Thursday, April 30, 2009

Al Qaeda must hurry

Gerald Warner in UK Telegraph:
If al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the rest of the Looney Tunes brigade want to kick America to death, they had better move in quickly and grab a piece of the action before Barack Obama finishes the job himself. Never in the history of the United States has a president worked so actively against the interests of his own people - not even Jimmy Carter.

Obama's problem is that he does not know who the enemy is. To him, the enemy does not squat in caves in Waziristan, clutching automatic weapons and reciting the more militant verses from the Koran: instead, it sits around at tea parties in Kentucky quoting from the US Constitution.

Video: Visualizing Barack's "Budget Cuts"

If voters watched this 98 second video, Barack would not have a 60% approval rating:



Barack would not lose approval over $100M.  Barack would lose approval over deceit: rhetoric vs. reality. Setting aside and excluding the TARP (even though it was passed through a Dem controlled Congress), the problem is blatantly deceiving the nation via
  1. passing the nation-destroying $3 Trillion stimulus (don't fall for that $900 Billion horse manure), and 
  2. now passing the nation-destroying $3.4 Trillion budget, and
  3. meanwhile, deceitfully trumpeting a $100M cut as a fulfillment of a promise of fiscal responsibility.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In appreciation of God's river

photo via Webutante

Webutante is fly fishing the Delaware River with men she has known for two decades:
Yesterday winds blew steadily at about 15-20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. To say it was difficult casting is an understatement. The hardest part was watching our guides rowing downstream against the wind for a large part of 12 miles of float.

Two drift boats of us finally got to our takeout about 10 pm in pitch black dark and light rain. Only maniacs would call it a wonderful day. That must mean that we are all indeed maniacs as everyone declared it a very good day in spite of the very difficult conditions. Almost no fish were caught.

We'll all be out on the Delaware again today in winds forecast to be high. However, I've put my female foot down and told the men, I'm going to be off the river tonight by 8 pm. Or else. It sounds good in theory. We'll see how it works out.

Tame those men! Like a lion tamer cracking a whip in a cage of cats. 8:00 PM! Crack! Civilize em! Like the Widow Douglass and Miss Watson civilized Huck Finn.

Were I a woman, I could imagine few things better than being on a river with a group of such men; few things better than being invited into the boys clubhouse, than being a special object of attention therein.

A thing which Webutante realizes, and which many less wise women do not: she likes it that the men have spirit and testosterone foolishness. She likes it that they need some taming. If they needed no taming, if their spirit were absolutely and completely and perfectly civilized: she would not like it at all. The men would not be as attractive to her. The men need taming. Yes they do. And they are lucky to have her there to provide it. They are also lucky that Jane, in her wisdom, will not hope to completely tame them; that she will, instead, fully appreciate and enjoy their untamed aspects.

Jane likely knows all this better than I ever will. She sees men in ways which I cannot; and from a perspective and from a life experience which I cannot share. I am writing in appreciation of fine and wise women; in appreciation of the untamed men who love them; and in appreciation of God's river.

NBA Continuity: Experience playing with same teammates helps

It allows a player like Josh Howard to miss 2 1/2 months, then play under 20 minutes for 8 regular season games, then be fully ready to succeed in a First Round Playoff Series.

A less experienced player could not have done it.  Another veteran who was new to a team:  aka Jason Kidd in 08, could not have done it as well.  Howard knows his exact role; knows exactly how to play with his teammates.  He's been excellent for 25 playoff minutes per playoff game.  Mavs limit him to that, so as not to overstress his still injured ankle.

I kind of like Howard being somewhat limited by his ankle.  It forces him to be more cerebral: to  be more conscious of what is the best and proper play to make; the best and proper next step to take.  He cannot afford to waste steps.  He cannot afford to play inefficiently.  It forces him to up his mental game:  less wild colt; more calculating veteran player.

I've noticed continuity with teammates being important before:  with other players, on other teams, who came off injuries before or during playoff series.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prisoners of War vs. Illegal Combatants; Violating Laws of War vs. Not Violating Laws of War

Dave Kopel at Volokh Conspiracy:
A conscientious DOJ attorney who is contemplating the possibility of a successful prosecution under the federal torture statute will undoubtedly be aware of the talking point that the Americans executed Japanese war criminals for waterboarding. Mark Hemingway has written on this topic at National Review Online. For the moment, let's put aside any factual differences in how the waterboarding was done by the Japanese and the Americans. If you follow Hemingway's links for the war criminals who were executed, and then click the "legal procedure" tab, you can find the particular crimes for which they were convicted. Some of them were convicted of crimes related to mistreatment of prisoners of war. But these convictions are for violating the laws of war. Under the laws of war, prisoners of war are not supposed to be subject to degrading treatment (e.g., wall-standing, noise) nor to torture. Accordingly, the convictions for the seven executed Japanese do not imply a legal determination that waterboarding by the Japanese constituted torture, as opposed to degrading and inhuman treatment.

If you want to make a case that it is a crime under federal law not to treat al Qaeda terrorists as lawful prisoners of war (which means that they are not even supposed to be interrogated against their will), go ahead and try. But that's going to involve a different statute (if you can find one) from the federal torture statute.

Independent Voters and Republicans: Nowhere vs Somewhere

Listened to Hugh Hewitt radio show, and to John McCain's Karl Rove: Steve Schmidt. Hewitt asked what could be done to prevent Dems from hijacking Repub Primaries. Schmidt had no answer, but said: "I do not think we should further alienate ourselves from independent voters," then went on to describe how Repubs need to snuggle closer to such voters.

Exactly wrong. It presumes independent voters are politically astute persons who know what they believe, i.e. I agree with a couple Repub issues here, a couple Dem issues there; this is what I believe, now who is going to snuggle closest to what I believe?

Rubbish.

Independent voters are not politically astute. Independent voters don't care much about politics at all. God bless em. They are the only sane people in America. Independent voters are busy living their lives. Every election, independent voters hear a bit of chatter from acquaintances and friends whose opinions they trust, and they might watch a speech here or there. They take their instincts about what they saw into account, and they take their respected friend's opinions into account, and they go to the polls as an expression of patriotism, and they vote.

A politician doesn't go to where these voters are: these voters are nowhere. A politician attracts these voters to come and join him where he already stands. These voters love America, but they don't have strong issue opinions. They are waiting to be wooed, waiting to be won. If you try to go where they are, you end up in the big middle of nowhere, which is exactly where this generation of damnable Repub politicians has taken the party.

Maybe Repub politicians have forgotten how normal Americans think and act. Maybe Repub politicians run across some of the few independent voters in America who truly do make cafeteria style issue selections from the left and from the right, and maybe Repub politicians assume these political astute persons are typical of independent voters. Whatever the reason, these Repubs are political fools. That many of these Repubs also believe Global Warming is real is further proof of their foolishness. Snuggle up to independent voters; global warming is a real threat! Puke.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Barack's selective rage & evasion of responsibility = Clintonian

The military sends a couple of fighter planes near Manhattan to photograph an Air
Force One style plane. Some Manhattan residents see the planes and are frightened. Barack is infuriated:
The mission on Monday, officials said, was set up to create an iconic shot of Air Force One, similar to one that was taken in recent years over the Grand Canyon.

When President Obama learned of the episode on Monday afternoon, aides said, he, too, was furious. Senior administration officials conveyed the president’s anger in a meeting with Mr. Caldera on Monday afternoon.
Um, yeah.

Russia invaded Georgia.  Barack was not furious.  Urged "both sides" to display calm.

Europe refuses to help further in Afghanistan.  Barack was not furious.  Declared photo op victory.

Europe refuses to take Guantanamo prisoners - except France, who will take a single prisoner.  Barack was not furious.  Declared more photo op victory.

Barack has been furious enough to repeatedly attack GWB.

Barack was furious enough to direct coordinated White House attacks against Rush Limbaugh.

Barack was furious enough to attack Dick Cheney via releasing cherry picked interrogation papers which were carefully redacted to hide information about interrogations successes in preventing attacks on America.  Barack still furious enough to release more photos from Abu Ghraib.

Daniel Ortega bashed America for 50 minutes.  Barack was not furious.  Sat quietly through translated speech.  Asked afterwards his impression, thus given direct opportunity to furiously  defend American ideals, Barack did not denounce Ortega's America bashing.  Denounced the speech for being 50 minutes in length.  Must not keep THE ONE waiting in a chair for 50 minutes.

Hugo Chavez hijinks.  Barack given direct opportunity to furiously defend American ideals:  was not furious.  Said it would not hurt America to be friendly to(i.e. further legitimize) Chavez.  

Pirates.  Barack presented with opportunity to be publicly furious:  declined.  Spent time building  CYA Castle Fortress.  

So, Barack had many chances to furious defend America in situations in which he was a  protagonist and had responsibility, and he took a pass.

Now, in a situation he had no control over, knew nothing about, had no responsibility for, Barack  finally found something to be furious about.  

Right, right, right.   So right.  So Clintonian.

from Barack Obama's Teleprompter

aka TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States):
[King Abdullah of Jordan] seemed kind of disappointed, as he gazed at [his gift], valued at $4.75 in the Smithsonian gift shop. So, I reached over and pulled Big Guy's autographed copy of Carl Sandburg's Lincoln biography off his shelf and gave it to the King. 

Abdullah seemed appeased. "I can't tell you how woderful this is; I love Carl Sandburg," he said. "And it's autographed!"

"Well, I'll make it even better for you," Joey [Biden] said, and he took the book out of his majesty's hands and signed his own name under Sandburg's. The King didn't seem appeased any more.

This is why I worry about letting Biden anywhere near the Middle East peace process.

Pretty happy with Dallas Cowboys Draft

of 12 players on the second day of the draft, for this reason:

because Jerry Jones is epically bad at drafting, the Cowboys are probably better off going after quantity and hoping a couple of the 12 will prove they can play.

Now we must hope Wade Phillips can recognize a football player, and will be allowed to make decisions about who stays and who gets cut. I bet Wade knows a player when he sees one. About the rest, who knows?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Learned on the way to something else: "Iesus Hominum Salvator"

Wikipedia:
Because the Latin-alphabet letters I and J were not systematically distinguished until the 17th century, "JHS" and "JHC" are equivalent to "IHS" and "IHC".

"IHS" is sometimes interpreted as meaning Iesus Hominum Salvator ("Jesus, Savior of men" in Latin) or connected with In Hoc Signo. Some uses have even been created for the English language, where "IHS" is interpreted as an abbreviation of "I Have Suffered" or "In His Service". Such interpretations are known as backronyms. Used in Latin since the seventh century, the first use of IHS in an English document dates from the fourteenth century....

Stormhoek: Best cheapest marketing campaign in Alpine, TX storms forward

Stormhoek.com/blog:
More hard work, getting the word out with no budget. We did the sign in the desert, which at least, dozens of people have seen. Now, our chance to dig deep into the consciousness the town: Really up the awareness! Hugh strikes out, looking for the most strategic places to post some of our “Dream Big, Alpine” posters. It was hot, and he was parched. All part of a days work building a major international brand in West Texas.



Previous End Zone: I thought this Stormhoek marketing video was genius.

Iesus! How clueless are Hillary and Barack?

Paul at Powerlineblog:
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Clinton has weighed in. She warned Israel that it risks losing Arab support for combating threats from Iran if it rejects peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

The day Israel needs Arab support to combat the threat posed by Iran is the day Israel should close up shop and hand the keys over to the Palestinians.

Honestly. Honestly. Honestly:

How clueless are Hillary and Barack? Just how clueless are they?

Hillary's is the silliest statement I can remember from a Secretary of State. I don't believe she is that stupid. The statement had to have come from Barack's people. Barack and his people are exactly that stupid.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Nobility


photo Clayton Cubitt

h/t
debauchette

Colleen Moore


by Robert J. Avrech
(who also blogged Hollywood is Burning)
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote:
“I was the spark that lit up Flaming Youth, Colleen Moore was the torch. What little things we are to have caused all that trouble."
In 1923, Colleen Moore’s starring vehicle, Flaming Youth, was an international box office hit that ushered in the era of the Flapper. The Jazz crazy kids wore their galoshes unbuckled causing the rubber tongue to flap. Thus: Flappers.
[...]


Colleen’s look, specifically her Bobbed haircut, was a global fashion rage.
[...]
From where did the idea for this cubist haircut originate, so markedly different than the opulent Victorian tresses in favor at the time? Moore explains that her mother copied the look from a favorite childhood Japanese doll.

The new hairstyle sent a fascinating and complex message: this young lady is independent, plucky, fiery yet down-to-earth, tom-boyish but completely feminine; she’s the decent and adorable girl next door who is a boy’s best friend and then KABOOM! the love of his life.

Never a great beauty or a smoldering presence, Moore presented a new female paradigm: cute, feisty and refreshingly devoid of a self conscious sexuality. The surprising Bob helped cement Moore’s image as the modern American woman, and it changed the trajectory of the young actress’ career from feature player to star. At the height of her stardom Moore earned $12,500.00 a week.

The haircut also gave birth to a new product that is still with us: The Bobby Pin.
[...]

Director Mervyn Leroy:
"Colleen Moore was a remarkable girl who grew into a remarkable woman… and became, next to Mary Pickford, the biggest silent film star of them all.

Later, she would retire from the screen at the height of her fame, marry well, and spend the rest of her life doing important civic works in Chicago, writing books, raising her stepchildren, and doting on her grandchildren. She was never anything but a lady, throughout her career and her postcareer life.

Her fame, however, never went to her head in any way. Perhaps because of her affluent background, she was never spoiled by her wealth., never seduced by her notoriety, never changed by her success. She was always sweet—in the best sense of the word—and kind and pleasant to everyone she met. I doubt that there was a man who worked on her pictures who was not platonically in love with her.”

Robert Avrech about Lillian Gish.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Barack's motivation: he needs to discredit the interrogation techniques he has banned

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 9:49 AM
The left's "paper of record" reports the true motivation behind President Obama's flip flop and his launch of the witch hunt:
Mr. Obama and his allies need to discredit the techniques he has banned. Otherwise, in the event of a future terrorist attack, critics may blame his decision to rein in C.I.A. interrogators.
Succinctly and accurately put by the New York Times of all people.  The president is putting his future political needs ahead of the country's national security so that if another devastating attack occurs in this new era of 9/10 tactics and thinking about our Islamist enemies, he and the Democrats in Congress will have a defense as to why they lowered our defenses.




4 Block World is a clever blog:



He's also studied the infield fly rule.

Michael Young: Psychological Drive and Professionalism

These are the good leadership qualities Michael Young brings. He embodies: this is how you get through a tough moment, this is how you get through a slump, this is the psychological drive you embody to move through and be successful.

Professionalism - everyone knows what this means, but I want to highlight Michael Young's generosity. He mentored Ian Kinsler in how to display proper psychological drive and professionalism; he is now mentoring Elvis in same. Young is a leadership example of psychological drive and professionalism for all the young players(and the Rangers have a lot of young players).

I have my gripes with Michael Young. He takes the wrong mentality into the batter's box, and consequently swings at too many pitches. His understanding of defensive fundamentals is particularly weak for a veteran infielder. The presence of Omar Visquel only highlights Young's fundamental deficiencies.

In particular, Young plays defense with too high a center of gravity. This means his reactions are slow. He likes to glean info about pitch locations, and about hitters, and to cheat towards the likely place a ball will be hit, and that is all to the good. Yet his reaction is slow b/c he is too high. Worse, especially at 3B, this means Young is terrible when diving for a grounder.

An infielder should begin with a low center of gravity, then dive horizontal to the ground.*  Elvis Andrus plays with a limber and low center of gravity. As a result, Elvis can extend horizontally while still in full stride; while never leaving his feet. Elvis seemingly could run full speed and pass under your dining room table. Elvis can get his center of gravity so low that he can run and reach out (horizontally) for the ball. He does this via body lean which would cause him, if he didn't correct it, to forward face plant into the ground. Yet, Elvis moves like a dancer. After a couple of strides of immense body lean, Elvis corrects his balance before he face plants. Elvis is still on his feet, with the ball, throwing to first, making it look easy on a ball many SS's (definitely including, for instance: Michael Young and Derek Jeter) would never have gotten to.

Back to Michael Young: his center of gravity is too high. When he dives, he doesn't stretch horizontally so much as he vertically car crashes into the ground. From a high height.    Honestly, it has to hurt. He's gravity crashing into the hardpack dirt. It's no wonder he doesn't like to dive.  High center of gravity is why Michael Young might be this as a third baseman: Fail. He's just too danged high. 3B is a reaction position, and he can't react because his body is not coiled to react. Young runs well, and thus is good on slow to medium rollers which need to be chased. He throws well, if somewhat inaccurately.   Michael Young could be a Brooks Robinson lite type of athleticism.   Nothing, so far, indicates that will happen.

Will end on a high note: Young's batting has been in slight but steady decline for three seasons. He seems to have stopped the fall, and maybe even progressed in a positive direction. He had been positioned too far from the plate, and consequently dumped too many balls into RF, displaying little power. That has changed. Young is now turning on balls with some power - especially to left center field. Michael Young used to be almost incapable of turning on anything. With the old Michael Young, the Left Fielder may as well have taken a chair and flirted with the ball girl. Nothing was going to go to LF.

My hope, maybe everyone's hope, for Michael Young is that he can have a Paul Molitar finish to his career. Molitar had some power late in his career. I've no doubt Michael Young could hit 25 home runs if he focused on improving his power. I hope he does so. It appears he has already changed his approach at the plate. Good.  He's a talented hitter, if he will use his skills correctly.


*Best way to teach a youth to dive horizontally:    Slip N Slide.   

You can make your own Slip N Slide with $15 of polypropelene plastic sheeting from Home Depot.  It's the stuff they tack to the inside of the wood frame of your home - up against the insulation.  Run hose water over the polypropylene.  I've done it:  works like a charm.  I ran the sheeting and water down a slight incline, so the water would spread pleasingly across the sheeting.  I sat on the top edge of the sheeting(as human anchor), aimed my hose, and watched the awesome.  The kids will learn to get a low center of gravity.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ann Coulter's Mother Has Died, RIP

"Her angelic face always looked like home to me. My whole life, as soon as I'd see my mother's face I'd know I was safe, whether I was a little girl lost in a department store or a big girl with a problem, who needed her mother."

link

Katrina Pierson, Dallas Tea Party

I thought, here, about quipping that the tea partiers were all geriatric and all white and all dangerous terrorists.

However, Ms. Pierson IS dangerous to the powerful in Washington, D.C. She terrorizes them, or at least ought to, because of the millions of citizens she represents. She is unafraid to trust her own eyes, unafraid to trust her own sensibilities, unafraid to stand up and say what she believes. She's unafraid to say almost any danged thing. In that way she's like Sarah Palin, and like a rising tide of Americans who trust their own sensibilities over those of David Brooks and David Gregory and Charles Rangel and Charles Schumer. Those gentlemen are likely smart enough to realize they ought be scared.

There's a ludicrous scene, in a lot of Hollywood movies, where the protagonist's best friend has been murdered, and it is the final straw, the thing up with which the protagonist will not put, and the protagonist marches into a tall building, shoves past security guards, and threatens the bad guy: "I'm going to get you!" And the bad guy sometimes yells back (think Al Capone in "The Untouchables") "You ain't nuthin! Come and get me!" And, to me, the scene is just stupid. If you were going to get somebody, would you announce you were coming, or would you just go about getting them?   Which is why movies aren't realistic! [insert LOL]

And yet, and yet, I now feel like charging into the U.S. Capitol and shoving past security guards and yelling at the bad guys: "We're coming to get you! We are coming for you!" I feel like announcing myself in advance. And that's part of the statement which was being made at the Tea Parties: "That's it! That Porkulus is ENOUGH!  Fix it, or we are coming for your Congressional seats."

On behalf of the people who went to the Palin rallies in the fall, and on behalf of the people who went to the tea parties one week ago today:  just a Mom, just a citizen, Ms. Katrina Pierson  

Interrogation Techniques: Share the Successes!

Update II:  Exactly WHICH ADMINISTRATION is Politicizing Intelligence?

Stephen Hayes:
That's interesting: "top CIA officials have argued for years that so-called 'enhanced' interrogation techniques have yielded lifesaving intelligence breakthroughs," but the team of "expert advisers" from Obama's presidential campaign apparently knows better.

All of this leads to one obvious question: Who needs intelligence professionals when you have campaign advisers?


Update:
Cover Up!
According to Peter Baker's story in NYT: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says, the Obama Administration redacted portions of a memo from their own Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis C. Blair, which asserted that CIA interrogation techniques elicited high value information from terrorists. The Obama Administration released a summary of the memo. The summary redacted this portion of the DNI Blair's memo:
“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country”
[...]
“I like to think I would not have approved those methods in the past, but I do not fault those who made the decisions at that time, and I will absolutely defend those who carried out the interrogations within the orders they were given.”

Ed Morrissey:
Cheney filed a request to declassify those memos in March, and the CIA has yet to decide on his request, but we can no longer doubt that records exist showing the success of those interrogations.

Obama has occasionally suggested a truth-and-reconciliation approach to probing the use of torture by the Bush administration, but this establishes that Obama isn’t terribly interested in “truth”. Withholding the truth that waterboarding produced information that saved hundreds of American lives, perhaps thousands, shows that Obama values public relations more than he does the truth.


end update
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


60 second video of former CIA Director General Michael Hayden:
Most of the people who oppose these techniques want to be able to say
"I don't want my nation doing this ... and [these techniques] didn't work anyway".
That back half of the sentence isn't true. The facts of the case are: the use of these techniques against these terrorists did make us safer. It really did work.
[...]
The honorable position you have to take, if you want us to not do this ... has to be:
"Even though these techniques worked, I don't want you to do that."
[Saying that] takes courage. The other sentence doesn't.


One specific foiled plot (spearheaded and later revealed by Khalid Sheik Muhammad) involved a Phillipines cell crashing a plane into the tallest building on the west coast: the Library Tower in Los Angeles.


Former Vice President Dick Cheney:
“One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of Legal Counsel, but they didn't put out the memos that showed the success of the effort. And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity. They have not been declassified.”

“I formally asked that they be declassified now. I haven't announced this up until now, I haven't talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.”



Must read Marc Thiessen in WaPo:
[J]ust as the memo begins to describe previously undisclosed details of what enhanced interrogations achieved, the page is almost entirely blacked out. The Obama administration released pages of unredacted classified information on the techniques used to question captured terrorist leaders but pulled out its black marker when it came to the details of what those interrogations achieved.
[...]
Why didn't Obama officials release this information as well? Because they know that if the public could see the details of the techniques side by side with evidence that the program saved American lives, the vast majority would support continuing it.


John at Powerline:
Why would the Obama administration not want the public to see detailed and previously undisclosed information about intelligence successes achieved through enhanced interrogation? Why does that information need to remain classified, when the administration is happy to give terrorists a road map to our interrogation techniques...? [...] How could our security be compromised by giving the American people the details on how successful the CIA's program was?

It's hard to think of any non-political answers to these questions. The logical inference is that Obama wants to release information that he thinks will smear the Bush administration, but does not want the American public to be fully informed about the benefits that were gained from the Bush administration's policies--policies that he now proposes to abandon. All the more reason to join in Dick Cheney's request that, if the administration is going to open the book on enhanced interrogation, the American people should be able to see the whole record.


Thiessen with more fascinating info:
But the memos note that, "as Abu Zubaydah himself explained with respect to enhanced techniques, 'brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have reached the limit of their ability to withhold it in the face of psychological and physical hardship." In other words, the terrorists are called by their faith to resist as far as they can -- and once they have done so, they are free to tell everything they know. This is because of their belief that "Islam will ultimately dominate the world and that this victory is inevitable." The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely.

This is the secret to the program's success. And the Obama administration's decision to share this secret with the terrorists threatens our national security.


Former CIA Director Hayden and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in WSJ:
But confessions aren't the point. Intelligence is. Interrogation is conducted by using such obvious approaches as asking questions whose correct answers are already known and only when truthful information is provided proceeding to what may not be known. Moreover, intelligence can be verified, correlated and used to get information from other detainees, and has been; none of this information is used in isolation.
[...]
The limits of the Army Field Manual are entirely appropriate for young soldiers, for the conditions in which they operate, for the detainees they routinely question, and for the kinds of tactically relevant information they pursue. Those limits are not appropriate, however, for more experienced people in controlled circumstances with high-value detainees. Indeed, the Army Field Manual was created with awareness that there was an alternative protocol for high-value detainees.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fort Worth 4: Decisions

Me and Dad wait around to take my Mom for cataract surgery:






All episodes in this series:

Fort Worth: Supper
Fort Worth 2: Hangin with Dad
Fort Worth 3: On Time
Fort Worth 4: Decisions

Baseball difference: college vs professional

Former UCLA and current Texas Rangers minor league pitcher Tim Murphy:
The biggest difference I noticed from college to professional baseball is that, especially in the lower levels, guys are a little bit more raw. In college, you see guys that are a little more average across the board with everything they do. Once I got to pro ball, you could make some mistakes and get away with them and then make another mistake and the guy hits a 500-foot home run. That’s probably the biggest difference. And then obviously everyone here got drafted for a reason so most of the guys have some tools. You see guys with more ability here in pro ball. They might not be as consistent with their ability yet but that’s part of the minor leagues and developing, as opposed to college where you see more guys with average tools who make the routine plays and not make the spectacular ones. Up here in the minors, you’ll see some guys make some unbelievable plays that you’re awed by and then see them boot or misplay a ball on a play that they should make. That’s probably the biggest difference – it’s a little more up-and-down in the minor leagues and it was a little more even-keeled in college ball.
From Grant Schiller's Interview

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Trig the Mirror

Lifting an entire post.  It can't really be excerpted:
Happy Birthday, Trig!by Smitty

Via Cynthia Yockey whose post introduced me to HillBuzz, and brought me to their post wishing a young innocent well.

Not in recent history has a single birth brought forth so much vitriol from those who claim to dispense compassion. The lad is the the societal equivalent of a mirror, and the image therein falls short of pleasant.

Praying for Poop: SUCCESS!

in the email:
Stop Praying for Poop!  It worked.  We are having to change diapers every hour it seems. =)
Thanks for the prayers.


Photo: Father and son head for home

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Whittle eviscerates Roesgen, CNN, American Media

Watch it

I got Ron Washington's back

DFW media is searching for controversy in Rangers Manager Ron Washington's decision to pull Michael Young after the 7th inning of a 9-0 game. Even bloggers I respect are saying the decision "sent the wrong message to the team".

Media and bloggers are wrong.  Ron Washington is right.

Here's the message being sent:

DON'T @#$%^&*&*&^%$#@ FALL BEHIND 9-0 IN THE SEVENTH INNING!!!!!!

Sheesh. Michael Young DIDN'T DESERVE TO BE IN THE GAME. He was part of an offense which was SHUT OUT for seven innings; which could not scratch a single run; which ran into an unforced baserunning out at 3B on a grounder to SS (high schools don't make that mistake); which futilely and amateurishly chased a veteran pitcher's off-the-plate teasers for SEVEN INNINGS, instead of working that pitcher and taking walks: as the Red Sox would have done, as the Yankees would have done, as the A's would have done, as the Twins would have done (except for Gomez).

The Rangers should've had Meche up to 110 pitches and out of the game in the 5th inning. And they should've collected some runs, helped along by bases on balls, as they were moving Meche out of the game. That's exactly what the Red Sox would've done.

I love the Rangers young hitters, yet their lack of discipline is a problem. They scored 19 on Wed, took Thu off, then scored 2 on Friday. The goal is not to bomb an ineffective or slumping pitcher for 19 runs. The goal is to scratch out at least 4 or 5 runs every night, even against the very best of pitchers. That's exactly what the Red Sox do.

One thing which bugs me about Michael Young is his free swinging. He goes to the plate to hit. He should go there to get on base. I don't like having Michael Young as a veteran leader for our young hitters. Michael Young sends them the wrong message: "Hit". Josh Hamilton also. Here's the correct message: "Get on base". As a batter, I hope Kinsler can usurp Michael Young and Josh Hamilton as a team leader. Kinsler goes to the plate to get on base.

Kinsler's is the message which Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia need to be studying. Already, Cruz and Saltalamacchia show disturbing signs of returning to ineffective, overaggressive states - especially Saltalamacchia, who has abandoned the newfound plate discipline which gave me hope for him.

The veteran pitcher Gil Meche saw all of this, and took advantage of all of it, as he should have. Gil Meche teased the Rangers, and they - especially Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and Saltalamacchia - accommodated by flailing helplessly. Gil Meche kicked the Texas Rangers' jackasses.

Media continually says the Rangers problem is pitching pitching pitching defense pitching pitching pitching. Pitching and defense are a problem. But HITTING is also a problem. No one is paying attention that HITTING is a problem. Feast or famine hitting is completely useless. You can't win that way. Rangers hitters need discipline, and they show few signs of acquiring it.

In my nightmare, it's the World Series, and Michael Young and Josh Hamilton are helplessly flailing away at pitches off the plate, and the Rangers consequently are being decisively defeated (somewhat as the Bash Brothers McGuire-Canseco A's were defeated by the Eric Davis Cincinatti Reds, and later by the Kirk Gibson Dodgers.  The Bash Brothers A's won the 1989 World Series, and that was it. They underachieved).  

The Rangers have some disciplined hitters coming:  Chris Davis, Taylor Teagarden, David Murphy, Brandon Boggs, Max Ramirez, Justin Smoak.  Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are still young enough and pliable enough to change their ways.  For some reason, I've less confidence Saltalamacchia will ever change.  And Michael Young appears a lost cause.  

Rangers have got to turn their overaggressive hitters around.  Send Saltalamacchia to AAA to learn.  Turn around Hamilton and Nelson Cruz RIGHT NOW!  Keep close eye on Elvis Andrus.  If the Rangers have a line up with eight disciplined hitters, they can hopefully overcome Michael Young.

Praying for Poop: things are looking up















From William's grandmother:
Little William (LW) is doing much better. He now takes over an ounce at each feeding and actually cried at 2 hrs. to let his mommy know that he was hungry. This is a great sign since he has been so lethargic. His parents now feel that little William is on the road to recovery.
Big William is a Dr., and LW's mother is a Nurse. So, if the parents believe he is doing better, then they hopefully have a solid basis for believing that, and I am definitely encouraged .
Thank you everyone who prayed for "Poop" because it worked. His digestive track seems to be on schedule now. Furthermore, he is maintaining his body temperature. After they check his bilirubin today, and if it is OK, he will probably go home late tonight or tomorrow.
So, if you prayed for poop, thank you, and I hope you enjoyed the exercise as much as I did. My praying had become overly significant and somber. It needed some poop.

Competitive Defiance

He kinda doesn't look like it here, but Texas Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter is a sweet kid. Only one year out of college, he made it to the majors last season and got shelled in a couple of starts. He says "I did not throw well" when in Arlington. Watch his beautiful competitive defiance at 1:37 of the video: "Next time I go up there, I throw well, we'll see what happens then." He says it like a threat. Here's a guy who got shelled by major league hitters, and he now responds by almost threatening those same hitters. I can't express how much I love that 5 seconds of defiance.

In "Moneyball", A's GM Billy Beane describes a moment when he realized he was never going to succeed as a baseball player. It happened when Beane and Lenny Dykstra were raw minor leaguers sharing a spring training dugout. Dykstra was a smallish kid who did not possess overt talent. Beane possessed outstanding skills. For some reason, an outstanding major league pitcher came into the game in which the raw Beane and Dykstra were playing. "Who's that?" asked Dykstra. Beane described the pitcher's accomplishments to Dykstra; described the pitcher's filthy and almost unhittable slider. Beane basically had his head in his hands due to the futility of their chances of hitting this pitcher. Dykstra narrowed his eyes and closely watched another warm-up pitch. "I can hit him", he said.

Hi. What's your sign?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crowd at Chicago Tea Party directs scorn at CNN's Roesgen

An instructive moment.

 

I first noticed crowd scorn for media at the 2008 Repub National Convention.  I saw and heard milling crowds spontaneously group to express scorn for CNN, and for NBC, and more than once.


Madison, Wisconsin Tea Party:


Above are the grounds on one side of the Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison.*   WHO KNEW there were 5000 deeep undercover small government conservatives in my beloved semi communist enclave of Madison, WI? I certainly did not. I doubt even these conservatives knew.  They were, previously, deep undercover even from themselves. The above is a photo of 5000 of the most shocked small government conservatives in America. Previous to this Tea Party, they never knew they existed.


Friday hotness at the Houston Tea Party: a couple of women the Dept. of Homeland Security thinks might be terrorists (along with returning military personnel):  Melissa Clouthier (L) and Kathleen McKinley (R), aka Right Wing Sparkle.

Look how bitter and angry they are. Bitterness and anger virtually shoots off them.





Melissa Clouthier, further aiding our Friday hotness requirement, (God Bless Her!) posts this from Houston:

"Jane Galt, it turns out, is hot."

Quite. Yet, is that true hotness, or just another bitter and angry potential terrorist hiding her identity behind shades and faux hotness?  If she's part of a terror cell, it's our patriotic duty to infiltrate.




BTW, the Chicago CNN reporter:  Susan Roesgen, is pretty much the instant partisan media hack of the year.  She cannot believe Americans have the temerity to protest against government spending; she cannot believe a Chicago housewife is an unaffiliated independent citizen.  Two hacklarious moments from Roesgen:  1)  "This is not a family friendly environment", 2) Moments after being hostile and aggressive as heck to a non media professional, i.e. a man holding a baby, Roesgen says to the Chicago housewife "You know you really don't have to be so antagonistic."  L O L 2

Allahpundit:
What’s most striking is how savvy the protesters are about the game Roesgen’s playing: They know exactly why she zeroed in on the guy with the Obama/Hitler sign, and it ain’t because of his grasp of economics.
Journalist Robert Stacy McCain:
"I'm sorry, but when you send a reporter to cover a protest, and the reporter launches into a political argument with one of the protesters -- on live TV -- that's a new nadir of shameless bias."
Cynthia Yockey links to a Red Eye takedown by Greg Gutfeld:
Why is it MSM finds it so easy to sneer at these protesters when we've never seen them do it to the bug infested buffons protesting environmental ills or the WTO?

Well, first, these protests involve people [the MSM] have never actually met. These are average people, not professional sign carriers. Most of them work for a living and keep their marching for parades.

Also, the media abhors these people b/c they question their messiah's mission. These protesters know wealth redistribution when they see it, and they're calling it out because the media cannot bring themselves to do it for them.
[...]
Lastly, the media hates it when they can't control a story. These tea parties were hard to figure and impossible to spin.
Red Eye guest Jim Norton:
What a bunch of BABIES the media are! [...] I'm just BOGGLED that the pukey CNN reporter got mad at a guy at a tax protest!


*I've been to Wisconsin State Capitol grounds several times. I've toured the state capitol. It is possibly the most beautiful state capitol of all.

Praying, still

If you've been praying for poop, thank you.  Things are in a holding pattern.  Little William should be ingesting milk today, and we will know more after that.

If you find it in your heart, please add a prayer for my friend Kevin Kim's mom.  Thank you.  Kevin's mom has a brain tumor and an edema, and will likely undergo surgery this weekend.  

When my mom suffered a brain hemorrhage, Kevin was a supportive friend for me, which definitely did lift my spirits.

When Mom went through her months of illness and rehab(she's now fully recovered!), her good friend Janice Romo hung a tapestry from her hospital wall. We took the tapestry with Mom from hospital to hospital to hospital, from neurologic rehab to neurologic rehab, and it now hangs on her bedroom wall:

For He will 
command 
his angels 
concerning 
you to 
guard you 
in all your 
ways.

Psalm 91:11


The essay to read about Susan Boyle

Update:  The Anchoress maybe has equalled or outdone Ms. Home's essay
And then we dare to think: “what if there is greatness in all of us?”

That’s quite a thought, isn’t it - almost subversive - that there may be greatness in each of us...?
[...]
Friar James Martin:
The way we see Susan Boyle is very nearly the way God sees us: worthwhile, special, talented, unique, beautiful.

The Beauty That Matters is Always On the Inside
by Colette Douglas Home


Watch Susan again.  Everything in moderation, but we've not had nearly enough yet.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Zo Nation: The Arrogance of Accusing America of Arrogance

For some reason, way in the back of my mind, I keep expecting Zo to run out of things to say.  He's not close to running out of things to say.  Zo is a poet: a fusion of beat and rap; Kerouac meets Tupac. 

The good part starts 50 seconds in.  You can kinda skip the first part.  Link 

Bo Knows Swimming; Dallas Tea Party; Baghdad Bob; Gagdad Bob



Dallas Tea Party, Cathy of Innocent Bystanders:







Dave in Texas found a budding Michelle Malkin at Dallas Tea Party:


She's got Malkin's impatient disgust down pat! Looks like she's impatiently, disgustedly tapping her foot: I can't believe I have to put up with these radical statists running the U.S. Government!

Budding Michelle Malkin reminds of something Gaghad Bob wrote yesterday. But, first, Bob wrote some awesome stuff about repentance = measuring the gap:
it is quite difficult to convert the errant person by simply pointing out his errors, for this only triggers the defensiveness, the "no," that lends him his false being. Think of a-theists. They define themselves by their opposition to God. Without God, what would they be? The "hole" at the center of their being would be exposed, so they would merely be a-holes.

Notice that Jesus rarely argued. Rather, he only offered. "Here it is. Take it or leave it." Thus, HvB says that the errant person is only "cured of his ways" by truly seeing the ideal, and then feeling repentance for his failure to live up to it. You might say that repentance is the measure of the gap between what we are and who we need to be. Which is why we never stop repenting, for we can never be God. And this, of course, is why no one repents more than the saint.
Then he wrote about misplaced spiritual drive, which "I place my hope in the return of the real Messiah" reminded me of:
the structure of a political perversion is really no different than the structure of a sexual one. For example, I remember a patient who had a lifetime shoe fetish. I won't bore you or gross you out with the details, but the point is that he had a sex drive, just like anyone else, except that it had become focused on a dysfunctional end: shoes instead of.

Now, we all have a "spiritual drive." That much is certain. But just like the sex drive, it can be derailed from its true end -- which can only be God -- and focused on other things. This, I believe, is perhaps the "universal key" that opens all forms of leftism, which are otherwise so impenetrable to reason.

To cite the most obvious example, look at the wave of messianic energy Obama rode in on. Does any truly religious person see him as anything more than a cipher for the projection of the misplaced spiritual energy of the left?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hot Chicks at Nashville Tea Party


h/t Webutante

Pray for Poop!

For my little cousin, William, born Saturday, who (hopefully) is fine after experiencing a meconium plug caused by mucus (hopefully), as opposed to something worse. After a barium enema, he has filled several diapers! Hooray! 

Yet, we are still praying for poop. Which, how often does one get to pray for poop? Everyone who sees fun in praying for poop is welcome to avail themselves of this opportunity!
`
`
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Hither, obviously




















Young Bette Davis

Araki, Watermelon

O'Keeffe, Iris

Edward Weston,
The Elegant Nude




Been thinking, during the interval since I so enjoyed being manipulated during the lead up to Susan Boyle's moment:
is it sometimes best to just allow yourself to be manipulated?
Sometimes, ought we just go with it?  Is it the best thing - and not only for the person doing the manipulating - but also for us?

Sometimes, isn't the us who is being manipulated actually the true us?  Isn't there something inside the manipulative circumstance which calls out to something true within us?  If so, isn't it - in a way - inauthentic for us to then resist?  Are we not resisting our true selves?  Conversely, in this scenario: if we give in to manipulation, aren't we giving in to our true selves?  Isn't that a good thing?

I resist manipulation. Maybe most do. We resisters have an obvious desire for control.  Also, I desire to be authentic - which is kind of a joke, b/c I'm inauthentic to an alarming degree. Still, allowing manipulation seems a move away from truth and towards fantasy.  Such must be bad, mustn't it? 

Maybe it's not bad. Maybe truth is in there. Maybe I should allow myself to be manipulated in situations which call to the truth of who I am.

I thought of the above photos & painting. To me, they are overtly, blatantly manipulative.  Unsubtle.  Almost embarrassingly ham-handed (see if you can see how; please email or comment if you have thoughts).  Yet, who am I to deny they call to me?  It is inauthentic to pretend they do not.

Anyway, the manipulation of "Britain's Got Talent" - which I as the manipulated fully enjoyed, and the manipulation of the photos & the painting - which I as the manipulated also fully enjoy: spur thoughts of being manipulated by a spouse.  We can resist being manipulated by a spouse: but, then, what have we really gained? Nothing that I can see.  If we resist, we lose.  

We can, of course, work to mature and grow the relationship; work to reduce instances of unjust manipulation.  However: who are we kidding? There's still going to be manipulation. 

Is allowing ourselves to be manipulated maybe more true, maybe more authentic, than resisting? Think, especially, of a marriage in which a loving spouse sees you better than you see yourself, and in which she manipulates you according to who she sees you truly are.  

Which, if your spouse sees you fully, how much more so God?   If your spouse lovingly manipulates you, how much more so God?  Danged dratriternal (s/b a word) nuisance conscience.

My authentic and true self definitely wants to go along with certain manipulations.  Aspects inside those manipulations speak to the true me.  I really and truly want to cheer Susan Boyle and cry like a blubbering fool.  That's who I truly am.  That's the authentic me.  The show manipulated me, and so what?  I enjoyed it.  Catharsis.  Truth.

It just ... seems odd ... to see a manipulation coming from miles and miles away: obvious, galumphing directly towards me, and to still give in and go along with it.  Offends my dignity!

Wish I understood what I'm trying to get at, because I do not!  Lettin' it marinate.  That often helps.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tea Parties Tomorrow!



Update 4: Jeff Goldstein, in We Are All Fringe Right Wing Extremists Now, quotes Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson:
Only in a highly politicized bureaucracy could the Constitution be viewed as a subversive manifesto.
In a total coincidence (not), DHS releases a a DHS report on right wing extremism was leaked on the day before the long scheduled Tea Party Protests.


Update 1: outstanding video, via Webutante

Texas Governor Rick Perry unapologetically issues a WAKE UP CALL AMERICA. Governor Perry stands un-neutered. In the simple act of doing so, of standing as God and the Founding Fathers and Sam Houston intended, of standing as any of us may stand, Gov. Perry appears as a Gulliver amongst Lilliputians:
"[O]ur federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state.... [I support efforts] to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.
[...]
There's a point ... where you stand up and say 'Enough is enough.' I think Americans, and Texans especially, have reached that point.”
I hope other governors are listening, and will be emboldened. I hope Americans are watching how the State of Texas gets out of the way and allows citizens and business persons space to breathe.


Update 2: A nice story, about Lloyd Marcus, the writer and singer of the "Tea Party Anthem".


Update 3: via Theo Spark






























Glenn Reynolds:
"Taxpayers have had enough. Fed up with excessive spending, planned tax increases and a federal government that first caused the financial bubble through misregulation, and then grabbed power in order to 'fix' it, they're hitting the streets to protest."










h/t

Susan Boyle on "Britain's Got Talent"

I'm a total sucker for this kind of stuff. A 100%, no holds barred, in all the way, total, complete,  sucker.

The show introduces Susan in a manipulative way which is a set up: showing her eating a sandwich; editing in a clownish bit of background musical riff; editing in a way which sets up Susan as a cousin of the Three Stooges.

Yet, I don't care that I was set up. Don't care a bit. Link.

The Anchoress adds detail.
Les Miserables, "I Dreamed A Dream"

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame.

And still
I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms
We cannot weather...

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
so different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Early 20th Century Baseball Uniforms

Colorized by uniform fan Larry Bodnovich, courtesy of Uni-Watch.

Luscious.






Rube Marquard and Chief Meyers in Brooklyn plaid.






John McGraw and Chicago's Frank Chance.

Notice the semi seersucker look of McGraw's uniform. The NYG also wore some plaid.

Lot's of teams wore very dark road uniforms, as Chance in this photo.






Fort Worth native(!) and greatest second baseman of all time: Rogers Hornsby.

Hornsby played
~12 seasons w/St. Louis Cardinals,
~1 season w/NYG,
~1 season w/Boston Braves,
~4 seasons with Chicago Cubs(1929-1932),
~5 seasons with St. Louis Browns.

Ted Williams said Hornsby was history's greatest combination of hitting for both power and batting average (lifetime average .358).



Update:

Classic Rogers Hornsby photo.

Caption:

"Any ballplayer that don't sign autographs for little kids ain't an American."
Rogers Hornsby