Saturday, January 30, 2010

Perry Jones, future Baylor Bear

Only a couple days after finding out who Perry Jones is, i.e. the third ranked basketball recruit in the nation, and a future Baylor Bear, I walked into the Grand Prairie gym to watch Cousin Jacob play basketball, and ... what the (?!) ... thats Duncanville and PERRY JONES warming up down at the far end of the court! Alright! I was psyched. And Perry Jones did not disappoint.



Before beginning: Cousin Jacob did not disappoint. I've seen him play half a dozen times, and his court savvy is a pleasure to watch. He's a forward who can shoot it and dish it. When he's on the court, he is THE leader of his team. They all look to him during tough moments. Kudos, Jacob.



Perry Jones

First, his demeanor was excellent. Duncanville won big, yet Perry Jones did not taunt. He was classy and dignified throughout. He gave good effort.

Second, Perry Jones did not hog the ball. He played within Duncanville's system; supported and cheered on his teammates. He dished. He moved inside the offense.

Third, Perry Jones is amazing: he is 6'10"ish, yet can do everything. He played in the post, yet showed an outstanding stroke from 17 feet and from 21 feet. At one point, he thought about launching from 23 feet, then thought better of it. His shot has a natural high arc, making it difficult to block.

Perry Jones' versatility and skills reminded me, really, of Detlef Schrempf. Perry handles it like Paul Pressey: once leading a break up the middle of a crowded court, and no one was going to take it from him: the ball was on a string. Perry dishes it like Detlef; blocks shots like Kirilenko. Perry crosses over his dribble like a guard: not high and sloppy, but tight - difficult for a defender to counter.

You put it together - the size, the dignified demeanor, the skills - how good can Perry Jones be? His defensive footwork, OF COURSE, needs work. EVERY high school kid needs work on defense. That said, I expect Perry Jones would start, next year, for any college in the nation. I expect he would be the featured player for many colleges. I expect an NBA team like the Mavs, who draft late in each draft, would happily give up, right now, a couple years of draft choices for the honor of making Perry Jones rich.

I don't know what kind of scorer Perry Jones will be. I don't know if he will be a dominant scorer, as dominant scorers must be aggressively selfish, and the Perry Jones I saw was consciously fitting in with his teammates. I don't know if Perry can dial up the aggression at will, or if he will always be a Detlef Schrempf style of glue player. Either way: the result will be good.

Perry Jones in summer 2009, at a Las Vegas Showcase. The first part of the video is a bunch of dunks which are kind of boring. For a taste of what I saw last night, watch the ball handling between 1:00 and 1:20 (and at 1:33). Then skip backwards and watch it again. I did.





You Tube shows another 2010 Baylor Recruit: Stargell Love.




`

NYT blogger calls Christina Hendricks fat; posts digitally widened photo of her; gets slammed

`
Anytime NYT gets slammed - even a NYT blogger - it's a feel good story!


Non widened image of Christina at the Golden Globes:




She looks fantastic! I'm a Christina Hendricks fan: she was born to fill out a dress.






















Re the Golden Globes dress, my comments at Webutante and here:
It was a Hollywood event, and she wore a Hollywood dress. I like it when actresses have fun dressing glamorously and being photographed. It's a campy occasion, and actresses ought have fun with it. How many times in life do you get to dress up your best body and face in maximum glamour? Christina enjoyed it, and I liked that.

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

one-woman campaign to return female body concept to a glorious natural state.



Beloved Emjay, tasked with reeling me in when I've gone too far, quibbled w/my opinion re "natural state":
If you think those boobs [and hair] are "natural" I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you!

I do think those boobs are natural, soo ... about that bridge: is it a good deal?



Webutante:
This woman is a tour de force of femininity.... I can see Greg's attraction and think it and she's definitely got it goin'on. The ruffles work for rather than against the total package.

Having said that, she's a man's choice and wouldn't be mine though I do think she's fetching and clearly enjoying herself.

"Tour de force of femininity". Love it.





Popeater has the current story:
'Mad Men' starlet Christina Hendricks drew lots of eyeballs -- and Internet comments -- thanks to her dress at the Golden Globes earlier this month. Flaunting her curvaceous figure and a whole lotta cleavage, Hendricks' dress prompted one blogger for the New York Times to say: "You don't put a big girl in a big dress," which caused an uproar in the comments section and across the Web. Well, now Hendricks' husband is fighting back, calling the comments "ridiculous."


During the Globes, New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn posted a digitally widened photo of Hendricks, saying: "You don't put a big girl in a big dress. That's rule number one". She later said that the photo was mistakenly distorted, and it was replaced on the page.

Geoffrey Arend, who tied the knot with Hendricks last October, tells PEOPLE he "was just upset about the whole Golden Globes dress thing. I thought she looked so gorgeous. And that New York Times blogger saying that... It's so ridiculous."

Arend goes on to say the best part of the whole fracas "was seeing the entire internet come after that blogger. That was really cool. It was the first time I saw just a solid block of 'You're crazy! What's wrong with you? You should be ashamed of yourself!' [in the comments.] And honestly, the Grey Lady should be ashamed of themselves to print a picture like that, that they widened!"

Hendricks' gown was designed by 'Project Runway' winner Christian Siriano.



`

Obama to America: there were elements of death panels in the health care bill

`
Both the headline and the body are edited, with some text disappeared and some text changed, to reflect my new understanding of Pres. Obama's statement. I originally read the statement as "you cannot keep your doctor." I was wrong. Rather, the statement was, in so many words: yes, there were death panels.
`


Have skimmed through video of Obama and House Repubs. I rechristen the event

"The Gouge Your Eyes Out Due To Obama's 'Baffle Em With Bullshit' Answers Event"

My title for the event is only 1/20th as long as Obama's typical answer, and 1/40th as long as Obama's occasional answer, and 1/80th as long as a couple of answers where Obama really got rolling and threw in kitchen sinks from the Philippines AND Hawaii AND Pepperdine AND Columbia AND Pahkeestahn AND the South Side of Chicago.




Two things struck me:



First, more frivolous, but it did strike me: in my estimation, Pres. Obama is a lie-a-minute man. In basketball, they used to have the concept of a "point-a-minute" player, i.e. a player who averaged one point for every minute he played. Pres. Obama has adjusted this concept to politics.




Second, Pres. Obama admitted that a couple of health care provisions get "in between you and your doctor in your decision making". Therefore, Obama was saying, basically, "death panels", i.e. we promised no one would get between you and your doctor; we called Sarah Palin a damn liar; but, um, she was kinda right, b/c there would've been people and/or regulations and standards in between doctors and patients.


Tom Bevan, at Real Clear Politics, has the Obama quote:
For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge.




Friday, January 29, 2010

Dems and SCOTUS politics


William Jacobsen of Legal Insurrection:
So why the anger and fury [over Citizens United and over Alito at the SOTU]?

Let me suggest it has something to do with likelihood that Justice Stevens will be retiring at the end of this term. Democrats are attempting to ... pressure Obama to pick an activist liberal justice to replace Stevens, and [Dems are attempting] to justify confirmation.

The argument will go that since Alito and Roberts are activist on the right, there must be an activist on the left appointed as a counterbalance.

There is method to Democrats' madness in attacking the Citizens United decision and in demonizing Alito and Roberts. But it's still madness.


An outstanding take by Jacobsen. A note: Dems don't have to pressure Barack to pick a liberal justice: Barack is enthusiastically on board with that goal - which is why he attacked Citizens United in the first place.

This also explains why Schumer leaped to microphones and excoriated Citizens United as if it were Dred Scott squared. It's likely that Schumer, well in advance of Citizens United, had been thinking ahead: had been searching for strategy and tactics to aid the nomination and confirmation of a liberal SCOTUS justice; had been searching for a SCOTUS decision(s) which could be demagogued as extreme.

Are Dems way better at SCOTUS politics than Repubs? I do think, definitely, Dems are way more desperate about SCOTUS politics than Repubs. Repubs don't use the judiciary to implement agenda; Dems do. When you are more desperate, you think about things more. You strategize as you lay in bed at night. You tend to be more successful than persons who are less desperate. Sun Tzu:
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.





Added rant:

This entire Citizen's United/Samuel Alito brouhaha exemplifies leftist hysteria.

Citizens United doesn't hurt the left. Corporations give almost exactly equal contributions to both left and right. On the other hand: unions give 97% of contributions to the left. Most persons on the left understand this. Many left side "complaints" are actually political posturing for purpose of positioning Dems as virtuous and Repubs as unvirtuous.


Alito
Fer cryin out loud: Alito just reacted, out his own personal sense of justice, at the SCOTUS decision being blatantly mischaracterized. Do the persons criticizing Alito have no familiarity with typical human reactions? Alito takes pride in his work, studied and worked hard on Citizens United, then had to sit and watch his work be lied about. Humans are human.

The Anchoress:
Obama is the President of the United States, and he had the pulpit, the microphone, the cameras and the attention of the whole chamber. Alito was one robed judge among 7, barely noticeable in the crowd. The president’s remarks were premeditated. The justice’s muttering was reflexive. One act meant to be both disrespectful and elicit a partisan response, the other was probably not even voiced at all and was meant to satisfy the justice’s own sense of, well, justice.


The Anchoress receives email saying: Bush did it too! She responds:
While we’re at it, I wonder when the left is going to realize that validating the actions of President Obama by bringing up the actions or near-actions of a president [GWB] whose every move they despised does not really help them in their defense.
[...]
It is a crazy way to live -saying what your guy is doing is okay, because the guy you thought was an evil moron did it first – it is cognitive dissonance to the nth degree. And when the argument is used in this case, citing one president’s broad statement against another president’s focused and narrow admonishment, well…it doesn’t work at all.



And, finally, Glenn Greenwald writes dreck; obscures truth when it suits him. His Alito article is tiresome manure. He calls Alito a "partisan sideshow"? Bull. Again, notice that "partisan" is exactly part of the political message Schumer and Obama are trying to send.

Ann Althouse fisks Greenwald:
Alito's response didn't signify political disagreement. It was simply self-defense — a defense of the Court. It meant: We decide cases according to the law. That is apolitical.
[...]
Shaking one's head and mouthing 2 or 3 words is "flamboyant"? Alito was sitting in his seat and he evinced a subtle reaction to a severe political attack. That doesn't make what he did "highly politicized." If anyone was "highly politicized," it was Obama. Alito's response was more of a reflex, and it was, I would assume, grounded in a belief that the Court does what it is supposed to do — decide cases according to the law.


As to Greenwald's convenient deceitfulness, Althouse finds a examples:

While Presidents do not commonly criticize the Court in the SOTU address, it is far from unprecedented either.
[Greenwald's] link goes to Tony Mauro at The Legal Times, who says that this kind of talk is "almost unprecedented." "Almost unprecedented" = "far from unprecedented"? Come on, Glenn. Your sleaziness is showing.
[...]
Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin documents that roughly 25% of Franklin Roosevelt's 1937 State of the Union address was devoted to criticizing the Supreme Court and various rulings which struck down his domestic legislation.
Roosevelt's attack on the Court — quoted by Balkin — was, at the most severe point:
"We do not ask the Courts to call non-existent powers into being, but we have a right to expect that conceded powers or those legitimately implied shall be made effective instruments for the common good."
Think about how much more respectful that was toward the Court than the blow that made Samuel Alito flinch last night.

Greenwald concludes:
Whatever one thinks of the one paragraph of Obama's address devoted to the Citizens United ruling, it was not "unprecedented."
Who is he quoting there? Balkin doesn't say "unprecedented." Is it Mauro's "almost unprecedented"? For all his annoying verbiage, Greenwald can't get anywhere in this effort to show that Obama was just fine and Alito did something outrageous. Pathetic!


`

Friday Hotness: Julie Newmar



"Sex Education #126"


From a distance, Julie Newmar has always seemed a decent gal - if in a quirky, artistic, melodramatic, I'm a diva who requires massive amounts of fawning attention kind of way. You sense that you couldn't really live with her for life - or maybe even for a month - yet she seems to have a streak of loving decency, and seems as if she would be really fun company for dinner. And that is not nothing: I appreciate and value that.

Now 75 years old, Wikipedia says she has been: "...pianist, dancer, actress, mother and real estate entrepreneur. Newmar is currently working on 3 books." Her only child, a son, has Down Syndrome. She's an enthusiastic gardener. Mr. Miyagi was her batting instructor.




Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lee Smith, author of "The Strong Horse", on anti Americanism

The best interview I've ever seen about the Middle East: Michael Totten interviews Lee Smith. Smith is author of the newly released The Strong Horse.

Today, rather than highlighting Smith's brilliant views on the Middle East [which he explains during the first part of the interview], let's look at Smith's views on anti Americanism in the world - especially in the Middle East, in Europe, and amongst American Intelligentsia - and at Smith's views on America's (desperate and pitiful, imo) desire to be loved:

Lee Smith: ... And as for turning the region [the Middle East] against the US, we shouldn’t forget that a lot of people in the region cheered the [9/11] attacks. Our mutual friends and colleagues in Lebanon tell us that people were handing out baklawa in the streets of Beirut, nor of course was this the only Arab city where 9/11 was celebrated.

Michael Totten: On the subject of anti-Americanism, I think you nailed it, and it really isn't that complicated. You wrote,
"Anti-Americanism is the region's lingua franca, and from Nasser to Nasrallah it has not changed in over fifty years. The United States is hated not because of what it does, or because of what it is. The United States is hated for what it is not, not Arab and not Muslim."

Now, surely the fact that the U.S. plays a powerful role in the Middle East feeds into this. Like you said, it goes back to beginning of our presence in the region. If we had the geopolitical footprint of, say, Belize, hardly anyone in the Middle East would spend much time even thinking about us. But since we aren't going to shrink our footprint to the size of Belize or even Europe—not even with Barack Obama as president—is there really much we can do about this?

Greg's note:
I think Totten and Smith are slightly off: the Middle East hates America for

1) not being Arab
+
2) not being Muslim
+
3) being prosperous, powerful, influential, and happy.

In other words: they hate us for what we are not in combination with what we are. They hate us b/c of the entirety of the equation.



Lee Smith: The short answer is no. The long answer is also no—but I’ll elaborate anyway. Arab anti-Americanism, as I point out in the book, did not begin with the Bush administration, but goes back to the very beginning of our presence in the region and becomes the pre-eminent channel for anti-colonial sentiment after the Suez Crisis of 1956. The irony is that as President Eisenhower asserted the US’s anti-imperialist credentials and demanded that the French, British and Israelis withdraw from Egypt and leave Nasser alone. We had effectively ruined France and Great Britain’s position in the Middle East and it was not long before they left entirely—France left Algeria and Great Britain abandoned its position in the Persian Gulf. Hence, we were the only remaining Western power in the region and all the anti-colonialist sentiment was directed at us, even if our presence there has never resembled anything like that of a classical colonial power.

There is also a tribal element behind the anti-Americanism that I detail in the book, but it dovetails nicely with the once reigning anti-colonial sentiment articulated by the Arab nationalist intelligentsia, a theme encouraged at the time by our Cold War rivals in Moscow. Of course it was nonsense: Colonial powers extract wealth from their holdings for their own sake, as Syria did during its 15-year-long occupation of Lebanon; they don’t typically go in and produce wealth for the sake of the locals, like the Americans did in discovering oil in Saudi Arabia, marketing it, and protecting it and the Saudi Royal family for some 65 years at the expense of the American taxpayer. The money we’ve spent over the years protecting the Gulf, including the outlay for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, dwarfs the figures we’ve provided Israel and Egypt, the two top US aid recipients.

Of course, neither facts nor precise language will have much effect on Arabs who hold anti-American positions, nor on Americans or other Westerners who have similar views, from a so-called leftwing perspective. The major concern then is with that portion of Americans who really affect how we interact with the world, not just US policymakers, but our opinion-makers, journalists, talking heads etc., and whether or not they understand the sources of anti-Americanism and the various political and strategic purposes to which it’s put. For instance, Hendrik Hertzberg recently wrote in the New Yorker that, “Obama damped down the flames of global anti-Americanism.” Maybe Mr. Hertzberg missed the footage from Pakistan when they were burning the effigy of the 44th President, just as they did with the 43rd President, but this New Yorker writer has no choice but to ignore reality because anything other than fulfillment of the wish that Obama will make us loved around the world, rather than hated, as ostensibly Bush did, is too terrifying to contemplate.

I think this need to loved is about two things. First, anti-Americanism, not just of the Arab variety but the entire genre, is very old, dating back to even before the founding of this country. Barry Rubin has a book on anti-Americanism where he goes into this: Europeans felt they had to justify to themselves why they weren’t coming to the new world, this new Jerusalem, this city on a hill, so they concocted a narrative, some of it based on sheer fantasy, imaginary beasts, etc., about why the new world, America, was a very bad and dangerous place that rationalized their decision to stay in Europe. That is to say, anti-Americanism is originally a European phenomenon: we rejected Europe by coming to these shores and they rejected us in turn. The Europeans have had problems with America, the idea and reality, for 300 hundred years and it’s not going away anytime soon. This is the well from which our prestige intelligentsia is drinking; a large portion of our elite is relieved to see America put down so long as they are not included among the great unwashed by the people who, for some good reasons, they admire and, for not such good reasons, whose love they desire: the Europeans. It’s a prestige thing for this section of our elite. They don’t hate America, they love it. They just want their version of it—urbane, often ironic, international—represented to that part of the rest of the world that’s of most concern to them: Europe.

Since the ideas of the world that this class of Americans holds—the junior-year abroad school of US foreign policy—are rooted in insecurity, fear, and what the French call ressentiment, they are not very clear ideas about the world, neither about the scary parts nor the relatively gentler regions, like France, for example. I love France, I love the French, I especially love their strategic posture: can you imagine, a nation so devoted to its historical character that it is still trying to project power even though it has neither the military nor the economy to do so? Some would say it’s the opposite of what Obama is trying to do with the US—turn what is in reality a great power into a middling power, like France. I deeply admire France’s aspirations, even as many of their policies are repugnant. The fact is that France is usually successful to the extent its calculations are cynical, which is characteristic of French foreign policy throughout the ages. The idea that France’s actions on the world stage embody some sort of moral authority is perverse, ahistorical, and anti-intellectual insofar as there is scant evidence in the written record of France ever acting in such a fashion; but there you have it, our prestige intelligentsia was outraged that Bush didn’t take his marching orders from the French President on Iraq.

The other reason we are so concerned with anti-Americanism is quite simply mortal fear—we want to be loved because it is scary to be hated by scary people who set fire to things when a cartoon offends them, and blow things up when they get really mad. To be sure, Americans seem to be needier than the inhabitants of any other great power in world history—did the Romans require love? The Ottomans? The Brits?—but the fact is that people really do hate us. Maybe they hate us for what seem like good reasons, at least to them anyway, maybe it is about our policies, for instance. But many Arab Sunnis hate Arab Shia for what seem like good reasons to many Arab Sunnis—they hate the way the Shia practice Islam; they hate Shia “policies” about Islam. So maybe if the Shia don’t want to get blown up by a madman like Zarqawi they should change their policies regarding Islam and become Sunnis. Of course it’s ridiculous, as is the notion that Bin Laden and friends want to kill us because of our “policies.” We support Israel, they say; but we also are allied with every Arab state except Syria. We support Arab regimes that tyrannize their own peoples, they say; and then we deposed Saddam and you saw how the Arab Sunni masses reacted. The issue is not our policies; the issue is an existential one, and it is not about us, rather it is about a society that makes no room for difference, or what is known in academic circles as “the other.” If Zarqawi becomes a folk hero for slaughtering Arab Shia, this is not a region where a non-Arab, non-Muslim superpower is going to find much love.

We are a Great Power, and while some Americans, including some of our policymakers, may say they are uncomfortable about it, we all benefit from our size and ability to project power, hard and soft, the latter of which is earned exclusively by the successful employment of the former. But power and wealth are always going to attract attention from dangerous characters; it earns us envy as well as respect and there’s not much you can do about it because this is part of human nature. We all know the apparent paradox about how big guys get into so many fights because little guys are looking to prove themselves. A wise club owner will hire small, quiet—and deadly—men to keep peace at his bar, but the USA is not a tavern, we are big whether we like it or not, and so we seek to shrink ourselves at our own peril.

I’d love to ask the President about the last fistfight he was in

Greg's note:
Dear Mr. Smith,
I'm confident President Obama has never been in a fistfight, ever - even as a child, much less as an adult. Not that I, as a rule, condone fistfights. But, rather, I just know what I know, and would be shocked if he has ever been in a fistfight.
If Pres. Obama had ever been in a fistfight, I actually would feel much better about him. It would mean he had - wisely or unwisely - come to a point where he said: That's it! No more. You've committed an act UP WITH WHICH I WILL NOT PUT! Then he threw down and began swinging. Even if the act up with which he would not put was his own face being pummeled: this would at least mean Barack Obama was willing to fight for something. Whether or not the fighting was wise, the more important revelation would have been that Pres. Obama had some strength; had some gravel in his belly; had some point at which he was willing to stop masquerading and start fighting. I would feel a lot better if I believed Pres. Obama had something up with which he would not put; had something he were willing to fight for. He appears to be an incredibly weak and feckless man.

—not as a macho, posturing thing, but just to find out what he thought in the aftermath, regardless of the outcome. Did he think, “what did I do to make that vicious drunk come after me? Maybe he was covetous of my iPhone? Maybe my date was dressed too provocatively?” Or did he think, “gee, that was scary as hell and it spun out of control real fast and I’m pretty lucky I was able to handle myself and my pals were there, and next time it might not be a wild haymaker I can see from a mile away but a crisp jab that catches me on the chin.” There are reckless and dangerous predators in the world; some of them pick fights in bars, some of them rule nation states, and others run planes into buildings.

In short, I think American foreign policy gets stupider the further it’s removed from our actual experience of the world. Surely before the President met and then successfully courted his beautiful wife, the First Lady, he struck out with other women, perhaps like most of us, many other women. The lesson that any half-sane adult American male draws from dating is that no matter how hard you try you can’t make people love you. Love is given by choice. By matching actions to words, you can earn respect, but you cannot coerce love, not from another human being, and certainly not from a foreign people.


Ranty Barack Rant #101

Updated, at bottom, with photos.
`
I almost can't look at Barack without thinking he is demonstrating exactly what I do not want in a POTUS.

photo h/t

Look at the way Barack is holding his beer. C'mon Barack! Thats not the way a man holds a beer! Fer cryin out loud, man: even your shirtsleeves look effete - you could get beat up in some bars for your shirtsleeves alone. The only thing you got going for you, your only hope of getting out of some bars alive, is that you kinda need a shave. That's your best hope. I would start for the door immediately. A speedy exit is your friend. On the way out, if confronted, DON'T try to negotiate. You fail to understand: there are people in this world who do not negotiate. Also, don't, under any circumstances, even utter the word "preconditions". That might get you beaten up AND left in a ditch outside of town.

Even Barack's facial expression looks like a child who is trying to get away with something. Is this a guy who has never sat at a bar and downed a beer? Who has never sat at a bar which didn't have ferns?

And what's with the glass?

A beer looks like this =====>

or like any of these on this page - just scroll down. What does that glass hold? 6 ounces? 7 ounces? We men are exactly stupid enough that we expect each other to drink a proper amount of beer. That can be one beer. But it cannot be 6 ounces. They gave Barack the girl glass - they knew their customer. It's a champagne flute. For lesbians. Man rules can seem stupid, but they are THE RULES! Follow em, or suffer the consequences.

Barack is an embarrassment to manhood. Lately, when I see a photo or video of him, I usually see something revealing - and not in a flattering way.



Update:



Teleprompter of the United States, aka TOTUS, set up in a schoolroom during a statement to assembled media.








TOTUS deployed to help POTUS speak to his own staff inside the White House. Including staff aides who are standing out of camera range: there are a reported 20 to 25 persons in the room.



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My State of the Union lasts 1 minute

Barack begins by comparing the Union forces being turned back at Bull Run, and America's losses at Omaha Beach, to the Obama Administration losing the Health Care battle. He didn't explicitly cite health care, but that's what this little beginning was about.

That's it. I'm done. No more State of Union Speech for me. The television is off. I wonder if, despite all the horrifying difficulties Barack has been forced to overcome, our Union is strong? Guess I'll never know.

Maybe our Union is stronger than ever? I'll have to live with not knowing.

I wonder if it's Wall Street's fault? If the entire chamber will rise and applaud the assertion that it's Wall Street's fault. If the corrupt tax criminal Charlie Rangel will be shown on camera, madly applauding? Guess I'll never know whose fault it is. I do know whose fault it is not. Is the suspense killing you? Barack Obama. It's NOT Barack Obama's fault. I know that w/o even watching, b/c, well, some things you just know.

I wonder if the Stimulus/Porkulus succeeded in staving off the worst economic depression EVER? I'm pretty sure it did. I wonder if it saved over 300 million jobs? I'm pretty sure it did. I wonder if Barack feels the pain of the unemployed? I'm pretty sure he does. I'm pretty sure he will save them. I'm pretty sure Barack is all about jobs. I'm pretty sure he even feels like Job, except tougher and braver, and with greater faith in ... um ... Marxism wait Black Liberation Theology no fixing America's image in the world not getting Muslim terrorists to love us didn't work ... um ... am pretty sure Barack's faith in, um, Eric Holder - yes! - am pretty sure Barack's faith in Eric Holder exceeds Job's faith in God. So, anyway, Barack feels like Job(s).

Am pretty sure some straw men ("there are those who say....") will be propped up and toppled over tonight. Will be tough on straw men.

Am pretty sure Barack will be so perfectly clear that he will warn us: "Let me be perfectly clear."



Update: Bobby Flay is BBQing chicken on the Food Network. Tasty.


`

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A question about Barack's spending freeze

`
Doesn't it clash with his claim that all government spending stimulates the economy?

At a press conference after passage of the nation-destroying $3 trillion dollar stimulus (don't fall for that $900B lie), Pres. Obama was pressed about both the large size of the stimulus and the waste (on graft) in the stimulus. A perturbed Barack snapped "It's all stimulus!"






`

Monday, January 25, 2010

Collaboration: Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance


Vivian Vance:
Overall, my years on "I Love Lucy" were great fun. Lucille and I used to watch our own shows and rock with laughter at what we'd done on camera. We thought we were knock-outs in some routines. Before shooting, Lucille and I would do advance planning. We'd plot together: "What if I step on your head when I climb down from the upper berth...Suppose we both get so busy crawling around on the floor that we back into each other under the table?" Sometimes it took no more than talking about it to send us into stitches.


From A Vivian Vance archive uncovered

`

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Director of CIA Leon Panetta deflects blame away from himself

In a WaPo op-ed, Director of CIA Leon Panetta said:
As an agency, we have found consolation in the strength and heroism of our fallen colleagues and their families.

We have found no consolation, however, in public commentary suggesting that those who gave their lives somehow brought it upon themselves because of "poor tradecraft." That's like saying Marines who die in a firefight brought it upon themselves because they have poor war-fighting skills.


In his blog, Abu Muqawama, Army Captain and Middle Eastern scholar Andrew Exum said:
[T]he U.S. Marine Corps relies, like the U.S. Army, on a vigorous AAR [After Action Review] process to identify faults in training, leadership and equipment.

One can only hope that the CIA is engaged in a similar process today. But when the director pre-emptively says that the "main lesson" of this loss is that "CIA officers are on the front lines against al-Qaeda and its violent allies", it makes me think the director, at least, is on the defensive. Because that's a pretty anodyne main lesson to draw from this. A visit to any tactical U.S. military unit in Iraq or Afghanistan -- where successes and failings are analyzed and provoke reforms on a daily basis -- tells you it doesn't have to be that way.

The CIA is, of course, conducting an investigation. But an investigation can be a lot different in tone and scope than an AAR. An investigation has a prosecutorial air about it and can focus on factors outside an organization. An AAR, by contrast, should focus on dynamics inside an organization. It should also be conducted in such a way as to encourage honesty from subordinate leaders and participants -- no one should fear for their career.



I say Director Panetta subtly (sneakily? deceptively?) re-characterized criticism which ought more properly be seen as criticism of the CIA's tactics in the conflict - and thus as criticism of CIA management, and thus as criticism of Director Panetta. Seen from this perspective, Panetta's statement is a way of deflecting blame away from himself and onto deceased personnel. Here's the implication of Panetta's statement: agency tactics and procedures are solid; deceased personnel died b/c they deviated from established practice.

Such shifting of blame greatly concerns me. Even if deceased personnel were operating outside of typical procedure: the buck still stops with Panetta. In other words, either CIA has poor tactics (which is Panetta's responsibility), or CIA personnel routinely ignore proper tactics (which is Panetta's responsibility), or the specific deceased personnel were not up to the task and never ought have been assigned to the task (which is Panetta's responsibility).*

I'm not calling for Panetta to be thrown from office (yet). Mistakes happen. Leaders are not omniscient. However, when Panetta deflects blame, he is not showing leadership.

This was the criticism of Panetta's appointment as Director of CIA: Panetta is a political creature who knows nothing about intelligence. And now Director Panetta deflects blame. Deflecting blame is what a politician does. It's not what a military leader does - and Panetta ought properly be seen as a leader who is conducting warfare. Deflecting blame is not what good leaders of large organizations do. Rather, it's what bad leaders do. It's as if Panetta is trying to prove his critics correct.




*Normally, I would include a fourth option, i.e. You are always taking a calculated risk in a war zone: sometimes people get killed. To reduce risk is to reduce effectiveness; to eliminate risk is to eliminate effectiveness.

However, in this case, the fourth option appears invalid. It appears CIA personnel were killed b/c a purported double agent was not searched before being allowed inside the compound. Once in the presence of CIA personnel, the agent set off a bomb which was hidden in his clothing. This appears to be a case of poor tactics/procedures on the part of the CIA.


Mass. State Police Officials Deny Cadets' Request to Invite Sgt. James Crowley to Speak at Graduation

`
Randolph, Massachusetts (just south of Boston):
A story in the Boston Globe reports that the class of 54 cadets at the Randolph Regional Police Training Academy had voted to invite Sgt. Crowley to speak at their graduation, but state official vetoed the idea.

`

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rethinking Bush

`
Or, more accurately, identifying media's role in mischaracterizing Bush and effecting the election of Obama. Andrew Breitbart:

[M]edia deliberately and malevolently sustained a false caricature of Bush in its pages and on its broadcasts in order to bog down the leader of the free world when he needed all the help he could get, [at] a time when the country was in great danger. The continuum of media-legitimized Bush hatred directly resulted in the Obama candidacy which was framed by the media as the antidote to Bush’s “toxicity.”

We tend to gloss over the implications of what Breitbart is saying. GWB was willfully mischaracterized in a successful media campaign to both misrepresent and change the course of history. Toxic, indeed.
`

Re SCOTUS Citizen's United free speech decision

`
Much of the left is arguing that the right does not truly believe this is a free speech issue. They argue that the right - including 5 SCOTUS Justices - are using Citizen's United as a disingenuous method of empowering corporations, and, resultingly, the Repub Party.


Matt Welch at Reason Magazine notes that the left persons who are making this accusation are also refusing to debate the free speech issue. In other words, the left persons who allege disingenuous tactics automatically consider the entire matter closed; the free speech issue won by default.


This is a type of straw man. The left sets up a straw man: the right is disingenuous! The left knocks over the straw man: we declare we are correct that the right is disingenuous! The left fallaciously declares victory on the free speech issue: b/c we are correct about disingenuous, the free speech issue is automatically decided in our favor! No need to actually debate the merits of the free speech issue. Rather: automatically decided; the left wins.


For the most part, it's useless to debate left persons about something like this. They are not truly interested in freedoms; not truly interested in free speech; not truly interested in principles. They are interested in power. If limiting corporate speech helps the left increase their power, then they are for it. They are actually making a ruthless power calculation which is not very different from stealing another person's lunch money just b/c you can.


`

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Hot: Scott Brown's smokin wife, Gail Huff, in 1984 music video


The video is from the very beginning of MTV and music videos, when everyone was superserious about music videos, and when the videos were campy, inane, and laughably pretentious. The best videos from that era are like the best B Movies, i.e. so bad they are good. Sadly, the ONLY redeeming thing about this video is Gail Huff in a bikini. Everything else is indescribably ... not good.



Gail Huff, back in the day, was molten heat. In 1984, every young man would have melted in her presence. I do get a kick out of her pouty lips, and out of whatever she did to her eyes - her eyes looked as if she were suffering either an allergy attack or a reaction to chlorine.

The video is racy. For 1984, especially, it's racy. The left seems to think this will somehow hurt Scott Brown. And I ask: exactly how? I've never been as impressed with Scott Brown as when I was watching this music video of Gail Huff.






Related video:

Gail Huff takes the Navy Seal Challenge.

She's good in the water, and she maintains "hot" status, don't you think?

Definitely.










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

Bonus Friday Hot: this cute Dem lady who voted for Scott Brown



That's Stacy McCain conducting the interview.



Thursday, January 21, 2010

I like Michelle Bachmann; I don't like her making political hay over Arlen Specter's "Act like a lady"


Senator Specter's statement was arrogant, condescending, dismissive. Was it sexist? It's easy to say yes. Yet, truly, who amongst us knows? We can't see into Specter's heart. Senator Specter has no trouble being arrogant, condescending, and dismissive to men.

And it doesn't matter. Only Specter's actions matter, and he has a long record of actions which may be investigated and studied. It is useless, and meaningless, to speculate as to whether or not Specter's private thoughts cross some threshold of which we disapprove.

Rep. Bachmann is an accomplished lawyer. She can wield a sharp tongue in the moment. After the moment, all she ought say, if anything: In retrospect, there were a few things I wish I had said, but the moment is gone now. Lets move on.

When Rep. Bachmann says: "I was treated, really, like a little girl. I was patronized," it makes her sound weak. It sounds, to my ears, like special pleading on account of being female. Probably Rep. Bachmann doesn't mean it as special pleading. She certainly needs no special treatment, as half the leftists in America are constantly in a dither over her various barbs and assertions. Rep. Bachmann can take care of herself.

She probably intends her statements to weaken Senator Specter in Nov 2010. Still, I don't like it. Doesn't sit right with me.



The Left does not understand what happened

`
They think they've been outmaneuvered at "narrative". Barack thinks Scott Brown's truck was purchased as a prop, instead of as a truck.

Axelrod now wants to position Barack as a populist. Snorffle. Arugula Barack's understanding of those who "cling to their guns and religion" amounts to whatever he once saw when he looked out the window of the faculty lounge; amounts to whatever his teleprompter now tells him (look to the right ... now look to the left ... now look to the right ... the common people like this!).



Tea Partiers are now caricatured as one strident voice which might have learned a lesson through their support of Scott Brown the left-center politician. The caricature lacks logic, and is manure, yet that's the caricature.

Tea Partiers are not one voice: they are a cacophony of many voices which is largely comprised of regular Americans who advocate small government and low taxes as best they can - including advocating via Tea Party protests.

The new caricature is a method of undermining the advocacy efforts of these regular Americans; is a method of turning attention away from their preferred issues (small government and low taxes) via focusing attention onto an ad hominem: one strident voice.

Tea Partiers always have been exactly as flexible as the regular Americans they are. Their immediate and wholehearted support for Scott Brown is proof of this.



Another meme: Tea Partiers are hypocrites who did not protest when GW Bush was starting two wars without figuring out how to pay for them, and was giving tax cuts to billionaires and destroying Clinton's surpluses.

Jesus Christ giving the Sermon on the Mount: the left loves tu quoque! Sometimes it seems all they have. I'm pretty sure Jesus said: Blessed are the poor spirits who invoke tu quoque, for theirs will be the Kingdom of Marxism; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteous instances of tu quoque, for they will always be one revolution away from satisfaction. Always.

That's how my Blogosphere Standard (BS) bible translation reads, anyway.

For the most part: Tea Partiers are citizens who were fed up w/ Repub Congressional spending, and who protested at the 2006 and 2008 ballot boxes via throwing Repubs out of leadership, only to watch Obama's Dem Congress begin a course which will triple the Bush era deficits. The Porkulus budget bill is what generated the Tea Parties. There's a direct line from the Porkulus to the beginning of the Tea Parties.

So: why didn't Tea Partiers protest when GWB was in office? They did: at the ballot box in both 2006 and 2008 - an option not available to them in Spring/Summer 09. In Spring/Summer 09, faced with the likely tripling of Bush era deficits: Tea Partiers who had never protested anything in their lives began making home made signs, grabbing grandchildren, and driving to protests.

Tu quoque Grandma as a hypocrite all you want: you are only fooling yourself.



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hannah Giles at Scott Brown Election Celebration

photo by Ace of Spades

The camera loves this girl. Even an out of focus cell phone camera loves this girl. I've seen twenty photos of this girl, and the camera loves her every time.

Why?

Though her eyes are cutting to the side in this photo: both here and elsewhere, she tends to look directly at the camera with openness, i.e. without coquettishness or posing or posturing. She has an inner self-confidence which communicates:
I know I am beautiful, and therefore I know I do not have to pose: my God given beauty is enough. I don't have to put on airs or fake anything. I will look straight at your camera as you yell at me from across this room. We will connect with our eyes (I'm willing to make a human connection with you), and I will smile, and that will be enough.
This is very attractive. It's unusual in one so young. Perhaps Hannah's Christian faith plays a large part in her self-possessed and easy confidence. Hannah Giles is attractive b/c she communicates unspoken things - you can decide for yourself exactly what - and she communicates them easily and naturally. This is a simple, small thing - except it's also a very big thing. It's almost everything.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stop everything, and look at Christina Hendricks'

`
one-woman campaign to return female body concept to a glorious natural state:




God bless this warrior amongst us! May she prevail and be victorious.



Previously: Flaming Christina Hendricks

`

A Scott Brown win = Obama is lame duck


and not b/c the Dems lost their 60 votes in the Senate, but rather b/c Obama will be shown to have little political power; to have little sway amongst the electorate. Obama will have explicitly campaigned for:

Olympics: lost em
New Jersey Governor: lost to Repubs in a blue state
Virginia Governor: lost to Repubs in a purple state
Massachusetts Senator: lost to Repubs in a blue state.

If Obama has little sway with the electorate, then Obama has little sway with Congress. Instant lame duck.






It would also be interesting to see how a Coakley win would affect Obama's political fortunes. Dems ought take a message from a close race in Massachusetts, yet may not care. Obama would claim political credit for Coakley's win, and would be given credit and lionized by the MSM.



W/o proof, I assert that - if there is any way to do it - Massachusetts Democrats will steal the election. They are known for shenanigans. Brown must win by a margin which is big enough to overcome shenanigans. If not, he is toast. Who's going to stop Massachusetts Dems from stealing the election? Afterwards: who's going to prosecute them? Is the Mass AG - a Democrat - going to prosecute them? Is U.S. AG Eric Holder - who declined to prosecute the Black Muslims who intimidated voters in Philadelphia - going to prosecute Massachusetts Democrats who stole an election? Don't make me laugh.

A hunch: if the public believes Massachusetts Democrats stole the election: it's just another nail in the coffin of the national Democratic Party. Democrats will lose more by succeeding than by failing. The public has had enough. Democrats will be worse off if Obamacare passes(and I don't believe Obamacare will ever be implemented: Repubs will sweep into office and stop it). Democrats will be worse off if they succeed in stealing the Mass election for Coakley. Voters will prosecute at the ballot box. I'm optimistic.



Monday, Massachusetts is supposed to get 10 inches of snow. Tuesday, Election Day, will be snow in the morning and rain in the afternoon, with a high in the upper 30s. This weather will favor Scott Brown and his highly motivated voters. Anthropogenic Global Warming Climate Change will end up killing Obamacare! Delicious.



Update: Vietnam vet drives 38 hours to support Scott Brown.



h/t


`

MLK and Dr. Archibald Carey

(Repost)


Photo Galleries from Life Magazine


It's Martin Luther King Day!

MLK was a great leader - even though he was, as we all are, greatly flawed. I understand MLK's flaws. They are my flaws, for I am human. I accept him as he was, and admire his leadership.

Having said that, today I also remember and honor Rev. Archibald Carey, Jr. Why honor Mr. Carey today - other than because he was an accomplished Black Republican? Here's why: Mr. Carey gave the "I Have A Dream" speech first - to the 1952 Republican National Convention! Mr. Carey's speech was plagiarized by MLK a little over a decade later at the Lincoln Memorial. Kudos, Mr. Carey. Also, foibles-wise: hilarious! And oh so human.

h/t: Gateway Pundit, although, as MLK's flaws are also my flaws, I was sorely tempted to not credit Gateway Pundit.



Other fun info:

MLK's speech was an example of nimbleness. MLK was inside his audience' OODA Loop*.

MLK's written text on that day did not include "I Have A Dream". MLK began giving his written speech, and he was badly bombing. The audience tittered. They were bored and disinterested. Seated behind MLK, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson repeated urged: "Tell them about the dream, Martin." An outstanding public speaker, MLK knew he had lost the audience. He ditched his prepared text, and - from memory - launched into Rev. Archibald Carey, Jr.'s speech.

And the rest is history.



More on MLK:

MLK's prophetic comments - about the strong possibility of his own death - delivered on the very night before he was assassinated:



Here's what preceded the above:
You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?"

And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured, you drown in your own blood—that's the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I've forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I'll never forget it. It said simply, "Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School." She said, "While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze."

And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn't sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, been in Memphis to see the community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.
h/t

*Link to OODA Loop leads to brilliant pair of essays by Bill Whittle. Highly recommended, and highly enjoyable.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Home made signs for Scott Brown


Radio host Michael Graham:
I’ve never seen the “We’ve got to win this race” attitude from regular voters like I’m seeing for Scott Brown.
[...]
“Home made signs?” I can’t tell you how astonishing that is to a paid political consultant.






`

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Hot: the Women of Curling

Updated: from Bro64

No discussion of the women of curling is complete without the USA's own Debbie McCormick. She hails from Rio, Wisconsin, just north of Madison. She is 36 years old, a two time Olympian in 1998 and 2002, and is expected to skip one of the USA teams next month in Vancouver.




From Debbie's bio page on the USA curling website:
What I'd like the world to know about curling:

"That curling is a very physically and mentally challenging sport; it requires total team effort to be successful. I wish that everyone could have a chance to play this sport. I think they would be surprised to find out how challenging and fun it really is."



See Update II at bottom of post, about Nicole Joraanstad, who also lives in Madison, WI (the curling capital of the U.S.A.?).


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

`
Haiti is on everyone's mind. Yet, life demands celebration.


So, lets party, in a respectful yet celebratory way, with the women of curling!


Scrolled through many of the photos at Bob Cowan's curling site, which is mostly about Scottish curling - much of which happens on frozen lakes - except, apparently much of the curling world flows into and out of Scotland for events, so Bob also has photos of some of the best curlers in the world.

He has many posts with photos of hot chicks - except, maybe, in the photos, they are cold chicks. Here's one. Another. All photos on this page are by Bob Cowan. Thanks, Bob.




Highland Junior Winners













Irish curlers







LOOK at this scene! I would LOVE to be on this lake, on a team with my friends, and in some of that competition. I would give my very best effort. And I would love to quaff ... whatever they are quaffing.





I find that I just like women. Here follow five women - five completely different types of women - completely different looks, and I like them all. A lot. Each is very beautiful.


Linsey Spence.







Kerry Adams. Does she know how beautiful she is? Probably so, but maybe not. She would be an interesting subject for a painting.










Claire Hamilton: panther.
Candid shots, with the subject focused on a task, are so wonderful.







Barbara McFarlane: dignity, intelligence, beauty. Barbara McFarlane is very attractive to me because of who I imagine her to be: a person of taste; a person who appreciates life. If she turned out to be a gossipy airhead, or a small minded, bitter person, I would be so disappointed.




Nicole Joraanstad of the U.S.A. Go U.S.A.! How would you describe Ms. Joraanstad? Ethereal? Something about her reminds of The Princess Bride. And something about her reminds of a surfer girl who is wearing a necklace of shells. And something about her says: tough. You wouldn't want to race her, or to go against her in the business world.


Update II: Nicole Joraanstad is also from Madison, WI! Next time I'm in Madison, I want to visit the curling club and watch Nicole and Debbie in action. From Nicole's bio at U.S.A. Curling:
Training: "I curl every day, and have games twice a week. I play in tournaments at least two weekends a month, if not more."

Strengths in curling: "I think that my particular strength in curling is that I do really well under pressure, and I am really competitive. If you asked me to describe myself in one word, it would be competitive."

Other favorite sports: "I also like to play slow- and fast-pitch softball in the summer. And I recently took up the sport of golf. I have really found that to be a lot of fun."






http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com/2009/12/rule-5-women-of-curling.html

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scott Brown: "And the dogs, too!"



Ya know, I can imagine a future Presidential run for Scott Brown. I don't think I want him to be President, as Massachusetts conservative is not my preferred flavor of conservative principles. However, Brown is a natural retail politician, and he understands this: lower taxes = stronger economy. Those are good places to start.

And his wife is great, which is an even better place to start.

God and Haiti


I'm no expert on religious thought. When bad things happen, I only understand these possible reasons:
  • our agony provides a reminder of God, and a pathway to God
  • bad things make good things both identifiable and precious.



Wrote the following in 2005. It's pretty simple, but rings true, and is my best understanding. Am open to learning more.


It is our lot to be courageous one moment, fearful the next, then courageous again. The cycle is never-ending, because we never "make it" in this life. We never get to a place of solid and constant courage. If we are to be courageous, we must summon it again and again.

There are sparks of divine grace in those summonings. Glimmers of God. The sparks and glimmers cue us to turn our faces to God; and to wonder at the loving gifts he bestows upon us, and at His perfect plan.

For instance, why does a loving God allow fear in our lives? In his novel "Gates of Fire," Stephen Pressfield asserts that the opposite of fear is love. Maybe God allows fear so as to prompt us to turn towards Him, and to let ourselves be washed in His love - the true antidote for fear. Maybe God does everything so as to prompt us to turn towards Him.

Consider: If God allowed us to become constantly courageous, could we then still identify fear? Some of my loved ones have died. My love for them lives on, but my memory of the contours of their faces dims with time. I reassure myself: "Oh, their faces were like this...." But, were they really? Similarly, if I were constantly courageous, would the memory of fear fade, like the memories of the faces of my loved ones?

Without a close familiarity with fear, could we anymore identify courage? What would we measure it against? Courage would be constant, normal, mundane, taken for granted. Could we anymore identify a spark of divine grace in that courage? Would that avenue to God, paved with sparks and glimmers, be then shut off to us forever?



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dominican Nuns Gleefully Sledding

and discussing sledding strategy. Even nuns have to communicate to work things out. Video begins 20 seconds in.





Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Derek Jeter & Minka Kelly to be married Nov 5























Bonnie Hunt interview with Minka Kelly: Minka's mother made her name up out of thin air; Minka was a surgical scrub nurse for four years.



Jeter briefly dated Jessica Alba, which is a good excuse to link this look at Jessica Alba's Campari commercial.



Minka Kelly dated John Mayer, which is a good excuse to link John Mayer's satire about his life as a celebrity musician (language warning):

Songwriter suggests topic:
You like the girl, but you can't get the girl.
Mayer rejects topic:
If I can't get the girl, why don't I just tell her I'm John Mayer?

How about something everyone can relate to? Like, when you're [with] one supermodel and it makes all the other supermodels jealous?
Songwriters:
I don't know if...
Mayer:
I love it. Lets do it.




`

Monday, January 11, 2010

Scott Brown: "It's the people's seat"

In his Massachusetts debate with Coakley, Scott Brown responds to David Gergen:
"With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedy seat and it’s not the Democrats’ seat, it’s the people’s seat."

Remember the Alamo! "It's the people's seat" is a great line. It's a natural to be picked up by Tea Party protesters, and to serve as a rallying cry.


Political Correctness is a bigger threat than Harry Reid's potential racism

We can't know if Harry Reid is racist unless he clearly indicates he is racist. Otherwise, we can't know his heart. And it doesn't matter, anyway. Only Harry Reid's actions matter. Speculations about the shadings of Harry Reid's private opinions are a useless waste of time and energy.

I don't like seeing conservatives parroting PC foolishness. Played out to it's full logic, if a politically correct person were to attack Harry Reid, it would look like this:
Harry Reid ought anticipate that a significant number of African Americans would interpret his comments in a way which leads to their being offended. It was insensitive of Harry Reid to make comments which could easily be interpreted in a way which would cause psychic or emotional pain. A competent and sensitive adult would only make comments on this subject via using PC approved terminology and opinion. B/c he failed to use the terminology we demand, b/c he failed to espouse the opinion we demand, therefore Reid is insensitive, offensive, incompetent, and probably ought resign.



This PC argument, currently referenced re Reid by various conservatives and progressives, has its roots in a Frankfurt School communist strategy to destroy capitalism via destroying American culture and society. Here's an overview of that:

By the mid 20th century, it was obvious communism was an economic failure and capitalism a success. The Marxist goal shifted to a limited nihilistic desire: destroy capitalism. The problem: how? The workers of the world were not going to unite.

From the 1920s into the 1950s, the Frankfurt School think tankers wrestled with the question: who would lead the revolution which would destroy capitalism? They eventually came up with a brilliant answer: the dispossessed, i.e. those who had a grievance, be it racial, gender, sexual identity, economic, et al. These grievances would constitute a tactic: attack the foundations of the society which nurtured capitalist economic success. The strategy: bring down the society, and thus bring down capitalism. From there, the smart people at the top - such as the brilliant Frankfurt School think tankers - would figure out some system of government for the good of the people. The key thing was to destroy the damnable capitalism. The grievance industry, led by the dispossessed, would attack society's foundations and lead the revolution.

And, to some degree, the Frankfurt School plan is working. To some degree, PC has succeeded in sickening and weakening the foundations of American society.


Video: Free Congress Foundation's The History of Political Correctness


There's a lot going on in the nation right now, and there's a lot going on in Congress. Why is anyone trying to divine the unknowable, i.e. the inner shadings of Harry Reid's mind and racial opinions? Here's why: we somehow think it important that some number of Americans will interpret in a way which leads to their being offended, and to their suffering psychic or emotional pain. If foolish Americans jump to conclusions which cause them psychic pain: thats their problem. The solution, for them, lies in improving their own reasoning and philosophy and spirituality. For the rest of the nation, the only things that matter are Harry Reid's actions.


Related: Webutante


`

Texas Rangers SS Jurickson Profar

from Baseball Time in Arlington:

Q: Why didn’t more teams view Profar as a shortstop [as opposed to a pitcher]?


Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus:

You know this. One of the things is the amount of eyeball time you give a player. I mean, you can watch a kid throw 20 pitches and come away with a really good feel for what he can do. From those 20 pitches you can see if a player has a good delivery; you can see what the radar gun has to say; you can see him spin a breaking ball and you can determine whether or not you like that. If you want to evaluate a guy as a shortstop you have to see a lot of him. It takes a lot of time to get a handle on what a position player can do; you have to see a lot of at-bats against different type of pitching; you to see him run in different situations; you have to see him field in different situations; can he go to his left; can he go to his right; can he go up-the-middle; can he throw from the hole; can he throw off-balance; can he rush the throw, etc. When you are talking about a guy like Profar, it’s possible that teams just didn’t get enough of a look at him to feel comfortable with him as a shortstop whereas they saw enough of him on the mound to feel comfortable with him as a pitcher. I think that is a huge part of it.

Watching Profar meant spending professional time watching a 15 year old. This, the Rangers did. Nice job, Rangers.


`

Saturday, January 09, 2010

What is not a jihadi recruiting tool?

Jay Nordlinger:
Our president keeps calling Guantanamo Bay a “recruiting tool,” something that causes Muslims to join up with the jihad. The other day, he said,
“Make no mistake: We will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national-security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al-Qaeda. In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”

Uh-huh. What is not a recruiting tool? Think of them, these tools: The existence of the United States. The existence of the Free West. The existence of Israel. The American-Israeli alliance. An Iraq striving toward democracy. The air itself. Did terrorism against us begin when Gitmo became a holding place for jihadists? Of course not. There has always been something, there will always be something.
[...]
One more thing: Obama said, “That was an explicit rationale for the formation of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” referring to Guantanamo Bay. The president should be awfully careful not to suggest that a terrorist group will call our shots. The American-Israeli alliance is an “explicit rationale” for these groups, too. But we don’t deep-six that alliance because of that, right?


An aside: Barack, if left to his own devices - i.e. if he had no political pressure from voters - would deep six the American-Israeli alliance in a millisecond, and would believe doing so was helping to resolve America's conflict with Jihadism. Such is EXACTLY the way Barack thinks, and is EXACTLY the way much of the world left thinks.

The main point I wish to make: we cannot expend ourselves trying to please any groups in the world - be they governments or populations or Jihadists. We cannot dance to their tune and then desperately beg "Like us! Please like us!" Such is contemptible, profane, and even worse: ineffective.

We must do what is best for our nation. We must say, via our actions: "Appreciate us (i.e. our principles and values) if you are wise; scorn us if you are foolish." Those who do not appreciate our principles and values will at least appreciate that we are a strong horse who is unafraid to kick.


`