31 December 2007

Happy New Year!

Here is my family Christmas Card, something I created on our iMac using a free program called ComicLife. A little different, but fun to do:



SPOTD #135

I have some resolutions for the Spanish Phrase of the Day. I resolve to send it more frequently, and actually focus more on Spanish. I will continue to update the blog with all manner of eclectic news, views, and entertainment. Occasionally the SPOTD e-mail will contain personal anecdotes and recommendations as well, but for the most part I will try to make it more "spanishy."

Therefore the SPOTD will be shorter, and I will refer my readers to the blog for more fresh SPOTD goodness. So visit the blog, si quieren (if you want). Onto the phrase:

Today's phrase:
In keeping with the New Year-inspired feeling, tu frase (your phrase):

Actual:
Es bueno fijar metas.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Ess bway-no fee-har may-tahs.

Translation:
It is good to set goals.

It is, trust me. Now you can seem wise and multicultural the next time that your boss or supervisor wants to know your plan for the future.

Holiday Greetings
Check out my family Christmas Card:
http://blog.spotd.net/2007/12/happy-new-year.html
I think you'll like it.

Link of the Day
An interesting website made by an artist named J.A. Sierra, The History of Cuba. I can't vouch for its total accuracy, but it seems well-researched and has an interesting focus on the period between the mid-1700's and the turn of the last century, when Cuba earned its independence from Spain.

29 December 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XXVIII

I snagged this video from Eric Snider's site. It is a funny twist on caroling, so don't let the fact that it is after Christmas sway you from watching.



Fonts are important to me. I can't stand to see a nice commercial building with a sign that shows little thought or concern. This is a funny video about "The Trajan Invasion," the overuse of a good font.

26 December 2007

Still the time to choose

The Weekly Standard's WorldwideStandard.com posted this clip of Ronald Reagan's "Time for Choosing" speech. It is 4 minutes long, and worth every minute.



My, oh, my. That is a speech! You can find the complete text and video here.

This speech could be given today, and it would be just as applicable. Reagan is one of my heroes, but I have to admit that I worry about whether or not our constant reference to him is good for modern conservatism. I don't think there will ever be another Ronald Reagan. The sad thing is that watching a video like this makes me wish that there would be.

No truck for Huck

Mike Huckabee wrote an article in the most recent edition of Foreign Affairs. He makes some points that are basura, to the point of meriting a direct letter from Bob Dole. This is from the Des Moines Register:

The Foreign Affairs piece is a perfect example of 20-20 hindsight, and wishful thinking in most instances. You make knotty foreign policy issues sound so easy if we would just change our ways. I never was a foreign policy expert though I followed it closely for nearly three decades under Democrat and Republican Presidents.

It is an appropriate and direct response. I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with Huckabee, and the FA article is one example of why.

25 December 2007

SPOTD #134

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I've had this half-completed for almost a month. Finally I have time to get it out.

As the first matter of business I would direct you to this post from the SPOTD blog, some great videos of the kids being kids. In the first one Joseph decides to feed Millie her dinner. In the second Millie doesn't know what to decide. It is amazing to watch these kids grow. I also have written some interesting things on the blog and at In Rare Form.

Today's phrase:
I've used this one before, but if it fits, it fits:

Actual:
¡Felíz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
¡Fay-lease nah-vee-dahd ee prose-pear-oh ahn-yo nway-voe.

Translation:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Stem Cells
This is a fantastic article about how one man decided to find an alternative to embryonic stem cells for research. He appears to have succeeded.

Buy, buy, buy
There is an interesting new retailer that wants your business:
http://www.buynlarge.com/
Actually, this is a site set up to promote Pixar's new film, Wall-E. I linked to the new trailer in last Saturday's AweVidSat.

Football & Loyalty
This is the time of year for the college and NFL coaching carousel to enter full swing. Bobby Petrino's exit from Atlanta is a key example of when this is handlef poorly.

Beedle
A very rare book was sold bY Sotheby's, with the proceeds going to charity. Read more about it here.

Polar Bears
Are they really that bad off due to climate change?

Trip Quiz
This website promises to provide, based on the results of a quiz, the perfect destination for your next trip.
http://www.besttripchoices.com/
Where will you be going?

Featuritis
What happens when bad features happen to good concepts? An epidemic.

Serving
This is a great article about the serving Miss Utah. She is a combat veteran and serving member of the Utah National Guard. This is a nice article about what kind of person she is.

Link of the Day
This is the link for the 2 minute preview to the next season of Lost. Shortened or not, I'll be watching when it comes back on the area in a few weeks.

22 December 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XXVII

I went to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets yesterday. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the surprising film that the first one was. Both of these trailers appeared before the film. This is for WALL-E, Pixar's newest:



Will Smith retakes his Independence Day box office perch with this superhero film, about a reluctant and sloppy do-gooder.

21 December 2007

I Implore! No More Gore Warming Bore!

I have discussed Global Warming on various occasions. I object to the way that it has been marketed to the public and I object to the prescriptions of it's promoters. They pose a danger to the global economic system and would pull resources from issues of greater import and need.

Gore's Warming is based on alarmism and urgency. It is propelled by a false notion of consensus. To claim that something is true because there is consensus is to ignore millenia of scientific precedent. That fact is acknowledged in this article from Science Magazine. They also claim that in a study of reports and articles, 75% directly agree with the "consensus," which is that recent climate change is largely anthropogenic, or resulting from man's activities. The article also states the following:

Many details about climate interactions are not well understood, and there are ample grounds for continued research to provide a better basis for understanding climate dynamics. The question of what to do about climate change is also still open.
Gore would have us believe that a consensus on the anthropogenic nature of climate change is also a consensus on what should be done. This is where he deals with us falsely.

Moreover, Gore takes the Science Mag consensus and twists it, exaggerating it's prediction to his own ends. This is demonstrated by the concern of more than 400 scientists from around the world. I don't think each of the 400 cited by the Senate committee report dispute man-made warming as the title suggests. They do dispute Gore's alarmism.

Gore's response is to question the credibility of 25 or 30 of the scientists, suggesting that ties to oil companies disqualify them from inclusion or consideration. Wasn't this the man who worked for 8 years with one of America's best-known perjurers?

Enough.

Huckabust?

Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece on the relatively unmined background of presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. His tenure during his administration as governor of Arkansas and as an active member of the Southern Baptist Convention pose some ethical questions. Strassel posits that they could be a time bomb for the GOP should he win the nomination.

Peggy Noonan addresses the somewhat controverisal Christmas ad featuring Huckabee. Also an interesting read.

There has been some discussion of Huckabee at In Rare Form as well.

19 December 2007

The Great White Fleet

So was named the 16 battleships of the U.S. Atlantic forces on their 43,000 mile trip around the world. This historical event took place 100 years ago, and as was noted by the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens, its centennial was noticed by few Americans. He explains the significance of that journey, both in its historical context and its ramifications for today. An excerpt:

There is an enduring, bipartisan strain in American politics (think Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich) that wishes to forgo the military role. As wonderfully recounted by Jim Rasenberger in "America 1908," the voyage of the Great White Fleet, as it was popularly known, was energetically opposed by members of Congress, who sought to cut off its funding when it was halfway around the world. Sound familiar? Mark Twain considered the venture as further evidence that TR was "clearly insane . . . and insanest upon war and its supreme glories."

Despite the objections the voyage continued and was a huge success. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, it did not endure:

Yet if there was a lesson here, it was lost to the U.S. during the interwar period. Just 13 years after the Great White Fleet returned to the U.S., it was physically scrapped under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty, which set strict limits on the number and size of battleships the major powers could build and deploy. Only after Pearl Harbor and World War II did Americans really seem to learn the lesson that their position as a maritime power could not be wished away, and that their maritime interests could only be defended by a powerful Navy.

Our "supremely powerful Navy" is indeed essential.

15 December 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XXVI

A new service called Hulu has emerged, providing high quality streaming video. For the first few weeks that I visited it there were no commercials, but they have started popping up. The videos are all from Fox or NBC/Universal, but I think they envision including other networks as well. I got these two funny Saturday Night Live clips from the site:



I've linked to this one before, but never embedded it:

14 December 2007

Good news

This is a pretty fascinating account of a major Allied victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan. Some background on the battle for Musa Qala:

In a controversial move, Musa Qala had been abandoned the previous year after British troops lost seven lives defending a base in the town from waves of Taliban attacks. Although handed over, in theory, to the elders of the town last October, it was taken over by the Taliban by February and became one of the few major places in Afghanistan where the Taliban could operate in the open, trying to set up their own local government and courts.

Our victory was decisive, the only Coalition casualties resulting from mine detonations, likely dating back to the Soviet occupation of decades ago.

Good reporting.

13 December 2007

Those darn Mormons!

I direct you to In Rare Form, where I highlight an excellent article about one person's understanding and experience with Mormons, as it relates to Mitt Romney's candidacy.

Walk this way.

Steroids' Victims

I enjoy reading The Daily Fix in the Wall Street Journal. It is a blog dedicated to showcasing the best in today's sportswriting. Today one of its compilers decided to provide his commentary on the release of baseball's Mitchell Report on steroid use. I think it is worth reading, even if you are not a baseball fan.

Check it out.

08 December 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XXV: My Awesome Kids

This is a great video of Joseph taken last night. He decided to take over Millie's feeding.



This video is a few months old, but I'd never posted it. Millie doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.



More new videos can be found here, on my YouTube page.

06 December 2007

Romney's Religion

Powerline blog has the video and complete prepared text of the speech given by Mitt Romney this morning. This was a strong move, well publicized and hopefully it will give him a boost. Some of my favorite parts (my emphasis):

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone...
As a young man, Lincoln described what he called America's 'political religion' – the commitment to defend the rule of law and the Constitution. When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.
There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be true to them and to my beliefs.
Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it. But I think they underestimate the American people. Americans do not respect believers of convenience. Americans tire of those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world...
Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed as much for liberty. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America's sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve freedom, for us and for freedom loving people throughout the world. America took nothing from that Century's terrible wars – no land from Germany or Japan or Korea; no treasure; no oath of fealty. America's resolve in the defense of liberty has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of freedom...
I'm not sure that we fully appreciate the profound implications of our tradition of religious liberty. I have visited many of the magnificent cathedrals in Europe. They are so inspired … so grand … so empty. Raised up over generations, long ago, so many of the cathedrals now stand as the postcard backdrop to societies just too busy or too 'enlightened' to venture inside and kneel in prayer. The establishment of state religions in Europe did no favor to Europe's churches. And though you will find many people of strong faith there, the churches themselves seem to be withering away...

It is a great speech. I hope you will read/watch the whole thing. I couldn't watch, but the text is pretty good.

01 December 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XXIV

This video is worthy of its very own AweVidSat, but since I've missed the last 2 weeks I will include a funny commercial below.

This is Makoto Nagano on the tv show Ninja Warrior:




I think this Kia commercial is great, though I am no closer to buying one than I was before I saw it.

30 November 2007

No se puede

When I was living in Southern California as a missionary I witnessed much excitement on the frontera over the presidential election. I used to see "¡Fox! ¡Si se puede!" written on the windows of cars.

As I looked at this video of the run-up to Venezuela's constitutional referendum, I thought to myself "¡Hugo! ¡No se puede!"



Thousands of Venezuelans have been protesting, demonstrating their rejection of some of Chavez' undemocratic measures, including the abolition of term limits. I hope Chavez has overplayed his hand, but I also fear for the fairness of the election.

29 November 2007

In Rare Form

I'm also blogging periodically with some friends at In Rare Form. My most recent post was about my decision to support Mitt Romney.

Joe Knows Bo

Not really, but I enjoyed this ESPN piece on the electrifying Bo Jackson. I don't have a lot of time to comment on it, but if you are an old fan of Bo's, give it a read. An excerpt:

These days, the real-life Bo Jackson, the Bo Jackson who cooks spaghetti and washes his own dishes and watches reality TV, doesn't even see a need to run around the block anymore. Why bother when a man can play golf instead? Why bother when there is nothing left to prove to anyone?
"But I also know, if I was healthy, with good hips right now, I'd be the fastest 45-year-old in the country, or in the world," Bo says. "That much I know. That much ... I know."


Interesting guy.

27 November 2007

When it rains

Football games mean little in comparison to human life. Today the Miami Hurricanes lost the second member of their family in a little over a year with the death of NFL safety Sean Taylor. Follow the link for more.

http://mobileapp.espn.go.com/wireless/espn/redesign/news?story=3129561&topNewsPhoto=1&cId=null

26 November 2007

Amazing Grace

I watched an excellent film tonight, Amazing Grace, about the effort to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain in the early 19th century. The protaganist is a man named William Wilberforce, who was a dogged proponent of slavery's abolition until his death in 1833. He was assisted by many other people during the process, but his story is a compelling one.

I wholehearted recommend the film. I found it moving, with strong performances, and a story that moves along at a nice pace. I won't get into more of the film's particulars at this point. I wanted to comment on a particular thought that the movie inspired- what happens when someone becomes converted.

Wilberforce is inspired at least partly by his conversion to evangelical Christianity. In the film he is exposed to the horrors of slavery, and once exposed cannot ignore them. He acts on that experience. This is the essence of what makes some people great and others ordinary. The great to do not merely witness. They become involved. This is a high and holy ideal. We may not always agree on the worthiness of a belief, but I can't help but respect those of are devoted to their cause.

22 November 2007

SPOTD #133

I tried to get this edition out before the weekend was over. When I wrote this I was in the Oakland airport preparing to return to San Diego. We arrived in SD on Wednesday, a very long trip with 2 sick little kids. Less than 12 hours after I got to SD, I returned to the airport so I could travel to NoCal for business. This SPOTD will discuss my travels.

It is now Thanksgiving evening. I hope everyone enjoyed their turkey.

Today's phrase:
Inspired by actual events:

Actual:
El pavo me da sueño.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Ell pah-voe may dah swayn-yo.

Translation:
Turkey makes me tired.

Motorola Q
I bought my Q a few months ago. I've been very pleased with it, happy to ditch my separate PDA and phone in favor of a single unit. What I most enjoyed on THIS trip is having Google Maps on it. It is free to download and works as long as I can get a minimal date connection.
The only glitch was when I received a call when I was following a map. It took me out of the program and I missed my exit. No big tragedy though.

Rental Cars
This go-round I had a Chrysler 300. Chryslers are perenially underpowered, and this one was no exception as it lacked the V8 of the pricier model. GM cars have always seemed to have more punch when you really need it, like passing or entering the freeway. My Honda and most Toyotas I have driven also deliver confidence-inducing thrust, often with engines that are less-powerful on paper.
Not a bad ride, but not enough for me to consider for my personal transportation.

Food
BJ's Restaurant and Brewery: Not a bad entry in the brewery/restaurant genre. I had some really tasty Panko-encrusted fish tacos. I always try to get my fill of fish tacos when I am in California.
Tlaloc: I had lunch with my friends Maret Mitchell and Tim Jacobsen. Maret only had tome to say hi, so Tim and I went to this place Tlaloc for a tasty San Fran burrito. The food was good, fast, and the weather was great. It's always good to see old friends.
CPK ASAP: Always my favorite choice for airport food. Always busy too. Makes the wait a little more bearable.

Cities

It was my first visit to San Francisco in a long time. I will definitely return. Crazy hilly, but fun to see. I look forward to seeing it with more time.
Sacramento was nice, exceeding my ignorant expectations. I wasn't expecting it to be so green.

Airlines
We flew Delta out. It went fine considering the kid's situation. We were lucky to have a less-filled flight from Atlanta to San Diego. The portable DVD player saved our life.as well.
I was on Southwest for my NoCal trip and it was one of my better travel experiences. Never had a bad run on Southwest.

Link of the Day
More of a fact this time, from National Geographic:
What nation has the highest per capita consumption of turkey?
Israel, easily number one with more than twice the amount per Israeli, over 30 pounds of turkey a year. This seems logical given the geographic constraints and dietary restrictions of Judaism.

21 November 2007

Preparing for the Future

I often wonder what kind of impact the War on Terror will have on our domestic future. What I mean by this is wondering how the thousands of returning veterans will integrate into our society as we move forward.

Just as interesting is how the U.S. Military will approach its future with regard to the officers that have served in these conflicts. This is addressed in an interesting post from The National Review's The Corner. A summation:

It is often said that the military is worn out from the near continuous deployments to Iraq. Perhaps. But one way we can partially rectify that terrible burden, and gain advantage from that sacrifice, is to ensure over the next few years, that we promote to generals a cohort that proved itself repeatedly in battle in Iraq. We can ill afford to lose thousands of aggregate days of combat experience that may guide us in the future. That way the United States military for a generation will have sober, experienced, and savvy generals, who have served in the worst sorts of circumstances, to advise how and how not to approach any future conflicts. This is critical as we reach these do-or-die moments of juncture in dozens of careers between colonel and brigadier general.

20 November 2007

I! AM! BEOWULF!

We were in the Palm Springs area for the birth of Ross & Lillie Biesinger's new baby. Today my father-in-law Kirk and I had some free moments so we went to see Beowulf in 3-D. I thought it was outstanding technically and enthralling as a story.

I don't care about how faithful it was to the source material. It was an interesting story about human frailty.

If you can watch it in 3-D it is well worth it. We may be seeing a new trend of 3-D movies, and I welcome it. It was a tremendous enhancement to the film, not a distraction at all.

16 November 2007

Esperando La Leche (Waiting for Milk)

Instapundit linked to this post from the blog Caracas Chronicles. It shows a line outside of a supermarket in Maracaibo where people are waiting to buy milk.

I don't care how poor you are- you can go to any city, town, or village in this nation and buy milk, eggs, whatever you want. The time will come when Chavez' Venezuela will be seen as one of the saddest stories in the history of Latin America.

Another victory for the Chavista revolution!

More bias

This is a great article about how some factions of the media (especially the New York Times) are so blatantly biased against conservatives that their protestations to the contrary defy all logic. The introduction from Scott Johnson's New Republic article:

If my friend Rachel Paulose were a liberal Democrat, she would be a celebrity. Serving as the United States attorney for Minnesota, she is the first woman, the first immigrant (Indian), the first Asian, and, at age 34, the youngest attorney ever to hold the position. A graduate of Yale Law School, she has compiled an impressive academic record and stellar professional credentials. She’s not a liberal Democrat, however, she is a conservative Republican, and she has been the subject of an old-fashioned, low-tech media lynching.

It's nice to read about solid, up and coming conservatives. Hopefully she will get the support that she needs.

12 November 2007

Slammer Jammer

This is an article about a device that blocks cellphone signals, without the consent of anyone but the device owner. It bugs me.

11 November 2007

Tell it straight

As Venezuela descends into dictatorial rule, most of the western media ignores the situation. The King of Spain, Juan Carlos, allowed his frustration to show. From Barcepundit:

I'M NOT PRO-MONARCHY in the sense that I don't believe that any office should be hereditary, including the head of state. But I can't help but cheer on king Juan Carlos today:

‘Why don’t you shut up!’

The words of King Juan Carlos 1 of Spain to the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, in the closing session of the Latin American summit today.

The Spanish monarch lost his cool when Chávez called the ex Spanish Prime Minister, José María Aznar, a fascist on several occasions. King Juan Carlos then got up and walked out of the session in a gesture without precedent, and just in time to hear the Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortega, criticising Spanish businesses and the role of Union Fenosa in Nicaragua in particular. The King was to return later, but was not present for the singing of the Chilean hymn which closed the debates.


This article from The Economist provides more insights into Chavez' efforts to subvert democracy.

10 November 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XXIII

This is a video about Frank Caliendo's new TV show. He was part of the entertainment at this year's Gator Growl and was very funny. I don't know how the show will be, but this preview is entertaining enough. I think his Al Pacino is my favorite, but his John Madden is pretty good too.



I can't embed the file here, but this movie trailer for Jessica Simpson's next movie, Major Movie Star, is probably the WORST trailer I have EVER SEEN.

09 November 2007

Farewell to the OB

A few weeks ago I wrote about my pilgrimage to the Orange Bowl, the home of Miami Hurricanes football for 70 years. Tomorrow the Canes play their final game there, against Virginia. Today I learned that city officials will recommend the demolition of the OB. It is not a shock, but I find it very disappointing. There is great history in that stadium, notably the Hurricanes streak of 58 straight home wins.

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald lists the best Hurricanes to have played in the Orange Bowl. The first one I remember is Vinny Testaverde, a childhood hero of mine. Chris Fowler of ESPN weighs in with his favorite Orange Bowl Memories (scroll down the page). Some fans share their favorite memories.


The picture above is from the 2001 National Championship. Hasta luego Orange Bowl. Te voy a extrañar.

08 November 2007

Strike Update

Eric Snider has a great update on the Hollywood strike. He includes this video produced by some of the Office writers, some of which also act on the show.



I don't buy all the "Rah, rah Union!" stuff, but I definitely understand the writer's desire to profit from their work. Will the studios employ scabs? Replacement writers? Will quality suffer in that case?

06 November 2007

Venezuelistan

Pakistan has been a source of great unrest for sometime, but the problems have intensified since President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency last week. The media has been following the story closely, which is appropriate given Pakistan's strategic importance and their status as an ally in the war on terror. Musharraf came to power via a military coup. His recent election may not have been free or fair. There is rightful concern about the decisions that he has made. I don't do dispute any of that.

What does concern me is the point addressed in this Investor's Business Daily editorial:

As Pakistan's tightening dictatorship draws global opprobrium, a curious double standard is emerging in Venezuela as democracy gasps its last and celebrities continue to file in. Where's the decency?
That's what was seen in the message sent by the latest visitor to Miraflores Palace, supermodel Naomi Campbell, who gushed "amazement" at the "love and encouragement" in the Venezuelan dictatorship as students battled riot police in the streets below.

...With a lousy record on holding free and fair elections, there's little doubt that by Dec. 2, the day of the vote, Chavez will have sealed his grip by permanently disenfranchising the opposition. There's also little doubt that if he doesn't get what he wants, he'll declare himself dictator.

Venezuela is not strictly related to the war on terror, but Hugo Chavez is a major potential source of instability in our hemisphere. He also continues a sad trend of oppressive leaders in Latin America, and that is unfortunate. Also unfortunate is the failure of luminaries to call Chavez out for who he is.

Strike

The Writers Guild of America is on strike. What does this mean? That the TV world may end in January, or even sooner.

For some background, Entertainment Weekly has a Hollywood blog that chronicles both the run-up to the strike and current happenings. Eric Snider has a nice run-down as well. He starts thusly:

You may have heard snippets of news items about an impending Hollywood writers strike and didn’t let the magnitude of the situation sink in. Perhaps you were in denial. But I’m here to tell you that it is real, and that it will probably be disastrous.
How does seven nights a week of nothing but “American Idol” and “Dateline NBC” sound?!!


Yikes. I probably watch too much television. Of the TV that I watch, most of it is drama, with a few comedies. I generally am not as attracted to reality shows (with a few exceptions). For me this means I will watch less TV, but possibly be more productive. That's not all that bad an outcome.

I mention above that the TV landscape seemed to be okay until January. That outlook is threatened somewhat by news like this:

"We’re trying to shut down ‘The Office,’” Mr. Daniels said. “We have the star of our show and the entire writing staff behind us."

Showrunners and cast leaving production to show support for writers may mean that even less new TV is on the horizon. The outlook is bleak for my favorites, like The Office, 30 Rock, The Unit, Lost, 24, and Battlestar Galactica. It is a shame that it has come to this.

Strikes are something that I have some difficulty sympathizing with, particularly in the entertainment and sports industries. There is a huge disparity between bankable stars, directors, and writers and the rank-and-file. They all hang together at a time like this, but I wonder what kind of financial impact this is having on those earning lower wages, especially those that had found success on newer shows. It's hard to say at this point who will suffer more from the strike. I don't think it will be the studios.

05 November 2007

A Worthy Recipient

In this age of meaningless awards, it is gratifying to see someone receive praise for showing true courage. In today's Wall Street Journal, Mary Anastasia O'Grady writes about Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush today, but could not attend because he is in a Cuban prison:

While practicing medicine in Cuban hospitals for more than a decade, Dr. Biscet became increasingly concerned about the government's abortion practices. In 1998, at a Havana hospital, he took the risk of engaging in a clandestine study on the administration of a drug called rivanol to abort advanced pregnancies. The drug was being widely used, particularly on girls as young as 12, who, having been forced to leave their parents and work in rural areas as part of their schooling, found themselves "in trouble."
The study concluded that rivanol resulted in viable fetuses being born alive. What often happened next horrified Dr. Biscet, who later wrote that, "the umbilical cord was cut and they were allowed to bleed to death or they were wrapped in paper and asphyxiated."
As a result of his vocal opposition to these abortion practices he lost his job, his family lost their home and Castro's goons were sent to beat him up. But the bullying didn't work. By now he was actively engaged in resistance against the regime and, as he has written, his conscience would not allow him to back down. Those familiar with Dr. Biscet's work say that he was instrumental in building -- at the grassroots level -- on the impact of Pope John Paul II's visit to Cuba in January 1998. The regime took notice. Dr. Biscet became one of the few dissidents that Castro has ever attacked by name in a speech to the nation. As a proponent of Cuban democracy told me, "It proves that Biscet really got under Castro's skin."


Few Americans will have heard of Dr. Biscet before today. Not many more will remember him tomorrow, yet we have Gore, Britney Spears, and other meaningless personalisites shoved down our throats.

We have to remember that freedom IS worth fighting for. Dr. Biscet is a great example of that.

We may have to cry for Argentina

From Rafael Rosen in TCSDaily:

The next president is the wife of a former president. Yes, their story is familiar by now. The couple met in law school. He became governor of a politically backwater state, before winning election to the nation's highest office on an unimpressive plurality. She then handily won the presidency from her post as the junior Senator from Buenos Aires.
Forgive yourself the confusion. For the law school is not Yale but La Plata. The governorship is not of Arkansas but of Santa Cruz. The president is not Clinton but Kirchner.


Latin America has been cursed with poor leadership for far too long. Populism and doomed socialist policites have crippled and continue to handicap its progress. Perhaps Kirchner will avoid that outcome. I'm not optimistic.

03 November 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XXII

This is a pretty funny cheerleading mishap.



One of the all-time classic SNL bits:

02 November 2007

Quejas for Cuba

The eventual death of Fidel Castro will likely mean that Raúl Castro, his brother, takes full and open control of the country. Most expect that Cuba might then enjoy some economic liberalization, without initial relaxation of dictatorial control over Cuba's politics. There are signs that the government may allow some of that economic change to occur even sooner than that, though rumblings do not a permanent change indicate. From last week's Economist:

“WE HAVE a system in which anything you do is either forbidden or compulsory,” complains Miguel, an academic and a member of Cuba's ruling Communist Party. “Perhaps we need to change that to become more efficient.” He notes angrily that what he earns in a month, a trainee waiter can pick up in tips in a day in the island's tourist hotels. It is a common complaint, and only one of many. But now it is Cuba's government that is encouraging everyone to grumble.
...How will Raúl Castro respond to all this? Unlike Fidel, he is thought to favour the course pursued by China and Vietnam, in which markets and private investment have been combined with Communist political control. Even before the debate began, government economists had been studying measures such as allowing more self-employment and private or co-operative ownership of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as reforming land tenure and freeing agricultural markets.

In both China and Vietnam, the relaxation of state economic control has led to to incremental improvements in political freedoms, though neither country is near to being called "free." This may be all we can hope for in the present. It's better than nothing.

01 November 2007

Arrrrgh! It were Halloween!

Joseph loves coming to the office. Not for me, mind you, but for Bea and her cow full of jellybeans. You pull on the vaca's tail and out pop the jellybeans. As soon as he walks in the door he goes straight there.
He came by yesterday, dressed as a pirate for halloween. These are from my Q.


The hat doesn't stay on too long.


A mouth full of jellybean.

Making Fun

I posted something on In Rare Form. A little bit of satire.

31 October 2007

A Good Read

This is an excellent article by John R. Christy. He is director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a participant in the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is just the article that I have been waiting for.

I'm sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see. Rather, I see a reliance on climate models (useful but never "proof") and the coincidence that changes in carbon dioxide and global temperatures have loose similarity over time.
There are some of us who remain so humbled by the task of measuring and understanding the extraordinarily complex climate system that we are skeptical of our ability to know what it is doing and why. As we build climate data sets from scratch and look into the guts of the climate system, however, we don't find the alarmist theory matching observations. (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite data we analyze at the University of Alabama in Huntsville does show modest warming -- around 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit per century, if current warming trends of 0.25 degrees per decade continue.)
It is my turn to cringe when I hear overstated-confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next 100 years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system's behavior over the next five days.


The whole thing is fantastic.

30 October 2007

North Korea U.

When I read this bit from John Leo, I was incredulous. He writes about a program for new students at the University of Delaware, the aim of which is to indoctrinate students toward a very specific way of thinking:

The training makes clear that white people are to be considered racists - at least those who have not yet undergone training and confessed their racism. The RAs have been taught that a "racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture, or sexuality."

This is shocking. A university should be a place that truly promotos intellectual freedom and diversity of thought. This program does just the opposite, in the name of tolerance. While it appears to be the particular brainchild of one administrator, that it has emerged at all is telling.

29 October 2007

Fiction that Fits- A Follow-up

Having made this post the other day, I was especially interested in the dispatch from Michael Yon about Scott Beauchamp and The New Republic. Despite his fraudulent reporting from the Middle East, Beauchamp continues to serve in the Army and his commander is happy to have him:

Lapses of judgment are bound to happen, and accountability is critical, but that’s not the same thing as pulling out the hanging rope every time a soldier makes a mistake.
Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad. He might well be seriously injured or killed here, and he knows it. He could have quit, but he did not. He faced his peers. I can only imagine the cold shoulders, and worse, he must have gotten. He could have left the unit, but LTC Glaze told me that Beauchamp wanted to stay and make it right. Whatever price he has to pay, he is paying it.


Having never served in the military, I'll defer to Beauchamp's commander as to the best course to pursue. Yon is less charitable towards Beauchamp's enablers at The New Republic:

As for The New Republic, some on the staff may feel like they’ve been hounded and treed, but it’s hard to feel the same sympathy for a group of cowards who won’t ’fess up and can’t face the scorn of American combat soldiers who were injured by their collective lapse of judgment. It’s up to their readers to decide the ultimate fate.

Somehow I don't think their readers will care too much. That's too bad.

28 October 2007

La Familia

Lacy went with Joseph to a pumpkin patch the other day. I had to put these pictures up. The kid is growing so fast!


27 October 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XXI

This is the trailer for the next season of 24. The change in setting from LA to New York is a welcome move. I think it's a good preview. It may have some spoilers.:


26 October 2007

Fiction that fits the talking points

I have enjoyed Peggy Noonan's writing for a long time. Lately she has seemed to me a little too nostalgic. This week's column was very good. She writes about Scott Beauchamp, the second outright liar to have hoodwinked the leftist New Republic magazine:

Everyone in journalism thought first of Stephen Glass. I actually remember the day I read his New Republic piece on the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in 1997, a profile of young Republicans as crude and ignorant pot-smoking alcoholics in search of an orgy. It, um, startled me. After years of observation, I was inclined toward the view that there's no such thing as a young Republican. More to the point, I'd been to the kind of convention Mr. Glass wrote about, and I thought it not remotely possible that the people he painted were real. I also thought: Man, this is way too convenient. The New Republic tends to think Republicans are hateful, and this reporter just happened to be welcomed into the private world of the most hateful Republicans in history.
On the Thomas stories, which I read not when they came out but when they began to come under scrutiny, I had a similar thought, or a variation of it. I thought: That's not Iraq, that's a Vietnam War movie. That's not life as it's being lived on the ground right now, that's life as an editor absorbed it through media. That's the dark world of Kubrick and Coppola and Oliver Stone, of the great Vietnam movies of the '70s and '80s.

Too many people see the war, and by extension the world, through lenses made decades ago. We are dealing with a more connected world and geopolitical dangers that are sharply different than those that were present in decades past.

The End of the World

According to the United Nations, it's coming soon:

The human population is living far beyond its means and inflicting damage on the environment that could pass points of no return, according to a major report issued Thursday by the United Nations.

The politics of fear continue:

The speed at which mankind has used the Earth’s resources over the past 20 years has put “humanity’s very survival” at risk, a study involving 1,400 scientists has concluded.

Remember, pointing out this kind of propaganda with some healthy skepticism doesn't mean I advocate acting without consideration for environmental impact. We need to examine the incentives behind different groups advocating radical measures that would be borne principally by the United States and our partners.

25 October 2007

Good job, Bill!

From LiveLeak.com, Bill Clinton calls a spade, a spade:

Bill Clinton addressed a crowd in Minneapolis, Minnesota at a fundraiser for his wife's campaign on Tuesday.Clinton's 50-minute speech, which started about an hour behind schedule, was derailed briefly by several hecklers in the audience who shouted that the 2001 terrorist attacks were a fraud. Rather than ignoring them, Clinton seemed to relish a direct confrontation."A fraud? No, it wasn't a fraud," Clinton said, as the crowd cheered him on. "I'll be glad to talk to you if you shut up and let me talk."When another heckler shouted that the attacks were an "inside job," Clinton took even greater umbrage."An inside job? How dare you. How dare you. It was not an inside job," Clinton said.



You can't ignore fruitcakes like that. You have to speak truth. I'd like to seem them all rounded up and sent to Iran, free expression be darned.

24 October 2007

Fuego

In our house we have had warming on the mind. Not this kind, but this kind. My wife's family is from San Diego. Her sister has talked about it on her blog. Fortunately Lacy's family has escaped any harm, but we know people who have lost their home. It is very disturbing.


Fire is so indiscriminate. After a hurricane there are some remedies. A house can survive, at least structurally, even in the face of severe water damage. There is no such repair after a fire. So many of the 1100+ houses that have burned are completely destroyed. It is tragic to think about it.

Sometimes Lacy laments the weather in Florida. I can't blame her, but I am grateful for that humidity in a time like this. I've often said that San Diego has the best weather. That it of course when it isn't on fire.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people dealing with this mess, especially the firefighters risking their lives.

23 October 2007

Wit & Wisdom

From Harry Reid:

One reason why we have the fires in California is global warming.

Although he later backed away from this statement when asked to clarify, to have said it all tells us a lot about him.

22 October 2007

Bahston

I am in Boston on business and wanted to post some photos. This is just a cool photo of the sun on some clouds behind a skyscraper.

Quincy Market has been in operation since the early 1800's. It is in the foreground. In the back is the Customs House, now a Marriott property. This is historic Fanueil Hall. Some breakdancers doing an improptu show near Fanueil.
I love this city. The mixture of history and modernity is fantastic.

21 October 2007

SPOTD #132

Scroll down the SPOTD blog for excellent stuff.

Today's phrase:
Today's quote is from Hippocrates. It demonstrates that there have always been things to be pessimistic about. It shows that adults have always worried about the inclinations and acitivites of the young. Sometimes they have been right, sometimes not.

Actual:
Los jóvenes de hoy no parecen tener respeto alguno por el pasado ni esperanza alguna para el porvenir.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Lows ho-vay-nase day oy no pah-ray-sane tay-nare ray-spay-toe ahl-goo-no poor ell pah-sah-doe nee ace-pay-rahn-sah pa-rah ell pro-vane-ear.

Translation:
The youth of today do not appear to have any respect for the past nor any hope for the future.

The Wilhem Scream
This is a fun article, featuring common misquotes of classic movie lines. It also addresses the phenomenon of the Wilhelm Scream. You can see examples of it on the SPOTD blog.

Testaverde
Peter King writes for Sports Illustrated. He can be very longwinded, but I like this bit about Vinny Testaverde's return to the NFL. As a kid I was a big fan during his days at Miami.

Warming Warning
Al Gore's movie now requires a special warning before being shown to school kids in Great Britain.

Crazy Allergies
This kid is allergic to almost every food. Bummer.

Repairing Sports
Chuck Klosterman has some ideas about how to repair sports coverage. I agree.

Link of the Day
An interesting article about Hillary Clinton and her former cat Socks.If she discarded Socks upon leaving the White House, will she discard some of her supporters upon returning?

20 October 2007

Romney on Reid

I'm no fan of Harry Reid. I liked this quip from a speech given by Mitt Romney at the Family Research Council's "Values Voters Conference" (from The Corner):

By the way – a few of you may have heard that I'm a Mormon. I understand that some people think they couldn't support someone of my faith. That may be because they've listened to Harry Reid.

Well done.

Awesome Video Saturday XX

Today is my father's birthday. I want to wish him a Happy Birthday and show you this video that he made me aware of. For the last 30 years many films have featured the same "scream" as a sound effect. It was reintroduced by Ben Burtt, a key figure in the Star Wars films and many other projects. Since his discovery of the original scream it has been extremely popular as the video indicates. It is the "Wilhelm Scream."



This is a just a funny video of a bird dancing.

19 October 2007

El Gran Vienticinco


I like this picture of my brother and me. It is from our leaner days. Today he turns 25, a great brother, uncle, and friend. I'm glad he's here with us in Gainesville.

Happy Birthday boy!

HE HATES IT WHEN I CALL HIM "BOY!"

18 October 2007

Bad Sports

One of my least favorite things about going to a sporting event is the foul language coming from many of the fans. College football games are particularly rough. This is a growing problem in the NFL as well. From Mark Yost in OpinionJournal:

Unruly behavior at sporting events has been one of the most visible signs of the coarsening of American culture, but the NFL is in a league of its own. One reason is the sheer size of the crowds. The Washington Redskins, who lead the National Football League in attendance, draw about 90,000 fans per game, almost twice the average number of baseball fans at Yankee Stadium and four times the number of spectators at the best-attended National Basketball Association and National Hockey League games.
...Walking through the parking lot before the game, I witnessed a scene all too common at NFL tailgates: home fans taunting the visitors with four-letter expletives. What made the scene here particularly appalling was the target--a family of Cowboys fans with two small children. And the taunt, repeated throughout the stadium by Bills fans, questioned Dallas quarterback Tony Romo's sexual orientation (think of what rhymes with "Romo"). I wonder how the parents explained that one.

If someone can tell me how this is a good thing I'd love to hear it. Jason Whitlock weighs in on another dilemma in the NFL, this one on the player side:

Hip hop athletes are being rejected because they're not good for business and, most important, because they don't contribute to a consistent winning environment. Herm Edwards said it best: You play to win the game.

It is an interesting and provocative article.

16 October 2007

Ignoble Nobel, part 2

I felt like rehashing my stance on Global Warming. My first post on the subject was this one, and I broke down the different Warming beliefs this way:

  1. Global Warming is caused in large part by man, is a grave crisis, and man must act immediately to prevent disaster (Al Gore).
  2. Global Warming is real, may be caused by man and could be problematic for the future.
  3. There is no "Global Warming," aside from the normal cyclical changes in climate that have occurred many times in history.
  4. There is no warming. There may even be cooling.

I stated then that #3 was closest to my personal belief. I feel comfortable with that viewpoint, and it is supported by people like Dr. William Gray, one of the most prominent hurricane forecasters in the world:

"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's ridiculous."
...Dr Gray, whose annual forecasts of the number of tropical storms and hurricanes are widely publicised, said a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures - related to the amount of salt in ocean water - was responsible for the global warming that he acknowledges has taken place. However, he said, that same cycle meant a period of cooling would begin soon and last for several years.
"We'll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realise how foolish it was," Dr Gray said.
During his speech to a crowd of about 300 that included meteorology students and a host of professional meteorologists, Dr Gray also said those who had linked global warming to the increased number of hurricanes in recent years were in error.
He cited statistics showing there were 101 hurricanes from 1900 to 1949, in a period of cooler global temperatures, compared to 83 from 1957 to 2006 when the earth warmed.

Writer Mark Steyn weighs in on Gore's pseudo-religion:

A schoolkid in Ontario was complaining the other day that, whatever subject you do, you have to sit through Gore's movie: It turns up in biology class, in geography, in physics, in history, in English.
Whatever you're studying, it's all you need to know. It fulfils the same role in the schoolhouses of the guilt-ridden developed world that the Koran does in Pakistani madrassas. Gore's rise is as remorseless as those sea levels. I assumed Gore's clammy embrace would do for the environmental movement what his belated endorsement had done for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential candidacy: kill it stone dead. But governor Dean was constrained by actual humdrum prosaic vote tallies in Iowa and New Hampshire. The ecochondriacs, by contrast, seem happiest when they're most unmoored from reality.
That's where Gore comes in. No matter how you raise the stakes ("It might take another 30 Kyotos", says Jerry Mahlman of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research), Saint Al of the Ecopalypse can raise them higher. Climate change, he says, is the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and political issue humankind has ever faced. Ever. And not just humankind, but alienkind, too. "We are," warns Gore, "altering the balance of energy between our planet and the rest of the universe".

It is interesting how anyone who questions liberal orthodoxy on Global Warming is labeled as anti-environment. It seems like anyone who swallows Belief #1 is anti-reality. Even if you think warming is caused by man, to act like we know EXACTLY what will cause it is absurd. It presumes a great deal more than we know. Want to know why this propaganda has reached such a level of acceptance? Dr. Gray has the answer:

It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong. But they also know that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care about grants.

This illustrates the need for skepticism and a questioning mind. It is at the heart of real scientific discovery.

14 October 2007

Ignoble Nobel, part 1

This is a little late, but I was on the road the day that Al Gore was announced as the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel committee tasked with selecting the winner of the Peace Prize has a spotty record. According to an excellent editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader, this is the purpose of the award:

[Nobel] endowed the Nobel Peace Prize and instructed that it go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

I was very happy with 2006's recipient, although his work does not exactly fit the profile laid out by Nobel, it seems clear that extending credit to underserved populations is more impactful to peace than writing a book and making a movie. As the Union Leader states:

On Friday the prize was given to Al Gore and the International Panel on Climate Change. Two days before, a British judge ruled that Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," contained so many errors (read: lies) that it could be shown in British public schools only if accompanied by a fact sheet correcting the errors.
The Nobel Peace Prize is worse than a joke. It's a fraud. It is such a transparent fraud that the five Norwegian politicians who award it have been reduced to defending their decision by concocting elaborate rationalizations. This year they laughably claimed that Gore deserves the prize because, well, global climate change" may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the Earth's resources," and "there may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars."


More on this tomorrow.

Hurricane Photos

Here are some photos from yesterday's game. Even though the Canes lost a tough one I was glad to be there, and glad to have felt what it is like to watch a game in the Orange Bowl one last time.






13 October 2007

Go Canes!

This is my first try at cellphone blogging, coming to you live from the historic Orange Bowl. I love this place. It is my first game here in over ten years, and thanks to Justin Palmer (& of course my sweet Lacy) I get to make this pilgrimage to the OB.
Miami set an NCAA record here with 58(!!) straight home wins. It is old, run-down, and beautiful. Here's hoping for a win. I'll post some pics later.

Awesome Video Saturday XIX (Early Edition)

AweVidSat comes early this week. I'm making a pilgrimage to the Orange Bowl to watch the Hurricanes play there one last time. Here goes:

This is an amazing video. There is some brief profanity, but it seems justified. A commenter on this video's YouTube page said the following:
Seems a little big for an land mine, we called these "sub surfaced IEDs" -- my guess is probally 3 to 4, 155mm shells buried too deep for any possible effect.




This is a very emotional video about a father surprising his son at school after returning from a long deployment. It tugs at the heart strings, big time.


12 October 2007

I Love Capitalism


This is a fantastic article from Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. The purpose is to relay some of the lesson of Atlas Shrugged, a novel by Ayn Rand. It is one of the most important books in my opinion, and one that I credit with "making me a capitalist." I think the link only works for subscribers, but I wanted to excerpt a portion:

This is the lesson that most people in business have yet to learn from "Atlas," no matter how much they may love its portrayal of the passion and the glory possible in business enterprise. At a crucial point in the novel, the industrialist Hank Rearden is on trial for violating an arbitrary economic regulation. Instead of apologizing for his pursuit of profit or seeking mercy on the basis of philanthropy, he says, "I work for nothing but my own profit -- which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage -- and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner…"

We will know the lesson of "Atlas Shrugged" has been learned when business people, facing accusers in Congress or the media, stand up like Rearden for their right to produce and trade freely, when they take pride in their profits and stop apologizing for creating wealth.

In light of my focus in the past week on those who would take from the labors of others by force and according to their own warped and naive motives, I thought this was a timely piece. Let me know if you'd like the whole thing. I can e-mail it to you.

10 October 2007

The Phuture of the Phins?

The Miami Herald has a nice opinion piece advocating the ascension of former BYU quarterback John Beck to the starting spot on the Miami Dolphins. He makes a good case:

Beck did pretty well in the preseason if you'll recall, throwing for more August yards (300) than any Dolphin rookie since Marino pitched for 354 in '83. Don Shula then waited half a season to give Marino his chance and later wished he hadn't.
Marino went on to throw 296 passes as a rookie. Bob Griese threw 331. The idea that rookie QBs need to be treated like porcelain -- lest they shatter irreversibly if deployed a minute too soon -- doesn't stand up.


There is a very good chance that Beck will get more playing time. That is reason to be optimistic.

08 October 2007

The Legacy of Che

It disgusts me when I see a college student or teenager wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Che Guevara.
This post from the Reason blog offers a nice remembrance of the dead totalitarian.
The shirt below is more to my liking.

07 October 2007

Happy Birthday Gladys & Paul!


This is usually the territory of my very talented sister-in-law Lillie, but today is my sister Gladys' 30th birthday (she won't care if I say that) and her husband Paul had a birthday on Friday, so I wanted to say something. They live a few hours away so we don't see them as often as we'd like, but as we venture further into parenthood my respect for them grows. They have three great kids, and have always been great parents and good examples.

They are also people that I like to be around. Being less than two years apart in age has meant that Gladys and I but heads from time to time, but she has always been a true friend and one of my biggest cheerleaders. She is absolutely faithful in her role as a sister, and I am grateful for all the great qualities that make her who she is. In Paul she has a partner who complements her and who demonstrates a lot of the qualities that I would like to develop in myself, as a father and a man.

Happy Birthday! We love you!

06 October 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XVIII

Eric Snider posted this biting interview of Paris Hilton by David Letterman.



And also this incredible lyrical treatise on our times:



Jimmy Kimmel actually had him on his show. You can see it on YouTube.

05 October 2007

SPOTD #131

Almost another month has passed. Time flies by.

Today's phrase:
From Benjamin Franklin:

Actual:
¿Amas la vida? Pues no malgastes el tiempo que es la tela de la vida.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
¿Ah-mahs lah vee-dah? Pways no mal-gas-tays ell tyem-poe kay ess lah tay-lah day lah vee-dah.

Translation:
But dost thou love life ? then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of

The Blog
Here are some highlights. Scroll down to check it out.
-Mormon Anarchists
-Police Beat
-Clay Aiken looks like the Donald
-My kids are awesome
-The Republican party need to cleanse itself
-And much more!

Randy Shannon
He is the new coach of the Miami Hurricanes, but not new to the program. This is a very interesting article about how he came to be the coach, and the many challenges that he has experienced in his life.

Butlers
This is a great story about a man who came from nothing and became a butler for several households in New Orleans. He learned to read and write while in his twenties. He was selected as butler of the year. The link may not be available to people who are not subscribers of the Wall Street Journal.

Religion
This is an entertaining quiz that identifies your religion. It worked for me.

Humor
Eric Snider is writing for Film.com. This is a funny article about bad movie promos.
This is a great article, also by Snider, about fatness in America.

Thoughtless
You may have heard about the young MIT student that thought it would be a good art statement if she walked into Boston's Logan airport with a fake bomb strapped to her chest. As they said, she is lucky to be alive. Unfortunately she is probably still an idiot.

Pina Coladas
I think this is a pretty funny story about a couple that decided to explore the personals, only to find that they had matched up with each other. Unfortunately they did not reconcile while getting caught in the rain.

Link of the Day
This is old news by now, but Mark Ecko, a fashion designer, had a pretty cool idea about what he should do with Barry Bonds' record breaking 756th homerun ball.

04 October 2007

Whither the Mormon Anarchist?

I wrote a post for my friends at In Rare Form on a new publication, The Mormon Worker. It advocates something called Mormon Anarchism. Want to guess how I felt about it?

Go read the post here.

03 October 2007

Police Beat Memories

When I was at BYU, the Police Beat was one of the few readable and entertaining things about the campus newspaper. That doesn't mean that it is well-written. This recent edition is a good example of the criminal element at BYU

They stopped publishing the Police Beat for a time, citing the belief that people were purposefully doing things to gain entry. They were right. This one is a true classic for me. We were involved in the snow incident under Criminal Mischief. We had some really great ideas to gain entry for other reasons, but this is the only one that made the cut.

Separated at Birth?

I can't take credit for this juxtaposition. I saw it at this fashion-watching website a friend told me about. I think they're on to something with this one:

01 October 2007

Progress

U.S. military deaths continue to decline in Iraq, hitting a 14 month low. That is good news. More good news comes from the World Tribune:

The U.S. military is eliminating Al Qaida's chain of command in Iraq.
Officials said several leading aides to Al Qaida network chief Abu Ayoub Al Masri have been killed by the U.S.-led coalition. They said two out of the four foreign aides of Al Masri remain alive.

Shortly before he died, [aide] Al Tunisi wrote a letter that warned of a threat to Al Qaida operations in Karkh. The lettter, found by the U.S. military, sought guidance from Al Qaida leaders amid coalition operations that hampered Al Tunisi's network.
"We are so desperate for your help," the letter read.


That's what I like to hear.

27 September 2007

Joseph the Chef

He likes to help us cook.

video

26 September 2007

SPOTD Kids


I love this picture of Millie & me. Lacy has done a nice job of posting pictures of the kids on her blog. Since we got a new computer at home I don't even deal with pictures very much, hence the long lag time since the last update of the SPOTD kids page. Here is a cute one of Joseph getting his hair cut last week. Check out her blog for more.

25 September 2007

Cleanse the Inner Vessel

I've long been a proponent of term limits. Career politicians lead to entrenched bureaucracy, increased love of power, and overly complicated legislation.

But we don't have term limits. Voters can impose their own term limits at the ballot box, but the difficulty of defeating an incumbent is well-known, and the instances of a challenge coming from an incumbent's own party are few and far between. There are instances where voters would be well-served to demand that an incumbent not run again. They would also be well-served if other legislators abandoned these bad actors.

For an example of what I mean, John Fund talks about the misdeeds of Alaska's Congressional contingent.

23 September 2007

Awesomely Bad Videos (cont'd)

This just happened last night, or I would have included it in yesterday's post. It appears this sportscaster, Mike Patrick. is trying out for a job with the E! network, or perhaps Access Hollywood. His partner's reaction is great.



Stay classy Mike Patrick.

22 September 2007

Awesomely Bad Videos (AweVidSat XVIII)

I hate this commercial. For me the commercials for erectile dysfunction drugs are as bad as the ones for tampons. I just don't want to see them. I don't want to see 6 middle-aged guys extol their love for women, and then chant "Long live Viagra!"




This video is not for the faint of heart. I mean it. If you can't handle rodents, don't watch. It details the invasion and rampage of MILLIONS of mice in Australia in 1993. MILLIONS!



This video is nothing new, but it never fails to make me laugh. I don't think any amount of explaining could make this answer seem any less embarrassing. If anything, her overuse of prepositions is troubling.


20 September 2007

Priorities

In an e-mail dialogue with a close friend this week, I explained that my position on Global Warming does not mean that I don't care about the planet. It means that I don't know that climate change is man-induced and that I seriously doubt that we can do very much to affect it. That assumes that recent changes are not a part of normal climate patterns, which they may well be.

Pete DuPont writes in today's Opinion Journal about where we should focus our time and resources. He begins by looking at climate change during human history:

The National Center for Policy Analysis's new Global Warming Primer (www.ncpa.org/globalwarming/) shows that over the past 400,000 years, "the Earth's temperature has consistently risen and fallen hundreds of years prior to increases and declines in CO2 levels" (emphasis added). For example, about half of the global warming increases since the mid-1800s occurred before greenhouse gas emissions began their significant increases after the 1950s, and then temperatures declined well into the 1970s when CO2 levels were increasing.
During the 20th Century the earth warmed by one degree Fahrenheit, and today the world is about 0.05 degree warmer than it was in 2001. These small increases have led the global-warming establishment to demand that we adopt the international Kyoto policy of stopping the growth of CO2 emissions so that global warming does not destroy us all. Or in Al Gore's words, "At stake is nothing less than the survival of human civilization and the habitability of the earth for our species."


Gore's statement is emblematic of all that is wrong with the environmental movement. His singleminded hyperbole is also an example of misplaced priorities. DuPont cites Bjorn Lomborg, noted critic of Gore and his followers:

Mr. Lomborg believes that while we must develop low-carbon technologies, "many other issues are much more important than global warming." Malaria kills more than one million people each year, and some four million die from malnutrition, three million from HIV/AIDS, 2.5 million from various air pollutants, and nearly two million from lack of clean drinking water. Solving these problems would save more lives and do more to improve the human condition than spending money on global CO2 reduction.
The final table in the book dramatically makes the case. Fully implementing Kyoto would cost $180 billion per year, but for $52 billion per year we could do much better by tackling the challenges Mr. Lomborg mentions. The world would avoid 28 billion malaria infections (and 85 million deaths) over a century, instead of Kyoto's avoidance of 70 million infections (and 140,000 deaths). There would be one billion fewer people in poverty instead of Kyoto's one million fewer, and 229 million fewer people would suffer from starvation rather than Kyoto's two million.


Hmmmm. I know where I want to put my time AND money. You may want to give Al Gore $25,000 so that he can exaggerate to you in person. Not me.