It’s been a truly sad day for baseball. First came the passing of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver.
Now St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial is gone too. He was 92.
Musial played 22 seasons, won 7 NL batting titles, collected 100 or more RBI ten times, won three NL MVPs, three World Series rings and a 24 time NL All-Star.
In all, Musial had 3,630 hits - 1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road. For many years, Musial was second only to Ty Cobb on the all-time hits list. He would eventually be passed by Hank Aaron and Pete Rose.
He earned his moniker Stan the Man not from Cardinals fans but from Brooklyn Dodgers fans. Musial did so much damage against Dodger pitching the fans at Ebbets Field would say, “There goes that Man again.”
Musial was known for his sunny disposition. When asked why he smiled all the time, Stan the Man said, “If you knew you were going to hit .340 every year, you would smile too.”
In 1967, Musial served as Cardinals GM. They won the World Series that year. Two years later, Musial was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
A couple of years ago, George Vecsey released Stan Musial: An American Life. Vecsey’s biography did not do Musial justice.
In 2011, Musial was bestowed with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in probably his finest act in office.
When I think of Stan the Man, I think of when my Dad and his friends met him and other members of the Cardinals at the Polo Grounds in 1955 when a Sunday doubleheader was rained out. Radio personality Bill Stern happened upon them and before you knew it Dad and his friends were in the Cardinals clubhouse. Dad asked Musial about the wiggle in his batting stance.
To give you an idea of the reverence in which Musial is held, when the Los Angeles Angels embarked on a marketing campaign describing Albert Pujols as “El Hombre” prior to the start of last season, the ex-Cardinal said “God is the Man and there’s another Man, Stan.” Now that’s rarified company.
Former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver passed away early this morning of an apparent heart attack during an Orioles themed cruise in the Caribbean Sea. He was 82.
Weaver was a light hitting minor league infielder who found his niche in managing. He joined the Orioles organization as a minor league manager in 1957 and worked his way up the ranks until he made the big league club in 1968 as their first base coach. Mid-way through that season, the O’s fired manager Hank Bauer and named Weaver as his successor.
All Weaver did was lead the O’s to three consecutive AL pennants between 1969 and 1971 with the likes of Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Boog Powell and Mark Belanger. However, they came up short against the Miracle Mets and Roberto Clemente’s Pittsburgh Pirates in ‘69 and ‘71. Weaver’s only World Series triumph came in 1970 over the Cincinnati Reds.
After leading the Orioles to consecutive AL East titles in 1973 and 1974, Weaver would win his final AL pennant in 1979. Unfortunately for Weaver, a three games to one lead wasn’t enough to overcome Willie Stargell and the “We-Are-Famalee” Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 1980 Orioles were arguably better than the ‘79 team winning 100 games. But with no wild card back then, the O’s finished three games behind the Yankees. Two years later, it went down to the last game of the season but the O’s fell one game short of winning the AL East as Don Sutton outduelled Jim Palmer to give the Milwaukee Brewers their first divisional crown.
Weaver would retire after the 1982 season and watched Joe Altobelli lead the O’s to a World Series title the following year. The Orioles brought Weaver back for the 1985 and 1986 seasons but he could not replicate his earlier success.
Between 1969 and 1982, the O’s won 90 or more games every year except 1972, 1976 and 1981 (‘72 and ‘81 were strike shortened seasons). In all, Weaver had a 1480-1060 record as Orioles skipper.
Weaver stressed pitching, defensive fundamentals and a three run homerun. He was also amongst the first managers to utilize statistics in setting the lineup. Weaver use of the platoon system brought out the best in journeymen players like John Lowenstein, Benny Ayala, Gary Roenicke and Jim Dwyer.
But above all else, he was a nightmare to big league umpires everywhere and was ejected from more than 90 games over 17 seasons. Although Bobby Cox would eventually eclipse his record, no one was more colorful in clashing with umpires than Weaver as demonstrated with this famous argument with Bill Haller during a game against the Detroit Tigers in September 1980 after Haller called a balk against the late Orioles starter Mike Flanagan. Let’s just say this conversation is NSFW.
During the argument, Weaver said he was going to the Hall of Fame. Haller scoffed but the Veterans Committee voted Weaver into Cooperstown in 1996.
Well, the Earl of Baltimore has found a Heaven full of people with whom to start arguments. Only they won’t be able to eject him.
It would seem Old Glory is outdated. The town of West New York is considering an ordinance that could ban the American flag from being flown, MyFoxNY reports. The proposed ordinance is set to be voted on next month.
So much for waving “o’er the land of the free.”
The brilliant cartoonist over at xkcd compares different fuel sources and then makes a joke about graphs.
I chuckled, but my takeaway was somewhat different: Remind me again why we’re not building nuclear reactors instead of coal power plants? Oh, yeah, that’s why.
Another creative New Orleans public official has his day in court. The AP reports:
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 corruption charges including wire fraud, bribery and money laundering. … The counts also include filing false tax returns and conspiracy.
The American Spectator has learned through an exclusive Beltway contact that the FTC is no longer considering a lawsuit against Illinois for monopolizing bigtime machine politics. The past five years have borne a renaissance for the unsmiling, businesslike, progressive technocrat. As our friend Ben Stein would say, how boring. Mr. Nagin’s naked crookedness is a diverting change of pace.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer gal. Long after most everyone else did — though tell that to the Golden Globes crowd, whom she entertained as co-host last Sunday night and joined in honoring the HBO anti-Palinesque Game Change movie, amid other anti-Palin echoes — Tina Fey has tired of being connected to Sarah Palin. Or so Rolling Stone reports. Seems the role will haunt her to the end of her days, like a buzzing in the ears that won’t ever stop. Confusing smug superiority with humor has its costs, apparently.
(Hat tip, Best of the Web Today)
I understand what the GOP leaders are doing in putting off the debt ceiling fight until after they bank the gains from the sequester. I understand them trying to put the onus on the Senate to pass a budget. I understand these things, and I don’t think they are awful idea — but I would do something just a bit different. I would not pass a clean debt ceiling hike for the equivalent of three months; I would tie it to a very nominal package of savings, even if only, say, $15 billion over ten years, if just to establish the principle that cuts belong with debt ceiling hikes.
But I wouldn’t just put a number on it. The number of the dollars saved isn’t important. What’s important is the substance of the savings. The savings should be highly specified. They should be the sorts of things that will make the Dems look bad if they disagree.
For instance: Right now, the federal government pays $14 toward each federal worker’s pension for every $1 the worker contributes. The private sector norm is $1 to $1 — an even match. Sen. Ron Johnson reports that an even match would save $133 billion over a ten-year span. Okay, then, how about being ultra-reasonable and moving from 14-1 down to 12 1/2-2 1/2? The savings from that tiny change, asking federal workers to contribute a TINY bit more to their own retirements, would save about $14 billion over ten years (by VERY rough extrapolations). Who could object to that?
Likewise, another $10 billion over ten years could be saved on federal worker health insurance (again, by some rough math of my own). How? Private sector usually fork over about 60% of the premiums for each worker’s health insurance, with the workers providing 40%. (This number is an approximation, from memory, having checked several slightly conflicting sources about a month ago.) The federal government, however, provides about 72% of the premiums for family coverage. How about just cutting that 72% to 66.7%? The difference is less than $40 a month per worker. The savings, though, would be about $1 billion per year.
Who could object to that?
Or…. whatever. The point is to find REALLY low-hanging fruit, in terms of savings, and tie it to the debt ceiling. Make sure it is something that tests well and proves overwhelmingly popular — just as it proved popular to advocate cutting the “bridge to nowhere.” Tie such a popular cut — not cutting a popular program, but popularly cutting a ridiculous specific bit or few bits of federal largesse — to the debt ceiling hike; get it donw weeks in advance, and then go about the House’s other business. It’s then up to Obama to explain why he is putting the government into “default” rather than agreeing to cut a bridge to nowhere, or whatever.
IF we bank small savings, and then bank more small savings — not savings from the rate of increase, but real savings, even if small, from real programs — and then bank some more, each time there’s a fight, then we serve the taxpayers, built credibility, and keep Obama on the defensive.
That’s why the debt ceiling hike should not be completely clean. Mostly clean, maybe…. but not entirely. We do need to establish the principle of saving taxpayer dollars.
The National Rifle Association is hobbling its own public relations effort by remaining committed to its original Sandy Hook response, namely that an armed guard should be stationed in every school. This view was introduced by Wayne LaPierre at a tone-deaf, now-infamous press conference. That event was held a full week after the mass shooting, allowing the NRA’s opponents, among them significant proportions of the mainstream media, to control the narrative about the Association. Public Relations 101 is to be in control of the narrative about you.
Focusing on school security validates opponents’ exploitation of understandable but misplaced fear for the safety of innocent children in the wake of a horrific tragedy. It also puts the NRA on the defensive and frames the debate over gun safety in a context where the other side enjoys a natural advanage. The NRA’s refrain that we need to “put more guns in schools” alienates potential allies and partners, even if more guns would indeed make schools safer.
The problem, really the good news, is that schools are already very safe on average. Nick Gillespie originally made this point in a brilliant, thoughtful, yet characteristically irreverant post about 4 Awful Reactions to Sandy Hook School Shooting - And Thoughts on a Better Response, and it bears repeating. Between 1992 and 2010, the number of school-associated violent deaths was low and flat, despite a considerable population increase, and the rate of violent victimization of students fell. The enormous cost of turning every school into a secure facility on par with federal courthouses would be better spent elsewhere.
The precipitous decline of the violent victimization rate outside of schools seen in the above data illustrates that our society as a whole has become less violent at the same time that guns have inundated it. The NRA should offer a positive message that demystifies gun culture and demonstrates good faith. Its current proposals come across as unserious. Lending credence to a deceitful narrative about an emotionally resonant but frankly minor aspect of a complex issue is counterproductive.
In my column today, I recommended that Republicans sponsor a video contest about the greatness of America and the importance of limited government. I remembered just now that AEI did something very similar, specifically about free enterprise, last summer. I even watched a couple of the AEI videos back then, and thought they were great. But when I was putting my column together, I completely forgot where the genesis of the idea came from — or, if not that idea, one of the very same basic structure, even if slightly different subject matter and for different purposes. I wasn’t thinking of AEI at all when I wrote the column, but obviously the seed had been planted by AEI. (And no, nobody pointed this out to me today; I was looking back at old e-files just now, doing some list cleanup, when I came across the AEI videos.)
So, credit where due, to AEI: That idea of mine was not really original, except for its placement in context with the rest of the overall strategy I recommended.
Looking for a date in Manhattan? Look no further than the New York Times, which recently dove into the cynical world of twenty-something romance and resurfaced with this:
Lindsay, a 25-year-old online marketing manager in Manhattan, recalled a recent non-date that had all the elegance of a keg stand (her last name is not used here to avoid professional embarrassment).
After an evening when she exchanged flirtatious glances with a bouncer at a Williamsburg nightclub, the bouncer invited her and her friends back to his apartment for whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese. When she agreed, he gamely hoisted her over his shoulders, and, she recalled, “carried me home, my girlfriends and his bros in tow, where we danced around a tiny apartment to some MGMT and Ratatat remixes.”
She spent the night at the apartment, which kicked off a cycle of weekly hookups, invariably preceded by a Thursday night text message from him saying, ‘hey babe, what are you up to this weekend?” (It petered out after four months.)
Whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese? What, no Campbell’s Chunky with the pop tops?
This austere approach characterizes much of young dating these days, which leads the Times to ask an important question:
Many students today have never been on a traditional date, said Donna Freitas, who has taught religion and gender studies at Boston University and Hofstra and is the author of the forthcoming book, “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.”
Hookups may be fine for college students, but what about after, when they start to build an adult life? The problem is that “young people today don’t know how to get out of hookup culture,” Ms. Freitas said. (Emphasis added.)
What happens when today’s young people, many of whom have stripped courtship right out of the dating process, finally outgrow the spinning world of hookups, casual sex, break-up sex, make-up sex, “just hanging out,” no strings attached, sexting, clubs, and experimentation?
We don’t really have a clue. Millennials are the first generation to experience the nexus of post-1960s sexual freedom and widespread advancements in communication technology. This has made dating cheaper and easier than ever before, while giving us no historical precedent for how Millennials will transition into adulthood. We do know young people are delaying marriage, but this has more to do with college debt than anything else.
At any rate, old-fashioned courtship isn’t dead, but it’s certainly waning among young, college-educated professionals. Let’s hope it makes a comeback, and that Millennials can emerge from the horrors of the hookup culture as healthy adults.
Some progressives want to understand gun owners instead of blindliy villifying them. Others could hardly be less interested in constructive dialog. Over at Arianna’s Post, Los Angeles County Supervisor for the Second District Mark Ridley-Thomas huffs:
Let’s stop mincing words; Let progressives — not all but certainly many — stop feigning tolerance for a gun culture we abhor and rampant gun ownership we cannot comprehend.
Later, he jarringly changes course:
No, I am not proposing that government strip citizens of their guns.
But you still want them?
I am calling for something more serious — that the ethos of nonviolence reenters our national dialogue. In King’s day, nonviolent direct action dismantled a system of segregation. Today, we must adapt those principles to our daily lives — to our personal relationships, in our neighborhoods and in our communities. Let us banish violence and choose peaceful means of conflict resolution, such as mediation. I reject the idea that our destructive gun culture is an American legacy to defend and uphold.
Mr. Ridley-Thomas wants it both ways. He wants to rally the troops and discuss terms of peace. He wants to invoke Dr. King, but insists that his fellow ideologues “stop feigning tolerance.”
His only clear objective is bringing attention to himself. In this, he has succeeded, but I doubt any intellectually serious observors will be impressed by what they find.
Noticeably absent from next week’s inaugural ceremonies will be evangelical pastor Louie Giglio, unceremoniously dumped from the dais when a liberal blog unearthed a sermon from last century in which Giglio preaches from the Bible about sex. (For a quick primer, see George Neumayr’s piece from Wednesday.) Under the Obama administration such beliefs disqualify one from participation. The situation landed like a turd on the porch of Giglio’s enormous church, which wants no part in the debate over the meaning of marriage. They are learning the hard way that the vanguard of the culture war bears a rainbow colored flag. You can run, but you can’t hide.
The Giglio fiasco represents just the latest instance of an administration increasingly dismissive of religious voices. The announcement one year ago of a new rule authored under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring employers to subsidize the cost of contraception for their employees, regardless of any religious conviction that would otherwise bar them from doing so, awakened many sleepy-eyed religious leaders to the increasing degradation of religious freedom in American society that has been occurring for quite some time. A slew of lawsuits and declarations of concern came from across the religious spectrum, including the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby.
Close on the heels of the HHS mandate came the final stage of President Obama’s evolution on the meaning marriage. He became the first sitting president to publicly declare support for no-mother and no-father marriage. The president stopped short of calling for actual legislation, but did instruct the Justice Department to cease enforcement of the duly-enacted Defense of Marriage Act, federal law since the Clinton administration, and successfully put an end to the military policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” One result of these actions is that military chaplains are being pressured to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, regardless of the teachings of their faith.
Then there was “Chik-Fil-A Day.” When it was discovered the CEO of the popular fast-food franchise believes marriage is a good thing, the blogosphere ignited a flurry of indignation that included boycotts, threats from public officials, and the attempted murder of employees at a pro-family think tank by a deranged gay rights advocate carrying a bag full of chicken sandwiches. All of this despite the fact that corporate policy prohibits Chik-Fil-A employees from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Level-headed American citizens nationwide flocked to the nearest Chik-Fil-A to show support for a person’s right to have an opinion. The president offered no comment.
A principle at the center of the American founding is that the competition of ideas in the public square is a good thing. All must be welcome to debate and find compromise. The Obama presidency is a shining example of the triumph of inclusion over marginalization. From time to time, the president has articulated the value of coming together over differences, whether regarding the ongoing budget crisis or an incident between a white cop and a black professor. On Wednesday, the administration even released a proclamation declaring it Religious Freedom Day. (You may have missed the press release.)
All of that falls flat in light of what the administration has actually done, which is ignore religious liberty concerns and faith-based opinions whenever they conflict with the desires of a more favored constituency. No compromise. No willingness to tell his own side, “It’s only a benediction, and about half the country agrees with him, so shut up.”
Religious expression is an invaluable contribution to the public square. It’s no coincidence that the rights to free speech, press, assembly, and access to government are included beside the right to free exercise of one’s faith. The values and ethics that extend from religion have a bearing on matters of public policy. To disassociate religion from the public square is to define faith as nothing more than a personal activity that occurs within the privacy of one’s church or home. This is a far cry from the understanding of the abolitionists and civil rights leaders like King, who understood the role of pastors in the “inescapable network of mutuality” to which we all belong.
In the days after President Obama released 23 executive orders following recommendations set by the Joe Biden’s gun control task force, there have been robust responses. One came yesterday from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who claimed that “very few of (the) recommendations have anything to do with what happened there.”
Governor Perry later asserted that “evil … finding its way into vulnerable hearts and minds” is the ultimate cause for the tragedy at Sandy Hook, and warned not to blame the instruments themselves: “Guns require a finger to pull the trigger.”
He then went on to make a statement that could yet go a long way towards transforming the current debate over gun control:
“As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children.”
It is natural to want to actively prevent the sort of tragedies witnessed at Sandy Hook by any means deemed necessary. And though, to some, executive orders and legislation have the comforting tone of an authority with the power to eradicate evil, Governor Perry’s ultimate point that mere law-making is folly has validity. When confronting the reality of evil there are no easy solutions. Oftentimes, as in the case of Sandy Hook, no “solution” will undo the evil already done.
In his speech on Wednesday, President Obama agreed in substance on this point, but with the addition of one caveat:
“…while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there is even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”
The ultimate question is what to try. Since an authoritarian, top-down approach ultimately cannot eradicate evil, is it worth giving up on our liberties and our Constitution “to try”? Governor Perry rightly asserts that any solution lies with “a free people.” This is a principle on which we all need to stick to our guns.
Dan Flynn’s article about “Scary, Scary Guns” references a State of California report that Dan was kind enough to send me a link for. Looking through it was quite instructive, not least for its caveats.
First, the report is based primarily on data from rural, not urban, locations, so it is probably nearly worthless as a broader measure of gun violence in that state or the nation.
Nevertheless, some of the “internals” are interesting:
The report notes that nine of the 175 firearms which made it into the database for the report were classified as assault weapons, but none were classified as short-barreled shotguns or rifles. This means (best as I can tell) that ALL of the “assault weapons” noted in the report were pistols, based on that state’s own definitions of “assault weapons.” There was one fully automatic weapon, i.e. a machine gun, reported, but (again, best as I can tell) the definition of “assault weapon” specifies semi-automatic, at least for rifles. In any case, at least 8 of the 9 reported assault weapons were apparently pistols.
To be sure, for those who find guns scary, some of these “pistols” are not your standard police-issue fare, and can appear as threatening as a long gun. For example, Uzi and TEC-9 semi-autos are “assault weapon” pistols.
The percentage of total gun crime committed using “assault weapons”, even including the classification of some pistols as assault weapons, is consistently tiny, at least in this sampling area across non-urban sections of California.
For example, the 2009 report shows 8 of 147 gun crimes being committed with an assault weapon, but only one of those was a rifle.
One thing I’d like to make clear: the debate over “assault weapons” is not a debate over fully-automatic weapons, which are already very highly regulated, very difficult and expensive to buy, and not involved in any civilian mass shooting in (my) recent memory.
For those who aren’t up to speed on the lingo, fully automatic means firing many shots by pulling (and holding) the trigger one time. Semi-automatic, which is what “assault weapons” are (though not all semi-autos are assault weapons), means that they hold more than one bullet but that the trigger must be pulled one time for each shot.
We’re all on edge following the recent horrific events in Aurora and Newtown, and the other recent deadly and near-deadly shootings we’ve read in the news. But we should not fall victim to the left’s desire to “never let a crisis go to waste.”
As many commenters on this site have properly noted, gun control is much more about control (of citizens by government) than about guns. It’s also worth noting that in every recent year, more people have been killed by hammers than by rifles.
Last week James Buchanan, Nobel Laureate in Economics and George Mason University professor, passed away at the age of 93. He was awarded the Nobel in 1986 as one of the founders of Public Choice Theory, an approach to the study of political behavior that applies the insights of economics to the public sector and political realm. As Buchanan put it, public choice is “politics without romance.” While it may seem naive in 2013 — a credit to the field Dr. Buchanan developed and advanced — a reigning assumption among academics in the early 1960s was that government agents always acted solely in the public interest. Buchanan’s work launched an entire field of study focused on the incentives individuals face within bureaucracies and the effect these have on economic, political, and policy outcomes.
An important shift occurs in the public choice framework. As economist William Shughart II points out, the unit of analysis in public choice is the individual, not the collective. In other words, governments don’t act. Bureaucrats, voters, politicians, judges, lobbyists and staffers do. Shughart goes on to note that the problem for the economist is to figure out how the individual preferences of bureaucrats are expressed in the collective decision-making process. Figuring that out means means analyzing the “institutions of democratic governance,” or the rules and systems, under which “public choosers, choose”. The study of those decision frameworks, (e.g. constitutions, laws, democratic processes, parliamentary procedures) is itself a field of inquiry known as constitutional political economy.
Some of the major insights of public choice theory developed over the past fifty years include the “median-voter theorem,” William Niskanens’s ”budget-maximizing bureaucrat,” and Buchanan and Richard E. Wagner’s development of “the fiscal illusion,” a very relevant subject in today’s debt and taxation debates. Fiscal illusion is when a citizen prefers higher levels of public spending where that individual’s tax burden is obscured through complex taxation or debt finance.
And for anyone interested in the radical shift in thinking that occurred during the Keynesian revolution, which effectively gave politicians a blessing to embrace debt finance, Buchanan and Richard E. Wagner’s 1977 volume, “Democracy in Deficit: The Political Legacy of Lord Keynes,” is an important contribution. And it’s very relevant to the fiscal scene in our federal government today.
There have been many tributes to James Buchanan in the past several days. GMU economist Alex Tabarrock assembles several of these at Marginal Revolution. For further reading, Edward Lopez considers Buchanan’s remarks in his 1963 address to the Southern Economic Association, “What Should Economists Do?” which critiqued the limitations of mathematical formalism in understanding how humans act, coordinate and “truck, barter and exchange.”
The Supreme Cout has decided not to take up a very important case against the imposition of mandatory Medicare benefits via bureaucratic fiat. Very sad. The DC Circuit decision was split, with Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson issuing an excellent, scathing opinion in dissent of the willfully misleading decision refusing to overturn the fiat.
Anyway, the high court’s “see no evil” stance shouldn’t be the last word. Congress should take up this issue and reverse the bureaucratic policy. I explain it all here.
Tim Carney, the Washington Examiner muck-raking maestro, remonstrates:
Scariness is what “assault weapons” talk is all about. The 1994 “assault weapons ban” didn’t have a real definition of assault weapon. … And restricting rifle ownership has very little bearing on curbing murders. According to FBI data, rifles are responsible for less than 3 percent of all U.S. murders for which the murder is weapon is known. You are five times more likely to be killed by a knife or a blade than by a rifle. Handguns, the data show, are used in a vast majority of gun murders. But handguns don’t look as scary as the AR-15.
Mr. Carney also decries President Obama’s maudlin use of children as props, and his use of their innocent, understandable concern for the implications of gun policy, expressed after Sandy Hook in letters to the White House, as emotional ammunition against political opponents.
Children should not be exploited by the leaders and guardians charged with their best interests. As a family man with children of his own, Mr. Carney understands that.
One could only laugh at President Obama’s executive orders on guns yesterday.
If, in fact, they weren’t so serious.
The one that catches my eye is turning doctors into some sort of American version of the Soviet Union’s party apparatchiks who would spy on their neighbors, reporting them to the political police as “enemies of the people.” So now Dr. Comrade Kildare will be asking: “Breathe in, breathe out. And by the way, do you have a gun in your house?”
Mark Levin caught the spirit of this yesterday, having examined the Obama 23 proposals with his constitutional eye. Fox’s Neil Cavuto sought him out yesterday and Mark didn’t hesitate. He went through them, labeling what he found as “Un-American” and “fascistic.” Bravo. Over at Mediaite, they have the clip here.
And while we’re at it, also at Mediaite was this from Joe Scarborough, who essentially advised Republicans to abandon the Constitution out of fear of Obama.
Ben-Hur, the classic 1959 film starring Charlton Heston, is set to be remade by MGM.
Hollywood’s lack of imagination for new material threatens to undermine the influence of well-made, classic films. Maybe this remake is simply “the sincerest form of flattery,” but imitation that doesn’t quite hit its mark can result in some pretty terrifying things. Think of Steve Martin’s feeble attempt in 2006 to mimic Peter Sellers in 1963’s The Pink Panther, or the unwatchable 2001 remake of Heston’s iconic 1968 Planet of the Apes.
Slashfilm.com reports the film Noah is in the works and Pontius Pilate is possibly on the way. The film news site says, “Biblical epics are extremely hot in Hollywood right now.”
If Hollywood thinks it can make Biblical epics mainstream, God save us all.
Joe Biden, always an insightful public servant, recently said this:
“Well they didn’t want to have air bags. Well, guess what? We have air bags. We’re saving lives.”
Unfortunately, Sam Peltzman and his progeny have developed a large economic literature that questions this conclusion. No one expects Mr. Biden to keep up with economics (he has enough trouble remembering other things), but the “Peltzman effect” is a subtle yet simple idea: if you lower the cost of doing something (i.e. the risks of driving more hazardously), then consumers will demand more of it (i.e. drive more hazardously). Russ Roberts sums it up nicely:
“In general, airbags have the same effect as seatbelts—they reduce the likelihood of injury and death from an accident which in turn increases reckless driving and the number of accidents. But in the early days of airbags, they could kill you, especially if you were a small person or a child. That led to some tragic deaths of kids in the passenger seat and small women in the driver seat. That in turn led to the government changing the requirements on the speed and force of the airbag deployment. “
My point is not to criticize Biden’s magnanimous gun bravado. Nor is it to affirmatively declare that air bags increase deaths (this is an empirical question). It’s merely to note that there are unintended consequences to regulation and “the fatal conceit” is always ready to rear its ugly head.
Actor Conrad Bain passed away on January 14th of natural causes. He was 89.
The Canadian born Bain is best known for his portrayal of Phillip Drummond on Diff’rent Strokes which aired from 1978 to 1986 first on NBC and later on ABC. Preceding this role was his portrayal of Arthur Harmon, the conservative counterpoint on the CBS sitcom Maude starring Bea Arthur.
Prior to his roles on TV, Bain was primarily a stage actor on Broadway.
With Bain’s passing, Todd Bridges is the last surviving member of the main cast of Diff’rent Strokes. Bridges described Bain as “a father figure.”
Former big league pitcher Fred Talbot passed away on January 11th after a long illness. He was 71.
Talbot pitched from 1963 to 1970 with the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City/Oakland A’s, the New York Yankees and the Seattle Pilots. He finished his career with a record of 38-56 with an ERA of 4.12 ERA.
Talbot is best remembered for his half season with the Pilots where he became a central character in Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.
I leave you with Bouton telling a story of how he and the Pilots bullpen sent Talbot a fake telegram after Talbot hit a grand slam which won a fan $25,000.
While talking about his executive actions on gun control with children in tow, President Obama spoke about a 7-year old girl named Grace McDonald, one of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary last month:
When I visited Newtown last month, I spent some private time with many families who lost their children that day. And one was the family of Grace McDonald. Grace’s parents are here. Grace was seven years old when she was struck down — just a gorgeous, caring, joyful little girl. I’m told she loved pink. She loved the beach. She dreamed of becoming a painter.
And so just before I left, Chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings, and I hung it in my private study just off the Oval Office. And every time I look at that painting, I think about Grace. And I think about the life that she lived and the live that lay ahead of her, and most of all, I think about how, when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now — for Grace.
It’s all well and good for Obama to implore us to act now for Grace. But what about Heaven?
You see, Heaven Sutton was felled by a bullet in Chicago last June. Like Grace, Heaven was also 7-years old.
Heaven was selling candy with her mother when she was gunned down, caught in the crossfire of rival gangs. The Sutton family had only moved to the neighborhood six months earlier. Heaven was frightened by all the shootings in the neighborhood and was looking forward to a family vacation to Disney World. It was a vacation she would never take.
Chicago’s gun control measures were powerless to keep Heaven safe. The same will be true of President Obama’s measures. They will not stop evil people from committing evil acts. But they will make it harder for good people from stopping evil people.
I am sure Heaven Sutton was every bit as gorgeous, caring and joyful as Grace McDonald.
I am sure Heaven Sutton had dreams of her own.
I am sure Heaven Sutton drew pictures. If she did then perhaps President Obama should hang one of them outside his private study off the Oval Office, perhaps besides Grace McDonald’s picture.
If he did then President Obama would think of both Heaven and Grace.
But this will not happen. I don’t think Obama could come face to face with an image that is Heaven sent.
Let’s conduct a straw poll. Who has heard of Guns & Ammo magazine? That’s what I thought. Please don’t laugh at me. I know that it’s at every supermarket magazine aisle in the country. Never opened it, or cared to, but I’ve seen the cover, I don’t know, 7,880 times. “The World’s Most Widely Read Firearms Magazine,” right?
Apparently Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post is in the minority here:
The show is closed to the public and the mainstream press, though reporters from publications with names like Guns & Ammo and American Rifleman wander freely among the booths [bold mine — MW].
Horwitz is referring to the 35th annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference, which will be held in Las Vegas from January 18 to January 21.
While I more or less agree with Horwitz’s implicit point here (viz., that the conference organizers ought to keep the doors open to the press), I find her ostensible ignorance of a 50-year-old major trade publication astounding.
So what’s going on here? Has she really never seen or heard of this magazine? Somehow I doubt it. But I do think I know what’s she up to. It’s an old rhetorical wheeze. When you really feel the hauteur coming on and want to treat something or someone with a rare contempt, don’t just be dismissive: feign ignorance. Works well. I know because I’ve used it myself any number of times:
“Ever seen The Dark Knight?”
“Is that with Christopher Lambert? If so, no.”
“What do you think of David Baldacci?”
“Did I hear him as Tamino at the DSO? Pretty awful, I thought.”
“Like Lady Gaga?”
One wonders what other magazines, cigarette brands, casual dining chains, frat-boy comedies, Georgia congressmen Horwitz has never heard of.
Phelim McAleer, speaking at yesterday’s Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing, said the decision to create his feature documentary on hydraulic fracturing, FrackNation, “started with just doing a little bit of journalism.”
McAleer attended a Q&A session in Chicago where director Josh Fox sat at a panel to discuss his documentary film, Gasland. McAleer asked Fox whether the phenomenon of the “flaming faucet” featured in a scene from Gasland were caused by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fox ultimately admitted that no, fracking was not responsible for the flammable chemicals present in the “firewater,” but that he chose not to include this fact “because it’s not relevant.”
So McAleer did some research. He discovered that the places in Fox’s film portrayed as victims of fracking were named decades ago for the high methane levels found naturally in their waters. One was called historically, “Burning Springs,” by the Native Americans who first inhabited the area long before fracking was invented.
McAleer made his confrontation with Fox accessible to the world at large by posting it on YouTube. The video was removed and re-posted several times, with McAleer coming to comprehend the full implications of the understood rule of Q&A’s, “You shall ask the right Q’s.”
McAleer, goaded by his maxim, “I’m from Northern Ireland. Nobody tells me to shut up,” has pursued in his research to expose the truth about hydraulic fracturing. FrackNation has been purchased by business tycoon Mark Cuban, and is set to air later in the month in many homes across America. FrackNation will hit the screens at around the same time Matt Damon’s anti-fracking feature, Promised Land is in theaters. Cuban told The Hollywood Reporter, “Of course the timing is relevant.”
“Most Americans don’t know what fracking is,” McAleer said. Since hydraulic fracturing started in 1947, he attests, “there is no evidence of fracking polluting water anywhere, anytime.”
McAleer said what he found most shocking in his quest for answers about fracking was the media’s failure to expose the whole truth about the hot issue. “Journalists will take a scare story as a study,” he said, adding that none of the claims made by people interviewed in Gasland and other such investigative reports were ever scientifically verified.
McAleer said the media also purposefully avoid reporting on the violent aspect of the fracking debate: “Some liberals believe in [guns] when journalists ask environmentalists difficult questions.”
Of the anti-fracking extremists, McAleer went on to say, “They’re thugs with smiles on their faces. They’re thugs in sandals. They don’t respect democracy.”
Also underreported, McAleer said, is the fracking boom, which he branded “a modern-day Gold Rush.” “All of humanity is affected,” he said, citing restaurateurs, hoteliers, and others who are prospering from drillers who have flooded natural-gas rich states such as North Dakota, New York, and Pennsylvania.
McAleer attributes “embitterment” in those not benefitting from the fracking royalties, or not benefitting as much as their neighbors, for a lawsuit in Dimock Township, Pennsylvania. Particularly telling is the non-joyous reaction of a family informed that their tap water is safe for consumption, shown in McAleer’s film.
FrackNation will air on AXS TV on Tuesday, January 22, at 9 p.m. EST.
The Associated Press reports:
New York’s Assembly on Tuesday easily passed the toughest gun control law in the nation and the first since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, calling for a tougher assault weapons ban and provisions to try to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill who make threats.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed hard for the bill, which passed the Senate on Monday night. He is expected to quickly sign the measure into law.
“This is a scourge on society,” Cuomo said Monday night, six days after making gun control a centerpiece of his State of the State address. The bipartisan effort was fueled by the Newtown tragedy that took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators. “At what point do you say, ‘No more innocent loss of life’?”
No one wants innocent people, least of all children, to suffer, but it is not clear whether the regulations Governor Cuomo et al. support will effectively reduce gun violence. I’m working on a piece for tomorrow’s homepage that discusses whether President Obama’s proposed gun regulations would have prevented the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
On Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show just a minute ago, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) just said that “we’ve never paid for disaster relief by cutting other spending.” I don’t doubt his sincerity, but he’s just flat-out wrong. For the first year or two of the Gingrich Congress, it was firm policy to “offset” disaster spending with other cuts. In fact, the rescissions package of 1995 began as an effort to provide such offsets — and then grew beyond that. If I remember the numbers, the disaster relief was pegged at just under $9 billion, and the final rescissions package was more than $16 billion. In short, we cut other spending by nearly twice as much as the amount we approved for disaster relief.
It was good policy then, and, with appropriate safeguards, it should still be the ordinary way of doing business.
It is stunning to see such muddled cluelessness in print.
Joe begins by comparing the GOP’s current woes to the collapse of the Whigs in the 1850s, then moves on to Herbert Hoover and the “20 years in the wilderness” that followed. Mentioning the Democrats losing five out of six elections after the 1968 “radicalization of their base” he ends his beginning by noting the “GOP lost the popular vote in five of their last six runs for the White House in part because they couldn’t keep pace with the rapid change in demographic realities.”
Where to begin?Continue reading…
Rasmussen today reports a telephone survey finding that 63 percent of Republican voters believe congressional Republicans are out of touch with the party’s conservative base.
The only question this survey leaves unaswered is, could that other 37 percent possibly be paying attention?
Asked what might be some of the gun control measures he believes he can institute by executive order, President Obama suggested he might mandate ways in which guns could be tracked better in order to see that they don’t fall into the hands of criminals.
A worthwhile objective, but not a job he should farm out to Attorney General Eric Holder, whose performance in keeping track of guns is less than exemplary.
The House is taking up relief legislation for Hurricane Sandy. To its credit the GOP majority slowed the funding express for the pork-filled bill originally approved by the Senate. The Heritage Foundation created a video that illustrates the wasteful bill that vote-minded politicians have been trying to pass off as emergency relief. It should be widely shared as a reminder of the shameless Big Spenders who populate Capitol Hill.
Clarence Thomas has spoken during an oral argument for the first time in more than half a decade, according to the Wall Street Journal. The associate justice remarked that a defendant must not have received capable legal counsel, since his attorney graduated from Yale Law School (Thomas’s alma mater). The offical transcript records Thomas as saying, “Well—he did not—”.
Four little words, friends and neighbors. Savor ‘em.
I read yesterday in our former paper of record that the Obama administration has “pledged to help the French in their fight against Islamist militants in Mali.” “Help” here means, apparently, that the administration is promising “air and other logistical support” (i.e., not ground troops), just as it did in Libya, where, as you probably remember, our “help” was very much appreciated.
Churchill, not a statesman known for his dovish views, once blurted out that he had “lived 78 years without hearing of bloody places like Cambodia.” Well, I have lived for slightly less than 78 years without hearing of bloody places like Mali, Libya, and Yemen. (Would that I had lived all of them without hearing of bloody places like Iraq and Afghanistan too.)
America should commit troops and resources abroad only when her vital interests are threatened or when one of her allies is attacked. Once we decide to intervene in the affairs of x crumby third-world backwater for “humanitarian” reasons, we (at least in theory) commit ourselves to an endless series of crusades, campaigns, expeditions, arbitraments of the sword (there’s a whole page that I could re-type from my 1911 Roget’s).
After all, why stop with Mali? Why not use drones to take out all the African despots, all the Near Eastern theocrats, every single South American banana republican or East Asian object of a personality cult who gives us guff?
A very nice tribute from NR’s Rich Lowry to his father, who died yesterday. Rich is one of the world’s true good guys. Condolences to him and his family; may his father know God’s love forevermore.
At CFIF, I further outline Colin Powell’s falsehoods and praise a thoughtful approach (and defense of Tea Partiers) by Artur Davis. Davis wasn’t specifically describing Powell, but could have been, when he wrote that “The shortest distance in modern politics is the one between a Republican willing to denounce his party for extremism and the set of a cable or Sunday morning talk show.”
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Maria C. Waltherr-Willard, a 35-year veteran teacher from the Mariemont school district in Ohio, is suing the district and claiming to have a phobia of children.
Waltherr-Willard alleges that the school district discriminated against her in 2010 when it reassigned her from high school to junior high, because district officials had purportedly promised that she wouldn’t be required to teach young children.
According to the Enquirer, Waltherr-Willard’s alleged disability is pedophobia, “an extreme fear or anxiety around young children.” Waltherr-Willard is claiming that the presence of young children has caused her to suffer chest pains, vomiting, stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, and nightmares.
The good news is that Waltherr-Willard is 61 years old and has retired, relieving future generations of students from developing phobias of large, irresponsible school teachers with long, hyphenated names who hate them.
People sometimes refer to the arcana of DC as “inside Baseball.” If so, the battle over U. Va. and its board is Inside Little League. Briefly, the governor-appointed board fired the university’s president, Teresa Sullivan, last summer, then quickly reinstated her in the face of protests. The move to oust her was led by board member Helen Dragas, who is now in the news because she’s up for renewal. Predictably, the Washington Post hates her. Why predictably, and why should one care? Because this is really about who runs universities: the faculty or the stakeholders. And the WaPo, once again, is on the side of waste, corruption and evil.
The shape of modern university is the result of a bargain between administrators like Sullivan and the faculty, and goes like this: The administrator gets a $700,000 yr. salary and the faculty gets to do whatever it wants. The board, which is meant to police the bargain, is composed of supine, faineant Merovingians.
That’s reason enough to support Dragas, who wanted the University to run a little more efficiently. If that’s not enough, the WaPo hates her.
Jennifer Rubin does a nice take-down here of the increasingly despicable Colin Powell, who smeared his former party on Meet the Press by accusing Republicans of a “dark vein of intolerance.” Thus says the first black Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, the first black Secretary of State, the sometime mentor of the first black woman to serve as Secretary of State… all under Republican sponsorship.
Thus says the back-stabbing lout who deliberately let the innocent Scooter Libby twist in the wind, and then get convicted, when one word from Powell would have ended the investigation. Thus says the man who was afforded credit he didn’t deserve for conduct of a Gulf War (1991) he more or less opposed, the man who denounced his own testimony to the United Nations while blaming others for its substance, the man who claimed to be a Republican moderate but who endorsed the most radical leftist Democrat ever to serve in the presidency over a Republican moderate (John McCain) who had repeatedly befriended him and praised him throughout his career.
Marco Rubio was right to push back against this man of little character. Two Hispanic senators who are Republicans, none Democrat? Check. Two Latino governors who are Republicans? Check. A Republican as the only black senator? Yes. Two Indian (Asian) governors? Republican. The only senator in recent memory with real American Indian blood (at least partially) in his veins? Republican. Legions of party activists first inspired into politics by the inclusive, open, sunny Jack Kemp? Yes. The party’s most recent vice presidential nominee? An actual former top aide to Kemp.
Powell has become nothing other than a nasty apparatchik currying favor with those in power. Maybe that’s all he ever was.
Only now are we learning about the real Ben Bernanke. An early home movie has been found about his activities as a child. His tendency toward counterfeiting apparently was well established.
Then the New York Times published this special report on counterfeiting:
Making fake money remains a thriving enterprise in the United States, as it has been since before the Civil War.
A few counterfeit artists still engrave metal plates and search for soft paper that approximates the government’s proprietary blend. Others soak money in a chemical soup, rubbing off ink to create $100 bills out of fives.
But in more than two-thirds of all cases, criminals manipulate scanners, printers and toner ink to create money where once there was none.
So, too, it has been with Bernanke. After hiding in plain sight, as it were, creating trillions of dollars out of nothing and passing them off as real money, the police finally moved in. The initial charges were modest, but more are sure to come. Added the Times:
Until federal agents arrested him in an Atlanta suburb in November, he was what people in his criminal circle called “the printer” — a man suspected of pumping more than $1.1 million in fake $50 bills into the Southern economy.
Oh, wait. The actual criminal charged was Heath Kellogg, “whom the United States attorney’s office here described as a self-taught graphic artist, is in the latter category.” But precisely how do his activities differ from that of the Federal Reserve chairman? Other than being less harmful to the economy?
It may take time, but it is hard to imagine that we all will not ultimately pay the price for the trillions of dollars of nothingness issued by the Federal Reserve and passed off as money with something to back it up.
I just watched the 60 Minutes puff piece on Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Scott Pelley asked Sotomayor if anyone resented her getting a hand up via affirmative action. Sotomayor spoke of a school nurse who asked her why she was being considered for Princeton when the top two ranking students were not being considered. Sotomayor said, “But from the tone of her question I understood that she thought there was something wrong with them looking at me and not looking at those two other students.”
Well, Sotomayor is assuming (as is Pelley) that the school nurse was motivated by Sotomayor’s racial heritage. Isn’t it reasonable to ask why Sotomayor was admitted to Princeton when the top two students were not admitted?
Towards the end of the interview, Sotomayor again made reference to the school nurse. “And the memory of it has never really left me. Because it is the look that so many people give you. It’s the look I was still receiving when I was nominated to the Supreme Court,” said Sotomayor.
Absolutely cheap. The opposition Sotomayor received on Capitol Hill was on account of her judicial philosophy and her rulings, not because of her Latina heritage, and she knows it. And who exactly gave Sotomayor that “look”? It certainly wasn’t Lindsey Graham who told her “you’re gonna get confirmed” during her confirmation hearings.
In any case, for Sotomayor to suggest that Republicans opposed her nomination because of her racial heritage is beneath her and beyond contempt.
There was some pretty darn good football played this weekend.
Following the Ravens 2 OT upset victory over the Broncos, San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick put on a one man show in 49ers 45-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Kaepernick not only threw two touchdown passes for 256 yards he also had 181 rushing yards including a 56 yard rush touchdown. He was channeling Steve Young.
The 49ers will face the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Final next Sunday. The Falcons looked like they were going to wipe the floor with the Seattle Seahawks with a 20-0 lead at the half. But the Seahawks roared back and took a 28-27 lead in the final minute of the game before the Falcons regained the lead on a Matt Bryant field goal. Incredibly, the Falcons botched an onside kick giving the Seahawks new life. But when the Seahawks failed to get into field goal range, QB Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass that was intercepted in the end zone to bring Seattle’s season to an end. Look for the 49ers to beat the Falcons next weekend.
Despite Rob Gronkowski rebreaking his left forearm, the New England Patriots dispensed with the Houston Texans 41-28 and shall face the Ravens in the AFC Final for the second year in a row. Given that Ray Lewis plans to retire at the end of the season, I think this will give the Ravens the edge over the Patriots.
So yes, I see a 49ers-Ravens Super Bowl. Which would mean the Harbaugh brothers face off in the biggest game of the year.
A conjurer emerges from cyberspace to rewrite our understanding of monetary and fiscal policy. Ryan Tate of Wired tells the story of a Georgia lawyer who goes by “Beowulf” online, the man who came up with the (now defunct) $1 trillion platinum coin trick everyone has been raving about:
It’s been a remarkable journey. The path of the trillion-dollar coin, as Beowulf described it to Wired, began with a “silly question” in a “pointless … online bull session” in the comments section of financier Warren Mosler’s blog. Anonymous supporters helped spread the concept to the comments of other economics blogs and ultimately into posts on such sites. The idea soon attracted attention from more prominent liberal economists like James Galbraith and Paul Krugman, and then from writers like Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein. From there it was a short hop into the center mainstream.
Interestingly, although the coin has been embraced by liberals as a useful political hack and rejected by Republicans as absurd and dangerous, the man who came up with it voted for Mitt Romney. Beowulf says he would have advised the 2012 Republican presidential candidate to use the same trick had he been elected president.
“We’re not real political,” he says of his circle of online pals, who he likens to players in a fantasy football league, but for the monetary system. “It’s like 4chan says — we’re just in it for the — what is it? LOLs? -– lulz, lulz.”
Come to think of it, wasn’t that the same thing Keynes said? “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money started as a silly question in a pointless bull session. I’m just in it for the lulz.”
The NYT can’t go the way of Newsweek soon enough to please me. I see that the unphotogenic Jill is embracing an approach young leftists, after they’ve destroyed a business or a political entity, often use in a vain attempt at damage control, which is to pressure older persons go eat worms and die.
Senior editors at the NYT are liberal geeks too, and I hold no brief for them generally. But I do weary of the tyranny of the young, a backbone of leftism. After prayerful consideration, taking into account diplomatic niceties and the requirements of etiquette and good taste, I believe I’ve hit upon the measured response seniors on the NYT need to offer La Abramson, to wit: “BUGGER OFF, TOOTS!!”
On a personal note, I frequently get phone calls where a script-reading woman offers me a subscription to the Times at what I guess are supposed to be attractive rates. To the last caller I said, “You sound like a nice young woman, and don’t take this personally. But I have to tell you that if the NYT started arriving on my front lawn for nothing I would have your circulation manager arrested for littering.”
Tim Tebow’s future as a player in the NFL is hovering up in the air like a Johnny Unitas Hail Mary pass. Some suspected he would find a welcome reception with his hometown team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yet the Jags’ new general manager, Dave Caldwell, said at a press conference Thursday, “I can’t imagine a scenario where Tebow will be a Jacksonville Jaguar.”
How does the record-setting star winner of a Heisman trophy and a national championship, celebrated for his work ethic and beloved for his leadership, find himself on the sidelines?
Tebow, all 6 feet, three inches, 236 pounds of him, brings with him a level of celebrity, charisma, and faithful fandom any team should be glad to have. Some say he isn’t a classic drop-back and pass QB. So be it. There are plenty of teams who could benefit from doing something very different from what they did last season. (Including the Jaguars, who went 2-14.)
Wherever Tebow ends up, I hope it’s still in a football arena where his influence brings God to the world of sports, America’s favorite religion.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?