Friday, January 11, 2008

Somewhere Beyond the Sea

The incomparable Bobby Darin.

Château Scientology

Built as the Château Élysée, a long-term residential hotel for movie stars, it is considered by preservationists to be one of the city’s grandest Norman-revival buildings. (The Château Marmont is smaller and sits on considerably less land.) Since 1973, the Château Élysée has been owned by the Church of Scientology, which calls it Celebrity Centre.

Ms. Magazine Blocks Ad Because Its Too Pro-Israel

Here's the ad. Click to enlarge.

Ms. Magazine is blocking an ad from its pages because it it too pro-Israel!Considering that the country in which these women live is in the Middle East, where women have no rights, honor killings of women is practiced, women have their bodies mutilated to deny them sexual pleasure, and cannot show their face, this is a noteworthy development. But, considering the Far Left drift of the magazine that celebrates aborting down syndrome babies maybe this is not so shocking.

7 Tech Headaches—and How to Fix Them

Jamie Hyneman weighs in.

via instapundit.

A Moral Challenge for the Democrats

At a fundamental level, the survival of the republic depends upon both political parties have basically honorable people leading the parties. Republicans got rid of Richard Nixon because he was a crook. The leadership of the Republican Party told Nixon that he had to go. He went. What the Democrats have had since 1993 is a marriage of convenience to a couple worse than Richard Nixon. In order to win power and hold power, Democrats have been unwilling or unable to free themselves from the clutches of two cynical and amoral operatives.

A Failed Attempt to Lose $100 at $3 BlackJack.

Some casinos let you split any 10's, say King/Queen, but most players don't take advantage. Two 10's is a very strong hand. The dealer gives me King/Queen against his 5.

"Split 'em."



I get Jacks on both. "Split 'em again!"

Now I'm playing four hands at once. All four hands get 10's or Queens. "Split 'em again!"

"I'm sorry sir, you can't split to more than four hands."

Now I know what the other guy felt like.

"OK, whatever."

The dealer busts, of course.


Warning : Some strong language.

Tonight, Fred Reminded Me of Roy Hobbs.

This performance was so commanding, I wanted his last answer to echo back to the lights in the back of the auditorium, blow out all the lamps and spotlights, for the theme to “the Natural” to play, and for him to trot around the stage in slow motion while sparks showered down in the background.

Thoughts on Fred's strategy here.

Anthropogenic Continental Drift: An Incoherent Truth

Industrial Nations Threaten Globe Again

A new menace to the planet has been discovered and validated by a consensus of politically reliable scientists: Anthropogenic Continental Drift (ACD) will result in catastrophic damage and untold suffering, unless immediate indemnity payments from the United Sates, Europe, and Australia be made to the governments of non-industrial nations, to counteract this man-made threat to the world's habitats.

Human Events endorses Fred Thompson

They give a quick rundown of the other candidates as well. Worth a read.

Katrina's Victims Ask for Huge Checks

Hurricane Katrina's victims have put a price tag on their suffering and it is staggering — including one plaintiff seeking the unlikely sum of $3 quadrillion.

Seems reasonable. Of course the lawyer will get a third of that.

Media Won't Drop Out, In Race for Long Haul

(2008-01-09) — Despite embarrassing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, the mainstream media (MSM) today dismissed talk of an early withdrawal from the presidential race, saying political correspondents and pollsters are “in it for the long haul.”

The unnamed MSM spokesperson blinked back tears as she described the difficulty of predicting election outcomes, not to mention the hardship of life on the road and the stress of waiting for the next gaffe or personal attack from a candidate.

“It’s hard,” the MSM source said, “because we passionately want to take the country back to the days when we controlled the message and the distribution channels.”

It's 1750 all over again.

I mean to say, here we are again, arguing about how to share the island between England and Scotland; how to deal with massive epidemics of urban drunkenness and crime; what to do with a substantial elite of incredibly wealthy financiers and merchants and an ignorant, feckless and violent underclass; trying to define and then circumscribe the role of corruption in politics (who thought that the de facto sale of titles would make a political come-back?); wondering what the monarchy is for; being sold out to foreigners by a rascally pack of radical, Utopian MPs… Throw a juicy war with France into that lot and it could easily be 1750.

Edmund Hillary dies

Edmund Hillary left, Tenzing Norgay right.

Rest in peace.

Liberal Fascism: A review by Victor Davis Hanson

I've been meaning to pick up this book for a couple weeks now. It sounds excellent and I trust Hanson's judgment absolutely.

From the article:
Given that “fascist” is the most abused term in the political lexicon, Goldberg’s first task is to correct all the misconceptions about historical fascism, the most important being that it was a “conservative” political movement, one created by bourgeois capitalism to ward off a decline created by its own contradictions and the socialist alternative.

In reality, fascism is a phenomenon of the left, not the right — an “inconvenient truth,” Goldberg writes, “if ever there was one.” This confusion about fascism’s origins if furthered by the misleading contrast usually made between fascism and communism. But as Goldberg shows, “they are closely related, historical competitors for the same constituents, seeking to control and dominate the same social space,” a space opened up by the decline of Christianity, to which both were hostile, and by the utopian pretensions of scientistic politics.

Moreover, both shared the belief that “the era of liberal democracy was drawing to a close,” that it was time to abandon “the anachronisms of natural law, traditional religion, constitutional liberty, capitalism and the like”: “God was long dead, and it was long overdue for men to take His place.”

Thus both were “utopian visions and the bearers of great hopes,” international movements attracting believers throughout the world, including America. The key difference between these two socialistic philosophies was the question of nationalism. Communism located the essence of human identity in transnational economic classes, whereas fascism “offered a new religion of the divinized state and the nation as an organic community.”

America's Secret Army

Child: "Daddy what did you do during The Great War on Terror?"

Father: "I was in the unorganized militia!"

Betty Mekdeci and "Junk Science" litigation.

Meanwhile, the persistence of plaintiffs in pursuing the Bendectin litigation despite mounting evidence of Bendectin's safety and the complete lack of valid contrary evidence, combined with juries nevertheless frequently ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, eventually became the leading cause of a severe backlash in federal courts against "junk science," culminating in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, itself a Bendectin case, and it progeny.

The reality of Ron Paul finally sinks in.

Sigh. Hanging out with libertarians now and then, I've had to learn to avoid those libertarians. The conversation usually goes something like this:

One of Those Libertarians: I'm a libertarian.

Me: I'm something of a libertarian myself. I'm not a fan of big intrusive government.

OoTL: Me neither. We've got to find some way to stop affirmative action and welfare.

Me: Oh, hey, nice to meet you but I've got a thing...

Has there ever been a true matriarchal culture?

For a while now sociologists, historians, anthropologists, and others have wrestled with a tricky question: If there's no built-in inequality between the sexes, as I'd hope most of us believe, why is it that in nearly all the societies on record the men seem to have been running things? In the ensuing effort to show that male domination of women isn't inevitable, many have looked hard for counterexamples, often coming up with results whether or not the available data complied.