Archive for August, 2006

August 26, 2006

DIVORCE IS A BIG ISSUE IN THE BLOGOSPHERE these days, at least judging from the response to our podcast on marriage and divorce featuring family lawyer Lauren Strange-Boston. It’s now been downloaded over one and a half million times, edging it into first place. It’s funny, but although the political shows get more attention, overall I think the nonpolitical ones are more popular.

August 26, 2006

MORE AIRBRUSHING?

UPDATE: Stephen Spruiell: “If Mitchell altered the text of this article, what he’s done is taken an embarrassing situation and turned into one that seriously calls his ethics into question.”

Another take: “Gobsmackingly vile.”

August 26, 2006

PAYBACK IS A BITCH:

Lieberman — who after losing an Aug. 8 Democratic primary to Ned Lamont has launched a third-party bid to hold onto his seat in the Nov. 7 general election — was asked whether he still endorses Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy, three Democrats looking to unseat endangered Republican incumbents Chris Shays, Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson.

“I’m a non-combatant,” Lieberman declared. “I am not going to be involved in other campaigns. I think it’s better if I just focus on my own race.”

Why are the netroots surprised by this? You guys stuck a knife into him. Of course he’ll stick you back. And I suspect that this is only the beginning.

August 26, 2006

WHAT THE PRESIDENT KNEW AND WHEN HE KNEW IT: A look at the Clinton Administration’s intelligence on Saddam’s WMD.

August 26, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Todd Steed.

August 26, 2006

THE “527 MEDIA:” Jed Babbin publishes a letter to Ken Mehlman on what the Republicans need to be doing.

August 26, 2006

HITCHENS GIVES BILL MAHER’S AUDIENCE the finger. Should things go badly with the war, Maher’s audience — and, for that matter, Maher himself — will be cited by historians as evidence of the American opposition’s unseriousness.

UPDATE: Rand Simberg emails: “I suspect that historians will judge Democrats unserious regardless of the war’s outcome. In fact, if it goes badly enough, history of the era will be written in Arabic.” And even those historians won’t respect Maher and his audience, though they may be grateful for their petty Bush-hatred.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The entire Maher show is reviewed here.

MORE: Radley Balko says that Rand Simberg is objectively pro-terrorist. Next he’ll be questioning his patriotism!

August 25, 2006

MEETING THE BLOGGERS FACE TO FACE: “The successful bloggers I met certainly aren’t sad or joyless although some of them are perhaps a little bit on the obsessive side.”

He must mean Lileks. Certainly not moi.

August 25, 2006

THE ECONOMIST on who killed the newspaper. I’m guessing Adnan Hajj and a host of predecessors. . . .

(Via Jeff Jarvis).

August 25, 2006

JEFF TAYLOR: “Just who at The New York Times does Matt Nifong have naked pictures of? . . . Taking the lead investigator’s notes and using them as a narrative doesn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know about the case while managing to gloss over the huge holes in Nifong’s case.”

Related comments from K.C. Johnson, Jeralyn Merritt, and Tom Maguire.

August 25, 2006

JAMES LILEKS: “Of course, one could make the case that the greatest threats to the freedoms of the West are posed by the head-choppers, plane-exploders, their many merry supporters, and the nuke-seeking state that supports them. . . . But don’t expect the artists to make the case. They saw what happened to that Theo Van Gogh fellow. They take the easy way out, these brave souls; they’ll perform ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ but only because now some people think it has a happy ending. They cradle their illusions like a big dead pig, singing them lullabies.”

August 25, 2006

AH, THE FAMOUS DAMNING BUT: I Hope And Pray We Don’t Get Hit Again-BUT…..

But it’ll be worth it if it gets rid of the damnable Bushitler regime. “If an attack occurred just before the elections, I have to think that at least a few of the voters who persist in this ‘Bush has kept us safe’ thinking would realize the fallacy they have been under.”

(Via Ace. He’s got a related post here.)

UPDATE: A more extensive Fisking from Caerdroia.

August 25, 2006

MIKE HUCKABEE: The Sam’s Club candidate?

August 25, 2006

MORE ON THE TRANSFORMATION OF Human Rights Watch.

UPDATE: Some further thoughts from Professor Kenneth Anderson.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Rand Simberg is even more critical.

August 25, 2006

TOM MAGUIRE HAS MORE ON STEM CELLS, here and here.

August 25, 2006

MORE PHOTO FORENSICS, this time involving a politician, not the media. Can I get a witness?

August 25, 2006

BOB OWENS may have discovered why the Editor of Editor & Publisher is so sympathetic to staged news.

Jeff Goldstein: “Fortunately for us, though, Google never forgets.”

UPDATE: Ouch: “I wasn’t a perfect reporter, but it’s pretty easy to avoid making stuff up out of whole cloth. My dad and I both know that. Mr. Mitchell does not. My dad and I are both conservative bloggers. Mr. Mitchell is editor of Editor and Publisher. Telling, isn’t it?”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Now Mitchell is charged with airbrushing the original story. After bloggers had quoted it. Can he be that stupid?

August 25, 2006

SADLY, NO: “I’m of the opinion that how to handle Wal-Mart is among the two or three most important issues facing the country.”

If only that were true! We’d have it made.

UPDATE: More on WalMart and its critics, here. I feel about WalMart like I do about Bush — it’s not that I’m crazy about them, it’s that their critics just seem crazy, period.

August 25, 2006

BLOG WEEK IN REVIEW IS UP, featuring Daniel Drezner, Austin Bay, and Gerard van der Leun.

August 25, 2006

I GUESS PORKBUSTERS IS MAKING PROGRESS: Just a few months ago, Dave Weigel was calling it “the ineffective bloggers’ group Porkbusters.”

Now he’s holding it up as a model of constructive political involvement:

Long-term, honest public pressure can force an administration to make changes or change course on a failed policy. It works on domestic issues: witness the Porkbusters campaign, which has rapped the president and Congress without apologies in an effort to shame them into cutting spending.

The advantage of PorkBusters is that it’s focused on one issue and been nonpartisan, criticizing porkers regardless of party. I don’t think the kind of criticism Weigel’s talking about can say the same, though I agree that it would have been more effective if it could. Anyway, it’s nice to see that PorkBusters’ progress is being noticed.

August 25, 2006

MAN ARRESTED FOR REBROADCASTING HEZBOLLAH TV:

A New York man was arrested yesterday on charges that he conspired to support a terrorist group by providing U.S. residents with access to Hezbollah’s satellite channel, al-Manar. . . .

The U.S. Treasury Department in March designated al-Manar a “global terrorist entity” and a media arm of the Hezbollah terrorist network. The designation froze al-Manar’s assets in the United States and prohibited any transactions between Americans and al-Manar.

Iqbal’s attorney, Mustapha Ndanusa, said yesterday that the accusations against his client are “completely ridiculous,” according to the Associated Press. Ndanusa added that he is not aware of another instance in which someone was accused of violating U.S. laws by enabling access to a news outlet.

This raises some interesting First Amendment issues, but don’t blame the Patriot Act or the Bush Administration here. The statute in question, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA, pronounced “Aiyeepa”) predates the Patriot Act by decades, and has just been upheld in another context by the Second Circuit. IEEPA is very far-reaching — in a case that I used to teach back when I taught International Business Transactions, United States v. Spawr Optical Research, 685 F.2d 1076 (9th Cir. 1982) (doesn’t seem to be online anywhere), the defendants had violated the Export Administration Act. They thought that they had a pretty good defense, in that the Export Administration Act had actually expired before their actions. The court held that the President had lawfully extended the expired statute’s provisions by regulation, under his general powers delegated by IEEPA.

I don’t like that case, but it’s one of several reasons why I find claims that the Bush Administration is exercising unprecedentedly broad powers unpersuasive.

Personally, I’d favor exempting retransmission of news material, etc., from the statute, and I think there’s a pretty good argument that this sort of prosecution violates the First Amendment. But it’s also true that sweeping powers of this sort are nothing new in the field of international trade.

August 25, 2006

THE MANOLO OBSERVES: “This intersection between the politics and the fashion it would appear to be at the corner of the Dull Street and the Boring Boulevard.”

August 25, 2006

JEFF GOLDSTEIN MAKES HIS VIDEO DEBUT, at Hot Air. Helen was surprised: “He’s really good-looking!”

UPDATE: Heh: “I’m officially starting a countdown to when Goldstein appears in drag on this show. And my money is on next Friday. Who’s in?”

August 25, 2006

OVER AT THE CORNER (scroll down) they’ve been discussing Serenity and Firefly for the past several days, and talking about Tim Minear’s politics. If you’re interested, we had a podcast interview with Tim Minear a while back.

August 25, 2006

IN THE MAIL: Benjamin Wittes’ new book, Confirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times. Seems pretty timely, and Amazon has provided a discussion forum.

August 25, 2006

MOHAMMED OF IRAQ THE MODEL reports on a Cairo bloggers’ conference that he attended.

August 25, 2006

CARNIVAL-O-RAMA: Grand Rounds is up, and celebrating its 100th installment. Also check out the Carnival of Education, the Carnival of Liberty, the Carnival of Homeschooling, and the Blawg Review.

And, of course, don’t miss the Carnival of the Recipes!

Yes, I’ve been pretty lame about posting these links lately. Sorry, but you can always find carnival highlights in the right sidebar, or at BlogCarnival.com.

August 25, 2006

THE POLICE’S RIGHT to keep your property. These seizure cases are an outrage.

August 25, 2006

PLAN B APPROVED: And I don’t find the argument against the approval compelling:

Conservative opponents complained that the FDA had buckled to political pressure. They have argued that easier access to the pill would increase promiscuity.

Whether access to the pill will “increase promiscuity” or not isn’t clear, but I think the only question should be whether the drug is safe and effective. It seems to me that’s been established for a while, and that it was political pressure that was holding up the approval. But promiscuity, or the lack thereof, isn’t the concern of the FDA. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

August 25, 2006

ANOTHER FLIGHT STOPPED:

An Aer Lingus flight from New York with 239 passengers aboard was evacuated in Ireland Friday following a threat against the aircraft, airport authorities said.

Aer Lingus Flight 112 was evacuated during a scheduled stop at 2:50 a.m. EDT at Shannon airport in western Ireland, said airport spokesman Eugene Pratt. The plane was en route to Dublin.

The threat “came to a police station in Dublin, and referred to some explosives aboard that specific flight,” Pratt said. No trace of explosives was found in the initial search.

Pratt said security officials decided to remove all baggage from the flight to be screened again.

As I mentioned yesterday, if I were a terrorist, I’d focus on bogus threats — lots of disruption for minimal investment, plus you eventually get people to lower their guard against real attacks.

August 25, 2006

HMM: “In a recent poll, more Iraqis, who live in Iraq, say Iraq is headed the right direction than Americans who merely watch TV reports about Iraq or read newspaper reports about Iraq.”

August 24, 2006

OINK!

August 24, 2006

MICHAEL YOUNG: Hezbollah lost.

August 24, 2006

A LOOK AT Chinese lawyers and human rights.

August 24, 2006

A LOOK AT the political value of blog advertising, at National Journal’s “Beltway Blogroll.”

August 24, 2006

PAMELA BONE:

IN Tehran in June, several thousand people held a peaceful demonstration calling for legal changes that would give a woman’s testimony in court equal value to a man’s. The demonstrators, most of them women, were attacked with tear gas and beaten with batons by men and women from Iran’s State Security Forces, according to Amnesty International.
Iranian women may not travel without their husband’s permission but they are allowed to wield a truncheon against other women.

Do you think women in Western countries marched in solidarity with the Iranian women demonstrators? Of course not. Do you think there are posters and graffiti at universities condemning the Iranian President? Of course not. You know, without needing to go there, that any graffiti at universities will be condemning George W. Bush, not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (I concede Bush is easier to spell.)

You know, before you get there, that at the Melbourne Writers Festival starting this weekend the principal hate figures are going to be Bush and John Howard. You know there will be many sympathetic references to David Hicks but probably none to Ashraf Kolhari, an Iranian mother of four who has been in jail for five years for allegedly having sex outside marriage and, until last week, who was under sentence of death by stoning.

Thank goddess, as they used to say: a few Western feminists have begun to wonder why women who once marched for women’s rights are marching alongside people who would take away even the most basic of those rights.

Read the whole thing.

August 24, 2006

SOME INTERESTING CONGRESSIONAL / LOBBYIST DIGGING at the Sunlight Foundation.

August 24, 2006

FAUXTOGRAPHY UPDATE: Brit Hume reported on the phony ambulance incident — video is at Hot Air.

UPDATE: More on stupid journalist tricks.

August 24, 2006

MORE TERROR CHARGES IN EUROPE:

A Danish prosecutor today charged four young Muslims with plotting a terror attack in Europe.

The four suspects were arrested in October last year in connection with an investigation in Bosnia.

Prosecutor Henning Fode said they helped two other suspects in Bosnia get hold of weapons and explosives as part of a plot to blow up an unidentified European target.

The four men, who cannot be named under a court order, would face up to life in prison if found guilty. Under Danish law, life sentences are commuted after 16 years.

Well, that should certainly frighten any potential imitators.

August 24, 2006

FIRST DELL, NOW APPLE: “Computer giant Apple is recalling 1.8m batteries used in its laptop computers worldwide after overheating complaints.”

August 24, 2006

CUT THE CARDS: Interviewing Dave Ramsey, at Hot Air.

August 24, 2006

A LOOK AT THE ANTI-CHAVEZ OPPOSITION IN VENEZUELA, which is reportedly growing.

August 24, 2006

DANIEL GLOVER says we’re seeing “the buying of the Democratic blogosphere.”

August 24, 2006

BILL ROGGIO: “Somalia continues the slide into the darkness of a radical Islamist state.”

August 24, 2006

MEGAN MCARDLE: “Where does this idea come from that the Japanese and German corporations don’t have to pay any costs to cover their employees’ health and retirement? And why hasn’t anyone bothered to check it?”

August 24, 2006

IRAQPUNDIT HAS MORE on the security situation in Baghdad.

August 24, 2006

ALL YOUR FAKES ARE BELONG TO US.

August 24, 2006

BRUCE SCHNEIER WRITES ON WHAT THE TERRORISTS WANT: He’s right that we don’t want to overreact, and that some of the aviation scares seem like overreactions. It’s like an immune system: Overreact and you get allergies and autoimmune problems; underreact and you die of overwheming sepsis or something. But getting the balance right is harder than saying that we need to get the balance right.

But we need to beware of what one of Schneier’s commenters notes: “What’s to stop terriorists now just getting on flights and acting suspiciously on purpose. If no crime was committed (I was just checking my watch, saying my prayers, going to the bathroom etc.) they can cause disruption, create paranoia and terror at will and get off scott free.” That’s what I would do if I were a terrorist.

Schneier’s blog, by the way, is a must-read on this stuff, and I recommend it, as I have in the past.

August 24, 2006

A BIG MAZDA RX-8 RECALL: Mine’s given me no problems, but it sounds as if Mazda is handling this the right way. More here.

August 24, 2006

IN THE MAIL: Richard Posner’s new book, Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency. In essence, it’s something of an argument for taking a “Living Constitution” approach to civil liberties in wartime. I’m guessing that it will prove controversial.

August 24, 2006

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: The “secret hold” story is getting more attention:

In an ironic twist, legislation that would open up the murky world of government contracting to public scrutiny has been derailed by a secret parliamentary maneuver.

An unidentified senator placed a “secret hold” on legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., that would create a searchable database of government contracts, grants, insurance, loans and financial assistance, worth $2.5 trillion last year. The database would bring transparency to federal spending and be as simple to use as conducting a Google search.

The measure had been unanimously passed in a voice vote last month by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It was on the fast track for floor action before Congress recessed Aug. 4 when someone put a hold on the measure.

Now the bill is in political limbo. Under Senate rules, unless the senator who placed the hold decides to lift it, the bill will not be brought up for a vote.

More and more people are trying to smoke out the “secret holder” though.

August 24, 2006

ANN ALTHOUSE: “Why do judges make it easier for their critics?” Because they live in a cocoon.

August 24, 2006

MCCAIN IS BASHING BUSH ON IRAQ, and some people are pretty angry at him for backstabbing.

The substance of McCain’s claim is pretty weak: I don’t recall Bush ever saying that Iraq would be a “day at the beach,” and in fact casualties to date are considerably lower than what was generally expected for the ground war to Baghdad, where you generally heard figures in the 10,000 range. (Ted Kennedy predicted that we’d run through battalions a day. Gary Hart predicted worse.) It’s more the duration, and the extent of the bad press, that has exceeded expectations, really, though McCain’s pretty sensitive to bad press.

But this isn’t a “backstab.” In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were choreographed by Karl Rove. Democrats forget it, but Bush doesn’t matter much from the perspective of 2008, and if the GOP can get mileage out of Bush-bashing, it will.

Retrospective Reagan hagiography has obscured this, but in the last couple of years of the Reagan Administration we saw the same thing. Reagan was expendable, since he couldn’t be reelected, and with the country tired of the same guy, Republicans (politicians and pundits alike) distanced themselves in order to position for 1988. Bush Sr. ran in 1988, in fact, on an “I’m not like Reagan, but I’ll still protect the country unlike those weakling Democrats” platform. Whoever is the GOP nominee in 2008 will do the same, and will be able to do it more obviously because — unlike George H.W. Bush — they won’t be a sitting Vice President.

To the GOP, Bush is a wasting asset; like Reagan at the same part of his term, he’s expendable. They’ll use him up, and if the best way to get value out of him over the next couple of years is to bash him, then they will. That’s just politics, and McCain’s just ahead of the curve. Being ahead of the curve may not be smart, since McCain’s biggest weak point is with the Bush base, but I think it’s the strategy.

UPDATE: Jim Geraghty has a different reason for being unhappy with McCain.

And McCain sure sounded different in 2003. So did a lot of Democrats who are now criticizing the war, of course, but I don’t know if McCain can pull this off.

ANOTHER UPDATE: It’s looking like McCain won’t be able to pull this off.

MORE: By the way, here’s a roundup of lefty predictions about the war that illustrate that many antiwar people were hoping expecting that things would turn out much, much worse than they did. McCain, however, was not endorsing their views at the time.

More on McCain here.

August 24, 2006

DEFENSETECH: “Let’s face it: nobody cares about mine warfare. . . . But all that’s about to change.”

UPDATE: Speaking of mines. (Thanks to reader Richard Andrews for the tip.)

August 24, 2006

CANADIAN DOCTORS are weighing in in favor of private health care.

Maybe they’ve seen Dead Meat. Or, more accurately I suppose, they’ve lived it.

August 24, 2006

TEA DOESN’T DEHYDRATE YOU: “Tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers, UK nutritionists found.”

August 24, 2006

THERE’S LOTS OF ADVICE FOR FIRST-YEAR LAW STUDENTS, but here’s a post with advice for rising second-year law students.

August 24, 2006

I WOULD HAVE HAPPILY DONATED A MOBIUS DICK CD TO THE CAUSE: Gateway Pundit has pictures from an Iranian rave.

August 24, 2006

IT’S HARD OUT THERE FOR A MAN, and Fausta has thoughts on why. Oprah is involved.

August 24, 2006

GEORGE W. BUSH: The President who reads too much!

August 24, 2006

WILL HILLARY HAVE a Billy Carter problem?

August 23, 2006

HARVESTING STEM CELLS without harming the embryo. This, if it proves out, should mollify pro-life opponents of embryonic stem-cell research, though it won’t please Leon Kass types who simply don’t like the idea of these new treatments at all. Hey, if longer, healthier lives don’t appeal to you, we’re just not on the same page.

August 23, 2006

DOKTOR FRANK REPORTS that his novel, King Dork, has been nominated for a Quill Award.

You can vote on it here and here.

August 23, 2006

A LOOK AT THE SECURITY SITUATION IN IRAQ. And here’s more from ABC News.

UPDATE: Civilian deaths in Iraq decline. I think you can make too much of these trends, but it’s interesting that they seem to get reported a lot more when they’re bad.

ANOTHER UPDATE: John Wixted has more warnings about mistaking random fluctuations for long-term trends. He’s right, but as I say the news coverage often seems non-random.

August 23, 2006

SNAKES ON THE INTERNET: The picture even looks a bit like Oliver Willis.

UPDATE: Oliver doesn’t like this post. Gee, you think he’d be happy to be compared to a movie star . . . .

August 23, 2006

STIX NIX DIX CHIX: Plus, a fervent defense of Islamic principles.

August 23, 2006

HOWARD DEAN’S OLD WEBMASTER will be working for John McCain.

August 23, 2006

MORE ON WEIGHT LOSS AND REAL FOOD AT The Crisper. I agree with his thoughts on BMI, too.

Plus, I should mention that Nina Planck’s website has a bunch of useful resources. And her book certainly seems to be selling well.

UPDATE: Related post at Electric Venom.

MORE: Forget the Summer of Love. This is the Summer of Food!

August 23, 2006

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Another pro-PorkBusters editorial:

The game goes like this: Each member must pretend to be fiscally responsible. They loudly decry “pork” and/or “fat” in the budget.

However, when it comes to their own district or state what might otherwise be labeled as “pork” turns into a vital public works project.

Therein lies the difficulty. Vital projects and pork projects each happen so frequently that it is difficult to tell the two apart.

But now a disparate group of watchdog organizations have come together in an attempt to provide more transparency to the process. The coalition produced a single database of what are called congressional “earmarks” and each group provides access to that database from its own Web site.

This isn’t all that novel, but the twist is that the coalition wants ordinary citizens to examine the list and to investigate any earmarks that catch their eye and report back via either blog or e-mail.

This operates on the theory that local people may be able to provide the best insights as to the relative merits of a particular earmark.

Nice that people are noticing. Meanwhile, Mark Tapscott is happy with Frist’s response today, but has some further questions. And Human Events’ Robert Bluey says they’ll hold Frist to his promise.

Plus, a look at pork and agro-terrorism.

August 23, 2006

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Pope sacks astronomer over evolution debate.

Or maybe the guy was just working too hard.

UPDATE: Or was he fired after all?

August 23, 2006

BLOG SWEEPS WEEK HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO RUN ALL YEAR: Pamela Atlas is bikini-videoblogging from the beach.

UPDATE: What’s next, striptease at funerals? Hey, whatever brings an audience, I guess . . . .

August 23, 2006

“RIGHT NOW, TOM VILSACK IS TAKING PIANO LESSONS:” Mike Huckabee was born to be wild.

August 23, 2006

AS THE KATRINA DISCUSSION HEATS UP, I thought it might be worth linking my lessons from Katrina post from last year.

I also recommend this Katrina retrospective from Lou Dolinar of Newsday. There’s this, too.

August 23, 2006

PLANE GROUNDED after 12 passengers showed suspicious inflight behavior.

August 23, 2006

WHY WE NEED TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT:

How good is government at wasting our tax dollars? Consider the Department of Homeland Security.

It’s not yet five years old, but it’s already experienced at throwing away cash. A recent congressional report found that 32 DHS contracts “experienced significant overcharges, wasteful spending or mismanagement.” Federal credit cards were used to buy beer-brewing equipment and iPods. Tax money was squandered on luxury hotels and “training” sessions at golf and tennis resorts.

Altogether, those contracts cost the government — meaning you and me — $34 billion. Sadly, a lot of that was wasted.

DHS says it can solve the problems — if it can hire more inspectors. “We need more,” Elaine Duke, the DHS chief procurement officer, told lawmakers. “We have an increase coming in the current ’07 budget of about 200 additional [workers], and we are working towards needing even more over time.”

But the answer isn’t to hire more bureaucrats to supervise what the current bureaucrats are doing. There’s a simpler, cheaper and more permanent solution: Allow 300 million Americans to review how government spends our money.

Meanwhile, it’s easy to see how dangerous things can be when you get corruption in national security matters. Just look at Israel:

The serious news is that the IDF’s reserve forces were a shambles when they mobilized. Information from an inside source reveals that, when the reserves’ warehouses and depots were opened, key stocks were missing – stolen.

What was gone? Fuel, weapons, ammunition, food, spare parts – all that a modern military needs to go to war. And I doubt it ended up in Iceland.

Trent Telenko speculated that this sort of thing was a problem earlier.

August 23, 2006

A NEW WORLD DIESEL SPEED RECORD: In excess of 350 miles per hour. (Via L’Ombre de l’Olivier).

August 23, 2006

UNLOCK INTERNET OR RISK LOSING STAFF:

Jobseekers will think twice about employers who lock down work internet access, a senior Microsoft executive said today.

“These kids are saying: forget it! I don’t want to work with you. I don’t want to work at a place where I can’t be freely online during the day,” said Anne Kirah, Microsoft Senior Design Anthropologist.

“People that I meet are saying this to me every day, all over the world.”

In fact, I was saying it months ago.

August 23, 2006

DEBORAH FRISCH UPDATE: “As far as we know, she is now the first troll of the political blogosphere to face criminal charges relating to that activity.”

UPDATE: More thoughts from John Cole.

August 23, 2006

OVER AT HOT AIR, GUESTVLOGGER BETHANY FROM REALVERSE looks at the Josh Wolf case. Honestly, the most damning things for Wolf are the remarks from his own attorney.

August 23, 2006

QUESTIONS ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH’S CREDIBILITY.

August 23, 2006

JULES CRITTENDEN on why terrorism against Fox News isn’t news: “Fox newsmen don’t command the same level of sympathy and interest in our largely left-leaning media that [Jill] Carroll did.”

August 23, 2006

YESTERDAY’S REAL FOOD / CRUNCHY CONS PODCAST produced a lot of email, including one from Dave Johnston of The Crisper, who says that he lost 51 pounds by switching to a “real food” diet. And the before-and-after pictures are pretty impressive.

August 23, 2006

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: More on pork from the D.C. Examiner:

This tale of two small tech companies in Alexandria perfectly illustrates how damaging the practice of earmarking — anonymously adding spending to appropriations bills without public hearings, open debate or peer review — has become. And not only for taxpayers who foot the bill.

Vibration and Sound Solutions Ltd. received millions for its “Project M” magnetic levitation program, thanks to earmarks submitted by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. The tax dollars kept coming even though the Navy decided five years ago it wasn’t interested in VSSL’s magnetic levitation program.

When federal funds finally dried up earlier this year, Moran campaign contributor and company President Robert Conkling shuttered his Royal Street facility. At that point, according to Department of Defense officials, VSSL had received at least $30 million from the firm’s lone “customer” even though that customer insisted for years it wasn’t interested in the magnetic levitation program.

Moran and Hunter were far from alone in using defense spending for questionable purposes. There were 2,847 earmarks totaling $9.4 billion submitted by members of Congress in the fiscal ’06 defense budget. Not a dime of that $9.4 billion was requested by President Bush or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

You could do a lot with 9.4 billion dollars.

Meanwhile, Bill Frist responds to an InstaPundit post on pork from yesterday. “Many in the blogosphere – left and right – have rallied to support this crucial legislation, which is fitting, for no group better knows the power of technologically empowered grassroots activism. And, for reasons of policy and politics, many bloggers are rightly outraged that S. 2590 was shot down when I attempted to bring it up for a vote prior to the August recess.”

But he doesn’t out the Senator behind the “secret hold” on the earmark reform legislation. I suppose that’s too much to expect, but it’s not too much to hope for. . . .

August 23, 2006

MICHAEL TOTTEN looks at Israel’s “Peace Now” under fire.

August 23, 2006

PREMIUM WATTS ONLY: Popular Mechanics has a driver’s report on the Tesla electric roadster. “You squirt through traffic holes without the hesitation—it’s absolutely always in meat of the powerband. And all you hear from the powertrain is a hushed turbine-like wail from behind your head.” I’d like one.

August 23, 2006

ANN ALTHOUSE IN The New York Times:

As long as we’re appreciating irony, let’s consider the irony of emphasizing the importance of holding one branch of the federal government, the executive, to the strict limits of the rule of law while sitting in another branch of the federal government, the judiciary, and blithely ignoring your own obligations.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Judicial Watch is claiming a conflict of interest.

And Ann thinks that some people are missing the point.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Orin Kerr isn’t very impressed with Judicial Watch’s complaints: “I don’t think Judge Taylor wrote a good opinion, but I think it’s very far-fetched and rather insulting to her to suggest that her opinion was influenced by some kind of actual conflict of interest.”

I suspect that’s right, though it’s probably true that if this case involved a conservative judge and the NRA we’d be hearing more about it.

August 23, 2006

A LOOK AT THE MINDSET OF THIS YEAR’S FRESHMAN CLASS:

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
2. They have known only two presidents.
3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
4. Manuel Noriega has always been in jail in the U.S.
5. They have grown up getting lost in “big boxes”.
6. There has always been only one Germany.
7. They have never heard anyone actually “ring it up” on a cash register.

Lots more, including my favorite: “Ringo Starr has always been clean and sober.” He’s the Thomas the Tank Engine guy, right? But wasn’t he in in some band, once, too?

August 23, 2006

MICKEY KAUS: “Whose judgment do you trust more: sweet unionized Iowa teachers or cynical unionized Vegas gambling workers? Somehow I don’t think the Vegas gambling workers would have picked out John Kerry as ‘electable!’”

August 23, 2006

IRAN’S DIPLOMATIC STRATEGY, EXPLAINED.

August 23, 2006

AMIT VARMA WRITES on transforming India’s mental landscape.

August 23, 2006

A LOOK AT keeping silent rather than helping Bush.

August 22, 2006

DAVID BERNSTEIN on the decline of Amnesty International.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll reminds me that Steven Den Beste was on top of this phenomenon three years ago.

August 22, 2006

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS ON GUNTER GRASS’S SS PAST:

“Let those who want to judge, pass judgment,” Grass said last week in a typically sententious utterance. Very well, then, mein lieber Herr. The first judgment is that you kept quiet about your past until you could win the Nobel Prize for literature. The second judgment is that you are not as important to German or to literary history as you think you are. The third judgment is that you will be remembered neither as a war criminal nor as an anti-Nazi hero, but more as a bit of a bloody fool.

Ouch.

August 22, 2006

RICHARD COHEN ON THE MIDEAST: “This inability of Europe to get its act together is what suggests 1938. . . . Hezbollah’s avowed aim is to eradicate Israel. Listen to what it says. Pay attention. It will renew its attacks the first chance it gets. This is why it exists.”

August 22, 2006

PLAME UPDATE: Richard Armitage’s hot seat is getting hotter.

August 22, 2006

IRAQPUNDIT SAYS HEZBOLLAH DIDN’T WIN. Aziz Poonawalla says Israel didn’t lose.

August 22, 2006

A LOOK AT BLOGS and conversational marketing. (Via PJM).

August 22, 2006

ERIC SCHEIE HAS SOME THOUGHTS in response to the animal-rights terrorism item I posted earlier:

I think that the tactic of threatening children (which I’ve posted about infra), while nothing new to animal rights activists, works as a “twofer.” That’s because it simultaneously accomplishes both of the following:

1. It intimidates the intended audience (all animal researchers, and especially other researchers who might so much as think about doing animal research); and

2. It advances the nihilistic ideology that there is no moral distinction between humans and animals.

The latter fires up the troops, and frightens everyone else.

These observations are not new for me, and I’m sure others have made them too. But the reason I decided to write this post was that the other day I had the occasion to talk to a genetics researcher who works in the United States but who comes from another country, and closely follows what goes on in his field worldwide. He told me that the animal research work is constantly, relentlessly, being shifted to China. (You know… “Outsourcing.”)

In an amazing coincidence, the outsourcing of animal research to China is also a “twofer”:

1. In China, the concept of animal rights is a laugh (even more of a laugh than human rights, which is also a laugh). This means animal research facilities are not subject to policing or inspections as they are in the West.

2. Chinese researchers are meticulous and hard-working, and cost a fraction of their American counterparts.

So, as a result of the fascistic activist tactics, animal rights research is farmed out to a basically fascist country, where animals suffer more, and where the research can be conducted inexpensively without any real ethical limitations.

Sounds likely to me.

UPDATE: Jim Bennett emails:

Well, in its own way China also upholds the principle that there is no ethical difference between human and animals (sorry, make that “non-human animals”). Animals have no rights there, and neither do humans.

It’s all making sense, now.

August 22, 2006

FINALLY, A FATWA I CAN GET BEHIND: “Death to CAPS LOCK.”

August 22, 2006

MACACAGATE UPDATE: “Burned by a blog-induced firestorm over an an off-hand comment at a campaign rally, Sen. George Allen’s campaign is seeking a conservative blog maven who can blunt future attacks and help rally conservatives in the state and elsewhere behind Allen’s campaign.” Better late than never, I guess, but . . . .