Monthly Archives: August 2009

New Clutch

Gotta go get it.


Misleading the public?

Vicki Sell, the woman quoted in the NY Times story I blogged about a couple of days ago, commented on my post.

I think it’s pretty awesome that the internet gives us the ability to discuss these things, and that she’s got the ability to clarify something the NY Times wrote without the need of a printing press and lots of investment. 

I think it sucks that the Times chose to present her position as they did.  It’s misleading and false, and it shows a lot about the editorial accuracy of the paper.

I’ll keep that in mind when linking to NY Times stories, for sure.


Ravens front office smarter than fans

I, like many Ravens fans, was a little surprised and dissapointed when Rex Ryan didn’t get the head coaching gig, and they instead hired John Harbaugh. 

Seems the front office knew what they were doing, given some of Ryan’s recent behavior.

This is primarily because of the tone being set by their new head coach, Rex Ryan.

Ryan, of course, was the Ravens’ popular, longtime defensive coordinator before replacing Eric Mangini as Jets coach. But somehow he has morphed into the NFL version of your crazy Uncle Gus, a guy who seems determined to give voice to whatever thought pops into his head.

Never mind the little war of words he had with the Miami Dolphins‘ Channing Crowder. And the dissing – which you had to love – of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, with Ryan saying he didn’t come to New York to kiss Belichick’s Super Bowl rings.

Now, just in time for Monday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium, he popped off about Ravens rookie linebacker Paul Kruger.

Seems to me, the Ravens saw this instability when the fans didn’t (maybe they even controlled it a little), and it ruled Ryan out as a serious contender for their head coaching job.

I’m a big Rex Ryan fan, and I think he’s one of the best defensive coordinators ever, but I’m not so sure he’s cut out to be a head coach.  The Ravens sure appear to have made the right choice.


Morals?

Michael at Q and O notices what everyone could have predicted, that now health care is about morals.  And we shall get our lesson from The One, Himself.

It started out as a fiscal imperative with Pres. Obama claiming that our money woes were caused by the rising costs of health care. We were told that only government can contain administrative costs and deliver efficient, effective care. Later is was the need to control greedy insurance companies who treat their clients shoddily by denying coverage. Government run care would make sure that nobody was denied insurance, and that we would all pay basically the same rates. Of course, the infamous public option was touted as the primary tool for accomplishing this goal, carefully eliding past the “fiscal sanity” reasons for reform, which option has apparently been set out to pasture after facing fierce public resistance.

Yet, despite a full-court press on the issue, including unapologetic assistance from the media, the government’s plan(s) to change health care have grown steadily less popular.

So now the reasoning shifts again. As it turns out, you all are just bad, immoral people if you don’t approve of the government taking your money and running your health care.

He also makes the second most important point in the debate.

In briefest terms, health care cannot be a “right” because it is entirely dependent on someone else providing it to you. “Rights” do not ever involve taking from someone and giving to someone else. In order to believe otherwise, one would have to believe that doctors are actually slaves who can legally be commanded to fulfill one’s “right” to health care or suffer the consequences. The very idea is preposterous, which is why, as Alter notes, Americans have not kenned to the idea of there being a “right” to health care.

I saw someone suggest that not wanting government run healthcare was just selfish.  Apparently, wanting to keep your things and take care of yourself is selfish, but wanting to use force to take other people’s things to buy your things is not.

Odd, these new morals.


This is worth watching

Wayne Allen Root, sounding reasonable.


The “Are You Serious?” moment of the day

Mommies want to ban ice cream vendors from parks in NYC

Vicki Sell, mother of 3-year-old Katherine, tenses when the vendor starts ringing his little bell, over and over, hoping her daughter doesn’t have the typical Pavlovian response.

Ever since Katherine had an inconsolable meltdown about not being able to have a treat, Ms. Sell has been trying to have unlicensed vendors ousted from the park. She has repeatedly called the city’s 311 complaint hot line, joining parents nationwide who can’t stand the icy man or his motorized big brother, the ice cream man.

Yes, we appear to have gotten to the point in our society that we must ban the ice cream man because mommies can not say no to their little kids.

No wonder we want the government to take care of our health care.

Update:  Vicki Sell, the woman interviewed in the article, clarifies her position in the comments.  I think she’s owed an apology by the Times.  My point about the nanny state is still important, but in this particular case, the point is aimed at the wrong person and the wrong issue.


Social media ban?

According to Mashable, the SEC is banning all social media from their games. 

While it’s understandable that the SEC wants to protect the value of the CBS contract, banning all social media seems not only unenforceable, but also counter-productive. I can’t count the number of times I’ve turned on a sporting event after seeing friends update their status or upload a picture. By barring social media, much of that would be lost (though couch-side commentators would still be tweeting of course).

The SEC’s move is not unprecedented in the world of sports, however. One could debate what’s implied about social media when Major League Baseball says during telecasts that “any rebroadcast, reproduction or other use of this game without the express written consent of Major League Baseball is prohibited,” though so far it seems that tweeting and photo uploads remain permissible. Meanwhile, at this year’s US Open, I was rather surprised to learn that both phones and cameras weren’t allowed on premises, making any form of social media inaccessible.

For the moment, these policies seem a lot more grounded in fear than reality. Sure, these days someone could theoretically live stream a game from their camera phone. But a shaky, low resolution video from the upper deck of Yankee Stadium isn’t exactly the same as watching FOX’s telecast on your big screen TV. Social media should be viewed a fantastic compliment to sports that is good for both fans and the TV networks, but at the moment, it seems that’s anything but how it’s being perceived.

I didn’t think someone could be more stupid than the RIAA when it came to teh interwebs.   Apparently, I was wrong.


James Carville, not as smart as you think

According to CNN, James Carville thinks the Democrats in the Senate should force a Republican filibuster  of health care “reform”.

“What about this?,” Carville said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “Suppose they pass a House bill that can get 56 Senate Democrats.” Then, Carville suggested, instead of using reconciliation, a special budgetary maneuver in Senate procedure that frustrate GOP attempts to mount a filibuster, Democrats should call for a vote. “And make [Republicans] filibuster it. But the old kinda way is that they filibuster it and make’em go three weeks and all night and [Democrats] will be there the whole time.

“Then, you say, ‘They’re the people that stopped it. We had a majority of Democrats. We had a good bill. They stopped it.’”

How can anyone, much less a professional political hack like Carville, not recognize what would happen?  There’s a bipartisan movement happening, and it’s against ObamaCare, not for it.  Even if there were 56 votes in the Senate (and I’d be surprised if there were 46), these folks have to understand that voting for the bill as written will assure this will be the last term for many of them.

It’s happened before.

The Democratic strategist also rejected any comparison between the Clinton administration’s failed efforts at health care reform in 1994 and the Obama administration’s efforts now.

Democrats “pulled the plug,” Carville said, on health care reform in August of 1994, just months before the mid-term election where Republicans took control of the House. Now, “this is August of the year before the election,” Carville said.

“Make’em filibuster it and then run against a do-nothing Congress [in 2010],” the former aide to Bill Clinton and longtime ally of both Clintons told CNN’s John King.

While the American public isn’t known for it’s long memory, on this issue, I think timing isn’t going to matter. 

His wife, seems to better get it, I think.

“He’ll be fine but the Democrats in Congress won’t. And you’re already hearing Democrats in Congress saying, ‘This is déjà vu. This is what happened with Bill Clinton. He makes us walk the plank and then we lose’ — as they did . . . in 1994,” the Republican strategist said.

Matalin also predicted that like Mr. Obama’s approval rating would bounce back after losing his Democratis House majority in 2010, just like Clinton’s did after the 1994 election.

Of course, that’s the best possible solution.  A President that reminds Republicans that they are the ‘small government’ party, and their control of the purse strings.  Getting as little as possible done isn’t at all a bad thing; just ask Bill Clinton.


Quote of the day

Another one from the jerkstore.

I think the best indicator that you are an ineffective manager is when you have been nicknamed “Captain Dipshit” by your subordinates.


Aldo’s

Jamie and I, along with friends D, R, G, M, and M went to Aldo’s for dinner last night.  We all ordered off the restaurant week menu, and the overall consensus was the food was good.

I had a wonderful panzanella, then steak frites, and pana cotta for dessert.  My food was decent, I loved the salad, the steak was ok, the dessert was very good.  It’s restaurant week, so you can’t expect to be blown away by the food.  The suggested wine pairings were very good and a reasonable price.

The real treat was the service.  It took a bit for our waiter, Enrico, to warm up to us, but he did, and we’ll ask for him when we return (and we will return, we made reservations for the fantastic wine room in a couple of weeks.)  He comped us all several glasses of cream lemoncello (yum!), as well as gave us all a tour of the restaurant, including the cheese cave and wine cellar, along with commentary on the history of the building and of the owner.

Can’t wait to go back for the chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings.


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