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):

Es bueno fijar metas.

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

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:
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:

¡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.

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:
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.

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.
Where will you be going?

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

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?



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.