Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Someone doctored a video of a Michelle Bachmann event, altering the audio to insert a racist event.

For a long time I've wondered how libel laws can still exist in a country where people can accuse President Bush of engineering the WTC collapse and not get thrown into jail. Prove to me those laws still exist.

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A Brief History Of Environmental Hysteria

Right here. (Hat tip to Rand).


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just In Time For Very Early Christmas Shopping

Animatronic triceratops - only $350,000. Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue listing is here - includes video demo.

Maybe they oughta team up with ADT and crank out a home security system that features an animatronic T-Rex.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Horror!

Never forget the DC earthquake.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

War On Speech Update

The FCC officially nullifies the Fairness Doctrine.


Monday, August 22, 2011


Tonight's musical interlude.

Update: Link fixed.

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Adventures In Marketing

Something I saw in the soft drink isle gave me a double take...

Who had the bright idea of naming an energy drink Gridlock? Aren't the words "gridlock" and "energy" antonyms? Isn't that like picking "Bristle" as a brand name for toilet paper?

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What's Going On In Baltimore?

The land of cheap houses and false rape accusations?

I'd warrant that the latter issue stems from some much bigger problem, one that is not without economic consequences.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Laura Ingraham Channels Frank Zappa

I turned on her show while driving home from work tonight. She was discussing the latest news in one of her pet cultural concerns, the sexualization of youth - a French fashion company is marketing lingerie to girls ages 4-12.

Ingraham remarked that this cultural meme sometimes gets her down so much that she feels like buying a ranch in Montana and isolating herself. She didn't say anything about dental floss...

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Multiculturalists Are In Dutch With The Dutch

The times they are a-changin' in the Netherlands.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Godwin Shrugged

Is Obama Hitler? Or is he Neville Chamberlain?


For those unfamiliar with Godwin...


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tragical History Tour

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the erection of the Berlin Wall.
Hie thee hence to my post on the 20th anniversary of its fall.

Update: Volokh conspirator Ilya Somin has some thoughts. Like the Volokhs, Somin emigrated from the Soviet Union - according to this Amazon book review he was born in then-Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1973, the year Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the Cold War.

That book looks mighty fascinating.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The British Riots

If you disarm the public, there is no deterrent to crimes like this.

Glenn Reynolds has lots of links.

In The Agora describes a Monty Pythonesque scene: rioters forming an orderly line to loot a sporting goods shop. In comments I suggested that Britain's next Prime Minister should be Terry Gilliam, who directed the dark comedy Brazil: "He seems to have his finger on the pulse of British culture more than a lot of other folks."

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Monday, August 08, 2011


Logo fail.


Instapundit is 10 years old today.

At Rand's I suggested that Google should have made one of its cute little graphics for the occasion.


What's So Surprising?

Congress has been operating without a budget since Obama took office, racked up over $1 trillion in deficits in each of those years, and in the recent debt-ceiling agreement Obama, Boehner and Reid (oh my!) make only a pretense at controlling spending. America is thus a bigger credit risk, and Standard and Poors reflects that in its lowering of the US credit rating. (I think AA+ is optimistic, if you ask me.)

Stocks are plunging because big-time investors react to long-term structural changes in markets. The unbridled government borrowing is squeezing out private-sector borrowing and ultimately devaluing the dollar. They don't see Washington doing anything to reverse the trend, so for now they're bailing. A borrowed stimulus would just make matters worse, profiting only the special interests that get the stimulus money. Washington needs to drastically cut its budget, as soon as it goes back to the habit of operating on a budget.

The government also needs to eliminate government-created obstacles to economic growth. I believe that the regulatory agencies (including but not limited to Sarbanes-Oxley, which has been a huge financial burden to corporations) can be streamlined significantly. We need to remove obstacles to oil and natural gas exploration. The NLRB needs to stop telling corporations they can't open plants in certain states - bravo to Boeing for ignoring the NLRB. Taxes need to be simplified sufficiently to reduce the need for public-sector IRS agents and private-sector tax accountants, freeing resources for the kinds of jobs that actually produce something.

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Lactose Intolerance

The War on Food busts up a raw milk operation.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Bork Bork Bork!

This reads like a really demented Swedish Chef skit (link via Rand):

Richard Handl told The Associated Press that he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his apartment in southern Sweden when police showed up and arrested him on charges of unauthorized possession of nuclear material.

The 31-year-old Handl said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Envelope, Please V

The Powerline Prize for illustrating our current economic woes has been awarded.

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Congress cut a deal, and Marc "Wormtongue: Thiessen declares victory for the hobbits. The proposed cuts are tiny relative to the annual deficits; in comments I called it "the equivalent of knocking off a couple of orc regiments and leaving Sauron, Sauman, and all the Ringwraiths intact."

It's easy to say that the budget needs to be cut by a trillion or so - not over a period of years, but annually. But how? A lot of people need to start working on that answer - NOW. We need a lot of plans for cutting out a lot of government programs.

At the same time we need to reduce the artificial costs imposed on businesses so the economy can recover.

The government machinery is so complex I can't do justice to the task here. One issue I'd like to see addressed is the regulatory realm. I believe that business regulation can be made more efficient. Take Sarbanes-Oxley, for example. SOX was passed to make it harder for corporations to engage in accounting fraud. But it's so costly that smaller firms can't afford to incorporate.

Allen Organ Company is one firm thatdeslisted from public trading because of SOX. "Steven Markowitz, president of the world's largest electronic organ manufacturer, said the move will save about $500,000 during the next two years, and another $250,000 to $400,000 annually after that."

Offer an X Prize for a less costly (to to both the regulators and the regulated) and less Rube Goldberg-ish alternative to SOX. Entrants must be required to watch the film Brazil.

Some necessary steps cannot be accomplished during an Obama presidency. The creation of the United States Department of Education did not lead to a drastic shrinkage in its 50 state counterparts. It is duplication of effort (at best) that must go. But Obama's in too deep with the educrats. It costs more to lobby 50 state capitals than one national capital - the bigger Washington's role in education, the less the lobbyists have to hit the state capitals.

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