Wednesday, December 16, 2009

War on Christmas vs. the war on H1N1

Taunton, Massachusetts's town website announces that, in order to combat hospital infections, children under the age of 18 aren't allowed to visit people at Morton Hospital anymore. No exceptions, "including siblings and children of patients."

So if your mom is dying and you want to see her one last time before Christmas then tough luck, kid. And if that bothers you, leave. Taunton is no place for cry-babies.

War on Christmas gets nastier

In Taunton Massachusetts, some second-grade children were drawing holiday pictures. One little boy drew a picture of Jesus on the cross. His father says that this was probably the picture:

It seems that his principal asked "why did you use x's for his eyes?" The little boy replied "because he's dead." So naturally the principal consulted with the school psychiatrist and refused to let the 8-year old return to school unless his family got a letter from a psychiatrist certifying that he wasn't a threat to the school.

The rest of the story is predictable. The kid's dad was angry, the school superintendent wrote a smarmy response, and the traumatized kid was transfered to a new school (which is probably traumatic in itself for most 8-year-olds.)

Want to fight back for this little boy? Tell someone "Merry Christmas" today, and mean it.

War on Christmas gets weirder

The War on Christmas is getting weirder: the Obama White House has moved the White House creche to a less prominent spot, to try to make Christmas "more inclusive".

Actually, according to the New York Times they were going to get rid of the creche altogether, but then decided that that was too provocative, and then finally changed their mind again and moved it into a dark corner. I would be remiss if I failed to point out that this is a repeat in miniature of the President's Afghanistan policies over the last year. Let's hope that bin Laden is less competent at defending himself than the baby Jesus.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quote of the day

All around me people cough. I particularly object to bronchitis as a substitute for incidental music.
- Alexander Wolcott, Mr. W's Little Game

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quote of the day

Before nominating her for U.S. Attorney General for Montana, Senator Max Baucus gave the staffer he was bonking a $14,000 raise and took her along with him on a taxpayer-paid junket to Asia. At least Tiger Woods pays his prostitutes from his own pocket.
- Christopher Fountain, For What It's Worth

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Help wanted in Santa Cruz

A job ad: (via Minding the Campus)

The University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, seeks an enterprising, creative, and service-oriented archivist to join the staff of Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) as Archivist for the Grateful Dead Archive. This is a potential career status position. The Archivist will be part of a dynamic, collegial, and highly motivated department dedicated to building, preserving, promoting, and providing maximum access both physically and virtually to one of the Library's most exciting and unique collections, The Grateful Dead Archive. Appointment Range: Associate Librarian III - Librarian I, with an approximate salary range of $52,860 - $68,892, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Things to be afraid of (3)

Your government is out to help you.

When a small church comes to the Bowery Mission bearing fried chicken with trans fat, unwittingly breaking the law, they’re told “thank you.” Then workers quietly chuck the food, mission director Tom Bastile said.

“It’s always hard for us to do,” Basile said. “We know we have to do it.”
(from Metro International.)

Things to be afraid of (2)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

God bless Russia

According to Interfax (via Religion Clause), the Russian Communist party wants to change the Russian national anthem. Its second verse refers to Russia as "Our native land kept safe by God" (Хранимая Богом родная земля.)

The communists want to change this to "Our native land kept safe by ourselves". Of course, when the communists ruled Russia their unspoken motto was "Everything in this land belongs to us".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

God bless America

According to the Kansas City Star, a 21-year old Milwaukee college student was walking home

when he was pulled into an alley and told to lay face down with a gun to his neck. Four men took his wallet, $16, keys and his cell phone.

But the reservist said that when one of the men saw an Army ID in the wallet, he told the others to return the items. He also apologized and thanked the reservist for serving.

The reservist said one robber gave him a quick fist bump before walking away.

The victim asked not to be identified because the robbers still have his keys.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fort Hood shooter attended mosque with 9/11 hijackers

Nidal Hasan, the Army major who murdered at least 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, attended mosque with three of the 9/11 hijackers.

Some people, who clearly have never served in the military, are asking why Major Hasan was allowed to be in the Army. (The government even paid for his medical school.) After all, he openly proclaimed his sympathy for other Islamic terrorists and he was even disciplined for trying to convert his patients to Islam. These are probably the same people who think that Heller's Catch-22 was an over-the-wall satire instead of a piercing social commentary.

But Michelle Malkin asks the next obvious question: "Why is it that we have to read British papers to get the unvarnished truths about the Ft. Hood Muslim mass murderer?"

There'll always be an England

The reigning Miss England, Rachel Christie, has been de-crowned. (I almost typed "de-missed", but stopped myself just in time.) It seems that she had gotten into a bar fight and punched Miss Manchester in the face several times.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"Parents not politicians" storms Norwalk Board of Ed

Bwaha-ha-ha-ha fools now you have to serve on the Board of Education My congratulations to Steve Colarossi, Artie Kassimis, Erin McNeil Halsey and Sue Haynie for their heroic election to the Norwalk Board of Education. Yeah, team!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Quote of the day

If a beginning graduate student sought my advice about, say, studying Africa I would first ask about his or her politics. If they were even slightly "conservative," I'd suggest switching fields, perhaps taking up mathematical modeling since PC faculty hate that stuff and can't read it anyhow.
- Robert Weissberg, "Rescuing the University"

Sunday, November 01, 2009

First they came for Rupert Murdoch ...

... and then they came for (Note to President Obama: we like you. You're our chief executive. "Dignity of the office" isn't just a campaign catchphrase. It's a noble goal to live for when you hold a public trust.)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween creepiness

Here's the official word from the Democratic Party about what sort of place they want America to be:
One of the 20 finalists in health care video contest run by Barack Obama’s campaign arm features a mural of an America flag splattered with health care graffiti until it’s covered completely by black paint.

In the video – which is accompanied by the sound of a heart monitor pumping and then flat-lining – words such as “pre-existing conditions,” “homeless” and “death panel” ultimately obliterate the flag, which reappears on screen seconds later with the words “Health Will Bring Our Country Back to Life” on the blue field where the 50 stars usually are.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of Democratic National Committee “employee judges.”

It's not surprising that some of the Democratic filmmakers who lost out to this hymn of hate don't think choosing it was a good idea.
“They should never pick that,” said the contestant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It makes the Democrats look really, really bad.”

Gee, doesn't the fact that a committed Democratic activist only feels comfortable dissenting under condition of anonymity show the Democrats in an even worse light?

On the scale of totalitarian creepiness, I find this video scarier than this one, but not nearly as creepy as this one. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Love laughs at locksmiths

From The Hill, via Volokh:
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to keep them from meeting when Democrats aren’t present.

Towns’ action came after repeated public ridicule from the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), over Towns’s failure to launch an investigation into Countrywide Mortgage’s reported sweetheart deals to VIPs.

For months Towns has refused Republican requests to subpoena records in the case. Last Thursday Committee Republicans, led by Issa, were poised to force an open vote on the subpoenas at a Committee mark-up meeting. The mark-up was abruptly canceled. Only Republicans showed up while Democrats chairs remained empty.

The Democrats kept those pesky Republicans from holding hearings by the simple expedient of locking the committee room's door. My favorite quote from the story:
Towns’s office said in a statement the locks were changed on Republicans "because they don't know how to behave."

I'd like to use this as an example of the Democratic party turning our country into a kleptocracy, but really this illustrates something even worse: there are too many lawyers in Congress. If only one of the committee members was a locksmith instead of a lawyer, we'd be halfway to investigating Countrywide's lending practices by now!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Henry Kissinger and Yassar Arafat, eat your hearts out

The president is to be awarded the Nobel prize. Details are here.

Oops, I meant to say that the details are here. I can't imagine what I was thinking.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Salvador Polanksi

Writing about the reaction to Roman Polanksi's extradition, Jim Lindgren quotes George Orwell's discussion of Salvador Dali's autobiography. I hope I'll have time to read Orwell's essay tonight.

James Thurber wrote a wonderful autobiographical review of Dali's autobiography. It had the memorable line:

Let me be the first to admit that the naked truth about me is to the naked truth about Salvador Dali as an old ukulele in the attic is to a piano in a tree, and I mean a piano with breasts.

I read that line in a paperback collection hidden behind a textbook during French class in the seventh grade. The teacher was very annoyed at my giggling.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today is the 400th anniversary of Gallileo's telescope

Sonnet -- To Science
  by Edgar Allan Poe
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art! 
  Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes. 
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart, 
  Vulture, whose wings are dull realities? 
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise? 
  Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering 
To seek for treasure in the jeweled skies, 
  Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? 
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? 
  And driven the Hamadryad from the wood 
To seek a shelter in some happier star? 
  Has thou not torn the Naiad from her flood, 
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me 
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A very Colorado story

According to the Colorado Daily, Justin Chentnik
a sous chef at a retirement home, says he was completely naked in bed about 4 a.m. Friday when Skip, the mini goldendoodle he was watching for friends, started barking up a storm. His friend and roommate, Laura Nelson, swore someone was in the house, but he told her to go back to bed.

Miss Nelson, who I think we can safely say is a force to be reckoned with, threw a glass of water in Justin's face and told him to go out and investigate the noise. Justin, still naked, went outside and saw someone attempting to steal Miss Nelson's car. Justin seemed to be less afraid of tackling a car thief in the buff than reporting failure to his roommate: he jumped into the passenger side of the moving car and wrestled the thief to the ground.

In the struggle, the thief hit Justin with a bottle of Louis Jadot Pinot Noir that he happened to be holding, but Justin managed to subdue him in the end. (I should pause and note that the thief, confronted by a naked man jumping into a moving car and wrestling him to the ground, had the presence of mind to grab a bottle of cheap wine as he was being dragged from the car. Could a fondness for alcohol explain why he took up a life of crime?)

The police arrived to find Justin still straddling the car thief's chest. Skip, the mini snickerdoodle, brought Justin his underwear so that the police didn't have to get a statement from a naked witness. The Daily's reporter, regretably, didn't follow up on this angle of the story. Is Skip trained to fetch Justin's underwear? Is this a common chore in their household? For that matter, why didn't Laura Nelson bring Justin's underwear out? It seems that, having given the dog Skip some underwear and instructing Skip to bring it to Justin, she had full confidence that her instructions would be carried out and saw no need to go herself. I suppose this gives us yet another brief insight into her masterful and enigmatic personality.

Quote of the day

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away.

- Tom Waits

Friday, July 31, 2009

To the moon

A real gee-whiz moment: the Virtual AGC and AGS project has put the source code for the Apollo 11 lander and orbiter computers online, together with an emulator for running them. (The comments on Lambda the Ultimate are more interesting than the source code itself.)

Now, about that planet Mars ...

Thursday, July 23, 2009


We're awfully sad to hear that Saad bin Laden has passed away. If anyone knows how to reach his father, please let the nearest US embassy know so that we can send him our condolences.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Wizard of Oz

I'm glad I'm not a lawyer, but I'm even gladder that I'm not on jury duty.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Freedom: use it or lose it

Forty years ago yesterday, Buzz Aldrin became the first man to serve holy communion on the moon. I wasn't aware of this until I read David Water's column this morning:

Aldrin's brief and private Christian service never caused a flap, but it could have. Aldrin has said that he planned to broadcast the service, but NASA at the last minute asked him not to because of concerns about a lawsuit filed (later dismissed) by atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hare after Apollo 8 astronauts read from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas.

Don't think that there are worse things than censoring national heroes while they are actually in the process of risking their lives for humanity? Think again! Australian historian Roel Van Leeuwen had his thesis, Dreamers of the Dark: Kerry Bolton and the Order of the Left Hand Path, a Case-study of a Satanic New-Nazi Society removed from the University of Waikato's library for 8 months because, and I'm not making this up, there was concern that he was not being fair to the Nazis. After suppressing the thesis for the better part of a year, Waikato's Chancellor, and again I point out that I'm not making this up, told reporters that his insitution "was a place of academic rigour which did not shy away from tackling controversial research."

Ugh. Thank goodness we still have freedom to speak and write in the United States, huh?

Thank goodness you can't believe a politician

Before going to Cairo last month, President Obama told the world that the United States is a "Muslim Nation."

Thank goodness that this is just another one of his empty promises.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Scary pictures

Here's a quick personality test. Which of the following pictures do you find to be the scariest:

or this:

or this:

Tough to decide, huh?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tough to be a girl today

... especially when men act like pigs when you threaten them

... and when other women act like fools when you disagree with them

... or when being a girl sucks in its own right.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Our European friends

Our German allies in Afghanistan are no doubt brave and well-meaning. But they are only a token force, and furthermore their leaders have nevertheless allowed them to do almost no fighting during the course of the war.

Now it seems that German forces consumed 90,000 bottles of wine and 1,700,000 liters of beer in Afghanistan alone. In a single year. (Most other countries' soldiers aren't allowed to consume alcohol in the war zone.)

Germany has only contributed 3,300 soldiers: so if they drink this much it may very well be that it's a good thing that they aren't doing more fighting.

A confession

We're commanded to love everyone, but I have a lot of trouble feeling sorry for
Who am I kidding? I feel sorry for them all.

Hug your family this weekend

Michael Jackson's family is going to charge admission for his memorial service.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Family resemblence

The picture on the left is Moreelse's portrait of Ambrogio Spinola, Marquis of the Balbases and Governor of Milan (1569-1630.)

The picture on the right is Mike Spinola's High School yearbook picture.

Coincidence? I think not.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Apollo Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment ends

On July 20, 1969 two American astronauts stepped onto the moon's surface. They weren't tourists, they went there to do important work. One of their jobs was to place a mirror on the moon, so that scientists on the earth can precisely measure the distance from the earth to the moon using a laser.

For 40 years, the government has been observing the mirrors that were placed on the moon during this period, but alas the government has decided that the cost of the laser ranging (about $125,000 a year) is more than the science produced is worth.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quote of the day

Dude, if a park ranger warns you about the bears, it ain't cause he's tryin to keep all the bear hugs for himself.
- Questionable Content, via CJ Biro's Facebook page.

Friday morning arts notes

A neat video from the Newark Museum about blowing glass beads in Ghana. (Disclosure: my freshman roommate from college, Tim Wintemberg, is the museum's Director of Exhibition Design.)

Some photos that Aesop would have taken credit for, if he had a camera.

A photo that nobody would want to take credit for.

An essay that I really, really, really think isn't funny.

An exhibition that I'm too busy to go see.

An exhibition that's well worth running the gauntlet of the Frick's rude staff.

Pot meet kettle

From his web site :
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced today that he has asked several companies -- packaging, beverage and food manufacturers -- to provide details about an apparent campaign to use fear tactics, political manipulation and misleading marketing to fight regulation of bisphenol A (BPA).

The Attorney General is supposed to uphold the laws of the State, so I suppose that now Mr. Blumenthal thinks that publicly disagreeing with him is unlawful. And if part of whatever suit he brings is that the manufacturers are using "fear tactics" and "political manipulation", is he going to call himself as an expert witness?

(hat tip to Walter Olson.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moving registered sex offenders nearer to Columbus School

I went to the Zoning Commission meeting last night. Does anyone read H.P. Lovecraft nowadays?
There are vocal qualities peculiar to men; and vocal qualities peculiar to beasts; and it is terrible to hear the one when the source should yield the other.
- Call of Cthulhu

A foreign country

For the first time in centuries, a common criminal in England is being tried without the right to a jury. The judge (whose name, confusingly, is Judge) explained that
trial by jury is a hallowed principle of the administration of criminal justice. It is properly identified as a right, available to be exercised by a defendant unless and until the right is amended or circumscribed by express legislation.

If a "right" that is available until amended or circumscribed strikes you as oxymoronic, well, that's what you get if you have a living constitution instead of a written one that's taken seriously.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hope for the future

I saw two t-shirts this weekend that gave me hope for the future. I'm not sure why. The first I saw for sale on the street near NYU. It read:
Kim Jong Il is Illin'!
The second was being worn by a teenager in Norwalk:
OK, so I took the road less travelled. Now where am I?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quote of the day

Always use the proper tool. If the proper tool isn't available, use a hammer.
- Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott, Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise, as quoted by Charly Kühnast.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

You know from the title this happened in New Jersey

Lawyer Reprimanded for Alleged 'Cut You Up' Remark to Adversary's Client

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday disciplined a lawyer who allegedly told an opposing party, "I'm going to cut you up into bits and pieces, put you into a box and send you to India and your parents won't recognize you."
(Via Overlawyered. The discipline, by the way, seems to have consisted of a written reprimand.)

"The President doesn't negotiate second rounds"

Oh, and anyone who asserts any legal rights is a "terrorist".

Friday, June 05, 2009

Promising start of a marriage

Bride saves family from burning house
Shortly before 5:30 Sunday evening, Clemons, formerly Georgette Fogary, had just been married to Charles Clemons and was being driven from Testo's restaurant where the reception was held when she spotted smoke coming from the Eitelberg's home.

Hanifah Bost, who was driving the car, said Clemons suddenly yelled, "Stop the car, stop the car."

"There was smoke coming from this house and as soon as I stopped the car, Georgette got out in her wedding dress and ran toward the front door." She said Clemons ran through the smoke into the house and she ran after her.

"I don't know what she was thinking, she had just got married," Bost said.

What a way to begin a life together. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Clemons!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Why my next car is going to be an Acura

From the New York Times:
It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.

But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry

David Bernstein's observation:
It's funny, but just the other day I was telling my wife that I hope the automobile industry's future ... is in the hands of early 30-something political operatives working on law degrees from Yale who have no formal background in business, economics, engineering, or marketing.

Alleged homicidal rapists tip well

Pizza delivery man Chris Turner called the police to report that while delivering an extra-large supreme pizza to a remote mountain cabin, he noticed a woman whose hands were tied together. The police raided the cabin and rescued the woman. Her husband later called Mr. Turner to thank him, and said that his wife was doing well. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed the driver:
“I was doing my job and being a citizen,” the 32-year-old deliveryman said. “Plus, I got $13 off the delivery. That’s not bad for a half an hour.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bad numbers

Only about 27% of the aspiring elementary school math teachers this year in Massachussetts passed the mathematics portion of the state licensing examination. Even scarier, this was the first year that new teachers needed to path the math portion: in previous years, you only needed an overall passing grade.

In other words, if this is a typical year, then 73% of all Mass. elementary school teachers in the field don't know school mathematics.

According to the Boston Globe, Tom Scott, the executive director of the state association of school superintendents, thinks that this is because new teachers aren't getting a good college education:
If you look at transcripts of some applicants for elementary school teaching positions, it's possible you could see a transcript without anything math related. Someone could have last taken a math class in high school.
This is not by any means a difficult test; if my fifth-grade teacher had given to me and I failed, my parents would have been very angry. Ironically though, my fifth-grade teacher probably had a real college degree instead of an "education" degree, so she wouldn't be allowed to teach nowadays anyway.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Jenny McCarthy Body Count

Derek Bartholomaus has been keeping track of the number of people (mosty children) whom Jenny McCarthy has helped to kill with her advocacy of the anti-vaccination movement. Movin' Meat notes simply that "there is a knowable cost of unimmunized children, in preventable illnesses, and preventable deaths."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Humanitarian of the Year

Christopher DiMeo has reportedly confessed to the cold-blooded murder of the Mr. and Mrs. Donnelly in Fairfield.

In light of this magnanimous gesture, his lawyers are asking the judge to force the prosecutors to drop the death penalty. As they explain:
The defense lawyers claim a guilty plea and a life sentence would end a process that could take an additional 10 to 15 years and cost state taxpayers millions of dollars.

"His guilty plea and sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release would save Connecticut's taxpayers millions of dollars in desperately needed funds during this time of severe economic crisis in our state and our nation," they state.

What a nice guy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patrick's Day in Ireland

President Obama stopped in Ireland yesterday. From the UK's Sky News:
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was just a few paragraphs into an address in Washington when he realised it all sounded a bit too familiar.

It was. He was repeating the speech President Barack Obama had just read from the same teleprompter.

Mr Cowen stopped, turned to the president and said: "That's your speech."

A laughing Mr Obama returned to the podium to take over but it seems the script had finally been switched and the US president ended up thanking himself for inviting everyone to the party.

Mr Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the "teleprompt president" over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech.

(via Best of the Web.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mendeleev to the max!

The periodic table of awesoments.

Te Deum laudus *

Charles Freeman won't be the next Chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

(* laudus to the real Deus, not to Mr. Obama. What in the world was the President thinking?)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Life imitates Douglas Adams

From Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
Pages one and two had been salvaged by a Damogran Frond Crested Eagle and had already become incorporated into an extraordinary new form of nest which the eagle had invented. It was constructed largely of papier-mache and it was virtually impossible for a newly hatched baby eagle to break out of it. The Damogran Frond Crested Eagle had heard of the notion of survival of the species but wanted no truck with it.
From the Associated Press:
HONG KONG (AP) - Even the magpies are trying to blend in in the metal and concrete jungle that is Hong Kong. News reports said that a pair of common magpies built a nest on a tree in Hong Kong's Tuen Mun district using scrap metal twigs believed to have been collected from a nearby construction site.

The Sunday Morning Post reported the metal nest was discovered after some of the twigs started falling off the tree and hitting pedestrians.

Stubborn as a mule

The new administration is trying to decide whether to allow people to drive mules without a criminal background check.

(Ken at Popehat's observation is that it's all fun and games until someone flies a mule into the Capitol building.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Kids today

What is it nowadays with kids dressing up as cops? A few weeks ago Lowering the Bar had the story of a 14-year old Chicago boy who dressed up as a police officer and showed up for work.
The boy, who had once been a member of the "Police Explorers" youth club, apparently showed up at a South Side police station wearing a regulation uniform and claiming to be an officer. A police spokeswoman said that a sergeant "later questioned the boy" and discovered he was not what he claimed to be. True, but according to at least one report, "later" turned out to be several hours later, and only after the "rookie" had been assigned a partner and ridden along on a patrol.
Then in Berlin two weeks ago, two children pretending to be paramilitaries were mistaken for thieves at a factory.

And finally, the Austrian Times reports that the police thwarted a ruthless band of teenage desperadoes who were dressing up in police uniforms and stopping motorists for speeding.

The police in Austria seem to be more on-the-ball than the Chicago police: the teens were caught when they stopped an off-duty policeman, who arrested them. (I liked their judge's money line: "I cannot believe anyone believed you were cops. I would have had a laughing fit!" Judges rarely get to make zingers like that except on TV.)

What's going on here? Is there some TV show that featured kids dressing up as policemen that gave teenagers a similar bad idea in three countries at the same time? Or should we blame the parents? I guess if starts happening in Iran, they'll blame Harry Potter.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quote of the day

Now, here is where having a logic- and math-challenged Congress really begins to hurt.
- Hodak Value

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hamoud Bin Saleh arrested in Saudi Arabia

Our Saudi allies have arrested another hardened criminal, Hamoud Bin Saleh, for the horrible crime of converting to Christianity. He faces torture and then the death penalty. Meanwhile, here is a complete list politically connected Saudis who have been arrested for their financial support of Al Quaeda and Palestinian suicide bombers:

     (crickets chirping)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Alack, alas, alackaday

Among the casualties in Microsoft’s recently announced plan to lay off five thousand employees is the entire team behind Flight Simulator.
- Patrick at Popehat

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Note to self

Mustn't put a tube of hydrocortisone cream next to the toothpaste. Mustn't put a tube of hydrocortisone cream next to the toothpaste. Mustn't put a tube of hydrocortisone cream next to the toothpaste ... on the other hand, there has been a pleasant tingly sensation in my mouth all day.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The wheels of justice grind on

The CIA has reportedly killed Fahid Mohammed Ali Msalam and Sheikh Ahmed Salem Swedan in Northern Pakistan, only 7 years, 3 months and 21 days after the crimes of 9/11.

Drew M. at Ace of Spades' headline was: "Two Top Al Qaeda Figures Killed By Vicious New Year's Eve Hangovers And Hellfire Missiles But Mostly Hellfire Missiles."

Monday, January 05, 2009

Current events

From a letter to the Wall Street Journal today by Murray Ross, of Pleasant Hill, California:
I must have dozed off and skipped a page. Our new policy is to sell government bonds to raise cash to give to private equity firms to lend to non-creditworthy borrowers so they can drive new Chevy Suburbans down our crumbling roads and bridges, converting Middle East oil into greenhouse gases at the highest possible rate?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year Quote

The academic partiality in recent years for telling multiple stories in preference to the urgent single narrative, whatever its intellectual merits, has deprived beginning students of those coordinates of time and space by which they might take their bearings. After all, a fact unconnected with other facts is no fact at all but a snippet of trivia. It is hardly art history alone that suffers in this respect.

- Michael J. Lewis, from a book review in the New Criterion, December 2008 (p. 14.)