Archive for November, 2009


Peggy Noonan on “Amateurish” Obama

November 28, 2009


Who doesn't like pie?



You can read her Wall Street Journal piece here. She makes an interesting point about iconic photos; Carter’s always seemed to look worried, from what I recall, but Reagan’s were either smiling broadly or stern, no-nonsense. (Mostly smiling.) This President seems to work hard to not be Presidential. He doesn’t understand that the people who elected him still want him to be that way – but to do so while carrying out their beliefs as policy. He should not be trying so hard to be the anti-President.

I think that underneath Barack Obama is not nearly as confident as he want to appear. I don’t think he’s the puppet that some people believe him to be – I hope he isn’t! – but I don’t see him as having a firm grasp on the issues. I think he’s as out of his element in international politics as he is in domestic economics. He may have a handle on legal matters – he seems to have found all sorts of ways to enact policy without getting Congress to do much. Beyond that, he’s out of his league more than John F. Kennedy was, early on in his term.

I have read it several times over the years that if JFK had served out his first term, or even been reelected to a second one, a lot of things would have unraveled. He was a good figurehead but not very good on policy. His Cabinet, which was supposed to be a “dream team” of sorts, soon demonstrated that it fell far short of expectations. Don’t get me started on McNamara!

And, unfortunately, Obama is no JFK. He doesn’t have the quality of brain trust Kennedy had around him, and they weren’t enough. Noonan makes a good point that Washington is lacking in “wise old men.” And why not? They have been vilified for years. No one of any stature wants to put up with the kind of muckraking that passes for the press today. Stay in private practice and stay out of the limelight. And the money isn’t very good.

One of Carter’s main problems that I can recall is that he was a lousy judge of people. Case in point: Bert Lance. As President, you have to pick wise men (and women) to give you good advice. Carter didn’t. Reagan did. The Bushes generally did. Clinton had some – he was more done in by his own ego. A lot has been said of Obama’s “Chicago connections.” It’s not so much that he only hires shady characters he knew from Chicago. It’s more that, working in that environment, you tend to believe that’s how business should be transacted everywhere. That’s why the SEIU leadership – especially Andy Stern – seem to have a key to the White House. In Chicago the government and the unions have been connected for generations. Lots of Americans don’t like that kind of relationship. Even a lot of people in Chicagoland don’t like that relationship! For someone who said lobbyists wouldn’t have access to his administration, there sure are a lot of them that are tight with Obama.

Unfortunately for us this is a man out of his league. People were all excited about “hope and change,” and an “historic Presidency,” instead of finding someone who was competent to run the country. And now we are paying for it. And paying for it. And paying for it.


More words to live by…

November 28, 2009

“The impossible can become possible if you’re awesome!” – Rhino, in Bolt


OK, I’m confused…

November 25, 2009

Jethro's dad, and Seeley's grandpa?

Ralph Waite played Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ father last year on NCIS, and this year he played Seeley Booth’s grandfather on Bones. That confuses me a little, ’cause I’m a simple guy.


Be Thankful For Liberty!

November 25, 2009

President Ronald Reagan, Thanksgiving 1985. As usual, President Reagan says it all – and in a minute and a half!


Princess Cecile update

November 23, 2009

The update is that there is no update. I’ve been working on the novel so modeling has taken a back seat. The novel is 2/3 edited and cleaned up, so I should be done with it next week.

The last Princess Cecile bit was selecting an F-18 engine nozzle to be modified into the master for the plasma thruster nozzles. Since Drake talks about them opening and closing to vary the thrust, I envision adding actuators to the outside of the nozzle.

I really want to get to the High Drive motors. I have some ideas that might be kind of cool, but I’ve not had time to try to build a prototype.

I hope I get something done on it before Christmas!


“V” may be just about done in…and notes about CSI

November 19, 2009

There was a drop in V’s ratings from week one to week two of 29 per cent, and another 18 per cent this week. Next week is the last of the set of four episodes that will be shown this calendar year; the rest are supposed to be aired in the spring of 2010.

Any bets that it will end up going direct to video?

I’m done with it. It’s too predictable and the Cylons already look like people – and there’s no Number Six. Besides, it’s opposite NCIS and it’s been very good this year. Unfortunately, NCSI: Los Angeles is just OK.

The setup was really OK. I think it’s the quality of the writing and the casting that’s making it feel boring.

Last week, the CSI series did a thread that ran through all three shows. Only the last one was really well written – the regular CSI (Las Vegas) ep, where Weddle and Thompson watch over it. I don’t know how much of their craft they learned from Ron Moore or vice versa, but since they have taken over CSI it’s been far more interesting than last year. The season opener used an old idea – flashbacks from a  scene shown at the outset with no setup – but using the 3-D freeze-frame effect at the beginning was brilliant, and the writing made an old concept interesting.

Put her in charge!

Now if someone could fix CSI:Miami. I don’t even blame David Caruso for all of it. He’s a one-trick pony, but he does his one trick remarkably well. Just don’t try to make him a multifaceted actor. You’re not gonna get it out of him. Kick him upstairs to fight with the brass. Let Emily Procter run the place. I’ve loved her since The West Wing, when she was my favorite conservative.

Producers, you may use my suggestions, free of charge!


Edward Woodward, R.I.P.

November 17, 2009


Edward Woodward in earlier days

British actor Edward Woodward died yesterday. I remember him most from “The Equalizer,” but he was well-known for films like “Breaker Morant” and “The Wicker Man.” I also remember him for doing an episode of “Crusade” opposite his son, Peter, who played technomage Galen in both “Crusade” and ” Babylon 5.”

Peter Woodward as Galen in "Crusade"

Peter has the coolest diction. He was great as a technomage because of it, providing just the right touch of otherworldliness. He also has appeared in films like “The Patriot,” and will appear in this week’s episode of “Fringe.” Besides acting, Peter is a writer and a “fight arranger” – he choreographs fight scenes. He wrote, co-produced and arranged the fight scenes for the History Channel’s series, “Conquest.”

I enjoyed his father’s work very much. He and Peter had recently formed a production company and were doing films together. It’s sad they will not be able to do any more.