Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Blog vacation continues. I feel bad that anyone might be checking my blog, yet I might not post for days or weeks. I recommend following your favorite blogs via the outstanding Google Reader. It will accumulate new posts for you - eliminating the need to surf through numerous blogs.
I'm playing with this: http://twitter.com/gcotharn It's a fun way to keep up with friends.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
WaPo reports CIA is bartering with Afghan warlords: Viagra for information about Taliban. Supposedly the aged warlords with multiple wives love the Viagra, and the reciprocal information has been valuable. In the WaPo story, the warlord was aged 60; had 4 wives; and CIA bartered 4 Viagra pills for info about Taliban movements and operations in the region.
Left bloggers are angry that CIA Viagra dispensers have failed to consider the feelings/circumstances of Afghan wives who may not want to have sex with their husbands. Many or most Afghan wives are basically sold into marriage by their families - some or many at ages 12, 13, 14. Some Afghan girls are married off at earlier ages(the youngest I've seen was age 8), though the Koran instructs they should not begin having sex until they reach womanhood, at approx. age 12.
Afghan wives have their own definitions of distasteful and of inhumane. We can neither predict nor police whether Viagra will be used for sex which an Afghan wife considers distasteful or inhumane.
We can fail to encourage maybe a dozen extra instances per year of sex with a 14 year old bride - but at what cost?
A dozen instances per year of unhappy(?) intercourse is only a piece of a larger problem. If an Afghan wife is unhappy, her larger problem is an entire marriage which she cannot escape through divorce. Her even larger problem is her culture's acceptance of female subjugation.
The solution is to defeat the Taliban, democratize and modernize the nation and the region, and allow the synergy of democracy and modernization to encourage tribal cultures to reform. Implementing this will in some cases require one full generation, and maybe in some cases multiple generations. I see neither any other nor any quicker solution for Afghan women.
In this instance, withholding Viagra means the Taliban are one step closer to maintaining viability; means reform is one step further from realization; means unhappy brides are one step further from deliverance; means yet to be born daughters and granddaughters are one step closer to repeating their mothers' unhappy circumstances. Viagra handwringers evince a dulled ability to discriminate between lesser good and greater good; between lesser evil and greater evil. They also remind of an old saying: only an intellectual could believe something so stupid.
Viagra handwringers also are mightily presumptuous about the awfulness taking place inside Afghan marriages. Surely some warlord wives enjoy sex. Maybe they want children. Maybe they want to curry their husband's favor and gain status or power inside the family unit. We are mightily presumptuous to believe we know what or how much good vs. bad is going on inside Afghan marriages. Making assumptions about marital relations is not part of our objective. Defeating the Taliban is. Allowing modernity to encourage tribal reform is.
Compare erectile ethics with Thomas Aquinas' consideration of when it might be morally permissible to take life.
Foundational: according to Aquinas' "Principle of Forfeiture", a person can forfeit his right to life via taking or attempting to take an innocent life.
Equally important: Thomas Aquinas’ "Doctrine of Double Effect". This description is from Ronald Munson, in “Ethics for Military Leaders”, Simon & Shuster, 1998, p. 397:
[A]n action should be performed only if the intention is to bring about the good effect [dead Taliban/modernized Afghanistan] and the bad effect [unhappy sex] will be an unintended or indirect consequence. [...] Four conditions must be satisfied:We have to consider that definition of "means" begins at "pill" and does not extend to "unhappy sex." We cannot know what the wives in question consider to be distasteful or inhumane. Therefore, the bartering of Viagra for information meets Thomas Aquinas' conditions.1. The action [the barter] itself must be morally indifferent or morally good.
2. The bad effect [unhappy sex] must not be the means [pill = info = target + kill Taliban] by which the good effect [dead Taliban/modernized Afghanistan] is achieved.
3. The motive must be the achievement of the good effect only.
4. The good effect [dead Taliban/modernized Afghanistan] must be at least equivalent in importance to the bad effect [unhappy sex].
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Beautiful grounds of Subiaco Abbey and Academy, a Benedictine monastery in Subiaco, Arkansas. Subiaco is halfway between Little Rock and Fayetteville.
Blog vacation commences. I pray you will enjoy a loving Christmas.
Eternal life is available to all of us.
God loves us no matter the circumstance.
He is with us always.
Monday, December 22, 2008
The blatant counting of marked Coleman ballots for Franken is bad.
What I really cannot understand is how Minnesota gets away with ignoring hand recounted votes and instead counting machine votes when that benefits Franken; then doing the opposite: ignoring machine votes and counting hand recounted votes, when that method benefits Franken. How do they get away with that?
Sunday, December 21, 2008
After F.A. Dry left TCU, Grant Teaff hired him onto the Baylor staff as Offensive Line Coach. That's a good enough recommendation for me.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
After a helicopter crash, U.S. forces were trapped in desert as flat as Lubbock: outmanned, outgunned, and without cover. U.S. forces carried only infantry weapons which could not reach the more powerfully armed enemy at distance. Supporting Air Force F-16s could not make out, from altitude, enemy from friendly. The only hope was a solitary AH 16 attack helicopter, whose pilots - without regard for their personal safety - conducted repeated attacks straight into the face of disciplined and heavily armed enemy:
After 12 to 15 minutes, Cooper was running low on ammunition, and landed back beside the crashed aircraft. He and his co-pilot stared at each other wide-eyed.And Cooper fought on. Wow. What volunteer U.S. forces have done in Afghan and Iraq is just amazing. Someday, I hope, their true stories will be told.
“Neither of us really expected to get out of this fight alive,” Cooper said.
He paid tribute to the four MH-6 pilots on the ground, who all later received Bronze Stars with “V” devices. “Those guys were off-loading unstable rockets off of the downed aircraft and loading them into my aircraft when I landed,” he said. “That’s not a recommended procedure in the book, [and] they were doing that all the time under fire and in plain view of the enemy.”
After no more than five minutes, Cooper and his copilot took off again. “We weren’t ordered to go back up,” he said. “I’m a gun pilot, and my duty is to support the ground forces.”
After another 15 minutes of fighting against a hail of insurgent fire, Cooper was running out of fuel and ammo and had to put down again. “I was going through ammunition at a fairly rapid clip,” he said.
The MH-6 pilots used a Leatherman tool to remove the crashed Little Bird’s auxiliary fuel tank and use it to refuel Cooper’s aircraft.
The AH 16 is a very agile helicopter. It would be something to read about their aerial evasive maneuvers as they fought right in the enemies' faces. They had rounds ricocheting off their helicopter during the fight.
An F-16 pilot(and father of 5), Maj. Troy Gilbert, in an effort to identify enemies and help save endangered American forces, flew runs far lower than is standard operating procedure, exposing his F-16 to enemy fire. Maj. Gilbert helped turn the tide of battle, then tragically crashed on one of his runs.
In Sept of 2007, American media widely disseminated a propaganda video of the enemy desecrating Maj. Gilbert's corpse. American media used the video - of enemy desecrating a hero's corpse - to delegitimize the Iraq War effort. Maj. Gilbert's widow, Ginger, spoke out strongly and effectively against the actions of American media.
Ginger Gilbert and
Major Troy Gilbert
Widow: "Press... serves to degrade the moral integrity my husband possessed"This is a widow, a mother, a friend to the military, and a patriot standing up for her husband, for her kids, for everyone she loves, and for the nation and for the cause she believes in. We can see that Major Gilbert had moral integrity partially because Ginger Gilbert helped him along the way.
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 18, 2007 04:02 PMDays after an al-Qaida-linked group released a video showing the body of a Luke Air Force Base fighter pilot killed in Iraq last year, his widow lashed out at the national media, accusing it of politicizing and using the images to erode public support for the war.
Ginger Gilbert, making her first public comments since the video emerged last week, said Tuesday that she couldn't remain silent after watching media coverage of a "disturbing video" of the corpse, identification card and crash site of her husband, Maj. Troy Gilbert.
"When media chooses to use Troy's plane crash as a political catalyst to generate anti-war sentiment, it only serves to degrade the moral integrity my husband possessed and the morale of those still selflessly serving," Gilbert said at news conference at Glendale's Falcon Dunes Golf Course, across from Luke.
"Every time the press lends credibility and significance to terrorist propaganda clearly designed to erode public support or questions the validity of our brave soldiers' selfless acts of service and the war itself," she added, "it only serves to damage our country from within its own borders and embolden those who would do us harm."
Flanked by friends and family members clasping hands, Gilbert thanked Arizonans, the Air Force and her Desert Springs Community Church in Litchfield Park for serving as a "shield of protection for my family's welfare and betterment over the last 10 months."
Troy Gilbert, 34, a father of five, was killed Nov. 27, 2006, when his F-16 crashed about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad. Officials concluded that Gilbert crashed because he was so focused on saving friendly troops from attacking insurgents that he flew too low.
Everyone involved in this episode is covered in glory - from the men who died risking their lives right down to the widow standing in front of the microphones. May God bless them all.
Mrs. Gilbert's message should be distributed in every newsroom in the county.Video of Ginger Gilbert's full statement.
Reminded of this:
Dustoff Three-Zero confirms three heroes on board
Silly String is especially good for finding tripwires in the dark. Before entering suspicious rooms, soldiers spray the string everywhere. If the glowing blobs hang ominously mid-air or get stuck on previously invisible objects, soldiers know to tread lightly.
End Zone Public Service Note: Silly String is flammable.
Friday, December 19, 2008
From Boston.com's: "40 of the year's best photographs". h/t
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Double click the pic and study the faces. You are expert at studying faces. Study these.
Will they ever again be this joyfully ecstatic? About anything? Ever again?
Possible future joyously ecstatic moments - either their or their friends':
1. Wedding Engagements
2. Confirmed Pregnancies
3. Childrens' births
4. Childrens' sports successes
5. Childrens' arrivals at home from war zones
6. Discoveries that tumors are benign
7. Being proven right in arguments with their spouses
8. Favorite sports teams' successes
9. Favored DWTS or AI candidate successes
10. Victories in card or board games over their friends/families
11. Winning payouts from Casino slot machines
Humans like dramatic outcomes which prompt overt expressions of joy. We crave it, even, to various extents. I suspect this is part of the appeal of Casinos: patrons crave the dramatic excitement and the potential expressions of joy. We crave the dopamine surges.
Is it a shame we rarely express joy when acing a calculus test? Or when excellently dusting a ledge or raking a yard? Or when excellently completing a short yet significant work project? Ought we search out ways of more frequently expressing joy in these situations?
Or, would that be exhausting? Would frequent experience of joy result in devaluing the experience? Therefore, is it equally valuable and life affirming to experience quiet satisfaction?
There are no absolute rules to guide our experiences of joy and ecstatic joy. Humans and situations are complex and unique.
I drove across country and then picked up my niece and nephew from their after-school program. They were expecting me. My First Grader niece saw me and ran 60 feet to joyously spring into my arms. Was this about me? Sort of. It was overwhelmingly about the complex and unique circumstances working in her life at that moment. My Fourth Grader nephew was intently playing a game and did not arise. He was satisfied to see me. I'll speculate that he was very satisfied to see me. But he wasn't joyously ecstatic. He had his own set of complex and unique circumstances working. I expect he had more potential joy coming via playing and maybe winning his game. I expect he had peers watching his interaction with me. This expanded the complexity of the situation.
It's interesting to consider how we experience and incorporate either joy, satisfaction, or dissatisfaction. This is an area in which thinking it and understanding it - before, sometimes during, and sometimes after(interpretation of events) - can be a part of creating it and living it.
We can help create legitimate emotions when we wish to. When an actor wants to cry: he/she thinks of something sad, makes a crying face, and pretty soon is crying. Is the actor legitimately sad? For the moment: yes. Legitimately crying? For the moment: yes.
Similarly, we can create joy when cleaning the bathtub. We can think of our fantastic clean tub accomplishment and then imitate the volleyball girls: thrust arms in the air and make the joy face! I expect we can actually generate a dopamine surge. Cleaner bathtubs might eliminate a lot of losses at Casino slot machines.
It's also interesting the way cultures encourage or discourage emotion and emotional displays. It's my impression the English generally consider American expression of emotion to be fakery and bad manners. Americans cannot truly be so happy or sad. It is ungenuine. It's a way Americans have of calling attention to themselves, and it is embarrassing for Americans, and is another bit of evidence that Americans are unsophisticated rubes.
For our part, we Americans frequently think we embrace fully experiencing life - including fully experiencing human emotions. However, American culture is strangely stunted regarding fully experiencing agony and grief. Many cultures encourage fuller expression of these emotions than does our culture. My sense of it: Americans (subconsciously?) look at agony and grief not so much as valuable parts of a full palette of human experience, but rather almost as personal weaknesses to be overcome. In our headlong rushing towards happiness, we respect neither the value nor the necessity of yin/yang.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
But there was another factor that contributed to Cheeks being dismissed — a personality quirk that I've been pointing out for lo these many years: Succeeding in the command seat demands much more than a mastery of Xs and Os, and Cheeks simply lacks the dynamic presence, the charisma, to be a consistently effective head coach.Are Rosen's words true? Maybe.
That's too bad, because he's really a nice guy. Perhaps he's too nice.
I don't know if Charley Rosen is connecting "dynamic presence" and "charisma" to personal flamboyance. All personality styles have, at one time or another, succeeded as coaches. In the matter of personality, what's important is for a coach to be genuine and true to his own personality style.
Rabbi Rabinowitz is a type of coach. He says: "When I die, G-d will not ask 'Why were you not Moses? G-d will ask 'Why were you not Rabinowitz?!'"
Austin Murphy chronicled a football season at Minnesota's Div III St. John's University (The Sweet Season), where Coach John Gagliardi, born in Trinidad, CO, resides as college football's career coaching victories leader with 453 wins, and has coached 4 national championship teams. The Johnnies do no hitting in practice (players come to the team already knowing how to hit), no tackling practice (players already know how to tackle), no calisthenics (waste of time), and do not practice longer than 80 to 90 minutes (can't stand the mosquitoes any longer than that). Gagliardi doesn't wear a whistle. Players call him John. The Johnnies do take the practice field and run repetitions of their plays and schemes for 80 minutes. Then they shower and go to dinner. Gagliardi often plays 40 to 60 kids in a game, and has a Div III reputation for running up scores (St. Johns runs what it's players are trained to run; players are not trained to run a succession of dives). Gagliardi attracts football players from all over the Midwest who are eager to play for him. Div III schools offer no athletic scholarships. Gagliardi attracts some players who turn down scholarships elsewhere to attend St. Johns. In 2003, when Murphy chronicled them, the Johnnies squad had over 100 players. St. John's Clemens Stadium (1,2) is renowned as one of the most beautiful venues in America.
I've read many coaching books. This is what I take away from them: a coach must cut through the horse manure and communicate truth to his players.
Players want to know truth. They want to know truth even when it's painful. They want to know even when truth is "Your career is over", or "You are currently not much better than the waterboy", or "We've no time to spare; we must work right now", or "We must embrace a little pain if we are to progress, and as evidence of our progress". It's necessary that a coach to be ruthless with the truth.
I hope Charley Rosen is speaking of having the dynamic presence to refuse to indulge player fantasy, and of having the charisma to insist players squarely face truths. I hope Rosen is speaking of the assertive toughness which an excellent coach truly needs. If he is, he is onto something.
If Maurice Cheeks is truly "too nice" to coach, I read "too nice" like this: "Maurice Cheeks, for whatever misguided reason, is unwilling to be assertive and ruthless about truth."
I have little personal knowledge of Maurice Cheeks as a coach. From afar, I've admired his playing days and his personal character. It's possible he simply hasn't found the right head coaching situation, and will succeed if he does find it.
I cry every time I watch Maurice Cheeks' and Natalie Gilbert's National Anthem. I like that Cheeks directed the entire arena in singing with Natalie. Singing fans needed direction so as to synchronize their pace. Note this eclectic group: Nick Van Exel, Don Nelson, Raja Bell, George Gervin. These gentlemen have impatiently endured literally thousands of National Anthems, yet they willingly lift their voices for Mo Cheeks and Natalie Gilbert:
Monday, December 15, 2008
... the second highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation.
Michael Yon, a Special Forces vet and the pre-eminent war journalist of our time, communicated his admiration in a dispatch from Bahrain: "Gary is a true friend of the American soldier. He does not hesitate to travel into war zones to express his admiration and personal support for those who defend us. He visits wounded soldiers, some of whom I personally know. All love him.
"Soldiers from privates to generals admire Gary for his dedication to a cause greater than any of us. Gary's dedication went much further. He personally supported sending millions of dollars worth of school and clothing supplies to Iraqi children. I saw this effort with my own eyes. Gary Sinise is a Great American."
In 2004, "Seabiscuit" author Laura Hillenbrand with Mr. Sinise founded Operation Iraqi Children, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping the U.S. military distribute school supplies in the war-stricken country.
"For a lot of celebrities, charitable work equals photo opportunity and nothing more," Miss Hillenbrand wrote in an e-mail. "For Gary, giving of himself, and giving to his country, is what makes life meaningful and joyful. It is perhaps the most essential part of his character, and it is his passion."
Mr. Sinise not only "supports the troops," but he champions their mission as well.
"I have seen Iraqi kids climbing on our soldiers and hugging them and kissing them," Mr. Sinise said. "I have seen their smiling faces and their attempts to say 'I love you' in broken English. The folks I saw had hope in their eyes and gratitude in their hearts for what was done for them."
filmmaker and Air Force veteran Jonathan Flora followed him and his band to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2008. He recounts one time when he witnessed one of Mr. Sinise´s typical interactions with the troops.
"It was hot, Iraq hot when we stopped at a check point before entering an FOB (Forward Operating Base). Gary began speaking with a soldier through the window and soon we were all standing outside so he could have his picture taken with him and a few of his buddies. Soon there were at least fifty guys around him and he greets each one as he always does. This is an unscheduled stop and we are being urged to move on so as to be on time for his next stop, but Gary, still, meets with each one and gives them their time. Finally, we have to move on as he says good-bye to the last soldier.
"As we are about to get into the vehicle we hear the guys yelling and in the distance is one more soldier. He is dressed in full battle-rattle humping as fast as he can in this unbearable heat to get to Gary before he leaves. He had just been relieved from his point and heard that Gary Sinise had stopped by the check point, and he was determined not to miss him. Gary without hesitation stopped and waited and he greeted this young man as if he was the first man in line, full of enthusiasm and appreciation.
"When we did finally get into the vehicle I mentioned to Gary how I observe how he makes each and every man or woman feel special and appreciated, he paused in thought before answering, as he often does, and then says with a heavy heart, 'It's because we don't know what the next hour holds for them. As tired as I might get sometimes, and I do, it is nothing compared to what they go through day-after-day with the price they are so readily willing to pay.' "
Fox News will be broadcasting Mr. Flora´s one-hour special in prime time on Jan. 10.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Prime Minister Maliki scores points for attempting to protect Pres. Bush from the second shoe. Prime Minister Maliki has enemies who will attempt to use his protective reaction to link him to Pres. Bush in a politically damaging fashion. Prime Minister Maliki, though undoubtably cognizant of this, nevertheless attempted to protect Pres. Bush.
This is an interesting study of media. I first saw a still video frame of Pres. Bush ducking shoe #1. It looked like an inglorious moment, yet the individual video frame lied. Video shows Pres. Bush performing a nimble dance move, followed by an instantaneous return to standing position, followed by cooly refusing to duck shoe #2.
Media which provides video will show a cool and tough old rawhide President. Media which uses the still video frame plus written MSM description will likely convey a false impression of President Bush's reaction. I have provided verbal description. Watch the video and judge whether I have been fair or provided spin.
White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, however, was hit in the eye [suffering a potential black eye] with a microphone as security guards scrambled to restrain al-Zeidi.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I suspect Barack has a problem. I suspect Barack directed his staff to negotiate with Blogo, and to offer Blogo quid pro quo financial graft, and his staff did just that in a November 10 phone call which Patrick Fitzgerald's staff had bugged.
Now Barack must carefully decouple himself from his own staff's offer to Blago. This is why Barack is conducting an O.J. type "search for the real negotiator" amongst his staff. Who is that renegade staffer who - acting completely independently(!) and without the Messiah's knowledge(!!) - negotiated and offered Blogo the post of National Director of the Change to Win campaign?
It's widely reported/insinuated Fitz exonerated Barack of any wrongdoing. Not true. Few news organizations provided Fitz' direct quotations - instead substituting their interpretations of Fitz' direct quotations - which I find curious. Fitz' quotes about Barack were brief, and referenced specific, limited exoneration. You would think the quotes would be newsworthy and "fit to print". Negative. Here is what Fitz actually said:
"I should make clear, the complaint makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever, his conduct."Much later in the press conference:
So I simply pointed out that if you look at the complaint, there's no allegation that the president-elect -- there's no reference in the complaint to any conversations involving the president-elect or indicating that the president-elect was aware of it. And that's all I can say.Fitz' words can be read in a couple of different ways. Look again at "And that's all I can say"? Hmm. It could be innocuous. Yet, if Barack is pristine, Fitz' words constitute a surprisingly weak assertion of that. I suspect Barack has a problem.
Update: how Barack's campaign emblem came to be.
Update II: Clarification: Blogo's position would've been National Director of the Change to Win campaign of the SEIU(Service Employees International Union). In return, PE Obama would've agreed to do a favor for SEIU - completing a three way trade between Blago, Barack, and SEIU. Blago directed profanity at Barack b/c the job would not be available for two years. Blago was suspicious, and wanted the job immediately. Either way, a quid pro quo job offer was being negotiated. More in the comments to this post.
Get right with God. The end is near.
"I think everyone in the NFL would agree that you need to open up this offense. It can't just be Romo-to-Witten. It has to be Romo-to-Terrell, Romo-to-Witten, Romo-to-Roy Williams, Marion Barber."
"You've got to have all the weapons involved. Otherwise, this team is not going to play up to its potential. That's all Terrell is trying to do, guys."
Sitting between Gore and his vice president-elect Joseph Biden following the hour-long meeting, Obama told reporters:Barack is going to lead a fantasy based U.S. policy while ridiculing "deniers" as troglodytes. Except, deniers now include 650 scientists and the UN IPCC. Again I point to:“All three of us are in agreement that the time for delay is over. The time for denial is over."
“We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now, that this is a matter of urgency and national security, and it has to be dealt with in a serious way. That is what I intend my administration to do.”
- Barack is likely sympathetic to a World Government which is heavily influenced by Europe. "Global Warming Crisis!" is a method of speeding and empowering such World Government.
- Barack is certainly sympathetic to centralized government management of the U.S. economy. "Global Warming Crisis!" is a method of limiting free enterprise and expanding the power of centralized government.
If the U.S. invests heavily "clean technology", Colin Powell stands to benefit:
A reader notes that Colin Powell is a “Strategic Limited Partner” at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, one of the best performing venture capital firms in history, having sponsored Google, and Apple, among others. Kleiner has made huge pushes into ‘clean technology’ of late — over the past 3-4 years. They have even raised an all clean-tech fund. Al Gore is also a special partner.” An Obama victory would put Kleiner in a strong commercial position.Did the oily Powell - before agreeing to endorse Barack - secure Barack's agreement to promote clean technology? Activate the quease.
He was particularly angry about McCain’s support for the $700 billion financial bailout:I keep reading (1,2) basically the same things from persons who met Sarah Palin during the campaign: She is authentic; she is smart.WURZELBACHER: When I was on the bus with him, I asked him a lot of questions about the bailout because most Americans did not want that to happen. Yet he voted for it. … And I asked him some pretty direct questions. Some of the answers you guys are gonna receive — they appalled me, absolutely. I was angry. In fact I wanted to get off the bus after I talked to him.Wurzelbacher said he supported McCain only because he was “kinda the lesser of two evils.” However, his criticism of McCain didn’t extend to his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). “Sarah Palin is absolutely the real deal,” he said.
BECK: Really? Now why didn’t you get off the bus?
WURZELBACHER: Um, you know, honestly, because the thought of Barack Obama as president scares me even more.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Friday's full moon could appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons this year, Nasa said.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7779294.stm
Raiding this entire victory post from A.J. Strata [bolding is mine]:
The sad reality:
Poor Al Gore, the UN IPCC [ United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has just announced there is no imminent danger from man-made Global Warming:There is no clear evidence that global warming is an imminent danger to the world, says Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.Therefore, there is no reason to try and cap CO2 emissions and destroy the world economy and make life harder on everyone from below the middle class who would be most impacted by higher energy costs, which feed into higher costs for everything else from food to shelter to clothes. The UN has surrendered to the reality of the data. It has now admitted that its models were wrong, its alarming dire predictions were wrong and they will remain wrong.
Now we can focus on real issues and not silly and impotent ‘carbon footprints’. H/T Pirate’s Cove
- word will only slowly leak out - over years - that UN IPCC has surrendered
- Barack Administration will cling to "imminent" as an excuse to legislate against a fantasy long term danger from global warming.
- other political causes with agendas will do the same.
I started loving Sarah Palin before John McCain ever picked her for VP. I knew some fun things about her, and I started loving her when she had the State of Alaska sue to reverse a U.S. Court ruling that polar bears were threatened by global warming. She acted immediately:
What? A court has made this idiotic ruling?! Sue them. Now!What a sexy, sexy governor. I imagined her raging through the governor's mansion in the style of DeNiro's Al Capone:
I want their polar bears ... at risk! I want their beloved, mosquito infested tundra ... drilled! I want their compost piles ... burned! I want their canvas grocery bags ... shredded! I want their glasses of wheat grass ... flushed! I want their women's armpits ... shaved! I want their men's ponytails ... shorn!Yowzah!
Barack in Chicago Sun Times*:
"Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear. I said that throughout the campaign. I haven't indicated anything different during the transition. I think people can take me at my word.""I think"?! Who talks like this?! Here is how people talk:
- My word is good.
- You can take me at my word.
- My word is my bond.
"Every Barack promise comes with an expiration date."What Barack is really saying:
Sometimes I make plans to change my positions at some future point. Gun owners can rest assured: this is not one of those times! I miiight change my position in the future - but that would be due to unforseen circumstances, and therefore would not be my fault.Barack gives his word for the moment. The moment ends at any time it is advantageous for it to end.
Who talks like this? - Part 2 (via Darleen Click):
The One’s unscripted denial (at 3:14)Liars talk like this. Slippery eels.I, uh, had no contact with the governor, ah uh, or his office. Uh and so, we were not … I, I was, uh, not aware of what was, um, happening.
'Dissimulation was his masterpiece, in which he so much excelled that men were not ashamed of being deceived but twice by him'.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
“CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.”More at the link.
- Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.
“The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.”
- Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.
“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?"
- Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.
“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.”
– Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.
"[Warming fears are the] worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”
- UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Julianne Hough should dump her potato farmer/country music singer boyfriend Chuck Wicks; then marry Tebow. For the good of our nation, Tim and Julianne should go forth and be fruitful.
Julianne has endometriosis, which sometimes results in infertility. Not to worry: if she marries Tebow, SEC medical schools will throw all resources at the problem. They will cure endometriosis/infertility before Tebow graduates from U of Florida.
Tim and Julianne's (hopefully numerous) babies' handprints will be affixed to collegiate athletic scholarships as soon as possible. Those SEC medical schools will pioneer in utero surgeries to get at those handprints before rival schools are able. Medical breakthroughs from the pioneering in utero techniques will result in abortion being outlawed. Everybody wins: God, SEC football, unborn babies, Filipinos, endometriosis sufferers, soon-to-be-saved convicts, Church of LDS, NFL fans, DWTS, Mitt Romney, and bloggers who appreciate bootyful dancing.
Slight diversion: I'm struck by the photos. Julianne's is professionally done and is designed to further her careers in dance and in country music. She selected just the right jeans, just the right top, and has her hair and make-up and lighting done perfectly - as she should have. All good. Then there is Tebow's candid photo: just a lovable goof in a big red shirt. The photos sort of represent the two genders. Women wake up every day and fastidiously apply makeup and create their beauty - which is a wonderful thing. Even their girl next door looks are put together with some care. Men, if they can get away with it, roll out of bed and don't even shower before waltzing out the door. And the two genders have been this way for ages. Long may they continue to be so.
Postscript: Tebow must - for the good of mankind - kick this alleged girlfriend to the curb. A shame. She looks like a sweet girl. Tough call. Still, there is all mankind to consider. Tim is so wonderful, surely he will suffer on with Julianne, in the spirit of Jesus bearing the cross.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Note: We all would've been happier having never learned to pronounce "Blagojevich".
I would LOVE to see TCU and Boise State each take on some big conference teams in bowl games. Both Boise State and TCU (TCU 17-OU 10 in Norman in 2005) have in recent years defeated OU. Either Boise State or TCU would make an intriguing matchup against Ol Miss in the Cotton Bowl(TCU beat Cotton Bowl entry Texas Tech in 2006: TCU 12-Texas Tech 3 in Fort Worth), or against either of Georgia or Mich State in the Citrus Bowl, or against either of Clemson or Nebraska in the Gator Bowl. You get the idea. I would actually LOVE to see either TCU or Boise State take on USC in a bowl game. It's possible USC sucks. I would like to see them brought down a peg.
Instead, TCU plays against Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. A nice destination for both teams. The game features a spectacular Boise State offense against an elite and fast TCU defense. Still, a disappointment.
I don't blame schools like Wisconsin or Georgia Tech or Kansas or Iowa for running like #$%@ away from TCU and Boise State. It is only smart of those big conference schools to do so. Still, it's a disappointment. Boise State and TCU are the best of the small conference schools. Utah plays Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Cincinnati plays Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Boise State and TCU are absolutely better than either of Utah or Cincinnati. Although no small conference school beats Alabama this season, I suspect Virginia Tech doesn't get out of the Orange Bowl alive if either Boise State or TCU were it's opponent. And a bunch of other school listed above also don't get out alive if Boise State or TCU were their opponents. Basically, you've got a bunch of big conference schools going "whew."
OU is in the championship game due to strength of non-conference schedule. OU played TCU(currently ranked #11) and Cincinnati(currently ranked #12). Texas played Arkansas, which ended the season unranked with a 5-7 record. Texas other opponents were Fla Atlantic, UTEP and Rice. TCU and Cincinnati put OU in the championship game. Texas played it safe, got burned, and deserved to get burned.
Texas is in mourning b/c they lost to TT when 1) their frosh safety dropped an easy interception with 15 seconds or so remaining, then 2) their other frosh safety took a horrifying angle on Michael Crabtree's winning pass reception. Each freshmen safety made a horrible play in the final 15 seconds of the game. Video Gut wrenching - especially as Texas was so close to defeating their fourth consecutive opponent ranked in the Top 10. And yet, and yet: Texas has only themselves to blame. They knew how the BCS worked when they formulated their nonconference schedule.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Despite William Jefferson The Corrupt receiving solid support from unions, the Democratic Party, and Dem PACs: Vietnamese immigrant Cao defeats the black incumbent U.S. Representative in a heavily gerrymandered New Orleans district of black voters. Unheard of. That district was gerrymandered to make such a happening impossible.
Cao's story is compelling. He speaks 4 languages, studied to be a Jesuit priest, and has degrees in philosophy and law. The victory of a 41 year old Vietnamese American in a heavily black New Orleans district is the kind of story Hollywood would live for - if Hollywood wasn't a shill for the Dems. Instead, Hollywood will eventually make a movie about how William Jefferson was a complicated, flawed, misunderstood, heroic figure. Barf.
Still: It's a Happy Day!
Sunday, December 07, 2008
I rarely watch Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, or various music awards shows, and am therefore slow to learn about some popular culture happenings. I now read the budding American "It Girl" is Julianne Hough, and of this I completely approve. What's not to like about a smart, talented, 20 year old Mormon virgin who has booty? There's everything to like. I am sick of Disney stars who are not so smart, not so talented, and not so virginal. I am sick of Hollywood and magazines idealizing popsicle stick actresses who have no booty.
Julianne Hough was trained in London, and has won dance championships. Here she dances with her brother, and they are great.
What happens when Dancing With the Stars pairs an 18 year old Mormon virgin with Olympic Champion Apolo Anton Ohno? This:
Risque' Barbie does Dancing With the Stars also happens:
Hough grew up one of five children from an LDS (Mormon) family in Salt Lake City. Her brother Derek Hough is also a professional dancer. She has three sisters named Sharee, Marabeth, and Katherine. All four of her grandparents were dancers, and her parents met while on a ballroom dancing team in college in Idaho.She danced THROUGH a budding appendicitis attack. You gotta love that. Marketing opportunity for Mattel: Appendicitis Barbie.
Her formal training began at the Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, Utah, where she danced with Josh Murillo, among others, in Latin Ballroom; she began dancing competitively at nine. Her parents sent her and her brother to London for a year later to live and study with their coaches, Corky and Shirley Ballas, and to spare them the strife of divorce. The Ballas' helped tutor the two Hough children alongside their own son, Mark, while schooling them at the Italia Conti Academy. They received training in song, theatre, gymnastics and many forms of dance, including jazz, ballet, and tap. The three children formed their own pop music trio 2B1G ("2 Boys, 1 Girl") when Julianne was twelve, performed at dance competitions in the U.K. and the U.S., and showcased in a UK television show. At fifteen, Julianne Hough became the youngest dancer, and only American, to win both Junior World Latin Champion and International Latin Youth Champion at the Blackpool Dance Festival.
After five years in London, Hough returned to the U.S., first living with her mother for a year and attending Las Vegas Academy then returning to Utah to live with her father and graduating from Alta High. She then moved on her own to Los Angeles to begin her career.
On August 25, 2008, the cast of Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 7) was announced, and Hough was partnered with Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley. She was feeling stomach pains during her jitterbug performance and was immediately rushed to a hospital following the encore performance of her jitterbug with Cody. She subsequently had surgery to have her appendix removed on October 28
This reminds of the seeming purpose for inventing You Tube: to allow an entire nation to sing and dance into their webcams. Awesomeee!
Christine Gambito almost got selected as Apolo's dance partner.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
"A U.S. Army soldier comforts a child fatally wounded by a car bomb blast in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad."
This Michael Yon photo has been called the most important image of the Iraq War.
via Theo Spark:
Saturday, 6 December 2008
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’
‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
Then he sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘ So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’
‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’
Friday, December 05, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
This survey, building on data from the initial Zogby study, confirms initial findings and suggests that not only were McCain voters more politically aware, but that their information sources gave them a fundamentally different set of facts about the election.
“This wasn’t just an election in which supporters of the two major party candidates divided on ideological lines or separate goals for the direction of the nation,” said Wilson. “It was also an election where the electorate was literally divided by separate realities of the world around them.”
“As the data from these surveys show, the information believed to be true by, respectively, McCain and Obama voters directly correlates not just to the candidate each voter was likely to support, but also the sources from which the voter received his or her political information,” Wilson commented.o McCain voters knew which party controls congress by a 63-27 margin.
o Obama voters got the “congressional control” question wrong by 43-41.
o Those that got “congressional control” correct voted 56-43 for McCain.
o Those that got “congressional control” wrong voted 65-35 for Obama.
The poll also asked voters to name all the media sources which they used to get news and information about the presidential campaign.
o Those “exposed” to Fox News got “congressional control” correct 64-25 (+39).
o Those “exposed” to CNN got “congressional control” correct 48-38 (+10).
o Those “exposed” to talk radio got “congressional control” correct 61-29 (+32).
o Voters in the “South” had the best response rate on “congressional control” (+22).