Asking the Impossible of the Iraqi Government

“This congress couldn’t, tomorrow morning, meet the standard it’s setting for the Iraqi congress.”

Bonus Newt – From Solutions Day:

[ht: Capitan’s Quarters]

Oregon vs. Cal Ticket Line Campout

Mr. Giant Taco Salad Inventor

Real Men of Genius…

50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School (audio)

Here is a great segment on a new book by Charlie Sykes, 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School. You can pick up the book on Amazon for just about $13 bucks. You can listen to the audio here or by clicking on the audio file in the Bonus Box on the right…


Bonus Box

Here’s Amazon’s description of the book:

Charles J. Sykes offers life lessons that are not included in the curriculum for most children today: honest advice about what they will encounter in the “real world” post-schooling and how their parents can help them best prepare—not with cushy self-esteem talks, but rather with honest challenges. His 50 lessons are frank, sometimes harsh, and often hilarious, including:
#1 Life is not fair. Get used to it.
#15 Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it “opportunity.”
#43 Don’t let the success of other depress you.
#48 Tell yourself the story of your life. Have a point.
Sykes elaborates on each of his points, creating a wise, no-nonsense guide for parents to help their children help themselves.

Understanding the Immigration Problem

This is one of the most concise demonstrations I have seen about the immigration issue. The discussion is primarily fueled by one of my personal favorite studies (I know, I’m a nerd): Demographics.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with demographics, your first reaction to the numbers might be something along the lines of, “yeah, but statistical projections can’t really be trusted as reliable.” Actually, I would totally agree with this statement for nearly all projected studies – EXCEPT studies concerning demographics. Demographic Trends are the one area where predictions can actually be trusted as accurate. Here’s the simple reason why:

Let’s say you are trying to predict the amount of actual (ethnic) Italians there will be at some future date. All you have to do to predict the number there will be in, say, 20 years, is to look at the number of Italian births today and the current birth rate. The number of future Italians obviously cannot be greater than the number of current Italian births. Human babies do not multiply. Most likely – the future number will be smaller, due to deaths or inverse immigration.

You can now clearly see why demographic projections can be trusted. Of course – like all projections, the numbers are not 100% accurate – but the prediction of trends will be true, given that changes in birth rates do not take place.

So with that in mind – please consider the following demonstration carefully.

Oh – and one very important thing to point out first (Beck mentions this in the full clip): This discussion IS NOT Anti-Immigrant. This is exactly what you will be told, though, when this issue is discussed in the media and by some politicians. “Anyone who is anti-immigration, dislikes, and is against immigrants.” This is absolutely false and deceptive. The truth is – a persons outlook on immigrants, is a completely separate issue from their thoughts on immigration policy. As Beck puts is, “If you get angry [at the numbers and ideas presented], don’t get angry at immigrants. If you’re angry, the place to put your anger is on public officials who have set immigration numbers without regard to their effect on American people.”

Here’s the abridged version (9:35)

Here is the full lecture (16:54)

Why the Tazer Incident Was Such a Big Story:

That’s right. There was no reason. And for all the idiotic college morons who protested:

Moral of the story: Throw a pathetic whining cry-baby tantrum because the world doesn’t revolve around you…and you might get tazed.

As you should be.

The Real Way Star Wars Should Have Ended

I won’t give this one away – but let me just say that if this is what they had played in the theater – I would have absolutely loved the Prequels and I would completely recant anything negative I’ve ever had to say about George Lucas…

See…I told ya so!

OSU Coach Unloads on the Media

This is OSU (not to be confused with OS…) coach Mike Gundy unloading both barrels on some media twit’s column that (as Bryan at HotAir puts it) pretty much calls OSU star Bobby Reid a chicken-eating momma’s boy.

I agree with the coaches anger at this and I think he is making some good points. As a side note though, like Bryan said, a 21 year old – is not a kid. I think it’s ridiculous how the age of adolescence in this country just keeps getting larger and larger. You know – the old, 12 year old girls are old enough to make adult decisions about aborting children – but 18-25 year olds fighting in Iraq are just “the Kids we need to bring home.” Still – Jenni Carlson’s article was really harsh.

That’s all beside the point. What I like about Mike Gundy’s rant is, this is basically how I feel about the rest of the media in general. Most stories are written to drum up emotional hysteria rather than understand truth. This is a massive disservice to the public. The “Don’t Taze Me Bro” incident was a prime example of this. All they showed on TV was the spectacle: Some dude being Tazed by the cops. Was there ever any context to the situation shown? How about the entire video clip? How about trying to understand events, rather than spectacles? How about the truth for once?

As Gundy says, “That’s why I don’t read the newspaper. Because it’s Garbage.”

Monday Morning Honorable Manhood

Ken Burns is the Man and his Civil War series could easily be one of the most well made documentaries ever. This clip contains one of the greatest elements of the entire epic. (Starts around 2:40) I have included the entire text from Sullivan Ballou which is probably one of the most touching and heartfelt letters ever written.

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days — perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure — and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine O God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing — perfectly willing — to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows — when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children — is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death — and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles I have often advocated before the people and “the name of honor that I love more than I fear death” have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me — perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar — that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night — amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours — always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father’s love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God’s blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.


Dan Rather Reporting Stories That ‘Aren’t Proven Fake’

Hello? Does anyone else see the problem with what he is saying? You don’t report something as true because it hasn’t been proven to be false (in this case – that’s not even true – anyone with a clue can easily tell the documents were faked – Do I seriously have to link to the documents again?). You report things that have been proven to be true. But like I was saying yesterday, the media doesn’t care about truth or understanding. All they care for is the bloody screaming spectacle, because that’s what people watch.

And yet, here you have Mary Mapes defending Rather:

In September 2004, anyone who had the audacity to even ask impertinent questions about the president was certain to be figuratively kicked in the head by the usual suspects.

What was different in our case was the brand new and bruising power of the conservative blogosphere, particularly the extremists among them. They formed a tightly knit community of keyboard assault artists who saw themselves as avenging angels of the right, determined to root out and decimate anything they believed to be disruptive to their worldview…

Instantly, the far right blogosphere bully boys pronounced themselves experts on document analysis, and began attacking the form and font in the memos. They screamed objections that ultimately proved to have no basis in fact. But they captured the argument. They dominated the discussion by churning out gigabytes of mind-numbing internet dissertations about the typeface in the memos, focusing on the curl at the end of the “a,” the dip on the top of the “t,” the spacing, the superscript, which typewriters were used in the military in 1972.

What a typical arrogant media elite response. I’ll just blame those dang conservative ‘bully boys.’ Is this not exactly what I was talking about in the Petraeus post?!? She’s not arguing about the truth and/or facts of the story (which is what the bloggers were trying to point out), she’s upset because anyone would have the gall to actually question the high and mighty media.

Maybe seeing the hard facts once wasn’t enough. I’ll post this again:

Still not convinced? Read This Post: The Bully Boys of the Interenet Here’s an excerpt:

And typography was the least of the issues with the memos. The signatures of Jerry Killian turned out to be forged, for one thing, not unexpected when Burkett created them out of thin air. The format of the memos didn’t match the Air Force standards in place at the time. They referenced military standards that didn’t exist. They demanded that Bush take a physical exam well before his requirement date. The story they reported was that a general pressured Bush’s commander to deep-six his concerns, when the general with supposed Bush connections had retired eighteen months before these memos were written. And so on, and so on.


Bully boys of the Internet? We asked tough questions and did our own fact-checking. In times past, that’s what investigative journalists used to do, before some of them decided to use their power in the media to become hacks and smear artists. Mapes, Rather, and their ilk (fortunately a minority in the profession) cannot abide having Truth spoken to their Power, having to account for their corruption. Three years later, Mapes still thinks she’s above accountability.

Rather and Mapes are both going to end up looking like fools when CBS points to the actual facts about the case – the facts that the ‘new and bruising power of the conservative blogosphere’ came up within a couple hours sitting at home on their couches.