Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pimp My Recession 3 -Blogging By Numbers!!!

Busy week planning the wedding. I won't bore you with the details, lest you begin to think you're in one of those god-awful cookie cutter romantic comedies starring Julia Roberts, a wise cracking gay side-kick, and a neurotic wedding planner with a generic foreign accent who is constantly in a state of panic. No, it's going to be a small tasteful Catholic wedding.

Oh! Have you heard? It's Blogging By Numbers Time!!

1 - Claire and I went to a breakfast for volunteers today. The gathering was so large it had to be held at the Moncton Coliseum. What astonished me the most were the rows of tables, each indicating - by way of a raised placard - which community organization was being represented. Most of these organizations got their start with 2 or 3 people who saw a need in the community that begged to be met. No government committee had to be formed to commission a 3 year study to figure out how to best distribute the goods or services. Revenue Canada didn't have to go digging into anyone's wallet by way of taxes to pay for these services. All members and groups present volunteered their time to make these charities work with donations from the private sector. Unlike the government, needs are assessed quickly and services are delivered promptly. Hats off to everyone who volunteers by giving time or money.

2 - The left's recent outrage over the audacity of conservatives and libertarians to cut into their monopoly of the protest movement is almost becoming comic. The Founding Bloggers caught an enraged CNN reporter chastising the protesters, and questioning their knowledge of history. The confrontation that ensued quickly became an overnight sensation on Youtube. More about the the Tea Parties in an upcoming blog.

3 - It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!

4 - There's a great review of State of Play over on Robby Moeller's "Voice in the Wilderness" blog. He's a sharp guy, and a dear friend of this blog.

5 - Finally, our favourite blogger from Phoenix and a great personal friend Ace, weighs in on Pimp My Recession Part 3!

"As for anecdotal evidence of America's worsening depression, I would say the huge lines I see every time I enter a Costco, Target or Walmart are certainly indicative of the general decline. Everyone knows the downtrodden tend to load up on flat screen TVs, laptops, stereo equipment, and patio furniture en masse when they are one unemployment cheque away from foreclosure and certain starvation. It's counter intuitive, I know, but we needn’t look at any underlying buoyancy in the retail sales figures as evidence of stability or even recovery. The poor, desperate souls inhabiting America’s heartland are living a Dickensian capitalist nightmare, the likes of which can only be remedied by a massive infusion of government spending, crippling taxation of the evil rich, and spiritual inspiration from the great savior of our times: The ObaMessiah…"

Have a great weekend. Here's a little something to ease you into the end of the week.



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chest Puffing By Proxy!

The lovely Miss Claire made an interesting side-bar comment this morning while we were having a brain storming session on how frequent updates should be now that our readership has grown like pubis on the floor of Barney Frank's shower. We also tried to think of a few ways to increase readership. Two words - Midget Wrestling!! (nah, that was my idea.)

I wondered aloud how China, who intelligence officials claim abandoned an attempt to have Kim Jong Il assassinated a few years ago, could have let North Korea stray so far off of its leash. Claire opined that maybe China was measuring the mettle of President Obama by using North Korea. The thought of an international test of will by proxy chilled me a little. This is a brutal communist police state that can't even make safe baby food, and drives otherwise peaceful monks to set themselves ablaze like s'mores over a campfire.

Remember, this is a regime that we now know watched translated videos of the overthrow of Romania's former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu as an instructional guide on how to rid themselves of the drunken Kim Jong ( I think the folks who make those "Idiot's Guide" books may have thrown it together.). Using this bizarre incident as evidence, a reasonable person can draw only one of two conclusions:

A - China orchestrated this missile test to see how dovish American foreign policy has become.

B- China knew about North Korea's plans and tolerated this brazen act of aggression and perhaps even encouraged it towards the same aim mentioned above.

Only a careful dissection of intelligence can determine which scenario more closely resembles the truth - a "post-op analysis", as a dear late reader of this blog used to call it. If evidence suggests any complicity from Beijing, President Obama should demand that China reign in their delinquent despot, and crank up the heat on holding them accountable for human rights abuses.

As Rich Lowry recently pointed out, the Somali pirate incident should serve as a helpful tutorial to President Obama on the "indispensability of American power", not it's limits. The President toured Europe, hat in hand, asking for help in Afghanistan, and was politely told to get bent. It dishonours, not emboldens, America's standing in the world when the US goes begging to a bunch of European has-been nations who are too busy quibbling over the acceptable circumference of fruit to be of any use to anybody. The EU is just a giant Monopoly game being played by errant children.

Anyway, a big welcome to all of our new readers and the kind comments that have poured in from Italy to Nova Scotia to New York. We owe this to the confidence of our friend Jonah Goldberg, and I hope we don't disappoint!

On deck for the weekend, Blogging by Numbers and Pimp My Recession Part Three! Here's our favourite song siren, Regina Spektor, to get you through the day!



Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pirates Ahoy!! Our Readers Weigh In!!

I know, Somali pirates are probably a far cry from the swashbuckling privateers we've come to romanticize in the movies, as the media seems to be in constant need of reminding us. Like I really believe that there still are wooden ships captained by cockney, one-eyed, eye patched captains afloat on the seven seas. I'm sure there's still lots of Rum, Sodomy and The Lash that goes on with these Somali thieves, but any swashbuckling is most likely done by a 14 year old armed with a machete or semi-automatic weapon of some sort - and I doubt the kid has too many snappy one-liners to charm the ladies with.
Over on the corner on NRO, mention was made of an old provision in the Constitution called "Letters of Marque". Quoting a paper published by some wonks over at the CEI;

"The letters, specifically authorized in the Article 1 section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, allow private parties to attack and seize the property of other parties that have committed violations of international law. Congress has the power to grant the letters called 'letters of marque'."

Sounds nice, but as one reader noted, problematic;

"...letters of Marque were outlawed by a treaty quite a long time ago. Secondly, I have never heard of any criminal that was stopped by slapping him upside the head with a letter."

Another reader - a former navy man - points out that a provision in Naval Law won't help much either ;

"There is a provision in Naval Law that allows for the making of one whole by the seizure of property of the offender - which must be no more nor less than the damages suffered . Not too much hope there seeing as Somalia doesn't have any real government and first we'd have to prove they had anything to do with it.
Also, what damages were suffered? In this case that is pretty hard to assess."

As we go to print (isn't that a quaint term?) the Captain of the American vessel is still being held captive by the Somali pirates.

The return of weak-kneed American diplomacy abroad has led to this problem. Emboldened by the thought of a punishment no more severe than a conference room in some snooty European hotel to explain what ancient piece of American foreign policy forced them to resort to such action, terrorists, criminals, jay-walkers, squeegee dudes, and yes, even freakin' pirates feel free to run amok with no fear of reprisal.

My favorite response came from a reader who was perplexed at what the big problem was;

" A few well armed trained men aboard the ships would do a great deal to destroy the pirates revenue base. Keeping a few F-22 Raptors, or some such thing, in the air over the Gulf of Aden might prove an even better solution. At mach 2 nothing in the general area is all that far away, and high enough the planes aren't even visible. Nothing would necessarily be more than a few minutes away from air support and a short burst of 20mm fire would likely send what ever was left of a pirate boat to either the beach or the bottom very quickly. For that matter a couple of US 688 subs with Tomahawk missiles. Surface in the midst of a piracy attempt and let the pirates get away. Track that boat back to its mother ship, track the mothership back to port, erase the port."

I am proud to say that we at the Straight Hype (all three of us - thanks Claire and Paul!) have just about the smartest readership in the world...and as some of you may have noticed - I'm not the only one who thinks so!



Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Joys of Jonah - Blogging by Numbers Time!!

Well hey there! Are you smart, ridiculously wealthy and physically fit? Do you have dashing super model good looks, the wit of Evelyn Waugh, the charm of Hugh Laurie, and the style of Grace Kelly? When you walk down the street do people sigh and whisper; "I wish I had me some of that!" If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may have a drinking problem - er, I mean you must be a reader of The Straight Hype!

You see, readers of the Straight Hype are the life of every party, and yes, even the very glue that holds society together. But did you know that there's even more to the Straight Hype? Now, I know what you're thinking - "There can't be. Stop with all this nonsense. How could there be more to something that's already perfect?" I am happy to tell you it's all true!! If you look at the upper right hand corner of the page, you'll notice an archive section where you can peruse through past blog posts, read timeless opinion pieces, and have that feeling that makes you say "Gee isn't this just Jim Dandy?" But hey! It's blogging by numbers time!!!

1 - Is there anyone out there better than the invaluable Jonah Goldberg? Not only did he write last year's no#1 political best seller, he's just about the savviest conservative-libertoid groove-meister out there. He is to my generation what Buckley was to the last - the smartest conservative voice in the political wilderness. May he continue to inform and entertain us for years to come.

2 - Lately I've received many comments from some newer readers who seem to think this blog is some kind of news organization, and are expressing their indignation at the lack of "neutrality". I don't know how these people can be so clueless. Perhaps it happens after you've consumed too many items off the floors of public washrooms.

James Bowman said that "the obsession with bias has led to the corruption of our political culture" and has even made political discourse almost silly. This is a conservative site with libertarian leanings. I am not a mouth piece for the GOP or any political party. We support conservative issues and ideals, and will continue to do so.

3 - Korea's equivalent of a drunken midget running with scissors continues to test the will of the international community, and President Obama is responding with a whimper. While the red glare of North Korea's missile test still blinds the eyes of the free world, President Obama is making subliminal apologies for Hiroshima in Prague. The President needs to speak with a clear and unwavering voice about the inherent dangers of the actions of Pyongyang. There is a time and a place to speak about non-proliferation, and that time and place is from a position of strength, not a weak-kneed U.S. foreign policy that seeks to appease rather than protect.

4 - Claire and I have chosen the florist. Do you hear the sound of a giant check mark clicking off another item on an endless list?

5 - Getting back to some of those new readers....I don't post comments that insult people of faith. Faith is something we've discussed maybe twice on this blog, and it's not the centrifuge that drives this site. I don't have patience for hateful anti-Semitic or anti-Christian diatribes. Disagreement is fine - vile ranting is not. I don't care if you don't like it.

6 - Have a good week, and instead of our usual video-pick of the week, here's Mr. Jonah "the G-man" Goldberg at his best!



Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pimp My Recession Part Deux!!

Oh, joy and wonders!! I received of box from Amazon this weekend with a gift for Claire - David McCullough's incredible biography on John Adams, and a treat for myself - David McCullough's new book "1776" (Both books were no#1 New York Times best sellers and winners of the Pulitzer prize at that!). American Revolutionary history...porn for conservatives!!!

The lovely Miss Claire and I went to our marriage prep course this weekend, which had more than it's share of pansy-ass progressives who were only there because they had to be. I don't know why people who have so many problems with the Catholic church stay. If you don't like the Pope and what he has to say, than maybe the Catholic church isn't the place for you. Why not join the United Church, or some other liberal religious outfit, rather than sit in condescension at the rest of us traditional Catholics? Why keep living with the fantasy that in a few years there's going to be a new Pope who's going to change Roman Catholic doctrine to reflect the wish list of the left? It's not going to happen. It's ok if the Catholic church doesn't fit with your liberalism, but would you keep going to McDonald's if you were a vegetarian, and keep complaining about all the beef they serve?

Anyway, hope you're enjoying your weekend. Here's the latest participant in our new feature, "Pimp My Recession", Mr. J.B. from Missouri.

Joe, I live in Missouri, metro Kansas City. I work for Ford Motor Company as an electrician and have been there for 21 years, prior to that I worked for General Motors. My degrees are in psychology, sociology and anthropology. I tend toward conservatism but only from a libertarian perspective. I am a Marine combat veteran of Vietnam and took an oath that has no expiration (to the Constitution). Times have been better economically than they are today, things aren't yet as bad as they were during the Carter Regime however. The current Occupant of the White House appears to be patterning himself after Benito Mussolini (look at the poses) with the failed programs of Franklin Roosevelt for economic guidance. Frankly he scares the hell out of me. I took my wife and sister to Cracker Barrel tonight--the place was packed. The parking lot of the Outback Steak House nearby was quite full as well.

Thanks JB. I'm assuming the Cracker Barrel is a restaurant. In Canada, Cracker Barrel is a brand of delicious cheddar cheese. Mmmmmm cheese.