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Showing posts from September, 2011

Zogby: Herman Cain- HERMAN CAIN!- replaces Perry as GOP front-runner!

I'm not sure I believe it, but a new Zogby poll has Herman Cain as the leading candidate among likely GOP voters for the party's 2012 presidential nomination, replacing Rick Perry.

Cain has 28% to Perry's 18% and Mitt Romney's 17%. Ron Paul is fourth, with 11%. Michele Bachmann continues her plunge, now trailing John Huntsman in the Zogby poll.

The result comes in the wake of Cain's surprise victory in the Florida straw poll over the weekend. There, as in the national Zogby poll, Perry finished second, and Romney third, while Bachmann trailed Huntsman. In Florida, however, it was former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum who finished fourth.

Meanwhile, the latest CNN poll shows Paul trailing President Obama by only four points, while the President stomps better-known candidates like Bachmann and Sarah Palin.  Given Paul's isolationism and bizarre economic philosophy, the CNN poll would be scary were it not for the certainty that the voters will change their mind o…

It hurts to say this, but the Bears were just not gouda nuff to beat the Curds

I suppose I could whine about that blatant pass interference by Charles Woodson against Johnny Knox on what would have been a sure Bears touchdown that everybody in North America but the officials saw. Or that phantom hold on Knox's runback of a Packer punt for a touchdown late in the game that nobody in North America but the officials saw (despite a diligent replay search by CBS). But the bottom line is that you can't beat a team as good as the Green Bay P_ckers when they shut down your running game as completely as the Bears' running game was snuffed yesterday.

We lost because the P_ckers were the better team.

Losing to the Moldy Cheddar at any time is intolerable. Now it becomes incumbent upon the Ursine Warriors to avenge yesterday's defeat when the teams meet again at Lambeau on Christmas Day. Should they fail to do so, the season will be a total loss even if the Bears somehow win the Super Bowl.

Bear down! If we lose to Carolina next week, I am going to be very, ve…

GM and the UAW model sanity- and the tactics of mutual survival

If those in heaven really did know what happens here on Earth, I'm sure that my father- a UAW shop committeeman as well as a Bob Taft fan whose middle name was McKinley- would be smiling today. So would his other hero, besides Taft- Walter Reuther.

This is the kind of thing Reuther dreamed about: a world in which labor and management reach the mutual realization that what is good for one is good for the other, and vice versa. And that's especially true in times like these.

HT: Real Clear Politics

I'm disappointed in you, Morgan Freeman

What on Earth does Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have to do with the Tea Party? And what has he ever said or done that merits this? 

I was very much afraid when President Obama was elected that the pattern we saw so often in the campaign would continue throuighout his presidency,and that any and all opposition to him or his policies would be automatically written off to racism. I've actually been pleasantly surprised by how seldom this has happened. But it especially disappoints me when a man like Morgan Freeman, whom I have always regarded as a reasonable and intelligent gentleman, resorts to this kind of thing.

Granted, there are racists among the Tea Party people- a group of which, as readers of this blog know, I am not a fan. But to indict the entire movement as racist is just plain irresponsible. And to drag Mitch McConnell
(rather than people like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin, who at least are identified with the movement) into the equation is ridiculous.

This is…

Give that neutrino a ticket!

(RIGHT: Mimbari White Stars emerging from a "jump gate-" a stable, artifical wormhole- in Babylon 5)

186 282.397 miles per second. It's not just good sense. It's the law.

That's "c-" the "cosmological constant-" the speed of light. According to Einstein and classical physics, nothing in the universe can travel faster than that. For one thing, time slows down as you approach light speed- at which it would take literally forever to burn that one last drop of fuel it would take to make you go 186,283 mps.

Well, not really. In nature, the speed of light varies according to conditions. But it remains the universal speed limit. Which is a problem for science fiction writers- or scientists, who would like to make their dreams of interstellar travel come true: the distance between starts is simply too great for travel further than Sol's immediate neighborhood to be practical. Well, that and the fact that, according to Einstein, time passes at dif…

Now all look out- here come the 'Hawks!

With a proven starting goaltender for the first time in three years (including the Stanley Cup season of 200-2010), as well as replacements for the depth they lost to the salary cap last year, a longer winter, and some regained physicality, my Blackhawks have a very positive prognosis going into the 2011-2012 season.

I expect another deep playoff run- and perhaps the second Stanley Cup in three years. ONE GOAL!

Charles H. Percy, 1919-2011

Maybe it was the fact that he shared with Charles Harding Percy the distinction of having a middle name given in honor of a Republican president, but my father, Robert McKinley Waters, aways had a soft spot in his heart for the man. I well remember Dad's fervent advocacy of Percy's candidacy for governor of Illinois among  our Republican relatives in the primary against State Treasurer William Scott in 1964. Percy defeated Scott in the primary, had lost his first bid for public office, an otherwise-winnable race for governor of Illinois against incumbent Governor Otto Kerner in that year's Goldwater debacle.

Dad was convinced that the handsome and well-spoken Percy, once Chairman of the Board of Bell and Howell Corporation, would be president himself one day. And there was a time following his election to the U.S. Senate in 1966 (the same year that saw Ronald Reagan elected governor of California) when Percy was indeed widely discussed- along with fellow moderates Mark Ha…

Another reason why Ron Paul can't be taken seriously

I've often said that I consider the prospect (remote though it thankfully is) of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Utopia Planitia) being elected president to be the greatest threat to our national security since 9/11, and possibly since the Cuban Missle Crisis. His addiction to loony "Austrian economics" aside, Mr. Paul's isolationist worldview is so divorced from modern reality that to have him directing our foreign policy would be to court disaster.

A critique of Austrian economics by a former adherent of the school can be found here.

And now, Paul given further evidence of his unfitness to be our commander in chief: he's publicly stated that, if elected, he'd consider Far Left über-dove Dennis Kucinich for his cabinet.

If Ron Paul is a mainstream Republican- or a mainstream anything-
then I am  a star-nosed mole.

Mr. Obama is up to his old tricks

Four years ago, if you recall (the efforts of the media to bury the story make that unlikely), the Obama campaign's "Truth Page" handled the candidate's having killed a bill in an Illinois Senate committee which would have closed a loophole in state law allowing passive infanticide with a series of whoppers which seemed to get him off the hook with voters.

The page said that committee chairman Obama would have voted for a version of the bill which contained language similar to that of a Federal statute on the same subject (the matter falls under state ,rather than Federal, juristiction). The Federal language ensured that the bill could not be interpreted in a manner contrary to Roe v. Wade.

The campaign page also argued that the law Chairman Obama killed was unneeded, because a statute to that effect was already on the books in Illinois. The trouble was that the law in question was so badly written as to be, in the opinion of then-Attorney General Roland Burris (a De…

Is the United States the only free country left?

I remember once during my freshman year in college, when a politically conservative professor (yes, we had them at River Forest) started waxing eloquent about how wonderful our country is. While nothing he said was at all inaccurate, I thought he was going just a tad overboard when he rhetorically asked, "Name one country on the face of this earth where people are as free as they are in the United States!"

To which I (ever the wise guy) replied, "Er....Canada?"

In 1968, might have been right. But not any more.This month's National Review contains two items which caught my eye. The first is somewhat whimsical; the second is deadly serious. But as it happens, they're closely related.

First, it seems that a bunch of guys in Brooklyn who call themselves The Unemployed Philosphers Guild have come up with a line of novelty breath mints for various groups in the population. Aging baby boomers such as Yours Truly can now avail themselves of Retire Mints. Good Chri…

We are who we thought we were

Every year, the Bears do well right off the bat- and every year, we get our hopes up.

We shouldn't have let last Sunday's decisive victory over last season's NFC number-one seed, the Falcons, go to our heads. We are who we thought we were: a good team, a playoff team- but not a Super Bowl team.

Final score: New Orleans 30, Bears 13. It was a defeat just as decisive as last week's victory.

Oh, well.  Now it's P_cker week. If we beat the Curds twice, nothing else that happens in the course of the season really matters, anyway.

Here's another one... case you've ever wondered how to have an Official Position on a Controversial Issue.

How to be an historial-critical bible scholar

The latest from The Lutheran Satire.

Just imagine all the time they could have saved at Wartburg Seminary if they'd just showed us this...

The case of the purloined AOL webmail account

If you have an AOL or AIM webmail account, beware. AOL's security is so poor that it's not only possible for a spammer or other evildoer to hack your account, but to actually steal it.

Yes, that's what I said. It happened to me. A hacker managed somehow to change the security information on my AOL webmail account so that he (or she) can access that information and change it at will- but I can't even verify that the account is mine.

This is what happened: I imagine that over the years thousands of people have been frustrated by AOL's policy of not allowing special characters in its email addresses. If you weren't in at the beginning of AOL, you were almost certain to end up with something like as your screen name. Or worse,

A few months ago, AOL changed that policy. Special characters are now allowed. Even though I use Gmail for the most part, and have other accounts elsewhere, when I learned of the change I quickly si…

Huckabee thinks Romney may be the most electable Republican

In 2008, Mike Huckabee- whom I sensed even then was not the wild-eyed church-and-state-mixer the secular media was trying to paint him as being- was thoroughly savaged by Mitt Romney to the point that I doubted whether Huck's supporters would ever be able to get behind Romney if he should ever be the Republican nominee. Romney's attacks were often unfair, and the former Massachusetts governor seemed utterly unconcerned about the possibility that, should Huckabee have won the nomination, Romney's own rhetoric would have provided the Democrats with almost unlimited footage for anti-Huckabee attack ads of their own.

I frankly thought that Mitt's behavior was outrageous. Fortunately, he seems to have learned his lesson and moderated his attacks on fellow Republicans this time out.

 But it seems that Huck himself, in any case,  holds no grudge. He says that he regards Romney as possibly the most electable Republican in 2012- and has some zingers of his own for, bi…

Just thinking about this...

One of the most moving battle sequences in all of film: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the 20th Maine save the Union at Little Round Top:

Obama's 'Fight the Facts' site draws chuckles

Four years ago, the Obama campaign established a highly successful "fight the smears" web site which routinely misrepresented the facts and sometimes published outright lies. The falsehoods it presented regarding Mr. Obama's record on the Illinois Born Alive act, for example, have been well documented.

The president's re-election campaign has already established such a site for the 2012 campaign. But this time, it seems to be backfiring. The problem is that it makes POTUS look paranoid.

And that's not even taking into account the question of truthfulness of its denials and assertions.

Ok, now it's a war.

Seems we have boots on the ground in Libya after all.

We're no longer supporting the rebels with air strikes. We're fighting there. It's a third war.

Both my respect for the presidency and my knowledge that presidents sometimes change their minds in the face of changing circumstances constrain me to avoid the urge to decide that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and scream 'OBAMA L-I-E-E-E-D!!!"

I agree with Pawlenty: it's gotta be Romney.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, my first choice for president in 2012, dropped out of the race when he came in a distant third in the Iowa Straw Poll.

Pawlenty has endorsed Mitt Romney. So do I. Yes, I have reservations about the former Massachusetts governor. But with the exception of Jon Huntsman- mired in the second tier, and without a path to the nomination I can see- Romney is the only candidate in the race with a chance of beating Barack Obama.

Or who should. Rick Perry is a cartoon character. Yee-hah. Michele Bachmann is bright enough, but an extremist, so far over her ill-informed head that it's truly sad. Ron Paul is a crackpot with a world view so warped he's a national security risk.

It's gotta be Romney. If it's not, it's going to be Obama.

Or worse.

Bears 30, Falcons 12

As the announcer on Fox pointed out yesterday afternoon, people have forgotten that the Bears were the number two NFC seed last year, runners-up for the NFC championship, and the actual winners of the division from which the eventual Super Bowl champions managed to limp into the playoffs on a wild card.

People talk of the P_ckers, the Eagles, the Cowboys, the Saints and the Falcons when they speak of NFC teams who might go all the way. But somehow, they forget about the Bears.

But as that announcer said yesterday, that's going to change. Tony Dungee's pre-Game One judgment on the Bears, despite the lack of respect they're receiving elsewhere : "Very formidable." And yesterday, as they added to their record for the most victories in home openers of any NFL team, Dungee's description was right on the mark.

The Bears crushed last year's number one NFC seed, the Atlanta Falcons, 30 to 12. The Ursine Warriors positively dominated. Not only was the much-maligned…

Where was God on 9/11? On the cross

"Where was God on 9/11?" Such was the question posed by a two-hour PBS special the other night- a special I scrupulously avoided.

Oh, I couldn't avoid it entirely. The temptation to engage the issue was too great; I kept switching the channel back to catch bits and pieces.  But my respect for the struggles of those who lost relatives on that tragic day ten years ago combined with my certainty that answers most have found to the question- to the degree that they had found answers at all- would be inadequate made me struggle to avoid an experience which I was convinced would only lead to frustration.

I was right. There were athiests, seeing the tragedy as confirmation of their belief that we live in a random and meaningless universe. Several of them.

An Episcopal seminarian who was a collegue of mine in the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut once jokingly explained that the material principle of his tradition as "justificatio…

No clergy at Ground Zero on Sunday? Good.

It seems that there will be no clergy involved in the ceremonies at Ground Zero marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11.


I approve- not because I share the shameful objection of those who blame all Muslims for the attacks to he participation of the odd imam. Rather, as a sometime Christian clergyman, I myself am offended by the reduction of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and all other religions to a bland, incomsequential, throughly neutered and frankly idolatrous veneer of  nothing more than lowest common denominator sentimentality.

And make no mistake: the god of American civil religion is indeed an idol. He is not Allah. He is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And he is not the Holy Trinity. He is something other- and far less- than any of these. The abomination of the blasphemous Yankee Stadium civic worship service held in the days following the attacks, which effectively emptied all religions of the content and substance which alone coulld have provided meaning and com…

Chicago's !@#$@!!! mayor cusses out head of teachers' union

Hizzoner Da Mare, aka, Rahm Emanuel, has long been noted for his short temper and foul mouth.

But this is not how the head of Chicago's teacher's union  is traditionally treated by the occupant of the office on City Hall's Fifth Floor.

On the other hand, maybe we should have seen this coming.

HT: Drudge

Mystery solved.

Last winter, I noticed as I walked by our local public grammar school that they had posted the school's schedule for "Febuary" on both sides of the sign in front of it. This, of course, does nothing for the confidence of the community in the quality of the education being offered therein. Unless, of course, a second-grader is in charge of the sign. But even then, one would expect a teacher to proofread the thing.

Today I notices the schedule for "Septemberr."

Now I know where the "r" went.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq?

For a long time, it was an article of faith on the Left that the U.S. lost the war in Iraq. The trouble was that the long-delayed surge in American troop strength engineered by Gen. David Petraeus, the new DCI, reversed the situation to the point that it seemed  very likely that in fact we would wind up winning- that a stable, more-or-less democratic government would end up firmly in power, and that- as much as it might hurt the Left to have this happen- George W. Bush's policy in Iraq would end up being vindicated by history.

Can't have that, can we?

A while back, it became an article of faith on the Left that the war in Afghanistan was unwinnable. The trouble was that another Petraeus-engineered surge beat back the Taliban and put the Allies on what looked an awful lot like the road to at least short-term victory.

Then President Obama dismayed our military leaders by deciding to withdraw the Afghan surge troops by next summer, severely endangering our chances of keeping Osam…