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The Hughes Report
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Red State Voter Bumper Sticker
Topic: Politics
Remember those famous Red/Blue state maps that revealed the voting distribution in the last two elections?  They clearly demonstrated that the heartland of America (red) voted for the conservative candidate, and only isolated but populous areas voted for the liberal candidate (blue).

Red State Voters are conservative values voters.  Now you can stand up for your voting values as candidates are still being chosen.  Download my Red State Voter bumper sticker free (click the link below).  It features the 2004 red/blue state map of the United States, with the words "Red State Voter."

The download is a Word file designed to print two bumper stickers per sheet on Office Depot bumper sticker stock, product no. 922-811.  It may be freely distributed for non-commercial, private use.  Copyright notice may not be removed.  Note that I have no deal with Office Depot, but have only made use of their product (not included) because it is readily available.


Posted by hughes at 6:21 PM CST
Trombone/Trumpet Music Video
Topic: Music
I have just posted a music video on YouTube in which I play "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" on both trumpet and trombone.  Click:


Paul Hughes

Posted by hughes at 6:19 PM CST
Those who can - play
Topic: Music
How is this for a musician's bumper sticker?

Those who can - Play
Those who can't - Listen
(and geniuses compose)

I created a Word file to create the sticker.  You can download it free if you like from my Web site, and print it on standard bumper sticker stock.


Posted by hughes at 6:17 PM CST
Friday, November 2, 2007
The Golden Compass - Atheist Subterfuge
I pass along a warning I have received from several quarters about the fantasy movie, "The Golden Compass," set to come out at theaters at Christmastime.  Word is, it was written by an Atheist activist as a reaction against faith-based fantasies like those from Tolkien and Lewis.





Posted by hughes at 1:56 PM CDT
The ENRON Acrostic
Topic: Christianity

In discussing the recent ORU scandal and others past, the Prophecy News Watch Newsletter offers the following acrostic, using the word ENRON, describing the roots of scandal in Christian organizations:

"E is for entitlement. Do leaders in your church or organization feel they deserve to be treated like kings? That style may work OK in a monarchy, but Jesus said that in His kingdom leaders must behave like servants. Those with a spirit of entitlement should be disqualified.

N is for nepotism. When leaders show favoritism to family members, they create arbitrary double standards. Christian organizations must stop building spiritual dynasties.

"R is for robbery. If a Christian leader is using donor funds to purchase lavish perks for himself, he is stealing from God. Let's call it what it is. Though the Bible makes it clear that a Christian worker is worthy of his hire, it also condemns ministers who have their hands in the coffer. When the prophet Malachi asked the probing question, 'Will a man rob God?' (Mal. 3:8 NASB) he was not just addressing people who didn't tithe. He was pointing to greedy priests who stole part of the offerings meant for the poor.

"O is for overinflated egos. Too many leaders today are drunk with power. Like Nebuchadnezzar, their pride has caused them to go insane. When an egomaniac drives an organization, you can be sure he will eventually crash and hurt a lot of people in the process.

"N is for negligence. God looks for integrity in the little things. He judges leaders not by the size of the crowd or the volume of their preaching but by the way they conduct themselves when no one is looking."

[Kade Hawkins, Prophecy News Watch Newsletter, October 25, 2007, http://www.prophecynewswatch.com]


Posted by hughes at 1:54 PM CDT
Friday, April 6, 2007
Christ, Our Easter Lamb
Topic: Christianity

Christ, Our Easter Lamb

Beginning as early as Genesis, God used the symbol of the innocent lamb as an example of the Christ who was to come.

Technically, this use of prophetic symbolism is known as "typology."  The spotless lamb is a "type" of Christ.

As a shepherding people, the lamb was a symbol with which all Jews could identify. They viewed the lamb as the embodiment of sweet, beautiful innocence, much as we would view a puppy or a kitten.

The prophet Nathan once told King David a story about a poor man who had raised a lamb as his own child. Unfortunately, a greedy rich man stole the lamb and had it slaughtered to feed his guest. David, a former shepherd, was incensed. He declared that the man who had done such a deed was worthy of death (2 Samuel 12).

In his Word, God chose to give us numerous pictures of just such an
innocent Lamb who would be slaughtered undeservedly, sacrificed for the sins of the guilty.

In Genesis 22, God told Abraham to take his beloved son Isaac to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him. At the last moment, God substituted a ram in place of Isaac. As Abraham had told his son, "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering."

When Israel was captive in Egypt, God sent ten plagues upon the Egyptians to force Pharoah to let them go. In the final plague, God sent the angel of death to kill all their first-born.

But God gave Israel a way of escape. They were each to take a spotless, first-born lamb and slaughter it. They were to smear its blood upon their doorposts, and eat its flesh in a memorial dinner.  When the death angel saw the blood, it would pass them by. This was the first Passover (Exodus 11-12).

God instituted various animal sacrifices as an object lesson in sin and forgiveness. When Adam and Eve sinned, God declared that every man would have to die for his own sins. "The soul that sins shall die," He said (Ezekiel 18:4).

But through sacrifice, God showed us that innocent blood could cover our sins. Of course, the blood of animals could never truly pay for human sin. But those paltry sacrifices pointed to the One who would be the ultimate sacrifice.

On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) came a truly special sacrifice. At this annual event, the High Priest would make a sacrifice for the nation as a whole. He would take two goat kids, one of which would become a burnt offering.

The second kid was a sin offering, called the "scapegoat." The High Priest would place his hands on the goat's head and confess over it the sins of the nation. Thus Israel's sin was symbolically transferred to the goat. Then the goat was released in the wilderness, to die in the wild (Leviticus 16).

Both these goats were types of Christ. The first died for Israel's sins. The second, the scapegoat, symbolized the carrying away of their sin, where it would be lost and forgotten. Like the first, Christ died for our sins. Like the second, Christ carried away our sins "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12).

Christ could have called legions of angels to save him from death on the cross. But He had the ultimate task to perform, to die as the spotless Lamb for sinners slain, "who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29).

Christ submitted to this ignominious death. "He was brought like a lamb to the slaughter; and like a sheep that is mute before its shearers, He did not open his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).

In the end, the risen Christ is triumphant. He comes as both Lion and Lamb before the throne of God. He alone is worthy to open the seven seals of judgment (Revelation 5).

Jesus Christ is the spotless Lamb who was killed on that first Easter for my sins and yours. Because He has arisen from the dead, He has conquered death and the grave. His sacrifice long ago has become an eternal sacrifice for all who will believe and follow him, now and forevermore.

"God so loved the world that He gave his firstborn Son, so that whoever believes in him might not perish, but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him" (John 3:16-17).

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

We ought to love and serve, with every fiber of our beings, the kind of God who loved us so much.

Reprinted from Christ in Us: The Exalted Christ and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit (2006) by Paul A. Hughes
http://www.lulu.com/godstrombone and online bookstores.

Posted by hughes at 3:32 PM CDT
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Lincoln Declarations Ignore Separation Principle
Topic: Original Intent

In October 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the first National Day of Thanksgiving.  Earlier that year, he had declared a national day of fasting and prayer.  Both proclamations, below, definitely violate the so-called “separation of church and state” and, in many minds, militate against that notion.

Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of a National Fast Day, March 30, 1863:

“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

“We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

“But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.


“A. Lincoln”


Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful Providence of Almighty God.

“In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

“Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility (sic.), and union.

“In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

“Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

“Abraham Lincoln” 


Posted by hughes at 11:36 AM CST
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Democrat Hypocrisy and Dirty Politics
Topic: Democrat Watch

The Democrats are digging for all the dirt they can get, hoping to take over Congress three weeks from now.  They have demanded that heads roll over the Foley scandal, adopting much higher standards than they exercised in the Democrat-controlled House of 1983, when they let Gerry Studds off with a censure.  Massachusetts liberals continued to re-elect him until his retirement in 1996.  Moreover, no one has dared blame these scandals on homosexuality, which was obviously a major influence.

Now an FBI investigation of Curt Weldon (R-PA) has been conveniently "leaked" to the media.  "What I find ironic," says Weldon, "if there is an investigation, is that no one would tell me until three weeks before the election.  This incident was 2-1/2 years ago."  According to Weldon, there is no substance to the allegation that he helped his daughter win government contracts.  The leak prompted a timely FBI raid of 4 locations.

Meanwhile, Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid, lead critic of the Republicans and the Bush Administration, has been caught in a sweetheart land deal in which he grossed $1.1 million on land he had not legally owned for three years.  Besides the nature of the deal itself, Reid did not properly report his profit to the Ethics Committee.  In a separate scandal, also not as widely reported and sensationalized by the mainstream media as Conservative foibles, Reid was caught having paid Christmas bonuses amounting to $3,300 out of campaign money -- also an ethics violation.  The money went to staff associated with his $750,000 condo at the Ritz Carlton.

Reid was quick to reflect the blame back to Conservatives, calling it the "latest attempt" of Republicans to win the upcoming elections.  "I am reimbursing the campaign from my own pocket," Reid said, "to prevent this issue from being used in the current campaign season to deflect attention from Republican failures."

Either Reid is ruthlessly partisan, or the darkness in his own heart is so great that he assumes that his political opponents must have equally dark motives.  As Jesus Christ said, "The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:23, NIV).  

Furthermore, He said, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (John 3:19-20).

[News Source: Associated Press]
Copyright 2006 Paul A. Hughes


Posted by hughes at 1:32 PM CDT
The Other Congressional Page Scandals
Topic: Democrat Watch

Democrats are currently trying to milk the Mark Foley congressional page scandal to regain Congress in the upcoming elections and to destroy Speaker Dennis Hastert.

But in 1983, there were two sister scandals that did not cause Dems so much concern. Gerry Studds (D-Mass) and Dan Crane (R-Ill) had been found to have had consentual sex with 17-year-old congressional pages. Though neither instance was technically illegal, they were egregious in regard to relations between authority figures and subordinates (now well known as sexual harassment) and of course sex with a minor.

Newt Gingrich urged the expulsion of both members, but the Democrat-controlled House voted instead to just censure them. Crane showed remorse but was defeated in his next re-election bid. Studds, however, was unapologetic and turned his back during the censure. He continued to be re-elected to office until his retirement in 1996. One might assume that voters in Massachusetts were less concerned than those in Illinois.

The Foley scandal is not fundamentally different from Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky, except that she was not a minor, though she was a subordinate. Note that Foley did not actually have sexual relations with the page. In Clinton's case, Democrats managed to turn the scandal into a negative for Republicans by engaging public sentiment.
Copyright 2006 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 1:29 PM CDT
Saturday, October 7, 2006
The Devilish Symbol
Topic: Texana

The Devilish Symbol 

Jenna Bush flashed the "Hook 'em Horns" symbol and ignited a Norwegian tempest. During the televised Black Tie and Boots gala at the presidential inaugural festivities, while a band played "The Eyes of Texas," the Bush daughter held up the hand sign for her alma mater, the University of Texas.

Contrary to propaganda, by the way, "The Eyes of Texas" is NOT the Texas state song, but a UT ditty based on the tune, "I've Been Working on the Railroad." The state song is "Texas, Our Texas." 

"Sjokkhilsen fra Bush datter," read the headline on Nettavisen, a Norwegian news website. In Norway, the horn sign is associated with Satanism, or more particularly, the Death Metal music movement, which in the 1980s was shocking, violent, anti-Christian, and sometimes deadly.

The same hand sign is also known to have been used by homosexuals to identify themselves. 

The "Hook 'em" sign is attributed to Harley Clark, now a retired district judge. Clark was a UT cheerleader in 1955 when originating the sign to counter the "Gig 'em" sign used by the archrival Texas A&M Aggies.

Commenting on the hand signs, Clark betrays considerable animus. "Surely everybody in the world takes offense at the Aggie Gig 'Em sign. I can't think of anything more repulsive than that hand gesture." 

The "Gig 'Em" sign is probably based on the "thumbs up" sign prevalent in the military in World War II or earlier. A pilot, for instance, would give the signal from the cockpit to mean, "Go ahead" or "All systems go."

So why the acrimony? Texans would understand. Texas is divided between Aggies and Horns, like Democrat versus Republican or Liberal versus Conservative. They coexist in two different worldviews. Wherever one went to college, or not at all, everyone has an opinion, and everybody chooses sides. 

UT was the state university written into the Texas Constitution of 1876, but Texas A&M was the first to hold classes, that same year. UT has been the elite school, located in the state capitol, claiming to represent the state, and receiving the lion's share of state funding.

A&M was a land grant college established under the Morrill Act to provide a place for the children of farmers and the working class to go to school. A&M was a military school until after World War II, when it allowed veterans to return out of uniform. Its Corps of Cadets continues to be the heart and soul of the university, and to provide the largest number of military officers outside the official military academies. 

Female students were allowed in the 1960s. Because of phenomenal growth, A&M has been forced to keep raising entrance requirements, since it is required by law to admit all qualified students. Consequently, A&M has often been unjustly accused of limiting minority enrollment for racist reasons.

UT is a liberal school, located in the state's most liberal city. A&M is conservative, located in a small town that grew up around the campus. Austin was the hotbed of anti-Vietnam protest in Texas, there were no major protests at A&M. The same people who hate A&M tend to be the same left-wingers who, in Bill Clinton's words, "loathe the military." 

So the difference is ideological. Hmm, maybe the UT handsign is evil, after all.

[Source: Andrew Dansby, "Norway Reads Something Sinister in 'Hook 'Em' Sign," Houston Chronicle, January 22, 2005, pp. A1, A10; and the author, with an A&M degree and 30 years of personal experience.]

©2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 6:47 PM CDT
Lottery Tempts the Poor Most
Topic: God Help Us!

The Texas Lottery, along with parimutuel betting, was pushed through by one-term Democrat governor Ann Richards on the promise that it would fund education in the state.  Not only has it failed to live up to that promise, but a recent study of the lottery by Texas Tech University shows that the lottery appeals most to those who have the least, amounting to a regressive tax on the poor.

The figures are as follows:

$44.55 the average risked by players per month in 2004
$38.13 the average risked 2 years ago

$48.65 males
$41.66 females

$30.76 whites
$88.98 blacks
$64.83 Hispanics
$72.73 other

$62.55 non-high school graduates
$67.19 high school graduates
$42.28 some college
$26.82 college graduates

According to Brian Cannon, in charge of the survey at Tech, "Rates of participation are down.  So we have fewer people reporting having played, but they're actually spending more money when they're playing."

Gerald Busald calls the scratch-off game, "the crack cocaine of the lottery."  A professor of mathematics at San Antonio College, Busald has concluded that "There is a greater percentage of people who have a gambling problem with the Texas Lottery than ever before."

"The less education you have," says Busald, "the more you are spending.  The people who are supporting the Texas Lottery are those with the least amount of education and the least amount of income."

But seriously, didn't we know this would be the case going in?  Huh?

[Source:  Jeffrey Gilbert, "Those with Least Chance It Most, Texas Lottery Player Study Shows," in Houston Chronicle, February 1, 2005, pp. B1, B5.]

©2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 6:43 PM CDT
CO Court Denies Jury Right to Bible
Topic: Anti-Christian

Robert Harlan raped and murdered Rhonda Maloney, a waitress, in 1994.  In 2005, his death sentence was thrown out by the Colorado Supreme Court because jurors had used Bible passages to help determine their sentence.

The Court, in doing so, has:

1.  Denied the jury the right to use primary documents relative to the historical development of law to inform their decision.

2.  Violated jurors' First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion by denying the use of Scripture to inform their decision.

3.  Denied the jury's right to make a free decision in good conscience, without undue external interference.


"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here" (Patrick Henry, 1765).

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions . . . upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God" (James Madison, 1778).

"In contemplating the political institutions of the U.S., if we were to remove the Bible from schools, I lament that we would be wasting so much time and money punishing crimes and would be taking so little pains to prevent them" (Benjamin Rush, Educational Policy Papers, 1791).

"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws . . . .  All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible" (Noah Webster, "History of the United States," 1832).

"Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.  It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian" (U.S. Supreme Court, 1892).

[Reference:  "Bible Use Voids Death Sentence," from unnamed wire reports, in Houston Chronicle, March 30, 2005, p. A4.]
©2005 Paul A. Hughes


Posted by hughes at 6:40 PM CDT
Media Distorts Iraq News
Topic: Media Watch
Columnist Austin Bay knows first-hand that U.S. forces have been winning in Iraq all along.  He writes,

"Collect relatively isolated events in a chronological list and presto:  the impression of uninterrupted, widespread violence destroying Iraq.  But that was a false impression.  Every day, coalition forces were moving thousands of 18-wheelers from Kuwait and Turkey into Iraq, and if the 'insurgents' were lucky they blew up one.  However, flash the flames of that one rig on CNN and, 'Oh, my God, America can't stop these guys,' is the impression left from Boise to Beijing.

". . . .  [Terrorists'] strategic power was based solely on selling the false impression of nationwide quagmire -- selling post-Saddam Iraq as a dysfunctional failed state, rather than an emerging democracy."

He continues, "The Jan. 30 election provided the broad and deep perspective the police blotter obscures:  This is a war of liberty against tyranny, and it's a war we are winning."

[Austin Bay, "Chapter and Verse Prove Why We're Winning in Iraq," Houston Chronicle, March 26, 2005, p. B11.]

Posted by hughes at 6:38 PM CDT
Hillary the Chameleon

"All things to all people" -- the Clintons are known for making outlandish claims.

In the past, Hillary Clinton has claimed to be a Yankees baseball fan, to be named after Everest conqueror Edmund Hillary and, in 1996, to be considering adopting a second child.  Moreover, she claims to have once hunted ducks; but when challenged by NRA member Holden Clous, she was unable to describe her weapon.  She declined to say whether she had killed any ducks.

Now Hillary has been awarded a Purple Heart, "in recognition of her inspirational leadership and dedicated service to America's military service members and America's veterans."

In 1994, Hillary told ABC News that she had once tried to join the Marines, and had considered the National Guard.  The Marines, she said, told her that she was too old.

Husband Bill was once quoted as saying, "I loathe the military."  Hillary has demonstrated considerable disdain for the military in the past.  

Veterans often say that they consider the Purple Heart to be the highest of all military honors.  Many were highly offended by the idea that John Kerry might have received one for a minor, accidental wound.  To award such an honor to Hillary Clinton is a slap in the face to those who truly served and risked their lives.

[Source:  Newsmax, Feb. 17, 2006.]

Copyright 2006 Paul A. Hughes 

Posted by hughes at 6:36 PM CDT
Hillary the Chameleon

"All things to all people" -- the Clintons are known for making outlandish claims.

In the past, Hillary Clinton has claimed to be a Yankees baseball fan, to be named after Everest conqueror Edmund Hillary and, in 1996, to be considering adopting a second child.  Moreover, she claims to have once hunted ducks; but when challenged by NRA member Holden Clous, she was unable to describe her weapon.  She declined to say whether she had killed any ducks.

Now Hillary has been awarded a Purple Heart, "in recognition of her inspirational leadership and dedicated service to America's military service members and America's veterans."

In 1994, Hillary told ABC News that she had once tried to join the Marines, and had considered the National Guard.  The Marines, she said, told her that she was too old.

Husband Bill was once quoted as saying, "I loathe the military."  Hillary has demonstrated considerable disdain for the military in the past.  

Veterans often say that they consider the Purple Heart to be the highest of all military honors.  Many were highly offended by the idea that John Kerry might have received one for a minor, accidental wound.  To award such an honor to Hillary Clinton is a slap in the face to those who truly served and risked their lives.

[Source:  Newsmax, Feb. 17, 2006.]

Copyright 2006 Paul A. Hughes 

Posted by hughes at 6:36 PM CDT
Owe My Soul to the Company Sto'
Topic: Economics
I come from a small town an hour from Houston, Texas.  In the 1970s, a regional chain called Howards BrandDiscount moved in and soon drove most of the "mom and pop" dry goods stores out of business.  In the 1980s, Kmart built a store up the road and soon drove Howards out of business.  In the 1990s, Wal-Mart built a little further up the road and soon drove Kmart out of business.  They used the power of their other profitable stores, which allowed them to operate at a loss and under-price the competition, until this was accomplished.  Now they are about to build a new Super Wal-Mart yet further up the road.

Also, there was once a popular grocery store called Minimax in the same town, which was a locally-owned franchise.  An aggressive regional chain called H.E.B. Pantry came and told the owner to sell the store to them, or they would build down the street and drive them out of business.  They sold out.  Now there is just one other full-service grocery in town, another regional chain.

I expect the Super Wal-Mart, which will include groceries, will drive the other groceries out of business.  There are not many jobs in town these days except low-wage retail.  Soon they will become like one of those infamous "company towns" where one can only shop at the "company store."


Posted by hughes at 6:33 PM CDT
Mexico's Undemocratic History
Topic: Mexico
Anyone who knows Mexico's history knows that it has always been prejudiced and undemocratic.  At first, the Conquistadores ruled the Indigenas ("Indians").  Then the Peninsulares, Spaniards born in Spain, kept government power to themselves, in league with the Catholic Church, while subjugating Criollos, those of pure Spanish blood but born in Mexico.

Spaniards married or raped Indigenas women, creating the Mestizo class of mixed race.  In 1810, Miguel Hidalgo, a Criollo, led a largely Mestizo democratic uprising in the district north of Mexico City called Bahio.  Mestizos in the area felt they were discriminated against economically.  Hidalgo was captured and executed, and his revolution failed.

The revolution that succeeded in 1821 was actually an anti-democratic one instigated by Spanish-blooded powers and the Catholic Church, a reaction against the liberal coup d'etat that overthrew Spain's monarchy.  Nevertheless, democratizing forces soon took power and in 1824 instituted a democratic constitution based on the U.S. Constitution.

The democratic constitution created conditions favorable to Anglo-American settlement in Texas, at that time nomadic Indian territory more or less written off by the Mexican government, possessing a tiny Tejano population, and serving largely as a buffer zone between Mexico and the United States.  Mexico looked to the Anglo-Americans to control the Indians, particularly the Comanches, who made frequent incursions south to steal horses from Mexican haciendas.  Notably, however, the 1824 Constitution suppressed all religions other than the Catholic Church.

In 1829, Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña, a military hero, staged a coup and briefly seized the presidency.  A Mulatto born near Acapulco, Guerrero saw to it that negro slavery was outlawed -- a fact of which Mexico is very proud.  However, the ruling class continued to treat the Indigenas much like slaves, and the Mestizos little better.

Antonio López de Santa Anna, who had helped Guerrero in his coup, now helped Anastasio Bustamante overthrow Guerrero.  In 1833, Santa Anna got himself elected to the presidency.  Soon he disbanded Congress, overthrew the Constitution, and began to centralize government power in Mexico City.  This spawned a Federalist movement among Tejanos in Texas, who suddenly found themselves disenfranchised and Texas attached to the neighboring state of Coahuila.  Elsewhere in Mexico, open rebellion broke out in San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, and Zacatecas.  In May 1835, Santa Anna defeated the Zacatecan militia and planned to move next to Coahuila-Texas.  His actions in Texas and fate at San Jacinto are better known.

Today, Mexico maintains a small wealthy elite and a vast lower class.  They provide few social services.  Mexican politics toward the U.S. is a cynical exercise in which the lower classes who need work and seek a better life are used as pawns.  Thereby poverty is exported and U.S. funds, which are worth 10 pesos per dollar on the street, are funneled into the Mexican economy -- according to conservative activist and Texas congressional candidate Dan Patrick, amounting to $44 billion sent by wire alone in 2004.

Copyright 2006 Paul Hughes

Posted by hughes at 6:31 PM CDT
Bill Clinton Unrepentent
Topic: The Clintons
Bill Clinton remains unrepentent over his affair with Monica Lewinsky, his lies to the American people, and his perjury under oath, calling his impeachment "an egregious abuse of the Constitution and law and history of our country."

He went on to suggest that other presidents would have to be "downgraded" if they are treated like Clinton has been, along with "all those Republican congressmen, you know, that had problems?"

[Source: Frank Eltman, "Clinton Calls Impeachment Egregious Abuse," Associated Press, Nov. 11, 2005.]

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 6:26 PM CDT
Media Negative Toward President Bush
Topic: Media Watch
According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted from November 3 to 6, almost 50 percent of Americans say the media is unfair toward the Bush Administration.

In July, the Center for Media and Public Affairs noted that during the first 100 days of Bush's second term, media coverage had been twice as negative as it was positive.

"World News Tonight" (ABC) was 78 percent negative.

[Source:  Newsmax.com, Nov. 10, 2005]

Copyright 2005

Posted by hughes at 6:24 PM CDT
Saturday, September 10, 2005
New Orleans Knee Jerks
Topic: New Orleans Disaster
The national media tossed aside all pretense of objectivity in the wake of the New Orleans hurricane, and Democrats are taking advantage.

The worst national disaster in U.S. history prior to New Orleans was the 1900 hurricane that destroyed much of Galveston, Texas, then the major port west of New Orleans, known as "the Wall Street of the Southwest," with a population of 45,000. Estimates of loss of life in the Houston-Galveston area range from 8,000 to 12,000. Actual video of the aftermath, filmed by Thomas Edison's crew, may be downloaded at http://www.1900storm.com/film/index.lasso.

Early reports suggest that the loss of life in New Orleans pales in comparison. We hope so, but broadcast news coverage gives the definite impression that New Orleans was far worse than all previous disasters, with overtones of racism and federal incompetence.

Media response and that of partisan Democrats makes crystal clear that since 9/11, both have been lying in wait for an occasion, i.e., any sign of weakness in the Bush Administration's response to terrorism or some other national emergency. The press flew to the scene and immediately began prompting victims to question the federal response, by which they mean the president.

On CNN's "American Morning" on September 1, Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi was urged by host Miles O'Brien to confirm that the Bush Administration had "dropped the ball." "Now, Miles," Barbour defended, "if this is an interview or an argument, I don't care. But if you want to let me tell you what I think, I will." He continued, "I'm not going to agree because I don't believe it's true. The federal government came in here from the first minute -- in fact, in advance. They have been tremendously helpful."

On Meet the Press September 4, host Tim Russert unleashed a diatribe on Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff. Russert noted President Bush's comment that they did not know the levees would break, then referred to reports that predicted such a collapse in the event of a major storm. Chertoff explained that in fact the next morning newspapers were reporting that New Orleans had been spared, and what they did not expect was the backlash on the Lake Ponchartrain side of the storm. When Russert continued his accusations, Chertoff patiently explained a second time, but Russert was not listening. He repeated his assertions later in the program.

I have watched reporters such as Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News tendentiously prompt people to blame the government, the war in Iraq, and tax cuts for an allegedly slow government response all through the crisis.

Nina Totenberg, that paragon of objectivity, stated flatly on Inside Washington (September 4), "For years, we have cut our taxes, cut our taxes and let the infrastructure throughout the country go and this is just the first of a number of other crumbling things that are going to happen to us."

When Kyra Phillips of CNN asked some hardball questions of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, however, Pelosi accused her of working in behalf of the White House and suggested she should go on their payroll.

If there is blame to be placed for New Orleans, it must start with local authorities. New Orleans was founded by the French in 1718 and has been threatened by floods ever since. Louisiana has begged for federal billions to "fix" the problem, but that would be akin to Boston's Big Dig or, if imaginable, some greater boondoggle. They make millions off Texans in their casinos. Have they spent any of that on disaster preparation? Gambling is not even legal in Louisiana, but state and local governments turn a blind eye to that.

The Department of Homeland Security was never meant to be a first responder. Local authorities were. Mayor Ray Nagin failed to make adequate preparations such as using public transportation to evacuate the poor or even securing the Superdome. According to Newsmax.com, state officials under the authority of Governor Kathleen Blanco blocked the Red Cross from delivering supplies to the city after the storm.

Let the blame fall where the fault lies.

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 8:03 PM CDT

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