March 31, 2009
Gratuitous Nats Posting
For those of you who don't keep up with off-season Nationals arcana, the above is a photo of the new, slimmed down version of Screech the Mascot. What we might call Screech v.01 was shorter and squatter.
I never much liked Screech v.01. I don't think I like Screech v.02 very much either. Give me razor-sharp talons and blood on the beak, and then maybe we can talk.
According to the most excellent blog Let Teddy Win, Screech v. 02 has been on a promotional roll-out:
The Nationals announced that Screech will make 31 appearances in 31 days to “show off his fresh-feathered look.” Tomorrow, March 3 along with members of the Nat Pack, “Screech” will distribute pocket schedules to fans at the Metro Center Metrorail Station from 9:00am to 11:00am, and at Farragut North Metrorail Station from noon to 2:00pm. Screech will also make stops at the March Mania basketball tournament in Arlington, on Saturday March 7, the University of Virginia baseball game on Saturday, March 14, and the Harris Teeter in Reston on Monday, March 16. More scheduled appearances will be announced weekly throughout the month of March.
That post was from March 2. Ol' Screech must have found the venues getting rayther thin as the month wore on, because yesterday afternoon he was out doing his thing on the sidewalk at the corner of 10th and E. FBI HQ is across the street and Ford's Theatre is around the corner, but there's not much on the actual spot where Screech was operating other than a touron center and an ice-cream shop.
Perhaps I passed him at the wrong time, but he was working mighty hard to find somebody to get jiggy with aside from a few bums and the odd courier.
Well, never mind all that. The important thing? The season starts in six days!
PHILADELPHIA DELENDA EST!
And Baby Makes Four
I can't get past her diabolical comment screener to say so over there, but many congratulations to long-time Llama pal Lintefiniel Jen on the birth of her new daughter, Molly Ann!
Yip! Yip! Yip!
Gratuitous Bail-Out Observation
Flipping through the economic headlines that dominate the nooz, I would simply note that you can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.
That is all.
Random Commuter Observation
You know, if I were the unscrupulous sort, I could make an awful lot of money loitering around Starbucks eavesdropping on the various legal and bizness conversations going on, and then selling what I heard to rivals and competitors.
The level of indiscretion which people can reach without apparently even being aware of it never ceases to amaze me.
March 30, 2009
Last Night's Flash and Bang Explained
Much of coastal Virginia was rocked last night by sonic booms and bright lights. I thought it was a meteor, a co-worker thought the Air Force. Turns out it was the second stage of a Russian rocket.
March 29, 2009
You Know Your Co-Workers Are Being Nice
when they swear you look like you are in your mid-thirties one day but the next an optician "strongly suggests" the black or grey frames for the new LMC glasses because "you have the salt and pepper thing going on."
Trailer for the Upcoming Transformers Flick
This is especially significant for parents of small crumb-crunchers:
March 28, 2009
Kerri Russell doing the Mermaid Dance and Lucy Lawless in a Bikini
Reason enought to see Bedtime Stories. Here is the trailer:
Hillary Muffs It at Guadalupe
Hillary asks: "Who painted it?" when shown the image of the Virgin Mary on the tilma of St. Juan Diego. Via Hot Air.
Talkin' Power To The PEOPLE!
Not that I am usually the sort, but I've been mulling an idea for a bumpah stickah that just seems to cry out to be done. Prompted by the encouragement of some near and dear to me, I've finally gone and got about a dozen of them printed up:
(I thought the choice of font made an especially nice touch.)
It will be extremely interesting to see exactly how long one will remain on my car before getting mutilated, defaced or ripped off. Not long, I should think.
The Lunch Club
I left a private law firm to go in-house at a local bank holding company almost two months ago and have not regretted it for one minute. A few days ago, I had lunch with three alums from the old law school--all of whom left private practice for other jobs in the profession. No one misses the tyranny of billable hours, the constant pressure to bring in revenue, or internal firm politics. We are planning to make it a regular event with venue rotation and who picks up the check.
As luck would have it, another refugee from law firm practice stopped by our table-a general counsel at a local company. He, too, enjoyed his life-post law firm--no suit, just slacks and blazer, and a relaxed look on his face. As luck would further have it--the CEO and CFO at my old firm were at another table having what seemed to be a lunch interview with a local lawyer. We exchanged pleasantries. When it was over, everyone went back to work--the law firm types to their time sheets and billable hours and the rest of us to more enjoyable ways to work in the profession.
No, I do not miss it a bit.
BSG Series Finale: Strong Finish
I missed it last weekend because of drill but got the chance to see it on TiVO a few nights ago. I could have skipped the last fifteen minutes but otherwise it was great: the good guys taking down the bad guys, plenty of action, proof that no one is beyond redemption, and that the old battlestar still had one last fight left in her.
I leave you with the gals of BSG:
Cylon Life Coach-Bad Never Looked So Good.
Pilot with Issues.
Cylon? Angel? Thy Brother's Girlfriend? Or Just a Gal that Could Fly Apart At Any Moment?
Why Couldn't Someone Else Have Gotten Spaced?
There and Gone:
Turn On Every Light in the House
and leave your cars running in the driveway, with the lights and A/C on, with the windows down Sunday evening as a counter-protest to Earth Hour tonight. (Swiped shamelessly from James Taranto over at Best of the Web on Opinion Journal.)
March 26, 2009
"When Obama Saw The Breadth Of His Domain, He Wept For There Were No More Worlds To Conquer."
At the White House’s celebration of Greek Independence Day Wednesday afternoon, President Obama got a little unexpected flattery from Archbishop Demetrios, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States
Listing a series of challenges Obama will need to deal with as president, Demetrios predicted: Demetrios to Obama: "Following the brilliant example of Alexander the Great...you will be able to cut the Gordian knot of these unresolved issues."
Obama responded by making a face to the crowd, prompting laughter. And when he took the mic, he speculated on what the compliment could do for him at home.
I know nothing about the Archbish. Perhaps he was just being old-fashioned. Perhaps he really was just trying to be encouraging. But it seems to me that there are very few educated people about these days who don't view Alexander as a raving megalomaniac.
So, hearty endorsement or subtle slam? You be the judge.
Makes Me Want To Buy Another Sarah Calendar
You won't even believe this.
The Republicans have called on none other than Sarah Palin to headline their big fat-cat fundraising dinner. You know they're going to use every last dime they raise to try to slam the brakes on President Obama's change agenda.
You know what I say? Thanks, but no thanks – how about you get back on that bridge to nowhere, Sarah.
We've got to beat her and the rest of those "no, baby, no" Republicans standing in President Obama's way by winning this FEC fundraising battle on March 31st. It's the only one in President Obama's first 100 days. It'll show everybody that America stands behind President Obama and Democrats fighting for change – not Sarah Palin and the "just say no" Republicans.
Contribute $5, $10, or more now to the DCCC's Million Dollar Match campaign. If you give today, they'll match your gift 2-to-1, tripling its impact.
We need to make sure our Democratic voices for change are stronger and louder than all their "Party of No" talk.
Republicans are trying to change the subject by going on the attack. First, it was the daddy of all Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, riling up the GOP base by rooting for President Obama to fail. Then it was RNC Chair Michael Steele transferring $1 million to bolster the House Republicans' campaign war chest. One Republican even fessed up that his party's goal in Congress isn't getting anything done – it's tearing down approval numbers for Democrats.
They're coming for a fight. Let's give them one.
Contribute $5, $10, or more to the DCCC's Million Dollar Match campaign before Midnight March 31st. If you give today, they'll match your gift 2-to-1, tripling its impact.
In 2008, Republicans got heartburn every time they came up on one of these big FEC fundraising deadlines. So what do you say we keep them on their heels?
P.S. But even as we watch President Obama and House Democrats bring change on everything from the economy to health care, to energy policy, the last thing we can do is sit back and kick our feet up. The world is watching to see how strongly we support President Obama in his first 100 days. Contribute now.
March 25, 2009
Dodd's Wife is a Former Director of an AIG-Controlled Company
The wife of Senator Chris Dodd (D., Countrywide) is a former director of an AIG-controlled company. Via Drudge and Real Clear Politics. And, Dodd must go.
The New Face Of She Who Must Not Be Named?
Julianne Moore, who Mom has suggested more than once should be included in our collection of hawt over-40 Llama babes, has been cast in the role of SWMNBN in a new movie about Bubba and the Bimbo.
According to the article, in a comment I'm sure is funnier than was originally intended, a source said, "This is a big role for both of them. Playing Hillary, a wife who stands by her unfaithful husband, will be something she can get her teeth stuck into."
I don't doubt it. Heh, indeed.
Dennis Quaid reportedly landed the role of the Big He, beating out Russell Crowe (you've got to be kidding me!), Philip Seymour Hoffman (I was a fan of PSH before it was cool. It's the extreme, baby!), Alec Baldwin (Now that I could see) and Tim Robbins (they could call him "Meat" again. Heh. Heh.)
No word in the article on who will play Little Miss Knee-pads.
FBI cuts ties with CAIR
Bob on the FOB
Cartoons poking gentle fun at some of the more common life forms on a forward operating base. Robbo had similar fun skewering his fellow law students in a comic strip for the school newspaper, including yours truly.
Yips! from Robbo: I will simply point out that my art work was nowhere near this good. On the other hand, as I suspect is the case with Bob on the FOB, the material practically wrote itself. ; ]
March 24, 2009
Biting The Hand That Feeds You
Krauth on the proposed new bank plan:
[T]he way I look at it is that the logic of the plan is there, but the problem is the execution. The logic makes sense. The reason the assets are toxic is because they carry a huge amount of risk and uncertainty.
The government by lending at very favorable terms to private investors and guaranteeing huge amounts of losses is taking a disproportionate share of the risk and the uncertainty out. So it creates a market and creates a chance of the banks offloading these assets.
The problem is the execution. After the performance of the president and the administration and the House and the Senate last week on AIG, it's hard to imagine anybody is going to want to be a partner of the government.
There's going to be either huge upside in these investments, or huge downsides. Either way, you can see the headlines attacking the vultures who made the money or the vultures who lost the money.
You can see Congress acting the way it did right now with the retroactive bills of attainder, punitive taxation, and notorieties that these people would inherit.
That doesn't mean nobody will join this, but it reduces the number of people who will. If you reduce the number of partners, that means the government is going to have to assume a lot more risk and give away a lot of the profits than it otherwise would had we not had the AIG hysteria.
Yup. It's often said that liberals love employment but hate employers. Seems to be the same case when it comes to investment.
Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Human Life Has Got To Go!
I love to loathe this sort of fellah:
JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.
Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.
The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.
Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.
“Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact.”
In other words, I believe, Humanity is better off living in caves, at or perhaps below subsistence level.
In the article, Mr. Porritt of course does not get around to explaining exactly how he would go about "cutting" the population. "One child only" policies and forced abortions? Refusing the National Health to anyone over age 55? Passing out cigarettes in pre-school? The world wonders. And the reason it wonders is that it's all very well to make grand, abstract statements about "reducing the population by 30 million people" and "sustainability". It is something far different to say, "Alright - Sid? Pete? Mom? Into the cattle car with you."
What I find especially interesting about a statement like this is the fact that, as Mark Steyn has argued time and again, the native population of Britain (and, indeed, of the rest of Europe) is already plunging, with birthrates falling below replacement level all over the place. The population of the U.K. is growing now because of massive immigration and because of the fact that the immigrants, shall we say, do not share Mr. Porritt's views when it comes to family size. I'd love to be a fly on the wall were he to walk into the local mosque and try to explain his theories there.
March 23, 2009
Someone at NBC did not get the memo
Kings looks intriguing. The writing includes an underlying theme of rule by divine right, a theory which is not in vogue in the present politcal climate.
Anyhoo, Allison Miller is easy on the eyes of the male of the species as the daughter of the monarch:
Continuing with the enduring brunette theme
Your humble LMC gives you Kerri Russell:
Today is her day.
March 20, 2009
BSG DVR Alert
For those of you who will be unable to view the series finale of "Battlestar Galactica this evening, be advised that the episode is two hours AND ELEVEN MINUTES long.
Go and adjust your DVR/VHS recorders.
So say we all.
Recently, BSG creator/producer Ronald D. Moore wrote about tonight's series conclusion:
"It’s been an honor to be your storyteller."
"Thank you for the story. It was more than we had hoped for. God speed."
On Deck, There!
A few weeks back I noted the apparent lack of basic seamanship displayed in the cover art of a Starbucks CD.
Apparently, this lubberly trend is catching on, as demonstrated in the cover of this month's Washington Lawyer, the rag of the Dee Cee Bar. (Sorry about the poor image but it is the best I can do.)
I suppose I understand what the artist was trying to get across. But you will note that in this rendition of the traditional Ship of State metaphor, there is neither helmsman nor tiller. Instead, the boat is utterly at the mercy of whatever wind - from whatever directions - happens to be filling its sail. Not a very comforting idea with that lee shore looming up off the port bow.
"Charting a new course?" I don't think so.
I assume the artist did not mean to take a subtle dig at the new Administration, but......
I Dunno What It Means But I'm Running With It
Hey, here's one for you:
Guy: My fifty llamas have no noses!
Boss: No noses? How do they smell?
Yips! to Scuffulanic Don.
What he says:
Yips! to the Good Lt. over at the Sandcrawler.
Your Quote Of The Day
"[D]on't forget, folks: Somewhere in Texas a village has been reunited with its idiot, and we now have the whip-smartest administration of David Brooks's lifetime."
What is it the kids like to text these days? ROTFLMAO!!!!
A Special Steve-O "It's New To Me" Friday Funny
Had dinner with the Llama Emeritus last evening and, apart from a heated argument over whether garlic fries could be considered "American" - in the course of which I took the stance that if they aren't, then vive la France! - a good time was had by all.
In the course of the conversation, we got on the subject of Star Wars. Steve-O mentioned that Mrs. Steve had never seen the films and referred to them generally as "that Star-Wars-Trek-Battlestar-Whatever stuff". I asked him whether he had seen the YouTube I posted a couple months ago featuring the Star Wars summary by the girl who'd only ever seen bits and pieces of it.
He hadn't, but I think he (and Mrs. Steve) would like it. So here it is again:
By the way, I think - I think - that we may see Steve-O coming back to the blog at some point in the future. No promises were made, and I'm relaying nothing but my own general sense here, but I can't help believing that the planets may slowly be swinging back into alignment.
As they say, we shall see.
March 19, 2009
CNN Call the Senator from Countrywide a Liar
Via Hot Air. And, Dodd must go.
The 'Cuda on Why Alaska is Passing Up on Half of the Stimulus Bait
This is a good example why she should have been at the top of the GOP ticket, not the bottom:
Via Hot Air. And, Dodd must go.
Gratuitous Nats Posting
Oh, good God, here we go again!
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals second baseman Ronnie Belliard left Wednesday's game against the Marlins in the top of the fourth inning because of a left ankle sprain. Belliard is expected to miss two to three days of action.
With Josh Willingham on first base, Belliard hit a ground ball to Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who threw to shortstop Robert Andino for the forceout. Belliard was safe at first, but a few steps after toughing first, Belliard turned his ankle and fell to the ground. Belliard had to be helped off the field.
Jose Castillo pinch-ran for Belliard in the same inning.
"Belliard walked out of [the stadium], so that is a good sign," manager Manny Acta said.
Center fielder Lastings Milledge suffered a left knee contusion in the ninth inning after colliding with Sanchez. Milledge is listed as day-to-day.
Injuries killed us last year. Injuries seem to kill us every year. What gives?
(The good news here is that both Belliard and Milledge are reported to have only minor injuries, but I tell you truly that stories like this make my blood run cold.)
Here We Go......
The death of Natasha Richardson has sparked a debate about whether it should be mandatory for skiers and snowboarders to wear helmets.
There's been a sharp rise in the number of people wearing helmets after several high-profile ski accidents this winter and some compulsion has already come in.
Yup. In the New World Order, everything that is not forbidden will be mandatory.
Look, I feel badly for Richardson and for anyone else who gets injured, but whatever happened to the old-fashioned concept of assumption of the risk?
(Okay, okay. You can stop laughing now.)
You know, I used to have great hopes that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was going to be the next Conan and reignite the whole silly, entertaining, swords and barbarians fantasy epic genre.
I got mulling on this again because of the impending release of the remake of Escape to Witch Mountain, in which he stars. It also brought back memories of The Game Plan, an awful kid-centric comedy of his. I am further informed by the Llama-ettes that he either is soon to host or has already hosted some kind of "Kids' Choice" awards on one of the cable channels. Heck, before he knows it, he's gonna go the route of Ric Ocasek, who after years of coo-el found himself singing "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" in duet with a Disney cartoon character.
My question is: What the hell happened?
Part of it may just be The Rock himself, although I've always found him to be charismatic and entertaining. Part of it also may be that with the fad in sooper-hero movies of late, the old-fashioned sword-wielding Cimmerian just doesn't stand a chance in Hollywood at the moment.
Okay all you Camelidophiles who remember the Good Old Days here at Llama Central: As it happens, Llama Emeritus Steve-O is going to be in my neck of the woods today and I am planning to meet up with him for dinner.
I'm sure that all of you want him to come back to blogging as much as I do, so here's your chance to do something about it: Drop a comment to this post. Go ahead. Drop two. Drop ten. Tell us in your own style just how ready you are for Steve-O to get back in the damn pool!
Later on this afternoon, I'll print out this post and personally hand it to him. It might not work as a means of persuasion, but then again, it just might!
Yip! Yip! Yip!
UPDATE: I am reminded by a lloyal reader that Moo Knew is still in the grip of comment fevah. If you can't get through, you can also dump a note directly into the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack at llamabutchers - at - yahoo.com.
Apropo of nothing. . .
You're happily married now, have a spouse who is nuts about you, children, and a destructive relationship in your past. Occasionally something reminds you of the late unpleasantness, so how about a little something to make you feel better: Joan Jett and the Blackheart.
And, Dodd must go
The Senator from Countrywide suddenly remembers putting that bonus-protection language in the stimulus package after all. Via Hot Air. Turns out he was also the biggest recipient of campaign cash from AIG during the last election cycle. And, Dodd must go. (Shamelessly poached from "And, Rowland must go"--from Monkey Watch, methinks.)
I will see your air defense system and raise you a Raptor
Via NRO. Sell F-22 Raptors to Israel.
Yips! from Robbo: Mr. FLG calls "bullshite" on this on the grounds that the F-22 is an air-superiority fighter and thus of no use against either Iranian air-defense systems or the nukes they would be guarding. Not being savvy to the tactical ins and outs, I leave it to the better informed to either confirm or rebut this position.
YIPS Back: the fine folks at Global Security.org confirmed the Raptor's ground attack capability. The question which comes to mind is whether a Raptor can carry the type of munitions needed for a pre-emptive strike on hardened facilities and maintain its stealthy characteristics.
More Yips! from Robbo: Well, I dunno nothing about birthing air raids, but surely you'd send the Raptors after the defense system first and then whatever else you need to hit the nukes?
Super-Smackdown Yips: Further reading today indicates the export controls on the Raptor prohibit sales to foreign countries--not even the Aussies.
March 18, 2009
My wife will clock me if I suggest this
Hot Air has this linkie on women having orgasms during labor. I can say with certainty that I have never heard of anyone experiencing anything sexual, much less orgasmic during labor. If anything, the entire experience can be quite the opposite.
I Hate To See This Sort Of Thing
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Aaron Boone of the Houston Astros will have open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve.
Boone made the announcement Wednesday, saying he has known about his heart condition since college but tests done after his routine physical determined he needed surgery. It is not an emergency, but doctors indicated the procedure was needed.
He said doctors told him he could play baseball when he recovers, but he's not sure if he will.
An emotional Boone delivered the news flanked by general manager Ed Wade and manager Cecil Cooper and in front of a somber room filled with teammates and Astros officials.
"It definitely hits home, but I'm doing well with it," Boone said. "I feel like I'm fairly educated on it now. I have a strong faith and a great family and friends and teammates. I really am doing well and I'm ready to tackle this thing and get it behind me and get on with life."
Wade said a local doctor who did the team physicals and team doctor Jim Muntz worked together to conduct tests on Boone because they knew of his condition.
"Unfortunately the test results came out indicating there was an acceleration of the condition that Aaron has been dealing with for a number of years," Wade said.
He has a bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital defect where the valve has only two cusps to manage the flow of blood through the heart, as opposed to the normal three. The surgery has not been scheduled, but Boone expects to set a date for the procedure later this week.
Cooper rubbed Boone's back as he expressed his concern for the player.
"As a baseball family we're here to support Aaron, as you can see by all the teammates and front office personnel we have here," Cooper said. "And anything he needs we're going to be there to help him out."
Boone played for the Nats last year and got traded to the Astros in the off-season, so while this kind of news is rotten for anyone, there's a bit of an extra tug here.
God speed, Aaron.
Nothing to see here, move along
Left-wing meeting site for academics and "journalists." Via Hot Air.
March 17, 2009
No Irish jokes
Sorry to disappoint, but the only jokes of the Irish stripe are the ones such O'Reilly on his deathbed asked the priest to make him a Protestant. When the startled priest asked why, O'Reilly replied: "When I go, better that it be one of them rather one of us."
Super-Sekret Message to Monica Perusing the Calyx
Look at the '85 Calyx at the old fraternity picture. I am the guy in the blue blazer and striped tie standing next to the brother sporting the plaid jacket.
Today My Name Is Robbo O'Llama
(No, I'm actually Scots but I just felt like saying that.)
The LMC is actually our resident Paddy. Perhaps I could call on him for a couple of lace-curtain Irish jokes? They're quite funny.
In the meantime, I was musing on St. Patrick as I trudged up from the metro this morning, trying to picture what life for him must have been among hordes of 5th Century heathen savages and thinking that I couldn't possibly imagine it, living in our own times.
However, as I passed the local Obama Inauguration Store, I noticed prominently displayed in the window a green shirt with shamrocks on it which read, "Drink Up, Bitches!"
Got me thinking that perhaps things aren't so very different after all.
March 16, 2009
A Little Piece of Advice
Bad news for all you conservative grumblers out there: At a party last evening, I had two guys telling me that if the GOP ever expects to win another presidential race, it has to abandon its divisive positions and move to the center. Among other things, these fellahs seem to think the whole abortion issue torpedoed its chances last fall.
VIVE LE R.I.N.O.!
Anyone heard of this recent Voting Rights Act victory?
Read this over at NRO. You will not hear it form the MSM because it concerns a black Dem machine flagrantly disenfranchising white Democrat voters in Mississippi. The Clinton administration would not touch it but its successor did. Yet, the silence from the top of DOJ about the recent victory on appeal is deafening.
March 15, 2009
First up, Ursula Andress--likes to swim, carries a knife--a woman after my heart:
Super-Sekret Message to All Who Have Had a Beer In Metro-Lex
The Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity house was struck by fire on Thursday. All seventeen people inside (brothers, girlfriends, and the house mother) made it out--one person was treated for smoke inhalation and released. Contrary to initial impression, the cause of the fire is believed to be a cigarette butt thrown into the mulch off the porch, not divine retribution for all of the debauchery that has occurred there over the sweep of time. (In the interest of full disclosure, I lived in that house my sophmore and junior years and can attest it was the site of much, er, revelry.)
I would pay to see that too
Dick Cheney on a debate between Rush and The One on Rush's show:
Via Hot Air.
So I got that going for me
I was perusing Moxie's site and followed a linkie to take the "How Progressive Are You?" inter-active quiz at the Center for American Progress. I received a score of 67.5 which means I will be among the first lined up against the wall when the revolution comes.
Yips! from Robbo: Uh, oh - I scored 121. To be fair, there were all sorts of "Have you stopped beating your wife?" questions to which I tried to finesse an answer. I'm not sure that's what the survey was looking for.
March 14, 2009
Another reason to be an unabashed supporter of Israel
I saw something this week that the engagement between Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson was off which is probably a good thing. Marrying the wrong person after one mistake only compounds the problem. Bristol Palin has a tough road in front of her as a single teenage parent but not an impossible one. The reason the female part of the MSM turned on The 'Cuda can be summarized in one word: abortion. Sarah's support for her pregnant daughter while The 'Cuda carried Trig to term despite Down Syndrome are the most powerful messages a mother can send and not the ones that liberated women of a certain elite educational stripe like to hear, dontcha' know. Politicians can talk the talk when it comes to these issues but mothers walk the walk. One can only speculate how many of members of the MSM, especially the women, wonder if they would have had the strength or the courage to make the choices the Palins made.
Yips! from Robbo: I've seen a goodish bit of chortling on the left side of the 'sphere about this whole business, as you might imagine. It strikes me that there are a couple important points:
1. Tripp Palin is alive and well. Had Bristol gone the abortion route, he'd be dead. Dead and gone. In the end, that's
probably what matters the most.
2. A lot of the chortling has focused on what the libs see as multiple levels of conservative hypocracy surrounding this whole affair.
"Bristol pregnant? We thought conservatives were so AGAINST teen sex! Looks like that abstinance thing doesn't work out for ya so well, does it? Betcher thinking twice about access to birth control now, huh?"
"Bristol and Levi breaking up? Tripp's gonna grow up a bastard? We thought you conservatives were soooooo against the whole single motherhood thing. Guess it's different when it's your own mess, huh? Serves you right for being so judgmental, doesn't it?"
In response, I would just point out again that yes, social conservatives believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong, that it is better for a child to be raised in a two-parent home than a single-parent home, that birth control is bad and that abortion is even worse.
But you know what? Social cons - or at least the ones who are looking at things the right way - also remember that Mankind is inherently flawed, that people make mistakes and that in the end we must do the best under the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Put it another way, while we hate the sin, we must never forget that we are also commanded to love the sinner. Something tells me that the Palins "get" that.
Super Sekrit message to Robbo--had to make a slight edit to make the distinction between Sarah's youngest and Bristol's kid, thanks to an eagle-eyed faithful reader!
"Into the Jaws of Death and into the Mouth of Hell"
BSG hits its stride with the series finale to go. The first half of last night's episode was pointless flashbacks to life in the Colonies before the Cylon attack but the second half
Plot spoiler below the fold.
ditched the doobie smokin', feeling-sorry-for-themselves, what-is-the-point-in living nonsense. Adama, having given up on signs, prophets, Earth, and practically everything else latches onto one of the enduring values of a warrior culture: No one is left behind; no one is left in the clutches of the enemy. The bad Cylons have Hera in a well-defended base and Adama is going to a lead hopeless rescue mission to get her back, banking that the old battlestar (distillery and all) still has one more fight left in her. There is only one jump point available given the physics of the area, and it is one kilometer from the base--the fight will be up close and personal. Like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie at the Alamo, a line is drawn down the flight deck and volunteers for the mission are to move to one side, and everyone else to the other. When the dust settles, three quarters of the crew are on the rescue side as is President Roslin who rose from her deathbed to stand with her man. The chain-smokin' surgeon volunteers to go but Adama guides him back-those staying behind will need a doctor-the rescuers will not because they will likely be dead. The final installment in the series should be worth it.
March 13, 2009
Inquiring BSG Minds Want to Know:
1. Will Adama move the distillery to the rebel Cylon base ship before off-leading the weapons from Galactica?
2. Who is providing Madame President with "medicinal" marijuania?
3. Will she stick with smoking an occasional doobie, switch to a bong, or go for smoking cigar-sized blunts?
4. When will Starbuck finally self-destruct?
Gary's favorite gal needs no introduction
Today is her day.
Birthday Yips! from Gary:
Ah, yes. Thanks for the reminder, LMC.
Fifty Three years HOT, today.
March 12, 2009
Rachel turned 38 last week
so here she is:
becuase I like brunettes, that's why.
Apropo of nothing. . .
Your humble LMC gives you:
Because I feel like it.
Global Warming's Icarus Flying Too Close To The Sun?
A new Gallup survey suggests that public skepticism is on the rise:
Americans generally believe global warming is real. That sets the U.S. public apart from the global-warming skeptics who assembled this week in New York City to try to debunk the science behind climate change. At the same time, with only 34% of Americans saying they worry "a great deal" about the problem, most Americans do not view the issue in the same dire terms as the many prominent leaders advancing global warming as an issue.
Importantly, Gallup's annual March update on the environment shows a drop in public concern about global warming across several different measures, suggesting that the global warming message may have lost some footing with Americans over the past year. Gallup has documented declines in public concern about the environment at times when other issues, such as a major economic downturn or a national crisis like 9/11, absorbed Americans' attention. To some extent that may be true today, given the troubling state of the U.S. economy. However, the solitary drop in concern this year about global warming, among the eight specific environmental issues Gallup tested, suggests that something unique may be happening with the issue.
Certainly global warming has received tremendous attention this decade, including with Al Gore's Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." It is not clear whether the troubled economy has drawn attention away from the global warming message or whether other factors are at work. It will be important to see whether the 2009 findings hold up in next year's update of the annual environmental survey.
My guess would be that there are a couple different things going on.
One is plain ol' overreach of the doomsday predictions, the "If you don't start using eco-friendly lightbulbs, Manhattan's going to look like Venice in five years" sort of thing. From what I understand, this has always been a deliberate tactic of the advocacy crowd. Were they to say "If you don't start using eco-friendly lightbulbs, the average sea-level might rise 10 cm in 100 years!" nobody would give a flying rat's patooie. People just get sick of that sort of thing after a while.
Another, as the article suggests, is that people have more important things to worry about at the moment. You know, like paying for groceries. Vaclav Klaus has been saying for years that eco-fussing is a luxury item, and I think that as they are forced to eliminate luxuries, people are beginning to realize this.
A third, which is harder to pin down, might be that people are beginning to recognize the whole green movement as just another of the damned bubbles that have plagued us for the past ten to fifteen years. A lot of people are on the green bandwagon for a lot of different reasons. Aside from the visionary fringe hellbent on dragging us back to the Stone Age and the usual band of fellow travelers looking for another jolt to animate the dead corpse of Marx, a good many folks see it as a golden opportunity to grab political power. Many others are trying to make a fast buck. And fellahs like the Goreacle appear to be going for both. One would hope that we've been burned enough times already that we're becoming quicker to spot a scam in the making.
March 11, 2009
Fair Winds and Following Seas
I was surprised to read the obit this morning of a neighbor in the old 'hood in Norfolk. He was a career naval officer, graduate of the Naval Academy, veteran of three wars, and all-around nice guy.
Toomey rises in Pennsylvania
Now would be a good time for Spector to announce he is not running for re-election. Check this out from Hot Air.
WTF is going on in Connecticut?
Some bright light apparently introduced a bill to strip Catholic bishops of control over parish property. It has since been withdrawn after the electorate when batshit. Via Hot Air.
Yips! from Robbo: I noticed this the other day and I'm happy to see that it has apparently died out so quickly. From what I understand, the flap originated in Darien, where a local parish priest seems to have rooked his flock out of a considerable wodge of dosh from the collection plate. The furor enabled somebody to tee this thing up in Hartford. I believe that there is a history of significant discord between the Connecticut legislature and the Church. Whether the sponsors actually thought their effort would pass and survive constitutional scrutiny, or whether they were looking just to score a few cheap political points on a piece of crap bill they knew to be doomed from the start, I couldn't say.
March 09, 2009
Inquiring BSG Minds Want to Know:
1. Where is Lucy Lawless a/k/a Deanna? She was there and then gone (sort of like Darth Maul, but less scary looking).
2. If the human race has been on the run for the last four years and has been short on everything (water, air, fuel, food) how is it they seem to have an inexhaustable suppy of cigarettes (smoked mostly by the ship's surgeon and Starbuck), not to mention booze. Galactica must have had so much of bourbon and tobacco aboard that the ship should have been named either Battlestar Jim Beam or Philip Morris.
3. Only Colonel Tigh seems to have a smokin' and drinkin' problem as far as Cylons go. Is that the reason there are not any more Tighs running around? His entire line got boxed up when they showed a predeliction for carrousing, hangover, polluting the air, and bringing on global warming?
WASHINGTON – Reversing Bush policy, President Barack Obama on Monday cleared the way for a significant increase in federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research and promised no scientific data will be "distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda."
Obama signed the executive order on the divisive stem cell issue and a memo addressing what he called scientific integrity before an East Room audience packed with scientists. He laced his remarks with several jabs at the way science was handled by former President George W. Bush.
"Promoting science isn't just about providing resources, it is also about protecting free and open inquiry," Obama said. "It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient especially when it's inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology."
He said his memorandum is meant to restore "scientific integrity to government decision-making." He called it the beginning of a process of ensuring his administration bases its decision on sound science; appoints scientific advisers based on their credentials, not their politics; and is honest about the science behind its decisions.
Fulfilling a campaign promise, Obama signed the order that on stem cell research that supporters believe could uncover cures for serious ailments from diabetes to paralysis. Proponents from former first lady Nancy Reagan to the late actor Christopher Reeve had pushed for ending the restrictions on research.
Obama paid tribute to Reeve, calling him a tireless advocate who was dedicated to raising awareness to the promise of research.
Obama's action reverses Bush's stem cell policy by undoing his 2001 directive that banned federal funding for research into stem lines created after Aug. 9, 2001.
Ya know, it isn't just the distortion of the Bush policy refusing to provide federal funding for this sort of thing into some kind of seeming active attempt to stamp out scientific research altogether. (You remember all those black helicopters with white crucifixes on their sides landing on the roofs of the private labs and confiscating all their data and materials.)
It isn't just the fact that a phrase like "ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology," when subject to a couple moments' reflection, is not just idiotic but is downright horrific. (I'm sure Dr. Mengele would have argued that, hey, he was just pursuing facts, too.)
No, I think in the end it's the basic lack of balls (pardon me) to say, "Hey, we think the value of the possibility of coming up with life-saving or life-enhancing medical breakthroughs through this kind of research outweighs the value of the lives of all those unborn embryos. Screw you."
I'd still violently disagree, but at least I'd have a bit more respect for the decision.
The Court Orders That Parties Play Ball!
Yeah, this is a great idea:
An overcompetitive parent gets into an argument with a stubborn coach because he thinks his child isn't getting enough playing time -- it's a familiar scene on youth sports fields across America.
Now, a Rhode Island senator wants the state to step in and create a formal outlet for the "concerns and objections" some parents have.
Democratic Sen. John Tassoni Jr. introduced a bill that would create a youth sports oversight council on the state level. The council would act as mediator in disputes between parents of youth athletes and sports officials.
In answer to critics, Tassoni said Friday that the notion the bill would mean "big brother" could begin to oversee youth sports is a misconception.
The bill cites the need for a third party to step in at times, stating that "parents lack a proper outlet to share concerns and objections about youth sports."
But the parents are the biggest problem, said Matt Rodrigues, general manager and owner of Teamworks youth sports program in Warwick, Rhode Island.
"They are crazy, especially in Rhode Island. The kids on the court are scared because the parents are yelling and screaming," Rodrigues said.
But the answer, he said, is not to create a council that "makes decisions we can deal with ourselves."
A similar council exists in Waterford, Connecticut -- run by the town, not the state.
"It kind of surprises me that [Rhode Island would] do it on such a large level like that," said Bruce Miller, president of the Waterford Youth Sports Council.
Waterford's council is made up of representatives from the town's 11 sports leagues.
Tassoni's bill states that at least four of the members of the state council would be regional youth sports representatives.
He said the council is needed because right now there is no place to go to resolve disputes.
"There's no place right now to bring a case forward and have a third party take a look at it," he said.
Under the bill, Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri would appoint seven volunteers -- approved by the state Senate and House -- to sit on a panel called the Rhode Island Youth Sports Oversight Council.
Tassoni said the seven-member council wouldn't be made up of politicians, but ex-coaches, ex-officials and ex-athletic directors.
Some adults involved in youth sports aren't happy about it.
One blogger posted concerns on the Web site of a Rhode Island newspaper, the Providence Journal.
"Hey Tassoni: What do you do, [lie] in bed and think to yourself -- 'what haven't me and my cronies either screwed up, bankrupted or embarrassed yet? Hmmmm ... haven't touched Little League yet.' Do me a favor -- and I ask this as a coach and a parent -- stay the hell away from my field!!!!" wrote the blogger.
Others think the government should "concentrate on the state."
Rodrigues of the Teamworks program said giving parents a place to do petty complaining only "opens up a can of worms."
He said the council just "sounds like another way to take power away from our programs -- they have enough [power]."
The governor has not taken a position on the legislation and will not until he reviews the bill, press secretary Amy Kempe said Friday. She added, however, that "there appears to be some vague language and constitutional issues."
I can just see the docket for this new Ministry of Truth In Sports:
- Case No. 12-SB-3431 - In Re The Matter Of Susie X Batting In The Bottom Of The Order
- Case No. 14-SC- 4451 - In Re Johnny's 100 Yard Wind-sprint Scores
- Case No. 51-FB-1202 - In Re Billy Being Benched In The 2nd Quarter For Committing Three Personal Fouls.
And so on. This being a guv'mint tribunal, all proceedings, will take an average of 18 to 24 months. Results subject to appeal to the local district court.
As those of you who don't visit my other digs may not be aware, I'm coaching the eldest Llama-ette's softball team this spring, so this article especially caught my attention. Our first practice was yesterday, and in my introductory speech to the parents and players I felt there was no point in hiding the fact that this is my very first experience doing this sort of thing. I said, in part, "So if you're expecting Joe Torre, I'm sorry. I can't even give you Manny Acta. But I'll do my best nonetheless."
Hopefully, I won't get hauled up in front of this sort of court.
Random Monday Morning Observations
Let me just say that daylight savings time is not very popular at Orgle Manor.
March 06, 2009
James J. Kilpatrick hangs up the cleats
National Review's take on his retirement is here. I read Kilpatrick's columns while I was growing up. His insights were sharp, well- reasoned, and often amusing (showing how humor could be used persuasively). His Point/Point-Counter exchanges on 60 Minutes were great, with the best being his response to Shana Alexander's hysterical tirade about how women reporters should be allowed into the men's locker room to interview professional baseball players --he was jovial as he dissected her argument with ease and finished with this happy zinger: ". . . and it should be boys chasing girls. That, after all, is the national past time!"
Your Friday Assignment
The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:
"Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care, and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.
The "day of reckoning" has now arrived. And because "it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.
Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.
At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the entire banking system. One can come up with a host of causes: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed by Washington (and greed) into improvident loans, corrupted bond-ratings agencies, insufficient regulation of new and exotic debt instruments, the easy money policy of Alan Greenspan's Fed, irresponsible bankers pushing (and then unloading in packaged loan instruments) highly dubious mortgages, greedy house-flippers, deceitful homebuyers.
The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-ass MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe in the first place.
And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.
What's going on? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."
Things. Now we know what they are. The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.
Read it all and be very afraid.
Senator Warner wants to start a "discussion" about end-of-life issues
From The Virginian Pilot. Make no mistake about where this is headed: first it will be just ensuring that everyone has "information," next it will be voluntary "guidelines," and then the "guidelines" will no longer be voluntary. Translation: your friendly federal government wants to decide when to pull the plug--because it knows best.
Obligatory Malin Akerman post
She plays Silk Spectre II in Watchmen which starts today:
March 04, 2009
Random Commuter Observeration
There is one thing to be said for being a hopelessly predictable regular at my coffee stop: When my jaw is frozen solid from my morning walk from the metro and it's hard to articulate, it's awfully nice just to be able to nod at my usual barista and know that she'll get my triple venti latte going for me with no further need for communication.
Not that I'm allowing myself to be assimilated in to the Starbucks Collective, you understand. I'd be perfectly happy getting the same service anywhere else. Starbucks just happens to be the shop on my line of march.
And speaking of rejecting the Starbucks culture, I've finally reached the point where I feel I must protest. For those of you from different planets who haven't been into a Starbucks recently, among other things they flog a line of CD's, displayed prominently at the counter. Since some time prior to Valentine's Day (I think), the selection has included a CD called Sweetheart, a purported collection of "favorite" love songs. Here's the cover, which stares at me every day when I shuffle into the shop:
Now, as they say, what's wrong with this picture?
Want a clue? Observe the young lady's fingers streaming in the water. Observe also which way the wake from her fingers is moving. By that motion, the canoe is coming toward you.
"So?" you say.
Soooo, I reply, either one of two things. On the one hand, the guy may be sitting in the bow of the canoe and paddling backwards. Rowing backwards is the prerogative of boats' crews. Canoe paddlers sit facing forward. On the other hand, the guy may, in fact, be attempting to paddle forward, but for whatever reason of bad seamanship or freak physics, the canoe is moving in the wrong direction.
In either case, one is led to one of two conclusions: Either the paddler is an utter moron who shouldn't be trusted with a rubber ducky in a bathtub, much less a canoe on open water, or else the artist (and whatever chain of mid-level suits who vetted the thing) are utter morons who don't know the first thing about boating and basic hydrodynamics.
Now you may think this is a piddling matter, and perhaps you're right. Maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive, being a former oarsman myself. But to me this CD cover is the ocular equivalent of a bad tune that one can't get out of one's head, and becomes more and more irritating every time I see it.
Thank you for indulging my vent.
UPDATE: Now, if you want the real thing (both in terms of boating and the proper attitude towards goo-ey sentimentality), start at about 35 seconds into this clip:
March 03, 2009
Random Commuter Observation
March hasn't come in to Dee Cee like a lion this year, it's come like a jeezly polar bear!
March 02, 2009
The decline of military history in the academy
John J. Miller's piece over at National Review is definitely worth the read. My alma mater left the study of military history to the ROTC department and I fear no one teaches it now that the Army has been gone for at least fifteen years. No study of history is complete without an understanding of how and why wars are won and lost because humanity's record is one of the aggressive use of force.
March 01, 2009
Another reason to like old BSG
Dirk Benedict, conservative, in The Corner at NR.
Back in the day:
But I Like It Like That
Scientists are one step closer to unraveling the mystery behind the heartbreak that is graying hair:
Feb. 25, 2009 -- Scientists may have figured out why hair turns gray, and their finding may open the door to new anti-graying strategies.
New research shows that hair turns gray as a result of a chemical chain reaction that causes hair to bleach itself from the inside out.
The process starts when there is a dip in levels of an enzyme called catalase. That catalase shortfall means that the hydrogen peroxide that naturally occurs in hair can't be broken down. So hydrogen peroxide builds up in the hair, and because other enzymes that would repair hydrogen peroxide's damage are also in short supply, the hair goes gray.
Putting the brakes on that chemical chain reaction "could have great implications in the hair graying scenario in humans," write the researchers, who included Karin Schallreuter, a professor clinical and experimental dermatology at England's University of Bradford.
The study appears online in The FASEB Journal; the FASEB is the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
The LMC and I have long been of the opinion that graying hair is, in fact, quite attractive, especially when combined with a younger looking face. This is an opinion not widely shared among our lady friends and, of course, vigorously opposed by our wives.