Thursday, July 31, 2008


August blog vacation!

Update II: failed embeds replaced with, hopefully, a good embed and a good link.


I was at the Rangers game on Aug. 4. Lots of Yankees fans around me were ... not fun and good natured fellow fans. Then, this:


Josh Hamilton runs like a big graceful stag: Bambi's father. Like a stag, his body language doesn't indicate how fast he is actually moving. Like a stag, you have to see him from distance to get perspective.

Though Josh plays a shallow CF, I think most centerfielders would've made this catch. I just appreciate that it's such a big, powerful, graceful athlete making the catch. I like the picture of it in my mind.

What Josh Hamilton does isn't as easy as he makes it look. Josh is a big man who is an instinctive physical genius. He doesn't think about this stuff. He just does it naturally, like a Zen Master. Like Roy Hobbs. Then he runs off the field as if: "Aw, it warn't nuthin."

Tonight's catch came in the 9th inning of a tie game, with the go ahead run on second base. The stadium was juiced. Link

The Clinton Presidential Library

Ten days ago, I spent several hours touring the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock. While the building’s exterior does, hilariously, resemble a trailer house; it’s interior is very nice, drawing sunlight in very effectively. The public exhibits are very interactive, very appropriate for us Wal-Mart type tourists - drawing us further and further into their intrigues.

Beyond the Library building itself, I was reacquainted with my conviction that anytime I am hearing Bill Clinton talking, I am hearing horse manure. I purchased an audio walking tour. To my horror, Pres. Clinton would personally introduce almost every exhibit in my ear. About 5 to 10 words into every introduction, I would remove his voice from my ear, as I couldn’t bear to endure any more of his horse manure intro.

I was also strongly reminded of Pres. Clinton’s attempts to look as if he were addressing various issues. The Library has sections which explore maybe 22 or so aspects of Pres. Clinton’s time in office. On issue after issue, Pres. Clinton maneuvered to look as if he were doing something … even as he was actually doing nothing. The conclusion of several sections would be something like: President Clinton therefore commissioned a blue ribbon panel on the issue. [The End]

President Clinton was mostly an action President only when he was claiming credit for acceding to Republican pressure, such as in signing Welfare Reform. He consistently tried to present an image of a man taking positive action. That he actually took little or no action was of no consequence. He LOOKED LIKE he was taking action. That was the key thing.

I haven’t been to other Presidential libraries. The Clinton Library is a place where the eternal campaign goes on just as surely as JFK’s eternal flame burns. Forevermore, inside his library, President Clinton is campaigning to convince us he was a wonderful President. The campaign never ends.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The virtuous one explains his cancellation of the Landstuhl visit

Since the rules interpretation which barred my campaign aide from Landstuhl

would inevitably stir up the right wing attack machine's perception of political motivation,

therefore I feared my visit would DISTRACT from the excellent care being provided.

I did, after the ensuing manure storm had begun, make phone calls to wounded troops. My staff only leaked these calls to media b/c we are givers.

Damn the right wing attack machine.

Hail my virtue. Do it now.
Yea, Barack then placed hands on hips, puffed out his chest, threw back his shoulders, slightly elevated his chin, and gazed towards a faraway distance. Verily, photographers shot upwards, from angles beneath the virtuous and slightly elevated chin. The clouds parted, beams of sunshine rained upon the virtuous one's slightly elevated visage, a heavenly choir began singing, and the dove of virtue descended from the heavens and alighted upon the virtuous one's shoulder. All was right with the world, and all was right with the NYT headline and front page photograph for the following day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Barack reveals his thinking about Landstuhl

and defines both "non-sequitur" and "flim-flam man":
We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

We're going to Landstuhl - goody!

Wha?! My campaign aide cannot go with me to Landstuhl?!

(furrowing brow)
(still furrowing brow)
(still furrowing brow)

This rules interpretation raises, in my mind, a question of whether or not this visit will be perceived as political.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"The Old Man and the Sea"

Opening sentence:

"He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish"
I read Hemingway's book while reclined on the couch on the second floor of my Aunt Jane's house atop a small mountain above the Arkansas River in northern Little Rock. One naturally constructs such sentences after reading Hemingway.

The book is short. I read it fast after saying a downstairs goodnight, then discovering it during an upstairs meander away from the straight path towards bed.

The book is about a man fishing well because he is a fisherman. It is a man fishing well because excellent is the right thing to be.

Because every person decides - again and again throughout their life - whether or not to be excellent in everyday circumstances, i.e. away from the adoring, self-confirming crowd: therefore every person reads The Old Man and the Sea through the prism of their own answer to the question of "Why?", as in: Why strive? Why be excellent? Why do the right thing? Thus:

"[The Old Man and the Sea] has, for instance, been read as a Christian allegory, a Nietzschean parable of overcoming, a Freudian dream of Oedipal wish-fulfillment, and a Humanistic saga of triumph in the face of absurdity." link
Ernest Hemingway, 1952:
"There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know."
Look again at that last sentence. When you know what? Why, the answer to "Why?", of course!

We know Hemingway read Ecclesiastes. He took from it the title for The Sun Also Rises. I see echoes of Ecclesiastes in The Old Man and the Sea.

The author of Ecclesiastes tries many things in a search for meaning: wine, women, song, wealth, conquest, building great structures, and whatever else he could think of. He concludes all such striving after meaningfulness is vanity, and is ultimately hopeless. He concludes there is nothing better under the sun than that a man look back at the end of the day and say to himself: My work was good. In other words, the man is saying to himself: I did the right thing today. If a person believes his conscience is touched by God, and is supernaturally urging him to do the right thing, and if the person then does the right thing: he or she can do no more. It is good.

At the end of the day, Hemingway's protagonist has no food, no wine, no wealth, and in fact nothing tangible to show for his efforts ... except scars, fatigue, and a fish skeleton. If he was searching for tangible meaning, all his effort was vanity. Yet, Santiago can look back on his day(actually a couple of days) and say: My work was good.

Life is nothing much to lose

Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.

-- A. E. Housman

Monday, July 21, 2008

Little Rock

Mountaintop window
Northeast sun burns river mist;
"Hellooo!" cries Aunt Jane

Friday, July 18, 2008

"It's time to stop wrapping public policy around a fraud"

Daily Tech:
[A subgroup of physicists inside] [t]he American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists ... is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The [subgroup inside the APS] is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming “incontrovertible.” …

The [subgroup within the APS] is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton’s paper an “expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and “extensive errors”

Dr. David Evans, of the Australian Greenhouse Office:
When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects.

The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly? Soon government and the scientific community were working together and lots of science research jobs were created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.

But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
Ed Morrisey of Hot Air:
Even those who helped lead the hysteria now have serious doubts. It’s time to stop wrapping public policy around a fraud.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The best


British Soccer Camp in Fitchburg, WI

The university student aged instructors are from Brighton, Scarborough, and somewhere in Wales. For the children and parents of Fitchburg: if you speak with an English accent, you are an automatic soccer/footy expert. If the instructors told the children to stand on their heads, all parents and children would say: "What brilliant instruction!" Wisconsin coaches would stand children on their heads all through the next soccer season.

My niece is in British Soccer Camp for 6 year olds. The children were dribbling, and instructors would come up and act scary, and the children would laugh and dribble around the instructors. My niece, when confronted with a scary acting instructor, gave up her dribble, turned 180 degrees, and ran away from the scary instructor as fast as she could. It seemed the sensible thing to do.

Later, when the children were to run around a cone and kick a ball through the goal, a girl refused. She stood in line and shook her head: no, no, no, no, no. You had to be there. It was funny. NO(!) was her communication to all. So, my niece went flying by her and took her turn kicking the ball.

A 2 1/2 year old observer went up to a ball and pointed at it. "Kick it!" everyone encouraged her. After much deliberation and encouragement, she issued forth the most dainty toe tap ever. The ball rocked forward an inch, then resettled in the same location in the grass. The girl ran back to her Mom, to great acclaim from all for her wonderful achievement.

"It's hot!" said the Wales instructor to me. "Yes, it is hot" I replied, even though it is Wisconsin, and even though it is cooler and more pleasant that Texas will be at any time before mid September.

Since arriving in WI, I've played Barbies(the key is to keep changing the Barbies' into new outfits), worked a puzzle with my niece, sung songs with my niece, twice watched my niece swim at the pool(she can jump off the diving board now), pushed her swing, sat beside her at every meal, been tickle attacked ("Uncle Greg, you can tickle me if you want to"), ferried her to and fro ... only to be thoughtfully, sincerely informed: "Uncle Greg, you're really not my favorite Uncle." What?! What does an Uncle have to do to get some respect around here?!

Tomorrow, we will be off to soccer camp, then zoo camp, then a T-Ball game. Being less than the favorite Uncle is a busy job.

I'm going to cut back on the blogging - to maybe just a few blog posts between now and September - or maybe not even that. I feel like staying away from the keyboard. I feel more like reading books, and watching bugs, clouds, dogs, and children. It is time to focus on pears.  Have a nice summer.

Best baseball story of the year

via The Anchoress

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Perfect Match Nannies

Opening playoff game today. I'll be there.

I'll be especially watching my nephew, who is in the front row, second from the right.

Update: Victory! 18 to 5.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Semi casual study of Ian Kinsler as a fielder


Ian has the best range factor of any second baseman in baseball, including over the last three seasons cumulatively.

Comparing Kinsler to Soriano: Kinsler gets to one more ball per 9 innings than Soriano did. That is huge-mongous.

Kinsler does play behind more sinkerball pitchers than Soriano did. But, still, even if you take away 2/3 of Kinsler's one per game more than Soriano extra tracked grounder: Kinsler still tracks down 54 more ground balls per season than Soriano. I'll wild guess that Soriano would need to hit around .400 to make up for the defensive difference via offensive performance - except Soriano didn't walk as much as Kinsler. Therefore, I wild guess Soriano would have to hit about .420 to make up the defensive difference on the offensive end.

Regarding Kinsler's leading all of baseball in range factor:
1) playing behind sinkerballers helps him have chances at grounders, HOWEVER
2) playing on Rangers Ballpark in Arlington's superfast and hardpacked infield grass hurts his chances at getting to ground balls.

So, with everything factored in: we can be confident Kinsler does have excellent range, even if playing behind sinkerball pitchers has skewed statistics somewhat in his favor.

Slight frown: if, however, playing behind sinkerballers helps a middle infielders stats, why does Michael Young not also appear at the top of range factor stats? Does Michael have the range of a statue?

Wiffle Field of Legalities

Photo Credit: Rob Bennett for The New York Times

It's the liability risk aspect of this story which sets my teeth on edge.

I don't have a problem with the town council deciding on the appropriateness of play in that spot. That is the town council's proper function.

However, liability risk is now infringing on liberty and pursuit of happiness. It is beginning to harm quality of life. We need to be aware of ways in which liability risk is stealing freedom from us. We need to search out ways to fight back, and to reclaim liberty and pursuit of happiness. link

Friday, July 11, 2008

CIA mole explains Iranian leaders

From NozzleRage:

In Pajamas Media, from a CIA mole who worked inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guard:
The rulers in Iran believe it is their duty to prepare the circumstances for the reappearance of the 12th Imam. “Our Revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, Imam Mahdi,” Ahmadinejad said during a speech in 2005 to leaders from across the country. Shiites believe the reappearance of the 12th Imam will bring justice and peace to the world by establishing Islam throughout the world. They believe he will reappear when the world has fallen into chaos. It is believed the chaos will start in Afghanistan and then move into Iraq, where there will be blood and destruction everywhere (already in the works) and from there to the world with burning dark clouds (nuclear war). The 12th Imam will then come to destroy the “Dajjal,” the False Messiah, free the world from oppression and aggression, and then bring justice where it will be heaven on earth for many years to come. It is said Jesus will reappear at the same time and fight alongside Mahdi.

Members of the Iranian leadership say they have a “signed contract” with the 12th Imam and are doggedly pursuing nuclear weapons to bring on that catastrophe. Iran’s president, Ahmadinejad, has said that Israel must be destroyed (2005 “World without Zionism” speech, “Israel must be wiped off the map”). This is no idle threat.
Richard Fernandez (Wretchard) overviews Iran and world politics better than anyone I have read. link

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In honor of the best Rangers victory since the Dellucci walk-off in 2005

Summer rain distant
Parched seeking longing wanting -
Lightning stroke of glee
The Angels have an excellent chance to win the 2008 World Series. They are about 90% sure to win the division. However, if you are the Angels: didn't you look at last night's Rangers celebration, and pause for a long moment, and think to yourself: "Damn, those fools think they can win the division."
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tate still loves America, but he worries

about the implications of America's federal income tax policy:
Since we wrote the Bush tax return article [about Pres. George H.W. Bush' 1991 tax return] the trend of disproportionate tax payments by high income taxpayers has continued. Stephen Moore previews the most recent data in today's Wall Street Journal:
"My contacts at the Treasury Department tell me that for the first time in decades, and perhaps ever,
the richest 1% of tax filers will have paid more than 40% of the income tax burden.

The top 50% will account for 97% of all federal income taxes, while

the bottom 50% will have paid just 3%."
Moore's preview does not include the companion income data.

Given that poorer citizens always outnumber the rich, political philosophers have worried that government based on majority rule could lead to organized theft from the wealthy by the democratic masses. "If the majority distributes among itself the things of a minority, it is evident that it will destroy the city," warned Aristotle.

The founders of the United States were deep students of politics and history, and they shared Aristotle's worry. Up through their time, history had shown all known democracies to be "incompatible with personal security or the rights of property." James Madison and others therefore made it the "first object of government" to protect personal property from unjust confiscation. Numerous provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were included to protect the property rights of citizens. We've fallen off from the spirit of the founders on this issue, but it would be good to recall it in connection with the release of the income tax data previewed in Moore's column.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Milton Bradley

is blogging. For the NYT. And credits his Mom for his baseball success.

Baron Davis is in a YouTube staring contest with KevJumba and Jessica Alba.

Milton Bradley is blogging for the NYT.

Wonders never cease.

Good baseball managing

And it's got nothing to do with in-game strategy:

Monday night, in a post game interview after a series opening loss against the Angels, Rangers Manager Ron Washington was noticeably excited about the way his team had played that night's game.

This is good managing, as the Rangers team could've easily been demoralized by the particular loss, and by the circumstances of the series. The Rangers need to win the series against the division leading Angels. Failing to win the series, they are desperate for no worse than a split.

Monday's starting pitcher, Luis Mendoza, had given up 8 runs in 1 1/3 innings. Tuesday's scheduled starter: the recently promoted from AAA Dustin Nippert, had to pitch 7 innings in relief on Monday night. Wed night's scheduled starter, 22 year old never-pitched-in-the-majors Matt Harrison, was now going to have to start Tuesday. Also: never-pitched-in-the-majors AA finesse pitcher Mike Ballard was therefore going to have to start on Wed., against a potent Angels line-up. First year starter Scott Feldman was going to have to start on Thursday. In short, the Rangers stood a decent chance of getting swept in the series.

Instead, Ron Washington showed excitement over how the Rangers fought back Monday night - to the point they eventually got the tying run to the plate in the 9th. Then the Rangers showed up Tuesday and played outstanding baseball. Harrison went 7 innings, and gave up 2 runs, despite never throwing a pitch faster than 91 mph. His cute North Carolina fiancee cheered from the stands. 1B Chris Davis, with 35 career at bats under his belt, homered to give the Rangers a lead. Josh Hamilton later singled in Kinsler. Guardado got the hold; C.J. Wilson got the adventurous save*. The Rangers defeated 2008 American League All Star Pitcher Joe Saunders: 3-2.

I say: good managing during Monday night's post-game interview. The players took their cue from Washington's excitement about their play. The players believed they had a chance on Tuesday.


Rangers color commentator Tom Grieve:
"C.J. (Wilson) saved four games on the last road trip: two in New York, two in Baltimore; and it's the best he's thrown."

In the style of RH Mariano Rivera running fastballs in on a LH hitter, the LH C.J. sends running fastballs in on the hands of RH hitters. It's an outstanding pitch. C.J. can tail a 2 seam fastball down and away from RH, and he can zing a high 4 seamer at around 95 mph. So, to sum up: he throws three different fastballs at hitters, plus a slider, plus a change-up he can't control, and it all causes problems for hitters. When C.J. controls his various fastballs: he is outstanding.

*When C.J. threw a tentative ball to second base - messing up a potential game ending double play - Manager Ron Washington was filmed angrily screaming at C.J. from the dugout: "Throw the g**d***** ball!" Now that's good, and funny, managing.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A sweet interview

with ... Milton Bradley?!

Milton Bradley brings needed emotional edge into the Texas Rangers dugout.

Signing him long term would, by one method of calculation, add millions of $ of unnecessary payroll. Future Rangers line-ups will have Chris Davis at clean-up hitter. Further down the order, where Milton Bradley might hit, those line-ups could replace Bradley with either David Murphy, or Brandon Boggs, or longer shots Nelson Cruz or John Mayberry, Jr. Such replacements would hit effectively, and would do so at a fraction of Milton Bradley's cost.

And yet: Milton Bradley is worth it precisely b/c of the daily emotional edge he brings to the dugout. He's worth it precisely b/c of the traits which make him somewhat unstable, irrational, and dangerous. Every team needs a bit of internal, irrational emotion to push them to their best. Look at Michael Irvin: irrational, emotional, much needed by his team. Oddly enough, Milton Bradley's irrationality is worth extra $ to this Rangers team. The main Rangers are quiet personalities: Young, Kinsler, Chris Davis, Saltalamacchia(?), Max Ramirez, Murphy, Boggs(?), Josh Hamilton. They could use an emotional teammate.

And the team needs Milton Bradley for more than his irrationality. Milton Bradley dominates his own strike zone like few hitters. This is a trait which you need in Playoff and World Series games. A team might get a huge, monstrous regular season from a Nelson Cruz. Cruz' statistics might solidly outdistance Milton Bradley's statistics. However, when Carlos Zambrano toes the rubber in a World Series game: you want Milton Bradley in that batters box. You need Milton Bradley in that batters box. Against the best pitching, under the brightest lights, you need hitters with dominant discrimination regarding their strike zone. It's not even a close call.

Is it worth an extra $8M+ per year (over replacement cost) for regular season emotional edge + post-season excellence? Yeah. It is.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The best thing about You Tube

Do you ever get too old to appreciate the best thing about You Tube, i.e. well scrubbed, All-American girls singing into a webcam? I hope not.

Christine Gambito(San Diego shirt) and her cousin Jana Verdes

Perusing Christine "the Slip" Gambito's videos continues to crack me up. In this one, she recreates KevJumba's mom teaching him to drive a stick shift. Her imitations are serious comedy in the tradition of Flip Wilson, John Belushi, Eddie Murphy. This video is kinda boring until Christine appears to begin the driving lesson, at about the 2:30 mark. So, fast forward if you wish.

Put it in Purse
"Calm down! Calm down! You be calm!"

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Tate loves America

My cousin;
whom -
having urinated on a flag
during a notorious
diaper changing incident -
has reformed his protester ways and
has seen the light:
Tate loves America,
Hippies smell.

It's still Independence Day Weekend!

And I'm having such a good time!
But, I just remembered: I don't completely trust you.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Caroline B. Glick is sexy

Especially between her ears.


Can't get enough

of this visual, and all it implies:

Click to enlarge.

Those are not victims in that photo. Those are not children. Those are adult men and women with minds of their own.

There are still people who insist Iraq is a disaster which cannot succeed. Persons who hold that view - if they see this photo - must either:
1) change their view, or
2) declare these 1,215 Iraq experts either to be in denial, or to have terrible judgement.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Wow, another picture

worth 1000 words. Video.

A picture is worth 1000 words


An old one I remembered. Scroll halfway down to see the photo. Also, if you've never read the essay, take a few minutes. You'll be happy you did.

Happy Birthday, America.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Barack lied


Barack called a second press conference to reinforce that he will withdraw all troops within 16 months.

Lefty blogs interpretation: he said "stable", but he didn't mean it.

My interpretation: sure he meant it. "Stable" means we are winning - which we obviously are. Barack has talked all around all sides of Iraq just as he has talked all around all sides of almost every issue. But, in every debate, Barack said "I will end this war immediately". He gave speeches throughout Spring 2008 in which he again and again repeated "I will end this war in 2009". So, believe whichever side(s) of Barack's surrounding the issue you wish to believe, but I say Barack is a liar, and he's danged sure not Mr. Hope and Change(TM).

Whatever Barack says he has said before, he has surely said it - as he has said almost everything about everything - except for "stable." Barack has never said "stable" before. "Stable" is new. Barack and the left are now trying to skew the plain meaning of "stable". Gosh, whatever is the meaning of "stable"? What could the word mean?

"16 months" used to mean Iraq was a lost cause. Now it means:
I need to win the election, then figure a way to finesse things.
Barack is prepping the ground for the eventual finessing - imo - as no one actually knows what this flim-flam artist will do. We've come to the point where Barack can say "16 months" and have everyone immediately go:
I know he said that, but what will he really do?.
Even the left blogs - which protest that Barack has not changed his position - nevertheless do not know what Barack will do. Barack is a known unknown.


1. Jan 2007: "Withdraw from Iraq immediately".

2. Presidential Debates: "Withdraw from Iraq immediately".

3. Spring 2008: "Withdraw within 16 months".

4. June 2008: "Withdraw based on conditions".

5. July 3, 2008: "Withdraw when Iraq is stable" .

You can see how Barack has been walking away from his long-held "immediate withdrawal" position. Stable is his strongest yet walkaway from "immediate". Stable is plain language - and is no more complicated than 3rd grade vocabulary. "Stable" is identical to Pres. Bush' policy. Michael Crowley, writing on the left wing The New Republic blog:
Correct me if I'm wrong but I immersed myself in Obama's Iraq plan for a recent story and don't recall him making withdrawal contingent on stability. If he really means this, it strikes me as a pretty significant new principle.

Posted: Thursday, July 03, 2008 3:05 PM with 7comment(s)
Allahpundit: At long last, the ultimate flip-flop is at hand.

"We Are the [Dupes]" , by Will.I.Am.

"Basically, I just want the war to end."

"he's almost like a revivalist for a lot of people's souls."


Barack's clarification on Iraq, by Iowahawk.

SMU Helmets: Return to White

A Handsome helmet. My personal preference is still the blue helmet. However, considering the atrocities which are possible, I applaud SMU.

SMU will wear white pants with either a red, blue, or white jersey. The important thing: whichever jersey they wear will comprise a dominant color scheme for that game. SMU will not make the fatal mistake of over-mixing red and blue. Kudos, Mustangs.

Related: SMU's Classic Helmet
Also related: Uniform Atrocities

Grasping at the wind

"Wretchard, I'll be honest. When you ask "What is truth", I get really confused. The truth about what? Dinosaurs?"
Wretchard said...
The truth about Obama. The simple facts about him. You'd think they'd be easy to get. That you'd at least know the religion or background of a person who was running for President of the United States.

The surprising thing is that the simple facts are surprisingly hard to find. That's not to say that the facts don't exist. But tell me, why are we arguing to this [day] about this subject[?] Is it because the VRWC has invented this subject or is it because the whole trail is as murky as hell[?]

When Barack is forced into taking a position, he a) nuances to the max; b) frequently changes the position anyway. Barack has flipped on the following:

  1. Federal Campaign Reform: supported; now opposes for himself; promises to reform.
  2. NAFTA: opposed while campaigning in Ohio; now supports. Once slapped Hillary from Cleveland to Cincinnati and back. Now says "I used overheated rhetoric" in Ohio.
  3. FISA Bill: opposed (with great moral fervor); now supports. Here's Obama opposing the FISA Bill in 2/08, on the occasion of accepting Chris Dodd's endorsement for President:
    I’ve been proud to stand with Senator Dodd in his fight against retroactive immunity for the telecommunications industry. Secrecy and special interests must not trump accountability.
    New Politics in action. Oh well. See what you want to see. Everyone else does.
  4. Gun Control law in D.C.: Opposed D.C. handgun rights in 11/07; now supports.
  5. Iraq: opposed last week, now supports. (What is the difference between Barack's current position: "slow withdrawal based on conditions" and Bush' position: "As Iraqis stand up we will stand down"?)
  6. Welfare Reform: opposed in 1996; now supports.
  7. Death Penalty: opposed in 1996, now supports.
  8. Marijuana: opposed current criminalization laws in 1/04; now supports.
  9. Illegal Immigration: opposed crackdown on businesses in 3/04 ; now supports.
  10. Gay Marriage: supported, then opposed, now supports. Nuance.
  11. Unified Jerusalem: supported, then opposed (the very next day).
  12. Presidential level Ahmadinejad negotiations w/o preconditions: supported, now opposes. (now favors preconditions by another name: "preparations").
  13. Iran's Revolutionary Guard: opposed designation as terrorist organization; now supports.
  14. Unions: opposed as "special interests" contributing to Hillary; now supports as "representatives of working people" contributing to Barack.
  15. Jeremiah Wright: supported; now opposes. "Not the man I knew".
  16. Tony Rezko: supported; now opposes. "Not the man I knew".
  17. Flag Pin: supported, then opposed, now supports. Nuance.
  18. Michelle Obama: "Not the woman I knew".

I might've made that last one up. Don Surber:

[Liberals] are throwing away all their principles to elect [Obama]: Campaign reform, NAFTA, FISA, gun control — even the Iraq War. Everything must go in this wholesale sellout of the liberals. I am greatly amused.

Question: Don’t all politicians do this?

Answer: Especially the politicians who pretend to be above the fray. I am greatly amused

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

How, indeed

Thomas Pyle, President of the Institute for Energy Research:
Members of Congress have been ... pounding podiums for the news cameras, but they have done nothing to increase American oil production by even one single barrel. [...] American taxpayers own the federal lands, and they own the vast energy resources that lie beneath them too. If the federal government continues to withhold these supplies, how is it any different from OPEC?

Media reaction to Tim Russert's passing

Evan Sayet:
So, what is it about Russert that is engendering this kind of passion amongst the leftists in the media?

I suspect it is their recognition of the passing of the last decent man amongst them. Listening to their eulogies one is struck by how what they single out as the qualities that made Russert great are exactly the one's the rest of them violently reject.

Russert had -- and respected -- his Jesuit roots and Catholic faith. This amongst people to whom faith is the greatest of all evils and whose hatred for Christianity (and specifically Catholicism) is legend.

Russert appreciated the people of small town America.
Russert was optimistic and happy -- exactly the opposite traits of the Modern Liberal who is constantly angry, jealous, petty and feeling "victimized." Americans are optimistic and happy. Russert was an American.

What we are witnessing in this unprecedented coverage of Tim Russert is the leftist media mourning the passing of the last decent man amongst them. And it could not come at a worse time for the good people of America as we are left only with people whose values are exactly the opposite of Russert's and whose work shows it.
Tim Russert wasn't blessed with some superhuman powers. He was merely a throwback to a mindset lost to Modern Liberalism. He will be missed.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Funny spoof - except its real!

Greening the summer political conventions is harder than previously thought. The butterfly effect spreads exponentially:
...Denver's Democratic mayor, John Hickenlooper, who challenged his party and his city to "make this the greenest convention in the history of the planet."

Convention organizers hired the first-ever Director of Greening, longtime environmental activist Andrea Robinson.
Ms. Robinson suspected modern-day delegates would prefer air conditioning. So she quickly modified the mayor's goal: She'd supervise "the most sustainable political convention in modern American history."
She hired an Official Carbon Adviser, who will measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed. The Democrats hope to pay penance for those emissions by investing in renewable energy projects.
To police the four-day event Aug. 25-28, she's assembling (via paperless online signup) a trash brigade. Decked out in green shirts, 900 volunteers will hover at waste-disposal stations to make sure delegates put each scrap of trash in the proper bin. Lest a fork slip into the wrong container unnoticed, volunteers will paw through every bag before it is hauled away.

"That's the only way to make sure it's pure," Ms. Robinson says.
Compostable utensils, she says, are often shipped from Asia on fuel-guzzling cargo ships. As for the plates: "Is it better to drive across town to have china delivered to an event and then use hot water to wash it, or is it better to use petroleum-based disposables?" she asks.

The convention's greening gurus say they're doing the best they can with the most current information available.
We all want to do the best we can ... without going to irrational extremes which hurt humans more than they help.

Obama campaign coordinating attacks which touch on McCain's military service

Political professionals do not comment on such things without first coordinating with the campaign. It just is not done. Therefore, we can see the Obama campaign is asking select friends who have military experience to hit McCain on his military record:

  • Bill Gillespie, Dem. candidate for Senate in Georgia

  • Tom Harkin, Dem Senator from Iowa

  • Jay Rockefeller, Dem Senator from West Virginia

  • George McGovern, former Dem Senator from S. Dakota

  • Wesley Clark, former Dem Presidential candidate, current advisor to Obama campaign

  • Rand Beers, former advisor to the Kerry campaign, current "informal advisor" to the Obama campaign

That's six, count em, six Dem military veterans who have attacked McCain via touching on his military service. Ed Morrissey, from May 20:

...three Democrats and Obama supporters on the record as attacking McCain’s 24 years of service in the Navy: Gillespie, Jay Rockefeller, and Tom Harkin, as well as unnamed “colleagues” in the Matt Bai hit piece in the New York Times. The criticisms sound remarkably similar; all of them question the quality of his service, claiming that he grew up as a child of privilege and had his career handed to him, in a role where he didn’t know what combat was really like. He had a “silver spoon”, was “Navy royalty”, and so on.

McCain's military service speaks to his character - and specifically to his sense of honor and duty. McCain refused an opportunity to go home early and leave other POWs behind - thus risking his life, and ensuring his own discomfort - out of sense of honor and duty.

McCain's military service does not speak to his decision-making competence as a potential POTUS. I can't imagine very many voters believe it does.

The more the Obama campaign mentions McCain's service, the more voters are reminded of the good character which is highlighted by that service.

Why, then, is the Obama campaign seeking to attack McCain in this fashion?

The answer, I think, is the Obama campaign's misreading of the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The Obama campaign does not realize the SBVT hurt Kerry by telling actual truth. The SBVT had material to work with. The Obama campaign thinks the SBVT were typical political operatives. The Obama campaign has drawn the wrong lesson, i.e.: attack your opponent's strength. The proper lesson should be: attack your opponent where he is massively lying.

Reporter Thomas Libscomb has written a definitive summary of the Kerry/SBVT saga.