Friday, July 31, 2009

Barack: the God who bleeds; the novice who needs training

The left are calling for Barack to pull out stops in attempting to garner Congressional votes for Obamacare: to cajole, manipulate, and horse trade; to study what LBJ did, and to operate as LBJ did. Jonah Goldberg:

As Polman rightly notes, this is crazy talk for the simple reason that Obama has nothing like LBJ’s experience, skill set, or treasure trove of chits and political IOUs. Obama can no more decide to become LBJ than Carrot Top can decide to become Laurence Olivier.

Now, just as critics predicted, Obama needs on-the-job training to become a president, because he’s a god no more.

Nolan Ryan = Gravitas, Part 2

Re MLB Trade Deadline: Thank God and Greyhound it's gone!


The Halladay negotiations will help the Rangers make equitable trades over the next couple of seasons. Teams now know the Rangers will refuse to allow themselves to be robbed of talent. It is important for teams to know this. Jon Daniels was robbed, in order, of Chris Young, Adrian Gonzalez, John Danks, Nick Masset. Daniels mentor, John Hart, tried to give away Ian Kinsler and Erik Thompson, only to be saved from himself by Larry Walker's refusal to come to Texas. Therefore, the protracted Halladay negotiations have prepped the ground for future trades via showing other teams that Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan will not panic, and will draw a line in the sand. The Halladay negotiations served a purpose.

Re Nolan Ryan = Gravitas, an excerpt from Part 1:

Example 1: non-firing of Ron Washington when 2008 season opened disastrously

It's not that Washington was either fired or not fired. It is, rather, the non-firing gave Washington instant credibility ... insofar as Nolan Ryan obviously would not hesitate to fire Washington ... and, therefore, Nolan Ryan's baseball gravitas + decision not to fire Washington = additional credibility for Washington in the clubhouse, in the media, and in the minds of fans.

Example 2: non-pursuit of free agent pitchers

The source of much past grumbling in media, in blogs, and amongst fandom. Comes Nolan Ryan to say free agent pitchers cost too much money, and therefore the Rangers will concentrate on developing their own young pitchers. When Nolan Ryan says it - especially since Nolan earned scads of millions of $ as a free agent pitcher - it has more weight behind it than if Jon Daniels or Tom Hicks says it. This significantly tamps down the media/blogs/fandom grumbling. The Rangers still might trade for a young pitcher, but they will not be aggressively offering Barry Zito type contracts.

And now:

Example 5: non-trade for Roy Halladay

If it was strictly Jon Daniels making this call, would Rangers fans and media be so accepting of the decision?

Note: at the 11th hour (Eastern) last night, Halladay informed the Blue Jays he would not accept a trade to Texas. Halladay might have saved the Rangers from themselves. Whew #2!

Related End Zone: Nolan Wan-Kenobi

Friday Hot: Cycle Chic from Copenhagen

Graze. It's nice. Relaxing. Chic.

h/t American Digest

Pig in a poke

Ben Stein:
The American people in their unimaginable kindness and trust voted for a pig in a poke in 2008. They wanted so much to believe Barack Obama was somehow better and different from other ultra-leftists that they simply took him on faith.

They ignored his anti-white writings in his books. They ignored his quiet acceptance of hysterical anti-American diatribes by his minister, Jeremiah Wright.

They ignored his refusal to explain years at a time of his life as a student. They ignored his ultra-left record as a "community organizer," Illinois state legislator, and Senator.

The American people ignored his total zero of an academic record as a student and teacher, his complete lack of scholarship when he was being touted as a scholar.

Now, the American people are starting to wake up to the truth. Barack Obama is a super likeable super leftist, not a fan of this country, way, way too cozy with the terrorist leaders in the Middle East, way beyond naïveté, all the way into active destruction of our interests and our allies and our future.

Dems, had they passed Hillarycare in 1993-94, could have lost more seats in 1994 Midterm Election

Karl, at Hot Air's Green Room:
Centrist Democrats are going to be pressured by their progressive colleagues and the punditocracy to cave in, to support — or at least not filibuster — whatever final bill gets cooked up in a backroom House-Senate conference. They are going to get told that the failure of Hillarycare in 1994 led to the GOP electoral tsunami that year. Centrist Democrats need to be reminded that the Democrats could have lost more seats had they passed Hillarycare. They need to be reminded that after Congress passed the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act in 1988, a mob of seniors heckled and chased then-powerful Rep. Dan Rostenkowski down a Chicago street and attacked his car. His colleagues faced a public only slightly less angry. Less than two years later, before the bill’s implementation, Congress repealed the law by huge margins.

The Democrats may be struggling today, but their current attempt to take over our healthcare system is far from meeting its Waterloo.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beer Summit

Update: Random outtakes from the beer summit

Sgt. Crowley drank Blue Moon.

It's Belgian style beer, brewed by Molson-Coors.

Sgt. Crowley's beer sends this message: I am not a rube. My taste is unfussy, yet sophisticated enough. Don't assume I am a rube.

President Obama drank Bud Light.*

His beer sends this message: I'm just a regular American (who watches his waistline, as we all should - this is a teachable moment!). I learned my dilettante lesson over the arugula incident and over the brown mustard on a hamburger incident. I won't make that mistake again.

Another Bud Light fan ====>

The good: she fishes!

The bad: Bud Light. Yuck.

The unexpected: Koozies = sexy

*Sometimes I wonder: am I too hard on President Obama? Today is a good example: I love many varieties of beer; I don't love Bud Light. I cannot even agree with President Obama about what is a tasty beer.

Professor Gates drank Sam Adams Light.

His beer sends this message: I have taste, but am not trying to throw my superior taste in your face. I'm just a regular guy named "Skip."

Sam Adams has designed their own beer glass, and I think the glass is cool. Good marketing.

Vice President Biden drank a non-alcoholic Buckleys.

His message: I DO NOT have a drinking problem! Don't even think it!

Evil Cold Blooded Venomous Reptiles

My soon to be second grade niece plays on a softball team called the Timber Rattlers.

Worst, least cuddly, most evil youth mascot ever.

Proposed Team Colors:
Speckled Brown, Swollen Red, and Corpse Gray

Proposed Team Cheer:
We are the Rattlers and we are teething!
You'll soon be unconscious with labored breathing!
Rattlers! Rattlers! Yea!

Proposed Team Cheer #2:
Don't cheer at us with nomenclature!
We'll bite your booty cause it's our nature!
Rattlers! Rattlers! Yea!

Proposed Team Cheer #3:
Eat this apple! Eat this apple!
Eat this apple! Eat this apple!
(ad infinitum)

This mascot could only happen in a communist enclave whose heathen residents have no consciousness of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Texans - SENSIBLE and LEARNED and CIVILIZED human beings we - would boycott this mascot for the sake of our children's souls.

How does anyone pick a snake for youth mascot? Demons and Lucifers must have been already taken; Zombie Michael Jacksons must not yet have been available.

Human Beings Are Not Numbers

Robert Stacy McCain argues that economics is as much about the yearning of the human soul as it is about math. He doesn't say "soul", yet I'm saying that is what he is talking about. He is arguing that Keynesians fail to understand crucial truth about the soul's yearning for freedom and self-determination.

I've never thought of economics in quite these terms - as a question of freedom and morality - and am ashamed I have not. R.S. McCain is exactly correct. Excerpt:
Should our nation pursue an economic policy that seeks to expand liberty or should we side with Obama, Pelosi, Krugman, et al., in pursuing greater government control of economic matters?

Are we too free? That's really the question, and algebra cannot answer it. A neo-Keynesian like Paul Krugman claims to know how much deficit-funded "stimulus" the American economy needs (in a word, more) and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner claims to know exactly how that "stimulus" should be spent (in two words, Goldman Sachs), and anyone who disputes the claims of Krugman and Geithner is met with a highly nuanced argument: "Shut up."

What the neo-Keynesians wish to do is to centralize and increase economic control, on the basis of their implicit argument that the ordinary American is unfit to exercise economic liberty.

Yet it is a fairly simple matter to demonstrate that this elitist, control-oriented approach to economics -- Expertocracy, as it were -- is the source of the very problems that the experts now propose to solve by further expansion of their own power.

The fundamental question is not whether the experts who run the economy should pursue policy X or Y or Z. Rather, the question is whether experts should be running the economy at all.
The individual's desire for economic liberty is a moral choice. But the minions of the Expertocracy, who wish to deprive us of our liberty, are also making a moral choice, and they ought to be required to admit it.

Why is our desire for liberty morally inferior to the expert's desire to control us? To summarize the experts' answer: Because they're better than us.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gates Assumption: 911 Caller Speaks Compellingly

Barack's Gates Assumption will be remembered, and is a historic marker. Why? Americans understand interaction with police; understand blatant racial assumption which is not backed by reasonable evidence; understand vain men who refuse to admit error. We Americans may not understand supply side economics vs. demand side economics, yet we fully understand everything surrounding the Gates Assumption. You would have to be an academic to fail to understand what happened.

Related End Zone:

Tacos Make Everything Better
The Gates Assumption
The boundless elasticity of such endemic racism
Subverting Opportunity for Apology into Opportunity for Self-Praise

MadMen Yourself

at this link.


Christina Hendricks

Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal

is a real person, and is a female version of Hunter S. Thompson, drugged out journalist.

Photo evidence. For her walk back to her hotel, Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, pinned to her jacket a note which listed the name and address of her hotel, plus a phone number to call for a bail bondsman.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pediatricians prep for beers in the White House?

To soothe them after Pres. Obama accused them of performing unnecessary tonsillectomies. Althouse:
Donald's Designated Driver says: Personally, I'm glad that our President has the balls to take on Big Tonsil.

Texas Rangers: Do NOT Trade Justin Smoak!

Think big. Don't be traumatized by decades of futility. Don't be in shock. Don't be mindlessly unstrategic. Don't be gutless. Instead: be shrewd. Think BIG.

My goal is for the Rangers to win 4 World Series Championships during the teens. They will begin with a strong challenge in 2011teen (which will come up just short, leaving the eventual champion gasping for breath and declaring "ain't gonna be no rematch"), to be followed by a World Championship in 2012teen, with youngsters Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez each pitching in relief for crucial outs in the decisive game (Perez, having started and pitched 5 innings in Game 5, will pitch in relief during Game 7, utilizing his change-up to get crucial outs against Andre Ethier and Manny Ramirez).

It takes premium players to accomplish such an audacious goal.

Justin Smoak is exactly the type of premium player it takes.

Do NOT trade Justin Smoak!


The pitching is coming up through the minors - pitching of rare quality: Holland, Feliz, Perez, Scheppers, Main, Wieland, Font, Purke. The pitching will be there, and most of it will touch 95 mph or better.

The hitting is potentially the problem, and the hitting ought not be compromised by trading away our best hitting prospect.


I am SICK of even knowledgeable Rangers fans falling into this mindset:
Justin Smoak is so good! How soon can we trade him for pitching?

This is small time thinking. This is taking a mediocre road towards the middle. If Justin Smoak is fantastic: ripen him and go for excellence! Think big.

Rangers fans have lost the ability to envision the Texas Rangers as a mini dynasty, as the equivalent of the late 1990s Derek Jeter/Mariano Rivera mini-dynasty Yankees. Further, why ought the Rangers limit their thinking to being a mini-dynasty? Can the Rangers be a Big Red Machine? Or, better yet: a 1950s Mantle/Berra/Whitey Ford/Phil Rizzuto Yankees?

If the Rangers are to be an Andrus/Kinsler/Smoak/Holland dynasty (and Andrus will lead that team as surely as Magic Johnson led the Lakers - Andrus name must always be listed first): the Rangers first must keep Smoak and Holland.


Good hitters can be had in trades and in free agency.

World Series are won by rare hitters: by hitters who are touched by God with that indefinable something which allows them to get the big hit off of David Price in the most crucial World Series at bat. A Mariano Rivera or a David Price will get good hitters out in crucial World Series situations. It takes a rare, touched by God hitter to get the hits which create a dynasty.

Kinsler, for all his hardheaded intransigence which is currently ruining the 2009 season: is such a hitter. When Kinsler is locked in: you can't throw a fastball by him. No one can. When he's locked in: Ian Kinsler is a big game hitter who scares the opposition to death.

Justin Smoak, by all accounts, has a solid chance to become another such hitter. You don't trade away such hitters while they are still prospects. You just don't. It's stupid. You only trade them when you are about to lose them in free agency, aka in a Teixeira situation.

In my opinion, when it comes to hitting a Clayton Kershaw or a David Price in a crucial World Series at bat: Kinsler and Smoak will both be more effective than Teixeira.

The Rangers have some guys who might become scary good hitters: Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis. You can't tell, at this point, what these guys will become. Therefore, you also do not trade them, as you might be trading away Sammy Sosa. Trading them is thinking small. Trading them is General Managing for mediocrity. Trading them is gutless. Trading them displays a lack of vision. You keep the high upside guys and see what happens. If they go down, they go down. You at least give your franchise a chance to hit HUGE. A franchise doesn't often get a chance to hit HUGE on a hitter. Trading away such a rare chance is stupid. That the Rangers have three rare chances simultaneously does not mean the Rangers ought squander any of their three chances. That would be stupid.

Injured AAA Catcher Max Ramirez also needs to be kept. His all around batting excellence indicates he could some day join Kinsler and Smoak as a rare type of hitter who gives a franchise a chance at a dynasty. Ramirez does not have the freakish power of Hamilton, Cruz, or Davis. Ramirez does, however, possibly have that rare something. If you watch him, you will see it. You don't trade hitters like that. You keep them and send them to the plate against Clayton Kershaw in the 2012 World Series. Then you watch, into posterity, videotape of Max Ramirez' double into the right center gap which cleared the bases and provided the eventual winning run for the franchise's first World Series Championship. Kershaw's 2-1 fastball caught just a bit too much of the outside portion of the plate. Nelson Cruz, utilizing every last bit of the foot speed which helped convince the Rangers to trade for him in 2006, came around from first and slid in just ahead of the catcher's tag.

Think big. Don't be traumatized, in shock, unstrategic, and gutless. Think BIG.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tacos Make Everything Better


Wow: strong video of support for Sgt. Crowley from fellow police officers. Be sure and watch the woman officer, Kelly King. neo-neocon: "[King] burns with the slow fire of the knowledge that she’s telling the truth."

Meanwhile, unbelievably, The City of Cambridge, "in light of Professor Gates arrest", is commissioning a study of it's police procedures, so as to study ways the police may improve. High. Larious.

Update 2

Iowahawk: Cambridge Police Profiling Still Grim Reality for Harvard Faculty Assholes


The Bloggess and her husband, on the way to a Houston Taco Cabana for Monday lunch, get hit by another car. The Bloggess tweets the aftermath:
TheBloggess: Police are here. I suggested we all go get tacos while he writes the report. He didn't even respond.

TheBloggess: Me: tacos make everything better. Police officer: *total silence*

TheBloggess: I think this police officer is racist.
This seems a small thing, yet: openly mocking a Black American Princess (Gates) represents societal progress against the choking PC culture which we have too long tolerated.

Many Americans voted for Barack b/c they thought it would reduce the accusations that America is harshly and backwardly racist.

However, widespread belief/accusation of racism had not been our recent problem. Our recent problems have been Political Correctness and white guilt. White people have been oversensitive; have cared overmuch (for any healthy and mature adult) about unjustified/irrelevant/petty/irrational accusation. The problem always has been lack of wisdom on the part of white people - be that either lack of wisdom which manifested in actual racist attitude, or lack of wisdom which manifested in foolishly harboring fear of what black people might say/accuse. The problem never has been the perception of critics.

Ironically, Barack's election is fomenting progress - as shown by the pale-skinned The Bloggess' fearless and almost unthinking mocking of the Black American Princess Gates. I read The Bloggess a lot. She is a journalist, a liberal (albeit of the Texas variety), and she completely understands PC. Two years ago - pre-Barack election, pre-Gates Assumption - would The Bloggess have gaily mocked a black man in Gates position? I think it unlikely. I think something has changed - even in the last week.

The Bloggess' gaity could be a harbinger of other changes in society. Affirmative Action has been propped up like a corrupt and unworkable dictatorship: like Mussolini, like Nicolae Ceausescu, like the USSR. When corrupt, unworkable, propped up dictatorships fall: they often fall hard and swift. It could be the same with Affirmative Action - and the Gates Assumption could play a role.

I don't think the Gates Assumption is a small thing. I think it is a lingering thing which will become more and more infected. It could help kill off Barack's career; it could contribute to reducing or killing off both Affirmative Action and Political Correctness. I think it is a marker and a notable moment.

We can thank Barack. He truly is bringing hope and change.

"Doctors [ought] look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice"

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's brother, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, is White House Medical Care Advisor. New York Post reports that Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel
wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else.

Many doctors are horrified by this notion; they'll tell you that a doctor's job is to achieve social justice one patient at a time.

Emanuel, however, believes that "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care.


US government resembles a parliamentary democracy

Dick Morris (h/t):
Superficially, the United States appears to have a presidential system, but in fact it more and more resembles a parliamentary form of government. When a president loses the approval of the majority of the voters and polls reflect that his ratings have fallen substantially below 50 percent, he loses his power. In this context, polls are like parliamentary votes of no confidence in European systems. While the government does not fall if it loses in the polling, it limps on until either its ratings improve or it is voted out of office at the next election.

Now Obama faces the loss of power that comes with dropping poll numbers. The two early symptoms of this creeping impotence are his inability to pass the union card-check legislation or to force action on healthcare before the August recess, once highly touted administration goals.

As is usually the case, the apparent cause of these defeats -- the buildup of public disapproval of both bills -- is not what is really at work. Rather, it is the president's obvious inability to improve the economy that is exacting the daily toll in his approval ratings evident in all of the surveys. Like the body counts that mounted in Iraq and drove Bush's numbers ever downward, the rising unemployment numbers are stripping Obama of his popularity and power.

Obama's very activism in promoting the stimulus package in January as a cure-all has set him up for failure now that he cannot deliver on his overblown promises. Unlike Clinton's presidency, Obama's cannot be rescued by good public relations. His obvious failure to turn the economy around drags him down at every turn.
I don't want America to be beholden to the whims of voters on a week by week basis.

Originally, State Legislatures selected U.S. Senators. It'll never happen, but: if we returned to that, then U.S. Senators would not be so reactive to this week's poll numbers.

Straight Democracy always becomes disastrous - and sooner rather than later. The U.S. is a Democratic Republic. We should understand and remember that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Gates Assumption

I'm greatly interested in the way this subject will resonate, over time, with Joe and Jane Voter. Americans understand police interaction. We may not understand economics, we may not be able to get our heads around “trillion”, but we understand interaction with police.

Barack’s unforced error allows us Joe and Jane Voter Americans to see him more clearly than we could see him before. Barack bumbled into an area in which we regular Americans have expertise. “Cops” plays 10 times a night on cable TV. We understand the lack of reasoning behind the rash Gates Assumption. We understand the racial agenda behind the Gates Assumption. We understand men who are too vain to see their mistakes and apologize for them. We GET this. Barack is unmasked in our eyes. And, if he’s unreasonable, agenda-driven, and unwilling to admit error here: WHERE ELSE is he unreasonable, agenda-driven, and unwilling to admit error?

This is a small incident which is HUGE, b/c me, my neighbor, and the girl who cuts my hair all understand it perfectly. In fact, you’d have to be a college professor (or a law school lecturer) to fail to understand this incident.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Meaning of "Some things are very clear from here"

I imagine I am sitting in bleacher seats in an end zone - usually the north end zone at Amon Carter Stadium, the home of TCU football, in Fort Worth. It's the worst place to watch a game in that stadium, yet it's where I sat and watched games as a boy. I can see some aspects of play very clearly - more clearly than persons sitting at the 50 yard line. Other aspects of play are not so clear to me. This is similar to my view of many current events. Some things are very clear from Fort Worth. Other things, not so much.


Separate note: if you are a friend who has recently sent photos/letters to my family, we enjoyed them VERY MUCH, and send our love to you.

The boundless elasticity of such endemic racism

Mark Steyn:
A black president [of U.S.], a black governor [of MA] and a black mayor [of Cambridge, MA] all agree with a black Harvard professor that he was racially profiled by a white-Latino-black police team, headed by a cop who teaches courses in how to avoid racial profiling. The boundless elasticity of such endemic racism suggests that the "post-racial America" will be living with blowhard grievance-mongers like professor Gates unto the end of time.

In a fairly typical "he said/VIP said" incident, the VIP was the author of his own misfortune but, with characteristic arrogance, chose to ascribe it to systemic racism, Jim Crow, lynchings, the Klan, slavery, Jefferson impregnating Sally Hemmings, etc. And so it goes, now and forever.

Chicago Tribune:
Connie Rice, a black Los Angeles civil rights attorney who has played a leading role in reforming the Los Angeles Police Department
Gates, she said, seemed to manifest what she called “Black American Princess Syndrome".
“Black American Princess Syndrome". LOL.

Can we now make jokes about Black American Princesses? Of course not! PC dictates that such jokes would be evidence of (unconscious?) racism and sexism ("princess"). Our nation will take a step forward when we reject PC and make jokes about BAPs, i.e.

How many Black American Princesses does it take to change a light bulb?


One to change the light bulb. One to scream out "racist society" to the neighbors. One to berate the black police officer on the scene. One to berate the Hispanic Police Officer on the scene. One to call the (black) Mayor. One to call the (black) Governor. One to call the (black) President. One to begin booking the talk shows. One to start production on the documentary film.

Heather McDonald, author of the several books, including "Are Cops Racist?", accuses President Obama of promoting racial paranoia:
Obama has now put the presidential imprimatur on a set of untruths that will only fuel disrespect for the law and impede the police in their efforts to protect inner-city residents from crime.
Gates seems not to understand that he was arrested for disorderly conduct, not for burglary. He was not “the first black man that [the officers] saw” committing what they viewed as disorderly conduct; he was the only man they saw committing disorderly conduct.
Obama does not seem to understand the power of his office. If he is going to weigh in on something as crucial to the health of cities as policing, he had better get his facts straight. But everything that he said about the Cambridge confrontation was untrue. He presents a highly telescoped version of the events that echoes Gates’s implication that he was arrested on the burglary charge: “The Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” Obama intoned. But Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct; his being in his own home is irrelevant.
Obama then decided he was going to give us a history lesson: “What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”

This statement has many possible meanings, all of them untrue.
Virtually identical proportions of white, black, and Hispanic drivers — 9 percent — report being stopped by the police, though in 2005, the self-reported black stop rate — 8.1 percent — was nearly a percentage point lower than the self-reported white stop rate (8.9 percent). The stop rate for blacks is lower during the day, when officers can more readily see a driver’s race.
As for urban policing — where the police have victim identifications and contextual and behavioral cues to work with — blacks are stopped more, but only in comparison with their proportion of the entire population. Measured against their crime rate, they are understopped. New York City is perfectly typical of the black police-stop and crime rates. In the first three months of 2009, 52 percent of all people stopped for questioning by the police in New York City were black, though blacks are just 24 percent of the population. But according to the victims of and witnesses to crime, blacks commit about 68 percent of all violent crime in the city.
Obama has only increased the racial paranoia that Gates put so vividly on display. Officers of all races say that the first thing out of a black driver’s mouth during a traffic stop for speeding or running a red light is often: “You only stopped me because I’m black,” a reaction ginned up by decades of anti-cop agitating and now bolstered by Obama’s recycled fictions. The advocate-fueled resentment of the police in inner-city neighborhoods makes crime fighting more difficult and more dangerous. Obama’s hope for reviving urban economies rests on a crucial precondition: that cities stay safe. He has just put that precondition in jeopardy.

Clingstone slide show

in NYT. Clingstone is a house on a rock in Narragansett Bay, off the coast of Rhode Island.

Juxtaposing Harvard Barack and POTUS Barack

Small Dead Animals blog:
Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Carol Platt Liebau (Harvard Law Review), February 20th -
"[Tom Pirelli] did most of the day to day work [on the Harvard Law Review]. Barack Obama was nowhere to be seen. Occasionally he would drop in he would talk to people, and then he'd leave again as though his very arrival had been a benediction in and of itself, but not very much got done."
CNN Political Ticker, July 21st -
One Democratic senator tells CNN congressional Democrats are “baffled,” and another senior Democratic source tells CNN members of the president’s own party are still “frustrated” that they’re not getting more specific direction from him on health care. “We appreciate the rhetoric and his willingness to ratchet up the pressure but what most Democrats on the Hill are looking for is for the president to weigh in and make decisions on outstanding issues..."
I remember listening to this Liebau interview, and I remember a separate observation she made. She said Harvard was so liberal that Barack was able to get along with conservatives merely by being polite to them, as opposed to sneering at them and denigrating them. Liebau said she has an odd sense that Barack still believes that interaction with conservatives and Republicans will work that way, i.e. that Barack believes if he is merely polite, and is not overtly rude, that such will constitute a sufficient and successful effort in working with the other side, i.e. Repubs will work with Barack b/c they will grateful he is not rude to them.

Note, this is similar to Barack's approach to Iran and to Russia: they will work with us b/c we will be nice to them and they will like us.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Subverting opportunity for apology into opportunity for self-praise

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A black police officer who was at Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s home when the black Harvard scholar was arrested says he fully supports how his white fellow officer handled the situation.

Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates' reaction to Crowley was "a little bit stranger than it should have been."

Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said supported Crowley "100 percent."


Obama’s was not an apology for an unfair assertion about Sgt. Crowley and the Cambridge Police.

Rather, Obama’s was a reassertion of the righteousness of Obama’s belief that the police acted stupidly.

Obama’s statement was also an apology for not asserting (police stupidity) in a rhetorically slick fashion. Basically, it was an apology for getting caught at being truthful and forthright. Obama was saying:
I apologize for not having been more skillful at misleading the yokels. Not you guys, of course! YOU guys would have known what I meant. However, I should have said it in a way which would appease the yokels. I did not say it in a way which would appease the yokels and yet signal to you smart people. For that, I apologize.

Obama’s is a slick tactic: apologize not for the transgression, but rather for displaying lack of skill. The true narcissist will favor an apology for a lack of skill in an area in which the narcissist has demonstrably excellent skill. Therefore, even as the narcissist “apologizes”, the narcissist is effectively drawing attention to himself for having such wonderful skill in this area.

Thus, we see Obama’s “apology” was actually an overt celebration of Obama’s rhetorical skill. In fact, and maybe I’m over conditioned, but I could barely hear even a fake apology over the loud clanging implicit praise of The One’s rhetorical skill, i.e.
I’m usually so fantastic and wonderful at rhetoric, and I apologize for not being as fantastic and wonderful as usual. There! Aren’t I reasoned and wonderful and magnanimous for apologizing?! Of course I am. Now let me lecture YOU about jumping to conclusions, and about race. You will love it.

Wow: Dwayne Wise saves a perfect game in the 9th inning

with this catch.

Friday Hot: Desiree Bassett

Not sensuous hot - unless you are approx age 16 yourself. Rather: Desiree is on fire in terms of excellence and achievement. Substance over style. Excellence over posturing and posing. And, speaking of style: her wardrobe is appropriate for a teen aged girl, which I appreciate. As I consider Friday Hot, my thoughts are completely with Desiree Bassett: Best Girl Guitarist.

"The notion that someone could disagree with them, on abortion, for example, is not merely incomprehensible, but fury-making"

Excellent video

Harry Stein, author of "I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican", lives just north of the Upper West Side of NYC. A former communist, he shares insight into the mindset of New York liberals:

People on the left do not really argue the facts. It's really an emotion based sense of the world. And when it's challenged, they do not quite know how to argue back. They are taught, they assume, that those on the right are not merely wrong, but evil. The notion that someone could disagree with them, on abortion, for example, is not merely incomprehensible, but fury-making.
Essentially, they just cannot get their heads around someone not sharing their views.
As much as anything else: they're baffled [at how I could be conservative]. They really don't get it . I don't look like a monster. I don't drag my knuckles when I walk.
To be not part of the left liberal herd is to be incomprehensible; and, perhaps worse than that, evil.
None of these people listen to Limbaugh, but they all hate him. In fact, they don't know what conservatives think at all. Basically, they deal in the crudest kinds of caricatures: we are racists, sexists, homophobic, whatever other epithets get thrown around by various NYT columnists. And that's good enough for them. There is no real interest in investigating the ideas of the other side. And I think this is a real difference [between left and right]: we know what they think. We can't help but be aware of the predominant attitudes on every major social and political issue. They know what they know of us basically by rumor and innuendo.
You're never going to win them over. In my previous book, "How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and Found Inner Peace", I actually hoped to speak to people on the other side. It doesn't work. It's impossible. I don't think a single liberal read that book, and I'm including members of my family. They were appalled by it. [...] In this book, I don't want to spend any time arguing with persons of the left. It's almost the definition of a fruitless endeavor.
I absolutely agree, you have to fight back [against the left's prejudice against and intolerance of the right, and against the left's mischaracterization of the right], to push back. But I would caution: they're very very hard to embarrass. [Intolerance of the right] doesn't have the same moral weight in their universe as a black person. By the way: if you're a black conservative, it doesn't help much either. Look what they did to Clarence Thomas.

On the Conservative Tribe subtly signalling to each other - as Communists in America used to, as gay persons still do:
I'm very keenly aware, when I'm at a party, if there are one or two other people who are not responding - when the talk turns to Obama - with the amen chorus. And, potentially, those are people I could get along with.


"The notion that someone could disagree with them, on abortion, for example, is not merely incomprehensible, but fury-making."
Why is it fury-making?

It's the injustice, and it's the evil persons [bigoted conservatives] who create the injustice. The left are furious at the injustice and at the evil bigots. When someone disagrees with them, they do not react like this: Hmm, we disagree. What is the truth? Rather, they react like this: THIS is the infuriating bigotry which causes the infuriating injustice which ruins the world.

The left do not perceive themselves as being intolerant of thought. Rather, they perceive themselves as virtuously attacking injustice. The greater their fury at injustice, the greater their virtue. Their fury amounts to action. Their enemy: injustice (grrr!) is often ethereal. Therefore, much of their action against the enemy (fury! emotional reaction!) is necessarily ethereal.

Spice in the left's ego/self-image investment in being on the righteous and virtuous side of political thought. Such only adds to the shutting down of reason and the ramping up of emotion.
"Essentially, they just cannot get their heads around someone not sharing their views."
Most committed left persons believe their political opinions confer virtue upon them. Their political opinions must be correct, as holding an incorrect opinion amounts to being unvirtuous (according to their thinking), and they cannot possibly be unvirtuous. Besides, everyone they respect holds the same political opinion, ergo the opinion must be correct. Echo chamber.

Most committed left persons cannot logically defend their opinions. They sometimes try to defend based upon clueless belief in fantasy. They sometimes try to defend with deception (which they rationalize as virtuously serving a greater good - plus, at any rate, "Tu quoque, you hypocrite righties!"). They sometimes try to obscure via throwing out huge clouds of flak, for instance: false-info flak, ad hominem flak, straw-man flak - all of which take forever to completely round up and refute, most of which serve to obscure and wrest attention from the original opinion which the left person was unable to logically defend.

In absence of understanding the logic of leftist cant, most committed lefties have faith that some smart lefty - at Daily Kos, or somewhere - can defend what they consider obviously correct leftist cant. That faith is enough. FAITH. Their opinion is based upon their faith. Everyone whom they trust holds the same opinion - which reinforces their faith the opinion must be correct. They don't understand the logic of why their opinion is correct, yet it simply MUST BE.


This rant is fun, and is an example of standing up against leftist intolerance of thought:


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Desiree Bassett: Best Girl Guitarist

Now age 16, Desiree was last year billed as "the best 15 year old girl guitarist in the world." It was understatement.

She should have been billed as the best 15 year old girl guitarist ... ever. She has rare aptitude, and obvious love for the music.

I love that one of her music heroes is Carrie Underwood. Desiree retains a sweetness which is appropriate for a girl from Ashford, CT. Her wardrobe choices are appropriate for a 16 year old girl guitarist. Her parents are obviously good parents, and Desiree is obviously a decent person.

Desiree radiates light when she plays. It is wonderful to behold. Watch her face on "Blazin Guitar Girl", playing in Norwich, CT, in Dec 2008. She is communicating: Isn't getting to stand up here and play guitar the awesomest thing ever?! And I watch her, and I talk back to the computer monitor: Yes! Yes, it actually IS the awesomest thing ever!

Below, Sammy Hagar introduces Desiree to his fans. At the end, Hagar says: "Put that ... on You Tube, okay! Scare them people to death." Who will it scare? Other rock musicians. One day, pretty soon, Desiree Bassett will be coming for their derrieres.

The funniest part of Desiree's jam with The Marshall Tucker Band is listening to Desiree's father as he unsteadily videotapes the scene and screams out "YEAH girl!", and exclaims to everyone within earshot "Oh my God, man! Holy shit! That's my daughter up there! I can't believe it!" He's a rock and roll fan, and he's blown away. Desiree's solo, and her father's "Oh my God, man"s, begin at 1:30.

Desiree's You Tube Page has her description of her musical skills and of her musical influences. Desiree currently has 29 videos at her website:, and a biography.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dear Texas Rangers,

DO NOT trade Justin Smoak.

This franchise has already traded Sammy Sosa. Why would we repeat that mistake with the best switch hitter since Mantle?

This team needs hitters more than it needs pitchers.

You don't know how much I enjoyed writing that sentence.

If you must trade, trade pitchers. Keep your top arms off the market and trade any of your second group. Here are the top arms which ought be off the market:

Martin Perez

A guy like Main may or may not ever succeed. However, he is too talented to trade. Keep him to the bitter end. If he doesn't make it, go down with the Michael Main ship. Think big. Trading a Michael Main is thinking small.

Tegucigalpa Airport Landing

Been blogging about Honduras, and have meant to show this video:

How does that look from the cockpit? Like this (the serious approach begins at about 2:10):

After the landing, a pilot says: "That's not fun. I don't like this."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Complexity and Ethics

In Medical School, and during residency, future Doctors are schooled in medical ethics.

Once on the job, Doctors make ethical decisions on a case by case basis, often with insurance companies looking over their shoulders.

A premise of Obamacare: government can make ethical decisions, on a group basis, more ethically than Doctors now make ethical decisions on individual bases. From 1500 miles away, Washington D.C. can make ethical decisions better than a doctor who is 5 feet away from a patient.

Who believes this Obamacare premise is valid?

Decisions are made in an environment of complexity. Decisions are better made closer to the decisionpoint, rather than further from it.

This video, of Barack advising a woman (in so many words) that her mother ought skip surgery, take painkillers, and die, is a case in point.

Exceptions exist. Environment of complexity. Spread the decisionmaking across the population.


This Barack video fits: American bumpkins must stop "clinging" to their health care.

Barack and Sarah; Left and Right

David Foster:
Circa 1870, an English gentleman was touring the American West. After meeting a cowboy and talking with him for a moment, he asked:

“And where is your master, my man?”

Cowboy replied: “Son of a bitch ain’t been born yet.”

I think the core Obama-ites are truly troubled by the idea of masterless men, and this is a major factor behind their hostility toward small business.
Somebody smart - can't remember who or where - said left philosophy, taken to it's logical conclusion, inevitably leads to fascism. I laughed when I read it. I dismissed it. Now it nags at me. More and more, I might believe it.

Re David Foster's observation: Barack, with his fundamental belief in wealth distribution, does seek to master men; does seek to decrease personal liberty and to increase subservience. And Barack doesn't merely seek it. He is accomplishing it.


David Warren in Ottawa Citizen:
Increasingly, I find, people on the left simply cannot accept any right-wing view as legitimate. The mere fact it can be so labelled puts it beyond the pale.

We often read that the old categories of "left" and "right" have become irrelevant. It is an argument almost invariably propounded by the left. They have been freed, for more than a generation, from anything resembling serious public debate, and have thus got in the habit of proceeding with an infinitely extendible agenda (through the courts if there are legislative delays). The right has meanwhile got in the habit of feeling disenfranchised.

The right is still there, however: mostly invisible to media editors, beyond their goldfish world. (The immense success of Fox News came from recognizing this "niche market," consisting of about half the population.)

We have one group that lives under the highly artificial and intensely regulated conditions of post-modern urban life. (Even if they go to a cottage, it will be equipped with the electronic paraphernalia to create a bubble of urbanity.) And, we have another group who remain in contact with the eternal verities of life on this planet. (Who, for instance, associate electric power with doing work, as opposed to "making consumer choices.")

Perhaps better terms for the two sides, to replace left and right, might be "martians" and "earthlings."

It is to the earthlings in this scenario that Ms. Palin is speaking [in her Wa-Po opinion piece]. And when she writes lines like this intentional jaw-dropper in the Washington Post -- "We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil" -- she is quite intentionally signalling that she is ready for war.

That only implies an immediate run for the presidency to people who cannot understand her. Instead, she intends to use her celebrity to champion the views of the many earth-based Americans who have been overlooked -- and whom the Republican establishment will continue to patronize, and overlook, at the cost of their own annihilation.

We are going to have a war, next door in the U.S.A. -- a war between two world views that have become very nearly mutually incomprehensible. One might almost say that it was quietly declared on the op-ed of the Washington Post Tuesday.
I agree with this take on Sarah Palin. She's going to say what needs saying. She hopes she catches on as a Presidential candidate. However, if she doesn't catch on, she will have nevertheless done her part, via saying what needs saying, via championing sanity and truth, via speaking up for Warren's "Earthlings". Hers is a shrewd move. It is consistent with her values and principles. If she fails in running for President, she still contributes to our nation, and she greatly increases the wealth of her family. Win/win. Plus, Alaska probably will be more successful if it is governed by the current Lt. Governor. Win/win/win. Palin displays audacity and shrewd strategic judgment.

General George S. Patton, "L'audace! L'audace! Toujours l'audace!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moonwalk

My friend Paul Gordon is a co-blogger today:
40 years ago today, on July 20, 1969 an American set foot on another world.

Science fiction had long predicted it, but I don't recall it ever predicting that we would go (multiple times), get bored, and never go back.

In 1972, I had the unforgettable privilege of watching the liftoffs of Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 from a bit over 12 miles away on the beach at Titusville, Florida.

At that distance the curvature of the Earth would cut off a portion, except for the fact that the launch pad is placed on top of a ramp that rises about four stories and the pad itself probably adds another 10 feet or so, making the whole thing visible.

Hold your thumb and forefinger a few millimeters (or 1/8th of an inch) apart, at arms length and imagine a skinny white splinter held vertically between them. That's what a Saturn V looks like at that distance to the naked eye. A pair of 7x50 binoculars, or a 300 mm telephoto lens does a decent job of showing it.

When it fires up, it takes a full minute for the sound to reach you, and it's a low-pitched rumble that is felt as well as heard.

Something I'll remember 'til the day I die.


"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress")

You can feel it from 12 miles away! Imagine that.

Barack vs Barack: Stimulus Video

Must laugh to keep from crying. Who you gonna believe: Barack or your own eyes? His were not the stimulus promises you see on video.

At :43, Barack uses his finger to emphasize "under budget", as if we are children who need scolding, as in you will go to bed at 8:30, and you will not question whether government can operate efficiently.

Something I wrote in White House Stages Even a Baseball Pitch fits here:

"Barack, naturally, then pumped his fist in satisfaction: Yes! I did soooo goood! Who you gonna believe? My fist pump or your own eyes? Obi Barack: This was not the weak pitch you think you saw. Supply side did not work for Reagan. Tax cuts did not work for JFK, Reagan, and GWB. Nuclear proliferation did not help bankrupt the USSR and win the Cold War. That was a coup in Honduras."


Sotomayor vs Sotomayor

Sotomayor is playing the same game as Barack. We have this video:

yet Obi Sonya keeps saying:
I am John Roberts. I am not a "wise Latina". I am not a blowhard Joe Biden. Mine are not the opinions you read in my speeches and see in my video. I am John Roberts. I am not a "wise Latina". I am not a blowhard Joe Biden. Mine are not the actions of Ricci; mine are not the 6 decisions (out of 8) which were overturned by the SCOTUS. I am John Roberts. I am disciplined of thought and speech.
What we have, in Barack, in Sonia, in the left which roots them on, is conviction that lying is okay, that lying doesn't matter, that lying is acceptable. All that matters is victory over the dastardly right. Lying to defeat the right is a virtue.

What we have, also - as demonstrated in Sotomayor's repudiation of her previously avowed judicial principles - is tacit acknowledgment that America cannot stomach leftist judicial theory. Patrick McIlheran, of Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal, gets it:
Law professors complained to journalists that empathy "went out the window," that they were "completely disgusted" by Sotomayor giving answers indistinguishable from what John Roberts and Samuel Alito might have said.

The interesting question is why she did this.

[Greg's note: this is the interesting question. My answer: Sotomayor was in slight danger of being thrown under the bus by Democratic Senators, as the Senate is extemely sensitive to public opinion polling. Sotomayor "did this" to prevent public opinion polls from turning against her any worse. She was taking no chances.]

She does not have to please Republicans. She could have answered them by standing and singing "The Internationale," and she'd still end up on the court.

Yet she went out of her way to spurn President Barack Obama's view about empathy: "Judges can't rely on what's in their heart," she said. She's disavowed that moral superiority is granted by being part of a minority. "I do not believe that foreign law should be used to determine the result under constitutional law or American law," she said Thursday, throwing overboard the progressive dream of correcting our bad habits in the court of world opinion. Asked whether the Constitution is a living, breathing document, she replied it is "immutable" but for amendments. "It doesn't live other than to be timeless," she said.

Antonin Scalia must have wept at the beauty of this statement.

Why such a thorough repudiation of all that progressives feel? Why must Sotomayor be portrayed as identical to a George W. Bush appointee before Democrats can vote for her?

Because, apparently, that's what Democrats suspect the public wants. On some level, the president and his congressional allies believe the public would not stand for a justice who thinks the Constitution must breathe modern air, that world opinion must inform our law, that abortion is a constitutional right if not a sacrament and that who you are should matter to how the law treats you.

The Democrats might be right. The Rasmussen poll Wednesday said that while 90% of respondents figured Sotomayor is going to be confirmed, only 37% favored it, while 43% were against. And 83% of them said the legal system "should apply the law equally to all Americans rather than using the law to help those who have less power and influence."

So much for the empathy gambit.

From this, two possible outcomes emerge. One, Sotomayor is confirmed, and it turns out her conversion is real. Wise Latina? Nah, she's an umpire in the Roberts mold. Result: Conservatives win.

Two, she's faking. She's confirmed and becomes a reliable liberal vote to mutate the Constitution into what she's sure the writers would have made it had they been as smart as modern liberals. Result: No change from the man she replaces, David Souter, and Obama loses more credibility with independent voters.

Either way, what's become clear is that the week that was supposed to be the humiliating rout of old white guys in the Senate has turned into the surrender of judicial liberalism. That has become the philosophy no potential justice can admit to, even when her president owns the Senate. Whoever in the administration coached Sotomayor knows this: A conservative Supreme Court is not at odds with America. It is its reflection.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"How wrong was Walter Cronkite about the Tet Offensive? About as wrong as can be."

So, how wrong was Cronkite about Tet? About as wrong as can be, it turns out. History has declared unequivocally that there were winners and losers in Tet: it was a grand strategy that failed miserably for the North in the tactical military sense but succeeded beyond its wildest dreams as a propaganda ploy—due in large part to Cronkite and his colleagues in the MSM.

One of the oddest things about Cronkite isn’t what he did then; it’s that apparently he remained proud of it for the rest of his life. I’ve read and listened to a number of his interviews on the subject; at no time did he even address the fact that he was wrong about Tet in the military sense—nor did his questioners bring it up. Was this reticence on their part a show of respect for the frailty of an elderly man? Or were both he and his interviewers largely unaware of the discrediting facts that had been uncovered and widely aired in the intervening decades? Or did they not care if they were wrong about those things, because, after all, they were pursuing that “higher truth?”

The “lower” truth (otherwise known as the actual truth) is that Tet was a disaster for the Vietcong and the North—especially the Vietcong, who never recovered from the blow. But, in the end , it didn’t matter. How they managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat was detailed in the definitive work on the subject, Peter Braestrup’s 1978 analysis of MSM coverage of Tet, entitled “The Big Story.”
…the nationwide Vietcong offensive turned out to be an “unmitigated disaster” for the communist side. But the media consensus was just the opposite—an “unmitigated defeat” for the United States.

Cronkite, along with several hundred reporters from two dozen countries, focused on how the Vietcong guerrillas managed to blast their way into the U.S. Embassy compound (but didn’t make it past the Marines in the lobby).
Yet the Vietcong didn’t reach a single one of their objectives and lost most of their 45,000-strong force....

Interestingly enough, Braestrup doesn’t posit press political bias as a major part of the problem. The real difficulty was sheer ignorance, especially about anything military.
Read it all. An outstanding and informative blogpost.


from Braestrup:
…The press was impressionable. General Bruce Palmer succinctly summed up the problem when he stated that the foe “took the battle down around the Caravelle Hotel and, so, from the standpoint of the average reporter over there, it was the acorn that fell on the chicken’s head and it said ‘The sky is falling.’”
Al Qaeda in Iraq followed this strategy. For the longest time - years - AQ in Iraq exploded a car bomb every weekday morning within earshot and camera shot of the media hotel in Baghdad: the Baghdad Hilton. The bombs were timed for the morning so that video of the smoke (taken from an upper floor of the Hilton) could be played on each day’s evening newscast in America. One car bomb, every weekday morning. That was part of the prescription for propaganda victory.

U.S. Commerce Secretary says United States needs to pay for China's emissions

Update: before new U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was confirmed, Michelle Malkin reported on Locke's eyebrow raising background, including his close ties to China.



Am slack-jawed.

Barack is doing dumb things:
  • increasing size of government;
  • bashing U.S. during overseas trips;
  • supporting Iranian Government over Iranian people;
  • supporting Castro, Chavez, Ortega, Mel Zelaya, Socialism, and Communism, over the Honduran Government and democracy.
It would take a book to name the rest of the dumb things.

Barack is doing crooked things:
  • using the Office of the Presidency to cook the Census, via using both ACORN and survey sampling to count people who are not there (and thus rig the demographic count in favor of increased Congressional power emanating from Northeastern states);
  • using amnesty and nationalized healthcare to increase Democratic Party votes coming into the U.S. from Mexico;
  • using Card Check to increase union size and Democratic Party votes
  • quieting conservative talk radio via FCC Local Broadcast Review Boards (Dick Morris video link explicates the above assertions)
  • pretending we face a climate crisis (to aid the growth of government and the growth of world government);
  • pretending the Stimulus will stimulate (instead of saying what it actually is: a further expansion of government);
  • reneging on the majority of his promises (every Barack promise comes with an expiration date - every single one of them);
  • denying his record - even denying statements he has made as President (statements which are recorded on video).
There is plenty more. It would take a book to name the rest of the crooked things.

If Barack had been hatched by the Soviets and by the Mao era Chinese, if Barack had pointed his entire life towards a Manchurian Candidacy: then, once in office, Manchurian Candidate Barack could not have done a better job of wrecking America than (accidental Manchurian Candidate?) Barack is doing.

"The American people will never vote for Socialism. Yet, under the name of liberalism, the American people will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program."
- Norman Thomas, six time Presidential candidate of the American Socialist Party, speaking in 1927, as quoted by (former liberal) Ronald Reagan
If America pays for Chinese emissions, the net effect will be to further strengthen the strangle-hold American government is attempting on the American people. Under the guise of liberalism, the net effect will more ground gained in the battle for Socialist style government control of private enterprise.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

If the Texas Rangers are going to win their division, they need production from 2B

Two reasons the Rangers have a chance are that Kinsler could play like the best 2B in the AL, and Hamilton could play like the best OF. Neither has happened this season. Hamilton has been injured, and thus a neutral factor. When he has played, he has been average.

Conversely, Kinsler has been worse than neutral; has been worse than average. Kinsler has been horrible since the beginning of June, and arguably has been horrible since the second week of May, and thus has hurt the team for many weeks. Since the start of July, Kinsler is hitting .130 (i.e. worse than Chris Davis, who at least hit .210), and has not taken many bases on balls. For the season: Ian Kinsler, leadoff hitter, leads the AL in fly balls.

Amateur psychologist: I think Kinsler is hardheaded and petulant. He could, until his timing returns, just pop some well timed little line drives up the middle. He is not. The hardheadedness and petulance is what drove Ian Kinsler to the major leagues; is what kept him out of slow pitch softball leagues. The hardheadedness and competitive petulance are the secret to Ian Kinsler's success. However, any attribute, taken to extreme, becomes a liability.

The Rangers ought bench Kinsler for the rest of July. Let Vizquel save this part of the season by playing 2B and hitting Lead Off. Vizquel can do it, and he will do it. This has added benefit of allowing Elvis to play side by side with Vizquel during some game situations. It allows Elvis to notice, up close, from a standpoint of composure and concentration, how Vizquel approaches critical situations. It's like allowing a child to observe their parents.

Let Kinsler come back, in August, refreshed and hungry. I used to say the Texas heat couldn't wear Kinsler out, b/c he never thinks when he plays. I said Kinsler plays like a dog hunts: all instinct and hanging tongue and wagging tail; no brain involved. I was wrong. The heat, or something, has beaten Ian Kinsler down (which is no disgrace, if you've ever spent time in our heat). The lack of mental focus shows in his plate appearances. He is hurting the team, and has been for many weeks, and especially has been since July 1.

Ron Washinton fell into the trap of believing Kinsler could handle the heat as well as Michael Young does. To my recollection, Washington has played Kinsler every day this season except one. Someday, Kinsler might handle the heat as well as Michael Young. This season, he has not. Which, again, is no disgrace - this heat is vicious - but rather is merely what the facts look like from my end zone; from my vantage point. The fault rests as much with Ron Washington as with Ian Kinsler.

Erma Bombeck

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think that you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."

Imelda May: Don't You Do Me No Wrong


Haven't had nearly enough Imelda. I like the way she throws herself into her music - both physically and emotionally. She physically throws her body into a song. I like her James Brown-like tendency to communicate lyrics without using words which currently exist in the English language, as in: Hmmm, what would go good here? How about Whoooah!? The guitarist is her husband, Darrel Higham.

I didn't know, until recently, the passion of Rockabilly fans in Great Britain. They want the songs played exactly as they were played 40 and 50 years ago in America. Imelda, being faithful to Rockabilly and to her fans, sings these songs with an American accent.

Here, she changes "I've Got a Woman" into "I've Got a Lover", to alluring effect:

Interview below:

Imelda talks about growing up in a working class town in Ireland, and about being supported and encouraged by her extended family (some of whom smile and nod from the audience).

When Imelda laughs: she laughs suddenly, from deep inside. She likes to laugh.

Question: What about school? Didja have music [untranslatable] in school?

Imelda: We had Sister Hilda on the accordian. She was great. ... You hear of other people, and they had pianos and orchestras and all. We had the wonderful Sister Hilda on the accordian.


Too good to pass up:
~~ October 2006 ~~ Imelda was trying to make it in show business ~~ This is burlesque star Missy Malone "fan-dancing to 'I PUT A SPELL ON YOU' sung by Imelda May and played by the Palookaville Orchestra at Candy Box".

Camera phone and YouTube greatness. Nice performances by Ms. Malone and Ms. May. Bravo.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Baylor Football Uniforms 2009

Photo gallery of new uniforms:

I'll come back to this post, in a day or so, with specific uniform opinions.

In the meantime: the inserts on the sides of the jersey are irrational and ... bad. The design has no relevance to Baylor, to football, or to bears. The design is sort of modernistic - as if intended to be forward looking and progressive.

Article describing jersey changes at In article, Baylor Coach Art Briles:
"The players and equipment staff worked with NIKE to design a contemporary set of uniforms that would represent Baylor well and appeal to recruits."
Players ... equipment staff ... Nike ... represent ... contemporary ... appeal to recruits.

I like allowing players to have input. I do not like ceding too much of the process to unguided players. You may as well pick up your gun, blindfold yourself, spin around, and then shoot.

Young men come to university for guidance. Players working inside this process needed guidance in order to clearly understand the target they were aiming for. Here's what was lacking: the players, and their Nike co-conspirators, did not have a sense of history; did not have a sense of their place inside a noble timeline of Baylor football players which extends from before they were born to well ahead of them - to Baylor football players who have yet to be born. And those playing football - for the world's largest Baptist university - exist on an eternal timeline which runs from before Adam and Eve to beyond the Apocalypse. Therefore, "contemporary" must be approached with caution.

Baylor University celebrates values which are traditional and loving and warm: these are the selling points and the appeal; these are the values which allow Baylor to recruit and to compete as a private school; this is the family and religious atmosphere which is a draw to some of the top athletes in the world.

Baylor is never going to be cool and forward looking and progressive as the world sees cool and forward looking and progressive. If an athlete wants worldly contemporary, he goes to U. of Oregon or U. of Miami. A Baylor recruit might like a little contemporary style to his Christianity, i.e. a little electric guitar and rock and roll drums at his Saturday night church service, but contemporary Christian style is as far as it does go and as far as it ought to go. If you go beyond Christian style, you are no longer Baylor. The very idea of Christianity is to not accede to fads: to stand stable in the wind of worldly whim; to embrace eternal values which are truly fulfilling and satisfying. Matthew 7:24-27:
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Whoever approved this jersey design doesn't understand what Baylor is selling. It's worrisome: "it fell: and great was the fall of it".

Previous End Zone: New Baylor Football Uniforms 2008

Lisa Hannigan: "I Don't Know", but I am game

Look for the blond child who dances at 2:45. Also, look for an entire 4 man band hidden away in a closet.

h/t ... Cute 12 year old girl in You Tube video has lyrics on sidebar

The "I am game" part especially draws me in.

It reminds of John Lennon kicking around an attic of an art gallery, and seeing a painting by Yoko Ono which consisted of one word: Yes

It also reminds of a Wallace Stevens poem:
The Well Dressed Man With A Beard

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket's horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!
Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house...
It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.

Lisa Hannigan is from Kilcloon, in County Meath, Ireland. In Irish language, Kilcloon is "Cill Chluain", and means "Church of the meadow".

Viva Irish girl singers! Let's transition, from a folk singer from Kilcloon, to my fave rockabilly girl, hailing from Dublin: Imelda May.

Imelda performs "Big Bad Handsome Man".

Irish girl singers are a slice of wonderful.

The End Zone likes girl singers in general. It's a blog principle:

Jenny Silver
Brandi Carlile
Nina Simone: "Sinnerman" from "The Thomas Crown Affair"
Aretha: "Say a Little Prayer"

Glenn Reynolds on Medical Research and Markets

Your healthcare used to be between you, your Doctor, and your insurance company. In future, Barack wants your healthcare to be this:

Org chart
For Obamacare,
Click the pic,
If you dare...

He or she will not be "your Doctor" any more. They will be the government's doctors.

Kevin Brady created the org chart:
The plan is expected to cost $1 trillion dollars over 10 years.

I examined the plan and released a detailed flow chart highlighting the 31 (at current count) departments, agencies, and programs that will administer the proposed Democratic government-run healthcare bureaucracy.

Another critical factor, explicated by Glenn Reynolds in The Washington Examiner
I exaggerate, but . . . well, maybe I don't. The truth is, despite the great promise of new medical technology out there now, in terms of new cancer treatments, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and more, the potential marvels of the next twenty years will never be developed unless some developer thinks there's a market.

And with bureaucrats in charge of deciding what treatments to pay for, the existence of such markets will be much less certain. Oh, sure, federally-funded medical research will still go on at the NSF, NIH, etc. But turning that research into actual products is a different story.

My family benefited from innovative treatments that probably wouldn't be around if the United States had adopted socialized medicine when that was first proposed over half a century ago. In 20 years from now, a lot more treatments -- and, probably, dramatically better treatments -- won't be around if we adopt a national healthcare program now.

It's ironic that the same Democrats who were pushing the medical prospects for stem-cell research during the last election are now pushing a program that will make such progress far less likely.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Notes from Honduras

Update: Ferdsblog passes along rumors of Venezuelan military infiltration and upcoming offensive inside Honduras - happening maybe as soon as tonight or tomorrow.


First, please watch this two minute-ish video from Mr. Alexandro Pena, courtesy of Honduras Abandoned.

Second, from recently returned PJTV correspondent Chris Bugard:
There is a lot of bewilderment down there as to why Pres. Obama sided with Castro and Chavez.

The Hondurans are hoping that they can cut off enough of the foriegn intervention in order that they may be able to hold free Presidential elections in November.

They are very proud of the fact that Honduran printers refused to print the illegal ballots and that their military refused to distribute the ones that were printed in Venezuala.

The Honduran Minority leader: Antonio Rivera, explained to me that the political landscape began to change when Castro and Ortega sent in 900 teachers to help the poor in the country. They began organizing and indoctrinating almost immediately.

Am honored to be quoted at La Gringa's Blogicito


La Gringa took the quote from a 44 comment thread (re Honduras) which lasted for 10 days at a left blog, in which I stood like a comment thread sheriff facing down the bad guy in the dirt street. That comment thread followed another thread at the same blog, in which I counseled a right side commenter to be patient until facts became apparent, as I believed all parties would then agree on what ought be said and done. Problem was, when facts became apparent, the left commenters ignored the facts.

That thread was the reason I was later able to show evidence Zelaya wished to overthrow Honduras: I had accumulated the data during the previous 10 days. When End Zone commenter "Bud" spouted off some bull, I reacted like a cantankerous blogger who had lost all patience for showing mercy: By God, that's enough! I'm gonna give what you got coming! No warnings! No politeness! Don't bring that weak @#$% in here no more!