Archive for August, 2010

August 30, 2010

EUROPE: Shoppers ‘panic buying’ old 75W bulbs before EU ban comes into force.

August 30, 2010

LOOKING AT the future of news. Plus, the wave of media migration.

August 30, 2010

DAVID BOAZ: Let’s Regulate Barney Frank’s Pay.

August 30, 2010

LAST DAYS of the academic ruling class?

August 30, 2010

POWER LINE: “leans Democratic” is the new “toss-up”.

August 29, 2010

I BLAME THE ANTI-MORMON HYSTERIA AIMED AT GLENN BECK: Bishop shot and killed at Mormon church in Visalia.

August 29, 2010

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Think the economy is bad? Worse is coming.

August 29, 2010

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: (Even) More Trouble at Citi: Is Obama Paying Attention? Is Gillibrand?

August 29, 2010

THOUGHTS ON SURVIVING KATRINA.

Plus some earlier disaster-preparation posts, here and here.

Related: We’re Still Not Ready For Another Katrina.

And here are some Katrina lessons.

August 29, 2010

A PROSECUTOR ON THE WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY: A reader who asks anonymity emails:

I’ve followed with interest your series on police misconduct in harassing or arresting bystanders who photograph or video officers on duty. We had a similar case this month – we dismissed the charge immediately and began an internal review of all the officer’s pending cases. His boss (the County Sheriff) brought the matter immediately to our attention and launched an IA investigation as well.

Just wanted you to know that not all prosecutors are idiots … :-)

Some additional inside baseball: nearly all of our officers and their chiefs strongly support audio and visual recording of officers while on duty. Most jurisdictions here have voice-activated microphones and video cameras mounted in their patrol cars and remote microphones clipped to their officers’ collars. Many of these devices automatically download video and audio feeds directly to remote servers to prevent tampering with the raw footage. But the cameras cannot capture everything that happens around an officer and the microphones have a limited range, so bystanders’ portable video can be a potent source of evidence documenting that an officer acted properly – which they do in the vast majority of instances.

Yes, as I’ve noted before, officers who are behaving properly should welcome this sort of thing. And it’s worth noting that when officers and prosecutors act properly, it usually doesn’t make the news.

August 29, 2010

AT AMAZON, it’s the Outlet Sale.

August 29, 2010

TIM CARNEY: We know why Eli Lilly is rallying behind ObamaCare. Why is National Journal?

Related: Is National Journal Giving ObamaCare a Big, Wet Smooch? Hey, the Atlantic media empire needs money. Eli Lilly has it. Plus, it boosts Obama. Win-win!

August 29, 2010

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: America—Behind the Mosque.

August 29, 2010

PROF. JACOBSON: We Are In Really Deep Trouble.

August 29, 2010

WELL, THIS IS CHEERFUL: It’s Not A Question Of IF Sovereign Nations Will Default, But HOW.

August 29, 2010

REGRETS OF THE DYING: “‘I wish I didn’t work so hard.’ This came from every male patient that I nursed.”

Plus this: “Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice.”

August 29, 2010

MICHAEL ARRINGTON: Too Few Women In Tech? Stop Blaming The Men.

The problem isn’t that Silicon Valley is keeping women down, or not doing enough to encourage female entrepreneurs. The opposite is true. No, the problem is that not enough women want to become entrepreneurs.

Read the whole thing. Just don’t be an older guy if you want to avoid discrimination in Silicon Valley . . . .

August 29, 2010

DO YOU KNOW ME WELL ENOUGH TO HATE ME? The man who this week became a symbol of Tea Party intolerance was once a major Democratic donor, contributing tens of thousands of dollars to the party. “According to OpenSecrets.org, he’s donated about $15,000 to Democrats since 2000, including a $10,000 donation to the DNC in 2000, a $500 donation to Howard Dean in 2003, and a $1,000 donation to John Kerry in 2004. His only recent contribution to a Republican candidate was $250 in 2002 to retired Rep. Jim Kolbe, then lone openly gay Republican in Congress.”

August 29, 2010

AT LEAST SHE WASN’T TEXTING: “A Cincinnati woman was simultaneously masturbating with a sex toy and watching a pornographic video while driving last week, according to cops who arrested her on assorted criminal charges.”

August 29, 2010

VIRGINIA: Reporting from a Bob McDonnell townhall appearance.

August 29, 2010

AT AMAZON, markdowns on patio, lawn and garden stuff.

August 29, 2010

REASON TV: What We Saw at the Glenn Beck Rally in DC.

Well worth watching. Let me just add that although Beck’s rally attracted a lot of Tea Partiers, his religious message is pretty distinct from the core Tea Party message. On the other hand, a lot of people agree with Beck that something’s gone wrong in this country, beyond the last election. Some people worry that Beck’s trying to transform the Tea Party movement into a religious movement, but I’d say that remains unclear at this point. If he tries that, though, it’s likely to fail. For the moment, though, I agree with those who characterize his message as Tocquevillian.

Also, note this from Tim Cavanaugh: “It’s understandable that you don’t want to lose all your invitations, and the dismissive pose toward Beck stems from a well founded fear my fellow rootless cosmopolitans have — that if we seem too close to the cars-on-cinderblocks, chicken-coops-in-yards, shotguns-and-rockingchairs variety of libertarianism, we will lose the respect of liberaloids in New York and D.C. It’s a real concern, but if the trade-off means you reject the Tea Parties — by far the biggest popular movement with a clear anti-government mood that has occurred in my lifetime – and in exchange you get to be comfortable at table with David Frum, well, that deal sounds like a loser to me.”

Also, from Jennifer Rubin:

I admit that I had some serious reservations about the Glenn Beck rally. To put it mildly, I’m no fan of Beck’s, and his rhetoric has given liberals plenty of fodder to paint the right as extreme and incendiary. But both he and certainly Palin conducted themselves well — sticking to general themes of faith and service. That the media could not find a single controversial statement is a tribute to the good judgment and restraint that was exercised.

Indeed. And Prof. William Jacobson zeroes in on a racist criticism of the rally. See a bunch of white people, immediately think of mass murder? Then you are, in Janeane Garofalo’s words, a stone racist. But in my experience, the people who yammer about racism the most tend to be closet racists themselves. And sometimes, not-so-closeted.

Related: Desperately Seeking Racists.

UPDATE: Jim Treacher rounds up the shockingly un-diverse press commentary on the event.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader notes that AP’s photographers don’t seem to have gotten the JournoList memo.

“Pashai Oway, 6, of Arlington, Va., holds an American flag while attending the the ‘Restoring Honor’ rally, organized by Glenn Beck, in Washington, on Saturday,Aug. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin).”

Well, the hoity-toity types often leave the photogs out of the conversation.

August 29, 2010

CATHOLIC ONLINE: Rally to Restore Honor Gathers Half a Million Americans, Makes History.

August 29, 2010

INSIDE CABLE NEWS:

One would think the network with the “Best Political Team on Television” could tell the difference between Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin….not to mention spell Palin’s name right…

Update: Or knew that she ran for VICE-President. How’d I miss that one?

Nobody’s perfect.

August 29, 2010

MORE ON THE Nissan Leaf.

August 29, 2010

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Congresswoman Violated Nepotism Rules, Funneled Thousands to Family and Friends. “Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D., Texas), a long-serving congresswoman from Dallas, improperly awarded thousands of dollars in college scholarships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, violating nepotism and ethics rules by giving the funds to multiple relatives and the children of top aide Rod Givens. Johnson also violated a rule that required scholarship winners to live or attend school in the awarding member’s district.”

August 29, 2010

JENNIFER RUBIN: Sarah Palin Redefines Feminism.

August 29, 2010

AT ABOVE THE LAW, covering Breasts, Pornography, and State Judges.

August 29, 2010

REBELLION of the serfs.

August 29, 2010

IN THE MAIL: Superconnect: Harnessing the Power of Networks and the Strength of Weak Links.

August 29, 2010

FEAR AND LOATHING IN AMERICA’S RULING CLASS: If you missed it on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio yesterday, the latest PJM Political is online, with guests Angelo Codevilla, Austin Bay, and more.

August 29, 2010

THE HILL: Democrats can’t agree over killing or saving the Bush-era tax cuts. “Democrats are undercutting their campaign message by condemning Republican economic policies while calling for the extension of Bush-era tax cuts.”

August 29, 2010

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: New York Times delivers predictably hackish piece on Beck/Tea Party rally. “No matter what you do, Tea Partiers, Kate Zernike will call you racist.”

August 29, 2010

SILICON VALLEY’S DARK SECRET: It’s All About Age.

An interesting paradox in the technology world is that there is both a shortage and a surplus of engineers in the United States. Talk to those working at any Silicon Valley company, and they will tell you how hard it is to find qualified talent. But listen to the heart-wrenching stories of unemployed engineers, and you will realize that there are tens of thousands who can’t get jobs. What gives?

The harsh reality is that in the tech world, companies prefer to hire young, inexperienced, engineers. And engineering is an “up or out” profession: you either move up the ladder or face unemployment. This is not something that tech executives publicly admit, because they fear being sued for age discrimination, but everyone knows that this is the way things are.

Read the whole thing.

August 29, 2010

TAXPROF: Where Do State And Local Governments Get Their Tax Revenue?

August 29, 2010

CHARLIE MARTIN: Glenn Beck Rally: How Big Was the Crowd?

August 29, 2010

THE LIGHTBULB GOES ON.

August 29, 2010

HOW TO get rid of fruit flies.

August 29, 2010

THE PJTV REPORT: Danika/Brandi/Alexis/Kruiser. One of These Things Is Not Like The Other. They’re soliciting audience suggestions and comments for this show.

August 29, 2010

WHAT A BEAR MARKET IN HOUSING looks like.

August 29, 2010

STEPHEN GREEN: The Ridicule Is Both Obvious and Ineffective.

August 29, 2010

ROGER SIMON: Islamophobiaphobia.

August 29, 2010

MORE ON KATRINA: Media Myths: Give The Press A D- On Post-Katrina Coverage.

August 29, 2010

JAMES TARANTO ON THE SPREAD OF Oikophobia among the “cognitive elite.”

The British philosopher Roger Scruton has coined a term to describe this attitude: oikophobia. Xenophobia is fear of the alien; oikophobia is fear of the familiar: “the disposition, in any conflict, to side with ‘them’ against ‘us’, and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably ‘ours.’ ” . . .

There is one important difference between the American oik and his European counterpart. American patriotism is not a blood-and-soil nationalism but an allegiance to a country based in an idea of enlightened universalism. Thus our oiks masquerade as–and may even believe themselves to be–superpatriots, more loyal to American principles than the vast majority of Americans, whom they denounce as “un-American” for feeling an attachment to their actual country as opposed to a collection of abstractions.

Yet the oiks’ vision of themselves as an intellectual aristocracy violates the first American principle ever articulated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . .”

This cannot be reconciled with the elitist notion that most men are economically insecure bitter clinging intolerant bigots who need to be governed by an educated elite. Marxism Lite is not only false; it is, according to the American creed, self-evidently false.

Read the whole thing.

August 29, 2010

PEGGY NOONAN: Who is this Obama guy, anyway?

All of this strikes people, understandably, as perplexing. “I don’t get what he’s doing.” Which becomes, in time, “I don’t get who he is.” In an atmosphere of such questioning they’ll consider any and all possibilities, including, apparently, that he is a Muslim. Which, according to a recent Pew poll, 18% think he is. That is up from 11% in February 2009.

Liberals and the left are indignant about this, and angry. For a week all you heard from cable anchors was “PEOPLE think OBAMA is a MUSLIM. It’s in the POLLS. How do you EXPLAIN it?” Every time I heard it, I’d think: Maybe it’s because you keep screaming it.

Indeed. Of course, if Obama is such a mystery, maybe people in the press — like Peggy Noonan — should have given him closer scrutiny before the election.

August 29, 2010

JUSTICE HARLAN vs. Justice Sotomayor.

August 28, 2010

MARKDOWNS ON DVD and Blu-Ray releases.

August 28, 2010

CLAIM: Massive solar storm to hit Earth in 2012 with ‘force of 100m bombs’. “Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale. The 2012 storm has the potential to be even more disruptive.”

There’s some dispute, but it seems to me that timing isn’t the issue. Now that many think such a flare is likely sooner or later, we should be hardening up the power grids, etc. now.

August 28, 2010

CHARGING THE WASHINGTON POST with “subliminal deception.”

Related: A whole lot of people seem to be using the same phrase to describe this event. Must’ve gone out via whatever’s replaced JournoList . . . . .

August 28, 2010

MORE ON THAT SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA WAR AGAINST PHOTOGRAPHY CASE, from the Washington Examiner.

But to arrest someone who is unmistakably on their own property, and doing nothing remotely illegal, is an abuse of power pure and simple. Even if it were true that Gibson was endangering herself by witnessing the traffic stop from the confines of her front porch, how could that possibly be construed as “resisting arrest” or “obstructing the police” without eviscerating everything that the concept of private property (not to mention plain old individual rights) stands for? Taking such a risk is not illegal. Doing it while occupying one’s homestead should be recognized as unassailably within one’s rights.

Since it appears that neither the police nor the district attorney’s office can be shamed into refraining from such power abuses, perhaps it will take a fat lawsuit for violations of Gibson’s (et al.) constitutional rights to get their attention.

Indeed.

August 28, 2010

STEVEN GREENHUT: HOW BAD IS U.S. PENSION DEBT? Some FAQs that explore just how serious the problem is. Greenhut also has a book.

August 28, 2010

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Should women be allowed to go topless?

August 28, 2010

RAND SIMBERG: Repeating Myths Of A Flawed NASA Past:

In the new plan, NASA will no longer be spending all its scarce resources (and in the coming fiscal austerity, it’s a safe bet that those resources will be getting even more scarce) on developing an unnecessary new rocket and capsule for its own use to get to orbit. Instead, it will be purchasing that service at much lower cost, allowing it to focus its resources on actually sending people beyond earth orbit, and to do things that it hasn’t done before. \The new policy will actually allow NASA, finally, to live up to the model of free enterprise and competition that Mr. Adams mistakenly thought was in place for the past half century.

In fact, I predict that the next expedition to replicate the circumlunar voyage of Apollo 8 will be a private one, and that it will happen within a decade. Meanwhile, rather than repeating what it did forty-plus years ago with the low-risk (but high-cost) technologies represented by Constellation (aka “Apollo on Steroids,” but actually Apollo on Geritol), NASA will finally be going far beyond Apollo and getting on with true human deep-space exploration, while helping the rest of us get on with the actual development and settlement of space.

Read the whole thing.

August 28, 2010

I SUSPECT WE’LL SEE MORE OF THIS: Bruce Kesler: I Just Disinherited My Alma Mater.

August 28, 2010

HURRICANE KATRINA, Five Years Later.

And while we’re reminiscing, let’s remember Lou Dolinar’s expose of how the media blew it.

August 28, 2010

MARKDOWNS ON knives, multitools, and hand tools.

August 28, 2010

MORT ZUCKERMAN: The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History. “People see the stimulus, fashioned and passed by Congress in such a hurry, as a metaphor for wasted money. They are highly critical about the lack of discipline among our political leaders. The question that naturally arises is how to forestall a long-term economic decline.”

August 28, 2010

THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG: EPA Backs Down On Lead-Bullet Ban. “It is an important victory, mainly from the EPA’s own admission that ammunition is outside their jurisdictional reach.”

August 28, 2010

HERITAGE: Secretary Duncan’s Race to Waste Your Education Dollars. Why not just shut down the Department of Education?

UPDATE: Rand Simberg:

Part of the Republicans’ platform this fall should be to abolish the Department of Education. No one would be able to accuse them of going back to “Bush’s failed policies” with that one. Well, at least not credibly.

Indeed.

August 28, 2010

HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES — GOOD. “Heirloom diseases” — not so much.

August 28, 2010

NOW THIS IS COOL: Wankel Cufflinks.

August 28, 2010

NOPE: Ken Mehlman gay? Online conservatives don’t seem to care much.

August 28, 2010

JIM HOFT HAS more Washington coverage and reports that they’ve announced attendance between 300,000 and 500,000 — well beyond the expected 100k.

UPDATE: Liveblog coverage at The Daily Caller.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Park Service estimates crowd at over 300,000.

MORE: Reader Lisa Schell writes:

In other words, Glenn Beck’s rally drew more people than Keith Olbermann has viewers.

Heh. And reader Doug Sun emails:

IIRC, the crowd for the anti-Vietnam War rally in late 1968, the one that started at the Lincoln Memorial and was described by Normal Mailer in The Armies of the Night, was estimated at 100,000. So Glenn Beck plays the Lincoln Memorial and draws a crowd at least three times bigger than the big anti-Vietnam War rally held at the same venue?

Just sayin’, is all. :-)

He won’t get as much press attention, though. The times they are a-changin’.

August 28, 2010

POLL: Bush Was Better On Katrina Than Obama Has Been On Oil Spill.

August 28, 2010

AMMO ONLINE: LuckyGunner.com is an online ammo store started by one of my former students. I ordered some stuff from ‘em and it arrived within days, no problem. The nice thing is that their inventory system is set up so that you know exactly what they have in stock. I should probably order more to get ahead of that EPA lead-ban thing. . . .

August 28, 2010

IN THE MAIL: From Peter Miller, The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done.

August 28, 2010

A READER PHOTO FROM WASHINGTON: Reader Tom K. is at the Glenn Beck event in DC and sends this picture. He writes:

Your namesake’s event is overwhelming in the number of people here. Accents and flags from every corner of the USA but not a single protest sign in sight. If CNN finds an angry protester, that might be the lone one.

The photo attached can’t do justice to the magnitude of the turnout. The only imagery I can conjure is the protest scene in “Forrest Gump” with many more added.

I can’t wait to hear the MSM’s description of the turnout.

Something along the lines of “Scores gathered near the Lincoln Memorial today . . . ” Somebody try to get me an overhead shot.

UPDATE: Lots of people are sending me this overhead shot:

More here. Not sure of the original source, though.

And reader Justene Adamec cries foul: “The picture on the Post article makes it look like a couple of dozen are there, despite the headline about thousands.”

MORE: Overhead photo comes from the AP.

August 28, 2010

DAMON ROOT: Taking Economic Liberty Seriously. It’s a review of Timothy Sandefur’s The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law. Elites don’t like economic freedom, because it reduces opportunities for control — and graft — but there’s considerable reason to believe that it’s an important constitutional right nonetheless.

August 28, 2010

TAXPROF: Obama Tax Policies Threaten Gulf Recovery From Katrina and BP.

August 28, 2010

ARE WE SEEING “GOOD DEFLATION” as a result of technology?

August 28, 2010

DAVID BARON CALL YOUR OFFICE: Large mountain lion being watched in Wheat Ridge. “Although police suspect the mountain lion is just passing through the area, they are advising residents to keep small children and pets inside and keep trash bins tightly shut.”

UPDATE: Jim Bennett sends this: “Baron indeed. A couple of miles from where I live. Note the tracking collar on this one.”

August 28, 2010

AT AMAZON, MARKDOWNS ON ELECTRONICS.

August 28, 2010

WHERE’S MY WARP DRIVE? Telescope Detects Possible Earth-Size Planet.

August 28, 2010

ECONOMICS AND MEDDLING: “This does not strike me as a story about how income inequality caused the financial crisis. Rather, this is a story about how policies intended to reduce inequality had the unintended consequence of precipitating America’s worst economic slump since the Depression.”

August 28, 2010

FRUIT FLY meets sledgehammer.

August 28, 2010

ED DRISCOLL: ‘Apologies if the Bright, Vivid Colors Sear Your Eyes.’

August 28, 2010

CHANGE: Commercial Real Estate Borrowers Join the Ranks of Strategic Defaulters. “What should happen in many cases like that is that the terms get renegotiated to something where both sides are better off than in foreclosure. But as in the residential market, securitization has made this trickier.”

August 28, 2010

IT’S HARD OUT THERE FOR AN ATTORNEY: Ohio Lawyer Suspended for Billing More than 24 Hours in a Day.

August 27, 2010

WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT? Drink water before meals. “Why this works is obscure. But work it does. It’s cheap. It’s simple. And unlike so much dietary advice, it seems to be enjoyable too.”

August 27, 2010

CHANGE: A law school classmate who was a big Obama supporter emails: “Have to say, I thought you were overstating the dangers of Obama before the election. Sheesh. This November can’t come fast enough.”

I didn’t say “I told you so.” I said: “Sadly, they’ve turned out worse than *I* expected.” Well, they have.

August 27, 2010

SCIENCE: Ogling beautiful women a natural reflex for men.

August 27, 2010

MAYBE SCIENTISTS AREN’T THE PLACE TO GO FOR DATING ADVICE? How Far Should You Go on a First Date? Scientists Can’t Decide.

August 27, 2010

THE QUESTION: Challenge–A car for all jobs? Or a car for each job?

August 27, 2010

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How Drinking Saved Our Marriage.

August 27, 2010

THOUGHTS ON what hyperinflation will look like. “Civil society will not collapse along with the dollar. Civil society will stumble about like a drunken sailor, but eventually right itself and carry on with a new normal.”

August 27, 2010

AT AMAZON, it’s the Friday Sale.

August 27, 2010

MILITARY VOTES? WHO CARES? Outrage: Pentagon Grants Five States Waivers from MOVE Act.

August 27, 2010

WHO THE PRESS IS ROOTING FOR: Obama, Democrats got 88 percent of 2008 contributions by TV network execs, writers, reporters.

August 27, 2010

NRA WILL NOT BE ENDORSING HARRY REID this year. This is actually kind of news — Reid’s been pretty good on gun stuff by Dem standards, and lots of people expected NRA to back him. In fact, this represents a change. In normal elections, the back-incumbents-who-have-been-pretty-good-regardless-of-party approach makes sense. But this isn’t a normal election, and I think the NRA has figured this out.

August 27, 2010

WINNING the Whiskey Olympics.

August 27, 2010

REASON TV: Filling Up Prisons Without Fighting Crime: Mark Kleiman on America’s Criminal Justice System. I think we’re imprisoning too many people and, often, the wrong people. Violent crime should be treated more harshly, everything else less so.

August 27, 2010

SIT LONGER, DIE SOONER. Like I said before, you can always get a treadmill desk.

August 27, 2010

GALLERY: 30 Awesome College Labs.

August 27, 2010

TRANSONIC COMBUSTION: Can supercritical fluids give a 30% mpg boost?

August 27, 2010

THINK OF IT AS A CREEPY-CRAWLY STIMULUS: Bed Bug Crisis Spawns Booming New Industry.

August 27, 2010

WELL, GOOD: New Cancer Drug Gets Dramatic Results. “An experimental drug designed to block the effects of a genetic mutation often found in patients with malignant melanoma, a deadly cancer with few existing treatments, significantly shrank tumors in about 80 percent of those who carried the mutation. The findings, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, signal a major success for so-called targeted cancer therapies, which are designed to block the effects of genetic mutations that drive the growth of cancer cells.” Faster, please. Hope the FDA won’t, you know, ban it because it might cost money or something.

August 27, 2010

SO THE OLD LINE WAS THAT TEA PARTY CANDIDATES WOULD BE SPOILERS, but it’s angry, bitter G.O.P. insiders who are playing that role now. Just more evidence that the Republican party’s establishment cares more for its own than for policy — or the country.

August 27, 2010

JENNIFER RUBIN: The “summer of recovery” is going to be the “Mission Accomplished” banner of this administration.

August 27, 2010

JALOPNIK: Screw Burning Man: This year’s greatest desert festival is a three-day Mad Max reenactment!

August 27, 2010

I WOULDN’T BRING UP PARIS ROME IF I WERE YOU, IT’S POOR SALESMANSHIP. “Bringing up the Sack of Rome in the context of the attack on the World Trade Center is not a reassuring argument.”