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Showing posts from October 1, 2006
Asking voters to declare they are not illegal voters or even citizens is unconstitional. So says the 9th circuit.

It was no accident that this was sprung just before the elections and there's no way they're going to get before the 9th en banc before the elections. Not that it would matter anyway. The full court will certainly re-affirm the decision. I expect this will go to the USSC sometime in the future and they'll overturn the decision.

This ruling makes a mockery of our elections. The 9th should (once again) hang its head in shame.
In response to the Kos article I referenced earlier:

Dear Libertarian Democrats...

What I propose is that Democrats promise to support one major libertarian experiment. In exchange for Democrats agreeing to support this experiment, libertarians would agree to vote for Democrats.

The experiment that I have in mind is school choice. If Democrats would instead prefer an experiment with voluntary investment accounts substituting for Social Security, that is an acceptable alternative. But for now, let us work with school choice.

The experiment that I propose is that in four or five diverse states, all tax revenues that ordinarily would go to schools would for a period of 15 years go to parents as school vouchers. Proponents of school choice will propose specific indicators that will be measured to assess whether the experiment achieves desired goals, such as improved school quality, lower cost, and greater parent satisfaction. Opponents of school choice also will propose specific indicators …
Give Hastert enough rope and he'll hang himself.

I'm amazed he hasn't stepped down yet. Really, is there no one else who can run the party?
Everyone is pounding on the Dems for their call for Foley's head in light of previous Democrat congressment who did worse and whatnot.

Ann Althouse has another example that is a good one.

Foley's behavior is inexcuseable and Republicans should operate by their own rules not create rules that are predicated on any other party's rules. Do what is right and ignore what other people do.
Bill Clinton admits MSM is liberally biased.

So, liberals, which is it? Are they biased or is Clinton a liar. (For clarity, we know he's a liar, I'm asking if he's lying in this specific instance.)
More on the DPRK nuclear test:

It was unclear when the rally took place, or how many attended, but it could show that Kim is trying to polish his credentials with the country's cherished military at a time when international pressure is mounting on Pyongyang.

That was my first thought as well. Interesting that a demi-god needs to polish his credentials. Either he's doing a great acting job or he thinks things are going to get very heated. If it's the latter, he is worried that there may be a coup. I'm not sure a coup would be any better than the reign of the bouffanted gargolye.

I think the best scenario would be total collapse of the state. I think it's too far gone to reform it at this point and it has to collapse completely to start with a clean slate.
Image
Chlorine Gas Cloud loose in Raleigh, NC.

I've seen first hand what this stuff can do. When I was a young lad I was a lifeguard. One of the pools I worked at used chlorine gas to chlorinate the pool (that's pretty rare, usually they give a liquid or a solid that looks like salt or is formed into something like charcoal briquettes).

One day we were switching the empty tank for a full one. Through a series of mishaps, we cracked the valve housing and the gas started fill the pumphouse. We fled and evacuated the pool area. The evil cloud slithered out the slatted windows and floated over the fence and toward the creek behind the pool. We called the fire department and they came out and decided that it was safe as the amount of gas released was pretty small and the wind had dissipated the gas enough that there was no immediate hazard. We reluctantly went back to the pump house area and looked over the fence. All the waist high weeds were dead and greyish green looking. It l…
More on the impending DPRK nuclear test

Jagon. Most people think of it in abstract terms if at all. It is, however, very useful. It helps people identify others in their group and very quickly discern their level of involvment and knowledge of that group. It's found in professions, religion, politics, groups of friends and family and so on. Technical people use if for speed and efficiency of communication. Diplomats have their own jargon they use to send very clear signals from seemingly reserved language. For example;

South Korea warns North of 'grave consequences' of planned nuclear test

Grave consequences is the second most alarmist phrase a nation state can use to another. It indicates they are going to mobilize their armed forces for potential conflict and intend to use all non-military might to bear on their opponent. The only stronger words are "act of war". If the South Koreans had said they would continue such a threat an "act of war" th…
I'm a big fan of James Lileks' The Bleat. I rarely miss it and today's column has a very poignant ending. In speaking about the war on terrorism he writes:

Ever watched a fight on TV? Before the bout everyone’s milling around in the ring; there’s hard looks and grins and hangers-on and photographers, and a general air of excitement and anticipation, but everyone’s enjoying the moment. Then the bell clangs. Everyone heads to their corners. They know exactly which corner is theirs.
We may think that bell’s already rung, but it hasn’t. Believe me, you'll know it when it does.

It's a very simple but very powerful analogy. It's really true that when the gloves come off people instinctively flock to one side or the other. Even if they don't have a vested interest or even a well-formed opinion. Instinctively, we choose a side. Such choices are usually very telling.
The Energy diet.

I wholeheartly agree with the article and it makes some excellent points about personal responsiblity. Each of us has the choice to reduce our consumption as we feel appropriate. The article indicates that the small things can add up. I agree with the lightbulb thing. I tried them and use them when I can but in some places they're just too dim. I like the motion sensor ideas esp. b/c my son has OCD which forces him to turn certain lights on in tandem and leave them on (even in the middle of the day).

In short, there's plenty we can do with little effort to reduce our energy consumption. That's exactly the sort of solution we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, not regulation and artificial cost increases.

Contrast that article with this one: Green Hypocrisy at 30,000. It galls me when I see environmentalists and moreso, celebrities lecturing me about my energy consumption from people who live in massive mansions, fly on private jets and are…
The Australian has a story about China's inability to stop a DPRK nuclear test:

WHILE the rest of the world looks to Beijing to stop North Korea from exploding a nuclear bomb, a leading Chinese analyst says it is too late — China cannot act without doing worse harm to its own interests.
“Basically, our country’s work of persuasion with the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) in the 12 years that the DPRK developed its nuclear program had been a failure,” writes highly regarded Shen Dingli, of Shanghai’s Fudan University.
“The DPRK considers its national interests to be greater than its relations with China,” Mr Shen says in his remarkably frank commentary, published in a newspaper of the official China Youth League and circulated yesterday by a North Korea-focused think tank, the Nautilus Institute.
Respected as probably the most independent-minded of China’s foreign relations experts, Mr Shen’s judgment that nothing can be done to stop Pyongyang becoming a fully fledged nuclear …
Lucas stops making movies
He's a smart man. He has seen the writing on the wall and he knows that the mega-blockbusters are the past, not the future. He's going to make TV shows and smaller films (eventually). I think he's positioning himself to get into the "webisode" market. That is, subscriber based TV and TV made for portables. I've said this before, (to the point I'm a crashing bore with little new to say on the subject) and it's slowly gaining steam. Just as the internet splintered news into a billion pieces (blogs, online news outlets), web 2.0 is going to shatter entertainment media in the same way. The barriers to entry for distribution are now, very low. Previously, it was nearly impossible to distribute your product independently and hope to reach a significant number of people. Now you have iTunes and YouTube and GoogleVideo. It's all changing and that change is only going to accelerate.
Bob Woodward is a liar:


"I have spoken to Bob Woodward a number of times about a variety of subjects over the years, but I did not agree to be interviewed for his latest book. Further, there are statements in the book, directly or implicitly attributed to me, that did not and never could have come from me. I never discuss any personal conversations that I may have with President George H.W. Bush, and he never discusses with me any conversations that he has with President George W. Bush."

If he lied about those conversations, what else did he lie about? Why should I believe anything else he writes. G. Gordon Liddy has been hammering Woodward for being liars for years and nobody paid attention. I wonder if they will now. (I'm not holding my breath.)

I hear much from the MSM how bloggers are unreliable because they have no editors. I'm certain we'd be hearing the same thing if Woodward was a blogger. Instead, we're met with a very telling silence.
French police under siege.

This is not a new problem and was even simmering when I was living there (12 years ago). In fact, La Haine was released just after I came home. I have previously mentioned my fears about France's propensity towards authoritarinism. (@#$@#% can't find the post now, so no link.)

If this continues and we see a retread of the violence we saw in "the zone" (as they call it) like we did last year, I fear the backlash will be severe and only serve to escalate the situation.

France has created this problem by isolating the immigrants and granting them extensive bread and circuses. They do not have, or need, jobs. They merely live off the dole (like many Frenchmen) which is bad enough but they are shunned by mainstream society and what few jobs there are, do not go to brown people. If you ever think Americans are bigots, spend sometime in Europe. We're pikers compared to them. There is no easy solution. If they try to integrate them into…
American Digest, has an item on the GOP gay purge he points to Roger L. Simon who notes:


Meanwhile, does anyone think it is ironic that so-called progressives who excoriated eavesdropping on terrorists are feasting on the publication of supposedly confidential email and IMs?


Lastly, Roger closes with this thought:

I have been reminded once again just how bad we are at bringing our best into the political arena. I know when I rail on here about the weakness of our two party system, many attack me for casting aspersions on our big tents. But let me ask you one thing, if the best those tents can come up with to lead the largest deliberative body of the most powerful country on Earth are Dennis Hastert and Nancy Pelosi, isn't it time to start asking some serious questions?

I feel exactly the same way. I'm seriously considering staying home on election day. I can't vote for the Democrats because they're idiots. I can't vote Republicans because they're hapless and id…
What Liberal Media installment MCMLVXXIV
This is bad. Shortages are going to be serious and I'm glad I'm not homebrewing right now or I'd be really feeling the sting. The upward price pressure is likely going to squeeze big Yakima consumers like Dogfishead and Victory (to cite local examples).
Reynolds is daft. Money quote:


A bigger risk is that with this many GOP scandal stories, the press will feel obliged to run with at least a couple of Dem scandals, too, to preserve the illusion of evenhandedness.

Yet, how to explain his daftness when he follows up with the most sober, sensible analysis of the upcoming elections?


DO THE REPUBLICANS DESERVE TO RETAIN THE HOUSE? This morning driving in to work I heard Neal Boortz saying no, and he made a pretty compelling case. (If it weren't for silly Democratic talk about impeachment and show-trial hearings I'd find it even more compelling.)
The counter-case is that a Democratic House would be a disaster for the country. I gathered from Boortz's discussion that that's the case that Hannity and Limbaugh were making yesterday. It's a strong argument -- except that if Republican control of the Congress is so all-fired important to the future of civilization, then why haven't the Republicans who control Congress been a…
This article annoys me. I confess I didn't read the article. Everything I need to know is in the headline. I further confess that I, too, have the impulse to engage in the same finger pointing exercise. However, after thinking about it, I realize how petty and foolish it looks. It's the same thing I get from my kids, "he hit me first." I don't care, don't do it. Don't talk about what if it was a Democrat. True leadership would be to ignore what the other guy has done or would do and do what is right for a change. Foley, to his credit, resigned immediately. Then he screwed that up by going into rehab as a means to escape scrutiny and give himself an excuse for such inexcusable behavior. Sorry, I'm not buying it. I'd rather he just resign and go away. The GOP ought to kick Hastert out of the Speaker's chair if he doesn't resign it voluntarily. Either he knew about the problem and did nothing or he didn't know and everyone e…
I wish we had politicians with stones like this.
This is reprehensible. If true. I think it probably is true but it isn't the first time this has happened.


Excerpt from an AP wire story dated October 30, 1996)
"CHICAGO (AP) -- ... (two people) were arrested July 2 at the Taste of Chicago fair after President Clinton approached them and ... responded with a rude remark.

She said the remark was, ' "You suck and those boys died,'' ' in reference to the June 25 attack of a U.S. installation in Saudi Arabia that left 19 American airmen dead. Secret Service agents initially said they heard something else that could have been taken as a threat against the president. Police said the (couple) were arrested for persisting to shout profanities while being questioned."


The Secret Service has taken on the role Praetorian Guard. It's as if they have to shield the President and Vice President within their bubble so that not only are they physically safe but their fragile little sense of self esteem is free …
Rick Santorum takes a well deserved beating here. Read it. Motes and beams and all that.
On magic bullets:

This article details a study of probiotics as a treament for autistic children. Anna posted this first and I made some comments there which I will repeat here.

The study is, in my view, deeply flawed. So much so that I don't give much credence to it. Letting the participants know that they are receiving the medicine vs. the placebo renders any subject analysis pointless. If you know you're giving your child medicine you're far more likely to see improvements. Proper studides use double blind. Neither the administrators of the trial nor the participants know who is getting the placebo and who is getting the medicine. That ensures any subjective skewing of results is controlled.

If and when this test is replicated with proper controls it may be illuminating. Until then, it's all heat and no light.
I don't read Dana's blog. I find him uncivil (often in the extreme) and unreasonable. I did, however, read this post about WDEL and I have to admit, I agree with every word. He's dead right that WDEL is the model for a small, local radio station. They don't try to be what they're not and they have smart programming that makes them listenable. Read the whole post, it's worth your time.
It seems that someone isn't getting enough attention lately

This is par for the course and at this point, even I expected this. The North Koreans only form of diplomacy is brinkmanship tactics. It's a risky game and one that is eventually going burn them but it's all they have.

Since the end of the last six party talks, the US has not made any concessions or even shown an interest in resuming the talks. This administration, unlike the last one, views diplomacy as a means, not an end. The best way to get the DPRK back to the table is to ignore them or put pressure on them. I'd rather see a carrier group off their coast for a while, but I don't think our current optempo would really allow for an extended tour right now.

At this point we may as well allow the nuclear test to go forward. That, at least, would put the nuclear question to rest and there's really nothing we can do to stop them from doing such a test anyway. (FWIW, it's not clear that a nucle…
Kos goes temporarily sane.

Kos isn't stupid even if he is dogmatic, authoritarian and histrionic. Here he's actually trying to persuade some he sees as potential allies. It's a rare moment of thoughtful reasoning. Usually he's busy excoriating the Republicans or keeping his own in line with nearly equal zeal.

If there were a site that wrote more in depth reasoned articles like the one above, I'd be much more inclined to listen than the endless carping about "Chimpy Bu$hitler" on the plurality of left leaning websites. More please.
Niall Ferguson writes an article about the benefits of adhering to the Geneva Convention. His analysis falls down at the end:


Official Japanese policy encouraged brutality toward prisoners of war by applying the Geneva Convention only mutatis mutandis (literally, "with those things having been changed which need to be changed"), which the Japanese translated as "with any necessary amendments."

The amendments in question amounted to this: Enemy prisoners had so disgraced themselves by laying down their arms that their lives were forfeit. Indeed, some Allied prisoners were made to wear armbands bearing the inscription "One who has been captured in battle and is to be beheaded or castrated at the will of the emperor." Physical assaults were a daily occurrence in some Japanese POW camps. Executions without due process were frequent. Thousands of American prisoners died during the infamous Bataan Death March in 1942.

Elsewhere, British POWs were used as slave …
Patterico has an interesting interview with a mental health professional who worked with Gitmo detainees on a daily basis for an extended period of time. He has some very interesting insights into the people there and why they do what they do.

One key point that is often overlooked regarding detention:

They are held in Guantanamo Bay because they cannot be released to their home countries as they will likely face torture or death. We captured them fighting against us but have nowhere to put him. What is to be done? If you oppose the policy of indefinite containment, what do we do with them? Send them back to Egypt, Morocco or Saudi Arabia where they will be tortured and/or killed? If not that, what?
Lies, Spin and Information Warfare

One important aspect of the GWOT that everyone acknowledges tacitly but not openly is the information war. He who controls the media, controls perception of the war. Perception is reality, reality be damned. Al-Qaeda knows they cannot defeat us militarily. Even their most ardent supporters acknowledge this privately if not publicly. Their only hope is following in the mold of the Viet Cong. Neither CENTCOM nor anyone in the Bush administration has spoken on this issue openly. To acknowledge it openly would cause the MSM to jump on them for lying and spin.

Cheney is often taken to task for his "last throes" comment. I think he was probably overstating things as a means of fighting the information war. He hoped to discourage jihadis while shoring up American public opinion. I think he erred badly in doing so but hindsight is 20/20.

I've cast a skeptical eye at missives intercepted by US forces. I believe many of them are PsyOp…
In Re: The Foley Mess;

The GOP knew about this problem and did nothing. Very likely they did nothing because Foley isn't the only one chasing after interns. It's something of a sport among the Congressmen and Hill staffers. I've had friends who worked on the hill in college and they all, to a person, reported an atmosphere that was bordering on predatory. There were even a few women who chased the young men. This has nothing to do with being gay (or straight for that matter). It's about hubris. They feel they're powerful and above the law of common men and are entitled to whatever they can get. That goes for enriching themselves through lobbyists, legislation or having affairs outside of marriage. It's a sense of entitlement and privlidge that comes with a professional (and nearly permenant) political class.

The GOP will probably lose in November and they deserve it.

Yet another example of why I'm politically homeless. The bottom has once again …
AllenHQ: "Yes, if only there was some sort of media outlet — I don’t know, a newspaper or something — who could tell us about the important issues."

Love Allen or hate him, you have to admit the man is using his blog wisely. It's shots like the one above that would never have made it into the MSM in the past and now he has an open forum to zing those who would otherwise determine what he gets to say about a particular issue.

Well done sir.
Captain's Quarters: "I cannot tell CQ readers how disgusted I am with Speaker Hastert."

You're not the only one. I don't blame those who will stay home this election cycle rather than vote for either party. Really, nobody is looking like they deserve to be elected.
Don Surber: The Roe Effect meets the Ho Effect

Surber has the abbreviated version of the blogwar between Michelle Malkin and Wonkette.