HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Love This Time of Year -- Smell of First Stove Fire -- Dry Leaves, and of Course, Home Made Apple Pie!

I sometimes think that Spring is my favorite time of year but then we get past the "dog days" of August and Autumn sets up house with her cool crisp nights and fresh air mornings -- mosquitos disappear as do those damn wood ticks, and I realize just how much I truly love this time of yearThe appetite quickens and I am back to baking and making batches of hot soup to serve with freshly baked bread.

The orchards begin yielding Mcintosh and Cortlands which make incredible apple pies. This is the third one I have turned out this week!
I put this one together for dessert after my friends Doug Cox and bob Carr and I trek over to the Durand Rod and Gun for the Harmon Chicken Dinner. That's right -- I haven't missed one yet this Fall!

Sweet little Alice (my mom) taught me how to make pie crust years ago, and Zi owe her a debt of thanks for the wonderful recipe! Bless her heart!

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Today, October 2, is my very good friend Matthew Capell's birthday. I want to take this opportunity to wish him a very happy birthday and I just wish i could be with him in Naples, Italy, tonight. We would be very drunk on red wine!

"Mr Capell -- gimme little drink of dat wine
Mr, Capell -- gimme little drink of dat wine
Iffen I had yo' money I'd stay drunk alla de time!"

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Just reading through my latest issue of Newsweek magazine. There is extensive coverage on the difference between McCain and Obama. For instance -- concerning 9-11:

"McCain was crossing the 14th Street bridge in Washington, D.C. when he heard news of the first plane crash at the World Trade Center. Upon arriving at his office on Capitol Hill, he immediately went into the office of his then chief of staff, Mark Salter, where he, Salter, and other aides watched on television as a second plane hit the south tower. "I immediately thought, 'this is war', McCain recalled.

Bud Day, his old friend says Mc Cain's first reaction that day was to suspect Iran. "It was such a shattering day," he says, They had been attacking us all over: Hizbullah .. had blown up the Khobar Towers (in Saudi Arabia), bombed the Marines in Beirut .. who the hell else would it be?"

Saalter claims that McCain "knew like everybody else, that Al Queda was almost certainly responsible." And U.S. intelligence did quickly identify Al Queda, which was not linked to Hizbullah of Iran, as the culprit.

... the morning after 9/11 he did an interview with his closest Senate friend joe Lieberman on CBS's "The Early Show". Lieberman targeted by name Iran, Iraq, and Syria, saying the U.S. needed to focus on countries that gave terrorists a safe haven. Asked if he agreed, McCain said yes.

... Just over amonth later, after a deadly strain of anthrax had b een mailed to offices on Capitol Hill and to various news organizations, McCain brought up Iraq again, this time on the "Late Show With David Letterman"": "Some of this anthrax may -- and I emphasize MAY - have come from Iraq," he told Letterman.

Obama had a different reaction. He was a state senator heading to a committee hearing in downtown Chicago, driving along Lakeshore Drive. When he heard the initial reports, he, like many others, thought a small propeller plane had mistakenly crashed into the Trade Center. By the time he had arrived at the building the second plane had struck and Obama's building was evacuated.

... He went to his law office, where he worked part time, and watched the television footage of the planes, people jumping from windows, the towers collapsing.

Then after the retaliatory attack on Afghanistan -- which he supported to the point of wan ting to "take up arms myself", Obama later wrote - "I waited with anticipation for what I assumed would follow: the enunciation of a U.S. foreign policy for the 21st Century .. this new blueprint never arrived.

For Obama, say aides, 9/11 presented not just a tactical problem - finding Osama Bin Laden and punishing the Taliban - but also a golden strategic opportunity. Obama wanted to put in place a framework to tackle a host of 21st Century transnational threats, like nuclear proliferation and endemic poverty. Instead he found the Bush doctrine to be all too similar to the way that Teddy roosevelt had interpreted the Monroe doctrine - as an excuse to remove unfriendly governments. A year later, Obasma was delivering the speech to Chicago's Federal Plaza that first brought him to national attention, vehemently opposing the impending invasion of Iraq as "dumb" and "rash".

For Obama, 9/11 brought into focus all that he had learned abroad - in Indonesia, Pakistan,and elsewhere - about how raising people's living standards is key to U.S. national security. He saw the challenge of the post 9/11 era as similar to the one taken u p by JFK and before him, Truman: to introduce long-lasting strategic structures in concert with U.S. allies to tackle the world's worst problems. In a larger sense, 9/11 was a chance to reaffirm America's wisdom and promise as global leader.

"Instead what we got was an assortment of outdated policies from eras gone by, dusted off, slapped together and with new labels affixed," Obama wrote.

AND THAT IS WHY YESTERDAY I DROVE DOWN TO LACROSSE TO SEE THE MAN SPEAK IN PERSON AND WHY HE WILL GET MY VOTE.

(and that is just one example)

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