May 25, 2008
WELL, THIS SEEMS LIKE GOOD NEWS: Iraqi Army dismantles Mahdi Army caches in Sadr City.
Meanwhile, this seems like bogus news.
WELL, THIS SEEMS LIKE GOOD NEWS: Iraqi Army dismantles Mahdi Army caches in Sadr City.
Meanwhile, this seems like bogus news.
SKIN OF microscopic thinness.
BOB SOMERBY: When journalists swoon. I’ve never understood how anybody who pays attention to these guys can “swoon” over any of ‘em. They’re politicians. I guess the kind of people prone to swoon over politicians are the kind of people prone to go into political journalism, which is probably a reason why you shouldn’t take what political journalists say very seriously. . . .
THE PHOENIX HAS LANDED, on Mars.
SO WHEN I MENTIONED THIS GENERATOR ALTERNATIVE yesterday the price was 180 bucks. Now they’ve more than doubled it. I guess that’s “dynamic pricing” at work! Or maybe we should call it “Heisenberg pricing” . . . .
ENERGY FEARS LOOMING, survivalists prepare: “These energy survivalists are not leading some sort of green revolution meant to save the planet. Many of them believe it is too late for that, seeing signs in soaring fuel and food prices and a faltering U.S. economy, and are largely focused on saving themselves.” I’m all for preparedness, but this seems a bit overwrought. Some related thoughts here.
LOOKING FOR E.T.’s neutrino beam: “John Learned of the University of Hawaii and colleagues have worked out that advanced alien civilizations could send messages within the Milky Way using neutrinos, and that these messages could be picked up using neutrino detectors currently under construction here on Earth.”
BOB KRUMM (now Major Bob Krumm) emails:
The New Republic has a story about Al Qaeda’s diminishing movement entitled, “The Unraveling.”
Meanwhile, here in Iraq, Coalition Forces have just experienced their least costly week of the entire war. There has been only one American serviceman killed in action over the last seven days. On four of those
days there wasn’t even a combat-related injury.
Certainly, there are going to be more rough days ahead–especially as a cornered Al Qaeda feels the need to demonstrate that it is still a major force. But all in all, there is more good news than bad.
Seems that way.
UPDATE: TNR link was bad before. Fixed now. Sorry!
AND THIS IS WHY WE NEED NICE, CLEAN, NUCLEAR POWER: Ocean Acidification: Another Undesired Side Effect Of Fossil Fuel-burning. No word on how this will affect those underwater cemeteries . . . .
JAKE TAPPER: What the FARC was Obama talking about? “One reason why Obama may be so forgiving (even if his campaign was not) about Sen. Hillary Clinton’s assassination reference? The man has been a one-man gaffe machine.”
UPDATE: Speaking of FARC, apparently a lot of people were happy to talk to them.
PROGRESS: High-Tech Devices Keep Elderly Safe From Afar. “Sensors attached to the wall are able to register when Mrs. Trost gets out of bed and whether she stops at her medication dispenser, and to alert her daughters to any deviations from her routine that might indicate an accident or illness. The family is updated by electronic report every morning.”
SO MUCH FOR GUN CONTROL IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA: WA has more guns than before Port Arthur massacre. Of course, the story goes on to fret about unlocked storage — which has nothing to do with crazed gunmen or massacres, except in terms of making it harder for people to respond appropriately.
PRIME REAL ESTATE: “The crook of your elbow is not just a plain patch of skin. It is a piece of highly coveted real estate, a special ecosystem, a bountiful home to no fewer than six tribes of bacteria. Even after you have washed the skin clean, there are still one million bacteria in every square centimeter. But panic not. These are not bad bacteria.” Plus, an argument for benign despotism: “The bacterial cells also outnumber human cells by 10 to 1, meaning that if cells could vote, people would be a minority in their own body.”
LET’S SPIN AGAIN, like we did last summer.
GEE, DO YOU THINK? John Kerry as an imperfect messenger. “The idea that Iran has not been talked to about its nuclear program is absurd.”
KIMBERLEY STRASSEL on the Obama learning curve.
IMPROVING CANCER THERAPY with nanotechnology.
BURY ME IN THE MIDST OF A CORAL REEF: “The Neptune Memorial Reef, which opened last fall, is seen by its creators as a perfect final resting spot for those who loved the sea. They hope that one day the reef will cover 16 acres and have room for 125,000 remains.” Okay, I’d rather be shot into space.
BARS, HORSE MANURE, and sexual restraint.
SO I FINISHED TIME SPIKE by Eric Flint the other day and, well, it’s not really up to his standards. It’s not actually bad or anything, but it reads kind of like the skeleton of one of his better books, or a knockoff by a competent ghostwriter. I’d hold out for the paperback version, at the very least. On the other hand, I started Walter Jon Williams’ Implied Spaces last night, and so far I’m liking it a lot.
I USED TO BE THE NEW YORK TIMES OF THE BLOGOSPHERE, now I’m the USA Today of the blog world.
That’s a step up.
THE CNN FOLKS emailed this tidbit from Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources:
KURTZ: But Marie Cocco, are the media being tarred with a pretty broad brush here because of the out-of-bounds comments of a certain number of loudmouths?
COCCO: Well, this is amplified on the Internet, which, you know, may not be the broadcast media, but it is part of the media of this campaign. And if you went to the Internet — you know, we all know about the false Muslim e-mails that go around about Barack Obama. But if you ever saw the language, the vulgarity, the vitriol that is hauled at Hillary Clinton by liberal Democrats, by the liberal blogs, largely by, frankly, Obama supporters, you’d be appalled. I mean, you’d punish your children for this.
Glad somebody’s noticing.
A COMBAT ZONE on the U.S. / Mexico border?
PRINCIPALS CAN BE TACKY: No graduation ceremony for student who rode horse to school.
CHINESE PARENTS ARE ANGRY, as the earthquake reveals substandard construction in the schools.
The earthquakeâ€™s destruction of Xinjian Primary School was swift and complete. Hundreds of children were crushed as the floors collapsed in a deluge of falling bricks and concrete. Days later, as curiosity seekers came with video cameras and as parents came to grieve, the four-story school was no more than rubble.
In contrast, none of the nearby buildings were badly damaged. A separate kindergarten less than 20 feet away survived with barely a crack. An adjacent 10-story hotel stood largely undisturbed. And another local primary school, Beijie, catering to children of the elite, was in such good condition that local officials were using it as a refugee center.
â€œThis is not a natural disaster,â€ said Ren Yongchang, whose 9-year-old son died inside the destroyed school. His hands were covered in plaster dust as he stood beside the rubble, shouting and weeping as he grabbed the exposed steel rebar of a broken concrete column. â€œThis is not good steel. It doesnâ€™t meet standards. They stole our children.â€
Building codes matter.
AT AMAZON, a big sale on automotive tools and equipment.
I KNEW NEWSPAPER REVENUES WERE BAD, BUT NOT THIS BAD:
Subject: Buy or DIE!!!
FREEMAN DYSON on global warming.
RELATIONSHIP ADVICE from IowaHawk.
HOW TO FIX A DAMAGED CD, with ordinary household materials.
ROBERT ASPRIN has died. He will be mythed.
OKAY, THIS, FROM THE AP’S ERIN CONROY, SEEMS A BIT LESS THAN EARTH-SHATTERING: “It’s going to cost a lot more than it did last year to cook a burger, or just about any other barbecue favorite, on the grill. . . . The price of an average barbecue – with burgers, hot dogs, beer, soda, condiments, salad, paper plates and lighter fluid – could run families about 6 percent more than last year.”
Um, okay. But is six percent really a lot more? If I got a six percent raise it would be nice, but I wouldn’t say “I’m making a lot more than last year.” I know they’ve got to stretch to combine editors’ demands for bad economic news with editors’ demands for lame holiday-weekend-themed stories, but still . . . .
UPDATE: If 6 percent is “a lot more,” then how can 54-35 be “a small margin?” It’s all in the narrative, I guess . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Tracy Allen emails:
I was reading the article you commented on, and was struck by the comments from the ad/marketing individual who was shopping at The Food Emporium about how he was questioning every purchase. You should take a look at The Food Emporium (http://www.thefoodemporium.com/). Itâ€™s not exactly the Piggly Wiggly.
You should probably always question every purchase when you shop there . . . And note this passage from the article:
This year, the price for a pack of hot dogs has climbed almost 7 percent to $4.29. A 2-liter bottle of soda and a 16-ounce bag of potato chips both jumped more than 10 percent to $1.33 and $3.89, respectively, while a package of eight hamburger buns costs $1.61, 17 percent more. The surge in prices is forcing people to try to cut corners and find bargains where they can, such as buying store brands, which tend to cost less than name brands.
Okay, hot dogs are up almost 28 cents a pack (what’s that, about 3 cents each?). Soda up 13 cents for two liters, about 6 or 7 cents a liter. A pack of eight hamburger buns up about a quarter — that’s over three cents per bun! Yeah, this is huge.
WELL, GOOD RIDDANCE: “The leader of Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Farc, has died, the military has claimed in a statement.” I hope it’s true.
IOWAHAWK: The Career Arc of a Republican Congressman. Ouch.
A MCCAIN BLOWOUT IN 2008? Well, possibly. However, the fact that people are even talking about this is evidence that, despite the primary-season griping, the GOP in fact nominated its strongest general-election candidate. People may like other candidates better, but I doubt any of ‘em would have as good a chance of actually winning.
ONE WOULD EXPECT ANDREW SULLIVAN, OF ALL PEOPLE, to have a less-stringent attitude toward political inconsistency . . . .
UPDATE: Related thoughts here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: See also this post from Brendan Loy.
JOHN PODHORETZ says that Hillary was just reading the stage directions. “The reaction is overwrought, and the whole business has been skilfully manipulated by the Obama campaign to deliver a TKO of its already wounded rival. But that’s politics. No one made her open a mouth.” Meanwhile, Ann Althouse is rethinking the whole sociopath thing.
FIVE ALBUMS FOR FIVE BUCKS, via legal, un-DRM-encumbered download. Now this is how things ought to work. . . .
DEAN BARNETT: “Perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me, but I think weâ€™ve seen more gaffes from top tier candidates in 2007-2008 than we saw in the past 20 years combined.”
UPDATE: Had this as Michael Goldfarb earlier — sorry, it’s the dreaded coblogger confusion.
DON BOUDREAUX on the infestation of sexists plaguing Hillary.
THE THIRD-GENERATION PRIUS to debut in 2009? But no plugin until 2010, apparently.
ALGAE: IS THERE ANYTHING IT CAN’T DO? For Treating Blindness, Scientists Look to Algae.
SOME KNOXVILLE PHOTOBLOGGING from Les Jones.
CORRUPTION IN EASTERN EUROPE: Back to square one.
HOW TO HANG the U.S. flag.
BUSINESS WEEK: Beyond Blogs.
BITES FROM THE APPLE: A roundup of Apple computer and electronics news.
RAND SIMBERG ENCOUNTERS Saganite extremists!
HILLARY RAISES RFK, D-DAY AS REASONS TO STAY IN RACE. Plus, Remember the Maine!
UNLIKELY PRAISE FOR RUSH LIMBAUGH . . . on peanut allergies.
IT ONLY HURTS WHEN I BLOG: Major John Tammes suffers an injury. Send him your best wishes. Can you get a Purple Heart for that?
NOT ACTUALLY THE FIRST SPACE LAWYER, but the first American certificate in space law.
J.D. JOHANNES: Memorial Day in Iraq.
IN THE MAIL: Ashaf Ghani and Clare Lockhart’s Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World.
Cambridge, Massachusetts. Yeah, it’s a flag theme for the photos this weekend.
SAY IT AIN’T SO: Kanjorski says Dems were insincere about ending war. Read the whole thing.
ELIOT SPITZER WAS UNAVAILABLE FOR COMMENT: More Troopergate fallout. Are these suicides evidence of deeper problems?
PROOF OF large-scale global warming. Emphasis on the “large.”
ANOTHER POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVE TO A GENERATOR for backup power, though I doubt it will run a refrigerator for very long. The price isn’t bad, though.
DRINKING AND DRIVING for public safety!
A NANOTECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGH? Waferscale self-assembly of nanostructures.
SEEMS TO ME HE GOT OFF KIND OF LIGHT:
An Atlanta police officer convicted of lying to investigators about the Kathryn Johnston shooting was sentenced Thursday to four years and six months in prison, as well as six months on probation. . . .
Police detective Arthur Bruce Tesler, 42, spoke on his own behalf at the sentencing hearing. Earlier this week, he was convicted of lying but acquitted of two other charges stemming from the botched drug raid in which the 92-year-old Johnston was killed in a hail of police gunfire.
“I’m truly sorry for what happened,” Tesler said. “I want to do as much as I can to see that it never happens again.” Tesler said he hopes the community around Johnston’s Neal Street home and her family can heal. . . . Johnston was fatally shot after she fired at police as they burst into her residence using a “no-knock” warrant. Tesler, stationed at the rear of the house, fired no shots but admitted in court that he participated in a cover-up of the illegal warrant and of the planting of narcotics in the house to hide the wrongdoing.
The raid wasn’t just botched. It was corrupt. Nobody who killed a cop under similar circumstances would be likely to do as well.
AMERICA’S CONTRIBUTION TO the world’s energy supply.
THOUGHTS ON SOME new technologies likely to boost the economy in the 21st Century.
“LITTLE DO THEY KNOW, they’re part of this movie.”
ANOTHER BIG DVD SALE at Amazon. I wonder if we’re going to see a general decline in standard DVD prices in response to Blu-Ray’s ascendance?
R.S. MCCAIN — “the other McCain” — is blogging the Libertarian Convention. Just keep scrolling.
RASMUSSEN: Fewer Democrats Want Hillary to Drop Out. But more pundits do . . . .
CAN POLYGAMY be a crime in the United States?
ARTIFICIALLY ENHANCED cell metabolism.
Fathers sleep a lot, and they snore loudly. When they’re awake, they like to fish or golf, but they’re comically bad at both. They drink so much beer they’re practically alcoholics, and they’re complete couch potatoes, always watching television and hogging the remote.
At least, that’s the less-than-favourable image of Dad on Father’s Day greeting cards. It’s a striking contrast to the poetic praise often expressed at Mother’s Day.
Perhaps the market will take care of that. But why not branch out from cards?
UPDATE: More thoughts on this here. “Thatâ€™s what really matters in the end â€” the personal intent and affection that accompanies the card and/or gift. It seems odd to undermine that emotion by depicting Dad as someone more absorbed with his golf game than his family, eager to belch beery cheers at his favorite team, or only around to provide spending money to his herd.”
HILLARY: I’m staying in the race in case somebody assassinates Obama! Okay, that’s how it’s being spun, but I don’t think she actually meant it that way. I think she was just pointing out that when Bobby Kennedy was shot the race was still alive, and that was June. Still, it’s a pretty impressive gaffe.
UPDATE: More thoughts from A.C. Kleinheider.
Meanwhile, Andy McCarthy credits Operation Chaos.
NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT OUR SUN, in terms of characteristics needed for life.
MCCAIN’S SHORT LIST FOR VP: Shockingly, Bill Frist is omitted.
REVIEWING VH1′s SERIES, Sex: The Revolution. “What if documentary-makers aimed the camera at fewer celebrity has-beens â€“ instead giving scholars a chance to talk? The result would be a very counterintuitive picture of life before the sexual revolution.”
I haven’t seen the VH1 show, but I highly recommend Gay Talese’s history of the sexual revolution, Thy Neighbor’s Wife, which we read in my “Law and Sexuality” seminar, taught by Harlon Dalton. I often draw on it when teaching in Constitutional Law, because today’s students don’t really have any grasp of what life was like in an era without freely available porn and socially-approved consensual sex. That said, the review above is certainly right in suggesting that the conventional narrative (bad, repressed Puritans) is highly misleading.
MORE KNIFEBLOGGING: The Throwzini. Duck!
MICKEY KAUS on McCain’s immigration flipflop: “McCain to GOP: ‘Suckers!’”
TIGERHAWK: “While I believe — on little more than gut — that Hillary Clinton would be a better president than Barack Obama, I also believe that Obama would be insane to let the Clintons — they come as a pair — into his campaign or administration in any way, shape, or form. Indeed, nothing would more completely prove that Obama lacks the judgment necessary to be president than selecting Hillary as his running mate. Whatever one thinks of the Clintons, this much is virtually incontestable: The Clintons are too powerful to control, too ambitious to control themselves, and too untrustworthy to appease.”
THOUGHTS ON bigotry, extremism, and academia.
WHERE’D THE SUPREME COURT’S 5-4 splits go?
10 EASY MPG-BOOSTING TIPS for Memorial Day weekend.
HMM: Ethanol usage up exponentially in U.S. and Brazil; not as much in Europe. If we’d drop the tariff on Brazilian ethanol, it would be better still.
IN THE MAIL: Benjamin Wittes’ Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror.
Patriot Motors, Farragut, Tennessee. Because Uncle Sam would never give you a bad deal.
JOHNATHAN PEARCE: Scientology is nuts and we should be able to say so. That sounds like a brave statement on a British blog, these days, but in a victory for free speech, British prosecutors have dropped the “cult” prosecution, saying that it doesn’t make out a crime.
OKAY, I LIKE MY BACKYARD, but at the moment I’m kinda jealous of Jim Fletcher’s.
BUY A HONDA, kill a polar bear?
A CHE HAGIOGRAPHY that gives even The New York Times problems. “Guevara was an important player in the Castro government, but his brutal role in turning a revolutionary movement into a dictatorship goes virtually unmentioned.”
LENTIL STEW FOR EVERYONE! That’ll solve the gas shortage.
ENVIRONMENTALISM as a religion? Say rather as a substitute therefor, without the troubling discerning-God’s-will-and-following-it part.