Saturday, October 18, 2008

A nose guard's dream come true

My son plays nose guard for Lake Oswego High School. In last night's game, the dream of every defensive lineman came true for him.

(The action starts at about the 1:10 mark.)

Here's another look at the same play, it's just a few seconds in from the start.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just one blemish

The Funny Paper was in rare form today. Sometimes what they write is just so revealing that you wonder if they don't actually realize how silly they look, or they just simply don't care.

Two items jumped out at me today. First, in their editorial endorsements, they got around to discussing the House race in Lake Oswego for the seat being vacated by Greg MacPherson. The Republican candidate in the race is a Portland lawyer named Steve Griffith. I've been in a few meetings with him lately. He's a very thoughtful and accomplished man who happens to be a liberal on every issue I have ever heard him discuss.

Which of course means The Funny Paper likes him:

"He's a Harvard man -- also Stanford and Oxford -- a lawyer who served with distinction on the Portland School Board and as a director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. A veteran civic activist with an abiding passion for liberal ideals, Griffith could be a Democratic role model."

In other words, just the kind of politician The Funny Paper likes. Except for one problem:

"There's just one blemish. He's running as a Republican."

There you have it. Being a member of one of the two major parties in this country is now a "blemish." They agree with him on everything, but he has a moral defect. He's on the other team.

Then, over in the "Business" section (I put it in scare quotes because TFP long ago stopped pretending it actually wrote about business, about the same time the "Oregon Business Alliance" was founded to work on the important business issues of salmon and climate) they led with the disastrous news that Freightliner had finally pulled the plug on Portland and is moving its manufacturing out of state, along with its 900 jobs.

Now, the story neglected to mention how the State of Oregon recently grabbed Freightliner's kicker refund, or how Portland planners harrassed the firm for years when it wanted to expand its manufacturing facility on Swan Island. Those things weren't mentioned, for some reason, in the article.

But there was a headline, above the fold, across the page, in about 48 point type, that pretty much sums up how The Funny Paper feels about businesses that are trying to fulfill their duty to shareholders:

"This is greed. Flat corporate greed."

A headline that will serve as a clarion call to any corporation that might consider Portland as a place to move or a place to grow: Stay away.

Mysteriously, Oregon's economy leads the nation into every recession, and lags the nation out of every recovery. And The Funny Paper's credibility and circulation continue to slide.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The left's view of production

Did you see the front page story in The Funny Paper today? Nearly the full page, several pictures, recounting how some families are cutting back on consumption in these uncertain economic times.

Or at least that was the ostensible pretext of the article. In reality it was just another entry in their running critique of capitalism.

The article profiled several folks who have arrived at a higher consciousness because they are rejecting our "consumer culture", and have pared back their spending because they are more highly attuned to what are real "needs" vs. just "wants."

Of course there is the obligatory quote from the academic, critical of our culture:

"We live in a microwave society," says Rich Reiner, who teaches psychology and finance at Portland Community College. "We want things instantly. We don't want to take time for anything. That includes stuff we want, places we want to go."

And it goes on to give vignettes about four people who have decided more or less to reject our consumer culture and live more simply. The sub-text of the entire article is the same thing we have seen out of TFP time and again over the years - America is evil because we consume so much more than any other country, and our people are inferior because we find fulfillment in consumption.

What the left never seems to understand, so eager they are to trash America, is that before anything anywhere can be "consumed," one little detail has to be taken care of: that thing has to be PRODUCED.

So saying the U.S. consumes more than any other nation means that we are a larger engine for production than any other country. And that stuff we produce and consume? It makes our lives better, and the lives of everyone who is touched by the production stream.

They pretend that shrinking is a strategy for solving our nation's problems. If only everyone would consume less, we would all be better off, they seem to think. Ever see the bumper sticker: "Live simply, so others can simply live."

That is precisely the ethic that pervaded this article, and that the left seems to believe is true. In reality, it is amazingly wrongheaded - it is 180 degrees wrong. It is completely backward. "Living simply" would bring tremendous harm to others.

What would happen to the world if everyone in the U.S. decided to consume 30% less? Live in less space, buy 30% less groceries, clothing, consumer goods of all types. There would be a worldwide depression. People would starve, especially in third world countries whose only hope of climbing out of despair is to produce things for our markets.

The fact is, shrinking is not a route out of our problems, it is a recipe for misery and long term despair. The ironic thing is that the geniuses at The Funny Paper don't seem to understand the implications of their own ideology.

Imagine how much less advertising would be done in a world where "live simply" is the watchword? It would hasten the day that they go out of business, for sure.

Which, perhaps, is the one silver lining to this madness.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Why the left comes unhinged

For eight years we've been hearing about what a dumb guy President Bush is. Eight years of incessant snarkiness from comedians, talking heads, bloggers and columnists. Even as Bush outfoxed liberals time and time again on political strategy, they kept it up.

And it's not just Bush. They did the same thing to Reagan. If you listened to those geniuses in our cultural and media institutions, you'd have thought Reagan was a blithering idiot.

The list is long of Republican/conservative politicians that the mainstream media has made out to be complete dopes. Ford, Quayle, Bush, Reagan, and now Palin.

John Fund was in town this week, and he sat down with Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week. In the interview, Fund says:

"I’ve noticed over the last 40 years that there have been lots of people who have developed a reputation for being dim, slow, clueless or out of touch.

Gerald Ford. Some guy named Reagan who was an “amiable dunce.” Dan Quayle. Even the first President Bush got a little bit of that. George W. Bush. Lots of people of national stature have had the “dumb” label slapped on them.

In that 40 year period, can you name one liberal politician of national stature who ever got that reputation, ever? There isn’t one. There isn’t one."

Think of that. He's right - there simply has NEVER been a single left/liberal/Democrat politician of national stature that they attacked for being a dimwit. On one level, I guess, it's easy to explain. They are leftist, and so they won't attack another lefty no matter how dumb.

But I think the explanation goes a good bit beyond that, and it is quite revealing and also explains why the cultural left in this county is so often rejected by middle America.

Liberalism, at its core, is an elitist world view. It's a world view that in essence says that government should have expanded purview over individuals, because the choices people would make in the absence of government controls are wrong. This of course requires a ruling class - elites who have a higher level of consciousness than the masses, and they get to write the rules and enforce them.

Guess who considers themselves to be those elites? All those folks in charge of our cultural and political institutions: the mainstream media, institutions of higher education, the chattering class.

So what happens when national political figures who don't share their world view hits the stage? Well, by definition, they simply cannot be smart, because if they were, they would share their liberal world view.

And so it is obvious to them that Reagan, Ford, Quayle, Bush are dunces. They get to make jokes, snicker, and create their little collages of all their malaprops to prove how right they are.

The never do the same thing to guys like Al Gore or Joe Biden (who, as Fund points out, you could easily make look like a blithering idiot by stringing together a few video clips.) They give Al and Joe a pass because they CAN'T be stupid - these guys share their world view.

The best part of all this, however, is how the cultural left reacts when the general public just doesn't buy their narrative. They don't just come unhinged, although they certainly do that. They attack middle America that rejects their view.

Look what happened when America re-elected Bush. Look how they are treating Sarah Palin. And just watch (and enjoy) how much they HATE IT when regular everday Americans in flyover country reject what the cultural elites tell them about Sarah, and continue to like her.

They come absolutely unhinged, and they attack more, which drives people to reject them more, bringing on more attacks - and the cycle continues.

Just look at my buddy Jack Bogdanski. For years he has referred to Bush as "the chimp." He's written a constant stream of the nastiest and most mean-spirited invective. And now with the meteoric rise of Sarah Palin, Jack is quite literally over the edge.

He's blocking posters on his blog who disagree with him, in even the mildest way. (I am currently blocked from his blog - a fact I just think is downright funny, given that I have invited him to be my co-host on my radio show when Marc Abrams is out of town. "Jack, come on my show for the express purpose of disagreeing with me. Sure, Rob, but you can't post on my blog.")

And now he's just gone around the bend trying to keep alive the ridiculous conspiracy theory that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy. Even his friends are telling him he's unhinged. He's actually analyzing the shape of Bristol Palin's breasts by way of claiming she is not currently pregnant!

You see the same loony-bin behavior at Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and Air America radio. Their world view basically requires them to show their contempt for anybody who doesn't share it, and when they realize that includes all of middle America, they prove again and again how much they despise them.

And that is the good news. Middle America never bought the notion that Reagan was stupid. Cultural elites said it so many times in their echo chamber that they thought everyone agreed. Middle America never bought the notion that Bush is stupid. And they certainly don't think Sarah Palin is stupid.

The fun part is watching their reaction when people dismiss their invective. They get hysterical. enjoy the show.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Czech President visits on microbrew trade tour

The head of state of a NATO country visits Portland to give a speech challenging the man-made global warming hypothesis. What does The Funny Paper report about the visit?

All about his visit to Bridgport Brew Pub, and how Czech beer differs from Oregon beer.

I am not kidding.

Do we need any more evidence that this sorry excuse for a newspaper has completely jettisoned any pretense that it is a journalistic enterprise?

The Funny Paper has been banging the global warming alarmist drum for a decade now. It is so dug into the position that it can't even bring itself to write a straight news report on a visit from a head of state who came for the express purpose of making a speech that happens to challenge The Funny Paper's position?

Why does anyone still believe in their credibily as a neutral source of news?

Oh. Nobody does.