What? What about The Sopranos?
Yes, it was a very good and groundbreaking series and was utterly fantastic for about 3 seasons. Then, it went downhill with ridiculous story lines, gaps between seasons that you could easily fill with the disco era and a series finale that was a cop-out of the highest order. The Shield did not fall into any of these traps. It was solid for seven seasons and the ending was absolutely perfect, both surprising and poignant rivaling that of No Country For Old Men.
Notre Dame is now at the same crossroads and needs to embrace its roots. Call Hank Paulsen and get the money to buy out Charlie Weis (who should return to the NFL) and hire a good college coach to lead the team back to prominence, but also realize that it ain't the 20th century anymore. College Football now has quite a bit of parity that it didn't have in the days when Notre Dame and Nebraska ruled the world. Both these teams can come back, but it'll never be like the old days.
But to me the real story today was a sort of star-is-born story with the young man you see pictured. Ndamukong Suh returned an interception for a touchdown late to put the game out of reach. Suh was a monster in this game and had a big year for the Huskers. With another year at Nebraska, pro scouts will be watching him very closely in 2009.
Drunk women who stagger about in high heels are to be protected - at public expense - from twisting their ankles.
They will be handed flip-flops to wear by police outside nightclubs as they wend their way home.
The scheme is part of a £30,000 drive by police and councillors to prevent 'alcohol-related harm'.
It has been prompted by fears that women wearing stilettos or similar footwear could tumble over.
The rubber shoes, which carry printed messages about safe drinking, will also be available free from the council's 'Safe Bus' on the harbourside...
Inspector Adrian Leisk, from Safer Communities Torbay, said: 'Sometimes people get drunk and you see them carrying footwear which is inappropriate.
'The emphasis is on providing replacement footwear for people to get home in, should they find their footwear uncomfortable, inappropriate or soiled.'
On this American holiday, I find there is much to be thankful for. Good job, good health, family, friends. When the world seems like it's spinning out of control, you have to look at the little things. In the little things you find what truly matters.
Unless of course it's not about curing disease but instead about the acquisition of power. I know, I know, give hope and change a chance.
Now the Czech Republic is about to assume the rotating presidency of the European Union and there is palpable fear that Mr. Klaus will embarrass the world's biggest trading bloc and complicate its efforts to address the economic crisis and expand its powers. His role in the Czech Republic is largely ceremonial, but he remains a powerful force here, has devotees throughout Europe and delights in basking in the spotlight.
"Oh God, Vaclav Klaus will come next," read a recent headline in the Austrian daily Die Presse, in an article anticipating the havoc he could wreak in a union of 470 million people already divided over its future direction.
I thought Europe embraced diverse ideas? My bad.
An economist by training and a free marketeer by ideology, Mr. Klaus has criticized the course set by the union's departing leader, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France. The ambitious Mr. Sarkozy has used France's European Union presidency to push an agenda that includes broader and more coordinated regulation by the largest economies to tame the worst of the market’s excesses.
Even those who worry about Mr. Klaus's potential role as a spoiler concede that his influence over policy in the European Union will be circumscribed, given his largely symbolic functions as president in the Czech Republic.
But Mr. Klaus's sheer will and inflammatory talk - the eminent British historian Timothy Garton Ash once called him "one of the rudest men I have ever met" - are likely to have some impact.
"Klaus is a provocateur who will twist his arguments to get attention," said Jiri Pehe, a former adviser to Vaclav Havel, Mr. Klaus's rival and predecessor as president.
To supporters, Mr. Klaus is a brave, lone crusader, a defender of liberty, the only European leader in the mold of the formidable Margaret Thatcher. (Aides say Mr. Klaus has a photo of the former British prime minister in his office near his desk.)
To his many critics, he is a cynical populist, a hardheaded pragmatist long known as a foil to Mr. Havel, the philosopher-dreamer, and a troublemaker.
Mr. Klaus declined to be interviewed for this article. His office called a list of proposed questions "peculiar."
To say the least, I'm sure.
But his ideas about governance are out of step with many of the European Union nations that his country will lead starting Jan. 1.
While even many of the world's most ardent free marketeers acknowledged the need for the recent coordinated bailout of European banks, Mr. Klaus lambasted it as irresponsible protectionism. He blamed too much - rather than too little - regulation for the crisis.
A fervent critic of the environmental movement, he has called global warming a dangerous "myth," arguing that the fight against climate change threatens economic growth.
A dying breed, to say the least.
A lot of folks are getting excited about this and see it as another sign of the all too prominent expiration date Obama seems to have on all of the issues. For me, it's a little early for I told you so's. Let's wait until the inauguration before we get too excited, but it is fun to see the Kos Kidz and others on the Left freaking out.
The best right-wing blog couldn't make this up. There is a need to send some folks to Zimbabwe to see how many people Mugabe is starving. The Will Rogers of Africa, Nelson Mandela, who never met a dictator he didn't like, says Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan should go. For those not attuned to events of the last 30 years, G-d took six days and six nights to create the universe, and on the seventh day he vomited and out came Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan. So, getting back to the action, as these two geniuses rang the doorbell, Mugabe slammed the door on their faces.
Don't you love international diplomacy?
Gateway Pundit has a rundown of the blogs celebrating this day.
MORE: Extensive coverage at Zombietime.
Now I know what a lot of you are thinking...this is pure paranoia on my part. Well, let me explain. Yesterday, there was an article in Salon by Alex Koppelman saying that worries on the Right about the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine were bogus and that there's little evidence it will happen. His first mistake is taking Obama at his word, but that's another discussion. What people need to realize is that I and many others are thinking long-term. Unlike the unhinged Bush-haters who have been expecting President Bush to declare martial law at any minute and establish a dictatorship, we don't have those same fears with Obama. The new president is not going to establish gulags or eliminate voting, but he and his cohorts have policies that lay the groundwork for a rollback of freedom in the future. You start with talk about what the government should be able to do with the First and Second Amendments, you let it permeate in the pop culture. You make a small move, establish a few edicts, hope for a few Supreme Court cases that go your way (can you say Kelo) and let it simmer and slowly build to a boil. No, Barack Obama will not be the first American dictator. He will leave office in 4 to 8 years like all the others, but he will have laid the groundwork that makes it easier for a future successor that can stick around much, much longer. Maybe not in my lifetime, but down the road. It's easy to say, "Hey, I'll be dead, who cares?" but some of us just aren't that nearsighted.
(Note: To be most effective, it's best to imagine this post is being read by the narrator of a Blaxploitation movie trailer)
A new study suggests the Mayan civilization might have collapsed due to environmental disasters:
"'These models suggest that as ecosystems were destroyed by mismanagement or were transformed by global climatic shifts, the depletion of agricultural and wild foods eventually contributed to the failure of the Maya sociopolitical system,' writes environmental archaeologist Kitty Emery of the Florida Museum of Natural History in the current Human Ecology journal."As we move towards solving the climate crisis, we need to remember the consequences to civilizations that refused to take environmental concerns seriously.
My brain just shut down and is rebooting.
The great danger here, as in all government, is a default not to the rule of law, but to the administrative committee, acting - whether "good-willed" or not - in reference only to its own wisdom. This is the beginning of the tyranny of the police state. The government is not made of geniuses, it is not made of the wise. It is a natural and necessary adjunct of human life but it is made of politicians and bureaucrats.
Or so it seems. Notes that a priest took during a confession seem to prove it so.
AN extraordinary account from a German army medic has finally confirmed what the world long suspected: Hitler only had one ball.
War veteran Johan Jambor made the revelation to a priest in the 1960s, who wrote it down.
The priest's document has now come to light - 23 years after Johan's death.
The war tyrant's medical condition has been mocked for years in a British song.
The lyrics are: "Hitler has only got one ball, the other is in the Albert Hall. His mother, the dirty b****r, cut it off when he was small."
Until now there has never been complete proof Hitler was monorchic - the medical term for having one testicle.
But the document tells how Johan saw the proof with his own eyes. In the account, he relives the horror of serving as an army medic in World War I.
"His abdomen and legs were all in blood. Hitler was injured in the abdomen and lost one testicle. His first question to the doctor was: 'Will I be able to have children?'."
Blassius said that when the Nazis swept to power Johan began to suffer nightmares and blame himself for saving Hitler.
Is this the answer to what caused Hitler's madness? Can you imagine being this Johan guy, knowing your heroic actions saved what would become the world's worst dictator responsible for millions of deaths? Nightmares indeed.
But I write this note because of what I noticed in the wood-paneled, spacious, Wi-Fi-enabled locker room. The room, on an 78-degree Tampa afternoon, was odor-free. I've been in NFL locker rooms for the last 25 years, and the one thing I've never smelled in any of them is nothing.
"Isn't it fantastic?'' said punter Josh Bidwell.
"You should have been at One Buc,'' safety Jermaine Phillips said. "There was enough smell in there to last a lifetime.''
I was at One Buc. And there were enough smells to last lifetime. But here, before the place was built, coaches and executives and some veterans were asked for wish lists of what they'd like in the new facility. A couple of people wondered, "Can we cut down the smell in the locker room?'' And so each of the 69 oversized lockers was outfitted with a complicated system to suck out odor and dry sweaty and wet equipment.
Each locker has a 30-inch-by-10-inch fine-mesh metal screen high in the stall, where the helmet and shoulder pads rest, and then a 30-inch-by-16-inch screen at torso level, to dry and suck out odors from practice gear and shoes. Other than it smelling nicer in the locker room, there's a bacteria and infection benefit in sucking out many of the germs in the joint.
The exhaust from the lockers is removed when the temperature rises in the room (usually when a mass of bodies occupies it), and the air-conditioning automatically clicks on. That prompts a mechanism in the system that forces the air out of each locker through spiral ducts into a series of galvanized metal pipes, sent through a network of pipes 44 feet to the rooftop, and expelled into the air through a fan on the outside of the building. The theory: If the odor-causing items -- shoes, pads, helmets, practice gear -- are near or next to an exhaust system designed to suck nearby air out of the locker through two big vents, there won't be any smell to linger.
What a country.
UPDATE: More info over at Hot Air. Some are doubting the report and the Mighty Hitch is pretty livid.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is President-elect Barack Obama's first choice for secretary of State but his aides are becoming exasperated by the Clinton camp's pokey response to demands for extensive information about former President Bill Clinton's finances, according to numerous Democrats involved in the process.
"The sense among the no-drama Obama world is: This is well on its way to winning best Oscar for drama," said one well-connected Democratic official.
MORE: Here's a good place to start:
"The unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon created an Iranian outpost - from which Israel is being attacked - in the North, and the unilateral pullout from Gaza created a second Iranian base in Gaza, 'Hamastan,'" Netanyahu said. "And now the government is planning a third withdrawal - from Judea and Samaria - that will lead to a third Iranian outpost."
In the matter of politics you have "Tories" and "Labour" where we have "Republicans" and "Democrats"; just as our "lawyers" must pass the "bar exam," I'm sure your "barristers" must pass some sort of "pub quiz." In America we call our stupid white racists "crackers," where I believe you refer to them as "scones" or "crisps" or something. But these minor language quirks are nothing compared to the many things we have in common. For example, did you know we also have a new Stalinist dictator, and he also turns out to be Brown?
Bob's your uncle.
Anywho, more news and views coming this weekend.
Should you start treating Obama the way they treated Bush? It worked for 'em, when everybody in the world thought that it wouldn't. It worked for 'em. I noticed Charles Krauthammer on the Fox All-Stars said, "Yeah, it did work for them but we should not do it. Republicans ought not do this." Why, if it worked? The sad thing is, it obviously did. It did not hurt them. All this insane rage and anger, all of these personal attacks... I mean, writing books and movies about assassinating Bush and to have them critically acclaimed! To wish for defeat of the United States in the war on terror, and countless other things I can't even recall now. I just said, "Human nature is such that this is not going to be rewarded," but it was.
Maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was just the power and the charismatic demagoguery of Obama who did not come across as angry. But regardless, we lost, and we are hip deep in doo-doo. We have the most radical leftist extremist disguised as something much tamer and milder, who is insisting on putting an imprint on this country such as it has never had. You think the Great Society and all that stuff was bad and you think Jimmy Carter was bad? These people are going to look at that as kindergarten, Romper Room. They're going to overreach and they're going to destroy a lot of things; and eventually... Those of you who have kids and grandkids, the primary source of your concern is, "What kind of country are my kids going to grow up in? Where will be their opportunity? Is their opportunity going to rest on calling the government agency? Oh, no! We don't want that!"
Well, you voted for it! Or not you, but some people did. So how do we stop the Freedom of Choice Act? We don't, not in the legislative bodies. How do we stop Card Check? We don't. We gave up the chance to stop it when we lost the election, when the Republican Party refused to have an identity, when the presidential candidate refused to even campaign on behalf of other Republicans. You could say we deserve what we got and it might be true, but it's still frustrating as hell. So how do we stop this stuff? The Obama team is going to have three million people whose job is going to be to hassle Democrats who don't toe the line in Congress and in the House.
They're going to threaten them with no more fundraising; they're going to threaten them with being heckled at various public appearances. Folks, we haven't run into anything like this before. So what do we do? Do we march in the streets? Do we call Congress? Do we send out e-mails -- and to whom? Do we send it to our side, or do we send it to Chuck Schumer? Do we send it to Harry Reid and so forth? What are they going to do when they hear from a bunch of angry Republicans that are not going to vote for them anyway? It's sad thing to say, but the best option is to let 'em overreach and screw it up on their own. It will happen, but in the meantime, they're going to get a lot done.
That's going to take a long time to undo, and I'm not trying to depress you or be pessimistic. I'm being realistic here. I'm not saying there aren't ways to beat them. Don't misunderstand. I'm just saying our guys do not have the numbers in the House or Senate to do so, even if they're all unified. They may have some parliamentary procedures to play and things like that, but the way I'm hearing everybody talk right now, I think there's going to be a lot of fear of going against Obama anyway. "The first black president is historic! Why, give him a chance," everybody is saying. He's going to run through that window. He's going to run through that window faster than Deion Sanders. We're not even going to see him go through that window when he gets all this stuff done.
As much as I hate identity politics, it seems to be all the rave at the moment. Michael Steele (who by the way, ran for Senate on a platform of "change" a few years back) is seeking the RNC Chairmanship. It would be a good choice. Yes, he's black, and with a black president Steele may be the best front man for the loyal opposition. However, Steele is also very conservative and very smart. I would want him on my side no matter what the skin color. He, along with Palin, Jindal and many others are the future of the Republican Party if it is to have any future at all.
Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.
These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America’s conservative party - the Republicans - to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.
They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad. Where now is our last best hope on Earth?
I disagree with my fellow conservatives who think the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Frank liberal behemoth will so obviously screw up that they'll be routed in two or four years' time. The President-elect's so-called "tax cut" will absolve 48 per cent of Americans from paying any federal income tax at all, while those that are left will pay more. Just under half the population will be, as Daniel Henninger pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, on the dole. By 2012, it will be more than half, and this will be an electorate where the majority of the electorate will be able to vote itself more lollipops from the minority of their compatriots still dumb enough to prioritize self-reliance, dynamism, and innovation over the sedating cocoon of the nanny state. That is the death of the American idea - which, after all, began as an economic argument: "No taxation without representation" is a great rallying cry. "No representation without taxation" has less mass appeal. For how do you tell an electorate living high off the entitlement hog that it's unsustainable and you've got to give some of it back?
There will come a time in the year ahead when either Obama's unexamined past will come back to haunt him, or his inexperience and tentativeness in foreign affairs will be embarrassingly apparent, or his European-socialist agenda for domestic programs simply won't work. And as public opinion falls, what will MSNBC, the New York Times, the editors of Newsweek, a Chris Matthews or the anchors at the major networks say?
In short, we live now in the Age of Post-Journalism. All that was before is now over, as this generation of journalists voluntarily destroyed the hallowed notion of objectivity and they will have no idea quite how to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.
Well, Somin, in the first place I think you need to distinguish between libertarians and mere narcissists. A lot of the latter masquerade as the former, e.g. pretty much the entire crowd at slashdot.org, substantial slices of the Reason potheads, and lawyers eager to fling monkey wrenches into the persecution (I use the word advisedly) of public enemies so long as it brings them personally some bankable fame.For these folks, "liberty" pretty much means I get what I want, even if it puts everyone else into chains. They believe in "liberty" in the same degenerate sense that a Stalinist believes in "sharing." (Oy! Comrade, if you share with me your bread, I will share with you my slogans to educate your stupid peasant mind.) No one following in the philosophical steps of Madison should give these fraudsters the time of day, let alone indulge the illusion of meaningful alliance. They belong to the party of ego and self.The remaining core of principled libertarians, who really do believe strongly in live and let live, should be regarded as a militia, not a standing army. They'll rise up when sufficiently enraged to defend their liberty, but between active threats they disperse to their actual lives. I mean, the principled libertarian is nauseated by the necessity of government, and tends to loathe every application of it with which he cooperates. It's like taking out the garbage. Who prolongs it? You run for the dumpster, get it over with as fast as possible.So the notion of some extended mutual NATO alliance-building, complete with cultural exchanges, is kind of unlikely. True libertarians are going to just zone out, thinking about skiing or sex, during your logistics and strategy meetings. A better idea would be to fashion some kind of skeleton structure of conservatism, into which the libertarian militia could comfortably slot itself when an existential threat arose.That means, on the conservative side, conservatives have to carry the ball for libertarians when the latter are off-duty. You can't neglect those principles -- small government, property rights -- when you're at peacetime strength, because it's like stripping off the insignia. When you call for libertarian reinforcements, they don't recognize you any more as their ally.From the libertarian side, there needs to be some appreciation for the fact that conservatives do form the standing army. Libertarians tune in for crises, then drop out and go on with their lives. But somebody has got to keep watch all the time, and that tends to be conservatives. Libertarians need to give them credit for that, make accommodations to some of their reasonable claims for leadership. You can't reserve the right to refuse every marching order, parachute in and out of the party as you please, and expect to wield the same level of leadership as those who are full-time and fully loyal soldiers.They also need to practise a little strategic deafness. Conservatives like to talk about values and sin a lot, and it grates on the libertarian ear, because the libertarian fears such talk leads to oppressive action. But very often it's just talk, a form of mere community bonding -- ghost stories over the campfire -- that libertarians don't quite get, not being that fond of community bonding in the first place. Frequently enough, if you merely let conservatives have their talk, and nod appreciatively I see what you mean, yes, an interesting and valuable point then they're happy enough.
Now that Obama has been elected, his friends can roam around a little more freely. First up is domestic terrorist Bill Ayers who, with the help of The New Yorker is picking up where he left off on September 11, 2001. Ron Radosh has the scoop.
Voters didn't just decide on the president or Congress yesterday. Among five major energy and environmental ballot initiatives from California to Missouri, all but one were voted down. Does that mean that apparent public support for clean energy withers away when the rubber meets the road?Not necessarily. But it does suggest that any government plans to boost clean energy have to be sharply focused, realistic, and present a clear win for voters, who are also consumers.
There's a news flash. Realistic environmentalism? That's what we need, but that'll be the day when we see it.
The question here is not whether Palin was a good or a bad choice for vice president. Reasonable people disagree on that one. It's about the character of the McCain campaign. There is no doubt that it included some fine people who, whatever their opinions, wouldn't be involved in this kind of behavior. But it also, obviously, included some who would. John McCain ran for president, to some large degree, on the character he had displayed throughout his life. Not so for some of those around him. What a bunch of losers.
UPDATE: As predicted...
This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."
Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties. The president's original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there. It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.[...]Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
His triumph was decisive and sweeping, because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens.
Thankfully, this means we can put John McCain out of our lives. Hopefully, he'll retire at terms end and the Republicans will learn that they have to run as Republicans if they want to win office. The MSM and the Peggy Noonan elitists will try and blame this on Palin even though she was the only thing that kept the race reasonably close.
Turns out Karl Rove was right. Dan McLaughlin at RedState points out that his philosophy that you shore up your base, shore up your Red Staters in order to win works. It worked for Bush twice. McCain tried to appeal to moderates and Democrats and look what it got him. He pandered on Amnesty and yet he got a small percentage of the Hispanic vote. Will these lessons be learned?
In the meantime, closer to home, those of us in the alternative media will have to gird our loins and ready for battle on the Fairness Doctrine and other attempts to silence dissenting voices (yes, we're the dissenters now). Should be fun.
What makes me angriest: that there is no outcry against election fraud; that the media have become pure political instruments; that our "educational system" has produced an ignorant electorate.
Years and years ago, during Watergate, Barbara and I were living in Rome, and we had lots of journalist friends (I was then a correspondent for The New Republic, so…we saw lots of Italian journalists). They were all openly jealous of America, because they saw American journalism as clearly superior to theirs. American journalists reported, while they, the Italians, were doing politics. "We could bring down our entire Political Class," they would say, "we all have information so devastating that no politician could survive," but they didn't publish it, because they didn't see an acceptable alternative. We would tell them that their job was not to make political decisions, but to report the news, and let the people decide. But they couldn't; they were doing politics. And we felt superior, because American journalism, we thought, just reported the news and let the people decide.Well, that's over and done with now. Never before has the ignorance of the electorate been so intensely cultivated as in this election. We all know that major publications and broadcasters have simply refused to report news, and what they did report was spun politically.
One of the biggest Stalinist in Washington, Senator Chuck Schumer, is so excited about the next four years he's bursting. We're in big trouble.
MORE: Keeping your own money a "simplistic notion."
ACORN was the seed that has grown the mighty oak that is Barack Obama. There's still a chance for a miracle, but we'll just have to wait and see tonight, or maybe tomorrow.
"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
UPDATE: Jerrold Nadler gives us a preview of the new foreign policy of the United States.
So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.
Yep. All the evidence is there, but will anyone care on Tuesday?
UPDATE: Ed Driscoll has a rundown of all the video evidence.