Monday, June 28, 2010

John Hawkins takes David Frum to the woodshed

Long story short, everybody has to make a living. But, I'm not interested in helping people like Frum play this little game where they try to cripple conservatives publicly while coming around on the back end to milk us for money. If Frum wants to be a dancing monkey for the Left, let them come up with the money to pay for the tune.

RTWT. You'll be glad you did.

Ace weighs in.


Little Miss Attila: "Hawkins is saying something that has needed saying for a long time".

Read it and weep for the Gulf coast

Avertible catastrophe

Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn't good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million -- if water isn't at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

What happens if some one blows the whistle and no one cares?

J. Christian Adams blows the whistle on the New Black Panther cover-up"


Inside the Black Panther case Anger, ignorance and lies


The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.
...
Based on my firsthand experiences, I believe the dismissal of the Black Panther case was motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Others still within the department share my assessment. The department abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens victimized by the New Black Panthers. The dismissal raises serious questions about the department's enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election
.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Mumbai model

The bad news? Massad Ayoob think it might happen here:
An American Mumbai?

The good news? He believes that America is better prepared and is a much tougher target. Our police are better trained and equipped while our citizens are then the "unarmed and helpless" targets the terrorists found in Mumbai.

I've blogged about these issues a number of times:


Lessons and preparations


Lessons from Mumbai


Armed citizens and al Qaeda swarms

There is thin-skinned and then there is the MSM

Interesting article by Scott Rosenberg.

Why Can't Journalists Handle Public Criticism?

Why do so many journalists find it so hard to handle public criticism? If you're an athlete, you're used to it. If you're an artist, critics will regularly take you down. If you are in government, the pundits and now the bloggers will show no mercy. If you're in business, the market will punish you.

That's a big, fat juicy question that i've taken a wack at from time to time.

Here's one idea: MSM reporters have been coddled and sequestered for so long that they have become deluded about their popular standing.


The agony of the push media guild

In one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy ends up with the power to read minds. This turns out to be a curse instead of a gift. The thoughts of those around her are raging cacophony of voices inside her head that drives her to madness and the brink of death.

That’s what the internet has done to the people who make their living in the old media. Once they lived in a quiet world where they talked and every one else listened. Their work was rarely criticized. Sometimes they heard whispered praise or demurrals from other guild members but it was all very civilized
.



He joked his way to an important truth


I think most big-time media personalities labor under the same delusion. They think they are smart, funny, and wildly popular. The horrible thing about the new media is that they (sometimes) find out that it just ain't so.


Maybe they worry that word will get out that much of what passes for big-time journalism is just a sort of childish game. Much of the rest is playing a ventriloquist dummy.

Reporters might be troubled by the gap between the pretensions of their "profession" and the reality of their work.

Scott Shane of the New York Times described his work this way for a CSPAN audience in 2007:

I'm a jounalist whose job it is to explain to others things he does't understand himself.


And:

A typical reporter on deadline calls a couple of people and slaps something into the paper the next day.


It's no wonder that the the guild loves grifters like Conor Friedersdorf. He gives them a reason to ignore their critics ("they're close-minded") and to hope that their dwindling audience will ignore them as well. (See here for an example.)

I {heart} Mark Steyn

This post was good:

Honor-Rolled


But the caning he gave Conor Friedersdorf is not to be missed:

Correction Sought



Just One Minute weighs in judiciously (which is bad news for Conor "I'm a conservative who matters" Friedersdorf:

Bringing The 'Epic' To 'Epic Fail'


Three quick points;

1. The essential rightness of Steyn's argument is found in his comparison of Matthew Shepherd and Aasiya Hassan (and the media coverage of each murder).

2. When some one starts an argument by calling their opponent close-minded, unthinking, cynical and/or easily manipulated (which is the essence of Friederdorf's "epistemic closure"), they really aren't interested in an honest discussion. He seeks to mark his conservative opponents as unworthy of debate. His audience is the MSM who like his message (see next post) and like "conservatives" who smear popular conservatives (see Frum, David).

3 How can Friedersdorf claim any sort of high ground when he works with and seeks support from Excitable Andy, "The Chief Obstetrician"? Not even Glen Beck has ever been so consistently hysterical and loony.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What's black and gold and known the world over?

Peter King at the World Cup:

Random NFL Experience in South Africa

I'm here with my wife, and the other day, we were in a cab in Cape Town and the driver asked where we were from.

"I grew up in Pittsburgh,'' my wife said.

"The Steelers!!!!'' the fellow said.

"You know the Steelers?'' she said.

"Everyone knows the Steelers!'' he said
.

Opportunity lost

by The Last Hollywood Star



Armando Galarraga, the Detroit Tiger pitcher denied a perfect game last week on a blown call at first base by umpire Jim Joyce, has missed his opportunity for immortality.

I’m not talking about Galarraga’s almost perfect game but rather his decision to remain an active major league pitcher instead of walking away at the peak of his popularity.

At no time in his future will Galarraga ever be as beloved as he was the instant that Joyce called the Cleveland Indians’ Jason Donald safe on an infield single while all of America saw that he was clearly out.

In the minds of baseball fans, his teammates, major league umpiring crews and front office personnel, Galarraga pitched a perfect game, no questions asked.

After the game, Galarraga’s grace in the face of his enormous professional set back won him the admiration of millions.

When Galarraga presented the line up card to Joyce before the next day’s game, the umpire was reduced to tears. Galarraga and Joyce hugged.

Galarraga forgave Joyce’s blunder. Everyone agreed with Galarraga: Joyce is a good man who made a human mistake.

By this time in his story, people who don’t know baseball from bowling had jumped on Galarraga’s band wagon. Moms and Dads, teachers, counselors, ministers all pointed to Galarraga as a paragon of virtue and an example of how to face adversity with grace.

At that moment when all the forces of good merged, Galarraga’s persona peaked.

And, also at that exact moment although he didn’t realize it, Galarraga also faced a choice. Should he retire and be known forever as the pitcher and gentleman who went out on top or continue his baseball career into ultimate obscurity?

Unfortuantely, Galarraga elected to press on.

Then a few days later on June 8, Galarraga went to the mound to face the Chicago White Sox. During five innings, he gave up seven hits and two earned runs.

Perfection ended. Galarraga is now on his way to becoming one of dozens of pitchers who were both perfect and near perfect that, unless you are an advanced fan, you cannot tell me a single thing about.

Among the perfect game pitchers you’ve never heard of are Addie Joss, Charlie Robertson, Len Barker, Mike Witt and Kenny Rogers. An additional ten pitchers had their perfect games spoiled after the twenty-sixth out. Among the names you don’t recognize are Milt Wilcox, Brian Holman and Ron Robinson.

Assuming Galarraga had taken my advice (too late now!),what career path could he have pursued?

Galarraga’s opportunities would have been many including some within baseball. And it’s probable that most of them would generate a higher income than his $400,000 major league.

Maybe the Detroit Tigers could have put Galarraga to work in its community outreach department. As a local hero, Galarraga would be an inspiration to troubled youth living throughout Detroit’s inner city.

Commissioner Bud Selig’s office has a similar community service job that extends throughout baseball’s network of cities. Galarraga, born in Venezuela, would be able to present himself not only as an on the field champion but also as an immigrant success story.

Galarraga could have signed on with General Motors. The auto giant gave Galarraga a 2010 Corvette convertible that advertising executives calculate is worth $8.9 million in media exposure. GM could give $1 million of that to Galarraga to make appearances on its behalf to sell cars worldwide.

How about this? Suppose Galarraga hired the William Morris Agency to book speaking engagements for him. If Bill Clinton made $51 million in 2008 speaking political gibberish on the rubber chicken circuit, surely Galarraga could rake in $5 million talking about the importance of character.

Galarraga’s alternate income possibilities are endless. Since he’s already 28 and not much more than a .500 pitcher, he should have seized the day when he could have.

In a fickle America, Galarraga is already yesterday’s news.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

College coaches



I first posted this in April 2007. With the passing of John Wooden, i thought it might be worth a re-run.


Sports: Miscellaneous thoughts in search of a theme


Death came for Grambling’s Eddie Robinson right when the coaching carousel was in full swing for college basketball. Very few of those who praised him noted how different he was from the men they cover today.

It is easy to criticize modern players for their bad discipline and self-centeredness. (I know because I’ve done it on this blog.) Let’s recognize that their college coaches help teach those lessons.

The prevailing ethos among big-time college coaches is take the money and run. Most of those coaches still preach the value of discipline, team play, character, and self-sacrifice. As they do so, the larger message they send is “do as I say, not as I do.” All too many coaches who exhort young players to sacrifice for the team are willing to abandon those players and that team for a chance at a bigger payday.

Many of Robinson’s former players spoke about the big role he played in their lives. The sentiments were identical to those I heard after Woody Hayes passed. Both coaches kept a heavy hand on their players and the players came to love them for it.

A coach can only pull that off if their loyalty to the team and to school are absolute. In the case of Hayes and Robinson it was and it worked. When a modern coach applies the same tactics it is just exploitive and tyrannical.

Ricky Williams was roundly (and rightly) criticized for quitting on the Dolphins and letting down his teammates. Nick Saban quit on the Dolphins and did not receive the same level of criticism. It was, apparently, justified by the big pay check. How is it that we have adopted the ethics of whoredom“I did it for the money”?

In his masterful The Face of Battle, John Keegan reflects on the reasons for the British victory at Waterloo. The crux of the battle was simple enough. Napoleon had to break the British line somewhere and was unable to do so. As Keegan puts it:

The British still stood on the line Wellington had marked out for them, planted by the hold officers had over themselves and so over their men. Honour, in a very peculiar sense, had triumphed.
Eddie Robinson’s achievements had the same source as Wellington’s victory. At Grambling, as at Waterloo, honor and selflessness made everything else possible.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Lest we forget

The awful stakes of D-Day

There are many "pivot" days in human history, when the course of human events swung in a new direction because of discrete actions. It is hard to find another moment in all history when so much rested on an outcome of one day as rested on the success of the Allies' landings on Normandy. In military history, no other day in American history compares. The only single day that comes to mind for me right now is the day of the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, when an Athenian army repelled a Persian landing force. The entire future of Western civilization and the idea of democracy itself lay in the balance. And yet even that may day not stand alone as D-Day does because the Persians persisted and the later battles of Plataea and Salamis were probably even more important. So there was no "one day" of paramount importance in the Persian War, even though it was almost certainly the most important war of ancient times.


Russ at Ace of Spades
You know what I did this morning? Maybe it would be better if I told you what I didn't do this morning.

I didn't have to spend over 12 hours on a transport ship in choppy water, then clamber down a cargo net into a plywood landing craft, all while carrying up to 100 pounds of gear on my back. Then, I didn't ride through the rough surf in that little plywood target, only to have the steel ramp (the only part of the little plywood boat that was even remotely bullet-resistant) flop down and drop me into the cold ocean water in front of a beach filled with steel obstacles, mines, flying bullets & exploding artillery rounds
.


Blackfive has the text from Reagan's speech at Normandy in 1984.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers at the edge of the cliffs, shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only ninety could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them here. These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war. Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life and left the vivid air singed with your honor
."

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A giant passes

John Wooden, Who Built Incomparable Dynasty at U.C.L.A., Dies at 99

John Wooden, a staid Midwesterner who migrated to U.C.L.A. and became college basketball’s most successful coach, earning the nickname the Wizard of Westwood and an enduring place in sports history, died Friday at Ronald Reagan U.C.L.A. Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized since May 26. He was 99.


College sports need more coaches like him:

Abdul-Jabbar recalled that there “was no ranting and raving, no histrionics or theatrics.” He continued: “To lead the way Coach Wooden led takes a tremendous amount of faith. He was almost mystical in his approach, yet that approach only strengthened our confidence. Coach Wooden enjoyed winning, but he did not put winning above everything. He was more concerned that we became successful as human beings, that we earned our degrees, that we learned to make the right choices as adults and as parents.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Midway

First posted 4 June 2009

Today marks the anniversary of the battle of Midway. I wrote about the battle here and here. As the Rev. Don Sensing wrote several years ago, we must remember the men who fought that battle because "they saved the world. Not all by themselves, but they did save it, and you should know that."

If you have not seen it, make sure you get a copy of Battle 360 and watch with amazement. The producers interviewed dozens of veterans of the USS Enterprise. They are old men now and there are fewer of them every day. You owe it to yourself to hear their stories.

UPDATE:In From the Cold has a great post:
A Dawn Like Thunder
Smitty has a round-up and a report from the Navy Memorial.