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.

Actual
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.

Translation
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.

Wafflin
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.

Mourning
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

Futbol

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
this?"


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

Twisting

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

Redemption?

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

12 August 2009

Savings

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.

Actual
Tengo (trienta) años.

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

Translation
I am thirty years old.

Movies
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

Resolution

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.