Saturday, July 31, 2004


At some point, you have to wonder if the Democrats ever ask themselves why it is that they should have to say things like this. When you have to spend half the time at your own party's convention three months before the general election trying to convince people that you are not an unpatriotic, amoral, unprincipled, godless weenie, perhaps the convention shouldn't be the first time you deal with the problem.
-Baseball Crank

I see it now! 

A commentator on Pejman's site writes-
I too was convinced to vote for Kerry after he reminded me that Bush makes orphans live in subway stations so Enron can get a tax break shipping jobs overseas for Saudi Arabian oil princes who rushed us into war in Iraq.

Friday, July 30, 2004

What Kerry's thinking 

Tom Maguire figures out what Kerry really meant-
My fellow citizens, our great country was attacked on Sept 11, 2001, and I will make you this solemn promise - never again. Never again. Never again will we allow the deaths of three thousand innocent Americans to distract us from our national debate on health care.
and Lawrence Kaplan says
If only Iraq were so noble, Kerry seemed to be saying in his speech, he might even have a discernable position on it.

Kerry's speech 

Didn't watch it. I generally don't watch television, and really don't like to watch politicians speak, even ones that I like, and I don't like John Kerry.

James Taranto gets right to the point-
Kerry made no mention of Britain, Australia, Poland, Italy, Japan or the other allies that actually have contributed to the Iraqi effort. (Nor did he mention Israel, the ally that has suffered the most from Islamist terrorism.) And the notion that fair-weather "allies" like the French and Germans have either the military capability or the inclination to relieve America's burden is so utterly fatuous that it alone disqualifies Kerry for the presidency.
This isn't really a criticism of the speech per se, so much as a criticism of Kerry's whole campaign, since he's been mouthing this nonsense for some time now.

This quote really sticks out at me
[My mother] taught me to see trees as the cathedrals of nature.
Let me make something clear. I like trees. They can be pretty, the can provide shade, the make oxygen, and every once and a while, you can chop one down and make a nice hardwood floor. What they are not is f---ing cathedrals. It's a large fibrous organism from the plant kingdom, not a house of worship, you moron. Kerry supporters are likely to say they find George Bush's religiosity worrying, and they're pushing a candidate that finds a tree holy. What are the chances he's going to be capable of making rational decisions about, say, forest management?

Thursday, July 29, 2004


The Left has never departed in any significant way from Leninist collectivism. Human beings are not autonomous spiritual beings, possessed of free will. They are mechanical units who need to be directed, governed, shoveled around like so many truckloads of concrete, socially engineered. Or they are "children," to be scolded and directed and constantly supervised. Evelyn Waugh once interrupted someone who was telling him something about "the man in the street." Said Waugh: "There is no such thing as 'the man in the street.' There are only men, each possessed of an immortal soul, who from time to time feel the need to use streets." I imagine that to Michael Moore, that remark is utterly incomprehensible.
John Derbyshire

Saw it. Was gonna blog it. Forgot. Then I saw it on Jeff G's. Remembered.

And again 

This one is quite good as well.
In a prepared speech carefully reviewed by the Democrats' Americanization team, Jimmy Carter said: "After 9/11, America stood proud." Proud? I believe "proud" was the last emotion most Americans were feeling after 9/11, coming in considerably behind, for example, "fighting mad," "incensed," "enraged," "humiliated" and "vengeful." It didn't occur to any of the Democrats vetting Carter's speech to cut that line?
Yeah, she's kind of nutty, and insensitive, and unfair... but she can be pretty funny too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Another Rant 

Ok, she's a little nutty, but she can be pretty funny-
Democrats are constantly suing and slandering police as violent, fascist racists – with the exception of Boston's police, who'll be lauded as national heroes right up until the Democrats pack up and leave town on Friday, whereupon they'll revert to their natural state of being fascist, racist pigs.

A speaker at the Democratic National Convention this year, Al Sharpton, accused white police officers of raping and defacing Tawana Brawley in 1987, lunatic charges that eventually led to a defamation lawsuit against Sharpton, and even more eventually to Sharpton paying a jury award to the defamed plaintiff Steve Pagones. So it's a real mystery why cops wouldn't like Democrats.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Death Star 

This is pretty cool.

Monday, July 26, 2004

The Kuch 

Really, really funny.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Quote of the day 

"Every day a communist dictator still lives, baby Jesus cries."
-Frank J

Friday, July 23, 2004

Downtown Golden Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Halle Berry........Black Woman! 

Jacob Levy does an excellent job of puncturing the absurd hype surrounding Catwoman.

I'd just like to add that Halle Berry really isn't that great of an actress. Nice to look at, yes. Great actress, no. Her dopey mumbling/hysterical shrieking act in Monster's Ball was very clearly someone trying to be a great actress, but not someone succeeding. The best she can do is adequate. Her performance in X-men 2 was fine, but she was, if I was being generous, the third best actress in the movie, falling behind Famke Janssen and Anne Paquin. If I was feeling less generous, I'd say she was edged out by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, who is at least as competitive in the nice-to-look-at category. And then, there's Kelly Hu, who, if she'd had any lines, probably would have outperformed her as well.

(and yes, I'm aware of the aural pun there.)

Vonage dude 

When I bring up the Yahoo home page, there's this ad for Vonage. It features this smirky dude with an arched eyebrow. I seriously want to beat the crap out of that guy. Is that wrong?

New revelations 

Has it gotten this bad?

Pants Gate 

50 things found in the Sandy Burglars pants.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Bulk purchases 

Looks like I'll be shopping at Wal-Mart.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Good news, Bad news 

Good News:
The writer-director team of X-men 2 will be doing Superman. Yeaaaaah! X-men 2 is the best comic book movie ever made, so this is great for Superman.
Bad News: X-men 3 will not be done by the same people, or, if it is, it will be significantly delayed. Boooooo! I'm sick of this 3-years-between-movies business anyway. Can't they make like 3 movies at once?
On another note, the end of the article mentions Bryan Singer's interest in doing a remake of Logan's Run. Intriguing......

Sunday, July 18, 2004


I recently discovered that the band Rush put out a new album about two years ago. I didn't have a clue. Seems there's a tour as well. Hmmm. When are they playing Denver? Turns out they're playing Denver about three weeks ago. All of the upcoming dates are on the east coast. I cannot convey how agitated this makes me.

Spot the howlers 

The AP waddles in with a discussion of the news that, yes, Iraq was trying to buy uranium and, yes, Joe Wilson is a liar. Problem is it is peppered with conventional wisdom falsehoods that the reporter obviously didn't even try to confirm-
Thus, although Bush cited only British documents that later proved to have been forged, intelligence files clearly contained other evidence of the truth of the claim.
As anyone has been following this story knows, the documents were Italian, not British. And they weren't the basis for the British claim, which is why the British continued, and do to this day, to stand by their story.
 After Wilson's op-ed appeared, the White House said including the 16 words in the State of the Union statement was a mistake because it was based on the forged documents.
Uhhh, again, no. They concluded that they shouldn't have made the claim in a State of the Union speech because it was based on British claims that they could not independently verify because the British could not share the intelligence. The original source,  it appears, were the French. Imagine that.
I don't think you can write this up to bias. I think the reporter is making an honest attempt to grapple with the facts here. Unfortunately, his own incompetence appears to be getting in the way.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Media Coverage 

All presidential tickets are not equal. Allah has a useful comparison of Time covers.


Good profile here. Very interesting point by the author how hollywood inverts Asimov's belief in the importance of reason over emotion in order to assert the standard movie cliche of emotion over reason. They just can't let go of it, even when interpreting the work of an author who believes the exact opposite.

Anytime I read anything non-fiction by Asimov, I found it very entertaining and clear. His fiction, however, I always found flat and dull. He really didn't have a good grasp of characters or interior emotional states. Which goes along with his belief in placing reason before emotion, I suppose.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

"Let America Be America again." 

Is, in case you didn't know, the Kerry campaign slogan. This is an appropriate reminder.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Regardless, I say John Kerry has bad values because he thinks "keeping our alliances strong" is more important than achieving what those alliances were intended for in the first place, which is just a "sophisticated" way of saying he cares more about popularity than principle. Indeed, he says this isn't a war on terror, it's a law-enforcement issue. He says it's more important to be an environment, education, health-care, and jobs president than to be war president. He says it's better to be safer now than for America to be safer for our children. But he thinks it's outrageous that we run up deficits during a war. In other words, he's outraged that our grandkids might be stuck with higher interest rates or fewer entitlements but not that they might have to face a Middle East chock-a-block with nuclear-armed Saddams and Osamas. Those strike me as pretty poor values.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Chipmunk ancestry 

Pretty cool genetic analysis.

More flowers Posted by Hello

Monday, July 12, 2004

Southern Colorado Posted by Hello

On media bias... 

Orson Scott Card-
First, it implies that the rest of the news media aren't patriotic. Well, duh. Come on, prior to 9/11--and even after it--they prided themselves on not being patriotic and spoke of people who were self-consciously patriotic with contempt. They thought of themselves as being above national borders. You can't have it both ways, kids.
But the reporters covering science in America today are so wretchedly miseducated that they don't even know what questions to ask when interviewing biased sources. And they are perfectly willing to make ridiculous statements--which would include any sentence beginning with "scientists believe."

This is the postreligious equivalent of a fundamentalist preacher starting a sentence with "The Bible says." It invokes authority without context, without understanding, and without admitting the possibility of error. (Most self-respecting fundamentalist preachers would at least tell you which book in the Bible they were quoting.)

Saturday, July 10, 2004


This doesn't happen every day.
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it will hold municipal elections in September, the first polls to be held in decades in this conservative kingdom
My question, for those who claim that Bush is to blame for every bad thing in the world today, is, would you grant that Bush administration policies might also have partially been possible responsible for this? Or is that just a silly question?

Northern New Mexico Posted by Hello

Friday, July 09, 2004

Tired of the damned lies 

From the AP-
It faulted Tenet for not personally reviewing Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, which contained since-discredited references to Iraq's attempts to purchase uranium in Africa.
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. A thousand times no. First of all, it was never discredited. Second of all, it has since been reaffirmed.

Like I said before, idiots and liars.

(Also, this post does an excellent job of articulating an argument I have made in the past- basically, the Bush administration can't make any admission of error because the press will twist it beyond recognition in order to attack them.)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


MY WIFE just got a new dishwasher for us. She didn't tell me, she just got it. I discovered this the other day when I came home from work and saw it, but it was difficult to learn any more at the moment, since she was in the living room with her best friend, Ilana, planning a party at our house that weekend for 25-or-so of the Little League parents. I didn't know about this, either.

"Oh, you'll love it," she said with a wave of her hand, and turned back to Ilana, who was animatedly saying something like, "I think the pasta station should go in the playroom."

And I remember chewing this over and thinking, "You know, there's a lot I disagree with about Arab society, but, on the whole, you've got to admire the way they treat their women."

By the way, I think that's how the whole thing started over there. Some Saudi prince came home, saw new drapes in the tent, and snapped. "Okay, that's it. Let's have your driver's license."
-Larry Miller

the Meaning of Edwards 

As a millionaire personal injury plaintiffs' lawyer, Edwards perfectly personifies the true message of the Democratic Party: do well for yourself by doing good for others, with both "well" and "good" understood to be the forcible expropriation of resources from third parties who have earned them.

Monday, July 05, 2004

San Jacinto Mountains, California Posted by Hello

Friday, July 02, 2004

Monkey Lander 

Awesome game.

Hot Dog review 

Hilarious bit from this Hot Dog survey in Slate-
The look isn't ideal—"boiled, this dog looks like something from Oscar Mayer's nightmare, while grilled looks like something from Oscar Mayer's nightmare that was grilled"
Seeing as how the Tofu Pups received the lowest possible score (an unprecedented low for one of my "Shopping" taste tests), I feel I must point out that none of the panelists is a vegetarian and point out, once again, that we're eating just the dog, with no ketchup, no mustard, no mercy. That said, I also feel I have a duty to let readers know that these things taste "like a sponge made out of bile," that they "smell like burnt rubber" and "have no flavor except nasty."


This isn't really news to some of us. But, yes, in case there is any confusion, Iraq did have chemical weapons in violation of treaty, and yes, it was hiding them(successfully) from weapons inspectors.

Near Sonora Pass, California Posted by Hello

The peace at Munich 

After the peace at Munich in 1938, Winston Churchill tells what happens
The dismemberment of Czechoslovakia proceeded. The Germans were not the only vultures upon the carcase. The Polish Government sent a twenty-four hour ultimatum to the Czechs demanding the immediate handing over of the frontier district of Teschen. There was no means of resisting the harsh demand. The Hungarians also arrived with their claims.

Winston Churchill, Memoirs of the Second World War, abridged, p138
I think the generally held view of the lead up to World War 2, and the one that I held, was of the depradations of the evil dictators Hitler and Mussolini, aided occasionally by the evil dictator Stalin and enabled by the idealistic but foolish governments of England and France. This is more or less correct(although the I discovered the French government came out looking much better than I expected, possibly because they saw themselves in danger), but it should be pointed out that ostensibly "good" democratic governments like Poland and Hungary took opportunistic advantage of the situation for their own venal reasons. It was incredibly short-sighted and foolish of them, but they were too busy chasing their own selfish desires at the time to see it.

This matters because we need to remember that governments can still act that way today, even those who we are told are our allies.

Teaching math 

From Derbyshire-
Teaching math to American kids in...

— 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

— 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

— 1970: A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M." The set "C", the cost of production, contains 20 fewer points than set "M." Represent the set "C" as a subset of set "M." Answer this question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?

— 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

— 1990: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20 profit. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

— 2000: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit margin is $60?

— 2010: El hachero vende un camion carga por $100 La cuesta de produccion es.....

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Saw Spiderman 2 yesterday. It was good. However, Sam Raimi has a tendency towards cornyness that can go a little over the top at times. He's trying too hard to let you know what the big philosophical point is and it results in a few wince-worthy speeches. There are also some weird tonal issues and a couple of cheesy music-montage sequences I could have done without. Still, on the whole, I liked it a lot, although I think not as much as the first one. And Xmen 2 still remains the best comic book movie yet made, contra John Podhoretz.

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