Saturday, December 27, 2008

Collect Damages From The Internet!

Do you spend all night Googling yourself and crying? Are your hands disfigured from over-Tweeting? Do you check your email during polite conversation? Then the law offices of Jacob Bradley Palmer can help you!

Friday, December 19, 2008

For those who don't know what to get me for Christmas.

The US space agency has announced it is selling three used space shuttles when they are retired in 2010, after 30 years of service.

A bargan at $ 42 million.

Urban Camouflage Art.

The art of hiding electrical boxes in plain sight.

More here.

Blagojevich is just the tip of the iceberg.

Nancy Pelosi vowed to drain when she led her party to victory in 2006. The GOP had been rocked by scandal, and Mrs. Pelosi and Democrats won, in part, by promising to clean up the "culture of corruption" that pervaded Washington.

Instead, Democrats now have an image problem. The real issue isn't so much Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Senate-seat auction, as it is the focus that his scandal has directed toward a wider assortment of Democratic troubles. This isn't great timing for Barack Obama, who campaigned on cleaner government.

More here.

xkcd...a truely great webcomic.

The Essays of Francis Bacon.

An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is a shrewd thing, in an orchard or garden. And certainly, men that are great lovers of themselves, waste the public. Divide with reason; between selflove and society; and be so true to thyself, as thou be not false to others; specially to thy king and country.
-From Wisdom for Man's Self.

Much more here.

Studies show dogs have sense of fairness

All I know is that if the other dogs get Snausages and Tibbs doesn't...there's gonna be trouble.
The article is here.
h/t the wife


I had mentioned the Nerf Machine Gun before, but its important to be prepared for a wide variety of threats. Therefore comend to your attention the Marshmallow Bazooka. Pummels targets at up to 40'.

The War in Iraq is Won

The death rate is so low that the media avoids mentioning it. Indeed, non-hostile deaths often surpass hostile deaths in certain months. When more deaths occur due to road accidents, drowning, and training mishaps than at the hands of terrorists, the terrorists are quite ineffective. If a country of 25 million people were against the presence of US troops, why are only 8-10 US troops being killed per month? Many troops report not having had to fire their guns even once in the last 90 days.

Read the whole thing.

What Not to get the Wife/Girlfriend for Christmas.

Actually some of these look kinda cool.

Probably not safe for work.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Cost of the bailout (so far).

Food for thought.

Click to enlarge.

If each of us carried a gun . . .

Rhetoric about standing firm against terrorists aside, in Britain we have no more legal deterrent to prevent an armed assault than did the people of Mumbai, and individually we would be just as helpless as victims. The Mumbai massacre could happen in London tomorrow; but probably it could not have happened to Londoners 100 years ago.

In January 1909 two such anarchists, lately come from an attempt to blow up the president of France, tried to commit a robbery in north London, armed with automatic pistols. Edwardian Londoners, however, shot back – and the anarchists were pursued through the streets by a spontaneous hue-and-cry. The police, who could not find the key to their own gun cupboard, borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by, while other citizens armed with revolvers and shotguns preferred to use their weapons themselves to bring the assailants down.

Read the whole thing.

Study: 46% of women choose internet over sex.

No word on whether this includes sex on the internet.

The article is here.

Roger Kimball on the sate of of the American Polity.

I used to ask that question of my European friends as the EU bureaucracy moved on one front after another to curtail the freedom of its subjects and impose a mind-boggling array of politically correct rules and regulations upon an increasingly supine populace.

It saddens me to say that I have begun to ask that question of my friends here at home. Consider, to take this morning’s example, the budget Gov. Paterson has just proposed for New York. Quoth the governor: “This is the worst fiscal downturn since the Great Depression.” Thanks for pointing that out, Dave! So, now that we’ve got that straight what will you, as governor, do about that? Cast a beady eye on state spending? Cut costs wherever possible? Eliminate unproductive, pork barrel programs?

You must be kidding.

No, folks are hurting. So let’s tax them some more!

Let’s have a budget that increases state spending by $1.3 billion.

Read the whole thing.

Who's to blame for economy?

Short Answer: Everybody.

Long Answer: Read the article here.

Electoral Maps.Org

A cool site with maps, electoral college breakdowns, and popular vote totals of previous US Presidential elections. Also handy for settling bar bets like who was Hubert Humphrey's running mate in 1968. Scroll to the right to see more on the site.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My First Blog...

Diminished Expectations isn't my first effort, and while it is flawed and prone to excess from time to time... its a lot better than this.

h/t The wife...I had forgotten about it.

A comprehensive debunking of arguments that Obama is ineligible for the presidency.

Obama is ineligible to be president because he was born outside the United States. If he was born outside the United States or U.S. territories, this might indeed have been a legitimate Constitutional issue. The problem with this theory is that no one has been able to provide any credible evidence that Barack Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii. Claims that he was born in Kenya have been based on fanciful claims woven out of thin air and a faulty translation of a conversation with his grandmother purposefully taken out of context. There is no documentation or testimony to support this claim. None.

More Here.

Whitewashing Fannie Mae.

The two government-sponsored mortgage giants have long maintained they were merely unwitting victims of a financial act of God. That is, while the rest of the market went crazy over subprime and "liar" loans, Fan and Fred claimed to be the grownups of the mortgage market. There they were, the fable goes, quietly underwriting their 80% fixed-rate 30-year mortgages when -- Ka-Pow! -- they were blindsided by the greedy excesses of the subprime lenders who lacked their scruples.

But previously undisclosed internal documents that are now in Mr. Waxman's possession and that we've seen tell a different story. Memos and emails at the highest levels of Fannie and Freddie management in 2004 and 2005 paint a picture of two companies that saw their market share eroded by such products as option-ARMs and interest-only mortgages. The two companies were prepared to walk ever further out on the risk curve to maintain their market position.

Read the whole thing.

Things Bears Love

More Here.

Brokeback Mountain gay scenes cut.

An Italian TV station has aired the film Brokeback Mountain for the first time, but with one noticable difference. All the love scenes between Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal's characters had been cut!

This is roughly analogous to cutting the crime parts out of The Godfather. As the kids say ...LOL.

Assassinations Foretold in Moby Dick!

A lot of folks trying to sell books like to point to prophecies, hidden or otherwise in various texts. Brendan McKay explains nicely why this is nonsense.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Irritating Statements

From Zoitz.

Boy George Faces Jail Time For Keeping Sex Slave.

Boy George faces a jail term for falsely imprisoning a male escort.

He was told in court today that a prison sentence was 'the most likely option' after a jury convicted him of handcuffing Norwegian Audun Carlsen to a wall at his flat.

The singer, 46, whose real name is George O'Dowd, also beat Carlsen, 29, with a metal chain as he tried to escape from the flat in Shoreditch, East London after a kinky photographic session, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Mr Carlsen fled in his underpants and alerted police.

These are sad times. I mean if celebrities can't keep people chained up in their bedrooms who can?

Free Plaxico Burress.

The Wall Street Journal says New York City's gun law is unconstitutional.

I'm inclined to agree.

Lest We Forget...

The 12 Days of Holiday? has taken the PC kool-aide and is attempting to hawk its products under the banner of The 12 days of Holiday. Sadly since I don't know which holiday they are talking about I find it difficult to catch the "holiday spirit" and order lots of goodies from their website.

This is the email I sent them:

This email is to complain about your incredibly stupid "12 days of Holiday" campaign. Which holiday would that be? Why are you so afraid to say Christmas? I LOVE Amazon but this stuff really pisses me off.

I'll tell you what, I'm not going to shop at Amazon after October 31st of each year. I mean If there were a major gift giving holiday toward the end of the year you'd remind me of it right? When you you do, I'll shop on your site.

The great thing about the web is that it gives you choices. The truth is I don't need Amazon this Christmas season.

h/t Instapundit

Friday, December 05, 2008

Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Could I survive on nothing but potatoes and milk?

I heard it's possible to live for an extended period of time, not just short-term, on nothing but potatoes and milk. Is there any truth to this? If I could really get all the nutrients I need from just potatoes and milk, it sure would make my grocery shopping easier.

— Joshua B, Olney, Maryland

Excellent question, Josh. With hard times coming, we're all going to have to economize. The good news: A spuds and milk diet definitely has possibilities — the Irish, to cite the best-known example, got by mainly on potatoes until the infamous blight of 1845 wiped out their main course. The bad news: (1) Considering the quantities you're going to have to eat, you'd better really like potatoes. (2) If you're literally going to eat nothing but potatoes and milk, you risk — brace yourself — serious molybdenum deficiency.

More here.

U.S. says latest missile defense test a success.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military conducted a successful test of its system built to knock out long-range missiles that could be fired by North Korea or Iran, the Pentagon said on Friday.

The target missile for the test over the Pacific was launched from Kodiak, Alaska and an interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, officials said. The intercept took place at 3:29 p.m. EST .

The argument against missile defense has always been twofold: That it was technically impossible and that regardless of the technical difficulties it was destabilizing. The fact that these arguments were mutually exclusive never seemed to bother anyone that advanced them.

As it is becoming increasingly clear, what ever technical issues may remain with missile defence they are distinctly in the realm of solvable conundrums. That leaves the issue of whether or not missile defense causes instability.

There is a strong argument that nuclear weapons have a deterrent effect. Europe has (with the exception of Yugoslavia) enjoyed its longest period of peace since the Roman Empire. Despite the tensions and conflicts of the Cold War, both sides always understood that the cost of direct confrontation was far too high to be risked. In this sense, nuclear weapons helped ensure...well not peace exactly....but an absence of war. Similarly, Israel and their Arab neighbors have fought a half dozen wars since 1948. Then Israel got the bomb. Since then there have been no direct attacks by Arab armies on Israel (lots of terrorism though). India and Pakistan also used to go to war with one another every now and then. Once again though, once both nations became nuclear powers, direct warfare became to costly to contemplate. Here again though, that deterrence may have led to encouraging terrorism as as way of continuing the conflict by other means.

The fundamental assumption of a deterrence bases strategy is that your opponent is a rational actor AND that they believe that you will respond in kind. When considering opponents like North Korea, Iran, and pre-invasion Iraq the deterrence argument collapses.

History is riddled with dictators willing to inflict enormous suffering on their peoples for any number of reasons. Consider the nihilism of Adolf Hitler who was determined that Germany should be destroyed because it had failed him. Pol Pot or Chairman Mao during one of their genocidal purges or Kim Jong Il watching his people starve today. The assumption that those folks love their kids just the way we do doesn't hold water. We cannot rely on their good graces to keep us safe.

The other real problem is the credibility of our deterrent. If when we invaded Iraq, Saddam had used a small nuke and killed several thousand American soldiers...what would we have done? Responded with nuclear weapons, killing several million Iraqi civilians? That's what credible deterrence requires but somehow I really don't think that would have been an option.

The uncomfortable truth is that with a certain type of leader, you can't deter them. If a country has a leader who is willing to have his people wiped out to destroy the Zionists infidels you really only have to choices: Kill them first (the New York Times won't approve) or find a way to render his weapons useless. To do that you can either bomb them before they go online or develop a high tech solution to deal with an arsenal that already exists...i.e. missile defense.

The article is here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Is Crime Contagious?

The idea behind the broken windows theory is that if people look around and see other people violating norms, they will tend to violate them as well. In the 1980s and 1990s, city governments and police departments stepped up their enforcement measures against petty crimes, such as painting graffiti, panhandling, littering, and subway fare jumping. The hope was that by minimizing public disorder, the police would help communities create crime-deterrent environments. Most of the evidence for the value of this kind of policing is based on studies of what happened to crime rates once police began to crack down on incivilities. In recent years, some analyses have questioned the broken windows theory as a strategy for effective policing.

Now, a new study (additional online info here) published in Science provides some strong experimental backing for the broken windows theory. Dutch researchers from the University of Groningen, led by social scientist Kees Keizer. conducted six experiments to see if signs of disorder would encourage people to engage in norm violation themselves.

The short answer: Yes.

Read the whole thing.

Found on the web....

The Who, Jimi Hendrix and a Rickenbacker 360/12. Oddly enough everyone to the right of the neck of the guitar is dead (Hendrix, John Entwistle and Keith Moon). Everyone to the left is alive (Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend).

Play it safe, steer clear of Rickenbackers all together.

Whatever happened to the hydrogen economy?

WHATEVER happened to the hydrogen economy? At the turn of the century it was the next big thing, promising a future of infinite clean energy and deliverance from climate change. Generate enough hydrogen, so the claim went, and we could use it to transform the entire energy infrastructure - it could supply power for cars, planes and boats, buildings and even portable gadgets, all without the need for dirty fossil fuels. Enthusiasts confidently predicted the breakthrough was just five to 10 years away. But today, despite ever-worsening news on global warming and with peak oil looming, the hydrogen economy seems as distant as ever.

Mark Steyn on India

In the ten months before this week’s atrocity, Muslim terrorists killed over 200 people in India and no-one paid much attention. Just business as usual, alas. In Bombay, the perpetrators were cannier. They launched a multiple indiscriminate assault on soft targets, and then in the confusion began singling out A-list prey: Not just wealthy Western tourists, but local orthodox Jews, and municipal law enforcement. They drew prominent officials to selected sites, and then gunned down the head of the antiterrorism squad and two of his most senior lieutenants. They attacked a hospital, the place you’re supposed to take the victims to, thereby destabilizing the city’s emergency-response system.

Stop Covering Up And Kill The CRA.

The Community Reinvestment Act is to blame for the financial crisis, but it so powerfully serves Democrats' interests that they'll do anything to protect it — including revising history.

Read the whole thing.

The 8 Best Recurring Arrested Development Jokes.

My favorite TV show of all time was Arrested Development. It was cancelled after 50+ episodes mostly because it was too smart for a mass market audience. Now it looks the they're going to do a movie...Yea!!!

In celebration here are the The 8 Best Recurring Arrested Development Jokes.