The Raptor  

Your Bridge To The Greatest Generation

Daily Thought Page - 2008 Created 01/02/08 Modified 1/12/09



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, 2001.    Cheney 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" tradition.

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 should get.

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 frustrating.

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 Erie

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 become.

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'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 the time.

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 stoner.

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 the time.

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 Senator Clinton.  

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'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 makes for compelling reading

Subject: Hillary hopes you didn't know or have forgotten.

Hillary Clinton has been telling America that she is the most qualified
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, a
process that cost the taxpayers over $13 million. She told both Bill
Bradley and Pat Moynahan, key votes needed to pass her legislation, that
she would "demonize "anyone who opposed it. But it was opposed; she
couldn't even get it to a vote in a Congress controlled by her own party.

(And in the next election, her party lost control of both the House and

- 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 she chose
Janet Reno. Janet Reno has since been described by Bill himself as "my
worst mistake."

- 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 Department, White
House staff, and the Treasury, respectively. 
Hubbell was later imprisoned, Foster committed suicide, and Kennedy
was forced to resign.

- Hillary also recommended a close friend of the Clintons, Craig
Livingstone, for the position of director of White House security. When
Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of up to 900 FBI files
of Clinton enemies (Filegate) and the widespread use of drugs by White
House staff, both Hillary and her husband denied knowing him. (FBI agent
Dennis Sculimbrene Confirmed in a Senate Judiciary Committee in 1996 both
the drug use and Hillary's involvement in hiring Livingstone.
After that, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office, after serving
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 be
awarded), Hillary had the entire staff of the White House Travel Office
fired; they were reported to the FBI for "gross mismanagement" and their
reputations ruined. After a thirty-month investigation, only one, Billy
Dale, was charged with a crime - mixing personal money with White House
funds when he cashed checks.  The jury acquitted him in less than two hours.

- Another of Hillary's assumed duties was directing the "bimbo
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 million
dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr's investigation led to Monica
Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs.
---- 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 repeated,
"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 of
the White House at Christmas, but in a unique Hillary way. In 1994, for
example, The First Lady's Tree in the Blue Room (the focal point each
year) was Decorated with drug paraphernalia, sex toys, and pornographic
ornaments, all personally approved by Hillary as the invited artists' depictions

of the >> theme, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

- Hillary wrote, "It Takes a Village," demonstrating her Socialist

-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 stolen.
- In the campaign for the Senate, Hillary played the "woman card" by
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 their time
in the White House, including much of Hillary's correspondence and her
calendars. (There are ongoing lawsuits to force the release of those

- As the junior Senator from New York, Hillary has passed no major
legislation. She has deferred to the senior Senator (Schumer) to tend to
the needs of New Yorkers, even on the hot issue of medical problems of
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.

Quite a resume, isn't it? Sounds more like an organized crime
family...Make sure America remembers. Pass this on.


Originally Posted 2/8/08

An open letter to Brian McGrath - Millcreek Township Supervisor

Hi Brian,

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 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 are cheap.

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 work.

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 country ski.

Brian...keep on trucking

Originally Posted 1/27/08

Erie 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.

First, 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.

In 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.

Millcreek 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 Whispering Woods.

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 a deal

Originally Posted 1/8/08

As 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 resorts in Islamabad , Baghdad , Tehran , Tora Bora and Mecca .

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, Julianni, McCain, Romney and Thompson.  For all intent and purpose, Ron Paul is oooooouuuuuuuttttttt!.  Huchabee 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".

Rudolph Julianni 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).

McCain 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 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 greed and Washington 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 Obama go all I can say is: he's new, fresh and clean, she's old wrinkled and dirty.

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 Berry and Beyonce would show up once in awhile.

Now for the match ups:

Rudy versus Hillary - Rudy
Rudy versus Barak - Rudy
Rudy versus Edwards - Edwards
McCain versus Hillary - McCain
McCain versus Barak - Barak
McCain Versus Edwards - Edwards

There you have it




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