March 20, 2011
IN EGYPT, a win for the Muslim Brotherhood.
IN EGYPT, a win for the Muslim Brotherhood.
ANOTHER LOSS FOR THE RIGHTHAVEN COPYRIGHT TROLLS.
NIHILIST in golf pants.
ADVICE TO LIBYAN GENERALS: “I told you guys a thousand times, when the App asks if it can use your current location, just say no.”
AT LAWYERS GUNS AND MONEY, the sh*t has hit the fan.
RUBBING IT IN: Or should that be Rube-ing it in?
EDWARD TENNER: The Other Global Toxic Cloud: China’s Pollution. “Prevailing winds across the Pacific are pushing thousands of tons of other contaminants–including mercury, sulfates, ozone, black carbon, and desert dust–over the ocean each year. Some of this atmospheric junk settles into the cold waters of the North Pacific, but much of it eventually merges with the global air pollution pool that circumnavigates the planet.”
HOW TO GET AROUND dictators’ communication shutdowns. I like the idea of repurposing a microwave oven as a transmitter.
MARKDOWNS ON inexpensive coffeemakers and supplies.
I’M SURPRISED IT TOOK THIS LONG: SEIU Hit With RICO Suit.
JUST WHAT WE NEED: Inventors: Patent Reform Could Stymie American Ingenuity.
MICKEY KAUS WEIGHS IN on the Levin/Wehner Reagan debate.
“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Good thing we have the Arab League Behind Us! . . .
THIS FANCIED-UP AIRSTREAM CAMPER looks pretty nice.
SENATE ALLY Defends Obama On High Gas Prices.
UPDATE: A reader emails:
It’s always interesting to me the NYT articles you link to. Not the articles themselves, but the comments below the articles.
Take the one on gas prices. One of the commenters said he test drove a Nissan Leaf and if everyone who buys one gets their neighbors to buy one, then voila!
EVERYONE will be driving electric cars!
One problem; they don’t run on electricity, they more than likely run on coal or nuclear, depending on where you live.
It is baffling how under-informed these NYT readers are. It’s like it’s on purpose or something like that.
A CLEARANCE ON athletic and outdoor clothing.
CLAIRE BERLINSKI: An Open Letter To Turkey And Israel.
LIBYA AND IRAQ, compared.
I WISH I COULD DANCE LIKE JAN VERMEER. I got a camera obscura and a frosted glass. I got chiarascuro out the ass.
MICHAEL MOORE: Now a racist teabagger. Also, fat and unattractive. Some things don’t change so easily.
UPDATE: Reader James Ruhland writes: “This man of peace, wasn’t he last seen declaring war at the Wisconsin Capitol?” Well, yeah, but against the real enemy – Republicans.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Politico: Liberal Democrats In Uproar Over Libya. How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ for ya? “They consulted the Arab League. They consulted the United Nations. They did not consult the United States Congress.”
Plus, from Don Surber: “I have all along wished for Barack Obama’s success because I knew the only way for him to be a successful president would be to adopt the policies of President Bush. . . . Obama wants a second term.”
RADIATION DOSES EXPLAINED at XKCD.
BYRON YORK: “Unique Capabilities” Mean Virtually All-American War In Libya. Wait, I thought it was a multinational coalition. You know, like Iraq.
NEW YORK POST: Frack, Baby, Frack! “In three months, a statewide ban on all natural gas drilling comes to an end. But will Gov. Cuomo allow developers to begin tapping the rich Marcellus Shale — and thus not only help allay New York’s energy woes but also boost the upstate region’s ailing economy?”
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, WE’D BE BOMBING STILL MORE ARAB COUNTRIES AND TALKING ABOUT REINSTATING THE DRAFT: And they were right!
JAPAN’S MELTDOWN and the economy’s.
AUSTIN BAY: Community Organizer Turns Cowboy. “I now call on Candidate Obama to protest President Obama.” I guess I’m not the only one who’s rubbing it in today.
UH, NO, IT’S NOT DOMESTIC TERRORISM:
The leader of a group that marketed a fake currency called Liberty Dollars in the Asheville area and elsewhere has been found guilty by a federal jury of conspiracy against the government in a case of “domestic terrorism.”
Making silver coins is not terrorism, though I suppose the government’s claim that this might undermine the value of actual U.S. currency is something of an admission of that currency’s true worth.
MARKDOWNS ON Men’s Watches.
UPDATE: Reader G.L. Carlson says these aren’t so much markdowns as inflated list prices. That does seem to be par for the course with watches, for some reason.
WE’RE ALL ALONE, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY: The rejection of human specialness here is basically an act of faith, though: “The first proposition, that we humans are unique and special, appears quite absurd. It contradicts all that we have discovered during the last five hundred years about the true nature of the universe and our place in it. We are not special: the Earth is not at the center of our solar system, the solar system is not at the center of our galaxy, and our galaxy is not at any special position in the universe. Our placement in space and time seems to be random and unremarkable.” Somebody has to be the first intelligent species. If you believe in randomness, why can’t it randomly be us? The odds may be low, but low-probability events happen all the time, and it’s consistent with the available evidence and doesn’t require the invocation of fudge-factors — “cosmic roadblocks” — for which there’s no actual evidence at all.
ANOTHER RUBE SELF-IDENTIFIES: YOU CAN CALL ME “SMUG” AS LONG AS YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THE STING. You were played. I told you so at the time. The whole hope-and-change thing was an obvious con, and you were among the rubes who fell for it anyway. And yeah, I’m rubbing it in.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Moe Lane emails: “I will admit to a certain amount of smug, myself. I mean, it’s not like we didn’t tell these rubes, over and over and over again. Jim Geraghty especially, back in November 2008…”
MORE: Reader Michael Hankamer writes: “So I guess that recognition that Obama is a dunce, was always a dunce, and forever will be a dunce is the new definition of ‘uber-partisan.’” So it would seem. But since that characterization seems merely to increase the sting, I’m okay with it this time. . . .
And Prof. Stephen Clark writes: “By all means, rub their whole faces in the facts of this latest intervention. To be clear: if the left and Democrats generally do not savage this President in much the same manner they savaged Bush, if they are not out in the streets protesting, if they are not opposing his reelection, if they are not demanding his impeachment and trial, if they are not hoping for his very death, then they will have shown themselves to be every bit the craven hypocrites that many have long claimed.” I have not yet begun to rub it in.
FAIRWEATHER MEDIA: CNN Sends 400 Reporters To Royal Wedding, Only 50 Sent To Japan. 400?? Really??
WHAT’S A REALLY “DIVERSE” SCHOOL? One that’s practically all black! You can’t get more diverse than that!
FROM CHARLIE MARTIN, a Fukushima update.
SOME OBAMA MILESTONES: “Barack Obama has now been responsible for firing more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace prize winners combined. He’s still in 2nd place for number of Arab deaths caused (and 3rd place for Muslim deaths) behind Yassir Arafat and Mikhail Gorbachev.”
MODELING TOXIC PLUMES to predict radiation exposure.
OF COURSE, PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING DOES: Candles Kill Many More People Than Nuclear Power.
Insert joke about Ted Kennedy’s car here.
BLOG COMMENT OF THE DAY: What I Like About Obama.
Obviously, the biggest problem with Bush was sending the military into an Arab Muslim country that hadn’t even attacked us. Among the several things that made that offensive were
* the rush to war – it was only several months after the possibility of military involvement was raised that combat operations began
* lack of United Nations sanction – only 17 relevant resolutions were ever passed before they were enforced
* lack of Congressional oversight – the President authorized the use of military force based on the flimsy pretext of a bill passed by Congress titled “Authorization of the Use of Military Force”, rather than seeking a document that had the words “declaration of war” in it; that’s every bit as bad as getting no Congressional approval at all
* obvious financial motives – clearly no one approved of the murderous dictator or sought a normal working relationship with him besides the French; at the same time, one couldn’t help but be suspicious of the fact that the population we were ostensibly protecting was located conveniently near the oil fields
* stretching our military – we were overburdened as it was, and our brave military despite its courage lacked the resources for yet another operation
* inflating our military – the only way to keep the bloodthirsty Pentagon beast fed was to give it the hordes of jobless young men who had no prospects in an economy that saw unemployment skyrocket above 4% in most states
* ignoring our generals – the decision to go to war was made by political hacks who had never worn a uniform
* inflaming the Arab Street – despite some touchy-feely talk about Islam, it was impossible for the Muslim world not to notice how the President made repeated, insistent proclamations of his Christianity, how he only ever used the military against Muslim targets, and how at the time the war started he’d kept the concentration camp at Guantanamo open for over a year
* wasting money – it was completely irresponsible to commit the military to an expensive mission when the President’s fiscal mismanagement had resulted in a budget deficit of over $150 billion in 2002
But anyway, what I really like about Obama is that he’s gone 29-3 in his bracket picks over the first two days. You have to spend a lot of time watching college basketball to be that good.
I couldn’t do that well.
SPRING SAVINGS IN patio, garden and grilling stuff.
“I CAN’T EAT AN IPAD:” The Federal Reserve Bombs In Queens.
JAPAN: ‘There’s no food, tell people there is no food.’ Reports on this seem to be conflicting.
Meanwhile, at Kroger today they were accepting donations at the cash register for Japanese earthquake relief. I was happy to donate.
I DIDN’T CALL YOU RACIST — I just pointed out you’re white.
COMING NEXT WEEK ON PJTV: I talk to Andrew Breitbart about his new book, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save The World.
HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Nobel Peace Prize Winner Enters Third War.
UPDATE: I’ve seen this movie before: At Qaddafi Compound, A Human Shield.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Hey, it’s exactly 8 years to the day since Bush started bombing Iraq! If you voted for change, this is the change you voted for. . . .
MORE: Reader Jeff Carlson writes: “Ah, is it just me or would those 112 cruise missiles have been much more effective 2 weeks ago?” It’s not just you.
NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY: Sex Outside The Ivory Tower. “There seem to be at least two attitudes worth examining here. The first is the perpetual belief among the elites that their lives are just so much more interesting and, of course, their sex lives must be too. But the second seems to be almost a sense of disappointment that for all the ranting about how college is a time to experiment and gender is a social construct and we need to fight back against the patriarchy, that our non-college educated peers are actually more adventurous.”
FOLLOWING THE 99-CENT KINDLE BOOK TREND, Michael Walsh’s Exchange Alley.
AMERICA — JUNIOR PARTNER ON LIBYA: “That would be a very strange posture for the US: engaged in a military intervention that Washington is not directing. I wonder what the US public would make of it. Perhaps it is a sign of things to come: the difference that Obama makes; a US that goes along to get along; the kind of America the world thinks it wants, sometimes. Alternatively, it might be a formula for disaster. In any event, it’s new.”
JOB HUNTING: Twelve Sites That Will Put You To Work Now.
CANADIAN OIL TECHNOLOGY GOES GLOBAL:
It took a decade for the Bakken play, centred in North Dakota and Saskatchewan, to evolve from a wild idea to one of North America’s most significant new sources of oil.
Now the technology that made it possible, a combination of horizontal drilling and targeted hydraulic fracturing — much of it developed and proven by Canadians — is on the cusp of global oil field deployment.
While it may not mean relief from high oil prices today, it could delay the sunset of the fuel if it’s as successful in the oil sector as it has been in the gas side of the business, where it made fields so much more prolific the flood of new supply has overwhelmed North American markets.
Adding to its promise is that this new type of unconventional oil involves a renewal of mature oil fields, many located outside politically risky places like the Middle East, where only a fraction of the oil has been recovered using old drilling methods.
Expect environmentalists to try to shut it down, as they do with pretty much all alternatives to Middle East oil.
REVOLVING DOOR: Washington Post Reporter Named Biden Communications Director. “Murray succeeds Jay Carney, a former reporter for Time magazine, who left as Biden’s chief spokesman to assume the same role for Obama.” Forget church and state — can we get a wall of separation between journalism and PR? Not in this administration.
RESPONDING TO LAW SCHOOL FRAUD: ABA to Change Employment Data Reporting; U.S. News to Adopt in 2013 Rankings.
SARAH PALIN’S Passage To India.
WHY THE U.S. MAY BE AHEAD OF JAPAN in disaster preparedness. I’d say we’re somewhat less well-prepared on a government level, but somewhat better prepared on an individual level.
FRENCH WARPLANES bomb Khaddafy.
IMPORTANT THOUGHTS: Food, Radiation, And You. Plus, vital advice: “Remember this, my friends: life is too short to drink bad wine.” Unless that’s the only wine available . . . .
WHY THE LAW-SCHOOL BUBBLE IS BURSTING.
REX MURPHY: When Crisis Strikes The World, Obama Falls Silent. “There’s a great vacancy at the top of the world: A retreat by the American government from its global leadership role.”
NETFLIX PLAYS THE LONG GAME.
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, we’d have a President that leftists demonstrated against when he made foreign trips. And they were right! Rubber Bullets Fly at Anti-Obama Protest In Rio. “They wore the ubiquitous Che Guevera T shirt and carried American flags that said Go Home Obama. Most of the protests had been peaceful until two home-made molotov cocktails were let loose in the direction of the Consulate. A guard at the Consulate was partially burned and was sent to the emergency room at Souza Aguiar Hospital. Fourteen protestors have been arrested.”
UPDATE: A reader emails:
I am pretty astonished the Brazilians are protesting Obama. I mean, they got the Olympics, right?
I guess the world cheering for an Obama presidency was really just a desire to make us weaker.
Our international policies are so distressing now. I fear the real storms are still to come.
Yeah, me too.
SURVIVALISM: Empty Store Shelves As Japanese Hoard. “You know all that advice you hear about stocking up before a disaster? Events in Japan demonstrate the wisdom of advanced preparation. Even in Tokyo Japanese shoppers are cleaning out grocery stores by buying everything. . . . This is highly advanced, affluent, and civilized Japan. People in Tokyo fear a full reactor meltdown followed by winds blowing radioactivity into the city. They want to have supplies if the stores stop getting deliveries.” Everybody should be prepared to go at least a week or two without having to shop for supplies.
All that Duck And Cover / “shelter in place” stuff may not require a nuclear attack to be relevant. . . .
UPDATE: Hoarding not so bad, according to this report. But Peter Payne is farther away. (Thanks to Steven Den Beste for the tip.)
ECONOMY: DIY ecomod turns Geo Metro into 214 mpge Dolphin. There were a few tradeoffs.
ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL JURIST, I’m One Of 23 Law Professors To Take Before You Die. Of course, Brian Leiter is another one. But in fairness, though his online personality is execrable he’s reputed to be excellent in the classroom. Ann Althouse is on the list, too.
REJECTION LETTERS: You Are Not The One.
TIMID MEN, STEP ASIDE: A feminist milestone: Our male President has been pulled into war by 3 women. “It’s the opposite of the Code Pink idea that women bring the peace. How long have I heard this feminist plaint: If only women had the power, we would have peace, not phallocratic war. But no.”
Plus, from the comments: “Obama is implementing the Palin Doctrine, for sure.” You betcha.
PJTV: The Real March Madness.
JIM TREACHER: What’s With All The Death Threats, Libs? My theory is that they’re all about displaced anger at Obama. He’s been a failure, but they can’t bring themselves to hate him, yet. So they turn the hatred elsewhere.
Also, they’re idiots: “Sending somebody a death threat is dumb to begin with, but doing so via a Twitter account with your name and location on it? That takes a special brand of stupid.”
MORE ON THOSE UNDERFUNDED / OVERGENEROUS PUBLIC PENSIONS: Report: SF Pension Crisis Much Worse than City Claims: Adachi-commissioned analysis puts gap at $6.8 billion–not official figure of $1.6 billion. “The city’s pension fund is officially underfunded by $1.6 billion. Nation’s study argues that the pension fund is relying on a 7.75 percent annual rate of return that is unrealistic over the long term. The study argues for 6.2 percent, which it says was the average rate of return in the capital markets from 1900 through 1999.” Frankly, that “conservative” number looks overoptimistic to me. 4% is probably more realistic.
TRANSPARENCY: CBO: Obama understates deficits by $2.3 trillion. Well, in fairness, you can see right through them.
PROGRESSIVE: DoJ To White Male Bullying Victims: Tough Luck. “DOJ will only investigate bullying cases if the victim is considered protected under the 1964 Civil Rights legislation. In essence, only discrimination of the victim’s race, color, religion, or sex will be considered by DOJ. The overweight straight white male who is verbally and/or physically harassed because of his size can consider himself invisible to the Justice Department.”
UPDATE: Eugene Volokh emails with what I believe is a correct criticism:
I read the Washington Times story linked to in the post below, and it seems to miss the perfectly sound justification for the Justice Department’s position – it’s not clear that the Justice Department has the statutory authority to deal with non-race/religion/sex/etc.-based bullying, nor is it clear that such statutory authority makes sense as a matter of federalism. Enforcing the Equal Protection Clause, by making sure that states aren’t denying children equal education based on race, religion, sex, etc. is within the federal government’s Section 5 authority. But I’m not sure that protecting small kids is, at least under any sort of substantive more-than-rational-basis view of federalism. At the very least, it would be much more of a stretch, and, as I said, I’m not sure there’s any statutory basis for it in any event; so I would think that the Justice Department should be praised rather than condemned here. Or am I missing something?
I think that’s right, and I should have picked up on that myself — though I’ll add that given the history of this Justice Department, I’m not at all sure they’d even protect a straight white male who was bullied because of his race.
UPDATE: A reader emails:
The whole point that everyone seems to be missing is the creeping expansion of the Federal government into even the most minuscule events in our daily lives. Plus the whole bullying horseshit has to be one of the most pathetic attempts at a diversion of John Q Public’s attention from problems the present administration has absolutely no idea or competence on how to resolve.
It’s another political sleight of hand just like smoking was for Clinton. After all who will stand up and say “I support school bullying and think it should be expanded and supported in our public schools!” Well, aside from me, nobody. When are you people as a nation ever going to get your heads out? The fact that you and Volokh are even considering the legal technicalities and dicta of this pointless drivel shows how much Kool-Aid you people have been kicking back.
Well, if it were up to me there’d be about 50 lawyers at DoJ. But it’s not, is it?
STEPHEN GOLDSMITH: Progressive Government Is Obsolete. “The rule-based civil service was a step forward from Tammany Hall. But today’s regulations stifle government workers at a time when getting value for tax dollars is more important than ever.”
TOM MAGUIRE: “One senses a certain chill in the feet of the Old Gray Lady as they cover their President’s latest foreign adventure and report on Obama’s delusional ‘days, not weeks’ timeline for US military involvement.”
UPDATE: Walter Russell Mead: Obama’s War. “Military assisted regime change as a solution to humanitarian abuses perpetrated by a government with a history of terrorism linked to a firm belief that more democracy in the Arab world will lead to a more stable region: this is much more Paul Wolfowitz than Colin Powell. . . . I hope the Iranians are paying close attention, by the way. This President is much more likely to pull the trigger than they may think.”
IS THIS THE HOPE, OR THE CHANGE? (CONT’D): USA Today: Unemployment rises in nearly all metro areas.
Also, check out the job growth forecast map and see where the growth is. Hint: The “blue state model” doesn’t do well.
BOB ZUBRIN: Rising Oil Prices Threaten Economic Crash.
MICKEY KAUS FACES outrage on the right.
AN IMPORTANT BLOOD-CLOT DISCOVERY.
DEROY MURDOCK: Death Threats By The Dozens In Wisconsin.
HOW DEBT MAKES CRISES WORSE: Japan reminds strapped officials they need buffer. “When your credit card is nearly maxed out, dealing with emergencies can be tricky. A massive rebuilding effort may stretch Japan to its financial limits. Politicians in Washington and other overspending capitals should take note of the warning.”
Debt limits flexibility in a crisis. So do “entitlements” that can’t easily be changed. But our political class wants to control it all now. The future is someone else’s problem. Japan isn’t much different, because this is characteristic of the sorts of people who go into politics. It’s also a reason not to give those people — who are, by nature, morally and intellectually inferior in many respects — too much control over people’s lives or resources.
WISCONSIN PROTESTS veer far left.
WHAT THE NAVY is doing for Japan. (PDF).
HEH: Exclusive: Secret Envoy To Libya To Be Named. An envoy with a lot in common. An idea so crazy it just might work!
WISCONSIN THUGGERY UPDATE: Shankman Warns of ‘Serious’ WI Actions to Come, Denies Issuing Death Threat.
JAMES TARANTO REALLY KNOWS HOW TO HURT A GUY: “An uncredentialed Brian Leiter.” I mean, Jim Shankman’s scum, but does he deserve that?
SO IS THIS THE HOPE, OR THE CHANGE? Leftists Protest, Firebomb US Consulate in Brazil Ahead of Obama Visit. Remember how an Obama presidency was going to make everyone love us? Me neither.
FASTER, PLEASE: After Earth: Why, Where, How, and When We Might Leave Our Home Planet — Humanity may have millennia to find a new home in the universe–or just a few years. The Earth is too fragile a basket for all of our eggs, as Robert Heinlein noted.