Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley (1925-2008)

National Review has lots of links.

Rest in peace.

Update: Rush Limbaugh recalls some of his personal encounters with Mr. Buckley.


Don't Mess With Texas

Michelle Malkin reports a media Islamophobia sting at a truck stop near Waco. (I've eaten there before.) The ABC film crew was surprised at the results.

Be sure and read what's in the second grey box, and check out the graph directly below.

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Obama's Terrorist Ties

To the Weather Underground.

Update: Free Republic notes the irony of the Hillary camp's outing of Obama's Weathermen associations:

In his final day in office, President Clinton pardoned another one-time member of the Weather Underground, Susan L. Rosenberg, after she had served 16 years in prison on federal charges.

Rosenberg had been arrested in 1984 while unloading 740 pounds of dynamite, a submachine gun and other weapons from the back of a car.

Heh, the FALN pardon's weren't Slick Willie's only terrorist pardons...

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Monster Mash

I recently sent to a couple of friends this early Paint Shop Pro creation, in which Godzilla pursues Pokemon characters. Jay Manifold emailed this reply:

Now do a "Cloverfield" version. I defy anyone to see that movie and not end up rooting for the monster to continue improving the gene pool by killing off the incredibly stupid human characters.

I got a different sort of inspiration: future Cloverfield sequels could have the monster kill off the utterly useless and unlikeable characters of other films - to borrow two words from Emma Lazarus, the wretched refuse of cinema.

My first victims would be the main cast (minus Olive) of the worst movie I have ever seen" Little Miss Sunshine. It was 101 minutes of inundating myself with people I cannot stand - the pathetic dad who wants to be Norman Vincent Peale but bears more resemblance to David Koresh, the son who is the epitome of angry teenage neurosis, the suicidal uncle who has some tidbits of wisdom but hasn't grasped for himself any hope in life, the uber-cranky heroin junkie grandpa, and the joyless mom who is completely powerless to improve the family situation. (I guess the audience is supposed to identify with the mom.)

The Cloverfield setup wouldn't be too difficult. One of the movie quirks is the family van, which cannot start without people getting out to push, and which cannot come to a complete stop without the engine dying, thus requiring the people to get out and push again. My cinematic euthanasia woudl go like this: the van slows down to drop off Olive at a convenience store (for a bathroom break or to buy the family drinks, or both), and while going around the block the monster shows up and eats the van.

Some other nominees:

  • The incredibly annoying Borat. Just think of what it would do for US relations with Kazakhstan :-)
  • The screaming wuss played by Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. One of the most worthless action film female sidekicks.
  • Chris Tucker's characters from Fifth Element and the Rush Hour flicks. And not just because of his helium-intoxicated voice...
  • On a Star Wars theme, I suspect that the popular choices for "cloverfielding" would include Jar Jar Binks, the Ewoks, and George Lucas himself. (I like the Ewoks myself. Sue me.)

I don't include characters that already got killed off, such as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Kenneth McMillan) in David Lynch's hideous rendition of Dune.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 17, "The Night Journey," Verse 1

Robert Spencer has the installment here. The subject is Mohammed's miraculous night voyage to the "farthest mosque." This couldn't have been the al-Aqsa Mosque (note that aqsa is Arabic for "farthest"). The building existed (originally a part of the Jewish temple's storehouse), but it was not converted into a mosque until 638 AD, after Mohammed's lifetime. Perhaps he traveled into the near future...

The Prophet also visits the seven heavens. Different patriarchs live in different heavens; Adam in the first, Jesus and John the Baptist in the second, Joseph in the third, Moses in the seventh.

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

Update: Title originally did not specify that the article covered Verse 1; this has been corrected. Also, second sentence was added to post for clarity.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Giving "Moonbats" A Whole New Meaning

If you want to see left-wing hysterics on parade, check out come of the comments to this SFGate article on the Lunar X Prize (link via Jay Manifold email). The very first comment summarizes the two lefty complaints:

So many things that money could do back on Earth. Instead, we race to ruin the environment in Space the way we have here...

Translation: the LXP contestants are blowing money on some frivolity instead of helping the poor, and they're threatening the extraterrestrial environment.

I posted this response on page 4 of comments (line braks added to improve readability):

  1. If you are so disturbed by people spending big bucks on what is essentially a luxury good, are you similarly disturbed by the spending on motion pictures?
  2. The money IS doing stuff back on Earth. Private-sector lunar explorers (and filmmakers) create jobs for people who sell them the tools of their endeavors.
  3. In a place such as the Moon where no life exists, what exactly constitutes negative environmental impact?

Unfortunately, a significant portion of this San Francisco news site's readership will to fail to see Point 2's relevance to fighting poverty.

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Why Vote For Obama?

Reasons here. Refresh webpage or click text to get a different message.

Link via Smokey, in this Volokh thread.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lost - And Baby Makes Seven

Episode: Eggtown. Spoilers ahead.)

One of the rules of this show is that the Occam's Razor principle often does not apply. Instead of a convoluted plot by which she is spirited back to civilization out of the public eye, we have her agreeing to take her chances with the legal system after having gone to incredible lengths to avoid it. It appears she will come to regard the possibility of prison as preferable to staying on the island.

In retrospect, her exoneration is not as far-fetched as I first thought it would be. There was no physical evidence tying her to the crime - only her mother's testimony could nail her. She is now living in California in a very expensive house (as if there were any other type of house in California), and she has a toddler who says "Mummy" in an Australian accent.

So did someone buy her a house, or is she staying with someone? And who is this nanny?

So why is Aaron off the island posing as Kate's son? The two most obvious possibilities are a) Claire's days are numbered, and Aaron will fall under Kate's care, or b) Claire will give Aaron to Kate, sacrificing her relationship with him to give him what she believes to be a better life.

So that leaves two unknowns among the Oceanic Six. I discovered a big hole in my theory that Desmond will be one of them: he wasn't on the flight. (Duh.) Of course, I wouldn't put it past Abaddon's people to find a way to forge the passenger manifest records; they could try to pass off Juliet as a Flight 815 passenger. (And I do not discount that possibility - there is a Juliet-centric episode in the pipeline.)

But Des provides Abaddon's people the perfect cover story for their Oceanic Six hoax: that Desmond discovered the Six as he was doing on his sailing marathon. If one discounts the possibility of passing off one of the Others as an 815 passenger, Jin and Sun are top candidates for the last two of the Oceanic Six.

The helicopter mission was (at minimum) three missions in one. We know only one: that the team was to grab Ben and get out. But Faraday and Lewis have missions that not even their pilot knows about.

The helicopter is long overdue, which suggests that it has flown into the apparent temporal anomaly that Faraday's drone test detected. Fans have long posted time travel theories, but none of those can explain what's going on here, for this reason: the conversations on the satellite phone reveal that the freighter and the island exist in the same timeframe.

But there may be some kind of barrier around the island. Recall this conversation in the Season 2 finale:

JACK: So, before you ran off, I guess you just forgot to mention that you still have a sailboat. Why'd you come back?

DESMOND [laughing]: Do you think I did it on purpose? I was sailing for two and half weeks, bearing due West and making 9 knots. I should have been in Fiji in less than a week. But the first piece of land I saw wasn't Fiji, was it? No. No, it was here -- this, this island. And you know why? Because this is it. This is all there is left. This ocean and this place here. We are stuck in a bloody snowglobe. There's no outside world. There's no escape. So, just go away, huh. Let me drink.

In next week's episode the helicopter will evidently be passing through the "snowglobe" - I hope we actually learn something.

We are learning that Ben Linus has access to vast resources outside of any yet-revealed sourcess on the island. Last week Sayid discovered that Ben has multiple passports (including a New Zealand diplomatic passport, as noted by Lostpedia) and wads of multiple foreign currencies.

On this episodes Miles demands $3.2 million from Ben in exchange for telling his superiors that Ben is dead. This opens up an intriguing possibility: that Miles will help spirit Ben off the island without his superiors' knowledge.

Ben asked why the sum $3.2 million. Because of the Hurley numbers, silly: 4 * 8 = 32.

So where are the Hurley numbers in those playing cards?

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Worse Than New Coke

Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper.

I bet the Cylons are behind this.


Today's Political Endorsement

Rapper 50 Cent backs Hillary.


The Real McCain Scandal

His wife and his alleged mistress do kinda look alike. This can mean one thing: they're Cylons! McCain is selling us out to the Cylons!

Now we know why he supports alien amnesty.

Update: Proof!

Update: More proof!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

McCain Accused Of Having Affair With Lobbyist

Thus threatening his reputation as a crusader against special interests.


Put Them On Double Secret Probation

Members of the University of Colorado-Boulder's Delta Chi fraternity trash a motel.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Today's Scholarly Link

The economics of piracy. The Jack Sparrow variety, not the MP3 variety.


A Question For Hillary Clinton

Were you always against plagiarism in political speeches?


A Neglected Perspective On The Michelle Obama Flap

If you take what she said at face value, that means she wasn't especially proud of America during the Clinton years.

I'd like to hear Hillary supporters' response to that observation :-)


I Wonder...

Who is Monica Lewinsky voting for? Somehow I can't see her supporting Hillary.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Latest Political Endorsement

George Herbert Walker Bush, who pledged not to raise taxes but later changed his mind, endorses John McCain, who opposed the other Bush's tax cut but later changed his mind.


Fidel Castro Resigns

Time will tell if the new boss, his brother Raul, is the same as the old boss.

Update: That time will commence once Fidel has assumed room temeprature and is thus unable to do anything about Raul's policies.

Update: Keep an eye on Babalu Blog for all yer Cuba news.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 16, "The Bee"

Robert Spencer has the installment here. Topics include Allah's power and the unbelievers' perversity.

Verse 102 speaks of the Holy Spirit as the one who "brought the revelation from thy Lord in Truth" (Yusufali translation). Spencer points out that this Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel. Unfortunately, the link he provides is in Arabic, which (presumably) most of my readers does not understand. and Reading Islam verify Spencer's interpretation of who the Koran identifies as the Holy Spirit.

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

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lost - Jarrah, Sayid Jarrah, Licence To Kill

Episode: The Economist. Spoilers ahead.)

Iced tea, shaken, not stirred.

What an interesting turn of events. Sayid finds on Naomi's body a mysterious bracelet - that resembles one worn by one of the two people he shoots in a flash-forward on Ben's orders. Sayid takes Miles and Kate to retrieve Charlotte - but wind up getting captured by Locke, and return with Charlotte but without Miles and Kate. Faraday discovers an apparent temporal distortion between the freighter and the island. Frank takes Sayid, Desmond and Naomi's body aboard the chopper and head for the freighter.

Now for the theories. Abaddon's organization are neither DHARMA nor a yet-undisclosed faction of the Others. The Organization organization will stage the "rescue" of the Six in return for handing Ben over, who will subsequently be working for the Organization under duress. Ben will hire Sayid to assassinate Abaddon's people one by one; Sayid will comply because the Organization is a greater evil than Ben.

Here's a theory that might blow a few minds: Kate is not one of the Oceanic Six. The Six become public celebrities. Kate is wanted for murder (and other offenses) - there's no way she gets a pardon just because she survives a plane crash. I strongly suspect that the Organization will spirit Kate off the island and keep close tabs on her as insurance against Jack spilling the beans about the truth of Oceanic 815 - and that her keeper is the R. G. who gave Naomi that bracelet.

That means there are three known members of the Oceanic Six: Jack, Hurley, and Sayid. So who are the other three? Based on the Season 4 episode list, I'm going with Desmond, Jin and Sun - they are the foci of Episodes 5 and 7, respectively, Sun and Jin definitely have a flash-forward in Episode 7, but that's no guarantee they will depart from the island with public knowledge. (Note: Ji Yeon, the title of the episode, is a female Korean name.) Kate and Juliet also have feature episodes scheduled; I predict the question of Kate's membership with the Oceanic Six will be revealed, and that Juliet's episode will have flashbacks instead of flashforwards.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Top Ten Underrated Cities

Shermans Travel has a list.

Any comments on the selections?


China Bans Movie Monsters

I am not making this up.

You'd think the ChiComs would make an exception for the one that periodically stomps the capital city of its most powerful Far East rival.

Update: Let's hear that roar!


Code Pink Properly Dissed

Code Pink had an anti-Marines protest, and Marine-supporting counterprotesters showed up. I like this sign in particular.

Memo to Code Pink: as hinted by this placard, the people you want peace with don't want peace with you.

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Musings On McCain

Chequer-Board contributor "sammler" has some thoughts. I left a lengthy comment on the candidate's - and the party's - great weaknesses: fiscal policy.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Shouldn't He Be Playing Black Oak Arkansas Instead?

Mike Huckabee has his own entertainment industry controversy:

The chief songwriter and founder of the band Boston has more than a feeling that he's being ripped off by Mike Huckabee.

In a letter to the Republican presidential hopeful, Tom Scholz complains that Huckabee is using his 1970s smash hit song "More Than a Feeling" without his permission. A former member of the band, Barry Goudreau, has appeared with Huckabee at campaign events, and they have played the song with Huckabee's band, Capitol Offense.

Scholz, who said Goudreau left the band more than 25 years ago after a three-year stint, objects to the implication that the band and one of its members has endorsed Huckabee's candidacy.

"Boston has never endorsed a political candidate, and will all due respect, would not start by endorsing a candidate who is the polar opposite of most everything Boston stands for," wrote Scholz, adding that he is supporting Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. "By using my song, and my band's name Boston, you have taken something of mine and used it to promote ideas to which I am opposed. In other words, I think I've been ripped off, dude!"

I have three thoughts. First, Boston's style doesn't have a sufficiently broad appeal to be suitable for playing at campaign rallies - assuming one is not campaigning in an area dominated by middle-aged male synth rock fans. Second, as hypersensitive as the entertainment industry is these days, I think that politicians should consult them about using their music.

My third thought is echoed in this part of the story:

Fred Bramante, who was chairman of Huckabee's New Hampshire campaign, called the allegations ridiculous. He said he attended dozens of Huckabee rallies in New Hampshire and other states and never heard Huckabee play "More Than a Feeling," other than when Goudreau campaigned with him in Iowa in October.

"Governor Huckabee plays 'Sweet Home Alabama.' Does that mean Lynard Skynard is endorsing him? He plays 'Louie Louie.' Does that mean The Kingsmen are endorsing him? To me, it's ridiculous," he said. "Never once has he said, 'The band Boston endorses me.'

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Dog Bites Man Story

Catholic bishops are under fire for voicing their disapproval of movie sex scenes.

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Time Interviews Rush Limbaugh

Check it out.

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Vladimir Putin For RNC Chief!

Here's why.


Silly Education Gimmick

Sarkozy's heart is in the right place, but this is not the way to teach history:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, facing a tide of criticism over his call for schoolchildren to "adopt" Jewish child victims of the Holocaust, hit back on Friday saying France had to raise children "with open eyes".

In a speech praising faith that also drew fire from secularists, Sarkozy told France's Jewish community on Wednesday that every 10-year-old schoolchild should be "entrusted with the memory of a French child victim of the Holocaust".

History class is supposed to teach an entire class about the same set of individual connected with a particular event, not assign each student to learn about a different anonymous individual associated with said event.

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"I DId Not Have Pharmaceutical Relations With That Man, Brian McNamee"

We'll know if Roger Clemens is telling the truth once the purported DNA evidence has been analyzed.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

For Valentine's Day

Update: James Lileks has holiday commentary.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In Celebration Of Uno's Westminster Kennel Club Victory

The Snoopy Happy Dance!

Here's the Reuters news story.


85 Candles

Happy Birthday, Chuck Yeager.

Here is a high-res image of the Bell X-1.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And That's The Way It Is?

Thomas Sowell rips the MSM for not telling the whole news.


Tragical History Tour

Writing for the WSJ, Debra Burlingame revisits Bill Clinton's pardon of 14 FALN terrorists.

Who is she? The byline states:

Ms. Burlingame, a former attorney and a director of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, is the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Did Obama know about this (before bloggers plastered this image all over the Internet)?

Update: here's the news video that the still is taken from.


Curse Of The TerrorRabbit

The Hamas children's program Pioneers of Tomorrow has a new cast member. It ain't the Easter Bunny.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Oh, Yeah

This video has our presidential candidates pegged.

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I Am Not A McCain Fan...

...but I agree with Andrew Sullivan's Malkin Award nomination. Although waterboarding does lasts a lot less longer than a presidential administration.

Update: Don't buy those shirts! Buy these!

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Today's Musical Treat

Courtesy of Samizdata.


Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 15, "Rock City"

Robert Spencer has the installment here. Topics include the nature of unbelievers, Allah's powers, and Paradise and Hell.

In Verse 7 the non-Muslims ask why angels have not come to authenticate Mohammed's authenticity as a prophet. In the Bible, miracles are repeatedly manifested by God as a means of identifying prophets to the masses. Riddle me this: how did Allah inform the Arabs that Mohammed was a true prophet?

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

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Roy Scheider (1932-2008)

I'll have to order a shark steak in his honor.

Rest in peace.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lost - You Were Expecting The A-Team?

Episode: Confirmed Dead. Spoilers ahead.)

It's a bird, it's a plane - no, it's a helicopter, with new characters to intrigue and annoy us.

Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) is a physicist from Essex, Massachusetts. His presence on the team is a mystery, but his profession and the fact that he shares a last name with someone who researched electromagnetism give us a pretty big clue.

Miles Straume (Ken Leung) is a medium. He can communicate wit the dead with or without a gadget that looks like a vacuum cleaner. DHARMA had been researching the paranormal, and that a number of Lostaways have had conversations with dead people, so his tie-in seems obvious.

Charlotte Lewis (Rebecca Mader) is an anthropoligist (and archaeologist, apparently) who discovered a polar bear and a DHARMA collar in Tunisia.' The smile at the discovery reveals that she knew about DHARMA long before she was assigned to this team. I wonder if her anthropological studies will explain the four-toed statue...

Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) is the Oceanic pilot who was supposed to be flying Flight 815. He was replaced by Seth Norris for reasons unknown. He recognizes that the pilot in the video was not Norris, and reported this to the NTSB. Actor Jeff Fahey is the only one of these four not listed in the opening credits. Perhaps his days are numbered...

Naomi, a trained commando, was the team lead. She reported to Matthew Abaddon, who reports to - who? Heh, she's the professional soldier, and she's the one who gets killed.

If Abaddon knows about and has a special interest in Ben Linus, he undoubtedly knows about DHARMA and its overthrow, since Ben was a pipsqueak nobody prior to the purge. So why would he have faith that a team with only one combat-ready operative could get past the Others to get to Ben? The hazmat gear suggests the team planned chem warfare, perhaps the same nerve gas that the Others used to overthrow DHARMA. But the team still has to get to Ben to suit him up in the hazmat gear, assuming they want him alive (which is probably the case).

Ben certainly knows a lot about them. There are two explanations: Ben's alibi is correct - he does have a man on their boat (Michael?) - or at least some of them work(ed) for DHARMA. He is probably telling the truth that he doesn't know what the Monster is.

Locke tells his group that Walt warned him about the freighter, and shows the wounds of the bullet that passed right through him where his kidney would have been had ne not donated it. He's heading them for Jacob's shack, where hopefully we'll find out more of what's going on.

Jack finally wises up to the fact that the helicopter team came to the island for other reasons - the guns and the hazmat gear were clues that even he couldn't miss. If he acts like a normal person (i.e. like those of us who have been watching this show for three years) he'll start asking these interlopers what they know about the island - DHARMA, the smoke monster, the Others, etc.

The best moments were acts of Lostaway cleverness: Sayid's ambush, and Vincent appearing with Charlotte's GPS.

The helicopter if flyworthy, so says Sayid. How long till they make the trip to the freighter?

The Wikipedia entry for next week's episode currently states that another member of the Oceanic Six will be revealed. Stay tuned.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Youth And Skill Overcome Old Age And Treachery

Obama wins all three of tonight's Democratic primaries.

On the Republican side, Huck has won Kansas, but Washington and Louisiana are too close to call.


Today's Quiz

Which Great US President Are You Most Like?
created with
You scored as Abraham Lincoln

16th President, in office from 1861-1865
Born: 1809 Died: 1865 (assassainated)

Abraham Lincoln


Ronald Reagan


Dwight Eisenhower


Theodore Roosevelt


Harry Truman


Thomas Jefferson


Woodrow Wilson


George Washington


Franklin Roosevelt


John Kennedy


Lyndon Johnson


(hat tip to Jen)


Another Reason To Love Germany

Finland for Thought has a pic of an amusing Dusseldorf parade float.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

It's Mourning In America

The Malkinator dissects Romney's resignation speech and equips the voters. The Rottweiler scolds. LGF commenters weep and gnash teeth. Clayton Cramer muses. Junkyard Blog weighs alternatives.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Where Does A Conservative Find Hope That Economic Policy Will Be Set On The Right Track Sometime During The Next Few Years?

Romney bows out.


Political Imagery

Here's an analogy to describe the mood of the GOP Right. Republican conservatives are Charlie Brown, and all too often both Bush presidents and John McCain were Lucy with the football.

Update: Actually, the entire post-1995 Republican Congressional leadership is Lucy, too.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Go On And Write Me Up For One Twenty-Five...

NFL says churches and other public venues can't have Super Bowl parties if the TV is bigger than 55 inches.

Update: Here's the title musical reference:


James Dobson On Romney And McCain

Hot Air has an interesting story. In the YouTube offering (audio only), Laura Ingraham reads the first two paragraphs of a letter written to her by Dobson, in which he makes his case against John McCain. (Dennis Prager has written transcript of the complete letter.) If McCain is the nominee, Dobson will not vote for anyone.

Also in the Hot Air post, below the YouTube window is an embedded audio strip thingie that plays a snippet of Prager's recent interview of Dobson; the latter says he would vote for Romney if he were the nominee. Check it out.


I Have A Question

How does Mike Huckabee, the former governor of a bottom-of-the-barrel Division III-AAA state, convince a significant number of Republican voters that he has accomplishments worthy of a presidential contender?

Talk about padding the resume.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Channeling My Inner Foghorn Leghorn

I say, I say there I hearin' this correctly? Lawmakers in a state where half of everything on the dinner table is deep fried want to ban restaurants from servin' the obese?


Evangelicals For Mitt

They have a website. On their Why We Support Governor Romney page, they raise a salient point:

Excluding [from political office] those who don't hold to orthodox Christianity would also have meant excluding such great Americans as Thomas Jefferson -- who denied the divinity of Christ -- from positions of authority. Is anybody going to argue someone else should've written the Declaration of Independence?

Check out the Issues page.

They really need a page showing a side-by-side comparison of Mitt and Huck on the issues.

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Look, Up In The Sky

What military aircraft are you?
EA-6B Prowler
You are an EA-6B. You are sinister, preferring not to get into confrontations, but extract revenge through mind games and technological interference. You also love to make noise and couldn't care less about pollution.
Personality Test Results
Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

The Federation of American Scientists has an article on the aircraft. Here's a nice pic of one on takeoff (found on this Korean-language blog).


Blogging the Qur'an: Sura 14, "Abraham"

Robert Spencer has the installment here. Topics include Abraham's prayer for Mecca, sound bites from Moses, warnings about unbelievers, and some descriptions of Hell.

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

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Lost - The Beginning Of The End Of Our Patience

Episode: The Beginning Of The End. Spoilers ahead.)

Is Charlie Pace really dead? I doubt that Desmond stuck around for three to four minutes to verify that Charlie did indeed drown in that flooded communications room. This is wild speculation, but could he have allowed himself to drift long enough to fulfill Desmond's vision of his drowning, and then escape through the blown porthole to return to the non-flooded portion of the facility, all without Desmond's knowledge? This is wild speculation, but weirder stuff has happened on this show.

Hurley's vision of Charlie adds extra confuision. Some castaways have had waking or dream visions of dead people while on the island, but only Hurley has had them away from the island - even before the crash. Is there a common thread between the Charlie and Dave visions? If so, either they are hallucinatory manifestations of his conscience (similar to Remy's visions of Auguste Gusteau in Ratatouille), they are connetced to the on-island visions of dead people somehow, or they are essentially visiting ghosts - perhaps Dave one of the two who died in the platform collapse (referenced here) that led to Hurley's original stay at the mental institution.

If the off-island visions have the same source as the on-island visions, that means that the mysterious island intelligence(s) had been trying to reach Hurley even before the crash. Why Hurley and nobody else? The obvious connection is that the institution was where Hurley learned of The Numbers. He was probably the only patient who bothered to remember Leonard's repeated recitation of them; maybe Dave was trying to make Hurley do stuff to decrease his chances of leaving, to ensure that what numbers are said in the asylum stay in the asylum.

If "the island" wasn't communicating with Hurley then, it seems to be opening hailing frequencies now. The appearance of Jacob's shack in two separate locations is not a sign offered by someone who wants to be left alone. The image flashed by too quickly for me to recognize him, but Lostpedia's article on this episode sayd the man in the rocking chair was Christian Shephard, or the island's facsimile of him - still image here. The eyes looking out may have belonged to Locke - not sure on that.

If things weren't confusing enough, in the flash-forward Hurley says he regrets joining Locke's group, but evidently people from both groups, a total of six combined, will eventually get off the island, and will be coerced into silence.

Enter Matthew Abbadon. He says he's an Oceanic attorney, has no way to prove it, and wants to know from Hurley if "they" are still alive. We'll be seeing more of this dude in future episodes.

Ben and Locke are fools. Ben knows who the "bad guys" are, but he won't spill what he knows, not even for the sake of his own self-preservation. Locke at the very least some sketchy knowledge about the ill intent of their would-be rescuers, but he's not telling anyone specifics, or how he found out. (Jacob was probably his source.) Jack is a fool for not considering for a moment that the Others may not be the only ones with nefarious plans involving the island, and that Ben is indeed telling the truth about Naomi's people.

Speaking of Naomi really dead, or is she playing possum? Locke and Bakunin are in tune with the island's healing properties like none of the other, both having walked away from injuries that woudl have killed anyone else. (For the sake of not making our heads explode any more than they have, I hope that Bakunin really is dead, that the grenade blast was more than even the island could repair.) Is Naomi at one with The Island Force as well? That stab would looked too nasty to walk away from.

If Ben is so terrified of these people, why didn't he speak up when Naomi started to crawl away?

Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) remains listed as an official regular, and a few new ones have been added. Jeremy Davies plays Daniel Faraday, the parachutist who appears at the end of the episode. Rebecca Mader will play Charlotte Lewis, who will be introduced in episode 2. The name of Ken Leung's character is not yet released. And Harold Perrineau is coming back! Will his character Michael be in the island sequences or the flash-forwards - or both?

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Groundhog Day Question

If Fed chairman Ben Bernanke sees his shadow, does that mean six weeks of recession?

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Political Correctness Kills Again

Remember this 2005 story? (Link via Six Meat Buffet)

ATLANTA - A judge presiding over a rape trial was shot to death Friday along with two other people at the Fulton County Courthouse, authorities said. A fourth person was critically wounded and the suspect, the defendant at the trial, remained at bay hours later.

How did the perp get the gun? Classical Values linked this MSNBC story (emphasis added):

Until Friday morning, Nichols, a 6'1" 210 pound former college football line backer and computer consultant, was in jail and standing trial for his alleged kidnapping and vicious assault on his former girlfriend. When returning Nichols to his jail cell from court on Thursday, jailers searched his shoes and found that he had smuggled two "shanks" or knife-like weapons from his jail cell into the courtroom. When advised of this, presiding Judge Rowland Barnes ordered additional security for Nichols' court appearance on Friday, however, he was nonetheless allowed to be alone that day with 5'1", 51-year old sheriff's deputy Cynthia Hall.

Nichols overpowered Deputy Hall, grabbed her Beretta .40 cal. semi-automatic pistol, ammo magazines and police radio, and beat and shot the deputy.

Hall survived, but Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes, court reporter Julie Brandau, and deputy sherriff Hoyt Teasley were killed.

Somebody once said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. Another petite female law enforcement officer has been overpowered and shot, this time in New Orleans, and this time the female officer was killed (emphasis added):

A vagrant wanted for questioning in a rape overpowered a 24-year-old police officer who was trying to handcuff him, then shot her to death with her own weapon Monday, police said.


[Police officer Nicola] Cotton was responding to a call about a rape suspect when she saw Johnson sitting in front of a store with luggage, police said.

Riley said the officer approached the man in her police cruiser and began questioning him. When she tried to handcuff him, the suspect attacked her and a seven-minute fight ensued, he said.

The officer managed to use her radio during the struggle to call for backup, but the man grabbed her weapon and shot her repeatedly, Riley said.

"I can tell you this officer fought with a man twice her size, and she fought very courageously," Riley said. "She followed procedure as far as we're concerned."

At the very least, NOBODY should be trying to handcuff a suspect twice his or her mass without another officer present.


Adorable Furry Critters

Well, the Addams Family woudl find them adorable.


Food Discovery Of The Day

The canned cheeseburger.

Pics available here (link posted by Paul Hsieh in comments to the post linked above).


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