16 December 2008
09 December 2008
08 December 2008
I don't think that's the way do it. I'd rather see them move away from the religious issues to the smaller government, lower taxes planks of the platform. I don't expect that to happen, though.
02 December 2008
25 November 2008
16 November 2008
5. McCain made a huge mistake in picking Sarah Palin.
No subject is more likely to break up a dinner party early than the Alaska governor McCain chose as his running mate. Everyone not only has an opinion about her qualifications (or lack thereof) but also feels it necessary to share those opinions with anyone within shouting range.
Love her or loathe her, the data appear somewhere close to conclusive that Palin did little to help -- and, in fact, did some to hurt -- McCain's attempts to reach out to independents and Democrats. But just because Palin doesn't appear to have helped McCain move to the middle doesn't mean that picking her was the wrong move.
Remember where McCain found himself this past summer. He had won the Republican nomination, but the GOP base clearly felt little buy-in into his campaign. A slew of national polls reflected that energy gap, with Democrats revved up about the election and their candidate and Republicans somewhere between tepid and glum.
Enter Palin, who was embraced with a bear hug by the party's conservative base. All of a sudden, cultural conservatives were thrilled at the chance to put "one of their own" in the White House. In fact, of the 60 percent of voters who told exit pollsters that McCain's choice of Palin was a "factor" in their final decision, the Arizona senator won 56 percent to 43 percent.
For skittish conservatives looking for more evidence that McCain understood their needs and concerns, Palin did the trick. It's hard to imagine conservatives rallying to McCain -- even to the relatively limited extent that they did -- without Palin on the ticket. And without the base, McCain's loss could have been far worse.
15 November 2008
12 November 2008
11 November 2008
07 November 2008
06 November 2008
So what does the Republican Party need to do to get the youth vote back? If these Harvard students are typical (and perhaps they are not, as Harvard students are hardly a random sample), the party needs to scale back its social conservatism. Put simply, it needs to become a party for moderate and mainstream libertarians. The actual Libertarian Party is far too extreme in its views to attract these students. And it is too much of a strange fringe group. These students are, after all, part of the establishment. But a reformed Republican Party could, I think, win them back.
05 November 2008
04 November 2008
03 November 2008
31 October 2008
30 October 2008
29 October 2008
28 October 2008
23 October 2008
21 October 2008
I agree with Biden. Obama is exactly like Kennedy in this regard, and our enemies will test us by threatening our interests around the globe if we elect Obama. I'd rather avoid the problem altogether and elect a man who puts enough fear into the minds of our enemies to keep them from testing us at all.
20 October 2008
We spent Saturday at the Northeast Wisconsin (aka N.E.W) Zoo. It was a beautiful fall day - perfect for walking around looking at mostly bored animals. There were a couple of lion cubs who were fun to watch, and the otters put on a show for the crowd. Daddy lion panthered back and forth by the fence seeming eager for an opening to cull the young and weak from among the crowd.
Saturday night I 'got' to watch Saw 4. I'm not a horror movie fan, but this one was more interesting than I expected. The plot was interesting if you could sit through the gore.
Sunday we headed for home back via Oshkosh to drop off the student. We listened to a Patterson book on the way back - Beach Road (?) I think. It was okay, if occasionally annoying and often predictable. Anyway it passed the time quite well.
13 October 2008
07 October 2008
HH: All right, one last time for one last question, Stanley Kurtz, Rashid Khalidi again. Would most Americans be, I don't know much about his work other than that he's at Columbia, would most Americans who support Israel be upset that Obama is close to Rashid Khalidi, so close that they share many, many…
SK: Rashid Khalidi. They would be horrified, Hugh. They would be horrified. It would be like saying that the strongest advocate for the Palestinians and the greatest critic of Israel in the United States was close to Obama. And you know something? He is, and he was and he is. And so friends of Israel are rightly horrified by this.
06 October 2008
01 October 2008
30 September 2008
25 September 2008
19 September 2008
Wal-Mart has all the doodads that Sarah must need in her career as a sportsman — Remingtons and "torture tested" riflescopes, game bags for caribou, machines that imitate rabbits and young deer and coyotes to draw your quarry in so you can shoot it, and machines to squish cows into beef jerky.
I talked to a Wal-Mart mom, Betty Necas, 39, wearing sweatpants and tattoos on her wrists.
16 September 2008
15 September 2008
11 September 2008
09 September 2008
04 September 2008
It makes me think, now, of the movie When Harry Met Sally. It's one of my wife's favorites, and I like it, too. Sprinkled throughout the movie are scenes of couples telling the story of how they came to be together. The scene I'm reminded of is of the Asian couple where the husband who talks about sneaking to the nearby village to see the girl who has been proposed as his bride. He says if he didn't like the way she looked then he would not agree. "But she look very good to me," he decides.
That's what I thought about Gov. Palin - "She looks very good to me" - and I'm not talking about her appearance. I'm talking about her character and who she is. She beat an incumbent Republican who was ethically challenged. Her approval rating among those she governs is stratospheric. She has five kids. Neither she nor her husband attended Yale or Harvard. She's never lived in Washington or New York or LA or Chicago. Those are all plusses to me.
She's pro-life. That, to me, is the only negative, but it's not the main issue to me in the election. I believe abortion needs to be legal, but I'd be fine if nobody had one.
She talks about lowering taxes and cutting expenses - and she did it as governor. She supports the second amendment. And she understands how people like me in the flyover states live their daily lives. She understands that we love the United States. It's not perfect, but it's the best country there is - the most generous country on the planet; the land of opportunity where the American dream is still possible. Certainly we have our problems but we're always trying to do better.
I would have voted for McCain-Whoever because I think a vote for Obama is a vote for higher taxes, higher gas prices, and a weaker approach to the war on terror. I would have voted for McCain, but I wouldn't have been especially excited about it.
I'm excited about McCain-Palin.
I know the vice-president doesn't do much, but that's not the point. The point is that possibl.y the GOP is thinking about getting back to its conservative roots. Smaller government; lower taxes; protecting individual liberty.
When McCain won the nomination, I was concerned that the party was moving even more to the center than we've seen the last few years. If my governor - Tim Pawlenty - had been selected for VP, that would have confirmed my fears. But the selection of Sarah Palin gives me a little hope for the future of the party.
We'll see how that turns out.
12 August 2008
05 August 2008
04 August 2008
30 July 2008
- The NOT search - placing a dash "-" in front of a search term will exclude items that include that word. So if you're shopping for a car and you want to look at Hondas but you don't like Civics you can search for "honda -civic".
- The OR search - placing a single quote in front of multiple terms will search for items that include any of the terms. Craigslist searches are by default AND searches - that is an ad has to include all of the entered terms to turn up in a search. So if you want to search for Civics or Accords you can search "'civic 'accord".
- Combined AND/OR searching. Parentheses can be used to combine two OR searches. So if you want either a Honda or a Toyota, but you only want to see newer models you can search "('honda 'toyota) ('2005 '2006)"
11 July 2008
09 July 2008
there "is no official policy" at NASA regarding sex on space missions. "There really has been no research conducted on the area to know whether it [sex in space] would be a good thing or a bad thing," he said, "but it probably is inevitable."then that seems like a foolish and obvious oversight.
I think they're lying. At least I certainly HOPE they are.
08 July 2008
25 June 2008
23 June 2008
10 June 2008
I think we've become over-protective of our children in recent years. I have to consciously try to make myself let them do things that we never thought twice about when I was a kid - like walk to a friend's house a block away. I want them to develop a sense of independence and self-reliance, but stories like this - few as they are - make it harder for me to not smother them with "no, you can't do that".
Happiness will be a long time away from those families.
13 May 2008
09 May 2008
08 May 2008
So far the crew has enjoyed far better luck than it experienced during its first attempt, which ended when when Earthrace collided with a fishing vessel off the coast of Guatamala. One fisherman was injured and another lost at sea. Earlier voyages have ended with propeller failures and when the Colombian navy fired upon the boat.
They should probably find a new hobby.
07 May 2008
via the usual suspect
As a product of the Korean GI Bill I can hardly denounce the concept. The problems really came when the intellectuals convinced people that "investment" in trade schools and such like wasn't as desirable as "investment" in higher education meaning universities. At the same time, the State Colleges became "State universities" and in the "upgrade" put more into graduate schools to the detriment of undergraduate education. We then poured more money into the "university" system which is quite unsuitable for education of more than about 25% of the population (I'd put that at a lower figure, but we can stay with that).
Now a lot of students who would do well at "college" level education can't get that; they have to go to "universities" and learn French Narrative Theory in Freshman Comp.
If investment is needed in "education" -- and it is -- it's in training in technical skills. Most of that could be done in high school. Of course the high school teachers don't want to work that hard and will stand in union solidarity with the college professors who want the large number of students willing to borrow money to go listen to foreign graduate students teach introductory math courses in incomprehensible dialects, but it's "world class" isn't it? Doesn't everyone deserve a "world class university education"?
So we continue to neglect the great majority of our citizens to benefit a handful of intellectuals. And they never catch wise.
-- Jerry Pournelle
I don't pretend to know the history of it, but I completely agree that most of what I learned in college (the first time - for the BA) was useless. I had a lot of fun in college. But I didn't learn much that I've ever used again - except as answers to trivia questions.
27 April 2008
It's true that our murder rate is higher than the UK's - 4 per 100,000 people (3.6 using guns) vs. the UK's 1 per 100,000. Hey that's 4 times the UK rate, it's 400% higher. That's what you'd see in the headlines, but look at the numbers 1/100,000 vs. 4/100,000. That's not much real difference, certainly not compared to the burglary rates.
Guns are dangerous - no question about it. And tragic accidents happen with guns all too often. And they always make the headlines.
Unfortunately, it's also true that there are bad people in the world. Guns provide a way for 'regular' people to defend themselves and their loved ones regardless of age or physical condition. They are equalizers. Criminals in the US have to consider the real possibility that anyone they might decide to rob may have a gun.
23 April 2008
And I know Prof. Reynolds is keen on using non-food biofuels like switch grass - whatever that is - which at least has the advantage of not taking grain out of our food supply. But I just don't see ethanol as a viable replacement. I think going electric makes more sense. I thought his advocacy to build more nucular plants for plug in cars was a better idea. If the French can manage to not screw up nuclear then we ought to have a fighting chance.
Global warming would increase agricultural output, but global cooling will decrease it.
Millions will starve if we do nothing to prepare for it (such as planning changes in agriculture to compensate), and millions more will die from cold-related diseases.
I don't really like the sound of any of that. We need to boost our carbon dioxide output immediately.
The bleak truth is that, under normal conditions, most of North America and Europe are buried under about 1.5km of ice. This bitterly frigid climate is interrupted occasionally by brief warm interglacials, typically lasting less than 10,000 years.
The interglacial we have enjoyed throughout recorded human history, called the Holocene, began 11,000 years ago, so the ice is overdue. We also know that glaciation can occur quickly: the required decline in global temperature is about 12C and it can happen in 20 years.
The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027.
22 April 2008
21 April 2008
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.I guess I still have a little more faith in Man and I don't think he's evil. I'm a little sad that Hawking apparently does.
- Stephen Hawking
17 April 2008
02 April 2008
Really, it does sound good, I just don't think my boss will go for it. It's fine for world leaders and self-employed composers. Who's going to tell them they're 'wasting time' or 'not getting enough done'? Seriously.
10 March 2008
""This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure," Mr. Spitzer said at the time. "It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring."