Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Monday, February 28, 2005

More bad news for Social Security System

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has driven in Florida in recent years to find out people are living longer (and driving slower).

Average life expectancy in the United States rose to a record 77.6 years in 2003 from 77.3 years in 2002, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the math impaired that increase may seem insignificant. However, a three-tenth's of a year increase is a large annual increase percentage wise. Extrapolate that over another generation or two and it becomes very substantial.

How much do you know about the Pope?

With Pope John Paul II being in the news lately due to his failing health, Harvey from IMAO decided to clear up some of the mystery of the papacy for us. Here is a sample:

* The first Pope was the Apostle Peter, who became such when Jesus handed him the keys to the Church. Jesus also handed him a hefty mortgage payment, which is why churches pass collection plates.

* The Pope lives in Vatican City, or Pope-opolis, as it's known to the locals.

* Vatican City has a zero birth rate and everyone living there is completely celebate. Think of it as the anti-Utah.

Go here for the full story.

Maybe the CIA isn't so bad after all

Over the last couple years, the Central Intelligence Agency has been pilloried for several failures real and imagined. The agency was criticized for failure to anticipate the 9/11 attacks and for WMD not being found in sufficient quantities. Well, I think we can state unequivically that the CIA is better that the Russian intelligence services. Consider this exchange between President Bush and President Putin of Russia.

When Bush confronted his Russian counterpart about the freedom of the press in Russia, Putin shot back with an attack of his own: "We didn't criticize you when you fired those reporters at CBS."

If that is emblematic of the information the KGB is providing Putin then I believe we need to re-think our criticism of our own intelligence services. All the KGB had to do was observe an essentially free society. We standard we are holding the CIA to is to figure out the plans and intentions of the most closed and secretive countries and organizations (al Qaeda) in the world.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Brown's fan supports a Steeler, read all about it!

Why would an Ohioan who is a life long Brown's fan care about a former player for the hated Steelers planning on running for governer of Pennsylvania? Good question. I was initially ambivalent about the rumors that Lynn Swann may run for office. In recent days I've decided to support his candidacy (I'm sure his campaign manager has been on pins and needles waiting on this announcement). I'll openly admit that race played into my decision. Over the past few decades Democrats have successfully demagogued race issues to the point where Republicans have been getting single digit support from African-Americans in the voting booth. The current administration has an admirable record of appointing women and people of color to high level positions based on merit. However, as impressive as a cabinet level appointment is it is not comparable to major elective office. I think it is important to our country that people regardless of any demographic attribute be comfortable within either of the two major political parties. While certain groups (Jewish people & African-Americans for example) have voted monolithically, they are far from marching lockstep on the issues. Republicans have long believe that if we stick to the issues and explain our positions eventually people who agree with us on the issues would cross over and vote Republican. We were wrong. I think people need to see successful people they can identify with before they consider joining a group. That's why, besides the fact that I agree with Mr. Swann on many issues, that I'm supporting his election.

Carpe Bonum has links to answer any question you may have about Mr. Swann.

(h/t to Betsy's Page for pointing out Carpe Bonum)

Friday, February 25, 2005

AL Central

Sorry for the delay in publishing the remaining reviews. Between Ordonez, Gonzalez and others returning from injuries, I wanted to see these guys show up and go through a healthy practice or two before commenting. Review of outfielders will be posted early next week. Pitchers will follow later in the week.

Like cats and dogs sleeping together

In a move that has left most people scratching their heads, Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian told an opposition leader Thursday that he would not shut the door on eventual unification with rival China. WHAT?!? Since Chiang Kai-shek's took his Republic of China (ROC) government and fled mainland China for Taiwan in 1949 relations between the two nations has been tense to say the least. China has long maintained ownership of Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek said basically same to you buddy and took the position that his was the one true government of China. For decades U.S. recognition of Taiwan has been a bone of contention in U.S. - China relations.

Definitely bears watching.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Maurice Clarett makes history

Thanks to the ups and downs of the judicial process, Maurice Clarett will be the first player to attend the NFL Scouting Combine twice. His agent claims "He's a changed man." I don't know if he is changed or not but I do know I wouldn't want my team (Browns) to draft him. He was an amazing player during the 2002 college season when healthy. He provides two major concerns to NFL GM's who want sure things in the early rounds. In his very brief college career he demonstrated both an inability to stay healthy and an inability to exercise self-control. Some team will draft him. Will they end up with a Randy Moss type who brings great performance to go with the headaches? Or (and this is my guess) will the team who drafts Clarett end up with a Lawrence Phillips type who only brings the headaches.

Finally some bi-partisanship in Congress

Unlike myself, many people bemoan the inability of our congressmen to work together. Well, there are signs of bi-partisanship being seen in Washington. Unfortunately, the one thing our senators and representatives agree about across party lines is that every federally funded program is worthy of continuation and increased funding. Here is an article from MSNBC.COM quoting several Republican lawmakers whining about proposed cuts to programs as outlined in the budget submission from the president. Unfortunately, my own senator, Sen Mike DeWine of Ohio is one of them. Senator Robert "My name is on every building in WV" Byrd must hold a class with all of them emphasizing the importance of getting every possible cent from the federal goverment sent back to your home state. This is ridiculous, the proposed budget is over TWO and a HALF TRILLION DOLLARS and these people are complaining about reductions in (or in some cases lack of increases to) programs. A lot of waste is hidden in 2.5 trillion dollars. Please contact your representatives and let them know spending needs to be cut. We can not spend more than our tax revenue indefinitely! Increasing taxes isn't the answer as they would just spend more.

UPDATE: I called Senator DeWine's office and expressed my concern. His staff said they do keep track of calls and the senator is apprised of constituent concerns on issues. Here is a link to contact info if you want to pile on.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Is assassination a laughing matter?

Apparently some people think so,

Family and friends who packed a Virginia courtroom to support Ahmed Omar Abu Ali laughed out loud when prosecutors alleged that the former high school valedictorian had plotted to assassinate President Bush

Here's the rest of the story.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Jimmy Carter tutorial

Uninformed friends (those who get their news, if any, from lamestream media) would look askance at me when I would make any comment about how lousy I thought Jimmy Carter was both as president and since leaving office. If people get their news from that [insert pejorative here] Katie Couric all they know about Carter is he is that kindly old guy who goes around helping build homes for losers.

Now, the fine people at The Spoons Experience have written an article titled Jimmy Carter for Dummies which explains his actions and behavior which so infuriates loyal Americans. Here's a taste:

Jimmy Carter, euolgized Yasser Arafat, praising, among other things, his "indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement." Aside from Arafat's well-known role in the murders of hundreds of Israelis (which doesn't seem to matter to people like Carter -- or some of his defenders), Arafat also personally directed the murders of numerous American citizens, not the least of which were 1973 murders of U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and his aide, George Curtis Moore. Noel and Moore were kidnapped, allowed to write farewell notes to their families, then beaten and machine-gunned to death by Arafat's Black September group.

I wonder how those Americans' families feel about their former President dressed in black, head bowed, and solemnly standing beside the grave of the murderer of their sons, their husbands, their fathers, and praising the killer as "A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate."

Adding to the sick irony, it bears noting Ambassador Noel and his aide were murdered in retaliation for the U.S.'s refusal to accede to the demands of Black September to release Sirhan Sirhan -- the assassin of Presidential Candidate Robert Kennedy.

Monday, February 21, 2005

President's Day reading

Betsy's Page had a link yesterday to an article about a poll of presidents.

Asked who was the greatest president, 20 percent of those polled chose Lincoln. Reagan was picked by 15 percent, Franklin D. Roosevelt by 12 percent, John F. Kennedy by 11 percent, Bill Clinton by 10 percent and George W. Bush by 8 percent. Washington was picked by 6 percent.

Obviously, this result is more indicative of name recognition than anything else. Foolish to include the current president in the survey at all. But beyond that it is an indictment of our education system. Reasonable people can disagree about their top five presidents, but no serious list has Washington number seven. I believe most people polled probably haven't read any historical books (biographies, etc) since leaving high school. Today, Betsy has a link to a list of recommended presidential biographies. Did I mention that Betsy is a school teacher?

I've recently started reading "His Excellency" by Joseph Ellis and would recommend it to anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of both our first president and colonial life.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Rove made Rather screw-up???

Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) was speaking to a community forum and claimed that Karl Rove set up Dan Rather to use false documents in an attempt to influence an election. When initially challenged about his comment he claimed to have proof but when pressed about the proof he backstepped and admitted he didn't have any proof just his "belief in the story." What this moron didn't realize was someone was recording his stupid comments. The tape can be heard at Little Green Footballs.

Does any actually believe Rather needs help making a fool of himself?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Black History Month

Deroy Murdock of National Review Online has an article exploring each of the two major political parties history of race relations.

Each February, Black History Month recalls Democrat Harry Truman's 1948 desegregation of the armed forces and Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson's signature on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the greatest black legislative victory since Republican Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in 1863. This annual commemoration, however, largely overlooks the many milestones Republicans and blacks have achieved together by overcoming reactionary Democrats.

Read the rest, pretty interesting.

Found on Right Wing News.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Okay, now we can stop worrying

Seems we were all concerned about a non-issue. Drudge has a link to an article which quotes Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying Iran doesn't plan on building nuclear weapons. As long as Vlad says we can trust the mullahs I guess our concerns were unfounded.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

AL CENTRAL Third Base rankings

What does it say about the AL Central that the consensus pre-season favorite (Twins) signs the third baseman (Munson) the Tigers released so they could start a catcher (Inge) at the hot corner?

1. Cleveland - Aaron Boone Boone is an improvement defensively and can hold his own with a bat. If Boone's surgically repaired knee fails Casey Blake would be moved back from the outfield. While only average defensively, Blake was one of the top offensive 3B.

2. Chicago - Joe Crede Crede has been expected to have a breakout season the last couple years. At 27 years old if he doesn't show improvement soon he might never.

3. Detroit - Brandon Inge Inge was moved out from behind the plate last year playing 3B and CF. His offensive performance improved as he hit .287 with 13 homers. The Tigers must be under the impression that his defense will improve with a full time position.

4. Minnesota - Eric Munson While hitting with power when he connects, Munson doesn't hit enough for the power to matter much. His defense is nothing to write home about either. If Munson doesn't make the team out of Spring training, Michael Cuddyer will move from 2B. That would significantly weaken second base so I'm guessing the Twins go with Munson.

5. Kansas City - Chris Truby will take over for the departed Joe Randa now with Cincinnati. Truby will wear Carlos Beltran's old number 15 and that will be the extent of the similarities. He won't hold the job long as Mark Teahan is breathing down his neck. Mark Teahan was a piece of the Beltran deal last year. He doesn't have an official At-Bat in the majors yet but gave a good performance in the Arizon Fall League and is expected to take over in June.

Democratic activism at its best

While Barbara Boxer and John Coyners whined and complained about people in Ohio actually having to stand in line to vote, they haven't said a word about the wide spread voter fraud in Wisconsin. Here's a story about the Dem's early morning activities on election day. If we could accurately account for all the fraud we would find out the last election was more of a landslide than we think.

Old Media versus Web-logs (blogs)

A frequent claim made by the mainstream (okay, extreme left-wing) media when under criticism from web-logs is that the blogs don't have editorial oversight or fact checking. The claim is laughable from several angles. This is usually more of an issue on hard news and political stories. However, sports related blogs are equally derided by most in the legacy media. Aaron Gleeman reviewed Buster Olney's latest column and found a bunch of obvious factual errors.

"In it, Olney writes the following about the St. Louis Cardinals (I've put the notable section in bold):

But Albert Pujols complained during the offseason about nagging injuries, Jim Edmonds turns 41 this season, and Edgar Renteria -- an underrated member of this attack -- is gone. It's possible the Cardinals won't be able to support the pitching the way they did last year.

In reality, Jim Edmonds was born on June 27, 1970, which means he turns 35 years old in about four months. So Olney was only off by six years.

Wait, there's more

If Olney can't get the easy stuff right why should he be trusted on the unverifiable tidbits he throws in his columns?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Philadelphia hosts pro-cop killer rally

Here's a gentle reminder to all aspiring politicians out there, doing the right thing in the first place is better than a nicely worded apology. Mayor John Street of Philadelphia apologized to the widow of a murdered police officer after a visit by two French politicians to city hall to discuss freeing the killer of her husband. Unfortunately, for the mayor the attempt to quietly curry favor with the nuts who support Mumia went awry when:

"the French politicians showed up with about 150 sign-waving protesters who had just marched around City Hall chanting Abu-Jamal's name."

For those who haven't followed this case, this scumbag shot the police officer in the back and then walked over and shot him in the face. He has since become a cause-celebre among Hollywood nuts (Ed Asner, Ozzie Davis, etc), foreign politicians (George Soros, Teresa Heinz Kerry and the French) and some death-penalty opponents (Jesse Jackson).

Responsible public servants like the mayor should not be giving gifts to foreigners here to mock our legal system.

For those fooled into believing Mumia was framed here is some evidence otherwise.

H/T to Right Wing News for the link.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Popular Mechanics takes on the moonbats!

We've all heard comments or gotten emails claiming various nutty theories about the 9/11 attacks. The most outlandish and disgusting ones alleged there were no hijackers but rather that our military committed the attacks. Most of us either ignore the comments or delete the emails. Somebody at Popular Mechanics took the initiative to debunk the crazy ideas. Read this and forward the link back to anyone passing on the bogus claims.

Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Who benefits from the hockey labor problems?

Barring a last minute labor agreement the National Hockey League will announce tomorrow that their season is cancelled. With that in mind, I got to thinking that both labor and management are losing big time. So, if both sides are losing, who wins? As "Deep Throat" supposedly said to Woodward or Bernstein, "follow the money." Personally, I don't think hockey fans are going to spend their ticket money on basketball. Could be wrong, but I just don't think the two sports draw from the same pool of fans. However, baseball could be the lucky recipient of additional fans going through the turnstiles. Hockey plays around 80 games which translates to 40 home games. The cost to attend an NHL game is pretty pricey so there's a considerable sum to go around. It will be interesting to see in cities with an NHL team, an NBA team and a major league baseball team whether attendance increases more for one sport than the other or if the fans just pocket the money. For the NHL the concern isn't where the fans spend their money this year but rather whether they will come back next year.

UPDATE: Did someone blink? Right after I posted the above comments, Barry Melrose reported on ESPN News that he has heard that a deal will be reached before tomorrow's deadline.

About darn time!

The United States has recalled its ambassador to Syria amid rising tensions over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon.

If Syria has been funneling terrorists into Iraq and harboring Saddam loyalists, and I believe they have, why did we have diplomatic relations with them to start with? We've had problems with Syria in Lebanon for at least 22 years. I can remember being off the coast of Beirut in 1983 and our ship firing 5" guns at Syrian tanks. Hizbullah (sponsored by Syria and Iran) chased the U.N. backed coalition out of Lebanon back then and they are active in the problems in Iraq today. As long as Syria is funding and supporting terrorist agencies like Hizbullah we should not have normalized relations with them.

Monday, February 14, 2005


I know, I know, Third Base should be next position reviewed according to official scorers. However, I view 2B and SS together as they often have the same player backing them up. Also, I'm not ready to do third base yet.

1. Chicago - Juan Uribe - Uribe had a good season offensively last year while being shuffled back and forth between four positions on defense. With the departure of Jose Valentin, he should be able to secure SS and I expect he will put up even better offensive numbers. Is he the first player to double his seasonal home runs after leaving Coors Field?

2. Detroit - Carlos Guillen - His great season last year was ended early due to a knee injury. Everything I've read indicates he should be fully rehabbed and ready to go.

3. Kansas City - Angel Berroa - After a very good rookie campaign in 2003 (ROY), Berroa slipped considerably and even got shipped back to to the minors for a while. I think his true level of performance is somewhere in between the two seasons.

4. Cleveland - Jhonny Peralta - Ostensibly, Peralta will be competing with Brandon Phillips for this job. However, all indications are the Indians are prepared to start the season with Peralta replacing longtime shortstop Omar Vizquel. Who will we see, the Peralta that won the IL MVP last year or the one who has batted .228 in limited major league exposure? Jose Hernandez signed to be a super-sub will back-up (or take over) .

5. Minnesota - Jason Bartlett - Seems to be the choice to replace Christian Guzman. Like Peralta, he's put up very good numbers in AAA but has yet to perform at the major league level.

As Art Linkletter would say . . .

"Kids say the darndest things . . . " My eight-year old came home from school today and proclaimed "I'm a babe magnet." I guess someone got more than his share of Valentine's Day cards.

Crennel off to a good start

Romeo Crennel's first player decision was a good one. I'm, of course, referring to the Cleveland Browns announcement today that they have released Jeff Garcia from his contract. Garcia was never a good fit in Cleveland. His signing during the off-season last year was probably Butch Davis' worst move of his tumultuous stint in Cleveland. And that's saying something!

Who is Ida Mae Fuller?

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe has an article dealing with the problem with the current social security system. His argument is best explained by the example of Ida Mae Fuller. Who was she? She was the first social security recipient. She retired in 1940 after having contributed $44 to the system. As if in an effort to prove the eventual insolvency of the system she lived until 1975. Read the article and see how she made out on her "investment" and then ask yourself if you think you'll do that well.

Bear in mind that when Ida Mae retired there were over 40 million people working and contributing to ensure she got her check. In a few years we will have as many people eligible for benefits as we have working. Do the math.

H/T to RightWingNews for the link.

Law students working for good

Here is an article about some William and Mary law school students assisting the Justice Department prepare the legal case againt Saddam Hussein and his henchmen. After hearing about terrorist supporters like former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, it is refreshing to hear about these law students who are actually concerned with the rule of law.

Obviously, they are not actual lawyers as the article didn't mention "billable hours."

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Second Base is not a position of strength in the AL Central or anywhere else for that matter.

1. Minnesota - Michael Cuddyer/Luis Rivas I'll admit to a little bias here. We used to live one city over from where Cuddyer attended high school so I've followed his career. Also, I have him as an inexpensive keeper on my fantasy team. It is not certain that he will play 2B this year. He may be used at 3B or in a utility role. If he is given the full time job I expect (and need) him to hit for an acceptable batting average and provide good power for this position. If Cuddyer plays third, Rivas will be the 2B which is not an incredible drop-off in production.

2. Detroit - Omar Infante He surprised people with his power last year. In his first full year he hit 16 home runs which is more impressive when you consider where he plays his home games.

3. Cleveland - Ronnie BelliardAfter making the All Star game last year, Belliard's performance tailed off significantly in the second half. I believe the extra weight he carries around wears him down as the season drags through the heat of July and August. Also, the confidence of his pitchers can't be helped by seeing the second baseman standing in right field. If Belliard goes down Brandon Phillips is ready to man the position defensively, offensively maybe not.

4. Chicago - Willie Harris Harris is the incumbent. However, the White Sox signed Tadahito Iguchi from Japan. Iguchi was a four time All Star in Japan and is coming off a very good season where he hit .333 with 24 homers. Additionally, he has won two stolen base titles and three Golden Gloves awards. Who knows how he will adjust to playing in the U.S. Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui have done great and set the bar pretty high. Kaz Matsui, the only other middle infielder from Japan, has not lived up to expectations though that can be attributed to various nagging injuries. It may not be a fair comparison as Ichiro and the Matsui's came to the United States in their 20's whereas Iguchi is already 31 years old.

5. KC - Tony Graffanino Had shoulder and knee surgury last year. He's never been a great player and at 32 he's not likely to become one. Unfortunately for the Royals, Desi Relaford is the back-up and he's worse than Graffanino.


Ranking of expected production for First Basemen is complicated by the fact that several teams split playing time at 1B between two players with the other being the primary Designated Hitter (DH). Discussion of 1B/DH in the AL Central is a littany of "IF's." If Sweeney/Thomas/Dmitri Young stay healthy. If Pena's pitch selection improves. If Morneau avoids the dreaded "sophmore jinx" and learns to lay off high fastballs. If Hafner starts hitting lefties. If Broussard produces for a full season like he did in the second half. If Harvey can hit for a full season like he did in the first half of last year.

Based on Paul Konerko having the closest thing to a reliable track record of the bunch I ended up with Chicago number one. Last year Konerko quietly put up some big numbers including 41 homers and 117 RBI. It was a difficult choice as Pena, Morneau, Broussard, Hafner, and Harvey have all shown some real serious potential. I couldn't seriously consider Sweeney since he has missed time to nagging injuries each of the last three years. However, if he only played against the Indians, Sweeney would be an MVP candidate.

Years ago players were considered to be in their prime in their mid-thirties. Well, Bill James tossed a lot of numbers into a computer to attempt to determine when a player is really in his prime. The result was that the great majority of players have their best seasons at ages 27 and 28 (We'll ignore Mr. Bonds for this discussion). Take it for what it's worth, but with that in mind here are the ages of the AL Central 1B/DH's (2005 seasonal age):
Frank Thomas 37
Mike Sweeney and Dmitri Young 31
Matt LeCroy and Paul Konerko 29
Ben Broussard and Travis Hafner 28
Carlos Pena and Ken Harvey 27
Justin Morneau 24

My final ranking of AL Central 1B/DH's is as follows
1. CHICAGO: Konerko/Thomas
2. CLEVELAND: Broussard/Hafner
3. MINNESOTA: Morneau/LeCroy
4. DETROIT: Young/Pena
5. KC: Sweeney/Harvey/Stairs A healthy Mike Sweeney could make this look pretty silly.


As I prepare these rankings, I have to guard against being influenced by my inherent bias as an Indians fan. A little explanation of my criteria for ranking players. I'm not ranking based solely on last year. I'm also not predicting the rest of a player's career. For this ranking, I'm only trying to project which team will get the most out of each position THIS YEAR.

1. Cleveland. Victor Martinez was selected to his first All Star game last year and ended the season with 23 homers and 108 RBI to go along with a .283 batting average. This year I expect his batting average to improve but wouldn't expect his other numbers to go up. Josh Bard is slated to back-up Martinez this season. Bard should provide solid defense and enough offense that the manager won't be afraid to DH or rest Martinez. Martinez' offense suffered late last year and he should benefit from more regular rest.

2. Detroit. is a future Hall of Famer and potentially one of the best two catchers in Major League history with Johnny Bench as the other. However, he 33 (turns 34 in June) and has caught a lot of games. It seems that age 33 is the fall off point for catchers. Browsing, I only identified one catcher ( who caught regularly after age 33 and continued to produce offensively. Pudge might be the second but I wouldn't bet on it. I expect him to see time as DH. His back-ups will not produce anywhere near Pudge's level.

3. Kansas City. made his Major League debut last year. Based on his raw numbers (12 homers and 30 RBI), it's understandable if you're not impressed. However, he finished strong and his back-ups are very capable. Eli Marrero is a good bat off the bench. Paul Phillips got limited playing time after a September call up but hit .312 at AAA Omaha. I may have Buck overrated, but there must be some reason KC insisted on getting him in return for Beltran last year.

4. Minnesota. Joe Mauer has been proclaimed a star. He has done well in very limited playing time. The playing time is the issue. Mauer blew out his knee last year and no position in baseball puts more stress on the knees than catching. If Mike Redmond or Matt LeCroy get considerable time behind the bench the Twinkies are in trouble.

5. Chicago. The White Sox signed A.J. Pierzynski to a one year deal in the off season. He had a reputation in San Francisco of being a jerk but more important than that is the fact he hits for okay average with little power. Pierzinski will be backed up by Ben Davis. Chris Widger was signed to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring training. Jamie Burke at AAA Charlotte is more likely to get the call up if either catcher on the 25 man roster gets hurt.

I, of course, reserve the right to change these rankings if there are major injuries to any of the players.

General Mattis - A second look

A week ago I linked to an article in defense of General Mattis for some statements he made which were taken out of context. This morning Betsy's Page has a much better article written by a Marine who served with the General.

" . . .both the left and the right are wrong about Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis. He is neither the Jack Nicholson caricature of a Marine depicted in the 1992 movie A Few Good Men nor the callous and mad eccentric depicted by George C. Scott in the 1970 movie Patton. . . . "

Read the rest

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Eason Jordan resigns!

CNN's chief news executive Eason Jordan resigned yesterday because of comments he made that alleged that our military specifically targeted and killed at least 12 journalists. I haven't written on this story for a couple reasons. Main reason is it was being covered to death by Captain's Quarters and other blogs and I had nothing (except cuss words) to add to the conversation. Some in the blogosphere are proclaiming this shows the strength of blogs and that lame stream media will start being more careful. I'm not sure. Yes, blogs got this story rolling but CNN was effectively ignoring the situation until Michelle Malkin got involved. She was able to get calls returned by Rep. Barney Franks, Sen Chris Dodd, and others in attendance when Jordan made his slandarous statements. A normal blogger would never have gotten through to a congressman or a senator. Prior to Malkin getting high level confirmation, mainstream media refused to acknowledge that this story existed.

Funniest thing about this was Jordan's assertion in his resignation speech that he was resigning "to prevent CNN from being further tarnished by the controversy." He is concerned about hurting the reputation of the network that covered up Saddam's atrocities so they could maintain a bureau in Bagdad? Is that ironic or just pathetic?

New motto for the blogosphere: WE REPORT - YOU RESIGN!

Friday, February 11, 2005

When should you stop asking Mommy for permission?

I've never been a fan of the silly media fascination with the British "royalty." Best line I've heard mocking it was said on CNBC's morning stock market show (Squawkbox?) today. The anchor of the show asked "What sort of woman would want to marry a 57 year old man who has to get his mommy's permission before he can propose?"

Irrational fears

Have you seen the commercial that ends with a lady saying "You need a plan and a financial advisor who isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves?"

Huh? I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist (heck, I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night) but I can reasonably assume there aren't a lot of financial advisors with a serious sleeve rolling phobia.

Is there anyone not deserving of a university job?

I would like to naively believe universities have high standards and wouldn't hire just any old fraud to serve as a professor teaching our children.

Well, Ann Coulter ends her column yesterday by asking this question "As long as we're all agreed that there are some people who don't deserve jobs at universities, why isn't Churchill one of them?"

The rest of the article is worth a read. My guess is this twit isn't the only fraud to be found on our campuses. At some point university leadership will realize they have the responsibility to properly investigate the credentials of the goofs they appoint as professors.

Hat tip to Right Wing News for the link.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

How dumb can baseball's leadership be???

Between the union (MLBPA) and ownership (MLB Commissioner) it seems they are bound and determined to kill baseball. A wise man once said baseball must be the greatest sport to survive the people running it. Here is an article from Rototimes of MLBPA attempting to monopolize fantasy baseball. Are they that greedy that they need every last dollar in anyway associated with baseball?

Sending a message

In recent years some universities have bowed to liberal pressure and banned military recruiters from campus. One federal judge was upset that his alma mater (Yale) was one of the offending schools. He has made the decision that graduates of Yale will not serve as his law clerks. For those unfamiliar with the legal profession, careers can be put on the fast track by getting a good assignment clerking for a federal judge.

I'm not naive enough to expect this to change Yale's policy, but at least they (and people paying tuition there) are getting some feedback. Actions have consequences. Hopefully, this judge is just the first.

Thanks to Confessions of a Political Junkie for noticing this article.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A little good news on a Wednesday afternoon

With this announcement, Senators Boxer, Kennedy, Byrd, and Murray will have a little less competition for worst U.S. Senator.

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of the Lenten Season. This also is the day each year when non-Catholics tend to ask us about our faith. Usually the inquiry goes something like this "Hey, why's your forehead dirty?"

A: Because in the Bible a mark on the forehead is a symbol of a person's ownership. By having their foreheads marked with the sign of a cross, this symbolizes that the person belongs to Jesus Christ, who died on a Cross. Click on the link for more info about Ash Wednesday.

A rare species discovered

A rare species known as an honest person has been sighted in Wisconsin. Michelle Malkin has a link to an article about a man who found a bag of money, make that lots of money, and turned it into the police. The punch line of this story to me was that "A police officer had set the bag on the trunk of a squad car and then was called to an emergency. The bag slid off the back of the car when the officer pulled away." How do you forget about securing a big bag of money?

Shame the honest guy wasn't a college professor or a journalism expert. He'd have to be better than frauds like Ward Churchill or lying trash like Jordan Eason.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Canseco and finger pointing

Jose Canseco is hawking a "tell all" book about steroid use in major league baseball. Personally, I will not put a penny in his pocket and I hope no one else does either. Legitimate steroid use as prescribed by a medical doctor to rectify a developmental problem or to promote muscle recovery from an injury is fine. However, illegal steroids are bad. Bad for the player's health and bad for the game of baseball. I'm not defending any individual player from these accusations. They are all cabable of refuting Canseco's claim. The problem is some people will believe ALL his claims since it is obvious that some players have "benefitted" from the use of steroids. My problem with Canseco is he is betraying a trust with his former teammates. To me, this is similar to a snitch against the mob. Yes, I want crime cleaned up and a snitch may necessary to accomplish that task. The snitch may have immunity but he doesn't get absolution for his transgressions and certainly shouldn't profit. The press releases about this book left me thinking he added stuff to get titilation and increase sales. Indicative of the need to sensationalize is his claim that President Bush as part owner of the Rangers "had to have known what was going on." No evidence or even claim that Bush saw any of the illegal activity. I assume he didn't make claims about other team owners only the one who's name may help book sales. Equally telling has been the response from some of the players Canseco slandered. Almost every response left me with the impression that Canseco was never a good teammate. Then again a good teammate wouldn't have written this book.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ten days until pitchers and catchers report

The Super Bowl is over and football is in the rearview mirror. Time to start thinking about baseball. I believe the trucks are heading towards Florida with all the gear as I type. With Ordonez signing a deal with Detroit, all the big name free agents are under contract and not much should happen between now and spring training camps opening up. Doing some surfing this morning it appears unanimous that the Tigers way overpaid for Magglio Ordonez. Don't get me wrong, I think Ordonez has been underrated throughout his career. However, paying a guy who hasn't played a game since blowing out his knee more than Vladimir Guerrero doesn't make sense. Even if Ordonez is completely healthy Vlad is a better player. More important than whether the Tigers are spending their money wisely is the question of how this effects the AL Central race. I could give a quick on line answer but that really won't suffice. Instead over the next week I'll post position by position comparison of all the AL Central teams. I rank and discuss the players 1 to 5 and then add the scores. This afternoon I'll start with a look at the catchers.

Monday morning football notes

First off congratulations to the New England Patriots on their victory in Super Bowl XXXIX.

Now, help Romeo Crennel get packed and on the road to Cleveland. Immediately following the game, the former defensive coordinator for the Patriots was hired to serve as the 14th head coach of the Cleveland Browns. I wish him luck in his new position (he's gonna need it). I hope he finds room on his staff for Terry Robiskie who also interviewed for the head coaching job. The coordinators and assistants that Crennel picks will obviously have a lot to do with his success (or failure) in Cleveland.

Above the law???

If you're not from Ohio, you may not have heard about the adventures of State Supreme Court Justice Alice Resnick. To summarize, on 31 January a few people called 911 to report a car weaving on I-75. Police eventually pull her over and she refused to take a breathalizer. First news I saw on this didn't even mention her party affiliation. That, of course, told me that she was a Democrat. This link has some video of her driving and being interviewed. While trying to talk her way out of the ticket she says "I've always said Supreme Court justices should have highway patrolman driving them." WHAT?! The local news played a longer version of the video where she makes other comments showing that she believes she's above the law.

A couple other points about this case are worth noting. First the time, it was 2 in the afternoon. Something is wrong if you are over twice the legal BAC at that time of the day. Next item that gets my attention is it was a state provided vehicle. Why is the State of Ohio providing this drunk a car to drive?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

In defense of General Mattis

Many in the lamestream media have been aghast over commenst made by LGEN Mattis last week. Basically, the good General mentioned in a speech that he like killing terrorist scum. Well, the best article I've seen on the subject was written by Ralph Peters (hat tip to Betsy's Page). Well worth reading.

Speaking of appreciating the Marines who take incredible risks in order to protect us, Chris of A Large Regular has a link to a story of generosity by the Cleveland Browns. The Browns donated 50 tickets to tonight's Super Bowl to Marines who recently returned from overseas. The article doesn't mention that Al Lerner the late owner of the Browns got his start in life as a Marine.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Is FOX getting their ideas from blogs?

I was just watching Brit Hume on FOX news remarking on the Democrats invoking the memory of FDR to combat President Bush's plan to save social security through partial privatization and Hume mentioned that when social security was started FDR himself argued for eventual privatization. The FDR connection to privatization has been all over the blogospere today.

FOX also played a tape of Senator Reid pushing for partial privatization back when President Clinton was in office. Politicians from the left get intellectually lazy because most in the media won't hold them accountable for their inconsistencies and lies.

Taking a Stand!

Colorado Governer Bill Owens has called for the resignation of Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor who comparing the victims of the 9-11 World Trade Center terror attacks to Nazis while praising the suicide hijackers for their "gallant sacrifices."

No one can deny that Churchill's views and comments are abhorent. An idiot like this guy makes for an easy target. Some have mentioned Owens as a potential candidate in 2008. He, of course, has not commented on that speculation but taking a stand against this moron should play well with most voters.

UPDATE: I was driving to the store earlier and heard on the radio that this jerk was paid to speak at our local college (Miami University) a week or so ago. Amazingly this didn't make the local news.

Economics Class is in session

If you are like me and only studied economics just enough to pass the class in school, you can now get a better understanding. Larry Kudlow has been holding "blog-class" at Larry Kudlow's Money and Politics for the last few months. I won't pretend to understand everything Larry says, but he makes the major economic issues much clearer. He doesn't limit himself to explaining big economic words to me. He also discusses political and cultural issue with a moral clarity. Definitely worth a look.

Should terrorism be tax exempt??

PETA has long had a history of financially supporting domestic terrorist groups. The Center for Consumer Freedom has started a petition to challenge their tax exempt status. If this bothers you as much as it bothers me, visit their site and sign the petition. Here is the main point:

"Like millions of other nonprofit groups in the United States (e.g., universities , houses of worship, social service organizations), PETA pays no federal taxes on its income. But few of these other tax-exempt groups share PETA's total disregard for the law. In 2003 PETA collected over $24 million from Americans, avoiding over $3.5 million in federal income taxes. Because this tax break amounts to a huge subsidy, every American taxpayer is footing the bill for PETA's behavior."

Hat tip to Betsy's Page for providing the link.

State of the Union ** Final Thoughts

I have read the transcript of President Bush's SOTU speech and my dominant thought is he threw down the gauntlet on his domestic agenda. My hope was that he would clearly explain the need for urgency on both budgetary restraint and social security reform. I think he accomplished the goal with social security. Anyone who listened with an open mind could easily understand the problem and the potential solution. As far as controlling spending most people probably don't even remember that he discussed the issue. He used foreign policy as a strong finisher. Some people want more specifics on foreign affairs. However, operational security sometimes makes it seem that some matters (North Korea for example) get short changed.

The Democratic response to the SOTU was absolutely unwatchable. It was a tag team with Harry Reid Senate minority leader and Nancy Pelosi House minority leader. Based on their performance we can expect they will remain in the minority. I left the room when Reid was telling some goofy story that a 10 year old kid with a skateboard came up to him in a restaurant and said he wanted to be like Reid when he grows up. It's bad enough these guys lie to us about social security and foreign affairs, but now they are making up stories about little kids. How many 10 year olds dream about growing up to be an elderly guy with a bad haircut? And Pelosi? I have to an uncontrollable urge to throw the remote at the TV when ever her visage appears.

John Hawkins at Right Wing News has a link to Jeff Goldstein from Protein Wisdom which summarizes in plain language the Democratic response. Here is a snippet of his work. Click on the link for the rest.

I sum up the official Democratic response to the State of the Union address



Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of the Union -- First thoughts

My initial reaction is this was one of President Bush's best speeches. He sounded confident and relaxed but also determined to push his ideas through Congress.

Tomorrow I'll read the transcript and give an indepth analysis.

State of the Union address

President George W. Bush will deliver the State of the Union address tonight. Personally, while I do plan on watching I don't think there will be many surprises.

* He will continue the theme of expanding freedom and use the Afghan and Iraqi elections as examples.
* He will address the need to reform Social Security. He needs to accomplish two things in this regard. Mission number one is to clearly explain the simple math which demonstrates why action is needed. When the program was enacted life expectancy was 67 today it is 79 and climbing. Secondly, he needs to reassure seniors that they are not in danger despite the fear mongering being done. Plain, clear language is a must in order to overcome the demagoguery of the left.
* He must address the growing budget problem and the need for government to be more prudent managers of the funds collected through the tax system. The answer is not confiscating more money but rather spending less.

Most interesting part of these speeches in recent years has been watching the Senators and Representatives and the childish-petulant looks on their faces. These are supposed to be adults and they frequently have a look on their face like they're in 6th grade and the teacher just assigned a second helping of homework. Just grow up! I'm not saying they need to applaud for comments they disagree with but don't make snotty faces like a grade school kid.

Boston versus Philadelphia

This years Superbowl is by no means the first area of contention between these two regions.

No, no, no! I'm not referring to the conflicts between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76's for the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association. No, they had difficulty prior to the NBA existing.

No, I'm not even looking back towards the 1914 and 1915 World Series. In 1914, the Boston Braves swept the Philadelphia Athletics (oddly enough both teams have changed cities twice since this competition). 1915 saw the Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 1.

Actually, I'm thinking of colonial America. I'm currently reading PATRIOTS - THE MEN WHO STARTED THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, by A.J. LANGGUTH which my brother recommended and lent to me. In May 1775, the second session of the Continental Congress was convened. The Boston contingent was prepared to push for a declaration of independence while the Philadelphia contingent led by John Dickinson advocated a resolution asking the king to open negotiations aimed at reconciliation. At the time, Dickinson had the votes and won the day. However, the position of the Boston delegates obviously came to fruition the following year.

Based on that, I would recommend taking the Eagles and the points in the first half but take the Patriots for the outright win on Sunday. Then again maybe you should not base wagers on 229 years old events.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

POPE JOHN PAUL II taken to hospital


I don't have a flashing light like Drudge so I'll use large print. The leader of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II (aka:Karol Joseph Wojtyla) has been taken to a hospital in Rome. I join millions of people around the world in praying for his health and comfort.

February is the worst month!

I can say with some conviction that February is the worst month of the year. It is such a lousy month it was only given 28 days. Football is usually done and gone (Super Bowl is late this year). Baseball is still a ways off. I'm not a big basketball fan except for March Madness which appropriately enough doesn't start until March. The only thing that helps get us through this month are those wonderful words "pitchers and catchers report."

Here are a couple good reads to warm you up with thoughts of baseball.

Terry Pluto of the Akron Beacon Journal explains his belief that the Indians will contend in the AL Central this year. Hope he's right. As with most small/mid-sized market teams the Tribe have question marks heading into the season but have the potential to be very good this year with the right answers.

Rich Lederer posted an interview with Joe Posnanski a sports columnist for The Kansas City Star. Posnanski grew up in the Cleveland area and hearing him discuss his favorite players from his childhood brought back some memories of some really bad baseball. Also, this was Joe's first year voting for the Hall of Fame and he discussed his ballot. Sounds like he took this responsibility seriously.

Is there liberal bias in the lamestream news?

If a Republican party leader said "I hate Democrats" it would be the lead story for the evening news. Now turn it around, while campaigning for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean stated emphatically "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for." If you get most of your news from the alphabet soup channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC etc), I'm fairly certain you heard nothing about this statement. See last paragraph of this article. The prevalent bias in the news can take many forms. What isn't reported is often as telling as what is reported. Two black men have been nominated to serve on the United States Supreme Court. One was nominated by a Democratic president (LBJ) the other was nominated by a Republican president (GHWB). Only one senator voted against the confirmation of both men, former KKK Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd. If he was a Republican that fact would have been considered important news. However, since Byrd is a Democrat his sordid past is considered irrelevent.