Thursday, July 31, 2008

“We found ‘em on Craig’s List. They told us they’d be perfect for the event. Can’t wait ‘til they get here.”

Its our one-year anniversary today and we have….. absolutely nothing special planned. We took a look at our very first post and this is what we had to say about the site’s proposed content: “A lot of sports, a little culture and yeah, some politics….” Hmmm…. Seems that proportion has completely flip-flopped.

The only rational explanation we have for this is that ironically enough, we have found the sports blogs we visit on a regular basis to be far more witty, creative, original and entertaining than the socio-political blogs on the internet. Does this mean we feel we are filling any perceived void in the So-Cal biased socio-political blogosphere? Hardly. Our content slant away from what we originally thought we were going to be doing was simply the result of reading DeadSpin, Awful Announcing, Kissing Suzy Kolber, East Coast Bias, etc. and thinking, damn… that was a spot-on and highly amusing take on the subject… we really have nothing to add.

At any rate we want to thank everyone who has taken time out of their busy day to read this blog and a special thanks goes out to those who post comments here. We have no idea what we will be doing with this site in the next calendar year but we hope whatever it is, you will continue to read, participate and mostly, enjoy.

BwD Management



"The Muslims keep having children, while the Europeans do not. This means that within 20 years, the Muslims will be a majority, which may have an exceptional influence on the decision-making. This makes other groups very angry, and they consider this to be very dangerous. These are the enemies of Islam, as we know full well."

More at Memri

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Adios..... Suckas!"

Congress adjourned today for the summer without passing any productive energy legislation and for the woman on the left who promised she would lower gas prices upon taking command of the House, she doesn’t seem all that upset about it…. afterall, she’s just saving the planet.

So while the rest of the country does its best to cope with these gas prices and the trickle-all-over-the-damn-place economics that high gas prices have on the price of all other aspects of the economy, trivial things like lumber, steel and food… let’s do something we haven’t done in a while. Yes folks, its ROTS time. Time to Reach Out and Touch Someone. Let’s give our conquering heroes a home-coming they readily deserve.

Pelosi’s email address here. Harry’s is here. And your local Congressman’s addy can be found at a directory here.

RCP Congressional appoval rating: 17.3


Possessing the wisdom and foresight we thought was exclusive to U.S. Congress, the citizens of Mexico City voted overwhelmingly to keep the Mexican petroleum industry in a state of ancient technology and stagnating production. A non-binding referendum organized by the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) declared state-owned incompetence to be a matter of national pride and thus preferable to the infusion of state-of-the-art drilling and refining techniques for which privatization and elements thereof, would allow. Mexico: bringing you the finest in socialism and crony capitalism.

No one does the self-gratification quite like ESPN and in the case of honoring, during its ESPYs award show, the once “infamous” now “famous” black power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic games, they rose to new heights. We’re not as hard over as Jonah Goldberg is in article here and though we do understand where Smith and Carlos were coming from we believe the act and the context in which it was executed was ill-advised.

Indeed, it can done… Somali immigrants taking the place of Mexican (illegal) immigrants in small-town Iowa. In the final paragraph the article graciously concedes that many of the Somalis are legal immigrants with roots in Minneapolis.

...and finally...12 years, two Presidential administrations and numerous challenges from environmental and, you know, “social justice” groups later, looks like we’re going to complete the border fence down towards Tijuana.

Theocracy Alert

Please swing by our buddy, Ogre’s place when you get a chance. He is no longer drinking Budweiser as they’ve been bought-out by the Belgians at In-Bev and he’s lookin’ for some American fare as a replacement.

Outside of the occasional Coors product, we’ve pretty much gone the micro-brew route. Stone, Sierra Nevada, Ballast Point, Port Brewing, etc… San Diego and California and definitely home-grown American beers, all. As Ogre is from North Carolina, we suggested that the Research Triangle area in and around Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham should be fertile ground for some local heaven-in-a-mug.

No man should long be separated from his beer so lend our Monsignor of Breweries a hand, will ya?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jerry Brown takes a rather dim view of your ballot language.

California State Attorney General Jerry Brown is engaging in the same shenanigans with ballot initiative language that Missouri’s Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan was with initiative language that would ban affirmative action.

Here’s the language that voters were asked to consider during the signature-gathering process that ultimately qualified the initiative as Proposition 8 on the November ballot: "to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

And here’s, after Moonbeam’s word-smithing, what the voters will be asked to consider: Prop. 8 seeks to "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry."

That’s a huge difference and political analysts believe that “inherently argumentative” and yes, divisive language will make Prop. 8 difficult to pass.

Have we mentioned Moonbeam is considering running for governor in 2010?

"Gareth Lacy, a spokesman for the attorney general, denied that there was any political motivation for the move.

Instead, he said, the change was necessary because of the dramatic turn of events that have taken place since the petitions were circulated: namely that the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage and thousands of gay couples have since wed."

This is absolute nonsense, of course, as the ballot drive did not begin in anger until after the Court’s decision.

All this frustrates us to no end and yes…. it does create an admittedly unwanted backlash against the gay movement within our hearts. We have gay friends and co-workers and this animus is not directed at them but rather the mechanations behind these efforts that swear up and down there is no politics involved, there is no agenda when, in plain sight, a clear-headed assessment of unfolding developments betray them.

There was a time when we could’ve been sweet-talked into some form of Amnesty for illegal immigrants and there was also a time when we were only mildly-opposed to gay marriage. However, after seeing how the rule of law was being flouted, the will of the people ignored, “rights” being fashioned out of thin air and the haughty and high-handed nature of political overreach in both cases… we’d had it. Enough is enough! Both the Amnesty crowd and the pro-gay marriage folks lost any sympathy let alone support by jerking around the voters and not being honest with the public.

If these ends cannot be achieved by legitimite means then we are forced to question the legitimacy of the ends, themselves.

Story here.

Unlikely to....... Likely?

Perhaps that campaign trip, err…. Senatorial fact-finding mission to the Middle East and Europe wasn’t such a hot idea afterall.

A new USA Today /Gallup national poll shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain 47%-44% among registered voters. However, when the sample is reduced to only those likely to vote, McCain jumps to a 49%-45% lead.

And we’ll use our highly unscientific and purely anecdotal poll results divining to suggest the lead may be even greater as McCain supporters, being the cranky lot we are, will be getting up early on November 4th anyway so we may as well take our collective grumpy arses down to the polling place. We’re counting on more than just a few M.T. Suit supporters, however, to completely forget that Tuesday is voting day as getting their buzz on takes priority.

Story here.

Not Happening...

Chris Dufresne, the college football writer for the L.A. Times gives his important dates on the college football calendar here.

He reminds us of why there is a very strong possibility we will, again, be in a foul mood in just a little over 4 months:

· Dec. 7: Final BCS standings release.

Aftermath: National sports columnist from hometown team left out of title game discovers the sport is controversial.

Aftermath II: President of school that finished No. 3 in standings calls news conference to unveil his eight-team playoff plan.

… but misreads the biggest non-conference match-up of the season when USC takes on Ohio State at the Coliseum:

· Sept. 13: Ohio State at USC.

As big as it gets, but the loser is not out of the title chase. Ohio State lost at home last year to Illinois in November and still got back to the title game. USC could have overcome the Stanford stinker and played for the title had the Trojans not lost to Oregon.

The “you’re not done just because you lost one game” is now the conventional wisdom in our brave new BCS-world, especially since LSU won it last year with two losses but... Ohio St. is a different case. Yes, a one-loss USC team can play for the BCS championship but a one-loss Ohio State will not play for the same and you can take that to the bank. Voters will not be willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a one-loss Ohio State team precisely because of the fact they’ve been rolled in the last two championships games. Unless they arrive in December undefeated, they ain’t gettin' a 3rd chance.

Everyone has seen enough. Just say “no” to plodding Midwest teams against speed teams from the South and the West. Rich Rodriguez could not have come soon enough to Michigan and to the Big 10.

They Just Can't Help Themselves

B-Daddy here. The picture at left is supposed to represent a donkey's foot giving the boot to a "blue dog." Over at, nut-roots blogger Glenn Greenwald looks at the extremely low approval ratings of Congress and immediately concludes that, clearly, Congress isn't "progressive" enough. His solution? Launch internecine warfare to purge the ideologically impure from the ranks of Democrat office holders. His organization, Blue America, intends to do exactly that. Doesn't this carry risks, you ask? Not for the true believer. Best to sum up his logic by excerpting one paragraph:

The Blue America campaign also ran ads against Blue Dog Rep. John Barrow in Georgia, who did have a progressive primary challenger, state Sen. Regina Thomas. It was always clear that Barrow was highly likely to defeat Thomas in the primary. It was also clear that if Thomas beat the odds and won the primary, her chances of beating the Republican in the general election was far less than the chances of the more conservative and incumbent Barrow, who himself had to fight hard to win reelection in 2006. Knowing that a Barrow defeat in the primary might make a Republican win more likely in November, Blue America nonetheless ran ads against him. [emphasis BwD's] We believed that even if Barrow prevailed in his primary (as he ultimately did), the ad campaign against him would undermine his reputation in his district and could thus force Barrow, the Blue Dog Caucus and the Democratic leadership to devote far more resources to defending his seat for November. That is what it means to attach a price to trampling on the political values of Democratic supporters.
By the way, we at BwD, welcome this tom-foolery on the part of the nut-roots crowd. It only proves that they are still adolescents at heart, and will never be ready to take power or be taken seriously.

H/T RealClearPolitics

If you don't like the weather in Denver currently, wait 15 minutes.

"Actually, the normally excellent Andrew Malcolm assumes one fact not yet in evidence, which is part of Bartoshevich’s point. Obama has not won sufficient delegates to capture the nomination. Neither he nor Hillary Clinton could reach that point, but Obama has enough pledges from superdelegates to win the nomination, if they don’t change their minds. Hillary’s supporters want a floor vote in Denver with enough debate to give superdelegates an opportunity to rethink their pledges, but so far the Obama campaign has managed to put a stop to it."


Monday, July 28, 2008

For those of you scoring at home.

Old white guy at the head of a disorganized, dispirited, no-momentum campaign vs. young, hip, smooth-talkin’ black dude fronting a disciplined campaign team that hi-lites (all) his strength(s) without exposing his weaknesses. Bad election year for Republicans in Congress predicted and people can’t stand the President who happens to be a member of the old white guy’s party.

And even with all this including a shameless media in M.T. Suit’s back pocket, old white guy sits just outside the statistical error range in polls heading into the fall when the Republican candidates have traditionally gained momentum to close the gap if not overtake the Democratic candidate entirely with whom the public has had a summer fling.

If McCain pulls this off, it will have to go down as one of the great upsets in Presidential election history.

Story here.

Major League Baseball needs a stronger drug policy.

The continuing will-he-or-won’t-he saga of Brett Favre’s return to the Packers averted a meltdown as Favre did not report to camp on Sunday…. only to be prolonged by the possibility of Favre showing-up at camp on Wednesday. Favre spoke by phone with General Manager Ted Thompson who reiterated what the Packers have been saying all along: Aaron Rogers is now the man at QB and the Packers have moved on and out of the Brett Favre era. Thompson begged-off Favre until Wednesday hoping to “get something worked out” in way of a trade but implicit in the message was “Please stay away.”

Favre’s threat to show-up at camp and “compete” for the starting job struck us as somewhat creepy…. Like showing up at your ex-girlfriend’s first date, post-you.

We hope that Favre just returns quietly to his farm down in Mississippi where we can think of him running around with his dog and playing two-hand touch football with the extras in Wrangler blue jeans commercials. With training camps opening across the country, there is too much good football information to get into, dissect and discuss without having the drama queen dominate the news cycle to the exclusion of everything else.

To wit: Only the NFL Network could take a mid-season 10-9 snoozer between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers and have it featured in their “Mic’d-up” series (where selected players and coaches including head coaches Mike Nolan and Brian Billick.. oh joy!.. are wired for sound) as it did last night and transform it into pure drama. Our sympathy is near-bottomless towards those NFL fans who live in the blight of a NFL Network-less cable company regime.

Peter King of has more of the Favre saga here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Blackwater is getting a bad rap."

So who do suppose handled Obama's security when he was over there in Iraq and Afghanistan? More nutroot heartache surely to ensue.

H/T: Protein Wisdom via Hot Air

P.S. Part and parcel to BDS is the hatred and vilification of any and everything associated with Bush and particularly with regard to the War on Terror. We remember with great clarity how it was that Haliburton’s contract for their work for the military in Kosovo was renewed back in the late 90s under Bill Clinton without competitive bidding with nary a peep from anybody as by all accounts they were doing a bang-up job providing logistical and infrastructure support for the war effort there.

Its pretty simple - the U.S. military is at its best when it can devote the maximum resources possible to killing the bad guys. And when this is done overseas it requires a massive degree of logistical coordination and resources (our day job allows for some keen insight into this area). And when U.S. troops are deployed for long periods of time these logistical resources that house, cloth and feed our troops (to name just the most basic elements – there are many more) are stretched beyond the DOD’s organic capacity because it’s simply too costly and inefficient to maintain these standing resources during peacetime.

This is why outfits like Haliburton and Blackwater are so critical to the effectiveness of our armed forces. Any clear-headed rational assessment of their value will bear this out and this is why it is so frustrating to see them attacked on purely political grounds. Companies like Haliburton and Blackwater aren’t going anywhere…. woops, that’s right – Blackwater is drastically cutting back their security services because the shit they have been taking is not worth the corporate headache. Again, we hope everyone’s happy with this latest development.

Catching up with Friends

We’re back in the proverbial saddle today… back from Boston and in front of a keyboard and screen of a computer that hopefully has all those new-fangled functions like cut’n’paste, hyperlink, multiple windows, etc. fully operational.

We may post some thoughts on the course we took later, especially with regard to some of our newly-minted naval officers. Not good. Now that we're back we checked in at our "Friends of..." and noted the following:

KT’s exit question: If government has come in to bail-out auto manufacturers and huge lending institutions, what’s to stop them from coming to the rescue of Big Media whose circulation, ratings and ad revenues are in a seemingly irreversible slide?

(Click to enlarge. Please note: these are not absolute numbers…. these are just the changes in one calendar year. schnikeys)

Some telling numbers linked to in the piece that contend there is a vested interest in Big Media becoming a government protectorate.

And with whom would you rather be serving aboard a U.S. Navy combatant or in a foxhole: an openly gay individual or a convicted felon? Foxie has an interesting post, one in which we don’t necessarily agree but hey, she served…and we, uhhh... sort of served and thus Advantage: Foxfier, in that regard.

Also, did M.T. Suit really diss wounded servicemen and women over in Germany, as his trip over to Europe and the Middle East, billed as a Senatorial fact-finding mission, was ostensibly a campaign rally and thus off-limits to base hospitals? Read more, here.

A quick word about the Cotton Candy Kid’s roadie: We’re a little late to the game so we won’t waste too much time on a subject that has been flogged to death but his speech to the Germans was pretty standard fare for the man which means that there were one or two things in the speech that were perfectly Obamaesque and thusly mildly to moderately irritating.

“I know my country has not perfected itself.”

Never mind the implicit critiques of this country’s foreign policy made on foreign soil that are contained in that statement, what is explicit is “the city on the hill” that the Messiah envisions for all us unwashed and this notion of a “Heaven of Earth” that has been simultaneously one of the goals and theoretical underpinnings of Socialist/collectivist thought. The condescension and presumptuousness is irksome and is in direct contrast to what we see in the genuine humility (of someone who has freaking been there and not merely visited there) of John McCain.

“The Christian… imagines the better future of the human species… in the image of heavenly joy…. We, on the other hand, will have this heaven on earth.” - Moses Hess, A Communist Confession of Faith, 1846

You know you're drinking in the M.I.T. neighborhood when...

We recognized it as soon as we saw it. Of course, it's the Adenosine triphosphate nucleotide, also known simply as ATP. It is the molecular currency of intracellular energy transfer – transferring chemical energy within cells for metabolism, of which the pictoral representation of its molecular chain found its way onto the arm of a patron at Doyle’s Irish pub in Cambridge adjacent to the MIT campus. Said patron works for one of the many biotech firms in the area that partner with M.I.T. and Harvard

We’re not big on tats, in fact, we think the whole notion of tattoos is tired and played-out but we’ll grant special dispensation for something that dares to reach beyond the tribal armband for guys and the small-of-the-back sunburst for the ladies.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

NYC: Fluoridate at your own peril.

New York City tap water is said to be the responsible ingredient for the Big Apple's world-renowned bagels and pizza. Some folks believe, however, there is perhaps a higher calling for this particular Bronx H2O.

Story here.

Friday, July 25, 2008


After an entire week of torrential downpours and thunderstorms, the clouds parted today to reveal a glorious New England summer day: warm but not too muggy. We're off on a walking tour of the city where we hope to make our way out to the Fens later this evening for the opening game of a 3-day set between the Sox and the Yankees. David Ortiz will be making his first start after coming off the DL and the pitching match-up is Josh Beckett vs. Joba Chamberlain. Sweet.

We wore our Charger t-shirt out last night without getting our butt kicked but it was only in Cambridge, across the river from Boston proper. We'll leave it home tonight as we don't think the idiots at Fenway would be nearly as forgiving.

Sparing a scheduled post, this may be it for the next 24-36 as we fly out tomorrow morning. We've got the camera with us so we hope to share some of the sights later this weekend or next week.

"Where do we keep finding these people?"

We're not saying this sort of thing doesn't happen in other countries or in other societies but perhaps because of the sacrifices the men and women of this country constantly make on behalf of others, it appears to happen more often here.

Please link to and be prepared to be blown away.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

They're Kidding, Right?

So liberal activists want their very own Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court or more precisely a counterpart to Scalia they believe will be able to articulate a liberal interpretation of the Constitution and offer up the zingers from the bench that has made Scalia a rock-star in conservative legal circles and the conservative movement as a whole.

They want one because according to quite a few people there are no true liberals on the court currently.

"It is a court with no true liberal on it, the most conservative court in 75 years," said Geoffrey Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago, where Obama once taught constitutional law. "What we call liberals on this court are moderates, of moderate liberals, if you want to get refined about it."

This, of course, is sophistry of the highest order. Stone may not like the current make-up of the court and he is certainly entitled to his position but what becomes much tougher to debate is what more could justices as Ruth Bader Ginsberg or John Paul Stevens do to demonstrate their liberal chops except to be on the liberal side of recent landmark decisions involving property rights, gun rights, free speech and partial birth abortion?

We welcome, though, our liberal friends to pursue their efforts because the reason they have not found their own Scalia is neither by accident nor for a lack of effort by the liberal movement. What this boils down to is the difficulty, no - the near-impossible task of "articulating" to the American public why it is in their best individual and collective interest to have their property taken from them for purposes of private corporate gain and expansion of the municipal tax-base. And try explaining away in the witty Scalia-like prose how partial-birth abortion is anything other than the inhumane procedure it is and how exactly it is that the 2nd amendment (an amendment that resides in a body of amendments that spells out what the citizens CAN do and what the government CANNOT do) prohibits you from owning a handgun. And as a bonus we'll toss-in explaining why it is that multiple-convicted child rapists deserve anymore time here among the living.

The challenge of "articulating" liberal positions with a straight face is one for which waiting for the successful execution, we will not be holding our breath.

So have at it, peeps. Knock yourselves out and get back to us later on how all that is working-out for you.

Story here.

Mitt Romney Slept Here?

No, but seeing this in the top drawer of the nightstand of our hotel room here in Boston, Mass. instead of the usual Gideon's Bible did catch us off-guard.

Our suspicions were confirmed as the front desk informed us that Mr. Radisson was indeed a Saint.

We were able to locate something else, though, by opening up another compartment inside our room by which we were much more accustomed but one which Mr. Radisson may not have approved.

...aaaaaaahhhhhh. Much better.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Completely missing the point

"Activist: A person who believes so strongly that a problem needs to be remedied that he dedicates substantial time to... getting other people to fix the problem."

This notion of a voluntary universal national service that is unfortunately gaining traction and one which curries favor with at least one of the presidential candidates reminds us of a class one of our nephews took back in high school called "community volunteerism".... it was mandatory.

Coyote blog has the details at: blog/2008/07/massive-campaig.html

Now excuse us while we go out and threash wheat by hand and forge steel by the sheer might of our collectivist forearms.

H/T: Head Noises

P.S. Again, we apologize for the inability to link directly. We've talked to hotel management about the problems with these computers. Hotel management says we should be able to cut'n'paste, link, open multiple internet windows, etc. with these computers. Hotel management thinks there is definetely a problem with these computers. We would tend to agree.

Things that may interest only us Pt. II

The class in large-scale manufacturing we are taking is coming along quite nicely. As this particular type of manufacturing is one we've worked in for 18 years, the knowledge we are receiving is more of the fill-in-the-gaps variety but there are subjects like progressing and labor management/tracking that we are soaking-up as we have not had much previous experience, therein.

One of the instructors is a director at a mid-tier manufacturing facility on the Great Lakes who does a significant amount of business with the government. He's a really nice guy but we couldn't help but think he was using his time at the lectern as a bully pulpit to make his case regarding some of what he saw as the non-sensical nature of government contracting and accounting rules... much to the chagrin of the government types in the audience. To illustrate his frustration with the current rules of the road in government contracting, Beers with Demo is proud to present a play in one act, "Foxtrot!"

(curtain rises)

Government: "O.K. As you are aware, as a condition of our contract with you, you will be required to maintain a project management system for tracking physical progress and labor hours, 'Method A'."

Contractor: "Uhhhh, sure. But please know that we don't use 'Method A' as it doesn't fit our business practices... its arcane, cumbersome and in actuality does not provide an accurate picture of how the project is progressing or how many labor hours we are burning for individual work items let alone the project as a whole. We use 'Method B' which provides a much more accurate accounting of physical progress and labor hours used."

Government: "Thanks for sharing. Please provide us with figures on a quarterly basis using 'Method A'".

Contractor: "We'll do that but it will require us to then maintain two separate project management methods - one for the government and one that is actually of value to us."

Government: "Whatever."

(a short time later in the middle of the project)

Government: "It has come to our attention that you are using two separate project management methods. That is in direct violation of government accounting rules. We hereby revoke your project accounting certification which puts your participation in this entire project in jeopardy."

Contractor: "Whiskey, Tango.......?"

(curtain drops)

Amateur Hour(s)

Please bear with us as we are dealing with computers in the business center that neither cut'n'paste nor link. We're not helping matters as we continue to think there is not enough light to warrant taking our camera out with us in the evening and we miss passing along fantastic sights like Hanover Street in the North End that is part of Boston's Italian district. Pasta. mmmmmmmm......

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lions and Halliburton and Blackwater, Oh my!

"The experience we've had would certainly be a disincentive to any other companies that want to step in and put their entire business at risk".
- Blackwater Worldwide founder and CEO Erik Prince on getting out of the security contracting business.

Everyone happy, now?

The cut and paste function on the hotel's computer is inop and we're not sure if the link function is working. Associated article can be found at

So... how was your Sunday afternoon?

Just checking-in. Our flight out of San Diego was cancelled due to mechanical problems but the good folks at United had us on another flight just an hour later. Good news-bad news. Didn't really matter though, as our two-hour layover in Chicago turned into 5 as weather delayed all flights going into Logan. 10 people were injured, 4 critically, by lightning strikes on Sunday afternoon in what the locals are saying has been the most intense thunder and lightning storms here in quite some time.

And we want to take this opportunity to say a few words about some of the more maligned people in the nation's service industry. Its become commonplace to squawk about the airlines and the Transportation Security Administration and what we see as the unreasonable search parameters under which TSA operates. Fair enough. Traveling these days does seem to be quite the pain in the rear but we also want to recognize that the "boots-on-the-ground" for both United and particularly the TSA, Sunday, were top-notch. The rules under which they are forced to operate aside, with one, brief, fleeting exception, the TSA personnel at every airport we've been to have been exceedingly polite, helpful and courteous... pretty much the antithesis of expected behavior for a bureaucracy that is in no way incentivized to attract business as the customers are forced to give them their business.

There. We feel so much better now. We'll be checking-in later with some interesting information from our course and with an unexpected twist at our hotel from a long-standing hotel tradition.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Things that may interest only us.

We work on-site at a large-scale industrial manufacturing facility down on the waterfront in San Diego. As such, workplace safety is taken very seriously and is given top priority by management (...and the occaisional 10 o $20,000 dollar fine by OSHA doesn't hurt in establishing a culture of Safety). The Safety Department compiled statistics for the graph below and broke down workplace injuries by days of the week. Before scrolling down, take a guess as to which day generates the most injuries. Our inclination was to go with Friday as we thought that perhaps peoples’ minds might be on weekend plans or rushing to get a job completed before taking off on Friday afternoon.

Monday, Monday….. and its not even close. And we were completely wrong about Friday, as well. The Safetygram to which this graph was attached suggested possible reasons as being people bringing in their personal problems developed over the weekend into work or possibly not being quite as “alert” or “focused”…… hmmmm….. whatever could they mean by that?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Free Markets and the Price of Oil

B-Daddy here. I am boldly predicting a large drop in the price of oil within the next three years, unless our government intervenes to make a mess of things. How can I be so sure? History and logic are on my side.

First, the logic. The high cost of petroleum energy induces all sorts of changes in behavior. First, on the demand side, consumers make billions of tiny changes in behavior to compensate for the higher costs. Some examples: Many people drive more gently, accelerating more slowly, driving a little slower. Nissan has found that putting a fuel efficiency gauge on cars increases efficiency by as much as 10% (source here). Car pooling increases. Another small example, our family has started to plan out little errands, grouping trips together that were previously separate. Also, we ditched the 8-cylinder gas guzzler, even though it was a good starter car for our sixteen year old.

On the supply side, two things happen. First, there tends to be an increase in production in those nations not under despotism. (I realize that Iran and Venezuela, for example, will probably not be increasing production, but others will.) Oil that was not profitable to extract at $60 per barrel is very attractive at $140. Maintenance and repairs on old equipment suddenly makes more sense. Second, alternative forms of energy become relatively more competitive and can be brought on line, increasing the overall supply of energy.

Free markets are efficient, but not perfectly efficient. It will take a while for these changes to work their way through the markets, but when the trend is obvious, those speculators now vilified for allegedly driving the price of oil up, will be betting against future oil prices, driving them down.

As for the history, the following chart speaks for itself:

Source: Zfacts.

The other joker in this deck (besides Hugo and Mahmoud) is inflation. The price of oil vs. the price of oil makes a very steady ratio, as noted here. (Scroll to the bottom for the chart.) I theorize that inflationary pressure has been building for some time, popping up first in share prices, then in real estate and now in commodities. I am not sure the Fed has a good model for how inflation is now operating in a global economy, so part of the run up in oil prices may be due to inflationary pressure. Perhaps more on that another day.

Theocracy Rescue Pt. I

(Hopefully, we'll just be getting into Boston by the time you all read this and because we can't blog in flight or in Boston traffic we are shamelessy plundering from the Theocracy and (hopefully) executing the scheduled post feature on blogger)

KT has a message for all the haters out there: “We won. Deal with it.”

How well do you think we'd be doing if we had followed Mr. Hope n' Change's marvelous judgment and run away a year ago?

Of course, had we done that, we could have saved about $100B and spent it on the hopelessly bloated public education industry or maybe thrown more of it at ethanol subsidies for the massive corporate farms in the Midwest. Do you think that would have been a better use of our time and money than turning one of the world's oil superpowers into a friendly democracy and removing a murderous tyrant?

Please check out KT’s two related posts, here and here.

We can't be accused of using the "N"-word...

… because the L.A. Times did for us.

Thank g#d, we’ve got not just one but two legislative bodies in this country looking out for us. The California Assembly passed AB 97 which, if signed by the Governor, would ban trans fats. California would become the first state to do so as the cities of Philadelphia and New York have similar bans in effect.

But the L.A. Times, in a fit of rationality and common sense has come out against the ban and have used rather strong and controversial language in doing so.

“Laws that protect consumers from their own unhealthful habits have more than a whiff of the nanny state about them,….”

Dude. Really, now.

But the Times is exactly right because similar to the cell phone-while-driving ban, a ban on trans fats may actually be counterproductive as the substitutes for trans fats, palm and coconut oils, are only moderately better and which also gives the consumer a false sense of confidence while loading up his plate with even more muffins thinking he’s in the cholesterol clear.

Also, one of the reasons trans fats are popular with restaurants is because it maintains its shelf-life for longer periods without refrigeration. So eliminating trans fats will require more refrigeration which, of course, requires more energy and….. how is that good for the economy or the environment?

The U.S. Congress and the California Assembly: two very unhealthy, hazardous and counterproductive entities from which the general public would certainly benefit from a ban of its own.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What we have here is a failure to communicate

It would seem that the District of Columbia has no desire whatsoever to follow the letter let alone the spirit of the Supreme Court decision to strike down the District’s handgun ban. Though the majority opinion did allow for restrictions on gun ownership, the D.C. Council is taking this allowance for restrictions to its most ridiculous extreme.

The new law, hastily passed by the Council this past week allows for handgun ownership but with conditions. What sort of conditions, you may ask? Well, how about being able to own a handgun and have it in your home except that, said gun would be required to be unloaded, disassembled or secured with a trigger lock, unless the owner was confronted with a “threat of immediate harm”. Oh, and one would also need to pass a written test and take a vision test. And speaking of written tests, we imagine the homeowners would need to provide one for the breaking-and-entering bad guys in order to prove this "threat of immediate harm."

We suppose the good news is that enforcement of these laws would appear to be pretty difficult but still, the idea of being readily capable of protecting yourself, your family and your property doesn’t jibe with the current laws.

The man, Dick Heller (pictured), an armed security guard in D.C. who got this whole thing rolling and guns-rights groups claim D.C. still hasn’t got the message and vow to take the new D.C. gun laws back to court. We see this stretching out for a very long time and rest assured, other cities will be following D.C.’s cue in playing veritable “stall ball” with the guns-rights advocates and the courts.

And in the converse of what we’ve seen with municipalities all across our state who have bent over backwards and tripped all over themselves to comply with the California State Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages, not all rights are interpreted equally.

Story here.

Programming Alert

We’re flying out to Boston for work early tomorrow morning so for the next week, posting may be a little light as it will be a combination of scheduled posts and outside contributions. We will try to check-in and hopefully bring you some local flavor from the land of the chowds. Yankees begin a 3-day series at Fenway on Friday before we leave Saturday. We are DEFINETELY going down there to at least check on how much a scalped ticket will set us back and do everything within our power to get into the park.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Time for some Campaignin'

If its election time, its time for some JibJab. These guys came up with some great pieces 4 years ago and we know you'll enjoy this one. We’ll be back tomorrow unless we decide not to go to the Track.

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

"And Lo, His image rendered upon crushed velvet in the markets of Tijuana shall be the Sign that he is the One."

"It's a nice crossover between fine art and propaganda," says Alex W. Smith, a contemporary and urban art specialist for Phillips de Pury & Co., an auction house. "Obama is such an icon to the public already that would suggest that the work will be valuable no matter if he wins or loses. ... It's partially the hype of the times."

Read more here.

P.S. Not for nothing but... we plugged "Obama Obey" into Google and had to sift through 8+ pages of the Obama-Hope and Obama-Progress icons before finding the one we wanted on page 9. One would've thought our pic, a popular Obama satire, would've popped-up quite a while before given the unsubtle nature of the search parameters. Interesting.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Islamo-kiddies say the darndest things

If its not poverty that is the leading cause of jihad then maybe it’s the children’s programs.

MEMRITV has more here if a big fluffy pink bunny was not an affront enough to Allah.

If you’re feeling a little groggy this morning, it is due perhaps to being under-reported last night

AP article here reports out on falling light sweet crude prices. It talks about how the fall in the price of crude did help bolster the Dow before falling off to an eventual loss for the day. It talks about the volatility of the crude prices and how this drop in prices may not last, but it never talks about or gives any explanation for the drop. None. We find this amazing, of course, because its possible, just possible and not entirely in the realm of fantasy that perhaps one of the reasons could have been that Bush announced earlier in the week that he was lifting the Presidential ban on off-shore drilling. Crazy, we know.

This is all pretty simple: when the CEO of the world’s largest economy that is currently wracked by a falling dollar, plunging housing prices and ever-rising energy costs says that after nearly 30 years, drilling off-shore in specific areas is back on the table, its going to move the needle. Fact. To not even acknowledge that is to court journalistic malfeasance.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All's Fair in Love, War and Terrorism

Nothing better illustrates the un-level playing field faced by Israel and the asymmetrical warfare being waged against her by her enemies than this: Israel, earlier today, exchanged 5 Hezbollah prisoners including one, Samir Kuntar, who had been convicted of murdering 2 men and a 4-year old girl back in 1979 in exchange for two Israeli soldiers… two dead Israeli soldiers.

Two soldiers whose ultimate fate the Israelis did not even know until the television crews captured the arrival of the two coffins carrying the remains of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev who had been captured by Hezbollah militants on Israeli soil in 2006 in order to leverage the release of Kuntar. What this capture and holding of the two Israelis precipitated was the 34-day conflict between Lebanon and Israel which was brought to an end by a U.N.-brokered truce and which was largely seen as a huge political victory for Hezbollah and defeat for Israel.

"Regev's father, Zvi, said he broke down the moment he saw a television broadcast of Hezbollah militants unloading the coffins from a van."

Imagine clinging to the hope that it’s your son springing out of the back of that van only to see a coffin, instead.

"It's not a happy choice," Israeli President Shimon Peres said Tuesday before signing a pardon for the convict, Samir Kuntar. "On one hand, we have the most terrible murderer. On the other hand, we have our commitment to our boys who were sent to fight for their country. It is our moral duty and our heartfelt wish to see them come back."

Color us confused. We thought it was official Israeli policy to not negotiate with terrorists. Perhaps Hezbollah is not officially recognized as a terrorist group then how about a corollary about not negotiating with savages? And if its not “negotiating” one is stretching the bounds of credulity to then call it a “prisoner swap”.

"Even so, polls suggest a wide majority of Israelis support the swap. That sentiment was mobilized by relatives of the missing soldiers, notably Ehud Goldwasser's mother, Mickey, who called the deal "a victory for the Israeli nation and what it holds dear."

We suppose we have to walk a mile in Israel’s shoes but we hope to God we never get to the point they are at now. We understand that certain concessions must be made from time to time when you are surrounded by nations wholy bent on your destruction, especially when you are ham-strung by political forces and international pressure to NOT do what is in your country’s best strategic interets, but this… this is just sad.

Full story and accompanying video here.


We think we’ve licked this “scheduled post” thing, which means we will be able to publish posts at regular intervals throughout the day instead of our usual late afternoon/early evening glut. So please feel free to stop by more often for Slim-Fast sized portions. Remember, eat lighter, not less.

Also, we’ve rolled Real Clear Sports at the top of our Sports sites. As the name would suggest, RC Sports is the sports counterpart to Real Clear Politics - a daily roundup of articles, columns and features from the wide world of sports. A must visit for your inner-sports junkie.

And while we’re on the subject, we found this in yesterday’s RCS: Jason Whitlock remains unimpressed with NBC bringing Dan Patrick aboard to team-up with uhhh… a lot of other people on the studio set of NBC’s “Football Night in America” including one Keith Olbermann who teamed with Patrick back in the mid-90s and who made that particular Sports Center pairing a cultural phenomena…. But that was so 10+ / pre-Monica years ago. Too many people, too many of the wrong people… we agree with him 100% and ….. “Everyone I mention in today's column — except Jay Mariotti — is someone I like personally, respect professionally and hope will understand I have a job to do. My job is to tell you what I honestly think, not to play kissy-face with my peers in the media. ... “except Jay Mariotti”... Jason, you had us right there. Read here.

Resurrected from the trash heap of history?

If there is an energy policy out there that is simultaneously bad for the economy, bad for the environment, bad for public safety and which pulls a drag on quality of life, you’d better believe Congress will find it, consider it and potentially act on it.

That whole speculation business cuts both ways

Similar to what happened to the price of crude oil when the Brazilians announced their massive off-shore find a couple of months ago…and that they weren't going to just let it set there.

Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136.


A new report from Wall Street research house Sanford C. Bernstein says that California actually could start producing new oil within one year if the moratorium were lifted. The California oil is under shallow water and already has been explored. Drilling platforms have been in place since before the moratorium. They’re talking about 10 billion barrels worth off the coast of California.

Full piece here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Identifying their core competencies was not that difficult

The following was passed along by B-Daddy,

Thought you would like to read about subject efforts at a competitor organization to see how we stack up.

Iowahawk has the details, here.

(Nothing but) Flowers

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers
you got it, you got it

We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner
we got it, we got it

There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers
you've got it, you've got it

If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower
you've got it, you've got it

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention
you got it, you got it

Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle

Thomas Friedman, a champion of a $4.40/gallon gasoline price floor, while he zips around Manhattan in his Prius, would be tickled to that know that high gas prices are forcing people to eat more organic locally-grown food, grow their own vegetables and stay at home more often to enjoy the company of their own family.

As it stands now, the cost of gasoline is having an effect on all sectors of the economy but none more so than where we would most likely feel it the most: food prices.

Fertilizers, pesticides and fuel for farm equipment account for 14 percent of farm budgets nationally.

Between the second quarter of last year and the same time this year, farmers paid 65 percent more for fertilizer, 5 percent more for pesticides and 46 percent more for fuel, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And that does not even factor in the cost of fuel for processing food and shipping the food to market. What all this has resulted in is a 53% increase in the price of eggs, a 25% increase in bread prices and a 19% increase in milk prices.

But more collateral benefits abound also as people are clipping coupons, carpooling with neighbors to their local organic-only store and bartering different home-grown vegetable goods with those same neighbors…. you know, participating in what Friedman would consider “good” behavior. It all has such an idyllic and charmingly pre-civilization feel to it.

And why stop there? With the price of gasoline predicted to rise past 5 and 6 dollars, we will be able to cut meat and dairy products completely out of our diet because they just cost too much to produce and possibly just get rid of that car altogether. Its all good.

And maybe, just maybe if gas starts creeping up towards and past 7 dollars we can start razing shopping centers and bull-dozing housing developments that are currently setting on more population-dense arable land. You do like camping-out, dontcha?

The title of the post and the lyrics were taken from a Talking Heads song, one of our favorites, of the same name. I think they rather agreed with our sentiments expressed above on civilization devolution, but you can be the judge.

Kinda makes that whole "getting a note from the doctor" thing obsolete

because this way is so much more streamlined....

Over seven years, the federal program for the elderly and disabled paid at least about $77 million — and possibly as much as $92 million — to purported medical equipment suppliers who used Medicare ID numbers of deceased physicians, says a report out Wednesday by congressional investigators.

Despite learning of the problem in 2001, the government failed to fix it, the report says. Investigators reviewed billing data submitted by equipment suppliers from 2000 to 2007 using the ID numbers of 1,500 deceased doctors.

Hey, don't look at us like that. You're the one begging for "managed" health care.

Full story here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's Time

Kirsten Powers pens article here that takes the left-wing netroots to task for getting their panties all in a wad regarding Obama’s flip-flops and triangulating towards the center in the post-primary/general election season. Its all part of a necessary compromise with reality that is required in order to win the Presidency, she believes

"They claim to want to win, yet they're determined to malign the Democratic nominee for doing what he always said he would do: make compromises and find the middle ground."

"Grow up, net rooters: You're going to see more Obama compromises with reality, more shifts to address what the real Democratic base cares about. Don't even be surprised if he comes out with a plan to allow domestic oil drilling."

And though we see Obama’s “compromising” and “post-ideological” brand of politics as more “lacks a set”, we nonetheless were struck by the article over how it applies to the conservatives’ relationship with John McCain and how we are seeing ourselves cope with his candidacy and message here in the general election.

If you are familiar with our work, you know we haven’t exactly been charitable towards Senator McCain in the past. We viewed his authorship of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act and last year’s Amnesty bill to be egregious sins… nearly unforgivable.

Well, what are we going to do? To pick up on Ms. Powers’ “reality of the situation” thought process, if one is never going to find a job that is exactly to their liking or a spouse that grades-out 10s across the board, one is sure as hell not going to find the completely ideal political candidate.

What is important to us? Again, to use Powers’ reasoning that you will get a blank look from 85-90% of the people in this country if you asked them about FISA legislation, or in our case, Campaign Finance Reform, we’re going with the national security/War on Terror, the economy and government spending.

What about the Border? What about illegal immigration? We truly do believe McCain “got the message” on border enforcement and though we think he’s still too cozy with the idea of defacto Amnesty we also believe that the issue has been raised to a level of public awareness that the citizenry of this country across the political spectrum who believe passionately about the rule of law and real justice as it relates to illegal immigration can practice a policy of “containment” with whoever is in the Oval Office, be it McCain or Obama.

We believe John McCain is better for this country in terms of national security - a virtual endorsement by Hamas of Obama is all one really needs to know regarding that topic. We believe McCain’s solid record when it comes to fiscal and budgetary restraint is about the best answer to this country’s mounting future under-funded liabilities – Obama has not given any indication that he has the will to rein-in spending, in fact, his indications have been the opposite. And it’s McCain’s commitment to free-trade and small-government/minimalist approach to spending that is what will serve the economy best in the short, mid- and long terms. We are a nation of 300+ million hard-working, innovative people. With respect to the economy, many times the best thing to do is to simply stay out of our way.

And personally, we find McCain’s combination of strength of conviction and humility to be far more engaging than the haught and smarm evinced by Obama for whom we are experiencing an increasing personal distaste.

So there you have it. As far as endorsements go, there have been stronger but the time has come to embrace the reality of the situation as Beers with Demo formally endorses John McCain for President of the United States.

Your much-anticipated La Raza Convention update

Barack Obama spoke to the La Raza convention here in San Diego yesterday and the text of his speech can be found here. The text of John McCain’s speech who finished his up just a few hours ago can be found here.

Its apparent that McCain was playing it close to the vest. In hi-lite excerpt below, he acknowledges the “I got the message” theme he has been repeating since the primaries with respect to he and the rest of Congress getting whacked upside the head by the American public over the Rube Goldberg Amnesty Bill of last summer but he is vague on the “After 'enforce the borders' then what…?” part.

"As you know, I and many other colleagues twice attempted to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to fix our broken borders; ensure respect for the laws of this country; recognize the important economic contribution of immigrant laborers; apprehend those who came here illegally to commit crimes; and deal practically and humanely with those who came here, as my distant ancestors did, to build a better, safer life for their families, without excusing the fact they came here illegally or granting them privileges before those who have been waiting their turn outside the country. Many Americans did not believe us when we said we would secure our borders, and so we failed in our efforts. I don't want to fail again to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. We must prove we have the resources to secure our borders and use them, while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States. When we have achieved our border security goal, we must enact and implement the other parts of practical, fair and necessary immigration policy. We have economic and humanitarian responsibilities as well, and they require no less dedication from us in meeting them."

Here are some highlites from the Obama speech where the pander quotient was getting quite high…

"The system isn't working when 12 million people live in hiding, and hundreds of thousands cross our borders illegally each year; when companies hire undocumented immigrants instead of legal citizens to avoid paying overtime or to avoid a union; when communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids - when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel."

Nice to know that Obama thinks immigration authorities enforcing the law of the land are "terrorizing" illegal immigrants.

"The 12 million people in the shadows, the communities taking immigration enforcement into their own hands, the neighborhoods seeing rising tensions as citizens are pitted against new immigrants...they're counting on us to stop the hateful rhetoric filling our airwaves - rhetoric that poisons our political discourse, degrades our democracy, and has no place in this great nation. They're counting on us to rise above the fear and demagoguery, the pettiness and partisanship, and finally enact comprehensive immigration reform."

And we’re counting on them to respect this country and this county’s laws.

"Yes, they broke the law. And we should not excuse that. We should require them to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for citizenship - behind those who came here legally. But we cannot - and should not - deport 12 million people. That would turn American into something we're not; something we don't want to be."

Translation: “Yes, they broke the law…. Blah, blah, blah…. Amesty!!!”

Post is running long but we wanted you to get the gist of what both candidates were telling a pro-illegal immigrant group. We sense in McCain that perhaps because of the audience he is treading on this issue very lightly and using his words carefully. Obama, however, sees no need to mince words… well, he does but its very thinly veiled code-speak for more of the same Amnesty nonsense we saw last summer.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One of these Cities is not like the others.

A couple of years back the city of Escondido which sets about 20 minutes north of San Diego passed and later dropped a city ordinance that would’ve punished land lords for renting to illegal immigrants. Legal challenges and mounting lawyers’ fees made it untenable. We had serious reservations ourselves about the legality and practicality of forcing landlords to be de-facto immigration authorities.

Unlike San Diego, however, which is a virtual sanctuary city, the police of Escondido do indeed play an active role in immigration enforcement conducting 2 “criminal alien” sweeps this year so far which has netted 31 illegal aliens with criminal records. The illegals are turned over to the feds for deportation.

The city is also combating the increasing ill-effects of hard-working, family-oriented illegal immigrants in the community by taking it on as a quality-of-life or “public nuisance” issue. Escondido has established driver’s license checkpoints because guess which segment of the population does not have driver’s licenses? In responding to critics who complain that these checkpoints target illegals, Police Chief Jim Maher said: "That is absolutely not true. Our checkpoints are for one reason and one reason only: traffic safety.” No way of telling how firm in cheek his tongue was planted. Aside from our gentle ribbing of the Chief though, he is absolutely right: Maher said those checkpoints helped officers find at least 290 unlicensed drivers and helped reduce the city's number of hit-and-run crashes. It is assumed that illegals are more likely to hit-and-run as they are not wont to stick around for questioning by the police.

Obviously, not everyone is happy about the city’s efforts and equally as obvious are the reasons for the city’s efforts according to the same people.

"It's not about immigration," said resident Bill Flores, spokesman for a community organization called El Grupo. "It is about brown people. . . . They are looking for a way to reduce the number of brown people."

And this from .edu-guy Wayne Cornelius who directs something called the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego. "It's a pipe dream for nativists, because immigrants living in Escondido have invested too much getting there and starting a new life in the U.S. to be scared out of town by a bunch of new code enforcement practices,"

Again, with the “nativists”. And to clarify, the “immigrants” he is referring to are the same people we here refer to as “illegal immigrants”.

We posted this to show that a decent-sized community (pop. 140,000) that has experienced a rapid influx of illegal immigrants can do something about illegal immigration if it has the will to do so. We applaud the city of Escondido for having the courage and innovation to do what is necessary to address this increasing problem.

Full story here.

A couple of San Diego paradoxes that don't get in the way of a good time.

Two of San Diego’s signature summer events commence within days of one another. The first, OTL (the Over-the-Line tournament) kicked-off yesterday out on Fiesta Island. Over the Line is a variant of stickball that is played on the sand with 3 players to a side and no runners and….. you know, we’ve never played the game in our lives and its certainly not the reason why we go to the tournament.

That San Diego, a town with such a staid and conservative image would sponsor this drunken bacchanal with team names that would violate decency laws in 44 states, a Miss Emerson contest and, you know, “beads”, defies explanation. Nick Canepa of the U-T opines on the somewhat (but entirely welcome) hypocritical nature of a booze ban on San Diego’s beaches but allowing the heathen to run wild out on Fiesta Island for two weekends every July.

And Wednesday sees the opening of the Del Mar meeting for the 69th year of horse racing. Del Mar, because of safety concerns, went with a synthetic surface, Polytrack, last year and though track breakdowns went from 14 in ’06 to just 6 last year not everyone was happy as it definitely slowed the pace (average time for a mile race in ’07 was a full 3 seconds slower than in ’06 – 1:38.24 vs. 1:41.28) leaving trainers scratching their heads as to how to alter the training regimen of their “West Coast speed” horses. Story here.

We won’t be able to make it to Opening Day and the absolute visual spectacle that it is but come Wednesday we will be wondering how many first time track visitors will remark as our friend’s Dad did years back on “how nice it was that all these older men took their young daughters out to Opening Day.”

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Old Chick Rules?

Just got back from Vegas and while bloggging will be light as we collect our thoughts, dirty laundry and whatever spare change between the sofa cushions we can scrounge, we will be going with some stuff we had planned but had not got around to.

Immediately on the heels of Dara Torres (41 years of age and mother of one and uhhh… Jewish, apparently) winning both the 50 and 100 meter freestyle events at the Olympic swimming trials last weekend came the whispers. How does a woman at her age coming out of a 6-year retirement accomplish what she has? Jason Whitlock reminds us of the bad ol’ days and the current realities of sports, performance-enhancing drugs and perceptions. His column here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Turning the Corner

Its post July 4th so its officially time to start talking about some football. We we’re bored with the whole Brett Favre will-he-or-won’t-he saga within the first 24 hr. news cycle so we cherry-picked some articles on college football we found much more interesting.

West Virginia: Still not over Rich Rodriquez. Seems to happen every year where a head football coach leaves a program in a less-than-ceremonial manner. These days, in fact, college coaches are even taking this act to the pro ranks where the last two years have seen both Nick Saban (Miami Dolphins) and Bobby Petrino (Atlanta Falcons) depart, leaving emotional wreckage and hurt feelings in their wake. And though Rodriguez and his new employer, Michigan, came together to pay-off Rodriguez’s buy-out clause ($4 mil), there are obviously still some very, very bitter feelings among the Mountaineer faithful.

...and now that Tom Hansen is stepping down as PAC-10 commish how about some BCS-style super-conference expansion? How about BYU and UTAH in PAC-10? How about no can-do?

Lastly, Barack Obama proves he's not really serious about the college football fan vote.

Or Perhaps its a Lack-of-Readership thing.

We’re trying to work up some angst over this Google-is-shutting-down-anti-Obama sites bit but its kind of difficult when we’re blogging on blogspot and have posted one or two of what could liberally be construed as anti-Obama posts. Then again, we’ve come up with plenty of anti-McCain posts so maybe our overlords at Google think we’re kinda like Fox News in that respect with our completely fair and balanced approach.

At any rate, even if its true, we’re not sure this phenomena constitutes as a banning or squelching of free speech because we are posting this on (Obama drowns little baby kittens) Google turf and they are the sole proprietors of blogspot and the content therein and (Obama sucks eggs) we are not paying one red cent for it.

At any rate, if you believe us to be wrong in our assessment (forget Mrs. O’Leary’s cow… Obama started the Great Chicago Fire…. and caused the Johnstown Flood, too), please let (Muslim? Forget about it. Obama is a Jehovah’s Witness just like… Michael Jackson) us know.

The Management.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Your Headline of the Day

The fact that there is such hand-wringing about this subject leaves us.... bemused? perplexed? baffled.....? Your call.

Oh. Good news. Remember that San Diego City resolution for La Raza Day? Passed. Admit it... you were worried there for a while.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Don't Ask, Don't Tell - Guest Post

We asked Mr. Styles to give his take on a recent study-finding that is urging Congress to drop the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with respect to gays in the military that was adopted back in 1993 under Bill Clinton. Our thoughts here.

Mr. Styles, you have the floor:

Why is it that people want to try and fix something that isn't
broke? The Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) Policy seems to be working fine.
Unlike Navy Vice Adm. Jack Shanahan who said that DADT Policy causes a
loss of personal integrity, such that "Everyone was living a big lie -
the homosexuals were trying to hide their sexual orientation and the
commanders were looking the other way because they didn't want to
disrupt operations by trying to enforce the law," wasn't exactly true in
my experience.

Having served onboard a Navy ship for four years, there
were plenty of gay men onboard. I wouldn't say that they were openly
gay, but they were obviously gay, and no one cared in the least, because
it was really no one else's business. They weren't discriminated
against, they never forced their orientation on any one else, and some
of them were great at what they did for the Navy. If fact, some of them
whom I was Friends with, liked the DADT Policy because they felt they
could be more open about who they were without having to fear any

If anything, in my opinion/experience, the biggest thing
that undermines the morale, good order, discipline or cohesion onboard
Navy ships is having females serve with males. That causes way more
problems than openly gay people could ever cause. But that's a
discussion for another time.

We want to thank D. Styles for his take and for rolling that little concluding grenade out onto the table. We encourage comments to the contrary or in consent of what has been expressed here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Quote of the Day

"This cover-up is being directed from the White House and the office of the vice president," - Senator Barbara Boxer a couple of days ago.

Wow. What was she talking about? Wire-tapping? Abu-Ghraib? Pre-war intelligence? Valerie (snicker) Plame? Nos across the board.

Boxer was referring to Dick Cheney’s nefarious and secretive efforts to combat the combating of ……. global warming. We kid not.


Programming Alert

We’re off to Vegas tomorrow afternoon/evening and while our last weekend out-of-town was to a more primitive corner of the planet we’ll be in the middle of what is one of the great technological wonders of the planet so we should be capable of blogging from there.

… and speaking of technological wonders here’s the Senator from the great state of Nevada opining on the deleterious effects of the very substance that empowers people from all over the world to travel to the greatest money-making and revenue-generating entity this planet may ever see and one which sits right smack dab in the middle of nowhere…. right in the middle of Harry’s home state.

Perhaps you’ve seen this before but we like to call it “See Harry whine, see Harry whimper, See Harry punt on 3rd down”. Poor ol’ Harry Reid: co-presiding over a legislative body with a 18.5% approval rating and now a YouTube sensation for conceding neither he nor anyone else in that same legislative body has a plan or a clue as to how to lift us out of this latest energy crisis.

What's to be gained by asking.... or telling?

Congress is being urged to repeal the “don’ ask, don’t tell” policy because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the effectiveness and cohesion of a fighting unit. This from a new study released by a California-based research center.

The study was conducted by four retired military officers, including the three-star Air Force lieutenant general who in early 1993 was tasked with implementing President Clinton's policy that the military stop questioning recruits on their sexual orientation.

"Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion," the officers states.

Our experience at a four-year service academy plus a career building ships for the Navy while working in the DoD gives us some limited perspective on this matter and though we are in general concurrence with the conclusion of the study, we take issue with the specific recommendation towards dropping the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Aren’t this panel's findings proof that “don’t ask, don’t tell” was an effective way of expressing the broader point that “we don’t care what you do in your off-hours, just come ready to follow orders and work together with your shipmates every day?”

So what’s implied in dropping “don’t ask, don’t tell”…? “Ask…. Tell?” What’s the point of that? Does this mean now that a recruiting officer or a superior has the right to request (demand?) the sexual orientation of an individual and conversely that a sailor or recruit should be encouraged or even compelled to express his/her sexual orientation? Again, why? What is to be gained?

We thought the whole point of allowing gays to serve and yet effecting this “no pry” zone was one big, fat “We don’t care and thanks for respecting everyone’s privacy!” Seemed like a pretty good deal to us.

If we are missing the point or are completely off-base, please let us know. We particularly welcome the comments of those who served on active duty in our nation’s armed forces. Mr. Styles who served proudly in the Navy will be chiming-in with a guest post on this matter a little later.

Oh, the Humanity!

Well, well, well...

This has to be absolutely crushing news for some people. Please have a little sympathy and remember to walk a mile in their shoes… or something.

The bogeyman that is Prop. 13 which to hear liberals tell it has been responsible for every ill to befall California since its enactment back in 1978 is actually responsible for a swelling of revenue from property taxes.

Despite the sliding real estate market, Los Angeles County's property tax base grew to $1.1 trillion, a 6.9% increase over last year, Assessor Rick Auerbach said.

Auerbach said that Proposition 13 is the main reason for this year's increase -- even though housing prices have been generally going down across Southern California.

The constitutional amendment, he said, has a stabilizing effect on assessed values.

"In a rising market, because of the 2%-increase cap included in Proposition 13, assessed values do not keep pace with market values," he said. "On the other hand, in a market such as we now have, the cap keeps us from experiencing a dramatic decrease in assessed value."

Please keep this in mind next time you hear about our friends in Sacramento attempting to do away with or skirt around the holy grail of conservative populism in their never-ending quest for revenue dollars.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Overrated: Rubic's Cube, Wine Coolers and Sandinistas

This whole thing has such an 80s vibe to it. Reminiscent of the conspiracy theories regarding Reagan and the Iranian hostage crisis we now have "just asking the question" concerning the timing of McCain's visit to Columbia and the rescue of the FARC-held hostages.

And even though the images of communist guerillas running around in the jungles of central and south America also has us thinking of big hair, "Cheers" and hostile takeovers, not even John Kerry, who allowed himself to be sweet-talked by Daniel Ortega into cutting-off aid to the Contras in Nicaragua, may be able to screw-up the success Columbia is having against the FARC terrorists… although, Obama will certainly give Hugo Chavez his chance.

A proud history of cozying-up to leftist thugs hangs in the balance. Let’s see if the Democrats can keep the dream alive.

Marc Gonsalves, rescued after being held by the FARCers for 5 years has a few words for and regarding his former captors at a welcoming ceremony at Fort Sam Houston.

Free trade for Columbia - Free trade now!

H/T: Hot Air

'08 Beijing Olympic Update (sans the Chi-com mascot)

(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).

The brutally unforgiving nature of the U.S. Olympic trials was on display over the weekend as 100 and 200 meter favorite Tyson Gay pulled up in a 200 preliminary heat with a strained hamstring. His dream of a 100/200 sweep is now gone…. no do-overs, no mulligans, no byes for outstanding bodies of work. Win and you’re in – lose and you go home. Fortunately, for Gay he qualified for the Olympics by popping a wind-aided 9.68 in the 100 finals earlier in the Trials which is the fastest time ever recorded in the event but not a record because the tail wind exceeded the allowable 2 meters/second.

Everyone, including his competitors, expressed heartfelt emotion towards Gay (a soft-spoken and humble guy in the sprint events that seem to display the most diva-like behavior) and his plight but also to a person and in particular, Gay himself, favored the rigid structure of the Trials believing that to succeed in the pressure-cooker of the Olympics, one needed to bring their “A”-game to the Trials.

And what about Bernie, you ask? You all remember Bernard Lagat, don’t you? We wrote about Bernard here last August. Lagat, a native Kenyan and a naturalized citizen since 2004 won the 1,500 meter finals at the world championships in Osaka. It was the first time an American won the 1,500 at a global event since Mel Sheppard won it back in ’08. Yes, that Mel Sheppard in the other ’08.

After winning the race, here’s what Bernard had to say to the world and his new brothers and sisters: “This is a dream come true. I'm a champion for the United States of America.” “When you're carrying this flag, it means a lot, You're representing everybody, the victims of Katrina, everybody. Those who are serving in the war in Iraq. This is for everybody in the United States.” Pretty cool, huh?

Bernard was the top qualifier for the U.S. at the Trials in both the 1,500 and the 5,000. Obviously, we will be keeping a close eye on how Lagat fares against his formidable former countrymen in these two events.