29 December 2009

Adios al Año 2009

I've been a Dave Barry fan since I was a kid, and his annual Year in Review is always worth a read.

Here it is.

26 December 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CXVI

As an after-Christmas gift, this bizarre little spoof from SNL.

25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is a nice message about the meaning of Christmas.

23 December 2009

SPOTD #162 Travelin'

I have traveled a lot over the last month and thought I would use this edition to do some reviews. Not sure if anyone cares but me.

Today's Phrase:
We enjoyed our time with my wife's family on our recent trip to California. I am very happy to staying home for Christmas. If you happen to be traveling, this phrase is for you. Otherwise you may use it on others.

¡Buen viaje!

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Bwain vee-ya-hay.

Translation (roughly)
Have a good trip!

Angelo's 2: We had a fantastic breakfast at this old-looking restaurant in Garden Grove. A ton of food, including some delicious huevos rancheros, at a great price.
Yardhouse: On our last night in Cali we ate here with Lacy's family. Half-priced appetizers during Monday Night Football made for a perfect meal, including some of the best chicken tenders that I have ever had.
Point Loma Seafood: One of our favorite places to eat in San Diego. Delicious fish tacos and great clam chowder, with fish fresh off the boats.
Cafe Rio: I would have a real problem if we had one of these in Gainesville, but it would be worth the problem. The steak burrito, enchilada-style is something I always go for whenever I am in Utah.
In-n-Out: Seems like something you either love or hate. More lovers than haters out there, and I am a lover. Somehow they ended up on this list, but I think my twice-annual trips are probably okay.
Olive Garden: I mention it here because their Lasagna Fritta is deliciosa.
Waffle House: You can't beat the Waffle House after midnight. Everyone should go at least once in their life. Atlanta is a great place.

Expedition: We rented one and it had plenty of room and a nifty electric third row, but I prefer the handling of our Honda Odyssey.
Camaro: The rental version is the less-powered V6 model, but it still looks pretty cool. It handled pretty well, but the small greenhouse puts a serious damper on visibility. I especially liked the fat steering wheel.

Disneyland: This was my first time. Just as fun as Disneyworld, with it's own charm. The major difference is how small the castle is and how close the park is to the urban areas.
Sea World San Diego: Just like Sea World Orlando with better weather. You can't help but be amazed by the size and speed of the orcas. It made my jaw drop, even though I've seen it before. The sea lion show was disappointing for all its filler. I'd rather just see the animals performing.
World of Coca-Cola- Pretty fun place to pass the time in Atlanta. You can taste some disgusting Coke-produced soda from around the world, and some good ones as well.

Link of the Day
Enjoy some of the signs that have been photographed around the world.

I'm Ready

An Original

A solid remake

Horatio Sanz has lost a lot of weight.

21 December 2009

On A Better Environment

It is a huge mistake to assume that those who do not support cap-and-trade and carbon offsets are somehow in favor of destructive environmental change. Many simply believe that there are better and less injurious ways to improve environmental conditions.

Bjorn Lomborg is not a global warming denier, but he is not in favor of the current remedies advocated by the many of today's leaders. His reasoning is sound-

Over the last several centuries, the world economy has exploded and the
human condition has improved immeasurably because of cheap fossil fuels; we're
not going to end that connection in just a few decades. Just before the summit
convened, political leaders from a number of major nations were lauded for
announcing carbon-reduction targets that are in fact economically, technically,
and politically impossible to achieve. We saw the same thing at the 1992 "Earth
Summit" in Rio de Janeiro and then again a decade later in Kyoto. And just like
the promises made back then, the vows being made now in Copenhagen are sure to be broken by future administrations. Pretending otherwise is fraudulent.

Of course, that last sentence is not surprising. Politicians are not typically concerned with the ultimate consequences of their short-term thinking. Lomborg also looks at what issues are of real concern to individuals that are most vulnerable to climate variation. Read the article for more.

Reform Shmeform

I'm not happy with the health care bill that is taking shape in Congress. The Wall Street Journal has some excellent criticism here. This post discusses elements of the proposals that may in fact be unconstitutional.

I'll be honest, I only skimmed that second link. It's late, and I'm tired, in addition to not being a lawyer. I'll try to read it tomorrow.

Who wants these bills? Really?

19 December 2009


It was a fantastic film. The 3D really was unlike any I'd seen before, more immersive, visually impressive and vibrant. Some have said that were it not for the technology this would be a mediocre film. That may be true true, but it also undervalues what was achieved technically. You can't separate the two.

I enthusiastically recommend. The folks we watched it with were in agreement.

15 December 2009

Terrorists and the NGO's who love them

O'Grady continues to expose the links between left-leaning organizations and governments and the Colombian marxist terrorists known as the FARC.

Some so-called human rights groups are at best sympathetic and at worst complicit in the illegal activities of the FARC. This has served to limit the liberty of the Colombians in the areas where the FARC operates.

Read the article for more.

12 December 2009

Past & Present

There is a new ESPN documentary premiering tonight, The U. It looks at the 1980's heyday of the program, the winningest team of that decade.

The Miami Herald's Dan LeBatard had a great piece on the current state of the Canes, one that includes excellent academic performance and very few legal issues, especially compared to other programs.

Awesome Video Saturday CXV

Bad Marketing

11 December 2009


Radical environmentalism does not equate social liberalism, but there is often a correlation. It is ironic that some socially liberal individuals advocate a policy that is anathema to the kind of liberty they claim to espouse.

Population control is immoral. My opinion on the issue is based in part on my theological beliefs, but not entirely. I believe in liberty, and that liberty should extend to the number of children a man and woman choose to bring into this world.

The author of this Financial Post (Canada) piece seems to agree with the contention of the Chinese government- population control is a necessary component of efforts to thwart climate change. She even claims that China's one-child policy is the reason why China has enjoyed such strong economic growth. Both contentions are foolish, the latter especially so.

China has enjoyed growth based on its embrace of free-market principles and the increasingly consumer-focused nature of its economy. The one-child policy has produced female infanticide and drastic gender imbalances, resulting in surplus males in the Chinese population.

Does the author propose criminalizing childbirth? Imposing increased fees and taxes on those who have more than one child? In an environment where fewer children are being born in Western countries we should be thankful for those who have children. They are an economic necessity.

Furthermore, population control would put Western democracies in demographic peril, given the much higher birthrates in predominantly Muslim and predominantly unfriendly countries.

The argument is unsound.


It seems that life as a Federal employee is pretty darn good. Federal employees have higher average salaries than their comparable private-sector counterparts. They also have much more generous retirement packages.

It used to be that generous public employee pensions helped compensate for the lower compensation that a "civil servant" might receive in their lifetime. Obviously this is no longer the case.

08 December 2009

Never Forget

I had a busy day yesterday, but was remiss in not commenting on the 68th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. This was a transformative event in American politics, effectively ending U.S. isolationism forever and shaping America's preeminent position in the world.

National Geographic has some nice articles on the subject.

03 December 2009

SPOTD #161

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

I'm headed to Atlanta tomorrow for the SEC Championship Game. I've never been much of a Gator fan, but I'm not the Gator-hater I once was. I am a Tebow fan and I hope the Gators pull this off.

Today's Phrase:
The College football season is nearing its end. This is the time for championship games and the bowl season will soon be upon is. Now you can root for your team in espanish.

Sí, se puede.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
See, say pway-day.

Translation (roughly)
You can do it!

Whistle Past the Graveyard
This is a pretty cool look at the Mojave Desert's airplane graveyard.

Most submarines have been very slow-moving. This one is not, at least from a relative standpoint.

What Might have Been
Star Trek was one of my favorite movies this year. For a long time there was speculation about whether William Shatner would have appeared. If he had, this is how it would have occurred. It's too bad it didn't work out. I like this quite a bit.

Social changes have led to alterations in beloved classics like Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever.
Not quite as best as it used to be I think. Take a look at how things have changed.

Human Tragedy
My dad, a fellow car buff, sent me this distressing story about how $1.5 million went for a swim.

Link of the Day
Creepy, clever marketing.

30 November 2009

College Football Roundup

The biggest news for me this weekend was the victory of my BYU Cougars over arch-rival Utah. Before moving to Utah to attend BYU, I had little real idea of how intense this rivalry was. It seemed a little silly to me, having come from Florida, a state where rivalry games routinely decided national champion contenders. As a Cougar, it seemed like vitriol of Utes far outstripped anything from Florida-Georgia or Miami-Florida State.

Things seemed to have reached a new level with BYU's win last Saturday. After the game Max Hall, BYU's quarterback, made some imprudent comments. You can read commentary on them here, from KSL and the Salt Lake Tribune. Utes have responded in kind. It's not a great development in an ugly rivalry.

Still, I'm extremely happy with how things turned out.


Miami finished their season well. This was great preparation for next season, and if they have a nice win in their bowl game (probably the Gator Bowl), it may be a good indication of things to come.


Andy Staples of SI.com makes a good case for Tim Tebow's greatness as a football player and how he is undeserving of this year's Heisman trophy.

Many commentators are picking Alabama for this weekend's SEC Championship game. I think it will be a close game, one I will be attending, but I don't think I will ever pick against Tim Tebow.


Chavez is at it again, this time threatening Venezuela's private banks with nationalization. He continues an arbitrary and capricious form of socialism that is a terrible example for other Latin American countries.

29 November 2009


My biases should be apparent on this issue. I have small children and we regularly fly to California to spend time with my wife's family. It is the only logical way to transport my family of 4 (soon to be 5) to the west coast. I read this op-ed from the L.A. Times where writer Amy Alkon expresses frustration at parents who travel with screaming children on airplanes.

I got a visceral reaction to the piece. Alkon isn't a parent, so doesn't understand the dilemma parents deal with when they travel with small children. During the entire flight I am consumed with keeping my children happy. Sometimes this is IMPOSSIBLE, but we do everything in our power to help the kids behave. I know not every parent tries as hard, but I imagine that most do. There is one section in particular that I take issue with. In describing one incident where a mother and child were removed from a Southwest flight, she says the following-

Parents like Root and others who selfishly force the rest of us to pay the cost
of their choices in life aren't just bothering us; they're stealing from us.
Most people don't see it this way, because what they're stealing isn't a thing
we can grab on to, like a wallet. They're stealing our attention, our time and
our peace of mind.

There is a sentiment here that urks me. Bringing children in the world is not ennobling or worthy to Alkon. It is a selfish choice, which inflicts pain on other people. She limits her comments to airplane travel, but it could easily be extended to the use of natural resources, housing choices, and other issues. I just don't like where her ideas could go.

28 November 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CXIV

Silly but amusing "future" mockumentary-

26 November 2009

More of the Same

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

I remember when Florida stopped playing Miami starting in the late 1980's. There were a variety of reasons behind this move, but as a Miami fan the most satisfying one was that the Gators were afraid to play us.

It appears that there will be another drought for Miami fans eager for the rivalry games, if this report is correct. Florida can keep playing FIU and Charleston Southern.

25 November 2009


Suspicions about the validity of climate models appears well founded. As data manipulation seems to have occurred, here is a primer on recent occurrences on the issue.

21 November 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CXIII

Not quite as funny as some of the other ads these guys have done, but still amusing-

17 November 2009

Shuttle On

This article from Popular Mechanics may be of interest. It discusses the future of the Space Program as the Space Shuttle nears the end of its service.

I believe the Space Program is important. There is a healthy debate about whether it should follow a public or private course. I imagine we will see some combination, which is probably the best way to go.

16 November 2009

Defending the Faith

This is a good piece by O'Grady, summarizing her conversation with the Cardinal of Honduras. The Church has received some criticism for the role it played in affirming the correctness of Zelaya's ouster. It has been a difficult period, but the Cardinal's words are truthful and fair.

14 November 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CXII

Sometimes you don't need to understand the language.

12 November 2009

To Arms?

I find this post from the Reason blog persuasive. It deals with the advantage that gun control or gun-free zones provide to criminals willing to ignore those laws.

In numerous violent incidents that have occurred over the past several years I have often wondered whether the damage could have been limited if a legally-armed bystander had intervened. I certainly wonder about the potential for further injury if the intervening party hits someone else, but I might be willing to take that chance. Personally, I would prefer to be armed and have a fighting chance.

Given what happened in Fort Hood there has to be a better way, and removing all handguns from circulation is clearly not it.

11 November 2009

SPOTD #160

Again I have a long-delayed edition, as well as failing to produce as much on the blog. I found some of these articles months ago. I hope the links still work.

Today's Phrase:
Back to basics. I've been trying to teach this one to Joseph so he can impress his Mima.

Me voy al baño.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
May voy ahl bahn-yo.

I'm going to the bathroom.

Hollywood History
I've always considered Walt Disney one of my heroes. This article about the Disney Family museum in San Francisco has added another place to my to-visit list.

These are four interesting stories of survival that we can profit from. Also, interesting tips for survival kits. I think that a good book is a great suggestion for any occassion.

If you want to raise your own livestock, these are good animals to consider.
I would avoid this one, a purported chupacabra.

An extremely impressive collection. Lacy's opinion? "What a waste of money!"

I recently read the first 5 books in the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. It is a fantasy series and I've really enjoyed each one. Also enjoyable is the author's photo on the back cover. He appears to be the High Lord of Nerdlery.

Hard Hits
The NFL commissioned a study that has demonstrated a correlation between higher occurrences of neurological disease in NFL players than what is found in the general populace. This will add to continued debate about what role the NFL should play in the ongoing health issues of retired players.

Link of the Day
Behold...or don't behold, the Invisible Man! Pretty cool trick, with no digital fakery involved.

07 November 2009

02 November 2009

California Un-Love

My wife is from California. I enjoy traveling there to visit her family. I love the great climate and there is always something fun to do. But as most people know, California is in trouble. From today's L.A. Times-

Starting Sunday, cash-strapped California will dig deeper into the pocketbooks of wage earners -- holding back 10% more than it already does in state income taxes just as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks into gear.
Technically, it's not a tax increase, even though it may feel like one when your next paycheck arrives. As part of a bundle of budget patches adopted in the summer, the state is taking more money now in withholding, even though workers' annual tax bills won't change.
Think of it as a forced, interest-free loan: You'll be repaid any extra withholding in April. Those who would receive a refund anyway will receive a larger one, and those who owe taxes will owe less.
This may amount to $25 a month for a family of four earning $90,000. That really doesn't seem like much, but I'm not comfortable with the budgetary shell game being played by the California government. Having to repay the monies at tax time is not a real fix for the state, and it demonstrates a disregard for the rights of the taxpayer. Moreover, as this op-ed suggests, the benefits provided by the State of California in exchange for those taxes is not what it used to be:
In America's federal system, some states, such as California, offer residents a "package deal" that bundles numerous and ambitious public benefits with the high taxes needed to pay for them. Other states, such as Texas, offer packages combining modest benefits and low taxes. These alternatives, of course, define the basic argument between liberals and conservatives over what it means to get the size and scope of government right.
It's not surprising, then, that there's an intense debate over which model is more admirable and sustainable. What is surprising is the growing evidence that the low-benefit/low-tax package not only succeeds on its own terms but also according to the criteria used to defend its opposite. In other words, the superior public goods that supposedly justify the high taxes just aren't being delivered.
California and Texas are not perfect representatives of the alternative deals, but they come close. Overall, the Census Bureau's latest data show that state and local government expenditures for all purposes in 2005-06 were 46.8% higher in California than in Texas: $10,070 per person compared with $6,858. Only three states and the District of Columbia saw higher per capita government outlays than California, while those expenditures in Texas were lower than in all but seven states. California ranked 10th in overall taxes levied by state and local governments, on a per capita basis, while Texas, one of only seven states with no individual income tax, was 38th.
The author addresses education, population inflows/outflows, and transportation to demonstrate the decline of Californian excellence in those. I think the article is well-written, and although there may be other areas not addressed by the author where California excels, but this Florida-boy is staying put. Any thoughts? A.J.?

01 November 2009

Real Hope

This post may not be for the faint-hearted. While at BYU I took a political science class that looked at non-traditional issues affecting peace and security. Among them was the status of women. We learned that due to the very young age at which young women in the developing world are given in marriage, severe complications in childbirth can leave them incontinent, and completely cut off from society. This is especially prevalent in Africa.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof profiles the work of anthropologist-turned-obstetrician who has made it his life's work to correct this condition, known as a fistula. This work has an immediate and transformative impact in the lives of the women it touches:

Just about the happiest thing that can happen to such a woman is an encounter with Dr. Lewis Wall, an ob-gyn at Washington University in St. Louis. A quiet, self-effacing but relentless man of 59, Dr. Wall has devoted his life to helping these most voiceless of the voiceless, promoting the $300 surgeries that repair fistulas and typically return the patients to full health.
“There’s no more rewarding experience for a surgeon than a successful fistula repair,” Dr. Wall reflected. “There are a lot of operations you do that solve a problem — I can take out a uterus that has a tumor in it. But this is life-transforming for everybody who gets it done. It’s astonishing. You take a human being who has been in the abyss of despair and — boom! — you have a transformed woman. She has her life back.”
“In Liberia, I saw a woman who had developed a fistula 35 years earlier. It turned out to be a tiny injury; it took 20 minutes to repair it. For want of a 20-minute operation, this woman had lived in a pool of urine for 35 years.”
He has started work on a hospital in Niger, dedicated to fistula repair. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, you can go to Kristof's blog.

31 October 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CX

Only the first part of this episode was Halloweeny, but it was great. Enjoy.

29 October 2009

Back to Normal

Having made my post in praise of Obama's impact on perceptions of the U.S., I now have a whole slate of reasons regarding some of his poor choices.

28 October 2009


Here are two good pieces from the Wall Street Journal on the damage being done to liberty in two Latin American countries with leftist goverments.

O'Grady looks at how Argentine president Cristina Kirchner is putting pressure on the free press, following the Chavez playbook.

In Nicaragua, President Danny Ortega has used a shady process to move toward the abolition of term limits in that country.

25 October 2009


Since I've only posted 3 times in the last 2 weeks I wanted to do something tonight in the few minutes I have before bed.

Time to look at what has worked for Obama, and by the measure of the world's admiration of our country, there has been dramatic improvement.

I have been dismissive in the past of some efforts to curry favor around the world, and I haven't changed my mind, but there is no question that this kind of change is good for America.

20 October 2009

The War on Fox

The Obama administration has declared FoxNews organization non grata. When confronted about it by ABC News' Jake Tapper the following exchange occurred:

Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –
Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.
Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say

Gibbs: ABC -
Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?
Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.
Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” -- why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
Gibbs: That’s our opinion.

There is a lot of debate about whether FoxNews' coverage is skewed, but no more than for CNN or MSNBC. The White House is setting a bad precedent here.

17 October 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CIX


10 October 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CVIII

A fun little video to play with your mind. Would have been cooler before computerized special effects became so accessible, but at just over a minute it is a small investment of time.

CHOP CUP from :weareom: on Vimeo.

09 October 2009

Nobel Farce Prize

President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Not everyone thinks it was a good call.

I don't. From the above-linked Times (UK) piece:

Mr Obama becomes the third sitting US President to receive the prize. The
committee said today that he had “captured the world’s attention”. It is
certainly true that his energy and aspirations have dazzled many of his
supporters. Sadly, it seems they have so bedazzled the Norwegians that they can
no longer separate hopes from achievement. The achievements of all previous
winners have been diminished.

It has been reported that Obama himself is surprised at the award, and if he is honest will admit to himself that his resume is very thin at this point.

The Peace Prize has grown more irrelevant over time. It is unfortunate, though not altogether surprising, that it has continued down that path. There is no doubt that other people have done more to deserve it. It is too bad that their deeds will not be better known.

06 October 2009

Extremism on the Latin Left

You can't draw conclusions about someone based solely on their supporters. You can learn about their supporters from their supporters.

Honduras' Zelaya has some extreme supporters. At least one prominent supporter has espoused anti-semitic views. I don't understand why anyone in Honduras should be complaining about Zionism, but given ties that are strengthening between Iran and Zelaya supporter Venezuela, it is a nasty connection.

Read O'Grady's article for more.

05 October 2009


A tough critique in the Wall Street Journal of the Cash for Clunkers program. If there is any data or explanation about why the program was a good one I'd like to know.

I just don't feel like taking the time to find out for myself.

03 October 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CVII

I don't drink alcohol, but like most people, have found Bud Light's ads to be very funny over the years. Their most recent ads have been pretty lame, so let's take a look at some of the classics.

02 October 2009

Olympic Fail

What are the implications of the President's failed bid for the 2016 Olympics? From Rick Moran at Pajamas Media:

It would be easy to read too much into the rejection of Chicago as the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics despite the president’s personal lobbying junket to Copenhagen in order to plead the city’s case before a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
But neither should the president get a pass or an “A” for effort — or any other spin one wishes to put on the decision by the IOC to bypass Chicago as host for the games.
In a word, this is a disaster
for the president.
“If he goes and does not bring home the Olympics, it’s going to be kind of a blow for him on the international stage where he is immensely popular, which is really the reason why they think it will help the bid for him to go,” said Kenneth Vogel, a senior reporter for Politico.
He placed the prestige of his presidency directly on the line and failed. That’s the bottom line. He gambled with the one thing no president should ever gamble with unless the stakes are much higher than his hometown getting the Olympic games.

I really don't think this was an instance of people acting against Obama, but his being there appeared to have no positive effect, and it will affect his credibility. I really think this decision was more emblematic of where Brazil is as an international player.

30 September 2009

A Few Good Articles

This is some interesting criticism of President Obama in the context of how he presented himself at the United Nations last week. That critcism is consistent with Michael Barone's perception of Obama as a member of the blame-America cadre.

On the issue of Iran, Michael Ledeen looks at diplomacy's record in dealing with the regime.

Given Obama's record so far, guessing how the Obama administration will react to Iran and other issues is a difficult puzzle.

Democracy Cures Ills

The diplomatic kerfuffle in Honduras continues.

In November there will be scheduled Presidential election. The interim president will not be running. He lost the primary. The ousted president is not eligible under the Honduran constitution. So someone apart from the current administration and the previous administration will be president. Hopefully this will solve the problem, as Michael Totten explains on Commentary Magazine's website.

Waiting for the election will be too-little, too-late with regard to correcting the mistakes we've made with our relationship. In the WSJ O'Grady has more.

27 September 2009

SPOTD #159

It has been almost a month. There's a lot here to enjoy.

Today's Phrase:
Too many football losses lately.

Cuando pierdes, no pierdes la lección.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Kwan-do pyair-days, no pyair-days lah lek-syown.

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

Sweet Rebirth
Mercedes is planning a spiritual successor to one of its all-time classic cars- the Gullwing. Take a moment and check out these beautiful pics.

I'll keep it brief-
Valkyrie: Pretty good. Solid acting, interesting story.
Inkheart: Wholesome, didn't care much about the characters. Nice story.
Wolverine: Better than expected. Effects could have been better. Beautiful locales.
Next: Forgettable but fun. I fell asleep part-way through for about 5 minutes.

Why is Halo 3 ODST a significant release? Find out here.
What implications does the new iPod Nano have on other gadgets? This post from Popular Mechanics supposes that the inclusion of the video camera makes it an even more formidable device. I just learned that it actually has an FM tuner as well.
This is a review of historical sports innovations.
A new kind of portable shelter promises to provide better conditions for those displaced by natural disasters.

Rat Eater
There is a pitcher plant in the Phillipines that is tailor-made to chow down on small vertebrates like rats.

A Russian billionaire has installed a countermeasure against photography. It may be illegal, and it is an interesting technology.

Link of the Day
Normally I reserve this space for something silly, but I thought it would be worthwhile to highlight the life of an extremely influential person that few of us were aware of- Norman Borlaug.
This was an article that was written when Borlaug turned 90. Borlaug died a few weeks ago at age 95. This remembrance also looks at the significance of a man who may have saved more lives than any other person.

26 September 2009


Miami got worked today. It was a bad loss, and a reminder that 2 wins does not a season make. Virginia Tech's defense was prepared and their offense manhandled the Canes defensive line. It's not the end of the season by any means, but still a bad loss.

Tim Tebow went down hard today. Seems to be a concussion. I hope he's okay.

At least the Cougs won. And A.J. was prophetic in his mention of Cal's traditional meltdown.

22 September 2009

Rise and Fall and Rise

I thought this was a good piece from SI.com's Stewart Mandel. He looks at Miami and Cal, two middling 2008 teams that have shown a resurgence in 2009.

To have at #9 is exciting, but given BYU's fortunes over the last several weeks I know how fleeting that can be. The Canes face two difficult tests over the next 2 weeks, with Virginia Tech and Oklahoma, and if they can emerge unbeaten it will bode very well for their somewhat surprising team.

Cal's success is less surprising, but with USC losing last Saturday they are in a good position if they continue winning.

21 September 2009


The war in Afghanistan continues to be difficult. The leader of our forces there wants more troops immediately. The Obama administration wants to wait until it has completed a more thorough review before addressing the issue.

I'm generally in favor of the government addressing initiatives in a thoughtful and well-researched manner. I do worry that this delay could be costly to our efforts there, but I'm not an expert on the situation there.

19 September 2009

Tebow's Problem?

I'm watching the UF-Tennessee game right now. I want Florida to win this game, but I am not sure that I want the Gators to go undefeated this year. What I want may not matter, but it highlights my increasingly complicated relationship with the Gators.

I like Tim Tebow and I like Urban Meyer. They're the hometown team, so most Saturdays I root for their success.

But I grew up a fan of the University of Miami, and continue to be one to this day. I used to HATE the Gators, and took great satisfaction from the difficulties Florida had with Miami during the 3 meetings earlier this decade.

As Florida's success has really blossomed the enjoyment of Gator fans has increased, and in some cases has risen to insufferability. Should the Gators go undefeated this year I think it will rise to such epic proportions that my latent, once-thought-abandoned Gator-hate may re-emerge for good. We'll see what happens.

The game is close at this point, 10-6. We'll see what happens.

For your extra-credit reading, this article about Tebow's NFL prospects is interesting because it focuses on Tebow's left-handedness, and the generally poor fortunes of left-handers in the NFL.

Awesome Video Saturday CVI

To get yourself prepared for tonights game between BYU and Florida State, here are some highlights from the BYU-Oklahoma game which took place two weeks ago.

Go Cougs!

17 September 2009

Lower Shields

The Obama administration has cancelled Bush-era plans for a land-based European missile shield. I don't know if this is good or bad militarily. I'm not well-versed enough in these issues to give an opinion.

I don't think it is a good political decision. It appears that the decision was made without much consultation with Poland and the Czech Republic. If that is true, it puts small but important allies in a weaker position relative to Russia.

This Polish newspaper is concerned about whether the move will embolden the more belligerent elements of the Russian governmental-military apparatus. Other Poles are worried about how this will affect their stature in Europe.

Only time will tell.

15 September 2009

No Apologies

I love this article by Michael Wilbon. He responds to the reaction to Michael Jordan's speech at his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

I agree with what he says. I would not have done what Jordan did, but I most certainly am not Michael Jordan.

MJ is the Hank Rearden of basketball. I love it.


So we have started a minor trade battle with China, and for no good reason.

Such a productive use of our time and resources. The Chinese will retaliate and this will undermine our position as an advocate of free trade.

14 September 2009


There was a big protest against expanding government over the weekend. It took place in Washington D.C. and seemed to have around 500 thousand people. Not bad. This is a time-lapse video of the protestors.

The protestors and those sympathetic to their cause (like me) feel like much of what has occurred in the Obama administration has added to the unwelcome growth in government endemic to both Republican and Democratic administrations. This article looks at the use of policy czars, and Obama's expansion of that tool.

08 September 2009

A Great Finish

A perfect football weekend concluded with the thrilling victory of Miami over Florida State. What more could I ask for after a fantastic three day weekend?

Pat Forde points out that BYU was doing pretty well defensively long before Bradford's injury took him out of the game.

05 September 2009

A Thing of Beauty

Awesome Video Saturday CVI

I love videos like this. I once made an animated short. It took forever, and looked terrible.

31 August 2009

Obama- Fumando la Pipa

The Obama administration continues to make poor choices with regard to Honduras. O'Grady addresses it perfectly in today's Journal. Here is an excerpt:

If the Obama administration were a flotilla of ships, it might be sending
out an SOS right about now. ObamaCare has hit the political equivalent of an
iceberg. And last week the president’s international prestige was broadsided by
the Scots, who set free the Lockerbie bomber without the least consideration of
American concerns. Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of restoring common sense to
budget management is sleeping with the fishes.
This administration needs a win. Or more accurately, it can't bear another loss right now. Most especially it can't afford to be defeated by the government of a puny Central American country that doesn't seem to know its place in the world and dares to defy the imperial orders of Uncle Sam.
I'm referring, of course, to Honduras, which despite two months of intense pressure from Washington is still refusing to reinstate Manuel Zelaya, its deposed president. Last week the administration took off the gloves and sent a message that it would use everything it has to break the neck of the Honduran democracy. Its bullying might work. But it will never be able to brag about what it has done.

29 August 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CV

The true story of...Mario Kart.

27 August 2009

What the...?

According to one report, State Department officials have recommended that the Honduran ouster of Zelaya be termed a military coup.

This is a terrible idea. Scroll down if you don't know why. What a bunch of morons.

25 August 2009

Doing the Job Right

Michael Yon is a self-financed journalist who has reported extensively on Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written and photographed some astounding things, and the clarity of his conclusions on the situations in-country are very valuable for people like me, thousands of miles from the wars.

He is reader-supported. I hope you will check out his site, including this fascinating dispatch, and then make a donation if you feel inclined. I did tonight.

Fakin' It

This is an interesting article from the New York Times on the manipulation of photographs. The article comes after speculation has arisen about an iconic photograph of a soldier dying in the Spanish Civil War.

This is a neat little slideshow of historic photo fraud.

24 August 2009

SPOTD #158

Unfortunately some of these items are a little old now, but I hope that you enjoy them.

Today's Phrase:
An interesting thought in these trying times.

El objeto de toda discusión no debe ser el triunfo sino el progreso

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Ell oab-hay-toe day toe-dah dee-scoo-syone no day-bay sare ell tree-oon-foe see-no ell pro-gray-so.

The aim of argument, should not be victory, but progress.

Cosas Nuevas
This is a gallery of newly discovered animals and plants, all found in the himayalas.

Top pro golfer Phil Mickelson is trying to buy 100 Waffle Houses. Why not?

Twitter No More
The Marines have banned Twitter and other social networking sites. While this will be difficult for some of the marines who enjoy these networks, the concerns about operational security are real, and the decision seems justified.

A famous carp has died in Great Britain. Foul play may have been the cause. Benson, the popular fish, had been caught and released 63 times.

Strange Abodes
Here is a slideshow of some of the world's weirdest hotels.

Link of the Day
Here is a handy guide on moving heavy stuff without big equipment.

23 August 2009


This is an interesting article from Bill Simmons, a newly-converted soccer fan, on what it was like to watch the U.S. Soccer team take on Mexico in the extremely intimidating Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. An excerpt:

Opponents never feel safe. Inside the bowels of the stadium, the
players walk down a concrete tunnel that feels like it was built in 1362. Emerge
from the tunnel, and Mexican fans are suddenly right there, wearing green
jerseys, yelling obscenities and pounding the fence in front of them. The venom
starts immediately -- booing and hissing, horn blowing, various "Meh-hee-CO!
Meh-hee CO!" chants -- and never really stops. The Mexican fans had no problem
drowning out "The Star-Spangled Banner" with jeers. They tossed drinks and
debris at the U.S. bench for most of the second half ... which didn't matter
because Azteca's opposing bench has an impenetrable plexiglass roof, but still.
During a corner kick in extra time, they showered Landon Donovan with such a
staggering amount of debris that he briefly staggered back toward the field in
disbelief, shrugging his hands as if to say, "How could anyone act like

It is an entertaining read.

22 August 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CIV

A preview for James Cameron's new film Avatar was released this week. I thought it was very intriguing. The process used to shoot the film is brand new, meant to provide a richer 3-D experience than anything that has been done so far.

Check out the short teaser below, and share your thoughts.

20 August 2009


Watch this clip from MSNBC. It shows a man carrying an AR-15 and handgun while protesting against the Democratic Health Care plans in Arizona. (via Hot Air).

His presence and armed status leads the hosts of this show to discuss the alleged resurgence of white hate groups and the potential for harm to come to the president. There IS one problem with this particular instance-

I am NOT saying that President Obama faces no race-related threats, but there is huge overpromotion of the idea that current opposition to the health care proposals is primarily race-based. This is like saying that Bush was hated by the left for his racial or socioeconomic background (though the latter may have played a role with some).

President Obama and the liberal democrats in Congress have violated some principles that resonate with most Americans. That is the true source of these protests, legitimate loonies notwithstanding.

16 August 2009

So it begins

From Reuters:

The first two named tropical storms of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane
season, Ana and Bill, formed over the Atlantic on Saturday and moved westward,
and the National Hurricane Center said Bill was expected to become a hurricane
in 3-4 days.

15 August 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CIII

I thought these were great, although they are not technically videos. Someone stripped the music tracks from the Beach Boys iconic album Pet Sounds. I love the sound, and these are a few of my favorites-

13 August 2009


Michael Vick has signed with the Eagles. I think the man deserves another chance. Any strong feelings on the issue?

12 August 2009


Health care isn't the only thing that needs reform. The practices of congress members (from both parties) is in need of ethical wellness checks.

See this article for more.

Health Care Thoughts II

This is a fantastic article on Health Care reform by Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey.

He has some simple prescriptions for making health care less expensive without limiting choice.

Health Care Thoughts

I enjoyed this article about the difficulty that doctors face when trying to treat heart disease in infants and children. My son was born with a serious heart defect, and I never remember wondering if there were things they would use that were "off-label." The outcome was so excellent that I don't really care.

I do wonder how a greater degree of government involvement would affect this area.

Yesterday USA Today published an editorial that called disruptive protests at town hall meetings un-American. Fortunately the White House disagrees. Disruptions for disruption's sake are unproductive, but this is an issue that has people energized, and they should be able to air their concerns.

Ed Koch is the former mayor of New York and an Obama supporter. He comments on the President's political failure with regard to health care reform and what issues concern him as a recent recipient of open-heart surgery at 84 years old.

11 August 2009

Change I Can Believe In

It has taken the White House far too long to come to the conclusion that many have maintained for over a month- the ouster of Honduran President Zelaya was legal.

The threat of U.S. sanctions has been lifted and Investors Business Daily explains the good news-

By ending the threats, talks can begin. Constructive solutions, like early
elections or persuading Honduras' congress to add an impeachment law to its
constitution, can now be put on the table.
The reality is, the Hondurans shouldn't be on the spot at all. What happened wasn't a coup; it was a good-faith effort by decent people to fix a difficult situation that threatened their democracy.
This, by the way, also opens the door to a return of democracy in troubled nations like Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela. People in those nations can take courage from Honduras.
The U.S. was smart to take the side of freedom. The Hondurans, however, were right all along. After all, it's their democracy. And now they've won it back.
And perhaps we can now exert pressure on those, like Chavez, that subvert democracy and the rule of law.

Furthering bolstering the Honduran case against Zelaya, Mary Anastasia O'Grady exposes the link between Zelaya and the Colombian terrorist and drug trafficking group FARC. She also discusses how Venezuela's cozy relationship with leftists like the FARC is also exacerbating the drug problem in the Western hemisphere.

09 August 2009

Quick Hits

A few things I wanted to point out.

08 August 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CII

I saw Bobby McFerrin in concert a year or two ago. It was a great night, and used a lot of audience participation. He demonstrates the universality of the pentatonic scale in this video from the World Science Festival.

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

06 August 2009

¡Viva la Resistencia!

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of Cuban Resistance Day. Millions of Cubans continue to suffer under a repressive regime.

I don't know if I agree with the author of that post with regard to the embargo, but I don't think Obama's "chill" is the way to go.

Truth to Power

ESPN can be great, but there is also a lot to criticize. SI's Frank Deford contemplates an ESPN run at the Olympics and doesn't like what he sees.

It's a fair piece, and fair criticism, especially the following:

For instance, the network has a very unbecoming habit of subtly
claiming it alone uncovers all the news. Typically, a valid report will come
out, but hours later, ESPN will declare that it has "confirmed" such-and-such.
That kind of tacky stuff. Exclusive: ESPN hereby confirms that it is
Wednesday.Or a couple of weeks ago, ESPN initially refused to report the news
that was headlined everywhere else, that Pittsburgh's Super Bowl-winning
quarterback, Ben Roethlisburger, had been accused of sexual assault. The
network's excuses were too noble by half, because there's a double standard, and
ESPN is known to cozy up to the very superstars it purports to cover.Just
suppose that CNN regularly had cutesy commercials for CNN starring Nancy Pelosi, John McCain and Rahm Emanuel. Well, that's the equivalent of what ESPN regularly does with top sports personalities. The practice is, simply, a journalistic
disgrace, and, because ESPN is so powerful, by association it diminishes the
integrity of all sports journalism. ESPN does so much quality work, but at a
certain point, in whatever field, if you become omnipotent, and if you are
secure, you stop being a conceited smarty-pants and start exhibiting a measure
... of grace.

05 August 2009

SPOTD #157

It is my 30th birthday and the 157th SPOTD. Scroll down for more great information that I have posted on these august pages.

Today's Phrase:
Generally we don't ask people how old they are, but someone may ask you. Now you can answer appropriately, using the applicable number of course.

Tengo (trienta) años.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Tain-go train-tah awn-yose.

I am thirty years old.

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince: This may be the best adaptation yet from the series. We actually watched at this drive-in in Blue Ridge, GA and thought it was very well-done. Nothing can match the scope of the books, but this was solid.
Transformers 2: It is a loud, illogical mess, but I loved it. When I was shopping for my son's birthday it required great restraint to keep from buying him (me) some Transformers.

From the Deep
San Diego has been attacked by hordes of large squid, some up to 100 lbs! Mostly this is a problem for scuba divers who have to be wary of the aggressive beasts. This would be a pretty wild experience.
Also, it's Shark Week, so read about 5 Myths about sharks that YOU may hold as true!

Toy Engineering
This is a Popular Mechanics Review of 5 poorly engineered GI Joe vehicles. I owned #3 as a child, and it was among the lamest vehicles in my collection.
The movie comes out this weekend, and has garnered much better reviews than I expected.

Fragile Infrastructure
An undersea cable was damaged and four (4!) African countries lost their access to the Internet. Crazy how vulnerable they are, but also a wake-up call for all of us.

Phone It In
At least two of my friends have demolished their phones on more than one occasion. They could use one of these.
I just bought one of these and I love it.

I Can See Clearly
The Sears Tower has introduced a clear glass balcony on the top floor. Check out the great pictures here.

Link of the Day
This is a HEE-larious collection of old print advertisements. It seems astonishing that these would have sold anything, but every era has its own peculiarities.

04 August 2009

Suiting Up

NASA has released information on its likely next-generation spacesuit. It is a more efficient model, more easily used for multiple purposes.

It will probably be used in the missions for the space shuttle replacement and the projected 2020 return to the moon.

Regarding the moon, doesn't it tell us something that it will take that long to return? The original moon missions were a phenomenal achievement. They required huge focus, came despite major setbacks, and produced impressive technological advancements. I hope we have the same benefit, and most importantly, that we stick with it.

We need to dream of these things, of space and its possibilities. It inspires me, and my days of dreaming of space travel for myself are in the past.

03 August 2009

Rise all Loyal Cougars

Here is a recap of some good news on the BYU Football recruiting front.

02 August 2009


It has taken 18 years, but the U.S. Navy has conclusively determined the fate of the first U.S. casualty of the 1991 Gulf War.

One can only imagine how long it has seemed for his family, which included a wife and two children who were toddlers at the time.

01 August 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CI

My grandmother's funeral was today. I place of viewing something here, I hope you'll follow this link and check out a little bit of this outstanding documentary about some musicians still residing in Cuba who were well known before the arrival of communism.

It's a great film.

30 July 2009

With Friends like These

We keep pushing ourselves further in the wrong direction with regard to Honduras. From today's WSJ:

The State Department announced Tuesday that it revoked the diplomatic visas of four Honduran officials because the U.S. doesn’t recognize the interim government of Roberto Micheletti. Hondurans can be forgiven if they recall the bitter Vietnam-era joke that while it can be dangerous to be America’s enemy, it can be fatal to be its friend.
The U.S. didn’t release the names of the banished, but the Honduran daily El Heraldo said they included the Supreme Court judge who signed the arrest warrant of former president Manuel Zelaya, as well as the president of the National Congress. Honduras is now in the fifth week of a constitutional crisis that was provoked when then-president Zelaya violated the Honduran constitution. He was warned by the attorney general but he persisted and, with support from Hondurans of all political parties, he was arrested and deported on June 28.
The Obama administration has yet to provide a reasonable justification for their treatment of the interim government, while said government has made a very clear case for the correctness of its actions.

28 July 2009


You may have heard about the corruption sting in New Jersey that led to the arrest of many public officials.

Ever wonder how the state got so crooked? Here are a few ideas.


The Obama administration continues to mess up Latin America. Is this man responsible?

I continue to follow, with great interest, the situation in Honduras. The interim president, Roberto Micheletti, explains how Honduras's ouster of Zelaya was a VICTORY for the rule of law and democracy.

I hope someone in the White House reads this and can put the right pieces together. Based on their handling of trivial domestic matters, I have to question whether that's likely.

27 July 2009

Joseph turns 4!

We shot this video tonight-

My little guy is 4! He was so excited when I reminded him that it was his birthday. He did this little dance-karate thing.

I am reminded of his birth, which I wrote about here, and which was very hectic. Lacy wrote a really nice message on her blog at the beginning of the month. I hope you'll take a minute to read it.

Joseph is a wonderful kid. He told me that I am his best friend because I "help him do lots of stuff all the time." He is occasionally afraid of getting "squibbled" (some word he made up for getting killed, especially by lightning), but he told me if Lacy or I get squibbled he will have to grow a replacement. He says such interesting things. He is great fun to take places, and I feel very blessed to have him and Millie.

Happy birthday buddy!

26 July 2009

Mi Abuelita

I've mentioned before how I don't usually get too personal on this blog, prefering to use other means for those things. Today and tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow because my son Joseph turns 4 and today because my abuelita, Raquel Sastre, passed away this morning.

My abuelita (I have never called her by any other name) was 94 years old. She came from Cuba in the early 1960s, following her husband who had emigrated shortly before and bringing her two younger children, my mother Gladys and uncle Ari. Her older daughter Elena was already married and would emigrate afterward with her husband Fred. She left behind many possessions, much family, and her homeland, never to return.

The Sastres settled at first in New York City, in the Flushing area of Queens. My grandfather secured employment and over time the family prospered, moving to Miami after a few years. From the time that they arrived my grandparents served as an important support for the relatives and friends that followed their exodus from Cuba. Some stayed in their New York apartment. Others were helped in other ways. My grandfather built a deserved reputation as an honest businessman and good judge of character. My grandmother was his constant and faithful companion and support. Together they raised good children and continued to serve as a focal point for the family up to the present day. They were married for 58 years when my grandfather passed away in 1999.

My relationship with my abuelita really developed after my 2 year spanish-speaking mission. When I returned I was fluent in the language and finally able to converse with her in a mature way. We would talk about politics, Cuban history, and baseball. Baseball was one of her favorite pastimes, and she followed the Marlins closely.

When I married I gained a greater appreciation for my grandmother. She welcomed newcomers to the family with openness and acceptance, and it helped my wife feel like part of the family right away (Abuelita was also happy that Lacy spoke Spanish).

When we had our first child Joseph I was able to see that what had driven Abuelita since the death of her husband was her love for family and her joy at seeing new life come into the world. Children loved her and she loved them and had a fantastic memory for birthdates and sent handwritten letters to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I remember the one she sent to my daughter Millie for her 2nd birthday, where she expressed her love and hope that Millie would know that her great-grandmother loved her.

She loved the United States, despite her sadness at never being able to return home to Cuba. She and my grandfather were unfailing supporters of the Republican party, as are most Cubans of their generation. I owe my interest and love for Cuban history to her, as she was always happy to send me information about Cuba, its people, and its proud culture. She sent clothing and other items to Cuba regularly and without fail, never forgetting that the Cuban people continue to suffer under a brutal and oppressive dicatorship, and never allowing her comfortable life in the United States to cloud that fact. This is also a hallmark of her generation, which never forgot the island that they were forced to leave.

I loved to visit her. I would learn whether I had lost or gained weight and whether she liked how I looked, especially if I had any facial hair (Castro ruined beards for her). This is common in Latin culture, where directness and honesty are common, but also common is love and acceptance.

She and my grandfather loved to share with their family, displaying tremendous generosity. We were able to see the world at a young age and enjoy their company and enthusiasm, as well as grow closer as cousins and family.

I see my grandmother in my mother. I hope there is something of her in me. I hope that I can help my kids understand that this country may be the only place on earth where a man, a woman, and two children could come, with virtually nothing, and create a successful life. I will teach them about their Abuelito and Abuelita, who did just that, and who left us a legacy that is rich with meaning and purpose.

I honor my Abuelita. I will honor her memory by continuing to hold sacred a belief in freedom and a deep and constant love for my family. She lived a life to be proud of, and she is now with her beloved Aristides and I look forward to the day when I can see them both again.

(My cousin Aris and I with Abuelito and Abuelita on a trip in 1991)

20 July 2009

Making the Moon

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moonlanding.

Today the astronauts serving on the Endeavor did a spacewalk and recognized the day.

Both Popular Mechanics and the New York Times have oral histories of the event from this involved.

18 July 2009

Awesome Video Saturday C (That's 100 in Roman)

I think this movie looks prit-e good (spoken in British):

15 July 2009

14 July 2009

Mas Confirmation

More on today's hearing- a scathing critique from a Georgetown law professor (via Instapundit):

If she was not perjuring herself, she is intellectually unqualified to be
on the Supreme Court. If she was perjuring herself, she is morally


I'm not a lawyer, but I like the law. These are two interesting articles related to the confirmation hearing of Sonia Sotomayor.

This one is from the New York Times and contains some excellent questions that there is little chance Sotomayor will be asked by the Senators at the hearing.

On a related note, law professor Randy Barnett has some advice regarding the kinds of questions that senators SHOULD ask that will provide actual insight into her judicial philosophy.

11 July 2009

Awesome Video Saturday XCIX

These are some pretty funny elevator gags by a crazy Frenchman.

08 July 2009

Obama Subverts Democracy

I'm extremely frustrated with the Obama administration's disregard for the sovereignty of Honduras.

Mary Anastasia O'Grady continues to do a fantastic job of highlighting the very real difference between our diplomatic stand and what it the actual LEGAL FRAMEWORK in Honduras.

Hundreds of emails from Hondurans flooded my in-box last week after I reported on the military's arrest of President Manuel Zelaya, as ordered by the Supreme Court, and his subsequent banishment from the country.
Mr. Zelaya's violations of the rule of law in recent months were numerous. But the tipping point came 10 days ago, when he led a violent mob that stormed a military base to seize and distribute Venezuelan-printed ballots for an illegal referendum.
All but a handful of my letters pleaded for international understanding of the threat to the constitutional democracy that Mr. Zelaya presented. One phrase occurred again and again: "Please pray for us."
This administration needs to change the way they look at the situation or they risk serious damage to whatever reputation we have for supporting the sovereignty of our allies.

05 July 2009

Honduras Heats Up

I never would have expected to devote so much attention to Honduras, but the small nation has become a lightning rod in the debate between the rule of law and the efforts of leftists to push their agenda.

No matter whether the method used to remove Zelaya from power was the most appropriate, he was acting against the spirit and letter of the constitution of the country.

He is attempting to return. I hope the interim government can maintain order without bloodshed, but I expect some of Zelaya's supporters have no qualms about violence.

04 July 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Enjoy this patriotic Muppet salute-

Be safe and blow some pretty stuff up.

Awesome Video Saturday XCVIII

Happy Independence Day!

I like this little video-

If you're in the mood for a fairly recent war movie with a good message, you can watch Saints and Soldiers below.

03 July 2009

SPOTD #156

As you know, tomorrow is Independence Day. I hope that you will be able to take a moment during your celebrations to remember the singular events that have led to the great liberty that we enjoy. It is clear that many in this world are willing to die for that kind of freedom.

Today's Phrase:
We who enjoy freedom should never mistake it for what the regime in Iran claims to provide their citizens. From 19th century cleric Adolf Kolping.

Libertad falsa y tiranía son gemelos.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Lee-bare-tahd fall-sah ee tee-rah-nee-ah sewn hay-may-lows.

False liberty and tyranny are twins.

The Law
What if there was a country that followed its legally established Constitution, and we condemned them for it?
That is happening in Honduras. We have friends living there and they are fascinated that the coverage outside of the country is getting the story so wrong.
For more info you can read my post on the subject.

I recently watched the documentary Man on Wire. It won the Oscar last year for Feature Documentary, and it was well-deserved. This is an engaging and well-produced film, combining actual archival footage and dramatic reenactments.
It is a fascinating story about a man who dared to do insane things, but there is a beauty in it.

Mighty Bad
Eric Snider has a weekly feature where he reviews bad movies. Last week's edition, a review of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, es muy excelente.

I never knew there was such competition to be professional lego-builders. See what I mean.

5 Things
TV Pitchman Billy Mays passed away last week. Here is a list of some of his greatest hits, from Popular Mechanics.

Link of the Day
The Alligator Gar is one crazy-looking fish, and you can hunt one for just $750!