Long weekends aren't good for the commentary business...whether you get paid for your ravings or not.
1. One For The Good Guys.
If you dislike a study's conclusions, you're supposed to examine its methodology and its mathematics. You're not supposed to accuse the chief investigator of fraud right off the bat:
The University of Texas-Austin is backing a sociology professor who came under withering attack for a study that found children of same-sex parents are more likely to be depressed or on welfare than kids raised by heterosexual couples.
The school launched an inquiry into Professor Mark Regnerus' peer-reviewed work last month after a New York-based blogger attacked him for a controversial paper which compared the adult lives of people raised by parents in same-sex relationships to those raised by parents in traditional marriages. The study found several differences, including some that were potentially negative. But an inquiry by the school found Regnerus used sufficiently scholarly methods, university officials announced this week.
Would it surprise you to learn that that "New York-based blogger" is homosexual -- and that he's attacked Regnerus's integrity on the basis of the professor's Catholic faith?
After it was published, blogger Scott Rose accused Regnerus of scientific misconduct in two letters to the school, first charging Regnerus with deviating from "ethical standards" for research and later accusing him of "possible falsification" of research. Rose, who is gay, claimed the study was compromised because it was funded by the conservative Witherspoon Institute and that Regnerus was unable to be impartial because he is Catholic.
There has never been any evidence proffered to the effect that Regnerus deviated from appropriate scholastic and statistical standards. But a homosexual activist who dislikes your conclusions won't be much concerned with that...even when the subject is the long-term damage done to innocent children by being raised in homosexual households.
Sure, let 'em be Boy Scout troop leaders. What could possibly go wrong?
2. National Empty Chair...Week?
College students from across North Carolina will arrive in Charlotte by the busload. Same with members of predominantly black churches in neighboring South Carolina.
Their goal: help fill a 74,000-seat outdoor stadium to capacity when President Obama accepts the Democratic nomination Thursday night.
Anything short of a full house on the final night of the Democratic Party's national convention will be instant fodder for Republicans eager to use empty seats as symbols of waning voter enthusiasm for Obama.
Democrats have been fretting for months over whether the president can draw a capacity crowd at Bank of America Stadium. Polls show voter enthusiasm is down, as are Obama's crowds for his battleground state campaign rallies.
Sheesh! Rock groups know better than to book a stadium that will be half empty when they take the stage. However, there's a critical difference at work here. Rock groups are private enterprises organized and operated to make a profit, whereas the Democratic National Convention is a publicly funded undertaking organized and operated to crown a Prophet.
Seriously, if it weren't for the vestiges of Obama's cult of personality, he might not be able to fill a high school auditorium. But his massive narcissism won't permit him to admit that his star has waned too far to essay another Greek-column-filled extravaganza. That would come too close to admitting to a mistake.
Clint Eastwood's clever bit at the Republican National Convention last week will be remembered far more kindly than Barack Hussein Obama's decadal adventure in self-aggrandizement.
3. Never Too Late For Another Learning Experience.
A week and a bit ago, I mentioned a foray into self-indulgence that's had a few secondary consequences. One of them has been expensive but most rewarding.
I own a Guild F40 Black Beauty made in 1960. It's a beautiful guitar in several senses, with tone that challenges the very best examples of the art being made today. However, I haven't been able to play it for several years, owing to advancing arthritis in my hands.
Well, with the arrival of the Les Paul, I took the advice of a colleague and went to a "set-up man" in my neighborhood for some advice. He assured me that he could soften the action on the Les Paul to the point where I could play it in comfort -- assuming extra-light-gauge strings and some time to get my steel-string calluses back. He quoted a price for the service that surprised me pleasantly.
Inasmuch as his shop also buys and sells guitars, I asked him what he thought he could get for my Guild. After I'd described it to him, he demanded to see it at once. I went home to fetch it and set it before him scant minutes later. He picked it up, played a few bars, smiled at me, and shook his head.
"You don't want to part with this," he said. "Guitars with this sort of tone just aren't made anymore. Besides, you'll never get what it's really worth. Leave it with me. I'll soften it up for you, and you'll be back to playing it in no time."
He handed me back the Les Paul the very next day, and he was absolutely correct: this axe plays like warm butter, and it sounds like...well, if you've never heard a Les Paul's tone, get thee down to a music shop and play one for yourself.
I'll get my Black Beauty back either today or tomorow. I can't wait.