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.

Delightful


I've been watching the Miami Hurricanes play the Texas A&M Aggies. Miami is 2-1, after being thrashed by Oklahoma two weeks ago. A&M is 3-0, ranked #20. For Miami fans there hasn't been much to cheer about this season.

Until tonight.

For three full quarters Miami's defense has absolutely dominated A&M. The offense has shown spark and swagger, the likes of which I haven't seen since 2005. I am smiling brightly because this team's future looks very good. The announcers just mentioned that this is only the third time that Miami has reached 30 points in the last 20 games!

For more on the new direction of this Miami team you have to learn about their coach Randy Shannon. He is as Miami as it gets, in all the right ways.

Go Canes!

19 September 2007

Cheney the Sphynx

There is a lot that I like about Dick Cheney. He is very intelligent, a strong speaker, and doesn't mince words. In this op-ed from today's Wall Street Journal, the Vice-President shows his diplomatic side in his answer to some of the criticisms made in Alan Greenspan's new book. An excerpt:

Alan tells of his first meeting with then President-elect Bush on Dec. 18, 2000, at the Madison Hotel in Washington. I recall this breakfast meeting very well, especially Alan's comments on the state of the economy. The Fed chairman told the president-elect and our team that America faced the real possibility of a recession in the wake of the collapse of the late 1990s technology sector bubble. Alan's prediction proved correct: In the final months of the Clinton administration, the nation began an economic slowdown that turned into a recession...

The combined effects of recession and national emergency could have been devastating for America's economy. Yet President Bush's tax cuts--following through on a promise he had made to the voters--resulted in a shallower recession, a faster recovery, and a platform for growth that remains sturdy to this day. The fact is that in a time of unprecedented challenge, the United States has experienced nearly six years of uninterrupted economic growth and added more than eight million new jobs since August 2003--more than all other major industrialized nations combined.

The economic growth encouraged by the president's tax cuts is now producing sharply increased federal tax receipts--up by nearly 15% in fiscal year 2005 alone, nearly 12% in fiscal year 2006, and projected to rise nearly 7% in the fiscal year that will end this month. That is the highest growth in tax receipts in consecutive years since 1981. As a result, tax revenue as a percentage of our economy is now above the 40-year historical average. Under the circumstances, it's pretty hard for anyone to argue that the American people are under-taxed. Even at a lower rate of taxation, the hard work and productivity of Americans is generating more tax dollars than ever before.

He addresses Greenspan's criticism of the Bush Administration's spending. To me this is a very valid contention. I'm never comfortable with deficit spending. The poor fiscal discipline of the past 6 !/2 years is tempered by 9/11 and increased international commitments, but I do think the government could have done more to limit spending.

I should note that many media outlets have taken some of Greenpan's statements out of contextm particularly regarding the Iraq War. That may be a topic for another day.

18 September 2007

Don't Taze me Bro!

This happened right here in my hometown, Gainesville, FL. I think it is pretty darn funny.

During a town hall meeting with John Kerry an idiot student was tazed by police. I'm not sure that he deserved to be tazed. I am sure that he is an idiot, and that if he had calmly walked away he would have been fine. Here is some video of the incident:



For additional information here is more from The Gainesville Sun. I thought that John Kerry's statement on the incident was quite appropriate.

Some people have reacted to the incident by saying that this is evidence that we live in a police state. Those people fail to understand that the reaction of the UPD, the University, and the State Attorney's office are just what I would hope for under the circumstances.

17 September 2007

Asking "Why?"

Mark Steyn is a favorite writer of mine. This column came out yesterday. It examines explanations for why 9/11 occurred. Although I don't think that his characterization of the Massachusetts Governor is entirely accurate, his general point is spot-on. An excerpt:

Fritz Gelowicz. Richard Reid. The Australian factory worker Jack Roche. The Toronto jihadists plotting to behead the Canadian prime minister. The son of the British Conservative Party official with the splendidly Wodehousian double-barreled name. All over the world there are young men raised in the "Multi-Kultur Haus" of the West who decide their highest ambition is to convert to Islam, become a jihadist and self-detonate.
Why do radical imams seek to convert young Canadian, British and even American men and women in their late teens and twenties? Because they understand that when you raise a generation in the great wobbling blancmange of Deval Patrick-style cultural relativism – nothing is any better or any worse than anything else; if people are "mean and nasty" to us, it's only because we didn't sing enough Barney the Dinosaur songs at them – in such a world a certain percentage of its youth will have a great gaping hole where their sense of identity should be. And into that hole you can pour something fierce and primal and implacable.

15 September 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XVII

This is an ad for the Montgomery, AL flea market. It's awesome.




This kid is loving life. I've always liked kids like this.


12 September 2007

SPOTD #130

I have allowed quite a long time to pass since the last SPOTD (over a month) and I have also been less active (though still posting) on the blog. My family is doing great and watching these kids grow is such a treat. I hope everyone else is doing well.

Today's phrase:
Today's quote is from Gaius (or Publius) Cornelius Tacitus. I'm in one of those moods.

Actual:
Una mala paz es todavĂ­a peor que la guerra.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Oo-nah mah-lah pahs ess toe-dah-vee-ah pay-ore kay lah gay-rrah

Translation:
A bad peace is even worse than war.

Blog Recap
Scroll down to see what I've been up to for the last month.

Spaceport Reality
This is a pretty cool report on the planned U.S. Spaceport. It will be used by private firms in space travel.

Movies
Ever want to know how accurate the science is in some well-known films? Look no farther.
It was British movie time in our house, so we watched the following two films and enjoyed them quite a bit:
Miss Potter: A biopic about Beatrix Potter. Very enjoyable, family friendly. It was released earlier this year.
Remains of the Day: An older film, released in 1992 or 1993. The acting is really top-notch and the story is excruciatingly real.

iTunes future?
The time could come when music is delivered to the listener in a very different way than it is now, This will be critical for the slow-to-adapt music industry.

Lost
This one is for my sister. She and I were both fans of the shortlived series, The Marshall. Adding Jeff Fahey to a great cast is a good move.

Kind of Cold
When efforts to highlight global warming end like this, you can't help but smile:
British yachtsman Adrian Flanagan is trying to prove global warming by sailing along the Northern Sea route, which sailors have pursued for centuries.He’s run into the same problem that sailors have run into for centuries: Ice...It gets better. While he is waiting for the ice to melt, old Adrian is running into polar bears, who apparently 1.) are not nearing extinction and 2.) can swim. This may come as a shock to devout followers of the New York Times.

Colbert
Some good commentary on the unseemly melding of politics and entertainment.

King
This article is great for the intro, where a player from the NFL writes about the end of his career.

Link of the Day
This is one listing of the best surprise endings of all times.

11 September 2007

How little we've learned

9/11 was a seminal event in my life. I remember watching the Challenger explode. I remember watching Tienanmen Square protests and subsequent crackdown. I remember watching the Berlin Wall be torn down. And I remember watching the second plan hit the Tower and the resulting horrific catastrophe. 9/11 will always be a tragic day to me.

I was so inspired by much of what happened in the days and weeks following the attack. I was optimistic about the future. I still am, but not in the way that I thought I would be. Now my optimism comes in spite of what I see in the news every day. It comes despite the idiocy of people like Russ Feingold and Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi.

Norman Podhoretz has a great article in today's WSJ. You can read it for free at Opinion Journal. He explains how the Left is using the lessons of Vietnam (the lessons they learned) today.

I wish I had time for more. Instapundit has a good roundup.

09 September 2007

Food for Thought

It is almost universally accepted that the decision to disband the Iraqi Army following the 2003 invasion was a mistake. Paul Bremer says it was not, and he makes some compelling arguments:
By the time Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003, the Iraqi Army had simply dissolved. On April 17 Gen. John Abizaid, the deputy commander of the Army’s Central Command, reported in a video briefing to officials in Washington that “there are no organized Iraqi military units left.” The disappearance of Saddam Hussein’s old army rendered irrelevant any prewar plans to use that army. So the question was whether the Coalition Provisional Authority should try to recall it or to build a new one open to both vetted members of the old army and new recruits. General Abizaid favored the second approach.

In the weeks after General Abizaid’s recommendation, the coalition’s national security adviser, Walter Slocombe, discussed options with top officials in the Pentagon, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. They recognized that to recall the former army was a practical impossibility because postwar looting had destroyed all the bases.

Moreover, the largely Shiite draftees of the army were not going to respond to a recall plea from their former commanders, who were primarily Sunnis. It was also agreed that recalling the army would be a political disaster because to the vast majority of Iraqis it was a symbol of the old Baathist-led Sunni ascendancy.


His points are worth reading. We have to understand that sometimes there are no easy options, no fool-proof plans.

08 September 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XVI

The summer movie season has ended, and I thought I'd put up this video spoofing one of the most successful (and for some, disappointing) movies of the summer, Spider-man 3. I enjoyed it, but understand the very valid criticisms of those that did not. This parody covers them well (From Eric Snider's blog).



Next summer includes a film that I am VERY excited about, The Dark Knight, the sequel to the excellent Batman Begins. Here is the brief teaser trailer:

06 September 2007

Quick Hits

There are a lot of things I want to bring to your attention today:

  • A major terrorist plot was disrupted in Germany. The individuals in question were in possession of large amounts of explosive ingredients and military-grade detonators. The NYT has more. I'm sure more information will come out regarding this successful intervention.
  • The surge in Iraq is bearing fruit. I maintain that entering Iraq was the right thing to do and that persisting in that effort is essential. Some Democratic congressmen, such as Washington's Brian Baird, have witnessed the surge-borne improvements and expressed that to the public. These honest assessments are not without cost, as leftist groups like MoveOn.org have moved against Baird and others.
    The anti-war element makes a grave misjudgement by criticizing Baird. Baird was opposed to the war and the surge, yet he sees the progress being made, as well as the concern in other states at what a US withdrawl would mean. He said the following:
    I believe I must speak and act based on what I believe is in the best interest of our nation regardless of political advertisements or partisan interests. Based on personal visits to the region, I believe the dynamics on the ground in Iraq are changing for the better and, while there are still multiple and serious challenges, and while the course is uncertain and dangerous, the changes I have seen warrant continued support of current actions through next spring.
  • President Bush went to Australia in support of embattled ally John Howard. Howard's support for our country has earned my admiration. I hope he is able to retain his position in the next election.
  • There was a Republican Presidential Debate last night. Meh.
  • Democratic Presidential hopeful Bill Richardson thinks it is God's will that Iowa have the first say in the presidential primaries. Seems a little weird to me. I think there are more important things on the Divine Agenda. All this business of the various states jockeying for preferred order in the primaries is tiresome. I don't think their movement forward is a big issue, as it may allow more time to vet the real candidate. Some disagree.
  • Ted Kennedy is catching flack for his opposition to an offshore wind farm near his Nantucket sailing grounds. He and some of his pals in the Senate have made a serious miscalculation in opposing this initiative. Follow the link for more.

Finally, Luciano Pavarotti has died. The linked article has some good information about the tenor. It is a sad day, as Pavarotti found acceptance among opera lovers and those indifferent to the discipline. Enjoy a performance of Nessun Dorma, appropriately subtitled in Spanish.

04 September 2007

Why I love college football

Appalachian State beat Michigan on Saturday in a huge upset. It is the first time a Division I-AA team has ever beaten a team ranked in the D-1 top 25. Michigan was #5. Any time the Big Ten gets put in its place is fine with me. Watch the last moments of the game below:



You can hear the truly ecstatic Appalachian State announcing team by following this link. It's guaranteed to make you smile.

01 September 2007

Awesome Video Saturday XV

I am looking forward to the beginning of the fall TV season, in particular the return of shows like The Office. See the extended promo below:



These are a few clips from another great show, 30 Rock