Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Questions about the legality of the wiretapping, etc., that NSA has been doing?

Over at Radioblogger, read that transcript of Hugh Hewitt's interview with Cass Sunstein, University of Chicago's Constitutional Law professor, and a liberal one, to boot. Money quote:
CS: Yes. That's clearly right. What that Court says is that for domestic surveillance that don't involve foreigners or foreign threats, the president needs a warrant. But now we're onto the last question, which is whether there's a Fourth Amendment requirement of a warrant. And the Supreme Court has never said that in circumstances like this. The lower court seemed to suggest otherwise.

HH: That's why I wanted to come back and do your middle one in the middle, because now we've got the Constitutional issues out on the table. There are some arguments the other way. I want to be fair to people who are arguing, because they haven't been really fair to the president's position. You could make arguments the other way. But by no means does the...in my opinion, do they have remotely as strong a case as the advocates for the Constitutionality of what the president has done. Do you agree with that assessment, Professor?

CS: Well, what I'd say is that the Department of Justice is the president's lawyer, and they have a duty, the lawyers there, to protect the president's Constitutional prerogatives. I actually worked there myself around the same time that Chief Justice Roberts was in the Justice Department, and that's the Department of Justice's job to protect Constitutional prerogatives of the president. But in this case, it's not as if the Department of Justice is stretching badly to protect the president. It's not as in the what I think is the unfortunate torture memo, where the Justice Department really was stretching. Here the Department of Justice is making more than plausible arguments. If you put me to it, is the president right on this? It's very complicated. I think he has...he probably has the better argument. As you say, there are complexities.
And don't forget to read James Lilek's hilarious interview: "Hi, Hugh. And it's another grim Christmas in Hitler McNixon's America, isn't it?"

Monday, December 26, 2005

It's Boxing Day!

And here in the Tannerball household, we are getting ready to go out to the country and do some shootin'. Busting up clays is a great way to blow off a little holiday steam. I will be using my new Remington 870:The Daytimer will be using her sweet Beretta Silver Pigeon "S" over/under 20 gauge:Just so you know, here are the potential origins of Boxing Day, as reported in Wikipedia:
There is much dispute over the true origins of Boxing Day. The more common stories include:

Centuries ago, merchants would present their servants food and fruits as a form of Yuletide tip. Naturally, the gifts of food and fruit were packed in boxes, hence the name "Boxing Day".

In feudal times, Christmas was a reason for a gathering of extended families. All the serfs would gather their families in the manor of their lord, which makes it easier for the lord of the estate to hand out annual stipends to the serfs. After all the Christmas parties on December 25, the lord of the estate would give practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land, and one family would get a box full of such goods the day after Christmas. Under this explanation, there was nothing voluntary about this transaction; the lord of the manor was obligated to supply these goods. Because the boxes being given out, the day was called Boxing Day.

In Britain many years ago, it was common practice for the servants to carry boxes to their employers when they arrive for their day's work on the day after Christmas (26 December). Their employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts. This can be compared with the modern day concept of Christmas bonuses. The servants carried boxes for the coins, hence the name Boxing Day.

In churches, it was tradition to open the church's donation box on Christmas day, and the money in the donation box were to be distributed to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day. In this case, the "box" in "Boxing Day" comes from that one gigantic lockbox in which the donations were left.

In slave labour camps, many of the negros were forced to enter a festive tournament of hand to hand combat, the prize for the winner being their freedom and a large hamper of bananas, the punishment for the losers death. This has now led to the day being called Boxing Day.

In Britain because many servants had to work for their employers on Christmas day they would instead open their presents (ie. boxes) the next day, which therefore became known as boxing day.

The theories above, irrespective of the specifics, all seem to indicate that the original tradition that lead to what we know now as Boxing Day may have been to maintain society's class structure. It was a one-way gift-giving practice, where gifts flowed from a higher class of society to the lower classes (the serfs, the poorer people, etc). An exchange of gifts would indicate equality between the giver and the receiver, which is what Boxing Day may originally have been intended to fight against.

Alternatively, some have proposed that "Boxing Day" may have been when all the Christmas decorations went back in their boxes to await next year's festivities. This seems less likely, however, when we consider the known age of the term "Boxing Day", which predates the modern decorating obsession by several centuries.
Have a good one!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY CHANUKA! WHATEVER!

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, have a great one. Here in the Tannerball household we have given/received presents--shotguns, bouncy horses, and a bike, to name a few. Off to enjoy more family togetherness!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

WaPo has some good stuff today

Although I don't know whether it's aware that it is making the best argument ever for de-nationalizing any industry that other nations depend upon.
A YEAR AFTER Ukraine's Orange Revolution, Russia's effort to combat the spread of democracy in Eastern Europe continues unabated. Its latest weapon is natural gas. As the heating season got underway this month, Moscow announced through its state-controlled energy company, Gazprom, that it would more than triple the price it charges Ukraine for gas supplies, to $160 per 1,000 cubic meters. When Ukraine's government sought to negotiate a more gradual increase, Moscow threatened to raise the price further, to more than $200, or cut off supplies as of Jan. 1. Russian President Vladimir Putin chose to trigger this crisis just as Ukraine approaches a crucial parliamentary election on March 26. Thanks to Mr. Putin, soaring energy prices for Ukrainian consumers may be a punishing issue for the former Orange revolutionaries.
When will Russia learn that this is bad juju? It is difficult to fathom a political structure so opposed to self-determination that it will extort political outcomes that shouldn't have any real impact on Russia, other than to make Russians aware that elections matter. I hate realpolitik more than I hate cottage cheese.

Also, an interesting editorial on political hijinks in Egypt. Apt, because my sister in law got back from Cairo yesterday. Welcome home, Lucy!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Manolo's Christmas hits


Via the Manolo, we find out that David Hasselhof is back and ready to rock it out. The reviews of this album are spectacular (scroll through them, lord):
Let me just say that this CD changed my life. I was busy looting the sewage-filled stores of New Orleans (for my family, of course)in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As I sloshed thru the streets full of bloated animal corpses, a large boom box under one arm, all the bling I could put around my neck and wrists, and a fur coat over my free shoulder - I saw IT!! Shining and floating in the cesspool of the 9th ward - a beautifully wrapped, untouched, unopened CD of the Master Jerklehoff - "Very Best Of" Heir Dingleberryhoff, I might add. At first I started to let it drift down the rat-infested, turd - o - toilet my home had become. Common sense kicked in and I put it in my new Gucci bag dangling from my hip. Hours later, when relaxing with my new gun collection from Walmart, having a few warm brewskys and taking pot shots at the cops - I remembered the CD. I gathered up the pilfered batteries that my three sons had on the new Louis the XVI chesterfield (the antique store was OPEN I tell you) and cranked up the new boom box. Let the magic begin...

40 drunk Santas on a rampage

Just read the whole thing.

All I want for Christmas is my Barbie dead, my Barbie dead


Check this out.
"The girls we spoke to see Barbie torture as a legitimate play activity, and see the torture as a 'cool' activity," said Agnes Nairn, one of the University of Bath researchers. "The types of mutilation are varied and creative, and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving."
Microwaving?!?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Reaction to the transit strike in NYC

In NYC, the transit worker's union is on strike. Our friends at Stone know that they are safe in Marc's devious and union-busting hands.

Devious Canadian bar owners !!

I just love this:
Edmonton bar owner Tony Burke has found a creative way around the city's new smoking ban: a remodeled bus where customers can go to light up out of the cold. Since the bus has wheels instead of a foundation, it's not covered by the smoking ordinance. (Just to be on the safe side, Burke registered it in his own name, rather than the business's.) "Despite the loophole," reports the Globe and Mail, "Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel has told reporters that bars should comply with the spirit of the law."
Yes, mayor, your subjects (and that's what they are) should comply with the "spirit of the law" that restrains your citizens' freedom to do as they please, as opposed to your having to follow the letter of the law. But what about the children? THE CHILDREN!!
Of course, if your real goal is to stop people from deciding how they use their own bodies, you're failing--which is why this case nicely exposes the fact that the public health argument isn't the true motivation for many of the anti-smoking nannies.

VDH is at it again.

And, as usual, he is completely merciless
For some time, a large number of Americans have lived in an alternate universe where everything is supposedly going to hell. If you get up in the morning to read the New York Times or Washington Post, watch John Murtha or Howard Dean on the morning talk shows, listen to National Public Radio at noon, and go to bed reading Newsweek it surely seems that the administration is incommunicado (cf. “the bubble”), the war is lost (“unwinnable”), the Great Depression is back (“jobless recovery”), and America about as popular as Nazi Germany abroad (“alone and isolated”).

But in the real adult world, the economy is red-hot, not mired in joblessness or relegating millions to poverty. Unemployment is low, so are interest rates. Growth is high, as is consumer spending and confidence. Our Katrina was hardly as lethal as the Tsunami or Pakistani earthquake. Thousands of Arabs are not rioting in Dearborn. American elderly don’t roast and die in the thousands in their apartments as was true in France. Nor do American cities, like some in China, lose their entire water supply to a toxic spill. Americans did not just vote to reject their own Constitution as in some European countries.

Oh yeah--read this too.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Zarkman is back

and he's keepin' it real.
In fairness I guess you expect that kind of pussified goatshit from French recruits, even when they're shahids. Weasels or not, at least they have enough sense to try to save their own asses. But man, then there are these crazy fucking Saudi and Yemeni and Syrian assholes. Those guys are so stupid and horny for Paradise poontang that they're already blowing themselves up before they get their luggage unloaded from the courtesy van. We got a little joke here at the office:

What's the last thing a Saudi says to a Syrian before they met Allah?

"What does this button do?"

I'm telling you, If you were around these felchers 10 minutes you'd be convinced we need to rethink this whole marrying-in-the-clan thing. And, along with the stupid, comes the gullibility. Zawahiri, in all his motivational wisdom, bought a Dish Network subscription for the office so we could get the CNN and MSNBC feeds. "Good for morale," or something like that. Oh yeah, brilliant move there, Ayman. Next time some of my clueless shitheads decide to attack the "demoralized and broken" Team Satan after watching the Chris Matthews Show, maybe you can help stuff the remains into the Ziplocs and write the goddamn thank-you notes.

Which brings up another thing: those worthless Satanland dhimmis. Yeah, I know they mean well, but Allah save us all from these cocksuckers' "help." I suppose you heard about the infidel peace creeps we snatched last week. Nice little PR coup, huh? Well, you try being in a cramped office with a bunch of smelly Unitarian hippies from Austin bitching about "vegan optional meals" and demanding "natural fiber wrist ropes." Mohammed H. Prophet, I swear that beheading deadline can't come soon enough.

Islamonazism?

A former CIA director give you the straight poop on Wahhabism. The point? Let's start taking these mullahs at their word:
Such totalitarian visions seem crazy to most of us; we thus tend to underestimate their potency. Yet the Salafists' theocratic totalitarian dream has some features in common with the secular totalitarian dreams of the twentieth century, e.g., the Nazis' Thousand Year Reich, or the Communists' World Communism. The latter two movements produced tens of millions of deaths in the 20th century in part because, at least in their early stages, they engendered "fire in the minds of men" in Germany, Russia, and China and were able to establish national bases. Salafists had such a national base for the better part of a decade in Afghanistan and have had one controlling the Arabian Peninsula for some eight decades. They haven't attained the Nazis' and Communists' death totals yet, but this is only due to lack of power, not to less murderous or less totalitarian objectives.
It's long, but you should read the whole thing.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

"Most Irishmen useless at housework"

According to this study, dogs bite men on occasion.

WARNING!!

Yes indeed.
Due to increasing products liability litigation, American liquor manufacturers have accepted the FDA's suggestion that the following warning labels be placed immediately on all varieties of alcohol containers:
[snip]

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may be a major factor in getting your ass kicked.

Of course, he's abolutely correct . . .

but that won't keep our elected representatives, in their lunacy, from trying to do the wrong thing.
By blocking much drilling in Alaska and offshore, Congress does nothing to lower the price of oil. Then Congress spends taxpayer dollars to soften the impact of the price, thereby encouraging consumption that raises the price. Then Grassley asks oil executives to join the moral grandstanding by squandering their shareholders' wealth -- diverting it to protect oil consumers from some consequences of their representatives' irrationality.

[snip]

This year the six largest oil companies will disperse 34 percent of their cash flow -- $31 billion -- in dividends to shareholders. But such flows can be shrunk by "windfall profit" taxes. That is explained, with a clarity sufficient even for the dimmest 35 senators, in a study -- "The Economic Impact of a Windfall Profits Tax for Savers and Shareholders" -- by Robert J. Shapiro, former undersecretary of commerce in the Clinton administration, and Nam D. Pham, an economist.

Although the real rationale for a windfall profits tax is to allow legislators to strike a histrionic pose, Dorgan's tax, say Shapiro and Pham, would have produced gross revenue -- depending on where the price of oil is in the range between $45 and $60 a barrel -- of $18.5 billion to $104.9 billion over five years. But because the windfall profits tax payments would have reduced corporate income tax payments, the government's net, say Shapiro and Pham, would have been only $8.6 billion to $48.7 billion.
As they say, read the whole thing.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

What can 58,000 lbs. of thrust do to a car?

Excellent.
Via the Corner--"Big engine, lightweight hippie car."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Holy crap.

I mean, I like to shoot guns as much as the next guy, but this is ridiculous.

Bruce Lee Statue Unveiled!

As you may recall, the Bosnian town of Mostar resolved to erect a statue of Bruce Lee to unite the clans--Bruce Lee is a symbol all in Mostar respected and could get behind. Well, here is the "monument to universal justice that Mostar needs more than any other city I know.":

Catherine the Great? Pinyan the Horny! Tait the convicted!!

Man Pleads Guilty in Horse-Sex Case:
James Michael Tait, 54, of Enumclaw, was accused of entering a barn without the owner's permission. Tait admitted to officers that he entered a neighboring barn last July with friend Kenneth Pinyan to have sex with a horse, charging papers said. Tait was videotaping the episode when Pinyan suffered internal injuries that led to his death.

Christmas spirit, Irish style

Over at blogh an seanchai, our Irish friend has a very good idea for what to get the person in your family that doesn't need any more crap for Christmas:
So why not tell your friends that you want the gift of a pig, or a hen, or a cow. You buy a voucher for the livestock unit, you give it to the object of your affections. The charity sends the livestock unit to a family in Africa so that they can become self-sustaining. That family gives the first off-spring from their livestock unit to the family next door. You don' t have to rent extra storage for the bluetooth-enabled juicer that is exactly like the last juicer you wish you could throw out.
I like a juicer, but a cow is better. Read the whole thing.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Tannerball


Yesterday, the fifth annual Tannerball festivus occurred. The lady above is on the shirts and the manual. In case you are interested, the namesake of this blog is a game invented by the wife and me some years ago. It involves a Nerf Vortex--Peyton Manning Howler model football, a tire swing, throwing the ball over our house, and many injuries to the participants. Good fun. Photos will be posted periodically.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Say hello to my little friend

My college roommate, Ciaran Padraig O'Buachalla (aka Ciaran Buckley), has a blog you should check out. Not only does he link to Tannerball, but he has great insights like the following:
Not so in Ireland, where financial institutions have made a killing in recent years by offering capital-guarantee investment products to consumers. The investing public have ignored exorbitant management fees, dividend-shorn returns and deceptive guarantees, simply because investment brokers told them that they were guaranteed to not lose any money.

Even though the capuchin monkey's money instincts are broadly similar to humans, the tufted primate is superior in one important respect. If a banker in a three-piece suit climbed into a monkey cage to claim a few grapes as management fees, the monkey would have the good sense to bite him. Not so the Irish retail investor.
Scroll around--you will find some good stuff there. And the name is Gaelic, so you can say "I read a blog that's called some shit in Gaelic!" and impress your friends. Plus, it's cool that the Gaelic for "blog" turns out to be "blogh." Who knew?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Why, I ask...

President Bush, in his Veteran's Day speech yesterday, has decided it's time to stop pussy-footing around:
Our debate at home must also be fair-minded. One of the hallmarks of a free society and what makes our country strong is that our political leaders can discuss their differences openly, even in times of war. When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support. I also recognize that some of our fellow citizens and elected officials didn't support the liberation of Iraq. And that is their right, and I respect it. As President and Commander in Chief, I accept the responsibilities, and the criticisms, and the consequences that come with such a solemn decision.

While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. Many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: 'When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security.' That's why more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.

The stakes in the global War on Terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges.
FINALLY, YOU TIN-EARED DOOFUS!! SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!!

As you can tell, my main question for the "BUSH LIED, PEOPLE DIED" crowd is the following: if Bush misled us into the Iraq war, and the entire enterprise is based upon lies and distortions about the intelligence, well, WHY DID HE DO THAT? I will sit patiently and listen, and then ask whether the person telling me about this has read Norman Podhoretz' article in Commentary, where he does the research so you don't have to:
Yet even stipulating—which I do only for the sake of argument—that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq in the period leading up to the invasion, it defies all reason to think that Bush was lying when he asserted that they did. To lie means to say something one knows to be false. But it is as close to certainty as we can get that Bush believed in the truth of what he was saying about WMD in Iraq.

How indeed could it have been otherwise? George Tenet, his own CIA director, assured him that the case was “a slam dunk.” This phrase would later become notorious, but in using it, Tenet had the backing of all fifteen agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. In the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, one of the conclusions offered with “high confidence” was that

Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.

The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel, and—yes—France all agreed with this judgment. And even Hans Blix—who headed the UN team of inspectors trying to determine whether Saddam had complied with the demands of the Security Council that he get rid of the weapons of mass destruction he was known to have had in the past—lent further credibility to the case in a report he issued only a few months before the invasion:

The discovery of a number of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker, and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions. . . . They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.
And then I will smile, knowing I have the truth on my side.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Amen, brother!

True dat:
My alarm went off at seven this morning, just as the sun was starting to peek in through my window. I thought about hitting the snooze, but I had someplace important to be. I shaved, showered, put on my favorite pair of comfy boxers. Then I got dressed, taking special care as I strapped on the explosive vest that I wore under my shirt. Then I went out and blew up a whole bunch of people.

Oh, no, wait. I didn’t. Because I’m not a sick, murdering fuck.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Toilet Man Willing to Take Polygraph Test"


Toilet Man!!! Really, I can't make this shit up.
Bob Dougherty sued the home-improvement chain last month, alleging employees at a Louisville, Colo., store ignored his pleas for help after he got stuck on a restroom toilet seat in October 2003. . .

Dougherty's suit against Home Depot, filed late last month in Boulder County District Court, seeks $3 million. It claims he suffered pain, humiliation and financial loss.

The lawsuit said Dougherty, 57, was recovering from heart bypass surgery at the time and thought he was having a heart attack.

Dougherty said he suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome, nightmares and diabetes after the incident.

"It's not about the money. I want my health back. I want to be back to normal," he said. "I want to make sure this doesn't happen to anybody ever, ever again."

I am betting


This asshole won't be going to his Marine reunion. From an industrious and skeptical reporter, we find out that:
In scores of newspaper, magazine and broadcast stories, at a Canadian immigration hearing and in numerous speeches across the country, Massey has told how he and other Marines recklessly, sometimes intentionally, killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians.

Among his claims:

Marines fired on and killed peaceful Iraqi protesters.

Americans shot a 4-year-old Iraqi girl in the head.

A tractor-trailer was filled with the bodies of civilian men, women and children killed by American artillery.

Massey's claims have gained him celebrity. Last month, Massey's book, "Kill, Kill, Kill," was released in France. His allegations have been reported in nationwide publications such as USA Today, as well as numerous broadcast reports. Earlier this year, he joined the anti-war bus tour of Cindy Sheehan, and he's spoken at Cornell and Syracuse universities, among others.

News organizations worldwide published or broadcast Massey's claims without any corroboration and in most cases without investigation. Outside of the Marines, almost no one has seriously questioned whether Massey, a 12-year veteran who was honorably discharged, was telling the truth.

He wasn't.

Each of his claims is either demonstrably false or exaggerated - according to his fellow Marines, Massey's own admissions, and the five journalists who were embedded with Massey's unit, including a reporter and photographer from the Post-Dispatch and reporters from The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal.
What a peach. Don't you just love a guy slandering his fellow Marines, getting lots of press coverage for it, and then being found to be a gigantic, big, fat liar?
One of the checkpoint shootings is apparently the basis for one of most poignant recollections claimed by Massey in numerous speeches and interviews: The shooting of a 4-year-old girl in the head.

While touring with Sheehan in Montgomery, Ala., he told of seeing the girl's body. "You can't take it back," he said, according to the local newspaper.

But in the interview with the Post-Dispatch, Massey admitted that he never had seen the girl.

"Lima Company was involved in a shooting at a checkpoint," he said. "My platoon was ordered to another area before the victims were removed from the car. The other Marines told me that a 4-year-old girl had killed."

Girls unharmed

No 4-year-old died in the incident or was even wounded, according to witnesses including a Post-Dispatch photographer at the scene who filed photos of the incident that were published in the newspaper.

Two women and two girls were in the car that the Marines shot when it failed to stop at a checkpoint and continued to approach the Marines at high speed, said Maj. George Schreffler, then the commanding officer of Lima Company. Schreffler was there at the time.

Petty Officer Justin Purviance, who treated them, said the two women were wounded but survived. The girls were unharmed, he said.
Is 15 minutes of fame worth this? He must not like to sleep. And the main-stream media that lapped up his story like a thirsty pit bull? Read this. The truth suffers, indeed.

They keep saying there were no WMD

and, apparently, they aren't telling us the whole truth.
Then energy secretary Spencer Abraham hailed the operation as “a major achievement.” Polish general Marek Dukaczewski, Poland’s military intelligence chief, revealed that troops in the Polish-patrolled sector of Iraq had received tips from Iraqis that chemical weapons were sold to terrorists on the black market. The weapons had been buried to avoid detection, the general told the BBC. Polish military officials bought seventeen chemical-weapons warheads from Iraqis for $5,000 each to keep them from Iraq’s so-called insurgents. “An attack with such weapons would be hard to imagine,” the general said. “All of our activity was accelerated at appropriating these warheads.” Tests confirmed that some of the warheads contained cyclosarin, a nerve agent five times more powerful than sarin. These chemical weapons were supposed to have been completely destroyed during the 1991–1998 UN inspector regime. Clearly, some WMD survived.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wake up folks! Something's happening here. . .

and it is exactly clear.France is now on fire--why? Mark Steyn:
''French youths,'' huh? You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the "youths" are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn't take much time in les banlieus of Paris to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as ''French'': They're young men from North Africa growing ever more estranged from the broader community with each passing year and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity more implacable than anything you're likely to find in the Middle East. After four somnolent years, it turns out finally that there really is an explosive ''Arab street,'' but it's in Clichy-sous-Bois.

The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up trans-Atlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America's Europhiles, France's Arab street correctly identified Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.
Read the whole thing, of course.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Hell hath no fury . . .

like a woman scorned (who has superglue):
[T]he two broke up in 1999 after dating for 10 months, and he began dating someone else. After he broke up with his other girlfriend, Slaby said, O'Toole invited him over to her home on May 7, 2000, where he fell asleep.

He said he woke up to find that O'Toole had used Super Glue to stick his genitals to his abdomen, glued his buttocks together and spelled out a profanity on his back in nail polish.

Slaby said O'Toole told him that her actions were payback for their breakup, and he had to walk a mile to a gas station to call for help. He pressed charges and O'Toole pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and spent six months on probation.

But O'Toole's attorney contended that the incident was nothing more than part of the couple's adventurous, consensual sex.
Adventurous?

Tell it, man, tell it!

Victor Davis Hanson is at it again.
Our elite commitment to multiculturalism also hamstrings us from taking the needed security steps. For 30 years, our schools have pounded home the creed that all cultures are of equal merit—or, more accurately perhaps, that no culture is worse than the West’s. Millions of Americans consequently aren’t sure whether radical Islam is just another legitimate alternative to the dominant Western narrative. Typical of this mind-set, UCLA English professor Saree Makdisi, excusing the London subway terrorism, wrote in the Los Angeles Times that deliberately butchering commuters is no worse than accidentally killing civilians while targeting terrorists in a war zone. “American and British media have devoted hours to wondering what would drive a seemingly normal young Muslim to destroy himself and others,” Makdisi said. “No one has paused to ask what would cause a seemingly normal young Christian or Jew to strap himself into a warplane and drop bombs on a village, knowing full well his bombs will inevitably kill civilians (and, of course, soldiers).”

It is a tremendous historical irony that America’s liberal Left, embracing moral equivalence in this fashion, has all but refused to denounce the illiberal ideology of our enemies—an ideology that supports polygamy, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, hatred of homosexuals, and patriarchy. Sometimes, the terrorists even win outright praise: perhaps the most popular filmmaker of election year 2004 was Michael Moore, who celebrated the suicide bombers and terrorists of Iraq as “minutemen” akin to our own Founding Fathers.
Read it all.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Haven't read the book. . .

but I have read the interview. Read it all and be disabused of the myths surrounding Iraq. (Sorry about linking NRO twice in one day--it had to be done).
When I investigated the 100,000 dead-civilians claim, I was surprised at how quickly it fell apart. The 100,000 figure is based on a single study in a British medical journal published just days before the 2004 elections. The authors were open about their anti-Bush bias. They got the 100,000 by knocking on doors in 33 neighborhoods across Iraq. They simply asked Iraqis how many civilian deaths they knew about. They did not take any steps to avoid double counting. They didn't demand any proof, such as a funeral notice or a newspaper clipping. Instead they decided to just trust Iraqis to give them straight dope. So if you interview Baghdad Bob you know what kind of answers you're going to get. In that chapter, I also uncovered four other major technical flaws with that study. The 100,000 dead civilians claim is provably false.

Why don't we hear more of this?

You know--interesting and good news from Iraq? I am afraid that lust for shadenfreude has replaced a desire to spread freedom and democracy on the part of the media.
We have been incredibly fortunate to have the privilege of serving here in Iraq. This has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. We have done all we could possibly do. We cleared innumerable roads of hazards and prevented countless loss of life. We were in the right place at the right time.

Everyone is grateful for the assignment and thankful for having survived to tell the stories. I want to thank everyone for your continuous support and encouragement regardless of political persuasion and opinion of the war. We couldn't have done it without you.
Read the whole thing.

Friday, October 28, 2005

If you didn't do anything wrong. . .

don't talk to the feds. And if you do, don't let them think you are lying about what you know. Looks pretty thin to me. But then again, I always thought this was a tempest in a teapot.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ick.

And I mean ick.
A taxi driver is on trial for allegedly tainting baked items at the grocery store by sprinkling dried feces on the food. Prosecutors have store surveillance videotapes of two alleged incidents in July.
Where does one get the dried feces?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

New category=No shit

"Sometimes when people do drink they throw caution to the wind," he said. Crocodiles!!! Read the whole thing.

Open 24 hours--you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here (except that you can, and we will serve you beer while you wait)

Sorry dude, but you're wrong when you suggest
"Our psyche is not equipped to handle the 24-hour availability of alcohol," said Victor Robinson, addiction expert at the University of Ulster, the Londonderry-based institution which wrote the report.

"We are not a Mediterranean people, and have not been socialised into the respect for alcohol those cultures have," the lecturer said.
This is Ireland we're talking about--the Irish are more equipped for 24 hour bars than just about anybody else (except you can't smoke there). And this is a dismal way to view the drinking public:
Robinson said: "In my judgment, 24-hour availability of alcohol in Northern Ireland will mean the introduction of 24-hour bingeing, not a new age of temperance and moderation."

Fiction apparently wins, but . . .

the Gateway Pundit is trying to set the record straight on Hurricane Katrina. What is really happening? Why can't we just be honest when the issue becomes race because of the astonishing asshatery of the MSM and so-called "leaders"? I don't get it. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I think we ought to look at the truth before everyone assumes that whitey hates the black man.

Monday, October 17, 2005

More news from Turkmenistan!

Your friend and mine (see here, and here), the president for life of Turkmenistan, has written a new book.
"Dear Friends," is the latest collection of childhood memories and patriotic poetry by the "genius pen" of Niyazov, known as Turkmenbashi or "Leader of the Turkmen Peoples," the Neutral Turkmenistan daily reported Monday.

Some poems are about "the Motherland, its history, human kindness, honour, courage and love," while others are dedicated to Niyazov's late parents "whose names are sacred to the entire Turkmen people," the newspaper said.

The president-for-life of this ex-Soviet Central Asian state has built up a bizarre personality cult, including putting up gold statues of himself and his deceased parents in strategic spots across the desert country.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

How’s it hangin,’ homos? Same ol’ – same ol’ here in the Big Sandbox.

The Zarkman is back with another update from Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
But hey, Zarkman's a team player. So I'm out on the curb with everybody else late Friday, piling into the courtesy van headed to the Ramadi Inn conference center, and guess what? I have to sit next to that new French intern Ali the entire trip. Holy frickin’ Prophet, what a weasely little brown-noser. “Oh Monsieur Zarqawi, it is the great pleasure to be working for the jihad with you!” while I’m just trying to get some peace and quiet and work on my Times crossword. I swear I’d shitcan that little suckup tomorrow if the martyr recruiting market wasn’t so damn tight. About an hour into the trip we took a few rounds from the Iraqi collaborators, which thankfully shut him up, but then I had to deal with his shitstank the rest of the way.

Nothing to see here, move on please

Roger Simon gets it done, proper-like. Oil for food interest anyone?
It's not just about graft. It's about the preservation of fascism for money. You down with that, liberalists? Think about it in your hearts. This isn't about Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives and all the rest of that left-over Eighteenth Century sports terminology. This is about real human beings who were living in a country where the dictator tossed people in paper shredders while his minions bought him protection on the UN Security Council. No thriller writer could get away with a plot like that, but Saddam Hussein did... with the help of his buddies Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan.

I just can't wait for two minutes, so I shall stab thee!

For cryin' out loud.

Are those cockatoo eggs in your pants

or are you just happy to see me?
Customs officials said Keith Miller, 51, was arrested at Sydney airport in November last year trying to board a flight to Zurich with 23 eggs concealed in his underwear.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Read this

and be educated. Mr. Hanson has the scoop on the GWOT.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The First Amendment is the best

because it lets us do stuff like this. Excellent.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Failure is our business and business is good.

So good, in fact, that the International Atomic Energy Agency has just received the Nobel Peace Prize. Some, however, don't think that's really appropriate, since the IAEA has stopped, well, no one from producing nuclear weapons. But that's okay, because they mean well.
"At a time when disarmament efforts appear deadlocked, when there is a danger that nuclear arms will spread both to states and to terrorist groups, and when nuclear power again appears to be playing an increasingly significant role, IAEA's work is of incalculable importance," the Committee said.

Incalculable importance to whom? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Miers application revealed!

So here's part of Harriett Miers' application to be a "female associate justice" on the Supreme Court:
In my capacity as female Chairperson of the Texas Lottery Commission, I also experienced many, many experiences and tough choices that will be relevant to being a female on the US Supreme Court. For example, in 1997 a woman from Tyler sued us for a share of the Texas Big Game jackpot because she forgot to buy her regular favorite combo ticket (11-17-22-26-41, Powerball 43), the week it came up a winner. At my trial testimony I explained to the judge, woman-to-woman, that Texas Lottery advertising precedent was clear: "If You Don't Play, You Can't Win!" My dramatic testimony led to a bench aquittal and earned me the prestigious "Annual Award of Excellence" from the Chairperson of the Texas Lottery.

Read the whole thing. It's funny.

Friday, September 30, 2005

I bet he wrote F$%^ You!!

Don't complain about your neighbor's grass to the authorities--you might end up in the news!
"He mowed an easily-read obscenity that was about three feet tall," Conboy said. Local media reported that the phrase was about 30 feet long across the yard.

Irate neighbors quickly discovered that they had very little legal recourse. Miller's actions are protected under the First Amendment.

"It's not neighborly, it's in bad taste, it's an affront to people with children, but it's not a crime," Conboy said of Miller's message. "It's his editorial reply to the city and his neighbors that he's mad about his lawn. And it's protected speech."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

German scientists --

may have been scary at one point in history, but now they are just plain making sense. One small step for beer, one giant leap for mankind.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

You will snarf your beer, friend

Read this.
Where was I? Anyhoo, sorry to be such a buzzkill, but what exactly did I do to deserve all this shit? I mean, Zarkman does his five-a-day. Zarkman volunteers at the madrassa. Whenever there's a village homo who needs stoning, Zarkman brings his A-game high heat. And what thanks does Zarkman get? A goddamned infidel peanut gallery of hashpipe trustafarians and skanky Code Pink insugent groupies too unsightly for Sig Eps Pig Night, that's what. That, plus a smoldering "safehouse" full of Syrian martyr-tards whose families all expect one of my famous personalized thank-you notes:

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. _AL-DURRA____:

Please find enclosed a Ziploc containing the remains of your martyr _TARIQ____. Though he is now frollicking in Paradise, his comrades and I will always remember him for his ___POKEMON COLLECTION____. Thanks to his holy sacrifice, we are one step closer to __EXTERMINATING THE JEWS___.

Yours in Sharia,

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita is for real--

Wow.

Yikes!!

I mean, really, yikes:
Levee Board President Jim Huey told NBC’s Lisa Myers: “As far as the overall flood protection system, it’s intact. It’s there today. It worked. In 239 miles of levees, 152 floodgates, and canals throughout this entire city, there was [sic] only two areas” that failed, namely the 17th Street Canal and the Industrial Canal floodwalls.

This is akin to saying, “All of Grandpa’s blood vessels worked perfectly, except for the two that went ahead and got blocked before his stroke.”

Monday, September 19, 2005

I knew it! I knew it!

Check it out: psychopaths make the best stock traders. And, apparently, zombies make the best lawyers.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

And, now that the hearings are over, the pundits get their say . . .

and one pundit's opinion is startlingly stupid when it comes to Justice Roberts. EJ Dionne, either willfully or ignorantly, totally distorts the job of a lawyer, the ethical responsibilities of a lawyer, and the ethical responsibilities of a judge. For example:
Roberts suggested there really were no such limits, or, at least, he wouldn't tell us what they were. "I've been on both sides of this affirmative action issue," he said cheerfully. Yes, but you can't be on both sides as chief justice. He fought the idea that his view of the lawyer's role "sounds like you're a hired gun," but that is exactly how it sounds. A chief justice is hired on behalf of all of us.
Take a good look at that. Justice Roberts is supposed to tell Mr. Schumer (himself a lawyer who should understand that these questions can't be answered by the nominee, or the nominee risks violating ethical rules) how he is going to rule with respect to affirmative action. Dionne isn't satisfied that Roberts indicated that he has been on both sides of the issue as an advocate -- a position any decent lawyer in a particular field finds him or herself in. Dionne wants Roberts to ANSWER THE QUESTION of affirmative action. Dionne knows that he can't. Remember, Roberts is still a sitting judge on the DC Circuit. Not only must he avoid passing on questions that might come before the Supreme Court, he has to avoid discussing questions and committing himself to a particular view for cases that may come before the DC Court.

Was Dionne so worried about things like this when Ginsburg went through this process? I imagine not.
In his testimony, Roberts was brilliant, affable, engaging and amusing. He was also evasive, calculating and, well, slick.

"Would you say there's a general right to privacy?" Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked Roberts. "I don't know what 'general' means," Roberts replied. Fair enough, though I wish Schumer had also asked Roberts what the meaning of "is" is.
So, apparently, Schumer should ask a snarky question in response to Roberts' response to a completely stupid question. What does Schumer mean by "general right to privacy?" Schumer knows that you don't have a "right to privacy" when it comes to hiding your cocaine. You may have certain other rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, but you don't have a "general right to privacy" such that you can engage in private criminal behavior. So, of course, Roberts' response is not like Clinton's perjury -- Roberts' response is not only rational, but the only reasonable one to make in response to such a silly question.
But the doubts about Roberts have nothing to do with his good heart. The issue is the power about to be put in his hands and into the hands of President Bush's next appointee -- power both will enjoy for life. The Senate and the public have a right to far more assurance about how Roberts would use that power than they have been given in these hearings. The Senate is under no obligation to give the president or Roberts the benefit of the doubt.
There you have it. The problem with Roberts is not so much that Roberts is not a capable attorney and judge, but that he's Bush's appointee--Dionne doesn't like Bush, so he doesn't like Roberts. So, in Dionne's world, unless Roberts is willing to violate the ethical rules that bind all judges and commit himself to ruling in particular ways on particular issues without regard to the facts presented in that case, he is worthy of no deference at all. Maybe Dionne's a lawyer, maybe not--I don't know. If he isn't, he just doesn't know what he's talking about. If he is, he is a political hack.
The administration has stubbornly refused to release a share of Roberts's writings as deputy solicitor general. This is a dare to the Senate, and the administration is assuming it will wimp out. A "yes" on Roberts would be a craven abdication of power to the executive branch.

In keeping with Roberts's painstaking evasions, he wouldn't even express a view Thursday as to whether his deputy solicitor general writings should be released. That was the administration's decision to make, he said. "This was not your decision," Schumer replied. "But you carry its burden." Or at least he should.
So, in Schumer and Dionne's world, if I were to be nominated to be a judge, I would have to violate every confidence I had with my clients to pass muster. Because I am (sort of) conservative, the Senate is entitled to all my previous work. Insane. Completely. Lawyers don't have the luxury of posting their client's confidential information on the internet for all to see. Lawyers are required to maintain confidences--and apparently, a number of previous Solicitors General, both republican and democrat, say that Dionne and Schumer are full of crap.
That's right, and it's why as many senators as possible should vote no on Roberts -- by way of saying no to this charade. A majority of "no's," very unlikely to be sure, need not mean the end of his nomination. It would constitute a just demand for Roberts (and whoever Bush names next) to answer more questions in a more forthcoming way and for the administration to provide information that the public, and not just the Senate, deserves.

How many senators will have the guts to make that statement?
So, Senators should vote no to end the charade of client confidences, ethics rules for lawyers, ethics rules for judges, and common sense. Good work, EJ!! Nominees should "answer more questions" to satisfy everybody on the committee that the nominee shares their (and Dionne's) vision of the constitutional universe--the rules be damned. There's a name for this type of argument in constitutional jurisprudence, and it's called "specious."

Fun with the truth! Who knew?

Just read this. It is enlightening. And pretty funny. And sad at the same time.
Via Wizbang.

In other news . . .

Dianne Feinstein's notes for questioning John Roberts have been leaked to the press. I like the part about getting caught in the rain.

Well, at least he's honest . . .


about being too drunk to remember meeting the prime minister.
"We've spent a lot of money on alcohol and we've got absolutely wasted," Pietersen admitted of the England side's celebrations.

"For the past three or four months the boys haven't drunk very much because they've been really focused on winning the Ashes.

"Now we can let our hair down and get away with being really drunk. The boys are very fortunate to have got away with everything that's happened."

The headline says it all

Ick. Wacky Frenchman!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Put up a statue to unify the people --

In Bosnia, a town is buidling a monument to unite the people:
"We plan to erect the statue in November in the centre of the city," Veselin Gatalo, a member of the Urban Movement organisation, told Reuters by telephone on Monday.

"This will be a monument to universal justice that Mostar needs more than any other city I know."
The statue is of whom, you might ask? That's right---Bruce Lee!!



UPDATE!!! Here is an artist's rendering of the monument:

Excellent!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Read this one too

I don't agree with Michael Kinsley on much of anything, but he's right on with this one.
Obviously -- obviously in hindsight, that is -- we should have spent the money to strengthen the New Orleans levees. President Bill Clinton should have done it. Presidents George Bush Senior and Ronald Reagan should have done it. As Tim Noah notes in Slate, warnings about the perilous New Orleans levees go back at least to Fanny Trollope in 1832. In fact, the one president who is pretty much in the clear on this is our current Bush -- not because he did anything about the levees but because even if he had started something, it probably wouldn't have been finished yet.
Recrimination is easy -- fixing the problem is difficult. Keep that in mind.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Five days with Katrina

Check out this slideshow. Gives you a good idea of what went on in New Orleans.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Keep this in mind . . .

before popping off about Katrina.
But then there is New Orleans . . . and my typing fingers tremble. Even nine days later, this writer can’t write. But readers need to know this: That Mayor Nagin is, or at least was, a good mayor, even if he failed miserably in this most important crucible; that anybody, anybody at all, who defends the response of FEMA and of President Bush in my presence or the presence of any New Orleanian is likely to get punched; that when Dennis Hastert spoke of bulldozing the city he spoke words that can never be forgiven, words that deserved the rebuke from Bill Clinton, who said if he had been in the same room when Hastert said those words that he, Clinton, might have assaulted him. They need to know that pundits across the country who asked why New Orleans and Louisiana didn’t themselves prepare for such a storm have no idea what they’re talking about, for the city and state have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into coastal wetland restoration and water-pumping stations and complicated engineering — but the feds have repeatedly failed to deliver promised matching funds, and have consistently ignored problems (replacing levee funds, for example, which are a life-saving responsibility of the Corps of Engineers, with channel-dredging funds for pork projects for waterways with almost no barge traffic).

Fair enough. Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dear Paul Krugman

Is a google-illiterate. Mr. Krugman's latest article is left in tatters, with a nasty, brutish fisking. Read it and weep for the NYT.

Pinks v. Greys --

Which are you? Read the whole thing--a tiny taste for you?
The Pink Tribe is all about feeling good: feeling good about yourself! Sexually, emotionally, artistically – nothing is off limits, nothing is forbidden, convention is fossilized insanity and everybody gets to do their own thing without regard to consequences, reality, or natural law. We all have our own reality – one small personal reality is called “science,” say – and we Make Our Own Luck and we Visualize Good Things and There Are No Coincidences and Everything Happens for a Reason and You Can Be Whatever You Want to Be and we all have Special Psychic Powers and if something Bad should happen it’s because Someone Bad Made It Happen. A Spell, perhaps.

The Pink Tribe motto, in fact, is the ultimate Zen Koan, the sound of one hand clapping: EVERYBODY IS SPECIAL.

Then, in the other corner, there is the Grey Tribe – the grey of reinforced concrete. This is a Tribe where emotion is repressed because Emotion Clouds Judgment. This is the world of Quadratic Equations and Stress Risers and Loads Torsional, Compressive and Tensile, a place where Reality Can Ruin Your Best Day, the place where Murphy mercilessly picks off the Weak and the Incompetent, where the Speed Limit is 186,282.36 miles per second, where every bridge has a Failure Load and levees come in 50 year, 100 year and 1000 Year Flood Flavors.

The Grey Tribe motto is, near as I can tell, THINGS BREAK SOMETIMES AND PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE MY BRIDGE.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

No, I am not going to tip her! Why are you kicking me out?


This reminds me of a certain bachelor party, where the groom to be was kicked out immediately after being handcuffed to a pole by three dancers and stripped to his underpants. He was "escorted out" for not apologizing quickly enough to the waitress--he accidentally kicked her getting down off the stage. Didn't even leave a mark!

Except this is not really very funny. Well, yeah it is, but I don't think stabbing someone for refusing your offer of a lapdance is an appropriate stripper-response.

Piling on in the wake of Katrina

I have a hard time getting into the blame game for the situation in New Orleans, but this makes me wonder if the city fathers (or mothers) weren't having too much to drink while decisions needed to be made. Remember Nero? Anyone?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blog for relief day

has been announced. Get to it. Find the links, and give some money (or time, or food, or clothing) to the effort.

Ask the difficult questions?

Not right now.
Race remains largely untouchable for TV because broadcasters sense that they can't make an error without destroying careers. That's a true pity. If the subject were a little less taboo, one of last night's anchors could have asked a reporter, "Can you explain to our viewers, who by now have surely noticed, why 99 percent of the New Orleans evacuees we're seeing are African-American? I suppose our viewers have noticed, too, that the provocative looting footage we're airing and re-airing seems to depict mostly African-Americans."
. . .
But we aren't one united race, we aren't one united class, and Katrina didn't hit all folks equally. By failing to acknowledge upfront that black New Orleanians—and perhaps black Mississippians—suffered more from Katrina than whites, the TV talkers may escape potential accusations that they're racist. But by ignoring race and class, they boot the journalistic opportunity to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of a whole definable segment of the population. What I wouldn't pay to hear a Fox anchor ask, "Say, Bob, why are these African-Americans so poor to begin with?"

Read the whole thing.

Everybody needs a joke today . . .

So here goes. Via email from my law partner:
The National Transportation Safety Board recently divulged they had covertly funded a project with the U.S. auto makers for the past five years, whereby the auto makers were installing black box voice recorders in four-wheel drive pickup trucks and SUV's in an effort to determine, in fatal accidents, the circumstances in the last 15 seconds before the crash. They were surprised to find in 44 of the 50 states the recorded last Words of drivers in 61.2 percent of fatal crashes were, "Oh,SHIT!" Only the states of Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama and Texas were different, where 89.3 percent of the final words were: "Hold My beer, I'm gonna try somethin."

Hillbilly's last words? "Hey man, check this out."

Delicious response to the global warming = Hurricane Katrina meme

From my internet-trolling super newshound of a neighbor, we get the follwoing email:

In a great send-up of that idiot from Boston Globe who wanted to blame Katrina on GW, as in Global Warming, I give you--

Eric Free of Oceanside, Colo., has a different perspective:

You are way too cynical and know-nothing in your mockery of RFK2 et al. The flood in Genesis was caused by Global Warming. So was the Johnstown Flood. So was Curt Flood. So were the Ten Plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea.

The Chicago Fire of 1871 was caused by Global Warming. So was the Panic of 1873. So was the Panic of 1837. The bubonic plague too was caused by Global Warming (how could you forget this?). So was the fall of Constantinople (note the parallel with the war in Iraq). And the Red Chinese onslaught across the Yalu River in the Korean War was caused by Global Warming. So was the Normandy Invasion in World War II. So was the Norman Invasion of 1066. And the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and Haley's Comet. And for that matter the Hale-Bopp Comet.

The title weather in "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" was clearly caused by Global Warming. So was the pink snow in "The Cat in the Hat." So was Andersonville Prison during the Civil War. So was the entire Civil War. So was the Amityville Horror. So was the Dunwich Horror. So was the failure of the Colorado Rockies to make it to the World Series every single year that they've been a Major League franchise. So was the failure of any of the three "Matrix" movies starring Keanu Reeves to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

AND GEORGE W'S ELECTION TO THE PRESIDENCY IN 2000 WAS CAUSED BY GLOBAL WARMING!!! (Why do you think he opposes an end to it, after all?)

Great, eh? But I have a different perspective. I think that the looney left subconsciously is in total awe of Bush. In fact, they think he is G-d Almighty. Why else would they attribute such omnipotence to him? Thunderbolts, hah!! I'd like to see Zeus produce a hurricane like Katrina. No, it takes Bush 43 to pull that off!


Via Opinion Journal's Best of the Web. Scroll down to "The Fake Weather."

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And go to Instapundit

For your links to relief agencies to which you can give money to assist the rescue and cleanup efforts in Louisiana.

UPDATE: Just gave through Catholic Charities. Get a move on, because the situation in Louisiana and Mississippi is dire. Give to these poor folks, because they need it.

Asshats


What's the natural human response to a city devastated by a hurricane? Why, looting, of course.
He said looting has also escalated and an atmosphere of lawlessness has developed as police resources have been almost entirely devoted to search-and-rescue operations for people trapped by floodwaters on roofs and in attics. “Widespread looting is taking place in all parts of the city” - from uptown and Canal Street to areas around the housing projects, Thomas said.

And they are after the children's hospital as well. And apparently there's been a riot at the prison.

UPDATE: Ridiculously complete rundown here: You loot, I shoot.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Another development from the leader of Turkmenistan!


The same guy that banned lip-synching is now launching important works of literature and philosophy into outer space.
"The book that conquered the hearts of millions on Earth is now conquering space," said the official daily Neitralnyi Turkmenistan.

"The sacred text of Rukhnama was chosen because it contains all the wisdom of the Turkmen people, thanks to its creator, Turkmenbashi," the article said, using the name the country's president, Saparmurat Niyazov, has given himself, meaning "Guide of All Turkmens".

Friday, August 26, 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Manolo has something to say

about the Rolling Stones. Not bad.

WHO ATE THE SANDWICHES?

READ THIS BLOG, FOR IT IS TRULY STRANGE.

And next, we outlaw the air guitar and drumming on the steering wheel. All your fun are belong to us!!!

The leader of the free world, er...., no, well, he's the leader of Turkmenistan, and he has outlawed lip-synching. I guess he has a point:
"Unfortunately, one can see on television old voiceless singers lip-synching their old songs," Niyazov told a Cabinet meeting in comments broadcast on state TV on Tuesday. "Don't kill talents by using lip synching... Create our new culture."

Mi hombre no necesita huevos de tortuga.

I should think not.

SMACKDOWN!!

Paul Krugman, once again, gets his in the form of this comprehensive and complete smackdown-style fisking of his latest attempts to perpetuate the urban legend that Al Gore is president and the last 4 1/2 years are a figment of our collective imagination. Ouch.

Sorry about the absence

To all (2 of) you Tannerball junkies out there, I apologize for the lack of posting. Life has been a little hectic lately. Anyhow, things are getting back to normal, so be prepared!

Monday, August 15, 2005

This might make the cut . . .

This beautiful item from Easter is some UNTRUSTWORTHY FOOD!


I AM YELLING ABOUT THE ANIMALS BECAUSE THE DOGS ATE THE MASHED POTATOES!!!!

The outcry of the Bush group for a solution to the nuclear issue through "talks" is a link in the chain of a beguiling psychological warfare to divert


Via Reuters, we find this awesome website, which lets us in on North Korea's official press releases from Kim Jong Il. A taste?
Speakers deeply explained and proved the undying feats the President performed by leading the anti-Japanese war to a brilliant victory and achieving the historic cause of national liberation under the uplifted banner of Songun and their significance.
Meanwhile, there were a fashion show of national dresses and sports and amusement games of women from across the country.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade arranged a film show for members of the economic and commercial councilors corps here at the Taedonggang Club for the Diplomatic Corps. The participants saw a Korean documentary film "For the Liberation of the Country" part 15 which deals with the undying revolutionary feats of the President. Present at the functions were Choe Thae Bok and Kim Jung Rin, secretaries of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, and officials concerned.


And check out the random insult generator. I got this: "You ultra-right political dwarf!"

Sunday, August 14, 2005

What, you don't like the way I drive?

The Trunkmonkey has your back.

I got your 50 eggs right here, Luke


Good god can this guy eat. 83 dumplings in 8 minutes.
"As the winner of a famous hot dog eating contest in New York for the past five years, Kobayashi holds the world record of sucking down 53 1/2 frankfurters in 12 minutes. A native of the Japanese city of Nagoya, Kobayashi weighs just 144 pounds.

He said dumplings are easier to eat since they are smaller and softer than hot dogs, but that he expects a harder time swallowing roast pork buns on Sunday."

And it turns out that he didn't have problems with the pork buns, whatever the hell they are.

Competitive eating at its very finest!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

This is apparently for real.



Christopher Walken is tyring to get himself elected president in 2008. Vote for him, or he will come over and scare the crap out of you.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

This is bad for the children . . . THE CHILDREN!

A South Korean man has died after playing 50 straight hours of videogames.
"We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion," a Taegu provincial police official said by telephone.

Lee had recently quit his job to spend more time playing games, the daily JoongAng Ilbo reported after interviewing former work colleagues and staff at the Internet cafe.

After he failed to return home, Lee's mother asked his former colleagues to find him. When they reached the cafe, Lee said he would finish the game and then go home, the paper reported.

He died a few minutes later, it said.

Quick, we need to put an end to this! We need to sue the game manufacturer for making the games so fun, so addictive, that a 28 year old man literally PLAYS HIMSELF TO DEATH!! Get Congress to investigate this to ensure that this menace does not advance to our shores!!

This breakfast plate is untrustworthy.

Holy crap. Read this blog.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

PETA, PETA, PETA


This is not going to win PETA any friends in lovely New Haven:
"This is the most racist thing I’ve ever seen on the Green. How dare you," roared Philip Goldson, 43, of New Haven at the protest organizers at Church and Chapel streets.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a national animal rights group, posted giant photographs of people, mostly black Americans, being tortured, sold and killed, next to photographs of animals, including cattle and sheep, being tortured, sold and killed.

First, it was "holocaust on your plate". Now this. The marketing director for PETA should be sacked, immediately.

David Hassellblogging, part the third. . .

Frightening. Hypnotic. Addictive.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Godwin's law!! Stop breaking the law!!

In Atlanta at a civil rights march, Harry Belefonte and Dick Gregory break Godwin's law with impunity. Sad to lose your argument over such a silly analogy. A brilliant exchange:

Belafonte used a Hitler analogy when asked about what impact prominent blacks such as former Secretary of State Powell and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had on the Bush administration's relations with minorities.

"Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value," Belafonte said in an exclusive interview with Cybercast News Service.

"[If] a black is a tyrant, he is first and foremost a tyrant, then he incidentally is black. Bush is a tyrant and if he gathers around him black tyrants, they all have to be treated as they are being treated," he added. See Video

When asked specifically who was a "black tyrant" in the Bush administration, Belafonte responded to this reporter, "You." When this reporter noted that he was a Caucasian and attempted to ask another question, Belafonte abruptly ended the interview by saying, "That's it."


Via Instapundit.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Nonsense

On very tall stilts.

Friday, August 05, 2005

In case you didn't understand --

an armoured amphibious vehicle is not the same as a tank.

Funny (and tragic at the same time).

Kelo, Kelo, and more Kelo

Rich Lowry notes the odd combination of politicians outraged by the Kelo eminent domain decision. I don't believe I have ever said this, or will ever say it again, but Maxine Waters is exactly right. (see this post).

Go check out the Castle Coalition's website--it gives you a complete rundown from the anti-Kelo coalition, of which I am an enthusiastic supporter.

And for other news and opinion, go read Eminent Domain Watch. It appears to present both sides of the issue in a coherent, blog-style fashion.

Pro-Kelo:
Redevelopment laws have been around for at least 50 years. Those, like California's redevelopment statutes, give local governments the power to cure "blight" by acquiring private property, either voluntarily or by condemnation, and then selling it to private interests who must develop it in accordance with an established redevelopment plan. In addition to the obvious benefit of clearing slums and other blighted areas, laws such as California's give communities monetary incentives for implementing redevelopment by allocating to them a disproportionate share of the real property tax increases that result from development.
[snip]
The reaction to the Kelo case indicates that the public's attitude toward the power of eminent domain is lagging about 50 years behind its attitude toward land-use controls and zoning. It is settled law that governments can exercise enormous control over the uses that can be made of land. It can legally charge huge fees for building permits, limit development to one unit per 260 acres in agricultural areas, limit the establishment of certain kinds of new businesses in commercial areas to protect existing businesses from competition and impose bewilderingly detailed standards for the size, color, height, and design of structures.

The author, a real estate attorney in California (I am a real estate attorney also, so I understand where he's coming from), makes a good point: if the government can so significantly restrict what you do with your property, why can't it decide what the most beneficial use of the property is, and who is better suited to own it?

Well, a trial court in New Jersey just answered that question (at least for that specific case):
Essex County Assignment Judge Patricia K. Costello issued an order and opinion yesterday dismissing the condemnation case filed by the Township of Bloomfield against 110 Washington Street Associates. This was the first condemnation case filed by the township in its redevelopment project for the downtown center.

The decision of the court is a major setback for Bloomfield in its efforts to acquire property through eminent domain proceedings. The town’s plan was a joint venture of Forest City Ratner and Toll Brothers and included 650 residential condominiums and a 65,000 square foot Stop and Shop with an elevated parking deck.

The court found that the underlying planning process was fatally flawed. The Heyer and Gruel Planning Report improperly designated 110 Washington Street as meeting the definitions of blighted property under the Local Redevelopment Housing Law. The court said, “The record in this case is devoid of any finding that the property is detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare.”

So there you have it--broad definitions of "blight" are going the way of the dodo, and courts are most likely going to follow the NJ example. That means that the burden upon a government when it designates an area as blighted will be to show that the property is detrimental to health, safety, and welfare (i.e. a nuisance).

I like this kind of logic, because it puts the government in a position where it has to justify a redevelopment project with reference to the individual properties it is attempting to take, as opposed to a "this area is blighted, even though Mr. Jones' house is not" approach. It seems to me that the best argument for those opposing Kelo-type takings is to get back to first principles (always a good idea): it's only a public use if there is some public benefit to the taking. If the specific property is not blighted, abandoned, etc., then the government shouldn't be permitted to take it. Of course, I am simply begging the question that Kelo answered, because now, under the federal constitution, increasing the tax base is sufficient. I wonder if it would be sufficient here, in Albemarle County, which consistently runs a budget surplus?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Jane Fonda is leading a new anti-war crusade . . .

and it's going to be great!

The first thought that came to mind when I learned Jane Fonda was planning a cross-country bus tour to demand an end to American military operations in Iraq was that the antiwar movement had finally hit intellectual rock bottom. But then I remembered that we still hadn’t heard from the banjo-strumming kid from Deliverance or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

The more I thought about it, however, the prospect of Fonda carrying forth the banner of “peace in our time” makes perfect sense. Opposition to the war in Iraq has evolved into the least serious enterprise, from an intellectual standpoint, ever to emerge from the American Left. Who better to serve as its poster child than Barbarella?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Steven Vincent

A reporter named Steven Vincent was killed in Iraq. I have been reading his reports on Iraq at NRO for some time (go here for listing of his reporting for NRO). He also reported for the New York Times, where he was an art reporter prior to 9/11.

Read Mudville Gazette's tribute, and think about what Mr. Vincent said.

And go see Micheal Yon, who is there, doing what a lot of us wish we had the guts and the talent to do.

Dear Leader -- You da' Man!!!


Kim Jong Il is the best ever, at everything! 11 holes in one during his first round! Read this and be awestruck by this man!

I would love to play golf with this guy: "I know I got 8, but you will write 1 on the scorecard. Or my friends will burn you with torches until you die."

Kelo and the fallout

Walter Williams takes on some nonsense on stilts about the Kelo decision. My favorite quote from the so-called liberal group:
"Elliot Mincberg, the group's legal director, said the case [Kelo v. New London] had been brought by the Institute for Justice as part of an effort by conservatives to elevate property rights to the same level of civil rights such as freedom of speech and religion, in effect taking the nation back to the pre-New Deal days when the courts ruled child labor laws unconstitutional."

Not only is this stupid, it seeks to diminish the importance of the right to own property with civil rights like freedom of speech and religion. The point that the People for the American Way apparently want to make is that they care more about what they consider "civil rights" or "human rights" than about property rights, because they fear that too much private property operates to the detriment of society at large. What [failed political and social order] does that sound like to you? What right is more important: to be able to kick the racist off your property for spewing hate-filled nonsense, or his right to come on your property and say it?

So what is the logical outcome of their position, and the position of the Supreme Court in Kelo? The government is permitted by the federal constitution to take your property for public uses--including the outright transfer of property to a private developer because his plan for development will increase the tax base. That is all the justification necessary. If you think about that for even 10 seconds, your realize that the highest and best use, or the most productive use, of virtually every piece of property is something other than its present use. My house would be much more valuable, in terms of tax revenue, if it were a Starbucks. Real estate taxes would be higher, the local government would capture sales tax, meals tax, and all the other taxes and license fees necessary. Best of all, Because the government would be initiating the taking, it could rezone the property to permit the "better" use without my having any recourse. Given that, whose property is most at risk in states that permit this? I promise it ain't the mayor's.

Why does this bother me? Because I care a lot more about people being able to live their lives unmolested by government than I do about developers and governments making money. I have been amused by the reaction of the leftier-side of things in this debate, because they seem to think that conservatives should like the Kelo decision because it favors "big business." This shows a profound misunderstanding of what we evil conservative (libertarian?) types actually believe.

I ask you, is this fair? How about this? Don't believe me? Here's the city council's agenda. Does the Mach's store look "blighted" to you?
Hollywood's downtown redevelopment agency lasts for another 20 years and has spurred a boom, with tall condo projects in the works and trendy restaurants and clubs lining the streets. The area is designated as blighted, but at an Italian restaurant catty-cornered to the Mach property, entrees go for $30 and customers valet BMWs. Some blight.

[snip]

David Mach said Charles "Chip" Abele made a $600,000 offer in early 2003. George Mach considered it a lowball bid and asked for $1 million.

"We diligently tried to make a deal, but we didn't get one," said Abele. "They feel the property is more valuable than what we've offered. … There is tremendous motivation … to make them happy, but some people just don't want to be happy."

Read the whole thing.

I remain dumbfounded by this whole thing. Why is the New York Times okay with this?