Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

More crazy

Can't Glenn Beck just go away? To me, he makes as much sense as the average homeless guy who walks down the street muttering about the end of the world. But I guess that although I find his schtick annoying, what I find downright scary is the fact that, based on the ratings for his TV show, it obviously resonates with a not inconsequential number of people who don't reside in hospitals for the mentally ill. God help us.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Highlights here. I don't know how this is going to turn out, but I do know at least two things. First, the team is playing incrementally better every week. That should concern the rest of the NFC playoff teams. Second, what Favre is doing at 40 is beyond incredible. Today's game may be the best game that I have ever seen from a Vikings QB. He was 22 for 25. That set a completion percentage record for the team. And the three incompletions were two dropped passes, and an intentional throwaway. Oh, and 4 TD passes. The Force appears to be with him right now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tom Petters

Petters may not be national news, despite his multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. In the era of Madoff, that seems to be small potatoes. But to hear him claim that his underlings pulled it all off (billions!) without him having any knowledge because he was distracted while grieving over the death of his son is insulting to our collective intelligence and a disgrace. I don't know how a man like him can look in the mirror.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Problem for Obama

It seems clear to me that Obama is not being served well by his protocol advisors. See here. More importantly, Obama has inflicted upon himself a problem that is likely to hurt him in the 2012 election.

I guarantee that these photos will be prominently re-displayed by the 2012 GOP presidential candidate. I can already see the GOP ads that will be along the lines of the "there is a bear in the woods" ad that Reagan ran so effectively, with these photos and an ominous narrative: "The choice is between a man who begs the rest of the world to like us [Obama], and a man/woman [TBA] who will not bow to anyone."
These are serious unforced errors. Elections should not be influenced by such trivial matters, but they often are. And if Obama's people don't realize now that this is a problem that they will have to deal with during their next campaign, they are stupid.


Another victory; 27-10. The point difference should have been much higher, but the spread was dead on accurate. Highlights here.

I'm starting to believe that this team might have a destiny. Yet, every season during my lifetime has, ultimately, ended in disappointment.

My earliest memory is (5 years old) crying after the Vikes, 13 point favorites, lost Super Bowl IV to the Chiefs. After that, there were three more Super Bowl losses, and multiple NFC conference championship losses that gradually caused a part of my soul to turn bitter.

So here is to hoping--as much for my 82 year old father who has been a die-hard Vikings fan since they were created almost 40 years ago as for me--that this is "the year."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


One of our local football players was making mischief during the bye week.
But one Minnesota Viking did something different last week. He spent a day with egghead intellectuals at a health-care symposium, then gave away $2 million the next day to improve health care in impoverished communities.
And Williams is not alone among the Vikings. AP gives a lot back too.

I'm proud to root for these guys.

Veterans Day

Here is the video of Obama's speech at Fort Hood yesterday. It will be remembered in the same category as Reagan's wonderful speech after the Challenger disaster.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

It is a game

I expect professional athletes who get paid millions of dollars to show up for every game, if at all realistically possible. But there is a line between suck-it-up and outright stupidity. So, along that line, my view is that that anyone who criticizes Ryan Clark for not playing tonight should go out and stand on a railroad track and play chicken with the train. Make a bet in advance so that you can say that you did it for the money.


DENVER -- The Pittsburgh Steelers do not plan to play safety Ryan Clark on Monday night in Denver because of concern over Clark's health, an NFL source said Sunday.

Clark has a rare blood condition that nearly caused him to die after his last game played in Denver in 2007. Clark was hospitalized in Denver when complications from sickle-cell trait prevented oxygen from flowing into his spleen. He later needed operations to remove his spleen and gall bladder, and the 205-pound Clark lost more than 30 pounds before he finally began feeling better more than two months later.

Clark received medical clearance to play Monday night, however, the source said the Steelers decided it wasn't worth the risk. . .
How this was ever a close call is beyond me.

November 9, 1989

This is the 20th anniversary of one of the top few most historic days in my lifetime. It causes me to think of my younger days, and a man who greatly influenced the course of world events.

During the first semester of my freshman year in college, ABC aired the made for TV movie, The Day After. I remember having nightmares after watching it and having it really sink in for the first time that the entire country could be virtually destroyed within 30 minutes if a leader in the Soviet Union got an itchy trigger finger. That movie, as much anything, started my course of study in international relations and national security issues.

Two years later, after taking every available course at St. Olaf in those areas, I transferred to The George Washington University so that I could major in international affairs. I wanted to know everything I could about the political systems and military capabilities of the Soviet Union and its satellite countries in Eastern Europe. While I was in Washington, I was also lucky enough to procure an internship at the State Department in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs. There, I got a behind the scenes look at how foreign affairs regarding military issues operate at levels that don't make the newspapers. It was absolutely fascinating.

During my college years, Reagan was president. Although he was caricatured by his opponents, particularly in Western Europe, as a war-mongering cowboy (not unlike another president 20 years later), I was absolutely convinced that he was pursuing policies that offered the best chance to protect the country from the potential catastrophe of war. And, in fact, his steadfastness in the face of the protests over the deployment of Pershing missiles and cruise missiles in West Germany led directly to the INF Treaty, the first treaty ever to actually result in the reduction of the number of nuclear weapons rather than just limitations on increases in the number of nuclear weapons.

But Reagan's greatest contribution to West Germany was a speech that was heard around the world. It didn't start the snowball, but it definitely gave it a huge boost.

Which leads back to this day in history. It would not have happened, at least as quickly and and peacefully as it did, but for Ronald Reagan. And for that, the Gipper deserves an honorable mention on this day.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Fort Hood

If this NPR story is true (audio below), it seems to me to be less plausible, rather than more plausible, that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan (the shooter) had actual connections to (as opposed to a shared philosophy with) al-Qaeda. If this story is true, Hasan was desperately trying to bring attention to himself and his murderous and extremist beliefs and his colleagues and superiors were not listening. If this story is true, the fallout is going to be massive.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

Benedict Arnold returns home

The traitor returned to Lambeau. And he lit up the Packers with 4 touchdown passes.
I'm sure that today he is thinking that life is pretty sweet. Highlights here.