Friday, October 08, 2004

Jonah Goldberg is in a bad mood.
Case in point: the latest Goldberg file:
I'm not saying there are no good arguments against the war. I am saying that many of you don't care about the war. If Bill Clinton or Al Gore had conducted this war, you would be weeping joyously about Iraqi children going to school and women registering to vote. If this war had been successful rather than hard, John Kerry would be boasting today about how he supported it — much as he did every time it looked like the polls were moving in that direction. You may have forgotten Kerry's anti-Dean gloating when Saddam was captured, but many of us haven't. He would be saying the lack of WMDs are irrelevant and that Bush's lies were mistakes. And that's the point. I don't care if you hate George W. Bush; it's not like I love the guy. And I don't care if you opposed the war from day one. What disgusts me are those people who say toppling Saddam and fighting the terror war on their turf rather than ours is a mistake, not because these are bad ideas, but merely because your vanity cannot tolerate the notion that George W. Bush is right or that George W. Bush's rightness might cost John Kerry the election.

I get e-mails from you people every day and I see your candidate on TV every night. Shame on you all.
He has a point. I don't like Michael Savage much, but he made a similar, appropriate point the other night on his radio show. Allow me to paraphrase: "No one complains when Democrats drop bombs, only when it's the Republicans."
Bah?
Yeah, I was in a hurry to get to something, so instead of writing a lengthy polemic, I just wrote "bah", which I thought would do in the meantime. I don't have time to write a lenghy post now, either, but I will say that schools need sports if for no other reason than it's becoming one of the few areas where real competition is allowed and encouraged. Unlike, say, Tennessee, where they banned honor rolls because it makes kids feel bad.

On the other hand, I don't think sports should take precedence over a classic education, and if funds are short, all things being equal sports should take the cut first. Yes, the USA Today article mentions some private funding, but it also talks about increasing tax rates and new bond issues.

There has to be a happy middle, a place where athletic programs can be adequately funded without resorting to the hilarity exhibited in the article. $419,000 for the football program alone? Six-figure coaching salaries? Come on!
Hey, David.
You might want to clarify that "bah" before your parents, the educators, have a heart attack.

I read the article, too, and was struck by two things: First, that at least one of the projects was privately financed, and two, that the revenues generated by ticket sales, booster fund raisers, and advertising space ends up paying for the programs and then some.

But the article didn't really focus on those two things.

(That's not to say that I think high schools need multi-million dollar mega-stadiums. I just thought it interesting those two items weren't really highlighted.)
I'm sure my wife will insist on seeing Friday Night Lights
because Tim McGraw is in it, playing a "hypercritical father" (according to the review over at NRO). Well, perhaps she'd insist if it had him singing She's My Kind of Rain, but that's doubtful.

Hmmm...a country music star playing one of the bad guys in a film starring Billy Bob Thorton. Sounds like Sling Blade, wherein Dwight Yoakam played an abusive jerk and got what's coming. I sense a pattern. Next we'll have Billy Bob costarring with Alan Jackson as the shadowy brother-in-law.

Anyway, back to FNL. This film plays in rather nicely with an e-mail that made the rounds into my inbox yesterday about how too many schools emphasize football over everything else. It turns out the e-mail was based on an article in USA Today. A snippit:
For a while now, such free-spending, major-college heavyweights as Florida and Texas have acted as provocateurs in an athletics arms race — bumping up coaches' salaries and the plushness of facilities, inciting competitors to keep pace. It's a chase trickling down to high schools.

USA TODAY found evidence from South Carolina to Michigan, from Louisiana to Minnesota, from Georgia and Indiana to the high school football holy land of Texas.

Denton and Round Rock are participants in a stadium-building boom in Texas.
The state reflects a growing taste nationwide for fancy scoreboard and video systems costing up to $750,000. More and more high school coaches are drawing better than $80,000 salaries with a select few hitting six figures.

[...]

In Texas, which has seen cuts in health benefits for teachers and funding for textbooks, the UIL's Breithaupt says, "Taxpayers go, 'Wait a minute.
You say we don't have enough money, but we've got these huge stadiums and we're paying these great stipends to coaches.' Those issues come up in front of the legislature from time to time, and it's important for our schools to take note of that."
Bah.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Faster, damnit.
So says Michael Leeden about toppling Iran. I'd like to paste the whole thing here, but you'll have to settle for this:
Had we seen the war for what it was, we would not have started with Iraq,
but with Iran, the mother of modern Islamic terrorism, the creator of Hezbollah,
the ally of al Qaeda, the sponsor of Zarqawi, the longtime sponsor of Fatah, and
the backbone of Hamas. So clear was Iran's major role in the terror universe
that the Department of State, along with the CIA one of the most conflict-averse
agencies of the American government, branded the Islamic Republic the world's
number one terror sponsor. As it still does.

Moreover, the Islamic Republic was uniquely vulnerable to democratic
revolution, for, by the mullahs' own accounting, no less than seventy percent of
the Iranian people hated the clerical fascist regime in Tehran, and hundreds of
thousands of young Iranians had shown a disposition to challenge their
oppressors in the streets of the major cities. Had we supported them then and
there, in the immediate aftermath of Afghanistan, when the entire region was
swept by political tremors of great magnitude, the evil regime might well have
fallen, thereby delivering an enormous blow to the jihadis all over the world. I
do not think we would have needed a single bomb or a single bullet.

[Skip a bit...]

In the past week, the Iranian people have again taken to the streets in
every major city in the country. The chatterers pay no heed, because there is
only one zero-sum game that interests them, which is the election, and the
election is about Iraq, or so they say.

Except that it isn't, really. It's about the war. The real war, the
regional war, the war they are waging against us even if we refuse to
acknowledge it.
Read the whole thing.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Macintosh users probably wouldn't like
this video, but I thought it was funny. Warning: it contains a few F-bombs.

Do Macs really have the problems he's complaining about? I had an LCII in college 11 or 12 years ago and it was rock solid. Has the Mac OS lost some quality, or is this guy exaggerating?
This pretty much sums it up:
"Personally, I'd be delighted to live in a country where happily married gay couples had closets full of assault weapons." (From InstaPundit)
Sheesh.
My favorite part of the story:
Pillai-Diaz ultimately removed the entire bulletin board and says School Principal Jim Warfel told her she disrupted the school with her "inflammatory politics". She says he then ordered her out of the building."
Hanging a photo of George and Laura Bush on a bulletin board with pictures of past Presidents is inflammatory?

And what's with those parents demanding a photo of Kerry? He's not President. Even if you support the man, you must be pretty partisan if you think that a historical montage of presidential photos has to include the opponent of the current President.
I've got to hand it to SNL
for their parody of the presidential debates. Will Forte as George Bush constantly saying, "It's hard work. It's so hard, work during the evenings, even came in on Sunday."

The best line, though, came from Seth Meyers as John Kerry. The line was something like, "The President leaves out that I opposed the war in front of anti-war group, and supported it in front of a pro-war group. That's not flip-flopping; that's pandering, and America deserves a President who knows the difference."
You may take the Global Test
here. (Via InstaPundit)