Friday, July 25, 2003

The costs of diversity
The NFL has fined the Detroit Lions $200,000 for not interviewing any minorities for their open head coach position. Don't they at least get credit for the effort?
Detroit said five minority candidates turned down interviews because it appeared inevitable Mariucci would be hired.
At least they tried to interview someone else. Do the NFL regulations state that a team cannot have a favorite candidate in mind?

I find the whole thing hypocritical. I hear no one claiming that there's a shortage of white running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs. No one seems to mind that there are few black place kickers. I find this whole thing ridiculous. The Lions wanted Mariucci, so they went after him. Last year, the Colts wanted Tony Dungy, so they went after him. Was Indianapolis required to interview a couple of white guys? Somehow, I doubt it.

It'd be easy to blame Johnnie Cochran for this, but I'll blame the French instead. And Kant. Yes, definitely Kant.
No dumbasses here
Do you want to know why I like Victor Davis Hanson so much? Do ya? He cuts through the B.S. He's like a highly-educated, polite Red Forman. To wit:
These are still perilous times. But if anyone on September 12, 2001, had predicted that 22 months later there would still be no repeat of 9/11; that bin Laden would be either quiet, dead, or in hiding; that al Qaeda would be dispersed, the Taliban gone, and the likes of a Mr. Karzai in Kabul; that Saddam Hussein would be out of power, his sons dead, and an Iraqi national council emerging in his place; that troops would be leaving Saudi Arabia, Arafat ostracized, and Sharon seeking negotiations; that new Middle East agreements under discussion — and all at a cost of fewer than 300 American lives — then he would surely have been written off as a madman.

All that and more were no mere accidents. They were the direct result of the work of thousands of brave and astute Americans who were as likely to be slurred during their risky ordeal as they were to be third-guessed in its successful aftermath — and predictably by the same opportunistic bystanders.
By the way, according to this quick Google search, I appear to be the first to compare VDH to Red. Isn't that special?
But who else is there?
George Will sort of agrees with me about President Bush and his weak conservatism, though he lays the blame with Bush the President and not Bush the man (emphasis his):
George W. Bush may be the most conservative person to serve as president since Calvin Coolidge. Yet his presidency is coinciding with, and is in some instances initiating or ratifying, developments disconcerting to four factions within conservatism.
I don't know what the difference is. If he's not conservative, he's not conservative and that's all there is to it.

Yet, I don't know if of a good, electable alternative. I don't think any other Republican that currently serves in Congress or as a Governor would behave much differently. Even if someone did step up and promise to enact a truly conservative policy, that person would be un-electable. There is a leftward slide in this country, President Bush and the entire Republican party are being pulled right along by it, and no capital C Conservative has a chance, not in this climate.

So this raises the question, "How do we change the climate?" I don't have any idea. Given the popularity of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, conservative magazines (both online and on paper) and conservative blogs, one would think the movement - if you can call it that - is going pretty well. And yet the Republican party is actively assimilating the Democratic agenda. They're doing so because it's popular, it gets them votes, which means the public wants it. For all the so-called success conservative media is having, conservatism is eroding.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

A joke for you
Jay Nordlinger over at NRO says this joke is "making the Internet rounds", but the first place I saw it was in his Impromptus. I hope he doesn't mind if I reproduce his version here:
Three Americans and an Israeli soldier are caught by cannibals and are about to be cooked. The chief says, "I am familiar with your Western custom of granting a last wish. Before we kill and eat you, do you have any last requests?"

Dan Rather says, "Well, I'm a Texan, so I'd like one last bowlful of hot, spicy chili." The chief nods to an underling, who leaves and returns with the chili. Rather eats it all and says, "Now I can die content."

Al Sharpton says, "I'd like to have my picture taken, as nothing has given me greater joy in life." Done.

Judith Woodruff says, "I'm a journalist to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here, and what's about to happen. Maybe someday someone will hear it and know that I was on the job to the last." The chief directs an aide to hand over the tape recorder, and Woodruff dictates some comments. "There," she says. "I can now die fulfilled."

The chief says, "And you, Mr. Israeli Soldier? What is your final wish?"

The solider says, "Kick me in the behind."

"What?" says the chief. "Will you mock us in your last hour?"

"No, I'm not kidding. I want you to kick me in the behind."

So the chief unties the soldier, shoves him into the open, and kicks him in the behind. The Israeli goes sprawling, but rolls to his knees, pulls a 9mm pistol from his waistband, and shoots the chief dead. In the resulting confusion, he leaps to his knapsack, pulls out his Uzi, and sprays the cannibals with gunfire. In a flash, the cannibals are all dead or fleeing for their lives.

As the Israeli unties the others, they ask him, "Why didn't you just shoot them? Why did you ask the chief to kick you in the behind?"

"What?" answers the soldier. "And have you SOBs call me the aggressor?"

Money problems
Andrew Sullivan links to a chart contrasting spending under Presidents Reagan and Bush 43. More evidence that Bush is no conservative.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Hmmmm....pancakes
Via the Corner, we get the official word that Kansas is indeed flatter than a pancake. I never would have thought so, but I spend most of my time around the more hilly central and eastern parts of the state - well, hilly for Kansas. The western half must be really, really flat.

I've also heard it said that there are no trees in Kansas, and I used to respond, "What are you talking about? There are trees over there following that creek and trees over there around that house and there's a tree over there on top of that hill! What do you mean we don't have trees?" Then I drove through Ohio and Pennsylvania and I said, "Oh, that's what they mean."
Change from within
I'm not the only one who thinks the Palestinians must undergo a massive cultural change in order to attain peace:
There's no question that Iraq's liberation has improved the prospects for eventual peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, but it may be unrealistic to expect Israel to make peace with the Palestinians when the latter aren't even at peace with themselves.

An hour of pain
I caught David Letterman's interview with Aron Ralston last night. Ralston is they guy that amputated his own arm to free himself from a boulder. It was the most serious I've seen Dave during an interview, and I believe he genuinely took great interest in Ralston's story. I know I did. I don't think I would have the fortitude or the courage to do what he did to live. He described the process of breaking his own bones, saying it wasn't unlike how you would snap a 2x4 by bending it sideways until it gives. I cannot imagine how painful that was. And then to recover to perform surgery with a dull pocket knife! I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. It's amazing he didn't die of shock.

From the summary:
Dave asked Aron if he thinks anyone could or would have done what he did? Aron says that if you consider and understand that you would have to go through an hour of intense pain for another 60 years of life, most everyone would make the same choice.
I'm not so sure. I think most people would have died out there, unable or unwilling to do what had to be done.