Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alito Confirmed

Congratulations to Samuel Alito. His confirmation is not surprising.

Also not surprising, I think, is that the lone "Republican" voting against Alito was Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee. Not amused? Here's a link to the man launching a primary challenge against him, Steve Laffey. Send him a few bucks, eh?

The Leftoids are up in arms. Witness this selection from DUh, as excerpted by Emperor Darth Misha I at the Anti Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Tom Blumer has a nice post involving... Chapstick.

That's Okay, They Were Old Anyway

is, I believe, the "classical" sitcom/variety show response to an event such as this:
A museum visitor shattered three Qing dynasty Chinese vases when he tripped on his shoelace, stumbled down a stairway and brought the vases crashing to the floor, officials said Monday.

The three vases, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, had been donated to the Fitzwilliam Museum in the university city of Cambridge in 1948, and were among its best-known artifacts. They had been sitting proudly on the window sill beside the staircase for 40 years.

(Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt)
(The story)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Show Me the Money: Google in China

So Google gets to have the Chinese market so long as they block out any of those pesky links that the ChiComs consider "no-go" for its citizenry.

Here's a link to a protest logo page. This image came from there:

Michelle is collecting more here.

UPDATE: 1/30/2006 - How well is it working? The first article that I found for "Falun Gong" is this one. There's this one, too. Of course I'm looking from outside of China. I wonder if the search results are still there if tried from within China. If they are, can they be reached by the Chinese searcher?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Eastbound and Down

See you on Monday.

"This Corner Under New Management"

...read a sign on the corner outside of Walter Reed Army Medical Center that has been occupied by Code Pink protesters on Friday nights.

Up until last Friday, that is. It seems someone forgot to renew their permit...

The Gunn Nutt Has the story here
, with pics.

Freepers Rock! (The things I miss when I go out of town...)

See also: Free Republic, elsewhere at the Larsonian

Maureen Down

See the pic over at Michelle Malkin's? Maureen Dowd really looks like she could use a hug.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hugh Hewitt and Joel Stein Have a Tete a Tete

Joel Stein is a columnist for the LA Times. He wrote a column wherein he declared that he does not support the troops. That's a bold move, considering a lot anti-war types manage to claim that they 'support the troops, but not their mission.'

Stein supports neither one.

So last night I listened to Hugh Hewitt's taped interview with Mr. Stein, wherein Hugh tried to get a bit of background.

Ya know those scenes from the swashbuckling films where a couple of guys are going to duel with swords, and one of them takes his epee and makes about a dozen strokes with it, seemingly near his opponent... and the opponent just smirks as if to say "Ha! You didn't even touch me"... and then the guy's clothes all fall to the ground?

That's what Hugh did to Joel Stein. Straight up Errol Flynn'ed him.

See the transcript over at RadioBlogger.

Technorati Tags: Hugh Hewitt, Joel Stein, Radio Blogger

Kelo: If You Had Any Doubt...

...that Kelo was solely about the ability of a municipality to grab land for the purpose of increasing revenue, take a look at this story over at NRO: Unholy Land Grab:
Since the Supreme Court's controversial Kelo decision last summer, eminent domain has entered a new frontier. It’s not just grandma’s house we have to worry about. Now it’s God’s house, too. “I guess saving souls isn’t as important,” says Reverend Gildon, his voice wry, “as raking in money for politicians to spend.” The town of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, has plans to take Centennial Baptist — along with two other churches, several businesses, dozens of small homes, and a school — and replace them with a new “super center,” rumored to include a Home Depot. It’s the kind of stuff that makes tax collectors salivate.
When a church isn't safe in Oklahoma, it isn't safe anywhere.

Here's another graph from the story about which I will comment:
It makes sense on one level. Churches don’t generate any tax revenue for the government to spend. They don’t “stimulate” the economy. They often, much to their peril, occupy prime, envied real estate. With the supercharged powers granted by Kelo, be very, very afraid.
Once a church occupied a place on the city square, true enough. Churches were--and in some places I've been they still are--social centers of communities. As for their tax exempt status, the charitible works of a church were once considered a good in themselves. Not so much anymore, it would appear. (Note to self: How visible are the works of local congregations these days? Are inward-facing congregations going to be most at-risk?)

Thanks to Kelo, a municipality can take land from a private owner and give it to ANOTHER private owner solely for the purpose of increasing its own tax revenue stream. How sick is that?

If I take money from you, that's theft.
If the government takes money from you, then gives it to me, that's considered "general welfare".

If I take a hammer from Home Depot without paying them for it, that's shoplifting.
If Home Depot comes to my town, and the local government takes my home and those of my neighbors to give to Home Depot, that's... what, exactly?

(ht: BizzyBlog and the update at BizzyBlog)
(see also: The Anchoress who picked up on the note to myself, Volokh Conspiracy, Batesline, Molten Thought)
Technorati Tags: Vision+2025, eminent+domain

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Congratulations, Stephen Harper

The Conservatives beat out the Liberal Party and won a plurality of the votes but not an outright majority. As I understand it, they get to form the next government coalition, though with whom, I am not knowlegable enough about things Canadian to say. These guys will know.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Michael Yon Has Moved

He's packed up from Blogger and moved over to a shiny new URL: Michael Yon Online.


The number of wins racked up by Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee. That's the most by any NCAA Division I basketball coach.

Congratulations to Pat Summitt and her Lady Vols.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Things Heard on Rush

While I was out over lunch, I heard Lorie Byrd ask a pretty inciteful question of guest Kenneth Timmerman: How is our present intelligence on Iran different from [better than?--Ed.] our intelligence on Iraq prior to the invasion?

I also caught a pretty funny commercial lampooning all of the "latest studies" that "They" put out. (In this case I don't think it is the same "They" that my lovely bride works for.) The commercial was put out by these guys, specifically their take on the "fish scam" over mercury in fish. (Their expert study says there is no particular health risk from the levels of mercury in fish, as it happens. Their "They" is better than the naysaying "They", apparently.)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Meanwhile, in Annapolis

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is quietly doing pretty well in initial polling for the Senate. He leads Rep. Benjamin Cardin by a margin of 45-40 and former Rep and NAACP head Kweisi Mfume, 45-38 in this Rasmussen poll.

(Tip of the hat to Power Line)

Power Line's Paul Mirengoff wrote about the race the other day, too. See "Divided They May Fall".

Sweep the House

I had mentioned (and it's hardly an Earth-shakingly original thought) that the Jack Abramoff affair could end up being better than "term limits"--provided that a simple to understand quid pro quo can be identified.

Now the GOP is setting up elections for caucus leadership. They have a golden opportunity for demonstrating good governance. I hope they will find people serious about reform. NZ Bear has an appeal up at The Truth Laid Bear asking for just this. I add my voice to that chorus.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kory was going to be a police officer?

The Jet Set Chick has a few fun anecdotes from her time in Phoenix parking enforcement up. It sets up the context for her take on the "I'm in the HOV lane because I'm pregnant" woman.

Biden Admits J-Committee Defeat?

"Sen. Biden Suggests Scrapping Hearings" is the headline of this ABC piece. In it Joe Biden says that the Judiciary Committee testimony phase is "broken" and the nominees might as well go straight to the floor.

If this hadn't been the second straight Supreme Court nominee that committee Dems had failed to so much as scratch during the hearings, I doubt he'd be saying this. Effectively Joe Biden is admitting that the Dems actions the past couple of days have served to do nothing but make them the object of ridicule. (And in the New York Times no less.)

If anything is "broken" it is the Democrats' playbook. They "just know" that every political Conservative is some kind of racist/bigot/homophobe at heart. Their assumption has once again made an ass of them.

(Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt)

See also Irish Pennants for Jack Kelly's review.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Seriously. No... really...

...I am not making this up.

Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA)--bad driver but apparent excellent swimmer--has a Portuguese Water Dog named... Splash.

(ht: Michelle Malkin)

UPDATE: I wonder if Ted the Swimmer will be annoyed. Gosh, I'll get to go to Federal prison thanks to this chunk of crap ostensibly authored by Arlen Specter. Thanks to "Gill Sawyer" for posting this at Vodkapundit.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Report: Osama bin Laden Died in Iran in mid-December

Michael Ledeen's sources within Iran told him that Osama bin Laden died of kidney failure while in Iran this past December. He is said to have spent most of his time there since the fall of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Cited as proof: for the first time, al-Q's happy hajj message was given not by Osama bin Laden, but by Ayman Zawahiri.

Source: Michael Ledeen writing at the National Review Online.
Hat tip: Rantburg

Saddam Hussein and Islamic Terrorism

Looking through unclassified documents, Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes has found evidence for Saddam's training of Islamic terrorists from across the Middle East:
The secret training took place primarily at three camps—in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak—and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria’s GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis.
There's much more at Rick Moran's Right Wing Nut House.

Salman Pak was the location of the airliner fuselage. And some other gear, per GlobalSecurity.org.

Further comment on this story is available from Austin Bay. Further comment on Austin Bay's commentary at No End But Victory.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dems Knew Jack Abramoff's Money Plenty Well Enough

Pamela from Atlas Shrugs shows 40 Dems who got $1000 or more of Jack's money. And those are just the ones in the Senate.

Senator Vegas got all huffy last Sunday, saying this was a Republican scandal? *heh* Sure, Harry: you got $68,941.

Both of my Senate-Dwelling Critters from Maryland got some of that lovin', too:
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Received At Least – $10,550
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Received At Least – $4,300

I think this has potential sink quite a few careers in both houses of Congress and on both sides of the aisle. Provided, that is, there is an easy to understand quid pro quo. Built-in term limits!

Muslim Only Banking?

Via Michelle Malkin:
A bank that has been offering special services for Muslims for two years has now formed a subsidiary to focus solely on the religious group.

The Ann Arbor-based University Bank has created University Islamic Financial Corp. to offer Muslims home financing, deposit accounts and Islamic mutual fund shares.

"The formation of the subsidiary allows us to have a financial institution which is 100 percent in compliance with the Muslim Shariah, the legal code of the Islamic religion," bank President and Chairman Stephen Lange Ranzini told The Ann Arbor News for a Saturday story.
You know what? Univerity Bank has been rated Outstanding by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for Community Service and Community Reinvestment. If FDIC insures a bank that has a program exclusively for Muslims, is there a Church-State issue? (Or a Mosque-State issue, as the case may be?) FannieMae buys the MALT product according to this from the bank itself. Is that going to get the ACLU's shorts in a knot?

UPDATE: There's further conversation at Right Voices (grazie for the link); Clarity & Resolve had this a couple days ago (sorry for the munged up trackback to the wrong article).

Washington Post to Take to the Airwaves

There was a bit of a switcheroo done on DC radio the other day. Aside from causing a slight re-arrangement of my presets here's what happened:

Z-104 is gone: No more Matchbox 20 on 103.9/104.1 FM. Now those frequencies get the classical warhorses that had been on 103.5 FM. WTOP now gets 103.5 FM (and they hope, Skins games starting next season).

So what goes where WTOP had been (107.7 FM/1500 AM)? Thanks to Bonneville Media, it will be the Washington Post. Now we can ignore them in print AND on the air!
Robin Givhan in full sartorial splendor.  For her.  Looks Necco pink.
By the way, the Washington Post had this on the front page of their Maryland edition, albeit below the fold. Toward the bottom of the story they managed to gratuitously mention
Bonneville, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...
I wonder, will we get to hear someone like Robin Givhan (right) chat about Secretary Rice's wardrobe during middays?

Brian Maloney seems equally baffled here.

UPDATE: Brian found the Help Wanted ad. Here's a thought: Make a splash and hire Michael Graham.

A Couple of Stories at The Potbelly Stove

I wrote up a couple of pieces at the Potbelly Stove. See here for a pointer to Michael Barone's blog and here for the NYT's shameless exploitation of the WV mining tragedy with a link to Tom Blumer's BizzyBlog.

Firefox 1.5...

...now has drag-n-drop reorderable tabbed browsing.

It reminds me of the good ol' yellow tabs of BeOS. Just without the actual yellow tabs.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Drink up, eh? or 15 a day for better health

Joe Walsh used to deadpan that the best hangover cure he knew of was to stay drunk. Proving that people can get grants to study anything, here's news out of Canada that shows how giving homeless alcoholics 1 drink an hour for every waking hour has made the study population "healthier".

15 a day for better health!

Unless you were one of the 3 of 17 participants that died, that is. From the Reuters article: "Three of the 17 participants died during the program, succumbing to alcohol-related illnesses that might have killed them anyway, the study said."

Also from the article:
The per capita cost of around C$771 ($660) a month was partially offset by monthly savings of C$96 a month in emergency services, C$150 in hospital care and C$201 in police services per person
It's all about the bucks when the government is in the healthcare business: all the caring warmth of an MVA teller.

I'll check in with Right Thinking People to see if there's more.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

World's Worst Disease Identified

Tom Blumer found an interesting piece on the World's Worst Disease by Rich Karlgaard writing in the 1/9/2006 Forbes. Since registration is required, Bizzy Blog has an extensive excerpt. Here's the premise:
The sickest thinking–and the source of most of human misery throughout the ages–is based on the following beliefs:
• The Earth is running out of resources;
• People consume more than they contribute;
• Wealth is a zero-sum distribution game.
Go read the rest, especially the links under the Update. Certain economists got a little sniffy with Karlgaard's broad-stroke description of academia as dominated by zero-sum-game thinking.