Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Real Music: Higher Love

I was recently reminded by The Clearly Dope about one of my all-time favorite songs (accompanied by a suitably festive video), which will always be reminiscent of the good times of my youth spent in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, VA.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just Thinking Out Loud: A certain repeat of ‘04

From season 8, episode 8 of South Park
The ingenious, if not disturbed, minds of “South Park” compared the 2004 presidential election to deciding between a giant douche (John Kerry) and a turd sandwich (George W. Bush). This year, and no matter who gets the nod for the GOP, the American electorate will face the same options. The only difference now is that the giant douche will be a Republican and the turd sandwich will undoubtedly be the Democrat.

Original source unknown

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday’s Quote: Securing the Republic

The older I get, the more I appreciate the Founders. One of them, an original Tea Partier, offered a bit of wisdom for some of the vexing ills we face today.


“No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign Invaders.”
~ Samuel Adams, from his letter to President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress James Warren; November 4, 1775

Editorial Sketch(es) of the Week: Self-explanatory

I couldn’t pick just one. They stand on their own merit. . .

© Dick Locher, Chicago Tribune

© Michael Ramirez, Investors’ Business Daily

© Olle Johansson

© Rick McKee, The Augusta (GA) Chronicle

© Walt Handelsman, Newsday

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A word from Churchill

I began reading “Citizens of London” by Lynne Olson recently. Thus far the story about the Americans  centering primarily on Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman and John Gilbert Winant who stood with Churchill’s Britain during “it’s darkest, finest hour” has proven a good read. Hence I found the pic below both notable, and personally applicable, as well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

“Fat Tuesday” (a day late)

And to think Mardi Gras was once a relatively laid back Christian celebration prior to Lent. . .

c/o Philip DeFranco

Monday, February 20, 2012

He was Elvis to a lot of people

Kurt Cobain would’ve turned 45-years-old today.

c/o World Falls Down
“He had the desperation, not the courage, to be himself. Once you do that you can’t go wrong, because you can’t make any mistakes when people love you for being yourself. But for Kurt, it didn’t matter that other people loved him; he simply didn’t love himself enough.”
~ Dave Reed, one-time foster father

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday’s Quote: Christian America

It seems that many among the Left are driven, in part, by a yearning to dictate the prevailing opinion of the Founders (1, 2, 3), especially in regard to the consequent establishment of our country, by diminishing the philosophically Christian foundation that was otherwise undeniable for over two centuries. Their interpretation of the Treaty of Tripoli is just one example.

The construal of facts, for the sake of supporting their own conclusions, is put into effect to have the opposition believe that they are wrong, backwards, and nowhere near the mainstream. Nothing could be further from the Truth.

Our first President added the following:


“If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it; and if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
~ from George Washington’s Letter to the United Baptist Churches in Virginia; May 10, 1789

Postscript: Painting by John Trumbull (1756-1843), currently displayed at City Hall in New York City. His work is easily among the best of the era.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rest in peace, Whitney

One of the greatest singers of all-time passed away on Saturday. Being that February is Black. . . excuse me, African-American History Month, I believe a tribute by Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate would be in order.

Highly inappropriate, but. . .

Just Thinking Out Loud: The expanded Twitterverse

One of the newly designed sign-in pages for Twitter features a group of young people playing cricket amid the backdrop of a mosque (pictured below). In comparison, is it such a stretch to presume that we will never see anyone doing anything near a church?

Probably not. After all, that would be culturally insensitive.

click to enlarge

Iconic Shot: Wellington College

© Richard Peat
Located on a 400 acre estate in southeast England, not far from Windsor Castle, is Wellington College, a selective co-educational public school in the same G-20 vein as Eton College, Phillips Academy and Harvard-Westlake.

The school is also a national monument to Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), the Duke of Wellington. A Christian and Tory Conservative, the Irish-born commander of the Seventh Coalition defeated Napoléon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The triumph ended the Napoleonic Wars and ushered the era of Pax Britannica during which the British Empire enjoyed uncontested European hegemony while the continent itself enjoyed near-constant peace for 100 years.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday’s Quote: Judging from where we came

c/o Metro UK
Note: I’m a Europhile and an unapologetic WASP, both of which are akin to my heritage and identity. So the following is of great personal interest to me.

A graduate of the prestigious Eton College (a world renowned English public school) and the similarly esteemed Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Kwasi Kwarteng is a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Spelthorne constituency for the Conservative Party in the British House of Commons. He is also the child of parents who were subjects of the British Empire, first in their native Ghana and later as immigrants to England. Accordingly Kwarteng’s new book, Ghosts of Empire, offers a distinct perspective about the oft-aspersed British Empire that one may not expect.

As an alternative to the predictable, almost requisite condemnation of the largest empire the world has ever known, Kwarteng instead assesses the kingdom somewhat more magnanimously by weighing both the Empire’s progressive influence with its impulsive callousness. The truth, as one review explained, is that the Empire “was the product, not of a grand idea, but of often chaotic individual improvisation,” the result of unconventional governors and attachés who nevertheless operated the royal enterprise with an unparalleled level of success that was more than one-sided.

Kwarteng’s perspective, once the historical norm, is now disparaged by those who view the Empire as a collection of oppressive White Europeans that merely exploited people from other parts of the world who were, in essence, their exact opposite. Not so unexpectedly, this has also become a gradually prevalent interpretation of our own United States.

To be sure, the very concept of our domestic exceptionalism first referenced in Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America some 175 years ago is being supplanted by post-nationalist intellectuals among the left who, at their core, are abhorred whether they admit it or not by the very principles that developed America into a social and economic model coveted by billions. As it turns out, we elected a philosophical spawn of these left-wing ideologues to lead our nation just a few years ago, the consequences of which have been questionable at best.

A piece in The Wall Street Journal tied it all together a couple of days ago.


“In his recent State of the Union speech, President Obama said: ‘Anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned doesn’t know what they’re talking about.’ It was hardly a Churchillian rejoinder, but then it was a very demotic speech, and he is wrong. By almost any criteria, the American influence in the world has indeed waned since the Eisenhower administration, but it still has a good head start on the British Empire, which was antidemocratic, protectionist, slow to innovate and largely ruled over by the sportsmen of its only two great universities. America, by contrast, is when it is true to itself a proselytizing democracy, free-market and innovational, which has more than a dozen of the world’s top 20 universities.

“Where the British Empire does indeed hold a message for modern America is in the area of self-belief. Many of the British Empire’s worst legacies stemmed from a collapse in confidence among the British elite in the values and principles that had made Britain the largest empire in the history of mankind. Anyone who thinks that just such a spasm of self-doubt among America’s elite isn’t a problem in modern America doesn’t know what he is talking about.”
~ from “Now That The Sun Has Set” by Andrew Roberts, from his review of Kwarteng’s Ghosts of Empire in The Wall Street Journal; February 10, 2012

Just Thinking Out Loud: Still the standard

Recently described in The Los Angeles Times as “a sort of collaboration with their past,” Van Halen’s first album with David Lee Roth in 28 years is destined to remind enthusiasts about the days of glory engendered by the band’s first six albums; understandable since Roth has acknowledged that much of the material used for A Different Kind of Truth originated from collaborations that occurred “literally, in 1975, 1976 and 1977.”

Whereas revisiting the past is usually a sign of regression, perhaps nothing will be more applauded this time around by the devotees of a band which, not that long ago, was deemed inconsequential, if not finished altogether. If Van Halen III didn’t feel like their demise was imminent, then the active roster’s total absence for their own induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame was surely the band’s death knell or so it seemed.

Few bands have a more impassioned fan base. Consequently, eagerness for another album never fully waned, as disappointment was always coupled with hopeful expectation for a return to form. And now it seems that fans’ patience has been recompensed at last. Indeed pure Rock, for lack of a better description, is Van Halen’s forte. They raised the bar repeatedly, so perhaps we shouldn’t be altogether surprised by possibly the only band capable of composing such a fun, almost innocent, feel-good classic about a tawdry stripper (“Panama”).

Kids today need to be reminded that Rock isn’t a meager genre’ reserved for aging hipsters desperately clinging to their youth. Most of the newer breed isn’t up to snuff, but the elder statesmen (alongside AC/DC, Metallica, etc.) have answered the call yet again. And now we’re given an album that provides the best of both worlds: DLR’s forestalled return in conjunction with a showcase for Eddie’s re-ascendance to his rightful place on the shredders throne.

A Different Kind of Truth may not be Van Halen’s all-time greatest effort, but the release is nevertheless a far cry from the frustration to which fans had become entirely too accustomed. Welcome back guys. You have been missed.

Editorial Sketch of the Week: They can never resist

When Charles Krauthammer referenced the left’s “social engineering hubris,” this is a prime example of what he was talking about.

© Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

Postscript: Mr. Englehart landed in a bit of hot water recently for examining an unmentionable truth. Click here and judge for yourself.

Friday, February 10, 2012

These pics say a lot

A couple of random and entirely verifiable facts. . .

Original source(s) unknown

Good question

Original source unknown

Did You Know (or Care): Inspired by a Colt, not a pistol

Contrary to popular belief, Colt 45 malt liquor wasn’t named after the famous handgun.

Peter J. Marcher Jr., master brewer for the National Brewing Company (in Baltimore, MD) and developer of the Colt 45 formula, named his beverage after a running back named Jerry Hill. Selected by Baltimore in the third round of the 1961 NFL draft, Hill (pictured) played for the Colts from 1961-1970 and was a member of their Super Bowl V-winning team.

And just to confirm the obvious, Hill wore the #45 jersey during his playing days.

Source: The Baltimore Sun

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Caught my attention for all the wrong reasons

A Grivet Monkey nestles against a radiator to keep warm at a zoo in Qingdao, China. Breaks my heart. . .

Here is a shocking story about how animals in China are treated. Believe me, it will make you want to punch someone in the face. Preferably a communist.

© Hong Wu/Getty Images

So, I’m relatively intelligent

I’m told the score falls in the above-average category.


Happy (belated) birthday, Mr. President

Our 40th President would have turned 101-years-old three days ago. Although the well-known pic below has been clearly photoshopped, it’s a nice way to remember one of our all-time finest anyway.

Original source unknown

And remember kids. . .

Original source unknown

Good eye

If I have seen it once, I have seen it hundreds of times. So credit a Frenchman for pointing out the biggest movie poster cliché ever.

© Christophe Courtois

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday’s Quote: Class warfare

c/o Gateway Pundit
The term referenced above has been used, and will continue to be exhausted, from now to Election Day. There’s really no escaping it, so we may as well have a more distinct view of its meaning.

Presently class warfare consists of elected officials persuading the underprivileged to believe that their financial subjugation is solely the result of an affluent minority — let’s call them the “1%” — who doesn’t pay their “fair share.” While pandering and demonizing may offer the perception of sympathy for the less fortunate, it’s the riling of mass dissention that permits those same bureaucrats to deflect from their unprecedented fiscal recklessness, evidently for the sake of suffocating (if not eliminating) the economic model that has afforded so much, in exchange for initiating policies that both embolden goverment and penalize personal accomplishment.

This is not to imply that the tax code is an example of government at its best. Far from it. But the numbers don’t lie.

According to the American Enterprise Institute, the wealthiest 1% of the population earned 19% of the total income and paid 37% of all income tax in 2007, the year before Obama was elected (and long before chatter about “fair share” became commonplace). Moreover the top 10% accounted for 68% of federal tax revenue, while the bottom 50% — those of us below the median earnings level — earned a paltry 13% of the income and paid just 3% of the taxes.

Kiplinger’s updated numbers, which are nearly identical to the data above, can be found here.

The humble purveyor of this blog is not a one-percenter; not by any stretch. But I would like to be among them one day. And because no nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity, people would be wise to resist anything that could stymie their ability reach the pinnacle in this, the greatest of all nations.

No thank you, Mr. President. A fundamental transformation of our nation is not required. Taxes are not the real problem. Federal expenditures, and the pseudo-philosophy that drives such disbursements, are. Here is syndicated columnist George F. Will to expand upon the point.


“Government becomes big by having big ambitions for supplanting markets as society’s primary allocator of wealth and opportunity. Therefore it becomes a magnet for factions muscular enough, in money or numbers or both, to bend government to their advantage.

The left’s centuries-old mission is to increase social harmony by decreasing antagonisms arising from disparities of wealth – to decrease inequality by increasing government’s redistributive activities. Such government constantly expands under the unending, indeed intensifying, pressures to correct what it disapproves of – the distribution of wealth produced by consensual market activities. But as government presumes to dictate the correct distribution of social rewards, the maelstrom of contemporary politics demonstrates that social strife, not solidarity, is generated by government transfer payments to preferred groups.  . . .

“People are less dissatisfied by what they lack than by what others have. And when government engages in redistribution in order to maximize the happiness of citizens who became more envious as they become more comfortable, government becomes increasingly frenzied and futile.”
~ from “Government: The redistributionist behemoth” by George F. Will, The Washington Post; January 6, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

List Fest: Comparing the last 10 Super Bowl halftime shows

© Charlie Riedel, Associated Press
Halftime festivities for “The Big Game” didn’t become a headline-making spectacle until 1993 when Michael Jackson catapulted onto the stage and, prior to performing, stood frozen for what seemed like an hour. Since then, news about the midgame entertainment has come to garner nearly as much attention as the final showdown between the NFL’s two conference champions itself.

Since the general public seems less than thrilled about Madonna giggling and gyrating her old bones for the sake of our viewing pleasure, if not morbid curiosity, I thought a quick review of the last 10 Super Bowl halftime shows would be in order:


Super Bowl XLV {Packers vs. Steelers} – The Black Eyed Peas w/ Usher and Slash: So insipid, I forgot they even played last year.

Super Bowl XLIV {Saints vs. Colts} – The Who: Not great, but better than the acts between whom they are sandwiched.

Super Bowl XLIII {Steelers vs. Cardinals} – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Sort of a jumbled effort. It seems Bruce in particular was trying too hard.

Super Bowl XLII {Giants vs. Patriots} – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Played above expectations; the last gratifying performance thus far.

Super Bowl XLI {Colts vs. Bears} – Prince: Impressive; perhaps the most outstanding routine of them all.

Super Bowl XL {Steelers vs. Seahawks} – The Rolling Stones: The boys from London really looked their age. Mick only wishes he could jump around the stage like the exuberant Angus Young.

Super Bowl XXXIX {Patriots vs. Eagles} – Paul McCartney: He was fine. Rather lackluster, but there have been plenty worse.

Super Bowl XXXVIII {Patriots vs. Panthers} – Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, et al.: Only MTV, which produced the event, could ever think that flashing one of Janet Jackson’s breasts to nearly a billion people globally would be a good idea.

Super Bowl XXXVII {Buccaneers vs. Raiders} – Shania Twain, No Doubt and Sting: I have no recollection of them whatsoever, which is saying a lot considering how much I love Shania.

Super Bowl XXXVI {Patriots vs. Rams} – U2: Bono and company’s 9/11 tribute struck a proper nerve. They did well.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I am SO buying this

A sizable book about the greatest year in Memphis area rasslin’ history was just released. Stories about Jerry Lawler’s feuds with AWA champ Nick Bockwinkel and NWA champ Ric Flair – along with Lawler’s legendary battle, as it were, with Andy Kaufman – are meticulously illustrated over 434 pages. Anecdotes about numerous fan favorites such as Austin Idol, “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant, “Superstar” Bill Dundee, and perhaps the most underrated tag team ever, The Fabulous Ones are also included.

You may not understand why any of this matters. If you weren’t there, I wouldn’t expect you to.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Harvard guy explains capitalism

Jeff Miron, Ph.D. is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Though he’s a staunch libertarian who believes that all narcotics should be legalized a rather common position among the mass of Ron Paul supporters Miron was also a candid detractor of both President Obama’s financial industry bailout and his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., “Obamacare”).

Take just a few minutes and listen to the good doctor explain the free market system that has afforded our nation so much. And then contrast his words with the guiding principles implemented by the current administration.

Sort of hypnotizing