The Locker Room

December 18, 2006

Re: Angelina as Dagny?

Posted by Jon Sanders at 8:55 PM

I just can't see it.

But then I thought that Sarah Michelle Gellar would make a great Dagny. Plus, I think she would understand and sympathize with the character a bit more than Angelina Jolie.

I admit, however, that I am probably influenced in this line of thinking by Gellar's work as the strong, self-sufficient Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

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The anti-suburb and anti-obesity nannies find common ground at last

Posted by Jon Sanders at 8:40 PM

Pretty soon I expect to hear the "smart growth" cram-everyone-in-as-close-as-possible statists start hitting this new "think of the children!" angle:

Using data from a national health survey, researchers found that teenagers living in sprawling suburbs were more than twice as likely to be overweight as teens in more compact urban areas. ... The researchers believe the same factors may be driving the link between suburban living and teenagers' weight -- the major one being reliance on cars.

"In a sprawling suburb, you can do very little on foot," said lead study author Dr. Reid Ewing of the University of Maryland's National Center for Smart Growth Education and Research.

By contrast, he noted in an interview, people in cities are often forced to be active in their daily lives -- walking to stores and public transportation, carrying groceries up the stairs to their fifth-floor walk-up apartment. ...

Ewing said a growing number of U.S. communities are recognizing the pitfalls of sprawl and devising "new urbanist" designs -- creating old-fashioned, pedestrian-friendly Main Streets, better public transportation and "mixed-use" zoning that places residential and commercial buildings near each other.

Cutting to the chase, it's not the government's business to force people to walk. If people choose to live in urban communities, great. If they don't, boohoo for the coercive new urbanists. Only a starry-eyed government-health sap would think trading half an acre for five flights of stairs is actually a good thing.

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Re: Grappling

Posted by Daren Bakst at 5:53 PM

Mitch,

I agree with you--many Americans aren't grappling with whether we are ready for a female president or black president.

Another issue that I never gave a second thought to, but has been raised recently, is whether the country is ready to vote for a Morman (Romney).

I give Americans a bit more credit than some political "experts."  I doubt many Americans are grappling with voting for someone because of race, gender, or religion.

Of course, there are some bigots, but the exception does not make the rule.

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He missed the main point!!

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 4:11 PM

Joe Marie, the executive director the Phoenix light rail project, provided the following answer to a question from an Arizona Republic reporter.  

Q: You've been in transit your whole life. What draws
you? Were you one of those kids with a train set?

A: "No, I fell into transit. At age 22, I'd never been
on an airplane. I got a flight to Brussels for $99 on
People Express. I spent the next few months loafing
around Europe. I took trains all over the place. I
happened to be in Munich (Germany) when I ran out of
money. I called my mom, and she said I got a call from
(Boston's transit district). I started as a $7-an-hour
analyst."

His response is quite informative. Instead of becoming infatuated with government trains in Europe, he should have wondered how a private airline could deliver him to Europe for $99.  If that small economic miracle had caught his fancy, the taxpayers and commuters in Phoenix would be better off today.

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Are we really grappling?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:01 PM

In his editor's column this week, Jon Meacham of Newsweek writes:

Americans are grappling with the question of whether they are ready for a female president or a black president, both in the abstract and in particular. It is possible, of course, to be in favor of a woman or a minority for president but to be against Senators Clinton and Obama; many Republicans will soon find themselves in that position.

As the first truly competitive female and black candidates, Senators Clinton and Obama are substantially raising the stakes of an already historically noteworthy campaign... [emphasis added].

Debates about the two senators are interesting. But I sense no grappling about the issue of a female or black president.

Small minorities (no pun intended) of the electorate are unwilling to support a black and/or female candidate. Most of us would have no problem supporting a candidate with those characteristics. I suspect that no voter is grappling with his or her stance on that issue.

What disturbs me about Mr. Meacham's assessment is the implication that votes for either Clinton or Obama equal votes "for" a woman or a black. Why would we not vote for or against them because of their stances on policies?

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Angelina Jolie as Dagny?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:58 AM

Apparently, there's a movie (perhaps a trilogy?) in the making for Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. And apparently, Angelina Jolie will be playing the headstrong, defiant, Dagny Taggart.

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Re: I'd love to hear this campaign speech

Posted by George Leef at 09:55 AM

Ah... How well I remember those words. Compared to today's campaign mush, Goldwater's rhetoric was like lightning bolts.

Imagine, though, what various current office-seekers would say if they were running against someone who uttered Goldwater's words: "Insensitive to the needs of the poor." "Code words for racism." "An antiquated fetish for the Constitution."

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There's a pony in the convention center

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:16 AM

The News & Observer editorial board again demonstrated their firm grasp of business and economics yesterday:

It has to be true that groups booking conventions are more likely to pick an attractive center with full services than an oversized warehouse with stunted kitchen and meeting spaces.

If the price is the same, then yes, groups are more likely to choose more amenities. They are also more likely to choose Washington D.C. if they are looking for a "thriving capital city." But Raleigh is a third-tier convention city, so those groups pay less to come here. There's a reason Kevin Spacey is artistic Director at the Old Vic Theatre and not the Raleigh Little Theatre, much as RLT would surely be glad to have him.

Not quite "it's not fair," but close.

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Bringing Red China to Her Knees

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 09:16 AM

I think we finally figured out how to eliminate any future economic and military threat from the Red Chinese.  (Of course, we don't call them that any more, now that we're friends.)

 We are subverting them from within by having them learn from and adopt our university and K-12 educational systems.  In twenty years they will be at the bottom of the international educational achievement rankings with us.  See the N&0 report on this here.

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W's Souter on the 4th Circuit

Posted by Paul Chesser at 09:08 AM

The Washington Post reports today that conservatives are concerned, with the turning of the Senate to Democrat control, that the judicial philosophy of the majority on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals could move more decidedly liberal. That's because the court currently has three vacancies with another to come in July:

Even though the 11 judges who would remain by summer are split 6-5 in favor of Republican appointees, some court observers say that Democrats might gain effective control because Judge Allyson K. Duncan often votes with the court's moderate-to-liberal bloc. She was appointed by Bush in 2003, with strong support from John Edwards, a former Democratic senator from North Carolina and vice presidential candidate.

Not long ago Duncan was the only Republican on the N.C. Utilities Commission, until she resigned before her term was up and went to work for the Kilpatrick Stockton law firm. Within months she was representing a new natural gas organization before the commission, who at the time was trying to help Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight get a pipeline built into northeastern North Carolina. Taxpayers paid for the project through bond funds and now ratepayers are eating the massive losses because the pipeline system can't sustain itself.

Isn't bipartisanship wonderful? 

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