Thursday, September 27, 2007

Were the Patriots videotaping them?

Fact: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has banned teams from using their cheerleaders to distract visiting teams. Apparently all 32 teams were sent a memo that stated, "No longer will (cheerleaders) be allowed to warm up in front of the visiting team locker room or do their stretching in front of the visiting team locker room. … The reason? Some players feel they were being a little distracted."

Opinion: These guys are trained professionals. How can they possibly be distracted by ... wait, what were we talking about again?

Home field advantage just dropped from three points to one, handicap accordingly.

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Apparently not a 2nd Amendment supporter

Armless Man Will Not be Charged With Head-Butting Death of Ga. Man

SNELLVILLE, Ga. — A man died of a heart attack after being head-butted by an armless man during a fight over a woman, and no felony charges will be filed, authorities said Wednesday.

Investigators said they made the determination after learning that Charles Keith Teer, 49, had heart problems long before the confrontation with William Russell Redfern, an artist who has won recognition for drawings he does with his feet. [...]

Teer and Redfern scuffled Monday in the driveway of a suburban Atlanta home.

Redfern, who was born with no right arm and a stump below his left shoulder, kicked Teer, and Teer hit Redfern during the fight, authorities said. Teer complained of feeling dizzy after the fight, collapsed, and died.

The fight stemmed from bad blood over a woman who once dated Teer and now dates Redfern, authorities said.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gotta love Greg Oden

Not only is he decidedly non-gangsta and a guy who admits to enjoying math and makes light of his own 40-something appearance, but he now has a new Boston/Beagle puppy named Charles Barkley McLovin. If that's not the greatest name ever, it's pretty damned close.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Okay, I'm out

I'm not much of a college sports fan - I wouldn't even consider trading a future Orioles World Series win or Lakers NBA Championship for even five Aggies Mythical National Championships. And even to the limited degree that I care, I'm not one of those fans who is always calling for the coach's head. That's time for Franchione to go.

This was a season when the Aggies were starting as a top 25 team but had to fight through a murderous schedule with five brutal road games. The first of those, the easiest of the five, on national TV all by themselves, was last night in Miami in what has suddenly after seven decades become known as "The OB" for some reason. It was the kind of game that could springboard them to winning another tough game or two and getting to 9-3 or 10-2, or doom them to another nondescript 7-5 season and a trip to the Gas-X Power Fart Bowl or somesuch.

Four games into the season, in this key game they have been pointing to since spring practice, they:

* still can't pass the ball, leading them to run an offensive scheme that looks like it was drawn up by Woody Hayes in 1957

* still can't defend, even against directional Louisiana schools, down and out WAC teams or 1-AA fodder

* committed what had to be half a dozen false starts, most on first down

* went for it on 4th and 16, a couple of minutes after refusing to go for it on 4th and 5 from the same part of the field and with the game still at least theoretically winnable

* took almost 15 seconds to get a time out called halfway through the 4th quarter, when time is critical, then came out of the timeout to run a quarterback sneak

* I'm sure there's more, but you get the idea.

This from a team that also not long ago scored while down 16 midway through the 4th quarter of a tough road game at Clemson, and did not go for 2, leaving them still two scores down as they had been before the touchdown.

The athletes are there, they have been in the top 10 or 20 every year except one in the recruiting rankings, this thing just comes down to being very, very poorly coached on the field. It's time to get out the checkbook and get somebody else in here.

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The Columbia School of Genocide Enabling

Roger Simon wonders about Columbia's requirements for prospective speakers:

"I have a question for the Columbia crowd, since Holocaust deniers are welcome, would you allow a speaker in favor of a return to black slavery?"

It's a fair question. The most over the top KKK member remaining (there is still a KKK, right?) could not be any more objectionable than the Holocaust denying, genocide fantasizing, "Death to America" spouting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is, even as he is waging hot war against this country in Iraq. It is one of our greatest tragedies that our elite universities have devolved to the point that such a hate-monger can be an honored guest and given a platform for his psychotic vitriol.

Columbia's president Lee Bollinger, and the executives at CBS (where Ahmadinejad will appear on 60 Minutes the night before his speech) would have doubtless fawned over Adolph Hitler circa 1942, but lacking him are settling for the next best thing. As James Taranto quips in noting that Iran punishes gay sex by death while banning ROTC from campus due to Bill Clinton's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy:

"If the U.S. military executed homosexuals instead of merely discharging them, perhaps Bollinger would welcome ROTC back to Columbia."

The best advice I've seen on how we, as ordinary citizens, should react to this sorry situation is given by Death By 1000 Papercuts:

"In a world of perfect karma, Ahmadinejad would be captured by American "students" and held hostage for over a year, paraded before TV cameras and threatened almost daily with death."

UPDATE 9/22/07 11:15pm:
Glenn Reynolds has another excellent suggestion:

"Have some scantily-clad coed run up and give him a kiss. Make sure photos are distributed in Iran."

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

They're not all thugs and boors

College football has always been pretty sleazy, from the rampant cheating to the players committing crimes to the obnoxious fans. So it's worth nothing a couple of notes from my friend Kevin O'Neill's weekly newsletter:

* Most kids with a live shot to play in the NFL don’t look at the opportunity and say “I’m not interested.” But Texas A&M linebacker Mark Dodge isn’t a kid. He’s 27 and came to A&M after a stint in the Army. Despite earning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors twice last season Dodge is not interested in playing in the NFL. “I don’t want to be that guy with a cane when I’m 35 and not able to pick my kids up,” explains the wise Aggie.

* As we’ll see when the Big Red people applaud USC as the Trojans enter and leave the field this weekend, it is hard to argue with the contention that Nebraska fans are the classiest in college football. So no surprise that Nebraska fans who bought Wake Forest season tickets to assure themselves a seat at the Huskers/Deacs game have made sure their tickets for the rest of the season go to soldiers at Fort Bragg and organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Sign me up for Kournikova

Mark Steyn's brilliant and scary book America Alone tells of the demographic disaster that is threatening the extinction of Europe. Russia, for one, seems to have caught on:

ULYANOVSK, Russia (AP) — Make a baby. Win a car. Don’t be surprised if the streets are empty and curtains drawn in this central Russian region Wednesday as residents take up an offer by the regional governor to help stem Russia’s demographic crisis.

Ulyanovsk Gov. Sergei Morozov has decreed Sept. 12 a Day of Conception and is giving couples time off from work to procreate. Couples who give birth nine months later on Russia’s national day — June 12 — will receive money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.

It’s the third year that the Volga River region, about 550 miles east of Moscow, has held the contest. Since then, the number of competitors — and the number of babies born — has been on the rise.


Somebody needs to hire this guy

James Taranto, commenting on a post by noted anti-American historian Juan Cole, comes up with some sound advice for Democrat presidential candidates:

First, if you don't want to deal with the Iraq problem, don't whine about how "unfair" it is. Instead, don't run for president. Just as we have an all-volunteer military, no one is forced to serve in the White House. The job of the president is to deal with the country's problems, and one of those problems right now is Iraq. If you're not up to it, the presidency is not the job for you. Al Gore, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel have all decided to forgo a presidential run, and there is no dishonor in doing so.

Second, if you do run for president and win, don't retreat from Iraq. Cole acts as if it is a foregone conclusion that the next (Democratic) president will quickly surrender, with results that even he says would be disastrous. In fact, the next president will have the option of acting wisely, and Hillary Clinton at least may even have it in her to do so.

Third, don't promise to act unwisely if elected. The Democratic base wants an American retreat, and the presidential candidates will be tempted to promise it to them. But why set up expectations you can meet only at enormous cost to America's interests?

More generally--and this advice applies to all politicians of both parties--if the interests of your party conflict with the interests of the country, put the country first. (If you believe liberating Iraq was a mistake, think of how this advice might have applied to Democrats like Kerry and Mrs. Clinton who voted for it.) This may lead to the occasional election loss, but in the long run the country will thank you, and your party will be better off.

That last italicized passage should be typed up in a large bold font and read several times daily by most of the current crop of Democrat politicians.

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Don't we all?

Witness says he tried to protect Johnson

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cuban on helping those who serve the country

You never know what to expect from Mark Cuban, and as such I was surprised and happy to read his post What Can I Do to Help Those Who are Serving our Country?

Notable is his answer to what he says when talking to himself during the playing of the National Anthem:

"Thank you to all those who have fought before and are fighting now to make this country great. I will never take my freedoms or opportunities for granted. Here is to .... then I go through a list of family members and thank them and hope that they and their children are healthy, happy and can always look up at a blue sky and be thankful for all we have." Then at Mavs games, I give thanks to all the players on the court, fans in the seats and hope that they stay healthy, happy and that the Mavs win.

And I can't mention Cuban without touting his Fallen Patriot Fund.


Look out, Juan Valdez

There's a potential new coffee pitch man in town. Courtesy of Lee Sinins:

Career numbers of Joe DiMaggio and Vladimir Guerrero, through 9/11/07:

BA DiMaggio .325 Guerrero .325
OBP DiMaggio .398 Guerrero .391
SLG DiMaggio .579 Guerrero .580
HR DiMaggio 361 Guerrero 362

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

The "roommate discount"

Apparently the New York Times gave MoveOn a 60% discount off regular rates for the infantile ad that has been the subject of so much attention this week.

Maybe the 6 figure difference was written into the opinion page budget? The ad was, after all, just an expression of the paper's editorial position, it wouldn't be fair to charge full price now would it? Do they charge Paul Krugman for his space? I think not!

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The Founders' Nostradamus

Outside the Wire points out yet another thing that Alexander Hamilton got right:

[T]he founding fathers were correct to point out in Federalist 75 that Congress should have a minimal role in foreign policy.

In the Federalist Papers Alexander Hamilton wrote:

"Accurate and comprehensive knowledge of foreign politics; a steady and systematic adherence to the same views; a nice and uniform sensibility to national character; decision, SECRECY, and despatch, are incompatible with the genius of a body so variable and so numerous."

The key is that a nation's foreign policy must be unified. Hashing out issues is fine, but due to the uniquely sensitive nature of relations between nations it must be done in secret so as not to cause incident due to discomfort at some considerations that might ultimately be rejected. All that needs to be visible to the outside world is the final product, not the minutes.

Congress is uniquely unsuitable for such pursuits due not only to its size, which makes keeping secrets all but impossible, but for its inherent devotion to partisan politics and getting re-elected. The executive necessarily has a longer view than Congress, history will judge him for what happens not only during but for many years following his time in office. Congress, when history judges it at all, rarely does so down to the level of the individual.

With whom do you associate the bloodbath that followed our ill-fated withdrawal of troops and support from Vietnam? Do you think of Nixon or Ford, even though they both resisted it, or Congress, who bullied it through? Can you even come up with the names of the key legislators who rightfully deserve the scorn of history?

Similarly, the Pelosis and Reids of the world can put all of their efforts behind American defeat secure in the knowledge that they would be long forgotten as bearing responsibility for what might ultimately follow. They or their party might pay some political price in the short term, so they must peel off some Republicans as cover. But ultimately they will be able to, with the help of a cheerleading major media, blame the president for whatever happens as a result of even what they endorse and he resists.

This willingness to put short term partisan interests over the interests of the country will always be possible and even likely, thus if we advocate for legislative influence over foreign policy at the expense of the executive we do so at our own peril.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How to agitate for peace

Disturbed anti-war protester can't find soldier, kills civilian with axe instead

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

6 years of safety

I've certainly had a lot to criticize* with President Bush's job performance over the first 6 1/2 years - his refusal to even attempt to rein in runaway government spending, his disinterest in pushing for entitlement (particularly social security) reform, and much of the strategic execution on the Iraq front between the removal of Saddam and the beginning of the surge.

But on this most sacred of days, I feel compelled to point out that he has gotten the most important thing right, and I mean spectacularly right. Recall the mood on and in the days/weeks/months following 9/11. Go back and read some contemporary opinion pieces or blog posts if your memory needs jogging. The one thing about which there was unanimity, from left and right, hawk and dove, Republican and Democrat, Hatfield and McCoy, is that there would be more (successful) terrorist attacks on US soil. Maybe immediately, maybe not for a few weeks or months, but as sure as death and taxes they were coming. And likely to be bad.

Well, 2191 days later and it still has not happened, despite the obsessive desire of al Qaeda and other global terrorist organizations to hit us again. There can be no denying that our anti-terror policies, combined with our aggressive prosecution of the multi-front and asymmetric war on Islamic Fascism, have worked better than we could possibly imagined. And this despite a determined movement of anti-American useful idiots at home (mostly) unwittingly attempting to undermine and obstruct those efforts.

Yes, for this, by far the most important task at hand, George W. Bush has been a rousing success. It's a remarkable accomplishment, and I can't let this day pass without acknowledging it.

* A necessary tangent, while I'm on the subject - if one cannot find a bunch of things to like and a bunch of things to dislike about each and every president's performance in office, he is either incapable of, or unwilling to practice, critical thinking and should thus be ignored.


I also can't let this day pass without pointing to Popular Mechanics' thorough debunking of the "theories" of the insane movement that thinks 9/11 was some kind of US and/or Israeli inside job. These despicable human beings are small in number, but they scream loud enough and will be given enough attention by a sympathetic media near this and every anniversary that they still need to be issued a virtual smackdown on general principle.

UPDATE 9/12/06: A touching 9/11 memorial.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to John Q. Trapp:

It seems to be easier for me to find time to add quick hits to a file and post them later than to actually sit down and compose a blog post, so I think I’ll try it again.

With Hurricane Katrina having been in the news a lot lately in the wake of its second anniversary, it’s worth noting a Reason series detailing three of the most common associated myths:

Myth Number One: The main impediment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast is a lack of federal money.

Myth Number Two: "New Orleans" and "the Gulf Coast" are synonymous.

Myth Three: The Gulf Coast is suffering from a lack of leadership.


2007 is very much like 1943 in that all of the war movies being made are just propaganda. The difference, of course, is for which side Hollywood is propagandizing – now it’s for our enemies.

While on the subject, I recently saw the brilliant The Lives of Others, which should be required viewing for anybody interested in history between World War II and the end of the Cold War. It is the most honest onscreen portrayal of life under communism I have yet seen, and since Hollywood has obviously blacklisted such projects it is all the more valuable.


In a hagiographic essay on how history will view President Bush, Karl Rove slips in an important point right at the end:

I have come to understand true leadership leans into the wind. It tackles big challenges with uncertain outcomes rather than taking on simple, sure tasks. It does what is right, regardless of what the latest poll or focus group says.

This is an underreported aspect of modern politics. Whoever the next president may be, I hope he/she does address the big stuff – the continuing terrorist threat, the looming entitlement crisis – and doesn’t just kick the can down the road as we saw with Bush 41 and Clinton in the former case and Clinton and the contemporary Republican Congress in the latter.

And I hope that whatever he/she does, whether I might agree with it or not, is done out of sincere principle as opposed to polls and political calculation. Bush 43 has done much better in that regard than the image-obsessed Clinton, but he has also fallen short in some aspects – immigration comes to mind. I want any president not to be afraid to be unpopular during his/her time in order to do what he/she believes is best for this country. Again, this has been a particular strength of Bush 43.


ABC is not being allowed to release The Path to 9/11 miniseries on DVD because Hillary Clinton is running for president. Would you have expected any different? The docudrama was critical of both the Clinton and Bush administrations’ failures during the nine year series of smaller attacks and other foreboding events that led to the attacks. Expect a lot more of these little instances of censorship over the next 14 months in Hollywood and the New York publishing houses.


Speaking of the Clinton Machine...If a Clinton is running for president, you know there’s a ton of illegal campaign financing involved. But this particular scandal (of which you’re hearing as much as you did Abramoff, right? No? Why can that be?) is delicious in that it has no need for another tired “-gate” moniker. For this one, “Hsu-nami” or “Hsu-icide” works just fine. “A Boy Named Hsu” might be taking it a bit too far.


Labor Day sparked an interesting series of material on the overt racism of the American Labor movement from its inception all the way through the Jimmy Carter years. Suffice it to say that unions fought as vigorously against the civil rights movement as any southern politician. First was Paul Moreno’s WSJ article detailing some of the history and how unions’ refusal to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 led to the first “affirmative action” laws.

Paul from Power Line added some detail, and Scott from the same site expanded the discussion to note that “despite the legal mandate of equal treatment, for the past 30 years many of America's educational institutions have blatantly violated the law in the name of affirmative action and diversity. In reality these terms are extremely misleading euphemisms for the practice of gross racial discrimination.” This is fascinating stuff, and an extremely valuable service as it is exactly kind of history that academia is constantly attempting to rewrite and censor, much like the real history of Communism as noted above.

As a bonus, Scott also includes a hilariously hysterical letter from Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), an “ardent left-wing organization that is committed to the practice of racial discrimination in law school admissions,” which is alone worth the click.

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