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

Saturday, June 30, 2007

An American Hero Passes On

Retired Navy Rear Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey passed on this week. Fluckey was the most aggressive and successful submarine commander during WW II. His boat, USS Barb (SS-220), was credited with the most tonnage sunk during World War II: 85 ships including a carrier, cruiser, and frigate. Here is a short account of the events which earned the BARB the nickname "The Sub That Sank a Train:"
In one of the stranger incidents in the war, Fluckey sent a landing party ashore to set demolition charges on a coastal railway line, which destroyed a 16-car train. This was the sole landing by U.S. military forces on the Japanese home islands during World War II.

Rest in Peace Admiral, the watch has been relieved.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday's links and comments

Here is a disturbing story out of Iraq. Read the whole article. Bottom line is it appears someone in Washington interfering where they shouldn't.
Mr. al-Alusi put his faith in Iraq's fragile justice system. There are now confidential witnesses, including testimony from some of the men involved in the killing, that implicate Iraq's minister of culture, As'ad Kemal al-Hashemi, as the individual who ordered and financed the murder.

On Monday, an Iraqi justice signed the warrant for Mr. al-Hashemi's arrest, and American GIs, on orders of General Petraeus, began to accompany the Iraqi national police to his home in Baghdad. Then General Petraeus's order was overturned in Washington, and the Iraqi police found themselves outgunned at the home of the culture minister. Mr. al-Hashemi then fled to the fortified international zone in the center of Baghdad, where he is holed up at the al-Rashid Hotel, a compound guarded by military contractors who report to America.
Obviously, this is just a newspaper account and we don't have confirmation, but if it's true then an explanation is needed.

Not all attacks are overt military actions.

Hmmm, attempted car bombings in London suspected of being by Al Qaeda terrorists. Wait a minute, I thought Al Gore said the War on Terror was just George Bush "playing on our fears." Let's just be thankful this attempt was thwarted because of the vigilance of an ambulance crew who noticed an odor and the heroism of the bomb squad who disabled the device.

Wall St. Journal reporters stay at home in Murdoch protest. I guess that's one way to get the attention of your soon to be new boss. Maybe once he takes over they'll get a chance to stay home permanently.

Barbra Streisand to receive French Legion of Honour. I guess it makes sense for the country that considers Jerry Lewis a genius to confer their highest civilian honor someone of Streisand's.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

George Voinovich Embarrasses Ohio Again

Yesterday, George Voinovich called in to the Sean Hannity afternoon radio show and embarrassed all Ohioans but particularly those of us who voted for him. This isn't a matter of a disagreement over a policy issue, though I do disagree with his position. No, I'm embarrassed that he is our senator for two reasons that are very distinct from disagreeing over policy or legislation. The first reason is he was absolutely ignorant about a couple of issues currently being debated - The Fairness Doctrine and The Kennedy-McCain Immigration Bill. Whether he realizes it or not, he is our employee and his job is to understand the issues. More bothersome than than his ignorance was his transparent arrogance. He basically stated "how dare my constituents bother my office with their opinions."

Frontpage Magazine has an article this morning titled Senator Embarrassment. You get one guess which senator is the subject of the article. The article has a link to the audio from the interview.

Tom at BizzyBlog has a complete round up of links to blog commentary regarding the performance of the senior senator from Ohio.


The Kennedy/McCain Amnesty Bill failed to garner enough votes to go forward. Sen. Voinovich voted against the measure. However, voting correctly on the legislation does nothing to rehabilitate the damage he did to his reputation yesterday. Add his display of ignorance yesterday to his ridiculous behavior during the John Bolton confirmation hearings and you have someone no longer fit to hold high office. To further cement his reputation as a fool, Voinovich decided to join Sen Lugar in calling for surrender in Iraq. Investors Business Daily rightly mocks Voinovich's comments as follows:
On Tuesday, another Republican with no stomach for the global war on terror, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, echoed Lugar's call for withdrawal. "If everyone knows we're leaving, it will put the fear of God in them," according to Voinovich. Funny we never tried that strategy against the Nazis.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It's just a phone!

Just watched a bit on CNBC morning show where the reporter was talking about idiots (my word not hers) in New York already lining up to buy an iPhone when they go on sale in a few days. Hey folks, a cell phone is a communications tool that is supposed to make your life easier. If you are standing in line for 3 days to spend five hundred dollars for the product then it has already failed the "make your life easier" test.

Separately, congratulations to the advertising agency that created the hype necessary to compel people to stand in line for something they don't need.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday's links and comments - 22 June 2007

Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus columns are always worth reading. The latest is no exception. Here is one slice of the column:

Relatedly: My friend Michael Walsh pointed out this, from a Reuters article: “The two men, both among the world’s longest-serving leaders . . .”

And who are the two men? Qaddafi and Mugabe. “Long-serving,” that’s what they are — and Castro is the “longest-serving” of all.

A Florence Nightingale who stays her entire career at St. Jude’s is “long-serving.” The others are long-ruling, long-oppressing, long-immiserating.

Here is the goofiest darn story I've seen in quite some time.
"I am both Muslim and Christian"

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.

On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.

She does both, she says, because she's Christian and Muslim.
If you can make sense of her religious outlook feel free to explain it in the comments section.

You may want to reassess your long term plans based on this article.
RENOWNED British scientist Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics and astronomy, predicted the world would end in 2060 in a 1704 letter that went on show in Jerusalem today.

How do you explain the mentality of animals? Our dog who is terrified of the vacuum cleaner has no fear at all of cars and will come running right in front of any vehicle that pulls in the driveway. Heck, the lawn mower doesn't bother him as much as the vacuum cleaner.

Earlier today I commented on what should get a baseball manager fired. Well, if you're a senior aide to a presidential candidate and wonder what might get you fired I imagine this has just been added to the list.
State Police are investigating one of Mitt Romney's top campaign aides for allegedly impersonating a trooper by calling a Wilmington company and threatening to cite the driver of a company van for erratic driving, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the probe. Jay Garrity, who is director of operations on Romney's presidential campaign and a constant presence at his side, became the primary target of the investigation, according to one of the sources, after authorities traced the cellphone used to make the call back to him. The investigation comes three years after Garrity, while working for Romney in the State House, was cited for having flashing lights and other police equipment in his car without proper permits.
If you get in the news and embarrass the campaign you are not doing your job.

Ever since Michael Bloomberg announced this week that he would stop pretending to be a Republican and would instead call himself an independent rumors have been rampant that he is preparing to run for president followed by speculation over which party he would siphon votes away. Here is an article from the American Thinker which covers it fairly well. I think they are right that Bloomberg's positions line up with the Democrat platform. However, I disagree with their final analysis that he would tilt the election towards the Republican nominee. The only ones who will vote for him are those who don't mind throwing their vote away. So, in the long run only Ralph Nader will be really affected as he will half his votes.

Bob Evans - Rest in Peace

I almost missed this story it was barely a blurb in the business section of this mornings newspaper. Bob Evans, the man behind a great American success story passed away yesterday. Here's a link to an online story that didn't make it into my newspaper.
Bob Evans, whose quest for quality sausage to serve the truckers who filled his 12-stool, 24-hour-a-day steakhouse in southeast Ohio led to the creation of a restaurant chain that bears his name, died Thursday, Bob Evans Farms Inc. announced. He was 89. Evans died at the Cleveland Clinic, Evans' family told the company. The clinic said he died of complications from pneumonia.

Evans complained that he could not get good sausage for the restaurant he started after World War II in Gallipolis in southeast Ohio. Starting with $1,000, a couple of hogs, 40 pounds of black pepper, 50 pounds of sage and other secret ingredients, he opted to make his own, relying on the hog's best parts as opposed to the scraps commonly used in sausage. He began selling it at the restaurant and mom-and-pop stores, and peddled tubs of it out of the back of his pickup truck.

It marked the beginning of what is now a restaurant chain with sales of $1.6 billion.

"You might say the truck drivers did my research for me," he said. "They would tell me that this was the best sausage they ever had, and then buy 10-pound tubs to take home."

Anyone who bought 1,000 shares of Bob Evans when the company went public in 1963 at $9 per share would have shares worth more than $2 million today.
A sign of the success of the restaurant chain is I have never been in one that wasn't busy and I've never had bad service at a Bob Evans Restaurant either.

Religion of Peace?

Those in denial about the threat of Islamo-fascism often attempt to minimize the issue by claiming the nutty ones are out of the mainstream of the true tenets of the Religion of Peace (ROP). Problem is, those claims fly in the face of all the evidence. Consider mainstream Islamic response to the Queen of England bestowing some silly knighthood honor on Salman Rushdie. You may remember that Rushdie wrote a book, Satanic Verses, nearly 20 years ago that led the leaders of the ROP to declare a fatwa and call for his murder. Here is one response to the knighthood business from Pakistan which is supposed to be moderate:
Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, religious affairs minister, told the Pakistani parliament in Islamabad. "The west is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body he would be right to do so unless the British government apologises and withdraws the 'sir' title."
So, the ROP equates attaching a bomb to your body and killing a bunch of people with bestowing knighthood.

Here is the reaction from another supposedly moderate Muslim country:
Egyptian Parliament Speaker Fathi Sorur said Wednesday, "Honoring someone who has offended the Muslim religion is a bigger error than the publication of caricatures attacking Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)."

The cartoons which were frequently republished by the Western media, sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world and led to the boycott of Danish products.

Okay, tell me again why anyone takes these moroons seriously?

If you don't like his books then don't buy them.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Random Thoughts - Baseball Edition

Sam Perlozzo is out as Baltimore manager and the first candidate and perceived first choice of management, Joe Girardi, quickly declines consideration for the job. My take: Girardi's decision had less to do with his perception of the on field talent and more to do with Baltimore's dysfunctional management team starting with owner Peter Angelos who has turned a perennial contender into a laughing stock.

Next manager to be fired? Jerry Narron of our local Cincinnati Reds. I'm not normally an advocate of firing a manager mid-season as the incoming guy won't have the benefit of Spring training to put his stamp on the team. However, Narron has displayed such poor judgment that for the good of the team he needs to be canned. When he pinth hit Juan Castro for Josh Hamilton on Wednesday the team owner should have fired him immediately following the post game news conference where he justified the move by asserting the light hitting Castro hits that pitcher (Alan Embree) well. Castro has one career at-bat against Embree which occurred during the 2001 season nearly 6 years ago.

Is Baltimore snake bit? The day after the managerial change, their most talented position player and best trade bait, Miguel Tejada, gets hit by a pitch which breaks his wrist.

Best line of the week: Chris at A Large Regular commenting on Milton Bradley being released by the Oakland Athletics had this to say about Bradley's durability: "This guy makes JD Drew look like Cal Ripken."

Without watching them play I couldn't understand why the Phillies did not have a batter record with the talent on that team. Well, I watched them play a couple games this week and I could easily see part of the problem. The right side of their infield, Chase Utley at 2B and Ryan Howard at 1B, was awful defensively. They misplayed several chances that a high school team should routinely handle.

4,000 hits a realistic goal? Last weekend ESPN made an issue of Derek Jeter being slightly ahead of Pete Rose in career hits for his age 32. Dan at Baseball Crank takes a closer look and thinks an important factor was overlooked.
But a few cautions are in order. First of all, Jeter is 32; Rose averaged 201 hits per year from age 33-39 and played regularly until age 42 and semi-regularly until age 45.
Jeter has only been on the disabled list once in his career, but history suggests durability is not a hallmark of middle infielders. For example, a few years ago I thought Robbie Alomar was a lock to go well past 3,000 hits and all of a sudden his skills went away in a flash and he retired well short.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

NYC to pay for good behavior?

New York City's Nanny (oops, Mayor) Michael Bloomberg is starting a program to supposedly address the poverty problem by paying people to perform various behaviors.
NEW YORK (AP) - Poor residents will be rewarded for good behavior - like $300 for doing well on school tests, $150 for holding a job and $200 for visiting the doctor - under an experimental anti-poverty program that city officials detailed Monday.

The rewards have been used in other countries, including Brazil and Mexico, and have drawn widespread praise for changing behavior among the poor. Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to Mexico this spring to study the healthy lifestyle payments, also known as conditional cash transfers.
I was initially vehemently opposed to this goofy idea for several reasons. They partially addressed one concern by by raising private funds for the pilot program rather than using money confiscated from people already making good life decisions.

I have to question my opposition further because of the arguments made by someone else opposed to the idea.
But some critics have raised questions about cash reward programs, saying they promote the misguided idea that poor people could be successful if they just made better choices.

"It just reinforces the impression that if everybody would just work hard enough and change their personal behavior we could solve poverty in this country, and that's not reflected in the facts," said Margy Waller, co-founder of Inclusion, a research and policy group in Washington. Waller, who served as a domestic policy adviser in the Clinton administration, said it would be more effective to focus on labor issues, such as making sure wage laws are enforced and improving benefits for working people.
Actually, Margy it is not a misguided idea that people can be more successful if they make better decisions. In fact, most human failure can be traced to lousy decisions. Noted economist Walter Williams has correctly identified four things (apologies to Williams if I don't quote him properly) that people can do to stay out of poverty.
1. Finish high school
2. Get and hold a job before getting married
3. Get married before having children
4. Don't abuse drugs or alcohol

I'm still opposed to Bloomberg's idea, but Ms. Waller's argument against it almost changed my mind. Main opposition is because of cost and an understanding of how hard it is to kill a government program once it is implemented. The pilot program may be privately funded, but that only covers a tiny portion of New York's poor. I have no doubt that after they game the system to ensure they get the desired results they will expand it to cover a lot more and will start using tax dollars to fully implement it. Beyond that, there will always be people poorer than others. We will just redefine poverty to a different level.

Separately, keep this idea (as well as his edict banning transfats, and his order that all NYC cabs must be hybrids) when Nanny Bloomberg makes an expected run for the presidency as an independent.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

An argument against "Life" sentences

The people who argue against the death penalty will claim you can just lock murderers up for life. Tell that to these two women who now are being told a parole board wants to release their mother's murderer.
The half sisters are reunited now, unified in their resolve to reverse a decision granting parole to their mother's killer.

They believe their father and stepfather, William Clumm, should die behind bars for what he did to their mother -- and to them.

"He killed my mother in cold blood," Janna Manes said of her stepfather. Now a New York City lawyer, she awoke that April morning with a sense that something was irreversibly wrong.

"This has haunted me for 30 years. I still have fears, nightmares and memories.

"But I could always tell myself, 'It's OK, he's in prison.' Now, I'm constantly going to be looking over my shoulder. I shouldn't have to do that … my rights should trump his."
Our taxes have fed and clothed this murderer for 30 years. I don't know how much we have spent keeping him alive, but I'm sure it was a heck of a lot more than the cost of a length of rope (or a bullet or a few thousand watts of electricity) to handle the problem properly.

(H/T Lincoln Logs)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Rep. Jefferson - Indicted

Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was indicted today on several charges involving corruption and bribery. I have one question for our Justice Department: What the heck took so long? Over a year ago, ninety thousand dollars of marked money used in a bribery case was found in Jefferson's freezer. Before anyone wonders if he was framed, bear in mind he was also caught on film accepting the bribe. The wheels of justice turned so slowly in this case that this crook was able to convince enough idiots to reelect him to another term of office. Amazing!

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