Monday, March 31, 2008

Lockin' up the Short Bus Vote

Clap…. clap…. clap… Thank you for the fine speech Mr. Obama. You know, for all the help your FORMER! pastor and your wife have been to you and your campaign over the past month or so, we daresay you’ve been “victimized”. We’d suggest you play this angle in your campaign but hey…. you’re no Hillary.

For those of us who have been enraptured by Senator Obama’s oratory skills but still left scratching our head as to what the man is offering, we really need to pay a bit more attention… its out there but we all keep getting sidetracked.

KT does a nice job here providing a wrap-up of his O-ness’s juvenile military and foreign policy that sounds like it was lifted from a pamphlet scrawled-out by the bake-sale-for-bombers crowd. (Obama foreign policy vid here) .

And here we spoke of Obama’s legislative crown jewel, the Global Poverty Act. You know, the one his equilibrium-challenged supporters are anxiously awaiting to be made law so that in addition to the glazed-over facial expressions, there will be actual words instead of drool running out their mouths when asked to name the Senator’s accomplishment(s). The one that puts us on the hook for $65 bil/year over the next 13 but satisfies the liberal/Republicrat desire to “do something” by simply throwing money at a problem.

Of course, all you brutish and uncaring conservatives can take heart as his universal healthcare plan will leave 15 million people uninsured if Clinton Inc.’s charges are to be believed so there may be some hope for the man yet.

But for all his talk of change and his audacity of hope, he is very much cut from the cloth of his Party… the Party that champions the poor, the weak, the dispossessed. Afterall, how else would you explain his leading the charge against legislation that would’ve provided governmental assistance to survivors of abortion (for those of you confused by some of the Roe v. Wade legalese there, this term is also commonly referred to as “infants”) while an Illinois state senator?

Even now, he has cynically changed his tune on the matter of Terry Schiavo, allowing he made a mistake in voting for a law that granted federal judicial review of the Schiavo case, saying Terry’s fate was a “family matter” and not one to be left to bureaucrats or politicians. (Given the chance, we still would never be so impolite as to ask the Senator where he stood on “parental notification” given his obvious commitment to limited government). All for the better, though, as this “change” of heart puts him back in lock-step with his own Party’s commitment to protect the defenseless.

You all know we haven’t had many nice things to say about John McCain or his politics to be precise but we’ve got to hang our hats on something. Its shaping up more and more that this “something” is going to be “character” and “fundamental decency”, vague and pliable terms to be sure but to paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, "we'll know its not in a candidate when we see it".

H/T: Foxfier

Update #1: We're sure Camp Obama has to be stoked about this: Palestinians cold-calling Americans to vote for Barack. We suppose it will be too much to ever wish that one day these poor people will figure out that their biggest problem isn't America, isn't Israel, isn't George Bush but all those (PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, et al) that treat them as pawns and don't give a rat's ass about their welfare. H/T: Weasel Zippers.

Programming Alert

We’re calling in some help this week as the Navy Board of Inspectors is in town and we take our newest T-Ship to sea for the first time on Wednesday and Thursday. Pierside demos got underway today and we’re a tad piqued from this all-day evolution. Perhaps Bono and the boys, our featured “Ass:…” artist can help us out. Anyway, B-Daddy will be at the helm doing his usual bang-up job. Please extend to him every courtesy you would to us as we try to pop-in when we can. Thanks.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Unsung Heroes

Mrs. Daddy here, stealing my husband’s account to say something he wouldn’t. Driving up to Orange County for a family get together with B-Daddy and kids is always a bit taxing. The drive is riddled with people who cut in front of us with two inches to spare or speed maniacally, endangering everyone. We saw one driver tailgate a car to our right, then cut us off. We all laughed hysterically after noticing his “Share the Road” bumper sticker.

During the visit, I was startled to see B-Daddy and Dean run out the front doorway. Noting the serious looks on their faces I knew something was amiss. I followed them outside and saw why they were concerned. A woman driving a small Toyota sedan had rear-ended a larger pick up truck with catastrophic results. She was dazed but alive. B-Daddy and Dean were right there helping the people involved. Dean helped the woman get safely to the curb and comforted her until the ambulance arrived. B-Daddy directed traffic around the crash site so there was not another accident. I felt a surge of pride and intense love as I watched my family do the good and right thing. Something that gives me a measure of hope in the face of the rudeness we experience each day.

I can only say that I am proud to be a part of a family that makes a difference. Hats off to Dean, my husband and all the other unsung heroes that help others each day.


Faithful reader, if somewhat reluctant commenter, Bevvie, passed this along to us. It’s the Global Incident Map that tracks hot-spots around the world be they terrorist or geo-political in nature or just good ol’-fashioned natural disasters. Click on a hot spot and you get a Google Earth shot of the location you clicked with accompanying news story. Pretty slick. We added it to our right hand margin under “1st Cup” as it makes us feel like this is the sort of briefing the Commander-in-Chief gets first thing every morning while he slugs back that first cup o’ joe.

Also, we’ve added the “Play-Doh Offensive” under “Fighting the Good Fight” on the right-hand margin. Its going to remain there at top billing as BwD’s first official charitable effort. And as stewards of this cause, the nag potential will be pretty high. Of course, how high will be entirely up to you. (Hint!)

And what is this "Ass:..." you speak of? Another right-hand margin feature we added (just above the archives) a while back that we never got around to officially introducing. Just some inspirational music if you’re a tad sluggish and feel you need a jump-start that we will refresh from time to time.

Your Sunday Morning Homily

A while back we mused on the possibility of this guy base-jumping into the Republican National Convention if there was not a clear-cut front-runner by summertime. (Sigh). Anyway, vid here buoys the spirits a bit in that there are still some folks out there that can speak common sense in a clear and concise manner without demagogue-ing the issues.

H/T: Ogre

Saturday, March 29, 2008

That's 60 Minutes of our Lives we'll Never Get Back

Wait a minute….. did we… did we just miss the whole thing? We just found out about it. Honest. With the regional finals on the tube this afternoon and evening we weren’t dialed into yet-another-global-event-to-inflate-and-conflate-everybody’s-ego. Shoot. Hey, do we get some credit minutes or carbon hours or whatever they’re called for grilling our tri-tip over coals rather than natural gas? Dammit… someone give us a call next time something like this happens.

H/T: Awful Announcing via DeadSpin

That Pillar of Fire just got a little Brighter... and Smarter.

We want to thank everybody who participated in the poll – your feedback was much appreciated.

B-Daddy, who claimed that GPS use was not a malesmanship-sapping technology, nevertheless, lamented in-car GPS’ lack of “smarts” i.e., it could give directions from point A to point B but could not provide real-time feedback to the driver as to the driving conditions that driver would be facing. B-Daddy likened the type of aggregate feedback from multiple sources that would smarten-up GPS to Wikkipedia which relies on its disparate group of contributors for its articles.

Well, fear not, B-Daddy. We’re one step closer to smart GPS. Dash Navigation of Sunnyvale, CA began selling this week two-way Global Positioning Systems for cars in the hopes of creating a network of better informed drivers. From the article:

“A central computer will collect speed and location information from each car, then create and transmit back what the company hopes will be the most complete and up-to-the-minute picture of traffic ever created.” Story here.

Now, if they could just do something about that $599 dollar price tag we might be a little more interested.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Smackdown... Again

B-Daddy here. In an opinion that received only moderate coverage, the Supreme Court has delivered another well deserved smackdown to the Bush administration, this time on an issue of international law. The case itself is fairly straightforward, Jose Ernesto Medellín was sentenced to death in October 1994 after providing a written confession to the rape and murder of two teenage girls in June 1993 as part of a gang initiation. After exhausting most of his appeals, his lawyers brought up the fact that since he was a Mexican national, the Mexican consulate should have been notified, as provided for by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled against the United States in its Avena decision, stating in part:

“(a) The United States of America shall take all measures necessary to ensure that Mr. César Roberto Fierro Reyna, Mr. Roberto Moreno Ramos and Mr. Osvaldo Torres Aguilera are not executed pending final judgment in these proceedings;
(b) The Government of the United States of America shall inform the Court of all measures taken in implementation of this Order.'
Subsequently, the administration withdrew from that particular protocol of the treaty. But that didn't stop the administration from directing the state of Texas to retry the Medellín case. The Supremes said not so fast, under what legal basis do you the executive branch presume to direct the operations of the state criminal justice system. Further, what constitutional right or federal statutory right was Medellín denied that he should even appear as a petitioner before the Supreme Court? The key issue is that even though the United States may sign a treaty, if specific provisions for its enforcement are not codified into law, then courts are enjoined from inventing judicial remedy. We should be very happy about that outcome, because many international treaties tend to infringe on state sovereignty and individual rights. Preventing the courts from inventing remedies prevents future mischief. What if the Senate ratifies the Cybercrime Treaty and it is interpreted by the ICJ that rules that pointing out the Koran directs its followers to make war on infidels is a hate crime. If U.S. courts could then invent remedies, we might as well take a magic marker to the first amendment of the constitution.

BTW, I oppose the death penalty, but am unwilling to subvert our constitutional form of government just to reduce the number of executions.

This legal matter also exposes the President's flagrant disregard for the rule of law, again, by directing state courts to give regard to a treaty from which the administration itself had withdrawn. I happen to agree with DailyKos that this kind of behavior is the most troubling aspect of the Bush presidency. Think about the precedents Bush has tried to set in the hands of Hillary Clinton. Some more bullet points:
  • Bush is no conservative, not respecting the rule of law.
  • Bush is no federalist, not respecting state judicial processes.
However, of all the candidates currently still in the race, I think that Clinton has shown herself to be the most capable of continuing these shenanigans.

H/T: National Review

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Isn’t life wonderful and hasn’t this evening been so much fun? So much so that we hesitate to mention this but mention we must. Remember this young lady?

H/T: Foxfier. Thanks, Foxie. As long as we live, we’ll never forget this. Never thought this could happen in our country.

Beijing '08 Olympics Update

(One in an occasional series provided during the run-up to the ’08 Summer Games in Beijing, China. Archived posts in this series can be accessed by entering “Olympics” in the blog search box above).

Its official….. What was once bubbling under the surface on human rights groups websites is now out in the open and is being spoken as a viable course of action. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been the highest profile figure to date to make public mention of a “boycott” of the Beijing Games.

There have been two major boycotts of the Games: in 1980 the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Games in protest of the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan the previous year and in ’84, the Soviet Union and most of the Eastern Bloc returned the favor by sitting out the L.A. Games. Ironically, the rest of the world responded with the largest collective shrug in recorded history as those Games turned out to be the Olympics that saved the Olympics after successively, the financial disaster of the ’76 Montreal Games and those ’80 Moscow Games that nobody watched.

In what was probably the only major decision Carter made that we agreed with, Carter’s decision to have the U.S. sit out the Games was the right thing to do. As the leader of the free world it would have been unthinkable, in our minds, to send our athletes over to Moscow to play happy-face with our Cold War adversary in the wake of their naked act of aggression.

But athletes shouldn’t be made pawns in a political game? Please. When NBC and the newspapers stop running countries’ medal counts we’ll stop believing that the Olympic Games have always been, in large part, a contest of what country’s socio-political system produces the best 4x100 relay team.

So, where do we stand with respect to boycotting these Games? We’re leaning towards going and not boycotting the Games. Article here from the U-T lays out a good case for sending our athletes precisely because of the awareness and thus pressure that can be exerted on the Chi-comms particularly in the wake of this recent crackdown in Tibet. If we don’t go, then we aren’t watching and if we aren’t watching then the Tibetans, Buddhists, Christians, Falun-gongers and all the other dissidents and good ol’ fashioned agitators are denied their world-wide stage.

And how will NBC will cover these “Human Rights Olympics”? Will they seize this opportunity to expose what has been going on over there for years or will they play the servile guests and just mouth the Chi-comm party line? Were not certain but we will just say this: thank g#d, the Cuddly One is a religiously-neutral Buddhist instead of a Roman Catholic or Southern Baptist.

What happens in Vegas.... is open to interpretation.

…. And speaking of family values, Mongo passed along this piece hoping we’d see the delicious irony of Clark County, NV Republicans wearing credential lanyards at their convention that had printed on them the web address for a porn site.

What we noted, though, was a statement by the author that wanted to make double-extra sure we all knew Republicans were the party of moral turpitude, probity and straightness… as if her readers weren’t aware of this popular image of Republicans.

“Who knew that this, the so-called party of family values, the party whose platform keeps veering to the right to appease the Bible thumpers, would be strutting out the porn?”

We can only assume that in Ms. Neff’s world, “veering to the right” means uncontrollable spending, creepy sex scandals and nominating John McCain as its presidential candidate and de facto party standard-bearer.

Of course, she knows that this is not the case so she is more likely guilty of establishing a misleading narrative to better make the point of her story… a point upon which we are not exactly clear. Las Vegas does reside in Clark County, afterall.

Since it was just one sentence, we’re not going to Duranty the poor woman but we do wonder just what it is about these journalists in Vegas.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

KBwD is (back?) on the Air

Our last installment of KBwD stated we weren’t going to just keep throwing you over to a YouTube clip of questionable audio and video quality as it was the lazy, easy way out. Well….. got news for you all. After heating up a turkey pot pie in the microwave this evening for dinner, we’re all about the lazy and easy.

Actually, the sound in this clip is very good and the selection for the cut was inspired by hearing it on random play on our iPod. You know the band but you may not be familiar with the tune which is a highly underrated pop gem and one our favorite songs by one of our favorite bands.

Ladies and Gentlemen…. The Doors…. performing a paeon to good old-fashioned, family-values desire and lust, Wishful Sinful. Enjoy!

P.S. Try singing along in your best Robert Goulet voice. It so works.

Just a reminder.... more day to vote in our GPS/Man Law poll.

But more importantly…. Mongo posted this over the weekend so you may not have seen it the first time around. We thought it was an outstanding idea because it involves a little time and a little effort. Scratching out checks to the USO and PVA is goodness but whether we like it or not, we as citizens of this country are fully vested in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and a “deck plates” effort like this is our opportunity to contribute to this fight instead of behaving merely as consumers in the War on Terror as has been, at times, a recommended course of action.

"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
- Alexis de Tocqueville

The Return of the Bride of the Comeback

It dawned on us today the shift in the meaning of the term “election cycle” – the term, we’ve always assumed, referred to a “cycle” with respect to successive campaigning/election evolutions over the course of years. However, election “cycle” can now refer to a seemingly revolving/repeating(?) series of events within a single campaign/election evolution.

To wit, after having fun boxing Obama about the ears for his Reverend Wright association and his subsequent speech (btw, this is not going away… just fading for the time being), the focus of attention has now volleyed back to Hillary over her harrowing trip to Bosnia with Sinbad.

After admitting she misspoke, Hillary has resorted to the “…it just proves I’m human” defense. We’ll credit her for poking fun at herself but you can see the lines in her face more clearly and some of the resigned road-weariness that is becoming a trademark of hers when she’s backed into a corner.

Now, you can see where this is going, can’t you? Much more of this piling-on and untoward behavior towards this lady and we’ll be back right back in New Hampshire lapping up her tears.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

For reals.

Honest. This time, they promise, its gonna happen. April 14th is the date that the long-awaited under-grounding of power, telephone and cable lines will begin in anger in our ‘hood. The Big Dig, Rolando Beach style.

By our accounting they are approximately 3 years behind schedule. Yeah…. not too shabby.

But when we recall those clean and tidy but completely sterile and non-descript neighborhoods of Poway, Rancho Bernardo and East Lake, you’ll have to forgive us a bit of nostalgia. We’re children of Suburbia and our choice of “artwork” suggests we’ll always have a soft spot in our heart for this unique form of Southern California blight… in a totally Institute of Official Cheer sort of way.

How about another Lottery instead?

We’ve been accused (in these very pages) of never meeting a tax cut we didn’t like or thinking there was nothing ill on g#d’s green earth that a good ol’-fashioned tax cut couldn’t solve. An oversimplification to be sure but considering the alternative reflexology as practiced by Democrat state legislators, we’ll wear this broad-brushing proudly.

There was a voluminous comment exchange here on our home-schooling post that drifted from the question of teacher credentials to funding. The issue of funding has now been put on the front burner state-wide as California governor, Arnold Schwarznegger has proposed school-funding cuts in the wake of a huge budget shortfall.

Story here from the San Diego U-T, wastes no time in addressing the giddiness that some lawmakers see in this predicament. From the first paragraph:

“Democratic legislators, who have long wanted to get more money for underfunded California schools, think they have a historic opportunity to push for a tax increase.”

Yep. Its in the air. Can you feel it? And “historic opportunity”? Wow. That term is usually reserved for political movements that push for the franchise to vote or defeating fascism or communism or at the least a Laker 3-peat…. but to raise taxes? Almost makes you feel guilty you aren’t pulling your fair share, doesn’t it?

In the 16th paragraph of the story, it finally addresses some of the “reforms” the Governor and Assembly Republicans would like to see implemented that we would like to see also like gutting, err…. “streamlining bureaucracy, more local control and more accountability”.

We ain’t holding our breath, though. If any of you harbor any delusions that the California Teachers Union (and lest we be wrongly accused, we are referring specifically to the Union apparatchik and not necessarily the rank and file which they represent) hold the welfare of the children in the same regard they do to maintaining and expanding their own power, please watch video here courtesy KT.

Now, where's that paintbrush? We need another coat.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Forget...? Forget...? Please....

We’re pretty certain that Hillary may have felt she kinda fell out of the public eye with all the attention being paid to Barack Obama and his FORMER! Pastor so imagine her relief when the press started picking up on some calendar inconsistencies with respect to where she claims to have been during "crisis moments" in the Clinton, Bill presidency versus where she actually was. Story here. This would supposedly refute the "experience"
meme that has been the cornerstone of her campaign.

And remember that claim a few months ago regarding that visit to Bosnia back in '98, the evasive landing, the withering crossfire from
the hills, the mad dash across the tarmac and (gasp) the lack of a reception
committee? Well, she trotted out that “experience” again last week only for her campaign to claim later on that she misspoke. Check out video here for dramatic footage of the action.

This is the sort of thing that drives B-Daddy nearly insane about the Clintons. What was there really to be gained by exaggerating the details of this trip against what was surely to be lost by merely rummaging around some local affiliate news archives? Damn internet. It appears to be yet one more example of the pathological nature shared by these two… this compulsive nature to lie just for lying’s sake. Go back to the video and look at her mannerisms and listen to her tone when she talks about that trip. Its so matter-of-fact, the delivery so natural - Its frightening.

Look. We all know politicians, ahem, exaggerate... but the manner in which it is so effortlessly executed by the Clintons makes us want to take a shower after checking for our wallet.

Happy #$%&-ing Easter

Mr. Styles divines the intent of James Carville’s uplifting seasonal message here.

If we're Bill Richardson, we're watching our back. Even the awesomeness of that beard may not be enough to save him. Though with that tan, he’s actually starting to look Hispanic.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

We so won't jinx this by mentioning it.

That Coca-Cola commercial that shows video footage of a diminutive yet lightning quick UCLA point guard hitting a right-handed runner high off the glass over the outstretched arm of a much taller defender wasn’t hi-lite footage from last night’s UCLA game it was merely the last time UCLA was a #1 seed and sleep-walked through a 2nd round game against a #8 seed from the Big 12 only to have their point guard bail them out in the last second(s). Tyus Edney… meet Darren Collison.

UCLA’s effort nearly made us look prescient. One’s got to think that the lack of offensive consistency and habit of mounting furious come-backs seemingly every week is eventually going to bite them in the arse…. no such, thus far as the Bruins snatched victory from defeat against Texas A&M last night 53-49.

Previously, we had lamented the lack of a go-to perimeter guy for the Bruins, a job that was to be Josh Shipp’s but one which Shipp has politely declined as he is in the midst of a season-long shooting slump. Our fears may be unfounded, though, as Collison seems of late to be quite capable of providing this perimeter scoring and tending to his primary play-making responsibilities.
Maybe its because of the amount of basketball we’ve watched these past four days, but aside from the upsets and the high drama of many of the games, particularly last night (the Stanford-Marquette game is an instant classic), the thing that stands out most to us is the terrible officiating. And not at just one site or with a handful of crews…. evidence this weekend on T.V. has demonstrated that this is a nationwide epidemic.

We didn’t see this coming: We liked Washington St. against Notre Dame but we didn’t expect WAZU to hold the Domers to nearly half their scoring average and only 13 field goals (24.5% for the game) in a 61-41 victory. Ouch.

All the Pac-10 haters can go back to shoveling their driveway, scraping their windshield or whatever it is people east of Yuma do on a daily basis. After a disappointing 3-3 first round showing, the Pac-10 will have 3 teams in the Sweet 16 as opposed to possibly just 1 for the hallowed ACC (as of this post Miami is down 8 to Texas with a minute left and North Carolina plays later this afternoon).

oh, btw... UCLA won the national championship back in '95 when Edney hit that runner against Missouri. doh!

P.S. Texas just beat Miami. Its now up to North Caroling to salvage ACC pride against Arkansas.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Play-Doh Offensive: Hitting Al Qaeda Where It Hurts

Substitute here.

If you've sat there in your easy chair wondering how you could hit Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the mouth for the endless grief and destruction they have caused this world, I'm going to give you the address. Ready?

Attn: Teresa Nealley
CoC 163 LTF
Camp Phoenix

But first, you have to make a bit of a detour. If you want to wipe the smirk off of Bin Laden's face, and make the Taliban cringe, you have to drive first to your neighborhood Target, Wal-Mart, or similar store and load up on a few "war supplies".

Try these:
Box of pencils
Box of erasers
Box of crayons
A stack of printer paper
Pencil sharpeners

Buy these, and similar items, or even just some baby or toddler clothes, and send them to the U.S. Navy's very own "Girl In Afghanistan", Teresa Nealley, at the address provided above. From her prime spot in Camp Phoenix on the outskirts of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, she'll know how to get them to exactly the right places. Plan on spending around $35, including postage and shipping materials, when all is said and done if you go by the list above.

This will take you no more than 1 hour, I promise.

Originally documented in a BwD post in mid-October, Teresa is now into her sixth month of a fifteen month deployment. It's been hard on her, but she's determined -- despite the hardships arrayed against her -- to help the poorest of the poor in one of the most hardscrabble countries on Earth. She has asked The Substitute and his friends to help her in the cause.

You can do no more to fight the evils of terrorism and the twisted version of the Muslim religion that The Taliban & Co. have ruthlessly wielded than to stick a pencil or crayons, piece of paper, and the gift of imagination into the hands of an Afghani child. Pencils and paper, education and compassion, are primary tools of freedom's inevitable victory over tyrrany.

This is your chance to make the most direct impact on the War on Terror that is possible. Consider it your own version of a World War II Victory Garden or Pot & Pan Drive. It is your chance to drive a wedge between Al Qaeda's operatives and an Afghani people that have known nothing but war and misery for what is now beyond 30 years.

Kill them with kindness. Show them the compassion and concern that America has historically been renowned for. By the time the post office clerk gets done putting on the postage on your box, you'll feel better than you have since before 9/11/01.

- The Substitute

P.S. Referenced post on Teresa can be found here.

We'll Take It

The next best thing to Belmont taking down Duke on Thursday would be West Virginia doing the deed themselves against the Blue Devils which they did, winning their second round match-up 73-67… and it really wasn’t that close as Duke hit a couple of late 3s to cut into a 14 point deficit. West Virginia was in control pretty much the entire 2nd half after falling behind by 5 at half-time. Box score here. Biggest stat, of course: Duke, a dreadful 5-22 from behind the arc.

Around the 8 minute mark with Duke trailing by 6 announcer Bob Wenzel felt compelled to tell us “the team in the white shirts (Duke) is really going to start showing some heart, here”. This is representative of the template for announcers and the sporting media as a whole we’ve heard for years now with respect to the Duke program that we can’t help but feel is codespeak for: "the undermanned, floor-slapping, gritty little white kids at Duke won’t ever go down without a fight. " Unfortunately for Duke, West Virginia’s whiteness rivaled that of Duke’s and from that point on WVU took Duke to the woodshed beating their brains out on the boards and coming up with seemingly every loose ball.

So…. what’s up with the Dookies? Another early round exit for another pedestrian, athletically-challenged, Coack K squad. We remarked in an email to a friend last March that Coach K was going to be the next Coach Bobby Knight (Bobby Knight coached Coach Kryzezewski at Army). What we meant by that was the success that both coaches experienced at the height of their career dictated thereafter, we believe, their philosophy towards how they ran their program and thus the type of player they recruited.

Bobby Knight won 3 national championships in a span of 12 years but his last championship was 21 years ago. Coach K won 3 in 11 years, his last coming back in 2001. But at some point, after the last championship, something changed in both programs… something changed in the mindset and philosophy of both coaches which affected their ability to win championships thereafter and it had everything to do with the personalities of both coaches, one the mentor and the other, the protégé.

This post is running long already so we’ll break it off and come back to finish our thoughts in a Pt. II later in the tournament.

…and for those of you who have been living under a rock, here is the game-winner and most significant two-points in the history of basketball in San Diego. Mongo, an Aztec alum was begging for this.

H/T: Awful Announcing

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Great Communicator 2.0?

So after having some time to digest the Obama race speech and reading all the various reactions to it, we’re still far less inclined to parse the speech to point out any inconsistencies or questionable lines of reasoning but rather left to ponder how it is this man who sounds so very post-racial could hold close to his bosom a man of the cloth that sounds so bigoted and hateful?

B-Daddy opined in the comment section, here, that its just politics. Obama, the son of a white woman and a black man not descendant of slaves needed some street cred so he hooked up with one of the most “respected” civil rights leaders in Chicago. Fair enough but now 20 years on its come home to roost and now he has to answer for it. And answer he did in a nice little equivocating speech that got him back on the “friends” panel of the Face Book set.

OK…. can we all just move on, now? Sure. That is, if you are ready for “change”…. a “change” from the way we view and treat the question of race in this country? If Obama’s past associations are any indication, it sounds like more of the same to us. And if Obama stood to gain from his association with the Reverend early in his political career then he stands to be punished, deservedly so, for it now.

Now Obama, who has referenced Ronald Reagan a number of times, fancies himself as the Reagan of the Democrat Party… that one person who through his words and magnanimous personality can unite the factions on the liberal-Left as well as draw off moderates and Republicans who have grown disgusted with the very un-Republican behavior of Republicans in Congress and the Oval Office. Unfortunately for Obama, though, he’s got the lyrics down, but the tune is off.

“Unfair”, you say? Hey, its just politics.

Acta non Verba, baby... Acta non Verba

Our Little Catholic School up on the hill wishes everyone a very Good Friday.

The Toreros of the University of San Diego, a #13 seed just upset the #4 seed Uconn Huskies 70-69 in OT in one of the guttiest team performances we’ve seen in quite some time. Box score, here. We saw this same team in person back in December at the city championship against San Diego St., a loss, and it would be safe to say that we did not see this coming. This represents the first NCAA tournament win for the city of San Diego.

With leading scorers, center Gyno Pomare (pictured) and mercurial point guard, Brandon Johnson both on the bench having fouled-out, sophomore guard De’Jon Jackson who was previously just 1 of 8 from the field hit a step-back 17-footer with 1.2 seconds left in OT to clinch the win for USD.

Thank you, De’Jon. Instead of cursing a loss opportunity because of some spotty foul-shooting down the stretch and some questionable officiating, you and the rest of the gritty Toreros just made this Good Friday a little more gooder.

Our bracket is ablaze right now after having both USC and Arizona getting knocked out, teams we had going to the Elite 8 and Sweet 16, respectively but right now, we don’t care as its always nice to see a team that has no business doing so getting by on pure heart over an athletically superior college basketball blueblood who is wondering right now what just hit them.

"Google-ing It" is so old school

Story here in yesterday’s fish wrap documents the increasing use and dependence (?) of drivers upon GPS devices that are now standard features in many new cars today. Though we own a hand-held device, we only recall having to use it once to bail us out of trouble in off-road territory in the eastern Mojave. And speaking of trouble, that’s precisely what drivers who use GPS as a primary navigation device find themselves in as street names change, businesses close or relocate and the technology therein does not refresh real-time.

Besides all that, we’re pretty convinced that the use of the in-car GPS as primary navigation device is a clear violation of Man Law… those esteemed principals that provide the foundation for this planet’s malesmanship.

So, we’re throwing this out there: is dependence on one’s in-car GPS as your primary navigation (ahead of looking at a map, googling, or…. yes, asking for directions) a violation of Man Law?

(And we definitely want to hear from our female readers on this)

Things look different at 7 in the morning.

We deleted a post from yesterday. It recounted an incident from work which was hastily conceived, clumsily written and in the end, not really post-worthy. It left open too wide of an interpretation... wide enough to be outside the scope of this site to which we always attempt to apply a degree of taste and common sense.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Its in the Stars

… and speaking of High Holidays, this weekend sees a rare convergence of Easter and the first round of the NCAAs making it just a little higher than normal. We’re taking tomorrow off to ummm… honor this occasion so blogging may be light or heavy depending on our mood.

Either way, we'll be hanging on Sunday with B-Daddy and his family. We greatly admire and appreciate B-Daddy's family preacher, Pastor J's ability to apply the significance of the resurrection as a foundation to the whole of Western Civilization. Ground Zero Day, indeed.

Were 7-1 as of this posting this afternoon. Mongo can vouch for our good word.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So, that would explain it.

10 very good reasons why we/you don't read our/your/anyone else's blog.

H/T: Foxfier

Reaganesque....? Believe It.

Because we spent approx. 18 hours in airports and planes the past couple of days, we were unable to see the Obama race speech and all the accompanying commentary surrounding it which is a good thing because after watching it in its entirety on YouTube this evening, we did have a few unfiltered thoughts:

Overall, we thought it was good but it fell short of the mark and certainly did not have the broad sweeping impact that Romney’s religion in America speech did (but guess which one will always be referred to more often down the line?).

Why did it fall short of the mark? Well, for one thing it was too long. He starts off well keeping to the arching themes of race in this country’s history and giving what we felt was a very strong repudiation of Wright’s words and rhetoric. However, Obama starts drifting half-way through his speech, using his call for racial reconciliation as a jumping-off point for better healthcare, education, ending the war in Iraq, etc., etc.… campaign stumping that should have been placed on hold for this occasion.

He then goes on to rationalize the bigotry exhibited by some blacks on real injustices visited upon them in the past and at times, in the present. Fair enough (don’t necessarily agree but…O.K). But then, mystifyingly, he turns around and rationalizes white bigotry on affirmative action and welfare which, in his opinion, formed the foundation of the Reagan coalition. This is pure hooey, of course, and does not even dignify a response.

While listening to all this rationalization for plain old bad behavior without a straight-up unqualified condemnation of the same, a quote came to mind made by Rosalind Carter when speaking of (speaking of…) Reagan that we will apply to the subject at hand: “Obama make us comfortable with our prejudices”. He does. Because he didn’t just come out and say bigotry and racism was inexcusable, he made us feel a little more comfortable with some that we may harbor… its not really our fault, after all….just look at history.
We will commend him, though, for recognizing part of the greatness of this country is that it is not “static” with respect to progress whether its race, gender or religion. This is a theme pro-Western Civ types like us have been making for years especially with respect to Islam: “yeah, some of our history is not pretty… freely admitted… but we always reserve the right to be smarter and better than we used to be”.

We may have more later but that was what made the strongest initial impressions. Good but not great. Certainly, with all the hoopla surrounding this dust-up the opportunity for greatness was there so we’ll just call this a long single rather than a home-run.

P.S. The nagging suspicion remains…. He wants to use the "crazy uncle” argument but how can you break bread with that same crazy uncle for over 20 years without cracking him upside the skull? Obama says that we all have people in our lives that we love yet have disagreements with but, my g#d, those types of disagreements. And, worse, he never gives any evidence that he challenged Wright on any of his rhetoric over those 20 years. Nice speech but actions do speak louder than words so we don’t believe he is quite off the hook on this one.

Fire the Dog!

Two years ago, we had the good fortune of being able to attend the 1st round games of the NCAA tournament at Cox Arena here in San Diego and back before we started blogging on the internet, we were still doing it, we suppose, via email which of course didn’t make us appear very tech-savvy but allowed us to spam our intended recipients on whatever subject whether they wanted to hear from us or not.

Anyway, we were so tickled by the experience that we wanted to share it with friends. Here is that email from March of '06:

A quick 'blog' on my excellent adventure to the NCAA Tournament 1st round
games at Cox Arena yesterday:

One of the most disturbing trends in American culture I've witnessed is the
discussion being given to making the day after the Super Bowl a national
holiday. If you haven't heard any of this "discussion", consider yourself
lucky. Its downright embarrassing. Even broaching the topic of a
national holiday to sleep off hangovers is a leading indicator of how this
nation is slouching towards a soft, dull and flaccid Euro-existence. As a
Chief Engineer once related to me: "Self-inflicted wounds are no excuse for
non-performance, cadet."

........ but a national holiday for the first round of the NCAAs? - now
we're talkin'! Seriously, there are no two better days on the calendar,
sports or otherwise, than that Thurs. and Friday in mid-March that mark the first round of the men's basketball tournament. Don't believe me? Look
at all the stories in the news about the general freak-out in the business
world over crashed computer networks due to employees streaming videos of
the games during work hours. How is that not a phenomena? How is that NOT
a good thing?

Anyway, I've been fortunate enough to attend 3 first round NCAA
events over the years. Once out in Arizona and twice here in SD at Cox
Arena. Call me shallow, un-broadened, "in a bubble", whatever..... can't
say I've had a better time here on God's green earth than spending
gloriously sunny spring days in Arizona and Southern California, sitting
inside for 9-10 hours watching 4 straight basketball games.

And its not just the hoops, of course, but the whole atmosphere.
Every one is aware of the pageantry of college hoops... the bands, the
cheerleaders, all the excitement inherent to college athletics but for me
it goes even deeper. These tournament events have been like old home week
for me. I literally bump into all the SD hoops homies who I have played
against at PB Rec, Crown Point, Mission Beach or any of the various rec leagues
I've participated in over the past 16 years here in San Diego. Its
definetely a trip. A lot of these formerly over-educated, under-employed
beach-dwelling "herbal" connoisseurs have got all growed-up and
respectable-like with families and yes, even full-time jobs.

On a semi-related demographic note: this event is decidedly white, male,
middle/upper-middle class. If you wanted to eliminate a large chunk the
"investor" class in the SD area, you would be well-served to plan
"something" for this event.
...... and speaking of that particular "something", we indeed did have a
bomb scare at the Arena. Apparently, there was "noise" on the internet of
a potential terrorist act at one or multiple tourney sites. One of the dogs
brought in prior to the games sniffed out something in a hot dog cart.
They cleared everyone out of the Arena and brought in the ATF Bomb Squad.
Turns out the dog sniffed out a box of plastic forks. Nice work, Rin'.
But better safe than sorry, right? The masses took the delay well,
returning to their cars to (re-)initiate tail-gate ops until everyone was
readmitted about an hour and a half later.

I'd say something about the games themselves but you can read about
them in the paper. Incidentally, I was able to sit in the first row on
the baseline for Illinois/Air Force game. The size, strength, quickness
and intensity that I saw from that perspective vs. my usual nose-bleed
perches was simply amazing. Almost frightening. Flash-backs of Scott
Williams (U. of North Carolina and later Chicago Bulls) dunking on my head in
hi-school summer league went flashing through my head.

Sorry, this wasn't so quick afterall. Hope everyone's brackets are
in good shape - Happy St. Pat's Day and thanks for letting me share the

Many thanks to B-Daddy for minding the store and for providing some excellent analysis on the Fed's intervention into the credit crisis and the 2nd amendment case being heard before the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hang On To Your Hats

B-Daddy here. Brilliant though he may be, I'm not sure this man knows what he's doing. He is Ben S. Bernanke chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, aka the Fed. The Fed's rate cut today was greeted by cheers on Wall Street as the S&P 500 soared over 4% today. (See how that sounds so much less dramatic than "the Dow soared by 420 points," good to keep things in perspective.) However, I am very, very nervous about the return of inflation. My traditional inflation harbinger is the price of gold which closed up $1.70 an ounce today at the previously unheard of price of $1004 an ounce. The price of gold has spiked from an historically high mid-600s in early 2007 to over $1000 an ounce today. There is a nice chart here. The price of oil, another commodity is way up as well. Parallels to the 1970s abound.

I think that we have been fooled by the lack of consumer goods price inflation that past Fed easy money policy did not have the deleterious effects it has had in earlier years. While consumer prices stayed steady from the late 90s on, due to global competition, we had a stock market bubble followed by a real estate bubble. I think the cause of both bubbles was that the price of money, i.e. the interest rates, were held artificially low, and so the risks of these investments were not properly evaluated by investors. Exacerbating bubbles are the bad behaviors that they encourage. The Fed intervention in loaning money to JP Morgan to purchase a failing Bear-Stearns will only exacerbate this mess by encouraging bad behavior (this is called moral hazard by my favorite Brit magazine, sounds so much better.) The Fed is dipping deep into its reserves to effect bail outs of financial firms because Bernanke is concerned that a collapse in the financial sector will lead to a lack of liquidity that would trigger a 1930s style depression. I disagree, but who am I? I also think we are learning the wrong lessons from the 1929 collapse where clumsy Fed handling of interest rates by raising them quickly triggered a stock market sell off. Ultimately, though, most economists agree that the stock market crash was not the proximate cause of the Great Depression. Directly intervening with specific firms in the economy is an untested method of monetary policy. They seem to be making it up as they go at the Fed and that makes me very, very nervous. So hang on to your hats, this could be a very wild ride.

Update #1. Understanding how the housing market subprime loan mess has caused such widespread financial upheaval is difficult. The New York Times, amazingly, does a pretty good job of explaining in this article.

Monday, March 17, 2008

You thought you voted for a conservative?

B-Daddy here. Many of us bought into the idea that the man at left is a conservative in the Goldwater tradition. However, the actions of his administration once again give the lie to this notion. The man pictured at right is the Solicitor General of the United States, Paul D. Clement. He filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing against an individual rights interpretation of the 2nd amendment that the Second Court of Appeals used to strike down the D.C. gun ban. Why does this matter? Because if the D.C. law is declared unconstitutional, per se, then the burden of proof will be on government, where it always should have been, to show how regulation of gun ownership does not interfere with a fundamental right. Ironically the Goldwater Institute opposes the administration interpretation as well. Their criticism is far more eloquent than mine:

"This brief addresses the government’s failure of principle and logic in this case. The United States’ brief (hereinafter “Gov’t Br.”) argues correctly that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental personal right to keep and bear arms, but then fails to acknowledge and advocate the simple and necessary conclusions that follow from that premise."
However, Bush, either through disorganization or apathy has allowed his Solicitor General to file a brief that argues for a more restrictive interpretation of the 2nd amendment. Amazingly, Vice President Cheney has signed on to an amicus curiae brief that argues against the position of the administration's own official. Unbelievable.

Like his signing of McCain-Feingold, or NoChildLeftBehind or caving on steel tariffs, or generally just letting pork run amok, this administration has not been all that conservative. No wonder people are abandoning the Republican label.

Not quite as "post-racial" as advertised.

We’ve been having some fun reading the “diaries” over at the Daily Kos. So much so, in fact, we are going to rename this section of Kos, the Pretzel Factory. Want an example? Read here for the reason for Obama’s pastor’s maniacal outbursts. Its your fault. If you happen to be white, that is.

KT makes an excellent point, here, regarding why we shouldn’t dismiss the good Reverend’s behavior as “it’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand”. In fact, this defense is rather curiously-applied stereotyping in itself.

This whole episode got us to thinking (no… we didn’t “pull” anything), if Reverend Wright is what passes for leadership in the “black community”, should it be a surprise that a large segment of the black population views itself as being in a permament underclass status.

Programming Alert

...and speaking of bureaucratic inefficiencies... despite the gallant and repeated efforts of not one but two government travel offices to scuttle our travel plans, we will be getting on a plane this afternoon for a 11:30 P.M. arrival in Virginia. We should be back on Wednesday but until then B-Daddy will be at the wheel.

A lot to get to when we get back. Yesterday was rather post-heavy with the NCAA tournament selections and all but if you are just catching up with things here on the internets please check this out. We didn't want it to get buried in all our March Madness. We'll be picking up more on the education/home-schooling thing later.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


If you haven't been watching, you've been missing out. Stumbled upon this while we were surfing around Daily Kos. Paul Giamatti does John Adams.

Outstanding thus far. We're going on travel tomorrow so we'll try to see what we can see in the next few days.

Despite the obvious, we still believe the whole story of our nation's independence is undertold. As tonight's episodes made clear... the suicidal endeavor made no practical sense, whatsoever.

Its ON!

Just a few initial thoughts on the NCAA basketball tournament field that was just set about 2 hours ago (bracket here):

Surprisingly little bitching about who got in and who was left out which had become a Selection Sunday cottage industry of late. Even Billy Packer was very civil towards selection committee chairman Tom O’Connor on CBS’s selection show.

The two teams that were the subject of most discussion as to who got jobbed were Virginia Tech and Arizona St. Seth Greenberg, the VaTech coach was on ESPN pleading his case and gave a nod towards possibly expanding the tournament. We’ve heard more of this noise over the past few years and we sincerely hope it goes away because it solves NONE of the problems it proponents claim it will fix.

The pro-expansionists' strongest plea is that seemingly deserving teams like VaTech and ASU will be granted admittance to the Big Dance. Okay. Then what about that team that feels they are just as worthy as VaTech and ASU who gets left out…. what about them? Point is, there is ALWAYS going to be a team that feels they got screwed no matter how many teams you let into the tournament. As it is, the consensus this year was that this was the softest bubble in many years, meaning those teams on the bubble, quite frankly weren’t that good and probably would not stand a chance of even being considered in years previous.

Also, the field of 64 (plus 1… don’t ask) is nearly perfect in its symmetry. 2 rounds in the first long weekend followed by 2 more rounds in the sweet 16/Elite 8 long weekend and then the Final Four weekend after that. Why would you want to mess with the best tournament in all of sports? No. There is no tweaking you can do to it to make it any better, so just knock it off, will ya?

Back to Arizona St. for a moment: Its ironic that one of the last teams “out”, a team from the conference that many feel is the best in the land got bumped out by Georgia, a conference tourney winner from a conference that was most certainly down this year.

Apparently, there is something that Duke can do to not play their first round games in the state of North Carolina: lose to Clemson in the ACC tourney semis as they did yesterday. Duke who had the #2 seed in the Midwest Region locked up and first and second round games in Raleigh got shipped off to Washington D.C. as a #3 seed in the West Region.

The dreaded 5/12 upset: Possibilities abound! 5 Notre Dame/ 12 George Mason, 5 Clemson/ 12 Villanova, 5 Drake / 12 Western Ky., 5 Michigan St. / 12 Temple. One of those 5 seeds is going down. It’s a given… but which one? George Mason knocking off Notre Dame would please us the most but Michigan St. fits the 5/12 upset mold of power conference team that has played inconsistently all year that gets bumped off by a hot mid-major team.

That’s all for now.

The Pac-10 is overrated?

Prior to today, there would be no question mark after the post subject. As West Coast homers we’re pleased as punch that the folks that cover college hoops for ESPN and CBS have noticed the fine ball being played out here this year but as often happens when an NFL player is finally recognized by the fans and the media and is awarded a Pro Bowl spot, its probably a year too late.

We feel the Pac-10 was actually a stronger conference last year and we owe this largely to the fact that Oregon and Arizona (though hobbled by injuries) have underachieved somewhat and have not lived up to the lofty expectations people had for them at the beginning of the season.

As we said, though, that was prior to this morning when we (full disclosure: any following of hoops yesterday was done via a friend’s Blackberry as we were wine-tasting in the gloriously green Temecula Valley at another friend’s birthday) came-to this morning and cracked open the fish wrap and saw that #9 seed Pittsburgh defeated Georgetown for the Big East championship, a 16-16 Georgia Bulldog team was going to play unranked Arkansas for the SEC tourney title (this, after playing and winning 2 games yesterday because of the tornado that ripped through the Georgia Dome thus postponing their quarterfinal match-up against Ole Miss) and a 16-18 Illini squad was taking on #8 ranked Wisconsin for the Big 10 championship.

Sorry, that’s not reflective of “parity” or the “top to bottom” toughness in a big-time basketball conference. That’s just straight-up mediocrity in a big-time basketball conference.

Everybody has their own idea of how to rate and rank the respective conferences and we have always felt that you can make the numbers and stats say anything you want regarding the relative merits of the conference so we’ll just say this: We’ll take the overall strength of the top 7 teams of the Pac-10 (UCLA, Stanford, USC, Washington St., Arizona, Oregon and Arizona St.) against the top 70% of any other conference in America (this percentage figure factors against mega-conferences like the Big East that have 16 teams and thus a natural advantage in the “top 7 teams” argument).

P.S. Our arguments for UCLA not being a Final Four team keeping on taking hits as they gutted-out a win against Stanford, 67-64 in the Pac-10 championship without starting forward, Luc-Richard Mbah a Moute (sprained ankle) and an ailing but still playing center, Kevin Love (back spasm). “Barometer Boy”, Josh Shipp had only 7 points on 3 of 10 shooting but that was more than compensated for by point guard, Darren Collison getting off for 28 points while playing all 40 minutes. Stud.

P.P.S. As of this posting, #8 Texas is down eight to #5 Kansas with 10 minutes left in the Big 12 championship. Were Texas to beat Kansas and also being a team that is the only one to beat 3 currently ranked top-5 teams (UCLA, Tennessee and Kansas in the regular season), not be worthy a #1 seed?)

The 1 Second Film

Substitute here.

One of the really great things about road trips is some of the 0dd-ball stuff you come across in open country.

Last October, I sat on the rim of the Grand Canyon for my first time ever, contemplating the immensity of it all. Half an hour in to my quiet meditation of it, a very strange looking bus with an even weirder trailer in tow behind it rumbled into one of the several parking lots you can pull into as you travel the length of the canyon's south wall. The occupants of the bus got out, dressed all in black as if they had somehow become lost on their way to their gig as Depeche Mode roadies. This was obviously very distracting to my stated goal of soaking in the majesty of the greatest hole on earth.

But soon enough, the occupants broke out some very basic music instruments -- think Sheryl Crowe's band on "Tuesday Night Music Club" -- and started playing a very folksy tune over and over, with the female lead vocal whirring out some incomprehesible lyrics at a semi high-pitch. The third time they played it, I was actually humming along and realized it complemented my visual of the canyon quite nicely -- almost the musical version of their handing me a wine glass filled with a red of a spicy boquet that suggested a fine merlot.

A guy from the group came up to me somewhat apologetically, as if he realized what the Canyon experience was supposed to be like (Quiet!!), and explained they were making a movie called "The 1 Second Film", and handed me a little laminated post-card flyer explaining the project. Sure enough, upon my further examination, they had been filming the band playing in front of the Grand Canyon. Being as polite as he was, I didn't refuse his request that I move over a few feet to get out of their shot. They also took a photo of me holding the post-card with the canyon in the background -- something they have done thousands of times over across the country as part of their promotion. (I searched their website for the photo, but have come up empty thus far)

Several months have gone by now, and while doing a bit of house cleaning this morning, I found the little post-card they gave me. It lead me to find out if they had posted anything on YouTube to promote the project. They have:

Now, I don't know if anything is ever going to come from this project. I still don't even have the slightest idea about what the "1 second film" is about, nor it's 1 hour documentary superimposed during the credits. But the thing is tangentially backed by my stunt-double, Pierce Brosnan, as well as Kevin Bacon, Stephen Colbert, and on down the line. So if it does hit it big, I just want to take credit for being behind the bus at the 2:14 mark in the YouTube video -- the shot of the Grand Canyon.

- The Substitute

Follow the Money

A vigorously participated comment thread here (thank you, all) on the home-school ruling, inspired us to seek wisdom and knowledge from Pops, BwD’s elder statesman, provider of the chili recipe and all-around sage. The issue of funding started popping up at the end of the thread – Mongo has 3 friends himself that are being laid off as a result of budget cuts in Sacramento and at least two of them were forced to pay for basic school supplies out of their own pocket, an anecdote we here far too often.

B-Daddy suggested that while the classroom may be underfunded, the education system itself (memorialized from here on out as "Big Ed") is not. While overhead is unavoidable in any organization the current funding of 25-person classrooms in California at $275,000/year would certainly suggest that the teachers should not have to be purchasing pencils and papers for their students.

Pops' thoughts on the matter as follows:

My encounter with educational bureaucracy wasn't much of a big deal. After my retirement, subbing sounded like a good way to add a few bucks without jeopardizing my social security. I passed the CBEST (which is another story) and went the district office to sign up. I was told that it would cost me $180 to process my paper work. The whole idea of paying them to get a job really irritated me and I made an about face and walked out. I figured that they must not need math subs very badly.

I would like to weigh in on the idea that our schools are underfunded. It could be that the class rooms are underfunded but that is due to the fact that too large of a percentage of our school funding is being drained off by a bloated bureaucracy which has very little to do with providing a quality classroom experience.

There is a well known economic law that states that the number of administrative positions in an organization will increase over time independent of the useful function of the organization. This was first noted by an economist in the British Admiralty after WWI. The number of ships of line had decreased but the size of the Admiralty office had increased. At one point, there was a flu epidemic and the economist found that he had nothing to do. When he analyzed the situation, he realized that the organization spent its time generating paperwork that had to be reviewed by others creating an endless flow of "work."

My argument that the educational bureaucracy is for the most part useless lies in the fact the private schools operate entirely without an overriding bureaucracy and produce an equal or superior product. I am not familiar enough with our local government schools to know how many useless positions exist inside the schools, but there is a district office, a county office and state bureaucracy dedicated to paper pushing. The state bureaucracy has generated an educational code about four feet high. Somehow the private schools are able to operate without the bureaucracy or the code and therefore educate a child at lower cost.

Our former Secretary of Education, (Bill or Bob) Bennett used the example of the Chicago School system to make his point on needless bureaucracy. In Chicago, the government school system and the Catholic system are of approximately the same size. The government system has a cast of thousands overseeing their system. The entire Catholic system is overseen by a handful of priests and a few secretaries and produces a superior product.

The state of North Carolina is the only place that I have heard of that has taken the problem seriously. They restructured the state bureaucracy and provided more classroom dollars while cutting the total bill for education.

Thanks, Pops!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

....and I most definetely do not approve this message.

Remember the beta-male we referred to in the Update section of this post? Well, we found him. He's here doing a campaign ad for Hillary. We think. Dude is so not getting any.

Friday, March 14, 2008


We’d like to know… when does it happen? Where or how does inspiration come to you? What activity is it that best produces your own “big idea”……?… a new wrinkle in an old recipe… a great vacation plan…. a totally plausible excuse for playing hooky so you can go to Opening Day.

In the shower? Maybe as you’re driving? How about doing the laundry or washing dishes? Or maybe while you are deep in thought or prayer.

We want to know what gives you all those wonderful notions that will totally get you back together with your girlfriend or out of the doghouse with your wife….. or some kind words to someone you will never see again… but will still apply to someone you will.

Click. That’s what’s wrong with the car. Click. That’s what I’ll tell the boss. Click. Hey, I know how I'm going to spend my children's inheritance. Click. Wow, what a horrible idea for a blog post….

We’d like to know. Do share.


If your parents were anything like ours, they reared you to be responsible people. That responsibility included picking up your toys, cleaning up any messes you may have made, admitting to and owning up to your mistakes and perhaps most importantly, being accountable to yourself and others for your actions.

Your parents are a bunch of saps.

Looks like Congress and a reluctant White House fearful of losing more seats to the Democrats if they are accused of “not doing anything” are getting closer on a housing mortgage bail-out deal.

You can read more of the gory details here, but the long and short of it and why the whole notion of bail-out frosts us is that money is coming out of the pockets of responsible home-owners to keep irresponsible people in their homes.

Now lest you think we are being too harsh, let's try a more clinically detached angle: the free-market was working just fine in flushing out those people that had no business being in the housing market in the first place. This subsidization of bad behavior both practically (by artificially lowering the “cost” of ownership) and psychologically (in way over your head? no worries – mulligan!) only promotes more bad behavior because the bad actors are being rewarded instead of being kicked to the curb as would happen naturally if the free market were allowed to do its thing.

It really does become a self-fulfilling prophecy: If we want to keep irresponsible people in the housing market AND encourage more irresponsible people to enter the market, then by damn, we certainly have the means.... your means to do so.

So…. are we off the cold, heartless bastard hook?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

When did you realize Phil Knight owned your soul?

A wise man once said that if you truly enjoy what you do then you will never work a day in your life. Did we get that right or did we screw it up? Anyway, the quote, however its supposed to go was talking about this guy.

Imagine a paying gig for attending college football games and reporting out on the tailgates… food, drink and coeds, all included.

His first foray was a trip through the Pac-10 in ’06, the highlites which we link to here. Love the Arizona/Arizona St. chica smackdown to start things off and the instantly matter-of-fact responses to who really is the Ducks’ Daddy are priceless (6:50 mark for those of you on the go).

Oh (R)eally?

We took great pains to not mention Eliot Spitzer’s party affiliation here because in our mind, what’s wrong is wrong and we didn’t want to descend into partisan mudslinging over such an unsavory affair. Besides, it would prove to be just one more embarrassing episode for one of our own.

Well, looks like the gig is up. He’s been outed. Craig, Foley and now, Spitzer. Sigh.

H/T: Hot Air

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

You're All on the Clock

Seriously. If you can find more excellence packed into a 5 minute clip we’ll strip down nekkid and streak around the block. The sheer awesomeness contained herein nearly defies the time/space con… con… con… … time/space physics. Whew…

Is There a Pill You can take for This sort of Thing?

The Democrats race and gender-based ritualistic self-mutilation continued today as Geraldine Ferraro stepped down from her position in Hillary Clinton’s finance committee over comments she made that suggested Clinton’s opponent, Barack Obama, was successful because he was black. Story here.

This follows on the heels of Obama foreign policy advisor Samantha Power resigning her position after using the “M”-word.

We think we share the feelings of many Americans (including many Democrats) right now by saying: “What is with these people?”

If you’ve followed this site for any amount of time, you know we have spared our own default party of registration no quarter if any of its members have strayed too far from our Reagan Youth ways or just plain common sense and this extends in spades to the Republican Party’s own presidential nominee, John McCain.

But one of our most consistent criticisms of the Democrats over the years aside from any ideological differences has been what we feel is a complete and abject un-seriousness to how they conduct business.

How can we take them seriously when they do not behave in a serious manner themselves?

So while the Democrats are stumbling all over themselves vying for the honor of “most aggrieved”, we wonder when it is that these people will wrench their focus away from their gender and race-centric navels and propose how it is they are going to fight the war on terror, succeed in Iraq, secure the borders, improve our shaky economy and fix our failing public education system. We’re waiting.

How to cope with all this non-sense? Not to worry. Mr. Styles aka Dr. Street Legal has got a little sumthin’-sumthin’ here that should fit all our budgets.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Little Conference that Probably Will

Those shrieks of anguish you heard last night around 8:30 were from major conference bubble teams that just watched the USD Toreros take down the heavily-favored Bulldogs of Gonzaga in the finals of the West Coast Conference Tournament. This after another improbable come-from-behind victory against St. Mary’s the night before in double OT.

Its very possible now that 3 West Coast Conference teams will make the field of 64 when its named this Sunday and because of USD’s win last night and thus automatic bid, teams like Ohio St., Arizona St. and Syracuse may be on the outside looking in as it was felt Gonzaga and St. Mary’s would make the tournament as at-large bids regardless of how they did in the conference tourney. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has his latest bracket, here, and has all 3 teams in. We had some thoughts on the WCC prior to the season.
First year coach Bill Grier was a Zags assistant for years and was brought down here to duplicate some of the underdog magic that has won-over much of the nation as Gonzaga has acquired the moniker, “America’s Team” for some of their deep runs in the tournament over the past decade or so.

Quick NBA note: The talking points have gone out. Apparently, the Golden State Warriors are “the team that no one wants to play” in the playoffs. Hmmmm… let’s see who else is in the West that is currently playoff bound: San Antonio, Phoenix, Lakers, Hornets, Utah, Dallas, Houston. Anyone there you would prefer to play?

Masters of the Obvious, we are.

Hey, give us a break. We gave Larry Craig the business here and here… you didn’t think we were going to let Spitzer off the hook now did you?

Those looks, well her look, has to be the most pitiable we’ve seen in ages. Its that mushroom cloud blooming over her marriage, her career, her children…. her entire life while she sticks it out (for now) next to Slappy.

Alright… enough of that. Here’s a roundup of related items:

Why’d he do it? Call it the Bill Maher syndrome: just makin’ up for some lost time. Also known in some circles as the BwD syndrome though its yet to kick in.

And Jonah Goldberg gives a nice “private matter/public shame” reading of the situation here.

Some thoughts on the matter here from a woman who probably cancels vacations when something like this goes down.

And this from ‘Kos-ville. Careful… what you’re about to read could be considered tantamount to waterboarding. Thankfully, the commenters take this idiot to task on account of his “logic”.

Finally, this from Dr. Laura on whom we could’ve bet would have a take like this. The woman is insane and we mean that in the most complimentary of ways.

H/T: Hot Air, Drudge, Daily Kos, NRO

Monday, March 10, 2008

Would it be possible for You to not make our lives a living hell... again?

So what’s next for the Democrats as they try to un-screw the mess they have made for themselves with respect to the presidential primaries? Mail-in ballots, anyone?

The idea that has been gaining some traction is to declare the original Michigan and Florida primaries null and void and have a “mulligan” - a do-over. Since the state of Florida said they are not footing the bill for another election, the DNC has been advancing the idea of mailing out the ballots, themselves.

Mind you, Floridians are the same folks who couldn’t grasp the butterfly ballot and then found something to bitch about with the electronic ballots because they were easier for Republican operatives to hack (hey, ever notice there are no charges of voter fraud when Democrats win?) and now these apparently electorally-challenged folks will be expected to a) go to the mail box b) open the ballot envelope c) correctly select the candidate of their choice d) place ballot in the self-addressed envelope e) place stamp somewhere on envelope if not an SAS envelope and finally, f) place envelope back in mail box for pick-up.

Now there is something we cannot stress enough: it is of paramount importance that each of these steps be executed in the EXACT sequence as laid-out above. Any deviation from the above will immediately result in howls of disenfranchisement and lawsuits. (After years of suffering the slings and arrows of derision for our somewhat unconventional ways out here in California, can we just say… "thank g#d for Florida!"...whose behavior of late has us Californicators looking like models of sanity, rationality and probity).

Believe it or not, we’ve got a significant degree of sympathy for our Democrat friends…. how is it possible for this mail-in ballot plan NOT to be an absolute grease-fire?

And even if the entirety of the Michigan and Florida delegates are seated it appears unlikely that either candidate will have enough delegates needed (2,025) to clinch the nomination (currently, Obama leads 1589 to Clinton’s 1470, courtesy RCP).

So, it looks like an open convention, where unless some sort of deal is brokered between the two candidates, things could get ugly down on the floor. Of course, Hillary has got a deal. How does Veep grab ya, Messiah? That from the candidate who is currently losing. Classic.

It’s going to be a fun summer. As we noted before, we were too young to be down with 1968 but the politically charged atmosphere of these Olympics and the train wreck that the Democratic national convention may be has us looking forward to our own little ’68 mulligan.