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Monthly Archives: December 2007

Well You Knew This Was Coming

December 29th, 2007 - 10:46 am


P.J. O’Rourke: Father of the Blogosphere

December 28th, 2007 - 3:23 pm

There are occasions when I think to myself, “Self, the real father of the Blogosphere, in all it’s snarkful glory, is not Glenn or Lileks or even Bill Quick: the spiritual father of Conservo-Liberterian Blogland is really P.J. O’Rourke.”

And then I read something like this, and I know in my heart that I am right:

Naturally we cannot expect a man with credentials such as Arthur’s to be merely a jerk; he’s an idiot, too. The quickest riffle through Journals is enough to prove it. Said Arthur, after a 10-day visit to the USSR in 1982: “I fear that those who think the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse are kidding themselves.” It just so happens that I was in the USSR myself for about 10 days in 1982. I was an ignorant, neophyte foreign correspondent on my first overseas assignment. But I did notice that the Soviet Union was on the verge of economic and social collapse.

I mean, really: Read The Whole Thing.

Burn, Baby, Burn

December 27th, 2007 - 2:25 pm

Here’s some civil disobedience in the UK that should please pistonheads everywhere.

Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2007 - 5:35 pm


The Airing of Grievances

December 23rd, 2007 - 12:42 pm

Gah. Remember that outraged Apple-sues-Fake-Steve-Jobs post you just saw here? As Emily Litella would say, “Never mind.”

It’s apparently a hoax–and to give credit where it’s due, a damn good one. Everybody who wants to laugh at Will, click below for the original outrage. As they once said on M*A*S*H, I have been royally had.


‘Tis the Season

December 22nd, 2007 - 9:51 am

With our annual Choliday Party* tonight, Melissa needed a little caffeine to get her going this morning — which meant a trip to Starbucks for an iced chai latte. Fresh snow last night, so I volunteered to make the trip down icy Monument Hill in the Wrangler. I’m still not allowed to have coffee, but I’ll cheat with the occasional half-caff.

Got to the front of the drive-up line, and the nice kid behind the counter told me the person in the car ahead had paid for my order. So I paid for the car behind me. With any luck, people are still in line down there, spreading a little Christmas spirit.

And let me tell you, there’s nothing like a little forbidden caffeine to help with the holiday cheer.


Sneaking in Some Politics with the Santa-ing

December 22nd, 2007 - 8:09 am

Want to know the future? Roger L. Simon and I handicap Iowa (and New Hampshire) on this week’s PJM Political. Plus Lileks, John McCain, and special guest Charo!


Vincent Price Fans Will Get it Instinctively

December 20th, 2007 - 12:54 pm

Available on newsstands or by subscription today.

(For those not in the know, here’s IMDb to the rescue.)

UPDATE: I put this cover up hours ago, but the Paulbots have yet to spam me. What am I doing wrong?

UPDATE: My boss is even more shameless than I am.

Good Question

December 20th, 2007 - 9:52 am

If the Southern Baptists aren’t united behind Mike Huckabee, who is for him?

Hey, Apple: This Bites

December 20th, 2007 - 4:54 am

Remember the story about the college-age blogger who was sued by Apple for publishing leaked information about future products? Apple Legal has managed to litigate him out of business:

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret’s publisher, said “I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”

That’s pretty awful if you ask me. Think Secret was a great site, and Nick was (and I assume still is) one hell of a good reporter. How the heck does it server Apple’s customers or shareholders to silence one of the most-read sites about, er, Apple products?

I love a lot of Apple’s products, but Steve Jobs’ ego combined with a hyperactive Apple Legal can add up to an amazing capacity for self-sabotage. Beyond that, this sets a really bad precedent for blogging and reporting in general. It says an organization with hefty enough legal resources can silence a reporter they don’t like.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for MSM condemnation of this outcome, of course. Newspapers and TV networks have legal departments of their own, and they’re just as likely to want the little guys silenced (or “regulated” into submission) as any other corporation that doesn’t like competition.

Good News In Middle-Earth

December 19th, 2007 - 5:28 am

Sorry to disagree with the Blogfaddah, but this is very good news:

New Line and Peter Jackson have resolved their differences and agreed to make The Hobbit (and a sequel).

But before you start searching for your opening-night Gollum outfit … Jackson will executive-produce, not direct or write (which he did with his partner, Fran Walsh).

That’s excellent news. While Jackson is an outstanding producer and production designer, he’s really no great shakes as a director. Compare one of his fight scenes to, say, anything in The Matrix, and c’mon, did we really need that 10,000th closeup of Elijah Woods’ great big eyes? And don’t get me started (again) on his screenwriting.

Hey, Pete: do what Lucas should have done. Hire a top-notch screenwriter, hand him the book, and tell him to listen to Johnathan Demme’s commentary on the Criterian edition of Silence of the Lambs (“what is called for here is slavish devotion to the text”). Then get a great director–you should have your pick–and put your marvelous art and effects departments to work. You run that part; it’s what you do best. Cajole your old cast members to return (as appropriate) and turn everybody loose.

It’ll be marvelous.

That, and Most John Woo Movies

December 17th, 2007 - 9:30 pm

If it’s possible for violence to be strikingly beautiful, then here it is.

UPDATE: Broken link is fixed now. Oops.

OK, You’re Cynical

December 17th, 2007 - 12:16 pm

Call me cynical, but whenever I read that a candidate has vowed not to quit, they’re usually only weeks away from losing.

What Might and Ought to Happen in Iowa

December 16th, 2007 - 2:24 pm

OK, enough with all the post-debate drunkblogging snark. Now that we

So That Happened

December 13th, 2007 - 11:10 pm

The Democrats debated. I drank. Hilarity ensued.

How Bad Was It?

December 13th, 2007 - 1:56 pm

So I managed to catch some of the Democratic debate this afternoon, in between bouts of Elmo with my son. The rest I’ll watch tonight, with the proper adult beverages.

And, again, I’ll post a wrap to PJ Media immediately following.

With the Stroke of a Pen

December 13th, 2007 - 12:25 pm

So long, Britain. We hardly knew you.

Well It’s True

December 13th, 2007 - 11:08 am

The Drudge headline, in all-caps glory, reads, “HELL DAY AS PRESS TURNS VICIOUS.” Apparently, today is the day the MSM went to war against the Democratic leadership for failing to live up to its ’06 promises.

And all I could think was, “Hell hath no fury like a media scorned.”

Bottom of the Barrel

December 13th, 2007 - 10:20 am

How desperate is al Qaeda-Iraq? You tell me:

As al Qaeda suffered greater and greater losses in Iraq, recruiting became a serious problem. In desperation, leaders were ordered to recruit whoever they could. This meant more women and more teenage males. Normally, al Qaeda does not like to employ adolescents. They are too inexperienced and unreliable. That combination gets everyone in trouble, and adult al Qaeda do not like to work with kids. But earlier this year, al Qaeda found that fewer and fewer adults were willing to join up. This was largely due to U.S. troops capturing several key al Qaeda leaders, and lots of membership records. Too many al Qaeda members were being arrested or killed, and recruiting became very difficult. So kids were hired for a lot of simple jobs, like placing roadside bombs, or guard duty. Turned out that these kids were more likely to run away, or just surrender, if confronted with Iraqi or American troops. As a result of that, nearly half the al Qaeda under arrest (950 of 2,000) are under 18.

But I thought going into Iraq was just going to make more, hardened, veteran terrorist to come terrorize us here at home!

UPDATE: Then again, don’t get cocky.

Later, Iowa Dudes

December 12th, 2007 - 9:55 pm

So I finally watched the damn Republican debate. And I wrote my wrap-up for PJ Media. While the good editors at PJM fix all my egregious errors before posting it, I’ll give you a little preview:

In three weeks, the caucus-goers of Iowa will have their say. And if there

Later Dude II

December 12th, 2007 - 6:38 pm

Stephen Bainbridge isn’t exactly a fan of Mike Huckabee. A fun-hating, gay-bashing, puritanical, big-spending, big-taxing, parole-happy, health-Nazi — what’s not to love?

Later Dude

December 12th, 2007 - 1:37 pm

Yes, I know the Republicans are debating in Iowa today. I’d be liveblogging with a Bloody Mary or two, but DirecTV doesn’t carry C-SPAN3 and my local PBS affiliate isn’t showing it at all. So I’ll watch it tonight on the Deuce (that’s what political junkies call C-SPAN2), and write a wrap-up for PJ Media immediately following.

That goes for the Democrats tomorrow, too. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Happy Accident

December 12th, 2007 - 11:13 am

Exciting news from the Mars Spirit rover. — it seems that Mars really was once a lot more Earth-like:

The right front wheel of Spirit stopped turning in March 2006. Since then, the rover has been driving backwards, dragging the lame wheel along. This May, scientists noticed a bright spot in the trail of overturned dirt.

They turned Spirit around for a closer look, finding high levels of silica, the main ingredient of window glass. They then aimed the rover at a nearby rock, wanting to break it apart to determine if the silica was just a surface coating, or if the rock was silica all the way through.

The target rock survived Spirit

Just wait until Kaus sees this:

Oops. The liberal website Daily Kos is reporting that Fabiani & Lehane is starting to lose union clients because it accepted the AMPTP gig fighting the striking Hollywood writers. The site confirmed that F&L was fired this morning by SEIU Local 99 in Los Angeles (made up of education workers who include teacher’s aides, cafeteria workers and crossing guards) and this afternoon by Change to Win (a coalition of seven top unions including SEIU, Teamsters, and the Laborers).

Take it away, Mickey…

Slick Mitty

December 11th, 2007 - 5:00 pm

The Editors at National Review have endorsed Mitt Romney for President.

Self Inflicted

December 11th, 2007 - 1:11 pm

It seems that the lethal shot on the New Life Church Killer wasn’t fired by a female parishioner after all:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – The man who killed four people at a church and missionary training center died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound, police said Tuesday.

Matthew Murray, 24, was struck multiple times by a security officer at New Life Church Sunday but died after firing a single shot at himself, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office concluded after an autopsy.

Volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam shot Murray after he entered the church. Investigators had earlier suggested his death could have been a suicide, but credited Assam’s bravery with averting a greater tragedy.

Still, kudos to Jeanne for getting several hits in. Otherwise, who knows how many more this guy would have killed. And given the situation, that’s as close to a happy ending as we’re going to get.

That’d Be Something

December 11th, 2007 - 1:06 pm

Coming soon: V-A Day?


December 11th, 2007 - 10:41 am

It wasn’t easy, but JetBlue is putting limited WiFi on some of their planes:

Actually, it takes a lot more than magic for the Airbus A320 named “BetaBlue” to bring limited WiFi connectivity to properly-equipped passengers throughout the single-class cabin: quite a bit of technical and administrative work went into getting this service off the ground, from snatching up and deploying a rare slice of 800MHz ground-to-air spectrum to effectively managing cell tower connections while traveling over 500mph to developing clients that would maximize the precious bandwidth being shared by so many mobile gadget lovers.

Engadget’s entire review can be found here. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, let’s just say JetBlue had a rocky takeoff.

Al Catches A Break

December 11th, 2007 - 8:06 am

Bingo! Al Gore finally caught a break in the weather yesterday for the Nobel peace prize ceremony in Oslo. According to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, the weather yesterday was unusually warm for this time of year.

Ain’t much better than feeling all warm and engoracled, inside and out.

Embrace the (Non-) Suck

December 10th, 2007 - 5:33 pm

This can’t suck: