Friday, December 14, 2007

Anne-Sophie Mutter's Website

I have to confess: I've had a crush on her for years.

This is why you never order custom cakes from Wal-Mart.

Some people that work here had a going away party the other day for a woman that is leaving.
One of the supervisors called a Walmart and ordered the cake. he told them to write: “best wishes Suzanne” and underneath that write “we will miss you”. here’s the cake that was delivered:
Click to enlarge.

Five "Myths" About Rendition.

1. Rendition is something the Bush administration cooked up.

2. People who are "rendered" inevitably end up in a foreign slammer — or worse.

3. Step one of a rendition involves kidnapping the suspect.

4. Rendition is just a euphemism for outsourcing torture.

5. Pretty much anyone — including U.S. citizens and green card holders — can be rendered these days.

The Media Were Just As Biased Against Reagan

[T]here is a myth about Reagan that goes the othe direction. People-- liberals, mostly-- often claim that Reagan got amazingly positive and supportive media coverage. When President Reagan died, three years ago now, he was often credited with having received all kinds of good press during the 1980s, a rarity for a Republican. I've seen/heard this claim several times in just the past few weeks, on television, in newspaper columns, and in passing conversation.
The notion that Reagan receiving fawning coverage in the press is just plain wrong.

Coping with Political Theology

Given Americans’ collective recognition of religion’s legitimacy in a modern political order, one would think that we would be better able to adapt ourselves to the current situation than other, far more secular Western nations. This is not the case, and we need to understand why.

Are Guantanamo Detainees All Innocent?

But the broader debate over Guantanamo has suffered greatly from overbroad claims of erroneous detentions there. The New York Times referred in an editorial to "hundreds of innocent men ... jailed at Guantanamo Bay without charges or rudimentary rights"--a statement it cannot possibly support.

Now we know how FDR wound up in that wheelchair.

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: “No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

For Theo who normally publishes my racier stuff but is on hiatus at the moment.

Fred Thompson Campaign Apologies

Well it's about time.

Davy Crockett's 10th Great Grandson Kills Bear at age 5

He's done Fess Parker proud.

Paul Haggis, Sean Penn and the Kucinich Factor

Now if I were antiwar - which in the case of Iraq I am not, though I was during Vietnam – I would run from Kucinich like the proverbial plague. The candidate is a slightly lame-brained, show-off narcissist who claims to have seen flying saucers and dances about like a Dervish, cavorting in any manner necessary to attract the attention of television cameras. It’s hard to take him seriously and the public apparently doesn’t. He barely registers in the polls. In fact, I imagine Kucinich hurts the antiwar cause considerably more than he helps it.

Marketing global warming

At the time the consensus view of scientists was that it had been much warmer in earlier interglacial periods as well as in the Medieval, Roman and Minoan times. The FAR showed this in three panels the third of which is reproduced below, showing the Medieval Warm period still warmer than now and the more recent Little Ice Age from which some argue we may still be recovering. If the 1991 view of historic temperature were true it places limits on the possible role of greenhouse gases.

College football playoff simulation

Now let me say right off the bat, I HATE the idea of a college playoff. It would destroy the bowl system and make the regular season irrelevant. Still, this is a fun little tool (though it fails to recognize that Illinois would win in nearly any playoff scenario).

The American Churchill

Better than all his peers, T.R. exemplified manly virtue, understanding the delicate balance between manly restraint and manly assertiveness in the effective wielding of state power.

George Carlin's new rules for 2008

Some highlights:

New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged . I have a better description for these kids: 'Lucky bastards.'

New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Lobster?

Mandating the Impossible (Not to Mention the Stupid)

The Congress is demanding 36 billion gallons of ethanol. Presumably, this is all from domestic sources because Congress has refused to drop the enormous tariffs on ethanol imports. But the entire corn harvest in 2004 of 11.8 billion bushels would make only 30 billion gallons of ethanol. So Congress wants us to put ALL of our food supply into our cars? Maybe we can tear down the Amazon rain forest to grow more.

National Review endorses Romney

He's not my first choice (I'm sticking with Thompson), but he's not bad either. This country could do a lot worse (and it has).

Online Sex Offender Database Leads To Murder?

Surprising this sort of thing doesn't happen more often.

Nancy Overreaches, Part 37B

When pressed by stunned reporters, Pelosi realized she'd made a mistake. She retracted the statement, saying that she meant that Republicans supported the current strategy in Iraq and supported George Bush's continuance of the effort. Pelosi then expressed surprise that the Republicans would not accede to public polls on the matter.

In other words, she can't understand why Republicans and George Bush don't sacrifice national security for political gain. That makes sense, coming from the leadership that has attempted to politicize the war for years now. If anyone can be said to "like" the war -- really a repellent notion -- it would be Pelosi and the Democrats. They manipulated it in two elections to attempt to gain political advantage, succeeding in 2006. Pelosi owes her position in part to the Democratic effort to fuel antiwar passion.

Radical un-chic

“Imagination without skill gives us contemporary art.”
-Tom Stoppard

Forgetting the obvious

Even as we narrow our own view of warfare’s acceptable parameters, trying to harm as few civilians as possible in successful operations, our enemies amplify the concept of total war: They kill tens, or hundreds, or occasionally thousands of civilians in order to undermine the morale of millions.

The killing of 3,000 civilians on September 11, 2001 might have temporarily awakened a warrior spirit in American democracy, but such a spirit is hard to sustain in the crucible of an ambiguous conflict. In Iraq, a country of 26 million people through which more than a million American troops have passed, the loss of a few Americans and three dozen-or-so Iraqis daily in suicide bombs is enough to demoralize a homefront 7,000 miles away.

A non-warrior democracy with a limited appetite for casualties is probably a good thing in terms of putting the breaks on a directionless war strategy. That does not change the fact, however, that Americans as a people are ever further removed from any semblance of a warrior spirit as we grow increasingly prosperous and our political elite grows increasingly secular.

Tin Mike

Over the course of his 10 and a half years as governor, Huckabee granted a staggering 1,033 clemencies, according to the Associated Press. That was more than double the combined 507 that were granted during the 17 and a half years of his three predecessors: Bill Clinton, Frank White, and Jim Guy Tucker.

Mitchell Report names Clemens, Tejada, Gagne as users.

It's a dark day for major league baseball. Some of the most storied names in the the game have been accused of...lets face it, cheating. The Mitchell Report is worth a read. At 400+ pages it's a bit on the long side but aside from the specific new allegations, it provides a lot of useful background for understanding how we got to where we are today.

The Forgotten War

Good news from Afghanistan.

Porn for girls by girls

Safe for work.

Via Ace of Spades.