Proof Positive Beta Site

Hi! This is the Proof Positive Beta Site. It is not yet ready for Prime Time. I’m still learning how to use all the widgets in WordPress and make sure I have at least all the functionality I have now at Blogger. So, some of the stuff you see here may not work yet.

I am updating this site with new posting, but for now, the legacy stuff (and guest bloggers) will be at Proof Positive.

I am working on the Unified Field Theory of Proof Positive, but until that breakthrough, any and all confusion will be self generated.
-Proof

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Hillary’s Health: Cold Blood and Hot Flashes

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Confessions of an ex-NFL Fan

Hi, my name is Mike and I’m a recovering NFL fan. No, that’s not me in the picture…I just thought it would class up the place. Maybe not.

My addiction to the NFL started as a lad. I was born in the state of Maryland and the Baltimore Colts were my “home team”. (Yes, Virginia, the Colts were originally from Baltimore!). I used to watch Johnny Unitas on what would be by today’s standards, an incredibly small black and white screen.
Back in the day, they didn’t have the numbers painted on the field every ten yards. The people in the stands knew exactly what portion of the field you were on. Back then, they only had lines. And on TV, all the lines looked the same. You’d watch a player make what you thought was a ten to fifteen yard run only to have the announcer tell you he’d gained five, because he had initially run back ten yards behind the line of scrimmage.

But it was great! I watched whenever I could. I personally watched as Johnny Unitas invented the two minute drill. Those were the days! Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry were the Montana/Rice of their day.  Technology has improved greatly since then, on both sides of the camera. The play by play guys then would give you stats, but what you see today: the graphics of every player, how tall he is, how much he weighs, which school he attended, interviews with the quarterback’s grandmother…none of that was available to the average viewer. You just watched the players go up and down all those lines that looked the same. As a kid, that was enough.

Teams stuck around back then. The Colts were the Baltimore Colts for what seemed like forever, until they snuck out of town one night, in the dead of night to go to Indianapolis. That seemed like a huge betrayal, but even that wasn’t enough to take the NFL monkey off my back.

There was one other time I went cold turkey. Back in the day before instant replay became a fixture in every game, referees had to rely on their old Mark I eyeballs to call every play. And one season, they were particularly bad. I mean they stunk on ice. After watching game after game determined by bad calls of referees, rather than the strength and abilities of the players,  I got disgusted and gave up the NFL.

As I recall, the world didn’t come to an end. I didn’t experience any physical symptoms of withdrawal. Life went on. A year or two later I tried it again after implementation of instant replay. It wasn’t perfect, but a definite improvement over bad officiating.

Which brings us to the current situation. The Olympics had a brush with the black power movement in Mexico a few years back, but it passed with only one incident. Not sure what they might have done to prevent a repeat, but, so far so good! The NFL is a different story. It was bad enough when NFL players parroted the erroneous “Hands up, don’t shoot” last year, but now the NFL is arbitrarily choosing whose free speech matters.  They deny the Dallas Cowboys the opportunity to express their own free speech, by not allowing them to put a sticker on their helmets to honor fallen Dallas police officers. They fine players whose free speech dared to put memorials to 9/11 on their shoes. Free speech for thee but not for me??

If it is important for the NFL to control the look of the product they produce on the field, they should consider the actions and demeanor of their players who take the field. The NFL has gone out of their way in the past, to support the troops, arranged for military bands and military flybys. But allowing players to disrespect the national anthem… some of that goodwill may be short lived.

President Obama praised Kaepernick for “starting a conversation”. But, what kind of conversations are acceptable to the NFL?  Was Ray Rice “starting a conversation” about spousal abuse in that elevator video? Using the Barack Obama standard, so called ‘hate crimes’ laws would simply disappear. A Klansman who burned a cross on your lawn could claim that he was just “trying to start a conversation”.  If it’s okay to sit during the anthem, is it all right to flip the bird at the flag? What’s the difference? How about setting one of those giant flags on fire? It’s all free speech, isn’t it?
Well , you might say that flipping off the flag or members of the armed forces visiting the stadium or burning the flag “crosses the line”. And that’s the point, isn’t it? Someone has to draw the line as far as the deportment of those who represent them. Whether it is a hotel concierge or the counter worker at McDonald’s who asks if you want fries with that, the person that writes the checks has the right to set the rules.  You don’t want to wear the paper hat? Don’t work for McDonald’s. Don’t refuse to wear the hat while working the fry machine and tell us you are ‘starting a conversation’ about hygiene!

If I were a millionaire sports star, I could think of any number of ways I could “start a conversation” about whatever was on my mind. After game interviews, take out a full page ad in the New York Times, hire a skywriter, set my Ferrari on fire in my driveway and let the press (and my insurance company) interview me!

But to publicly disrespect the flag, IMHO, crosses that line. I do not need to watch a demonstration of  the ignorance and gullibility of spoiled millionaire jocks, who believe things that simply aren’t true about the state of law enforcement in the country that provided them wealth, fame and boundless opportunities.

If the NFL doesn’t agree with me, fine! That’s their right. But if I refuse to watch any of their teams, or patronize any of their sponsors, or promote them in any way, that’s my right, too, which I will exercise until such time as I am satisfied that the NFL is not providing a platform for a poisonous form of dissent.

The NFL didn’t miss me when I left the last time. They probably won’t this time either, unless enough people who feel the way I do pull the same plug.

I have a feeling I’m going to get a lot done with all the time I’ve just freed up on my weekends!

I may never go back.

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50 First Press Conferences

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“Two thumbs up! She’s still got my vote!”
– Roger Ebert

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The Reason Why the 3AM Benghazi Phonecall Went to Voicemail

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Khan Job

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Another Unforced Error for Trump

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Donald Trump has managed to create yet another controversy about himself, based, as closely as I can tell, on his massive ego and loose lips. We know Donald’s philosophy on “live and let live”. It’s basically: “Fahgetaboutit”. He has been famously quoted:

“When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.” And “When someone attacks you publicly, always strike back.”
His wife has been quoted as saying when someone attacks Trump he “hits back ten times as hard”. She was probably quoting him.

Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim US soldier killed in Iraq in 2004, made some disparaging remarks about Trump at the Democrat’s convention. I’m shocked! Someone saying mean things about a Republican at a Democrat convention…whowouldathunkit?

Now, I’m not a presidential candidate, nor do I play one on TV, but I can think of a number of ways The Donald could have responded to Khizr Khan’s emotional outburst at the Democrat convention:

1) Do nothing. Period. Be the bigger man. Khizr Khan was a grieving father who took a cheap political shot at Trump. Trump could have ignored the slight and the day after the convention, Khan would have gone back to the anonymity he enjoyed prior to his fifteen minutes of fame.

This is, as we have seen, not within Trump’s makeup. By firing back at the wrath of Khan, he gave the story legs to carry it through several more news cycles.

2) He could have said, “Mr. and Mrs. Khan, first let me express my deepest sympathies for the loss of your son. I can’t imagine the depths of grief you must feel over the loss of a child. I can tell that you’re angry, but I’m a little bit puzzled that you’re angry with me, when it was Hillary Clinton who voted to authorize sending your son in harm’s way.”  That way, it humanizes him and with a little political jiu-jitsu, turns the discussion to one of Hillary’s weaknesses with her base.

3) Pundit John LeBoutillier went so far as to suggest that Trump might have created an endowment seat in Captain Khan’s name at his alma mater to honor his service. A scholarship or donation to a military charity in the Captain’s name could have gone a long way to prove himself the bigger man.

Instead, you have a person with a massive ego, who must punish every slur and slight against him, getting into a pissing match with a Gold Star family, as no doubt the Clinton campaign wanted him to do, and then to have such an Obama grade tin ear that he would compare the sacrifice of losing a child to his “creating thousands of jobs”. Newsflash, Donald. Creating jobs to further your own financial gain is not a “sacrifice”. It could be asked if you, born to wealth, wealthy in your own right, have ever in your life made a genuine sacrifice. Certainly not as great as that of losing a child. Did you “sacrifice” your first two wives so that you could score a younger hotter one? /sarc

In one fell swoop, the Hillary camp baited Trump into overreacting, attacking the parents of a slain soldier, giving false equivalence to the word sacrifice, which could demonstrate that he is out of touch, and created an equal narrative to match that of Hillary’s treatment of Sean Smith’s mother.

Now granted, the liberals have not covered themselves with glory here. One writer said of Patricia Smith, “I would like to beat her to death.”

Patricia Smith was able to testify about the lack of honesty and moral character of Mrs. Clinton. Khizr Khan distorted what Trump had said for political theater. Trump, in taking the bait and dignifying the slurs with a response, has badly miscalculated and made it a bigger story than it was or had to be, and made himself look smaller in the process.

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What About THIS Guy??

I am in the enviable position of not envying anybody. You look up at the top of the page and see that beautiful Bugatti in the banner this week, and one might be tempted to envy. I do wonder, in passing, what kind of disposable income one must have to have one of those in one’s multicar garage. It’s like the old joke:

I wish I had enough money to buy an elephant.

What do you want an elephant for?

Oh, nothing, I just want that much money!

If I bought that Bugatti, the minute I drove it home, I’d have to tear down my house and garage, maybe buy out the two next-door neighbors so I could build a house and garage worthy of it. But, I like my house, and my car and my neighbors, so no real desire to buy the car.

Dave Letterman used to have a bit, “What about this guy?” In the days before selfies and photobombing, he’d take a picture of someone famous and zoom in on some poor schmuck in the background, minding his own business while unbeknownst to him, someone was taking his picture.

So I’ve been thinking about my contentment with my lot in life, I make a comfortable living. I’m not lottery winner rich, but that was due in part to some lifestyle choices I’ve made, where quality of life was more important to me than making lots of cash. That, plus the fact they tell me you have to actually buy the lottery tickets before they let you win. Bummer!

I live in a nice house, mostly paid for, in a quiet neighborhood. My health is reasonably good. I’m a decent cook. I have plenty of free time to do as I please. I have five wonderful kids. Life is good.

And then I was watching TV the other night and said to myself, if I was going to be envious of anyone, it would be this guy!

His name is Troy Garity. (I had to look it up) He stars in an HBO series, but he’s not the lead, so the pressure of carrying the show is not entirely on his shoulders. He didn’t have that many lines, so not a lot of memorization. And then, there’s the working conditions. You can see the grueling conditions the man has to work in. Still, I’d be tempted to take one for the team…

But not that much. I don’t really want to change places with anyone. Not Brad Pitt, not George Clooney, not Troy Garity. Not POTUS, or SCOTUS, nor PM or MP, or MVP. Just not that appealing.
I’ve been me a long time. Might be open to a few minor changes here and there, but nothing major.

Still, I wonder if Mr. Garity needs a stunt double??

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Did Obama Do All He Could To Prevent Wikileaks??

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In WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton, and the Smoking Gun, in Slate, Jack Shafer explores some of the damage done to Obama’s current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. As readers of this blog know and many others suspect, Hillary will probably be Obama’s number one opponent in the 2012 primaries. So does this leak help or harm Hillary in 2012?

To be fair to Clinton, she isn’t the first secretary of state to issue cables telling U.S. foreign service officers to spy on other diplomats…

…But what makes Clinton’s sleuthing unique is the paper trail that documents her spying-on-their-diplomats-with-our-diplomat orders, a paper trail that is now being splashed around the world on the Web and printed in top newspapers. No matter what sort of noises Clinton makes about how the disclosures are “an attack on America” and “the international community,” as she did today, she’s become the issue. She’ll never be an effective negotiator with diplomats who refuse to forgive her exuberances, and even foreign diplomats who do forgive her will still regard her as the symbol of an overreaching United States. Diplomacy is about face, and the only way for other nations to save face will be to give them Clinton’s scalp.

My contention was that Hillary would stick with Obama, at lest nominally, until some “crisis of conscience” caused her to resign. (Failing a major conscience crisis, she could cite the cumulative effect of many smaller crises.) End game: Hillary takes a moral stand for the good of the party and is “forced” to run against Obama in 2012.
What if this wikileaks business is an attempt to force her out before she can bring her plans to fruition? By weakening her as Sec State, she is also weakened as a potential Commander-in-Chief. Damaging her with our allies, damages her as presidential material.

The damage these revelations have cause is summed up by Shafer thusly:

There is no way that the new WikiLeaks leaks don’t leave Hillary Clinton holding the smoking gun. The time for her departure may come next week or next month, but sooner or later, the weakened and humiliated secretary of state will have to pay.

So, in light of the fact that the first round of wikileaks during the Obama administration cast Bush and the military in a bad light, and the second round seems to do the same for the State Department, whose titular head is a likely opponent in 2012, is it any surprise that an administration that without warning, shut down more than 70 websites for sharing music and movies cannot left a finger to stop the leaks of classified government documents by wikileaks?

Could it be that the administration had assurances if not advanced knowledge of what was going to be released, and if not complicit, was at least passive to their leaking?

H/T Memeorandum

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Quote du jour

“Success is when all the right people hate you.”

-Ed Morrissey

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Two Things Made Flying Safer – The Rest is Security Theater

In “A Waste of Money and Time“, security technologist Bruce Schneier speaks plainly about the problem with airline security. They say that generals are often guilty of preparing to fight the last war. Airport security seems to follow that same pattern:

A short history of airport security: We screen for guns and bombs, so the terrorists use box cutters. We confiscate box cutters and corkscrews, so they put explosives in their sneakers. We screen footwear, so they try to use liquids. We confiscate liquids, so they put PETN bombs in their underwear. We roll out full-body scanners, even though they wouldn’t have caught the Underwear Bomber, so they put a bomb in a printer cartridge. We ban printer cartridges over 16 ounces — the level of magical thinking here is amazing — and they’re going to do something else.

Otherwise known as reactive measures. What are needed are proactive measures, which need to be directed at the bombers and not the bombs.

…Our security measures only work if we happen to guess the plot correctly. If we get it wrong, we’ve wasted our money. This isn’t security; it’s security theater.

Security theater. Playing a part to make people feel safer about flying, when in fact, very little of the efforts actually make anyone safer.

…Exactly two things have made airplane travel safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door, and convincing passengers they need to fight back. Everything else has been a waste of money. Add screening of checked bags and airport workers and we’re done. Take all the rest of the money and spend it on investigation and intelligence.

Read the whole thing. Think about what tremendous amounts of money we waste for minimal gains. Then, think of the erosion of rights and dignity it costs us in addition to our treasure. Then consider letting your elected officials know what you really think.

H/T Say Anything

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