May 4, 2008
DEER GONE WILD, in New Haven.
DEER GONE WILD, in New Haven.
JOSEPH MYERS: “Words matter, and in the global war on terror we are losing the battle of words, in a self-inflicted defeat. The consequences could not be more profound.”
HILLARY VS. THE ECONOMISTS.
AND YET, THAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT: Stating the obvious at the New York Times.
HELP A MOM OUT: N.Z. Bear emails:
Patti Patton-Bader, founder of Soldiersâ€™ Angels, is one of the fifteen semi-finalists in NBCâ€™s â€œAmericaâ€™s Favorite Momâ€ contest. There are five categories, and she is nominated with two other mom’s in the “military mom’s” category. The winner receives a $250,000 cash prize, and Patti has said sheâ€™d like to use the money to build a ranch for soldiers and their families to vacation at with assistance from Angel families.
Tomorrow, Patti will be featured in the morning on NBCâ€™s Today Show, and all day tomorrow (but ONLY tomorrow) folks will have the opportunity to vote for her at http://www.nbc.com/Americas_Favorite_Mom/ . Allegedly everyone can vote up to ten times per email address, so Iâ€™m hoping folks will vote early and often!
What he said.
SHOULD YOU BUY A NIKON D300? As I’ve said before — notwithstanding my love for mine — the answer is almost certainly “no.” But if you’re looking at getting a Nikon digital SLR, this might not be a bad time to pick up one of the cheaper ones. My secretary is, and she found this discount deal from Nikon. Buy a D40, a D60, or a D80 body-and-lens kit, and one of three lenses — the AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED lens, the AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lens, or the AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm IF-ED lens and you’ll get an instant $100 discount. Play your cards right and you’ll have a superb digital SLR with two excellent lenses for less than half the body-only cost of the D300.
UPDATE: Reader Dan K. emails: “Great. Now you say ‘No’ to buying a D300…three days after I put my order in for the D300/18-200VR.” Hey, I’m not saying don’t buy one — they rock. I’m just saying it’s a lot more camera than most people need. If you do buy one, you won’t regret it, save perhaps financially.
IN BOLIVIA, A REBUKE TO EVO MORALES:
SANTA CRUZ DE LA SIERRA, Bolivia â€” While sporadic street battles erupted, voters in this divided country’s richest and second most-populous province appeared to approve a controversial measure Sunday that would make them autonomous from the leftist government of President Evo Morales.
According to an exit poll by the firm Captura Consulting, 82.7 percent of voters in Santa Cruz province supported the autonomy referendum, creating what promises to be a tense standoff between Morales and provincial leaders. The exit poll surveyed 7,980 people.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: More at Gateway Pundit.
NOEMIE EMERY on Hillary’s strange new respect. “Hillary may still be a nanny-state type in some of her policies, but in her own life she seems more and more of a Social Darwinian, refusing to lose, and insisting on shaping her destiny. If the fittest survive, she intends to be one of them.”
I’VE MENTIONED BEFORE that I think we have a dysfunctional political class in this country. Here’s more evidence:
This tiff over gas and oil taxes only highlights the intellectual policy confusion â€“ or perhaps we should say cynicism â€“ of our politicians. They want lower prices but don’t want more production to increase supply. They want oil “independence” but they’ve declared off limits most of the big sources of domestic oil that could replace foreign imports. They want Americans to use less oil to reduce greenhouse gases but they protest higher oil prices that reduce demand. They want more oil company investment but they want to confiscate the profits from that investment. And these folks want to be President?
Sadly, one of them will be.
UPDATE: More from Philo of Alexandria.
Incoherence in energy policy and other areas stems in part from paying attention to polls. Even if every individual person had a coherent view of the subject matterâ€”a plainly counterfactual assumption!â€”the collection of majority views might turn out to be incoherent.
But I think thereâ€™s a deeper reason, one that underlies dysfunctional behavior on the part of our politicians in many areas. They refuse to recognize that the policies they enact (or, in some cases, even discuss) affect incentives. So, they systematically ignore the effects of what they do. And that leads them to ignore the interactions between their various policies. They donâ€™t see the incoherence of their positions because they never relate them to each other.
Senator Hillary Clintonâ€™s mailing attacking Senator Barack Obamaâ€™s record on guns appears to include a striking visual gaffe: The image of the gun pictured on the face of the mailing is reversed, making it a non-existent left-handed model of the Mauser 66 rifle.
To make matters worse, a prominent gun dealer said, itâ€™s an expensive German gun with customized features that make it clearly European.
I guess it was aimed at her foot, too . . . .
RE-AIMING RED-LIGHT CAMERAS in Arizona.
HILLARY AND OBAMA: Differences on display: “Clinton was funny, cracking jokes (this time about Rush Limbaugh), and looking and sounding like she is having fun. Barack Obama, as John points out, was dour, humorless, and emotionally remote. She was supposedly the one with the harsh and cold personality when this campaign started. Somewhere along the way things changed.”
Question: How deep is the trouble that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama is in?
Answer: Kerry deep.
Much more at the link.
OBAMA’S SECRET WEAPON. It’s working.
ISLAMIST CHICKENS ROOSTING in America’s backyard?
COURTHOUSE PIPE-BOMBED — has anyone heard from Bill Ayers?
NEWSWEEK: Why Oprah Winfrey left Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church. “There is the Church of Oprah now.” On the other hand, there’s also this report.
WATCHING PULP FICTION WITH Quentin Tarantino.
AUSTIN BAY: Dirty water kills.
SOMEHOW I MISSED THIS STORY: Bikinigate!
TAXPROF OFFERS A Clinton, McCain & Obama Gas Tax Roundup.
RAND SIMBERG HAS THOUGHTS on space development and ITAR. (That’s the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.)
DEMS PLANTING QUESTIONS AT MCCAIN TOWN HALL: Gateway Pundit has followed the story as it has developed. Question: If these were “ordinary people” who registered as journalists from, say, Talon News instead of the HuffPo, and they asked a question involving an obscenity to Barack Obama at a town hall meeting, would the press treat the story the same way?
Cows, near Dayton, Tennessee.
BARACK AT THE BOILING POINT?
Barack Obama is struggling to contain his anger and frustration over the constant barrage of questions about his character and judgment, his wife has revealed.
I thought it was supposed to be McCain with the temper problem.
UPDATE: And she knows angry!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Brian Faughnan writes: “Does Michelle Obama understand that part of Barack’s . . . appeal is that he does not seem to be an angry person?”
MORE EFFECTIVE DELIVERY OF RNA-INTERFERENCE AGENTS, with nanotechnology.
LOOKING FOR A CHEAP, FUEL-EFFICIENT ALTERNATIVE TO AN S.U.V.: The Jetta Sportwagen might be a good choice, with a diesel TDI version that will get up to 60 mpg on the highway.
MICHAEL WEISS on Scott Ritter.
MORE OLYMPIC WORRIES FOR CHINA: “China’s Health Ministry strengthened surveillance and dispatched specialists to the eastern Anhui province as the death toll from a virulent virus climbed to 22, the Xinhua News Agency reported. . . . The virus is another concern for Chinese officials as the nation prepares to host the Summer Olympics, which open August 8 in Beijing.” It’s mostly a threat to children, so I doubt the athletes are at great risk, but . . . .
KICKBACKS TO PLAINTIFFS — a legal industry problem? A rather surprising amount of outrage in the comments.
THAT WOULD BE GOOD: Predictions of a big price drop for photovoltaic cells.
GUY HERBERT on the culture of control.
THE SAUDIS’ SECRET AGENDA. It’s not that secret, it’s just that the people involved don’t really want it discussed.
“MY IMMIGRANT VAGINA IS ANGRY:” Won’t Monistat take care of that for you?
BLAIR’S LAW meets Radical Chic.
TOM MAGUIRE: “NOTE TO HENDRIK HERTZBERG: Your list of ‘relevant facts’ is woefully incomplete; try doing some reporting. “
THE SILENT SCREAM of asparagus. “What is clear, however, is that Switzerland’s enshrining of ‘plant dignity’ is a symptom of a cultural disease that has infected Western civilization, causing us to lose the ability to think critically and distinguish serious from frivolous ethical concerns. It also reflects the triumph of a radical anthropomorphism that views elements of the natural world as morally equivalent to people.”
Haven’t we seen this before? I guess now it’s the first time as farce! Though that would make this time the tragedy . . . .
UPDATE: Related thoughts from Maggie’s Farm: “These folks have taken the Pathetic Fallacy to a psychotic extreme.”
HOME THEATER RECEIVERS are marked way down, but I’ve never done the whole surround-sound setup myself. I don’t watch a lot of movies, and anyway the sound I’m getting seems pretty good. I’m afraid if I improve it I’ll start noticing the difference . . . .
Jon Keller revisits possible Obama wrang-wrang Deval Patrick–the pioneering African-American governor of Massachusetts who now has a 56% disapproval rating. What’s the difference between Obama and Patrick? They were both relatively inexperienced. They were both advised by David Axelrod. They both ran on “hope.”
But there is a difference, reportedly.
A LUKEWARM REVIEW FOR IRON MAN, from Kyle Smith: “The first hour of Jon Favreau’s new film is right up there with the best movies of the genre. Too bad the second half sounds like a Ralph Nader lecture on America’s responsibility for all the world’s wars.”
MARKETS AT WORK:
Call it the paranoid theory of petroleum. Somehow, dark forces behind the scenes keep us from doing anything about soaring oil prices. In fact, something is being done to bring down oil prices. And you’re doing it. . . .
U.S. fuel demand in the first three months of 2008 was down 1.4% from a year earlier â€” the third straight quarterly year-over-year decline in a row.
Gasoline consumption has risen about 1.5% a year since 2000. But Energy Department data showed demand in the first quarter edging down for the first time in more than two decades.
In short, the tide has turned.
The New York Times notes that U.S. car buyers have suddenly gone ga-ga over small cars. One in five purchases is now a compact or subcompact, while SUV sales are off 28%. “It’s easily the most dramatic segment shift I have witnessed in the market in my 31 years here,” said George Pipas, Ford Motor’s chief sales analyst.
A BUNCH OF MOTHER’S DAY GIFT RECOMMENDATIONS, helpfully sorted by price and category.
VISITING THE Tesla Motors factory store in Los Angeles.
Fifty-four shootings in two weekends. Shot-up bodies recovered in groups of three and five. Is this Ramadi? Basra? No.
Welcome to Chicago.
Note the fruits of gun control. Plus this on the Chicago P.D.’s up-armament: “If the department arms 10,000 of their officers with M4s, the police will have 9,900 more assault rifles in Chicago than the U.S. Marines presently have in Fallujah, Iraq.”
POT, KETTLE: Hillary Clinton’s flyer calling Barack Obama a gun-grabber. (Thanks to SayUncle for the tip).
WELCOME TO THE CLUB! Iraqis begin to “despise” the Mahdi Army in Baghdad’s Rusafa district.
JULES CRITTENDEN ON REGULAR FOLKS and elitist, pointy-headed types.
VIDEO: Healing the rift between blacks and jews, on Holocaust Day.
UPDATE: Wrong link before. Fixed now. Sorry!
OBAMA AND “THE WEATHERCOUPLE:” Are reporters telling less than they know?
Related thoughts from Jules Crittenden.
UPDATE: As long as Elizabeth Wurtzel is back in the news, might as well recycle this savage Jim Treacher clipart parody one more time!
ANOTHER UPDATE: The Treacher link isn’t working right for some reason, but he’s reposted the Wurtzel strips here.
CAMEL DEMAND SOARS IN INDIA, in response to higher gas prices.
RANDY NEAL’S EXPERIMENT IN HYPERLOCAL JOURNALISM has been frustrated by the usual Internet dumbasses. Plus a few of the non-Internet variety.
IN THE MAIL: Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry. Including many cool photos.
UPDATE: Sorry — link was bad before. Fixed now.
MICHAEL BARONE LOOKS AT Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, and the polls. ” Is the bottom falling out for Barack Obama? It’s too early to say that, but there are some disturbing signs.”
Karate class, West Knoxville.
UPDATE: In response to various emailers, it really is a karate class, Isshinryu style, notwithstanding the patch.
DOG BITES MAN: “Robert Reich Demagoguing on Taxes.”
A LOOK AT THE BRITISH ELECTIONS:
U.K. voters resoundingly rejected the Labour Party in local elections last week. It was no capricious shift, but a citizen revolt against trendy carbon and nanny-state taxes that empower only bad government.
For Labour, it was the worst election in 40 years. In a massive turnout, the Conservative Party took 256 seats
in parliament,along with control of 12 town councils and 44% of the vote. Labour and moderate Liberal Democrats got to split the remains, and even the Liberal Democrats ,with 25%, won more than Labour.
Britain is ripe for change, it seems to me, though it’s not clear how much actual change the Tories will deliver.
UPDATE: Reader Nick Walmsley points out that, contra the quote above, the seats were council seats, not parliament seats, an error I’d missed due to seeing what I expected instead of what’s there.
IT’S PLEDGE WEEK at The American Thinker.
YOU CAN NOW pre-order Firefly on Blu-Ray. Now if they’d just make another season . . . .
AS WELL HE SHOULD:
The federal minister in charge of Canada’s multiculturalism file cautioned an anti-racism conference Friday against exploiting the power of human rights commissions to silence offensive speech.
Addressing the annual gathering of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) in Calgary, Jason Kenney, a Cabinet member and Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, labelled “dangerous” the “illiberal tactics” employed by some activists in the name of tolerance.
THE DISAPPEARING MIDDLE CLASS: In Europe. “I blame Bush.”
IS MRS. CONYERS smarter than an eighth grader?
KNOXVILLE OPERA FESTIVAL rivals U.T. football for turnout. Somebody tell Jeremiah Wright.
TOM MAGUIRE: Such language from a “Baptist Minister!”
KATIE GRANJU ON the value of a few skinned knees.
WHOOPING COUGH, MEASLES, POLIO: Diseases making a comeback because of anti-vaccine hysteria.
That’s what happens when you neglect the advances that have produced fewer dead babies. As a commenter says: “Lucky, hell! Maybe it’s the direct result of improvements in basic hygiene, waste collection and disposal, water treatment, vaccinations, medical improvements and, yes, much better environmental living conditions.” All the stuff that people, and politicians, take for granted.
UPDATE: Reader Kevin Menard emails:
Those anti-vaccine folks need to talk to some one who has been a medical missionary. There are still place sin the world where all these diseases still kill people or cripple them for life. Any tendency you have to buy the crap goes right out the window with the horror stories of what measles, chicken pox, polio etc do to people.
Of course, that might mean they might have to talk to a Christian or a Mormon as most missionaries I know are led to it by faith…
STRICTER CREDIT CARD REGULATIONS: “The Federal Reserve and two other banking regulators are set to unveil today one of the most aggressive efforts in decades to crack down on the credit card industry, prohibiting practices such as arbitrarily raising interest rates on outstanding balances.”
These industries operate as what Scott Adams calls “confusopolies,” taking advantage of complexity to bilk customers. I’d prefer transparency to outright regulation, but that’s probably hard to accomplish.
TIM MONTGOMERIE has a roundup on “Red Ken” Livingstone’s defeat at the hands of Boris Johnson. Overall, a good election for the Tories, though whether that will translate into actual improvements in Britain is less clear. Plus, a defeat for Islamic extremists? Those are always good.
UPDATE: Roger Kimball is happy: “Boris Wins! And so does London.”
DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE? “Kos Disappears Kantor ‘WWN’ Diary.”
UH OH: States Aim To Tax Private Jets, Yachts. First they go after Harvard, now this . . . .
UPDATE: Aleta Jackson emails:
A lot of people who have airplanes are not wealthy. We save up for our trips, and are frugal with the extra cash we have. And with avgas prices at $4.50 or more per gallon, you can bet that owners of small airplanes are looking for good deals on where to go, places where we will be welcomed. Maine has just closed the door to any visit by me or my plane. When we fly to a place we usually stay for at least three days. So Maine just lost three days of bed taxes, meal taxes, rental car taxes, plus taxes on the goodies we usually carry back for our friends. Then there’s the revenue that won’t be going to Maine residents, and let’s not forget the taxes Maine won’t get because I won’t be filling the plane’s tanks for the return flight.
The flying community learns fast where general aviation is unwelcome or discouraged.
I hadn’t realized that Maine was in a position to turn away trade.
FROM THE BBC, a look at the new survivalism: It’s not just for deranged loners and religious cults anymore!
This story has already been addressed here, and here. But I’m happy to see these ideas get more attention. Everybody’s better off with some emergency skills and supplies, just in case. You don’t need a bunker, but more of what Massad Ayoob calls “soft survivalism.”
HILLARY-HATRED IN AUSTRALIA: Don’t these comments count as some sort of hate speech there?
MORE COMPLAINTS ABOUT FRANKLIN GRAHAM-SHILLING in Knox County Schools. And note this, from the comments:
Junipero is so right about how our kids’ school time is squandered in Knox County.
FYI, though: No one’s going to be sponsoring recess. They don’t get recess–not at Bearden Middle School, anyway.
That’s right: No recess for the more than 1,000 10-15-year-olds spread over just 3 grades.
Just can’t fit it in, I guess, what with the demanding roster of baby showers for teachers, pizza evangelism, and sports fundraising.
I remember my teachers exhorting us to “use our time wisely.” I notice that my daughter seems to get exposed to a lot of this kind of thing. On the other hand, it’s not just the Christian stuff. Kids are constantly being sent out to sell crap (frozen Sara Lee pies?) to raise money. And, as I mentioned before, one of her teachers turns every lecture into a lesson on the evils of white Europeans, and of Western civilization generally. This is why I don’t get more upset at the notion of “teaching to standardized tests.” I suspect things would be even worse if it weren’t for that . . . .
THEY TOLD ME THAT IF GEORGE W. BUSH WERE RE-ELECTED, we’d see college professors fired for refusing to swear loyalty to the state. And they were right!
DANICA PATRICK going Formula One?
IT’S NOT A BLOG. It’s a journal.
WHO NEEDS GPS, when your cellphone can do the job?
STEVEN EMERSON: “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is refusing to identify the ‘influential Muslim Americans’ and ‘leading U.S.-based scholars and commentators on Islam’ who met with Secretary Michael Chertoff in helping shape a softer approach to government lexicon about terrorists and their ideological motivations.” (Via Memeorandum).
SO THE KANTOR VIDEO IS BOGUS: But who’s behind it? Obama people? Or Hillary people? It was certainly exposed as a fake very quickly. . . .
TIM PAWLENTY: Wrong on Polka, Wrong on America!
THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 45 years since Bull Connor’s firehoses, and a reminder that things weren’t as some might think.
MR. CONSERVATIVE: Jonathan Rauch on John McCain.
DUDE, WHERE’S MY RECESSION? (CONT’D): Chicken Little Alert, or how to make good news sound like bad news.
BEWARE THE screaming ovaries.
I GUESS IT’S GOODBYE TO “RED KEN” LIVINGSTONE: Boris Johnson poised to become London Mayor as Tories seal local election success.
THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH MONEY: U.N.’s World Food Program Cried Poverty While Sitting on Cash Stockpile of More Than $1.22 Billion.
PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE: Obama Joins Levin and Coleman to Introduce Absurd Bill to Stop â€œMisuseâ€ of U.S. Companies. “This bill is a very bad idea.”
AN ANTI-CLINTON DIRTY TRICK IN INDIANA? I was hoping for change.
IN THE MAIL: Mark Juergensmeyer’s Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State.
DUDE, WHERE’S MY RECESSION? (CONT’D): Jobless Rate Falls; AP, Economists Baffled.