June 12, 2011
THANKS TO EVERYONE who’s bought via the Amazon links on the site. (Or the searchbox in the right sidebar.) Your support is much appreciated.
THANKS TO EVERYONE who’s bought via the Amazon links on the site. (Or the searchbox in the right sidebar.) Your support is much appreciated.
COMING: A WEINER PULL-OUT? Report: Rep. Weiner May Resign. “A source close to the congressman told the Daily News that Weiner had been adamant about keeping his seat – even as the Democratic leadership urged him to quit amid daily new revelations of reckless sexting. But the unrelenting media coverage, the demands he step down from his party’s leadership, and the appearance of more humiliating photos made Weiner realize he may not be able to bull through the crisis after all, the source said.”
RUSS FEINGOLD: “The game’s not over until we win.” But: “But afterwards, people looked really lackluster.”
STILL WAITING for the warming.
TESTING OUT new power tools from DeWalt.
EMPTY TRASH. BUY MILK. Forge History. I like this bit:
One of the lists Dennison looked at came about when the owners of the estate became suspicious of the amount of clothing their serfs owned. A decree was issued, which accused the serfs of having, as Dennison put it, “several changes of the nicest clothing while at the same time being in arrears on their taxes.” An inventory of all the serfs’ clothing was established and new rules enacted that put strict limits on the number of headscarves, coats, etc. that any family could have if they had not paid their taxes in full.
Expect a similar proposal from the Obama Administration any day now . . . .
UPDATE: A reader emails: “So how many head scarves does Tim Geithner have?” Heh. I’ve noticed a few dollar bills with his signature in the last couple of days, but so far none had “TAX CHEAT” written above it.
ANOTHER UPDATE: A reader emails: “Your post about serf taxes prompted me to look at the cash I had. I found three $1 bills and a $20 bill signed by Geithner. None of them had tax cheat on them. They do now.”
If Geithner were a Republican, people would already be writing dissertations about grassroots resistance and speaking truth to power.
AN UPDATE ON the Power Line Prize.
OH, GOODY: Turkish Election: Islamism Triumphant.
THERE’S A WEINER JOKE IN HERE SOMEWHERE: Syrian lesbian blogger is revealed conclusively to be a married man.
A VEGETARIAN: So I Started Eating Meat Again. “A vegetarian’s choice to avoid meat for ethical or environmental reasons is truly noble. They are willing to sacrifice their own health in order to mete out as little harm as possible. I bow down to these people in deep and profound respect. But that said, vegetarians should not claim that their diet is optimal—because many of them do. The avoidance of meat protein and animal fats, plus the heavy reliance on soy and carbohydrates, is far from ideal.”
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VIDEO: Allan McNish’s terrifying Audi R18 TDi Le Mans crash. “The R18 got airborne in the gravel, and slammed into a tire wall sideways, spraying photographers and spectators with wheels, suspension pieces and large chunks of carbon fiber monocoque. Despite the severity of the crash, McNish was able to walk away under his own power after marshals righted the remains of his diesel prototype.”
CHINA NOT SO HAPPY with North Korean leadership. “It’s not just the ruling Kim family (who are quite odd, but so are many politicians), but the whole paranoid, dysfunctional, unpredictable atmosphere in the north. China is most upset with the unpredictability, and is demanding more discipline and, to put it bluntly, obedience. Lacking that, there will be consequences.”
Plus this: “The North Korean prison camps are expanding, which can be seen from satellite photos. Relatives of prisoners or those released bring with them horrific details of life in the camps. More people are being arrested for economic crimes (black market) and espionage (using a cell phone or listening to foreign radio news). About one percent of the North Korean population is in these labor camps, and 5-10 percent do not survive their time there.”
IS FERRIS BUELLER overrated?
VERONIQUE DE RUGY: The Facts About The Alternative Minimum Tax.
A PODCAST ON the politics of Battlestar Galactica.
REMEMBER: Leave Guns To The Experts: “Another abysmal example of gun handling by a member of the law enforcement community. . . . Never mind the extreme fail displayed by playing with your gun in the can. Have you ever pulled the trigger on a gun – loaded or not – with your hand in front of it? Me neither. Which begs the question, why the hell would you?”
I.R.S. REVOKES NONPROFIT STATUS FOR 275,000 ORGANIZATIONS — including the University of Michigan and George Washington University? “In the case of George Washington, for example, officials think the IRS meant to list a student group, says Candace Smith, a university spokeswoman. She noted that the IRS gave a federal employer identification number that did not match the university’s. . . . The University of Michigan’s identification number also did not match, another sign of a mistake.”
THIS WEEK IN THE FUTURE.
SUBATOMIC MYSTERY leads to standoff.
BOMBSHELL PALIN EMAIL SURFACES: “Trig will be a joy.”
COMING SOON: Lower-cost nanodevices.
IN THE MAIL: From David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture.
PETER HITCHENS RESPONDS TO THE ARCHBISHOP: “Why is it so bad to draw a line between the deserving and the undeserving poor? I have searched the Sermon on the Mount for the words ‘Blessed are the Spongers’ and I cannot find them – or anything remotely like them. So why does the Archbishop of Canterbury speak as if it was obvious that we should treat people who can work, but won’t, in the same way as we treat those who are truly in need?” Because drawing such distinctions would not advance his agenda.
Plus this: “As Dr Williams has decided to take up political commentating, I think I shall do a little bit of Archbishoping.”
NEW YORK’S IRRATIONAL TAXATION OF NON-RESIDENTS.
HENRY COPELAND: Beware the Facebook “Bimbots.”
ON FACEBOOK, Virginia Postrel writes that she thinks “there’s no chance the Republicans will even seriously try to repeal the light bulb ban, which would require actually bringing a bill to the floor (or at least having committee hearings). They want the benefits of public anger without actually addressing it–even on this easy issue. Needless to say the budget is much harder.”
Disgraceful. And maybe they’ll do better than Virginia thinks. But if you lack faith in them, it’s not too late to stock up!
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MARK STEYN: It’s all bumps, no road in Obamaville.
“There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery,” President Obama said at a Jeep plant in Toledo the other day. “We’re going to pass through some rough terrain that even a Wrangler would have a tough time with.” His audience booed. They’re un-fire-able union members with lavish benefits, and even they weary of the glib lines from his 12-year-old speechwriters.
We’re not on the road to recovery. You can’t get there from here, as they say. Obama was in Toledo to “celebrate” the sale of the government’s remaining stake in Chrysler to Fiat. That’s “Fiat” as in the Italian car manufacturer rather than “an authoritative or arbitrary decree (from the Latin ‘let it be done’),” which would be almost too perfect a name for an Obamafied automobile. The Treasury crowed that Fiat had agreed to pay a whopping $560 million for the government’s Chrysler shares. Wow! 560 million smackeroos! If you laid them out end to end, they’re equivalent to what the federal government borrows every three hours. That’s some windfall! In the time it takes to fly Obama to Toledo to boast about it, he’d already blown through the Italians’ check. But who knows? If every business in the U.S. were to be nationalized and sold to foreigners to cover another three hours’ worth of debt, this summer’s “Recovery Summer” would be going even more gangbusters. I’d ask one of Obama’s egghead economists to explain it to you simpletons, but unfortunately they’ve all resigned and returned to cozy sinecures in academia.
Don’t be knocking those cozy sinecures in academia. . . .
FRANK J. FLEMING: Tips For Not Appearing Crazy On The Internet.
NEAL BOORTZ ON Recovery Summer II.
LOOKING FOR WAR ON TERROR NEWS? Check out Fred Pruitt’s Rantburg.
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Union bosses come first for Obama.
All is proceeding according to plan.
PROGRESS: First wood-digesting enzyme found in bacteria could boost biofuel production. “By making woody plants and the inedible by-products of crops economically viable the eventual hope is to be able to produce biofuels that don’t compete with food production.”
HUGO CHAVEZ undergoes emergency operation in Cuba.
OBAMA LOGO HACKED, with this new Tea Party logo for 2012.
THOUGHTS ON POLITICAL IDOLATRY.
WITH ALL THE MONEY THEY’RE PRINTING, you’d think there’d be plenty of cash out there. But actually, banks don’t keep much on hand any more — customers don’t want all that much, and there’s always the risk of robbery. I was talking to some tellers at my bank and was astounded at how little they keep. They said it hardly ever creates a problem because they can order it delivered on pretty short notice, and not that many people want to make big cash withdrawals. But it would be easy to create a bank run that would strip banks of cash when supplies are that thin. If I were a banker, I think I’d up my cash-on-hand in response to stories like this.
FUNNY, NOBODY SAID THAT ABOUT MARK FOLEY: Actress defends Weiner, says ‘everyone lies about sex.’
It’s as if there’s some sort of transparently political double standard or something. But the Democrats can always put together a Groper’s Support Group for the politically correct. Or at least the politically useful. Weiner’s problem is that he’s not that useful any more.
UPDATE: Reader Richard Combs emails: “1998 called. It wants its lame justification for Democratic misbehavior back.”
NO DOUBT ANDREW SULLIVAN WILL WANT TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS: Top Alaska Lawmaker Behind Trig Rumors. “After Sarah Palin revealed she was pregnant with son Trig in March 2008, her office quickly zeroed in on then-state Senate president Lyda Green as the source of rumors that Bristol Palin was actually carrying the baby, according to emails released Friday.”
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SHOCKING PALIN EMAIL REVELATIONS: “Jesus. How embarrassing.” It’s Al Capone’s vault all over again.
IMF HIT by cyberattack. “Believed to be connected to a foreign government.”
PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE ASKS, do you have to like Sarah Palin to be a conservative now?
And a commenter responds: “I don’t think you’re required to like Sarah palin, but you are required to give a reason for disliking her that is more cogent than the simple fact that she’s Sarah Palin.”
LOOKING BACK AT the crash of 1987. “I don’t want to suggest this market is like the 1987 market, but last week there were some similar things that reminded me of the weeks before October 19. . . . The situation today is decidedly different than 1987. The question is, if the market crashed by 20% Monday, would you buy it on Tuesday?”
UPDATE: Well, this is encouraging.
WHAT’S REALLY SCARY about Sarah Palin.
SALIM MANSUR: Arab World A Relic Of History:
Only the politically correct, and they are the majority in the contemporary West, remain surprised of how quickly the so-called “Arab spring” has turned into an “Arab frenzy” and is headed into an “Arab inferno.” . . .
The problem is culture. Arab culture, despite tremendous changes that have occurred elsewhere in the world, remains resilient in adhering to traditional values of patriarchy and the tribal order of father (leader) knows what is best for his tribe or nation.
The Arab League consists of 21 states and the Palestinian Authority. There is not one single democracy in this collection of Arab states, and the predominant reason for the absence of democracy among Arabs is culture.
Democracy is not merely an election, and a representative party with majority support holding power.
For democracy to work, the prerequisite is a culture in which the people recognizes the “other” — irrespective of how the “other” is defined in terms of ethnicity or religion or gender — as equal, and their interests and aspirations as legitimate.
This recognition of the “other” is missing in Arab culture.
Read the whole thing.
WOOLSEY ON ENERGY: US Must Break OPEC Monopoly to Be Secure: Ex-CIA Head.
DID NIETZSCHE FORESEE the rise of the Uberweiner?
AND ANOTHER ONE: Weiner seeking treatment amid growing pressure to resign. Ah, the old “sex addiction” excuse.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Pictures of al Qaeda leader Fazul Mohammed’s corpse, SUV, and weapon.
MARKDOWNS on robotic vacuums.
THE WIND TUNNEL that helped win World War II.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 8 Things About Sexting That Actually Turn Women On. Well, if you’re a member of Congress from New York, anyway. . . .
Meanwhile, a cautionary note for Anthony Weiner. A SWAT raid?
RANKING THE 50 STATES for freedom.
NEIL MUNRO: Tea Party Continues To Grow. “These days, Tea Party activists are focused on state and local issues, such as school choice legislation in Pennsylvania, Kibbe said. They’re not looking to mount another massive D.C. march, such as the 9/12 protest in 2009, in part because the movement has already proved its influence during the 2010 election.”
CHANGE: A Lost Generation In The Making? “The share of Americans younger than 24 neither at work nor in school has steadily increased since 2007 . . . . That disconnection creates the risk of what Harvard University labor economist Lawrence Katz calls ‘a lost generation.’”
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BLOG COMMENT OF THE DAY: “The Washington Post thinks it’s ‘harassment’ to request Michael Mann’s files from the University of Virginia (their Memorial Day editorial) but it’s cool with requesting and obtaining and asking for citizen-journalists to go through 24,000 of the State of Alaska’s emails involving Sarah Palin.”
GOING AFTER CRAFT BREWERS IN WISCONSIN? Plus, a political Rorschach: “It’s interesting what different types see in this story. For the free market folks at CEI this is just another example of corporate rent seeking to the advantage of larger corporations. For the folks at Think Progress, on the other hand, this is yet the latest example of Gov. Scott Walker’s craven catering to campaign contributors — even though not a single source Think Progress cites links the governor to this proposal. To the contrary, several of the stories mention this provision was slipped in by a legislative committee, and only one of the stories even mentions Gov. Walker by name — and only then to refer generally to the governor’s budget. Gov. Walker may well support this measure — and, if so, shame on him — but I see no evidence of that — certainly nothing to justify blaming him for the ‘war on craft beer.’” At ThinkProgress, they don’t need no stinkin’ evidence.
LIFE ON THE STREETS: The Other Side Of The Chinese Miracle.
MICHAEL BARONE: The latest “high-speed” (45 mph) rail project. “Oh, one other thing. Cox reports that there is already luxury bus service, with plugs for laptops and wireless Internet, from Iowa City to Chicago. It’s part of a larger trend for private companies to offer convenient and inexpensive bus service. A one-way ticket on the bus costs $18, compared to a likely train fare of more than $50. And the bus takes only three hours and 50 minutes to get from Iowa City to Chicago. That’s one hour and 10 minutes faster than the ‘high-speed’ train.”
PAUL HSIEH: Dude, Where’s My Freedom?
WELL, I WISH I COULD HEADLINE THIS AS “CHANGE,” BUT ALAS, IT’S NOT: Federal budget deficit on track to eclipse $1 trillion for third year. Still, it’s the continuation of record levels of looting.
JAMES TARANTO: God Hates Special Olympians? “It’s not uncommon for political protesters to act like bullies, but it takes a special uncouthness to bully Special Olympians. It would be like holding an angry antiwar protest at the funeral of a fallen soldier–which, come to think of it, is just what the so-called Westboro Baptist Church does. . . . How obnoxious are the zombies of Wisconsin? So obnoxious that that they could use lessons in civility from the Westboro Baptist Church.”
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD ON THE FANNIE MAE SCANDALS: When Government Jumps The Shark. “Fannie Mae represents a special problem for the Democratic Party and Democratic ideas. It is not just a vitally important institution led by prominent Democratic figures and part of a broader Democratic patronage network; Fannie Mae is one of the original New Deal institutions and the vision it was intended to serve stands at the heart of the concerns of the Democratic Party of the 20th century. The fall of Fannie Mae is bigger than just another politicos run wild scandal. It stands as one of several signs that our current way of life is reaching its limits and that big changes are on the horizon. The Fanniegate debacle tells us that the progressive ideal is in the process of jumping the shark.”
ISN’T THAT ALWAYS TRUE? It has been too long since the last beauty pageant.
ON MY EARLIER INCANDESCENT BULB POST, A READER EMAILS: “Having had much the same experience with CFL bulbs as you, I have now accumulated enough incandescent bulbs to last me through 2020. As a California resident, I can take satisfaction in giving the finger to two levels of government gone insane.”
JOHN MERLINE on tax-and-spend insanity. “Indeed, few ideas have been so thoroughly discredited as the one that says more government spending will increase jobs. As the chart above shows, government outlays climbed more than 40% between 2006 and 2011. At the same time, the employment figure has dropped by almost 5 million.”
MEANWHILE, THAT OTHER SEX SCANDAL: “In a devastating act of ultimate revenge, a dying Elizabeth Edwards recorded a bombshell secret videotape for prosecutors…”
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WHY WORRY ABOUT THIS WHEN THERE ARE SARAH PALIN EMAILS TO PARSE? Europe Hit With Huge Carbon-Credit Theft, But No One Seems To Care.
THE GREAT CANADIAN MYSTERY: Who Suffers 71 Percent of Religious Hate Crimes and Who Is Doing It? “Like the FBI’s statistics for the United States, the number one victims of hate crimes are…Jews. Indeed, 71 percent of the hate crimes in the religion category are against Jews. The Jewish proportion of Ontario’s population? Around 1.6 percent. That’s 71 percent of the hate crimes on a religious basis against 1 percent of the population. . . . So just keep repeating to yourself: The main problem of the Western world is Islam-o-phobia.”
WEINERGATE UPDATE: A 17-year-old girl?
CAN’T STOP THE SIGNAL: Twitter Gets Through When Nothing Else Does. Not for me. I never look at my Twitter account.