A lot of things on the mind again so we are just going to have to steal the style of Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus column and say a few things;

And since I’m stealing his style may I say that you should read his column regularly and consider buying his book right off the top.

The last time I did this I wrote the following:

The day the New York Times can call itself the Instapundit of Newspapers is the day its stock will not be tanking its building will not need to be mortgaged and will be worth reading again.

Gateway pundit who I read regularly and you should too, hit the New York Times over this front page story that was frankly; a bunch of nonsense. He makes a very obvious point:

Obviously, if Democrats really believed that Republicans were responsible for the housing crisis we would be seeing mock show trial after mock show trial in front of the various Congressional committees. We are not seeing that today.

You can tell what is reality by what people actually do vs what they say every time.

A little more on the New York Times; you know there is nothing wrong with serving a niche market as long as you can make a profit doing it. The New York Times and a good chunk of the media in general is writing for a niche liberal east coast market and is tanking in value. If you can be happy being #2 or #3 and still make a buck all well and good (Read MSNBC) but if you are losing your shirt you can be doing this?

And is it just me or do liberals seem to forget the existence of YouTube and video tape? From the same Gateway pundit link above we see members of congress with a D by their side defending Fannie Mae. Then we see the media and those same congressmen pretending it didn’t happen. Have they forgotten a computer is now an appliance? People can see this stuff.

You know when I was working I had the 1 to midnight shift. Since my wife is a light sleeper and always had trouble getting back to sleep I would crash on the couch and moan when my early rising family would wake me up. Now that I’m not working I’m sleeping in my bed much more. My wife and kids have no school and I’m still waking up before 6. The only good side of it is Morning Joe.

Speaking of Morning Joe, it is the best show on MSNBC and not just because Mika Brzezinski is one of the most handsome women on television but the chemistry between her and Joe Scarborough is fantastic. It really seems that the people on this show genuinely like each other and are not afraid to disagree without being disagreeable. Watching them talk is like watching my friends talk with me, we come from all over the political and religious spectrum and we are friends and always will be.

Don’t forget that it was Morning Joe that grilled Axelrod when nobody else would.

Plus Mike Barnicle is from my home town.

However the hardest thing about watching the show is the ads for Rachel Maddow and Countdown, even the promos are over the top in their worship of liberalism and demonetization of conservatives.

Whenever I see Harold Ford Jr. on Morning Joe I think of Satchel Paige THE greatest pitcher of all time. Page resented that Jackie Robinson made the majors before him with his long record of accomplishment. I look at president elect Obama and Ford and think the same thing.

Then again we all know what Jackie Robinson did, maybe the president elect will do the same. But remember that Jackie won his world series ring in 1955. Satchel won his 7 years ahead of him.

Do you know who got the last hit against Paige? Carl Yaztrzemski in 1965. 1965! It was the only hit he gave up in three innings work, at the age of 59. And that’s assuming his listed birth date is correct.

Of course the Red Sox were one of the worst teams in baseball that year too. They lost 100 games and finished 9th in a 10 team league. Rico Petrocelli and Jim Lonborg were rookies and Tony Conigliaro was only in his 2nd year. They were two years away from greatness. They were also still the most lily white team in the league. Earl Wilson the great slugging pitcher was about it.

These days the Sox are perennial contenders with two world series under their belt and look like the UN by comparison.

It’s quite a thing to be a Boston fan of any sport this year. The Sox just missed the series this year, the Pats are 10-5 WITHOUT Tom Brady, the Celtics are the World Champs and have won 18 straight. and the Bruins are in First place. I don’ t know how long this can last but you’ve gotta love it if you are in Boston.

It almost makes up for the two feet of snow in my front yard, there is no place to put the snow and it isn’t even winter yet. And we have another storm due this week.

Did I just hear people comparing Sarah Palin to Caroline Kennedy and saying the comparison is unfair on Morning Joe and in print? Yes I did but they have it backwards. Gov Palin has actually run a city and a state. Caroline Kennedy hasn’t. Kennedy is so much less qualified that Palin that it isn’t funny.

Of course the newly popular Kathleen Parker makes that point in her column today too, but can’t do it without kicking Palin:

Palin’s demonstrated lack of basic knowledge, her intellectual incuriosity, her inability to articulate ideas or even simple thoughts all combined to create an impression of not-quite-there.

Few doubt that Palin is here to stay. She is the GOP’s chosen closer, as demonstrated in Georgia when she roused the crowds to help re-elect Sen. Saxby Chambliss. What she possesses by immeasurable orders of magnitude – personal power, presence, pizazz – one can’t purchase. The rest – theoretically – she can learn.

Kennedy, a relatively erudite person who has authored several books, may have the political clout to get herself a Senate seat, but it isn’t clear that she has the people power needed to sustain her. The electorate eventually will sort out the differences that matter.

In the meantime, a Sen. Caroline Kennedy would not be a nuclear-enabled leader of the free world, whereas a Vice President Sarah Palin might have been.

Gotta love the theoretically it sounds like Admiral John Jervis Lord St. Vincent in 1804 describing the threat of a French Invasion.

‘I do not say the French can’t come, I only say they can’t come by sea.’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, God they must hate her!

Been reading about Jervis in The Line Upon the Wind the Great War at sea 1893-1815. Once I finish it I’ll link to the Amazon review but there is one thing worth mentioning up front.

I’ve read a lot of naval histories, this is the first one describing the Chesapeake Leopard incident from the British side of the coin and it seems to give justification for the act, although saying the cost was high in terms of international relations. It also repeats the nonsense suggestion of the Admiralty at the time that US frigates such as the USS Constitution was in fact more of a Ship of the Line than a frigate. 200+ year old biases die hard.

And if you’ve never visited the USS Constitution in Charleston Mass do so.

Some more recient biases include everyone’s favorite game “Name That Party!

How bad is the bias? It’s gotten so bad that yesterday when my totally non-political wife was reading the paper I pointed to this AP story and asked what was wrong with it. She took one look and said they must not mention he was a democrat.

She wouldn’t know the AG of Ohio from a hole in the ground. If my wife is figuring this out then the cat is out of the bag.

A little religion, did you see this:

He may not be a Catholic but it is the best description of Sin and the fight against it i’ve ever heard.

Played BANG, the wild west card game with my gaming crowd last Thursday I’m very surprised that the expansions are available at Amazon but the game is not.

And the Talisman game we played after it was the best I’ve ever seen, 4 people made it to the crown and the fate markers really add to the game even if I was turned into a frog. It was the most exciting single game that I’ve played in 30 years.

And if you are interested in all things Talisman check here.

Well I’ve been typing this for almost two hours and I haven’t even talked about battery cars and the coal that will be needed to power them. I’ll finish with this totally unrelated stat and thought.

Just before the storm this blog was being found, my hits were up by a factor of 3-5 and it looked like it was growing. The loss of power slaughtered my stats and they haven’t recovered, it is quite annoying but if that is the worst problem that I have (particularly with people on my street STILL without power then I’m a real lucky guy.)

And only three days to the Doctor Who Christmas Special The next Doctor; Huzzah!

There are simply too many things I want to talk about today but i don’t want to put up 15 posts like that today. So I’m going to steal the format of my 2nd favorite writer and start with something and then go where my mind takes me.

Am I actually reading Dee Dee Myers the press secretary to Bill Clinton go after Obama Mr. Favreau’s photo with a cutout? She is right of course but a tad late in the outrage department. There are some days when I think some people forget there are such things as youtube and videotape.

Captain Ed gives her a Captain Louis Renault award and rightly so, but I think Don Surber puts it best:

Groping a cardboard cutout is worse than cheating on your wife for 30+ years.

All I know is I have a job interview next week and if a picture like that of me came out before it it would be a real short one.

I’ve had time to watch some of my DVD’s since being laid off. I’ve been particularly watching the 50’s British show The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. It was my favorite show as a kid and when it was on at 6 a.m. on WMUR I always woke up on time. The quality of the writing holds up very well particularly against the new series which is a waste of space.

Since blacklisted writers including Ring Lardner Jr. were involved the quality isn’t a surprise. The irony is that watched 50 years it seems very politically incorrect, the Crusades as a noble endeavor and defensive war, and particularly the respect for the Catholic Church. I think that would make people like Lardner spin in their graves, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

You know people keep forgetting the Communism was the greatest killer of humanity of the 20th century, not Fascism, not Racism but Communism. It still kills today but people for some reason don’t want to admit it.

On that same subject it is the 75th anniversary of Stalin’s Terror Famine. Cathy Young writes about it here. the Volokh Conspiracy talks about it here.

Walter Duranty of the New York times wrote about it too back when it happened. He denied it in the pages of the New York Times winning a Pulitzer for it while acknowledging it privately. Some things never change.

I can’t think of the New York Times without thinking of my favorite writer Glenn Reynolds. Of course he is not a professional writer but a law professor who blogs for at Instapundit I am one of his many blog children. I never forget that when I started reading him in 2001 he used to have a quote on the top of his page saying “The New York Times of Bloggers.” I remember when he removed from his site thinking its absence enhanced his reputation.

The day the New York Times can call itself the Instapundit of Newspapers is the day its stock will not be tanking, its building will not need to be mortgaged and will be worth reading again.

BTW the link to the story above about the Times Stock Tanking is from 5 months ago, since that time when it “tanked” it has lost a further half of its value.

If you are a Doctor Who fan Rich’s Comix Blog should be your first stop on the next every day. His 10 doctors is on its 162th page as of this writing. The only problem with it is that i have to wait for more of his ancient Roman strip FVLMINATA.

If you are a Doctor Who or a Bugs Bunny fan you will love this, if you aren’t a doctor who fan you will likely not get it.

Since we are on British TV again one more thought about The Robin Hood Series. There are only a few episodes where the political message is blatant, but their politics are there. With older eyes you can see subtleties that are missed as a child. When you know what you are looking for it is easier to see.

It reminds me of something Bill James said about Joe Morgan in his first baseball abstract concerning base stealing and pitchouts. Apparently it never worked on Morgan because he would always notice something that gave it away, and when you noticed one thing you would notice others.

Oh and if you are baseball fan David Pinto’s blog Baseball musings should be a daily visit, particularly during the dark days of winter.

Speaking of baseball these are golden times for us Red Sox fans. Two world series and a contender every year. For us who remember the decades of disappointment we should be very grateful. But our children will never understand it.

Along those same lines. My mother was born in 1924 and is 84. My teenage sons were often babysat by her and have had first hand experience in depression era values. This has given them an advantage that their peers lack its one more debt to her I can never repay.

And finally when talking about debts that can’t be repaid; that 2nd favorite writer Jay Nordlinger whose Impromptus column is required reading at any time but his hour long interview with President Bush is incredible. An excerpt:

A word about popularity: You can be popular, but “at what price”? “You can get short-term popularity in the Middle East if you want, by blaming all problems on Israel. That’ll make you popular. You can be popular in certain salons of Europe if you say, ‘Okay, we’ll join the International Criminal Court.’ I could have been popular if I’d said, ‘Oh, Kyoto is the way to deal with the environmental problem.’ That would have made me liked. It would have made me wrong, however. And, ultimately, you earn people’s respect by articulating a set of principles and standing by them.

“You know, popularity comes and goes. It just does. It comes and goes for an individual or a nation [sing it, brother]. But principles are enduring.”

The president has been wrong on some big things (cough: bailouts cough:) but on a day when the big story is the attempted sale of the president elect vacant senate seat that message is important. It will be decades before we appreciate what we had.

Tight times or no da wife decided to give take me to see Mannheim Steamroller in Lowell Mass. My impressions follow:

The Memorial auditorium in Lowell is a great place to watch a concert, we had the “nosebleed” seats literally with our backs to the back wall and they were great for the concert its like watching a game at Fenway without breaking the bank.

Before the concert began the guy in charge of the place plugged gift cards for the place, and then very foolishly wished everyone a “happy holiday” (arbor day perhaps?) Considering the group and the concert and the demographics of the audience I can’t think of anything he could have said that would retard sales to this crowd more.

For some unknown reason the air conditioning was on in the place during the first act. It was freezing so we kept our winter coats , muffs, hats and scarfs on. Somebody took care of it at halftime.

They had a list of war dead in the auditorium, the amount of Civil war deaths from a city the size of Lowell was staggering to see as was the long list of Lowell men who apparently died on the USS Maine in 1898.

The list of 8 medal of honor winners was kinda large too.

I never thought I would see a bust of Gen Ben Butler in a place of high honor, he’s not a guy in history that you think of that way.

In the packed auditorium I noticed something right away:

There was nobody with a visible Tattoo.

There was nobody with a visible piercing.

There was nobody with any kind of shirt with a loud slogan

I didn’t see a single man with an earring

Nobody had hair dyed odd colors or with weird cuts

It has been decades since i saw a crowd composed of totally normal and average people. I suspect that the fact that Steamroller’s music gets a lot of it publicity from the Rush Limbaugh show had something to do with it. It was so striking I kept my eye’s open to see if I could find anyone odd during intermission and when we left. Other than a pair of really odd looking silver boots on a lady not a thing.

If you have heard cd’s and I have several it can’t compare to the visuals of the lights and film used in the performance. It is really something to see. The wife thought the cd’s were ok but decided the performance made her appreciate the Cd’s much more. She thought it was awesome.

It is a shame that the founder Davis is laid up, the idea of dividing the group into two, adding members and splitting them into east and west coast tours is great for the audience to expand the number of people who can see it, but I think I would have liked to see the original group at least once.

The videos and film were really classy. Apparently in larger stadiums they have live dancers and performers either instead of and in addition to the film. I find myself wanting to see it in that setting as well.

It never struck me but when they talked about medieval music and how many carols came from it their music does sound like it comes straight out of the 12-14th century sometimes.

I would really like to be able to buy tickets for an event for the actual face value of the tickets.

I never get sick of Christmas music, if the PC crowd manages to chase the word Christmas out of every other venue the music will keep it alive.

In his book America Alone Mark Steyn sets up the warning of the dangers of militant Islam and the west’s repeated state of denial.

He continues on this meme in his column today Silence=Acceptance and proves that he doesn’t have any claim on a Nelson:

He deals with the denial of Islam’s involvement first:

The veteran British TV anchor Jon Snow, on the other hand, opted for the more cryptic locution “practitioners.” “Practitioners” of what, exactly?

Hard to say. And getting harder. Tom Gross produced a jaw-dropping round-up of Bombay media coverage: The discovery that, for the first time in an Indian terrorist atrocity, Jews had been attacked, tortured, and killed produced from the New York Times a serene befuddlement: “It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene.”

Hmm. Greater Bombay forms one of the world’s five biggest cities. It has a population of nearly 20 million. But only one Jewish center, located in a building that gives no external clue as to the bounty waiting therein. An “accidental hostage scene” that one of the “practitioners” just happened to stumble upon? “I must be the luckiest jihadist in town. What are the odds?”

The rhetorical circles that those in denial are in would tie any person in a knot. He then skews the Muslims are feeling vulnerable” meme:

Last week, a Canadian critic reprimanded me for failing to understand that Muslims feel “vulnerable.” Au contraire, they project tremendous cultural confidence, as well they might:

They’re the world’s fastest-growing population. A prominent British Muslim announced the other day that, when the United Kingdom becomes a Muslim state, non-Muslims will be required to wear insignia identifying them as infidels. If he’s feeling “vulnerable,” he’s doing a terrific job of covering it up.

We are told that the “vast majority” of the 1.6-1.8 billion Muslims (in Deepak Chopra’s estimate) are “moderate.” Maybe so, but they’re also quiet. And, as the AIDs activists used to say, “Silence=Acceptance.”

Deepak Chopra earns a Nelson almost every time he opens his mouth. Islam is not feeling vulnerable its feeling powerful. he concludes echoing Tom Freeman who came much later to the conclusion Stein reached years ago:

I wrote in my book, America Alone, that “reforming” Islam is something only Muslims can do. But they show very little sign of being interested in doing it, and the rest of us are inclined to accept that. Spread a rumor that a Koran got flushed down the can at Gitmo, and there’ll be rioting throughout the Muslim world. Publish some dull cartoons in a minor Danish newspaper, and there’ll be protests around the planet. But slaughter the young pregnant wife of a rabbi in Bombay in the name of Allah, and that’s just business as usual. And, if it is somehow “understandable” that for the first time in history it’s no longer safe for a Jew to live in India, then we are greasing the skids for a very slippery slope. Muslims, the AP headline informs us, “worry about image.” Not enough

It is understandable in two ways that Muslims are not anxious to speak out. They are even more afraid of getting not only their throats cut but their relatives then the others. Even if they don’t It’s basically tribal, like a Mafia family and even if one doesn’t risk death in a face society you don’t go against the tribe.

There is also the feeling of power, as one of Sicilian decent I see it in people eyes on occasion when my nationality comes up. Don’t forget this moment:

The combination of liberal cultural guilt and raw fear is a source of strength.

In the end it comes to this, Militant Islam is going to have to be either stopped, submitted to or changed from within.

The current president and our military have made a good effort at the first particularly going on offense, but it will take time, effort and treasure.

As far as submitting goes laws in the west have already headed in that direction even to the point where Sharia law is gaining in England and Canada. I hate to say it but frankly I suspect that those who cry loudest at the “Oppression” of the current administration would find a reason and excuse to submit if Sharia comes to call.

As far as change goes it can either be from within or imposed. There are men and woman with a whole hell of a lot more courage than me such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Nonie Darwish and Walid Shoebat trying to make the case at the risk of their lives but unless the avg Muslim supports them they can’t do it alone. It still remains to be seen if they are the William Lloyd Garrisons of their times.

If they don’t its up to us. The late Oriana Fallaci sounded the warning and was on the front lines. If this doesn’t change then eventually it will come down to the William Tecumsea Sherman’s solution. He came to the following conclusion concerning the south:

We cannot change the hearts and minds of those people in the south but we can make war so terrible and make them so sick of war that generations will pass before they would again appeal to it.

And least anyone thinks I am calling for that sort of thing a 2nd quote of Sherman bears repeating as well:

I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers … it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated … that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. May 1865

It is going to be totally up to us as westerners and the Muslim people everywhere how this will end.

I can’t believe I spent over an hour writing this on a weekend but then again I unfortunately have a bit of free time.

One of the last remaining Doolittle Raiders has died:

World War II hero David “Davey” M. Jones — one of the famed Doolittle Tokyo Raiders — died Tuesday in Tucson at the age of 94.
Jones, a University of Arizona alumnus, retired from the Air Force as a two-star general in 1973 after a long and decorated military career. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and numerous other honors.
He was one of the raiders who used B-25 bombers to hit targets in Japan in April 1942, a few months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

However his spirit lives on in guys like this.

People who think that US combat soldiers are a bunch of barbarians likely know very few of them.