July 31, 2007
If I go to every bookstore in town and buy every copy of the Koran and put them through the wood chipper have I committed a crime? No, I just wrecked a bunch of my own books.
Pace University student Stanislav Shmulevich took two Koran's that belonged to the University and put them into toilets. Did he commit a crime. Yes. He destroyed University Property. he committed an act of vandalism. For which he has been arrested and charged with felony hate crimes.
He is being charged with two felonies based on what authorities believe he was thinking when he committed two misdemeanors. He is being charged with thinking incorrect thoughts. Thought Crime.
And how do we know what was in his head. Maybe he loves Muslims and Islam but is upset that they are not taking enough action against America and wants to stir them up and get something started. Maybe he's just a really big fan of Newsweek.
And maybe he hates Muslims and the Islamic faith. Maybe he feels the same way about Muslims as they do about Christians, or Jews. So what.
One thing Stanislav is, is a warning for the rest of us. Buy your own Koran. Put it in your own toilet. Keep your thoughts to yourself.
If he is capable of shame and embarrassment, and he's a Democrat so we can't take that capability for granted, House Majority Whop James Clyburn (D-S.C.) must be wishing he had an undo command for his mouth. Here's the question from Dal Balz and Clyburn's answer:
BALZ: What do Democrats do if General Petraeus comes in in September, and says, "This is working very, very well at this point. We would be foolish to back away from it"?
CLYBURN: Well, that would be a real big problem for us, no question about that.I don't even really know how to respond. I have believed all along that the Democrats felt it was in their self interest that we fail in Iraq. I never thought one of them would be so stupid as to admit it publicly.
July 28, 2007
So I loaded one sadly dusty bicycle into the back. Took the car to the shop. The set out for home. It's only a couple of miles but it didn't take long to reach the conclusion that the bike wasn't the only thing that was dusty.
The shop closes at 4:00 on Saturday so I gave them a credit card over the phone and told them to lock the keys in it. At 5:30 I was stirring up the dust again, making the ride back into town to get the car. Aside from a couple of potentially treacherous intersections, it wasn't a bad ride.
But between the bill and the dust, I'll be feeling this one for a while.
If you're a decent normal actual human being who gets accidently caught up in this effort you have my apology in advance. Send me an email and I'll fix it.
If you're a scum sucking bottom feeding spammer, you can just kiss my ass.
July 27, 2007
That man is Charles Schumer. Or as one New York radio host calls him "Chuckie Cheese Schumer." (Which in Lileks world would translate into Chuck E' Fargin Cheese Schumer).
Chuck is apparently displeased that Justices Roberts and Alito turned out to be a conservative as everyone knew they were when they were confirmed to the Court.
"Were we duped?" he asked.
"Were we too easily impressed by the charm of nominee Roberts and the erudition of nominee Alito?" Schumer asked. "Did we mistakenly vote our hopes when our fears were more than justified by the ultraconservative records of these two men?"
"Yes," he said.Chock finds the newest justices' conservatism troublesome because
“The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.”Leaving aside that the Court is currently comprised of 4 Liberals, 4 Conservatives and 1 swing vote and couldn't possibly be more balanced. Leaving aside that a nine member court can never be "balanced" in a two party political system. Where is it written in the Constitution or in any law written under the Constitution that the Court must be balanced? When in history has the Court ever been balanced?
Like any good liberal Chuck only considers the Court balanced if it has a clear liberal majority. One cannot help but wonder if his panic over possible replacements for Justices Stevens or Ginsburg arises from some inside information on a possible resignation? Baring that, there is clearly evidence a lack of balance. Only it is Schumer that is unbalanced.
Technorati Tags: Supreme Court
MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America's Future and liberal blogs like DailyKos.com are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.
The groups have successfully pressured Democratic presidential candidates not to appear at any debate sponsored by Fox, and are also trying to get Home Depot Inc. to stop advertising there.
At least 5,000 people nationwide have signed up to compile logs on who is running commercials on Fox, Gilliam said. The groups want to first concentrate on businesses running local ads, as opposed to national commercials.This means they are not going FOX advertisers but advertisers of local affiliate stations.
These people need a lesson in basic business decision making. Businesses rarely make advertising decisions based to the actual or perceived politics of a media outlet. Even a very conservative company like the one I work for has run advertising in Playboy. Ads are not cheep, and a thirty second television spot is very costly particularly for a small local business.
The decision is fairly straight forward. Unless someone is suggesting you advertise in the KKK monthly, you don't look at the politics - you look at the exposure. You use the money you have for advertising to get your message in front of as many likely customers as you possibly can. Your two main metrics are reach and frequency. You try to maximize the number of people you reach and the number of times you reach them.
If you think FOX is too conservative, but they are the most efficient vehicle to reach your target demographic, your choice is to write a check to FOX or spend your money less efficiently.
There's a reason you don't often see the NRA advertising for members on the Daily Kos. (OK there's two because Kos would reject the ad). The regular readers of that site are not likely to be signing for NRA membership. Assuming the ad ran, it would be a colossal waist of money.
I have to agree with Ted's assessment that I don't post often enough these days. Maybe it's the scarcity that makes it such a treat? Certainly if I put the effort into posting more, the drain on my already overtaxed mental resources might lead to the rescinding of my award.
The rules are that I now have to give to the award to five bloggers who make me think. That is going to be a serious problem. I have over 100 RSS feeds bookmarked in Safari over several categories. They are almost all there because they make me think. How do I pick just five?
Well, there are some that I am going to eliminate - just because they don't need any further recognition. I don't even need to list the names, because you probably know all the BIG ones already. I'm going to give the award to some bloggers you might not know. They make me think. They can do the same for you.
Everyday Stranger. I don't usually read "personal" blogs let alone bookmark their RSS feed. I have enough challenges in my day-to-day life without spending time immersing myself in the troubles of others. Helen's writing is so compelling that I am willing to make an exception. A guest poster at her site has just announced that Helen is in the hospital. Go over there and send warm thoughts for her and the twins she is carrying.
TFS Magnum. The subtext on the banner reads "357 MAGNUM - MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER (WELL, ALMOST) -- TAKING POT SHOTS AT THE LUNACY ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POLITICAL DIVIDE. SUPPORTING THE 2ND AMENDMENT, AND RATIONAL DEBATE." The guiding philosophy behind a lot of what Zendo Deb Posts is "Self Defense in a Human Right." A typical headline might read "Good guys 2 Bad Guys 0."
Coyote Blog. I think Warren does a better job of describing his own blog than I could.
The original mission was to cover some of the day-to-day travails and lessons learned in running a small business. That is still part of the mission, but since I have about the same attention span as an 8-year-old boy mainlining Hershey Bars, I have found myself wandering all over the place, from business to economics to libertarian philosophy to sports to electronics.
Rhymes With Right. What more can you ask for than a solid well written blog. Greg posts a good deal more often than I do and manages to always keep it interesting.
Seth Goodin's Blog. Seth is a marketing consultant and author. He is brilliant and writes brilliantly as well. He doesn't always write about marketing but he always writes from a marketing perspective. And it can be a very enlightening perspective.
I'll leave it to them to decide if they wish to hand out any awards of their own.
Ted, thanks for the kind words and the gentle kick in the pants to remind me to keep this place from getting quite so dusty.
July 23, 2007
China's emissions of carbon dioxide have exceeded those of the United States at least two years ahead of most international estimates, according to a report issued last week by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. CO2 emissions, it says, rose an astounding 9% in 2006. China produces 12% of the world's CO2 and 25% of its mercury pollution.
In contrast, the Energy Information Administration announced that the big, bad USA's carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels fell 1.3% in 2006, while our booming economy grew 3.3%. We are using energy more efficiently and reducing emissions without Kyoto. Energy use per unit of GDP fell 4.2 % last year, and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP fell 4.5%.
While environmentalists and congressional Democrats have shut down our domestic development of fossil fuels like oil and even clean-burning natural gas, a new coal-fired plant big enough to supply every household in a city the size of San Diego comes on line every seven to 10 days in China, exporting more pollution to California and the western U.S. than even Gore's economic straightjacket could hope to eliminate.Yet there are ZERO calls to do anything about China's emissions. China is exempt from criticism because it is a "developing nation." I think this makes it fairly clear that what al Gore and company are striving for is some sort of global egalitarianism in which the "developed" countries are held back while the rest of the world plays catch-up. Climate change is just a smoke screen. And the smoke is made in China.
July 22, 2007
Here's the latest financial news out of Cupertino. Revenues for the last quarter - which do not include much of the revenue from the nearly 1 million iPhones sold - are expected to report at $5.28 billion. Up from $4.37 for the same quarter last year.
The reason? In market share Apple has moved into a virtual tie for third with Dell. Though still far behind the PC industry leaders, Apple has seen it's market share grow from 4.8 percent in the same quarter last year to 5.6 percent.
Sorry PC people. Apple doesn't appear to be going away any time soon.
July 18, 2007
Ed Morrissey wrote a response to Representative Don Young of Alaska who responded to critics of his Pork with:
"You want my money, my money," Young stridently declared before warning conservatives that, "Those who bite me will be bitten back."I can't really ad much to what Morrissey wrote:
Oh, and Rep. Young? Bite me.Morrissey also highlighted the response from Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo when he was criticized for $200 million in Pork.
David Harsanyi pointed out that I am attempting to obtain more than $200 million in federal funding for “pet projects” this year. What he neglected to mention is that some $180 million of that money would fund just three projects: completion of the voter-approved T-REX project ($80 million), work on the voter-approved West Corridor light-rail line ($40 million) and a new Denver-area Veterans Affairs hospital ($60 million).I'm sorry Tom I don't remember there being anything about a T-Rex project on my ballot. (Though if there had been my seven-year-old son would have insisted that I vote in favor.) Nor do I recall having the opportunity to vote on improving the West Corridor light-rail line. But then again I live in Connecticut so I wouldn't have had the opportunity to vote on those issues.
Here's a thought for you to consider Congressman Tancredo if the good people of Colorado vote to have the T-Rex Project (which my seven-year-old son will be disappointed to learn is actually the multi-modal Transportation Expansion (T-REX) Project and not a plan to create a real Jurassic Park in Colorado) then let the people of Colorado pay for the damned thing.
T-Rex. The other white meat.
Senator McCain's statement to the Senate this morning was inspiring, courageous and forthright and I applaud him.
Mr. President, we have nearly finished this little exhibition, which was staged, I assume, for the benefit of a briefly amused press corps and in deference to political activists opposed to the war who have come to expect from Congress such gestures, empty though they may be, as proof that the majority in the Senate has heard their demands for action to end the war in Iraq. The outcome of this debate, the vote we are about to take, has never been in doubt to a single member of this body. And to state the obvious, nothing we have done for the last twenty-four hours will have changed any facts on the ground in Iraq or made the outcome of the war any more or less important to the security of our country. The stakes in this war remain as high today as they were yesterday; the consequences of an American defeat are just as grave; the costs of success just as dear. No battle will have been won or lost, no enemy will have been captured or killed, no ground will have been taken or surrendered, no soldier will have survived or been wounded, died or come home because we spent an entire night delivering our poll-tested message points, spinning our soundbites, arguing with each other, and substituting our amateur theatrics for statesmanship. All we have achieved are remarkably similar newspaper accounts of our inflated sense of the drama of this display and our own temporary physical fatigue. Tomorrow the press will move on to other things and we will be better rested. But nothing else will have changed.You can read the whole statement here.
July 15, 2007
By and large, I like Ron Paul. I like the core of his ideas of individual liberty and limited government. I wish we lived in a world where a man like Paul was not an anachronism and was a realistic candidate for President. That said, I do not agree with every position he has taken, and as with any politician I will not hesitate to point out where I think he is wrong.
This leaves me with the classic voter's dilemma. Do I cast a symbolic send-a-message vote for a candidate with no chance of winning or do I vote for the candidate the comes closest to the principles I support who has a chance of winning? Which vote would do the most to advance the cause of liberty? Then again I'm not a registered Republican so it's not really a choice I'm going to have to make.
But anyway, back to the video.
I had to hit pause about 10 minutes into the interview in stunned disbelief at what the candidate had to say regarding the outcome the swift withdrawal of troops from Iraq that he would institute were he to be elected president. His expectation would be that the end result would likely be similar to the current state of affairs between the U.S. and Vietnam.
He noted that we quickly pulled out of Vietnam after a bloody conflict that left 60,000 dead, and now they are trading partners and we exchange state visits. It all works out well in the end, and it makes a nice story if you conveniently skip over the 30 years of intervening history. It's a nice story about trading with a nation that was once an enemy, and a laudable goal for future relations with Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. But you can't hold up the current state of affairs between the U.S. and Vietnam as an example of what you hope to accomplish without acknowledging the hundreds of thousands who were slaughtered in the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam.
Paul may be willing to skip over that bit of history because the story reads better if you just jump to the happy ending, but the rest of us should not.
My biggest complaint about Paul is probably in the area of foreign policy. His position of "avoid foreign entanglements" was probably sound and sensible policy when it was put forth by George Washington. It was probably sound and sensible policy when international communication was carried out via correspondence and ambassadors that might take a month or more to reach their destination. The world today is much more entangled than anything George Washington could have envisioned. It is entangled in business and personal ways and moves at pace Washington could never have imagined.
In this world we can no more avoid foreign entanglements than we can avoid the sun rising in the east. A foreign policy that does not recognize this would be dangerous in the extreme.
I mean this as no defense of the current administration's foreign policy, parts of which I support and parts of which I do not. I do not think Paul's foreign policy positions are correct and applicable in a modern world, nor do I think they represent the best defense of liberty. We cannot assure our liberty at home, by ignoring threats to liberty from abroad.
Campaign spokespeople are not commenting on how high they think this momentum can carry the candidate.
July 13, 2007
The listing for iPhone auctions at 10:25 EDT includes an 8GB iPhone with 44 bids and a current price of $635.00. There is another 8GB iPhone up for auction with 51 bids and current high bid of $810.00.
iPhones are in stock at almost all Apple Stores and AT&T locations. They can also be ordered online from Apple.
The 8GB iPhone lists for $599.00.
Somewhere the ghost of P.T. Barnum is laughing.
I've signed up for a lot of mailing lists - some of which I've never gone back and withdrawn my name from. This particular message came from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. So let that be a lesson to you young folks out there. If you're not careful which lists you sign up for, you can wind up will all sorts of miscreants and cretins addressing you like they're a long lost friend.A decade from now, when people look back on Live Earth, what they will remember isn't what happened during the show ––instead my hope is they remember what happened after.
A decade? No one is going to look back on Live Earth month from now. In a decade the only person looking back on Live earth will be one pathetic former politician sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of his Tennessee mansion in Depends.More than 2 billion of us joined together on 7.7.07 and with one voice demanded an end to the climate crisis. It is now our responsibility to carry this movement forward and force our leaders to take action.
More than 2 billion of us laughed in amazement at the lunacy of staging an event that generated more CO2 than most small and developing countries do in a year as an attempt to end a climate crisis you claim is being caused by excess manmade CO2.That's why I'm asking you to join me in signing the Live Earth Pledge.
I pledge to live on the Earth, is that close enough? How about I pledge to do my best to fly around it as much as you do?Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have signed this document, which calls for a 90% cut in global warming pollution. Now we need to convince more of our leaders to take this same courageous stand.
We now have, in the signatures of Reid and Pelosi, irrefutable proof that there is absolutely no truth to the theory of manmade Global Warming. If both Reid and Pelosi sre on board you know two things with absolute certainty. One it is complete bullshit, and two, it's bad for America.The pledge is a simple way to show that the political will exists to take the bold steps necessary to end the climate crisis. But it will only be effective if millions of Americans speak out and add their voice.
Is there a simple way to get to stop pretending to the to save the world from a theoretical crisis. If millions of Americans speak out and ad their voice to telling you to shut up and go away, will you?Sign the Live Earth Pledge today by visiting: www.algore.com/dccc
Not if you paid me in gold plated carbon offsetts.Throughout most of our short history, the United States and the American people have provided moral leadership for the world. Establishing the Bill of Rights, framing democracy in the Constitution, defeating fascism in World War II, toppling Communism, and landing on the moon –– all were the result of American leadership.
Two words for you al Gore, "Representative Republic." The Constitution does not create a democracy. If you don't understand the basic nature of the American system of governance maybe you should go back to kindergarten and start over.Once again, Americans must come together and direct our government to take on a global challenge. Our leadership is a precondition for success.
We did come together and direct our government to take on a global challenge. Defeating global terrorists. You and the rest of your political fellow travelers seem to have lost your nerve on that one.The climate crisis offers us the chance to experience what few generations in history have had the privilege of experiencing: a mission; a compelling moral purpose; a shared cause; and the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the pettiness and conflict of politics and to embrace a genuine moral and spiritual challenge.
Yes, not since the Great Depression has a generation experienced stifling regulation and massive economic dislocation on a global scale. Let's do it again, For The Children.Live Earth was a unique moment that now presents us with a unique choice.
Do I buy the concert cd on iTunes or try to scam it off Limewire? Yes, that is a unique choice.Do we use this unprecedented opportunity to organize a global movement that will last beyond the concerts themselves? Or do we let the moment pass?
I think the science is settled on this one and the overwhelming consensus is to let the moment pass.I know my answer -–– and I think I know yours.
If you didn't know mine before, you certainly should now.That's why I am issuing this challenge: Let's use this moment to pledge our support to solving the climate crisis. Just as important –– let's ask everyone we know to join us as part of this movement.
Yes let's put an end once and for all to al Gore's climate crisis traveling circus. Tell your friends to tell al Gore to shut up and go away. Together we can make it happen.Sign the Live Earth Pledge today by visiting:
Our work begins now.
Work? Work requires the production and consumption of energy. The production and consumption of energy produces carbon. Carbon causes climate crisis. So I think I'll pass.
That was fun. Thank you al Gore, for giving my day the lift is so badly needed. Write again soon.
July 09, 2007
The stated purpose of the extravaganza was to raise awareness and "consciousness" of man-made global warming. Which of course is complete bullshit. Unless you have been in a coma for the last few years - even if your only news sources are the Daily Show and E-News Daily - you are aware of global warming.
The al Gore show was classic event marketing. It was designed to make people feel like they were doing something about global warming and that it felt good doing it. The goal was to create a positive emotional connection to fighting global warming so that when the sacrifices start they wont notice until its too late.
It's not going to work.
Aside from generating a massive carbon footprint, Live Earth represents the moment that concerts for a cause jumped the shark. Bob Geldoff must be pissed.
July 07, 2007
Since there is absolutely no reason to steal anyone's campaign literature (you usually have to try very hard to avoid having it given to you) it is safe to assume that the thieves were after the laptops in the hopes that they would contain useful campaign information.
The question then is, who has the most to gain from this little bit of campaign skullduggery? None of the GOP candidates are too focused to the Democrats yet, and they have their own primary battle to fight. What would any of the also ran bottom tier of Democrats have to gain by bringing down the Obama Campaign? A better shot at being the VP candidate?
What about the other leading campaign that suddenly finds itself behind in the fundraising race? Could t be that they are feeling a little threatened? Could it be that they see hints that America might not want an unprincipaled shrieking harpy socialist as President?
I have absolutely nothing to back any of this up with, but this feels like the Clintons to me. If I were investigating they would be prime suspects.
July 06, 2007
Fantastic. This is great news.
Not for what it says about Paul, but for what it says about McCain. Ron Paul never had a shot at the GOP nomination. And McCain was a contender. And it is the was that brings a smile to my face.
But Ron Paul blew a chance to state and defend the principles he claims to hold. Following the announcment, Reason reporter David Weigel asked Paul:
What do you think of John McCain saying he might take public financing?Instead of pointing out why on principle he opposes and is not taking public financing, Paul responded:
He must need it. We don't need it.
Here's the video so no one can say this is just anti-Paul spin.
Why give an answer that implies that if he needed public financing he would take it, when he had a perfect opportunity to talk about the limited Constitutional role of government? Why just make fun of McCain when you can slam him for his statist extra-Constitutional actions?
All we hear is politics - not principles.
July 05, 2007
July 04, 2007
To clear things up first, the commutation doesn't bother me too much. Given the extraordinarily light punishment of Sandy Berger for stealing and destroying classified documents and the rather timid slap on the wrist given to former President Clinton in his perjury plea deal, this takes a step toward restoring some sort of cosmic balance of injustices. And given that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald's investigation uncovered the source who leak of Valerie Plame's identity, Richard Armitage, in about a day, it seems clear that having identified that there was no underlying crime he just continued on until he could nail someone in the administration for something.
And when the Democrats convene their hearing they will find that the authority of the president to do what he did is written into the Constitution. They will find that the only limit the Constitution places on that authority is that it cannot be exercised in cases of impeachment. It wont take them long to realize that Libby was not impeached. That's pretty much the end of that.
The reasons for the commutation, as long as there was no quid pro quo (like say a large donation to the Bush Library) there is really no issue. The President can pardon or commute for whatever damned reason he wants. He could have done it for political reasons, he could have done it because he thinks Scooter is a cute name or he likes his butt.
But they will have their hearing. There will be sound and fury. And it will signify nothing.
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