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.