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Blow Bridges


WHat’s better than videos of a bridge blowing up… an HD slow motion video of a bridge blowing up… Lake Marble Falls Bridge demolished last month by Texas DOT — shots courtesy of Kirk Drummond

From the Trailer Park — Grandmaster


A biopic of Ip Man — played by Tony Leung — the man who trained Bruce Lee.

This also gives me a chance to pimp the movie called Ip Man which came out in 2008.

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Collective Soul. Tell me how you love to hate me…

Mash-up Monday

The Chairman vs. The Great Pretender. You decide.

Reese's Pieces

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Reese Witherspoon was arrested the other day in Atlanta for Disorderly Conduct for her behavior during her husband’s arrest for DUI. I won’t show her mugshot… why would I when there are so many better pictures of her to look at? The story is here:

Reese Witherspoon is “deeply embarrassed” about what she said to police officers after she and her husband were arrested during a traffic stop in Atlanta.

The Oscar-winning actress released a statement late Sunday apologizing for her behavior to police that began when her husband, Hollywood agent Jim Toth, was arrested early Friday for driving under the influence of alcohol.

“Do you know my name?” Witherspoon is quoted as saying in a state trooper’s report. She also said: “You’re about to find out who I am” and “You’re about to be on national news,” according to the report.

According to reports I’ve seen she kept getting out of the car and given officer safety concerns when the nice Po-Po tells you to please stay in the vehicle then please stay in the vehicle. Would she have been arrested if she wasn’t Reese Withserspoon? Most definitely.

The rest of the story… Reese Witherspoon knows how to properly apologize for acting like an idiot. We’ve all done things like this (acted like an ass I mean — whether or not police or alcohol was involved). Her apology is below:

“I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said,” Witherspoon said. “It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. The words I used that night definitely do not reflect who I am. I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behavior.”

Does she mean it? I have no idea, but I suspect she does. She can’t give the officer a gift of course and her husband’s case is making its way through the process so I would advise her to not say too much more, but acknowledging him in her statement is good.

Credit Where Due

Google makes a good point about taxes while politicians continue to show ignorance.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has defended his company’s low tax payments in Britain, saying the company follows the letter of the law and makes a positive contribution to the British economy.

A British parliamentary committee last year accused Google, Amazon.com Inc and Starbucks Corp of “immorally” minimizing their tax bills. Schmidt rejected the criticism in a radio interview with Britain’s BBC.

“I think the most important thing to say about our taxes is that we fully comply with the law and we’ll obviously, should the law change, we’ll comply with that as well,” he said.

Google has UK sales worth billions of dollars each year. But from 2006 to 2011, the last six years for which accounts are available, it reported a net tax credit because tax payments were exceeded by tax credits. These tax assets can be used to offset future profits.

Nonetheless, Schmidt said Google helped drive growth in the British economy. “We empower literally billions of pounds of start-ups through our advertising network and so forth,” he told the BBC.

No doubt the politicians think they are responsible for any economic growth while greedy businesses are responsible for any shortfalls. It’s an abusive relationship people have with government these days.

Monday Open Thread

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Burning Bush

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Due to some faculty load issues (sabbaticals, leaves of absence, etc.) I was able to teach a couple of U.S. History II (since the Civil War) survey courses (all hands on deck) this past academic year. Nothing educates (or should educate) like teaching. I was finally able — forced in a way — to accumulate 30 years or more worth of reading American history into a narrative and try to communicate that to students into a course. It was OK to good, but I won’t get the two or three more years I need to make it really good since our historians will be back in the Fall. Oh well… Amateur historian that I am, one of the lessons I tried to instill in the student is that history is constantly re-written and that things that might look great in 1918 (WW1 and Woodrow Wilson) don’t look so great in 1938 and things that looked like immense failures in 1952 (Harry Truman) don’t look so bad — and even come to be admired — 40 years later. It’s hard to tell in the middle of an event or tenure what the final result will be.

The fact that academia in general is a mess (I say get rid of the so-called elite universities as they are probably irredeemable, but I digress) is no secret. So-called scholars or even legitimate scholars have allowed their biases to blind them to historiography 101 — that authoritative histories are not written in the middle of things. They come years afterwards when the dust settles and the scores are finally tallied. The Presidency of George W. Bush really brought out this tendency of many to become unhinged. Instapundit linked to this great op-ed from The Washington Post by Prof. Stephen Knot of the U.S. Naval War College, pointing this out.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be dedicated Thursday at Southern Methodist University, an event that will draw all of the nation’s living presidents to Dallas. Despite the coming fanfare, many Americans consider Bush’s presidency a failure. There is little evidence that scholars, including the influential historians who pronounce the success or failure of an administration, are having second thoughts about their assessment of Bush as a failed chief executive. Unfortunately, far too many scholars revealed partisan bias and abandoned any pretense of objectivity in their rush to condemn the Bush presidency.

Many academics branded Bush a failure long before his presidency ended — and not just fringe elements of the academy, such as Ward Churchill or Howard Zinn, but also scholars from the nation’s most prestigious universities. In April 2006, Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz published an essay in Rolling Stone titled “The Worst President in History?” Wilentz argued that “George W. Bush’s presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace” in part because he had “demonized the Democrats,” hurting the nation’s ability to wage war. No other U.S. president “failed to embrace the opposing political party” in wartime, Wilentz claimed, despite numerous examples to the contrary, such as when Franklin D. Roosevelt compared his Republican opponents to fascists in 1944.

Not to be outdone, in December of that year Columbia history professor Eric Foner proclaimed Bush “the worst president in U.S. history” and argued that Bush sought to “strip people accused of crimes of rights that date as far back as the Magna Carta.” According to Foner, Warren Harding of Teapot Dome fame was something of a paragon of virtue next to Bush, whose administration was characterized by “even worse cronyism, corruption, and pro-business bias.”

In 2007, historian Robert Dallek was so appalled by the Bush presidency that he proposed a constitutional amendment that would allow for the “recall” of a sitting president: After securing passage of a 60 percent majority in both houses of Congress, the public would vote yes or no on removing the president and vice president from office. Historian Douglas Brinkley, author of a flattering election-year biography of 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry, declared in 2006 that “it’s safe to bet that Bush will be forever handcuffed to the bottom rungs of the presidential ladder” and that Bush purposely tried to “brutalize his opponents.”

Go read the whole thing… No one ever accused PhDs of having common sense and in the case of a corrupted academy even fairness has finally exited the building with many. Of course — most history professors don’t teach like that. The ones that get on TV seem to though (and there are many others no doubt) so you can trace some of that back to leftist bias in both the media and in our so-called elite institutions. My gut is that Bush will be middle to above average in the coming years and that Obama will linger for 50 years or so like JFK has… pumped up by a cadre of journalists and academics that “came of age” in the hype and that later on he will drop — though Obama will drop down to Carter status.

BUT — I preface all of that with “I don’t really know yet”. I will be dead and gone before much of what is needed to be known will be available to competent and fair-minded historians on either Bush or Obama.

h/t: Instapundit

Sunday Open Thread

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