Recycling not nearly what it's cracked up to be
•Do you ever stop and think about why should we recycle trash? You hear the justifications that we should minimize our influence on the environment and all that, but did you ever stop and really think the process through?
Landfills, like the one that exists here in Shawnee, have a limited life. Current plans are to close it in 2027. The sooner it closes, the better for Shawnee because then the land will be developed into something else (like a mini ski resort, kind of like Snow Creek near Weston perhaps!). So we should want to close that landfill sooner.
When you next enter into a conversation with a self-proclaimed environmentalist, ask them why we should recycle. If they give you a quizzical look, be specific and ask them why recycle aluminum. Aluminum is the most abundant metal on the planet. It comprises 8% (by weight) of the crust of the earth. In case you were wondering, the earth's crust is 3 miles deep on the continental parts of the planet and 30 miles deep under the oceans. Think for a minute how much volume of metal that is. We could wrap this planet several times over in aluminum foil and still not run out.
And if you are worried about carbon emissions (I'm not by the way), think about how much extra carbon is spit into the atmosphere by the lone diesel trucks making a special trip through the neighborhood simply to empty those green recycling bins. That's not very environmentally friendly, as Al Gore tries to define it.
The real reason you are being spoon-fed that we have to recycle is because of the NIMBY's (Not In My Back Yard), who are those folks who will not allow sanitation engineers to place a landfill anywhere near THEIR part of the city. They are the people that cry and moan whenever development of any kind approaches their property. For some reason, they believe the state and nature of their property should ALWAYS stay in the condition it was when they bought it and magically, the monetary value of their property must always increase.
That's not the way the world works.
•Now, let me see if I understand this selling of senatorial appointments correctly. Gov. Blogojevich seeks some form of reimbursement for naming certain people to Obama's senate seat. He doesn't get anything, but he clearly appeared to be asking for something.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton owed political vendors some $13 million from her failed run for the Democrat nomination to the White House. She reportedly went to Obama for the money, but he apparently would have rather given her an appointment to serve as his Secretary of State. So he gives her the Secretary of State post and saves himself $13 million while she forgives a financial debt that she made to her campaign.
Why is Blogojevich going on trial but Hillary and Obama are in good legal stead?
•And for the record, I don't care if Caroline Kennedy is ultimately named to fill Hillary Clinton's senate seat. That's not my senate representative, so I couldn't care less. However, there IS a HUGE amount of hypocrisy going on in the liberal-leaning big media who are pushing for her being named to the seat by the Governor of New York. Caroline Kennedy has no experience for the position. She has a poor voting attendance record, a documented lack of participation in politics in New York, and she donated almost no money to political causes over the years. So why did these same people try to make the case that Gov. Sarah Palin wasn't qualified to run for Vice President? She was a Republican. That's why.
•Did you hear this one? In an effort to win over warlords and chieftains in Afghanistan into giving information on terrorist activity occurring in the shadows, CIA officials have resorted to handing out Viagra pills in exchange for cooperation.
Their justification is, whatever it takes to convince them to cooperate is worthy. The growing Taliban insurgency forced the CIA to get creative in obtaining information from tribal leaders on such things as Taliban movements and supply routes.
Afghan vets said the usual bribes of choice, which are cash and weapons, aren't always the best options because they can focus unwanted attention and fall into the wrong hands.
A cash reward for information will be readily detected in the generally poor communities and as a result, the guy who suddenly comes home with a shiny new stereo boom box or new coffee maker is also a marked informer who will now become a Taliban target.
I suppose the sudden appearance of an Afghani wife who suspiciously has a new hitch in her step and smile on her face isn't as obvious if they're all wearing burquas.
(Brian Kubicki never recycles a Parallax Look column. That’s why we love him. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Global cooling a bigger threat than warming
So I woke up this morning with one of those nagging, “I'm supposed to do something this morning that I didn't do last night” feelings, and for the life of me I couldn't recall what it was. Then I happened upon this wonderful article on anthropogenic global warming skepticism, and it suddenly hit me, “I'VE GOT TO GET MY LANDMARK COLUMN IN BY 10AM!”
So this is truly what's bouncing around in my scatter-brained noggin this morning.
•You really have to go to the internet and check-out this article (http://businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20081218205953.aspx) I found linked on The Drudge Report. What follows are some of the best parts:
CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers had never bought into the notion that man can alter the climate and the Vegas snowstorm didn't impact his opinion. “You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant. Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big I think we're going to die from a lack of fresh water or we're going to die from ocean acidification before we die from global warming, for sure.”
Dr. Jay Lehr, an expert on environmental policy, told “Lou Dobbs Tonight” viewers you can detect subtle patterns over recorded history, but that dates back to the 13th Century.
“If we go back really, in recorded human history, in the 13th Century, we were probably 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than we are now and it was a very prosperous time for mankind,” Lehr said. “If go back to the Revolutionary War 300 years ago, it was very, very cold. We've been warming out of that cold spell from the Revolutionary War period and now we're back into a cooling cycle.”
Lehr suggested the earth is presently entering a cooling cycle a result of nature, not man.
“The last 10 years have been quite cool,” Lehr continued. “And right now, I think we're going into cooling rather than warming and that should be a much greater concern for humankind. But, all we can do is adapt. It is the sun that does it, not man.”
Doggone, I'm going to have to take back most of the bad things I've said about CNN.
•You know, in the aftermath of the resignation of Carl Peterson as the President and General Manager of the Chiefs, a nagging question has not gone away. Peterson has long been an advocate of building a team through trades and free agency, with a smattering of draft picks. He has been opposed to the concept of throwing away a season or two, as the Chiefs have done these past two seasons, in an effort to rebuild almost entirely through the draft. It is clear that Herm Edwards came here with the notion that the team had to be re-built in his image and that had to be accomplished through draft picks. Somehow, Edwards convinced the Chiefs' new owner, Clark Hunt, to overrule Peterson and implement his philosophy. Peterson's philosophy resulted in the attendance records that Arrowhead has seen over the last 20 years. Edwards' philosophy of break-down and rebuild has resulted in the empty seats we have seen in the second halves of the last two seasons.
So can somebody tell me why Carl Peterson is the one who is gone and why is he being blamed for the team's poor performance on the field these last two seasons?
•I've got to fire back at the pirate ship Ivan Foley that attempted (last week) to sink the Good Ship Kansas State over their re-adoption of Bill Snyder as their new captain. Yes, Snyder's age (69) and the likelihood of lightning striking twice in the same place are working against his second campaign in Manhattan being a success. However, you have to factor-in the following when taking the issue under consideration: Snyder didn't really want to retire three years ago. In his 17 years as a head coach, he never fired a coach. He saw many go on to other jobs, but he was loyal to the people he hired. Toward the end of his 17 year run, that became a bad thing. Some of his coaches needed to be changed-out. So instead of changing his loyalty policy, Snyder went out with his coaches.
Had Ron Prince not been running-off coaches for parallel moves every year and had he not depleted the program of talent, Snyder would probably still be retired.
Now that he has re-stocked the coaching cabinet with some intriguing new blood (Clemson's Defensive Coordinator and undefeated Utah's Offensive Coordinator), Bill Snyder is BACK and ready to once again prove folks wrong about Kansas State.
(Reach the good ship Brian Kubicki via email to email@example.com)
With Herm steering ship, Chiefs still have problems
•Carl Peterson resigned this week, effective at the end of the regular season, thus ending a tenure at the top of the NFL team that was unparalleled in this era.
People in the big local media are dancing with joy at the prospect that they won't be pushed around by Peterson anymore. They're even urging the fans to go out to Arrowhead in huge numbers for the last game this coming week. I've got to ask: why?
People have been staying away from Arrowhead because of the inconvenience of the on-going renovations at the sports complex, or because of the horrid performance by the team on the field over the season. Why change now? They're still going to lose to Miami. What has changed on the field or on the sidelines to indicate otherwise? Herm Edwards is still steering the ship. The same players are playing. The same talent evaluators are in-place.
All indications are that Herm Edwards is coming back in 2009. The only thing that has changed at One Arrowhead Drive is the guy at the top retired.
•In truth, it was time for Carl to go. He's had more than enough chance to get the franchise successful (and he has), but he failed at getting Lamar Hunt another Super Bowl. He knew his days were numbered when Lamar died. Nobody gets the kind of chance in the NFL that he had here in KC.
But the ebullience we're hearing out of the likes of the folks on 810 WHB and Jack Harry (I know Harry, but he's a bigger unprofessional putz than even Kevin Kietzman) is borne out of their personal angst against Carl for being treated by him over the years like Rosie O'Donnell treats scented toilet paper.
Those happenings, like Harry being seated behind a post in the press room at Arrowhead, or Kietzman being ripped by Peterson on the phone while "my kids were outside playing in the cul-de-sac," I will dearly miss those. They were almost worth the losing -- almost.
•Here's to Carl Peterson (raising a glass of very hoppy beer!) it was a ride with some screaming highs and some humbling lows. But it was quite a ride.
•I had to laugh at Colin Powell's comments last week to CNN to the effect that the Republican Party needs to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh. Talk about being out-of-touch! Limbaugh said it himself in response to Powell's comments early this week. Have you been watching the Republican Party over the past 8 years? President Bush was a big spending moderate Republican. He was backed by an even more moderate Congress (that got more liberal every year), which led to the nomination of a supremely moderate John McCain in 2008, who ran a campaign that retreated from fights at every corner and tried instead to gum his opponent to death. It hardly sounds like anyone on the Republican side listened to Rush Limbaugh.
Consider the source, folks. This is Colin Powell. This is the guy who insisted his support for Obama had nothing to do with the color of his skin, but my mind wanders with the empty pursuit of a single person of white colored skin who was a moderate Republican that Powell endorsed.
•Illinois Gov. Blagojevich is stirring a nasty pot of gumbo to serve at President-elect Obama's inaugural celebration with this pay-me-for-the-name game. The governor is facing impeachment, removal from office, Senate disapproval of any nominee he sends to D.C., and even prison time.
But I've heard two questions posed from the Right (Mark Levin) that have yet to be asked or answered by anyone involved with covering this mess. First, it is apparent from the audio recordings that Blagojevich was led to the understanding that the Obama Campaign was only interested in “paying” him with gratitude for a favorable nomination. If that's the case, why didn't the Obama Campaign report the bribe to the FBI? Shouldn't that be their top priority as a new executive administration?
Second, why did the investigator drop the hammer on the governor's activities before the bribes actually changed hands? Don't these things usually happen after the bribe money is found in the freezer? This thing stinks on many levels, and it isn't going away any time soon.
•Was that impressive watching President Bush dodging the shoe thrower? Those were some top flight reflexes. I liked how the President of the United States ducked out of the way of the flying show only to rise back to full-height (a Democrat would have certainly cowered in fear at that point) and seem to stare-down the attacker as though to say, “Want to try again?”
I like toughness and resolve in my President.
•I was so pleased to meet so many of you in person at The Landmark annual Christmas Party last Friday. I met some that wanted to pull their hair out over my stances and others that feel strength in a consistently conservative (though often from a skewed perspective!) message. I am the real winner though because I get the joy out of reaching people of all walks with the medium of the written word. Thanks.
(Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
You can't have good times unless you have down times
•Did you see the story this week where they reported that employers cut payrolls by a “shocking” (their words) 533,000 in November. The job loss was characterized as, “…the weakest performance in 34 years…” Now of course, most immediately think the news means the unemployment rate is higher than the last 34 years. But of course, you and I know that isn't the case at all. Unemployment is about 6.7 percent, which is as high as it's been since 1992. The media is going to twist a story or statistic to skew folks into thinking we are at the worst economic times ever. Why? Obama won. What's the point?
And by the way, we still haven't had a negative growth quarter, and we need two consecutive in order to have a recession. Times are tough(er) than they have been in awhile. But you can't have good times unless you have down times.
•A very brilliant writer (Victor Davis Hanson) delivered a superb comeuppance for us all recently in National Review Online:
“Get a grip. Much of our current panic is psychological, and hyped by instantaneous electronic communications and second-by-second 24-hour news blasts. There has not been a nationwide plague that felled our workers. No earthquake has destroyed American infrastructure. The material United States before the September 2008 financial panic is largely the same as the one after. Once we tighten our belts and pay off the debts run up by Wall Street speculators and millions of borrowers who walked away from what they owed others and we can do this in a $13 trillion annual economy sanity will return.
“Gas, now below $2 a gallon, is still falling, saving Americans hundreds of billions of dollars. As housing prices settle, millions of young Americans will buy homes that just recently were said to be out of reach of a new generation.
“If it was once considered a sign of economic robustness that homes doubled in value in just a few years, why is it seen as a disaster that they now sell on the way down for what they did recently on the way up? If we were recently terrified that gas would reach $5 a gallon, why do we now just shrug that it might fall to $1.50?
“Unemployment is still below 7 percent; it was around 25 percent when Franklin Roosevelt became president. Less than 20 banks have failed, not the 4,000 that went under in the first part of 1933.”
I like this guy. I'm digging up more of his past columns. I've got a feeling I'm going to need to hear a lot of this over the next four years.
•In Montgomery, Alabama, farmers are facing a federal proposal to actually charge FEES FOR FLATULENCE AND BELCHING (my family is considering making our household a test case!) from livestock.
Farmers are pretending not to notice the notion, which is one of several put forward by the U.S. EPA after the Supreme Court ruled last year that carbon dioxide emitted by belching and flatulence is air pollution.
The proposed law would require ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head cattle and $20 per hog. Officials estimate that the fee would cost owners of an average-sized ranch about $40,000 a year.
This is nuts! Is this what you folks want from your government? Is this why Democrats were placed in control? Obama hasn't even taken the oath of office yet and the looneyness has started already.
•Did you see where Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius quietly removed herself Saturday from consideration for a spot in Barack Obama's Cabinet, saying one reason she decided to stay is Kansas' budget problems.
Sebelius said she asked to have her name removed from consideration, but a spokesperson refused to offer any further detail. She was supposedly one of the finalists for the vice presidential nomination on the Democrat ticket.
So Gov. Kitty Kat doesn't get the post she wanted, so she's going to take her ball of twine and go home? Not hardly. She ignored Kansas for most of the last two years of this campaign as she preened for the spotlight of the Democrat ticket, well except for taking the briefest of times to aggravate the entire western half of the state by vetoing two new coal fired power plants and stepping in when needed to assist abortionist George Tiller. Now she has to come back to the reddest of states (McCain won the state by what…30 points?) that pretty much hates her with a passion. Reminds me of the scene toward the end of The Mummy when Bennie is trapped in the pyramid and the flesh eating scarabs are gathering close waiting for the torch to burn out.
(His torch never burns out. Email Brian at email@example.com)
There's no way man plays a role in global warming
•You know, listening to Fox News this past week and extending into the past…oh, I'm estimating…say…two years or so…it can be stated that Natalie Holloway, unmonitored 18 year old on a graduation foray, is more than likely dead.
Why is this story still in the news? The guy that killed her dumped her in the ocean and there were no witnesses. He is never going to admit it. Why are we still paying any attention to this story?
•This Holloway case makes you wonder about how many people disappear without a trace and without accountability near or on the ocean. This planet is 75% water.
•I'm a late night TV addict. I love the humor that these home security commercials impart on our psyche on a nightly basis. You know the scene. A suburban white housewife is either at home alone in the evening or she is tending house and home while her husband goes off to work. Suddenly, a chunky white, hooded Bruce Lee-wannabe is sailing foot-first toward the front door of the house, breaking the lock and scaring the poop out of the home-bound, defenseless fair maiden, who picks up the ringing phone only to go split-screen with a burly-looking dude who utters with feigned, $10 per hour bought concern, “Are you all right?”
Yeah, I realize they are trying to use fear to sell security systems, but do they have to be so lame? Where are the little old ladies with .357 magnums in their sewing sashays next to their rocking chairs? Where are the burglars breaking-in on a 300 lb. motorcycle biker sharpening his lawnmower blades? B isn't believable unless you balance it with A.
•So Barack Obama says that Hillary Clinton is the best he can do for Secretary of State? Bill Clinton would be a better fit for that role. The Secretary of State has to have the insight of Aristotle and the hammer of Thor. Hillary has nothing of merit to bring to the position.When President Bush named Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State, there were NSA bonafides in-play. Rice was an expert on Russian relations. Hillary is an expert plate and lamp thrower. Plus, the LAST Secretary of State to win the White House (Which is what Hillary Clinton is all about) was James Buchanan 150 years ago.
•I'm waiting delivery of my Christmas-ordered global warming book by Christopher Horner, “Red Hot Lies” about the global warming hoax that has been foisted upon the American public. I'm hitting hard after that one.
•Did I ever tell you that there is no way that man causes, or even plays a significant role in, global warming? We are not as significant on a worldwide scale as we like to think we are. If you were able to assemble all of the carbon dioxide that man emits in a particularly gassy year, you would have no more than 0.00114% of the entire earth atmosphere. (In real terminology, that is 114 hundred-thousandths of 1 percent). In more real terms, take 1 percent of a pie, which is a really skinny slice, and place it on a plate. Then take that tiny piece of the pie and cut it into one-hundred thousand equal sized pieces. After you have accomplished that monumental task, take 114 of those pieces and you have what part human-caused carbon dioxide plays in the earth's environment. If I dropped a fly wing in a cherry pie, you would have more of a significant pollutant. (You'd be surprised to hear how many fly wings you eat in pie.)
•So why isn't Barack Obama eliminating the Department of Homeland Security? I thought President Bush did nothing right? Was he correct in creating this additional government department? (I, for one, say no. The Department of Homeland Security activities can be more than adequately managed by the other existing departments of government).
I want government cut in size and scope.
•The Texas Longhorns seem to be a bit peeved that they are being left out of the Big 12 Championship game. They have the same record as the team representing the Big 12 South (Oklahoma) and they beat that team head-to-head. However, that victory came relatively early in the season, and the game was played on a neutral field. (OU and Texas traditionally face-off in the famed Red River Shootout as a part of the Texas State Fair near the Oklahoma-Texas border, where the crowd is always 50/50 OU/Texas.) Therefore, the victory should carry less weight than if Texas beat OU in Norman, Oklahoma. You see, there is a price for playing your rival every year on a neutral site.
Oklahoma is the rightful and deserving Big 12 South Champion.
(The rightful and deserving Landmark columnist Brian Kubicki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Election of Obama causing market uncertainty
•Bill Snyder is back! The legend of college coaches is returning to the sidelines to coach Kansas State in place of the man that replaced him. That “GULP” sound you hear in stereo is coming from Columbia and Lawrence.
Much will be said in the coming days that the move was borne out of frustration and desperation because the alumni were unhappy with Prince's record against principal rivals, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri (he was winless in three seasons against those opponents.) They'll try and make a story about Snyder forcing Prince out. But this is an issue of timing. The university is in transition at the top, with the university president retiring at the end of the academic year. No big name coach is going to come to a school knowing a new university president is coming in.
Also, the big-wallet alumni are to be kept happy at a university like Kansas State, and they were not happy with Ron Prince. Prince had a disturbing number of assistant coaches leave his program for parallel jobs, which is a clear indication that they didn't like working for him. He also saddled the program with brutal schedules in the coming years. I think this is the first time since 1989 that I have been happy with both of my alma mater's head coaches in football and basketball.
•The “Obama Recession” seems to be in full force. The stock market is losing 500 points almost every day. The sell-off has gotten particularly drastic since the election. The drop in the DOW Industrial Index is the most that has ever happened post-election. Now before you get ready to fire-off a nasty-gram, I understand that he hasn't actually taken office yet. But I think what we are seeing in these tremendous stock market sell-offs is uncertainty that the public has in the American economic control system. The government is in transition. Nobody knows who Obama is going to appoint to his cabinet and they don't know Obama because he is so inexperienced. Once some cabinet members get named, you're probably going to see some stability return to the market.
•By the way, on Obama's 60 Minutes appearance a couple of weeks ago, they asked him why the $700 billion bailout he voted for apparently hasn't worked in fixing the economy and he answered, “Well, the economic fall-off would have been a lot worse.”
No, I'm not kidding.
•Gas prices continue to fall faster than a lead yo-yo on a Mag-Lev train (a train that runs on a magnetic track).Where are all those screaming and gnashing-of-teeth folks that wanted heads to roll when gas prices were up around $4.50 a gallon? C'mon you bunch of hypocrites. Where are you now? (Remember that I was the one to tell you to relax and manage the higher costs with a little budget balancing. Go back to buying your $8 per gallon diet colas whenever you fill up at the pump. Enjoy.)
•I wonder when Congress is going to take-up the case for bailing out the big oil companies because of their shrinking profits? Don't hold your breath for that one.
•The Obamas have decided to send their daughters to a private school rather than a public one. That's putting your money where your mouth is, isn't it? Michelle and Barack Obama can send their children to whatever school they wish. The choice is theirs. But if their party is going to make public education such a focal role of the Big Government they espouse, shouldn't they be the first to use public schools kind of set an example?
Oh well…maybe not.
•You know, Thanksgiving is a time for being grateful for the progress you have made through your long hours of hard work the entire year. You could perhaps measure that progress by gauging the size of your carbon footprint. The more energy you burn, the longer hours you put on your computer or in your car driving to different work assignments, the larger is your carbon footprint. Maybe we should change the name of Thanksgiving to Carbon Footprint Day. May your carbon footprint be ever larger come this Thanksgiving Day!
•This is also a time to extend a warm Midwestern thanks to all the men and women in uniform serving their country in foreign lands. We remember you all and wish you the best.
(While he’s working to enlarge his carbon footprint, email Brian at email@example.com)
Obama will lead from the center?
Don't believe it
•Am I the only one out there that is just sick and tired of listening to media talking heads spouting royally on the speaking abilities of President-Elect Barack Obama? Have any of them actually listened to what he is saying?
I'm hearing the media telling us that a President Obama will lead from the center of the country politically. Now why in the name of Bella Abzug would he do that? He has been the most liberal Senator in the entire United States Senate. He has clear Democrat majorities in both Houses of Congress. This country is heading leftward politically. Believe it.
•The Chiefs are not getting any more of my votes for a prediction of victory this year. They are going to finish with a 1-15 record. Even when they look kind of good, they're just bad. But are they bad enough for the head coach, Herm Edwards, to get canned? Well, this IS the NFL, and Herm hasn't done as “good” as Ron Prince did at Kansas State during the same period of time.
•If the Clinton Administration taught us anything, it's that the message is more important than the packaging. You'd think folks would have learned.
•The Dow Industrial Average has lost more than 10% of its indexed value since Barack Obama was elected President. Is this due to the fear of an Obama Presidency? Perhaps. An Obama Presidency carries with it promises of higher taxes, increased government size and scope, and more environmental regulation (can you say, Carbon Taxes?). Those are not things that typically inspire people.
•Billy Mays has finally done it with Mighty Mendit, the no-sew fabric repair “glue” that he is now touting in cable TV ads. That stuff looks so amazing; I'm going to buy it. I have many things that require fabric repair and I can't find the sewing box.
•2,624 days have passed since we were last attacked by radical Islamist terrorists on U.S. soil. That fact is due in large part to the United States military, a renovated and improved intelligence system, and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Every American owes this Administration a huge thank you. I also think the greatest fear that many Americans have today is that the commitment the Bush Administration paid toward fighting terrorism is not going to be continued in the next Administration.
•Did you see where the Obama transition team has been dropping hints that they were going to ask Hillary Clinton to serve as Secretary of State in an Obama Administration? That whole deal has got to be about positioning for the 2012 election. Obama wants Hillary kept loyal to him, whether she wants to be or not. Hillary wants to be President in 2012. The last sitting Secretary of State to win the Presidency was James Buchanan 29 Presidents ago. I'm guessing Hillary will turn it down, if the offer comes. Then again, Obama could offer it and then yank it away, he has that power.
•Should we help-out the struggling Big Three automakers (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) with part of this $700 billion bail-out? Maybe the fact that these automakers are having economic difficulties is the market working to correct a non-market anomaly working within the industry counterproductively. There is nothing “natural market” about labor unions and prevailing wage. There are many “foreign” cars made in the U.S. The auto industry will still employ many Americans in the production of automobiles. Maybe we should let the market work itself out?
•Big 12 basketball is starting to rustle from its long summer's nap. I, for one, am jazzed about the Big 12 and college basketball. Defending national champion Kansas got a bit of a scare from lowly UMKC last week, so at least the Jayhawks are going to be a little more grounded this season. Kansas State is intriguing indeed. Look for a high-profile holiday tournament matchup with Kentucky in the coming weeks.
•Turn out to a hi-definition TV somewhere on Saturday night for the college football game that will perhaps decide the Big 12 South, oh, hell, just admit it the OU-Texas Tech game Saturday night will likely decide the Big 12 Championship. Either OU or Tech would beat MU, sorry Tiger fans. It's their year. OU-Texas Tech is going to be a war. If OU prevails, Oklahoma-Okie State will be another war.
(The Landmark brings you a Parallax Look in high definition each week. Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
In four years, columnist will be
saying 'I told you so'
•Boy, am I glad the elections are over. Even though my side of the political ledger got beaten like a rubber piñata in a rubber tree forest, after all is said and done, we're done with the political ads - for awhile anyway.
•Good lord, is The Star in bad shape or what? Now Hearne Christopher, Jeffrey Flanagan and liberal editorial cartoonist Lee Judge are gone. Did it ever occur to anyone near the top of the decision-making ladder of that paper that an uber-liberal fish wrap isn't going to sell in the nation's conservative breadbasket? Duh!?! It's been almost two years since I stopped that cartoon-colored rag from soiling my doorstep and I haven't missed it one single bit. I don't know if I'll ever feel the need for ink stained fingers from it again.
•President-elect Barack Obama is primed to take the oath of office to, in part, “…preserve and protect…” the Constitution of the United States of America. How exactly his Liberal agenda fits into those words he will utter on Jan. 20th will be the defining move of his presidency.
•Are any of you getting a tickle out of the media people that are out there asking themselves what exactly Obama stands for? Really? They are asking that now? This is going to be a fun 4 years for those of us not too proud to say, “I told you so.”
•I have tried really hard to stay clear of talking about the travails and foibles of anything related to the government of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, but this situation with Mayor Mark Funkhauser and his suing the city over the volunteer ordinance that the city council enacted against the Mayor's wife, has gotten ridiculous.
It is ridiculous that the city council would so get their panties in a bunch over a volunteer in the mayor's office that they would craft an ordinance specifically focused on getting that person out of the mayor's office.
It is ridiculous that the mayor would one-up the council by filing a lawsuit against them for crafting the ordinance.
It is ridiculous that the local media has played such a large role in inflaming the issue to the degree that it has.
Aren't there more important issues to be addressed by city government? Aren't they supposed to be modernizing the city sewer system? What about finding tenants for the Power & Light District? What about eliminating the city earnings tax?
Then again, Kansas City, Missouri city government has been a joke for my entire life and I've got no reason to think they won't stop all of a sudden now. Come to think of it, I've never paid city earnings taxes, I likely never will. What am I saying? Have at it people. You are the floor show for the rest of the metropolitan area.
•Why is anybody hard on Herm Edwards for going for the two-point conversion at the end of regulation time against the San Diego Chargers last Sunday? The team is 1-7. They aren't going anywhere in the post season. And overtime is almost literally a flip-of-a-coin (the team that wins the coin flip almost always wins the game in the sudden-death format). I'm as hard on Edwards as anybody, but he deserves a break in this case. Going for two was the right thing to do.
•Things also exploded in Manhattan, Kansas last week when Kansas State pulled the plug on 3rd year head coach Ron Prince after only 2½ seasons. The reasons given for the firing have ranged from, “not enough wins…ran out of time…” to “…the fans aren't patient enough…” That may be what they are telling the media, but the truth appears to be that the university is at a crossroads administratively and financially, and such a condition is no place for a program with a hemorrhaging revenue generator. There was simply too much player turnover and too much coaching turnover. You cannot come into the Big 12 with no recruiting ties and expect to survive without a plan. They liked to talk about plans, but it did not appear that there was really one in place.
•Talk is centering around either a return to the sidelines by legendary former head coach Bill Snyder, who is reportedly itching to give it one more try, or a calling home of former K-Stater and current TCU head coach Gary Patterson. Put your money on Snyder, if he truly wants it. Gary Patterson wants no piece of the job if Bill Snyder wants it….bank on that.
(Bank on a Parallax Look every week, only in your Landmark. Reach Brian at email@example.com)
Covering both bases in regard to election outcome
Well, as I write this in advance of my deadline, I have no idea who is going to win the Presidential election. So I'm covering both bases. Hopefully, we won't have a recreation of 2000 when it took weeks to find out who actually won.
Covering base No. 1:
McCain won this election because, frankly, he was effective at scaring the American people into fearing the behemoth of Socialism that Obama represents. It appears that the silent majority of people that quietly go to the polls and determine our leaders in this country are still alive and well and manning the helm.
Covering base No. 2:
Obama won this election because of the sheer power of the cult of personality. Bill Clinton did the same thing in 1992 and 1996. If you gloss the message in fanciful rhetoric and clever euphemisms, you can fool millions who normally don't pay attention to these things.
•Base No. 1: Now we can look forward to a John McCain Administration. We will be strong internationally. We will continue the path of victory in Iraq. We will resume control of the effort in Afghanistan from the United Nations and turn an undecided effort into a clear victory (the second time we have had to do it there).
Base No. 2: Now that Obama is in control of the military, look for a gradual decline in spending in Iraq. Look for the military to be given new rules of engagement. In place of weapons, the troops will be issued non-confrontational neutral language talking-down points. Flowers will be placed in all gun barrels. Iran will change its strategy with regard to Iraq. Hide the women and children, folks, that one's going to be very nasty.
•When John McCain takes the Oath of Office in January, the nation will breathe a sigh of relief with the knowledge that the prosperity began by the Bush tax cuts is going to stay in place for the foreseeable future. The nation's credit lines begin to loosen and business starts to move again. The housing market also starts to rebound on the back of incredible real estate deals available to credit worthy buyers.
•Under a Barack Obama Administration, hide your assets and pray you don't die in the next 4 years. Tax rates are going up. The Bush Tax Cuts are set to expire, and EVERYBODY that pays taxes got a tax cut when those were passed, so EVERYONE is going to see a tax increase. We're also going to see big money investment start to dry up in the U.S. as top marginal tax rates and capital gains taxes increase under the Obama Administration.
•John McCain, in the initial months of his term, begins to increase border security and checks of terrorism crossing our southern border increase in intensity and effectiveness. He then starts to work on a comprehensive immigration reform program (we will have to watch out for the amnesty portion of this). We'll have our eye on him on this one. He's sneaky on this issue.
•President Obama reassigns the Border Patrol to picking up trash in the Nation's parks. The number of illegal aliens in the U.S. triples and unemployment rates in the U.S. approach double digit figures. President Obama has no reason to fight for U.S. border security because the Congress is behind him in dropping all resistance. Brian issues his first, “I told you so.” Roofing companies' profits skyrocket.
•Now that McCain has shown the polls to be completely useless and wrong, can we finally do away with all these polling buffoons running around telling everyone who will listen who is going to win the next election? Polls before elections are simply what the thoughts are of the people in that period of time. Election Day is the only poll that matters. Out-of-work pollsters join traveling circuses in the Try to Guess My Weight attraction.
•President Obama's victory showed that pollsters can actually control the outcome of an election. Enough people on the McCain side were discouraged enough by the constant drumbeat of “Obama's going to win” shouted continuously for months by the media that they just stayed home on Election Day, ensuring the victory for Obama. Polls become a major part of President Obama's daily strategy.
•President McCain increases the amount of oil the U.S. drills for on American-held lands, and at the same time decreases the amount of Middle East oil imported. Saudi Arabia begins to sell Sham-Wows to stem their losses. The nation also starts work on a dozen brand new nuclear power plants.
•President Obama is committing a cash-strapped nation into a strategy that triples electricity rates. He then initiates a huge government commitment toward windmills and solar collectors. Migratory birds are killed in unheard of numbers. Roof leaks from the new solar collectors are rampant, spurring the record profits in the roofing industry.
•But regardless…life will go on.
(Just like life, Parallax Look goes on each week here in your Landmark. Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Now is not the time to grow government, so vote McCain
I endorse John McCain for President and Sarah Palin for Vice President.
Recall after the Republican primary when John McCain won the nomination, I made the statement that I'd vote for Hillary Clinton before I would vote for John McCain. Fortunately, I don't have to answer for that. However, John McCain is the candidate better prepared to lead this country out of its current doldrums.
McCain's opponent has directed a populist-themed candidacy that's pitted different economic classes of people in this country against one other. The populist Democrat candidate is a very eloquent one. The message of “us against them” is delivered very clearly. It has been so clear, you hear accounts every day of violence directed at people and property based on the political leanings of one party or another. We are at each others' throats in this campaign more so than since the Civil War.
I could be like your average populist candidate supporter and declare that I support my candidate because he is going to get me something a tax cut..”free” healthcare...a new pair of shoes...a chicken in every pot. Truth be told, as a small business owner, I probably stand to be hurt economically less under a McCain Administration than I would be under an Obama one.
But is that the reason to vote? Should we vote for what he or she is going to bribe us with vote our “personal interests?”Somebody show me where in the Constitution it says that we are supposed to vote our personal interests. That seems kind of selfish.
Shouldn't we determine who our political leaders are based upon a higher criterion? These folks we are sending to represent us are an expression of what we think should be done with the massive wealth we taxpayers generate for the government in this country. Our vote is supposed to direct government to work by, of, and for the American people.
Today, government spends way too much money. By most accounts, two-thirds of what government does is blatantly unconstitutional. And to compound the problem, when government does step in to do something, it does it wrong and hurts people in the process.
Putting a political party in power that expresses its clear desire to grow government even bigger when the nation is reeling from the excesses of government waste is not the right way to proceed.
•You hear the Democrat candidate parrot as a talking point ad-nauseum that this economy we are operating within right now is the worst economy since the Great Depression. That claim carries with it just a bit of hyperbole. During those times, unemployment rates were upwards of 50%...yes half of Americans were out of work. Today, 6% of Americans are unemployed. That means that 94% of Americans are working. That's not a bad record.
Gas prices are going to hit unprecedented lows in the coming days. Funny, I don't hear any praise for the Bush Administration in getting those prices down. You certainly heard different when fuel prices were shooting upwards toward $5/gallon last summer. I think Phil Gramm actually was right we are a nation of whiners.
I find it interesting that Liberals worry themselves silly about how much everybody makes in compensation, while Conservatives are concerned only that everyone should be free to make as much, or as little, as they wish. That's a fundamentally defining difference between these two political camps.
•On the other areas of concern to an informed electorate, we should also look to the Republican Platform.
Regarding the war in Iraq, we currently have Americans who are dedicated to a mission and are under fire in a foreign land. The Democrat candidate voted twice to take funds away from them in their hour of need. Let's get the job done and make America safer.
On healthcare, 15% of the nation's 300 million people are not covered by health insurance. 85% of the people are covered. We do not need to hurt the 85% in order to provide some basic insurance plan for the 15%. That's why we pay for Medicaid and Medicare. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. (Star Trek IS real life!) Keep government out of health care.
•On the environment keep your area clean, stop voting down new landfills when they are needed and go hug a coal miner. Those brave souls are our past, our present, and at least for the foreseeable time, our future. Get off of their backs please!
•On life, a good friend sent me this and I thought it would be wise to share:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That seems pretty clear.
(Brian Kubicki takes a weekly Parallax Look at all things Americana, only in your Landmark. Email him at email@example.com)
Biden just keeps giving us reasons to vote for McCain
•Election 2008 is moving into the final lap and it's looking more and more interesting every day. Barack Obama is trying to ride populace momentum like a champion water skier being pulled through the water by boats named, “ABC,” “NBC,” and “CBS.” John McCain is trying all by himself (almost conservative talk radio is certainly helping), stump-by-stump, to raise all the controversial issues that surround Barack Obama. But it's tough. These scary associations that surround Obama are being totally ignored by the traditional big media like a baby with a stinky diaper at a family reunion. It's truly amazing the level of bias.
•Doesn't it look like the media is trying to determine the winner of an election months before Election Day? For months and months we are force-fed a steady stream of polls saying so-and-so is “in the lead” or “is pulling-away.”
But these elections aren't races. They are daily polls, and the only poll that matters is the one that occurs on Election Day. If somebody saw fit to violate my free speech rights guaranteed by the Constitution in terms of how I contribute money to political candidates, it ought to be O.K. to ban polling in Presidential elections. How many people lose faith and stay home because they are being told every day that their candidate has no chance? Imagine how much better it would be if all we had were the speeches and the campaigning and nobody knew what polls were saying? You would just go and vote on Election Day and you would wait for the results.
That's probably not practical or Constitutional, but it serves a point. Don't pay attention to the polls. Vote.
•Did you hear Joe Biden this weekend say that if Obama gets elected, the country is going to be hit with some kind of international incident, as a form of a test of the young, inexperienced President. He said further that the polls were going to go against Obama in the early days of his Presidency and that he was going to need the unwavering support of his followers in order to survive.
There's so much there to digest. We can take, by implication, that electing the highly experienced McCain will spare America being attacked in the early days and months of his Presidency. Their own Vice Presidential candidate made that distinction. That didn't even come from the Right. He also admitted fully that Obama was inexperienced, and that lacking element of his resume is going to be put right there on the front line on Day 1. If Obama does win the Presidency it will be a truly amazing feat because he will have done it by defeating the Republicans AND his own Vice President.
•Joe the Plumber has taken the election by storm. This guy is actually being polled. After a weekend of the story of an average “Joe” plumber filled Americans' TV screens, Rasmussen Polling found that the young man, Joe Werzelbacker, who simply asked Barack Obama a question that Obama has likely never heard before, had an approval rating of 58%. Almost 80% of Americans had a favorable opinion of him (what could the 20% of Republicans be thinking?). At any rate, I don't think there has EVER been such an occurrence of an average person who actually comes across in reality as more genuine than they appeared to be originally making impact on a major campaign for President. Joe the Plumber has taken the financial mess off of the main page anyway.
And to his question…spreading the wealth, as Obama explained his tax plan being, is disapproved of by 84% of Americans. As a matter of fact, more people oppose wealth redistribution than favor Joe the Plumber. He has hit on an issue that is more relevant that even he is.
•What in the world is going on at Arrowhead Stadium? Not only are the Chiefs a national embarrassment (Tyler Thigpen?) due to their play on the field, but they insulted their only Hall of Famer by refusing to work out a trade to a contender late in his career for perhaps his only shot at a playoff win, and now they are seeing their star running back about to get suspended by the NFL for abusing women in public places (not to say that abusing them in private is O.K.). This Chiefs team is a mess. And it isn't going to get better anytime soon. But Carl Peterson is not going to be fired by Clark Hunt.
•Wow…how 'bout them Longhorns? Crown them now, 'cause this one is OVAH!
(A Parallax Look is never ovah! It comes back week after week. Reach Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Electing McCain would bring entertaining fallout
•I've been struggling to come up with a truly compelling reason for urging a voter to vote for Sen. John McCain. I have to be honest, it has been difficult. McCain isn't very appealing to us conservatives. His running mate, Sarah Palin, brings the needed red-meat to the stump speeches, but she has to make a moderate sound attractive to conservatives, and that dilutes her message.
I have figured it out, though. I have the message. It hit me when I was listening to the 90th Obama radio commercial of the day one afternoon last week. Cruise the internet…they're everywhere. Watch the slap fight of Elizabeth Hasselbeck that is The View. Obama supporters go absolutely nuts on anyone that they see as harmful to their cause of getting their Svengali elected to the White House.
The message is this: Elect John McCain and Sarah Palin to the White House because of the sheer and dynamic entertainment value that will come from Obama not winning. These crazies are going to go absolutely blind-dog fury nuts if Obama loses to McCain. Oprah will turn white with anger. Hollywood will choke on caviar. Alec Baldwin will strike his daughter and swallow his eyeballs.
Losing elections aren't such a big deal to conservatives. We realize ultimately, elections are about where we are going to spend our money. If conservatives win government, our money goes into American enterprises. If liberals win government, our money goes overseas to foreign enterprises. It's really that simple.
Please elect John McCain I guarantee you the fallout will be the most entertainment you've had in a long, long time.
•Can someone explain to me why Bill Ayers is different from Timothy McVeigh outside of the body counts they each caused?
•Goodbye Global Warming (A.K.A. Summer)…see you next year. I'll work on making my carbon footprint bigger and bigger over the winter.
•So I was using my teeth to tear the paper covering off of a new bottle of aspirin (Come on, everybody does it that way, don't they?) the other day and it occurred to me that my kids didn't know why every bottle containing a consumable product has this extra safety wrapping. They know nothing about the Tylenol poisonings.
In the early morning of Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1982, 12-year-old Mary Kellerman of Elk Grove Village died after taking a capsule of Extra Strength Tylenol. Adam Janus of Arlington Heights died in the hospital shortly thereafter. His brother, Stanley, and his wife Theresa died after gathering to mourn, having taken pills from the same bottle. Soon afterward, Mary McFarland of Elmhurst, Paula Prince of Chicago and Mary Reiner of Winfield also died in similar incidents. Investigators soon discovered that someone was tampering with bottles of Tylenol, adulterating the capsules with solid cyanide compound. On Oct. 5, 1982, Tylenol's parent company issued a nationwide recall of their products, involving an estimated 31 million bottles with a retail value of over $100 million.
The crime has never been solved, although opportunistic extortionist James Lewis claimed responsibility and made a money demand. Lewis was arrested and though ultimately found to have no connection to the deaths, ended up serving 13 years of a 20-year prison term for the extortion attempt. I originally recalled that he was the culprit.
•So I was watching the Oklahoma State vs. Missouri game last Saturday night in a bar/restaurant so I couldn't hear the sound, but they kept showing OSU head coach Mike Gundy in the 3rd quarter immersed in his headset and a clipboard well behind the sideline on the OSU side of the field, while MU drove for their last go-ahead TD. The producer of the broadcast kept going back to the shot again and again, as though they were incredulous that the head coach in such a tight football game wouldn't be watching the action on the field intently as his defense was giving up its well-earned lead.
After MU's go-ahead score, the Cowboys scored again in about 4 plays.
I guess Mike Gundy knew what he was doing.
•In case you're wondering, Missouri is going to go into the KU game in November with only 2 losses. Kansas will go into that game with 4, at least.
(The fallout is always entertaining through a Parallax Look. Reach Brian at email@example.com)
Economy still hasn't had negative growth quarter
•I am frankly amazed that B. Hussein Obama seems to be building a consistent lead in the polls over John McCain. This financial fiasco seems to be hung by the public on the Republican Party, and unfortunately, John McCain is the closest thing standing that even remotely looks like a Republican. If this finance scandal does indeed end up bringing McCain down, it would be terribly ironic because it was McCain that made a career of poking a stick in the eye of the Republican Party.
•You know after a long time, I'm starting to warm up a little to the concept of this Fair Tax they were talking about 6 months ago. It still looks to be too radical of a change to ever get implemented, but that's an unfortunate sidelight. Too bad neither of the Presidential candidates is in favor of the concept.
•Do you notice how many emails you get from people these days, usually young adult people, telling you what they need for Christmas? Can you ever imagine our fathers and grandmothers sending out letters informing us what they wanted as a gift for the holidays? What is with these people? I think they call it the “Me Generation.” You can have 'em. What could be more pretentious that telling people in advance what you want as a gift? Maybe that's where fruit cake came from?
•Isn't it kind of nice that the financial speculators have been so successful lately in getting crude oil prices down? Somebody should send them a bunch of flowers or something. I mean, c'mon, they're the bad guys in the populist world when oil prices skyrocket, why aren't they good guys when they bring the prices down? Gas is $2.99 per gallon as I type this.
•The Chiefs got hammered last weekend in Charlotte. An NFL team getting shut out that bad is plain flat embarrassing. There is no excuse for it. If the Chiefs were a college team, you could write the Carolina loss off to a letdown after the Denver game. Unfortunately, the Chiefs aren't a college team. They're just bad. This is what happens when defensive coaches become NFL head coaches.
•For your weekly global warming snippet, which are basic facts that you can easily remember that prove man doesn't cause global warming, how can man be the cause of global warming when the earth has warmed itself through no less than 7 (seven) Ice Ages before man ever came around?
•You know, I would address the economic woes we are supposedly in, but I don't want to give it more credence than it deserves. Markets thrive on fear and confidence. Be glad the DOW was so high that 300-500 point losses aren't really big deals. Relax folks. The market is correcting things. The money they are talking about is money that people aren't looking to use for another 20-30 years. If you are sinking sums of money that you are/were looking to use in less than 5-10 years, shame on you for taking a risk with your retirement.
•You know, if I were a multi-multi-millionaire, and B. Hussein Obama were to win the Presidency based on this disgraceful populist, class envy message that the Democrats are putting forth, I would take out commercials showing me starting businesses outside the United States. I would show my foreign employees making money working for me. And I would show them the message that they are driving me away because of the populist drivel that the Democrats espouse.
•Remember, the U.S. economy still hasn't had a negative growth quarter. Unemployment is still low. Interest rates are still low (I just got a 5.5% 20 year mortgage note!). Inflation rates are still in the single digits. Gas prices are falling.
•Ron Prince has to be facing a very tenuous future at Kansas State, and he might just be the only Big 12 head coach looking at the axe after this season. It is too early in the season for a head coach to lose the focus of his team, and that's exactly where Prince seems to be. What is even more disturbing is that the fan base seems to have left him a couple of games ago, most before the season ever started. My guess is that Prince is too smart to let himself get dragged down into the rubble to stick with the program that long. He might find another job before he gets fired.
All seems to be well in Columbia, however, as the Tigers are soaring with a top 5 ranking and have enjoyed their first beat-down over Nebraska in Lincoln in 30 years. That game was a massacre.
(Get global warming thoughts from Brian anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Can this entire column be about questions?
•Why is Congress trying to bail out the lending industry? Why is Nancy Pelosi blaming the Republicans for the mess right before the House voted on the bail-out measure? Why was it called a bail-out measure? Why hasn't Damon Huard been starting since the beginning of the season? Why aren't the Republicans plastering this video all over the media world? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs Why isn't everyone crowing with glee that gas prices continue to fall? Can I make this entire column about questions?
•The Great Congressional Bail-Out of 2008 was rejected by Congress by just 12 votes. The Democrats, who had 90+ House members vote against the measure, and who hold the majority in the House of Representatives, could have passed the measure on their own, but they did not do so. So House Speaker Nancy Pelosi goes before the House membership right before the formal vote, and criticizes the Republicans for the lending crisis; just as Barack Obama did and just as Harry Reid did.
•Have you seen the above-referenced video? It consists of a Congressional hearing from 2004 of an oversight committee that was looking into some irregularities in the operation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The video is very instructive into the whole mess and extremely insightful as to why the Democrats of the day are doing so much finger-pointing. They know their goose is cooked on this deal and they are into full-on damage control. Check the video out.
•It was kind of amusing watching the DOW Industrials fall faster and faster as Pelosi continued to open her mouth to speak more and more. I haven't been that deflated since The Crying Game. I'll bet that's not the only time she speaks that “things” go down in functionality.
•Who is the idiot that called this bill a “bail out?” This is a credit inducement measure. If we can throw $700 billion to entitlement programs that return our country nothing monetarily, and this government does that every year, we can certainly direct that money to an industry that drives the most powerful economy in the world.
•I'm thumbing through my pocket version of The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States of America and I can't find where the federal government actually has the authority to do what they are trying to do here. I'm not saying that such a measure shouldn't ultimately be passed by Congress. I like to occasionally borrow money too. I'm just sayin'.
•The thing about this deal that kind of sticks in my craw is the Democrats are trying to attach all kinds of new taxes onto the measure. Cut government to pay for it. Don't increase my taxes even more. I hate Democrats.
•People who are warning about the doom and gloom and pointing to their retirement funds as evidence that they are losing lots of money are kind of right, but they are mostly wrong. The only people that lost money this week are those that had fairly liquid money in 401K plans, the stock market, and other similar plans. If you put money you were going to need in a short time into those kinds of funds, you are a moron. You deserve to lose your investment. Most folks investing in those scenarios are saving for way down the road. You don't watch those things day-to-day. Put them away and forget about them.
•I'm watching this Saturday Night Live series of spoofs with Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin and while there is some resemblance between the two women; Fey just isn't as attractive as Palin. Where Palin defines the Hot for Teacher look for most of us, Fey kind of translates that into a sidekick-Sarah Palin, kind of like Rhoda Morgenstern channeling attractive.
•What was that at Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday and where has it been up to now? Damon Huard shows what the point of experience is in the NFL. And ignore those folks attributing the running game to Larry Johnson's performance. That resurgence was due to an offensive line that came together. Unfortunately, Ashley Judd turns back into Sandra Bernhardt this weekend in Carolina. That one will not be pretty.
(Take a Parallax Look at the world through the eyes of Brian Kubicki each week only in your Landmark. And email the man at email@example.com)
Is Edwards trying to see how bad he can coach?
•Youth sports and parents is the undercurrent theme this week. Are the Chiefs actually trying to lose? I know nothing about bailing out financial companies, but something isn't right in all this. Sarah Palin seems to be gaining a significant sympathy vote.
•So we were watching our youngest get introduced to the manly sport of Tackle Football 101 for 10- year-olds last weekend and this is kind of like watching the Chiefs get run over in their Beat-down of the Week, only in miniature. Our team is getting murdered. Fortunately, they have a 30 point mercy rule where they stop keeping score. The kids are getting much-needed experience and hopefully will want to play together for awhile. The parents of our team seem pretty well-adjusted in terms of competitiveness and don't appear to be overly chagrined that our team is coming up short in the early going.
•What is a Tyler Thigpen and how in the world did he get the reins of an NFL offense? Is Herm Edwards TRYING to see how bad he can coach and not get fired? Can it get any worse? Stay tuned.
•So anyway, here we are early in the kids' football game, we are watching the massacre unfold when our team's quarterback quick-kicks on 4th down and the referee flags the other team for roughing the kicker. It seemed like a legitimate call, it's not like these kids know how to fake being roughed when punting. (Because, of course, we teach our pro kickers to lie their asses off and fall in a life-threatening heap if the defender brushes the wind around the hairs on their ankles).
•Sarah Palin seems to be the target of a number of Hollywood and media types that are still critical of her lack of experience, and particularly of her small town government background. Keep it up folks. Please…continue. You are fomenting a groundswell of sympathy support for her, and indirectly for John McCain, that will usher them into the White House in numbers that will make the Reagan vs. Mondale landslide look like Bush vs. Gore.
•So the coach for the other team is arguing the call with the referee and the refs let him have his say…to a point. The official makes it known that he has listened to enough, and the coach fires off an expletive. The official kicks the coach out of the game, and orders the coach to be escorted from the field.
•So the federal government proposes nearly $1 trillion in bailout benefits for a number of large financial firms. Can someone tell me why if 75% of employed Americans are working for small businesses in this country, those companies are allowed to fail without the government lifting a finger? I'm not asking for a handout, I'll tend to my own thank you. America was made great by the resilience of American business. We're making it soft, though, when we use government in an unconstitutional manner to bail these businesses out of a tough market situation.
•The coach leaves the field for the parking lot. Such is the way, unfortunately, in youth sports today. Parents get lost in the desire to win sometimes and lose focus of the main goal, teaching sportsmanship to the kids, teaching the game, teaching how to win, and lose, graciously, and ultimately, how to respect the game. I've seen coaches who go over the line soon have a personal revelation of regret for their actions once they get escorted off of the field. I've seen them apologize to the officials and to the parents there, asking for their forgiveness.
Not this walking bunghole.
This clown stands in the parking lot just beyond the stadium fence and begins to try to relay coaching calls to the assistant coaches on his team. He's peering through the fence and the bleachers like he's Joe Paterno trying to stay in the game from a golf cart in the stadium concourse. Not only does he steadfastly countermand the officials orders, but as parents from his school arrive to the game to watch and ask him why he's out there in the parking lot and not on the sideline, he trumpets to them as though it's an accomplishment a Badge of Good Coaching honor that he got himself thrown out of a game between 10 year olds! Unbelievable!
(Never mistake Brian Kubicki for a walking bunghole. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Palin being unfairly judged due to gender
•Wow! Was that Chiefs game Sunday a piece of work to behold or what? Has Herm Edwards lost control of the team already by only the second game of the season? Three QB's in the first quarter alone? What gives with the mystery injury to Damon Huard? Herm says he was dizzy and had minor head trauma, while Huard says it was just a bit of a sore neck. In either case, where did Tyler Thigpen come from and why is he on this team? I have to admit, I've never seen a running-ballet-half-skip-vaunt forward pass in the NFL, much less one that was completed for a touchdown.
•As Week 4 of the Sarah Palin Era of the 2008 Presidential Election kicks into gear, the media continues driving the McCain-Palin ticket's poll numbers upward by criticizing her placement on the ticket. The late night comedy shows make fun of her. Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan pretend to know who she is by criticizing her (wouldn't you love to see those two debate Palin. . .talk about the screaming of the spring lambs!).
•The Chiefs' attempt to innovate NFL offensive philosophy by re-introducing the option via a running quarterback has fallen flat on its face. That was painful to watch. What were they thinking? Something tells me that if Herm Edwards was Head Coach of the Chiefs when we had Christian Okoye and Barry Word, he'd have run them both in the same backfield (Remember those nutty fan calls?).
•Did you catch the Sarah Palin interview on ABC with Charlie Gibson last week? Pundits on both sides of the aisle were quick to judge Palin as coming off as an inexperienced woman not nearly ready for the position of a heartbeat away from the White House. Gibson tried his best to make her look like a rube in way over her head. You be the judge…
“…we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals. That's why we have to keep an eye on Russia.”
“We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationships with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.”
“We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We've learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.“
“Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.
Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but... “
“…that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help. But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to -- especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.”
“We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.”
“It doesn't have to lead to war and it doesn't have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.”
“We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.”
“We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.”
I submit that Palin is being unfairly judged as a woman under a completely different set of standards. The words above could have been spoken by Dick Cheney, John McCain, George Bush, or Ronald Reagan and the general reaction by the media and the public would not be criticism, but would instead be thunderous applause. Palin is judged as not up to the job because a woman has never been president or vice president before. But her words belie that claim. I dare you to read them and still maintain Palin is being judged in a sexist manner.
(You can give Brian a Parallax Look, but don’t judge him in a sexist manner. Email him at email@example.com)
Nomination of Palin takes wind out of Obama's sails
•Sarah Palin spoke on Wednesday night last week, and wow, what a speech she gave! I did not have a tingling sensation going up-and-down my leg. There was certainly a sensation from that naughty teacher, but I can't (shouldn't) put my finger on it.
Seriously though, let's take a look back at the week that was, The Palin Chronicle.
•First though, is everybody done rubbing their eyes over what the Chiefs did in their opening weekend? Not only are you, as a Chiefs fan, generally predicted by all NFL soothsayers to be locked in an excuse-building rebuilding mode and facing minimal expectations, but you are so efficiently operating under a dark cloud that your very presence on the same field as last year's conference champion and record-breaking Patriots' team drags them into oblivion with you; injuring their Hall of Fame QB for the season. If fate could write a more fitting epitaph to the opening weekend, fate's last name would be Hemingway. Not only did the Chiefs actually get better by losing their starting QB (at least for a week or two) they still managed to lose a game that their opponent handed them on a golden platter on at least two occasions. Maybe Herm only responds well to dire circumstances.
•When Palin was named the Republican VP nominee the Friday after the Democrats anointed Obama as their Savior, most of the wind came out of Obama's post-convention sails. Dude was dejected. He looked like Peter Brady (recalling that famous Brady Bunch episode where Peter figured he was due a birthday surprise party, but was duped) coming downstairs in his best '70's style party suit wondering why nobody was yelling, “SURPRISE!” That was surreal.
Palin's short speech that afternoon was devoid of anything substantive, and had enough hints of red-meat to keep both sides paying attention to her and the Republicans long enough that they would be at an absolute frenzy by the time Palin would speak seriously. And that is exactly what happened Wednesday night in St. Paul, Minnesota. That media manipulation was mined to perfection.
•Damon Huard has got to be feeling like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part 3 after he tries to take the family business into legitimate business enterprises but gets yanked back into the fray despite his better intentions.Every time he turns around, the Chiefs offense drops into his lap. I bet if Huard retired from the NFL the Chiefs would triple his salary.
And to his credit, Huard didn't play that bad. If Dwayne Bowe catches that which is placed in his hands in the end zone, by Huard, the Chiefs tie the game.
•Palin's speech last Wednesday was the first Alaskan coming-out party since Nanook took a woman across the Landshelf from Siberia. The speech was well-written and was delivered with impeccable timing by Palin. Her biography fits McCain to a tee. She is pro-life = her recently born child has Down's Syndrome. She is pro-family = she and her husband are supporting their 17 yr old daughter and her boyfriend in an unplanned pregnancy. She is pro-Second Amendment = she knows how to hunt, kill, and field-dress a moose. She's very attractive = none of the Democrat women candidates were even remotely attractive. (I know that last one seems superficial, but c'mon you've got to admit it means something!)
•What in the name of Horatio Alger is Herm Edwards waiting for with respect to Brodie Croyle? Before Croyle went down to injury Sunday in Foxboro, their play calling was placing him in impossible-to-succeed third-and-long situations, and he was fulfilling expectations admirably. His ratio of one good pass followed by two absolutely atrocious decisions remains largely unchanged from the first time he stepped on the field more than two years ago. I don't get it. Who gets this much of an opportunity to succeed? Does Croyle have some incriminating photos of Herm that keeps the incredibly average QB in the head coach's good graces? There's gotta be something to it.
•What happens from this point forward between McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden depends on what happens in the next 7-10 days. Obama-Biden are knocked back on their heels and are trying mightily to right themselves back into some kind of equilibrium. If they don't find some skeleton in Palin's closet or latch some albatross onto McCain, it will be tough to overcome what McCain-Palin have established in momentum. At this point, the race is McCain's to lose. Obama hasn't the experience. He shouldn't have named Biden as his running mate. The debates are next. Hold-on for those!
(Debate Brian Kubicki via email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dems promise a Mercedes in every garage
What an interesting week. The Democrats held a party in Denver, absolutely giddy at the prospect of raising the taxes on everybody that has accomplished anything in this world. On top of that, they promised a chicken in every pot and a Mercedes in every garage, especially if you are a person who has yet had a “lucky break.”
Meanwhile, another hurricane drew a bead on the tender burg of New Orleans just as the Republican Party planned its convention. In the interim, the female Ronald Reagan was named as John McCain's running mate. The coming week should be very interesting indeed.
•I think the part that aggravated me most about the Democrat Convention is the number of times somebody proclaimed that Obama was the “first African-American” to be nominated for President. That claim is incorrect in any acceptable definition of the term, and directly contradicts the teachings and preachings of Dr. Martin Luther King.
•McCain's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, is a rock-ribbed conservative in a media-driven world that expects women to hate hunting, scream about being underpaid versus men in the working world, and use abortion like a sidearm ready to be drawn and cocked when some evil man dares sneak his seed into her uterus.
But Palin will have none of that. She loves hunting. She's a lifetime member of the NRA. She realizes that statistical pay disparities between the genders is more of a function of women scooping-up lower paying jobs, and settling for lesser pay when challenged in negotiations, than being paid less by design. And finally, she is certainly putting her money where her belief system is on the subject of abortion and out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
•Palin's 17-yr old daughter (I won't mention her name because her name isn't newsworthy) was announced to be pregnant by her 18- year-old boyfriend-now-fiance. Palin's statement was that the young people are going to be growing up a lot faster than their parents had planned, but they were nonetheless proud of the responsibility shown by their daughter and proud to be grandparents.
The Marxist scumbags at Left-leaning blogs like The Daily Kos are going to try and spin this like a garden slug under a salt stream, but this will end up like Father Merrin (Palin) splashing holy water on a possessed, pea-soup vomiting little girl (Daily Kos). This should be fun.
•The anarchist-idiots that spewed into both Denver and St. Paul trying to wreak physical havoc are neither patriots nor Americans worth noting. I hope the pepper spray really stings.
•Dr. King told us long ago that he had a dream that his children and grandchildren would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Those were monumental words that we should all live by not strive to live by, but live by.
•Now, the media (Fox News included) spent a lot of time last week claiming that Barack Obama is the “first African-American to be nominated by a major political party to the office of president. The term “African-American” is objectively defined in two ways in this country. You can either be a person who descended from family members that were African nationals brought over to the United States for the purposes of slavery. As those folks are direct descendants of Africans brought to this country against their will and forced into slavery, they certainly lay claim to a legitimate ancestry and use of the term African-American. The other accurate definition for African-American is an African national that has immigrated to America for the purposes of becoming a naturalized American citizen.
Barack Hussein Obama meets neither of those established definitions. Obama's father was a Kenyan National who came to the U.S. for the purposes of education and fully intended to, and did, return to Kenya. Obama's mother was an American, born in Kansas, living in Hawaii. Neither side of the family descended from slaves. Actually, both sides of Obama's family actually owned slaves, Obama's mother's family in America long ago and Obama's father in Kenya not so long ago. Also, since Obama is an American-born citizen, he doesn't meet the latter definition.
The only reason anyone in the media refers to Barack Obama as an African-American is because they are judging him as African-American because of the color of his skin. That is contrary to what Dr. King tried to teach us. Ironic, isn't it, a pale-skinned, American-born, East European immigrant descendant has to point that out to an entire political party.
(Many liberals want to aim pepper spray his direction. Provide Brian Kubicki cover via email to email@example.com)
Oops! Barack Obama just lost the KC vote
Well, the nation's population of freaks and geeks, all with something to complain about, have descended upon Denver, Colorado to try and petition the Democrat Party to get them some stuff. (That’s something to wear on your lapel!) The same message gets trotted-out every four years. Al Gore hopped on the populist hobby horse in the 2000 election (They had to put that horse down). John Kerry reported for duty and took his dour demeanor down the populist drain. The problem is, all the stuff that they promise is gotten by stealing resources from others through progressive taxation and a myriad of entitlements.
•You know, every single time I ask a liberal or a Democrat to defend the progressive tax system wrought by unchecked liberal congressional control, they respond with the same answer if you have more you should pay more. When I follow-up with, “Why?” They invariably shrug and retort with a, “What percentage should a flat tax for everybody be?” as though that's some form of justification.
•I love how Democrat Conventions remind me how misdirected and wrong-headed liberalism is. Democrats trot out all their wants and needs and desires like a hungry bulimic in a diuretic candy store. This convention is almost like a touchstone for how not to run government.
•Oops! Barack Obama just lost the Kansas City vote. At the end of Michelle Obama's keynote speech Monday night, Barack appeared via a video feed from a location in Kansas City. After exchanging chit-chat with his wife and daughters, Obama said he was in St. Louis. Bad move. You don't dis Kansas City by mistaking it for St. Louis….not if you're a politician anyway.
•The Chiefs suffered a “set-back” in Miami last week. Well, that's what Herm Edwards called the 24-0 walloping that the team received at the hands of the previously horrible Dolphins. Folks, the starters played for almost three full quarters. After three preseason games, this is what they're going to be. It is almost surreal that nobody seems all that exorcized by this realization. Is this the same city that was Red Frenzy nuts back when Joe Montana/Marcus Allen and Priest Holmes/Trent Green ran the Chiefs? Can expectations fall so very far in so short a time?
•Oh jeez…did they really bring Jimmy Carter back on stage? Funny, I didn't hear any calls for a return to the Misery Index or how wonderful his Windfall Profits Tax was. Next thing you know, they'll bring out that bearded lady that had a kid in Oregon (No, it's not a man, despite what the mediots tell you.)
•I think the Obama Campaign is going to regret giving the Clintons half of the prime time evenings of their convention. I haven't heard either of the Clinton speeches yet, but they are not going to be what would occur if a completely loyal soldier were to deliver the Tuesday and Wednesday keynote addresses. I guess if we're going to see Bill Clinton go Tonya-Harding on Obama, it will be Wednesday night when he speaks.
•Is Brody Croyle really good enough to warrant two years of on-the-job training? Who can't tell by now that he doesn't have the ability to lead an NFL team to the playoffs? Why can't Herm Edwards figure that out yet? This isn't that hard to see. Croyle gets happy feet. He is reticent to go seriously downfield (Which is probably why punt-happy Herm likes him!), and he doesn't appear to be all that intelligent, certainly not to the degree that he can be a field general. This season has disaster written all over it. The opener at New England is going to be a serious undressing.
•By the way, did you notice that Fox News seemed to be given a particularly noisy broadcast location? The panelists all seemed to be straining to get a word out above the din from the convention floor. MSNBC and CNN had nice, relatively quiet locations to broadcast from. Seems like Howard Dean is hard at work stirring the pot.
•Speaking of the Chiefs' opener…with all the talk about Tom Brady being hurt all preseason, you can almost hear all the pregame analysis wondering if Brady will be able to overcome the rust with essentially no preseason. Don't bet on it. I can easily see a 4 TD day for the guy. The fates are setting-up pretty badly for Kansas City.
•Nobama. Keep the change.
(We’ll never put Brian Kubicki’s horse down. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Obama has doubts about his own Christianity
•The Saddleback Church forum last weekend involving Obama and McCain was very interesting on a couple of points. It was also a very important way of showing how issues can be presented by political candidates without a big media-refereed debate. Pastor Rick Warren was undeniably fair in his questions and in his questioning. I still want to see the mano-a-mano of traditional debates, but this was a nice change-of-pace.
•Will Jeremiah Wright now conduct a similar forum in his church?
•On religion, Obama allowed his lack of faith to seep under the door. During the religion question, Obama first indicated his Christian faith meant that he is redeemed through Christ dying for his sins. But at the end of the answer, he said, "hopefully." Now, if you are a true Christian, there is no hopefully. There can be uncertainty in whether you can walk-the-walk in remaining true to the path of Christ, but there is no doubt that Christ will forgive you for your transgressions. That was a major view into the doubts that Obama has about his "Christianity."
And for the tale-of-the-transcript....
Q. CHRISTIANITY. NOW YOU'VE MADE NO DOUBT ABOUT YOUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO TRUST IN CHRIST AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN ON A DAILY BASIS? I MEAN, WHAT DOES THAT REALLY LOOK LIKE?
A. AS A STARTING POINT, IT MEANS I BELIEVE IN THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR MY SINS AND THAT I AM REDEEMED THROUGH HIM. THAT IS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH AND SUSTENANCE ON A DAILY BASIS. I KNOW THAT I DON'T WALK ALONE, AND I KNOW THAT IF I CAN GET MYSELF OUT OF THE WAY, THAT I CAN MAYBE CARRY OUT IN SOME SMALL WAY WHAT HE INTENDS. AND IT MEANS THAT THOSE SINS THAT I HAVE ON A FAIRLY REGULAR BASIS HOPEFULLY WILL BE WASHED AWAY.
I love it when the object of my point proves my contention in his very own words.
Asked about moral failings, Obama said the greatest moral failing of America is its inattention to the disadvantaged. Quoting scripture, he said the line that “whatever you do for the least of my brother you do for me” should apply to poverty, racism and sexism.
“A lot of evil's been perpetuated based on the claim that we were fighting evil.”
Yeah, the US has a long history of walking away from the disadvantaged. Isn't that right: France, Great Britain, Korea, Vietnam, Italy, Poland, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, and Georgia? You have got to be kidding me about this Obama clown.
•Analyst and frequent Republican agitator, David Gergen on CNN gave major kudos to McCain for his performance, calling him, “…a much more formidable opponent than previously anticipated…” The funny part was Gergen looked utterly ashen in having to admit that.
And for the record, Barack Obama's handlers should be drawn-and-quartered (Think William Wallace's fate in Braveheart) for letting their candidate appear in this forum monumentally stupid.
•On the environmental forefront, I have reached an epochal revelation. Many on the “we are killing the earth” fake belief system side have asked how long it takes to make oil through the high-pressure decomposition of organic life (us). Obviously, that's a difficult question to answer. If they find some big number of years assigned to it, they'll claim that we indeed are hurting the earth by burning so quickly what takes so long to produce.
But I learned this…the total fossil fuel used in the year 1997 is the result of 422 years of all plant matter that grew on the entire surface and in all the oceans of the ancient earth.
So if we analyze this, the earth has been around for about 5 billion years. 5 billion divided by 422 equals 12 million days. 12 million days is 32,000 years. So we have enough oil in the earth to last 32,000 years. There…wasn't that easy?
So if you're going to worry, find something more pertinent to your life on earth. You are wasting the precious amounts of the little time we all have in life if you are worrying about your descendants 32,000 years from now.
(Brian Kubicki gives you a parallax glance every week in The Landmark. Email him at email@example.com)
Where's all that Beijing pollution we heard about?
•John Edwards is a corn-pone wielding, Foghorn Leghorn wanna-be-never-will-be who would throw his cancer-ridden wife under a bus if it would be politically expedient for him to do so.
What depth of scumbag husband, in admitting an affair he committed, stoops to trying to justify the transgression by saying he cheated on his wife while her cancer was in remission? So we're supposed to not feel as bad about what Edwards did if we understand that his wife was actually in-play for his affections since her cancer was in remission? So then are we to assume that a person who has cancer cannot be sexually attractive to their mates anymore?
Nature doesn't make character that dirty, one has to really work at it.
•And if Edwards admitted the affair to his wife in 2006, then we know for a fact that Elizabeth Edwards lied as well to voters about her husband and his character as it would relate to his role as president. She knew he was lying about the National Enquirer story when he disavowed it after it initially broke. She dutifully stood behind him as he ran for president, all the while knowing full well he was lying to us. Just because you have cancer doesn't mean you can't do bad things, and it's no excuse if you do.
Shed tears for Elizabeth Edwards for having to suffer from cancer. Lots of much more courageous people do every day. But don't shed a tear for her because of what her husband did to their marriage.
•The Olympics have opened in Beijing amid all the “lethal” pollution, and I could be wrong, but nobody has been killed, maimed, or even had their performance adversely affected by all the pollution. For all the dire warnings we heard beforehand, I expected the beach volleyballers to fall down in coughing spasms resulting in green-colored sputum erupting involuntarily from every available orifice.
The women particularly, look superb. Michael Phelps and the other swimmers are doing just great. Where's the pollution problem? And don't try to tell me that they cleaned it up. If that's all it takes to clean up a perceived threat to the environment, take a couple of days and clean things up, couldn't New York, Los Angeles, and California have eliminated global warming all by themselves? Ridiculous!
•I wonder if Rosetta Stone teaches Klingon?
•And I cannot let another Summer Olympics go by without mentioning that following ladies' (prepubescent adolescents' actually) gymnastics is just not right. Those combatants are little kids, not adults. We should not be putting little kids up on a stage of competition for the world to see.
•All you've heard with all these pointless pollution warnings are cries from the global-socialism movement trying to use pollution as a by-product of capital productivity to leverage the world to try and stem China's economic growth. China's commitment to competing on the world stage is no more a threat to the earth or the planet's climate than is the collected methane that will be coming out of Denver in a couple of weeks when the Democrat Party gathers for their nominating convention.
•Running mates are coming soon. Look for Obama to go with someone with foreign policy gravitas. He needs what President Bush needed in 2000 and got with Dick Cheney. B. Hussein Obama's choice will be an Ed Rendell or a Joe Biden type. As for McCain, look for Romney. He needs someone that has been vetted to be able to step-in as president should McCain not be able to do so and who else is there in the Republican field besides Mitt Romney?
•All those people in the Clinton Camp crying that had John Edwards admitted his dalliances in advance of the Iowa Caucuses, Hillary Clinton would have likely won the nomination need to understand that their candidate lost the nomination. That kind of excuse-making can go both ways. Had Hillary hopped on a treadmill once in awhile and shed 50-80 lbs. she'd have sewn up the under 30/over 50 male vote. . . that didn't happen either. Yeah-yeah…that's not fair to women, spare me that garbage. You ladies know darn well that if Hillary looked like Demi Moore, she'd be leading the Republican polls as well and this election would be over.
•Don't get your hopes up Chiefs fans. . . it was preseason and it was Chicago.
(Jump on the Parallax Look weekly treadmill and email Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org)
McCain's TV ad was sarcastic comedy gold
•These BP and Exxon commercials that feature average folks telling us what they think will serve as an energy policy for America have got to have the folks running these companies laughing hard enough to fail to stop a fart (poetic irony intended).
If you look around, that general level of ignorance is everywhere. People carry their groceries to and from the Price Chopper in reusable fabric bags. (Which will go away as soon as someone cross-contaminates their food by carrying home lettuce on Wednesday in a bag that held a dripping half-price chicken on Tuesday.) People pay their disposal company to send a carbon-spewing truck out on a special trip to their house to take away the handful of plastic milk cartons and soda cans that didn't already blow out of the bin and get re-distributed by nature throughout the neighborhood. Little old ladies are turning their air conditioners off at night because they hear Al Gore on TV telling them that they should feel bad about having a comfortably cool house (that one really burns my hide!).
The reason for this degree of basic ignorance is we don't stress science and mathematics to any measurable degree beyond, “the earth is round and the universe is vast” either at home or in our schools. That's sad. When the populace is ignorant of these basic facts, they can be fooled by charlatans in government trying to install socialism as the major economic machine in America.
•This Royals fight last Sunday with the Chicago White Sox caught my interest this week. Chicago's manager, Ozzie Guillen, should be suspended for physical contact with the umpires and for suggesting that he should have ordered his pitcher to intentionally bean the Royals' Mark Teahan as punishment for bunting with a 6-run lead. You've got to be kidding me? A coach announcing a process for retaliating for a game strategy that he doesn't agree with and it involves trying to physically harm the opposing player.
•And another thing that might save baseball…install a digital text crawl at the bottom of the screen whenever Ozzie Guillen is interviewed. His English is about as hard to understand as a stuttering Tony Pena Sr. doing an impersonation of Mel Tillis.
•For the record, I love the ads put out by John McCain attacking and poking fun of the B. Hussein Obama campaign for its similarity to an airheaded rock star publicity tour. (Never mind the fact that all of the truly airheaded celebrities are indeed supporting Obama.) The ad closing with a clip of Charlton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments was sarcastic comedy gold.
•For those Democrats out there crying about the deficit in American government, it should interest you to know that the current $10 trillion deficit is a mere 3.3% of the Gross Domestic Product. Deficits are bad in the long term. But the solution to lowering debt is to reduce spending. Start with the EPA and the Commerce Departments cut them and we can talk more about deficits.
•Alexander Solzhenitsyn died this week. Born Dec. 11 (my birthday!) in 1918, the noted Russian author and former Soviet dissident once served as an artillery captain in World War II. Toward the end of the war, Solzhenitsyn was arrested for referring to Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, in a written letter to a friend, as "the man with the mustache." For this offense, he served seven years in a Russian labor camp and three more years in internal exile in Central Asia. Imagine what I would get in that world for saying that Barack Obama really does look somewhat like Curious George….yikes!
•Alright, here's my Big 12 football rundown (don't take this anywhere with money in your hands):
Oklahoma is loaded again. They'll take the Big 12 and perhaps the MNT.
Texas is always loaded. But they always have more questions than any other team.
Texas Tech might just surprise the Horns and take 2nd, but they still have no defense.
Oklahoma State is kicking themselves still over the “almost” games last season.
Texas A+M is trying out a new coach and system. Time and patience.
Baylor is not serious about competing in the Big 12.
Missouri returns too many good football players to be stunted by even Gary Pinkel.
Colorado is going to turn some heads in Dan Hawkins' second season in Boulder.
Iowa State is going to be a real surprise. You start with defense.
Nebraska starts over…but with what?
Kansas faces a tougher schedule and reality.
Kansas State loses to KU, Nebraska, and MU yet again and Ron Prince won't survive.
(Catch Brian Kubicki’s weekly publicity tour only in The Landmark. Email him at email@example.com)
Aliens know our government is incompetent
•So…former NASA moon-walking astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, of Apollo 14 mission fame, has stunningly acknowledged that aliens exist, and he maintains they have visited Earth on several occasions. He alleges a government cover-up extending over six decades has kept the beings out of official public knowledge.
Now before you dismiss him as a tin-foil hat wearing loony, consider that Dr. Mitchell has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and he holds the record with Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, for the longest moon walk in recorded history. He's hardly a naïve podunk from backwoods Missouri who ventures into town once or twice a year to replenish his fallout shelter supplies.
For the record, I think he's telling the truth, but I don't think our government is in on any conspiracy. Our government is too incompetent to be able to handle information as important as the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence. The aliens already know this. If they are as smart as they obviously are, being able to transcend interstellar space travel, extended long-term weightlessness, and suspended animation for years-on-end, are they really going to be fooled by the likes of a government that still requires people to walk in to their motor vehicle offices once every year to relicense their cars? I think what our people think they know is information that the aliens have allowed them to believe. We know what they want us to know.
•Setting another low for public recognition of general female intelligence, ABC's The View had a little controversy over co-host Sherri Shepherd's headline-making remarks about having multiple abortions (she told the magazine, I've had so many abortions, I can't remember how many…”). Shepherd tried to explain that she intended only to encourage women who are going through the guilt and shame of abortions by sharing her own experiences. (Can someone tell me why anyone would feel guilt or shame over having an abortion? Stay with me here…what is the source of guilt or shame over an abortion? Could it possibly be that indeed, the other side of the abortion issue is now finally admitting that abortion is the taking of a human life? Very interesting indeed.)
That's not all though. She shared the rest of her quote, telling her The View co-hosts: "I had suffered from a lot of shame and guilt, and I didn't know how to forgive myself, and a wonderful woman at one of the women's conferences I speak at came to me and said, 'Sherri, you know when you get to heaven all your babies are going to be there saying, 'Hi momma.'"
I hate to be the one to tell you this Sherri, but if I were one of your “babies” that you had ripped limb-from-limb from your womb because you couldn't be burdened with me, the last thing I might envision saying to you is, “Hi momma.”
•Somebody sent me this very interesting quote from Pres. Theodore Roosevelt recorded back in 1907:
'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag.... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'
--Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Kind of makes you think.
•A surprising poll released Monday confirms Sen. Barack Obama's worst nightmare: he actually lost ground to Sen. John McCain after a global trip meant to buck up his sagging credentials in foreign and military policy. The USA Today/Gallup poll has McCain leading Obama by four points, 49 percent to Obama's 45 percent, among likely voters.
Just last month, the same poll had McCain trailing by six points. I'll tell you, it's a miracle that McCain is even close with as putrid a campaign as he has run thus far. He should have been running campaign commercials with him in the POW camp, receiving his military decorations, meeting with the troops on one of his dozens of missions there. Is he afraid to flaunt his advantage? Vern Troyer (Mini-Me from Austin Powers) could run a better campaign!
(Give Brian your own parallax look to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Will Bill Clinton go tire-iron
on Obama's knees?
•Can somebody please ask Barack Obama how he can support a “DROP YOUR GUNS AND RUN AWAY” policy in Iraq when he also says that any conceived pull-out of American troops could easily take much longer than his originally promised 16-months? Huh?
•So what happens to Iran if we do the Obama Shuffle and DROP OUR GUNS AND RUN AWAY from Iraq? Does he still think Iran is “a tiny country…that is no threat to us” or does he now think, as he most recently said, that Iran is indeed a threat and has always been a threat? So if we are to believe his most recent statements on the subject, shouldn't we be concerned about running away from Iraq…especially now when their democratically-elected government is just getting on its feet?
•How about this little tidbit from Fairbanks, Alaska? A 150-meter ice core was pulled from the McCall Glacier in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (yes, THAT ANWR) this summer by climatologists. The folks that dug this up hope to have a quantitative look at up to two centuries of climate change in the region. Cool.
The core which they dug is longer than 1 and 1/2 football fields, and is the longest extracted from an arctic glacier in the United States. I'll bet that took a very large and greasy boring rig. Want to know how much torque that requires? Try opening a beer bottle (one of the screw-cap types). Now imagine how big your arm has to be if the bottle cap is 450 feet thick instead of only a quarter of an inch.
•SO environmentalist can drill in ANWAR, disturbing the “pristine” beauty of the frozen wasteland, when they feel it is politically worthy. But oil companies can forget trying to act to increase our domestic energy supplies, and start to try and lower oil prices. Environmentalists can spend tons of money on something we already know about, but nothing on anything that can help our current energy crisis.... ugh!
•Do you sometimes get the feeling that the Democrat race for the presidential nomination is going to end in Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan style with Hillary having Bill go tire-iron on Obama's knees? Something just doesn't feel right about that one. Clintons don't go away this quietly.
•In Alexandria, Virginia, a new type of spa pampering involves dunking your feet in a tank of water and letting tiny carp nibble away at the gnarly toe lint and calluses left on your feet after a hard day's work.
Called, “fish pedicures,” the procedure is creating a feeding frenzy D.C. area, where a northern Virginia spa has been offering them for the past four months. John Ho, the proprietor of Yvonne Hair and Nails salon, has “served” 5,000 people so far.
No word on the number of fish served.
•Is Al Gore becoming the most loathsome American in the media? His condescending melodic singsong comes on the radio or TV and there is a voice from some show (yeah, mostly conservative) soon after saying, “ENOUGH ALREADY! Can somebody pot his mic already?” He even got somewhat toughly questioned by Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press last Sunday when Brokaw retorted about Gore's using as much energy on his ranch as 20-30 average Americans. Hey, it's not much…it's not like Gore's actually debated the subject with someone who thinks that man isn't a significant cause of global warming, but at least this is a start.
•Always remember, we're only responsible for 114 portions of a 1 percent piece of atmospheric “pie” divided into 10,000 equally-sized pieces. If I showed you that slice of pie on this page, you wouldn't be able to see it with your naked eye it is so very small.
•Remember when you used to read the word, “naked” when you were little and it made you laugh?
•The Chiefs are going to be in training camp by the time my next column appears. Yawn…
•Big 12 football media week is this week. My fearless prognostications for the Big 12 final rankings are being prepared, cajoled, massaged, re-thought, and will be done next week (theoretically).
•NOBAMA…KEEP THE CHANGE!
(The Landmark and Brian Kubicki will never drop our guns and run away. Give Brian a parallax look via email to email@example.com)
Alternative fuels are a waste of time, resources
•I’m writing this from Seattle, Washington on a business trip that came up with little warning. Weather is nice. Political environment is leaning left. I feel like an ice cube in Hell.
•Barack Obama’s is making mistake after mistake and John McCain’s is missing each opportunity to capitalize. Obama lets his children talk about the campaign on national television. They are now in the public domain, and Obama has officially allowed his little children to be used as pawns in a national election campaign. If John McCain were less than an idiot, he would be all over this with statements that he would never use his children in such a manner. McCain should be all over the concept that little children have no place in a political campaign. Obama stepped-up and admitted he made a mistake in “allowing” his girls to be placed in the public domain (he knew exactly what he was doing). But it was too late.
•You know, in all this hubbub about Obama and Jesse Jackson wanting to carve-out Barack’s “nuts” somebody failed to mention that the act Jesse was referring to was essentially accurate in his characterization. Jesse Jackson was right -- not about cutting Obama’s nuts out (at least I hope not!), but in describing Obama’s annoying habit of constantly talking down to black people. Obama talks in an arrogant tone to everybody, white, black, yellow, and brown. Obama preaches that young black men need to stay at home and be fathers. But he was the product of a father that didn’t stay around. He has, thus far, in his own daughters’ lives, but has he truly tread water long enough in that realm to judge other people? No. He most certainly has not.
•Tony Snow, Fox News radio and TV host, occasional fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, former White House Press Secretary, athlete, musician, and most importantly, father and husband, died this weekend after a long battle with cancer. He was one of the most convincing voices for conservatism that I have ever heard in 30+ years of listening. After Tony Snow spoke on a subject, I was more confident in my beliefs than I ever was prior to that. He was good. I will miss him more than I will miss Tim Russert. He was one of the Good Ones.
•Where are the triple-digit temperatures I expect from Summer in KC? We’re at the middle of July, and we’ve barely seen temperatures over 90. I thought we were causing global warming? I’m working at this people! It is summer and I want my 100+ degree summer swelter. Where is it?
•In this week’s global warming lesson, understand the basics…the earth is currently in a minor global warming trend most likely caused by the heat from the sun. Man contributes so very little to that amount of warming that it is virtually un-measurable. Ask a climate scientist to quantify how much the temperature goes up due to man alone…they won’t answer because they don’t know.
Energy is how we do progress on this planet. We run our computers with energy. We cook our food with energy. We generate power to do progress with energy. Energy is good. Progress is good.
•Oil is currently very expensive on a relative scale in the United States. Compared to the rest of the world, we are only catching up. Those parts of the world are largely Socialist, where government runs most of everything. Fuel prices are much higher in those countries…Europe, Asia, India – they all pay much more for oil than we do…still. They have much higher taxes on fuel. Some people want our government here in this country to become more liberal and socialist and less capitalist and conservative. They hope to accomplish this with higher fuel prices, and eventually higher fuel taxes. That is their end game.
Some tout alternative fuels. They talk about wind power and solar power and bio-fuels. It’s all a waste of time and resources. Each of those alternative fuels cost about 5x per Kilowatt-hour what it costs us to make energy with fossil fuels. So burning a light bulb costs five-times more when the electrical energy is generated with wind power instead of coal. That’s the fact of it all. We are good at burning fossil fuels. They burn efficiently and we make money efficiently off of them. We should drop-kick the environmentalists in this country and start using our own energy resources.
Criminy people...this isn’t even hard to figure out! Let’s go!
(Reach The Landmark’s global warming specialist via email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Liberals should take note: Obama already waffling
•So Barack Obama is now waffling that he is going to get US troops out of Iraq within the first 16 months of his taking office. He says he will follow the guidance of General Petraeus in exiting Iraq. He will tell you that he has always been the candidate that voted against the war. (But he wasn't in the Senate when the Iraq War came to a vote in Congress.) He always paints himself as the pacifist candidate. (Has he ever actually voted against any war?) So what if Gen. Petraeus wants to stay the course of success that he started in Iraq? Is Obama then setting himself up for a Truman-esque battle with the ever-popular Gen. MacArthur? Liberals take note…your guy is waffling already.
•I was crunching some numbers the other night and I figured out that Al Gore burns as much energy in his home and various enterprises as 20-30 average Americans. No news there. That statistic has been reported often. And in a country of 300 million people, his contribution amounts to a paltry percentage...0.0000001% to be roughly precise.
What's most interesting though is that all of mankind is responsible for only 0.0014% of the entire planet's carbon dioxide output. That's only different by a factor of 14000 from what Al does all by himself. If you conclude, that is so large a disparity it is insignificant, consider that Al Gore only represents but 1 out of 6 billion people…that's a percentage of 0.00000002%.
So Al alone contributes, on a percentage basis, as much as hundreds of thousands of people! To be fair, most all of us energy hungry Americans consume like that…that's spelled P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S. We just consume about 1/30th of what Gore does. So I might consume what 10,000 people on the planet do…but Gore consumes what 300,000 people do.
Kinda puts it in perspective when you look at it that way, doesn't it?
•By the way, as we “plod-along” in the midst of slowed economic growth in this country, we should all be reminded that we are not in a recession. Recessions are marked by two consecutive quarters of a given year of negative economic growth as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We haven't even seen one negative growth month yet. Yes, the big media will never admit it, but the economy has actually grown over the last quarter. The growth has been slower, indeed, but it hasn't been negative. If you are driving yourself to a destination, you are traveling slower and spending more getting there thanks to rising fuel prices, but you're still moving in the right direction.
Hey…economic booms never last forever. If the worst we see is slowed growth, what is there to complain about?
•I haven't been this down on the Chiefs since the Paul Wiggins era. Was that an era?
•It is interesting to report that I was phoned on the so-called push-polling episode that the KC Star tried to make into a controversy in the Johnson County District Attorney's Republican Primary race recently. Actually, it's kind of interesting. A couple of questions are posed, and further questions are designed based on the implied leanings of the answers provided. If you were in favor of the candidate, you were let go. If you were not favorable on the candidate, a series of “Did-You-Know-That…” informational questions were posed. It's kind of like a radio commercial for a product that you already use that gives you music (or more Rush Limbaugh!) instead of the ad once they figure out if you use the product. I kind of like that approach.
Incidentally, there are two camps of Republicans in Johnson County. There is a fiscally-conservative, pro-life branch and there is a fiscally-conservative, pro-baby-killing branch. They all like their money, but they don't like each other much.
•The KC Star actually earns some kudos for once in this column space. Last week, they reprinted a column that first appeared in the Wall Street Journal back in May about the life and courageous death of a man who raised a family of sons the way most of our Dads raised their sons. They were tough-minded, thought nothing of working all day at their job and working most of the late afternoon and evening in their homes, keeping their kids closely under their thumb. They were long on discipline, short on compassion, and they prepared their kids for life. It is a story worth reading, especially in this generation. You can find it at: http://www.kansascity.com/starmagazine/story/685964.html
(Don't ever wipe that Parallax Look from your face. And email our man Brian Kubicki at email@example.com)
Who wants Obama's version of capitalism?
You know, it occurred to me recently that most of the supporters of B. Hussein Obama for President don't know what we're talking about when we warn that his policy positions are reminiscent of the administration of Jimmy Carter. How about some illustrations?
Take for example, the Windfall Profits Tax that Obama and the Democrats have talked about enacting. The intended purpose, as explained by Sen. Claire McCaskill on 980 KMBZ's Shanin and Parks radio talk show program last week, is to check the behavior of the oil companies by reining in their “excessive profits” made over the course of the latest round of market-induced fuel price increases. Their intent, as expressed by the good Senator (and not refuted or challenged in any way by the radio talk show's supposedly conservative host) is to use taxation to control human behavior. Apparently, one can make excessive profit in a capitalist economy.
Who determines what actually constitutes excessive profit? Is there such a thing as minimum profits, or acceptable profits? I don't think I want to live in those versions of capitalism.
Beside the lunacy of that ridiculous notion, let's start-up the Wayback Machine and see what happened the last time a Windfall Profits Tax was instituted.
•So as a refresher course, consider that Carter's “Windfall Profits Tax," enacted in 1980, was at that time the largest tax ever imposed on American industry. The Carter-expressed goal was to take back some of the money that was "unfairly received" by the oil companies and force it to be used for the development of renewable energy (windmills and solar collectors).
According to the Congressional Research Service, oil prices indeed fell, but domestic production fell 33% because of increased investment risk. With profits threatened by burdening taxation, those with investment dollars look elsewhere in the market for their return. Thus, what was initially projected as revenue of $227 billion ended up being revenue of $40 billion for the program, with no more revenue after 1986.
The tax was finally repealed in 1988, having done nothing except reduce our domestic oil production and thus actually increase our dependence on foreign oil; exactly opposite of what President Carter said the tax was supposed to do.
Is that what we want again?
•Ask a supporter of B. Hussein Obama that you know why they support him. If there is a concrete reason for his being seriously considered for President, email it to me and I'll print it in an upcoming column. If the reasons for their support are as ridiculous as we've heard thus far, give me those as well. I think I've heard them all, but there's always a chance for something legitimate offered that can be seriously considered.
•What's with the anthrax attacks? Remember as we were emerging from the immediate moments of the tragedy of 9/11, there were reports of people being sent letters through the mail laced with Anthrax. Apparently, the government recently settled with chemist that they wrongly accused of sending the letters laced with the lethal drug. They still haven't found out who actually sent the letters. I'm not sure whether I'm more disturbed that the perpetrators haven't been caught or with the notion that there are people out there waiting for an opportunity like 9/11 to send lethal letters out to people at random. There are indeed some very sick people living among us.
•Would a ShamWow to replace toilet paper be called…ShamPoo?
•Reports are that former President Bill Clinton has told operatives that Obama can “…kiss my ass…” if he thinks he can expect support from the formerly Impeached President. Supposedly, the two spoke by telephone earlier this week about Clinton working to help get Obama elected. I'd have liked to hear what each person on that call said in the moments right after the call ended. We're often most eloquent at those times, aren't we?
•Here's hoping you all enjoy a nice break and long weekend to acknowledge the day of independence of the greatest country on planet earth. We can't light fireworks here in Shawnee, so it will be my first “dry 4th” in quite awhile. You can say lots about Platte County, but they always knew how to blow stuff up on the 4th of July.
Happy Independence Day!
(Send a noisy email to The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki right now at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Let's drill the first hole with an antler
•Drill, baby…drill! I want to open ANWR for oil exploration. I want to drill the first hole with a caribou antler. I want the oil driller to fart pure methane and sulfur and carbon dioxide as he bends over to set the caribou antler. I want him working next to a man of another skin color, and nobody can tell the difference because they're both covered in oil. I want them both armed so that if they see a Radical Islamist trying to detonate one of their wells, they shoot him on-sight. I want the Race Police to swallow their own tongues. And I want cool people I like to take a week or two reprieve from dying.
•The Democrats are getting their clocks cleaned on this issue of an American energy policy. As fuel prices continue to escalate, an angry public seeks answers from their public leaders (though truthfully, they're looking for that in the wrong place.).
Republicans, from their minority position in Congress and from the administrative branch, seek to increase domestic supplies and increase production via deregulation of refining capacity.
The Democrats simply say, “No…No…No.” They offer no solutions to the problem. They're not offering any reduction in federal tax revenues gleaned from fuel sales. They offer no means or methods for increasing either supply or production capability. All they say is, “No.” Well, to be fair, they did try to enact a windfall profits tax on oil company profits.
Isn't that a typical liberal response? In the face of record fuel prices and food prices rising due to the high fuel costs, the Democrats declare that they want to enact extra taxes on the profits that the oil company stockholders earn. Unbelievable!
•Next time you are faced with somebody on the Man Causes Global Warming side of the aisle, ask them if they think carbon dioxide is a pollutant. If they answer, “Yes, carbon dioxide is a pollutant,” ask them how can it be that something that trees and shrubs and oceans need for survival can be bad for life? Do they want trees and plants and oceans to go away? Because that's what will happen if we try to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
•The Race Police are back at it trying to excoriate radio legend Don Imus. This time he apparently made a comment that could be construed by a racist to be a denigration of people of black skin color. His defense is that he was referring to the gentleman (Adam Jones of the Dallas Cowboys to be specific) in the sense that because he is black, he gets greater media scrutiny when wrongdoing is being discussed. Aren't we over this already? Just go away, Al Sharpton!
•If Barack Obama attended a Muslim school, and received instruction on being a Muslim when he was a child in Indonesia, should that be relevant to his consideration as president? If we had a presidential candidate in 1945 that was schooled in a Nazi school during their youth, would that information have been relevant to the 1945 election?
•It seems to me that being at war with a Radical Arm of Islam makes Barack Obama's upbringing particularly relevant. I want this country to stay the course in keeping Radical Islamist terrorists on the run. That policy has worked pretty well so far. I don't know if Obama has that as a central belief in his core of thought. Whether his upbringing influences that is important.
•Man, they are dropping like flies. Last week, Tim Russert. This week George Carlin. Carlin had lots of fans and quite a few that didn't particularly like his anti-religious perspectives. I'm kind of in-the-middle. He seemed smart enough to know that we likely won't ever fully understand who we are and why we are here; and yet he was dumb enough to not try and ponder it all too deeply, and that was kind of a refreshing perspective. My personal favorite was his favorite religion, which he called Frisbeetarianism, which was the belief that when you die, your soul gets launched onto a roof somewhere, like a Frisbee, and stays there forever. RIP George…wherever you are.
(Brian Kubicki is always a mouse click or two away. He can be reached via email to email@example.com)
Conservative men always pick up the check
•Wow! The Tim Russert sudden passing last week was about as unexpected as any overweight, diabetic, workaholic, 50-something male's death could be wouldn't you say? The big media is painting this like, “how could this happen?” It happens. The “wise” sages always say, “Do what you have passion for and you'll never work a day in your life.” They better amend that to include, you have to tend to your health as well.
Don't think I'm blaming Russert too much though. Life happens. Tim Russert was cool. He's probably the only Liberal I never knew that I will truly mourn. Meet the Press will not be the same without him.
•And on the subject of replacement hosts for Meet the Press, Bill O'Reilly would be da-bomb as a permanent replacement. He is current, popular, topical, and as tough a questioner as there is in the media today. Further, O'Reilly would have all the ratings Russert enjoyed and then some. If you couldn't get O'Reilly, I'd put Britt Hume in that post.
If that happens, watch the liberals in the big media howl like banshees as if they EXPECT a liberal to always helm a big network media TV show.
•If you want to see how lame the Democratic Party is about trying to convince young voters to do their civic duty, look no further than their latest YouTube ad in which a young woman and man meet in a bar and go to his apartment to have carnal relations. (Because, of course, immediate passion is the best way to get to know the person you are going to exchange bodily fluids with.) The young woman, in the middle of her “performance,” notices a signed picture of John McCain on the guy's nightstand, and promptly runs from the apartment upset that she was about to sleep with a Republican.
When I was college age, I became aware of politics through President Ronald Reagan and the conservative movement of the 1980's. They caught my interest with cool, hard logic.
•And for the record, chicks dig conservatives over liberals because conservative men always pick up the check.
•Watch this latest controversy over high-power Democrats and Obama supporters Chris Dodd and Ken Conrad getting uber-sweet mortgage deals from the chairman of Bank of America (3.5%...are you kidding me!!!), soon go into hyper-drive. It's funny that you don't hear anything about this deal in any of the big media outlets. I'm telling you folks, this crowd around Obama is as crooked as a Clinton real estate trailer park deal.
•I paid 14 cents a gallon less to fill-up at the gas station in Missouri last weekend over what I usually find in Kansas. I'm still trying to find out where all the additional government services are in Kansas to justify those higher taxes.
•The Roy Spencer book, Climate Confusion, presents the miniscule atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide in interesting terms. Usually, I've told you that the earth's atmosphere is about 0.038% carbon dioxide. Spencer expresses that as, for every 100,000 molecules of earth's atmosphere, 38 are carbon dioxide. Of those 38 for every 100,000 molecules, man adds about 1 additional molecule of carbon dioxide every 5 years. Kind of puts it all in perspective, doesn't it?
•The Saudi Arabian oil ministers said they would increase oil output, in an effort to reduce fuel prices in the West. Why are the Saudis doing something that our own government won't let us do? Our EPA won't unregulate our café standards or let us build any more refineries. Our Congress won't let us drill for oil in the frozen tundra wasteland of Alaska. Does that make any sense?
•The KC Star newspaper is laying off more than 100 employees, they announced last week. They need a new sports page and conservative editorialists. I could handle both with half the budget that used and it would be interesting every day. I would have a few liberals on the staff, but they could only arrange Funky Winkerbean and Mark Trail comic strips. Are there still people living that read those strips?
•I have found a use for the Hillary for President signs. They're lining the floor of my garage catching oil dripping off the cars. Funny thing is, they're so very slick, they don't absorb any of the oil. I might be able to recycle all of it.
(Brian Kubicki’s Parallax Look can be found only in your Landmark. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Obama makes Carter look Reagan-esque
With a 10-yr old boy now in 3&2 baseball in Johnson County, it is fascinating to watch the forces at play in governing how this activity gets accomplished. The dynamic is something like this: you have pre-pre-pubescent boys who are likely getting their first real test of manhood in being directed toward a competitive pursuit amongst their peers and yet these are still pretty much little boys. Being hit by a pitch causes the tears to flow. Having a caught line drive rob the batter of a good extra bases hit causes tears. Outfielders have to almost be constantly reminded to stop playing with the bugs in the grass.
Coach-Dads seem to be playing a high-intensity checkers game (I'd use chess as the analogy, but baseball isn't that hard to figure-out. It would do chess a disservice), with these kids being used as the checkers. But the kids don't realize that the Dads are playing a checkers game.
Now, the expressed official intent of the coaching effort is to get the kids to learn the fundamentals of the game along with teamwork and sportsmanship, and keeping the inherent fun in the contest is supposed to be key. Most Coach-Dads spend a lot of time arguing with umpires and the other coaches over the rules, though. They'll argue ball and strike calls. They'll argue 10-yr old level rules. They'll argue how many bases are given on an overthrow. It's interesting to note that though the kids definitely want to win…some of them very badly…they never argue with the umpire. This whole obsession with the rules angle downright consumes some Coach-Dads.
It's also a bit more intense down here than it was up North of the river. Up North, one lightning strike cancels a game. Down here, you have to have two lightning strikes to cancel a game. I haven't seen any stats on whether a Dad carrying an armful of titanium bats standing near a galvanized chain-link backstop is more or less likely to get struck by lightning, but I'm studying it.
•Well…Hillary is gone. At least until Barack Obama melts down in the clutches of some scandal. Do you think the Clintons will really go away for good? A Clinton-less election is kind of hard to imagine. Envisioning politics without a Clinton is like a joke without a punch line. It's like an empty jack-in-the-box toy, or a mousetrap without cheese.
•What am I going to do with all these Hillary for President yard signs?
•Roy Spencer's Climate Confusion is a must read if you've bought into any of the human-caused global warming batwings-and-fairy-dust. It is factual without being boring. It is relevant. It is, best of all, common sense.
•Did I ever tell you that 99.99% of the global warming chemicals in the atmosphere are water vapor and man causes a teeny-tiny fraction of that total amount? I'm sure I have, but that was reinforced for me in Spencer's book, so it bears reinforcing with you, my loyal common sense students.
•If God wanted us to recycle, he'd have made our doo-doo smell like freshly popped popcorn.
Imagine how much energy we'd save on bathroom exhaust fans if that were the case.
•I'm still waiting for John McCain to wow me with his appeal to the conservative base of the Republican Party. I sure hope I don't have to wait long. I'm not sure who else I would vote for should McCain not earn my support.
•I've been looking at Barack Obama's record, which is what his supporters are actually supposed to be doing, and he just might be the most liberal candidate running for President in American history. His position docket makes Jimmy Carter almost look Reagan-esque.
•I'm kind of jonesing for The Incredible Hulk coming out in a couple of weeks. I can't tell whether it's for the computer-driven special effects or Liv Tyler. No…it's definitely Liv Tyler.
•Definitely make time for trying one of McDonald's Southern Style Crispy Chicken Sandwiches. They are fast becoming my favorite McDonald's fast food item, and that's saying something.
If you're watching fat intake, a wise little trick is to order two sandwiches, toss-off the bigger side of the buns in both cases, and avoid ordering any fries. It drastically limits your fat and carbohydrate intake over what you would eat normally, and you don't have to sacrifice flavor. It's making me hungry already.
•My carbon footprint is rapidly reaching its 2008 apex. Any more and I'm going to need a new pair of shoes.
(Email Brian Kubicki’s carbon footprint at email@example.com)
You can't marry conservative and liberal
I'm operating from an empty slate this week, so please bear with me.
•You ever wonder if, with all we do with our awake lives nowadays; what with work, family, constant internet existences, kids starting sports almost right out of the cradle, car maintenance, home maintenance, saving the planet (at least I don't have to worry about that one!), political campaigns going on forever, and-on-and-on-and-on…With all that stuff occupying our ever-increasing waking hours, aren't we going to be incredibly bored in the Afterlife?
•Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is getting excoriated by the right and bedded like a honey-covered starlet at the Home for Sugar-Starved Teenage Boys by the left because he is turning on his own on the political right in order to sell books. His book, “What Happened” is burning bridges in Washington faster than he can prance his pleasantly-plump frame over them. Sen. Bob Dole said it better in his scathing email to McClellan, but there is no doubt that McClellan is not getting a Christmas Card from the White House this year.
Hillary Clinton seems to be finally on the verge of stopping me from putting a “Hillary for President” yard sign in my backyard. Somehow, I half expect her to get with the Michigan and Florida delegations and sue to get all the delegates seated at the Democrat Convention. What seems to be happening instead is Barack Obama appears to be preparing to bribe her to back down from the fight by assuming much of her political debt. We should know something by the time you read this, but I hope she keeps the fight alive.
•One of McClellan's main charges against the Bush Administration was that he came into the position as Press Secretary with the idea that the President wanted him to help lead a charge of “bipartisanship in Washington.”What is bipartisanship…really? We hear it mentioned all the time…especially in recent years. But what is it?
•You know, it is now four months since John McCain rode a centrifugal wave (think a flushing toilet…) to the Republican nomination, and I am today no closer to voting for him than I was back in February. What exactly has he done to enamor me as a conservative to his campaign? Tampax does a better job reaching me as a consumer.
•We have two main political beliefs in this country. You have conservatives and then you have liberals. Conservatives want small government, low taxes, and would rather rely on business for most things instead of government. Liberals want big government, high taxes, and do not trust business to do much of anything without significant government regulation.
•Barack Obama has now finally, after more then 20 years, officially separated himself from his controversial place of worship, the Trinity United Church of Christ, when he resigned this week. Apparently, now that a white Catholic priest has said essentially the same thing that former Pastor Jeremiah Wright has said, that was enough for Obama to cause him to pull the trigger of resignation. Nice!
•These are two very separate and distinct philosophies, conservative and liberal. They are as different as George Hamilton marrying an Albino…they match like human and insect…Seth Brundle and fly. You can't marry the two. Each philosophy is designed to be distinctly different from the other. These differences are why we have elections every two years. Sometimes a politician comes around and talks about bipartisanship. If you want to see what that leads to, watch the last 30 minutes of David Cronenberg's movie, The Fly and you'll see what I mean.
•The San Antonio Spurs failed to make team-basketball the hero in the NBA playoffs. The Celtics and the Lakers are left for the finals, and I can't muster much of an interest in it. Politics yuk!…the Chiefs stink…college basketball is unbearable with Kansas as the NCAA champion. This seems to be a year of yawns.
(Yawns? Never in the Parallax Look. Email our columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org)
This was one way to get improved service
•We are definitely in a recovery mode after dolling up the digs for a holiday get-together. Whew! I'm getting a caterer for the next one!
•Caterers are great unless you're cashing-in on a favor to a guy with “Fingers” somewhere in his name.
•By the way…remember a few weeks ago when I tossed out the factoid from John Stossel's recent book about moving the world’s population into the state of Texas and subsequently understanding that the resulting population density would still be less than it currently is in the city of New York? Well, I looked up the facts, and here they are:
There are 26,403 people per square mile in New York City.
There are 261,916 square miles in the state of Texas.
There are 6,679,493,900 people in the world.
Therefore, 6,679,493,900/261,916 = 25,502 people per square mile if everyone in the world was located in the state of Texas; and,
26,403 is greater than 25,502.
•So we took the family out to dinner on a Saturday night recently. We thought we'd try the new Downtown KCMO development, but for some reason, it was packed beyond comprehension, so that was out. So we headed down to the Freighthouse District and ambled into one of the places down there (I won't tattle, but it rhymes with Chylamidia's). The wait list was reasonable, plus there were tables available outside on the deck area, so we went for the shorter wait outside. Big mistake.
I'm not sure whether it was just a bad night for the staff, a full-moon (we get notoriously bad service on full moon evenings for some reason), or perhaps we just had mean looks on our faces…but we were being attended to like a noisy leper at the Helen Keller Institute. I'm not much into drinking fast and quick when we are far from home, particularly with youngins in-tow, but one (1) beer in more than two hours would piss off even Carrie Nation. I was good though…by “good” I mean patient. When I'm patient, I've been taught I'm being good.
That was me though.
My better half was downright percolating as Hour Two of this Encampment by the Rail Yards was approaching. We're never ones for standing and hollering when the service is inattentive; we do that enough at home, after all. But I think part of the reason that I tend to react more on the “patience is a virtue” side is because I am married to the female version of The Incredible Hulk (Attitudinally, not physically, got to be careful there) when bad service ensues; and darn it all, I like a good comic book movie.
So the wait person once again saunters by the Table of the Aged Wine Drinkers behind us and inquires whether their vino was delivered at a temperature to their liking….as I inhaled a recently-discovered final molecule of beer from the bottom of my glass and my spouse painted the bottom of her plate with yet another slice of sourdough in an effort to glean one last drop of long-ago depleted vinaigrette, the wait person ever-so-slightly paused -- as though an errant thought-electron implying attention should be paid to our table wafted through the brain and then headed back for the kitchen….then IT happened.
Like Bill Bixby bashing his knuckles on the pavement changing a flat tire in a thunderstorm --- I looked over at my lovely spouse and all I saw was green pupils…..
“That's IT!” She rose from the table, with a totally clean napkin bursting into flames from the air friction-induced by her quick movements, and headed for the entrance to the restaurant, asking for the manager. (I love it when she gets like that! I would just leave and never come back when the service is this bad….but she is something to behold, if your stomach can take the pressure.) I'm not exactly sure what she said, but it must have worked because the following five minutes were like the scene in The Blues Brothers when Jake and Elwood were trying to get Mr. Fabulous out of his gig at the Chez Paul and back behind a horn in the band. Food was arriving in rapid succession…drinks were refilled…more food was delivered….desserts were soon to follow. I doubt Mr. Creosote (Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, I won’t go into details) got service this voluminous or rapid.
Too bad we were so full of bread we couldn't eat anything.
All-in-all though, the management of the restaurant was extremely apologetic for their less-than-stellar efforts. Had they not been as thorough, we indeed would probably never return, but they earned another trip (translation: they bought our dinner). All things considered, it wasn't a bad evening…fine dinner…floor show…lots of take-home bags, and no domestic pets were consumed in the process.
(Landmark readers always get fast service from Brian Kubicki. Reach him at email@example.com)
Obama a product of 'chickification' of males
•Summertime is here! Yeah! You don't know how much my psyche needed some hot weather running. This is the week for some psychological therapy in my world.
Whatever you people are doing to warm the environment, keep it up…this is great especially in contrast to the unending winter we just crawled out of.
•You can sense that Hillary Clinton is just playing-out the string of the Democrat primary race. Her stump speeches are getting less and less coverage. Her snippets are unattacking and very Mike Huckabee-like. I never thought I'd be saying this, but Hillary Clinton is circling the drain.
•Speaking of Mike Huckabee, what was he thinking with that “joke” about Barack Obama facing a gunman? Are you kidding me? He can't be that stupid! Something's up. The McCain campaign had to quell the Huckabee fervor because they're going to name somebody else as VP nominee (Romney perhaps?). Romney is probably the only VP candidate who would need some sheen taken off of Huckabee's cross. Interesting move, if that is what's really going on.
•President Bush fired a Scud Logic Missile directly into the great bloated white belly of the wounded Democrat cut-and-run party with his speech in Israel last week, where he criticized the thought that you can talk to enemies of your government. The Democrats sensed the damage the comment could do to them and fired a return volley immediately with their chief spokesman, Barack Obama, saying later that if Iran lined up with us in a war, they would totally lose because they are so much weaker than us. I'm paraphrasing what he actually said into terms that a Radical Islamist actually hears. I'm still shaking my head at that stupidity. Unbelievable! Nice job tossing a gauntlet in front of a crazy Islamic Fundamentalist enemy.
•John McCain and the “Republicans” fired back with yet another, “this is what you get when you go with inexperience” volley. McCain better get his butt to Vegas 'cause his luck can't possibly get any better.
•To top that, Obama tried to slam politicos that attacked the comments of his vociferous wife, assuming the role of protective, macho husband. “You can come after me, but leave my wife and my family alone!” Unfortunately, he comes off as more feminine than she does.
•Barack Obama is the product of the feminization of the American male. Think about it. His generation of young boys was the first that the female-led teacher's movement tried to beat the inherent roughhousing male instinct out of. You can't make boys not want to play and test limits and compete and fight and lose and get bloody. That is as inherently male as being more in touch with feelings and relationships is with young girls. I think that's what has happened.
Obama is that kid that we were warned was coming from the “chick-ification” of male culture.
•The Vatican last week admitted that believing in aliens from other planets does not contradict faith in God. The Vatican's Chief Astronomer (A church astronomer has an underling? Seems to be a bit top heavy in the Vatican management chain.) said the notion of life on other planets doesn't contradict our faith, because aliens would still be God's creatures.
•So if man is made in God's image and likeness, and then presumably alien life would also be formed in God's image and likeness, could it be surmised that God is an alien? Here we go…c'mon man…take that first step….C'mon!
•For those who believe that man can affect the global climate of an unmanageably huge interstellar spinning mass of iron (that's the earth), are you still so convinced of man's supremacy over the elements after the natural disasters of the past week?
If you haven't been watching, one cyclone in Burma and more than 100,000 people are killed or missing. The earth trembles in China and nearly 300,000 die or are injured. If you haven't been watching, we are getting our asses kicked by the earth.
•In a “mano-a-mano” battle, we are being treated by the earth like 1990's version of Mike Tyson would Barack Obama's protruding ears.
•Yeah to the San Antonio Spurs! They finally overcame the upstart New Orleans Hornets to move to the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs. Here's hoping for a Detroit-San Antonio NBA finals and uber-boring NBA basketball!
I want to kill off the interest level of all those Michael Jordan fans that believe basketball is only entertaining as a one-on-one match-up. You guys go take up following tennis.
(Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Death is simply a door we all pass through
•I've apparently aggravated a few people with my expressed view last week of the dirt nap humans take upon assuming room temperature. To some it has been perceived as a lack of respect for the dead. I don't honor a corpse. None of us should. We should honor life. Life is the ether through which memories are created…and remembered. Death is simply a door we all pass through. Once we are through that transition, the remaining organic stuff we leave behind is no more significant than hair we leave behind at the barber shop.
Once we all embrace that concept, perhaps death won't be such a scary thing to us all.
•A new method of human disposal has floated to the surface. Since the dawn of man, dead humans have either been buried or burned. Now a new option--dissolving bodies in lye and flushing the brownish, syrupy residue down the drain, is making the makeup folks in the funeral industry chortle with glee.
Called alkaline hydrolysis and developed in this country 16 years ago to get rid of animal carcasses, lye, a powerful alkaline, 300-degree heat and 60 psi pressure is employed to destroy bodies in big stainless-steel cylinders that are similar to pressure cookers.
I can think of a range of reactions from the traditional crowd, that savors standing around a painted skin balloon filled with embalming fluid, but I never would have expected the best to come from a politician.
State Rep. Barbara French said she, for one, might choose alkaline hydrolysis. "I'm getting near that age and thought about cremation, but this is equally as good and less of an environmental problem," the 81-year-old lawmaker said. "It doesn't bother me any more than being burned up. Cremation, you're burned up. I've thought about it, but I'm dead."
I couldn't express it any better.
•But for those of you that want to pee on my grave as punishment for last week's column, just remember, urine can be an alkaline. So thanks in advance…
•Is American Idol over yet? I still don't get it.
•Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is making the rounds on a book tour (I haven't read it and I'm not planning to) and it seems kind of strange that for all the interviews he does, why does no one ask him about his pro-life position and how he justifies his support for the Democrat Party agenda with a clear anti-abortion belief system.
•For those of you on the political left who believe there are hungry in this world because we don't produce enough food to feed them, did you notice that Myanmar's junta last week seized U.N. aid shipments Friday meant for the thousands of hungry and homeless survivors of last week's devastating cyclone? The action by the rebel scum forced the U.N. to suspend further aid.
Any questions? It should be abundantly clear that the poor and hungry that exist in this world are in the desperate position they are more due to corrupt government leadership than any inability to produce enough food in the free areas of this world. If anything, the excess food we consume in this country in particular could probably feed the world if it could be collected and distributed to the poor.
•John McCain is not making friends on the right again. His global warming position speech this week was long on left-leaning propaganda, chock-full of junk science, and downright hostile toward the positions of a significant portion of his supposed political base.
McCain wants a Cap-and-Trade system which all-but-admits that we--as in mankind--we, who are as natural as a centipede, are capable of polluting the planet and that we pose some form of threat to its continued existence. That's just plain baloney-sausage.
He talks about the ill-planned Kyoto Treaty as though it was a savior to humanity and not the socialist-implementation mechanism that it was.
If this is how John McCain makes friends among his base, he's going to have a very long election season. I haven't seen a courtship like this since John Hinckley scrawled Jodi Foster's name in his chest with an ice pick.
•I'm currently tearing into Prof. Roy Spencer's book, Climate Confusion. I'll report back soon.
(Reach The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki today by email at email@example.com. Or pee on his grave at a later date)
Are old cemetaries hallowed ground? Worms used that soil as mess hall
•That lawsuit in the news a few weeks ago dealing with proposed new development around Kansas City International Airport strikes a chord. If you've not been paying attention, the development was stalled because some old homesteading families’ graves were encountered by the developers. The land had been sold some time ago, and the airport developers that now owned the land even offered to relocate the graves to a new location. Well, the court ruled in the favor of the long ago dead folks' family, so the graves have to remain right where they are and the development must go around the little “cemetery.”
•Does it seem like the big media should be tiring of covering the Clinton and Obama campaigns yet? They are covering the same stories from the same angles even involving the same quotes or so it seems. Can they keep this up for another two to three months? It's kind of like watching Road Runner cartoons…the audience has got to tire of watching the Acme anvil fall on either Hillary or Obama's head somewhere along the way.
•Does it seem logical that the land one is interred in upon engaging in a dirt nap should remain off the market for all of recorded time? What about all the slaves that died in this country and had unmarked graves? What about all the Indians that died over the hundreds of years that they roamed the land? Give me a break that we are so very special that the land we start to ooze and decay in is some kind of hallowed ground!
•Was Speed Racer really that big of a cartoon back in the '70's that it would curry enough favor for a Hollywood movie? If you really think about it, and even for five seconds, that's twice as long as anyone gave it during the run of the cartoon series, it might have been intriguing had they put the project into Pixar's hands and we'd then get to enjoy Trixie in 3D animation.
·Reach down and grab a handful of dirt. That dirt is composed of, in part, the long-decayed remains of countless numbers of people that lived on the earth over the last 4 million years. There were wars, documented and not, that left countless dead in the soil. There were highway robberies and ambushes that left bodies in the dirt. There were animals that ate humans and pooped their remains onto the ground. Why are these dead people's remains so special?
•The NBA Playoffs are starting to garner a modicum of media interest. I'm still a Spurs guy. But it still is about a month away from being worthy of any more than casual interest, and less so if the Spurs can't avoid being wiped away by the surprising Hornets, which they are heading toward very quickly. The NBA regular season is still largely dismissible.
•This eternal gravesite thing has implications on all kinds of seemingly related issues. Who owns the land the World Trade Center towers used to stand on? Who owns the real estate Jimmie Hoffa is somewhere buried under? Isn't at all really silly?
•That story making the rounds of the girls collegiate softball team that carried an injured opposing player around the bases to score her three run homer she'd just hit shows a memorable display of true sportsmanship. But it also begs some interesting distinctions between men and women. The actions of the opposing team showed that women can put winning aside when necessary to make a human point. But had this been a men's baseball game…or even a men's beer softball league, they'd be stepping on the guy's injured leg to be sure he couldn't tag first base.
•In the end, we are significant as a species not through that which we accomplish individually. We are significant because we accomplish something collectively through organized efforts of many, or through building upon the advances of those that came before us (standing on the shoulders of giants…remember that one?). How sad must we be in our self-image of we have to latch onto something by claiming perpetual rights to a tract of earth that worms used as a mess hall on our soul-abandoned corpse?
(Whether opining on old cemeteries or the NBA playoffs, Brian Kubicki will let you know how he feels. Let him know your thoughts with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Are the Chiefs about to come full circle under Peterson?
•So have the Chiefs come full circle under Carl Peterson? They draft the best defensive lineman in the draft who just so happens to be from the same college football conference as Derrick Thomas, the first Chiefs Savior. This was done in the aftermath of a season in which the team won a pitiful 4 games. The team is under the guidance of a defensive-minded coach. All we need now is a couple of 11 and 12 win seasons and first round playoff losses and the circle will be complete.
•Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's controversial pastor is in the news again. This time, he's been blathering-on about supposed genetic differences between black brains and white brains. Can this guy be more of an albatross to Obama? Why can't they shut him up? This should be an interesting week of political media. Wright is about as helpful to Obama's campaign as a piece of cheesecake is to Hillary's hips.
•Can we start global warming already? I just shivered through a weekend of youth baseball games played in conditions more suitable for Eskimo sunbathing. What gives, Al Gore? I thought we were controlling the planet's climate?
•Speaking of youth sports…we all blather on about how many bad things there are in youth sports. This extends from overly pressuring Dads to overly protective Moms to coaches that are living their Casey Stengel and Billy Martin fantasies. But there are a great many of truly excellent and appropriately balanced Dads, Moms, and coaches that have the right temperament and philosophies. I've seen them of late and thought we ought to all recognize those folks when we see them.
•I'm operating on a minimum of sleep right now, so bear with me. My concentration is less than optimum.
•I need to change the oil in all the cars this week. (Just reminding myself…I'll read this Thursday and remember to get the stuff I need).
•Do the Royals stink again?
•Have the Royals and the Chiefs ever really stunk together at the same time?
•Is anybody else growing truly tired of the Angry Black Man/Sensitive White Guy constant drumbeat out of the KC Star sports page? It gets kind of old, doesn't it?
•I just read in a book that Adolph Hitler was chronically flatulent. Why is that not surprising?
•The next time someone around you starts blathering-on about the earth being overpopulated, toss out this little factoid (courtesy of John Stossel's latest book)…if you took the entire population of the world and dumped them all into the state of Texas, the resulting population density would be less than that of New York City today. I guarantee you that the biggest Margaret Sanger Disciple will reply with stone silence.
•I would wager that Hitler's flatulence would likely be perhaps the most unpleasant odor ever encountered from a living human. And who would have the courage to complain out loud? Probably the only advantage to being the 20th Century's most infamous and horrible ruler would be that you could foul the air and nobody would complain about it.
•Wouldn't you pay $1000 to see a pay-per-view of a Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama Celebrity Boxing Match? I probably would gather a few interested parties for that one. Forget the debates…lace-em-up.
·Doesn't this latest dust up between Hillary and Barack remind you of the scene in Rocky (I or II, I can't remember) when Rocky is getting pounded and Paulie yells to Mick, “…he's gettin' killed…” and Mick replies: “He's not getting' killed…he's getting' MAD!”
•Selling a house in this market is incredibly painful to one's psyche.
•Cutting springtime grass is really hard to do when you have two yards to mow. I haven't mowed this much grass since I was 13.
•Can somebody explain to me why the Democrat nominee for President needs 2100 delegates but the Republican's nominee only needed 1100? What does that mean exactly?
The soreness from running a 4 mile race at 7am Sunday morning is starting to settle in. Owwwww! It reminds you that you're alive, though. I've got to give it that.
(Awaken Brian Kubick with an email to email@example.com)
Child-molesting priests make Catholics appear hypocritical
•With Hillary Clinton's recent resurgence in the Democrat Primary fight, a Barack Obama victory seems less than certain, surely, but do Democrats really want such a juicy piñata for the Republicans to bang away on for 5-6 months?
Rev. Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezco, Michelle “I Hate America” Obama (does that woman EVER smile?) and whoever is to arise later is going to make attack ads incredibly easy to compose. When the Republican attack machine is done with him, Obama will feel and look like a lone apple in a Bobbing-For-Apples booth at the Rest Home for Toothless Paraplegics.
•The Catholic Church was back at their, “Don't-Look-At-Me-I'm-Looking-At-You” policy when, in conjunction with Pope Benedict's first U.S. visit this past week they began to once again chide members of Congress who publicly support the right to abortion. The Pope has said such lawmakers should not receive Communion.
Now as an avid proponent of the fact that life ended voluntarily in the womb is indeed murder, I also abhor hypocrisy wherever it resides, and as long as one-time child molesting priests and the Bishops and Cardinals that moved them from parish-to-parish go right on ministering within the church (and they indeed do, thanks to the policy instituted several years ago), then they have no authority to tell anyone else what is right vs. what is wrong. That's the fact of that.
•Are we ready for the Ace of Cakes 10-minutes-of-fame on the Food Network to be over already? How interesting can one make throwing a cake into 17 million different whimsical shapes? Could I make a show about carving cat litter box chunks into the cast of Gilligan's Island and run it on cable TV for 2-3 hours a day? Enough already!
Besides, there is no more entertaining show on the Food Network than Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.
•R.I.P. John Archibald Wheeler 1911-2008, who was the theoretical physicist that pioneered the theory of nuclear fission (along with Niels Bohr and Enrico Fermi); taught graduate student Richard Feynman; among many other of the 20th Century's physics legends; and participated in the development of the U.S. atomic bomb under the Manhattan Project.
Wheeler is also credited with originating the terms, wormhole, to describe tunnels in space-time, and black holes. You should know what those are. We talked about them last week. My readers are the smartest readers out there. . .tons smarter than any regular Star reader.
•You know, I bet with as good as John McCain's luck is running, he could appear in the little black book of one of these high-end call girl scandals and he'd climb 5 points in the polls. He kind of reminds me of Steve Martin's Navin Johnson in The Jerk (truly a comedy classic!). He certainly has the same degree of natural rhythm.
•All this hoohaw about Catholics being all ga-ga about the Pope is part of the reason the church is having the problems it is. Too much is made of a simple visit by a world dignitary. You don't get any special dispensation from visiting the Pope or seeing him on TV. But these people going bonkers over the Papal visit seem to think they will. They're in for a big surprise, methinks, when their ticker stops ticking.
•Al Gore was moaning and groaning about global warming (they call it “climate change” now) again this time in London. In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Mr Gore said recent polls had found that while people rate climate change as a “serious problem,” some ranked it lower than clearing up dog mess. That was funny. I like that attitude. There may be hope yet for you humans.
•You know, on this KU basketball fan issue, this championship they won, despite being completely unbearable for a non-Jayhawk, has made a point very clear to me. Now that I am a Kansan, and more specifically a Johnson county resident, KU fans in Kansas City, Missouri and Parkville, and Platte County were realistic, believable fans. They liked their team. They cheered for their team. They good-naturedly chided fans of other rival schools. They fit in.
KU fans in Johnson County, especially ones that didn't necessarily attend the University of Kansas are completely nuts. They can't really conceive of people around them not being supportive of the University of Kansas basketball program. You tell them that you would have preferred to see KU lose to Memphis in the NCAA Championship, and these folks look at you like you just asked for the best directions to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse from the corner of 18th & Quindaro.
It doesn't register past their point of synapse. They are a funny group.
(Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Clintons are a gift that keeps on giving
Can somebody explain how Cass County can only have one voter in the Kansas City, Missouri questions on last week’s ballots? One? That there is some serious voter suppression. I'll bet that voter doesn't find a union member voting in his place after he dies.
•Is this John McCain's year or what? He is resurrected from the dead by the unexpected resurgence of an Evangelical Arkansas Republican that took out his main rival through religious rivalry. The Democrat race turns into a 15-round heavyweight bout that makes the end of Rocky II look like a bubble bath with Jennifer Aniston. Then, just when it looked like Barack Obama was going to assume control of the Democrat race, he starts a drain-circling exercise that makes Howard Dean start to think there might be hope for him yet.
•So I'm catching the Royals on TV last Friday night, being the bandwagon baseball fan that I am, and there's one out in the bottom of the first inning with nobody on-base. The Twins bunt down the third base line successfully I might add. But he doesn't bunt to advance a runner. He doesn't bunt to score a run in a suicide squeeze. He just bunts to try and get a base hit! What in the name of an old fashioned Hal McRae perpendicular-to-the-basebath second-base slide is this bunting in the first inning for a single strategy? Is this what baseball has become? Whatever happened to hitting for the alleys, extra base hits, and speed on the basepaths?
•Somebody asked me this week what these Carbon Credits are that Al Gore keeps blathering-on about. With Earth Day around the corner, I thought it appropriate to give you another reason to increase your Carbon Footprint in commemoration.
It goes something like this…Gore uses more than 20,000 Kilowatt-hours each and every month in his huge Nashville house alone. In return for burning that much coal-fired fuel, he pays the utility company a certain amount to put toward generating energy through so-called renewable means, like wind power or solar power. Conveniently, Gore himself owns companies that sell these carbon credits. So he buys these things from himself.
It's kind of like this…imagine if you are restricted by doctor's orders to consume no more than 2000 calories a day. You're a hungry, growing dude, so you pay the grocery store an additional $100 for every 1000 calories you consume over that limit. The grocery store then uses your $100 to buy more Skinny Guy meals (which you just so happen to own the franchise for), for the uber-hungry folk that eat 10 of them a day. As a result, the grocery makes money on the sale of the Skinny Guy meals, hungry people have plenty of meals to gorge themselves on, and you can exceed your 2000 calorie limit while "feeling better" about it because you are contributing to a healthier bottom line for your Skinny Guy franchise. What a racket!
•Here's one for the expense file. Did you know that since 2001, former Pres. Bill Clinton has received more of almost every benefit available to former presidents?
Their recently-released tax returns revealed that the Clintons have made $100 million since leaving the White House, but that hasn't kept Bill Clinton from taking full advantage of the publicly funded perks offered to former-presidents. In reality, his presidential retirement benefits cost taxpayers almost as much as those of the other two living former-presidents combined!
The price tag for Clinton's federal retirement allowance from 2001 through the end of this year will be a jaw-dropping $8 million! That's staggering when you consider that $5.5 million was expended for Pres. George H.W. Bush and $4 million for Jimmy Carter's during the same period.
As a matter of fact, since 2001, Pres. Clinton has received more of almost every benefit available to former presidents. His $420,000 phone bill and $3.2 million office rent both nearly surpassed the totals rung up for those purposes by Pres' Bush, Carter and the late presidents Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan combined! As a group, they spent $484,000 on telephone service and $3.8 million on rent.
I guess the Clintons are a gift that just keeps on taking.
•Ironically, the Congressional Act that ensures we pay for this stems from Missouri's own Pres. Harry Truman who led a notoriously Spartan lifestyle after leaving office. He was once quoted as declaring, “I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable, that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the presidency.”
I'm supposing the dignity of the office doesn't particularly concern Bill Clinton.
(Reach Brian at email@example.com)
Be aware: Facial hair does not denote gender
I sit here in my Memphis T-shirt as I compose this pleading for a reprieve from all this Jayhawk pomp-and-circumstance. I can't stomach a Kansas national championship. Please save us, Memphis!
•RIP Charles Carter…A.K.A. Charlton Heston. Moses went home after 84 years. He was one of the last great Hollywood conservatives…truly a nearly-dead breed given the pack of losers that carry the Hollywood political banner nowadays. The loser liberals of today want the world to remember not the firebrand advocate Heston was for civil rights in Hollywood, but instead the Alzheimer's victim that gave Michael Moore a pained “interview” on gun rights which was featured in Moore's propaganda piece, Bowling for Columbine. Moore should be tarred and feathered by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America for that interview alone. Personally, I'd be satisfied if they just slathered him in maple syrup and set him down in a grizzly bear park.
•These people who are defending Chelsea Clinton for refusing to address her mother's actions regarding the former President's infidelities while in office are out of their minds. Her mother, the Presidential candidate, wants us to believe she is smart enough to be President of the most powerful country in the world and yet she was unable to figure out that her husband was having an affair with a White House intern right up to the point that his lie was discovered courtesy of the infamous blue dress. That's just not plausible and needs to be questioned…by anyone who purports to speak for the former First Lady, as her daughter does.
•"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." That is an awesome observation on life adorning the tombstone of John Wayne.
•Sen. John McCain intends to finally meet with Secret Service officials in the coming days to accept security protection for the final several months of his campaign for the White House. McCain has said previously he doesn't want Secret Service protection, fearing it would interfere with his brand of intimate campaigning with voters.McCain also has said he'll try to last as long as he can without it.
Given that McCain is hardly perceived as an open and welcoming kind of candidate (he comes across more as the grouchy old fart in the corner house), I'd say his public perception strategy needs a little work. He's about as approachable now as a hyena with hemorrhoids.
•Also, rumor has it that Mitt Romney wholly endorses Sen. McCain's decision to forego Secret Service protection.
•Terrorists…you have lost your battle. We in the free world are conducting business. We don't have to travel on airplanes to make business happen. Thanks to fiber optics, satellite links, and the internet, the world is getting built and business is occurring despite your best efforts to thwart it. Freedom and liberty has won the terror war.
•A “man” who claims to be six months pregnant said in an interview aired by Oprah Winfrey last week that “he” always wanted to have a child and considers it a miracle. Don't believe any of this media garbage. This person is a woman…genetically. Think of “him” as the Bearded Lady in the circus, nothing more. Surgery cannot change your gender. If facial hair denotes gender, I have lots of great-great aunts that were really my great-great uncles.
•The Bush administration will waive more than 30 environmental/land-management laws to finish building nearly 500 miles of border fence along the Southwest Border by the end of the year. The move, permitted under an exemption granted by Congress, will be the most sweeping use of the administration's waiver authority since it started building the fence to curb illegal immigration. It will affect environmentally sensitive areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Are you kidding me? The Environmental Movement is being pitted against the need to control illegal immigration? Is that really what liberals want? Stop controlling the borders in order to save the habitat of the Prickly Pear Cactus? Please think about this if you were considering voting for a Democrat in November.
•The Memphis Tigers stabbed us in the heart Monday night. Missed free throws and the brain fart to not foul Sherron Collins with a 3-point lead and less than 15 seconds left. That was the biggest gift NCAA championship since Chris Webber called a timeout he didn't have. Unbelievable! I'm not going to be able to stomach all this Jayhawk crowing down here in the Golden Ghetto.
(Reach Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Operation Chaos has been around a long time
•It is kind of funny hearing all this media uproar over talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh's expressed strategy, called Operation Chaos, in which he urges Republican listeners in states which have yet to hold primaries to vote as Democrats in the primary and vote for Hillary Clinton. The strategy is to keep the Democrat nomination in question as long as possible, thus paving the road for the Republican nominee (you know who he is…we'll refer to him as He Who Will Not Be Named And Is Not A Conservative).
The big media is all a-twitter over Operation Chaos, going as far as to threaten voter fraud in Ohio. But truth be told, Operation Chaos-like activities are at least as old as I am. I grew up in Wyandotte County…traditionally Democrat Wyandotte County. If you were a Conservative in a Democrat stronghold like that, you're throwing your vote away if you register as a Republican to vote in any election. Your vote was much better used to convey dissension in the Democrat Party, which always controls Wyandotte County. I knew of many conservatives that were registered as Democrats for that reason. We were Operation Chaos before it was cool.
•A Hawaiian man with a background in nuclear physics is asking a court to stop work on the Large Hadron Collider, a gigantic atom smasher on the Franco-Swiss border that's set to start operations in May.
Walter Wagner and a colleague have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the collider project which they feel could accidentally create strange new particles that would instantly transform any matter they touched into an explosive burst of energy so powerful, it could engulf the Earth, and make a rapidly expanding black hole (a mass of gravity so dense that even light cannot escape its gravitational pull) that could consume the entire planet.
Named as defendants in the action are the U.S. Department of Energy, the Dept of Energy-owned Fermilab particle-accelerator facility near Chicago, the "Center for Nuclear Energy Research (CERN)" and the National Science Foundation.
Wagner has launched a Web site at www.lhcdefense.org where his concerns are detailed.
Most physicists say Wagner's worries are unfounded. Micro black holes would indeed be created, theoretically, but they will evaporate nearly instantly instead of combining to form larger ones.
They're probably right, and this amounts to nothing. What little I understand about colliders and black holes would barely make up one snippet of this column space, but I know it requires more energy than we can generate much less under the pressure of Al Gore's “let's-slow-it-down-in-the-name-of-global-socialism” Movement, to compress enough mass to start a black hole.
But then again….what if this guy is right? They said Einstein was nuts at first.
At any rate though, isn't this kind of lawsuit lots more interesting than some loonybird suing McDonald's because hot coffee was spilled on their lap.
•Has Barack Obama ever explained why he would have allowed his young daughters to stay with a church led by a pastor like Pastor Jeremiah Wright that curses the country they live in and utters race-based rhetoric as supposedly Jesus-inspired gospel? I could understand if he let his little girls see their “racist granny” they can't choose their family. They are what they are. But you DO choose your pastor or spiritual leader, and a parent has the responsibility to make that selection carefully. Shouldn't Obama explain that?
•Al Gore had a blathering feather-stroking exercise last week on CBS' 60 Minutes and it was enough fact-less and unchallenged junk-science to fill a Bill-Nye-The Science-Guy episode. If Al Gore wants to be taken to any level of seriousness, he needs to have his claims opposed in an open forum with experts on the other side of the debate. I would obliterate him in such a debate, and I don't know much of anything.
•They tell us we need to cut our carbon emissions (Who measures that in any reliable way? We all emit carbon every day of our lives. That's like counting eye blinks and taxing people on a per-blink basis!) to become 60% of 1990 levels by 2025 or something like that. We are a constantly growing society, physically and technologically. We're not going to stop needing computer power, cell phone power, home power… My BBQ and smoker grills are only getting bigger. BITE ME, AL GORE!
•For the record, the earth's atmosphere is only 0.038% carbon dioxide. Mankind generates only 3% of that 0.038% on our best day. When taken with doses of fact and logic, anybody can see that we aren't ALL that Al and his Global Socialism crowd would have you believe we are.
•Memphis runs UCLA out of the arena 86-72, and KU loses to Roy and UNC 84-78. Roy still cries.
(Reach Brian at email@example.com)
How about a recipe for Coyote Creole?
Alright people, we've got lots to cover this week. Let's go…
•Coyotes are moving inland. Leawood officials report that the canine marauders have taken a liking to the tony city's more delectable pets. Apparently, the 30-pound coyotes have overcome their innate fear of humans. As we venture out into the wilderness to live, some of us have done so without the comprehension that animals like coyotes are predators and we are infringing on land that they have hunted for centuries.
Some of the more ticked off Leawoodians have seen Peekapoos, Jack Russell Terriers, West Highland Terriers, and other fluffy, cutesy canines land on the dinner table of the dreaded and no-doubt highly-coiffed coyote population of Leawood.
I wonder if any of my Leawood readers would object to a Coyote Creole recipe right about now.
•So the media is making a big event (?!?) about the 4000th US military death in Iraq. Shouldn't the deaths be reported as US combat deaths in the War on Terror? Is the 4000th death somehow more relevant than the 3999th, 3998th, 3997th, etc? Or the 4001st death? Each sacrifice on the battlefield of this and all American wars means everything and stands forever as a testament to the bravery and dedication of U.S. servicemen and women because of their dedication toward the task of freedom and liberty that so many have paid into and so many more have enjoyed.
•ABC's Good Morning America (or perhaps NBC's Today or the clone morning show on CBS they all stink) had an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney in which the question was posed that polls show 60+ percent of Americans are opposed to war in Iraq. The VP responded, “So?” The interviewer and numerous liberal entities since then have been walking around with their jaws agape.
He's right. Where in the Constitution or in any of this country's founding documents is it written that we must poll the people on each and every issue under consideration by government, and much less that we must listen? Elections are the means through which the people's voices are heard. If they are not suitably heard, the next election will make the necessary correction.
Get out of my government's face with all your stinky polls.
•On Easter Sunday, a Muslim author and critic of Islamic fundamentalism was baptized a Catholic by Pope Benedict. The man now believes that he is in grave danger because of his conversion.
He's probably correct.
Apostasy in Islam is defined as the rejection of Islam in word or deed by a person who has been a Muslim. The four major Sunni and the single major Shia schools of Islam agree that a sane adult male apostate must be executed.
Some prominent contemporary examples of death sentences or threats issued for apostasy include Salman Rushdie, who was condemned to death in 1989 by Ayatollah Khomeini, for his book The Satanic Verses, and Abdul Rahman, an Afghan convert to Christianity who was arrested and jailed on the charge of rejecting Islam in 2006 but later released as mentally incompetent.
The above examples are why I am concerned about how Islam perceives Barack Obama. Do they see him as a former Muslim who left the faith?
I would say that's very significant.
•On the Obama issue, he was questioned recently regarding his extremely liberal voting record. He says he understands the criticism, but he argues that the Senate is so “ideologically polarized” one cannot avoid being placed on one side or the other. "The only votes that come up are votes that are purposely designed to divide people," he said. "It's true that if I'm presented with a series of votes like that, I'm more likely to fall left of center than right of center. But as president, I would be setting the terms of debate."
So you need a middle of the road issue to define your moderate nature? You can't be a moderate on a big ticket issue?
It seems that even Obama admits that moderates cannot make anything of themselves on the Big Political Stage because they have no big issues to get behind.
•And by the way, for the record, Barack Obama threw his (White) grandmother completely under the bus in an effort to save his skin from answering for why he allowed his daughters to be spiritually administered to by a vociferous racist that believes that (White) man intentionally infected the (Black) African man with HIV/AIDS and that the American government knew about the attacks at Pearl Harbor before they happened. Just to make the record clear.
(There’s nothing middle of the road about our Brian Kubicki. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Barack Obama as a Muslim-
Is he or isn't he?
•The political world is awash in buzzards burying their heads in a still vital Barack Obama carcass as he tries to explain his admitted spiritual adviser, Rev. Jeremiah Wright's downright racist rants delivered over the years to his congregation of enthusiastic worshipers. This is a good reason to base you vote on what a candidate stands for politically and not on who your candidate falls asleep to on Sunday morning.
•On the Obama-as-a-Muslim story floating around the internet, I truly believe that he considers himself a Christian. Yes, he was schooled for a time as a Muslim and was born of a Muslim father and raised as a young boy under a Muslim step-father. But as adults, we all determine our own religious identity. That's an essential part of the Liberty we enjoy in this country.
Here's what I want explained...if you are born of a Jewish father, you are considered Jewish regardless of what religion you may choose to practice later in life. You may call yourself by your new religion, but your parents and all others in the Jewish faith still consider you Jewish. Why, if you are born of a Muslim father and raised from a young age by a Muslim step-father, are you not Muslim regardless of the religion you may choose? Do not Muslims see Obama as Muslim? I would think that a religion with a radical wing that saws the heads off of non-believers, for no other reason than they are non-believers would have a pretty dim view of converts.
The question is not is Obama a Muslim. The relevant question is does Islam consider Obama a Muslim?
•A very wise person I am acquainted with said the following when discussing liberty and taxation and what they really mean…
The Framers of our Constitution feared the imposition of direct taxes, such as an income tax, because the imposition of taxes reduces our liberty (in the form of personal property rights). The federal income tax is probably the most outrageous example of contempt for private property rights. Yes, every American is duty-bound to pay their “share” of constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government as enumerated in Article I, Sec 8 of our Constitution. But those functions account for less than one-third of government spending. Most spending represents taking what one citizen earns and giving it to another citizen to whom it does not belong -- e.g., farm subsidies, food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and welfare, which is a form of modern day slavery.
Liberals often argue to the effect that taxes are a result of a democratic process; that spending is the result elected officials making laws in pursuit of the public good. That's fallacy. The very purpose of the Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes (changes) of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. Ones right to life, liberty and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcomes of no elections. (Words to effect posed by Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson in1943.)
Of course it would take decades to untangle the federal government mess. Some claim it would be fair if all taxpayers paid the same amount of taxes. I would be happy if all taxpayers simply paid the same rate and that rate was based on the need for the one-third of spending that it mandated by the Constitution. At least the rate would be applied equally and fairly across all taxpayers.
We may need a strong middle class but the Constitution does not mandate it. The Constitution does not attempt to guarantee prosperity, only liberty. We should not attempt to achieve it (prosperity) at the expense of liberty. Rich people have freedom and personal property rights too. In the interest of liberty, I prefer that the private sector keeps and spreads the “fertilizer” (capital) to grow the economy; not the government. You can only trade liberty for cash for so long before the bookie calls in the loan.
•Geraldine Ferraro was forced to leave the Clinton Camp after saying last week that Barack Obama is where he is because he is black. O.K. What exactly did she say that wasn't dead-on correct? If Obama were white, he would only be another young, eloquent white candidate. Why would Black America step-up to vote for a middle class white 40-something candidate who is able to recite the platitudes of Progressive Liberal America on command? They're voting for Barack Obama because he just so happens to have black-hued skin. And that's the shame of it all.
•KU stomps Portland State and Kansas State nips USC.
KU 96 PSU 68
KSU 76 USC 70
(Nip Brian via email to email@example.com)
In the midst of getting caught, Dems typically try to stay in office
It was an interesting week to say the least.
•This prostitution ring that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has gotten “caught-up” in brought to mind all the sex scandals that have reared-up over the years to drag politicians under water. Florida Representative Mark Foley-R resigned over his scandal. Sen. Larry Craig-R resigned the Senate after his scandal. Randy Cunningham-R resigned the Senate after his scandal. Rep. Bob Livingston-R resigned his position after his scandal. Beginning to see a trend here?
Let's look at the other side of the aisle. Spitzer says he's staying in office. Rep. Gary Condit-D stayed in office after his scandal which involved the disappearance and apparent murder of a young intern. He served-out his term and lost a re-election bid. Sen. Edward Kennedy-D stays in office after causing the death of a woman. Rep. Barney Frank-D stays in office after his scandal involving a young gay man running a prostitution service out of Frank's Washington apartment. Kansas AG Paul Morrison initially announced he was staying in office after his scandal, though he was later pressured to resign. And the granddaddy of them all, Bill Clinton-D, stayed in office to finish his term after being impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Why do Democrats stay in office when they get caught? Shouldn't they? I think they should. Maybe we should ask why, since Democrats don't stand down, Republicans don't start staying in office. Have our expectations for holders of public office fallen that far? Mine haven't.
•If I see another Flaccid Hootenanny (borrowed from the brilliant Dennis Miller, thank you!) singing us another tune about the wonders of Viagra from the confines of a 40-something's garage, I'm going to slap my children with a wet ShamWow.
•It's amusing watching all the Democrats rubbing their hands together in frustration over their Party's predicament in the Presidential primary. They are too close in delegate count for either side to claim a legitimate shot at victory. It has gotten so painfully strategic, that you've got Hillary running around whetting people's appetites by saying both Clinton and Obama names could appear on the same ticket carefully not mentioning whose name appears at the top in the hopes that people will actually believe she would name Obama as her running mate. Don't count of that ever happening. I would be more likely asked to pen a column for the KC Communist Star.
What nobody seems to foresee, except for Rush Limbaugh apparently, is that a woman and a black (I know, I know Obama doesn't fit the definition of a cultural black, but most of those to whom his skin color matters DO judge him as a black man, and that's what essentially matters.) appearing for the first time on a Presidential ticket on the same year will doom the election for the Democrats.
As much as we would like to admit that we are finally advanced in civilized American society to the degree that we can see a woman as President or a man of color as President, we aren't there yet if both of those extremes appear on the same ticket. There are not enough people opposing a woman to keep Hillary out of office if she goes the traditional seasoned male as her Vice President. And likewise, there are not enough racists to keep Obama out of office should he head a ticket with, say…a Bill Richardson or Joe Lieberman. But if you put those two minor electoral handicaps together, you have a recipe for defeat because then you have two disparate groups sexists and racists voting together against the Democrat candidate. Don't get me wrong, I hope they put that ticket together. It might even please me enough to hold my nose for a vote for John McCain.
•And by the way, nice to see Brett Favre could retain a shred of his dignified manhood in the face of announcing his retirement from the NFL. Note to Brett…there's a fine but clearly definable line between courageous tears and pathetic blubbering. That was nasty. Compose yourself dude.
•Alright, it's Big 12 tournament time. Everything kicks-off Thursday when everybody but Texas, Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma plays. Here's how I see it going down:
Texas Tech will nip Okie State 77-74
Baylor will pound Colorado 98-76
Nebraska will fall to MU 76-75
A&M will zip Iowa State 76-66
Texas throttles Tech 85-65
Oklahoma loses to Baylor 65-64
KU squeaks by MU 76-74
Kansas State drops A&M 87-81
Texas barely handles Baylor 75-73
Kansas State squeaks by KU 86-82
Texas slaps Kansas State 76-70
(Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
With Obama, what's in a middle name?
•Much has been said last week about the relevance of Barack Hussein Obama's middle name. Cincinnati talk radio icon Bill Cunningham was asked by the McCain campaign to warm-up the crowd prior to a McCain appearance with Conservative invective and Cunningham did exactly that, invoking Obama's Middle Eastern middle name at every opportunity. Then, John McCain made his appearance and shortly afterward met the press to admonish Cunningham's appearance and verbiage.
Aside from McCain once again undercutting Conservatives (is this guy really that stupid?) and an extremely popular conservative national media figure, I wondered about the question regarding Obama's middle name. What's in a name? Well, Islam is behind his. The “Hussein” middle name came from his Kenyan father.
Another snippet of fact you learn after a little bit of reading is that Obama's mother remarried an Indonesian man a Muslim Indonesian man, named Lolo Soetoro who played an important formative role in the young Obama's life.
Lolo Soetoro's first name meant "crazy" in Hawaiian. And he had an exotic side, which he shared with the young Obama during the years they lived in Indonesia. From Obama's autobiography, he recalls,"…with Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy)," And…. "…like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share."
For the record, Soetoro worked for the Indonesian government and later a U.S. oil company before he and Obama's mother divorced in the late 1970s. Soetoro died of a liver ailment in 1987. No word on whether the dog meat contributed to the liver problems.
So we know that a member of the Islamic faith had a formative role in this young presidential candidate's life. We know little more. All those involved are dead….except for Obama. Now I am not making any aspersions that Barack Obama is a radical Muslim in-hiding. I don't know. What I do know is adult men play a very influential role in a young man's life. Which of you men out there don't remember the principal father figure in your life from your initial awareness to the time you were in your late teens? I have no idea what was in the heart of the man who was in that role over Obama. But I do know this we are at war with a radical faction of Islam. A faction and movement that came on our soil and slaughtered 3000 Americans. Don't you think it would be important to look a little more closely at who we are placing within an arm's length of the most powerful military in the world and try a little more seriously to find out what is in his heart?
•Did you ever think you'd live to see a member of the Clinton political clan complain about media bias and be correct?
•By the way, on the Obama lineage question, do you think it would have been relevant in 1944 to raise an eyebrow of concern about a presidential candidate of Asian descent with the middle name, “Tojo?”
•I hear both sides call this war, “unpopular.” Has there ever been a popular war?
•If I see another focus group of undecided voters blathering-on about the emptiness of their political world, I am going to scream. If you haven't made up your mind about who to vote for by now, politics really isn't that important to you. Stay home and enjoy your life. And if you are of that mindset, that's totally cool. Nobody's denigrating you. Politics isn't for everybody. These focus groups that turn the little dials of approval/disapproval based on what Hillary's wearing or on how well Obama's tie is knotted are an embarrassment to the political process. Please, do yourself and your family a favor and run away fast if anybody from a TV news network approaches you with an offer to be on TV as part of a focus group.
•The Weather Channel's founder, John Coleman, told an audience at this year's International Conference on Climate Change in New York that he is highly critical of global warming alarmism. He told the audience about his strategy for exposing what he called the “fraud of global warming.” He advocated suing those who sell carbon credits, including Al Gore, which would force global warming alarmists to give a more honest account of the policies they propose. The lawsuit would get lots of media attention, and the thought is attention like that could become the vehicle to finally put some light on the enormous fraud that is global warming.
(Email Brian at email@example.com)
Please don't give up on the Princess of the Pantsuit
•With one week left before the big primaries of March 4, it is time to put my “money where my mouth is” and start my campaign to keep Hillary Clinton in the Democrat race. She seems to have lost a bit of momentum, losing about 11 straight primaries to Barack Obama. But don't give up on our dear Princess of the Pantsuit. She's not done yet.
•In the Jack Buck Memorial, “I DON'T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW” Department, common household pets at risk of self-harm are increasingly being prescribed anti-depressants because they cannot discuss problems in their lives with others.
•Some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies are making anti-depressants for animals. Last year, Eli Lilly developed a chewable anti-depressant for dogs “sweetened” with a beef flavor
Strangely enough, there was no word on whether chickens or cows are suffering from this malady in any significant numbers.
•Hillary Clinton is the answer for all our woes. If our country starts the day down, she will pick us up. If the economy starts a particular year slowly, she'll be right there to punish the top performers in the economy to right the ship. She knows right where to turn the screws. Just ask Bill.
•Do you hear that sound? Springtime is coming. The earth is slowly but surely moving into the part of its elliptical orbit around the Sun when the planet inches closer and closer to the solar system's heat and light source, causing temperatures to increase.It's a cycle that has occurred every single year of my life, and I suspect the pattern has repeated itself for billions of years.
•Did you know that if we are attacked by an enemy on U.S. soil, or at one of our interests around the world, Hillary will bring the entire force of United States diplomacy into action to seek-out those responsible and then we will sit down and find out why they hate us enough to attack? Through this shared level of compassion and understanding, our enemies will surely understand that a feather is truly mightier than a sword.
•The first thing I'm going to do when we get a day above 60 degrees is fire up the charcoal smoker and slow-smoke me a slab or two of luscious, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs. Slathered with a generous blanket of Gates and Sons BBQ sauce and served with a side of home-cooked sweet potato fries and pit-smoked beans. My springtime carbon footprint is going to be Shaq-sized in no time! I love global warming.
•Hillary has a handle on the government budget. She has managed her household finances for decades. She and the former President have never actually worked for any private enterprise in their entire professional lives (Well almost there is supposedly some law firm Hillary was working for but they're still looking for the records), and she's managed to spin their portfolio well into the seven figure range. Hillary knows money.
•Here's your springtime physics tip of the week. For those of us worried about winter weight gain and how we're going to shed those pounds gained during the inactive cold winter months, take note of where your bathroom scale is. Well, more specifically, note what surface you place the scale on when you step on it. If you rest your scale on a carpeted floor before standing on it, you will be as much as 10 pounds heavier than you really are. Most bathroom scales should be placed on a hard tile floor instead of a soft, cushy floor. The reason is the soft floor also gives some under the force imparted by your body on the scale, and the scale is fooled into thinking you're actually a bit heavier. Try it. Shed 10 pounds in a really easy way.
The logic behind this seeming Hillary craziness is that we Republicans need to keep Hillary in the race competing with Obama right up to the time of the Democrat Convention. Remember, history tells us that brokered conventions mean victory for the other side. Eyes on the prize people…eyes on the prize.
•The Big 12 regular season is winding into its last week and the order of finish is coming into view. Texas is red hot and likely on its way to a No. 1 seed. Kansas State is stumbling toward the finish line hoping they can avoid playing their way out of the NCAA Tournament. Kansas is wondering who their go-to guy is going to be.
KU will stumble Saturday night to an angry Kansas State team. There will be a suicide hotline active for family pets in Lawrence late Saturday Night. KSU 88 KU 75. Texas rolls Texas Tech in Lubbock 94-81, OU topples A&M 65-62, and Baylor rolls MU 85-62.
(Reach Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tough Democrat fight means McCain may not need conservatives
Adventure pilot Steve Fossett was officially declared dead last week. If you'll recall, Fossett was on a pleasure flight when he vanished last summer. Dozens of planes and helicopters spent more than a month searching the rugged western Nevada mountains before the effort was called off as winter approached. The search area covered 20,000 square miles and about 15 to 20 private planes have vanished in the area since 1950.Amazingly, wreckage was found in 2005 in Kings Canyon National Park from a plane that went down during World War II.
How can it be that a world-renowned pilot who has the most advanced equipment at his fingertips could crash in a private plane and not be found? Do you need any other evidence that this planet we live on is way more vast and expansive than the environmentalists would like to believe?
•The USDA ordered the nation's largest beef recall this week. Apparently spurred by complaints of animal cruelty by animal rights activists, 143 million pounds of frozen beef that came from a California slaughterhouse was recalled from store shelves. Now the media is trying to fan the flames by hypothesizing that some of the meat went to school lunch programs.
At any rate, there is no threat of any disease or actual evidence of tainted meat. What appears to have happened is some cattle were “mistreated,” at least as animal rights activists like to define it, while in line to be slaughtered and rendered into Wednesday's Anonymous Meat Surprise at Benjamin Banneker Elementary in Anytown, U.S.A.
Now how exactly do you mistreat an animal in-line to have its lips become a hot dog? Apparently, if the beast falls down, due to weakness, being tripped by the cow-bully of the herd, or just to take a break, you have to let it get up under its own power. If you don't, taking a chain saw to the bovine's noggin might apparently make the cow feel bad. And a cow with bad feelings apparently is a threat to our dietary safety.
Is it a sign that our priorities are out of kilter when we allow PETA anywhere within 100 yards of a meat packing house? C'mon people!?
•These stand-for-nothing and dance-around-the-Maypole-with-the-Democrats moderates that are telling conservatives who are still protesting the John McCain apparent nomination to the Republican side of the Presidential race need to sit back down and wait for someone to call for their opinion.
John McCain isn't being hit daily by conservatives because conservatives are spoiled or mad or being unreasonable. John McCain is being hit daily like a Great White Shark hitting Ted Kennedy in a big giant floating inner tube because McCain made a career for himself over the past several years stabbing the conservative movement in the back.
This isn't like Bob Dole, who remained consistent to his politics and was largely responsible for stopping the attempted Clinton takeover of our health care system and, it should be noted, Dole did that from his role as the minority leader of the Senate.
John McCain stepped-in when his party was about to exercise a voter-endorsed and earned rule change that would have allowed them to stop filibusters, and he brokered a deal with other moderates to get a few judges voted on but not all judges, while allowing the other party to continue stalling to prevent voter-endorsed legislative majorities from enacting their power. John McCain undercut his own party on a very important issue.
John McCain failed to support tax cuts on the people in our society that pay most of the taxes in the first place. That issue is at the core of the Republican Party and conservatism in general.
McCain is going to get the party's nomination. But he is going to have to work very hard for the support of the conservative wing of the Republican Party. He has more than earned that Scarlett Letter.
•Isn't it interesting to recall that the last two times a political party entered their nominating convention without a clear nominee, the Democrats in 1968 and the Republicans in 1976, that party lost the election. The last time I watched CNN, they indicated that even if Obama wins primaries and caucuses in the remaining states, he will not have enough delegates to win the nomination outright. No matter what happens, it appears the Democrats have a brokered convention on their hands and controversy because the DNC has threatened to not seat the delegations from Florida and Michigan as punishment for their breaking ranks when holding their primaries.
John McCain might not need the conservatives after all.
(Parallax Look is always an entertaining tussle. Email the columnist at email@example.com)
Environmental activism has actually killed people
Now that I'm almost completely recovered from the gaping wound to my political self, inflicted last week by the results of Super Tuesday, I am fascinated by the split in the Conservative base of the Republican Party that Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney clarified.
In one corner, you have the Evangelicals that support Huckabee. Religion in politics is very important to this group of voters, and they do not like Mormons for some reason. That religious angst does not appear to apply to other protestant religions.
In the opposing Romney corner, you have the rock-ribbed Conservatives that hold all the principled ideas, but they do not appear to care whether their candidate is a Mormon, and they seem to really adhere to the fiscally conservative approach to government.
I think the wiser approach would be to sew up the Evangelicals first, if you are a Mormon. Then go bring the others into the flock.
•There is something either awe-inspiring or downright fitting about Mike Huckabee in the knowledge that he once enjoyed squirrel as a part of his daily diet. I want to see his favorite squirrel recipe.
•There's something about John McCain's message to the Conservative base that hates his guts that doesn't ring right. At the CPAC convention last week, McCain said something to the effect of, “…I realize I was wrong with McCain/Kennedy (his amnesty bill that failed last year)…you spoke to me. I got the message. We are going to FIRST control the border…”
Now, if I'm not mistaken, that's not the entire message. The message was that we (the American people) do not want amnesty for those that are here illegally now. McCain's Clinton-esque message seems to be that he'll enforce the border and then allow all those 12-15 million now here illegally to stay here. If this is how McCain is going to try to bring us Conservatives on-board, he better go back to the drawing board.
•This whole steroids/Roger Clemens thing is getting kind of fascinating. Why is he fighting this so hard? He just seems to be digging himself deeper and deeper into a dirt bunker surrounded by tunneling rats eager for a taste of HGH.
•Doggone it's cold outside! I've been BBQ'ing with live charcoal outside almost every night, but my efforts to increase my carbon footprint don't seem to be working. Do you suppose all this global warming hysteria is just a myth.
•By the way, while we are on that topic, did you know that environmental activism has actually killed people? You see, back when liberals started the environmental whacko movement in the 1970's they found a study that found if you bathe a laboratory rat every night for a year in DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane), a chemical that works really well as an insecticide, the animal develops cancer. So the EPA banned use of the chemical in the U.S. Never mind the fact that nobody bathes themselves even for a night in any insecticide. They banned it. So now we have a wide variety of bug-killers that we can take a bath in, but the bugs gargle with it and resume their forays into our homes and beds.
The lethal part of this story is that in other, poorer, undeveloped parts of the world, like Africa, insects are lethal to humans. Mosquitos particularly carry Malaria which has devastated Africa for hundreds of years. DDT is very effective against mosquitos.“No problem,” environmentalists say, “just make DDT for them. Well, with no market in the U.S. for DDT, it is not economically feasible to make it in small quantities, so Africa does without. Estimates put the number of deaths as low as hundreds of thousands and as high as 20 million, many of those being children. That's a hell of a price to ask Africa to pay for being “environmentally conscious.”
•R.I.P Roy Scheider. Now, as soon as The Uber-Liberal Richard Dreyfuss kicks the bucket, Heaven can start rolling with the Celestial re-make of Jaws.
•Wow! Kansas just dropped another game, to Texas in Austin. Now Kansas State has their fate solely in their own hands. They've got to handle Bob Knight's son's Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock Wednesday night (I'll either be a brilliant prognosticator or an incredible doofus by the time you read this, that's the trials of newsprint), and that is a big question mark. But if K-State stays with 1 loss in conference until March 1, they will have Kansas playing for a tie and a tie-breaker will decide the regular season champion. Predictions: KSU 75 TTech 68; KSU 85 MU 62; KU 100 CU 50.
(Reach Brian Kubicki via email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emanuel Cleaver is worried about the polar bears
Let it be understood with the utmost clarity; I will vote for Hillary (GULP!) Clinton before I will vote for John McCain. There…I said it.
•This is from John McCain's website on the subject of the environment: “He has offered common sense approaches to limit carbon emissions by harnessing market forces that will bring advanced technologies, such as nuclear energy, to the market faster, reduce our dependence on foreign supplies of energy, and see to it that America leads in a way that ensures all nations do their rightful share.”
Do our rightful share of what? I hate limp-wristed political moderates that have no ability or will to stand-up to junk science and political propaganda and face it down with facts and fervor.
•For your science minute: will an airplane or a jet set upon a treadmill-like device that moves at the same speed as the wheels, just in the opposite direction, eventually take-off?
Think about it carefully. I'll give you the answer next week.
•Why does this election for president need to consist of a debate and race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney? Because those two are the most intelligent candidates in the race, on both sides, and a presidential election hasn't had truly intellectual debate by persons capable of doing so in more than 100 years.
•Rambo is worth it. I'll admit that my interest was more in closing the circle on the Rambo story than anything else, but I must admit, this one was thought-provoking on a number of levels. Anti-war at all costs was faced with the reality of warfare in a savage world. I would avoid seeing it on a full stomach though. Think of the opening 15 minutes of Saving Private Ryan and extend it over the entire second half of the movie. I like that kind of stuff, but they used a LOT of cherry cobbler for this one.
•Congressman Emanuel Cleaver worries about what melting ice caps mean for the polar bear. Cleaver, who has been a member of the House committee on global warming for about a year, says the plight of the bears has meaning beyond the ice caps whatever that means.
Cleaver is co-sponsoring a bill to protect a known polar bear habitat. The measure would prevent the government from opening up nearly 30 million acres in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska for oil and gas drilling. OH SHUT UP!
Republican Rep. Don Young, Alaska's sole congressman, opposes any delay in accessing this valuable storehouse of much-needed oil and gas. I agree with him. And what is an inner-city reverend-turned congressman from the city of Kansas City, Missouri doing trying to preach to an Alaskan about what should be done with the resources in his state?
Shut up, Emanuel. Look after your constituents and keep your nose out of polar bears. They're too white for your interests anyway.
•Now, to explain my opening statement a bit, I would vote for Hillary Clinton before I would vote for John McCain. It's not that I agree with her positions more than I agree with John McCain's. I don't. If Hillary were given the reins of government, she would steer it into oncoming traffic like a schizophrenic paraplegic having an epileptic seizure behind the wheel. But a vote for John McCain is rewarding someone who stabbed his own party in the back on many, many occasions over the past 20 years. It would also ensure that a sitting senator would win a presidential election for the first time in almost 50 years. It hasn't happened in 50 years for a reason.
•Texas Tech coach Bob Knight stepped down this week unexpectedly. I love the style around the way he did it. Knight was anything if not wholly dedicated to doing what the media did not want him to. College basketball lost a great coach and an era of basketball went with him.
•How 'bout that pick of the Kansas State upset over UK last week…pretty impressive huh? Notice how I avoided predicting the subsequent KSU loss? I saw a chance for it. This Kansas State team is too young, and the coaching staff too inexperienced not to fall in an obvious letdown situation.
This Saturday Texas will drop a nail-biter to Iowa State in Ames; ISU 86 UT 85.
(Brian Kubicki voting for Hillary Clinton? Your Landmark leaders would have to see that to believe that. . . Email any Hillary thoughts you may have to Brian at email@example.com)
Bush is first president who 'got it' about Middle East
President Bush gave his final State of the Union Address Monday night and for all intents and purposes, he was closing the book on his two terms in office and in doing so, trying to take a final swipe at critics (albeit with a very soft glove) in the Democrat Party that made it the core of their political reclamation project to take a genuinely nice man and kick him in the stomach constantly for 6 years.
I have disagreed with the moderate conservative, George W. Bush, in many ways. But he was a genial and decent human being through the entirety of his tenure in office. He never took backhanded swipes at his political opponents the way his political opponents did to him. He deserved better. The Office of the President of the United States deserved better. Any human deserved better.
The Democrat Party devised a strategy for regaining political power by taking a war that was a tough battle to wage and then they used that tribulation as a tool for criticizing each and every thing the President did on every single issue, every single day. If it rained, it was George Bush's fault. If the sun shined on a particular day, it was too hot and that was George Bush's fault.
That putrid strategy was seen as the ridiculous ploy that it was by the base of the Republican Party, but it worked with those millions that don't pay much attention to politics, and those folks listen to the big established media, and in concert with the Democrat Party, turned the tides against the Republican Party and the President….but was it worth the cost?
•Repeat after me: “The earth's atmosphere is getting slightly warmer. Mankind is NOT the cause. The earth's atmosphere is only 0.038% carbon dioxide. Of that tiny quantity, man is responsible for only 3% of carbon dioxide emissions.”
Everybody needs a refresher on the truth these days.
If man was this great influence on the environment, why can't we humans, in our densest concentration of population the big cities like New York and Los Angeles why can't we even change the local weather with human activities? When it is cold in upstate New York, it is just as cold in Downtown Manhattan. Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?
•As I write this, John McCain and Mitt Romney are polling neck-and-neck the night before Florida's winner-take-all primary. By the time you read this, something significant is going to happen in the Presidential race on the Republican side. Here are my predictions:
Mitt Romney wins Florida by at least 6 percentage points.
Mike Huckabee all but withdraws from the race.
John McCain goes nuts a-la Howard Dean in the 2004 primaries.
Rudy Giuliani withdraws officially from the race.
This will be interesting to watch.
•When the dust of the George W. Bush era settles and history looks back on his presidency and this era, I predict Bush will be viewed as the first American President that truly “got it” regarding the Middle East and Radical Islamist terrorism. Somebody mark this down and look back at it in about 10 or 15 years. Pat me on the back if you see me.
·However the Democrat primaries are settled, I cannot see Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton making nice once a nominee is determined. Somehow, I've got a feeling that the timeworn adage, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is going to be relevant. Watch for it. If Hillary Clinton loses this race, she's gonna snap like a rubber band. And that's not an anti-woman observation. It's just this particular woman. She thinks she's owed this.
Her meltdown is going to be legendary.
•The KU at K-State tilt is upon us (and will be history by the time you read this) and if there was ever a year that the Wildcats were prepped for an upset victory, it is this one. The game is in Manhattan. The Wildcats are stocked with firepower, including the nation's best player in Michael Beasley. K-State coach Frank Martin is showing the Big 12 and the nation that he actually can coach college basketball. Finally, undefeated Kansas has everything to lose and Kansas State has nothing to lose. If they drop the game to the Jayhawks, they were supposed to. They can go on and still have an incredible season. Kansas is trying to sustain an undefeated record, and they are doing so in an unfriendly venue. I've got to go with K-State in a memorable game: KSU 86 KU 78.
The rest of the Big 12 doesn't matter. I'm either going to be hung-over for a week or will be spending a few days in a soft room with no shoelaces.
(Reach Brian Kubicki via email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Have we met the goals set by Martin Luther King?
As this column is being composed, Dr. Martin Luther King Day is winding to a close. Have we met the watermarks Dr. King outlined as our goals for establishing equality in his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech? Let's check:
One of the more relevant sections of the speech went as follows:
“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only."* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹
“…We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality...”
I'd say Rodney King showed that one has been achieved. Actually, the LA Riots indicated that the reverse may now be a problem.
"…When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities…”
I think we've pretty clearly got that one licked.
“…We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one…”
That one's clearly gone the way of the Styrofoam Big Mac container.
“…We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: 'For Whites Only'...”
No debating that one. As a matter of fact, there are laws out there, called Affirmative Action, that ensure people with white skin are excluded from opportunities in business and education.
“…We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote…”
We've got them all pegged. If one violates any one of those principles in this country, that person is in serious legal trouble.
So when can we stop Affirmative Action?
•And why is Barack Obama referred to as a “black” presidential candidate? His lineage is Kenyan (his father) and American (his mother). If you refer to him as black, aren't you dismissing his white lineage? And the fact is his father wasn't even active in his son's life. He visited him one time through his entire childhood. Obama was raised in the middle class neighborhood and was parented by his mother. Referring to him as a black candidate is a stretch. Referring to any candidate according to the color of their skin is just dumb.
•Why is anything the husband or wife of a Presidential candidate says in favor of their spouse not summarily dismissed the moment they are uttered? Bill Clinton is blathering on non-stop day-after-day about what a wonderful woman and candidate Hillary is. The Big Media is drooling in awe at every word that drips from his completely untrustworthy maw. Do you envision a scenario where Bill Clinton would publicly say something negative about Hillary? Of course not. No candidate's spouse would. So if he would never say anything negative about her, why should we believe him if he's saying something positive?
Never mind the fact that ANYTHING Bill Clinton says has to be mistrusted at its face. If they will lie to you once, why wouldn't he do it again?
•If you want to correct an ill among black society, try these facts on for size:
Did you know?
•Over 1,200 black babies die in the United States every day. One out of every three pregnancies in the black community ends in abortion. The birth rate of African Americans is smaller than the death rate.
•Black women have 36% of all abortions in the U.S. but represent only 13% of the population.
•The abortion rate for black women is 3 times that of white women. African American women abort at a rate of 529 per 1,000 live births, while white women abort at a rate of 177 per 1,000 live births. The rate is even greater for married women. Married black women are almost 5 times more likely to abort than married white women.
33% of the black population has been voluntarily eliminated from existence by their own parents. That fact is staggering. It pales in comparison to anything Dr. King asked for.
•On a cheerier note, didn't I tell you Kansas State was going to challenge Kansas for the Big 12 Title? You thought I was nuts didn't you? C'mon, you know you did.
All the favorites win and cover. The matchups this weekend are too boring to go into.
(Our Parallax Looker is never boring. Email him at email@example.com)
Why women should love the
workings of Parallax Look
•I'm pooped. Moving is hard work. And you'll be glad to know (or sad to know in the case of some of the women in the gallery, apparently) that I changed the power wire on our electric clothes dryer from a 3-wire plug to a 4-wire one and nary an amp ran through me, and the dryer works perfectly.
•The San Diego Chargers are going to beat the Patriots this Sunday if they throw screen passes to Darren Sproles. He is too quick and too low to the ground to be consistently stopped.
•A birdie told me that some of the ladies in the reading audience are perturbed at my occasional tugs at the biological differences that define our gender distinctions. In fact, some have accused me of being anti-woman!
•The Green Bay Packers are unstoppable in the snow at Lambeau. Mark that one down, if for no other reason than it rhymes.
•Now that idea (that I am anti-woman) is just plain silly. I love women. Where else will you read that the abortion issue hinges on men stepping up and taking responsibility for the outcome of their reproductive powers, and to stop dumping the question in the laps of the ladies?
•Like clockwork, when the calendar turns, the fad diets come out of the woodwork like a fat talk radio worker with a diet endorsement that just so happens to be the same company as the actual diet they are on. Figure that! Here's all the diet advice you need: only eat when you are REALLY hungry, and only eat until you are NOT HUNGRY any more. Trust me, it works.
•I have finally figured out who needs to get the Republican nomination for President in 2008. The only candidate on the Republican side that is continually derided by the Big Media is the candidate liberals do not want to win. And that is the candidate all Republicans should want to win. That candidate is Mitt Romney. This dude is continually run down by every single story you find, every news radio update, and every snippet poll magically tries to make Romney's climb to the nomination a little bit steeper. Romney's definitely the guy.
•Back to the women…Do you find any columnists in The KC Star that decry men for our dereliction of duty in teaching our sons responsibility instead of slapping them on the back and shoving a pack of condoms in their pockets while placing a chastity belt on our daughter? Who says that? I have for years.
•It's kind of fun in a voyeuristic manner to watch Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama hammer away on each other. The joy of watching political enemies exchange flaming bags of poop is unique and doesn't recur every year. Savor it while you can.
•Anti-woman?!? Show me where the NY Times champions the rights of women on Death Row by demanding that they be executed in equal proportion to men? You've heard that from me.
•That Geico commercial with Peter Frampton in the background on the talk-box is awesome.
•And women are every bit as wrong as men if they believe that mankind causes global warming. But if any of you think I am giving women the short end of the stick, drop me a line and call me out for it. I promise I'll be nice, every time.
•Truth be told, if I am a bit tough on the ladies at times, it is directed only at the ones who put themselves in the public eye and then fail to set an example for advancing the status of women in the modern world. Hell, women weren't voting 100 years ago. That's a heck of a disadvantage to start out under. Progress takes time.
•Well, I was 2 out of 3 in my Big 12 basketball picks. Not bad for a first week. Missouri showed that Texas can lose their focus. Kansas State showed that they can score with the best of them. Nebraska showed that the old hex they used to have over Kansas has long since uttered its last breath.
Texas A&M loses to Kansas State for no other reason than their coach, Rat Turgeon, is more of a rat, genetically, than even Mike Shanahan is. Kansas State 94 A&M 86
Kansas will pummel Missouri. KU 103 MU 56
No other weekend games merit a sideways glance.
Now go and open the door for the first woman you encounter tomorrow. Chivalry is not dead. Chivalry lives in me!
(Both genders are free to email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here's hoping both parties fail to name a nominee at convention
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's Holiday and the coming 2008 is the best year of your life.
The New Year has left me as scatter-brained as Brittney Spears addressing a convention of brain surgeons. Please bear with me.
•I hope both political parties fail to name a nominee for president when the conventions roll around in the summer. My generation needs to see uproar on presidential election convention floors.
•News out of Singapore says that male macaque monkeys “pay for sex by grooming females” suggesting that primates may treat sex as a commodity.
They are saying, "In primate societies, grooming is the underlying fabric of it all…it is a sign of friendship and family, and it's also something that can be exchanged for sexual services."
Do monkeys seek sex? Monkeys are animals. Animals seek sex because sex feels good. That is why sex feels good…so we will have it and survive as a life form. In lower forms of life, like monkeys are, the species exists because sex feels good. Humans survive because you and I understand innately that while sex delivers pleasure, it also ensures the survival of the species through its use.
Researchers are stoopid!
•We have moved our base of operations for The Parallax Look from unincorporated Platte County to Shawnee in Johnson County. This is our second move since we started buying homes, and prior to that, we rented domiciles in no less than five different locales. So I have a base of experience behind this observation.
Women move differently than men do.
We had all our clothes in these wonderful inventions called “garment boxes.” Simply transfer the hangered clothes to a box and then open the box in your closet and hang the clothes up. I hung up 21 years of collective clothing organized mind you…shirts in one area and pants in another…in about 20 minutes. My wife is still hanging clothes, almost a week later. Some folks are termed, “clothes horses,” she is a “clothes cattle drive.”
Gotta admit though…SHE LOOKS GOOOOOD!
•I have to chuckle at these folks who get soooo worked-up when people criticize their favorite candidate for president. The Ron Paul supporters take the cake with their tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories that are so outrageous they make an Art Bell radio show worthy of CSPAN coverage. The Huckabillies are new to the party of nutbags, and they take criticism of their guy as akin to spitting on a Jesus statue.
It's O.K. folks. I am probably going to vote for Mitt Romney. But I will admit now that I will vote for any Republican that gets the nomination even if it's Ron Paul. Democrats stand for dangerous ideas. The last Democrat to hold the office of the president let Osama bin Laden slip right through his intern-soaked fingers.
•Now that Mike Solari and the remnants of the Vermeil Era--an era that won more games than Herm Edwards' Jets, I should note--are gone with the wind, the Chiefs essentially blamed their atrocious performance in 2007 on an inexperienced offensive coordinator. I don't think giving up 25 points a game in your last 9 games indicates a problem with your offense Herm. Very few offenses in the NFL (3 this season out of 32) score more than 25 points in a game. Your defense, why you were hired, sucks. That's what the numbers say.
•Hillary Clinton turned the female emotion faucets on this week when addressing a group of women she let her guard down. Her voice breaking and tears in her eyes, she said, "You know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political it's not just public. I see what's happening, and we have to reverse it."
Afterwards, a young woman told ABC News that she was glad Clinton showed emotion.
"She allowed herself to feel," she said. "I was surprised and I said, 'wow there's someone there.'"
Another woman in the group said she, like most of the people in the group, had been considering Obama. But after seeing Clinton become emotional, she said she was going to vote for Clinton.
"Her whole thing today really convinced me but that really did clinch it for me. She's very impressive."
You've got to be kidding me! This is how some people base their vote? On crying? Not “How would you approach new taxes” or “What would your capital gain tax rate be?”
Hell, why not just give the nomination to Paris Hilton and call it a day? Women!
•Has Obama claimed name recognition benefits, to his credit as a presidential candidate, that occur because Osama has become almost a household word? If so, how weird is that?
•Big 12 Conference basketball is here! Finally, March Madness is within sight.
This weekend's slate: (only the intriguing games)
Texas gets nipped at Missouri…76-73
Kansas State gets snappy in Norman…KSU 85 OU 83
Kansas gets shocked in Lincoln…NU 68 KU 66
(No matter his base of operations, Brian Kubicki’s Parallax Look will continue to be found here. Email him at email@example.com)
What makes people think Clark Hunt will be like Jerry Jones?
Well, 2007 is creaking to an end and so have the Chiefs. Their 4-12 record ensures them a high draft pick and an easier schedule next year. Based on how the team closed-out the 2007 season, with a record 9 straight losses, I'm not sure that's going to matter much unless lots of changes are made. This team has way more needs and questions than a high draft pick and an easier schedule will be able to fix. There's still a question about the quarterback. They got to see lots of Brodie Croyle this season, but he seems fragile and throws more interceptions than touchdowns. Herm Edwards seems to like Croyle, though I'm not really sure why. I'm getting a distinct Steve Fuller-esque vibe from Croyle.
It is going to be fun watching all the caterwauling in the media in the coming weeks when there is no word that Carl Peterson has been fired from his job by Chiefs' owner Clark Hunt. Why anybody thinks Clark is more of a Jerry Jones or Al Davis than a Lamar Hunt is a mystery. Everything we've seen of Clark Hunt up to now has been about as bland as bland can be. In fact, Clark Hunt is so vanilla he makes his father look like a disco pimp.
•Why is the writers' strike so paralyzing the entertainment industry? Why is a non-union replacement writer so hard to find? It's not like an airline pilots' strike or a brain surgeon strike. Those I could see as hard to replace. But writers are a dime-a-dozen.
•Have five straight weekends of snow and/or ice shoveling convinced you yet that global warming is not as big a deal as Al Gore wants you to believe?
•By the way, I heard Rush Limbaugh reading my “carbon dioxide represents only 38 thousandths of one percent of the total atmosphere” argument on his show last week. Well, I didn't INVENT the stat but I'm the first person around here bring it up.
•If Rush starts describing how ants have a larger impact on the global environment than mankind does, I'll be convinced he's reading The Landmark's website.
•This Bear Grylls guy who fronts the Man vs. wild show on The Discovery Channel is absolutely nuts! I saw him on a show last week drink water from one of the stomachs of a dead camel and actually squeeze water from the partially digested vegetation in another one of the camel's stomachs into his mouth. Damn! I realize he was crossing the Sahara Desert, but squeezing water from a pre-turd??!!??
•The primaries are starting this week. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are busy kicking each other in the shins while the Republicans are engaged in a tag-team death match that won't let anyone take the lead.
•As I predicted, Christmas has faded to memory and so has Mike Huckabee's insurmountable lead in the polls. It's hard to be religious when you have to pay so much money after Christmas.
•I love the fact that politics has invaded the holiday season with these early primaries. You gotta love the competition between the candidates for political power. I'm not sure I like them being all stacked-up though. People don't get a chance to really look at the candidates when it all happens this fast. Also, the stupid people and those that don't pay much attention to politics are even more susceptible to glitz and flash that they otherwise would be when they have more time to absorb the campaigns.
•This is my last column penned as a Missouri resident. Next week's column will begin from the plains of Kansas. Nothing much will change beyond that.
By the way, did I ever mention that when I first moved to Missouri and Platte County in 1991, much of the county and state was under Democrat control? It isn't now. You people don't let that change. Things are going pretty good in the county and state now. I'm depending on you.
•Did you notice what's been happening in Kansas since I set a closing date for my move to the state? Paul Morrison has politically gone “tits-up” and the Democrat governor is getting itchy under the collar. I don't know what it is exactly, but when I get close to Democrats, they start combusting. I feel like Drew Barrymore in Firestarter.
•The Big 12 basketball order of finish is going to go down like this:
12. Colorado new coach; new system. 11. Oklahoma State new coach; old system. 10. Texas Tech old coach; new players. 9.Oklahoma new coach; getting better 8.Iowa State new coach; getting better. 7.Nebraska new coach; getting better. 6. Missouri new coach; getting a lot better. 5. Texas A&M new coach; some good talent. 4.Baylor 2nd most surprising team in the conference. 3.Texas always with talent; always close. 2.Kansas ties with upstart Kansas State; loses title through tie-breaker. 1. Kansas State too much talent; WAY too much talent.
•I hope your 2008 is as healthy and happy as it can be. I cherish each and every one of my loyal readers and cherish their occasional input, especially from the ones that disagree with me. Happy New Year!
(A weekly look from a Parallax point of view can only be found in The Landmark. Reach Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more 2007 Columns