Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jokes From Behind Old Iron Curtain

Samizdata has a few. I left this one in comments:

A man calls the KGB. "I would like to report that my parrot is missing. And by the way, I want you to know that I disagree with its views."

Recalled from memory; originally reported in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper during the 1980s.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Woof Woof

Rand Simberg links more canine extreme makeovers.

The Steelers poodle is kinda cool.


Friday, August 28, 2009


This starship barks.


Emulating Ted Kennedy

David Brooks exhibited this hallucinatory memory of Ted Kennedy:

I would just say he could exercise great anger when he disapproved, but it was not resentment and so it never got quite as personal, and for conservatives who are now in the wilderness, that is a model for them, to find the best in your tradition and to follow it the way he followed liberalism during the Reagan years.

C. Edmund Wright calls his bid, by addressing ObamaCare in the manner that Kennedy addressed Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court. Kennedy's original speech is interspersed in Wright's parody.


Today's Required Reading

Newt Gingrich offers three reasons why we shouldn't let the government run health care.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009)

Many Americans will remember the "Lion of the Senate" the way a mauled gazelle remembers a real-life lion. Politically, he will always be known first for supporting the vast array of entitlement programs that are bankrupting us.

One has to look hard to find major issues on which Kennedy was on the correct side. He did vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Reason's Nick Gillespie points out something a bit more recent:

During the 1970s, Kennedy was instrumental in deregulating the interstate trucking industry and airline ticket prices, two innovations that have vastly improved the quality of life in America even as—or more precisely, because—they pushed power out of D.C. and into the pocketbooks of everyday Americans. We are incalculably richer and better off because something like actual prices replaced regulatory fiat in trucking and flying.

Condolences to his family.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Latest News In Sports Fandom

They said that if Michael Vick were released from jail, animal cruelty would rise - and they were right:

A woman came into the Tires Plus in Winona just before noon, asking if the shop had time to replace a belt.

Prusci started the paperwork.

"Oh, by the way," the woman said. "I have a goat in my trunk."

Prusci didn't think he heard her right.

"A what?"

"Yes, a goat," the woman said. "And it's alive."

She planned to butcher the animal later but was passing through Winona on her way to St. Paul when the car broke down, Prusci remembered her saying.

The woman, and a man and child who were waiting for her outside, left while Prusci and other workers began the repairs.

After about 10 minutes, they could hear the goat crying.

"We cracked open the trunk, you know, so it could breathe," Prusci said. "And sure enough, there it was. It kind of poked its head up."

The goat had been painted purple and gold - the colors for the Minnesota Vikings. Shaved into its side was the No. 4 - the number of Brett Favre, who made his Vikings debut Friday night in a preseason game in the Twin Cities.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jerry Jones vs. Laws Of Physics

Being totally unfamiliar with the Cowboys' new stadium, I had no idea that they built the high-def video screens too close to the flight path of punted footballs.

Here is a good view of the Jerrytron, when the Cowboys' stadium was hosting a soccer event. Does it look too a bit low to you?


Friday, August 21, 2009

I See Another Trend

Not only is Cash for Clunkers out of money like Medicare, it is failing to reimburse the people it promised to pay, just like Medicare.

As many doctors refuse Medicare patients for that very reason, many New York dealers are pulling out of the Cash for Clunkers program.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

I See A Trend


Link via Hot Air, which reports on the Lyndon Larouchite protester with the Obama/Hitler poster at Barney Frank's town hall gig.

Another link in that post leads to the Gallery of "Bush = Hitler" Allusions.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rose Friedman (1910-2009)

See her Chicago Tribune obituary here.

Wikipedia summarizes her career:

She and her husband co-wrote two books on economics and public policy: Free to Choose and Tyranny of the Status Quo. She also helped produce the PBS television series, "Free to Choose." She and her husband published their memoirs Milton and Rose D. Friedman, Two Lucky People in 1998. They have two children, Janet and David.

She and her husband founded the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, with the aim of promoting the use of school vouchers and freedom of choice in education.

Check out my Milton Friedman obituary, and my review of Free to Choose.

Many thanks to the Friedmans for their fight for freedom.

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Tom DeLay Embraces The Dark Side

The former congressman who will be competing on this season's Dancing With the Stars, says this:

Actually the waltz is my favorite dance, Texas waltz, but I love to polka, Texas two-step, and I really enjoy disco.

Not disco! What happened to compassionate conservatism?

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Just In Time For Early Christmas Shopping

A crypt directly above the one occupied by Marilyn Monroe.

eBay listing here.

Only four shopping days left!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Six Percent Of Americans Are Totally Nuts

6% Expect Tax Cut During Obama Years


Robert Novak (1931-2009)

Rest in peace.

Ed Morissey has a few words.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Health Care Musings

Steve Chapman has an interesting article at Reason. He addresses the common refrain that our life expectancy rate falls below that of many other nations. Money quote:

One big reason our life expectancy lags is that Americans have an unusual tendency to perish in homicides or accidents. We are 12 times more likely than the Japanese to be murdered and nearly twice as likely to be killed in auto wrecks.

In their 2006 book, The Business of Health, economists Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider set out to determine where the U.S. would rank in life span among developed nations if homicides and accidents are factored out. Their answer? First place.

Read the whole thing.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul (1915-2009)

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Doctors vs. The Lyin' King

The American College of Surgeons takes to task Obama's lies about their profession.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hillary Clinton Allegedly Goes Bonkers - I Don't See It

Tina Brown's headline is Why Hillary Lashed Out. Huh? What's Tina been smoking? I've heard the lady lash out before (hat tip to Darth V). This was no lashing. It wasn't all that angry. And it's not unreasonable that she would be a bit stunned that someone in Congo would bring up Bill Clinton's name out of the blue.

Update: Hillary's problem in Africa is not her temper - it's slander.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Town Halls vs. Academia

Lori Byrd hits on something that's been on my mind:

Remember when conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter had two pies thrown at her during a speech at the University of Arizona to College Republicans? At least she was able to speak. There are many examples of conservatives being denied the right to speak at public universities by liberal protesters, in some cases due to violence or the threat of violence.

When former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo tried to speak at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill on the issue of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants earlier this year, "Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event."

This sort of thing has been going on for decades. I remember one story fron the 1980s. Adolfo Calero, leader of one of the Nicaraguan Contra groups, was speaking at one university when a student protester rushed the podium. I vaguely remember seeing a photo of the incident. I don't recall anyone rushing the speakers at the current town hall events.

I'd like to see someone collect more stories on university protests and do a compare-and-contrast with the town hall meetings.

There's More In The Health Care Bill Than Health Care

Chuck Norris found this:

Dirty secret No. 1 in Obamacare is about the government's coming into homes and usurping parental rights over child care and development.

It's outlined in sections 440 and 1904 of the House bill (Page 838), under the heading "home visitation programs for families with young children and families expecting children." The programs (provided via grants to states) would educate parents on child behavior and parenting skills.

The bill says that the government agents, "well-trained and competent staff," would "provide parents with knowledge of age-appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor domains ... modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices," and "skills to interact with their child to enhance age-appropriate development."

Are you kidding me?! With whose parental principles and values? Their own? Certain experts'? From what field and theory of childhood development? As if there are one-size-fits-all parenting techniques! Do we really believe they would contextualize and personalize every form of parenting in their education, or would they merely universally indoctrinate with their own?

Read the whole thing.

I like the byline:

Chuck Norris is a columnist and impossible to kill.


Channeling Patrick McGoohan

I got a big laugh this morning listening to Laura Ingraham's reportage on his latest speaking gig. The town hall meeting was organized so that every questioner has to take a number. All of a sudden I started reciting dialogue from "The Prisoner." "You are Number Six." "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

That exchange occurs at the very end of the opening sequence of the old TV show.

I've got some tan pants - where can I get a black jacket with white piping trim? And can I use Cash for Clunkers to trade in the Ford Ranger for a Lotus roadster?

Warn me if DoD starts doing research with ambulatory weather balloons. At least Rover doesn't hurt as much as SEIU thugs. (How ironic is it to get beat up by a union with half its membership employed in health care?)

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Monday, August 10, 2009

More On The Illegality Of The "Snitch List"

A lawblogger cites the US code that's being violated.

(Link via Clayton Cramer)

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Attention All Firefox Gurus

When I visit a site such as this that has an embedded Flash video, and the video shows up as a blank screen in Firefox, how do I fix the problem? I have the most recent version of Flash (ver. 10).

The web page causes Internet Explorer to lock up.

National Review Cornucopia

Teh White House "snitch list" is illegal.

Bush-era protests weren't anything like the current town hall protests.

Don't tell anyone that British health care has gone to the dogs - the dogs have it better.

Legalizing prostitution comes with problems.

Maui's only acute-care hospital is state-run - and special interests are blocking the construction of a private-sector clinic. [Update: what's being blocked is a large private hospital; a much smaller hospital has been okayed, however - but it's much smaller than Maui's market demands.]

Julie Gunlock reviews a documentary about the food industry. Pay special note to the passages about food subsidies and high fructose corn syrup.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

SEIU Activists Assault Black ObamaCare Opponent

Michelle Malkin has the story - with video.

The Dakota Voice has more. Cited in the article is Neil Cavuto's interview of the victim,Kenneth Gladney; Newsbusters has the full transcript.

Malkin is right. This is a reason to fear Card Check.

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Barack Milhous Obama?

Judge Andrew Napolitano says the snitch list is illegal:

"The White House is in bit of a conundrum because of this privacy statute that prohibits the White House from collecting data and storing it on people who disagree with it," Judge Andrew Napolitano, a FOX News analyst, said Friday.

"There's also a statute that requires the White House to retain all communications that it receives. It can't try to rewrite history by pretending it didn't receive anything," he said.

"If the White House deletes anything, it violates one statute. If the White House collects data on the free speech, it violates another statute."

Napolitano was referring to the Privacy Act of 1974, which was passed after the Nixon administration used federal agencies to illegally investigate individuals for political purposes. Enacted after Richard Nixon's resignation in the Watergate scandal, the statute generally prohibits any federal agency from maintaining records on individuals exercising their right to free speech.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

I Know How Cultural Conservatives Will React, But What About The Feminists?

A doll that breast-feeds.

Demonstration video!


The Campaign For Single-Payer Health Insurance

Via The Corner:


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Today's Political Lesson

When a politician says one thing to one audience and something contradictory to another, which represents that politician's true feelings?

Rule of thumb: trust what the politician says to a friendly audience.

Yasser Arafat serves as a prime example. To Western audiences he would talk peace, while to Arab audiences he would proclaim that the Oslo Accords serve to forward the 1974 Phased Plan for the eradication of Israel. Which was the real Arafat? The one who never stood up to Palestinian aggression. The one who never preached peace to his own people - but instead incited long-term war of conquest.

When Obama tells the American Medical Association that he's not pushing for single-payer socialized medicine, and tells his SEIU union allies that single-payer is one of his signature goals, which Obama do we believe? The one that spoke to his fellow travelers. The one who said "I do provide universal health care" at the November 15, 2007 Democratic Debate in Las Vegas - the same year as that SEIU gathering.

Rand Simberg has more.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

So What DO I Think Of This Birth Certificate Business?

I know two facts: that the Certification of Live Birth is legal evidence of Obama's Hawaiian birth (see bottom of linked image, and that Obama is using a lot of resources to keep the original birth certificate under wraps. (Hat tip to Spatula City for the second link.)

Why the presidential evasiveness? The two most logical possibilities are:

  1. The "birthers" are politically advantageous to Obama as a convenient punching bag and distraction; hiding the long-form birth certificate is the best way to keep the movement alive.
  2. As even many non-birthers suspect, there's something embarrassing on the long-form birth certificate that Obama wants to hide.

What could possibly be embarrassing on a birth certificate? A wussy birth weight?

I took out my 1960 birth certificate. Alabama and Hawaii birth certificates of that time may differ in what's reported, but I suspect that difference is slight. Here's some items from my

  • Location of birth, usually a hospital (such as the Mobile Infirmary).
  • Whether birth was single or multiple birth (twins, triplets, etc.). Anyone in the US correctional system sporting an iron mask?
  • Age of parents.
  • Street address of parents.
  • Birthplace of parents.
  • Father's occupation.
  • Number of children previously born to mother.
  • Number of children previously born to mother but currently dead.
  • Number of children previously stillborn to mother.

  • Anyone's guess is as good as mine.

    Obama has guaranteed that even people who normally wouldn't give a flying fandango about his long-form birth certificate want to see it.

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    Klaatu Baracka Nikto

    His original birth certificate surfaces.


    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    Twenty-Minute Grits In 4.5 Minutes

    National Review hits close to home in a strange way. In his column The God Who Bleeds, Jonah Goldberg mocks the lofty expectations of of the Obama administration:

    Obama isn’t supposed to be a typical politician. He was supposed to be The One. He was supposed to change Washington. Transcend race. Fix souls. Bake twelve-minute brownies in seven minutes.

    This caught Mark Krikorian's attention:

    Jonah: You were obviously right to go with the Trek reference. But you overlooked another film reference opportunity: instead of "Bake twelve-minute brownies in seven minutes," how about "cook 20-minute grits in five minutes."

    That second link leads to the IMDb page for My Cousin Vinny. For those (like me) who haven't seen the film, the memorable quotes page explains the jest:

    Vinny Gambini: Why not? How long was they in the store for?
    Mr. Tipton: 5 minutes.
    Vinny Gambini: 5 minutes? How do you know? Did you look at your watch?
    Mr. Tipton: No.
    Vinny Gambini: Oh, oh, oh, you tesitfied earlier that you saw the boys go into the store, and you had just begun to cook your breakfast and you were just getting ready to eat when you heard the shot.
    Mr. Tipton: That's right.
    Vinny Gambini: So obviously it takes you 5 minutes to cook your breakfast.
    Mr. Tipton: That's right.
    Vinny Gambini: That's right, so you knew that. You remember what you had?
    Mr. Tipton: Eggs and grits.
    Vinny Gambini: Eggs and grits. I like grits, too. How do you cook your grits? Do you like them regular, creamy or al dente?
    Mr. Tipton: Just regular I guess.
    Vinny Gambini: Regular. Instant grits?
    Mr. Tipton: No self respectin' Southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.
    Vinny Gambini: So, Mr. Tipton, how could it take you 5 minutes to cook your grits when it takes the entire grit eating world 20 minutes?
    Mr. Tipton: I don't know, I'm a fast cook I guess.
    Vinny Gambini: I'm sorry I was all the way over here I couldn't hear you did you say you were a fast cook, that's it?
    Mr. Tipton: Yeah.
    Vinny Gambini: Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than anywhere else on the face of the earth?
    Mr. Tipton: I don't know.
    Vinny Gambini: Well, I guess the laws of physics cease to exist on top of your stove. Were these magic grits? Did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?

    I can cook regular non-instant grits for four and a half minutes, using a 1000-wat microwave oven. The trick is to have a food container tall enough to keep the grits from bubbling over the side. I've found that the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs 1.2L containers ideal for the task. Place salt and 14 ounces of water in the container; stir so that the saltiness evens out. Then pour in 1/2 cup grits and stir. Microwave at the normal setting for 4.5 minutes; adjust accordingly if your appliance's wattage is different. Don't try to speed up the process by adding boiling water before microwaving; this will make the container crack.

    I like to mix scrambled eggs in with my bowl of grits.

    Grits still needs time to cool. What works for me is five minutes in the freezer. Stir the grits when it's out, and they're still nice and warm without being scalding. You'll still be finished with breakfast when self-respectin' Southerners are still cooking their regular grits on the stovetop.

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    Saturday, August 01, 2009

    Buy American?

    It's not as easy as you think.

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