Saturday, May 31, 2008

Now this is fascinating.

According to this Brookings Institute study, the glass ceiling in politics is due to a gap in political ambition between men and women. That is, women aren't as ambitious in the field of politics as men.

Just as interesting there's a "cockiness gap" as well:
One-third of men, but just one in five women, rated themselves "very qualified" to hold political office; twice as many women (12%) as men (6%) considered themselves "not at all qualified."
Think of the questions this raises:
Is it because of the way we raise our sons and daughters?
How ought this affect the way we raise and educate our sons and daughters?
Are there ambition and cockiness genes?
Should something be done about this? If so, what?
What does this mean for affirmative action? Women in the military? Women's lib and the NOW crowd?

Very interesting.

As an aside, hat's off to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin who gave the keynote speech at a governors' conference lunch in Texas one day and delivered her fifth child the next day at 6:30 a.m. Reminds me of Andrew Jackson's mother who supposedly delivered a child one morning and was out in the field hoeing the corn by lunchtime.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Walk In Clinics

Here's the wave of the future in health care--walk in clinics. To get your allergy shot or strep test, you see a nurse practitioner. Wait minutes instead of weeks. Pay $60. They're popping up in Walmarts and Walgreens around the country.

Cigna and Wellpoint look out.

And all without any help from the government. Isn't free market capitalism a wonderful thing? The invisible hand of the market.

Thanks to the Carpe Diem blog for the link.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Commie in Congress

Communist Maxine Waters, Democrat from L.A., she of the the-Rodney-King-riots-were-"a rebellion"-not-riots fame, wants to nationalize Big Oil if it won't guarantee a decrease in oil prices in exchange for the right to drill.

That's great, just great. Government will do as well with oil as it has with Katrina, the DMV, and the Veterans' Administration. This says it all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tell Us How Your Really Feel

Dow Chemical announced today that it will be increasing the price of all of its products due to increased energy costs.

CEO Andrew Liveris knows how to tell it like it is. Typical Aussie. In an interview last week he called Congress "a joke" for prohibiting offshore drilling. "To me that is the insane asylum being run by lunatics."

I'm trying to find the full text of his statement today, but in the meantime, here's a blurb from Yahoo:

"For years, Washington has failed to address the issue of rising energy costs and, as a result, the country now faces a true energy crisis, one that is causing serious harm to America's manufacturing sector and all consumers of energy," Chairman and Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said in a statement.

"The government's failure to develop a comprehensive energy policy is causing U.S. industry to lose ground when it comes to global competitiveness, and our own domestic markets are now starting to see demand destruction throughout the U.S."

Sounds like he's going to be sending production overseas.

Sounds like he's predicting recession.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Masterpiece 3--The Thousand Mile Stare


This picture of Lance Cpl. James Miller was taken by Luis Sinco during the battle for Fallujah in December 2004.

It's a masterpiece.

How timeless is that look, that fatigue, that momentary comfort found in a cigarette. "If ya got em, smoke em."

It's begun but it's not over. And it ain't easy.

On this Memorial Day, may we all be thankful for the sacrifices made by those who serve.

Go here to read Sinco's story behind the picture.




Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quarterback Obie

I've been trying to figure out what rubs me wrong with Obie. It finally hit me this morn driving in the car listening to Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl on Bill Bennett's radio show.

Kyl said that Obie is a dangerous mix of someone who is naive and someone who is conceited. The danger is that if he knows all, if he's smarter than everyone else, he'll do dumb things.

It hit me then: Obie's a quarterback. A pretty boy. A movie star. The chosen one, the darling. Paul Hornung, Frank Gifford, and Joe Theisman "it-rhymes-with-Heisman", all rolled into one.

It may have been Deacon Jones who was the first to say he never met a quarterback he ever liked. (I always thought it was Sam Huff who coined that phrase.) As a nose guard/center in my few years of playing little league football, there was never a quarterback that I really liked very much, either.

They all had this air about them that they were special. Better, smarter, more important than the rest of us. Chosen. Maybe it was because at that level the best athlete was so regularly picked to be QB. Maybe it was because the coach spent so much extra time with the QB. Who knows?

But Obie has that same quality. The beautiful wife, the Ivy League education, the adoring crowds. The fainting. Like he can do no wrong. Like his poop don't stink. He didn't go off to make money (tho he certainly has), he went to be a "community organizer".

Well, whoopty-do.

Admit it, doesn't a part of you just want to pluck him on the ear for being so perfect? Don't you want to plant his face mask in the turf the second he releases the ball?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hey, I Know that Guy

Another brush with greatness.

Fraternity brother Ashley Stringer was a year behind me. This is actually pretty funny.

It's already all over campus via the inter-web.

$3.99/gal.

Regular unleaded hit $3.99 a gallon up on the corner today.

For that I have to thank the politicians and politically active who stand against drilling oil, against refineries in their backyards, against nuclear energy, against coal, and for this ethanol idiocy. Personally I don't hold it against Big Oil: their profit margins are less than half the margins that Apple makes selling its I-phone.

I do also thank, tho, an education system that does not do a proper job teaching basic economics to it's citizenry or its presidential candidates. To blame also is an electorate that elects folks who are more interested in raising money to be re-elected than they are in doing what's right.

Why is it that we can't seem to act in our own self-interest?

If something had been done about this all along, we wouldn't be in Iraq and we wouldn't be overloading our local food banks. And it's so many of the same people who are most upset about Iraq and about the hungry who are also against nuclear and coal and drilling off the coast.

It will get much worse before this gets better.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Senate that Saves

I guuess in voting to halt deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Senate shows that it is a good reflection of the American public.

Why save for a rainy day when it might make life today a little uncomfortable? The American public doesn't save. Why should its legislature?

Saving just doesn't seem to be a honored American value.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A New Slant

Folks in Minnesota see global warning differently.

Love those polar bear fur coats.

More Energy Policy Asininty

Talk about the chickens coming home to roost.

Jim McTague hits it right on the head when he chides our three presidential candidates for failing to stand up to electoral vote powerhouses Florida and California who have blocked exploration for off shore oil and natural gas.

We're way behind the curve here and now we're to be punished. And for what? So environmentalists can feel safe. So the ocean view from the Malibu hills is not sullied with ugly oil rigs. So some politicians can raise enviro-dollars and others can avoid ruffling feathers.

In the meantime, Granny Sixpack can't afford to fill the fuel oil tank and Joe Trucker is reduced to driving around the Mall in Washington honking his horn, looking like a dingbat. How short sighted.

I guess we'll see now how Florida's tourist industry can handle $200 a barrel oil. My guess is that many fewer folks will be driving down to see Mickey and South Beach.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Virginia Gold Cup

Went the the Virginia Gold Cup races for the first time in 22 years this past Saturday.

Some things have changed. The last time I was there, it was the first first year at the new course at Old Tavern/The Plains. I was a single, second year school teacher who got in free as a member of the Warrenton Jaycees and, thus, spent most of the day parking cars.

This time round we splurged and bought a spot on the rail. While there, I texted #2 son to see how his SATs had gone that morning. #1 son took pictures with his cell phone and ran into a couple University of Michigan cohorts (they're everywhere) who noticed my Big House hat. Seems there were one or two fewer races this time and since they moved the Ky Derby to 6:00, there was not the same great feel of stopping the Gold Cup races to listen to the Derby on the radio. The Jumbotrons are new. The Blackwater parachute team did a great job presenting the colors.

Some things haven't changed at all. #3 son fell asleep in the chair and awoke with a sunburn. Wifey, too, was nicely freckled by the sun. There were plenty of handsome sun dresses, a smattering of eye-catching ladies' hats, an extravagant number of fancy tailgate spreads, and, as always, plenty of amusing people to watch. Many of the the college kids and those freshly-out were too busy getting hammered to watch any of the races, but they were having fun and I didn't notice one who ever lost his manners. Our neighbors along the rail were very gracious.

And . . . there on the near horizon--Wildcat Mountain, comforting us with its presence.

All very polite, all very classy. We'll have to renew for next year.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Trust Babies

Descendants of the John D. Rockefeller on Wednesday made a big hullabaloo, chastising Exxon Mobile for going after short term profits from high oil prices and advising XOM to start investing in alternative energy.

How nice to be a limousine liberal trust baby.

The problem, little dears, is that XOM, FYI, is an oil company. Their responsibility is to their shareholders--you and me and everyone else in this country who has a pension plan, has an interest in a college or church endowment, or is invested in a large cap mutual fund. What they're good at--damn good at, in fact--is finding, pumping, and delivering oil.

They're not good at spending money on speculative technologies that aren't proven to be profitable without government subsidies. Nor are they obliged to. Let the venture capitalists and the college professors and the government grant hogs work on that stuff.

If you don't want to make money off of Big Oil, Rockefellers, sell your Exxon shares. Buy some First Solar (FSLR) or Canadian Solar (CSIQ)--both have appreciated at a much better rate than XOM in the past year.

And stop whinin'.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

Hooray, hooray, the first of May! Outdoor screwing starts today.