Hedley Lamarr’s Army Thursday, Apr 15 2010 

So tell me:  when I read this, why do I think of this?


Obama at the Bat Monday, Mar 8 2010 

Enjoy.  Or not.

Treasonous Little Prick Bastard Caught Sunday, Mar 7 2010 

Adam Gadhan (a.k.a, Adam Pearlman, “Azzam the American,” “self-hating, white-guilt ridden, middle-class American boy,” take your pick) caught by Pakistan.  More here.

“It’s Not About Health Care or Controlling Costs” Sunday, Mar 7 2010 

In what should be the last word on ObamaCare (but surely won’t be – no telling how many more press conferences we’ll see with doctors in white coats), Mark Steyn nails encapsulizes the entire issue.  Money quote:

Obamacare represents the government annexation of “one-sixth of the U.S. economy” – i.e., the equivalent of the entire British or French economy, or the entire Indian economy twice over. Nobody has ever attempted this level of centralized planning for an advanced society of 300 million people. Even the control-freaks of the European Union have never tried to impose a unitary “comprehensive” health care system from Galway to Greece. The Soviet Union did, of course, and we know how that worked out.

At this point it has nothing to do with helping those without health insurance, driving down costs, or improving the quality of care.  It’s all about making history and taking control – the Castor and Pollux of statism.  Doing one in the name of the other, supported by nothing but sobby anecdotes and panicked gardyloo about hundreds of thousands who will suffer more if nothing’s done, is despotic.  And it will be only a matter of when another segment of the economy will fall under statism’s squinty gaze.

(h/t:  @adamsbaldwin)

UPDATE:  The real reason behind the off-the-cliff push for ObamaCare?  A payoff.


My Vote This Year Saturday, Nov 1 2008 

McCain/Palin, obviously.  And I think the reasons why are reflected in an unsolicited e-mail from a musician here in town who is part of a band I wrote a story on earlier this year:

I have been distressed during the past 8 years of the Bush administration and what those years have done to so degrade this country. The consequences seem obvious to me- a financial collapse as the oil companies and corporate America gained obscene amounts of money while we lost our hard earned retirement savings (mine is down about 30% after years of working 60-70 hrs a week, how about yours or have you even been able to save?). . .

Nothing new here but liberal boilerplate.  They’ve all been distressed over the past eight years.  Question:  has your retirement dropped 30% over eight years or 30% since the stock market began falling?

years of two wars costing 10 billion dollars a month,

Two wars that have keep another terror attack on our soil from happening, which would cost more in lost lives and property.

imposition of many civil rights erosions,

Which ones?

degradation of our infrastructure and environment,


a much less effective voice around the globe

But if we had an effective voice, we’d probably be told to mind our own business.

watching as one of our major cities drowned in front of our eyes with little relief

But completely discounting all the billions of dollars in charitable donations that went down to this “major city” after the levees failed, while also forgetting that requests the city be evacuated were not heeded by its mayor, nor did it follow its documented disaster plan.

Moving on past more boilerplate, we come to this:

McCain also appointed an unknown and inexperienced vice-presidential candidate, who seems to revel in repeating all the old divisive remarks that have led us into this Republican ruse in the first place.

Unknown to whom?  I knew about her, so did others.  It isn’t like he just picked her out of a book like Apollo Creed did to Rocky Balboa.  Inexperienced?  What has Barack Obama run besides a presidential campaign for the last two years.

McCain has spent more of his time talking about Obama (he’s a socialist, a Muslim, an associate of terrorists, you’ve heard them all by now), rather than saying what specific steps a McCain presidency will take towards change.

I don’t recall McCain saying anything about Obama being a Muslim, but he has pointed out Obama’s more-than-a-guy-in-the-neighborhood association with William (25 million in re-education camps) Ayers and, yeah, the socialist “spread the wealth around” leanings figure into it, too.  But this is politics.  Has Obama only spoken about the steps he’ll take toward change and not been critical of McCain?

There are many aspects of our life that have seriously been eroded

Speak for yourself, please.

I no longer will tolerate a president who lies, nor one who wants to pit one part of our country against the other,

I guess I must’ve missed the last rumble bewteen Florida and the eastern seaboard.

or one who adores their relationships with wealthy corporations.

So that means we won’t have a president who writes “Haliburton” over and over again in the inside covers of his textbooks?

There cannot be “victory” in an unnecessary war that has drained this country’s resources and led to the tragic and needless deaths of so many young men and women.

Tell that to the Iraqi people, and to the soliders, sailors, Marines, and airmen who are doing the work over there.  Terror attacks are down in Iraq.  Period.  Military casualties are at their lowest.  Period.

In your heart you know we are not as well off by any measure as we were 8 years ago.

Actually, I am, blessed by higher-paying jobs and more opportunities.  Eight years ago we watched people lose money and jobs when the whole dot.com bubble pop.  We had the whole Enron/WorldCom debacle the following year.  Truth be told, the economy’s been okay.  The whole mortgage crisis has been a disaster in the making for years, and cannot be blamed on “failed economic policies of the Bush administration.”  Truth is, we’re not fighting with double-digit unemployment or high interest rates we had 30 years ago under Jimmy Carter.  And if anybody tells us to turn down the thermostat and wear a sweater, it’s someone in our own homes.

As the son of a salesman, I know that if you can’t close, you can’t sell.  Obama’s having a hard time closing the deal with the American public.  There is nothing that is putting him in a clear lead over McCain.  His supporters are confident of a rout, but what are they basing that on?  Sure, the rest of the world loves him.  But he can’t convince enough people in his own nation that he’s the guy for them.

If things are as bad as the e-mail to me stated, Obama should have closed his deal months ago.  But he can’t.

For more details, these young people put it in a way that I never could.

I Remember Girls Like That. . . Tuesday, Oct 21 2008 

Hot Air has a link to an LAT story about Sarah Palin’s college years.  She apparently wasn’t remembered at all, not a collegeiate standout socially, academically, or even athletically.  Hard to do when you jump from college to college.  She’d go home during the summers and work.  She was steadfast, a head-down-and-focus kind of student, dedicated to getting an education, but not so full of ennui that she’d do merely enough to skate by.  These are the kinds of students I treasured when I was an adjunct lecturer at a large university:  always show up for class, always turned in each assignment, always participate in discussions, always showed up for conferences, always conscientious of their work.

I remember girls like that when I was in college.  The few times they would go out to a party, rarely by themselves – always in the company of at least one other, they would slide in unnoticed, usually hang out close to the door, and gradually make their way in to wherever the keg was (if they even drank).  They’d nurse a cup of beer for the entire time they were there, and if you were lucky enough to get their attention for a few minutes (if you weren’t already sloshed yourself, full of beer and your own overinflated sense of studliness), you’d have a nice conversation about classes you were taking, professors you liked:  the common college stuff.

And they almost always talked about their family, their home, with small anecdotes about their brothers or sisters.  The stories were warm, sometimes funny, but they never bored you with them.  Chances are you had similar ones you’d tell.  You’d both laugh a lot.  And since these were girls you wouldn’t try to put the make on, your heart wouldn’t sink if they mentioned a boyfriend back home.

From then on, every time she saw you on campus, she’d always say hi.  And she’d flash you a smile that always sparked something alive in you.

Chances are she still has that smile.

I Am Back Sunday, Oct 19 2008 

And I Am Joe.

Money quote:

He was a guy tossing a football with his kid in the front yard of his $125,000 house when a politician picked him out as a prop for a 30 second newsbite for the cable news cameras. Joe simply had the temerity to speak truth (or, if you prefer, an uninformed opinion) to power, for which the politico-media axis apparently determined that he must be humiliated, harassed, smashed, destroyed. The viciousness and glee with which they set about the task ought to concern anyone who still cares about citizen participation, and freedom of speech, and all that old crap they taught in Civics class before politics turned into Narrative Deathrace 3000, and Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0.

Godwin’s Law! you say? if the jackboot fits, wear it.

If it’s meta-memes and meta-meta-narratives these media headlice want, so be it.

Embarrassed to say that I once, nearly 30 years ago, wanted to be part of what Iowahawk calls the “media headlice,” and all these years later I don’t even remember why.  I think I would have been content to spin records all day and make snappy DJ patter.  Even now that aspiration seems to have soured.

Regardless, I grew up in a neighborhood of Joes.  I am the son of a Joe – a salesman who busted his arse nearly ever day of his life and had to cut that short because a couple of clogged arteries slowed him down to where he could not go out on the road but maybe three days a week.  And to where every overnight trip he made made us uneasy because we always expected a phone call from some sheriff’s office in a county somewhere in the state asking us to come identify a body.

He’s all right now.  Eighty-three years old.  But he’s a Joe.  So is my brother, a meat cutter.  So are my twin nephews:  a car salesman and a house painter.

And so am I. If any of us want to “share the wealth,” we’ll be the ones do decide to do it.  And we’ll be generous.  All Joes are.

(h/t:  American Digest)

It Was Such a Beautiful Morning Thursday, Sep 11 2008 

It was one of those perfect late summer skies:  cloudless and blue, all the haze and stickiness from the previous three months chased away by an approaching autumn.  Thousands of words will be written today about that same morning seven years ago.  And nearly all of them will say something about how beautiful a morning it was.

Two years ago, for the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, my wife and I took part in the 2, 996 Project, where bloggers who signed up were assigned one single person who was killed that morning and were asked to post a tribute to him or her.  I was assigned James F. Murphy IV, a young account executive with Thorson Financial Services who was attending a breakfast during trade show at Windows on the World.

American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the building below where Jim and his colleagues and others were eating breakfast.  Here’s part of I wrote:

His name was James F. Murphy IV, 30 years old, married, an account executive with Thomson Financial Services attending a breakfast during a trade show at Windows on the World.  Shortly before 9:00 on that beautiful fall morning, when the sky was a bright shimmery blue, the hijacked American Airlines flight 11, piloted by Mohammad Atta, smashed into the building.  It cut a jagged hole from the 93rd to 99th floors.

Jim and his colleagues never had a chance.

Five years haven’t dulled the rage I feel down into the cores of my bones every time I think about that day:  a mass murder of nearly 3,000 people in the span of two hours.  My rage deepens when I think of the apologists for the killers, the ones who say we deserved it, especially the academic fraud who impugns someone as friendly and outgoing and warm as Jim, calling him and others who died in both towers that day “Little Eichmanns.”  Minds who concoct such intellectual smegma in the name of “speaking truth to power” deserve nothing less than the public humiliation they suffer when they are confronted.

And the killers themselves, the blood-simple sociopaths living the twisted fantasy of a martyr’s glory.  Especially the man who ran the plane into Tower 1:  Mohammed Atta.  If you look closely at the picture of him, you’ll notice the eyes.  They’re the ones you’d see in bad dreams.  Behind them they burn with a cold white flame of hatred.

Charles Starkweather had those eyes.  So does Charles Manson.  Perhaps Jack the Ripper did, too.  They are the eyes of a killer.

But he was just one.  There were 19 in all.  And that same sociopathic hatred burned in every one of them.

Seven years now.  I’ve never forgotten that sky.

More rembrances from The Anchoress, Michelle Malkin, and (from five years ago) Lileks.

As the stomach turns. . . Friday, Aug 29 2008 

And the eyes roll.  Olby and Mikey show how unfunny and hateful they both are as they chat about weighty matters of the day, notably how Moore thinks hurricane Gustav is proof that there is a God.

Christ, these two should have just shut up and found a way to make out with each other.

Bird Porn and Captain Morgan Friday, Aug 29 2008 

Both at the DNC, covered by James Lileks and Dave Barry.

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