|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Friday, September 06, 2002
Posted 7:03 AM by WiN
Sometimes you get lucky
Posted 6:50 AM by WiN
Browsing referrer logs last night for the first time in a while, I was surprised to see quite a few hits from Google searches. You get enough of these, and it starts to show a pattern. Here's some examples, and the categories I would put them in:
May have actually found what they wanted, or at least made sense for their search to find this blog
Happy Googling, everyone!
Thursday, September 05, 2002
Posted 2:24 PM by WiN
On a more serious note
Strong stuff from Lileks today. I'm going to squeeze my little ones extra tight tonight.
Posted 2:18 PM by WiN
This is off-color, but the funniest thing my strange ranger best friend has ever said. He was a member of the wedding party for the wedding I went to on Saturday, and he proceeded to drink (by all accounts) all the champagne in the limo and then every glass at his table. After getting sufficiently plowed, he went outside for a smoke. We were all standing there, a group of people our age, and off to the left of us were several members of both families of the bride and groom. My friend, in a drunken stupor, then asks loudly for all to hear,Check it out.
Posted 12:33 PM by WiN
How to deal with 9/11 +1?
Posted 10:39 AM by WiN
Greens: Earth Summit a "Total failure"
Disciples of Adam Smith rejoice! The recently concluded United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development has been dubbed a "total failure", "notably feeble", and "nine days of bluster" by the 'sustainable development' crowd, which means that there is still hope for the world's underdeveloped countries to pursue the only proven road to prosperity - free trade. Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation of South Africa had some novel suggestions for the painfully disappointed Greens:
"The North can rehabilitate their [natural places] by bombing New Orleans and bombing Rotterdam and restoring the Rhine and the Delta [rivers] and getting rid of Belgium and Denmark and France and turning them back into swamps," he said.He also said that the Third World should tell the First World greenies to "go to hell" for trying to force their environmentalist utopian agenda on them at the expense of economic development, and that the First World is hypocritical in trying to force IMF and World Bank restrictions on developing countries that they themselves never had to comply with.
It cannot be emphasized enough that the model of centrally planned economies has failed, and no amount of fiddling around the edges will ever make it work. The only way these countries will ever advance economically is to establish the rule of law, contracts and especially private ownership of land and let the free market take its' course. If the developed world truly wants to help undeveloped countries they should
Posted 7:53 AM by WiN
Bush makes his case
You know it's coming. Now that Blair is on board, the peaceniks no longer have the "America can't go it alone" argument. Cheney and DeLay have done the "softening up", now Bush is beginning to press his case as in yesterday's meeting with congressional leaders. His remarks afterwards were classic:
"I will first remind the United Nations (on Thursday) that for 11 long years, Saddam Hussein has sidestepped, crawfished, wheedled out of any agreement he had made not to develop weapons of mass destruction; agreements he made to treat the people in his country with respect -- and so I'm going to call upon the world to recognize that he [Saddam] is stiffing the world."Bush apparently impressed the lawmakers
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who backs the president on an Iraq attack, told reporters he thinks the president convincingly "made the case for a regime change" in Iraq in his meeting with lawmakers.Today's Wall Street Journal editorial page does a good job summing up Bush's case today in this piece, particularly as it addresses the argument that Saddam wouldn't dare use WMD against the U.S. for fear of retaliation.
Opponents of deposing the dictator say he'd be crazy to use any weapons against the U.S. because he'd be destroyed in retaliation. But his motive to avenge his Gulf War humiliation is clear enough.Once Saddam has The Bomb, he will use it - most likely to kill Americans.
Facing such a threat, it is virtually impossible to conceive that any plan to reinstate arms inspectors to Iraq will be enough. Nor does one leaked White House proposal--for "coercive inspections," meaning inspectors backed by foreign troops--sound adequate. On this point, we'd disagree with Mr. Bush's argument yesterday that the "issue is not inspectors, the issue is disarmament." The real issue is the nature of Saddam's regime. We hope the leaking of this option doesn't mean that Mr. Bush will settle for something less than the "regime change" he and Vice President Dick Cheney have so clearly called for.Amen, and let the chips fall where they may.
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Posted 3:19 PM by WiN
Alabama football - 12 National Titles?
Anyone even casually aware of college football probably knows that there is a historic matchup of two of the biggest football schools in the country, Oklahoma and Alabama, set for this Saturday. You may not know that this will be the first time the two teams have met in the regular season (the two previous matchups have been bowl games - the '63 Orange Bowl and the (now defunct) '70 Bluebonnet Bowl). Trivia buffs may also be aware that the two schools combined claim 19 Mythical National Championships in football - 7 for OU and 12(!) for Alabama. Sooner fans are well aware that OU's 7 titles are not all 'consensus' titles (OU shared the '74 title), but are comfortable with the fact that in each of those 7 seasons it could be plausibly argued that Oklahoma fielded the best team in the country. But what about Alabama? How in the world could they possibly claim 12 national titles when they have only been awarded 6 by AP and 5 by UPI/coaches poll (overlapping years except for '65 and '73 when they shared split titles), giving them 7 - same as OU? Well, first you have to check here to see which years they claim to have won titles in ('25, '26, '30, '34, '41, '61, '64, '65, '73, '78, '79, '92). But wait, you might say, didn't Minnesota win the MNC in '41 (AP)? How about '34? Well, according to this site, the 'consensus' champion would not have been the Tide in any of those first 5 years. 'Bama fans like to quote the Helms award for their first two titles ('25 & '26). So why don't we check the Helms award winners? Yep, there they are in '25, and a split title in '26 (with Stanford). But what about 1930? Nope, Notre Dame. '34 and '41? Minnesota. '73? Notre Dame again. Funny thing, Oklahoma is listed 6 times here to 'Bama's 5 (the list ends in '82, so 2 of OU's and one of 'Bama's title years are not included). So that would seem to indicate OU - 8 MNC's, 'Bama 6. Not good for Tide fans. Let's look at one more list - one compiled by perhaps the most rabid college football fans in existence - the posters of Rec-Sports-Football-College newsgroup (RSFC). They agree with the pollsters - Bama with 7 titles (4 consensus, 2 split) and the Sooners with 7 (6 consensus, 1 split).
In conclusion, fans and schools love to brag, but don't take such braggadocio at face value. OU and Alabama both have long and distinguished football histories, but neither one has been the best team in the country more than 7 times. Maybe this year will be the tie-breaker - we'll go a long way towards finding out this Saturday.
Posted 9:54 AM by WiN
One down, 13 to go
<Gratuitous football post>My Sooners began their campaign to secure their 8th Mythical National Championship in college football last Friday, methodically grinding down the out-manned Tulsa Golden Hurricane 37-0 before about 30,000 Sooner fans and 10,000 Tulsa fans in Tulsa's Skelly Stadium. I was on my way to Branson but managed to pick up most of the game on radio as I zoomed down I-44 through relatively light traffic. Unfortunately, I missed the first two touchdowns of the game, including Antonio Perkins' 91-yard punt return, during a brief dinner break at the world's largest McDonalds. The halftime score of 3-0 was probably viewed with shock, amazement and/or derision by those who were not watching the game on ESPN, but it was mostly a comedy of errors on OU's part that kept them from scoring more. Tulsa actually had a chance to take the first lead but missed a 42-yard FG attempt and after that never threatened. OU rolled up 378 yards on the ground with its' revamped rushing game and didn't really need to go to the pass, trademark of the Stoops-era offense, after the game was in hand. OU QB Jason White, starting for the first time since being injured in last year's Nebraska game, was a mediocre 15 of 26 for 126 yards, but had at least 100 more yards' worth of passes dropped by the normally-reliable receiving corps. By far the worst part of his performance was his two attempts to force passes in the red zone, resulting in interceptions. OU also lost scoring opportunities when another Perkins TD punt return was called back due to a penalty upfield and the Sooners' All-American tight end Trent Smith fumbled inside the Tulsa 10.
Meanwhile, in Birmingham Alabama OU's next opponent, the Crimson Tide, was struggling with Middle Tennessee State 39-34. The vaunted 'Bama rushing game garnered only 194 yards but they managed to move through the air on the arm of QB Tyler Watts, who finished 16-22 with 2 TDs. They were probably looking ahead to this Saturday's marquee matchup in Norman, but their lack of focus (16 penalties for 126 yards) doesn't bode well for them hanging with the Sooners in Norman. Oddsmakers have installed OU as an early two-touchdown favorite.
Speaking of looking ahead, Sooner fans should be forgiven for having a little chuckle at the expense of the Mighty Texas Longhorns®, who managed an unimpressive 27-0 win over the hapless University of North Texas Eagles. Among the low-lights for the 'Horns:
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.