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A First I would Like to Forget

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

SayUncle mentionsa href=”http://www.saysuncle.com/archives/2007/11/21/a_couple_of_firsts_for_me/” a couple of firsts /a he experienced this week; one was listening to our a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2007/11/podcast-robert-levy-on-second-amendment.html”podcas/at on the Second Amendment with Bob Levy and the other was going to the local Greyhound station in Knoxville. The latter first is amazing to me, given that in the earlier part of my life, I spent a great deal of time at the Greyhound bus station going various places and can’t imagine never having spend even one day at the local bus terminal. A trip at nineteen was the most memorable bus ride I can remember. I rode back from San Francisco to Knoxville on a Greyhound bus and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. br /br /The ride was three days long and I sat next to a woman eating fried chicken for a day and a half. She made no qualms about taking up part of my seat and I sat slumped to one side for most of the ride trying to sleep in the middle of the night. I spent a day just going through Texas and have no fond memories of the place–you will understand this if you have experienced the seamy side of small towns on a bus for days at a time. I was traveling with a friend but the bus was packed and we could not get a seat together. At one point on the trip, people were standing in the aisle and had no seats. This led to some pretty grumpy behavior that soon turned ugly. br /br /The driver stopped at one Texas town and told everyone to get off to eat and that we had only 45 minutes. “If you are not back on the bus, I’m leaving without you,” he groused. The passengers herded off like cattle and went to find a fast food place for lunch. My friend and I got some food and got back on the bus, fearful that we would be left behind. At exactly 45 minutes to the second, the bus driver pulled out to the dismay of several passengers whose comrads had not come back to the bus. The driver took off and the passengers became irate and started accusing the driver of being prejudiced–the passengers he left were black and the driver was white. One passenger then stated that he was hijacking the bus, pulled a knife and starting yelling at those of us who were seated. My friend and I had been through such hell on that bus at that point that we looked up with boredom and tried to go back to sleep. The driver pulled into a police station that was nearby and the “hijacker” was taken off the bus and our ride continued. After this experience, I swore I would never ride a bus again, but I did and had a number of other adventures that I will not bore you with. br /br /My bus riding days are pretty much over, and I doubt that I will ride a Greyhound again, but after my last airplane flight, I can honestly say that I can’t really tell the differece between an airplane and a bus with wings.

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What Accent do You Have?

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

I was reading a href=”http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YWQzYzVmMjBiNmNiNjk4OWI0NDkyZjY0ZmExZGZiZWU=”The Corner/a the other day and came across a quiz entitled, a href=”http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_have”emWhat American Accent do You Have?/em/a My results? br /br /table style=”width: 320px; border: 1px solid gray; font: normal 12px arial, verdana, sans-serif; background-color: white;”trtd colspan=”2″ style=”background: white; color: black; padding: 5px;”b style=”font: bold 20px ‘Times New Roman’, serif; display: block; margin-bottom: 8px;”What American accent do you have?/b div style=”font-size: 16px; margin-bottom: 4px;”Your Result: bThe Inland North/b/divdiv style=”width: 200px; background: white; border: 1px solid black;”div style=”width: 93%; background: red; font-size: 8px; line-height: 8px;”nbsp;/div/divp style=”margin: 10px; border: none; background: white; color: black;”You may think you speak “Standard English straight out of the dictionary” but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like “Are you from Wisconsin?” or “Are you from Chicago?” Chances are you call carbonated drinks “pop.”/p/td/trtrtd style=”color: black; background: white; padding: 3px;”The Northeast/tdtd style=”background: white; padding: 3px;”div style=”width: 100px; background: white; border: 1px solid black; margin-top: 4px;”div style=”width: 88%; background: red; font-size: 8px; line-height: 8px;”nbsp;/div/div/td/trtrtd style=”color: black; background: white; padding: 3px;”Philadelphia/tdtd style=”background: white; padding: 3px;”div style=”width: 100px; background: white; border: 1px solid black; margin-top: 4px;”div style=”width: 87%; background: red; font-size: 8px; line-height: 8px;”nbsp;/div/div/td/trtrtd style=”color: black; background: white; padding: 3px;”The Midland/tdtd style=”background: white; padding: 3px;”div style=”width: 100px; background: white; border: 1px solid black; margin-top: 4px;”div style=”width: 70%; background: red; font-size: 8px; line-height: 8px;”nbsp;/div/div/td/trtrtd style=”color: black; background: white; padding: 3px;”The South/tdtd style=”background: white; padding: 3px;”div style=”width: 100px; background: white; border: 1px solid black; margin-top: 4px;”div style=”width: 62%; background: red; font-size: 8px; line-height: 8px;”nbsp;/div/div/td/trtrtd style=”color: black; background: white; padding: 3px;”Boston/tdtd style=”background: white; padding: 3px;”div style=”width: 100px; background: white; border: 1px solid black; margin-top: 4px;”div style=”width: 31%; background: red; font-size: 8px; line-height: 8px;”nbsp;/div/div/td/trtrtd style=”color: black; background: white; padding: 3px;”The West/tdtd style=”background: white; padding: 3px;”div style=”width: 100px; background: white; border: 1px solid black; margin-top: 4px;”div style=”width: 25%; background: red; font-size: 8px; line-height: 8px;”nbsp;/div/div/td/trtrtd style=”color: black; background: white; padding: 3px;”North Central/tdtd style=”background: white; padding: 3px;”div style=”width: 100px; background: white; border: 1px solid black; margin-top: 4px;”div style=”width: 8%; background: red; font-size: 8px; line-height: 8px;”nbsp;/div/div/td/trtrtd colspan=”2″ style=”text-align: center; padding: 8px;”a href=”http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_have”bWhat American accent do you have?/b/abra href=”http://www.gotoquiz.com/”Quiz Created on GoToQuiz/a/td/tr/tablebr /br /Well, this doesn’t really fit what most people from other areas than the South tell me. When I am in New York, people almost always detect a Southern accent but when I am in the South, people say I have a Northeast accent–the switch back and forth probably comes from living in both areas. And I have never called a soda “pop” in my life. What about you?

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Hope all my readers enjoy their Thanksgiving! br /br /If you want to take a break from the family festivities–you can tune in tonight (Thursday) to XM Channel #130, POTUS ‘08 at 6:00 PM Eastern/3:00 PM Pacific for PJ Media’s weekly PJM Political show (And at 11:00 PM Eastern/8:00 Pacific for a rebroadcast) to hear me interviewed by a href=”http://www.eddriscoll.com/weblog.php”Ed Driscoll /aabout surviving political warfare at the holiday dinner table.br /br /Or you can just a href=”http://www.pjmedia.com/2007/11/pjm_political_on_xm_112207than.php”listen to the interview here/a at PJ Media.

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The Day After John Howard

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007 - by Peter Day

Peter Day looks at what will happen if -- as the polls predict -- Kevin Rudd defeats John Howard on Friday (US time) and becomes the new Prime Minister of Australia. While it's true that Rudd campaigned on the promise that he'd withdraw Australian combat troops from Iraq - he may have left himself some wriggle room.

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The Kitchen as a War Zone: You Call That Edible?

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007 - by

The variety of things that human beings are willing to consume is astounding, writes Burt Prelutsky, who wonders if the first person to lick his lips at the sight of a turkey was considered certifiably crazy.

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Podcast: Robert Levy on the Second Amendment

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Today we interview Robert A. Levy a href=”http://www.cato.org/people/levy.html”who is a senior fellow/a in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, and the driving force behide the effort to overturn Washington D.C.’s gun ban on Second Amendment grounds. To date, in D.C. no one but police officers and retired officers are allowed to have a gun in their home for self-protection. Mr. Levy hopes this case will change that.br /br /He’s won the D.C. Circuit and the case is to be heard before the Supreme court. We talk to Mr. Levy about the background of the case, why he filed it and if the decision will be a big issue in the 2008 elections. You a href=”http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-levy14nov14,0,2444377.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail”can read a recent op-ed/a by Mr. Levy in the span style=”font-style:italic;”LA Times/span entitled, span style=”font-style:italic;”Unholster the 2nd Amendment/span to learn more about the case or listen to the interview or do both. br /br /You can listen directly — no downloading needed — by a href=”http://politicscentral.com/2007/11/20/the_glenn_and_helen_show_bob_l.php”going here/a and clicking on the gray Flash player. Or you can download the show and listen at your leisure by clicking right here. You can get a lo-fi version, suitable for dialup, by going a href=”http://politicscentral.com/2007/11/20/the_glenn_and_helen_show_bob_l.php”here/a and selecting lo-fi. And you can always get a free subscription a href=”http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=116559643s=143441″via iTunes/a — and we’d like it if you did. Our show archives are at a href=”http://glennandhelenshow.com”GlennandHelenShow.com./abr /br /This podcast was brought to you by a href=”http://volvocars.us”Volvo Automobiles/a. Music is by a href=”http://www.toddsteed.com/home.html”Todd Steed and the Suns of Phere./a

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What’s Wrong With Fred Thompson’s Campaign?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 - by Rick Moran

Fred Thompson was supposed to blaze into the Republican presidential fray, overtaking the pack with his booming voice, commanding Reaganesque stage presence, and solid conservative credentials. But that hasn't happened. Rick Moran examines why and asks whether there is still hope for "Fred Heads." ADDENDUM: Dean Barnett @ Weekly Standard sees a better Thompson in PJM's interview.

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Thomas Jefferson Wouldn’t Think Much of Modern Journalism. Blogging – That’s Another Story…

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 - by Steve Boriss

Though journalism as we know it didn't exist when the First Amendment was written, today's reporters don't hesitate to make the case for their importance by citing a famous Thomas Jefferson quote. Steve Boriss contends that mainstream news is the opposite of what the third president thought it should be.

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Hugo Chavez vs. the Catholic Church

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 - by Bridget Johnson

It is increasingly clear that Hugo Chavez wants to become Venezuela's president-for-life. Bridget Johnson writes that "as Chavez steamrolls toward totalitarianism, the church could be the last voice to stand in his way and shepherd the opposition."

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The Glenn and Helen Show: The Supreme Court and the DC Gun Ban

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

The Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal on the D.C. gun-ban case, meaning that the question of whether the Second Amendment protects a right to arms will be squarely before it. The suit was brought by Bob Levy, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, and Glenn Reynolds and Helen Smith talked to him about the case, the law, and what may come next.

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France Is Stuck In Traffic As Transit Strike Wears On

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 - by Nidra Poller, PJM Editor, Paris

PJM Paris: A solid majority of French citizens oppose the strike paralyzing their economy, but that isn't stopping the striking or the sabotage reports Nidra Poller.

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Terror on the Tarmac

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 - by Annie Jacobsen

If the FBI wants the support of the American people when it comes to fighting terror in the skies, it needs to treat them with respect. Annie Jacobsen has the harrowing tale of what happened when a Good Samaritan was transformed into a terror suspect. Required reading for Thanksgiving travelers.

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Man’s Best Friend’s Guide to the 2008 Presidential Race

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 - by Boris the Labradoodle

Tired of Wolf Blitzer, Keith Olbermann and the rest of those human pundits? PJ Media is proud to introduce Boris the Labradoodle - the first, as far as we know, dog pundit. Boris will henceforth be following the Presidential Race for us from his unique perspective.

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I’m a Pro-Choice Adoptive Parent

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 - by Dawn Friedman

Dawn Friedman is grateful that her adopted daughter's birth mother was not coerced by legal constraints into continuing her pregnancy. "I strongly believe that her commitment to the daughter we share is made more meaningful because it was not forced upon her."

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Lebanon’s Presidential Yo-Yo

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 - by Jeha

PJM Beirut: The Lebanese parliament has been dragging their feet on choosing their next president. Officially, they can't do it much longer - the constitutional deadline is November 21. But Jeha writes that he wouldn't bet on a clear decision happening even then.

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Ask Dr. Helen: Holiday Fun or Holiday Hell?

Monday, November 19th, 2007

My a href=”http://www.pjmedia.com/2007/11/ask_dr_helen_7.php”PJM column is up:/abr /br /blockquoteNot everyone looks forward to sitting around the Thanksgiving table with their extended family, notes PJM advice columnist Dr. Helen Smith – particularly those whose politics differ from members of the clan. She offers a food-fight prevention survival guide./blockquotebr /br /So, a href=”http://www.pjmedia.com/2007/11/ask_dr_helen_7.php”go read the column/a and let me know here or there if you get into heated political discussions with family and friends at the holidays and if so, how you handle it. It might just keep the rest of us out of jail this holiday season!

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Grants for me but not for thee

Monday, November 19th, 2007

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) serves few male victims even though it was a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act”reauthorized in 2005/a to include a href=”http://www.reason.com/news/show/32056.html”male victims/a of violence; in fact, a recent a href=”http://www.mediaradar.org/ovw_foia_data.php”report from the General Accounting Office /a(GAO) shows that only 3.9% of legal aid money goes to males for legal assistance. Do men not ask for legal help or is it refused when they do? If the latter, it is no wonder men without funds cannot get custody of their kids or do so poorly in divorce settlements. Thanks to Jon for pointing out this report.

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Ask Dr. Helen: Home For The Holidays From Hell

Monday, November 19th, 2007 - by Helen Smith

Not everyone looks forward to sitting around the Thanksgiving table with their extended family, notes PJM advice columnist Dr. Helen Smith - particularly those whose politics differ from members of the clan. She offers a food-fight prevention survival guide.

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Week 44 in Progress

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Over 130,000 votes have been cast in the weekly PAJAMAS MEDIA PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL. The thirty-ninth week has officially begun.

NEW DEAL: PJ Media editors have noted that the number of weekly votes in our poll has diminished drastically from the tens of thousands cast at the outset. For months now, many readers have been complaining to us about the increasing inutility of the poll because of vote-swarming by second tier candidates. Many voters have lost interest and are not participating. Websites that had run our widget were no longer doing so.

Something needed to change.

Therefore, especially since the campaign itself appears to be narrowing its focus to front-running candidates, henceforth the PJ Media Poll will be restricted to those first tier candidates listed on the front poll page of the leading online poll aggregator Real Clear Politics. As of now, that is four candidates on the Democratic side and six on the Republican. We will change our lineup on the Sunday after RCP does, if it does.

DON’T FORGET: You can put the poll on your website or blog with our free voting widget and become a precinct in the PJ Media Straw Poll. Learn how the readers of your site are voting and compare it the the total.

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Pass the Cranberry Sauce: Political Smearing Season Has Begun

Monday, November 19th, 2007 - by Bill Bradley

There's not much to give thanks for this week in the presidential race after both the Democratic and Republican contests began mud-slinging, observes PJM's political Monday Morning Quarterback William Bradley, who also discusses why both Democrats and Republicans are calling CNN the Clinton News Network.

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Who Lost Pakistan?

Monday, November 19th, 2007

For decades after the 1949 triumph of communist forces in the Middle Kingdom, a question haunted American politics: “Who Lost China?” Pakistan has been a U.S. ally since the mid-1970s and an imperfect democracy since the 1940s, writes PJM Xpress blogger Richard Miniter, and all presidents from Carter onward have tried to nurture its imperfect democracy. Now Pakistan seemed poised on the verge of civil war-and, if chaos comes, the Bush Administration will have no one to blame to itself.

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“Affirmative Action,” Hyphenated Americans, and Other Conudrums

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

At “Roger’s Rules,” Roger Kimball weighs in on whether “affirmative action” has outlived its usefulness – or if it ever had any. He also questions that other “favorite weapon in the armory of multiculturalism … the lowly hyphen.”

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Things I Learned in Yale

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Okay, in emYale Alumni Magazine/em, that is. a href=”http://instapundit.com/”Glenn/a is an alumni of the law school and yesterday, while rather bored, I picked up the magazine and thumbed through it. Here is what I learned. First, most doctors a href=”http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/issues/current/findings.html”can’t do stats/a:br /br /blockquoteAlmost every medical school student takes a course or two in biostatistics to learn how to understand research data. But Donna Windish, an assistant professor at the School of Medicine, has shown that the information often doesn’t stick. “A significant percentage of physicians-in-training do not understand the statistics they encounter in the medical literature,” she says. br /br /In her own teaching, Windish had seen that trainees often read only the abstracts, or “ignored the statistics and skipped right to the results.” This practice turns out to be common throughout the medical profession — and potentially troubling. “An abstract usually says little about methods of design, conduct, and analysis,” says Windish, citing an earlier study that showed frequent data mismatches between the abstract and the paper.br /br /”Doctors don’t necessarily need to know how to do the mathematical calculations,” Windish says. “They need to understand the concepts and how to use them.” /blockquotebr /Funny, talk to most doctors and they will tell you that only MDs can prescribe because they “know all that calculus, stats and stuff.” Really? I’ve never seen a doctor do any calculations to write a prescription. Now, I’ve learned that many of them them don’t know how to interpret a piece of research thoroughly. That really breeds confidence.br /br /Next, I found out in the magazine that:br /br /blockquoteMorning people are more likely to be emotionally stable than their “night owl” counterparts. Yale psychology postdoctoral researcher Colin DeYoung and his colleagues studied 279 students in an introductory psychology class at the University of Toronto and found a moderately strong correlation between “morningness” and character traits associated with stability. /blockquotebr /br /Uhmm, okay, but I am not sure I buy this theory for the population at large. Undergrads are notorious for partying at night and sleeping during the day. When they have kids or get older and have to be at a job, I wonder if this still holds true? Can’t researchers ever get away from studying undergraduates, who are such a peculiar type of cohort that findings may not carry over to other people at different points of life or in different environments?br /br /Finally, I learned that working at Starbucks can save your life. There was an interesting book reviewed in the magazine with the intriguing title, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592402860?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=1592402860″emHow Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else./em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=1592402860″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / Apparently, the author, who is a member of the Yale class of 63, got a plum job with J. Walter Thompson ad agency only to lose it at the age of 53. Then he goes on to have a number of misfortunes including impregnating a mistress, getting kicked out by his wife, a brain tumor etc. He loses his job and ends up working at a Starbucks in Manhattan and loves it. Naturally, the book review makes fun of this fact, describing the author as a “Starbucks sycophant” but whatever. br /br /The book sounds fun and interesting enough to consider for my collection of reading material that I can never get to since I am too busy reading magazines such as the one described for no other reason than it was sitting beside me on the coffee table.

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Hillary Clinton Minds My Business (And Yours)

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Gregory Sullivan has been listening carefully to Hillary Clinton, and has a message for her: "I don't want to stay vertically integrated until I'm horizontal, thank you very much." Not that he believes that she would actually care what he thinks.

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Mailer: Notorious, but Eloquent

Saturday, November 17th, 2007 - by David Freeman, PJM Columnist

With all of the controversies and public spectacle surrounding him, it was easy to forget what a fine craftsman Norman Mailer was, writes PJM's David Freeman. When it came to the work of the literary icon who died last week, "it didn't matter if a reader disagreed because you knew that soon there would be another, perhaps conflicting view." Other PJM views on Mailer here and here.

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