Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Print Fascism Is Unenforceable And Thus Not Unconstitutional

So says Elena Kagan.


Food Fascism Is Dumb But Not Unconstitutional

So says Elena Kagan.

Senator Tom Coburn used a hypothetical law (that would mandate dietary requirements for all citizens) in a quest to find out where Kagan would draw the line in expanding the Commerce Clause. At least in this exchange he couldn't find her limit.


Larry King To Retire

How would anyone notice?


Beached A-Whale

Red tape from the EPA and the Coast Guard is keeping a prototype oil-skimming ship from going into action against the oil spill.

On a saner note, Kevin Costner's oil cleanup centrifuges have been given the green light.

Friday, June 25, 2010


My answer to this question posed by CBS writer Jaywon Choe: Jeb Bush in 2012?

I never ever want to see another Bush in the White House. I don't care if it's Jeb, George P., Barbara, Jenna, or Kate. I don't even want Nunn Bush shoes worn at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The name "Bush" will always evoke memories of pandering to the Democrats on taxes (Bush 41) or spending (Bush 43).

I want a candidate who will come right out and slam both Bushes on where they went wrong fiscally. You think any Bush relative would do that?

Jesse Jackson was right - stay out da Bushes!


Palestinian Child Abuse

Children sing joyfully about martyrdom Video here.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Comparison

The very beginning of this video has a caption reading "BP Says Oil Spill Costs Reach $2 Billion."

The vid was aired on Day 63 of the disaster. That comes to $31.75 million of damage per day.

The 2009 Federal deficit was $1.4 trillion. That comes to $3.835 billion per day.

Never underestimate the destructive power of the State.


Planet of the Apes Was Wrong

In the films, gorillas were the military aggressors and chimpanzees were relatively peaceable scientists. Turns out that real-life chimps do their share of warmongering.


The Two-Point-Two Trillion Dollar Man Is Outta There

Good riddance to Peter Orszag.

Unfortunately, we can't expect much better from anyone that Obama woudl consider for his replacement.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Stupid Protest Du Jour

A bunch of lefties and Muslims in Oakland are preventing an Israeli ship from unloading its cargo at the Oakland, CA docks. Why? Because it's an Israeli ship, and they don't like the Israeli actions against the pro-jihadist Mavi Marmara flotilla.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Family Ties

My Father's Day post of 2007 is now an annual blog tradition. It has applications for the relationships revolving around both our earthly fathers and our heavenly Father.

Most Christians have no problem getting along with non-Christians. This may seem confusing to some; after all, Christianity teaches that those who are not reconciled with God will not receive salvation. Why care about people who aren't going to Heaven?

One could say that while a particular non-Christian is alive we really don't know that that person's eternal destination won't make a course change at a later date. That's a valid observation, but not the real reason.

Christianity makes a radical claim about the relationship between believers, nonbelievers and God: we're all family. God created the souls of all, thus he is the father of all, believers and nonbelievers alike. All of the children have gone astray - but some have reconciled with him while others have not.

When one is faced with the earthly parallel - being in good standing with Dad while some of the other siblings aren't - one is charged with three tasks: to build and maintain the relationship with Dad, to build and maintain the relationships with the wayward siblings without doing anything that interferes with the paternal relationship, and to act as a bridge between the wayward siblings and Dad. That third task is tricky; there will be occasions to discuss the rift outright, but most of the time it involves nothing more than being a positive influence to that sibling.

Christianity works the same way. Loving God doesn't mean giving up on non-Christian friends. We may have to reassess what kinds of "fun" we pursue with them, though. (Heck, sometimes we have to reassess the "fun" we pursue with fellow Christians.) Witnessing to nonbelievers isn't all Amway sales presentations. Most of the time it's just bringing good to someone's life.

The hardest part of doing good to others is when it requres criticism. We see them doing something destructive, and we want to help. We need to effectively communicate what the problem is, how it hurts that person, and how the future can be better when that problem is dealth with.

Most Christians grasp all this, even if they haven't thought it out as thoroughly as outlined here. They care about both believers and nonbelievers out of the same human motivations that drive us all, and because they believe in a God who values everyone.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Foreign Affairs Headline Of The Week

From MSNBC: Saudis clear Israel to bomb Iran?

Are the Saudis the closest thing Israel has to a foreign ally these days?

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I Can See Russia From The White House!

Or in it - another Putin-Obama comparison.

But the two differ on tax policy...


This Week's Multiculturalism Moment

Is this a great country or what? Vietnamese-American Congressman tells Chief Executive Officer of British Petroleum's American subsidiary to commit Japanese hara-kiri.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Thoughts On PayPal vs. Atlas Shrugs

How can PayPal or anyone realistically enforce a policy of denying accounts to people who allegedly promote hate? In most circumstances "hate" can't be proven in a court of law, two notable exceptions being criminal organizations that actively call for murder, and the rare outfit (Westboro Baptist) that explicitly uses the word "hate" in its literature (and its URL).

Also, a lot of folks out there can't tell the difference between hate and criticism, or between political disagreement and hate. Maybe there could be competing PayLeft, PayRight, PayLibertarian, PayAlexJones, etc. services to fill all the gaps. Would this kind of ideological discrimination pass constitutional muster?

On another note, if anyone sends an email saying you've violated an Acceptable Use policy, that email had better cite explicit examples of use violations. PayPal's letter to Geller does no such thing. You don't tell someone you're doing something wrong without telling her what you think they're doing wrong.

IIRC, this is the first time Islamists lobbied PayPal to yank someone's account for insulting their religion. They didn't pull that stunt during the years that this and other websites reported jihadi activities. They did it when you worked with an organization that assists people seeking to get out of Islam.

Suggesting that Islam has a disproportionate number of violent folks is one thing, but if you actively help people to convert from Islam to something else, now that's really insulting!

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So Who's The Guy Who Took Those Mavi Marmara Pics?

LGF has the scoop.

We still dont' know who at Reuters cropped them.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Blogosphere 1, Islamists 0

After receiving complaints from certain organizations, PayPal threatened to yank Pam Geller's account. What ultimately earned their wrath was her support for the "Leaving Islam" campaign, an organization that helps people who wish to leave Islam do so safely.

Here is the original story, chock full of links.

Paypal caved. Read the whole thing, including the eBay listing for a pro-jihadi DVD set - the vendor has a PayPal account, and her reportage of CAIR's cheers over the original decision.

In comments to the post linked above, I threw out this idea, tongue firmly in cheek:

Maybe there's a way for PayPal to cancel your account and still have a consistent policy: prohibit accounts to anyone who directly offends a religion. Philip Pullman fansite? No PayPal for you! Southern Poverty Law Center and ADL, both of which badmouth Nation of Islam? No PayPal for you! Vatican-bashing Andrew Sullivan? No PayPal for you! Christopher Hitchens? No PayPal for you! Charles Johnson (re Item 3)? No PayPal for you!

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The American Way Of Life

What is it? Chicago Boyz contributor Lexington Green offers a list of ten defining characteristics. Read the whole thing.

Commenter Peter Jackson noted:

The history of humanity is one of tribalism, where the interests of the group supersedes the interests of individuals. America is the only sustained experiment in the opposite of tribalism, individualism.

I'll go a step further. The "American Way" celebrates the welfare of individuals outside our tribe. We want everybody to have peace, freedom and prosperity, not just ourselves. We celebrated when the Berlin Wall fell, and when Iraqis voted in free elections for the first time. The American private sector sends relief to strangers around the globe, sometimes even to people who don't particularly like us.

Alexis de Tocqueville observed:

Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools.

Tribalism not only values the tribe over the individual, as Jackson noted, but it confines the individual to one tribe. Under the "American Way" individualism forges tribes; they serve as markets for the voluntary pursuit of common interests. Each person has multiple interests and thus belongs to multiple tribes.


Reuters Cropped Photos Controversy

The entire LGF series on this story is here. Take special note of the first photo (submitted to LGF by leader Kilgore Trout) that crops out a Mavi Marmara "peace activists'" knife, and this one that crops out not only another knife but also a wounded Israeli soldier and a pool of blood.

It sure does look like someone at Reuters is trying to whitewash the Islamist violence that took place on the Mavi Marmara.

While much of the blogosphere has its differences with Charles Johnson, let's not forget that he's always at the top of his game when it comes to fisking dubious photojournalism.

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Feelgood Story Of The Day

A Coast Guard investigator finds a lost digital camera in Miami, and by using Internet resources to follow clues in the campera's stored pictures he tracks down the owners - who live in Aruba.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday News Roundup

Elton John and Rush Limbaugh practice tolerance, and the lefty blogosphere goes nuts. Tolerance doesn't mean you like something, it means that you put up with something. As I say, it means getting along despite real or perceived shortcomings. To the left, "tolerance" means agreeing with the left. That's why they're freaked out.

Impeach them! Impeach them all! No, I don't mean Obama - I mean the CEO of British Petroleum and any other BP exec who was in on the decision to turn down oil cleanup assistance offered by the Dutch three days after the disaster. It's time for the stockholders to fire those guys. Obama turned down the Dutch, too - unfortunately, we dont' have presidential recall elections.

I can see Russia from the White house! James Rummel notes parallels between Obama's handling of the oil spill and Putin's handling of the Kursk. One big difference: Putin went into action a lot quicker.

First it was demon sheep, now it's demon goats. Where will this end?

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Saturday, June 05, 2010


Almost missed it - the blog turned eight years old today. Read my fifth anniversary musings.


Friday, June 04, 2010

Headline Du Jour

From Veronique de Rugy: Athens on the Potomac.

I guess those Greek columns were a good idea after all.


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Another Peace Plan For Gaza

Volokh conspirator David Bernstien has an idea - let Turkey have it. Unfortunately his plan has two fatal flaws. The first is HAMAS' voluntary abdication. Those guys wouldn't let go of power under any circumstances, not even if Janet Reno were to surround them with tanks. The other is that Turkey is cast as the only alternative for Gaza's new ruler. Why just Turkey?

I say we take a cue from Hollywoodland and have a televised contest - have nations compete for ownership of Gaza. To qualify for entry, nations should meet certain standards for entry, including but not limited to: representative democracy, independent judiciary, trial by jury, a certain degree of speech, press and religious freedoms, strong property rights, government reasonably secure against insurgency, government more solvent than that of Greece, government does not harbor terrorists, government supports Israel's right to exist.

(By default, no Islamic or Communist nation would qualify, even factoring out the last criterion.)

The contest would be administered by five judges: two top-tier pundits like David Broder and George Will, two retired politicians who aren't reflexive pro-Palestinian suckups, and acting as Middle America's representative, James Lileks. (You thought I was gonna say Sharon Osborne, didn't you?)

The role of the United Nations would be to sit on the sidelines and sulk.

Contestants' objective would be to come up wiith the best plan to both eliminate HAMAS and persuade the Gaza Palestinians' general population to get on board with living peacefully with Israel. I believe that the key ingredient to the latter is to spell out all the freedoms that Gaza woudl have if HAMAS were gone.

I also predict that Japan and Honduras would be the early favorites.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"NY Dog Seeking Help For Stray Man" - Now That Would Be News

NY man seeking help for stray dog arrested for DWI

Link via Mark Byron, who remarks about the inability of Rottweilers to hold their liquor. Emperor Misha is unavailable for comment.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Members Of Mavi Marmara Flotilla Ambush IDF Troops

Story here.

And here - what were they thinking, arming Israeli Defense Force soldiers with paintball guns?

Volokh conspirator David Bernstein has even more - with a photo of a knife-wielding peace activist.

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