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Monthly Archives: May 2004

Fun with PhotoShop

May 11th, 2004 - 2:09 pm

Ed Lambert sent me this, so you know it’s click-worthy.


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Clearing Things Up

May 11th, 2004 - 1:52 pm

For those new to this blog, thanks to Instapundit‘s kind linking today, let’s get one thing clear: I am not in any way excusing the horrible behavior and criminal acts of some of our soldiers in Iraq. From a post from last week:

We know how to deal with them [the abusive soldiers]

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Play Ball

May 11th, 2004 - 1:18 pm

I like Teresa Heinz Kerry. She

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Required Reading

May 11th, 2004 - 11:24 am

George Will:

Americans must not flinch from absorbing the photographs of what some Americans did in that prison. And they should not flinch from this fact: That pornography is, almost inevitably, part of what empire looks like. It does not always look like that, and does not only look like that. But empire is always about domination. Domination for self-defense, perhaps. Domination for the good of the dominated, arguably. But domination.

And some people will be corrupted by dominating.

Read the whole thing already.

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May 11th, 2004 - 11:22 am

Where’s the outrage over this story?

CAIRO, Egypt – A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site appeared to show a group affiliated with al-Qaida beheading an American in Iraq (news – web sites), saying the death was revenge for the prisoner-abuse scandal.

The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit who identified himself as an American from Philadelphia.

After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and cutting off his head with a large knife. They then held the head out before the camera.

I guess the American wasn’t naked.

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May 11th, 2004 - 11:05 am

The HELOC went through. Back to regular blogging just as soon as I’ve caught up with the news.

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Not a Caption Contest. . .

May 11th, 2004 - 1:19 am

. . .but just a pictorial reminder of why I do so love the Summer Games.


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Happy Pup

May 11th, 2004 - 1:08 am

Don’t let my wife see the granite window seat — or I’ll be out another couple grand.

That, and she might sneak off to Minneapolis and sneak back with Jasper.

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May 11th, 2004 - 1:05 am

Are you, dear lefty, a real patriot?

Take a little quiz and find out for sure.

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May 11th, 2004 - 1:03 am

Frustrating day.

We’re in one of those no-fun-news cycles, which is hell on a guy who likes a happy cocktail with his evening reading. Well, that and Melissa and I have been trying to get a home equity line of credit from The First National Bank of Bending You Over Without Even Buying You A Nice Dinner.

I mean, it’s not like we were eyeing the lobster tank next to the maitre d’ stand or anything. A six dollar burger would have been fine

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What Almost Rhymes with “Crisco?”

May 11th, 2004 - 12:22 am

Funniest thing I’ve read since the last time Jeff G posted something.

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Tell Me Something Good

May 10th, 2004 - 12:59 pm

Is the EU ready to do something sensible? Read and judge:

A European Union offer to stop subsidising farm exports was hailed this afternoon as a boost for the world

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Click II

May 10th, 2004 - 11:37 am

Payback is a bitch, PETA.

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May 10th, 2004 - 11:33 am

Here’s a story to watch:

U.K. Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said there are signs that photographs the Daily Mirror published purporting to show British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners may be fake.

“There are strong indications that the vehicle in which the photographs were taken was not in Iraq during the relevant period,” Hoon told members of Parliament in London. The photos showed troops urinating on an Iraqi in the back of a truck.

The comment casts doubt on accusations that British troops tortured Iraqis. Polls show those charges have hurt the approval rating of Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said accusations of abuse by U.K. troops are still being investigated.

More details as I find them.

UPDATE: The Mirror stands by its story and photos.

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May 10th, 2004 - 11:13 am

Like the music of David Hasselhoff, it seems Germans just can’t get enough Noam Chomsky!

Medienkritik has the full story.

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History Repeats Itself

May 10th, 2004 - 10:07 am

From StrategyPage:

Israel is apparently preparing to conduct a long range bombing mission to destroy Iranian nuclear weapons development facilities. Iran has denied trying to build nuclear weapons, but journalists and international nuclear weapons inspectors have found otherwise. It is thought that Iran might assemble its first working nuclear weapon as early as this year. The Islamic conservatives who dominate the Iranian government, and run the nuclear weapons program, loudly and regularly proclaim that Israel and the United States are the greatest enemies of Islam and must be destroyed. Israel made a similar raid on an Iraqi nuclear facility in 1981. The targets are 1600-2500 kilometers away. Getting through Jordanian air space is not a major problem, as the use of surprise and electronic warfare techniques can disable Jordanian air defenses temporarily. Getting through Iraqi air space is not a problem either, although there will probably be an “understanding” that American jets and anti-aircraft missiles in the area will not fire on the Israelis.

I’m posting this story now, just so that certain idiots will have the chance to denounce the Israelis before they do the right thing.

Go on and click on the Drinks, idiot — you know you want to.

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Chicken Little

May 10th, 2004 - 8:28 am

Michael Fumento on oil:

What about the future? According to a just-released Energy Information Administration report oil production will continue to steadily increase until the last year of the projection, which is 2025.

But oil consumption will continue to increase. This will be partly from population growth, albeit growth that’s leveling, and partly from worldwide improvements in living standards. Even so, if consumption continues to increase at an average rate of 1.4 percent a year and not a single new drop is found, we still won’t exhaust proved reserves until 2056 according to a 2003 National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) report.

Further, the “nice aspect” of high oil prices, if those driving around in gas-slurping SUVs will forgive the term, is that they are the greatest motivator for discovering and exploiting new reserves.

This includes Canada’s oil sands, containing a tar-like substance convertible to oil. These hold an estimated 1.7 trillion barrels of petroleum, of which 255 billion barrels is currently considered recoverable. Oil sands worldwide could provide more than 500 years of oil at current usage rates, calculates the writer of the NCPA report, David Deming. He’s a professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Oklahoma.

Maybe the sky isn’t falling so fast, after all.

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Small Blog World

May 10th, 2004 - 5:48 am

I beg everybody’s pardon for this brief exercise in self-indulgence.

Today Lileks mentions a book he’s just finished on the building of Rockefeller Center in New York. Along the way, he notes that

the guy who did the interiors for Radio City Music Hall is dead, very dead

… and no doubt that’s correct. However, the guy who did all the original lighting for Radio City is not only very much alive (at age 97), he’s also my wife’s grandfather. Dudley Chambers designed and oversaw the installation of what was then the most advanced indoor lighting system in the world when Radio City was built in the early 1930′s. His system stayed in constant use for 67 years, until 1999, when it was overhauled and updated. The Radio City powers-that-be invited Dudley in for the grand re-opening, in recognition of his original work.

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When Zogby Speaks. . .

May 10th, 2004 - 1:21 am

. . . most people hit the snooze button.

But that’s not the point. The point is, what the hell is a professional pollster doing calling the election six months early? Read:

I have made a career of taking bungee jumps in my election calls. Sometimes I haven

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Pick a Winner

May 10th, 2004 - 1:06 am

We have a winner to the latest caption contest.

No Bukkake Jokes, Please

In third place is Dan, with “I decided against eating the popcorn before I ate it.’

Second place goes to Eric Akawie, for “Jonas never talked about his time in the popcorn mines of Bratislava, but you could see it in his eyes.” (So sue me — I like the goofy ones.)

And the winner is. . .


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May 10th, 2004 - 1:01 am

One Briton already knows which way he’ll vote on the EU Constitution referendum:

The decision over the Constitution is probably the most important Britain has faced since World War II. I will vote against it for several reasons. Most important, a genuinely democratic constitution, like that of the United States, defines the limits of power of the state over the individual. Yet the draft European Constitution is almost entirely about amassing power for a superstate. It is antidemocratic, dangerous and throughly out of date.

What’s shocking here isn’t Anthony Beevor’s opinion of the EU charter. What’s shocking is, his piece was published in today’s New York Times.

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A Dozen Questions

May 10th, 2004 - 12:27 am

I want answers:

When the anti-war people argued against going into Iraq, when did they use the prospect of prisoner abuse as a reason not to invade?

Not having made that point last year or the year before, why do they now argue with an I-told-you-so attitude?

The British invented the concentration camp, as a way of dealing with enemy women and children during the Boer Wars. Germany invented the industrial death factory. France invented the modern subjugation of Arab lands by Western powers. Are these the reasons why Europeans are screaming so loudly today about “mere” (by their own inventive standards) psychological abuse?

The first court-martial for abuse of Iraqi prisoners will begin in less than two weeks. The Nuremburg Trials took less than two years to convene. Already, some are calling for the removal (if not impeachment) of President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Why, almost 50 years after far worse atrocities in Algeria, has France still not put Charles de Gaulle on trial?

In fact, France let de Gaulle create and lead the Fifth Republic. Given the situation in Algeria, why?

French lawyer Jacques Verges leapt at the chance to act as defense councilor for Saddam Hussein. Famous attorneys

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Required Reading

May 10th, 2004 - 12:09 am

Sebastian Mallaby:

The images from Abu Ghraib make you recoil from the Iraq mission: You want to forget this awful chapter in our history, with all its tragic errors. But the really bad news about the Iraq war is that we’re going to fight more wars rather like it. Technological, demographic and ideological trends make that just about inevitable. There can be no withdrawal from this broader struggle. The only real hope is to get better at it.

There’s the first graf for you. Now go read the rest.

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Good News

May 9th, 2004 - 8:58 pm

Some headlines just make me smile.

(Just in case the page isn’t archived, you can click “MORE” to see a screenshot.)


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Iron Blog!

May 9th, 2004 - 1:50 pm

It had to happen.

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We Have a Winner

May 8th, 2004 - 9:42 am

Bitchin' Helmet

3rd Place: Fersboo, with “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!”

2nd Place: Mike M., for “Like my bike? It retails for more than your car. Have a nice day, plebian!”

And the winner is. . .


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Tom Clancy Drool-Fest

May 7th, 2004 - 9:21 am


A laser beam under joint Israeli-U.S. development destroyed a long-range rocket for the first time in a test in the skies over the American Southwest, Israel’s Defense Ministry said on Friday.

Israel has sought an effective defense against ballistic missiles since 1991 when Iraq launched Scuds into the Jewish state during the first Gulf War. It has since developed the Arrow anti-ballistic missile with U.S. funding.

“This is a significant step forward,” a ministry spokesman said of the test on May 4 of the “Nautilus” Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (MTHEL) held at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

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New Blogs

May 7th, 2004 - 1:44 am

Michael King’s Ramlings’ Journal is new to me. If it’s new to you, then check it out.

The guy is smart and brutal — my favorite combination.

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Shop Talk

May 7th, 2004 - 1:26 am

Now this is interesting:

Barely a month ago President Bush was trailing presumed Democratic nominee John Kerry. Today he’s narrowly ahead — with most of that movement outside the anointed battlegrounds, suggesting that other states may now be in play. A case in point: New Jersey, which Al Gore won by 16 points in 2000 but where Bush is running neck-and-neck with Kerry in the polls. Meanwhile in Wisconsin, a reputed battleground, Bush is up by a dozen points in a survey released last week.

Have I mentioned before that politics is fun?

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Required Reading

May 7th, 2004 - 1:21 am

It’s all about sex.

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