Our first post back from Vegas. More on Vegas later. At first blush, we like the pick. We like the pick, right now, for no other reason than a) the timing of the pick and b) the fact that the Democrats appear to have been caught off-guard. Also, its bold, daring and risky with a potential to back-fire big time or… pay off huge dividends down the road in November… what’s not to like?
No sooner does the press start assessing the historical significance of Obama’s acceptance speech, when without warning, they are forced to re-tool to deal with the selection of Palin. By Friday at noon, no one was talking about the Democratic convention or Suit’s speech. Brilliantly timed.
As for the Democrats, what is it exactly that you do with a wife and mother of five (one of whom is about to go off to Iraq and the youngest of which suffers from Down’s syndrome) who has a far more impressive resume’ as a veep choice than does your own candidate for President and who rose to her lot in life not on the coattails of her husband?
The “experience” criticism only serves to boomerang right back around upside Suit’s head and…. Alaska? Three words… Dela-freaking-ware… They’re at a loss and a perfect indication of this fumbling around took place on Friday evening as we were driving out to Vegas and listening to some lefty radio. The two co-hosts playing back Palin’s acceptance speech from Dayton and who almost wanted to make fun of her voice as she was clearly a tad nervous/excited but thought better of it, were reduced to making fun of the crowd for chanting “U-S-A… U-S-A…”. There are precious few things you can always count on in life and we’re glad the left never disappoints.
Its obvious this pick has energized the G.O.P. and has given some much-needed juice to this week’s convention in Minneapolis where we suspect it will be “get-to-know-Sarah-Palin” week. We certainly look forward to it.
P.S. We’re still trying to put it together but our friend “Mark” from NYC will be in town for the convention and will be submitting regular correspondences from the same. Mark wisely eschewed access to the floor of the convention and will instead be providing his take on the proceedings from “the street”, hotel lobby bars and the Party parties. Wise choice, Mark.
P.P.S. Big ups to Mitt Romney, the Conventional Wisdom-Veep pick, who offered immediate congratulations to Palin upon her selection and who is out on the trail campaigning for the ticket. Romney would’ve been the safe (and perfectly acceptable) pick so his graciousness, warmth and humility in the face of this pass-over, speaks volumes about the man.
UPDATE #1: The Red State Boys breakin' things down as only they know how to do.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
In North Carolina, Noland was surprised by a visit from Obama and his wife, Michelle, who "spent all of this time just gazing at the images," Noland said. "I think he was overwhelmed at seeing all of this work with his face all around." But, Noland said, Obama told him to keep up the good work
More from the artist, Noland: Noland (not pictured) became interested in Obama while reading his 1995 autobiography, "Dreams From My Father." "I thought, 'This guy has got it all. He's got the pedigree. He's gone to Harvard, but he's also connected to the community, to the neighborhood,' " Noland said. "He also plays ball!"
Noland’s right. At some point, one’s head explodes trying to keep up with all of Suit’s relevant qualifications.
Read all about it here, if you must.
(Shepard Fairey, he of "Obey" iconography fame is person pictured in front of graffiti)
Saturday, August 30, 2008
In a sweeping statement that could possibly effect the lives of literally tens of illegal immigrants, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Rhode Island, Thomas Tobin, asked for a blanket moratorium on (illegal) immigrant raids in that state until the nation adopts comprehensive immigration reform.
“We often ask, 'What would Jesus do?' ” Tobin said in an interview yesterday. “I know for sure what Jesus would not do would be to sweep into a community, gather up large numbers of people, separate them from one another and deport them . . . In my own mind . . . that's crystal clear: Jesus would not do that.”
Far be it from us to question what the Bishop is claiming but since we don’t possess the ecumenical chops he does, we won’t presume, either, to know what Jesus would do.
So instead of asking any sort of certainly rhetorical question regarding what someone else who lived some 2,000 years ago would do, we just go to the accounting of that person’s life and what he said on the nature of Christianity with respect to secular authority...
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plants to trap him in his words…. “Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Ceasar or not?” But Jesus knowing their evil intent, said… “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:15-22, abbreviated)
Much like the case of the illegal immigrant movement’s “It”-girl, Elvira Arellano, we’re simultaneously amused and troubled when men of the cloth start throwing around Jesus’ name as justification for flouting the laws on the books.
Friday, August 29, 2008
As the resident token donkey, BwD asked me to bang out a few thoughts on this week's DNC-palooza in the Rockies.
You know who you're voting for already. If motivated.
What the hell am I going to write that would convey anything different than what you've heard on NPR (We know you like to listen, neo-cons) or on the skirt-chasing, pill-popping, windbag show (i.e. EIB and O'Reilly).
Besides, there's something so much better going on smack dab in the middle of both conventions: Closing night at the Dem Show definitely played second fiddle for me to catching the college football opener -- particularly an awesome opener between Stanford and Oregon State. And Opening Night of the GOP won't even register on my radar since I'll be hip-deep in the Rose Bowl with 90,000 people wearing powder blue and bright orange. Besides, a certain hurricane currently gathering steam in the Gulf threatens to be a Ghost of GOP Hurricane Seasons Past right in the middle of the Twin Cities Party.
As you can see, I've got better things to do than watch two parties pander to a minority with the occasional Spanish-language phrase. Como se dice "I'm caving into you" en espanol?
1) Who the hell in these parties (both Dem and GOP) picked the timing on these things this go-around? Seems to me they used to plop these conventions right after the baseball all-star game or thereabouts -- when absolutely nothing is going on -- not in the middle of Back-to-School Week, when all hell is breaking loose throughout America. The GOP's is especially bad starting off on Labor Day.
2) Dem Speeches. Hardly watched a one. Caught all of Hillary though. And after her absolute pit-bull performance I'm more proud of my cast vote for her than ever. The woman went to the body of the Bush-McCain hydra, and it was a beautiful thing. But jeez, the other two or three I did see were awful. The key note lacked energy. And the gal from Kentucky and woman from Alabama cast as the "everyman" telling his/her story on Tuesday night were just... well, a trip to ToastMasters woulda killed them??
3) Conventions. If they aren't even going to try to be genuine (not scripted party commercials), isn't it time these things went away? Where are the floor fights? Where's the gritty dialogue? The booing of a party rival trying to shout above the din? Where's the voting (I used to love watching the votes actually be cast. "Mr. Speaker, The Great State of Nevada, Home of Gambling, Prostitution, Bodies in Unmarked Graves, and Rocks, proudly casts it's 3 electoral votes as follows: Dos para el senador guapo del estado Illinois, y uno para la bonita senador de Nueva York!!"...
Or something like that...
USC opens up against Virginia tomorrow so this gives us the perfect opportunity to present YouTube clip below. As Colin Cowherd, ESPN radio host will spell-out, UVA’s tradition, both that of their fan base and football program, is less than stout.
Now, given the completely self-absorbed nature of the host, this thing wreaks of being contrived – we wouldn’t put it past Cowherd to set-up something like this, but its highly amusing just the same. Enjoy.
P.S. We had to fight for the title of the post. Its all about artistic integrity, right?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The following is an update to a post from last August, the original which can be found here.
Over the past 20 years there have been 9 coaches to win a national championship within the first 3 years of taking over at head coach of their respective college program, and outside of one, Pete Carroll at USC, that coach never won another one (Urban Meyer won it two years ago so we will have to wait and see, Les Miles (pictured) won it last year and we feel comfortable will never win it again and Pete Carroll won it in his 3rd and 4th seasons. The rest of the lineup is as follows:
Lou Holtz – Notre Dame ’88 (3rd Year)
Gene Stallings – Alabama ’92 (2nd Year)
Lloyd Carr - Michigan '97 (3rd Year)
Bob Stoops – Oklahoma ’00 (2nd Year)
Larry Coker – Miami ’01 (1st Year)
Jim Tressel - Ohio St. ‘02 (3rd Year)
Obviously, each data point has a different backdrop and context from the others…. Holtz continued to field national championship caliber teams after ’88, though the last 3 years were mediocre (23-11-1) by Tying Irish standards. Stallings also, had very good on-field success after his lone championship, though he stepped down in ’96 after an exhaustive 2 yr. investigation of the ‘Bama program which did result in sanctions. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, though, has not only not won another national title but was perceived as heading a program in gradual decline and was fired, er, stepped down at the end of last season as a result.
Also in the 90s, one has examples conversely of this alleged phenomena where ironically it was two ball coaches that had been at their respective schools for years before winning their first championships in the persons of Bobby Bowden at Florida St. and Dr. Tom Osborne at Nebraska. In fact, those two pretty much owned the decade by combining for 5 National Championships.
Things get a little juicier with this next set. Tressel won in his 3rd year and had a chance to win the title in the last 2 consecutive years before being upset by Florida and Urban Meyer, a 2nd Year guy at the time and then Les Miles of LSU, a year 3 guy. No shame, that.
Larry Coker is the poster-old man for this post. After winning the championship in his very first season with the ‘Canes, his win totals declined thereafter until he was dismissed two years ago. And though by no means is he in the hot seat, Sooner Nation, is getting a little anxious for Bob Stoops to get back to the BCS title game... or least show-up at a BCS bowl game where they have lost their last 4 of which they appeared.
Again… not sure if there are enough data points to lead to anything more conclusive than perhaps that each of the above won primarily with the last guy’s recruits.
We would be remiss if we did not hand out an Honorable Mention-type award as well: Kirk Farentz of Iowa has seen his win totals in steady decline after winning the Big 10 title in both '02 (4th season) and '04 (6th season). And both Ralph Friedgen of Maryland and Chuck Amato as HC at NC State who were fired at the end of the ’06 season, shared similar career arcs starting at the beginning of the decade in the ACC.
It will be interesting to see how Tressel, Stoops, Meyer and Miles, coaches who man one of the 7 or 8 mega-programs in the nation, fare in the coming years.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
For those of you wondering what to opt for on the T.V. menu Thursday night between entrées of college football and Suit’s keynote speech, we’ll recommend foregoing the pigskin for that “thrill up my leg” as it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that you will risk missing next Gettysburg address or Sermon on the Mount if you opt for that fly-over fare.
"Barack Obama’s upcoming speech at the Democratic National Convention is—barring the miraculous reanimation of Winston Churchill’s corpse, sometime in mid-July, to recite the Sermon on the Mount in twelve different languages—pretty much a lock to be the rhetorical blockbuster event of the summer. The speech offers, among many other hooks, a tidy dramatic symmetry. Obama first stepped out of the political phone booth on this occasion four years ago, when he gave the climactic keynote address for John Kerry’s otherwise legendarily droopy campaign. In ten minutes, America watched him rip off the rumpled suit of anonymous, mild-mannered state-senatorhood and squeeze into the gaudy cape and tights of our national oratorical superhero—a honey-tongued Frankenfusion of Lincoln, Gandhi, Cicero, Jesus, and all our most cherished national acronyms (MLK, JFK, RFK, FDR). Although he may have been canonized a little quickly, Obama has since managed to justify much of the hype."
That, from an objective member of the print media, New York Magazine writer, Sam Anderson.
Later in his piece and amazingly without a hint of irony, Anderson, at once, praises Suit’s chant-trance meme’, “Yes We Can” while bemoaning the dumbing-down of Presidential oratorical skills. We remember chanting “Yes We Can”… nearly 30 years ago at Angels’ Stadium as kids so its quaint to know that Anderson sees stadium sloganeering as a step back in the right direction. And here’s the part where we refrain from any further messianic stadium rally speechifying analogies. See…. We’re refraining.
He also gives Suit props for his alliterative style, “sentence sequence” and “triadic phrases”. Got news for ya, sport. We saw that schtick 20 years ago at a homeless benefit concert (btw, Los Lobos rocked!) on the Mall in D.C. and all we could think of was Dr. Seuss...
For his efforts, and indeed it was grandiose, Mr. Sam Anderson has been nominated for Beers with Demo’s Putridity in Journalism award to be named at the end of the year. Congratulations, Sam.
H/T: And a very special “hat tip” it is to KT for turning us on to this gem.
P.S. The picture above was the one run by the mag and it speaks volumes. So blinded by their own devotion, they can't surface for a long enough time to realize the image screams "narcissism". We are the people we've been waiting for.
All those classic beers of the 60s and 70s that dear old dad used to knock back after mowing the lawn in his black socks are making a comeback. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schlitz have been reportedly flying off the shelves though Schlitz has yet to appear in San Diego. So… what’s the deal?
Article here suggests it is a backlash in a sense to the popularity of craft and micro brews and what some may see as some beer snobbery, an attitude one would not normally associate with beer. Another theory advanced by the article is a yearning for simpler times in this era of uncertainty. We don’t know about that… seems things couldn’t get much more uncertain in this country than the 60s and 70s but waves of nostalgia tend to wash away more unpleasant aspects of the memory bank.
We’ll throw in a healthy dose of ironic-chic as a factor. You know that kid with the black horn rim glasses, jet-black hair, pierced ears, Chuck Taylor high tops and cuffed jeans at the coffee shop….wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt? Yeah, saw him throwin’ down a Hamm’s the other night at the pub. Go figure.
And one more: Buy American! Don’t think for a moment that All-American icon Budweiser being bought-out by the Euros at InBev doesn’t have some cultural repercussions. It may have been a crappy American beer. But it was our crappy American beer, dammit!.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
If you want to build it, they will already be there…
Headline: Shrimp to delay school’s opening.
The discovery of endangered fairy shrimp on a vacant lot in Otay Mesa will delay the opening of a school for at least a year, San Ysidro School District officials say
It is expected to take 18 months for the school district to come up with a plan that will protect the endangered fairy shrimp that were discovered in vernal pools on the land the school was to be constructed.
Vernal pools? Fancy enviro-speak for mud puddles. Mud puddles that are also breeding grounds for West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes. And all evidence suggests these “pools” are not naturally occurring but are merely tire ruts from off-road vehicles. See. Off-roading: good for the environment.
A biologist with a company that surveyed the site said that the fairy shrimps loss can “reverberate up the food chain.” Can you feel it? Its noted that neither the name of the biologist nor the company is given in the article.
Estimates to “save” this critter that at 8-16 millimeters, can’t even be of benefit to a cocktail is estimated to be $27 million.
And this fairy shrimp is so endangered, it popped up out at the proposed site for a military cemetery at Mira Mar.
But we aren’t holding our breath to see any placard-carrying protests like we’ve seen over the past few months over budget cuts that are supposedly going to axe teaching positions. It’s a lot easier to get upset at politicians than fairy shrimp that are just so darn cute.
…and speaking of axes…
You know, there’s a reason why we could never get into politics or city/county/state-level bureaucracy. We’d be in jail for a carnage of disembowlments and severed limbs in our wake.
“Your Honor, I guess we just got carried away when we said we wanted to “slash” our way through all the red tape and bureaucracy. Our bad.”
The reason why the kook left and anti-war set was never able to gain any real traction in recent years is probably best exemplified in case here involving General Patraeus’ endorsement of a religious book, saying “Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel” “…should be in every rucksack for those time when soldiers need spiritual energy.”
Reasonable people can argue whether or not a figure in the person of General Patraeus (BwD’s ’07 Man of the Year) is acting in an appropriate manner when he makes endorsements like this, especially using the word, “should”.
Mikey Weinstein (no snark here, that’s the dude’s name), head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation had this to say in a statement to Military.com:
"General Petraeus has, by his own hand, become a quintessential poster child of this fundamentalist Christian religious predation, via his unadulterated and shocking public endorsement of a book touting both Christian supremacy and exceptionalism,"
We would’ve settled for poster child of the Surge or the quintessential military leader in 21st century counter-insurgency warfare but that for “fundamentalist Christian religious predation”….? Impressive, indeed.
And Mikey’s proposed solution: "He should still be relieved of duty and court martialed,"
Here’s our proposed solution: Mikey takes his bed-pan and a nice steaming cup of shut-the-hell-up and goes home to never be heard from again. What a tool.
Is it any wonder why no one takes these people seriously.
Monday, August 25, 2008
On cynically titled legislation, secret ballots and a bill Suit says he will sign into law “when I’m President of the United States.”
B-Daddy has more over at our sister site, here.
Jason Mattera is undercover at the protest pens at the Democratic National Convention in Denver
Line of this clip is just past the 3 minute mark where Mattera is conversing with a Planned Parenthood supporter who is pointing out an article that is just, “deadly”. Mattera, inquisitively, “Like how deadly? Like abortion deadly?” Classic.
H/T: Hot Air
Here’s the deal: From here until perhaps next week, posting will be a combination of hastily conceived and ill-executed and/or recycled posts, scheduled posts and outside-help posts.
Proving that even when management is promoted out of the way, it can still wreak havoc with your professional life, so we will definitely be out of pocket for at least 2-3 days this week.
This is followed-up immediately by a potential trip to Vegas where the room rates, even for a long holiday weekend are too low to not be taken advantage.
Yes, one cannot afford not to go, given the circumstances.
Besides, the first full weekend of college football has traditionally been our best, wagering-wise, as the lines that are set do not have much upon which to gage the performances of teams and thusly are quite often out-of-whack.
P.S. As we will be out, any comments may be unresponded to.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Garret Gomez won us some money on Friday aboard 18-1 shot Smudgeledo. He then jumped on a red-eye back to the Spa at Saratoga where he won the Grade I Travers Stakes aboard Colonel John, yesterday. After that, he jumped right back on a plane at 5 this morning to get back out here to Del Mar where he came from behind on Whatsthescript to win the $400,000 Grade I Del Mar Mile and in the following race, the signature race of the Del Mar meeting, he came from behind again on Go Between to win the $1 million dollar Pacific Classic.
Gomez will have a tough decision to make between riding Colonel John or Go Between later in October at the Breeder's Cup Classic.
The GCF is still technically under cease and desist orders from the County for practicing their 1st amendment right to peaceably assemble and worship as the building in which the 50-member GCF congregates is zoned for a bar instead of a church and knowing that is certainly a disastrous tactic by which to attack the Fellowship, it appears the County has resorted to harrassment in the form of site inspections, instead.
(For some background on this whole fiasco, click here)
The church resumed services at the building Aug. 10, but four days later a county inspection found unsafe wiring and lighting, an improperly installed furnace and water heater and an unsafe doorway, according to a letter to the church from Senior Deputy County Counsel Eliot Alazraki. Those violations, and many others, create fire and safety hazards, Alazraki said.
My god… not an unsafe doorway!
Church attorney Peter Lepiscopo said he believed the county used “heavy-handed tactics”
The church has been meeting at members' homes since the county inspection. Pastor Stan Peterson said he did not believe the violations were major and hoped to return to the building within a month or so
In our line of work, what the County is finding is akin to “underway restrictives” which if looked for long and hard enough, one will find.
Pastor Stan advised the congregation two Sundays ago when we were out there to not get angry at the County… “….they aren’t stupid, they just do stupid stuff sometimes”.
We respect the admonition but its becoming more and more difficult to bestow any grace upon the County when they have had ample opportunity to pull their head out of their ass and politely drop the whole matter but rather continue to fight a petty and nettlesome rear-guard action when they know they don’t have a legal, ethical or common sensical leg upon which to stand.
Hey, Eliot Alazraki... Yeah, Johnny's on the phone... he says, "hi"
With apologies to The National Enquirer, B-Daddy draws some interesting parallels between it and that other pillar of American journalism, The New York Times.
Suit should perhaps look into a different line of work.
The Supremes (California), again, tred into some questionable waters.
… and what’s it gonna take to get this windmill in your backyard?
Eminent Domain: Chi-comm style
... and finally, a Welcome Aboard!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Obama picks his Veep…. Obama picks his Veep.
Thoughts on the matter over at our sister (brother?) site, here. And its been updated already! Go on… get over there… hurry!
And KT breaks-down how it is exactly that Joe Biden (D- small, insignificant east coast blue state) will benefit M.T. Suit. Windbaggery…? Honestly, KT.
We’ve all had fun with those parlor games where you come up with your stage actor’s name and your uhhh, adult film star name but how about your punk band’s name?
“The Blah Cheese” wasn’t quite what we had in mind especially since we’ve promised our nephews that we are hooking-up with them in our next life if we could roll with a name that is familiar to elementary school pedestrian commuters the nation over.
The Theocracy’s Official Artist will size you up and bestow upon you your nom de punk.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Its comforting to know that we’re not the only country with some eminent domain issues. You see, China has them also.
A couple of poor old Chinese ladies have been sentenced by the Beijing police to “re-education through labor” for having the temerity to apply for a legal protest in a designated area there in the city. They are doing so because they are none too pleased about what they feel is the government reneging on a deal that would’ve put them up in tonier digs as their former homes had been razed to facilitate Olympic-themed development near Tiananmen Square.
Unfortunately, they are living in a ramshackle apartment on the outskirts of the city and their demands for compensation have gone unanswered.
Well, not unanswered entirely, of course. Both Ms. Wu, 79 and Ms. Wang, 77 have been allowed to return to their “home” but have been warned they could be sent to a detention center at any moment. Keep that overnight bag packed and by the door, ladies.
Officials say that they received 77 protest applications but that nearly all of them were dropped after the complaints were “properly addressed by relevant authorities or departments through consultations.”
If by “properly addressed” one means threats, intimidation, arrests, strong-arming and jail time, then, yes, all 77 applicants have been “properly addressed.”
And as an example of not quite grasping the realities of one’s surroundings, the authors of linked article from the New York Times ponder,
“It is unclear why the police have detained people who sought permission to protest.”
Perhaps Li Fangpin, a lawyer who has been arrested and beaten for fighting for representation of rights advocates can help out the authors: “For Chinese petitioners, if their protest applications were approved, it would lead to a chain reaction of others seeking to voice their problems as well,”
We always find it charming when people in the thick of the struggle find it necessary to break things down to the most elementary of levels for their more obtuse Western observers.
To be as charitable to the Chicomms, our hosts this past fortnight, as we can be, no government wants their dirty laundry aired… its just that constitutionally-based democracies appear to have a higher threshold of pain when it comes to this sort of thing.
P.S. B-Daddy noted in a comment in an earlier post that the term “Arbeit macht frei” is a German phrase meaning “work brings freedom” and which graced the entrances of Nazi Germany’s most infamous concentration camps and whose philosophical underpinnings parallel that of the “re-education through labor” of the Chinese.
We mention this because there are great similarities in the philosophies and ideological execution of all the great totalitarian strains of faith be it fascism, Stalinism or Maoism.
P.P.S. The title of this post is in reference to Nicolas Kristof’s equivocating over the term “totalitarian” which we took to task, here.
H/T: B-Daddy and Hedgecock
Thursday, August 21, 2008
While it is difficult to shut oneself off completely from the news of the world all day in order to not hear about results from the Olympics until primetime programming, there is at least one advantage, in our opinion.
Instead of experiencing the unexpected shock and anguish of watching in tape-delay real-time the dropping of the baton by both the U.S. men’s and women’s 4x100 meter relays, we read about it this morning already so we should be well-fortified to handle the continuing meltdown of the U.S. sprint and hurdle team.
Counting the botches last night, there have been 4 major blunders now in the past 3 days. 3 nights ago Lolo Jones hit the second-to-last hurdle in the 100 meter hurdle costing her near-certain gold and 2 nights ago, Wallace Spearmon was DQ’d for running out of his lane in the finals of the men’s 200 meters costing him a bronze. Maybe it was the Jamaicans who got into the heads of the Americans in the sprints earlier in the meet or perhaps it’s the rainy weather but the track team has become a collective basket case the past few days.
Bold predictions sure to go wrong: Whatever and however things shake-out this next week in Denver, the Democratic candidate’s prospects will be much dimmer coming out of the convention than they are at this moment.
With Obama’s fall in the polls, Hillary’s supporters are ramping-up efforts to derail Obama’s campaign with an email campaign of their own. Things are rapidly approaching critical mass to where Hillary’s supporters, thinking they are that tantalizingly close to claiming the nomination and believing that she and not Obama can beat McCain, will revolt and sit out the election, or worse, vote for McCain should Obama retain the nomination.
On the other hand, think of the meltdown that will occur among the netroots, blacks and your standard party-line Democrats who just want some pax familia, if by some still-remote-yet-not-beyond-the-realm-of-possibility chance, Suit gets bumped as the nominee?
Either way, the nominee will emerge from the convention with party support that is less than unified if not fractured altogether. With things as tight as they are, it is highly doubtful that any nominee can win the general election if found in this particular circumstance.
We will be watching to see the events unfold next week (actually, we may not be able to but that’s a whole ‘nother matter) and monitor the fall-out particularly with respect to how the Republicans play it at their own convention early next month.
B-Daddy here. I have a little noted aftermath of the twin scandals surrounding Big Foot and the Edwards-Hunter affair. Bill Keller of the NYT had this to say about not publishing anything about the Edwards affair:
the "hold-your-nose quality about The Enquirer" contributed to the lack of interest by The Times.
Why do I find this funny? On August 14, the New York Times published their Big Foot story and played it straight. The Enquirer? They ignored it. In the end, whose story was true?
We would scarcely have know the U.S. softball team beat Japan 4-1 in extras to play for its fourth straight gold medal had we not run across article here on yesterday's front page of the San Diego U-T detailing the vote taken by the IOC in Singapore in 2005 that gave the death sentence to softball as an event at future Olympics.
The central figure is the owner of Easton Sports which makes aluminum bats, Jim Easton who recused himself from the vote as he believed there was a conflict of interest as he and his company stood to gain from a continuation of softball as an Olympic event. It turns out that Easton’s “yea” vote would’ve broken the 52-52 deadlock providing the simple majority needed to save softball.
It was the right and honorable thing to do but Easton has been treated less than charitably by the U.S. softball community who have essentially blamed him for killing the dreams of not only American girls but those the world over who see the U.S. as the bell cow in this sport.
For their part, NBC has been shoveling dirt onto the grave as much like a Stalinesque air-brushing of photos, the network has appeared to go out of its way to disregard any scores, updates and/or highlights of the softball team. We’ve been consistent viewers of NBC’s prime-time programming and its become evident that between their non-reporting of political events outside the sporting venues and the softball team’s successes, the network is pathetically bend-over compliant to the desires of the IOC.
UPDATE #1: So much for American dominance, hegemony and its exercise of soft-imperialism... Team U.S.A. loses in gold medal game to Japan, 3-1. Given this perception, this may indeed be the game that ultimately saves softball as an Olympic sport. We'd love to know how the Japanese contingent voted 3 years ago in Singapore.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
"...that would be my VP pick, pal."
But what should, perhaps, worry Suit’s camp even more is that same poll from Reuters found that McCain is seen as a stronger manager of the economy. We can’t remember the last time we saw a Republican candidate enjoy an advantage over the Democratic candidate in the “who will better manage the economy" question.
Denver and good times await.
Its doubtful we have ever seen a more compelling visual moment in these or possibly any Olympics than the seconds following the women’s 100 meter hurdles final last night.
In this race, the favorite, American Lolo Jones, who was at the lead, bumped the second-to-last hurdle and stumbled across the finish line, second to last. This opened the door for American, Dawn Harper to win the race and take the gold…. not that Harper believed it at first.
At the same time Jones was on her knees in anguish, alternately looking up at the video screen to see the replays of the race and burying her head in her hands, Harper was walking down the track looking up at the board with her arms outstretched and a facial expression half-way between “theres no way I just won, this is a big joke, right?” and outright denial as she appeared to be shaking her head, refusing to believe.
Meanwhile, the silver and bronze medallists from Australia and Canada, respectively, were running around, laughing, screaming, hugging each other, hugging anybody within reach…. The results of the race had to have been up for at least 15 or 20 seconds before Harper allowed herself to believe that she was an Olympic champion and the joy began to wash over her as she ran to the stands to grab an American flag to begin her victory lap.
Shock, dismay, denial, disbelief, realization, unrestrained exuberance and gratefulness all on display by 4 women in the span of 40 seconds. Incredible.
UPDATE #1: Video here gives an idea but does not do justice to what we witnessed last night
He's been wanting to do it for a few months now but B-Daddy has finally followed through on his threat to start his own blog. He is in beta-testing right now but check it out anyway as his inaugural post is up. And as if that wasn't disincentive enough, he's even asked us to come onboard as a contributor! As you'll see, its a uhhh.. niche blog but, shoot, one never knows.... we thought we were going to be writing primarily about sports.
Congratulations, B-Daddy and welcome to the blogosphere.
"The possession of nuclear weapons by a state like Iran, which is ideological to the core, is more or less like Osama bin Laden having a nuclear bomb. They are two of a kind. Despite the difference in their turbans and in their religious beliefs, the end result is the same.
"Thus, we need to push the world powers, and especially the U.S. and the E.U., towards military confrontation to neutralize the Iranian enemy, whatever the cost, before the nuclear bomb makes it too late - even if it is against the will of the Arabs of the north."
Paul Wolfowitz..? Richard Perle...? The editorial board of the Weekly Standard..?
No, on all counts. The above is from Saudi columnist, Saleh Al-Rashed writing in the liberal Arab e-journal Elaph.
More here from MEMRI
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The California Supreme Court decision yesterday that doctors can't use their religious beliefs as a reason for treating same-sex couples differently than other patients is far from the last word about the controversial case.
In a unanimous decision that could play a role in the campaign to pass a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage, the justices said the religious liberty and free speech rights of doctors do not exempt them from complying with the state's civil rights act.
Before our red meat meter started alarming, we took some deep breaths and continued through the article here.
The case involved a 36 yr. old from Oceanside who sued the North Coast Women’s Care Clinic in Vista as she contended the clinic refused to perform an artificial insemination procedure for her because the clinic’s religious beliefs prevented them from doing so for a lesbian.
This represents a pretty fascinating case on a few different levels.
Setting aside for a moment the logic that led the Supremes to dictate what procedures doctors must perform, one interesting aspect of this is that the Supremes, in this ruling, eliminate any distinction between an “elective” medical procedure and that for say, setting a broken arm or treating a cancerous growth.
Now, from a short-term, pragmatic perspective , the ruling which gives clinics the option to a) deny that particular service to all other clients/patients or b) refer the person to a clinic that will perform the procedure seems to be a pretty reasonable compromise.
However, going back to the “logic” applied that resulted in this ruling, what are the long-term or broader effects of this ruling? To wit, what are the implications for other medical practices, especially ones where medical treatment and religious views intersect such as end-of-life decisions?
Another twist: The clinic in question claims it did not deny service to the lesbian couple because of their sexual orientation but rather because the couple was not married. Is this a distinction without a difference or does the sexual orientation of the couple play into the courts decision? Look at it like this: Say a heterosexual couple that is not married is denied artificial insemination from a clinic. Does this make it to the Supreme Court and does the Supreme Court rule in a similar fashion?
Given the fact that this is the same court that invented a right for the occasion with its granting legality to same-sex marriages, we’re going the cynic route saying “yes”, we believe (especially if the clinic’s claim is true) that the Court felt it was easier to apply the “compelling interest” tag to this ruling based upon sexual orientation rather than marital status.
To put a nice neat bow on this thing, it would appear that in the near-term as narrowly applied to this case, everyone goes away happy; the clinic can still refuse to practice the elective procedure and the patient is required to receive a referral to a clinic that will.
However, the reasoning applied to the ruling could be construed as less-than-genuine and the resulting outcome leaves things wide-open for more shenanigans down the road with respect to far more ethically-challenging medical decisions.
"We Chinese people love the Olympics and support the Olympics, and that's why there are no protesters,"
… and the white wash continues.
If it weren’t for turning on the TV early this morning looking for USA vs. Germany in hoops and accidentally running across a small news item on NBC’s crappy local affiliate which reported on a group of Christians refusing to leave Beijing’s airport until their confiscated Bibles were returned, we would never have heard about it.
Good to know the Chinese “take care of” Bibles the way they take care of dissidents. Story here.
The Chinese promise of setting up “protest pens” for peaceful Chicomm-sanctioned demonstrations was made just to get everyone off their back as there have been, to date, zero demonstrations in the 3 designated venues… one of which is in an amusement park where there is a $10 fee just to get in.
In fact, the Chinese police state can be commended for streamlining their processes to the degree that they don’t waste energy by going out and finding the malcontents, they simply just wait until the malcontents come down to the Olympic security offices to apply for a protest and arrest them there.
Nicholas Krisof of the New York Times decided to take a spin on the protest merry-go-round. His dizzying account of stonewalling, excessive red tape, mountains of conditions and forms all smothered in a thick layer of mind-numbing bureaucracy can be found here.
Amazingly, though, at the end of the article Kristof gets all fair’n’balanced, essentially shrugging his shoulders and implying, “hey, could be worse”… the totality of his little experiment is kind of brushed-off as nothing more than a trip to the DMV. Kristoff: “China is changing: it is no democracy, but it’s also no longer a totalitarian state.”
We don’t want to get into the parsing of political terminology but when we think of a planned, centralized economy, the state being that which "guarantees security and prosperity" (quote from the Opening Ceremonies), young children ripped from their families and taken to Olympic factories where they only see their parents once a year, people being arrested for merely attempting to file paperwork for a protest and a completely empty protest zone, we will just paraphrase a quote used during the primaries,
“China is (still) totalitarian, enough.”
Monday, August 18, 2008
Admit it. Its been at least 24 hrs. since you had a little Michael Phelps in your life and you miss the kid with the goofy smile, dontcha?
Still think the Serbian, Cavic, beat Phelps in the finals of the 100m fly the other night? Nice still photo sequencing from SI.com here that makes the case for Phelps.
And what’s that stat about the U.S. having 3% of the world’s population but consuming 25% of its resources? Blame Phelps. You’ve heard by now, perhaps, of Phelp’s daily caloric intake of 12,000 calories but what does all that grub look like? Intrepid Baltimore reporter sits down in a diner and takes a crack at just breakfast and… does not fare too well.
After 20 minutes, he was slowing down and looking tired. His head was dropping.
"He got up, walked slowly to the bathroom," Smith recalls. "I followed, but he shut the door in my face. Everybody in that corner of the restaurant was rooting for him, but they knew this was bad news."
Finally, the white flag came to the morning editor in the form of an email from Segraves' Blackberry:
"Just blew chunks. No way I can stand the smell of this place much longer or I'm gonna heave again. You picked the wrong guy for this detail. Sorry."
H/T: Real Clear Sports
"Whaddya mean you don’t want one in your back yard? Perhaps this will change your mind."
Like a scene from the Owens Valley in the early part of last century when Metropolitan Water District officials from Los Angeles played divide and conquer with the citizens of the Eastern Sierras for water rights, a lack of state regulations regarding wind turbines has resulted in zoning shenanigans, conflicts of interests and neighbor against neighbor in one particular upstate New York county… a scene which will repeat itself across the country as wind power is currently the “It” girl of renewable energy and the prospect of jobs and money the wind turbines bring with it prove hard to resist.
Recall back in 1984, the Reagan campaign attempted to co-opt Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” as a patriotic anthem when Springsteen, himself, advised them it was nothing of the sort but rather a song that told the story of a working-class kid who gets shipped-off to Vietnam only to return to an America of unemployment and disillusion.
(As much as we hated the “youth vote” even when we were youths, we were convinced by this incident that every politician needed a bona fide “youth consultant” to avoid stepping in it like the Reagan campaign did)
Well, according to Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News on Sunday, Bruce dedicated his performance of “Born in the U.S.A.” while in concert in Jacksonville to a kid from Baltimore who gets shipped off to Beijing only return to America with 8 more gold medals, endorsement opportunities, fame and adulation.
... ah yes, how nearly a quarter a century will change perspective on things.
… because one is never asked to make any difficult decisions, take potentially controversial stances or forthrightly answer uncomfortable questions while in the Oval Office…
M.T. Suit flails miserably (again) on abortion question, here.
If its above your pay grade, Suit, perhaps you would be more interested in a position like the one pictured? Hey, we're not mocking - every city needs one, right?
P.S. We’d have so much more respect for the man if he just came out and said something along the lines of “The question of when life actually begins is immaterial as I believe in a woman’s unfettered right to terminate her pregnancy whenever she sees fit within the strictures of the law as my voting record has consistently demonstrated.”
“Above my pay grade?” good lord
Sunday, August 17, 2008
NBC, they of that ridiculous stunt last fall when they broadcast half-time of the Sunday night NFL game in the dark to raise awareness as to energy usage/global warming (…. and sent entire news crews to both the Arctic and Antarctic to prove their point) might reasonably be accused of cruising around Beijing in the Olympic town car with the windows down and the A/C on.
Our trip out to Guatay Christian Fellowship and their 1st Amendment vs. clueless bureaucrats fight detailed here.
Cold War Fever? Catch it here and here.
Islamic roundtable musings on Hitler’s ‘stache. A big hit with the fellas.
Accountable America advises you to watch your step… and checkbook.
… and finally, it must have been North American mythical creatures week.
We're up in Orange County this weekend for the wedding of a very good friend. No real reason for this post other than we can't seem to get this song out of our head. That, and our friend, "Miguel" is a big fan of Beck's and there is a wedding reception scene (or so it looks) at the end of the video. So, there you have it. Great song with tasty hooks and those Mad Magazine back cover fold-ups! Ladies and Gentlemen: Beck's "Girl"
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday requiring certain home improvement stores to develop plans for dealing with day laborers who congregate nearby in search of jobs.
The ordinance mandates that proposed big-box stores obtain conditional-use permits, which could then require them to build day-labor centers with shelter, drinking water, bathrooms and trash cans
Councilman Bernard C. Parks….said the businesses needed to be held accountable for their role in attracting dayworkers.
This logic is akin to holding the neighborhood pub accountable for our drunkeness and making them pay for our cab ride home. And yes, we will have another one, thank you very much.
Holding a business responsible for operating a successful business that generates an unwanted collateral circumstance is lost on us.
But you know, the truly sickening thing about this ordinance is that for its supporters, well, maybe not the daffy, starry-eyed, LaRaza-type deck plate supporters but certainly the fools on the L.A. City Council that voted for this travesty, this has absolutely nothing to do with the safety and well-being of these supposed day-laborers. Rather, what this is all about is sticking it to the evil, blighted “big-box” retailers and a further normalizing and socializing of the status of illegal immigrants.
But Abel Valenzuela, a UCLA professor who has conducted extensive research on day laborers and supports the ordinance, said the city can expect to see even more such workers as the economy continues to falter. "This isn't an immigration issue," he said. "This is a labor market issue."
Abe, you lie. In your world-view of things, this is all about (illegal) immigration. But we could’ve deduced what your “study” concluded without fleecing the tax payer at your tenured position at one of our public UCs. It doesn’t take a leap of faith to intuitively figure-out that whatever the state of the economy, if you build a defacto homeless shelter, you will attract the homeless set as well as the day laborers, in droves.
We’re sure the customers of these stores will be delighted to see this shelter set-up in the parking lot because nothing says “Shop here” like a hobo camp.
The very blight of which latte’ libs, pro-illegal immigrant and the whole spectrum of “social justice” types accuse outfits like Home Depot and WalMart, aid and abet this problem by supporting this ordinance. But what do they care? They aren’t shopping there and they sure as hell don't care about these “day laborers”, either. Mere pawns.
Friday, August 15, 2008
The bile that had subsided somewhat over the first week of the Olympics has risen again as the Guardian has footage here of Chinese police man-handling Free Tibet protestors and reporters that were merely covering the protest… something that the IOC claimed reporters would freely be allowed to do.
Quote from the IOC: “The IOC does disapprove of any attempts to hinder a journalist who is going about or doing his job seemingly within the rules and regulation,” IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies tells reporters, according to AFP. “We do not want to see it happening again.” (italics ours)
Rules of engagement for the press has such a nice totalitarian feel to it, yes?
Captain Ed thinks the Olympic movement may never recover from the habitual caving of the IOC to the Chi-comms. We won’t go that far because, hell, if it doesn’t make it to the T.V., then it just didn’t happen.
NBC, your call.
From the renowned blogs of noted blog editor Tony Pierce and the L.A. Times:
IRAQ: Black Iraqis hoping for a Barack Obama win
If Obama wins in November, he's hoping Iraq's leaders will take a closer look at the documents and give some black Iraqis a chance. And if John McCain wins? "It will be a big disappointment," Razzaq says
Like anything else in the media world, there is a tremendous amount of competition for a limited amount of consumer attention-span and that is why perhaps it leads sports writers and columnists to say the absolute darndest things. William Rhoden who is generally solid proves himself to not be above susceptibility when it comes to ridiculous contentions and columns….. Subject: Barry Bonds, after breaking Hank Aaron’s home-run record has been sitting out this season and waiting for a call from a major league team that has yet to come. Rhoden wonders why.
Rhoden can’t quite figure out why it is that Bonds who is up on federal perjury and obstruction charges regarding his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs can’t find a job. Seriously. And he juxtaposes this against Jason Giambi, the Yankees slugger, who has received what Rhoden sees as a free pass when Giambi all but admitted he did steroids. But unlike Bonds, Giambi behaves like a decent and humble athlete towards the press and public. Besides, Giambi, for a short time was sporting one of the most excellent ‘staches we’ve seen in quite some time. That counts for something.
Rhoden, though, doesn't properly assess the American public’s spirit towards forgiving much when there is the proper amount of contrition and graciousness in the attitude displayed by the guilty(?) party. Bill, this is real easy: Bonds is a jerk with a big fat ‘roid-head who may be doing time in the slam for lying under oath to the grand jury. And what team need that trouble?
For months now people have been saying to me, “Do you really think they’re gone?” “Is it finally over?” “Is the coast clear?”I love movies based on comics, so maybe we can run a poll about which comic hero/villain best represents Hillary? My vote? Harley Quinn. Look it up. 'Course that would make "you know who" the Joker.
The questions have been in response to Barack Obama’s supposedly yeoman service in putting an end to the Clintons in public life.
My response to those who believe our long national nightmare is over has always been: “Have you seen no monster movies?”
H/T: TNT Hey, I'm on staycation.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
There are a few cracks beginning to show in that candy apple red veneer of what has generally been an exciting and compelling Beijing Games.
The most visible and talked-about controversy is the age, or lack thereof, of the Chinese women gymnasts who took the gold over the Americans in team competition.
Gymnasts must turn 16 in the year of the Olympics or world championships to be eligible for that competition, but records provided for lower-level events showed all three are 14.
U.S. Coach Bela Karolyi has been the most outspoken suggesting on at least two occasions that we saw live on-air, the Chinese were not playing by the rules.
Let’s go to the tale of the tape:
The Chinese gymnasts lack curves, have an average height of 4 feet 9 inches and weigh an average of 77 pounds. Deng is the smallest, at 4-6 and 68 pounds. The women on the United States team, generally more muscular and shapely than the Chinese, are an average of 3 ½ inches taller and 30 pounds heavier.
Yep, they look like they're ready for the junior prom.
Then again, as Matt Lauer suggested at the Opening Cermonies, the Chinese Olympic program mimics those of the old Eastern Bloc nations so one can never rule out forced malnourishment as a reason for general waifishness and underdevelopment.
Of course, the IOC isn’t touching this one with a ten-foot pole, accepting the sensitive-to-criticism host Chinese passports for the gymnasts as legit.
And gymnastics isn’t the only sport where there have been some irregularities in these Games as controversy has visited the boxing and shooting competitions with things breaking the way of the Chinese athlete.
The shooting controversy was of no interest to us but the boxing one grabbed us…
China's Gu Yu caused an upset by defeating Joe Murray, the bantamweight world bronze medalist, on Tuesday but afterwards his camp was adamant he had been on the receiving end of some questionable verdicts.
They implied that the home fighter had been favored.
"I knew what it was going to be like. I've been watching the scoring the past few days and I knew it was bad. So I was expecting it," Murray said.
"They were giving him points for anything but when I was hitting him they were not giving me points," he said.
British head coach Terry Edwards added: "I thought they were very generous to the Chinese lad. You expect a slight bias but you come to the Olympic Games and you also expect a level playing field."
The scoring rules in boxing were changed after the ’88 Olympics precisely to eliminate this sort of thing. It was in those Olympics that Roy Jones beat the stuffing out of his South Korean opponent only to lose on decision. The offending judges came right out and admitted to “feeling sorry” for the boxer of the host nation. The scoring methodology was changed so that individual punches landed were tallied and factored into the decision to, hopefully, eliminate subjectivity as much as possible.
Semi-related thought on these Olympics: We’ve watched the majority of the prime-time programming thus far and we’ve noticed a lack of “outside” or human interest stories on any of the Chinese athletes or of China and/or Beijing itself. No segments of Chris Collinsworth scooting around Beijing sampling the local fare, no stories, thus far, of any Chinese athlete who overcame a famine situation to become a female gymnast on the national team… woops… you get the point.
We’re about a week in and things have been going along smoothly but there have been a couple of eyebrow-raisers in these, the most tightly-controlled Games in our lifetime so we’ll stay tuned to see if the Chi-com grip tightens even further and if so, starts slipping, as those Southern rockers and wordsmiths .38 Special admonished, “Hold on loosely but don’t let go, ‘cause if you hold too tightly, you’re gonna lose control.”
The Left has Bill O’Reilly to kick around and "we" have Keith Olbermann. We’d “have” him a lot more if we actually watched him as on the rare occasion we do we find his manner and delivery to be overbearing and too demanding of our attention which we've never had just lying around in spades, historically speaking. And his wacko politics aside, he’s just not very entertaining. Sorry, Olby.
So it puzzles us as to why liberals hate O’Reilly so much. They express a hatred that would suggest they torture themselves by actually watching him. Why? So we can only assume that hip-hop group, East Coast Avengers must be avid viewers… avid viewers and self-flagellants to the point they cannot stand their misery any longer and now want to kill Bill O’Reilly.
Story here. Warning: Audio file of song in all its craptastic glory contained, therein. Oh yeah, and some bad language too.
P.S. Many commenters to linked article apparently need to somehow free-up some viewing time as they are urging-on ECA to do the deed.
That campfire doesn’t seem to burn quite as bright without good ol’ BigFoot around. (UPDATED... and how!)
We ain’t ready too put this one to bed yet either, Sheriff, because nothing tends to bum us out more than debunking myths and legends.
The legendary hairy creature – about 2m tall, with human like teeth – was said to have been found in the US two weeks ago and is being preserved in a freezer.
Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, who run Bigfoot expeditions, claim they made the astonishing discovery in the woods of north Georgia, in the southeast of the US.
The pair and "the real Bigfoot Hunter" Tom Biscardi, who has endorsed the find, plan to front a press conference in California, presenting DNA and photographic "proof."
Story with picture of the big fella, here. Whitton and Dyers’ next plans are to capture a live Bigfoot which if they do, we hope they don’t resort to any childish stunts as illustrated in this Bigfoot training video.
H/T: Hot Air
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
In response to the ongoing military crisis in Georgia, President Bush called for action by the U.N. stating, “We should continue to push for a United Nations Security Council Resolution calling for an immediate end to the violence.”
What a dope. Doesn’t the man realize that Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, has veto power on any Security Council resolution? Each time you think the man can’t say anything more ridiculous… bam! There he goes again…
What? What’s that? It was Obama that actually said that? Oh… well, never mind then.
In response to Russian armor rolling into the Republic of Georgia, Democracy Now, A.N.S.W.E.R., Code Pink and other left-wing anti-war groups have all sprung into action to protest this naked imperialist aggression that would appear to be largely about oil. Nah, just kidding…. They ain’t doin' jack-squat.
For a nice wrap-up of this 1979 flashback, bop on over to KT’s place here. In summary: Russia has achieved, to date, none of its strategic objectives with the added benefit of pissing-off the rest of the world. Bonus points for doing it during the Olympics. You’re doing a heckava job, Poot.
A few years back when Putin appeared to be returning(?) to the dark side we expressed some disappointment as Putin… like, really seemed to enjoy hanging out at Bush’s ranch in Crawford. As if, rolling in a cowboy hat, clearing brush and eating smoked ribs in West Texas somehow enlightened Putin to the values of classic liberalism.
Occasional commenter and dear friend, “Pablo”, looked at us and said, “Dude, he’s KGB”. As in, present tense. As in, those people don’t change. As in, ever…. Our bad.
UPDATE #1: And for a somewhat contrary opinion, VDH thinks it was a brilliant maneuver… Flex your power, scare your neighbors, watch the West do nothing… Ukraine?
And everyone’s favorite commie, Mikhail Gorbchev chimes-in and blames, yep, the Georgians.
We don’t claim to be experts in anything that goes on in that part of the world but it seems pretty clear to us the Georgian rocket attack on Tskhinvali on August 7 was merely the pretext needed for the Russian military to roll and their apparent defiance of a brokered truce belies any good intentions of coming to the aid of a neighbor and appears to be even a flimsier excuse than the put-down of any incipient Islamo-terrorism in Afghanistan some 29 years ago.
For all the hope that was held in the wake of the fall of the wall 19 years ago, when it appeared that Russia might possibly move their country and political system into that of mainstream Western democracies, it is becoming more and more evident that backward-looking grudge-holding, paranoia and imperialism be they of the Tsarist or Communist variety are hard habits to break.
B-Daddy here. In case no one noticed, Russia invaded its neighbor to the South, the former Soviet Republic of Georgia over the last week. Yesterday the Russians announced a ceasefire after over running a good portion of Georgian territory. At the start of the conflict, both major presidential candidates made statements. Guess which candidate was forced by the facts on the ground to later modify his position. More on that in a little bit.
To play devil's advocate for a moment, some will argue that the Georgians had it coming. The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili sent troops in to South Ossetia to assert Georgian sovereignty in that Russian leaning enclave. (By the way, if that link doesn't work, thank Russian cyberattacks. This is the second time we have seen the Russians use cyberattacks in conjunction with military or diplomatic confrontation, see Estonia.) The Russians say they were merely protecting the Sudetens, I mean, Ossetians from Georgian aggression.
A few facts from an AP article:
MILITARY: Russia has 1.1 million soldiers, Georgia has 37,000. The Russian armed forces have about 6,000 tanks and some 1,700 combat aircraft. Georgia has 230 tanks and 12 combat aircraft.Given these facts, Barack Obama called for "restraint on all sides" last Friday. More recently Obama stated:
I reiterate my call for Russia to stop its bombing campaign, to stop flights of Russian aircraft in Georgian airspace, and to withdraw its ground forces from Georgia. The Georgian government has proposed a cease-fire and the Russian government should accept it. There is also an urgent need for humanitarian assistance to reach the people of Georgia, and casualties on both sides.However, I like McCain's instincts and suspicions of Russian much better. He condemned the Russian invasion from the start and has called for real sanctions such as expelling the Russians from the G8 for such aggression.
But hey, you the voters need to make the call. I also note that the Georgians sent troops to Iraq to fight alongside the U.S. forces there, but I guess that's just more reason for progressive democrats to throw them under the bus, er tank. Whatever.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
If you did a double-take when you saw the gentleman pictured below on the deck getting ready for the mens’ 4x100 meter freestyle relay a couple of nights ago, don’t feel ashamed… it’s cool. An African-American swimming for Team USA in international competition is indeed a rare sight. Here’s Cullen Jones, though, on perceptions and what he aims to do to change things: “I want more minority kids to go to a swimming pool and try to swim because of me… I want to make a difference. I want kids to say, ‘Look, a black swimmer. And he’s got a gold medal!’ And I want them to get in the water because of it.”
And Team USA’s softball catcher Stacey Nuveman on softball’s Olympic swan song: “It’s sort of the elephant in the room for all of us. We’re focused on the U.S. and our not playing, but we’re not the only ones grieving. There are little girls in Australia and Japan and Chinese Taipei who are devastated also.”
We’ve commented before on the incredibly myopic decision of the IOC to strike softball from the roster of events after these Olympics for the sole reason of U.S. dominance and this quote bears that out. Baseball is just better when the Dodgers and Yankees have good teams… College football is just better when USC, Michigan and Notre Dame have great teams and international softball benefits from having the team from the highest-profile nation on the planet as its standard-bearer. You don’t think team handball’s Q-rating could’ve benefited from a little U.S. dominance instead of the Czechs or Lithuanians or whoever does in that sport? Nice work, IOC.
We’ve no earthly idea what is going on here but its MEMRI so we’ll assume its perfectly legit so let's just uhhh, roll tape:
Following are excerpts from an interview with members of the Egyptian Unique Moustache Association, which aired on Egyptian TV on July 11, 2008.
Interviewer: "I'm sure many people have pressured you to shave off your moustache, saying, 'What is this? Enough of that.'"
Association head Fathi Ahmad Mahmoud "Moustache": "My personality forces people to treat me with respect."
Interviewer: "Didn't your friends, relatives, your wife, or your children say 'Enough is enough?'"
Fathi Ahmad Mahmoud "Moustache": "They are all proud of me. My youngest boy, Nader, calls himself 'Nader Moustache.' Get it? All his friends call him 'Nader Moustache.'"
Interviewer: "Do you respect all types of moustaches - regardless of their size, length, or width?"
Allam Muhammad Abdel Al-Halim: "Of course."
Interviewer: "Even Hitler's moustache?"
Captain Sayyed Shahada: "By the way, I respect the moustache of this Hitler, because he humiliated the most despicable sect in the world. He subdued the people who subdued the whole world - him with his '11' moustache. By the way, that kind of moustache is called '11.' The generation of this Hitler... When I was little, my father, may he rest in peace, grew that kind of moustache, and so did all his classmates. They all had this '11' moustache. That was in the days of Hitler...
Fathi Ahmad Mahmoud "Moustache": "We have different styles. One style is 'the Douglas.' Then there's 'the Pretzel,' which is rolled like this... The 'Two Swords' style stands up like that... The 'Mafroud' is flat like a ruler. Another style is the 'Carter,' which comes out from here and is very wide."
Interviewer: "What is it called?"
Fathi Ahmad Mahmoud "Moustache": "The 'Carter.' We have two special hair designers, Muhammad Salomon and Yasser Imam. They are the association's designers. They designed all these styles." [...]
Video of this auspicious and enlightening occasion can be found here.
And what of Hitler's mustache and this "11" business? Ah, wait a minute. It seems the #11 holds strange and mystical powers over those who come under its spell.
We will be standing by for reaction from the American Mustache Institute who has been crusading for a Super Bowl Saturday vs. a Super Sunday, an idea of which we whole-heartedly concur. We can't imagine the lads will be treating the EUMA with a soft touch.
“We may be white, but we ain’t tight”… so sounded the opening of the service’s praise music session by Pastor Stan Peterson of the Guatay Christian Fellowship who returned on Sunday to the building that houses their congregation after a nine-week absence and in defiance of a County order for them to cease-and-desist worship services there as the building was zoned for selling liquor but not for worship.
We attended services at GCF on Sunday to show our support for the congregation among flip-flops, sundresses, cowboy boots, board shorts and bolo ties and to find out the latest developments regarding the situation which we covered last week, here.
We hesitated in asking too many questions as it was apparent that the congregation was just happy to return to their “home”, though, Pastor Stan made reference to the situation several times throughout the rambling, free-form, interactive 1-1/2 hr. church service. Stan is a gregarious human being who, much to the eye-rolling and out-right laughing delight of his flock, is also the master of the malaprop and matter-of-fact speech.
“Don’t be mad at the county”, he urged, “they ain’t stupid, they just do stupid stuff, sometimes…”.
The grace, good-humor and charitable spirit exhibited by the whole of the GCF towards their situation is more than we imagine we could muster were we in the same situation.
From some of the conversations we did have and from Pastor Stan’s sermon, we gathered that free legal help was being offered from literally, around the country and as a result of this and the bad press they have received, the County appeared to be in full backpedal mode. Congressman Duncan Hunter was originally going to attend services but decided not to as he believed the press he would attract would be a distraction.
Though the order remains in effect, there is a site inspection scheduled for Tuesday to take a look at standard structural items, such as, fire detection, entrances/exits, signage, parking, etc. Perhaps, the County is looking to gracefully ease their way out of this mess they have created for themselves. Then again, who knows:
Tom Bunton, senior deputy county counsel, said it is still illegal for the church to use the building, but county officials yesterday had not decided what action they would take.
We swear it - this really shouldn't be that difficult, fellas.
We want to thank the GFC and Pastor Stan for their hospitality and friendliness. We had a great time.
Their musical selections reminded us of a quote from Robbie Robertson of the Band who said, “The South, was the only region we would play where the audience would clap on the back-beat”. With that we leave you with one of our favorite songs from one of our favorite bands… Here’s Creedance Clearwater Revival’s studio version of their country-gospel number, “Don’t Look Now”