Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fingernails on the lefty blackboard, etc.

Did Obama really say “This is the greatest country on earth” in the first debate? Doesn’t he realize that there is not a sentence in the English language that is more offensive to a significant segment of his supporters?

Sure he does, but he also needs the sane vote.


Random environmental factoid: sea levels have been declining the last two years, reversing a previous rising trend.


As I noted in my last post, leftists are big on silencing dissent. Another example: Tigerhawk posted last month on a journalism professor who “proposes that there be legal or ethical standards that might be deployed to censor or sanction skepticism about anthropogenic global warming.”

To get an idea of the mindset, check out the passage he quotes from the original:

So, let’s ask: what would happen if denial of both a) human-caused climate change and b) the dangers of such rapid change, were to be censored? If the science is beyond reasonable doubt, and miscommunication and denial leads to damaging inaction, should it not be censored? Beyond reasonable doubt is all we need to put someone in prison, or in the US, put them to death.

Yes, some global warming advocates think that dissent from their advocated position should be censored, and that violators should be punished with imprisonment or worse.

As I said before, chilling.


I also had forgotten this attack on the press from the DNC in Denver last month (thanks to JH for the reminder):

“Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel.”

No word on whether the police were wearing brown shirts.


The Wind Blow!!! My Flat Top Swang!!!

No idea what it means, but that’s what is printed on DeShawn Stevenson’s new wrist bands. Drew Gooden could not be reached for comment.


Nancy Pelosi’s bizarre and nonsensical speech that helped torpedo the bailout bill vote on Monday continues a trend that begs the question: is she the most ineffective legislative leader in US history? I can’t think of one, but I am only an amateur historian so I can speak definitively only on the last 3.5 decades or so.


I’m shocked, shocked to learn that European countries are opting out of carbon limits due to looming recession. Would they even have a looming recession if not for the carbon silliness?


Meanwhile 1984 is starting to seem less like a novel than an accurate vision of the British future:

Councils are recruiting 'citizen snoopers' to report litter louts, dog foulers and even people who fail to sort out their rubbish properly. The 'environment volunteers' will also be responsible for encouraging neighbours to cut down on waste. The move comes as local authorities dish out £100 fines to householders who leave out too much rubbish or fail to follow recycling rules.

It will fuel fears that Britain is lurching towards a Big Brother society, following the revelation this week that the Home Office is extending some police powers to council staff and private security guards. Critics said the latest scheme could easily be abused and encourage a culture of bin spies and curtain twitchers.

Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: 'Snooping on your neighbours to report recycling infringements sounds like something straight out of the East German Stasi's copybook.

But always remember, it’s the religious right who want to control your lives…yeah right.


This is one of the scarier tax proposals I’ve ever seen. Not only would I not live in California, I’m not even sure I’d feel safe visiting the kind of state that could seriously propose this kind of thing.


A look at what the heroic law enforcement personnel of Minnesota thwarted during the RNC, pretty scary stuff. As I can attest firsthand from counterprotesting, there is nobody more violent than a “peace” advocate.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Green hypocrisy, etc.

Gee, here’s a shocker:

People who believe they have the greenest lifestyles can be seen as some of the main culprits behind global warming, says a team of researchers, who claim that many ideas about sustainable living are a myth.
According to the researchers, people who regularly recycle rubbish and save energy at home are also the most likely to take frequent long-haul flights abroad. The carbon emissions from such flights can swamp the green savings made at home, the researchers claim. ... Some people even said they deserved such flights as a reward for their green efforts, he added.

Inconvenient truths just keep bubbling to the surface.


The Rams have been outgained by 763 yards over their first three games. That has them on a pace to be outgained by 2.31 miles this season.


Mark Cuban has a pointed question for Obama:

“How is it Senator Obama, that with Wall Street burning, you thought it was a better use of your time to campaign ?. You make it clear that one of your greatest skillsets is promoting consensus. Has there ever been a time when promoting consensus was more important to the financial health of the American people than today ?”

I think the answer is obvious: getting himself elected is the most important thing to him right now. The needs of the people can wait until a possible Obama presidency, and even then probably until after the needs of all of the special interests to which he is beholden have been met. Priorities, you know. And also that Obama's claims to be a consensus-builder, a guy who reaches across the aisle, are a steaming pile of bull doo-doo.

McCain has said in the past that he would rather lose than sell out the people. It sounded like trite campaign rhetoric at the time, but you have to give him credit, he has put his proverbial money where his mouth is.


There have been two fundamental aspects of every leftist ideology in the last century. The first, of course, is a desire for government to have a much control over people’s lives as is possible, for government to make as many of people’s decisions for them as it can. The second is a desire to silence dissenting political voices.

The campaign to elect the leftmost presidential candidate since McGovern is already practicing the latter. They are threatening to pull the broadcast licenses of television stations that run NRA ads. They are threatening libel prosecutions against Obama critics in the Missouri. They are encouraging callers to jam phone lines to any radio show that interviews an Obama critic.

This is basic thuggery. I fear that this kind of thing would only increase in an Obama presidency. There will clearly be an attempt to shut down political talk radio by reinstituting the ironically named Fairness Doctrine. One can certainly imagine an attempt to harass or even shut down blogs critical of the new president, an effort which would surely find an ally in the agenda-driven folks at Google.

The sad irony is that this is a campaign which encouraged the spreading of fake book banning charges against the opposing VP candidate. Even as they try to suppress free speech themselves. Truly chilling.


Thomas Jefferson once wrote, in a fit of pessimism, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

He would be horrified at the government of the 21st century.


A spot-on definition of patriotism, from Jonah Goldberg: “[P]atriotism must involve not only devotion to American texts (something that distinguishes our patriotism from European nationalism) but also an abiding belief in the inherent and enduring goodness of the American nation. We might need to change this or that policy or law, fix this or that problem, but at the end of the day the patriotic American believes that America is fundamentally good as it is."


Biofuels have driven up the worldwide food prices 75%, according to a World Bank report. To be a supporter of this nonsense, you really have to have contempt for the poor.


Fascism in action: a woman was arrested for DWI with a 0.0 blood alcohol content.


It’s hard to find a Democrat these days who will admit that he was not an anti-communist (or much less, was an anti-anti-communist) during the Cold War. Which raises the question: a decade or two from now, will there be anybody left who admits that they were against the (2003) Iraq war?

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Thursday, September 25, 2008


Everybody loves Beavers...

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Old Deal please, etc.

First, a clarification: The LA Times has backed off its earlier description of comments by Canadian doctor Andre Lalonde, on which I previously blogged (second item, now modified). I’m not sure whom to believe here, but note the discrepancy for the record.


You hear a lot of talk of the need for a modern New Deal in some quarters these days, but what you must remember (or learn, as the case may be) is that the New Deal did not end the Great Depression, it extended it. World War II, and the resulting need for massive military production, is what ended it.

Indeed, what made the Great Depression “Great” was precisely its length. There had been other depressions prior to the 1930’s, but none had lasted nearly so long, which is why that one earned the moniker. And that was precisely because of Hoover’s tariff/tax/regulate strategy at the beginning and Roosevelt’s New Deal policies throughout his first two terms. Indeed, there was a depression within the depression in 1937-38, well into his second term.

Had FDR been defeated in 1940, he would be remembered as a poor president, in competition with Jimmy Carter for the worst of the 20th century. Instead, due to his moral clarity and leadership during wartime, he is in a competition with Ronald Reagan for the best president of the last century. Despite the disaster that was the New Deal, not because of it.


Just when you think you’ve seen it all comes…Subtle Butt.


Fun with PMS: Naomi Wolf says (in a post that only gets more bizarre later) that Plain is “the designated muse of the coming American police state.”


I’m still formulating my thoughts on the financial situation, but one thing seems immediately clear: Sarbanes-Oxley was a colossal failure.


On the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia game, broadcaster Jim Nantz said “Pittsburgh is lined up in a two tight end formation. Actually make that three tights end.”

No, no, no, Jimmy. Just because the plural of run batted in is runs batted in does not mean that the plural of tight end is tights end. Tight is an adjective, and only nouns can be plural.

Pretty funny when a guy attempts to be a snob and ends up sounding uneducated. Then again he did go to Cougar High.


Shrewd observation from a Jay Nordlinger reader:

“Did you get the impression that McCain’s message was that the government needs fixing, while Obama’s message was that the country needs fixing? Quite a difference there.”

Between government and the people, which you see as the greatest problem in this country, and which you think should have more power, is a pretty good barometer of political ideology, don’t you think?


You hear a lot of European dislike for president Bush, but not so much of his overwhelming popularity in Africa:

When President Bush traveled to sub-Sahara Africa in February he was greeted by large and tumultuous crowds of admirers — which mystified many of his critics, who believe that the animosity toward his administration abroad is universal. But polling data from the Pew Foundation shows something different: Approval ratings for the United States exceed 80 percent in many African countries, some with large Muslim populations. In Darfur, many families name their newborn sons George Bush.


We will still hear the “change vs. more of the same” cliché, but this election is now quite clearly change vs. change. It’s just two different visions of change, from one camp that has delivered it in the past and another that just likes to talk about it.

Not that change per se is necessarily good or bad, mind you.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yankees are dumb, etc.

No free play to recap this week due to lingering illness. Things should be back to normal for week 4.


In the emotional scene following the final game at Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter fired off this genius malaprop to lead off his on field postgame interview with Peter Gammons:

"The fans here never seem to amaze me."

Me either, Derek; me either.


Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin teamed up to block a vote on a bipartisan resolution "recognizing the strategic success of the troop surge in Iraq" and thanking our men and women in uniform for their efforts.

It’s a shame that they aren’t man enough to admit that they were just completely wrong on this issue. To use a procedural to block a vote on a resolution is the height of cowardice and dishonesty.


This is just cruel: pretending to cry about the death of trees in order to make extremist environmental groups look silly. It’s claimed to be legitimate, but color me skeptical.

And this can’t be for real either, can it?


My new favorite athletes.


So the Secret Service attempted to get copies of the stolen Palin e-mails from the Associated Press, but the AP refused to hand over what it had.

I find it fascinating that big media, who were apoplectic when the federal government attempted to “violate the privacy” of terrorists in order to save American lives, now have such contempt for the supposedly sacrosanct concept of privacy. Transparent hypocrisy there, as they no longer even pretend not to be part of the Obama campaign.


Josh Howard and Mark Cuban negotiate over Howard’s latest idiocy.


From Instapundit reader Kevin Burns, this deserves a high five:

Please remind your readers that the reason that so many Americans mistrust and dislike the "elite" is that the best financial minds that the Ivy League could turn out created the subprime and securitization of mortgages mess.

The best and brightest political minds [from] those same universities created Fannie and Freddie.

Either these people aren't nearly as smart as they tell us they are, or success requires more than an expensive education.


The latest PMS shenanigans: “comedienne” Sandra Bernhard warns Sarah Palin not to come into Manhattan lest she get gang-raped by some of Sandra’s big black brothers; corrupt and disgraced New York congressman Charles Rangel says Palin is “disabled.”

And the hits keep coming.


Some good shtick in a Dallas Morning News obituary:

Merritt, Edward "Bruce" Born April 3, 1951 in North Carolina. He was one of eight children. His older sisters regularly beat him up, put him in dresses, and then forced him to walk to the drugstore to buy their Kotex and cigarettes. After graduation from high school he went on to lead a life of luxury in the United States Air Force. After excaping from the government he spent most of his life as a mechanic, husband, and father. Bruce Merritt never met a stranger, and in many ways was stranger than most. He is survived by one daughter, two grand- children, two ex-wives, unpaid taxes, and many loyal loving friends. Services will be held on Tuesday, September 23rd at 2:00pm.

I regret that I never shared a beer with Bruce.


And some not so good shtick, propping a corpse up in the corner at his wake.


So…a Democrat Senatorial candidate (Al Franken) helped wrote a hit piece against McCain for Saturday Night Live. I’m amazed that this electioneering by a candidate is not a violation of FEC law; at the very least, as Ann Althouse says, they should have been required to run a “I’m NBC and I approve this message” disclosure.


Government 101: Up to 97% of former Long Island Rail Road employees apply for and get six figure government disability payments, leading to a shortage of tee times. This is classic union racketeering, the kind of thing that’s known as organized crime when practiced by Mafioso.


I don’t know whether to be scared or aroused:

Groups of rogue MILF fighters are wandering around the south, looking for food, and fighting back when they encounter police or troops. These MILF are trying to portray themselves as defenders … The rogue MILF groups (about ten percent of the total MILF) are improvising, but are unable to pull off this portraying themselves as victims bit. In the last ten days, the army has seized several MILF camps, putting over a thousand of their inhabitants on the run.

No comment on the MILF from the VPILF.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

A long drought, etc.

No blogging for a while due to illness, which will continue to keep it light for a while.

This week’s free play was on the postponed game. I am taking it down anyway as per my obligations, but know that there was no result.


When New England’s Matt Cassel started at QB on Sunday it was his first start in 3217 days, since a November 24, 1999 game for Chatsworth (CA) High School. He has been a backup to Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC and to Tom Brady with the Patriots.

No word on whether he participated in Chatsworth’s primary industry…


I’m almost certain that Green Bay became the first team ever to take a 20+ point lead, then fall behind, then win by 20+. In this case they led 21-0 midway through the second quarter, only to see Detroit go on a 25-3 run to take a 25-24 lead midway through the fourth quarter, with the Packers recovering to score 24 points in the last 5:17 to win 48-25. Truly a remarkable game, and while I will keep a watch out and post it if I find another instance I am all but certain that this is unprecedented.


It’s not surprising that this wack job photographer would behave unethically; what is disappointing is that a major magazine would hire such a person in the first place. They had to expect that a known hate monger would produce more hate, right?


In a recent pre-Olympic qualifier, Slovakia’s women’s hockey team defeated Bulgaria by the ridiculous score of 82-0. Perhaps even more shocking is that the shots were 139-0. I can imagine a team being overmatched enough to get destroyed, but you would think that at some point they would have managed to throw a puck on the net.


Yawn…more voter fraud from ACORN. How is it again that this criminal organization is allowed to keep trying to steal elections?


The low life who hacked into Palin’s e-mail and posting contact information for her and her underage children will hopefully be caught and imprisoned for a long time, but what interests me in the story is that he was trying to help Obama but came up empty:

The hacker said that he read all of the e-mails in the Palin account and found "nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped. All I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor. And pictures of her family."

Hmmm, dirty tricks on behalf of the Obama campaign backfire…do you detect a trend here?

How many of our own e-mail accounts could survive such scrutiny from a hostile criminal? How would Obama’s, or Biden’s, or Pelosi’s, or Reid’s accounts hold up?

If Republican operatives prove to be as unethical and criminal as Democrat operatives, we shall find out. This was certainly a new low in modern political campaigning, a virtually identical action to the Watergate break-in with the added feature of targeting children.


So Hillary pulled out of an anti-Ahmadinejad demonstration in New York by Jewish organizations because she heard Palin would be attending and she had thought it was not to be a partisan event. What a bizarre excuse; if she was attending she clearly expected it to be a partisan event. Her problem seems to be that it turned out to be a BIpartisan event.

She does seem to be subtly trying to sabotage Obama, which makes speculation that Biden will resign to be replaced by her on the ticket seem highly unlikely to me. Her political future depends on an Obama loss, and I doubt she believes that her presence on the ticket would advance that agenda.


Taxes 101: The IRS has acknowledged that Jamey and Lora Costner of Newport are victims of identity theft and Congress has called on them to testify. Nevertheless, this young couple are being harassed yet again by the IRS for back taxes on income they never earned at a place they never worked (Koch Foods). This time, the feds have already taken $467 from Lora Costner's $401K fund to pay the debt they don't owe.


Note to socialized medicine advocates: don’t ask any actual Canadians if they like their health care system.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

The new PMS, etc.

I’m starting to see the use of Palin Derangement Syndrome and PDS, in honor of the condition of irrational Bush hatred. But in the spirit of the attacks, shouldn’t the term be changed to Palin Madness Syndrome?


A rather shocking quote by Dr. Andre Lalonde, who is the executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Ottawa:

"[S]uch a prominent public role model as the governor of Alaska and potential vice president of the United States completing a Down syndrome pregnancy may prompt other women to make the same decision against abortion because of that genetic abnormality. And thereby reduce the number of abortions."

It’s a notable quote in that you do not often hear abortion proponents openly speak of their support for eugenics. My own life is much richer today than it would be if zealots like Dr. Lalonde, who would prefer to see all imperfect babies killed, had their way.

At least he can’t claim to be “pro-choice,” given his contempt for the choice that the Palin family made.

UPDATE 9/23/09: The LA Times is backing off its earlier description of Dr. Lalonde's comments.


The Bridge to Nowhere controversy is an odd one. It is true that Palin approved of the idea before turning against it and ultimately killing it. But here’s the thing about the issue:

McCain always got it right
Palin at first got it wrong, then got it right
Obama always got it wrong
Biden always got it wrong

I’m not getting how Democrats and their supporters pointing to an issue where their candidates were wrong, and doggone it they stayed wrong until the bitter end is supposed to be a winner. I understand that they are flailing like a fish out of water right now, but somewhere between brain and mouth/keyboard there needs to a filtering process, no?

“We were wrong and you weren’t!” probably won’t go down as one of history’s greatest election taunts.


There have been a lot of crazy sports injuries over the years, but I think the T-wolves’ Jason Collins found a new one in rupturing a triceps tendon in a golf cart accident.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Scoreboard, etc.

With the arrival of another September 11, it’s worth noting (for those of you scoring at home, or even those of you who are by yourselves) that since Islamic terrorists launched their war against America:

Bush 7, Islamic Terrorists 0.


It’s also worth noting on this day to note the reaction of then State Senator Obama to the events of that day. In an editorial in the Hyde Park (Chicago) Herlald on 9/19/01, the future Democrat presidential candidate uttered some gems.

In addition to cleaning up airport security and intelligence, we "must also engage . . . in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness."

Funny, by about 9am Central time that day I understood perfectly the source of such madness: evil. It’s not like it took a rocket scientist to deduce.

For Obama at the time the madness "grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair."

Given that the 9/11 perpetrators were extremely well-educated, wealthy and not only not in despair but instead in ecstasy at the opportunity to murder thousands of Americans, that’s stunning in its ignorance. Terrorists from the host of Obama’s first fundraiser (Bill Ayers) to the spiritual leader of the 9/11 attacks (Osama bin Laden) have consistently fit the exact opposite profile of the one he imagined here.

And of course, "We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad.”

As if in modern warfare this was not already the case. America has and continues to be willing to sacrifice its own soldiers in order to avoid civilian casualty.

“We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent."

File this one under even a blind squirrel finds an acorn. While the expectations of hate crimes perpetrated by Americans turned out to be (shocker, I know) massively overblown, it was still laudable for him to speak out against it. This served as the ninth inning dribbler that kept him from an otherwise all-strikeout day.

But history will show that he got the fundamental question we have faced since the end of the Cold War completely wrong, an error in judgment that is unacceptable for a potential president.


Having noted that, I have to give equal time to a couple of things he got absolutely right in his interesting interview with Bill O’Reilly.

First, he came out unequivocally in favor of nuclear reactor construction, significant in that it has been taboo on the left and flies directly in the face of the desires of environmental special interest groups. It’s an energy position that is so sensible that it should be near unanimous, yes, but embracing it still took a lot of courage and he is to be commended for it, assuming he doesn’t back away from it.

Second, he came out strongly in favor of missile shields in Poland. Again, this should be wholly uncontroversial in this country; Putin’s silly rhetoric to the contrary, this is a purely defensive action and one that should be pursued at home as well as anywhere we have a threatened ally. And again, he deserves a ton of credit for taking on an entrenched special interest group, in this case the anti-American and antiwar left. They have always been adamant in their opposition to R&D and implementation of systems protecting the US and its allies from incoming missiles, and for him to oppose them is very courageous, again assuming he sticks to it.

As an addendum, Obama also pledged not to raise capital gains taxes to any higher than 20%, but I doubt his sincerity on that one, and even if true it’s kind of like giving praise to a thief who steals only half of your money instead of all of it – he’s still a thief.


John Hinderaker on the ever more bizarre attacks on Palin by the media and elected Democrats:

The Democrats in Congress and the press see the election slipping away from them. Their reaction is much like that of a toddler who screams, holds his breath until he turns blue, and generally threatens to wreak havoc if he doesn't get his way.

She’s a pig, she’s Pontius Pilate, her only qualification is not having had an abortion…it is as if the party is consciously trying to alienate the sane portion of the electorate. Can the far left blogs have gained that much influence, really? You would think not, but when a presidential candidate and other high ranking party officials are starting to sound like the comment threads on the Daily Kos…it’s just incomprehensible.


This is what it must have felt like to have drafted Tom Brady in the first round of a fantasy football draft.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Experience as qualification, etc.

Okay, let me see if I understand the whole experience argument correctly.

One should only vote for McCain if they think he will not die during his term in office.

And one should only vote for Obama if they think he will die on his first day in office.

That pretty much sums it up, right?

Certainly one cannot coherently argue against the Democrat presidential candidate as unprepared to be president without using the same argument against the Republican vice presidential candidate. And certainly one cannot coherently argue against the Republican vice presidential candidate as unprepared to be president without using the same argument against the Democrat presidential candidate.


Megan McArdle on the Fannie/Freddie bailout:

The claim that this represents the failure of markets is more than a tad silly. Fannie and Freddie weren't truly private companies, didn't act like truly private companies, and wouldn't have been allowed to so dominate the market if they had been. This is yet another failure of a government program.

Given that the whole mortgage crisis is a consequence of the Community Reinvestment Act, and thus the product of congressional action, blaming the free market takes some serious chutzpah.


Random statistic: in a 2007 Pew Research Center poll, 71% of blacks said that rap music was having a “bad influence” on society while 74% of whites agreed. 61% of blacks said the same of hip hop music, 64% of whites agreed.

So it turns out that not only is the “anti-rap/hip hop positions are racist” myth false, but in an ironic twist the myth itself is racist.


The (London) Observer’s Richard Moore reports what has to be in the running for quote of the year from British speed cyclist Chris Hoy:

Next day, Hoy meets some Scottish journalists. One puts it to him that: 'In the last 24 hours everyone has been offering an opinion on Chris Hoy. But what does Chris Hoy think of Chris Hoy?'

Hoy doesn't miss a beat: 'Chris Hoy thinks that the day Chris Hoy refers to Chris Hoy in the third person is the day that Chris Hoy disappears up his own arse.'


What a contrast between two Boston sports figures:

Paul Pierce suffers the most minor knee sprain in the history of sports, returning to the game a little over a minute later with no ill effects whatsoever in that game or any other, and is rolled off the court in a wheelchair.

Tom Brady suffers a catastrophic knee injury, a torn ACL and torn MCL combo that will require total knee reconstruction surgery, and walks off the field under his own power.

That’s about as far apart on the grown ass man/wimpy little boy spectrum as you can get.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Being ahead of the curve, etc.

First, some housecleaning:

Yesterday’s free play (taken down for contractual reasons) was a loser, in a game with almost no offense from either team – half of what we expected.

Overall, it was a good but not great day, in the limited manner that we normally adhere to in a week 1.


McCain was famously visionary on the Iraq surge, but don’t overlook his prescience on Russia, either. This passage is from a speech he gave at Arizona State University in 1999:

"The mindless slaughter [in Chechnya] is being conducted by a Russian military that seeks to reassert itself not only in the former Soviet Union but also to extend its reach throughout what used to be the former Soviet Union in an attempt to fold back into the Russian empire those countries that have broken away from it, most notably Georgia."

He certainly gets some things wrong, but foreign policy issues are seldom among them.


Plano High School kids pull off a great prank.


Can it just be a coincidence that the stadium (Invesco in Denver) in which Obama gave his acceptance speech opened on September 10, 2001?

How appropriate.


Was Obama’s declaration that he doesn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby” if they “make a mistake” a slip of the tongue or his true feelings?

It is odd to hear any Democrat call underage and/or premarital sex a mistake, that much is certain. Characterizing a baby as punishment may be par for the course on the hard left, but to hear it from a presidential candidate is disturbing, to say the least. Given that he has voted not to allow babies that survive attempted abortions to live, that may very well be from the heart, although it still seems to us like a pretty serious gaffe.

That the Palin family sees their daughter’s pregnancy as a blessing and not punishment stands as a stark contrast between the two young politicians and the movements they represent.


Also from the Dem convention, Rev. Albert Gore gave a speech which included “We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, will really hurt my portfolio.”

Okay, I made up the last part, the quote was really “We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind.” And it was followed not long after by “Americans are tired of appeals based on fear.”

I know he’s not man enough to acknowledge it publicly, what I wonder is if he even realized the self-immolation.


As debate season approaches, you have to wonder if questions will come directly from Democrat campaigns, as they famously did in a Republican You Tube debate last fall.

You would think that the spectacular failure of the media’s anti-Palin offensive would serve as a lesson, but you would also have thought that CBS getting caught openly campaigning for John Kerry in 2004 by using fake documents to drum up fake anti-Bush allegations would have taught the elite media a lesson as well.


Does week 1 matter? In the last 30 years, nearly 53% of teams that won their first game reached the playoffs. Only 23% of teams that lost made the postseason.


A Jay Nordlinger correspondent (fifth item) has a simple but brilliant idea on increasing the availability of fuel-efficient vehicles while, at the same time, saving the US auto industry.

What’s killing GM and Ford right now is the inability to provide highly fuel-efficient vehicles. Both Ford and GM make a lot of very fuel-efficient vehicles in Europe — but, thanks to differences in regulations, it takes a lot of cost and time to modify European designs to bring them to the U.S. This makes no sense at all. Europe is a sophisticated region and their vehicle regulations are roughly equivalent to our own as far as safety and other things go.

I see no reason that we can’t simply have a waiver that says U.S. companies can import any model that meets European standards and sell it in the U.S. We should just recognize their regulations. […]

[This is] a no-cost solution that involves no corporate welfare, enhances trade and consumer choices, reduces fuel consumption, and makes Ford and GM fully competitive in fuel-efficient cars almost immediately. There’s no downside to this except some bureaucrat somewhere would have to accept the regulations promulgated by some other bureaucrat somewhere else.

I can think of another downside: it pits the interests of the American people against the interests of the UAW (I am assuming that the European cars are built in European factories, which is suggested by the use of the word “import” above). And in the current congressional climate, which seems extremely likely to remain after this fall’s elections, the interests of a major labor union will always trump the interests of the people. 100% of the time.

But it is still an interesting argument, and one with which politicians and organizations who are serious about cutting energy usage and reviving the US auto industry should be fully on board.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

All the propaganda that's fit to print, etc.

You can always count on the New York Times to take exactly the opposite position when discussing Republicans or their actions as they do when discussing Democrats r their actions. Contrast their virulent attacks on Sarah Palin, equal parts People Magazine and Mother Jones, with their lead editorial on July 3, 1984 after the VP nomination of Geraldine Ferraro.

Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become President? . . . Or where is it written that mere representatives aren't qualified, like Geraldine Ferraro of Queens? . . . Where is it written that governors and mayors, like Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, are too local, too provincial? . . . Presidential candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of practical demography, not idealized democracy. . . . What a splendid system, we say to ourselves, that takes little-known men, tests them in high office and permits them to grow into statesmen. . . . Why shouldn't a little-known woman have the same opportunity to grow?

Yes, for the Times, a woman having been a governor and mayor is a splendid qualification…if she’s a Democrat. And a little-known woman should have the opportunity to grow as VP…unless she’s a Republican.


The thing that stands out about the camera shots of convention protesters this week is how many of them wear some form of mask. Are they ashamed of what they are doing, a la the old hooded KKK, or are they just good old-fashioned cowards? I suspect that it’s both, but we’ll never know since they all will be deathly afraid of addressing the question.


Vikings safety Darren Sharper loves him some him: “I’m like a fine wine, a Cabernet-Merlot-Shiraz blend. It can do a lot of things. It gets better as you open it up and let it get out there and air out, filtrate, do all those things. I don’t even need a decanter. Just let me go out there and run. Pour me in your mouth, suck it up and let it run.”

No thanks D, I’d rather have a shot of AnnaLynne McCord.


I’m stunned to hear that Palin’s teleprompter broke about halfway through her acceptance speech. She certainly did not miss a beat, pretty impressive when doing a lengthy portion of a speech mostly from memory (the occasional peek down to a paper copy could help as an outline, but that’s about it).

Since the major topic among serious observers this week has been the comparison of Palin’s experience and fitness for office to Omaba’s, this is significant (to the point people will hear about it, obviously the elite media will try to suppress it). Her ability to adjust to adversity on the fly is impressive, if not exactly enough to qualify her to be president.

And it contrasts with the top of the opposing ticket, which also features somebody not qualified to be president but who doesn’t do quite as well on his feet. Obama is one of the more brilliant speakers I have ever seen in front of a teleprompter, one might even call him Brokawian. His problem comes when he steps away from the teleprompter, at which point he makes Dan Quayle look like Socrates.

McCain is, of course, the opposite – he is uncomfortable delivering prepared text, and superb speaking off the cuff. Palin looks to be brilliant at both, and Biden is entertaining for his sheer unpredictability, kind of a political version of Kristin Chenoweth.

This election could end up being decided by how successful Obama is in trying to avoid any town-hall meeting style debate where he will have to think and speak spontaneously, as opposed to McCain’s success in avoiding an string of debates where the answers can be entirely scripted.


I knew Isaac Bruce had been around a while, but was still shocked to read that as a rookie he played in Anaheim with teammate Jackie Slater and under coach Chuck Knox.


Detroit’s criminal mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, has resigned. The Detroit Free Press account is a classic of the genre of political scandal stories in that it does not, at any point, mention Kilpatrick’s party affiliation. The practice of trying to hide party affiliation in stories on Democrat scandals while putting it in the headline or opening sentence in Republican scandals is so common in the elite media that it’s a blogosphere game: Name That Party.


Children, do not try this at home.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

She made the right choice, etc.

My favorite take on the Palin pick comes from Mark Swanson (via James Taranto):

I think we can all agree that Palin's pick of an experienced statesman like John McCain to head her ticket shows that she is much better prepared to be VP than Biden who is trying to thrust an unqualified youngster who was a do-nothing state legislator before being elected to the Senate where he put in a few months of attendance before going AWOL to run for president.


If only John Edwards had been the father of Bristol Palin’s baby, it would never have made the news. Then again she would have had to sleep with John Edwards, which might be too much of a burden to take for the team.


As for the pregnancy itself, I don’t really see it as having any effect on the election unless it turns abortion into a campaign issue. I suspect that the Democrats are smart enough to avoid that at all costs.

The only other possibility is some electoral blowback, particularly from women, over the relentless attacks on Sarah and Bristol by the mainstream media. The Dems are practiced in distancing themselves from the kooks at Kos and such, and fortunately for them only the tiniest minority of voters is aware of the over the top hate speech that is the site’s stock in trade.

But it’s a bit harder to distance from the vitriol that is coming from the editorial and front pages of most major newspapers and newsmagazines and all of the TV news organizations except Fox News. Surveys show that voters have become sophisticated enough to realize that big media is openly campaigning for Obama, and are thus likely to associate the Palin family attacks with the Democrat party.

But even with this factor, and even if Democrats overplay their hand in their newfound distaste for women with children having careers (which would be there even without the pregnancy), it’s hard to see this whole thing swinging more than a point or two on election day, which is still two months away after all.


College basketball’s greatest rivalry spills over to the gridiron:

Two parachutists who was supposed to drop into Cahpel Hill’s Kenan Stadium with the game ball for the UNC-McNeese State game instead dropped into Wallace Wade Stadium, where Duke and James Madison were warming up, startling players and coaches. One of them almost landed on a player and the JMU coach compared it to a scene from Red Dawn.

The official explanation: “Bad weather nearly forced the skydivers from Virginia-based Aerial Adventures to cancel the leap, but the clouds opened enough for them to see a stadium, and they jumped.”

My guess: they just wanted to meet Sonny Jurgensen.


Random stat: According to the CBO, a 15% cut in CO2 emissions would raise the average household’s annual energy bill by $1300.

I’m sure they won’t mind…


The Copenhagen Consensus estimates that merely lowering trade barriers would increase global output by $3 trillion per year, well over 5%. And that more than 80% of that gain would go to poor countries.

The breakdown of the Doha trade talks was a severe blow to those living in poverty. We can mitigate some of the damage by signing as many smaller free trade agreements as we can negotiate, but something that everybody buys into would be a great thing for all of the world’s citizens.


I’m not sure which is funnier:

- That there is a town called Intercourse, PA
- That it has a newspaper called the Intercourse News
- Or that Intercourse is in Amish country, of all places


The more government has gotten into the college financial aid business, the more college costs have gone up. Funny how that works. Thomas Sowell has a great alternative to the usual “government confiscates assets from taxpayers, wastes a significant portion on administration, distributes what’s left over haphazardly” manner of subsidizing college expense, as well as keep parents from having to run up huge amounts of debt.

Allow students to sign contracts with lenders who would pay their college expenses in exchange for a set percentage of their future earnings over some period. It would essentially be a system of students selling stock in themselves. The competition of lenders shopping for the best students and students shopping for the best deals on lenders would benefit all concerned. And even the poorest of students would find college within their reach.

As with most of Sowell’s ideas, it’s brilliant but so simple that you wonder why it hasn’t already been done.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What about Blogging Americans? etc.

We know that Democrats love defining people by group membership instead of acknowledging them as individuals, but I still find this list of categories of Obama supporters to be hilarious.

They alphabetized it, presumably to avoid offending anybody, but I think they missed a golden opportunity to rank the groups in order of how much they are oppressed by evil white men. Should African Americans or LGBT be ranked higher? I can’t say, but I’m sure there is some platform approved answer.

What about people who cross over into more than one group? If I’m a senior lesbian Pacific islander woman of faith living abroad who’s an environmentalist and a union member, which group do I join?

And hey, why isn’t White Guys a category? Is this tent truly big? I don’t see Verbose Americans either, so I have no idea where Joe Biden fits.

My favorite is the priceless new euphemism for American Indians…First Americans. For those occasions when “Native American” is no longer sufficiently politically correct.

My favorite line is “We're ready to take the offense for organized labor.” If this list tells me anything, it’s that they’re ready to take offense on behalf of pretty much anybody for pretty much anything. And what about disorganized labor, like the day laborers that congregate at a local convenience store waiting to be hired for cash. Oh, never mind…Latinos!

And why would Americans with Disabilities vote Obama, when his party believes in the right to eliminate them before birth precisely because they are to be born with said disability? Curious group there, maybe it should be called “Americans Democrats Think Should Be Aborted.”

This page is just a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the modern liberal.


Obama’s formal nomination last Thursday should prove to even the remaining knuckle-dragging holdouts that America is the least racist society in the world. That has been obvious to most of us for 2-3 decades by now, but there is still a bigoted element that is desperate to keep alive the myth of the US as an inherently and irredeemably racist society.

That notion looks pretty indefensible today, but it won’t stop those who get rich from the politics of grievance from continuing to pretend that it’s still 1963. Nor will it convince the academics who promote “[insert group name] Studies” pseudo-scholarship from preaching their message of hate. But you have to think that those few reactionary holdouts are becoming marginalized in the way that their ideological brethren in the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements were a few decades back.

However you feel about Obama the man, politician or candidate, we owe him a debt of gratitude for that.


The old joke “World ends; blacks, women hardest hit” is supposed to be a slap at media bias. But then you hear that House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said that African-Americans are/would be “disproportionately impacted” by climate change.

Proving once again that parody in this age of rampant political correctness is no longer possible.


In 1970, almost 60% of the oil consumed by the US was produced domestically. Now it’s 25%. Since the peak in 1970, US oil production has declined by a stunning 47%.

Any politician that has ever, at any point since 1970, done anything to block new oil exploration and drilling or new refinery construction has been derelict in the service of his constituents. May history judge them harshly.

The supposed rationale for this nearly four decades of obstruction has been that the people should sacrifice for the benefit of the environment (or, to be more accurate, environmental special interests). But that does not stand up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny, as the most advanced and safest drilling and transporting technologies are those of US companies.

Diminishing US production means more from places like Venezuela, the “Stan” countries, and Africa, as well as the usual laundry list of countries whose goal is the establishment of a global caliphate. Closing the Arctic to the US means that Russia will explore and drill it. Keeping us from drilling off the coast of Florida means that China (with cooperation from Cuba) does instead.

How many of those countries do you expect to do a better job of drilling, transporting and refining in an environmentally sound manner than we could? I’ll submit that it’s the same as the number of Texas Rangers World Series games I’ve attended.

I will go back to a conclusion I frequently reach after these types of discussions: it’s not about a desire to avoid damage to the environment, it’s about a desire to damage the US. And to make a few green special interests and a whole bunch of lawyers filthy rich in the process, on your dime.


Management consultant types love to talk about thinking outside the box, but that doesn’t keep some people from thinking inside the box.


Socialized medicine 101: 64-year-old Barbara Wagner of Springfield, Oregon has lung cancer. The Oregonian describes her experience with the state’s health care rationing scheme:

After her oncologist prescribed a cancer drug that would cost $4,000 a month, the newspaper reported, "Wagner was notified that the Oregon Health Plan wouldn't cover the treatment, but that it would cover palliative, or comfort, care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide."

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that a state that would encourage and pay for a cancer patient’s suicide but not pay for her chemotherapy is going in the Obama column in November.

The notion that some lives have less value than others, especially before birth and near death, is a core principle of leftist political thought. It’s good that we have laboratories like Oregon to inform us of some of the consequences of unchecked liberalism.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Female feticide, etc.

I wonder if the abortion movement realizes how the procedure is used in developing countries? It’s a cruel irony that what is sold as “a woman’s right to choose” is so often used to decrease the population’s percentage of women.

Everybody knows (but few advocates admit) how prevalent sex-selective abortion is in China. The “one-child” policy that is so emblematic of the collectivist mindset has now been around long enough to have produced its first generation of adults. Since the policy was enacted, China’s birthrate has been 119 boys for every 100 girls.

What is less well-known is that the practice is also standard in India. Nationwide the female birthrate has declined to 90 girls for every 100 boys, and in some Punjabi cities the rate is, remarkably as low as 30 girls to every 100 boys. Indians in Great Britain give birth to 114 boys for every 100 girls.

Sex-selective abortion is also on the rise in Africa, in tandem with an increase in the availability of abortion itself.

And it’s not as if females in the good old USA are spared, either. Among Chinese, Korean and Indians in this country the combined ratio for firstborns is 105 boys for every 100 girls, a slight but significant effect. But here’s the kicker: if the firstborn is a boy, the same 105-100 ratio continues for subsequent children in a family. But if the firstborn is a girl, the ratio rises to 117 boys for every 100 girls for the second child, and if the first two children are girls the ratio rises to an amazing 151 boys for every 100 girls for the third child.

Colleen Carroll Campbell (from whom, along with Mark Steyn, the statistics quoted in this post originate) writes that abortion was “touted as the key to liberating future generations of women” but has instead become “the preferred means of eradicating them.”

As with so much of the “social progress” promoted by the various flavors of progressive and leftist political thought in the last century, said progress comes with a steep price. The abortion movement began with the desire for keeping down the black population, and having moved past that is now widely used as a means for keeping down the female population.

How long will women in free countries put up with the feminist movement’s suicidal tendencies before revolting?


I’ve seen a lot of concerts better than the Tom Petty show I saw on Wednesday, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one more visually stimulating. 6 large video boards ringing the top, 5 cubic video boards hanging halfway up, and one massive video board in the back, along with an impressive array of lights and superb production, it was a concert that a deaf man could enjoy.


Wall Street Journal correspondent Bill Walsh nails it: "I can think of only one liberal that Obama ought to start talking like: John Locke."


New England last season was the first team in NFL history to use the shotgun on more than half of their offensive plays (per Pro Football Prospectus). That sound you heard was Woody Hayes rolling over in his grave.


Hopefully the easing down of oil (and thus gasoline) prices will end any ideas for a “windfall profits tax” expropriation on oil companies. We tried that in 1980, and it decreased domestic production from 9% to 6% and increased OPEC imports from 8% to 16%. And as with all taxes it would be passed on directly to consumers, driving up already high energy prices.

That a scheme to drive up prices, lower production and increase our dependence on foreign oil is even discussed is unfathomable. They must really think we are ignorant.


One of the funnier talking points of this election year has been the repeated claim that NAFTA causes American jobs to be sent overseas.

I’m not sure if it’s the Great Lakes, the Rio Grande or both that the protectionists consider to be seas/oceans.


Football prep and a busy social life have kept blogging light lately, but that should ease up some now. Whether or not that's a good thing is left as an exercise for the reader.

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