Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Hot: Midwestern Niece

For her hot swimming...

Kris-In-Law writes:

In her first season of swim team in the 8 and under group, she has successfully competed in every category offered in her age group: medley relay, free style relay, individual free, fly, breast, and back. Today she completed the individual medley race. Here is a picture of her during that race. She completed 25 meters each in fly, back, breast, and free!

That's hot.


Happy Birthday Bro64
Bro64's Classic Family Thanksgiving
Something Sweet
Radical Opposite of All Dead Things
They Forgot Santa Claus
Like a Military Operation
Which is my niece?
Playing Barbies, and being not the favorite uncle
My niece can never be allowed to date
The Spring Tulips
The Book of Dangerously Fun Words
6:45 AM: smile smile smile smile smile
Soccer game

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Southern Brother and fellow Temple College coaches

Southern Brother is on the right: #40, with the other two Temple College baseball coaches. Their team went to the NJCAA World Series this year in Grand Junction, CO. They lost, then won, then won, then lost. A respectable showing for a gritty team.

Southern Brother is 5'11". Coach Craig McMurtry, standing center, is just tall.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NAACP, via crying out an exculpatory claim, actually incriminates itself even more

James Taranto in WSJ:
When [NAACP leader] Jealous defends himself [and the NAACP] by claiming to have been "snookered" by Breitbart, it calls to mind the politician caught in a sex scandal who says: "Yeah, I slept with the girl. But you can't believe her, she's a prostitute!" Far from being exculpatory, the accusation against the accuser makes the admission even more incriminating, especially if the accusation is true.

On the surface, Breitbart's attempt to expose the NAACP as corrupt was a spectacular failure. His charge against Shirley Sherrod turned out to be false. The corollary charge against the NAACP was false in this instance.

Yet the NAACP's leaders rushed to the conclusion that it was true. To the extent that they did so because they had faith in Breitbart's credibility, they merely acted stupidly. To the extent that they did so because the charge rang true to them, their behavior suggests that there is truth to the broader accusation of corruption.

The NAACP's actions in this matter have not been what one would expect from an organization that is confident in its own integrity. We surmise that Jealous and his colleagues don't want you to think about that, and that this is why they are so eager to shift the blame to those who "snookered" them.

From Cousin Sara: Homecoming

I just saw my cousin, Sara, at her going away party, 3 weeks ago, on July 3. Sara is another of my beautiful girl cousins. Lah dee dah: I've got a million beautiful girl cousins. Their beauty and their density of number are amazing. When our family gets together, sometimes you can barely take a step w/o bumping into a beautiful cousin. A good number of them are End Zone commenter Emjay's granddaughters.

Anyway, a lot has happened in 3 weeks since July 3.

Sara's husband, Jon, is a U.S. Army lawyer. Jon is beginning service in Italy, so Sara and Jon left for their new home on July 5.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Future POTUS Piper Palin goes fishing and encounters bear


A man I know had suites at Texas Stadium and at The Ballpark in Arlington. He took his grandson to the Cowboys game, and they had fun. He took his grandson to the Rangers game, and they had fun. He took his grandson, on a sunsplashed day, to a TCU Football game. Grandpa was having a fine time. He asked grandson: "Are you having a good time?" Grandson said: "Well, yes, Grandpa, but why are we sitting outside?"

Piper Palin's life reminds of this. I expect she will one day be on a fishing trip, and she will say: "This is fun, but where are all the cameras?"

Some Journolisters helpfully taught others the purpose of journalism

Ed Morrissey:

Journolisters started debating whether the media should report on Fort Hood terrorist Nidal Hasan’s ties to radical Islamist terrorists. When Luke Mitchell of Harper’s argued that reporting on the ties would lead to something “alarmingly dangerous, such as the idea that there is a large conspiracy of Islamists at work in the United States,” Surowiecki reminded Mitchell and others of the entire purpose of journalism, emphasis mine:

“I find it bizarre that anyone would argue that an accurate description of what happened is somehow pointless,” Surowiecki said. “That is, that it’s not useful to offer up an accurate picture of Hasan’s actions because nothing obvious follows from it. We want, as much as possible, to have a clear picture of what’s actually going on in the world. Describing Hasan as a violent Islamist terrorist is much closer to the truth than describing him as a disturbed individual.”

One has to wonder why a journalist from Harper’s — and other publications — would need that reminder....

Government is not a multiplier of capital

Ed Morrissey:
We have spent the past two years pursuing the policies that failed in the 1970s, such as large government interventions in labor and goods markets and the imposition of massive regulatory regimes intended to manage the economy from the top down. We’re ignoring the policies that succeeded in the 1980s that eventually provided the antidote to the Keynesianism of the Nixon-Ford-Carter years, and that touched off a massive expansion of the American economy.

The semi-annual review shows that the Obama administration still hasn’t learned its lesson. It’s akin to having a money-losing product but trying to convince the bank that you can make up the losses in volume sales. At its heart, Obamanomics holds a central flaw: the idea that government acts as a multiplier to capital rather than a diluter and destructor of capital. The more capital it confiscates for its central-planning economics, the less we have for real growth. Some government oversight is necessary to prevent fraud and theft, but even that doesn’t act as a multiplier for the capital it consumes; it’s merely the rational cost of doing business.

Barack Obama still hasn’t learned that, but the voters have begun to figure it out.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Journolisters studied how to frame the Trig story to best help Obama's election chances

William A. Jacobson studies Journolister's interest in the "is Sarah Palin the mother of Trig" story. Journolisters were mostly concerned with how to frame the story so as to help Obama's election chances. Jacobson concludes:
The emerging picture of the Journolist is that it served as a place where like-minded people who had great influence on how the media portrayed events were able to coordinate their story lines for the benefit of the Obama campaign.

We saw the media bias on the surface; the Journolistas helped frame that bias below the surface.

Barack Protectors



Sunday, July 25, 2010

Timothy Dalrymple's Theory of the Missing Motive

Timothy Dalrymple observes that h/s and university faculty are overwhelmingly on the left, and many students go through entire academic careers w/o hearing conservative ideas be addressed in any more than the most shallow, dismissive fashion. Major media is overwhelmingly on the left, and many Americans who consume major media go through their lives w/o hearing conservative takes on issues be addressed in any more than the most shallow and dismissive fashion. Many Americans simply do not understand what conservatives believe. Dalrymple: "Thus, the Theory of the Missing Motive applies," i.e. it becomes easy, when trying to understand conservative motivation, to mistakenly reach for shallow stereotypes: ignorant, greedy, bigoted, et al. Dalrymple concludes:

Even among educated liberals, few have more than a single-layered view of conservatism. They may know the conservative argument superficially, and they are armed with their own objections, but they are ignorant of how conservatives would respond to their objections. This is worse than knowing nothing at all, as it gives liberals the false impression that they have addressed and defeated conservatism. Yet they have only conquered a Potemkin village, where the people are thin and false.


Liberals consistently misinterpret what motivates conservatives because they really cannot see the world from the conservative perspective. Liberals cannot imagine that Tea Partiers are really motivated by concern for their country….

Thus, the Theory of the Missing Motive applies. Unable to see a rational and noble motive at the center of the Tea Party movement, liberals supply a darker and more convenient motive instead. Just as ancient cartographers wrote "there be dragons here" beyond the bounds of the world they knew, so liberals write "there be racism here" because the mind of the Tea Partier is undiscovered country in their map of the world. The Tea Party cannot be rationally and nobly motivated, the liberal believes, because the Tea Partiers are not rational and noble.

In other words, the problem is not that liberals dislike the principles promoted at Tea Party rallies. Most do not understand those principles. The problem is that liberals dislike the kind of people who go to Tea Party rallies.

Long before liberals rejected the placards, they rejected the people holding them.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Was it ethical for Tucker Carlson to publish the leaked Journolist info?

~1~ Was it ethical for Tucker Carlson to publish the leaked info?

The answer partially hinges on whether or not a wrong was being committed. Opinion journalists were conspiring to use their professional platforms to suppress embarrassing info about Obama, to coordinate dissemination of memes about Palin, and to discredit any newspersons who embarrassed Obama. It's clear to me that wrongs were being committed – not by the existence of Journolist itself, but rather by the immoral actions of professionals who were shirking their professional duties to truthfully opine on the most important news; who were suppressing true opinion in service of political agenda. The unethical behavior of these opinion journalists is a big story – a big scandal – which will only fully set in as the truth about the unethical behavior seeps more and more into the consciousness of American citizens. Therefore, Tucker Carlson acted ethically in reporting the story.

Tucker Carlson:
"I don't think you can be a journalist and carry water for a politician, and that's what they were doing: 'Here's the line on Palin.' . . . These are political hacks, and I think they should stop calling themselves journalists. It discredits the rest of us."

Howard Kurtz of WaPo:
"But there is no getting around the fact that some of these messages, culled from the members-only discussion group Journolist, are embarrassing. They show liberal commentators appearing to cooperate in an effort to hammer out the shrewdest talking points against the Republicans -- including, in one case, a suggestion for accusing random conservatives of being racist."
"But there is no escaping the fact that some of the list's liberal literati come off sounding like cagey political operatives."

~2~ Was it ethical to for an insider to leak Journolist info to Tucker Carlson?

Tougher call. The leaker broke his word, yet did so in service of shining light on significant unethical behavior. My principles are this: once significant unethical behavior occurred, then the leaker was released from his commitment to keep the information secret. Your principles may be different. I say it was ethical for the insider to leak the info to Tucker Carlson.

~3~ How does the Journolist leak compare to the Palin emails leak?

The comparison of Journolist to Palin emails in an interesting initial thought. Yet, once fleshed out, the comparison does not hold up well.
First, the guy who stole the Palin emails broke the law; the Journolist leaker broke no law.

Second: the Journolist leaker was highlighting unethical behavior; the Palin email leaker was just releasing everything in a cast-a-wide-net hope to embarrass the candidate.

Third, in releasing the Palin emails, you create a lot of collateral damage amongst innocent civilians whose personal medical information, personal thoughts, personal prayers, and personal email addresses were put into the public domain. Journolist was about professionals who ought have calculated the risk of being on the list. The Palin emailers were rank civilians, most of whom never dreamed Palin would be on a Presidential ticket and thence targeted by the son of a Dem state senator. Most or all of those civilians had to change their email address, some had to make apologies to their friends for things said in private emails.

~4~ Is the contentious issue about "kicking around ideas in a bull session"?

No. Such is uncontentious. The issues were laid out in ~1~.

~5~ Is it a downside that anything a person puts in writing or says on video can be held against them?

No. Exposing oneself as a fool is a feature, not a bug.

~6~ What of professionals who undertake bland careers so as to not say anything which can later be used against them in a potential nomination, et al?

This is interesting, and I've considered this before. We're in a moment in media and societal history in which political demagogues can get away with a lot of mischaracterization; can overly influence voters via overemphasizing what ought be considered minor historical transgressions on the part of individuals, if such were even transgressions at the time they were committed. No human is perfect. For various reasons, at this moment in media and societal history, demagogues are able to overly punish other human beings for being human, i.e. for being imperfect, as every single human is. This moment shall pass. Until it does: nominees are being unfairly punished, and that is a shame; our nation is suffering a rash of bland, uncreative, uncharismatic nominees, and that is a shame.

~7~ Does an overplayed "scoop" invalidate the true scandals which have otherwise been reported?

From Kathleen Parker comes the idea that an overplayed scoop (about a UCLA Law Prof wanting to jerk a broadcasting license from Fox News) invalidates the true scandals which are being reported beside the overplayed scoop. Kathleen is engaged in fallacious reasoning.

~8~ What is "verbal ju jitsu"?

An excuse one flings out as cover for having gotten the worst of a reasoned argument.

~9~ Kathleen Parker: "Are we better off never having the ability to speak offhandedly among friends, to say in private what we could never say in public, to think aloud and uncensored?"

No. We are not better off. Yet, this Journolist scandal is not about that. The scandal is about professional opinion-journalists being engaged in unprofessional, unethical, immoral behavior, as explicated in ~1~. There is a difference. When Kathleen Parker misidentifies the scandal as being about mere offhand, private conversation + idea bouncing, then she either intentionally or unintentionally misleads her readers.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Hot: Tamara Standard is Yoga Girl


Video on 6th Street in San Francisco.

Tamara draws us in. She is engaging, demonstrates leadership, is full of life, is sporting outstanding dental hygiene. We instinctively sense she will jump in beside us for life's activities: will hike to the top of the mountain with us, will jump in beside us for whatever needs doing - gardening, cleaning, whatever. Tamara is up for it.

A large part of Tamara's appeal generates from the balance, happiness, and energy which she derives from her yoga practice. Decent, well adjusted, regular American girls are more appealing than most of the celebrities which our culture celebrates. Tamara is more appealing than most any actress or model we could name (and is equally appealing with the rest!).

Tamara used to teach yoga, at Fort Bliss in El Paso, to the soldiers and their spouses. She loves Texas. We love anyone who loves soldiers and Texas.

Take a look, in the better light of the studio video at Tamara's website, at how strong she is: look at the definition in her shoulders and arms. If you were unfamiliar with the physicality of yoga, you might never suspect that Tamara is a very strong girl. Some yoga poses, which seemingly require expert balance, actually depend to a greater extent on coordinated strength amongst muscle groups. Tamara is strong throughout all her muscle groups. Such is difficult to achieve. We exercisers typically develop popular muscles, while accidentally ignoring less popular muscles. Yoga helps us be strong all over. Yoga is the healthiest workout I know of; is the most balanced and complete workout I know of.

Tamara envisions bringing yoga studios to economically depressed areas of SF. I stand beside her in saying yoga can help any of us turn our lives around. Yoga helps us be healthier - which triggers all types of positive benefits in capability, energy, stamina, brain chemistry (peptides; endorphins!), happiness, and more. Yoga is an effective tool for turning lives around - just as Alcoholics Anonymous is an effective tool for turning lives around, just as the Salvation Army is an effective tool, just as a good friendship or a good marriage are effective tools. If you want to take a look at Tamara's vision, her website has more info.

Update: excellent Facebook video, by Rosalyn Fay, in which Tamara explains her story. Also: Yoga Girl Facebook page.

Tamara's faith in yoga as armor reminds of Cha Cha's OODA Loop was tighter; her willing spirit reminds of Lisa Hannigan: I Don't Know [But I Am Game].


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Super-determined little girls of summer

Needing to complete a cell phone conversation: pulled off the road to watch soccer camp at TCU while I did so. Watched an 11 person team of 19-20ish year old camp counselors sequentially take on various age groups of campers in 10 minute scrimmages. At one point, an entire 18 girl team of 10-11ish year old girls charged onto the field, en masse, and played with endearing determination. There were so many of them on the pitch: they were like ants who played with supremely determined body language and flying pony tails. They chased the ball and the counselors all over the field. Their enthusiasm and energy never flagged. They were out there to give those counselors a serious game, and nothing was going to prevent their doing exactly that.

And thats all I have to say. I just really enjoyed watching those super-determined little girls of summer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

For some Arabs: hatred is their self esteem

I have reasoned this: Arafat, in 2000, when offered 90% of all his demands by Ehud Barak at Camp David, rejected Barak's offer b/c Arafat's ultimate goal was to drive Israeli Jews into the Mediterranean.

Brigette Gabriel, Why Do Arabs Hate Israel?
I was raised in Lebanon where I was taught that the Jews are evil, Israel is the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea...

Shelby Steele suggests another motive for Arafat: to have accepted Barak's offer would have resulted in Arabs being forced "to forego hatred as consolation and meaning". Steele also mentions Arabs being forced to forgo victim status as explanation for lack of modernity.

I would reshape this last assertion, and here's why: Islam and tribalism, in many areas of life, actively oppose modernity. Therefore, I would say foregoing victim status would force Arab Muslims to forgo a beloved explanation for why Islam is not currently dominating the world, i.e. would force Arab Muslims into a reckoning about the supposed infallibility of the Koran and the Hadith, as well as into a reckoning about the continued viability of many tribal principles and values which are centuries old and are revered.

Arafat had two choices:
1] peace, and the inevitable religious and tribal reckonings which would follow; or
2] instigation of war.

Arafat feared the reckonings, and chose instigation of war. It's as simple as that. If, as consequence of war, Israeli Jews were eventually driven into the Mediterranean? Bonus! Thank goodness Arafat, the smiling lying evil murderous corrupt animal-sex pervert, is dead.

Shelby Steele:

Palestinians—and for that matter much of the Middle East—are driven to militancy and war not by legitimate complaints against Israel or the West but by an internalized sense of inferiority. If the Palestinians got everything they want—a sovereign nation and even, let's say, a nuclear weapon—they would wake the next morning still hounded by a sense of inferiority. For better or for worse, modernity is now the measure of man.

And the quickest cover for inferiority is hatred. The problem is not me; it is them. And in my victimization I enjoy a moral and human grandiosity—no matter how smart and modern my enemy is, I have the innocence that defines victims. I may be poor but my hands are clean. Even my backwardness and poverty only reflect a moral superiority, while my enemy's wealth proves his inhumanity.

In other words, my hatred is my self-esteem. This must have much to do with why Yasser Arafat rejected Ehud Barak's famous Camp David offer of 2000 in which Israel offered more than 90% of what the Palestinians had demanded. To have accepted that offer would have been to forgo hatred as consolation and meaning. Thus it would have plunged the Palestinians—and by implication the broader Muslim world—into a confrontation with their inferiority relative to modernity. Arafat knew that without the Jews to hate an all-defining cohesion would leave the Muslim world. So he said no to peace.

And this recalcitrance in the Muslim world, this attraction to the consolations of hatred, is one of the world's great problems today—whether in the suburbs of Paris and London, or in Kabul and Karachi, or in Queens, N.Y., and Gaza. The fervor for hatred as deliverance may not define the Muslim world, but it has become a drug that consoles elements of that world in the larger competition with the West. This is the problem we in the West have no easy solution to, and we scapegoat Israel—admonish it to behave better—so as not to feel helpless. We see our own vulnerability there.

Steele has more essay at the link, and it is smart stuff.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm pretty sure Jesus doesn't care what you do with semen

This blogpost deserves a place inside the conversation about which The Bloggess post is the funniest:

As always, profanity warning, along with every type of bad taste warning imaginable.


Completely adorable twitpic of moving day.

Sample @TheBloggess tweets, from after she moves into a new house. Work from top to bottom:

We've been here 1 day and we've found 2 scorpions in our house. Stung once already. Stop being such an asshole, Texas Hill Country.
2:34 PM Jul 5th via web

No, I can't buy a chicken to curb the scorpion infestation problem because we also have a fox infestation problem.
2:47 PM Jul 5th via web

Ooh. Unless we had a TON of chickens so there were too many for the foxes to handle.
2:49 PM Jul 5th via web

Okay, text ads for sale for $75 *OR* a truckload of fast chickens.
2:50 PM Jul 5th via web

No, y'all. I can't get a lion to eat the foxes that eat the chickens that eat the scorpions. Because we have deed restrictions.
3:07 PM Jul 5th via web

The exterminator is here to murder all the scorpions. He did *not* bring a lion. I'm starting to question his expertise.
about 13 hours ago via web

@#$%!^&! The exterminator just accidentally let in a wasp. This whole thing seems counterintuitive.
about 12 hours ago via web

At the closest restaurant to our new house. They specialize in live bait, uhauls, and computer repair. And tacos.
about 8 hours ago via Echofon

Holy shit. Some guy just walked in and yelled "Frank! I need some goddam worms!" at our waiter. He paid by check.
about 8 hours ago via Echofon

He paid by check. For worms. Also, our waiter's name is not even close to being "Frank". Oh Texas Hill Country, Never change.
about 8 hours ago via Echofon

Okay, I just had the best Mexican food in my life. Well-played, "Frank's bait & taco".
about 8 hours ago via Echofon

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sara Carbonero kiss

Bringing the Sara saga full circle:

after the championship game...

Most adorable couple in existence? They're in the running.

Diagrams of a World Cup play

Championship Game: Espana vs Netherlands, 3rd minute of overtime

Espana had ball inside Netherlands goal box; attempted two quick and short touch passes inside close quarters. Netherlands defended closely; gained control of ball; headed upfield on offense. Behind the play, the three Spanish players writhed on the ground in great pain: their arms flopped overhead, they rolled from side to side, they were obvious victims of vicious fouls by the Netherlands. Except, replays showed that none of the Spanish players were fouled; only one of them was even touched. The Spaniards, after writhing on the ground for some seconds - thence noticing they had not drawn fouls, and that Netherlands was approaching midfield with the ball - bravely jumped up and ran back to join in on defense.

Official diagrams: Espana in blue; Netherlands in orange

Scene One: Extreme close quarters; all players within 20 feet of each other; elapsed time of action = 1.5 seconds

Scene Two

The touches happened very quickly: touch touch interception, with all action happening inside 1.5 seconds, and immediately followed by the Spanish players going down, simultaneously, landing prone w/feet towards the center. Because the three Spaniards went down simultaneously, flailing their arms above their heads, therefore the Spaniards looked exactly like American football players doing the "grenade" celebration after a touchdown - as demonstrated, below, by the senior members of the 2006 Red Raider Marching Band:


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Almost psychic

I just realized: during a Thus July 8 comment at this Baseball Time in Arlington post, I speculatively and accidentally predicted the Rangers preferred offer for Cliff Lee: Chris Davis + Blake Beavan. Like the Rangers, I would have been happy to do Chris Davis + Beavan, b/c I think Smoak is better suited for batting success in playoffs and World Series games.

Here was my comment at BBTiA:


I like the point that making the playoffs is worth $25-$30 Million to a franchise. However, thats also a reason keep the high value prospects and run off 6-8 seasons of deadly serious World Championship contention.

To some extent, the persons/media who say "sell everything and go for it this season!" are pessimists; are shell-shocked by decades of Rangers baseball futility. To some extent, these persons cannot envision a 6-8 year run of dominance; cannot envision a Rangers franchise being a massive baseball power over several consecutive seasons. These pessimists are thinking small. Think big!

I love Cliff Lee. A good trade is always a good trade. However, the Rangers control a number of players who could be monstrous good over time. I don't want to see those players depart. I like Chris Davis; I like Beavan. If we have to give up Davis + Beavan type prospects, I am thrilled with a trade. If we give up Holland type prospects, we are small minded pessimists and we deserve to continue in baseball futility.


Oddly related:
I allllmost nailed a spectacular Texas Rangers prediction

I'm on a roll! My next prediction ..........
a workout shall happen at 8:30 this morning!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Rangers acquire Cliff Lee, Mark Lowe, $2M

For 1B Justin Smoak, AAA Starter Blake Beavan, AA Reliever Josh Leucke, AA 2B Matt Lawson.

I would not have made this trade. Smoak and Beavan are too talented to trade away for 2 1/2 months of Cliff Lee. If Cliff Lee signs here long term (a slim possibility, but a better possibility today than yesterday), then this trade will have been worth it.

That said, the Rangers could have given up more - a lot more. Am immediately intrigued by the secondary considerations.

Mark Lowe is a Francisco Cordero clone who will heavily contribute to this season's pennant race and to any playoff games which occur is recovering from back surgery and is likely out for this season. Lowe pairs a 95 mphish+ 2 seam fastball (which runs in on the hands of RH hitters - just as Cordero's does) with a sharp slider (reminiscent of Cordero's slider). Lowe has touched 98, and not infrequently. This is a World Championship quality reliever - a potential closer - whom the Rangers will control through the end of the 2012 season. Lowe went to high school in Sugarland and college at UTArlington, and therefore offers Texas/local appeal to Rangers fans.

Blake Beavan has a body and a fastball which are reminiscent of Colby Lewis. Also reminiscent of Lewis: Beavan has elite fastball control which he uses to set up all his other pitches. Losing Beavan is painful. He's going to go to Seattle and pitch 200+ innings for 6 consecutive seasons. He's going to make a couple of All Star Teams. He's going to kick the Rangers' derrieres season after season after season. I am going to hate it. Worse: Beavan is a local kid, hailing from Irving, TX. Rangers fans would have appreciated that aspect of Beavan; would have taken him into their hearts. Like Lowe, Beavan is a World Championship caliber pitcher. He's been overlooked and underrated by fans and media who follow the Rangers. He will rectify that - possibly as soon as April, 2011. Beavan will put some hurt on the American League West. Sooner, rather than later, Rangers media who have underrated Beavan will suddenly remember that they always knew he would be very good; they always wrote and said that he would be very good. When they remember that, I will laugh. Bitterly.

I've seen Leucke pitch. He came out of nowhere. He throws mid to upper 90s and has a slider. He's a nice prospect, and he's the type prospect the Rangers needed to package in a trade, as the Rangers are facing future 40 man roster problems.

Matt Lawson is a polished 2B in all aspects. He reminds, a bit, of Cubs 2B Ryan Theirot, insofar as both players are well rounded, can make all the plays, can handle the bat, are smart and gritty winning players, and do not have any one tool which wows you. Lawson, if he has the luck to find the right situation, could be a major league starter for some years. Lawson, also, is the type player the Rangers must trade in order to avoid future 40 man roster problems.

I would not have traded Smoak straight up for Cliff Lee. Smoak's approach at the plate is rare; is elite; is EXACTLY what any team needs in order to win in playoff situations. When it's the 8th inning of a close World Series Game, every single team in baseball needs a Justin Smoak coming to bat with runners on base. By approx. 2012, there won't be a single Ranger whom you would prefer to hit in that situation over Justin Smoak. Kinsler will be the best Rangers hitter in that situation, yet Smoak will be his equal. Nelson Cruz will be the second best Rangers hitter in that situation, yet Cruz will not be superior to Smoak. Elvis will equal Smoak in shrewdness in big situations, except Smoak will pack more power. Michael Young will not equal Smoak, and neither will the Rangers own flawed Achilles: Josh Hamilton. Losing Smoak is painful.

Onward. Cliff Lee is fabulous. Mark Lowe will be exactly what any franchise needs. Chris Davis is a Longview, TX boy whose defense is premium; whose offense is probably ready. The 2010 Rangers are solidly better, now, than they were 2 hours ago. And they were already a raucously talented ballclub.

Cliff Lee is from Benton, Arkansas. NO ONE from Benton, Arkansas is a New York City type of person. NO ONE. Cliff Lee is a natural Texas Ranger. Finish the sale of the club. Sign Cliff Lee long term. Pay the huge price. Get it done. It's worth it.

Rangers Starting Rotation for the pennant race:



Final note

It's not what I would do, but: the Rangers do retain the minor league depth to make another huge trade and still retain a stocked minor league system. I wouldn't do it, but the Rangers could do it, and it's something to keep in mind.

Friday Hot: Sexy World Cup Girls

Keep scrolling.


Spain's coach, also, is vindicated after my criticism of his keeping his players away from wives and girlfriends. Although, I do wonder exactly what has gone on with his players during the last 3 weeks in S. Africa? Hmmm.

C.C. Sabathia vs Colby Lewis

Through July 9, 2010

Sabathia 3.19
Lewis 3.33

Batting Average Against
Sabathia .227
Lewis .209

Sabathia 1.15
Lewis 1.12

Innings Pitched
Sabathia 124
Lewis 110.2

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Yielding to a threat usually fails

“[I]f you yield to a threat, you do so in order to avoid war, and more often than not, you do not avoid war. For those before whom you have thus openly demeaned yourself by yielding, will not stop there, but will seek to extort further concessions, and the less they esteem you the more incensed will they become against you.”

– Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses Book II, Chapter 14

I allllmost nailed a spectacular Texas Rangers prediction

On June 6, I predicted the Texas Rangers would go 22-5 for the month. They went 21-6. Dang it. So close. What's really frustrating: they ought have been significantly better than 21-6, i.e. they ought have gone maybe 24-3. They underperformed by about 2-3 victories. Still, I do get the satisfaction of being proven to not be the insane person it appeared I was.

Here's why my predictions sometimes seem odd: I watch the Rangers for myself, I watch the players closely, and I form my own opinions. I don't rely overly on statistics; I don't rely overly on what "scouts" are saying. I rely on my own eyes. Therefore, my amateur opinions are often at odds with the "scouts", and are almost always at odds with the casual fan's opinion.

The casual fan, plus most media (such as Jennifer Engels of the Star-Telegram) are currently plenty frustrated by Justin Smoak, and are demanding that the .210 hitting Smoak be sent to the minors. I think Justin Smoak is going to be a star, mostly b/c he has a shrewd batting eye to pair with outstanding hitting ability. I think the frequency of Smoak's excellent at bats is very high for a rookie. I think Smoak has played a crucial role in the Rangers line-up: occupying the batting slot immediately in front of the light hitting catchers. Therefore, I think Smoak has been contributing this season in a way in which few of the free swinging Rangers could have contributed. I would not trade the .210 hitting Smoak straight up for 2 months of Cliff Lee, much less package Smoak with Holland, as most Cliff Lee fantasizers are speculating.

Anyway, when I watch with my own eyes, and give my own true opinions, sometimes my opinions are way out there and way wrong: I thought Ramon Nivar would be a star CF; thought Jason Botts would rake; thought Chris Young would become dominant.

Still, sometimes my opinions are better than the professional opinions. I knew the Ian Kinsler for Larry Walker trade was stupid (the Rangers weren't ready to win that season, therefore giving up Kinsler was stupid). I knew the John Danks trade was stupid (the Rangers weren't ready to win that season, either). I saw, with my own eyes, something seemingly no one else saw: the rookie Nelson Cruz was getting yanked around in and out of the line-up by an airheaded Ron Washington. Therefore, the rookie could not get comfortable and in a groove. Therefore, I knew putting Nelson Cruz on waivers was stupid. And I almost knew the Rangers were going to go 21-6 in June. I was thiiiiiis cloooooose. There's plenty of stuff I've missed on. But sometimes I get it more correct than Jon Daniels.

Current advice for Jon Daniels?

Forget trading for a pitcher this season. The price, which is giving up the best arms in the organization, is too high. Instead of giving away the future in a trade, Daniels should go with this rotation in August, September, and in the playoffs:

Colby Lewis
C.J. Wilson
Tommy Hunter
Derek Holland
Neftali Feliz

Holland and Feliz have better arms than Daniels could trade for. If they are starting pitchers during August and Sept, then they will be ready to be starting pitchers in the playoffs. Think Colorado in the 2008 World Series with the young starting pitchers. Thats the goal. Holland and Feliz are ready to meet that standard. Why in the world would the Rangers stand in the way of Holland and Feliz fulfilling their destiny? All I can figure: a prophet is never respected in his own hometown. The Rangers are undervaluing the readiness and the quality of their own talent.


Harden (is ready to pitch better; is a natural reliever, imo)

Remember: you need a maximum of four starting pitchers during the playoffs. Therefore, the playoff bullpen could have another power arm during the playoffs, i.e. either C.J. Wilson, Feliz, or Holland.

Want still another power arm in the bullpen? How greedy are you? Well, you can have it: Tanner Scheppers. He'll be major league ready by August 1. Think of David Price's dominant pitching out of Tampa Bay's bullpen in the 2008 playoffs. Price first came to the major leagues as a September call up at the end of the 2008 regular season.

There is no need for Daniels to make a trade in which he must give up arms such as Hunter, Holland, Ogando, Scheppers, Martin Perez. The Rangers have spectacular young pitchers (Hunter, Holland, Feliz, Ogando, Scheppers) who are ready to succeed in the major leagues this season. Loosen the reins; let the horses run. Let Neftali Feliz out of the gate in the first inning!

Feds file suit against Arizona illegal immigration law

Ace of Spades:
It is accepted constitutional law (whether you agree or not, it's accepted) that states cannot pass laws which conflict with federal law in areas of federal jurisdiction.

In this case, however, the Arizona law does not conflict with federal law; it in fact restates it.


So yes, federal law trumps state law, but does mere federal policy trump state policy, especially when federal policy is in fact at odds with its own stated law?

Can the feds basically argue that it's their policy to ignore the law and then demand that Arizona be instructed by the Supreme Court to follow them in their policy of ignoring the law?

Well, the feds obviously can and are arguing that. Can they win the argument? Maybe on grounds of national interest vis a vis immigration as a vital component of foreign policy? Except, if the Executive is set up as all powerful arbiter of immigration, then Legislative Branch power is usurped.

I say this case is a big deal. If the Executive doesn't want AZ enforcing law which is identical to existing federal law, then the Executive ought lead the Legislative Branch into changing existing federal law into something which the Executive finds palatable. I say the Legislative Branch can lawfully curtail the actions of the State of Arizona. The Executive cannot. This federal lawsuit must fail: the State of Arizona deserves to prevail.


Bonus: from PJTV, my favorite Barack spoof so far.

Bill Whittle said the one thing Barack cannot weather is the public laughing at him. Because Barack is propped up as a super intelligent transcendent savior, therefore Barack is set up for a catastrophic Humpty Dumpty fall; for public ridicule via a "the King has no clothes" moment; for a pull back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz moment of clarity. Barack can weather heated criticism. What he cannot weather is scornful laughter from his public. He cannot weather being made to look ridiculous. A transcendent savior barely gets to look mortal; definitely does not get to look ridiculous.

If the public begins to scornfully laugh at Barack, things could go really bad for him in a hurry. Really, deeply bad. The only supporters who would remain for him would be the same bleeding hearts and/or race-first supporters who believed OJ was innocent.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Geico's Abe Lincoln commercial is an instant classic



New Black Panthers voter intimidation: the case against the DOJ just got legs

Wow. Wow wow wow. On video, Mr. New Black Panther exclaims:

"I hate white people! All of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate em.


You want freedom? You gonna have to kill some crackers! You gonna have to kill some of they babies!"

Jennifer Rubin has done the reporting legwork on the DOJ's dismissal of the case they had already won against the New Black Panthers. In a comprehensive article on June 21 in The Weekly Standard, Rubin covered the damning actions of the DOJ, then zeroed in the biggest issue:

While the interference by political appointees in the NBPP case has been egregious, there is a critical issue with implications far beyond this single case: Whether the attorneys who populate the civil rights division of the Justice Department believe that civil rights laws exist only to protect minorities from discrimination and intimidation by whites.


Former voting rights attorneys confirm that the belief is omnipresent in the Justice Department. DoJ attorneys openly criticized the Panther case, objecting not to any lack of evidence or to the legal arguments but to the notion that any discrimination case should be filed against black defendants. There are instances of attorneys refusing to work on cases against minority defendants. In 2005, for example, Coates pursued, filed, and won a case (upheld on appeal to the Fifth Circuit in 2009) of egregious voter discrimination by black officials in Noxubee County, Mississippi. Colleagues criticized Coates for filing the case and refused to work on it.

Liberal civil rights lawyers argue that because “a history of official discrimination” can be one subsidiary factor in voting cases it “wipes out every other factor” and prohibits cases from being brought against blacks. And further, that since “socio-economic” factors can be considered in determining whether voting discrimination has occurred, these cases cannot be brought against black defendants until there is economic parity between blacks and whites. Such attorneys use phrases like “traditional civil rights cases” and “traditional civil rights victims” to signal that only minority victims and white perpetrators concern them. Justice sources tell me that career attorneys have been “assured” that cases against minority defendants won’t be brought.

Update: three DOJ officials come forward to vouch for the veracity of whistle blower J. Christian Adams.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I noticed a woman at the dog park

She finished an intense conversation on her cell phone, and she seemed shaken. I asked, "Are you okay?" She said, "I'm okay. It's just ... when you've been married for 25 years ... it's so hard to fight."

Maria McKee, at the apex of her beauty and skill:

Back to the dog park:

I said, "Not to minimize, at all, what you are going through, but: if your relationship was always easy, you wouldn't like it. Nobody would. The difficult part is what makes it interesting, and worthwhile."

Presumptuous. A cardinal sin in this situation is to say anything which seems anything at all like trying to solve the other person's problem. Another cardinal sin is to say anything which could have come off of a bumper sticker. So sue me. She did seem to appreciate the sentiment, and therefore I have hopes she truly did appreciate it.

After, I realized at least one person did need to hear the bumper sticker slogan: me. I needed to hear that the hard part is what makes it great. It's an obvious thing, yet I had forgotten it. Life is funny: the lady aided me.

"Everything has already been said, and well said; but one must always recall it anew." .... -Frithjof Schuon

Monday, July 05, 2010

Baby Its Cold Outside - Norah Jones and Willie Nelson

Willie is a master of phrasing, and of putting authenticity and humanity into his performances. Norah is a master of phrasing, and she's working on that other thing, with pleasing results..

I wrote about Norah in March 2008:

The first thing to notice about Norah is her immense talent. Much of her performance is in her soulful intonations. The second thing to notice is that Norah sings for people who love music. She doesn't perform for the larger audience, as Johnny Cash did so well. Why?

Like a lot of famous girl singers: Norah is a naturally shy girl. Watch the song below: her eyes do not connect with audience as she sings - a signal of shyness. Watch, also, at the very end, when the applause flows. At a moment when most country music girls would be greeting the applause with ebullient, gleaming smiles: Norah seems almost embarrassed. Culture may be a factor: Norah is Indian, and Indians are modest about public display. Also, Norah may simply consider bigger performance to be artistically ungraceful. When you are as talented as Norah Jones, you simply let your talent flow out, and you let audience members experience it as they will.

Norah may not realize it, but there are millions of $ waiting for her if she ever goes full out into country music. Or, she may realize it and just not care. She lives in a not-too-large apartment in NYC. She has comfortable income, she has close friends in the city, and she plays at and haunts NYC nightspots most nights of the week. There, she can play and try out any new or experimental type of music which catches her fancy; can go to a club where she is known, and ask if she may play a set or two.

Encore example of Norah and "performing": a duet with Keith Richards[fast forward to the 2:00 minute mark]. He is old, wrinkled, lecherous; she is young, beautiful, modest. He can't sing; she can. He pulls her in close to his old man breath; she bravely sings through it.

HOWEVER, Keith Richards, from 18 inches away, is giving Norah Jones a lesson in performing. Love HURTS, and you can feel it in everything about his outstanding performance. He is performing; she is being careful to hit correct notes. The difference is easy to see. He, with a lifetime lived, with a lifetime of performances under his belt, is conveying the essence of the song. I don't know if she notices the lesson, or if she cares about the lesson. But she should. I like to think she does, and that she is gradually maturing both as a person and as a performer.

The End Zone likes girl singers:

Maria McKee
Desiree Bassett: Best Girl Guitarist
Imelda May:
1) "Don't You Do Me No Wrong", & "I've Got a Lover",
2) "Johnny Got a Boom Boom", & "Big Bad Handsome Man"
Daniela Mercury
Lisa Hannigan
Joan Baez:
1) w/ Earl Scruggs: "Love is Just a Four Letter Word",
2) "Diamonds and Rust"
Lady Gaga and Elton John at 2010 Grammys
Jenny Silver
Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile and Norah Jones
Norah Jones and Willie Nelson: Baby Its Cold Outside
Kelly Clarkson
Carrie Underwood has perfect balance in her batting stance.
Julianne Hough has booty.
Susan Boyle: Les Miserables, "I Dreamed A Dream"

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ya can't make this stuff up - recurring MSM edition

Newsweek Magazine is watching subscribers sprint away, is hemorrhaging millions of $ a year in losses, and therefore is up for sale in exchange for anything anyone will offer. Ya got an old TV? Toss it to WaPo, and they will sell you Newsweek Magazine.

Unless you are politically conservative. Newsmax Magazine made a bid which was rejected by WaPo for this reason: Newsmax magazine is too conservative. Bolding and coloring is mine:

[T]he issue for the Post Company has become whether it can find a new owner that the company’s chairman and chief executive, Donald E. Graham, believes will be a suitable steward for the magazine.

That is the main reason the Post Company decided not to entertain offers from Newsmax or Mr. Ritchie, according to these people. The conservative political ideology of Newsmax’s chief executive, Christopher Ruddy, is at odds with the editorial bent of Newsweek, which strives to be apolitical in its news coverage though is often criticized as left-leaning.

Ya can't make this stuff up. All of the above is reported by NYT with an absolutely straight face. And with utmost professionalism, we may be assured. If, a month ago, you had publicly proposed that WaPo would defraud her stockholders - via blatantly walking away from an intensified bidding war and resultant potential profit - so as to promote ideology, the left would have savaged you as a frothing insane Ann Coulter-style extremist.

Oil Spill Video Timeline of Obama Nonresponse

which absolutely slams Pres. Obama upside the head with the reality of his own nonaction.
For political reasons, Obama and allies act as if the oil spill is mainly about failure to plug the leak. Media pick up this meme, refresh it, and muddle things in cynical fashion. It is not failure to plug the spill which drives us really crazy. What drives us really crazy is failure to handle the clean-up in anything which approaches competent and responsible fashion. At this point, even mediocrity would be welcome, yet mediocrity is nowhere to be found. Things are much much much worse than mediocrity. Mediocrity is a seemingly impossible dream.

Pres. Obama said "we will not rest" until this problem is solved. Yeah, right.

Unlike Pres. Obama, Governor Jindal is not resting until the problem is solved. Unlike Pres. Obama, Governor Jindal is on top of and has an easy command of the facts; is not afraid to tell the facts, and in the process of telling the facts is not afraid to criticize the feckless U.S. Government in multiple areas.
This audio of Governor Jindal is well worth a few minutes.


To ask [about Candidate Obama's qualifications and history] was deemed churlish. UnAmerican. Bigoted.

[T]he President was presumed a capable executive because he ran a campaign. The proof was entirely circular, but through some peculiar myopia no real questions were asked. To demand the sealed transcripts, to ask about the absence of articles for the Harvard Law review, to raise the non-existent legislative record was deemed churlish. UnAmerican. Bigoted. The fact that he had come so far was proof that he was qualified to come so far. And there the matter rested.


Barack Obama’s incompetence, if indeed he is incompetent, results directly from a flawed political and media process that allowed such a candidate to go forward. It’s a failure of quality control. It’s an indictment of the gatekeepers and of the media in particular.

Now, MSM are protecting Pres. Obama via pretending public anger at the White House is largely about inability to plug the leak. This meme is a lie. MSM's proactive promotion of this lie amounts to a media scandal which is hiding in plain sight. MSM protected Candidate Obama, and are now protecting Pres. Obama. MSM are calling down a reckoning upon their own heads.



Terry Anderson in WSJ on close-in oil drilling:
[M]ore onshore [oil] development would certainly be safer. In early June there was a blowout in western Pennsylvania. Did you see it on the nightly news? No, because it was capped in 16 hours. The Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates oil and gas production there, recorded 102 blowouts of oil and gas wells since the start of 2006, resulting in 10 fires, 12 injuries, and two deaths. None of those made the nightly news either. The largest oil spill on Alaska's North Slope in 2006 was from a pipeline leak. It dumped only 6,357 barrels and had no disastrous impacts.


A lot could be said about the following clip, in several areas and in several respects, and both positive, negative, and humorous. Mainly, Bill Clinton is more relaxed and more interesting than when in office.

Watching Pres. Clinton, one realizes most executives would be more effective than Barack Obama. Even Bill Clinton, when measured against Barack Obama, is a comparative selfless patriot and a massively more effective executive. If most U.S. Presidents had been as helpless and ineffective as Pres. Obama, then Pres. Clinton would already be on Mount Rushmore.

Related End Zone: