Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Get Down On It + Cousin Tate





Dancing cousin Tate, a very kinky boy, makes his 5 second debut as part of the framing of a television commercial.

Grace


Excerpting my friend Craig Hollingsworth's But God...
When man has fouled things up and set definite consequences in motion - God has repeatedly turned the tables. He has reversed our fortunes over and over. Time after time He has removed what we deserved, and replaced it with something we couldn’t possibly earn.
[...]
Since I couldn’t earn His grace, and I can’t alter His grace, and I can’t lose His grace, even though I may not completely understand it I am left with the obvious choice of savoring His grace.

Do read it all. It's not long, and it's inspiring.



God's grace reminds of:

Shiri Negari; Shiri tribute video

North Dakota: system for filling sand bags

Ladder; cones; bags. 
Most important: limber 12 year olds (or adult wives?) close to ground.

photo credit AP

99.7% + Michael Yon

Old comment thread, from when Israel was fighting Hamas in Gaza.  I kept meaning to post it, and meaning to post it:  today's the day!

  1. Alex

    The fighting tactics and ideology of Hamas are a “case study par excellence” of a systematic violation of international humanitarian law, according to Irwin Cotler, a former Canadian justice minister and a leading expert in international law.

    First ... deliberate targeting of civilians is in and of itself a war crime,” he noted, referring to the Hamas rockets fired at southern towns for eight years.

    Second ... Hamas attacks [from within] civilian areas and civilian structures, whether it be an apartment building, a mosque or a hospital, in order to be immune from a response from Israel….Civilians are protected persons, and civilian areas are protected areas. Any use of a civilian infrastructure to launch bombs is itself a war crime.”

    Third ..."misuse and abuse of humanitarian symbols for purposes of launching attacks is called the perfidy principle. For example, using an ambulance to transport fighters or weapons or disguising oneself as a doctor in a hospital, or using a UN logo or flag, are war crimes.”

    Fourth ... public incitement to genocide. "The Hamas covenant itself is a standing incitement to genocide.”

    Fifth ... scope of the attack on civilians ... upgrades the violation to a crime against humanity. “When you deliberately hit civilians not infrequently but in a systematic, widespread attack, that’s defined in the treaty of the International Criminal Court and international humanitarian law as a crime against humanity.”

    Final war crime ... recruitment of children into armed conflict.

    “When Israel responds and civilians are killed because Israel is targeting an area from which rockets were launched, then it is Hamas which bears responsibility for the deaths, and not Israel, according to international law.”

    See also International Law and the Fighting in Gaza - Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell (Global Law Forum-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  2. gcotharn

    I think, also, valuable perspective can be gleaned from Richard Landes and Richard Fernandez.

    Since 1950,

    .3% of Muslims killed by military action have been killed by Israel.

    99.7% have been killed by others.

    We do an awful lot of ignoring of the 99.7%.



Photos from inside the Gaza tunnels.

Michael Yon reports from Sderot.

Why are we potentially importing 100,000+ Palestinians into America? Allow me, here, to publicly appreciate and laud Mexicans. Mexican immigrants: 
1) want to participate in our constitutional republic, 
2) have an excellent work ethic, and 
3) believe murder is a sin. 

Palestinians: not so much, in any area.

Barack sending $900M of taxpayer money to Hamas

Israeli Arab journalist tours U.S. Campuses: 

Monday, March 30, 2009

As simple as this

Jerry Pournelle:
"Any bank which is 'too big to fail' is too big to allow a free market to function."

Camille Paglia on Palin, language

Paglia:
Yes, that is the lordly Yale that formed Dick Cavett's linguistic and cultural assumptions and that has alarmingly resurfaced in the contempt that he showed for the self-made Sarah Palin in "The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla." I am very sorry that he, and so many other members of the educational elite, cannot take pleasure as I do in the quick, sometimes jagged, but always exuberant way that Palin speaks -- which is closer to street rapping than to the smug bourgeois cadences of the affluent professional class.

English has evolved, and the world has moved on. There is no necessary connection between bourgeois syntax and practical achievement. I have never had the slightest problem with understanding Sarah Palin's meaning at any time. Since when do free Americans subscribe to a stuffy British code of veddy, veddy proper English? We don't live in a stultified class system. In the U.K., in fact, many literary leftists make a big, obnoxious point about retaining their working-class accents. Too many American liberals claim to be defenders of the working class and then run like squealing mice from working-class manners and mores (including moose hunting and wolf control). What smirky, sheltered hypocrites. Get the broom!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Super Freak

"Super Freak" intro plays on jam box. 18 month old cousin Tate dances. In time to lyrics, I say: "He's a very kinky boy." 5 people stare blankly: "What?!"

16 minutes ago from web

gcotharn
Greg Cotharn





Cousin Tate likes the funk.



Saturday, March 28, 2009

New movie! Fort Worth

My second directing effort,"Fort Worth: love and relationship amongst the crickets", is through rewrite, and is my greatest directing effort ever!

Don't forget "Greg's Shared Items" on sidebar

Some current content:

Research shows brain differences between religious believers and atheists

Natasha Richardson's death likely saved the life of 7 year old Morgan McCracken
(Morgan's parents, a couple of days after Morgan suffered a head injury, learned about Natasha Richardson and then took Morgan for an immediate CT Scan when she complained of a headache. Had the parents waited even a couple of hours longer, a rare and slow hemorrhage in Morgan's brain would have likely resulted in her death.)

Japanese man, now 93, confirmed to have survived both atomic bombings
He got hit by the first bomb; spent a couple days recovering; traveled home to Nagasaki; WHAM! That is extreme bad luck + good luck, then more extreme bad luck + good luck. Amazing. Also: does atomic radiation promote long life? Just askin.

NFL to celebrate AFL with sweet throwback uniforms


[Click for bigger photo]  That's seven head coaches and Bob Kraft. Belichick couldn't be bothered. I enjoy detesting that man.

NFL and Baylor QB Robert Griffin III

whose name on the back of his jersey says:  Griffin III.  Awesome retro craziness.

If I'm an NFL team, I go to Griffin and say:
Kid, we wantcha to be a CB and Special Teams Stud.  
If that fails, S and Special Teams Stud.  
If that fails: WR and Special Teams Stud.
If that fails: 3rd down RB and Special Teams Stud.  
If that fails: bulk up and be a LB and Special Teams Stud.  
If that fails: bulk up more and be a TE and Special Teams Stud.
If that fails: debulk and be a QB and Special Teams Stud.  
If that fails: Special Teams Stud.
If that fails: Long Snapper.  
If that fails: Assistant Coach.
No matter what, we wantcha in our organization for the next 15 years.
I don't discount his NFL QB possibilities:  he might become fantastic; I can envision him being better than another fast QB:  Vince Young.  I just hate to see his size and speed and agility wasted at QB.  I yearn to see a big and rangy CB dominate and terrorize the NFL.  Robert Griffin III could be that CB.

However, it's also conceivable he could be the #1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft as a QB.  He's a smart kid who obviously loves to play, and there's really no ceiling on his upside.  He could become a Steve Young type of offensive force.

Robert Griffin III highlights.  He basically has a half step advantage on every player on the field. On many plays, as against Texas at 5:00 mark of video, he seems to run only as fast as he thinks is necessary for the moment.  When he senses he needs to run faster, he kicks it up a notch.  

The first highlights are of when he entered - as a true freshman - midway through a blow out opening game loss to Wake Forest.

His pass against Connecticut, at 7:30 of the video, is the type route Griffin gets to read and throw to for four years in the Baylor offense; and is the type route Vince Young rarely got to read or throw to in his three years at Texas.  When Griffin III leaves Waco for the NFL, he will be more developed as a QB than Vince Young was when he left Austin; and approx. as developed as Kevin Kolb when he left Houston. 

Fascinated revulsion at Komodo Dragons

Killing machines. Don't like them. Can't look away.

"Villagers blame environmentalists."


A story:

Film crew travels to Pacific island home of Komodo Dragons, sleeps on boat to be safe from dragons.  After daybreak, Komodo Dragon walks dock and then traverses 8' 2x4 plank between dock and boat, then enters boat and attempts to enter cabin: all part of attempt to get at the crew.  One crew member jumped ship in attempt to ensure his own safety.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hot Snuggie Chick: MKH


The blue force is strong with this cell pic chick ...

I direct my first movie

Then immediately re edit, and re edit again, and re edit again, trying to get the automatic camera angles and the physical movements correct - and the website has been responding reeally slowly. Finally, the physical movements happen as they should:

"Dancing Tennis Girl" just wants to have fun ... at our expense.



Sometimes, you just have to let art flow over you ... 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Southern Brother comments on Louisiana baseball

Comments re Texas Rangers Michael Hollander

Southern Brother:
Pictures are of Baron [Greg's note: my nephew] getting Michael Hollander’s autograph @ 2008 CWS. Michael Hollander is from LSU...he is as tough, hard nose, run you over scrappy as there is...he has a big time arm, good feet, and good hands...I think he will be outstanding...@LSU for three years he was a leadoff hitting SS...new coach brings in his own SS phenom...forces Hollander out...without a single complaint one he made the transition to 3rd and took his team to Omaha…Hollander is a winner with character and he could play for me everyday…I want him on my team

Greg: This is encouraging to hear. Michael Hollander thus instantly becomes one of my favorite Rangers. I love smart and scrappy; I love Louisiana competitive, such as pitchers Andrew Laughter (Louisiana-Lafeyette), Beau Jones, and Ben Sheets! (hint hint)


Southern Brother 2:
There are a few other tough hard nose super competitive Louisiana kids that know how to play the game....Todd Walker, David Delucci, CoCo Crisp, Ricky Weeks, Micah Owings, Ryan Theriot, and Mike Fontenot...just off the top of my head.





Photo:


SS Theriot;

2B Fontenot 










Funny story on Theriot and Fontenot. Allen Trammell was/ is infield coach for Lou and the Cubs. Fontenot gets called up and Trammel suggests he and Theriot should work on double plays "to get use to each other" before the game. Fontenot:
Coach, we've been turning double plays with each other from 12 yrs old through 4 years @ LSU. I dare say we have worked @ turning more DP's together than you and sweet Lou...I think we got this
Fun story.

Early On: Fantastic Accuracy

Stephen Hawking:
Why is the universe so close to the dividing line between collapsing again and expanding indefinitely? In order to be as close as we are now, the rate of expansion early on had to be chosen fantastically accurately.


Related:  
Atheism is dead:  the Big Bang killed it
`
`
`

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our financial difficulties, in a nutshell

Created by incompetent and sometimes corrupt government policies. 


The severity of this recession was avoidable. 

Our problems were not caused by the free market. 

I throw up in my mouth a little every time someone says they were.  Our problems were not caused by dangerous chaos (horrors!) in the free market; were not caused by unfairness inside the free market (there is nothing fairer); were not caused by the free market's susceptibility to manipulation by greedy operators.

Re: greedy operators and manipulation

Milton Friedman, on the Phil Donahue Show, argued that manipulation by a few in a distant capitol is at least as dangerous as manipulation by many inside a market:
"The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. [...]  Do you think American Presidents reward virtue?  Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout?   Is it really true that political self interest is nobler somehow than economic self interest? And just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us?  I don't even trust you to do that!"
Our government, because it is a government (and thus inevitably seeks more power), disagrees.  Our government - via acting upon Utopian fantasies about eliminating chaos, unfairness, and manipulation - has crashed credit markets, thus hindering our ability to create wealth,  thus creating human misery (which additional wealth would have prevented).  Our government is proving itself more chaotic, unfair, and dangerously manipulative than the free market.  Now our government is doubling down, via
  1. strapping the equivalent of a railroad engine (oppressive regulation) onto private enterprise's back, 
  2. throwing private enterprise into a deep hole (coming inflation), and 
  3. forsaking private enterprise in favor of Barack's healing us via government fiat  
Private enterprise is unwanted, forgotten, discounted and/or damned, and left for dead in a deep  hole with a railroad engine strapped to it's back.  Private enterprise will, on it's own, without help, inch by inch ... tentatively begin to claw and climb its way up from the depths.  

May God be with it.  It's our best hope.  We've got to take our government back and help private enterprise get out of the hole.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mention of inches always reminds of Al Pacino's speech.  Note the guitarist playing in the corner of the locker room.  He's accompanied, at crucial moments, by a violinist.   This is considered a great speech.  I say it's equally great musicianship and equally great engineering of locker room acoustics (no one respects the lonely architects and engineers who operate under obscenely restricted financial demands!).  

Locker room language warning:




Notable:  if you pause the action at 4:19, you get a glimpse of Lawrence Taylor's game face - which is what a game face actually looks like; and which, if you are a former NFL QB (or, possibly, a victim of a violent crime), might trigger post traumatic stress.  LT's game face is communicating:
I've made up my mind, and ain't nobody changing my mind: I'm comin' after your ass, I am bringin' some hurt, and I don't give a @#$% who knows it, cause caint nobody stop it from happenin'.
It's all there at 4:19.

Game faces are not created as strategic attempts to frighten. Rather, game faces manifest from deep inside. They are self revelations which occur naturally and can be frightening as hell.  And often should be.  We humans have evolutionary and even spiritual knowledge of what game faces are communicating.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Authentic Arkansas Razorbacks

President Obama gets off the helicopter in front of the White House. He is carrying a baby piglet under each arm. The squared-away Marine guard snaps to attention, salutes, and says, "nice pigs, sir."

The President replies, "These are authentic Arkansas Razorback hogs. I got one for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and I got one for Speaker Pelosi."

The Marine again snaps to attention, salutes, and says, "Excellent trade, sir."


Thanks to Emjay - a Texas Rangers fan, but not a Pelosi fan.

The Bloggess can not look away
















I can't, either:  www.vaginalady.com/words/words-all.htm

"G"!  Thus gcotharn = vaginacotharn.  Some people are going to be jealous.
 
Actually, am pretty sure I've been called that before.

"middle kingdom" ... "spasm chasm" ... "squelchy monkey"! ... "harbor of hope" lol






h/t, and undoubtably proud of it:
http://thebloggess.com/

Also recommended:
The Bloggess: I take on the Pope, and
The Bloggess: Pope Twittering
and
Victor: The hell?! Did you sign me up for Twitter?
Me: Of course not. I signed the Pope up for twitter. I just used your email address.
--The Bloggess

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sen. Judd Gregg provides 76 seconds of sanity

"...and they know [these budget numbers] are not sustainable."

Senator Gregg is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and was President Obama's nominee for Commerce Secretary, before withdrawing his name from consideration.



h/t Webutante

John Heilemann in Obama-friendly NYMag.com:
...the administration was comically clueless about [private sector concerns]. When I was at the White House recently, I jokingly asked a senior Obama official if the team was having fun turning the country into a socialist state. “What are you talking about?” this official replied. “Business loves what we’re doing!”

Back in New York the following day, I related that story to a CEO pal of mine who is a big Obama backer. “What are they, smoking crack down there?” he replied. “Find me one CEO who likes what they’re doing. Seriously, find me one!”
[...]
If the stimulus provokes concern in the private sector, the budget causes nothing short of a total freak-out. The size of it ($3.6 trillion in fiscal year 2010) and the oceans of red ink it threatens to unleash give deficit hawks the heebie-jeebies. The redistributionist tilt it brings to the tax code wigs out the wealthy, the modestly wealthy, and the wannabe wealthy. The oxen it gores (e.g., agricultural subsidies) offend entrenched industrial wards of the state.

Beyond those particulars, the sheer ambition and audacity of the thing—health-care reform, cap-and-trade, and much more—raises suspicions that the Obamans are attempting to capitalize on the crisis instead of solving it.
h/t

Texas Rangers Michael Hollander

Update
Southern Brother comments:
Pictures are of Baron [Greg's note: my nephew] getting Michael Hollander’s autograph @ 2008 CWS. Michael Hollander is from LSU...he is as tough, hard nose, run you over scrappy as there is...he has a big time arm, good feet, and good hands...I think he will be outstanding...@LSU for three years he was a leadoff hitting SS...new coach brings in his own SS phenom...forces Hollander out...without a single complaint one he made the transition to 3rd and took his team to Omaha…Hollander is a winner with character and he could play for me everyday…I want him on my team
Greg's note: This is encouraging to hear. Michael Hollander thus instantly becomes one of my favorite Rangers. I love smart and scrappy; I love Louisiana competitive, such as pitchers Andrew Laughter (Louisiana-Lafeyette), Beau Jones, and Ben Sheets! (hint hint)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Michael Hollander, a minor league infielder exploring conversion to catcher, performs under scrutiny of six watchful eyes. Three former catchers? Maybe, as former catchers often become coaches.


Let's say these coaches are all former catchers. There's a fair chance they held onto to their playing dream, and held on to it, and fought for it to the bitter end, yet never themselves made it to the major leagues - or at least never became starting catchers in the major leagues.

In Michael Hollander, who maybe is an older minor leaguer latching onto his last slim chance to make it to the show, drafted in 2008 out of LSU, these coaches see themselves: their own struggles and efforts and dreams. Therefore, you can't keep these coaches away from Michael Hollander. He maybe has only a long shot chance, yet look at the coaches' body languages: they are focused and intent. They will give Michael Hollander everything they've got - partially because they know he will soak it all in. 

And someday, a 40 year old coach Michael Hollander will transmit what he learned, during these very moments, to other young kids fighting to hold onto their dreams. He will give them everything he's got...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Something Happening Here III: More Teaparties!

The Debt Star!  "That's no moon.  That's the National Debt!" h/t

Instapundit:

What’s most striking about all of these, of course, is that these are people who don’t usually go in for protests.

Well, that and the fact that — unlike the AIG media event — the press doesn’t outnumber the protesters. Heck, it barely shows up at all.

UPDATE: Much more from Michelle Malkin...
Maybe if the Tea Party protesters burned the American flag instead of waving it proudly, the AP would send out reporters…”
And, of course, all of this is just a warmup for April 15.

John at Powerline:
One emerging theme is the absence of press coverage, especially at the national level. For some reason, reporters and editors believe it is not news when thousands of people, all around the country, gather to protest the government's bailouts, trillions in debt, etc. And yet, when a mere forty people turned out in Connecticut for an ACORN-sponsored bus tour of homes owned by AIG executives, there were more media people covering the event than there were people on the bus. So let's see: conservative and libertarian opposition to the government's economic initiatives--not news. Far left opposition to the government's economic initiatives, no matter how few participate--that's news. But of course, not a single person reading this will be surprised.

End Zone identifies Rangers Pitchers


Arlington

KM........... Kevin Millwood
VP............ Vincent Padilla
SF............. Scott Feldman
BMAC....... Brandon McCarthy
MH........... Matt Harrison

F2............ Frankie Francisco
CJ............ C.J. Wilson
Guardo.... Eddie Guardado
Madri...... Warner Madrigal
Eyre........ Willie Eyre
Nip.......... Dustin Nippert
Tbow....... Derrick Turnbow

BD.......... Brendan Donnelly

DL

Benny..... Joaquin Benoit
H2.......... aka "Hurler Hurley"..... Eric Hurley


OKC (Total = 15 = 3 have to go)

JJ.............. Jason Jennings (predict will be starting in Arlington before May 1)
KB............. Kris Benson (I would start him in Arlington immediately: BMAC and MH don't have 200 innings in their 2009 arms, and therefore should open season in bullpen)

Gabby...... Kason Gabbard
Rupe........ Josh Rupe (don't have feel for his assignment:  I would make him a starter in OKC)
TH............ Tommy Hunter
TD............ Thomas Diamond
Mendoza.. Luis Mendoza (Never pitched AAA.  Was rushed to majors and got shelled.)

AJ.............. A.J. Murray
Torres....... Joe Torres
Mathis...... Doug Mathis
Gordon..... Brian Gordon
BeauV....... Beau Vaughan
Jen's.......... Casey Daigle
Corey........ Bryan Corey
Kometani.. Kea Kometani

Frisco

DH............. Derek Holland
FZ.............. Neftali Feliz
K2.............. Kasey Kiker
Schlact....... Michael Schlact
Mosco........ Guillermo Moscoso
Poveda...... Omar Poveda

Ballard....... Michael Ballard
Hyatt......... Jared Hyatt
Bannister... John Bannister (aka Banster? Banni? JB=Julio Borbon)
Laughter.... Andrew Laughter (aka haha? DrewLa?)
Strop.......... Pedro Strop
BeauJo....... Beau Jones

Baker

Phillips....... Zach Phillips
M2............. Michael Main
B2.............. Blake Beavan
Gomez....... Kennil Gomez
Fastillo...... Fabio Castillo
Reed.......... Evan Reed
CoYo.......... Corey Young
Murph....... Tim Murphy
Bleir........... Richard Bleir
1/4............. Hamburger, Mark 






Friday, March 20, 2009

"Don't go out too far ... suck in your gut a bit ... smile!"











































"...we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much." 



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some East Coast Media-Influential Barack fans, such as author and magazine writer (Vanity Fair and newser.com) Michael Wolff, are jumping ship:

Barack Obama Is a Terrible Bore
Sheesh, the guy is Jimmy Carter.

That homespun bowling crap on Jay Leno, followed by the turgid, teachy fiscal policy lecture, together with the hurt defensiveness (and bad script for it) that everybody in Washington "is Simon Cowell… Everybody's got an opinion," is pure I’m-in-over-my-head stuff. Even the idea of having to go on Jay Leno to rescue yourself from the AIG mess is lame. Be a man, man.

The guy just doesn’t know what to say. He can’t connect. Emotions are here, he’s over there. He can’t get the words to match the situation.

This began, I’d argue, from the first moment. He punted on the inaugural. Everybody ran around like crazy trying to praise it because if Barack Obama couldn’t give a speech then what?

But now, at week 11, we’re face-to-face with the reality, the man can’t talk worth a damn.

You can see the fundamental mistake he’s making. Having been so successfully elected, he’s acting like people actually want to hear what he thinks. He’s the great earnest bore at the dinner party. Instead of singing for his supper, he’s just talking—and going on at length. The real job of making people part of the story you’re telling, of having them hang on your every word, of getting the tone and detail right, the hard job of holding a conversation, he ain’t doing.

He’s cold; he’s prickly; he’s uncomfortable; he’s not funny; and he’s getting awfully tedious.

He thinks it’s all about him. That we want him for himself—that he doesn’t have to seduce, charm, surprise, show some skin.
[...]
The true secret of the power of language is in quickness. Barack Obama can’t keep up. He evidently needs too much preparation. And then there’s the organization. He’s undoubtedly got too many people debating what he should say. That’s the other secret of language: You’ve got to just go for it. Can’t think too much about it. It’s like hitting the ball. And then there’s knowing who you want to be—which is different than knowing who you are. You’re on the stage. You’re acting. You’ve got to make yourself believable, cleverly make yourself up as you go along.

This guy is leaden and this show is in trouble.




Some of Wolff reminds of an addition to Wednesday's post:
Barack, via avoiding substance and attacking the messengers, displays lack of confidence in the strength of his own arguments.
[...]
That Barack fails to rebut with substance ... is an indication of weakness and lack of confidence -and is, frankly, amazing to me. [...] This is Barack at his weakest, most disengaged, and least relevant.

That Barack pairs his soft underbelly of illogical beliefs with the most fragile of glass jaws is not good. Churchill, he is not. Barack reeks of weakness, immaturity, and intellectual disengagement. These odors emanate from him in waves. Our enemies are onto the scent - and the kicking hooves of Barack's defenders do not target America's enemies.

For the targeting of American enemies who stumble into Jacksonville, FL, we must rely on the Cassy Fianos of the world 

[Cassy Fiano works without a teleprompter - who do you REALLY want protecting you?]:







Update: Piling On Which Seems Relevant

Michelle Malkin:
Why Can't Obama Tell a Good Joke?

E-G-O.
[...]
To laugh at yourself, you have to really be laughing at yourself, not engaging in coy self-aggrandizement.
J.P. Freire illuminated the root of Obama’s humor-challengedness last fall:
Good read.

Freire breaks Obama’s “jokes” into two categories: “I’m Great” and “I’m Only Pretty Great.”
[...]
Doug Gamble [remembers Ronald Reagan's humor]:
“I’ve given my aides instructions that if trouble breaks out in any of the world’s hot spots they should wake me up immediately — even if I’m in a Cabinet meeting.”

Josh Hamilton interviewed by Erica Newberg

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.

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

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Treacher channels Barack with Leno; I'm with Kathy

What's got conservatives riled is not Barack's "It's like the Special Olympics", but rather that the left and media are consistently using false pretenses to attempt to take down articulate conservative voices one by one by one. "False pretenses" means the left takes conservative statements out of context, then left voices jump in - together - to create an echo chamber of illegitimate outrage over a statement which is being skewed and misrepresented. New media might begin the meme, then old media jump in (adding gravitas), then Stewart/SNL/Maher/Colbert bat it around as if it is true, and until most of the nation believes it is true, and the articulate conservative's reputation is damaged. The kicking hooves of the left join together in an unspoken conspiracy to isolate and individually destroy the most articulate conservative voices. Conservatives are rightly riled(!), and are sarcastically expressing their frustration via lampooning Barack's comments on Leno.

Robert Stacy McCain has termed one method of smearing "The Ransom Note Method":
what is worth examining here is the application of what a friend of mine who’s been smeared by the SPLC (we are legion) has called their ‘ransom note method’ of quotation: A phrase here, half a sentence there — the words are cut and pasted together like a kidnapper assembling a ransom note from cut-up magazines, with the SPLC’s own interpretative comments helpfully interlarded to tell their readers exactly what to think about the target."
Andrew Breitbart, beginning at 11:00:
Conservatives in media are now saying "Wait a second, the longer I'm in this media game, [the greater the odds] they're going to isolate something I've said out of context" - think Rush Limbaugh right now. [...] They isolate conservative rhetoric out of context as a means to destroy them, then the media pile on and it's a fait accompli. [...] Conservatives in the public eye are saying: "I don't want to be called a racist or a homophobe, b/c my life will be ruined."  The [left] are trying to off - one by one - the most effective voices in the conservative movement.
"fait accompli: a thing accomplished and presumably irreversible"


Which, here is the place to declare:  "@#$% those lying crapweasels, I'm with Kathy!", i.e. Kathy Shaidle, Canadian conservative blogger and author, whose words are being isolated out of context, whose reputation is being targeted by the kicking hooves of dishonest liberalism, who is being isolated and culled from the herd so she can be ganged up on and eliminated as an articulate voice.  I'm with Kathy.  Battle at Kruger!  - except the enemy are not lions, but lying crapweasels.  


http://twitter.com/jimtreacher's twitter stream(begin at bottom) is only a little bit about what Barack said, and is a lotta bit about conservative anger and incredulity - note his tweet to Patterico re "holding [the left] to their own standard":
Updated:  
P.S. I think we all remember where we were when we found out JFK had gone on the Tonight Show and mocked the developmentally disabled. As FDR said: "The only thing we have to fear is... one of those people trying to hug us." And who can forget the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln? "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, dedicated to the proposition that tards are hilarious."
P.P.S. Obama responds to the controversy: "You know, I didn't mess with those people's chromosomes. This administration has inherited these genetic anomalies."
That's all I got, I guess. It's actually kind of tough to be that offensive. He makes it look so easy.

"People ask what scares me most. Iran? The economy? Try: Waking up every morning next to She-Hulk! Oh, I'm gonna get it when I come home."

"You know what cracks me up? Chinese people. [sticks front teeth over bottom lip and pushes back corners of eyes] "Herro, Mistel Plesident!"

"Another great thing about LA is all the fags. [audience hisses] OK, OK, Faggot-Americans. Hey, I got no problem with it. I did hire Rahm!"

"Any Irish folks in the audience? Don't raise your hand, you might spill your drink. 'When Oirish oys are smilin'...'" [pretends to vomit]

"Sarah Palin and I don't talk much, 'cause I don't speak Tardese. 'Doy! Durr! Look at my dumb baby!' [someone boos] Oh, lighten up."

"Yeah, John McCain and I get along. Although he always freezes me out when I try to give him a high five! [audience groans] What, too soon?"

"You think being the first black president is easy? Every time I leave the White House, Secret Service checks my pockets for silverware."

"Ya know, I thought about picking a female VP too. But I've already got somebody to clean my house and fetch me beers! Am I right, fellas?"

"Kevin Eubanks, how are ya, man? Is Jay letting you come in through the front entrance yet? No? It's okay, I do the same thing to Biden."

"Thanks for having me on the show, Jay. You seem like a pretty nice guy for an Italian. [Tony Soprano impersonation] Ayyyy! Fuggetaboutit!"

@andylevy If it was the President of the United States on the Tonight Show, you mean?

Obama: "I stopped by Hollywood earlier. Or as I call it, Little Israel. I dropped a penny on the sidewalk and lost 3 Secret Service guys."

When asked by Jay Leno about the AIG fiasco, President Obama replied, "I could have handled it better. Sometimes I'm such a Polack."

I heard Obama is sitting in for Jim Norton tomorrow morning on Opie & Anthony.

The next time Obama goes on the Tonight Show, when he walks out they should play "Let's Get Retarded."

Might be time for a sequel to this: http://tr.im/hA7H The guy sure has had an impressive string of "isolated incidents."

@Patterico But see, holding them to their own standard is populist or something.

@allahpundit Yeah, a sitting president goes on the Tonight Show and makes a Special Olympics joke, and everybody acts like it's a big deal.


Update:

Rachel Lucas, "Standards, is the point":
But most of all what I love about this story is the giant sucking silence I’m hearing from all those people who would be screeching like caged raccoons in my brother’s back yard if the exact same thing had been said by Bush or Palin or any other redneck hillbilly (like all Republicans are).

If President Bush had said this, it would be all you heard about for days on the left-blogs and The Daily Show and CNN. You know it would.



Update 2

Conservative Comeback works with special needs kids, is truly offended, and demands to be heard:
There is no doubt in my mind that many of these kids would destroy Barack in this sport. There is one difference though between these kids and the President. They wouldn't laugh at him. They wouldn't make fun of him. As a matter of fact, they would cheer for him every time he was lucky enough to knock down a pin, and pat him on the back when he didn't knock down any at all.


We were told during the campaign what a compelling story Barack Obamas life was. How he was born to a single mother and made something of his life. Barack Obama has no clue what it is like to have the deck stacked against him like these kids do. Obamas struggle is a walk in the park compared to these kids. And yet, they are some of the happiest and most thankful kids you will ever meet. They certainly have never played the victimhood game like your wife has, Barack. And yet the man who supposedly inspires hope, chooses to target these kids in order to get a laugh from the audience. It should tell you something about this mans character.


While we are on the subject of Barack Obama and special needs kids, there is one more fact that needs to be pointed out. I have conversations with these kids every day, and not once have any of them needed a teleprompter in order to finish a sentence. The same can't be said for our current President. Who's the real joke?

UCLA Economists: FDR extended the Great Depression

via Michelle Malkin and Ed Morrissey
"The [1930s] economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by [FDR's] misguided policies.”
[...]
“The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes,” Cole said. “Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened.”
We have the data. The UCLA study was completed in 2004. 

Every serious person can see the tax cuts of JFK, Ronald Reagan, and GWB worked; every person can see the Laffer Curve is valid. 

Every person can see the U.S. Government spending of the 1930s and 1970s did not work. For reference, see Amity Schlaes, author of "The Forgotten Man".  

Every person can see the Japanese Government spending of the 1990s did not work.  The Japanese Government POURED infrastructure spending into their island: only to see their economy continue to flounder. Japan's recovery began after the government changed course and tightened monetary policy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A metaphor of tightened monetary policy:

Paris represents the spending of FDR, USA in the 1970s, Japan in the 1990s, and Barack in his first 60 days.

Paris would benefit from tightened monetary policy.

She could purchase equally attractive (from a man's perspective) clothing and accessories from Target.

She would be better off in a Honda Accord. She could wreck and crash it all around a parking lot without incurring quite so much repair cost. I would recommend an old truck (which she could really crash around), but want to be sensitive to her preferences and to her image of herself. Also: I'm not a Libertarian.


Honda Accord it is. Lets make it a birthday gift. Bow on top.






Am pretty sure they sell different kinds of bows at Target.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Punishing success

Message sent: there is a heavy and very personal price to pay for criticizing Barack

John Nolte at Big Hollywood:
Had Cramer not hammered Obama, does anyone believe Stewart would have given him the attention he did? The same is true with Rick Santelli. How long has Santelli been doing what he does on CNBC? But it’s only after Santelli criticized Obama that Stewart found something about Santelli (and CNBC) to get morally indignant over. There was only one dynamic that changed here, and that wasn’t how CNBC, Santelli or Cramer do business, it was that they criticized Barack Obama.

But Stewart employs a sleight of hand to keep the rules of the game below the radar. He can’t thrash and humiliate these men for criticizing Obama, that would give the game away, so he finds something else. But the pop culture rules of the game are clear: Stay in line or we will humiliate you. And “we” is Stewart and all those who participate in the viral aspect of Stewart’s game of humiliation.
[...]
Stewart didn’t appear to give much of a damn about “the rubes” until Cramer dared stray from the liberal talking points.
[...]
It’s a nice feint on Stewart’s part, a disingenuous shot at humility, a way to hide behind the “I’m just a comedian” card he’s been pulling for years, but Stewart and Co. take themselves very seriously and a flag has been planted and a message sent that there will be a heavy price to pay for criticizing President Obama.
Barack possesses the softest underbelly of illogical beliefs. You could gut him open with a mere fingernail.   However, to reach the soft underbelly, you must first pass through the kicking hooves of 
  • entertainment mafia:  Hollywood, Stewart, Maher, SNL, Colbert, et al
  • traditional media
  • new media:  Kos, Huffington Post, activist internet champions of Barack
  • Barack/Robert Gibbs/Schumer Dems/Carville spokesultants




Intermission:

Happy conservative babes Cassy Fiano and Dr. Melissa Clouthier enjoy an Astros game. Happy conservative babes are some of my favorite persons.

End Intermission.


In keeping with the "criticize Barack and you will be attacked" meme, look at civilians which the last group - sometimes including Barack himself - have gone after:
  • A CIVILIAN plumber with the TEMERITY to ask a question. Come on.
  • Civilian Sean Hannity (It's not that Hannity deserves protection, but rather that he is not in government and is not in Republican leadership).
  • Civilian Rush Limbaugh
  • Civilian Rick Santelli
  • Civilian Jim Cramer 
Rep. Eric Cantor is the new target.  At least Cantor is a leader amongst Repubs.

It's not that - in the interest of gracefulness - any of these (excepting, initially, Joe the Plumber) deserve protection from sharp elbows. It is, rather, Dems fail to respond to substance, and instead unleash attacks on personal characteristics. Dems proactively promote flawed logic flim flam:
If the messenger is invalidated: the message is invalidated!
Dems cross a line when they attack persons (as opposed to issues) who are government figures, i.e. Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Newt Gingrich, Kenneth Starr, Cheney, Rumsfeld, GWB. Dems cross a further line via attacking the personal characteristics of civilians. Why does the President's Press Secretary: Robert Gibbs, stand before cameras and attack the personal choices and personal characteristics of civilians Hannity, Limbaugh, Santelli, Cramer?  Do voters notice Robert Gibbs - the President's public representative - avoiding substance and descending to grade school namecalling and taunting?

Don't get me wrong: Barack/Gibbs/spokesultants would be on righteous ground if they attacked the logic of Joe the Plumber, Hannity, Limbaugh, Santelli, Cramer, Cantor. Also, Barack/Gibbs/Dems would be righteous if they did not respond at all.  Yet, they choose Option C: coordinate, get the message out to friendlies, then disparage away! Attack the person, not the substantive argument.  Use personal characteristics to try and invalidate this particular messenger at this time.

Immoral. Without virtue. Graceless. Despicable. Is anyone paying attention?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Notes:

Barack, via avoiding substance and attacking the messengers, displays lack of confidence in the strength of his own arguments.  

Barack knows the kicking hooves of media, new media, and entertainment mafia 
1) are on his side, and 
2) will gleefully publicize and promote any substantive argument he wishes to offer.  

That Barack fails to rebut with substance ... is an indication of weakness and lack of confidence -and is, frankly, amazing to me.  It's Bill Clinton's Ken Starr strategy multiplied and liberally spread around.  This is what the cheerleading media who let Clinton get away with attacking Ken Starr have wrought.  This is how a Democrat "governs".  This is Barack at his weakest, most  disengaged, and least relevant.

That Barack pairs his soft underbelly of illogical beliefs with the most fragile of glass jaws is not good.  Churchill, he is not.  Barack reeks of weakness, immaturity, and intellectual disengagement.  These odors emanate from him in waves.   Our enemies are onto the scent - and the kicking hooves of Barack's defenders do not target America's enemies. 

For the targeting of American enemies who stumble into Jacksonville, FL, we must rely on the Cassy Fianos of the world:  


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Karl Rove on video:
What surprised me was, frankly, the tone of Mr. Gibbs, who sounded like some wise cracking Junior High smart mouth. It would've been better, both for Obama and for the country, if Mr. Gibbs had - if he felt necessary to respond - responded to the merits of the issue rather than putting such heavy emphasis on his little sarcastic, flip comments - because these are real issues. These are real issues.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All Time Rangers Squad

Inspired by reading Jamey Newberg's all time squad.


Picked players I personally enjoy; players who would mesh well during a long season; players who would be mentally tough in pressure cooker playoff moments.


These whiners/cancers are out: 

Jeff Burroughs
Kevin Brown
Kenny Rogers
Rafael Palmiero
Alex Rodriguez
Mark Teixeira

In a tough, tough call: Mike Hargrove lost out to Willie Horton for the pinch hitter's role.  Only had room for one of them.  Willie Horton had a giant smile, was fiercely loyal to his teammates in all situations, and was both fearless and fearsome in bench clearing brawls.  When Willie Horton moved to the top step of the dugout, opposing pitchers abstained from chin music. Horton was one of baseball's finest all time pinch hitters. He also did some catching, and therefore would serve the team as a third catcher.  Willie Horton enjoyed trash talking.  It's a teamwide theme: have selected several trash talkers.


Juan Gonzalez gave me pause.  I kept him b/c 
1) he is deserving: he was the bell cow of the franchise's only playoff teams 
2) the team has good leadership around to keep him focused and in line.


Ruben Sierra: I put young the Sierra's skill behind only Josh Hamilton's in Rangers team history. Young thin Sierra was breathtaking:  he could run and throw, he had slashing bat quickness from both sides.  I enjoyed watching him as much as I've enjoyed watching any player.


Mickey Rivers has to be on the team:  comic relief, card games, racing tips, guile, getting on base, stealing bases, outfield depth, illogical and hilarious trash talking of teammates and opponents. This stuff is important.  It's a long season.


Mark DeRosa:  Utility.  Class.  Mental toughness.  Clutch bat.  Plays 6 positions - including SS.  I took him over Mark McClemore.  McClemore is also class, mental toughness, versatility, with switch hitting thrown in.  Tough call.  Two wonderful guys to have on any squad.  Their intangibles add up to more than Alex Rodriguez' tangibles.
   

My Rangers would roll out crusty coot starting pitchers in Playoffs and World Series:

Nolan Ryan
Ferguson Jenkins
Charlie Hough
Gaylord Perry
Jim Bibby

Let the opposition battle that coffee breath, cigarette breath, gray whiskers, old man smell, and all around guile, mental toughness, and willfulness.


I have Billy Martin, Bobby Valentine, and Eddie Stanky heckling opposition from our dugout.  Eddie Stanky* (nickname: "the brat") legendarily managed the Rangers for one day and then resigned.  We HAVE to have him.  His career embodies this franchise better than anyone's.  Bonus:  Stanky was a famously ill-tempered and snappish heckler of all players:  both his players and opposition.  We HAVE to have that!  All this is important for a team. 


Frank Lucchesi as First Base Coach: we need his familial and feisty Italian personality on team charters; plus he deserves some acknowledgment; plus he can sort of keep Billy Martin out of trouble; plus he can heckle when Billy Martin is too hungover to make loud noises.


It was really hard to leave Whitey Herzog off this coaching staff.  He is more deserving than, for instance, Bobby Valentine.  However, Valentine is a top notch 3B coach, and has entertainment value in myriad ways.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


All Time Rangers Team:

Owner: G.W. Bush Group
President: Tom Schieffer
GM: Doug Melvin
Manager: Johnny Oates
Bench Coach: Billy Martin (a bench coach can sleep it off if he needs to)
First Base Coach: Frank Lucchesi
Third Base & OF Coach: Bobby Valentine
Pissed Off & IF Coach:  Eddie Stanky
Batting Coach: Rudy Jaramillo
Pitching Coach: Dick Bosman


Starters:
Nolan Ryan
Ferguson Jenkins
Charlie Hough
Gaylord Perry
Jim Bibby


Relievers:
John Wetteland
Goose Gossage
Jeff Zimmerman
Sparky Lyle
Tim Crabtree
Danny Darwin
Mitch Williams


Line-up:
1. Greer LF
2. Kinsler 2B
3. Hamilton CF
4. Gonzalez DH
5. Sierra RF
6. Clark 1B
7. Young SS
8. Bell 3B
9. Pudge C


Bench:
Sundberg
DeRosa
Rivers
Horton


Bring on your Yankees all time team. We've got coot pitchers. 
Ruth's bulk has nuthin on Willie Horton. 
Thurman Munson's grumpy has nuthin on Will Clark.  
Josh Hamilton = first guy ever to legitimately be "the next Mickey Mantle".  
DiMaggio?  Bah.  Greer!
Michael Young is a Derek Jeter clone.

I will say this about Yogi Berra:  he won and won and won and won much more.   He was the greatest winner of all time.  No one compares with Yogi Berra in this area.  Salute.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

His Giants manager Leo Durocher once summed up Stanky's talents: "He can't hit, can't run, can't field. He's no nice guy... all the little SOB can do is win." Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto still complained years later about a play during the 1951 World Series where Stanky kicked the ball loose from Rizzuto's glove. One season, whenever he was the runner on third base, Stanky developed the habit of standing several feet back of the bag, in left field. If a fly ball was hit, he would time its arc, then take off running so as to step on third base just as the catch was being made. In this way he would be running towards home at full speed from the beginning of the play, making it almost impossible to throw him out. This tactic was made illegal following the season. Stanky was also (in)famous for what came to be called "the Stanky maneuver", where he would take advantage of his position on second base to distract opposing batters by jumping up and down and waving his arms behind the pitcher.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Youth Soccer Follies

TurfMonster.com, begun in 2004 as a semi joke, chronicles playing conditions and gossip in the North Texas area youth soccer leagues.  It has grown to 18,000 members, averages 2.5 MILLION page views a month, and has spawned incredible vitriolic trash talk about teams and parents.  Dallas Morning News:
In a perfect world, Shipley envisions TurfMonster becoming a more prim and proper social networking site. But he admits that, at least for now, it is the forums that drive the engine.

"It's just nasty out there," Shipley said. "That's why Turf Monster exists in North Texas."

Web site etiquette forbids the use of players' names and discourages identifying them by number. Describing a player by position, hair color, body type and skill set is perfectly acceptable.
[...]
Welch, who coached recreational soccer and has served as a parent manager in select, says the site is an outlet for parents who have sacrificed time and money for youth soccer. "We are competitive parents who have bred competitive kids, and many of us are sometimes cocky and arrogant and pushy," he said. "But we don't mean anything by it."

Double identities
In fact, the hardcore posters have come to know one another by introducing themselves at games by their screen names.

"You try to figure out who someone is by what teams they talk about, where they post and how they act at games," said Arlington's White, who is a freelance writer. "It's not that hard."

Some clubs, including the powerful Dallas Texans, have tried to discourage parents from actively participating on the site, Shipley said. "Parents just changed their screen names and came right back to us," he said. "Most of the people who visit our site are Texans parents."

Shipley says he knows what he knows because many of his former Burn teammates and friends coach at the major clubs in the area. He speaks to them regularly. He believes his site has attracted such a passionate following because it is anti-establishment.

"The clubs are so powerful that people usually have to succumb to their whims," he said. "People need an outlet when they don't like a coach or think they are not getting what they signed up for or not getting their money's worth."

Shipley will order a forum to be taken down if he deems it inappropriate or libelous. He is not a lawyer but has consulted attorneys.

Twice there have been threads accusing coaches of sleeping with players' mothers. Both times, after investigating, including talking to the moms and the coaches, Shipley found other parents on the teams guilty of starting rumors because they were jealous of playing time.

As for the forum that posed the question asking about the most-hated team in different age groups, it attracted 4,500 views in less than two weeks.

Then Shipley pulled it.

"It just got too filthy," he said. "I have language filters, but there are too many ways around it."

And which team was it?

Shipley mentioned the team's name and added it was a '99 squad. "It was unbelievable," he said.

The girls were 9 and 10 years old.


Update - from the comments:

Waco Futbol Man
I have been to more soccer games than I care to remember. Soccer parents are some of the worst ever. I think that comes from most parents not having played the game. It is a beautiful game that I personally like to watch quietly. On several occasions I have just moved to another spot on the sideline to avoid the bad sportsmanship. Grown ups will ruin a kids game every time.

Southern Brother said
When Bailey Marshall headed up the UIL he was upset with his secretary taking to much time on the phone with parents. 'See he told her...let me show you how you do it' and he grabbed the incoming phone call...irate soccer Mom...an hour and a half later Bailey Marshall was still on the phone with the entire office laughing histerically and out of control

In the first year the UIL sanctioned soccer, they had more court/litigation cases from soccer alone, than they had had from F'ball, B'ball, and Baseball combined over the previous ten years. One case...all white school losing to all black school...in the final minutes they chant 'hey, hey thats OK..ya'll gonna work for us oneday!'

Hooligans..send the sport back across the pond! More deaths, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, concussions, and knee injuries than football...dangerous sport with volatile uncivil unsportsmanlike fans