February 26, 2012
40% OFF Ka-Bar Knives.
40% OFF Ka-Bar Knives.
NIGERIA: Suicide bomb targets church in Jos.
Like black people saying “Nigger,” it’s okay when they do it.
UPDATE: For a related example of identity-based immunity claims, see this: Lawyer: Lesbians’ assault on gay man can’t be hate crime.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Hate is hate, except when it’s “friendly”! Actually, it’s about establishing a position of control over the discourse.
AN EMAIL JUST RECEIVED:
Dear loyal Stratfor partners and clients,
It is with great personal disappointment I have to inform you that I will resign from my position as CEO for Stratfor to immediate effect.
Please rest assured that this decision was not an easy. But in the light of the recent events, especially the release of our company emails by WikiLeaks, I have decided that stepping down is in the best interest of Stratfor and its customer base.
I want to emphasize that this will have no effect on Stratfor’s business or its members and we will continue to provide state-of-the-art intelligence services.
Regarding the latest breach, Stratfor is fully in control of the situation However, while I cannot take any personal responsibility for this incident, I still have to admit that mistakes have been made on our side. To be clear: We certainly do not condone any criminal activities by groups like Anonymous or other hackers. This is theft and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice. But we must acknowledge that this incident would not have been possible if Stratfor had implemented stronger data protection mechanisms – which will be the case from now on. Indeed we will immediately move to implement the latest, and most comprehensive, data security measures.
While I played no role in our technical operations, as the company’s CEO I do accept full responsibility thus will resign from my position effective immediately.
Again, my sincerest apologies for this whole unfortunate incident.
UPDATE: It’s a fake, reportedly, and so are many of the emails being published by Wikileaks.
Plus, a Stratfor subscriber emails: “My details were stolen in the December Anonymous attack. In February of this year, Anonymous began to use my card details to make purchases. Fortunately the fraud was discovered shortly after initiation and the card rapidly cancelled and replaced.”
G20 TO EUROPE: You Need More Money. “The world’s leading economic powers said they would not stump up more cash to fight Europe’s debt crisis until the eurozone members increase their own contributions, in a move that piles pressure on this week’s Brussels summit.”
STACY MCCAIN: My Saturday Night In Hell.
GROVELING WEAKNESS: “It is easy to lose count of the number of administration officials who have issued groveling, pitiful ‘apologies’ over the burned Qu’rans at Bagram Air Base. But take note that our apologies aren’t sufficient. The protests are still active, they are spreading to Pakistan, and Iran wants more – a lot more. It’s ironic how we see things through Western, secular eyes concerning issues pertaining to religious pre-commitments. Our apologies are so serious, so heartfelt, so sincere, so sober – and so completely irrelevant to the Muslim world.”
I liked it better when they were afraid of us instead of the reverse. Now they smell weakness. How did that change, exactly?
VIOLENT ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC OVER AT DAILYKOS: Murdering, Lying, Thieving, Rat-F*** Republican Pieces of Sub-Amphibian Sh**…
CHANGE: Hardware Startups Look To China.
CIRCLING THE DRAIN: Newspaper Ad Revenues Fall to 50-Yr. Low in 2011. “The decline in newspaper ad revenues to a 50-year low is amazing by itself, but the sharp decline in recent years is pretty stunning. Last year’s ad revenues of about $21 billion were less than half of the $46 billion spent just four years ago in 2007, and less than one-third of the $64 billion spent in 2000.”
Some of it’s technological, but some of it’s the loss of credibility that happens when you become outright partisan flacks.
SHOCKER: ‘Act of Valor’ #1 At The Box Office.
TEN HOME FIXES that can save you money.
DEMOCRAT EVAN BAYH, clinging to guns and religion.
CAN’T TAKE THE HEAT? BURN DOWN THE KITCHEN! Scorned Attorney Threatens to Take Down Lawyer-Review Site.
A Florida lawyer unhappy with poor reviews posted in an online attorney review site is threatening legal action to shutter the LawyerRatingz.com site.
In response to the threatened legal action, the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked a federal judge Thursday to declare the website immune from any threatened legal action on the matter. The EFF contends that, even if third-party comments about attorneys are defamatory, federal law immunizes the Sunnyvale-based website from being sued for the speech of its users. . . . The EFF, in a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court, said LawyerRatingz.com is protected by the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which says “interactive computer services” cannot be “treated as the publisher or speaker of any information” provided by a third party.
That seems right to me. I don’t think this takedown effort reflects any better on this lawyer — whose name, for the record, is Adrian Philip Thomas — than the ratings did.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Don’t Cheat On The Bar Exam.
FACELIFTS without surgery?
THE REAL NEWS HERE IS THAT PEOPLE ARE USING GOOGLE+! Chinese Netizens Flood Obama’s Google+ Page:
Google+ — the US Internet giant’s social networking site — has been unavailable in China since it was launched last year, apparently blocked by the nation’s strict censorship system, dubbed “the Great Firewall of China.”
But over the past few days, Chinese netizens say they have unexpectedly managed to get onto the site, and have decided to concentrate their presence on Obama’s page.
“Many people don’t understand the meaning why all Chinese are coming here. We envy American people their democracy and freedom!” one netizen said in English under Obama’s latest posting about his campaign’s bumper stickers.
The comments centre on freedom of expression and human rights, as well as more mundane issues such as how to get US green cards.
“We are not barbaric people, we are just suppressed,” one netizen wrote, while others called on the US president to “come and liberate China.”
Sorry, folks, but Iran is next on the list, I believe.
DISASTER PREP AT THE STATE LEVEL: Wyoming House advances doomsday bill.
State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.
House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.
Ann Althouse comments: “Frankly, I think all the states should have made plans like this a long time ago.”
UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes: “That Wyoming ‘doomsday bill’ strikes me not only as prudent, but subversive: When SHTF states matter more than the federal government. If you accept that, then…”
NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Customize Your AR-15 For 3-Gun Competition.
LOOKIN’ SEX-E: Infiniti’s Electric Supercar.
NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Howard Lovy: Yesterday’s ‘Impossible’ Nanobots are Taking Flight Today. “I enjoy it because it was just about a decade ago, when I first began to write about nanotechnology, that nanobots were derisively dismissed as impossible by many leading scientists. As a result, just the fact that I gave the possibility any ink at all in commentaries at Small Times magazine and on my old nanotech blog made my life as a reporter and editor a bit more difficult.”
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Postal Implosion Gathers Force. “The Postal Service death spiral continues. Delivery time is slowing, service is worsening, and postal rates keep going up. The WSJ reports that the USPS is planning cuts to more than 260 mail processing centers nationwide, which will eventually result in the loss of roughly 35,000 jobs. Oh, and it will need to charge five cents more to mail a letter. (When I was a kid, it costs three cents to mail a first class letter, and same city delivery was often faster than it is today.) This is what failure looks like: getting less and less done while sucking in more and more money. Yet Congress can’t help itself; led by Bernie Sanders it is trying to make a bad situation still worse.”
That’s what they excel at — especially when led by Bernie Sanders.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: 62 Colleges Meet 100% of Students’ Financial Need. So if you’re paying full-price there, you’re a sucker.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Algae, European Gas Prices, and Born in the U.S.A.
As gas nears $5-a-gallon out west, the president, who has cancelled a key pipeline and frozen federal leases from Alaska to the East Coast, teaches us about American algae potential, in the way he used to emphasize the importance of tire pressure and “tune-ups.” He castigates the opposition for making political hay out of bad news, in the way he routinely did as a senator in compiling the most partisan voting record in the Senate. Energy Secretary Chu cannot and will not say a word about soaring gas prices, since he is on record not so long ago hoping that they might double — that is, get to $8- to 10-a-gallon as they are in Europe. The Energy Department can do almost everything Americans don’t want, but not the single thing they do want.
That’s because what Americans want isn’t important to them.
SPACE UPDATE: Suborbital Space Research Conference Launches Monday. “The 2012 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC-2012) will take place from Monday to Wednesday (Feb. 27 to 29) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Resort in Palo Alto. Just before the meeting begins, one lucky attendee will be chosen at random to receive a free trip to suborbital space aboard XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx vehicle.”
FAKEGATE UPDATE: Peter Gleick and America’s Dumbest Criminals.
ONE-SIDED LAW ENFORCEMENT: Senate Candidate Calls for Investigation of IRS ‘Assault’ on Tea Party.
JUST IN TIME FOR THE ELECTION RUN-UP: Authorities rank “sovereign citizen” movement among greatest threats. And the Southern Poverty Law Center — ever eager to help the Democrats paint the right as violent — chimes in.
Notice that there’s never any “why do they hate us?” agonizing where these groups are concerned.
ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM of perverse incentives.
TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: “Remind me again why TV executives are more ethical than Enron executives.”
TRYING TO HELP A VICTIM:
I posted about a guy in Des Moines who spent about 4 months in jail waiting for trial in a self defense shooting. They stuck him with such a huge bail amount that he couldn’t possibly pay it. He was evicted from his apartment and everything inside was put on the curb to be stolen. He got exactly the sort of treatment you’d expect in a state that doesn’t have a Castle Law.
Here’s your chance to give him a little something to get him back on his feet.
I’d like to see some accountability for the prosecutor.
WORD CLOUDS for Romney and for Reagan.
THE INSTAWIFE: “Intelligence minus judgment equals intellect.”
SHOCKING RESEARCH REVEALS women more likely to “unfriend” than men. Coming next, a study on which gender changes profile pics more often.
AT AMAZON, coupons galore.
#GOVERNMENTFAIL: DA had chance to nab fugitive teacher accused of sex crimes.
New questions have emerged over the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office’s handling of a substitute teacher wanted for alleged sex crimes.
The teacher, George Hernandez, was arrested by Huntington Park police in September 2010 for allegedly exposing himself to a girl outside a middle school. Detectives who searched his Inglewood apartment discovered a videotape they say shows Hernandez molesting a second-grader in a classroom. He was released on bail and fled the country.
Court records reviewed by The Times show prosecutors chose not to seek the extradition of Hernandez even when they learned of his whereabouts in Mexico.
The records contradict statements made this week by a deputy district attorney, who said the teacher would be extradited as soon as authorities could locate him.
It’s almost like they don’t want to get to the bottom of what’s going on in L.A. public schools.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: High-Tech, But Still Human.
WENDY KAMINER: The New York Times’ Disingenuous Campaign Against Citizens United. It’s as if they’re just some sort of technological dinosaur in search of legal protection for their power and income stream.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: “Don’t go. I want to tell you more about my mask. It’s a tribute to Vicki’s vagina.”
AN ANTI-PUTIN RALLY in Putin’s hometown.
AT AMAZON, warehouse deals in home furnishings.
VIDEO: NY Democratic Rep. Booed By Constituents Over Contraception Mandate. The press was dumb enough — or complicit enough — to go with the White House’s ZOMG! Republicans Are Stealing Your Ladyparts!!! spin, but the public seems to be brighter.
UPDATE: Reader Sean Owner writes: “I think media is unintentionally doing Obama harm by playing yes man to him, as they’re keeping him blissfully unaware of any problems in the area of public opinion.” Yes, that’s a theme James Taranto has hit repeatedly.
FROM THE TAR-AND-FEATHERS DEPARTMENT: Man Arrested After 4-Year-Old Draws Picture of Gun.
Police arrested a Kitchener, Ont., father outside his daughter’s school because the four-year-old drew a picture of him holding a gun.
Jessie Sansone told the Record newspaper that he was in shock when he was arrested Wednesday and taken to a police station for questioning over the drawing. He was also strip-searched.
“This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school,” he said.
Officials told the newspaper the move was necessary to ensure there were no guns accessible by children in the family’s home. They also said comments by Sansone’s daughter, Neaveh, that the man holding the gun in the picture was her dad and “he uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters,” was concerning.
Police also searched Sansone’s home while he was in custody. His wife and three children were taken to the police station, and the children were interviewed by Family and Children’s Services.
What these officials did was child abuse itself. They should be punished personally and individually, as an example to others.
WELL, WE ALREADY KNOW THAT THEY DID, SO. . . . Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?
REMEMBER WHEN PUSHY UNILATERALISM BY AMERICANS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BAD? The Indian prime minister has blamed US non-governmental organisations for the delay in commissioning the Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu state.
AGING EYES LINKED TO HEALTH WOES:
The gradual yellowing of the lens and the narrowing of the pupil that occur with age disturb the body’s circadian rhythm, contributing to a range of health problems, these studies suggest. As the eyes age, less and less sunlight gets through the lens to reach key cells in the retina that regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, its internal clock.
So if you’re older, it’s even more important to get out in the bright sunlight. And drink a glass of red wine while you’re there. You don’t want to take any chances.
IN THE MAIL: Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11. From Jack Goldsmith, who’s always worth reading.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Resource Curse Works For Putin.
Rising energy prices may be political poison for American politicians, but it’s just the reverse in Russia, filling state coffers and funding new rounds of government giveaways to keep a restless population happy. The FT estimates that Putin needs oil to be at least $80 a barrel to keep this system functioning smoothly. Fortunately for Putin, oil prices are currently around $120 per barrel, and may go even higher due to the situation with Iran.
Besides relieving pressures for democratic change, high oil prices have another effect as well: Russian foreign policy gets a lot tougher.
This is a great example of the resource curse at work.
METAPHOR ALERT: It’s Official: Shepard Fairey Is A Fraud. “Note that this possible jail time isn’t for creating the poster, but for lying to the court in a lawsuit he filed. . . . Fairey’s ego was threatened, and he didn’t think the rules that apply to everybody else should apply to him. So he hit back hard and lied outrageously in the process.”
LONGEVITY UPDATE: Sirtuin protein linked to longevity in mammals.
At last, a member of the celebrated sirtuin family of proteins has been shown to extend lifespan in mammals — although it’s not the one that has received the most attention and financial investment.
Sirtuin genes and the proteins they encode have intrigued many researchers who study ageing ever since they were first linked to longevity in yeast. Results published today in Nature suggest that the overexpression of one gene, called sirtuin 6 (SIRT6), can lengthen lifespan in male mice by as much as 15.8% . . . The new focus on SIRT6 does not mean that the other sirtuins have been left by the wayside, says Miller. Researchers are beginning to look at the effects of SIRT1 when expressed in specific tissues, and work on the other members of the family is continuing apace. “People are just beginning to come to grips with the fact that there are seven sirtuins and each may do different things,” says Miller. “The quicker people stop thinking in terms of ‘it’s either gold or tin’ and start addressing the nuances of sirtuin function, the better.”
Well, stay tuned.
SHOCKER: U.K.’s 25% Tax Hike on the ‘Rich’ Produces Less Revenue. It’s impoverishing everyone, but I imagine quite a few will still support it in the name of “fairness.”
IS GLOBAL WARMING JUST a much more expensive version of the “millennium bug?”
ARE PLASTICS DESTROYING YOUR MANHOOD? From the comments: “If you’re eating enough canned foods/drinks to be even partially concerned by this you already have bigger problems than what the can is lined with.”
I DUNNO — HAVE YOU LOOKED AT HIS DONORS LIST LATELY? Why did the Obama administration agree to a “robo-signing” settlement that barely punishes the huge banks behind the foreclosure crisis?
WHAT WOULD YODA SAY ABOUT THIS? CNN “Tries” To Be Impartial.
RICHARD DAWKINS: I don’t just doubt God’s existence, I also doubt his nonexistence. Some people chide him for his lack of faith. Er, nonfaith? Whatever.
JAMES PETHOKOUKIS: The Economy Is Doing Better, So Why Isn’t Obama? I’m not convinced that the economy is doing much better, and I suspect neither are most voters, who probably don’t see any visible improvement in their own situations.
EUROPEAN METAPHOR ALERT: Frozen falling faeces flummox Germans. “Residents across Germany are complaining that they’re receiving unwanted gifts falling from the heavens: Giant chunks of frozen faeces and urine that plummet to the ground after leaking out of passing aeroplanes.”
THESE PEOPLE THINK EVERYTHING IS SOME SORT OF “PRIVILEGE:” Geithner: ‘Privilege of Being an American’ Is Why Rich Need Higher Taxes. Unless, of course, you sneak across the border. Then it’s a right.
JAMES LILEKS WRITES: “I don’t think the St Louis Fed Chairman ever heard that Heinlein quote.” St. Louis Fed President Says ‘Bad Luck’ Responsible for Economy.
TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: “We used to have peace officers. Now we have law enforcement officers. The difference is more than just semantics.”
SO NOW WE’RE JUST HAGGLING ABOUT THE PRICE: David Albo, Virginia Lawmaker, Says Wife Wouldn’t Have Sex Because Of Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill.
ADVERTISING FAIL: An ad for car insurance featuring Mohammed Atta.
I DON’T SEE ANYTHING “EMBARRASSING” ABOUT THIS REQUEST — IT’S JUST DILUTING THE TROLLS.
AT AMAZON, markdowns on Livestrong fitness equipment.
VERY FUNNY, BUT HE’D NEVER DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT TO MUSLIMS: Stephen Colbert Tackles Posthumous Mormon Baptisms By Converting All The Dead Mormons To Judaism.
Because, you know, like most of our political “comedians,” he’s a cowardly partisan hack. I think, however, that all of this anti-Mormon bigotry from the “forces of tolerance” will backfire.
And if I’m wrong, Stephen, maybe you’ll do the “Zombie Mohammed” thing.
UPDATE: Reader Dustin F writes: “If Colbert did a Zombie Mohammed sketch, Comedy Central wouldn’t even air it anyway, given their censorship of South Park. These folks have zero credibility on the subject of tolerating offense, since Comedy Central’s compliance with threats is a major example of allowing terrorism to work.”
My advice to Mormons and others: If you want respect, behead a few people. It won’t take much violence, as long as the threat is credible. Though it helps if they see you as an enemy of Western civilization. Then they’ll enjoy being intimidated.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Supersizing Higher Education Is Not The Answer:
Wood demonstrates that there is no connection between where a nation stands in that regard and its economic success; some countries with higher percentages than ours are economically feeble (e.g. Russia) and others with lower percentages than ours are strong (e.g. Switzerland).
What truly correlates with economic success is not how many people get college credentials, but the degree of economic freedom in a country. Hong Kong isn’t prosperous because a large percentage of its citizens get college degrees. It’s prosperous because the government doesn’t meddle in the economy. In the Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong has been No. 1 for a long time. In that same index, the U.S. has been falling for years, and is now No. 10.
Too bad that Obama isn’t determined to elevate the U.S. to No. 1 in that respect.
The trouble with economic freedom is that it yields insufficient graft.
JAMES TARANTO: Bigoted and hateful rhetoric from a New York Times columnist. “Remember when the Times lectured us on civility and warned of ‘eliminationist rhetoric’ from the right? It was largely bunk. But here we have a Times columnist likening his political critics to vermin. To be sure, he is not actually going to exterminate them, as others who’ve used such metaphors down through history have been known to do. Blow’s comments, that is, are not dangerous. But they are profoundly disturbed and indecent.”
IN ITALY, A PREHISTORIC HUG.
Archaeologists in Italy have unearthed two skeletons thought to be 5,000 to 6,000 years old, locked in an embrace.
The pair from the Neolithic period were discovered outside Mantua, about 40km (25 miles) south of Verona.
The pair, almost certainly a man and a woman, are thought to have died young as their teeth were mostly intact, said chief archaeologist Elena Menotti.
The picture is certainly striking.
MORE BACKGROUND ON Peter Gleick’s Climate Fakery.
JAMES PETHOKOUKIS: Why Obama can be blamed for 50 percent of the weak recovery. Only 50%?
SCIENCE: Report Affirms Lifesaving Role of Colonoscopy. “In patients tracked for as long as 20 years, the death rate from colorectal cancer was cut by 53 percent in those who had the test and whose doctors removed precancerous growths, known as adenomatous polyps, researchers reported on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. The test examines the inside of the intestine with a camera-tipped tube.”
AT AMAZON, markdowns on cellphones and accessories.