then,
The Raptor has been handling the aspects of the job and with hope
a new protégé will be found.
Today is significant for several
reason. Of particular importance is the Pennsylvania Primary
Election. The candidates spent almost two months campaigning
in our state and at this hour, the polls are about to close.
This will initiate several more hours of analysis and commentary
as the media attempts to spin this top.
The Raptor placed a vote for a fledgling
candidate by the name of Obama. I could not in good
conscience vote for another term for the Clinton's, even though I
have always liked Bill, principally because he was a womanizing
It should be noted that golf season has
begun in earnest. The Raptor has played six rounds at my
home club and I am looking forward to a few more through this
weekend. Most of my scores have been around 90 played from
the Blue Tees. However, on Sunday, The Raptor scored a 84
(from the White tees).
The Raptor is at present working on another
list. This time around it's my extensive book library.
Hope to have it posted soon.
Originally Posted 3/7/08
The evening news is always a big part of
The Raptor's routine and lately the news has been all bad...all
In the upcoming election we have been given
some tough choices. On one hand the Republicans have resurrected
Senator McCain and on the other hand The Democratic Party has
developed a strategy of allowing the super delegates to decide who
is going to be their standard bearer.
The super delegates have been talked about
for weeks and seem poised to break the proverbial tie that is
looming between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. It
appears that regardless of the outcome of all of these primaries
and caucus events, the super's will more than likely side with
Several of my pals have expressed real
doubts about both Clinton and Obama's ability to conduct a war on
terror. This is a real issue that is without a doubt one of
the key issues in the campaign. Another issue that is always
on the minds of the electorate is the economy. Well...go
figure...it's always about the economy.
Jobs drying up, homes in foreclosure, stock
values plummeting, gas prices rising and no end in site.
Something is going to burst here and the result will be
chaos. The Raptor is indeed displeased.
What is up with this sudden increase in
campus violence? I just discovered that a North Carolina
co-ed was murdered the other day. That is really troubling
news. As a parent I am constantly at wits end about this
kind of stuff.
The weather has been supra crappy
lately. Lots of fierce conditions, especially ice storms and
a big snow dump this weekend. I am grateful to have
purchased a new snow blower which has been used a handful of times
but can be counted on to keep the driveway clean.
The Raptor would like to comment on an
issue that has been around over the past month and that is this
continual hot potato which is The Erie Golf Club. Our
elected officials have not disappointed on this one and have
screwed it up from pillar to post. It is an embarrassment.
Originally Posted 2/15/08
Here is some interesting copy regarding
Hillary Clinton that was forwarded to me recently...it makes for
Hillary hopes you didn't know or have forgotten.
Hillary Clinton has been telling America that she is the most
candidate for president based on her "record," which she
says includes her
eight years in the White House as First Lady - or
"co-president" - and her
seven years in the Senate. Here is a reminder of what that record
As First Lady, Hillary assumed authority over Health Care Reform,
process that cost the taxpayers over $13 million. She told both
Bradley and Pat Moynahan, key votes needed to pass her
she would "demonize "anyone who opposed it. But it was
couldn't even get it to a vote in a Congress controlled by her own
(And in the next election, her party lost control of both the
- Hillary assumed authority over selecting a female Attorney
General. Her first two recommendations (Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood)
were forced to withdraw their names from consideration, and then
Janet Reno. Janet Reno has since been described by Bill himself as
- Hillary recommended Lani Guanier for head of the Civil Rights
Commission. When Guanier's radical views became known, her name
had to be
- Hillary recommended her former law partners, Web Hubbell, Vince
Foster, and William Kennedy for positions in the Justice
House staff, and the Treasury, respectively.
Hubbell was later imprisoned, Foster committed suicide, and
was forced to resign.
- Hillary also recommended a close friend of the Clintons, Craig
Livingstone, for the position of director of White House security.
Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of up to 900
of Clinton enemies (Filegate) and the widespread use of drugs by
House staff, both Hillary and her husband denied knowing him. (FBI
Dennis Sculimbrene Confirmed in a Senate Judiciary Committee in
the drug use and Hillary's involvement in hiring Livingstone.
After that, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office, after
seven presidents for over thirty years.)
- In order to open "slots" in the White House for her
friends the Harry
Thomasons (to whom millions of dollars in travel contracts could
awarded), Hillary had the entire staff of the White House Travel
fired; they were reported to the FBI for "gross
mismanagement" and their
reputations ruined. After a thirty-month investigation, only one,
Dale, was charged with a crime - mixing personal money with White
funds when he cashed checks.
The jury acquitted him in less than two hours.
- Another of Hillary's assumed duties was directing the
eruption squad" and scandal defense:
---- She urged her husband not to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit.
---- She refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to
the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor. After $80
dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr's investigation led to
Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his
---- Then they had to settle with Paula Jones after all.
---- And Bill lost his law license for lying to the grand jury.
---- And Bill was impeached by the House.
---- And Hillary almost got herself indicted for perjury and
obstruction of justice (she avoided it mostly because she
"I do not recall," "I have no recollection,"
and "I don't know" 56
times under oath).
- Hillary accepted the traditional First Lady's role of decorator
the White House at Christmas, but in a unique Hillary way. In
example, The First Lady's Tree in the Blue Room (the focal point
year) was Decorated with drug paraphernalia, sex toys, and
ornaments, all personally approved by Hillary as the invited
the >> theme, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
- Hillary wrote, "It Takes a Village," demonstrating her
-Hillary also had Bill pardon her brother's clients, for a small
fee, to get financial support.
- Then Hillary left the White House, but later had to return
$200,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork she had
- In the campaign for the Senate, Hillary played the "woman
portraying her opponent (Lazio) as a bully picking on her.
- Hillary's husband further protected her by asking the National
Archives to withhold from the public until 2012 many records of
in the White House, including much of Hillary's correspondence and
calendars. (There are ongoing lawsuits to force the release of
- As the junior Senator from New York, Hillary has passed no major
legislation. She has deferred to the senior Senator (Schumer) to
the needs of New Yorkers, even on the hot issue of medical
workers involved in the cleanup of Ground Zero after 9/11.
- Hillary's one notable vote, supporting the plan to invade Iraq,
she has since disavowed.
a resume, isn't it? Sounds more like an organized crime
family...Make sure America remembers. Pass this on.
Originally Posted 2/8/08
open letter to Brian McGrath - Millcreek Township Supervisor
I hope all is well with you and your family.
As a former official of government, I can recognize that a
hot button issue like Erie Golf Club can eat up a lot of time
which could be better spent.
No doubt many knowledgeable persons have
weighed in on this sticky subject and I am concerned that my
opinions will be looked upon as unnecessary and unwanted.
However...with that being said, here goes.
The first point I would like to make is my
belief that it is a mistake to dismantle the 11th at Erie to make
for a driving range. It
should be noted that the 11th is a great hole and to dismantle it
would be a shame.
For all the years that Erie has been a part
of the community it finally morphed into it's current state which
places usable land at a premium in favor of the golf course.
I ask this question...is it within the realm
of possibility that if a range is absolutely needed why can't the
undeveloped land to the east of the maintenance shed be used?
Even if the land owner is unwilling to budge there must be
a way towards compromise.
In addition, it is common knowledge that
Whispering Woods is building a driving range.
I am a member of WW and I really like the place.
But I know that there is going to be some golfers that play
there now that will want to play at Erie next year because they
Therefore, with my extensive lack of
understanding of issues like turf care, business procedures,
marketing and politics I offer this alternative plan.
First, if the runway project becomes reality
it will reduce the footprint of the existing nine hole course. A plan is being floated to make the course 6 holes.
However, I am not aware of how the present chipping area
and driving range will be affected. A six hole course is problematic for USGA issues such as
handicapping. If it
is necessary to carve up the golf course why not keep the driving
range (with possible expansion) and chipping course and design a
three hole course with a championship caliber par 3, 4 and 5.
In addition, Erie Golf Club needs to be open
ASAP. This in order
to generate goodwill and perhaps bring back the league play that
was disrupted by it's closing. In addition there is sports team usage
and a large senior citizen market looking for a deal.
I firmly believe that Erie Golf Club can
exist without a driving range.
Plus I feel that Steve Crane's group can make the place
In addition, you may be able to capitalize on
the location and it's clubhouse to generate revenue in the winter
months from activities like sledding and tubing as well as cross
Brian...keep on trucking
Originally Posted 1/27/08
Golf Club is in the news again. The last time we checked,
The City, Millcreek, The County and The Airport Authority were
involved in a massive convoluted intense deal that would result in
a number of things happening.
the Airport runway extension was going to move forward towards
reality. This 25 Million Dollar project is thought to be
vital to the future of Erie's economy. The County was
planning to provide funding to The City so that The City could
retire the debt that was occurred to remodel Erie Golf Club.
return, The City was going to deed Erie Golf Club to Millcreek.
Millcreek would remodel the existing nine hole course and driving
range near the airport so that the runway could be extended
In doing so, Millcreek would loose enough real estate that would
require the elimination of three holes.
would operate the new 6 hole/Practice course and the venerable
Erie Golf Club. Erie GC would undergo some modification to
convert one hole (#11) to a par three which would allow for
another driving range. The driving range has been deemed
absolutely necessary for this project to be accomplished.
It has come to pass that Millcreek Supervisor, Brian McGrath
had stated early on that additional funds of $185,000.00 would be necessary
to make the modifications. Millcreek had no interest in
funding any portion of this deal so McGrath felt that one of the
other parties would have to amn-up.
It now appears that even though this $185,000.00 figure had
been discussed openly in December, no other governmental agency is
willing to give in so it is probable that Millcreek will not move
forward with their plan. How difficult could this be?
The Raptor is still interested in what happens at Erie. The
course was an integral part of the transition which had me land at
There is one aspect of this whole issue that has me
wondering. The driving range. For starters, the plan
calls for dismantling Erie GC's newest best hole turning it from a
manly 430 yard par four to a dinky par 3. There has to be a
better way to work a range into the mix.
How about all that unused real estate where the old driving
range was. Or better yet, move a little east of the maintenance
area and build a range in the undeveloped woods.
The Raptor firmly believes that a moderately priced green fee
structure could be a win - win situation for the community.
In addition, Erie could be an ideal facility for league play and
team play. - Even though it is hilly, it is probably
more suitable for walking than Whispering Woods.
Therefore, the parties should get back to the table a hash out
Originally Posted 1/8/08
many of you know, George W.
Bush is our current President and due to one of the Amendments to
the Constitution, he has to step down next year. This is a
personal disappointment for the Raptor since GW
has met every expectation. Not only has he lowered my tax,
but he has also made me proud to be an American. I now feel
I can hold my head high when traveling, especially to destination
If any of you are planning to vote in the upcoming Pennsylvania
Primary which is to be held in April on the 22nd,
you will be faced with the following circumstances.
On the Republican Ballot, the choices include: Huckabee,
and Thompson. For all intent and purpose, Ron Paul is oooooouuuuuuuttttttt!.
scares the !@#$ out of me. In this
day and age, it is not reasonable to give a man who will have to
pray first, the keys to our nation's nuclear arsenal. It's
that simple. You can argue all you want about faith, hope
and forgiveness but it won't count when it comes time to launch.
In addition, what's to stop the Huckster from electing to launch
because "God Told Me To".
is probably related to me somehow. Under normal
circumstances when an Italian is in the race, The Raptor would
vote for that individual...sight unseen. That's what omerta
is all about. However, Rudy has not impressed me.
However, I will give him props for being into the babes...that's a
plus, also he talks tough (like a good cappo).
The Raptor likes that. So I am holding Rudy as my Ace in The
Hole (for now).
is too old. But he is strong on foreign policy...what ever
that means. Romney
was an early fav
of The Raptor, especially for his perfectly styled hair, but the
more I see him the less I like him...I do not believe that
face...no way, no how. I like Fred Thompson's...wife...she is hot,
but he is not.
So summing up the Republican ticket, The Raptor is siding with
Rudy and McCain
On the Democratic side the choices are: Clinton, Edwards, Obama
and Richardson. No matter how hard I try, I can not take
Bill Richardson seriously. I am guessing he is angling for a
cabinet position. Or perhaps the VP slot. I have
supported John Edwards for two reasons...and if you can't figure
out what they are then you just don't know The Raptor.
However, this mantra that Edwards is spouting about corporate
insiders just doesn't sit. In today's
dog eat dog world, corporations are it. Long live GE!...come
on get that !@# damn share price up to $45.00 already!
As far as Hillary Clinton and Barak
go all I can say is: he's new, fresh and clean, she's old wrinkled
So for the Dems
The Raptor is siding with Edwards and Obama.
However if either Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton
show up at any rally...Obama is out. Please bring back Oprah
though. (The Raptor loves that big hair look she is sporting).
In addition, it would be helpful if Halle
would show up once in awhile.
Now for the match ups:
Rudy versus Hillary - Rudy
Rudy versus Barak
Rudy versus Edwards - Edwards
versus Hillary - McCain
Versus Edwards - Edwards
There you have it