Month: July 2012



NBC, please, stop: no more swimming. My gosh. It might be the finest sport around for individual development and the worst sport around for spectators. I can’t fathom who’s enjoying all this aquatic prime time. * * * * * * * I hadn’t been following this cover-up story by the Obama administration, but it’s pretty interesting: “The New Black Panthers case stems from a Election Day 2008 incident where two members of the New Black Panther Party were filmed outside a polling place intimidating voters and poll watchers by brandishing a billy club. Justice Department lawyers investigated the case, filed charges, and when the Panthers failed to respond, a federal court in Philadelphia entered a “default” against all the Panthers defendants. But after Obama was sworn in, the Justice Department reversed course, dismissed charges against three of the defendants, and let the fourth off with a narrowly tailored restraining order.” I remember seeing the video. It was almost as good as Forrest Gump beating on Jenny’s creep, then apologizing, “I’m sorry I ruined your Black Panther party.” Oddly, I looked for the video last night but couldn’t find it anywhere. * * * * * * * Need some wine to go with that Team Handball? I suggest you buy whatever you like, but if you want Olympic wines, they’re available . . . at a premium cost, both in terms of money and alcohol content: According to British wine merchant Bibendum, which was tasked by the International Olympic Committee with creating a bespoke Olympic wine, the brief was to produce three wines that “complemented the Olympic ideals, offered consumers something new and interesting, while being low enough in alcohol to promote responsible drinking.” Lots of fun, that.… Read the rest


My harvest yesterday. Not pictured: two dozen hot peppers, a second batch of grapes, and two large cucumbers.

Monday Miscellany

My family’s favorite of the Olympics so far? Team handball. I’d never seen it before. It’s pretty cool. * * * * * * * We downloaded the NBC Live Olympic app. It’s sweet. You can watch anything that’s being played, live. It proved quite a distraction all day yesterday, especially after my son hooked up his computer to the TV so we could watch on a full screen. * * * * * * * A Chestertonian Buckeye TDE reader sent this along yesterday: “I had a great discovery recently. While traveling in the area of Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue, Ohio (about 20 miles south of Cedar Point), just up the same highway (rt. 269), a new establishment has opened: The Bierkeller! German themed restaurant, bar, outdoor garden. It’s like the best Chestertonian day trip: outdoor shrine with paths through a rural woods, then onto the beer hall!” Yes, I’ve added it to my “To Do” list. It’s probably about 2.5 hours from my house. * * * * * * * Perhaps the greatest hero most of us have never heard of: Irena Sendlerowa. She saved 2,500 Jews from the ghettos of Warsaw, Poland. Most of them children. * * * * * * * Received in an email: Try and fathom the hypocrisy of a Government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured, but not everyone must prove they are a citizen. There’s no doubt a little racist venom in the quote, but it points to a larger point: We’re too large for universal health care. The countries that have had some success with universal health care are small, homogenous, … Read the rest


What time are the Opening Ceremonies today? London is five hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, and I think the ceremonies begin at 9:00 London time, so 4:00 our time? Is that correct? I want to make sure to watch all the chicks that are taking advantage of the 150,000 free condoms. * * * * * * * In honor of the London games, maybe I’ll try to find some barleywine. Maybe I’ll start with some aged Thomas Hardy: “If any beer was ever made for the cellar, it’s English barleywine. Its combination of fruity esters, mellow English hops, intense (initially harsh) fusel alcohols and kettle-caramelized malts write the perfect script for cellar success. And if the English barleywine is the granddaddy of vintage beers, Thomas Hardy’s Ale is the grand Poobah of them all.” I looked for some on eBay. Looks like bottles typically go for $20ish. * * * * * * * The home of Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, is holding its county fair, and it’s featuring beer and wine tasting. PDF Link. Man, I’d love it if our county fair did such thing. We have a great county fair here, but they’re kinda stuck in Puritan ways. * * * * * * * And finally, a loyal TDE reader sends along this great picture, with this message: “Thought you might like this … family reunion photo from my maternal grandmother’s family, I think sometime between 1915 and 1920. Must be home brew in those glasses.”

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Two Things

1. Have you ever heard of the “Holy C”? It’s a phrase used by NPR to refer to “Holy See” in this article yesterday. If you’d clicked on it quickly enough yesterday, you would’ve seen that phrase. It has since been changed, but I don’t care: If a journalist doesn’t know the difference between “Holy C” and “Holy See,” is there a chance, just maybe a smidgeon of a chance, that the reporter isn’t qualified to write about Vatican matters?

2. I grew up about 50 minutes from the Ohio border. I recall the same thing Mitt does in this passage:

Alluding to growing up in nearby Michigan, Mr. Romney said he thought of Toledo as “the neighbor next door.”

He said some of his classmates at the Cranbrook School boarding academy he attended in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., came to Toledo where one could purchase a reduced-alcohol (3.2 percent) beer at a younger age than in Michigan.

“I did not take advantage of your more relaxed alcohol laws, although a number of my classmates at school did. They had something in Ohio, I forget what they called it, that was allowed to be purchased by younger people, so kids from my school made frequent pilgrimages to Toledo,” Mr. Romney recalled. “I had other weaknesses. That wasn’t one of them.”

I’m thinking that Ohio got rid of 3.2 beer by the time I was in high school, but I seem to recall hearing about my older brothers’ friends taking advantage of it. I’d like to research when Ohio repealed the drinking exception, but alas, the office is taking all my time these days so I have to cut blogging short.

Until tomorrow. … Read the rest



The first Olympic record has already been broken: 150,000 Free Condoms to Be Distributed to Athletes at Summer Olympics in London. Maybe we should call it the “Bonelympics.” * * * * * * * Do you think the promoters think such stories add to the Olympics’ charm? * * * * * * * This unorthodox blog post has three great (and relatively-unknown) Chesterton quotes:

“The definition of the true savage is that he laughs when he hurts you; and howls when you hurt him.”

“Do not be proud of the fact that your grandmother was shocked at something which you are accustomed to seeing or hearing without being shocked. . . . It may mean that your grandmother was an extremely lively and vital animal; and that you are a paralytic.”

“[S]ince the triumph of what was called rationalism, we have successfully cultivated everything except reason.”

I’ve never frequented that site. It’s in my bookmarks now. * * * * * * * Hear that sound? It’s the sound of Hell freezing over. The leftist Huffington Post ran a piece excoriating pornography. It’s awfully good. And it’s written by a woman who used to enjoy porn. I imagine the effects she describes are much worse for men. Generous excerpt:

I wish that 10 years ago someone had educated me on pornography. What it is, what it does and what it reaches in and destroys in the hearts, minds and bodies of men and women.

I wish that someone would have told me that researchers have suggested it sabotages your sex life.

I wish someone would have explained how dopamine, the chemical that is released every time you experience pleasure, drives you to return to what provided that feeling before.

I wish someone would have told

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One of the nicest advantages of living in a town (but not a village): the movie theater is situated downtown, within walking distance. And for me, the theater is within crawling distance. It’s just three doors down from my office. Last night, I worked until 6:45, then my family came by the office and picked me up for Dark Knight Rises.

I really liked it. I’d give it an “8.” Seven years ago, I probably would’ve given it a “9,” but The Lord of the Rings movies really raised the standard in this genre, so it’s hard for anything to get close to a 10 anymore. I had a very difficult time understanding the villain’s speech (which cost the movie a full half-point in my rating), and the plot bordered on incoherent at times (probably because of the villain’s garbled speech), but it’s a very good movie. I definitely recommend it.

I heard Mark Steyn (substituting for Rush Limbaugh last Friday) say that the movie’s writers are conservative and that they wrote the movie with a conservative slant. I haven’t had a chance to flush out the details in this regard, but you could definitely see some conservative political philosophy. It’s an Animal Farm-type work, and that’s all I’ll say, for fear of spoiling the movie for TDE readers.

As a result of the movie, I don’t have much time for blogging this morning, so I just offer this nugget from my Nock Notebooks (aside: I don’t endorse Nock’s opinion of policemen):

Were the Chinese oppressed in nineteenth century California? Henry George, who lived for a long time in California and had a keen distaste for all oppression and injustice, said “no.” Well, they weren’t oppressed for the most part. Here’s George, who answers the question directly and … Read the rest