Archive for May, 2011

May 31, 2011

HEH: Flashback: Guess who officiated at Weiner’s wedding?

May 31, 2011

SO GO TO BED ALREADY: A good night’s sleep isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

May 31, 2011

WELCOME TO the Lloyd Dobler economy.

May 31, 2011

FATHER’S DAY GIFTS in Tools & Home Improvement.

May 31, 2011

CHANGE: Mickey Kaus: “The MSM does not seem to be buying Weiner’s line.”

Related: Worst press conference ever? “People who had previously doubted Weiner’s guilt are, I’m sure, now beginning to doubt his innocence. And after a politician famous for his media savvy has such a spectacular meltdown on camera, it’s hard to pretend it’s not newsworthy.” Plus, a question for Jeffrey Toobin.

UPDATE: More here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Hey, remember Jeffrey Toobin?

MORE: C’mon Anthony, Throw ‘Em A Rope!

May 31, 2011

YOU’RE TOO PRETTY FOR MATH. Funny, nobody ever told me that.

What’s the male equivalent? “You know, you don’t act like a scientist. You’re more like a game show host.”

May 31, 2011

FOR TRUMP AND PALIN, a Pizza Summit. Mmm. Pizza.

May 31, 2011

BECAUSE THERE’S MORE MONEY IN IT? Alternet: Why The Democratic Party Has Abandoned The Middle Class In Favor Of The Rich. Also, the rich don’t get hung up on all that tedious middle class morality stuff.

May 31, 2011

HONEY, PLEASE DON’T GO: “Just as honey has become all the buzz here in the United States, new federal data show that fans of the all-natural, medicinal nectar byproduct are about to get stung by a painful spike in prices and possible shortages. The National Honey Board reports that a pound of honey now costs $5.22, up from $3.78 in 2005. But in Cambridge, Marc Cardullo, marketing manager for the family-owned Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe, said prices haven’t taken off yet.”

May 31, 2011

SLOW LEARNER: Professor Jacobson: I’ve Finally Figured Out Blogging.

May 31, 2011

WELL, THAT’S CONSISTENT WITH THE POLLS: Fail: House defeats Obama request to raise the debt ceiling, 318-97. “Fully 82 Democrats voted with the GOP — among them Pelosi, Hoyer, and … DNC chief Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, which is all the proof you need of how nervous the White House is about being on the wrong side of this issue.”

May 31, 2011

BRITISH HEALTH SYSTEM NOT INSPIRING DEVOTION: Why aren’t the masses joining the protests to ‘Save our NHS’? Perhaps because the NHS treats them with utter contempt. “The most striking thing about the ‘Save our NHS’ protests is how small they are. From the handful of professional activists who stormed a branch of NatWest at the weekend, symbolically draped in bloodied bandages, to the various ‘die-ins’ staged by anti-cuts protesters who claim that ‘the poor’ (a horrible Dickensian phrase) will kick the bucket if the Lib-Cons trim anything related to health, the protests have been noisy and headline-grabbing, yes, but tiny in terms of turnout. It isn’t hard to see why. The NHS might be of profound symbolic importance to left-wing activists, but to the general public, to the masses who make up its clientele, it is a patronising, snooping and increasingly politically motivated institution. Save it? Why, exactly?”

May 31, 2011

MICHAEL WALSH: “MediScare” Tactics And The 2012 Election.

I’m all for cutting Medicare, and I think Paul Ryan has done a great job. Republicans, however, don’t want to be stuck in a Mondale-like role of saying “Whoever’s elected will cut MediCare. Obama won’t tell you that. I just did.” At least, it didn’t work so well for Mondale . . . .

May 31, 2011

CORY DOCTOROW interviews Tim Harford, author of The Underground Economist, about his new book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure.

Meanwhile, I’ll just observe that Harford probably wouldn’t feel that he had to bend over backward to distance himself from, say, an economist who had advised Fidel Castro.

May 31, 2011

HOW MUCH is a spare bedroom worth?

May 31, 2011

PENTAGON: Cyber-Attack Can Be Act Of War.

May 31, 2011

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN WE’D SEE THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY EXPAND: And they were right! “Civil libertarians once looked to this president to right the constitutional balance. But what Obama has wrought is the same old ‘Terror Presidency’ with new rhetoric.” You were expecting a Chicago machine politician to support civil liberties? Rubes!

May 31, 2011

AND ALSO, TO BUY HIS BOOK: Writer urges Internet junkies to ‘switch off’ and think. “While the Internet has enormous benefits in delivering incredible amounts of information at incredible speed, it’s also a distracting and interruption-rich environment. Carr said it encourages quick shifts in focus — and discourages sustained attention and the ability to think deeply and creatively about one topic and to challenge conventional wisdom.” There’s some truth to this, so long as you don’t make too much of it.

May 31, 2011

BUT IF WOMEN ARE CRAWLING ALL OVER YOU, IS YOUR HOTNESS REALLY A DELUSION? “Middle-aged men are being chased so much by single women that they are becoming deluded about their sex appeal. A drought of mid-40s single men, compared with single women of the same age, means they are fiercely pursued, inflating their opinion of their attractiveness.”

Ultimately, attractiveness is about your ability to attract, right?

May 31, 2011

I GUESS BECAUSE THEY’D LIKE IT IF WOMEN DID IT TO THEM? Can someone please explain to Mark Schmitt — and everyone else with this comprehension problem — why some men send pictures of their genitalia to women? You know, it’s kind of a Golden Rule thing — do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. And perhaps an illustration of the Golden Rule’s limits . . . .

UPDATE: Rep. Anthony Weiner refuses to say if lewd Twitter photo was of him.

May 31, 2011

AT AMAZON, markdowns on dining chairs.

Related: 50% or more off on furniture.

May 31, 2011

NEW JERSEY BILL WOULD STOP STATE COLLEGES FROM PAYING GRADUATION SPEAKERS. Hmm. Graduation speeches are a waste — Howard Baker spoke at both my UT graduation and my Yale graduation, and I have no recollection of what he said at either one — but on the other hand, the argument that “just being asked should be honor enough” fundamentally misconceives the nature of the public-speaking market.

May 31, 2011

OBSESSED WITH ISRAEL, Western Leaders Ignore Iran’s Nukes.

Related: Where Obama Is Leading Israel.

Also: Here, In One Sentence, Is What Obama Doesn’t Understand About The Middle East.

May 31, 2011

NOBODY LIKES IT, but the Department of Education is still going to do it.

UPDATE: Education Department Rules on For-Profit Schools Created With Investor’s Help. “Education Department officials were encouraged and advised about the content of the regulation by a man who stood to make millions if it were issued.” I hope the statute of limitations hasn’t run yet when the Palin Administration starts to investigate . . . .

May 31, 2011

NOMENKLATURA: Number of government-owned limos has soared under Obama. “Obama administration officials said most of the increase reflects an enhanced effort to protect diplomats and other government officials in a dangerous world. But a watchdog group says the abundance of limos sends the wrong message in the midst of a budget crisis. The increase in limos comes to light on the heels of an executive order from President Obama last week that charges agencies to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets.”

May 31, 2011

BELGIAN “ACTIVISTS” WANT POOR PEOPLE TO STARVE: Belgian Protesters Destroy GM Field Trial: “In Wetteren, a municipality in the Belgian province of East Flanders, activists succeeded in damaging the GM potatoes being trialled for blight resistance, despite a large contingent of police officers who had been ordered to guard the GM trial. The officers were unable to stop the 300-400 or more peaceful protesters of all ages, who included local people.” I mean, what possible good could new varieties of blight-resistant potatoes ever do? These people should be treated as potential mass murderers, not as “activists.” Because that’s what they are.

UPDATE: Reader Michael Shackelford writes:

On your note about Belgian protesters destroying GM trials, I find it ironic that your link is to a blog called “Food Freedom”, which celebrates a reduction in the kinds of food that people can buy.

But more odious is this common MSM trope of referring “peaceful protesters” when they are no such thing. If you are overwhelming a line of police officers to destroy scientific tests, you are not peaceful. If you are marching across an international border into Israel in defiance of authorities, you are not peaceful. If you fly a Jolly Roger on your boat, paint the names of ships you’ve sunk and ram Japanese whaling vessels, you are committing acts of war, not of peace.

When can we get the English language back?

Well, I was trying with the “mass murderer” bit.

May 31, 2011

A LOOMING THREAT OF election fraud in Turkey. I trust Erdogan like I trust Hugo Chavez. Which is to say, I trust him absolutely to do whatever he can get away with.

May 31, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Harvey Mansfield: Sociology and Other ‘Meathead’ Majors: Archie Bunker was right to be skeptical of his son-in-law’s opinions.

May 31, 2011

BUILDING a better Big Mac. “The final result is a sandwich that’s truly worthy of the title of American Icon. Two all-beef patties diminutive in size but massive with flavor potential. A special sauce that need not hide behind an of artificially colored mask with no problems dripping out wherever it wants to go. Fresh, crisp lettuce shredded just before serving. American cheese melted to its gloriously gooey fullest. Sharp pickles. Onions carefully guided to tame their pungency and bring out their natural sweetness. All on a soft triple-decker sesame seed bun made with precisely the right number of seeds.”

May 31, 2011

DUPNIK UPDATE: Hundreds march in protest for Jose Guerena. “Hundreds gathered in Pima County Monday for a fallen Marine, but this was no typical Memorial Day ceremony. A group called Oath Keepers organized a march and protest for Jose Guerena.”

May 31, 2011

SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTIONS lead to fewer girls in India. Meaning that in a generation or so, it’ll be neck-and-neck whether India or China will be first to perfect a realistic fembot.

May 31, 2011

JOHN HAWKINS interviews Ben Shapiro about his new book, Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV.

May 31, 2011

BIG: “Shell’s latest fossil-fuel-extracting vehicle will dwarf every U.S. naval ship. The Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility will be nearly one-third of a mile long and tip the scales at up to 600,000 tons. That’s six times heavier than the U.S.’ largest aircraft carrier. . . . The Prelude FLNG will be used to extract, cool and offload liquefied natural gas into tankers so that it can be transported to major markets across the world. Until now, the liquefaction of offshore gas has always involved piping the gas to a land-based plant.”

May 31, 2011

BARBARIANS: Egyptian general admits ‘virginity checks’ conducted on protesters.

May 31, 2011

EUROPEAN DISUNION is a blog on the Eurozone problems.

May 31, 2011

IN THE MAIL: King’s Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East.

May 31, 2011

THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN: Consumer Confidence Falls Unexpectedly In May. “Consumers are considerably more apprehensive about future business and labor market conditions as well as their income prospects.” Unexpectedly!

May 31, 2011

YA THINK? Peter Ingemi: Too Many Coincidences In Weiner’s Tale.

Related: Is America Ready for ‘WeinerGate’?

UPDATE: Weiner’s office refuses to say if lewd photo is of congressman. No police investigation underway. Meanwhile the press is covering for him like it did for John Edwards, and Mickey Kaus is mocking them for it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More on Weiner from Kaus. Alibi one has collapsed already.

MORE: Bryan Preston: How Long Before Weiner Blames, Fires A Staffer?

So now Weiner has lawyered up (why does the victim lawyer up? Because he’s not the victim!), dodged specific fact-based questions about the photo and whether he has contacted Cordova (because the facts aren’t in his favor for one reason or another), and is calling the tweet a “prank.” From “hacked” to “prank” is a major, but strategically useful, climb down.

The next step is to find a staffer to blame the “prank” on, which will be a staffer who had some access to his social networking accounts. Deputy communications director, something like that. Weiner finds a way to compensate the staffer for taking the fall (promises to find them another job outside DC or his district), lets them take the fall, and attempts to move on. And the media, which can’t even get the basic facts in this whole thing straight after several of us blogger types have helpfully published detailed timelines for them, will do their best to let him move on.

It’s interesting to compare the press treatment of this issue to, say, the Mark Foley affair.

May 31, 2011

WHAT IS IT WITH THESE GUYS? DSK 2.0: Another international banker arrested for sexual assault.

May 31, 2011

CHANGE: ‘Double-Dip’ in Housing Prices Even Worse Than Expected. Unexpectedly!

May 31, 2011

A.W.R. HAWKINS: Are You Better Off Than You Were Two Years Ago?

May 31, 2011

DAVID FREDDOSO ON THE AUTOPEN: Congressmen don’t have to read bills, so what makes you think the president has to sign them?

If only those clowns took a similarly lax attitude toward our obligations to the government.

May 31, 2011

NIALL FERGUSON: Austerity Works: In bemoaning the pain of fiscal responsibility, the Democrats show they still haven’t learned the lessons of Europe. “The real lessons for the United States are clear. Those who run up debt in good times can borrow only so much more when a recession strikes. And heavily indebted governments postpone fiscal stabilization at their peril. If you wait to reform until the bond market calls time, you are—to use a technical term from economics—screwed.”

May 31, 2011

DONALD BOUDREAUX: More Weather Deaths? Wanna Bet? “Contrary to what many environmentalists would have us believe, Americans are increasingly less likely to be killed by severe weather.”

May 31, 2011

TODAY ONLY: Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives DVD sale.

May 31, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: College merit aid produces bidding wars. “It is becoming a common scenario post-recession: Affluent applicants, shocked by college sticker prices and leery of debt, are choosing a school not because it is the first choice but because it is the best deal. Students are using their academic credentials to leverage generous merit awards from second- or third-choice schools looking to boost their own academic profiles. Colleges are responding with record sums of merit aid, transforming the admissions process into a polite bidding war. . . . Price has always been a concern in choosing a college. But experts say there is a tradition among many upper-middle-class families — those with six-figure incomes and little hope for need-based aid — of finding the money to attend the most selective school that offers admission, whatever the price. That is changing, admissions counselors say. Today, even privileged families are questioning the wisdom of paying $50,000 a year for college, especially on an institution that lacks the pedigree of a Harvard or Yale.”

And note this: “Shevach said she chose the Delaware school for the sake of her parents. ‘They said that they would have paid for Penn State,’ she said. ‘But I didn’t want them to be $160,000 in debt. You need to think about the investment you’re making: Are you going to get that $160,000 back?’”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

May 31, 2011

IOWAHAWK: Help Me Bring the Weiner Hacker to Justice. “As much as I admire Congressman Weiner’s Gandhi-like forgiving attitude toward his assailant – as well as his world class ninja programming skills – I’m afraid this incident doesn’t just involve him. For, after all, what Internet user is safe when the person who hacked this unsuspecting Weiner remains at large? Okay, maybe not ‘large,’ but still, come on man.”

May 31, 2011

CHANGE: IRS Opens Investigation Into College Retirement Plans.

May 31, 2011

HONOR THE TROOPS by hiring them.

May 31, 2011

SO DOES THIS MEAN YOUR ROTH IS SAFE? Study: Closing tax breaks for retirement would do little to help budget. I wouldn’t count on it . . . .

May 31, 2011

CHANGE: Who said that? Dems and GOP display dizzying shift on Medicare. “Political opportunism is nothing new in Washington, nor is the occasional policy flip-flop. But the brazenness with which lawmakers are changing their rhetoric to woo seniors has amazed even long-time Washington hands who can’t recall such a rapid – and complete – role reversal.”

May 31, 2011

EURO UPDATE: Eurozone crisis risks ‘systemic’ fallout. “The debt crisis in Greece, Ireland and Portugal could have ‘significant systemic effects’ in the eurozone, Italy’s central bank chief Mario Draghi, who is set to head up the European Central Bank, said on Tuesday.”

Related: Europe Staring Into Yawning Financial Abyss.

May 31, 2011

ANN ALTHOUSE: “Imagine if Anthony Weiner were a Republican. (I know, it’s such a hackneyed visualization, but it’s important here.) The liberal/lefty blogs would be shredding him mercilessly. I’m not saying Weiner’s not getting his hair mussed. But if he were a Republican, the feeding frenzy would be of a different magnitude entirely. ”

Ya think? There would be a media feeding-frenzy, instead of a media ignoring-frenzy slowly morphing into an explaining-away frenzy.

May 31, 2011

ADVICE FOR CONSUMERS on fighting back.

May 31, 2011

LAST NIGHT, a reader asked me if Frank Herbert’s Bureau of Sabotage was behind the Weinergate incident. I replied that with politicians, it’s mostly self-sabotage, making BuSab superfluous.

This observation is true from a policy standpoint too, and here’s the latest example: Environmental tax threatens green energy research in UK: Carbon reduction commitment (CRC) scheme has ‘perverse effect’ of threatening zero-carbon energy research.

World-class research into future sources of green energy is under threat in Britain from an environmental tax designed to boost energy efficiency and drive down carbon emissions, scientists claim.

Some facilities must find hundreds of thousands of pounds to settle green tax bills, putting jobs and research at risk.

The unexpected impact of the government’s carbon reduction commitment (CRC) scheme is so severe that scientists and research funders have lobbied ministers for an exemption to reduce the bills.

Among the worst hit is the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, a facility for research into almost limitless carbon-free energy. The lab faces an estimated £400,000 payment next year, raising the spectre of job losses and operational cuts. “Considering our research is aimed at producing zero-carbon energy, it seems ironic and perverse to clobber us with an extra bill,” a senior scientist at the lab said. “We have to use electricity to run the machine and there is no way of getting around that.”

Perverse, indeed. All part of the Knowledge Problem, of course.

May 30, 2011

WILL AMERICA SEE EUROPE-STYLE RIOTS? Newsweek sounds hopeful, but in America, unlike Europe, it’s usually the taxpayers who are behind the revolutions, not the parasites.

UPDATE: Reader William Stoddard emails:

I have to say I find the 18th-century analogy that Newsweek offers fairly plausible; it’s one of my possible historical models. But I think they have the actors wrong. Consider what things were like in France under the ancien régime, the dominant Great Power of the time:

* Rule by two cooperative elites, the noblesse d’epée and the noblesse du robe, the latter of whom were the intellectual, political, and legal class of the day, with both groups profiting from massive government subsidies and tax exemptions denied to the commoners

* Massively unbalanced government budgets, with the rulers spending money several years before they collected it in taxes

* Early experiments with printing-press money under John Law, which gave rise to the South Sea Bubble, which was, I believe, the first to be called by that name

If we are headed for revolutionary times, I have my own theory as to who will be the aristos fleeing from the embrace of Mme. la Guillotine: the people who’ve visibly profited from their control of government offices and budgets.

Indeed.

May 30, 2011

THE MORAL BANKRUPTCY of international organizations.

May 30, 2011

DRUG SHORTAGE UPDATE: Hospitals hunt substitutes as drug shortages rise. “A growing shortage of medications for a host of illnesses – from cancer to cystic fibrosis to cardiac arrest – has hospitals scrambling for substitutes to avoid patient harm, and sometimes even delaying treatment.”

May 30, 2011

TIMELINE: Weinergate: What We Know. “For MSM types who wish to start covering Weinergate accurately, or for readers just catching up, here’s a quick primer on the undisputed Weinergate facts.”

UPDATE: Related: Yup I’d hire a lawyer too if someone hacked my twitter account.

Also: “I bet the idiot who illegally accessed Palin’s emails wishes he’d picked on Weiner instead. She called the cops but apparently Weiner is more forgiving of being violated.”

And here’s more on how Weiner’s lawyered up. Let’s face it, if he were a Republican, he’d already have been mocked on Comedy Central and forced out of office.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Whose bulge is bigger? Conveniently side-by-side here.

MORE: Human Factors: “My own interpretive key to these scandals is whether the politician has appeared in public with the demonstrative support of his wife. Weiner also fails my test. In another of Glenn’s Weinergate updates, the New York Daily News publishes a photograph of Weiner out for a walk, holding hands with his wife, Huma Abedin. I don’t want to be rash, but that photograph is a dead giveaway. In terms of persevering in the face of the scandal, however, Weiner has something important going for him. He’s a Democrat.”

May 30, 2011

JACK KELLY: Netanyahu shows how to beat Obama.

May 30, 2011

MEMORIAL DAY SALE: Up to 30% off select HDTVs.

Related: Bestselling TVs.

May 30, 2011

THIS DOESN’T SEEM LIKE A BAD THING TO ME: Tea Party 2012 Effect Stirs GOP Trepidation: “Republicans, once ecstatic about the energy generated by the 2009 anti-spending tea party uprising, are growing increasingly uneasy about the impact in 2012 of a movement that seems beyond the control of anyone, including its own leaders.”

May 30, 2011

MICKEY KAUS: Do Skyboxes Cause Crime? “Has the class segregation of sports stadiums helped promote hooliganism?”

May 30, 2011

A HUMAN-POWERED HELICOPTER TAKES FLIGHT.

Related: Jetpack soars to 5000 feet. Of course, a human-powered helicopter that soared to 5,000 feet would really be news!

May 30, 2011

WHAT DO THEY TEACH THEM in school these days?

May 30, 2011

IF PUNS ARE SINFUL, THIS CALLS FOR A HUNDRED HAIL MARYS: Summa This, Summa That.

May 30, 2011

ASK KATHY: “Now, I ask you in all soberness if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this government into a government of some other form.”

May 30, 2011

BRYAN CAPLAN: “If the minimum wage is a good idea, shouldn’t unpaid internships be illegal as well? If not, why not?”

Plus this: “Name the main arguments in favor of the legality of unpaid internships. Aren’t all of them equally good arguments for allowing people to work for wages greater than zero and less than the minimum wage?”

May 30, 2011

AT AMAZON, markdowns on bestselling inkjet printers.

May 30, 2011

GALLUP: U.S. Military Personnel, Veterans Give Obama Lower Marks.

May 30, 2011

MEDICARE: No, seriously, what’s the Democratic plan?

May 30, 2011

A REMINDER FOR MEMORIAL DAY, from Frederick Kempe’s Berlin, 1961. “I want Americans to understand how the decisions of their presidents — then and now — shape world history in ways we don’t always understand at the time of a specific event. I want readers to know that Kennedy could have prevented the Berlin Wall, if he had wished, and that in acquiescing to the border closure he not only created a more dangerous situation — but also contributed to mortgaging the future for tens of millions of Central and Eastern Europeans. The relatively small decisions that U.S. presidents make have huge, often global, consequences.”

May 30, 2011

REPORTERS SURPRISED BY ANEMIC OBAMA RECOVERY.

May 30, 2011

SURGERY IN THE MORNING, BLOGGING IN THE AFTERNOON: The Insta-Wife on the miracle of modern medicine.

May 30, 2011

FROM CNET, a video review of the Audi A7. Saw one of these the other day and thought it was a very good looking car. I love that a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds is now merely considered “respectable.”

May 30, 2011

MARC LEVINE: Unions Will Regret Not Fixing Pensions. “Illinois’ runaway pension system is placing the state’s fiscal health in jeopardy. State contributions to the pension system have already crowded out payments to social service providers. But less focus has been placed on current state workers and teachers, particularly those with retirements more than a decade away. Their outlook is very much at risk, which is why their unions’ opposition to pension reform is contrary to their interests.”

May 30, 2011

IN THE MAIL: From Greg Egan, The Clockwork Rocket.

May 30, 2011

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Memorial Day: The War In Iraq. “That victory was much more than a dignified escape from a sticky predicament. The coalition victory in Iraq was a historical turning point that may well turn out to be comparable to the cannonade of Valmy. It changed the course of world history. We have not done justice to those who gave their lives in Iraq until we recognize the full dimensions of their achievement. The story of Iraq has yet to be told. It is too politically sensitive for the intelligentsia to handle just yet; passions need to cool before the professors and the pundits who worked themselves into paroxysms of hatred and disdain for the Bush administration can come to grips with how wrongheaded they’ve been. . . . All wars are tragic; some are also victorious. The tragedies of Iraq are real and well known. The victory is equally real — but the politically fastidious don’t want to look.”

May 30, 2011

WEINERGATE: Mickey Kaus calls for an outside investigation.

May 30, 2011

HEH: Best Memorial Weekend Lawn Poster.

May 30, 2011

ANARCHY on the Pakistan border. “To truly weigh the success of the operation you have to look at the overall costs and opportunity costs of the operation. For 10 days Anarchy, Cherokee and Dog were not operating in their normal areas providing security to the population, reinforcing relationships with key leaders or developing informants. Anarchy Troop alone burned through hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel that costs around $200 to get from the wholesale spot market to southern Spera District. Was Oqab Bahar the best use of man hours and resources? It is more than a merely academic question, it is the most important question for the leaders of CJTF 101 to ask themselves.”

May 30, 2011

A WEINERGATE REMINDER: “Wiener” And “Weiner” Are Two Different Words.

Copy editors take note.

May 30, 2011

HELEN UPDATE: Just talked to the surgeon — everything went well. And she didn’t get a new battery, but a whole new ICD — they call it a “battery change,” but the battery is hermetically sealed in the device, so only the old leads stay. The new gadget is smaller, better, and should last 9 years. There’s a lot of competition in this field, the surgeon explained, so the devices improve rapidly. Well, good.

May 30, 2011

FOR MAC OR WINDOWS: Photoshop Elements 9 now available for digital download.

Plus, a one-day-only sale on Photoshop Lightroom.

UPDATE: Dan Zimmerman writes: “Just a quick note to say thanks for letting me know about Amazon’s Lightroom sale. I’ve been a Photoshop user since day one and have wanted to try Lightroom for a while now, but always seemed to have better uses for $300. I couldn’t pass up the $120 price, though. And I purchased it (along with a couple of other items) through your link. Hope all goes well with your wife’s ‘minor surgery’ today.” Thanks!

May 30, 2011

FIVE FOR FIGHTING: Freedom Never Cries.

May 30, 2011

MEMORIAL DAY: In Remembrance.

May 30, 2011

I’VE PRAISED THE SNAP CIRCUITS KITS BEFORE, and here’s another email from reader Susan Harms:

I read you regularly and your comments on Snap Circuits prompted me to buy the beginner set for my grandson on his 5th birthday, Apr 28 this year. The 300 upgrade will be at Christmas.

He can read, knows his numbers and works on “plusses and take-aways” with his dad.

He can read and follow the directions for Snap Circuits and has built almost all of the ones in the book. even experiments on his own. His dad is teaching him to call the “resistor” by its name instead of “wiggly squiggly” as Liam called it.

He failed yesterday to get one to work, and his dad (my son) told him, “recheck your schematic”, Liam did and fixed it. How many fathers have ever said this to a 5 yr old. Keeps him occupied for hours. Builds them over and over. Loves the noisy ones.

(Of course we think intelligence is totally inherited, Grandpa and I are both PhD chemists, and his dad is an engineer (Co School of Mines) + MBA (TAMU).

Thanks for letting me contact you thru this email. And thanks for turning me on to Snap Circuits. What a genius invented it!!

Always nice to see kids acquire some real-world skills. And here’s an older post on electronics-learning for kids.

May 30, 2011

POLITICAL DYNAMICS: “In principle, other politicians could do the same thing. Maybe some have. What is different about Sarah Palin and her family is that they look natural on motorcycles. Imagine Barack Obama–or, to be bipartisan, Mitt Romney–trying to mingle with the bikers and look at home on a Harley. Heck, if one of the motorcycles broke down, Todd undoubtedly could fix it.”

Related: “Once again, the former vice presidential nominee has proven she can tilt the political world on its axis in an instant. Last week, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann took their campaigns to Iowa, but it was the news of Palin’s bus tour that really had people talking. She made a simple announcement on her website, and she got all the attention, all the interest.”

May 30, 2011

STEVEN DEN BESTE: “This is the next step in a minor debate with Instapundit. This response is quite long, so I figured I’d post it here instead of mailing it to him.”

I hate to start debating radio transmission with Steven Den Beste of all people, but I’m not sure there’s an issue. Den Beste says to get the power density low enough to be safe, you need a much-bigger-than 100 square kilometer receiver. That’s not impractically large, as he suggests, when you recognize that it’s a receiver for — as he notes — a godawful lot of power. Indeed, as I recall, and as this Wikipedia entry indicates, the old Solar Power Satellite concept called for receiver arrays that were kilometers square to receive considerably smaller — gigawatt-range rather than terawatt-range — power inputs. And these were to be open dipole arrays that would allow crops to be grown underneath, accepting a small reduction in efficiency for a much lower footprint.

That’s not to say that the Japanese idea is a good one (what do you do about the Earth’s rotation, something that isn’t a problem for geosynchronous satellites), but one of the characteristics of the old SPS idea was design for low-density beams that would ensure that a station couldn’t be turned into a weapon. Obviously, that would have to be the case with any lunar power system, too.

UPDATE: Mark Whittington emails: “Glenn – The Japanese scheme seems to be based on a concept developed by David Criswell some years ago. He has a paper that answers some of the questions being raised. For one thing, the article seems to have made a mistake about the 13,000 TW figure. That is the amount of solar energy the entire lunar surface recieves. Criswell’s scheme would transmit 20 TW which he says would provide sufficient energy for 10 billion people.”

More here.

May 30, 2011

“HACKTIVISTS” AGAINST FREE SPEECH? PBS hacked in retribution for Frontline Wikileaks episode.

May 30, 2011

CHANGE: NERVOUS INVESTORS DEMAND HIGHER RETURNS. “The world looks a lot more dangerous than it did only a few months ago and signs are that U.S. stock investors are starting to demand more for the added risk. With important manufacturing and jobs data due next week, it could start to get even riskier.”

May 30, 2011

TALK ON CAMPUS.

May 30, 2011

MARK STEYN: Cowed By Udderly Insane Regulations.

The hyper-regulatory state is unrepublican. It strikes at one of the most basic pillars of free society: equality before the law. When you replace “law” with “regulation,” equality before it is one of the first casualties. In such a world, there is no law, only a hierarchy of privilege more suited to a sultan’s court than a self-governing republic. If you don’t want to be subject to “tooth-level surveillance,” you better know who to call in Washington. Teamsters Local 522 did, and the United Federation of Teachers, and the Chicago Plastering Institute. And as a result they’ve all been “granted” ObamaCare “waivers.” Rule, Obama! Obama, waive the rules! If only for his cronies. Americans are being transferred remorselessly from the rule of law to rule by an unaccountable bureaucracy of micro-regulatory preferences, subsidies, entitlements and incentives that determine which of the multiple categories of Unequal-Before-The-Law Second-Class (or Third-Class, or Fourth-Class) Citizenship you happen to fall into.

Read the whole thing.

May 30, 2011

YEAH, I’M UP EARLY: Taking Helen to the hospital so she can have her ICD battery changed. As heart surgery goes, it’s pretty minor — but the only minor surgery is surgery that happens to someone else. Blogging should be uninterrupted, since I’ll mostly be waiting around, since that’s what hospitals excel at . . . .

May 30, 2011

WEINERGATE UPDATE: Student who got lewd pic from Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account denies she’s his mistress. Plus, a picture of Weiner and his wife making a public appearance holding hands.

May 30, 2011

CHINA CENSORS WEB to curb Inner Mongolia protests.

May 29, 2011

BEEN DOWN SO LONG: For GOP, Nowhere To Go But Up.

May 29, 2011

JUST A NOTE TO THE FOLKS WHO SHOP VIA THE AMAZON LINKS ON INSTAPUNDIT: Your support is much appreciated. Thanks!

May 29, 2011

ARE THE ACADEMIC ELITE YOUR MORAL SUPERIORS? Absolutely. Ask practically any professor. And who would know better?

May 29, 2011

DENIAL: Rep. Weiner: I did not send Twitter crotch pic. Do you believe him?

Related: Rep. Weiner Still Claims Twitter Account Hacked; Big Questions Remain.