18 December 2007


No cancer sounds okay. I wonder about the social affects of this sort of expiration. We deal with sudden death, of course, so I guess it wouldn't be much different in that regard. Interesting at least.

07 December 2007

I guess it really is the new religion

USA Today: Saudi Arabia, U.S. named the worst 'climate sinners'

12 November 2007

the magic bullet

Thank goodness! USA Today announces plan to save planet and stamp out obesity all at once. All we have to do is:

"Get out of your car and walk or bike half an hour a day instead of driving."

Oh, okay. Sure, that makes sense. Instead of driving all the way to work, I'll just park a couple of miles away and walk the rest of the way. Nothing to it.

Never mind the random cars pulled up on sidewalks or just sitting in the middle of the road a mile from someone's destination. 

Hey, it could work.

06 November 2007

Our United Nations

Does the UN only hire sexual deviants and criminals? Cause I'd really like to get in on this.

I'm not saying we should quit funding the UN. What if we just charge all member nations the same flat per citizen fee? Let China and India pay for most of it.

02 November 2007

Media favor Dems

Nothing really shocking about this. Investor's Business Daily reports on a Harvard study (okay, that's a little shocking) that media coverage - bias and volume - favors Democratic candidates over Republicans.

31 October 2007

sign me up

I'm up for living for 1000 years ...
Love this bit at the end:

On Oct. 9, 1903, the New York Times wrote:

"The flying machine which will really fly might be evolved by the combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and mechanicians in from one million to ten million years."

On the same day, on Kill Devil Hill, N.C., in his diary, a bicycle mechanic named Orville Wright wrote:

"We unpacked rest of goods for new machine."

Am I cynical

to notice how quick the newspapers have been to label the Craigslist Murder? Who benefits if people come to fear Craigslist? Hmmm

This is pretty cool ... er, hot

The stuff that makes chili peppers smokin' hot is being used to numb surgical wounds to numb them for "weeks". Downside - reduces the need for narcotics.

30 October 2007

Speak it brother

For two decades talk in the American workplace has centered on "balance." Institutes and think tanks study it. Forward-thinking bosses are supposed to encourage it. Policies like telecommuting and flextime and sabbaticals are designed to foster it.
I agree with this. It's ugly truth about the corporate, cube-farm world.

17 October 2007

15 October 2007

Yep, that'll do it ...

outlawing baggy pants ... brilliant!
Make them pull up their pants and their grades will improve? Senior citizens are afraid of them? Either they have reason to fear them or they don't. If there's a reason then making them pull up their pants only makes it harder for people to identify the threat - if any - that they represent. If there's no reason to fear them then it seems like a non-issue.

10 October 2007

Global warming killing more Europeans then car accidents

What a crock of tripe. Global warming is now responsible for air pollution and a shortage of safe drinking water. And there's a plea to 'think of the children'.
Meanwhile a European court identifies ... mmm ... let's call them inaccuracies - in AlGore's Nobel-Peace-Prize nominated cinematic masterpiece.

09 October 2007

Everything old is new

(Hat tip, as almost always, to Instapundit)


I knew it:
the low-fat recommendations, besides being unjustified, may well have harmed Americans by encouraging them to switch to carbohydrates, which he believes cause obesity and disease. He acknowledges that that hypothesis is unproved, and that the low-carb diet fad could turn out to be another mistaken cascade.


01 October 2007

Do we really need a full-time legislature?

When I read this kind of thing, it makes me think we no longer need Congress.
If they really think it's a worthwhile use of their time to comment on news stories then I think we can save the money and let them find a real job.
I thought it was silly when they 'condemned' the MoveOn Betray-us ad, and I think this newest one is worse.
What is this High School?
"You picked on our friend, now we're going to pick on yours."
Seriously, don't we have enough laws? Why don't we convene a congress every 5 years for 6 months and they can pass whatever laws they can in that period of time. If they can't come up with anything then I can live with that.
When you elect people to make laws they feel that's what they have to do. That's how government has become the behemoth that it is.
I think it's time for a do over.

20 September 2007

live like you're dying

he is

Racism in the deep south

Reading Radley Balko's account of his visit to Louisiana reminded me of an experience my wife and I had on our honeymoon in 1991. We were driving from Knoxville to Destin Beach on the Florida panhandle. As we were driving south out of Birmingham I noticed that we were low on gas. I planned to stop at the next station, but the two-lane road we were on wasn't exactly bustling with activity and we were getting nervous when we finally stopped at a closed gas station where a couple of guys (good ol' boys) had their heads in the hood of a pickup.
I asked how far to the next gas station and he indicated it was a couple of miles up. Then he said something I never expected to hear:
"It's a colored place, but that'll be alright".
He was right on both counts, but I was stunned at both the statement and the fact of it.

12 September 2007


never forget.

Parental wisdom I can really get behind ...

I'm less concerned that my children self-actualize at an early age than that they learn a trade and get out of the house.


this notion that humans are inherently angelic, and that it is society that corrupts them, is at the heart of much bad parenting, as well as inept schooling. Rather than help our children develop internal constraints that channel their energy and passion into productive enterprises, we end up teaching them that limits and discipline are for chumps.

read it all here
via instapundit

11 September 2007

Conservatives brain damaged

according to new study by real scientists.

Based on the results, he said, liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas.

That's why Kerry was perceived as a flip-flopper. In reality he's pre-programmed to change with the wind.

Lead author David Amodio, an assistant professor of psychology at New York University, cautioned that the study looked at a narrow range of human behavior and that it would be a mistake to conclude that one political orientation was better. The tendency of conservatives to block distracting information could be a good thing depending on the situation, he said.

It "could be a good thing" in some situations, but he can't imagine any. According to the article they didn't look at the whole range of political beliefs - they took only the "very liberal" and "very conservative". If the design has any merit, then I'd be interested in how someone from the center (where I, believe it or not, place myself) would have performed. I also wonder if they controlled for IQ at all, since performance on the task they described seems likely to be affected by intelligence more so than political ideology.

I'm sure they thought of that, though. I don't think there could be any bias involved in a study by professors at New York University or UCLA.
(via /.)

06 September 2007

Heart surgery circa 1891

From Wired:
It was touch-and-go for a while: Dalton's account says it appeared that Cornish came close to dying during the surgery, but hypodermic injections of whiskey and strychnia revived him. The surgical team used sterilized warm water to irrigate the wound area, then stitched him up. Once he turned the corner, Cornish made a full recovery.

Wow. Saved by an injection of whiskey. That's a new one.

02 August 2007


Sixty children on the bus. Sixty children alive. There's chance, and there's miracles. Take your choice. - Lileks

31 July 2007

Cohen on Thomson on gun control

Hard to follow the columnist's logic. (via Instapundit ) He seems to advocate gun ownership for liberal newspaper columnists, but not for college students. Or is his point that guns might be okay for some people to have in their homes, but not on their person. He fears young, drunk college students might recklessly discharge a weapon in a fit of hormones. And he's willing to sacrifice 30 innocent Hokies to prevent this theoretical possibility. That's 30 (plus) actual dead people versus some unknown number of potentially dead or injured others.

23 July 2007

Lileks on Scary McRaincoat

Now. You could say that there's nothing wrong with a fifty-something guy with a grey beard and a raincoat and no fixed address wandering around a playground looking at the kids in their bathing suits, and that it's unfair to deny a fellow the simple human pleasure of watching kids enjoy themselves just because he happens to be homeless.

I don't care.

First of all, there aren't any shelters in this area. Second, I don't care. Third, it's possible he's homeless because he spent a lot of time in prison for kiddie-diddling. Fourth, you don't get to look like the fellow who shows up to collect the Hellraiser cube and hang around the kiddie pool. Good bye.

Here's the rest. Pretty much nails my feelings on the matter.

I realize the odds of something horrible happening to my kids is vanishingly small. The stakes, however, are so high that I feel like any risk is too much.

That said, I tend to regard with suspicion anyone who shows more than passing interest in my kids. The other side of that is I try to avoid paying too much attention to other people's kids.

I don't necessarily like this environment, but it is what it is.

12 July 2007

When's the last time you thought about baton twirling?

I thought about it yesterday for the first time in - I'm sure - many years. I was listening to the radio and a singer was talking about being from a small town and how she had just been back to act as Grand Marshall for a parade she remembers marching in with her dance class as a small child.
This reminded me of parades I remember as a small child in Big Stone Gap, Va. I remember ranks of little girls twirling batons, dropping them, picking them up. It's a nice memory. And it led me to wonder what ever happened to baton twirling. I have four kids. Two of them are girls. I don't think they've ever owned a baton and I'm not sure they'd know what one is.
Today - literally and truly the next day - I see this on the front page of a section of the local paper:

Baton twirling: Glitz, no glory

That kind of think makes me a little nervous.

10 July 2007

19 June 2007

Cable Co Horror Story

Teh InstaMaster is running a poll looking for an alternative to his horrible Comcast service. This reminded me of my favorite all time cable company experience.
I don't remember where we lived at the time - Kingsport, Knoxville (Hi, Glenn), or Green Bay. I think it might have been Green Bay, but it doesn't really matter.
We had cancelled our service, or dropped part of our service, or something like that and there was a secret decoder ring or some such device that we had to - as Glenn mentions - drive all the way across town to give back to them.
We did that, but we lost the receipt.
They started sending us bills to the effect that we had not returned the item.
We insisted that we had and they continued to deny it.
I physically took my posterior back down to the dingy little office (yeah, pretty sure it was Green Bay. I'm picturing a location over on the West side. We, of course, lived on the East side.) and continued our discussion. The not so gracious lady checked a ledger and said our item was not listed, so we hadn't returned it.
I explained that we had, in fact, done so.
She said if we had returned it then there would be a slip of paper attached to this here clipboard and it would be in that there ledger.
Since she had already checked the ledger, I offered to check the clipboard.
She thought that would be an invasion of someone's privacy, but she consented to do it herself. She did it in front of me and initially she tried to hide the papers from me, but after flipping through a few she had the clipboard down where I could see it - albeit upside down.
Long story slightly shorter - as I watched, she flipped right past the long string of numbers and letters that represented the wayward device and I said - "Wait, that was it."
She flipped back to it and after several moments of silence she agreed that it was.
I'm pretty sure I didn't speak to her again (which was for the best) I just glared at her as she gave me another receipt.

14 June 2007

Star Tribune going soft on Bush

This story was on the front page of the Star Tribune today. I read it expecting the usual jibes at President Bush, but he came off sounding nothing but sympathetic and genuinely kind to the family of a local soldier who died in Iraq. This quote appears in the first paragraph:

[The family decided they] should try to get in to see President Bush to tell him of their continuing support of him and the war.

I was shocked, shocked, I say. They move Lileks to the web (DUH!!) and then run a front page story that fails to disparage the president.

I'm not sure how to interpret this information.

08 March 2007

Just wrong, wrong, wrong

This strikes me as kind of pathetic. If there's nothing similar for Republicans I can only assume it's because they don't need to propogandize. (tongue applied firmly to cheek)

But seriously ... really?
clipped from brain-terminal.com

A children’s book called Why Mommy is a Democrat, filled with cute illustrations of cuddly animals, will help prevent the harrowing possibility that your children will someday come to their own conclusions about political issues.

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28 February 2007

You can't handle the truth!

Colonel Jessup was a little over the top. But I think there was some truth in his monologue - truth that's relevant today in the midst of our current war.
clipped from www.whysanity.net
don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties,
you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a
life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline.
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27 February 2007

Hotspot finder

Hopefully this takes off and is kept up to date.
clipped from lifehacker.com

Find hotspots with Hotspotr


Find a Wi-Fi hotspot in your area with Hotspotr, a new Google Maps mashup that relies entirely on user input.

As with other Wi-Fi finders, you can search for hotspots by entering a city, ZIP code or place, then get maps, driving directions, phone numbers, etc. Hotspotr also lets you rate and review existing hotspots based on criteria like wireless quality, food/drink quality, availability of AC outlets and so on. It's fairly easy to add hotspots of your own, though you have to supply the location's address; there's no built-in address lookup.

continue reading »

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18 February 2007

Response to Susan Estrich's FoxNews article of 2/18

In your editorial of 18 February on FoxNews.com you complain that the president isn't listening to those in Congress and the media who want our troops to leave Iraq. You further encourage the congressional leadership to do more to "stop this war".

As to the President not listening - I don't believe it's his responsibility to listen to polls and whatever talking heads agree with the media outlets that give them air time.

He was elected to execute this war and I certainly hope he has better intelligence resources to base his decisions on than the evening news, or latest Gallup.

I voted for him - twice. The first time it was a close decision, but after 9/11 I was very glad I made the decision I did.
The second time it was a no-brainer. Kerry was a terrible candidate and I had no faith that he would continue the war that I believe is a necessary front in the war on terror.

I'm not enamored of President Bush. I'm not happy with his domestic performance, but I believe that we must win the war in Iraq to encourage change in the Middle East. If we fail in Iraq, it will only embolden the terrorists and the tyrants who support them. Failure is not an option. And I believe we are winning the war. Although if I only listened to the major media outlets it would be hard to hold that opinion. The troops also believe in their mission and believe they are winning. They don't want to come home until the job is done.

Any resolution by Congress that suggests to the terrorists that they are winning the war for the American heart is obviously not supportive of the troops. Terrorists don't expect to win their engagements in the traditional sense. Their battle is with the will to win of those they attack. Your article, the House resolution, and recent comments by Democratic leadership can not do other than to tell our enemies that they are succeeding in their objectives.

How that can be considered support for our troops is beyond my ability to perceive.

Tom Clements
Prior Lake, MN

Be a PS3 game guru.
Get your game face on with the latest PS3 news and previews at Yahoo! Games.

14 February 2007

happy valentine's day

The perfect Valentine's day anecdote:
The most romantic thing I've ever heard of was the broadway producer who, when he was poor and starting out, gave his future wife a bowl of peanuts, which was all he could afford.  "I wish they were emeralds," he told her.  Thirty years later, when they were rich, he gave her a bowl of emeralds.

"I wish they were peanuts," he said. 

Bird eating bats??

This is .. interesting, I guess. So bats eat songbirds. Well, bats obviously have sensitive ears what with the sonar and all. Maybe they just eat the songbirds that can't carry a tune. It's evolution at work.

29 January 2007

Myths about Suburbia

Cars aren't as evil as we're told. Mass transit is not the magic bullet it's touted as. Global warming is coming, but it probably won't be as bad as the worst-case scenarios we hear about - and the best thing we can do for developing areas is to build infrastructure, not make them comply with global environmental standards like Kyoto that are too much of a compromise to actually have a meaningful effect anyway.
Huh. Who knew? (another hat tip to Instapundit)

28 January 2007

The mythology of Iraq

Lookie Here


NGO - Non-Government Organization. It sounds good. It sounds neutral, unbiased, apolitical. Just some right-minded people making a difference in the world.

I'm not sure when I stopped thinking of them that way. This piece is what made me think about it now, but I've felt disillusioned about NGOs for a while now. A little rational consideration would suggest that a large organization that depends on contributions and grants for capital would have to be somewhat political - naive to think otherwise. 

But the failure of organizations like Amnesty International to condemn tyrants and dictators in favor of attacking anything associated with the US - and especially its President - has really sealed the deal for me. Their actions are so at odds with their stated goals and concerns as to be comical.

I don't think we're perfect, but I'm confident that President Bush does not deserve to be tarred with the same brush as such evil people as Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam.

26 January 2007

Letter to my Senator

Senator Coleman,

I'm disappointed to hear you have expressed some measure of support for a resolution criticizing our efforts in Iraq. In this matter you do not represent me.

Anyone who expected a quick and painless solution in Iraq was not being realistic. By any reasonable measure, Iraq is a success story. The soldiers know this. The Iraqis know this. Surely with your access to information, you know this.

Any effort to allow Congress to interfere with the military's warfighting would be a mistake, as well. We don't need any additional politicization of our armed forces.

The most likely way - I think the only way - for us to lose the war on terror is for the US people to give up.

Please stand behind our soldiers and their mission instead of undermining it.

tom clements

23 January 2007

Are they just saying what so many really think?

Or are they really that stu-pid.

"The Web site, meanwhile, has been temporarily taken down."

No doubt.
(tip o the hat to instapundit)

17 January 2007

Hot Air in Iraq

Michelle Malkin's latest report

"The troops we met ask only three things of their fellow Americans back home - time, patience, and understanding of the enormous complexities on the ground.
The Iraqis we met had similar requests. No one we talked to wanted American troops to withdraw - there was universal agreement that abandoning the mission would be a disastrous capitulation to two-bit thugs and rogue operators ."

Michelle's co-embed, Bryan Preston, concludes his latest report "Having said all of this, Iraq is still very winnable." (link to Instapundit's blurb)

Failure in Iraq would be disastrous for Iraq and for the US.

13 January 2007

Haven't seen this in the news

In July, a poll by the nonprofit International Republican Institute found that 94% of Iraqis said they support a "unity" government. Nearly 80% opposed Iraq being segregated by religion or ethnicity, and even in Baghdad where sectarian violence is heightened, 76% opposed ethnic separation.

-- from a British soldier

11 January 2007

Jamil and the AP

So Jamil Hussein was a pseudonym, but the AP didn't say so in any of the many articles where they quoted him.

What would they have said if someone had targeted one of the real live people with the same name as their anonymously pseudonymous source for something they wrote?  Bad enough for people to be killed for what they actually say, but worse I think when they didn't really say it. (Hat tip, Glenn)

05 January 2007

Compact Fluorescents

Prof. Reynolds has been discussing compact fluorescent bulbs.

I've been using them for years. I put them everywhere I can. I have them in lamps, in the overhead fixtures that pepper my kitchen, living room, and hallway ceilings. Apparently I'm not that picky about the quality of my light. I buy them on sale, in the cheapest per-fixture package I can find. I'm not that green-minded, I just want to pay less for electricity.

My experience has been that they don't seem to last as long as their claims. I'm not anal enough to have actually tracked the time of individual bulbs, but I know I've changed them more often than expected.

I think LED lights will be a better option as that technology matures. I just bought a package of three LED night lights to put in my garage so that - hopefully - my family will quit leaving on the six large overhead fluorescent fixtures for which there is one switch by the door into the house. Not sure why the builder wouldn't have put a switch on the other side of the garage by the door that goes outside. Anyway, the LEDs do a nice job - plenty of light to pick your way around vehicles, lumber, toys, and whatever else might appear in the path between doors.


"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." - Stephen King (1947-)

03 January 2007

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

I had wondered about, but not bothered to look for these stats. (The headline doesn't reflect my opinion on these particular numbers. I just like that quote - even if it's provenance is in question.)

Bottom line - on average, Saddam Hussein killed 20,000 civilians every year. Last year the war killed 14,298 civilians.

I'm sure we'll see that tidbit in the Star Tribune any day now.