Friday, January 25, 2008

Stuff to have whenever the legislature is in session

Zombie Survival Basics

Don't leave home without it. Don't stay at home without it, for that matter. You never know where the zombies will pop up. Just ask Will Smith. Or a legislator.

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Why don't they just declare Britain a province of Iran and...

...get it over with?
A story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale has been turned down by a government agency's awards panel as the subject matter could offend Muslims.
The digital book, re-telling the classic story, was rejected by judges who warned that "the use of pigs raises cultural issues"....

The judges also attacked Three Little Cowboy Builders for offending builders.
Because, among other things, the buildings fall down.


Peggy Noonan on George W. Bush

Noonan, one of Ronald Reagan's speechwriters, spent much of her Wall Street Journal column on Bill Clinton, then wound up all too briefly with this truth:
George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.
Bush has done quite a job of uniting the country. Democrats, Libertarians, and plenty of Republicans unite in detesting him, all too often for the same reasons.

Still, the Republican Party was already worth throwing out: they sold their soul for the so-called War on Drugs, which was no such thing. It is a war on American citizens who prefer the wrong medical & recreational substances, a war on their own claimed cause of Federalism, and a war on the Constitution. See HERE for a good short summary (written by Jonathan Adler before the decision was handed down) of how George Bush's federal government stomped Angel McClary Raich's face into the mud, and Federalism along with it. For more, written by Randy Barnett, one of the lawyers who argued the case, see here.

When it gets down to it, George Bush and the Republican anti-drug warriors utterly destroyed the the Commerce Clause's restrictions on federal intrusion into state matters. Now the Republicans can safely pontificate about the importance of Federalism, secure in the knowledge that they have quite deliberately, utterly destroyed one of its most important bulwarks.

The Democrats were right: Bush should have been impeached.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Return of Bill

Gosh, it would be good to have Bill back.


Spelling issues

This from a comment on the Volokh Conspiracy blog:
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deson't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?
It actually reads pretty quickly.

But...but...I thought BUSH LIED!

(CBS) Saddam Hussein initially didn't think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen. The Iraqi dictator revealed this thinking to George Piro, the FBI agent assigned to interrogate him after his capture.

Piro, in his first television interview, relays this and other revelations to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley this Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
He also intended and had the wherewithal to restart the weapons program. "Saddam still had the engineers. The folks that he needed to reconstitute his program are still there," says Piro. "He wanted to pursue all of WMD…to reconstitute his entire WMD program." This included chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, Piro says.
So...Bush was wrong, but he lied anyway? Nah: That's too Clintonian.

Well, OK, maybe not too...


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thor's Helmet...

The Stasi documents

Andrew Curry reports in Wired:
As the enforcement arm of the German Democratic Republic's Communist Party, the Stasi at its height in 1989 employed 91,000 people to watch a country of 16.4 million. A sprawling bureaucracy almost three times the size of Hitler's Gestapo was spying on a population a quarter that of Nazi Germany.

Unlike the prison camps of the Gestapo or the summary executions of the Soviet Union's KGB, the Stasi strove for subtlety. "They offered incentives, made it clear people should cooperate, recruited informal helpers to infiltrate the entire society," says Konrad Jarausch, a historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "They beat people up less often, sure, but they psychologically trampled people. Which is worse depends on what you prefer."

That finesse helped the Stasi quell dissent, but it also fostered a pervasive and justified paranoia. And it generated an almost inconceivable amount of paper, enough to fill more than 100 miles of shelves. The agency indexed and cross-referenced 5.6 million names in its central card catalog alone. Hundreds of thousands of "unofficial employees" snitched on friends, coworkers, and their own spouses, sometimes because they'd been extorted and sometimes in exchange for money, promotions, or permission to travel abroad
Just think of them as obsessive social historians.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Return to the North Shore

We drove back to the North Shore last weekend, this time to take Greg and his friend, Jane, to a beach party, then drove around for the fun of it.

In contrast to the overcast we had the first time, we had pretty glorious weather. Here is the beach where I shot the pic of the Wandering Tattler and footprint in the sand:


The view from the same beach:


These are his and hers flip flops (ours), or slippers as they are called out here. The sand is really soft, so who needs them?

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Same beach:


Of course, if you turn around and face the land, the view is a bit more complicated:


Further along, we stopped at a federal beach across the road from Dillingham airfield and watched the gliders. I caught this one by setting the camera on a tripod and waiting for a plane to move into the picture frame:


Ditto with the tow plane:

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Of course, we had to stop at Fumi's Kahuku Shrimp Farm and Plate Lunch Wagon to make sure the Black Crowned Night Heron didn't have any complaints since our last visit. He didn't, and neither did we.


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I notice that it is 9 degrees in Milwaukee.

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...for some people:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's only state run by the Islamic opposition party will get stricter about enforcing separate lines for men and women at supermarkets, an official said Tuesday.

Authorities in the northern state of Kelantan - governed by the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party - will fine supermarkets and shops if they let men and women use the same lines at checkout counters, said party spokesman Anual Bakri Haron.
So reports the Associated Press in the January 22nd Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

I wonder if they will allow we dhimmies to mix in our own lines when they take over here. More likely we will get our own lines because we won't be allowed into the lines for real people, but our lines too will be sexually segregated lest we provoke wrong thinking among others.

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