Monday, June 29, 2009
Alright, Okay, You Win, Peggy Lee
Having a Party, Sam Cooke
I Thank You, Sam & Dave
Virginia Plain, Roxy Music
Love Rollercoaster, Ohio Players
Chicago, Graham Nash
Angel, Aretha Franklin
Four Sticks, Led Zeppelin
Read About Love, Richard Thompson
Big Gun, AC/DC
WARREN BUFFETT, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: I think if you get into the way it was written, it's a huge tax and there's no sense calling it anything else. I mean, it is a tax. So it -- and it's a fairly regressive tax.
And if you remember, Barack Obama said this, also documented at the link:
OBAMA: I can make a firm pledge: Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.
Change you can believe in.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
I warned Stinger that I was going to do this, so we could call it "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," but the truth is, I'm stealing the idea from him. That's because it's a really cool idea.
Here's what Stinger came up with: instead of doing a "Last Five/Next Five" playlist of songs, he instead posted a lyric from each song and invited his readers to guess which song it is. And now I'm going to do the same.
So following are 10 lyrics, from 10 songs, that came up in a row on iTunes this morning. And as is often the case with iTunes, they suggest a bit of a story.
Your task: identify the song from the lyric (and the artist) and post the answer in the comments section. While you could certainly get all the answers from Google, what fun is that? See what you can come up with. I'm willing to wager that if we leave this open for a day or two, the Mr. Dilettante audience can come up with all 10 songs. As it happens, none of these are horribly obscure, but there are a few testers. So let's see how you do. By the way, in most cases the line quoted is the first line of the song, if that makes it any easier:
1. "There's a man who leads a life of danger."
Answer: Secret Agent Man, Johnny Rivers
2. "A man decides after seventy years that what he goes there for, is to unlock the door." Answer: Crazy, Seal
3. "But the town has no need to be nervous." Answer: Tombstone Blues, Bob Dylan
4. "We get it almost every night." Answer: Dancing in the Moonlight, King Harvest
5. "Stay with me, my love I hope you'll always be." Answer: Follow You, Follow Me, Genesis
6. "Sweet, wonderful you. You make me happy with the things you do." Answer: You Make Loving Fun, Fleetwood Mac
7. "You've got style, that's what all the girls say." Answer: Dress You Up, Madonna
8. "Mother doesn't go out any more. Just sits at home and rolls her spastic eyes." Answer: Sunday Papers, Joe Jackson
9. "I hear the click clack of your feet on the stairs." Answer: Stray Cat Blues, Rolling Stones
10. "Out of the tree of life I just picked a plum." Answer: The Best is Yet to Come, Frank Sinatra
Have at it, y'all. And be sure to visit Stinger, who still has one of his lyrics out there.
According to the Post report, the 44th president is now starting to think that closure of the internationally-reviled Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which Obama announced with so much fanfare on his first day in office last winter, may be impossible to actually accomplish before the one-year deadline he set for himself before actually planning where else to put these prisoners.
In other words, fanfare aside, status quo ante. Democrat or Republican, same deal. Ex-Vice President Dick Cheney will be so pleased that the Obama-Biden folks finally accepted his advice to protect national security.
Read the whole thing -- Andrew Malcolm of the L.A. Times knows how to lay down the snark.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
“Too bad,’’ Kerry said, “if a governor had to go missing it couldn’t have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin.’’
The Democratic-centric crowd laughed.
I thought this was silly before, but now it seems, well, bizarre:
The United States said Monday its invitations were still standing for Iranian diplomats to attend July 4 celebrations at US embassies despite the crackdown on opposition supporters.
President Barack Obama's administration said earlier this month it would invite Iran to US embassy barbecues for the national holiday for the first time since the two nations severed relations following the 1979 Islamic revolution.
"There's no thought to rescinding the invitations to Iranian diplomats," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed Parliament on Monday, laying out a vision of France that included a withering critique of burqas as an unacceptable symbol of
Speaking at the Palace of Versailles, Mr. Sarkozy confronted one of the most hotly debated social issues in France, saying there was no room in the republic for burqas, the garments that some Muslim women wear to cloak their bodies and faces.
“The issue of the burqa is not a religious issue. It is a question of freedom and of women’s dignity,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “The burqa is not a religious sign. It is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission, of women.”
That, you might say, is a bold statement. Dude must want a fatwa or something.
One of the more important differences between the United States and France is the the French have no trouble being categorical in their views, and this is an example of that. While you'll often hear jokes about the French being "cheese eating surrender monkeys" or somesuch, the idea of France and what it means to be French is something they take very seriously.
Europe generally, and France in particular, have much to worry about concerning the spread of fundamentalist Islam. Mark Steyn has written quite a lot on this subject. Much of the reason is that the French colonial empire extended well into the Muslim world and now former French subjects from the Maghreb are coming to France. The burqa is indeed symbolic of a type of Islam that is as certain of its worldview as the French are of theirs. Those who have battled the French in the sometimes horrifying banlieue areas around Paris and other large French cities are quite often the same people who would, if given the opportunity, impose the burqa.
We don't have the issue here, at least yet. The issue is larger than the burqa, though. And Sarkozy knows this.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Arriving at a national guard outpost in northeast Managua, the heart of the fighting last week in strife-racked Nicaragua, ABC Correspondent Bill Stewart sensed it would be safer to approach on foot. Though his van was emblazoned with FOREIGN PRESS signs, he did not want to do anything that might spook the government troops. In one hand Stewart carried his government-issue press pass; in the other, he held a white flag. His interpreter walked several yards ahead, explaining that they meant no harm.
One of the soldiers raised his rifle, and Stewart dropped to his knees. The guardsman motioned to him to lie down and kicked him sharply in the side. Then the soldier stepped back a few paces and calmly took aim, and shot the correspondent behind the right ear, killing him. Out of sight near by, Interpreter Juan Francisco Espinoza was also murdered. The grisly episode was filmed from the back of the van by ABC Soundman Jim Cefalo and Cameraman Jack Clark, who were not molested.
That evening, Stewart's assassination flickered across millions of U.S. television screens, shocking viewers and touching off a series of official condemnations in Washington.
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
The surnames are different today and I hope the result is different. But the sentiment still seems right to me.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Blogging is like dropping a penny in a well; you listen for a splash and sometimes you don't hear one. But we'll do what we can to give you a worthwhile splash or two.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Ben went 1-3 with a walk, driving in a run and scoring another. The loss brings the Red's overall record to 4-7. As always, you've found the place for the best coverage of in-house 13-year-old baseball, especially in northern Ramsey County.
At first glance, it appears that something is fishy about the chain of events. What's especially troubling is that once the decision was made to fire Walpin, members of the administration portrayed the 77-year old Walpin as somehow lacking in mental capacity following a May 20 meeting. Walpin isn't letting that portrayal go unanswered:
"It appears to suggest that I was removed because I was disabled -- based on one occasion out of hundreds," he said, adding that the administration is grasping at "non-existent straws" to explain its actions.
"I would never say President Obama doesn't have the capacity to continue to serve because of his (statement) that there are 56 states," Walpin said, adding that the same holds for Vice President Biden and his "many express confusions that have been highlighted by the media." Obama mistakenly said once on the campaign trail that he had traveled to 57 states.
That's going to leave a mark. Meanwhile, the White House has some questions to answer from Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who has long been a champion of inspectors general. York picks up the story:
At Wednesday's meeting, Sen. Grassley's staffers wanted to know more about the White House review. "Unfortunately," Grassley writes in a letter sent late Wednesday afternoon to White House counsel Gregory Craig, "Mr. Eisen refused to answer several direct questions posed to him about the representations made in his letter." Grassley says that since Eisen refused to answer the questions in person, Grassley would submit a dozen of them in writing. Here they are:
1) Did the [Corporation for National and Community Service] Board communicate its concerns about Mr. Walpin to the White House in writing?
2) Specifically, which CNCS Board members came forward with concerns about Mr. Walpin’s ability to serve as the Inspector General?
3) Was the communication about the Board’s concerns on or about May 20, 2009 the first instance of any communications with White House personnel regarding the possibility of removing Mr. Walpin?
4) Which witnesses were interviewed in the course of Mr. Eisen’s review?
5) How many witnesses were interviewed?
6) Were any employees of the Office of Inspector General, who may have had more frequent contact with Mr. Walpin than the Board members, interviewed?
7) Was Mr. Walpin asked directly during Mr. Eisen’s review about the events of May 20, 2009?
8) Was Mr. Walpin asked for his response to the allegations submitted to the Integrity Committee by Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown?
9) What efforts were made during Mr. Eisen’s review to obtain both sides of the story or to afford the Office of Inspector General an opportunity to be heard?
10) In addition to the claim that Mr. Walpin was “confused” and “disoriented,” the letter also says he exhibited “other behavior” that led to questions about his capacity. What other behavior was Mr. Eisen referencing?
11) If the initial and primary concern had to do with Mr. Walpin’s capacity to serve for potential health reasons, why was he only given one hour to decide whether to resign or be fired?
12) If Mr. Walpin’s telecommuting arrangements since the beginning of this year were a major concern, then why was Mr. Walpin not simply asked to stop telecommuting?
As York points out, Sen. Grassley is expecting the White House to provide a response in writing by Wednesday, June 24. It will be interesting to see if the White House complies. Eventually every administration finds that they want to get rid of some sort of meddlesome priest. To put it mildly, this sort of thing is not change we can believe in.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Ben went 1-3 with a clean single and later scored a key run. The win brings the Red's overall record to 4-6. No resting on laurels, though -- they return to action tomorrow, looking to avenge an earlier heartbreaker against Shroreview Royal. Game time is 6:30 p.m., back at Cummings Park. And as always, if you want to know the very latest about 13-year old in-house baseball in the northern suburbs, you'll want to visit your best source, Mr. Dilettante.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Consider the case of the lovely and talented Matthew Yglesias, a fairly prominent lefty blogger and acknowledged member of the smart set who has been known to sling it pretty good. He made this charming comparison recently over at that bastion of bien pensant thinking, the American Prospect:
Ahmadinejad is in most ways a classic right-winger, a demagogic nationalist and cultural conservative. In a manner somewhat reminiscent of a Sarah Palin, however, he clothes this right-wing politics in a language of class resentment, painting his more pragmatic and reformist opponents as decadent elites out of touch with ordinary people.
Of course, Yglesias would admit that it's unfair to compare Palin to Ahmedinejad. After all, Ahmedinejad has some redeeming qualities:
Unlike the populists of the American right, however, [Ahmedinejad] merges this rhetoric with something resembling an actual populist economic agenda. The main element has been the use of oil revenue to expand the state sector of the economy in an attempt to distribute wealth more broadly throughout the country. This approach has gained Ahmadinejad a loyal following among the rural poor and public employees. . . .
So do you think that's fair? Your mileage may vary. But it's not the first time that free-thinker Yglesias has sung the praises of the bearded fellow, as the ever-alert Jim Geraghty notices. Geraghty found this post from back in 2006 that looks, shall we say, a little silly now:
I keep talking about this with people in real life, but it deserves a blog mention as well -- Mahmoun Ahmadinejad has a pretty sweet hipster style. It all starts with a beard not unlike the one I and many of my twentysomething male friends sport. But it goes deeper. The man went without a tie to address the UN General Assembly. And I was in a bar where the TV was showing his interview with Anderson Cooper (it's DC, these things happen) and while there was no sound, he certainly looked witty and charming. There was also this clip of him walking down some hallway shooting the shit with Kofi Annan. It's like diplomacy! Bush should try it.
I mean, dude.
So I'm trying to picture hipster Ahmedinejad sitting around listening to his Death Cab for Bibi (er, I mean Cutie) records, maybe sipping on a fair trade coffee or somesuch. But I'm old, so I guess I can't figure it out. As the Spinners might say -- so much rhythm, grace and debonair for one man? Lord.
Now, I know that Sarah Palin is icky and all that. But seriously, dude, how much of a hipster do you have to be to admire Ahmedinejad more than Sarah Palin? Never mind, don't answer that. Just pray that you are never that hip.
1) Tell me what iTunes is trying to tell us here
2) Figure out which of the following is one of Stinger's favorite bad songs
I'm Your Puppet, James & Bobby Purify
One Piece at a Time, Johnny Cash
Complete Control, the Clash
Burning Love, Elvis Presley
Wooden Ships, Crosby Stills & Nash
Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup, Nat King Cole
Big Balls, AC/DC
Chevy Van, Sammy Johns
Mississippi Kid, Lynyrd Skynryd
Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel, Todd Rundgren
What’s going to happen?, you ask. Nobody knows, even the major actors. The regime has the guns, and the opposition has the numbers. The question is whether the numbers can be successfully organized into a disciplined force that demands the downfall of the regime. Yes, I know that there have been calls for a new election, or a runoff between Mousavi and Ahmadinezhad. But I don’t think that’s very likely now. The tens of millions of Iranians whose pent-up rage has driven them to risk life and limb against their oppressors are not likely to settle for a mere change in personnel at this point. And the mullahs surely know that if they lose, many of them will face a very nasty and very brief future.
I agree with that. If the mullahs lose control, it's Ceaucescu time for them all. Here's something else that Ledeen says that is especially intriguing. Cherchez la femme:
Does Mousavi even want to change the system? I think he does, and in any event, I think that’s the wrong question. He is not a revolutionary leader, he is a leader who has been made into a revolutionary by a movement that grew up around him. The real revolutionary is his wife, Zahra Rahnavard. And the real question, the key question in all of this, is: why did Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei permit her to become such a charismatic figure? How could he have made such a colossal blunder? It should have been obvious that the very existence of such a woman threatened the dark heart of the Islamic Republic, based as it is on the disgusting misogyny of its founder, the Ayatollah Khomeini.
There have been numerous reports coming out of Iran that the muscle the mullahs have using are hired guns, especially members of Hezbollah. Ledeen:
The young Islamic revolutionaries of the late 1970s are now middle aged, and do not wish to slaughter their neighbors. That is why the mullahs have imported killers from abroad: the five thousand or so Hezbollahis who, according to Der Spiegel, have been brought in from Lebanon and Syria. Dissidents on Twitter report clashes with security forces who do not speak Farsi, and there are even some rumors suggesting that Chavez has sent some of his toughs from Venezuela. Who knows?
That might be the key. The Hezbollahi will fight like hell, because they rely on the patronage of the Iranian regime and if they lose that, they will be in a lot of trouble back in Lebanon and elsewhere. But I strongly doubt that the regime will continue to survive, fighting back a sea of millions, with only 5,000 trained killers. That is why time may be on the side of those desiring freedom from the tyranny that Khomeini and the rest of the mullahs imposed some 30 years ago.
One last thing: up to this point, President Obama's response has been pretty cautious and muted. He's come in for some criticism for that, but I'm not going to join in that criticism. We don't have a lot of levers in Iran right now. Sometimes playing it cool is the right approach. This might be one of those times.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I didn't have a lot to say about the campaign because I'm hardly a party insider, but I do have a few thoughts I'd like to share.
It's been a bad few years for the GOP in Minnesota. The electoral winds have been pretty bad nationally and it wasn't realistic to expect great performances in either 2006 or 2008, but the erosion of support has been pretty alarming and, to be honest, the level of support we've seen at the local level has been surprising. I live in District 50B, a district that has historically been a swing district, yet in the last two cycles it's gone very badly for the GOP here. The DFL representative here, Kate Knuth, is a very bright individual, but she's a down the line liberal with enormous gaps in her understanding of the way the world works. Yet she has had a formidable campaign in both cycles, in large measure staffed and funded from sources outside the district. The GOP candidate, Lori Grivna, was certainly better qualified than her opponent, but never really got very close to winning in either election. And the level of support she received from the state party apparatus wasn't especially impressive.
There's one exception to this: we saw a lot of help from one individual in the state party leadership; the former vice chairman, Dorothy Fleming. Dorothy has been one of the most tireless workers for the party that I know of and she served a valuable role within the party, because she was highly attuned to the concerns of the rank and file within the various BPOUs. I don't know Dorothy well but have spoken with her at a number of events and she was more interested in understanding than instructing the rank and file.
As it happens, Dorothy lost her bid for re-election to Michael Brodkorb, who is a very smart fellow and a very talented political operative. He's also been one of the most effective bloggers in Minnesota, running Minnesota Democrats Exposed for the past few years. I don't doubt that he will be a valuable asset to the state party as a thinker, tactician and organizer. But I really suspect that the party will miss the contributions that Dorothy Fleming has made more than people might realize. I've long believed that professionalism is a double-edged sword in politics and while Dorothy isn't a knife-edge political operative, she gave the party a human face that has great value.
I really hope that Sutton, Brodkorb and the new leadership team look hard at finding a role for Dorothy Fleming within the party. If they're not sure how to proceed, they might want to consider what Chief at Freedom Dogs suggests. For the party to succeed in the short- and the long-term, we need tacticians and individuals who are skilled at cultivating the grass roots. Chief also suggests that Dave Thompson (who lost to Sutton) could and should have a role in the state GOP going forward. I agree with that as well.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
In Washington, the Justice Department said Friday that three more Guantanamo detainees had been transferred.
The detainees were sent back to Saudi Arabia, their home country, where officials will review their cases before sending them to a rehabilitation program. One of them was identified as Ahmed Zuhair, a relatively high profile detainee who, has been protesting his detention since 2005 through a hunger strike and has been force-fed liquid nutrients.
So why were we holding Zuhair? Read on.
During a hearing in Guantanamo in October 2004, Zuhair was accused of involvement in the 1995 killing in Bosnia-Herzegovina of William Jefferson, a U.S. official with the United Nations. At the tribunal, U.S. officials said Jefferson's watch was found on Zuhair.
Zuhair also was convicted in absentia by a Bosnian court in a 1997 car bombing in the town of Mostar. He also allegedly told another detainee he was involved in the bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole in 2000, according to evidence presented at a Guantanamo proceeding.
You have to read through 12 paragraphs before we get to that little tidbit. Go ahead and click the link and count for yourself. It's almost as if the Times would rather not mention it, doncha think? The news does raise a couple of questions.
First, how the hell do you "rehabilitate" someone with a track record of murder, car bombing and attacking a U.S. ship?
Second, if they won't keep a dude like this in custody, who will they keep?
Finally, who really thinks it's a good idea to do this?
These questions aren't necessarily rhetorical. Maybe one of my alert readers has a good explanation, but the rationale for this decision surely doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Put another way, it really beats my pair of jacks, as P. J. O'Rourke would say.
Oh, make sure to read Ed's take on the matter, too.
Friday, June 12, 2009
A long piece, filled with adventure and regret, about my adventuring in climbing a volcano in Guatemala some 30 years ago. No comments.
A "Guilty Pleasures" piece with Fearless Maria that is full of fun. 3 comments.
A one line post calling an elderly but evil man a "55-gallon drum of duck vomit." 20 comments and counting.
If you ever wondered about the relationship between effort and results in the blogopshere, there it is.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Well, no. The invaluable Instapundit found this piece, which took the trouble of finding the wretched deep thoughts of Herr von Brunn which I reluctantly excerpt here:
The Big Lie technique, employed by Paul to create the CHRISTIAN RELIGION, also was used to create the HOLOCAUST RELIGION ... CHRISTIANITY AND THE
HOLOCAUST are HOAXES.
"Christianity" destroyed Roman Civilization. The "Holocaust" Religion is destroying Western Civilization. The Aryan gene-pool dies, "unwept, unhonored and unsung."
Empahis his. He ain't mine. He ain't yours. He ain't anybodys. So knock it off, lefties, lest I assign you the Unabomber. M'kay?
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Ben went 1-2 with a walk, stole a base and scored. He also made a nice outfield play out in right field. The Red are now done for the week. As always, look to Mr. Dilettante for coverage of 13-year old in-house baseball in the northern suburbs.
Katelyn Martinez, 28, lost her job as a sommelier at an upscale Costa Mesa oxygen bar on Feb. 1, and has no regrets.
"I used to be glued to my BlackBerry all the time," she said. "I can't imagine doing that again, especially after the repo man took it. Finally I can be alone to talk with my thoughts. Many, many thoughts."
For many younger people, Dwight said, work is less central to their lives. According to her surveys, more and more young people are saying they are willing to trade off a high pay, high pressure job for one with flexible schedules and a lot of vacation time. "The new Admistration has been very responsive to that -- just look at all the millions of new jobs with zero salaries and 52 week vacations," said Dwight, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado.
Of course, read the whole thing.
Monday, June 08, 2009
I had never been any further from home than Chicago in my life. While I thought I was prepared for what I would see and experience there, I was quite mistaken. The program that my high school had set up was tied to families in Guatemala, not to any particular school, and the family that I stayed with was somewhat apart from the other students from my school. Worse, they did not speak much of any English. It wasn't a great setup for a shy kid from Wisconsin.
The Guatemala of 1979 was outwardly placid, but there was tension galore. Some 335 miles to the south, the corrupt Somoza government of Nicaragua was losing its grip on power to the Sandinistas. My family lived in a suburban enclave known as Vista Hermosa, an area filled with large ranch style homes nestled into the hillsides. I had my own room in the large house I lived that summer, with two servants available to me whenever I needed anything, although it wasn't easy to tell them what I wanted since I could barely speak Spanish and they could barely speak it either, since their native tongue was Kaqchikel, a Mayan dialect. My family would set up elaborate games of croquet on the broad lawn and I had plenty of time to read and think. It was idyllic in Vista Hermosa, but with each trip into the city we saw increasing signs of trouble. As we would approach the Avenida de la Reforma, we would see soldiers on the streets. The first week or so, they were unarmed and traveling mostly in pairs. By the end of June, they were lining the street, each equipped with automatic weapons that were just about as big as they were.
As the month went on, we began to see more and more vehicles with Nicaraguan license plates, mostly big Mercedes. These were the cars of the rich Nicaraguans, who were fleeing the approach of the Marxist Sandinistas, who vowed that they would bring justicia. The Sandinistas also vowed that they would be luchando contra el Yanqui, el enemigo de humanidad.
It was pretty hard for a 15 year old kid to understand why the Sandinistas were hot to be "luchando contra el Yanqui, el enemigo de humanidad" (fighting against the Yankee, the enemy of humanity), but my family seemed to take things pretty seriously. Outwardly they would make a point of showing that they weren't afraid of what might be coming, but in dinner conversations that they assumed I wouldn't understand, they worried openly whether the Sandinista wave would arrive in Vista Hermosa.
Only 42% of those who currently own a General Motors car are even somewhat likely to buy a GM product for their next car. That figure includes just 30% who are Very Likely to do so.I don't know who would buy a GM car right now. It's somewhat ironic, since GM has steadily improved their product quality over the past 20 years. The first GM car I owned was a 1989 Chevrolet Cavalier wagon, which was underpowered, steered poorly and blew out two head gaskets. We replaced that heap with a 1997 Chevy Lumina, which I've written about at some length in the past. It was a much better car and we got 150,000 miles out of it without doing much more than routine maintenance. Some of the newer models that have been rolling off GM's assembly line in this decade have been very well regarded.
The cars that really hurt GM's (and by extension, Detroit's) reputation were the ones that they made in 1970s and 1980s, which were pretty poor. No one misses the Nova or Chevette or the Cadillac Cimmaron, to name just a few infamous examples. GM hasn't made anything that bad for years. But the damage is done.
I bought my car earlier this year and we probably won't buy another one for at least a few years. By then it wouldn't surprise me if there aren't any new GM cars left to buy.
I Heard That Lonesome Whistle, Hank Williams
Wine, Electric Flag
Stay Away, Nirvana
Go All the Way, the Raspberries
Without Love, Nick Lowe
Season of Hollow Soul, k.d. lang
Joy to the World, Three Dog Night
Got to Be Real, Cheryl Lynn
September Gurls, Big Star
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Most interesting thing I've seen on the blogs this weekend is the dustup concerning the propriety of outing anonymous bloggers. Ed Whelan, a fairly prominent fellow who blogs at National Review, decided to "out" an anonymous blogger who goes by "publius" at the Obsidian Wings blog, mostly because Whelan became annoyed at some of publius's comments. There's an excellent roundup over at Instapundit.
My two cents: I have a pseudonym for my blog, but I blog under my real name for the most part. It seems like the right thing to do. However, I understand why some people choose to remain anonymous. I think Whelan made a mistake in outing this guy, because I'm not sure it really solved anything and made Whelan look petty in the process.
What you do think?
Friday, June 05, 2009
I'm really tired of the moral equivalence trope, especially the odious comparisons of the systematic attempt to exterminate Jews to the current experience of the Palestinians in places like Gaza. If you had people within your midst who were willing to kill you at a moment's notice, chances are pretty good that you'd react the way the Israeli government has acted over the years. Self-defense is rational. The behavior of the Palestinian Authority, not so much.
To set up my second point, I happened upon this critique from the portside offered by Peter Daou over at HuffPo. It pretty much speaks for itself. At one point in his speech, Obama talked about American efforts to ensure that women have the right to wear the hijab. Daou ain't buyin' what Obama is selling here:
Me too. The issue isn't whether or not Muslim women have the right to wear the hijab. The real issue is self-determination for women. And men, too. And in places like Cairo, Egypt, those rights aren't currently on offer.
With women being stoned, raped, abused, battered, mutilated, and slaughtered on a daily basis across the globe, violence that is so often perpetrated in the name of religion, the most our president can speak about is protecting their right to wear the hijab? I would have been much more heartened if the preponderance of the speech had been about how in the 21st century, we CANNOT tolerate the pervasive abuse of our mothers and sisters and daughters.
They will be back in action on Tuesday. Keep it right here for exciting 13-year old in-house baseball action!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Koko Taylor died yesterday. Never saw her live, but anyone who ever lived in Chicago knew her music well. Her most famous song, written by Willie Dixon, was Wang Dang Doodle, which featured a roll call of great names (Automatic Slim, Razor Totin' Jim, Butcher Knife Totin' Annie, Fast Talkin' Fannie and a whole lot more) all pitchin' a ball down to that union hall. Wonderful stuff. RIP.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Brother Louie, The Stories
Conquest, the White Stripes
Think it Over, Buddy Holly
Which Way to America, Living Colour
Paperback Writer, The Beatles
Duncan, Paul Simon
Tea in the Sahara, The Police
Fishin' Blues, Taj Mahal
Little Wing, Jimi Hendrix
Brand New Day, Van Morrison
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Do you think that Iran's nuclear program is legitimate? The Leader of the Free World does.
On a related note, let's invite the Iranians over for a 4th of July picnic! The article suggests the following:
A State Department cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late last week said that U.S. diplomats could ask their Iranian counterparts to attend the festivities, which generally feature speeches about American values, fireworks, hot dogs and hamburgers.Two very quick questions. Don't many hot dogs contain pork? That might be a bit of an issue for our guests. There is a solution, of course -- you could serve an all-beef hot dog. But probably not these ones.
She, who's whole schtick consists of lecturing about how her own "greenness" makes her better than other people, tries to understand why people could possibly become hostile from one teensy reference to their benighted "brown" ways... "killing people and causing billions of dollars in damage." I mean really. She told you about putting fish guts on your yard, didn't she?! She told you to serve crappier food from your backyard grill, didn't she?! She can only assume if you didn't do it you wanted to cause death and destruction. If that's your lifestyle choice, why is it such a big deal when she points it out?As always, you need to read the whole thing. Don't hesitate.
Ford has decided to eschew the government bailout process and is attempting to solve their own problems. Ford has done better in recent months than either GM or Chrysler, but that's a relative term since all have been losing money at an enormous rate. But Ford has a problem that will eventually make a very interesting case study for the Harvard Business Review -- how does one compete in a heavily unionized industry when the union you bargain with has an ownership stake in your competitors?
Here's the question for the audience -- how do you think that's going to work?
The Red next take the field on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., returning to distant Forest Lake for a game against Forest Lake Gold. We'll keep you posted here on Mr. Dilettante.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Not sure what to make of Judge Sotomayor's "wise Latina" comment? You aren't the only one.
Do you wonder why the housing market is so horrible, especially in Calfornia? Let my friend Gino explain it to you.