Archive for February, 2008

40 is the new 30

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Congress wasting time on the Roger Clemens hearing got me thinking. If we are going to be suspicious of athletes who continue to perform at a high level into their mid to late 30′s, why is no one asking questions of say Jerry Rice, Nolan Ryan, or Bruce Matthews?

What’s Black and White and Red All Over?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

According to Lisa Shiffren in The Corner, Senator Barack Obama!

Shiffren suggests that it’s “[t]ime for some investigative journalism” into Obama’s background, because all of the mixed-race kids she knew when she was young were the product of a Communist plot to get the blacks and the Jews to intermarry. Or something like that.

I suppose Shiffren’s fear is that if his parents sung baby Barack to sleep with Pete Seeger tunes, he might be some kind of Manchurian candidate. Then again, those were the rumors about Obama’s supposed secret Muslim beliefs, too. Hmm…come to think of it, the sickle in the Soviet flag does look a little like a crescent! Maybe she’s on to something!

To be fair, not everyone at The Corner is this looney tunes. Andrew Stuttaford gently suggests that the investigation Shiffren calls for would be “thoroughly counterproductive.” Seriously, though, if this is the best idea for “oppo” that conservatives can come up with, they’re in for a severely disappointing election.

Oh, I almost forgot my favorite part of Shiffren’s post — this line: “It was, of course, an explicit tactic of the Communist party to stir up discontent among American blacks, with an eye toward using them as the leading edge of the revolution. To be sure, there was much to be discontented about, for black Americans, prior to the civil-rights revolution.” Good thing there’s no longer much for them to be disconcerted about now, huh?

UPDATE: Shiffren backtracks a bit.

Totally Random

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Sometimes my Dad and I will call each other “Bob,” even though neither of us is named Bob. The reason goes back to a car commercial from about fifteen years ago. In the commercial, the narrator, Bob, talks about how his life would be a dream if only he had that certain kind of car. It would be as if he has his own lane on the highway. The signs would say “Yield to Bob” and the green lights would say “Go Bob.” And of course, he could pull up to the curb in a lane marked “No Parking Except for Bob.”

In the commercial, Bob parks the car and a cop eyes him and then realizes, “Oh, it’s you, Bob!” When this commercial was running, sometimes my Dad and I would run into each other and say, “Oh, it’s you, Bob!” We kept it up for a long time. We don’t do it much anymore, but every once in a while one of us will drop a “Bob” reference.

Anyway, I got to thinking about this today, and wondered if that commercial was on YouTube. I took a guess that it was a Nissan ad, which turned out to be right, and sure enough, here it is:

Cracked Up

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

I saw this news item about the scuttling of plans to replace the Tomb of the Unknowns monument at Arlington Cemetery. The marble slab has some cracks in it, and is showing its age and the effects of exposure. Cemetery officials think additional repairs (it’s been patched up twice) will look bad and not last long; they want to replace the monument with a shiny new one. To the rescue ride Senators Daniel Akaka and Jim Webb, who attached a rider to a defense bill that would prevent replacement of the Tomb monument. They prefer another repair job.

I’m not convinced about this. Do Webb and Akaka expect the perpetually-repaired monument to last forever? Maybe they envision it looking like the Parthenon in a few thousand years? Marble crumbles. Won’t all those headstones in the rest of Arlington Cemetery chip away to dust in time, too? Would Akaka and Webb be against replacing those, too?

Why is only the original marble a worthy monument? I doubt the builders of that stone thought it would last for all time. One day, hundreds of years from now, we’ll have to decide what to do when larger marble monuments start to crumble, we (that is, the nation) will have to decide what to do about it. Future Akakas and Webbs, I presume, will want to eternally grout these edifices until they consist of more spackle than spectacle.

I hope our nation lasts long enough that we can allow future generations to decide what to do with the monuments we’ve built. Future Americans will get to decide how to memorialize the figures we venerate. Who are we to dictate how Abraham Lincoln will be remembered in the year 2525?