Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A "Good Man" Gone Bad

I'm getting a little sick of this "who me" attitude by the establishment. After Boehner's announcement that he's resigning, rather than being contrite they're doubling down. We've done all we could do they say. Everything possible to stop the Obama agenda was done and no one could have done more. All this is just a huge overreaction by the "crazies" and Speaker Boehner, being the "good man" that he is, is falling on his sword "for the good of the party". By the way, isn't it a shame we've lost this "true conservative" based on no more than the hysterical howls of "false prophets"?

What a crock! This is a lie from beginning to end. The fact is Boehner never had a plan. He never had an agenda for stopping Obama. It's simply wasn't a priority for him. Furthermore I'll even go so far to say if the opportunity to repeal Obamacare had been handed to the Republican leadership on a silver platter, they wouldn't have taken it. Some would argue it indeed was.

Maggie Thatcher once said you have to win the argument before you win the vote. What she meant was it's the job of every politician to educate and persuade. That's what leadership is. But just like GWB before, Boehner and McConnell ignore and ignored this vital function of leadership. For example, right now at this very moment our party leaders should be hitting Planned Parenthood with everything they've got. There is NO WAY funding for this criminal organization should even be an issue. But it is. Why? Because our "leaders" are intimidated by Obama. They are absolutely paralyzed with fear of a government shutdown for which they will be blamed (as they see it) and OMG they could, just might, lose their positions.

In our system of checks and balances if Congress doesn't protect its turf and push back against an out of control President, then what we end up with is an all powerful executive with near dictatorial powers. And so it has been with Obama. The idea Boehner "did all he could do" is true, but not for conservatives.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Hammer's Just Super, Superficial Analysis of This Week's College Football Action: Week 4

Well... I think I'll take a shot at who the early Heisman pick might possibly be: LSU's sophomore running back Leonard Fournettte. This guy is 6-1, 230 pounds and has excellent quickness and great open field speed. He's burning up yards like the Road Runner averaging damn near 9 yards per carry. Two hundred yard games are becoming a habit with this guy. If he's not on your short list you need a new list. Anyway LSU is 3-0 with two of those wins on the road. Looks like they're back in the hunt after last year's disappointing record, 8-5 (4-4 in league).

But the game of the week was TCU at Texas Tech. Last week the Red Raiders went to Fayetteville and hung one on the Razorbacks (and talking a little smack in the post-game news conference). At 3-0 they were definitely on my "must keep an eye on" list. I really thought they had a chance against TCU in Lubbock (the armpit of Texas). But let's face it, neither of these teams play a lot of defense when just a small, tiny, minuscule, atom of a defensive effort would have won the game. Both racked up more yards than '68 Ohio State against Hampden-Sydney on PlayStation 3 and finally TCU got a lucky tip in the endzone to win. Great game to watch, unless you're the defensive coordinator.

You think Flawda might be back? They're 4-0 and 2-0 in conference. Now granted they haven't played anyone that great but ECU is no slouch and Kentucky surprised Misery yesterday so they ain't too bad. The Gators have done what's been asked, and that's all you can ask. But coming back in the fourth quarter 13 points down against Tennessee shows a lot of character. I don't know, I don't think they're there yet but the trajectory is good. Not a fan necessarily but I do miss The Vols and Gators being competitive. Did I ever tell you I almost went to Florida? It's true, the Hammer was almost a Gator. Of course I was almost a Clemson Tiger, a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket and a Tulane Green Wave(er) as well. Can't remember the details but as I recall something about in-state tuition swayed my choice. $300 a semester vs $5k, yeah that was it I'm pretty sure.

Anyway speaking of teams I miss being good the Michigan Wolverines absolutely destroyed the BYU Men in Black on bicycles 31-0. I'd say they're a season away but Harbaugh has Big Blue back on track. They lost to a dynamite Utah squad first game in a competitive matchup and in two weeks have (presently) undefeated Michigan State in Ann Arbor. I like the Spartans as well but an upset wouldn't be surprising. In fact I'll stick my neck out and predict a Michigan win. This is a "statement" game and Harbaugh wants this one badly.

Since I brought up Utah did you see what the Utes did to Oregon? 62-20 in Eugene! Man this is some embarrassing shit for the Quack Attack! Phil Knight probably put some extra phytoceramides in his '55 Glenfarclas. That's the worst defeat for a duck since Phil Robertson got his first shotgun.

Also out West UCLA is looking DAMN GOOD. Jim Mora has a hotshot freshman quarterback and they owned a good Arizona team. It didn't help that Arizona's ball security was about as good as the federal govt's internet security, but hey, that's the way the ball fumbles.

Ole Miss is picking up where they left off last year. The Georgia Bulldogs are looking awesome and may actually be favorites against "Bama next week. Baylor is ringing the cash register, just like last year. There are a ton of undefeateds out there including our own Clemson, FSU and NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY (but that could change). CW's Virginia lost to Boise State and is 1-3, but of the three ACC teams I just mentioned, what would their record be against Notre Dame, UCLA (on the road) and Boise State?

Well that's it, enjoy your rainy Sunday.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Herewith, a dumpeth of the tabs

It is the cocktail hour on Friday, and I have many accumulated tabs with interesting stuff to read. Enjoy, or not.

Twenty cognitive biases that screw up your decisions. I sent this one to a number of my fellow corporate tools. Judging by the roaring silence that returned, they must have taken it personally. To be clear, several of these screw up my decisions.

The Bolsheviks kick out Trotsky. Or something like that.

An Aussie writes about Austin.

In dog-bites-man news, The New York Times reports on the earnings of college graduates, by gender, and entirely out of context.

How reliable are the climate models? Well, reliable enough that a pope believes them.

Islam's tragic fatalism. Money quote:

Today most Muslims have little knowledge about these old debates, but they live within cultural codes largely defined by the dogmatists, who gained the upper hand in the war of ideas in early Islam. In these codes, human free will is easily sacrificed to fatalism, science and reason are trivialized, and philosophy is frowned upon.
The "science and reason are trivialized" part seems particularly important. And that was in The New York Times, too.

Biotech stocks crater after Hillary Clinton advocates destroying their rate of return:

Call a doctor! The biotech sector just closed out one of its worst weeks in years after Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton raised concerns about what she described as “price gouging” by health-care and biotech companies.
Hey, by all means go after "rents," but start with somebody else's!

Judging by your blogger's Facebook feed, it is axiomatic on both the right and the left that John Boehner's resignation is a good thing. Conservatives and liberals seem to agree that this will hasten the destruction of the Republican Party, which, curiously, is the one thing about which they agree. We live in interesting times.

Have a good one.

Inequality: Do something about "rents"

The best article about inequality that I have ever read.

That is all for now, perhaps more later.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's got you down, friend? Your candidate beginning his long, slow fall? The Pope sound a little too Hollywood liberal for your taste?  Are you going to drive to Charlottesville to sit in the rain tonight watching a football game?

Share your pain.  That's what we're here for.

154.4 this morning.  That's right, Hammer.  Nearly three months after the great weigh in, five pounds under.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

CW Marco Rubio for President Fund--$3700.00 as of Today!

Just checked the fundraiser page and this little blog has raised $3700 so far!  Let's keep it going friends.  The bottom line here is that he who cannot be named is largely going to self-finance (which I have no problem with), so we're going to have to raise some cabbage!  Print the jpg file below and mail your contribution in today!  Don't forget that all important Solicitor Tracking Number (1197).

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn Thoughts From The Shore

The geese are increasingly overhead these days, loudly demonstrating the Doppler Principle as they head south.  I'm in the mancave early this morning to get a few things done, and their honking puts me in an excellent state of mind.  Here in my little corner of the world, there are a few reliable signs of Autumn.  Councill Farms out on 50 turns their big roadside produce market into a pumpkin and mum emporium with games and activities for the kiddies.  There are of course, also the geese, some of whom choose our cove to rest in, though their noise indicates very little rest that I can observe.  Finally, the local gentry is beginning to break out their hunting cammies for everyday wear, a fashion choice with which I maintain a respectful distance, but popular here nevertheless.

My goose hunting buddy has moved to the Old Dominion, so I'm not sure if I'll do much of that here this season--though I am reliably informed that Mudge has his duck boat up and operating, so I may slip down there for some birds.  I'm still eating the deer I got last season, but soon it will be gone and there will be room in my freezer for another.  Mudge has apparently added a few stands to the hunting ground, and I look forward to spending some time there.  Always love when Mudge talks to me about hunting--he refers to "your (my) stand" when he talks about the place I sit.

We went to the trouble of installing a gas fireplace in our bedroom over the summer, replacing what appeared to be a fully functional traditional fireplace with this version.  The Kitten didn't like the idea of actual flames in the bedroom from the traditional version, so now we have this wonderful gas version with a timer.  I'm excited for it to come on at 4AM and get the room toasty warm for me when I rise an hour later into what previously was the cold, winter darkness.

Our persimmon tree fruits this time of year, dropping its lovelies on the ground for my hungry dogs to lap up.  The Kitten is driven to distraction by this, as it also means that they gain a few pounds.  So we put up a little green mesh fence around the base of the tree to separate them from the source of their girth.  They circle forlornly, looking back at the house occasionally to seek some indication of what great wrong they had committed to be punished thusly.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Capitalism: The World's Only Hope

"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."
Pope Francis

Clearly our communist Pope needs a lesson in something other than Marxian economics. To begin with "trickle-down" was a pejorative term invented by Democrats Tip O'Neal and Jim Wright to describe Reagan's across the board tax cuts of the early 80's. They wanted a catch phrase the low-info crowd could understand and remember. It was used quite a bit and still in use today (obviously) along with "VooDoo economics" a term our Republican progressives gave their Democrat progressive pals on a silver platter (thanks George I, pre-shate that). So if the Reagan years is the "trickle down" the Pope is referring to, I would suggest he read something other than Das Kapital or the non compos mentis ramblings of Jose Carlos Mariategui. Tell you what Mr. Pope, try comparing the Reagan BOOM to any country at any point in history. It's like comparing... well here's an illustration.
The Reagan BOOM                   Obama's "Expansion"
Did you get that? Good. Also, don't tell me we abuse and exploit our poor. We do a good job in the US taking care of our "less fortunate". Too good a job in my estimation. Good Grief we bend over backwards to provide opportunity and education to our wealthy "downtrodden". And when I say wealthy I mean just that. Here's a nice chart you may wish to peruse.

As you can see our air-conditioned, plasma tv, Obamaphone loving bottom 10% live better than the top 10% in most of the world. They are given more goodies than all but Canada, Sweden and Australia, and those countries don't have a tenth the scumbag, lazy-ass, pieces of shit we have in this once great country. And how do we afford to provide such a bounty to the non-producing, human refuge within our borders (and beyond)? It's called capitalism. Or would you prefer a system like Cuba
One of Fidel's "homes" / Line at government "store"
So Pope, how 'bout backing off the badmouthing of Capitalism! If you had a brain in your head you'd know it's the only thing that DOES WORK! It offers more hope to mankind than your brand of Christianity ever could. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

A shining little moment in fact-checking

Saturday morning, imagine my surprise to read this little gem in the Austin-American Statesman:

In a tweet, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suggested a legislated end to government aid to clinics affiliated with abortion providers including Planned Parenthood fueled fewer pregnancies and abortions.

"After Texas defunded Planned Parenthood, both the Unintended Pregnancy & Abortion Rates Dropped," Abbott wrote on Twitter Aug. 25, 2015.

"PolitiFact Texas" accordingly does its thing, and concludes that Abbott's tweet was "mostly false," because the trend toward lower teen pregnancies and fewer abortions in Texas was already in place before the new restrictions that provoked so much controversy. Fine, easy-peezy.

But isn't the headline just a little bit wrong? Wouldn't something along the lines of "Wendy Davis was wrong: Defunding Planned Parenthood and restricting abortion had no effect" be more useful?

It seems to me that if Abbott is wrong, Wendy Davis and her ilk were also wrong. While one might theoretically thread the needle to an asymmetric conclusion, that offends Occam's Razor, which offends me.

Final reminder-note to irritate everybody: I am pro-choice, but oppose government money going to abortion, so I give my own money to charities that make it possible for poor women to get them. I thought that might be relevant.

Carry on.

Run Joe RUN!

Can you imagine the conversation among women when they know Joe Biden is in the vicinity?
"Watch the old guy, he's grabby. And don't let your Kathy near him either, he doesn't age discriminate".

Carly In The Cross-Hairs

Getty photo
During the last debate, one of the participants pointed to a Yale professor's assessment of Carly Fiorina's time as CEO of HP.  Fiorina dismissed it as the ramblings of a noted Clintonista.

Well, the professor in question--has laid his objections out in fairly substantial fashion at Politico, citing both her tenure at HP and her explanations therefor, in addition to attempting to build his non-partisan bona fides.

I have cited corporate bankruptcies here as evidence against one of the candidate's fitness for office, and so it should surprise no one that I am raising the issue of Ms. Fiorina's time at HP as evidence of hers.  The article is worth reading, as most of us have only gotten Ms. Fiorina's gussied up view of her performance.

I still think she is a qualified and substantial candidate, but there is plenty here to chew on.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Hammer's College Football Roundup: Week 3

Tough day at Ala-Goddamn-bama. When you go through two quarterbacks with three interceptions, add in a couple more turnovers and have plays like this go against you, well you can figure the football gods ain't exactly looking out for you today. Henry got his yardage but Ole Miss was too much for them. On one of the interceptions a defensive back absolutely flattened Tide QB Cooper Bateman on a crackback block. It was a thing of beauty, completely legal, clean hit but it illustrates that when you're on that field you had best be aware of your surroundings otherwise you might lose your smile.
Down the road Auburn didn't do much better. One of the Auburn linebackers this week when asked about LSU's running game said 'no big deal, we got a good front seven and hey man, no sweat, we're on it'. Yeah, sure you are. LSU gashed the War Eagles for 400+ yards on the ground with Fournette racking up an incredible 228. No Eagles here, war or otherwise, just turkeys and the feathers are all over the field (tip of the hat to Hollywood Henderson).

Did you see Stanford kicked Southern Cal's ass in the Coliseum? What did I tell you? Stanford has been doing shit like this since I was in diapers (well the first time I was in diapers). They lose to teams they should kill and beat teams they should get killed by. Don't ever bet a Stanford game! The Trojans were giving 10 and lost by 10. Next week it'll probably be the exact opposite.
Misery had a tough time against friggin' piss-ass UConn winning 9-6. Didn't see anything about the game really but the Tigers got a safety first quarter and a third quarter touchdown to UConn's two field goals. Sounds like they phoned this one in.
Lewisville lost again, this time to Clemson. They showed a little life but they're 0-3. Petrino might need a girlfriend. The Gamecocks got owned by Georgia, they got real quarterback problems in Columbia. Georgia Tech lost to the Irish in South Bend and UCLA snuck by BYU 24-23.
Ohio State looked like crap against Northern Illinois but you know, it's Ohio State. They just went through the motions and got a W. No big deal.

In ACC action I'm pleased to report the Virginia Cavaliers got their first win of the season at home against a powerful William and Mary squad. CW attended the game and apparently thought it was Halloween with the getup he plastered all over Facebook. As you can see he went dressed as either a middle-aged drunk who wandered into WalMart in his pajamas or a young, hip, twenty-something metrosexual looking for a big night out of mimosas in one of Charlottesville's cool clubs. Either way it was a BIG MISS! As we all know CW is a teetotaler, but in terms of fashion maybe he needs a drink. He damn sure needs SOMETHING!
FSU spanked BC, Carolina destroyed Illinois (worried about those guys!) Duke lost to what appears to be a damn fine Northwestern team. Va. Tech beat Purdue and Pitt (ACC MY ASS!) lost to TigerHawk's Iowa (he denies ever having heard of Princeton during football season). The WolfPack won again against ODU in Norfolk. Hey, is Norfolk not the ugliest town in America? I swear I'd rather be stranded in Pyongyang wearing an Uncle Sam outfit than that shithole! Oh well, we got a win.

That's it, now kiss my ass and bring on the pros.

Virginia 35 William and Mary 29

As we left the stadium as the sun went down last evening, Brother Tom--who had graced Rob and me with his insightful football analysis all afternoon, had a truly inspiring moment of insight.  "Neither fan base is happy".  And he was right.

William and Mary fans had a right to be pissed...they outplayed us, but had a few big play breakdowns that sealed their fate.  But they played better.

Virginia?  Defense was a sieve.  Offense couldn't move the ball for the final 1/3 of the game.  Penalties, penalties, penalties.  No time outs left with 5:30 left in the game.  Special teams miscues.  Coaching. Coaching. Coaching.

Mike London simply isn't a big time coach.  He doesn't seem to be able to stay focused and manage the game for its entirety.  Flashes here and there, but he can't maintain.  It's time to go.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Annals of death: The stuff we care about, and don't

In the last 20 hours or so I heard two bits of curious thinking from, well, liberals, in quotidian refinement of the endless Narrative to which we are all subject in these parlous times.

Last night your blogger and his fetching better half took in Steve Earle and the Dukes at Austin's classic Paramount Theater. The show was great and entertaining, apart from the usual left-wing political digression that one has to endure at so many artistic moments these days. Earle rambled on incoherently about the environment for a couple of minutes, and then talked about what an awesome thing it was that we banned DDT, in order that the large birds could rebuild their population. For some reason that defies easy explanation for somebody so learned as Earle, he skipped over the part about 198 million human cases of malaria every year, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of needless deaths, 90% of which occur in Africa. I bet he also thinks #blacklivesmatter, but not, giving weight to his expressed preferences, if they are African.

All of this would be much easier to take if it had not been limpid-pool clear for more than a decade that the ban on DDT -- as opposed to banning aerial spraying, which is an entirely different matter -- was responsible for millions of needless human deaths. But nooooo, Earle was delighted that there was a pair of nesting red-tailed hawks on a building near his Manhattan apartment and apparently wholly uninterested that more Africans die every year from malaria than the aggregate American deaths in all of World War II. And the ignorant but very satisfied Austin audience applauded.

This evening I enjoyed a short drive from the office to the Lady Bird Lake running trail, and got more than usually irritated at NPR. It seems that the feds have released new data on workplace deaths in the United States during 2014. NPR used the report to go after the oil and gas industry, which piled up occupational deaths at a rate roughly five times the baseline carnage of 3.3 per 100,000 workers. This was all very interesting, if only NPR had mentioned that in 2014 the oil and gas sector in the United States was at the peak of a multi-generational boom, and that deaths were no doubt going to collapse in 2015 along with the rig count. Whatever. Here are two facts that NPR did not report:

  • Women accounted for a mere 8% of the workplace fatalities. Since NPR would normally obsess about a 12:1 gender disparity in any data, one can only conclude that it deliberately ignored this elephantine factoid in the room because people might wonder if it accounted for some of the aggregate average disparity in pay between the genders.
  • As curiously, there were significant differences in fatality risk by "race," counting as the government does. Latinos died at a rate of 3.6 per 100,000, a tad higher than whites (3.4 per 100,000), but well ahead of African-Americans (3.0 per 100,000) and Asian-Americans (a desk-jobbish 1.7 per 100,000). In our social-justice world, how to you fail to call attention to those disparities? Oh. Wait. Because narrative.
  • The people who shape our culture wouldn't know intellectual honesty if it bit off their big toe and ate it with a nice Chianti.

    Carly Fiorina, Planned Parenthood, and the Government Shutdown

    For those with the stomach and the curiosity, I invite you to the 5:59 mark of the video above.  Then, read's Sarah Kliff, who claims Mrs. Fiorina is wrong about what she described, saying "But the things Fiorina describes — the legs kicking, the intact "fully formed fetus," the heart beating, the remarks about having to "harvest its brain" — are pure fiction".

    Now, I am not The Hammer.  I don't advocate a "burn it down and start all over" strategy because Republican leaders have been insufficiently aggressive and/or successful in attaining the things that they ran on.  But for crying out loud--if we do not stand for the protection of that BABY on the platter in that video--because that's what it was--ex utero, it is no longer a fetus--then we stand for nothing.

    Does the government have to stay shut down forever?  No.  Might we actually in the end, fold and pass something that funds Planned Parenthood?  Maybe.  Is closing the government and making American lives inconvenient for a few weeks in order to bring the light of shame upon the practice of infanticide for profit worth the cost?  You goddamn bet you .

    UPDATE:  A handy discussion of the serve and volley on this subject at The Federalist.

    Communists, Muslims and Communist-Muslims

    Добро пожаловать товарищ
    •It never fails, one is what one is be they an individual or a political party. The British Labour Party's brief foray into moderation is over and they have come home to their roots with new leader Jeremy Corbyn. Just as Bill Clinton was an anomaly, a political outlier, Tony Blair's "New Labour" has gone the way of Boehner and McConnell's backbone...never to be heard from again. Today Blair is reviled within Labour as much as Jimmy Carter or Richard Nixon were by their parties years ago (or Boehner and McConnell now). It's in the DNA, you are what you are. Welcome home comrade.

    •Reportedly our beloved President is taking 10K Muslim refugees "from Syria" almost immediately, the overwhelming majority military age males. 300-350K are in the pipeline. Well gosh, where are the Christians? They are the ones being persecuted by all sides in the Islamic world are they not? How about women and children? Wouldn't they get first priority? Is this a humanitarian effort or a means to inject a few more Boston bombers into the US?

    •At this point in the game is there any doubt that to the extent Baraq Obama has a religion, that religion is Islam? I'm not making an accusation nor am I speculating. I am making a judgement based on the evidence, and the evidence is clear. Radical Islam is stronger, more influential, more wealthy and much more dangerous under the "leadership" of our President than anyone could have possibly predicted. It's really quite astounding if you think about it. Militarily we are weaker than we've ever been in my lifetime, the Russians are setting up shop in Syria and we're allowing Iran a nuclear program. The frog is now boiling.


    Thursday, September 17, 2015

    The West and the rest

    Anybody who has ever dealt with investment bankers knows that "league tables" are the all-important standings among the intensely competitive firms that raise money for the businesses of the world. Smaller firms which cannot lay claim to any global ranking slice the data to show local or segment dominance -- "we lead in pre-revenue biotechnology follow-on offerings for companies with sub-billion dollar market capitalization," and such.

    But what about the freaking global league tables? See below for a map of the world with the countries sized by "free float equity market capitalization" -- what public companies in those markets are worth, in the aggregate, and be proud.


    That shit be real.

    'nuff said

    Transactional democracy and "free stuff"

    Apropos of Monday's post on democracy and transactions, we offer this rather arresting chart from Heritage via TaxProf and Instapundit:


    Looked at this way, Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" comment might have been "60 percent" and remained within the boundary of political truth. Which, of course, only would have made it more catastrophic.

    Fortunately for people who earn more than they consume and pay more in taxes than they collect in benefits, American voters are not, as individuals, moved only by their individual economic considerations. Democrats wonder "what's the matter with Kansas?", meaning that they are bewildered by voters who "need" more from government but vote against the party that would deliver more. And there are of course people in the top two quintiles who vote for more "free stuff" even though it comes out of their own pocket. Indeed, the real fights in American politics are often about questions of values or symbols that influence identity far more than mere money. That does not mean they are any less often available to be traded for votes, but they are certainly less susceptible to rendering on a graph.

    We see the economic and non-economic considerations most acutely in the candidacy of Donald Trump. He guns for the popularly "undeserving" rich by proposing to tax carried interest as ordinary income, which hurts the "hedge fund guys" and will surely result in more "free stuff" for some people in lower quintiles. He argues forcefully for reduced immigration on that basis as well -- an influx of low-skilled workers who compete against our least-skilled certainly depresses the wages of workers in the lower two quintiles. But Trump also appeals to American identity, with most of his rhetoric around "winning," national greatness, and a fundamentally traditionalist view of American exceptionalism, including some of its best (leadership) and worst (nativist) strains. Whatever one thinks of Trump, his meritage of "free stuff" and inspirational themes feels like a winner -- or might be if it were polished up a bit and disassociated with Trump the man -- however much the mixture offends both the ideological purists and the politically correct.

    Last Night's Debate: Dumpster Fire, With A Few Bright Spots

    Conducting a debate with 11 people at one time is a tough job, and I would not wish to volunteer for it.  That said, CNN did, and it was a complete dumpster fire.  There was far too little Hugh Hewitt and far too much Jake Tapper.  Most of all, there was far too much focus on the front-runner, whose time speaking doubled some of the field, and when he wasn't speaking, he was being referenced.

    The big story of the night was Carly Fiorina, and justifiably so. Her performance was strong, very strong, and she had some of the most memorable riffs of the night, including this bit on Planned Parenthood. 

    Although I am biased of course, the punditti seem to agree that my man Rubio came in second.  I was concerned with how quiet he was in the first hour, that his strategy of not being the springbutt was backfiring in this format, but he came on strong throughout most of the night.  Here is one of his very strong moments from the debate.

    I thought both Jeb Bush and Chris Christie helped themselves last night, and Mike Huckabee once again showed how light he can be on his feet in debates.  Ted Cruz just plain bothers me--we aren't connecting on many levels, even though I agree with him on several subjects.

    There are two huge surprises thus far in this race; the first is the identity of the front-runner, and the second is the prolonged fade of Rand Paul.  He had some real moments of lucidity last night, and if you want a candidate who projects a more careful and less adventurous foreign policy, he's your man. But he simply is nowhere to be found.  I truly believed he would come in second place in this race, and I said it many times.  It looks like I will be wrong on this, as in many other things.

    Ben Carson.  I really like the guy.  Someone on Twitter wrote last night "Ben Carson for My Next Door Neighbor".  I think that sums him up.  I'd really like to have the dude as a friend.  Less sure of having him as my President.

    Random Ramblings: Debate Edition

    So, did you see the debate(s) last evening? I did and once again the first debate was the best one. Bobby Jindal nailed them last night, but good. The crowd at the Reagan Library was filled to the brim with establishment types who were most likely horrified by Ronald Reagan back in the day. They just LOVED when Pataki presented the "Supreme Court uber alles" argument about gay marriage and Obamacare and when Lindsey Graham whined about how helpless we all are unless and until we get a new "Republican" President. Jindal stole my brainwave when he said...

    "I wish the Senate Republicans had half the fight in them the Senate Democrats did. They forced Obamacare down our throats even when they didn't have 60 votes. I wish Republicans in D.C. had half the fight of the Senate Democrats to get rid of Obamacare, to defund Planned Parenthood. If we can't defund Planned Parenthood now; if we can't stand up for innocent human life after these barbaric videos, it is time to be done with the Republican party."

    Wow, I think that represents the CONSERVATIVE position rather well. When the conversation turned to gay marriage and the Kentucky clerk who stood up for her 1st. Amendment rights Jindal said...

    "I'd like the left to give us a list of jobs that Christians aren't allowed to have. If we're not allowed to be clerks, bakers, musicians, caterers ... the first amendment rights -- the right to religious freedom is the first amendment of the constitution. It isn't breaking the law to exercise our constitutional rights."
    Graham disagreed, saying, "in a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court, they have ruled that same sex marriage bans at the state level violate the 14th amendment."  

    Gee, I wonder where the average GOP voter will come down on this issue? Needless to say Graham is probably done in politics. He hasn't a hope in hell of getting on the national ticket or serving in any administration in any capacity, that's a given. But he's probably ruined himself in South Carolina as well. He would have been a good VP for Gerald Ford (a crowd favorite no doubt). 

    The second debate was pretty good too but a lot less spontaneous. There were moments though. Fiorina gave Trump what for and helped herself a lot (many say she "won") but she got it all wrong on "anchor babies" and the 14th Amendment. Rand Paul set her straight on that although he didn't hit the issue too hard. Huckabee gave an impassioned defense of religious liberty but it'll go unnoticed I'm sure. Chris Christie helped himself I'd say. I though he did well. Scott Walker and Marco Rubio both looked good but didn't stand out. Carson would put you to sleep. He's a good man but I don't think I could take four years of that halting speech pattern he's got going on. Jeb showed a little more life but his positions are way way WAY out of touch. He came off as the "transition" President, you know, the guy who would ease us into being the quasi-latin American country the establishment of both parties wants us to be. If he gets 5% in ANY primary I'll be surprised. Trump was, well Trump. Big on entertainment value painting in broad strokes but short on detail. He bitch slapped Jeb all over the stage. I was almost embarrassed for Jeb, he looked like a pussy.

    All in all a good night. There was a LOT of talent up on stage. In my view there were only a couple I COULDN'T live with. At this point I just can't see any Democrat that could beat any of these folks. But for me the eventual nominee has to get immigration right! Otherwise this will be the last election we win forevermore. 

    Monday, September 14, 2015

    Democracy and transactions

    Vox notices an old ad for George McGovern, and notes that it explains the appeal of Bernie Sanders:


    Of course, the same points would equally explain Donald Trump's current popularity, although it would not be in Vox's nature to notice that. Never mind.

    Lost in all the lamentations about campaign finance, "special interests," and ideological purity is this: Democracy is inherently transactional, because humans, who thus far constitute 100% of voters, are by their nature transactional. Some would say that is our great strength as a very violent species that might otherwise have killed ourselves off long ago. The more democracy you have, the more transactions you have. The United States has more democracy than anybody, given our almost unbelievable number of local, state, and national elected offices, so we have more transactions in the formation of our government. Those transactions range from the tawdry -- I'll introduce this bill if you give me or my SuperPAC a big contribution -- to the swapping of earmarks or substantive compromises in momentous legislation. Regardless, democracy as a system does not accommodate either moral or ideological "purity" because neither allow for the transactions necessary to resolve disputes within a democracy. The dreams of liberals and conservatives alike will be forever frustrated, just as the disenchanted youth who nominated George McGovern in 1972 or the rebellious conservatives who dumped Rocky for Goldwater in 1964 discovered to their horror come November. In our system, ideological purity always leads to defeat, as Lyndon Johnson and even the sainted Ronald Reagan knew very well.

    None of that means that ideologues cannot change the terms of debate on some subject, but it can -- again -- only be done by transactional compromise. In Mitt Romney, the GOP had the most hawkish candidate on immigration that it is ever likely to nominate, yet a huge number of conservative voters stayed away because they did not like his religion, or his nuanced stance on healthcare, or any number of other imperfections. Will conservatives make that same mistake again?

    I Don't Care! An Open Letter to Jeb Bush.

    Dear Jeb:

    By all accounts you did a good job in Florida. By all accounts you are a competent administrator. By all accounts you are a quality individual and an outstanding public servant. None of that means a thing to me this election. I don't care. I don't care because you are on the wrong side of history. I don't care because you are too willing to compromise. I don't care because you are a rich kid, a product of the best of the best and you haven't an inkling of what my life is about.

    What we need is a conservative who will REDUCE the size and scope of the federal government rather than just manage it better than the opposition. We need a conservative who will get immigration under control, build a wall, institute eVerify, do away with "anchor babies" and put the American worker first. We need a conservative who will get rid of trade bills designed to give multinationals the flexibility to move capital and exploit labor on a global scale but refuse to acknowledge their responsibility to the American worker who built their companies in the first place. We need a STRONG conservative who will squeeze every last concession from the opposition and has the guts to stand up to a hostile media that will do every thing they can to destroy you. We need a conservative who will punish and intimidate the opposition as they have punished and intimidated us since 2006.

    Jeb, you are NOT that man. You're father was not that man and neither was your brother. All good men no question about that, but good men won't do this time, we need GREATNESS! So you're right to try and channel Reagan into your campaign. But you're no Reagan.

    Good luck, but you're just not the man for the job in 2016, I don't care what you say.

    The Hammer

    Sunday, September 13, 2015

    The Hammer's College Football Roundup: Week 2

    Do you believe in ESP? You know, extra sensory perception like the kid in The Shining. Well I think CW and I have something akin to that going on because when Notre Dame's second string quarterback hit a TD bomb with 12 seconds on the clock to steal one from UVA in Charlottesville, well I could just feel this unendurable pain/frustration/hopelessness coming out of the Mary-Land eastern shore. I thought for a second it was the Russians setting off an EMP weapon or something. Then I realized it was just CW screaming into his embroidered "Wahoolia Rules" pillow he got for his fiftieth. It was a very powerful and disturbing experience for me! Man it was weird, instead of repeating REDRUM REDRUM over and over again he kept saying "WOLBEW, WOLBEW". Still ain't figured that one out yet. Cheer up CW, at least Marco is doing GREAT!

    In relevant news we had a couple of real surprises and a couple of barn burners. Tennessee was laying in wait for OU in Knoxville ready to assume their traditional role as a college football power. They came out smoking and had the Sooners down 17-3 at the half but gave up two TDs in the fourth to send it into overtime, where they lost. The Vols scored not one friggin' point in the second half! This one is on the offensive coordinator.

    Auburn looked like absolute shit against Jacksonville State. Who's the hell are they you say? That's funny, I was asking the same thing. First I thought it was the old Jacksonville of Artis Gilmore and Rex Morgan (look it up) but I looked it up. It's in Jacksonville, Ala-Goddamn-Bama! I didn't know that shithole had a Jacksonville. Anyway the Gamecocks, that's right the Gamecocks (LOL) played pretty well, especially their QB and gave the War Eagles a scare. Eh, it happens. Wouldn't read too much into this.

    Oregon went on the road to East Lansing (is there a West Lansing?) and were one overthrown ball away from an important road win. Sorry, with lots of graduations to make up for it's Ducks Limited this year. Boise State lost to BYU allowing three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. LSU got a nice win against Mississississippi State and Ohio State and the Tide both got wins although they looked a little disinterested while doing it. South Carolina lost to the basketball school of basketball schools Kentucky.

    In ACC action Lewisville lost to Houston going 0-2 so looks like their season is screwed. Clemson, Ga. Tech, FSU and Duke all rolled. My beloved WolfPack kicked another junior college in the ass, this weeks chump was Eastern Kentucky. Next week Old Dominion and the week after S. Alabama...can't wait.

    Well that's it. Not a bad week, just be glad you didn't go to UVA!

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

    Perry Drops Out: How It Will Go From Here (GOP)

    Former Texas Governor Rick Perry left the Presidential race yesterday; it just seemed that his candidacy couldn't get any traction.  Two factors I think contributed to his low numbers, both of which are to some extent tied to his perception in the mainstream media.  First, there was the issue of his disastrous, unprepared run in 2012.  He wasn't ready, and it showed.  Bill Clinton similarly beclowned himself in 1988 at the Democratic Convention, but he was a Democrat, and so his sins weren't remembered when he ran in 1992.  The second contribution to Perry's downfall was the plain fact that he was from Texas.  There is lingering Bush Derangement Syndrome among the cognoscenti, and so his twang, and his boots, mattered far more in their evaluation of him than did the plain fact that he was the most successful, best Governor in the union for 14 years.  It is a shame that he didn't do better, but the Presidency is only partially determined on merit.

    So, here's how the rest of the GOP process will go, for those interested.

    Three blocs will develop.  The first block is the "Outsider" bloc, made up of Fiorina, Carson, and he who shall not be named.  They will fight it out among themselves to see who will be the last outsider standing in February.  I believe it will be Fiorina, but you may differ.

    The next bloc is the Jeb Bush bloc.  That's right, he's all by himself in this one.  His name, his money, and his damn good record lead me to believe that he'll continue on into the three way race once the primaries start.

    Finally, there's the "Not Jeb" bloc, which is everyone else.  Cruz, Rubio, Walker, and Kasich will fight it out for the third spot in the three way race that will develop.  Cruz likes to think of himself in the first bloc, but he's really here--along with Rand Paul, whose failure to do better than he is reflects his ideological impurity to the libertarians, who just don't like him as much as they did his Dad.

    Count everyone else out.  You heard it here first.

    Friday, September 11, 2015

    The Death of Europe

    Europe is in a fix, and as is usual with do-gooder leftists they did it to themselves. Furthermore, again as usual, they will be asking their citizens to pay the price for their hair-brained schemes. Did I say "ask"? Just kidding.

    The EU has done everything they could to erase all their borders for going on something like 20 years now. Used to be you'd be sleeping on a train going through Brenner and some attitudinal Polizei would roust your ass in that guttural, clearing one's throat language of theirs and DEMAND Ihren Reisepass bitte! And lookout if you didn't snap to, they might just go through all your shit just for fun. But those days are over. Now you just walk right in, sit right down and order your free lunch.

    Merkel and the other Eurweenie states have two choices; they can round up all these people, put them on a suitable Greek Island somewhere and sort them out one by one.
    Ok you're name is Mohammed bin Turd. You claim to be a war refugee from Syria and you're into Miley Cyrus, chicks w/dicks and Al-Farghani history comics. Great, political asylum granted.
    Don't do this and a lot of very bad people will be crossing those borders. Plus there's precedence for this approach. The Australians had a "boat people" crisis a couple of years ago. They were getting every raghead bastard from Indonesia, Malaysia, name it, riding everything but bathtubs to their country. Initially they tried camps and all the rest. Finally they adopted a policy of turning them away ("HEY YOU...YEAH YOU! Get your ass back to Kuala Lumpur!") or putting them up OUTSIDE the country to be processed. In 2012 they had 300 boatloads of human refuge, in 2015 they've had exactly ZERO.

    OR...door Number Two, national suicide maybe twenty years down the line. Don't think so? Well consider...
    •Muslims don't play well with others. Given the numbers they will take over. They have to, it's in the Koran.
    •European leadership is weak and everybody from the Arabs to Putin to some second grader in Montevideo knows that to be true. There's nothing worse than a leader who acts in the best interest of ANOTHER COUNTRY'S CITIZENS rather than their own. I'm sure you can relate.
    • Assimilation is impossible for a Muslim. Islam by its nature is incompatible with a modern democratic state. It is theocratic and authoritarian, and it likes it that way.
    •BEST CASE SCENARIO is they live on welfare and the police keep the rapes and honor killings down to a manageable level. According to Peggy Noonan 70%+ are men, mostly in their 20's. How many will get a job and pay taxes? How many will take European wives and start a family and invest in their new country? See the problem? Can you say Der Auslander brannte mein Auto??

    Charles Martel is spinning in his grave.

    Thursday, September 10, 2015

    McConnell and Boehner Have to Go

    Who would you say are the greatest double crossing, backstabbing turncoats in human history? The spies, liars and rats? Off the top of my head there's Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, Mata Hari, the Rosenbergs, the Cambridge Spy Ring, the post World War II American Democratic Party (featuring Teddy Kennedy on lead guitar), Jonathan Pollard, Aldrich Ames and now I'd have to include the Republicans Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Unless you've been under a rock the last week or two you've seen the columns blowing the whistle on these jerks, and don't think this is the fringe (like me) talking either, these are well respected writers at well respected news outlets.

    I've known these guys were up to no good for a while and so have most people who've been paying attention. My question is why? Why run interference for Obama against your own party? Why work against your own party candidates? Is Obama blackmailing them? Do the powers behind the curtain believe they can succeed WITHOUT the, how will I put it(?) non-progressive wing of the party? Do they not care because the Democrat agenda is their agenda? Are these guys so insulated they either can't or won't see what's happening? Do they know the jig is up and they're just trying to do as much as they can for as long as they can before they are thrown out on their asses? What is the end game here?

    Regardless, they are carrying water by the truckload for Obama's hair-brained policies and it's getting real. This Iran non-treaty is so over the top I really can't believe it. This thing has to be stopped otherwise we'll be paying for this one a long LONG time, and that's if it does what they say it will do. Worst case scenario is MIRVed ICBMs in the most volatile part of the world run by the most irresponsible leaders imaginable.

    Hillary said last night this thing was the best way to monitor Iran's nuclear program. Here's a thought, maybe allowing a bunch of aggressive, radical, insane ragheads a fuqing nuclear program at all ain't such a good idea. No program no monitoring necessary. But thanks in part to our Congressional leadership, THAT solution is off the table, and make no mistake, they could stop it today if they wanted. Boehner and McConnell need to take the midnight train to Moscow (euphemistically speaking), they have been exposed and the Republican Party rank and file has lost confidence in them (to put it kindly). Donald Trump and Ben Carson are proving this reality as we speak. The point is who gives a damn what the reason is, they are not doing their job, they're damaging the party and the country and they HAVE TO GO!

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    New York, New York.....

    The wobble of Amtrak 93 is a pleasing sensation as I return to Maryland for a night spent in the Big Apple.  The reason for my trip was an invitation from the New York Council of the Navy League to address their "Future War" series.  Never one to miss an opportunity to travel to New York, I quickly agreed.

    I trained up yesterday afternoon, after a bit of a snafu.  My day was to have begun by driving to New Carrollton station and parking there, but then taking a Metro to the Pentagon to look in on some work there.  Afterward, I'd metro back to New Carrollton and jump on the Amtrak to New York.  But when I arrived at New Carrollton, I realized that I had forgotten my folder with my speech in it, my train ticket, and my letter of introduction from the Army and Navy Club to the Cornell Club (where I was to spend the night).  So instead of going to the Pentagon, I turned around and drove an hour back to Easton, grabbed the folder (and puttered around a bit), then drove back to New Carrollton to hop the train.

    I splurged on business class for this trip, up and back, perhaps the most wasteful travel habit I have.  Business on a train isn't much better than coach, but it costs a lot more.  I arrived at Penn Station at 4:30 and was to meet the Navy League folks for dinner at 6:30--so I walked the twenty minutes or so from Penn Station to the Cornell Club.

    Before Hammer calls me an elitist and Tigerhawk accuses me of slumming with the quasi-Ivy League folks, I chose to stay there because that is where the breakfast event I was to speak at the next morning would be held.  My room was very nice, smallish, and equipped with a Murphy Bed, the first time I'd stayed in such a thing.  

    I walked to dinner in the steamy New York gloaming, to a little Italian joint on 42nd street.  I met my two hosts, one an octogenarian and the other one year shy of it.  They were spry fellows, quick minded and very patriotic.  We had a delightful dinner (steak, natch) before I headed back to what turned out to be a delightfully comfortable Murphy Bed sleeping experience.

    I arose at 5 to listen to my speech again (I generally record a version perfectly read, listen to it a bunch of times and then try to riff it from there), scan the interwebs, and drink coffee in my little room.  After showering, I dressed and headed to the included breakfast buffet, before joining the Navy League crowd at 0745.  I spoke for thirty minutes and then answered thirty minutes of questions.  Good people, very interested, extremely good questions.

    After saying goodbyes, I checked out and Ubered down to the 9-11 Memorial.  I had really only one objective, and that was to lay my eyes on the Kitten's husband's name at the memorial.  I thought about going into the museum, but then decided that 1) I didn't want to be a blubbering fool and 2) I didn't want to have to go through a proctological examination through security with my traveling bag.  So I completed my objective, then sought a quiet place to think about that day, and what his death has meant in my life.

    Needing to go to meet a Navy buddy for lunch, I summoned another Uber (Black, natch), and headed to a little steakhouse near Penn Station that I had read good things about.  My buddy and I went to XO school together in 1999, and he is retiring in a month after a 30 year career.  A great career, a great American.  We both ate large ribeyes, and neither batted an eye at the size of the other's meal.  Dudes.

    Now I'm headed back to New Carrollton to grab my car and head to the Naval Academy, where I will attend the opening of an exhibit at the Naval Academy Museum called "Warrior Writers".  You can see a news story about it by clicking this link.  I'm one of the "warrior writers" in question, and there's a little bit of the exhibit with my name on it.  Then it's on to Easton, a bit of sleep, and then back to the Pentagon in the early morn.

    New York is a wonderful place.  I really, really, would love to live and work there someday, but I fear such a thing would mean a hard break from The Kitten, who is justifiably not a fan of the city.  So I figure I'll just keep nipping up now and then and grabbing little bits of it, like last night.  I realize it is cliche, but there is huge energy there, and you feel it as you walk down the street.  I don't get this feeling in DC...

    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

    Brotherhood and Solidarity

    Yes friends, in the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity the Muslim world has come together and decided... NOT IN MY BACKYARD!

    QATAR, the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES and SAUDI ARABIA are increasingly criticized by rights organizations, which say the wealthy Persian Gulf countries have not offered to take in even one Syrian refugee. The nations have contributed to humanitarian aid, some generously.
    LA Times 9/8/15

    Oh yes thank you, thank you very much for your generosity! The ultra-wealthy oil kingdoms are throwing a few bones at the ultra-stupid Europeans who are currently being flooded with welfare seeking juhadis from all over the Islamic world, but somehow the House of Saud just can't bring themselves to take any in. These "refugees" have either Syrian passports, fake Syrian passports or no passports at all but claim Syrian citizenship (we're refugees from a war zone don't you know) so if you're a humanitarian you must give us political asylum... according to YOUR rules. By the way, these "refugees" refuse to be settled in Greece (they're bankrupt) or Hungary (too far from the media spotlight plus they HATE Saracens from way back and were raised communists, so they're not soft). No, they want Germany, but will take Sweden if that's all you got.
    Merkel has agreed to take 800,000 many they know absolutely NOTHING about, JUST THIS YEAR! 800k screaming, hungry, needy, potential suicide bombers, enough to populate Munich, year after year after year while the richest countries in the world, MUSLIM countries, refuse even one.

    But come on, why would they take any? They're not stupid. They don't live by the rules we impose upon ourselves which basically say anything we do in our own self-interest, most especially if it conflicts with the interest of minorities or people of color whatever their circumstance or nationality, is by definition racist. No they live by the rule...what's in it for me? From their perspective they're thinking we're rich and we don't need a bunch of po-asses taking our money and fomenting rebellion. Nothing wrong with that. In my view a very reasonable approach.

    Some leaders we have in the West. Traitors and cowards the lot.

    Monday, September 7, 2015

    Kevin Williamson Puts Labor Day In Perspective

    A virtuoso performance.  Read it all.  

    Sunday, September 6, 2015

    The Hammer's College Football Review: Week 1

    Now, let's say you're heading to the West Coast to get even against one of those Beach Boy teams out there, whatta you do? First thing is realize who it is you're playing. The West Coast is a different country almost. Every week they watch ESPN and it's all east coast, mid-west, SEC. They've got a bit of a chip on their shoulder, therefore they are highly motivated. So you have to take the wind out of their sails first series. Knock 'em in the mouth, tell 'em you hate everything California including the weather but you do like their women of which you intend to wade into up to your gonads as soon as you're finished kicking their blue and gold ass. And then do it.
    Here's what you don't do. You don't get cute. You don't  show up in uniforms designed by Project Runway. No, you storm out in the darkest, meanest, most intimidating uniforms you got.
    Come out in this?
     UCLA sees this.

    Another thing, you gentlemen know my thoughts on the sorry state of college cheerleading. Now we've got a real world example of how certain intangibles can affect the outcome of a game. If you're a young guy fighting the good fight, tired and bleeding, what keeps you going down in the trenches?

    Something like this?
     Or something like this?
    Hot cheerleaders matter! I'm not saying have strippers in cheerleading outfits like 1990's Florida State. What I am saying is the takeover of college cheerleading by hardcore gymnasts is bad for the sport and certainly ain't doing anything for lecherous old bastards like me.

    Ok, editorial over, let's get cracking. Since we're talking UCLA/Virginia let's get it out of the way. UCLA's quarterback had a career game yesterday, so the hype was true. Josh Rosen threw for 350 yards, 3 touchdowns while completing 80% of his passes, all against a veteran secondary. Particularly embarrassing for the Wahoos, this was HIS FIRST GAME! UCLA's leading receiver only had about 60 yards so it was a well balance attack.
    Ok enough's enough, it's over. Maybe next year... but shit, these clowns made the league look bad. Maybe Va. Tech can regain the ACC a little pride Monday night against OSU.

    In other action this was tuneup week so no big surprises. Everybody keeps talking about Stanford's loss to Northwestern but damn, same old same old. Stanford always did run hot and cold. They beat teams they're suppose to lose to and lose to teams they're supposed to beat. It's in the DNA.
    Bobby Petrino at Lewis-ville needs clock management remediation but then again his judgement always did suck...riding on a Harley with a 25 year old hottie (too friggin' cool!), getting caught (NOT cool at all). Texas A&M looked impressive but they're just like Stanford, they'll probably lose to SMU next week. Notre Dame looked good against a hapless, hopeless Texas and 'Bama looked GREAT!

    Well that's it, sorry for being so hard on UVA CW, but it's all in good fun. I'll leave you with the hit of the day.

    Saturday, September 5, 2015

    Rubio Fund at $1000*

    Folks--great news--while the fund is currently at $1000, I received a $2700 check last week that I've mailed off to the finance as soon as that shows up on my online "Tab", I'll claim it here.  Print this form, fill it out, and mail it in!

    Hope Springs Eternal

    My beloved Wahoos have traveled to Tinseltown to take on UCLA today, a 3:30PM game on Fox.  I have no illusions this year--I think we will earn three, maybe four wins.  But--we could steal this one today.

    Next week, Notre Dame comes to Charlottesville, a game I will miss.  But the following Saturday, I'll make my first trip down for the season.

    Basketball season starts soon, I hear.

    A Little Civics, Perhaps?

    In our system, the Supreme Court determines the constitutionality of laws, and there is no higher authority than it.  When it gets things wrong, as it sometimes does, it does so with no less finality.

    The Supreme Court adjudged the continuing denial of state sanctioned marriage to same sex couples to be unconstitutional based on equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment.  The decision was controversial, and it was poorly rendered.

    An official of a county in Kentucky believes that she cannot in good conscience, provide same-sex couples with marriage licenses, as it is her responsibility under the law, to do, as long as such other laws as are in force in that jurisdiction are followed.  She is neither following the law or doing her job.

    The complication here is that there is a religious practice issue, one worthy of respect.  The official in question refuses to grant same sex couples licenses on religious grounds.   The law under which she previously in good conscience, performed her duties, has changed, and its constitutionality has been validated.

    And so, this official must A) issue licenses or B) quit.  There really is no middle ground here, I'm sorry.

    One can cite all sorts of other instances where public officials aren't following the law (Obama immigration, DC open carry, etc), and one would be correct in pointing out that these are also unacceptable.

    What is most dangerous of all to the continuing function of our democracy is the degree to which previously clear thinking individuals now believe it is acceptable to pick and choose among the laws we follow of which we approve.  Worse yet, is the "they are doing it, so why shouldn't we" mentality that often accompanies this behavior.

    Conservatives are special, and useful, and dare I say, correct--in no small part because we tend to embrace principles while eschewing the emotion of the moment.  And while it may be initially satisfying to call for resistance and take to the barricades over a local official standing her ground against the immorality of the federal government, the truly conservative manner in which to view this situation is the long view, one in which we think CLEARLY about the long term consequences of allowing government officials to pick and choose laws to  enforce.  Some of those laws are likely to be among ones conservatives value.  And because those with whom we disagree seem to have decided to make this practice of selective enforcement a habit, in no way requires us to do the same.

    In other words--don't come bitching to me about Hillary and her servers and her email and her TS/SCI traffic on unclassified channels if you in the next breath, support the actions of a county clerk to deny legally able citizens their right to marry.  Both actions are wrong.  And we must not become confused about this.

    Friday, September 4, 2015

    Let's Play DEMOCRAT Roulette. When WE Lose We Pay Nothing, When YOU lose, YOU Pay Double.

    Ads that turn me off

    Every now and then I see a commercial with characters that so annoy me that I resolve not to buy the product or service because I cannot stand to think that I might be like the dudes in the ad. This commercial from Interactive Brokers, which runs on CNBC's "Squawk Box" relentlessly, is my current, er, favorite.

    Douche. Bags.

    Big Fat Friday Free For All

    What's got you glum, Basil?  Your week off of social media create an "inmates running the asylum" quality to your blog? Did the world not seem adequately impoverished without your constant Facebook and Twitter insights?  Complain here, all who seek solace!

    I will officially return to social media this evening, after one week's hiatus.  The time off enabled a good bit of reading and leisure, as I conducted a "staycation" here at home.

    Sadly for you Hammer, we're over two months past my 50th Birthday weigh in goal of 159.9 lbs, and I weighed in today at 155.8.  So sorry to be thus far depriving you of your desired ballooning.

    Thursday, September 3, 2015

    The Hammer's College Football Preview

    That's right sports fans, The Hammer's favorite sport is back...COLLEGE FOOTBALL! God I love this time of year! Where else but America can one witness the grandeur, the spectacle and the pageantry of young women with the sex appeal (and figure) of a fencepost, cheering on semiliterate ghetto-rats, hicks and steroid junkies engaged in acts of brutality and barbarism not seen since the days of the Roman Circus? Only in America can we pay through the nose for endzone tickets to see a state school play in a state owned stadium, all funded by taxpayers mind you, and watch as fatcat boosters enjoy their 50 yard line box seats with their three year old grandchildren playing on iPads while we can't see a third of the field due to our lousy, overpriced seats. American Exceptionalism...believe it!

    Ok, let's get this out of the way first. UVA is at the Rose Bowl in Baja-Mexico Saturday to play the UCLA Bruins. The Wahoos had a rough time last year with UCLA losing 28-20 at home and putting CW in such a funk he ballooned up to 210lbs. He's just recently gotten back on track (bless his Yankee heart) with (rumor has it) the help of gastric by-pass surgery at the Chris Christie Institute for Fat MoFos of Lower New Jersey (just off 95 next to the ITT Computer Institute of Trenton). But we could have a jellyroll relapse 'cause things don't look that good for UVA. Last year UCLA won their last 4 out of 5, Virginia lost their last 4 out of 5, but that's not the issue. UCLA has a dynamite freshman quarterback going up against a pretty good veteran Virginia secondary. So defensively UVA is in ok shape but the Wahoos better learn to score, that's all I got to say. Especially, ESPECIALLY when they play nationally ranked Boise State and Notre Dame later this month.
    Here the deal, UVA can come out of September with a #5 ranking and the greatest month in the history of the program or be 1-3 and positioned to lose to damn near every team left on the schedule. We'll see.

    Now...tonight we've got the Clinton Foundation of college sports, the North Carolina Tar Heels playing the South Carolina Gamecocks in Charlotte. As you may know Charlotte is a UNC town thru and thru, but if I could remember all the games the Heels have lost to the OTHER Carolina in the Queen City I wouldn't need all this B12. Anyway the Heels return nearly all their key players on the offensive side of the ball, however they weren't that good last year. On the other side of the ball the Tar Heels defense was so bad last year I'd say THEY WISH they didn't have seven returning starters. But Coach Fedora brought in Gene Chicik to get 'em back on track so I'm sure they'll improve.
    The Cocks defense last year sucked shit but they return most of their starters,, but Spurrier doesn't lose openers too often.
    By the way, about 20k empty seats are expected for the game. Apparently they're charging PRO prices for tickets and Charlotte ain't quite as Carolina blue as they thought. Maybe they should have made it a "LGBT" appreciation night and given the unsold seats away to Diesel Dykes, Lady Boys and Caitlin Jenner types. Take THAT you South Carolina redneck pieces of shit! I'm sure no one in Chapel Hill would complain. They could call it a "Squeal for the Heels" night.

    In other games they're mostly tune-ups with the exception of TCU at Mini-soda. TCU doesn't play that well on the road and the Big Ten is feeling their oats so I wouldn't be too surprised if the Horny Frogs got upset. Texas/Notre Dame, Louisville/Auburn and Wisconsin/Ala-Goddamn-Bama all could be interesting, so keep an eye out. Plus on Monday OSU is in Blacksburg to maybe avenge their only loss last year.

    Well that's it, so put your seats in the upright position and get focused damn you!

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