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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|I wonder if the glow--or is it the afterglow--is starting to come off of the press adulation of the President.|
I only ask because I read this article a few minutes ago, and was stunned by the naked skepticism dripping from the page. Just a sample:
His assertion that his proposed budget "will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term" is an eyeball-roller among many economists, given the uncharted terrain of trillion-dollar deficits and economic calamity that the government is negotiating.
Whoa! And this from the front page of the Comcast website. It's totally worth reading.
In fact, the tone is so incredulous that it makes me start to think that this guy was sent out by the AP so they could say "See! We're not completely in his pockets"
|No, don't cry me a river.|
Last night's post should BY NO MEANS be construed to be a pity party or anything like it. This is the life I made for myself, and it's generally pretty good. Besides, as my friend the Captain is fond of pointing out, this is what I get for living life on the public dole (as a teacher). Make no mistake: it was still a shameless plug for a job. Just not one that anybody should read too much into.
My point was threefold: one, I don't come home at the end of the day from my work and dinner party to an empty studio apartment from which I can kill two hours in a diatribe before nodding off for a good nights' rest, like 80% of the people at HuffPo. And in all the meetings I've had with Conservative bloggers, it occurs to me that most all do this out of passion at some silly time of day after taking care of our kids and houses and families, while the people we argue against are able to make it a promint feature of their lives. Luckily, the righty bloggers I've met are really smart, smart people, so they're able to make an argument concisely and effectively. Unfortunately, then they turn off their computers and return to their lives, while the people we argue against spend the next few hours arguing over our point, often flat-out lying to whoever will listen to them, and by the time we get back to the computer, the argument has moved on. It's frustrating.
Two, this is a great hobby which is NOT changing the world right now because even the Republican establishment has tuned out the right blogosphere. If what I think I heard is right, some 80% of the Washington political class "Did not Approve" of the Tax-Day Tea Parties--that means that (presumably) 60% of the elected Republicans ignored the Tea Parties. And John McCain became our nominee this year after making a career of ignoring the will of the Right. And the first bailout passed with like 95% of the Congressional vote, even though 70% of Americans polled disapproved. There was a moment when the right side of the blogosphere was relevant (roughly the last time the Republican Party was relevant), and that reached it's high point with Rathergate. Since then, us rabble-rousers have been ignored by our side, while the other side has been emboldened and effective. So I'm here shouting into the wind when I could be using that energy for things that actually will change my children's lives, if only their own little lives.
And three, the Left--as it always does, saw Rathergate and then co-opted the whole idea. But they added funding to the whole mix, and so things like MoveOn and ProgressNow are able to fight this battle the way it needs to be fought, while we look like amateurs (okay, sure I'm still holding on to my status for the 2012 Olympics, but people like Ben and Joshua deserve to go pro). Where are the mechanisms on the Right to fight this war? Where are your Mitt Romneys and your Bruce Willises trying to change the world in their little way by supporting the grassroots? Even the media is tough: the so-called "Right Wing" Fox News isn't right-wing, it's just balanced. But when ABC, CNN, NBC are now openly Leftists, Fox looks out of place, and the disadvantage is permanently in place.
At any rate, the bottom line is this: I haven't been blogging much lately because there are better ways to spend my time, unfortunately. And that, I think, is probably exactly how the forces of the Left want me--and the rest of the grassroots--to feel.
|life has a way of intruding.|
I would like to say that I've taken the last couple weeks off from blogging because I was stepping back to survey the big board. Or that I was doing some pressing investigation that would bear fruit in this space in the near future.
That would have been great. But that hasn't been the case.
Some of my long time readers may have noticed over the years that the hours at which I tend to post are somewhat, well . . . odd. That is, rarely do I post before midnight, often much closer to 2 am. And that's okay--for some reason, God built me an abundance of energy starting at about 10pm which often lasts for several hours. This is great for me: I get to do all the things necessary as a dad, and then I have several hours left over to pursue hobbies. One of which is blogging.
But a few weeks back life started cutting into my time. Starting with taxes (rrrrrgggh!), and then continuing with two long-range projects for my day job, it's been tough to keep the hobbies alive.
But it's more than that, I realized. It struck me one night, as I was tucking my oldest in to bed, that she's due to go to college soon (five years) and our plan for that is a bit more sketchy than it should really be at this point in the game. And it further struck me that if I were to spend some of that excess late-night energy of mine doing something a bit more useful for my family than this hobby and my other hobbies--something useful like a late-night job--then the prospect of my daughter going to college wouldn't be quite so scary. Not only that, but my wife, the Bewitching Mrs. BestDestiny, was one of the very early victims of the real estate collapse--she worked from home for a mortgage company and lost her job about 16 months ago. Now, you have to know that she is the hardest working person I know, but we had gotten pretty used to a sizeable income from her. We've managed to make it all work up to this point, thanks to her hard work and few windows of opportunity from God, but there was coming a time where it wouldn't all work quite as well.
So some of that "hobby time" of mine over the past few weeks has been spent looking for little jobs that I could do overnight to help out my family. In a perfect world, somebody (George Soros?) would pay me to keep up on the happenings in the world and writing about it. But we on the Right are not so blesssed as to have wealthy benefactors who are willing to pay people to spout opinion all day, like the powers behind MoveOn.org--this being but one of many structural impediments to Republicans regaining power or Conservatives regaining relevance. In fact, part of why I think I started this blog way back when was just so that maybe--maybe!--writing about this thing that interests me way too much would get itself in front of the correct pair of eyes, which would then translate into somebody being willing to pay me to do this--or something similar--professionally.
MAN, would that be cool!
But this is not, alas, a perfect world.
So if posting is a bit too sporadic for the near future, don't fret--I still love the game, and writing is as much fun as it ever was. But I need to do things that will help take care of my family, too, and that may mean that writing time is swallowed up by something more immediately negotiable in the general popultion--like cash.
By the way, if this seems like a transparent effort at finding a job, that's probably only because it is. If you know of anybody who needs writing help or political advocacy consulting, I'd love to talk to them.
And yes, this was probably more personal than most posts. Sorry for that. I'll try to stick to the regular program in the future.
|Huh. I wonder why I didn't see this story in the A-block of the news.|
A Bee examination of regulatory records shows that Buffett, the world's second-wealthiest person, also quietly has become a top beneficiary of the banking bailout he so vigorously advocated. . .
Buffett's holding company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., did not directly receive any of that aid. But Berkshire is the largest shareholder of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., which got $25 billion – 91 percent of TARP funds invested in institutions headquartered in California.
Overall, Berkshire owns more than $13 billion of stock in the top recipients of TARP funds . . .
Let's imagine, for just a moment, that it was five years ago and the company in question was Halliburton.
Yeah. You see where this goes.
|When Americans hear that the President and his underlings tell that world that something is "our fault" or that we've been "arrogant," I think we tend to hear that "the other guy" or that "Bush" has been arrogant or wrong. and, thus, we tend to assume that the rest of the world hears the same thing.|
But I think we're wrong in that assumption.
I think what the rest of world hears is exactly what the rest of the world wants to hear: that America, in and of itself, in what it is and in what it stands for, is wrong. Therefore, strength is wrong; therefore, free markets are wrong; therefore, adherence to liberty and rule of law is wrong.
When was the last time you heard the French apologize for its weakness, which forced America to sacrifice 2,500 of its men in one day?
When was the last time our South American friends apologized for its inability to field a functioning government which could effectively stop the drug trade that plagues half the continent?
When was the last time our Russian friends apologized for killing millions of its own citizens in a failed experiment in absolute government control, not to mention the wasting of trillions of dollars and thousands of lives in competing for the ideological support of the world for 50 years?
When was the last time a prominent Muslim leader apologized for the craziness of Wahabbism that has wasted entire generations of Muslim women and children, not to mention the thousands of innocent civilians killed by suicide murderers?
But when our Great Leader apologizes, be sure that the rest of the world hears that everything we stand for is wrong, even though most of what we do has been in response to the above listed failures of the rest of the world.
Just imagine for a moment the world without America in light of just those developments I've listed above. Has there been any other nation capable of, much less willing to, respond to the world as its presented itself in the last 75 years? And that's before you even begin to consider Africa, nuclear Iran or North Korea, China, or any of the other threats that have managed to avoid my radar screen.
Maybe it would be better for the world if the President and his minions would just shut their mouths and say something to echo Colin Powell: "Perhaps America has not always been perfect or correct in its assessment of the world, but there is no denying that 230 years of the American experiment have brought more peace, more prosperity, and more progress to the world than the previous 5000 years of recorded history. And in return, all America has ever asked for is enough ground to bury its dead."
So you all can kiss our ass and try to solve your problems on your own. We'll be waiting when you need us again.
And, by the way, take your frackin' U.N. and move it the hell off of our land. Why don't you see if there's some real estate somewhere in the Sudan you can put your ugly building in.
A bit over the top? Oh, well.
|Monday: Opening Day for baseball.|
Monday: the culmination of the NCAA basketball tournament, the greatest sports tournament out there.
Thursday-Sunday: The Masters
And, for all intents and purposes, the NBA season comes to a close this week and the playoff spots are all but decided already.
A lot of fun for guys who have absolute authority over their remote controls. Like me.
|And, finally, the movie that in my opinion romanticizes the mythology of baseball, that drifts happily between cold reality ("You're a pacifist!" "Sh!#") and wild fantasy ("If you build it, he will come"), and that gives every boy hope that they can somehow undo some of the stupid things they said to their parents.|
Of course, this is Field of Dreams. This is one of those rare movies that is ALL guy, but has the ability to make a guy tear up at the end. Beautiful.
Best line: "If I'd've only gotten to be a doctor for a day . . . now that would be a tragedy."
|The top two are really completely interchangeable in my mind. It just depends on what sort of a mood you're in. Tonight, I'm more in the mood for the sort of innocent, pure vision of an American pasttime that has the power to overcome corruption and heal old wounds. More of a choice between "the ideal" of baseball and "the mythology" of baseball; tonight, I go with "the ideal."|
Of course, that's The Natural. Robert Redford is the best athlete, maybe, to ever be an actor, and it shows. He's got a very pure swing, and he really looks like he could be the best player ever. On top of that, Wilford Brimley is pitch-perfect as a grumpy old manager, the muckity-mucks are appropriately menacing, and Kim Basinger and Glenn Close round out the cast in fine form. Add to that one of the most recognizable scores in movie history, and you have a great night of viewing.
|And, the Great Apology Tour continues.|
Biden: "The time when America talks and does not listen is over . . ."
Hillary: "America is 50% to blame for Mexico's drug violence . . . "
Obama: "America has been arrogant . . . "
The top three people in the American government have spent an awful lot of time an rhetoric telling the world "my bad." Or, to be more precise "Bush bad."
But it occurs to me that the more time we spend telling the world we're sorry for how we've done things, the more we commit the nation to the authority of the rest of the world. If our best interests become subjegated to the whim of the "international community," you can be sure that the international community will do its best to dismantle us . . .
while the people who don't play by the rules will sit back and wait for a chance to strike.
Unless they're flat-out crazy, and decide to see what happens if they launch a missile in our direction.
Remember what was going on the summer before 9/11? Yeah, there was Chandra Levy. But people have forgotten that the Chinese tested the new American President Bush by forcing an American plane (an EP-3, if I recall) to land in Chinese territory, where it was forcibly held for weeks.
I wonder that Obama hasn't apologized for that one, yet.
|And we're finally into the top three movies on my baseball list. I know there are going to be those out there that disagree with one or more of them, but . . .so what. It's my list.|
This next one is for every middle-aged person who loved the game but didn't make it. For all of us who had that dream from a very early age but, for whatever reason, it never took off. There's a very "Damn Yankees" feel to this one in how the main character has a "magical" restart of his career, but it has the added bonus of being true. This is the (somewhat dramatized) true story of Jimmy Morris, a 34 year old high school teacher/coach who tries out for the big leagues on a bet with his team, only to find out that in the past fifteen years his bad arm has "healed" up to a 98 mile per hour fastball.
Great--GREAT--story! The only downside is that baseball people will know that there's absolutely no way Dennis Quiad's throwing motion results in a 98 mph pitch. Put that aside, and this is great. Tear-jerker moment: "Honey, can you bring my suit up to Arlington? Apparently, they have a dress code in the major leagues." One of a few.
|Let's see . . . what did the administration do at the summit?|
:There was Michelle Obama inexplicably not being told to avoid initiating physical contact with the Queen during their meeting--HELLO? State Department?
: There was Tim Geithner being trotted out to present to the G-20 the American position and plan for the global economic crisis. I guess the President just couldn't be bothered . . . or couldn't be brought up to speed in time.
:The President gave the Queen an iPod . . . filled with memorabilia of his own achievements. What a tool.
:The President, strangely , bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.
:And, oh yeah, back in the states, yet ANOTHER nominee for Obama's cabinet can't figure out how to do that whole tax-thingy. Kathleen Sibelius had to fork over about $140k to get out of the crosshairs.
Man, these people are impressive. What? Me worry?
|Because I am assuming (forgive me) that most of my readers are men, and I also assume that most of them have significant others, and I also assume that said significant others are not quite as happy to sit through a baseball movie marathon as their men are, I provide a little break tonight.|
Watch For Love Of The Game with your S.O. Kevin Costner does his usual credible pass as a baseball player, and a lot of the stuff around the game is really good. The "soundtrack" is the play-by-play of Vin Scully, who is incomparable, and the story comes from the author of "The Killer Angels" (only the best Civil War story in print).
But the reason this works with the S.O. is because, at its heart, its a love story. But its a love story that you can only fully understand if you understand baseball. Besides, its a good love story--and even if it weren't, you get to look at Kelly Preston the whole movie.
|Today's offering is the most adult of the offerings--not necessarily appropriate for children. However, it does have some of the funniest stuff of all the baseball movies, and Kevin Costner looks the part very well. Of course, I'm talking about "Bull Durham."|
Favorite line: "From what I hear, you couldn't hit the water if you fell out of a #*!@ing boat." Followed closely by many others.
Spain, it turns out, has had a "Green" economy for a few years now. Here are a few of the things they have learned:
:Only 1 in 10 of the jobs actually created through green investment is permanent.
:Since 2000, Spain has spent €571,138 ($753,778) to create each "green job," including subsidies of more than €1 million ($1,319,783) per wind industry job.Those programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 113,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy.
:Each "green" megawatt installed destroyed 5.39 jobs in non-energy sectors of the Spanish economy.
:Consumer energy costs in Spain would have to be increased 31 percent to repay the debt generated by the green jobs subsidies.
Add this to the pile of liberal mythology which includes global warming, the New Deal, and appeasement.
And yet, the American people have deigned to hand the reins over to people who want all of these to become a part of American life--once again.
As Charlie Brown was fond of saying . . . . [sigh]