Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Gallery of regrettable food. 

This guy found a bunch of 1974(my year of birth!) weight watchers recipe cards and added commentary. They are really funny.... and disturbing at the same time.


I got a UPS package today. Yeaaah! DSL!. And it was. One problem. As I start installing, I notice the start of service date on the sheet of paper.

June 1,2004.

I ordered DSL now, not a week from now. What the *#^%$@^#$%&?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

The Return 

I have moved to Colorado, so this really isn't the Tahoe web diary anymore. Oh well.

Right now I am accessing the internet by way of Netzero, which is very painful. Let's just say you get what you pay for. DSL is coming. Until then I probably won't be posting much.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Going Away 

Well, I'm moving to Colorado, and so is my computer. So I won't be posting anything for probably at least a week. See ya.

Myths of Iraq 

From Fred Barnes. Go read.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Weird weather 

It snowed last night. More than an inch. I woke up this morning, saw just a sliver past the blinds, and thought-"Hey, it kind of looks like there's snow out there." Then I pulled the blinds out of the way and thought-"Hey that is snow out there. There's snow everywhere." I don't remember seeing anything about it in the weather forecast. It's already melting, but it's kind of cool to get one last snowfall for the season.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Moral equivalence 

Powerline alerts me to this excellent editorial in the Jerusalem Post- excerpt-
How can enlightened people, who claim to care about human rights, compare the real gulags that now exist in places like Iran and North Korea, in which thousands of innocent people are being killed and tortured far from the public eye, to the American incarceration of terrorist suspects?

Regardless of where one stands on the debate over how to fight terrorism, it is incumbent on all those who care about human rights not to debase this fundamental concept by conflating its exceptional violation by countries who believe deeply in it with its rampant trampling by those who do not. Nor should we in the West, because of lamentable but exceptional incidents, condemn ourselves and the world to much greater injustices by simply throwing in the towel in this war to defend our freedom and beliefs.

Mandela is an idiot 

Somebody has to say it.
Former President Nelson Mandela Monday hailed South Africa's 10 years of peaceful multi-racial democracy as inspiration for a world he said was saddened and horrified by the U.S.-led war in Iraq
Yeah, if by "peaceful multi-racial democracy", you mean rampant crime, race-hatred, and poverty. From what I can tell the US invasion has already done more to improve Iraq than 10 years of Mandela have to improve South Africa. If Mandela was horrified by the war in Iraq, what were his feelings on the genocide on shiite muslims that Saddam committed after the first gulf war? Well, we don't know. He doesn't appear to have said anything. Of course, this is the same Mandela who likes to pal around with Fidel Castro and Muammar Qadhafi. When he's being persecuted by his government, apparently that's a great injustice. If, on the other hand, some poor Cuban dissenter is being tortured and abused far worse than anything Mandela ever experienced, well, he doesn't really give a crap. He says he's "horrified" by reports of torture by American soldiers? Funny, he's never expressed any horror at the far worse activities of his good buddy Muammar.
"We see how the powerful countries, all of them so-called democracies, manipulate multilateral bodies to the great disadvantage and suffering of the poorer developing nations."
What's with the "so-called"? What is he, 13 years old? And aside from that, what the hell is he talking about here? Is he talking about how France and Russia manipulate the UN to keep Iraqis suffering and the oil contracts flowing? Something tells me no....

I leave the final word to Frank J-
Escaping from handlers, Former South African President Nelson Mandela has gone completely insane. Speaking of the U.S.'s stance on Iraq, he flailed his arms around and exclaimed, "one power with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust." He also said "if there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America" and "…Iraq produces 64 percent of the oil in the world. What Bush wants is to get hold of that oil." (Iraq produces 5% of the world's oil). He also accused America of racism, saying, "They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man?" He then ended his tirade by kung fu fighting invisible ninjas.

Sunday, May 09, 2004


Mark Steyn on John Kerry.

You know, if George Bush said things half as stupid as Kerry does, the press would be all over him. But then again, John Kerry is a Democrat. So there's really no mystery here, is there?

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Easy Rider 

I like the second place caption.

The AP mindset... 

Check out this story. It's not so much the content, which I was more or less already aware of, but the headline, "More Bad News May Be on the Way for Bush". Not a simple factual statement, like say, "More Torture photographs exist", or something like that. Not "More Bad News May be on the Way for American War effort in Iraq", which would be more or less true. No, it's more bad news for Bush.

Because of course, that's the first thing the AP editors think of when they see this. Ooo-Ooo-Ooo, we can finally get Bush, they think, as they rush to report it with barely concealed glee. It provides pretty good insight into the editorial process over at AP and the criteria they use to decide story placement.

I like this 

More like that here.

Ok, this isn't really fair to a lot of people. But it is fair to a few, in particular that Micah Wright loser who published a book of photoshopped WWII posters(like this one- but done in a more anti-war moron style) and then lied about being an Army Ranger to try and silence his critics.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Music Nerds 

List of "Classical Music's Ten Dirtiest Secrets". I can't say I agree with all of them, but interesting. Terry Teachout gives it five out of ten, but doesn't say which five....

And, this is the top ten dirty secrets about poetry. I know very little about poetry, but it's still amusing.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Smug New York liberals 

David Edelstein in Slate is probably my favorite movie critic. At least when he sticks to movies he is. Unfortunately, he belongs to that group of public intellectuals that I would call Smug New York Liberals. In his movie reviews he rarely has an opportunity to mouth off on his political beliefs, so this isn't usually a problem.

In his review of the new agit-prop documentary, Super Size Me, however, he has this to say-
You're going to hear a lot of broadsides from organizations like the Center for Consumer Freedom and the National Review, which has already likened the crusade against calorie-laden fast food and its purveyors to that other left-liberal scam, global warming. Next thing they'll be telling us that cigarettes cause cancer.
Oh, yeah, I hear Conservative publications claim that cigarettes don't cause cancer all the time. I don't think this was a carefully thought out argument, which is why it is so revealing. The Smug New York Liberal knows that disagreeing with anything in conventional liberal orthodoxy is tantamount to claiming that cigarettes don't cause cancer. It's absurd and obviously false. Why bother even coming up with contrary arguments? Especially since you know they're only saying it because they are funded by the oil/tobacco/food industry(If you read the review, you'll see he actually says this at one point. Seriously.)

What's remarkable about the Smug New York Liberal is the complete lack of humility. It's amazing how they manage to combine so much arrogance, condescension, and ignorance in one attitude. They sneer down their noses at the unsophisticated masses in fly-over country, not thinking for a second that there might be something here they don't understand. A good portrait of the Smug New York Liberal is provided by a famous statement by the longtime(and revered) movie critic for the New Yorker, Pauline Kael. On the occasion of the election of Richard Nixon to the Presidency, she said something along the lines of - I don't see how he could of won. Nobody I knew voted for him.- It isn't just that they are monolithically liberal, they don't even know anybody who isn't monolithically liberal. Every time I here another New York writer/critic/theater producer making a public ass out of himself in that tone of completely self-infatuated, myopic self assurance, I think of Pauline Kael.

Of course if you really wanted to here what those food industry funded cronies at the National Review had to say about Super Size Me, you could click here. But why would you bother? It's just going to have facts, arguments, and empirical data. What use could those be?

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Shattered Glass 

Just saw the movie Shattered Glass. I really liked it. I saw it partly based on this recommendation from Randy Barnett. I agree with most everything he says.

It is the true story of Stephen Glass, a reporter who worked for the New Republic and fabricated many stories while he was there, and how he was eventually found out. It doesn't sound very exciting, but it is an excellent and subtle character driven drama. The performances are outstanding, and it is fascinating watching the progression of the neurotic and mentally unstable Glass as well as the realization that slowly overcomes his hard-nosed editor, Chuck Lane. I watched everything on the DVD, the movie, the 60 minutes interview with the real Stephen Glass, and then the movie again with the commentary track, which included the director and the real Chuck Lane.

I also just saw the movie Big Fish. So-so. Right after I watched Shattered Glass, I realized there was a thematic link between the two movies. Shattered Glass was the true story of a reporter who made up stories and presented them as true. Big Fish is the fictional story of a charming guy who made up stories his whole life and presented them as true. In the first movie, the behaviour is presented as unambigiously bad, the second, ambigiously good. Of course, the character in Big Fish is telling his stories in the context of the "tall tale", told with a wink and a nudge. Is it okay to lie sometimes? Something to think about, I guess.

Grammer rules 

After a discussion of the proper use of thee and thou, Eugene Volokh sums up with-
Of course, if you scream this in the throes of passion (remembering always that, unless you're a Quaker, you must say "thou" to refer to the other person when saying what he or she is doing, but "thee" to refer to the other person when saying what you are doing to him or her), you'll be entirely grammatically correct.

Monday, May 03, 2004


From the Jerusalem Post-
A pregnant mother and her four daughters were shot dead on Sunday by terrorists as they drove on the Kissufim road in the Gaza Strip shortly after noon.
This is how Al-Jazeera covers it
Two palestenian fighters were killed when they opened fire on an Israeli vehicle near the entrance of a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip, killing 4 Israelis.
.....and the arab world is outraged because some Iraqi prisoners were humiliated by some rogue soldiers?

Environmentalists lie 

That should be the headline for this story-

Dr Paul Jepson, one of the new report's authors and a senior research fellow of the conservation practice programme at Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, said that the charities had "overstated the evidence to meet fundraising targets".
Dr Ladle said that WWF's response to criticism of the claims was that the ends justified the means.
Bryony Worthington, a climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: "The biodiversity research group cannot really claim that it constituted crying wolf, as there is potential for the worst-case scenarios to be realised."
Got that? It could happen... theoretically... so there's no reason not to say it will happen. And besides, the end justifies the means, what's a few lies when you're saving the planet? This is a pretty good description of the mindset in the environmental activist community. They will lie without the slightest remorse, knowing it's all in the service of a noble cause. Which is why I just assume that they are lying most of the time.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Quentin encounter 

I don't know if it's true, but this is kind of entertaining, and it seems like the way he would be.

Also, the most boring blog in the world.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Noble Sir John 

Robert Musil writes on why he does not like John McCain.

I have to say, for my own part, I had misgivings about McCain when he was leading the assault on the first amendment known as "campaign finance reform". Since then I have become even more irritated with him as he has parroted the claims of the doctrinaire environmental movement. I believe he has also pushed idiocies such as the "assault weapons ban" and other groundless gun regulation. I don't think he's intentionally dishonest, it's just that when he isn't driven by personal knowledge and convictions, he looks to his favorite constituency, the media, to tell him what to do. The media, of course, is dominated by liberal conventional wisdom, which is why some of John McCain's views sound so much like... well, you know.

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