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

Monday, October 31, 2005

New Supreme Court nominee - Alito

President Bush this morning nominated Federal Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to fill Justice O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court. The son of an Italian immigrant, Alito has been a federal judge for 15 years and is considered moderately conservative in judicial temperament. Based on what I know of Alito, I have no problem with this choice. I'm sure we will be deluged with talk from the left that he is an "extremist." Hopefully, their bleating will be completely ignored. Elections have consequences. We lost in 1992 and 1996 and the result was Clinton was in a position to nominate Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Steven Breyer, both of whom can honestly be described as extreme to the left. However, they were confirmed by a large margin of votes because despite their weird ideology they were basically qualified. That's how it works. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer don't need to be happy they lost the election but they should be aware of the fact.

Michelle Malkin has many links about Alito.
Baseball Crank has a half dozen links as well including his official BIO.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Shamelessly stolen joke time

Shamelessly stolen joke (or true experience depending on who you believe):
A pair of Irish ditch diggers were repairing some road damage directly across the street from a house of prostitution.

They witnessed a Protestant minister lurking about, then duck into the house.

"Would ye look at that, Darby!" said Pat. "What a shameful disgrace, those Protestant reverends sinning in a house the likes of that place!" They both shook their heads and continued working.

A short time later they watched as a Rabbi looked around cautiously and then darted into the house when he was satisfied no one was looking. "Did ya see that, Darby?" Pat asked in shock and disbelief, "Is nothing holy to those Jewish rabbis? I just can't understand what the world is coming to these days. A man of the cloth indulging himself in sins of the flesh. T'is a shame, I tell ya!"

Not much later a third man, a Catholic priest, was seen lurking about the house, looking around to see if anyone was watching, then quietly sneaked in. "Oh no, Darby, look!" said Pat, removing his cap and crossing himself, "One of the poor girls musta died...."
(Stolen from Julie the Happy Catholic)

More election fraud info

We have seen Democrats crying about vote fraud since they failed at stealing the 2000 election. In 2004 they made allegations in state that they lost narrowly like Ohio. Since then, many cases of voter fraud have been uncovered in various states. Problem for the Dem's is all the cases that have been found have been committed by their party. Now it looks like Michigan can be added to the list.
But the most poignant findings were stories from those in nursing homes who had recently voted absentee.

Among them is Charles B. Allen, a resident at the Passion Caring Home for the Elderly who stared blankly one day last week when asked to name the mayor of Detroit. He's never heard of Kwame Kilpatrick and can't recall whether he voted. "I just don't know," Allen said. Six years ago, a Wayne County probate judge declared the 87-year-old legally incapacitated due to dementia and Alzheimer's. But according to city records, he voted in the August primary by absentee ballot. He did so with the aid of Rose Johnson, one of City Clerk Jackie Currie's 50 election assistants, who met with him in a private room and helped complete his ballot,
It gets worse.
• Two people in unrelated civil cases filed against Currie have given sworn statements that they witnessed Currie's workers filling out empty absentee ballots after the polls had closed.
This is nothing new for Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie.
Currie's problems with absentee voting go back decades. She and her late husband, Charmie Currie Jr., were charged in 1964 with conspiring to solicit 21 people to sign applications for absentee ballots and later advising them on how to mark their ballots. Currie's husband pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge, and the prosecutor dismissed charges against Currie on grounds that "she acted out of love for her husband."
Amazing that a crook like her is running elections in a major U.S. city. But she does have an answer for her critics.
"Prove it," Currie said. "P-R-O-V-E."
Lets hope they do.

Browns - Week 8

Well, today's loss tells us it is time to start preparing for the draft. I'd never want the Browns to tank to get a higher draft choice and want them to work for as many wins as they can get this year. Doesn't matter, a top five draft pick is not going to fix this team. We are several players short of being a top echelon NFL team and have advocated for years that the best route to go is to aggressively work to trade down in the draft and accumulate additional picks in the 2nd & 3rd rounds. Since returning to the NFL in 1999 the greatest deficiency of the new Browns has been in the area of player evaluation. Phil Savage was brought in as the new general manager after last season to improve the teams scouting, player evaluation and drafting. Time for him to earn his keep.

Step one: Cut the punter (Richardson) tomorrow morning.

Unemployment stats

We're constantly barraged with media claims about how bad the economy is as well as the liberal bs about tax cuts for the rich hurting those at the bottom. However, they never explain how if things are so bad why is unemployment so low. Here is an article with some info that may surprise people about black unemployment.
Currently, black unemployment is 9.4%, which is significantly lower than the 10% it averaged in the Clinton years. The current rate is also much lower than the average black unemployment rate over the past 30 years, which is 12.4%.

Some on the left have complained that even if the black unemployment rate is dropping, there is still too great a gap between the unemployment rate for blacks and for whites.

If this complaint were sincere, those who made it should be pleased to learn the gap between black and white unemployment, which stands today at 4.9 points, is smaller than the 5.5-point average gap of the Clinton years and the 6.9-point average gap of the past 30 years.

Etiquette lesson

The Washington Post helps us with Indictment etiquette this morning in an article titled How to Greet the Accused So You Won't Feel Guilty.
So, you run into Scooter Libby, Tom DeLay or Marion Barry at a party. Awkward, huh? "When you get indicted, no one wants to talk to you," says former White House special counsel Chuck Colson.

Letitia Baldrige , author of "New Manners for New Times: A Complete Guide to Etiquette" -- If you don't know them: "Brush by and say, 'Hello, nice to see you.' Big smile, no questions." If you know them: "You touch their arm and say, 'I know you're going through a tough time; we're all wishing you well.' You don't go into details."

Friday, October 28, 2005

Upcoming Election Issues

November 8th, Ohio is holding elections and a number of statewide issues will be decided. Last night my wife and I were watching Leno and they had competing ads regarding the ballot issues running almost back to back. Each ad featured five or six supposedly "regular folks" saying we should vote yes or no on the various issues. Afterwards I asked my wife did either of those ads tell you anything about what the new laws would do? She agreed that none of ads, whether on TV or radio, told her anything about the issues. So I did a little research. Here is a link to the Ohio Secretary of State's info on the issues with arguments both for and against each issue.

Coincidentally, BizzyBlog has an post today which contains State Rep. Diana Fessler's position on the issues titled:
NO-NO-NO-NO-NO on Ohio Issues 1,2,3,4,5: Great Synopsis of Why to Oppose Each One
Make up your own mind. Myself, I'm leaning towards no on most of these. Biggest problem I see with any additional law or regulation is the fact that they invariably lead to expansion of government with all the attendant costs. A couple of these measures are tantamount to a blank check. You give a blank check to any bureaucracy (even one with a good and valid purpose) and you can count on the number of dollars on the check to be ever increasing. Issue three is a strong no vote because it would lead to increased union involvement in funding political races.

There are also dozens of local races and I'll post a link and my opinion on those later. There are 14 pages of political gobbledygook explaining 48 issues to read through so don't look for it until Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Breaking News - Indictment Rumors

After a week of various rumors of impending indictments, Drudge has the flashing blue light up announcing that presidential political advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove will NOT be indicted tomorrow. However, Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby will be indicted for perjury. The politically active amongst us know who Libby is, but if you polled 100 people and asked if they have heard of Scooter Libby 99 would assume you made the name up.

Should be more obvious

Either Halloween decorations need to be more obviously fake or suicides need to be more obviously real.
The apparent suicide of a woman found hanging from a tree went unreported for hours because passers-by thought the body was a Halloween decoration.

The 42-year-old woman used rope to hang herself across the street from some homes on a moderately busy road late Tuesday or early Wednesday, state police said.

The body, suspended about 15 feet above the ground, could be easily seen from passing vehicles. State police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Oldham and neighbors said people noticed the body at breakfast time Wednesday but dismissed it as a holiday prank. Authorities were called to the scene more than three hours later.

More bad news

If this article is correct, my political career has ended before it ever started.
Handsome men have edge in election wins
Oh well, I'm politically incorrect and unelectable for many other reasons anyways.

Breaking News - Miers Withdraws nomination

It has just been announced that Harriet Miers has withdrawn from consideration as a Supreme Court nominee. What now? I expect the president to announce another nominee by Tuesday of next week. What long term impact will this failed nomination have on the Bush administration? None. Does anyone judge the Reagan administration on the couple failed Supreme Court nominees (Bork & Ginsberg) Reagan had?

Now, if Bush had a real sense of humor he could drive the left absolutely batty by naming Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald on Friday after he announces that his investigation led to no indictments being handed down.

World Series is over

World Series is over and the Chicago White Sox are the champs. Let the player movement begin.

Personal side note: Last night was a school night so the kids went to sleep before the game ended. So this morning I wake up to hearing my wife explain to the boy child "You should be happy, at least a team from the Indian's division won." The response was great "But Mom, they're our enemy." He may only be nine, but he knows right from wrong.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Quote of the Day

"If it wasn't for lawyers - We wouldn't need them." A.K. Griffin

Ain't that the truth.

World Series game Three

Last nights World Series game was one for the ages. Though most people were asleep long before it ended, game three of the World Series will go down in the history books as a great game. This was the longest game in World Series history and didn't end until after 2 AM on the east coast. The game went 14 innings, lasted 5 hours and 41 minutes and involved 17 pitchers between the two teams. Only one other World Series game has gone 14 innings. In game two of the 1916 World Series, Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Babe Ruth gave up an inside the park home run in the first inning and then held the Brooklyn Robins scoreless for the next 13 innings. Here is the box score of that game. You'll notice a couple differences between then and now. That game took 2 hours and 32 minutes to play and only 2 pitchers were used. Next time someone argues that Ruth was not the greatest baseball player ever think about this game and remember he was a great pitcher before he was the greatest hitter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A new requirement for Supreme Court Justices

When Hillary Clinton was asked what she would ask Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers she responded:
"Please tell us one thing you disagree with the president on," Clinton said to loud applause from the crowd.
Not that I feel a justice must agree with the president in all matters but why should a justice have to identify areas where they disagree with the president?

Scooter Libby and Potential Perjury

The New York Times is reporting that there is a discrepancy in Scooter Libby's testimony to the grand jury investigating an alleged leak of an alleged covert CIA agent. I know it's a stretch, but for the sake of discussion lets assume the Times is right. If he gave conflicting testimony with the intention of misleading or impeding the investigation he should be charged with perjury. Many will say "but the original charges turned out to be false, so why charge perjury if there was no crime to cover up?" I have to disagree with that line of reasoning. If we make that argument, we will be no better than the sycophants who defended Clinton by saying "he only lied about sex." What one lies about is not the issue. Issue is lying while under oath. The foundation of our legal system is the requirement to tell the truth under oath. Without the fear of a perjury charge our legal system would be constantly abused.
What is perjury?

Perjury is the "willful and corrupt taking of a false oath in regard to a material matter in a judicial proceeding". It is sometimes called "lying under oath"; that is, deliberately telling a lie in a courtroom proceeding after having taken an oath to tell the truth. It is important that the false statement be material to the case at hand—that it Could affect the outcome of the case. It is not considered perjury, for example, to lie about your age, unless your age is a key factor in proving the case.

Perjury can be used as a threat. Although it is a very serious crime under state and Federal laws, and while prosecutors often threaten prosecution, the number of actual prosecutions for perjury is tiny.

Perjury prosecutions stemming from civil lawsuits are particularly rare. This is because it is difficult to prove that someone is intentionally misstating a material fact, rather than simply testifying honestly from faulty memory.

A secondary but important question is how does supposedly secret grand jury information get leaked with such frequency? My own guess is that staffers and assistants to the prosecutor leak to various sources in order to curry favor with an eye on future jobs.

The Difficulty in Arguing with the Left

In his column this morning, Dennis Prager explains why it is so difficult to have an intellectual argument with liberals. It's all about the "anti" label.
One of the more appealing aspects about being on the Left is that you do not necessarily have to engage your opponents in debates over the truth or falsehood of their positions. You can simply dismiss your opponent as "anti."

Anti-worker: It all began with Marxism. If you opposed communism or socialism, you were not merely anti-communist or anti-socialist, you were anti-worker. This way of dismissing opponents of leftist ideas is now the norm. Anyone, including a Democrat, who raises objections to union control of state and local politics is labeled anti-worker: "anti-teacher," "anti-firefighter," "anti-nurse," etc.
When you can not defend the merits of a particular concept or policy all you have left is attacking who ever disagrees.

Rosa Parks - RIP

Rosa Parks passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Mrs. Parks is best known for creating the spark necessary to drive the civil rights movement. We all know the part of the story that says she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man and got arrested. After that most peoples memories grow fuzzy and they forget or incorrectly recall the rest of the story. Her actions led to a boycott of the Montgomery bus system by all their black customers. I don't know what it cost to ride the bus in 1955 but I do know that no company can survive for long without 50,000 of their customers. That boycott demonstrated very effectively that non-violent means of protest can effect change in society. Another misconception about Rosa Parks is that she lived happily ever after once the bus system changed. That was hardly the case. She lost her job and endured many threats and eventually had to move north for her own safety. Imagine that, moving to Detroit for a safer environment.

Rest in Peace, Rosa.

Never forget that this:

Led to this:

Monday, October 24, 2005

Browns lose again

Not much to say about yesterday's game. The lone highlight was Joshua Cribbs returning a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Otherwise not much positive to say about this game. With three interceptions yesterday, Trent Dilfer has now turned the ball over 8 times in the last 3 games. This team can not win if they play sloppy. Turnovers and penalties are the very definition of sloppy play for a football team. I do not want to see Charlie Frye get rushed before he is ready. However, if Dilfer continues to throw to the opposing team Frye will be playing sooner rather than later.

Interesting week ahead

This should be an interesting week on several fronts.
1. The grand jury investigation into the alleged leak of an allegedly covert CIA agent's identity expires. By any reasonable account no crime was initially committed. However, it often happens that while the original allegation turns out to be nothing the investigation creates offenses such as making a false official statement. Rumors are running rampant that indictments will be handed down this week for secondary offenses. If there are no indictments the left will become even more unraveled than usual. If there are indictments I hope the right doesn't go with the attack the prosecutor strategy the Clintons used against Ken Starr.
2. Speculation is growing that the nomination of Harriet Miers to serve as a Supreme Court justice may be in trouble. I've read the arguments in her favor (Don, Dafydd ab Hugh, Beldar and Hugh Hewitt) and some of the opinions against her (Right Wing News, Ed, National Review Online, Crank. In the end, I've decided not to jump on either bandwagon. I respect the opinions of some of the people of both sides. However, I respect the judgment of President Bush more than I do the opinion of various pundits. Additionally, barring an some major scandal in Ms. Miers past I do not expect President Bush to withdraw this nomination based on his strong appreciation of loyalty.
3. CNBC just announced that the president will name a successor to Alan Greenspan this afternoon. Greenspan will finish as the longest serving Chairman of the Federal Reserve. As is the case with anyone in a position of power opinions on Greenspan run from extremely positive to extremely negative. Many claim he has been too aggressive in fighting inflation and drove us into recessions by hiking the prime rate too far.
4. The World Series could be over by the end of the week. The White Sox are leading 2 to 0. If the White Sox go on to win, will their title be tainted by the number of blown calls which contributed to their success?
5. Fill in the blank _________________ in the comments section.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday links and stuff

Here are a few articles to read on a Sunday morning.

Betsy's Page brings the latest Victor Davis Hanson column to our attention. Today, he reminds us what our military has accomplished in Iraq.

There are a couple good football games this week.
Steelers visit Cincinnati to take on the first place Bengals. The Steelers learned their lesson last week and now realize a slightly injured Ben Roethlisberger is a whole lot better than a completely healthy Tommy Maddux. Even with Roethlisberger back take the Bengals and give the point. A cold and windy day may slow down the Bengals passing attack.

The other interesting game is the Chargers against the Eagle in Philadelphia. This game comes down to one thing. Can the Eagles stop LaDainian Tomlinson? If not, the Eagles can't win this game. For some reason the Eagles are favored in this game. I don't get it, they just don't seem that good.

The Browns, coming off a mistake filled loss to Baltimore, host the Detroit Lions. The Lions are stumbling along with the same 2 and 3 losing record the Browns boast. However, while that record rightfully leaves the Browns in last place the Lions are tied for first in the NFC North. The Lions may change quarterbacks and go with Jeff Garcia this afternoon. Yeah, the same Jeff Garcia who lost the starting job in Cleveland last year to Luke McKown. No prediction on this game. Food for thought: Both of the Browns wins this year have come against the hapless NFC North.

Chris at A Large Regular makes a good case for Brady Quinn being selected for the Heisman trophy. His throwing for 6 touchdowns and 467 yards yesterday certainly didn't hurt his case.

Mark Stein has an article about UNICEF making a movie detailing the Smurfs being destroyed in war. Their misguided intention was to demonstrate that war is toughest on children. Why would the UN make a movie now about the evils of war? Obviously as continued criticism of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq.
But this week is a week to remember that there are worse things than war that ''affect the lives of children.'' If I were Papa Smurf, I wouldn't want Baby Smurf to grow up in Saddam's Iraq. I don't mean just because we'd be the beleaguered minority of Smurfistan, to be gassed and shoveled into mass graves. Even if we were part of Saddam's own approved class living in the Smurfi Triangle, it's still a life permanently fixed between terror and resignation in which all a parent's hopes for his children are subordinate to the whims of a psycho state.

Condoleezza Rice has stated very emphatically that she has no intentions of running for elected office and I believe her. However, when I read pieces like this one in the Washington Post about her touring her home state I get the impression she is keeping her options open.
It wasn't quite Oprah's couch -- Condoleezza Rice doesn't go there -- but it was close. On Friday afternoon, as the secretary of state walked into Brunetta C. Hill Elementary School for the first time since she was a precocious sixth-grader, if you watched her eyes you could see the memories register one by one -- old classrooms, old teachers, old friends.

She sat in the school's tidy library, this hometown girl who had conquered the world, and answered questions from a selection of impossibly cute fourth- and fifth-graders, immaculate in their uniforms of white and navy blue. Rice was unstiff, unstuffy, unhurried, even unguarded. "It's not easy being secretary of state," she told one of her interrogators. "But it's fun."

Read this article about GITMO and the nature of the prisoners held there and remember it next time some moron decries how the prisoners are treated.
All soldiers and sailors working "inside the wire" have blacked out their name tags so that the detainees will not learn their identities. Before that step was taken the terrorists were threatening to tell their al-Qaida pals still at large who the guards were.

"We will look you up on the Internet," the prisoners said. "We will find you and slaughter you and your family in your homes at night. We will cut your throats like sheep. We will drink the blood of the infidel."

That is bad enough, but the terrorist prisoners throw more than words at the guards. On a daily basis, American soldiers carrying out their duties within the maximum-security camp are barraged with feces, urine, semen, and spit hurled by the detainees. Secretly fashioned weapons intended for use in attacking guards or fellow detainees are confiscated regularly.
But Sen. Dick Durbin (M-IL) is more concerned with the well being of the terrorists than our guards he compared to Nazis.

Lastly, in a post titled "Never Forget" Chris of A Large Regular reminds us that today is the 22nd anniversary of the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Tuskegee Airman answer the call again

Here is a neat story of some members of the original Tuskegee Airman traveling to Iraq to inspire current members of the 332nd Fighter Group.
Lt. Col. Herbert Carter is 86 years old and ready for deployment. More than 60 years after his World War II tour with the pioneering black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen, Carter's new mission will be shorter, though no less courageous. Carter is one of seven aging Tuskegee Airmen traveling this weekend to Balad, Iraq _ a city ravaged by roadside bombs and insurgent activity _ to inspire a younger generation.
If you are unaware of the story of the Tuskegee Airman I would highly recommend reading "The Golden Thirteen" which tells their story.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stupid crook stunt

Today we have the story of a crook about to be sentenced to 30 years in prison. He plea bargains and ends up with 33 years. Why? Because he is too much of a sports fan.
The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird's jersey number 33.

"He said if he was going to go down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird's jersey,"
What a moroon! He should have claimed to be a fan of Billy Martin.

(H/T Aaron Gleeman)

Baghdad Bob needs your help

Congressman Bob McDermott (M-WA) (AKA: Baghdad Bob) is soliciting money to help with his legal fees. He says "without the donations he won't be able to concentrate on bringing the troops home instead of dialing for dollars."

How does McDermott intend to bring the troops home?
"I just returned from Jordan, where I talked to numerous prominent Iraqis who have fled Baghdad," McDermott wrote in an Oct. 14 pitch. "I want to spend my time working on what I learned on this trip in pursuing a peace plan together with my congressional colleagues. ...
So he is in negotiations with members of Iraq's former regime in exile working on a peace plan. WHAT? The war is over except pot shots and bombs from people funded by his buddies. Maybe, instead of giving hope to the insurgency McDermott should tell his buddies to stop killing our soldiers and Iraqi civilians. The people of Seattle should be ashamed that they continue to reelect this traitor to represent them.

Connecting the Syrian dots

I don't believe rogue nations (Syria, Iran, N. Korea, etc) cooperate except out of fear of impending trouble. Syria for example has harbored former Iraqi officials, allowed terrorists to use their country as a staging ground to enter Iraq, and quite likely serve as the hiding place for most of the WMD the left keeps asking about. Well, earlier this week, Syria surprisingly helped out the coalition by giving up one of Saddam Hussein's nephews.
Sabaawi was arrested "while distributing money to people to incite them to violence ... and commit crimes during demonstrations in [the town of] Al-Awjah." Security officials said Sabaawi was arrested several days after Syrian authorities forced him to return to Iraq. They spoke in a telephone interview from Cairo.

The Syrians knew where he was hiding in Baghdad and told U.S. authorities. The U.S. military gave the information to Iraq security forces who carried out a "fast, easy" raid on the fugitive's apartment

So, why did Syria decide to expel Sabaawi now? Could it be that senior Syrian officials are about to be implicated in the assassination of former Lebanon Prime Minister Rafik Hariri?
The United Nations investigation into the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon is focusing on the powerful brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria as the main suspect, a diplomat with intimate knowledge of the inquiry said Thursday. A United Nations report on the February bombing of a convoy carrying Rafik Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister, said the fiery attack, shown above, was planned by Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officers.
Syria has enough problems with their neighbor to the west they don't want an angry Iraq to their east (especially if the neighbor to the east is supported by the worlds last superpower).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A blatant Case of Racism!

Oh, my gosh! Can you believe that here in the 21st century we are still having to deal with overt racism? You ask what happened? Were minorities denied service at a restaurant? Did a white male get a job with the fire department? No, something much more egregious than that. Millionaire basketball players were told to dress professionally when they come to games.
The NBA has announced that a dress code will go into effect at the start of the season. Players will be required to wear business-casual attire when involved in team or league business. They can't wear visible chains, pendants or medallions over their clothes.

Indiana guard Stephen Jackson believes the NBA's new ban on bling-bling is racially motivated. Jackson, who is black, said the NBA's new rule about jewelry targets young black males because chains are associated with hip-hop culture, and he said the league is afraid of becoming "too hip-hop." In protest, he wore four chains to the Pacers' exhibition game against San Antonio on Tuesday night.

Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce agreed that the new rule targeted young, black players. "When I saw the part about chains, hip hop and throwback jerseys, I think that's part of our culture," Pierce said. "The NBA is young black males."
Pierce may be right that the league is predominantly comprised of "young black males." However, that isn't where the league gets the money to pay the players millions of dollars. Whether the players like it or not the league gets the money to pay players from corporate sponsors who pay for the advertising and people who are at least upper-middle class who buy the ridiculously high priced tickets. Players may not understand this but some corporations may not want to be associated with the criminal image the NBA has been projecting the last few years. Bottom line is if the players want billionaires to make them millionaires they have to do what the billionaires say. If they don't want to dress like their boss tells them to then they can quit and go home. The help at Home Depot may not like wearing the orange vests but they wear the vest or they go home.

This isn't racism it's agism. They want the players to act like grown ups and dress like grown ups.

Crime Doesn't Pay

From St. Louis we have a story of a dead burgler. Did the homeowner shoot the burgler? No. Then what happened?
Police believe that a woman who was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a rear window in the 5400 block of Mimika Avenue had become wedged there while trying to burglarize a house and died of asphyxiation.

Police said the woman had spent Monday at the house on Mimika, and on Tuesday morning she went on her way and homeowner went to work. The woman obviously returned, and broke out a kitchen window, unlatched it and tried to crawl through, police said. But the window had a second latch that permitted it to raise up only so far, and the woman became wedged and later died, police said.

In her struggle to free herself, her pants came off, police said.
Sounds like the second latch on the window acted like a filter on the gene pool.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Nutty rumor posing as news

The leftists in the media are so anxious to see something come of the Plame Affair they're unraveling. They have been hyperventilating at the thought of a possible indictment of either Karl Rove or Scooter Libby. Now they have gone a step further and are hypothesizing that Vice President Cheney is going to resign.
Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The left is going to be awfully disappointed if the grand jury adjourns without indicting anyone.

Sign of a slow news day - Sports Edition

In the bottom corner of the TV screen on ESPN News it says "BREAKING NEWS - Yankees Joe Torre to stay with team"

So, this is a story of a guy who isn't going to quit his job and walk away from 13 million dollars as well as a story of a team that isn't going to fire a very successful employee who still has 13 million dollars owed to him for two more years on the job. That's not news! News would be if either the employee or employer did otherwise.

Hal Lebovitz - Rest in Peace

An icon of the Cleveland sports scene has passed away. Hal Lebovitz died Monday night at the age of 89. Hal was a fixture in Cleveland for nearly 60 years starting with the now defunct Cleveland News. Even longer if you include selling hot dogs at old League Park. His "Ask Hal" columns were carried in the nation weekly The Sporting News for decades. He continued writing right up until the end and always had information not available from other sources. Unfortunately, for the last few years, he wrote for News Herald & the Lorain Journal which were unavailable online. To give an idea how much Hal's columns were enjoyed, my brother would get up every Sunday morning and drive one county over to get a second Sunday paper just for Hal's column. I can say with a great deal of certainty that circulation for the News Herald will decrease without Hal's contributions.

My prayers go out to his family and the legion of fans who will surely miss him greatly.


I'll add a few links to columns about Hal here at the bottom. People may not understand how full a life he lived.
Here is a great article about Hal from a couple years ago. After graduating from college he stayed on and coached the freshman team to an undefeated season. One of his players was Steve Belichick father of the Patriots coach. Lots of other neat anecdotes in that article.
Bob Dolgin's obit for Hal in the Cleveland Plain Dealer included this story:
Once, on a dare from a rival and a ballplayer who mocked his abstinence from liquor, he drank four straight shots of whisky to show them he could do it. He never took another drink.

Terry Pluto remembers his friend and mentor.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer provides links to a few of Hal's best columns.
The Morning Journal has an article that includes these comments from Jim Brown who never gave out his trust easily.
''He was a wonderful man, a great writer,'' Brown recalled yesterday after learning Lebovitz died earlier in the day. ''He was the man I had trust in. When I retired, I gave him the exclusive from London because I knew he would write it correctly. I never saw an individual that had any more integrity.''

What a sports night

Sports fans had to love last night. That is unless they decided these games were over and went to sleep.

The Saint Louis Rams were playing the Colts in Indianapolis and jumped out to an early 17 point lead.

The Houston Astros had a 3 games to 1 lead over the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. The Astros were up 4 runs to 2 and getting ready to turn the game over to their bullpen. Brad Lidge has pitched 17 1/3 innings over 15 regular season games against St Louis the past two years without giving up a run. In fact he has only allowed 3 hits to the Cardinals in that span. It would have been perfectly understandable if fans went to sleep after Lidge came into the game and promptly got two quick outs. That's when it got interesting. A single followed by a walk and then Albert Pujols stepped to the plate. Pujols looked bad swinging at a slider almost in the dirt. He then watched a pitch go by for a ball. Lidge got the third pitch up in the zone and Pujols put it up in the seats. The Houston players were already starting to celebrate before it was over and they went down quickly in bottom of the ninth.

What happened to the Rams lead while all this was going on? Well, Mark Bulger threw an interception and then got hurt afterwards. On the other side of the ball, Peyton Manning remembered he was Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James remembered he was Edgerrin James and next thing you know a 17 point deficit became a 17 point victory. The real difference though was the Colts' improved defense allowed the comeback to happen. In the past, if the Colts fell behind and started coming back their defense would give up points as fast as their offense could score. Not anymore.

I'm not a fan of any of the teams mentioned but last night reminded me why I love sports. You never know what will happen.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sign of a slow news day

Is it just me or is there something wrong with this reporter? Darlene Superville is stalking Karl Rove last week and when Rove's wife informs her that he has already left for the day she decides to write an entire column about the contents of his garage. WHAT?
But can Karl Rove organize his own garage? Can the master of Bush's political planning figure out where to put the ladders, paint cans and cardboard boxes?

There was no car in the garage. And the stuff left behind turned out not to be much different from what gathers dust inside most American garages. The inventory, seen from outside:

_Some cardboard file boxes stacked one on top of the other, labeled "Box 6,""Box 4" and what appears to be "Box 7." No sign of boxes 1, 2, 3 and 5.

_What appear to be paint cans stacked alongside a folded, folding chair.

_A rather large wood crate marked "FRAGILE" and painted with arrows indicating which way is up. On top of the crate, two coolers.

_A tall aluminum ladder.

_A snow shovel leaned in front of another cardboard box.

_Wicker baskets inside of wicker baskets on top of a shelf running the length of the rear wall. Transparent plastic storage bins crammed with indiscernible stuff. Another cardboard box.

_In one corner, the rear wheel of a bicycle sticks out, along with what appears to be a helmet.
That is the current state of investigative journalism.

More local stupidity

Hear the story of a family whose residence is somehow on the border of two counties? So, they get a property tax bill from both counties and pay it every year. Now the school district is suing them for back tuition for sending their kids to school.
James and Linda Huegel sent their two children to the Forest Hills School District, and now the school board is suing the couple for $35,485 in back tuition from 1993 to 1999. The district says the couple lived in the 8000 block of Forest Pine Drive, which was in the West Clermont School District at the time, according to the suit filed in Clermont County Common Pleas Court. The residence was transferred to the Forest Hills district in 2000.
Bronston McCord, attorney for Forest Hills, spoke on behalf of Forest Hills:
The Huegels' developer told them that their house is in Forest Hills, which was incorrect, McCord said. Every other house on the street is in Forest Hills. McCord said it's unlikely that the Huegels didn't know they were in the wrong school district, because they received two tax bills - one from Hamilton County and a larger one from Clermont County. Both list the school district. Whether the Huegels knew that they were sending their kids to the wrong district, Forest Hills still has to pursue the matter, McCord said. "The bottom line is that Forest Hills is required by law to collect tuition for the unauthorized attendance."
I wonder if they rush refunds to families who send their children to parochial school or who home school their kids. As far as the lawyer's comment that the school district is identified on the property tax bill, who would look at the bill for that information. When we moved here we went to the closest school and registered our kids. If our address was in a different schools area they would not have let us enroll. If they allowed these people register their kids and they didn't realize for 5 years that the address wasn't in their area that's too bad. It isn't like these people lied about their address so they could send their kids to a better school system.

Big Time Criminal Apprehended

Good to see the local authorities are cracking down on the dangerous criminals like this one:
LOVELAND, Ohio -- An Ohio woman was arrested after she didn't pay just more than $1 that she owed in income taxes.
I'm all for law and order but this is ridiculous.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Another hurdle cleared

Yesterday another hurdle was cleared in bringing democracy to Iraq as they had a large turnout for the vote on a new Iraqi Constitution.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that initial assessments indicate Iraqis had probably approved a controversial constitution, although the turnout alone showed the fragile new political process has taken hold despite a deadly insurgency.
Since the lead up to invading Iraq we have had negative prediction after negative prediction. After each prediction turned out to be incorrect, the opponents of the War on Terror would just move the goal posts. Don Surber has a great run down of the various claims over the last few years. Here is a start:
As the second round of Iraq elections have succeeded, let us pause to reflect upon what critics of U.S. policy have said. First, "sanctions need more time." Yes, after 12 years of economic sanctions, the UN, France and other insiders had made quite a killing skirting the oil embargo under the guise of feeding children.

Second, they said the U.S. should have had an interim government in place. But when the U.S. said it was going to hand over Iraq to an interim government, they said June 30, 2004, was too soon, too soon. So Bush and Condi handed it over on June 28, 2004.
Read the rest. Don sums up the situation thusly:
Critics of the war are like the lad on the FedEx commercials: Always wrong. We don't receive French benefits, it isn't the Leaning Tower of Pizza and Jimmy Dean makes sausage.
Where do the goal posts go next?

Sunday links - Football and other stuff

Week 6 in the NFL brings some interesting match-ups:

- The Browns travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens in a game to avoid last place in the AFC North. Stopping the run should be a big challenge for the Browns defense. Jamal Lewis always saves his best for the Browns (averaging 147 rushing yards per game). My prediction? If Lewis runs for over 100 yards the Ravens will win. If he runs for less than 75 yards the Browns will win. In between it's a toss up. Big thing to watch? Penalties. The Ravens nearly set the single game penalty record last week and the Browns have had points taken off the boards in each of their losses. This is telling:
The Ravens come off a game in which they embarrassed themselves. Penalized 21 times, the Ravens blew their cool and acted like the Miami Hurricanes of old. The Ravens sounded that way this week as coach Brian Billick said he would not discipline or curb his players because it wasn't right for him to judge how they should act based on his upbringing. Billick talked about social, racial, economic and geographic differences in his players in saying he could not impose his style.
I've never heard of a coach saying he could not impose his style on his players lasting very long after that admission.

- The Bengals go on the road to Tennessee hoping to bounce back from their first loss of the season. Not sure what the spread is but take the Bengals and give the points.

- Ricky Williams returns to the playing field for the Dolphins. Both the Dolphins and their opponent today the Buccaneers are defending the run very well this limiting opposing backs to 2.8 yards per rush.

- Will the Vikings be able to ignore their off-field problems and concentrate on today's game with the Bears? They better or Mike Tice will be out as coach. Tice will not be the only one cut lose. I have a feeling the new owner is close to just cleaning house prior to the trade deadline getting what they can in trades and releasing some players who they can't move.

- The Giants and Cowboys are surprisingly playing for first play in today's game.

- The Monday night game has the Rams taking on the last undefeated team in Indianapolis. The Colts weakness in past years, defense, has been their strength so far this year. However, this will be the first team they face with a better than average offense.

Oh yeah, let's not forget that the last time Trent Dilfer saw the Ravens they were his teammates winning the Superbowl. Afterwards, "offensive genius" Brian Billick decided he needed a better quarterback. Dilfer waited by the phone for months until he got a backup job in Seattle. I hope he isn't too excited about a chance to show they made a bad decision.

The Big Ten got tighter yesterday. With Penn State's loss to Michigan yesterday there are now 5 teams with one loss in conference. Ohio State stayed alive in the conference by coming back to beat Michigan State 35 to 24.

In the baseball playoffs, the White Sox continue to ride strong starting pitching as Freddie Garcia pitched a complete game 6 hitter in last nights win. They lead the series 3 to 1 and can move on to the World Series by winning tomorrow. Meanwhile in the National League the Houston Astros jumped out to a 2 to 1 series lead by holding on for a 4 to 3 victory. Might just be me, but the Cardinals look beat.

Here is a 2006 Senate race to watch

Over twenty years ago, Jimmy Carter misled our nation to one of its lowest points both economically and in world prestige. Now his son is considering a challenge for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada. His only prior government service was being kicked out of the Navy in the early 70's for doing drugs. That's a resume that just screams qualified to hang out with reprobates like Kennedy and Dodd.

Seeing as the former president has been a very vocal (okay, borderline nutty) critic of the current president, I think the incumbent, Senator Ensign, can count on strong support from President Bush.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Bankruptcy changes

There is an item highlighted on Drudge today describing long lines of people rushing to file for bankruptcy before the law changes. Crowds Race to File Bankruptcy Petitions
The law, the most sweeping reform of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in decades, sets new limits on personal bankruptcy filing and requires people to get professional credit counseling before they are allowed to file petitions.
Wouldn't want to have to actually get counseling to learn how to avoid the same trouble. Don't buy crap you can't afford.

No mention in the article about any jail time for these people who in essence are stealing from the rest of us who pay our bills.

What's Gerry Faust up to?

For the last 20 some years, Gerry Faust's name has been synonymous with failure or taking a job one is unqualified to do. For those who don't remember, Gerry was an extremely successful high school football coach at Moeller High School when he was offered the job of coaching the Notre Dame football team. Well, there is a world of difference between coaching at a high school and coaching the most high profile college program in the country. Most Notre Dame fans would just as soon forget his five year tenure. Courtesy of BizzyBlog we get a link to a story reminding us that no matter how many games his teams won or lost, Coach Faust is a good man.
While many would harbor resentment or regret at such a tenuous stint in the spotlight, Faust says that he has used the experience to strengthen his faith in God and teach other Catholics about the art of perseverance.

Friday, October 14, 2005

What makes someone a racist?

In responding to a caller to his radio show who claimed that if we didn't have abortion we would have more people paying into social security, Bill Bennett in knocking down that line of argument used the opposite side of the coin and said you could lower crime rate if all black babies were aborted. He immediately disavowed that idea as morally reprehensible and went on to explain that abortion should be opposed purely on its own. Everyone knows what happened next. He was denounced as a racist by a bunch of people who refused to hear a word he said except the one sentence. Bennett gave a speech where he defended himself from those charges. The key paragraph to me was this one:
All of this work means nothing to those critics. Because when I broached the sensitive topics of abortion, race, and crime, my comments became the subject of dishonest and selective editing, in order not to further a conversation, but to stop one – to put a hit on me, to take me out. Well, I’m not going. They’ve tried before. That’s not the point.
Since the 1960's I believe race relations have improved dramatically on an individual basis. However, societally relations have regressed to the point where any mention of race end a conversation rather than advancing the conversation. Most people are afraid of openly discussing matter which involve race for fear of being branded a racist.

Do we really need a Rocky VI???

Someone needs to explain to Sly Stallone that as an actor ages he should adapt and take on different roles.
30 years since first putting on his boxing gloves - Rocky Balboa is making another comeback. Hollywood sources confirmed last night that Sylvester Stallone has agreed to star in the sixth installment of the Rocky saga.
Since he had two successful roles, he is also reprising the other.
Rocky will signal something of a renaissance for 59-year- old Stallone, who will turn 60 during filming, and comes as he attempts to revive his other career-defining role, Rambo. The fourth film in that series is currently in pre-production and will also be produced by Stallone.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Who is really the target?

For the last couple years liberals have been waiting with baited breath for the results of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the supposed outing of CIA Analyst Valerie Plame. Well, if you read between the lines (and lies) of this article by Richard Cohen you get the feeling that this investigation the left demanded may actually hurt the left more than the right. Why do I say that? Because, all of a sudden, Cohen is calling for Fitzgerald to close up shop with no indictments.
This is why I want Fitzgerald to leave now. Do not bring trivial charges -- nothing about conspiracies, please -- and nothing about official secrets, most of which are known to hairdressers, mistresses and dog walkers all over town. Please, Mr. Fitzgerald, there's so much crime in Washington already. Don't commit another
Heck, Cohen is almost begging Fitzgerald to do nothing. Believe me you, if Cohen thought Karl Rove was still the prime target he wouldn't be making this request. My own guess is serial liar Joe Wilson may have got himself caught in his own trap.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Guess the political affiliation

Politician sentenced to 4 years in prison for stealing government money. How do you determine which party he belongs to? Well, if the Associated Press doesn't mention it until the 9th paragraph it is safe to assume the crook is a Democrat. A second clue would be if the stolen money is laundered through the NAACP.
Former Rep. Frank Ballance was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for conspiring to divert taxpayer money to his law firm and family through a charitable organization he helped start.

The former lawmaker had turned the Hyman Foundation into a "very complex criminal organization" that diverted taxpayer money for his purposes through front organizations including the Vance County NAACP and his church.
At least he practiced good family values by involving his son in his criminal enterprises.
The former congressman's son, state District Court Judge Garey Ballance, 35, pleaded guilty in April to a federal misdemeanor charge of failing to file an income tax return in 2000 and was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in prison and fined $5,000.

Don't know about barefoot . . . . .

Don't know about barefoot, but Jim Bob definitely likes his woman pregnant.
Michelle Duggar just delivered her 16th child, and she's already thinking about doing it again. Johannah Faith Duggar was born at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and weighed 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces. The baby's father, Jim Bob Duggar, a former state representative, said Wednesday that mother and child were doing well. He said Johannah's birth was especially exciting because it was the first time in eight years the family has had a girl. Jim Bob Duggar, 40, said he and Michelle, 39, want more children. "We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them," he said.
Wow, just wow!

Do NOT buy this book

Get a load of this:
U.S. Army deserter Charles Robert Jenkins has committed his four-decade odyssey to paper, publishing an autobiography titled, To Tell the Truth.
Isn't there some kind of law against profitting from crime? He won't get a penny from me.

Didn't Sheehan's "15 Minutes" end already?

I thought between Hurricane Katrina and the furor over the Harriet Miers nomination that Cindy Sheehan had just gone away. I guess she hasn't had enough media adulation.
Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan plans to go to the State Capitol today to ask Gov. Schwarzenegger to pull California's National Guard troops out of Iraq.
I hope Schwarzenegger does the smart thing and just ignores her.

USS COLE - Five years ago today - Never Forget

Five years ago today an explosion ripped through the hull of the USS COLE (DDG 67). The crew asks one thing.
What they want most is for America to remember the Cole and the sacrifice its crew made. “Never forget,” Larson said. “Tell them that.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Can't rush things in Russia

A sign of the pace of things in Russia is that they are arguing about whether to bury some goof who died 81 years ago.
Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev warned the Kremlin against quickly burying the embalmed body of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, saying the nation isn't ready yet, a news agency reported on Tuesday.

Gorbachev said Lenin's body should be laid to rest at a proper moment that "has not come yet", the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Baseball Reference has been updated with the 2005 season stats. A fun thing to check out each year when this site updates are the Similarity Scores which show which players are most similar statistically all time. For example, the player most similar to Grady Sizemore through his current age of 22 is Duke Snider.

How is the Pakistan earthquake like Hurricane Katrina?

I wouldn't think there would be a lot in common between an earthquake and a hurricane. However, there is one area of commonality: complaining about the level and speed of help. West's response condemned as slow and inadequate

Western governments rushed to step up their pledges for the earthquake relief effort after their initial response to the disaster was condemned as slow-moving and financially inadequate.
Want to know why people aren't grateful for help and instead complain? Because it works. We are so worried about world opinion that we react to any criticism by throwing more money we don't have at a problem which isn't ours.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Browns with one quarter in the books

A football game is broken into 4 quarters and so is the season. So what do we know at this point in the season?

Bill Parcells has been quoted as saying "At the end of the day, you are your record." With that in mind, the Browns are a .500 team, two wins and two losses. What they are is a team that can not make mistakes and still hope to win. In each of their two losses they have had at least one touchdown called back because of penalties. In yesterdays game, they played poorly on offense for most of the game but kept it close by not making big mistakes. The biggest difference between this team and previous years versions is the team maturity and a refusal to panic.

From what I've seen so far the Browns will not make the playoffs. They will win some games they will lose some games and end up around 7-9 or 8-8. 9 wins would not be incredibly surprising. However, this year player development is more important than final record.

Do You Respect President Clinton More Than President George W. Bush?

Polipundit has a post titled: Do You Respect President Clinton More Than President George W. Bush?
In 1993, President William Jefferson Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the United States Supreme Court. Despite the clear indication that Ginsburg represented a clear shift to the Left from the Justice she replaced, the confirmation vote was 96 to 3 in Ginsberg’s favor. That means that an overwhelming majority of Republicans in 1993 voted to confirm a woman they had every reason to believe would hurt the Supreme Court if she were a Justice there. Yet they confirmed Ginsberg, largely on the notion that the President has the right to select his choice, and while an incompetent nominee should be rejected, they must support a qualified candidate, even if she holds opinions and views they personally dislike.

How strange, that so many Republicans respected Bill Clinton so much more than they will George W. Bush.
-- DJ Drummond
The last line says it all. I don't know Harriet Miers from any other lawyer but I know who I voted for and it wasn't George Will (or John Hawkins)

Another JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theory

Just what we need, another JFK assassination conspiracy theory.
"Mafia Princess" Antoinette Giancana, daughter of the late Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, claims in a new book that her father ordered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
What rubbish, Oswald acted alone. Even if Sam Giancana had involvement in the assassination, I refuse to believe he told his daughter. The closing of the article discounts this theory as well.
Conspiracy buffs have proposed 250 theories to explain what "really" happened Nov. 22, 1963, said Ruth Ann Rugg of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, a JFK assassination museum in Dallas. But Rugg said the only credible explanation is that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot Kennedy. Conspiracy theorists simply can't accept that such an insignificant drifter changed history by himself. "We want to believe that there was more to it, that there were huge forces involved," Rugg said.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Earthquake

It just keeps getting worse.
"I have been informed by my department that more than 30,000 people have died in Kashmir," Tariq Mahmmod, communications minister for the Himalayan region, told The Associated Press.

Saturday's magnitude-7.6 quake also struck India and Afghanistan, which reported hundreds dead.
Every time I click on a news site I see a higher estimated death toll. Hopefully these counts are way off to the high side.

Sunday reading

What I Would do as Reds GM by Hal McCoy.
The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first professional team, won all 70 games they played, including by 130-8, 80-5 and 94-7, probably a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. When the season was over, the profits came to $1.39, which put a crimp in the post-season team party. The 2005 Cincinnati Reds lost 89 more games than their founding fathers, but the bank account is in much better shape, despite the fifth-place finish and a downturn in attendance from disenchanted fans. How does this get fixed?
I expect the Reds to be very active this off season.

Here's a laugh, former FBI Director Fouis Freeh is being interviewed by 60 Minutes this evening in advance of his book release. Word has leaked (as it always does) that the interview would be pretty negative about former president, Bill Clinton. Clinton's folks got a hold of CBS and requested time to respond. CBS agreed to the rebuttal. Who is sent by the Clinton team to defend his "honor?" Sandy Berger. Yeah, the same guy who was recently convicted of stealing classified documents and destroying them to cover up for other Clinton misdeeds or failings. Berger by the way violated his probation recently. Clinton: "I didn't do it and I have this other crook here to vouch for me."

Browns emerging rookie receiver, Braylon Edwards has an elbow infection? How in the heck does a player get an elbow infection?

Terry Pluto of The Akron Beacon Journal
is always worth reading. Today he examines the 2005 Indians and looks that the Browns and Cavs.

Today's games between the Browns and the Chicago Bears will say a lot about the teams respective coaching staffs. Both teams have 1 - 2 records and are coming off their bye week. Throughout a football season teams spend all their time preparing for the following opponent. The only time they get a chance to really work on their own team is the bye week. The Bears went into the bye week with serious questions at QB. They are going with a rookie QB who has had trouble reading defenses. The Browns on the other hand have had trouble in the secondary and in running the ball. Should be a good game between two teams that aren't ready for prime time.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Worst U.S. President Ever?

I Nominate Jimmy Carter. No, this time it isn't me saying that. Rather that is the title of an article in a Canadian newspaper.
Jimmy gets heaps of credit for having negotiated a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. It involved Israel returning the Sinai to Egypt. This was celebrated with the Islamist assassination of Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian President who signed the deal.
Read the rest, it's a pretty good reminder of why we should ignore his current utterances about the world scene.

How did Miers get picked?

The Washington Post has an interesting article about the process which resulted in the selection of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. This last paragraph is the most important.
"He knows by his relationship with her that the Harriet Miers he knows today will be the Harriet Miers 20 years from now," said the senior official, meaning she would be no Souter. "She knows his expectations. She is the kind of person I strongly believe would never put herself in the position to be considered if she wouldn't meet those expectations."


Friday, October 07, 2005

The argument for Miers

There has been a lot of complaining this week about President Bush nominating Harriett Miers to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Complaints have included a perceived lack of intellectual heft (ie: went to wrong school), cronyism, a lack of a track record (never been a judge), and not the heavy weight the base wanted. And those are just the complaints from the Republicans. John Hawkins of Right Wing News has done nothing this week except complain about Miers selection. Today a couple conservative heavy weights speak out in favor of Miers, Newt Gingrich and Thomas Sowell. Sowell also explains that if the base has a complaint about the nominee not being a conservative firebrand that it should blame the senate rather than the president.
President Bush has taken on too many tough fights -- Social Security being a classic example -- to be regarded as a man who is personally weak. What is weak is the Republican majority in the Senate.

When it comes to taking on a tough fight with the Senate Democrats over judicial nominations, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist doesn't really have a majority to lead. Before the President nominated anybody, before he even took the oath of office for his second term, Senator Arlen Specter was already warning him not to nominate anyone who would rile up the Senate. Later, Senator John Warner issued a similar warning. It sounded like a familiar Republican strategy of pre-emptive surrender.

Before we can judge how the President played his hand, we have to consider what kind of hand he had to play. It was a weak hand -- and the weakness was in the Republican Senators.

Don't get me wrong, there are others giving Miers a fair shake but they are few and far between. While Hugh Hewitt and Beldar have been very positive about the nomination they are clearly in the minority. You will not find a clearer refutation of each criticism of Miers than at Beldar's Blog (run by a Texas attorney with some inside info). Personally, I don't know enough about the nominee to applaud the choice or the criticize. I would recommend the critics hold their fire until the hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. I was impressed with John Roberts but didn't fully appreciate his selection until I saw his performance before the committee.

Nobel Peace Prize

Continuing their slide into irrelevancy, the Nobel Prize committee awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize to Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Apparently, the main qualification of ElBaradei and the IAEA is their strong anti-American leanings particularly towards the current administration.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

How carefully should government employees be screened?

This morning brings news that an FBI employee has been arrested for spying. Beyond that is the juicy DRUDGE headline that as an Active Duty Marine he spied while on the Vice President's staff for both Gore and Cheney. The retired Marine is a naturalized U.S. Citizen from the Philippines. He has soiled the reputation of the hundreds of thousands of Philippino-Americans who have served our country honorably over the past century. In my time in the Navy I worked with and for hundreds of Philippino-Americans and never had reason to suspect a single one of anything except being hard workers and good shipmates. He should face charges of espionage and treason. I would not rule out the death penalty. Who thinks he should be treated like another recent Top Secret security clearance holder caught stealing classified material?

However, this case will also raise the question about how we screen people for security clearances. When someone is being considered for a higher security clearance a basic Special Background Investigation (SBI) is conducted. We learned after the Johnny Walker spy case the importance of conducting periodic reviews. Problem is the items reviewed during an SBI (police record, credit report, etc) are not likely to identify the spy who is doing it for ideological reasons. Unless we want to be a complete police state, characters like this may only be caught when they trip up. The most reliable method of catching espionage is vigilance of co-workers. If you work in an area requiring a security clearance you have the responsibility to to be aware of your co-workers and notice when something just doesn't seem right.

What country is Chicago a part of?

I could understand this in Guadalajara but not in Chicago.
A recent Mexican Independence Day assembly at Larkin High may have taken cultural sensitivity one step too far, a Larkin parent said this week. Robert Bedard said his son was reprimanded when he declined to stand for the Mexican National Anthem during a ceremony at the west Elgin school last month. His 17-year-old son, a senior in the process of enlisting, feared honoring another nation’s anthem might jeopardize his military status. Sitting down cost him a trip to the office.
The article is ostensively about a student being disciplined for not standing during Mexico's national anthem. No, the real issue is why is a Chicago school celebrating Mexico's Independence Day? Schools waste so much time trying to teach cultural diversity that other subjects get shortchanged on time allocation. The school day doesn't get any longer when you spend X number of hours preparing for a Asian-Pacific Heritage Celebration, Black history month, or whatever else. Schools are scared of offending the various "groups" instead of being concerned about educating the only group there that matters, the students.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

One word description: Delusional

The only word necessary to describe Mary Mapes is DELUSIONAL.
THE producer at the center of last year's "Memogate" scandal at CBS News says she was derailed by a vast right-wing conspiracy. The producer, Mary Mapes, is one of four CBS staffers fired last January in the wake of the scandal. She is convinced she was the victim of a group of loosely associated Internet bloggers "with a harsh political bent" who pounced on CBS News minutes after the airing of the now-infamous Texas Air National Guard story on "60 Minutes 2" in September 2004.
Let me get this straight. She attempts to derail the reelection of a sitting president by airing a story based on forged documents and now she's the VICTIM.

Meanwhile, Dan Rather is going around saying even if the documents were forged the real issue of what they claimed is being ignored. No kidding, wonder why?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cleveland mayoral primary

Today 10 to 20 percent of the eligible voters in Cleveland will go to the polls to winnow the pool of mayoral candidates from 8 down to 2. I haven't lived in the Cleveland area in decades so I'm not going to make a recommendation. However, I'm still concerned about my birth city so I was perusing the biographies of the candidates online at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The biographical sketch included the standard questions about age, family, education, etc. It also included the softball question: "Name three leaders you admire most:" The responses included the expected names like Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, former president, former Cleveland mayors, and a few others. One candidates responses stood out, David Lynch. Here is his answer:
Three leaders you most admire: Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. Sen. George Voinovich, Ted Ginn Sr.
If you're a college football fan the third name should ring a bell as he is the father of Ohio State sophmore phenom receiver Ted Ginn Jr.
In his own right Ginn Sr. is a very successful high school football coach but he doesn't seem to fit with other names mentioned. No knock of Coach Ginn, I've never heard a negative word about him but it seems his name was just thrown in the mix to appeal to sport fans. Lynch sure knows how to appeal to voters like me.
First thing I'd do as mayor: "Rally the region together to lay out a grand plan to solve the problems we have in the city." Also, he would "blow up parking meters" to make downtown more welcoming.
You could probably raise money by auctioning off the rights to blow up the parking meters.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers's Blog

This is hilarious. Someone has created a blog titled Harriet Miers' Blog and it is written like a high school sophmore just got confirmed to the court. Here is a sample:
He just wanted to say congrats, and not to let the nabobs get to me! (He actually said "nabobs!!")

Even though I'm a Supreme Court nominee now, sometimes I'm still such a schoolgirl--I get so excited whenever anyone Majorly Important actually notices me...

But I mean, Bork!


UPDATE: Cheney saw me dancing, I could just die I'm so embarrassed...

Harriet Miers??? Why???

My earlier post was titled Harriet Miers??? Who??? The "Who???" is now becoming a "Why???" People are going to debate why President Bush selected Miers. All he can accomplish with this selection is to turn off his base.

Many on the right are decrying this selection for various reasons. The majority are mainly upset that Bush did not pick one of the heavy weights they were hoping to see selected. Some are upset because of the apparent cronyism. There is also concern about her past political contributions (DNC, Lloyd Bentson, Al Gore). The biggest hit on her character to me is hearing that Sen Harry Reid (M-NV) suggested that she would be acceptable. Michelle Malkin has a round up of all the negative comments about Miers.

Hugh Hewitt has a more reasonable response and he believes her recent executive branch experience during the GWOT is an important consideration. Moreover, he flatly declares that Miers is no Souter.

The most obvious thing about this pick is there is no doubt that Ann Coulter's next column is going to be caustic and hilarious. Can't wait.

Cleveland Indians 2005 season post-mortem

How will the 2005 Indians be remembered? Will people think back on this season and recall the excitement of seeing a young team gel and put together an amazing run in August and September finishing with 93 wins? Or will fans dwell on the last week and look back at this season as an opportunity lost. Unfortunately, both memories are valid.

To me this season is a story of close but not quite there yet. The pitching is ready for contention. The everyday players and the manager are still maturing. The youth and lack of managerial experience is evidenced in the number of close games lost. The Indians lost 36 one-run games. Even more telling is the season series with the Central Division champion White Sox. Over 19 games between the two teams the White Sox scored 80 runs and the Indians scored 75. With only five runs separated the two teams after 19 games I would expect they would have a close record. But instead Chicago won 14 and Cleveland won 5. The difference was the one run games.
Here are some of the positives from 2005:
The team Earned Run Average of 3.61 led the American League
Kevin Milwood led the league in Earned Run Average
For the first time in team history the 5 starting pitchers (Milwood, Sabathia, Lee, Westbrook and Elarton) all stayed healthy enough to make 30 starts.
Bob Wickman tied for the league leader with 45 saves and converted his final 16 saves chances
Travis Hafner was 3rd in the AL in OBP (.408) and SLG (.595)
Grady Sizemore and Jhonny Peralta had great first full major league seasons. Neither qualifies for Rookie of the Year due to too many at bats during prior call ups.
Victor Martinez, Coco Crisp, and Ronnie Belliard had very good years. If Martinez had not hit so poorly in April and May he might have won for the batting title. Martinez hit .210 for the first two months of the season. After the All Star break he batted .380.

The bad from the season can be isolated to the failure to get production out of three key offensive positions. 1B, 3B and RF were mainly played by Broussard, Boone and Blake, the Killer B's. Boone missed the entire 2004 season so his early struggles are somewhat understandable. Broussard and Blake are what they are, below average hitters with occasional power. I want both replaced prior to the 2006 season.

Harriet Miers??? Who???

President Bush surprised me and many others by naming Harriet Miers to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. I expect this to quickly lead to charges of cronyism as she is from Texas (former president of the Texas Bar Association) and is a long time Bush friend. She has not previously been a judge which reduces the paper trail for detractors to pick through. However, the lack of a paper trail also leads Bush's conservative supporters uncertain about Miers position on issues they consider important.