Saturday, April 30, 2005
Speaking of Abducted Brides
Kitty has the story
of the woman from Georgia who it turns out was not abducted. The New York Times has a story on bride abducting in Kyrgyzstan
The story is certainly disturbing, but the Times is like an anthropologist; studying and not making judgments.Recent surveys suggest that the rate of abductions has steadily grown in the last 50 years and that at least a third of Kyrgyzstan's brides are now taken against their will.
There are three pictures accompanying the story. Two with very happy-appearing women who were abducted by their husbands, and a third with a woman named Ainur Tairova. But it turns out that although she is photographed alone, she is happily married to the man who abducted her:"I was angry and I felt betrayed," Ms. Tairova said, adding that she had cried the whole day.
But as with many Kyrgyz women, she eventually accepted her fate. She since has reconciled with her in-laws and says she is happy with her husband now.
"He says he had to kidnap me because he heard someone else was trying to kidnap me first," she said. "He's a good man."
And get this little bit of ethnic wisdom:Brutal as the custom is, it is widely perceived as practical. "Every good marriage begins in tears," a Kyrgyz saying goes.
I have a hunch there's gonna be a whole lot of stomping going on over this article.
The Spitting Image
Here's an article
by the professor who claims nobody ever spat upon returning Vietnam War veterans.Many tellers of the spitting tales identify the culprits as girls, a curious quality to the stories that gives away their gendered subtext. Moreover, the spitting images that emerged a decade after the troops had come home from Vietnam are similar enough to the legends of defeated German soldiers defiled by women upon their return from World War I, and the rejection from women felt by French soldiers when they returned from their lost war in Indochina, to suggest something universal and troubling at work in their making. One can reject the presence of a collective subconscious in the projection of those anxieties, as many scholars would, but there is little comfort in the prospect that memories of group spit-ins, like Smith has, are just fantasies conjured in the imaginations of aging veterans.
As Orwell says, there are some things so stupid, only a university professor could believe them. This is one.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Didn't get to watch the episode until late this afternoon. As usual, Burnette does a great job of convincing you it's anybody except the obvious person, and in the end, it's the obvious person. Especially the bit with Ian saying "You're the hardest competitor I've ever met, you had to assume (and the camera quickly focused on) Tom. Steph survived an incredible number of tribal councils, but her luck finally ran out.
That said, I do think the remaining members of Koror are risking a lot by keeping Tom in the game. He's got an excellent chance of winning immunity challenges, and nobody's going to want to face him in the endurance test that always decides the final immunity.
Stupid Comic Covers--Part I
Here's one of the all-time stupid comic covers, from Blackhawk #189, October 1963. You can almost imagine this one being discussed by the editor and the writer:
Editor: "Our research shows that kids like futuristic weapons, waterskiing and cavemen. Can you put them all in one story?"
Writer: "Cavemen and futuristic weapons? How can I put them both in one story?"
Editor: "See, there's this scientist in the future who's invented jet-powered waterskis and ray guns that can melt rock. So he sends them back in time."
Writer: "Why would he send them back in time?"
Editor: "Because man hasn't advanced far enough that he trusts us with these great weapons."
Writer: "But the cavemen have?"
Editor: "I'm on a roll here. We'll have Blackhawk on the cover being chased by the cavemen on the jet-powered skis and fired at by a ray gun that melts metal!"
Writer: "That's brilliant, Chief! And in case the kiddies don't get it, I'll have Blackhawk say something like, 'Huh? Cavemen on jet-powered skis firing heat-ray weapons that can melt stone!'"
Editor: "Heheh, that twelve cents is going to be out of the kids' pockets and on the counter in three seconds flat!"
Other Voices, Other Blogs
Neo-neocon has a tremendous post on the evolution of her thinking
on Vietnam. I concur with all that she has to say here.
Kitty Litter's got a brand new look
. And she's got reactions from the lefty pols to the news of Lucianne's birthday
John Ruberry notes that the Chicago Tribune is fairly careless with its photo labeling, or should I say libeling
Right Wing Nuthouse has a guest comment
from Marvin Moonbat, who sounds like a committed liberal. And I do mean committed.
I'll have a Prince Charles, hold the pepperoni. Right Wing Sparkle explains
Tinkerty Tonk hits on a pet peeve
of mine--creative punctuation. If your words don't work without lots!!! of exclamation points!!! maybe you need to try grunting to get your point across instead.
New Evidence that Global Warming Is Not Man-Made?
Of course, that's not what the media are trumpeting about this story, but here's the new evidence
:Climate scientists armed with new data from deep in the ocean and far into space have found that Earth is absorbing much more heat than it is giving off, a conclusion they say validates projections of global warming.
But of course, if the earth is absorbing more heat than it's giving off there are two basic possible causes:
1. The earth is changing so that it absorbs more heat or emits less.
2. The sun is getting hotter.
Obviously we can't be causing #2, so nothing we can do will affect it. We could be causing #1. So it becomes important to look at what other effects of #2 would be. Maybe the hotter sun would be showing up on other planets?Bingo
Happy Birthday, Lucianne!
Here's to the patron saint
Thursday, April 28, 2005
I was all set to do a post on the prospects for various Senate races around the country when I found out that John Miller had already done it
. I agree with his assessment that the Republicans are in pretty good position to at least break even and possibly pick up a couple of seats.ARIZONA: Democrats will say Republican senator Jon Kyl is vulnerable, but he isn't.
Amen to that. Kyl's so invulnerable that the Democrats didn't even bother nominating anybody
to go against him in 2000.
Excellent Video on Pat Tillman
Our buddy Chris at Lucky Dawg News
pointed me to an excellent video tribute
(big file warning) to Pat Tillman. Its in WMV format; a Real Audio format one is here
Some of you may recall my tribute to Tillman
Andrew Sullivan Getting a Tad Shrill?
Here he doesn't even check his facts
, or perhaps he just blurs a line?DOES GLENN KNOW ABOUT THIS? Banning new books in public libraries that feature any gay characters or are written by gay authors?
Except when you go to the linked article
, it's not about "public libraries", but "public school libraries". Not that Sully is alone on this; the linked article's author says:A college production tells the story of Matthew Sheppard, a student beaten to death because he was gay.
And soon, it could be banned in Alabama.
Except that's not the case. Indeed, reading a bit further:Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is. Also exempted now Alabama's public and college libraries.
Seems to be a verb or a colon missing in that last sentence, but I read it to indicate that it doesn't apply to college libraries or public libraries. So what we are really talking about is whether books with gay authors or characters should be allowed in high school and elementary school libraries. And I think that's a debate worth having. My thought is that the orientation of the author shouldn't be an issue, but the orientation of the characters, especially in elementary school libraries, might be worthy of debate. And certainly it should be done on a case-by-case basis. The writer brings up "The Color Purple" which should NOT be given to elementary school students.
But Andrew Sullivan isn't looking for a debate, he's looking for evidence of a theocracy. The article is very muddy on the chances that Allen's bill will pass (I suspect it won't). But of course Andrew wants to judge Republicans on what one legislator in one state has proposed.
A Better Poll
Our buddies at Ankle-Biting Pundits have become known for nipping at the heels of pollsters, exposing the bias in many polls. For a change, they find much to agree with in a recent poll by Fox News
The New York Times can't seem to get enough of Hunter S. Thompson retrospectives; here's an appalling one
from last week.He reached out his right hand and the drink was there, just there, ice clinking. Thompson opened the drawer to his left. It was filled with narcotics. As he looked inside, the sheriff said, ''I'll go into the other room while you do your drugs, Hunter.''
He sank a straw into a plastic container and took some cocaine onto his tongue. He returned to the drawer constantly in the course of the night, getting cocaine, pills, marijuana, which he smoked in a pipe -- the smoke was soft and tangy and blue -- chased by Chivas, white wine, Chartreuse, tequila and Glenfiddich. The effect was gradual but soon his features softened and the scowl melted and his movements became fluid and graceful. By midnight, the man who had emerged a bleary-eyed ruin hours before was on his feet and swearing and waving a shotgun and another show had opened in the long run of Hunter S. Thompson.
Sounds vaguely like college days to me, although of course we were not drinking the top-shelf brands of liquor. And most of us outgrew that phase.
Elizabeth Edwards Posting at Democratic Underground?
John Hawkins has the story
To me, it seems obvious that the real message of this story is that John Edwards is running in 2008 and that he and his wife are keeping up with the lunatic crowd that is going to be so very important for getting the nomination. At least, they will be important right up until the moment people start voting in the primaries and caucuses.
Remember, the darling of the DU crowd and most of the left-wing bloggers at the beginning of 2004 was Howard Dean. And while the Dean scream has moved into legendary status as the cause of his downfall, people forget that moment came after
Dean had lost Iowa.
This is something that we often lose sight of. The rank and file Democrats are not as goofy as the DU crowd or the lefty bloggers. They would have joined in our revulsion at DKos's "screw 'em" dismissal of the US contractors in Iraq last year (if they had any idea who Kos was). Yes, Kerry was a goofy pick, but he was the height of sanity compared to the Vermonster.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
This Woman is a Turkey
CNS has a story about a woman who speaks for the chickens. In truth, it's hard to believe the article is serious
:Davis's United Poultry Concerns urges people to "celebrate Easter without eggs." It has campaigned against the White House Easter Egg Roll, the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book series; and even compared the attacks on the World Trade Center to what "millions of chickens endure every day."
But here's her website
As for the title of this post, it is not inspired by this part:"The day may come when to be called a 'chicken' or a 'turkey' will be rightly regarded as a salute to a person's intelligence," she wrote.
Roger L. Simon links
to this article
in the NY Times about Arianna Huffington's new celebrity blog. This strikes me as another one of those efforts that's bound to fail. First, get this nonsense from Airiheadda herself:Ms. Huffington said the site "won't be left wing or right wing; indeed, it will punch holes in that very stale way of looking at the world."
You can tell it's going to be a left-wing site, can't you? The minute they start spouting that "let's get over the left/right dichotomy" crappola, you know that what it really means is that they're hard left.
As I indicated on Roger's post, Airiheadda's Blog will probably suffer same fate as Noam Chomsky's blog. Have you seen Noam's blog lately? Neither has he
; the last post there is from July of 2004.
Marvel Comic Supports Troops?
Our buddy at Lucky Dawg News, Chris, pointed to this story
about a comic that Marvel is producing which will be distributed free of charge at military exchanges.The book is a normal-sized edition of The New Avengers, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Dan Jurgens and Sandu Florea.
Virtually every major Marvel hero is involved in an encounter with an alien army. The ads are tailored for soldiers.Both DC Comics and Marvel have published special issues before on topics such as drug abuse, land mines and the heroes of 9/11.
This latest effort dwarfs those in size, and is in partnership with "America Supports You," a Defense Department campaign that encourages private citizens, communities and businesses to reach out to troops and their families, "especially those serving in harm's way."
We'll see. Marvel has not been above the PC nonsense before; here's a discussion
of an explicitly anti-war on terror comic featuring none other than Captain America. I suspect somewhere in the comic will be an articulation of the argument that those who are anti-war are not anti-military.
One thing's for sure; this guy's
not going to be happy that a comic is being distributed which supports the troops.
Those Trees Don't Count
Brit-blogger Tim Worstall has an excellent and funny piece
over at Tech Central Station on the MTV environmental show with Cameron Diaz & Drew Barrymore previously discussed here
It's worth reading all the way through, but I wanted to riff on this bit:They enjoyed the benefit of advice during filming from the World Wildlife Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council so there's really no excuse for things like this, talking of Bhutan:
"[The] only country in the world where forest cover is increasing."
Which is I am sure something of a surprise to those in the US, where such cover has been increasing since 1920, also to those of us in the UK where we know very well that there has been an increase since 1940. A lot of very nice Germans took photos of the place for us and handed them over in 1945, that's how we know.
Rush Limbaugh remarked on the great reforestation of the Northeastern US in one of his books. But you know why that doesn't count with the global warming crowd? Because there is no chance those trees would be cut down. Those trees don't count because they aren't part of a woods that could be efficiently turned into lumber.
What is the nature of capitalism? The nature of capitalism is to do things more efficiently and cheaper. Capitalism looks at the business of timber and says "How can I get those logs and make lumber out of them at the lowest possible cost?" The answer, obviously, is clear-cutting. If you cut down all the trees, you get the most lumber, and you have the least headaches in terms of obstruction for your equipment and for removing the cut-down trees.
But you can't clear-cut in the Northeast because it's very much developed and most of the trees growing there are on individual lots. So the capitalists look to the Northwest, to Oregon, Washington, and California. But there the environmentalists battle them tooth & nail. Why? Well, I'm sure a lot of them legitimately don't like the look of a clear-cut forest, and that's a legitimate negative to be weighed by government. But many of the environmentalists are also driven by a hatred of capitalism. Ironically, their efforts quite frequently result in the impoverishment of the working class they claim to support. After all, if capitalists can't wring excess costs out by clear-cutting, they either find themselves non-competitive in the market and fire their employees, or they find ways to wring the costs out of the workers.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Amazing Race Turkey--Welcome Viking Pundit Readers!
Uchenna and Joyce and Gretchen and Meredith caught a big break tonight in finding an earlier flight to Istanbul, getting what appeared to be a 2-hour lead on Rob & Ambuh and Ron & Kelly (you know the show is getting near the end when you can remember the names of all the contestants). However, I gotta admit, it was one of those maddening moments when you wonder just how they actually did it. They managed to bum a cell phone off somebody to make the call, but then what do you do--call India Information and ask for a travel agent?
Anyway, the other two couples made an apparently determined effort to find an earlier flight and were unsuccessful. But then Rob made the classic reality-show mistake of assuming that good enough is good enough. I'm sure that if they watched the show tonight he and Ambuh winced seeing him mouth off about how the black couple and the retired couple were "the blind leading the blind".
For a change, the teams did not all pick the same task at the detour, and once again the team (the POW & the Beauty Queen) that went against the grain appeared to pick up some time because of their choice.
Gretchen obviously redeemed herself tonight with the climb up the rope ladder, although you gotta wonder about Meredith's sanity in agreeing to let her handle the task. But it was a great moment for the show as she doggedly hoisted herself up that ladder.
Boston Rob's luck continued to hold. While every other team's climber struggled to find a key at the top of the fortress, he saw one immediately and was dashing back down, making it impossible for the POW to catch him. Fortunately for Ron & Kelly, it turned out to be a non-elimination leg, so they live to race another day (and ironically won the evening's prize, which includes $20,000 to spend on Travelocity).
Random Thoughts: It was nice to see that Joyce was confident enough to show off her new shaved look after last week's obvious distress. Was it just me, or did Phil seem extremely pleased to see them win the leg? Don't forget, the producers of this show are looking for drama and Joyce provided it in abundance last week.
Also, when Phil specified that Ron & Kelly have to start the next leg without any money, was that a rule change? Remember, when Meredith & Gretchen finished last they lost their money and got no more the next day, but they had apparently bummed a few bucks from the gay couple (and clothes from Uchenna & Joyce). Or was that after that leg started?
Kelly will no doubt take some criticism of her comments on how Ron got out of his military commitment by becoming a POW. It was a cheap shot, but Ron seemed to pick the fight with her by making the comment about not being ready to settle down, wanting to see more of the world (and, I suspect, its women). The scene where they kissed and made up seemed a bit forced.
Viking Pundit posted his weekly recap
and points us to Kris' take
on the evening's show.
Democrats are cheering the one-year anniversary of the media's "breaking" of the Abu Ghraib story.Kitty
sent us this photo of some of the celebrants.
Be Still My Bleeding Heart
You might think it would be hard for a columnist to write a sympathetic story about a former NFL player who blew through $9 million, who had six children by six different women (none of whom he apparently married).
But Michael Rosenberg is up to the task
Where did the money go?"Just take a $9-million figure," Blades said. "Forty percent, right off the bat, goes to Uncle Sam. And then the state and local taxes. Let's say 50 percent of your money is already gone. You're down to $4.5 million, averaging about $450,000 a year. Just in child support I was paying almost $17,000-$18,000 a month."
Burgess said Blades already had paid more than $1.3 million in child support. According to court records, $243,000 has gone to Ashley Healey.
And then there were the house and gifts for his parents.
And there were the down payments on cars and houses for his siblings. Blades has six.
Don't you just love that last bit? Well, he had to buy the cars and houses for his siblings, and after all, he does have six of them.
Blades' defense is laughable:"You can call it irresponsible for having the kids so close together from so many different women," Blades said. "I was always taught, regardless of whether you're being irresponsible, as long as you live up to your responsibility, you're being a man. Nobody who knows me well can ever say I wasn't a father to these kids."
Yes, except that he hasn't been keeping up with the child-support payments.
Melody Townsel, In Trouble, Runs to the Daily Kos?
Check out this incredibly self-serving letter
to the DKos crew:When I was in college, 22 years ago, I plagiarized some columns while working for my college newspaper, and I was removed from staff. Months later, while working for another college newspaper, I wrote a review for a local play that tracked closely in format to another writer's review -- and, although it was not plagiarized, it made my editors, who had become aware of my recent past, very uncomfortable, and we mutually agreed that I would no longer submit stories to them.
But of course, we should not consider this in assessing her character, 22 years later:I know they'll tell you that my pending statement to the Senate cannot be trusted because I did some stupid things as a 20-year-old kid two decades ago -- even as they try to tell you that Mr. Bolton's bahavior toward me in Moscow and Kyrgyzstan 11 years ago just doesn't matter.
Of course Ms Townsel would have us judge Mr Bolton harshly for things he did 11 years ago, but don't judge her for things she did 22 years ago. Also note that she fudges about when this all happened; at one point she says "...keep in mind that I was 21 years old when this happened....", but a few paragraphs later, she's a 20-year-old kid.
Perhaps the most interesting thing is that she writes the letter directly to the DKos Doofuses; note that the salutation is "Hello, Daily Kos-ers:".
Hat Tip: Danegerus
Syria Pulls Out of Lebanon
You know what that means? Head on over to Ya Libnan, the blog of the Cedar Revolution
Too Much Savings Abroad?
Here's an interesting take
on savings and trade deficits. Samuelson is one of those rare magazine writers who actually understands economics.Like others, Bernanke warns that these trade imbalances—our huge deficits, their huge surpluses—seem dangerous. His contribution is to show that their main causes lie outside the United States. To say a country has surplus saving is simply another way of saying that it lacks good investment opportunities at home or discourages its citizens from consuming. Asian countries favor export-led growth, de-emphasizing local consumption. Latin America's volatile politics deters investment. Europe's heavy taxes and regulations do likewise. Whatever the problems, Americans can't fix them.
The Reality-Based Community? Part L
The DC Examiner runs through the history of John Bolton's latest accuser, Lynne Finney. Turns out Mrs Finney has an interesting background:Those articles also failed to mention the fact that Lynne Finney, the women who claims she was abused by Bolton, has problems with her memory. She believes that she long suppressed and later recovered memories that she was molested by her father - a process which the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association regard as dubious and an unreliable source of testimony.
Quackery, in other words. The Examiner highlights her website, which is ummm, rather interesting
.In this new millennium, we entered an era of human evolution where we can reinvent ourselves and create new realities. We all have the ability to clear out our limiting beliefs and behaviors and tap into the infinite power of Consciousness. I've spent many years learning how to do this for myself and would like to pass on what I've discovered to you. I hope my work is helpful. But the truth is that you are already enlightened. Self-realization is not something we earn or "get." It's who we are - our true nature. You only have to realize it.
Monday, April 25, 2005
A Run Through the Blogroll Part II
Lucky Dawg News is the blog of our old buddy
from the 2004 campaign, Chris of the amazing Kerry Waffles site, the multimedia epicenter of the anti-Kerry effort. Chris is mostly blogging on NASCAR these days but he does give the left a little what-goes-for every time he sees the chance.
A Small Victory is one of my favorite pop-culture/nostalgia
blogs, always an entertaining way to spend a few minutes. Don't forget to pay a visit to The Coalition of the Dark Side
, a group blog supporting the New York Yankees. It's going to be amusing watching the shrieking from that corner as the Bronx Bombers start bombing.
ACE (Airborne Combat Engineer) is the place with the helpful hardware man
. If you're interested in military equipment, you'll find intelligent discussion and hard facts at ACE's.
La Shawn Barber's blog is now one of the top trafficked blogs in the 'sphere. Politics from a Christian perspective and phenomenal writing
have propelled her to numerous appearances on TV and radio shows. Always worthy of a visit.
Blackfive is a great milblogger
, with lots of posts on the heroes of our fighting forces. He has great contacts in the military community, which means he'll have the real poop on the latest "outrage" committed by our troops and reported eagerly by anti-military journalists.
To Be Continued!
Drudge Hits 10
La Shawn Barber notes the anniversary
and says:While he’s not a blogger, his site was definitely a forerunner to the new medium.
I don't know about that part. I've always felt that Drudge & Lucianne were blogs, just that they are such big blogs that people don't recognize it at first. What makes a blog?
1. Links to articles of interest. Check.
2. Commentary on those articles. Check for Lucianne, but less common at Drudge. However, Drudge's own headline with the link frequently contains his commentary. Consider this headline from today:Holding On Tight
. The headline links to this article
, where the only part I can find that appears to justify the headline is this:Bush kept a firm, guiding grip on his guest's hand as they walked up the path, past a field of bluebonnets that the president took care to point out, to a new office building on a corner of the sprawling ranch.
3. Links to Other Bloggers. Lucianne does this with her once-a-day BlogTruth posts. Drudge seldom links to other bloggers, but this may be a blessing; when Drudge did link to Power Line during the Rath
ergate scandal, the blog almost immediately crashed due to the heavy traffic generated.
The things that rule against Drudge being a blog are mostly superficial--no topdown posting (although his headlines are stored topdown), and few permalinks.
The CSI Effect?
Here's an article on the concern for the justice system
caused by the TV show CSI. I highlight the article because when I was called for jury duty last year, one of the questions asked in voir dire
was how many of us watched the show regularly. So apparently there really is an issue.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
2007: Democrats Stall Extremist Nominee to Supreme Court
Democrats vowed to fight President Bush's nomination of right-wing extremist conservative Hillary Rodham Clinton as new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. "She's way out of the mainstream," said Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, citing Clinton's reported desire to keep the number of abortions as low as possible, and her noted belief in God.
DNC Chair Howard Dean noted that Hillary had not only supported the war in Iraq, but had voted in favor of the $87 billion Iraq reconstruction and military funding package. "She's to the right of MoveOn.org and that's unacceptable to this party."
The nomination of former Senator Clinton came as the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominees entered its 24th month, and was seen by some as a conciliatory measure by President Bush, whose Republican Party has been unable to break the filibuster despite a freshly-won 61-38-1 majority after the '06 debacle for the Democrats. However, with the help of maverick Republican Senators McCain, Hagel and Voinovich, the Democrats have maintained their effective veto over the process.
Joe Lieberman sounded a cautiously optimistic note in the morning, but by mid-afternoon had joined his partisans in expressing doubt. In an interview on Fox, Lieberman expressed the opinion that Mrs Clinton would be a fine nominee. But after other Democrats voiced their dismay, the Connecticut senator acknowledged that perhaps once again, the rest of his party would settle for obstructing President Bush. "They're apparently holding out for Lynne Stewart," said Lieberman, referring to the New York lawyer serving a 20-year sentence for supporting terrorism.
Oh, That Liberal Media
The BBC sends hecklers
to conservative rally.
A Full Steyn
Here's the master at work
, combining the Bolton nomination with Benedict XVI:I'll bet Pope Benedict XVI is glad that his conclave doesn't include either Cardinal Biden or Cardinal Voinovich, or his church would be pontiff-less indefinitely while they ''investigated'' last-minute rumors that he'd been off-hand to some guy in seminary 55 years ago. I had no strong views about the new pope one way or another, but I'd have voted for him just for the pleasure of seeing him drive the U.S. media bananas. Apparently, the New York Times was stunned that their short list of Cardinal Gloria Steinem, Cardinal Rupert Everett and Cardinal Rosie O'Donnell were defeated at the last moment by some guy who came out of left field and isn't even gay or female but instead belongs to the discredited ''Catholic'' faction of the Catholic Church.