Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Some thoughts on Ty Cobb and other great hitters


Ty Cobb did not make a lot of friends. In fact, most players hated Cobb. Fans did not like him much either. Today, we would say that Cobb was not "fan friendly"!

Nevertheless, he started his playing career 100 years ago today.

Love him or hate him, what can you say about a guy with a .367 lifetime batting average?
All you can say is awesome.

This is a list of interesting items from the Cobb web site:

He has the highest lifetime batting average (.367) for any National Baseball Hall of Fame member.

Ty Cobb is second on the all-time hit list behind Pete Rose.

Ty Cobb stole home more than anyone else (50).

He won more batting average titles than any other person (12).

In 1936, he became the first player ever selected to the Hall of Fame.

Cobb turned out to be a very wise investor in real estate, securities, and an auto dealership. His best investment was in a Atlanta-based soft drink company, Coca-Cola.

MLB has a nice story on Cobb's debut 100 years ago:

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050829&content_id=1188553&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
Cobb's year by year statistics:

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/stats/historical/individual_stats_player.jsp?c_id=mlb&playerID=112431&print=true

In my opinion, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams and Tony Gwynn are the best pure hitters in major league history. It's tough to compare eras but Gwynn was spectacular playing in today's game. Williams hit more home runs but Cobb played in the dead ball era.

Two most underrated hitters? Gwynn and Aaron. They were quiet producers in small market teams.

The best complete player? The gold standard for a 5 tool player? My vote goes to Willie Mays. He was the most exciting player because he could hit, run, hit for power, hit in the clutch and second to none in centerfield.

P.S. Check out the official Cobb web site: http://www.cmgworldwide.com/baseball/cobb/

Sporting News has published some Ty Cobb letters:
http://www.sportingnews.com/archives/ty/index.html

More on Ty Cobb's career: http://ngeorgia.com/people/cobbt.html

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Who is the greatest Latino pitcher?

MLB.com is allowing fans to vote on the greatest Latin players. You can fill out a ballot on the website and the results will be announced in September.
(
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/fan_forum/latino_legends/ballot.jsp)

Today, they are discussing the candidates for the greatest Latin pitcher. You can choose from Marichal, Cuellar, Tiant, Valenzuela etc. It is a very impressive list.

My bias will show.

I did not see Lefty Gomez or Adolfo Luque pitch. They were the greatest Latin lefty-righty duo of the pre-WW2 era.

I did not see Martin Dihigo play. He is considered the greatest Cuban player of all time but could not play in the majors because of the color line. Dihigo was added to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee.

My top five are:

1) Juan Marichal----243 wins and a 2.89 ERA. He started 451 games and completed 244 of them, pitching 52 shutouts. Marichal has one more complete game than wins. That's amazing! Marichal's career was played in the shadows of Sandy Koufax and Warren Spahn.

2) Mike Cuellar----In 15 seasons, Cuellar went 185-130 with a 3.14 ERA, 1,632 strikeouts, 172 complete games and 36 shutouts over 453 games. He won 139 games in a 7 year span with Baltimore, 1969-75. He won the deciding game of the 1970 World Series by a pitching another complete game. Cuellar won't make the Hall of Fame but he is the most successful lefty from Latin America.

3) Camilo Pascual---the most underrated pitcher of his era. He was a 5 time All-Star starting in 1959 to 1962 and in 1964. He won 174 games yet pitching for bad teams for much of his career. He had a 3.75 ERA and 36 shutouts in 18 Major League seasons. He led the league in strikeouts from 1961 to 1963 and was among the leaders in shutouts in 1959, 1961 and 1962. He struck out 2,167 batters in 2,930 innings.

4) Luis Tiant---He led the league with a 1.60 ERA in 1968 and a 1.91 ERA in 1972. He won 229 games with a 3.30 ERA over 19 seasons. He won 20 games four times and led the American League in shutouts three times.

5) Pedro Martinez----A three-time Cy Young Award winner---1997, while with the Expos, and in 1999 and 2000 with the Red Sox. Martinez entered the 2005 season with a .705 winning percentage -- the best among pitchers with 200 or more decisions.

Honorable mention goes to Fernando Valenzuela and Dennis Martinez.

Imagine a fantasy baseball team with a rotation of Marichal, Cuellar, Pascual, Tiant and Martinez. I think that I'll do OK!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Robertson put Chavez on the map

The Rev. Pat Robertson made a stupid remark about Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. However, he has put Chavez on the map. I am very happy about that!

The bottom line is this: I do not support the assassination of Hugo Chavez or any one else. However, regime change may have to happen in Venezuela.

Who is Hugo Chavez? He is Fidel Castro with $60 oil.


In fact, Chavez has become Castro's latest benefactor. He is literally "giving oil" to Cuba in exchange for "doctors and teachers". Without Chavez, the Cuban economy would shut down because Castro does not have the dollar or euro reserves to buy oil.

Yet, Chavez is a bigger problem in South America.

Evo Morales, the left wing leader in Bolivia and Chavez-Castro protege, led the June demonstrations that resulted in the resignation of the pro-American president, Carlos Mesa.

In neighboring Colombia, FARC, which the US government has designated a terrorist organization is getting support from Chavez.

Last May, Investors Business Daily had an editorial entitled: Hugo Chavez--Pirate Of The Caribbean.

"There's a bully stalking the hemisphere, and his shadow is lengthening.

The region's weakened states have well-founded fear of being Chavez's next target.

He can cut off their oil.

He can crush their economies.

In the past two years, he's done it on a hair trigger.

He did it to Colombia this year, shutting down border trade in a dispute over the apprehension of a terrorist.

Before that, he did it to the Dominican Republic, cutting off oil in a fit of pique over an asylum case.

Indirectly (at the very least), he's supporting Bolivia's coca-growing roadblockers who are trying to starve Bolivian cities into submission to their demands for investment-killing taxes. That's economic warfare.

Now he's telling Caribbean and Central American states that if they hope to buy a drop of Venezuelan oil, they'll go through Castro's Cuba.

He has announced a new scheme to put Venezuela's Caribbean oil operational headquarters in Havana.

"There is no technical reason to justify an office in Havana," Venezuelan economist Gustavo Garcia told investors."

It won't be long before a US president has to deal with the "little Fidel" in Venezuela.

Pat Robertson was wrong about killing Chavez. Yet, Robertson was right about the gathering storm in Venezuela.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Let's win in Iraq


It's time for the US to rally against terrorism. I think that former Pres. Clinton is right on this one:

"Whether it was a mistake or not [to invade], we are where we are, and we ought to try and make this [Bush] strategy succeed."

No one, including the angriest anti-Bushie, will benefit from a terrorist victory in Iraq.

So let's win.

Don't worry about Bush getting the credit. If we win, the US wins. All of us win. What is wrong with that?

Col. Jimmie Jaye Wells is a long-time San Antonio resident, commander of the 208th Regional Support Group and a U.S. Army War College graduate. His current assignment is Deputy for Operations Support in the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

His son is serving in the U.S. Army Reserves in Al Asad, Iraq.

This is what he wrote in The Dallas Morning News:

"I have been fighting alongside troops, diplomats and civilians from Iraq, Britain, Denmark and dozens of other nations.

I am convinced we are like-minded in the just cause of this conflict. Seeing the combat from this side of the argument tends to bring some things into greater focus.

The naysayers continue to press the legitimacy of the war, but let me say that the legal aspects of this conflict are indeed just. There were and continue to be a just cause, the right intention and the legitimate authority to initiate and prosecute this conflict after a reasonable exhaustion of peaceful remedies. And there is a reasonable hope of success.

Some people attempt to fit the assumptions of 2005 into the questions of 2003. In doing so, they feel justified advocating that the U.S. abruptly withdraw from Iraq and leave the Iraqi people to fend for themselves.

To do so plays into the terrorists' hands."
http://www.dallasnews.com/cgi-bin/bi/gold_print.cgi

Let also me recommend Fight to win in Iraq By Robert J. Caldwell:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050828/news_mz1e28caldwe.html

"Whatever the current difficulties, the Iraq campaign remains eminently winnable.

The insurgents are politically weak and comparatively few in number. Their indiscriminate terrorist tactics are alienating most Iraqis, including many Sunnis.

The new Iraqi government, while undeniably fractious, remains roughly on course toward the national elections in December that would produce the Arab world's first functioning democracy.

That would constitute a truly historic accomplishment with huge implications for reforming the terrorism-spawning Middle East.

Iraq's new police force and army, being trained by the U.S. military, are steadily expanding. With proper training, equipment, leadership and professional mentoring, they should be ready in significant numbers in about another year to begin replacing U.S. forces. But they're not ready yet.

If the momentous Iraq venture is to succeed, now is the time for President Bush to move beyond his vague vows to stay the course.

He should declare that the goal in Iraq is to win, that the insurgents and terrorists will be defeated, and that adequate forces will be provided to achieve victory."

The bottom line: Let's win in Iraq!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Cindy Sheehan does not speak for American Gold Star Mothers


The US news media is either lazy or just plain partisan. How could they make this mistake?

For days, Cindy Sheehan has used the term "Gold Star Mother" to give herself credibility. It has been used by most reporters during their coverage of the Crawford Woodstock.

For the record, American Gold Star Mothers is an organization of mothers who have lost a son (or daughter) in military service.

Go to AGSM's web site and you will learn that they want nothing to do with Cindy Sheehan:

http://www.goldstarmoms.com/agsm/Home/

Go the right and you will read:

"Cindy Sheehan is currently in the news. She and her organization have no connection whatever with American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

We are a 501 C(3) organization and, as such, do not engage in political activities.

We do support our troops. After all, they are our children."

How did we learn this?

The bloggers and talk radio score again.

P.S. Check out this report: PR Machine Behind Cindy Sheehan? (http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=politics&id=3382521)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ralph Nader is going to wreck the Democrats again


In 2000, Ralph Nader ran for president because he thought that the Clinton-Gore administration was phony on liberal issues. Nader ran a modest campaign and got 4 million votes. It may have been the difference between a Pres. Gore and a Pres. Bush.

Today, Nader must be looking at the Dem. party and wondering if anybody is going to carry the flag for the antiwar movement. My guess is that Nader will accept the job and cause a major train wreck for Hillary Clinton.

As for today, Gallup has a list of the Top 6 Democrats seeking the 2008 nomination. The list is based on name identification. It starts with Hillary Clinton and goes all the way down to Bill Richardson. Bayh, Kerry, Lieberman and Biden are also on the list.

What do these six have in common? They are opposed to a timetable or any other type of premature withdrawal from Iraq.

I applaud these Democrats for doing the right thing. However, my opinion won't count in the Democrat primaries. MoveOn.org and the "we hate Bush at any cost" crowd is going to have more influence than me.

Where does the antiwar movement go?

I think it will go to Ralph Nader, who could do better in 2008 than what he did in 2000.

Add to this that Gallup has Rudy Guliani or John McCain beating Hillary Clinton by 5-7 points. They beat Kerry, Bayh or Biden by double digits. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate trailing Guliani or McCain by less than 10 points.

I know that it's early but Hillary Clinton is not standing up well against Republican heavyweights.

Therefore, no one is hoping for a victory, or successful completion of the Iraq War, more than Sen. Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, Hillary Clinton and her pals are headed for the biggest train wreck since Chicago '68.

This is not the way that Hillary Clinton planned her ride to the nomination or the presidency.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The angry left is mad at Democrats


The leftist columnists and bloggers are up in arms. They are angry with Democrats for standing with Bush.

They are also angry because Democrats are not gaining on Bush.

There are many polls in the air. Yet, I have not seen a poll that indicates that the American people want to trade Bush for a Democrat. Furthermore, I have not seen another poll showing that Americans want to cut and run from Iraq.

I have looked at polling for the upcoming 2006 mid-term elections.

There is no evidence that the Democrats are gaining any steam to win the House or the US Senate. Instead, the Democrat Nelsons, one from Florida and the other from Nebraska, are vulnerable running in red states. Only Republican Santorum looks like he is trouble in Pennsylvania.

In the House, the Democrats' challenge is even greater: 95% of House members get reelected.

The bottom line is that there is no evidence of a "Democrat 1994".

The Dem blogs and pundits are furious that Dems are not scoring any points against Bush. Let me give you a sample of what is filling up the opinion pages:

"In a permanent slump: Democratic leaders haven't been able to come up with a message that doesn't echo Bush's war policy" by Clarence Page (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-0508240125aug24,1,321853.column?coll=chi-news-col&ctrack=1&cset=true)

David Ignatius is right. The Democrats are not ready for prime time because:

"They are better at slashand-burn campaigning than governing.

They are failing utterly in the role of an opposition party, which is to provide a coherent alternative account of how the nation might solve its problems.

Because they lack coherent plans for how to govern the country, the Democrats have become captive of the most shrill voices in the party, who seem motivated these days mainly by visceral dislike of George W. Bush.

Sorry, folks, but loathing is not a strategy - especially when much of the country finds the object of your loathing a likable guy."

I could not say it better. In fact, I wrote a blog about this weeks ago: http://cantotalk.blogspot.com/2005/07/drop-attacks-on-rove-and-start-acting.html

There are some Democrats who are calling for a withdrawal date, such as Sen Feingold.

Let's have a vote on Sen. Feingold's resolution. Let's have a debate on the US Senate floor about this war and the consequences of Iraq. Let's have this debate on national TV so that both sides can make their arguments.

I am not afraid to have McCain et al lead our side on this debate. Let's force the Democrats to go public with their opposition to the war.

Will it happen?

It won't. Democrats won't challenge Bush on Iraq. They are afraid of getting burned again on the national security issue.

Indeed, we have an anti-war movement. It is not a problem for Pres. Bush. They are a threat to the Democrats. (Check out the latest George Will column: DEMS' SHEEHAN PROBLEM http://www.townhall.com/columnists/georgewill/gw20050825.shtml)

The anti-Vietnam war movement made a lot of noise, cause a lot of traffic jams and uttered vile words but it did not win elections.

It won't win any elections over Iraq either.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

No Democrats running for President at Camp Sheehan


Çindy Sheehan has a new soundbite. She is now referring to the terrorists as "freedom fighters". According to Sheehan, Iraq is attracting "freedom fighters" because we decided to invade Iraq to support Israel and steal their oil.

Slowly but surely, Camp Sheehan is falling apart. There are no leading Democrats visiting the anti-war crowd at Camp Sheehan. Maybe it is because they understand the electoral impact of associating with Camp Sheehan.

In other words, maybe Hillary Clinton has seen this movie before. Hillary probably saw the movie versions of 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2004.

As David Frum wrote:

"There is great nostalgia on the American left today for the antiwar movements of the 1960s.

What they forget is that it was the reaction against the riots and the protests of the 1960s that delivered the White House to the Republicans for 20 of the 24 years from 1968 until 1992.

But the leaders of the national party--Bill and Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Harry Reid, and others--are resisting.


They have seen this movie before--and they know how it ends: with the Democrats marginalized and the Republicans back in power."(http://www.aei.org/publication23060)


Soriano stays a Ranger (for now!)


On Sunday night, I was certain that Soriano would be going to Minnesota. Now, I am certain that he will be here for the rest of the season.

Soriano is a great bat in the Rangers' lineup. However, I think that he should be moved to left or right field in September to make room for Ian Kessler at second base.

In the off season, the Rangers should shop Soriano and see what they can get. They should move him if they can get a quality starter. Otherwise, sign Soriano to a long term deal and move on.


P.S. I would like to see the Rangers move Kenny Rogers before August 31st. I think that every contender could use a left handed veteran who can give you lots of innings.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Mr. Barone's almanac


Since 1980, Michael Barone has been one of the sharpest political analysts in the US. Let me paraphrase that old TV commercial: When Michael talks, everyone listens! (I think that I got the phrase correctly)

Barone has written a new essay: "American Politics in The Networking Era."

It explains the changing reality of American politics. Frankly, no one can play this game better than Karl Rove, Pres. Bush's offensive coordinator.

According to Barone, today's America reflects "a postindustrial, Information Age nation characterized by decentralization and network-connected organizations."

The 2004 campaign "produced a different kind of politics, a politics that reflects the character of the postindustrial, networking age we live in."

The Washington Times has an extensive review of Mr. Barone's latest almanac. It will be available for sale in a few weeks. I can't wait to read the whole book.

The Washington Times reviews some of the highlights of Mr. Barone's analysis:

First, the Bush campaign "created an organization unlike any seen before, a networking organization that far surpassed what the Democrats were doing. During the fall of 2003, for example, the news media marveled at Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean's list of 600,000 e-mail addresses. Virtually unreported, however, was the fact that the Bush campaign had collected six million e-mail addresses."

In other words, Rove just flat out worked the opposition. The Democrats had no clue of what hit them on election day!

Second, Rove turned conventional wisdom upside down in '04. "Even though John Kerry received eight million more votes in 2004 than Al Gore got in 2000, Mr. Kerry's 59-million total, which was the second-highest in history, still fell three million short of Mr. Bush's all-time record of 62 million votes, which represented a stunning 23 percent increase over 2000."

Many people voted for the first time and they voted Republican. Again, the Democrats did not know what hit them on election day! All of their experts said: new votes, new Democrats! It did not turn out that way.

Third, Pres. Bush's success translated into party gains. "President Bush's 23 percent vote increase in 2004 approximated the 22 percent vote increase achieved by Roosevelt in 1936. While the Bush 51 percent majority in 2004 was much smaller than Roosevelt's 61 percent in 1936, the results of the intervening midterm congressional elections were similar."

Fourth, the population shifts are creating a tough scenario for future Democrats, specially liberal candidates from the Northeast who do not play well in the South and West. "The 2004 results showed the red states getting redder and the blue states getting less blue."

Fifth, the so called "church vote" was a critical factor for Bush. Barone explains that "Mr. Bush received 78 percent of the vote of white evangelical Protestants, who comprised 23 percent of the electorate. Raising his share by 5 percentage points, the president managed to capture 52 percent of the Catholic vote "against the first Catholic nominee since 1960."

Sixth, the "gender gap" fizzled out. The new gap is called the "marriage gap". "Married people, who comprised 63 percent of the electorate, voted 57-42 for Mr. Bush."

Seventh, Kerry did well in the large cities of the Northeast and Midwest. Unfortunately, these cities, like Philadelphia and Detroit, are losing population. On the other hand, "Mr. Bush won majorities in 97 of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties, where he achieved a popular-vote margin of 1.8 million, which was more than half of his national vote margin."

Obviously, things can change. Politics is like baseball. Spring training predictions and forecasts do not always turn out to be true. Just look at the 2005 Yankees' starting rotation in March and who is pitching today.

So things can always change.

2008 could turn into 1952 or 1980 when the electorate replaced the incumbent with a popular alternative from the other party.

The good news for the Democrats is that anything can happen. The bad news is that I don't see an Eisenhower ('52) or Reagan ('80) on their bench.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A few words on Iran


Michael Ledeen is an NRO contributing editor and the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. He also the resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute. He has just written an update on Iran, which I would recommend to everyone. You can read the full report at: http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen200508191008.asp

Ledeen addresses the status of Iran's nuclear program "Estimates" from the intelligence community:

"The first reassuringly forecast that Iran is a good ten years away from nuclear weapons;


To which the only proper response is a belly laugh.

I'm personally willing to bet the farm against any intel-type willing to take the wager that Iran will have atomic bombs in a period closer to ten days than to ten years."

Put me down on Ledeen's camp. Iran is determined to get the weapon. Why? Because they understand the leverage that a nuclear weapon brings to a rogue regime.


So let's not kid ourselves. Iran wants a weapon. And they are going to get it, if we sit back and let them get it.

The next step is the UN. The Chicago Tribune has a good editorial on Iran and what lies ahead with the UN:(
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0508190306aug19,0,1119636.story?coll=chi-newsopinion-hed)

"The International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to meet in early September.

It could find Iran in breach of its obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and refer it for sanctions to the Security Council.

But chances that the Security Council will pass tough sanctions against Iran range from bleak to very bleak. Iran's chief export is oil. The only sanctions that potentially would have an immediate and significant impact would be on that commodity.

But with petroleum prices and demand soaring, few of Iran's customers--China, France, Japan, Italy and Germany among them--seem eager to do without.

China has been clear that it does not want Iran hauled before the Security Council. China needs Iranian oil to fuel its economic expansion. Less obviously, it fears similar outside interference in its own domestic affairs.

The Chinese also have huge stakes in Iran's oil industry, not to mention a reported deal to build the first stage of a Tehran subway system.

Russia is another major trading partner. Despite international pressure, it's still building a nuclear power reactor for Iran in Bushehr. Russia has been admirably vocal in calling on Tehran to stop work on uranium conversion and cooperate with the IAEA. The Russians haven't backed their words with action yet, but they are eager to maintain good trade relations with the Europeans as well as the Iranians.

France's foreign minister recently said he believed it was still possible to resolve the standoff through diplomacy."


It won't be easy and we may be forced to act unilaterally. Frankly, Europe does not care. Besides, they know that we will take out the plants if Iran threatens them.

The clock is ticking. Pres. Bush is going to make a tough call soon. As I wrote earlier, I think that Bush will give this process a year or maybe two. By mid-2007, Iran will come clean or it may be looking at a massive air and cruise attack from the US.

Is there a better option? Yes. Iran could live up to its agreements. Or Iran could have an internal revolution.

I would prefer both of those options to a massive air attack. However, I don't have a lot of faith on liars and cheaters.

I also don't have a lot of patience with a country that is making the lethal weapons killing US soldiers and civilians in Iraq.

Iran is a terrorist state. It's time that we start treating them like one. Sooner, rather than later, we will.

P.S. Let me recommend Peter Brookes (FACING THE FACTS ABOUT IRAN
http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/pfriendly_new.php):

"Iran is becoming a foreign-policy problem of almost immea surable proportions — from its nuclear-weapons brinkman sip to its feverish support of Islamic fundamentalism and in ternational terrorism.

But Tehran's most proximate — and often overlooked — threat to American interests is its attempts to destabilize Iraq by supporting and fomenting its own insurgency against Coalition and Iraqi forces.

Tehran is seeking a hasty retreat by the United States and its partners that will leave a political and security vacuum that Iran can readily fill, dragging Iraq into its sphere of influence — or, perhaps,

Since 1979, Iran's regime has seen the "Great Satan" as enemy No. 1. carving off southern Iraq to create an Iranian "super state."

Without question, Iranian encroachment on Iraq must be prevented at all costs."

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Why aren't liberals supporting the liberal radio network?


For years, liberals have been blasting Rush Limbaugh's radio show.(http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/today.guest.html)
Now, they hate O'Reilly (http://www.billoreilly.com/) on TV and radio.

They don't like Sean Hannity either. ( http://www.hannity.com/)

Limbaugh is # 1 in the talk radio business. In fact, Limbaugh may have saved the AM dial. Fifteen years ago, the AM dial was dead in the water. Today, talk radio is all over AM and millions are listening.


In Dallas-Ft Worth, the #4 radio station is WBAP-AM (http://wbap.com/programschedule.asp), the home of talk radio and Limbaugh. (The first 3 are music FM stations)

O'Reilly is # 1 on prime time cable TV and has a good midday radio audience.

Hannity is an afternoon delight. Frankly, I don't listen to him all of the time. However, he does have a great lineup of guests, from George Will to Dick Morris.

Last year, Air America was heralded as the great alternative to Limbaugh. The network got more free publicity than any other radio project. The NYTimes has done many stories about the network. At times, it seemed that the NYTimes was the marketing department for Air America.

Yet, there is a problem, a big problem if you are in the radio business. No one is listening. Even the liberals are tuning out Franken et al.

Byron York is the author of the book
The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy: The Untold Story of How Democratic Operatives, Eccentric Billionaires, Liberal Activists, and Assorted Celebrities Tried to Bring Down a President — and Why They'll Try Even Harder Next Time. He just wrote a story on Air America's ratings (http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200508190909.asp ):

"The ratings have not been kind to Air America's flagship station, WLIB in New York.


In spring 2004, when WLIB broadcast a mixture of Caribbean music and talk, it won a 1.3 percent share of the New York audience.

In summer 2004, after the much-advertised switch to Air America, WLIB's share rose to 1.4 percent. Then it fell to 1.2 percent in fall 2004, and stayed at that figure in winter 2005.

Spring 2005, which ended on June 30, has seen its rating fall further to 1.0 percent — significantly below spring 2004.

The situation is similar in a number of other cities, although Air America is on the air only in about 70 markets — just a fraction of those reached by conservative radio king Rush Limbaugh.

Given its expenses — Al Franken, for example, is paid at least $1 million per year — Air America almost certainly needs better ratings than it currently attracts if it is to survive."


Quick translation: Nobody is listening to Air America.

Yet, why is that? Why aren't liberals supporting Air America?

I can't prove it but my gut feeling is that liberals make up 10% of Limbaugh's audience.

What makes me arrive at this unscientific conclusion?

My liberal friends always point out something that Limbaugh said on the radio yesterday.

At the same time, I have never told a liberal about something that Al Franken said on the radio yesterday.

Why? Because I don't listen to Air America. Truthfully, I don't even know the names on the Air America lineup. Franken is the only one that I am aware of.

A few months ago, I did hear an audio clip from Air America. It was the famous incident where a gun went off around Bush. It became very controversial and forced one of the Air America hosts to apologize for a "joke" about a gun and Bush.

Politically speaking, you can make the case the Limbaugh and Hannitty were a big boost for Bush and Republicans since 1994. At the same time, Air America hurts Democrats.


Why? Because Limbaugh and Sannitty are closer to the mainstream than Air America.

Franken and his pals are the Democrats # 1 problem.


They represent the fringe left element that kills Democrats all over the country.

As Lanny Davis, an insider of the Clinton administration told The Washington Post: "We have to define the reckless left of our party and differentiate ourselves." (Davis was talking in the context of the anti-Roberts ad, an ad that was strongly defended by Air America)

Beyond ideology, I think that Limbaugh and O'Reilly succeed because they are good at what they do. It's good programming and that's why so many liberals hide the radio under the pillow and listen to them!


Saturday, August 20, 2005

The USS Iowa vs San Francisco


The USS Iowa is one of the historic ships in naval history. It saw action in WW2 and Korea. It carried Pres. Roosevelt home from Europe during WW2. It is a tribute to everything that is great about the US.

Yet, city supervisors voted 8-3 to keep the USS Iowa away from San Francisco. Read this: http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/text/2005/aug/20/082009868.html

"....citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military's stance on gays, among other things.

"If I was going to commit any kind of money in recognition of war, then it should be toward peace, given what our war is in Iraq right now," Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said."

Democrat Sen. Feinstein worked hard to bring the USS Iowa to San Francisco. She reacted by calling it a "very petty decision."

She added:

"This isn't the San Francisco that I've known and loved and grew up in and was born in."


The SF City supervisors should be universally attacked for for doing something like this. I plan to send them a letter filing a protest. I hope that you will do the same.

Good news from Texas

Once again, there is good economic news drom Texas. The latest information about the Texas economy is available from the Dallas Morning News: (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/082005dntexjobless.8bc562ff.html)

"The manufacturing sector was responsible for the largest share of July's employment increase, adding 3,300 jobs that month.

The leisure and hospitality sector added 2,900 jobs, and the trade, transportation and utilities sector added 2,200 jobs in July. That extending five straight months of employment growth in that sector, which has added 18,400 jobs since July 2004.


Employment in education and health services added 400 jobs in July, while employment in financial activities added 700 jobs.

Employment in construction added 900 jobs over the month, as did the natural resources and mining sector.

Government was the only sector to shrink, losing 6,200 jobs in July."


One bad note is that the border areas are behind in job creation.

Dallas/Ft Worth, Houston and San Antonio, the so called triangle that includes Austin/Round Rock, has an unemployment rate of about 5%. This is the vibrant section of the Texas economy!

The border cities, from El Paso to Brownsville are stuck in 7%. This is another sign that the US Mexico border is in trouble. Mexico's maquiladora industry is not growing as fast as it did in the past.

Overall, it is a good report.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Why not nuclear power?


Some of us are old enough to remember the 3 Mile Island incident from the spring of '79. It was not Chiebnobyl in the old USSR but it did frighten a few people.

Is nuclear power making a comeback? I hope so. I would love to see 75-100 nuclear plants supplying much of our residential energy needs. It would be a huge step forward on the road to economic independence.

RasmussenReports.com has an interesting poll on nuclear plants:

"The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds that Americans support the nuclear power option by a more than 2-to-1 margin (55% to 24%).


In
June, before the latest surge in oil prices, the country was more evenly divided on that question--44% in favor and 35% opposed. Much of the growth in support for nuclear power plants can be found among women and Democrats. However, men and Republicans remain even more supportive.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Americans believe it is somewhat or very important for the U.S. to reduce its reliance on imported oil. That's essentially unchanged from the earlier survey.

Also unchanged is the belief that energy conservation is not a lasting solution. Sixty-four percent (64%) say that, in the long run, developing new sources of energy is more important than conserving energy. Just 26% take the opposite view.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of men and 46% of women say it is "time for the United States to begin building power plants again." Twenty-two percent of men and 25% of women take the opposite view. Earlier in the summer, a plurality of women were opposed to building new nuclear power plants."


Nuclear power is a serious alternative to fossil fuel. We need to invest more in nuclear plants.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Why are well educated young Mexicans looking toward the US?

Was anyone surprised with this report? I was not!

The myth is that the Mexican poor want to come to the US.

In fact, it is the young and the well educated that want to move to the US.

The surveys of Mexican citizens by the Pew Hispanic Center found that more than one-third of Mexican college graduates said they would move to the U.S.

You can read the full report at http://pewhispanic.org/

According to the study:

"People with college degrees believe they have greater economic opportunities by migration to the U.S. even illegally than they would staying at home," Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, a research group in Washington, told USA Today.

Mexicans wishing to come to the U.S. are "distributed across the whole breadth of Mexican society," he added."

New Mexico and Arizona are correct!


First things first. I am an immigrant. I came to the US with my parents in '64. I have always considered ourselves "political immigrants". We came here to live in a free country. My parents did not come here because they were hoping to get any financial benefits from the US. Last but not least, we came here legally.

Let me add this. Cubans were given preferential treatment to come to the US. We did not have to wait or go through the paper mill that most immigrants go through. So we had it easier but it was legal. It was the policy of the US government to welcome anti-Castro Cubans to the US.

Today, Arizona and New Mexico have declared emergencies on their Mexico border. I applaud the Democrat governors of those two small states for doing so.

What we have in the US-Mexico border is chaos and a breakdown in order. It invites criminal activity and puts citizens' lives and property in danger. (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20050818-124840-9453r.htm)

The big problem is that Mexico cannot take care of its border. Nuevo Laredo is a city in disarray. (http://cantotalk.blogspot.com/2005/06/vicente-fox-has-lost-control-of-border.html)

Mexico refuses to make the structural changes that will attract more investment and will allow its citizens to prosper.

How can Mexico be a poor country? Can someone explain that to me?

Mexico is sitting on oil reserves.

Mexico has vast coastlines and natural resources.

Mexico has huge agricultural potential.

How can this country be poor?

Let's start with PEMEX. It is an idea from the 1930s that cannot compete in 2005. It sounded good in the 1930s to nationalize oil. It does not make any sense today.

The US needs to put pressure on Mexico to fix its problems. It needs to force Mexican politicians to make the tough calls, unpopular perhaps, but necessary indeed.

According to The Investor's Business Daily:

"When President Vicente Fox took office in 2000, he made legalizing the flow of workers from Mexico to the U.S. his top priority.


He also vowed to reform Mexico's byzantine tax code, curb the government's power, change Mexico's legal system and open up its state-owned energy sector to reform and outside investment.

It didn't happen. Today, the illegal flow is greater than ever, taking pressure off Mexico's government to reform.

This explains why Mexico's GDP growth of 2.4% annually during Fox's six years in office is way below the 8% needed.

Change will be tough.

Mexico is addicted to the money its workers send back from abroad. Remittances this year will top $20 billion, double that of just five years ago."


Pres. Fox, and the rest of Mexico's political class, have benefitted from this export of people. They don't have to deal with the social discontent. The $20 billion remittances are the best social welfare program ever enacted.

My guess is that Texas and California will follow.

No one is against Mexicans or immigration. I support the work visa program. I support anything that orderly brings Mexicans to work in the US.

What we have in the border is chaos. No civilized society can tolerate chaos and disorder on its border.

P.S. How does the Hispanic population feel about illegal immigration in general? Check out this new survey (
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3312407).



Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cindy does Crawford (the X-rated version)


Who is missing in Crawford?

Have you seen potential Democrat presidential candidates joining the Crawford "Woodstock"?

My guess is that most Democrats read Cindy's anti-Israel remarks and decided to spend their political capital elsewhere.

The Democrats can not afford to lose another voting block, specially one as important as the American Jewish vote.

Nevertheless, check out the latest X-rated performance from Cindy Sheehan.

Check out The Drudge Report (www.drudgereport.com)

We can now safely say that Cindy Sheehan has gone crazy:

'THE BIGGEST TERRORIST IN THE WORLD IS GEORGE W. BUSH

"We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush!"

So declared Cindy Sheehan earlier this year during a rally at San Francisco State University. Sheehan, who is demanding a second meeting with Bush, stated:

"We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now."

Sheehan unleashed a foul-mouth tirade on April 27, 2005:

"They’re a bunch of fucking hypocrites! And we need to, we just need to rise up..."

Sheehan said of the Bush administration.

"If George Bush believes his rhetoric and his bullshit, that this is a war for freedom and democracy, that he is spreading freedom and democracy, does he think every person he kills makes Iraq more free?"

"The whole world is damaged. Our humanity is damaged.
If he thinks that it’s so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war."

"We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog shit in Washington, we will impeach all those people."

Give us the bad and ugly along with the good and pretty


Like many of you, I am totally frustrated with the way that the news media is covering Iraq. For years, I used to listen to the BBC in my little short-wave radio often. I don't anymore. The BBC is now the Bash Bush Center in the mornings or the Bash Blair Center the rest of the day. It is awful! It has become the microphone of every one who hates the US and capitalism.

It took the American colonies 13 years to go from the Declaration of Independence (1776) to Pres. Washington in 1789. In between, there was a lot of division, jealousy, confusion, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional convention and the Federalist Papers. The whole question of slavery was punted for future reference because they could not agree.

It took us 13 years and we are critical of the Iraqis because they are taking more than one year. The Iraqis lived with rape rooms and repression for 30 years. Why can't we be a little sympathetic of these people? Give them some space.

Debra Saunders wrote last week about the disconnect between the media and the country on Iraq(
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-8_9_05_DS.html):

"If the American Revolution were fought amidst all this naysaying, America would be a British colony today.
Don't take my word for it.


"1776" author David McCullough recently told CNBC's Tim Russert that if the Revolutionary War had been covered by today's media, "and the country had seen how horrible the conditions were, how badly things were being run by the officers and what a very serious soup we were in, I think that would have been it, too."

Amid the bad news, I talked to Maj. John Busterud, a Bay Area lawyer and Army reservist with the 351st Civil Affairs Command of the U.S. Army, who is serving in Iraq.

Busterud phoned to talk about the positive things he sees "every day in the work we're doing here."

It is his job to work with Iraqi officials to make Iraqi government work. He sees that the ability of Iraqis "to govern themselves is coming along nicely. But it's not the sort of thing that makes the evening news at night."

Americans read about the suicide bombings to discourage citizens from working for the new Iraqi government.

Busterud sees Iraqis lining up to become police. More Iraqi forces are "up and operating on their own."

And, "This doesn't appear in the media much, but we are definitely taking the fight to the enemy."

Americans read articles about factionalism that divides Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. You can look at these differences as "intractable" or see the arguments as a sign of "a healthy debate," Busterud noted.

I ask Busterud a question posed by war critics: Why don't the Iraqis adopt the U.S. Constitution?

His answer: "I hope people at home realize this: We are not trying to impose a 100-percent American democracy on this country. We want them to have ownership," so their new constitution has to be "a culture- and nation-specific document."

Busterud sees this as an "information war," of sorts:

"Coalition forces have not been defeated in any engagement platoon-size or larger," but the U.S. effort is "vulnerable," he noted, to media reports that suggest the insurgents are winning or that terrorists might have a reasonable justification for murdering civilians.

If the bad news prompts Americans to support calls that U.S. troops cut and run, then "the terrorists are only encouraged by that."

More than once, I've read a negative story about Iraq. Then I hear an interview with a soldier or a businessman and they have a totally different story. No one is saying that Iraq is Disneyland. But it's not as bad as the media is portraying it either.

The NYTimes had an interesting story today. You can check it out in the website: "Editors Ponder How to Present a Broad Picture of Iraq"
By
KATHARINE Q. SEELYE (www.nytimes.com):

"Rosemary Goudreau, the editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune, has received the same e-mail message a dozen times over the last year.


"Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?" the anonymous polemic asks, in part.

"Did you know that 3,100 schools have been renovated?"

"Of course we didn't know!" the message concludes.

"Our media doesn't tell us!"

Ms. Goudreau's newspaper, like most dailies in America, relies largely on The Associated Press for its coverage of the Iraq war. So she finally forwarded the e-mail message to Mike Silverman, managing editor of The A.P., asking if there was a way to check these assertions and to put them into context.

Like many other journalists, Mr. Silverman had also received a copy of the message.

Ms. Goudreau's query prompted an unusual discussion last month in New York at a regular meeting of editors whose newspapers are members of The Associated Press.
Some editors expressed concern that a kind of bunker mentality was preventing reporters in Iraq from getting out and explaining the bigger picture beyond the daily death tolls.

"The bottom-line question was, people wanted to know if we're making progress in Iraq," Ms. Goudreau said, and the A.P. articles were not helping to answer that question.

"It was uncomfortable questioning The A.P., knowing that Iraq is such a dangerous place," she said.

"But there's a perception that we're not telling the whole story."

Mr. Silverman said in an interview that he was aware of that perception."

It goes on:

"Other editors said they get calls from readers who are hearing stories from returning troops of the good things they have accomplished while there, and readers find that at odds with the generally gloomy portrayal in the papers of what's going on in Iraq," he said.

Mr. Silverman said the editors were asking for help in making sense of the situation.

"I was glad to have that discussion with the editors because they have to deal with the perception that the media is emphasizing the negative," he said.

"We're there to report the good and the bad and we try to give due weight to everything going on," he said.

"It is unfortunate that the explosions and shootings and fatalities and injuries on some days seem to dominate the news."

There is obviously a disconnect between what the reporters are telling us about Iraq and what the soldiers are saying about it.

Why is there such a disconnect?

A second article came out today: "Good News, Bleeding to Get Out Progress in Iraq, despite headlines" by Deroy Murdock, a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Fairfax, Virginia. (http://www.nationalreview.com/murdock/murdock200508151354.asp ):

"Amid roadside bombs, constitutional tensions, and even a blinding sandstorm last Monday, outside the blogosphere (see here and now here) one wonders if anything is going right in Iraq.

Plenty is, actually, although the mainstream media rarely mention such good news.

Infrastructure improvements also are encouraging.

A new Kirkuk treatment plant began providing clean water to 5,000 people on June 27, the State Department reports.

Another 84 U.S.-led waterworks projects are underway in Iraq, while 114 have been completed.

As Saddam Hussein relaxed in his palaces, his subjects in Kamaliya lived without sewers and relied instead on trenches that often overflowed onto the streets.

Now, with Coalition assistance, 8,870 of Kamaliya’s homes will receive sewage treatment. Some 600 local workers will be paid to complete this $27 million project. U.S. government-funded projects employed 110,005 Iraqis in early August.

Some 18,000 pupils will study in rehabilitated classrooms when they go back to school in mid-September.

According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, 43 more schools were slated for renovation on August 6.

So far, 3,211 schools have been refurbished, and another 773 are being repaired.

Iraq’s monthly petroleum exports have grown from $200 million in June 2003 to $2.5 billion last month. This is due both to higher oil prices and to fuel supplies having swelled from 23 percent to 97 percent of official production goals in that period.

These key improvements also help explain why Iraq’s GDP increased from a World Bank estimate of $12.1 billion in 2003 to a projected $21.1 billion in 2004.

Iraqis who endured Baathist censorship now enjoy a vibrant, free press. Commercial TV channels, radio stations, and independent newspapers and magazines have zoomed from zero before Operation Iraqi Freedom to — respectively — 29, 80, and 170 today.

Internet subscribers have boomed from 4,500 before Iraq’s liberation to 147,076 last March, not counting the additional Iraqis who use Internet cafes.

When Saddam Hussein fell, Iraq had 833,000 telephone subscribers. In July, that figure soared 356.4 percent to 3,801,822."

Murdock makes reference to the Iraq Index (http://www.brookings.edu/iraqindex):

"The Iraq Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion, and security data. This resource will provide updated information on various criteria, including crime, telephone and water service, troop fatalities, unemployment, Iraqi security forces, oil production, and coalition troop strength.
The index is designed to quantify the rebuilding efforts and offer an objective set of criteria for benchmarking performance. It is the first in-depth, non-partisan assessment of American efforts in Iraq, and is based primarily on U.S. government information. Although measurements of progress in any nation-building effort can never be reduced to purely quantitative data, a comprehensive compilation of such information can provide a clearer picture and contribute to a healthier and better informed debate.

Michael O'Hanlon spearheads the Iraq Index project at Brookings, with assistance from Senior Research Assistant Adriana Lins de Albuquerque. O'Hanlon is a Foreign Policy Studies senior fellow and served on a U.S. government delegation to Iraq to review post-war progress. "

Why aren't we hearing more about this Iraq Index?

Two months ago, the Index published an update on the country. You can read the good, the bad, the ugly and the pretty by going to: http://www.brookings.edu/views/op-ed/ohanlon/20050603.htm

Why aren't we reading about this? The media will publish every international report about bogus body counts (http://cantotalk.blogspot.com/2005/07/they-hate-bush-and-they-cant-count.html) but it won't pay the same attention to this information.

My point is this: Go ahead and give me the bad and the ugly. But give me the good and pretty, too!

Why is the media so negative about Iraq? Maybe they voted against Bush and want him to fail!

Again, I can take the truth. So give me the bad and the ugly. But give me the good and pretty too because there is a lot of it in Iraq.

P.S. How about some good news from Iraq? Read ARTHUR CHRENKOFF's blog: A roundup of the past two weeks' good news from Iraq:(http://www.opinionjournal.com/forms/printThis.html?id=110007113)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Where are the liberals?


Christopher Hitchens is one of my favorite columnists. Frankly, I disagree with Hitchens on most domestic issues, such as abortion and other things. He is a very liberal liberal. However, he is a strong supporter of the Iraq War.

He writes from London, Washington and elsewhere. He is sharp and does not hold anything back.

In fact, he is currently promoting a new book published by The University of California Press:
A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq. This is a book of essays from the left, including Hitchens and others. It is edited by Thomas Cushman, editor of the Human Rights Review.

Hitchens recently jumped on the NYTimes: "Why does the New York Times insist on calling jihadists "insurgents"?" (
http://slate.msn.com/id/2118820/ )

His latest article on the Iraq War asks some pertinent questions:

"The United States is awash in human rights groups, feminist organizations, ecological foundations, and committees for the rights of minorities.


How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East?

Is Abu Ghraib really the only subject that interests our humanitarians?

Isn't there a single drop of solidarity and compassion left over for the people of Iraq, after three decades of tyranny, war, and sanctions and now an assault from the vilest movement on the face of the planet?

Unless someone gives me a persuasive reason to think otherwise, my provisional conclusion is that the human rights and charitable "communities" have taken a pass on Iraq for political reasons that are not very creditable.

And so we watch with detached curiosity, from dry land, to see whether the Iraqis will sink or swim."
(
http://slate.msn.com/id/2124157/

I remember South Africa and Chile. I remember how liberals were up front and active supporting democratic movements and dissidents in those countries.

Apartheid was obviously an awful institution. I was glad to see that the US was one of the countries that pushed the leaders of South Africa to end it.

Yet, the white leaders of South Africa did not drop chemical weapons on their dissidents. They did not invade a neighbor, sack its capital city like modern barbarians and annex it unilaterally as a province.

Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for over 20 years. Yet, he was never forced to watch his daughter, granddaughter or wife get raped in front of him.

Saddam did all of these things, as well as violate every
international agreement that he ever signed.

In Chile, Pinochet had a mixed record. His economic policies are the envy of Latin America. Chile is the only country in the continent with a vibrant economy and stable currency. Pinochet gets very high marks on transforming Chile from statism to a very competitive economy with steady growth.

Let's face it. Chile and Brazil are about the same distance from the US. It takes a similar effort (and cost) to move from there to the US.

More and more, Brazilians are showing up in the US-Mexico border.

Have you seen any Chileans?

Chile has gained from Pinochet economics. Brazil has Lula and his economics are driving Brazilians to the US.

Yet, I don't make excuses for Pinochet's excesses. Some dissidents disappeared. Some were thrown in jail. I was very critical of Pinochet's excesses! I believe that right and left wing dictators should be criticized for human rights abuses.

However, Pinochet did not flood marshes and cause environmental damage to destroy Allende's supporters. He did not throw leftist opponents from the roof of buildings. His two sons did not go around Santiago picking up girls and raping them at one of their palaces. He did not chop off an opponent's head and deliver it to a wife in a sack.

Saddam's sons did that.

There weren't 300,000 mass graves in Chile or South Africa either.

Where are the liberals today?

Why aren't the same liberals who fought for the rights of Chileans and South Africans proud to stand up for the Iraqis?

Why have they chosen to sit on the sidelines?

Furthermore, where are the feminist marches applauding the fact that thousands of women voted in Afghanistan? Or even in Iraq?

What about the Iraqi constitution?

Future liberals will look back and ask: where were the liberals of 2005? Why were they missing in Iraq or Afghanistan?

I think that Hitchens is right. This is about the left's irrational dislike of Bush. What else could it be?

As PM Tony Blair said last January:

"On the one side you have people who desperately want to make the democratic process work, and want the same type of democratic freedoms other parts of the world enjoy, and on the other side people who are killing and intimidating and trying to destroy a better future for Iraq. Our response should be to stand alongside the democrats."

Why aren't the Western democrats standing with the Iraqi democrats?

William Shawcross wrote "Blair is right. Why aren't more democrats backing these elections?" published in the UK's Guardian a few months ago:

"Where are French and German and Spanish protests against the terror being inflicted on voters in Iraq? And it is shocking that around the world there is not wider admiration of, assistance to and moral support (and more) for the Iraqi people."

Where are the Western liberals? They are missing in action on this struggle between those who want to vote and those who want to kill voters.

Frankly, this is not the liberals' finest hour. In fact, future liberals may look back and ask: Why did we stay on the sidelines?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Good article on Cindy Sheehan by Christopher Hitchens

Let me recommend this article:

Cindy Sheehan's Sinister Piffle
What's wrong with her Crawford protest.


By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Aug. 15, 2005

http://slate.msn.com/id/2124500/

Mid-August baseball notes


The Rangers lost their 7th straight in New York today.

The Rangers' season is over. They have played miserably since the All Star Break and even worse since early June when they trailed the Angels by 1 game.

So long Rangers. Let's get some of the young guys up here and play for next year. Bring up Ian Kessler, Jason Botts, Gerald Laird and Adrian Gonzalez.

It may be time to move Kenny Rogers, who should be an attractive option for a team looking for another starter down the stretch or the post-season.

Rogers is the most valuable Ranger because he is a southpaw who eats innings and most clubs could use a left handed starter.

Soriano is another possibility but I don't think that he'd clear waivers.

Catcher Sandy Alomar is another veteran with post-season experience who could be an important piece for a contender looking for help.

Outfielder Richard Hidalgo has had a bad year but he is easy to move because of his contractual status. He would be a perfect "rent a hitter" for a contender.

The bad news is that the Rangers are weak on pitching. The good news is that they have some young arms in the system. We should see Diamond, Banks and Volquez next summer. One of them could break out in spring training.

The Yankees are struggling too.

They trail Boston by 5 and the wild card by 3.5! Give up on the wild card because it will likely go to the Angels or A's.

So the Yankees' season comes down to 6 games against the Bosox in late September.

What's wrong with the NYYankees?

Let's start with pitching. Wright and Pavano are million dollars busts on the disabled list. Kevin Brown is too old. Randy Johnson missed a start due to back problems.

Let's go to center field. Bernie Williams is done. He's had a great career but he can't play center anymore.

Middle relief has been a problem too.

Can the Yankees win 5 more games than Boston before their late season series?

I don't think so.

The Yankees will miss the post season for the first time since '93 and it won't be fun in the offseason.

I am not one of those Yankee haters. I have incredible respect for the Yankees' accomplishments over the years.

However, they made bad decisions and are stuck with some long term contracts that no one will pick up. Worse than that, their minor league system is dry.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

If you hate Bush, move to France. If you are looking for a job, get out of France


The French economy is the sick puppy of Europe. In fact, it is so sick that French young people are looking to get out.

The AP reports that:

"The French economy fared worse than expected in the second quarter of 2005, growing just 0.1 percent, the official statistics agency Insee said Friday.


Economists had forecast growth of 0.3 percent for France's gross domestic product for the second quarter.

The result means the French economy is not growing fast enough to deliver the government's annual growth target for this year of close to 2 percent of GDP.

It also means France is lagging behind other nations using the euro.

The growth estimate came a day after the European Union's official statistics agency Eurostat said that euro zone GDP grew 0.3 percent in the same period. (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/n/a/2005/08/12/financial/f080819D92.DTL)

The UK's FT reports that
"Foreign investment in France and Germany fell sharply in 2004, reinforcing concerns that inflexible labour practices and weak domestic demand are driving investors elsewhere.


In France, inward investment almost halved from $43bn (€35.44bn) to $24bn, according to figures released yesterday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the group representing the world's most industrialised countries."

How do you say "it stinks" in French?

How do you say "get the hell out of here" in French?

The French are starting to leave France. Why? Because France cannot feed itself with anti-Americanism. Hating Bush does not put food on the table or create jobs for the young people of France.

Susan Bell just wrote "France's young set off on 'bon voyage' to better life" (
http://www.scotsman.com/?id=1767642005). This is what she writes from Paris:

"France is facing an unprecedented new-generation exodus as many of its disillusioned younger people leave in search of a better life abroad.

Unemployment among the under-25s in France stands at 23.3 per cent, and 40 per cent of 18-30 year-olds describe their financial state as "difficult".

"I feel I'm living in an ageing country which sinks further every day, where people are worn out," said Valerie, 34, a nursery school teacher."

All of this is having serious consequences on Pres. Chirac. Newsweek reports:

"How, for instance, should the country integrate, assimilate or even accommodate its large and growing population of Muslim immigrants?

How can France reform its educational system so that what students learn prepares them for the gritty combat of the global marketplace?

How will older people survive when their pensions finally are cut back because there just isn't enough money to fund them?

Where is France really supposed to fit in this new Europe of 25 countries?

And where will Europe fit into the world?

These fundamental questions about their daily lives and their immediate futures are ones that Chirac hasn't been able to answer convincingly in 10 years." (
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7857266/site/newsweek/)

In March '03, Chirac became the face of anti-Americanism, and specially anti-Bushism. It distracted the French and gave them something to feel good about. It gave the French a sense of "international relevance".

However, the developing Oil for Food scandal has correctly confirmed that Chirac was in Saddam's pockets. France did not support the Iraq invasion because Chirac was deep in trade and economic relations with Iraq. It turns out that Saddam business was the only "growth indicator" of the French economy.

How do you say "mordida" in French? I don't know but it rhymes with Chirac!

In retrospect, the French people would have been served by Chirac attracting foreign investment and reforming the structural problems driving young people to North America.

Moral of the story:

If you hate Bush move to France.

If you want a job, get out of France!

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