"" Running Rabbit: September 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jan E. Matzeliger

I thought I'd share this envelope, I found it while going through a box of old pictures. I don't remember how I acquired it, or when. But it spurred me to discover Mr. Matzeliger, a widely forgotten figure of importance, it seems.

Jan E. Matzeliger had an interesting, yet brief life. Imelda Marcos might have been a fan. On the other hand foot, she probably didn't care if the masses had shoes.

That's Something You Could Do, Safely

Several months have passed since Harvard Professor Louis Gates was arrested in Cambridge, Mass., and I am only now getting around to giving my take on the matter. After hearing both sides it seems to me that the Professor over-reacted; let me explain. Many early reports emphasized that Mr. Gates was in his own home when arrested, or they diminished Gates' role in the episode, and of course race was mentioned as a motive (because that is what civilized people first expect/) even though there were black officers present too. All of this took place before anyone had heard the arresting officer's story. Sure, it was Gates' home, sure, the officer did press Gates to make sure that the officer was getting the full story, and certainly one would not expect to be arrested at one's home for nothing. But Gates did more than nothing, rather than appreciate that the police were there to assure his security, Gates took offense and created an awful situation. Had Gates thought about the following scene from the movie Panic Room he may have been able to put his reflexive paranoia on the back burner long enough to allow the officer to perform his duty.

Take a look, the pertinent section is the first six minutes, with special mention of the section beginning at 4:50 wherein the officer presses the matter to provide the homeowner an opportunity to signal their danger if they dare not speak.

When all of the hyperbole was put aside, and when the full version of events was presented, it is certain that Sargent Crowley was acting in the best interest (Police Report) of Mr. Gates. I can even imagine a situation wherein Mr. Gates continuing rants, and his act of following the officers as they left was an attempt to get arrested to seek protection, a signal which he could not speak. Of course, as time bears out, that wasn't the case, the story is that Mr. Gates behaved like a spoiled child and was subsequently rewarded when the DA elected not to prosecute, (no doubt as a token of good faith, to keep the rabble from rousing).

[note: use of the symbol "/" after a sentence is called a "sarc tag", and denotes the previous statement was sarcastic.]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Millerism- Andy Kaufman Isn't Dead

One of the funniest lines inspired by the recent news came from Dennis Miller on the O'Reilly Factor. In response to Libyan leader Quaddafi's lengthy UN speech this past week Miller observed that he is now sure that the late song-and-dance man Andy Kaufman isn't dead after all, he has moved on from portraying Tony Clifton to impersonating Col. Quaddafi. That Kaufman was also Clifton remains unconfirmed, but we all it is true, that he could now be Quaddafy; I wouldn't put it beyond him.

Bonus find from assembling this post is the discovery of the treatise linked next:
Common Knowledge
Communal news in a fragmented world

....what people really missed, Berelson discovered, was not specific news itself so much as the idea and the act of news—the daily ritual of reading the paper, the interaction it facilitated with others, the simple “serenity,” in Theodore Glasser’s term, of facing the day feeling informed. Readers, Berelson concluded, shared a “ritualistic and near-compulsive” connection to their daily newspapers. The void left in their absence wasn’t merely journalistic; it was also social. And personal. And, in some ways, spiritual.

Berelson’s analysis documented what we denizens of the burgeoning ecosystem often shorthanded as “the new media landscape” understand instinctively: that news is much more than information. That it is more, even, than a cultural commodity. Berelson highlighted news’s status as a source both of intimacy and anxiety: news is not only a reflection of the world we live in. It is also a reflection of ourselves.

What follows will require more than one reading to absorb, a summary is beyond my grasp at this moment, it is extremely thought provoking.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monument Men Revisited

Following up on a previous post.

A commenter has led me to additional information on the subject, as well as the recognition of claims resolution registrys. And art history blogs by M and Nicole.

Author Edsel's site: Monuments Men

Blog on the subject of Illicit Cultural Property.

38 Years After

Here is one of my favorite songs, ever.

I had occasion to find it as I searched for something to put up on my Fantasy Football league's home page. You see, I took the honors for high score this week and posting a video of my choice is all the thanks I get. Seriously, great league with a bunch of good guys; and this is a great song. The irony I have always seen in it is explained well by the following comment left below the YouTube presentation.

Possibly the only politically conservative song ever produced in this genre. It's power lies in its honesty and cynicism. That lead guitar and drums don't hurt none either.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Name That Lie

Arnold Kling invites us to find the "lie" in Obama's health care promises. And, then concludes that the biggest lie is that Obama actually has a plan.

If you are going to repeatedly refer to "my plan" or "this plan" or "the plan I'm proposing," then unless you have a plan you are lying. The only question is whether it is a little lie or a big one. Obviously, most people think it is only a small lie, or the President would have been called out on it. However, I think that health care policy is an area where there is too much temptation to promise results that are economically impossible to achieve. In that context, my opinion is that giving a speech in favor of a nonexistent plan is a really big lie.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Boob Czar

Nice. Can hardly wait for the music video.

The Barack Show Jumps The Shark

Desperate for ratings.

Viewers were promised in Barack Obama the easy cool of Denzel Washington, the sincerity of Tom Hanks and the heart of Oprah. Instead, they see on their screens Al Bundy with a tan, pecs, and Harvard Law degree, the first jump-the-shark president.

Blondes Make Me Dumb

No news here.

One More Thing

I cracked up a friend last night when I told him that I had considered buying a starter guitar but decided against the purchase when I remembered that, among other things, I have a stack of books I've never opened. The line that had Matthewski rolling with laughter went something like this; "I have a stack of books this high (hand hovers above counter about a foot) I've never read, I decided that I didn't need one more thing I wasn't going to do".

Friday, September 11, 2009

On JFK's Famous Quote, Ask What It Means

If memory serves, it went this way;

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Until last night I had always believed that President Kennedy had made a plea for the American people to be self-reliant and free from a lazy dependence on our government for their every means of support. But, a discussion with a friend has me re-thinking that quote. The first part, "ask not" certainly does fit my interpretation, but the second part can be seen as, if not contradictory to the first, thematically separate from the first. A mix of apples and oranges, if you will.

"...., ask what you can do for your country"; my friend Mike makes the point that this line is a call to Progressive ideals dating to the 1930's. Basically, as he put it, it reflects the political sentiments of people who want an elite to run the country while the masses support the elite's agenda.

I have always wanted to believe that President JFK was reminding us that we have a duty to contribute to our self-government by getting involved and doing whatever we see fit to help this great nation survive. My earliest impressions saw this effort as a selfless, even altruistic contribution.

But, time and experience have shown me that my first responsibility will always be to myself. After I have assured my own well-being, only then do I have time and energy to give to charity. This philosophy is not incompatible with good citizenship, for, by taking care of myself (myself is a broad term in this sense and includes one's loved ones, dependents and responsibilities, as taking care of such is moral), I am making the entire union stronger. Any structure is only as strong as the weakest member.

Mike has me thinking. I will research more to see if his theory holds water. But first, I think I will open my copy of Ayn Rand's The Virtue Of Selfishness and see what she says about this area of life. I am going to resolve this mystery, for me, and that will make me stronger, and that will be good for the country too.

How Did I Not Know About This?

International Bacon Day. September 5, and I did'nt know.

I favor the theory that there are only three food groups, bacon, gravy, and everything else. Now I must mark my calender, and then make a BLT.

Bon Apetit to Al Dente.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A nickname for Greeley, Colorado. According to the authors at Urban Dictionary the town has been ruined by illegal immigration. I remember it from living there in the early 1970's. Then it was a quaint farming town where people still cruised the town square on Friday nights. Things change. I was back there about this time last year, just stopped for dinner on my way up to Estes Park. At night it was hard to see exactly what it looks like now, but I was able to walk around downtown, get a good meal and go on my way without any trouble.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Listening To A Liar - Thomas Sowell Essay

The most important thing about what anyone says are not the words themselves but the credibility of the person who says them.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Anne's Book

This past January/February I fulfilled a long dreamed of quest and completed the ninety-nine mile Wilderness Waterway (click "view map" to see location) in a canoe. I was once asked what I treasure most about that experience. I surprised myself and my interviewer by responding, the people I met. It surprised me because I am not known to be gregarious. It surprised the other fellow because I was describing a place devoid of development and in his mind people. But there were others out there too, fellow adventurers, fellow admirers of that natural wonder that is the Everglades.

My favorite night of the trip was the one which I shared with Holly and Anne, (pictured right), two lovely ladies who were coupling their joy for that environment with their passion to write a book about the Waterway. I am still awaiting news of that book's publication. I am also awaiting the season when the bugs allow me to return to the WW. In the meantime I am contenting myself reading Anne's poems in Ecology II. I'll share one stanza from her poem, The Drydown, to entice you to read more.

In sawgrass and marl the gator swings his tail, thrashes out
a damp domain
where birds, raccoon and Panther come. He is lord of the truce
and its inevitable breach.


The Link

Funny thing happened on the way to mankind.

Ellie (Elizabeth)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Yarmuth Wastes 1997 Characters, Obama Set To Follow Suit

I don't know.”

Those were the only words that Rep. John Yarmuth needed to use in his elaboration published in today's online version of the Courier-Journal. If, as surely it must, the same response appeared in the paper version then it was a waste of resources, a very un-green compilation of blather.

Yarmuth resorted to the same old tired strategies; blame, blame blame. Our current President is poised to present, before a gathering of both houses of Congress, yet another attempt to sell insurance to the people. He will no doubt employ the same tactics within that echo chamber.

The One will certainly find time to demonize those who came before, as if his job is to find fault when he should be finding solutions. His pattern has been to present broad generalities without the requisite details a conscientious person needs in order to determine value. And, he will not tackle the tough issues point for point that actually contribute to increased costs for health care.

Tort reform, get fear out of the operating room so that the staff can concentrate of doing their best. Portability, allow the insured to carry their coverage with them as they change jobs. Competition, permit insurers to bid for clients across state lines. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Those caught within the grasp of the current health care affairs understand the limitations without need for me to recite them. And, truly, nothing will improve with a top-down approach to reform. Every move made to further empower the consumer's choice is the only solution that will yield lasting results. And, it is the preferred way to keep the process free.

If the Congress was required to utilize the same system as us lesser being are mandated into, then they would have the proper incentive to make sure works at its optimum. With that in mind, when President O steps before the microphone on Tuesday he needs use only a hand full of minutes to make it clear to the self-styled elites in Washington that they must be included, and they need to address the situation from a consumer's standpoint.

Polls, indicate that up to 80% of consumers are happy with their current coverage, though a lesser number are happy with the cost, (but then who among us is happy with the cost of anything). So, it is not reasonable to destroy what we have, tweak it, adjust at the edges, but to throw it away for an untried method is crazy. Doctors are against the proposed change, and they dislike it because they fear it will limit their ability to serve their patients. And that, care, is the bottom line. Each of our concern for health care is self-serving which creates the normal investment in its proper delivery. Obama can get off the stage in short order if he has the balls to simply tell Congress to get themselves within the program the rest of us must navigate. The rest will take care of itself, it will be in the best interests of the politicians to see that it works at its optimum.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009