Monday, July 30, 2007

The Greatest Speech in the English Language

(Upon seeing the huge French army opposing the English)

O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland?
No, my fair cousin:If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,

I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have.
O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:
'Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.
'Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Henry V
Act IV, Scene III

The Corruption of Alaska Politicians is Exceeded only by those of Louisiana

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

The Curious History of the Inquisition.

It always surprises me how unfamiliar people otherwise conversant in the period are with the Inquisition. I’ve often heard it described as being “as bad as the holocaust or worse” and it is commonly cited to illustrate the dangers of organized religion.

Unfortunately the facts don’t support these assertions. The worst excesses of the inquisition pale in comparison the depredations of any number of avowedly secular states. Furthermore, the outrages which did occur (any they were many) came at the behest of civil authorities not religious ones.

From the article:

"[T]he religious ideals of Catholicism were used in the Inquisition as a moral fig leaf by the Iberian monarchies for their political motivations. The most dangerous use of religious ideology was when it could be appropriated by powerful political forces for secular ends."

The War We Must Win

There seems to be a race, with the army trying to win the war before congress can loose it. Contrary to all expectations (in the media at least) the surge seems to be going very well.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

This Could be Huge

"Researchers have developed a remarkably simple way to convert ordinary graphite particles into very thin but superstrong sheets that are tougher than steel and as flexible as carbon fiber but can be made much more cheaply."

Read the whole thing.

This Weeks Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us

I know there is an "Ikea lifestyle" but this is ridiculous.

North Carolina and the First Amendment

I’m no fan of flag desecration or the people who do it, but unless U.S. v. Eichman has been overturned and I’ve missed it, I'd have to say it seems like these cops are on shaky ground. Perhaps a refresher course on First Amendment law might be in order (and the state legislature could use a seminar on federalism and preemption).

More here from Eugene Volokh:

Scroll down a bit to find it.

Thompson on Federalism

At this point in the race, Fred Thompson is my guy. He seems to be the only (major) candidate who is truly a supporter of limited government.

" Centralized government is not the solution to all of our problems and – with too much power – such centralization has a way of compounding our problems. This was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007."

Vote Early and Often

It’s been a long time since this country was serious about voter fraud. In most states it’s illegal for an election official to request id and it’s widely assumed that large numbers of illegal aliens vote in our elections. You’d think that having a presidential election decided by less than 500 votes would lead to a bipartisan effort to address these problems.

Greens vs. Navajos

This sort of thing happens more than is commonly realized. Pristine wilderness is a fine thing but if it comes at the expense of condemning you and your family to a lifetime of grinding poverty so some swells from the coast can feel good about themselves-it sorta looses its appeal.

End in Sight for Ahmadinejad?

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Legal Reform

I haven’t been following the Conrad Black case but Mark Steyn has. As usual he has some fine insight on the case and some excellent suggestions for reforming American criminal law.

Yet Another Reason to Hate Yahoo

The perils of doing business in a police state are considerable. You can get kicked out of the country at any time and loose all you have invested. It seems Yahoo (and Google) have decided that throwing a few pro-democracy activists under the proverbial train is just part of the cost of doing business.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Taking the Day Off

No postings today.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Fun at NASA

I always wanted to be an astronaut.


"NASA officials said they were investigating but could not say whether the incidents actually occurred."

It seems there might not be much to this story after all. Too bad really. I can’t help but think that a “Rat Pack” image would help NASA with recruitment.

Capitalist Tools

Who knew that Legos were so oppressive?

Irresponsible and Frankly Naive

Once again Obama showes he's not ready for prime time.

Junk Social Science

"A father who has gambled away his family's mortgage payment is not the victim of crushing medical bills".

No kidding.

Three Inconvenient Truths


Thursday, July 26, 2007

About Time

Good news for the Royal Navy.

'John Doe' protection to get floor vote

"The lawsuit can still go forward against the airline under the proposed law, but the "John Doe" passengers cannot be sued for reporting their concerns to the flight crew".

Seems right to me.

The End of the Weekly World News as we Know it

I’ll miss it a lot. It was always my favorite tabloid. The revelation that numerous Senators were space aliens, the ongoing saga of Bat-Boy, the columns by Ed Anger, not to mention it’s conspicuous presence in the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer, helped make it an enduring classic. Now I know how people felt when The Saturday Evening Post went under.

About that Lancet Study

This pretty much says it all:

“Kane shows that if the Falluja cluster is included in the statistical calculations, the confidence interval dips below zero, which is a big no-no".


More Here

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A penny for you thoughts

A cool site for visualizing large numbers.

The Worst Analogies Ever Written

This has been floating around the web for a while.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

With apologies to Edgar Allen Poe

The Raven

There once was a girl named Lenore
And a bird and a bust and a door
And a guy with depression
And a whole lot of questions
And the bird always says "Nevermore."

New York City Draft Riots

There is a tendency for many of us on the right to think of anti-war sentiment as a modern phenomenon caused by some moral failing inherent in baby boomers and their offspring. It is worth remembering how unpopular our “Good Wars” were in their day.

Mugabe Must Go

The collapse of what used to be one of Africa’s richest countries continues.

Remembering Woolworth

Memories of shopping trips with my grandmother come flooding back.

How the mighty have fallen

I actually used to be a union member. I remember thinking at the time about how removed union officials were from the rank and file. The necessity of bringing in (non-union) transients to picket says a lot about the depth support for the union and also what they think a fair wage is-do you think their membership would settle for eight bucks an hour?

I want one!

Given the state of the Royal Navy these days, maybe the Brits should put it into service.

John Edwards Comes to Mind

n. one who is overly eager to hold public office

Never Again...Again

Sad to say, I think he's right.


I guess the real issue is, do we want to do what it takes to win?,0,1967280.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail


Monday, July 23, 2007

This would keep Tibby in his place

My wife and I have a new dog. Most of the time he's a prince but he does like to chase cats.

Here's one for Cass

My wife is fascinated by "True Crime".

More "science"


Law of Cat Inertia
A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.

Law of Cat Motion
A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.

Law of Cat Magnetism
All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.

Law of Cat Thermodynamics
Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.

Law of Cat Stretching
A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of the nap just taken.

Law of Cat Sleeping
All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position as uncomfortable for the people involved as is possible for the cat.

Law of Cat Elongation
A cat can make her body long enough to reach just about any counter top that has anything remotely interesting on it.

Law of Cat Acceleration
A cat will accelerate at a constant rate, until he gets good and ready to stop.

Law of Dinner Table Attendance
Cats must attend all meals when anything good is served.

Law of Rug Configuration
No rug may remain in its naturally flat state for very long.

Law of Obedience Resistance
A cat's resistance varies in proportion to a human's desire for her to do something.

First Law of Energy Conservation
Cats know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and will, therefore, use as little energy as possible.

Second Law of Energy Conservation
Cats also know that energy can only be stored by a lot of napping.

Law of Refrigerator Observation
If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Law of Electric Blanket Attraction
Turn on an electric blanket and a cat will jump into bed at the speed of light.

Law of Random Comfort Seeking
A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.

Law of Bag / Box Occupancy
All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond.

Law of Cat Embarrassment
A cat's irritation rises in direct proportion to her embarrassment times the amount of human laughter.

Law of Milk Consumption
A cat will drink his weight in milk, squared, just to show you he can.

Law of Furniture Replacement
A cat's desire to scratch furniture is directly proportional to the cost of the furniture.

Law of Cat Landing
A cat will always land in the softest place possible.

Law of Fluid Displacement
A cat immersed in milk will displace her own volume, minus the amount of milk consumed.

Law of Cat Disinterest
A cat's interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human expends in trying to interest him.

Law of Pill Rejection
Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.

Law of Cat Composition
A cat is composed of “Matter” plus “Anti-Matter” plus “It Doesn't Matter”.


This week's sign the Apocalypse is upon us:

Worth Your Time

The Victory Caucus.

Global Warming

This is why I don't get too worked up about global warming one way or the other. Apparently scientists are not seeing the kind of warming in Antarctica they would expect based on the climate models they're using.
Does this mean that global warming isn't happening, or that the anthropogenic theories are wrong? Nope. It doesn't mean they're right, either. It means that the Earth's climate is unbelievably complicated, and that scientists are still trying to figure out how it all fits together. This is a laudable goal. It is also one that will take a great deal of time, in all likelihood. What this particular piece of data means will take some hard work to determine.
Which is why it's hard for me to get energized for either side of the global warming debate. The plain truth is that even climatologists are still working out what precisely is happening to our climate. And the vast majority of those who take a strong position on the issue are doing so out of faith, not science, because the number of people who have both the scientific chops and the time to actually review all the data out there are vanishingly small. Everyone else is just picking a position they happen to like and running with it. That's their business; I'm certainly not going to tell anyone else how they should live their life. But I'm not going to get all worked up about something I can't evaluate for myself, and I'm not too proud to admit that climate science is outside my area of expertise.
As an aside, before someone decides to declare me a 'climate change denialist' (a charge that tends to undermine the cause of global warming, for my money), I suspect that the consensus about global warming is correct. I simply am noting that I don't know enough about the issue to know; and neither do most of those most worked up about it, as far as I can tell.

Easy as...

Isaac Asimov proposed this mnemonic for a famous constant:
How I want a drink, alcoholic, of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!
Count the letters in each word and you'll get 3.14159265358979.

British sports quotes:

· "And here's Moses Kiptanui, the 19-year-old Kenyan, who turned 20 a few weeks ago." (David Coleman)
· "Juantorena opens his legs and shows his class." (Ron Pickering)
· "With half of the race gone, there is half of the race still to go." (Murray Walker)
· "What I said to them at halftime would be unprintable on the radio." (Gerry Francis)
· "I was in Saint-Etienne two years ago. It's much the same as it is now, although now it's completely different." (Kevin Keegan)
· "I imagine that the conditions in those cars are totally unimaginable." (Murray Walker)
· "The Baggio brothers, of course, are not related." (George Hamilton)
· "For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are in the all-yellow strip." (John Motson) "Real Madrid are like a rabbit in the glare of the headlights in the face of Manchester United's attacks," Hamilton once said. "But this rabbit comes with a suit of armor in the shape of two precious away goals …"

Daily Science Joke

A neutron walks into a bar and orders a beer.
"How much do I owe you?" he says.
"For you," says the bartender, "no charge."

Spreaking of Monday

In 1980 the New York Daily News reported a state bailout of the city's subway system.

Serriously, what could be funnier.

New posting

Like Douglas MacArthur, I have returned.