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Saturday, September 29, 2007

 
Media Snafus

A widely-distributed photo of a woman being prepared for stoning in Iran is actually a movie image from a Dutch-made film. The article links a confirmed video of a stoning.

Phony news source Media Matters attributes phony comment to Rush Limbaugh. NewsBusters and RedState have the story, NRO has Limbaugh video.

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Star Trek Weekend At NRO

There's a bevy of articles - here's the authors:

  • The Elders of Holo-NRO
  • James Lileks
  • Mr. X
  • Andrew Stuttaford
  • Ilya Somin
  • Steven F. Hayward
  • Jennifer Kaczor
  • Q&A KLo interviews Paul Cantor)
  • Mark Krikorian
  • John Hood
  • Peter Suderman
  • Iain Murray

  • Here's some classic Trek-related posts from this blog:

  • From The Home Office on Ceti Alpha Six, "Top Ten Songs That William Shatner Should Be Legally Banned From Singing"
  • SCOTUS Trek, my list of hypothetical answers to KLo's hypothetical question, "I'd like to know if Star Trek had an influence on John Roberts and, if so, what that influence was."
  • Presidential Administrations: The Good, The Bad, And The Lost, my sci-fi inspired White House dream and nightmare teams. Eight Trek characters are in the good admin, four in the bad.

  • Update: More Star Trek Weekend articles.

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    Crop Swastikas

    I am not making this up:

    It is one of the most infamous symbols of hate -- a swastika -- cut into acres of cornfields in Washington Township, Mercer County.

    Uh oh, this means that Heinlein was right.

    Who will save us now?

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    Friday, September 28, 2007

     
    Questions For The Candidates

    Radley Balko has a list. And the major networks won't be asking very many of them.

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    Heh

    Failed Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern endorses Hillary.

    That's like Mitt Romney getting a Pat Buchanan endorsement.

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    Thursday, September 27, 2007

     
    Columbia University Has No Monopoly On Insanity In Academia

    Recall this classic exchange from The Simpsons:

    Jimbo Jones: You let me down, man. Now I don't believe in nothing no more. I'm going to law school.
    Homer: Noooo! [in a wail of Biblical proportions].

    Perhaps Jimbo should consider Hofstra Law School as an approriate destination for those who have lost hope in goodness and light. While it may not be the sort of school that would invite a the head of a terror-sponsoring state to speak, it will hire someone convicted of abetting terrorists to teach ethics.

    Update: Stewart is also speaking at an ethics conference at Hofstra.

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    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

     
    Heroes - Season 2 Premiere

    (Episode: Four Months Later…. Spoilers ahead.)

    Several major subplots emerge at once: Hiro messes up Takezo Kensei's history and has to clean it up, Suresh infiltrates The Company in conspiracy with Mr. Bennett, Claire is being observed by a teenage mutant (is he with The Company, or on his own, or with someone else?), Molly is having nightmares about the Worse Than Sylar individual, someone is out to get the surviving members of Linderman's inner circle, and a brother and sister travel from Latin America in search of the author of Activating Evolution, hoping to rid the sister of a terrifying ability.

    Oh, and Peter Petrelli is alive, found chained inside an shipping container, and he has amnesia. Excuse me while I bang my head against the wall.

    [bang bang bang bang bang bang bang]

    The real Takezo Kensei turns out to be an Englisman, and not quite the gallant Samurai that history makes him out to be. I'm guessing that Hiro will be engaging in a little medieval identity theft to restore the timeline.

    Mohinder's mission will serve a dual purpose, finding a cure for the microbe that kills heroes (like his late sister who died in chidhood) and spying on The Company for Mr. Bennett.

    Mr. Bennett's defiance of his boss didn't make sense until Mohinder's mission was revealed - it seems to me that Bennett foresees that his guerilla war against The Company will occasionally cut into his nine-to-five at the print shop, and he is preparing his boss for those moments.

    Who killed Kaito Nakamura? First guess is Claude because of a) the hooded attire, and b) he has a long-standing grudge against Linderman's people. But it's probably somebody new. Whoever it was has the ability to jump from a building and avoid getting splattered on pavement.

    I agree with Parkman - using his psychic ability in the line of duty is not cheating. Molly's conversation in the dinner scene seemed to un-childlike. I hope Parkman has the sense to tell her to not draw the creepy eyes before.

    I hope Nathan loses the beard.

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    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

     
    And Chuck Norris Fans Laugh Themselves Silly

    Kiefer Sutherland, who plays Jack Bauer on Fox TV's 24, was arrested on a DUI charge.

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    Monday, September 24, 2007

     
    Does Chuck Norris Blend?

    What do you think?

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    Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 5, "The Table," verses 61-120

    Robert Spencer has the installment here.

    Spencer explains how interpretations of Verse 64 retarded science in the Islamic world:

    Accordingly, there was no point to observing the workings of the physical world; there was no reason to expect that any pattern to its workings would be consistent, or even discernable. If Allah could not be counted on to be consistent, why waste time observing the order of things? It could change tomorrow. Stanley Jaki, a Catholic priest and physicist, explains that it was the renowned Sufi thinker al-Ghazali who "denounced natural laws, the very objective of science, as a blasphemous constraint upon the free will of Allah." The great twelfth-century Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides explained orthodox Islamic cosmology in similar terms, noting that Islamic thinkers of his day assumed "the possibility that an existing being should be larger or smaller than it really is, or that it should be different in form and position from what it really is; e.g., a man might have the height of a mountain, might have several heads, and fly in the air; or an elephant might be as small as an insect, or an insect as huge as an elephant. This method of admitting possibilities is applied to the whole Universe."

    Al-Ghazali's philosophy suffers a fatal flaw: God can create a universe that defaults to a certain set of physical laws when God chooses not to directly intervene with a different set of instructions. Just as a clock behaves according to certain principles which in no way place any limits on what an external entity can do to the clock, the universe has a set behavior that does not prevent God from altering the default setting.

    There's more. check it out.

    Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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    Friday, September 21, 2007

     
    Media Research Center Reviews Huffpost

    This report assesses Arianna Huffington's promise that the site would not be "usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric."

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    Air Drum Solo

    Ursi has the video.

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    Thursday, September 20, 2007

     
    Today's Quiz

    I scored 57 out of 60 on this civics quiz. Link via Pej, in this post about declining educational quality.

    I missed the questions about Puritans, federalism, and Fed purchases of bonds.

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    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

     
    Turn It Down To Eleven

    Zogby's Congressional approval ratings reach an all-time low.

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    This Should Be Fun

    Dan Rather is suing CBS over its handling of story on Bush's National Guard service.

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    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

     
    Mischief At The University Of Florida

    Michelle Malkin is all over this story. Be sure and check out what Ace has to say.

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    Britney And Madonna Are Spreading Mischief

    And the Palestinian terrorist group known as the Popular Resistance Committees is threatening to off the two entertainers because of it. Evidently they take Sura 5:32 very seriously.

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    Socialized Health Is Spreading Mischief

    Pej has an instructive story.

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    Monday, September 17, 2007

     
    Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 5, "The Table," verses 1-60

    Robert Spencer has the installment here.

    Of special note is Verse 32; three translations cited below (emphasis added):

    YUSUFALI: On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

    PICKTHAL: For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth.

    SHAKIR: For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land.

    Spencer tells us how this verse is often taken out of context:

    Never mentioned by the President or any of the others who quote this verse as if it condemns Islamic jihadist violence are several important facts: it comes within the context of a warning to the Jews, and is not presented as a universal principle; it contains the important exception "unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land," and it is followed by v. 33, which specifies the punishment for that mischief: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter."

    Punishing "mischief" is at the root of jihadist violence, so these verses give them justification, not condemnation.

    Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

    Update: Originally titled as Sura 4, "The Women" - correction is now in place.

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    Nanny State Quote Du Jour

    From this week's EIA Communiqué:

    "'A lot of districts are kind of stuck in the old mindset' that parents are responsible for their children's breakfast, Chandran said, 'And that doesn't yield good participation.'" – from a San Diego Union-Tribune story about under-use of the school breakfast program, quoting and paraphrasing Sivakumar Chandran of California Food Policy Advocates. (September 15 San Diego Union-Tribune)

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    Saturday, September 15, 2007

     
    From The Home Office In Karbala

    Top Ten Democratic Complaints About Petraeus's Iraq Report

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    Friday, September 14, 2007

     
    War Against Fast Food, California Dreamin'

    Los Angeles city councilindividual Jan Perry has an idea for combating obesity:

    She has introduced a two-year moratorium on new fast-food outlets in this part of the city, where small, single-family homes dominate and gangs thrive in a rough urban landscape.

    Maybe I should change my last name to Capone and open up some grease-easies in LA. The underground economy is quite lucrative - heh, talk about living off the fat of the land...

    Link via Damian Penny, who fears this sort of thing coming to Canada. Hey, you mean we might actually export a radical lefty idea to Canada, instead of the other way around?

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    Thursday, September 13, 2007

     
    Heh

    Insty links Trojan Condoms' Sexual Health Report Card for colleges and universities. Predictably, no attempt is made to gauge psychological sexual health.

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    Today's Slanted Poll

    In a disaster, what fictional character would you want by your side? This poll leaves out a lot of possibilities.

    Link via Agora, where the absence of Chuck Norris from the poll selections is noted.

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    Fred Thompson = New Coke?

    George Will makes the comparison, with emphasis on the candidate's ties to McCain-Feingold.

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    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

     
    Waiting For The Other Hsu To Drop

    More Democrat finance scandal woes:

    Sant S. Chatwal, an Indian American businessman, has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaigns, even as he battled governments on two continents to escape bankruptcy and millions of dollars in tax liens.

    The founder of the Bombay Palace restaurant chain, Chatwal is one of a growing number of fundraisers in the 2008 presidential campaign whose backgrounds have prompted questions about how much screening the candidates devote to their "bundlers" while they press to raise record amounts.

    Chatwal's case reached from his native India to New York City. The IRS pursued him for approximately $4 million in unpaid business taxes, while New York state placed a lien seeking more than $5 million in taxes. He forfeited a building to New York City on which he was delinquent on property taxes and was sued by federal regulators seeking to recoup millions of dollars in loans from a failed bank where he served as a director.

    Across the ocean, three Indian banks forced him into U.S. bankruptcy, and he was charged with bank fraud. He was out on bond when he showed up in India in 2001 during a visit by his longtime friend Bill Clinton.

    Link via Accuracy in Media, in an article that also reports this:

    In financial terms, a much larger scandal has virtually escaped media coverage altogether. The last week of August, the Federal Elections Commission fined the George Soros-funded group Americans Coming Together (ACT) $775,000. This was the third largest fine the FEC had ever levied on an organization or campaign. ACT's violation was that it had violated campaign finance laws during the 2004 election cycle. ACT said it was using the funds for nonpartisan purposes, but the FEC said the money was being used for very partisan purposes―to defeat President Bush.

    The amount of money was astounding. According to a posting on the New York Times website by Kate Phillips, a longtime editor at the Times, citing the FEC statement regarding the fine, "ACT raised approximately $137 million in connection with the 2004…The FEC concluded that approximately $70 million in disbursements characterized by ACT as 'administrative expenses' for door-to-door canvassing, direct mail and telemarketing were actually attributable to clearly identified federal candidates and were required either to be paid with 100% federal funds or to be allocated between federal and non-federal candidates based on the time or space devoted to the candidates."

    Phillips summarized the FEC's findings by saying that, "based on complaints by campaign finance advocacy groups like Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center…ACT used millions of dollars in unregulated money to promote the candidacy of Senator John Kerry and the defeat of George Bush for re-election."

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    Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 4, "Women," verses 104-176

    I would have blogged this Monday, but North Texas rains wreaked havoc on my DSL connection...

    Robert Spencer has the installment here. A variety of topics - check 'em out.

    Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

     
    Six Years Ago

    See my brief pictoria tribute from 2002.

    Cox and Forkum excerpts Never Forget: An Oral History of September 11, 2001 by Mitchell Fink and Lois Mathias.

    Michelle Malkin will not submit.

    Must reading: Popular Mechanics' Debunking the 9/11 Myths.

    Update: Never forget the Palestinian response, which LGF has documented here and here.

    Update: The Palis are still celebrating.

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    Sunday, September 09, 2007

     
    Got A Question

    NewsMax reports that John Edwards is blasting Hillary Clinton for kowtowing to lobbyists (emphasis added):

    In a raw populist appeal, Democrat John Edwards on Saturday accused presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton of defending a lobbyist-driven political system that is "rigged against regular Americans" and that killed her plan for universal health care.

    The former North Carolina senator accepted a major union endorsement while insisting that no Democratic candidate legitimately can promise to change America without swearing off special interest money from federal lobbyists. New York Sen. Clinton has refused to do so.

    "When it comes to the existing lobbyist game, we've got to end it and not defend it," Edwards told more than 700 members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

    John Edwards is telling a union crowd that he's anti-lobbyist? Isn't that like telling a crowd of children that you're anti-candy?

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    Indeed

    Check out the Samizdata quote of the day.

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    Saturday, September 08, 2007

     
    Epiphany

    Kim du Toit talks about why he left South Africa. Read the whole thing, including the comments - especially the third one, posted by Tech Support (aka Mrs. du Toit).

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    Friday, September 07, 2007

     
    Quote Of The Day

    "A government that's big enough to do everything for us is powerful enough to do anything to us."

    Fred Thompson, in this video (link via the Rott)

    I may add this to next year's "Odes to Liberty" post.

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    Great Moments In Corporate Strategy

    Starbucks is opening an alcohol- and smoke-free shop in Russia. Emperor Misha is predicting a marketing disaster.

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    Thursday, September 06, 2007

     
    Lego Escher

    Is there anything that Legos can't do?

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    Rush Limbaugh's Take On Larry "Happy Feet" Craig

    NewsMax has some prime Rush quotes, notably his statements that Craig has become radioactive to the GOP ("The Republicans threw Larry Craig under the bus, and you know who was driving the bus, Mitt Romney"), and that the Dems have refrained from calling for resignations when Democrats have done far worse than what Craig was alleged to have done.

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    Rest In Peace

    D. James Kennedy (1930-2007)

    Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)

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    Hsu vs. Abramoff

    I was wondering when someone would make the comparison. Michelle Malkin's latest includes a littel graph illustrating how much Hsu and Abramoff gave to each party. Hint: Abramoff was far more bipartisan in his fundraising...

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    Public Service Announcement

    Phishers are posing as the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS NEVER sends out unsolicited email, so be warned.

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    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

     
    "It's Miles Long, With A Maw That Could Swallow A Dozen Starships!"

    Did the Russians build a doomsday machine? (Link via Rand Simberg)

    William Windom, call your office.

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    Iran Is At War With The United States

    And Kenneth Timmerman wants President Bush to admit it. This article highlights some of Iran's involvement with terrorist activities in Iraq.

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    Monday, September 03, 2007

     
    Abolish Labor Day

    (An annual blog tradition continues - original 2003 post here.)

    The US Department of Labor has a webpage on the history of Labor Day. The DoL describes the spirit of the holiday thus:

    Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

    Why do we have a holiday dedicated to only one element of commerce? The "strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country" is dependent on five factors:

    • Liberty. Laws regarding commerce and property rights are relatively fair and consistent. Taxation levels, while far from ideal, are such that (except in a few areas) they do not choke out business startups and growth. The streets are free from warfare and from government pogroms.
    • Culture. Society generally encourages private-sector employment; in several African nations, by contrast, the college-educated gravitate heavily toward government jobs. The rate of crimes against person and property, except in various urban neighborhoods, is not so high that businesses are driven away.
    • Entrepreneurs. These are the people responsible for the organization of an entire company, the establishment of its entire product line, and the assumption of the risk inherent in the venture.
    • Investors. Businesses must be financed. Outside sources such as banking institutions and stockholders routinely invest in established businesses, and occasionally provide capital for startups. Investors assume some degree of risk.
    • Labor. Traditionally this term is used to signify all non-managerial positions within a company. I use it to refer to include all non-entrepreneurial positions in a company. The common usage of "labor" and "management" insinuates that managers (including entrepreneurs) don't really do anything, that their organizational duties isn't really "work." I use "entrepreneur" and "labor" to distinguish between those responsible for an entire company and those responsible for portions of it.

    Happy Commerce Day! Drink a toast to the Bill of Rights, peaceful citizens, Bill Gates, Wall Street, and all your coworkers.

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    Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 4, "Women," verses 35-104

    Robert Spencer has the installment here. A mixed bag of topics - read the whole thing.

    Click the "Koran" label to see all my posts on this series.

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    Saturday, September 01, 2007

     
    Today In History

    The Nazis invaded Poland on this day in 1939.

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    Chupacabra Discovered In Texas

    Well, probably not, but this is a mighty odd critter.

    Here's the Wikipedia entry for the mythical beast.

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    Two Words: Snake Casserole

    One snake for two people in Indian village

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