March 23, 2008
IN PENNSYLVANIA, the Democrats’ racial divide.
IN PENNSYLVANIA, the Democrats’ racial divide.
AN ANTI-WAR EASTER ASSAULT on the congregation at a Chicago church. Photos and video at the link. If people did this kind of thing at a mosque it would be international news, and evidence of irredeemable hatred and bigotry . . . .
BIPARTISAN CORRUPTION in Illinois.
I’M SIDING WITH NANCY ON THIS ONE: China attacks Speaker Pelosi.
A NEW EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION: “Kinder, gentler euphemisms for failure.”
PATHOLOGIZING hobbits. “Skepticism, of course, is the muscle of scientific inquiry. But one wonders if the scenario of stunted, hirsute, potbellied misfits banished to a cave is too compelling to ignore, even when the bulk of the emerging evidence suggests that evolution aloneâ€”albeit a more complex version than we are now comfortable withâ€”could have produced them.”
SO I TOOK JOHN VARLEY’S STEEL BEACH with me for, um, beach reading as part of my reread-old-John Varley project, and I was struck by this passage, which I had forgotten:
“There’s something else,” he went on. “We know there are aliens out there. We know interstellar travel is possible. The next time we meet aliens they could be even worse than the Invaders. They might want to exterminate us, rather than just evict us. I think we ought to keep some fighting skills alive in case we meet some disagreeable critters we can fight.”
Brenda sat up, wide-eyed. “You’re a Heinleiner!” she said.
It was MacDonald’s turn to shrug. “I don’t attend services, but I agree with a lot of what they say.”
UPDATE: Yeah, it’s not in print — I had to buy a used one. Hope they reissue it soon. It’s good. Meanwhile, reader Robert Evans asks if I’m a Heinleiner. Well, you know, I don’t attend services, but . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Ted Rathkopf writes: “Is there a fish we Heinleiners can get to put on the back of our cars?”
RECRUITING PROBLEMS: For Al Qaeda: “The sharp drop in suicide bombings in Iraq is partly due to the decline in foreign al Qaeda volunteers coming into Iraq. The recruiting, mostly in Saudi Arabia and North Africa, preys on the unique social conditions in those areas. . . . The main reason for this is bad news, and some survivors, coming back from Iraq. Not many of these losers make it back, but the word gets on to the Internet, and this has caused quite a commotion on pro-terrorist web sites and message boards. There’s also been a sharp drop in pro-terrorist combat videos coming out of Iraq. This is largely due to the death or capture of the people responsible for getting those videos onto the Internet. . . . For most of the last four years, the al Qaeda volunteers would go to Iraq and ‘die a glorious death.’ Now the trip tends to end in despair and humiliation. The word is getting around, and the recruiters don’t like it.”
Of course, they did manage some attacks today. Is this the start of the Terrorist Tet that some people have been predicting?
THE AIR FORCE IS PUSHING coal-to-oil plans. Do they know something we don’t?
NETWORK SOLUTIONS SHUTS DOWN A WEBSITE under Islamist pressure. I’m guessing they wouldn’t respond to complaints from Baptists quite so readily.
UPDATE: Reader Antoinette Aubert emails: “Baptists don’t blow people up for disagreeing with them. Heck Baptists don’t even sue you for disagreeing with them. Thus does multi-culturalism make cowards of us all.” Or encourage violence and litigation.
NEWS WITHOUT REPORTERS?
OBAMA’S MILITARY ADVISER ON IRAQ, FROM 2003: “There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be a walkover.” Well, it was, in the beginning. But Tom Maguire observes: “McPeak is a part of the American story; Barack can no more disown him than he can disown his own grandmother, who made comments about the war effort against the Japanese that made Barack cringe.”
Of course, one of Hillary’s advisers said it would be a “cakewalk.” And the invasion part pretty much was. Nobody — in or out of the Bush Administration — worried enough about the reconstruction phase.
ROMNEY BACKER DOUG KMIEC endorses Obama: “I believe him to be a person of integrity, intelligence and genuine good will. I take him at his word that he wants to move the nation beyond its religious and racial divides and to return United States to that company of nations committed to human rights. “
THREE SIMPLE RULES for a sex scandal.
REMEMBERING THE 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix 455. When we were in high school, Doug Weinstein had a 1973 model that he had bought used from Ernie Grunfeld. It wasn’t a bad car — we drove it to the Keys one year for spring break and it was fast, smooth, and comfy — but it was a gas hog.
Plus, the joys of the once-ubiquitous Volvo 240DL. “The car made up for that lapse of refinement with an almost utter lack of power. Brand-new, the four-cylinder engine pumped out 114 horsepower. After more than 300,000 miles of abuse, I’d be surprised if it generated anything close to that lofty figure. This, when powering a two-ton steel safety cage, resulted in a car able to drive out of a paper bag only if that bag is properly moistened.” It was a popular car for daughters for this reason — safe in a crash, and unable to muster enough zip to encourage dangerous driving . . . .
PANDEMIC PLANNING: Still not ready:
WHEN an outbreak of the Spanish flu spread worldwide in 1918, a doctor in Newark advised his patients that they could cure their illness with red onions and coffee. In Atlantic City, the authorities closed amusement parks and theaters indefinitely. And in upstate New York, public health officials distributed a poster warning people against â€œcareless spitting, coughing, sneezing.â€ Those precautions had mixed results, and an estimated 675,000 Americans died during that outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Today, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York are much more prepared than they were 90 years ago in the event that an influenza outbreak turns into a pandemic. But five years after an avian flu outbreak in Asia made pandemic flu planning a priority, some experts are concerned that states have not been equally vigilant about preparing, and as attention and federal financing begin to decrease, they fear that preparedness efforts will slacken.
Sooner or later, something will come along. It’s best to be prepared.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey has been taken aback by the scope and variety of potential terrorism threats facing the United States, he told reporters Friday at an informal meeting in his office. “I’m surprised by how surprised I am,” said Mukasey, who as a federal judge presided over terrorism-related trials in New York.
“It’s surprising how varied [the threat] is, how many directions it comes from, how geographically spread out it is,” he said.
I’m surprised by how surprised he is, too.
THE LONDON TIMES: Barack Obama: toxic mentors start to corrode pristine campaign.
TIBET UPDATE: “US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday gave a strong message to the world from the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, asking it to raise its voice against ‘Chinese oppression’ in Tibet.” Good for her.
THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA CAST ON LETTERMAN, giving the Top Ten Reasons to watch the next season. Video at the link.
COLOMBIA: How to beat an insurgency.
“YOU’RE FREE TO GO — No, wait!”
RAND SIMBERG: War Critics Decry Interminable And Unwinnable Conflict.
THE CARNIVAL OF CARS is up!
WHO’S ON THE DNC CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE? “The three co-chairs have old ties to Bill Clinton.”
TIGERHAWK: Actualizing religious freedom.
GUN RIGHTS and reconstruction.
Those unaware of the importance attached to ensuring that black freedmen could have guns for their own protection against revanchist Southern whites should read this article by Robert Cottrol and Ray Diamond. And those doubting the deliberate effort to disarm black people via gun control laws should read this one.
EASTER THOUGHTS, from InstaPunk.
UPDATE: Jeez, get a clue, Greenwald. I don’t know why you felt you had to bring me into this — well, actually, I think I do — but the post you’re bitching about is by a different blogger than the post linked above. I know it’s hard to get your mind around the idea that multiple pseudonymous writers might actually be different people, but . . . .
MORE: Dan Collins — one of several bloggers at Protein Wisdom, just in case Greenwald doesn’t know that — weighs in.
I hadn’t actually read the post in question until Greenwald started yammering about it — I thought I was just linking a nice Easter item — but Collins is right that it’s kind of “ugly.” However, I suspect that it accurately reflects how a lot of Pennsylvania Democratic primary voters are responding to the Obama/Wright scandal, which is probably what’s really got Greenwald upset.
STILL MORE: How many punks does it take to embarrass Glenn Greenwald? Heh. “Despite three Updates, Greenwald has yet to mention explicitly the little problem with this creative attack.”
And from the comments: “Apparently, in Greenwald’s world Reynold’s association (?) with this blog is important and must be noted but Obama’s association with a black radical nationalist church for 20 years is meaningless. In some world somewhere that makes sense; but not this one.”
I’m used to Greenwald misrepresenting me wholesale, but being savaged for a post I didn’t link to is a new one.
MORE STILL: In the comment section to the InstaPunk post that I actually did link to, someone else is posting comments under my name. Phony-name sockpuppetry — Say, you don’t think . . . ?
AND EVEN MORE: This is just the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks, Glenn! Reader Howard Deutsch emails:
In reference to the latest Greenwald stupidity, I love Andrew Sullivan’s characterization:
“Glenn Greenwald wonders why Barack Obama has been routinely forced to answer for extremist statements by people he has absolutely nothing to do with – solely because he’s, er, black. You think this would happen to white people? On those grounds alone?”
Given that you’re being called to answer for the statements of a blogger to whom you did not link, I can only assume that the photographs do indeed lie and that you are not actually white.
Bill Clinton was the first black President. And I, apparently, was the first black blogger! It’s just the photographs that make me look so extremely white.
FINALLY: Mark Kleiman comments:
But when Reynolds sends an item link to a posting of the Easter poem “Dulce lignem dulce clavo” by InstaPunk contributor “Chain Gang,” I don’t see where Glenn Greenwald is justified in tying Reynolds to the racist rant posted on the same site by a different contributor, “Old Punk.”
Neither do I. But my expectations are low where Greenwald is concerned. Plus, “Is it just me or does the Blogosphere just need a big fat group hug or something?”
Skippy seems to agree, but hey, who’s more huggable than a kangaroo?
And Dean Barnett emails: “I missed the part where you spent twenty years using that secondary Instapunk guy as your spiritual mentor. I must have also missed the part where you declared your candidacy for president. Good luck! but for the record, my standing as a member of the media means I don’t make contributions. Sorry.” If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve, and fortunately — for me, and even more for America — there’s no likelihood of either.
The “Old Punk” post was pretty bad. I wouldn’t have linked to it if I’d read it, but I didn’t read it — or, for that matter, link it. Meanwhile, I suppose I could start looking closely at the stuff Greenwald links to, but that would require me to slog through his posts. . . .
And, in an update, Tom Maguire asks: “Can we count on Dave Neiwert to just make stuff up that suits his narrative? Yes We Can!” Don’t these people even read each other’s posts? But then, bogus charges of racism are a Neiwert standby.
OKAY, REALLY FINALLY: “Old Punk” responds to his critics.
ARTHUR C. CLARKE, laid to rest.
HERE COMES Peter Cottontail.
HELP FOR PARENTS with badly-behaved children.
OBAMA’S UNFAVORABLES HIT 51% — a new high, reportedly.
WRIGHT AND WRONG: Jeff Jacoby on Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright.
MORE ON THE FLIP VIDEO CAMERA, mentioned below, as Jack Lail weighs in on its utility for professional media. “We’ve been using the PureDigital’s cameras for reporter shot video since before the company came up with the Flip name. The newer, “Ultra” models are as excellent for shooting short news clips as they are for that unforgettable family moment. Put the HD Canon in its case and try one!” I guess I’m going to have to try one of these out myself.
TOM MAGUIRE on affirmative-action campaigning. “Do not scoff at me. If Bill were to praise Hillary’s marital and parenting skills while overlooking Barack’s that would be the worst sort of racial pandering, playing on unspoken prejudices of black abandonment.”
WELL, GOOD: “The inhabitants of the Falkland Islands are preparing for a South Atlantic oil rush which they hope will make them among the richest people in the world. After 10 years of frustrating delays since oil fields containing up to 60 billion barrels of ‘black gold’ were discovered off the islands, oil companies are planning to start drilling within the next 12 months.”
JACK BALKIN TO DAHLIA LITHWICK:
Dahlia, you seem to think that there is some important difference between the way that political and social movements influenced and interacted with John Roberts and his conservative brethren and the way that they influenced and interacted with Earl Warren and his liberal allies. I’m here to tell you that there are not that many differences, if you put aside who you happen to be rooting for. . . .
The notion that “the individual right to bear arms `ar[o]se full blown’ from the head of Chief Justice John Roberts” and not out of the text of the Bill of Rights is news to me. I guess you could also say that the right against sex discrimination sprang full blown out of the head of William Brennan or that the right against segregated schools sprang full blown out of the head of Earl Warren. This is not historically accurate in either of those cases, and it’s not historically accurate in the case of Roberts. Believe me, I’m not generally in the business of carrying water for our current Chief Justice. But let’s give credit where credit is due.
HEDGING BETS in Iraq.
WELL, THIS WILL IRRITATE THE RIGHT PEOPLE: Pope Baptizes Prominent Italian Muslim. The Pope’s action is an interesting response to Osama’s words from earlier this week.
MOVIE FOOD. Er, the name pretty much explains it.
IS BEACHFRONT PROPERTY WORTH HAVING? Yes. But is it worth buying? Maybe not. When we were in Hilton Head we looked at the market and there seemed to be a lot of places for sale — on one street, we saw eight for-sale signs in a single block; when we rented a house on that street a few years ago there were none that I remember — certainly nothing like the forest that we saw this time. Although the realtors in the area are talking happy, as they tend to do, I wonder if things are really moving. Reportedly, however, the low dollar is bringing in foreign buyers.
UPDATE: Fritz Schranck emails:
Your point about beach property is well-taken, although even in these areas, there are lots of variables, with absolute proximity to the sand providing the most protection against deflationary effects.
Where I live in Rehoboth Beach, for example, the properties within a few blocks of the Atlantic are essentially stable in pricing, and moving at a reasonable clip. Further back, say within a mile or two of the ocean, properties are definitely cheaper, and slow to sell. Local agents say there’s a one year inventory, which is a huge change from the go-go times of 2-3 years ago.
Charleston reader John Marcoux writes:
While Hilton Head is about 60 miles south of here, I’m guessing the kind of seller you have there is like the sellers around here, on Kiawah Island, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. They tend to be financially secure and not in any hurry to sell. Places tend to remain on the market for a long time, without much lowering of price, and so for sale signs will accumulate in a slow market.
The place next to us, on the marsh, was for sale for 18 months after the owners moved back to Connecticut, leaving the house vacant. It finally sold this past January for $1.1 million, about 12% below the asking price. That’ a somewhat atypical bargain. I was in a $4.3 million place in the historic district in downtown Charleston that has been on the market for over a year, and still is, because the seller refused to close the difference of $100,000 with a motivated buyer.
And reader Ron Stack emails:
I am a big believer in waterfront property. It is the most desirable and scarcest property in any given community (Manhattan and LA possibly excepted) and will always command a premium relative to the market. When the market as a whole is overpriced, as in South Florida, waterfront takes a hit, too. But it should drop less and recover faster than the equivalent inland property. For a vulture investor like me, the best set of facts is an overpriced waterfront property owned by a speculator who is under water (so to speak) as soon as the market drops. In other words, a good property held by a very highly motivated seller (or the bank). The trick is finding a community where the owners aren’t in it for the long term. If they are, and if they have bought intelligently, they just ride out the recession like any sensible person
So look for a place where people are shortsighted and gullible!
IT JUST GETS WORSE: “Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign is trying to clarify comments by former President Clinton that seemed to question Barack Obama’s patriotism – comments an Obama aide likened to Joseph McCarthy.”
GEE, THINK THE CHINESE ARE BEHIND THIS? Cyber-attacks against Tibetan communities.
SO “PASSPORTGATE” LEADS BACK TO THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN? “The State Department investigation of improper computer access to passport records of three presidential candidates is focusing on one remaining employee â€” a contract worker with a company headed by an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama.” I suspect this is a case of idle curiosity and coincidental connections — but had the coincidental connection been with the McCain campaign, people would be making a big deal out of it.
UPDATE: More: Chief of firm involved in breach is Obama adviser.
MORE: Reader Michael Gebert emails: “I heard they found out from McCain’s passport file that as a young man, he spent several years in a Communist capitol. And with no entry stamp!”
“AS DRAG RACES GO, YOU WILL AGREE, this is quite a good one.”
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL on the Second Amendment and the Heller case:
Judging by Tuesday argument, the High Court has a majority in support of the circuit court opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts asked why the Framers included the word “people” if the Amendment only applied to militias. Justice Antonin Scalia discussed the importance the Framers attached to providing citizens the means to protect against tyrannical government. Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the Court’s swing vote, informed all in attendance that “In my view, there’s a general right to bear arms quite without reference to the militia either way.” . . . We hope the Supreme Court agrees with Judge Silberman that the Second Amendment does protect the right to own pistols, rifles and other guns of the kind the American Founders believed were needed to protect liberty.
THEY QUIT EMAILING ME LINKS, but here’s the latest Grand Rounds.
Many of you have lamented the disastrous left-turn the television series Jericho took last season. Well, it was awarded with spectacularly low ratings and now cancellation.
A military reader emails with similar sentiments:
Just saw your post on Jericho’s cancellation and think the producers have no one to blame but themselves. I liked the first season, but the 2nd season has gone off the rails. Let me count the way:
1. The bombs were an old white guy conspiracy set in motion by facist conservatives and a big, bad corporation. God forbid that they say it was a foreign power or terrorists, nooooooo.
2. As a soldier, I found it very offensive that the military is now the oppressing enforcer. How many times I have seen what was happening in the show and saying, “There’s no way we’d do that.” Jake’s interrogation, not punishing Getz, shooting at civilians for violating “curfew.” The list goes on and on.
3. So many holes in the military aspect that it was pathetic. Here’s the most obvious – MAJ Beck says he’s from the 10th Mountain Division, but they’re stationed at Ft. Drum, NY. In order to join with the ASA military, wouldn’t he have had to have sought them out by finding a way across the “blue line?”
This was possibly the most offensive aspect, as if we would just throw allegiance to some new government outside of the constitutional line of succession in Cheyenne, under a new flag and new name. Pray tell why we wouldn’t have fallen in line with whoever actually had succession, since the entire line is never together in the same city because of just such a possibility. It’s not like we would have said, “ASA, USA, no big difference.”
In short, who wants to watch a show that denigrates their country, denigrates their military, and seems to blame the possible evils of the world on corporations? Wouldn’t a show about how we pulled together and united against an external threat been a little more palatable?
Not to Hollywood in an election year, I guess.
UPDATE: Reader Ed Stephens emails:
I echo your other reader’s comments about the reason for Jericho’s demise. Perhaps only blue staters could imagine that scattered nukes would cause the dissolution of the United States. That American’s would suddenly decide they need a “new” constitution? Personally, I would have liked to see more emphasis on the recovery efforts, setting up windmills, solar power, etc (now that the bureaucracies hindering it were gone). Think Gilligan’s island/McGuyver on steroids highlighting “yankee ingenuity” and Heinlein’s quote about specialization.
A more probable scenario would involve an invasion by Mexico into CA, AZ, NM and Texas (if not UT and CO) to capitalize on a weakened US; but I’m sure that would be too un-PC.
CBS’s “THE UNIT” also similarly went off the rails the same way, but maybe Mamet’s turn from liberal orthodoxy will cause it to change.
Have not these people learned anything from “24″?
Indeed. Related thoughts here.
A BIG ROUNDUP of Apple news, including a picture of a MacBook Touch. I’ll believe it when I see the hardware.
“CRUCIFIXION FOR YOU?” “No thanks, it might be too disturbing for pre-schoolers.”
Mark Steyn comments: “So now the story ends with the Last Supper – and presumably afterwards Jesus and His friends watch Elmo and then go to bed. That the foundational event of your faith is now excessively ‘disturbing’ is almost too parodic a reductio of the Wimp Christianity of the mainline churches.”
UPDATE: Reader Greg Kemnitz emails: “A passion play without the Passion! How postmodern…”
A VERY ROUGH FIRST WEEK for New York’s new Governor.
ENJOYING SPRINGTIME IN MINNESOTA: It’s sunny and warm here.
UPDATE: But if you believe this, I could be chilly in the future: “No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you’d expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years.”
MORE PHOTOS AND REPORTING from the New York Auto Show.
ARTHUR C. CLARKE ON THE FUTURE: “Don’t panic!”
YOUR OWN PERSONAL JESUS. Believe again.
IN THE MAIL: James Bessen & Michael Meurer’s Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk. Personally, I think that the patent system has fallen far, far away from its original purpose of promoting “progress in science and the useful arts,” and become largely another case of special-interest legislation and generalized rent-seeking. This is something that Rob Merges and I wrote about a while back.
KARL ROVE, MacHead:
NB: All right, I’ve got just one more quick question for you. Last time I saw you, you’d just gotten an iPhone. How’s that working out for you?
ROVE: I love it. My life has changed. I have a shred of coolness. I’ve got my 3,500 people in my addressbook on the phone, I can sync my calendar. I keep track of my modest little stock investments. I can check the weather of my house in Washington, my house in Florida, my boy at school, my hunt-lease in south Texas. I can surf the web, I’m just–I get part of my email there.
I mean it is just shocking how much better, how much more productive I am. I no longer carry around a giant address book, if I don’t have my calendar close at hand, I can quickly check it out of my– I don’t have to carry, I used to carry several notecards, now it’s just as easy to scribble on my little notepad, I can take photographs and forward them on immediately, it’s just remarkable.
NB: All right. Well it sounds like Steve Jobs should call you up as a spokesman.
ROVE: There we go, there we go. And not only that, I also have the Mac Book Air which is really cool. Even my wife is jealous of my MacBook Air.
Perhaps a lucrative spokesperson gig is in his future.
INTERESTING QUOTE ON IRAQ:
Is Iraq the last country we confront in the Middle East?
Who wants to volunteer to get cross-ways with us? Weâ€™ll be there a century, hopefully. If it works right.
AN INSPIRING SPEECH TO AMERICA that just might save IowaHawk’s candidacy.
CLINTON, OBAMA, and the Hawaiian quid pro quo.
WOW: “Scientists have detected an interstellar explosion so bright that it was briefly visible to the naked eyeâ€”from 7.5 billion light-years away. . . . GRB 080319B, located more than halfway across the visible universe, crushes the previous record holder for most distant object visible without assistance by three orders of magnitude. That would be the galaxy M33, located just 2.9 million light-years from Earth.” Glad not to have been closer.
TOM MAGUIRE on our non-conversation about race.
CBS HAS cancelled Jericho.
EMILY YOFFE: Forget Juno. Out-of-wedlock births are a national catastrophe. I blame Ingrid Bergman.
UPDATE: Reader Christian Southwick emails:
Regarding your Emily Yoffe/Out-of-Wedlock Births post, did you mean Candice Bergen (of Murphy Brown fame) rather than Ingrid Bergman?
I’m not being a smartass, I’m seriously asking . . . is there some Bergman cultural reference that I am unaware of?
Why yes, yes there is. Ingrid Bergman became pregnant by Roberto Rossellini in 1949 and bore his child out of wedlock in 1950. (See this Wikipedia entry for a summary). Her career was more or less ruined in America for many years as a result. This was all long before I was born, but my sense is that despite the backlash, in retrospect this is the point at which attitudes toward out-of-wedlock motherhood began to shift.
I LOVE the Flip. Bought one from Amazon several months back and I’m having a ball with it. I’m not interested in making Hollywood-quality movies, just recording events, and the Flip does that extremely well. And it’s true about the low-light quality. I tried it out in the back stacks of the library where I work, where there is very little light, and the result was outstanding. I first learned about it at InstaPundit so I guess a thank you is in order.
Glad it’s worked out.
THE ROAD TO 100 MPG: A report from the Automotive X-Prize, with video.
MEGAN MCARDLE: “The good news is, the weak dollar isn’t the catastrophe that some people seem to think it is. While it is falling, it will trigger capital outflow, but when it bottoms, US capital markets will become attractive to foreigners. Meanwhile, our export industries will get more competitive. . . . Psychologically, a weak dollar is a blow to our pride. But practically, it was going to have to happen, because Americans have been buying more than they sell for much too long.”
A UNITER, not a divider.
WILLIAM CREELEY on blocking JuicyCampus.com.
DANIEL DREZNER: The decline and split of the West?
DOES THE STATE DEPARTMENT NEED A Deferred Prosecution Agreement?
ANOTHER BIG Disaster-Preparedness List. Lots of interesting stuff here. There’s more (a lot more) to disaster preparedness than just buying things, but it’s true that anything you’re going to want to buy needs to be bought before the disaster. Still, you need to acquire skills and knowledge, not just stuff, in advance of a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or whatever. (Here’s a roundup of some books on that subject). And for less cataclysmic disasters, this book is good.
BILL STUNTZ: “Like many who heard it, I was powerfully impressed by Barack Obamaâ€™s speech in Philadelphia this week. But I found the speech unsatisfying, because it all but ignores the issue that is central to racial division in twenty-first-century America: crime and criminal punishment. . . . While white fears of black crime are more reasonable than Obama admits, black rage at a discriminatory justice system is more justified than most whites understand.”
AN IMMIGRATION AGENT DEMANDS A SEX-FOR-GREEN-CARD SWAP:
The calls from the agent started three days later. He hinted, she said, at his power to derail her life and deport her relatives, alluding to a brush she had with the law before her marriage. He summoned her to a private meeting. And at noon on Dec. 21, in a parked car on Queens Boulevard, he named his price â€” not realizing that she was recording everything on the cellphone in her purse.
â€œI want sex,â€ he said on the recording. â€œOne or two times. Thatâ€™s all. You get your green card. You wonâ€™t have to see me anymore.â€
She reluctantly agreed to a future meeting. But when she tried to leave his car, he demanded oral sex â€œnow,â€ to â€œknow that youâ€™re serious.â€ And despite her protests, she said, he got his way.
Just think how things will be if we get national healthcare. “I want sex. One or two times. That’s all. You get your operation. You won’t have to see me anymore.”
JACOB SULLUM: Why is Barack Obama afraid of drug decriminalization?
WHEN YOUR SPRING BREAK PARTYING INVOLVES DYNAMITE, you’re partying too hard.
EUGENE VOLOKH corrects Dahlia Lithwick on the Second Amendment. To me it says a lot about modern legal thinking that a right explicitly mentioned in the Constitution can somehow be characterized as “new” based solely on what the Supreme Court does.
JOHN KERRY: Black people, Muslims, whatever.
IT JUST GETS WORSE: McClatchy reports on Obama’s church:
Jesus is black. Merging Marxism with Christian Gospel may show the way to a better tomorrow. The white church in America is the Antichrist because it supported slavery and segregation. Those are some of the more provocative doctrines that animate the theology at the core of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Barack Obama’s church.
Obama is giving us a “national conversation on race,” but mostly by letting a lot of white people realize just what circulates, unremarked, in the black community. (Via Gateway Pundit.)
UPDATE: Some related thoughts from Spengler.
DON SURBER INTERVIEWS Don Surber. Topflight interviewer, interesting subject — it’s a winner!
FLEMMING ROSE RESPONDS to bin Laden’s latest threat. â€œWhat kind of civilization are weâ€¦ if we refrain from mocking and ridiculing bin Laden and his followers?â€
A pretty sorry one. Which, I fear, would suit some people fine.
NEW ULTRAPORTABLE LAPTOPS from Dell. Of course, to be really appealing, they’d have to come with Windows XP instead of Vista . . . .
JOHN STOSSEL, the lone libertarian.
A LOOK AT THE TAIWANESE ELECTIONS.
FROM KITHBRIDGE, an aggregated look at Obama/Wright blog coverage.
ABOUT THAT TIP YOU LEFT AT STARBUCKS. It may not have gone where you thought.