Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas to all, and to...well...wait...

Have you missed me? Yeah, I didn't think so. I figured it wouldn't be bad to at least give you something for the 'holiday season'. Admittedly, the hustle and bustle has snagged even me, but like you care. You want mindless musings to read and I will attempt to be your supplier.

Today's topic, suggested by some guy named Rick, is, "What's the deal with Christmas?" Ok, I'm probably paraphrasing, but stick with me..."tis the season."
As with the Red and Blue state delimiter, the country seems divided. Or maybe it's just sliding. After reading an article bemusing the fact that some store employees seemed to be down right stymied by you wishing them a "Merry Christmas!" as you finish up a purchase by my hero James Lileks, it struck me that this country seems to be slowing going in a direction I'm not particularly fond of. We now seem to be two days away from "The Holiday That Will Not be Named."

See, the problem is Christianity is oppressive. Love and peace and all that jazz shouldn't be forced on others. And saying Christ or Jesus or--God forbid-- Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost might cause someone with no or, at least, a tenuous religious affiliation to actually consider their standing with God (if he actually exists) and what ramifications that could have on their life and post-life experience. This in the modern world is unacceptable. You see America...we have a Constitution...with a Bill of Rights...containing a First Amendment. That one, the first one, gives me the right to go through life with out ever hearing or even viewing any possible representation of a Christian deity. What? That's not so? Tell this guy
Yeah, that's right. A principal actually told a seventh grader wearing a Santa costume, "This a holiday party, not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to this school that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that." So which religion is anti-Santa again? Exactly.

See Santa is a symbol of Christmas. Christmas is, or at least was, a Christian holiday. THEREFORE, according to the strained logic of overly sensitive junior high principals and others of his ilk, Christmas--not just the real story, or even the word, but any miniscule representation-- is a hair short of proselytizing. Of course, my next question might be what's so wrong with proselytizing, but I'm pretty sure the first amendment doesn't cover such things.

Yes, it's all ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous are the Christians boycotting stores that use the abbreviated X-mas, but almost. See, Christians realize that businesses-- because of fear of litigation or losing patrons or just the general climate of the day-- no longer use the word Christmas. Don't put up mangers scenes. Don't play silent Night over the p.a. A slope they don't want to go down. So they're touchy. Then you've got guys like that principal, which makes them think they're more than justified. Where are we gonna end up? I don't know.

As a microcosm of this argument, read the Lilek's column above if you haven't. Then read this guy's response. Then read Lilek's rebuttal. We are going somewhere. It makes me uncomfortable, and shouldn't you be uncomfortable in a world where "Merry Christmas" is on it's way to becoming invective?

Oh well....

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sportsy Fruity Quickie Hitty Stuff

Quick Hits, because wasting someone's time should be done in moderation.

#1. The Cowboys completed a dramatic comeback late Monday night (unless you were on the East coast). Despite that fact a loss would probably be better for the longterm benefit of the team, I found myself quite pleased with the outcome. The scoring of 14 points in the last 1:45 was an very improbable outcome. The first time the Cowboys had ever pulled such a feat, and apparently the biggest late minute comeback in Monday Night Football history. Regardless, as Shaun Alexander strolled into the endzone with 2:53 left in the game to put the Cowboys down 10, I still "knew" that a comeback was not out of the question. Being a fan makes you so stupid. But that still doesn't mean you can't be right. Go Cowboys!

#2. Related to said game(sorta). I needed to go to the grocery store on Monday, but there is a Cowboy's game on. What to do? Well, as soon as the second quarter ended I hit "Pause" on the trusty DVR. Returned from the store about an hour later. Then I watched the rest of the game, every play, and caught back up before the game even ended. God bless the Digital Video Recorder. It may be the first piece of technology that actually makes me more productive. Most guys just watched a game in that 4-hour span. I watched a game and had a successful shopping trip. My mom would be so proud...

#3. More on the BcS (because, well, when you got this dead horse just sitting there what are you gonna do?). For a system that pays 14 million a game and is designed to provide us with the best match-ups, you'd think they be able beat out the Liberty Bowl. Using a very complex formula that takes the combined BCS rankings of the two teams and sees who's is the lowest, I find that the Fiesta's 27 is worse than three bowls. The Liberty (19), the Outback (24), and the Capital One (23) are all better. And yes, the combined payout of those three games will be less than that paid to Utah and Pittsburgh.

#4 Apple report card #2. Today's apple is the Golden Delicious. If the name didn't clue you in, it's yellow. I also noticed on the label, after consuming of course, that it says it's "Sweet & Tender". Sweet I like. And it was. Tender? Not so much. It was almost mushy. I prefer to have my apple be a bit crispier. I may have erred for I usually keep my apples refridgerated until time, but this one was a room temperature when consumed. Overall, I still liked it, it just wouldn't be my first choice.


Sunday, December 05, 2004

BcS revisited...

Now things have been finalized. For Texas, BCS chaos is in full bloom (Rock Me! Pun intended). Not only is there carping about the top two teams, there is now lots of talk about the fairness of excluding teams like California and including teams like Pitt. Finally, after years of the BCS lucking out, we finally had the perfect storm...or at least a good enough one to make everyone wince. USC (#1 11-0) and Oklahoma (#2 12-0) will play for the title and Auburn (#3 12-0) will watch it on TV. OU and Auburn are 12-0 after Saturday, one of them is somehow more deserving than the other. And neither are as deserving as USC. Why is that again? Exactly. Yesterday afternoon, there was a collective, "Whew!" from coaches in Norman, L.A., and Austin. In Berkeley and Auburn there was a much louder,"%#@$*"! The reasons to laud one group and console the other are equal mysteries.

In a never ending attempt to beat any point into the ground, I will revisit my "plan". To reiterate, instead of hand-wringing over the 2nd place team(!), and watching a very deserving 3rd place team take a swift kick to it's nether regions, we would tell 15th ranked(that's right not No. 3, but No. 15) Tennessee,"Sorry, maybe next year." You might be saying,"But that's not fair, they had to play an extra game which accounted for their 3rd loss!" True, but their ranking did not change from the week before so it would appear they could do nothing but improve their standing with the extra game. (*Note* I just realized that Tennessee would have been disallowed because of my "conference cap" of three. They would have been the 4th SEC team...which means my plan is even more genius than I first realized.) So, one last time, for your viewing pleasure, the 16 team playoff bracket if my plan were enacted.

Mythical 2004 NCAA Playoff Bracket (BSC ranking)
1. USC (1)
16. Toledo (NR)________USC
_________________________________ USC
8. Virginia Tech (8)__Vir. Tech
9. Boise St. (9)
___________________________________________ USC
5. California (5)_____Cal
12. Michigan (13)
_________________________________ Texas
4. Texas (4)__________Texas
13. Iowa (12)

3. Auburn (3)
14. Miami, Fl. (14)____Aub.
_________________________________ Auburn
6. Utah (6)___________Utah
11. LSU (11)
____________________________________________ Okla
7. Georgia (7)________Georgia
10. Louisville (10)
_________________________________ Okla
2. Oklahoma (2)_______Okla.
15. Pittsburgh (21)

I went ahead and displayed for you some of the later round match-ups if the favorite were to win in each contest, but most of the first-round games would have me glued to the set. Like that 7-10 game, or check out 3 vs. 14. Well, let's just say sports fan giddiness would be in full effect. In an email debate with Bob Sturm of the Ticket last week, where it seemed he was not in favor of any play-off of more than 4 teams he said that teams in a 16-team play-off "...could easily be 3rd place teams in their own conference, and I do not want mediocrity rewarded." I countered that I didn't think Georgia was all that mediocre. In the end, we agreed to disagree, I guess. My last email to him offered this question,"I guess I would also wonder why some are so opposed to college football being played in the month of December. A playoff would essentially mean 3 extra weeks of football, a collection of match-ups that we rarely get during the regular season, and a clear cut champion. Plus, the schools would probably make more money. I just can't get why there is even an argument." I never got a reply. There's little doubt in my mind that it had more to do with he having more pertinent things to do than continue a debate with the likes of me than it did with not having an answer. But it still remains, the answer to "Why?" seems obvious. The answer to "Why not"? Got me.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

An Apple a day keeps the...

Of course, some people need more than fruit. See Jason Giambi. Today we find that Giambi did, indeed, take steroids. Shockingly (tongue implanted in cheek), Barry Bonds' name came up. This story could rock the sports world. If we get proof that Bonds did partake of the roids along with enabling others to do the same, it should be his demise. If it's not, we've got a bigger problem.

Now, on to what everyone really wants to know. "How's that apple?" Ok, I've got three apples of different variety. Since I've never really paid attention to what the actual difference is between members of the apple family, I thought I would take this opportunity to document them. A few details. I typically enjoy an apple by first quartering it, then cutting out the core. Then I eat it, skin and all.

Apple #1 - Jonagold. It is a lighter red fading into a yellow-green. It's not as dense as some. Kind of watery, but still crunchy enough. Sweet, but not too sweet. Overall, I like it and would buy it again.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

More important stuff

Well, I'm sure there's lots going on today. But all I seem to care about is college football. Today a column in the Dallas Morning News about Texas and their BCS predictament caused me to fire off a rather lengthy email in response. That will be the main content of this post. But be sure to check back, for hopefully later to today will be the first installment of a public service for you. That being what I loosely call "Battle of the Apples." Now the letter.
Regarding your column today (12/1), I have several points of contention. I hope you find no vitriol included despite the fact that I am, indeed, a Texas fan.
First, you stated that the "...Kansas game was a killer. Texas should have dominated a Kansas team down to its fourth-string quarterback." I would agree with you. The only difference is I think there is sufficient evidence that they did. It's often said that any stat can be misleading. I think in this case that stat was the score. In the game UT had a running back go for 161 yards, a QB pass for 298 and run for 114, won the total yard battle 581-348 and had a 7 ½ minute advantage in time of possession. Some might call that dominating. I think Texas fell victim to bad field position, bone-head personal fouls, and possibly some bad calls. My point would be that it's all based on perception. The fact that I watched every play gives me the ability to say Texas dominated that game yet the score didn't demonstrate it. The problem is perception shouldn't decide seasons or champions.
You also stated "style points count". That should be a red-flag to anyone who hopes the current "system" approaches anything reputable. This is sports. Made up of games. Games can take on a life of their own based on various factors that never show up in the box score. That's why coming back from 28 down to win by 21 or converting a fourth and 18 with the game on the line is impressive. No matter what the opponent. The problem is you use the exact opposite argument for Utah. I'm told not to judge their opponent, just the fact that they went out each week and won. The pressure to stay undefeated is huge. So is trying to overcome a loss to your chief rival in game 5 when the consensus in that your season is now doomed. Once again, it's all based on perception, and that shouldn't be a deciding factor for a team's season.
Also, you seem to downplay the quality of those Big 12 teams in the 20-25 range of the rankings. But I think if you took anyone of those teams out of the Big 12 South and put them in the Mountain West, or even the Big 12 north, they would have only 1 or 2 loses instead of 4 or 5. Put good teams together and the generally beat up on each other. Put one in with a bunch of patsies and you get...well, Utah.
The media (note a column today by Kevin Sherrington as another example) seem to be taking great efforts to distance themselves from the most recent BCS mess. Brown asked you "to take control" because he knows you already have it, not because you necessarily should. The media in all their caterwauling seem to miss one key point. You are the one of the few entities that can effect change. If the media chose to put more pressure on the NCAA and the university presidents instead of playing the game, we might already have a playoff. It would seem to me that newspapers and the TV networks, especially ABC and ESPN have the most pull here. Yet, the polls are sponsored by the AP (news organization), USA today (newspaper), and ESPN. Maybe the powers that be would get the point that writers shouldn't be deciding a national champion if the AP poll ceased to exist. Or if ABC and ESPN made it a point to harp continuously on the unfairness of the exclusion of Auburn or Utah. But they don't. You don't. Instead you fill out your polls and plan your bowls.
To the casual observer there would seem to be a conflict of interest here. ESPN is probably the biggest reason we have seen NCAA football rise to the status it enjoys today. It would also seem to give it a very strong voice into the debate over instituting a playoff system. I think ABC would be a close second. Both are owned by Disney so in essence they are one in the same. Yet, if I pull out the sports page and check the listing of the upcoming bowls I find that 89% of the bowls this year will be seen on Disney owned network. That includes all 4 BCS bowls on ABC, of course. I could also note that the Dallas Morning News is owed by Belo, which also happens to own our local ABC affiliate. A local sports radio guy is known to say often, "Follow the money." It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see where this leads. Everyone seems to be taking part in obviously faulty system and getting rich by doing it. Yet we the fans, the ones who foot the bill are left shaking our heads. So Keith, help us, your customers. If you know the system's flawed, do something besides trying to justify your participation in it. In the end, whether Texas is 4th or 5th or 6th isn't as much of a problem as the fact that you have more control over it than the team does. In a fair system, you should be writing about the championship match-up, not deciding who plays in it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

No news is good news...?

Hello. Been a couple of days...ok more like a week. But who's counting? Still don't have a lot.

Couple of things. Condi's now the Secretary of State. She's black and the 'she' part should give away that she's also a women. A Republican made it happen. Deal with it. I guess it's "possible" this is all just a ruse to hide the "obvious" fact that Republicans are racist. But would that not be the greatest example of cutting off your nose to spite your face ever? "We hate blacks, therefore we will appoint a black to the top foreign relation post in the land. Sure, they will be the face of the country to the rest of the world, but that means the racsism goes unnoticed a little longer." Make sense? To the liberal mind, sometimes it does.

Two. There is stuff swirling around about the French in the Ivory Coast. Apparently French soldiers decided to engage in a debate with chanting locals by means of bullets. There are different stories out there (HT - LGF). What does seem to be certain. There was a large crowd of Ivory Coast citizens protesting in front of a hotel that French troops with full weaponry and tanks were protecting. Shots were fired. People ended up dead, somewhere between 7 and 60. You can go here to see a video taken at the event. (You'll have to scroll down a bit.) It's rather long and not of very good quality. I'll give you a brief summary of what I saw when I viewed it. Large group chanting and singing. Some are shouting, pointing, even mooning the French soldiers, but classifying them as violent or threatening would be a gross overstatement from what I witnessed. They are separated by a street, at least one (maybe two) retaining wall(s) and about 75-125ft (my estimation). The troops mainly appear to be lazily lounging on the tanks and/or other light armored vehicles. More chanting/singing. Then a sound which I can't imagine would be anything other than gun shots. The crowd mostly hits the ground. Though the video quality is poor, I think smoke rising above the troops can be seen. Chaos. Women screaming. People running. Then you see people being carried. Various wounds, some which are rather benign, others I think can only be gun shot wounds. Skip to the end where you come to a scene of a group surrounding a body on the ground. The head of the body is a bloody mess. Not distiguishable. Some have described it as headless. I couldn't really disagree with that assessment.

The question. Where's the media? Where's Amnesty International? Where's the outrage? Something definitely happened here. Possibly even opening fire on people peaceably expressing their views. If it was news worthy in Tiananmen Square, why not here?

Finally, some people are displeased with the Target Corporation. Seems they told the Salvation Army to take their kettles and head on down the road. Lileks has one opinion. Hewitt has another. Can I agree with both? No? Ok, let me first say that I do find the kettles annoying. The bells, the forlorn look when I choose not to empty my pockets, the omnipresence during the Yuletide season. Yet, they are an organization that does good, or at least more good than harm. They are part of the holiday scene. And I think Hewitt's point that Target seems to be rather uncharitable during a season of charity which allows them to stay in business has some merit. The big question seems to be why. And the longer they wait, the likelihood of Target having a valid answer wanes. And the likelihood of Target being further down my list of shopping choices rises.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Greater Good

Each year, around this time, my interest in football, especially the collegiate variety, is almost overwhelming. I focus my rooting interests on one thing. Not my favorite team (Hook'em), but for "BCS chaos." You see. I feel that the current system by which a champion is selected is quite flawed and ridiculous. I will not focus on all the argument for or against. I will just lay out my simple play for a playoff system and I think once anyone sees the potential, the argument for anything other than a playoff will be seen as silly.


There are currently 11 Division I football conferences. This includes the lowly Sun Belt, which I will currently exclude from my plan, but who's inclusion, I think, wouldn't cause a huge problem. The playoff would consist of 16 teams. It could start the second or third week of December and be done by the 2nd week of January. The plan would be to include any champion of a conference. If you exclude the Sun Belt, which I think would be almost certainly excluded, that would leave 6 at large bids. That means you are guaranteed that the top six ranked teams would be included in the playoffs. I guess it also means that the 7th ranked team could be excluded but I think that is highly unlikely. We would still use some system similar to the BCS rankings to rate the teams. I think I would add a rule that a conference could have no more than 3 teams. This would seem to alleviate any issue that might arise from a mystery guest winning a conference title game. So, if your conference is really that good, it will at least have it's two best teams in. Some will say that you'll still have lots of debate about that 16th team. I would say that I would rather debate about #16 than #2. Now, a layout of the plan and the first round match-ups. For these purposes I will assume that the favorite or team currently leading the conference would win it. So...
Conference Champions (BCS ranking)
Big 12 Oklahoma (2)
Pac 10 USC (1)
SEC Auburn (3)
Big 10 Michigan (7)
ACC Virginia Tech (15)
Big East Boston College (21)
C-USA Louisville (10)
MAC Bowling Green? (25)
Mt. West Utah (6)
WAC Boise St. (9)
...So the next 6 left in the BCS would be:
Pac 10 California(4)
Big 12 Texas (5)
ACC Fla. St. (8)
SEC Georgia (11)
ACC Miami, Fl (12)
Big 10 Wisconsin (13)

So in this case the team crying foul would be Arizona State with 2 losses. I can handle that a lot better than the possibility of someone going undefeated and winning the SEC and not have a chance to play for the championship. So, based on their rankings check out the first round match-ups. We'll give the league champion a higher seed than any other conference member even if they have a lower ranking.

#1 USC (1)
#16 Bowling Green (25)

#8 Virginia Tech (15)
#9 Fla. St. (8)

#4 California (4)
#13 Miami, Fl. (12)

#5 Texas (5)
#12 Georgia (11)

#3 Auburn (3)
#14 Wisconsin (13)

#6 Utah (6)
#11 Louisville (10)

#7 Michigan (7)
#10 Boise St. (9)

#2 Oklahoma (2)
#15 Boston College (21)

Now really. How many of those games are you gonna miss? Now go ahead and imagine all the first round favorites win. Those next four games are too delicious to believe. Have fun with it. If only...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veterans Day

God Bless them all...
There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts -- for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free. To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.
- from Woodrow Wilson's War Message, 1917 (HT - Polipundit)

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing is worth dying for, when did this begin...? Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots of Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain!
-Ronald Reagan

If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms, and to the God of hosts, is all that is left us.
-Patrick Henry, 1775

These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of
man and woman.
-Thomas Paine

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I told you I don't like resolutions

Well, with the election streaming into the distance, I feel as if a daily dose of me may be over medicating a bit. Therefore, while I will still post regularly, it will not necessarily be daily.

For today? Another possible "moment of truth found in unexpected places." The place? The season finale of "Six Feet Under". Yes, it ended months ago but the greatness of PVR/DVR/Tivo, whatever you want to call it, allowed me to view the series on my own terms with it's conclusion coming last night. This is a conversation in the final scene with one of the main characters (David) having a "conversation" with his dead father (Nate Sr.). Yes, it involves a "ghost", but what do expect from a show called "Six Feet Under?"
Nate Sr: You hang on to your pain like it means something. Like it's worth something. Well let me tell ya, it's not worth sh**. Let it go. [Talking to the air] Infinite possibilities and all he can do is whine.

David: Well what am I supposed to do?

Nate Sr: What do ya think? You can do anything ya lucky bastard, you're alive! What's a little pain compared to that?

David: [Sigh] It can't be so simple.

Nate Sr: What if it is?

Ah, what if it is...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Take it or leave it...

I started out the day by spraying liquid coffee creamer all over the break-room here at work and, of course, myself. So yes, today is going swimmingly.

Two quick things.

A liberal gives solid reasons to why I asked the question, "How could anyone vote for Kerry?", and found no sensible answers.

Fallujah is not a fun place to be right now. Pray for our troops. For some good analysis go here.

Now that's what I call quick....OUT!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Me 0, Big Bag...

Well, I've got nothin today. Ok, maybe not nothing. But probably nothing in which you're interested.

Quick hitables...

#1. Question. Is James Dobson a bit unhinged? Before scurrying off to church Sunday morning, I caught "This Week" with George Snuffaluffagus. He was interviewing Dr. Dobson on Sen. Arlen Spector's comments about judiciary appointments earlier in the week. At one point, George questioned him on a statement he made about Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. The quote?
"Patrick Leahy is a 'God's people' hater," Dobson said.
"I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people."

Hmmm. George then went on to ask if Dobson would be retracting/apologizing for the remark. None coming. He also asked whether these were the sort of remarks that should be coming from a "Christian leader" (I'm paraphrasing here, I can find no sort of transcript) and Big James responded by asking if George was the one who should be lecturing him on Christianity. Ok.

Personally, even though I may risk my membership in the "Christian Conservative" movement (Gasp!), I think Dr. Dobson crossed the line on both accounts. One, I can understand that if someone continually seems to side in opposition to anything that might be construed as positive for American Christians that someone else might tag them a "'God's people' hater". But...BUT, I don't think anyone should use that tag in public while someone with a pen/laptop and cell phone with a news organization on the other end is standing there. Maybe at night, you can mention it to your wife while lying in bed, "Honey, that Ted Kennedy is one heck of a 'God's people' hater!" It might even be true. But as a general rule, incendiary remarks are not beneficial for public political discourse, especially when they come from people who claim to speak for a religion that's purportedly in the business of loving one another. Two, you're probably not going to get that ranking on the top-ten most reasonable by challenging someone's moral authority when they question a statement you made in a newspaper. Especially when it starts to look like you think you do have moral authority. Know your audience is what I've always been told. And rarely is your audience comprised of those who can't wait to hear how they don't live up to God's standard. I think that's why the Bible is pretty heavy on that whole love your neighbor tip. Meet people's needs, physically, emotionally, whatever. Maybe even some longings, but show me the guy who's got "be labeled a Christian hater" on his Christmas list. All I'm saying is this might not be your key demographic to go after when you've been given a national stage where you can spread the "Good News." We should always speak the truth, and, like I said, he might be a 'God's people' hater. But there's only like 2 guys that know that for sure, and since Dr. James' surname isn't Leahy or Christ, he probably isn't 100% sure.

#2 (That 1st one was terribly un-quick) Hook'em. Quick picture painting. Your team has just given up a touchdown with 1:16 left in the FIRST HALF to go down 28 points. You alternate between shaking your head, holding it in your hands, and just grumbling to yourself. But then, they use that last minute or so of the half to score as the tight end uses all his strength to hold off two defenders and get the tip of the ball over the line. Only down 21. Hope holds a faint light. And before the 3rd quarter can end, the lead has been demolished. By the end of the game, so has the other team. Forty-nine unanswered points. A 28 point deficit has turned into a 21 point victory. Never believe them when they tell you it's over...or when they try to convince you that men can't fly.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Time to stand down...

Mark Davis, of WBAP fame, said today (I'm paraphrasing), "When the battle ends, it's time to put the weapons away." I hope that's true, but I know where I'd put my money if I had to. These people obviously didn't get the memo. (*Warning* Not for the faint of heart. HT - Instapundit)

(Today's "Insane Update")
As if the above link didn't qualify...Folk matriarch Joan Baez is nutso. (HT - Instapundit) Oh and so is Tuh-ree-za, but that's not really news. (Note: you really should check out that Joan Baez story. When you get to the part that makes your eyes go wide, consider the ramifications if, oh, say...Kid Rock pulled the same stunt. Hint: Media maelstrom)

Next, check out this article. Some people who get paid for their words and ideas do agree with me.

Finally, in the past I've mentioned that there are many who just don't get Christians. Typically, I base that more on simple ignorance of the issue than actual animosity. But this is different. It's mean. You should read it. Really. I will provide a few examples:
In explaining the "red states" thinking, author Jane Smiley states...
"Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it."

Enlightening. Complex thought = Satan. Moving on...
"...and most important, when life grows difficult or fearsome, they (politicians, preachers, pundits) encourage you to cling to your ignorance with even more fervor. But by this time you don't need much encouragement; you've put all your eggs into the ignorance basket, and really, some kind of miraculous fruition (preferably accompanied by the torment of your enemies, and the ignorant always have plenty of enemies) is your only hope. If you are sufficiently ignorant, you won't even know how dangerous your policies are until they have destroyed you, and then you can always blame others."
Cling to it, people. Hold on tight!

After reading the article, I'm left wondering how I made it to work. All those complex turns and all. Conservatives, "The Right", evangelical Christians -- what ever label I'm currently tagged with -- are always accused of bigotry and hate. If that article is not an example of what those words really mean, I don't know what is. Especially when book-ended with Joan Baez's shenanigans. The intro to the article by Slate states that, "Slate asked a number of wise liberals to take up the question of why Americans won't vote for the Democrats." Wise? Do wise people make such broad arguments, basically lumping anyone who lives in a "red" state together? Don't wise people know as soon as you accuse your adversary of being a knuckle dragging imbecile that their argument becomes moot because name-calling is not considered a reasoned argument? Do wise people have the ability to make the claim that their conservative family members,"...are just greedy and full of classic Republican feelings of superiority..." and then not consider the fact that an entire essay on the only reason that the opposition doesn't buy into their "reasoning" is their inherit ignorance and not realize that might be seen as being superior? Seriously?

Well, if you want even a higher level of wacky entertainment, check out the comments to the article. One guy, a journalist who's written for some "reputable" news sources, actually says that Kerry won Ohio. His proof? Get this...the exit polls said so. I couldn't make this up as I tried.

Now, I will try to move away from politics...I love sports. One of those would be football. I'm also a fan of the Texas Longhorns. I have never run away from the tag of "geek". I readily admit, at times, that my emotional involvement in such things might border on unhealthy. As one more proof, I will now let you see something which made me genuinely happy, almost ebullient.
Q: How good is Frank Okam? I know he was one of the most sought-after recruits in the country last year.
Daniel Simpson, Dallas

BROWN: Let's put it this way: Okam studies film so intently that he waits until the last possible moment to get into his stance so that he can see where the tight end and receivers are lined up in addition to his keys, which are usually the running backs. Okam says he studies enough film that he can usually tell what play the offense is running based on the formations and personnel in the game. When told that Okam was looking at receivers to know the formations, co-defensive coordinator Greg Robinson said that is above and beyond the call of Okam's duty. Okam is just now learning the nuances of technique and how to split double teams. But he's already been an impact player, consistently getting into the backfield. He leads the team in sacks (two). He's going to be good. (Courtesy Inside Texas Football of
I know, I know.

Go away now, I'm done.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

This is my country, land that I love...

Everybody! (I love sing-a-longs)

Anyway. I was obviously pleased and relieved with the result of the presidential election. Another result would have, honestly, confused me. Mainly, because I think most people are politically closer to me than to Michael Moore. Even if you're not socially conservative, which I only partly concede I am, you're probably economically conservative. Essentially, most people think that they can do a better job with their money than the government, and if you want to vote for someone with similar leanings, your best chance is the Republican. Especially in this election, how hard does one have to squint to find, "JOHN F. KERRY...Fiscal Conservative," believable. Much less, "JOHN F. KERRY...Social Conservative." Yes, I'm snickering, too.

Just look at the numbers from yesterday's entry. The President, the House, the Senate, most state governors, and most state legislatures; they all have one thing in common and it's not a love of the French nobility. Hewitt said it like this:
Looking back to 1968, the GOP has won seven of ten presidential campaigns. Carter triumphed only against an appointed Ford who carried the burden of a pardon, and Clinton won a three-way race, and struggled to a re-election far less persuasive than the Bush mandate Tuesday.

It is a Republican country, but it is very hard for the left to see this because they believe so deeply in their agenda. The emerging GOP majority had also struggled because the Supreme Court's Republican nominees have not reflected the political views of their appointers, and the Senate magnifies the power of the minority. These are good checks on sudden shifts in political direction, but eventually they are eroded by solid majorities. We have reached that time, as the next Supreme Court nomination battle will underscore.

Some might query, "If the country's so Republican, why did Kerry only lose by 3.5%?" Drumroll...come on...surely you know what's coming...that's right! The media. If you don't believe me and my numerous past rants on this topic just ask the media themselves. On July 10 the Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek--not even a mere writer but someone who might sit in on a meeting or two-- Evan Thomas told those watching the syndicated program Inside Washington that most reporters wanted a certain senator to win. He said:
“The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox — but they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all. There’s going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”
(HT - MRC)

I see. so 48% minus 15% is...ummmm....carry the wait...oh...yes, it's 33%. Or maybe he just meant 15 point to the spread. In that case it's still a 40/60 split, and that ain't close. It certainly doesn't make you think "deeply divided." The media is why many believe that Bush lost 400 tons of explosives. The media is why most of the public never heard about the Swift Boat Vets, except when Chris Matthews was spewing his vitriolic invectives. The media is why more people believe that Bush quit looking for Bin Laden but know nothing about the oil-for-food scandal. I just don't think you can discount the effect that a legacy of very liberal anchors being the main distributors or news for a 50 year period. Cronkite, Rather, Brokaw, yada, yada, yada.

I also think that there are certain groups that for reasons I don't fully understand associate the Democratic party with some by-gone era. Many elderly still believe FDR's ghost keeps watch over the party of the jack-ass...oh, sorry Mom, donkey. Uh, he doesn't. Some Baby Boomers think that the most recent "J.F.K. - D" is like THE "J.F.K. - D"...he's not. I fully believe JFK would have to run on the Republican ticket today. Tax cuts and strong defense? The Black vote I'll never understand. As a group they're much more socially conservative than I am. I assume their loyalty has something to do with LBJ and the Civil Rights Bill. I wasn't alive for any of that, but did that help that much more than when Nixon helped introduce affirmative action? The loyalty seems misplaced. The Jewish vote? I've always assumed we shared more than just a religious heritage, but what do I know.

All this to say, today there should be no question. The conservative vote is no longer a special interest; it is the public mindset.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

And the beat goes on...

...In so many ways.

First, President Bush has been re-elected. Kerry has conceded. He was defeated. Most of the polls were wrong. Zogby is officially nutso. (HT - Kerry Spot)

Second, this dead horse just keeps showing up at my door. The media still cannot control themselves. At the moment of this posting, CNN is still refusing to give Bush Ohio. Even though Kerry has, even though Pennsylvania (been blue since 9:30 last night) is closer than Ohio, even though the numbers just aren't there. Watching Wolf and Co. dance around because they had discovered the color green was a bit much. The fact that Florida stayed in the "Too close to call" column for so long is another sign. Five percentage points with only 4% of the vote outstanding is just too much to overcome. But they waited. How long did they wait for Pennsylvania, the state that is still closer than Ohio, which CNN still hasn't called? About 30 minutes I would guess. They waited longer for Colorado (7 point victory), Nevada (3 point victory), Florida (5 point victory), and Missouri (8 point victory).

We got to hear Dan Rather say fun stuff like, "We want to be the accuracy network." Yes, I did laugh out loud. Or Tom Brokaw say, "The President and his people feel as though they have won, fairly this time...." This time? Or the MSNBC Headline which read, "Four years later voters more deeply divided." Yeah, about that. Deeply divided? Keep these little nuggets in mind:
President Bush:
- Became the first President to be re-elected while gaining seats in the House and Senate since 1936 and the first Republican President since 1924 to be re-elected while re-electing Republican House and Senate majorities.
- Received 57.4 million votes - more than any other candidate in history. He broke President Reagan's 1984 mark of 54.5 million. (96% reporting)
- Increased the popular vote by seven million votes since 2000 - more than twice Clinton's increase from 1992 to 1996.
- Improved his percentage in every state except four (MD, OR, VT and WY). This includes a four percent increase in John Kerry's home state, Massachusetts. (HT -


- The GOP has 55 senators.
- The GOP has over 230 House members.
- There are at least 28 Republican governors, including those of the 4 largest states.
- The majority of state legislators and legislatures are Republican.
- The GOP has just performed miracles, like ousting a Senate caucus leader for the first time since 1952, and getting a Republican senator elected from Louisiana for the first time ever. (HT - Polipundit)

I'll submit that there are those on the polar opposite sides of the political spectrum in this country that will cause acrimony. But do those numbers above suggest that this is a divided country, or at least more divided than during the Reagan or Clinton Administrations? Maybe in the media's wishful thinking, but the vastness of the "Big Red Middle of America" suggests something very different.

I will stop now. Tired head is reaching dangerous levels. Tonight I will sleep long and peacefully.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

T minus...

Well, within the next hour or so I will leave and attempt to cast my vote for various seats, including President. Hopefully, it will be without incident. Oddly enough, even though I still feel a tinge of tension, I'm starting to gain some optimistism about the results. The polls seem to be breaking that way (except for Zogby, who will be shown to either be a genius or a nut), many Republicans are feeling good, and Democrats are...well not so much. (HT - Captains Quarters)

Also, a point that I think has some merit:
When is the last time a sitting president was rejected by the public without everyone knowing in advance that it would happen? In 1992, everyone knew Bush was going to lose. Were people surprised by Carter's 1980 loss? Ford had a late surge in 1976, but, again, everyone had to know he was going to lose. Right now, at least in the polls, most people seem to think Bush will win.

Also: When is the last time that a candidate held a decisive advantage on the issues that likely voters generally regarded as the most important ones, and still lost?

If you haven't, you should check out Daschle's melt down. A particularly entertaining blow-by-blow account by a guy in the courtroom can be found here. (HT - Hugh & Powerline)

That's all for now. Attempt to suppress my vote at your own risk.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Relief Eve

Well, tomorrow the votes will be cast. Hopefully by tomorrow night we will know who will be taking an oath in January. But it just wouldn't be my blog without a couple of these types of notes.

#1 In a shocking development. A new study released today indicates that (you're not gonna believe this) the media really hates Bush. By their own admission, most lefties don't have much of an affinity for Kerry, yet we get,"...John Kerry is getting the most favorable network news coverage of any presidential candidate in the past quarter century." More than Clinton? But everybody loved Clinton. Oh yeah, I forgot, John F. Kerry has a plan.

#2 (Also media related) Apparently, the Bin Laden tape said more than we were originally told. (HT: Powerline) Isn't this news? The fact that he didn't just say don't vote Bush, but that he said states that are tinted red on Nov. 3 should expect a visit from some "martyrs"?

#3 (Recurring theme?) I been reluctant to say anything since I heard this rumor several weeks ago, but it's getting more play. It would seem that there's now some evidence that Kerry did receive a less than honorable discharge. If the media really wanted a pre-election bombshell, that would seem to fall into the category. But it falls short on one key requirement...It must damage a Republican. We all know what CBS et al., have done with little to back up their claims about Bush's National Guard duty. How loud would they be crying if Bush then wouldn't release his military records? Which reminds me...

#4 (Maybe) NBC seems to have done some clever editing of a Kerry interview. Go here to get a quick run-down. Didn't he say in the first debate he had released all his records?

#5 (OK, trending that way, yes) Walter Cronkite is nutso...despite this moment of clarity.

#6 (Reprieve? Sorta.) If you need evidence that polling is a tad inexact just note the fact that in a poll of Wisconsin over the weekend Zogby has Kerry with a 7 point lead, Gallup has Bush with an 8 point lead. Those would both seem to be out of the margin of error. Obviously, someone is in error here. Also, in Pennsylvania, Gallup has Bush up 4, Kerry up 5. Run with that "data."

OK, I'm done, except for a possible bonus photo blog. Only one more day of pre-election tension. I'm really gonna miss it.

Friday, October 29, 2004

No news Friday

If you want to know what John F. Kerry stands for, listen to this.

In case you were wondering, Sen. Tom Harkin is certifiable...nutso.

I really don't have a whole lot else. I do find it funny what people are willing to have phone conversations about in public places. I'm sure everyone has had a eyebrow raising moment at a restaurant or store because of a unfortunate cell phone call. Many times I can't help but hear co-workers as they argue or become quite annoyed with family members. Today, as I was exiting my building for lunch, I hear the security guard talking on his phone in a very animated voice. The lobby of this particular office building has marble floors and lots of glass so it's acoustics are not what one would describe as library-esque. In the short 2-3 seconds that it took me to get from the elevator to the front door I hear this bouncing around the room,"You just go around and hate people and you don't have any reasons. Just give me one reason..." ...O...K...? Wow, the mind races. Hopefully the person on the end of the phone wasn't in the process of hating him. He seems nice enough. But the fact he was willing to cross the lines of polite, civil behavior to make such a query suggests otherwise. I wanted to stop and give him some advice. Sure he's almost twice my age, but as someone who is known widely as the most unlikeble man on the face of the earth, that question is never gonna work out for you. Also, people don't need a reason to hate. People are people. (..."so why should it be, that you and I would get along so awfully?..." Everybody!) Sorry.

Also, I feel compelled to say,"I hate Halloween." Not for any sort of religious reason. I actually think the whole "we'll call it Fallfest, or Harvest party, or some other obligatory church/school creation with a name that draws attention to the color of the leaves and make every attempt not to use the word Halloween in any form" to save the children from the "evil" effects of All Hallow's Eve is a little silly. Kids can understand make believe. I grew up calling it Halloween and still did not feel compelled to worship Satan. Or trees. Nor do I think any human can fly on a broom. Speaking of growing up. I hated Halloween as a kid, too. The same drama seemed to play out every year as I would decide I was not participating in the Trick...or Treating while my little sister grew more impatient as my mom attempted to remind me of all I would be missing. I would then capitulate, but only so the tension would end... and for the candy. I still hated it. I hated dressing up. Still do. Costumes hold no allure for me. Plus, I wasn't fond of having to beg for the candy either. Not much of a beggar. I really wanted to just look up at the patronizing adult and say,"If you want to give me the candy, you see the plastic pumpkin. If not, fine. I don't really need your candy." But I didn't. I played the part. Smiled and took my wages for looking like a fool. Sister happy, Mom happy. Halloween another 364 days away. Man, I hate Halloween.

On that note. Have a good weekend...and a happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

It was the best of times...the worst of times...

Well, last night's game brings such sweet sorrow. I have often said that the day after the last game of the World Series is one of the saddest days of the year. For that is essentially the first day in 7 months that there will not be a major league game. No game on cable to save me from a boring night. No crack of the bat in the background as I tend to various chores. I miss it already. But thank God the Sox have their championship. The whining should cease and desist immediately. Of course now we're gonna have to listen to the Cubs, but they always seemed to take it so much better.

I've always sort of had greater than average respect for Curt Schilling. His toughmindedness on the field, his willingness to take the ball in a big game, his ability to admit when he didn't live up to expectations, the fact that he will speak his mind about those he sees as prima donnas who aren't good for the sport. (See Deion Sanders, J.D. Drew, A-rod.) So after Game 6 of the ALCS when he pitched brilliantly with a case of bloody ankle, he told the world in the post-game interview, "I prayed for the strength to go out there and compete," and ..."that in Game 1 it was just me and you saw the result, I failed, but tonight was God..." (paraphrase). Well, my level of respect and admiration for him shot through the roof.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes. Another athlete invoking God. But this seemed more than the obligatory running back doing the half-second prayer in the end-zone. This seemed real; it seemed authentic. Do I believe God cares about a baseball game? No, not really. I think he does care when anyone does their best and makes sacrifices and gives all the glory to him. I'm sure on that very cold and damp night, his ankle was killing him. But he had a job to do, he had a team that needed him. He excelled in some trying circumstances and gave the glory to God. It would have been easy to just say thank you and go on, but he didn't. I think that's what God asks of all of us. Maybe a teammate recognizes his sacrifice, his willingness to accept great discomfort for their common cause and give a thought to looking into his faith. Maybe some fan saw the interview and had a thought creep into his head. But even if they didn't, Schilling felt an obligation to give credit to his God, and not keep it for himself, and that doesn't happen much these days.

Of course today on ABC's "Good Morning America," Schilling said, "Tell everybody to vote. And vote Bush next week." (HT : Powerline) Needless to say, I love Curt Schilling.

Unfortunately, now I have to wait 5 months for a chance to root for him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I don't want to, they make me

Amazingly, both Kerry and the NYTimes are sticking to their "Bush let weapons/explosives -- but not weapons/explosives that could be defined as WMDs, but that are nonetheless very dangerous in the hands of terrorists, but would not have been dangerous in the hands of Saddam -- get stolen" guns. Just go here and read this. Honestly, it makes me a little nauseous. It makes other people sick, too. Honestly, if it doesn't bother you, there's something wrong.

The Times and CBS are taking partisan hackery to a new level. As someone to whom such a monicker has been attached--ahem--they put me to shame. I guess I'm called such because I'm perceived to tow the "party line" on issues, even though there are several areas of disagreement with myself and the Republican party. On this little site I do not play it down the middle, I claim to support a side and let my opinions be known. I make claims, but I also attempt to always provide links to corresponding data or news articles. I hope any time I am factually in error, that someone would point it out.

On the other hand, you have the New York Times and CBS. Two "reputable" and award winning news organizations. They're so steeped in news lore that they have nicknames. So presented with a story the week before the election that could (even though weakly) hurt the President, they run with it. Do they fact check what the source is telling them? Do the do a Lexis/Nexis search? Do they even do a Google search? Did anyone think to just ask others in the news organization if they've ever done a story on this this location? Do they have editors? After realizing that there were some large inconsistencies in the story, do they begin to soften their stance? Do they try to balance the story with the contradictory information? Do they note that the main source for the story has a motive to politically harm the President? Do they issue a retraction? Or do they report the day after "breaking" the months old story, that it's now a election issue on the front page? (*Answers provided below.)

Yes, and I'm the partisan hack.

(* No,No,No,No,Apparently Not,No,No,No,No,Yes.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

Well, here we are again. I know you probably think I'm feigning shock every time something like this happens. But each instance makes me more incredulous that an organization cannot learn from previous, well documented, mistakes. I speak of the newest media scandal. CBS, NYTimes, 60 minutes, missing explosives, blah, blah, blah. You can get good analysis if you go here, here, or here. The part that bothers me the most, check that, one aspect that I don't think will get the proper attention is the fact that the Kerry campaign already had a new ad ready to go corresponding to this "report"...just like last time with "Favorite Son." Another thing is that there seems to be a lot of chumminess between news organizations that I thought were competing with each other.....and then with the Democratic party...but like I said, just more of the same. Ho-hum.

Ok, so in response to a request not to write about what I just wrote about, a PSA for one dude who I just had an hour long conversation about the exact topic which I stumbled upon. ( HT - instapundit) Gay marriage. A new NYTimes article states that, "Bush Says His Party Is Wrong to Oppose Gay Civil Unions" Even though I'm just now reading this, it seems very similar to my own position on the topic. My position in a nutshell. I believe marriage is a religious institution. Ergo, homosexuals cannot be "married". But the government recognizes marriage and, I believe, confers certain privileges to those that are married. If others who are not married want those same privileges, I guess there should be a way to get them. But it's not called marriage, because that is between a man and a woman.(Go here for a decent review)

Of course, none of this seems to tackle the real issue for me. That would be should government, especially at the federal level, be involved with marriage? I would say no. But I'm guessing that ship has already sailed.


Monday, October 25, 2004

The more things change....

Quick Hits!

In shocking, shocking news, Kerry lied. He lied in the 2nd debate about meeting with various members of the UN security council. Couple of problems...well mainly one, they weren't there,"Around the big table" as Kerry is want to claim.( HT - Little Green Footballs

In other shocking, shocking news, Kerry lied. He lied about being at a baseball game. Game 6 of the '86 World Series when he was actually still in Boston (the game was at Shea) at a fundraiser or somesuch. This one really offends me. I can understand (somewhat) a politico fibbing about something that they did that might prove a certain point or show them more qualified...blah, blah, blah. But about baseball? Good God man! Have you no shame?! Both of these cases do display one of Kerry's scarier abilities. To lie about something that is easily verifiable. Ain't Lexis/Nexis a Be-outch.

Moving along...following my post that some members of the media just don't get Christianity; one in which I wrote, "[s]incere religious belief is the first sign of mental weakness for them," we get this. (HT - Lileks) Bill Maher thinks anyone who believes in God is nuts and/or knuckle dragging dumb. Shocker.
"To me, to me it's a real dividing line between people of intelligence and -- not that there haven't been some intelligent people who are religious. I mean, T.S. Elliott was a great poet and he became a very devout Catholic... But I always call religion a neurological disorder. I really do believe that. I mean it's not criticizing. I'm just saying if you took religion out of it and somebody went to a psychiatrist and said you know I believe in you know this crazy, illogical thing, the shrink would say, well you have a neurological disorder. And you need to really get therapy or take a pill."

He's not criticizing, though. He also thinks Canadians should be glad they're not Americans. So go figure.

Next on the hit parade. "The Guardian", of Brit fame, had some sort of pseudo-media column endorsing the assassination of President Bush. They took down the article, go read it here. And here to read the weak apology. Even if it is a joke, which I might concede, it still shouldn't be dispersed by a news organization. If it's a really unfunny joke, that is offensive and makes you wander if the teller of said joke is right in the head, it shouldn't be made anywhere. Much less defended. Which is what is happening. There are some things which no one should have a sense of humor, and this would seem to fall into that category. And even if you do, rest assured the Secret Service does not.

Not so quick hits...over.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Take your poll and ...

Sox and Cards...I think I can deal with that...though, is anything not a let down after that Yankee's series?

Anywho...yesterday me and a buddy were checking out the website while on the phone (Gay/Not Gay? I know...) and stumbled upon one of their nefarious claims (Yes, I know all their claims are nefarious, but we need to focus) that the long revered Gallup poll is actually being skewed. The reason? (Get ready to connect the dots.) The reason is the son of the guy (George Gallup, Sr. died in 1984) who founded the poll is a Christian who was quoted as saying that, "The most profound purpose of polls is to see how people are responding to God." Sound the bias alarms! Couple of problems, other than the strained logic of the claim, that can be summed up in this quote from the NYtimes, no less:
What the advertisement did not say was that Mr. Gallup, who retired in May, is not involved in the company's political polling and made those comments in reference to his specialty and main interest - polling people on their religious beliefs.

So the ad might have been misleading.

Then I decided to do a little of my own research. I looked at the Gallup poll results from around the first of September to the present. First just look at Bush's numbers from that time:
- 48 52 54 49 48 52.
Nothing from that line seems all that shocking. Now Kerry's:
- 46 45 40 49 49 44.
I think you would agree that the 5 point drop was not as staggering as the 9 point gain. But the 5 point Kerry drop with the very moderate 2 point Bush gain is what drew the ire of the "principled" But before we leave the horribly inaccurate attempts of Gallup, let's compare it to another poll. The ABCNews/Washington Post of the same period. They seem to have done one less poll in that time but still...first Bush's numbers:
- 48 52 51 48 51
Then Kerry:
- 48 43 45 48 45
Hmmmm. They seem somewhat similar to me. You see Bush's support rise, then fall, but the begin to rise. Kerry's seems to fall, spike, but then begin another down tick. Some people might call these trends, but I won't be so bold. My point would be, if Gallup is so flawed, isn't ABC/WashPost? So where's the outrage? Where's the full-page ads in USAToday? Nowhere. Why? Because they were specious and misleading (verging on slanderous) to begin with. It was an example of complainers looking for something to complain about, whether it had merit or not. And this one would seem to find itself safely in the "Not" category. (NOTE: All poll numbers can be found here. If you don't like my research, do your own.)

As a final word, I generally don't like polls. I don't tend to trust them no matter what they say. Plus, there is quite a bit of evidence that polls haven's got a complete grasp on how to represent the modern voter.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ding-Dong, the Witch is dead...

Before getting to should read this by a guy who is an atheist and entitles his entry,"WHY I WON’T VOTE FOR BUSH." (HT: VodkaPundit)

Now to important things...the freaking Sawks did it. Unbelievable. I watched the last 2 1/2 to 3 innings with my buddy on the phone (Gay/Not Gay?...I know) and when the final out was recorded I said we've just seen the impossible. He replied with,"Or was it?"....Good point. But good gosh. With the win, they became the 3rd team in 239 attempts to come back after being down 3-0. The other two were in hockey. So basically, it's the first time it's ever happened in an American sport.A-rod's embarrassed. He-he. GOOD! He has a lot to be embarrassed for, and some of it even involves his play. That sissy slap in game 6 should be entered into the vaults. What a prima donna. A new curse? We get another game 7 tonight...delish. Now we can root for Houston to give us a Texas/Massachusetts World Series and listen to the pundits attempt to kill us with some very bad jokes.

Oh, and one more question. ARE YOU NOT SO UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLY BASEBALL? I AM, I AM. Uh-huh.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I'm So Baseball, are You So Baseball?

Everything is so baseball!!!!
Sorry for the lateness, stuff happens. Game 6 of the NLCS is about to begin, but I'm sure if anyone talks about "the game" they will be referring to game 7 of the ALCS. Game 7? Are you kidding me? Tell me baseball is not great...go ahead! What other sport could continue play with 40 cops in riot gear on the playing field? I dare you to hold a football game with paratroopers milling about the 20. The NBA couldn't even handle one extra meter maid...sissy sport. And now there is the possibility that Bawsten could send A-Rod home without his World Series. Sweet justice! At one point I stated I didn't really care who won this series because I wanted them both to lose equally. New York because, well, they're the Yankees. Boston because their fans have actually reached a level of annoying not seen since, well, the Yankees. But now...Go SOX! Witnessing the deflation of that many people who deserve a little less air is too much to pass up.

That's all I got today...don't like it? Well, I'm sorry but what can you do when the world is so freaking baseball?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Um, um, good.

Today, I will leave the politics to you.

I just want to say, last night was baseballiscious. Every pitch from the 7th inning on of the Yankees/Sox clash was a story all it's own. And I stayed until that 471st, and last, pitch. Of course, commercials afforded me the ability to catch some of the Backe/Williams duel. Thank God I got to see the Beltran catch. Humans should not be able to do things like that, but it was a breathtaking site to behold. Last night I was reminded what makes baseball something to be cherished. I was also reminded that majors leaguers lack some fundamentals. "Lay down a bunt, already!" But baseball is baseball and that, by golly, was some freaking baseball.

Also, as I mentioned in yesterday's bonus photo blog, I was in a wedding on Saturday. I realized something about weddings. We all know that men hate weddings. The over/under of guys in attendance happy to be there is generally gonna be around 2 1/2. The groom (maybe), the father of the bride (also, maybe, depending on the perceived jerkiness/earning ratio of the groom), and the father of the groom (probably, but approaching indifference). The groomsmen are pretty much focused on not screwing up while daydreaming about what they could have done with the $80-100 they blew on a tux rental and longing for the moment the shiny, plastic shoes come off. Every other guy there is basically planning his exit strategy or implementing it. No guy wants to go to a wedding, he agrees to go...for various motives, both selfish and otherwise. I think, essentially, I don't like anything that is mainly ceremonial. According to Webster's: Ceremony - An act or series of acts, often of a symbolical character, prescribed by law, custom, or authority, in the conduct of important matters, as in the performance of religious duties, the transaction of affairs of state, and the celebration of notable events. Yes, I love doing anything that has no value except for the fact that it provides photo album fodder.

But that's not what I realized. I already knew that. My epiphany was on why girls love weddings so. I took stock. I saw that the bride was dressed in a very expensive gown. I realized that the groom was wearing clothes that the bride told him to wear. I realized I was wearing the clothes the bride told me to wear. I realized the bridesmaids were wearing the clothes that the bride told them to wear. Basically, the bride was having a party thrown in her honor that we were basically required to attend, where she got to tell her friends and her boyfriend's friends how to dress, got to pick out all the decorations and food, receive gifts, and then have the whole "event" chronicled by a professional photographer. And of course, no one can say nary a peep. What a dream.

A man's dream would be very different, and would never include a unity candle. But that's just one guy's opinion.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Bonus Coverage...Photo Blogging

And you just thought I was done for today.
This weekend I was in a wedding at my own church. While there, I took some pictures...not of the wedding, but of the construction that is happening. My church is in the process of building an underground parking garage with a 3 story building on top. As you can see from the pictures, the hole is quite large...and deep(Deep and wide, deep and wide, there's a fountain flowing deep and wide...everybody!). Some of the garage structure is already underway.

Church and construction Posted by Hello

The big hole Posted by Hello

Garage Floor being built Posted by Hello

They Don't Get It...Or I Don't Get It...

I read Lileks first thing this morning, like I do every morning. He talked about a NYTimes piece (I know! I know! I shouldn't read the rag, but I can't help myself) that addresses Bush's faith and how it, essentially, made him short-sided on all decisions. Too certain, you see. Read it here. I dare you. It's a test of stamina.

Our author (Ron Suskind) paints a picture of a president who is...well...dumb. (Shocker) But not only that, he's blinded by his religious faith. He quotes Bruce Barlet,a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush ,"He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence." Yes, that is the 'whole thing' about faith. I have neither observed nor experienced any reason to believe in my God. Someone just mentioned it to me once, and I thought,"Hey, why waste time with rational thought when I can make my life come up roses by just professing belief in some higher power."

You can just see Mr. Suskind rolling his eyes when he writes about one Bush supporter who said, "I prayed, then I got to work." Or speaking about his trepidation of speaking at a large rally that he "...looked to God" and said what was in his heart. And after hearing that at the rally despite Bush's verbal miscues the Christian crowd "got him", we get to the rub...finally:
"And for those who don't get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. "You think he's an idiot, don't you?" I said, no, I didn't. "No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!" In this instance, the final "you," of course, meant the entire reality-based community."

Again, he nailed it...the "you" is "reality-based" people. No, the "you" is snotty, liberal journalists who only think a church's use is for weddings and funerals. "You" is those who live in about five square mile in the middle a New York who think they're qualified to speak for all Americans. You is someone who whould choose to insult so-called "faith-based" people by making their opposite not "secular-based" but..."reality-based". But it is true, they don't get it. As annoying it is that East Coast elitists can't fathom any clear thinking individual's support of Bush; the sad, and more important, fact is that they really don't get Christians. Sincere religious belief is the first sign of mental weakness for them. Claiming to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is a concept they equate to a punchline. They just don't understand. I guess it's not really their fault...but it is. They lack the ability to give someone with a differing view respect. The minute you claim to be a Christian, especially of the evangelical variety, they have visions of the nut house. I actually consider what God thinks of my actions and my decisions before I make them. That means that I don't always act out of my best interests, or even those around me. I'm sure I'm not batting 1.000. Sometimes I get my will confused with God's, but I hope that all my decisions are the same ones God would make. On those occasions when I do err, I pray that God will jerk me back on course. The fact that someone who might think like that is in the White House scares them to no end.

Lileks said it like this: "The problem some people have with Bush isn't that he believes in God, it's that he really believes in God. To a certain stratum of our intelligentsia, you're supposed to believe in God like you believe in continental drift, or the tides, or the yearly reappearance of Shamrock Shakes at McDonald's. The idea that it's a two-way conversation strikes many as nonsense, proof that we're dealing with someone two steps removed from worshipping the moon...It varies, shall we say. For every believer who feels compelled to drop to his knees you have a Gene Hackman-style priest from "The Poseidon Adventure," yelling at God. Rational people can have many different manifestations of faith, and it's a failure of imagination to think there's but one way." And that's why I say it's not their fault but it is. You can't fully understand if you don't share this belief, but its a complete "failure of imagination" to think no one else should...or could.

Suskind ends his tome with a short dialogue with Jim Wallis that goes thusly:
JW - "Where people often get lost is on this very point,'' he said after a moment of thought. ''Real faith, you see, leads us to deeper reflection and not -- not ever -- to the thing we as humans so very much want."
RS - And what is that?
JW - "Easy certainty."
To that I say,"I couldn't disagree more." If my faith offers me one thing, it is certainty. Assurance that this life is temporal; that my eternity is secure. That there is right and wrong, good and evil, and that you can tell the difference. That I have a purpose and a meaning that trumps any this world can offer. But certainty in today's parlance equals intolerance, and intolerance equals hate.

They just don't understand. They don't understand how you can recognize truth and act on it. Believe God is real and trust in it. Hear the word of Jesus and endeavor to live it.

Friday, October 15, 2004

More of the Same

I don't know that I have a whole lot...

First, the furor over Kerry making lesbian family members of political opponents acceptable campaign fodder continues. I read much on it. If you want go here, here, or here. I saw this comment to a story on a "subsidiary" website: and deemed it better than anything I could think up on:
"When speaking on the need for a better health care system, Kerry could have used Elizabeth Edwards as an example of an America that is becoming too fat.

When talking about his family he could have mentioned that he has his problems raising teenagers -- "Hey look, my daughter went to France wearing a see-through dress." He might have even got a laugh line out of it.

He could have mentioned Al Gore's son who was busted for pot while speeding down the highway.

When talking about education Kerry could have mentioned sex education and used Andrew Sullivan as an example of gays who still insist on having unprotected sex with anonymous partners.

When talking about his religious beliefs, there was nothing stopping Kerry from acknowledging the kind heartedness of the Catholic Church for annulling a marriage that had produced 2 children.

When mentioning Cheney's daughter, Kerry could have just as easily provided equal time to Richard Gehphardt's lesbian daughter, and talked about the travails of Barney Frank and Frank's bf. He could even have mentioned Ronald Reagan's dear friend, Rock Hudson.

The only reason the Liberals are not claiming foul is because their hatred of George W. Bush far outweighs any sense of common decency that sane people have. I think it's funny that the only way they have of responding to this is to accuse conservatives of hating gays. You guys are so nuanced." by Anonymous (see it

Next. I wrote recently that I don't detest Democrats for their beliefs as much as I do for their tactics. It seems the latest vote fraud development has sent others over the edge. Read this post by Vodkapundit. Though our politics might coincide at times, something tells me that someone who describes themselves as a "political slut" wouldn't always be on the same side of a debate as myself. Either way, he's tired of the Demos "strategies".

Finally, apparently the NYTimes refuses even to give an Archbishop a fair shake. He states he was misquoted by the Times as they attempted to paint him as a Bush supporter. Which he denies...the also reminds that such a stance could cost the Catholic church a great deal (Tax-exempt status). I guess the Times checked with Mary Beth Cahill and found out that shaping quotes of religious leaders for political reasons is "fair game".

Thursday, October 14, 2004

19 Days until relief...

I didn't see the whole debate last night, basically the last half-hour. I then saw CNN's post-debate and bit of NBC's. Yuck. I especially enjoy their "Fact-checking" feature... As if they know how.

Let's just say there is a disagreement about who won or lost the debate. Shockingly, mass-media and their polls have it one way and pretty much everyone else saw it differently. When will the surprises end?

In other post debate news, Lynne Cheney is not happy. And I can't imagine her mood improving after Elizabeth Edwards responded. (HT: KerrySpot)
I'm gonna expect more media/Democratic hypocrisy, just like with the cartoons from yesterday (scroll down). No cries of outrage, no demands of an apology, just, "What's the big deal?"

Oh, and speaking of other ways in which Demos apply their high-minded ethics, we have this. Basically, the "Cry Wolf Strategy". Genius, if you don't mind 3rd grade level pettiness. Voter fraud, race-baiting, gay-baiting, and trashing of opposition offices...the party of the people, indeed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


There's some interesting stuff in the news. Most on which I care not to comment...instead close your eyes and comment to yourself. (If it seems good, re-close your eyes and imagine you read it here.)

I did see these, though. Look at this. (funny?) Then this. (Same question.)

Without commenting on the possible(probable) offensive nature. Once again, just ask yourself the question(Man, your having to do a lot a work today). If the subject depicted in those works were Democrats, would you have to come to some spare blog to find out about it? (I just walked to the window, and oddly enough, a flock of geese were flying by in a formation that read,"NO!" Talented, those geese. Very media savvy, too.)

Oh, and one last note. I may be switching my vote. After John Edward's remarks yesterday on how medical science could be transformed, my chances of playing Major League Baseball may not be over if John F. Kerry becomes President. He knows how to improve humans...what a maroon.

The "artist" of the political cartoon linked above, Jeff Danziger, has removed it from his site. Also, shockingly, he's sydicated by the New York Times Syndicate. They have also removed it from their site and apparently replaced it with a photo of a black man...odd. Anyway, here's a link to a site that had the cartoon saved.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Nuisance of the Media

Maybe I've just been looking at it all wrong. Maybe John F. Kerry is on to something here. I can't expect to change the media, just push it to the back burner. But before I reach that state of "nirvana", a simple question. Why wasn't John Howard's victory in Australia reported? I guess it's just not news. All the major media punditry foreboding of what his loss might mean for Bush, now has no thoughts on if Howard's win means anything for Bush. I no doubt can guess what their answer would be.

Moving on...I've been reading some stuff today on the nature of the enemy (terrorist) and how Briton and others decided to pander to that morally devoid enemy in attempts to save the life of Kenneth Bigley before he was beheaded. The British government, Irish government, prominent Muslims, Yasser Arafat, and even the profound words of Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) were fruitless in their hopes of reasoning with the terror-mongers. The explaination that this peaceful wanderer's life presented no threat to there cause and did not deserve to die was not enough. What they failed to realize was, as The Belmont Club pegged, "...[n]ot only is it impossible to put a rational construction on these events, it is a waste of time to try. Bigley thought he was too old; the school children in Beslan thought they were too young; the French journalists thought they were too French to be the victims of terrorism. And they were wrong. Wrong because they assumed that enemy intent rather than capability was the limiting factor to their mayhem. It is an odd statistical fact that fewer Americans have died from terrorist attacks in Iraq than Iraqi children...and not because the terrorists are eager to "show the world the justice and mercy which Islam teaches us" but because they cannot kill more." (Read the whole article here.)

I think this is a truth that the esteemed John F. Kerry will always fail to grasp. He thinks talking will buttress our safety because sooner or later we can assuage the "root" of the problem. Terrorism is not "prostitution and illegal gambling", or even drug trafficking. The evil that is manifested because of those problems is because of greed. Their intent is to attain money. Terrorists only care about money because it can assist them to kill more. If they cared more about something other than making sure that Islamic fascism was the law of the land, they would have let Mr. Bigley go. For showing mercy would given their "supporters" something to use, evidence that they can be reasoned with. But they don't. They see an infidel, and they only wish for one result, the consequences be damned.

Hopefully the consequence will be that the world sees that those who live by the sword, only understand the sword.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Bang the Drum Slowly

Good day. I working on very little sleep here, so I've already laid blame for the moment you get done reading this and say,"What was that?"

...Ok. I honestly can't believe I'm returning to this subject, I have truly believed each time I address it, that would be it. Like here. As you are aware, I find the mainstream media increasingly biased and partisan. It becomes more apparent that they have chosen a side, but more importantly, they can't keep their opinion out of their reporting. Actually, I wish that was the case. Now they have taken to shaping the news and changing their standard operating procedure based on which candidate is talking and rely on it...remember this? And now we have this masterpiece.

In a nutshell, "...ABCNEWS Political Director Mark Halperin admonishes ABC staff: During coverage of Democrat Kerry and Republican Bush not to "reflexively and artificially hold both sides 'equally' accountable." So, I guess everyone else has been right, and I've been wrong. The media does treat ideological opposites equal in spirit, just not in a "reflexively and artificially" viewed reality. Are you serious? Once again, the fact that a high ranking member of a major news organization would have these sort of feelings is not the surprise. His willingness to write it down and boldness in distributing it is. It brings me back to the pervasive world view describe in
Bias by Bernard Goldberg. Basically, the point-of-view is so ingrained that most members of the media don't ever stop to realize that there is a differing opinion. It's not necessarily willful, although in this case it think the manifestation is "quite grave", but essentially a myopic ignorance. A belief that there's no need to represent or consider an opposing view because the thought of there existing a human who might hold that view is as foreign as espousing the health benefits of cream gravy. (And no, I don't know any either, but I'll never quit looking.)

Of course, I also believe that those who choose not the regard this as a problem, also have a problem. I believe that a pillar to keeping us free, to protecting democracy and ensuring that this country continues to employ a respectable government is the sharing of information, especially the practices of federal entities. But when these activities, or the motives for these activities are painted by the media in a certain light, without respect paid to other possibilities...when the press makes the decision what is right or wrong and then reports a story in an attempt to support it's belief or to gain backers; that degrades ability to make the proper choice at the polls. If the information has been filtered to the point that the truth is as unbelievable as the lie is believably, we've got a problem. But really it doesn't even need to get to that point. If we can't trust the media to report the news, and not someone's version of the news, then we can't trust anything they report

Well, the seed is taking root. Isolated incidents don't happened once a week. These events are not the fruit of accident or misunderstanding. They are fundamentally wrong for they fly in the face of what the art of journalism should be. Political "journalists" are no longer viewed as purveyors of truth but something a half-rung above the movie critic...except the critic can't effect the outcome of the movie.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Back in the Prediction Business

First, sorry for the lateness of this post, if anyone even noticed...

Two predictions. One which only a few will care about. The Texas Longhorns will show up tomorrow. I expect a nail biter. And oh please, dear Lord, Texas will pull it out.

Number 2. Bush will win this debate tonight. He should be loaded for bear. Obviously, the media continues to paint this week's report as a bad thing for Bush. The problem is, in the end , it refutes everything that Kerry has been proposing as an option to the "Bush Doctrine." The U.N. is just as big a joke as CBSNews at this point. The curtain has been pulled back and the wizard has oil vouchers poking out of every pocket (I imagine something similar to the Monopoly guy, except instead of empty pockets, he's blushing as he cowers with his full pockets).

Kerry obviously doesn't get it. Or maybe he does, but has no recourse. There is only one way to deal with people (I use that term loosely) who view a school on the first day of classes as a strategic target, and school children as combatants. And that way is not by sitting down at any table, and not by hoping some mainland European naysayer changes their mind. I'm sorry, but anyone...ANYONE who thinks differently is a moron. Not capable of cogent, rational thought. Fascist tyrants are fascist tyrants for a reason. And it's not for their reasonableness. Terrorists are just fascist tyrants without a flag and an army behind them. Anyone who hopes Europe will step in and save the day should remember they have proven themselves to be proficient at handwringing and appeasement and that's about it. This whole argument is really quite foolish.

This is no longer a world that affords us the ability to deal exclusively with nations that care about the potential political fall-out. Terrorists and rogue nations driven by the urge to deal the "Great Satan" (aka USA) a debilitating blow don't care about such matters. In fact, most are already operating under sanctions and strained political relations. THEY DON'T CARE! But...but a dead terrorist is one that has a serious obstacle to overcome.

Whew...well, sorry for the, I'm not sorry, that felt good.