January 13, 2008
OBSERVATIONS ON THE SURGE, from Iraq-war skeptic Stephen Bainbridge.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE SURGE, from Iraq-war skeptic Stephen Bainbridge.
THOUGHTS ON HILLARY and the vast right-wing conspiracy.
A REPORT FROM Abu Dhabi.
WHENEVER I GET AROUND TO REPLACING MY RX-8, it’s going to be with one of these. Well, I hope, anyway. Yowza.
JOHN KERRY BEATS DOWN GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS — but Extreme Mortman is made of sterner stuff.
OBAMA IS really hurting Hillary.
I SHOULD NEVER HAVE POSTED on this.
THIS IS COOL:
University of Minnesota researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory.
By using a process called whole organ decellularization, scientists from the University of Minnesota Center for Cardiovascular Repair grew functioning heart tissue by taking dead rat and pig hearts and reseeding them with a mixture of live cells. The research will be published online in the January 13 issue of Nature Medicine.
â€œThe idea would be to develop transplantable blood vessels or whole organs that are made from your own cells,â€ said Doris Taylor, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair, Medtronic Bakken professor of medicine and physiology, and principal investigator of the research.
Bring it on!
FREDMENTUM? Piling up the pesos.
Plus, “Mittmentum” in Michigan? Mitt would be doing even better in Michigan if he were pushing Bob Zubrin’s flexfuel plan — which would not only hurt OPEC, but which would benefit American car companies, who have an advantage in flexfuel technology.
THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION IS LOOKING INTO possible carbon offset scams.
IN BRITAIN: NO-GO ZONES for non-Muslims? Reader Fred Ray emails: “I grew up in the segregated South in the 50s and early 60s. Turns out I was really living in the multicultural South. Who knew?”
THE KIND OF JOURNALISM YOU OUGHT TO SEE IN NEWSPAPERS: Joel Rosenberg has a series on botched SWAT raids and demilitarizing the Minneapolis Police Department.
NOW FOR SOME REALLY IMPORTANT NEWS: the new Bond girl.
COSMETIC SURGERY at the mall? My local mall even has a place that does 15-minute teeth-bleaching. It’s not even a storefront, but a kiosk with a few dentist chairs around it.
REVITALIZING OLD GAME CARTRIDGES with the Retro Duo console.
A SHORT STROLL AROUND DOLLYWOOD DEMONSTRATES THIS: Obesity now a ‘lifestyle’ choice for Americans, expert says.
WHEN BUREAUCRATESE MEETS THE MUSIC WORLD: The Army is looking for a “Professional Celebrity Rock Music Band”.
THE NEW YORK TIMES reports that Fred Thompson is surging in South Carolina. And I just got an email from a journalist who says that crowds at Thompson events are suddenly over-capacity. Is it a tipping point for Thompson, or just a blip? Stay tuned.
CHICAGO: A place where “prostitutes are more likely to have sex with city police than they are to be arrested by them.” It’s called “protection sex.”
NEWS FROM ALGERIA: “In reaction to their defeat in Iraq (where 500 terrorism deaths a month is a low figure), many al Qaeda operators are moving to North Africa, where it’s safer (American soldiers and marines are farther away). December saw a spike in terrorism related deaths; 56 (versus six in November).”
UPDATE: Link was wrong earlier. Fixed now. Sorry!
UPDATE: Reader Dave Walter emails:
You can take the credit for most of the illumination in my home and your blog posts on cf bulbs are always illuminating, but the NY Times article you link to in ‘LUKEWARM ON compact fluorescent bulbs’ says less about the bulbs and more about the NYT (insular, complacent, reactionary, elitist, lacking balance – although they do briefly discuss “distaste for change” 3/4ths of the way through) Reminds me of all the complaints about how terrible CDs sounded when they first came out.
I started using compact fluorescent bulbs on a whim several years ago after an Ikea blow-out. Those early Ikea bulbs are pretty poor in design (they jut out of lamp shades, waiting to be whacked, or won’t fit inside housings) and light output is poor in the lower wattage ones. All, however, are still burning (whereas all the wine glasses from the same trip are long broken and the Luxor lamps held together with wire and duct tape). After reading about your experimentation on your blog, I started replacing my incandescent bulbs with the GE Soft Whites whenever they are on sale at the grocery store (joined your bulb group too) and I don’t miss incandescent bulbs at all. Actually, I had to check the lamp on my left just now to make sure that warm yellow glow really was one of those old Ikea rectangular-tube monstrosities. The greatest advantage I’ve found is using 26 watt bulbs that don’t overload my the wattage of my reading lamps and provide enough illumination so that I can read without glasses – especially useful after a few glasses of wine.
Always happy to hear about people’s experiences.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Another reader emails:
I purchased a six pack of GE Softwhite 100s (product code 47709) at Sam’s Club. I have one left in the pack, and one currently in use in a fixture. The other four have died. This is in less than one year of use, despite the fact that the pack claims these are “Guaranteed*” 5 year bulbs. The pack cost about 12 bucks. While I have no doubt that they saved me some money on electrical usage, I am underwhelmed by their reliability and longevity compared to incandescents. Just thought you’d like to know.
Yeah, that’s not saving you any money, regardless of electrical savings, given the bulbs’ price. I haven’t had any of the GE’s fail yet. However, I’m told that if you put them in enclosed fixtures where the bulb is horizontal — especially if you have incandescent bulbs in the same fixture — they won’t last as long. I had that happen with some other fluorescents that I put in a 3-bulb ceiling fixture with a couple of 60 watt incandescents. They didn’t last long, I guess because of the heat buildup from the incandescents.
I’d return those to Sam’s, anyway.
MORE: Reader Katie Kearns emails:
Not only do they not last as long in covered (or recessed) fixtures, some will have a nasty tendency to smoke and even catch on fire. There are a lot of not very safe ones out, including the one that my landlord apparently put in a closed fixture in my bathroom. I discovered this when my house was filled with the smell of burning plastic. We found it smoking quite unpleasantly. After a quick search on the net, I found out this was frighteningly common, especially for certain makes and models of lights (ours were Costco specials…). We searched through the house and found a total of 8 of these fluorescents, all of which were in inappropriate places.
This is one reason the ban on incandescents makes no sense — half the fixtures in my house are recess and/or covered. I can’t put a compact fluorescent there without creating a fire hazard! (Which I’m sure is probably worse for the environment. And my house!)
The incandescent ban is asinine.
EXTREME MORTMAN is excited about Nevada.
ECHOES OF the Fourth Century.
A SHOCKER: Anti-war Soros funded Iraq study. Say it ain’t so!
UPDATE: More thoughts here: “This is an academic scandal, insofar as these institutions have lent their brand equity to what is essentially a fraud on the public. Fortunately, they are all so well-established that they can afford for George Soros to dissipate a tiny bit of their reputation. But — and this is important — let us not hear complaints from any of these institutions about ‘anti-intellectualism in American life.’ Americans do not trust our pointy-headed institutions of higher learning in matters of public policy for very good reason.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Art Fougner, M.D., emails:
The reputation of an outstanding medical journal ( The Lancet is more highly regarded than the New
England Journal of Medicine.) has been permanently sullied. The editors should be sacked. And they complain when a drug detail man buys lunch for a doctor’s office. My God!
This goes beyond lunch.
“WHAT IS TO BE DONE?” About the Supreme Court.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Comments from Mark Steyn.
Ms McGovern, a blandly unexceptional bureaucrat, is a classic example of the syndrome. No “vulnerable” Canadian Muslim has been attacked over the cartoons, but the cartoonists had to go into hiding, and a gang of Muslim youths turned up at their children’s grade schools, and Muslim rioters around the world threatened death to anyone who published them, and even managed to kill a few folks who had nothing to do with them. Nonetheless, upon receiving a complaint from a Saudi imam trained at an explicitly infidelophobic academy and who’s publicly called for the introduction of sharia in Canada, Shirlene McGovern decides that the purely hypothetical backlash to Muslims takes precedence over any actual backlash against anybody else.
Read the whole thing.
MORE: Canadian reader Duane Mailing emails:
WOW! Those videos are absolutely incredible! Best thing I ever heard from the mouth of a Canadian. I was laughing so hard I was crying. A real man stands and speaks the truth….in this day and age…brilliant! I never thought I’d hear anything in real life that compares to Howard Roark’s courtroom speech from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead but I just did and I can hardly believe it. I am truly inspired by Ezra Levant.
I expect this will get a lot of attention. (Bumped)
THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS IN FOXHOLES, and there are no vegans in tsunamis.
STEVEN LANDSBURG defends Huckabee over the Fair Tax.
I’ll just add, as I’ve noted before, that many critics of the Fair Tax proposal act as if Huckabee invented it. Actually, it’s been the subject of discussion for a while, and there’s a bestselling book involved. This doesn’t make the plan a good idea — there are plenty of bestselling books that outline bad ideas — but it seems as if discussions should reflect the plan’s origins.
UPDATE: Related thoughts from Arnold Kling, who favors a “semi-fair tax.”
A LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA on race and politics.
THE NEW YORK TIMES SAYS RETURNING TROOPS ARE MURDERERS, but Marc Danziger checks the math.
Bruce Kesler has more. “The few stories the NYTâ€™s presents, however colored for effect, are tragedies. But the greater tragedy is that we have to suffer the NYTâ€™s agenda of defamation of another generation of veterans.”
HAPPY No Pants Subway Day!
AN INSTANT TREATMENT for Alzheimer’s disease? Bring it on!
ANOTHER CONSPIRACY THEORY exploded.
LOTS OF LOVE for the Audi R8. I’ll keep that in mind for whenever I want to replace the Mazda . . . and have a hundred grand or so burning a hole in my pocket.
EVENTUALLY, HOWEVER, HE’LL BE RIGHT! A roundup of Paul Krugman recession predictions.
THE CARNIVAL OF CARS is up!
GLOBAL CLIMATE DATA: “A feast for cherry-pickers.”
THOUGHTS ON CAPITALISM’S PR PROBLEM. On the other hand, nothing provides better PR for capitalism than socialism, once it’s put into practice. . . .
WELL, OF COURSE: “The iPhone is definitely a sexy phone. It’s also the perfect vehicle for bringing mobile porn to Americans, according to adult content producers at the annual AVN convention in Las Vegas.”
AP TRIES TO REWRITE RATHERGATE HISTORY, leaving out the forged documents.
VOTE SUPPRESSION EFFORTS in Nevada?
“SORRY, BARACK. YOU’VE LOST IRAQ.”
THOUGHTS ON JOHN MCCAIN AND FREE SPEECH, from Roger Kimball.
AN INTERVIEW with Marine Corps Commandant James Conway.
WILL BLU-RAY EARLY ADOPTERS GET SHAFTED? Hey, wait — that’s me!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ann Althouse.
ASTEROID LIKELY TO MISS MARS after all. Well, it was always likely to miss, of course, but the risk has been revised downward tremendously.
ANOTHER MAJOR stem-cell advance.
HUMANITY’S Top 10 Existential Risks. We’re not talking Sartre here.
THIS SEEMS LIKE PROGRESS: Iraqi Lawmakers Pass Key Benchmark De-Baathification Law: “Iraq’s parliament adopted legislation Saturday on the reinstatement of thousands of former Baath party supporters to government jobs, a key benchmark sought by the United States as a step toward national reconciliation. The bill was approved by a unanimous show of hands on each of the law’s 30 clauses.”
UPDATE: More thoughts from Ed Morrissey.
SCHWARZENEGGER V. SPITZER on state funding for higher education.
RUDY GIULIANI responds to rumors about his finances.
IN 2006 EMI, the world’s fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. â€œThat was the moment we realised the game was completely up,â€ says a person who was there.
Like I said.
APOLOGIZING TO Fred Thompson.
WHY VOTE REPUBLICAN? Bush DOJ betrays gun rights. “There was a saying during my years in DC that the GOP operated on two principles: screw your friends and appease your enemies. Yup.” Is this too harsh? Possibly, but Dave Hardy would know, wouldn’t he?
BAD NEWS FOR Blumenthal.
DAILYKOS: Vote for Mitt!
UPDATE: In the same vein, a reader emails:
I’ve been wondering if it would make sense for Republicans to cross over in states where they can and vote for Hillary hoping that if Clinton is the Dem nominee, then blacks may vote Republican in November or sit out.
I dunno, but it seems a bit tacky. Doesn’t it?
STRATEGYPAGE: “The kind of terror we associate with Afghanistan, Iraq and Colombia can show up a lot closer to home. Take, for example, the recent ‘Tamaulipas Drug War’ just south of the U.S. border in Mexico. In an era of ‘small war,’ what amounts to a major battle took place on January 7th, in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. “
Mayor Bloomberg has been asked many times whether he harbors presidential aspirations. Yesterday may be the first time he was asked the question under oath.
Mr. Bloomberg spent the day sitting for a deposition in a civil lawsuit, the first time he has done so as mayor. The defamation case against the mayor was brought by a South Carolina gun salesman who claims the mayor spoke ill of him in the press. The deposition lasted the entire workday, and the topics ranged from Mr. Bloomberg’s views on the Second Amendment to whether he intended to run for president.
Read the whole thing. (Via SayUncle).
TAKE THAT, TROLLS! (CONT’D): Jonah Goldberg’s book is now up to
#8 #7 #6.
And, if you somehow missed it, our podcast interview with Jonah is here.
UPDATE: Reader Chris Nath emails:
I just went to the local Barnes & Noble where I found Keith Olberman’s “Truth and Consequences” prominently displayed on a middle of the aisle table – impossible to miss. Curious, I went in search of Jonah Goldberg’s book and where did I find it? A single copy languished on the bottom row of the current events rack with just the binding end of the book showing. Coincidence?
I’m sure. (Bumped).
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Steve L. emails:
I live in the East Bay (about 30 minutes from San Fran) I went to my local Barnes and Noble and was unable to find a single copy of the book. I asked customer service and was told that the store didn’t bother to order any. Not only that, but the nearest *FIVE* Barnes and Noble stores had ordered a total of ZERO copies. I went down the street to Borders, saw them prominently displayed on the front table and bought 2 copies.
Good for them. And there’s always Amazon. I wrote a column on this phenomenon a while back. And reader Chris Green writes:
The fact that (as Chris Nash’s email suggests) certain booksellers are tucking Goldberg’s book away in obscure places has probably boosted Amazon sales and the book’s rating on Amazon.
Where else to you get the book if you can’t find it at the bookstore?
ILYA SOMIN: The opportunity cost of Ron Paul: “One of the main points cited by Ron Paul’s libertarian defenders is his fundraising prowess. And it is indeed true that Paul has succeeded in raising far more money than most political observers would have expected. As of October 29, the Paul campaign had raised some 8.3 million dollars, and no doubt it has taken in more since then. However, now that it’s clear that his candidacy is both a flop politically and likely to damage the image of libertarianism, this fundraising success turns out to be a double-edged sword. The millions of dollars spent on Paul’s candidacy could surely have instead been spent in other ways that do far more to promote libertarian causes.”
This may or may not be true in practice — would the money have actually gone to the Institute for Justice, or just been spent on beer and skittles? But Ron Paul wasn’t a very attractive face for libertarianism. As I’ve said before, that in some senses was a good thing, since it illustrated the power of the message over the messenger. I fear, however, that he’ll wind up doing more harm than good to the image of libertariansm. But perhaps not. To some degree the Big Media folks seem to be giving him a pass on the racism issue, perhaps on the theory that no one who’s anti-Bush can really count as racist . . . .
EMBARRASSMENT FOR INTERPOL:
South Africa’s police chief Jackie Selebi is to be charged with corruption and “defeating the ends of justice”, state prosecutors say.
A court on Friday rejected an urgent application by Mr Selebi, who is also the president of Interpol, to try to stop the prosecution.
He is alleged to have received at least $170,000 (Â£90,000) from a convicted criminal over a five-year period.
COULD WE HAVE SOME MORE OF THOSE, PLEASE? Senators for the Second Amendment.
“YOU MIGHT BE ASKING, ‘What the heck is a sport activity coupe?’” “I am asking.” “And well you might.”
“GALL AND GULLIBILITY:” The combination is sort of a trademark, really. But — at the risk of sounding like Brit Hume to Ron Paul last night — it’s funny to me that folks on the left want so badly to create a Gulf of Tonkin out of an incident in which the U.S. Navy did nothing. Sixties nostalgia runs rampant.
UPDATE: Related item here.
POLITICO: Racial tensions roil Democratic race.
I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! I DRINK IT UP!
HERE’S A STORY I MISSED YESTERDAY: “A federal judge Thursday rejected a request by war-on-terror detainees in Guantanamo who sought a hearing on the destruction of videotapes showing CIA interrogations of terror suspects, a court source said. . . . He said that while a ruling he issued in 2005 ‘prohibits respondents from destroying evidence regarding any torture, mistreatment, or abuse of detainees that occurred at Guantanamo Bay … (the) petitioners do not assert that the destroyed tapes depict interrogations that occurred at Guantanamo Bay and respondents have represented to the court that the interrogations depicted on the tapes did not occur there.’” Apparently,
IT’S A TASER! IT’S AN MP3 PLAYER! And it comes in leopard-skin finish!
STILL MORE EVIDENCE THAT claims of a vaccine/autism connection are bogus.
THE D.C. CIRCUIT on interrogations:
Ruling in a case of four Britons who formerly were detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the D.C. Circuit Court decided Friday that the prisoners have no right to sue top Pentagon officials and military officers for allegedly torturing them and defiling their religious beliefs while they were held at the military prison. The Court applied several different legal theories in rejecting all of the claims of abuse and arbitrary imprisonment, but the end result was that there was nothing left of the detaineesâ€™ legal challenge.
In a second ruling Friday affecting individuals captured during the â€œwar on terrorism,â€ the Circuit Court decided that the Pentagon has no legal duty to release to the public the opinions or advice that outsiders gave to the government on the creation of â€œmilitary commissionsâ€ to try war crimes charges against detainees.
Follow the link for more. (Thanks to reader Sean Sirrine for the link).
SOME POST-C.E.S. THOUGHTS from Michael S. Malone.
DON’T WE CARE ABOUT THE EARTH? “Most of France’s electricity has been generated by nuclear power for years, and now Great Britain is again looking to atomic energy. Why can’t we increase nuclear output in this country?”
ATTACK OF THE ROBOTS. I want a robot.
A LOOK AT BARACK OBAMA’S SPACE POLICY.
Mark Whittington has some thoughts. “Unfortunately it constitutes a return to the 1990s during which astronauts flew in circles in low Earth orbit and commercial space was ignored.”
UPDATE: A reader emails: “I tried to follow the Obama space policy back to find the original position paper on the Obama website. There doesn’t appear to be one. Furthermore, it looks like everybody who’s commenting on the piece points at the same link you did. I wonder if this is bogus?”
Seems unlikely, but I couldn’t find it on the site either, though I found the site somewhat hard to navigate. Any Obama campaign folks want to respond?
CAN YOU SUE IF a computer reads your email?