Archive for April, 2007

April 30, 2007

THE WACKOS proliferate.

April 30, 2007

QUOTE OF THE DAY.

April 30, 2007

HACKING YOUR BODY’S BACTERIA for better health. I think this is a great idea, though i also think they’re still a bit short on science at this point. More research, please.

April 30, 2007

SNOW TREASURE: A story of the Norwegian resistance in World War II.

April 30, 2007

TIM BLAIR MEETS JOHN MALKOVICH, who asks: “What’s the story with Margo Kingston?”

April 30, 2007

PUSHING A BARBIE CAR beyond its limits.

April 30, 2007

“WE SHOULD VIEW AGING AS CURABLE:” Well, we probably will, once there’s a cure. Which is not to undercut the point being made.

April 30, 2007

DO WE NEED A BIGGER MILITARY? Austin Bay and Phil Carter debate the topic in the Los Angeles Times.

April 30, 2007

EXPANDING OFFSHORE DRILLING: Better to get our oil from America than from Iran, Venezuela, or Saudi Arabia.

April 30, 2007

DARFUR UPDATE: “More than three quarters of Muslim respondents in six nations surveyed said they believe Arabs and Muslims should be equally concerned about the situation in Darfur as they are about the Arab-Israeli conflict, according to the results of a recent poll unveiled at the Arab Broadcast Forum in Abu Dhabi. Results ranged from a high of 95% in Morocco to 76% in Turkey.”

April 30, 2007

50+ YEARS OF MAD MAGAZINE on two DVDs. Yeah, of course I’m going to order it. Well, maybe — some of the reviews suggest resolution issues. Anybody know?

Thanks to reader Paul Music for pointing this out.

April 30, 2007

THE POLAR ICE CAPS are melting fast. I blame Halliburton.

April 30, 2007

LESSONS FROM ANBAR.

April 30, 2007

OKAY, THIS IS JUST SAD: N.J. Gov. Jon Corzine has a terrible accident after going 91 mph without a seatbelt in the rain. On the way home from the hospital today, still wheelchair-bound, he speeds: “No one in the motorcade used emergency lights, as his driver had been doing at the time of the accident. They kept to a pace of about 70 miles per hour, even though the posted limit is 55 on the stretch of Interstate 295 that leads to Drumthwacket, the governor’s official mansion in Princeton, where Mr. Corzine will spend the next stage of his recovery.”

Nice example. I mean, 70 in a 55 isn’t huge, but under the circumstances. . . .

April 30, 2007

DAVID BRODER STANDS HIS GROUND:

David Broder said he wouldn’t change anything in his April 26 column, which angered many readers and caused 50 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus to write a letter criticizing Broder in Friday’s Washington Post.

In that Thursday piece, Broder criticized Harry Reid for saying the Iraq War is lost militarily, compared Reid to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and concluded: “The Democrats deserve better, and the country needs more, than Harry Reid has offered as Senate majority leader.”

“I still think the Democrats can do better, and should do better,” said Broder, when reached today by E&P. . . . Broder, who’s syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group, isn’t sure if he’ll use a future column to address the reaction his April 26 piece stirred up. Rather than looking back, he said, “I try to keep dealing with new topics.”

Like Harry Reid’s land deals?

UPDATE: Reader James Somers emails: ‘If, in 2005, 50 Republican senators had written a letter to the New York Times excoriating Paul Krugman for criticizing Bill Frist, and conservative blogs had incited their readers to bombard the Times with angry e-mails complaining about Krugman, wouldn’t this have just been one more example of the RethugliKKKans’ crushing of dissent?”

Well, yeah.

April 30, 2007

ANOTHER BLOW for abstinence.

UPDATE: And another, I guess, with the sex-boosting slimming pill for women.

April 30, 2007

THE BLOG PRIMARY: “If blogs have any power, Thompson is in the catbird seat.”

But do they?

April 30, 2007

AN ARMY OF ALBERTOS? “A group of ex-CIA officials call on Tenet to give back his medal of freedom, branding him ‘the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community.’”

First Harry Reid, now this. I fear, however, that we’ve had a government of Albertos — in all branches — all along.

April 30, 2007

MICHAEL YON HAS POSTED THE SECOND PART of his photo essay from Iraq.

April 30, 2007

CAMERAS DO NOT EQUAL SECURITY: “Britain risks ‘committing slow social suicide’ by allowing the Big Brother state to take over its citizens’ lives, the leading privacy watchdog will warn tomorrow.”

April 30, 2007

CHALLENGING A PHOTO ERROR by a blogger.

April 30, 2007

CHALLENGING BARACK OBAMA to join the One Billion Bulbs Campaign.

He’s got a long way to go if he’s going to catch up with InstaPundit readers.

Or even with Stephen Green!

April 30, 2007

THE LAST WORD ON GEORGE TENET? “My conclusion: an inept organization was led by a stupefyingly inept man.” I can understand not firing him immediately after 9/11 — we were in crisis mode and too much turnover might have been disruptive. But he should have been let go as soon as possible after the Afghanistan invasion was over. (Later: See this post from 2002 on the need for heads to roll, though I didn’t specifically mention Tenet.)

Of course, Tenet might hope that the above is the last word — because this is even harsher. I think he would have been better off keeping his mouth shut. That’s what spymasters are supposed to do, isn’t it?

UPDATE: But even a spymaster needs a confidant. “I’m all for feelings, and talking about them. But there’s a place and time. This sort of thing rightly belongs in a therapist’s office. But sometimes it seems as though the whole world has turned into a therapist’s office.”

April 30, 2007

A LOOK AT mental health commitments and the Virginia Tech shooting. “It’s impossible to make sense of the debate, though, without understanding the extent to which we’ve dismantled our mental health system in this country. Brick-by-brick, cell-by-cell, we deconstructed what was once a massive mental hospital complex and built in its place a huge prison.”

April 30, 2007

PEOPLE KEEP SENDING ME LINKS to Stephen Milloy’s piece on mercury and compact fluorescent bulbs. I already posted on that. I’m trying, by the way, to arrange a followup featuring actual lab experimentation.

April 30, 2007

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE U.S. PULLED OUT OF IRAQ? Michael Totten asks a Peshmerga colonel.

April 30, 2007

PROTESTING HONOR KILLINGS AND STONINGS, in Iraq. Plus, Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive was on CNN.

April 30, 2007

HERE’S A STRONG REVIEW of Evan Coyne Maloney’s film Indoctrinate U. Excerpt:

This film hits you in the gut, in a way that no column or blog post can. Seeing the faces of the protagonists in these campus conflicts, and hearing their stories in their own words, makes it seem as if you’re learning about the problems of campus bias and tyranny for the very first time. After the screening, audience members had a chance to question Maloney. I particularly remember a woman who said she was almost too shaking with anger to speak. . . .

Will Indoctrinate U get seen? I don’t think there’s any doubt that a significant audience for this movie exists. But to overcome their own pressures of political correctness, distributors need to be reminded of that. So to prove that there is in fact an audience for this film, a website has been set up where you can register your interest in seeing Indoctrinate U. There you can also catch a trailer of the film.

I hope it gets seen.

April 30, 2007

BILL RICHARDSON’S plan for Darfur.

UPDATE: He hasn’t won over Don Surber.

April 30, 2007

THE GIULIANI CAMPAIGN launches a new campaign video.

April 30, 2007

A “DISMAL YEAR” for network TV. Why should the year be any different from the programming?

April 30, 2007

MAYBE THERE’S HOPE, CONT’D: The Dangerous Book for Boys, which I mentioned yesterday, has climbed to #11 on Amazon. Meanwhile, although it’s not as politically incorrect — or is it? — here’s another interesting entry in the realm of neo-retro books for boys: the Popular Mechanics editors’ The Boy Mechanic: 200 Classic Things to Build. I don’t suppose that every kid could build stuff like this back in the old days, but it’s interesting to see how many skills, and how much persistence, is taken for granted here.

April 30, 2007

IS BRITISH INFLATION coming to the United States? I note that while the dollar is weak compared to the pound and the euro, it’s doing comparatively well against the yen. Not sure what that means, but I remember when it was the yen we were worrying about.

April 30, 2007

“SELF-PAY LUXURY JAILS:” This seems kind of third-worldish to me. And I agree with this criticism:

I have a feeling such differential treatment may ultimately do more harm than good. By allowing the wealthiest to “exit” the normal jail system, we lose an important “voice” for making it decent.

Not that there are very many of the “wealthiest” in prison to begin with. But the point holds nonetheless. The counterargument, I guess, is that better accommodations are often available within the prison system to those with clout, and this just evens the odds. I don’t think I buy that, but I suppose some people will feel differently.

April 30, 2007

COAL? YES, COAL:

Despite the fact that coal is known to be one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases, Boyce, 52, is banking on a future in which America burns a lot more of it. With the country’s huge reserves, he argues, coal should be doing much more than its traditional tasks of making electricity or steel. “We’re moving into an era where we’ll be driving our vehicles based on coal-derived fuel. We’re going to be flying on it,” Boyce declares. . . .

The Energy Dept. predicts overall electricity demand will grow by 45% between now and 2030. It also forecasts that coal-fired plants, today 51% of the market, will grow to 57% over the same period. Coal is cheap and plentiful. And there aren’t a lot of easy alternatives for replacing it anytime soon. Just to maintain nuclear power’s 20% of the U.S. energy market, 35 to 40 new plants will have to built in the next 20 years. Renewable sources such as hydropower, wind, and biofuels face similar challenges scaling up to meet market demand.

Burning coal is filthy. I’d rather see lots of nice, clean, greenhouse-friendly nuclear plants, with coal going to liquid fuels and chemical-industry uses. On the other hand, an upside is that coal doesn’t come from Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Venezuela.

April 30, 2007

“I GOT MY NUCLEAR REACTOR through the New York Times!” Hey, the ad business is slow.

April 30, 2007

MORE ON THE DUKE RAPE PERSECUTION DEBACLE, from the Los Angeles Times.

April 30, 2007

NBC IS STILL TAKING FLAK FOR AIRING THE CHO VIDEO: Howard Kurtz has a roundup.

If the news media were held to the standards, in terms of tort liability or social responsibility, that they hold other industries to, NBC would be in serious trouble.

More criticism of NBC, here.

April 30, 2007

RICK LEE DEMONSTRATES how to get a fancy studio shot without a fancy studio. Or camera! Rick’s theory: ‘It’s not about the camera ™ and it’s not about the rest of the equipment. It’s about the knowledge and creativity.” Sadly — for me at least — he’s right.

April 30, 2007

TODAY IS NATIONAL TAX FREEDOM DAY: Enjoy working for yourself for the remainder of the year.

April 30, 2007

XENI JARDIN REPORTS from the Coachella music festival. And here’s another entry she posted earlier. Lots of cool photos.

April 30, 2007

A “WAR ON BOOK REVIEWERS?” Virginia Postrel says no: “What Alex calls ‘the loss of pagination at a few provincial newspapers’–notably, in my life, the Dallas Morning News–mostly represents the loss of reviews that are short, dull reports on books everyone already knows about. “

April 30, 2007

IN RESPONSE TO HARRY REID, THE WASHINGTON POST ASKED some people if the war in Iraq was lost. The best answer is from Kanan Makiya:

It’s up to you The Iraq war is lost or won if the American people choose to lose or win it. With the way things are going at the moment, I perfectly understand why they might choose to give up on the war. But that is not because the war is inherently unwinnable by a country as great and rich and powerful as the United States.

But read the whole thing, which is pretty much evenly divided. Way back in 2003 Virginia Postrel was noting that there wasn’t a single coherent narrative on Iraq, and there still isn’t. (Via Orin Kerr).

UPDATE: John Tabin asks what’s winning and what’s losing:

Our main “original objective” — taking out Saddam Hussein’s regime — has already been achieved. Perhaps Fick is saying we can’t leave behind a self-sustaining democracy. But I think the Kurds, at least, already have just that. If we keep a relatively small number of troops in Iraq indefinitely to enforce a partition and prevent a bloodbath, is that a loss? That is, more or less, how the Korean War ended (I know, it never “ended” in the technical sense, but you get my point). Did we lose Korea?

I think a lot of people thought so at the time, more or less. But in retrospect, no.

April 30, 2007

WELL, IF BILL CASEY CAN GIVE AN INTERVIEW AFTER HIS DEATH, why can’t George Tenet have an imaginary conversation?

UPDATE: More Tenet reminiscences. Saddam would have nukes by 2007!

April 30, 2007

MAYBE WE CAN TRY THIS IN IRAQ, NEXT: Disarming the militias in Alabama.

April 30, 2007

TERROR IN BRITAIN: “Five Britons were found guilty on Monday of plotting to carry out al Qaeda-inspired bomb attacks across Britain potentially killing hundreds at targets ranging from nightclubs to trains and a shopping centre.”

April 30, 2007

A LOU DOBBSESQUE TAKE on the sex scandal du jour: “Tobias was jetting off to the Third World for some nooky? What on earth for? We live in a f*cking melting pot, Josh. We have hookers of every race, creed, and color right here at home!

April 30, 2007

EPISODE IV: A new hopelessness. Ed Driscoll takes lessons from Star Trek.

April 30, 2007

MICKEY KAUS on the fence: “Note that the Bush administration, despite Tony Snow’s seemingly straightforward promises (‘[T]he fence is going to be built’), has recently indicated that it plans to rely on a ‘virtual fence,’ not an actual fence. Again, what’s odd is not that the administration has come out against an actual, physical barrier. That’s obviously been Bush’s real position all along. What’s odd is that they’d reveal this real position while ‘comprehensive’ reform is being debated–instead of at least dangling the possibility of a real fence in front of anti-amnesty conservatives.” Give ‘em credit for honesty, I guess . . . .

April 29, 2007

AMITY SHLAES looks at “girlfriend salaries” at the World Bank. Apparently there are rather a lot of them. “In any case, the old corporate rule holds yet again: When salaries seem odd, something is out of balance — just not always in the way you think.”

April 29, 2007

RIDE BLOG TO THE SOUND OF THE GUNS: OMAR FADHIL reports from Baghdad.

April 29, 2007

JOHN TAMMES ON preparing for the worst.

April 29, 2007

TODAY’S FRED THOMPSON RALLY IN COOKEVILLE: I thought about going, but we’ve been a bit under the weather. But reader Jim Brown emails this YouTube video: “It was filmed and edited by my fifteen year old Grandson, Matthew Matheson. I was late in picking him up so he missed the first part of the rally. He makes and designs web sites and has all the latest technology and software to work with. He is young, but very good. Who knows? He might start making political commercials for the candidates.”

I think he already has.

UPDATE: Dan Riehl doubts the Thompson campaign would approve. Er, well, if there were a Thompson campaign, anyway . . . .

He’s probably right. But in YouTube politics, that’s not the point, is it? You’re going to get campaign videos by 15-year-olds about what they think is important, not about what the campaign thinks is important. And anyone who wants to go anywhere will have to learn to live with that, and work with it. It’s all part of the growth of free agent media.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Matt Matheson asked me to embed a newer edit that he likes better, so I did. But for archival purposes, the original can be found here.

April 29, 2007

FREE CARBON OFFSETS! Sadly, these may be just as good as a lot of the others. . . .

April 29, 2007

VIA THE NEW YORK TIMES: surprisingly good news from Iraq. Especially surprising since it’s via the New York Times. “Anbar Province, long the lawless heartland of the tenacious Sunni Arab resistance, is undergoing a surprising transformation. Violence is ebbing in many areas, shops and schools are reopening, police forces are growing and the insurgency appears to be in retreat.”

(Via Tom Maguire, who has some thoughts on what it might mean).

UPDATE: Plus this New York Times report about Afghanistan: “Infant mortality has dropped by 18 percent in Afghanistan, one of the first real signs of recovery for the country five years after the fall of the Taliban regime, health officials said Thursday. . . . 40,000 to 50,000 fewer infants are dying now than in the Taliban era, Dr. Fatimi said.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ace has an amusing take.

MORE: A look at what the Times left out. Surge? What surge?

Another reader cynically suggests that we’ll see more good news in the near future — having achieved their goal of persuading Americans to pull out, the press will loudly report some good news in order to protect themselves against postwar charges of bias. I think that’s overly cynical.

STILL MORE: NYT: Late to the party.

MORE STILL: Criticizing the Times on the surge mention may be unfair. A Marine officer with knowledge in the area who asks that I not use his name emails:

I know a good bit more about things there than I can let on, but one thing I did want to email and make clear: There has been no surge of extra troops to Anbar yet. What has been accomplished thus far has been with the same force structure that has been more or less in place there for the past three years. I might even go so far as to say that the new strategy for the entire country — begun in January — had its genesis with the actions of one particular Marine battalion working in the far west in the fall of 2005.

It was so successful that its methods – which I won’t go into – were adopted in some manner throughout Anbar and now we are seeing their fruits.

Worth noting. And this underscores a point made here before — that the ‘surge” isn’t so much about more troops as it is about different tactics.

April 29, 2007

HILLARY CLINTON GETS strange new respect.

April 29, 2007

“TOTALLY MEAN AND IRRATIONAL:” I think the war between the Democratic establishment and the Netroots is heating up.

April 29, 2007

FROM ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES AT U.T., A LOOK AT NON-CORN-BASED ETHANOL:

Biomass can also be derived from residue left behind after forest products have been harvested or from the elements of corn left in the field to rot after the grain has been harvested. Cellulosic ethanol comes from the part of the corn plant not used for food.

So, in addition to corn grain-based ethanol, Tennessee has an array of potential new energy sources from biomass – cellulosic ethanol. This expands ethanol’s potential availability well beyond corn grain, which greatly expands our alternative fuel options – and in no way competes with any utilization of corn.

A unit of corn ethanol, made from grain, yields about 40 percent more energy than it takes to produce that unit, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

A unit of cellulosic ethanol yields more than 500 percent of the energy that goes into producing it. In contrast, gasoline made from petroleum returns 20 percent less energy than it takes to produce it.

That’s why cellulosic ethanol is the future of energy.

Since cellulosic ethanol can already be made in the lab, the next challenge is to make it at the commercial scale.

The only political downside is that this isn’t likely to win the kind of enthusiastic support from corn farmers that corn-based ethanol enjoys. But it seems to me that ethanol from waste biomass is a lot better than ethanol that’s made from . . . food.

UPDATE: The prospect of making fuel from waste biomass inspires reader Brian Cubbison to utter a single magic word: “Kudzu.”

Watch out, Saudis!

April 29, 2007

CROSS-CULTURAL TOILET COMPARISONS.

April 29, 2007

JOHN WIXTED: “Awareness of al Qaeda is slowly growing in the minds of mainstream media reporters who have been hamstrung by the civil war schema that they simply cannot get out of their heads. Even so, there is not the slightest mention of the fact that al Qaeda was probably behind yesterday’s bombing. . . . Just because you don’t want to reinforce Bush’s claim that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror is no reason to be deliberately misleading when presenting the news from Iraq.”

But, he says, Reuters got it right. No, really.

April 29, 2007

“SLAM DUNK:” “This country faces important tasks, like completing the liberation and stabilization of Iraq and stopping Iran’s Islamofascist regime in Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. Why, with a global war on terror to win, are we wasting time worrying about a years-old quip?”

Because Tenet, who should have been fired shortly after 9/11, is still trying to justify himself. As are a lot of press, pundits, and politicians who supported the war in 2002 and 2003, and who often went on about Saddam’s threat as far back as the 1990s, but are trying to execute a pivot in time for 2008. But read the whole thing. And don’t miss the video here.

Oh, hell, I’ll just embed it below:

April 29, 2007

FANS AND CRITICS for Nancy Pelosi: The Washington Post is surprisingly critical.

April 29, 2007

ANOTHER ANTI-ISLAMIST PROTEST in Turkey.

April 29, 2007

PRIVATE GROUPS MONOPOLIZING PUBLIC LANDS: “This finding should not be particularly surprising. ‘Public’ lands are political lands. Management and access rules are ultimately driven by political considerations, and this gives concentrated interest groups and well-heeled organizations a leg up.”

April 29, 2007

ANOTHER SPACE VENTURE TAKES OFF:

The cremated remains of Star Trek actor James Doohan and Apollo 7 astronaut Gordon Cooper soared into suborbital space today aboard a rocket launched in the New Mexico desert.

The launch was the first success at a commercial spaceport being developed in the southern part of the state.

The rocket was fired by Suzan Cooper and Wende Doohan, who sent the missile carrying small amounts of their husbands’ ashes into the sky at 8:56 a.m.

The rocket soon plummeted back to Earth as planned at the White Sands Missile Range.

About 200 other families paid $495 each to have their loved ones’ ashes sent into space aboard the Spaceloft X-L rocket.

Bill Richardson deserves a spot of credit, too, as he’s been good about pushing the New Mexico spaceport.

UPDATE: More here.

April 29, 2007

TROUBLING THOUGHTS ON IRAQ, from Rick Moran. Sadly, I agree that our domestic political situation will make constructive action difficult. As I’ve said before, it was obvious in the 1990s that we had a dysfunctional political class, but it’s become much more obvious in the current decade. (Via TMV). And yes, time’s the enemy now. Pentagon planners talk about the “three year rule” for domestic support in a war, and it’s been four — five if you count Afghanistan.

UPDATE: More thoughts here.

April 29, 2007

FIRE MELTS STEEL: Somebody tell Rosie O’Donnell.

April 29, 2007

QUESTION OF THE DAY: “Will someone explain to me why I have to hurry and beat the After Church Rush to get a seat in the smoking section of a bar?”

April 29, 2007

UNREST IN IRAN: May it strengthen and spread.

April 29, 2007

MAYBE THERE’S HOPE: The Dangerous Book for Boys, a politically incorrect work indeed, has topped the sales charts in the UK and it’s now shipping in the United States. More on that book, and its writers’ views about the overly safe PC culture that surrounds kids today, here.

UPDATE: Great line from the comments: “I rode myself two miles to baseball practice and back all summer. The proportion of child molesters was probably the same as today, but there was no 24-hour news cycle, so we were free.”

April 29, 2007

ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN A “SMART CAR” AT 48 MILES PER GALLON: This is interesting, but I’m not all that impressed. My mother just traded in her 12-year-old Saturn SL, which routinely got over 40 mpg on the highway. It was a bit sluggish, but it had four doors. The compromises made here to get a bit more don’t seem worth it.

She replaced the Saturn — she loved it, but at 165K+ miles it was time — with a Honda Civic. She likes it, and she’s getting 36 mpg in mixed driving, so I imagine that with her legendarily frugal driving style she could get around 40 on the highway. Is it worth chopping off the back half of the car to get 48?

UPDATE: Alex del Castillo emails: “Have we unlearned something? I remember my boss’s zippy little CRX getting 50 real world MPG in New Orleans back in 86. One would think that 20 years later we could do better than the Smart Car. I am not prone to conspiracy theory, but it almost seems as if they are sandbagging…”

I don’t think it’s that. Extra safety requirements added weight, and consumers quit caring about mileage.

April 29, 2007

IN TODAY’S NYT: CARBON-NEUTRAL IS HIP, BUT IS IT GREEN?

On this, environmentalists aren’t neutral, and they don’t agree. Some believe it helps build support, but others argue that these purchases don’t accomplish anything meaningful — other than giving someone a slightly better feeling (or greener reputation) after buying a 6,000-square-foot house or passing the million-mile mark in a frequent-flier program. In fact, to many environmentalists, the carbon-neutral campaign is a sign of the times — easy on the sacrifice and big on the consumerism.

As long as the use of fossil fuels keeps climbing — which is happening relentlessly around the world — the emission of greenhouse gases will keep rising. The average American, by several estimates, generates more than 20 tons of carbon dioxide or related gases a year; the average resident of the planet about 4.5 tons.

At this rate, environmentalists say, buying someone else’s squelched emissions is all but insignificant.

“The worst of the carbon-offset programs resemble the Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences back before the Reformation,” said Denis Hayes, the president of the Bullitt Foundation, an environmental grant-making group. “Instead of reducing their carbon footprints, people take private jets and stretch limos, and then think they can buy an indulgence to forgive their sins.”

“This whole game is badly in need of a modern Martin Luther,” Mr. Hayes added.

Read the whole thing.

April 29, 2007

JAMES TABOR lists five books he likes on the theme of man vs. nature. It’s not quite the same thing, but to that list I’d add David Baron’s excellent book, The Beast in the Garden: The True Story of a Predator’s Deadly Return to Suburban America. In fact, there’s probably a deep sociological point in the contrast between this book, and the books that Tabor discusses.

April 29, 2007

GLOBAL WARMING, GLOBAL COOLING, and a Blue Oyster Cult reference, all in one post.

April 29, 2007

ERIC MULLER HAS A ROUNDUP of all his posts on Uncle Leo and the Holocaust. And Doug Weinstein has some thoughts.

April 29, 2007

SCHLOCK AND AWE: “And here we thought shock and awe was about bringing Saddam Hussein to his knees.” Heh.

April 29, 2007

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS, from Jules Crittenden.

April 28, 2007

IN LIGHT OF MY EARLIER POST ON IMPORTED OIL, I should probably note this column from today’s WSJ which makes an important point:

As long as the U.S. remains part of a global market in fuels, the impact of events abroad will not stop at the border. For example, in a crisis that cut off supplies from Saudi Arabia, the price of oil needed in Europe and Asia might double or triple overnight. Prices would rise in response in the U.S. even if we weren’t importing oil, as markets directed the fuel that was available to the highest bidders.

That’s true — and it also means, of course, that a shutdown of oil at its source wouldn’t just hurt the U.S., but all of Saudi Arabia’s customers. And it certainly suggests that building up domestic sources — especially things like oil shale — will help buffer shocks from elsewhere.

April 28, 2007

THE CARNIVAL OF CARS IS UP! Lots of other carnivals, of course, at BlogCarnival.com.

April 28, 2007

STUART BUCK: “The way that our country treats chronic pain sufferers who use too much pain medication seems insane to me. I can’t find any evidence that Oxycontin, say, is anywhere near as dangerous as alcohol — i.e., tens of thousands of fatalities every single year. But we don’t make people get a prescription to buy a beer, let alone throw people in jail for 25 years for having a bottle of vodka in the house.”

And read this on the Hurwitz case, by John Tierney.

April 28, 2007

THOUGHTS ON OBAMA VOTES AS RACISM OFFSETS?

Let’s hope it’s more genuine than the carbon offsets are turning out to be . . . .

April 28, 2007

GEORGE TENET’S NEW BOOK inspires some thoughts from Tom Maguire.

Plus, a look back at intelligence. And here’s another one in which he seemed pretty confident that we’d find “caches of weapons of mass destruction” once Saddam was overthrown. Plus, Zarqawi. So he was batting .500!

April 28, 2007

YOU CAN FEEL THE EXCITEMENT: “After 6 years of the Bush presidency, we finally have a sex scandal. And not the Mark Foley naughty e-mails stuff. A Clintonesque affair complete with hookers.”

If we legalized prostitution, would stuff like this still be a scandal? We should, anyway.

April 28, 2007

ZELLMENTUM! The Draft Zell movement seems to be taking off!

April 28, 2007

NICK GILLESPIE TALKS ABOUT IMMIGRATION, on Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! YouTube version available here.

April 28, 2007

ROSS DOUTHAT moves to The Atlantic. They’re really snapping up talent.

April 28, 2007

DEMOGRAPHICS: Will Wilkinson asks: “So what explains the fact that America is the land where white people reproduce?”

April 28, 2007

BUMBLING THE BEE SCARE: I like the photos.

April 28, 2007

SENATE DEMOCRATS are rallying to Harry Reid’s defense against that loudmouthed conservative David Broder.

The real message, of course, is that they expect the Post and its columnists to stick to their real job — attacking Republicans — and not stray off the reservation. If I were Broder, I’d respond with a column on Harry Reid’s land deals.

April 28, 2007

HIRING “SCANDALS” AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: Todd Zywicki is far from scandalized:

Oh my goodness–a bust of James Madison in his very office! Gracious, a civil rights lawyer who clerked for Charles Pickering–who “congressional Democrats … contended” was hostile to civil rights (apparently since some congressional Democrats “contended it,” all of his clerks are disqualified from working in the office).

The other example cited in the article seems odd as well–why is it supposed to be a problem that a graduate of Regent Law School might be interested in working on “some religious liberties” cases. Would we be similarly shocked if a minority graduate of Southern Law School, for example, expressed a particular interest in working on Voting Rights cases, or a former intern at a pro-choice organization was interested in reproductive rights cases?

The unintentional irony of this is that these examples are provided as examples of the “nonideological” bona fides of the career lawyers who offered them as examples. The career lawyer who is cited (as well as the authors of the article) seems confident that any right-minded person would shocked and outraged that a lawyer was a member of the Federalist Society and had a bust of James Madison in his office or that one of Judge Pickering’s clerks worked in the civil rights division. . . . But if these are the “smoking gun” examples that are the best ones that career attorneys can offer as conservative ideology run amuck at the DOJ, then it seems to me that this says more about the real biases of the supposedly “nonpolitical” attitudes of DOJs career attorneys and the ideological parochialism of the Washington Post than about some sort of hiring “scandal” at DOJ. If these are the sorts of trivialities that career DOJ attorneys consider to be evidence of an extreme ideological shift to the right at the DOJ, then forgive me for being skeptical that the end result of giving career lawyers a monopoly on hiring for these positions is going to eliminate ideology from the hiring process.

I guess they should have called it a diversity hiring program.

April 28, 2007

‘IT’S A SHAME CARS DON’T RUN ON COGNITIVE DISSONANCE:” Mocking celebrity hypocrisy on the environment at The Daily Show.

April 28, 2007

SANDMONKEY HAS QUIT BLOGGING: “One of the chief reasons is the fact that there has been too much heat around me lately. I no longer believe that my anonymity is kept, especially with State Secuirty agents lurking around my street and asking questions about me since that day . . . .And speaking of the state of the egyptian blogsphere, it has been pretty depressing in its own right. One has to wonder at some point the futulity of being a keyboard warrior in a country where nothing seems to matter to its people anymore.”

April 28, 2007

AT BOINGBOING, an interesting post by Cory Doctorow on Dan Gilbert’s book, Stumbling on Happiness.

April 28, 2007

ON BILL RICHARDSON:

Isn’t Richardson the manliest of the Democratic candidates, with his guns and his sports? Unfortunately, he doesn’t look athletic and, in any case, Democrats seem to be immune to such red state attractions. At least not until after they’ve chosen their candidate.

Richardson is polling way ahead of other Democrats among InstaPundit readers. As I’ve mentioned before, I like his positions on space, too. Interestingly, Kos likes Richardson. That may not be surprising, as he’s been happy to back Democrats who look like they might win Red State votes — e.g., James Webb.

April 28, 2007

VOTING ON the greatest car chase in movie history.

April 28, 2007

IOWAHAWK offers an amusing take on gun control efforts.

April 28, 2007

ROGER SIMON on the real life and the phony life.

April 28, 2007

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY notes recent Al Qaeda attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure and observes: “Perhaps the most devastating attack Osama bin Laden could deliver on America wouldn’t be in America. It would be in Saudi Arabia, on its oil supply. Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter, and Osama has called for attacks on its refineries and pipelines expressly to cripple our economy.”

In the short term, expanding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will help. In the longer term, less dependence on imported oil would help more.

UPDATE: Well, here’s a report that Colorado oil shale is back in play. Better to move away from fossil fuels as much as possible, but the ones we use should probably be domestic.

April 28, 2007

OKAY, SO I HAVE A PRETTY NICE ELECTRIC BLOWER-VAC, except that the vac attachment got smashed and it would probably cost more to replace it than to just get a whole new blower. I’d be happy to just buy another — it’s been fine and it’s pretty cheap — but I wonder if there’s a cordless blower-vac that works well enough to be worth buying. Everything I can find seems kind of wimpy, with disclaimers like this: “While this blower provides adequate air velocity for doing maintenance cleaning in the areas mentioned above, it is not designed to be a blower for use in moving fall leaves on the lawn.” Am I just asking too much?

I find the blower-vac one of the most useful yard tools out there. What’s your favorite?

April 28, 2007

MICKEY KAUS OBSERVES: “Don’t the crowded Democratic debates need at least one more candidate–a conservative dark horse who can sharpen the debate from the right the way Kucinich sharpened it from the left?”

How about Zell Miller? The DraftZell.com domain shows as available . . . .