Saturday, May 12, 2007

MLP Round 023

Game Scores:

Kennedy at Washington, 36-30 Washington
T Roosevelt at Ford, 35-30 Ford
Cleveland at McKinley, 37-29 McKinley
JQ Adams at GW Bush, 36-25 GW Bush
Lincoln at L Johnson, 31-21 Lincoln
Hayes at Jefferson, 34-28 Jefferson
Garfield at Reagan, 31-28 Reagan
Polk at Tyler, 30-28 Polk
Fillmore at GH Bush, 31-28 Fillmore
Arthur at J Adams, 30-26 J Adams
Truman at Clinton, 30-23 Truman
Taylor at Carter, 28-26 Taylor
Jackson at F Roosevelt, 33-32 FDR
Harding at Eisenhower, 30-24 Ike
Buchanan at Monroe, 30-22 Monroe
Taft at Coolidge, 30-22 Taft
Grant at Nixon, 30-25 Nixon
W Harrison at Madison, 26-25 W Harrison
A Johnson at Wilson, 25-24 Wilson
Pierce at B Harrison, 22-21 B Harrison
Van Buren at Hoover, 24-23 Van Buren

Four Presidents have one loss, another 2 have 2 losses, another 2 have 2 wins, and one President has one win.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The American Muslim’s Burden

Fifty years ago, the United States enjoyed prominence in the world as the Champion of World War 2, but at home there were questions to resolve. Not least among them, the status of many Japanese-Americans interred during the war. It’s intriguing to see how many people, including historians, gloss over the Internment Camps and the slipshod version of Justice handed out to people who committed no offense and who lost years of freedom and a large portion of their property simply because of their race. In these modern times I wonder how well we have learned the lessons from those days, if at all.

By that I not only mean that the United States government has to plan for future conditions where large-scale profiling may be crucially needed to address a threat, but also how a demographic group might plan to prevent suffering the same fate as those citizens from Japan did. We see the conflict coming, and must all of us prepare for what may be delicately put as The Muslim Question.

This week, a plot was revealed where a group of Muslims planned to attack hundreds of people at Fort Dix. In the past year, we have seen attacks by Muslim terrorists at the University of North Carolina, at an office in Denver, and at a Jewish Community Center in Seattle, not to forget the plan to bomb international airline flights with liquid explosives. The problem is growing, and at some point it is inevitable that the public will simply demand that the focus be brought to where the source obviously breeds: Fascist Islam.

I have said many times, and will say again, that since Islam, with over a billion adherents, is responsible for less than two thousand terrorist attacks in a year, it is foolish to blame the whole faith. In fact, it should become obvious that while Fascist Islam is a cause of Terrorism, Islam as a whole is not. A lot of people never noticed that in the Fort Dix case, there was close cooperation between the FBI and Muslim informants, this was hardly the first time that the Muslim Community in a town has alerted the authorities when a terrorist cell showed up. American Muslims as a group should be recognized as significantly different from the monsters we see on television, or those idiots at CAIR who refuse to admit even the most serious and obvious problems. But increasingly, Americans are seeing Muslims in general as anti-American and as enemies of our ideals. And the blame for that impression lies, in part, with the Muslims themselves.

We’ve all seen protests by Muslims. Protests against cartoons, against the United States (of course), against the Pope, and all sorts of things. But what we do not see, at least in the United States, is a protest against Al Qaeda, against the hijacking of Islam by psychopaths, or against the rising tide of hate speech by this Imam or that. A few mosques have made some gestures towards showing support for America and Freedom, but in the main Islam has been silent about all it receives from the West, from money to protection to guarantees of respect for Muslim culture. It is long overdue for Muslims to choose to support their country as well as their culture, and to show that they belong to the nation as part of it.

MLP Round 022

Game Scores:

Washington at Harding, 36-27 Washington
Ford at Reagan, 33-31 Ford
McKinley at Tyler, 35-28 McKinley
Van Buren at GW Bush, 36-23 GW Bush
Madison at T Roosevelt, 33-21 TR
Lincoln at Nixon, 33-30 Lincoln
Jefferson at Buchanan, 31-20 Jefferson
Polk at Jackson, 30-28 Polk
Grant at Kennedy, 32-22 JFK
Fillmore at Monroe, 31-30 Fillmore
Eisenhower at Truman, 32-31 Truman
B Harrison at Cleveland, 31-22 Cleveland
Garfield at J Adams, 30-29 J Adams
F Roosevelt at Arthur, 29-26 FDR
GH Bush at Taylor, 30-28 Taylor
JQ Adams at Wilson, 30-25 JQA
Hayes at L Johnson, 28-21 Hayes
Taft at Clinton, 28-23 Taft
Carter at W Harrison, 25-21 W Harrison
A Johnson at Coolidge, 23-22 A Johnson
Pierce at Hoover, 25-23 Pierce

Five Presidents have one loss, another 1 has 2 losses, and one President has one win.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

All Those Channels and Nothing On …

This is going to be one of those articles where I show my age. Monday night I was sitting at home with the family and we were watching “CSI:Miami”. And saw what is arguably the lamest episode they ever put out. In a nutshell, we found out that Wolf, who was kicked off the team in an earlier episode, decides he wants to be a cop after all, makes a predictable speech and comes back and makes another predictable speech to Horatio “Strike a Pose” Cain, who takes him back, all is forgiven. Yawn. But the real issue I had, was the case where the team is able to find a few trace amounts of blood on a boat, and from that are somehow able to get the Coast Guard to help them intercept a drug kingpin. No explanation of how they do that, shoot they don’t even explain how they knew where he was, but oh well. The real problem is that this ‘kingpin’, as soon as they say they know the victim was on his boat, gives up and confesses, not only that he is in fact a drug kingpin, but also that he murdered the victim. I guess Cain gave the guy one of those ‘Perry Mason’ type stares; you know, how Mason was able to get his client off by somehow arranging for The Real KillerTM to take the stand in court, where the right tone of voice and a hard stare would produce a confession? David Caruso steals the act without so much as a nod to Raymond Burr.

So yeah, there’s a lot of shows where it’s obvious the writers just mail it in, and the same can be said for network news, but the whole thing about CSI was supposed to be all the cool ways forensics could solve cases. No need for soap opera storylines, car chases, ridiculous poses – well, OK, Caruso has always been big on posing whenever he saw a camera, but most of the people on the show don’t do that – the lab and Science were supposed to tell the story. No Science in this episode. Not much acting either, but oh well.

It seems that broadcast television in general has become as drab and low-quality as, say, the New York Times. According to AOL, the top shows right now are:

American Idol
Dancing With the Stars
The Sopranos

Let’s see now, two of the five have no plots whatsoever, one is available only on cable, and of the other 2, even their fans are saying the shows aren’t what they used to be.


Is it just me, or does TV in general suck?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Questions For The Day

I understand that one thing which has united extremists on both the Left and Right sides of the aisle, is their contempt for President Bush’s attempts to reform Immigration and establish a semblance of Border Security. But as I have mentioned before, Bush’s plan is in many ways similar to one proposed by President Reagan. Something which many Bush-haters refuse to acknowledge, even though it is patently obvious to anyone who bothers to check the facts. The reason for this is obvious; Conservatives revere Reagan and desperately want to avoid acknowledging any similarity by President Bush to their patron saint. Liberals desperately fear the Reagan aura, and desperately want to avoid acknowledging any similarity by President Bush to their most feared adversary.

But it occurs to me to note further, that besides having a similar point of view on this question, both men were better informed than most people on the issue – both Reagan and Bush served as Governors of large border states who have had to face the illegal immigrant issue head-on, without the luxury of passing the buck a la McCain or playing political Rottweiler a la Tancredo. In short, Reagan and Bush were each far more qualified to speak with authority than many of the talking heads in the media or Congress.

My questions for today are these:

1. Who, if anyone, of the major contenders for President has a demonstrable plan for dealing with Illegal Immigration and Border Security?

2. Considering that any bill which could become law will have to pass through Congress, where many a good idea has been perverted beyond recognition, what is the “best” possible bill which could actually become law in the next two years?

3. No bill dealing with Border Security or Immigration Reform can come into being without the President signing it. What approach would you recommend your advocate take in getting President Bush to sign the bill?

4. It can reasonably be said that a lot of the problem is not a need for new laws, nearly so much as it is a need for existing laws to be enforced, and enforced consistently. How would you persuade Congress to support improved enforcement initiatives?

MLP Round 021

Game Scores:

Truman at Washington, 36-29 Washington
Garfield at Ford, 35-29 Ford
Jackson at McKinley, 37-32 McKinley
GW Bush at Pierce, 35-18 GW Bush
T Roosevelt at Carter, 32-26 TR
Kennedy at Lincoln, 37-27 Lincoln
Reagan at Madison, 37-25 Reagan
Fillmore at Jefferson, 34-30 Jefferson
J Adams at F Roosevelt, 33-30 FDR
Arthur at Polk, 32-29 Polk
Taft at Eisenhower, 30-28 Ike
Monroe at Taylor, 31-30 Monroe
Hoover at Cleveland, 31-25 Cleveland
Nixon at Hayes, 28-27 Hayes
Tyler at B Harrison, 28-22 Tyler
Coolidge at JQ Adams, 27-25 JQ Adams
W Harrison at GH Bush, 29-28 GH Bush
Wilson at Van Buren, 28-23 Wilson
Harding at Grant, 25-24 Grant
Clinton at A Johnson, 23-19 Clinton
L Johnson at Buchanan, 24-20 LBJ

Five Presidents have one loss, another 2 have 2 losses, another 1 has one win, and 1 President is winless.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Good-bye, Mister Clemens

I was thrilled when Roger came to pitch for the Astros, and I will not forget what he did for us as a pitcher.

But I also remember what he said. About what made Houston different, about what made the Astros different. About how New York couldn't match that.

It is now obvious Clemens lied.

I'm an adult, I understand these things.

But I expected better of a man who claimed to understand what it means to be from Texas.

Clemens will be in the Hall of Fame. He's got tremendous talent and he's a great athlete and loves to win.

But he broke his word, and sold his integrity.

So in my book Clemens went from Stand-Up Guy to Mercenary. And that's all there is to that.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Global Warfare - Part 2

There is an understandable focus on American actions and intentions, especially since the MSM is obsessed with finding fault with any and all American objectives. However, in both historical and modern contexts, there are a number of significant players, whose objectives are every bit as “global” as those of the United States. Also, the fact that we do not operate in a vacuum, but in an environment influenced by all the separate players, means that these different directives must be considered in forming a comprehensive understanding of the world’s condition, and to determine future priorities and strategies.

First, we must understand that despite their losses in past conflicts, it is incorrect to presume that Fascism and Communism have ceased to operate on the world stage. Iran’s present regime, for instance, operates in a framework of political and military objectives which are essentially Fascist in character. Also, despite the fall of Communism as a feasible economic theory, the Communist style of political regime remains in control of a number of countries, especially for cult of personality regimes like the Chavez dictatorship in Venezuela.

Speaking of Communists, it is all too easy to forget that the nation with the world’s largest population remains Communist in doctrine and legal construction. It should also be noted that China’s military growth is proceeding at a rate faster than any other nation on earth, for reasons never yet stated by Beijing’s Politburo. That military growth includes rocket delivery of military satellites (and a Satellite Interception Platform), a new generation of electric-motor submarines, and development of aircraft carriers. This can mean only an intention to project power, to establish military control in support of a Hegemony.

We should also consider that there are a number of groups and nations which have cooperated on several levels towards common goals. The amorphous construction of Al Qaeda, at times, is partly due to the fact that different groups may claim or deny cooperation as it suits their aims. The principle aim for these Middle East groups and nations as a whole is to drive away the United States as a military force, because the U.S. alone is capable of thwarting major actions by an Anti-Israeli alliance.

Also important to note is the rising strength and significance of the nations of India and Pakistan, whose border feuds have never been resolved, but who have both indisputably developed nuclear arms. At this time, U.S. military presence in the Middle East helps to restrain hostility between the two nations, but if the Americans appear to retreat, this will destabilize the peninsula.

Looking back at Venezuela again, it should be noted that a number of nations hope to establish a Hegemony in South America, and Brazil looks much more like a target than an aggressor.

And then there is Europe, a continent which has never been able to resolve its differences, but always found new arguments on those occasions where they settled old ones. The American lead kept them out of trouble for nearly a century, but the diminishing American presence has not led the Europeans to think and act more responsibly, but even less so.

Just a few things to think about.

MLP Round 020

Game Scores:

Washington at Taft, 36-30 Washington
Ford at Madison, 34-25 Ford
McKinley at Arthur, 35-26 McKinley
GW Bush at Cleveland, 36-31 GW Bush
GH Bush at T Roosevelt, 33-28 TR
Lincoln at Harding, 33-27 Lincoln
Reagan at Carter, 33-26 Reagan
Polk at J Adams, 31-30 J Adams
Kennedy at Hayes, 32-28 JFK
Taylor at Jefferson, 34-29 Jefferson
L Johnson at Fillmore, 31-22 Fillmore
Grant at Truman, 32-28 Truman
Eisenhower at A Johnson, 28-19 Ike
B Harrison at Jackson, 28-24 Jackson
W Harrison at Monroe, 31-30 W Harrison
F Roosevelt at Garfield, 30-29 Garfield
Buchanan at Nixon, 30-21 Nixon
Hoover at Tyler, 28-25 Tyler
Clinton at JQ Adams, 27-23 JQA
Wilson at Pierce, 24-18 Wilson
Coolidge at Van Buren 24-23 Coolidge

Five Presidents have one loss, another 2 have 2 losses, another 1 has one win, and 1 President is winless.

The new Rankings are as follows:

After Twenty Rounds

.1. Washington (19-1) beats Van Buren, JQA, A Johnson, Taft
.2. Ford (19-1) beats Monroe, GH Bush, Carter, Madison
.3. McKinley (19-1) beats Polk, FDR, J Adams, Arthur
.4. GW Bush (19-1) beats Arthur, Jackson, Tyler, Cleveland
.5. Teddy Roosevelt (19-1) beats LBJ, Jefferson, Monroe, GH Bush
.6. Lincoln (18-2) beats A Johnson, Taft, Truman, Harding
.7. Reagan (18-2) beats Jefferson, Monroe, GH Bush, Carter
.8. Jefferson (16-4) beats W Harr, Taylor, loses to Reagan, TR
.9. Kennedy (15-5) beats Fillmore, Buchanan, Hayes, loses to Taylor
.10. Fillmore (15-5) beats Harding, Nixon, LBJ, loses to JFK

.11. J Adams (14-6) beats Hoover, B Harr, Polk, loses to McKinley
.12. Truman (14-6) beats Buchanan, Hayes, Grant, loses to Lincoln
.13. Polk (14-6) beats Garfield, FDR, loses to McKinley, J Adams
.14. Eisenhower (12-8) beats Pierce, Van Buren, JQA, A Johnson
.15. Jackson (12-8) beats Wilson, Hoover, B Harr, loses to GW Bush
.16. Taylor (13-7) beats JFK, LBJ, loses to Nixon, Jefferson
.17. Cleveland (12-8) beats Clinton, Cool, Wilson, loses to GW Bush
.18. Monroe (12-8) loses to Ford, Reagan, TR, W Harrison
.19. Garfield (10-10) beats Carter, Madison, FDR, loses to Polk
.20. Nixon (10-10) beats W Harr, Taylor, Buchanan, loses to Fillmore

.21. FDR (11-9) beats B Harr, loses to McKinley, Polk, Garfield
.22. Tyler (9-11) beats Coolidge, Wilson, Hoover, loses to GW Bush
.23. Quincy Adams (8-12) beats Grant, Clinton, loses to Wash, Ike
.24. Arthur (9-11) beats Hoover, B Harr, loses to GW Bush, McKinley
.25. Taft (9-11) beats Hayes, Grant, loses to Lincoln, Washington
.26. Hayes (9-11) beats Harding, loses to Taft, Truman, JFK
.27. W Harrison (7-13) beats LBJ, Monroe, loses to Nixon, Jefferson
.28. Madison (8-12) beats Carter, loses to GH Bush, Garfield, Ford
.29. GH Bush (7-13) beats Madison, loses to Ford, Reagan, TR
.30. Wilson (5-15) beats Pierce, loses to Jackson, Tyler, Cleveland

.31. Grant (6-14) Beats A Johnson, loses to JQA, Taft, Truman
.32. Carter (6-14) loses to Garfield, Madison, Ford, Reagan
.33. Harding (5-15) beats Buchanan, loses to Fillmore, Hayes, Lincoln
.34. Coolidge (3-17) beats Van Bur, loses to Tyler, Cleveland, Pierce
.35. Clinton (4-16) beats Pierce, loses to Cleveland, Van Buren, JQA
.36. Buchanan (4-16) loses to Truman, Harding, JFK, Nixon
.37. LBJ (3-17) loses to TR, W Harrison, Taylor, Fillmore
.38. Van Buren (2-18) beats Clinton, loses to Wash, Ike, Coolidge
.39. Hoover (2-18) loses to J Adams, Arthur, Jackson, Tyler
.40. B Harrison (2-18) loses to FDR, J Adams, Arthur, Jackson
.41. Pierce (1-19) beats Coolidge, loses to Ike, Clinton, Wilson
.42. A Johnson (0-20) loses to Lincoln, Grant, Washington, Ike