"There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters." Daniel Webster

Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Bacevich

Here's a review of his book The Limits of Power from the Washington Post. Again, I don't think I'd agree with everything in the book (which is on my to-read list), but from his previous work, I think he'd make a better national security adviser or secretary of state than anyone we can expect either Barack Obama or John McCain to nominate.

Is the McCain Campaign Being Run By the Producers of Who's the Boss?

Former beauty queen becomes governor and her ruggedly handsome (seriously have you seen this guy?) husband quits his blue-collar job at the oil refinery to become a stay-at-home dad to their impossibly cute kids. But he still has time for plenty of hunting, fishing and endurance racing.

And in the second season opener, she gets picked as her party's nominee for vice president and the family has to prepare for possibly moving away from their idyllic Alaskan home to Washington.

Who writes this stuff?

How long before a drunken Russian diplomat grabs her rear at some state dinner and hubby causes an international incident by punching him out?

11-Year-Old Has Some Useful Skills

Seriously. I wish I'd been able to do this when I was her age.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Growth of the Empire

Interesting, and sad, map from Mother Jones showing U.S. military bases and troop numbers overseas.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Meat Is Murder - Tasty, Tasty Murder

Great piece on underground restaurants.

The End of American Exceptionalism

That's the subtitle of Col. Andrew Bacevich's new book The Limits of Power. Bacevich is famously a conservative who grew exasperated with the Bush administration's foreign policy blunders.

The book is getting a lot of good publicity.

I don't think I'd agree with everything in it. But it sounds provocative:

Here's Bacevich in an interview with The Nation:

"I call myself an Obama-con, Bacevich says, "a conservative who will vote for Obama – because of the Iraq war. He has vowed that he will end the war and withdraw US combat forces. If he does that, it will render a verdict on the Iraq war: that it was a mistake and a failure. That verdict might open up the possibility for a debate about the fundamentals of US foreign policy. If McCain gets elected, the chances of us having that debate are close to zero."
We shouldn't blame George Bush for the underlying assumptions of the global war on terror, Bacevich argues. "Really it was Bill Clinton who more than anybody else made armed intervention a routine aspect of American political life. Yes, George Hebert Walker Bush started the ball rolling with the overthrow of Noriega in Panama followed by Desert Storm followed by the intervention in Somalia. But Clinton picked up the baton in Somalia; Clinton went into Haiti; Clinton went into Bosnia, Clinton went into Kosovo, Clinton pummeled Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan with bombs and missiles. So there's blame to be shared by both parties."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things Aren't Getting Worse

Over at the Cato Institute's blog, Dan Griswold parses the latest Census Bureau numbers on income and poverty.

The numbers are good. But one, in particular, is very good:

The share of households earning a middle-class income of between $35,000 and $100,000 in real 2007 dollars has indeed shrunk slightly compared to a decade ago, but so too has the share earning less than $35,000 a year, while the share earning more than $100,000 continues to rise. The middle class is not shrinking; it is moving up.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back from Schroeders

Had a great time at trivia tonight. The guy who does the game there has good questions and keeps things moving along well. It didn't hurt that we won for the first time since we've been playing there.

From my perspective, the only real downside is that I work most Monday nights and can't make it. That was, among other reasons, why Hooters trivia was great. It took place on Thursday, and I rarely have to work Thursday nights.

Seriously, how do you lose money running a Hooters?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bye Bye, Love

Nashville drummer Buddy Harman has passed away.

You may not know his name, but you are almost certainly familiar with his work. He played on countless classic country and pop songs, working with everyone from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash to the Everly Brothers to Simon and Garfunkel. He even played bass on one of Ringo Starr's albums. According to the linked obit, he played on 18,000 records. That surely puts him up there with another legendary session drummer, Los Angeles's Hal Blaine, for the largest number of recordings by any musician.

Harman was also the house drummer for the Grand Ole Opry.

Friday, August 22, 2008

RIP Roughhouse Fargo

Jackie Fargo was the king of Tennessee wrestling, but when Jackie would really get into trouble, maybe a couple of times a year, he'd say he was going to the insane asylum get his brother Roughhouse.

Jackie insisted his brother was a guard there, but the bad guys would insist he was an inmate and called him "Nuthouse." He acted the part - wandering around the arena, sitting in people's laps, hitting the referee. But the crowd loved his act, and he and Jackie always prevailed.

When Jim Crockett promotions took over the wrestling on TBS, I was surprised to find that Roughhouse was actually a referee in that Carolina-based promotion called Sonny Fargo.

Roughhouse passed away recently.

But I'm happy to see that brother Jackie is still alive. I'm also happy to learn that Jackie (real name Henry Faggart) refused to expose the business, even in his brother's obituary.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Alabama Tells Lardasses to Shape Up

Well, those lardasses that work for it. If they don't they have to pay $25 a month starting next year for health insurance.

No News Is No News

Seriously, how do you lose money running a Hooters?

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Solution to the Housing Downturn?

More immigration. Wasn't it Milton Friedman who said of New York City in the 1970s that there was nothing wrong with it that 1 million Chinese couldn't fix?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Major Problem?

The U.S. Army has a shortage of thousands of majors. There's a bright side to this if you are a captain. It means you are virtually guaranteed a promotion.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Resaca Groundbreaking Set for Oct. 22

The state has been plans for the Resaca battlefield, and the visitor's center is just one part of it.

Black Tuesday

I somehow overlooked the three-month anniversary of Hooters of Rome's ignominous end.

Seriously, how does one lose money running a Hooter's?

Segregation in Dalton

Last week, The Daily Citizen had one man's memories of growing up in the segregated South. Today, The New York Times reminds of a time some 70 years ago when Dalton made national headlines because of the impact segregation had on one woman.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

RIP Isaac Hayes

He's probably best know today for his role as Chef on South Park, which wouldn't be too bad except for the ugly way it ended because of his involvement with Scientology. Some will also recall him writing the theme song to "Shaft," which, again, is cool.

But his involvement in writing, producing and playing on dozens of the greatest R&B songs of the 1960s shouldn't be forgotten. Nor should his own, non-Shaft, solo work from the 1960s and 1970s.

Here is a little to remmeber him by.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Summerville ME's Office to Be Closed

The state is closing the medical examiner's office because of budget concerns. The state has something like a $21.1 billion budget but it always seems strapped for cash.

See You at the Railroad Rally?

It's today in Dalton. Remember it's "Neutral territory," so "no weapons."

Are Undocumented Workers Returning Home?

Nationwide, the answer seems to be yes. In the Dalton area, it's not clear. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest some have left. But we don't have any real numbers. The best we can do is wait for the local schools to compile their five-, 10-, and 15-day counts of students and see where they stand.

But if illegal immigrants are leaving, why? Is it the economic downturn and lack of jobs? Is it increased enforcement. Nativists say it's the former and point to a Center for Immigration Studies report.

But Kerry Howley and the Immigration Policy Center are skeptical.

RIP Bernie Mac

I didn't care much for his standup. But his TV show was very funny.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Whiskey for Toby Keith, Pot for Willie Nelson

Jesse Walker weighs in on the Is Toby Keith a racist? "controversy." He and Jason Zengerle get it right. I'm not a big Keith fan, and I certainly don't know the man or his private thoughts about race. But there's absolutely nothing in his music that tells anything about those beliefs.

The Dalai Lama and the Green Beret

An Army Special Forces officer and professor of social sciences at the United States Military Academy has taken a group of students to India to meet the Tibetan government in exile. His blog about the trip is pretty interesting.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Could We Be Getting Some VW Spinoffs?

The Northwest Georgia Development Authority - which represents Chattooga, Dade, Walker and Catoosa counties - seems to be getting out front in trying to attract some of the spinoff businesses from Chattanooga's recently announced Volkswagen plant.

Memories of Hooters of Rome

It has been almost three months since Hooters got evicted, and it looks like it isn't coming back. I found this video on YouTube, the only reminder we have of what once was. Seriously, how do you lose money running a Hooters?