Brenden Schaaf / May 9, 2009

The Supreme Court politicized…now more than ever

The Supreme Court and the nomination process has been becoming more politicized than ever, the point where any cases that are the least bit controversial tend to come down to the one or two justices that don’t vote as a bloc based on conservative vs. liberal ideologies.  I’m fairly certain the framer’s of our great country did not intend for this to happen, but they probably didn’t forsee such a strong two-party stranglehold on the government or the strong federal and weak states system we have either.

Thomas Sowell tackles the latest opportunity for a president to influence this great institution in Barack Obama’s methods and statements regarding his choice to replace the retiring Justice Souter later this year.  Agree or disagree, it is hard to argue that Sowell makes for good reading.  This series of posts is no exception.

“Empathy” Versus Law by Thomas Sowell:

Brenden Schaaf / April 30, 2009

What to do about the swine flu?

Reports of an “imminent pandemic” due to a new strain of the H1N1 influenza virus seem to leave me with more questions than answers.  One of the few things I’ve read that doesn’t seem to be hype-filled is a piece from The Economist:

http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13578842

and here is something from WCCO that I also found to be hype-free:

http://wcco.com/local/expert.swine.flu.2.997876.html

I guess maybe I’m cynical of most media because of how much hype there is related to whatever it is that is the story of the day.  Have you noticed how much of the news is now “Breaking News!” in large, bold font at the bottom of your television screen?  The economy is latest big topic, but from the Octomom to hurricanes to a 3″ snowfall in January in Minnesota to Ashton Kutcher’s count of Twitter followers, every story is hyped to the max…so now the Swine Flu pandemic story comes out and I really don’t know what to believe. 

It seems to me that the usual flu fighting activties (get enough sleep, eat well, wash your hands, etc.) are what will give you the best chance of avoiding illness with the possible addition of vitamin D3 supplementation as a precautionary measure.  And if you get sick, head to your doctor and get an anti-viral medication as soon as possible.  What won’t help you is getting panicked by the media hype-machine that uses fear to drive ratings (and it must work or they wouldn’t do it).

Edited to add one more link:

http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13576183

Brenden Schaaf / April 28, 2009

How Michelle Bachmann gets elected is beyond me…

I really have nothing to say that can add to the evidence at the links below that this woman is a whack-job.  As embarrassing as the drawn out Franken/Coleman race is at least there is a process to it (and I firmly believe that if the situation were reversed all the players would be playing the opposite roles — it’s how it is supposed to work).

Michelle Bachman, on the other hand, is just plain nuts.  She takes the cake for the most ridiculous Minnesota politician in my lifetime (yes, including Jesse Ventura — a man I voted for):

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=657693

http://www.minnpost.com/minnclips/2009/04/28/8422/michele_bachmann_might_know_the_cause_of_the_swine_flu_outbreak

Brenden Schaaf / April 28, 2009

Nothing beats the NHL playoffs

I’m sure there are statistics online somewhere that I could quote, but I don’ t need them to know that the NHL playoffs are something special.  As I write this, Anaheim is putting the finishing touches on a 4-2 series win over San Jose.  In most leagues, a #8 seed rarely beats a #1 seed.  In the NHL it seems like it happens all the time.

nhlEver since the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs when Patrick Roy lead the Canadiens to the championship by outlasting team after team in what seemed like an endless series of overtime games, I have been hooked on hockey deep into the spring.  At times it seems odd to be glued to the TV watching two teams I wouldn’t watch for a half-period in February battle  night after night (especially when it is 75 degrees outside) but it seems to make so much more sense to me to watch hockey that matters than baseball that doesn’t (especially when ESPN carries the Sox or Yanks over and over).

Tomorrow night (or should I say later today), two series will come down to a final, 7th game as the Rangers take on the Capitals and the Hurricanes meet the Devils.  There is nothing better than a 7th game, except a 7th game that goes to overtime.  Here’s to hoping that at least one of the games Tuesday night goes late into the evening…if only so I can stay up late to watch it!

Now if only the NHL could get rid of the phantom point in the regular season that allows 80% of the league to finish above .500…but then again, do those games really matter?  Maybe I’ll need to pick up some Molson to make Tuesday night truly authentic…

Brenden Schaaf / April 27, 2009

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell’s columns are quickly becoming one of my favorite weekly reads.  I was turned on to his writings when I attended a class about a year ago that dealt with “Everyday Economics” — a topic that is even more important these days in light of the financial meltdown.  It is a class I have recommended to others and a topic that I think needs to be taught more widely.

After that class, I read Sowell’s book “Basic Economics” and found it to be a rather easy read given the subject matter and its length.  Economics is one of the subjects I wish I could go back and study (well I suppose I can) again because when I took classes in pursuit of my undergraduate degree I pretty much just cared about earning a passing grade so that I could get on to the next class.  Sometimes learning is wasted on the young I guess!!

At any rate, Thomas Sowell tackles the housing boom/bust in his latest column:

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/the-housing-boom-and-bust.html