A Memorial Day salute to all those who have fallen in battle so Uncle Sam can stand tall as the ultimate free man

There seems to have been convulsions in the world ever since Cain knocked out Abel and turned Paradise into Tumult.

Consequently, we seem to spend each day at the barricades as seething agendas collide like bumper cars on steroids.

Americans since our earliest settlers always have been more than willing and able to fight the good fight when tough times surface like pus-filled pores of venom.

Which is why today on Memorial Day we should all take pause from our multitude of amusements and pay homage to all those brave men and women who transcended the perimeters of the noblest sacrifice.

Freedom is not a motherless child. It is the precious offspring of all our war dead who deserve mythopoetic status.

In death they truly are larger than life and linear descendents of those Revolutionary War soldiers who gave birth to the home of the brave.

A slick day on the beach for Obama

President Obama inspected a Louisiana beach today and didn’t exactly find a glassy aqua lagoon of exquisite beauty.

While he was there up close and personal, he didn’t sound like a guy who was treating America’s largest-ever oil spill like just a footnote in his legend.

Obama told reporters he was ordering an increase in manpower on the Gulf Coast to counter the spill and had top experts from around the world ready to jump in if BP’s top kill doesn’t plug the leak.
Man those sponges, Uncle Sam!

Sestak turned a deaf ear to Emanuel/Clinton's siren call and Specter washed up on the rocks

The art of politics is a relentless chewing mechanism that shreds people and ethics like so much cheese.
Ah, but what cunning minxes those politicos are!
I will refrain but being too witty in this post because Nietzsche once described a witticism as an epitaph on the death of a feeling.
And our feelings for backdoor Beltway brokering has us our heels clicking like a chorus of lovelorn crickets.
If you recall, our very own Senator Arlen Specter threw the White House a lifeline by trading himself from the Republicans to the Democrats (of course, he did so in a desperate attempt to save his butt, too).
So the White House tried to throw Specter a lifeline when Rep. Joe Sestak tangled the line by entering the Democratic primary. After all, Sestak presented more than a Specter of a problem for Arlen. And, as things turned out, Sestak ushered Specter stage right (or was it left?) into retirement.
The White House had hoped it wouldn’t come to that. So at the urging of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Bill Clinton spoke to Sestak about an unpaid position in the administration if he dropped out of the primary. The executive branch position would have been made available to Sestak under the assumption that he stay in the House.
No shock that Sestak stuck wads of wax in his ears while listening to Clinton’s pitch. You can’t buy a guy off if you don’t show the money. Come on now. An offer like that was more costume jewelry than Tiffany splendor.
Granted, again no shock that Emanuel had his hands in this. The guy is a marvel at handling political dirty work and his job is to keep President Obama’s hands clean. At least technically.
Then again, Obama’s hands literally will get dirty today if he sticks his hands in Louisiana waters during his visit for an oil spill update.
Speaking of Obama, isn’t this the same dude who preached a “new type of politics” when he was just a candidate?
Thought so.

Katrina was George W. Bush's mess; oil spill is not Obama's mess

Barack Obama has been fricasseed for not donning scuba gear, grabbing a fistful of sponges and personally cleaning up the gunk in the Gulf of Mexico.
Granted, he’s partly to blame for all the flak that is eating holes in the White House doors. But not because he has been as useless as blow dryer in Vin Diesel’s hands. He hasn’t.
The feds haven’t exactly been sitting idle and playing fiddles while oil invades America. They have been responsive in a supportive role, despite what Bobby Jindal and Jim Carville have been screeching in decibels worthy of Metallica.
Rather, Obama’s gospel that government can solve all ills has made himself a target for the oil spill.
This mess is BP’s fault, not Obama’s. BP needs to stop and mop up the mess.This is not Katrina, where Mother Nature was to blame but wasn’t about to clean up after herself. Then it became George W. Bush’s problem. And we all know how ugly that all turned out.
There is a time for the private sector to step up to the plate. Katrina was a time for the public sector to swing for the fences. Unfortunately it struck out.
With the bat in its hands, BP seems to be experiencing some success in using a top kill approach of pumping heavy mud into the leaking well (if it works, BP then will inject cement into the well to seal it).
Meanwhile, Obama plans to announce today that a moratorium on new deepwater oil drilling permits will be continued for six months while a presidential commission investigates.
Controversial lease sales off the coast of Alaska will be delayed pending the results of the probe and lease sales planned in the western Gulf and off the coast of Virginia will be canceled.
All of which seems to be the appropriate federal response. That and burning BP in oil if it doesn’t do the right thing.

You simply can't make this stuff up: Offshore-drilling regulators watched porn, used meth on the job

OK, aren’t regulators supposed to be an ornery breed of cat? Crazed, egomaniacal monsters of nitpicking torture? Fastidious and flinty?
Guess not, folks.
First it was the regulators at the SEC who were preoccupied watching porn while our economy was dive-bombing into the dumpster.
Now it turns out the regulators at the Minerals Management Service — an entity nobody ever heard of until the Gulf of Mexico oil spill began blackening seafood from Louisiana to Lapland, also were watching porn on the job.
But even that apparently wasn’t enough fun for the MMS party animals. They also were under the influence of crystal methamphetamine while at work.
Pardon the pun, but what a bunch of boobs.
If we’re gonna do offshore drilling, the regulators gotta be, well, as slick as oil.

As the world turns today the focus is on gays in the military, expanding clandestine military activities by the U.S., and the startling news that the Koreas aren't terribly fond of each other

While here on the Berks home front the main offensives are killing dandelions, spreading mulch and finding enough loose change in sofas to keep our school districts and city from being more busted than Fergie, the rest of the world today is in a military frame of mind.

And since this is only Tuesday, the peaceniks hanging out on the Penn Street Bridge every Friday have three days to cool their jets.

In no particular order, the White House has thrown its weight (exact poundage unknown) behind a major compromise that could spell the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and lift the ban on gays in the military by the end of the year. The compromise was reached between Pentagon officials and gay rights groups in a meeting rumored to have been chaired by Ellen.

Meanwhile, Uncle Sam reportedly has been targeting insurgent groups by expanding clandestine military activities in the Middle East, including Iran and Yemen. Rambo supposedly has been seen training these covert Special Ops troops.

Then, my friends, comes the you-gotta-be-kidding-me escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula. First of all, if you lived in either Korea, you would be tense. Sitting on a powder keg tends to do that to a person.

You wonder why anybody would live in North Korea if they could live in South Korea. At least they have food, water and electricity down south. That being said, South Korea ain’t exactly Hawaii. Ever wonder why there are two Koreas when even one is one too many? I blame General MacArthur.

There is nothing but insanity and a 1.2 million-member military in North Korea that nut ball leader Kim (the Shrimp) Jong IL — after peering over his shoe tops — ordered to brace for war.

The Short Puppet One froze relations with South Korea even though they already have been frozen more solid than the polar caps for decades. Jong, so far mum on how many gays are in his armed forces, is as irritable as an inflamed bowel these days because South Korea knows he sank one of its warships in March, killing 46 sailors.

South Korea is ramping up broadcasting propaganda efforts to entice communist soldiers to defect to the South where they will be able to eat a meal once in a while as well as watch reruns of Dancing With The Stars.

Lost leaves yours truly marooned on an island of confusion

OK, let me rip down the curtain on the confessional box and spill my guts: I never got lost in Lost.

Yeah, I know I was the last contrarian in America who didn’t get immersed in the ABC megahit that made absolutely no sense to me whenever I would audit the program that had so captivated my wife.
I always thought the producers were winging it from Day One and tying up all the loose ends in a plot with more twists than Chubby Checker would be akin to stitching together linguini.
By the way, I did pay more attention last night during the epic finale but fell asleep about 30 minutes shy of the conclusion. That either speaks volumes about how riveting I found the whole convoluted mess or how exhausting four days of intensive yard work can be for these 60-year-old bones.
Granted, I did my homework online this morning and consulted with my wife. And evidently Lost ended its run by leaving a planeload (get the analogy?) of questions unanswered.
In the end, it seemed as if the electromagnetically charged mystery island had been much ado about nothing for six years. It concluded in a hug-filled waiting room leading to a pan-spiritual afterlife for the dead castaway characters. And their leader? A guy named Christian Shephard.
Man, a little transparent. Don’t you think?
Guess that left all the Buddhists and Muslims feeling, uh, lost.

Financial reform bill, coupled with health reform bill, puts Obama in FDR territory

I know a lot of folks don’t buy Barack Obama’s Big Government shtick.
But the president, after spending his first year in the White House spinning his wheels as if caught in an icy rut, has been as hardy as cactus lately.
He’s been on such a roll he ought to hit the craps tables in Vegas.
Speaking of financials, the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s financial regulatory system since the Great Depression cleared the Senate Thursday night.
That, my friends, is sort of a big deal. And it fast-tracks Obama on his way toward a second major legislative triumph this year. Surely you remember all the fuss over the health reform bill that passed in March.
Who would have thunk it?
If you’re scoring at home, the vote was 59 to 39, with several Republicans joining nearly all Democrats in voting for the bill. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) – a holdout just Wednesday – voted yes, as did Republicans Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine.

The bill now goes into a House-Senate conference to work out differences between the chambers’ bills, with Democrats hoping to get it to Obama’s desk by July 4.

For Obama, piggybacking a financial reform bill this summer to the health reform bill amps up his platform that Democrats should be retained this fall. Ditto him in 2012.
This, of course, should rouse the right to a fever pitch.

KFC's Double Down, nastier than Charlie Sheen, just won't die

We all know that Americans have hearty appetites and will gorge themselves on bad food until their hearts, arteries and stomachs explode like blown tires.
You just don’t what to be standing near them when they blow.
So you might back off anybody who’s inhaling a KFC Double Down or you just might want to tear your gizzard out and eat it raw.
Americans have been doubling down on Double Down like it was a craps table. KFC was only going to give the sandwich a six-week run but now will evidently sell it until there remains one living American still able to chow down.
Folks have been freaking out over this mother of all sandwiches which has two chicken filets taking the place of bread slices that house two pieces of bacon and melted slices of Monterey jack and pepper jack cheese.
The Double Down has been a gluttony of viral marketing. So much so that KFC expects to sell its 10 millionth Double Down later this month. Not bad at 5 bucks a pop.
Of course, the Double Down definitely is not off the charts when it comes to nutritional value. It packs 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and 1,380 milligrams of salt. Otherwise known as slow sucide.
Plus you gotta go through an oak tree’s worth of napkins before you touch anything.

Will Sam Rohrer play it again?

It hardly was a shock that Sam Rohrer lost the Republican nomination for governor to state Attorney General Tom Corbett Tuesday.

Rohrer’s quest for governor seemed quixotic. Rohrer had to know his campaign war chest seemed almost insectile compared to Corbett’s.

Which is puzzling why Rohrer jumped out of the plane without a parachute. He opted not to run again for his 128th Legislative District seat, one he has sat on since 1993.

Now he’s left on the outside looking in. A strange place to be for a guy who orates like a stump preacher to whom the birds would listen.