Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
Yes, I do miss him.
Hat tip: Powerline
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Have you ever bought a product after seeing an infomercial where that product looks so amazingly impressive that you simply must have it? It’s OK, you can admit it– that desire to buy something you see in an infomercial happens to all of us at some point in our life. Whether it is a beauty product, juicer, set of knives, a unique multi-faceted tool, or a cleaning product; sometimes the effusive salespeople and infomercial advertisers make the product look so completely indispensable that you simply know you cannot pass it up. So, as you pick up the phone, you know buying the product will enhance your life and you are certain will be delighted by the results.
The excitement of the purchase continues as you await the package landing on your doorstep. You open it up. Use the product. And that, is when the disappointment sets in. The product either doesn’t work or it doesn’t work the way it did on TV. The excitement turns to disappointment and then despair as you realize: you were hoodwinked. And, then you get mad.
This is a natural feeling when you feel that you were sold something that turned out to not be what you thought it would be. That is where many of the Obama voters are at today and why Democrat politicians across this great nation are fearful of taking the brunt of the anger over the product that people were sold and did not like. Democrats on the ballot are fearful that it is they, not Obama, who will be dealing with returns on the product that they partnered with President Obama to sell to Americans.
Read the whole thing.
Friday, October 08, 2010
Even as Speaker Nancy Pelosi twisted arms for the final votes to pass her climate bill in June 2009, Democrats feared they might be "BTU'd." Many of them recalled how Al Gore had forced the House to vote in 1993 for an energy tax, a vote Democrats later blamed for helping their 1994 defeat.
The politics isn't the same this time around. This time, it's much, much worse.
Ask Rick Boucher, the coal-country Democrat who for nearly 30 years has represented southwest Virginia's ninth district. The 64-year-old is among the most powerful House Democrats, an incumbent who hasn't been seriously challenged since the early 1980s. Mr. Boucher has nonetheless worked himself onto this year's list of vulnerable Democrats. He managed it with one vote: support for cap and trade.
Anger over the BTU tax was spread across the country in 1994; the tax hit everything, even nuclear and hydropower. And the anger was wrapped into general unhappiness with Clinton initiatives. Some Democrats who voted for BTU but otherwise distanced themselves from the White House were spared. Mr. Boucher, for instance.
Cap and trade is different. The bill is designed to crush certain industries, namely coal. As coal-state voters have realized this, the vote has become a jobs issue, and one that is explosive. It is no accident that Democrats face particularly tough terrain in such key electoral states as Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. They are being laser-targeted for their votes to kill home-state industries.
As the article goes on to point out, Mr. Boucher's position on cap and trade (including his authorship of the legislation) may prove to be his undoing:
Mr. Boucher sensed danger earlier this year and has run right: He voted against ObamaCare and has a newfound love for Bush tax cuts. But he's in a defensive crouch on the main issue, reduced to excuses for his cap-and-trade vote. A top one is the old chestnut that he got involved to make the bill better. He points to money he had inserted for "clean coal," and has somehow spun his work into an ad claiming he "took on his own party" to "protect coal jobs" in the, ahem, "energy" bill.
Yet as the race has tightened, the Boucher campaign has looked more desperate. It nitpicked the Americans for Job Security ad and demanded TV stations pull it. The union bosses for United Mine Workers of America had to step up, inviting Mr. Boucher to keynote a picnic to try to shore up coal workers. He's newly passionate about reining in an anti-coal EPA.
Mr. Boucher appears to still lead, but with a GOP wave building, no Democrat with an anti-job vote against his own constituents is safe. Virginia's ninth has already delivered one of the lessons of 2010: Cap-and-trade policy is terrible. Cap-and-trade politics is deadly.
Hat tip: Powerline
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I was supposed to be attending a meeting in Bala Cynwyd (just outside of Philadelphia) on 9/11. My wife and two daughters (ages 4 and 5) went up a few days early to explore the Amish country as well as downtown Philadelphia. We had had a great time visiting an area that we had never visited before. But that Tuesday morning everything would change - in ways far greater than we could have ever imagined.
The day started normally enough. My meeting was supposed to start at 9:00 so I headed downstairs to the hotel restaurant early to eat breakfast. My wife and daughters were a little later getting ready.
Our meeting started on time and was underway for about an hour before taking our first break of the morning. Many of the folks in this meeting were from New York. While we were on the break, several guys tried to call the office but couldn't get through. One of them finally decided to call the operator and see what was wrong with the telephone lines. He would be the first one to share the news with us: the World Trade Center had been hit. Another person came in and said it was the Pentagon. It would be a few minutes before we realized that it was both.
By the time we managed to get a TV brought into the conference room we were able to see the replay of the South tower being hit. Moments later it collapsed. It took all of us only a split second to decide we needed to go home. The fourth airliner, United flight 93, would crash in Western Pennsylvania within the next few minutes.
My wife had taken the kids next door to Denny's to eat breakfast. A waitress told her that the Pentagon had been hit. Her sister's husband often worked at the Pentagon. Was he there? Frantically, she was calling her unable to get through. It would be much, much later before we found out he wasn't there and was completely safe.
My wife came back to the hotel not knowing how to find me. At the time, I didn't carry a cellphone (I have ever since). She was in the lobby trying to call her sister when I finally came upstairs. I looked at her and said "We're going home".
At the time we lived in Richmond, VA, almost directly due south along Interstate 95 from Philadelphia. Under normal circumstances, it would have taken about five hours to drive home. But Washington, DC is directly on Interstate 95. Due to the attack at the Pentagon, Washington was completely locked down. Our only choice was to head west and then south in a long circle along interstates through Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virgina. It was a long drive home.
As we were leaving the hotel we turned on the local news on our radio. The mayor of Philadelphia was holding a press conference announcing the evacuation of the city. Everyone was being ordered home since at that time we didn't know where the hijackers intended to fly United 93. It was reasonable to assume that Philadelphia was a target.
One thing was clear: we were at war. We weren't sure yet who was responsible but we knew we had been attacked. The peaceful setting of Lancaster County was strangely appealing. Surely whoever this was wouldn't attack the Amish. We would be safe there, wouldn't we?
As we drove on there was this eerie feeling of not knowing what to expect next. Would there be further attacks? Who was responsible? Why had they attacked us?
Our daughters tahnkfully were oblivious to what was happening. At least until the announcement was made that Walt Disney World had closed (we had made our first visit as a family the previous year). Then it registered with them that something was wrong.
Everywhere we stopped along the way home people seemed to be trying to carry on with life as normal even though they all knew that life would never be normal again. Everything had changed.
By late afternoon we had made it to Harrisonburg, VA (about 3 1/2 hours from home). At first we thought we would just find a hotel room and spend the night but there were none to be found. Greyhound had ordered all their buses to stop wherever they were and as a result people had to find hotel rooms. Everything was closing down: restaurants, stores, shopping malls were all closed. We managed to find a gas station that was still open. When I went in to pay there was the extra edition of the local paper with the photo of the burning towers above the fold. This was not just a bad dream. This was real.
As we left Harrisonburg and headed towards home I can remember the eerie sight of a single jet plane crossing the sky. I knew it was a military plane since all civilian aircraft had been grounded much earlier in the day. This is what it felt like to be at war.
We eventually made it home safely that evening. But we knew that everything had changed. A couple days later we got another grim reminder of just how serious things were.
Where we lived, we never saw military traffic. But around 9:00 one evening just a few days after the attacks we were buzzed twice in the span of a couple of minutes by a pair of F-14 fighter jets. It was yet another reminder that we were truly at war.
There would be other reminders, as well. I went to Las Vegas for a meeting a couple of months later (a meeting that was originally supposed to take place the week after 9/11). The sight of armed soldiers patrolling the airport was a clear sign that things had changed.
While I was in Las Vegas I stayed at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino. As the name suggests, the hotel is supposed to remind one of the New York skyline. Even three months after 9/11, there was a memorial of flowers, posters, and messages of support for the police, firefighters, and people of New York City. I couldn't help but be struck by the sight.
Driving by the Pentagon several months after 9/11 and getting to see firsthand the devastation caused by the terrorists would be yet another grim reminder of the war we had been dragged into by our attackers.
I can't forget no matter how hard I try. We should never forget for this is why we fight.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Finally, homeschooling will offer your child the opportunity to learn far more than he or she can in a public school setting. The reason that homeschool students typically perform better on those standardized tests is that they are getting a broader education that is more tailored to their needs and their learning style than a public school ever can be.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
After managing 23 seasons, winning one World Series and three Manager of the Year Awards, Lou Piniella has decided to retire after finishing the season with the Cubs.
Piniella, who turns 67 on Aug. 28, issued a statement on Tuesday, saying he wanted to enter a new phase in his life.
"I couldn't be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ballclub," Piniella said in his statement. "I've had four wonderful years here that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
"I've grown to love the city and the fans, but at my age, it will be time to enter a new phase in my life," he said. "It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family -- my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love."
Pinella's contract was due to expire at the end of the season and there had been extensive speculation swirling around the Cubs whether he would stay on after this year. No doubt the team's lack of success this year had to be a factor.
Two questions: First, who will be his successor? Ryne Sandberg is the sentimental favorite but if Joe Torre decides not to re-sign with the Dodgers at the end of the season he could be the top candidate. Second, will Lou Pinella be elected to the Hall of Fame? I think the answer is yes, eventually, he will get in but with Bobby Cox retiring this year and Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa both shoe-ins for the Hall as soon as they retire he may be waiting a little while for the call from Cooperstown.
Thanks for the memories, Lou. It's been a great ride.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Kranz would several times throughout the rescue effort have to focus his people on the fundamental problems facing them. He was the one who coined the phrase "Failure is not an option" and made that his team's slogan. He also focused his team on the goal which was getting the astronauts home and didn't get caught up in assigning blame for the accident. He knew there would plenty of time to sort that out later on.
President Obama could learn a thing or to from Gene Kranz. Perhaps if he had handled the oil spill the same way Kranz handled the explosion aboard Apollo 13 there would be a lot less oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
In 1984, John Fogerty was trying to make a musical comeback with his album, Centerfield. He didn't know at the time the album would end up being a huge hit. The title track was his love song to baseball. He didn't think that would get much airplay. He was wrong. It was an immediate sensation and was played at ballparks everywhere. More importantly, it's been the opening song played at the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony for the past 10 years. On July 25, the Hall of Fame will honor the song during this year's induction ceremony. If baseball didn't already have an anthem in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" then "Centerfield" would certainly be it.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
On my very first trip to Wrigley Field, I got to join in with the crowd and the king of the anthem, Harry Caray in singing the song during the 7th inning stretch. Caray more than anyone else helped popularize the song.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Tiger fans had as close a connection to Harwell as any fans have had to an announcer. In one of the most knuckleheaded moves ever, the management of the Tigers' flagship station WJR allowed Harwell's contract to expire at the end of the 1991 season. The outrage from fans was so great that the station brought him back in 1993 and he would broadcast until he retired in 2002.
He's also probably the only announcer to ever be traded for a catcher. That's how he started his major league career in 1948 when the Brooklyn Dodgers acquired him from the minor league Atlanta Crackers. It seems the Crackers needed a catcher and one of the oddest trades ever was born.
When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he closed out his acceptance speech with his own definition of baseball. (Audio) He got it exactly right:
Baseball is the President tossing out the first ball of the season and a scrubby schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm. A tall, thin old man waving a scorecard from the corner of his dugout. That’s baseball. And so is the big, fat guy with a bulbous nose running home one of his (Babe Ruth’s) 714 home runs.
There’s a man in Mobile who remembers that Honus Wagner hit a triple in Pittsburgh forty-six years ago. That’s baseball. So is the scout reporting that a sixteen year old pitcher in Cheyenne is a coming Walter Johnson. Baseball is a spirited race of man against man, reflex against reflex. A game of inches. Every skill is measured. Every heroic, every failing is seen and cheered, or booed. And then becomes a statistic.
In baseball democracy shines its clearest. The only race that matters is the race to the bag. The creed is the rulebook. Color merely something to distinguish one team’s uniform from another. Baseball is a rookie. His experience no bigger than the lump in his throat as he begins fulfillment of his dream. It’s a veteran too, a tired old man of
thirty-five hoping that those aching muscles can pull him through another sweltering August and September. Nicknames are baseball, names like Zeke and Pie and Kiki and Home Run and Cracker and Dizzy and Dazzy.
Baseball is the cool, clear eyes of Rogers Hornsby. The flashing spikes of Ty Cobb, and an over-aged pixie named Rabbit Maranville.
Baseball just a came as simple as a ball and bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. A sport, a business and sometimes almost even a religion.
Why the fairy tale of Willie Mays making a brilliant World’s Series catch. And then dashing off to play stick ball in the street with his teenage pals. That’s baseball. So is the husky voice of a doomed Lou Gehrig saying, “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”
Baseball is cigar smoke, hot roasted peanuts, The Sporting News, ladies day, “Down in Front”, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and the Star Spangled Banner.
Baseball is a tongue tied kid from Georgia growing up to be an announcer and praising the Lord for showing him the way to Cooperstown. This is a game for America. Still a game for America, this baseball! Thank you.
So long, Ernie. We'll miss you.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) includes what it calls an "individual responsibility requirement" that all persons buy health insurance from a private company. Congress justified this mandate under its power to regulate commerce among the several states: "The individual responsibility requirement provided for in this section," the law says, ". . . is commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce, as a result of the effects described in paragraph (2)." Paragraph (2) then begins: "The requirement regulates activity that is commercial and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for, and when health insurance is purchased."
In this way, the statute speciously tries to convert inactivity into the "activity" of making a "decision." By this reasoning, your "decision" not to take a job, not to sell your house, or not to buy a Chevrolet is an "activity that is commercial and economic in nature" that can be mandated by Congress.
It is true that the Supreme Court has interpreted the Commerce Clause broadly enough to reach wholly intrastate economic "activity" that substantially affects interstate commerce. But the Court has never upheld a requirement that
individuals who are doing nothing must engage in economic activity by entering
into a contractual relationship with a private company. Such a claim of power is
Professor Barnett also co-authored a more detail analysis of the individual mandate found here. He also wrote an excellent analysis on the constitutionality of the legislation here.
ObamaCare was passed with little regard for the constitutionality of its provisions. Although there is a popular move to repeal the bill the more likely dismantling of the law will come through the courts. With Justice Stevens retiring, the President's Supreme Court nominee takes on a new importance.
The pro-life movement in America is growing in leaps and bounds, attracting young, zealous women to defend the unborn in droves - a fact that even the president of NARAL has now admitted.
NARAL's Nancy Keenan told Newsweek last week that she considers herself a member of the "postmenopausal militia" – a phrase that captures the situation of pro-abortion leaders who are aging across the board, including the leadership of Planned Parenthood, and the National Organization for Women. Newsweek's Sarah Kliff notes that "these leaders will retire in a decade or so."
Keenan also remarked on the enormity of this year's March for Life in Washington, D.C., and, according to Newsweek, is troubled that such passion has faded among the youth on her side of the movement.
"I just thought, my gosh, they are so young," Keenan said about stumbling on this year’s March for Life in Washington. "There are so many of them, and they are so young."
While March for Life estimates it drew 400,000 pro-lifers to Washington for this year's March, Planned Parenthood's "Stop Stupak" rally in December only
drew about 1,300 attendees.
In addition, Newsweek revealed that NARAL's own research on American youth shows more reason for Keenan to worry: a survey conducted by the group found that, while 51 percent of pro-life voters under 30 considered abortion a "very important" voting issue, only 26 percent of abortion supporters in the same demographic felt similarly.
James Taranto attributes this "enthusiasm gap" among abortion activists to what he terms "the Roe Effect". In simple terms, the theory is that pro-abortion women are not having babies and therefore are not raising children to carry on their pro-abortion beliefs. While it may still take a while to play out politically, perhaps we are finally starting to see signs that America is becoming a more pro-life nation at last.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Sunday, February 07, 2010
It seems inevitable with any new adaptation of a Jane Austen novel there are comparisons to previous versions. I think this one was as good as the previous version with Gwyneth Paltrow. It doesn't have the same amount of humor but the relationships seem to be better developed due to the fact there was more time taken to tell the story.
Friday, February 05, 2010
After we finished watching it the first time we then watched the first series and then the second series back to back. The second was very good but still not quite as charming as the first. I think that mostly has to do with the fact that both Michael Gambon and Eileen Atkins had wonderful roles in the first series (but both characters die during the course of the first series) and they really stood out from everyone else.
It really says something to me when my girls (12 and 14) are asking me to watch these series (or whatever other British period drama) we're in the middle of instead of other things.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Miller is currently play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants as well as the voice of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. If Jon Miller is calling the game it doesn't matter as much to me who is playing. I know it will be a great game to listen to knowing he's behind the microphone. Congratulations on this long overdue recognition by the Hall.
Jon Miller grew up doting on some of baseball's legendary broadcasters, and has spent the last 36 years working with -- and on occasion memorably impersonating -- new generations of verbal artists.
Monday, Miller joined the legends of the booth as the 2010 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.
Well into his fourth decade behind the mic and currently the vibrant voice of the San Francisco Giants, Miller was announced as the latest honoree of the award presented annually since 1978 in recognition of contributions to baseball broadcasting.
Ford C. Frick Award winners have their own wing in Cooperstown's Hall of Fame, and announcement of Miller's selection by a specially-selected 20-member electorate was made by Jeff Idelson, the president of the Hall of Fame who called the 36-year veteran of local and national broadcasts "one of baseball's most recognizable voices."
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
But the most remarkable thing I've seen yet is this column from Washington Post writer Sally Jenkins. Ms. Jenkins takes the abortion advocates to task for their criticism of the young football star:
Be sure to read the whole thing. Hats off to Ms. Jenkins for calling out the intolerant critics on the Left who wish to demonize the Tebows. Though we may not agree on whether abortion is wrong we can at least agree that we can respectfully disagree with each other.
I'm pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I've heard in the past week, I'll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the "National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time." For one thing, Tebow seems smarter than they do.
Tebow's 30-second ad hasn't even run yet, but it already has provoked "The National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us" to reveal something
important about themselves: They aren't actually "pro-choice" so much as they are pro-abortion. Pam Tebow has a genuine pro-choice story to tell. She got pregnant in 1987, post-Roe v. Wade, and while on a Christian mission in the Philippines, she contracted a tropical ailment. Doctors advised her the pregnancy could be dangerous, but she exercised her freedom of choice and now, 20-some years later, the outcome of that choice is her beauteous Heisman Trophy winner son, a chaste, proselytizing evangelical.
Pam Tebow and her son feel good enough about that choice to want to tell people about it. Only, NOW says they shouldn't be allowed to. Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikinis selling beer is the right one. I would like to meet the genius at NOW who made that decision. On second thought, no, I wouldn't.
There's not enough space in the sports pages for the serious weighing of values that constitutes this debate, but surely everyone in both camps, pro-choice or pro-life, wishes the "need" for abortions wasn't so great. Which is precisely why NOW is so wrong to take aim at Tebow's ad.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Attention Christian Authors!
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