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Showing posts from December, 2012

We have to grin and Bear it

The Bears beat the Lions 26-24 this afternoon, after leading 20-10 at the half. They will make the playoffs if- as I expect- the Mould and Gold beat the Men in Braids later on.

Having lost twice to the Mouldy Bananas and having to depend on them to beat Minnesota this afternoon, he only way for the Bears to salvage their honor would be to knock Green Bay out of the playoffs. Even winning the Super Bowl would not be enough otherwise. And frankly, today's second half does not fill me with optimism.

But for what it's worth... BEAR DOWN!

Can we take up a collection for your ticket, Piers?

I've never been big on telling people who exercise their First Amendment right of free speech to "love it or leave it." After all, free speech is one of the things about America there are to love. But Piers Morgan is getting on my nerves.

He has every right to say that he thinks the Constitution and the Bible are "flawed." He has every right to display his biblical and theological ignorance on CNN or elsewhere. I don't hold with this talk of deporting him because we don't like his opinions; that smacks of the politically correct Leftist fascism I find so distasteful elsewhere.

But, y'know... when he says that if America doesn't change its "crazy" gun laws, "I might just deport myself," I'm tempted to encourage him. And that despite the fact that I think the founders' intent in writing the Second Amendment is far exceeded by the way the NRA and other conservatives interpret it.

Dude, you have a right to your opinion,…

Sick.

A Clemson student's study shows that drivers tend to swerve in order to run over turtles.

We are daily becoming a nation of sicker and sicker puppies.

HT: Drudge

We're going over the cliff- and neither party should DARE point a finger at the other

Apparently we're going over the fiscal cliff on Tuesday.

Higher taxes for everybody. Ruinous cuts to the defense budget that will endanger our national security. Draconian cuts in a whole lot of other places nobody in his right mind would choose to cut.

By no logical analysis- liberal or conservative- would either party caving in completely to the other do as much damage to the country as going over the cliff. And yet here we are.

There is no excuse for this. None. Neither party gets to point fingers- though both, of course, will. Both parties are to blame- and the situation is simply unacceptable.

And we shouldn't accept it. A Jon Huntsman independent candidacy in 2016 is looking awfully good right now.

We deserve to be governed by grown-ups. And it's not happening.

HT: Drudge

Trying to live with the shame....

If there is anything more humiliating than losing twice to the Packers in one year, it's having to depend on the Packers winning their last game in order for the Bears to make the playoffs. I'm beginning to understand seppuku.

It could be worse. The Bears could lose to the Mouldy Bananas a third time, in the playoffs.  Knocking Green Bay out would at least partially re-establish our self-respect, but not even winning the Super Bowl would completely restore it.

No, I haven't forgotten. The Bears dominated the Phoenix Cardinals Sunday, and thus are in a position to grab an NFC Wild Card birth by defeating Detroit Sunday while the Pack beats Minnesota.

Bear down. I guess.

Comet ISON may be as bright as the full moon!

Here's a good article from The Independent in the UK on Comet ISON- which next Christmas may be knocking all our socks off.

Comet Hale-Bopp was called "the Comet of the Century" back in the '80's, and it certainly gave us a fine show. Well, the same title is being resurrected for ISON. New century, of course. But speculation is that next year's comet may be the brightest in several generations- perhaps as bright as the full moon!

Deo volente, this is gonna be a real treat, folks. Grab yourself some 7x50- or, better, 10x50- binoculars and head out to where the skies are dark to maximize the effect. It should be quite a show.

Oh. And bundle up, of course. And bring a thermos of hot coffee. And a lawn chair.

ADDENDUM: Lest I forget, cometary history may be about to repeat itself.

In ate January of 1966- as we awaited the arrival of the last "Comet of the Century," Hale- Bopp, a year later- a Japanese astronomer announced the discovery of Comet Hyukatake

2012: The Year of Smoke and Mirrors

A Fred Phelps kind of Christmas

Just sayin,' Mayan!

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."

(Matthew 24:36 ESV)

HT: Catholic Memes

Pope Benedict: Family and concept of "what it is to be human" at stake in same-sex "marriage"

Pope Benedict says that the family and "the very concept of what it is to be human" is at stake in the issue of same-sex "marriage."

He's right, of course. And there was a time when it would have mattered. Now, it's just a question of another clear and unambiguous position taken by the Catholic magisterium for Catholic Democrats like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry and Andrew Cuomo to ignore.

HT: Drudge

Have we found ET's address?

For several years I taught a course for the Saturday Institute of the Des Moines Public Schools' Talented and Gifted Program on "Astronomy, Space Travel, and Science Fiction." As part of the course each year, the class had to consider evidence from class and from the Internet and decide which of a list of nearby stars they would recommend as the destination of our first interstellar mission in search of intelligent extraterrestrial life.

One year they picked my personal favorite: Tau Ceti, a Class G8-V star in the constellation Cetus which is 20 light-years from us. Our own Sun- a  Class G2-V star- would be a fifth- magnitude star in Boötes if viewed from Tau Ceti. In the picture to the right, by R.J. Hall, the Sun is on the left; the somewhat smaller and cooler but generally similar Tau Ceti is on the right.

The system is very dusty and seems to have an extraordinary amount of cometary activity. The latter fact- raising the question of whether repeated mass extinction…

Huh?

Ok. He's our first African-American president, and I can understand his election four years ago prompting his selection as Time's "Man of the Year." Then.

But his selection this year- again- brings to mind that Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded for not being George W. Bush. Shouldn't he do something significant in order to qualify? I mean, besides being re-elected. Presidents tend to do that, after all.

Obamacare? Well, that certainly made an impact. Or seems likely to, at least in terms of the chaos it creates. States, after all, are failing to create those exchanges right and left, and companies are dropping their health insurance plans for their employees.

Well, I guess the description of the title does specify that it goes to the person who has made the greatest impact "for good or ill." And I have to admit it: the media's contiued fawning over The One does make me just a little bit ill.

HT: Drudge

The people who gave us the calendar say that the end Maya not happen

With so many of the world's Chichen Itza Littles insisting that the sky is about to fall because the Mayan calendar ends this weekend, it might be interesting to see how the Maya themselves are preparing for the event.

It may surprise you. But not if you've been listening to them all along.

HT: Real Clear Science

Maybe what we need here is a nuanced answer

I find it beyond belief that any believer in the Second Amendment can seriously think that the original intent of the Founders was that private individuals should own tactical nuclear weapons, armored personel carriers, or assault rifles.

That said, it seems to me that- as usual- Ben Stein has some wise words for us on the Sandy Hook tragedy.

My reply to the oft-repeated aphorism that "guns don't kill people; people kill people" is that while this is true, guns do make it a hell of a lot easier. Nevertheless, the Leftist fantasy that evil can be legislated away- that guns, rather than the evil that inhabits the human heart and permeates our nature are the real villians at Sandy Hook or Columbine or any other place where our fallen species displays its propensity for violence- needs to be challenged as the delusion it is.

Yes, it would be a great deal harder to kill people if it were not for the private ownership of guns. But on the other hand, Tim McVeigh didn't u…

The NFL season is now over

Even a Bear Super Bowl victory will not atone for losing twice in the same season to the People who Put Things n Suit Cases.

This is my only other comment concerning yesterday's Bears-Packers game:



Get over it, GOP: "Right-to-Work" laws are a bad, bad idea

There is something wrong with the map to the right. Indiana- and Michigan, of all states!- have joined the ranks of those having a so-called "right-to-work" law. This is a disaster for the labor movement, for working people- and for America.

Please bear in mind that this somewhat idiosyncratic post is written by the son of a UAW shop committeeman whose middle name was "McKinley." I cherish my dad's tradition of thinking for myself rather than letting political ideology or group affiliation do my thinking for me, and there are few issues on which that penchant expresses itself more strongly in my heart than the travesty misnamed "the right-to-work law."

Dad- lifelong Republican that he was- thought that Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, which authorizes such laws, was an abomination. I agree.

It's not often that I agree with Michael Kinsley, and even more seldom that I agree with an article entitled "The Liberal Case against...." a…

This is what we're up against

Harry Belafonte's rant below clearly does not speak for the majority of Democrats or Obamaphiles.

But it does speak for too many. Which is not to say that the Right doesn't have at least as many whackadoodles; many, for example, infest the Michigan legislature.

But this is still chilling:



HT: Drudge

You can't make this stuff up

Scientists have named a newly-discovered prehistoric lizard Obamadon gracilis (left, appropriately enough)- literally, "Slender Obama-tooth."

They say that one shouldn't read any political significance into the name. They were, Nicholas Longrich of Yale University says, merely "having fun with taxonomy."

Unlike its namesake, who was re-elected last month, Obamadon became extinct as part of the same event which wiped out the dinosaurs.

The presidential reptile is described as “a small polyglyphanodontian distinguished by tall, slender teeth with large central cusps separated from small accessory cusps by lingual grooves." How, precisely, these characteristics bring the President of the United States to mind has not been revealed.

HT: Drudge

Panetta upholds denial of Medal of Honor to dead hero

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has upheld his predecessor's decision to deny the Congressional Medal of Honor to a Marine who witnesses say saved the life of his buddies by scooping up a live grenade and tucking it under his own body.

I first blogged about the incident in September of 2008. Sgt. Rafael Peralta (right) was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross instead, in large measure because the witnesses disagree about which hand he used. Medical testimony also claims that what the witnesses saw would have been impossible. His family- and the men whose lives he saved- are understandably upset.

Sgt. Peralta deserves better.

HT: Drudge

We're being played, America

According to the Adminstration's own figures, 75% of the tax increases President Obama is demanding will go, not to deficit reduction, but to new spending!

Suffering from buyer's remorse yet, fellow Americans? Can there be anybody in America naive enough to still expect any substantial action on the deficit from this administration- or from any Democratic administration?

And is there anybody sufficiently blind to think that this is worth risking going over the fiscal cliff for?

And Americans blame the Republicans for the present impasse? Good grief, fellow countrymen. Wake up and smell the baloney!


HT: Drudge

Cause of homosexuality: hereditary, but not genetic?

Scientists may have discovered why people are gay.

It's hereditary- but not genetic- which is why homosexuality, an evolutionary dead-end, doesn't die out. It's also why identical twins of gays are straight about half the time.

There is, of course, no more and no less of a biological reason for gays to express their sexuality in behavior than straights.

HT: Drudge

Morally straight

Consumers take note: the Merck Foundation is the latest group to pull funding from the Boy Scouts of America because the organization continues to treat homosexual behavior as immoral.

Amazing how people can justify and even become self-rightous about marginalizing others for having different moral beliefs than they themselves have. And make no mistake: the issue here isn't discrimination against people with a particular sexual orientation. Behavior is the issue. What is involve here is simply an unpopular ethical posture by the Scouts.

As George Orwell wrote, "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it."

HT: Drudge

Rest in peace, Sir Patrick

British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore- fellow amateur and famed author and commentator, whose book on binocular astronomy I found especially helpful- has died at age 89.

Rest in peace, Sir Patrick.

HT: Real Clear Science

Notes from the malAdministration

President Obama, it seems, thoroughly dominated the vote of the religiously unaffiliated. No surprise there.

It is something of a surprise, though, to hear Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack (our former governor) dismiss rural America as "less and less relevant." I'm not sure this will play very well at home- epecially if Sec. Vilsack's wife, Christie, wants to run for public office again here in Iowa.

HT: Drudge

Take heart, dreaders of the Mayan "apocalypse"

Only thirteen days before the end of the world, according to some

All over the world, people are in a state of panic because the Mayan calendar ends on that day. They somehow infer that Mayans (obviously privy to inside information) knew that the world would, too.

The trouble is that the Mayans themselves deny it- and so do those who know the most about the Mayan calendar and culture. Archaeologist Richard Henson says, "What we see here is a new era. We are privileged to experiment and enjoy the end of an era that started 3,114 year before Christ.”

 Henson- and the Mayans themselves- explain that the calendar that ends with December 21 merely recorded a 5,126 year cycle or era, and that a new one will start on December 22.

Seems to me that somebody warned us a long time ago that "no one knows the day or the hour." But some people will use any excuse for a good party, I guess.
HT: Drudge

November's deceptive unemployment figures

I noted the other day that Gallup's survey had unemployment back up to 8.3%. But the official figures apparently have it down to 7.7%- a four-year low.

Sources more objective than the New York Times point out that the reason is not that people are getting jobs, but that they've stopped looking.

In short; believe Gallup. This is not part of a "continuing recovery;" it's just more of the same old same old.

We as a nation had our chance to address the problem last month- and we blew it.

Maybe Rand Paul isn't so crazy after all

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Tenn) shares so many of his dad Ron's goofy ideas that I've always been tempted to write him off as merely a slightly less bizarre chip off a very strange block.

But it seems to me that he has exactly the right idea about how Republicans should deal with the current fiscal impasse: use ju jitsu on President Obama and the Democrats.Give them all the taxes they want in a huge display of bipartisanship and cooperation- and then let them own it come election time.

Maybe the way to get the electorate's attention is to allow them to experience what we've been warning them about.

HT: Drudge

Sheep can't safely graze, either.

With regard to the "fiscal cliff," the Secretary of the Treasury tells us that the Administration's position is now set in stone: if the GOP doesn't simply roll over and agree to tax rate hikes on the rich, GERONIMO!

And then, they'll blame the Republicans. And a great many sheep will agree with them.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Guess what?

Unemployment is back up over 8%.


Don't want to say "I told you so," but....

HT: Drudge

Appropos of nothing in particular....

...I love The Phantom of the Opera. And was there ever a sadder- and more powerful- final scene in a musical?


Looking ahead to 2016

Here are some remarks by two of the front-runners for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination- Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio- on the direction the party needs to take now.

And here is a brief look from CBSat some of the leading 2016 Republican contenders. The leftist bias is obvious, and the comments are a hoot, but it's worth taking a look at despite the fact that the list omits such promising contenders as Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

HT: Real Clear Politics

For the record

To the right is a photo of George Zimmerman just released by his attorney. It was taken shortly after the death of Trayvon Martin, and has a great deal to say about just who the aggressor was in the confrontation between the two.

Alan Derschowicz is right; the murder charges against Zimmerman should never have been brought.

HT: Drudge

Words of hope from Michael Medved

I first started paying attention to Michael Medved in seminary. I was dating a woman who had been Medved's wife's best friend (got that?) while growing up, and I naturally started browsing articles under his byline which I would likely have bypassed before.

Soon I was a major fan. Medved is not only ferociously intelligent, but has an almost uncanny eye for what's really going on in American culture. A orthodox Jew, he is an eloquent defender of public Christmas (not "holiday") trees, and a passionate advocate of the notion that Christianity and its influence on our culture is a good thing, not a bad one.

Sandy and I have long since gone our separate ways, but I've remained a Medved fan. He and I, after all, have a great deal in common. We both worked full-time for the McGovern campaign in 1972, and both cast our first presidential votes for that gentle, decent, but disasterously naive South Dakota Democrat. Medved's first Republican vote came sixteen ye…