May 30, 2012
SHOCKER: John Kerry’s Yacht Still Owes Massachusetts Taxes. Taxes are for the little people.
SHOCKER: John Kerry’s Yacht Still Owes Massachusetts Taxes. Taxes are for the little people.
NOT VERY SUCCESSFULLY: Jay Carney explains the difference between Solyndra and Bain Capital.
TRANSPARENCY IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: California Pols Hide Public Workers’ Names. “Legislators in the California Assembly have approved on a 68-0 vote a bill that would exempt multiple categories of state and local government employees from having their names disclosed in public property records, according to Steven Greenhut.”
MICHAEL BARONE: Are Obama’s Campaign Aides Fooling Themselves?
THE TROUBLE WITH CHIPS? Cyber-attack concerns raised over Boeing 787 chip’s ‘back door.’
LISTENING FOR THE GOON’S FOOTSTEPS: Dave Foulk is blogging cancer.
THIS MUST BE MORE OF THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WE WERE PROMISED: White House: Obama misspoke on ‘Polish death camp.’
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: IBD At Kimberlin Hearing: Walker Handcuffed, 1st Amendment Muzzled. “Here’s what seems to have happened. Although Kimberlin’s first peace order against Walker was eventually thrown out on appeal, it appears that while it was in effect Walker wrote a blog post about Kimberlin. This triggered a Google Alert that Kimberlin had set up. Kimberlin filed criminal charges based on that, apparently claiming that constituted “contact.” The court apparently agreed, and Walker was arrested.”
Walker also made a major error by representing himself. No lawyer should do that in anything more than a minor traffic offense. This goes double for Yale Law grads. . . .
TEXAS TEA PARTY UPDATE: Ted Cruz Forces Runoff Against David Dewhurst.
AT AMAZON, offers in Tools & Home Improvement.
EUGENE VOLOKH: Aaron Walker, Brett Kimberlin and the Fog of Litigation.
RE-ENGINEERING HUMANS with smart bionic limbs.
THE WORLD’S LARGEST solar thermal power plant.
BEWARE THE zombie bees.
THOMAS SOWELL ON THE DANGERS OF “MEANINGFUL WORK.”
ANN ALTHOUSE ON THE LATEST IN ANTI-ROMNEY BIGOTRY:
Garry Wills, he’s not anti-Mormon. He just has questions. A lot of questions. Can’t blame a man for asking questions, can you? I’d say you can. This is an effort to smear Romney with some really silly insinuations.
That seems to be the strategy this week.
A SKY-DIVING CLOSE CALL: “A US woman’s 80th birthday nearly ended in tragedy when she slipped out of her harness during a parachute jump. . . . Fortunately, the instructor managed to cling on to Mrs Everett as the parachute opened and the pair managed to land, extremely shaken but unhurt.”
HOW ACADEMICS INVENTED A NEW MIDDLE CLASS: “Why does this ‘attend college’ mania flourish despite ever more graduates struggling to find jobs worthy of a college degree? Many factors are involved, but one deserves special mention, namely how modern social science altered the definition of ‘middle class’ so just getting the degree, it was claimed, secured the American Dream. And with this new definition in place, a government committed to economic improvement began pushing as many young people as possible into college. What an uncomplicated solution to generating wealth–just award scholarships, build more colleges, hire more faculty, and just watch as the American Dream comes to everyone.”
Of course, that ran into Reynolds’ Law.
AT AMAZON, today’s digital deals.
IS LIFE IMITATING PRIMARY COLORS?
A POWERFUL NEW APPROACH to attack the flu virus.
SELF-DEFENSE SHOOTING TIPS for the Zombie apocalypse.
A NEW METHOD OF RANKING LAW FACULTY AND LAW SCHOOLS.
J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Brett Kimberlin Hearing Devolves Into Farce. If I read this correctly, Aaron Walker is in trouble because Kimberlin claims that his blogging has somehow led to other people making death threats. That doesn’t seem to pass the First Amendment smell test. Only if Walker were inciting those threats in a way that passed Brandenburg scrutiny would that work, and I don’t believe that’s the case at all. At any rate, under this approach George Zimmerman ought to be able to jail any number of journalists. . . .
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? “Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have shown that introducing a gene called Atoh1 into the cochleae of young mice can induce the formation of extra sensory hair cells.”
A LOOK AT the gulags of North Korea.
UNEXPECTEDLY! Consumer confidence in the economy plunged in May.
NOT WORTH THE DEBT: In today’s New York Post I talk about responding to the Higher Education Bubble.
UPDATE: Some comments from Donald Sensing. “College payments have to be evaluated the same way as any other spending, by present value and eventual worth. Fewer and fewer top-tier schools can pass that test.”
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Global Green Agenda Continues To Fail.
Remember when meetings to debate and negotiate an international carbon treaty were big news? The Copenhagen Summit was hailed as the largest assembly of world leaders ever to gather for one event; when it fizzled in waves of shame and confusion, the green movement was shocked and dismayed.
There was a lot of happy talk, of course. The world remained committed to the treaty, more progress would be made, targets were agreed, blah blah blah.
Then there was the meeting in Cancun: fewer reporters, fewer first rank politicians, fewer hopes. That meeting too ended in disarray on the core issues, and then, too, desperate greens scrambling to maintain some kind of policy relevance tried to spin the meeting as a victory for the “process”. Nobody was paying much attention; the world’s news organizations sharply cut their budgets for green summitry.
By the time there was another meeting, this time in Durban, South Africa, the global green agenda had slithered even farther down the news ladder. Most people simply didn’t notice that diplomats and greens had gathered to discuss The Fate of The World last December. Once again, there was no real progress to report.
Now the latest meeting in this increasingly anti-climactic series has concluded, this time in Bonn. Yet again, much was said and nothing was done — and yet again even fewer reporters and officials paid attention to this increasingly irrelevant bureaucratic mess.
Global Warming was a hothouse flower, a child of the bubble. And, sometimes, sneering is a solution. . . .
Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, Virginia Republican, has sponsored legislation that would amend current law to make it clear that individuals who transport their guns from state to state may stop for food, gas and vehicle maintenance. They also may seek medical treatment, tend to an emergency, stay overnight and conduct other activities incidental to the transport.
These things are legal already, but because the law does not spell it out in explicit detail, gun-grabbing areas take advantage of the ambiguity. Mr. Griffith’s language would force states and localities to pay the attorney bills for anyone who is arrested for illegal transport if they are exonerated based on this proposed law.
“The beauty of this is that the fear of having to pay the legal fees will make sure they bring charges that are valid and founded,” said Mr. Griffith, a former defense attorney, in an interview with The Washington Times. “It only has to happen one time, and every risk-assessment manager in the United States of America is going to inform their police that you better make sure he’s violated the law before you arrest him for having a locked gun in a case in the trunk, because that’s going to cost them a lot of money.”
This seems like a valuable civil rights law, and entirely consistent with my analysis in Second Amendment Penumbras.
K.C. JOHNSON: Student Editor Details The Corruption At Brown.
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Drones: How Obama Learned To Kill.
A “Special Troika on Targeted Killings.” It sounds so bracingly . . . Cheneyesque!
Related: More Rubble, Less Trouble! “The take-no-prisoners approach avoids dealing with the problems — which include, for Obama, political problems — of detention and interrogation.”
IS ANTI-MORMON BIGOTRY ACCEPTABLE IN ACADEMIA? Apparently so. “I’ve attended numerous scholarly conferences since that lunch where Mormonism has been discussed, and it is amazing to confront snide and disdainful comments and even overt prejudice. . . . And it seems perfectly acceptable to express this bias. Mormons are abnormal, outside the mainstream; everybody knows that.” Academia talks about tolerance and equality far more than it practices either.
Plus this: “Many of the academics consider themselves liberal, socially responsible, and broad-minded individuals, the repository of the best in America. They’re proud of themselves for voting for Barack Obama (a bit too smug maybe?). They would splutter and bluster and be generally outraged to be considered prejudiced. None would consider saying anything similar about African-Americans, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans . . . well, you get the idea. But anti-Mormonism is part of the same continuum that contains discrimination against any group. Why, then, is it allowable publicly express bias against Mormons?” Well, they’re not a Democratic Party constituency group.
TOM MAGUIRE ON OBAMA AND THE WORKING ELDERLY: “More importantly, why is this old chap looking for work? Did his home equity fall off a cliff in Florida? Did his 401(k) implode? I think it is great that this guy has the energy and motivation to look for a job but my goodness – if Obama has led us to a point where ninety year olds need to look for work to avoid the cat food diet, it’s time for a change. I hope the media tracks this guy down to hear the rest of his story.”
HOW ABOUT “TRUST ME, BABY, THIS TIME IT’LL BE DIFFERENT”? The Hill: Obama team struggles to find 2012 reelection campaign theme.
DON’T BLAME FACULTY for legal education’s problems.
KATHY SHAIDLE: Brett Kimberlin and the Future of Blogbursts. “Fighting back works.”
MICKEY KAUS: Does Obama Not Know How Much He’s Spending?
ED DRISCOLL: Punk Rock: You’re Doing It Wrong.
BYRON YORK: Two books, two standards, for Obama, Bush. There are always two standards.
FROM NUCLEAR ENGINEER BOB ZUBRIN: Red Alert: Don’t Confirm Allison Macfarlane as NRC Head. “America does not need a nicer version of Greg Jaczko as head of the NRC. The nation’s effort to create safe and secure nuclear waste storage has been brought to a dead halt because Congressional Republicans fell for Jaczko’s transparently dishonest protestations of objectivity. They should not make the same mistake with Macfarlane. Her nomination should be categorically rejected.”
HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Saying goodbye to the middle class concept of retirement – many workers plan to work up until they are 80, well beyond the typical life expectancy of Americans.
NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Hope, The Sequel: For Obama & Co., this time around it’s all about fear. What else have they got?
CYBERWAR: Meet ‘Flame’, The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers. “It’s a very big chunk of code. Because of that, it’s quite interesting that it stayed undetected for at least two years.”
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Thoughts On The Rhine.
UPDATE: Reader Earl Blacklock notes that Brett Kimberlin’s Wikipedia page has also reappeared.
ANOTHER UPDATE: “Read it now before Richard Symonds whisks it away again.”
MORE PUSHBACK FROM ANN ALTHOUSE. Interesting discussion in the comments.
WILLIE BROWN: Obama Has Lost His Mojo.
JERALYN MERRITT AT TALKLEFT: George Zimmerman: The Most Likely Scenario.
Why Zimmerman reported Trayvon to the non-emergency number is a red herring. It doesn’t matter if he profiled him or unfairly suspected him of criminal activity. It doesn’t matter that he was a crime warrior. He didn’t break the law. His neighborhood watch program, set up with the assistance of the police, instructed residents to report suspicious activity. That’s what he did. He wasn’t on watch that night, he had a concealed weapons permit, and it wasn’t a crime to get out of his car to see where Trayvon had run off to, so he could tell the police when they got there.
All that matters legally is whether Trayvon Martin’s physical attack on him caused him to reasonably fear serious bodily injury. Zimmerman’s testimony, which is supported by proof of his injuries and witnesses observing the struggle, is that Martin broke his nose and banged his head against cement. He tried to get up and couldn’t. Using an objective standard, a reasonable person in that situation would fear imminent serious bodily injury if he didn’t react with force.
The state is unlikely to prevail in arguing Zimmerman was the aggressor because to be the aggressor, Zimmerman had to contemporaneously provoke the force Martin used against him. Zimmerman’s profiling of Martin and call to the non-emergency number were not contemporaneous with Martin’s attack. Even if the state could convince a judge or jury that Zimmerman was following Martin, rather than walking back to his car, rendering his pursuit a contemporaneous act, it is not an act that provokes Martin’s use of force against him. Demanding someone account for their presence does not provoke the use of force. Even if it could be construed to be provocation for using force, all it means is Zimmerman had to attempt reasonable means to extricate himself before using deadly force in response. W-6’s steadfast insistence that Zimmerman was struggling to get up and out from under Trayvon, right before the shot went off, fulfills that requirement. Zimmerman will say the same. And no witnesses saw anything different.
Zimmerman should prevail on classic self-defense at trial regardless of stand your ground. Raising stand your ground before trial gives him the possibility of a quicker win, and the opportunity to preview the state’s strategy before it gets to a jury.
The problem for Zimmerman is the notoriety of this case — any judge is going to want to avoid making that call and find a reason to let the case go to the jury.
So in essence, the media — by creating all this “notoriety” via false storylines not supported by the evidence — have hurt Zimmerman’s chances for fair treatment in court. Nice work, folks.
A CALL FOR more Joe Stilwells.
MASSACHUSETTS: Dem mutiny could sink Elizabeth Warren’s run.
THINKING DIFFERENTLY: Memo To The NFL: To Reduce Concussions, Ban Football Helmets. “To put it plainly, the ‘safer’ the padding and helmets become in football, the more dangerous the game becomes.”
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What Are The Tax Implications Of The Zombie Apocalypse?
AT AMAZON, it’s the Baby Outlet Sale. Note that the Baby Outlet does not sell actual babies.
Gatlinburg, 2004. A gallery of Red, White & Blue pics can be found here.
FROM KENNETH ANDERSON, thoughts on the etiquette of Memorial Day observance.
READER BOOK PLUG: Well, actually it’s reader-wife book plug. Reader Sam McCreedy writes:
My wife has written a wonderful middle-grade to YA novel that is available on Amazon.com. She spent several years writing, revising, editing, etc. and it truly shows. It’s a great book.
If folks enjoy books like A Wrinkle In Time, and Harry Potter, they will love Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen by J.L. McCreedy!
It’s currently on sale at Amazon for under a buck.
Please let your awesome blog followers know so they can check it out.
MAKING ROTTEN FOOD BEAUTIFUL.
IS ENVY HARDWIRED IN HUMAN BRAINS?
IN THE MAIL: How to Live Forever.
ANDREW CUOMO TAKES ON UNIONS. “Scott Walker’s union battles may be getting all the headlines at the moment, but far away in the Empire State a very different governor is getting into a battle of his own with the unions. Although Andrew Cuomo’s union fights have not been the sort of cage match as Gov Walker’s in Wisconsin, they’ve been pretty serious, especially for a state known for its liberal, pro-union politics. Cuomo’s early struggles involved reducing benefits for public sector unions and pushing for a tougher teacher evaluation process. The latest round of the union fight concerns delegate seats at September’s DNC meeting in Charlotte.”
REMEMBER WHEN PROTEST WAS PATRIOTIC? AND WHEN IT WAS WRONG TO QUESTION PEOPLE’S PATRIOTISM? Van Jones:Tea Party out to destroy America.
For the record, let me say that I entertain no doubts whatsoever about the extent of Van Jones’ patriotism.
I AGREE WITH NEWT: Newt Gingrich: ‘Highly implausible’ I would be Romney’s running mate.
AT AMAZON, warehouse deals in Camera & Photo.
And, today only: Seagate Expansion 500 GB Portable External Hard Drive, $54.99.
THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Report: National Weather Service misappropriated $43 million.
Jack Hayes, the director of the National Weather Service, stepped down Friday in response to an investigation that top officials at the weather service had misappropriated $43.8 million by giving bonuses and extensions to contractors without proper justification.
The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Commerce, which oversees NOAA, released the report on May 18, detailing an audit of nine contracts that include incentive pay for good work. The contracts have a maximum potential value of $1.6 billion.
The investigators said there may be other contracts that provide additional awards from 2008, 2009 and 2010 but that NOAA was unable to “provide a complete and reliable list when requested by the Office of Inspector General.”
A business that ran its finances like the government would see its executives in jail.
HEROES AND VILLAINS: VFW slams MSNBC host who said he was ‘uncomfortable’ calling dead soldiers ‘heroes.’
AT FORMER SPOOK, SOME MEMORIAL DAY THOUGHTS.
FROM PROFESSOR JACOBSON, A Weinergate retrospective — the lying liars and their lies about Andrew Breitbart. “Andrew Breitbart was proven right. He brought down a flame-throwing Democrat the old fashioned way, with the truth.”
WHEN WIKIPEDIA can’t be trusted.
Interestingly, I wonder if Wikipedia user “Chase Me Ladies” is this guy? I actually did get a call from the ATF’s Dallas office back then, wondering if I knew him. Apparently he had represented me as his attorney at some point in this “prank.” With a bit of googling I found the source and pointed it out to them and that was the end of the story.
UPDATE: A post-Kimberlin blogburst to-do list from Michelle Malkin. Read the whole thing.
And she reminds us that the National Bloggers Club is fundraising to help the victims.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Patterico: Caller to Lee Stranahan Show Claims to Be My Swatter. Keep giving ’em rope. . .
MORE: Reader Ron Baakkonen writes:
I feel like I need to respond regarding Chase Me Ladies. I’ve been an administrator on Wikipedia for many years and have known Chase Me Ladies since 2008. There are definitely admins who bring a leftist tilt to their work. However, I’ve never known Chase Me Ladies to be in that camp. I’d regard him as dedicated, by the book and less likely to involve himself in controversy. If I had to guess, he’s received some complaint from Kimberlin about how he’s the one being harassed and gave him the benefit of the doubt.
He adds: “BTW, I have also registered by disagreement with Chase Me’s decision to delete. I would not have deleted based on the available evidence.”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Today’s Grade-Inflated, Lake Wobegon World; Letter Grade of A Now Most Common College Grade.
WHEN KRUGMAN ATTACKS:
Krugman is a most unusual economist. Others may measure their words, issue caveats, acknowledge that the research isn’t conclusive, admit that their biases influence their reading of facts. Not Krugman. Krugman is remarkable for his freewheeling writing style, which frequently leads to lively metaphors (“invisible bond-market vigilantes,” “confidence fairy”). He is often dismissive, misleading and tendentious. He changes the subject, ignores inconvenient evidence and plays playground bully to people he sees as ideological enemies (a list longer than Nixon’s). He blasts away at others’ work without even providing the basic courtesy of a link to what he’s talking about, which is a disservice to readers who might like to review the other side of the argument to decide for themselves.
With blogs, the inner self tends to shine through.
BUT DON’T EXPECT ANYONE TO, YOU KNOW, APOLOGIZE OR ANYTHING: “Twenty years later, [Dan] Quayle’s words seem less controversial than prophetic.”
Ann Althouse pushes back, and she has a point. But watch a few episodes of 16 and Pregnant, and you might think that “it’s wrong” is a useful heuristic for people incapable of fully understanding what “it will be hard” actually means. At any rate, after twenty years of hearing SUV drivers described in terms more applicable to Himmler, the 1992 condemnations of moralistic language from political leaders ring particularly hollow.
Of course, contra the Quayle argument is Jim Bennett’s observation that people who breed without thinking of the consequences are turning out to be demographic heroes.
PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: John Wolfe Sues Arkansas Dems For Delegates Won In Primary Against Obama.
AT AMAZON, a sale on Levis for men.