Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

The United States was the first nation to officially set aside a day to give thanks. It has remained blessedly untarnished, if somewhat overlooked, at least in comparison to other holidays. Indeed, it sometimes seems as if we're in such a hurry to get to Christmas, we pass by Thanksgiving altogether. It becomes an excuse for parades, football and food, the first day of a four-day weekend for many, and a moment of sanity before the start of Black Friday.

Well, it's true that Thanksgiving is all these things. It is, however, also a time for us to take a moment and reflect on the many things for which we can be thankful. No matter our state in life, the challenges we face, or the difficulties we encounter, it is a rare person who cannot find someone in even more dire straits. We have all been given blessings, great and small, and it is only the artificial urgency with which we have infused our lives that causes us to overlook these blessings.

So sometime today, perhaps between the turkey and the pie, or at halftime of the Lions game (if you've been able to make it that far), stop for a minute and look around you at all you have, and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the One who made it all possible. (And we don't mean the president-elect, either!)

On behalf of Mitchell and Judie, of Bobby and Steve and Kristen and Drew, we wish you - our friends, our loyal Hadleybloggers, and those of you who happen to stop by - the happiest and most blessed of Thanksgiving Days. Don't eat too much today, don't shop too much tomorrow - and enjoy every moment of it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who's Trotting?

By Bobby Chang

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I'm asking how many of you are going to be Turkey Trotting tomorrow?

Will it be 1,609, 3,000, 5,000, 8,000, 10,000, 21,097.5, 42,195 meters, or in between those distances? I know I'm doing a 8,000 meter Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands Turkey Day Run.

For many, turkey trots are big benefits for charities. It reminds me of the chorus of a Chris Rice song I remember from college (and was sung by Kathy Troccoli at the 1998 South Carolina March for Life):

Carry your candle
Run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless
Deceived and poor
Hold out your candle
For all to see it
Take your candle, go light your world

-- From "Go Light Your World," Copyright 1993 Universal Music Publishing.

Think about it when you're doing a turkey trot tomorrow, as we help those less fortunate as we do a trot. There's nothing better on Thanksgiving than to be running on streets for a good cause for turkey trots. This is the fourth local trot, and my seventh overall trot. (My first turkey trot was the 2002 Knights of Columbus 5k in Charleston; Bishop Baker of the Charleston Diocese, whom I've met a few times at the March for Life, sprinkled the course as the gun fired off. I did, however, fold over the bib because of an alcohol ad, which is something that I do not tolerate.)

If you're doing a Turkey Trot, just tell us. Good healthy running to everyone on Thanksgiving.

Back In the Day

By Mitchell

We haven't dipped into the Hadley TV Guide archives for awhile, and I can't think of a better time to do it than Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving 1962 fell on November 22, which would take on an entirely new and darker significance a scant 12 months later. Holiday programming actually started earlier in the week, on Saturday, when Lawrence Welk and his Champagne Music Makers (8:00 Central, ABC) celebrated with an evening of Thanksgiving music, including "Thank the Lord for This Thanksgiving Day," "Bless This House," and "By the Waters of Minnetonka." (Bet you didn't know there were so many Thanksgiving songs, did you?)

Perry Como's Thanksgiving show aired on Wednesday (8:00, NBC), which TV Guide referred to as "Thanksgiving Eve." Thomas Mitchell was the special musical guest, and the theme for the program - a fitting one - was "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays."

Ah, Thanksgiving Day itself. And what would it be without parades and football? Well, there was plenty of it on Thanksgiving 1962, starting at 9 am. NBC, as is the case to this day, carried the Macy's parade. Only two hours back then as opposed to three hours today - I wonder if they cut out the fluff and the awful lip-synched production numbers? Guess not; the broadcast started off with a half-hour, three-ring circus in front of the store. Donald Duck was the new balloon that year, and Bud Palmer and Chris Schenkel, a couple of well-known sportscasters, were the announcers. I find that interesting, considering that traditionally the hosts of the Today show anchored the parade coverage.

CBS's coverage also started at 9 and ran for two hours. Captain Kangaroo was in New York, hosting the overall coverage of three traditional parades: New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. But here's the interesting thing: all three parades were treated as news events, and anchored by newsmen. Douglas Edwards covered New York, Robert Trout and Gene Crane in Philadelphia, and Dallas Townsend and Bob Murphy were in Detroit. These were all well-known newsmen of the time, although you might not remember them today. Again, I wonder if they were forced to read the excruciatingly bad copy that that parade announcers do today? I doubt it.

When I was a kid, I loved watching these parades, particularly CBS - after all, more parades. They were all sponsored by department stores: in addition to Macy's, Gimbel's sponsored the Philadelphia parade, and Hudson's underwrote Detroit. It was good business for the stores, and good publicity. (For many years CBS would also cover the Santa Claus parade in Canada, where Eaton's department store was the sponsor.)

Of course, most of these stores are gone now, as the shopping centers of large cities moved out of downtown and into the suburbs. The parades are still around, with new sponsors (IKEA is the title sponsor in Philly), and the Detroit parade is syndicated nationally, while others are shown locally. CBS and NBC both dedicate their entire parade broadcasts to New York, and we've shifted our attention to Chicago, where WGN provides national coverage of the McDonald's Thanksgiving Day parade, which was moved to Thanksgiving from an early December date a few years ago.

But I digress. There's more to Thanksgiving television than parades, right? There's football! CBS went directly from their parade coverage to the big NFL game of the day, the traditional Turkey Day matchup between Detroit and Green Bay. The 1962 game was one of the most famous games ever played on Thanksgiving; one of the greatest Packer teams ever came into this game undefeated, only to be crushed by the Lions 26-14, with Packers QB Bart Starr sacked a staggering 11 times.

As soon as the Detroit-Green Bay tilt was over, the network switched to Austin, Texas for coverage of the traditional Texas-Texas A&M matchup. These two teams played for many years on Thanksgiving Day, and have sporatically continued the tradition in recent years (including this year) on ESPN. If you were in the mood for a little AFL football, you could catch the New York Titans (now the Jets) playing the Broncos in Denver at 2 pm on ABC.

There was some other holiday fare, however. Pat Boone had a variety special at 4:30 on NBC, with guest stars Patti Page, Elaine Dunn, and Peter, Paul & Mary (!). Also on NBC, at 6:30, was The Bell Telephone Hour Thanksgiving show, starring John Raitt (father of Bonnie), Martha Wright and Mahalia Jackson, and featuring an appearance by poet and Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg. Now, for our younger readers those names might not mean much, but trust me - this was some big-name talent appearing on this show.

And that was it for Thanksgiving, 1962.

November 22 is the earliest Thanksgiving can fall in the year. In 1963 Thanksgiving was on November 28, the latest it can fall. It was six days after JFK was assassinated, three days after he was buried, one day after LBJ addressed a joint session of Congress. Parades were still held and people came, although nobody seemed that excited about it. It's for the children, the organizers said, in explanation for why the parades went on. Everyone agreed that the diversion was probably a good thing. The special programming was over; football games were played, entertainment specials were broadcast, life went on.

November 22, 1962. Nobody could possibly have anticipated what things would be like 365 days later. But that was all in the future, and people lived with what they had, which was Thanksgiving Day: parades, food and football.

Come to think of it, that's not a bad thing to have. We don't know what the future holds, which is why we're thankful for what the present gives us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My First Thanksgiving

By Kristin

Turkey. Mashed potatoes with gravy. Corn. Pumpkin pie. Dinner rolls. Shrimp. Sausage and crackers. Sticky buns. This is a sampling of a traditional Thanksgiving Day at my family’s house. I say day instead of meal because it truly is an all day eating extravaganza. My Mom wakes up at some unimaginably early mom-hour to begin our annual feast. We start the day with sticky buns, followed shortly by shrimp, sausage, cheese and crackers. We find our respective spots in the living room and begin to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. It is optional to have a light lunch consisting of more shrimp, sausage, cheese and crackers. Dinner begins around 4pm and we might have a late dinner of leftovers around 8. Over the years members of my family have taken on different responsibilities to help Mom prepare the food. Dad is in charge of the turkey and gravy. I help clean/defrost* the shrimp depending on how ambitious we are that year. My younger sister, Kate, helps with the rolls. Tom, the middle child is in charge of keeping the couch warm with updates on football games. We’ve had a pretty good rhythm going over the years, some years trying new recipes but always keeping it a full day feast.

This year, our plans have changed a bit. Mom will be spending this Thanksgiving in New York with my Grandparents and her sisters. My Grandmother has not been well for some time and while she is in the hospital, Mom will be spending the holidays with her Dad. We are all very happy that she will get to spend this time with her parents, but we will miss her very much at home.

This will not be a normal Thanksgiving for us. The stuffing will be boxed and the green beans will be frozen. And while the pumpkin pie will not be home made, that is not what is going to be different. It will be the absence of my Mom. This year, more than others I appreciate Thanksgiving for what it really means; being thankful for those who I share my life with. Its not about the food, it’s about the loved ones that you share the food with. If the Thanksgiving meal had been handed down to be pickled herring, lutefisk and beef jerky, we’d be just as happy to spend the day with our beloveds albeit with much smellier breath.

So as I approach my first Thanksgiving with out our resident chef, I will not worry about if the gelled cranberry sauce has melted a bit, or if we have green beans without the casserole. I will be happy to spend time with my family and keep in mind that Mom is only a phone call away.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Mailer-ing it In

By Mitchell

You might recall that just over a year ago I wrote an obit on Norman Mailer. I’ve got a couple of Mailer’s books on my shelf, but it would be wrong – far wrong – to say that I daily think of him.

Nonetheless, Mailer has been on my mind lately, for a couple of reasons. First, PBS recently rebroadcast “Oswald’s Ghost,” the very good documentary on Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK assassination, and the cult of conspiracy. (We’re always interested in the impact of that historical event – see here for an example.) Anyway, the documentary was based on Mailer’s book of the same name, and Mailer plays a prominent on-screen role in it. And Mailer, for all his pious pontificating, has no doubt Oswald was the single, lone assassin of JFK. The Warren Commission may have been deeply flawed, but it arrived at the right conclusion. Oswald did it – get over it. Mailer offers some provocative comments about the conspiracy theorists and their need to believe in conspiracies, and while I wish he had explored some of the areas which James Piereson mentions in his terrific Camelot and the Cultural Revolution – for example, the mere fact that the anit-Communist Kennedy was killed by the Communist Oswald – you have to be grateful for what you can get.

And there’s no question Mailer could dish it out. You want to talk about provocative? Here’s a story related to Jay Nordlinger, which he recounts today at NRO:

Sometime in the late ’70s, Norman Mailer came to Zellerbach Hall at UC-Berkeley to give a talk. The place was sold out. This was during the period when he was writing pieces refuting Germaine Greer. He walked onstage wearing cowboy boots, Levis, and a shirt and jacket . . . and he had a rolling sort of John Wayne gait.

As he stepped up to the microphone, he said approximately the following: “I know that about half of you here tonight hate my guts because of my stand on feminism. So let’s get that out of the way. I want you to hiss me. I want you to let all of your feelings toward me out. Come on, hiss me!”And the most spine-chilling hiss arose from the audience. It lasted ten seconds. I’d never heard anything like it before, and I haven’t since. It was authentic and deeply felt. And when it subsided, Mailer leaned into the microphone and said, softly, “Obedient bitches.”

As I said, provocative - and irrestible!

Bailing Out the Automakers: 35 Years of Government at Work

By Bobby

We hear about the bailout proposals of the US Big Three automakers, but I have seen some of the information, and the real culprit here is, once again, the liberals in the United States Government who have been aiming at, and destroying, the automakers themselves in 35 years of bad government regulations that forces Americans to be like the Japanese.

And there is enough evidence of it. Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules requiring a 27.5 MPG fleetwide (cars) and 20.5 MPG fleetwide (trucks) was the first stroke of government regulations against automakers. This forced automakers to produce smaller cars or face a severe tax for making vehicles Americans want but not the eco-weenie athorities.

The National Energy Act of 1978 increased the ante, as automakers were forced into vehicles to have a minimum 22.5 MPG or face severe taxation. This tax was increased a few times to the point that manufacturers are having to produce trucks instead of large cars to avoid the taxation penalties of 22.5 MPG. Under current rules, a car that makes under 12.5 MPG will be taxed $7,000 for violating fuel economy standards. A car at 15 MPG will be taxed at $4,500. Even a car that makes 20 MPG average will be taxed at $1,700.

The Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007 was the third, and worst, of all implications. The automakers were forced into a 35 MPG universal standard (cars and trucks combined). The problem is GM, Ford, and Chrysler’s major profit bearers are trucks, not cars, because of the nature that the 1978 National Energy Act does not apply to these heavy-profit trucks. These trucks are sold to secondary manufacturers for customisation, who then sell their customised trucks to the dealers. Furthermore, the Big Three can usually tack on extra options on these trucks that draw huge buyers because they can seat up to nine.

The government, run by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, was in bed with environmental activists, who used the law to ban light bulbs, strong appliances that could wash clothes well, and other “inefficient” devices that did their jobs better than what the eco-weenies want. In fact, for the ceremony to make it into law (it could not be vetoed because of the supermajority), the liberal Congressional leaders drove to the ceremony in a Toyota.

When the automakers were told they had to make vehicles the government demanded (in the microcars), instead of what made the most money and was best for families, they started crying foul and stating that the government should be forced to foot the bill for the retooling as mandated by the outlandish government regulations. The simple truth is if you are forcing the automakers to make Trabants when they want Suburbans, and the plant is designed for the big trucks because of their profit margin compared to the microcars, yes, there is a problem with the unions. But the real problem here is the government is forcing automakers into Trabants when they want Suburbans.

It seems the automakers are telling the government this: If you are going to force us to quit making our Suburbans, Hummers, Rams, and Expeditions, and force us to make microcars just like Japan and Europe, it’s a federal mandate. You’re causing the problems, so you must pay for forcing it down our throats. Our buyers won’t tolerate you messing with the market to force us away from vehicles people want and into vehicles that please only the government.

The automakers should do everything to wean themselves off the union thugs. But the government needs to seriously do away with every government fuel-economy regulation and the gas guzzler tax that created this government mess in the first place. When automakers and consumers prefer the safety of a larger car over the troubles of a government-mandated microcar, the feds want the automakers to listen to them. They would rather see a Michael McDowell-type crash end up with the occupants trapped and injured in a tiny car than to be walking away.

I have been involved in a vicious crash in a full-size sedan, and was able to walk away. Is the government thinking that we should be forced into microcars where we’d be trapped and need the ambulance to free us or face a bad car fire?

The real issue with the government bailout is this: we have had an excess of government regulations on the automobile industry that created this mess; Americans do not want to be forced to drive microcars like what is seen in Europe or Japan. If you are going to force the automakers to make these vehicles you want them to make, you should be responsible for it. These unfunded mandates are finally coming home to roost for the automakers and the government. Either eliminate these anti-automaker rules or pay for the changes you demand.

As for me, I’d kill the CAFÉ and Gas Guzzler Tax rules. Automakers can succeed without government regulations if they reform labour laws and eliminate these anti-business regulations.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Northing More Than Feelings

By Mitchell

Dirty Harry makes a very good point about the challenges our society faces - both culturally and politically:

You just have to wonder how much different kids are today, what with all the stepped up liberal indoctrination going on in our public schools. In 1980 college kids had a much better idea of what the promise of America was. They understood American exceptionalism and knew what was out there for them if government got out of the way. Today, our public schools and pop culture breed narcissists and victims … because narcissists and victims vote Democrat.

As if to underscore the point, David Pryce-Jones, in an earlier post at NRO, talks about the state of our Oprah-ized society. Boy, has that woman done a lot of damage. (I know, you probably can't blame her for all of this, but she's certainly done her part):

The victory of President-Elect Obama has generated public weeping. Lots of people captured on television have had tears running down their cheeks, and sometimes their voices have broken as they try to respond to an interviewer. It is a very disturbing phenomenon. The rational choice of the individual voter is essential to the working of democracy.

Tearfulness signifies instead the emotionalization of politics. Rather than calculate, the weepers have surrendered to feelings. And feelings are catching. A huge literature is devoted to analysing how individuals turn into crowds, and how beliefs and values change in the process, so that the crowd comes to behave collectively in ways that each individual member of it might not. This is not to imply that the tears on this occasion are the prelude to some nasty kind of mob ideology – on the contrary, it is a very human reaction. The weepers had listened to Obama’s promises of change and hope, and their wish to believe in what he was saying overcame any doubts and reservations they might have had, and so the tears flowed as they will do whenever emotions get the better of reason.

The trouble is that reality reasserts itself pretty soon in this world, and emotion is not the tool to deal with it. The return of reason comes at a cost, however. Those who couldn’t help weeping at Obama’s election displayed expectations of a very high order, and if in future they are ever disappointed with him they will also be disappointed with themselves.

The point of linking these two pieces is this: liberalism, far more than conservatism (well, excluding perhaps the "compassionate" conservatism of the last eight years) is predicated not on reason and thought, but emotion and feelings. That old phrase "bleeding heart liberal" doesn't exist for nothing. The "education" you find in Dirty Harry's comment is inextricably bound with the "emotionalization" that Pryce-Jones mentions. Both of them are connected in some way to the feminization of men, which we've discussed in the past. And none of it is good for our society - politically, cultually, spiritually, or in any other way.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This Just In

By Steve

Dustin, Justin Combo Finish 1-2 in AL MVP Vote

(Cooperstown, N.Y.—November 19, 2008) The selection of Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox as the American League’s Most Valuable Player for 2008 is being applauded as a sensible, if not sensational, choice. But perhaps more interesting is the fact that the man who came in second, Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, has a first name that rhymes with the first name of the man who beat him out.

“Dustin and Justin, who would have thought that could happen?” asked Melvin Hampsted, an official baseball historian and statistician with the Elias Sports Bureau. “We’re busy checking our records, but we don’t think this has ever happened before. We had Hank (Aaron) and Frank (Thomas), but they didn’t even play in the same league. Then there was Joe (DiMaggio) and Moe (Drabowsky), but they were years apart, and Moe wasn’t even very good. We may have to go back to (Heinie) Manush and (Tiny) Bonham who pitched back in the ‘40s for the Pirates. But neither of them were MVPs," Hampsted added, "so that doesn’t really work.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Opera Wednesday

By Mitchell

Do you know why this is funny? Aside from the whimsical animation, that is?

Listen to the music. A lot of people ask what that piece is. Well, I'll tell you. It's Papageno's famous aria Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja, from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute).

Papageno, as we all know, is a bird catcher.

And that's why it's funny. This commercial doesn't beat you over the head. You either get it - or you don't!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Illiteracy in America: Can People Understand Terms Anymore?

By Bobby

We've seen the popularity of the Mark Burnett Productions/RTL franchise "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader / 10 Year Old" worldwide (the name is different in some countries; RTL holds international rights). But when an Olympic swimmer was a guest of his friend at my alma mater's Homecoming game Saturday, he was grandly applauded, and even the mascot cowtowed to the legendary Olympic champion (I had speculated he was a guest of an SEC sponsor).

Sadly, other important words related with it were never understood by youth when I mentioned the guest that night as I was grocery shopping. Only the local sports-talk radio host understood the terms I used to refer to him. Could you identify the athlete on these two terms only?


It's very sad when people cannot identify the person based on those two words alone. In fact, many people did not even know what either word meant! One, you might need to read National Review. The other clue you need to study Latin, or even the Periodic Table.

Speaking of which, I was greatly offended by university sponsor Vodafone. During halftime, they featured a promotion where fans could send text messages that would be shown on the Daktronics ProStar screen. There were too many "Marry Me" texts aimed at the celebrity, who pitches rival (and conference sponsor) product AT&T. I thought it was rude. What happened to manners with celebrities? Has the paparazzi attitude of today's generation grown worse than it was than when nearly 20 years ago I met an Olympic legend?

Seriously, if people do not know what Peking or Aurum are, then what type of people are we producing? Are we producing the same type of people that voted for Barack Obama based on their feelings, and not have an understanding of the issues? Whatever happened to thinking? When people do not have an understanding of even basic things such as the periodic table or world history, something is extremely fishy, and when the Obama Administration takes over, they will assure people will learn less.

Look at the illiteracy over the automakers' bailout. One thing I've learned about the bailout proposal is liberals plan to force the Big Three to cease production of high revenue trucks and force them into producing only the loss leader minicars and microcars. Families, Joe the Plumber types who need trucks for businesses, and other industries would lose because liberals want foreign automakers, with no government intervention by the US, to have the ability to produce the trucks we need, but not domestic automakers, which would be forced to produce nothing but Trabants. But why aren't people understanding the danger in telling the Big Three that trucks that industries need cannot be produced, but we'll only allow the tiniest cars on the road?

Once again, that too is a byproduct of illiteracy where people do not understand the issue and go by feelings, and not read behind the numbers of what liberals want.

Whatever happened to literacy, understanding, and being able to do fundamentals in this country? Seems the teachers' unions have successfully dumbed down America to cave into the New World Order.

DISCLAIMER: Bobby is a shareholder in Daktronics.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Loyal Opposition

By Mitchell

Our good friend (and frequent commentor) Badda makes a welcome return with this thoughtful piece on how Republicans (and conservatives in general) ought to react to last week's election results. In short, with maturity - as opposed to how, say, liberals have reacted to recent election defeats. This is a sentiment echoed by Cathy of Alex, who urges us to show a little respect.

Understandably, this is not an outlook shared by everyone - witness some of the comments Dirty Harry received when he voiced a similar attitude.

Now, far be it from me to add gas to the fire, but I would simply offer, for your perusal (and make sure you've got some serious time to read it), the landmark (and controversial) 1996 symposium by First Things entitled, "The End of Democracy?" As prescient now as it was then, it includes this passage from Charles Colson, to which we must all supply our own answers:

The uniqueness of the American experiment provides an opportunity for a Christian critique of the legitimacy of the current regime. When the republic was founded, the biblical tradition and the Enlightenment—two distinct and often antagonistic understandings of the world—seemed to find a patch of common ground. God’s authority was acknowledged (“All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”), but sovereignty was vested not in God but in the people who consented to be so governed. The subsequent experiment in “ordered liberty” was achieved because, while some saw their liberty secured by God and others by their status as human beings alone, all agreed to be bound together for the sake of that liberty.

To use a political term of the time, a “social contract” that included biblical believers and Enlightenment rationalists was the basis of the founding of the United States. Whether Christians ought to have agreed to that contract is an interesting historical and theological question, but not really of much significance in our present circumstances—for agree to it Christians did. Our pressing question is rather whether the successor parties—today’s governed populace and their judicial governors—still recognize the essence of the contract. If one party no longer does, that party has breached what lawyers call a “condition precedent”: the essential promise by which the other party’s agreement was secured.

If the terms of our contract have in fact been broken, Christian citizens may be compelled to force the government to return to its original understanding—as even Enlightenment rationalists have acknowledged. John Locke, a principal Enlightenment force behind the theory of a social contract, advocated the right of citizens’ resistance to enforce the terms of the contract. The writings of Thomas Jefferson, who spoke openly of the necessity of revolution, could also be called upon for support.

It seems to me, however, that only the Church in some corporate capacity, not the individual Christian, has the authority to answer the question of our allegiance to the present regime.


Only the Church collectively can decide at what point a government becomes sufficiently corrupt that a believer must resist it. But, with fear and trembling, I have begun to believe that, however Christians in America gather to reach their consensus, we are fast approaching this point. Most orthodox Christians are likely to find it impossible to support a political regime under which the judiciary—without any legislative license—sanctions abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual marriage. Few believers are likely to pledge their allegiance to a government under which the courts—in the name of “constitutional rights” they themselves have sole authority to read into the Constitution—can systematically close off any form of political opposition by declaring it to betray the “inevitable inference” of animus.

Remember, Colson wrote this twelve years ago. Has anything changed since then? Colson asks this sobering question: "And if, after prayerful deliberation, Christians corporately determine that our present government has violated its God-given mandate, what then?"

What, indeed? Has it come time to ask and answer this question? There are many hopes, fears, rumors, of what the new administration will do, what actions the new leader will take. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, as the old saying goes. The future, it is true, will be decided by fact and action, not rumor and fancy. And, in fact, can it be said that Christians can corporately determine anything anymore? Or is the time coming when individuals will have to take their own stand?

These questions remain on the table, before the house. As for the answers - well, that, to me, seems to be what the next four years will be all about.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Sounds of War

By Drew

Terry Teachout links to a truly remarkable sound clip: a recording of a World War I British gas-shell bombardment. The purpose of the recording was "to preserve the sounds of war before the coming armistice caused them to vanish forever from the face of the earth."

Would that it were so. . .

A New Addition to Chemistry's Periodic Table

By Mitchell

Image courtesy

Our friend Hadleyblogger Mary shares with us the exciting news of the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every action with which it comes into contact.

A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2-6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

(Hadleyblogger Mary credits news of this discovery to the website of David Dillon, the Independence Party candidate for the MN 3rd Congressional district)

Monday, November 10, 2008

ESPN: Chase the Heidi Game II

By Bobby

The Heidi Game has reared its ugly head again on ESPN, and once again, during a NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race does the incident struck -- the second.

Prior to ESPN acquiring the NASCAR second-half contract, NASCAR featured the "Jamie McMurray Rule," where any event that started late because of a weather or incident would stay on the broadcast network and not moved to cable once the race passed 7 PM. (It does not affect post-race shows.) The rule is named for the winner of the 2002 UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the first race where the precedent was set when NBC did not move the race to TNT at 7 PM, allowing a network television audience see the upset win of the Missouri driver, who, in his second race substituting for an injured Sterling Marin, winning his first race.

When ESPN acquired the second half of the Sprint Cup Series contract starting in 2007, despite ABC's 2004 and ESPN's 2007 treatment of the Indianapolis 500 where the races were shown on ABC and the ESPN Broadcast Network (note the change in title made in September 2006) and ran past prime-time to shortened finishes, the saloons were not entitled to the same treatment as the IRL (the Indianapolis 500 stays on the ESPN Broadcast Network as are four other big races, and do not move to Versus in 2009). Last year at Kansas, the LifeLock 400 (Playoff Race 3) was the victim of ESPN's actions, moving from the ESPN Broadcast Network to ESPN2 after a Lap 148 rain delay (they raced 62 more laps). A controversial finish ensued with Greg Biffle winning despite being passed by others for not keeping with safety car speed during the final laps under caution. The ESPN Broadcast Network had to flip to ABC to air the season premieres of their primetime schedule, including Desperate Housewives.

Well, it happened again. Sunday, during the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 in Avondale, AZ, a 44-minute rain storm and then a 19-minute red flag caused by a crash led to a decision by the ESPN Broadcast Network (which had scheduled 30 minutes of runover into 7:30) to tell the Sprint Cup cars that on Lap 275, with 37 laps remaining (turned out to be 38 because of penultimate lap safety car rules), they had to leave the broadcast network and again switch to ESPN2 only on the Eastern and Central time zones so sweeps America's Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters could air. Once again, the raunchy women of Wisteria Lane were able to bump out a saloon playoff event with less than 100 miles remaining.

There's a difference between a forced shift caused by time-buy arrangements (NBC's 2007 Stanley Cup playoff game between Buffalo and Ottawa, Game 6 bumped to Versus because of the Preakness Stakes) against a rights-fee event. But NASCAR has been victimised again by a playoff bump to cable when the playoffs were set to be a network television event and a rights-fee event.

I set the DVR for the race knowing that I would miss most of it after the start because I had a 2-hour drive to a Point of Grace concert (one of the few pop groups I would attend a concert; this dates back to my college days before I began taking voice lessons years after graduation for fun). Imagine my outrage when I checked the DVR after recording what I thought was the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, and only to see with 37 laps remaining I was watching something else. Many East Coast fans who had set the DVR to record the event finish after evening church services were angry.

Imagine rain in Miami causing the entire championship race to be moved to ESPN2. That's the attitude they have on the ESPN Broadcast Network.

It seems ESPN's attitude is they do not believe in the idea broadcast networks should show the finish of any event, but instead believes they should just cut off the event in order to appease raunchy women.

But remember that men no longer are an important demographic; as we saw in the Presidential election, men's votes no longer matter. In 1996 (Clinton) and 2008 (Obama), the winning Democrat lost the men's vote, but easily made up for it by carrying women, thereby making men irrelevant. Once again, we saw men being irrelevant by having a Sprint Cup playoff race moved to cable in order to protect one popular show among women -- and that is the raunchy women of Wisteria Lane.

Oh, by the way: Here is a long of what East Coast viewers missed from the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500:

Lap 278: Restart, Top Five 48-Johnson, 2-Kurt Busch, 26-McMurray, 99-Edwards, 88-Earnhardt Jr - Caution was 5 Laps and 19 minute red flag.

Lap 282: A 3-wide race for 7th between Childress teammates 29-Harvick and 31-Burton along Gibbs Racing's 18-Kyle Busch.

Lap 283: Safety car, 41-Reed Sorenson hit wall after flat tire and contact with 18-Kyle Busch, as 17-Matt Kenseth earns the freebie.

Lap 285: Pit stops by 16-Biffle and 20-Stewart.

Lap 288: Restart. Leaders 48, 2, 26, 99, 88. Caution was 6 laps long. (Note caution lap includes lap before official start, since the caution lap count officially starts when the cars cross the start-finish line. The caution starts officially at the moment of caution, not when the line is crossed.)

Lap 291: 48-Johnson up by .6 seconds over 2-Kurt Busch.

Lap 292: Safety car, debris, 8-Mark Martin earns freebie.

Lap 296: Restart. Leaders 48, 2, 26, 99, 88. Caution was 4 laps long.

Lap 305: Safety car. 20-Stewart, 17-Kenseth, 7-Robby Gordon, 10-Allmendinger collide. No freebie (under 10 laps).

Lap 311: Under safety car. Two laps upon restart.

Lap 312: Restart. 48, 2, 26, 99, 11-Hamlin. 7-lap caution. Race must end with two consecutive laps of green or first safety car after final restart.

Lap 313: Jimmie Johnson wins the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, with Kurt Busch second, Jamie McMurray third, Carl Edwards fourth, and Denny Hamlin fifth. Johnson, who now has won seven races, needs only to score 55 points (36th without bonuses) at the Ford 400 in Homestead, Florida to win his third consecutive championship. A ten-car crash takes place when a vengeful Matt Kenseth goes after AJ Allmendinger at the finish. That should be a trip to the Oval Office.

It seems the only demographic necessary to draw on prime-time television is the younger women. ABC's philosophy is that as they treat the Academy Awards as the biggest advertising event for women. Bumping out a Sprint Cup playoff event to protect the time of Desperate Housewives is absurd, considering CBS bumps 60 Minutes until after the late NFL game ends, and Fox has a "buffer hour" called The OT on NFL broadcasts, and does not bump NASCAR races if they run long. Of course, the identity of the affiliate changes from ESPN to ABC, so that could be the other factor.

But this may have shown what type of demographic matters now in society. Men no longer matter in elections as we saw in how women gave Obama the election, and either on television, as Disney showed in pulling a Heidi Game on another Sprint Cup playoff event in order to protect primetime, most notably Desperate Housewives.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The New Media Reform

By Bobby

Media reform is a huge issue now with liberals and the Triple Crown. Here's my top Obama Media Reform Rules.

  1. News Corp (Fox News, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal) and The Washington Times will lose their seats in the White House Press Room and be replaced by Glamour magazine, Al Jazeera, MTV and its homosexual network (where the President allowed a debate, but not Fox), and a member of the Office of Media Control.

  2. An attempt to pull an RCTV on the Fox News Channel and Business Network will take place. (RCTV was a private channel in Venezuela seized by Chávez. The signal was given to government propaganda.)

  3. The Media Ownership Reform Act, including a Fairness Doctrine, will be cleared, and media policies of Obama will be in play. Fox News Radio, Premiere Radio Networks (Rush Limbaugh, Michael Weiner, Ph.D., Laura Schlessinger), Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other conservative radio sources will be bounced off-air, replaced by a new wave of music as selected by ACORN and other "community leaders" which will be able to determine what radio groups will have licences. News/talk radio will be seized and replaced with these inferior stations as federal media policy outlaws news/talk radio.

  4. The new MORA will also include regulation of satellite radio and cable television to ensure their agenda is the only one permitted. This includes cable and satellite carriers being asked to carry an Obama Channel (see Dish Network).

  5. The Office of Media Control will ensure Glenn Beck will not be permitted on television once it voids Glenn Beck's contract with Fox News as part of pulling its licence. (Many journalists have a noncompete clause in their contracts prohibiting them from appearing on a rival station for a time after their contract expires; Jim Gandy (Columbia) and both Bill Walsh and Warren Peper (two different stations in Charleston) were barred from being on-air in those markets when they were bounced from popular stations; both signed with rival stations in the same market to appear after their noncompete expired.)

  6. Religious broadcasters will be banned unless approved by the OMC. The Emergent Church (a liberal church that doesn't teach the Bible) will be permitted.

  7. MOVEON.ORG will be given propaganda rights to spew propaganda to block Fox News, including hijacking the Fox News Web site, which will be approved by the OMC.

  8. Federal media regulators will allow green earth agenda people to order a block on the Fox Broadcast Network on February 15, forcing a 2-hour program promoting liberal propaganda at 2 PM, and a 4-hour Live Earth rebroadcast to air at 4 PM. This will block Fox's broadcast of a major prime-time sporting event scheduled that day (the Daytona 500) and be mandated as part of new federal orders.

  9. Radio broadcasts of Händel's Messiah will be purged and replaced by broadcasts of the latest Kwanzaa special promoting Communism. (See Ann Coulter's column about Kwanzaa.)

  10. Anyone who spews anything against the Office of Media Control will have their broadcast licence pulled on the spot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And Now a Message For McCain

By Drew

"You have sat here too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us be done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Oliver Cromwell, dismissing the Rump Parliament on April 20, 1653.

Sound of the Day

By Bobby

With apologies to Drew Carey, this is our Sound of the Day!

Wish I'd Written That

By Mitchell

"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy four years."

Freely adapted from Bette Davis, All About Eve

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This Just In

By Kristin

Interactive Map Devours Wolf Blitzer

(WASHINGTON, D.C. -- November 4) Moments into their continuous election-night coverage, the famed CNN Magic Map swallowed CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer.

Just as the announcer stepped up to the gargantuan display to marvel at CNN's amazing technical achievement, the screen split itself along the Mason-Dixon line and ate Blitzer. "It wasn't two or three bites," recounts boom microphone opperator Joe Holditup. "I was just, like, standing there and it took him down whole. I am shocked, as you can see from the shocked expression on my face."

Fellow CNN anchor Anderson Cooper appeared less surprised. "You could see the Nation licking its chops around the Gulf for weeks," Cooper explained. "Times are tough and clearly we ran out of interns."

There is no word yet as to whether search and rescue operations for Blitzer will be successful, as the Map has retreated to a far closet of the CNN Newsroom. Currently the country hangs in the balance, as citizens are unwilling to follow conventional news coverage with non-interactive maps. In fact, according to CNN political analyst Bill Schneider, most Americans probably will not know the outcome of the election until the Map resurfaces. To follow this story, let's go to the new and improved interactive map in the newsroom for more on the crisis...

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

By Mitchell

Out here in the rarefied air of the blogosphere, or at least on the right side of the keyboard, one of our favorite activities of recent days has been anticipating the bloodletting certain to occur in the Republican Party regardless of tonight’s outcome.

The so-called Obamacans (Christopher Buckley, David Brooks, David Frum, Peggy Noonan, et al) are, of course, the fulcrum around which this discussion swirls. If Obama wins, the fingers (many of them middle ones) will be pointed squarely at them. Their “betrayal” will be blamed at least in part for the party’s defeat, and they’ll find themselves either as part of the new administration, or at the heart of the attempt to build a “new” Republican Party. On the other hand, If McCain wins they’ll likely be shown the door. (And who can blame McCain, by the way, if he decides to do just that? For all that I’ve criticized his temper in the past, I can certainly understand why he’d want to purge the party of those who undermined him.)

There are, of course, reasons for such defections, if defections they be. Buckley long ago renounced his religious faith and became an agnostic; therefore, appeals to him based on the election’s moral compass would seem to be pointless. Brooks writes for The New York Times – 'nuff said. Frum isn’t a Christian, nor pro-life – he’s spent most of the last year or two urging the Republicans to move away from social issues. (By the way, this would seem to beg the question as to whether or not religious faith is essential to conservatism – and there will be a good time to discuss it. Someday.)

Most seem to agree that the most puzzling defection has been that of Peggy Noonan. She was a trusted conservative stalwart, a wordsmith who could string the alphabet together with the best of them, and whose Catholic faith had always seemed to inform her political thought. Therefore, her harsh criticism of the McCain-Palin ticket – and Palin in particular – has earned her the scorn of many conservatives.

Why did she do it? Some think she’s angling for a spot as press secretary to Obama. Others see the green-eyed monster at work. Still others decry her as an East Coast Elitist, one attempting to curry favor with the MSM. In an interview with K-Lo at NRO, Noonan tries to dismiss her influence as a columnist, which I find a bit disingenuous. Why does a columnist – or anyone, for that matter – write publicly unless they want their words to be read by others? And not only read, but agreed with. There’s nothing wrong with that – that’s why I do it. So you’ve got the megaphone, you stand in the bully pulpit, and you use it. Fine. But don’t try to downplay the results. You’d better want to make a difference, you’d better want to influence public opinion, or you’re only wasting your own time, and ours.

But, as much as I’ve liked and admired Noonan over the years, I always kept coming back to an innocuous line from a Wall Street Journal Opinion column of hers back in 2002. It was a very good column, by the way, a typical piece of Noonan craft, but it was the following that leapt out at me:

I now pray for strangers, happily. I am so proud of this, and relieved.

Ah, there we have it. Pride. I am so proud of this.

You know, I’m bad at prayer. I look at those who can get lost in prayer for hours at a time, and I wish I could achieve that level of communication. On occasion I feel as if reached a level of prayer that is higher than normal – a connection that is fairly solid. When this happens it gives me a feeling of warmth, of hope even. What it does not do is give me a sense of pride. But even though I’m not (as I said) very good at it, that’s not the only reason why I’m not proud.

Pride goeth before a fall.

Pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Boasting of your faith is not a good thing. It just seems – wrong.

At the time I thought this an odd thing for Noonan to say, and I wondered if she weren’t getting a little ahead of herself in her spiritual growth. I don’t know if any of us ever reach the stage in our prayer lives (or our faith, for that matter) when we can afford the luxury of pride. But even if we should attain that rarefied air, we shouldn’t talk about it. If we do, we show either arrogance or ignorance. Maybe it’s just a mistake, maybe an ill-chosen word, maybe more than that. If I were her spiritual director, maybe I’d be a little concerned about that. Or maybe I’d be a little concerned with someone who makes such a big deal about it. The wheel turns, the finger points both ways, depending on which way the wind blows. But still I remember that line: I am so proud of this.

And no matter how marvelously she wrote in the following years, and how much I agreed with her, still that line refused to fade from my memory.

What it does mean is that Peggy Noonan, like all of us, is a flawed individual. Nothing more, nothing less. We’re all flawed, after all. Some more than others, but it’s been 2,000 years since we’ve seen the birth of a perfect Man, so there we are. We can’t expect her to be right all the time, and if (as I believe) she is dead wrong about this election, we shouldn’t be surprised. About half of all voters (give or take) are going to be wrong, so why should Noonan be any different? When we elevate pundits – or any other human being, for that matter – to a pedestal, we ought to watch out.

So maybe we shouldn’t feel betrayed by her. She’s only a columnist, a writer of words. We don’t enjoy a relationship with her that is elevated to the level at which betrayal can occur. She has shown herself to be other than some of us thought her to be, and the fault can lie with us as much as her.

Does this sound as if, after all I’ve written here, I now rise to defend her? No, not really.

For one thing, it is hard to understand how anyone who seems to have such a strong Catholic faith can say anything (politically) good about a man as dedicated to abortion rights as Obama is. So I’m disappointed in what she’s said. More than that, I disagree with her, strongly. I’m not sure that my opinion is any less worthy than hers, so I guess I’m entitled. And I admit to feeling a bit like saying, “What did you expect? Read what she’s written. There’s a flaw in her thinking.”

But then, our faith is never really perfect. Peggy Noonan’s isn’t, and neither is mine. For all that I’ve said here, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find that her faith is stronger, and better practiced, than mine.


And so we pray for her, and for ourselves. I’m not too proud to admit it.

Twilight of the Gods

By Drew

What better for Election Day than a clip of the imcomparable Birgit Nilsson in a concert performance of the "Immolation Scene" from the conclusion of Wagner's Götterdämmerung:

Monday, November 3, 2008

This Just In

By Kristin

McCain, Obama Agree: “Let’s keep this campaign going”

(WASHINGTON, D.C., November 3) -- As if the public couldn’t wait any longer for the 2008 Presidential election, candidates Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama decided late Sunday night to continue the election by 3 months pushing the election to February 3, 2009. “I feel the public want this,” explains McCain (R-AZ) during a pancake breakfast at the Sunny Hills Senior Center in Jacksonville, FL. “We've listened to our pollsters, we feel that the more this thing is dragged out, the more we can really highlight what is wrong with each other”. When asked why he agreed with Senator McCain, Obama (D-IL) answered, “Well, to be perfectly honest, it’s great to see my name posted up on big signs along the highways.”

Reporters also asked each camp’s top campaign advisor what was behind this move. Each explained that they had been unaware of the extension until it was made public by the candidates. It is unclear at this point weather this will stand up to any court if challenge should arise.

But Communism Is, You Know, So Misunderstood

By Drew

As you can see from the comments section below, there is a commentator - let's call him "Lonnie," since that is what he calls himself - who takes exception to the quote that I shared from Jay Nordlinger.

Now, did I suggest that Obama is a Communist? No - merely that to him, the glib, flip one-liner comes too quickly, too smoothly, suggesting a definite lack of gravitas in a situation that calls for at the very least a sensitive perspective. (But isn't the way Obama treats so many serious issues - as a joke?) Of course, that wasn't the point for Lonnie, who suggests that it's OK to joke about this most murderous system.

Naturally we're not the only ones who receive comments like this, so I'm going to return to Jay, and reprint in full a comment he made today on this very subject - and, at the risk of ruffling Lonnie's feathers (at least those on his left wing), say once again that this is the problem with Obama and his followers. Smug, arrogant, condesending types - you know who they (and you) are:


Last week [says Nordlinger], I jotted a small post that struck something of a nerve. Under the heading “Differing Perspectives,” I wrote,

Senator Obama said this about John McCain: “By the end of the week, he’ll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” That’s interesting. Obama evidently thinks of communists as people who share. I think of them as people who kill.

A great many conservatives wrote in to say, “Obama is not the type merely to share his own toys and sandwiches — he’ll confiscate those goods from other kids and redistribute them as he pleases!” Kinda clever. Others who have lived under communism — or have relatives who have — wrote in to say thank-you.

But I was struck by all the e-mails that came from the left: many of them seething with hate, and many of them — surprisingly enough — defending communism. It’s not that these readers thought I had defamed Barack Obama; they thought I had defamed communism. Nine decades of killing fields, and still . . . well, never mind.

Want to share just one missive with you — it’s from a professor in California, who wrote,

You said, “Obama evidently thinks of communists as people who share. I think of them as people who kill.” That may be why Obama, not Jay Nordlinger, is the Democratic candidate for president. I know its [sic] probably a stretch, but you might want to look up the word “Communist” in a dictionary sometime. I think you’ll find that Obama’s understanding is closer to correct.

Yes, there’s a reason I’m not the Democratic nominee — Obama is perfect. And there’s a reason this fellow is a professor in California (or anywhere else in the country). Sad, inevitable – appalling.


By Mitchell

"Whatever one's religion in his private life may be, for the officeholder nothing takes precedence over his oath to uphold the Constitution and all its parts - including the First Amendment and strict separation of church and state."

John F. Kennedy, Look Magazine

"When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos."

Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...