Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


Old comments migrated to Disqus, currently working outtechnical issues

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Have A Twitter Page

Right here. The only reason I signed up is that it might be useful for communicating to others with Twitter accounts. So far the only one I follow is that of Dallas/Fort Worth area talk show host Mark Davis.

I also put it to use to promote choice blog posts. This blog's URLs greatly limit the description length I can post.


Who Is Sonia Sotomayor?

Is she Bill Lann Lee? (Check this excerpt from two comments, posted here by yours truly.)

What baffles me is how her personal background influenced her ruling in Ricci v. DeStefano. As reported by Mark Davis and Slate's Emily Bazelon, the ruling upheld promotion policies that discriminate against whites and Hispanics in favor of blacks.


Actually I’m not really all that baffled. Long time ago an online acquaintance coined the term “PC points.” Political Correctness has a hierarchy; some ideals outrank others. I believe that to Sotomayor, as well as Bill Lann Lee, leftist forms of racial discrimination are too important for the civil rights of their respective ethnicities to get in the way. PC collateral damage, as it were.

Or is she Archie Bunker? Read the top item in James Taranto's Best of the Web.

Update: Insty also linked the Taranto piece, along with other related articles.

Update: Would Sotomayor qualify as a juror? (Via Rand Simberg)

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Question Du Jour

I asked this question at LGF (entire thread here):

Aside from what all party members have to offer - their votes for Republican candidates - what does Colin Powell have to offer the GOP?


Bring. It. On.

Bacon-infused waffles.

For lunch, I'm ordering the Cafeteria Surprise.

Now this is what I call pork stimulus.

Dessert! Hey, I had an idea like that once...

The blog is filled with all sorts of artery-popping goodness.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Attention All Tea Party Organizations! Red Alert! Shields Up! Load The Photon Torpedoes!

White supremacists and anti-Semites are planning on infiltrating the tea party protests.

The legitimate Tea Party organizers must take preemptive measures. If Code Pink has the legal right to show up, so does Stormfront. You can't force them away. But you can set up counterprotest, to distinguish yourselves from the interlopers.

It would be a good idea to put your heads together to anticipate other disreputable sorts that might want to horn in on the protests.

As for the photon torpedoes, delegate that responsibility to the NRA.

Labels: ,

Bond Analogies

Yesterday I cited the James Bond supervillain organization as a metaphor for the Democratic Party. Huh? What's up with that?

The acronym SPECTRE stands for "Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion." The name cites four distinct policies. Counter-intelligence, roughly defined, means keeping others from finding out your secrets. All political parties do something like that, as do governments, sports team coaches, and all sorts of other endeavors. That leaves three others.

  • Terrorism. The Democratic Party does not engage in terrorism - but it is more than willing to allow public policy to be shaped directly or indirectly by terrorists. The Chicago political mob welcomed the founder of the Weather Underground into its ranks, and felt no qualms about Bill Ayers drafting education programs for select Chicago schools.

    As for foreign terrorists...softness on Palestinian terror is not entirely partisan - our two previous Secretaries of State were not exactly Israel's best friends. But we do not see a Republican parallel to the frequent meetings between Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat. Nor do we see among the Right a meme that permeates many bastions of the Left: the perception of Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters.

  • Revenge and Extortion. These work hand-in-hand to a great degree. Traditional organized crime engage in extortion for simple self-enrichment. The Democratic leadership does this too, as the auto companies and fionancial institutions know only too well. But the Dem leadership's economic policy serves another purpose: to strike vengeance against various constituencies. The US tax code is the greatest weapon for this purpose.

    Maybe the real reasons for leftist opposition to public property Ten Commandments displays are those commandments condemning covetousness and theft.

Recallling my recent bit of fun with Goldfinger, one might place Barack Obama into that role instead, considering the title character's plot to nuke the Fort Knox gold supply - Obama's spending plans will certainly make our money supply radioactive. In that case, I guess the Oddjob role goes to Tim Geithner. I wonder if he wears a bowler...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pass Around The Vodka Martinis

A blog post about a lame Republican video invites a rant from yours truly (self-censorship of a certain "p" word in original):

Pelosi is neither Pussy Galore nor Octopussy. Both eventually sided with Mr. Bond. Pelosi is the party of SPECTRE.

The GOP is the party of p_ssies galore. They let the Dems run spending policy ever since the government shutdown PR debacle at the end of 1995. They let the Dems control lower-court judicial nominations. And votes for the GOP dwindled over the years as a result. We don’t vote for capitulating wimps. We vote for people who fight for us.

If the GOP wants to find Ian Fleming analogies, there are better places to look.


Our Participation In The United Nations Should Look More Like This

Leslie Nielsen for UN Ambassador!

Labels: , ,

Headline Du Jour

From MSNBC: Court pick could face filibuster over 'feelings'.

Morris Albert
was unavailable for comment.

Labels: ,

No Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys Here

Scientology faces criminal charges in France.

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering The Fallen

(This is an annual Memorial Day post.)

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Wars on the Barbary Pirates (1801-1805, 1815)
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
War Between the States (1861-1865)
Mexican-American War(1846-1848)
Spanish-American War (1898)
China Relief Expedition (1900-1901)
Pacification of Nicaragua (1912-1913)
Interventions in Mexico (1914-1917)
World War I (1914-1918)
Pacification of Haiti and Dominican Republic (1915-1918)
Allied Intervention in Russian Civil War (1918-1920)
World War II (1939-1945)
Korean War (1950-1953)
Vietnam War (1964-1973)
Hostage rescue mission in Iran (1980)
Lebanon peacekeeping mission (1982-1984)
Counterinsurgency mission in El Salvador (1980-?)
Liberation of Grenada (1983)
Invasion of Panama (1989)
Iraq War (1990-1991, 2002-present)
Somalia peacekeeping mission (1992-1994)
Attack on USS Cole (2000)
Afghanistan War (2001-present)

The Veterans Museum has information on many of these conflicts. Information on Allied activity during the Bolshevik Revolution is here. See Wikipedia entry on Manuel Noriega for details on the Panama conflict. This site tells of American pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain.

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

American Idol Finale

I scarcely watch this show. The only reason it's on my radar is because I was stunned that the guy who tortured Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire"on the one episode I did watch made it to the finals.

That night I thought Adam Lambert's Idol days were numbered. American Idol is geared for pop singers who can excel in a wide range of genres (many of which bore me, which is why I watch the show so little). Lambert's edgy style places him in a niche market. I predict he winds up on the soundtrack to the Twilight sequel.

If I had a super-great singing voice, mine would be a niche market as well. And there's no way I could survive Disco night. Disco night? How did this show get away with that for eight years without Ryan Seacrest finding a horse's head in his bed?

Labels: ,

Three-Fourths Of The Senate Caution Obama On Israel

NewsMax has the story here.

Two pleas stand out: to "promote far greater involvement and participation by the Arab states both in moving toward normal ties with Israel and in encouraging moderate Palestinian elements." Long missing from the peace process has been efforts to get Arabs to actually get along with Israel.


Monday, May 18, 2009


Some weekend offerings from Glenn Reynolds:

The first hundred days - of President Palin. Heh.

China has a new attraction - its "first sex-themed theme park." Don't know if the drunk hookers are covered in the admission price.

David Harsanyi prefers hookers over censors.

Cage match - yuan vs. dollar.

Advantage: yuan.

Headline: "Islamists linked to al-Qaeda on verge of toppling Somali government." Somalia has a government! Who knew?

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wimpy Earthquake Hits Texas

I was lying in bed yesterday and felt a slight one- or two-second tremor. I thought it was some big construction equipment doing something, and promptly forgot about it. Turns out it was a 3.3-magnitude earthquake.

Chuck Norris lives here. Earthquakes fear Chuck Norris. He growls, and they go away.

Labels: ,

Unsafe At Any Speed

Especially at top speed. Via Rand Simberg:

From Deep Red to Deep Purple:

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lost - Season Five Finale

(Episode: The Incident. Spoilers ahead.)

Instead of a full-blown review I'll link to this seven-page article that one of my churchmates sent. I do have a few musings, though.

The Flight 815 survivors got caught in the middle of a war between DHARMA and the Others, and between the Others and renegade Charles Widmore, who in turn had been caught in the middle of a war between Jacob and Nameless Guy. Cue the Twilight Zone music...

Something I just out: "Jughead" is yet another Hurley number reference. The bomb is Mark 16 nuclear bomb. But wait, there's another! According to the Operation Castle Wikipedia entry, "Jughead" yielded 8 megatons.

Stuff we don't still know: Alpert's origins. (Was he on the Black Rock?) Jacob's and Nameless Guy's origins. How DHARMA found the island. Clues as to why Radzinsky will doctor the Swan orientation film.

Stuff we do know: Radzinsky and Chang are not on good terms. Chang indeed loses his arm in the Incident. Eloise Hawking of 1977 is pregnant with Daniel. (Gad, I hope it's Daniel and not some sibling he's never been told about.) The "Locke" who rose from the dead is an impostor. Jacob has traveled to and from the island many times. Jacob wanted Hurley on Ajira Flight 316. Ilana's people are working not for Widmore or DHARMA or the Others but for Jacob!!!

Stuff we can guess: Chang will stick Radzinsky into mind-numbing Swan duty as reward for his recklessness.

Wild speculation #1: If "Jughead" is one of those bombs where a conventional explosion triggers the thermonuclear explosion, I'm speculating that Sayid tampered with it to disable the latter but not the former. That would carry out Miles' prediction that Jack was fulfilling history instead of changing it.

Wild speculation #2: The real Locke isn't going to stay dead. In this episode Ben recalls what the Monster, in the guise of Alex, had ordered: to do everything that Locke says. I think Smokey knows the real Locke from the fake, and that Ben will find himself taking the real Locke's lead in the final season.

Update: Two more things we don't know - Smokey's relationship with Jacob and Unnamed Guy, and how the Black Rock got marooned in the missle of the island.

Update: Jay Manifold informs me that nuclear bombs come with a failsafe self-destruct mechanism that blows up the bomb without triggering a nuclear explosion. I think Sayid rigged this mechanism - and that the combination of scattered radioactive elements and the electromagnetic anomaly will cause the phenomenon that affects pregnancies on the island.

Labels: ,

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hey, If Dead People Can Vote...

...they should be perfectly eligible for stimulus checks.



Dick Cheney cites Bush's key success:

"The bottom line is we successfully defended the nation for seven and a half years against a follow-on attack to 9/11. That was a remarkable achievement," he told FOX News. "I think that we are stripping ourselves of some of the capabilities that we used in order to block, if you will, or disrupt activities by Al Qaeda that would have led to additional attacks."


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Down On The Corner

More NRO offerings:

  • This post links various articles on talk radio.
  • Sex-selection abortion legalized in...Sweden. I hope they're ready for the gender imbalance problem down the road; they should pay close attention to the phenomenon in India and China.
  • Speaking of China, taxpayer dollars will be addressing the problem of Chinese prostitute alcoholism. (At least they survived China's one-child policy.) Wait a minute - doesn't China's vast male surplus have these girls swimming in customers? Why can't China tax them and pay for their own hooker sobriety program?
  • Steven Hayward discusses climate change, and lack thereof.

Labels: ,

Why I Read National Review Online

My Little Pony - The Movie


In The Art News Today

The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth has acquired an early Michelangelo painting, "The Torment of Saint Anthony."

Update: It's not just an early painting, it's the earliest known. And note in the story that this is the first American-owned Michelangelo.

Update: Here's the Kimbell's official announcement, with more background on the painting. When it goes on display I don't know - I thought I heard the ABC Radio Network say August. Inquiring minds can check with the Kimbell.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cola Party Protests, Anyone?

Some senators want to raise taxes on sodas.


Star Trek Reviews

From Lileks and Spatula City. No plot spoilers, but John Murtha fans might find the former review offensive.

Haven't seen it yet.



Got my electric bill today - the rate's nearly doubled since last month. Is that happening anywhere else outside of Dallas County?


Monday, May 11, 2009

Correlation vs. Causation


Update: I was reminded of this.

Labels: ,

Republicans Are Not Moving To The Center

According to this Gallup poll.


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Lost - Coutndown To The Incident

(Episode: Follow the Leader. Spoilers ahead.)

So, Faraday did die from the gunshot wound. I'll have to change my prediction: Jack will cause The Incident, in his attempt to carry out the mad time scientist's mission.

Kate will have none of it and tries to leave. A Hostile is about to shoot her, but Sayid kills the guy first. Alpert, Mrs. Hawking, Jack and Sayid head for the tunnels where the hydrogen bomb has been hidden. Kate goes back to the Barracks, where she is captured and put on the sub with Sawyer, Juliet and the evacuees.

Earlier, Dr. Chang had located Miles, Hurley and Jin, and got from them the truth that they're from the future. Chang takes their counsel and orders the evacuation. But Radzinsky is armed and insists on carrying out the drilling that's supposed to release that electromagnetic energy that will trigger the Incident.

Present-day Alpert says he had witnessed the deaths of Sun's friends in the past. (Not necessarily all of them, as three are handcuffed inside a sub.) But does what he thinks he sees really happened? What will become of Hurley, Jin and Miles? And Jack?

Locke is a man with a mission. He first leads Alpert to the place where Past Locke had met Alpert during the time shifting, to fulfill the history of that encounter that Locke remembers. Next he's rounded those Others at the beach and has talked Alpert into leading them all to Jacob. Locke confides to Ben that he intends to kill Jacob.

The two-part season finale is May 13. I can hardly wait.

Labels: ,

Friday, May 08, 2009

What Did Nancy Pelosi Know About Waterbaording Policy, And When Did She Know It?

Washington Times has the answer.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cheers For Tyranny

This is fiction:

This is real life.

Labels: ,

Technical Difficulties

If anyone sent me an email between noon yesterday and about 1:40 PM today, I didn't get it. My computer locked up after Outlook Express downloaded the latest email from the Verizon server, and after rebooting the new email vanished. After 15 minutes of frantic search of the Verizon site for a contact number, I learned that Verizon can't do email restores.

To insure against a repeat of this fiasco, I have to edit the advanced email properties, as described here. The "remove from server after 5 days" selection is perfect - I can immediately try to receive incoming mail again after a reboot, and I dont' have to go through the hassle of logging directly into the Verizon site and manually emptying the In box.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Lost - Predestination Or Free Will?

(Episode: The Variable. Spoilers ahead.)

Daniel Faraday had long told the Lostaways that history can't be changed. But now he thinks it's possible. He plans to detonate the hydrogen bomb that had been buried years ago. This is intended to destroy the energy release that will accidentally be triggered several hours after his return to the island. Earlier in the episode Faraday tried a Plan B, to convince Dr. Chang of the threat his construction crew will trigger. Didn't work, of course.

If Faraday is successful the Flight 815 crash will have never happened, which means Widmore's freighter team will never be sent, which means Charlotte will not die on the island. Faraday feels cranked-to-eleven guilt over his experiment that permanently incapacitated a female test subject.

But the producers told us long ago that time paradox will not be introduced to the show - and I think they're sticking to their promise. This will not be a six-year episode of Star Trek: Voyager. I'm sticking with my prediction that Faraday will inadvertently cause the Incident he's trying to prevent, in which case he'll wind up Hurley's old room at the Santa Rosa asylum.

For this to happen, he has to survive a gunshot wound...

Why did he go into the Hostiles camp brandishing a gun? Doesn't he know that it's a really bad idea to look threatening amidst a bunch of heavily armed folks? Did he never watch The Day The Earth Stood Still?

And when and how and where and why did Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore become a couple???

One piece of the puzzle falling into place is Radzinsky. He's the one who doctored the Swan orientation film - obviously against DHARMA wishes. Something will weaken his loyalty to DHARMA and/or his trust in its competence, and his prisoners Sawyer and Juliet will play a role. Maybe out of desperation they'll tell him the truth, and scramble for a way to convince him of it.

With Jack, Kate, and Daniel in the jungle, that leaves Hurley, Jin and Miles at the camp. What's their next move? Sayid is somewhere in jungleville. And whatever happened to Rose and Bernard? Did they and a few others manage to survive?

Labels: ,

Heroes - My Wish List For Next Season

I want Hiro to regain his powers. Hiro without powers is really difficult to write into the show - too difficult, I think. With Daphne dead they can't repeat the combination of hers and Ando's powers to go back in time and steal some serum from Pinehearst. That leads into the next item...

Bring Dr. Zimmerman into the regular cast. He's the doc who created the mutant triplets Nikki, Tracy and the yet-revealed Barbara. If any trace of knowledge of the serum exists, it's with him. He'd be useful to the new Company as well as to Hiro. Perhaps he may play a role in dealing Tracy, who has been turned into a psychopath by her government. And he could be a lead-in to the next item...

Introduce Barbara. Now's as good a time as to bring the last triplet into the fold.

More air time for Micah. The new Company could use a hacker, and will be smart if they set him up to work remotely from New Orleans. Give him his own analog to the Batcave, but given the Nawlins water table, it'll have to be above-ground. One of the few actual predictions I'll make: he'll figure out Tracy's role in the weird drowning deaths, and will try to intervene.

Bring back Monica Dawson. She's one reason I want Micah to stay in New Orleans. Don't let a great character go to waste.

Bring back the Haitian. He's most useful to the new Company, and they're gonna need him to deal with the ticking time bomb that Angela dropped in our laps...

End the Sylar masquerade as Nathan quickly. This is the worst scheme that any character ever had on this show. Did Angela not stop to think that he would eventually rediscover his Sylar powers, and that supersonic flight isn't among them? The reason for this charade is to keep the world from knowing that a United States senator was killed by a mutant. This leaves two alternatives:

  • Stage fake Nathan's death. Matt Parkman could use his powers to let a few witnesses see what he wants them to see, or "Nathan" could "die" from an event not directly see by the outside world (like a plane crash).
  • Bring back the real Nathan - alive. This is one use for Hiro's powers, to reverse boneheaded plot twists. He would go back in time with Matt Parkman to save Nathan, whose past death is staged by Matt. There is one hurdle: Matt's telepathy.

    Here's how they can pull it off. First, Hiro goes back in time to rescue the bleeding Nathan after Sylar leaves the room where Nathan was left to die; in the future he is healed with serum from Claire's blood. Second, Hiro goes back to the point when Angela and Matt enter the room; Hiro freezes time, grabs Past Matt who is replaced by Future Matt. Matt reprises his actions from memory, pulling off the illusion of Nathan's death, and fulfilling his destiny to warp Sylar's identity. Hiro arrives shortly with Past Matt, who has never left the time-frozen state. (If this is not possible, a Plan B involving Haitian memory erasure will have to be implemented.) Everyone but Future Matt is frozen when Hiro arrives. Future Matt places his memory of the past few minutes in Past Matt. Both leave, history takes its course.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Jack Kemp (1935-2009)

Rest in peace. And thanks.

Labels: , ,

Bottom Story Of The Day

Check out the headline: Schwarzenegger May Support a Democrat.

Why the heck not? He hasn't exactly been fighting Democratic policy while Governator. Might as well make it all official.


This Guy Won't Get The Nomination To Replace David Souter, But He's My Top Pick

Arlen Specter. Throw the whole freakin' 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race into chaos.

Labels: ,

Site Meter