July 6, 2008
COULD CNN BE EVEN MORE WRONG? “The CNN description of Col. Bud Day was simply wrong. Col. Day was never a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”
COULD CNN BE EVEN MORE WRONG? “The CNN description of Col. Bud Day was simply wrong. Col. Day was never a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”
SUNDAY TALKERS not kind to Obama.
KENNETH CHANG: Would you buy an electric car now? I’d buy an Aptera, or a plug-in Prius, if they’d sell me one. (You can buy an Aptera now, but only in California).
MCCAIN PROMISES TO Balance Budget in 4 Years. Well, it would be nice . . . .
A PATRIOTIC THIEF: “At about 5 p.m. yesterday, an unidentified thief with a police record broke into a red van that had been parked at 53rd Street and Second Avenue in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park for about a month, a source told The Post. He was stunned when he looked inside – it was filled with gas cans and Styrofoam cups containing a mysterious white substance with protruding wires and switches.” He drove it a few blocks away, then alerted the cops. Meanwhile, a look at the terror threat in New York.
INSTANT COWORKERS! I’ve written before about saving energy via telecommuting. But what if you get lonely? Here’s a a solution: “This fall, the two will open LaunchPad Coworking in an upscale building at Eighth and Brazos streets. The space will still have a coffee area, but mostly it will be made up of office space that can be rented by the hour, presentation rooms built to impress clients and a lot of high-speed Internet access.”
OBAMA STRIKES FIRST.
UPDATE: This is priceless:
Food is likely to be at the heart of the G8 summit when Mr Brown arrives with seven other world leaders.
Not least because they will have eight official dinners at the lakeside Windsor Hotel Toya in north Japan.
At the culinary helm is Katsuhiro Nakamura, a Michelinstarred chef, who has flown in a team of 50 helpers.
Many ingredients are expected to include the vegetables and seafood for which Hokkaido – the northernmost island of Japan – is renowned. Whether the leaders will be brave enough to try raw sea urchin – a famous Hokkaido dish –remains to be seen.
The chef has also created one international signature dish: the G8 pate. It contains a key ingredient from each of the eight nations – including black truffles from France, ham from Italy and mushrooms from Japan.
Your world leaders address the food crisis!
MICHAEL MOYNIHAN OFFERS TWO CHEERS for Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe.
ANN ALTHOUSE: “I love the way lefties sometimes get bracingly chauvinistic. Suddenly, it’s screw the rest of the world!“
A REVIEW OF the new American Girl movie.
PRISON GUARDS DESECRATE KORAN — in Syria. Nobody cares.
RICHARD FERNANDEZ on the Mosul operation.
CFTC MOVING TO REGULATE PREDICTION MARKETS? Tom W. Bell is unhappy.
LIKE GETTING A CAMEL THROUGH: Obama struggles to thread needle on Iraq.
EXTREME MORTMAN: Purple People Eaters.
SO LONG AS HIS MOTHER WAS A U.S. CITIZEN AT THE TIME, it shouldn’t mattter whether Obama was born in the U.S.A. or not. So I don’t really understand the birth certificate controversy. (There’s no citation supporting this statement: “His presumed Kenyan-born father was foreign-born, and his mother was too young at the time of birth to confer natural born status by virtue of her American citizenship.” To my knowledge, age of the mother at the time of birth shouldn’t matter, but I’m no expert here.) So what’s the point of this controversy? Am I missing something? (Via We Five Kings).
UPDATE: The whole thing looks like it’s BS anyway, according to A.J. Strata.
TIGERHAWK looks at Judgment On Iraq. “On that crucially important decision, at least, it is becoming ever more obvious that McCain was right and Obama was wrong.”
A RECIPE FOR GRILLED WATERMELON SALAD. No, really. Suddenly watermelon’s all the rage. I wonder why?
A NEW CAMPAIGN AD FROM VETS FOR FREEDOM.
A DO-IT-YOURSELF home inspection checklist.
MORE ON THE ASTEROID THREATS:
For a decade, NASA has been busy trying to identify what else is headed this way, particularly those potential â€œcivilization killersâ€ of 1 kilometer (.62 miles) or more in diameter that have orbits coming within 30 million miles of the Earthâ€™s â€” too close for comfort by space standards.
But the big ones are, in many ways, the easy part. Smaller rocks matter, too. Perhaps nowhere is that so evident as in central Siberia, where 100 years ago last week, something â€” presumably a meteoroid, most experts say â€” streaked across the sky and exploded at an estimated height of 28,000 feet with a force equivalent to 185 Hiroshima bombs, leveling some 800 square miles of forest. Simulations by the Sandia National Laboratories showed that object could have been just 90 feet across.
Read the whole thing.
AN ARMY OF Durantys?
BACK TO THE 1970s? Strikes Poised to Cripple UK.
Knoxville, Tennessee. Yes, it’s a flag theme this weekend.
“WHY WOULD ANYONE die for the Celtics?”
THEY’RE MAKIN’ NOISE, WE’RE MAKIN’ HISTORY:
IRAQ’S OIL SURGE: And note this conclusion:
What the U.S. should promote in Iraq is some kind of oil trust, or stock or revenue dispersal, that would give individual Iraqis a share of their oil wealth. This would be both a tool to build national unity and to prevent any one political group from dominating Iraq’s main revenue source. If Mr. Schumer wants to help on that score, he might do some good.
I don’t place much faith in Charles Schumer, but I’d love to be wrong. And I’ve been pushing the oil trust idea since 2003. Had it gone into place then, I suspect we’d have seen things go much more smoothly. However despite support for the idea from Hillary Clinton, Milton Friedman, and Vernon Smith, as well as Michael Barone, it never really took hold.
JOURNALISM AND the power of Google. Plus, possible ethanol politics!
SADDAM’S NON EXISTENT NUCLEAR PROGRAM HAS BEEN SHUT DOWN:
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program _ a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium _ reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.
The removal of 550 metric tons of “yellowcake” _ the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment _ was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.
Read the whole thing.
WELL, GOOD: Al-Qaeda is driven from Mosul bastion after bloody last stand. Plus, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki is declaring victory over the terrorists in Baghdad. “Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday that the country’s security forces have managed to save Baghdad from a ‘siege by terrorists’ backed by foreign nations.”
MCCAIN HAS PROBLEMS with a teleprompter. Meanwhile, Obama can hardly speak without one. They’re like yin and yang.
AS WEB TRAFFIC GROWS, CRASHES TAKE A BIGGER TOLL. True. And seem more often, sometimes — Technorati, for example, has been unreliable for months. Plus, a solution for one kind of question: “In March, Mr. Payne created downforeveryoneorjustme.com, as in, ‘Down for everyone, or just me?’ It lets visitors type in a Web address and see whether a site is generally inaccessible or whether the problem is with their own connection.”
INTERESTING: “In the six-and-a-half years that the U.S. government has been fingerprinting insurgents, detainees and ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa, hundreds have turned out to share an unexpected background, FBI and military officials said. They have criminal arrest records in the United States.”
THE WORST ECONOMIST ARTICLE of all time?
STEPHEN BAINBRIDGE has a lengthy post on drinking chilled red wine in the summer.
OBAMA AND ABORTION: Backtracking on the backtracking on late-term abortion. “Does he think we are idiots?” Thinks, hopes, whatever. And the above quote comes from someone who voted for Obama.
ERIC SCHEIE is disappointed in John McCain. “I am sorry to see that John McCain has denied roughing up the Sandinistas . . . . Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed. I’d love to see a video of McCain grabbing an Ortega associate by his shirt collar and lifting him out of his chair.”
MORE ON the politics of ethanol.
BACKTRACKING on the Iraq backtrack backtracking. Or something like that. I can’t keep track.
KNIFEBLOGGING, CONT’D: A sale on camp knives, good for outdoor enthusiasts or disaster-prep types. I didn’t realize that Ken Onion did “tactical” knives as well as kitchenware.
A PREDICTION: “The media will spend the summer establishing their faux credibility by tsk-tsking about a handful of Obama issues. Come September, there will be an tidal wave of aggressive Obama campaigning by the media that will make the work of the North Korean press look tame by comparison.”
PANDEMIC! A look at future disease threats.
HELPFUL LANGUAGE ADVICE FROM ANDREA SEE. Including this bit: “You donâ€™t post a blog, you post a blog entry. Unless you start a new weblog every time you write something.”
PHOTO OF THE DAY: Chinese Anti-Terror Segway Commandos.
SOME EXPERT grilling tips.
WHY FLY WHEN YOU CAN FLOAT? New interest in Zeppelins.
MUDVILLE GAZETTE: Some things about Bud Day that don’t make CNN.
UPDATE: Bill Ardolino emails:
Saw your post on Bud Day. I just happened to finish his biography written by Robert Coram, and all I can say is “wow” and “highly recommended:”
The man was beaten with a rubber strip hours at a time for months during the summer of 1969, and he never gave up any info about his unit to the North Vietnamese. He once ejected from an exploding jet, his parachute failed to deploy, and he lived. And that’s the tip of the iceberg; the story of his life is so incredible, it’s almost hard to believe.
Anyway, highly recommended. Maybe someone should mail a copy to CNN.
MEGAN MCARDLE: “Indeed, it’s possible that consumer driven care would improve preventative care for some conditions–if you have to pay $1,000 for an emergency room visit when you get slack on your asthma management, you might get a lot more motivated.”
THE HIGH COST OF fighting malaria.
CANADIAN KANGAROO COURT UPDATE:
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed the complaint against Catholic Insight Magazine. . . .
This is good news. It means that the political campaign for freedom of speech and freedom of religion is working. It means the CHRC does not want to be seen to treat big fish differently from little fish. It does not want to be seen as operating outside the rule of law. That is a good thing. It means the CHRC wants the scrutiny to go away and fast.
Free Speech for everyone. What a concept. Keep the pressure on. Plus more here:
While the Canadian Human Rights Commission has bowed to widespread public opposition to proceeding with a complaint against Maclean’s magazine brought by the Canadian Islamic Congress, less powerful and prominent Canadians should beware: For them, the threat of censorship remains. . . . Ironically, it is not I, Mansur, Steyn or the editors of Maclean’s who are ill-serving Canadian Muslims. It is Muslim leaders like Elmasry. By using rights tribunals to intimidate and silence critics, these authoritarian Muslims are undermining the fundamental freedoms of all Canadians, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Of course, more than a few non-Muslims also betray scant regard for the historic rights of Canadians to freedom of expression.
Read the whole thing. It’s as if the whole “human rights” thing is really just a weapon for silencing political opposition.
DALE AMON: “I have long said we should change the name of the DOD back to the Department of War. If you are going to make war, then you should damn well be a man and say so.”
TALKLEFT: Church vs. Obama.
BRITAIN, BIRTHPLACE OF FREEDOM: Home Secretary green lights restrictions on photography.
The letter dated 26 June, which BJP has seen a copy of, is in response to correspondence sent by the Union secretary general, Jeremy Dear, who expressed concern at police surveillance of journalists, in particular photographers.
‘First of all, may I take this opportunity to state that the Government greatly values the importance of the freedom of the press, and as such there is no legal restriction on photography in public places,’ Smith writes. ‘Also, as you will be aware, there is no presumption of privacy for individuals in a public place.’
However, the Home Secretary adds that local restrictions might be enforced. ‘Decisions may be made locally to restrict or monitor photography in reasonable circumstances. That is an operational decision for the officers involved based on the individual circumstances of each situation.
They can photograph you, but they get to decide when you can take photographs.
BOB OWENS: Donâ€™t Hammer Obama for ‘Refining’ Iraq Stance. “Republicans should welcome any change of heart from Obama, as recognizing American progress in Iraq could only benefit both countries.”
I don’t think it’s Republicans who are hammering him the hardest, though; I think it’s disappointed Netroots types.
FABIUS MAXIMUS on why you should support the USO. I’ve donated to them on several occasions. They do good work.
Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.
The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body. . . .
“Political leaders seem intent on suppressing and ignoring the strong evidence that biofuels are a major factor in recent food price rises,” said Robert Bailey, policy adviser at Oxfam.
Perhaps they just fear being tried for crimes against humanity.
UPDATE: Reader Jason Epstein emails:
Did you notice that the writer suggesting that the report was being kept secret “has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush?” Huh?!? How come there is no mention of the culpability of the environmental community, who pushed biofuels more than anyone else?
Yeah, how come?
CNN: “A growing number of Clinton supporters polled say they may stay home in November instead of casting their ballot for Obama, an indication the party has yet to coalesce around the Illinois senator four weeks after the most prolonged and at times divisive primary race in modern American history came to a close. . . . Obama won 59 percent of support from registered Democrats polled in June; now he garners 54 percent.”
MURTHA DOES IT AGAIN.
THEY TOLD ME THAT IF GEORGE W. BUSH WERE RE-ELECTED, we’d see schoolboys punished for refusing to kneel and pray in class. And they were right!
Two schoolboys were given detention after refusing to kneel down and ‘pray to Allah’ during a religious education lesson.
Parents were outraged that the two boys from year seven (11 to 12-year-olds) were punished for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped.
They said forcing their children to take part in the exercise at Alsager High School, near Stoke-on-Trent – which included wearing Muslim headgear – was a breach of their human rights.
You can’t make this stuff up. And, sadly, you don’t have to.
UPDATE: Clark Stooksbury is surprised to learn that Stoke-on-Trent is in England. I guess he wasn’t lucky enough to have Mr. Wolfenbarger for geography like I did. He also seems a bit unclear on the point of this “They Told Me” series, which highlights the way in which apocalyptic things said about the Bush Administration tend to come true in rather different settings. I’m pointing that out here, just in case anyone else hasn’t been paying attention.
MORE: Stooksbury’s update just demonstrates that the Andrea See quote over in the right sidebar here is right. Sorry, Clark, you’re just missing the joke here.
SOME INDEPENDENCE DAY THOUGHTS from Roger Kimball.
“BUT WE DON’T have any more!”
A COOL PHOTO BLOG, discovered via the comments at Ann Althouse’s.
BE A PATRIOT! GET A JOB!
SO THESE SUUNTO Heart Rate Monitors are on sale. I used to use a Polar until I lost the sensor and it was pretty good. I’ve got a Suunto dive computer and I like it. But the reader reviews on these are kinda lukewarm. Any recommendations from folks who’ve used ‘em, or used others?
UPDATE: Reader Mike Dini emails:
I’m a slow runner and I’ve had several heart rate monitors. I’ve had one top-of-the-line model from each of the major vendors — Polar, Garmin, Suunto. To coin a technical phase related to engineering EDA software: ‘use what sucks the least’.
Given my experience with the T6, Suunto is dead last in this market. The device was nearly unusable. The SW sucked and regularly crashed. The heart rate monitoring function would occasionally go wild. This wildness was impossible to edit out of the database (My heart will not go 220 BPM). It would take a weird form of chanting to get the watch to recognize the foot pod and chest strap. The display is ODD and hard to read. The UI is not intuitive — merely starting and stopping the watch takes effort. If you take a vacation for 7 days, you will need to reread the manual. I had trouble giving the thing away. You claim: ‘I like the diving stuff’. The T6 made me extremely suspicious (read: terrified) of the diving products.
Polar (S625X) is pretty good, but it is only recently that they added GPS capability in the newer RS800G3. Note that the reviews of the RS800G3 are poor on Amazon. UI to the watch is fairly good (S625X). It is obvious, for example, how to start/stop the watch and save a lap time. All the functions needed are here, but it can take a rocket scientist to get some desperately needed things to work. The most important is to alarm when the aerobic threshold is exceeded (in my 167 BPM). This task taxed all of my 25 years of computer engineering skill to figure it out. The manual is terrible. Technical support is non-existent and hostile. I always had trouble with the IR link. This appears to be a sick company.
At present I’m using a Garmin 305. It is a little large and bulky, but has GPS capability. GPS is *VERY* slow to lock and I question its accuracy. The UI is wretched. It seems as if the engineers designed this product as a wrist-based GPS unit that happens to have a heart rate monitor. This should be reversed: a HR monitor that has GPS capability. The buttons are in the wrong place — during a training run, I regularly shut off the watch during the most critical time of a run by hitting the ‘off’ button rather than the ‘lap’ button. The display is hard to read, and doesn’t have nearly as much information as it first appears. The alarm is too faint. The SW is OK, but nothing spectacular. The connections on the back corrode. The watch behaves incorrectly at some of the boundary conditions. The battery life is too short (10 hours or so).
At the moment, I’m using the 305 — it sucks the least. But, it wouldn’t kill me to downgrade to the S625X. I will never use a Suunto HRM product again. OK to use my name and verify. Fix spelling and grammar please.
Ugh. None of this sounds especially appealing . . . .
A SECOND TERM FOR JIMMY CARTER? Courtesy of a Republican? “Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia, asked Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to look into what speed limit would provide optimum gasoline efficiency given current technology. He said he wants to know if the administration might support efforts in Congress to require a lower speed limit.”
The 55-mile-per-hour speed limit is a bit of idiocy I hoped we’d left behind. I’m not suprised to see Mr. Private Jets supporting it, though. Meanwhile, here are some better ideas for energy savings.
TAYLOR MARSH: Why Barack Needs Hillary.
THE CLIMATE-CHANGE Juggernaut.
THE TOP 100 law and lawyer blogs.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE Fourth of July Movie?
FROM JENNIFER RUBIN, a Hollywood Pledge.
BRIAN BEUTLER, SHOT IN A MUGGING IN D.C., is going to be fine. They took out his spleen. Don’t worry, Brian — I haven’t had a spleen since an unfortunate incident in my youth, and it’s caused me no problems whatsoever.
WHO NEEDS WATERBOARDING, when there’s Nutraloaf? It’s gotta be better than some dorm food I’ve eaten.
NEXT STOP, serfdom!
SOME JULY FOURTH THOUGHTS from James Lileks.
There’s also this dodgy belief, fervently embraced by many liberals advocating regulations–”Look, even a big business head who would be regulated believes it’s a good idea! It must be!” Au contraire, mon frere. The heads of big businesses often love big new regulatory bodies, because they have the resources to best negotiate a complex regime. The end result of this kind of radical regulation is usually that the big companies capture the regulator and use it to shut out competition.
Really big companies are more like bureaucracies than capitalist enterprises. See, e.g., Dilbert.
THE LONDON TIMES: Barack Obama’s policy switches are giving the Left whiplash. “Change, it turns out, wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. Having campaigned for the past year as the agent of transformation, the man who would lead an historic shift in America’s political direction, Barack Obama is discovering that there is quite a lot he likes about the way things are. . . . If next week he named Dick Cheney as his running-mate and revealed that he spends his spare time drilling for oil in wildlife habitats, the only surprise would be that it took him so long.”
This is not the Barack Obama that I knew. Well, that might nail down the InstaPundit endorsement . . . .
IN THE MAIL: Christopher Jones’ The Intelligent Portfolio: Practical Wisdom on Personal Investing from Financial Engines.
Farragut, Tennessee. Happy Independence Day! I’m on the road today, but will be checking in from time to time thanks to EVDO. And I’ve got a few scheduled posts, too.
THIS WEEK’S CARNIVAL OF SPACE is up!
SO I WAS AT THE GYM THE OTHER DAY, WEARING MY BLACKFIVE Don’t Be A DouChe’ T-Shirt and one of the trainers came up and said it was the coolest t-shirt she’d ever seen. I’ve gotten a lot of favorable remarks on it, maybe even more than the Enjoy Capitalism! shirt from Bureaucrash. But sometimes real life is even better than parody: Colombian army duped FARC by wearing â€¦ Che t-shirts.
INTERESTED IN A SPACE CAREER? Blue Origin is hiring.
SOME INDEPENDENCE DAY THOUGHTS from Don Surber.
A MAN OF SEASONAL PRINCIPLES? I believe you mean “pragmatic and flexible,” Charles. We need that in a leader. Otherwise, he might lead us somewhere we don’t already want to go!
IN BAGHDAD, CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH the largest re-enlistment ceremony in history:
While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq.
Read the whole thing.