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.


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.



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.


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!


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


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


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.

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.
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.


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?

Air Enron? Air Scamerica? Air Ameri-quiddick?

Whatever you want to call it, the right-side blogosphere is working overtime.

This story is too much fun.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Wizbang is where it's at . . .

for all your linking needs. This time, we are directed to a story in the Boston Herald about the difficult life of those in the wife's line of work. Just last night, she was telling me about medics around DC who have to dodge gunfire at their patients from the thugs trying to finish the job.
``It's a dangerous job. It's explosive and it happens in a nanosecond. Someone is not thinking clearly if they attack an EMT,'' said James Orsino, president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association EMS Division, which represents about 300 EMTs and paramedics citywide.

More on Air America -- and it stinks more and more.

Michelle Malkin is blogstorming the Air America scandal. Check it out--even Al Franken is suggesting that there's a serious problem.

UPDATE: via Wizbang, we are directed to your one-stop Air America Scandal shopping site. Excellent.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Air America -- worse than you thought!

Here is a great rundown of the controversy involving Air America and the diverted public money. God this looks bad. And if you aren't reading the Politburo Diktat, the Commissar will find you and re-educate you.

Behold the power . . .

Of Canadian lake cheese!! "Baie des Ha! Ha!" indeed.