February 22, 2014
Best of Krauthammer
March 27, 2012
"Joy Unrestrained" - A New Home on the Heights
100 years ago, my grandfather wasn't just the happiest man in Cleveland. To hear him tell it, he was the happiest man on earth. Winning a new house the same week he becomes a father for the first time can do that for a man.
That's him in the front yard, pointing to the new bungalow he had just won as first prize in a local newspaper contest. He was grateful for his good fortune, but then again, they say luck is where preparedness and opportunity meet.
In June of 1912, Albert D. ("Bert") Wismar was a married 29-year old, and the proud father of a newborn baby girl. He worked as an accountant at the Struthers Furnace company in their downtown Cleveland offices. By all accounts, Wismar was a hard worker, and he and his wife Sadie tried to save all they could, with an eye toward eventually buying a home of their own.
Wismar had moved to Cleveland from the family farm near Bowling Green, Ohio. The small town of Custar was the location his grandfather had chosen to buy land when he came to America from Germany in 1866. Bert's dad Fred was a teenager when the family arrived from the old country to farm in Ohio, and Bert was the fifth of Fred's ten children.
Uphill Both Ways
Bert was the only one of Fred Wismar's kids to pursue higher education, and to do it he had to regularly bicycle the 80 miles from Custar to Tri-State University in Angola, Indiana for his teacher training. After working as a teacher in Wood County for a couple years, Bert came to the big city around the turn of the century, and took up accounting, eventually working his way into a lead accounting position with the furnace company.
The family shared a double house on Preston Rd. in East Cleveland, but the baby meant they needed more room, and the couple talked often of their dream house, maybe even one "on the Heights". In what spare time he did have, Wismar was an avid participant in contests of all sorts. He and an uncle in Detroit engaged in a friendly competition, taking each other on in ventures like the "booklovers' contest" sponsored that year by The Cleveland News.Continue reading ""Joy Unrestrained" - A New Home on the Heights"
June 12, 2011
The Tressel File
Since I started covering OSU sports for TheClevelandFan.com more than three years ago, writing about the Buckeyes (and pretty much all sports) on the blog has dried up almost completely. Once you crank out a couple thousand words about a game...or about a scandal...over there...and say anything else that's left to say at the TCF message boards...the urge to say what you think is pretty much sated.
Genuinely curious and sincere friends and acquaintances of mine who know I cover the Buckeyes will ask what I think about the ongoing turmoil in Columbus, and I always have to resist the urge to say "go read the 12,000 words I've written about it over the last three months and then if you still have any questions, come talk to me". And that's mostly because I can't do justice to the issue in a 2-minute conversation, (even though I suspect what they want is the 2-minute version)
What I've been missing to this point is one link I can send to people who really want to read what I've written on the subject without sifting through links at my TCF archive to find what they want...and now I'll have one. Here's a summary of my related TCF articles since December when the players' violations were disclosed...most recent first...
(Updated 6/18) - Buckeye Leaves - 6/18 - How heavy will The Hammer be when it finally falls on OSU?
Buckeye Leaves - 6/11/11 - Fickell in, Pryor gone, and questions about who'll be coaching the offense.
OSU: Reaching For the Bottom - 6/4/11 - Tressel resigns and OSU fans wait to bottom out.
Buckeye Leaves - 5/28/11 - on the undisguised glee of the national media, and my errant prediction, two days before the resignation, that Tressel will fight on.
The Tainting of Tressel - 3/10/11 - my first article following the OSU press conference...contains links at the end to other reaction from various writers and pundits.
Sugar Bowl Preview - 1/4/11 - first coverage of the Tat5 player suspensions.
I'm feeling the urge to fire up this blog after keeping it in cyber-mothballs for about nine months. That's far and away the longest stretch of inactivity in its eight-year existence, and it's explainable by some combination of the laws of motion (once at rest, it tends to stay at rest), procrastination, laziness, Twitter-addiction, and perhaps frustration with writing it for no one. In any event, I'm going to get back to it as an outlet for taking note of things I find important, funny, outrageous or interesting. Feel free to join in with the spambots in the comments if you like.
December 6, 2010
The Fall of Bobby Lowder
...and counting. We assume what we're experiencing is a Twitter-lanche.
UPDATE 12/9: Allen Barra quotes yours truly, and plugs TCF in his Wall Street Journal article today. My fifteen minutes counting down....
A week after the original article, I address the feedback: Reaction on Lowder and Auburn
Another follow-up piece: Auburn Revisited - 2/20/11
5/16/11 - Lowder Withdraws at Auburn
September 21, 2010
Nobody Wants To Hear About It
(...and what better place for nobody to hear about it than right here at this blog....)
The above link is to the transcript of a truly moving speech given by Emma Thompson in New York this June on the ongoing global catastrophe that is human sex-trafficking. Longish, but hard to excerpt....please do RTWT.
September 5, 2010
Remembering the Good Times
Iowahawk - Barack, Can We Talk?
Barack, can we, uh, talk for a few minutes?
Oh, nothing. It's just that it just seems we haven't had a chance to talk for a while. I mean, I know we've both been busy for the past year or so. You with your fundraisers and golfing and stuff, and me with all those appointments at the unemployment office. But you know I think it's important in a relationship like ours to keep the lines of communication open.
So anyway, I've been think that... look, this is really hard. God. Do you remember when we met at that big party in Denver back in 08? I mean when I saw you across that crowded convention floor, it was like, Oh My God. I don't think I ever saw anything like you before. I was on the rebound from a bad relationship and you were so tall and articulate and, well hot. And then I couldn't believe that of all the democracies in the room you picked me out.!
Read it all...but remember...nostalgia is not what it used to be.
August 23, 2010
From the New York Times editorial on the investigation of Tom Delay:
Mr. DeLay, the Texas Republican who had been the House majority leader, crowed that he had been "found innocent." But many of Mr. DeLay's actions remain legal only because lawmakers have chosen not to criminalize them.
Had those lawmakers known in advance what actions Delay would take, they could have passed laws criminalizing them. Think ahead a little bit next time, Democrats.
By the same logic, the New York Times editorialists are not in the dock only because "criminal stupidity" is a figure of speech and not an actual law.
July 19, 2010
Covering Their Fannie
Jim Geraghty, from Friday's Morning Jolt newsletter...
The fundamental problem with the [financial reform] legislation is that it doesn't address...the underlying problems with the mortgage market. It was the mortgage bubble, instigated by liberal social justice demands placed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which caused the crisis, not a failure of securities rules and regulations. No mortgage market problems, no mortgage-backed securities problems; no mortgage-backed securities problems, no financial crisis. One of the greatest scams ever is the success of Democrats in distancing their mortgage policies from the financial crisis, and portraying the crisis as simply a matter of Wall Street greed and lack of regulation. . . . Reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac never is going to happen unless Democrats have no other choice. Not at least as long as Barack Obama is President or Democrats control all or part of Congress. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are off limits for Democrats, just as they were when the Bush administration warned of problems.
This was not a problem caused exclusively by one political party, but the ""mess we inherited" rhetoric by the White House necessitates reminding people that the Bush administration did warn of problems...and they did propose reforms...which were shot down and the need for them dismissed by Sens. Frank and Dodd...and as you can see here...
UPDATE 8/23: With an election looming, Barney Frank sees the light.
UPDATE 8/24: The Obama administration fesses up about who their HAMP program was designed to help.
In the course of dismissing Mitt Romney as a viable GOP candidate for 2012, Dr. Zero articulates nicely my biggest concern about Republicans retaking political power...that they won't have the political courage to do what needs to be done...
This election will not be fought over the fine details of a few specific pieces of legislation. It will not be a contest to find someone who can escort an unpopular Barack Obama from the White House, then trot back inside and continue shoveling trillions of dollars into the deficit furnace. We donâ€™t need a national CPA to provide a lecture on deficit reduction during his inauguration, then return for a State of the Union speech in which he explains spending cuts are pretty much impossible, while forklifts roll in with massive new tax packages. We have no use for someone who thinks ObamaCare is an awesome machine that just needs a new transmission and some mag wheels to reach its potential.
We are about to conduct an election about the very philosophy of our government. It is our last chance to avoid the Great Crash which Obama has brought to our doorstepsâ€¦ but which would have lurked twenty or thirty years in the future even without him. The Obama presidency has begun a fundamental transformation of the relationship between Americans and their government. The groundwork for this transformation was laid over many years, by politicians from both parties. Government bloat has accumulated for decades. The State isnâ€™t really changing all that much under Barack Obama. Itâ€™s working to change us.
To reverse this process, we must reach farther back than the administrations of George Bush or Bill Clinton. We are being crushed by engines of regulation, taxation, and corruption that were designed in the first decades of the last century. Weâ€™re approaching the end of the story that began during the New Deal. It wonâ€™t be good enough to merely rewind the tape a few years. Even such a half-hearted measure, simply returning us to where George Bush left us, would be the most spectacular reduction of State power in our entire historyâ€¦ and it wouldnâ€™t be good enough.
July 17, 2010
Horowitz on Hitchens - Hitch on Hewitt
David Horowitz reviews the new Christopher Hitchens memoir Hitch 22, in a two-part essay at NRO, and it's a must for admirers of either or both men. David says his friend Hitch hasn't really left the Left, and shows how Hitchens' loyalty to his Marxist revolutionary influences is hopelessly at odds with his proud Orwellian anti-totalitarianism. The result is "a moral incoherence" that is navigated by Hitchens in the book by omission of inconvenient facts.
Hitchens' apostasy from the Left wasn't nearly the abrupt and devastating "crucible of despair" endured and described by Horowitz, but David's message that "you can't have it both ways" is hammered home in countless examples for Hitchens. The larger point made by Horowitz is to show how powerful is the seductive appeal of the utopian fantasy...that such a lover of freedom as Christopher Hitchens cannot and has not rid himself of it. Pack a lunch.
Also a very worthwhile read is this transcript of Hugh Hewitt's conversation with Hitchens last week. Another long one, but not to be missed by Hitch fans.
Here's the link to the Hitchens memoir. And here's to his successful treatment and speedy recovery.
July 11, 2010
He Calls It Community Organizing
It'll be interesting to see how the Democrats handle this issue in 2012. Pass the popcorn.
July 9, 2010
Post-decision thoughts by Simmons and his readers. Among them...
It's one thing to leave. I get it. You're 25. You don't know any better. You're tired of carrying mediocre teams. You want help. You want the luxury of not having to play a remarkable game every single night for eight straight months. You want to live in South Beach. You want to play with your buddies. I get it. I get it. But turning that decision into a one-hour special, pretending that it hadn't been decided weeks ago, using a charity as your cover-up and ramming a pitchfork in Cleveland's back like you were at the end of a Friday the 13th movie and Cleveland was Jason ... there just had to be a better way.
We are already fools for caring about athletes considerably more than they care about us. We know this, and we do it anyway. We just like sports. We keep watching for moments like Donovan's goal against Algeria, and we keep caring through thick and thin for moments like Roberts' Steal and Tracy Porter's interception. We put up with all the sobering stuff because that's the price you pay -- for every Gordon Hayward half-court shot, or USA-Canada gold-medal game, there are 20 Michael Vicks and Ben Roethlisbergers. Last night didn't make me like sports any less -- my guard has been up since 1996 -- it just reinforced all the things I already didn't like.
Well said. It didn't really help to have the Cavs owner respond immediately, sounding like a sixth-grader. ("The curse" moves to Florida? Really?) As much as some of his lines have generated applause in town, I'm thinking he really should have slept on it before penning his response.
The other thing that strikes me is that the NBA's reputation for being well-run by David Stern is in serious jeopardy. I suspect Stern will fine Gilbert for his outburst, and probably act to get his arms back around a system that used to require things like contracts being in place before players announced where they were going to play. There's a real sense now that the inmates are running the asylum, and Stern will have to act decisively to reassert control.
Meanwhile, I can go back to treating the NBA like I treated it before LeBron came to the Cavs....as my least favorite pro sport, and one where I'm too disinterested to ever watch a game start-to-finish until the Finals...maybe.
UPDATE: A pretty good column by Adrian Wojnarowski.
July 8, 2010
Simmons on LeBron
Reading Bill Simmons, five hours before LeBron announces, with his 23 thoughts on "The Decision". Let's face it. He's the best... Read it all, but here's a large slice of it...
19. I always thought the goal was winning rings. That's what Russell, Bird, Magic and Jordan taught us. That's what I grew up believing. But sports are different now. You're a brand as much as an athlete. In the past 72 hours, with the suspense building for his announcement, LeBron created a Twitter account, launched his own website and agreed with ESPN on a one-hour live selection show that, incredibly, was the exact same idea that a Columbus reader named Drew had in my Thanksgiving '09 mailbag â€¦ but I thought he was kidding. Now I think he's Nostradamus. Or even Nostradamu-SAS.
Drew from Columbus looked into the future, and here's what he saw: A world in which it was totally conceivable that an NBA superstar would sell an hour-long show in which he picked his next team and tainted his legacy in the process. I played along and pushed a "Bachelor"-type setup ("The LeBrachelor!") in which LeBron whittled 29 teams down to six, then four, then two, then one over the course of six episodes. Hell, have him hand out roses. Why not? It's not like this would actually happen, right?
20. Seven months later, it's happening. I can't wait to watch for the same reasons I couldn't turn away from O.J.'s Bronco chase or the Artest melee: it's Car Wreck Television. If LeBron picks anyone other than the Cavaliers, it will be the cruelest television moment since David Chase ended "The Sopranos" by making everyone think they lost power. Cleveland fans will never forgive LeBron, nor should they. He knows better than anyone what kind of sports anguish they have suffered over the years. Losing LeBron on a contrived one-hour show would be worse than Byner's fumble, Jose Mesa, the Game 5 meltdown against Boston, The Drive, The Shot and everything else. At least those stomach-punch moments weren't preordained, unless you believe God hates Cleveland (entirely possible, by the way). This stomach-punch moment? Calculated. By a local kid they loved, defended and revered.
It would be unforgivable. Repeat: unforgivable. I don't have a dog in this race -- as a Celtics fan, I wanted to see him go anywhere but Chicago -- but LeBron doing this show after what happened in the 2010 playoffs actually turned me against him. No small feat. I was one of his biggest defenders. Not anymore.
And here's where I really worry, because I don't think LeBron James has anyone in his life with enough juice to hurl his or her body in front of the concept of "I'm going to announce during a one-hour live show that I'm playing somewhere other than Cleveland." It's the best and worst thing about him -- he has remained fiercely loyal to his high school friends, but at the same time, he's surrounded by people his own age who don't stand up to him and don't know any better. Picking anyone other than Cleveland on this show would be the meanest thing any athlete has ever done to a city. But he might. Assuming he's not malicious, and that he's just a self-absorbed kid who apparently lost all perspective, that doesn't make him much different than most child stars who became famous before they could legally drink -- or, for that matter, Tiger Woods. That's just the way this stuff works. Too much, too fast, too soon. You don't lose your way all at once; just a little at a time. Then one day you look up and there's a TMZ photo spread with 15 of your mistresses, or you're agreeing to stab an entire city in the heart on a one-hour television show.
June 23, 2010
Scott Need Not Apply to CBC
Charleston, South Carolina, was the cradle of the Confederacy. And come next January, barring unforeseen developments, it and the rest of the 1st District will have a black Congressman for the first time since Reconstruction. Tim Scott defeated Paul Thurmond for the Republican nomination last night, and the district has been a safe Republican seat since 1981. It wasnâ€™t even close, with Scott trouncing Strom Thurmondâ€™s son by 61 to 39 percent.
That a black man could beat the son of the legendary segregationist so badly in a district where the Civil War began â€” the district where Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter in April 1861 â€” is a measure of just how much the South has changed in the last 50 years, and the countryâ€™s politics and race relations along with it.
But assuming Scott is elected, he neednâ€™t apply for membership in the Congressional Black Caucus, of course. Itâ€™s a measure of how little the left in American politics has changed in the last 50 years that the Black Caucus â€” devoted to race-based politics and victimology â€” admits only liberal Democratic members.
To be fair, it has been a while since there was such a thing as a black Republican Congressman for the Black Caucus to consider (J.C. Watts), and if elected, Scott will face the customary leftist smears of inauthenticity and Uncle Tomism endured by all blacks who stray from identity politics orthodoxy. If the past predicts the future, he will be called a "race traitor" and there will be no end to leftist attempts to marginalize and defame him.
May he have the courage and character to persevere until he is joined in Congress by many more black conservatives, and the poisonous and condescending idea that all blacks should be of one correct political persuasion is consigned to the scrap heap once and for all.
It is notable that Scott was endorsed by Sarah Palin, and won big in a majority white (66%) congressional district...all of which confounds and refutes the "Tea Partiers are racists" crowd...an inconvenient reality that they will doubtless ignore.
June 20, 2010
Weary of Last Year's Boy Band
Classic Steyn. Hilarious, right down to the new Hillary campaign slogan. (Yes, I'm in the Mark Steyn Fan Club...we have a secret handshake and everything)
Making it Personal: Barack:
American Al-Qaeda Operative Adam Gadahn Threatens More Anti-American Terror Attacks in a Personal Address to President Obama, and Concludes: Next Time We Might Not Show the Same Restraint and Self-control
I know that as you slither snakelike into the second year of your reign as a purported president of change, you are finding your hands full with running the affairs of a declining and besieged empire and â€“ in the process â€“ proving yourself to be nothing more than another treacherous, bloodthirsty and narrow-minded American war president, what with your overseeing of the hasty overhauling of Americaâ€™s compromised homeland security cordon, your brazen escalation of American aggression and interference in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, and your removal of our captive brothers from detention facilities scattered around the globe to Muslim-only concentration camps in Illinois, Bagram and elsewhere, all in the name of protecting the American people from the threat of Muslim retaliation for American crimes, or what you insist on calling the threat of al-Qaida and al-Qaida inspired terrorism.
Click above for the rest.
Quite a catch for Al Qaeda and their sponsors...this American-born America-hater Gadahn. A useful tool for the leadership, for sure... the best possible P.R. man to trot out the company line. Unfortunately, it also means he likely has access to the ways and means to complement his own zeal for terror attacks. It comforts me to know that we have many missiles with Adam Gadahn's name on them, and when he screws up, in Karachi or elsewhere, he'll be vaporized by the U.S. military as the enemy he is.
No one can deny that Barack Obama has been making war on al Qaeda and their Taliban counterparts, but as Michael Ledeen and Andy McCarthy repeatedly point out, the disconnect of those anti-terror policies from the direct sponsorship of the terrorist organizations by Iran's mullahs, continues to make our policy incoherent. Predator drones for al Qaeda, and engagement for Tehran...and of course the disconnect, if not the engagement policy, long predates Obama.
Because it is Iranian IED's killing our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is Iran-funded Hamas bombing Israel from Gaza. The Hezbollah that blew up our African embassies and sits on Israel's borders is an Iranian creation. Iran harbors Osama bin Laden. Could they mock us any more openly? Yet their fraudulently-elected President is permitted to fly here and speak at the United Nations. Excerpting Ledeen:
...from time to time a military leader will stand up and tell the press or the Congress about the ongoing attacks against American military personnel from the Islamic Republic of Iran. These are very short-lived episodes. Neither our journalists nor our elected representatives demand to know more, because they really do not want to know more. If they knew more, if they added up all these episodes over many years they would have to recognize the pattern, that is to say, the war that is being waged against us.
McCarthy was asking in 2006, as Bush was kicking the can down the road..."How many Americans do they need to kill before we get the point?" This administration is still counting...and to make it worse, they're disinclined to do much to help the Iranian democracy movement, even rhetorically, lest we risk irritating our negotiating partners.
We talk because talking is an end in itself for the diplomatic class. Iran talks...or doesn't...depending on the day...because they don't quite have their nukes yet.
June 15, 2010
Full text of Obama's speech on the Gulf oill spill.
I think quoting Olberman is unprecedented in this space, but his response immediately following the speech was apt..."it was a great speech if you've been on another planet the last 57 days".
Using the occasion to campaign for cap and trade energy taxation wasn't giving the people exactly what they wanted to hear either, I suspect, as McConnell says in the response (below)
The ever present strawmen were there...he's reforming an agency that operated on "a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility - a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves". Yep, that sounds like the Department of the Interior.
So the regulated shouldn't view their government regulators with hostility...but they shouldn't get too cozy with them either. Embrace your government overlords...just don't jump into bed with them. The relationship between government and the entities they regulate is too adversarial...and not adversarial enough. Got it.
I know of no one who thought the next step in cleaning up the Gulf mess should be an Obama speech....and I think turning it into a commercial for another huge tax increase was politically tone deaf and inappropriate. But hey...he's in the middle of the toughest year and a half of any year and a half since the 1930s, hadn't you heard?
Here's an excerpt from Sen. McConnell's response:
...day after day, as the oil continues to flow, what we hear about from the administration is how tough they plan to be with BP and now, apparently, how important it is that we institute a new tax that will raise energy costs for every single American but which will do nothing to plug the leak. Never has a mission statement fit an administration as perfectly as Rahm Emanuelâ€™s â€œnever allow a crisis to go to waste.â€ Climate change policy is important, but first things first.
Americans are saying two things at the moment: stop this spill and clean it up. So with all due respect to the White House, the wetlands of the Bayou, the beaches of the coast, and our waters in the Gulf are far more important than the status of the Democratsâ€™ legislative agenda in Washington. Americans want us to stop the oil spill first. And until this leak is plugged, theyâ€™re not in any mood to hand over even more power in the form of a new national energy tax to a government that, so far, hasnâ€™t lived up to their expectations in its response to this crisis.
June 13, 2010
Doctor Zero is still optimistic, because he rejects The Pillars of Apathy
I refuse to believe government programs launched in the Forties, Sixties, and Seventies are indestructible features of our lives, immune to repeal or reform. I donâ€™t believe a nation with a 234-year history of courage and industry is destined to suffocate in a shallow pool of nanny-state cement, poured only a few generations ago. It will be difficult for the American giant to rise againâ€¦ but history unfolds in the space between difficult and impossible.
There is no such thing as eternal legislation. Even the Constitution can be amended. Itâ€™s only a question of how much willpower it will take for us to cast aside the intolerable acts of our political class. We are descended from men who showed great vigor in resisting intolerable acts.
I reject the notion that politicians are universally corrupt and treacherous, leaving the voters with no meaningful power but to select the next batch of crooks to rob them blind. There are some men and women of true character and integrity in public offices throughout the land. There should be more of them. We should demand it. Throwing up our hands and accepting the notion that all of them are charlatans set the bar low enough for a useless â€œcommunity organizerâ€ with a shady past to stumble over it. Itâ€™s what got us trillion-dollar spending bills full of vague assumptions and lies, pushed by a government that has no serious plans beyond making itself larger. Itâ€™s how we ended up with a chief executive who only bothers to come into the office long enough to write himself a bigger budget, and looks honestly stunned when his country expects him to do something productive, or even take their side in an international debate.
June 12, 2010
Waiting in Line For Yourself
More Steyn...the guy is prolific.
Many Americans are beginning to pick up the strange vibe that, for Barack Obama, governing America is â€œan interesting sociological experiment,â€ too. He would doubtless agree that the United States is â€œthe place on earth that, if I needed one, I would call home.â€ But he doesnâ€™t, not really: It is hard to imagine Obama wandering along to watch a Memorial Day or Fourth of July parade until the job required him to. Thatâ€™s not to say heâ€™s un-American or anti-American, but merely that heâ€™s beyond all that. Way beyond. Heâ€™s the first president to give off the pronounced whiff that heâ€™s condescending to the job â€” that itâ€™s really too small for him and heâ€™s just killing time until something more commensurate with his stature comes along.