Sunday, August 01, 2010

Info on Strike Group Reagan...

So... you'd like to buy a copy of Strike Group Reagan?

It is available via or

American Authors Association:

Harold Hutchison has penned a blistering tale of white-hot naval combat.

Mike Devine at

Take a candor break to the beach and read Harold Hutchison's novel, 'Strike Group Reagan'.


New Wars Blog

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Geraghty nails it...

Jim Geraghty has something everyone should read. It's reading I'd recommend to Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson, in fact.

So, just to review... we've got a Republican who is a member of the National Guard for 30 years and a practing attorney — how that translates to "career politician" is beyond me — who is actually within striking distance of winning Ted Kennedy's seat. He would be the vote that restores the filibuster; Democrats are openly talking about his election meaning the end of ObamaCare; with it would probably go cap-and-trade, Card Check, perhaps amnesty, the continuance of bailout nation, raising the debt limits, and so on. It would be the biggest psychological blow to big-government liberalism since the 1994 Republican Revolution, and probably trigger another slew of Democratic congressional retirements.

But he didn't vote the right way every time, and so now we're going to throw away the political upset of the century, an allow Martha Coakley to win with a plurality, because the third-party option polling in the single digits checks all the boxes on the checklist.

I don't think that Joe Kennedy, the independent, is going to get enough votes to be a factor in the race. But if he does - and if conservatives voting for him over issues like this make the difference and put Coakley in the seat... well, at a certain point, you begin to wonder if your political movement has enough strategic sense to be worth participating in, or whether it's all a waste of time.

The opportunity to "radically increase the number of TRUE tax cut and spending cut candidates on the ballot this November" sounds great, but some of us would like to #%*@$ stop ObamaCare before then.

Erickson's jihad against Senator Bennett, and Glenn Beck saying both parties are the problem miss the big point. Worse, how are those who DO work hard for a Scott Brown to know they can trust Erickson and Beck when the going gets tough?

I'm someone who thinks that The 5000 Year Leap gets it more right than not. I tend to lean to the right. But at the same time, I do despair of conservatives showing any semblance of a grasp of the need for things like strategy and long-term thinking. Beck has made the effort with the 100-year plan he has talked about, but aside from him, it's been absent more often than not.

The right, it seems, never misses the chance to miss a chance.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sticking up for Glenn Beck

It's been a while, but spending most of the last year on a day job and getting my first novel published.

Now, to sort of knock one of my favorite blogs. I hate having to do so, but The Pink Flamingo kinda leaves me no choice here.

The sources cited are Dana Milbank, who was not known for even-handed reporting when he covered the George W. Bush Administration; and Salon magazine, which has the likes of Glenn Greenwald (who got in trouble for using "sock puppets" on his blog).

There's no real argument against Beck's ideas. There is justified criticism for treating the GOP and the Dems as the same - and if SJ stopped there, it'd be OK. I share that criticism - particularly in the case of Mitt Romney's action vis-a-vis health care in Massachusetts (Romney was dealing with a veto-proof state legislature that DID override veteos of abortion coverage and tax increases in the legislation).

But it goes a bit further. The source she sites goes after Cleon Skousen, the author of The 5000-Year Leap, but doesn't even try to deal with the ideas.

For an elementary primer, The 5000-Year Leap esposues the belief that America was funded on 28 principles:

  1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.
  2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.
  3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.
  4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.
  5. All things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible.
  6. All men are created equal.
  7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.
  8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.
  9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law.
  10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people.
  11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.
  12. The United States of America shall be a republic.
  13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers.
  14. Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure.
  15. The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations.
  16. The government should be separated into three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial.
  17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power.
  18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution.
  19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained in the people.
  20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.
  21. Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.
  22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.
  23. A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education.
  24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong.
  25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none."
  26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity.
  27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest.
  28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.

Now let's consider the Republican Creed that The Pink Flamingo posted:

I’m a Republican Because…

I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.

I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.

I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.

I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.

I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.

I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

FINALLY, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government….”


I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon.
If I can seek opportunity,
not security,
I want to take the calculated risk to dream
And build, to fail and to succeed.
I refused to barter incentive for dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to
guaranteed security,
the thrill of fulfillment
to the state of calm utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence,
nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master,
save my God.
It is my heritage to stand erect,
proud and unafraid.
To think and act for myself,
enjoy the benefit of my creations;
to face the whole world
boldly and say, “I am a free American.”

If she has a problem with the principles, I'd like to see what problems she has with them laid out for all to see. But Beck is only going to get stronger if all those who disagree with him only aim personal shots at him. Going third-party is a way he can blow it.

Me, I agree with most of the 28 principles (I have some issues with #25 - I think that the present situation is better addressed by the neoconservatives), and think that there is a large degree of overlap between the 28 principles in The 5000 Year Leap and the Republican Creed.

I will also point something else out: For all Skousen wrote in The 5000 Year Leap, I find it far less objectionable than some of the stuff from the likes of Jeremiah Wright. Anyone remember "God damn America?"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sabathia and Sheets possibly gone?

The Brewers have made a pretty good offer to Sabathia, but it seems that the f***ing Yankees are putting obscene money down.

And with Ryan Dempster signing for four years, $52 million, the market for Ben Sheets now has a floor figure.

In a sense, it's looking tough for the Crew.

They have to lay out $152 million over five years... which means that Weeks and Fielder would be likely to walk in free agency. Or, they try to keep Weeks and Fielder... and have questions in the rotation, where the top guys would be Parra and Gallardo, who have problems staying healthy.

Even sports looks to be a downer this winter. [sigh]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Interviewing to be the Brewers manager...

OK, so Dale Sveum won't be back as manager.

Over at Al's Ramblings (Octobr 18, 2008, 10:24 AM), some interview questions have been placed.

I'll put down my answers here.

1. Coaching-wise, what do you think can be done to get Rickie Weeks to fulfill his potential? And I'd extend the question to the likes of Hart, Parra, etc.

In Parra's case, I think the big issue was hitting the wall due to a lrge increase in innings pitched. For Weeks, Hart, and Hall, I would probably want to compare their hot streaks to their cold streaks as a start, and try to get a baseline. In the case of Hall, I'd try to see if he's done anything different in 2007-2008 than he did in 2005-2006.

2. What's your theory on bullpen management? What's the strengths and weaknesses of the current group and what would you want the GM to do?
Strengths: The current bullpen tends to be reasonable strong in terms of getting the job done. Some relievers have ugly end-of-season stats (like Riske), but that is arguably distorted by 10% of outings where they got pounded. There are plenty of guys (Torres, Villanueva, Shouse, McClung) who can handle the middle innings. There is young talent (Dillard, Stetter, Pena). Mark DiFelice might also be able to contribute.

Weaknesses: Lack of a dominant closer. Gagne didn't do the job, and while Torres was a fill-in, he was kind of miscast. Also, some pitchers (Torres in particular) got overworked,and that dropoff will be a major concern if the rotation loses Sheets and Sabathia. The best thing the GM can do for the Brewers bullpen, if he entrusts me to be manager, is to keep one or both of those starters in the fold.

3. How do you evaluate Tony Gwynn Jr.? (And the candidate that thinks he should be handed the centerfield job and made the leadoff hitter is going to set off all kinds of alarms in my head.)
Ideally, Tony Gwynn Jr, is the 5th outfielder, the team's top pinch-runner, and a defensive replacement in the late innings of some games (usually a blowout when I would want to give a starter a rest). If he ends up in the lineup (and hopefully he is NOT starting games), he bats eighth.

4. What are your beliefs in bench construction? What's the role of the backup catcher?
I believe that the bench's primary purpose is to provide a manager with the tools to win a game despite unforeseen events. Ideally, the players are to be versatile, able to play more than one position, and able to hold their own at the plate. On the present 40-man roster, my 2009 bench would consist of Mike Rivera, Alicides Escobar, Joe Dillon, Vinny Rottino, Tony Gwynn Jr., and Gabe Kapler. The backup catcher's role is to be ready to fill in - ideally so that he and the team's pitchers do not miss a beat - should the starter be injured or need a day off.

5. Lineup construction, what's your general ideas?
Leadoff slot: High OBP, lots of speed. Power is a bonus. #2 spot: Someone who hits a lot of doubles, draws walks, and who gets on base. #3 and #4 hitters: The two players who will likely have highest OPS totals. Braun and Fielder. The #5 hitter will be someone who racks up a high SLG, OBP less relevant. #6 and #7 hitters will be a lot like the #2 hitter, although I am flexible on the #6 hitter - someone with a lot of power may take that spot. The #8 hitter needs to be an OBP/speed guy - if for no other reason than to get to the pitcher's spot, so the next inning starts with the leadoff man.

This is a team that is built around the long ball. While "small ball" is not this team's forte, I will at least try to get the team to be competent at it, if only to have greater flexibility.


Well, we get to see if I get the job. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I am Joe

Tip o' the Hat to Iowahawk.

I am Joe.

I am just another American with the usual bag of hopes, fears, strengths, and flaws.

I am Joe.

I am an American who wants to succeed or fail through my own work.

I am Joe.

I am an American who still believes in the First Amendment, in citizens participating in the political process, in expressing disagreement with others' ideas without becoming disagreeable about it.

I am Joe.

I am an American who believes that I have the right to ask tough questions of those who seek my vote, and that it's utterly reasonable to expect serious answers to those tough questions.

I am Joe.

I am an American who now wonders if my disagreement with The One, Barack Hussein Obama (PBUH) will someday result in a howling cybermob demanding my scalp.

I am Joe.

I am an American who now wonders if my disagreement with The One, Barack Hussein Obama (PBUH) will someday result in the press spending 48 hours to dig up every last bit of possibly-embarrassing information on myself, my wife, or my daughter.

I am Joe.

I am an American who has just discovered that, in Iowahawk's immortal words, "Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0."

I am Joe.

And if the fact that I am Joe offends you . . .




I am Joe.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Been away, I know...

Much has happened.

The Brewers made the playoffs - then didn't get past the first round. Still, it's good to make my brother say "Wild Card."

It does speak volumes, though. It took a lot of work to make it happen. Only eight out of 30 major-league teams make the playoffs. It's nice to see the Crew near the top.

Also, some promising news has turned a bit tougher. I hope that I can work out something that could lead to a dream happening after a bit of a setback earlier this year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spaying/neutering... not so risk free...

I am on an e-mail list that discusses guinea pigs. They are wonderful creatures, and they are cuter than the puppies owned by my sisters (each has one). They are loving, and a bit smarter that you can imagine (put it this way, never rustle a plastic bag within earshot of my brother's guinea pig - he will start asking for a treat, and it actually sounds a little bit like he is crying out "Treat!" "Treat!").

So, when on the list someone loses their beloved guinea pig, I feel rotten inside. I have been there twice, having lost a pair of guinea pigs.

But a loss announced earlier this week is all the more heartbreaking. Apparently, the owner had taken the guinea pig, a young boar (that's a boy) to be neutered. The guinea pig entered the vet's office alive and well, but after the operation, the guinea pig had some trouble and died.

Which is why I have decided that as a pet owner, I will not put any animal I own through elective surgery - to include spaying or neutering. Unless the animal needs the surgery for a valid medical reason, it ain't happening.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

National Tortilla Month...

The Weekly Standard has a good article on food.

While you read it, I'm gonna probably pick up some Taco Bell. Good food. :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No Ordinary Americans Need Apply

I usually have no use for Pat Buchanan, but this is an exception and well worth the read.

She is a businesswoman, someone who has taken on her own side of the argument and won, a mother, a mainstream Christian--in short, a representative of many American women today.

I cannot think of anyone, man or woman, who has inspired this much hatred on the part of their political opponents in such a short time. The level of bile and invective is truly something to behold; and, as so frequently happens, Churchill's maxim about a lie being halfway around the world before the truth has its boots on is demonstrated again to be true.

The left is fond of asking why the Islamists hate us--and answering it ith a recitation of America's alleged (and imagined) sins. Well, why do these oh-so-enlightened-and-tolerant-folks (who have self-righteousness the way some people have BO and halitosis) hate Sarah Palin so damn much?

Because she reminds them that their beliefs are not shared by a majority of ordinary Americans. More importantly, she reminds the rest of America, as well.

Well into the 20th Century, it was not uncommon for "Help Wanted" signs to say "No (Select an Ethicity) Need Apply." To the modern American Left, elective office has a "No Ordinary Americans Need Apply" sign.

Well, here's a cheery yob' tvoyu maht' to the Kos Kids, Air America, and the mainstream press. I'll vote for whoever I damn well please, and y'all can kiss my fundament.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

RIP Don LaFontaine

In a world of movie trailers, he was the King . . .

Time is the hunter, and has just bagged another trophy . . . as Time always has, and always will.

His voice prompted me to see a lot of good (and some not-so-good) movies; only recently did I learn who he was. Having read about him and seen some of his recent work with GEICO, I learned that he had a sense of humor about himself, his work, and that he was generous with those who wished to learn the voiceover craft--traits that are admirable and increasingly rare.

Movie trailers will never be the same. The industry will never be the same. LaFontaine reminds us that each of us has unique gifts, and that what matters most is how we choose to use those gifts.

My condolences to his friends and family, and to all whom he mentored.

Rest in peace, sir.

Friday, August 29, 2008

On Palin: A Bag of Mixed Emotions...

Intellectually, I recognize that John McCain could have done very well with either Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney.

Palin brought in an avenue to reel in disaffected Hillary supporters. She puts a very articulate and reasonable face on the issue of domestic energy production. She is a reformer and maverick - which fits into McCain's career and image very well. She also has impeccable pro-life credentials (I don't think a woman should be forced to carry her rapist's child).

She lacks experience, though, and on the economy in general, she is not as strong as Romney. But the pluses far outweigh the minuses.

Romney had the economic credentials - in spades. He also had no real skeletons, had been vetted, and would have not only locked down some uncomfortably close Mountain West States (Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico), but he had a very good chance of flipping Michigan. The way this election is shaping up - McCain winning Michigan means game over for Obama.

There were downsides. He and McCain didn't exactly get along in the primary. The other, though, leaves me with a bag of mixed emotions.

To wit, Mitt Romney was shot down for the Presidential nomination by anti-Mormon bigotry among evangelicals - a bigotry that was played to by Mike Huckabee. It was a bigotry that a lot of leading conservatives did not denounce. Why they did not do so is a mystery. Afraid of losing support? Was it a reluctance to make a charge that has all too often been used by the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson with little merit? Who knows? But the fact they didn't take on Huckabee has led me to seriously reconsider my alliance with conservatism.

Worse, it also colors my views on a very dedicated wife, mother, and public servant. As much as Sarah Palin is a good nominee, and knowing intellectually that it is very likely that she was selected on the merits, a part of me will always wonder whether she got the slot entirely on the merits (which make it just about a coin toss), or because McCain blinked vis-a-vis Huckabee and other anti-Mormon bigots. I’m probably being very unfair to Governor Palin, but that question just is not going away any time soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

An open letter worth reading...

See for something worth leading.

August 18, 2008
The Honorable George H.W. Bush
George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West
College Station, TX 77845

Dear Mr. President:

Last December, it was our distinct pleasure to visit the magnificent library archiving and celebrating your service as the president of our great nation. The occasion was your hosting Mitt Romney’s “Faith in America” speech. Your introduction of Gov. Romney was most gracious and his speech captured the very essence of what is great about the American vision of how religion and public life intersect.

Sadly, since that time, some involved in the current presidential election cycle have behaved, very publicly, in a fashion that represents some of our worst tendencies when we stand at that intersection. Of course our nation is full of groups with their own particular viewpoints, all vying for attention - and that is to be encouraged; it is an important part of America’s greatness.

Candidates for the highest office in the land, however, must, as Gov. Romney said that day in your auditorium, rise above petty bickering to unite our nation. To accomplish that, candidates must unite their political party, not tear it apart on religious, ethnic, or other grounds.

And yet, former presidential candidate and current FOX News commentator Mike Huckabee seems intent on creating such discord and disunity. His recent efforts to stand at the head of the “anybody but Romney for vice president” movement are simply offensive. His protests to the contrary notwithstanding, that movement and his energy on its behalf are so clearly based in religious bias, even bigotry, that they simply step outside the boundaries of legitimate presidential electoral debate and threaten our party’s unity. Such behavior can only serve to cheapen our nation’s political discourse as it increasingly descends into the gutter.

This is more than mere conjecture. Recent polling evidence, particularly that out of a Vanderbilt University study based on surveys conducted when both Huckabee and Romney were still active presidential candidates, clearly indicates that the very limited arguments Gov. Huckabee uses in his opposition to Gov. Romney play on traditional Christian prejudices concerning Mormons. In many cases those arguments cases are simply “code” for “we cannot vote for him, he’s a Mormon.”

In 1908, William Howard Taft sought the presidency. Mr Taft was a Unitarian and he was opposed on religious grounds by William Jennings Bryan using tactics similar to those we are seeing Gov. Huckabee use against Gov. Romney today. The man leaving the presidency at that time, Theodore Roosevelt, felt it necessary the defy the convention of former presidents staying clear of the fray and to defend the right of every American, regardless of religion, to hold the highest office in the land. He did so in a series of now-famous letters to the various parties involved.

Today we write to you, as the senior Republican statesman in our nation, to ask you to take a similarly bold stand, to write such an important letter and to do so openly. Much has changed since the turn of the last century; our politics are conducted far more publicly than they once were. We ask that your letter be open and made available in the leading journals of this time.

This type of behavior we are seeing simply must be repudiated. You stand in a unique position to provide such repudiation. Gov. Huckabee must be made to understand that to continue to behave in this fashion will permanently disqualify him, and those he represents, from serious consideration for any leadership role in the Republican party ever again. Few people, if any, can speak for the entire party with as much wisdom, experience, and insight as you can. You alone not only are beyond the battles of presidential politics, but also enjoy the moral authority coming from having won them. You can help us keep our party, this nation and our electoral processes within the bounds of traditional American understanding and decency. We will be a much worse nation indeed if we break down into identity group bickering instead of uniting to elect the best people to govern us.

If we may be of any service to you in your efforts to fulfill our request, please do not hesitate to call upon us.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter and may God bless!


Lowell Brown
Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Article VI Blog
John Schroeder
evangelical Presbyterian, member of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America
Article VI Blog
What is there to disagree with in this?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Weeks goes O-fer...

But there are O-fers... and there are O-fers...

Three walks, three runs scored... is an O-fer that can be lived with.

A few hot streaks later...

And the Brewers now have a three-game lead for the Wild Card.

26 years is a long time to wait...