Friday, March 31, 2006

Presenting...The Plan!

I was going to fisk the Democrat's national security plan when things calmed down, but why bother now? Stupid Iowahawk, taking all the good jokes!

Ready for the Deep Fryer Hugs and Cuddles

Stolen, as always, from Kitten War.

UPDATED: Title modification to please one of my hotter readers.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

OK, One More

Two economists are walking along the street. One of them spies a $100 bill lying on the pavement, and leans down to retrieve it. The second one restrains him. "Don't be ridiculous, John! If that were really a $100 bill, someone would already have picked it up."

Via Asymmetrical Information.

OK, I Lied

One post.

But it has thousands of must-see images of rock-n-roll idiots. Go. Click. Now.


No blogging today, and probably not much tomorrow, either.

I'd get a guest blogger, if I had any readers.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Death Spiral

When does a movement start to die?

There are a number of indicators.

One of the easy ones: when it loses the ability to tolerate internal criticism.

The principal actor here, Tlaloc, is a bit of a jerk. He's also an apparently bona-fide feminist, or at least feminist-friendly, male, with plenty of left-wing chops. In the course of a couple of long threads (you can dig around and find them if you want) he ends up getting into a pissing match with Feministe's new management and eventually is banned.

The main reason seems from here to be that Tlaloc believes the leadership of the feminist movement to be more interested in acquiring power for women than in restructuring society to be more equal. This is a problem that all ideology-based movements have - the desire to use organizational resources to accumulate wealth and/or power, rather than to move forward the agenda of the group. It can be forestalled, in my experience, only by being aware of the possibility, and frankly suspicious of movement leaders and prominent spokespeople. Which, in a movement as dispersed and decentralized as feminism is, means pretty much anyone who gets up on the soapbox and starts talking.

Tlaloc's case could certainly have been made with more diplomacy. But it's somewhat revelatory that the eventual reaction to his criticism isn't "you're wrong, and we've been discussing this for long enough, so we're finished" - but is instead "you're wrong, go away and never come back."


Kevin Phillips' latest screed gets a thumping from Slate. Via NRO.

Why Does PayPal Punish Me?

If you have an existing balance with PayPal, and want to send someone money, the only options available are to use the existing balance (which I don't want to do for an arcane and boring reason) or use an "e-Check" which takes 3-4 extra days. You can't do an instant transfer.

So if I had NO money with them, I could get my new Sonicare 7800e toothbrush immediately. But since they're holding on to a stack of my cash, it will take extra time.

That makes sense.

Save Nazanin

Via NRO, a petition to pressure the Iranian government to release Nazanin, the 18-year old Iranian woman facing a death sentence for killing the man who tried to rape her.

Can't hurt. Might help.

Let's Hear it for the Reconquista

The flagpole at a California high school after immigration protests. Via Michelle Malkin.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

Immigration Protesters Step It Up A Notch

Uh oh. They've deployed a Protest Babe.

(H/T that Drudge fellow.)

(Also available at Creative Destruction.)

Scotty: The Next Generation

My three-year old is running around upstairs, going from room to room, shouting "I need more power! We're not going to make it in time!"

That's my girl.

The Taliban Yalie and John Fund

John Fund is really starting to get pissed off. No intemperate rhetoric, just a quietly building anger.

Can't blame him; I feel pretty much the same way myself.

Sean Penn Has Ann Coulter Torture Doll


Not a big fan of Ms. Coulter myself, but that isn't material.

People like this have real psychological problems.

Another Step Forward for Airborne Volcano Laser Lancing

Boeing's aerial laser gets another at-bat.

I'm not particularly committed to any specific implementation (I have no idea if this is a good weapon program, for example) but the general concept is sound and we should definitely build some of these.


Banned at Feministe

Apparently I don't fit in with the new order. I think this thread, where Zuzu thinks a bilateral treaty modification is TEH APOCALYPSE and gets mocked, is what did it.

Ah well. The site isn't worth [as] much without Lauren.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

San Diego

San Diego contains many beautiful beaches, lovely scenery, a genuinely competent highway layout, nice clients, pleasant if modest hotels, and a lot of work for me to do.

No blog for you!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Small World, But I Wouldn't Want to Paint It

Sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for a connecting flight (yay cheap fares! boo sitting on my butt in San Francisco!), I just saw a fellow I worked with about 15 years ago walk by. I was paralyzed, though, and didn't go after him - I couldn't remember his name!

(Ten minutes later - it was Darryl.)

Just as well. He was kind of a jerk.

Don't Blame Me...

I Voted for Roslin.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Kitten of the Day

How busy am I? So busy that this pathetic excuse for a blog post represents WAY more time and energy than I can afford to spend blogging today.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Death of France


I mock the French a lot. Because it's fun.

But Gallic civilization is indeed civilization. France used to be a foundation stone of the West. Now she's an unemployed shell, with a youthful underclass that riots when given the economic equivalent of the "soda pop rots your teet" lecture.

If they go down into the night, it bodes ill for the rest of us.

Blog Sadness

Sorry for the lack of bloggy goodness. Got a call from a grantwriting client this morning, pleased to inform me that a potential foundation funder had asked us to submit a formal application - due in a week. Eeep. Been busy.

Balko on Maye

Radley Balko has been down in Mississippi, talking with Cory Maye's family and jurors from his trial. The link is a roundup of his (many excellent) posts and research on the case.

Maye, you may recall, is the young man currently serving a prison sentence for the shooting of police officer Ron Jones. It appears painfully clear from the evidence that Balko, among others, has collected that Maye was acting reasonably and prudently in self-defense.

Kudos to Balko for continuing to run with this story. Cory Maye should get a new trial.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Feministe is back. Guess Jill got a refund from the Lebanese.

Florence King Ill

The legendary Florence King is ill and having trouble with her local doctors. Send some positive vibes 'n prayers her way.

Giant Lego Aircraft Carrier

This sucker is big. And very detailed. Next up: the Death Star, life-size!

(Via Vodkapundit, who's been hitting the muscle relaxants lately.)

Mmmm, Hairy Lobster

Undoubtedly delicious, but you'd always have the fur getting stuck in your teeth.

The Wisdom of Jonah Goldberg

Increasingly middle-aged family man Jonah G has something to say about seeking out viewpoints that oppose your own:
Here’s some advice, for what it’s worth. The way to tell if a liberal — or a conservative — is to be trusted is to see how fairly he or she deals with the other side’s arguments. Obviously, you can’t give a full airing to the other side’s point of view or you’d be spending all your time making the other side’s case. And not every column has to be a on the one-hand, on-the-other-hand affair. But, over the long haul, you can tell which liberals actually have the intellectual self-confidence to engage with the other side’s best arguments and not just their worst ones. Meanwhile, if you look at, say, Maureen Dowd, there isn’t even an attempt to be fair to the other side. It’s all bile, snark, and sneer — which would be a good name for a law firm in mordor. Lord knows, I don’t mind bile per se, but it can only be a single ingredient, not the whole thing. Dowd's stuff is closer to fiction writing than opinion journalism. I think a lot of rightwingers have a similar problem — and I wouldn’t recommend them to liberals trying to get a fair read on the conservative point of view either. That doesn’t mean they’re not worth reading. But entertainment is not necessarily argument.
Boy, is this on-target! Jonah is writing about columnists, but it applies equally to bloggers.

I have found a number of bloggers out there who are really good at presenting their own point of view, while also being intellectually honest about the views of people who disagree with them. There are also a lot of bloggers (of all stripes) who seem to be victims of the Moral/Intellectual Fallacy: the idea that anyone who holds Wrong Views must do so because of personal evil or personal stupidity. You find this a lot on college campuses; it's forgivable there, because the victims are usually people who are engaging in the life of the mind for the first time (and thus are going to fall into a lot of errors), and because part of the point of college is learning to get past the idea that there's only One True Way of looking at things.

The problem with the "you must be stupid or evil" position is that it limits our ability to learn. The extreme complexity of the universe, coupled with our own individual foibles, frailties, and fallibilities, mean that nobody living on Earth has the complete puzzle. We each only have one little piece. Even worse, the piece we have is usually worn and scuffed and chewed and has dog spit on it from when the little rascal got into the box. Through our own efforts, we can improve our piece. We can clean off the spittle, mend the cracks, perhaps polish the scuffs. But we still only have one piece of the puzzle. In order to really expand our understanding, we have to talk to other people.

And some of those other people are going to have very different understandings and worldviews than we do. It's an inevitability; the world is, as noted, complex. Things that work for one person don't work at all for another. There's just no way that a single philosophy or worldview is going to encompass all the truth that is out there.

There are people who are so stupid that their contribution to any possible discourse is limited to "didja catch Idol?" and there are people so evil that anything that has run through their brain needs to be considered toxic and dangerous. But these are a tiny fraction of the minds which we will encounter over the course of our lives. Nearly anyone with the cognitive capacity to boot up a web browser, and the moral integrity to stay out of prison, is going to have something to say that you can learn from - even if they seem to be wrong about many things.

Being intellectually honest about people we disagree with makes us smarter, in the long run, because we learn things that we wouldn't have picked up if we had insisted that those who disagree with us had nothing to contribute. I have definitely noticed in my life that the people who seem to know the most - those who have the most wisdom - are also people who really understand the positions of their political, moral or spiritual adversaries.

Snark is fun, but listening is the path to understanding.

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog

E I E I O. And on this blog he makes some jokes...

(H/T Derb at The Corner - who has a great suggestion for any medieval literature specialist looking for a blog niche.)

Futurama To Return!

According to voice actor Billy West, anyway.

(H/T Gene Expression.)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

New Group Blog Gig

I've been invited to be part of a group blog called Creative Destruction, which is oriented towards civil discussion among people of widely-varying views. It's a worthy experiment, and I look forward to crushing my enemies many good conversations.

Feministe Down

Apparently Feministe has been down for two days now. My theory: Jill, realizing the futility of her doomed love for Anderson Cooper, has sold the site to Lebanese marriage brokers and is wandering the streets, disconsolate.

Or maybe someone forgot to pay a hosting bill. One of those two, I bet.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Diego Bound

I'm visiting San Diego on a business trip in the coming weeks. I won't have much free time but I'll have a little bit. Any must-see attractions or quick but worthwhile places to drop in?

French Protest Laws of Economics

French students are upset at a law that would give companies the ability to fire young workers. The quotes in the article are telling; these are people who are absolutely clueless about how economies work.

GGP Up 4.3 Percent in 2005

According to this report. I know that I was working harder.

Say No To Public Campaign Finance

Had a nice exchange with old college acquaintance Charles, an occasional poster at Alas, regarding public funding of campaigns. Public campaign funding is one of those ideas which sound eminently reasonable and tempt even the purest of conservative hearts.

However, in the course of ruminating over our exchange, I hit upon the reason that public campaign finance isn't acceptable.

Political campaigns are speech. Paying for speech promotes the speech. Collecting tax revenue and then using it to support political speech which may be deeply repellent to the taxpayer is highly objectionable. Compelling support from the public for figures and views they may find offensive is an across-the-board issue: everyone has candidates who they would be profoundly unwilling to support. I don't want David Duke to get my money. Barry is an opponent of the Slade Gorton for President ticket. And so on.

I can think of few non-corporeal punishments more awful for many people. Give us $20 to pay for Pat Robertson's televised spot on why gay marriage causes global warming, or we'll throw you in jail. If a private citizen did it, it would be extortion.

I can see that there are some real merits to a publicly-funded system. But this objection seems to me insuperable.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Film to Look at Life of Mary

This will be interesting - a biopic on Mary (and Joseph, but mainly Mary) before the Nativity. Definitely on the must-see list. (At least until we get the word that the producers decided to "go in a new direction" and have Mary as a stripper with a heart of gold who gets entangled in Joseph's screwball manger-rental scam.)

Pentagon Researches Robotic Bugs

We might see some actual, literal army ants.

I apologize for that.

Headlines Which Say Enough

From this San Antonio media report: "Flying Cow Leaves 2 Police Cars In Flames"

Don't go to the link. Don't read the story. The headline is perfect the way it is; any additional information will simply detract from the story's utter, eternal, perfection.

Microsoft Remarkets the Ipod

It's too scary to be funny. (Video, sound.)

(H/T Vodkapundit.)

Congress Raises Debt Limit to $9 Trillion

That's a lot of money.

Man, I wish it worked that way for me. I'd call up the bank - "Hi! My lending limit has just been raised $10,000. Oh, and I need to borrow $10,000. In small bills, by the door, just like last time. Thanks!"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Worst Day Ever

Woman sitting with her father as he dies; her husband is killed in a traffic accident 20 minutes later.

Remind me not to complain about having to take out the trash.

(H/T Alabama Improper.)

Want a Job?

I really need to hire someone to help with sales for my writing and editing services company.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

From Blogger's Status Page

Regarding a server problem they've been having:

The offending server is being replaced and then shot. We’ll let you know when things are back up. Shouldn’t be too long.

Bad Christian Chronicles

I'm a bad Christian, because I read this, and I think "kill them all" and I'm not kidding even a little bit.

(Warning: sexual abuse triggers.)

Liberty University Debate Team

This is an interesting story. Look out, my liberal friends; Liberty's gonna getcha!

Chortling at the hypothetical discomfiture of lefties aside, there's a classic correction at the bottom of the story:

Correction: In the original version of this report, NEWSWEEK misquoted Falwell as referring to "assault ministry." In fact, Falwell was referring to "a salt ministry"—a reference to Matthew 5:13, where Jesus says "Ye are the salt of the earth." We regret the error.

No doubt, no doubt.

A Little Rodent

So cute.

(H/T, i.e., stolen from, here.)

British Judges Rules Boy Can Live

A British judge has denied a petition by a hospital to cease ventilation support for an 18-month old baby boy.

The boy (who is physically troubled but mentally normal) relies on a ventilator to live. His parents wanted him to stay alive. The hospital wanted to let him die.

I cannot imagine living in a country where I had to go to a court and beg a judge to let my son continue to breathe. A good outcome to an absolutely chilling scenario.

Rooftop Tennis

I'm not in these pictures.

If I were in them, I'd be a little figure in the geometric center of the roof, in the fetal position, rocking back and forth and saying "gib-gib-big" until someone let me back inside.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Taliban at Yale

Cathy Young has a great summation of the story to date, with extensive quotes.

The Personal Supercomputer

I so want one of these. Loyal minions! Sell your kidneys and send me the money!

(Note to slower loyal minions: sell one kidney, and send the money. Then sign a pre-pay contract to sell the second one, send me the money, and proceed)

No More "Chef" On South Park

Isaac Hayes has quit the show in protest over its treatment of religion. Although Hayes did not say so, there is speculation that the show's recent satire on Scientology was the deciding factor in his decision. Hayes is a member of the Church of Scientology.

Positive Body Image Has Different Impact on Men and Women

A recent study indicates that young men with good body image are more likely to engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners. Young women with good body image are less likely to do the same thing. Story is here.

(H/T to TangoMan.)

As BG Ends, Sopranos Begins...

and so the circle of life continues! Or at least the circle of us having something good to watch once a week.

BG finale was a shocker, wasn't it?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rejected Potty Training Book Titles

1. "Every Time He Buys a Pack of Diapers, Daddy Loves You a Little Bit Less"
2. "Go In The Toilet, Like Our Real Baby Would"
3. "Mommy Drinks Because You Pee"
4. ?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Is It Just Me...

or is the Great Outdoor Fight sequence at Achewood the best thing he's done to date?

(Other than the baby of course...who turns one in a few days. Happy birthday, baby!)

Run, Hillary, Run!

Hillary is expected to run for President, but has only lukewarm support in California and New York, two absolute bastions of Democratic politics.

Interesting. I would have thought she had more backing than this. Perhaps my Rice-Clinton dream scenario is doomed, not because of the obstacles facing Condi in a Presidential bid, but because Hillary's polling is so bad she might be denied the nomination.

"Ripping Off The Man Is Fun, Beavis!"

Nest self-foulers.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Mars Orbiter Makes Successful Burn

The Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter made its orbital insertion and is stably orbiting the Red Planet.


An Equal Protection Argument Against Abortion

And interestingly enough, it becomes an argument for why we have to get the courts out of the abortion business.

(This isn't going to become The Abortion Blog, I promise. I just have been thinking about it a lot recently. At some point we will switch back to pictures of puppies playing with jello. )

Musing about the guy who's suing for the right to terminate his own fatherhood of a child on the grounds that he didn't want it and didn't get an abortion, I wonder if there is a 14th amendment case against abortion, on the following lines:

Once a child is born, both a man and a woman share financial and custodial responsibility for the child. They each have general duties toward the child under the law. This is just and equitable, as far as I know. (Where there are individual exceptional cases, ("that crazy judge gave him full custody!") they are in violation of the basic principles, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances.)

However, women have a power that is not granted to men: the power to abort the child. This is specific, unique to women; it can't be transferred. Unlike financial responsibility, this existential responsibility is assigned, by nature and the state, to one gender only.

It is not the state's place to rule on what nature may or may not do. However, there is no need for the state's action in the matter to conform to that set of facts. To be treated equally under the terms of 14th Amendment, which do not (so far as I am aware) make an exception for cases where only one group can exercise a right, it would seem that the state should bar both sexes from procuring the abortion of a jointly-conceived fetus, or allow both to procure unilaterally.

The latter option is ethically appalling. To grant men the arbitrary power to unilaterally decree an abortion, even in the case of a woman who greatly desired a pregnancy, would be monstrous beyond measure. No man was born to wear that crown of power over a woman, save One, and he is a gentle Lord.

The former seems to genuinely preclude the right of any woman to get an abortion. While in many cases it is likely that this would be an increase in justice, rather than a decrease, the fact that remains for some irreducible portion of pregnancies, such as cases of medical necessity or dire and unrelievable circumstances for the mother, an abortion is the morally right course of action. To deny those abortions is monstrous in and of itself. The measure of harm is, in my personal feeling, less than that imposed in the case of allowing male dictation of abortion. However, it still well exceeds the amount of injustice that can be tolerated under a humane regime of law.

It would seem, therefore, that some kind of compromise is in order. Perfect (i.e., strictly Constitutional) justice cannot be effectively delivered. However, some solution must be reached.

And here I suggest that the appropriate remedy on the part of the judicial system is: withdraw. Remove this element of our national, and personal, lives by making it a political issue instead of a legal issue.

The political system will come up with a messy, patchwork system - or more likely, set of systems. It will evolve in accordance with the efforts and desires of the people in the many communities and governmental entities that make up our society. There will undoubtedly be abuses and excesses; political systems eat efficiency and excrete corruption. But that's often a better thing than rulings by judges. You can't move out from an order of the Supreme Court. But you can leave New York for Utah, if that's what suits you. Or from Nebraska to Nevada, if that's your preference. If states and even towns are setting their own policies, then Americans for whom the issues are important can do the Burkean self-sorting which is the peculiar genius of our political and social culture.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Oh The Shame

Canada defeats US in baseball.

There is only one honorable course of action. Execute the American team, to encourage the others, and recruit a new team for a rematch.

Hopefully the prospect of being hung in the event of a loss will focus the American players' minds.

Lost in Translation

Funniest. Chinese menu. Ever.

Via the Corner.

Non-Reassuring Science

Scientists create hottest temperature ever recorded.

They've got no clue how they did it.

So they do it over and over again to try and figure it out.

I would perhaps be more reassured if they stopped doing it briefly and tried to figure out how without, you know, generating the 5 billion degree heat.

Call me Mr. Cautious.

Liquid Water Found on Moon of Saturn

This is awesome. There is probably liquid water on Saturn's small moon Enceladus, discovered by the Cassini-Huygens probe.

Stupid Homeowner, Stupid Homeowner's Association

This case is tooth-grindingly annoying. Woman with soldier husband serving overseas puts up "Support our Troops" sign. Problem: she's in a gated community with a rule against yard signs.

So now everyone is going round and round. Sigh.

If you're going to move into a community that has rules, read the darn rules and decide whether you can live by them or not. Sheesh.

If you're going to have a community with rules, be prepared to make modifications for them under certain circumstances. "Support our Troops" signs are probably a safe exception to the no-signs rules.

This is how despotisms start. Someone gets tired of watching the yammerers yammer, draws a sword, and starts cutting off heads until things are done intelligently.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How Abortion Ought to End

I'm not really happy about the South Dakota law, the way some other pro-lifers are. I don't think that the law is going to get us where we want to go.

I want abortion to be stopped through a spiritual awakening on the part of the people who are faced with the decision to have an abortion, or to have a baby.

A large part of the responsibility for laying the groundwork for that awakening lies on men. Men must take responsibility for their sexual behavior. Men must also place their material and non-material resources in escrow every time they unzip their pants; we have to recognize that every act of physical intimacy has the potential for the creation of new life, and be willing to step up and accept the duty (and the joy) of fatherhood. We can't lecture women to pick up a hugely burdensome responsibility and then do nothing to help carry it. Men who can't or won't accept the responsibility of adult sexuality ought either to refrain, or to find outlets which carry no risk of pregnancy. Vasectomies are inexpensive. You might not be able to be a dad; you can certainly refrain from being a cad.

Another part of the groundwork for that change lies in the area of state action. Government policy should encourage childbirth and childrearing, and accept the idea that women who bear children are making a serious economic and personal sacrifice, and men who father children responsibly are making a lesser, but still real, sacrifice. For the majority of the populace whose children are educated by the state, realistic sexual education is a requirement - not only in the mechanics and biology of function, but in the real intimacies and emotional vulnerabilities opened by physical intimacy. Experience is the teacher of last resort, but many of the lessons of experience can be taught in a classroom, and at far lower cost. Among the things which ought to be taught are the biological truths of conception - and an appreciation of the delicate and powerful processes that are taking place from the moment a new human life is formed.

My friends in the religious communities of America must recognize that we can emphasize sexual purity from now until Jesus comes, and many people may live up to those high standards, and that is wonderful - but many others will not, and our ideas and policies have got to reflect the reality on the ground, not the desires of our hearts. People are going to have sex; people who aren't ready for parenthood ought not to be having sex, but some are going to do it anyway, and the only known way to reduce the number of babies conceived in those circumstances is to make birth control readily available.

The hedonistic culture of sexual gratification for its own sake ought to be rejected by the people who participate in it. It's a culture that is underlaid by sadness and abuse and exploitation; a culture where women define their self-worth by their sexual prowess and their willingness to play a fantasy role for whichever man will pretend to validate their "politics" or their "liberation". A huge part of the corrupt and toxic nature of this culture comes in its emphasis of sex as the province of the very young - an absurd and destructive notion. Sexual intimacy is an incredible responsibility and an incredible experience - it is not something that should be pushed at 13 year olds with an implicit message that the only kids not having sex are the losers. Sexuality and love and regard for the humanity of one another ought to become united in the mental conceptions of sex that our children grow up in; the idea of sex without love ought to be regarded, not with horror, but with infinite sadness.

The primary agents of this cultural change must be women. Women have the right - the right de facto, never mind the intricate debates over bodily autonomy and "choice" - to control their own bodies, and they will control them. As with all decisions and control, therefore, it behooves a society which wishes to enshrine positive values of life to encourage the decisions that are compatible with those values. Women who recognize the humanity of the new life within them, who are supported by the men in their life, who are not condemned by the church but who are instead uplifted, who are encouraged in healthy and productive life choices by the state, are women who can make the right choice.

It is very doubtful that we will ever see the "fairy tale", everything-is-perfect utopian version of this culture. People are imperfect and life is messy, and even if everyone in the world has perfectly good intentions (they don't) and everyone in the world makes perfectly good decisions (they won't), there will be pregnancies which are tragic, decisions that are tragic, outcomes that are tragic. This is inevitable but it is a part of the cost of being human and having the ability to make meaningful choices for our lives.

That's pretty much a summary of what I would like to see, although I'm sure I've missed some things and mis-stated the emphasis that ought to be placed on others. There's not much room in there for outlawing things and relying on the coercive power of the state. The usefulness of that power is grossly overemphasized.

(Also posted with minor textual changes as a comment at Pandagon.)

Auto-Flushing Toilets = The Devil

Slate has this one right. I hate those things.

(H/T The Corner.)

Motion Denied...Because You're an Idiot

Judge goes Billy Madison on bozo filer. (See the footnote, page 2.)

(H/T Feministe.)

Dana Reeves, RIP

Dana Reeves, wife of the late Christopher Reeves, has died at the age of 44 from lung cancer. She leaves behind a 13-year old son, as well as two adult children. RIP.

A note of poignancy on an already sad occasion; Ms. Reeves is also survived by her father. I cannot imagine reaching old age and then having my still-young daughter taken away. Sympathies and prayers to the entire family.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Edwards Travels America, Visits 1930s

John Edwards is traveling the country, quietly doing spadework for his presumptive 2008 Presidential run. Edwards has a 1930s view of poverty as a material problem, caused by a shortage of material goods. (This shortage is always either blamed on the wicked capitalists, or left unexplained, by the materialist.) Of course, poverty is generally the result of the intersection of bad human capital formation in childhood with bad training in early adolescence. Edwards doesn't get that.

But there's some hope he might figure it out. He's a good candidate and a charismatic fellow; I'd give him a pretty good shot at the nomination in 2008.

Father of the Year Award

So far this guy's got to be a contender.

You know, chief, they're going to let you out again for the final checkups and such, after you give the kidney. Why not run then?

Is Patriarchy Inevitable?

Interesting article.


How come Serenity didn't get Best Picture?

They weren't nominated for anything.

I'd say that alone makes the whole thing a farce.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Kick off your shoes, make yourself at home.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Nonblogging

Not blogging it. Not watching it. Not interested.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

"English-Speaking American" Told to Tone it Down

A Denver public works employee is told he cannot wear a "US Border Patrol" hat to work. He's also told to cover or remove the "English-Speaking American" sign, and the American flag, from the trailer on his truck.

Art Buchwald Cheerful As He Nears Death

A cheery little story about Buchwald, who has declined further dialysis (and presumably other life-saving treatment). The writer of the story presented Art with a lifetime achievement award and spent some time chatting with him.

It's been years since I've read anything by him, but I remember being charmed and amused as a boy. When he goes, he will be missed.

Corrupt Congressman Draws Eight-Year Term

Randy Cunningham, who took millions in bribes and "gifts", was sentenced to eight years in prison. He did take responsibility for his acts, telling the judge, "Your honor I have ripped my life to shreds due to my actions, my actions that I did to myself...I made a very wrong turn. I rationalized decisions I knew were wrong. I did that, sir."

Good. Housecleaning is never fun, but is necessary if you want to govern. Republicans have more work to do.

Criminal Probe in Tillman Death

Huh. I wonder what this is all about.

Friday, March 03, 2006

My First PC

When I was a kid - maybe 7, so 1975 - I had an analog computer. A friend of the family gave it to me; it was gathering dust in his garage. It was a plastic shell that had I think 10 lightbulbs across the top, and rows and rows of holes. You would connect sets of holes with wires, and there were plastic sliders that would activate or de-activate parts of the circuit that you had built. It came with pre-designed "games" and "utilities" that you could (after sweating and swearing with wires for 4 hours) plug in to the board and play. You could also write your own programs for it, if you were some kind of frickin' genius (or so it seemed to me at the time).

Thanks to helpful old alumni friends, I found it here. Lots of other cool computers at that site.

Also, as a boy, I wrote a program designed to be entered on punch cards. (It was a lunar lander simulator.) The cards were not actually physically punched - the campus mainframe where I was taking the computer class had just been outfitted with a state-of-the-art teletype terminal, where you could actually type in code without having to punch the cards. But they still taught us how to do the cards, because it was "a valuable job skill".

Yes, I am old. I am punchcard old, and my temples are white.

When did this happen?

Ginsburg Falls Asleep at Supreme Court

According to the AP reporter quoted in this WND story. Apparently Justice Ginsburg caught a few zzzzs at the tail end of a dry and technical case.

Can't say I blame her. Heck, last time I went to the dentist, they used a wedge to hold my mouth open so I wouldn't have to keep straining my muscles, and I napped through two fillings. Of course, when it comes to sleeping, I don't mess around.

Black History Month, Belatedly

Iowahawk had a rare-for-him serious post up for BHM talking about the major role that black Americans played in drag racing. Interesting stuff; at least, a change from the usual veneration of the idols.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Lego Difference Engine

This has been floating around for a while, but I don't care. This guy is cool. He may never touch a woman, but he's cool.

I Have No Problems

Been in a minor funk because of a troublesome client. Pity me, poor me, my life is hard.

I have no problems.

Can You Pass Eighth-Grade Math?

Try it here. I passed!

Isaac Asimov Died of AIDS

I didn't know that Janet Asimov had revealed this 'secret' in her 2002 autobiography. Apparently he became infected by HIV after a 1983 blood transfusion. They kept it quiet because Asimov (in his 60s when he first contracted the disease) didn't want to deal with the stigma. Understandable, I suppose.

Because It's Been a While

There's always room for kitties.

Fun With Genetics

Mixed-race couple bears fraternal twins. One is white, the other black. Both are very sweet.

People In The Wrong Job

This nice lady maybe needs a change of scenery.