Archive for October, 2007

October 31, 2007

MORE KAUS-STYLE ANECDOTAGE ON IMMIGRATION: Took my car to the car wash today. The work force used to be all Mexican; now there were no Mexicans to be seen. More results from even modest immigration enforcement? One downside: All the newly-hired American workers were kinda disorganized and slow compared to the old Mexican workforce. Maybe that will change with practice.

UPDATE: Reader James Paternoster thinks I’m too optimistic about the practice:

The roofers next door speak Spanish and work quickly, as at the carwash. There’s a work ethic that must be as attractive to employers in the trades as the wages they can pay to illegals. Perhaps it’s even a bigger factor than the wages: I wonder what Mickey Kaus thinks about that question. And whether Americans’ experience with Mexican workers will raise expectations of tradespeople and manual workers generally? And whether that can lead to a better work ethic, or whether it will just lower the quality of service?

To be fair, these guys didn’t seem lazy, just badly coordinated. But the work-ethic point is one I’ve heard a lot.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Steve DiSciullo emails: “The Mexicans are afraid of being fired and the Americans aren’t, that’s the difference.”

October 31, 2007

PROBLEMS FOR THE PAKISTANI ARMY. That’s bad news.

October 31, 2007

NIGHT OF THE guilty plutocrat.

Plus, very strong GDP news.

October 31, 2007

THE NEW REPUBLIC’S PUBLISHER, Elisabeth Sheldon, responds to critics. Bob Owens is incompletely satisfied.

October 31, 2007

BOOK-BLOGGING: MIchael Totten reports on Staff Sergeant David Bellavia’s book, House to House, which I’ve mentioned here before.

October 31, 2007

DECLINING VIOLENCE IN IRAQ confuses journalists.

Because they know the narrative, but those pesky facts don’t fit. . . .

October 31, 2007

NOW THAT’S SCARY: Forget zombies. I sent off my next Popular Mechanics column, got ready to take it easy for a few days, and then checked my email to find not one, but two law review articles back from the editing process for revisions. I’d prefer zombies — they just want to eat your brain, not subject it to bluebook citation form . . . .

October 31, 2007

FOR DEMOCRATS, Iran is the new Iraq.

October 31, 2007

IAIN MURRAY ON the Law of the Sea Treaty.

October 31, 2007

ACCORDING TO THE INSTA-DAUGHTER, the new Britney CD is “actually pretty good.”

October 31, 2007

HUNTING PIRATES with BOLOs of the sea.

October 31, 2007

ROBERT SAMUELSON LOOKS AT CULTURE AND POVERTY. The notion that some cultures are more likely to produce prosperity is troublingly non-multi-culti, but it is nonetheless correct. Prosperity doesn’t happen on its own. It requires certain basic features that not all societies have, or even want.

This is based on Gregory Clark’s new book, A Farewell to Alms, which I’ve mentioned here before.

October 31, 2007

FROM JAMES LILEKS, a retro Halloween.

October 31, 2007

MAN BITES DOG: CNN reports on improving security in Iraq. Video at the link.

October 31, 2007

IMPORTANT HEALTH NEWS: “While the doldrums that follow lunch are still not completely understood, recent research strongly supports a brief nap to treat them.” Naps are good.

October 31, 2007

DISQUIET ON THE DANUBE: Hungarians take to the streets.

October 31, 2007

MY COLLEAGUE BEN BARTON: The Justin Timberlake of the law professoriate? Personally, I think he’s more talented. And I know he has better taste in women . . . .

October 31, 2007

A WEBSITE THAT LETS YOU create your own cookbook. I like the idea for All Corn, All the Time. But according to James Lileks, that’s now politically incorrect. “It’s the new tobacco. Squanto’s Revenge!”

October 31, 2007

LONGEVITY UPDATE: In the Washington Post, Joel Garreau writes: “Aubrey de Grey may be wrong but, evidence suggests, he’s not nuts. This is a no small assertion. De Grey argues that some people alive today will live in a robust and youthful fashion for 1,000 years.”

Thoughts on aging research as an election issue, here. And more background can be found here.

October 31, 2007

BEAUCHAMP ERRORS UNCORRECTED at the Los Angeles Times.

October 31, 2007

REASONS TO HATE cellphone carriers.

October 31, 2007

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Russians ordered to attend Putin rallies.

October 31, 2007

BOILING MAD.

October 31, 2007

OPTING FOR TOLERANCE in Iraq.

October 31, 2007

CHARLES JOHNSON demands a retraction from the Huffington Post over false death-threat claims.

October 31, 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

October 31, 2007

CHALLENGING TIME to get its facts straight.

UPDATE: More: “Poor Mark Kukis, Time writer in Baghdad.”

October 31, 2007

REBECCA AGUILAR UPDATE: Writing in today’s Dallas Morning News, Aguilar supporter Mark Davis argues that suspension is enough punishment, and that dismissal is unwarranted. Read the whole thing.

October 31, 2007

LEARNING TO love the prosperous.

October 31, 2007

SCENT OF A FUHRER.

October 31, 2007

IN THE MAIL: S.M. Stirling’s Ice, Iron, and Gold.

October 31, 2007

THE ANBAR AWAKENING spreads to Taji.

UPDATE: Contagious cooperation.

October 31, 2007

FLYING THE CROWDED SKIES: “In the United States, airlines are making money despite delays and horrible service.” All I want is a JumpJet membership.

October 31, 2007

ERIC SCHEIE on last night’s debate. “I was a little surprised at Hillary’s lackluster performance.”

October 31, 2007

MEN AND MARRIAGE: It’s a new Ask Dr. Helen column!

October 31, 2007

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Dictator Doolittle.

October 31, 2007

NEXT WEEK I’LL BE SPEAKING at the BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas, and it’s not too late to sign up.

Yeah, I know I said to remind me to avoid air travel, but I had already agreed to do this. Hope the flights are better this time . . . .

October 31, 2007

J.D. JOHANNES:

When was the last time you read in the newspaper or saw on TV the story of a successful mission?

Well, you are about to watch one now.

Video at the link.

October 31, 2007

OOPS:

Why is Rudy doing so well? People in the know used to think the rubes just didn’t realize Rudy has dressed in drag and once lived with 2 gay guys; they just remembered him as the star of that 9/11 show they saw on TV that one time.

But now it’s dawning on the pundits that Americans probably know all that stuff by now, so why isn’t Rudy sunk? They’re shuffling around for explanations.

Shuffling, indeed.

October 31, 2007

PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE: “Maintaining civilian control of the military is a two way street.”

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste senses a double bind here:

We’ve been told incessantly that we can’t advocate war unless we as individuals are willing to join the military and personally fight that same war. Otherwise we’re chickenhawks.

And now we’re told that members of the military are not permitted to express opinions in favor of the war. (Soldiers against the war like Scott Beauchamp, of course, are lauded even when it’s shown that they’re liars.)

Seems awfully . . . convenient.

October 31, 2007

THE NEW YORK TIMES figures out that we don’t have troops in Iran.

October 31, 2007

DEAN BARNETT: The Plucky Smart Kid With The Fatal Disease.

October 31, 2007

EARTHQUAKE BLOGGING from Ed Driscoll.

October 31, 2007

ALI ETERAZ: “The future of Islamic reform lies with post-Islamism – a recognition that politics rather than religion provides for welfare in this life.”

October 31, 2007

ROGER KIMBALL on the limits of openness. “The moral burden of the campaign (as distinct from its aim of benefiting its client) is not to encourage us to think more carefully about what it means to be a leader or follower, to be good or bad, to be trendy or traditional, but rather to blur the distinction between those contraries altogether. The aim is to short-circuit, not refine, our powers of discrimination. And the goal of that disruption is always at the expense of one side of the equation.”

October 31, 2007

BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY: Intergalactic Hardball.

UPDATE: Ron Silver on Chris Matthews.

October 30, 2007

AT LEAST this bogus rape report won’t lead to the kind of problems that we saw at Duke.

October 30, 2007

OUCH: “Isn’t it sort of disappointing that one has to spend this much time telling journalists, and journalists’ most ardent supporters, why it is important that journalists don’t lie?”

October 30, 2007

CJR: What was CBS thinking? “I can’t help but wonder what the reaction would be if some big-name blogger had done something like this. It would have been open season on the blogosphere, with lamentations over the amateurish, rule-free environment that blogs inhabit, with the mainstream media gleefully tisk-tisking over their misguided young cousins.”

October 30, 2007

ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE LAW PROFESSORS: How to ace the job talk.

October 30, 2007

RALPH NADER sues the Democrats.

October 30, 2007

A LOOK AT “IRAQ WAR” DEATHS THAT WEREN’T.

October 30, 2007

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Reader Wayne Baisley emails: “In case you were unaware of it, 47 seconds into Brownsville Turnaround On The Tex-Mex Border, the opening track on The KLF’s 1990 album Chill Out, the Mexican radio announcer mentions, ‘Comandante Glenn Reynolds.’”

Heh. Yeah, the KLF was a big influence on Mobius Dick, actually, though not this album particularly. (In fact, it wasn’t really any of their albums as much as some of their attitude; Mobius Dick was influenced more by Juan Atkins, Juno Reactor, BT, etc.). You can hear the sound clip here.

UPDATE: While we’re plumbing the distant past, the inspiration for “A.G. Android” came from this Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

October 30, 2007

DEBATE FATIGUE DEEPENS: “Can anyone possibly be in the mood to see that none of her competitors come close to Hillary again?” Luckily, it’s not affecting very many people.

UPDATE: But TigerHawk will be stolidly liveblogging anyway.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Hillary on the National Archives. (Mislabelled earlier; sorry).

October 30, 2007

THE DREADED ZIONIST / IRA CONVERGENCE.

October 30, 2007

DAVID ADESNIK: “I consider it a small victory when even the UN recognizes that anti-American forces are the actual perpetrators of crimes against humanity.”

October 30, 2007

MICKEY KAUS: “Do you sense there is some large mass of dark matter, an unseen Scandal Star, the gravitational pull of which is warping the coverage of what seems, on the surface, a pretty dull presidential race? I do.”

More from Ron Rosenbaum. If it’s there, it’ll leak.

UDPATE: Reader Tony Deakin wonders if this is it. I doubt it. Not enough sex.

October 30, 2007

MEET THE NEW BOSS, YADA YADA: “Earmarks. Back-room deals. Cronyism. This is the kind of stuff the Democrats pledged to clean up during their ‘Culture of Corruption’ campaign swing in 2006. But members like Murtha — influential power-brokers addicted to the old ways — have very effectively prevented them from keeping their promises. At the beginning of the year, Murtha called the Democrats’ ambitious ethics-reform proposals ‘total crap.’ Thanks to guys like him, that’s what they’ve amounted to.”

October 30, 2007

PARENTS’ MAGAZINE’S list of recommended toys.

October 30, 2007

LAME PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS FROM LAW SCHOOLS are called “law porn” in the trade. Tom Smith objects to the term: “My objection is that it is demeaning to pornography.”

October 30, 2007

MORE ON INDOCTRINATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE, from John Leo. “The basic question about the program is how did they think they could ever get away with this?”

October 30, 2007

EUGENE VOLOKH: “First, killing an enemy military leader — and apparently a highly competent one — in the middle of a war almost always is the humanitarian decision. It takes little consideration, it seems to me, for our military to properly come to this conclusion. That Yamamoto was ‘highly intelligent’ and that he had lived among us might have emotionally humanized him to people who are considering his fate. But it surely didn’t entitle him to any exemption from military attack. . . . There’s nothing humanitarian about preserving an enemy military leader — and instead focusing only on killing enemy line soldiers — when that means more likely deaths for our soldiers. . . . Indeed, if Yamamoto’s killing were analogous to the death penalty, then the death penalty should be acclaimed as a high moral imperative: Rather than wondering whether the death penalty saves innocent lives, we’d be nearly sure of it.” Read the whole thing.

October 30, 2007

ARMED AGENTS OF THE Social Security Administration?

October 30, 2007

ACORN UPDATE: Three plead guilty in fake voter scheme.

Our podcast on voter fraud is here.

October 30, 2007

YEAH, THIS’LL FLY: Feds want to charge for photographing in National Parks.

UPDATE: Dan Phoenix thinks there’s less to this story than news reports suggest.

October 30, 2007

HAVE GIRLS’ HALLOWEEN COSTUMES gotten too slutty? “A bigger question is, who’s designing these costumes in the first place? And why do they think parents will buy them?”

I’m okay on slutty, but not for 9-year-olds.

October 30, 2007

NAGGING WORRIES ABOUT CHINA. Me, I think that their long-term prospects are excellent if they can avoid civil war, but that they’re currently in the mother of all bubbles and that it is likely to pop with a serious bang.

October 30, 2007

GREYHAWK ASKS:

How many media reports on the failure of the media to report the horrors of Iraq will we need to see before realizing the magnitude of their failure?

Some of us already realize. Others never will — or, if they do, will never admit it.

October 30, 2007

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR: A report on Armadillo Aerospace’s close brush with success in pursuit of the Lunar Lander Prize.

Plus, an interview with Peter Diamandis on what’s next.

October 30, 2007

MORE ON POPPIES IN AFGHANISTAN, from John Wixted.

October 30, 2007

IDEOLOGICAL REEDUCATION at the University of Delaware.

They told me that if George W. Bush were re-elected, we’d see loyalty oaths and ideological crushing of dissent on America’s campuses. And they were right!

October 30, 2007

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE on the Law of the Sea Treaty.

October 30, 2007

RON SILVER HAS THOUGHTS on how to get the world to like us.

October 30, 2007

ADVERTISING AGE: “Of course, the news here is that The New Republic still had advertisers!”

October 30, 2007

IN THE MAIL: Judge Andrew Napolitano’s new book — out today — entitled A Nation of Sheep. The thesis, I gather, is that Americans are no longer willing to stand up for freedom.

October 30, 2007

HANDWASHING: Better than antibacterial agents:

The general advice for avoiding infection is basic hygiene — washing hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers, keeping scrapes covered until healed and refraining from sharing personal items like towels and cosmetics.

But some recent laboratory studies suggest that antibacterial products containing triclosan may not be the best way to stay clean. Instead of wiping out bacteria randomly, the way regular soap or alcohol-based products do, triclosan may inhibit the growth of bacteria in a way that leaves a larger proportion of resistant bacteria behind, according to lab studies at Tufts and Colorado State Universities, among others.

The concerns are still theoretical at the moment, but of course by the time they’re not it’ll be a problem. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue with this:

Soap companies say the worry about triclosan takes the focus away from the real culprit: the abuse of antibiotics and the need for better hygiene in general.

Unlike illegal drugs, abuse of antibiotics raises the risk of harming many, many other people. And hand-washing is always good.

Plus, this is your skin infection, in pictures.

October 30, 2007

MORE HATE in tolerant, multi-culti Europe. “Books calling for the beheading of lapsed Muslims, ordering women to remain indoors and forbidding interfaith marriage are being sold inside some of Britain’s leading mosques, according to research seen by The Times.”

Europe mostly tolerates those whom it fears.

October 30, 2007

porkbustersnewsm.jpgPORKBUSTERS UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal looks at John Murtha, earmarks and an FBI investigation:

In the massive 2008 military-spending bill now before Congress — which could go to a House-Senate conference as soon as Thursday — Mr. Murtha has steered more taxpayer funds to his congressional district than any other member. The Democratic lawmaker is chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, which will oversee more than $459 billion in military spending this year.

Johnstown’s good fortune has come at the expense of taxpayers everywhere else. Defense contractors have found that if they open an office here and hire the right lobbyist, they can get lucrative, no-bid contracts. Over the past decade, Concurrent Technologies Corp., a defense-research firm that employs 800 here, got hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to Rep. Murtha despite poor reviews by Pentagon auditors. The National Drug Intelligence Center, with 300 workers, got $509 million, though the White House has tried for years to shut it down as wasteful and unnecessary. Another beneficiary: MTS Technologies, run by a man who got his start some 40 years ago shining shoes at Mr. Murtha’s Johnstown Minute Car Wash.

A review by The Wall Street Journal of dozens of such contracts funded by Mr. Murtha’s committee shows that many weren’t sought by the military or federal agencies they were intended to benefit. Some were inefficient or mismanaged, according to interviews, public records and previously unpublished Pentagon audits. One Murtha-backed firm, ProLogic Inc., is under federal investigation for allegedly diverting public funds to develop commercial software, people close to the case say. The company denies wrongdoing and is in line to get millions of dollars more in the pending defense bill.

I’d say that further — and broader — investigation is warranted. Read the whole thing, as it’s a free link.

October 30, 2007

LARRY SOLUM HAS A LENGTHY POST on originalism and the blogosphere. Some earlier thoughts of mine on originalism can be found here.

October 30, 2007

HOWARD KURTZ on sex and politics.

October 30, 2007

IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, Yale Law Professor Kate Stith corrects her colleague Jed Rubenfeld on Mukasey. (Via Scott Johnson).

October 30, 2007

MARK FRAUENFELDER bought the Twin Peaks 10-DVD set and likes it: “It’s a terrific package of stuff.” That was a show I never got into, but lots of people felt otherwise.

October 30, 2007

PUBLIUS: Khodorkovsky 2, Putin 0.

October 30, 2007

PLEASE START SMOKING: It’s for the children.

October 30, 2007

OPENING THE TAXI CAB MARKET in Minneapolis.

October 30, 2007

IN REASON: Is the war in Iraq moving from folly to victory? “All the stated goals of this war have been won.” And yet Brian Doherty isn’t dancing in the streets, exactly.

UPDATE: Some interesting thoughts, plus an amusing bit of “approving-link” snark.

October 30, 2007

DAVID HOROWITZ LOOKS BACK on Islamo-fascism Awareness Week and pronounces it a success.

October 29, 2007

THE LOWEST LEVEL OF HURRICANE ACTIVITY IN THIRTY YEARS. But I thought that global warming was going to produce an ever-growing number of hurricanes like Katrina . . . .

Now, however, it’s going to produce an ever-growing number of wildfires like in California. So we should be safe from those for a few years . . . .

UPDATE: The real cause of the wildfires. Unsurprisingly, it’s Bush’s fault!

ANOTHER UPDATE: At TigerHawk, thoughts on climate change tradeoffs. “The point, of course, is not that global warming is a myth. I myself attend the church of anthropogenic climate change, if only on red-letter Sundays. Rather, it is that the proclivity of the activists and journalists who are pushing this story to inflate the threat beyond all credibility is actually damaging the case for an effective response.”

MORE: Clark Stooksbury has got this right: “The irony is that most of the Southeast could use a hurricane. Whatever damage one might do on the coast, if a tropical depression were to dump heavy rains over Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, it would be a blessing.” Yeah, I’ve been watching the computer models for Noel and wishing that the tracks would shift westward.

October 29, 2007

MORE ON THE DIFFERENCE between Libertarian and libertarian.

October 29, 2007

NEW DEVELOPMENTS in the Goose Creek terror case.

October 29, 2007

COMMON SENSE REFORM for Medicaid.

October 29, 2007

A LOOK AT HAPPENINGS IN “ever-tolerant multi-culti Europe.”

October 29, 2007

JAMES LILEKS: “I’ve noticed this: the more elaborate the grocery store promotion, the less likely I’ll care. If the store has Ten Cents Off Everything Day, I’ll show up. If they ask me to produce paperwork or enroll in a program, forget it.” I agree.

October 29, 2007

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS . . . “Insurgents.”

October 29, 2007

GETTING IT WRONG — AND NOT CORRECTING IT — at the Los Angeles Times.

Perhaps the correction just hasn’t appeared yet. They don’t move very fast over there.

October 29, 2007

THOUGHTS ON MANNERS, from Dan Collins.

October 29, 2007

A RETURN TO CARTERNOMICS?

That’s likely to be as popular as the movie.

October 29, 2007

THE COLBERT CAMPAIGN JUGGERNAUT, explained:

“Blogs are attracted to shiny objects, and Colbert is nothing if not a shiny object,” Beutler said. “Even serious-minded bloggers can’t resist.”

Mmm. . . . Shiny.

October 29, 2007

FRED THOMPSON ON GUN RIGHTS, at Field and Stream’s gun blog.

October 29, 2007

A 410-year-old clam. “The clam, nicknamed Ming after the Chinese dynasty in power when it was born, was in its infancy when Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne and Shakespeare was writing plays such as Othello and Hamlet.” And for all those years, it was happy as a . . . well, you know.