Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Does Ohio State have a cause of action for Tresselgate?

Like most graduates of THE Ohio State University, I am saddened by the resignation of head football coach Jim Tressel.  I've been a fan of Tressel going back to his days at Youngstown State.  He was an is a good man who helped Ohio State recover from the arrogance and incompetence of the John Cooper regime.  He respected and even celebrated our history and traditions, creating some new ones of his own, and made us a family again with the team, fans, marching band and cheerleaders.  I hope interim coach Luke Fickell, himself an Ohio State football alum, or whoever replaces him continues these positive developments.

That is not to say Tressel was right in all this.  The news reports indicate that Tressel made one major mistake: he did not tell the university when he found out about his players trading their own awards for, of all things, tattoos.  Tressel says he did not for fear of endangering the players from the Tattoo Man, who himself was under federal investigation for racketeering and other dangerous things.  Tressel also said he feared hurting the federal investigation.

Monday, May 30, 2011


We remember all of our men and women in uniform, especially those who gave their lives to keep the United States of America the greatest country on earth.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fighting gender stereotypes

For reasons I can't figre out, the normally excellent Jazz Shaw at the normally excellent blog Hot Air cites the following story out of Toronto:

When many couples have a baby, they send out an email to family and friends that fills them in on the key details: name, gender, birth weight, that sort of thing. (You know the drill: "Both Mom and little Ethan are doing great!")
But the email sent recently by Kathy Witterick and David Stocker of Toronto, Canada to announce the birth of their baby, Storm, was missing one important piece of information. "We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now--a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...)," it said.
That's right. They're not saying whether Storm is a boy or a girl.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The case against the hard sciences

Lately, I have come across a number of stories and blog posts that, at least implicitly, knock college degrees in the humanities in favor of degrees in the hard sciences.  An example is this one from the Washington Post:
An old joke in academia gets at the precarious economics of majoring in the humanities.
The scientist asks, “Why does it work?”
The engineer asks, “How does it work?”
The English major asks, “Would you like fries with that?”

Friday, May 20, 2011

Iranian missiles in Venezuela?

Citing a report in the German newspaper Die Welt, Reza Kahlili warns that the Iranian mullahs are setting up a secret missile base in Hugo Chavez' Venezuela:
In November of last year, the German daily Die Welt reported that a secret agreement between the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had been signed.
The leaders of Iran and Venezuela hailed what they called their strong strategic relationship, saying they are united in efforts to establish a “New World Order” that will eliminate Western dominance over global affairs.
Now, the German newspaper, however, confirms that the bilateral agreement signed in October was for a missile installation to be built inside Venezuela. Quoting diplomatic sources, Die Welt reports that, at present, the area earmarked for the missile base is the Paraguaná Peninsula, located 120 kilometers from the Colombian border.

Monday, May 16, 2011

An opportunity in Syria

Ryan Mauro reports that Obama may be moving towards regime change in Syria:
According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration is close to changing course on Syria and supporting the removal of Bashar Assad from power.
The decision has not yet been made — and this is likely a calculated leak meant to deliver a last warning to Assad — but this is nonetheless a huge change in policy. An official has told the AP: “we are getting close” to demanding the Syrian dictator’s resignation. Apparently the language is already being crafted, with the report stating: “The first step would be to say for the first time that President Bashar Assad has forfeited his legitimacy to rule.” This will be coupled with language supporting a transition towards democracy — a softer way of saying two words the Obama administration is so reluctant to utter: “regime change.”
Michael Totten adds: "I certainly hope so."

The Iranian Revolution 2.0

Now with a more convenient location in Egypt. So says Barry Rubin:
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Amr Moussa, the most important and popular politician in Egypt and almost certain to be the next president, stated that the Muslim Brotherhood is going to dominate the country’s parliament. This isn’t me saying this, it’s Amr Moussa:
It is inevitable that parliamentary elections in September will usher in a legislature led by a bloc of Islamists, with the Brotherhood at the forefront.

Enshrining Fred Sanders into law?

I cannot help but be conflicted on the controversial Indiana Supreme Court decision that came down last week in Barnes v. State.  Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana gives a rundown of the facts with excerpts from the decision:
Officer Lenny Reed, the first responder, saw a man leaving an apartment with a bag and began questioning him in the parking lot. Upon identifying the man as Barnes, Reed informed him that officers were responding to a 911 call. Barnes responded that he was getting his things and leaving and that Reed was not needed. Barnes had raised his voice and yelled at Reed, prompting stares from others outside and several warnings from Reed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Of mysteries and men

I just got Gian J. Quasar's latest book, Hell Ship: The Last Voyage of the USS Cyclops.

I found Quasar's first book, Into the Bermuda Triangle: Pursuing the Truth Behind the World's Greatest Mystery, a bit of a disappointment inasmuch as while it was interesting it also seemed to wander aimlessly at times, mentioning some of the disappearances while not really delving into any of them.  His second book may explain why he chose such an approach, however. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oh, glorious day!

It is May 10, and not only are my Cleveland Indians doing well, but MY PITTSBURGH PIRATES HAVE A WINNING RECORD!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Pakistani conspiracy?

The aftermath of the killing of Usama bin Laden highlights the continuing difficulties in the relationship between the US and the nest of vipers known as the Pakistani government.

First, some policy implications and analysis from Walter Russell Mead:

The taking of Osama was a defeat for Al Qaeda.  It was a disaster for Pakistan.

A slow motion implosion

Could that be what is happening to the Iranian government?
In the increasing tension between Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supporters of each faction, who have been drawing lines in the sand for the past few days claiming that there will be blood, took their disputes to the streets of Tehran.
According to reports from Iran, serious clashes between the rank and file supporters of Khamenei and the supporters of Ahmadinejad erupted on Saturday. Many were severely injured with clubs and machetes. The clashes are said to have been so fierce that the security guards did not intervene and stood aside, watching the brawl.

You knew this was coming

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is forming a dangerously powerful political party.

Meanwhile, in Syria ...

While we have been watching the death of Usama bin Laden, the civil war in Libya, the royal wedding and the NFL Draft, a significant popular revolt in Syria has flown largely under the radar.

This is unfortunate.  In many respects, Syria is a linchpin of the trouble in the Middle East.  Syria has involved itself in a complicated relationship with Iran that has troubled the US and Israel for decades.  Under Hafez al-Asad, Syria became the major conduit for Iranian support of the Islamist group Hezbo'allah, a policy that has continued under Asad's son and successor Bashar.  Syria has never accepted the French carving out Lebanon, then a Christian enclave, from Sunni Muslim Syria proper, or "Greater Syria," as it is known, which encompasses Lebanon, parts of Israel, Jordan and, not generally publicized, Turkey, including such Turkish cities as Antioch (Antakya in Turkish) and Alexandretta (Iskenderun).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is "moderate," huh?

They why are they supporting Usama bin Laden?

A worthless jackpot?

Supposedly, when our troops raided Usama bin Laden's compound, we recovered a "trove of computer drives and disks during their weekend raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, yielding what a U.S. official called 'the mother lode of intelligence.'"  In theory, it should enable us to plan further atacks on the al Qaida network and its allies.  Except ...

As Aaron Worthing asks, "WHY THE HELL ARE YOU TELLING US THIS?! "
Here’s a hint [...], none of that [intelligence] is actionable, now.  Chances are virtually all of that information can go bad -- things like locations of bad guys, assumed names and the like can all be changed if the bad guys know we have that information.  Now if they are smart -- and there is good reason to think they aren’t -- they might have done that automatically as a precaution when bin Laden was killed. But if any of that information didn’t go bad the moment bin Laden reached room temperature, it went bad the moment word got out.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Whither Pakistan

The location of Usama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan -- an affluent suburb of Islamabad, home to many retired Pakistani generals and one army regiment -- has raised additional uncomfortable questions about the nature of Pakistan and its people, its government, its military and its intelligence agency.

What a gentleman.

Usama bin Laden used his wife as a human shield.

Give Obama credit

As you know, I am no fan of Barack Obama's policies.  On some such as defense, foreign policy, courts and environmental policy, I think just about everything he is doing is flat-out wrong and possibly against US interests.  On others, such as the stimulus, financial regulation and ObamaCare, I am ambivalent, though the way ObamaCare was passed is reprehensible.

That said, it was under Obama's watch and as, at least in part, a result of Obama's executive decisions that a team of US Navy SEALS was able to raid Usama bin Laden's rather obvious compound in the Islamabad suburb of Abbottabad, Pakistan, and come out with his head -- literally.

For that, Obama deserves praise.  Very nicely done.