Today will be a miscellaneous Curmudgeon day to follow-up on some recent posts.
College Football Rumble
Today's Washington Post sports section has an article on the voters in the Harris Interactive Poll, one of two "human" polls included in the complex and controversial BCS ratings formula for determining which college football teams get to play for the "national championship."
The Post story notes that a few of the Harris voters made what the Post evidently thinks are unusual selections by not including both Florida and Michigan in the #2 and #3 spots. Give us a break--there are a lot of reasons why someone could logically vote another team into one or both of those slots since the criteria are purely subjective.
For example, Boise State was undefeated. Why not rank the Rams #2? Wisconsin, playing in the Big Ten, had only one loss--why can't the Wolverines be in the top 3? Louisville had only one loss, to Rutgers, on the road. The Cardinals have a case for being in the top 3.
The Post doesn't say how the voters in the other poll, of college coaches, came out, but we'd bet that a few of them also put teams other than Michigan and Florida in the top 3. And the Post should have pointed out that the computer polls didn't all rank Ohio State, Michigan and Florida as #'s 1-3.
There's an easy way to avoid all the ruckus: have a playoff for the national title. And don't wait six weeks after the football season ends to do so.
Earlier this week, we noted an important op-ed piece in the WSJ detailing why six Muslim imams were booted off a US Airways flight. The imams and various Islamic groups are continuing to use the occasion to claim they were removed from the flight because they were praying openly in the terminal before leaving.
False, false, false. It is not uncommon for Muslims to pray in the Minneapolis terminal before boarding flights. Not a one has been barred from a flight for doing so. Instead, the imams engaged in provacative behavior that justifiably caused their removal: they refused to go to their assigned seats, instead seating themselves in the configuration of the 9/11 terrorists; they asked for seat belt extensions, which can be used as weapons, but then did not use them--instead placing them rolled up under their seats; and they were overheard making anti-American statements in Arabic.
One of the Islamic groups in Minneapolis supporting the imams said, "well, Christians pray in the Mall of America all the time, but they aren't prevented from shopping." Nor, we believe, would Muslims. But if the same Muslim then walked about the mall with his hand on what appeared to be a trigger device attached to what appeared to be a suicide belt, he would be arrested, even if it turned out if wasn't really a suicide belt. And if he shouted "death to America" we'd hope he'd be removed, too.
Power Line Politics
Dominion Power, in the planning stages to build a new high voltage transmission line to Northern Virginia, is holding citizens meetings to discuss its proposals. Not surprisingly, this is bringing out the NIMBY crowd--folks who don't want the line in their backyard. But it goes further. Folks also don't want the line going through any civil war battle sites, or through woods, or through any scenic area, or through their golf courses.
Here's an idea: let the folks who don't want a new power line go without electricity. We wonder how many of these NIMBY's have done the least little thing to curb their electricity consumption of late.
Yes, high voltage lines are ugly. Yes, it would be nice if we didn't need a new one. But as the population of Northern Virginia continues to grow, the infrastructure to sustain it must keep pace. Perhaps policy makers in NoVa could use this as an opportunity to get real about conservation and alternative energy measures.
What is Victory in Iraq?
If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times: before you can seek "victory" in Iraq, you have to know what victory is. We're glad to see a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece saying the same thing. See Shelby Steele's piece at: http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009356
And by the way, if all we mean by "victory" is a stable government, then why'd we go to war in the first place? Iraq had a stable government before we destroyed the country.