Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Evening Links

Some stories I've run across today:

From the Washington Post, the UN General Assembly has decided to recognize the "state" of Palestine.

Business Insider wonders why the US is building a $100M underground complex near Tel-Aviv.

In Breitbart's Big Government, John Nolte tells the Republicans to go ahead and take us over the fiscal cliff.

From the Weekly Standard, when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about President Obama's proposal for avoiding the fiscal cliff, McConnell "burst into laughter".

From the USA Today, House Speaker John Boehner isn't too pleased with Obama's proposal, either.

From Newsbuster, columnist Charles Krauthammer goes as far as saying that Lee was offered better terms at Appomattox.

From KTVU, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has announced that he will shut down a historic oyster farm operating along Point Reyes National Seashore.

From the Examiner, Obama orders the CIA to close down its Center on Climate Change and National Security.  You know, maybe there's a start to some spending cuts.

From CNS News, Congressman Hank Johnson calls for a Constitutional Amendment to control the speech of corporations.  This is the same guy who was worried that if you put too many Marines on Guam, it might capsize.

From Yahoo News, former president and occasional sky-diver George H. W. Bush has been hospitalized with bronchitis.

From Life News, a medical board in New Mexico has been accused of illegally closing a hearing to discipline an abortionist who botched a 35-week abortion, leaving a woman with a ruptured uterus.

From NBC News, six middle school students in Richmond, VA have been charged with assaulting a bus driver.

And from SFGate, a graduate of East New Mexico University has sent his alma mater a box of toilet paper, to atone for stealing toilet paper while enrolled (if you'll forgive the pun) as a student.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The ACC To Add Louisville

With Maryland set to move from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big Ten, the ACC has voted to add Louisville, which would keep the number of its teams at 14.  Like fellow newcomers Pittsburgh and Syracuse, Louisville will be leaving the Big East.  Ironically, Louisville was one of the teams the Big East added when Virginia Tech (2004), Miami (2004) and Boston College (2005) moved to the ACC. To conclude the 2005 football season, Virginia Tech (ACC) defeated Louisville (BE) in the Gator Bowl.

Read the story at Sports Illustrated.

When Louisville joins the ACC, it will be the first time to my knowledge that they and Virginia Tech are in the same football league.  However, in other varsity sports, the two schools were both in the now-defunct Metro Conference. The two schools had a pretty good basket rivalry back then.  Meanwhile, Virginia Tech's football team was independent.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Blasphemy?

From Todd Starnes at Fox News & Commentary:

A painting on display at Bunker Hill Community College shows President Obama with outstretched arms, simulating the arm positions of Jesus as commonly depicted on a crucifix, and wearing a crown of thorns. The painting, by Michael D'Antuono, entitled "Truth", was supposed to debut almost four years ago in New York City, but the event was cancelled due to public outrage.  Although Obama is "posed as Jesus Christ crucified", according to Starnes, the painting does not show a cross, any nails or any wounds.
“I always regretted cancelling my exhibit in New York because I feel my First Amendment rights should override someone’s hurt feelings,” D'Antuono told Fox News. “We should celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are given the freedom to express ourselves.”
I agree with Mr. D'Antuono, but would hope that the First Amendment is applied consistently.  For example, I wonder if he has any paintings of Mohammed, or of a modern public figure in a pose intended to remind people of Mohammed, that he'd like to show us.

Click on the fold, or go to the above link, to see the painting.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Obama Is Our What?!?

It's a good thing for comedian Jamie Foxx that there are no blasphemy laws here in America, because if there were, he might just be in a bit of trouble.  Via the Tipsheet at Townhall:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bill Whittle Speaks About The 2012 Election

The Romney presidential candidacy has received its share of post-mortems, most of which I haven't had any desire to post here.  But I like this recent speech by Bill Whittle, found in the Green Room at Hot Air.  According to Whittle, it would be helpful if the Republicans believed their own story.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I'll be visiting members of the extended family for a few days, and won't be posting anything here until I get back.  There's nothing like taking a break from the normal routine, seeing some people I don't get to see very often, and just kicking back and relaxing.  For us Virginia Tech alumni, we have the odd pleasure of eating our mascot.  But whether you're staying home or travelling, may all of you who read Bigfoot's Place have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Maryland Goes To The Big Ten

The University of Maryland, a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, has accepted an invitation of join the Big Ten in 2014.  Rutgers, a.k.a. the State University of New Jersey, is also expected to join, giving the Big Ten 14 teams.  Rutgers would be leaving the Big East.  Here's the story and some reaction:

From ESPNMaryland accepts the Big Ten invite.

From the NY Daily News, Maryland leaves the ACC, Rutgers expected to follow.

In Yahoo Sports, Pat Forde writes that the two schools will "cash in on their incompetence".

In the Washington Post, Johnny Holliday calls Maryland's move a "no brainer".

In Forbes, Patrick Riche says it's "Win-win-win" as they all "cash in".

In the Baltimore Sun, Kevin Cowherd thinks that Maryland has been blinded by dollar signs, and former ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan is "flabbergasted" about Maryland and the Big Ten.

From the Baltimore Business Journal, University of Maryland president Wallace D. Loh says that the move will boost the school's academics and athletics.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Links

A few things going on out there:

From The Telegraph, the British are not amused by President Obama's gaffes made during his trip to Thailand and Myanmar.  (Or is it Burma again?)

From Mediaiate via Weasel Zippers, Secretary of State Clinton falls asleep during Obama's speech.

From Breitbart's Big Journalism, a BBC reporter spreads around a photo of a child reportedly injured in an Israeli attack on Gaza.  The only problem is that the photo was actually taken in Syria.

From the Daily Caller, Senator Marco Rubio passes on answering a question about the age of the earth.  Lefties in the media go nuts.  Funny, they had no problem with then-Senator Obama decided that a question about when life begins was above his pay grade.

From Hispanic Business, GE Healthcare will eliminate 2% of its jobs in Wisconsin.

From the Phoenix Business Journal, the Mexican company Grupo Bimbo, despite rumors to the contrary, will not be acquiring Hostess Brands.

From My Fox Chicago, meanwhile back in the US, a judge has ordered Hostess to mediate with their second largest union.

From France24, noted musician and vegetarian Paul McCartney says, "Skip the turkey."  Yours truly, a much less-noted musician and alumnus of a college whose mascot is a highly evolved turkey, says, "Sir Paul, mind your own [bleep]ing business!"

From Tribble Newsthe real story of the first Thanksgiving.

From the Indy Star, Marion County, Indiana authorities are investigating the explosion of a house in the Richmond Hills subdivision as a homicide.  On November 10, the house blew up, killing two people and damaging dozens of neighboring homes.

And from SFGate, shoppers at a Kohl's store in Iowa got to experience a line from the Rodger & Hammerstein song Do Re Mi.  Doe, a deer, a female deer.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some Things Never Change

On the last day of 2008, Gary Varvel published this cartoon about Hamas and its practice of launching rockets at Israel from Gaza, and Israel's retaliation.  As the saying goes, "same [bleep], different day".

Friday, November 16, 2012

Goodbye, Twinkies

Hostess Brands, Inc., after filing for bankruptcy for the second time and having a dispute with its unionized workers, has asked for permission to go out of business.  This would mean that its products, such as Twinkies, Ho Hos and Wonder Bread, will no longer be manufactured.  Its remaining inventory of breads and cakes will be sold to consumers, but unless or until the brands are bought by other businesses, they will soon cease to be on the market.  Hostess plans to sell their brands to the highest bidders.

Oh well, we still have Little Debbie and Tastykakes, don't we?

Read more at the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg, CNN Money and the International Business Times.

Reacting to this development, Neil Steinberg, in the Chicago Sun-Times, asks "How can anyone go bankrupt selling junk food?"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Virginia Tech To Retire Two Logos

My alma mater, often the subject of some name confusion, has decided to retire two of their logos.  One is the letter T sitting on top of and partially within a V, known as the "TV" logo, and the other is the Fighting Gobbler symbol, inspired by Virginia Tech's long association with turkeys.  The most recent manifestation of this is the Hokiebird mascot, whose evolution is explained in this video.

During my time at VT, a.k.a. VPI&SU, the football team was called the "Fighting Gobblers", with the name appearing in Lane Stadium, while all the other varsity teams were called the "Hokies".  During the 1980's, the football changed its name to the latter.

From the student newspaper, the Collegiate Times:
Over the years, the names of both the university and its mascot have gone through various changes.  Although the school’s official name is currently Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is referred to as Virginia Tech, it was once referred to simply as VPI.  The HokieBird was once known as the Gobbler, then the Fighting Gobbler.
Come to think of it, I remember hearing about a pre-season NCAA basketball poll, possibly in Sports Illustrated, that mentioned Virginia Tech and VPI, not realizing that these were two names for the same school.  In  response to such name confusion, we had a tongue-in-cheek contest to rename the school.  The winner was Eastern Institute of Enlightenment and Intellectual Outgrowth, abbreviated as EIEIO, as recalled in some letters to the editor of the Virginia Tech Magazine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Should I Be Afraid Of Blimps?

Idaho State University anthropologist Jeffrey Meldrum believes that Bigfoot, the large primate whose name I've shamelessly pilfered, actually exists.  He has decided to go looking for a Bigfoot using a blimp, an idea he got  from Utah resident William Barnes, who claims to have encountered a Bigfoot in 1997.  He reportedly will need about $300,000 in order to build his lighter-than-air Bigfoot-spotting aircraft.

Read the story at the Time newsfeed.  Meldrum is the author of Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It Is The Soldier

In 1970, an American soldier named Charles M. Province wrote this poem, which is still worth remembering:
It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
I don't know if Province was still in the Army when he wrote this.  I would very much like to refer to him by his rank, thus giving him the respect that he is due, but I don't know the rank at which he was discharged.  There doesn't seem to be too much information about him out there, other than that he founded the George S. Patton Jr. Historical Society.  But in any event, his message is timeless.  More broadly, it is the soldier, the airman, the marine and the sailor who secure the rights with which we are endowed by our Creator.  To all who have served, thank you for defending my rights.  To all Americans, have a happy Veteran's Day.

Friday, November 9, 2012

CIA Director Petraeus Resigns

CIA Director David Petraeus, who as an Army General had helped to implement the "surge" strategy in Iraq, has resigned his position, citing an extramarital affair.  Acting Director Michael Morell will run the CIA, presumably until the next official Director is installed.  Petraeus had become the Director of the CIA in September 2011, after leading U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and later serving in the U.S. Central Command.

Read more at MSN News, the New York Times, NBC News, Wired, USA Today and Fox News.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

News And Some Opinion

A few stories in the news, and some opinion, too:

From the New York Times, with President Obama re-elected and his healthcare law all but assured of being implemented, the states now rush to meet deadlines.

In the Contra Costa Times, Thomas Sowell writes about the healthcare law's waivers.

From Freedom Works, here come the Obamacare layoffs.

In the Daily Caller, Jack Finn gives America a thank-you note.

From The Foundry, Russia is starting to ask for Obama's promised flexibility.

From, coming in third in the Virginia Senate race behind winner Tim Kaine and George Allen is Hank the Cat.  (H/T Pat Dollard)

From SFGate, a write-in candidate for mayor in Paso Robles, California was arrested on election day.

From the Los Angeles Times, Jared Loughner, who killed six people and wounded 12 others, including then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, has been sentenced to life in prison.

From CBS New York, residents of the Rockaway Peninsula have some stern warnings for any post-Sandy looters.

From The Indypendent, New Yorkers are getting angry at Mayor Bloomberg.

From Before It's News, the nor'easter hitting after Sandy has resulted in 200,000 more power outages, while FEMA centers remain closed.

And from The Cable, the State Department has released some documents concerning the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi to the Senate, but only today and tomorrow, when most of the Senators are out of town.

Oh wait, one more.  How could I have missed this?  From the Washington Free Beacon, Iranian fighter jets fired on an American unmanned drone aircraft last Thursday (Nov. 1).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Once Again, It's Obama

By now, everyone not living under a rock knows that President Barack Obama has been re-elected.  He did so by narrowly winning in "battleground" states such as Florida, Virginia and Ohio, and by holding on to the moderately "blue" states that some thought could have been flipped to his challenger Mitt Romney.  He won despite having one of the worst economic records that I can remember, and having the worst fiscal record of any president in our history.  He won in spite of the unpopularity of "Obamacare".  Presidents Carter and Bush the Elder, to my recollection, were arguably unseated for less.

Like the right in general, I'm quite disappointed.  For a while, it appeared that Romney had a good chance to defeat Obama.  I had heard about crowds at Romney's appearances that were much larger than those at Obama's, and that in early voting, the turnout in GOP-leaning counties exceeded that of Democrat-leaning ones, or at least was doing better than in 2008.  None of that, however, accurately foreshadowed the way in which the voting actually turned out.  When Pennsylvania and later Ohio were called for Obama, I realized that Romney's chances were starting to fade.

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Almost Time

Tomorrow, tens of millions of Americans will go to the polls to decide whether to give Barack Obama a second term as President, or to turn the job over to Willard Mitt Romney, formerly the governor of Massachusetts, but also known for his work at Bain Capital and with the 2002 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee.  If Obama wins and then serves out his full second term, it will be the second time in our history that there have been three consecutive 8-year presidencies.  The first time this occurred was in the early 1800's with Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe.  If Romney wins, he will become the first challenger to unseat an incumbent president since Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush in 1992, and the first Republican to do so since Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980.  It seems that Romney is doing well in the polls, but the only poll that counts is the one we have tomorrow.

Strictly speaking, we don't really choose the president.  In each state, we choose a set of Electors that will be sent to the Electoral College, where they will elect the president.  Each state gets a number of Electors equal to its total representation in Congress.  The smallest (by population) states have three, equal to its two Senators plus its single Representative in the House.  Due to a Constitutional Amendment, the District of Columbia is given the number of Electors it would have, if it were a state.  With two notable exceptions, a state's set of Electors is determined by the total popular vote in the state, with the winner taking all.  Maine and Nebraska each determine two Electors, corresponding to their Senators, according to the statewide popular vote, with their other Electors determined by the popular vote within each Congressional District.  I have even heard some prognosticators say that Obama will carry Maine, but one of its Districts and thus one Elector could go for Romney.

There are several states that could go either way, but Maryland is a virtually certain Obama carry.  Although we did elect a Republican governor (Bob Ehrlich) a few years back, the state is overall very "blue".  My presidential vote will presumably be overruled by my state's pro-Obama voters.  Even so, there are still many "down-ticket" races and referendum questions that deserve my attention, such as in-state tuition for illegal aliens (known under the politically correct euphemism "undocumented immigrants"), granting civil marriage licenses for gay couples, and an expansion of legalized gambling.  I thus have ample reason to get my big feet down to the polling place.  Like the right in general, I will be pulling for Romney to unseat Obama, even though my own vote may have little consequence.  But whether you're in a narrowly contested "swing" state, or one that is solidly in one camp or the other, voting is still one of the most important things a citizen of this republic is allowed to do.  So whether or not you agree with my choices, if you're eligible, get out there and cast your vote.  After all, in some parts of the world, voting as we know it doesn't exist.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Music Break - It's A Zoo

Here are a few songs that both man and beast may enjoy.  To start off, the Kinks sing about living like an Apeman, with the help of a piano player who looks like he belongs in one of the Planet Of The Apes movies.

A Few News Items

A few items in the news as the east coast starts recovering from Sandy, and the nation prepares for the upcoming election:

From the New York Post, residents of Staten Island say that they've been forgotten by the post-Sandy relief efforts.

In the Wall Street Journal, Michael Tanner opines that for disaster relief, bigger government isn't necessarily the answer.

From Fox News, the states hit hard by Sandy have vowed to be ready for the election.

From HLNTV, Sandy has caused gas shortages in New York and New Jersey, but prices have increased only by about a cent per gallon.