Friday, November 30, 2007

KBwD is on the Air!

Going to try something different today that we aim to make a Friday tradition and which will hopefully cleanse the soul of all the garbage we’ve been rambling about this week AND get the weekend started in proper fashion.

Ladies and Gentleman….. Fishbone!

Fishbone was a mainstay on the L.A. scene in the 80s and early 90s and who along with other L.A. bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Untouchables pioneered a loosely-defined genre that melded funk, ska, and metal.

The song, “Everyday Sunshine” is Fishbone’s soulful nod to Sly and the Family Stone and if you are not in a better mood after listening to it, please see a doctor.

Apologies for the You-Tube quality sound. If you are an iTunes "john" like we are then its available there.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Republican Debates and Clinton Fatigue

We’ll have more to say about the Clinton Fatigue phenomena later but it reared its ugly (but hilarious) head again last night with the alleged “plant” in the audience at the debates being blamed on Clinton Inc. One sensed a collective sigh from the nation, “… again?”

By the by, in the increasingly parody-proof world of politics, plant or not, what got lost in the shuffle was the retired general's question on gays in the military. Will post on that another time but in short, if patriotic, service-oriented gay people want to serve in our armed forces then they should be allowed to do so. As far as "unit cohesion" is concerned ask yourself how much the political and military policy makers are concerned with that concept when they put 19 and 20 yr. males and females together onboard a ship? Well, more cold shoulders and cold coals for us again at the Social Conservative BBQ this weekend, we're sure.

As far as the debates themselves… Well, we didn’t exactly get around to – hey, remember when we said the great thing about having “friends” is that they can do your work for you? Remember? Anyway, providing analysis and insight that towers over anything we could do anyway, check out the same over at our friend, KT’s hang, The Scratching Post. Man, that was easy.

Dear Sudan, Meet our 42” High-Def Flat Screen Television, Muhammad.

N.O.W. has officially become an irrelevant feminist organization, fully sound and fury signifying nothing. Actually, not so much sound and fury, either. If there was ever a no-brainer issue for which a feminist organization to take a stand, it’s the case of the British school teacher, Gillian Gibbons who because she had the temerity to allow her class of Sudanese children to name a teddy bear, “Muhammad”, faces 40 lashes, jail time and a possible fine. Read article here.

According to the article, “a spokeswoman for the National Organization for Women said the situation is definitely on the radar, and N.O.W. is not ignoring it.” “But she added that the U.S.-based organization is not putting out a statement or taking a position.” Yep. The NAGs are all over it… hi-liters at the ready just waiting for the word to start making placards and buying batteries for their bullhorns. We checked their website and there is no mention of the incident, let alone a statement.

Former Los Angeles Chapter N.O.W. President, Tammy Bruce (Bruce is representative of a new strain of hawkish, pro-Western, anti-authoritarian feminists that we find appealing…. well, that and the fact that she’s kinda hot. Sue us.) called out N.O.W. for their silence by issuing the quote of the day:

“The American feminist movement has not taken one stand to support the women of Iraq, the women of Afghanistan, the women of Iran,” she said. “It is the United States Marines who have been doing the feminist work by liberating women and children around the world.”

For their part, the Brits are exhibiting their usual amount of pique by executing a lot of “discussion” and “summoning” and what not.

And the Sudanese….? These people are priceless. Again, from the article:
Ministry spokesman, Ali al-Sadeq, said the case of a "teacher's misconduct against the Islamic faith" should not have provoked a British government caution warning to its citizens in Sudan.
Al-Sadeq said this was particularly so after the school had apologized to the parents, pupils and to the Sudanese in general for the teacher's "unacceptable conduct."

Sure, Ali. Don’t know why British nationals living in your sorry country should be worried that one of their own faces medieval torture for offending the great religion of Islam by naming a damn class mascot Muhammad. Read here for more reaction from across the Islamosphere.

To Tammy Bruce’s point… were this to ever happen to one of our own, we would fervently hope this country’s CinC would have the stones to have an element of the 82nd Airborne Division on hot standby to execute a “punitive” rescue operation.

And not to go Ann Coulter on everybody, but why does it seem the most tolerant strains of Islam can be found in corners of the globe where the 3rd ID and 1st MEF have performed a little missionary work of their own?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dear God.... Please Just Make This Guy Go Away.

We’re trying. We really are. Our attempt to make peace with the possibility of another Clinton presidency was posted here. But as soon as our heartfelt offering was made to, in a sense, bury the hatchet, we were reminded that Hillary’s absolute waste-of-oxygen husband would be schlepping around the White House and generally making a nuisance of himself for at least 4 years.

Clinton has been stumping in Iowa on behalf of his wife and yesterday he gave a 50 minute speech chronicled in article here. Author notes that in the first 10 minutes of his speech, he uses “I” 94 times and “Hillary” merely 7. No surprise there, but here is where we nearly got ill: while speaking about our armed conflicts in Afghanistan (the “good war”) and Iraq (the “bad war”) Clinton had this to say,

"Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers"

Reversal of Fortune!

Honestly, have you heard anything more self-serving than that statement? Its revolting. But that’s Clinton…. that’s “himself” in a nut-shell… in a single soundbyte. Self-absorbed, self-righteous yet pitiable all in one fell swoop. It’s a knee-jerk reaction among some of the gifted elite to express shock and dismay that they weren’t asked to bestow their blessings upon this or that, but “himself” takes it to a whole other level.

Bill Clinton is perhaps the only man on the face of the planet that can speak from a position of privilege, power and wealth but STILL make himself a victim. Can you feel his pain…. can you feel his hurt that he wasn’t asked or given the opportunity to support the troops?

Hey Bill, ever here of the USO, PVA….. or maybe some lesser-known grass roots organizations like Operation Homefront or Soldiers' Angels Scarves? They’ve been asking for years now.

What a piece of work, this guy. I know what I’m adding to my Christmas list.

Susan Estrich Would Like You to Dial it Back Down a Few Notches

Read article here by Susan Estrich opining on the nasty vibe emanating from political discourse these days. Her strawman is an effort by over 30,000 Democrat signatories to censure California Senator Diane Feinstein for having the nerve to among other things vote to confirm Michael Mukasey to the Attorney General post.

Estrich feels that a censure should be reserved for far more egregious offenses rather than mere political disagreement over a particular issue or two. We tend to agree with her general sentiment - we read blogs too and yeah, it can get a little testy out there. However, she can’t bring herself to complete the article without having to go all “fair and balanced” on us by saying that those vicious conservatives have nothing on the liberals:

“It’s not just an issue with liberals, not even close. Nothing liberals could do to Feinstein could begin to compete with the viciousness of some of the assaults by conservatives on Republicans who happened to agree with their president and not them on the issue of immigration, to name one very recent example.”

Do ya hear that? Nothing! … and its not even close!

We get a chuckle whenever we are reminded from those occupying the news anchor pulpits and editorial boards that in fits of pique, conservatives are “angry” but liberals merely “passionate”.

But back to the nastiness and why does it appear to be on the rise? We can’t help but think that the quantity and intensity of the vitriol expressed in the public arena corresponds directly to the imperious nature that is increasingly on display by our elected leaders.

Whether it’s the bi-partisan Amnesty cabal flauting this Republic’s bedrock principle of rule-of-law or a certain majority party’s leadership having the gall to criticize the ineffectualness of a foreign county’s government while simultaneously enraging their own constituents with their own ineffectualness…. honest to pete... why would anyone think this ship-of-fools act in D.C. would inspire civility and common courtesy?

By no means do we condone personal attacks (by the way, we’ve never seen Susan Estrich in person but we’ve seen her plenty on the telly…. that has to be the most air-brushed photo we’ve ever seen) or the use of derogatory language but this general mood is merely reflective of the crass and unaccountable behavior of our own elected leaders.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What? No Six Sigma...?

Ralph Peters writing for the New York Post gives his assessment on why it is that we are winning in Iraq. He credits General Petraeus, the Surge GodFather, himself as one of the reasons. Here’s the article and here is what he had to say about General Petraeus.:

“Petraeus brought three vital qualities to our effort: He wants to win, not just keep the lid on the pot; he never stops learning and adapting, and he provides top-cover for innovative subordinates.”

We found that last part most fascinating. We’ve all heard the happy management-speak of “don’t be afraid to make mistakes” and while that appears to be fine and dandy advise, in order for it to work, you have to have a boss who will go to bat for you when things go south.

And in this context, “go south” doesn’t mean applying a different fabrication technique to your machinery skids only to find out you have a vibration problem when the plant is lit off or going with a different paint vendor which ultimately results in premature coating failures…. No, “go south” in the context of this War means possible loss of lives…. the lives of your soldiers and Marines.

And what about this concept of “innovation”? How is it that in the midst of the rigid, strict, by-the-book uniformity of the U.S. armed forces and in the crushing pressure of warfare is there allowed the development of an organic individual and group dynamic trait towards innovation?

In the eventual aftermath of this War, we hope someone sits down to write in detail that the successful execution in winning the peace in Iraq was due in large part to that unique and innate American ability to take our individualist impulses and meld them into the body and mentality of a victory-oriented team.
General P for "Person of the Year"!

Attempting to Save the NFL from Itself

Sean Taylor, who was 24 yrs. old and who played defensive back for the Washington Redskins is dead from gun shot wounds from an armed intruder who broke into his Palmetto Bay home in South Florida early Monday morning.

All signs point to this being a “hit”. The same home had been broken into just 8 days prior and though nothing was taken, a knife was left behind on Taylor’s bed. Taylor’s fiance’ and young daughter were not harmed and when the fiance’ attempted to call 911 she could not complete the call as the phone lines were cut. We cannot recall anything like this happening before in the NFL.

Taylor had trouble with the law prior to this including facing felony assault charges with a firearm to which he later pled down to avoid jail time. This same Taylor, though, by all accounts since the birth of his 17 month-old daughter was making substantive changes in his life in order to make a clean break from the thug life and fashion a normal existence for himself and his young family. It appears that someone, though, had different plans for Taylor.

Though generally applauded, Roger Goddell the NFL commissioner has taken a some heat for his strict enforcement of the NFL’s personal conduct policy with respect to players and coaches in order to protect the image of the league. He has not hesitated in handing down lengthy suspensions to players, such as, Adam “Pacman” Jones of the Titans, Tank Johnson, now of the Cowboys after being released by the Bears and Chris Henry of the Bengals because he believed they were not living up to this policy.

Prior to today, critics of Goddell have noted that, in the case of “Pacman”, he has not been convicted in any of the cases in which formal charges have been brought. This is in addition to several “he said-she said” incidents including at least two separate occasions where a female has accused Jones of spitting on her.

Goddell has every right to execute this strict policy standard as he owes it to the owners, players and fans to present the NFL in a positive manner and not in which the very people who pay the salaries of every single person associated with the NFL (us) think the League is overrun with thugs.

And after Sean Taylor’s death, Goddell’s personal conduct policy would appear to not only be to protect the image of the League but to keep his players merely alive as well.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ronulans: We'll Leave the Light on For You.

We consider ourselves junior, junior historians of the modern American conservative movement so these little internecine squabbles make us warm and fuzzy all over.
Check out this post from Patrick Ruffini at Hugh Hewitt’s blog site regarding Ron Paul and the current status of libertarians with regard to the Republican Party. If the post is to be believed, then Ron Paul’s campaign, though itself being unlikely in winning the party nomination, has had a good deal of success in bringing libertarians back under the big tent of the Republican Party.

We think this is good news… you know, the more the merrier but we’ll believe it when we see it.

We’ve always had a soft-spot for libertarianism (Our stances against school prayer, the Flag burning amendment and most English-only laws always got us the cold shoulder at the Social Conservative cookouts so we usually just hung out and did shots and listened to the Vandals down in the basement with the South Park Conservatives who didn’t feel too welcome out on the back patio, either), its their acolytes that have tended to rub us the wrong way over the years.

The “Don’t blame me, I voted Libertarian” bumper stickers we would see from time to time were emblematic of their sanctimonious and self-righteous behavior. Yeah, we get it. Its beneath you to sacrifice your ideals to vote Republican but the third party thing isn’t working…. Why bother voting at all? Please drop the lone wolf routine and engage the debate and thus affect change from within the confines of a legit political entity.

Anyway, post says there is enough common ground for the libertarians and the conservative base in the Party to at least hold hands. That’s something we’ve believed all along and dog-gone, Frank Meyer says so also!

Beers with Demo Confab '07

Enough of the nonsense for a moment. Just wanted to share some photos of the Beers with Demo Confab '07 held a couple of weekends ago at the Compound in north Orange County. It was a huge success and we want to thank everyone who came from both in-town and out and who participated in the panel discussions, strategy sessions and yes, even the team-building exercises.

The meet'n'greet at the kickoff cocktail hour.

New employee orientation.

The Apprentice Program teambuilding exercises on Colina de Calabaza.

Wellness awareness wasn't just lip-service at the BwD Confab.

The questionairre given to all participants rated this as their favorite activity at Confab '07. The "Bear Hunt" was a distant second.

Honestly. Who wouldn't want to be part of the BwD Apprentice Program?
We're already looking forward to next year's get-together.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

An Unveiling of Sorts

We know what we said just a couple of weeks ago but we just couldn’t resist…. it’ll be short.

Chargers got a much-needed win against the Baltimore Ravens this afternoon out at the Murph, 32-14. LaDanian Tomlinson touched the ball 30 times, 24 carries and 6 receptions. This is a good thing. This is a very good thing.

We won’t even bother mentioning how many yards he gained… it wasn’t much… because it bolsters the point we’ve been trying to make for years now and which will serve as the unveiling of BwD’s first corollary of successful gameplan execution: Its not necessarily the rushing yards gained but the number of rushing attempts.

The B-more run defense continually stuffed LT at the line of scrimmage (take away his 36 yard scamper in the first half and he doesn’t even average 2 yards a carry for the balance of his rush attempts) but because of a steadfast commitment to keep feeding LT the rock, the Ravens continued to key on LT which opened up the passing game resulting 3 of most wide open touchdown passes Philip Rivers will ever have.

Defenses know that eventually LT will pop one so they have to remain committed…. as long as the Charger play-calling remains committed. Of course, all this is easier to do when the defense shows up and you are not playing from too far behind.

Regardless, the formula remains the same for these Chargers: Play strong defense, stay committed to the running game, and take selected shots downfield off play-action.

Today's Term of the Day: "Moral High Ground"

HAIC of the Anglican Church, Rowan Williams takes a dim view of this country’s foreign policy as revealed in an interview with Emil, a Muslim lifestyle magazine…… man, we want to take the ball and run with that but we’ll let it go for now. Never know who may be checking in.

Anyway, Williams employs the usual language of “imperialism” and “exploitation” but one section of the article stood out as it re-affirmed a concept held by many both here and abroad regarding how this nation was perceived before and after 9/11… that would be 9/11/2001 in case the significance of that date happens to be fading. (We want to apologize for not providing a direct quote. There was a link displayed but it did not direct to the text of the interview as promised but what the article paraphrases Rowan as saying below is consistent with the other quotes in the interview):

“Williams went beyond his previous critique of the conduct of the war on terror, saying the United States had lost the moral high ground since September 11.”

"Moral high ground" has nearly become a term of obsession among people who normally wouldn't concern themselves with the concept of morality except that which concerns this country's alleged treatment of others.

You see, as long as we are the “victim” and we have the world’s sympathy and do nothing but lay around the house whining about how horribly we’ve been treated then its all good because we have, you know, the "moral high ground". "Moral high ground" is an end-state for these people and not a position from which to take action to affect any real positive change in the world. As if “moral high ground” of itself ended slavery, defeated fascism or confronted and ultimately beat communism.

One gets the sense that this nation could’ve built 20 more hospital ships like the USNS COMFORT and USNS MERCY, which is berthed here in San Diego and which routinely embark on humanitarian missions the world over and these same people would complain of a “soft imperialism” that is insinuating Western Christendom upon peoples of the world via vaccine shots, dental check-ups and Elmo dolls.

Later, Williams makes a possible fatal error by suggesting to the Muslim world that it’s “political solutions were not the most impressive”. He appears to recover by complimenting them on that rug, facing eastward and praying oh, 5-6 times a day thing. What a buffoon.

(Late add-on: Read some thoughts here on Mr. Williams from the incomparable Victor Davis Hansen from National Review Online's "the corner")

December Madness!

Ol’ Les really made us sweat it out, waiting until the last game of the regular season to fulfill what we thought was his destiny this year when the LSU Tigers lost in triple OT to the Arkansas Razorbacks, 50-48. Now, LSU still had another shot at taking themselves out of the BCS title picture had they won that game they had no business losing with a loss in the SEC championship game next Saturday. (“Hey, Michigan – are you sure you still want this guy?”) There was scant chance of that happening, though, with LSU squaring off against Big Game (not!) Phil Fulmer’s Tennessee Volunteers who themselves escaped in 4 OTs prevailing against Kentucky, 52-50.

We hesitated writing this before the BCS standings came out this evening as there are still a bunch of different possibilities and scenarios yet to be determined but as it stands now, Missouri and West Virginia, who both won impressively yesterday, control their own destiny as they will most likely be ranked 1-2 (or 2-1, no matter). Missouri will have to beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game and WVU will have to beat Pitt in the “Backyard Brawl” for both to appear in the BCS title game.

Failing that……… well, there's an 11-1 team from Columbus, OH that has been sitting around idle all weekend stuffing their faces and watching teams ahead of them fall by the wayside. The Buckeyes, currently ranked 5th will surely move up in the polls through sheer attrition and so will Georgia currently in the 6 hole and which is the strongest possibility it would seem for a 2-loss team sneaking into the title game. And though highly unlikely, let’s see just how far LSU tumbles before we go shoveling dirt on them.

And demonstrating just how devastating their loss to Stanford was, USC at 9-2 and way down at No. 11 in the rankings, has snuck into talk radio conversation of “who is the best team in the country” or “who is playing the best ball in the nation right now” irrespective of their current ranking. And with a win against UCLA next week, it sets up the possibility of an old-school Rose Bowl matchup with the Trojans vs. the Buckeyes in a game that has far more curb appeal at this point than any other possible pairing for the BCS title game. (Not too shabby, eh, Mongo?) And unfortunately for the Trojans it sets up yet another Rose Bowl where they thrash a Big 10 team and wonder but for a batted-down ball here and a broken finger there, what might have been.

A quick word about the BCS in general: Proponents of the BCS/opponents of a playoff system have pointed out the proceedings of the last couple of weeks are proof that the system works because you have a virtual playoff in the regular season. To a degree, they are right. 10 of the top 11 ranked teams all played elimination games this weekend – games that amounted to quarter-final round tournament games. 4 of those teams lost so you have 7 (Mizzou, WVU, OSU, Georgia, VaTech, Oklahoma, USC) teams left with legit shots at the BCS title and 5 (all except Georgia and OSU) of those teams play next week in what amounts to a semi-final game.

This is all goodness but if it shakes out conventionally, the “system” has a very real possibility of producing a championship matchup of Missouri vs. West Virginia and a Rose Bowl of Ohio State vs. USC. Ask yourself which game will have more of a “feel” of a heavy-weight championship match-up and which game will you be more apt to watch? The one played on New Years’ Day on a sun-splashed afternoon against the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains or the other game played on a Tuesday night in what by that time will feel like the middle of January and broadcast by that traditional collegiate standard-bearer, Fox?

Friday, November 23, 2007

"Dude, Diversity Happens"

Article here from the front page of today’s fish wrap on the diverse mix of military personnel at the Forward Operating Base Air-Borne in Afghanistan. It was a very nice article and it got us to thinking because everyone knows what a big deal “diversity” is, particularly if one attends college or works in the education or government fields.

Our problem with “diversity” has always been that its treated as a “means” rather than an “end”. This leads people who should know better to say ridiculous stuff like “We (our organization, school, country) are great because of our diversity” or “Our strength is our diversity”….. it makes us cringe because diversity of itself is not a good or bad thing… its not morally quantifiable as .edu-guy would have us all believe. Diversity is just a by-product or the end-state of a country that strives to fulfill and live up to the ideals upon which this country was founded.

Diversity happens when a nation is fashioned out of rule of law not cult of personality. Diversity happens when equality in the eyes of that law is guaranteed by the government of that nation not granted by the same. Diversity happens when the people of that country have a deep and abiding faith in something larger than themselves… that faith being something that is inextricably linked to a generosity of spirit which manifests itself in love and compassion for their fellow man.

People from all over, all walks of life and all races and ethnicities want to be a part of that and that’s why they come to this country. And that’s how diversity happens. And that is something for which to be thankful.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend. Want to thank Mrs. B-Daddy for hosting one of the finest Thanksgiving dinners we can remember. We’re still hurting from shoveling our boilers full of all that goodness on the dinner table.
(This post is dedicated to our friend, "David", a British national who is attempting to become a U.S. citizen and is patiently working his way through the maddening bureaucracy of our government in order to become one).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"You're Doing a Heckuva Job, D.C."

We wanted to touch on this yesterday, but didn’t get around to it. The Supreme Court will decide next Tuesday whether or not it will hear arguments regarding the Constitutionality of Washington D.C.’s gun ban which has been in place now for 31 years. Read story here.

District officials and proponents of the gun ban say its needed to reduce gun violence as 4 out of every 5 homicides was committed with a gun………… We suppose that’s one way of looking at it. Another may be that a full 20% of homicides were committed with knives, screwdrivers, chainsaws, concrete boots, cyanide, high voltage (!) or anything other than a gun as a direct result of the effectiveness of the gun ban. We echo the sentiments of our President with regards to the District fathers' logic in this regard.

And with respect to the 2nd Amendment around which the arguments will revolve, the gun banners say that the amendment addresses only the establishment of militias but not so the individual right to own guns.

After exhaustive research we located the 2nd amendment and we have taken the liberty to download the entire text of the amendment below. We are keeping our fingers crossed hoping that the enormity of verbage that is sure to be contained in this amendment regarding such a complex legal issue that has vexed policy makers in this country for years, would not crash the system. Screw it… here goes:

"A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Whoa. That is some heavy, heavy legalese there, brothers and sisters. We don’t really see anything obvious there that would counter the gun banner’s argument that the amendment does not address the right of the people to keep and bear Arms. Thank g*d, we have lawyers to sort out all this stuff and astute judges on the benches to make these decisions for us.

Seriously, though…. One of the most depressing aspects of taking a mild interest in politics and constitutional rights is the realization that many of the same people we have parodied above who think the second clause of the 2nd amendment was written in invisible ink have been able to locate some, as yet undected by us, guaranteed right to abortion on demand elsewhere in the Constitution. A little freaking consistency is all we ask – don’t be making up crap on one hand and then wishing away other parts of the Constitution just because it doesn’t fit your agenda.

Anyway, we want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Where Have You Gone, Old Friend?

We haven’t written about any college football in a while. No real reason why, its just that……. yeah, there is a reason. You see, to us, college football is the comfort food of American sports: the long standing traditions, rivalries, the bowl games, etc. were all things unique to the sport and wrapped up in that as well was the legacy of the traditional powers. One had a pretty good idea year in and year out who was going to be at or towards the top. There was something just very soothing about that.

Well, this year has turned everything on its head as there has been seemingly 2 or 3 upsets among the top 10 every week. At what point do these cease being upsets and at what point does our head stop spinning from trying to make sense of it all? Not very comforting.

Anyway, the BCS championship picture is far from being sorted out. There is still a lot of football to be played and a lot to look forward to.

One thing we won’t be looking forward to, however, is LSU head coach Les Miles being asked every day whether or not he is considering the Michigan job that opened up when Lloyd Carr stepped down (Miles played and coached for the Maize and Blue). We’re not big fans of ol’ Les and we have taken #1-ranked LSU’s success a little too personally this year because we felt that at least a couple of games were just handed to the Tigers (Thanks, Tommy!). But hey, maybe we will look forward to the grilling. Afterall, if LSU beats Arkansas (+12) in their 16th game this season in Baton Rogue on Friday and wins the SEC championship game a week later, we can’t help but think the constant questioning will be a distraction as they prepare to play Kansas(?) for the BCS title thus potentially allowing us to salvage a bit of pride in some predictions we made at the beginning of the year.

And just a word or two about Coach Carr: By all accounts Carr is a stand-up guy who ran a clean program and though he sounded like a curmudgeon at times during his half-time interviews (hey, so would you if Jim Tressel and Ohio St. were kicking your teeth in every year) he was loved by his players. But Carr also epitomized the challenge of adapting to change, especially when it came to the spread-option offense and specifically how to defend against that offense.

This was made dreadfully apparent in Michigan’s first two games, losses to App. State and Oregon, both of whom ran this offense with highly mobile, versatile quarterbacks. Michigan’s defenders were hopelessly outmatched with the quickness displayed by their opponent’s offense.

Michigan is one of 6 or 7 mega-programs in the country that can recruit nationally and year after year they pull boat-loads of 4 and 5-star recruits from around the country, so the talent is there…. its just not the right type of talent. Its Big Ten talent but not talent that puts a premium on defensive speed and quickness that is needed to challenge consistently for the BCS title.

In the act-react arms race that is now college football, head coaches need to find athletes they can put on the defensive side of the football that possess quickness AND that can defend and tackle in space. The days of fullback line plunges are over and those of a defensive unit being made up of 11 guys all around 6’-2”, 230-240 lbs. that can all run 4.5 and 4.6s are upon us.

Of course, this will all change again 5-6 years from now when Nebraska wins the BCS title under head coach, Turner Gill, because no defense in America can stop this new-fangled, straight-ahead, Power-I running game of the Huskers.

One Down... One to Go

Read story here from today’s fish wrap on the creation of stem cells without using embryos. The Japanese and American research teams used skin cells to create the equivalent of human embryonic stem cells. Scientists quoted in the article have likened this development to a “moon walk” and the invention of the light bulb.

President Bush has taken a lot of heat for his decision to restrict tax-payer funding of embryonic stem-cell research. We’ll freely admit that we are not experts in this field but we were supportive of the President for two reasons: 1) We didn’t feel comfortable using tax-payer money on medical research that contained ethical reservations and 2) If embryonic stem cell research was the greatest thing since canned Spam as we have been told over and over, then we figured that private money would just start rolling in which would be able to bankroll the necessary research because any benefits derived from this research would be of benefit to society AND make someone a whole lot of money.

The universal health-care crowd has yet to get it through their ever-thickening skulls that this is how things work and this is how things get done. Similar to any other service or commodity that is available to us in our society, if you want good health care and you want the benefits of cutting-edge medical research, then you are going to have to pay for it.

But hey, this post wasn’t meant as an excuse to lecture about that but rather it is (was) to be a bright, cheery post celebrating an apparently monumental medical advancement and which hopefully eliminates one of our two reservations about stem cell research.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quickies: The U.N. Just Saved a Few Million Lives....... and the NYT Under New Management?

Global warming, the incredible shrinking dollar, impending recession and now this…. the New York Times reporting good news out of Iraq. The decision to run this story was obviously not vetted by poor ol' miserable Harry Reid whose continued flailing efforts to deny military funding towards Iraq just took another hit. And just when you didn’t think it could get any worse, read story here about how the NYT, at the behest of the Bush Administration, actually sat on a story that had national security implications. We’re going to demand a full Congressional investigation to get to the bottom of what the hell is going on over there at Sulzberger’s rag.

And read story here about how the U.N. has overestimated the size and spread of the AIDS and HIV epidemic. Why? Well, if the article is to be believed then “politics”, “agendas” and cold hard cash have all played a part in it. Sound like any other world-wide epidemic of which you are aware?

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, posting will be erratic if not infrequent altogether. We’re going to ask for some assistance from the usual suspects.

Monday, November 19, 2007

No English, No Assimilation.... Know English, Know Assimilation

Getting wrapped up in the whole immigration debate is the role that the English language plays in terms of culture, common sense and the law. Read article here from the Wall Street Journal’s online edition on legislation that would protect employers from prosecution were they to terminate a worker’s employment for not using English on the job.

Unfortunately, the article does not provide enough details for the exact reason why the Salvation Army fired two of its employees in the case that inspired the legislation. Were these employees fired because they were speaking Spanish among themselves or refusing to address customers in English? This is an important distinction that needs to be determined before judgement can be passed. (Besides, if the Salvation Army knew these people had sub-standard English skills, why did they hire them in the first place?)

At any rate, we are generally skeptical of these English-only related laws which along with school prayer and the Flag burning amendment seem to be pet causes in social-conservative circles.

Don’t be mistaken. We are huge fans of assimilation and the chairman of Azteca America, a Spanish-language TV station that broadcasts here in the States, agrees with us. Luis Echarte’s station will be broadcasting select programming in English because in his words: “In order to survive and get better jobs, they (his customers) have to learn basic English.” Right on, Luis! (Read article here from the local fish wrap). Live Better, Speak English. How’s that for a bumper-sticker issue?

And this common sense reason for speaking English here is why we are not fans of making English the official language of this country. We always took it as a point of pride that the most diverse nation on the face of the planet did not have an official language. We didn’t need an official language – it was always just assumed that in order to assimilate and to make a better life for one’s self and one’s family, one would learn how to speak the language of currency in the public arena.

And unfortunately, because of the situation this country has put itself in, any of these English-only laws do appear reactionary and do assume a nativist air about them. To wit, would this language culture war we are currently in be anywhere near the size and intensity it is if this country never made that fateful decision to print other-than-English ballots? We suspect it would not. A historical legacy of English-only ballots from day-one would be a strong but unspoken nod to a culture of assimilation in this country: If you want to participate in the most basic act of democracy in this country then it behooves you to learn our language.

Well, that ship sailed a long time ago and now we are in this current mess. But as much as we are skeptical of English-only laws and resolutions we have nothing but contempt for those who oppose them on the basis of cultural preservation, diversity or any other thinly-veiled anti-American and/or racist anti-white sentiment. The only thing these people wish to preserve is a third-world culture of victimology and generation-to-generation poverty among their “constituents”.

We know it will probably never happen, but we would strongly support a gradual phasing-out of other-than-English voting ballots. This would appear to be the least imposing but strongest practical and symbolic statement that this country could make towards a culture of harmonious diversity through assimilation. Now how’s that for some nice PC gobble-de-gook we can turn right back around on’em?

E Pluribus Unum, baby - E Pluribus Unum.
(picture is of flag at the Mt. Soledad War Memorial here in San Diego)

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Democrat Debates and.... Our Hillary Reconciliation (or Resignation)...?

We really wanted to watch the Democrat primary debate on Thursday but found ourselves delayed for a longer than expected time in a (southern) foreign country.

As we weren’t able to watch it live, we have been relegated to piecing together the debate via YouTube. The opening segment of the debate was about all we really needed to see, though. CNN, which broadcast the debate and which was moderated by Wolf Blitzer, was obviously aware of the Hillary licenses-for-illegals flip-flop and spent the entirety of the first 10 minutes or so encouraging confrontation between Clinton and Obama who was critical of her excruciating waffling.

We really enjoyed Obama’s accusation that Clinton was not doing enough to enforce enrollment in her universal health care program. My god. As any college-bound high school grad will tell you, one of the great joys of moving out of the crib is that Mom and Dad aren’t there to nag you about brushing and flossing, eating your vegetables, getting a good night’s sleep, etc. Well guess what, America? Depending on how things shake out next November, we’re all moving back home, so to speak. Mama Hill’ and/or Papa Back’ will be tending the premises, blowing taps, pulling bunk checks, announcing reveille and generally making us feel we are right back in Seminary. Golly, we can’t wait.

And we have a confession to make… We totally misread Hillary’s me-against-them-boys defense tactic that arose in the wake of the last debate. She ended the initial segment with a high decibel, shrill harangue about how she was fighting for America and was not going to put up with these attacks and something else and uhhh.. well, she was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore! We thought this tactic might have some traction among feminists and even after the applause she received afterwards we couldn’t help but feel how incredibly unlikeable the woman is.

Look…. You know and we know, we aren’t voting for any of these people so ironically enough, its easier to be objective about the Democrat candidates. As such, then, we have a message for Hillary that if we ever had the chance, we would love to pass along:
If you think its bad now, wait ‘til you have the actual misfortune of being elected President. You better get your act together and demonstrate you have the capacity to lead this nation rather than wasting our time bitching about how you are the lone woman in a man’s world.

Whether we like it or not, Hillary Clinton has a very good shot at being the next President and we want her to act like one. Above anything else, we are Americans and we are fiercely protective of our own and of our institutions. If she is elected President then that’s it… she’s this nation’s democratically elected President - she’s our girl.

Does this mean that we are going to go happily along with everything she decrees? Not at all. We will fight tooth and nail for our own governing principals of which we believe our President is running afoul. At the same time, though, we’re not going to threaten to leave the country, seek counseling because of CDS, call Sean Hannity and whine to him about how horrible it all is or participate in any other form of adolescent petulance we all saw and heard after the ’04 Presidential elections.

We love this country too much to start acting like a bunch of teenagers just because we don’t like who got elected and we’ll crack upside the head anyone we know who should know better themselves.

"Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Member of the Republican Party?"

Read here an article from the Washington Times on that Mecca of liberal tolerance, compassion and open-mindedness, Hollywood and its alleged treatment of Republicans and conservatives.

It’s a well-known fact that Tinsel town has been in the tank for liberalism, all manner of liberal causes and the Democrat party for years now but after reading the article ask yourself if current climate in Hollywood does not sound like quite the hostile work environment for those unfortunate enough to be suspected of harboring right-wing sentiments.

If the article is to be believed, the writer could not get a single response from the dozen actors alleged to be Republican sympathizers. In fact, some did respond but through their lawyers to the effect: “Don’t you dare print my client’s name in this story connecting him/her with this seditious movement. Do you realize what it will do to their career?”

Read here an entry from actor Ron Silver’s blog for his perspective on this matter.

Article also briefly notes the box office flops that the recent rash of anti-war flicks have been.

No one should be surprised by this.

Through the years, the U.S. military has consistently had a higher public approval rating than about any other American institution. Besides, about every one of us has a brother, sister, Dad, uncle, nephew, son, daughter, close friend, whatever… that served or is currently serving in this country’s armed forces and we are confident that for the most part they speak with great fondness and tremendous pride about that service.

And Hollywood expects to make money or make a "statement" by trashing these people?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Honestly. We wonder if ol’ Harry Reid even thinks about what he says before saying it anymore? More unbearable whining and complaining in article here about how horribly things are going in Iraq right now and how the Iraqi government was locked in a “stalemate”. Stalemate…. hmmm… would that be the equivalent of not getting any of your legislation passed? We had to ask. And we’re confident things are going pretty well in Iraq right now without having to read any news because, well…. there isn’t any news out of Iraq in which to read. Reid is again threatening funding of the war and will again receive a thrashing at the hands of this, at once lame-duck but suddenly rejuvenated Administration.

Next round of Democrat primary debates are going down tonight in Vegas. We might even try to watch them. The “angle” on this particular round, of course, is how Hillary will respond after her shaky performance the first time around, especially regarding her incomprehensible position on driver’s licenses for hard-working, family-oriented illegals? She got a boost from New York governor, Eliot Spitzer, who a couple of days ago, after immense pressure from his constituents, dropped his push for letting illegals legally on New York’s highways. And on cue and with the predictability of the Sun rising in the East, Hillary came out against granting licenses for illegals. Pinky swear. For reals, this time.

And finally, Mexican President Felipe Calderon is concerned with what he perceives as “harassment” of Mexican illegals. In fact, the harassment is getting so bad that illegals are returning in droves to a better life back in Mexico. Uh, yeah. We wonder, though, if this harassment includes getting put into a spread-eagle and having our pockets emptied by the police as has happened to us the past 2 trips south of the border? Calderon is pushing a PR campaign documenting success stories of hard-working, family-oriented illegals and has endorsed the formation of something called League Against Discrimination Against Mexicans in the United States. This name barely beat out Coalition for the Prevention of Bad Things Preventing Mexicans Going Back to Mexico from America. Read all about it here, if you must.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Got Mine!

You gotta love it when one of the world’s richest men doesn’t want you to leave too much money behind for your children. Article here reports out on Warren Buffet being in support of the estate tax, the repealing of which is something being bandied about in Congress right now.

Proponents of the estate tax reason that wealth passed down to the next generation unearned is an anathema to democracy and contributes to a widening gap between the haves and have nots. Here’s the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. himself going all poli-sci on us:

"Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline. A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy."

Uhhh… whatever. You can dress-up that pig any which way you want but its still just a pig and all that flowery verbage can’t disguise the fact that this “death tax” is just a good ol’ fashioned government money grab. Again, any pro-active attempt by the government to take it upon itself to redistribute wealth in the name equality, justice, income gap, democracy… whatever, is pure folly.

And it hits even closer to home because this “progressive” program was mainly responsible for the O’Malley family, the model of stability and dignity as sports franchise owners, selling our beloved Dodgers to Rupert Murdoch and the Fox empire back in the 90s and which has not coincidentally resulted in over a decade of mediocrity and irrelevance. So screw you, Warren.

We’ll credit Buffett for being perhaps the most unpretentious multi-billionaire in the greater Omaha, Nebraska area but it represents the height of gall for someone who can play “what’s a few hundred million dollars between friends?” opining on the financial legacy we wish to leave our children.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nancy and Harry's Totally Bogus Trip

(Totally forgot the first time around but we want to thank B-Daddy for his usual great work minding the store while we were out and about entertaining out-of-town company. And, yes… we thoroughly enjoyed this cold weather-region sporting phenomena called hockey on Friday night).

Since we have been taking an absolute beating in our college picks (but oddly enough, based upon past performances over the years, doing pretty well in our pro picks), we want to take time out to point out something that we may have possibly got right besides predicting USC being a two-loss team and not winning the BCS championship.

Attached article, here, documents the litany of failures the Democrats have experienced with regards to passing any legislation regarding the war in Iraq. Well, more accurately, legislation is getting passed but that legislation is for giving the President precisely what he wants. How is this possible? How is it possible that the Democrats who swept into the majority in both Houses on a surging tide of American sentiment in opposition to this illegal, ill-conceived, poorly executed war? Its possible because the ’06 mid-term elections weren’t really about the war, that’s why. Read our thoughts previously, here.

Dick Morris gave perhaps the best assessment of these elections when he commented that the Republicans getting beat because of the War in Iraq was like saying the passing of a person afflicted with AIDS was due to pneumonia. (Paraphrasing Morris): “Yeah, pneumonia may have been the thing that finally put that person in the grave but there was a far more deep-rooted, systemic problem that was ultimately responsible for that person’s death.”

The analogy struck us as odd at the time but no matter – he was right. The Republicans, drunk with power, became the very people they raged against way, way back last century when Newt and the gang arrived in town back in (19)94.

But back to the War in Iraq for a moment: Why is it that the anti-war set has been largely unable to gain traction in the wheelhouse of America’s consciousness. This may be a subject for a separate post but we can’t help but feel there is a sentiment among Americans that perhaps because we screwed up in Vietnam, we’ve got a chance to make things right this time around in Iraq. And this extends to several different aspects of that conflict: the execution of the War, our exit strategy that only led to genocide, the protests here at home, our treatment of the troops when they came back home, etc.

There’s a lot there for which to make up and regardless of this country’s overall dissatisfaction for the logic and reasoning for going to war one gets the sense that the complementary mood is: “O.K., we’re there – let’s try to do everything we can to at least get this century’s “unpopular war” done and done right”.

The Blind leading the Clueless

In our short existence here in the blogosphere, this site has not been bound by any convention other than displaying a mild degree of taste and comportment, crediting those from whom we are stealing and not blogging while angry.

The last guideline was the reason why we didn’t post on the Chargers yesterday or late Sunday and we have found that in the past 2 days our anger has merely given way to complete bewilderment. And we don’t want to sound over-the-top or melodramatic but we are fairly confident in saying that this may be our last post on the Chargers for a while as it becomes increasingly difficult to rationalize time, money and emotion spent on a talented, yet clueless group of athletes coached by a hopelessly inept staff that hasn’t yet been able to figure out what is glaringly obvious to us. Besides, we are fully cognizant of the fact that we are starting to sound like a broken record. Jeez.... and to think the Chargers actually beat the Colts 23-21.

And speaking of broken… our personal breaking point for coming to this decision came this morning in reading a news item in the “Charger Report” in today’s San Diego U-T that reported, with Quentin Jammer returning from his injury, Antonio Cromartie would probably not start next week against Jacksonville. There is absolutely nothing else one needs to know about the Charger coaching staff and the reason why the Chargers are 5-4 than the fact that this defensive back, who in the last 3 games has 5 picks and 2 touchdowns, will not be starting next week. That’s it. That’s all one needs to know.

Then again, it’s the “logic” displayed above that nearly relegates the most versatile, durable and dynamic running back of his generation to “what ever happened to…?” status. Jumping Jiminy on a pogo stick… how do you forget about L.T? He is the NFL version of the “easy button”. Get this guy the rock early and often and things just take care of themselves. “Things” being incidental stuff like the offense, the gameplan and ultimately the win-loss record.

Its also this same inexplicable “logic” that engenders an allergic reaction among Charger defenders to the team’s opposing quarterback. This is all on Ted Cottrell, the defensive coordinator, though. We saw virtually no blitzing or stunting on Sunday evening as Peyton Manning was able to just dink and dunk his way down field whenever he wasn’t throwing interceptions. And it should be noted that none of those interceptions were a result of any pressure that was being put on Manning.

Are we jumping off the bandwagon? Hardly. We’ll still be there next Sunday morning rooting these guys on against the Jaguars but we are going to take a break from our ground hog day routine here for a while.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Immigration Persuasion

B-Daddy here. Immigration seems like such a hot button issue for this column, I thought I would try to break it down a little. Unlike your regular BwD host, I feel somewhat dispassionate about the issue. I thought I would take Deep Throat's advice and "follow the money," and look at the self-interest of the key players involved. Under most circumstances, political constituencies vote their self-interest, so analyzing it is necessary to understanding the problem and working towards a solution. (Also, we want to "Seek first to understand" and "think win-win" in 7 Habits terminology.)

On the Democrat side, I often wondered why the labor unions would favor amnesty. It seems that a steady supply of undocumented workers would cause competition for their members. However, if undocumented workers are granted legal status, then their pay would have to be raised to at least the minimum wage. This increase in pay would mean that the undocumented workers would have less competitive advantage on price than union workers. See the Cato Institute article on the union's relationship with the minimum wage. Further, bringing the undocumented workers into the legal world would make them available to be organized by the unions. For the Democratic Party in general, there is a belief that those granted amnesty would then vote Democrat because the illegal immigrant population is largely poor and Hispanic, a demographic (there's that word again) that tends to vote Democrat. Interestingly enough, it seems that the people who are harmed by an amnesty would be poor, Hispanic legal residents. However, one abstract of a study on this subject "suggests that Latino support for immigration is primarily a function of ethnic identify and symbolic politics" In simpler language, Latinos identify with the immigrants and cheer the expansion of their own group. Interestingly enough, listening to talk radio and reading other forums, this is also the reason cited by conservatives in opposing illegal immigration and for opposing increased legal immigration.

On the Republican side, the business interests that generally support the Republican Party see a steady supply of low-wage labor from continued high immigration illegal or otherwise. As a result, business tends to be on the side of working out a solution that doesn't stop the flow of workers, so the enforcement first, reform later concept is non-starter for them. However, there is a significant number of voters (mostly Republicans) who see illegal immigration as a threat to their way of life on a number of fronts. First, the widespread violation of immigration law is seen as a precursor to the general breakdown of law and order. A return to the crime rates of the 70's and 80's is not in the general public's best interest. And this theory has legs. It is akin to the "broken windows" theory of crime that Willy Bratton and Rudy Giuliani successfully applied to reducing crime in New York in the 90s. (As an aside, I trace a goodly portion of our current trouble in Iraq to the wave of looting that got out of hand after the initial victory. That created the same kind of "tipping point" from which we are only now recovering.) The second and more powerful issue appears to be cultural and linguistic. Seeing large numbers of immigrants who do not speak English and therefore seem incapable of taking part in the common dialog on what it means to be an American is threatening. Even if historically, the same charge was applied to Italian and Eastern European immigrants at the turn of the last century, this issue strongly resonates with those who have a certain cultural vision of America. And culture seems to dominate all political discourse these days, on both left and right.

So right now we have a stalemate on the issue. The anti-amnesty crowd has the passion and the numbers to prevent any amnesty legislation from being signed. (Remember that most big changes in American society require consensus.) But they are probably not a majority, (my opinion, not yet supported by research) and certainly don't have the power to get the kind of strict enforcement needed to stem the tide of illegal immigration. I continue to see hard liners on illegal immigration lose elections, even in places like southern Arizona in 2006, where illegal immigration has a high impact. Until a win-win solution is developed, I see no end to this stand off.

Poinsettia Bowl Update and Other College Action

B-Daddy here. Navy's record setting win over North Texas, 74-62, (that's not a basketball score, Navy basketball doesn't score that much) sets them up with a date in the Poinsettia Bowl on December 20th. See you there. This is turning into one of the better Navy seasons in my lifetime. Now, we just have to Beat Army!

Got to watch almost all of the USC-Cal game. Mrs. Daddy and I were hosting a party for teenagers; so once the guests arrived it was broadly hinted that I should make myself scarce. No problemo. I was struck by how inconsistent both teams looked and it wasn't just the constant rain. Pre-season, this was the marquee Pac-10 match up. Tonight, USC's defense looked incapable of stopping Cal, but then Cal would make a mistake: fumble, interception, or stupid penalty and the Trojans were spared. The Trojan offense alternated between unstoppable and inscrutable. I don't know why it happens, but these Trojans seem to lack the intensity and focus of prior years. Dean has a theory, but I really was enjoying the success of USC over the past few seasons.

With Ohio State losing, I imagine there will not be a unanimous number one in the polls tomorrow. But I wonder why Kansas wouldn't be picked for the top spot. They are the only unbeaten team in a BCS division, even with a slightly suspect schedule. No harm in voting for them as number one, because if they beat Missouri and then beat their probable opponent in a Big-12 championship, Oklahoma, who could deny that they are number one. However, given the way the unbeatens have tumbled this year, I am making the following bold prediction: Neither Kansas nor Hawaii, the only remaining unbeatens, will finish the season without a loss. So sure am I, that if wrong, I will refund the cost of your subscription to Beers with Demo. (If only Dean could figure out how to make this blogging thing pay, that would be sweet.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's Not Just the Issues

B-Daddy here. OK, I hate to admit this, but after taking the Select a Candidate Quiz, I am allegedly a Ronulan, the guy to his left was a very close second by a score of 33 to 32. I took the quiz again, not altering my positions but tweaking their importance to me and the same duo is one, two, albeit reversed. But no way will you find me casting my vote for either of these guys because each has some fatal flaws that I just can't live with. To me, this points up the importance of negatives, and why going negative is an important part of the political process.
First, my negatives. For Mr. Paul, he is advocating immediate withdrawal from Iraq, which would be a disaster that even the mainstream Democrat presidential hopefuls aren't advocating. Also, he makes a big point of some issues that Americans really don't understand, so he looks like a kook, the role of the Federal Reserve for example. It detracts too much from his message, that I don't trust his judgment. For John McCain, I thoroughly and completely loathe the McCain-Feingold bill from every angle, practical, moral and constitutional. Today is not the day to detail its horrors, but I just want to make the point that his bill is the single greatest assault on the First Amendment in my lifetime. This Supreme Court should go down as one of the worst since the court that ruled on Dred Scott, for upholding McCain-Feingold (in McConnell vs FEC) and its ruling in Kelo vs. New London. OK, enough ranting.

But the real bad news for me is that the candidate with the highest score only agrees with me only gets a 33 score. Now I am reduced to finding the candidate who is not a whacko and who only annoys me on half the issues.

Can somebody please help?