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The Journal of Tony Whitaker

08/12/2011 08:32 a.m.

I just heard on CNBC that the Presidents of Germany and France, Merkel and Sarkozy, are meeting next Tuesday. This is a very important “first step” to the resolution with the economies of Europe. This is showing leadership when there is a crisis on the edge.

Before I go on, I want to be clear the US is a part, of the problem with the EU. The European National banks with their investments in the US banks are exacerbating their problem with their bank solvency issue. I was hearing some disinformation on Fox News, and another reason I rarely watch it as it is not always fair and balanced, which cast a perception the European solvency crisis is all European. It is not. It doesn’t take much thought making that cerebral jump, similar issues are seen in China, India, Brazil, and the list goes on.

The reality is the EU is beginning to enter their own “sup-prime” crisis which America has experienced beginning late 2007. Their economies are intertwined with the US, China and many emerging markets. They are looking at a potential meltdown which may require their own quantitative easing, and the big reason Germany and France are meeting next week. They are showing leadership. That is one reason, I believe, the markets are up this morning.

Which brings me back to the commentary subject: “Where are our leaders?” Our country is facing a crisis of historical proportions. Our country’s leadership wasted weeks of time and taxpayer’s money to come to a resolution which pathetically pitches our economy into the next election cycle. Politics is killing America and career politicians are its killers.

Our credit rating has been downgraded, the percentage drop in the markets are approaching those of the Great Depression, the ECB will be forced to bail out the national banks of France, Italy, and more to come. The riots of frustration in the UK could easily spread here with the use of Social Networks, as is being acted out in the US daily in these “flash mob” attacks which have injured, some seriously, in the past couple of weeks. Then there are the emerging markets being squeezed on lack of consumer buying and their export demands.

We need our leadership in the Federal Government to be on the job at this time of crisis. How many times have you, as you read this, have postponed or delayed vacation because of YOUR job. That’s what American’s do. We don’t tell our boss we can’t work if it is so important that my absence can create issues with other employees, from profit & loss to litigation issues of the company.

Where are our leaders? Well, they are on vacation. The ink on the pathetic deficit reduction bill was not dry when the House disappeared to the beaches and bordellos of the world. Obama is making weak speeches on the state of the economy as he tactfully weaves in his rhetoric for reelection in 2012. The Senate has shown no leadership through the entire budget crisis AND is on vacation.

"We have a government that is not as good as its people!!"

I am currently Disillusioned
I am listening to Sounds of Silence

Comments (1)

The 2009 G-20 Summit
04/01/2009 03:52 p.m.
I despise this whole ideology of geo-political trading.

With the lives of the Russian people and the rest of the world at stake, I propose:

1. Dissolving NATO, or at least the US retire from this contingent to show Russia, China and the world we are NOT adversarial in any way. Our founding fathers warned us about forming alliances against our enemies. We need to take the high road and find common ground, biblically speaking, "...love thine enemies".

2. No BMD (Ballistic Missile Defense) systems in Europe anywhere. It is not needed. Our submarines and our Navy (we have already proven we can shoot a satellite in orbit) can do what is necessary in the need for retaliation. BMDs are not defensive, as their name implies, these are purely offensive weapons. If Poland or anyone wants to protect their countries then Russia should be willing to allow ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) installations, by definition, defensive missile systems.

3. ABM technology should be shared among all nations that sign into a non-proliferation treaty dissolving most of the current warheads in the offensive grid

4. Assassinate or somehow neutralize Vladimir Putin. As long as he and his thugs (i.e., like Hitler and his merry band of thugs) are in true control of Russia (President Medvedev is merely a puppet and the most underwhelming presence of a Russian Leader since the time of the Czars, then we are all in danger as Russia tries to return to its former place (quoting the late great President Ronald Reagan) in the "Axis of Evil". Don't believe me? Just spend some quality time reading this laundry list of offenses this "leader", in my humble opinion, has committed against humanity (and these are all confirmed atrocities): http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/01/29/070129fa_fact_specter?currentPage=2

5. Show the world our plans for Afghanistan and our exit strategy. To quote Colin Powell, “War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support."

6. I will stop here, but if If Obama wants to be a great President, then shut up the rhetoric and let's see some action and REAL change. The country, and the world, is in your hands!

I am currently Bemused
I am listening to Silence

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December 29, 2008
12/29/2008 05:00 a.m.
I am a Carolina Panther fan. Well, they finally got back to where they belong, in the playoffs and get a "Bye" week to boot. The Panthers were somewhat streaky this year and I fear seeing the end is near for our dear Jake Delhomme. He has thrown a lot of picks this year, but he still has that gun ,quick-release, making him our quarterback longer than any previous quarterback in the teams franchise history. The last few games of the season even brought back memories of 2003 when we all called our team the "Cardiac Cats", winning in the last minutes, or even seconds, of the game. We can't discount the fact, he has scored more points this year than any other year at the helm. But we have an awesome ground game, relinquishing the need for Jake's arm throughout sixty minutes of regulation play. He helped engineer twelve games for the boys, and this year it was done on the backs of DeAngelo and Johnathan, as well as Smitty. But our defense has crumbles these last few weeks. we should have easily beaten the Giants and we almost lost the New Orleans game, because our defense is not only battered, missing many of our key defensive players, but execution was just not there.

In the end, it is wins that count, whether or not they were done with the look of a championship team. We also have thirteen days to mend and get our game winning defense back into shape to seek revenge against a team that took away our chance for the #1 Seed and Home Field Advantage throughout the playoffs. We have the better team, and we will win this time, and the Giants will go home for the season.
Whether or not this truly happens, I can't say with all certainty, but what really hurts is that I can't watch my beloved Panthers either at the stadium, as I do a couple of times a year, or on television. Europe doesn't know what "REAL" football is all about. But that is another journal entry.

Being from North Carolina I see them as our team. I have always been, and will forever, be a Green Bay Packers fan as they were the stuff of dreams when I was a kid. I can st
I am currently Calm
I am listening to Silence

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12/12/2008 06:26 a.m.

What I am about to say may infuriate some of you. But I love America and I am tired of seeing all my fellow Americans affected by, at worst, the loss of their jobs or, at best, the drop in their standard of living.
Let me take the current crisis of the US Auto Industry. A century ago there was no GM, Ford or Chrysler (remember American Motors?). So why are we trying to save these lumbering inefficient giants which are sucking the life out of our economy, with their inability to:
Change in becoming competitive among foreign car makers in quality.
Change in becoming more efficient by allowing auto plants to remain in closed shop states. Until these plants move to right-to-work states and breaking the back of the UAW, the American auto industry will, as has always been, sell to the ignorant patriots who cant believe another American would buy a foreign made car, as already said, even though the quality and reliability are so obviously inferior.
Change the employee benefits structure which is adding $1600 to each GM car now produced in one of these closed shop UAW plants.
It is very simple really. I will quote a great man who foresaw the coming of the end of his nation. His name was Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet of the Japanese Navy. He had lived many years in America attending both the U.S. Naval War College and Harvard University. So he knew Americans well and did not support the Japanese attack.
Standing on the deck of his flagship carrier, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he made a resounding statement that exemplifies what he knew about Americans and why I am proud to be an American. His visionary words rang out to his fellow officers, I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve. With the death of the American auto giants, the American resolve will simply pick up the pieces of the industrys infrastructure, move them to right-to-work states (as all the foreign car makers have already done with plants all through the South) and start a new industry of quality and competitive cars, because with so many people displaced from their livelihoods, America will be filled with a terrible resolve!
Let me make myself clear, there was once a time when Unions saved America. They put the money in the pockets of those who made products or delivered a service, rather than the greedy oligarchs that ran this countrys economy. But their time has come today to simply fade away until they once again will, most assuredly, be needed.

I am currently Passionate
I am listening to My wife

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100 "Must See" Movies To See Before You Die
11/15/2008 06:50 a.m.


Rank Title
1 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
2 The Godfather (1972)
3 The Godfather: Part II (1974)
4 The Dark Knight (2008)
5 The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
6 Pulp Fiction (1994)
7 Schindler's List (1993)
8 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
9 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
10 12 Angry Men (1957)
11 Casablanca (1942)
12 Star Wars (1977)
13 Seven Samurai (1954)
14 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
15 Goodfellas (1990)
16 Rear Window (1954)
17 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
18 City of God (2002)
19 Once Upon in the West
20 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
21 The Usual Suspects (1995)
22 Psycho (1960)
23 Fight Club (1999)
24 The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
25 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
26 Sunset Blvd. (1950)
27 North by Northwest (1959)
28 Memento (2000)
29 Citizen Kane (1941)
30 The Matrix (1999)
31 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
32 WALLE (2008)
33 It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
34 Se7en (1995)
35 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
36 Apocalypse Now (1979)
37 Lon (1994)
38 Taxi Driver (1976)
39 American Beauty (1999)
40 American History X (1998)
41 Vertigo (1958)
42 Fabuleux destin d'Amlie Poulain, Le (2001)
43 Paths of Glory (1957)
44 M (1931)
45 The Departed (2006)
46 Forrest Gump (1994)
47 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
48 Alien (1979)
49 A Clockwork Orange (1971)
50 Chinatown (1974)
51 The Third Man (1949)
52 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
53 The Lives of Others (2006)
54 Double Indemnity (1944)
55 The Shining (1980)
56 The Pianist (2002)
57 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
58 Saving Private Ryan (1998)
59 Spirited Away (2001)
60 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
61 Laberinto del fauno, El (2006)
62 Requiem for a Dream (2000)
63 L.A. Confidential (1997)
64 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
65 Aliens (1986)
66 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
67 Boot, Das (1981)
68 Reservoir Dogs (1992)
69 The Maltese Falcon (1941)
70 Raging Bull (1980)
71 Rashmon (1950)
72 Metropolis (1927)
73 City Lights (1931)
74 Downfall (2004)
75 Modern Times (1936)
76 All About Eve (1950)
77 Rebecca (1940)
78 Singin' in the Rain (1952)
79 Some Like It Hot (1959)
80 Amadeus (1984)
81 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
82 The Prestige (2006)
83 No Country for Old Men (2007)
84 Life is Beautiful (1997)
85 The Elephant Man (1980)
86 Sin City (2005)
87 The Great Escape (1963)
88 Cinema Paradiso (1988)
89 The Seventh Seal (1957)
90 Hotel Rwanda (2004)
91 The Apartment (1960)
92 Full Metal Jacket (1987)
93 On the Waterfront (1954)
94 The Sting (1973)
95 Touch of Evil (1958)
96 Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
97 Batman Begins (2005)
98 The Great Dictator (1940)
99 Jaws (1975)
100 There Will Be Blood (2007)

I am currently Calm
I am listening to Nights in White satin

Comments (3)

Saturday Morning in Swiss Elsass
11/15/2008 06:45 a.m.
Sitting here as the dawn breaks on a Swiss Saturday morning I see Sasha, the cat, lying on the rug, sated from the morning ritual feast of canned tuna fish. I hear the clock tick as each second and I sense each one is less of a day in the life of this middle-aged man.

I sense those less fortunate.

I see someone dying a senseless death in the streets. Whether in D.C. of L.A. the story is the same. Some gangbanger earning their stripe into a faceless fraternity of ignorance, where they fell they are somebody. In the end there is only prison or a bullet with their own name engraved into mortal flesh as their last breath escapes into some dark corner of the night.

I see the single mother working their life away to feed their hungry child or to keep on the heat.

I see a man in a hospital bed as they take that last breath. A battle won by the cancer that feeds upon the last days of a life and a death no one wants to face as they leave this world for another.
I see the soldier, back against the wall, waiting for an order taking them into harms way so we, as Americans, live free another day, the reality of the moment being some desperate mission, making no sense to a teenager in a uniform with a gun, often a folly of some officer or politician.
So I close with the sunrise as it warms the side of my face to simply say, Life is precious!

May your weekend be filled with hope and your needs be granted and your wants considered in the grand scheme of how they affect your family, your friends, your country and the world. Auf Wiedersehen and God Bless America.

I am currently Reflective
I am listening to South City Midnight Lady

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Army Journal: September 2, 1973
12/19/2007 07:52 a.m.
I woke up at six a.m.

Threw up

Drank three tall glasses of water

Fell back on couch nursing a hangover

Took all morning to eat a snickers

About noon went out to my car

Tried to crank her but she wouldnt

Greg comes by

Tells me they had to pull my distributor cap

Said I was out of it and was going to Juarez

Now I remember

I finished a fifth Of Seagrams V.O.

Canada makes cheap whisky

I am currently Bemused
I am listening to Me and Bobbie McGee

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A Tale of Two Beaches & What Makes the Best Beaches?
05/20/2007 10:50 a.m.
Hilton Head, South Carolina. One of my favorite beaches, having enjoyed them from Europe to Hawaii.
Beaches are a nature's delight and are rated on more than just one factor. The following is my list of what makes a beach. I also rate certain Beaches on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being tops:
1) I love white soft sand. Hilton Head somewhat lacks the beautiful white sands of the Gold Coast of Florida. However, it is much whiter than the sands of the beaches stretching north into North Carolina and Virginia. I give HH an eight here as she does have soft and fluid sand.

2) The perception of being isolated from the world. Hilton Head gets top marks here. There are stretches of beach where, when you look inland, trees still stand waving in the breeze as they did all along this beautiful beach a hundred years ago. But the houses here are so beautiful and a thousand feet away so I see them as beautiful as the trees. HH gets a 9.

3) The inspirational big, wide beach. Hilton Head is the Big Daddy here, with a fat '10'. With the ebb tide, it can easily be a thousand feet from sea grass to tide. Two tiers with an upper beach where the tide rarely reaches. The sand is soft and deep, where you sit and sleep under the sun until too warm, so you break out the umbrella. Then the beach slopes slightly down about 30 feet to the 'flats' washed by the tides twice per day. This flat is from 30 to 300 feet wide depending on where in the cycle the tide sits. This is where I found my poem as it came to me on a wide flat. It is called "Good Morning from the Beach"

4) Diving. Maggie and I love to scuba dive. I wouldn't dive the Carolina Coast for any reason. The wrecks are too far off shore, deep and the water is too cold. Give me the Caymans, where I dove "The Wall", one of the most beautiful sights of my life. All the fish and pristine corals on this dormant volcanic mountain wall that makes most of the Caribbean islands. Hilton gets a goose egg here.

5) Few people. I give Hilton Head a 9 on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the least populated. But then again we hit the beaches in the morning.

6) The View. Hilton Head has a wonderful beach to see big sunrises and the homes and tress are nice. But it is not exotic flora that commands the beaches in the warmer climes. But I give Hilton Head a 7.

Went to Oahu and Kauai by myself back in 1988. Seems the girl I was going with backed out when she got back with her old boyfriend. But I didn't care. Oahu is just too crowded and Waikiki is a joke. The real pearl of Oahu is Sunset and Turtle Beach on the northwest shore. The Eastern shore has some nice beaches as far as Hawaiian beaches go.

So I would put Hilton Head at number 4 on my top ten best beaches

But then I flew to the island of Kauai. I found the embodiment of the Garden of Eden. In 1988 this must have had the distinction, without a doubt, the most beautiful isolated island under American domain. 5he is known as "Garden Island of the Pacific". Everything is in bloom all the time. Unusual orchids had such strange shaped tubes leading to awaiting ovaries. I wonder at what night-time creature visits to pollinate these beauties of the tropics, enticed by smell of sex or food.
The 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific' sits in the center of this small volcanic isle.
But the beaches are what set this island apart from Oahu. They were so diverse. From black to snow white sands, depending on where you were on the island. The southern side of the island stays sunny and bright and the water a bit warmer. I dove in the shallows for about an hour and surrounded by schools of tangs and butterfly fish and gobies of all species. I even saw several green turtles.

But Hanalei Bay, on the north shore of Kauai is, without question, my favorite beach in the world. It is the beach where South Pacific, with that view of the peaks off to the east looks Far Eastern. A true Bali Hai. My scuba trip there in 1988 was also a highlight of my life. I met on the beach this guy eating a sandwich. He saw me alone and asked would I like to go for a dive? He said he was a dive master and knew the best places on this side of the reef wall. We dove for about 45 minutes It was amazing lava tube diving and not for the claustrophobic, especially when the exit at the end of a long dark tube had a white-tip shark just sitting there with its back to us. But we spooked him and continued our labyrinth journey.

I fed fish only once. In an instant the six shrimp I had brought in pieces were gobbled up by the hundreds of small groupers, grunts and gobies.

We then came out of the water and tells me he was videotaping me the whole time. He had this tiny underwater camera that was taping me. This was in 1988 and I had never seen anything like it. I have forgotten his name, but still have the tape that shows my every movement and he knew how to catch a shot! I am very proud of that tape. So he says, yeah I am a freelance dive consultant for the studios that come here to shoot scenes. Kauai I found out was also where a great deal of the movie Apocalypse now was filmed. Since then the Jurassic Park movies were shot with the North Share being the obvious place. For those who go there for the first time, look to the left on your drive along the north shore, after passing Princeville, look at that jungle and think of all the movies that could be shot there. It will look very familiar. But that beach. To rate my criteria:
1) 9. The whitest sand on the island and so soft
2) 10. You feel totally alone in the early morning
3) 8. Not the widest of beaches but plenty wider than most in Hawaii.
4) 10. Lava tube diving is a thrill and with the fish whizzing by you in the darkened chambers you get this alien feeling of being on another world
5) 9. Most people like the south beaches since it stays overcast a lot on the north beach of Kauai. But that is what I liked about it. The view added to the mystic...
6) 10. I have already said it. The view from not only the beach, but just a few hundred yards away a tropical jungle that you see from a high road looking down onto it. Absolutely fabulous!

I am currently Cheerful
I am listening to Rock Music

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Musings on Vacation at Hilton Head
05/07/2007 06:18 p.m.
I get into a trance and see a monster in an old B-rated horror flick and it was in one of those canals in the California desert. It seems pretty peculiar that so many of these types of movies were shown in what is obviously driving distance of Los Angeles. Now, as a kid, these places might as well have been on another planet seeming so foreign, especially, when you grow up in the temperate south of North Carolina.
The seasons come and go and you feel you know them well. Whereas you go farther south the seasons tend to be two. It is either cold or it is blistering hot, with little in between. That is until you get to south Florida and the keys where the one season is the key to its success with the nave tourists.

I am currently Cheerful
I am listening to The quiet

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Go Ask Alice
05/06/2007 07:42 a.m.
To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic
- Humphrey Osmond (1917-2004)

Picture yourself says it all as youll see
dropping a tab, taking a trip with an old friend LSD
removing the filters one by one to the subconscious mind
all at once you realize all your life youve been blind

The trip truly depends on set and setting when set free
as the mind slowly peels away this self that is me
you will dissociate from the things this world had once taught
seeing this new person is worth more than can be bought

The angels alight on your shoulders and softly speak
taking you higher as you look inside as you seek
there you find the truth all search for in their lives
one by one old beliefs start to fall as your true self arrives

Hell will come stalking if you are not ready for this ride
for if your mind is not right youll see death as your guide
it will not kill your body but your mind breaks and descends
into the depths of the unknown and for a few never ends

Run from the voice and a heavy price you shall pay
as your mind comes undone and the devil finds his prey
you search for the key to escape from this trap
but only time will release you from this fear unless you snap

This old friend has a message for those who dare to hear
listen with serenity and the real you will appear
the picture on the wall becomes a portal into space
an inner journey is taken looking in a mirror at your face

Relishing the trips taken so long ago
dancing with the angels my mind came to know
watching the sunrise my soul set aglow
changing forever meeting someone I now know

I am currently Content
I am listening to The quiet of early morn

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