Monday, August 31, 2009

My Sister-in-Law, Lisa Cotharn, died tonight

from a heart attack an unknown cause. She was 48 years old.

[Updated, at bottom, with info from Lisa's Memorial Service.]
[Update 2, at bottom, with Dr. T. C. French, Jr.'s audio message]

The following photo is not fair to my Mom, because she was recovering from a brain hemorrhage, and didn't have a fair chance to fix herself up. Still, it's the best photo I have. Sorry, Mom (and Dad). This is the best photo.

Lisa is in blue, I'm above her in red, Bruce is in blue/yellow stripes, then Kris-in-Law, Mom, and Bro64. There will be a hole, in our group, from now on. It's funny how things work: I miss Lisa, already.

Lisa was the oldest of two sisters in Woodway, TX, which is just south of Waco. Her mother died of Lupus when Lisa was 16 years old. For several years, while her mother was incapacitated, Lisa nursed her mother and mothered her sister and cooked and cleaned house for her family. As a result of her early self-training, Lisa was a take charge personality: she got things done. She produced results.

Lisa was a drum major in her high school marching band. In fact, only a week ago, she attended her Midway High School 30th Reunion. After h/s, Lisa attended Texas A&M (Gig em, she loved it), later got her Masters in Education, and was a schoolteacher for 26 years - most recently teaching 7th and 8th grade English. Lisa was, for some years, the cheerleader sponsor for her school. She sang in her church choir, and loved her church. Lisa and my brother raised a daughter - now an Elementary Education Major in college, and a son - now entering his sophomore year of college, and I don't know his official major!

Lisa was paralyzed in a vehicle accident at the very end of 2002. She could struggle to fire some of her muscles, yet she could not use her arms or legs or fingers to perform functions. She acquired a motorized wheelchair which she could zip around with, using her head to control it with amazing swerve and verve. She could stick her wheelchair into the tiniest of spaces. And she went right back to teaching school. It was amazing. I wrote about it here: My Sister-In-Law teaches From Her Wheelchair.

Over the years, a lot of people who love Lisa and my brother confided to me that they sometimes felt emotionally torn up over the difficulties they knew Lisa and Bruce faced. And I always said the same thing: don't. Don't feel emotionally torn up. Lisa and Bruce led a life of difficulty, yet it was also a rich life, a life as fulfilling as anyone might be leading. Their life revolved around different routines, and different challenges; yet their life was no less rich and wonderful, no less filled with everything life ought be filled with. It was, in every way which counts, the fullest experience of life.

I quoted Lisa this February:
Always remember: you have arms embracing you. If you feel like you are falling, go ahead and fall. They will catch you, and lift you back up.
Lisa said that to our friend whose 19 year old son had just died. I hugged and listened. Lisa didn't waste niceties on a mother whose world had shattered. Lisa spoke immediately and directly to the most important point. Because of Lisa's own suffering, her words carried extra authority. I thought, in the first moment, Lisa was speaking of helpful friends. In the very next moment, I realized she was speaking of God.



From Sept 3, 2009, at Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, LA.

Click to enlarge:

Some speakers in the first audio download:
  • Courtney Cotharn speaks at 16:00. Courtney is Lisa and Bruce's daughter.
  • Shelly Malone's remembrance is read by Robin Cotten at 20:40. Shelly is Lisa's sister.
  • Lisa and Bruce's friend, Pastor Tom Allen, of Crosspoint Fellowship Church in Pearland, TX, remembers Lisa at 35:20.

First audio download, comprising the beginning and middle of the Memorial Service, at this link:, download "O1 Entire Album.m4a" (via the indicator at the bottom of the page).

Update 2:

Second audio download (of the final part of the Memorial Service), which includes Dr. T.C. French Jr.'s Message:

Dr. French's message begins at the 4:25 mark. Excerpts:

Romans 8:18
"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us."
1 Corinthians 15:37-39
"You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own."
For those like me, who were wondering if we correctly understood the message, Dr. French explained: we on Earth are the seed; we do not fully come to life until we die and receive our heavenly form.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A consideration of Maria McKee: success and men - before one is prepared to handle them - can be a curse

Updated at bottom

Though her trauma didn't directly come from success, Tina Turner did survive man trauma and come out the other side. Tina had instincts, smarts, and grit. She is a survivor.

And Tina had talent. In this video, she reminds of a Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, or Bo Jackson: she just has more talent than the more mortals who ostensibly are her peers. They actually are not her peers. She is on another performance level.

Also, the backup singers are not to be missed.

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the beautiful Iowa girl, Jean Seberg. Jean Seberg's wealth, fame, beauty, and taste of the world did not bring her any more happiness than that of the Iowa housewife she might have become, or that of the babysitter she once was.

What would have happened if Jean Seberg had been more firmly grounded in solid values? In religious principles?

Jean did not survive her fame; did not survive the predator men who stalked her beauty. Many of us, finding ourselves in similar circumstances, would not have survived.

Now consider Maria McKee, of the 1980's L.A. cowpunk band Lone Justice, who was as attractive as a 21 year old 1980s white girl musician could be:

Maria's story is happier than Jean Seberg's story. Maria's music career continues, successfully - though she never achieved the bigger success which her talent and beauty made a reasonable possibility.

Maria's older brother was a musician in the cocaine drenched early 1980s LA Alternative Rock scene. One can imagine a high school aged Maria amidst that scene: beautiful, airheaded, backstage, and unsupervised amidst Los Angeles alt rock bacchanalia.

Even at a young age, Maria possessed a nice Kathleen Turnerish raspy voice which she could take high or low. She possessed a knack for performance - even a bit of a Mick Jagger-ish quality. She had access to the managers and producers on the alt rock scene. By age 18, Maria had her own successful cowpunk band, Lone Justice. Here she is at age 21:

The guys in that band are 30 years old. They are not watching out for her. They are weak assholes who are exploiting her. She is 21, unsupervised, philosophically and spiritually unprepared, dating a 35 year old guy in Tom Petty's band, and surrounded by music industry leeches who are exploiting her. Here she is in Germany - also at age 21 in 1985. Look for the hilarious crowd shots:

Let's jump one year, to 1986 and age 22. Lets see another performance of "Ways to be Wicked". What is this? Maria's freshness is dissipated. She's a horse which has been rode hard, and she is (sadly) a very old age 22. I'm speculating, but: she looks coked out. I used to be a bartender - in Miami, of all places. I know what coked out looks like, and that's what it looks like. Her look is sloppy around the margins, and so is she: her voice is hoarse; her lyrics enunciated poorly and breathlessly (and she doesn't notice); she is a bit thin. If you watch through to the very end, you can close your eyes and imagine a high Janis Joplin near the end of her life:

Sometime after, the band went on tour as opening act for U2, and then broke apart after the tour. Maria had made friends in Ireland during the rehearsals before the tour started. She said she sensed she had experienced "too much too soon", and she sensed she had to break away from her life. She moved to Ireland, and lives there to this day: heavier, brunette, still with excellent vocal talent. Maria, like Tina Turner, was gritty enough and smart enough to survive.

Her career, after a short dead period, went on. She had a #1 hit in the UK: "Show Me Heaven", which made it onto the soundtrack of Tom Cruise' Days of Thunder. She had a song on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack - the Willie Nelson style "If Love Is A Red Dress", which she wrote and performed, and which showcases her vocal talent. Crack open a cold beverage, think country music, and enjoy Maria McKee(and random video the YouTube member put together):

If Love Is A Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags)

My heart is empty.
Your eyes are dull.
Once we were hungry,
Now we are full.
These ties that bind us,
Can't beat these chains.
If love is a shelter,
I'm gonna walk in the rain.

You were my angel,
Now you are real.
So like a stranger,
Colder than steel.
The morning after,
No one should brag.
If love is a red dress,
Well, hang me in rags.

Ah well,
There goes the fairy tale.
Lord, ain't it a shame?
In all this comfort,
I can't take the strain.

If we played even,
I'd still be your queen.
But someone was cheatin'.
And it wasn't me.
I've laid it on the table,
You held something back.
If love is Aces,
Give me the Jack.

Some years ago, Maria sang with one of my favorites: Sharleen Spiteri, in Glasgow. The girls were good together:



Bro64 emails:
I'm a big fan of hers, although conditionally, because there are some songs I have a hard time sitting through, especially the darker, angsty ones.

Re: speculation of being coked out: another possible explanation
You may be right. It was L.A. in the late 1980's, she was in the rock and roll scene, she was in a band with much older dudes, she was dating Petty's band member, etc. Decent possibility that there were some drugs being used. However, there is another possibility in that time period. She was bipolar, and did not know it for several years.

Re: the German concert performance you posted
I had never seen that one. The crowd shots are priceless. I was fascinated that they all seemed to be carrying those big plastic jugs with drinks inside; enough liquid to last one person an entire day at a music festival! For some reason they reminded me of jugs of urine, and every time somebody lifted one up to drink I thought "Noooooooo! Don't drink that!"

Re: Maria's "Mick Jaggeresque" onstage quality
Good comparison. At times, it seems like she went a little over the top and out of control, but she was so young it seemed almost endearing. It's the same feeling we get when we watch a young colt try to stand and run.

Here are my two favorite examples of her stage energy at the age of 21 and 22:

"Sweet, Sweet, Baby Mine" - a slightly overproduced video, but dig the backup singers, and look at how charismatic is Maria's stage presence. [Greg's note: Bro64 links a couple of videos which hearken to the early days of MTV and music videos, when artists and directors were still trying to figure out the most effective format. Fun to revisit those days.]

"I Found Love" - she roams the stage like a caged animal; here she is a little over the top at times, but still a great and original rock and roll song.

Re: Maria's voice
A wonderful, original, emotional voice with huge range and great clarity. She was capable of so many styles. Here she is in a tiny club in England in 1991 singing "Show Me Heaven". The song on the "Days of Thunder" soundtrack was overproduced pop, but still a lovely song. This video was a bootleg from a small club and has awful production qualities, but the performance is fantastic. Look at how comfortable she is, in a much smaller and relaxed setting, without knowledge of cameras, wearing overalls, and with only a cheesy organ to accompany her. In this environment, she really gives herself to the song, and gives the most heartfelt rendition I've ever heard from her. I would have loved to have been in the audience that night.

(BTW, Kris is cooking dinner, and just threw in our Maria McKee CD, but she had no idea I was writing this EM and she did not see The End Zone today. Freaky karma. She really can read my mind; I have no chance at independence in my life)

Re: Maria's songwriting ability
Vastly underrated. She has written many of her hit songs, and does not seem to receive as much credit as is due. Other artists recognize her songwriting skills. Watch this video of "Don't Toss Us Away". She wrote and recorded this song with Lone Justice at the age of 21 in 1985. Patty Loveless always loved the song, and many years later had a country hit with it. Check out the crowd in this video. Imagine a bunch of Los Angeles hipsters in the 1985 club scene, showing up at a club to hear this hot new "cowpunk" band they read about in Rolling Stone, and getting a song thrown at them that could have been pure Tammy Wynette. At the beginning, they don't know what they're listening to, but they are at rapt attention, and by the end Maria owns them. [Greg's note: this song is a perfect showcase for Maria McKee's vocal talents. She could have been huge in Nashville - and still, really, ought to go that direction.]

Re: Maria the total package
Here is Maria playing a solo version of her song "Am I The Only One" at a music festival in England, in 1990. Why is this Maria the total package?
  • Songwriting - the Dixie Chicks recorded this song on "Wide Open Spaces"
  • Guitar playing - she is fantastic, though it's not often highlighted. Here, she is onstage with only a keyboardist, ripping through the song on guitar
  • Singing - she opens up and gives a full throated version of the song
  • Stage presence - the guitar limits her over the top movements, but her charisma still shines through. She is irresistible.
She still has talent, and at the age of 45 I hope she still has a few good songs left in her.
Thanks, Bro64. Good stuff.

Am I the Only One (Who's Ever Felt This Way)?

There is no damn reason I should have to be so alone
I’m smothered by this emptiness, Lord I wish I was made of stone
Like a fool I lent my soul to love, and it paid me back with shame
God help me, am I the only one who’s ever felt this way?

A heart that’s worn and weathered, would know better than to fight
But I wore mine like a weapon, played out love like a crime
And it wrung me out and strung me out, and it hung years on my face
God help me, am I the only one who’s ever felt this way?

Now my sense of humor needs a break
I see a shadow in the mirror, and she’s laughin’ through her tears
One more smile’s all I can fake

There is a wound inside me, and it’s bleeding like a flood
There are times when I see light ahead, but hope is not enough
As another night surrounds me, and it pounds me like a wave
God help me, am I the only one who’s ever felt this way?


The End Zone likes girl singers:

Maria McKee
Desiree Bassett: Best Girl Guitarist
Imelda May:
1) "Don't You Do Me No Wrong", & "I've Got a Lover",
2) "Johnny Got a Boom Boom", & "Big Bad Handsome Man"
Daniela Mercury
Lisa Hannigan
Joan Baez:
1) w/ Earl Scruggs: "Love is Just a Four Letter Word",
2) "Diamonds and Rust"
Jenny Silver
Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile and Nora Jones
Kelly Clarkson
Carrie Underwood has perfect balance in her batting stance.
Julianne Hough has booty.
Kathleen Stewart: "It Ain't Your Money to Spend"
Ash Soular: "Obamanation"
Susan Boyle: Les Miserables, "I Dreamed A Dream"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to Southern Brother!

Sire of fun-loving oldest niece and clever oldest nephew; pack leader of the happy dogs on the sidebar.

What would my life be without Southern Brother? Not as rich: less laughter, less love, I wouldn't be an LSU fan, and wouldn't know as much about Cajun food. He wouldn't have had to forgive the offensive acts I have perpetrated, and hopefully will perpetrate in future. I would never have been as good a baseball player. Southern Brother threw much batting practice to me, and I fully used the opportunity to improve my skills. And he coached me.

Southern Brother is one year younger than me. One weekend, when he was 4, he was sick with a cold or something, and prohibited from leaving the house. He sat at the front screen door, rocking in a rocking chair, watching me ride a push scooter in the driveway (handmade, by our beloved Uncle Marvin, with skateboard type of wheels). Southern Brother had some energy which needed burning, and he was rocking big and aggressive. I saw it, and didn't say anything. He toppled backwards. Ouch. I've always felt guilty that I didn't come to the screen door and say: DON'T rock so big! You are close to toppling. Sorry, Southern Brother. You would have listened to my advice, back then!

Southern Brother's house, on the day it snowed in scenic Vermont south Louisiana:

Looking out, from his house, to the roundabout thingy:

Favorite of all my blogposts: Everything I Know About Batting.

Much of what I know was learned from, and discovered in consultation and play with, Southern Brother.


Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure it was Southern Brother who forced poor Nancy to perform slave labor and then stare into the sun for a photo. He would deny it, now. That's mighty convenient. I wouldn't believe him.

Shelby Steele: Why Minorities Are Estranged From Conservatism

originally written in Wall Street Journal, reprinted at Hoover Institution.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Most Amazing Occurance of Year

12 Year Old Texas Rangers Fan Catches Two Josh Hamilton Foul Balls During Same At Bat

It doesn't show it on the video, but the crowd behind third base gave him a standing ovation. The kid is adorable: he's the 12 year old boy in every family, anywhere in the world. Mark McClemore is speaking as the video begins. Article and video.

Update: The 12 year old fan is "C.J. from Cedar Hill". YouTube had to take down his videos due to MLB copyright claims. The video at the link is still good.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I bid you stand, Obamacare Protesters of the West!

Outside the townhall location, and before the doors have opened for the meeting, the purple shirt union bullies are preparing to attack. They have baseball bats. And they refuse to offer private ballots.

Across the street, holding a diverse collection of hand lettered signs, stand the Obamacare protesters. The younger men are nervous. The older men, including the military veterans, study the purple shirts and factor in the surrounding ground: quietly assessing the strategic and tactical circumstances. Quiet, prudent calculation is their way: best not to alarm the womenfolk. The middle-aged women are resolved: they have no doubts; give no consideration to backing down as an option. The older women want blood. If unleashed, the older women will damage some cojones and ambush-knock some noggins before this hour is over.

The purple shirts really have no idea what they are facing on the inside of the Obamacare protest crowd. If the purple shirts knew, they would run. The protest crowd is nervousy. However, if moved to action, the protest crowd will not back down. The old protester women chase off burglars with broomsticks. What do they care about either odds of success or potential cost of failure? They are old women: they care about righteousness and retribution, only. If they are injured, at least the grandkids will visit them in the hospital. If they are killed, it publicly validates the martyrdom they have endured their entire lives, and for which they have never received proper respect, dammit.

A van speeds into the gap between the two groups, skidding to a stop. Joe the Plumber leaps out. He's wearing a polo shirt, plus light makeup to cut down the glare from his bald head (he is scheduled on Cavuto later in the day). From the back of his plumbing van, he begins tossing heavy wrenches to the accountants and middle managers in the Obamacare protesters crowd. And some heavy duty plungers. He shrewdly fails to arm the older women (would be too dangerous for everyone). As he tosses wrenches and plungers, he shouts out:
Hold your ground! Hold your ground!
Sons of Hayek! Daughters of Reagan!
My brothers and sisters!

I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of men fails,
when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship,
but it is not this day!

An hour of socialism and submission,
when the age of health care freedom comes crashing down!
But it is not this day!

By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,
I bid you stand, Men and Women of the West!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blog Vacation

It's my birthday! It's also time for blog vacation - though I'm unsure what blog vacation will mean. My best guess is that blogging will be somewhere between light to nonexistent for at least a few weeks, and then a reassess. If you are reading this, thank you for visiting this blog which I have so enjoyed putting together, and which I hope you have enjoyed visiting. You have my love. Go Texas Rangers! Go Derek Holland!

“That the world may have transcendent meaning makes inquiry much more exciting, rather than less exciting. Why should we bother to learn anything if it were all meaningless? But, if the contrary were true, then rush out now and live.”

Olympic Gold Medalist
Mariel Zagunis

Cathy Seipp

“A generous heart will never care to go part way;
it won’t be cowed
if there is passage anywhere,
but set out on the hardest road;
nothing can cause it misery,
and with faith soaring like a cloud
it feeds on something I don’t know
that one may come on randomly.”
- St. John of the Cross

Shiri Negari

My cousin Nancy, her husband Todd, and their now 1 month old son Blake, born this July.

Nancy and Blake benefit from more good genes passed down from End Zone commenter, and random grandmother-&-great-grandmother-about-town, Emjay.

For years, beginning as a baby, Nancy would spend many Thursdays at our house, accompanied by her sisters. Being somewhat high spirited, we deployed Nancy as a combination golf caddy and Coors Light koozie. Although, second thought: maybe it was only me who deployed her as a human koozie. However that came about (ahem), I'm pretty sure she loved being one of the boys - because, who wouldn't?

Below, from a week ago: Kris-in-Law, Youngest Nephew, Youngest Niece, Bro64. Maybe it was him who forced Nancy to stare into the sun for a photo while performing slave labor. He looks kinda guilty.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Josh Hamilton interviewed by Erica Newberg

reposted from March 20, because I support Josh Hamilton 100%. He may fall short, he may mess up in ridiculous, sad, or horrible ways. I will not make excuses for him, I will not say his mis-steps are meaningless, but neither will I abandon him. He has my support and love.


Not your normal athlete interview:

Jamey Newberg:
Erica had her seven questions written out -- none about playing baseball -- and was ready. Less nervous than Mom and Dad were for her. Ready.

As Hamilton signed autographs just outside the batting practice field for what was probably 20 minutes, Rice gave us the signal. We waited in the third base dugout, and Erica was all set. Hamilton finished signing and walked into the dugout, a safe haven for him for an entire life and completely unfamiliar territory to the eight-year-old whose small window of time was about to creak open.

The world-famous superstar, a man who has probably done more interviews in the last year than the rest of his teammates combined, made Erica feel like it was his privilege to sit down to talk with her. He looked her in the eye (and she never looked away). He applauded her questions with a raised eyebrow, as if to say, "You're how old?" His answers were thoughtful and honest, not watered down because of his audience, and not sanitized. He made Erica smile a lot and laugh a time or two, and he, and she, made her parents incredibly proud. As much as we've all learned about Josh Hamilton over the last year, as inundated as we've all been with his extraordinary story, I hadn't stopped to think that there was yet another amazing side to this guy I hadn't seen or read about, but I was dead wrong.

Minutes after the MLB Network crew decided to stick their cameras and a boom mike over Erica's and Josh's heads (we're told there's a tiny chance that some of the interview may find its way into this afternoon's program), the interview was done, and he posed for a photograph between Erica and Max. Afterwards, he made Erica assure him that she would send him a copy of the photograph, with her autograph on it, because he just knew she'd be a famous reporter one day.
Erica took the experience in stride, neither overwhelmed nor smug, in some ways not unlike the way in which Elvis Andrus is handling his own new experience this spring.

It was a very good day.

Jamey Newberg reports another moving story: Carson Leslie participates in spring training.

Transcript of Josh Hamilton's interview about Arizona incident: link

Leah from New Hampshire calls CSPAN

and lays out the case against Obamacare, which has everything to do with human history and human nature:

18th Century astroturf

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Memorable video experience: James May rides in a U2 spy plane

10 minutes of life-enriching video:

Tribute to Film Director John Hughes, RIP

Update: at Pajamas TV, Lionel Chetwynd and Roger L. Simon look a bit deeper into John Hughes work and themes.


from Alison, who became his pen-pal when she was a teen-ager. Hughes used to fight for certain things in his films, saying "I'm doing this for Alison."

Alison interviewed on NPR.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Since July 1, Michael Young's offense has been fantastic

I have criticized Rangers 3B Michael Young a lot: for staying too high when he positions his body on defense; for swinging too aggressively at bat (going to the plate to hit, as opposed to going to the plate to get on base[thus setting a terrible example for young and free swinging Rangers hitters]); for standing too far from the plate and forcing every batted ball weakly to RF (defenses have positioned themselves to take these hits away from Michael Young).

However, I want to acknowledge: Michael Young has been offensively fantastic over the last 5 weeks, and is having his best offensive season ever. He is turning on inside pitches and driving them to left centerfield - frequently over the fence in left centerfield. Turning on inside pitches is new for him. It shows he is a veteran hitter who is still improving. This bodes well for the remainder of his career.

I've said Michael Young needs to shoot for a Paul Molitar style strong offensive finish to his career. This season, Michael Young has been Paul Molitar. Much of the rest of the Rangers offense has been the stupidest, wildest swinging, most futile offense in the history of baseball. Michael Young has been fantastic, and has batted at championship level. Any franchise could have benefited from his offense this season: he has been a tough out. Salute.

Friday Hot

Webutante? in the Summer of Love? before she discovered fly fishing?

h/t The Classical Liberal.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Happy Faces of Victory

Youngest Nephew - aka the gun owner, sports uniform designer, and fearsome rock chunker and Iran liberator - is wearing eyeglasses and is positioned above "Year". Click the pic for a heartwarming close-up of the smiling faces. Americana.

In addition to his other skills, Youngest Nephew can hit:

In the photo at top, Bro64 is at top right, and is mightily pleased with

1) the team's play, and
2) the spiffy uniforms, which he designed, in consultation with Southern Brother.

Southern Brother is in the sports uniform and equipment industry(1, 2), and sells to high schools and colleges.

One design feature: the brothers decided to specify larger numbers for the backs of the jerseys. The larger numbers add authority and gravitas:

Intense conversation at the mound: ten year old boys who are fully focused on winning (which means there is still hope for the survival of American culture). Youngest Nephew is number eleven.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cousin Wedding Photos

from last summer, now in D Magazine:

A beautiful couple. It's the good genes from the bride's grandmother: End Zone commenter Emjay. The happy couple are nice and decent people, which is heartwarming.

Slide show of Sarah and John's wedding. Click "next" to move through the photos.

Sarah Palin, husband rumored to be planning to have sex -- with each other!

Robert Stacy McCain:
Anyway, Mrs. Palin, while I have no previous experience in making stuff up the way Dennis Zaki does, I would consider attempting it, if only I had some of those “sources” like the progressive bloggers do.


Now, here’s my idea: I told my source to give my phone number to . . . uh, two sources in Wasilla, Alaska, if you get my drift. Because I’ve made my living as a professional journalist since 1986, I’m not really so good at this newfangled making-stuff-up business, but I’d be willing to give it a try:
MONDAY, AUG. 3, 2009, 4:34 P.M. – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and husband Todd “went at it like crazy” Sunday evening at their home in Wasilla, according to one source familiar with the couple’s rendezvous.

“Man, I don’t know what got into her last night,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I’ve never seen anything like it before. No, wait, maybe that time we went camping back in . . . ‘96. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was ‘96, but it might have been ‘97. Anyway, the thing is, it was awesome.”

Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton refused to comment on the allegation.

UPDATE 6:17 P.M. – I now have further confirmation of the previously reported romantic encounter between the Palins, although one of my best sources disputes key details of our earlier account.

“Me? He said it was me?” said the source. “Oh, no way, it was totally him. You betcha. All I did was put on an old Rod Stewart CD while I was cooking the fish we caught last weekend, and next thing ya know, he’s singin’ along about ‘tonight’s the night’ and stuff. Of course, he can’t sing worth a darn, but he doesn’t know that.”

According to this source, Todd Palin “came up behind” the former governor, put his arms around her and began kissing her neck “all sweet-like” which caused the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate to laugh.

“Like I don’t know what you’re up to, Mister,” Mrs. Palin reportedly said.

Todd Palin was obviously seeking to make amends for previous neglect, according to this source. A four-time Tesoro Iron Dog snow-race champion, the governor’s husband “was trying to make up for lost time, I guess, because . . . well, he sure as heck wasn’t complaining, I can tell you that. You betcha.”

Asked about the apparent discepancy with Hot Air’s original report, the first source confirmed these new details.

“Whatever, man,” the first source said. “All I’m saying is, well, he shoots, he scores, right? Standing ovation, you might say.”

Further developments in the new scandal will be reported as details become available.

UPDATE 7:42 P.M.:– Still more confirmation from a new source.

“Ewwwww, gross,” said someone familiar with Sunday evening’s events. “Like, it’s bad enough when you can hear ‘em in there, like I don’t know, OK? I just turned up my iPod and was like, whatever.”

While only indirectly confirming the controversial encounter between Mrs. Palin and the man the former governor still calls “First Dude,” this new source revealed a potentially intriguing angle involving Bristol Palin’s ex-fiance Levi Johnston.

Characterizing Johnston as a “total loser,” this source suggested it is extremely unlikely the father of Bristol’s infant son will ever “get his crap together.”

“Oh, puh-leeze! You’re talking ‘Ricky Hollywood,’ OK? I was like, ‘What’s up with that?’ . . . He’s supposed to be doing some kind of reality TV thing, and I’m like, right. They need to call it ‘America’s Biggest Jerk,’ ya know?”

Also confirmed was that the reported breach between Bristol and Johnston is “definitely” permanent. “Not in a million flippin’ years,” said the source, adding that Johnston had not “bought the first flippin’ diaper” for their son, Tripp.

Hot Air will continue to provide exclusive coverage of these controversies, including rumors that the Palins’ 14-year-old daughter Willow thinks pop musician Joe Jonas is “totally to die for.”

Monday, August 03, 2009

Healthcare Public Option is Stalking Horse for Single Payer

Prelude to where I intended to go 60 seconds ago, when I first thought to make this post:

If 9/11 Truthers do not wish to believe the U.S. Government about those attacks, they could choose to believe Osama and Al Qaeda, who have for some time claimed credit.

One more thing: given that Osama and Al Qaeda obviously do wish to attack America, is it really important whether or not they did the deed on 9/11? If they wish to attack America, they are our enemies, and that is enough. Our strategic calculation about how to engage them exists separate from their success in attacking via airplanes and box cutters. Looking at those attacks is looking backward; is violating the oft cited warning about "fighting the last war". We look forward; we assess the future threat independently of what happened on 9/11, as we ought have addressed the threat even if 9/11 had never happened. In a sense, 9/11 only spurred us to do what we ought have been already doing, yet did not have the political will to do.

Anyway, I thought of that top paragraph: "they could choose to believe Osama and Al Qaeda", when I read Tigerhawk:
If you do not believe conservatives who say that the "public option" is a trojan horse for a single-payer health care system, you're always free to believe the liberals. Obviously that's the reason for it. There is no other even theoretical justification that makes sense.


The public option is both a Trojan Horse and a stalking horse. Stalking Horse definition.



William A. Jacobson:
Digby found the problem [causing regular Americans to fear Obamacare]. It wasn't what the folks were reading, or hearing, or seeing. No something more mysterious was at work, ear worms:
I don't know where these people are getting this. They aren't political, they don't listen to talk radio or read blogs. This is just what's out in the ether, what people are saying in casual conversation. The ear worm is "we've got a problem, but the Democrats are going to take over health care and make things worse." It's not entirely surprising, but it's depressing nonetheless.
No not "ear worms" as in Helicoverpa zea, but earworms as in something you can't get out of your head, such as "yes we can" or "no tax increases on anyone making under $250,000 a year." Those catchy phrases that just keep popping up no matter what reality says.

Digby may be onto something. Fear of government-run Obamacare is like an earworm. It is something that people cannot get out of their heads because of life experiences. One of the few things people fear more than going to the dentist is going to the motor vehicle department.

Addendum 2: Is something happening out in regular America? Instapundit has video and links: "Crowd EXPLODES when Arlen Specter says "Do it fast".

There's also this, from when U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-TX met the public in Austin:

Addendum 3: neo-neocon tells a personal story of salvation from a debilitating lifetime of pain, courtesy of U.S. healthcare and private health insurance.

My sister in law has a story. She had two rare and difficult to diagnose (and undiagnosed) infections inside her organs and digestive tract. Over a couple of years, she was constantly sick, had no energy, possibly was heading towards early death, and definitely was miserable. She went to doctor after doctor. No one could find the problem. Luckily, she had good health insurance, and was able to doggedly continue her quest to find what was wrong with her. Finally, after approx 2 years of searching, she landed with a disease specialist - a self styled medical Sherlock Holmes - in New Orleans. After extensive (and expensive) testing, he discovered her problems, set her courses of medication, and in only a few weeks she was dramatically strengthened and back to normal. I saw her before and after: the change in her health was dramatic.

He arrives!

photo by Tony Gutierrez - AP

All hail the controllable fastball with arm side run. I certainly do.

Age: 21 years and 3 months.

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

-A.E. Houseman

Then Out Spoke Brave Neftali
by Thomas Babington Macaulay, with an assist from me.


The Rangers fan's brow was sad, and the Rangers fan's speech was low,
And darkly looked he at the past, and darkly at the foe.
"Their nine will be upon us, as always as before;
And if they even take the field, what hope can be in store?"


Then out spoke brave Neftali, Captain of the bullpen gate:
"To every man upon this earth, defeat cometh soon or late;
And how can man lose better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, in this temple of baseball gods,


And for the tender mother who gave his first wiffle bat,
And for the wife who cheers and wears the "T" upon her hat,
And for the holy maidens who love the grand old game,
To save them from steroid users, that wrought the deeds of shame?


Hoe down in the stands, Sir Fan, with all the clamor ye may!
I, with two more to help me, will throw the strikes which slay.
From yon high mound, a thousand may well be stopped by three:
Now, who will stand on either hand and throw the strikes with me?'


Then out spake Derek Holland; an Ohioan proud was he:
"Lo, I will stand at thy right hand and throw the strikes with thee."
And out spake Martin Perez; of Venezuelan blood was he:
"I will abide on thy left side, and throw the strikes with thee."


"Neftali," quoth the Rangers fan, "as thou sayest, so let it be."
And straight against that great array forth went the dauntless Three.


These stanzas, as written in the original poem.
Complete original poem: "Horatius."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Barack Obama is The Joker

... putting his nefarious plans for America into effect.

h/t Update: tagline: "Why so Socialist?"

Speaking of nefarious:

WHY is the Obama Administration supporting Mel Zelaya's return to power in Honduras? Baffling. Could the Obama Administration still be clueless about what is truly happening in Honduras? I'm thinking no. Therefore ... what are the implications? Could Barack REALLY be this comfortable with Socialism? with a dictator in perpetual power? Could Barack REALLY be this uncaring about and unsupportive of Democracy? I'm beginning to think yes. What are the implications of that? The mind reels. Barack is The Joker, hiding his true intentions behind a mask.

Heath Ledger's Joker had a Daddy problem.
Barack Obama has a Daddy .Problem.

Just b/c it's interesting: Peter Robinson interviews Shelby Steele.

She's not blind

"Divorce Todd? Have you seen Todd? I may be just a renegade hockey mom, but I'm not blind!"

-- Sarah Palin, 5:35 p.m. ET

A healthy, non-neurotic sexual relationship with Todd: another reason left side women hate Sarah Palin.

Stossel's Is Best Libertarian Healthcare Analysis on TV


"There is much more of a demand for healthcare than the government is willing to pay for."

Canadian citizen who came to America for a critical surgery which the Canadian Healthcare System deemed "elective"; her American doctor told her she would have only lived a few more weeks:
"The only thing elective about this surgery is that I elected to live."

"It's [American health care's] pursuit of profit which has given us inventions which save lives."

Hollywood's Moral Relativism Is Bad for Humanity

John Nolte is a conservative Hollywood insider who - amongst other things - writes movie reviews for Andrew Breitbarts' Big Hollywood. Nolte's take on another anti Iraq war Hollywood film: Green Zone, starring Matt Damon, which is now pushed back from a fall 2009 release to a March 2010 release:
Why would a company interested in making money (so they say) make yet another film trashing the Iraq War? By my count (narratives and documentaries), 13 have already flopped miserably and yet Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass team up for number 14, this one a big-budget studio critique of a war that successfully liberated 25 million innocent people.

Companies truly interested in making a profit don’t behave this way, which is why there’s never been a New Coke 2, much less a New Coke 14. And yet, Universal doubles down on more anti-Americanism using the fig-leaf of “based on a true story” to hide their malicious intentions which — to anyone paying attention — are always exposed by which “true stories” they choose to drop in theaters all over the world.
Actually, it doesn’t matter how many [anti Iraq War movies] fail. This is an ideological war, not a drive for profit.
It's that "drop in theaters all over the world" part which is especially malicious. Hollywood steadily turns out propaganda about American immorality and guilt, then complains that conservatives cause the world to dislike America. If Hollywood cannot figure out what's so great about America (hint: freedom feeds the human spirit), how can the rest of the world figure it out?

DVDs being sold across the world are increasing Hollywood's ideological influence. It's a problem - and it's especially a problem b/c Hollywood steadily turns out movies without moral centers: aka movies which espouse moral relativism, which are premised on a philosophy that absolute truth does not exist. The continual propaganda is bad for all of humanity.

A reminder of the way Hollywood used to be:

At Big Hollywood, Leo Grin discussed Rio Bravo, Director Howard Hawkes, and John Wayne:
Howard Hawks’ masterpiece stemmed from his disgust with the joyless anti-heroics of uptight, melodramatic westerns like Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon (1952) and Delmer Daves’ 3:10 to Yuma (1957) — dark “message movies” that seemed to revel in smugly depicting small-town Americans as cynics and cowards.
“I made Rio Bravo,” he later told an interviewer, “because I didn’t like High Noon. Neither did Duke. I didn’t think a good town marshal was going to run around town like a chicken with his head cut off asking everyone to help. And who saves him? His Quaker wife. That isn’t my idea of a good western.”

In his now-famous 1971 Playboy interview, John Wayne recalled his own loathing for the film:
Everyone says High Noon was a great picture because [Dmitri] Tiomkin wrote some great music for it and because Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly were in it. In the picture, four guys come in to gun down the sheriff. He goes to church and asks for help and the guys go, “Oh well, oh gee.” And the women stand up and say, “You rats, you rats.” So Cooper goes out alone. It’s the most un-American thing I ever saw in my whole life. The last thing in the picture is ole Coop putting the United States marshal’s badge under his foot and stepping on it.

The left admit they are socialists ... when they think everyone around them is also socialist

from neo-neo comment section:
Thomass Says:

Assistant Village Idiot Says:
“Here is an interesting contrast. If progressives can find 10% racism in you, then you are “really” a racist. But if you can find 90% socialism in them, they aren’t “really” a socialist.”
Nah. They’re just lying to you. I live and work in the bay area. Progressives know and admit they’re socialists… when they think everyone around them is one too. At parties and social things, the progressives admit they’re socialists… I see / hear it all the time.

When they’re in an area where 20% or less of the people are progressives, the story gets changed.