Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Taking a Stand.

In the recent Democratic debate, Senator Hillary Clinton showed her mettle in the face of tough questioning. Apparently the words 'yes' and 'no' are not in her vocabulary. For all the Republicans disheartened by our own candidates (and I admit, I'm one of them), Charles Krauthammer has some good advice. Besides, do we really want this for the next four years?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Second Chances.

Michael Yon is an independent writer and former soldier working in Iraq. He chronicles the war from the soldier's viewpoint, telling the story as it is, in a way that is not reported by the Mainstream Media. I like to think of him as a modern-day Ernie Pyle.

By now, the Scott Thomas Beauchamp/TNR story is old news, but I wanted to share with you Yon's follow-up to the story.

"In fact, the commander said Beauchamp, having learned his lesson, was
given the chance to leave or stay."

He stayed. I don't have any other comment on this; read Yon's piece, and undertsand why our troops are the best of the best.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

You're Beautiful, Baby.

Unless you happen to live in DC, that is.

I like looking at attractive people as much as the next person, but in my experience a beautiful appearance does not equate to a beautiful heart. I was driving to work one morning and heard a local talk radio host make fun of all the gamers that were in town for Gen Con, a yearly gathering of role-playing game enthusiasts. I don't remember what his specific comment was, but it had something to do with them being geeks and having no life.

I'm a gamer(retired), and I'll freely admit that we're geeks. We take pride in it. But I also can say that for all their quirks, gamers are some of the most loving and caring people I've met, who make friends for life and would do anything for their friends. It's a pity that so-called normal people rarely look beyond our propensity for wearing cloaks and shouting "+4 Battle axe? Leave my wife alone!" to see it.


Here it is: my 100th post. I've been racking my brain over the last few days for a topic to write about. But I saw this post and got to thinking how much bloggers obsess over numbers; we track subscribers, hit counts, page visits and views, posts, comments...bean counters extraordinaire we are.

Well, for this one post I'm bucking the trend. It's a throw-away. I'll still check my hit counts and page views. But my goal is and has been to share my thoughts. If you agree or disagree, admire or revile, thanks for reading.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Very Best?

Yesterday saw the conclusion of one of the most interesting Formula One championship seasons in recent years. Lewis Hamilton, rookie sensation and points leader going in, flubbed the first lap then suffered mechanical problems which set him well back in the field, costing him the title. Fernando Alonso, his teammate and two-time champion, drove a steady race to a lackluster finish. This left it to an improbable Kimi Raikkonen to come from third in the points to capture the drivers' title by winning the race. I'll say I wasn't displeased by this as I feel that since McLaren were (rightly) disqualified from the Constructors' Championship, their drivers should have been as well. F1 commentators are fond of calling it a 'team sport.'

What really struck me, however, was not the race but a segment in the pre-race coverage on Speed Channel. Each of the top three drivers was asked, "If something unfortunate happens to prevent you winning the championship, which driver would you like to win?"

To which all three replied with some variation on, "If I can't win it, I really don't care who does." Amazing. Not one had the courtesy or the guts to say, "I think so-and-so should win." It shows the depths of self-centeredness that Formula One has sunk to in the last few decades.

Contrast this with today's Indy Car drivers: each year the Indianapolis Star asks the participants in the 500 mile race a similar question. Most will name another driver, often a teammate. Better yet is Jackie Stewart, himself former F1 champion driver, speaking about his experience in leading the 1966 Indy 500:

"You know, I thought later, 'I could have won this thing!' But the
team won; Graham [Hill] won."

Quite a change in the last 40 years. Formula One drivers are called the best in the world. The most skilled? Maybe. The best quality? I don't think so.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Coolest Vid of the Day.

Actually, I found this yesterday, but oh well. This kid has the weirdest technique I've ever seen, but awesome trumps weird every time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Too Fast, Too Furious.

I've written here before about my enthusiasm for import tuners. I also pointed out the dark side to that hobby, namely illegal racing and personal excess.

Alicia asked me the other day if I had heard about a little girl killed by street racers. I hadn't, as most of the news sites and blogs I read cover political news, and such stories rarely get any play. It piqued my curiosity, though, because I love racing and driving, and bad examples of this outrage me.

It turns out that such instances are on the rise, and stupidity does not discriminate. What are these guys trying to prove? I understand the desire to go faster than the other guys, and I've accumulated my share of speeding tickets. What any serious driver knows, however, is that there is nothing safe about pushing a car to the limit of its performance, and it shouldn't be done anywhere. Fortunately, these criminals may soon get their reward.

If you've got to prove something, then go to the local racetrack, most of which host street-legal drags on the weekends. You can race in a controlled and (reasonably) safe environment. Life isn't a video-game; there is no reset button, and no second chances.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Under God.

Over the past week or so, there has been a running argument in the editorial pages of The Indianapolis Star over whether the United States is a Christian nation or not. The argument has been among letters to the editor, not the newspaper staff, so I'm unable to link any specific examples to you. I also don't remember which article the initial letter-writer was responding to, but she proclaimed that we are not, in fact, a Christian Nation. Other respondents wrote stating that we are, or that we were a nation founded under Judeo-Christian values. One man even amusingly wrote that we owe our bicameral legislature to the Almighty. Strange gift, no?

Let me refer you to this article addressing this very subject. As Mr. Cherry states, our Founding Fathers, whether Christian or Deist, did believe in God, and that our rights as men are given to us by God, and not by government. Add to this the fact that all of them grew up in the Christian tradition, as opposed to say, a Hindu tradition, and it is easy to see that our national identity arises from Judeo-Christian values.

Nevertheless, the Founding Fathers understood that there is a power greater than Man, upon whom man is dependent for liberty and morality. Tocqueville (yes, him again) remarked on the religiosity of Americans and the importance of religion in democracy, echoing, as it were, John Adams:

""We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human
passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge,
or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes
through a net. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious
people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.""

It is no surprise, then, that the immoral and irreligious Left continually try to distort the Constitution or ignore it altogether.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Rule the Waves.

Here's something that most Americans probably haven't heard about, and won't if the globalist Senators and MSM get their way. Even top conservative bloggers seem to be a little in the dark.

There is a new push to join and ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (appropriately condensed to LOST). This treaty, which Reagan rejected, and Bush is trying to revive, would place the United States in the hands of authorities created by the dysfunctional UN, infringing on our sovereignty and effectively crippling our ability to protect our interests around the world. Conveniently, it also opens the door for further encroachment by the UN, which will expect US taxpayers to fund all of this and which places us under the jurisdiction of so-called "international" courts, none of which have any ties to, nor sympathy for the US.

Since the time man first put boat to water, nations have understood that the true law of the sea is made and enforced by the country which has the strongest navy. Since WWII, that country has been us. Like Britannia of old, we've ruled the waves for the last 70 years, and the world has been better for it. Now the envious globalists, under the guise of world peace, are trying to pull the rug out from under us.