Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Week's Playlist

Final one for this year.  Going to the rocking side of things:

1.   "Honest Man" by The Gracious Few.  Great new stuff by former Live and Candlebox.
2.   "My Kinda Girl" by Chickenfoot.  Another "supergroup" with Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony from Van Halen, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani.  A basic, straightforward rock song very well executed.
3.   "The High Road" by Broken Bells.  This duo created one of my favorite songs of 2010.
4.   "Hard to Handle" by The Black Crowes.  I fell in love with this song when it first came out in 1990 from this Atlanta band.
5.   "Shape I'm In" by Arc Angels.  A little heralded bank, the Arc Angels put together a great album of core rhythmn and blues songs.  This is as basic R&B as you can get.
6.   "Dream On" by Aerosmith.  Great song by great band.  Enough said.
7.   "Bringin on the Heartbreak" by Def Leppard.  The early song that established this Sheffield band as the soundtrack of my middle and high school years.
8.   "Run Back to Your Side" by Eric Clapton.  Eric Clapton's latest single gets back to his famous roots.
9.   "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" by Fall Out Boy.  Great writing, well played and and fantastic hook.
10. "High" by Jimmie's Chicken Shack.  From Annapolis Maryland, this band got some early play on MTV but have pushed on.  This was their first really big hit and still gets me pumped up.
11. "I Just Wanna Rock" by Joe Satriani.  One of my favorite artists ever, this is not one of Satch's best songs, but it is a fun song and he does different things with his guitar in this song.
12. "I'm Bad" by The Last Vegas.  With a 80/90's sound, and high quality musicianship, this song got me hooked on the Chicago fivesome.
13. "Back in Black" by Living Colour.  One great band (ironically) covering one of the greatest rock songs ever.  Brilliantly done and Vernon Reid rocks the solos.
14. "Holier Than Thou" by Metallica.  My brother liked Metallica long before me, but the "black" album got me hooked.  My Navy roommate and I played this CD until I thought we would burn it out.
15. "State of Love and Trust" by Pearl Jam.  I got in to Pearl Jam thanks to a girl I knew in the Navy.  This song is just encapsulates this band.
16. "Synchronicity II" by Queensryche.  the "thinking man's metal band" covers the Police.  Supremely well done.
17. "They Say" by Scars on Broadway.  I was never a big fan of System of a Down, but this song by Scars was something that just struck me.
18. "Sin With a Grin" by Shinedown.  One of my favorite new bands, and one of the best bands to come out of Jacksonville Florida since Lynyrd Skynyrd, they simply rock.  This is one of their harder, faster songs, and I love the title.
19. "Riot Act" by Skid Row.  A much older song by Skid Row, but off an album that, from first song to last, demonstrates that a band that a lot people simply didn't credit with much had some musical and songwriting chops.
20. "Black Rain" by Soundgarden.  This band getting back together was good news.  After a solo career and time with Audioslave, Chris Cornell shows that he still has the pipes and this song's hook just drew me in.

Ezra Klein Calls Reading the Constitution a "Gimmick"

And it is too confusing because it was written over 100 years ago.



The last time I checked, the Constitution was written in English--right?

Two new rules will give Constitution a starring role in GOP-controlled House

What?? A Congress who actually reads the Constitution? Did I just feel the Earth shake? I know it is cold, but did Hell just freeze over? According to the Washington Post, Congress will enact two new rules that will give the Constitution some primacy in Congress.
When Republicans take over the House next week, they will do something that apparently has never been done before in the chamber's 221-year history:

They will read the Constitution aloud.

And then they will require that every new bill contain a statement by the lawmaker who wrote it citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed legislation.
As Gina, Renee Zellweger's character in Empire Records, said: "Shock me, Shock me, Shock me with that deviant behavior." Congress is going to read the Constitution (which may be a first for Congressional Democrats and more than a few Republicans). May I suggest to presumptive Speaker John Boehner regular recitations of Article I, Sec. 8 and the Bill of Rights, I am thinking Daily.

But the second rule, requiring citation of the Constitution provision granting authority to enact the legislation, really warms my heart. But I would suggest an amendment to that rule right now. Don't let Members of Congress get away with a necessary and proper clause citation. They need to cite some other authority--an actual power delegated to the Constitution.

Still, even if the education of Congress is a little late, it is better than never.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Top Three Tea Party Questions

Karl Uppiano, writing at the American Thinker presents "The Top Three Tea Party Questions" that he contends should be asked. Those questions are:
1. Which article of the Constitution gives government the authority to do this?

2. How does this help reduce the deficit and balance the budget?

3. Why does this have to be mandatory and not voluntary?

These are good questions, but these are not just Tea Party questions, they should be questions every American asks of their government a little more. The Framers were suspicous of the accumulation of power, hence the structure of the national government, but also the reliance on the state governments as bodies of power. But there are two questions that Uppiano doesn't ask, and I would name these as 1.5 and 2.5, that should be asked as well.

1.5. Is there a provision in the Constitution that limits or prohibits the government from taking this action? The Constitution is not just a document that grants certain enumerated powers to Congress, it also contains express limitations on the government's power. The difficulty that we as a nation face is that the Framers were not stupid, they realized that Congress would need to have a certain amount of flexibility to legislate their enumerated powers. Thus, the Necessary and Proper Clause. The problem of course is that Congress and the Courts have allowed the Necessary part to go forward, but everyone has forgotten about the Proper part of that clause. Just because an action may be necessary to effect, for example, a regulation of interstate commerce, doesn't mean that it is actually Proper for the federal government to exercise that power. We have to look elsewhere in the Constitution and in the Bill of Rights to make sure that what Congress is doing is not just permitted, but also not prohibited.

2.5. If this action is necessary, what level of government should be doing what ever is being proposed? America is a nation governed by multiple levels of government, from the national government to state government and multiple levels of local government. But more and more, we are asking the federal government or we are allowing the federal government to do more and more and more. What is the point of having state government or local government if we are asking the national government to do all of these tasks we want government to do.

We as a nation are not doing enough to ask ourselves "should government be doing this thing?" The loss of liberty is not a jarring thing, not like an invasion by a foreign power. The loss of liberty in America has happened because we don't ask ourselves and our politicians these questions?

Monday, December 27, 2010

How Does This Happen?

A New York City teacher suspended for allegedly molesting a sixth grade student has been employed for 13 years earning $97,000 plus whiel doing nothing. 13 Years in the 'rubber room' with full pay and benefits is teh headline and I have just one question. Why can't the school system fire him? Why can't they reinstate him? Who knows, but if I could earn $97,000 for sitting around doing nothing or blogging at someone else's expense, then I would be pretty happy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

NOW Hates Hooters

I don't get it, seriously I don't get it.

I don't understand the National Organization for Women.  What is their mission?  NOW describes their mission as this:
Since its founding in 1966, NOW's goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.
Okay.  I am not sure about all of that, but that is what they say.  Now I looked through that mission statement several time after reading a story on the Daily Caller titled: NOW says Hooters is inappropriate for kids.  According to the Daily Caller:

The National Organization for Women has filed a complaint against Hooters for being an improper dining venue for minors.
A California chapter of NOW argues that Hooters is unsuitable for kids and violates sexual entertainment law regulations, and therefore no one under 18 should be allowed inside select California venues.
“They also display and sell products of prurient nature, including T-shirts in child sizes with statements such as ‘Future Hooters Girl,’” the NOW complaint reads.

What's wrong with that?  Seriously, I want to know.  If Radio City Music Hall sold t-shirts that said "Future Rockette," would that by appropriate?  What if Cosmopolitan magazine or Elle sold t-shirts with the slogan "Future Fashion Model," is that appropriate?  What if NOW sold t-shirts that said "Future Abortion Activist?"  I might find the latter offensive.

Okay, NOW has a problem with Hooters, probably because they think that the short orange shorts and tight T-shirts somehow demean the servers at Hooters, but without actually asking if the Hooters servers are actually demeaned.  In theory, NOW's mission would encompass these "oppressed" Hooter's Girls and try and get them better treatment.

But read through that mission statement again--I don't see the word children, kids or child welfare anywhere in there.  Not once.  So why is this complaint being lodged?  Because NOW thinks they know better than you what is good for your kids.  the last time I checked, that was my job as a parent.

The worst part about Hooters for my kids is not the wait staff or their modest (I have seen more skin displayed in local shopping malls by girls younger than the wait staff at Hooter's--all of whom are at least 18) outfits--but their decidedly unhealthy kids menu.  I don't think we would patronize Hooters as a family, but if we did, I am pretty sure that a complaint by NOW would not change my mind.

I don't know what my reaction would be if my daughters decided to work at Hooters.  But I would not be worried about my daughters moral upbringing if we did go to Hooters.  If I am not worried, why should NOW be worried for me?

  

Farm Subsidies and School Lunches

Mona Charen, writing in the Washington Examiner, was discussing the manner in which the commentariat on the right took a recent comment by First Lady Michelle Obama out of context when talking about school lunches and healthy eating. A fair number of people, particularly those on the right chastise the First Lady for trying to tell us how we should eat better. I for one think Mrs. Obama's message is a good one, I don't even mind the appearances the First Lady has made in psuedo-PSAs on the Disney Channel (my kids favorite channel) on thinks like eating healthy snacks or managing portion sizes. I believe her efforts come from a good place and I don't really have a problem with the fact that sometimes she and her family like french fries.

Having said that though, I am not a big fan of some of Mrs. Obama's chosen methodology, such as expanding school lunch programs. I became even less enamoured of the idea when I read this bit from Charen's piece:

Obama is correct that school meals are loaded with saturated fat, salt, and sugar. She notes that children receive half of their daily calories from school lunches. Most kids don't eat breakfast at school, which means that school lunches are larded up with calories.
 So let's follow the government's logic here a bit.  As noted by Charen, the government nutrionistas tell us that 1 in 3 American kids are overweight or obese.  That is bad, but then we read that children get half their daily caloric intake from school lunches.  That is one meal out of, presumably 3 meals and snacks probably, and kids get 1/2 of their calories from a school lunch--a government program.  So, partially to blame for the high obesity rate in this country is----that's right, the government.


So naturally, to fix the problem we are going to--expand that same government program that gives our kids half their calories a day.  There are even some people who want to expand beyond just school breakfasts and lunches and go right into dinner as well.  Can you imagine the blobs for kids we would get then?  (And don't get me started on the lack of Physical Education to burn some of those calories off).

Compounding the school lunch problem is the farm subsidies that go along with it.  The government spend $13 billion dollars a year now on the school lunch program buying those fatty, dairy-laden, fat-dripping, high caloric lunches for our ever more obese kids.   We subsidize dairy and meat farmers who then provide the basis for the high caloric school lunches and breakfasts.
How did this happen? Was it just that before the Obamas came to town, the feds were misguided about what was good for kids? Or was it something about the way government operates?
Is it an accident that school lunches are so heavy on cheese and meat?
No. The National School Lunch program, enacted in 1946, was devised with two goals in mind. The first was to subsidize farmers by purchasing huge blocs of "excess" commodities in order to keep prices up.
Only secondarily did the government intend to help feed hungry children. Subsidies are, to paraphrase President Reagan, the closest thing to immortal life in this world.
So while America's children were getting heavier and heavier, particularly low-income children, federal programs continued to heap pizza, French fries, and cheeseburgers onto their plates.
So we pay subsidies to farmers to keep the prices artificially high for their products and then the government, presumably pays those artificially inflated prices--essentially paying twice for the products.  It gets better, Mrs. Obama and the nutritionistas want to expand the the school lunch program by some 35%, adding another $4.5 billion into the program to, I hope, buy more fruits and vegetables for the school lunch program.  That expansion will include, no doubt, subsidies to fruit and vegetable farmers to keep their prices higher and then the government will pay those higher prices.  Of course, the School Lunch Program is not going to stop by the dairy and meat products that it already subsidizes.  The program is just going to add more calories to our kids plates, although it will be healthier calories.


Does anyone else see the folly in this?  Does anyone else see the billions wasted?  I think it terrific that we are looking to trim our collective waist lines and put some healthier food on our children's plates.  But we also need to think about trimming the size of our national wallet and this is not the way to do it.


Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2010/12/will-mrs-obama-downsize-your-kid#ixzz192iuazRN


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Texas Gets Four New House Seats

The Census Bureau today announced U.S. Population Growth and how many U.S. House seats will be reapportioend. The Northeast and Midwest all took a hit as they lost seats, but the Sunbelt and Southwest continue to grow.

Texas will gain four new House seats, and Florida will gain two. Gaining one each are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.
Ohio and New York will lose two House seats each. Losing one House seat are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Florida will now have as many U.S. House members as New York: 27. California will still have 53 seats, and Texas will climb to 36.


What is interesting is that the states where seats were gained all went against Barack Obama in 2008. The state legislatures will begin the process of redistricting early next year. It will be bitter, it will be bloody and it may very well make a huge difference on who is occupying the White House in January 2013.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Nothing has really changed

When Bill Clinton was elected President, I was in the Navy, in the midst of my four year enlistment. There were two big talking points in my unit about President Clinton's election: 1) that he had never served in the military--the first president in the modern era to have not done so and 2) that he had campaigned to a certain extent about ending the ban on gays in the military.

Interestingly, the first was a much greater concern than the latter. The truth is there have been gays in the military undoubtedly since the Declaration of Independence was signed. Randy Shilts wrote and terrific book on the subject called Conduct Unbecoming describing the lives and careers of gays and lesbians in the military since the Vietnam War. The fact is, ask a military member and chances are they can tell you and probably name fellow service members who are gay. But President Clinton made a pledge to end the ban on openly gays serving in the military.

The military leadership, as to be expected, was opposed to the idea. The fact is that it was a policy decision and like all policy decisions, particularly in the Clinton Administration, it was subject to compromise--which is how we got the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. It was a compromise built on lack of spine by the Clinton White House. In order to get elected, Clinton felt he needed the votes of gays and lesbians (I still don't believe this to be true) and in doing so, promised to do something that was, at least in theory, within his purview. The funny thing is that as someone who had not served in the military, President Clinton didn't understand the fundamental nature of civilian leadership of the military. As the commander in chief, the President could have simply said, "Don't discharge anyone from the military just because they announce they are gay." It is an order, and if the Joint Chiefs didn't like it, Clinton could have fired them, they serve at the pleasure of the President.

But with the Don't Ask, Don't Tell compromise, like most political compromises, you got the worst of both worlds. You continued to have a military leadership who thought they could continue to act like they previously did, discharging soldiers for being gay and, honestly, looking for some rather flimsy excuses. You still had gay service members who enlisted or were commissioned, didn't like the military and then get discharged by simply coming out. In the meantime, the military still had gay service members. Nothing had changed.

Now that a repeal of that dumb law has passed and you can have openly gay service members in the military, what is going to change? Probably nothing. Sure there are same gay activist military members who are going to celebrate, but probably a very small minority. The fact is the push for the repeal of this law didn't come very hard from the gay service members, at least as far as I can tell, not from active service members. Rather the push came from the people who drive "identity politics." Comparing gays in the military to minorities in the military didn't not win the argument, rather what one the argument is the realization that since 1776, there have been gays in the military and there shouldn't be a law that should force someone to hide who they are, even in the military. I would guess that the vast majority of gays in the military will remain closeted, but at least they no longer have to face the end of their chosen career if they are inadvertantly outed or viciously outed by someone else. That is the justice that is deserved.

The truth is, in the military, "identity politics" is based upon the color of the uniform you wear. The identity is Marine, or Navy, or Air Force or Army. Within the services, you might have distinctions based on unit. Identity politics based upon race, or sexual orientation or nationality are a luxury for civilians, because when the excrement hits the wind generating device, it won't matter if the person next to you is a black soldier from Chicago or a white Marine from Moline, Illinois. It doesn't matter to a ground pounder in a firefight in Afghanistan if the Air Force pilot about to drop a 500 lb., laser-guided nasty-gram on the enemy is a lesbian from Long Island or if the Naval aviator is a gay man from Seattle so long as they hold up their end of the bargain and do their job. The assessment of them is based on competence in their job, not what they look like or where they came from or what gender they prefer to sleep with.

A Marine Corp Captain, Nathan Cox said it best in his recent op-ed:
In the end, Marines in combat will treat sexual orientation the same way they treat race, religion and one's stance on the likelihood of the Patriots winning another Super Bowl. I do not believe the intense desire we all feel as Marines to accomplish the mission and protect each other will be affected in the slightest by knowing the sexual orientation of the man or woman next to us.

The only people the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell really matters to are the Human Rights Campaign and other gay/lesbian advocacy groups. Everyday, our nation calls upon our military to lay their lives on the line to give groups like HRC the freedom to espouse their point of view. In the end does it matter if those service members are gay or straight? After all, last week there were gays in the military and this week, those same gay people are still in the military. Nothing has really changed

Music This Week

I like to keep track of the music I am listening too (since I tend to delete playlists from my iTunes after a while).  This week's playlist looks like this:

1.   "War" by Bruce Springsteen
2.   "True Reflections" by Dave Matthews Band
3.   "Cliffs of Dover" by Eric Johnson
4.   "Pretty Vegas" by INXS
5.   "Wormhole Wizards" by Joe Satriani
6.   "Escape" by Hoobastank
7.   "Everlong" by Foo Fighters
8.   "Think Like a Man" by Orianthi
9.   "Hysteria" by Def Leppard
10. "Paloma" by Carbon Leaf
11. "Lily Was Here" by Candy Dulfer
12. "Hard to Handle" by The Black Crows
13. "My Kinda Lover" by Billy Squire
14. "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam
15. "Living in a Dream" by the Arc Angels
16. "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith
17. "Flirtin' With Disaster" by Molly Hatchet
18. "Time Stands Still" (Live Version) by Rush
19. "Just Wait" by Blues Traveler
20. "Home Again" by Queensryche

If you check any of these songs (some are quite old and some very new), let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Supreme Court agrees to hear campaign finance law case that could be ‘game changer’ | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Supreme Court to hear campaign finance law case that will look at the issue of public funding in Arizona's Clean Elections Law which provides that when privately financed candidates expend over set amounts, publicly funded candidates get more public funds to counter the privately funded candidates.

I am generally against the notion of public funding for campaigns. The case could be significant and have implications for the presidential campaign fund. It will be interesting to see how the Court will address this issue in light of previous campaign finance rulings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks: Enemy of the United States

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion:
We are the laughingstock of the world, an impotent superpower whose response to those who aid our enemies is to write a letter asking them not to do it. Yes, Harold Koh the State Department's chief lawyer, sent a demand freakin' letter to Wikileaks. It went something like this (my paraphrase):
Dear Wikileaks,

Please give us our stuff back because it was really mean of you to take it and give it to all your friends.

Sincerely,

Harold Koh
Here is the letter which should have been delivered months ago:
Dear Wikileaks,

If you publish any more material we will hunt you down no matter the cost, and you either will be killed while resisting arrest or you will spend the rest of your lives in solitary confinement in a Supermax prison, where the highlight of your day will be 1 hour spent in a cage instead of your cell. Don't look up, that sound of propellers in the air is not a Predator drone.

Sincerely,

Harold Koh


Seriously, a demand letter? I send demand letters all the time in my legal practice--but when some chucklehead is making a mockery of the United States of America, we should be dropping a bomb on his head. Wikileaks is endangering the safety and national security of the United States. If North Korea was lobbing artillery at us, we wouldn't send a demand letter.

Seriously, how wimpy does the Obama Administration look?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chris Christie Freezes School Superintendent Pay

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie orders school superintendent pay freeze. Christie is still looking to bring the New Jersey budget under control. As you can see, he is an equal opportunity pay freezer. Will this make the teachers' union happy? Probably not, but at least the objective outsider can look and see that Christie isn't just beating up on teacher's pay when it comes to controlling education costs.

Author of DOJ report targeting NJ Governor Chris Christie has history of using position for political purposes, sources say | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

According to the The Daily Caller a recent report targeting NJ Governor Chris Christie was authored by someone who may have a political agenda.

That a Department of Justice lawyer may have a political agenda doesn't bother nearly as much as these passages:

Another former senior DOJ official who asked not to be named confirmed Lee’s involvement in strategizing to leak information to the Washington Post, saying that she was not a trustworthy person and had major political motivations.

Von Spakovsky described one case where Lee was caught breaking into the e-mail of a colleague, Joshua Rogers, specifically because Rogers was conservative and Christian. “Lee was radically left. She made it plain that she didn’t like Rogers,” von Spakovsky said.

He went on to call Lee’s efforts at DOJ a “major security breach.”

snip

ccording to another former DOJ employee who worked closely with Lee, Lee first got into trouble while working in the Voters Rights Division during the Bush administration. There, according to the former coworker, Lee was caught breaking into other employees’ e-mail accounts and spreading around personal information.

Look if this woman, Maura Lee has a political agenda, big deal. It might create conflicts at the DOJ, but that doesn't bother me. What bothers me is why this woman still has a job!!! Did you note that she was caught breaking into another employee's email? Did you note that it doesn't appear to be an isolated incident? This is not some clerk, this is a licenses member of the Bar--an attorney who should have been fired after the first incident. But somehow, this woman still is employed by the U.S. Government. If she is willing to break into a colleagues email, what is to stop her from thinking she can break into your email or my email. Lee should have been fired--not for being politically adverse to conservatives, but for violating the privacy and work papers of a colleague.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Truth in Education and A Pandora's Box

While I think some of the arguments presented in this piece by Robert Weissberg at American Thinker, Spending Less for Better Education, are a bit simplistic, Weissberg hits on a truth that has so far befuddled education reformers:
The GOP's victories on November 2 have once again raised the call for smaller government, and given soaring budgets and lack of improvement, reducing K-12 education spending is one obvious target. This will not be easy, but there is a sensible strategy.

Begin by recognizing that abolishing any specific program, even clear-cut ineffective boondoggles, is doomed to fail. All have constituencies -- education school professors, benefiting parents, program employees, foundation experts, bureaucratic administrators, plus erstwhile pro-education members of Congress who can readily mobilize to defeat axe-wielders. Scanning the budget line by line to cut waste is a cost-saving dead end. GOP skinflints will be overwhelmed and labeled mean-spirited enemies of "helping the children."

Successful cost-cutting requires satisfying three conditions. First, reductions must improve education, not just make mediocrity less expensive. Second, measures must defeat interests who sustain an expensive, personally lucrative status quo. Finally, cutbacks must create powerful counter-constituencies to resist the inevitable rear-guard action from teachers' unions and all profiting from government's largess.
Weissberg is absolutely correct, the current education constituencies, i.e. the teacher unions and the massive administrative bloat that we have in education is difficult to overcome directly. The secret which Wiessberg presents through one idea is to go around, or under, the education constituencies rather than through them.

Weissberg argues that the best way to reduce costs and improve education quickly is to take all the "bad students" out of the classes. But unlike the disciplinarian crowd, Weissberg suggest sending them packing not as a punishment, but as an opportunity. Weissberg suggests letting any 16 year old kid to drop out with a Lifetime Learning Credit Voucher that can be used with the knucklehead gets some maturity and takes a few lumps in the real world.

The idea has appeal, but fails to address a few problems. Namely that behavioral problems in classrooms arise far before a child turns 16. By the time the kid is 16, then most schools have given up hope on the miscreant. So, while there may be some savings, I am not sure that the savings will be as great as Weissburg thinks.

But while Weissburg sees an upside, and it is a reasonable upside, there is a downside--namely that you now have a bunch of 16-year-old, uneducated, unemployed kids on the street. It may be just a matter of time before our juvenile justice system is swamped with these drop-outs. I am not saying every drop-out will end up a criminal--but the odds certainly seem to stack up that way.

But if we go back to Weissberg's truth in the beginning of his piece, this is where we need to get creative. We need to see more ideas like this--but of course, Weissberg himself opens up the biggest Pandora's box of all--we would have to admit that there are indeed bad students--something that politicians have been loathe to admit.

Friday, October 29, 2010

RealClearPolitics - A Crossroads Election

Thomas Sowell on the election: "For all its sweeping and scary provisions, ObamaCare is not nearly as important as the way it was passed. If legislation can become laws passed without either the public or the Congress knowing what is in those laws, then the fundamental principle of a free, self-governing people is completely undermined."

I couldn't agree more. Look, I don't like ObamaCare, but if Congress has passed the bill after a reasonable debate, after actually writing the bill and reading the bill, there would far less hate of the bill--partially because if everyone in America understood the bill I doubt it would have passed.

The election is about government and trust and I don't think America trust their government because they can't identify with their government.

Democratic Closing Argument: Personal Attacks - ABC News

The ads are vicious, maybe a little more so that in past years, but when Democrats cannot campaign on policy, the only thing left is "constituent service" which doesn't translate to a 15 or 30 second spot or personal attacks.

Vote 2010 Elections: Democratic Closing Argument: Personal Attacks - ABC News

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sadness Among the Fun

As a soccer referee, I am usually assigned to high school aged players and up. But when tournaments come around, I take whatever games are assigned to me in order to make life easier on the assignors.

This past weekend I was working a Columbus Day Tournament and was assigned to three U11 girls games as the only referee (which is pretty standard). For me this was a great break from the usual high level games, played a high speed and requiring a much faster speed of thought. This is not to say that I don't take these games seriously, but it is different.

In the three games I was assigned, which included on semi-final, the third place game and the age group final, I saw five different teams and the level of play was pretty good, with some decent skills and clearly some burgeoning tactical awareness among the players. The games were clean, only a few careless fouls, and only one "blowout."

Now before I get to the real sad part of the afternoon, I have to explain a philosophical concern. These are 10 and 11 year old girls on so-called "elite" teams. While I fully endorse the idea of competitive games on a regular basis, I think that there should be no pressure to win and certainly no pressure to win a tournament like this. I don't think you should be classifying players at this age as "elite" either. I would much rather see tournament organizers have a guarantee of 4 games, three games in group play and a fourth game against another team in another group. No trophies, no medals.

The reason for this philosophy is that at age 10 and 11, players should be focused on individual skills, such as dribbling and trapping and basic team skills, passing, tactics and set plays. These games are small sided (8v8) including a goal keeper so there is plenty of opportunity for getting touches on the ball. Yes, they should have regular games but with lots of training sessions in between, on average I believe in a 3:1 training to competitive game ratio.

For me the most important factor in training for players at the 10-11 year old range is for them to HAVE FUN. We should be teaching players to enjoy the game first and then become the best player they can be second.

Having said all of this, for four of the five teams I saw, they were having fun. Even the team that suffered a 5-0 defeat, they were smiling at times, they were playing the game. Their coaches were being helpful, guiding and in my view coaching they way coaches at this level should be doing, instructing their players to be better by pointing out an error and then suggesting a correction or asking the players for a correction.

However, there was one coach that truly made me sad and quite frankly angry. I saw this team twice and in 100 minutes of play by his team, I never, not once, heard an encouraging word from him--not even when his team scored goals. Some of the things I heard from this coach's mouth:

"Do that one more time and I will pull you from the game."
"You are doing it wrong."
"You are in the wrong position."
"Stop doing that."
"You absolutely have to make that pass or we will lose" (this at a time when his team was 2-0 down and the game was about 2 minutes from ending)
"You are always losing the ball."

In one incident, he pulled a player to the side line and spent 30 seconds wagging his finger in his player's face while chastising her for a careless pass that ended up out of bounds when her teammate couldn't catch up to the pass. It was the kind of pass that professionals sometimes mess up and this girl was 10 years old.

In 100 minutes of competition by this team, not once did I see them smile. Not even when they scored because the coach was not congratulating them for scoring but was chastising them for being out of position.

Finally, out of all five teams I worked, he never sent his players out to shake my hand--every other team did, every other coach did and even some parents did. This was after all of them (including some players) complained about some of my calls. I don't require players to come shake my hand after the game nor do I expect coaches to do so either. But the omission was obvious.

This man is what makes me sad about sports in America. The families of these kids pay an significant amount of money for the privilege of having their children publicly chastised (borderline abused) for a game that should be fun first. If this coach were coaching my daughter in this manner, my daughter would not be on that team for long.

Coaching at this age is about teaching love of the game as much as the game itself. These girls had skill, there is no doubt about it, but if this man continues as their coach--most of these girls will quite the sport in 3 years no matter how good they are. They don't like playing the game, they don't look like they are having fun.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paul Krugman Has Lost the Plot

NY Times Paul Krugman' column from yesterday talks about the angry rich and says, essentially, that they should just shut up and stop whining.
These are terrible times for many people in this country. Poverty, especially acute poverty, has soared in the economic slump; millions of people have lost their homes. Young people can’t find jobs; laid-off 50-somethings fear that they’ll never work again.

Yet if you want to find real political rage — the kind of rage that makes people compare President Obama to Hitler, or accuse him of treason — you won’t find it among these suffering Americans. You’ll find it instead among the very privileged, people who don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, their homes, or their health insurance, but who are outraged, outraged, at the thought of paying modestly higher taxes.

The rage of the rich has been building ever since Mr. Obama took office. At first, however, it was largely confined to Wall Street. Thus when New York magazine published an article titled "The Wail Of the 1%," it was talking about financial wheeler-dealers whose firms had been bailed out with taxpayer funds, but were furious at suggestions that the price of these bailouts should include temporary limits on bonuses. When the billionaire Stephen Schwarzman compared an Obama proposal to the Nazi invasion of Poland, the proposal in question would have closed a tax loophole that specifically benefits fund managers like him.
I can see why rich people hate people like Krugman. Spend enough time on the receiving end of political kicking and punching, being abused on a near daily basis, it is likely that you would get angry.

We aren't talking about a half a percentage point increase in taxes, but a significant double digit increase in taxes. At the same time, the rich, those with the disposable income to invest in small businesses, are being beaten about the head and shoulders for not getting the economy going. But in the uncertain tax environment and regulatory environment, I don't blame investors for being worried and very conservative.



Friday, August 13, 2010

If Your State is Fiscally Responsible, Congress will screw you over.

Particularly if you are a state with a Republican Governor, in this case Texas
The provision in question, an amendment authored by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, an Austin Democrat, would deny Texas its share of the bill’s education funds unless its governor “provides an assurance” that it will not reduce the percentage of total revenues it spends on education at any time in the next three years. Gov. Rick Perry argues that this is impossible: The state legislature controls education funding in Texas, not the governor, and the governor cannot bind future legislatures to any level of spending. Because Perry cannot provide the kind of assurance the Doggett amendment appears to require, he argues that it would deny Texas, and only Texas, over $800 million in education funds.
So instead of rewarding a state for being fiscally prudent, Congress--spurred on by a TEXAS REPRESENTATIVE will deny funds to one and only one state.

NICE!.

This is just more fodder for me that Congress is no longer interested in legislating for the general welfare of all Americans, but is more interested in either
a) self-aggrandizement and beneft, or
b) punishing political enemies or people they consider inferior for what ever reason.

Governor Perry should be going on every single news program that he can get on and blasting this move by Congress.

NCAA Rules Change Big News for MLS

Jason Davis at Match Fit USA has a brief link to a recent NCAA Rules change that will benefit the MLS directly and probably benefit NBA basketball and maybe even baseball (not that I give a toss about those leagues).

For a long time, if an athlete played along side a professional in an organized match, that student athlete would lose their amatuer status--forever dooming their college athletic career. But even with NBA rules and NFL rules requiring athletes play or wait for a given number of years before jumping from high school to the pros, there is still a great deal of raiding of high school talent (particularly by the NBA and to a lesser extent MLB and NHL) the problem of moving young players into the league before they are truly ready to play at the necessary level (anyone remember Kwame Brown) either on the playing surface or off the surface.

But the rule change will allow amateur players to play alongside professionals so long as the amateur player is not paid for his appearance. As Davis points out, the biggest beneficiary will be the MLS reserve league which is coming back, probably in 2012, maybe as early as next year. MLS rules require each club to have an academy team of U18 and U16 players. More and more clubs are putting together U14 and U15 teams as well. With the rebirth of the Reserve league, those U18 and select younger players, will get an opportunity to play right alongside professionals in a competitive game and test their mettle. If they make the grade-a la Andy Najar, they can move to the senior team. If they don't make the grade at age 17 or 18, they can still make the move to college soccer and have a good career in college.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jobs picture dims as unemployment claims rise - Yahoo! Finance

How will the President spin this: Jobs picture dims as unemployment claims rise to 484,000 new claims and could reach 500,000.

the problem of course is that the method by which the government calculates unemployment is seriously flawed and obscures the real impact.

Anchor Babies the Immigration Problem Du Jour

Rick Moran at American Thinker Blog highlights a rather stunning statistic, 8% of babies born in the United States are "anchor babies" that is children born to what the Pew Hispanic Center calls "unautorized immigrants" (which is just P.C. for illegal immigrants).

there is a movement afoot to alter the 14th Amendment to get rid of birthright citizenship. Aside from the practical hurdles of amending the Constitution itself, this is just a really bad idea. The problem is not anchor babies. If I were poor and I could come to the U.S. to have my child in a clean, professionally staffed and equipped public hospital in this country where infant mortality is very, very low, I would. That is just common sense.

Rather the problem is not denying birthright citizenship, but perhaps curtailing the right of anchor babies to sponsor their illegal unauthorized immigrant parents into citizenship. Yes, the process would take 18 years before mom and dad could be sponsored into the country legally, but since no enforcement of immigration rules exists now, many illegal immigrant families will just sit out the time, since ICE can't deport a U.S. citizen and ICE is extremely unlikely to split up families.

Are anchor babies a policy problem? The babies themselves aren't the problem, the fact that the U.S. does such a poor job policing immigration is.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dee Snider Gets the Last Laugh

I remember back in the 1980's Twisted Sister was one of my brother's favorite bands. I never got as much into their entire library, but they were an entertaining group. In the 1980's Tipper Gore (Mrs. Al Gore) and a number of wannabe nanny staters were saying that heavy metal was causing suicides among young people. Tipper Gore was leading a charge to censor music and as part of that whole circus, Dee Snider testified before Congress about effors to censor music that discussed violence or sexuality. Hey Tipper, it got worse didn't. Anyway, I just came across this tidbit: Dee Snider Gets the Last Word

Say what you will about guys like Dee Snider, he is right. Almost invariable the power of ideas will win out.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do you know what is in the Bank Bailout Bill?

Technically, it is the Financial Reform Bill. But I don't know what is in the bill, because right now I don't have the time to look into another 2000 page bill. But others do. I am 99.999% sure that most of Congress doesn't know what is in the bill. There is this little gem:
Four members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights have signed a letter complaining that Section 324 of the conference report titled the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” “includes a section on race and gender that even those who pride themselves on keeping up with national affairs may have failed to notice.” This provision, which can be found on page 172 of the conference report, may lead to unconstitutional racial and gender preferences being forced on financial institutions covered by the new law.

The letter from members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was signed by Commissioners Peter Kirsanow, Ashley Taylor, Gail Heriot, and Todd Gaziano. In the letter these experts in civil rights law explain that the legislation “requires that each covered agency establish an ‘Office of Minority and Women Inclusion’ responsible for ‘all matters of the agency relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities.’” This law will empower federal bureaucrats to issue rules and regulations governing the financial sector of the economy, if those businesses are doing any work for the federal government.

The Commissioners further argue that these new bureaucrats will be empowered to shall “’develop standards’ for ‘assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the agency’ and ‘develop and implement standards and procedures to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the fair inclusion and utilization of minorities, women, and minority-owned and women-owned businesses in all businesses and activities of the agency.” According to the letter, this new mandate will cover “financial institutions, investment banking firms, mortgage banking firms, asset management firms, brokers, dealers, financial services entities, underwriters, accountants, investment consultants and providers of legal services.” If these institutions are doing business with the government, newly minted bureaucrats will be allowed to study the racial and gender composition of these covered entities work forces to search for companies with not enough minorities and women in a decision making capacity.
Here is another piece about this section which notes
What would be the mission of this new corps of Federal monitors? The Dodd-Frank bill sets it forth succinctly and simply - all too simply. The mission, it says, is to assure "to the maximum extent possible the fair inclusion" of women and minorities, individually and through businesses they own, in the activities of the agencies, including contracting.

How to define "fair" has bedeviled government administrators, university admissions officers, private employers, union shop stewards and all other supervisors since time immemorial - or at least since Congress first undertook to prohibit discrimination in employment.
So, not surprising, the definition of "fair" is going to be in the eye of the beholder. The problem is that the beholder will be a group of unelected bureaucrats who will get to make up the law without any real accountability.

So what will we get? Quotas--make no mistake about it.

Look, I like the idea of minority and women owned business. I believe that the law, however, should be completely neutral on the regulatory front. No rules should be put in place that favor one type of business owner over another, not on race, not on gender, not on anything.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Daily Caller Leading the Way on "Journolist" Scandal

This story about disgraced Washington Post writer Dan Weigel is just one of the stories leading the Daily Caller today.

This story is ugly and not likely to get better anytime soon.

Documents show media plotting to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright

The Daily Caller's Jonathan Strong looks at the spike job some members of the media did on the Reverend Jeremiah Wright story that threatened to derail President Obama's election campaign:
It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. Now the black nationalist preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign.

The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”
Sounds like Gibson and Stephanopoulos were doing their job, right? Perhaps, but some liberal media members were not happy and started plotting ways to eliminate the story from the news cycle.
Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”

Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”
Sound familiar?

As I noted in my previous post, labeling someone with the tag "racists" is the liberals favorite tactic. It is mean, spiteful, hateful and 99 times out of 100, just flat out wrong. That so-called journalists have political views is not the problem, nor would one or two or even a dozen journalists, working independently, to burnish Obama's reputation during the scandal be a problem for me (so long as they were doing it in the op-ed pages and not in the news pages). But when a group of journalists, self-selected liberals, discuss and collude to hide a legitimate story about the credibility, background and thinking of a presidential candidate--that is a real problem, nay a scandal.

I have never met the President personally (and not likely to), but I don't need to meet the man in order to make a decision about his politics. That doesn't make me racist--it makes me conservative, libertarian or simply a guy who doesn't like the Obama policy program. I don't know if Fred Barnes or Karl Rove are racists and given that I have no evidence on the matter, I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

Simply put, this story is going to get some legs and it will not look good for the mainstream press.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/20/documents-show-media-plotting-to-kill-stories-about-rev-jeremiah-wright/#ixzz0uFAq6pJe


Race Card Fraud

I wish I were as eloquent as Thomas Sowell on Race Card Fraud:
Credit card fraud is a serious problem. But race card fraud is an even bigger problem.

Playing the race card takes many forms. Judge Charles Pickering, a federal judge in Mississippi who defended the civil rights of blacks for years and defied the Ku Klux Klan back when that was dangerous, was depicted as a racist when he was nominated for a federal appellate judgeship.

No one even mistakenly thought he was a racist. The point was simply to discredit him for political reasons-- and it worked.

This year's target is the Tea Party. When leading Democrats, led by a smirking Nancy Pelosi, made their triumphant walk on Capitol Hill, celebrating their passage of a bill in defiance of public opinion, Tea Party members on the scene protested.

All this was captured on camera and the scene was played on television. What was not captured on any of the cameras and other recording devices on the scene was anybody using racist language, as has been charged by those playing the race card.

When you realize how many media people were there, and how many ordinary citizens carry around recording devices of one sort or another, it is remarkable-- indeed, unbelievable-- that racist remarks were made and yet were not captured by anybody.
Now we hear that the sacking of Mark Williams by the Tea Party movement is proof of the Tea Party's racism.

Make no mistake, Williams' letter was ill-timed, ill-conceived and poorly executed. However, just because Williams is associated with the Tea Party doesn't make the organization racist. Nor for that matter does it make Williams racist. The truth is if you strip away references to color, the President and Colored People, the message in Williams letter is about freedom, about individuality, about liberty. In short it is about what the Tea Party stands for.

The Democrat play book is easy to read and see coming a mile away. If an organization or a person threatens them, the easiest, most effective method of destroying that organization or person is to call them a racist. No matter what evidence is marshaled against the charge, the word sticks like a brand burned onto a person's forehead. I can't be shaken and it ruins lives and organizations. It is wrong and it will continue until someone calls B.S. on the NAACP.

The problem is that the NAACP has already labeled Thomas Sowell as an "Uncle Tom," itself a racist term. The bigger problem is that pulling the race card is easy. The biggest problem is that we as a society allow this crap to continue.

Proper Reaction?

Eugene Robinson's "Purge This Poison" piece talks about the "rightness" of the NAACP's "Tea Party is Racist" resolution now being proved true by the actions of the Tea Party expelling Mark Williams:
That was quick. We now have proof the NAACP was right.

When the nation's leading civil rights organization passed a resolution condemning displays of racism by tea party activists, leaders of the movement reacted with umbrage so thick you could cut it with a knife -- then demonstrated that the NAACP's allegation was entirely justified.

On Sunday, the National Tea Party Federation announced it had expelled one of the movement's most prominent figures -- a California blowhard named Mark Williams -- because of the outrageously racist things he had said about the NAACP. Ejected along with Williams was his whole organization, Tea Party Express, which had been a particularly active, high-profile group.

The last straw was a "satirical" letter that Williams, a right-wing talk radio host, posted on his website. It was supposed to be a missive from NAACP President Ben Jealous to Abraham Lincoln, and the Tea Party Federation deemed it "clearly offensive." With good reason.
I think the Tea Party was right to denounce Williams from only a PR standpoint.

But I have a question for Robinson and the rest of the NAACP: Have you ever publicly expelled someone for making comments that could be construed as racist?

No.

Yeah, thought so.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It Depends On What the Definition of "Is" is.

Gateway Pundit has the story of the NAACP trying to parse its way out of the Tea Party is racist resolution passed by the NAACP earlier this week.

Go read it. It does remind me of the Parser in Chief, Bill Clinton.

Anti-Obama=Racist

Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler at POLITICO.com point out the pattern:
A clear pattern of behavior has emerged over the last 16 months. According to liberals, if you disagree with their thinking, and if you disagree with the Obama administration, you are not only wrong, you are a “racist.”

The latest strike by the left comes from the NAACP, which has resolved that the tea party movement is inherently “racist.” At its most simple, this is a direct attack on the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans.

The NAACP has long history of liberalism and racism.

If you are a conservative — including a conservative African-American — there is no room for you at the NAACP. If you have opinions that differ from the NAACP and the liberal establishment, and if you are African-American, you are an “Uncle Tom,” a “negro,” “not black enough” and “against our people.”

In other words, the NAACP fancies itself the thought police for millions of black Americans. Disagree with them and you will be ostracized and attacked. You will be subjected to public humiliation and racist commentary from NAACP leadership. The message is clear: Toe the line or pay the price.

But the NAACP does not stand alone in this regard. The left has a long history of using the race card. It has been pulled on people across the political spectrum.

President Bill Clinton was smeared as a racist by the Obama campaign when Hillary Clinton was running for president. It seems that anyone who disagrees with the far left, socialist policies of Barack Obama and the current administration is subject to the heavy hand of the race card.
If you can't beat them with logic, then beat them with a smear campaign.

Are there racists in the Tea Party Movement? Probably--any large sample of people will have some loathsome creatures. Are there racists in the NAACP? Probably for the same reason.

When things like this happy, I wonder what icons of the NAACP would think, men like Thurgood Marshall. He has to be spinning in his grave. I don't like some of NAACP's politics, but I never thought of them as stupid. Now I am not so sure.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39745.html#ixzz0tqqpzRr2

Is the Foreclosure Crisis Getting Worse? | The Atlantic Wire

Is the Foreclosure Crisis Getting Worse? Yes according to the Atlantic.

Here is the gist. Mortgages get paid when people have sufficient income to pay them. To have sufficient income, you have to have a job. If the economy is tanking so bad that jobs are not being created, you can't get a job. Without a job, you can't get income to pay the mortgage.

There are some other reasons as well, but read the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seriously?

Complaints about a naked mannequin in Nebraska.

Seriously?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Most Americans Not Willing To Pay Higher Taxes For Public Employees, Entitlement Programs - Rasmussen Reports™

Look, I like the work that Scott Rasmussen does, I think he is a very good pollster who doesn't ask overly slanted questions and does a good job interpreting the results of his polls in a fair way.

Michael Caine has said that on a number of occaisions and I remember Charlton Heston being asked why he did the Bud Light Commercials and he said because they paid him an obscene amount of money for voiceover work. What does that have to do with Rasmussen--I think he takes cake walk polling jobs for a paycheck--not that I mind--he has to make a living too. But this polling gig was just too easy: most Americans are not willing to pay higher taxes for public employees and entitlement programs. Wow there is a shocker.

Rasmussen will be dining out on that gig for a while without having to break a sweat.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

What's Wrong With This Statement

From this CNN.com story:
"We have grave concerns that the punishment does not fit the alleged crime, " Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley said Thursday. "For a modern society such as Iran, we think this raises significant human rights concerns."
The "punishment" we are talking about is this:
She will be buried up to her chest, deeper than a man would be, and the stones that will be hurled at her will be large enough to cause pain but not so large as to kill her immediately, according to an Amnesty International report that cited the Iranian penal code.
This woman's crime is adultry.

I am not condoning the adultry, but to call Iran a "modern" society with this kind of middle ages era punishment is a bit of a stretch.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Divorce Agreement Proposal

I got this forwarded to me and thought it was kind of funny. I don't know who the author is, but who cares:


Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:
Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right. We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem." I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".

We'll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.
Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

Sincerely,
John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

P. S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.

P. S. S. And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call our country.

Liverpool confirm appointment of Roy Hodgson - Barclays Premier League - ESPN Soccernet

Sucks for Fulham

Kagan can't answer: Does Congress have the power to tell people what to eat?

American Thinker Blog presents a bit of a problem for freedom: She refused to outline the limits of the Commerce Clause.

You may remember the Commerce Clause, it is part of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. The Commerce Clause has been used for good-i.e. enforcing civil rights for example, but it has also been used for bad--i.e. ObamaCare, bailouts, etc.

Ms. Kagan refused to say if a law that mandates how and what we are to eat is unconstitutional, which can be legitimately interpreted to mean that she doesn't see such a law as a violation of the Commerce Clause. Now, she did say it was a dumb law, but stupidity is not unconstitutional per se.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

World Cup Tragedy

There are things far worse than your team losing in the World Cup.

If you are in New Orleans this weekend and have even kicked a soccer ball, go to Louisiana Avenue Field in New Orleans on Saturday from 3-7 p.m. Donations will be taken upon admittance; players will be charged $25 each. For more information, go to http://neworleanscoedsoccer.com/.



Monday, June 28, 2010

U.S. Men's National Team: Who Raised Their Stock At The World Cup

America has lost and exited the World Cup. As the players head to vacations and a little time off before returning to their clubs, there is always recriminations and reflections. But I want to look ahead in the next couple of posts.

First up is the summer transfer window which will open up July 15. There are some players who, when combined with the club form, really improved their value this summer and moves are possible.

1). Michael Bradley. Can we finally put to rest the notion that Michael is only in the line-up because his daddy is the coach? Over the course of four games, only Steve Cherundolo could come close to the consistency Bradley showed in this World Cup. Bradley is not a holding midfielder, he is not necessarily just an attacking midfielder, although he demonstrated that skill time and again. If you watch Bradley, he comes deep to pick up the ball and carry it forward. He sprays passes around that shows he sees the game that perhaps only Landon Donovan can see for the Americans. He is strong on the ball, strong in the air and shows that he is on the cusp of being a world class midfielder. What I think Bradley's greatest strength is his ability to make that late run that slices through the defense (see his goal against Slovenia and his strikes against Algeria). Combine that slashing run skill and his ability to strike from distance and to scrap it up in the box on set pieces, I can see Bradley, in the right set up, as being a 15 goal scorer and killer ball control midfiedler.

2). Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber showed that he can control the ball, is comfortable on the ball and can be a game changer. His attitude and work ethic were suspect when he was with Derby County, which led to him being dropped by Derby County and leaving to play in Denmark, a lateral move at best. His form dipped at the same time and he dropped off Bob Bradley's radar, but he seems to have turned a personal corner and is working well. He did very, very well in his appearances, getting on the ball and moving it around in such a way as Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore and others could cut apart a defense. Feilhaber could do better on the defensive side of the ball, but I don't think it is a total liability.

3). Maurice Edu. Bob Bradley clearly likes Ricardo Clark, but when Edu was on the field, the U.S. were far more dangerous. Edu is naturally a defensive, holding midfielder, which allows Michael Bradley, Donovan and Dempsey to do their best work on attack. But Edu also shows that he can pass the ball around, and is getting better at it, and read an attack well enough to snuff out the counter attack. But Edu also shows well on attack, particularly set pieces.

4). Landon Donovan. Donovan made a statement with this tournament. Combined with his performance at Everton this winter and with his LA Galaxy form, Donovan showed that he can play at the highest level and can show that he can put a team on his back and literally drag them back into the game. His new maturity and emotion shows that he is a leader both on and off the field. He has all the tools, the soccer brain, the passing, the touch, the speed and the fitness to make an impact. Now that he has matured as a man, a leader and a player, Landon will be for the off perhaps in July (which I think he should) or in the winter. He is legitimate $10 million dollar transfer player.

5). Jozy Altidore. This might be a little suspect and sure to gain a little criticism, but Altidore at Hull and Jozy for the U.S. are two different players. If you can find a set up where Jozy Altidore is not set up as a target striker, you can have a forward that can make an impact. Jozy has the strength and speed to play off someone, and the skill to get behind players. Does he need some work on his touch? Yes. Is he spotty in his performance? Yes. Is he developmentally behind other world class strikers? Yes. But Altidore did work hard, moved off the ball well enough to make a nuisance of himself. Altidore has improved in the past few months and as long as he keeps his temper in check, he can be an impactful player.