Good for Business

 

Mitt Romney won yesterday’s Michigan primary yesterday with 41 percent of the vote, versus Rick Santorum’s 38 percent.  Not a wide margin, but Romney took George W. Bush’s attitude that it was enough to win.  He handily won Arizona with 47 percent of the votes.  Michigan is not a winner-take-all state, so Romney and Santorum each won 11 delegates.

Voters now turn to Super Tuesday:  Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, the all-important Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.

Romney is running on his businessman’s credentials.  Not a bad resume for President of a United States that is deep financial trouble.  Voters should be aware, though, that fiscally Conservative candidates often come with a caveat.

They are not socially reliable.  They’re businessmen, after all, and as such must be careful not to offend any of their customers.  Remember that the businessman’s credo is:  “The customer is always right” or “give the customer what they want.”  Most business owners want no part of politics because it’s bad for business.  The owner of Newberry’s in Morristown took a great chance in angering his Liberal customers by giving support to the Morristown Tea Party; he’s since gone out of business.  Something about licensing.

The small business owners of New Jersey are particularly desperate and will sign onto anything, even Smart Growth, as we heard from the mouth of the Chamber of Commerce representative at the recent State Strategic Development Plan meeting.

The town of Pompton Lakes is particularly desperate.  They’re willing to tear up all of Wanaque Avenue, which was only recently repaved and remodeled, in order to embrace Smart Growth.  To comply with this plan, Pompton Lakes will have to narrow Wanaque Avenue, more than it already it is, which means another repaving project, and higher taxes for the town residents.

Gov. Christie has stated that he wants New Jersey to lead the way in Smart Growth, and Pompton Lakes is designated to be the model Smart Growth town (that is, if they ever restore the railroad station).  Pompton Lakes is a prime target, with half the town condemned by the EPA and the other half by FEMA.  If only residents would read further into the details of Smart Growth, they would be horrified.  But they’re too busy bailing out their basements to read.

Call it by whatever name you please, this “plan” encompasses far more than looking after spotted owls or constructing train stations.  At least the tracks still exist through Pompton Lakes.  The damned fools in Pequannock Township tore up all their tracks years ago.

The Chamber of Commerce sympathizes with homeowners, but…  Well, we residents sympathize with homeowners, but in selling us out, the government camel’s nose will be under the tent.  Whatever they don’t already regulate, they will thanks to this plan, even to, yes, birth control.  The plan calls not just for the regulation of transportation, but food, health care, and all our property rights.  All in the name of “The Poor” and social justice.

The Progressives (Glenn Beck is right; when you have an ostensibly Republican governor, Chris Christie, touting this Smart Growth/Sustainable Development Marxist program, it’s not just about Liberals or Conservatives anymore – it’s about Progressives or Moderates.).

Business people are true diplomats.  Like that green bumblebee critter in the first two Star Wars movies (that is, the prequels), ideology and rhetoric don’t work on them; only money.  The Pompton Lakes Smart Growth plan doesn’t see 400 families imprisoned in small apartments; they see 400 groups of customers who, if some business could be prevailed upon to occupy the old DuPont site, would patronize the Wanaque Avenue businesses.  Since they wouldn’t be allowed to have cars, per the Smart Growth dictates, or at best, only little electric go-carts, they’d have to remain within the precincts of Wanaque Avenue.

If the residents, who are working to get every last dollar in damages they can out of DuPont, don’t think The Plume neighborhood is fit to live in, why would a business?  Nor is any business likely to take over the flood plain.  Just ask the A&P in Pompton Plains, which has abandoned that site, right on the banks of the Pompton River, since the last (regular) flood.  What nincompoop council zoned that area for commercial use years ago, anyway?  It used to be a cabbage farm.

DuPont says it has done everything possible to clean up the site and now the town is talking about attracting some businesses to locate there.  During World War II, the factory produced some chemical for weapons, something for the firing pins.  No wonder the Nazis occupied Federal Hill (which is nearly gone now, thanks to rock quarrying – you can now find Federal Hill at the new World Trade Center).  Sort of fitting, really.

Young suburban voters Smart Growth polled say they are attracted to urban living.  Thanks to the EPA and FEMA, that’s all Pompton Lakes will be fit for.  Smart Growth declared, through the Wild Lands projects, that dams must be destroyed.  And lo, the dams “self-destructed” (or so we’re told) and homes from Pompton Lakes all the way down to West Paterson flooded that either had never flooded before or hadn’t flooded in many decades.

The EPA declared that toxic chemicals had spilt underground all the way from the DuPont site out to the banks of Pompton Lake (the Ramapo River) via the aptly named Acid Brook, and lo, the lawsuits and redistribution of wealth commenced.  Thus was born Smart Growth/Agenda 21’s test tube baby – Pompton Lakes.  Since their properties are pretty much deemed worthless anyway, Smart Growth can’t be charged with robbing anyone’s property rights and the nation will be sold on this horrendous scam, especially the young.

Come and live in Pompton Lakes.  But be sure to bring your shoehorn.  The town – only 2.2 square miles altogether – will eventually shrink in size.  The town planners envision that it will take some time – about 20 years.  Twenty years should be long enough to complete the job of brainwashing future generations.

To get back to Mitt Romney; assuming he wins the nomination (and he likely will) will he select Chris Christie as his Vice President?  What a salesman Christie will make for Smart Growth, with Mr. Businessman Romney supporting the move all in the name of economic recovery and global cooperation.  That may seem unfair to Romney.  But he was governor of Massachusetts and every single governor signed on to what they called SD – Sustainable Development.

Caveat emptor, voters – let the buyer beware.

 

Published in: on February 29, 2012 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Too Many People

The N.J. State Planning Commission held a public hearing on New Jersey’s State Development and Redevelopment Plan at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s Haggerty Center in Morris Township last night.  The purpose was to receive testimony from experts and comments from public on the plan as required by law.  Only six meetings were planned; the meeting in Morris Township was the only hearing held north of I-78.

The meeting was SRO – Standing-Room Only – and it was a fairly large room.  The meeting began with two Planning Commission representatives presenting the case for the plan to the public.  The room was so densely-packed that their voices fell dead halfway through the room and people farther back had to strain to hear them.  One can suppose one of two things: the omission of sound equipment was a) deliberate or it was b) poor planning.  The first is more likely, as lack of sound would prevent any recording of the meeting.  So much for transparency.  Although one can’t help wondering whether they weren’t expecting such a crowd.

However, the meeting in Newark was well-attended, too, and soundless.  In fact, none of the meetings had any augmented sound.  At this meeting, the audience simply wouldn’t allow the meeting to proceed peacefully until sound was provided.  The Morristowners are a force to be reckoned with.

The speaker presented the points of the plan and stated that this was a plan with its base in local municipalities.  He vowed no communities would be forced to develop if they didn’t wish to, or avoid developing, either.  But a citizen was on hand to give truth to the lie.  He’d attended a county freeholders meeting.  This speaker was at that meeting.  When a freeholder asked if the county and its towns would be bound by the state plan, the speaker told him that they were bound by law to accept its precepts.  The citizen in Morris Township challenged the speaker further, who admitted that New Jersey, in its turn, was bound by Federal law.

The final vote for this plan is scheduled for only a few days from now.  Oh, there have been plenty of meetings for “stakeholders”.  That is, mayors, town councils, freeholders, real estate agents, utilities, and social justice advocates.  When a citizen complained about the invitation, the speaker noted that the legislators were, after all, our elected representatives.  And the meetings were open.

This is why we Tea Partiers have been trying to tell Mr. and Mrs. America to wake up.  My town is on the forefront of this Smart Growth plan.  I can’t pretend to ignorance; I’ve known about it since I moved in.  Being neither in The Plume, a housing development in the north of town basically condemned and devalued by the EPA, and the flood zone, which was expanded when the upstream Pequannock River dams “collapsed” and the new Pompton Lakes dam was created, I’m safe.  However, I doubt that my friend and co-worker, who lives in the Flood Zone, will be very happy trying to raise two young sons in a condo or apartment.  Our company is leaving and so is her job.  She’d relocate, but company policy doesn’t cover a flood zone home.

That’s Smart Growth for you.

Some of the rowdier attendees catcalled about Agenda 21.  I was seated next to “The Enemy”.  They had a strategist who encouraged them to laugh and titter at any mention of Agenda 21 or SD (that’s Sustainable Development for those of you who don’t speak policy lingo).  Interesting that they did.  He also urged them to take advantage of every surge of angry on the part of the residents.

The Conservation Lady was taking notes – and names.  I took notes in shorthand.  She looked over at my pad and laughed, supposing that I was trying to keep my notes secret or something.  No; I just know shorthand.  I had a copy of “Our Common Future” conspicuously on my lap and the “Sustainability Paradox” flyer.  I even turned it so she could see it better, especially the bullet point about changing the terminology to “Smart Growth.”

 

  • “In 1998, J. Gary Lawrence, an advisor to the PCSD [the President’s Council on Sustainable Development], recommended the term ‘Agenda 21’ and U.N. references be dropped to more easily implement ‘SD’ in the U.S. Agencies and planners changed their terminology to Smart Growth and other environmentally-friendly [and politically careful] terms.

Lawrence’s address was called “The Future of Local Agenda 21 in the New Millennium” and delivered to a UNED-UK/LGMB (Local Government Management Board) seminar in 1998. 

“In this case of the U.S.,” he said, “our local authorities are engaged in planning processes consistent with Local Agenda 21, but there is little interest in using the LA21 brand.  Participating in a U.N.-advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society such as the National Rifle Association, citizen militias, and some members of Congress.  This segment of our society who fear ‘one world government” and a U.N. invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21.  So, we call our processes something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management, or Smart Growth.”

But, the State Plan disavowed any knowledge of Agenda 21 or even Sustainable Development.  I happened to have a copy of the Agenda 21 mandate and gave it to him.  He threw up his hands to the audience, in his best who-me?! attitude and exclaimed, “This is the first I’ve heard of this!”

The audience laughed derisively.  The Conservation Camp sneered, all for our benefit, to be sure.  Conservation Lady didn’t sneer at me.  In fact, she avoided all eye contact.  Like naming a baby, now they’ll have to go down their list and find the next name for Smart Growth, since we’re obviously onto them.

“Our Common Future” is the report the World Commission on Environment and Development was commissioned by the United Nations to write.  The first page of its overview pretty much tells the whole story (“’A global agenda for change’ this was what the World Commission on Environment and Development was asked to write,” notes the then-chairman, Gro Harlem Brundtland):

In the middle of the 20th Century, we saw our planet from space for the first time.  Historians may eventually find that this vision had a greater impact on thought than did the Copernican revolution of the 16th century, which upset the human self-image by revealing that the Earth is not the centre of the universe.  From space, we see a small and fragile ball dominated not by human activity and edifice but by a pattern of clouds, oceans, greenery, and soils.  Humanity’s inability to fit its doings into that pattern is changing planetary systems, fundamentally.  Many such changes are accompanied by life-threatening hazards.  This new reality, from which there is no escape, must be recognized – and managed.

Fortunately, this new reality coincides with more positive developments new to this century.  We can move information and goods faster around the globe than ever before; we can produce more food and more goods with less investment of resources; our technology and science gives us at least the potential to look deeper and better understand natural systems.  From space, we can see and study the Earth as an organism whose whole health depends on the health of all its parts.  We have the power to reconcile human affairs with natural laws and thrive in the process.  In this, our cultural and spiritual heritages can reinforce our economic interests and survival imperatives.

This Commission believes that people can build a future that is more prosperous, more just, and more secure.  Our report, Our Common Future, is not a prediction of ever-increasing environmental decal, poverty, and hardship in an ever-more polluted world among ever-decreasing resources.  We see instead the possibility for a new era of economic growth, one that must be based on policies that sustain and expand the environmental resource base.  And we believe such growth to be absolutely essential to relieve the great poverty that is deepening in much of the developing world. 

But the Commission’s hope for the future is conditional on decisive political action now to begin managing environmental resources to ensure both human progress and human survival.

In later chapters, the Commission scruples not to assert that there are simply too many people and one of the tenets of Sustainable Growth is population management, specifically through various birth control methods.

Last night’s speaker insisted that their studies indicated that young people want to live in cities.  Traditionally, young single people and young marrieds do want to live in urban environments, resembling the college campuses they have recently left.  Once they start having children, normal adult couples seek the open spaces.  They recognize that cities are not safe environments for children; that cities are more expensive, with higher taxes; and that apartments are unpleasant places when your infants and especially toddlers are screaming their heads off.

Young people, to say the least, are extremely unreliable bases upon which to base future studies, although they like to think they know it all.  There is a tendency towards fewer marriages and fewer children, all thanks to the long-term strategy of the Progressives.  There are some of us old enough to remember the Zero Population Growth plan, which Americans fell for.

This is the future Americans.  We’ve been telling you to wake up now for three years now.  Take a good, long, hard look at the Smart Growth Plan and study its history.  And take off your rose-color reading glasses when you do.

 

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Missing the Real Story on Jeremy Lin

A few weeks ago, my boss, the consummate sports fan, asked me if I’d heard about Jeremy Lin.  Knowing the boss, I knew it had to be some name from the sports.  “Is he a football player?” I asked.  No, basketball.  No wonder I hadn’t heard of him.  Football and baseball are the family games.

“Do some research on him,” my boss suggested.   “Look him up; it’s a great story!”  Before I could do so, Lin’s name was all over the news along with the name of the ESPN who made the mistake of using the cliché, “a chink in his armor” in the same sentence as Lin’s name.  The announcer apologized and then was summarily fired.  Lin, probably wanting to get the whole mess behind him and get back to scoring basketball points, forgave all immediately.

In another age, people might have laughed at what, no doubt, was unintended pun.  These days, you don’t dare even smirk lest someone be offended.  There are so many dash-words that if you had to cut out all the offending words in an older dictionary, it would look like Swiss cheese.

Dad’s Dictionary, the 2nd Webster’s International, Unabridged Dictionary, was published in 1934.  How did the C-word rank in terms of offensiveness in those days, compared to the N-word?  Even in 1934, the N-word was recognized as “possibly derogatory.”  Attached to it were about eight nouns – mostly flora and fauna – with the N-word added as a prefix.  Somewhere, the Devil and the ghosts of the KKK riders are laughing.  The rest of us are not.

The dictionary contained the Ch-word and the Sp-word.  These monickers were not denounced as derogatory but simply accepted as fact in 1934.  Nor were they followed by a list of derogatorily-named flora and fauna.  That doesn’t make those two words, or any of their cousins, any less offensive, but it does make the N-word the most infamous.

Since the 1960s, we’ve excised these words from our dictionaries and our vocabulary and good riddance to them.  Woe to the communicator who utters one even unintentionally, using an old clichéd phrase.  ESPN’s firing of this commentator seemed a little excessive; an apology and some sort of short-term punishment – perhaps a demotion – should have been enough.  Maybe wash his mouth out with soap.

But ESPN was determined to throw this announcer on the altar of political correctness.  Identity politics does not suffer fools gladly.

If only the Media and Hollywood would adopt the same attitude towards obscene words and gestures.  These, alas, are now the sacred profanity – George Carlin’s seven dirty words you can’t say on television or the radio.  You still can’t say them on broadcast television.  Thanks to Al Gore, you won’t have to worry about it.  On broadcast television, the words are taboo; on cable, anything goes.

What makes it wrong to offend the sensibilities of certain identity groups, but not the ears of the general public?  What is wrong with people in general today?  Yes, they’re shocked at the dash nouns and would probably slap their kids silly if they uttered.  But parents titter with glee when the F-word or the S-words slips their tender little lips.  Oh how cute.  How sweet.  How adorable.

It’s a hypocritical generation that proudly proclaims its intolerance for identity slander at the same time turning the air blue with its profuse profanity.  What @#%^ is wrong with that, anyway?  Would ESPN have fired the announcer had he found something wanting in Lin’s skill and cursed him a non-discriminatory blue streak for missing the basket (if Lin should have done so)?

Since I never watch sports, I have no idea whether sportscasters do such things.  Happening upon  a Spanish language channel one day that was broadcasting a soccer game, I heard a constant beeping and couldn’t imagine what it was.  Did it have something to do with soccer scoring or some referee calling a foul?  No.  The beeping was the censor beep covering up the announcer’s cursing.  There was no need to understand the language to recognize that only one word in ten was coming through.  A busy day for the station’s censor.

Jeremy Shu-How Lin was born in August 1988 to Taiwanese immigrant parents in Los Angeles and raised in Palo Alto, near San Francisco.  Lin’s parents are both 5 feet 6 inches tall.   His maternal grandmother’s family was tall, and her father was over 6 feet.  Lin has an older brother, Josh, and a younger brother, Joseph.  Gie-Ming taught his sons to play basketball at the local YMCA.

After receiving no athletic scholarship offers out of high school and being undrafted  out of college, the 2010 Harvard University graduate reached a partially guaranteed contract deal later that year with his hometown Golden State Warriors.

Lin seldom played in his rookie season and was assigned to the  NBA Development League (D-League) three times. He was waived by Golden State and the Houston Rockets the following preseason before joining the Knicks early in the 2011-2012 season.  He was again assigned to the D-League and continued to play sparingly.

In February 2012, he unexpectedly led a winning streak by New York while being promoted to the starting lineup, which generated a global following known as Linsanity. Lin is one of the few Asian-Americans cans in NBA history, and the first American player in the league to be o opf Chineses descent.

In his senior year in 2005–2006, Lin captained Palo Alto H.S. to a 32–1 record and upset nationally-ranked Mater Dei, 51–47, for the California Interscholastic Federation(CIF) Division II state title. He was named first-team All-State and Northern California Division II Player of the Year.

Lin sent his résumé and a DVD of highlights of his high school basketball career to all the Ivy League schools schools, University of California-Berkeley, and his dream schools Stanford and UCLA. The Pac-10 schools wanted him to walk-on, rather than be actively recruited or offered a sports scholarship.  “Walk-On” describes an athlete who becomes part of a team without being actively recruited beforehand or awarded an athletic scholarship.  This results in the differentiation between “walk-on” players and “scholarship” players. Technically all Ivy League sports players are walk-ons; League rules prohibit member schools from offering athletically-related financial aid.Harvard and Brown were the only teams that guaranteed him a spot on their basketball teams, but Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships. Rex Walters, University of San Francisco’s men’s basketball coach and a retired NBA player, said NCAA limits on coaches’ recruiting visits had an impact on Lin’s chances.  “Most colleges start recruiting a guy in the first five minutes they see him because he runs really fast, jumps really high, does the quick, easy thing to evaluate,” Walters said.  Lin added, “I just think in order for someone to understand my game, they have to watch me more than once, because I’m not going to do anything that’s extra flashy or freakishly athletic.”

In July 2005, then-Harvard assistant coach Bill Holden saw that Lin was 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m), which fit the physical attributes he was seeking, and he had a 4.2 grade point average in high school, which fit Harvard’s academic standards. However, Holden was not initially impressed with Lin’s on-court abilities, and told Lin’s high school basketball coach, Peter Diepenbrock, that Lin was a “Division III Player player.”  Later that week, Holden saw Lin playing in a much more competitive game, driving to the basket at every opportunity with the “instincts of a killer.”  Lin became a top-priority for Holden.  Harvard coaches feared that Stanford, close to Lin’s home,would offer Lin a scholarship, but it did not, and Lin chose to attend Harvard.

“I wasn’t sitting there saying all these Division I coaches were knuckleheads,” Diepenbrock said. “There were legitimate questions about Jeremy.”  Joe Lacob, incoming Warriors’ owner and Stanford booster, said Stanford’s failure to recruit Lin “was really stupid.  The kid was right across the street. [If] you can’t recognize that, you’ve got a problem.”  Kerry Keating, the UCLA assistant who offered Lin the opportunity to walk-on, said in hindsight that Lin would probably have ended up starting at point guard for UCLA.

After failing to receive any athletic scholarship offers, Lin attended Harvard.

A Harvard coach remembered Lin in his freshman season as “the [physically] weakest guy on the team,”  but in his sophomore season (2007–08), Lin averaged 12.6 points and was named All-Ivy League Second Team.  By his junior year during the 2008-2009, he was the only NCAA Division I men’s basketball player who ranked in the top ten in his conference for scoring (17.8), rebounding (5.5), assists (4.3), steals (2.4), blocked shots (0.6), field goal percentage (0.502), free throw percentage (0.744), and three-point percentage (0.400), and was a consensus selection for All-Ivy League First Team. He had 27 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds in an 82–70 win over 17th-ranked Boston College, three days after the Eagles defeated No. 1 North Carolina.

In his senior year (2009–10), Lin averaged 16.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks, and was again a unanimous selection for All-Ivy League First Team. He was one of 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award  and one of 11 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award.   He was also invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.  ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla picked Lin among the 12 most versatile players in college basketball.  He gained national attention for his performance against the 12th-ranked Connecticut Huskies, against whom he scored a career-high tying 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds on the road. After the game, Hall of Fame Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said of Lin: “I’ve seen a lot of teams come through here, and he could play for any of them. He’s got great, great composure on the court. He knows how to play.”

For the season, Harvard set numerous program records including wins (21), non-conference wins (11), home wins (11) and road/neutral wins (10).  Lin finished his career as the first player in the history of the Ivy League to record at least 1,450 points (1,483), 450 rebounds (487), 400 assists (406) and 200 steals (225).   He graduated from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in Economics and a 3.1 GPA.

After graduating from Harvard, Lin went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft.  The NBA had not drafted an Ivy League player since 1995. The last Ivy League player to play in the NBA was Yale’s Chris Dudley in 2003, while the last Harvard player was Ed Smith in 1954.  Eight teams had invited Lin to predraft workouts. Diepenbrock said that NBA tryouts do not play five on five. Lin acknowledged that the workouts were “one on one or two on two or three on three, and that’s not where I excel. I’ve never played basketball like that.”   Scouts saw what The New York Times later described as “a smart passer with a flawed jump shot and a thin frame, who might not have the strength and athleticism to defend, create his own shot or finish at the rim in the N.B.A.”   Lin joined the Dallas Mavericks for mini-camp as well as their NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas.  Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks was the only general manager to offer him an invitation to play in the Summer League. “Donnie took care of me,” said Lin. “He has a different type of vision than most people do.”

In five Summer League games, while playing both guard positions, Lin averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals in 18.6 minutes per game and shot a team leading 54.5% from the floor.   He outplayed first overall pick John Wall.   Lin scored 13 points to Wall’s 21, but did so on 6-for-12 shooting in 28 minutes. Wall was 4-for-19 in 33 minutes.  While Wall received the biggest cheer for any player during introductions, the crowd turned on Wall and was cheering for Lin by the end of the game.  Lin received offers to sign from the Mavericks the L.A. Lakers, and an unnamed Eastern Conference team. In addition to the original three teams, the Golden State Warriors also offered Lin a contract.

On July 21, 2010, Lin signed a two-year deal with his hometown Warriors, his favorite team growing up. Lin’s deal was partially guaranteed for 2010–11, and the Warriors held a team option for the second season. The deal included a first-year salary of close to $500,000 with more than half of it guaranteed.  Lin said the counteroffers from the three other teams were higher, but he wanted to play for the Warriors. Lin also signed a three-year guaranteed contract with Nike.  His jersey was already on sale before his first NBA game.

The Warriors held a press conference for Lin after his signing, with national media in attendance.

“It was surprising to see that … for an undrafted rookie,” said then-Warriors coach Keith Smart.  The San Jose Mercury News wrote that Lin “had something of a cult-following” after his signing. The San Francisco Bay Area celebrated his arrival.  He became the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.   Lin received the loudest ovation of the night in the Warriors’ home exhibition opener at Oracle Arena when he entered the game in the fourth quarter. The crowd had started chanting for him in the third quarter and cheered whenever he touched the ball. “That really touched me. It’s something I’ll remember forever,” Lin said.

During the first month of the season, Oracle Arena fans continued to root for Lin to play in the end of games and cheered every time he touched the ball.  He drew the crowd’s attention on the road as well.  Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com attributed the attention Lin received out of town to the unique angle of “an Asian-American rising to rare basketball prominence.”  ESPN.com NBA editor Matt Wong wrote after a game in New York, “Lin checked into the game to loud applause, presumably from the many Asian-Americans in attendance.”

Hmmm.  Is ESPN going to fire Wong for obvious racial editorialism, attributing Lin’s popular to his heritage rather than his ability.  No; wait, they can’t – Wong is Asian, too.

Lin noticed the expectations that followed him and warned, “I won’t be an All-Star this year.”   He was appreciative of the support, especially from the Asian-American community, but he  preferred concentrating on his play without all the attention when he had not “proven anything to anybody.”   Smart saw that Lin was skilled at getting to the paint (an area in a basketball court_ underneath the basket bounded by the endlines, the foul lanes and the free throw line), but needed to learn to pass because, he said, Lin “couldn’t shoot the ball at all.”   The coach also noticed that the player always arrived early for practice and left late. Lin studied and rehearsed Steve Nash and other top point guards’ pick-and-roll plays. Frank Hughes of  Sports Illustrated wrote that Lin talked with the occasional “seeds of self-doubt,” which Hughes said was not common to hear in the NBA.  Hughes also found it rare when Lin compared himself to the Phoenix Suns’ ‘ backup point guard Goran Dragic.  “Neither of us is a freak athlete, but we’re both effective and know how to play the game,” Lin said.   Team officials regularly denied requests for Lin to help him keep his focus. He was approached to be the subject of documentaries. Smart planned to take pressure off Lin since Lin had a tendency to be hard on himself and get frustrated, but the coach admitted that he once succumbed to the home crowd’s wishes and put Lin into a game in the wrong situation.

Lin received little playing time during the season with two dominant ball-handling guards, Curry and Monta Ellis, starring for the Warriors.  Lin started the regular season on the Warriors’ inactive list, but made his NBA debut the next game during the Warriors’ Asian Heritage Night. He received a standing ovation when he entered the game in the final minutes.   In the next game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Lin scored his first NBA basket, had three assists, and recorded four steals.  He played 11 of his 16 minutes in the third quarter and committed five fouls but played a role in a 12–1 run by the Warriors in a 107–83 loss to the defending NBA champions. Lakers’ guard Derek Fisher praised Lin for his energy and aggressiveness.  At Toronto on November 8, the Raptors held Asian Heritage Night to coincide with Lin’s visit with the Warriors. Over 20 members of Toronto’s Chinese media covered the game.  In a 89–117 road loss to the Lakers, Lin scored a (then) career-high 13 points in 18 minutes after scoring only seven total points in his first six games.

Three times during the season, Lin was assigned to the Warriors’ D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.   Each time, he was later recalled by the Warriors.  He competed in the NBA D-League Showcase and was named to the All-NBA D-League Showcase First Team on Jan. 10, 2011. Lin helped lead the Bighorns to a 2–0 record at the Showcase with averages of 21.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals. Lin posted a season-high 27 points with the Bighorns on March 18.   In 20 games he averaged 18 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists with Reno.   Lin initially felt he was not good enough to play in the NBA, but he later realized he was learning and getting playing time in the D-League that he would not have received with the Warriors.  Lin credited Bighorns coach Eric Musselman with “helping him regain [his] swagger.”   Musselman recalled that Lin was a good scorer for himself but was not yet skilled at “using the whole floor.”

 He scored many offensive fouls, but Musselman believed Lin was as good as Gilbert Areanas in the dribble drive, an ability “you can’t teach.”  The player continued to improve his pick-and-roll, how to handle double-teams and traps, and improved his jump shot and, especially, his three-pointer. Musselman also noticed that Lin, who as an NBA player received first-class airplane tickets, gave them to his teammates.

Lin worked to improve his jump shot during the offseason by abandoning the shooting form he had used since the eighth grade. He also increased his strength, doubling the weight he could squat (from 110 pounds to 231) and almost tripling the number of pull-ups that he could do (from 12 to 30).  He increased his body weight from 200 pounds to 212, and added 3.5 inches to his vertical leap.  Due to the basketball lockout, he never got a chance to work out for new Warriors coach Mark Jackson.   On the first day of training camp on Dec. 9, 2011, the Warriors waived Lin. He was a favorite of Lacob, but the Warriors were freeing up salary cap space to make an offer to restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan.  Lin was due to make nearly $800,000 that would have become fully guaranteed on Feb. 10, 2012.

On December 12, 2011, Lin was claimed off waivers by the Houston Rockets.   He played seven minutes in two preseason games with the Rockets, who already had Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic and Jonny Flynn as point guards with guaranteed contracts.  On Dec. 24, before the start of the season, the Rockets waived Lin to clear payroll to sign center Samuel Dalembert.

The New York Knicks claimed Lin off waivers on Dec. 27 to be a backup behind Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby after an injury to guard Imam Shumpert; recently-signed guard Baron Davis was also injured and weeks away from playing.  Because of the lockout coaches had little opportunity to see Lin’s play, and placed him fourth on the point guard depth chart.   Lin said he was “competing for a backup spot, and people see me as the 12th to 15th guy on the roster.  It’s a numbers game.”  He continued to arrive first at practice, leave last, intensely study game film, and work with coaches to improve his footwork and judgment.   He made his season debut on the road against the Warriors, where he was warmly cheered in his return to Oracle Arena.  On Jan. 17, 2012, Lin was assigned to the Erie BayHawks of the D-League.  On Jan. 20, he had a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in the BayHawks’ 122–113 victory over the Maine Red Claws.   Lin was recalled by the Knicks three days later, but so feared being cut again that he asked a chaplain at a pregame prayer service to pray for him.

God must have been listening

On January 28, Davis suffered a setback that postponed his Knicks debut. Then New York considered releasing Lin before his contract became guaranteed on Feb. 10 so they could sign a new player.  However, after the Knicks squandered a fourth quarter lead in a Feb. 3 loss to the Boston Celtics, coach Mike D’Antoni decided to give Lin a chance to play due to “desperation,” according to experts.  “He got lucky because we were playing so badly,” said D’Antoni.  Lin had played only 55 minutes through the Knicks’ first 23 games, but he would unexpectedly lead a turnaround of an 8–15 team that had lost 11 of its last 13 games.

On Feb. 4, Lin outplayed All-Star guard Deron Williams and had 25 points, five rebounds, and seven assists—all career-highs—in a 99–92 Knicks victory over the N.J. Nets.  Teammate Carmelo Anthony suggested to coach Mike D’Antoni at halftime that Lin should play more in the second half.  After the game, D’Antoni that Lin has a point-guard mentality and “a rhyme and a reason for what he is doing out there.”  In the subsequent game against the Utah Jazz, Lin made his first career start playing without stars Anthony, who left the game due to injury, and Amare Stoudemire, whose older brother had died.  Lin had 28 points and eight assists in the Knicks’ 99–88 win.  Stoudemire and Anthony missed the next three and seven games, respectively. D’Antoni stated after the Jazz game that he intended to “rid[e Lin] like freakin’ Secretariat.”Basketball trainer David Thorpe said in hindsight that such a statement of confidence so soon by a coach was “incredibly rare,” and likely gave Lin the confidence to continue to play aggressively despite making mistakes.

On February 14, with less than a second remaining, Lin scored a game-winning three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors.  The basket so amazed the Lakers, watching on TV, that veteran player Meta World Peace ran by reporters shouting, “Linsanity! Linsanity!” and waving his hands above his head. Lin became the first NBA player to score at least 20 points and have seven assists in each of his first five starts.   Lin scored 89, 109, and 136 points in his first three, four, and five career starts, respectively, all three of which are the most by any player since the merger between the American Basketball Association and the NBA in 1976–77.

So, what we have here is:  Chinese-American guy from California dreams of playing professional basketball.  Although he’s the captain of his high school team and goes on to play for Harvard (and earn a degree in Economics), time after time, he’s told he doesn’t have what it takes.  He can’t jump.  He can’t shoot.  He can’t command the court.  He’s too thin.  He’s too light.

Chinese-American guy doesn’t take “no” or “I can’t” for an answer.  His Asian-American fans love him, but he knows it’s more than about proving that a Chinese-American guy jump.  No one else believes in him, though, including Jeremy Lin.  He has to prove that Jeremy Lin has what it takes, and can jump, shoot, and all the rest.  Professional team after professional team relegates him to the D-Leagues, where he wins honors.

That’s good enough.  Chinese-American is the first to arrive and practice and the last leave.  He watches DVDs of winning players and studies their moves.  He works out, gains weight, and practices those all-important jumps against taller players (Lin is 6 ft. 3 in.; tall for a Chinese-American guy; only just tall enough for professional basketball, it seems).

Desperate, Chinese-American guy gets down on his knees and prays to God just before a game.  God listens and our Chinese-American guy gets his break when two players have to go on leave for personal reasons.  His dubious coach is stunned.  The world is stunned.  One of basketball’s luminaries runs around the arena crying, “Linsanity!  Linsanity!”

That’s the story everyone missed while they were wringing their hands over a possible intentional or unintentional racial slur by a silly sportscaster.

Come on, Team America.  Get your priorities straight.  And to J.D., thanks for the tip on a good story.

 

Published in: on February 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Perfect RINO

National Conservatives are shocked – shocked! – to learn that New Jersey Gov. Christie is a purple RINO – a straight-down-the-middle Moderate. Who knew?

Well, actually we who live in the Garden State, and especially those of us with friends on his campaign staff, knew. No one would believe us, though – not even friends in the Tea Parties. They believe it now that they’ve seen it in black and red: Christie’s proposed 2012-2013 state budget. The Bergen Record hailed the budget “as an approach representing the nexus of Liberalism and Conservatism: a recognition of the state’s role to protect its most vulnerable and the responsibility to do so efficiently and cost-effectively.”

In other words, there’s something for everybody in Christie’s proposed budget, including “the highest-ever payments for education aid and public sector pensions” and “new funding for programs that support the elderly and disabled” with “a restructured state government to serve them.”

When in doubt, roll out, on cue, the elderly and disabled veterans in their wheelchairs. You’ll be so busy feeling guilty, you won’t notice the parade of government pensioners pushing the wheelchairs, fat and happy and tanned from extended vacations in Florida.

The trouble with Socialism and its Liberal propagators is in the definition of “vulnerable” and its use of superlatives. They say “the most vulnerable” when what they really mean is the “more vulnerable”. Those distinctions are the difference between the pryamid of Capitalism and the economic, rectangular coffin of Socialism.

If you were to take all those “vulnerable people” and stack them in a pyramid, the most vulnerable, the neediest would be at the top. The “more vulnerable” would be in the middle, and the general, “vulnerable herd” would be at the bottom. In this case, “more” is quite a lot “more” than “most.” Lump them all together, and you have the Socialist vulnerable half of society, with the other half on the bottom carrying them along.

As for The Bergen Record’s “recognition of the state’s role,” it’s role should be minimal, at best. But give voters the opportunity to vote themselves freebies and entitlements and throw in some politicians eager to “help” them, and you have the recipe for Big Government; in this case, a big state government.

All the governor’s accountants, and all the governor’s PR specialists will not to be able to rein in this bureaucratic leviathan; not with jobs fleeing the state, and the state’s least vulnerable fleeing right behind them.

Gov. Christie is an unabashed, spit-in-everyone’s-eye Moderate RINO. We told you so.

 

 

 

Published in: on February 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Health Care Insurance History

When it comes to questions about the history of health care insurance, it’s always helpful to have an expert in the family. Not a doctor, nurse, or insurance agent (I know quite a few of the latter, though). No, the most helpful person is a member of the Greatest Generation – in this case, Mom. Who better to ask about how we got into this mess than someone who remembers the days before health care insurance (and whose father’s half-cousin helped institute Social Security…).

The mania for health care insurance began at the start of World War II and even before. Great Britain was asking America for help in manufacturing arms and munitions. Bullets, guns, tanks, jeeps, rifles. As American men were being prepared to ship out to war, there were fewer workers to produce the necessary armament. Churchill wondered at America’s hesitance in entering the war. From the perspective of manufacturing, had America sent soldiers sooner, she would have been sending soldiers with no guns.

As our GIs went off to battle Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito, everyone else was enlisted in manufacturing. Factories were doing everything they could to attract workers. One of the carrots happened to be health care insurance. Initially, companies offered hospitalization and catastrophic illness and that was it. Well, that should have been it.

In order to entice more workers and satisfy unions, companies started piling on the benes. They started covering doctor’s office visits, prescriptions, vaccinations. Your company could be counted on the take care of you from cradle to grave.

By the Sixties, the Liberals wanted a piece of the action. If companies could attract workers with health care benefits, why couldn’t the Liberals attract voters with the same benefits. That’s when Medicaid and Medicare were born. If your company couldn’t cover the grave end of your life, the government would. Who knew then that the Liberals were planning the demise of Capitalism? Older adults from the Roosevelt Era knew, but this was the Sixties, and the motto was “Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30.”

Neither companies nor the government could underwrite everyone for everything from cradle to grave. Most companies executives are pretty short-sighted though (Liberal bureaucrats even more so) and were content to let it be the problem of some executive in the future.

Now the piper wants to be paid and there’s nothing to pay him with. Social Security is a bust. There’s nothing in the Social Security vault but IOUs. Medicaid was, mercifully, dispatched but we still have Medicare and an onerous financial burden it is, to go hand in hand with the Social Security pyramid scheme (our family ancestor knew that it was really only meant to be temporary).

We bloggers are not professional historians, it is true. We’re not considered professional writers, either (pardon me, but until the end of next month, I really am a professional writer. I get paid to write – for an insurance company, no less). But it would be nice if some professional pundit would take it upon him or herself to instruct Americans on the history of health care insurance and how we got tangled into this Gordian knot.

We would really like to know just why we can’t return to the simple, good ole days of catastrophic illness and hospitalization insurance.

Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Looking for the Next Mohammed Atta

Perusing this week’s headlines, it’s obvious we’re back to a pre-9/11 mentality here in America. The Bergen Record has reported that the intelligence unit of the N.Y.P.D. conducted undercover operations in mosques in Newark, Paterson, and other cities, and had undercover at agents stationed at Rutgers University in Newark and New Brunswick.

Although organizations like CAIR and the ACLU are looking to sue the N.Y.P.D. for violation of American Muslim’s civil rights, the N.Y.P.D’s actions were, in fact, perfectly legal. According to the newspaper’s report, former N.J. Governor Richard Codey signed executive orders in 2005 giving the N.Y.D. legal authority to operate in New Jersey in limited circumstances with having to notify state or local authorities.

Former Gov. Thomas Kean, a member of the 9/11 Commission, accused the N.Y.P.D. of going on a “fishing expedition.” “You have to have reasonable grounds and suspicion to spy on people. We don’t like that in this country unless there is a good reason.”

Such as Iran’s recent threats to plow up synagogues and buildings in New York City, for which New York was placed on high alert. The Bergen Record admitted that “while it’s customary for out-of-area investigators to notify local authorities of their presence, it is not required.”

While Muslim organizations and civil liberties groups are upset, and Gov. Christie is worried about all those Muslim voters, particularly in south Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City, the Passaic County prosecutors office is less circumspect. Passaic County inadvertently played host to Mohammed Atta and other terrorists while he was preparing to carry out the 9/11 attacks. The prospect of yet another Mohammed Atta taking up residence in a New Jersey hotel, traveling up and down Rt. 23, visiting William Paterson University’s library, and being noticed by half the population of that area, yet unable to do anything about him, is unsettling to the Passaic County authorities.

Having the N.Y.P.D. come in and scope out the next Mohammed Atta relieves Passaic County of the onerous task and the attending unpopularity among Liberals and Moderates, criticism by the Media, and potential lawsuits by organizations with a vested interested in protecting their terrorist-oriented clientele.

Modest shopkeepers and the rarefied atmosphere of Liberal colleges provide a decent, sanctified cover for terrorists bent on murder and mayhem. From the outside, colleges look very innocent, whose purpose is higher education. A tour of any college’s student center tells a different story. Their bulletin boards are filled with invitations to meetings by the most notorious, anti-freedom organizations.

Some of us actually saw Mohammed Atta in his daily travels. Witnesses saw him at diners and gas stations. There was no mistaking him and once he’d committed the act of destroying one of the Twin Towers and his picture was published, there was no doubt he was the same man. Recognition came too late, though, for those were injured or perished in the Towers, the Pentagon and out in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Laughably, the Bergen Record attributed to Salim Patel, a founding member of Rutger’s Muslim Alumni Association, which is starting an online petition against the N.Y.P.D.s‘ surveillance, and the Passaic Board of Education, that universities should be “safe” for Muslim students.

The North Carolina school which Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was “safe” enough apparently. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were not safe enough. Some experts say all the fireproofing in the world would not have protected it from the heat of the ensuing fire which engulfed the North Tower after Mohammed Atta plowed a 737 jet through it. The fire was ignited at the North Carolina college and left to smolder until it exploded on September 11, 2001.

The N.Y.P.D. need make no apologies for sniffing out these future “arsonists” nor make any apologies for not informing authorities in the thoroughly untrustworthy state of New Jersey, which is far more concerned with the civil rights of Muslim terrorists, guaranteed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964/65, than the right to life guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence.

Published in: on February 24, 2012 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  

The Sign of the Tea Party

A few nights ago, having returned from his weekender to Europe and Greece, Glenn Beck lamented the fact that the Tea Party has no unifying symbol.  He said that local organizers were asking, in essence, “Who’s in charge?”  Who do we contact to join the club?

There are several organizations in contention for the privilege of being the clearinghouse organization.  Tea Party Patriots is one.  They may also have been the bunch that destroyed the online network that local Tea Parties were using to communicate with one another.  However, FreedomWorks has come forward to be that new connection and hopefully more trustworthy.  They’re one of Glenn Beck’s sponsors and they’re as good as any good group at helping get groups together.

Let us take a look at how the original Tea Party organized in Boston in December, 1773.  Their membership came from various rebellious, and often violent, groups in Boston which met as clubs in taverns, such as The Green Dragon.  Samuel Adams was the rabble-rouser who got them all together to throw the tea over the sides of the British ships.

They signed on to do the job, but they signed on in secrecy and anonymity.  No one would ever know their names, although of course, all of Boston knew their names.  They dressed up in various disguises.  Some historians hold that they dressed up as Indians; others, that they simply smeared soot, grease or lampblack on their faces and wore dark, ragged clothing.

A crowd was gathered up to create a disturbance in the streets to distract the British while they went on board the ships.  The Dartmouth, the Beaver and the Eleanor contained between them 342 chests of tea worth 18,000 English pounds.  The warning had gone out to all the seaports to not allow the ships to unload their cargo.  By law, the ships could not leave Boston harbor unless they did, or received permission from the governor.  The stage was set.

While Sam Adams was the organizer, Paul Revere was in the thick of things.  The raid was successful.  Benjamin Franklin and Congress were outraged.  Franklin felt freedom would come in the natural course of time.  The growing population of the Colonies would settle the matter.  Washington, while deploring the destruction of the tea and advising that reparations be made to the East India Company for their loss, he also welcomed the act as a decisive step towards eventual freedom.

Two centuries later, the Americans who came together for the Tea Parties, particular the April 15th Tea Party, were not rabble rousers.  Mostly, they were quiet suburbanites who had spent the last 40 years watching the rabble rousers stage violent demonstrations, increase the size of government, raise their property taxes to reward unionized teachers and other civil servants, destroy the banks, and give homes to people who couldn’t afford them.

The first Tea Parties, at the call of Rick Santelli on MSNBC, were worrisome affairs.  Those early Tea Partiers looked like rabble-rousers, running around aimlessly, shouting and waving their home-made signs.  Americans still at home liked the idea of taking a stand against a leviathan government from their own town squares.  They loved the signs; that was something they could do.  If only the rallies could be more organized.

First impressions die hard, and those images were the ones the Media froze before the nation’s eyes.  By the time April 15th arrived, Tea Parties had already been branded lunatics.  Organizing organizations came out of the woodwork to advise the Tea Parties.  Our local tea party in Morristown was a do-it-yourself group – a thousand do-it-yourselfers showed up at one organizing meetings.  Morristown had its act together.  It had an agenda, booths, speakers, and even a rough security plan to deal with problems.

Not surprisingly for a community group, they had some inner conflict.  Those issues were settled, though, and Morristown is going strong.  So is the North Jersey Regional Tea Party.  The members of both groups wanted to go beyond just holding signs at rallies, which was fair enough.  North Jersey is on the trail of Agenda 21.  Go, North Jersey!  More about Agenda 21 and the town of Pompton Lakes tomorrow.

There was some organization at the national level, but those nationalists found the going not all that easy.  Their meetings allowed leaders to connect and network.  When you get right down to it, it’s still about and will always be about the grassroots.  The work begins at home. 

Those international groups are to be admired for their spirit.  Seems everyone wants to be American.  That is, they want to embrace freedom and battle the foes of freedom.  You start by taking on your local politicians.   Gather your friends and family.  Then make friends with groups in other towns.  You can take some lessons from the territorial groups in New Jersey (some good, some bad).  Garden State tea parties are extremely territorial and jealous of one another.  There is some unification on the state level, but only among the leaders.

That territorialism may not do much for unifying a national tea party but it motivates the local members.  That fierce independence and rugged individualism means they abhor, above all other other things, collectivism.  The Tea Parties are okay with being friends, and even being united in cause, but they don’t want to be told what to do.  North Jersey doesn’t want to do rallies and that’s that (!).

If a group like FreedomWorks wants to help, let them create a forum through which Tea Parties all around the world can communicate with one another.  That’s how the New Jersey tea parties got started, through the Internet.  As the Garden Staters were discussing their plans, they found would-be Tea Partiers from other states joining in on the conversation, wondering how they could organize rallies and get in on the action.  (Wyoming Tea Partiers gently scolded the New Jerseyans for complaining about a 45 minute ride to Newark.  We told them if they ever saw Newark, they know why we didn’t want to hold a Tea Party there).

Create a forum for Tea Partiers from around the globe to network and they will come.

Glenn mentioned a unifying symbol.  Since there’s no national Tea Party organizational chart, no membership, no dues, making such a decision would be pretty difficult.  Someone can come up with a design and the groups will either accept it or they won’t.

Only a few symbols come to mind, and they’re all rather detailed for promotional purposes.  The teapot, the teacup, the teabag (and its banal associations), or some picture of the original Tea Party.  My suggestion would be a home-made looking sign that says, “The Tea Party”, like the signs that originally attracted ordinary Americans to the cause.  One designer makes it, copyrights it, and allows groups to sell it as “Tea” shirts, bumper stickers and so forth.  Someone has created a Tea Party bumper sticker, with a patriot on it, which is pretty neat.  So neat, in fact, that every time I go to the supermarket, some furious Liberal yanks it off.  Other designers have used the Liberty Bell.  Paul Revere, a silversmith, was known for the church bells he cast.

(That leads one to an idea regarding churches and religions under attack:  have a bell-ringing day.)

In the meantime, the international Tea Parties can go to FreedomWorks or Tea Party Patriots to get in touch with their American counterparts.

 

 

Published in: on February 23, 2012 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  

The Devil is in the Details

If there’s any name that gets Liberals, Progressives, Atheists and the Mainstream Media in more of a tizzy than the name of Jesus, it’s the name of Satan.  He Who Shall Not Be Named has a lot of prenomens.

 

Beelzebub.  Belial.  Eblis.  Azazel.  Ahriman.  Angra.  Mainyu.  Mephistopheles.  Mephisto. Shaitan.  Sammael.  Asmodeus.   Abaddon.  Apollyon.  Lilith (Adam’s first wife).  Aesham.  Pisacha.  Putana.  Ravana.  Set.  Typhon.  Loki.  Nemesis.

Then there are the derogatory, slang terms.  Worried about the derogatory terms for certain minorities.  They are singular compared to the pejoratives for the Devil (most of them involving the word “Old”):

 

Lucfier.  Old Clootie.  Old Bendy.  Old Gooseberry.  Old Harry.  Old Horny.  Old Ned.  Old Nick.  Old Poker.  Old Scratch.  The Common Enemy.  The Demon.  The Deuce.  The Devil Incarnate.  The Dickens.  The Evil One.  The Evil Spirit.  The Father of Lies.  The Fiend.  The Foul Fiend.  The Old Enemy.  The Old Gentleman.  The Old Serpent.  The Prince of the Devils.  The Prince of the Power of the Air.  The Prince of This World.  The Serpent.  The Tempter.  The Wicked One.

 

He had some predecessors in pagan religions:  Set.  Typhon.  Loki.  Baba Yaga.  Daeva.  Rakshasa.  Dybbuk.  Shedy.  Gyrie.  Even the word “genius” is an old word for a demon.

 

The Media, including the Drudge Report, is taking presidential candidate Rick Santorum to task for mentioning the Devil in a 2008 speech to students at Ave Maria University, a Catholic institution. 

 

According to the Drudge Report, “Satan has his sights on the United States of America!” Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has declared.

 

“Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

 

Finally, Drudge gets around to reporting when the speech occurred:  “The former senator from Pennsylvania warned in 2008 how politics and government are falling to Satan.

 

“This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age?  He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.”

 

According to Drudge, Santorum made the “provocative” comments to students at Ave Maria University in Florida.

 

Yes, very provocative, daring to talk to theological students about Satan.  The Devil doesn’t take kindly to having his name bandied about, especially by fundamental Christians who are candidates for president.  He must have tweeted Drudge about the speech.  Only Old Nick’s (not to be confused with St. Nick) followers are allowed to mention his name.

 

In this politically correct, non-judgmental age, no politician worth their salt would mention either Jesus or the Devil in their campaign speeches.  Not if you want to get elected, campaign consultants would warn, wagging their fingers at erring candidates.  Mentioning such “relative” terms as good and evil in our pluralistic, relativistic society is certain political death.

 

The speech was made in 2008 and Santorum, now that he is a front-runner, has learned to weigh his words more carefully and not get trapped into moralistic arguments.  When he was in the back of the pack, he could afford to speak his mind.  Heretofore, he will keep to the Tea Party agenda of the economy, energy, foreign policy, and limited government.  Any speaker who strayed from those topics during the Tea Party rallies was sure to be yanked off the podium.

 

Since it’s early in the campaign – the primaries aren’t even over yet – Santorum will be forgiven his transgressions and earnestly warned to sin no more.

 

Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Social Hypocrisy

John Podhoretz and other pundits are shaking their heads sadly at the notion that Rick Santorum might take the GOP nomination after all.  He may win the nomination, but he will lose the presidential race, they intone.

“The chief problem with Santorum,” Podhoretz writes, “isn’t his views on contraception or homosexuality or what he might have said about Obama’s religion.   The presumption that Santorum’s social conservatism will hurt him with voters is a media fantasy; the president before Barack Obama won 62 million votes in 2004 running as just such a conservative, and the country hasn’t transformed itself in the years since.

“All this suggests that Santorum is animated and motivated by an unpleasantly bleak outlook on the morals and manners of the country he now says he wishes to lead.

Like many culture warriors, he is disappointed by America and its failings, which — as his controversial views on the morality of birth control demonstrate — he believes stem from an excess of self-indulgence and the elevation of sexual appetite over self-restraint.

There is no way that a man who expresses such a dark view of the American national character can win the presidency.   Remember: This entire process is a job interview in which the candidates are trying to get hired by the electorate. Insulting the electorate and accusing it of spiritual weakness and sinfulness are not the ways to get yourself the job of president.”

No one asked the electorate back in 1973 whether abortion was right or not; it was decided by a Liberal judge.  In 1962, no one asked the people whether they wanted prayers banned in public schools; again, the matter was decided by a Liberal court.  No one decided whether the birth control pill was such a good idea; it was invented, and after some legal and bureaucratic wranglings, prescriptions were approved – for married women.  In the 1970s, it was judged that the Pill should be available to all women.

If the Progressives sneer at us for battling on social issues, they can remember that they were the ones who gave us those social issues.  They may well preen themselves for having the youth vote.  Thanks to the Media, the Vietnam War was painted as a debacle, thereby increasing the demand for a lowering of the voting age to 18.  Now the Liberals have a greater base of ignorant voters, barely out of high school, who are easily plied with drugs, alcohol, and the promise of better grades if they adopt the Progressive mantra.

“A man isn’t worth anything until he’s 40,” went the famous line in Hello, Dolly!.  “Until then, we just pay him to make mistakes.”

The under-30 set is particularly susceptible to group-think and collectivism.  Their high school and college years still cling to them – as well as the effects of drugs and alcohol in which they over-indulged.  The juvenilization of America – programming children to remain children by removing their more assertive tendencies, as dog trainers do – has made a shambles of our federate republic.

“Insulting the electorate”?  Telling slugheaded youngsters that abortion is immoral insults their intelligence does it?  In such cases, there can’t be much intelligence to insult.  Telling them that doing drugs is wrong offends them, as Whitney Houston’s gold-painted hearse navigates the streets of Newark to avoid her fans, does it?  Stating that marriage is a privilege for one man and one adult man and woman is a discriminatory statement in their ears, is it?

Where was the fear of insulting the electorate back in the Sixties and Seventies, when we lost a war we could have won, watched as an elite panel of judges decided on the value of a life, and shuddered as dangerous drugs were decriminalized, reducing future generations to mind-numbed idiots?  And let us not forget the laws, thanks to Barney Frank, that allowed terrorists to wander about our country with impunity and created banks that gave away free loans and mortgages, at the taxpayers’ expense.

But let us not offend the Moderates, the little dears, whose ears must be stinging right about now.  They might put their pert little noses up in the air and stomp off in a huff.  No; Podheretz is right when he implies that elections are not won on the truth.  It would be much nicer if Santorum ended his speeches on a more upbeat note.

He will promise to restore the American family – the nuclear family, with its male husband and female wife, and children – to its proper place at the center of American life.  He will encourage them – encourage, not command – to return to their faith.  American taxpayers will not be forced to underwrite others’ behavior.  He will pay respect to civil rights to a certain extent – with civil unions, homosexuals have all the rights they need.  He will however, pay greater respect to the freedom of religion, and not pass laws that violates the conscience of religious clergy and religious organizations.  He will protect the privilege Americans have of being Americans by vigorously guarding our borders against illegal immigrants whose obvious transgression makes the unsuitable candidates for naturalization.

He will take the step of being negative, yes, indeed, about drugs and encourage stronger laws against both users and sellers.

Finally, he will be even more negative in promoting the U.S. Constitution and its negative liberties.  He will champion the positive liberties of the people over the negative liberties of government.

If young people don’t like it, maybe they need to take a time-out.   The Liberals are confident that their young voters won’t like it, according to Podhoretz and others and that the GOP is gambling on Conservative sentiment, as though the race for the Presidency were a high school popularity contest.  They don’t want us to take away their lollipots.  They want the opportunity to prove how noble they are through their tolerance of homosexuality (which is none of anyone’s business, by the way) up to and including overturning the sacrament (to some) of marriage.

The induction of Liberal clergy, the invention of the Pill and its concurrent result, cohabitation, and the growing sentiment of the “sanctitiy” of gay marriage, and the increase in divorces, have helped lead to the abandonment of churches.  Young people have always been notoriously secular.  They eagerly to seek to sow their wild oats and prove their independence, if not their maturity.  This is the rocky foundation upon which the future of the nation depends.  There was a reason why young people weren’t considered adults until they were 21.

Certainly, it’s poor salesmanship to present a dark future.  That certainly didn’t stop Obama from getting elected, however; that was his whole mantra, denouncing what was actually a good economy, though menaced by the housing crisis, and promising hope and change.  If Santorum or any other Conservative candidate suggests turning back to America’s original values, that we are now on a bad course, that hardly should be surprising, if not very welcome news to the very voters who chose this course we’re presently on.

What is the alternative the Moderates suggest?  To put on rose-colored glasses and pretend that everything is fine?  They don’t have a problem with Romney firing away at Obama’s fiscal castastrophe; just with targeting the social entitlement programs that caused the disaster.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the bottom line.

 

 

 

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Naming Presidential Names

Naming Presidential Names

 

Today’s President’s Day.  Rather than playing favorites and celebrating a great president like, say George Washington, whose birthday is February, Congress passed legislation in 1968, to simplify yearly calendars and give federal employees some fixed 3-day weekends. The act started in 1971, shifting the observation of Washington’s Birthday to the third Monday in February instead of on the 22nd. And although this holiday is still officially known as Washington’s Birthday, it has become popularly known as Presidents’ Day.

 

Once, on a holiday trip in Amish Country while taking a tour in an Amish wagon, the farmer had a 10 year old boy sit up front next to him in the driver’s seat.  He asked the boy if he could name all the presidents (to that time).  The boy couldn’t get past Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and the current president, with a huge gap in between.  Whereupon the farmer, with his 8th grade education, proceeded to rattle off all their names.

 

“Don’t they teach you that in your public school?” the farmer asked the boy.  The boy shrugged; the adults in the back of the wagon cringed, admitting that they couldn’t name all of them, either.  Not many people beyond my mother are able to name them all, in proper order.

 

So here’s the trick my parents taught me about memorizing long lists:  it’s all about the grouping.  You link groups of presidents by what they have in common.

 

What our first five presidents have in common is that they were our first five presidents.  You can count them on one hand.

 

  1. 1.      George Washington – Our first, and best, president.
  2. 2.      John Adams – He became the nation’s first vice-president, taking office as the runner-up.  A defender of the British soldiers during the Boston Massacre, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, he was elected President in 1797, but signed the unpopular Aliens and Sedition Act.
  3. 3.      Thomas Jefferson – Author of the Declaration of Independence.  He was a proponent of westward expansion, was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition.

 

Most people don’t get beyond the first three.  It just so happens the next two are named James and their last names start with “M” and those names are in alphabetical order:

 

  1. 4.      James Madison  – Author of the U.S. Constitution, and co-author with John Jay, of The Federalist Papers, which explained the Constitution.  He helped found the Democratic-Republican Party which eventually became the Democratic Party.  He oversaw the War of 1812 and demilitarized the U.S.-Canadian border
  2. 5.      James Monroe – Monroe opposed ratifying the U.S. Constitution because it did not contain a Bill of Rights.  He supported the anti-slavery position that led to the Missouri Compromise.  His most significant contribution was the Monroe Doctrine, which opposed European intervention in the Western Hempisphere and encouraged American colonization all the way to the West Coast.

 

The next grouping are presidents of “firsts” of one sort or another. 

 

  1. 6.      John Quincy Adams – he was the son of the second president; in other words, the first son of a president to become president
  2. 7.      Andrew Jackson – He was the first president to have a slogan:  “Let the people rule.”
  3. 8.      Martin Van Buren – Van Buren was the first president to be born in the United States of America (as opposed to being born in the English colonies).
  4. 9.      William Henry Harrison – Harrison had the misfortune to be the first president to die in office.  He was sworn in on a cold stormy day and gave a long inaugural address without wearing a hat.  He served precisely one month:  31 days.
  5. 10.  John Tyler – Tyler became the first president to succeed a deceased president, and without having been elected to office.  He was Harrison’s running mate but his name did not appear on the ballot.
  6. 11.  James Knox Polk – Knox was the first “dark horse” candidate for president when the Democratic National Convention became deadlocked and nominated him for president because he favored annexing Texas.  You could almost call him the X president.  And, while Fort Knox was named for him, in a prudent move, he fought Mexico for California, where gold was discovered in the 1850s.
  7. 12.  Zachary Taylor – To differentiate him from his predecessor, Tyler, just think of the Z in his first name.  Zachary was a “first” of sorts in that he was the next president to die in office.  He is remembered for, among other things, never having voted.
  8. 13.  Millard Fillmore – Taylor’s successor, Fillmore enjoys the notoriety of having been the first president to be forgotten.  He favored the Compromise of 1850 and signed the Fugitive Slave law.  Not particularly popular, he did not win a second term and was relegated to the ash heap of history.
  9. 14.  Franklin Pierce – Pierce enjoys the honor of being the next “forgettable” president.  He was most remember for the Gadsden purchase on what is now the southern border of Arizona and New Mexico.  The purchase was named for the American ambassador who signed the treaty, James Gadsden ( no relation to the Gadsden flag – the first flag the Marines carried into battle).  See?  We’ve already forgotten all about pierce.
  10. 15.  James Buchanan – Buchanan would be another forgettable except that he was last president before the Civil War.  Because he didn’t deal decisively with the issues of slavery and secessionism, it was left to his successor.

 

The next group contains our “Civil War” presidents:

 

  1. 16.  Abraham Lincoln – We all know about Honest Abe.  We even remember his presidential number.  One of the more trivial facts is that he has a distant relation to Paul Revere.  Many of Lincoln’s ancestors were lawyers and judges.  Turns out, it was in the genes, afterall.  Lincoln, of course, holds the distinction of being the first president to be assassinated.
  2. 17.  Andrew Johnson – The next of the Civil War presidents, Johnson granted amnesty to all the secessionist states as long as they ratified the 13th amendment.  Those states added anti-Negro provisions and Congress restored military control over the Southern states.  Johnson removed the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, without notifying, and he subsequently became the first president to be impeached.  He was acquitted by one vote.
  3. 18.  Ulysses S. Grant – Yes, the famous Civil War general was our 18th president.  The “S” actually stands for “Simpson” his mother’s maiden name, but his real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant.  When he entered West Point his name was written down as Ulysses S. Grant and he eventually adopted it.

 

The next group are our “city” presidents.  Well, New Jerseyans at least will recognize the citiies.

 

  1.  Rutherford Birchard Hayes – Garden Staters will remember Hayes by his first name, Rutherford.  East Rutherford is the better-known city because it’s the home of the New York Giants.  But take heart, Delaware and Ohio, because Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio.
  2. James Abram Garfield – Garfield is another New Jersey city, although our 20th president was born in Orange, Ohio.  Garfield is just up the road from Rutherford.  Garfield is among the unfortunate group of presidents to be assassinated.
  3. Chester Alan Arthur – This Vermont-born president succeeded Garfield.  His name is a familiar town name not just in New Jersey but many East Coast states.
  4. Grover Cleveland – Ohio and New Jersey seemed to be in a competition for presidents.  Ohio produced them and New Jersey named towns after them.  However, Grover Cleveland was born Stephen Grover Cleveland in Caldwell, N.J.
  5. Benjamin Harrison – Yet another New Jersey-Ohio connection, Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and New Jersey has a city named Harrison, a suburb of Newark.  Harrison was the great-grandson of Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Harrison and grandson of President William Henry Harrison.
  6. Grover Cleveland – Again.  Cleveland was the only president to serve two, non-consecutive terms.

 

Next, come the “Mountain” presidents.

 

  1. William McKinley – McKinley was assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y., on Sept. 14, 1901.  After his death, the largest mountain in North America was named after him, although political correction returned the mountain’s name to its native roots.
  2. Theodore Roosevelt – Roosevelt was climbing a mountain in New York state, Mount Marcy (that state’s highest peak) when he learned he was president.  A courier was sent climbing up the mountain to give him the news.
  3. William Howard Taft – Our largest president, built like a mountain, had to have a special bathtub built for him.  Taft was the only citizen to serve both as President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

 

 

The three of the next four presidents are easy to remember due to their alliterative names:

 

  1.  Woodrow Wilson – Wilson is remembered for his progressive reforms.  He created the Federal Reserve System (boo!), delivered the Fourteen Points speech to Congress (No. 4 Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety and No. 6 The evacuation of Russian territory and a welcome for its government to the society of nations.
  2. Warren Gamaliel Harding – Well, Harding’s name isn’t alliterative, but his first name begins with a “W” like Wilson’s. He’s the president the school in A Christmas Story is named after.   Harding was best known for the Teapot Dome Scandal, when his Secretary of the Interior, Albert B. Fall accepted bribes in the leasing of government-owned oil reserves to private companies.  However this Teapot Dome President would otherwise have been popular with modern Tea Partiers because he voted for anti-strike legislation, women’s suffrage, and stressed the repeal of excess profits and high income taxes.  Harding was also another president to die in office. 
  3.  Calvin Coolidge – Silent Cal’s full name was John Calvin Coolidge.  He was known for his brevity, and that encompassed abbreviating the size of government.  As governor of Massachussetts he was celebrated for his anti-union stance, stating that public servants had no right to strike.  He was considered a rising star among Conservatives.  He gave no  notable speeches, but his brief replies were legendary.  One story has it that at a party a a guest seated next to him at a dinner said,  “Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” His famous reply: “You lose.”
  4. Herbert Hoover – Herbert Clark Hoover is generally blamed for the Great Depression of the 1930s, but actually what he was held responsible for was the suffering when he refused to establish any federal bureaucracies to run federal assistance programs.  He didn’t oppose assistance programs; in fact, he created some.  Hoover was just unwilling to make them permanent.

 

We come to the more Modern presidents; that is to say, people are still alive who remember them.

 

  1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt – The cousin of Teddy, FDR, as he became known, served the longest term – 12 years.  He is famous (or infamous) for creating many government programs, particularly Social Security.  He increased the size of the government tremendously while negotiating America’s way through the Great Depression and World War II.  His programs, far from alleviating the Great Depression, prolonged it, and only the request by Great Britain for war products and America’s subsequent involvement in the war brought American industry back to health.  Roosevelt, who was paralyzed with polio, was yet another president to die in office.
  2. Harry S. Truman – Those too young to remember Roosevelt’s successor can think of Truman as a “True Man”, that is to say, he was a champion of the common man.  He brought the War with Japan to end by making the decision to drop the first atomic bomb.  Still he was a Liberal Democrat and increased the size of government.
  3. Dwight David Eisenhower – The commander of the European Forces in World War II and famous for the Normandy Invasion, Eisenhower’s slogan was “We Like Ike” (his nickname).  Americans liked Ike enough to re-elect him to office.  Although America went through a minor recession during his administration, America generally enjoyed a period of general peace (he negotiated the truce in the Korean War) and prosperity in the 1950s.
  4. John Fitzgerald Kennedy – Kennedy was young, handsome and wealthy, with a beautiful wife and children.  The second of nine children, he was destined (by his father) for the presidency when his older brother was killed in World War II.  The Bay of Pigs, a misguided and undermanned attempt to overthrow Castro in Cuba, marred his early administration, but was revived by his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Kennedy was a Democrat but a fiscal Conservative.  He was assassinated in Dallas, Texas in November 1963, joining the line of assassinated presidents.
  5. Lyndon Baines Johnson – Kennedy’s successor, Johnson, was responsible for the next step in Progressivism, outlining his plan for The Great Society, which included lowering the standards for immigration and creating a permanent welfare system.  Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but his build-up of the Vietnam War cost him the 1968 election.
  6. Richard Milhous Nixon – Nixon was by all accounts a popular president when he was first elected – and re-elected.  He championed the “Silent Majority” of decent Americans whose values were being trodden on by activists in the Sixties and brought the unpopular Vietnam War to an end.  He opened up trade with China and took America off the Gold Standard, both considered questionable moves but hailed by the Media.  Nixon became the first president to resign when he covered up a break-in of the Democrat National Headquarters by covert agents seeking proof of foreign contributions (which are illegal) to the Democrat Party.  He resigned in August, 1973.
  7. Gerald R. Ford – Ford succeeded Nixon in office.  He made the controversial move of pardoning the former president for any federal crimes he might have committed as president.  Ford, a former football star, was ridiculed by the media as a bumbling president, but he vetoed 48 Democrat bills in order to fight high inflation.
  8. James Earl Carter – A student of nuclear physics, Carter was a peanut farmer from Georgia.  He was weak on foreign policy and his mutability encouraged Iranian terrorists to hold American embassy members hostage until his defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980.
  9. Ronald Wilson Reagan – Reagan was to Conservatives what George Washington was to the founding country.  A former actor and former Democrat, Reagan advocated pride in America and supported the free market system.  He forged a bipartisan coalition in Congress that led to large-scale tax cuts, reduction in government, and a build-up in national defense.  In 1981, he was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt.  Reagan survived to go onto a second term and renown among Conservatives.
  10. George Herbert Walker Bush – More moderate than the man he served as Vice President, H.W. was blamed for a savings and loan crisis created by the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act.  He knew Americans wanted a moratorium on taxes, and with a pledge from Democrats not to raise taxes, he made the promise only to be forced to break it.  Bush oversaw the Persian Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein tried to invade Kuwait and threatened to invade Saudi Arabia.
  11. William Jefferson Clinton – Clinton boasts of broadening his appeal to Americans as the reason for his election.  However, the GOP was divided by the entry of independent Ross Perot into the race, who took advantage of the widening gap between Moderates and Conservatives.  During his administration, for the first time in 40 years, Congress was governed by Republicans.  Clinton’s attempts to establish universal health care failed.  Despite numerous, salacious scandals, Clinton was re-elected to a second term.
  12. George Walker Bush – The son of George H.W. Bush, Bush, the son, will be known for his role in guiding America after the September 11th attacks in 2001.  He pursued an unpopular war in the Middle East and took a moderate approach to the economy.  He was narrowly elected to a second term.  His last act was to pass the unpopular TARP act, bailing out failed banks and businesses after the economic collapse of September 2008.
  13. Barack Hussein Obama – America’s first black President, Obama has promised to transform America.  He is recorded as being in favoring of dispatching the U.S. Constitution and redistributing America’s wealth.  He oversaw the passage of the health care act and various Stimulus Packages which helped create public-private companies.

 

 

Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm  Comments (1)