Friday, December 10, 2010


This is Bane.

Bane is a tracking dog with the Michigan State Police, working out of the Alpena Post in northern lower Michigan, and he is lost.  On November 13, Bane and his partner, Trooper Jamie Bullis were out looking for a dementia patient who had wandered away.  They were in very dense brush and because of that Bane was working off-lead.  During the search they kicked up a deer which crossed his path within a couple of feet, and being a dog, Bane took off after the deer.  That was the last time he was seen.

If you are reading this and know anything about where Bane might be, please call 989-354-4101 or 989-734-2204 
Here are Bane's web and Facebook pages\findbane 

Monday, December 06, 2010

I'm officially sick of all this Nick Saban talk

Well, MSU is going to face Alabama in the Capital One Bowl on New Years Day. It's been official for less than a day and already I'm sick of the storyline being MSU facing it's old coach Nick Saban - football's version of Larry Brown.

Friends, the story here is a team who was picked to finish seventh in the Big Ten having an 11-1 season and getting a share of the conference championship, not a guy who coached here ten years ago (or whatever it was).

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Lions: Nate Burleson Guarantees Win this Sunday against 8-3 Bears

Hey Nate - you guys are 2-9. You have no cause to be guaranteeing anything. Just shut up and play. You and the rest of those knuckleheads on your team. Just shut up and play. No chest thumping, no first down gestures, no end-zone celebrations, no sack dances. You guys have not earned that right. Your team has sucked for 40 years - it takes more than a single catch or a single sack for you to celebrate anything. Just give the ball back to the ref and go back to the huddle and do it all again until you win the game. Then celebrate.

I know you haven't been around for any but this year's edition of sad-sack football, and I certainly don't blame you for all that has (and hasn't) happened with this team, but please - less talk, more walk.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Government Gropers

I've been stewing about this for a while, but didn't know quite how to articulate what was wrong with what is happening.  I happened on this article while reading another blog, and it spells out very well what is wrong with what the Government Gropers (aka "TSA") is doing to people.  It's written by a former police officer.  May I particularly point out his response to the "if you don't like it, don't buy the ticket" argument.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

News you can Use: Laptops Cooking *ahem* Testicles

Well, I'm past the time when this would be a concern for me, but for the sake of all my nephews, I'm posting this today.

Scorched scrotums: Is your laptop cooking your testicles?

Scientists warn of sterility concerns after testing temperatures of nether regions

Whoever invented the 'laptop' probably didn't worry too much about male reproductive health.
Turns out that sitting with a computer on your lap will crank up the temperature of your nether regions, which could affect sperm quality.

And there is little you can do about it, according to the authors of a study out today in the journal Fertility and Sterility, short of putting your laptop on a desk.

The researchers hooked thermometers to the scrotums of 29 young men who were balancing a laptop on their knees. They found that even with a lap pad under the computer, the men's scrotums overheated quickly.

"Millions and millions of men are using laptops now, especially those in the reproductive age range," said Dr. Yefim Sheynkin, a urologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, who led the new study.
"Within 10 or 15 minutes their scrotal temperature is already above what we consider safe, but they don't feel it," he added.

So far, no studies have actually tested how laptops impact men's fertility, said Sheynkin, and there is no bulletproof evidence that it would. But earlier research has shown that warming the scrotum more than one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) is enough to damage sperm.

Under normal circumstances, the testicles' position outside of the body makes sure they stay a few degrees cooler than the inside of the body, which is necessary for sperm production.

"I wouldn't say that if someone starts to use laptops they will become infertile," Sheynkin told Reuters Health. But frequent use might contribute to reproductive problems, he said, because "the scrotum doesn't have time to cool down."

According to the American Urological Association, nearly one in six couples in the US have trouble conceiving a baby, and about half the time the man is at the root of the problem.
Both general health and lifestyle factors such as nutrition and drug use can influence reproductive health.
However, Sheynkin said tight jeans and briefs are generally not considered a risk factor.

"Clothes should not significantly change scrotal temperature, because you are moving around," he said.
To hold a laptop on your knees, however, you need to sit still with your legs closed. After one hour in this position, the researchers found that men's testicle temperature had risen by up to 2.5 C.

A lap pad kept the computer cool and also made sure less heat was transmitted to the skin. But it didn't do much to cool the testicles, and might give "a false sense of security," according to Sheynkin.
"It doesn't matter what pad you use," he said. "You can put a pillow beneath your computer and it still won't protect you."

As it turned out, leg position played a far bigger role. When the men sat with their legs spread wide -- made possible only by placing the computer on a large lap pad -- they could keep their testicles cooler. But it still took less than 30 minutes before they began overheating.

"No matter what you do, even with the legs spread wide apart, the temperature is still going to be higher than what we call safe," said Sheynkin.

Belkin International, Inc., which sells lap pads and other electronics accessories, did not wish to comment on the new findings.

Dr. James F. Smith, a urologist at the University of California, San Francisco, cautioned that a clear impact of laptop use on fertility had still not been shown, and that it probably didn't play a big role.

Still, he added in an e-mail to Reuters Health, heating up the scrotum is likely to be bad for sperm production. He often asks patients that he sees for infertility if they use a laptop and, if so, suggests that they spread their legs periodically or place the computer on a desk.

Dr. Smith said the consequences of continued overheating of the testicles -- so-called scrotal hyperthermia -- probably weren't permanent, but might take months to go away.

"When interested in maximizing fertility potential," he advised, "minimize harmful exposures, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Boy, these test subjects sure gave their all for science.  I wonder if the researchers monitored what was being viewed on the laptops while the temperature changes were being measured!

Monday, November 08, 2010

It's time for a Lions post

I haven't done one in a while, so at the halfway point, here goes.

  1. Expectations were on the upswing for the team entering this year after another good draft and some good free agent pickups, and you can see the progress that has been made.  However, they still shoot themselves in the foot in ways almost unimaginable.  This weeks game was a perfect example:  two penalties on center Dominic Raiola for illegally shifting the ball.  Three penalties for chop blocks.  An absolutely inexcusable personal foul on Julian Peterson (who should know better) for hitting the ballcarrier out of bounds on the final drive, giving the Jets the field position for free to kick the field goal to send the game to overtime.  And Drew Stanton doing what he has been doing since he played here at Michigan State - making a boneheaded play at a crucial time to give a game away.  This time throwing an incomplete pass on third down to stop the clock late in the fourth quarter when the most important thing to do was run off as much of the clock as possible before giving the ball back to the Jets.  How long have you been playing football again, Drew?
  2. How far can Matthew Stafford take this team when he can't stay on the field?  His talent and ability are obvious, but he's only played in 50% of the games in his first two years.  Shaun Hill isn't the long term answer, but is fine as a backup.  Stanton's contract is up after this season - he should be allowed to walk and another QB found to develop, in case Stafford isn't the answer.
  3. There should be no excuse for the Lions not making the playoffs next year.  They have good players, they need to play up to their talent level now.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Important Rule of Warfare

This is a 2-part rule.  The first part is to know who your enemies are.  The second is to know who says they are your friend, but they are not. 

In the war to reclaim the Republic, it is easy to know who the enemy is:  Democrats, plain and simple.  There is not one of them that is interested in cutting the size and scope of government.  There is not one of them that is interested in actually being constrained by the Constitution (although they will twist it to their own purposes at every opportunity).

The second is not so easy.  They will rejoice at our victories.  They will say the right things.  They might even do things that we think are right, or that we agree with.  But their aim is to accumulate power for themselves, not to take away the unauthorized power of the government.

So how can we recognize them?  There are a couple of indicators I can think of off the top of my head.

1. Long-term incumbancy, or career politician.  This is not a complete indicator, because there are some long-term incumbents that get it.  These tend to be ones who had a successful career outside of politics before running for election.  Barack Obama never held a real job before he got elected.  A community organizer is a politician-in-training, funded by some Foundation or another.  It produces nothing tangible and serves no one but itself.  Ron Paul had a successful medical practice before he ran for Congress.

2. Uses the word "reform" rather than "eliminate".  Slogans like "we need to reform healthcare/Wall Street/Banking System/Education/etc." flow from his lips, rather than "we need to eliminate the Department of Education/Death Tax/Earmarks/Obamacare/etc."  This indicates a basic conviction that government involvement in every aspect of our lives is a good thing, and that their plan to control people is better than the enemy's plan.  Folks, neither plan is acceptable - you are just changing slavemasters, not gaining your freedom!

I know there are more indicators - feel free to add to my list.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

RIP Sparky Anderson

The Tigers, and all of baseball, lost one of the great ones today. Sparky Anderson died at age 76.

That's two beloved legends we Tiger fans have lost this year.

Apparently, my image from The Detroit News was moved. Sorry about that folks.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

To Conservatives Everywhere

Today is the first day of the war to save the Republic. Yesterday just defined who is going to be on the front lines. Conservatives - we are the logistical train that keeps them supplied with ammunition and sustenance during the war. We are Rosie the Riveter. We are the Merchant Mariners. We are the stevedores in the ports. We are the doctors in the hospitals that heal them when they are wounded and weak. We can't leave them there to be chewed up by the enemy - we have to support them, cajole them, kick their butts, yell at them, plead with them, and do everything we can to keep them pressing forward against the leftist, marxist tide. We cannot fail them, for if we do we fail not only ourselves, but our posterity.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Public's right to know trumps privacy issues

Hat tip to WorldNetDaily for the link to this article from the Anchorage Daily News:

The article states: "A judge ruled Saturday that the Fairbanks North Star Borough must release personnel records of U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller.

In an unusual weekend hearing, retired Superior Court Judge Winston Burbank ruled that the public's right to know about candidates outweighed Miller's right to privacy.
"I hold that although Mr. Miller has a legitimate expectation of privacy in those documents, Mr. Miller's right to privacy is indeed outweighed by the public's significant interest in the background of a public figure who is running for the U.S. Senate," the judge said. He noted that U.S. senator is among the highest elected offices in the nation."

Wonder if that applies to Presidential candidates as well?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tackling Technique 201

I wouldn't say this is Basic Tackling Technique, but when you are trying to bring down one if the best running backs in the NFL, you have to bring in the more advanced stuff, as Kyle Vanden Bosch demonstrates (from The Detroit News, 9/27/10):

Monday, September 20, 2010

College Football Humor (at the expense of Ohio State)

Saw this article at the ESPN website today:

Ohio U apologizes to Ohio State, fans

Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio University has apologized to Ohio State and its fans after the school's Bobcat mascot tackled the Brutus Buckeye mascot, touching off an impromptu wrestling match before Saturday's game at Ohio Stadium.
In addition, the student who was dressed in the Bobcat costume has been banned from any further affiliation with Ohio athletics.

The Bobcat first went after Brutus as the OSU mascot led the Buckeyes onto the field for the game.
Moments later, the Bobcat mascot climbed on the back of Ohio State's mascot and rode him to the ground. The two then tussled in the end zone while fans booed.

An e-mail sent by Ohio's assistant athletic director for media relations, Jason Corriher, said the department does not condone such behavior and regretted the negative effect of the mascot's actions on the relationship between the two schools.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
I have to say I'm taking the side of the Bobcat on this one (while laughing hysterically!)  I'm sure the sheer size of the cranium of that mascot leads to some serious instability, resulting in an easy takedown by opposing mascots.  Reminds me of this:

EDITED TO ADD:  Here's the footage from someone's cell phone camera.  Notice right at the beginning the OU mascot tries to tackle the OSU mascot and kind of whiffs.  Then the chase begins:

9/22 Update:  ESPN has found the Bobcat!  Here is the interview:

The guy has planned this for over a year!  Too funny!

Friday, September 10, 2010

On 9/11/10

Thinking about and remembering 9/11/01 this week and this weekend.  Here is a terrific post about it.

This one is me from 2008.

Folks - don't ever forget.  Even amidst the PC claptrap you are inundated with daily about the "Religion of Peace", don't ever forget.  And don't forget those who are enablers (or worse) in high places.  Remember to take them out of their high places with your votes.

Friday, September 03, 2010

It was the 3rd of September...

In honor of my old boss, Gene Patterson, who used to sing this song every Sept. 3, I give you "The Temptations".

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some Great Founders Quotes Reflecting on the Times

John Adams:
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion...Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." 

Samuel Adams:

"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. . . . If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security."
Dear Readers, the root problem in this country today is not that we have gone too far left or that we have too many laws or that we have allowed abortion or gone off the gold standard.  It is this:  We have forgotten God.  We have turned away from the wisdom of the Creator who gave us this country, and toward the wisdom of the created (which, indeed, is no wisdom at all).

So the solution to our problems today is simple in concept, yet vast in its implementation.  As the Bible has it:  "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." (Jas 4:7-10)  

Or, if you prefer the Old Testament:  "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Much has been written to discredit the founders, calling them deists, slave owners, or 18th century dimwits trapped in their outdated cultural strictures.  The truth is that they were more enlightened, more educated, more widely read, and more insightful than 99% of what passes for leadership in this country today.  They were for the most part NOT deists.  Indeed, those who are most often cited as belonging to that sect (like Franklin or Jefferson) give no evidence of it when their lives are examined in detail.

So if you are reading this, I exhort you to investigate for yourself what these men believed, what influenced their thinking, and how they took all that and turned it into the most unique nation ever on the face of the earth.  You will see how far we have strayed from their vision.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Who's sick of the LeBron James hype?

This is me raising my hand.

I have been sick of this guy since he was a senior in high school and he was plastered everywhere. 

LeBron - just go away, willya?  You're an egotistical jerk, wherever you end up playing.  I'll take Magic Johnson or even Chauncey Billups over you any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  You are why I hate the NBA any more.  They used to play basketball in that league.  Now it's mostly thuggin' and tats and shorts that are five sizes too big.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Independance Day 2010

Well, actually it's a couple of days later, but as I think about our great nation and remember what our forefathers did for us in pledging their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in what was in all likelihood to be a losing cause, I am awed by what they did in the face of a stone tyrant and the mightiest military in the world at that time.  I hope when the time comes I have a small fraction of their fortitude in standing up to tyranny in our day.

And then I see this, and I realize that the task is bigger than Jefferson and Madison and Washington and Adams and all the rest ever dreamed of:

And this from Jay Leno.  Thank God for Grandpa at the end! He must be truly embarassed by the buffoon of a son he has.

Truly ladies and gentlemen we are finished.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Obama (spit) rained out

It seems that there is a contingency of old soldiers in heaven who are fed up with our knucklehead-in-chief, and have implored God not to make them listen to his excremental spewings on Memorial Day.  So God obliged them by cracking open the valve on the floodgates of heaven just a little, and raining that jerk out.

Friday, May 21, 2010

More on Detroit

Another Paul W. Smith-inspired post.  Yesterday, Paul W was talking with someone from the Detroit Institute of Arts about how bad it's getting financially for them, and how even their large donors are not giving as much, and the how the State of Michigan used to give them millions of dollars annually, but this year only gave them $10,000 (yes, ten thousand dollars), and how they were afraid that they would have to cut back or eliminate programs and/or exhibits.  But their latest idea to keep themselves funded was to get what they need from the taxpayers through a millage.

That's right.  Here in Michigan roads are crumbling, companies are failing, people are out of work long-term, but the people of Metro Detroit need to cough up even more money to subsidize an art museum.  They don't need that food.  They don't need that electricity.  They don't need water or gas for their homes.  But to these artsy-fartsy folks, they absolutely need an art museum.  This on top of the zoo they already support with their tax dollars!

Let me be clear - the Arts are a big part of my life, and always have been.  I understand and appreciate their importance to the soul of man.  But let me be just as clear on this:  they are not important enough that I want to be taxed for them.  They are not important enough that anyone should be taxed for them.  There is no constitutional basis for imposing any kind of tax for art museums!  Art museums are not a function of the government.  Police, Fire, sewers, roads, bridges - those are the things that government is responsible for.

And the worst part of it was that Paul W was supportive.  Shame on you, Paul.

To them, it's a 1300-year war

Why do the muslims hate us?

To hear the Obamaites (and even some Conservatives) tell it, it's because of our nation's unflagging support (until Jan. 2009) of Israel.  Or maybe our exploitation of them for their oil (how many petro-dollars have poured into thier little third-world stinkhole countries in the last 50 years again?)

What they don't seem to understand (probably because we don't teach history in the government schools any more) is that to the muslims this war has been going on since the seventh century AD, and that the whole world must come under the political and religious domination of Islam.

The government schools will tell you that the Crusades were a terrible thing that Christians should be ashamed of ever participating in or having associated with our faith.  While there were certainly atrocities committed in the name of Christ, what nobody ever talks about is why there were Crusades in the first place:  muslim expansion into eastern and southern Europe.  They never tell you that Spain was once invaded and mostly conquered by the muslims.  They never tell you it was invading muslims that Vlad the Impaler was impaling.  And do you ever hear about any of the atrocities committed by the muslims as they conquered their way toward Europe?

So let's not fool ourselves by thinking that if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone.  That may well be true for us, but their own religious and cultural history tells us what they will do.  This means you Ron Paul.  This means you, Chuck Baldwin.  This means you Obama (spit).

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Day I met Ernie Harwell

I woke up this morning to the sad news that baseball broadcaster extraordinaire Ernie Harwell passed away last night from bile duct cancer, at age 92.

For those who didn't grow up or get to experience listening to Mr. Harwell on the radio, it would be hard to describe the bond that exists between him and us, even though most of us never met the man. He represents warm summer days, the smell of hot dogs and cigarette smoke in the air, and the greenest grass you ever saw as you walk into old Tiger Stadium. You sit with him in your back yard with a beer and good friends, or as you're doing yard work, or as you lay in bed after midnight listening to the late game on the west coast. Your mind's eye can see Tram and Lou turning that double play, Al Kaline hauling one in at the warning track, Lolich mowing down the Cards three times, or Gibby taking Goose Gossage deep. Or the man from Onstead catching the foul ball. Ernie is baseball - the joys, the trials, the hopes, the dreams, and the memories of summers past - for all of us who had the privilege of listening to him over the years. He is the connection to Cobb and Stengel and DiMaggio and Williams and Robinson and all the names large and small from the history of baseball, because he knew them all, and had stories for each of them.

A few years back, after he had retired from broadcasting, Ernie came to my building as part of his work with Blue Cross. He was signing autographs and posing for pictures and talking with his fans. I had brought a copy of his book "Tuned to Baseball" and I hoped to ask him to autograph it, but I began to get cold feet about going up there. What do you say to a legend? How do you strike up a conversation with a man like him, like it's nothing at all? I almost didn't go, but my friend down the hall, Eddie, kicked my butt about it, and told me how much I would regret it if I didn't go up there. So I did. I screwed up my courage and went up to the room he was in.

There were quite a few people there, and there was Ernie standing behind a table with Blue Cross "stuff" on it, signing baseballs and whatever else was handed to him. My first thought on seeing him in person was what a tiny man he was. He seemed to be about 5'-6", and might have weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. Not at all what I expected. But the big smile and the warmth you could feel even through the radio were there. When it was my turn I handed him my book, and he said "Wow - that's an old one" as he signed the inside flyleaf. I don't even remember what I said to him beyond telling him my name and thanking him for the autograph. I shook his hand and went back down to work. And that was it.

I told Eddie this morning how glad I was that he didn't let me off the hook when I was about to chicken out, because I got to meet Ernie instead of regretting for the rest of my life that I chickened out and didn't go.

So Godspeed, Mr. Harwell. I hope to meet you again when I get to heaven, and hopefully I won't be so tongue-tied then! Until that day, you have a place in the hearts and memories of a great multitude, who today are grateful for all that you gave us as we remember your life.

Thanks, Ernie.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Why Detroit will continue to FAIL

Once again The Paul W. Smith Show provides fodder for this blog. (I really need to meet Paul W. one of these days to thank him for all this stuff.)

Paul was interviewing Mayor Dave Bing this morning about the shooting death of a Detroit police officer, and Mayor Bing was doing a commendable job of talking about what happened with the class and dignity he is renowned for. If he would have stopped there I would have nothing but praise for him in performing this most difficult of mayoral duties. But then he veered off into the hackneyed liberal blame-speech that does nothing but make inanimate objects responsible for the problems Detroit faces. It was the old "we need to get handguns off the street" line.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if Mayor Bing feels the need to trot out these foolish old arguments, it merely reveals him as another in the line of "same old thing" politicians that have driven Detroit into the mess it's in over the last half-century or more. His worship of the usurper Barack Obama (also on display in this interview) merely adds more evidence that supports my contention.

To Mayor Bing (one more time): Inanimate objects do not cause crime. Inanimate objects do not commit crimes. People commit crimes. People use knives, fists, baseball bats, wood chippers, rocks, bricks, and tire irons to kill people - not just guns. They have been doing so for the six millenia of human history, and they will continue to do so as long as this world continues to exist.

To the People of Detroit: as long as you continue to elect clueless individuals to lead your city, you will never recover. Remember the common definition for insanity: doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

Finally, as the son of a Police officer, tragic events like this mornings shooting always hit home with me, and my heart and my prayers go out to the family of the slain officer. News reports indicate the officer leaves behind a wife and 10 year old son. I never thought about my dad going off to work one day and never coming home when I was a kid, but this young man gets to live with that reality for the rest of his life. If you are the praying sort, please remember this family before God today.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Favorite Irish Song

Inspired by the offerings at Lagniappe's Lair today, I offer my own favorite Irish song, which I always thought was called "The Bricklayer's Song", but it also has the alternate title "Dear Boss":

Friday, February 12, 2010

Asian Carp and Strange Bedfellows

That moving of the earth you folks in Chicago this week was not, as some have expressed, an earthquake. Actually, it was caused by me agreeing with environmentalist wackos, as expressed in this headline in today's Detroit News: "Environmental groups say plan to fight asian carp not enough".

This invasive species is a huge threat to the economy of the Great Lakes, yet the fedgov (read Obama. Where is he from again? Oh yeah, CHICAGO) and the Governors of Illinois and Indiana oppose the only sure way to keep them out of Lake Michigan (and every other lake, river, and stream that connects to it), which is closing the locks of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship canal.

We are talking tens of billions of dollars in economic impact to Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Not to mention the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. And yet we can't shut the damned doors.

I'm happy to consider other solutions, but close the damned doors first. That will give us time to figure out what those other solutions are, without sacrificing the economies of the states and provinces already mentioned.

The Governess has a budget proposal?

It appears that Governess Granholm has a budget proposal out, and she has been making the rounds in the media to try to explain it and garner support.

I have to ask - after seven years of tax increases and fiscal ineptitude from the Granholm administration, why should any taxpayer in Michigan believe that she has any answers at all to the problems Michigan is facing?

This thing should be rejected posthaste.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Granholm: "Budget process broken"

I have been chewing on this statement from the Governess' "State of the State" speech this week, and I think in a sense she is right. But not the way she thinks she is. What really needs to happen, at all levels of government, is that politicians need to let go of the idea that government exists to solve every problem and meet every need (real or imagined).

For instance - do we really need a "Pure Michigan" campaign funded by the state government? If we didn't tax the life out of businesses, a private organization like the Chamber of Commerce could have done something like this very easily, out of the dues its members pay or out of a special fund that businesses could contribute to. Gee, that would create jobs for marketing people, publicity people, graphic artists, TV and radio production people, etc. All without spending one penny of tax dollars.

In this era of declining tax revenues, shrinking tax bases, and high unemployment, the conversation needs to be about what do we really need to have government do for us, not how we can preserve what we have and expand it at every turn, and squeeze more money out of our citizens to do it with. Let's see...Department of Commerce? Delete. Department of Education? Delete. Department of Labor and Economic Growth? Delete. Department of Natural Resources? Radically downsize (we do need to keep the Asian carp out, after all).

Wow - I'll bet that's a couple billion right there!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Scott Heard 'Round the World

Yes, I have shamelessly ripped off my title for this post, because I thought it was a great line!

For the last day or so I have been enjoying the delicious irony of a Republican taking over Chappaquiddick Ted's recently vacated Senate seat, and I most heartily congratulate Senator-elect Brown on his victory. You are symbolic of the fight being waged to overthrow the facist-in-chief and his band socialist tyrants, and you are a message to all Congresscritters about just who they work for.

However, in listening to Senator-elect Brown in news reports yesterday, a note of dissonance began to form as he talked about health care. His campaign rhetoric was all about being the 41st vote against Obamacare, but his remarks yesterday went something like this: "I want everyone to have health care, just not this way."

This leaves a very big door wide open in my mind. Government intrusion into the health care system is what has made it so ponderous and expensive (that and the ambulance chasers), and Senator-elect Brown's remarks give the impression that he is OK with continued government intrusion, or even a government program, just not the Obamacare monstrosity.

Now, at this point I am willing to give him a slight benefit if the doubt. Perhaps his exuberance at his miraculous win has caused him to misspeak, or perhaps the press has edited out some disclaimers he might have made (Noooo. That would never happen. Would it?)

But it would behoove us all to keep a weather-eye on Senator Brown, and if he strays too far out of line, remind him of why he was sent there . It wasn't to give us Obamacare-lite, that's for darn sure.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

For Legal Scholars out there...

...if you beat the crap out of some Jihadi while your plane is still in the air, when do you officially come under the jurisdiction of US law enforcement?

Just wondering.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Foolishness of the "Rooney Rule"

I haven't done any sports commentary in a while, but I got a topic this week that really set me off. The National Football League has imposed the "Rooney Rule" (named for the late owner of the Pittsburg Steelers, Art Rooney) on its teams when they are searching for new head coaches (and perhaps other football positions as well). The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to include minority candidates in the interview processes when they are looking to hire a new coach.

Now, I understand that the NFL is a private association and can impose whatever rules it wants to on its members. I don't have a problem with that. All I am saying is, as with all other "affirmative action", their hearts may (may!) have been in the right place, but the practical results are not at all what they wanted to achieve. I give you this week's hiring of Pete Carroll as head coach by the Seattle Seahawks as exhibit A.

Mr. Carroll has NFL head coaching experience, but only around a .500 winning percentage with the New York Jets and New England Patriots. Past record may or may not indicate future performance (see Joe Torre before he took over the Yankees), and he does have a nine-year track record of success at the University of Southern California, including a National Championship. So objectively you would expect some level of competence from him, and you wouldn't necessarily argue with the selection.

Ahh, but there's that Rooney Rule. News reports over the weekend indicated that Mr. Carroll's hiring was being held up because the Seahawks had to interview their token minority candidate. Everyone, including this minority candidate, knew what was going on, and that he had no chance of getting that job, that Pete Carroll was the guy the Seahawks wanted. But this poor guy had to schlep all the way to Seattle, and the Seahawks brass had to pretend like they were interviewing him, just to show that they were "diverse". And of course, so they didn't get a hefty fine from the NFL.

I feel sorry for the "minority" guy. How must he have felt after being used this way? If I were a minority with an ounce of self-respect, I would tell any team who wants to use me like this to kiss off. It might damage my career, but at least I have my self-respect. Which is more important?

Anyone who thinks that this kind of thing is good for either party, really, you need to pull your head out of the little imaginary world you live in. Perhaps you have had a recent head injury?

Now, before the race baiters swoop in and accuse me of being some kind of white supremacist, let me state that I in no way believe in any kind of segregated society whatsoever, nor do I believe in any kind of privilege for anyone based on what are described as racial characteristics. Indeed, the science of genetics tells us that the physical characteristics that we humans use to group people by "race" (skin color, eye shape, etc.) account for a difference of 0.012% between us. * Folks, that is twelve one-thousandths of one percent. And that is statistically insignificant. So we can say that there is really only one race - the human race. Yes, there are variations within humankind, just like there are variations between dog-kind or horse-kind or camel-kind. But they're still dogs, horses, and camels. And humans.

So, since we're in Obama's "post-racial" America, perhaps the NFL will scrap its ill-conceived "Rooney Rule" as being un-necessary, and get down to the business of evaluating coaching talent based on achievement and not the outmoded concept of race.

*S.C. Cameron and S.M. Wycoff, The destructive nature of the term race: growing beyond a false paradigm, Journal of Counseling & Development, 76:277–285, 1998 (via Answers in Genesis website)