Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

July 30, 2004


Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 6:47 am

‘Tis better to have lofted and sliced than never to have lofted at all.

Thus sayeth brother Bernard Darwin.

What he was talking about was a ball known as “the putty,” made by a company named Eclipse. He tried one for a while in lieu of the then-standard gutta percha, or “gutty”, and wasn’t too pleased. The putty was hailed as the cure for a slice, guaranteed to go straight. It usually did. Unfortunately, it never got much altitude. For links courses, that wasn’t a big problem as long as no hazard lay between you and the target. But extricating the putty from a bunker was near impossible.

The search for the perfect ball continues today.

When I first began playing golf, the ball was made of a center core, rubber with some kind of liquid inside, wound with rubber and covered with balata. If you hit them poorly, they smiled back at you. A deep enough gash pretty much ruined the ball. Some manufacturers also used a Surlyn cover, a synthetic rubber developed by DuPont. It suffered abuse a little better, but wasn’t soft enough to get the kind of spin better players want.

Acushnet made a ball called the Titleist. The Acushnet name is often forgotten, but the corporation still manufactures Titleist and Pinnacle golf balls, along with other golf equipment. They were, and still are, considered the top of the line in golf balls. But they no longer wind rubber.

Spalding came up with a different approach to ball manufacture. They created the Top-Flite, a ball with a solid core. It was durable, and had pretty good spin characteristics. If you played a Top-Flite, people thought you were either cheap or a poor golfer. Everyone knew good golfers played Titleist.

Today, all companies makes balls with solid cores. Some have a solid core with a urethane cover, some have a solid core with a thin layer between the core and cover. Some others have a solid core with a second wrap of another material, an outer core, and then a cover. Four layers has become the standard for a premium ball. Each layer provides some special characteristic to enhance a player’s skills. Thin and soft covers and outer layers provide “feel” and spin, and the harder interior provides the compression to get more distance on shots hit harder. Combine those with new driver technology and people hit drives more than 300 yards on a regular basis.

But, you know…Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus could hit the old balata ball with persimmon and drive it 300 yards when they wanted to. The search continues for the perfect ball for the weekend golfer who slices or hooks or tops his shots on a regular basis.

A new ball is a treasure. The cover, painted bright white, gives you a sense of a new beginning every time you open a new sleeve of three. It is shiny. No scuffs or scratches. That will soon change. Golfers cringe when a ball hits a cart path. No, our swings aren’t so perfect that the flight of the ball on the next shot will be greatly affected, but our psyche is. The ball gets dirty and we wipe it off or wash it at the next tee box. But it will never be the same. It becomes a utility player rather than the star. Soon it finds its way into a different pocket of the golf bag, one reserved for those soldiers who’ve done their duty and still have some life remaining, but are no longer the elite. It will serve as a provisional, ready to step up when one of the new guys has gone astray, but will never again start off a tournament round.

Throwing away an old ball is almost a sin.

Now to NYC

Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 5:54 am

Matt Margolis, who blogs at BlogsForBush, has been invited to participate in the RNC Convention in NYC. I’ve added a link to the sidebar for those of you interested in following the happenings at Madison Square Garden.

The DNC Convention went off with only a few protests, although some apparently got a little testy. The standard giant papier-m

July 29, 2004

The Case for George W. Bush

Filed under: Society-Culture — Bunker @ 11:52 am

Thank you, La Shawn, for pointing out a very interesting article I would have missed had you not seen it, first. And I also enjoy your thoughts on it.

Now, the rest of you are wondering what in the world I’m talking about. Tom Junod wrote an excellent piece for Esquire on the Case for George Bush. He has done his homework well. He doesn’t like Dubya at all, but thinks he is absolutely right in his desire to fight terrorism.

I will say no more about it. I’ll let La Shawn and Tom speak for themselves. They both do it quite well, you know.


Filed under: Media — Bunker @ 10:05 am

Neal Boortz has some interesting things to say about the DNC convention today. But one thing really caught my eye:

I ran into some lower-level Fox News Channel staffers yesterday. They thanked me for spilling the beans on O’Reilly. He’s universally despised. I’m told that an edition of the “Factor” rarely ends without O’Reilly singling out some hapless Fox or Foxette for an obscenity-laden tongue lashing.

Neal confirms what I’ve suspected for some time. I once watched O’Reilly every night. In the last 18 months or so, though, he’s become far more self-obsessed. I even sent him an email a couple of times warning him he was becoming the new Geraldo. Every show is a tribute to himself.

That’s too bad. At one time he offered a reasonable debate on issues which had somehow slipped through the fingers of others in the media. He got more and more into National Enquirer quality material, and is just far too self-promoting to suit my taste. His “Ridiculous Item of the Day” became “How can I pretend to make fun of myself while hawking some trinkets?” Every show has become more about him than the topics or guests.

He once provided a place where honest discussion took place, unlike the shows where people yell at one another. No more.


Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 6:22 am

If you only listen to Democrats and don’t pay attention to what they do, you would believe they despise the wealthy. The rich got what they have by “winning life’s lottery.” The rich do nothing unless it is driven by the goal of accumulating more wealth. The rich are evil, and got their money through the hard work of the poor. We hate the rich.

Now, look at who the Democrats worship: FDR, JFK, RFK, Ted, Moore, most Hollywood celebrities. The Democrats of the ’40s and ’50s didn’t much care for Harry Truman. He didn’t even own his own house. And even Bill Clinton never got the buddy treatment from Ted Kennedy. But at least he’s rich, now. And proud to tell you about it. Jimmy Carter was no pauper, even though the “peanut farmer” moniker was supposed to generate visions of him in the field with a hoe.

So, this article from Thomas Lifson at The American Thinker makes some interesting points in this regard about Mrs. Kerry’s speech at the DNC Convention.

I’ve come to the conclusion that what the Democratic Party really wants is a King or Queen. Camelot redux. Worship is the best word I can come up with (now where’s that thesaurus?) to describe how the faithful, like those who attend conventions, feel about the rich in their party. And judging from the way Mrs. Kerry carried and presented herself, she views herself as a future queen.

Face it. Bill Clinton could have served as President for Life if the Constitution allowed it. And he would have. And faithful Democrats would have loved it.

July 28, 2004

Supporting the President

Filed under: Government — Bunker @ 1:12 pm

Dean has posted An Interesting Question For Conservatives:

Now here is my interesting question: I’ve made myself some friends among conservatives by speaking this way. But I do find myself wondering: how many of you on the right will embrace such a philosophy if John Kerry should carry the election in November?

I will.

I believe in the separation of government and politics. I hate politics. Government interests me. The two are not the same, nor should they be. We elect people to represent us, and we expect them to do what is right within the framework of our Constitution.

Today, the election cycle never ends. Politics continue day in and day out. Political shenanigans are the domestic equivalent of diplomacy, and belong in a small, controlled timeframe prior to an election. No deal-making. No vote buying. Simple representation is what we deserve.

The real question is whether we want a President or a Political Commisar. A President will act in the best interests of the United States, whether it is popular or not. I believe that is what Dubya has done. That’s why I support him. People seem to forget what a tremendous political risk he was taking by first going into Afghanistan, and then finishing up what the UN refused to do in Iraq a decade ago. Those political chickens seem to be coming home to roost, but not because of any failures. We have had many successes, with bumps in the road. The bumps are heralded as failures.

I don’t like Kerry because I believe Ted Kennedy will finally get the White House if he wins, something Ted couldn’t accomplish on his own. We will have the equivalent of Tip O’Neill controlling Jimmy Carter. Kerry would be a political commisar like Clinton. At least Carter had a sincere heart.

My biggest complaint about those who speak ill of our President and besmirch the accomplishments of our troops is that they do it with no sense of how destructive it is to any foreign policy we want to pursue. Divide and Conquer is a valid strategy, and even easier to accomplish when the enemy divides himself, which our enemies clearly understand. Diplomacy only works if you operate from strength. That is what the “Give Peace a Chance” group refuses to understand.

My loyalties lie first with the United States. For all our failings, this is still the best place in the world to live. There is absolutely no comparison. And we are quick to point out our own failings. For the whole world to see. I have been to and lived in (not just a visit) a wide variety of countries with different histories, languages, and cultures. None come close. Not even England, which is as close to us in those things as any other. Not Canada, as much as they would like to be like us.

In the first half of the 19th century, all the nations in Europe sat back waiting for this experiment to fail so they could then come in and pick up the pieces that suited them. No representative government like ours had ever survived. In 1861 we surprised them all. We fought a war, one of the bloodiest in history, between ourselves. Europeans thought the end was near. What surprised them was not that we had a Civil War, but that the entire nation was mobilized–fiercely. We had larger armies fighting one another than they could ever dream of building. We had muscle and commitment like no society had ever known. We were united in our division, as strange as it sounds. At that point, the US became a force to be reckoned with. Still something we need to project overseas if we ever want to succeed diplomatically.

That unity of purpose is what we saw in the one or two days after 9/11, which dissolved quickly once people saw Dubya was looking too good to suit them. We cannot survive in this world operating that way. As long as Kerry, if elected, acts like a President I will support him as one. Too bad Dubya wasn’t given that opportunity.

July 27, 2004


Filed under: Society-Culture — Bunker @ 7:12 pm

People often equate the cultural left to the political left. I think it is a great disservice to all. Politics, government, and culture should be separate. In this year, though, they have become so intertwined it is difficult for me to even write about such things in a cultural sense without someone immediately injecting politics.

I’m going to continue trying.

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