31 August 2008

Palin no Panic

Hot Air has picked up a really interesting story in the Washington Post that would dispel many notions of Palin being a token or lat minute pick for the McCain campaign:

Their first encounter was last February at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington. Sarah Palin was one of several governors who met privately with Sen. John McCain, by then well on his way to capturing the Republican presidential nomination, and her directness and knowledge were impressive.
Later that day, at a largely social gathering organized by his campaign, McCain spent 15 minutes in private conversation with the first-term Alaska governor. “I remember him talking about her when he came back,” a McCain adviser said. “He said she was an impressive woman. He liked her.” …
Far from being a last-minute tactical move or a second choice when better known alternatives were eliminated, Palin was very much in McCain’s thinking from the beginning of the selection process, according to McCain’s advisers. The 44-year-old governor made every cut as the first list of candidates assembled last spring was slowly winnowed. The more McCain learned about her, the more attracted he was to her as someone who shared his maverick, anti-establishment instincts.
I have seen a significant up-tick in the excitement level of the women in my life (both moms, sisters, and of course Lacy). We would not be seeing this had McCain picked a man, even Mitt Romney. This is purely anecdotal evidence, but I think it is significant.

For a lot of reader feedback on the Palin pick check out this post at IRF.

30 August 2008

Awesome Video Saturday LVI

More on underage Chinese athletes:

26 August 2008

Russia's Apologists

I started this post a week ago and just realized that I never finished it. I finish it today because of something I read. It makes both Friedman and Gorbachev seem ever less persuasive.

I read Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat. I liked the first part, and found his analysis of the way the world was changing to be persuasive. I hated the last part, with Friedman's prescriptions on how to deal with it, mostly because I thought they were unduly critical of the role the United States has played.

Since Friedman persists in his blame America methodology, I now find myself perturbed by something else he has written (surely not the last time that will happen). He is blaming Russia's aggression in Georgia on U.S. provocation stemming back to the fall of the Soviet Union. I'm not going to excerpt it here. Life is too short. Here also is ol Gorby chiming in on the splendid way Russia has dealt with Georgia's brazen attempt to rule its separatist provinces.

Michael Totten is a self- and reader-financed journalist. He's been everywhere, most recentely Georgia. This post is an outstanding look at the origins of the current crisis, and it repudiates the statements of Friedman and Gorbachev. If anything we have been too cozy with Russia of late. If you only read one thing today, read this post.

The Russians are not to be trusted.

25 August 2008

Olympic Wrap-Up

I really enjoyed these Olympics. Here are some interesting links:

Quick parting thought? Nation does matter. God bless the USA.

I eat Meata (take that PETA)

It's my new favorite slogan.

Eric Snider has a pretty good column on PETA today.

23 August 2008

Awesome Video Saturday LV

Before watching this clips, know that I don't work for NBC. I just like The Office.

19 August 2008

College Shmollege

I thought this article favoring the demolition of our current higher education system was fantastic. An excerpt:

The solution is not better degrees, but no degrees. Young people entering the job market should have a known, trusted measure of their qualifications they can carry into job interviews. That measure should express what they know, not where they learned it or how long it took them. They need a certification, not a degree.

Follow the link for more.

18 August 2008

Kobe & American Exceptionalism

In an interview with Cris Collingsworth, Kobe Bryant shared his feelings about receiving the Team USA uniform:

The Los Angeles Laker went on to call the U.S. "the greatest country in the world. It has given us so many great opportunities, and it's just a sense of pride that you have; that you say, 'You know what? Our country is the best.'"
Dang straight. Collingsworth asked:
Is that a cool thing to say in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you're fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by."
To which Mr. Bryant replied: "No, it's a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I'm not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor."

Obama's Qualifications

The Wall Street Journal picked up on Obama's criticism of Justice Clarence Thomas during the forum held by pastor Rick Warren. The question posed had to do with the justices that the candidates would not have selected for the Court. His response:

I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution.

So he's not smart enough. Apparently the white conservatives are though, at least according to Obama. The WSJ then assails Obama's own credentials:

Meanwhile, as he bids to be America's Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn't yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a "community organizer" and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas's rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama's story look like easy street.

It's classic liberal tripe on Thomas, and it is particularly embarassing when spoken by Obama.

16 August 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXXXIV

I have really been enjoying these Olympics. I saw a post on a blog that poo-pooed the Olympics on the grounds that the writer preferred to admire people for their intellectual prowess than their physical abilities. Whatever. Watching something like this, Michael Phelps phenomenal race for his 7th gold medal, such a demonstration of tremendous perseverance and skill is truly inspiring.

This video provides some good reportage of the vent, albeit using still photos. NBC has a pretty tight leash on their videos, so this is the best I can do.

09 August 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXXXIII

In honor of the start of the Olympics in China, here is an important milestone for the People's Republic:

06 August 2008

SPOTD #142

Its been over a month since the last SPOTD e-mail, but I have been posting here and at In Rare Form. More than anything else, I want you to read the story of Lopez Lomong, an American runner from Sudan. His story is part of what the Olympics are really about.

Today's phrase:
In recognition of the beginning of the Olympics, a quote from Samuel Johnson.

Las grandes obras son hechas no con la fuerza, sino con la perseverancia.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable:
Lahs grahn-daze oh-brahs sewn a-chahs no cone lah fwair-sah, see-no cone lah pare-sair-vare-ahn-see-ah.

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

I've seen four movies in the theater lately and all have been worth the price of admission, which is not always the case.
The Dark Knight: One of the best movies I've seen in a long time, period. Definitely the best comic book movie ever made. I plan to see it again tonight with Lacy.
Wall-E: Beautifully crafted, a good story.
The Incredible Hulk: I actually enjoyed The Hulk but felt this was a simpler, superior iteration. I don't know if it made enough money for a sequel. I hope it did.
Get Smart: I laughed out loud many times at this movie. It exceeded my moderate expectations.

Coldplay: Fantastic new album. Listening to it actually enhances my enjoyment of their earlier work.
Weezer: I don't love it. It's just aight. I loved the black album right away. Still, there are some good songs.
Jason Mraz: Never paid much attention to him, but bought this album on a whim. I like it a lot. Kind of jazzy. Good variation in the song styles. The missus likes it.

Truck Laser
It's a laser. On a truck. What could be better than that? A shark with a laser.

Who decides that a young adult novel is a young adult novel? Hint: It's not young adults.

Oh behave!
At the last Winter Games Bode Miller behaved like an idiot. The U.S. is trying to be more careful this time.

Link of the Day
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?

05 August 2008

Sadr Social Services

This is old news by now, but radical Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has apparently decided to reform his Mahdi Army as a non-violent and unarmed social service organization. If he is sincere then it is a stunning turn of affairs that shows the depth of our success militarily AND culturally in Iraq.

I hope this is a legitimate offer and that he sees it through.

Bamboo Covered Pits

The Olympics start with Friday's Opening Ceremonies, but are they a trap?

04 August 2008

Mad on Monday

Obama's emergency economic plan has me pretty steamed. Read about it at IRF.

The Wall Street Journal also has this to say on the matter:

The "windfall profits" tax is back, with Barack Obama stumping again to apply it to a handful of big oil companies. Which raises a few questions: What is a "windfall" profit anyway? How does it differ from your everyday, run of the mill profit? Is it some absolute number, a matter of return on equity or sales -- or does it merely depend on who earns it?

Read more if you like. Economic idiocy at its most obvious.

02 August 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXXXII

I dare you not to laugh. Give it a moment.

Pretty evil, eh? (spotted at Eric Snider's blog).

On an unrelated note, here is an excellent teaser trailer for the upcoming Harry Potter film: