Saturday, July 17, 2010


I love soccer (football, futbol, Fußball, Футбольный, フットボール).

I loved playing it, I love watching it. I love the fact that players run 6-7 miles worth of 40 yard wind sprints in a 90 minute game. Try that sometime, see how it feels.

I love that it is profoundly difficult to score a goal. I love that the two best teams in the world beat each other's brains out for 116 minutes until one scored.

I love that weak teams that decide to play determined defense can routinely tie or beat much stronger teams, so that every week is a nail-biting crap shoot, even for the best teams.

And I love the insane ball control tricks that professional players toss off so casually.

Watch this. Roberto Carlos (bald head, bare feet) Ronaldinho (shirtless) and Robinho (shoes), just goofing.

Oh, why not watch another one? This is Robinho again, during a game.

Looks easy, right?

Finally, Eternal Optimist loves the fact that the little guys from Barcelona beat everyone this year.

Xavi Hernandez (right) and Andres Iniesta.
The Untouchables.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


EO read an interesting article in Newsweek (online). In it Nancy Keenan, the head of NARAL (National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) bemoaned the fact that pro-life activists are younger, more enthused and more numerous than pro-abortion activists. A quote from the article provides the background:

It was the 37th annual March for Life, organized every year on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe. "I just thought, my gosh, they are so young," Keenan recalled. "There are so many of them, and they are so young." March for Life estimates it drew 400,000 activists to the Capitol this year. [A pro-abortion] rally two months earlier had about 1,300 attendees.

Nancy Keenan and abortion pal.
Photo credit.

An appropriate response to these observations would be "D'oh," as Homer Simpson famously said in response to almost everything. "D'oh" means something like "oops, I didn't see the obvious coming."

NARAL, and all pro-abortion outfits, have a very difficult demographic mountain to climb. They are searching for young volunteers among the un-aborted. Which is like searching for German fans in Russia during WWII.

Germans at Stalingrad, 1942. Not so popular.
Orthodox Christians and Jews, who are opposed to abortion on moral grounds, are the ones having lots of kids. On the whole, abortion advocates don't have so many kids. By killing 50 million children who would have grown up with (presumably) more abortion friendly home environments and ideas, abortion advocates are, in a macabre sense, victims of their own "success."

Abortion rights advocates don't just have a demographic problem. They have a message problem. The idea that older people - moms - have a right to kill younger people - children - does not resonate so well with young people. Just like apartheid did not resonate so well with blacks in South Africa.

Apartheid: not so popular.
The counter argument, that each human being has a right to life, even when she is weak and young, seems to sit better with young people. Go figure.

All we are saying is give life a chance.
It takes twelve to 20 years of school - like a Chinese re-education camp - to convince young minds that killing young, defenseless babies is the only way to protect the right to baby-free sex guaranteed by our fore[fathers][persons] somewhere or another in the Constitution. And everyone who opposes this sacred Constitutional right is a religious fanatic nut abortion clinic bomber.

Or something like that.

Apparently lots of young people are not buying this.

If the demographics continue like this, abortion rights advocates will wind up like the bitter Afrikaaners who bemoan the demise of apartheid.

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Afrikaans apartheid supporters. Peace be with you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Mrs. Optimist recently informed the Eternal Optimist that the last few posts have been "downers." "When," says Mrs. Optimist, "are you going to write something hopeful?"

As always when I receive clear direction from Mrs. Optimist, I hear and obey. Here is my revolutionary program for saving America. I call it "Fixing Everything," because I like to keep things low key and not promise too much.

FYI, you don't have to get elected or have $700 billion in spare change to do any of this.

In honor of the World Cup I have 11 points, arranged in a 4-3-3 formation.

Xavi. Anda Espana.

1. Reconcile yourself with God, and stay that way.

This one is first because it stands alone and comprehends all the other parts of the program. God already knows what works and what doesn't. Read Genesis 1-3. It is silly and unproductive to reinvent your world according to your rules. The reason it doesn't work is you are not God. All other advice is futile if you ignore this.

Stay in touch.

2. Marry the person God tells you to.

Arranged marriages are a good thing when God is doing the arranging.

3. Stay married and have plenty of children.

This fixes Social Security, health care and a host of other big scary issues in 25 years.

4. Focus on raising your children well.

Mrs. Optimist once told me "when you die from a heart attack, me and the kids will be at your funeral crying. At work they'll send flowers and in 2 days have someone behind your desk." The comment changed my life. Glad I listened to her.

5. Turn off the damn TV.

Seems obvious, but TV is brain, time and relationship sucker. Your children will be much happier, kinder people with very limited TV in their lives. So will you.

6. Exercise 5 days a week, get outside a lot, and eat your greens.

You do this and teach your kids this, it fixes health care in 25 years. We were designed to be outside, walking and talking., and eating things that grow. God didn't put a desk with a Dr. Pepper and a Moon Pie in the Garden of Eden.

7. Stay off the sauce.

Addictions are stupid, lethal and profoundly selfish. They are a search for chemical happiness provoked by separation from God. Sex, cocaine, alcohol, food, work, exercise - whatever. They used to be called idols. Now we call them addictions.

8. Get a practical education that helps you earn a living.

Avoid going in debt up the wazoo for an education. Save that for when you are fabulously wealthy and can afford it. As Al Franken once brilliantly put it, most people should not be chasing their dreams.

9. Work hard, save money, don't buy stuff on credit.

Work: good. Unemployment: bad. Savings: good. Hand to mouth: bad. Credit cards: good for Citibank, bad for you.

10. Be generous and kind.

You are hurtling at a high rate of speed toward a meeting with your maker. He likes kind people and dislikes the selfish. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" turns out to be very pragmatic advice about self-preservation. Read Matthew 25 and Luke 16. Fascinating.

Sheep and goats. Who knew?
Photo credit.

11. Vote for good people.

Good people are honest, kind, thrifty and hard-working. Imagine the U.S. Senate filled with people like this. I know, it's crazy. I'm trying to think outside the box here.


Well folks, there it is, 11 points to save America. I think my work here is done.

Now I have to watch Netherlands and Spain. What a game!!

Monday, July 5, 2010


I've explained why I think Cap and Trade is a bad idea. When EO was young(er) the Great Carnac, a clairvoyant, often made an appearance on the Tonight show. His ability to predict the future never failed to astonish.

Carnac the Magnificent.

EO does not pretend to have the same ability as Carnac, but does have a carnival huckster's flair for embellishing the obvious with the faintly absurd. EO has a dozen predictions, probably because he likes eggs. as well as most numbers evenly divisible by 3. Plus, there were 12 apostles and 12 tribes in Israel. And 12 days of Christmas. The 12 predictions below are neatly divided into four groups of three. Because Threeness is important.

12 Apostles.



1. Crooks (think Joe Kennedy, President Kennedy's bootlegging father) will become Cap and Trade billionaires by cheating the system.

Joe Kennedy: Nazi sympathizer, Democrat, philanderer, bootlegger.
2. Consumer prices will go up dramatically; so will unemployment. Wages will stay put or go down. Bill Gates and friends will not notice at all. The rest of us will suffer.

Bill and Warren rocking the recession.

3. Al Gore will become an even wealthier man than he is now.

Carbon Bigfoot print: Al Gore's Nashville mansion.
Photo credit.

Think Halliburton, only with an earnest Al Gore smile. (The link takes you to a sympathetic NYT article on Gore making tons of money from businesses that stand to profit from his Green lobbying). I don't actually mind Al Gore making money, if taxpayers also made out as well on their investment. Unlikely, in this case.


4. The massive transfer of wealth forced by Cap and Trade will be poorly managed and have bizarre, unintended consequences. The Road To Economic Hell will be paved with Cap and Trade's good intentions. Along with the Reid-Pelosi health care reform legislation.

The Good Intenders
Coming Summer, 2010

Photo credit.

5. The program's intended results will be largely unquantifiable and highly debatable, much like TARP and the economic stimulus.

6. Cap and Trade's benefits - affordable cleaner energy and a cleaner environment - are decades away and by no means certain, while the trillions in costs are both certain and immediate.


7. The government will have to hire 100,000 new federal agents - a new IRS - to police the very complicated Cap and Trade laws. IRS has its hands full already.

8. The system will be as smoothly administered and well received as Prohibition and the War on Drugs. Ouch.

9. Cap and Trade will wind up looking eeriely like tobacco allotment, a federal program still hanging around from the 1930s. The purpose of tobacco allotment was to limit tobacco production in order to prop up the rural South by keeping tobacco prices high. Bottom line: the Government pays farmers billions not to grow tobacco. Tobacco allotment serves no legitimate economic purpose. It is just a zombie program that redistributes billions of dollars annually to satisfy a very narrow political clientele. But politicians - left and right - love it: they can play sugar daddy with other people's money.

Imagine if we could expand tobacco allotment to cover everyone!!


10. The next Crisis du Jour will be a longer term problem and more expensive to fix than the last one. That has been the pattern so far:

Sub-prime (immediate problem) to
Stimulus (1-2 year horizon) to
Health Care (decade) to
"Cap and Trade" (century).

Each one less urgent and more expensive than the last.

11. When the government tries to punish people for using oil and coal, the resistance, both political and economic, will be more ferocious than it was for Prohibition. Fuel tax evasion is already a billion dollar industry. Wait until every industry in the economy has a stake in the game.

12. If we keep spending money we don't have, we will become Big Greece and China will become our Big Germany. But unlike the (current) Germans, the Chinese have a vicious totalitarian government, nukes, a booming economy and visions of dominating the Far East. They have a population of more than 1 billion and a land mass bigger than the U.S.

China & U.S. - Big Boys.
Photo credit.

Comparison of gross domestic product of various
countries portrayed as a portion of the map of the U.S.

Photo credit.

Germany actually wound up bailing the Greeks out, after much grumbling. I'm not so sure about China coming around when we drive off the cliff.

So we got that going for us.

Next Post: EO's simple, "can-do" suggestions for improving simply EVERYTHING.