Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just In Time For Valentine's Day

Doctor Who TARDIS Talking Cookie Jar


Monday, January 30, 2012

Back To The Blogroll

Rantings of a Sandmonkey Back in April 2007, LGF had reported that Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey had left the blog over safety concerns - I blogged that here. I see from his archives that his hiatus wasn't long, although since then his posting was sporadic.

He's made the news recently:

Egyptian blogger and political activist Mahmoud Salem, more commonly known by his online persona Sandmonkey, filed a civil lawsuit on Thursday, January 26th against the well-known and influential Salafi preacher Yasser al-Bourhami for the latter’s incitement of violence against Coptic Christians. While the details of this suit are still emerging, they deserve serious domestic and global attention: if methodically pursued, the case could form an important challenge to Egypt’s still-persistent culture of legal impunity for violence and discrimination against members of the country’s significant Christian minority.


Sandmonkey’s lawsuit is significant because it holds the potential to draw long-overdue attention and accountability to the dangerous rhetoric and actions of the country’s emboldened Salafi zealots, and to the genuine threat they pose to Egypt's Coptic minority. It is also important because Mahmoud Salem is well-positioned to make this happen: he was one of the bravest and most vocal critics of the Mubarak regime at a time when his fellow bloggers were being tossed into prison, and since the revolution, he put his words into action with an electoral bid for parliament, albeit an unsuccessful one. His effort deserves support.

Read the whole thing. Among other things, the article has some background info on Salafists.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

State Of The Union, 2012

Courtesy of the Cato Institute.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Late Anniversary

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission turned two on January 21 this year. Walter Olson excerpts a key portion of a Washington Post article that outlines the basic rationale behind the decision.

Corporations are not people, but corporations are tools used by some people as a vehicle for exercising constitutional rights. The article describes a few unconscionable situations that woudl arise is that were not the case.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Political Correctness Update

Okay, how is the appearance of these new Lego figurines for girls fundamentally different from non-Barbie, non-Bratz dolls marketed to girls for the past several decades?


The Choice

This political cartoon really does say a lot.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Was Off By One Year

From my predictions for 2011:

Greece will attempt to balance its budget by selling Parthenon timeshares.

From AFP (emphasis added):

In a move bound to leave many Greeks and scholars aghast, Greece's culture ministry said Tuesday it will open up some of the debt-stricken country's most-cherished archaeological sites to advertising firms and other ventures.

The ministry says the move is a common-sense way of helping "facilitate" access to the country's ancient Greek ruins, and money generated would fund the upkeep and monitoring of sites. The first site to be opened would be the Acropolis.


Andrew Sullied

Patterico has more on that Newsweek article.


Environmentalism Goes Barking Insane

Well, squeaking insane.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Andrew Sullivan Is Nuts

Here's a snippet from his recent Newsweek article:

The great conservative bugaboo, Obamacare, is also far more moderate than its critics have claimed. The Congressional Budget Office has projected it will reduce the deficit, not increase it dramatically

The CBO (and the White House) also significantly underestimated the 2010 and 2011 deficits - contrast the original projections with more recent number-crunching.


Another War On Speech: Victory

The SOPA Internet censorship bill is killed.

For background info, read the Electronic freedom Foundation's What’s Wrong With SOPA? report.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Civil Rights Day!

(An annual blog tradition continues.)

In 2006 I mulled over the idea that instead of having a Martin Luther King Day we should have a Civil Rights Day, so that we can have a single holiday for all civil rights crusaders, and, for symbolic reasons, it shoudl be set on July 5, the day after we celebrate out nation's independence. As stated in that post, I had originally considered that Civil Rights Day replace Labor Day, but I have long since settled on the latter holiday giving way to Commerce Day, a day for celebrating all the contributors to our economy and not just labor.

A July 5 holiday for any reason is even a bigger pipe dream than Commerce Day, and the MLK Day tradition is already firmly entrenched, so from this day forward I will recognize the third Monday of January as Civil Rights Day. Dr. King will always get a little extra notice for being the one to inspire the holiday, but the table of honor will feature all civil rights leaders past and present.

Following is my original argument for the holiday:


For years I'd heard news stories about debates over whether or not to establish an official Martin Luther King holiday, and never did anyone report the arguments against. I always suspected that one was that we had way too many day-off-of-work holidays as it was. Having one three weeks after Christmas does seem a bit superfluous. MLK Day would be only the third national holiday named after a person, the others being Christmas and Columbus Day, commemorating the chief catalyst for Western culture and the chief catalyst for extending Western culture to the Americas. (In the case of the latter, make that Western cultures; English and Iberian influences were vastly different.) Some, I imagine, feel that only those rare individuals who have had such a radical impact should have holidays named for them. Dr. King isn't in that league; the only Americans who are are the Founders; their holiday is July 4.

Here's my argument against making January 15 [Update: MLK Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January, which happens to fall on the 15th in 2003] an official holiday: it's not fair to everyone else involved in the civil rights movement. Independence Day isn't just about one guy. We have a holiday for all those who made the Declaration of Independence happen. We should have a federal holiday called Civil Rights Day. It would be like Memorial Day, honoring leaders of past civil rights struggles instead of soldiers of past wars.

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Just In Time For Valentines Day

Beer for dogs.

Man's best friend deserves a treat.



Justice is swift.

But not always.

Definitely not always.

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Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Envelope, Please II

EIA presents the 2011 Public Education Quotes of the Year. The top quote:

"If you want to divide that $240,000 into the amount of hours spent, I think you would find that the per hour was probably not much at all, considering the work that had to be done." - Former National Education Association President Reg Weaver, explaining why he deserves his $242,657 annual pension from the state of Illinois. (October 23 Chicago Tribune)

Follow the link and check out the rest of the top ten. Number 5 is especially chock full of hubris.


Somebody Answer Me This

Why does the Iowa Caucus logo look like the French flag?


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