Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Saturday, December 31, 2011

My First New Year's Resolution

In Althouse comments:

I'm not going to hoard 100-watt bulbs. Instead, I'm buying two-socket lamp adapters. Take that, greenies!

For those who want to hoard, Ann has a link for 24-pack Sylvania 100-watt bulbs. Happy incandescent New Year!


Predictions For 2012

The Mayan Doomsday Prophecy will get a lot of serious attention when Cthulhu places second in the Iowa Caucuses.

Ghost Hunters will claim to have footage of the ghost of Christopher Hitchens tormenting Kim Jong-Il at the North Korean leader's deathbed.

Turned down by the IMF, the Greek government will seek a bailout loan from the Kardashians.

Rumors of a brokered convention will arise when the RNC announces that its keynote speaker will be Howie Mandel.

An unknown party will hack into Barack Obama's teleprompter. Officials will discover the breach when the President utters the phrase "I can haz stimulus" during a Rose Garden speech.

J. J. Abrams will threaten to produce Lost: The Next Generation if Congress doesn't balance the budget.

At the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama will conclude his nomination acceptance speech with the words "Klaatu barada nikto," spurring new questions about teleprompter security and Obama's birth certificate.

Occupy Wall Street protesters will storm the Republican convention, only to recoil in horror as delegates approach them with soap-on-a-rope and garden hoses.

Turned down by the Kardashians, the Greek government will seek a bailout loan from Walmart.

As Congress becomes deadlocked over the budget, J. J. Abrams will call the House Speaker and say "I just signed Charlie Sheen."

The next President of the United States will be...uh, hold on, some Greek official just sent me an email about helping him with a cash transfer.

On Thanksgiving, an unknown party will hack Cowboy Stadium's "Jerrytron" to show the film Titanic, with high-quality CGI effects replacing the face of the ill-fated liner's captain with that of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The entire population of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex will be questioned as suspects.

The Doomsday Prophecy won't come to pass, but J. J. Abrams will be doing lunch with Justin Bieber, Congress will unanimously pass a bill granting its members an antidepressant allowance, and Greece will ask Jim Cramer for some stock tips.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Adventures In Volokhland

Conspirator Orin Kerr reports Paul Rahe's healthcare prescription, and in comments I left this little essay, with talent on loan from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and references to some personal experiences with LASIK and MRI.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Did They Find Any DHARMA Hatches?

There's a new island in the Red Sea. How did it get there?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday Surge

Big Lots already has Valentine's Day items on the shelves. Dang, it's not even New Year's yet.


The Envelope, Please I

Media Research Center hosts the Bestof Notable Quotables for 2011. Here's the Quote of the Year:

“What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. [The] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons....The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.”
— New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in a September 11 posting to his blog

The same quote also won the America Is the Real Evil Empire Award.

The Damn Those Conservatives Award illustrates the poisoning of the memory of 9/11 - but not by Krugman's formula:

“So when does SEAL Unit 6, or whatever it’s called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn’t he, or am I wrong here?”
— Left-wing radio host and former CNN producer Mike Malloy on The Mike Malloy Show, May 2.

The Ku Klux Con Job Award for Smearing Conservatives with Phony Racism Charges is a doozy:

Clip from RNC ad: “Stop Obama and his union bosses today. The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”
Host Lawrence O’Donnell: “The Republican Party is saying that the President of the United States has bosses, that the union bosses this President around, the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?”
Ex-Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI): “Wow, I hadn’t thought about the racial overtones....”
— MSNBC’s The Last Word, February 25.

To me, the phrase "Obama and his union bosses" insinuates that the bosses are in Obama's pocket, not the other way around - otherwise the ad would have referenced "Obama and his union boss bosses."

Maureen Dowd wins the Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble, in a column written well before Halloween, oddly enough:

“Tea Party budget-slashers....were like cannibals, eating their own party and leaders alive. They were like vampires, draining the country’s reputation, credit rating and compassion. They were like zombies, relentlessly and mindlessly coming back again and again to assault their unnerved victims, Boehner and President Obama. They were like the metallic beasts in Alien flashing mouths of teeth inside other mouths of teeth, bursting out of Boehner’s stomach every time he came to a bouquet of microphones.”
— New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, August 3 column.

Go check out the rest!

Update: No, John Boehner did not get one of these in his stocking.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Directions To Mordor

Via Iowahawk.

I'm guessing the Balrog is somewhere in Lincoln Park.


Snakes (And A Lot More) Almost On A Plane

AFP headline: Man tried to take 247 animals on plane


Monday, December 26, 2011

Which Is Stranger?

Fact: Playmobil Security Check Point

Fiction: Occupy Wall Street: the Lego Set

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Reasons For The Season

(Original posted on December 23, 2002)

While Christmas is officially a celebration of the birth of Jesus, for much of the Western world December 25 has come to be a celebration of family and community. No other time of the year is so thoroughly saturated with images pointing to our highest hopes for such relationships - and no other time of the year so effectively highlights the difference between our ideals and the world as it really is. Jesus came to Earth to bridge not only the chasm between humanity and God, but also that rift that separates people from each other. Christmas reminds us that we live in a broken world, and it seeks to encourage us by showing us through religious and even many secular trappings how that brokenness can be fixed.

Best of holiday wishes to all my readers.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Environmental Policy Finally Turns On Itself

Years back, the greenies got grocers to get rid of paper bags to save the trees. Now they're seeing the environmental impact of plastic bags, and some cities - Seattle the latest - are banning plastic bags.


Coming To A Theater Near You


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Farewell To A Tyrant

Kim Jong-Il is dead .


Hitch And Newt On The "War On Terror"

Blast from the past, originally aired in 2002.

On naming the war, I think "War on Islamic Supremacism" is better than the alternatives offered by Lou Dobbs (cited) and Hitchens and in the video. I'm not changing the tag for these posts, though - this is the 115th post with the "War on Terror" tag.


Vaclav Havel (1936-2011)

One of the greatest voices for freedom in our lifetimes has passed away.

Instapundit links a worthwhile 2003 essay by Matt Welch.

My Henderson Prize for the Advancement of Liberty tells the story of the Velvet Revolution.


Friday, December 16, 2011

I Nominate This For Israel's New National Anthem


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

George Takei: Twilight Sucks

Darth Venomous (who blogs here) emailed me an interesting article. George Takei has a little fun with Star Trek/Star Wars rivalry (see the video), and then turns on Twilight.

"[T]here is an ominous mutual threat to all science fiction. It is called Twilight and it's really, really bad. Gone is any sense of heroism, camaraderie or epic battle. In its place we have vampires that sparkle and moan and go to high school...there are no great stories, characters or profound life lessons to be had in Twilight. In Twilight, the only message that rings out loud and clear is, 'Does my boyfriend like me?' Let's band together to defeat this mutual threat."

To Takei, Twilight comes across as a mere soap opera that vents teenage girl anxieties. Maybe that's all it was meant to be. But he has higher aspirations for fantasy literature.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The International Committee Of The Red Cross Responds To The Video Game Flap

ICRC has a FAQ on the issue of combat video games. The short version: The Red Cross wants to dialogue with video game developers on incorporating the rules of war into realistic combat games - acknowledging that some of these games already do that. The ICRC sees educational value in these games and wants to explore that potential.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Sonic Blast From The Past

Ohio resident Carson Williams' 2004 Christmas light display. A lot of the videos of the house are a bit on the blurry side - this is excellent resolution.

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Random Thought

Do Christmas carolers ever show up on Simon Cowell's doorstep?


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Day Of Infamy, Day Of Hope

See my annual Pearl Harbor remembrance here.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

Pliocene Park

Scientists have a plan to bring back the woolly mammoth.

Just think of the restaurant possibilities...


Saturday, December 03, 2011

See If I Ever Give A Dime To The Red Cross After This

They want realistic video war games to adhere to the Geneva Conventions:

At the 31st meeting of the International Committee of the Red Cross, held this week to discuss many issues in modern combat throughout the world, a smaller panel was convened to discuss videogames and the effect they have on the public. Specifically, the Red Cross investigated several games that depict modern warfare and examined whether the rules of the Geneva Conventions governing protections for wounded soldiers, civilian non-combatants, and prisoners of war should be applied to videogames.

Hat tip to Andrew Ian Dodge.

Update This ultra-realistic military video game should have no problem passing Geneva Convention muster.

Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Game Features Awaiting Orders, Repairing Trucks

Note: Onion videos are preceded by a commercial - and the one playing at the time of this posting is pretty amusing. The ad is slightly edited for time constraints - I found the entire ad on YouTube. The music playing is Camille Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre.


Friday, December 02, 2011

Look Out Below

Mysterious metal cylinder crashes through warehouse roof. Early analysis rules out aircraft part and space junk.


Silent Malarial Spirng

Happy 41st birthday, Environmental Protection Agency. Your DDT ban is killing millions.

The article is six years old, but it tells the DDT tale quite effectively.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

White Racism Is On The Decline In America

A small church in Kentucky won't accept interracial couples as members.

So how does that fit with the title of this post?

  1. A small-town church doesn't make the news unless it does something out of the ordinary.
  2. The church itself is divided over the policy. The article doesn't state the size of the church, but when the policy was put before the body, only 15 members voted. The measure passed by a 9-6 vote. Ironically, the policy is "intended to promote greater unity among the church body and the community we serve."

There's chance for an appeal, but in the long run Stella Harville and Ticha Chikuni don't have much of a personal stake:

[Dean] Harville said he plans to ask the conference of churches to which Gulnare Freewill Baptist belongs to overturn the vote.

Even if that happens, however, "I don't think I'll be able to go back there," his daughter said.

If it hasn't done so already, Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church is about to witness a church split. There is no way a church body stays together when there's this much division. I know people who save seen (and participated in) church exoduses. People look to church as an extended family; you can't pick your relatives, but you can pick the ones you hang out with.

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