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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Iowahawk guest commentary by Abdulmutallab

The US State Department agent asked to see my passport, and the concierge explained that I was a Somali refugee. So she looks at her computer screen and says, "um, I'm afraid there's a problem, this passenger's name is on a watch list." Oh, great. Looks like my dad is playing Mr. Buzzkill again, just because I took that semester off from Oxford to go backpacking in Yemen. So I showed her my official State Department visa.

So I'm like, "honey, do I look like I'm a US military veteran?"


"Do I look like I'm some sort of right wing anti-tax teabagger?"


"Do I look like anybody else on the DHS terrorism danger list?"

"No, but..."

"Then I suggest that unless you want a nasty anti-discrimination lawsuit on your hands, you'd best give me an aisle seat. With extended legroom."

Why Obama pretends we're not at war

DIck Cheney nails Barack Obama's weirdly detached response to the Christmas attack on the Northwest/Delta flight. Politico has his statement.

via Powerline.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vt. judge: Birth mom must give child to ex-partner


Miller and Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian.

Cohen awarded custody of the girl to Jenkins on Nov. 20 after finding Miller in contempt of court for denying Jenkins access to the girl.

The judge said the only way to ensure equal access to the child was to switch custody. He also said the benefits to the child of having access to both parents would be worth the difficulties of the change.

Code to decrypt most of world's cell phone calls cracked

Two security researchers tomorrow will demonstrate methods for intercepting and decoding calls and data transmitted over the popular GSM mobile network technology.

Berkeley High May Cut Out Science Labs

Berkeley High School is considering a controversial proposal to eliminate science labs and the five science teachers who teach them to free up more resources to help struggling students.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Scrappleface: Obama warns against NWA 253 backlash, intolerance

"President Obama, in a news conference from the Pacific White House in Hawaii, on Monday cautioned Americans to avoid "lashing out against folks in puffy underpants.""

ABC News: Former Gitmo prisoners behind Northwest flight 253 terror plot.

"Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans.

American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an "art therapy rehabilitation program" and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials."

Dr. Zero - The Danger of Distraction

At Hot Air's Green Room,

"The continuing threat of terrorism is something Obama’s brand of corrupt deal-making and influence peddling is wholly unprepared to deal with. Unlike Nebraska senator Ben Nelson, jihadists don’t view their “deeply-held principles” as price tags. They are unimpressed by symbolic awards from the Nobel committee, climate-change fraud operations, or gaseous speeches. They see weakness in months of dithering over Afghanistan strategy. They smell opportunity when ideology trumps security, and 9/11 masterminds receive the benefits of American civilian courts."

Also posted at

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Must-read Steyn - Obamacare is the fast-track to a permanent left-of-center political culture.

Displaying his usual mastery of metaphor:

"The monstrous mountain of toxic pustules sprouting from greasy boils metastasizing from malign carbuncles that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve is not the last word in “health” “care,” but the first. It ensures that this is all we’ll be talking about, now and forever."

Friday, December 25, 2009

A bit of Christmas stuff

Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

Hallelujah Chorus (silent monk version)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Doctor Zero comes out, starts new site

His name is John Hayward, the site is

via Hot Air's Green Room.

Did Jim DeMint just kill ObamaCare?

The Best Christmas Present Ever: Senator DeMint Objects to the Appointment of the Conferees.

Dr. Zero - What Democracy Is Not

"Voting for a political hack who lies about everything he believes in, and has no position that lacks a price tag, is not an exercise in true democracy..."

"The American democracy was not created to dictate the destiny of its citizens. It has a duty to avoid interfering with our hopes and dreams, except where necessary to maintain order. The government should not be conscripting us into the service of its hopes and dreams, with thousand-page draft notices. A nation becomes great because of what its people achieve, not because of what they are required to do… or what they are forbidden to do."

Writing at Hot Air's Green Room, the doctor is spot on, as always.

Christmas Eve stuff

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - whatever's appropriate!
Tea And Coffee Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk.
The Morgan Freeman chain of command.
Everything you never wanted to know about duck sex. (possibly NSFW)
Is the Secret Service responsible for keeping the President from getting drunk?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

VDH: Where Did These Guys Come From?

Writing at PJM:

"In short, equality of result doctrine ignores the role of markets, of skills, of tragedy itself that renders some of us ill, others in perfect health, some born gifted, others less so, some evil by nature, others good, and instead promises that the state can even us all out through its power of material redistribution."


"In short, we have a traditional statist bent on redistribution (Obama’s words, not mine), updated with the postmodern belief that race/class/gender oppressions require government affirmative reactions (which also abroad explains why we reach out to enemies and shun allies), all energized by an ends justify the means Chicago bare-knuckles apparat."

The inevitable US/Israel breach

Caroline Glick:

The Obama administration remains stridently opposed to using military force to destroy Iran's nuclear installations. This was made clear during a high-level war game at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government earlier this month. At Harvard, former US undersecretary of state Nicholas Burns played Obama and former UN ambassador Dore Gold played Netanyahu. At the end of the game, the US had disavowed its strategic alliance withIsrael because Jerusalem refused to give Washington veto power over its right to attack Iran's nuclear installations. On the other hand, America had failed to get Russia and China to support sanctions and Iran was three months away from the bomb.

The Harvard game came just a few months after the real-world CIA Director Leon Panetta made what was supposed to be a secret visit to Israel and demanded that Israel not attack Iran without US permission.

All of this makes clear that Israel cannot depend on the US to defend it from Iran. Indeed, it makes clear that a breach of relations with the US is unavoidable.
via Powerline.

Monday, December 21, 2009

ACORN Qualifies for Funding in Senate Health Care Bill

Details at Weekly Standard.

Via Pam Geller, at Atlas.

Must-read at Belmont Club

Richard Fernandez writes:

"People have always believed that ‘they can’t do that; can’t foist this fraud on me; can’t take over 15% of the US economy just like that; can’t give my tax money to Hugo Chavez; can’t borrow money from China in my name and give to China.’ But if you realize one day that the answer to those questions is “Yes we can” — and there’s no point arguing, then you will have discovered the Day After Feeling. Our grandfathers knew it. We thought to be spared."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hookers Deeply Offended By Comparisons to Politician

Members of the world’s oldest profession are infuriated by the relentless and invidious likening of their industry to the world’s second oldest profession. Word on the street, literally, is that hookers are prepared to exact an apology for the defiling of their good names.

Even those not well acquainted with the whoring business should be able to appreciate the asymmetry between a freely bargained for and mutually beneficial exchange, versus extorting taxpayer funds in the service of tyrants.

Majority of U.S. Cocaine Supply Cut with Veterinary Deworming Drug

At Popular Science:

Cocaine's a hell of a drug, and even more so when laced with another drug that's commonly used to deworm opossums. Federal agents have found that 69 percent of cocaine shipments seized entering the United States contain levamisole, a veterinary drug linked to serious weakening of the immune system in humans. Here's the real funny part: no one knows why.

via Instapundit.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Must read du jour: Soros funded election fraud

"With a mere investment of $780,000 Soros and his allies were able to suborn free elections in the states of Montana, West Virginia, Missouri, Oregon, in 2008, and in Minnesota, Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada and Iowa, in 2006.

How did he achieve so much with so little? He founded a 527 group which funded candidates in one kind of race in which the victor has the most influence over election integrity, and in which there is so little political competition: the Secretaries of State."

Matthew Vadum, writing at, has details on how each Secretary of State whose election was funded by Soro's Secretary of State project is associated with election fraud and voter fraud.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


By John Feeney at America's Right.

"I have been re-educated.

My worldview has understandably been corrected. Whereas for much of my life I always believed in the goodness of the United States of America, I now see that this country and everything for which it stands is a corrupt, irredeemable, and immoral fraud. Our Founding Fathers were nothing other than racist, slave-owning pigs more bent on protecting their own financial assets than they were in actually creating a land in which all people could thrive and be free.

I can’t believe that I never saw it before. The degree of my shame is so pronounced that it sickens me. Thank God--if there is one--that liberalism has brought me to my senses."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dr. Zero - The Chimera

Right on target and with some really spiffy metaphors, as usual:

"In Greek mythology, the Chimera was a monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. The term has come to be synonymous with nightmares and illusions. Modern America is infested with these monsters, and politicians are very dedicated to fighting them… with swords forged from billions of tax dollars, and shields woven from the dessicated remains of your shriveled liberties.

The proponents of Big Government programs frequently excuse their waste and inefficiency by hinting at the terrible things that would have happened, if they had not taken expensive action. The recent stimulus bill, a fountain of pork-barrel waste and theft, is defended in these terms."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Obama "passion" index at -19

“23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -19. Today is the second straight day that Obama’s Approval Index rating has fallen to a new low. Prior to the past two days, the Approval Index had never fallen below -15 during Obama’s time in office.”

"Somewhat approve" remains at 46%.

Federal bureaucrat of the week

Your tax dollars at work, paying this guy's salary, and his hotel bill. He serves as a director of industry operations for ATF:

"A technician who was summoned Nov. 30 tracked the alarm problem to the second-floor room registered to Vanderwerf, the arrest report said. Inside, staffers found the smoke detectors in the bedroom and kitchen-den had been removed and the horn that blares alarms was hanging out of the wall.

But the staffers and a deputy sheriff also discovered that someone had removed the bedroom door from its hinges and replaced it with a 5-by-4-foot piece of plywood affixed to the frame and the drywall with hinges and screws, the arrest report said. The door had two locks attached from the bedroom side and a circular hole padded with duct tape. The deputy noted in the arrest report that the hole appeared to be used "in some sort of sexual act."

via Dan Riehl.

Video: Lord Monckton adresses a Greenpeace-campaigner on global warming

I'm unsure who Lord Monkton is (since I'm American, after all, and ignorant), but he very politely (and Socratically!) shoots down a fervent Greenpeace campaigner, who, to her credit, remains gracious throughout.

via Instapundit.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Iowahawk explains climate math

Iowahawk, who works with statistics in his day job, has a rare non-funny post,

"In short, it's a detailed how-to-guide for replicating the climate reconstruction method used by the so-called "Climategate" scientists. Not a perfect replication, but a pretty faithful facsimile that you can do on your own computer, with some of the same data they used."

via Instapundit.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dems propose $1.8 TRILLION debt ceiling increase

Mark Hemingway has comments and links at the Examiner:

How's this for transparency and accountability?:

In a bold but risky year-end strategy, Democrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year’s rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections. [emphasis added]

Really? Britain wants to brand Jewish goods

On the UK blog CentreRight:

The government - our government, supposedly representing you and me in its interaction with people abroad - wants to label goods as coming from the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, so as to help consumers boycott them.

Explosion of six-figure salaries in fed gov't during recession

Captain Ed has comments and links at Hot Air:

Bureaucracy is the real recession-proof industry. The numbers are mind-boggling. In 18 months, the number of federal employees making over $100K have increased 46%. The number making over $150K has more than doubled.

It’s not as if they’ve been asked to do more with less, either. In the first six months of the year, the federal government was adding 10,000 jobs per month, and over the recession had grown the ranks of bureaucrats by 9.8%. The private sector, during that same period, shed 7.3 million jobs to contract 6.3%.

Here’s the fun fact of the day from USA Today:

When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.

Got that? Seventeen hundred employees at DoT make $170,000 per year. Eighteen months ago, there was one.

UPDATE: Reason has a related post - The Class War: Public Employees vs. the Rest of Us.

Dr. Zero - The First Casualty Is Choice

"The Orwellian splendor of the “Health Choices Commissioner” is consistent with the tendency of the President and his allies to promote the “choices” that will come with a government takeover of health insurance. This is insulting nonsense. When the government takes over anything, choice is the first casualty...

When government absorbs huge amounts of money from the population, it reduces their options for entertainment, travel, and countless other aspects of their lives.

Because money is so versatile, we experience the loss of choice through taxation in a gradual way, making it relatively painless. Payroll tax withholding is also a potent sedative. You barely feel the possibilities being drained away from you. The essential lesson of the Obama Administration is that this kind of painless energy drain is over. The ambitions of socialism can no longer be fulfilled by draining tax money from the middle class in mosquito bites, while the heavy-duty vampire attacks are reserved for the Evil Rich."

Read the whole thing at Hot Air's Green Room.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kids FINALLY allowed to ride bikes to middle school -- if they follow a mountain of rules.

Read the details at Free Range Kids.

Enabling ACORN's Comeback

Matthew Vadum at

The bottom line is that the ACORN funding prohibition language remains in the massive fiscal 2010 spending measure taken up by appropriators this week but ACORN ally Eric Holder's Justice Department has rendered that language virtually meaningless.

The Obama administration's bailout of ACORN may help keep the financially distressed group that had been considering filing bankruptcy before Christmas open for business.

Everyday Germs in Childhood May Prevent Diseases in Adulthood

From Science Daily, some common sense about letting your kids be kids:

Most provocatively, the Northwestern study suggests that exposure to infectious microbes early in life may actually protect individuals from cardiovascular diseases that can lead to death as an adult.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tiger, Barack, and the Law of Transitivity

Lisa Schriffen, one of my favorites, writing at American Thinker.

If I were watching the public's disgust with the newly revealed Tiger Woods from an office in the West Wing, I'd be concerned. Because Barack Obama is about as completely manufactured a political character as this nation has seen. His meteoric rise, without the inconvenience of a public record or accomplishments, and the public's willing suspension of critical evaluation of his résumé allowed his handlers and the media to project whatever they wanted to on his unfurrowed brow.

Ironically, the parallels have nothing to do with race. The Obama campaign did explicitly attempt to borrow the from the then-universal Tiger Woods appeal to allay any discomfort voters might have had with a mixed-race politician. They constructed a persona that would make the American electorate comfortable with a barely-known, first-term senator with a left wing voting record, a deliberately obscured personal and professional past, and no traditional qualifications for high office."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why Kids Don’t Play Outside Much Anymore - new BBC show

Why Kids Don’t Play Outside Much Anymore.

at the Free Range Kids blog, which should be a mandatory read for every parent.

Tuesday stuff

Dr. Zero - The First Sign Of Corruption

"The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means. – Georges Bernanos

The Republicans proved themselves sadly capable of shoving their noses in the treasury during their last years in power, and were punished by the voters for it. The corruption of the Obama Democrats is truly breathtaking. Virtually nothing this Administration does is conducted in a honest, open manner. Everything from the “stimulus” bill, to Cash for Clunkers, to frantic attempts to buy House and Senate votes for the government’s health care takeover, is wrapped in pork and glazed with payoffs, cooked with a secret recipe that you can’t see without a subpoena. Some of this corruption is enabled by the Democrats’ largely accurate sense that the media will not hold them accountable for it, certainly not with the same vigor they would pursue Republicans. The raging rapids of taxpayer cash surging through Washington are a factor as well. Reckless deficit spending has made purchasing a representative or Senator the only investment guaranteed to increase in value."

At Hot Air's Green Room.

Monday, December 7, 2009

California cuts off mammograms to poor women younger than 50

"Facing enormous budget shortfalls, the state (California) has ended subsidies for mammograms for poor women between 40-50 years of age, and will also freeze enrollments in a breast-cancer screening program for its Medicaid recipients."

Details and links at HotAir.

WSJ: Sarbanes-Oxley - $2.3 million each year in direct compliance costs at the average company

Post-Enron and -Worldcom, Sarbox was passed to require microscrutiny of accounting practices at publicly traded companies. The results would have been (and were) foreseeable to business people, but not to bureaucrats.

WSJ: "In the years since its passage, the country has experienced an historic drought of initial public offerings. Is Sarbox to blame? Many financial pundits say no, but the SEC survey results point in the other direction. When public companies are asked whether Section 404 has motivated them to consider going private, a full 70% of smaller firms say yes, and 44% of all public companies also say yes.

Has Sarbox driven businesses out of the country? Among foreign companies, a majority in the survey say that Section 404 has motivated them to consider de-listing from U.S. exchanges, and a staggering 77% of smaller foreign firms say that the law has motivated them to consider abandoning their American listings."

via Weekly Standard.

Gropenhagen: Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex

Copenhagen Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to city hotels warning summit guests not to patronize Danish sex workers during the upcoming conference. Now, the prostitutes have struck back, offering free sex to anyone who produces one of the warnings.

via Reason.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Steven den Beste: Government by Wishful Thinking

Steven den Beste contributes occasionally at Hot Air's Green Room, and is excellent as always. I used to read him regularly, several years ago, at his now-defunct (except for the archives) USS Clueless blog; due to illness, I believe, he stopped updating that one and is rarely seen these days.

The subject today is the Left (including but not limited to Obama) and magical thinking:

"The teleological world view on the left has been a factor in American politics to a greater or lesser extent since the 1960’s, but this is the first time it was largely in control. And the most likely outcome of it is to make most Americans understand just how deeply worthless, and outright damaging, it is. Which, in the long run, will be very good for America.

The only concern is that we can come through the remaining three years of Obama’s first (and almost certainly his only) term of office without sustaining irreparable damage. If Congress had moved at the speed Obama wanted them to, we might have suffered such damage, but now that we’ve almost made it through his first year and are moving into an election year, with public opinion polls moving strongly against Obama and his policies, I am becoming cautiously optimistic that we can survive this."

via Hot Air.

ACORN’s Fingerprints on Mortgage Crisis Appeared 20 Years Ago

Story at Big Government.

"Specifically, ACORN strong-armed banks and worked with members of Congress, such as Barney Frank, to weaken credit standards in order for banks, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to fund risky mortgages. Mortgages, of course, that stood little chance of ever being paid, as we witnessed last year.

But ACORN’s penchant for shaking down banks didn’t begin 2 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Check out this article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1988. "

Outstanding - best history of climategate EVAH

An absolute must-read at American Thinker.

Breach in the global-warming bunker rattles climate science at the worst time

Another great UK article:

"Now the pirating of thousands of e-mail messages from within its walls has revealed a dangerous bunker mentality among the scientists who guarded those records and a data-fudging scandal that has created a crisis of confidence in global-warming science that is threatening to destroy the political consensus around next week's carbon-policy summit in Copenhagen.

On a political level, coming on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, the controversy has been catastrophic: In the last few days, it has prompted opposition politicians in the United States, Britain and Australia to argue that human-caused global warming is a myth."

via Strata-Sphere.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Really? Iran Demands That Nurses in Bolivia Wear Hijabs

"On Wednesday, November 24, Iranian demands that female nurses don the hijab in response to Iran’s providing $1.2 million for funding of the new El Alto city hospital in Bolivia sparked a national outcry among women’s rights advocates within Bolivia."

At Gateway Pundit.

Dr. Zero - Government can’t fix this

This guy certainly has a way with words. Anyone know who he is?

"A corporate executive who squandered a year of his investors’ income on a failed attempt to fix unemployment would not be rewarded with a new contract, six times as large, to manage health care… especially when a review of his firm showed a century of nothing but costly failures and fraudulent “business plans."

If Barack Obama truly wanted to help the economy, and reduce unemployment, he would stop giving endless speeches that only reinforce his image as a man who has no idea what he is doing, but is relentlessly determined to do it."

Walk the dog or face time behind bars

In Australia, and still in draft form: Pet owners could be punished for not walking their dogs, under radical new laws being proposed by the RSPCA.

via RightWingNews:
"There's more to soft totalitarianism than forbidding things. That which is not forbidden must be made mandatory. Take walking your dog, for example. Bureaucrats can't find a reason to forbid it. Therefore, in Australia they are pushing a law to make it illegal not to walk your dog."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wow. Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar” Is Promoting Porn in the Classroom.

Check out the long, well researched and very specific information on Gateway Pundit this morning. There are two posts, the second a continuation of the first, with horrifying excerpts from the GLSEN reading list. GLSEN is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the organization found and run until last year by Obama's ‘Safe Schools Czar’ Kevin Jennings.

Definitely NSFW. Maybe even not safe for home.

Excellent Canadian news report on climategate

The CBC's Rex Murphy discusses Climategate.

via Kathy Shaidle, who tweets, "
You Americans have LOTS of great stuff, but our conservative writers are better."

She also has a very useful (and constantly growing) list of Christmas presents for conservatives.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Terrorist dry run?

Read the whole thing.

"If this wasn't a dry run, I don't know what one is. They wanted to see how TSA would handle it, how the crew would handle it, and how the passengers would handle it. I'm telling this to you because I want you to know. The threat is real. I saw it with my own eyes."

Climategate is undermining the objectivity of science.

WSJ on Climategate: Science is Dying.

"Hard science, alongside medicine, was one of the few things left accorded automatic stature and respect by most untrained lay persons. But the average person reading accounts of the East Anglia emails will conclude that hard science has become just another faction, as politicized and "messy" as, say, gender studies."

Kristof busted

By Malkin:

"In other words, at the time Kristof’s article was published this past Sunday, Brodniak was already being treated and cared for by some of the best neurologists in the country! . . . Kristof’s readers have been raising money to pay for the Brodniaks to get him treated. But Brodniak is covered. He doesn’t have to pay a dime.”

Derb - Trust Science

John Derbyshire has a must-read column at NRO on trust and science.

"Trust science, but don’t trust scientists."

Climategate is the tip of the iceberg

Roger Simon, writing at PJM: Climategate is about a lot more than climate. It’s about science and its relationship to politics and profit, the academy, the state and, perhaps most importantly, information control.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dr. Zero - The Rhetoric of Failure

From the always excellent Dr. Zero at Hot Air's Green Room:

"Obama’s Afghanistan speech last night would have been adequate for a department store manager, informing the staff that extra help would be hired for the big Going Out of Business sale next year. It wasn’t very inspiring as a war speech. Inspiration is very important in warfare. As a modern liberal with an academic background, Obama sees military operations as unpleasant administrative chores, to be resolved rather than won… but Afghanistan is more than a distraction from the fun industry-nationalizing, trillion-dollar aspects of the President’s job, and resolution is never as inspiring as victory."

Shhh… Congress is raising the debt limit

From Heritage:

"Congress doesn’t want you to know it, but they are about to raise the debt limit because they’ve spent the full $12.1 trillion allowed on their taxpayer-funded credit card."

Villagers sue male monkey for harassing female monkey

In a bizarre development, residents of a village near Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, (I have no idea where that is) have filed a case against a male monkey for attempting to attack and kill a female monkey and its newborn.

The case was filed at a police station near the village.

A Government Pension That's Lasted 271 Years

An obscure pension created in 1738, which still pays out money today from French government coffers, may be the longest-lived and most amazing government debt in modern history.

The Dubai debt problem and Shariah-compliant finance

At The Corner.

"What makes this story (the financial meltdown of Dubai World) more than simply one of a massive real-estate-investment company gone bad is the double-edged sword so prevalent in the chase for oil-based Middle East wealth: sovereign wealth funds and Shariah-compliant finance."

Today only eBay has 50% off insertion fees

Today only, auction-style listing fees are 50% off at Fixed-price, eBay Motors vehicles, and select other listing fees are not eligible for this discount.

My daughter, who sells a LOT on eBay, saves up listings for these occasional days.

via DealNews.

U.K. Cancer Death Rate Is 38% Higher Than In U.S.

Dick Morris, writing at BigGovernment.

"The Guardian, the UK’s left wing daily, estimated that “up to 10,000 people” are dying each year of cancer “because their condition is diagnosed too late, according to research by the government’s director of cancer services.” While many people die because of late detection due to their own negligence, there is no reason to believe this self-neglect is more common in the UK than in the US."

World's fastest lawnmower

A bid to break the world land speed record for a lawnmower is to be unveiled today.

India targets 'Mr Pee' ahead of Commonwealth Games

In an effort to improve New Delhi's image before the Commonwealth Games next year, the Indian capital is to launch a publicity campaign to stop people urinating in the street.

The Corner: Will Turkey Spoil?

How was Turkey lost and why did Washington do nothing to stop it are questions that historians will ponder... Alas, Obama has, like Bush before him, turned a blind eye toward Erdogan's abuses, wishing to believe that Turkey remains a Western democracy even as its prime minister re-orients his country toward Syria, Iran, and Sudan.

The Lasik reform for health care

Captain Ed at HotAir discusses the recent Reason video using Lasik as an argument for removing third parties and reintroducing normal price signals for the health-care market.

Interesting property rights case coming before SCOTUS

WSJ has information.

"Typically done in the name of deterring erosion, the government carts in truckloads of sand, making the beach bigger. But rather than extending the property of the owner, the state declares itself owner of the sandy addition, effectively separating waterfront home owners from the water itself."

Climate Scandal Has Diverted Attention From the Climate Scandal

"In fact, in every record of any duration for any period in the earth’s history temperature increase precedes CO2 increase. This is the complete opposite of the fundamental assumption made in the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory. The only place where CO2 causes temperature increase is in the doctored computer models of the CRU and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)... Manipulation of data, falsification of temperature graphs, control of publishing and peer review, selective inclusion of variables and mechanisms in computer models were all designed to make it appear CO2 was the sole driving mechanism of temperature. The 2007 IPCC Report concluded that CO2 accounted for 90% of warming in the last 30 years. It’s equivalent to saying the small left toenail controls 90% of your body."

Will monkeys really type Shakespeare if given enough time?

After putting the question to an empirical test, some UK university students discovered that:
...The theory is flawed. After one month - admittedly not an "infinite" amount of time - the monkeys had partially destroyed the machine, used it as a lavatory, and mostly typed the letter "s".

via GeekPress.

Climategate: it's all unravelling now

Good summary from the Telegraph:

"So many new developments: which story do we pick? Maybe best to summarise, instead. After all, it’s not like you’re going to find much of this reported in the MSM."

Global Warming Revolt

WSJ: The global revolt keeps building against carbon cap and trade, not that you'd know it from the U.S. media.

Brooklyn ACORN and NY Schools Employee Accused of Fraud

In the NYT, believe it or not.

Investigators on Tuesday alleged that a Brooklyn-based bookkeeper and community organizer for the beleaguered antipoverty group Acorn improperly received $500,000 in merchandise for a corporate rewards program with Verizon, the telephone company, through a complex fraud scheme that went on for more than four years.

via JammieWearingFool.

Iranian arms dealer, extradited in '07, secretly jailed in Phila.

WASHINGTON - Federal authorities are expected today to reveal a major international undercover sting in which Philadelphia-based federal agents arrested an Iranian arms dealer in Eastern Europe and secretly extradited him to the United States.

The Iranian has been quietly jailed in a Philadelphia-area prison for nearly two years - the case sealed from public view - as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have scoured his laptop to pursue hundreds of leads about Iran's covert effort to acquire American military gear, law-enforcement sources said.

“It’s not exactly the kind of speech you would have heard from Henry V or Churchill.”

Gateway Pundit has video of reaction from Krauthammer and Hayes.

Jonah Goldberg: Washington, Home of Intellectual Hypocrisy

Believing you can run other peoples’ lives when you can barely run your own.

The crusade against moral hypocrisy necessarily hits conservatives harder, not because conservatives are more immoral, but because they uphold morality more publicly, making them richer targets. The Left aims much of its moralizing at moralizing itself — “thou shalt not judge.” Meanwhile, the Right focuses on the oldies but goodies — adultery, drug use, etc. I think we’re right to uphold a standard even if we sometimes fail to live up to it.

What I don’t think we hear enough about is intellectual hypocrisy. What’s that? Well, if moral hypocrisy is saying what values people should live by while failing to follow them yourself, intellectual hypocrisy is believing you are smart enough to run other peoples’ lives when you can barely run your own."

via The Corner.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Can Humans Reproduce In Zero-Gravity?

I know we've all been wondering.

Perfume designed from Michael Jackson's DNA

"If you loved Michael Jackson's music, now you can wear the king of pop's fragrance - thanks to a perfume that has been made using DNA samples from his hair."

How to solve a parking problem

An Indian villager used a hammer and chisel over the span of 14 years to carve a tunnel through a rocky mountain so that he could park his truck in front of his house.

Russia lags US in training military sea mammals

A Russian scientist who trains seals to carry out secret military missions complained in a newspaper interview Tuesday that Russia has fallen behind the United States in the race to arm sea mammals.

Makes me feel safer.

The Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award

"I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg."

Higher education - the School of Pot

Michigan college's curriculum centers on medicinal marijuana.

Now, vodka that comes in a pill

Russian professor Evgeny Moskalev of Saint Petersburg Technological University has evolved a technique that allows turning alcohol into powder and packing it in pills. The new technique can solidify any kind of alcohol, including whisky, cognac, wine and beer.

Gerbils with borders

How national borders become natural borders.

"A new study from the University of Haifa finds that animals on either side of the Israel-Jordanian border exhibit different characteristics and behaviors."

via Kottke.

Japanese animation of Tiger Woods' accident

OK, I don't think it's anyone's business but theirs what went on that night with Woods and his wife, but this is a hoot.

Not Every Kid Gets Driven to the Bus Stop in an SUV

Puts things into perspective.

via Free Range Kids.

Using Math to Engineer Weight Loss

"As any good programmer knows, one of the best ways to improve a system is to eliminate the possibility of user error. So why are all diets plotted around the willpower of a flawed, faulty user? If you're having trouble shedding five pounds, just remember: it's the system's fault, not yours. So rethink your system and lose the weight without even thinking about it."

via Wired.

Sarah Palin Stars as Heroine in New Children's Book

I'm sending this as a Christmas present to the kids/grandkids of every liberal I know. Or at least I would, if it were listed at Amazon.

"In the book written by Katharine DeBrecht, “Governor Sarah” (a character based on Palin) attempts to help two young boys hold onto their dream of a swing-set business which is struggling as a result of high taxes, heavy regulations and 246 czars.

“I am trying to let all Americans know that these radicals are killing the American Dream and I want to stop them from hurting people that produce products and provide jobs,” the Palin character consoles the frustrated boys after their business is destroyed by “Marxus Obunduf” who is based on President Obama."

Dr. Zero: Climategate is the Crime of the Century

Global warming is a scam, pure and simple. By any objective measure, it’s the crime of the century, with a dollar value that dwarfs the sins of Bernie Madoff or Enron. People like Al Gore have become millionaires by selling books and “carbon credits” to their marks… many of whom knew perfectly well they were being taken for a ride, but felt political pressure to play along, or saw opportunities created by the exercise of raw government power. The economic damage from legislation passed in response to this hoax will run into trillions of dollars, if Barack Obama’s disastrous cap-and-trade legislation passes the Senate.

via HotAir's Green Room.

The Psychology of Being Scammed

The Psychology of Being Scammed summarizes some of the standard techniques from a recent report.

The full report can be found here (PDF format): "Understanding scam victims: Seven principles for systems security".

via Geekpress.

Something in the Water Is Feminizing Male Fish. Are We Next?

Popular Science: "It’s one thing to worry about pollutants in our freshwater supply. It’s another to find out that all across the country, male fish swimming in some of that water are becoming “intersex,” their male sex organs producing immature female eggs. Although the condition occurs naturally in some species, it shouldn’t happen to black bass. But a new study shows that it is, and in numbers far greater than ever suspected. The phenomenon raises serious concerns about the pollution levels in our rivers and could threaten several species."

via Instapundit.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP

From The Onion.

NPR: Marijuana Sales Boost Northern California County

"These are boom times for the marijuana trade, especially in Northern California's Humboldt County. Humboldt pot is sold throughout the country, including some of the many medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles.

Decades after back-to-the-land hippies first moved to the rural area, it remains a mecca for marijuana."

Scientists Grow Meat in Lab

"SCIENTISTS have grown meat in the laboratory for the first time. Experts in Holland used cells from a live pig to replicate growth in a petri dish.

The advent of so-called “in-vitro” or cultured meat could reduce the billions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by farm animals — if people are willing to eat it."

Royal Society puts 60 seminal scientific papers online

Via BoingBoing.

The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge (aka The Royal Society) is celebrating is 350th birthday next year. Spun out in part of the fantastically cool Invisible College, the Royal Society's members have included Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke, Charles Darwin, Tim Berners-Lee, Lise Meitner, Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie, Francis Crick, and countless other smart folks. The organization kicks off its big anniversary year with Trailblazing, a new interactive timeline that includes 60 choice articles from the journal Philosophical Transactions.

Holding Holder Accountable: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights steps up

Weekly Standard.

"For now, the commission is doing what no other government entity is: challenging the Justice Department's lack of transparency and politicization."

UK taxpayer dollars at work

Leeds University is advertising for a £31,000-a-year researcher - to study lap dancing.

Australians try to stop sheep burping

John Goopy, the study leader, measured the sheep's emissions by herding them into a specially designed booth shortly after they eat and then calculating the amount of gas belched.

His team hopes to find whether there is a genetic link between the sheep that produce the least methane, which could then be exploited to breed low-emissions sheep.

The Atlantic on climategate

Clive Crook - read the whole thing.

"In my previous post on Climategate I blithely said that nothing in the climate science email dump surprised me much. Having waded more deeply over the weekend I take that back.

The closed-mindedness of these supposed men of science, their willingness to go to any lengths to defend a preconceived message, is surprising even to me. The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering. And, as Christopher Booker argues, this scandal is not at the margins of the politicised IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] process. It is not tangential to the policy prescriptions emanating from what David Henderson called the environmental policy milieu [subscription required]. It goes to the core of that process."

Five British sailors taken hostage in Iran

Really? Again? I realize that Iran has a definition of international waters similar to Bill Clinton's definition of sex, but still...

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting

"And so there is now a new revolution under way, one aimed at rolling back the almost comical overprotectiveness and overinvestment of moms and dads. The insurgency goes by many names — slow parenting, simplicity parenting, free-range parenting — but the message is the same: Less is more; hovering is dangerous; failure is fruitful. You really want your children to succeed? Learn when to leave them alone. When you lighten up, they'll fly higher. We're often the ones who hold them down"

Excellent advice

Reporter writes a "letter from my 60-year-old self that would have been of some real use at 16".

Climate change article from 1975

Remember "global cooling"?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unf***ing believable: SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist

How the hell are troops supposed to operate in an environment like this?

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Man Brought Back To Life After 47 Minutes

Story re a 56-Year-Old Man Brought Back To Life After 47 Minutes, 4,500 Chest Compressions And 8 Zaps With Defibrillator.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Seriously misguided public awareness campaign

From the annals of good ideas gone horribly, horribly, wrong, comes this seriously misguided attempt at a domestic violence awareness campaign. As hatched by a Danish advocacy group, the “Hit The Bitch” website allows you (or someone like you), in the guise a meaty male hand, to beat the crap out of a woman. And, for the sake of convenience, to simulate the beating, you can use either your mouse or your webcam.

Plundering California: Public-sector unions have brought the state to its knees.

...government employees—thanks largely to the power of their unions—have carved out special protections that exempt them from many of the rules that other working Americans must live by. California has been on the cutting edge of this dangerous trend, which has essentially turned government employees into a special class of citizens.

Man finds out Charles Manson is his father

Wow. How badly would this suck?

A Gandhi-following, peace-loving, free-spirited vegetarian who was adopted at birth has discovered the worst possible thing a son could find out about his father – his dad is Charles Manson.

Nat Geo's gallery - stone forest

Madagascar’s limestone towers, and the flora and fauna living therein.

Mussolini's blood and brain are for sale on the internet

The granddaughter of Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini has said that blood and parts of his brain have been stolen to sell on the internet.

How mosquitos hear


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Patient trapped in a 23-year 'coma' was conscious all along


Behind enemy lines

The organizer in chief's "Organizing for America" has put the call out for people to email their local papers and write a letter to the editor supporting government takeover of healthcare. They've created a really spiffy, easy way to do this - you just plunk in your zip code, fill out the form, and it links to all local papers and sends letters.

via Freerepublic - "PLEASE take a minute to do this today and jump behind enemy lines to help kill the bill."

Restore a little peace to your soul

Feeling frazzled after watching the 'Skins shoot themselves in their collective feet once again? Watch this video of Il Silenzio (a variation of Taps) with trumpet solo by a 13 year old girl.

Sculpture of Wonder Woman, made from Wonder Bread

The artist writes: "This is a sculpture I made in 2008, a Wonder Woman made out of Wonder® brand white bread and its packaging. I used 11 loafs of bread as well as their bags, in case you're curious."

Climate change pushes poor women to prostitution

“Climate change could reduce income from farming and fishing, possibly driving some women into sex work and thereby increase HIV infection."

Hacked e-mails won’t stop an industry as lucrative as global warming

From Wretchard at Belmont Club:

These multibillion dollar funding schemes are unlikely to end simply because an inconvenient truth has been discovered.

Burkha Barbie

"One of the world's most famous children's toys, Barbie, has been given a makeover - wearing a burkha."

Guide to the Ultimate DIY Thanksgiving

From Popular Mechanics. Link.

Galileo's fingers, tooth are found

Two fingers and a tooth removed from Galileo Galilei's corpse in a Florentine basilica in the 18th century and given up for lost have been found again and will soon be put on display.

SNL finially goes off on Obama

SNL Obama skit.

Sarah Palin’s uterus has a blog.

Something of a response to Andrew Sullivan's obsession, apparently. Excellent idea.