Archive for March, 2008

March 29, 2008

JAMES CARVILLE: Yeah, I called that Benedict Arnold a Judas! And he is! “Heck, I give myself some credit for managing to get the Clinton and Obama campaigns to agree on something — that neither wanted to be associated with my remarks. . . . If Richardson was going to turn on the Clintons the way he did, I see no problem in saying what I said. Because if loyalty is one virtue, another is straight talk. And if Democrats can’t handle that, they’re going to have a hard time handling a Republican nominee who is seeking the presidency with that as his slogan.”

March 29, 2008

DEAN BARNETT on action vs. words.

March 29, 2008

THE NANNY STATE comes to Texas.

Next they’ll be cracking down on barbershop beers.

March 29, 2008

CALLING FOR A Murtha ethics investigation.

March 29, 2008

THE CLINTON/OBAMA WARS spread to Wikipedia. More here.

March 29, 2008

STOP-LOSS IS D.O.A.: “I’m told #7 Stop-Loss opened to only $1.6 million Friday from just 1,291 plays and should eke out $4+M. Although the drama from MTV Films was the best-reviewed movie opening this weekend, Paramount wasn’t expecting much because no Iraq war-themed movie has yet to perform at the box office.” And yet they keep churning out these antiwar bombs.

Related item here.

UPDATE: Reader Dave McCune suggests “an X-Prize for an Iraq war movie that doesn’t suck:”

Proposed ground rules:

1) US armed forces, allies, and their supporting families are the good guys

2) Jihadis are the bad guys

3) Freedom-seeking civilians are caught in the middle

4) #1 defeats #2 to liberate #3.

How hard can that be? It’d be entertaining, closer to the truth, and would probably make a ton of money.

I know I’d both donate to a prize fund and go see the product.

I suspect a lot of people would.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Don Wolff says it doesn’t matter, as Hollywood will soon be replaced by videogame-based platforms for moviemaking anyway. “One or two more generations in tech development, who’ll need Hollywood to make movies?”

Meanwhile, here’s a less-than-positive review of Stop-Loss: “What is possibly left to say about a poorly produced, poorly acted, poorly directed, and very poorly written anti-war film that defames our troops…? What’s left to say that hasn’t been said about the dozen or so that came before? The only new angle here is that we’re told Stop-Loss is co-written by a conservative. Either this poor guy was steamrolled flat in story meetings or it’s true that Hollywood’s idea of a conservative is someone who only kinda hates President Bush.”

And Tom Brosz emails:

Dave McCune says “I know I’d both donate to a prize fund and go see the product.”

I noticed on your link to Outside the Wire that they are trying to sell 2,900 DVDs to make their point. Maybe you need to plug that a little harder.

Consider it done!

MORE: McCune emails back:

Thanks for the tip about Outside The Wire. I’m going to buy one and then donate it to my local library. Lord knows they already have enough copies of Bowling for Columbine. If any of your readers inquire seriously about starting a prize, feel free to forward them.

Good idea.

STILL MORE: Reader Pete Jernakoff emails:

I’d love to see a movie made from David Bellavia and John Brunning’s book entitled ‘House To House’ which chronicles the US Army’s advance into Fallujah in November, 2004. It is absolutely riveting. And the US Army are the good guys! I cast my vote for Bruce Willis as Staff Sargent David Bellavia.

That would be cool.

March 29, 2008

ADVICE FOR BLOGGERS AND HOME-BASED WORKERS who don’t get out enough. “Home-based? Feeling like your work-in-pajamas lifestyle has gone a little too far. Forgetting social formalities? Not brushing your teeth until early afternoon? Forgetting to shave? All signs that you may be suffering from homepreneuritosis.”

March 29, 2008

I’VE NEVER BEEN PERSUADED by the periodic calls for a “Science Court” to decide contested scientific disputes. (Though it does have a certain appealing Planet-Krypton ring to it.) But if ever there were a case for such a court it would be this one over potential dangers posed by the Large Hadron Collider. I suspect, however, that it will be disposed of on mundane grounds of standing and jurisdiction.

March 29, 2008

STILL MORE ON THE VACCINE-AUTISM CLAIM: And John McCain still needs to address this, and stop getting his health-policy advice from Don Imus.

March 29, 2008

Michael Yon called on his satellite phone to talk about what’s going on in Iraq. I recorded it and it’s up here for your listening pleasure — nothing fancy, just a quick recording posted less than 20 minutes after it happened. Click here to listen.

A few key points: (1) It’s likely to get worse before it’s better; (2) No one seems to doubt Iranian backing for the violence; (3) This isn’t about religion, it’s about money and power; and (4) Unlike Al Qaeda in the north, this isn’t so much a fight to the finish as violence as a negotiating tactic. It’s not a civil war. Take a listen, and then take a moment to marvel at today’s technology, which lets me do this stuff from my basement at the spur of the moment.

Meanwhile, Michael has a book coming out, Moment of Truth in Iraq. If you buy it through his site, you can get an advance copy shipping Monday. Otherwise it’ll be out in a few weeks. (Bumped to top, since a lot of people may have missed it last night).

UPDATE: A reader who asks for anonymity emails:

Michael Yon is the same man who said that the sectarian strife after the 2003 invasion and before the 2007 surge was actually a civil war between Sunni and Shiite groups (I didn’t entirely agree with him, but I wasn’t over there as he was and is now), so for him to say that the current conflict in the south is not a civil war is a pretty big deal in my opinion.

Yeah, I assumed everyone knew that but I suppose it’s worth pointing out.

Also, partial transcript here.

March 29, 2008

HEATING UP: “Sen. Hillary Clinton’s most prominent African-American supporter in Pennsylvania says that had he been a member of Sen. Barack Obama’s church, he would have left because of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s fiery and controversial sermons.” He’ll be on World News Tonight talking about it.

March 29, 2008

AZIZ POONAWALLA is hosting Fitna on his site, even though he’s not a fan.

March 29, 2008

THE AFGHAN VERSION of American Idol: “The show has its own Ryan Seacrest — a hip medical student at Kabul University named Daoud Sedidi. The panel of judges is two men and a woman — Monesa Sherzad Hassan, a professor at Kabul University — who sits between the guys, just as Paula Abdul does, interjecting when she can’t take any more of the bad singers and praising the good ones.” Does Ann Althouse know about this?

March 29, 2008

MICKEY KAUS: “McCain may or may not be blocking Heath Shuler’s immigration-enforcement bill–Shuler says yes, Brian Faughnan argues no, and McCain’s camp denies it. But shouldn’t McCain at least have to take a position on the bill, if he’s such a secure-the-borders-first man? . . . The dirty secret, of course, is that the Dem leadership isn’t blocking the bill because its unpopular with House Democrats. They’re blocking it because it’s popular with House Democrats, who’d love to have a tough-on-illegals bill to vote for before the 2008 election. “

March 29, 2008

DIRTY TRICKS: “The Texas Democratic Party on Friday urged delegates to today’s senatorial district and county conventions to ignore e-mails and robotic phone calls telling them that the conventions have either been canceled or had their times changed.”

March 29, 2008

IT’S LIKE SOME MUTANT OFFSPRING of the DIY Channel and Jewelry Television: Make your own engagement ring. Readers: Would you do this?

UPDATE: Reader Nancy Revy emails:

As someone in the diamond business I have to tell you that I actually think this is pretty cool. Buying a basic diamond for an engagement ring shouldn’t be a intimidating experience. This Amazon page gives the basic client the ability to see what you can get in different cuts and clarity if you hold the price steady. With this information a buyer can go to his local jeweler and see if they can beat the price, given the same criteria for the stone. The key on all of this is the GIA certification, that way you can compare apples to apples, so to speak.

Diamond dealers have a couple of online sources similar to this Amazon page where they can input their criteria, size, color, cut etc. and get a list of available stones that fit their needs. They then make purchasing decisions based on the price versus the price on the weekly RAP sheet. As wholesale dealers we try to buy at 20% off the RAP price and sell to the client at 10% off RAP. A retail store like Tiffany will typically sell a diamond at the RAP price plus 30% percent or more.

For smallish diamonds there is no mystique. They are a commodity and their prices depend on supply and speculation…like other commodities. It’s only when you are working with rare large white and colored diamonds, that the pricing issue becomes murky.

Yesterday at my office I was messing about with a 29 carat diamond. It was so big that I thought it was fake! Someone had to tell me to put down the giant rock!

But Glenn seriously, I know how much you love Amazon, but when you get around to buying the beautiful Dr. Helen a nice little rock for your anniversary, give me a call.

The Insta-Wife isn’t that much into jewelry, but I did buy her some diamond earrings on Valentine’s day. They were not 29 carat, however. Good lord.

Meanwhile, reader Matthias Shapiro writes:

recently purchased an engagement ring and I actually used that very same diamond finder to get an idea of what good diamond prices should be given the cut, clarity and size that I (she) wanted. It was an invaluable tool for establishing some base values so I didn’t get ripped off, which I found was dangerously common. And the lack of sales pressure while I get some understanding of diamonds was really nice.

While I might purchase a diamond that way, I would never use it to select a complete ring, largely because (Amazon techies take note) there is only one view of the ring and it is really hard to get a good perspective on it. Plus theres a lot to be said for seeing it on her hand which is, of course, the ultimate goal.

Yes, this will impose some price discipline even if it never gets a big share of the market. And reader Ananth Sarathy emails:

Recently got engaged, and most people I know and talked to already did something like this, shopping for the stone and then picking a setting. Anyone who makes rings can find the diamond you want based on the certificate number…

Sure everyone knows about color, carat and clarity, but the big secret it looking at the cut angles to get the mathematical idea of how much light will be reflected out (Sorry I am an engineer, so science helps me deal with spending that kind of money on a rock):

http://www.pricescope.com/cutadviser.asp

You plug in the angle information, and it gives a very good idea about the *sparkle* factor of the diamond, which I find, woman are much more concerned about than they originally realize.

Indeed.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Myron Ledford writes: “I did it this past January…I got hooked on Amazon Prime (thanks/curse you) so I decided to look at engagement rings that Amazon had to offer and saw the design your own ring tool. I used it to design a ring for my fiancee that we both love and saved about $200. We did have a problem with the band, it broke about a month after we got it but it needed to be resized anyway. One thing I enjoyed was there was no salesperson to let out slight sighs and tut-tuts as I moved the slider closer to the $100 diamonds than the $125K ones…” Yes, the absence of personal attention can be a minus, or a plus . . . .

MORE: Reader Paxton Helms writes:

Blue Nile has been doing the same thing with diamonds for a whole lot longer than Amazon. I have been 100% satisfied with them. Just a great company and a very smooth diamond purchasing interface. Would hate to see a great site not get mentioned as long as you are talking about Amazon.

And, no, I’m not an employee or PR flack for Blue Nile!!

News to me, but I haven’t been in the engagement-ring interest zone for a while, and hopefully won’t be again.

March 29, 2008

SILLY JAKE: Of course John Kerry’s medals mattered. He was a Democrat. And of course John McCain’s service doesn’t mean anything positive. He’s a Republican. It’s as simple as that, in DeanWorld.

And as stupid, since Dean’s dumb remarks will bring more positive publicity to McCain, and play up the contrast in this department with Hillary and Obama.

March 29, 2008

THE TEN BEST PROPHETIC SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES, ever. But I agree with the commenter who says that Demolition Man deserves more respect. “President Schwarzenegger” isn’t quite so much a laugh-line, anymore.

March 29, 2008

THIS SEEMS RIGHT, to me: “I have no doubt now that the biggest obstacle to Obama’s being able to unify the Democratic Party is likely to be the behavior of Obama blogs, Obama radio talk show hosts, the Obama network (NBC), Obama supporters and the Obama campaign itself.” As with Ron Paul, Obama’s online supporters are doing a lot to put off people who might otherwise be persuadable.

Meanwhile, Taylor Marsh writes: “If the elite DC Dems keep trying to push Clinton from this race, Hillary’s supporters will sit the November election out or worse, protest the party’s actions by voting for John McCain.” See the item just below.

UPDATE: Panic.

March 29, 2008

THE WAGES OF IDENTITY POLITICS: Clinton’s women supporters fear her bid has unleashed a sexist backlash:

Just as Barack Obama’s campaign has been empowering for African-Americans, Sen. Clinton’s run has inspired women across the country, drawing millions to the polls and putting her in a neck-and-neck battle for the nomination. She has already gone farther than any woman before her — a source of great pride for her women supporters.

But her campaign has also prompted slurs and inflammatory language that many women thought had been banished from public discourse. Some women worry that regardless of how the election turns out, the resistance to Sen. Clinton may embolden some men to resist women’s efforts to share power with them in business, politics and elsewhere.

Read the whole thing. Meanwhile, Victor Davis Hanson worries that the Obama/Wright flap has brought about “disastrous regression in race relations.”

March 29, 2008

LIVIN’ ON TUZLA TIME: If you missed it on XM Satellite Radio, you can now hear this week’s PJM Political online. Now with extra monkeyfishing!

March 29, 2008

JONATHAN RAUCH: A new politics? Or a new pandering?

March 29, 2008

GAY CRACKPOTS JOIN WAR ON SEX. Well, once you’ve lined up all the non-gay crackpots, you have to expand your recruiting, I guess . . .

And Amy Alkon piles on.

UPDATE: Further thoughts at Gay Patriot.

March 29, 2008

THOUGHTS ON THOSE CANADIAN TAR SANDS:

At a time when saying anything good about fossil fuels is like declaring war on the environment, it may seem like wishful thinking to press for an expansion of U.S. oil refining capacity.

Yet it is precisely this sort of thinking that is necessary if we are to make use of a vast, secure and reliable supply of fuel from Canada’s oil sands.

The tar sands hold an estimated 174 billion barrels of crude oil, making Canada’s oil-sands deposits second only to Saudi Arabia in global reserves. The U.S. currently obtains 1 million barrels a day from Canada’s tar sands, but with planned investments the daily supply could exceed 3 million barrels by 2015.

Seems like we should be making those. Then there are reports — which I still regard as iffy, though much of the blogosphere seems excited about them — regarding a potentially just-as-big discovery in the Bakken oil formation of North Dakota. I certainly hope they’re true, and we’ll see. There’s also lots of oil shale in Colorado.

March 29, 2008

IN THE AGE OF THE PHARAOHS, life basically sucked:

Studies on the remains of ordinary ancient Egyptians in a cemetery in Tell el-Amarna showed that many of them suffered from anemia, fractured bones, stunted growth and high juvenile mortality rates, according to professors Barry Kemp and Gerome Rose, who led the research. . . . The study showed that anemia ran at 74 percent among children and teenagers, and at 44 percent among adults, Rose said. The average height of men was 159 cm (5 feet 2 inches) and 153 cm among women.

“Adult heights are used as a proxy for overall standard of living,” he said. “Short statures reflect a diet deficient in protein. … People were not growing to their full potential.”

As Robert Fogel has noted, we take for granted today conditions that are a huge departure from basically all of human history.

March 29, 2008

WHY BLOG? Reason No. 92: Book Deal! As I can attest, those can be sweet.

March 29, 2008

MORE THOUGHTS on the problem of PC-induced starvation.

March 29, 2008

ANOTHER FREE ONLINE PHOTO EDITOR: Earlier, I mentioned Photoshop Express, but a reader recommended Picnik.com and I gave it a try. It’s quick, free online basic photo editing package. Not a lot of fancy features, but not bad at all and easy to use. And free!

March 29, 2008

ROBOSEXUALITY: Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Not everything’s perfect, though: “I’m limited to what games I can play because I have Vista.”

March 28, 2008

THE WAR MOVIE THAT NOBODY’S MAKING: But actually, I just got the latest installment of J.D. Johannes’ Outside the Wire project, and, well, somebody is making it.

And here are some thoughts from J.D. Johannes on what Hollywood has done wrong. And what you can do to help show them.

March 28, 2008

YOU GET SOME AMUSING JUXTAPOSITIONS ON TECHNORATI, SOMETIMES.

technoratifun.jpg

March 28, 2008

MAKING PROFESSORS PAY for late grades:

Florida State is what she believes to be the only institution in the country that fines its professors when they turn grades in late at semester’s end. The tab: $10 per grade.

“We charge for every grade for every student that is not turned in by our deadline,” Barber said, adding, slowly for emphasis: “I’ll say that again: Every grade for every student that is not turned in by our deadline.”

Here at UT, fear of the registrar’s wrath provides sufficient discipline.

March 28, 2008

THE JOY OF DESPAIR: I had a column on this phenomenon a while back.

March 28, 2008

OKAY, IF IT WEREN’T FOR GLORIA ALLRED, this Hugo Chavez pic would be the picture of the day.

March 28, 2008

FORCING OBAMA TO take a stand on affirmative action.

March 28, 2008

SO I MET JARED AT THE MALL TODAY: Nice guy, but came across as kinda two-dimensional. I imagine his “ridiculously hot girlfriend” is, um, more well-rounded.

Jared.JPG

March 28, 2008

MORE ON THE IRAQI ARMY VS. THE MAHDI MILITIA from Bill Roggio. Just got a voice mail from Michael Yon, too — hoping to get a report from him soon.

UPDATE: Further thoughts here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here: “One thing to keep in mind is Muqtada al Sadr, the leader of the Mahdi Army, is pressing for an end to the fighting. If Sadr’s Mahdi Army was doing so well, why would he call for an end to the fighting?”

March 28, 2008

OUCH: “According to new data released by the Newspaper Association of America, total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunged 9.4% to $42 billion compared to 2006 — the most severe percent decline since the association started measuring advertising expenditures in 1950. ”

UPDATE: Reader Johann Erickson emails: “Last time I put a ‘help wanted’ ad in my local paper, it cost me about $500. I got 6 faxes, 5 were unqualified for the job. I put an ad on Craigslist for free and got about 40 resumes. About 10 qualified for the job. Why would I ever use a newspaper again? Classified ads were the biggest drop, 16.5% or so. Just another dinosaur dying.” As I said, ouch.

MORE: Jeff Jarvis: “The situation is desperate.”

Plus, a recovery plan: “Hire more lefties to report anti-American stories, and whenever possible, betray national security secrets. . . . Avoid at all costs running columns by Mark Steyn and others with dedicated followings.” That’ll work!

March 28, 2008

KERRY HOWLEY: How Fear of Life-Saving Technology Swept Through Africa.

In May 2002, in the midst of a severe food shortage in sub-Saharan Africa, the government of Zimbabwe turned away 10,000 tons of corn from the World Food Program (WFP). The WFP then diverted the food to other countries, including Zambia, where 2.5 million people were in need. The Zambian government locked away the corn, banned its distribution, and stopped another shipment on its way to the country. “Simply because my people are hungry,” President Levy Mwanawasa later said, “is no justification to give them poison.”

The corn came from farms in the United States, where most corn produced—and consumed—comes from seeds that have been engineered to resist some pests, and thus qualifies as genetically modified.

Death before political incorrectness.

March 28, 2008

DEADLINE CONFUSION.

March 28, 2008

MORE thuggish behavior from Duke University.

March 28, 2008

LESSON: If you don’t like a film, threaten violence. Then people will take it down. Is this really the message folks like LiveLeak want to send? Because it’s the message they’re sending, over and over again. “Share and enjoy.”

UPDATE: Now the Poligazette link above is down — “Account Suspended.” Don’t know why. But you can still see Fitna on Google Video.

Meanwhile, here’s more on the film:

Speaking to various media about this today, it’s interesting that the first sense of shock is that the footage which Wilders includes is so bloody. Of course Wilders didn’t create this footage – the jihadis did. But it raises an interesting question about the mainstream media. In the last seven years the MSM has gone out of its way to spare the public from seeing the most barbarous acts of our enemies. As we discovered when the BBC infamously pixellated the cartoons two years ago, even Danish drawings have been deemed too upsetting to broadcast of late. The footage in Wilders’ film of the victims of jihad is therefore especially sobering. It isn’t pleasant viewing, but then jihad isn’t pleasant viewing, and if this is what it takes to alert people to the savagery of the threat we all face, Muslims included, then there it is.

I hope as many non-Islamists as possible see the film and consider its implications. But I also hope that the Islamists themselves are not so stupid as to fall into the oldest idiocy of theirs: that is the one which says “Say my religion is peaceful or I will kill you.”

Oops. Too late. And in LiveLeak’s defense, I guess their pulling the film just proves Wilders’ point.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Allah:

Don’t worry, the film’s still around. Google Video has it for the moment and I hear that it’s up and down on YouTube too. When all else fails, just search for “fitna” and “torrent” and all should be well. They don’t call it “viral video” for nothing: Once it’s released into the population, you can never quite stamp it out. LiveLeak did its job for as long as it needed to.

I’d like to see the threateners more scared than LiveLeak, though.

MORE: Pat Dollard has posted Fitna and says he won’t be taking it down in response to threats.

And here’s a YouTube link that’s working at the moment.

FINALLY: Poligazette is back online. They were down for 3 hours, and don’t know why their hosting service suspended them. And more thoughts and discussion here.

March 28, 2008

CAN OBAMA DISOWN WRIGHT? Yes he can!

March 28, 2008

VIDEO: A trailer for the forthcoming new version of Grand Theft Auto.

March 28, 2008

CLARITY AND GUESSING: More on the Texas Democratic Caucus confusion.

March 28, 2008

STANLEY KURTZ: “After listening to these autobiographical excerpts from Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father, read out loud by Obama himself, I’m left with the conviction that, in the 2008 election we are facing the mother of all cultural battles.” Oh, goody.

March 28, 2008

AMERICAN ANCHOR QUITS AL JAZEERA: “The English-language channel started to more closely resemble its larger sibling, the prominent Arabic-language channel Al Jazeera, he said.”

March 28, 2008

A FREE ONLINE VERSION OF PHOTOSHOP that’s accessible from your web browser. That’s cool. Anybody tried it yet?

UPDATE: Christopher Johnson emails: “I took it out for a spin last evening. It’s okay. It’s limited and it’s not going to replace the real one but if you need to do some really basic photo editing, it’s pretty good for the price.” On the other hand, the terms of service seem rather grabby. However, the license appears only to apply to stuff you voluntarily make public on their site. It could be better drafted, though.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader recommends Picnik.com and I tried it out. Works fine!

March 28, 2008

ANNIE JACOBSEN ON Harvard’s segregated gym.

March 28, 2008

HMM: “2008 marks the end of liberalism as a governing force in the same way that 1968 marked the end of liberalism as a political doctrine.” I’m not so sure.

March 28, 2008

ANOTHER MOVE TOWARD SHOWING speed traps on GPS.

But what’s much, much cooler is this two-way, internet-connected GPS. This is the start of something big, though some people may find the networking aspect a bit creepy.

March 28, 2008

IN THE MAIL: Securing Democracy: Why We Have An Electoral College. Worthwhile reading in light of all the popular-vote enthusiasm we’re likely to face over the next few months.

March 28, 2008

SADR AT BAY: Mohammed Fadhil reports from Iraq.

UPDATE: Questions about CNN’s analysis from The Belmont Club.

March 28, 2008

CUPCAKE CUTTHROATS: From BoingBoing TV, a cakesploitation film.

Thanks to Lady Buttercream, whose transfats run free. She promised the most ridiculous thing I’d see all week and — well, you can decide if she delivered, but I think it beats even the unexpected competition from Gloria Allred, below.

UPDATE: Reader Will Cate emails: “This week? Hell, Glenn, that’s the silliest thing I’ve seen so far this year!” Glad to be of service.

March 28, 2008

THOUGHTS ON A MCCAIN-ROMNEY TICKET: “I think they look great together. They seem to loosen each other up. They’re sort of a cute odd couple.”

March 28, 2008

OOPS: “Barack Obama faced fresh controversy yesterday over the anti-Israel views propagated by his former pastor even as he was being welcomed to New York by Michael Bloomberg, the city’s Jewish Mayor.” Funny that some of the hardest-hitting Obama reporting is coming from the London Times.

March 28, 2008

THE AL GORE JUGGERNAUT is picking up speed.

March 28, 2008

IS IT JUST ME, or is this photo of Gloria Allred kind of disturbing?

I think it’s the expression, coupled with the pliers, that does it.

March 28, 2008

INSTAPUNDIT’S IRAQ CORRESPONDENT, Major John Tammes, emails:

Things have been really busy lately – as you know, events rush onward here. However, I did want to pass along to you what I have learned from the best ambassadors Australia has ever sent abroad. I don’t mean her Foreign Service, but her Army.

What I have learned so far about Australians, from her Army: they are an awful friendly bunch and always seem to be helping someone; they make friends with Americans quite easily; and they are very professional, yet not uptight about things (“no worries” is a favorite expression of theirs, and it seems to be catching on with some of the American contingent).

Oh, and one more thing – they have really cool vehicles, I attached a picture of one of their Bushmasters. For those of us old enough to remember cramming into M-113s, the Bushmaster is a dream ride.

Who wouldn’t want one?

tammesiraq327sm.jpg

March 28, 2008

SADDAM’S AGENT, at work in America.

March 28, 2008

ROSS DOUTHAT ON HOLLYWOOD: The Return of the Paranoid Style. “We expected John Wayne; we got Jason Bourne instead. . . . Even in films that aren’t taking thinly veiled jabs at the Bush administration, terrorist baddies turn out to be Eurotrash arms dealers (2006’s Casino Royale), disgruntled hackers (2007’s Live Free or Die Hard), a sinister air marshal (2005’s Flightplan), or the handsome white guy sitting next to you in the airport lounge (2005’s Red Eye). Anyone and anybody, in other words, except the sort of people who actually attacked the United States on 9/11.”

March 28, 2008

DEFAMING A hometown hero. More here.

UPDATE: More from The Mudville Gazette, including a question about when, exactly, desiring victory became a Republican characteristic: “I’m not saying it is – but there are certainly a lot of non-Republicans out there who believe it without question or hesitation.”

March 28, 2008

BARACK OBAMA SAYS REV. WRIGHT HAS APOLOGIZED for his racist sermons. Tom Maguire wonders how he missed it. Maguire’s post will not make comforting reading for the Obama campaign. “So, when did Wright acknowledge that what he had said was deeply offensive and inappropriate? The AP story recounts some of Wright’s controversial comments but oddly omits to mention his apology, as does all other news coverage with which I am familiar. And I am strangely certain that a Wright apology would have made the news.”

And Don Surber comments: “This is hilarious. . . . When it came time to leave the church, Obama voted present.”

UPDATE: In an update, Tom Maguire notes that Obama’s people are saying that the apology was hypothetical, or something. Read it and see for yourself.

March 28, 2008

HOW TO ATTRACT MORE TALENT into teaching!

March 27, 2008

MEGAN MCARDLE ON body-counting and dubious numbers.

March 27, 2008

SKIN IN THE GAME: Obama is not part of the investor class. Except for real estate, of course.

March 27, 2008

THERE’S NO HYPOCRISY: This isn’t “middle classism,” it’s upper classism.

March 27, 2008

MORE ON THE Puerto Rico primary.

March 27, 2008

GEERT WILDERS’ FILM, FITNA IS NOW ONLINE, and Eugene Volokh posts a rather positive review. “Wilders is arguing against an important and dangerous ideological movement; my sense is that his approach is well within bounds of legitimate criticism. So I think this is a significant contribution to the ideological debate, and it seems to me that we — and especially Wilders’ fellow Dutch, to whom he is speaking most specifically — should take it seriously, naturally together with whatever responses might come out.” Plus, further thoughts from Michael van der Galien. The film itself is here.

March 27, 2008

SOME PEOPLE ARE MAKING A LOT OUT OF THIS MICHELLE OBAMA VIDEO, but this time I don’t really see it. Yeah, she talks about ignorance and comfort zones in America, but she’s talking to what appears to be a largely black audience, and I think she’s challenging them to get out of their comfort zone. So I’m just not seeing this clip as anti-American, anti-white, or whatever. I think she’s trying to get people together.

March 27, 2008

March 27, 2008

OLD LINE: Left-leaning faculty are a right-wing myth. New line: Faculty Are Liberal — Who Cares?

UPDATE: Reader Mack Mariani emails:

The faculty are liberal, who cares? I do, and I co-wrote the study! I co-authored the study mentioned in the Inside Higher Ed piece with my former colleague, Gordon Hewitt at Hamilton College. I’m at Xavier now, celebrating the Musketeers big win by, er, doing work.

The main point of the study is not to dismiss all concerns about the left wing orientation of the faculty. Rather, our goal was simply to assess the impact that faculty ideology has on the political views of the students they teach. We have two main findings:

First, that faculty are significantly farther to the left than the population (I know, the sky is blue, stop the presses!).

The other finding, which is more newsworthy, is that faculty ideology appears to have little impact on student ideology. Speaking for myself as a conservative college professor, I think this second finding is good news. We take pains in the study to emphasize that we are not addressing what goes on in the classroom – that isn’t the nature of the data we used. In fact, we say outright that our findings do not preclude the possibility that faculty members are trying to indoctrinate students but failing miserably at it! Our study looks at one part of the debate and looks at the evidence. We think our approach, which focuses on changes in student orientation, is preferable to “snapshot” studies which look at student ideology at a single point in time. Others will look at this question in a different (and hopefully better) way.

While I think it is good news that students are (apparently) not putty in the hands of their left-leaning professors, there are plenty of other good reasons to be concerned about the lack of intellectual diversity on many college campuses.

Excellent point. If the beliefs and attitudes of faculty don’t matter, even if they’re pretty much a monoculture, then the argument for “diversity” in general would seem to evaporate.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Edward Sisson emails: “isn’t the fundamental premise of the study — that liberal indoctrination only matters if we see a change in student attitudes — fundamentally false? No one would say that the structural walls of a building are insignificant because we observe no movement in the building. The walls counteract the force of gravity that otherwise would cause movement — namely, cause the building to collapse. If, in the absence of the indoctrination, we would see a conservative trend in the student body, then the indoctrination is significant. All this study shows is that the collegiate-level indoctrination preserves whatever attitudes the students have gotten during their high school years.”

MORE: See this post by TigerHawk from last fall, too.

STILL MORE: James Joyner has thoughts, and comments: “The changes here strike me as more than ‘slight shifts.’ The number of students self-identifying as ‘far left’ more than doubles while the ‘far right’ cohort drops nearly a third. There’s a ten percent drop in conservatives and a 25 percent jump in liberals. That’s hardly insignificant.”

March 27, 2008

EVADING THE OBVIOUS?

March 27, 2008

SUPERDELEGATES dropping like flies.

March 27, 2008

AT THINKPROGRESS, getting their plagiarism scandal backward:

UPDATE: It appears that Ziemer’s speech may have been plagiarized from McCain. According to the McCain campaign, the senator used these lines before Ziemer — in 1995. We regret the error.

They still haven’t fixed their “Blackwater Fever” error, though.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Now they have.

March 27, 2008

BILL ROGGIO REPORTS FROM IRAQ: Iraqi security forces battle the Mahdi Army.

UPDATE: Here’s more from Dave Price, including a report from Major John Tammes.

March 27, 2008

STILL MORE on the Texas county convention maneuvering.

March 27, 2008

DAVE PRICE EMAILS: “Thanks for the Crimson Kings link. What a great read. Stirling has created a very convincing alien civilization, maybe the most believable and well-thought-out I’ve ever seen in print.”

I enjoyed the book. It’s old-fashioned science fiction as it should have been.

March 27, 2008

FROM PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE: Parsing Obama’s Financial Regulation Speech. I love this: “bursting of bubbles inevitably leads to ‘a kind of speculative frenzy in regulation.’”

March 27, 2008

MEGAN MCARDLE: “Can I just reiterate how completely insane it is that an attempt to prevent Americans from consuming Bolivian Marching Powder has now become the single largest determinant of our foreign policy in Latin America and much of the Caribbean?”

March 27, 2008

HMM. Marc Ambinder has seemed to lean kinda pro-Obama to me. But maybe not, with this headline: Obama Superdelegate Indicted.

March 27, 2008

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER: Advice on how from Jack LaLanne, who’s certainly managed to do both.

March 27, 2008

IF TRUE, THIS COULD HURT MCCAIN: “Rep. Heath Shuler, D-NC, sponsor of the bipartisan immigration-enforcement bill known as the Save Act (H.R.4088), said this week that Sen. McCain was calling Republican House members in an attempt to block discharge petition that would force a vote on the bill on the House floor.”

UPDATE: Reasons to doubt Shuler.

March 27, 2008

MICHAEL MOYNIHAN ON GEERT WILDERS: Everyone deserves the freedom to offend.

March 27, 2008

WHY MICROCARS will come to America. Those look nice, but I’d rather have an Aptera.

March 27, 2008

HIGH-ISO PHOTOGRAPHY: I often take pictures at conferences, etc., where the light’s not so great, and often that’s a real limiting factor. I ran a link a while back on the high sensitivity of the new Nikon D300, and plan to try one of those out sometime soon. But for conference-photography, something smaller, and cheaper, is better.

I ordered this relatively cheap Kodak camera and it came yesterday — actually, a couple of weeks before it was supposed to ship. It has a “High ISO mode” that goes up to an amazing ISO 12,800, comparing to the ISO 400-1000 that’s the typical maximum for compact cameras. (Image size drops to 3 megapixels, but since I’m usually shooting for the Web that’s no big deal.) Fooled around with it last night and it appears to work well, even in very low light. Weirdly, however, Kodak included a rechargeable battery, but no charger. It runs on lithium AAs too, though.

And it’s supposed to shoot HD video. I’ll report on all of that, later.

March 27, 2008

IN BOSTON: Old Politics 3, Hope and Change 0. Plus a contrast with . . . Newark?

March 27, 2008

A FOLLOWUP ON THE Frankie Housley story. “In all, there are, alive today, six children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren in the Chesapeake Bay area who wouldn’t be here today if not for the young stewardess who died trying to save one more.” (Name error fixed).

March 27, 2008

YOU DON’T SAY: McCain’s Senate record not always conservative.

March 27, 2008

TAXPROF: Why didn’t Obama save for retirement?

March 27, 2008

WELL, IT’S A GOOD THING: Jim McDermott: “We Don’t Mind Being Used” by Saddam Hussein.

March 27, 2008

MORE ON SPACE TOURISM: Facing Competition, SpaceShipTwo Gets Set. Some cool photos of the spaceship under construction.

March 27, 2008

THE DEMOCRATIC CONTEST: Counting the ways of counting the votes.

March 27, 2008

IN TENNESSEE: Shortening yellow lights to “enhance” red-light camera revenues. But it’s all about safety, really!

March 27, 2008

A HOME-GROWN TORONTO TERROR PLOT. “Details of the alleged plot, which also included storming Parliament Hill and beheading politicians, emerged in a factum filed by the Crown that described the case against the accused as ‘shocking and sensational.’” More thoughts from Mark Steyn, who thinks that this undercuts some of John McCain’s positions.

March 27, 2008

ANOTHER Eliot Spitzer call-girl story? Is there something in the water up there?

March 27, 2008

TOYOTA PRIUS OFFERS DISAPPOINTING MILEAGE compared to a BMW 520 diesel.

March 27, 2008

“LIKE A KENDALL IN THE WIND:” Hillary’s Elton John Problem. The biggest problem may be the puns it’s inspired. Beignet and the Jets?

March 27, 2008

SOUNDS RECORDED BEFORE EDISON, but not played back until now. That’s cool. (Via the Cutlass).

March 27, 2008

HEH: “Perhaps I’ll sing a little song instead…” I’m not sure of the provenance of this transcript, but it’s funny.