Archive for January, 2008
28 Jan 2008

Hackers Declare War on Scientology

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Gawker still has a copy of the bizarre Tom Cruise 9:25 video, removed from YouTube as the result of the Church of Scientology claims of copyright infringement.

The Church of Scientology’s heavy-handed suppression of Internet access to this video has resulted in a declaration of war by a group of anonymous internet-users, based in the imageboard -chans.orgs, the darkest, deepest refuges of obsessive geekdom and compulsive nerdery, home to an energetic and enthusiastic population of young men with no girlfriends, good programming skills, and plenty of free time. Unquestionably, an enemy deserving to be feared.

Declaration of war 2:03 video

Press Release

Wired: There Can Be Only One

Project Chanology

Wikipedia Project Chanology entry, many news links

27 Jan 2008

British Doctors: Put Sinners and the Old Out on the Ice Flows

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Socialized health care British-style transfers costs from individuals to the government, and sooner-or-later government starts wondering if it ought to be paying for some people’s sinful ways or for people who are already too old.

The Telegraph:

Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives.

Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.

27 Jan 2008

Conservative French Presidents Do Better

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Recently-divorced French President Nicholas Sarkozy has been making headlines dating supermodel and international pop singer Carla Bruni.

International Herald Tribune 2007-12-17

Wall Street Journal 2008-1-25

The WSJ article notes that Carla Bruni has yet to breakthrough in the US (hip hop-dominated) music market, but readers can listen to this 2:26 video of Bruni singing her best-known song Quelqu’un M’a Dit and judge for themselves.

The last time a US liberal president was seeing someone on the side, it was Monica Lewinsky.

27 Jan 2008

Do Us All a Favor: Stay Home on Election Day!

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Chuck Shiflett, editorializing in the Cartersville (Georgia) Daily Tribune, supplies a perspective on voter turnout you won’t read in the Times.

It was a normal day in America’s newsrooms; then the story broke that Heath Ledger had died. I racked my brain … who the heck was Heath Ledger? I shouldn’t have worried about finding the answer, because for the rest of the afternoon and evening all the important news was swept from the airwaves of CNN, Fox, and MSNBC as we were flooded with wall to wall coverage of yet another celebrity tragedy.

Dave Ramsey and two other prominent financial gurus were scheduled to appear on Larry King for a full 40 minutes to discuss the rapidly worsening financial situation. Sorry, guys … some Hollywood type was diddling around with drugs and took a dirt nap. CNN will have to reschedule you so that we can bring viewers mind numbing ramblings on the life and times of Heath Ledger.

I hate it for the guy. Ledger was in the prime of his life and his movie career was headed higher. However, what should have been a 30-second news piece turned into a media feeding frenzy with every network trying to create a new angle in order to drag the story out. Is this what we’ve come too?

Are Republicans really ready to nominate a 72-year-old U.S. senator who has more in common with Democrat John Edwards than Ronald Reagan? Or have we swallowed his marketing mantra of “straight talk”?

Who cares what Barack Hussein Obama believes in? Oprah endorsed him and that’s enough for millions of Democrats. Shouldn’t we want to understand Hillary Rodham Clinton’s socialist dream for America? Nah, the only thing that matters is that she’s a woman.

I can’t even count how many times a talk show host on our radio station has taken a call from a supporter of Obama or Hillary and then asked the caller to name one policy their candidate espouses. Usually there’s dead silence … and then a rambling answer about how he or she believes their candidate cares about people. …

Every election we hear the media types pontificate about how pitiful voter turnout is. I’ve been guilty of it myself. However I’ve about come to the conclusion we would better off as a nation if we discouraged voting. Do away with motor voter. No more voter registration drives.

It’s easy to see why only property owners were allowed to vote in some colonies in the early days of this land. The powers that be understood that those with a vested interest would pay attention and cast their votes accordingly to protect our capitalist way of life.

As evidenced by the new Donkephant economic stimulus plan, here’s what we have. Today the majority of Americans are like spoiled children with parents who can’t say no. If you’ll stop crying then mommy will let you have one more cookie … OK two more cookies … all right three cookies, but that’s it … maybe. How else do you explain a stimulus plan that gives tax rebates to people who paid no taxes? …

So to all the folks who don’t have a clue … set your Tivo to record plenty of stuff this week to keep you entertained and then stay home on election day so you can catch up on the latest episodes of “American Awful” or “Dancing With The Has Beens.” To those who truly understand the issues we’re facing … I’ll see you at the polls.

27 Jan 2008

Liberals Anonymous – A Recovery Program

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C. MacLeod Fuller discusses the 13-point program offering new hope for the unfortunates addicted to Liberalism… and for America.

Many LibAnon members have never before experienced an opinion actually based in either fact or the experiential real world, much less both. Academicians, politicians, and Episcopalians are the organization’s most difficult members in which to affect even a semblance of thought moderation – much less cure. …

Each LibAnon member uses these 13 Steps in an individual way, and so, unfortunately, results cannot be guaranteed. However, the principles are highly recommended as a program of recovery for even the most egregiously opinionated but uninformed, as well as for the intentionally deluded, for the faux-sophisticate, the youth-induced progressive, and every other cultural or academic leftist-inspired opinion, hallucination, or delusional ideation — including, inter alia, that: capitalism is evil; Che was a hero; anthropomorphic global warming is factual and more dangerous than Iran; Al Gore won in Florida; Israel is the “cause” of the Palestinians’ problems; the world owes you something; (item I don’t agree with)… Islam is a religion of peace, love, and tranquility; all opinions are of equal value; “Hollywood” is real; pro-abortion proponents occupy the moral high ground; there is a dime’s worth of difference between Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama; the government owes you (pick your poison) a living, a handout, free day care, free medical care, free retirement in Florida, etc.; gender is a cultural construct; tribal, tree culture is as meaningful and valuable as that of the ancient Greeks; something for nothing; freedom without attendant responsibility; the United Nations is a worthwhile institution; karma makes more sense than Christ; free and easy sex without physical, spiritual, fiscal, or temporal consequences; Ebonics; and Keynesian (consumption) economic theory; just to mention a small handful.

26 Jan 2008

Giuliani Not Winning in Florida

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The Times’ Gail Collins writes Rudy’s epitaph.

Tuesday’s Florida primary is supposed to be the Giuliani firewall, his explanation for why he kept coming in third or fourth or fifth everywhere else. . . . Many commentators have pointed out — really very unkindly — that the longer Giuliani stayed in Florida, the lower his standing in the state polls. Perhaps it would have been wiser for him to make his stand in a place where people had barely heard of him.

They say Guam is quite lovely this time of year.

“The reality is we are getting support,” said the candidate in answer to the inevitable question. He says “the reality is …” very, very often. Almost as often as he says “very, very.”

Those of us who live in New York found it rather peculiar that Giuliani was a front-runner at all, given his deeply mixed record running the city. Now, the idea that Florida might take him out of the race is somewhat disappointing. There’s still so much about him we haven’t yet had a chance to share with the national electorate. Did we ever mention the time he tried to stop the city elections because he didn’t think that New York could get along without him?

Rudy was thrown off his game by the public’s shift from worrying about terrorism to worrying about the economy, and a dwindling interest in hearing him talk about where he was when the terrorists attacked New York. He’s tried to rebound by vigorously promoting a national catastrophe fund to reduce the cost of home insurance in hurricane-prone Florida. This is not, in general, an idea that fiscal conservatives cotton to. It’s so dicey, in fact, that even Mitt Romney has been hesitant about adopting it as a pander-point.

Giuliani has turned hurricanes into nature’s way of saying Al Qaeda. (“All of us are subject to the impact of natural disasters … and of course acts of terrorism, which I remember living through.”)

Perhaps he can pull it off. Florida is one of those places that makes participating in elections as easy as ordering a drive-thru hamburger. People have been casting their votes for almost two weeks now. Maybe a lot of them voted for Rudy and then were embarrassed to admit it to the pollsters, once they discovered he wasn’t really very popular after all.

Still, his campaign has a definite pall over it, and his many hangers-on have to be wondering whether another pathetic showing here would damage the Rudy brand. Are corporations still going to pay him $100,000 for lecturing about leadership and 9/11 now that they know he’s done it for free on the pool deck at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando and Paisano’s Gourmet Pizza in Port St. Lucie? (More critically from the minions’ perspective, are they still going to provide, as the speaking contract requires, “first-class travel expenses for up to five people?”)

Are they still going to hire his firm, Giuliani Partners, to do whatever it is Giuliani Partners is supposed to do, now that the glow of hanging out with America’s Mayor has faded? Before the terrorist attack, after all, Rudy Giuliani was just a lame-duck mayor with abysmal approval ratings, a tabloidy personal life and uncertain job prospects. What 9/11 has given, 1/29 could taketh away.

Perhaps that’s why he’s refrained from saying anything unpleasant about any of his competitors in Florida. Mitt Romney and John McCain are torn between trying to go in for the kill and their desire to avoid looking like Barack and Hillary. The best Rudy can do, on the other hand, might be to avoid looking like a future contender on “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Hat tip to Stephen Frankel.

26 Jan 2008

Ruritania? Graustark? Erewhon?

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National Emblem of Lithuania

(Disclosure: This blog’s author is an American of Lithuanian descent.)

Reuters reports:

A commission led by the prime minister (Gediminas Kirkilas, Social Democrat) approved a marketing concept which says the country of 3.4 million people should promote itself as daring. A name change is also being mulled.

“Lithuania’s transcription in English is difficult to pronounce and remember for non-native English speakers, but the name change is only an idea under consideration,” said government spokesman Laurynas Bucalis, who led the group behind the recommendations.

No ideas have been presented yet as to what the name should be in English. In Lithuanian, the country is called Lietuva. …

Bravery marks our history — from being the last pagan nation in Europe to a nation which sparked the Soviet Union’s downfall, and today’s resolute steps,” Bucalis said.

One tends to doubt that the Slavic Litva will be their choice.

I suppose they could go back to Chaucer’s Middle English:

A knyght ther was, and that a worthy man,
That fro the tyme that he first bigan
To riden out, he loved chivalrie,

Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie.
Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,

And therto hadde he riden, no man ferre,
As wel in Cristendom as in Hethenesse,
And evere honoured for his worthynesse.

At Alisaundre he was, whan it was wonne;
Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne
Aboven alle nacions in Pruce;
In Lettow hadde he reysed, and in Ruce.

The Canterbury Tales, Prologue, 43-54.

(A knight there was, and that a worthy man,
That from the time that he first began
To ride out, he loved chivalry,

Truth and honor, freedom and courtesy.
Full worthy was he in his lords’ wars,

And thereto had he ridden, no man farther,
Both in Christendom and in Heathen lands,
And was everywhere honored for his worthiness.

At Alexandria he had been, when it was won;
Often he had occupied the seat of honor at the dinner-table,
Above men from all nations, in Prussia;
In Lithuania he had raided, and in Russia.)

But would “Lettow” actually be better?

All this is, of course, precisely the sort of renaming-the-months, inventing-a-new-system-of weights-and-measures kind of thing modern linguistic nationalist governments like to focus on.

——————–

Hat tip to Sandip Bhattacharji.

26 Jan 2008

A Lesson in Gun Safety

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On January 19th last, this unfortunate blogger, mistakenly believing his Model 1911 to be empty, dropped the hammer on a loaded chamber thereby putting a Federal Hydro-Shok 230 grain jacketed hollow point .45 ACP bullet right through his thigh and then right through his calf.

He is sharing this painful and embarrassing experience as a public service, hoping to remind the rest of us always to assume that they are loaded.

Via Xavier.

26 Jan 2008

Hillary Peron

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Andrew Sullivan caught Faye Wattleton in an appearance on Hardball, defending Hillary’s claim to the White House on the basis of foreign precedents:

I think that its entirely consistent with the ascension of other women to the top offices in their country; they come come about it as the result of the president being their spouse or being members of prominent families. So I don’t think that we should be so upset and agitated about Mr. Clinton’s participation – we should continue to focus on the issues that the people want to hear about…these other matters are really side issues.

which prompted a momentary return of something very much like the old Conservative Andrew Sullivan:

Wow. A proud defense of nepotism over feminism. Or rather, as is the Clintons’ wont, a total conflation of feminism with nepotism. I remember similar Clintonian feminists in the 1990s trashing, smearing and sliming women who dared to complain about the sexual harassment and abuse of women that Bill Clinton – with his wife’s full knowledge – engaged in for years. This couple really do corrupt everything they touch.

Last month (12/20), Chris Matthews reacted to the same foreign precedent mentioned by Fay Wattleton:

I always thought the problem with Hillary was, her notion of government was, “I am Evita, I am the one who gives gifts to the little people and then they come and bring me flowers and they worship at me because I am the great Evita.”

1:24 video

26 Jan 2008

Pot in Vending Machines

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Libertarians are fond of imagining a Utopian future in which heroin will be available in vending machines.

California is, as usual, leading the way. At least some people (those who’ve gotten a doctor’s prescription), as of next Monday, will be able to purchase marijuana from at least two vending machine locations in Los Angeles:

Melrose Quality Pain Relief, 4906 Melrose Ave, Mid-Wilshire; 323.957.7777

Herbal Nutrition Center, 1435 S. La Cienega Blvd. Suite G, Mid-Wilshire; 310.855.9484

Thrillist

26 Jan 2008

Killer Porpoises

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The Telegraph has bad news for the birkenstock set.

Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation’s final law
Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek’d against his creed.

–Tennyson, In Memoriam

New evidence has been compiled by marine scientists that prove the normally placid dolphin is capable of brutal attacks both on innocent fellow marine mammals and, more disturbingly, on its own kind.

Film taken of gangs of dolphins repeatedly ramming baby porpoises, tossing them in the air and pursuing them to the death has solved a long-term mystery of what causes the death of so many of these harmless mammals – but has left animal experts baffled as to the motive.

25 Jan 2008

Ch-Ch-Change

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Don’t you loathe politicians… all politicians?

This amusing 1:44 video mocks the whole gang of them as one after another invokes the phony baloney mantra of the 2008 primary campaign.

25 Jan 2008

In Silicon Valley: Battle of the Environmentalists

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The San Jose Mercury News reports a fascinating legal battle is underway which could only take place on the left coast.

In a case with statewide significance, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is pursuing a Sunnyvale couple under a little-known California law because redwood trees in their backyard cast a shadow over their neighbor’s solar panels.

Richard Treanor and Carolynn Bissett own a Prius and consider themselves environmentalists. But they refuse to cut down any of the trees behind their house on Benton Street, saying they’ve done nothing wrong.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

25 Jan 2008

John McCain, the Moonbats’ Choice

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Mother Jones likes John McCain and thinks it’s just awful that conservatives are saying such mean things about him.

Die-hard conservatives despise McCain for multiple reasons. Primarily, they fear the impact his candidacy could have on the Republican Party and the conservative movement. For conservatives, derailing McCain’s candidacy is not about electability, but ideological protection. As conservative writer and activist Robert Tracinski put it this week in an article titled “Why McCain Needs to Be Stopped,” “McCain is a suicidal choice for Republicans, because on every issue other than the war, he stands for capitulation to the left.” And conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt recently said a “GOP vote for McCain is a vote for a shattered base.”

Conservatives also feel that McCain has routinely frustrated their ambitions by taking heretical policy stances. “Almost at every turn on domestic policy,” Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, said in a recent radio interview, “John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side.” Just a day earlier Santorum had gone on a different radio show as part of his anti-McCain jihad and attacked the senator on a variety of issues. “He’s not with us on almost all of the core issues,” he said. “He was against the President’s tax cuts. He was bad on immigration. On the environment, he’s absolutely terrible. He buys into the complete left-wing environmentalist movement in this country. He is for bigger government on a whole laundry list of issues.”

“We’d of had a much bigger tax cut if John McCain had voted with us,” said DeLay on Fox. “We’d be drilling in ANWR [Artic National Wildlife Refuge] today” if not for McCain.

And the traitors at the New York Times have endorsed him, too:

Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.

When Mother Jones and the Times like him, it ought to be pretty obvious that he does not belong at the top of the Republican ticket.

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