Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Here she is....

...the future Mrs. Barking Spider.

The good news is that since Obama got smacked down for channelling his inner Sharpton (or Jeremiah Wright), could the Era of the Mau-Mau be over? Sharpton and Jesse piped up, but no one paid attention. Obama had to backtrack because he was getting killed in the polls over this.

To actually see the end of the Era of Mau-Mau in my lifetime! It would be the best thing to happen to black people in 40 years. To finally be liberated from victimhood.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

City of Brotherly Love

Maybe this guy was a Mets fan.

Police say a group from the bachelor party got into a fight with other patrons at a sports bar and restaurant in the Citizens Bank Park complex Saturday night. The trouble started during the closing innings of a game between the Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The groups were told to leave McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon, and the dispute moved outside to a parking lot.

Police say 22-year-old Lansdale resident David Sale was assaulted there and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The World Series champion Phillies say they won't comment until arrests are announced.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Man the bails!

The tank is springing leaks...

Hey, schoolkids!  Come here and pull my finger!
I'm not sure if the screen cap is legible, so let me quote the subhead: President strong-arms educators by linking $4-billion package to reform.

Yeah, MSNBC actually went there with His Presidency. Those leg-thrills don't last very long once the election's done and the guy has to actually start doing some governing.

The story is interesting to me beyond the "bloom off the rose" angle, for two reasons.

First: the government can rightly be said to already own all these schools, since they are public. This seems almost as if the President is trying to re-buy them. The difficulty is, if you own something it's usually a bad idea to decide not to pay for its proper function. I can see the local school districts gearing up and suing the Feds for their funding.

(That is of course the exact opposite of everything Obama wants to do. His impulse seems to be to buy, on credit, everything he sees: banks, car companies, the entire insurance industry... That's the whole reason our economy pinwheeled off a cliff to begin with, so it seems akin to digging one's way out of a swamp ditch - but I hain't no expurt or nuthin'.)

Second: the guy is bleeding supporters and approval points faster than a celebrity on a quack diet sheds pounds. Can he really afford to start jacking around with the NEA?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Almost like he was pitching against the Rays..

...except my nephew allowed a walk and a cheap single.

Bethlehem High graduate Randy Bowers tossed a sparkling one-hitter and first baseman Steve Anderson crushed a two-run home run in the fourth to propel South Troy to a 2-0 victory over Brooklyn Youth Service in the North Atlantic Regional at Geer Field.

The Dodgers return to action tonight at Geer Field versus Washington Township. Game time is 6.

The Dodgers missed out at an earlier chance this month to secure a berth in the World Series after finishing tied for third in the 20-team World Series qualifier hosted by South Troy.
Unlike in that event when the Dodgers performed sluggishly, Bowers made sure South Troy started strong and remained strong.

The right-hander, who is headed to Canisius, allowed a walk in the first inning and took his no-hitter into the top of the seventh. He had BYS No. 3 hitter Tommy Cardona at 0-2 in the count before the first baseman squibbed a single just past South Troy second baseman Jose Ramirez.

"The first inning was a little shaky, but I calmed down and starting throwing first-pitch strikes," Bowers said. "In the qualifier, we played under par. I hope this game sets a tone in a much better way."

Randy Bowers, Jr. is the son of my youngest brother. I hope he remembers his old uncle if he makes the bigs.

From the State House to the Big House

Come on down! You're the next contestants on the Bribe is Right!
Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Joseph Doria's home and office were raided this morning by federal officials as part of the sweeping FBI and IRS probe that has resulted in the arrests of 30 people, including Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt and two mayors.
Contestants' Row now features the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, and the former mayor of Bayonne. According to the news, the investigation involved money laundering from Brooklyn to the Jersey Shore, including several rabbis at the Deal Yeshiva.

Not surprisingly, they mention first Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt (R-Ocean), who is also the mayor of Ocean Township. (What, double-dipping isn't enough, you also have to steal?) But to the credit of the Star-Ledger, they don't shy away from the party affiliations when it's the Dems' turn.

Waiting for their turn at the showcase are Jersey City's own Mariano Vega and Leona Beldini, but since one is a Council President and the other a Deputy Mayor, they have to wait until Van Pelt and the other heavy-hitters see the next item up for bids. And if you get within fifty cigarettes without going over, you win BOTH showcases!

UPDATED, 1:11 PM - holy smokes...
In separate money-laundering complaints, several individuals from Brooklyn and New Jersey were charged with offenses ranging from the trafficking of kidneys from Israeli donors to laundering proceeds from selling fake Gucci and Prada bags. It was not immediately clear how the money-laundering arrests were connected to the corruption arrests.

NBC affiliate WNBC reported that the kidney trafficking involved patients paying middlemen to find willing donors in Israel. Investigators allege that the suspects had donors and patients lie to hospitals by saying that they were related. Hospitals would do the operation unaware that cash payments were part of the deal.

The common thread seems to be that the actual money transfers caught the eye of the investigators, especially in the international cases.

There's a news conference going on right now in Newark trying to explain the whole shebang.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Big Ben & the Billy Graham Rule

Rich athletes might want to consider an idea from the old evangelist.

A woman has filed a lawsuit accusing Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of raping her last summer in his penthouse hotel room at a casino in Lake Tahoe during a celebrity golf tournament.

Roethlisberger's lawyer adamantly denied the allegations Tuesday, and was quick to point out that the woman never went to authorities.

According to the woman, a hotel employee, she went up to Ben's room to fix his TV and that's where the alleged crime took place.

As a young man, Reverend Graham resolved to never be alone with a woman he wasn't married to or related to by blood. This wasn't because he was a lech, but to avoid being accused of any impropriety. Prudish, yeah. But it potentially saved him aggravation a few times.

Ben, you need to think about going Graham. I bet Kobe's doing it.

Once you go Graham, you'll never be damned.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Past Thursday, Charlie

Update: Charlie's poll on Sotomayor is in!

Haven't made a decision yet? I guess the polling data isn't out yet.

Gov. Charlie Crist is the only high-ranking Republican in the land who seems to have no opinion on whether, were he elected to the Senate seat he’s running for, he’d vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

Crist’s opponent Marco Rubio said he’d vote against her. Crist is still figuring.
Crist: “I haven’t decided and I’ve got a lot of responsibilities in the job that I hold. Yesterday I was actually appointing judges. And so I’m focused on their records for now."

Q: You said you’d say by Thursday.

“I said I might know by Thursday. I think it's important to note: there are members on the Senate judiciary committee that have seen every minute of testimony and they haven’t made an announcement on it. I don’t feel pressure.”

What a coward. I can't do it, guys. I can't vote for this guy.

I predict 2011

"Amnesty" Mel Martinez will be hired by La Raza when he leaves the Senate:

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) came to the defense of Sonia Sotomayor today, saying he doesn't hold her "wise Latina" remarks against her. In fact, he supports them.

"For someone who is of Latin background, personally, I understand what she is trying to say," Martinez said after meeting with Sotomayor today. "Which is, the richness of her experience forms who she is. It forms who I am."

I believe Martinez is the first Republican senator to actively defend Sotomayor. This could be one of those symbolic turning points.

Martinez also said he expects Sotomayor to be confirmed "with pretty good numbers."

When I changed my voter registration from GOP to No Party Affilliation, I cut up my old voter registration card and mailed it to Amnesty Mel. His support for wise Latina is greasing the skids for a lobbyist gig with La Raza or some other Hispanic civil rights group.

I have never missed an even year election. Will the GOP give me a reason to show up?

Friday, July 17, 2009

The day my worldview was shattered

I was ten years old, watching Apollo 11 launch from Cape Canaveral on TV, when my dad told me that these will be the first men to set foot on the moon.

My entire worldview was shattered, because until then I thought Captian Kirk and Spock and the whole Star Trek crew were up there already.

Cut a kid a break, Star Trek was on prime time Thursday night! I remember the first episode I ever watched. It was the salt-sucking beast that looked like McCoy's ex. Probably explains why I'm still single

Thursday, July 16, 2009

40 years ago today...

... was the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that took men to the surface of the moon. But that's not what I want to talk about.

40 years ago this Saturday, while our brave astronauts were hurtling through space toward the moon, Senator Edward Kennedy was also hurtling through space, launched off the Dike Bridge toward the waters of a channel on Chappaquiddick Island. While our astronaunts all made it home safely, one traveler on Ted's craft was not so fortunate.

If there were three cable networks back in 1969, he would have never survived politically.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Carl Crawford All-Star MVP

He didn't score or drive in a run, but the one thing he did saved the game.

I'm going to a Rays game on Aug 1, with the trade deadline being the day before I hope I get to see him in a Rays uniform.

Is it just me, or was the Obamalove a little over the top last night. Usually when someone is interviewed in the booth, the announcers make an attempt to still call the game. McCarver and Buck ingnored the entire bottom of the second to fawn over his lordship.

Another Florida Republican Who Won't Get My Vote

Attorney General (and GOP Goober candidate) Bill McCollum pandering to black voters early:

Attorney General Bill McCollum is suing audience research company Arbitron Inc., claiming it didn't sufficiently include minorities while preparing Miami area radio station ratings.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to block the company from releasing the Miami radio audience ratings this month, saying the flawed methodology could hurt stations - particularly those with minority audiences - as they compete for advertising dollars.

The suit is similar to lawsuits filed by other states, including New York and Maryland.
Arbitron didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Minority radio stations are bent because the PPM records the stations you actually listen to instead of lying about it in the books you fill out. Bill is learning the lesson of Charlie Crist, to pander to the left because ignorant Bible-thumpers like me have nowhere else to go.

We'll see about that. I'm getting sick of this Pferdkaese.

Profiles in Courage

Senate candidate Charlie Crist takes a tough, principled stance:

Gov. Charlie Crist said today he doesn’t have a position on whether Judge Sonia Sotomayor should be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, but may have a firm opinion as the hearings progress.

When asked in a press conference, Crist said, “I’m interested to watch the hearings. They had a good first day of them yesterday. That will continue through Thursday as I understand it and maybe by Thursday I’ll have formed a good opinion.”

Translation: His polling on Sotomayor will be done on Thursday.

And these people wonder why I'm not longer a Republican.

Posting by me will be light. My new broadband has conked out and they can't get to me till next Tuesday.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hells yeah

Pudd'nhead Wilson stands justified: "When angry, count four. When very angry, swear."
Bad language could be good for you, a new study shows. For the first time, psychologists have found that swearing may serve an important function in relieving pain.

Basically, when we (for example) smack our bare toe against the coffee table, the amygdala, our fight-or-flight response center, fires up; one of the byproducts of this may be a well-timed cuss, which can actually help relieve a lot of the stressful emotion involved.
Psychologist Steven Pinker of Harvard University, whose book The Stuff of Thought (Viking Adult, 2007) includes a detailed analysis of swearing, compared the situation with what happens in the brain of a cat that somebody accidentally sits on. "I suspect that swearing taps into a defensive reflex in which an animal that is suddenly injured or confined erupts in a furious struggle, accompanied by an angry vocalization, to startle and intimidate an attacker," he says.

The reasonable counter-argument is that we are people, not cats, and we ought to know better. The larger part of me agrees with this statement. We are supposed to be in charge of our instincts, and our will is meant to order our passions to serve one goal - the definition of integrity. To lose control of them is to lose our integrity for the moment. It's probably a bad idea to simply let the cusses fly at every opportunity. (In other words, this doesn't qualify as clinical therapy just yet, no matter how good it may feel.)
In extreme cases, the hotline to the brain's emotional system can make swearing harmful, as when road rage escalates into physical violence. But when the hammer slips, some well-chosen swearwords might help dull the pain. There is a catch, though: The more we swear, the less emotionally potent the words become, Stephens cautions. And without emotion, all that is left of a swearword is the word itself, unlikely to soothe anyone's pain.

Yeah, like I said...

BTW- they won't let me put an exclam next to SCIENCE. I'm trying the double exclam (‼) but it's not standard ASCII, so we'll see...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

One thing I wouldn't do

I like B16. As a non-Catholic I have some doctrinal differences with Pope Benedict but he's one of the good guys. And I would be thrilled to have the chance to meet him. Though if I did meet him I wouldn't tell whoppers to his face.

Obama told the pope of his commitment to reduce the number of abortions and of his attention and respect for the positions of the Catholic Church," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters after he was briefed by the pope.

Obama supports abortion rights and says his policy is to change economic and social conditions so as to put more women in situations where they do not feel they have to have an abortion.

I heard a talk show host say that B16's IQ is in the 180s, so I'm sure he figured out that there wasn't a whole lot of vertitas coming from the Obamessiah.

Then, it's not every day that a pope meets someone more Catholic than he.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The St Pete Times called me today..

..asking me if I wanted to subscribe.

Considering my current state of mind, how do you think that conversation went?

On a totally unrelated subject, I wore a shoe on my left foot for the first time since May 23rd.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Quote of the Day

"If you have to say, at a funeral, that there wasn't anything strange about the deceased, there was definitely something strange about the deceased."

Thanks to National Review's The Corner:

'There was nothing strange about your daddy.'

As we witness the Downfall of American Civilization that is the Michael Jackson memorial service, it is worth remembering that the Democratic Party treated Al Sharpton as a legitimate presidential candidate from January 2003 to March 2004.

UPDATE: A reader sends in this comment from Amelie Gillette of the Onion AV Club: "If you have to say, at a funeral, that there wasn't anything strange about the deceased, there was definitely something strange about the deceased."

Monday, July 06, 2009

This is not a Sarah Palin post

Let's suppose I had a daughter who just graduated from college. Let's suppose imaginary daughter calls me for fatherly advice.

"Dad, I got two job offers today. One is to work for NBC. The other is to dance on a pole at the Mons Venus. Which should I take?"

I would have to say, "I don't know sweetheart. They're both pretty sleazy operations."

There are no words acceptable to the readers of this blog that can describe my contempt for the majority of media outlets.

Kilt 'im a b'ar when he war onluh three

This is one of the rare times when I can wholeheartedly cheer for the home team at Madison Square Garden.
One of the NYPD's newest officers made his first arrest Thursday just minutes after graduating from the Police Academy in a ceremony at Madison Square Garden.

Officer Dariel Firpo, 23, was leaving the midtown Manhattan ceremony when he saw a 79-year-old man being robbed of his wallet and thrown to the ground by a mugger, police said. The mugger tried to run away, but Firpo caught him without incident...

For those not familiar with the venue, Madison Square Garden, "The World's Most Famous Arena," is like many less-popular arenas: it has a giant marquee advertising upcoming events. Unlike many arenas, however, it is also located above Penn Station, one of the world's busiest railway stations, and is heavily-patrolled by New York's Finest on the outside and the Transit Police on the inside. What kind of doofus tries to mug a guy in this location on this particular day?
The man Firpo arrested, Jeffrey Grant, was being charged with robbery. Grant, 47, has 48 previous arrests and was just released last week from Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., after serving time for a robbery conviction, police said.

OK, then.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Your kid is probably on the ball...

...but kids in Arizona are dumber than a box of hammers.

You know those groan-inducing spots on late-night television when the typical person-on-the-street can't identify the vice president?

That's akin to what happened to the state's education system Tuesday, with the issuance of a new report that found only 3.5 percent of traditional public high school students would be able to pass a U.S. citizenship test— bombing out on questions such as who was America's first president, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and what do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Later in this article is the teacher's union hack trying to spin this:

But John Wright, the head of the state teachers union, the Arizona Education Association, dismissed the report as a "gotcha piece of writing."

"I think there's already an ongoing discussion of standards and assessment, but it is not informed by this kind of survey," he said, adding that for all of its shock value, he didn't find it very analytical.

I'll cut them some slack on Question # 6 because it's out West and I spend many childhood summer days in this body of water, but only 58.8% of the kids Mr. Wright's union members teach know that the body of water on the East Coast of the USA is the Atlantic Ocean! Come on!

We hold these truths to be self-evident

John Adams was of the opinion that on July 2 every year, the American people would celebrate the momentous occasion of their Declaration of Independence from Great Britain with fireworks, parades, and other festivities.

He thus became the first American president - far before his election or even the existence of the office - to misjudge the power of oratory. The Declaration was such a tremendous document that we celebrate the date of its adoption, July 4, rather than the formal act of separation that the Continental Congress ratified two days prior, on this date 233 years ago. Even the title of the post comes from Jefferson's soaring pen, rather than the actual event of the Colonies declaring their separation from England.

Adams was no mean orator himself, of course. He and Jefferson were also great friends, despite a long break caused in large part by their differing political theories and the practical tensions that resulted. [Sheila (who else?) has a comprehensive overview; just click her obsession links: the Founding Fathers and Alexander Hamilton.] The break is perfectly understandable. They took such questions as how to govern very seriously indeed. They had to. In their case it wasn't a question of arguing about a small pet program or the best method to appropriate the funds to build a bridge somewhere, it was literal life and death for millions, and the very power of self-determination for the rest. And they saw themselves as not just acting on their own behalf, but on ours, all these years later; and in a small way on the behalf of people all over the world, as an example of how it could truly be done, as a pattern of liberty.

To that extent they have succeeded perhaps far beyond their own hopes. (Adams once said that all democracies are short-lived and eventually murder themselves.) If hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, then every dictator and would-be tyrant in the world bows in homage to the might of the ideas laid out in the United States Constitution: every last one of them clings to many of the external trappings of representative democracy even when they, like Mao's ubiquitous portraits, are paper-thin coverings. Ahmadinejad and Chavez and Castro are all "elected" presidents, and so was Saddam and the latest example, Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.

Even during that long break Adams and Jefferson remained committed to their country and the liberty of its citizens. That committment drove them apart, but provided a common ground on which they both stood. In Adams' words: "Swim or sink, live or die, survive or perish, [I am] with my country. You may depend upon it." And Jefferson shared that desire.

This is a very long-winded way to point out this wonderful post from Ms. Sister at the Coalition. I can think of nothing further apart than Adams' statement above and the distressing sentiment Ms. Sister deplores, where people finally feel comfortable to display their flag only when their side is on top - the sentiment so ably described by Michelle Obama after her husband was nominated by his party to run for President: "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country." I have no doubt she told the truth, but I can't possibly ascribe the word "love" to any such sentiment - it's boggling to imagine a love of country (or pride in it) depending wholly on whether or not it wants your husband to run it.

To be entirely honest, I'm sick of having to defend one Administration or deplore another. I must not let any such thing get in the way of being an American and doing whatever little I can to make it happier and healthier. One more time, Mr. Adams, if you please:
I think instead of opposing systematically any administration, running down their characters and opposing all their measures, right or wrong, we ought to support every administration as far as we can in justice.

(Source of the Adams quotes? Of course!)

If President Obama ever does manage to do the right thing by liberty in general or America in particular I will be very happy indeed. In the end I want America to be free. That should be the ultimate aim of every Administration and every officeholder. Given that freedom, we can handle the pursuit of happiness quite well on our own.