Tell-all celebrities 4

By Tom Quiner

Florence Henderson of Brady Bunch fame has published her memoirs.

She reveals that she had a one-night stand with a New York politician who gave her a sexually-transmitted disease.

Do we really need to know this?

Ms. Henderson defends her decision to “tell-all” this way:

“I love to read memoirs but I know when they’re not being really honest and I thought if I’m going to write this I’m going to write about  myself as a human being who has had to overcome an awful lot in my life and had to face a lot of challenges, make a lot of mistakes, make some bad choices but I’ve managed to keep growing and evolving to live a very full life filled with friends, four children that I adore, five grandchildren and a career that I dearly love. So I just want people to know that they can make mistakes, have a hard childhood, but you don’t have to be a victim of all of it.”

Who is she trying to kid? She’s not being honest, she’s being undignified. She’s showing no class, and I suspect that Ms. Henderson is indeed a classy lady.

To me, the lesson from celebrities is that a little discretion can go a long ways.

Uncivil celebrities 2

By Tom Quiner

I used to be a boxing fan until Mike Tyson came along.

I attended a closed circuit fight with a buddy of mine to watch Mr. Tyson take on Evander Holyfield. Mr. Tyson was clearly getting bested by Holyfield.  You could see Tyson’s frustration growing, because he was having trouble laying a glove on the pugilist who had defeated him in an earlier encounter.

What happened in the third round is history. Tyson bit a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear. When the round continued, he bit the other ear. The chaos that ensued can be viewed above.

This was bad enough. But it was the reaction of the crowd that bothered me the most. The Tyson fans cheered their man on with the cry: “go champ.” And this was a crowd here in civilized Des Moines, Iowa, watching the event on the big screen.

Like so many, I had enjoyed the fights of Mohammed Ali, Joe Frazier, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Tyson ruined it for me by transforming an already primal sport into pure barbarism.

Less offensive examples abound in sports these days of uncivil behavior by our star athletes. Tiger Woods is famous for dropping the “f” bomb within earshot of kids when he hits a bad shot.

And then there’s Serena Williams who screamed at an official that she “hated her” for a call she deemed to be wrong, and in a previous tournament, that she would shove a tennis ball down the poor official’s throat for another bad call.

And who could forget John McEnroe’s relentless tirades against officials back in the 80s?

I heard a wonderful speaker tonight at an event for Christian men. He said kids don’t remember what you say, they remember what you do.

This speaker works with youth and speaks to youth groups. When he asks them whom they admire, no one ever raises their hand and says Charlie Sheen … or Kobie Bryant … or Tiger Woods.

It might be their Mom or Dad. Or a neighbor. Or someone else’s parent.

The point is, it’s not the famous celebrities who act like teenagers in public with their uncivil behavior. They admire people who act admirably.

This shouldn’t be so profound, should it? But it is when you look at how so many celebrities act (out) in public for our kids to see.

Do you know who people are really attracted to? People who live holy lives.

That’s our challenge. That’s our goal. To live in a way to that really lives up to our kids’ expectations.



Another nobel laureate rejects global warming 1

By Tom Quiner

Is global warming based on good science or bad?

I ask this question because of the treatment Governor Rick Perry of Texas received from John Harris at the Republican debate at the Reagan library a couple of weeks ago.

Mr. Harris tried to trap the Governor by demanding he list the names of the scientists on whom he based his skepticism of global warming. Mr. Perry really didn’t answer the question. Global warming evangelists who embrace Al Gore’s premise that the evidence in favor of global warming is “incontrovertible” were surely triumphant.

There is, though, a growing list of scientists who don’t buy into the whole global warming religion. The latest is Ivar Giaever, a 1973 Nobel Laureate for physics. He said of global warming:

“The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me . . . that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”

Another dissenter is Harold Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at University of California at Santa Barbara. He said global warming is:

“the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”

Another dissenter is Nobelist Robert B. Laughlin.

Another dissenter is the late Nobelist Norman Borlaug.

The list is extensive, and it is growing.

The evidence in the eyes of these highly regarded scientists is not incontrovertible when it comes to global warming. What Mr. Gore and President Obama have done is make a leap of faith in their belief that global warming is real, that it is man-made, and that assuming these, it is even fixable.

In other words, it sounds like a religion.

The president could have made a more persuasive case for going green if he couched it in terms of weaning us off of mideast oil. Liberals and conservatives could agree on that. Unfortunately, we are left with the sense that the president is trying to establish a state religion.


Is this a smart way to create jobs? 2

By Tom Quiner

Job creation is the job of government. No one else can do it better.

This is the view of the president and his party.

The Democratic Party’s approach to job creation has been given a rigorous workout, and it has failed.

They have taken tax payer money, borrowed even more from China, and redistributed it to public employee unions and politically-correct corporations in the “green energy” industry.

The poster child for the president’s job creation approach was Solyndra, Inc.  They received a half-a-billion of tax payer’s (and China’s) money to build better solar cells.

The company is going bust. Taxpayers are left holding the bag (but not China, to whom we have to repay the money we borrowed to “stimulate” our economy).

In a previous post (The U.S. can control its energy destiny), I talked about the flaw in the president’s approach:

The president has a skewed vision on how to accomplish this. His vision is a massive infusion of taxpayer money into the creation of “green jobs.” The liberal Apollo Alliance guestimates it’ll take 20 times the annual budget of the Department of Energy to create five million jobs. So how much will all this job creation cost us? Five hundred BILLION dollars, or $100,000 per job.

Okay, the president’s plan failed. He learned from his mistakes, right?

We could only wish.

The president has proposed a massive, new $450 billion job creation package, even though this approach was tried on a grander scale before and failed.

The most optimistic guesstimate on how many jobs this will create comes from a Moody’s economist, Mark Zendi, who projects maybe 1.9 million will be “saved” or created.

The cost to taxpayers? How about $236,000 per job?

Is this a smart way to create jobs?

Is the Iraq War the cause of our deficits? 1

By Tom Quiner

The “Supercommittee” meets. Their vision on why America’s fiscal house is such a mess varies wildly. The USA Today reports that Democrats on the committee blame the two wars this decade as one of the major reasons for our crisis, along with Bush-era tax cuts.

I am re-running a Quiner’s Diner post from last year which addresses the Iraq/Afghanistan War allegations:


Voices on the left are clear:  our fiscal problems are the result of an unnecessary war on Iraq forced on the country by former President Bush.

Democratic Party strategist, James Carville, is blunt:

“It was under Mr Bush that the deficit spiralled out of control as we fought an unnecessary and endless $3,000bn war in Iraq…”

Writing in the Washington Post, Linda Bilmes (a member of Harvard’s faculty) and economist Joseph Stiglitz were even blunter:

“The Iraq adventure has seriously weakened the U.S. economy, whose woes now go far beyond loose mortgage lending. You can’t spend $3 trillion — yes, $3 trillion — on a failed war abroad and not feel the pain at home.”

Writing in The Nation, Christopher Hayes is bluntest:

“First, the facts. Nearly the entire deficit for this year and those projected into the near and medium terms are the result of three things: the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts and the recession. The solution to our fiscal situation is: end the wars…”

The Iraq War certainly makes voices from the political Left emotional.  Fortunately, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has weighed in with a detailed financial analysis of the war’s cost.  It turns out the folks above were just plain misinformed.

It is certainly fair to argue if the fruits of our efforts were worth the tremendous cost to our nation.

Reasonable voices can debate if the removal of a mass-murdering dictator and the establishment of a democratically-elected government were worth it.

Reasonable voices can argue if the piece of mind knowing that the country truly is free of weapons of mass destruction are worth it.

The jury is still out on Iraq, and a healthy debate should continue on whether the price was worth it.

However, when it comes to deficits, the debate is over.  The CBO spells it out.  The war accounted for just 3.2% of federal government spending while it lasted.

Look at defense spending under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson in the 60s when it accounted for 46% of all federal spending.  Contrast that with Bush II when defense spending was less than 20% of federal outlays.

The chart above really lays it on the line.  The last year Republicans were in charge of the budget was 2007.  Deficits exploded after Democrats took over.  The biggest culprit is Obama’s stimulus package which will cost far more than the Iraq War ever did.

And for the record, we went to war with Iraq on the basis of bipartisan Congressional Iraq War Resolution (H.J. Res 114).  In the House, 82 Democrats voted to go to war; in the Senate, 29 Democrats voted to go to war.

The next time you hear an angry voice blaming our deficits on the Iraq War, tell them to talk to the non-partisan CBO.