Thursday, August 30, 2012

Clint Eastwood at the RNC

But I'd just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen, something that I think is very important. It's that you... we... we own this country.

Yes we, we own it. And it's not you owning it and not politicians owning it. Politicians are employees of ours.

And so they're just going to come around and beg for votes every few years and it's the same old deal. I just think it's important that you realize that you're the best in the world. And whether you're a Democrat or you're a Republican or you're a Libertarian or whatever you're the best and we should not ever forget that.

And when somebody does not do the job we've got to let them go.
Update: A week later Paul Miller of The Carmel Pine Cone talked with Clint. Leslie was right: it was completely spontaneous.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paul Ryan's Acceptance Speech

This and all the rest of the convention speeches are available, uncut and uninterrupted, from the RNC YouTube channel.

My favorite lines are at 26:18:
The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it. College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.
Which was followed by thunderous applause, and not all of it from the parents of college-age children.

P.S. If you want to watch the convention live, uncut and uninterrupted, the best place is C-SPAN.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Dilemma

Socialism_Capitalism_325.jpgI've decided to add The People's Cube to the News Bath because the hard news is getting harder and harder to take, all by itself.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Few Bookmarks

Before I close these tabs.

100 Abandoned Houses from the
place that once was Detroit.

Five Best books about the end of England.

Apple vs Microsoft priced in gold.

The God of Independent Minds.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Charlie and Barbie

charlie_and_barbie_sand_castle_thumb.jpgWe went to the beach today. While Marielle and I sat and watched the surf, Leslie and Charlie built a sand castle.

Not sure where Barbie came from but she appears to be dancing on the southwest tower.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wish We All Could See This

2016_300x250_InTheatersNow.jpgBased on The Roots of Obama's Rage by Dinesh D'Souza, this documentary about Obama's background and upbringing will open here in Medford tomorrow, as well as in Eugene, Bend, Salem, and Portland. Not in Roseburg, though; not yet.

I wish we all could see it before November, because we really should know who we are voting for — or against — and why.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When Land Is History

Victor Davis Hanson tells the story of the farm next door.
I characterized this land as "adjacent," but that is a euphemism for "once mine." To make a proverbially long story short, I once owned the parcel, along with my own present 40 acres. It was the corner of a larger 135-acre surrounding family farm of about 140-years continual duration. The parcel in question was lost during the last decade in a convoluted inter-family sale/dispute/misunderstanding that led to a series of outside speculators buying, selling, and losing the land, as the economy boomed and busted. Finally, the parcel ended up in bankruptcy court this January—hence the new buyer and the new orchard.

If one believes that no one really owns the enduring land, then perhaps it is best that after a near decade of neglect the ground is now a productive farm again. Under new auspices, it will help feed the hungry of China and India as California's current export boom continues.
The story begins in 1870...

Update: Buddeshepherd writes:
The truth is no one cares about your money like you do. And no one cares about your little chunk of land like yourself, if you live there and work it and are part of it. No one loves it or hates it like you do.
I suspect the end of the small business, and the end of the small farm, also marks the end of freedom as we knew it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Take It To Heart

You know, Mr. Secretary, I have found in the course of a long public life that the things I did not say never hurt me.
— Calvin Coolidge, to Dwight F. Davis, Sec. of War.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Phyllis Diller, RIP

Five people are featured in this clip and of course I recognized them all, as most people of a certain age would. Here's the test question: Name them, and tell me which still walks the earth.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

That Now Famous Photo

President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission. Upon his arrival there was a briefing held which included Bill Daley, John Brennan, and a high ranking member of the military. When Obama emerged from the briefing, he was described as looking "very confused and uncertain." The president was then placed in the situation room where several of the players in this event had already been watching the operation unfold. Another interesting tidbit regarding this is that the Vice President was already "up to speed" on the operation. A source indicated they believe Hillary Clinton had personally made certain the Vice President was made aware of that day's events before the president was. The now famous photo released shows the particulars of that of that room and its occupants. What that photo does not communicate directly is that the military personnel present in that room during the operation unfolding, deferred to either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates. The president's role was minimal, including their acknowledging of his presence in the room.
This is from that article I couldn't find a few days ago. As I said, there was no corroboration of this story at the time, it was written anonymously, quoted an anonymous source who cited other anonymous sources, and then I lost track of it. But it's a very interesting read.

It will be even more interesting to see, when Richard Miniter's Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him hits the stores this week, how closely his story tracks this one.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Too Close For Comfort

wildfire_gold_hill_8_16_2012_thumb.jpgThe fire this afternoon started less than a mile north of our house. We watched the bombers passing five hundred feet above our heads, attacking from both directions. Once he came over the ridge so low I thought he'd clip the trees.

With three helicopters and two bombers they had it pretty much under control in two hours. Little fires are still burning on the darkened hillside tonight.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Hills of Mars

“I think I see a ranch, Cody.”
In other potpourri: That last one sounds like a Disney movie.

(Creditwise in reverse order, Drudge, Insty, and me. I think.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

About That Nineteenth Amendment...

ryancolor_thumb.jpgLeslie says he's not all that handsome, but I don't know... S. Weasel seems quite taken by him.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


He has been called the fastest man on no legs. But Oscar 'Blade Runner' Pistorius got a run for his money when five-year-old Ellie Challis challenged him to a race on their bionic feet.

Paralympian Pistorius, world record holder for double amputees at 100, 200 and 400 metres, may have made some allowance for age and the fact that Ellie's blades were fitted only last month.

But she had clearly learned quicker than he bargained for — Ellie crossed the line first in all four of their 15-metre races.
Read the full story at the Daily Mail.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cabinet Level

By way of T.D., a four-paragraph editorial in The New York Sun that says it all.
We're not of the view that what we need is a person who can read a balance sheet. We're of the view that what we need is a person who can read the Constitution. The rest will follow. If the jury is out in respect of Mr. Romney on the constitutional fundamentals, we will learn a lot about him by whether he picks a candidate who can carry these points the way it has been done so heroically by the woman we like to call the Alert Alaskan.
Meanwhile, Bill Croke nominates her for Secretary of the Interior.

I'd settle for either.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

20th Annual Durand Campout

durand_group_photo_2012_thumb.jpgWe just got back — tired, sunburned, and happy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Oregon's Outstanding

On the U-6 scale.
Tomorrow's July unemployment rate will be what traders will pay attention to, but it's also worth watching the broader U-6 unemployment rate, which captures what's going on with a broader group of Americans hurt by the weak labor market.

The government only counts you as "unemployed" if you're able to work (i.e., not in school, not retired, not in the military) and have sought employment in the last four weeks. If you haven't looked for work, but you want a job, you're considered discouraged. People working part-time jobs but wanting full-time work are underemployed.
And which states have the highest levels of underemployed (degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology working at Starbucks) and discouraged (in need of a medical marijuana card) workers?
    Nevada         22.1% 
California 20.3%
Rhode Island 18.9%
North Carolina 17.5%
Oregon 17.4%
Woo hoo! Five out of fifty! Top ten percent!

Oregon! Oregon! Oregon!

(When will you ever learn?)