Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Smoking: Do It For The Children
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
And Now a Word From Our Sponsor
Labels: Hopeful Signs
Why, indeed? More HERE.
Questions are thus raised as to retirement activities. I know some retirees who have become avid gardeners. Others have become part-time academics. I believe that I just may become a professional pain in the ass. Not to my neighbors or my children (or, at least, not on purpose). But, instead, to obnoxious, pompous, self-important people who would very much like to tell me what to do.
I can, for example, imagine a role for myself in the events upon which Melanie Scarborough opined yesterday morning in the Washington (D.C.) Examiner:
Before a citizen can be charged with a crime, an officer has to cite a violation of law. Yet in announcing the road closures accompanying the World Bank protests, the police department said, “Only pedestrians with business in the area and proper identification will be permitted access.”I see a lawsuit. I see a gray-bearded gentlemen in late middle age getting himself arrested. I see a great deal of fun ahead.
Which statute requires law-abiding citizens to produce ID to walk down a sidewalk? What law says that citizens must explain to police where they are going and why?
A call to the police departments general counsel asking that question was not returned. Unfortunately, there likely is some badly written statute that the Metropolitan police can contort into affording them sweeping powers — similar to the Secret Service’s ability to operate virtually unchecked by claiming it is protecting someone or something.
Such laws are more dangerous than any group of protesters.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Best Law School?
Of course, the weather in Camden is not noticeably better than that in New Haven.
Labels: The Real World
The Good Old Days
This country’s meager tax take puts its economic prospects at risk and leaves the government ill equipped to face the challenges from globalization.See? Low taxes = bad economic prospects. High taxes = equipment to face globalization. Please note the entire absence of analysis (nay! the absence of definitions!) of what it means actually to be "equipped", or precisely what "challenges" are posed by "globalization." And, of course, we needn't worry our little heads about anything so retro as pondering whether those challenges (whatever they might be) are best faced by bureaucrats, armed with my money (after subtracting their skim).
Lest you believe wrongly that this sentiment is an anomaly, there's more:
Politicians on the right have continuously paraded the specter of statism to rally voters’ support for tax cuts, mainly for the rich. But the meager tax take leaves the United States ill prepared to compete. From universal health insurance to decent unemployment insurance, other rich nations provide their citizens benefits that the United States government simply cannot afford.Well of course tax cuts benefit "the rich," since they're pretty much the only folks who pay taxes these days. (Depending upon your definition of "the rich." When it comes to the "soaking" thereof, that nasty cold damp trickles down deep into the socks of the middle class.) And do you really want that lady down at the DMV to be the one deciding whether your kid -- who's just hit her head pretty hard -- really, really needs that "free" Government-provided MRI? We didn't think so.
The bottom line is clear: You don't pay enough tax. You should pay more. It's your patriotic duty.
But enough. You think we're either making this stuff up or we're quoting Scott Ott, right? Nope. See for yourself.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Every Wonder What Happened to . . . .
"In the annals of human evil, off-loading a pet is nowhere near the top of the list," writes Caitlin Flanagan in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine. "But neither is it dead last, and it is especially galling when said pet has been deployed for years as an all-purpose character reference."
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Rutgers' running back Ray Rice (27) escapes the grasps of South Florida's George Selvie (95) during the first half of college football action at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007. Rutgers defeated South Florida 30-27.An alternative might be: "Ray Rice stiff-arms punk, tosses wannabe to ground, runs for big gain."
But that's just us.
Friday, October 19, 2007
And About Time, Too
Forget the question of “bad” versus “good” for a second. These people got rich by glamorizing behaviors and values normal people simply cannot afford. The working-class teenage girl who tries to follow in Madonna’s or Paris’s or Pam’s footsteps isn’t going to follow them into the pages of People magazine. She’s going to follow those footsteps straight off a cliff. And yet, the bad guy in our culture is the person who says so.
Labels: Suicide of the West
Upon The Laying Down With Dogs
NEW YORK -- Something remarkable happened at 44 Henry St., a grimy Chinatown tenement with peeling walls. It also happened nearby at a dimly lighted apartment building with trash bins clustered by the front door.The explanation is no doubt Mrs. Clinton's well-known affinity for the little people.
And again not too far away, at 88 E. Broadway beneath the Manhattan bridge, where vendors chatter in Mandarin and Fujianese as they hawk rubber sandals and bargain-basement clothes.
All three locations, along with scores of others scattered throughout some of the poorest Chinese neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, have been swept by an extraordinary impulse to shower money on one particular presidential candidate -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton's campaign treasury. In April, a single fundraiser in an area long known for its gritty urban poverty yielded a whopping $380,000.
-- snip --
The Times examined the cases of more than 150 donors who provided checks to Clinton after fundraising events geared to the Chinese community. One-third of those donors could not be found using property, telephone or business records. Most have not registered to vote, according to public records.
And several dozen were described in financial reports as holding jobs -- including dishwasher, server or chef -- that would normally make it difficult to donate amounts ranging from $500 to the legal maximum of $2,300 per election.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Labels: Hopeful Signs
When Those Nouveau Jellied Eels Just Won't Do
And the more exposure I get to the Islamophobia phenomenon, the more I dislike it. It is now quite an industry. Huge numbers of Americans, people who would not have been able to spell the word "Islam"seven years ago, now spend their leisure hours poring over the Koran and its supplements looking for evidence that Islam is root-and-branch evil. Some of them have gone to the trouble to learn Arabic, or at any rate enough Arabic to be able to discourse confidently on the difference between a mawla and a halif. There's something unpleasantly autoerotic about the whole enterprise—something of seeking for glee in the contemplation of other people's misbehavior. Something defensive, too, as I said in my Islamophobophobia column: some fear (in my opinion justified) that the Islamo-crazies are giving all religion a bad name and thereby fortifying the ranks of unbelievers—who, in the minds of many Islamophobes, are the real enemy.
On the other hand, Islamophobes, though I think unintentionally in some cases, are making a contribution to the much larger cause of undermining the multiculturalist myth: i.e. that peoples from any place, in any numbers, can be settled in a Western society without causing dramatic changes to that society in directions likely to be undesirable. To that degree I think they are doing useful work. I therefore part company with them with goodwill and a cheery wave, and, while I continue to think that they are a bunch of crankish obsessives, remain ready to join with them in matters of common interest.
Gun Control & Genocide
Whatever may be said about the U.S. House of Representatives committee vote concerning the use of the term “genocide” in reference to Turkey’s atrocities against the Armenians during World War I, two facts are indisputable: It was gun confiscation that made the atrocities possible. And it was the possession of firearms that saved many Armenians.If you're convinced that BushHitler's storm troopers may break down your door at any minute, and rip you from the loving embrace of your favorite farm animal, wouldn't it make more sense to have a weapon close at hand?
Shouldn't there be a Gay Communist Gun Club somewhere or other?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Only 68 Shopping Days Until Christmas!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Unfit to Print
Lt. Murphy, a Navy SEAL, is to be awarded the Medal of Honor :
Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, from Patchogue, NY. Murphy was killed by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission, Operation Redwing, June 28, 2005. Murphy lead a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position. Mortally wounded while exposing himself to enemy fire, Murphy knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element. He returned to his cover position to continue the fight until finally succumbing to his wounds.We suppose the Times will get around to reporting this event some time or other. The Los Angeles Times found space to do so, as did the Washington Post, last Thursday.
Labels: New York Times
Friday, October 12, 2007
"Mom? Do You Have the Key?"
We Accept Reparations
Fruit Salad? Tossed Salad? Whatever . . . .
Rent The Damned Cow
Gore Wins Peace Prize - Breaking News
(2007-10-12) — Although former Vice President Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize this week for his work as a global-warming performance artist, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled early today that President George Bush would receive the gold medal, the diploma and the $750,000.
Mr. Bush, who was narrowly defeated by Mr. Gore in the 2000 presidential election, thanked Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito “for swinging the vote my way, and helping me to join the pantheon of great Nobel laureates like Jimmy Carter and the late Yassir Arafat who together brought peace to the middle east.”
Mr. Gore could not be reached for comment as he was returning from Oslo, Norway, in a private jet. However, his spokesman said that his efforts to bring peace on earth speak for themselves.
“Thanks to Al Gore’s movies, speeches and books,” said the unnamed spokesman, “Terrorists and tyrants around the world will soon lay aside the weapons of war and give peace a chance by working together to develop a hybrid car that runs on cheap, clean-burning gunpowder.”
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Not so much, according to a new book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories," discussed in today’s New York Times:
Ancel Keys, a prominent diet researcher a half-century ago . . . became convinced in the 1950s that Americans were suffering from a new epidemic of heart disease because they were eating more fat than their ancestors.
There were two glaring problems with this theory . . . . First, it wasn’t clear that traditional diets were especially lean. Nineteenth-century Americans consumed huge amounts of meat; the percentage of fat in the diet of ancient hunter-gatherers, according to the best estimate today, was as high or higher than the ratio in the modern Western diet.
Second, there wasn’t really a new epidemic of heart disease. Yes, more cases were being reported, but not because people were in worse health. It was mainly because they were living longer and were more likely to see a doctor who diagnosed the symptoms.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Let Them Eat My Cake
A couple of years back, Graeme Frost (that's him on the right) was injured in an automobile accident. But because his dad refused to buy health insurance, you and I paid the kid's medical bills. Seems fair to me. (And, by the way, if he was injured in an auto accident, how come the auto insurance didn't pay? Or does dad not bother with that, either?)
This is Harry Reid's poster family for America's health care crisis. According to the Democrats, these guys are so obviously deserving that the Federal Government will send men with guns to your house and take your money to pay the Frost's medical insurance.
I'd like free health care, too. And free food, while you're at it. And cake.
More HERE, HERE, HERE. Mark Steyn weighs in HERE.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
No News is Good News,
But Good News is No News
Leland Stanford Junior University 24
#2 University of Southern California 23
The quote that sums it up for me (the game, USC, everything):
"They just had a little more fire than we did," [Southern Cal] sixth-year senior Hershel Dennis said.The victorious Cardinal (receiving 4 votes in the Coaches' Poll) extend their sympathy to Rutgers (44 votes), who dropped from the top 25 after 54 weeks with a loss at home to (now #17) Cincinnati.
Friday, October 05, 2007
On the Other Hand
Given the hothouse ideological atmosphere of today’s legal academia, it’s quite possible that administrators at Long Island’s Hofstra Law School had no idea that they’d touch off a furor when they invited Lynne Stewart, the disbarred felon and radical lawyer, to lecture on legal ethics. It’s not, after all, as if they were bringing in someone really controversial—someone, say, like Larry Summers or Donald Rumsfeld.I have no desire to listen to Lynne Stewart speak on legal ethics, but probably not for the same reasons that have caused the instant controversy. Ms. Stewart is an old, hard-Left ideologue, and accordingly, lawyer or no, has no "legal ethics" as that term is normally understood. If she can promote the cause, that's what's important, and outdated notions of "right" and "wrong" are hopelessly bourgeois, and irrelevant to the ongoing class struggle. Because of this, she has nothing to say -- she operates in a world wholly foreign to Western liberal democracy. It's not that she's a bad person, or that I'm awed by the irony of it, it's just that she's irrelevant to any serious discussion of legal ethics.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Hitch Goes to the Spa
"Viewed from the front when clothed, the subject resembles a burst horsehair sofa cushion or (in the opinion of one of us) a condom hastily stuffed with an old sock. The side perspective is that of an avocado pear and, on certain mornings, an avocado pear that retains nothing of nutritious value but its tinge of alligator green."
Read "On the Limits of Self-Improvement," from Vanity Fair.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Where in the World . . . .
. . . . is the Gentleman Farmer?
No, he's not just escaped from Alcatraz, although he was looking at it only yesterday. We've now returned from a trip to the left coast, on the occasion of #1 Son unaccountably attaining the age of 25 (years, that is).
We rode this streetcar (no, you twit, not one like this one, this one):
If you know anything about SF's streetcars, this is one of those from Milan. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing.