Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

- Terrance This Is Stupid Stuff

Terrance D., a frequent commentor whose thought provoking blog has recently been added to our Fun Reads list, has a good piece that points out the inconsistencies in the arguments of one Mara Hvistendahl, whose new book Unnatural Selection decries the practice of sex selective abortions performed at an alarming rate, usually to eliminate female offspring.

Here he points out one of the many problems of Mara's recommendations to combat sex selective abortion now so common place in China and India:
"Second, make sex selective abortion criminal activity for the doctor and health professionals involved in it (5 year prison sentence) and any helpers who know what is going on (1 year prison sentence). (p. 244)"

Wow! Remember when an argument for legalizing abortion was that if you kept it criminalized women would just continue to get dangerous back alley abortions? And now here are pro-choice people suggesting that criminalizing sex selective abortion is the way to go. Who cares about back alley abortions any more?

The title of Terrance's blog plays off one of A.E. Houseman's poems as found in his A Shropshire Lad. In "Terence this is stupid stuff", the poet and classical scholar refers to himself as Terence and jokingly sets about critiquing not only the gloomy nature of many of the poems of A Shropshire Lad, but even the poetic devices used in their writing. One should not take oneself too seriously, and our Terrance certainly does not. It's good stuff!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Good Man is Hard to Come By

After the most recent Republican debate in Florida, the wisdom was that Perry had slipped and Romney had surged ahead. Cain won the Florida Straw poll, but that was the by-story from the header, Perry Slips, as Cain garnered 37% of the Straw Poll voters, while the "top tier twosome" republican candidates ended up with Perry at 15% and Romney a happy 14%. The smartest of the smart may have been a tad quick in defining the frame of the future, as Monday's Zogby Poll showed what in fact happened was Herman Cain, the darkest of dark horses, surging ahead at 28%, while the bobbsy twins trail at 18 and 17 percent respectively.

After the debate, Chris Moody interviewed Mr. Cain, and learned his views on Preisdent Obama's class warfare rhetoric:
"After a few caffeine-heavy refills at our corner table, I asked him about President Obama's new effort to raise taxes on the wealthy, and Cain just about blew a blood vessel--especially when I mentioned the part where Obama says it's about "math" not "class warfare."

"Can I be blunt? That's a lie," Cain said, before the sound of his voice began to rise noticeably higher. "You're not supposed to call the president a liar. Well if you're not supposed to call the president a liar, he shouldn't tell a lie. If it's not class warfare, it's highway robbery. He wants us to believe it's not class warfare, oh okay, it's not class warfare. Pick my pockets, because that's what he's doing!"

Cain paused, took a breath and looked at me.

"I'm not mad at you, I just get passionate about this stuff," he said. "I have to tell people because I get so worked up . . . . I'm listening to all this bullshit that he's talking about, 'fairness' and 'balanced approach' to get this economy going."
Yes, it is tiresome... tiresome to the extreme. And here is one of the few candidates with the hutzpah to lay it out for us.

Now that's a good man.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Peggy Noonan Comes To Her Senses?

Two and a half years of utter Tom Foolery has brought even the likes of Peggy Noonan into a finer appreciation of President Obama. In commenting on Ron Suskind's "Confidence Men", Noonan offers:
An unnamed adviser says the 2009 stimulus legislation was the result of "poor conceptualizing." Another: "We should have spent more time thinking about where the money was being spent, rather than simply that there was this hole of a certain size in the economy that needed to be filled, so fill it."

Well.. yes.
Yes indeed. My word, what a bunch of bozos. We should have thought more about where the money was being spent? Sheesh.
"The White House says Mr. Suskind talked to too many disgruntled former staffers. But he seems to have talked to a lot of gruntled ones, too. The overarching portrait of chaos, lack of intellectual depth and absence of political wisdom, from a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter at this paper, rings true."

We all feel a bit jilted over Noonan being seduced by the dark side, and I'll allow she seems rather fickle at times, but you've got to admit, she's into the good stuff here.

Wouldn't you know, it wouldn't last. She is hardly through her piece before she starts into how Republicans are well within their capabilities to fail to take advantage of the nation's unrest with this president. Here she takes aim at Rick Perry, and though he has made some gaffes, would this qualify as one of them?
Contrast it with the words of Rick Perry, who zoomed into New York to make his own Mideast statement the day before the president's speech. The Obama administration's policy, the Texas governor said, amounts to "appeasement." It has encouraged "an ominous act of bad faith." We are "at the precipice of such a dangerous move" because the Obama administration is "arrogant, misguided and dangerous." "Moral equivalency" is "a dangerous insult."

This was meant not to defuse but to inflame.
Maybe it was meant to call it like it is.

Everything Perry said there is exactly on the money, and he is not in New York to cover for this clown president. Do you recall Obama trying to cover for President Bush? Me thinks... no.

Sheesh, Peggy. Caddyshack couldn't have said it better:



With a major hat tip to the always interesting Roxeanne de Luca.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Casey at the Plate

Casey Neistat, a New York City native and cyclist, was cited by New York's finest for not riding his bicycle in the bike lane. When he told the officer that sometimes the bicycle lane was not always the safest place to be, the officer told him it didn't matter.

He always needed to be in the bike lane.

Casey paid his fifty dollar ticket, and then he and a buddy took a little spin.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Love and Loss

George Jonas has a fine piece on the recent loss of his long time love, Sylvia:
The vivacious persona she liked to project was far removed from her sober, steady, even puritanical self. She was vivacious, all right, but with a penchant for archeology and a taste for penniless scribblers. She had been married to a Manhattan gynecologist before me. When we eventually separated in the late 1960s, she gave a newspaper interview. "Marry a doctor," she explained to the reporter, "and you'll appreciate poetry. Marry a poet, and you'll appreciate money."
Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Too Funny

Every now and again we are treated to our betters on the left totally stepping in it. Case in point is The Hill's Bernie Quigley (down under?) as he criticised Mark Steyn's After America. He first lists a number of other books with "After America" as a part of their title (You've seen one, you've seen 'em all), and then he wades into the deep end of the pool:
"These books see America as an idea rather than a place because the authors don’t understand place and have probably never been to an American place they were inclined to stay in. They would get a rash in real places like Tobaccoville, N.C., Haverhill, N.H. or Luckenbach, Texas, where Waylon, Willie and the boys hang."
Unfortunately for Bernie, Mr. Steyn actually works in Haverhill, New Hampshire. In fact, it's where he and his family live.


The comments are just as rich, one of which points out that Mr. Quigley's referral to Luckenbach, Texas as real America can only result from his having no experience with Luckenbach. It seems Luchanbach is a ghost town, the Waylon Jennings song being the only reason it still exists as a tourist attraction.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Up From The Projects

"Williams, you're a rascal."

So said UCLA Economics professor Dr. Armen Alchian. I think the good professor was much in the right of it.

I first became aware of Walter Williams from his many guest appearances on the Rush Limbaugh radio program, where he would argue the moral superiority of liberty, and its chief precondition, limited government. Williams seems to delight in asking awkward questions, and never seems troubled by the challenges he is offered. Of course, by the time he appeared on the Limbaugh show, he had already testified before the US Congress many times, and had been attacked repeatedly for his libertarian viewpoints. Not easily cowed, Williams was more contemptuous than troubled by his many critics from the left.

He disdained the ever changing terminology being demanded by various grievance groups. "I have been called negro, black, and african-american. I'm tired of constantly putting up with changing how I am referred to. You all can change terms as much as you like, I'm through with this nonsense. I'm going to stay black." 'Black.. by popular demand' is a frequent by-line used to introduce professor Williams on the Limbaugh show. Thomas Sowell writes a fine review here.

'Up From The Projects' was a fun read, and I highly recommend it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Looking Good in Navy

Steven Long was a speedy player when he burst onto the scene two years ago as a sophomore running back at Sherwood High School. Last year he helped the Bowman through their playoff run, culminating in a 217 yard, two touchdown performance in their State Championship Game against Marist. Coming into his senior year the young man moved up, transferring to perennial 6A power Lake Oswego High.

Year in and year out the Lakers have a depth of talented players, and it initially was unclear how Long would fit in with his new teammates, how and if he would be used, and whether or not he had the strength to repeatedly carry the ball for the Lakers. Week two saw a solid 19 carry, 119 yard performance against a capable West View team marred by two uncharacteristic fumbles, and the question remained as to whether or not Long could hold up against the larger, faster athletes more frequently seen in the rugged schedule Lake Oswego typically plays. That question was answered emphatically last Friday night when the Lakers played host to the Skyline Spartans of Washington.

Skyline may be the toughest team on the Laker's schedule. State champions at the 3A level in Washington in 2005 and 2007, in 2008 they moved up to 4A, Washington's highest level, and kept handing out the hurt, winning 4A titles in 2008 and 2009 and reaching the championship final in 2010 before falling to Spokane's Ferris High School. Last year's team handed a very good Lake Oswego squad a 38 to 14 loss, and with 6'5" super soph quarterback Max Browne returning for his junior year, it looked to be more of the same. Friday night Browne's quick delivery and rifle arm amassed over four hundred yards for an offense that proved exceedingly difficult to stop. All that was nullified by a nightmarish Laker ground game that featured one Steven Long at the tip of the spear.

Running backs are considered to have a good game if they break 100 yards, an excellent game if they manage to break 200. Against the Spartans, Steven Long carried the ball 28 times for a staggering 428 yards. He scored seven times, ripping off long run after long run. Initially in the spread single back, then in the second half more commonly out of the two back power formation, Long carried over and over again. He broke one play for a 36 yard touchdown, then another for a 72 yard touchdown, and by that point the defense knew it had a problem. Then came a touchdown run of 48 yards and the man had 220 yards at the half! With the Spartans staying close for 28 - 24 half time score, it appeared they had weathered the storm and would put it to the Lakers in the second half, but in the second half each time the Spartans would draw near with a score it was answered by a blur of Navy and White. Long would find a crease at the line of scrimmage, flash into the secondary, and bang.. we were off to the races. A 75 yard run for a score. A 1 yard plunge for a score. A 73 yard run for a score. Long was a one man buzz saw. I've watched a lot of football, but I've never seen a running game strike as quickly and as devastatingly as Long and his Laker teammates. Good use of blocking, good vision, surprising endurance... and jaw dropping speed. By the end of it the Lakers walked away with a 56 - 46 win.

Four hundred yards is a lot of yards, but against one of the best teams in Washington? That's unheard of. It was a game for the record books for Long. I doubt there will be another like it for him... it was beautiful.

The rest of the Laker crew looked solid as well. Alex Matthews is a steady performer at quarterback with quick feet and good judgment. I'm thinking we'll continue to see a lot of receiver Stevie Coury, who is a deceptively fast player and has a great pair of hands. Mitch Lomax loves to cause problems for quarterbacks and leads a good group of aggressive Laker linebackers. Zach Walen, who knows what the heck that guy's thinking, but he's a gamer on both sides of the ball. It's a solid, confident bunch of young men.

This Friday the Lakers move on to an always tough Jesuit squad. Jesuit bounced back from being steam rolled by Dillon Miller and Sheldon two weeks ago to edge Central Catholic 14 - 12 in the Holy War. You can bet they'll be strapping up their helmets tight for Friday's clash with the Lakers. Should be a good one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Woah Ho! Weiner Seat Flips Right

House District 9 in New York City, held by Democrats for the past eighty-eight years, was won in a special election by Republican Bob Turner. The district, which is populated 3 to 1 by Democrats, had gone to President Obama in the 2008 election by eleven percentage points. The loss is indicative that Democrat's faith in the nations figurative leader is shaky at best.
Democratic party leaders insisted the loss wasn’t a harbinger of things to come. “It’s a very difficult district for Democrats,” said Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Yeah, its gotta be tough to be a Democrat in New York.

Andrea Tantaros at the New York Daily News offers the following:
In a crushing blow to the White House and the Democratic Party, the seat once held by notorious sexter Anthony Weiner switched hands yesterday, with a longshot Republican now heading to the House of Representatives.

By linking the economic ennui of New York's ninth district (which spans parts of Brooklyn and Queens) to the President, and by making the administration's Middle East policy (specifically, the treatment of Israel) a hallmark of his campaign, former TV executive Bob Turner defeated state Assemblyman David Weprin by a stunning margin of 54% to 46% (with 84% of districts reporting as of late last night). Even 11th hour visits to the district to rally support by Democratic darlings Bill Clinton and Governor Patrick Cuomo could not save the hapless Weprin.

But it's more than New York Democrats who are saying oy vey. The surprising loss of the Weiner seat is an indication of what's to come on the national stage, and why it's looking more likely that Republicans will retain control of the House, with the possibility of the Senate switching back to GOP hands also within reach (Republicans need to win a net of four seats in the Senate to gain a majority).

Despite big celebrations after the passage of Obamacare, the stimulus and financial reform legislation, Obama has given his party little to campaign on with his largely unpopular record, specifically when it comes to jobs. Republicans will spend millions of dollars linking their opponents to Obama and his record, and Democrats who run for office in 2012 will have no choice but to run away from the toxic President, even in what they may once have considered safely Democratic districts. They will exhaust their coffers either painting themselves as "independent" or ignoring Obama's agenda altogether, with incumbents doing everything they can to highlight key differences between their record and Obama's.

Having to spend so much money on defense will spread Democratic funds dangerously thin. In New York's ninth, national Democrats spent more than a half a million defending the Weiner seat, which they never suspected was vulnerable. Getting Democrats to blow critical campaign cash to protect even deeply blue districts is a Republican strategist's dream because it hinders their ability to be competitive elsewhere.

Think about it: If Obama is radioactive in New York City, imagine how his abysmal economic record will play in swing states like Missouri, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, where he is already suffering.
I can imagine it all right, and it's about time too. November 2012 is still a long way off, but the odds that something good is going to happen in our economy between now and then is just about zero.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Perry Gives It To Us Straight

The flap over presidential candidate Rick Perry's recent comments tell us much about the political realities of our day.

Speaking of Social Security in Iowa, Rick Perry commented:
"It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. The idea that they're working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them."
His words voice concern for our young people and the future of our nation. An elderly lady in the clip was seen to be nodding in agreement, aware of the financial problems that out of control spending has placed upon her grandchildren, and the truth if what Perry was saying.

Nevertheless much bally-hoo was made of his comment, mostly from the left as can be seen as posted at TPM (Talking Points Memo). The left is gleeful that Republican frontrunner Perry may have exposed himself to being lied about and pilloried before one of the most steady voting groups in the nation: America's senior citizens. The general assault against Perry runs either he doesn't have a clue what he was talking about, or he intends to dismantle Social Security. The left takes such glee in scaring senior citizens.

A typical leftoid comment was this from a commentor that goes by the label latichever:
It's amazing to me how emboldened they have become, from believing that Social Security is the third rail of American politics, to Bush's partial privatization, to calling it a Ponzi scheme. Does this mean that the discussion has shifted that far to the right? Or does it mean we're in Goldwater 1964 territory?

I hope the latter.
Wrong-o latichever. Stanley Kurtz, of National Review On Line offers a tad more light on the topic:
"Perry’s Ponzi-scheme claim is in no way unprecedented. On the contrary, the Ponzi comparison has been a staple of conservative warnings about Social Security’s financial soundness for decades. More intriguing, the Ponzi scheme analogy was popularized by a liberal Nobel Laureate economist, who initially offered it as a defense of the system, acknowledging only later that his defense was at least partially flawed. In the decades that followed, many honest liberals have made the Ponzi scheme comparison in the course of calling for systemic reform. Those liberals have bemoaned bipartisan deception and timidity on the Social Security issue, and praised those rare and courageous political souls, such as Alan Simpson, who were willing and able to call a Ponzi scheme by its real name."
The truth is most all of us in our early fifties and younger realize that there is no way this program can be sustained to provide retirement funds as we live on into our seventies and eighties.

Rick Perry was gutsy to even broach the issue. This is not a topic his primary competitors should take issue over. We should support him in this.

Update: September 13th

Well, Mitt Romney managed to step in it at last night's Republican Presidential debate. Mark Steyn commments on it here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Paul Krugman is a Horse's Ass

Paul Krugman, self-proclaimed conscience of the liberal establishment, beared down on his pent up resentments, and out squeezed this little gem of a piece for 9/11:
Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.
Well, the most obvious reason is that there is almost nothing to comment on. It's as devoid of detail as a piece could be.

Listen, Paul, next time you feel the urge to impugn the character of others, send a note to your mother, but don't print the damn thing in the New York Times. It's embarrassingly empty of substance, though I do appreciate it's brevity. I wish all your articles were so brief. Sadly, that's not the case. Just a couple of days before the economics professor and New York Times columnist wrote how pleased he was with the president's new jobs proposals as voiced in his recent speech to the combined houses of congress.

What a ding-bat.


I see The Hyacinth Girl noticed Krugman pissing off in the corner and had a few choice words for him. She's a good one.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Three Bozos

Herman Cain followed the Republican debate with a quick tour of the MSNBC Roundtable of Fools, and they each took their shot at the guy.

Sharpton, O'Donnell, Schultz
Three up, three down.

I know they say he can't win the primary, but man do I love the forthrightness of this guy and his willingness to cut through the B.S.

Go Cain!

With a hat tip to Robert Stacy McCain.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Message From the Mountain Top

Guess what? The president has a plan.

He wants to spend another 457 billion.

This year.

I know, I know, we're already 1.6 trillion over budget, but what's 457 billion between friends?

Oh, and how is he going to pay for all the expenditures? It went something like:
"I will gladly pay you on Tuesday..."
Pundit and Pundette has the skinny on the jobs speech. The video cracked me up, but I couldn't figure out how to kipe it, so you'll have to pay Jill a visit directly. It's well worth it.

She's great! I steal a lot of good stuff from her!! (With proper credit and linkage, of course).

Obama to Address the Nation

The nation awaits with baited breath as the president prepares to give yet another speech. Meanwhile, more useful information promises to be offered on NBC, which is carrying the Packers-Saints pre-game show.

The president is famous for making a show of bi-partisan outreach while dismissing conservative ideas on removing governmental cost burdens and regulatory restraints as "the same old ideas that got us where we are". The empty support he offers to the private sector comes from a man who has essentially isolated himself in a sea of Ivy league academics.

The lack of real world experience was never more painfully obvious than after two and a half years of presidential spending paloozas that have exhausted the financial reserves of the planet and buried the nation in debt.

Meanwhile, last year's Super Bowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers, are taking on the New Orleans Saints, the Super Bowl Champion team from 2009.

Predictions from What the...?! are for tonight's speech to be yet another yawner...

... while the Packers edge the Saints in a highly entertaining contest.

Update: September 8th, 11:00 pm.

The Packers edged the Saints 42 - 34, with Aaron Rodgers throwing for three touchdowns and over three hundred yards. Drew Brees was extremely good as well, with over 400 yards passing in an excellent Saints effort, but the Packers were just a tad bit better. The Saints got all the way down to the 1 yard line with time running out when Clay Matthews stopped Mark Ingram short of the goal as time expired. Excellent opening game for the NFL.

And the speech? The president appeared defiantly angry, daring the nation and the republicans to oppose "his plan". And his plan? Same - blow another 457 bil .. bridges, schools and the like, you know, same as last time, except this time...this time.. its gonna work! Kept repeating himself. Pretty much a snoozer.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gitmo Detainee Breaks Bad With Barack

As if to highlight Barack Obama's campaign rhetoric (era 2007), another Gitmo detainee has met his end. Mr. Obama led the criticism of President Bush's policies in fighting the war on terror, chief of which was the detention center at the Navy base at Guantanimo, Cuba. As his first act as president, Obama signed an executive order to close the detention center within one year's time. However, two and a half years into his presidency the center remains open, and those prisoners previously released have a nasty habit of turning up planting bombs, firing RGGs and shooting at US forces, resulting in a number of Gitmo Graduates getting themselves gunned down, one way or another.

The latest is Saber Lal Melma, whose 'long suffering' and 'unlawful detention' was fully championed by the McClatchy News Service. Mr. Saber Lal Melma did in fact manage to end his long suffering. The method he choose, however was to be on the recieving end of a round to the head.
NATO and Afghan forces have killed a former Guantanamo detainee who returned to Afghanistan to become a key al-Qaida ally, international officials said Saturday.

Saber Lal Melma, who was released from Guantanamo in 2007, had been organizing attacks in eastern Kunar province and funding insurgent operations, NATO spokesman Capt. Justin Brockhoff said.

A NATO statement described Melma as a "key affiliate of the al-Qaida network" who was in contact with senior al-Qaida members in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I guess the McClatchy news reporters were taken for a ride.
Troops surrounded Melma's house in Jalalabad city on Friday night and shot him dead when he emerged from the building holding an AK-47 assault rifle.

A guard at the house, Mohammad Gul, said a group of American soldiers scaled the walls of the compound around 11 p.m. and stormed the house, shooting Melma in the assault. Three others were detained, Gul said.

Melma joined a long list of detainees believed to have reconnected with al-Qaida.
Saber Lal Melma can no longer be found on the McClatchy News Service site.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Warren on Economic Double Talk

With President Obama preparing the nation for another stirring speech on his "economic plans", it is well time to take a look at some of the Keynesian ideas that inform the President's world view. Who better to give us a brief than Canadian David Warren, who not only is conversant in the history, but can write of it in an interesting manner:
John Maynard Keynes, a truly brilliant man, and an entertaining one with wide cultural interests, made wonderfully entertaining arguments for doing the wrong thing, many of them ingeniously counter-intuitive. "Public economists" (on the analogy of "public intellectuals") such as John Kenneth Galbraith in the last generation, and Paul Krugman in this, stand in direct succession to him: same attitudes, same habits.

Lord Keynes' great rival, Friedrich Hayek, exploded many of the economic fallacies upon which Keynes depended, along with many of the facts which Keynes massaged to fit his own passing needs. But Hayek's strongest criticism is too lightly passed over. He said that Keynes was interested in economic theory only as a means to influence current policy.
If an economic theory is designed merely as a means to support policy decisions, there is sure to be hell to pay when the implications of those decisions are played out.

Read Warren's whole piece here.