Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Friday, January 30, 2009

Maybe I Could Get Some Bailout Money, Too?

Fron the AP:

"Tuna is a very expensive fish," Takagi said. "One tuna can easily cost more than 1 million yen ($11,000).

I need a HobieCat and a harpoon...

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Maybe They Should Ask For A Bailout

The corporate jet industry is on the skids:

The world's largest maker of the planes, Textron Inc, said on Thursday that customers canceled orders for 23 of its aircraft in the fourth quarter and that an "unprecedented number" of customers asked to defer their orders.

"It's almost like political suicide" to buy a jet right now, said Perry Adams, vice president and senior portfolio manager at Huntington Private Financial Group of Traverse City, Michigan, which owns Textron shares.

"Thousands of people are being laid off and yet the company is going to go out and purchase a corporate jet? It's bad timing," he said.


Blago Ousted From Office

The Cabbage Patch governor has been un-adopted.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Praise Of Banking Conspiracies

A Daimnation post about a South African official's remarks about Jewish money controlling the West prompted this comment from yours truly:

I wish a banking conspiracy (Jewish or otherwise) really did control America - we wouldn't be in this financial crisis.

Building a conspiracy of such proportions takes a lot of time and great financial market savvy. Banking conspirators would know what makes and what breaks markets, and wanting that which they seek to conquer to be as big and powerful and profitable as possible, they would do everything in their power to maximize the health of the financial markets under their sway.

The crisis was caused by a) Greenspan's artificial sustenance of a housing bubble through relaxed monetary policy, and b) hippy leftist utopians who strongarmed certain lending institutions into lowering their mortgage standards so that the poor could buy houses they can't afford.

[External Link]

[External Link]

No competent banking conspirator would have bought into this crap.


Monday, January 26, 2009

The Envelope, Please VI

The 2008 Weblog Awards are out.


Life Imitates My Blog, Sorta

This was among my 2009 predictions:

Burris will back down, prompting Blagojevich to appoint someone the Senate wouldn't dare reject: Oprah Winfrey.

Blago considered appointing Winfrey in real life (link via Sully).

Update: Another Andrew Sullivan link to the story here.

Update: Does this help or hinder any chance that I could some day become a political consultant?


Paging Tim Geithner

Once you're confirmed, could you send a popcorn stimulus package Pej's way? I bet a couple of Iowa farmers would benefit.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lost - Missing In Time

(Episode: Because You Left. Spoilers ahead.)

Season Five brings this series into its weirdest plot twist. In a flashback we learn that DHARMA planned to tap into some sort of energy for the purpose of time travel experiments. Miners discover a chamber, and "Marvin Candle" (the name turns out to be an alias) warns that if the chamber is breached the mysterious energy would be released with unexplained catastrophic consequences.

That chamber was breached when Ben Linus moved the island at the end of last season. Now the still-marooned Flight 816 survivors, and the three recent arrivals - Faraday and his two compatriots - are periodically traveling through time. The Others are unaffected, as the Locke scenes reveal. However, Richard Alpert knows what's going on - evidently he knows something about the island that Ben doesn't.

The fix for this time fracture is the return of the Oceanic Six to the island. Ben is rounding them up, not knowing that Sun is plotting to kill him, that Hurley is about to become a wanted fugitive, and that Kate is on the lam from some mysterious person(s) who wants to compare her DNA with Aaron's.

Des gets in on the act, his past self having received a message from Faraday. What will he find in Oxford?

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

David Darlington Misses The Point

At ITA he notes the origins of the closing portion of Lowry's prayer, and somehow thinks that this context counters the notion of its offensiveness. I responded in comments:

Michelle Malkin pointed out those origins, and says it "makes the jab against whites all the more egregious."

She's right. Lowry was speaking about a day that has been here for some time - the rejection of anti-black racism by the overwhelming majority of our culture - as if it hasn't happened yet.

How do you think the Japanese would feel if today we spoke of their government as if it still hadn't become a friend and ally after the war?

At best, this was a Trent Lott moment - trying to say something nice about someone but not realizing his words' implications. At worst it conveys that he is one of those barking moonbats who thinks that racism still permeates the dominant white culture.


Hillary Confirmed As SecState

With a vote of 94-2 in favor.

Katharine Zaleski at the Huffington Post has an article on the Clinton Foundation donor list. $46 million came from foreign governments. I bet they're pleased with the vote.

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My Opinion Of Joseph Lowery Just Dropped Like A Rock

He was the one who used Coretta Scott King's funeral as an occasion to bash President Bush. Michelle Malkin blogged on that event.


You Can't Make This Up

Clinically depressed poodle attacks Jacques Chirac.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Poem


At least it's better than Maya Angelou's inaugural drivel of yesteryear.


Obama's Inauguration Speech


Okay, here's the transcript.


The Other Prayer

Here is the full transcript of Rick Warren's invocation, via WorldNetDaily:

Almighty God, our Father, everything we see, and everything we can't see, exists because of you alone.

It all comes from you, it all belongs to you, it all exists for your glory.

History is your story.

The Scripture tells us, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.

Now today, we rejoice not only in America's peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we celebrate a hinge point of history with the inauguration of our first African-American president of the United States.

We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity.

Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet and every one of our freely elected leaders.

Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.

When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us.

When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us.

When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.

And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in our attitudes – even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all.

May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.

And may we never forget that one day, all nations, and all people, will stand accountable before you.

We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life – Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus – who taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.


Regarding the mention of Dr. King, it's really bad form to speak for someone's beliefs without being able to document them. Those of us who know about Obama's 20-year alliance with King's ideological enemies find that portion especially offensive. And wouldn't the same Martin Luther King who abhorred violence have issues with Obama implementing education policy in concert with a known terrorist?

Otherwise I like the prayer.

But no Hindi translation of Jesus' name? :-)

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Racist Prayer At Inauguration

One of the great chapters of this nation's history is that of the unraveling of anti-black racism, which in two generations has been rejected by the dominant culture and relegated to the fringes of society.

Unfortunately, there are people like Rev. Joseph Lowery who act as if it didn't happen. Michelle Malkin has details, including full lyrics to the civil rights chant that inspired Lowry's words.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, We Have Ignition!

This musical tribute to the nation's capital closes with "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Paul Dukas, via that classical moment from Fantasia.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Civil Rights Day!

See last year's post.

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Does Barack Obama Believe In Martin Luther King's Dream?

I ask because the president-elect devoted 20 years of his life to a church pastored by a man who does not believe in that dream.

I base that statement on the fact that Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of theologian James H. Cone.

So where does Professor Cone differ from Dr. King? Cone views race relations in terms of class warfare, a notion King rejected.

Last March, in this post I linked a telling article in Asia Times, and excerpted a passage of Cone's own words:

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community ... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

Dr. King did not blame whites as a whole for the pervasive racism. In his Letter From Birmingham Jail, he acknowledged both strong allies and lukewarm supporters among whites. Furthermore, he counted whites - even unfriendly ones - as brothers and sisters. No class warfarist uses language like that.

It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers.


I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "An Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills.


And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble-rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black-nationalist ideologies [earlier he cites "Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement"] a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare.


I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother."

Five paragraphs above that last quote is this passage:

I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some-such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle---have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach-infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation.

Contrast with this passage from Page 2 of Stanley Kurtz's article 'Context,' you say? A guide to the radical theology of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright (article hosted on BNET):

Indeed, one of the most striking features of Black Theology and Black Power is its strident attack on white liberals. According to Cone, "when white do-gooders are confronted with the style of Black Power, realizing that black people really place them in the same category with the George Wallaces, they react defensively, saying, 'It's not my fault' or 'I am not responsible.'" But Cone insists that white, liberal do-gooders are every bit as responsible as the most dyed-in-the-wool segregationists. Well before it became a clich,, [sic] Cone boldly set forth the argument for institutional racism--the notion that "racism is so embedded in the heart of American society that few, if any, whites can free themselves from it."

The liberal's favorite question, says Cone, is "What can I do?" He replies that, short of turning radical and putting their lives on the line behind a potentially violent revolution, liberals can do nothing. The real liberal question to blacks, says Cone, is "What can I do and still receive the same privileges as other whites and--this is the key--be liked by Negroes?" Again, he answers, "Nothing."

Unfortunately this quote doesn't tell us what these privileges are that Cone believes while liberals receive from racism and are unwilling to give up. It would shed light on his thinking.

Cone plays down his allusions to violence, but the word "necessarily" as it appears in this statement (on Page 3) suggests he doesn't rule it out entirely:

To revolutionize or eliminate these faulty "white values," black pastors and theologians must reject the influence of "white seminaries with their middle-class white ideas about God, Christ, and the Church." "This does not necessarily mean burning of their buildings with Molotov cocktails," says Cone. But it does require the replacement of middle-class consciousness with "black consciousness," with "a theology which confronts white society as the racist Antichrist, communicating to the oppressor that nothing will be spared in the fight for freedom."

Earlier on that page is this choice quote:

"Theologically," Cone affirms, "Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man 'the devil.'"

Contrast with King's epistle (emphasis added):

I began thinking about the fact that stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency...The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best-known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil."

I have a difficult time believing that Rev. Wright could immerse himself in this theology and not make it a cornerstone of Trinity United Church of Christ. I also have a hard time believing that Obama would spend 20 years in a church whose theology he finds largely offensive.

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Bonus Inauguration Countdown Video

Originally I hadn't planned to put the Star Wars "Imperial March" in the lineup, but after seeing the official inauguration poster featuring what looks like Sith light sabers...

Doesn't the poster color scheme just reek of Orwell?

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Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 1 Day

"Everybody Wants To Rule The World," Tears for Fears

Yes, there is music - it starts at 00:30.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 2 Days

"Us and Them," Pink Floyd

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 3 Days

You knew this was coming - "Taxman," The Beatles

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 4 Days

"Life of Illusion," Joe Walsh

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Patrick McGoohan (1928-2009)

Wikipedia bio here.

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Ricardo Montalban (1920-2009)

Rest in peace.

(Link via Spats)

Wikipedia bio here.

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More On Geithner

Michelle Malkin has some worthwhile reading.

Meanwhile, James Taranto says this:

We're tempted to say America needs a Treasury secretary who is smart enough to figure out his own taxes. But such a cheap shot would be beneath us. Instead, we are going to make a serious point:

America needs a tax code simple enough for the Treasury secretary to figure out.

Scrappleface also has something to say.


Louie Louie

Last Monday I made references to a certain French monarch regarding Obama. Yesterday, Yale professor Paul Kennedy said this:

Today, however, our dependency upon foreign investors will approximate more and more the state of international indebtedness we historians associate with the reigns of Philip II of Spain and Louis XIV of France -- attractive propositions at first, then steadily losing glamour.

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Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 5 Days

More Rush - "Temples of Syrinx" (live in Frankfurt)

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Speaking Of Money...

Read Forbes' article on Tim Geithner's tax scandal.


Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 6 Days

"The Big Money," Rush.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fisking The Jukebox 3

Reader Beth Elliott suggests a truly fiskworthy song, Ironic by Alanis Morissette . It is the diametric opposite of Who Moved My Cheese - change is portrayed as always bad, sometimes in a lethal manner. Did this make it into the soundtrack of those Final Destination movies?

Here's the complete lyrics:

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
Its a black fly in your chardonnay
Its a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic... don't you think?

Its like rain on your wedding day
Its a free ride when you've already paid
Its the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Mr. play it safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
Well isn't this nice...
And isn't it ironic... don't you think?

Repeat chorus

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you're already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
Its like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
Its meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think?
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...

Repeat chorus

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

I am puzzled by the last lines. Life has a way of helping us out? It sounds like life is out to get us.

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Book Review: Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson

With the Obama administration approaching like a Mack truck, it's a good time to take a look at Who Moved My Cheese?, the popular - and reviled - handbook on coping with change.

Johnson summarizes his theory thus (source: Wikipedia):

Change Happens
They Keep Moving The Cheese

Anticipate Change
Get Ready For The Cheese To Move

Monitor Change
Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old

Adapt To Change Quickly
The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese

Move With The Cheese

Enjoy Change!
Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!

Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again & Again
They Keep Moving The Cheese.

The book is especially hated by many who received it as a gift from employers; Amazon reviewer M. Swartz encapsulates the common reaction:

This is a book written for unquestioning, mindless followers, not a book for leaders. But a tool that leaders would use to try and control their subordinates.

The ultimate problem with the book is that it addresses only a small subset of change; most types differ from Johnson's model in one or more ways.

What are the characteristics of change? The following, I believe, covers most of the bases:

  1. Change involves the gain and/or loss of a resource (person, object, time).
  2. Change may or may not be due to someone's error or duplicity.
  3. Change may or may not be reversible.
  4. A substitute for a lost resource may or may not be available.
  5. An available substitute for a lost resource is either chosen by or forced upon the individual.
  6. Change is either a net benefit, a net loss, or a break-even.

A more thorough analysis of change will include these topics among its inquiries:

  • Protection against duplicity.
  • How to fix your mistakes.
  • How to persuade others to fix their mistakes.
  • Discerning when change can and should be challenged.
  • Adapting to the irreversible negative outcomes from change.

I wonder if Who Subprimed My Cheese will ever join the list of parodies...


Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 7 Days

Another Rolling Stones live TV selection - (I Can't Get No) "Satisfaction"

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Michael J. Totten Roundup

Hamas violates the Geneva Conventions (big surprise) and even booby trapped a zoo and school in Gaza with explosives. In Gaza. Buildings belonging to Palestinians. One has to look real hard to find evil greater than this.

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All Hail The Sun King

The National Education Association will spend a quarter of a million livres dollars on festivities regarding the court of Louis XIV inauguration of Barack Obama.

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Al Franken's Long-Time Rocky Relationship With Facts

Kathy Shaidle has the story at FrontPage Magazine.


Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 8 Days

"Under My Thumb" (live on TV), The Rolling Stones

Note: Due to a publishing error, some viewers may have seen this a day early.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 9 Days

"Don't Worry About the Government," The Talking Heads.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 10 Days

Another classical selection: "March to the Scaffold," from Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, performed by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo, Pinchas Steinberg conducting.

Our tax dollars get marched to the scaffold every day.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Flirtin' With Disaster

No, that's not tomorrow's Obama Countdown song. Qando rakes the stimulus plan over the coals.

From Day One the plan (from Bush and Obama) has been to apply band-aids, not to hunt down and address root causes.


The Blagmire Thickens

Blagojevich gets impeached.

That may not jeopardize Burris' ability to retain his now-won Senate seat, but will this?

For the first time, Burris indicated that he asked Blagojevich's former chief of staff and college classmate, Lon Monk, to relay his interest in the Senate seat to the governor last July or September.

"If you're close to the governor, you know, let him know I'm certainly interested in the seat," Burris said he told Monk.

That testimony appears to differ from an affidavit Burris submitted to the impeachment panel this week in which he stated he spoke to no "representatives" of the governor about the Senate post prior to Dec. 26.

Federal prosecutors, who identified Monk as "Lobbyist 1" in their criminal complaint against Blagojevich, indicated they tapped Monk's phone in November as Blagojevich moved to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

(emphasis added)

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Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 11 Days

"Won't Get Fooled Again" (live), The Who

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Envelope, Please V

Make way for the 2008 EIA Public Education Quotes of the Year. The blogosphere's own Andrew Sullivan made Number 5, in one of his more lucid moments:

"Until we really do bust the teachers unions, the next generation of kids in public schools is at risk." - Andrew Sullivan. (November 13 Daily Dish)

The first place quote requires a bit of context. Here's the quote:

"When the scores go up, it's not just meaningless. It's worrisome." – Alfie Kohn. (October 18 Salt Lake Tribune)

The Tribune article is no longer available online, but Jim Horn has a much larger excerpt here. Kohn apparently thinks the tests in question are being dumbed down, but someone who makes remarks like these isn't the best authority on what defines dumb:

He said competition in schools destroys their sense of community. Advanced Placement classes, he claimed, focus more on material but don't do much to deepen students' understanding. He said standardized tests are designed so that some students must always fail or they're considered too easy, and often the students who do poorly are members of minority groups.

"We are creating in this country before our eyes, little by little, what could be described as educational ethnic cleansing," Kohn said. He called Utah's standards too specific and the number of tests given to Utah students "mind-boggling."

On the subject of standardized testing, I find no merit in the long-standing accusation that they're racially biased, but I do share the suspicion of many that the practice tends to make curricula more superficial, swaying classrooms to spend less time on in-depth matters and more on rote memorization of sound bites. Then there's the dubious notion that one size of standards fits all.


Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 12 Days

"Dominance and Submission," Blue Oyster Cult

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 13 Days

"Lawyers, Guns, and Money," Warren Zevon

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Texas-Sized Eminent Domain Threat Dies

The Trans-Texas Corridor has been scrapped.

Eminent Domain Watch has some background on the now-defunct project reprinting an editorial written by Paul D. Perry in the Waxahatchie TX Daily Light, 10/20/07. Perry perceives a parallel I have long entertained:

I like the Mel Brook’s spoof of western land grabs "Blazing Saddles," but I do not want to see a modern land grab of that nature.


A Little Perspective On Gaza Casualties

Yaacov Lozowick reports data regarding the Israeli air attacks:

The numbers prove how efficient this has been: prior to the ground invasion, more than 600 targets had been destroyed, fewer than 500 Palestinians killed, and fewer than 100 of those were civilians even by Palestinian and UN reckoning.

Michael J. Totten reacts:

Think about those numbers. Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on the face of the earth. If Israeli Air Force pilots were trying to kill civilians -- if they were the war criminals they're accused of being all over the world -- they'd kill a lot more than 0.8 people per air strike.

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Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 14 Days

"Lies, Lies, Lies," by the Thompson Twins

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Could They Crank It Up To Eleven?

An acoustics expert speculates that Stonehenge was a musical arena.

That ancient scene probably didn't resemble this.

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The Envelope, Please IV

Right Wing News issues its 20 Most Annoying Liberals Of 2008. Andrew Sullivan tops the list.

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The Envelope, Please III

The 10 Worst Predictions for 2008, from

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No Cheese-Eating Surrender This Time

Somebody finally decided to play tough with the Somali pirates - and it's the French!

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Musical Countdown To Obama's Inauguration, 15 Days

Back in 2004 I guest-blogged at Sasha Castel's now-defunct blog an incomplete list of alternate state theme songs devised by myself. For the District of Columbia I assigned an entire musical, 28 songs. Of course, I have the original list on my home computer. I'll be embedding a different selection each day leasing up to O-Day.

I'll start with the "Montagues and Capulets" march, from Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet (performing orchestra unknown).

The portion beginning at 01:35 may sound familiar to some - it was featured in the Lexus "swinging orbs" commercial (cited in this list).

Update: I've created a special "Obama Countdown" category for this series.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Predictions For 2009

In its waning days, the Bush Administration will raise $370 billion by setting up a Henry Paulson dunking booth.

The Minnesota election board will find a cache of uncounted ballots in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch. The race will eventually be decided by the BCS.

In another voting scandal, the incoming administration will investigate irregularities in the Drudge poll between shirtless Obama and Putin. Putin will counter that Obama's shouldn't have gotten even half of the votes he got, and will accuse Georgians of stuffing the online ballot boxes.

Oil prices will remain relatively stable this year, but arugula prices will skyrocket in the wake of increased demand.

As Roland Burris attempts to report for his swearing-in, he will be physically blocked by a line of four Senators. Editorial cartoonists will apply this visual metaphor.

Burris will back down, prompting Blagojevich to appoint someone the Senate wouldn't dare reject: Oprah Winfrey. This act will win him the 2009 Profiles in Courage Award.

Despite Oprah's presence, Congress will continue to earn approval ratings lower than Bernard Madoff's.

Seeking to be miscast as a villain instead of a Nazi, Tom Cruise will land a role as Sirhan Sirhan in a Bobby Kennedy biopic.

Dallas Cowboys fans will ask for a bailout, so they can afford tickets to games at the costly new stadium.

Fiji will test its first nuclear weapon.

Joe the Plumber will announce his plans to move to Arizona and challenge John McCain's Senate seat in his 2010 reelection bid. Sarah Palin will host several fundraisers on his behalf.


Filling In The Blank

Does anyone out there know where I can find Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's complete resume?

From Day One I have been leery of the criticisms of her on the basis of experience. I know that she's a lawyer, but I don't know what she's actually done with her law degree. I know she's a writer and sits on a bunch of boards, but specifics are hard to find through search engines that prioritize popular search results over useful ones. Still, from what little I can find Caroline does not strike me as an idler like some powdered-wigged duchess from the time of Louis XIV.

Regarding any candidate for House or Senate, I look first for sound ideology (which I don't expect from ANY David Paterson appointee), and some kind of track record of achievement. For most that achievement comes from traditional careers, but for others it may stem from offbeat pursuits. Is Caroline one of those others? I can't tell without examining the details of her resume.

Her political views regarding Israel will displease some lefties. And a lot of Muslims.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Iain Murray Is Right

Last year sucked. Rand Simberg agrees.

Update: There was one bright spot - victory in Iraq.

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The Envelope, Please II

Andrew Sullivan has his Daily Dish Awards.

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The Envelope, Please

It's time to crank out the annual lists, starting with Media Research Center's Best Notable Quotables of 2008. Quote of the Year goes to Chris Matthews:

Keith Olberman was the only contender for the Madness of King George Award, with three entries. This is the winner:


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