Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blogs Rule: C.J. Wilson weighs in at the trade deadline

C.J. weighs in after the Teixeira trade. I'm like a commenter: we can't trade C.J. for this reason alone: his blog commentary is too much fun ...


You realize, reading blogs over time, how much the space limitations and the editing process of newspapers tend to skew what you learn about various things. This is a good example: C. J. Wilson guest-posts at the kick booty-butt trade deadline gossip blog: Lone Star Ball.

C. J. is not a professional writer, yet he is interesting. He gives inside info on players from other organizations who are rumored to be offered to the Rangers, and whom C.J. has either played against, or at least has a professional ballplayer's opinions about. And THEN C. J. GOES INTO THE BLOG COMMENTS SECTION, AND DOES BACK AND FORTH WITH THE VERY BLOGHEAD FANS WHO HAVE BEEN FEVERISHLY SPECULATING ABOUT TRADES. Other C. J. comments:

you never know
I thought chris young was untouchable...after that trade I won't feel secure about my small spot on the roster for a while.

as far as the starter, reliever thing goes... depends on who you ask, and a lot of what ifs.

what if I can still throw 92-96 for 7 innings as a starter? um well then it's a no brainer I should be a starter. How will any of us find out? Unless they give me a chance, even if it's in AAA or AA for a month or two this year, nobody can be certain. Which is what I told people a few months ago.

what if everyone is healthy and there isn't a spot for me? then I guess I go back to the pen, but with an extra chip in my stack.

what if I suck as a starter? well then we all know it's written in stone that I stay in relief. I don't think I will suck, so I keep fighting the tides a bit until the timing works out that I get a chance.

right now I am a defacto setup guy of some sort- the organization will place me in a role they think is most beneficial to them- if we re-sign gagne, and aki, and benoit- then I do the same thing I'm doing now in 2008.

If we need a closer for next year and don't sign one, I'd like to think that the PTB (powers that be) allow me to compete for that role.

I'd rather take a chance at being the next eric bedard-ish guy than be a certain LH-specialist, especially if we're not contending for the World Series in 2008. Developing starting pitching is the hardest thing to do for most teams...we've all seen the growing pains and reality checks for colby lewis, ben kozlowski, volquez, dominguez, etc.

The thing that sticks in my head are the talks I had with Kenny Rogers the last few seasons. He's pretty sure I'm gonna be like him, come up as a flamethrowing lefty reliever, and forge my career as a starter when I get the chance. The question is- what direction is the team going in?

who the hell keeps yelling "throw the gyro" when I'm pitching?
by blue glove lefty on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 02:27:00 AM EDT

A lil bit of an OT question for ya..
The trade talk is cool and all but gets old. I just wanted your take on which position player on the team would throw the hardest on the mound. I would think that MY could bring it a bit.
by Pitcher15 on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 02:33:10 AM EDT [ Parent ]

desi relaford has
already pitched one or two scoreless for the mets and even got a strikeout or two. I saw the video- 92mph, 77mph changeup...

but dude- nelson cruz has the best arm on the team for sure! he might be a bit wild but could probably throw 95. wilky was a pitcher in college, so he can toss a bit, high 80's-90? and mike can probably throw mid 80's, maybe 90 as well. it's more how you use your body to get down the mound than anything else...hell feldman can throw 94 sidearm, but KLoe makes him look tiny in the muscle department. it's weird.

throwing really hard (guys like verlander, i.e.) is more about being super athletic and coordinated rather than just arm strength. I always had an amazing arm from RF back in the day but didn't hit 90 until I was a junior in college- I didn't learn how to throw off a mound and use the slope until then. but I had sick breaking stuff because of good feel, and learned later how to generate hip speed for power.

who the hell keeps yelling "throw the gyro" when I'm pitching?
by blue glove lefty on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 02:40:22 AM EDT [ Parent ]


last one...
I liked the red jerseys- i could always get a red glove!

maybe the trade deadline will bring different circumstances, different teammates and prospects that will change the landscape of our I will wait it out for a few more days before I go ask to start again.

myspace friend, you're correct that my rehab from tommy john surgery year of 2005 would be a bad window to view my starter potential through...take a guy who was throwing 50 pitches in AA and make him a starter in the bigs...yeah not really a prep you'd give for hurley on his way up, is it?

so my point is, if we're 10+ games under, we've got more to gain than to lose if I get a chance to start. everyone will either see it happen or realize it won't happen. and then I know it's time to focus on doing what I have to do to be a closer, which is less distance down the road I'm already going anyway...

if they trade me, how could I be upset? i don't have any control over it.

that's like if I jam the crap out of a hitter and carlos lee is chasing the ball in a medium jog, and he falls over and they give it a homerun instead of an error...oh wait that happened last year! and I was kinda mad but I couldn't do anything about it.

I don't really see winter ball as an option, I don't know the last SP we sent there...

who the hell keeps yelling "throw the gyro" when I'm pitching?
by blue glove lefty on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 11:09:28 AM EDT

And I thought I was a creative baseball genius when I said C.J. was the answer to the Rangers need for dominant starting pitching! I was just one of a group of people - C.J. included! Reading C.J., I realize if the Rangers don't give him a chance to build his arm stamina, and be a starting pitcher, then they are fools.

If C. J. had written any of this for a dead tree publication, it would've been "professionally" edited in a way which skewed C. J.'s mellow. Someone like me wants to see C. J. in an unedited, give-him-all-the-space-he-wants form. It's interesting to get a vague feel for how the players feel at this moment.

I recently saw a television report about The Newburg Report. Many Rangers players follow the Newburg Report via their personal email accounts, or over the web. I was interested to hear Michael Young say The Newburg Report is the main way the veteran players keep up with the Rangers' minor league prospects.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Overhead scoreboards and football punts

Dallas Morning News:

Knowing the [new Cowboys] stadium will feature a 60-yard, center-hung scoreboard, Jones wanted to see how low it could be without affecting punts.

After practice, Mat McBriar launched punts as high as he could as the operators of the Alamodome moved the scoreboard from as high as 110 feet to as low as 93.

"One hundred feet would be the right height," said McBriar, noting that most punts don't travel down the middle of the field. "It would be close, but I don't think someone would hit it."
If I am a 2009 Cowboys season ticket holder, and had I not read this article, punt height vs. scoreboard height is just the type of thing I would spend time speculating on ... is that scoreboard too low? How did they determine how high to put it? LOOK how close those punts come to hitting it!

I speculate that Jerry Jones might have a sight-line consideration in scoreboard placement. He needs the top sideline row to be able to see the opposite bench area. He needs the top end zone row to be able to see the opposite end zone - though maybe not to be able to see mid-air field goal tries on the opposite end. To see if opposite end field goals are going to be good, end zone fans can watch the gigantic live action scoreboard, I guess.

In sports stadiums, as in everything, the only constant is change...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Trading Mark Teixeira

This website: does an outstanding job of linking to and discussing Teixeira trade rumors.

Reading the chatter, you get the idea various teams (Angels, Dodgers, Braves, Tigers) will trade the Rangers a major league ready first basemen (Casey Kotchman or James Loney or Jarrold Saltalamacchia), plus a near major league ready center field prospect, plus a decent low level pitching prospect.

Well, horsefeathers.

The Rangers must demand a top flight pitching prospect - someone with solid potential to be a number one or a number two pitcher on a World Series team. If the Rangers can extract a CF prospect also, that would be good.

As for a first baseman: why? This is an easy position to play. Frank Catalanotto came up as a second baseman, and he can man first base for the Rangers for the remainder of his three year contract. Travis Metcalf could play first base. Jason Botts could play first base in a pinch. Gerald Laird could play first base. Who needs a first baseman?

Get a top pitching prospect. If the kid is still at Class A, that's a risk we must take. Stock the minors with top pitching prospects. We don't want "good" prospects. We want top flight prospects - the kind that make veteran baseball people whistle and say: "Wh-shew. That kid can throw." We want to stuff our minor leagues with pitching - stuff them to the gills. Pitching is a numbers game.

All that said: I like Saltalamacchia as a player. And I've nothing against Kotchman or Loney. I just don't see the need to actively seek out a first baseman. Put Catalanotto at 1B, and turn the OKC outfielders loose against major league pitching.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

September of Patraeus?

Dean Barnett:
Lt. Col. Oliver North had been up to his eyeballs in Iran/Contra skullduggery and had previously lied to Congress. And yet when attacked by the Senate, he emerged clearly victorious.
If eager young politicians wanted to look at a case study in how not to tar and feather a faltering administration, they should look to the Summer of Ollie North. Disrespecting the uniform is a bad idea. Disrespecting the uniform when it’s worn by a man who can run rhetorical circles around his inquisitors is a positively terrible idea.
SO WHAT’S THE STATE OF PLAY right now? The surge is showing results. It’s impossible to get a report from Iraq that says otherwise. That doesn’t mean that the road from here to a peaceful, responsible Iraq will be an easy one. But it is literally impossible to find a military person who thinks David Petraeus is doing a poor job. He has earned credibility throughout his career, and he has continued to earn it the last several months. Meanwhile, the left is turning on both Petraeus and the troops he leads.

I hope Dean's right.


I usually don't link to video from Iraq, even though much of it is excellent. The faces of these Iraqi children got to me. I got this from an excellent blogpost:

If we pull out of Iraq too soon, many Iraqis will be slaughtered. Some of these children might be slaughtered - their parents slaughtered - their sisters raped. These are the children which Nancy and Harry and every Dem Pres. Candiddate do not give a dang about. They want to leave these children to Al Qaeda. Republicans also. Republicans also will sacrifice these children, their parents, and America's security. Republicans also will bring home volunteers, who have often re-enlisted, in order to try and save their Congressional seats for themselves. I think it is despicable.

There may come a time, and it might come soon, or not, when the President decides most of our forces should pull out of Iraq. I will be fine with that, whenever it occurs. I am not fine with Congresspersons - Dems and Repubs - trying to call plays from the stands, for the sake of saving their own careers. Despicable. Those Congresspersons are absolutely despicable.

Bush is not a megalomaniac, out of control President. He is Commander in Chief. He gets the briefings. He gets to make the strategic call. Especially when our Congress are just trying to save their seats.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Little Pony Big Men: Comparisons

Josh Howard: Scottie Pippen

Dirk Nowitski: exists somewhere on a plane between Larry Bird and Keith Van Horn

Pops Mensah Bonsu: like a very raw Udonis Haslem.

Brandon Bass (see below) is a good player who could bump Mensah Bonsu off the Mavs roster. Bass is a better low post scorer. Mensah Bonsu gives tenacious effort at defense and rebounding. I don't know the quality of Brandon Bass' defense, but I can see that he can block shots.
Mensah Bonsu has only played basketball for a few years. He's improving as he goes. How much better will he get? It's Donnie Nelson's call.
Brandon Bass (click for highlights): Xaviar McDaniel. Intriguing. 33rd pick in 2005 draft knows how to score down low. Is physical. Is tough - is A MAN in the paint. Can levitate and block shots. Mavs need this type of player. Could he be the reason the Mavs passed on Big Baby?

Nick Fazekas: Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Both are bad solo defenders. Both are garbage men around the rim. Both know how to score around the basket. Both will give you intelligence and good effort. Fazekas is shorter, yet is a better long range shooter. Fazekas may not yet be strong enough to establish low post position on offense. Fazekas is tough, and tough minded. The Mavs need tough and tough minded.

D.J. Mbenga: Kevin Willis

DeSagana Diop: Nate Thurman. Wikipedia:

After retirement, Thurmond returned to San Francisco and opened a well-known restaurant Big Nate's BBQ after a brief attempt at broadcasting. In 1996 he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, and he remains one of the greatest rebounders and shot blockers in basketball history.
Erick Dampier: Maybe Dale Davis? Marc Jackson?

That's 17 players listed over two posts. Two must go. Seibutis could go to Europe, then come back the following season. Bass could never be placed on the roster. Viola! The Mavs are down to 15. Oooooor..... giant trade, and bye bye Jason Terry.


I saw Big Baby play in Vegas. He was the best player on the floor.

Big Baby had 6(!) blocked shots. He showed deft passing ability; good feet, and instincts and feel for the game. He showed a jump hook; a left hand; and midrange shooting skill. He had assists. He had steals. He had 11 rebounds in the first half alone. Watching him ruined my happy summer.

Maybe Big Baby cannot translate Vegas success against 6'8" power forwards into NBA success against 6'10 Tim Duncan - yet, for now, I feel sick.

Big Baby is not Barkley, just as Nowitski is not Bird. Big Baby doesn't have the young Barkleys' explosive power. Yet, in Vegas, it was impossible to ignore Big Baby's resemblance to Barkley. Big Baby can operate from the elbow, 16-17 feet from the basket, as the veteran Barkley could. Big Baby can twine 18 footers till the cows come home, and he can put it on the floor with skill. You can run your offense through Big Baby, because he passes it like a point guard: right on time, right in rhythm, right in the perfect spot, no awkwardness or hesitation, no worries about turning it over.

In Vegas, Fazekas was a guy. Big Baby was Elvis. My Bowie/Jordan nightmare lives. The taller, safer "guy" who fits your scheme/need is always the mistake:
  • Howard Richards/Mike Singletary
  • Perkins/Barkley
  • Schrempf/Malone
  • Wennington-Blab/Dumars
  • a dozen taller guys/Josh Howard
  • Pervis Ellison-Danny Ferry-Stacy King-George McCloud-Randy White-Tom Hammonds-Michael Smith/Tim Hardaway
Don't draft Perry Como. Draft Elvis.

Friday, July 20, 2007

David Patraeus must be destroyed

I think I agree with John Hawkins' assessment of the Democrats' opinion: David Patraeus must be destroyed. The stakes are too high.

One can see the logic in destroying Patraeus at any cost. The power to run the United States - both the Executive and the Legislative - is at stake. The entire 2008 Elections will be decided in a September 2007 Kabuki Theater in a Senate Chamber. The summer and fall 2008 campaigns don't much matter. It's all about Sept. 2007.

Because the Surge is succeeding; because Patraeus' personally developed doctrine of counterterrorism is smashing Al Qaeda all over Iraq; because Patraeus' military talent hints at the hallowed visages of George Washington, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, George S. Patton, et al - therefore: Gen. David Patraeus must be destroyed.

Patraeus will be Borked. There is no other way for the Dems. Too much is at stake.

Already, I see groundwork for the Borking being laid, as documented in this Hugh Hewitt post:

the assault mounted against General David Petraeus surprises. General Petraeus made the unforgivable mistake in [the left blogosphere's] eyes of appearing on my radio program and answering questions. (The transcript is here and the audio is here.) Both because he agreed to be interviewed by a journalist favorable to victory and supportive of President Bush and because his answers suggest progress is being made in Iraq, Petraeus has been savaged by leftist bloggers big and little.

Among center-right bloggers and pundits, the reaction of Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds was typical. “Every Member of Congress should have to read [the transcript]. Reynolds opined –the expected reaction of anyone interested in the facts about the surge. Others on the center-right applauded the general for agreeing to an extended interview and urging more, not fewer engagements with the press. For a couple of examples of thoughtful responses to the general’s answers, see The Belmont Club and In From The Cold.

In the aftermath of his efforts as an interviewer, Hewitt was labeled "a lunatic" who has "blind faith" in Patraeus, and who "failed to subject [Patraeus] to serious questions". Patraeus was derisively referred to as "the new Jesus", before being accused

  • of having a "track record of quite dubious claims over the last several years about the war" [Greg's note: bunkum, courtesy of Salon's Glenn Greenwald.]
  • of conveying "White House talking points"
  • of engaging in "happy war claims from the military"
  • of being on "Cheney's" side: "Expect spin, not truth, in September"
  • of being "Not only a politician but a political hack"
  • of using a lowdown strategy of bypassing the MSM in order to get his "unfiltered message" out [heh]
  • of being a "GOP Party organ"
About Hugh Hewitt, it's important to point this out: Hewitt is the most well prepared, factually accurate, and talented interviewer anywhere - on radio or television. Hewitt uses his background in politics, law, and logic to inform his interviews. He gives his subjects plenty of time to talk. A Hewitt interview might consist of a ten second question, followed by sixty seconds of reply, followed by a lucid, ten second follow up question, followed by sixty seconds of reply - then repeat until the commercial break. Hewitt is the best, period. To slander Hewitt is to be either ignorant, or a propagandist. Take your pick. More Hewitt:

And any member of the military who speaks candidly about the necessity of victory and with confidence in our forces and with facts about their increasing success is going to get slimed by the extremists, even if it is General Petraeus. That’s just the cost of defending the country these days –exposure to all the many dangers war brings, and a relentless smear campaign from the very people you are keeping safe
The ear-splitting shrieks of outrage at General Petraeus’ interview with me should be a huge signal that this is what the anti-war extremists fear most: The calm presentation of facts at length by those in a position to know them, engaged in an interview the unpredictability of which makes the exchange interesting. Speeches rarely hold the attention of an audience, which is why only small excerpts of them make it on air. Interviews –conducted professionally by a prepared host—can be riveting.
Captain Ed makes a good point:
Bush' critics have forever said: "Listen to the Generals! Put more troops on the ground!"
Now that we have more troops, "the Generals" are saying we are succeeding, and those same critics are saying "Don't listen to the Generals!"


Of course: "Listen to the Generals" never actually meant "Listen to the Generals."

It meant: "Bush is incompetent. Vote Democratic."

John Hawkins:

David Petraeus Must Be Destroyed
All I can say is that Petraeus better get ready, because the left is going to do everything in their power to destroy his reputation and his life. They're going to slander him, they're going slime him, and they're going to demonize him at every opportunity.
the reality is that our troops are succeeding. They're systematically tearing Al-Qaeda apart in Iraq, they are securing areas of the country that have long been out of control, and they're helping the Iraqis stand on their own two feet.
They'll smear and attack Petraeus and they'll encourage their pals in the MSM to do the same thing. Just wait and see -- the democrats will try utterly crush Petraeus simply because he's a competent general, who is getting the job done in Iraq and will be willing to say so on the Senate floor.

Update - neo-neocon:

It’s guilt by association, and there’s no need to point out the parts of the interview that are suspect; it’s the thing itself. The only good—and nonpartisan—interview would apparently be one with Seymour Hersh.

It’s not as though Petraeus has only been interviewed by Hewitt or the Right, either. Here’s a bunch of his recent interviews with venues that seem fairly varied: CBS and CNN to balance out Fox, for example.

The grouping includes a quote from Harry Reid in late April saying that he won’t believe Petraeus if he says there’s progress in Iraq, because whatever the General may say to the contrary, it isn’t happening there. Now, there’s another truly open and nonpartisan mind, like Sullivan’s and Iglesias’s.

And they call Petraeus biased.

During the Immigration Bill debate, the blogosphere did instantaneous research and analysis of the various assertions and maneuverings inside the Senate. Talk radio amplified the blogosphere research and analysis. An army of citizens surged email and phone calls into Congress. The Immigration Bill was stopped. Question:
Can a repeat of this process counter the coming false narratives about Patraeus/Iraq?

Let the countering of the false narrative proceed! Independent correspondent Michael J. Totten:
After having spent several days Baghdad’s Green Zone and Red Zone, I still haven’t heard or seen any explosions. It’s a peculiar war. It is almost a not-war. Last July’s war in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon was hundreds of times more violent and terrifying than this one. Explosions on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border were constant when I was there.

You’d think explosions and gunfire define Iraq if you look at this country from far away on the news. They do not. The media is a total distortion machine.

Every time I think I could not hold Dems in lower esteem, they surprise me


1. not fit to assume responsibility

Buried inside an interesting post about how Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is giving Harry Reid and friends fits in the Senate, I found this nugget:

Senator Coleman tried to require as an amendment to this bill that the FCC not be allowed to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, and was defeated 49-48. All Republicans present voted yes, all Democrats present, including Hillary Clinton but excluding Indiana’s Evan Bayh, voted no.
Wow. Just ... Wow. The Dem-led Congress has a historically low approval rating of 14%. How did it get that high?

The Fairness Doctrine was instituted in 1949, when there were three TV networks, and fewer radio stations:
This doctrine grew out of concern that because of the large number of applications for radio station being submitted and the limited number of frequencies available, broadcasters should make sure they did not use their stations simply as advocates with a singular perspective. Rather, they must allow all points of view. That requirement was to be enforced by FCC mandate.
By the 1980s, many things had changed. The "scarcity" argument which dictated the "public trustee" philosophy of the Commission, was disappearing with the abundant number of channels available on cable TV. Without scarcity, or with many other voices in the marketplace of ideas, there were perhaps fewer compelling reasons to keep the fairness doctrine.
By 1985, the FCC issued its Fairness Report, asserting that the doctrine was no longer having its intended effect, might actually have a "chilling effect" and might be in violation of the First Amendment. In a 1987 case, Meredith Corp. v. FCC, the courts declared that the doctrine was not mandated by Congress and the FCC did not have to continue to enforce it. The FCC dissolved the doctrine in August of that year.
And that dissolution made Rush Limbaugh possible. And Rush became like the trunk of a mighty tree, with branches of conservative talkers stretching out all over the place. The liberal talk tree is more frail, and not as mighty. Which is apparently why every Democratic Senator voted to keep the option of reviving the Fairness Doctrine alive.


I've heard talk that Democrats want to revive the Fairness Doctrine. I discounted that talk, even as I've heard Democrat Congresspersons wax on about how the airwaves are "public property." I still say there is little chance the Fairness Doctrine would be revived. I'm not very concerned that it might actually happen.

What I am, is STUNNED at the Democratic Party. STUNNED. I am STUNNED that every single Democrat Senator who voted - 49 of them - voted to keep the possibility of a Fairness Doctrine alive. As low esteem as I hold Dems in, I am nevertheless newly STUNNED at their fecklessness, their shallowness, and their gall.

Veteran talk show host Hugh Hewitt is not as dismissive as I am about the chances of Fairness Doctrine revival:

Make no mistake about it, if the Democrats gain the White House next November, and Republicans get so lost in which Senator voted what way on this or that, causing the Democrats to pick up additional seats, the Fairness Doctrine might very well be in play, and could take years before the Court could rule it unconstitutional. Goodbye talk radio.
Relevant: 300 v 2

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Then we will all be slaughtered..."

story via NYTs' excellent Iraq journalist: John Burns

[Iraq (Sunni) Vice President] Tariq Al Hashimi asked this senior American official, "is your Congress really serious about withdrawing troops?" And the American official said to him, "you`d better believe that it may be. This is a serious debate and it`s very finely balanced, and it could - it could fall in favor of withdrawing those troops and withdrawing them on a fairly rigorous, tight schedule." Tariq Al Hashimi responded to that by saying "then we will all be slaughtered, then we will all be slaughtered."
Captain Ed's extended excerpt of a Burns interview with Charlie Rose.

Condoleeza Rice is a disappointment

When the U.S. engages in Middle East diplomacy, Arab nations bring all subjects back to Israel.

In my judgment, Arab nations are committed to a strategy of incrementally chipping away at Israel, bit by bit, over years or decades, if necessary, until Israel can no longer effectively defend itself. Then Islam will strike.

This strategy comes straight from the Koran - straight from the Prophet Muhammad's playbook in Hudaybiyah: bide your time, lull your enemy with a peace treaty when you possess only 1400 warriors .... then, two years later, when you possess 10,000 warriors: STRIKE!

When explaining the Oslo Treaty to Palestinians, Yasser Arafat publicly referred to Muhammad's Hudaybiyah strategy. Muhammad did employ the thinnest pretext of justification in that instance: arguing that a minor incident constituted his enemy's breaking of the treaty. Does anyone doubt Muslims' ability to rationalize the breaking of any treaty? Does anyone doubt Muslims count on their own ability to do this? They COUNT ON their ability to rationalize, and to thus retain their honor and remain religiously pristine.

Muhammad broke numerous treaties. Muhammad's emissary claimed Allah Himself declared one treaty null. Hudaybiyah is only the most famous example of Muhammad breaking a treaty. Hudaybiyah, for Muslims, is a famous story. A Christian comparison - in magnitude of familiarity - might be the story of Jesus feeding the multitudes with a few loaves and a few fish.

Never doubt that Arabs plan to deliver the coup de grace once Israel is weak enough. Israeli Jews might be wiped out - along with vast numbers of Israeli Arabs, btw. Israel would be no more.

In this scenario, Israel would cease to exist even in text books. References will strictly cite the great victory over the Zionist illegal occupation. The mention of Israel in a Western textbook would be considered hateful provocation. See: Cartoons, Danish

Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice has been a big disappointment to me in this area. reports that Sec. Rice, in return for "help" from Arab states re: Iraq, has promised more U.S. capitulation re: Israel. I feel despair over this news.

Helping in Iraq will either benefit Arab states - in which case they will help us regardless of our Israel policy; or helping in Iraq will not benefit Arab states - in which case they will not help us - no matter what they promise and/or pretend to do. Either way, our capitulation re: Israel will not promote the success of the Iraqi government. Sec. Rice has been sucked into illogical, irrational, nonstrategic thinking. I am disappointed.


In the world of the State Department, of which Secretary Rice appears to have become the captive, the creation of a twenty-third Arab state -- rather than the inability of Israel's neighbors to accept one Jewish state -- is the key to all mythologies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hirsi Ali interviewed by a cartoonishly anti-America Canadian

If you've never heard Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak, this is a good place to start. Fast-forward to the 2:35 mark, where her interview begins. The Canadian interviewer throws out a steady barrage of false stereotypes about America. Hirsi Ali patiently, yet directly, rebuts. The last 1/4 of the interview:

Hirsi Ali: I think its highly exaggerated [to say] that Muslims in America are under siege. If that were the case, we know of groups in history who were under siege, and what they usually do is leave. I don't see any American Muslim leaving and going back to any Muslim country.

Interviewer(sarcastically): You're faith in American democracy is just delightful.

Hirsi Ali: Its the best democracy ever. Its the best place to be.

Interviewer: Tell that to the people who believe there have been a couple of stolen elections; that the Democracy is completely broken.

Hirsi Ali: I tell them, "You shouldn't have stood by and watched for the democracy to be stolen." My point is [...] that both Republicans and Democrats, and the majority of Americans, fortunately, feel that they can run for office, they can get power..

Interviewer (interrupting): as long as you're staggeringly rich, and totally connected, and in the pockets of your donors, you can do anything you want in America.

Hirsi Ali (literally rolling her eyes): In America you can come with no penny, no money, and you can become very wealthy in America. Tell me which other country..

Interviewer (interrupting): Is there a school where they teach you these American cliches? Is it part of your application process? I'm so upset that I'm losing my cards here - I can't believe you just said that!

Hirsi Ali: I read Alex de Toqueville; and I read About Democracy; and I lived in countries that had no democracy, that had no Founding Fathers, that could not have invented (unintelligible). So I don't find myself in the same luxury as you do. You grew up in freedom, and you can spit on freedom, because you don't know what it is to not have freedom. I haven't. I know that there are many things wrong with America, and I know that there are many things that are wrong with Americans, but I still believe its the best nation in the world.
Radio Talk Host Dennis Prager comments, and extensively fisks:

I don't recall a host looking as intellectually shallow in comparison to a guest in my life. I don't recall. She almost played with him, and he doesn't even notice. He would not have played it, and it was pre-recorded, had he realized how poorly - intellectually - he came across in comparison to her.

It gives you an idea of how much of the left thinks in cliches, because he never actually responded to her. And he was stunned that a black woman would like America!?

Monday, July 16, 2007

My Little Pony Guards: Comparisons

in playing style & style of contribution - not necessarily in effectiveness & excellence:

Jason Terry: Gerald Henderson, John Paxson, or Craig Hodges.
You can win with Jason Terry in that type of supporting role. He may have been overexposed in trying to shoulder and trigger the My Little Pony [MLP] offense to a championship.
Though Terry has arguably choked in three straight playoffs losses, I believe he will be a clutch shooter through the remainder of his career. That said, in a salary cap era, Mark Cuban is paying this complementary player too much money.

I tried to compare Terry to Vinnie Johnson, but it didn't work. Vinnie was not a complementary player. Vinnie was himself a force which needed to be accounted for. Both Terry and Vinnie can/could shoot and play defense. Vinnie was much more physical than Terry, in an era which allowed guards to put their hands on opponents and manhandle them. Vinnie, improbably, was a talented rebounder. Vinnie was a genius at creating his own shot. Vinnie was a unique athletic genius/artist. I've never seen anyone else play in Vinnie Johnson's style.

Alllll this said: Terry is a prime contender to be traded. The My Little Ponies[MLPs] should not trade him without extremely careful consideration. He could be the veteran back-up point guard they need in the playoffs. I like rooting for Jason Terry. I would be sad to see him go.

Devin Harris: Kevin Johnson/Tony Parker. Avery claims he made a mistake by trying to make Devin into a Jason Kidd type PG. Avery says he will now try to let Devin be a Devin Harris type PG.

J.J. Barea (click for highlights) : Steve Nash. The Mavs are undefeated in the Las Vegas League, and Barea is the reason. He sees things before they happen in the open court. He knows who or where the Mavs want to attack in the half court. When its a crucial in-game moment, Barea takes the big shot himself - and he can score it. Barea has the knack of shooting running 14 footers, ala Alex English/Brad Davis/Steve Nash. Barea gets it done.

Barea's level of exposure on defense is unknowable at this time. He's scrappy, and therefore seems as if he'll be okay. Let us hope.

[related: Barea college highlights; 2007 Vegas Highlight: Barea, Ager, Brandon Bass]

Renaldas Seibutis (click for highlights): the Lithuanian Manu Ginobli, with better passing skills, and worse defensive skills. 21 years old, 6'5". Seibutis was noticeably more instinctive than any other player in Vegas, with the exception of Barea and Big Baby. When watching, your eye becomes attracted to Seibutis, and you hate to look away.

Seibutis has a slashing game. His stroke looks solid. His passing is deft - one could envision Seibutis at point guard. He would be perfect for a three guard rotation in which he split time between PG and Two-Guard.

Similar to Barea, Seibutis seems heady and scrappy on defense, and interested in being a good defender. Let us hope. In an upset, I judge that Seibutis - instead of returning to Europe for one more year - has a semi-chance to drive Buckner off the roster this season. I like Buckner - a lot - Buckner is my favorite kind of underdog, scrappy player. Sadly, Avery doesn't seem to share my love. Whenever Seibutis does come into the league - and he WILL come into the league - I wager Seibutis will be a championship caliber player.

Greg Buckner: Elston Turner(?) - whom, btw, coached the Rockets' Las Vegas Rookie Team.

Maurice Ager: Antoine Walker, aka "Asstoine". Ager is a black hole. When he gets the ball, it's not coming back.

Ager can elevate to the hoop, and he CAN shoot it - don't get me wrong. Also, he has potential to become an impact defender. It's just that 1) the Mavs are a team which moves the ball, and Ager is a player who does not move the ball; and 2) potential to defend doesn't equal actual defense. Ager seems a good kid. Maybe there's hope. It'll be interesting to see what he makes of himself. For now, he is nothing. He hasn't done a dang thing yet. Ager is a blank slate, waiting to be written.

Jerry Stackhouse: Vince Carter, which is really a compliment to Stackhouse, and a slam at Carter. Vince should've been more - he should've been a greater in-the-paint presence, but he isn't.

I like Stackhouse. Avery likes him more than me. I think Stackhouse is one of those veteran glue guys who give a coach comfort. Stackhouse brings physical toughness, and he will generally be where he is supposed to be, on both ends. Stackhouse is maturing, like a fine wine, into a locker room leader. I think Stackhouse is a choking shooter in crucial situations. However, I think some choke shooters get mentally tougher as their careers mature. Just as I hope and suspect this will happen with Jason Terry, I also hope and suspect it will happen with Stackhouse. I can envision Stack the venerable veteran hitting some huge playoff shots. Let us hope.

Devean George: Bobby Jones, of the Julius Erving/Moses Malone/Maurice Cheeks era 76ers. Also, maybe a little bit Shawn Marion. I love Devean George. He can play 2, 3, or 4 (a la Shawn Marion). If you stick George in the corner, like Bruce Bowen, I believe he will hit three pointers all day. He struggles on the angled three pointer. On defense, George is physical, agile, knowledgeable, and mentally tough. This is a big time, big moments, make big stops, championship caliber player. As his rings prove. Pray for his health.

Reyshawn Terry (click for highlights): Bruce Bowen, or Devean George - with possibly better offense! Reyshawn Terry is a stud athlete, and a fundamentally sound player. He's a good bet to contribute as a rookie. He is long - a legitimate 6'7". He is thick in the hips, as a powerful stud athlete should be.

Reyshawn Terry was a late steal in a deep draft. His obvious talent makes Donnie Nelson look like a genius - and like a hardworking GM who gets all his homework done. Working without a high draft pick, Nelson has nevertheless brought in six young and talented players in the most recent two off-seasons. In order of acquisition:

  1. Ager
  2. Mensah-Bonsu
  3. Barea
  4. Fazekas
  5. Reyshawn Terry
  6. Seibutis

Nelson has stocked the franchise with athleticism and talent. Throw in Diop, from two off-seasons ago, and Donnie Nelson is looking very good.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cha Cha's OODA Loop was tighter

(Note: link fixed and Updates added)
Competitive doctrine holds that one must Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act more quickly than one’s opponent. This is called an OODA Loop, or a Boyd Loop, for its inventor: John Boyd, of Top Gun fame.

As soon as you Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act, you immediately repeat the process. Each iteration of the process comprises one OODA Loop. You want your loops to occur quicker, i.e. to be tighter, than your opponent’s loops. In this way you force your opponent to react to you, and to react more slowly. You seize initiative/competitive momentum. If your OODA Loops are tighter than your opponents’, your chances of winning the contest are greatly increased.

Cha Cha's OODA Loop was tighter: she used wine, cheese, and a mugger's own humanity in a successful bid to disarm him. She seized initiative, and was able to induce her opponent to react to her. She observed something about her opponent’s demeanor - a competitive vulnerability, as it were: he was not psychotic, he was not beyond reason, he had a heart. She oriented herself, decided, and acted on that. She repeated as necessary.


I envision Cha Cha as a 43 year old sexy and Earthy woman, with a nicely intuitive and well-rounded understanding of men. In the preachy movie which Hollywood will surely produce from this incident, Cha Cha will be a redhead. She will be played by someone like Lolita Davidovitch, or Gina Davis, or maybe Stockard Channing.

In my imagining of the screenplay, Cha Cha will have been done wrong by men - maybe even raped - but she will have healed, and she will have forgiven the entire male gender for its culpability. Her true, girlhood love will have died… lets see… as one of only 6 casualties of the invasion of Grenada. She will have dumped her last man b/c he boozed, and b/c he refused to be rid of his mutton chop sideburns. She and he will still have a fond relationship with each other.

Cha Cha’s career will be with a nonprofit in the D.C. area [Update: Cha Cha lives in Falls Church and works part time at her childrens' school]. She will, as a trusted and close friend of the family, have explained (in an earthy and frank fashion) intimate things to the 14 year girl which the girl would not have sat still for her mother to explain. Cha Cha will be a breast cancer survivor - though she might die at the end of the third act. I will surely leave the theater in tears.
Driver Says: July 15th, 2007 at 3:41 pm
Nobody has picked up on this key aspect of the wine story yet: Thank God it was near midnight, well after dinner, and the wine had had ample time to breathe…harsh tannins and an under-developed nose could have led to a far worse outcome. [j/k!]

Update Note:

  • The median family income in Falls Church is $97,225.
  • James Thurber's family had a summer home in Falls Church, and there Thurber lost his left eye in a childhood accident.
  • Red Auerbach is buried in Falls Church.
  • Fox News babe and secret End Zone crush Molly Henneburg resides in Falls Church.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Arlington vs. OKC

AAA Oklahoma City has an outfield which rivals the Texas Rangers OF in Arlington. These five divvy up the OKC Outfield/Designated Hitter positions:
  1. Jason Botts - a switch hitting Travis Hafner - with a better concept of the strike zone than Hafner.
  2. Nelson Cruz, Jr - a seeming star quality, five tool player with two problems: A) an overlong swing B) shaky confidence
  3. Victor Diaz - dangerous power hitter is still learning strike zone
  4. Freddie Guzman - super-speedy .300 hitter is still fighting to learn strike zone - and might be losing the fight.
  5. Kevin Mahar - 6'7" basketball-playing latecomer to baseball is progressing nicely through Rangers' system. Can play all three OF positions.

All of these are intriguing and talented players. All are on the extreme cusp of being major league ready. If Botts came to Arlington today, he might have stretches of the season where he was the best hitter on Ranger team. Compare them to the Rangers who divvy up the OF/DH slots in Arlington:

  1. Kenny Lofton
  2. Brad Wilkerson
  3. Frank Catalanotto
  4. Jerry Hairston, Jr
  5. Marlon Byrd
  6. Sammy Sosa

Which group is better: OKC or Arlington?

OKC's Cruz, Jr and Mahar have better physical talent than any of the Arlington six. Guzman has slightly better physical talent than Lofton. Diaz hitting talent is equal to Wilkerson's. In Arlington, Hairston Jr. and Byrd have good all-around talent. In OKC, EVERYBODY has better talent than Catalanotto and Sosa (at this point in his career).

Yet, the Arlington six are better. Arlington is better because the veterans understand major league nuance better. Arlington is better b/c of the brains/knowledge and the heart/competitiveness which define the Arlington six.

Baseball, above all other major sports, is vastly about ingrained qualities which are separate from a player's physical skills. Yogi Berra: "Ninety percent of this game is half mental." Yogi Berra was living proof of his own statement, as Yogi had limited physical talent. You inject Yogi's - or Kenny Lofton's - brains, heart, and competitive stubbornness into Nelson Cruz, Jr., and Nelson Cruz, Jr. morphs into Roberto Clemente.

Slightly expanding the conversation:

In the NBA, teams loosely acquire the best offensive talent available, then pray to God that the offensive talent will learn to and choose to play defense.

In MLB, teams loosely acquire the best athletes available: the fastest runners, the hardest throwers - then pray to God that brains/knowledge and heart/competitiveness will somehow take hold inside those players.

MLB teams might search for better ways to coach the insides of their young players. They might focus on improved coaching of the half mental part - including the spiritual and philosophical knowledge and confidence which produce dogged competitiveness - since the half mental part comprises ninety percent of success at the major league level.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Texas Rangers

I count 4 present or potential closers in a bullpen of 7 relievers:
  1. Eric Gagne
  2. Akinori Otsuka
  3. Frankie Francisco
  4. LH C.J. Wilson

That's a wow. The Rangers also have Joaquin Benoit and LH Ron Mahay pitching the best ever in their careers - which is pretty danged good in both cases; and the Rangers have superachiever Willie Eyre - having added a split finger fastball to his repertoire - demonstrating both mastery of his craft, and versatility to pitch in either starting, long relief, or set-up roles. More wow.

Unable to break into the superstrong bullpen, except in the case of injuries:

  • Wes Littleton (conceivably a future closer, or an 8th inning set-up reliever)
  • Scott Feldman (workmanlike and effective side-armer)
  • LH A.J. Murray (currently using a plus change-up to dominate as a AAA closer)
  • Either Jamey Wright, Vincent Padilla, or Robinson Tejeda, depending on which one falls out of the starting rotation.

At this moment - before a possible onslaught of trades begin - the Rangers possess the finest bullpen in franchise history. It's an absolute pleasure to watch these guys work.

I believe the Rangers, improbably, are now the equal of most baseball teams which are challenging for the playoffs. Young starters Brandon McCarthy and Kameron Loe are ready to succeed in a way they were not in April and May. Young players Marlon Byrd and Ian Kinsler are also ready to succeed in ways they were not in April and May. Early season slumping veterans Kevin Millwood, Michael Young, Brad Wilkerson, and Frank Catalanotto are now playing with excellence. Manager Ron Washington and Catcher Gerald Laird have seemingly meshed their thinking on how to call games and work with pitchers.

The Rangers were two months too young and two months too slumpy to succeed this season. It seems crazy, yet if the Rangers kept this exact team together in 2008, I would like their chances to make the playoffs. However, the odds of this team being together, even three weeks from now, are slim.

Looking to the future:

In the MLPlayoffs and the World Series, umpire's strike zones shrink a bit. Its important to have pitchers who can succeed in those umpiring conditions.

Kevin Millwood can succeed, more often than not. He can spot his fastball where he needs it - which is what you need.

Brandon McCarthy reminds me of a tall Orel Herschiser. McCarthy could become a successful playoff pitcher.

Kameron Loe will have trouble. If playoff umpires cut 3-4 inches off the bottom of the regular season strike zone, Loe's sinker and change-up may put him behind in the count against many hitters. It's the same problem Greg Maddux had in the playoffs, imo. It's the same problem Fernando Valenzquela had late in his career, when hitters began letting his sinkers go by, and umpires began carefully scrutinizing the bottom of his strike zone.

Eric Hurley could be a solution.

My solution: C.J. Wilson.

I know of no reason C.J. could not be a #1 or a #2 World Series quality starter. He certainly has the stuff, the intelligence, and the repertoire. The Rangers could be worried about C.J.'s post-operative health - yet I've not heard any actual word about that. It's said C.J. likes to get his adrenaline pumping for relief appearances. So what? I say C.J. is an intelligent and adaptable athlete. C.J. was horribly unsuccessful during two different efforts at being a starting pitcher in the major leagues. Again: so what? In a young player's career, those failures were a LIFETIME ago. Those failures were exactly like a 5 year old trying to remember when they were 3 years old: it was FOREVER ago. Who can REMEMBER that far back?!

C.J.'s repertoire could be a big asset. A starting pitcher needs to give hitters different looks during different trips through the line-up. C.J. has about 6 different pitches he can throw effectively. He's a veritable Daisuke Matusaka - right down to C.J.'s employing Daisuke's gyroball as a strike-out pitch. C.J. throws all these pitches well:

  • 4 seam FB
  • 2 seam FB
  • slider
  • curve
  • change-up

plus the gyroball; plus he's always playing around with things like a forkballs and a screwballs, and whatever else he hears about.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

300 vs 2

Lord knows, if Pres. Bush was corrupt, you'd think the Democrats would've discovered it, as (according to White House spokespersons) Dems have launched 300 INVESTIGATIONS since they took control of both Houses of Congress, only to come up with bupkus.

300 is an amazing number of investigations. It demonstrates that Dems are more focused on winning elections (via demonizing Repubs) than on governing. Contrast the number of investigations: 300, with the number of legislative bills the Dem controlled Congress has passed into law: 2

1 first date, on 14 different video sites, in 2 minutes


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

546 extra words per day

"Researchers recorded the daily conversations of 400 university students in the United States and Mexico over a period of several days. They found that females spoke about 16,215 words each day, and males uttered an average of 15,669 words, which was considered a statistical dead heat."

Everyone is pooh-poohing 546 extra words a day. I say 546 extra words a day are A LOT. 546 words is an entire daily essay about a husband's

  • shortcomings
  • honey dos
  • dammit do this or you will be found face down floating in the river.
546 words is:

  • 3,822 words per week (yikes!)
  • 116,571 words per year
  • 2,331,429 words over the course of a 20 year marriage
The good thing is, not all those words are directed at the husband.

On a personal level, I am a BIT talky. My poor, poor future wife - whomever she may be...

    Monday, July 09, 2007

    Hollywood, 2007

    from the venerable William Katz:

    Not long ago I developed the story of a West Point cadet whose fireman father had been killed on 9-11. This was the same family President Bush praised in his 2006 West Point graduation speech. It was a service family -– a fire officer father who'd given his life, a soldier son, the soldier's brother, himself an aspiring fireman, and a mother who'd been teaching school the day her husband was killed.

    I called a well-placed Hollywood power broker to get the project launched. I told him the story, and pictured the family, rightly, as the best America has. There was a long pause. Then he blurted out, "Wait a minute! Those are the people who elected BUSH!"

    Saturday, July 07, 2007

    Something is shifting in Iraq

    for the good. Evidence and the signs are everywhere - for those who wish to see. The latest evidence is found in Al Qaeda #2 (now #1?) Ayman Al Zawahiri's latest video rant: he seemed a bit desperate about Iraq, and a little bitter. Zawahiri's was not the presentation of a man who is winning. The enemy is neither mystical, undefeatable, nor inexhaustible. Wretchard analyzes Zawahiri's video:
    [Zawahiri's] great fortune lay in that Iraq was so close, being in Arabia, to the sources of his recruitment that he was able generate a much greater force than has been possible in Afghanistan. And yet he is running out of recruits. It occurs to me that the American strategy of raising the Sunnis against the al-Qaeda has had international repercussions. Those same Sunnis are telling their contacts in other Arab countries that al-Qaeda is the enemy. In an indirect way the battlefield has produced what diplomacy was supposed to and could not. It has alienated al-Qaeda from some of its Sunni base. If I am right, it's a thunderclap.
    Wretchard is right, imo. And it is a thunderclap. Iraqis understand America better than before. Iraqis understand Al Qaeda's barbarism better than before. If you understand both America and Al Qaeda, you do not choose to be with Al Qaeda and against America. You choose to be with America. Something has shifted. It's a thunderclap.

    Friday, July 06, 2007

    Astros CF Hunter Pence

    Hunter Pence has a gee whiz, glad to be here, Mark "The Bird" Fidrich quality about him - as you maybe can see in these pictures.

    Famous Cousin Jeff:

    In addition to the walk off homer, [Pence] caught a Ryan Howard 435' fly ball at the top of the hill, leaning against the flag pole. The first time I have really seen the flagpole be in play. It was a huge shot from Howard. Pence got to the warning track (at the base of the hill), stopped, looked down, and then ran up the hill to make the catch. [Greg's comment: major cool!]

    He hit his 11th homer last night. The announcers here make fun of him for having the fastest home run trot in baseball.

    He just got enough at bats to qualify for season stats. He is #2 in avg., 6th in triples.

    Michael Yon is in the zone

    "Iraqi kids that have not been spoiled by handouts are the funniest I have seen anywhere." - Michael Yon
    Michael Yon is providing unparalleled reporting, pictures, and analysis on his website. No one can touch him. He is like a comet streaking across the sky, showing the way for any who wish to follow.
    Something is shifting in Iraq. The good guys are succeeding in ways they never have before. I sense it from Yon, David Kilcullen, Johannes, Iraq the Model, Frederic Kagan and Kimberly Kagan - and even, sometimes, the MSM. Here's what I think is happening.
    1. Iraqis are finally figuring out that we want to help them and then go home. That we would want such a thing was a foreign concept to Iraqis for a long time. The idea of it goes against everything they know.

    2. Al Qaeda have shown themselves to be barbarous and oppressive murderers. Iraqis want Al Qaeda gone.

    3. Some of the Iraqi Army - approx. 5000 troops - are operational and effective soldiers. They allow America to succeed in urban areas in a way we never could before. When the Iraqi Army units go into neighborhoods, they instantly know which are the bad guys. That's a big change for the better.

    4. The Surge - fully underway only since June 20 - is the first time America has gone on offense against Al Qaeda in a comprehensive way.
    Prior to the Surge, America was merely keeping a lid on things and hoping time would work its magic. That did not work. We created a power vacuum, and Al Qaeda and Iran rushed in. Now, finally, seriously and for real, we are on offense. We are not targeting one town. We are, for the first time, comprehensively targeting Al Qaeda all across Iraq. America has brilliant offensive military strategists. When we seriously, comprehensively, offensively target an enemy for destruction, that enemy is in peril.

    Re: #1 above, Michael Yon:

    For many Iraqis, we have morphed from being invaders to occupiers to members of a tribe. I call it the “al Ameriki tribe,” or “tribe America.”

    I’ve seen this kind of progression in Mosul, out in Anbar and other places, and when I ask our military leaders if they have sensed any shift, many have said, yes, they too sense that Iraqis view us differently. In the context of sectarian and tribal strife, we are the tribe that people can—more or less and with giant caveats—rely on.

    Most Iraqis I talk with acknowledge that if it was ever about the oil, it’s not now. Not mostly anyway. It clearly would have been cheaper just to buy the oil or invade somewhere easier that has more. Similarly, most Iraqis seem now to realize that we really don’t want to stay here, and that many of us can’t wait to get back home. They realize that we are not resolved to stay, but are impatient to drive down to Kuwait and sail away. And when they consider the Americans who actually deal with Iraqis every day, the Iraqis can no longer deny that we really do want them to succeed. But we want them to succeed without us. We want to see their streets are clean and safe, their grass is green, and their birds are singing. We want to see that on television. Not in person. We don’t want to be here. We tell them that every day. It finally has settled in that we are telling the truth.

    Now that all those realizations and more have settled in, the dynamics here are changing in palpable ways.

    Something dramatic has shifted. A lot of positives are meshing together right at this moment. The Iraqi Government is closing in on a deal about how to distribute Iraq's oil wealth to the various Iraqi Provinces. That agreement will be a HUGE moment in Iraqi history. Synergy.
    In war, tipping points go past without immediate notice. Only in retrospect can historians look back and say, for instance "Yes, after that the outcome was a foregone conclusion, even though the war continued another 18 months."
    I believe the tipping point has passed in Iraq: the Iraqi Government can stand. A free Persian/Arabian/Kurdish nation can stand in the Arabian Peninsula. It can be a tottering, swaying, drunken beacon on a hill -- which would be a miraculous, historic, and inspiring thing.
    The good guys can win. Iraq can stand strong enough to overcome Al Qaeda, Iran, Syria, Tribal backwardness, 6th Century fundamentalism, cultural atrophy, and national structural neglect and then decimation --
    IF the American Congress doesn't declare pre-emptive defeat.
    Dems have maneuvered into a position where Iraq success means near-term ruination for the Democratic Party. Dems CANNOT allow Iraq success to happen. Dems care less about Iraq success than about Dem political power, and Dem ability to project left-side ideology, and Dem ability to protect the nation from Repub/right ideology. Dems rationalize that Iraq is not part of the war against Islamic fundamentalism - except when Iraq actually hurts us by creating more fundamentalists who hate us. OF COURSE Dems (with help from weak kneed Repubs) will sacrifice the Iraqi savages to the greater causes of Dem political power and leftist ideology. Dems will do that, and they will be righteous about it as they do so.
    Maybe the only thing which can forestall the sell-out is a citizen driven clamor such as we saw in the Immigration Bill debate. I don't know if conditions exist for such a clamor to occur. I hope they do. So do Iraqis - many of whom face a death sentence if the Dems and the weak-kneed Repubs sell them out.
    One other occurance could forestall a Congressional sell-out: Joe Lieberman joining the Republican Party, combined with zero Repubs - such as Susan Collins of Maine - countering Lieberman's move by then switching to the Democratic Party. Lieberman's shift would put Repubs in control of the Senate. Therefore, resolutions to de-fund OIF would never be brought to the floor to be voted on.

    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    Bumped to top: "We media are an interest group...."

    I was reminded, this weekend, of a long ago letter my high school aged brother wrote to the editor of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram. He wrote about factual mistakes in an article about the first girl athletic trainer in the FWISD. He wrote nothing derogatory about the girl, who happened to be a friend of his, and whose family happened to be friends of our family. The Star Telegram ran a tall, bolded headline above his letter to the editor:

    Man Objects to First Woman Athletic Trainer
    Which, of course, was untrue. My brother LOVED that his friend was the first girl athletic trainer in the FWISD. If anyone bothered, after seeing the inflammatory and inaccurate headline, to read his perfectly clear letter, they would've seen he was objecting to factual inaccuracies printed by the paper - which were, of course, neither acknowledged nor corrected by the paper. Which all reminded of this:

    We media are an interest group not much different from the automakers, the unions, and the farmers.
    In my brother's case, the Star Telegram was more interested in promoting girls as athletic trainers than in addressing factual inaccuracies in their story. The irony is that my brother was likely also interested in promoting girl athletic trainers. He was an athlete, and also a guy who enjoyed attention from girls. I can confidently say he preferred being treated by a girl to being treated by a guy. Anyway, all of that prompts a bump of the following back to the top of the blog:

    Instapundit :


    Because that might help Bush.

    UPDATE: A journalist whose name you'd recognize emails:

    Yon's story doesn't get attention because it is humiliating.

    It is humiliating because it is obvious that we media – and our allies in the state department, the legal trade, the NGOs, the Democratic Party, the UN, etc., - can’t do squat about such determined use of force.

    Our words, images, arguments and skills can’t stop the killing. Only the rough soldiers and their guns can solve the problem, and we won’t admit that fact because the admission would weaken our influence and our claim to social status.

    So we pretend Yon’s massacre – and the North Korean killing fields, the Arab treatment of women, the Arab hatred of Israel, etc. - doesn’t exist, and instead focus our emotions and attention on the somewhat-bad domestic things that we can ‘fix’ with our DC-based allies.

    Things such as Abu Ghraib, wiretapping, etc. When we ‘fix’ them, then we get status, applause, power, new jobs, ego, etc.

    Please don’t be surprised. We media are an interest group not much different from the automakers, the unions, and the farmers.

    Notice our media person explicitly states the media are in league with allies in the U.S. State Department, as well as members of the legal profession, the Democratic Party, and the U.N. Any honest political observer knows that to be true. Yet, because so many dishonest persons deny it, it is nice to see it explicitly admitted.

    When I was younger, and less clued in, and more naive, I thought the State Dept - seeing as how they are part of the Executive Branch - would be allied with POTUS. I thought wrong. The State Department works with Presidents who promote their ideological agenda. The State Department - along with their allies in the media and the Democratic Party - work against Presidents who do not.