28 February 2008


My kind of picture:

Obamania II

I discuss some of the case against Obama in In Rare Form. Check it out!

27 February 2008

R.I.P. William F. Buckley

He passed away at age 82. One of the key figures of the conservative movement and a founder of The National Review.

That'll be one of the best places to learn more about him. There is also this AP article.


I really enjoyed this remembrance from the WSJ. A piece:

These achievements might not have happened without Buckley, who was uniquely suited to preside over the often-feuding factions of the early political right. He liked arguments over principle, but he also had an uncommon talent for adjudicating disputes and building coalitions. And though Buckley had bedrock beliefs, he had a conservative's distrust for systems and grand theories; his politics were pragmatic. His thinking and prose were governed by a critical-deliberative style that emphasized contingency and complexity. More than anything else, Buckley wanted to promulgate what he often referred to as "a thoughtful conservatism."

Here also are some excellent Buckleyisms.

25 February 2008

La Vida Cubana

I don't have any time, but I wanted to link to this interesting post about life in Cuba. Seeing how many apologists for the Castros have sprung up since Fidel's "retirement" I think it is important that we remember what it is really like. That post has some beautiful photos of Varadero Beach, where my mother used to go as a child.

Instapundit also has some commentary on whether Fidel has left his people better off. You know how I feel.

23 February 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXIV

I have enjoyed using a site called Hulu. It allows you to watch high-quality video of various Fox & NBC shows for free. It even allows you to customize clips for embedding, as I have done here with 30 Rock. This clip includes the excellent Steve Buscemi.

22 February 2008

Obamania I

Peggy Noonan scares me every once in a while. I get worried that she is slipping into a mode that many commentators fall into as they become olde...er...more seasoned. But then she restores my faith. Today's column is a great one, and it draws together several issues related to Obamania that are worth addressing. Some excerpts:

Barack Obama's biggest draw is not his eloquence. When you watch an Obama speech, you lean forward and listen and think, That's good. He's compelling, I like the way he speaks. And afterward all the commentators call him "impossibly eloquent" and say "he gave me thrills and chills." But, in fact, when you go on the Internet and get a transcript of the speech and print it out and read it--that is, when you remove Mr. Obama from the words and take them on their own--you see the speech wasn't all that interesting, and was in fact high-class boilerplate. (This was not true of John F. Kennedy's speeches, for instance, which could be read seriously as part of the literature of modern American politics, or Martin Luther King's work, which was powerful absent his voice.)
Mr. Obama is magnetic, interacts with the audience, leads a refrain: "Yes, we can." It's good, and compared with Hillary Clinton and John McCain, neither of whom seems really to enjoy giving speeches, it comes across as better than it is. But is it eloquence? No. Eloquence is deep thought expressed in clear words. With Mr. Obama the deep thought part is missing. What is present are sentiments.


Michelle Obama seems keenly aware of her struggles, of what it took to rise so high as a black woman in a white country. Fair enough. But I have wondered if it is hard for young African-Americans of her generation, having been drilled in America's sad racial history, having been told about it every day of their lives, to fully apprehend the struggles of others. I wonder if she knows that some people look at her and think "Man, she got it all." Intelligent, strong, tall, beautiful, Princeton, Harvard, black at a time when America was trying to make up for its sins and be helpful, and from a working-class family with two functioning parents who made sure she got to school.
That's the great divide in modern America, whether or not you had a functioning family, and she apparently came from the privileged part of that divide. A lot of white working-class Americans didn't come up with those things. Some of them were raised by a TV and a microwave and love our country anyway, every day.

Read the whole thing.

SPOTD #136

It has been far too long since the last SPOTD, so I bring you this short edition to get me back on track.

Today's phrase:
This will be a short edition. I have been busy on the SPOTD blog and In Rare Form. Be sure to check them out.
This is from Shakespeare:

Brevedad es el alma de la agudeza

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Bray-vay-dahd ess ell al-mah day lah ah-goo-day-zah

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Lamenting your Lambo
This is an interesting piece on the drawbacks of supercar ownership.

Obeying the Law
I really enjoyed this interview from the Tygrrrr Express with Dr. Walter Williams. Dr. Williams is a prominent conservative economist. His views on the role of government and strict adherence to the constitution are very interesing.

Into Africa
President Bush is quite popular in several African countries. The policies that have made him so popular are in opposition to the conservative principles espoused by Dr. Williams above, but I'm not going to fault the Pres for them right now, and neither does Live Aid honcho Bob Geldof.

Link of the Day
If you were old enough to watch movies in the 1980's, you will not regret following this link.

19 February 2008

¿El Fín?

Not really.

Fidel Castro's decision not to face "reelection" after 49 years in power will likely mean nothing for the people of Cuba, at least for the time being.

It has never been likely that Cuba would reform from the top down. Despite the decades-old embargo there is little incentive for Cuba's leaders to liberalize economically or politically in the dramatic way that many Cuban exiles hope for. This has left little room for citizen reformers in Cuba's tightly controlled society.

So what does this mean? Most people thing Fidel's brother Raul will assume control. but as this article explains, Raul may prefer to rule from behind the scenes. There are various potential candidates that would also promote a false idea of change, which could ease internal pressures on the transitional government.

This article from Pajamas Media agrees that little will change as a result of Fidel's resignation.

Fidel goes out a winner. Regardless of the state of the Cuban people, he is leaving on his own terms, thumbing his nose at America, and leaving his regime in place. U.S. policy towards Cuba has been a failure, and this can be traced quite clearly to the Kennedy Administration's failure to support the invasion force at the Bay of Pigs. Now that would have been a nice act of imperialism.

Now the Cubans will wait, as they have for so many years.

15 February 2008

The Only Good Terrorist is...

A dead one. This news came out several days ago, but in case you didn't hear it already Imad Mughniyah is dead. Who is Imad Mughniyah?

For many, Mughniyah was a reviled figure, wanted by both Israel and the United States for his alleged role in numerous attacks on American and Israeli targets—including the truck-bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the attack on the Israeli embassy in Argentina in 1992. (Formally, the FBI most-wanted him for his role in the 1985 hijacking of an American airliner to Beirut and the murder of a U.S. Navy diver on board.) For researchers such as myself, Mughniyah was of great interest because he represented a constant figure in Hezbollah throughout its evolution from an Iranian-backed Lebanese militia in the 1980s to a nationalist insurgent group in the 1990s and finally to its current incarnation as the most powerful political party in Lebanon—both in terms of weapons and popular support.

Good riddance. Before 9/11 no terrorist had killed more Americans than Mughniyah.

14 February 2008

You're a teacher?

Just try and tell me this isn't going to gross $400 million.


11 February 2008

No hay respeto (There's no respect)

Hugo is at it again. He continues to deal with widespread food shortages in Venezuela socialistically, suggesting that the National Guard should seize "unproductive" lands.

Good luck with that one amigo.

09 February 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXIII

This video is actually a little old, is longer (10 min), but still well worth your time. It is the "last lecture" of Randy Pausch, a university professor with terminal cancer. He is still alive, but his prognosis is for just a few more more months of life.

I enjoyed what he had to say.

07 February 2008

La Política

For muchas cosa políticas, visit In Rare Form.

Evil Corporations

This post from SeekingAlpha.com is a must-read. The gist:

Conclusion: In other words, just one corporation (Exxon Mobil) pays as much in taxes ($27 billion) annually as the entire bottom 50% of individual taxpayers, which is 65,000,000 people!


05 February 2008


This video is an outstanding example of how the media doesn't present the most accurate picture of our America:

I do have some worries. I worry that Americans swallow the media line about class warfare and the destruction of the middle class with too little skepticism.

Primary Watch

Check out In Rare Form for some chatter about the race. We do like that Romney guy.

Also visit my sister's blog for her take on the importance of our involvement in the political process.

Peligro en Venezuela (Danger in Venezuela)

I had a conversation with someone last week where we discussed the reasons for Latin America's failure to develop as rapidly as the emerging Asian economies. Among other things, the penchant of Latin Americans to elect demagogues like Hugo Chavez dooms many nations to perpetual mediocrity.

Recently Hugo Chavez recognized the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as a legitimate political actor, deserving the same recognition as a state. In the Wall Street Journal, Mary Anastasia O'Grady compares Chavez to the former Argentine dictator Galtieri. Galteiri orchestrated some sketchy foreign policy to cover the extremely poor state of the Argentine economy, among his moves the seizure of the Falklands from Great Britain. Chavez' recognition of the terrorist FARC seemed calculated to provoke a conflict with Colombia, timed to cover Venezuela's deteriorating economy.

As O'Grady explains, Colombia did not take the bait and instead made some smart diplomatic moves, including reaffirming the support of France, Spain, and E.U. officials. Fortunately for freedom-lovers (and unfortunately for Chavez) his political misfire has not gone unnoticed.

Gateway Pundit has an excellent round-up of photos and articles about anti-FARC protests that took place in Colombia yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of Colombians marched in solidarity with their government and to protest the actions of the FARC (including kidnapping, drug trafficking, and extortion).

I have no doubt that FARC is a terrorist organization. The last two Colombian presidents have made consistent efforts to fight terrorism in their country. The current president, Uribe has been particularly impactful. We have an opportunity to stand in solidarity with their efforts in support of freedom and the rule of law by supporting trade agreements with Colombia. I hope you will urge your legislators to support that initiative.