Hope everyone has a good weekend, though I might check in now and again. Everyone place nice. Or not.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post [registration required, I think] has found a contradiction in one of the Swift Boat Vets' story. Great.
But wait -- the military records contradict an officer's story, but he stands by his version of events. So the contradiction isn't with his earlier and his later self, but in the official version of events and his own memory. There would be reasons to doubt both, wouldn't there? Official versions can be influenced by politics but more important they can easily be wrong because the reporter gets the facts wrong. And memories of course are faulty, especially over 35 years.
Now more stories will be filed as this needs to be checked out -- but here's the lie: that a reporter today is going to get to the bottom of what happened then. Ain't gonna happen. But in the meantime the story just gets more byzantine and more complex and more distorted and we drop down the rabbit hole into a field of rhetoric and partisanship and eisegesis. And sooner or later the whole thing turns into a hall of mirrors, doesn't it?
Who are you?
There is only one event worth watching anyway, women's beach volleyball. Americans or no Americans it should be prime time all the time. ; ) Just an observation, not that I'm complaining, but why do the men wear t-shirts and shorts but the women wear itsy bitsy teeney weeney bikinis and then proceed to jump, lunge , dive, stretch, etc. while their bikini bottoms disappear into their naughty bits. But I digress. Best sport ever.
Heh, as Instapundit would say.
The use of the word "sport" here reminds me of Hemingway's observation that there were only two sports in the world — bullfighting and mountain climing. The rest are just games. [Note: Some say he included auto racing as a sport, but I haven't found the exact quote.]
That's why they call it the Olympic games. It ain't that important.
There's some gloating going on on my side of the blogosphere [e.g., in the comments here] about how we're really going to show the Germans by leaving.
Uh: No. This is a win-win.
What we're doing is repositioning our troops. We don't need them in Germany right now. The Germans may take a short-term hit econonomically, but they'll bounce back.
Removing our troops from Europe will be good for both the U.S. and Europe. We've stayed too long at the party, and we've incurred some resentments. Those resentments will go away with time.
Removing free defense from Europe will help the Europeans stand on their own. That'll be good for their morale. And there is no reason Europe should not be pulling its own weight internationally. If they want to serve as a counter-balance to the U.S., I think they'll find most of the U.S. willing to let them take a few decades at policing the world. We never wanted the job in the first place. And we certainly could use someone to take a shift. But instead we have the French selling us out for the benefit of oil contracts with Saddam, the Russians helping Iran construct a nuclear reactor, China making threatening noises about Taiwan, and long lectures from the Germans, the Germans! about how war isn't the answer. Yeah, France, Germany, you want to take a shot at reining in Iran? And North Korea? Be our effing guests.
The only hitch in this troop-withdrawal plan could be this small, nagging feeling that some of us have that the Germans are just playing possum. That the Germans are only playing like they're a bunch of wimps, girlie-men and pacifists — but what they're really going to do as soon as we leave is suggesting they need a little breathing space. Let's hope that that's just a silly joke. Hate to have to alpha roll them Germans again.
We may have a problem in the world, and it can't be fixed with $20,000 [see below]. The Left is acting progressively [heh] nuttier. The worst part is, like Michael Moore, they sometimes co-opt legitimate criticisms of our society, but couch the terms in such a tendentious, dishonest or immature way that many of us don't want to agree with them.
Yeah, I have a problem with free trade if we don't have free borders. Otherwise businesses are just exploiting the fact that capital can cross borders, but people can't. If free-traders were really interested in free trade, let's see 'em call for an open-border system, where labor is just as free to travel as factories. My guess is what the corporations really want is low-cost labor that can't leave, and in some cases [Malaysia] is forbidden from organizing.
See? There are points to be made from the left. [In fact, I would be in favor of open borders with much of this continent.] But that's no reason to urge confrontation in the streets. Though I admit the idea of protestors wearing Mickey Mouse hats to play the role of mice spooking the GOP elephant is clever.
But check out the posters. Some are artistically well done, but the messages are immature, dishonest and clueless. Where's a cluebat for these guys :)
2. When you've been hurt or injured, the most effective spiritual weapon is to pray for the person who caused the injury. Evil has no defense when you pray for your enemies and for those who hurt you. The best it can hope for is to turn you from your prayers. And it will try. You will hear compelling justifications for your anger, resentment, bitterness or hate. You may even be right. But the strange nature of spiritual health requires you to set all that aside and pray for the wicked and your enemy. I guess I'm in arrears on this issue. Probably should start by praying for our nation's enemies.
3. Don't forget the sacraments. God is present in them. Confession. The Eucharist. Anointing of the sick. God is present in each of them. The power of the sacraments always amaze me. I'm not sure why I stay away from them for so long. Probably just rebellion in my heart. I don't know why I need to put down that rebellion so often, either. Well, yes I do. I rebel because I'm stiff-necked and don't want God telling me what to do when I want something. That is, until I screw up and want God to put everything back together again.
4. Ninety percent of all mental problems could be solved with $20,000. Go ahead, imagine your problem. Now add $20,000 to the situation. See what I mean? You feel better already. Now go make the $20k and you're set. How's that for facile? There's a point in there somewhere but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
5. Most of the rest of problems require prayer, faith, hope and love. If $20,000 won't solve it [or you don't have it], prayer, faith, hope and love will likely help you change it or make peace with not changing. If that doesn't work, you need to seek out a professional counselor or otherwise find appropriate support. [Good luck — most counselors aren't very good.]
6. Prayer works wonders. Daily prayer with your significant other, your friends or your family, even five minutes a day, probably will do more for your life's quality than anything else. The important thing is coming into the presence of God, together, on a regular basis. You'd be surprised how much of the time the answer to what you're looking for is that simple: Just regular prayer. Then God takes care of the rest. My most peaceful periods of my life were when I shared a prayer discipline with another person.
That's all for tonight.
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, be with you always.
Let me reason by analogy. Suppose boxing only contained flyweights. Or straw-weights. Who would care? The heart and soul of boxing is to watch the biggest guys beat the hell out of each other.
[By the way, Olympic boxing is now fencing. Still a sport, but it's a glorified slap-fight. You need to get credit for how hard you hit someone. Not that you touched someone with the end of your glove.]
Back to gymnastics. If not weight classes, then by cup sizes. I guarantee the balance beam for the Double-D category will have lots of fans. Indeed, the fans will be saying about the current competitors -- hey, get the little girls out of there. Bring on the women. It will be good for our culture to admire women as women, too.
As for men's gymnastics, well, I don't know. They need to add more danger -- like have the rings held over a pit of alligators or something. And weight categories, too. Any man that light can hold themselves up by their hands. But let's see a 350-pounder do an iron cross. Now that would be impressive.
That's an amazing performance, not a disappointment.
Because Phelps is the world's greatest IMer. At the same time, he's a former world record holder in the butterfly, and yet he comes back and finishes third in the world in the 200 free? Plus, he's the second best American in the backstroke. Wow. This isn't necessarily an elegantly simple story like Mark Spitz, but in some ways this is a more amazing performance. Spitz was in 1972 the best in the world in the butterfly and the freestyle. He won the 100-meter and 200-meter events in both categories.
But Phelps has managed to compete at the highest levels in three of the four strokes -- not to mention he swims breaststroke well enough to be the world's best IMer.
I think, in the end, Phelps will end up with two individual golds -- both in the IM events. There's an outside chance he may snag a third in one of the butterfly events, but he's really not our best butterfly swimmer. And freestyle is the hardest of the events: There are a million freestylers. And Phelps is the third best right now in the world. Phelps may pick up another gold in one of the relays.
The big event will be the 200 IM: Look for Phelps to shatter the world record.
In any case, this guy is already in the middle of an amazing performance.
Still, I had a good time at the Phillies' great new stadium, even if the Phils blew the game, 3-1, to fall to 59-59.
We'll get 'em next century. Or the one after that.