March 13, 2011
ROLLING BLACKOUTS IN JAPAN due to reactors being offline.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Danger Posed by Radioactivity in Japan Hard to Assess. Indeed.
ROLLING BLACKOUTS IN JAPAN due to reactors being offline.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Danger Posed by Radioactivity in Japan Hard to Assess. Indeed.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOT MUCH: 7th Fleet repositions ships after contamination detected. “For perspective, the maximum potential radiation dose received by any ship’s force personnel aboard the ship when it passed through the area was less than the radiation exposure received from about one month of exposure to natural background radiation from sources such as rocks, soil, and the sun.”
THE GREAT TRACTORCADE that wasn’t. If it had been organized by Tea Partiers, the Times et al. would be calling it a “pitiful handful.”
ARE WE LIKE THE GREEK VASE PAINTERS? “This is the length of time it usually takes for a people, after a far-reaching social change, to get habits which are no longer relevant thoroughly out of their system; for the first generation of survivors are still people brought up under the old order, and the second generation are people brought up by people who were brought up under the old order.” I suspect that a lot of social virtues now are practiced more out of habit than for any other reason. Will they persist down the line?
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED REPUBLICAN, PEOPLE WHO SPOKE OUT ON PRISONER TREATMENT WOULD BE PUNISHED: P.J. Crowley out at State. “P.J. Crowley is out as chief spokesman at the State Department after he publicly criticized the Defense Department’s handling of WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning, a senior administration official said Sunday.”
Plus, Mark Kleiman agonistes. Ah, remember the fierce moral urgency of change? Me neither.
CHANGE: On April 1st, U.S. Will Have World’s Highest Corporate Tax Rate. Note how everyone else’s rates have been going down.
THE PERILS OF SELF-SATISFIED CONDESCENSION: Gawker Misspells ‘New Hamshire’ [sic] in Article Slamming Bachmann as Ignorant.
TWO CHOICES IN THE MIDDLE EAST: LIBYA, AND MOROCCO?
AT AMAZON, markdowns on DVD and Blu-Ray.
MANAGING THE NARRATIVE: ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC and NPR Ignore Death Threats to Wisconsin Republicans. Disgraceful, but they’re no longer the least bit ashamed to be in the tank.
ANN ALTHOUSE has more on the Wisconsin happenings.
And reader Hal Crawford writes: “Just so you know, I know I have written to you before suggesting that I thought that Ann Althouse was a bit overexposed on your blog. But I have to say, never has she been more relevant than now, keeping us posted on the Wisconsin political scene. Wisconsin is truly holding the front lines for what are going to be huge union battles over the coming years.” Yes, she and Meade deserve a blog-Pulitzer, or whatever the equivalent is.
WHY IS IT SO EASY for Lila Rose and James O’Keefe? “Why has this been so easy? Because until now Planned Parenthood, ACORN, and NPR have not experienced real media accountability or real journalistic scrutiny — at least not to the extent that conservative politicians and organizations do. The mainstream media (and NPR is obviously part of the MSM) is sympathetic to their goals and purposes, and reporter calls tend to come from friendly voices seeking talking points rather than skeptical reporters demanding answers. In the MSM’s eyes, those organizations were the good guys, part of the home team. . . . Thus, they enjoy the casual confidence and sometimes-startling honesty that comes when one feels they’re ‘among friends.’ They fall for the crudest of tricks and don’t bat an eye at the incongruity of slamming the alleged intolerance of Christian conservatives while courting funding from self-described members of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
OBAMA SPEAKS on gun control.
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Union mobocracy drowns out democracy in Wisconsin. “Worst of all, many credible death threats were received by Republican legislators and are now being investigated by Wisconsin law enforcement authorities. Union mobocracy is what we get with gangster government, whether it’s practiced in Washington, D.C., a state capital, or the county where you live.”
PEOPLE ARE ASKING ME WHERE TO DONATE TO HELP JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS: Clarice Feldman is recommending AmeriCares.
UPDATE: Reader Robert Crawford emails: “Not sure about AmeriCares, but my wife and I just donated to the Red Cross, which has a specific fund for Japan on its website. An ABC website has some suggestions. Those poor people need help.”
BILL CLINTON: These delays on oil drilling permits are ridiculous. “Bill Clinton sounds a lot more like George W. Bush these days than Barack Obama. In fact, that comparison was easy to make, thanks to Bush’s presence at the conference, and Clinton himself made it. . . . I’ve been missing George Bush for more than two years. Who knew I’d be missing Bill Clinton by this time? Let’s hope we don’t get to the point where we’re missing …. Jimmy Carter.” As I’ve said before, Jimmy Carter now represents a best-case scenario.
UPDATE: Reader Patrick Kelly writes: “I really miss the days when I could believe that your ‘Jimmy Carter is the best case scenario’ was hyperbole.” What’s worse is, I’m generally regarded as excessively optimistic. . . .
THINGS THEY THINK YOU’RE BETTER OFF NOT KNOWING: Video of Friday’s slaying of Jews by Palestinians banned by YouTube and Facebook.
THE INSTAWIFE ON THE RADIO, talking about male-bashing.
HOW TO SURVIVE A PIRATE ATTACK.
WANT TO LIVE A LONG TIME? Work hard at something you like.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE JAPANESE NUCLEAR SITUATION? Not that much. Which is why I’m not doing much with it — the reports are conflicting, and often third- fourth- or fifth-hand. It’s mostly buzz and confusion. Much of what’s going on is, literally, incalculable.
Meanwhile, now it’s a volcano? That seems kind of unfair. . . .
ROGER KIMBALL: Naming The Dead.
IN THE MAIL: From Robert Buettner, Overkill.
WOULD YOU LET YOUR DAUGHTER fund this man’s pension?
POLITICIZING The Wisconsin Supreme Court Election. “There’s an election coming up, and JoAnne Kloppenburg is the challenger to the incumbent David Prosser. There are many Kloppenburg signs at the march and, as I’ve noted before, although it’s supposed to be a nonpartisan election, some people try to make it very political. I’ve seen many people out at the protests stressing the need to make Kloppenburg a Supreme Court Justice so that she can vote against the GOP budget repair bill and do other things that will help the party that lost the elections last fall get something back in the judicial process.”
MY QUESTION IS, why does a university need a sustainability director? They’d be better off looking to see if their economic model is sustainable. Not that I have anything against “beer activism.”
MARKDOWNS ON Asus laptop computers.
Related: Japan’s Ripple Effect. “We often tend to think of just-in-time as a method of production that was waiting for the clever Japanese to think of it. But in fact, just-in-time was also waiting for the speedy, reliable transportation links and the reliable infrastructure that made it possible. 99% of the time, it’s a great system. Now we see how resilient it can be when the black swans appear.”
COLLEGE DEGREES AND ACTIVE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: Not much impact, actually. “College fails to promote high levels of civic knowledge, with holding a bachelor’s degree exerting zero influence on graduates’ ‘active’ civic engagement.”
CHRIS CHRISTIE: Bringing Sexy Back!
WHAT DO GOOGLE USERS HATE? Google Won’t Tell Us.
LOW-POWER MEMORY from nanotubes.
LARRY RIBSTEIN ON THE SCANDALS: The SEC’s Shrinking Credibility.
TEN REASONS to worry about the market.
CHRISTINE HURT looks at Charlie Sheen’s breach of contract suit.
MARKDOWNS ON Denali Tools.
VIRGINIA POSTREL: Why People Love The iPad. “We are surrounded by magic. Clarke’s Law applies not just to technology from advanced alien civilizations but to the everyday components of our own. We live in a culture made rich by specialization, with enormous amounts of knowledge embedded in the most everyday of artifacts.”
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES IN WISCONSIN: If public-sector unions continue to fight for concessions from states, American workers will pay the price.
HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE: Two University of Minnesota Professors Indicted for Also Drawing Paychecks From Georgia Tech.
FROM BRIAN WANG, some hypersonic vehicle news.
HOLDING UP WELL IN JAPAN’S EARTHQUAKE TRAGEDY: Building Codes.
Meanwhile, Little Miss Attila on how a free-marketeer can still support building codes — and how free markets allow the wealth that makes better construction possible.
Related: Idiot Lefty Blogger: Republicans Don’t Want Quake-Proof Buildings or Something. Except for, you know, Ronald Reagan’s earthquake building codes and stuff.
MICKEY KAUS ON JERRY BROWN’S FAILURE TO LEAD: “You could argue that Brown was elected, in part, precisely because he seemed willing to cross his public employee union supporters. But instead of going to China, he’s waiting for the light bulb to want to change! Or at least to accept the need for change.”
THIS WEEK in the future.
TSUNAMIS, EARTHQUAKES, AND DISASTER PREP: A Guide.
UP TO 50% OFF on smoke alarms.
INTERACTIVE MAP: Where Americans Are Moving. Very interesting to click on individual counties — I had no idea that my area (Knox County, TN) has gotten so much in-migration from Florida. Meanwhile, for Detroit it’s pretty much all out-migration, and Chicago isn’t much better. But people sure like Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle. Thanks to Leonid Ardov for the link.
AN ARMY OF DIGITAL CAMERAMEN: Richard Fernandez on the amateur tsunami video. “Photojournalists will still dominate scheduled events, like sporting matches and press conferences, with their pro equipment and training. But statistics is against them when it comes to capturing news. The world is big and professional photojournalists are few. . . . For good or ill, the chroniclers of our times will be the event participants themselves.”
You know, somebody should write a book on this phenomenon.
PROFESSOR JACOBSON: PolitiFact Has A Serious Problem, But I Repeat Myself.
PHIL BOWERMASTER: What’s wrong with the hiring process.
QUESTION: Why Doesn’t GM Build a Diet Chevy Volt? “Without a doubt the biggest knock against the Volt isn’t its limited electric range or its so-so fuel efficiency, but the $41,000 price tag. Yet GM has the ability to make a much cheaper Volt. So what’re they waiting for?”
THE HILL: Rogers defends candor of Obama’s intel chief. “In an interview, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told The Hill that James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, was doing his job and giving senators the most accurate information when he told them that the forces backing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi would likely ‘prevail’ over rebel factions in the long term. . . . Rogers said Clapper’s job is to answer lawmakers as accurately and truthfully as possible, and not to give them responses that are politically preferable or diplomatic in nature.” That’s true, though maybe this discussion should have been in closed session?
IN THE MAIL: From Gregory Benford and the Editors of Popular Mechanics, The Wonderful Future That Never Was: Flying Cars, Mail Delivery by Parachute, and Other Predictions from the Past.
POLIWOOD: NPR: The Hate America First Network.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON VS. BILL KELLER: Arianna Wins In A Knockout.
A NEW UNDERGROUND ORGANIZATION: “An anonymous source tells me that the first meeting of Lawprofs Exploring their Interest in Terrorism (or other forms of violence) for Employee Rights will be held at the University of Chicago faculty dining room on Monday.” Heh.
TRANSPARENCY: Three Basic Considerations.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on flashlights and lanterns.
PJTV: Ask Dr. Helen: Has the Rise of Women Turned Men Into Boys? An interview with Kay Hymowitz on her new book, Manning Up: How The Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys. As you might expect, Helen has a different perspective. (Bumped, in case you missed it.)
UPDATE: An interesting blog comment.
JAMES TARANTO: E-J DAY!
So what Dionne is saying–although tellingly, he does not use this analogy–is that this is ObamaCare in reverse: Republicans won a legislative victory but overreached, just as Democrats did a year ago, and they are going to pay a political price, just as the donks did in November.
It could happen. But out of curiosity, we went back to see what Dionne had to say about ObamaCare at the time, and guess what? That was a big liberal victory too, not the tiniest bit Pyrrhic. . . . We understand that when Dionne was a kid, the other kids used to call him “four eyes.” Then he got rose-colored glasses, and they started calling him “pink eyes”!
The spin remains the same. Plus, Taranto’s reason to oppose high-speed rail: “Your Car Will Never Go on Strike.”
VIDEO: Dana Loesch vs. Paul Begala.
WISCONSIN WAS A SMILEY-FACE GOOD-GOVERNMENT PLACE, UNTIL THE RICE BOWLS WERE THREATENED: The Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg takes the nonpartisan election in a strongly partisan direction.
Now the mask is off, and you have to wonder if this is what was always there, behind the smiley-face.
UPDATE: Democrats ‘Targeting’ Wisconsin Congressman. Wait, I thought that was supposed to be out-of-bounds hate speech. The rules change so fast. . . .
If the protesters were Tea Partiers, this would be lawless, KKK-style mob violence. Since they’re pro-union Democrats, it’s just righteous indignation.
BLAMING THE JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE on global warming. Well, you knew that was coming. Global warming is like doughnuts — is there anything it can’t do?
PERSISTENCE, AND THE BELL YOU CAN’T UN-RING: Phil Bowermaster on that porn-star schoolteacher.
PEJMAN YOUSEFZADEH: “Can’t anyone here play this game?”
I think this is what they call “smart diplomacy” or something.
EXPLOSION ROCKS EARTHQUAKE-DAMAGED NUCLEAR PLANT in Japan. Unclear whether containment has failed.
Meanwhile the earthquake death toll is now believed to be greater than 1,700.
UPDATE: Much more at BlackFive.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Chris Matthews on the tsunami: “Was this sort of a good opportunity for the president to remind everybody that he grew up in the United States and Hawaii?” Isn’t it time for him to go?
MORE: A reader sends this from Tokyo:
The global-warming axe-grinders and anti-nuclear luddites are coming out of the woodwork to use the nuclear crisis in Japan as an excuse to climb on their hobby-horses.
I was in the center of Tokyo during the earthquake and was one of those “roaming the streets” last night. Translate that as walked home cause the trains stopped. The earthquake was 8000 times more powerful than the New Zealand quake. Skyscrapers in Tokyo were swaying, the streets were vibrating and shaking and everyone was scared absolutely shitless. I’ve been here for twenty years and these things don’t scare me. So I don’t mind saying I was terrified and figured this was it.
And you know what? Not one building in Tokyo collapsed. Not even one. Part of roof caved in during a graduation ceremony. The devastation from the tsunami and from the tremors in Miyagi and Sendai is real. But Japan isn’t quaking in its boots and, yes, we are all alarmed at the nuclear crisis unfolding in Fukushima.
Here’s what’s not happening, however, from the Wapo right now:
“The explosion at the reactor is certain to rattle confidence in nuclear power in Japan, victim of the only nuclear weapons explosions and where people have long been sensitized to the dangers of radioactive releases. In the United States, it will deal a severe blow to advocates of a nuclear power renaissance.”
The US has been uncharacteristically shy about embracing technology the rest of the world relies on. I haven’t heard or read one adult questioning the wisdom of relying on nuclear energy in Japan. In fact, it takes something like a combination of a massive earthquake and a tsunami together to attack the integrity of the system. The systems largely worked.
Any other city in the world would have seen buildings flattened and the deaths of tens of thousands. To the best of my knowledge not one person in Tokyo died, although I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that some poor soul fell off a ladder.
Sound engineering, preparation, precaution, and technology saved the day. I could walk home last night secure in the knowledge that my kids, wife, and mother-in-law were completely safe despite experiencing the worst earthquake in Japanese history and the fifth-worst in the world ever.
So let’s not trash nuclear energy and Japanese engineering, please. The links to charities are much appreciated. The best thing the US can do is start learning from Japan about how to build buildings that can withstand these kinds of events and nuclear power systems that can survive earthquakes and the odd tsunami. The system worked. Trains are running again.
Please keep my name out of this should you choose to use this.
As I’ve said before, the Japanese do disaster-prep better than we do.
UPDATE: Reader Jack Lillywhite emails: “That commenter who was in Tokyo stated this EQ was 8,000 times greater than Christchurch is way off the mark. If Christchurch was 6.8 and Japan was 8.9 then it was only 1,100 times greater on the Richter scale. You may want to note the correction since this has gone viral on the internet.” Well, I’m about to get on a plane and can’t double-check, but “only” 1,100 times is still a lot.
ANOTHER UPDATE: And now several readers say that Lillywhite is wrong, and it is 8000 times. Either way, it’s big.
WHERE’S NOW WHEN YOU NEED THEM? Texas: New Black Panther Leader Justifies Gang Rape of 11-Year-Old Hispanic Girl.
UPDATE: A reader emails:
I’m a Houstonian, and familiar with Quannell X. He is many things, not many of which I would admire. My sense of fairness and modesty requires me to defend him against the charges in your headline.
I had the opportunity to hear X on the radio yesterday. One of our conservative radio hosts, Michael Berry, had the man on to explain himself. The TRUE story is, as usual, more complex than the headline. Here is what I heard:
X believes that of the men arrested for the crime, a few are actually innocent, and weren’t even in the town on the days in question. X believes that there are others, not black men, who are also guilty of having victimized this girl over a longer period of time. He bases that accusation on things he has read from and about the girl.
He wants to make sure that ALL guilty parties are found, and brought to justice. He wants to make sure that any innocent men are released, and he wants to hold the community at large and the girl’s family a bit more up to public shame and questioning for not protecting this child. He wants to make law enforcement look BEYOND “gang of black boys raped Mexican girl” and see that a young girl was a victim of MANY men of different races, over a longer period of time.
He is IN NO WAY blaming the girl, or excusing the rapes, he wants the rapists prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Kinda odd for me to defend X, but truth is truth.
Well, I watched the video and read the story, but it wouldn’t be the first time a news account failed to capture the entire truth.
JAMES OBERG: Next Week’s Digital Soyuz Return Could Be Rocky.
ENTITLEMENT REFORM: Obama criticizes lawmakers for not doing what he didn’t do either.
OPEN CARRY on Idaho college campuses.
“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Crowley deleted tweet comparing Middle East ‘tsunami’ to Japan crisis.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on power tools.
VOTING “PRESENT” ON the Japanese earthquake? I thought we were sending an aircraft carrier group.
DISASTER PREP: Reader Mary Forman writes in praise of the Kindle: “We have been unable to reach our daughter in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, since the earthquake struck almost 20 hours ago. We just received an email from her (she’s fine) which she sent from a friend’s 3G Kindle! Put that on your disaster list!” Noted. As a test, I blogged from my Kindle once. It worked, but it wasn’t easy with that tiny keyboard. . . .
UPDATE: Reader Matt Potter emails: “Just a follow up to the Kindle email comms. My friend’s daughter was a missionary in Haiti at the time of the earthquake. They primarily used text messages to arrange evacuation. The layering of communications in the modern world now offer these kind of capabilities.” Yes, text-messaging often works when regular calls won’t get through.
POLITICO: A Laura Richardson Ethics Probe: “A letter of resignation sent by a former staffer to Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Cali.) appears to indicate that ethics investigators are probing the Los Angeles-area Congresswoman — a fact Richardson has denied to local reporters. . . . This is not the first time that Rep. Richardson has faced ethics questions in her short tenure in Congress. The ethics committee investigated her in 2009 on charges revolving around her foreclosed Sacramento home. Richardson was later cleared of any wrongdoing.”
Some background on that foreclosure scandal here. The country’s in the very best of hands.
I’M NOT SO SURE IT WAS ALL THAT UNWITTING: NPR board member says “we unwittingly cultivated a core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite.”
DARPA TRAINS TROOPS to be popular.
FIVE RETIREMENT MYTHS.
Plus, How to afford health insurance if you retire early. Judging by the state of my portfolio, that won’t be a problem. . . .
THE LAND THAT feminism forgot.
SO WHERE’S MY PHASER? A laser-powered tractor beam.
MOLECULAR MOTOR performs actual work.
IN THE SENATE, a call for antitrust oversight hearings regarding Google.
WIN IOWAHAWK AS YOUR HIGH-SCHOOL GRADUATION SPEAKER!