Framing the Dialogue

Archive for March, 2011

Separated At Birth – Brannigan/Schumer

Captain Zapp Brannigan:  Zapp is a character on the comedy show Futurama and senior member of the military of the Democratic Order of Planets (D.O.O.P.) though his title varies; he has been referred to as a “25 star General”, Captain, Rear Brigadier, “General Major Webelo”, Christopher Rossi, and Commodore 64.  He is arrogant, incompetent, chauvinistic, cocky, vain, and painfully stupid.  Although he claims to be a strategic genius, Zapp Brannigan is actually an imbecile and a coward whose plans are always absurd.  Zapp is inexplicably well-respected throughout the universe, appearing as a Miss Universe Judge and often (ineffectively) defending Earth from attacks.  Most battles are lost with Zapp in charge, due to his stupidity and incompetence; however sometimes the army is lucky. Zapp doesn’t care about casualties and cheerfully sends wave after wave of his own men to die in battle: it is implied that most of his ‘tactical’ victories have been pyrrhic, achieved only through high death tolls. 

Predisposition (pree-dis-puh-zish-uhn)

The dictionary defines predispositions as:

  1. the fact or condition of being predisposed: a predisposition to think optimistically.
  2. Medicine/Medical . tendency to a condition or quality, usually based on the combined effects of genetic and environmental factors.

Synonyms: tendency, inclination, predilection, BIAS [emphasis added]

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

John Adams

A Charter Barter

To charter or not to charter is the question among many Pennsylvania school districts.  A flaw (in my opinion) in Pennsylvania’s school charter system is that any application for a charter school must be approved by the school district in which it will be located.  This was humorously described by Rep. Tom Killion as “saying McDonald’s gets to say whether Burger King gets to franchise in their area.”  The article about the Pennsylvania charter school system provided some statistics that may bear out this comparison,

Forgotten Tales of Pittsburgh

In Forgotten Tales of Pittsburgh I was expecting to read about the not forgotten tales of Pittsburgh like the “fourth river” or the mysterious military plane the allegedly crashed into the Monongahela River and disappeared.  I was pleasantly surprised that this was really about forgotten tales; some tragic, some funny, and some enlightening.  I don’t know if you have to be from the Pittsburgh area to enjoy this, but it did make it more enjoyable to visualize where some of the events took place.  In fact I took a ride this morning to see one of the places and drove on one of the other places that author Thomas White described.

Money Mischief

Silver and gold, silver and gold
Ev’ryone wishes for silver and gold
How do you measure its worth?
Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth 

 

Actually according to economist Milton Friedman a lot of people wished for silver and gold as a monetary standard (bimetallism), but the gold standard was slowly and steadily adopted by the world. That is before “fiat” money (currency not backed by a commodity like gold or silver) became the rage and allowing governments to crank up the presses. These are my words not Friedman’s.

With Friends Like These…

As someone who sits more in the middle (I don’t buy the “right” label anymore) I cannot help but chuckle as President Obama’s leftist friends start to treat him with the same level of respect as they used for President Bush. They have held their tongues for over two years, but as Obama faces the tough path of being elected versus running for office, some of his actions are leaving his “friends” unable to hold their tongues. It would be more humorous if the issues weren’t more serious and perhaps with the future of our country at stake.

Update 2 – A Rough Pitch

Pirate "ace" Kevin Correia

I know that it’s still spring training for the Pirates, but I nearly veered off of the road yesterday when I heard the stats for Pirates’ starting pitcher and $2 million dollar man, Ross Ohlendorf.  In his last outing Ohlendorf started, pitched a little over four innings, gave up six runs on 9 hits (including three home runs) for an Earned Run Average of 10.05.  No one can doubt his optimism,

“Still not as good as I’d like to be, but I still thought it was better than last time. I’ve been up in the zone too much. I know I’m overthrowing some. That’s a big part of it.”

News Briefs – Volume XXIV

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories…

Brief 1: In the town where ground troops first met in battle during the Civil War (Manassas, VA or Bull Run for you northerners) another battle is looming. Obama’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) held a press conference yesterday proudly announcing that 160 “foreign nationals” (illegal aliens) were arrested. All was not joyful in the story however as local politicians reminded that ICE has a slushy record regarding detaining illegals even when they have criminal records.

Running Man

It is often interesting to look at the ease with which non-incumbent candidates can point to the incumbent’s record and critique their performance and bloviate about what they would do in similar situations. It is hard to prevent such a successful strategy and we have learned with the current resident of the White House that a blank slate can be a powerful tool when combined with a thorough lack of inspection of a candidate’s qualifications by both the main stream media and many of the voters.