Saturday, January 01, 2011

Congrats to the Horned Frogs

I always thought those lizards were horny toads, but let's not quibble. The TCU Horned Frogs squeaked out a victory against Wisconsin tonight in the Rose Bowl. 21 to 19.

It was one of those games that made you want to declare them both winners, but I'm not one of those PC jackwagons who wants to do away with winning and competitions. It's our nature as humans to want to compete and test ourselves against others. How else do you make progress?

The difference was that TCU scored three touchdowns to Wisconsin's two and two field goals. On the last drive, the Badgers scored a TD, but were unable to convert the 2 extra points. TCU got the ball back with 2 minutes left and hung on to win it.

Best game I've seen this bowl season.

Confessions of a Pedant

Am I the only one who sees the Dr. Pepper ad in which Michael Strahan picks up a caterpillar with white, yellow and black stripes off the sidewalk and puts it on a plant that isn't a milkweed, to demonstrate how sensitive he's become since retiring from the NFL? That's a monarch caterpillar which only eats milkweed because the nasty sap makes it inedible for birds. It's starting to bug me, not because I notice it, but because I feel like such a nitpicker.

Piers Corbyn:
This winter is the Stalingrad in the ‘Climate War’; it will be long and hard, those who understand this winter will win.

Now it is confirmed that Dec 2010 in Britain and probably West Europe, was indeed the coldest for 100 years (at least!) – as we predicted* in the face of the opinion of all other forecasters; and that the USA has also been suffering exceptional cold and blizzards – including our specifically predicted ‘monster blizzard’ of Xmas 2010 in New York and NE / E USA, the beleaguered community of ‘warmist’ Climate ‘science’ and meteorology is in a ‘climate chaos’ of its very own.
This guy really impresses me. His long term predictions are based on solar activity and he says that climate drives the CO2 levels, not the other way around.

Death by Football Watching

I've lost count of the games I've "watched," by which I mean that I've had them on TV while browsing blogs. The BYU Cougars won their bowl in New Mexico which ended their season on a pleasant note. Utah got creamed by Boise State. Yay! Otherwise, I haven't cared much about any of them.

I predict that the Ducks will beat Auburn, but I don't know who will win the Rose Bowl because I haven't seen either of them play much. I'd like to see TCU win just because the Mountain West Conference and WAC have been shut out of the BCS, but I think Wisconsin must be pretty good to win the Big Ten. Go Horned Frogs!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ezra Klein ought to change his name, because there's no way he's going to live down his statement that nobody can understand the Constitution because it's over 200 years old. The soap bubble of his reputation for cogency has popped.

Klein opined:
My friends on the right don't like to hear this, but the Constitution is not a clear document. Written more than 200 years ago, when America had 13 states and very different problems, it rarely speaks directly to the questions we ask it
First, I doubt that he has any friends in the tea party movement, and if he does, and they read this insult to their intelligence, he'll have a lot fewer. Second, he's mocking the idea that Congress should state the authority in the Constitution for each Act it passes. Third, this is so supercilious, condescending and smug to those of us who have actually earned degrees in law that he deserves to published on the comics page, next to the sudoku and crossword puzzles. You usually have to actually report for some years before you get your own by-line and more until you get to opine in columns. He obviously has a big problem with pride.

DADT repealed. Lefty universities still won't allow ROTC.

Instapundit: "ROTC and its warrior ethic taint the intellectual purity of a school.” Pathetic.


They should be declared ineligible for any federal funds or student laws until they quit dissing the military. Freedom requires defending. It should be our mission to spread freedom wherever possible, and fighting agression and tyranny is part of it.

If it's true that NYC sanitation workers deliberately held up snow removal as a protest over budget cuts, they should all be fired, like Reagan did with the Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) who went on strike, snarling up the nations air transportation system. Given the way public employees' exorbitant pay and benefits have put municipalities and states on the verge of bankruptcy, I think such unions should be outlawed. They've become the masters and the taxpaying public the servants.

President speaks with forked tongue

Jennifer Rubin writes "So much for Bipartisanship," a critique of Obama's recess appointment of 6 individuals to posts that not even the majority Democrats would confirm.

When I read stuff like this, I'm convinced that we still don't know who Barack Obama is. He talks about bipartisanship and then insults the very people he needs to work with.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The heads-I-win-tails-you-lose theory of climate change is not winning in the public marketplace for ideas. It keeps bringing me back to my first impression. Call it global warming or climate change, it's based on computer models, and the test of a model is how well its predictions fit reality. But a model that you have to wait 50 to 100 years to verify doesn't seem very useful to me.

Mostly Harmless

Obama's "Smart Diplomacy" seems to have lost the world.
Even the Bush Administration’s harshest critics could never have credibly claimed that George W. Bush was irrelevant. He might have been hated, pilloried and shouted about– but he couldn’t be ignored. However Obama can be safely ignored. Invited to parties, given the chance to show off his cosmopolitan sophisticated by reciting one or two words in the local lingo, read off a teleprompter, along with some cant about the need for everyone to pull together and make the world a better place, and then dismissed for the rest of the evening.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Remember that "study" that concluded that Fox News viewers were more misinformed than others. Lee Doren of How the World Works has dug into the details, and discovered that the study had serious flaws. Quelle surprise. The questions all had to do with what what most economists believe about the effects of various parts of Obama's agenda. It turns out that the "study" was a sham, not having actually surveyed economists, but using suspect reports from the Congressional Budget Office and other agencies.

I didn't track the video in detail, but it verifies the sense I had that the questions on which the "study" was based were irrelevant or cherry-picked. Basically it all boils down, not to how misinformed Fox viewers are, but how disingenuous and biased the "researchers" doing the study were.

I just saw Joe DioGuardi the author of Unaccountable Congress, an update from the first edition published in 1992. It appears to be an important book, telling truths about the hidden debt of the United States government, and the use of the same tricks to fools voters as were used by Enron. More bad news, to be sure, but necessary for us to absorb and act on.

James Taranto on how Obama's "transparency" is different from how you and I understand that term. Our own government is working against us. It is now clear that nationalized health care will never work the way they promised, but it doesn't matter to them. Their goal has ceased to be one of service, if it ever was such, and become one of imposing their will on an unwilling populace.

Death Panels?

So what gave rise to the talk of "death panels" has been revived by HHS under the Obamacare regulations. All it really says is that doctors may be reimbursed for "end-of-counseling" but apparently this is seen as the camel's nose under the tent for allowing regulators to decide when one has had all the medical treatments that insurance should pay for. Presumably, once we're retired, what sense is there in even bothering to keep us healthy. But at the same time, what sense is there in spending money on the poor with no skills or earning potential? That seems to be the goal of Obama's whole agenda, to take from the haves and redistribute it to the have-nots. Most of us have what we have because we worked for it, but just the fact that some of us haven't got as much as others is cause in itself for redistribution, regardless of one's willingness to work, obtain an education, or create wealth.

The Book of Mormon says we shouldn't think like that but share our substance freely. At the same time, the king-prophet who taught this, did not tax his people to implement this teaching. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13 says, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."

Joseph Bottum's review of Gray Lady Down by William McGowan credits it for being a readable account of the decline of the New York Times, but final paragraph is really devastating. After pointing out that the shift from reporting the news to
the "sectional revolution" at the newspaper, the addition of topical section after topical section—fashion, science, technology, etc.—that brought in an enormous amount of advertising revenue.. . . But . . . the soft-news features of these sections created what became standard practice in American journalism, allowing the leftist political opinion and shared liberal culture of the Times newsroom first to infiltrate and then to take over the reporting that was supposed to be objective reporting.
Bottum concludes:
In other words, maybe it was always thus at the nation’s newspapers. Golden ages only look golden when something even worse follows them. Besides, interesting as it all may be, it doesn’t really matter anymore. The New York Times is just another local newspaper, in the same financial and circulation trouble as them all. Why, exactly, are we supposed to care?
One wonders how much of this is due to the general decline of print media in the face of the internet and how much is due to its readers tiring of its smug pretensions and dishonesty. The fact is that nobody has to wait overnight to find out the news anymore, nor are we limited to the poisonous pontifications of Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Who's right?

60 Minutes reports that the Kenyan government is driving people from the lands to which the government earlier gave them "absolute" title. The claim is that expanding population and farming is threatening the great wildebeest and zebra migration by destroying a forest which feed the Mara River. I have to wonder who's been buying off the state of Kenya to turn on its own people. How bad is the threat to the wildlife? And what do we do for the people? It's pretty clear that environmentalists place a higher value on animals and trees than on human beings, but my guess is that economic development would level off the population growth and free more land for wilderness, but environmentalists are more opposed to industry than to people.