Saturday, July 5, 2008
Once again, the eternal pessimist Bob Herbert is having yet another PMS moment.. Things look grim on the landscape and he is in all his glory:
And yet, there was an undercurrent of anxiety in the land. Vacations have been curtailed because of the price of fuel. Since the holiday fell on a Friday, the monthly unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were released a day early, on Thursday. They weren’t good.Does Happy Bob have a single solution to any of the grave problems he is so eager to tell us about? Don't be silly.... why spoil a great day of whining?
It is in vain, sir, to extentuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Friday, July 4, 2008
"Well, in what is obviously a gust-busting turn, the editors of the New York Times are beginning to worry that they are the rubes. In this morning's lead editorial ('New and Not Improved'), they detail and denounce many of Obama's post-Hillary pivots to the center. As their irritation builds, I'm thinking that there are only three positions that could explain this editorial. First, that the editors genuinely believe that Obama could win the general election with his primary season policy ideas. It is believable that they think this because they live inside a Manhattan cocoon, but silly. Second, that the editors would rather that Obama lose than compromise his principles. This seems unlikely in the cold light of a November morning, however satisfying it might feel to spew such romantic drivel on the Fourth of July. Or, third, the editors know that Obama's pivots will be much more believable to the swing voters if the Times denounces them. This theory holds that the editors are pretending to be outraged so as to further deceive the rubes who prefer the Flop to the Flip.
It is so hard to know which explanation to believe."
"BAGHDAD – How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq."
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Megan, as usual, brings some sanity to the argument that only our complete subservience to government edicts can save the world.... Read it, and wonder what has happened to Tom Friedman's sanity.
But I just had my best golf week ever; and I am beyond ecstatic. For the past couple of years I had literally "lost my game". My handicap had climbed from an 8 to a 13, a series of lessons did nothing to cure the absolutely miserable shots I was hitting, I was getting beat for some serious money (golf bets are supposed to even out in the long run, but I was losing to the same players ALL the time), and I was seriously considering just tossing my clubs in the lake (though my wife would never believe that).
As this season started, my regular weekday game competitor gave me a very simple tip about my grip. What followed was a complete and total turnaround for me - and for my friend who cannot get over the fact that I now regularly beat him. My last 3 rounds are 76, 78, and 80, and my handicap will be 9 as of next week. I am hitting the ball further and more accurately than ever; and I feel as if I am almost in control of my golf ball (only the tour pros really are, and even for them it is only a 50/50 proposition). The sense of accomplishment is almost overwhelming. (I will NOT make the ever-stupid comment of "I've got it!" because that would only put the evil golf curse on me - and I still took a 9 on the final hole yesterday.)
Why do people play golf? Because it's the only thing that can make child rearing or running a business seem easy....... Play golf, America!!
"And now it’s time to be candid about the results. Israelis, Americans, and Europeans are serious about peace. The enemies of Israelis, Americans, and European are serious about defeating Israelis, Americans, and Europeans. It’s as simple — and as complex — as that."
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
There is nothing wrong (or illegal) for a restaurant to require a certain level of sartorial decency in order to be served. I once went to a supposedly upscale place for dinner only to be seated next to a couple, one of whom was in shorts. On the way out, I said something to the manager; and I can promise you that I will not go there again.
I am no prude, and I do not go out of my way to wear a jacket an/or tie to go out. There is nothing wrong with casual dining. But it shows a certain level of adolescent self-involvement when you don't have enough consideration for others in the establishment not to look like a damn slob. It's the same with screaming children and rowdy (adult) behavior.
"The lawyers missed it. The law clerks missed it. The justices missed it.
Who caught it?
"As you can see, there was something in there for everyone to get angry about, and they did. The debates are still going on, though the work has held up remarkably well.
I bring this up for a few reasons. First, everyone should read the book. Second, it reminded me of the definitional problems of feminism."
"Yup. That dastardly George W. Bush has made life incredibly difficult for the jet set. Imagine having to hide your face in shame every time you travel to Europe just because holier-than-thou Europeans think that since they don’t like your president, you shouldn’t either. It must really put a cramp in your ability to enjoy luxuries like private jet travel, expensive hotels, and fine wines. Oh, the horror."
HOPE, CHANGE, AND A NEW KIND OF POLITICS:
Barack Obama "had nothing to do" with Gen. Wesley Clark's curt dismissal of John McCain's military record, the retired Army officer wants everyone to know.
"I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president," Clark said of McCain on "Face the Nation" - and then repeated it on several nationally broadcast venues.
But Obama's not about to stop using Clark as a campaign surrogate.
I don't think being booted from your NATO command is a qualification to talk about other people's military careers, either . . . .
And if, as Rand Beers says, the fact that McCain missed out on the 60s antiwar protests by being in a POW camp means he's "isolated" on national security issues, then what of Obama, who was attending elementary school in Indonesia at the same time?
UPDATE: Rick Moran: Wesley Clark and the Unbearable Banality of Campaign ‘08.
ANOTHER UPDATE: James Webb flipflops on military service.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
"San Francisco’s efforts to shield illegal alien crack dealers from federal immigration officials most obviously did not “backfire” as the report states…The city’s efforts worked only too well. After all, you don’t see them in federal custody, do ya?"
Monday, June 30, 2008
"Of all the things that make me feel as though my time was in the past and I don't understand this world today, first on my list is the absence of children playing outdoors in suburban neighborhoods."
Indeed. I was thinking the same thing when my kids were growing up. They hardly ever just "went outside to play"....
"Microsoft Corp. is scheduled to stop selling its Windows XP operating system to retailers and major computer makers Monday, despite protests from a slice of PC users who don't want to be forced into using XP's successor, Vista.
Once computers loaded with XP have been cleared from the inventory of PC makers such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., consumers who can't live without the old operating system on their new machine will have to buy Vista Ultimate or Vista Business and then legally 'downgrade' to XP.
Microsoft will still allow smaller mom-and-pop PC builder shops to buy XP for resale through the end of January. A version of XP will also remain available for ultra-low-cost PCs such as the Asus Eee PC."
"“Hygiene has made our lives better,” says Weinstock, now at Tufts University. “But in the process of eliminating exposure to the 10 or 20 things that can make us sick, we’re also eliminating exposure to things that make us well.”"
"Pot-holed roads, crumbling schools, litter-strewn streets – there’s no shortage of problem areas crying out for their attention.
But councils believe they have found a better use for their money: reducing the number of holes in chip shop salt shakers.
Research has suggested that slashing the holes from the traditional 17 to five could cut the amount people sprinkle on their food by more than half."
Jeffery Fagan, professor at Columbia University, and Stephen D. Sugarman, professor at U.C. Berkeley, have a plan on how gun manufacturers can help curb gun-related homicides in the U.S. If their credentials alone don’t make you chuckle at this premise, reading their actual plan might. If you can call it a plan."But what do you expect from two left-wing college professors?"
"But a short time later Snedeker received an email from another blogger claiming that a number of anti-Obama blogs had been “hacked” that same night. After some digging it became apparent that several Blogspot accounts had been shut down because of similar spam issues, and nearly all of them had three things in common: Most were pro-Hillary Clinton blogs, all were anti-Barack Obama, and several were listed on justsaynodeal.com, an anti-Obama website."
"A simple change to the design of the gallon milk jug, adopted by Wal-Mart and Costco, seems made for the times. The jugs are cheaper to ship and better for the environment, the milk is fresher when it arrives in stores, and it costs less."
Sunday, June 29, 2008
"Painfully visible are the inherent design deficiencies of a foundation that was never intended to support such weight. Windows seems to move an inch for every time that Mac OS X or Linux laps it."
The mistakes are listed here — and suggest that Justice Stevens and his clerks didn’t read the cases they cited.
The most significant error: at page 2 of his dissent, Stevens said of the Miller case: “Upholding a conviction under that Act, this Court held that…”
"Childcare is hard. I would far rather do almost anything else than care for someone's baby full time (I am told I will probably feel differently about my own, in the event that any arrive). That doesn't make it skilled. Cleaning houses is also incredibly difficult. But assuming that one has had a semi-normal upbringing, one can master the tasks involved in well under a week. After that, the main skill is not jumping off a bridge on the walk home."
BECAUSE IT'S NOT AS IF WE NEED MORE ENERGY: U.S. Halts Solar Projects Over Environment Fears.
Okay: Nukes are out, coal is filthy, wind power destroys Ted Kennedy's view, and solar leads to "environment fears." Do they just want us all to freeze in the dark? Pretty much, I'd say . . . .(Via Sonic Frog). Seems like this would be a good campaign issue for somebody . .
"You gotta take a step back in awe at the hubris of a Hollywood soon-to-be-ex-wife who takes private jets and owns a second home in Nantucket and who's begging the rest of us to save energy by unplugging our shavers. Larry David's estranged wife is also worrying in print (on the HuffPo, natch!) about all the empty soda cans the airlines are throwing away,"