May 29, 2008
La Costa, Market Square, Knoxville, Tennessee.
La Costa, Market Square, Knoxville, Tennessee.
ANGLICANS GETTING ANGRY: Bishop says collapse of Christianity is wrecking British society – and Islam is filling the void. Plus, thoughts from the Black Crowes.
VITAMIN D UPDATE: “High vitamin D concentration in the blood is not associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, researchers report in an article published online May 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”
ANOTHER REASON TO FLOSS: Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk.
IVY LEAGUE: Elitist? Us? “Requiring every student to swim three laps and understand Renaissance art is not elitist. Itâ€™s essential for any person.”
RALPH PETERS: “To date, not one ‘mainstream media’ journalist has pressed the leading advocates of unconditional surrender to describe in detail what might happen after we ‘bring the troops home now.’ There’s plenty of unchallenged sloganeering, but no serious debate. This selective political softball and pep-rally journalism serves neither our country nor our political process well.”
PLEASE SEND Libby Spencer of Newshoggers your best wishes for recovery from her cancer surgery.
TRAINING IN VAIN: “A generation of athletes will retire after training a lifetime in vain if womenâ€™s ski jumping is kept out of the 2010 Games, say a group of elite female jumpers. . . . The sport has been in the Olympics since 1924, but has never had a womenâ€™s component, prompting nine female jumpers to sue the Vancouver Organizing Committee alleging itâ€™s breaking equal rights laws.”
VOTED OUT OF KINDERGARTEN: “Five-year-old Alex Barton was voted out of kindergarten class by his fellow students in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Before the vote, his teacher told classmates to say what they didnâ€™t like about Alex.”
EVAN COYNE MALONEY: on the media and bloggers. “Unfortunately, as this CJR piece shows, some in the media view bloggers as the enemy, a tormentor that must be defeated. By seeing bloggers as direct competitors, outlets put themselves in a position of competing on their greatest weakness while at the same time undermining their greatest strength.” Read the whole thing. Hard-news gathering is the killer app for Big Media. Why do they resist it, then? Because it costs money?
ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES: Authentic Viking DNA! “Stereotypically, these Norsemen are usually pictured wearing a horned helmet but in a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE this week, JÃ¸rgen Dissing and colleagues from the University of Copenhagen, investigated what went under the helmet; the scientists were able to extract authentic DNA from ancient Viking skeletons, avoiding many of the problems of contamination faced by past researchers.”
TOM SMITH ON AFFRONTS TO HUMAN DIGNITY.
JERRY POURNELLE ON THE Texas polygamy case: “If we are going to establish that precedent — that I can call the police and allege that you are abusing me and your children — and never come forward to confront you, or give any real specifications, but they will come and take your children for their own protection, I have the power to ruin your life.” Plus, reflections on education in 1957 versus education in 2007.
ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING stopped by a man with a gun carry permit.
DARTMOUTH AGAINST DEMOCRACY?
HOW TO SNACK LIKE Barack Obama.
RAND SIMBERG ON OBAMA: The uncle seems real.
NOW THERE’S A WINNER: “Senator Biden Wants to Give Your Ex-Wife a Free Attorney…”
A 220 MPG HYBRID SUPERCAR featuring “wild horsepower?” I’d like to see one. Er, and drive one . . .
EXTREME BALLOON TYING! But it’s only “pop art” if you do it wrong . . . .
I HAVEN’T SEEN SCOTT MCCLELLAN’S NEW BOOK, but McClellan himself is not exactly getting raves at The New Republic:
Writing a harsh tell-all memoir of the Bush years is just good business sense at this point. You only need to look back at the anemic sales of Ari Fleischer’s rosy, no-tell memoir of his White House years to realize that–and Fleischer’s low-seller came out at a time when Bush’s approval rating was higher than 28 percent.
So kudos to McClellan. His book displays a calculating mind that was never much in evidence in the White House press room.
Ouch. Anyway, the Wall Street Journal has an excerpt, and some are noting the contrast between the press’s reception of McClellan’s book and the heavily-documented work of Doug Feith. What could account for the difference?
UPDATE: Clayton Cramer: “Still, I find myself asking this rather serious question: if, as McClellan says, he could see that Bush was intentionally misleading the nation into war back then, why didn’t McClellan say anything? Why didn’t he quit his job and blow the whistle? . . . It makes me wonder how much of this is that McClellan is trying to sell a book.” Yes, it’s hard to decide whether he comes off worse if he’s lying, or if he’s telling the truth.
MORE: Indeed: “It’s not the disloyalty that bothers me. It’s the press suddenly finding wisdom in a guy they previously disregarded as stupid and unreliable. It’s inevitable that critical Bush-era memoirs will come out, but written by smarter people. I’ll read those.”
POLITICS, COLLECTIVISM, and hypocrisy.
CHOCOLATE: Is there anything it can’t do? “All the talk about chocolate being good for your health is starting to get serious. Mars Inc., of chocolate bar fame, has established a scientific division. And a group of researchers, some in Germany, others with the new Mars division known as Symbioscience, has just published a report showing that an enriched hot cocoa beverage can improve blood flow in people with type 2 diabetes.”
ADVICE ON AVOIDING TRASH on airplanes.
HANGING OUT AT the Law Review Lounge.
YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO WARN ME TWICE. Or, actually, even once: “Health officials are warning New Yorkers to stay away from an illegal aphrodisiac made from toad venom after the product apparently killed a man.”
Others may see things differently, but to me there’s a big gap between “toad venom” and “feeling sexy.”
MICHAEL SILENCE IS down on NBC’s economic coverage: “I’ve watched NBC Nightly News for quite some time now, but that’s going to end. I used to have a lot of respect for Brian Williams but I’m over seeing the network night after night seemingly trying to drive a stake into the nation’s economy. I don’t want my news sugarcoated but I do want it in context. NBC News is failing to deliver on that simple request.” Ouch.
WHEN BEING WILLING TO MEET WITH ANYONE doesn’t mean being willing to meet with anyone.
DEMOGRAPHIC UPDATE: “Hypermortality” in Russia.
POLITICO: Dems seek to avoid meltdown.
SAILING UP THE RHINE TO
AUSCHWITZ BUCHENWALD IS SEARED, SEARED IN HIS MEMORY: “You know, if I were an Obama staffer, I’d start fact checking everything he says, to try to stay ahead of the blogosphere.”
Northshore Brasserie, Knoxville, Tennessee. That’s the lamb shank with risotto. It was good.
Yeah, it’s a food theme this week. . . .
DEAN NANCY ROGERS is the new Ohio Attorney General, replacing the scandal-plagued Marc Dann.
A LOOK AT Key 2008 House races.
LIBERAL VS. CONSERVATIVE: What’s in a name?
MORE TROUBLE IN CHINA: “Bereaved parents whose children were crushed to death in their classrooms during the earthquake in Sichuan Province have turned mourning ceremonies into protests in recent days, forcing officials to address growing political repercussions over shoddy construction of public schools. arents of the estimated 10,000 children who lost their lives in the quake have grown so enraged about collapsed schools that they have overcome their usual caution about confronting Communist Party officials. Many say they are especially upset that some schools for poor students crumbled into rubble even though government offices and more elite schools not far away survived the May 12 quake largely intact.”
I suspect that the one-child policy is amplifying the effects here.
VIDEO: John McCain’s temper on display.
AN INTERVIEW WITH DEMOCRAT MIKE PADGETT, who’s running for Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat.
REVIEWING THE REVIEWERS: A roundup of book reviews from all over.
HEROES AND ZEROS at MSNBC. Seems like they went downhill right about the time I left. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS’ COMPLAINTS about what Indiana Jones has done to the image of their profession seem a bit overwrought — especially if it’s true, as many claim, that the Indiana Jones character was actually based on Hiram Bingham, Yale prof. and discoverer of Machu Picchu. Of course, all those claims probably came from Yalies. But if you check out the cover photo on Bingham’s Lost City of the Incas, the resemblance is pretty strong . . . .
INSTAPUNDIT IRAQ CORRESPONDENT Maj. John Tammes sends this report (typed laboriously with his injured hand):
Meet Alaa. He is a regular soldier in the G-1 section of an Iraqi Army unit I work with. His story has given me additional hope that Iraq will be OK in the near future.
Alaa had been working outside of Iraq for some time before 2003. He was an accountant and corporate secretary for more than one construction firm in the Gulf region. After OEF swept away the Baâ€™ath and Saddam his father asked him to come back to Iraq and help rebuild his country. Being a dutiful son, he did so. He took his experience and knowledge to the new Iraqi Army, where he has done excellent work in a difficult job.
When his original enlistment is finished, he may re-up, or he may turn to help his country as a businessman with experience from abroad. Either way, Iraq is better off for having people like Alaa work for her future.
May there be more.
A BIG BREAK for Internet-based Realtors.
MICKEY KAUS: “What if the Dems aren’t serious about health care? The immigration angle! Bubbling around the blogosphere is an inconclusive debate on whether Dem Senators are preparing to go slow on health care, staging endless hearings but passing little actual legislation.”
REVOLUTIONIZING DIAGNOSTICS, with nanotechnology.
JAMES LILEKS ON THE BOON OF AMERICA — plus, advice for Chairman Bob.
A PROFILE OF LOWELL CUNNINGHAM, Knoxvillian and Men in Black creator.
I do not believe youâ€™re going to teach anyone a â€œlessonâ€ by sitting this one out or writing in Fred Thompson or Sunny Lucas. I believe that way too many people are ignoring the forest for the trees and that in doing so, theyâ€™re going to have a hand in electing Obama. Some say thatâ€™s fine because if the countryâ€™s going to be â€œruinedâ€, better that itâ€™s ruined by a Democrat, and somehow magically weâ€™ll come up with a fantastic, â€œrealâ€ conservative in 4 years even though there is no one like that on the horizon and everyone knows it. Like I said, I think thatâ€™s a super-crappy plan.
More on this theme at the link, from Rachel Lucas. (Via the Insta-Wife).
JASON VAN STEENWYK: An open letter to David Carr of the New York Times.
UPDATE: Thoughts on the media’s Iraq narrative.
WELL, HE’S RIGHT:
Kids actually understand robotics in an amazing way. If NASA said they were going to land monster robots on Mars and crash them into each other we would have a huge pool of kids who were interested in science and engineering.
FRONTLINE; Mexico: Crimes at the Border.
I’VE MENTIONED Doug Feith’s new book on Iraq before. Now he’s got a piece in the Wall Street Journal on the selling of the war. I don’t think the shift in emphasis was as stunning as he makes it sound, though — in fact, back before the war people were criticizing Bush for talking about promoting democracy. Nonetheless, he’s right that the Bush Administration should have engaged in more pushback on the WMD question. Read this, too.
ANN ALTHOUSE DOESN’T LIKE HER KINDLE.
A ROUNDUP OF all-time favorite war films.
IT’S NOT A ZBIG DEAL: If you don’t believe me, watch the media coverage . . . .
A MCCAIN-LINGLE TICKET? “Feel a tingle, with McCain/Lingle!” Nah, too Chris-Matthewsish.
NOT FOLLOWING THE NARRATIVE (CONT’D): “U.S. and Iraqi military officials said violence in Iraq has decreased significantly in recent weeks to levels not seen in four years.”
HOW TO WIN THE GOOGLE LUNAR X PRIZE.
SOCIAL WORKERS behaving badly.
SOMEWHERE, LESTER MADDOX IS LAUGHING: Congressional contempt for “race-blind” hiring.
THE DOCTOR WITH THE “funny accent.”
THE NEXT RIGHT is a project of Patrick Ruffini, Jon Henke, and Soren Dayton. Check it out.
JENNIFER RUBIN on the media wars. Conclusion: “It would also be nice if, as a result of all the scrutiny, the mainstream coverage actually got betterâ€“but that may be too much to ask.” Yeah, that was my hope years ago, but so far it hasn’t panned out.
On the other hand, at least it’s harder to keep people in the dark.
EUGENE VOLOKH looks at California’s proposed porn tax.
RELYING ON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS for blood supplies? “The country is increasingly dependent on high school blood donors to maintain the nationâ€™s blood supply. Restrictions limiting donation by people who have recently had tattoos or who have lived in high-risk countries have caused the pool of eligible donors to shrink to less than 40 percent of the United States population.”
Well, you can’t expect law professors to carry the whole load . . . .
PAGING DAN AYKROYD: Gaffe-o-Matic!
DO YOU HAVE SYNESTHESIA? I do. I see sounds as visual analogs with shape, color, and texture. Based on my own conversations, this is quite common among people who do sound engineering, and probably helpful.
NOT UNTIL RICH CELEBRITIES AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FLY COMMERCIAL: Every adult in Britain should be forced to carry ‘carbon ration cards’, say MPs.
GRAND ROUNDS is up!
IN THE MAIL: Julia Gorin’s Clintonisms: The Amusing, Confusing, and Even Suspect Musing, of Billary.
Leo’s Pulled Pig, Lenoir City, Tennessee.
DOG BITES MAN: U.N. Peacekeepers and aid workers abusing children. Again. Think how much more attention this would get if these were American soldiers. Instead, we get this: “A UN spokesman, Nick Birnback, said that it was impossible to ensure ‘zero incidents’ within an organisation that has up to 200,000 personnel serving around the world.”
MORE EMBARRASSMENT FOR THE HARVARD LAW REVIEW.
CARBON TRADING: Not bad in principle, but more like Oil-for-Food in practice? That’s how I’d bet.
A MCCAIN-OBAMA TRIP TO IRAQ? Well, that would show renewed interest. But don’t count on it.
UPDATE: Reader Matthew Conlan notices something:
Within the link you provided on a McCain-Obama Trip to Iraq, there seemed to be an explanation for Obamaâ€™s â€œI See Dead Peopleâ€ comments yesterday. Perhaps he and his campaign honestly donâ€™t know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The quote from the article:
Obama spokesman Bill Burton replied: â€œSenator Obama thinks Memorial Day is a day to honor our nationâ€™s veterans, not a day for political posturing.â€
Shouldnâ€™t this Elementary School-knowledge be a pre-requisite for the position of Commander In Chief?
Or at least for spokesmen. To be fair to Obama, he spent those elementary school years in Indonesia, where that distinction probably wasn’t emphasized.
HAS OBAMA lost interest in Iraq? Well, unfortunately things aren’t proceeding according to the narrative.
RON BAILEY REPORTS from the Copenhagen Consensus Conference.
LOTS MORE BLOGGING FROM THE SASQUATCH! FESTIVAL: Just keep scrolling.
RAND SIMBERG: Time to head for Mars?
REASON TV: Are sports subsidies worth it? Er, no.
BECKY JACOBS on clinical legal education.
SHOWERING WITH JOHN EDWARDS, at Oberlin.
ITALY’S NUCLEAR MOVE triggers chain reaction: “Italy, which last week decided to embrace nuclear power two decades after a public referendum banned nuclear power and deactivated all its reactors, could be just the first of several European countries to reverse its stance on nuclear power, a leading industry group has said. Ian Hore-Lacey, spokesman for the London-based World Nuclear Association, said: ‘Italy has had the most dramatic, the most public turnaround, but the sentiments against nuclear are reversing very quickly all across Europe.'”
THOUGHTS ON LIBERALS, CONSERVATIVES, and racial guilt.
Well, I don’t think that food prices aren’t up. I do the grocery shopping for my household, and believe me, I’ve noticed; my average grocery run costs about 20 bucks more than last year. Rather, my point was the lameness of media efforts to report on that — interviewing people at fancy gourmet markets? — and the cheesiness of their “holiday” angle. As is often the case, even as they try hard to manufacture one bit of bad news, they’re actually missing the real bad news, because reporting on that usefully would require actual work. As I’ve noted on this topic before, their bias is exceeded only by their laziness and ignorance. The data in the AP story don’t prove its ostensible point — that holiday barbecues (by which they mean cookouts, not actual barbecue) are vastly more expensive — but to do an actual story on what food prices are up across the board, and why, would be actual work and wouldn’t produce the “holiday angle” that editors want.
UPDATE: Related item here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More from Steven Malanga at RealClearMarkets. (Thanks to reader Tom Scott for the tip).
SURPRISE: Nuclear Agency Accuses Iran of Willful Lack of Cooperation: “The nine-page report accused the Iranians of a willful lack of cooperation, particularly in answering allegations that its nuclear program may be pointed less at energy generation than at military use.” Do tell. That National Intelligence Estimate is looking kinda shaky, isn’t it?