Friday, November 30, 2012

Ha Ha Islamophobia

Another stiff dose of harsh reality from Pat Condell.

Cats secret life

Not nabbing many mice, in this one!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

To those who think the late election means it's time to give up: Don't!

I've been reading some quite pessimistic posts in the aftermath of the Presidential election, especially on conservative Christian blogs. After a few of them, I penned this response:

It may be best to adopt the attitude of Winston Churchill: "I am an optimist. It seems to me not much use to be anything else."

I would be dismayed to see further disengagement by Christians from society. To cite only one means of doing so, in my area private Christian schools proliferate. They cost money, and people dislocate their finances to get their kids into them, even though the actual educations are in some way no better than public schools. These students, along with their heavily involved parents, could have a great leavening effect on the wider society if they weren't cloistered away on their own. Light, bushel, and all that... Secularists are as ignorant of the Christian blessings in public life as fish are ignorant of water, and even the most radical, spotty-bearded coffeehouse subversive would miss them if they were gone. In time, if we are not too thin-skinned, we may persuade them that this is so. Sure, the light of Christ seems to shine more brightly in Kenya and South Korea these days than in the tired old First World. But I don't believe that America has bestowed her final God-given gifts on humanity just quite yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"How Free Speech Died On Campus"

An interview with free speech activist--and lifelong Democrat--Greg Lukianoff.

"The people who believe that colleges and universities are places where we want less freedom of speech have won," Mr. Lukianoff says. "If anything, there should be even greater freedom of speech on college campuses. But now things have been turned around to give campus communities the expectation that if someone's feelings are hurt by something that is said, the university will protect that person. As soon as you allow something as vague as Big Brother protecting your feelings, anything and everything can be punished."

Administrative self-interest is also at work. "There's been this huge expansion in the bureaucratic class at universities," Mr. Lukianoff explains. "They passed the number of people involved in instruction sometime around 2006. So you get this ever-renewing crop of administrators, and their jobs aren't instruction but to police student behavior. In the worst cases, they see it as their duty to intervene on students' deepest beliefs."

The trouble is that students are usually intimidated into submission. "The startling majority of students don't bother. They're too concerned about their careers, too concerned about their grades, to bother fighting back," he says. Parents and alumni dismiss free-speech restrictions as something that only happens to conservatives, or that will never affect their own children.

"I make the point that this is happening, and even if it's happening to people you don't like, it's a fundamental violation of what the university means," says Mr. Lukianoff. "Free speech is about protecting minority rights. Free speech is about admitting you don't know everything. Free speech is about protecting oddballs. It means protecting dissenters."

...bunch'a little stalins, hope I can get my children into colleges without this nonsense.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Zombieland - The Last box of Twinkies

What would you do, or what would you face, for the last twinkie on earth?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

IDF Pinpoint Strike on Ahmed Jabari, Head of Hamas Military Wing

Nothing like a big helping of Roast Terrorist Surprise--easy recipe, just grease, sear and toss.

Listening to the BBC World News on my local NPR station just now, I heard the host and a guest chewing over the events. The guest dismissed the 100+ rockets launched this past week as a cause of the strike, instead blaming Israeli election season grandstanding. The proximate cause was dismissed as a mere "drizzle of rockets", which are not accurate and hardly ever kill anyone. I nearly threw up in my mouth a little, as the morality inversion this guy was lost in was like biting into a rotten fruit.

So, with higher taxes looming, will the recovery continue?

Resourceful business people will find ways to adapt and carry on. What's been spooking them thus far has been the uncertainty--will Obamacare go through or not?--because they don't want to lay out long green for much of anything, if they don't know what to plan for. There was plenty of grousing at Bill Clinton's tax hikes at the beginning of his term, but because things didn't drag on for ages the business world pulled up their socks and got used to it, producing the 90s boom. We'll just have to see if that happens in Obama's 2nd term. If formerly viable businesses get torpedoed because of Obamacare, we'll surely hear about it and have this fight again in '14.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A view from Britain

From the Telegraph, via Sense of Events:

So Europe got the American president it wanted – the one who would present no threat to its own delusions. The United States is now officially one of us: an Old World country complete with class hatred, ethnic Balkanisation, bourgeois guilt and a paternalist ruling elite. And it is locked into the same death spiral of high public spending and self-defeating wealth redistribution as we are. Welcome to the future, and the beginning of what may turn out to be the terminal decline of the West.

Sobering to think so...Of course, the British have a running head start down that road, compared to us:

Many of us still fondly imagine that we have more in common with 'our American cousins' than with our continental neighbors. It may have been true once (though I find it hard to say exactly when). But it is certainly not true now. Travel to the United States and then to the other European Union states, and you will see: The typical British family looks much more like the typical German family than the typical
American family. We eat Italian food. We watch Spanish soccer. We drive German cars. We work Belgian hours. And we buy second homes in France. Above all, we bow before central government as only true Europeans can.
-- Niall Ferguson, 2004

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday ADHD linklets

A bronze bust of Indo-British ’spy princess’ Noor Inayat Khan, who worked in France during World War II before being tortured and shot by the Germans, was unveiled in Gordon Square Gardens in London this week, near the house where she lived as a child.
It is said to be the first such memorial in Britain dedicated to a Muslim and the first in honour of an Asian woman.

Trove of World War I pictures found in a chest in France

Freeway construction digs up mammoths

Has Karl Rove shot his bolt? According to this Politico article, he's shaping up to be one of the scapegoats of Romney's loss.

Michael Totten says no shenanigans afoot in Petraeus resignation.

The election must have epochal indeed, since it drew Steven den Beste away from his anime blogging back into political commentary:

...the Democrats seem to want to destroy the US as we know it now. The catastrophe I see coming appears to be a feature, not a bug, from their point of view. That scares me most of all.

They think that Americans buy too much, own too much, use too much. They want prices to rise relative to wages so that we can't afford as much. They want to make energy expensive so that we won't use as much. Anything that they can't make expensive they'll try to ban outright, like coal.

They've already done some of that, and they want to do more. And they're willing to lie and cheat and steal to make it happen.

I think they'll succeed. But I don't think they truly understand the consequences. I don't think they know just how awful it will become.

"Live not by lies..."

At the mostly-dead pundit ranch, Orson Scott Card blames the media for shoving Obama over the finish line. Sorry, that's weak tea. There really are that many more people who believe in the direction Obama is taking the country, than otherwise. The news media is not the gatekeeper in the Information Age, the wall are down. What we saw is who we are. However, he is right on target about how Obama's gotten a pass for FEMA's bungling of Sandy, as opposed to Bush's very humanity being condemned in the wake of Cat 5 Katrina.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The decline of American leadership, viewed in the 1830s

"Many people in Europe are apt to believe without saying it, or to say without believing it, that one of the great advantages of universal suffrage is, that it entrusts the direction of public affairs to men who are worthy of the public confidence. They admit that the people is unable to govern for itself, but they aver that it is always sincerely disposed to promote the welfare of the State, and that it instinctively designates those persons who are animated by the same good wishes, and who are the most fit to wield the supreme authority. I confess that the observations I made in America by no means coincide with these opinions. On my arrival in the United States I was surprised to find so much distinguished talent among the subjects, and so little among the heads of the Government. It is a well authenticated fact, that at the present day the most able men in the United States are very rarely placed at the head of affairs; and it must be acknowledged that such has been the result in proportion as democracy has out stepped all its former limits. The race of American statesmen has evidently dwindled most remarkably in the course of the last fifty years." -- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1838

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A cordial election...238 years ago

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them: 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy; 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against; and 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.” —John Wesley, journal entry dated October 3, 1774

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Obama Re-elected

Congratulations to the President for his re-election, and may Providence rightly guide his decisions in his second term. All our futures depend on it! I'm watching the FreeStuffians celebrate in Times Square, and am resenting it. But, there is no safer place to store popular political power than in the people themselves.

Happy election day!

For the special day, I offer you this thrilling re-cut of the greatest political rock anthem ever.  Be sure to click through and let Torghoover know how great it is.  God bless our fair Republic!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Friday Night ADHD Linklets

If you bought a Hyundai or Kia in the past three years, you may be eligible for a bit of cash back. This is because they overstated the vehicles' MPG, and so they are making restitution. Go to Enter your VIN number and email and you'll be sent instructions on how to apply. and are the places to go for more info.

Angkor Wat: Mystery of how temple was built may have finally been solved.

How to help Hurricane Sandy victims, without gumming up the pros' work.

WWII carrier pigeon finally delivers secret message.

I used to laugh at Konglish, until I realized that their English was streets better than my Korean was ever going to be.

I would have liked to post an appreciation of Jacques Barzun, but modesty forbids. I'm unfit to edit his drycleaning list.

Happy 6th blogoversary to Samizdata, the British libertarian blog! I really enjoy their Quotations category.

There is no bottom of the hill.

Keep On Chooglin...