Archive for February, 2007
24 Feb 2007

Man Buys Farm in Portugal, Cuts Open Padlock on Barn, and Finds…

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The earliest American report seems to have been January 30 at The Manic Mechanic:

So, this man in Portugal buys a farm (as opposed to ‘buying the farm’, as it were). Apparently the property owner died and the farm was put up for sale. Pretty satisfied of his purchase he wanders about the property sizing up what might need attention. An old, unused barn that will probably need cleaning out was part of the deal. Upon making his way inside the barn he finds that, indeed, the place needs more than a little cleaning…

The story was originally linked from this Dutch site, which has since removed the link. The Dutch site led to a Norwegian Mazda owners site (Google-cached version) leading to the conclusion that the lucky buyer was Norwegian.

It is still unconfirmed, and an urban legend/hoax of some kind is suspected, but the story is he found 180 vintage cars.


I first came across the story at Maggie’s Farm.

23 Feb 2007

This Morning’s Rant on Global Warming (From My Class List)

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The liberal view of the universe

Liberals confuse a consensus of journalists, celebrities, and do-gooders, combined with activist science, with something meaningful. If they lived in the 1920s, they’d be championing eugenics. If they lived in the 1880s, they’d be worried about sex as a health threat and the rising tide of inferior races. These kinds of consensi are always wrong.

Sophisters, calculators, and economists have cooked up models and projections based on various kinds of data, but we really know perfectly well that mankind does not understand the typical duration and causes of climate cycles and periods of glaciation, and cannot accurately predict weather more than a week in advance.

The theory of Global Warming is ultimately based on nothing more than the unavailability, post-1980, of a continuing pattern of cooler weather. When it had been getting colder for a few years, the same kinds of authority were projecting a new Ice Age, brought about by mankind’s hubris in creating industrial civilization with attendant contamination of pristine Nature. The vital remedy was more taxes and greater regulatory restriction of American productivity and energy consumption. When temperature trends reversed, curiously enough, the causes and the cure remained exactly the same. The only change is that the media and the left went from agitating over Global Cooling to agitating over Global Warming without missing a beat, and essentially the same agitprop has simply increased in volume and alleged urgency for years.

What depresses me is the fact that Americans can emerge from 16+ years of education still capable of falling for this kind of ridiculous nonsense. To believe in Global Warming, I’d say, you have to be basically unconscious of the highly limited state of human knowledge of the earth’s past. We know that there were periods in which the planet’s climate was considerably cooler than at present, and we know that there were periods when it was considerably warmer. We do not have anything like exhaustive knowledge of the climate throughout earth’s geologic history. Nor do we now why periods of different climate occurred.

The rise of modern science of geology goes back roughly two lousy centuries. Continental drift, a fairly basic factor in geologic matters, was not even accepted before the 1960s, within many of our lifetimes. When that bozo on the evening news starts describing today’s temperature as an all-time record, what kind of records do you suppose he’s working with? Exactly how meaningful is anything of the sort? What can 20+ years of slightly warmer weather signify?

I attribute this lunacy to a combination of too much city living and Hollywood. There has been an endless stream of horror movies about Godzilla rising from Tokyo Bay, giant ants, mutated this, or catastrophic that, all attributable to the wickedness of mankind’s pursuit of material gratification. Today’s citified Americans all believe that they are the absolute center of the universe, and that the world and man’s position in it resembles the old New Yorker cartoon of the view from 9th Avenue. If I dropped all the liberals somewhere west of the Missouri and they had to walk out, their view of man’s centrality in the universe would be changed mightily.

23 Feb 2007

Liberals Love Opinion Polls

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And have been recently been equating some opinion polls showing high percentages of opposition to the War in Iraq with an electoral mandate.

Let’s see how they like this poll by Public Opinion Strategies (POS).

reported by New Media Journal:

57% of those polled agreed with the statement, “I support finishing the job in Iraq, that is, keeping the troops there until the Iraqi government can maintain control and provide security for their people.”..

57% of those polled believed that Iraq was central to the War on Terrorism and our struggle against global Islamofascist aggression…

53% believe the Democrats are going too far in pressing the president to withdraw troops.

56% believe that even if they harbor concerns about the president’s policies that Americans should stand behind the president in Iraq because we are at war.

59% believe that it would hurt American prestige more to pull out of Iraq immediately than it would to stay there for the long term, until the job was finished successfully.

and the New York Post:

53 percent to 43 percent… believe victory in Iraq over the insurgents is still possible…

Only 25 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement, “I don’t really care what happens in Iraq after the U.S. leaves, I just want the troops brought home.” Seventy-four percent disagreed…

When given a choice of four policies, an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops was the least popular (17 percent).

23 Feb 2007

70 Year Old Ex-Marine Kills Mugger With Bare Hands in Costa Rica

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AP reports that a mugger in Costa Rica picked the wrong group of seniors, one which obviously included a retired American with expertise in hand-to-hand combat.

A tour group of U.S. senior citizens fought off a band of muggers in eastern Costa Rica, sending two of the assailants fleeing and killing a third, police said Thursday.

One of the tourists — a retired U.S. serviceman whom officials estimated was in his 70s — allegedly put Warner Segura in a headlock and broke his clavicle after the 20-year-old and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus Wednesday, said Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 130 kilometers (80 miles) east of San Jose.

The Americans had arrived in Limon on the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Liberty.

“It was a group of 12 senior citizens from the United States who were going to spend a few hours in the area, but their tour bus entered a dangerous sector known as Cieneguita”, Hernandez said.

The tourists drove Segura to the local Red Cross branch but he was declared dead, Hernandez said. He declined to give the names or hometowns of the tourists.

The Red Cross also treated one of the tourists for an anxiety attack, Hernandez said.

Costa Rican authorities said they did not plan to file charges against the tourists, who left on their cruise ship after the incident.

“They were in their right to defend themselves after being held up,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said Segura had previous charges against him for assaults.

It certainly sounds like he broke the mugger’s veterbrae, not his clavicle.

An elderly man would be likely to be pessimistic about his chances in a contest of speed or strength with a significantly younger opponent. Consequently, the American retiree must have resorted to a lethal attack. If he were younger, doubtless, he would have incapacitated and not killed the mugger.

The New York Post identifies the American hero as Allan Clady, a 70 year old retired Marine.

22 Feb 2007

Sandy Berger’s Raid on History

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The Washington Post reports that House Republican inquiries have revealed that Sandy Berger’s removal of Clinton Administration secret memos from the National Archives was treated with surprising incuriosity by certain elements in the Justice Department.

A report last month by the Republican staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said for the first time that Berger’s visits were so badly mishandled that Archives officials had acknowledged not knowing if he removed anything else and destroyed it. The committee further argued that the 9/11 Commission should have been told more about Berger and about Brachfeld’s concerns, a suggestion that resonated with Philip Zelikow, the commission’s former executive director.

Zelikow said in an interview last week that “I think all of my colleagues would have wanted to have all the information at the time that we learned from the congressional report, because that would have triggered some additional questions, including questions we could have posed to Berger under oath.”

The commission’s former general counsel, Dan Marcus, now an American University law professor, separately expressed surprise at how little the Justice Department told the commission about Berger and said it was “a little unnerving” to learn from the congressional report exactly what Berger reviewed at the Archives and what he admitted to the FBI — including that he removed and cut up three copies of a classified memo.

“If he took papers out, these were unique records, and highly, highly classified. Had a document not been produced, who would have known?” Brachfeld said in an interview. “I thought [the 9/11 Commission] should know, in current time — in judging Sandy Berger as a witness . . . that there was a risk they did not get the full production of records.”

In an April 1, 2005, press conference and private statements to the commission, the Justice Department stated instead that Berger had access only to copied documents, not originals. They also said the sole documents Berger admitted taking — five copies of a 2001 terrorism study — were later provided to the commission.

Those assertions conflicted with a September 2004 statement to Brachfeld by Nancy Kegan Smith, who directs the Archives’ presidential documents staff and let Berger view the documents in her office in violation of secrecy rules. Smith said “she would never know what if any original documents were missing,” Brachfeld reported in an internal memo.

In a letter to House lawmakers last week, Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Hertling did not address the issue of why the department told the commission so little. But Hertling wrote that in numerous interviews, “neither Mr. Berger nor any other witness provided the Department with evidence that Mr. Berger had taken any documents beyond the five.”

There must have been something very damaging in there. Possibly some very conspicuous failure to deal with Osama bin Laden during the late 1990s, well before 9/11, which was sufficiently embarassing to William Jefferson Clinton that Sandy Berger was willing to take some serious risks to remove from the record.

The Clintons apparently have dodged another bullet. You almost have to admire their adroitness at doing exactly as they please, and then baffling their opponents with brilliant and brazen maneuvers when in danger of being called to account. Remember the missing Rose Law Firm records which turned up in the White House finally, very shortly after the Statute of Limitations had expired?

22 Feb 2007

“America’s Not at War”

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says Virginia blogger SWAC Girl:

America is not at war.
The Marine Corps is at war;
America is at the mall.”

Hat tip to F22Strike.

22 Feb 2007

Email Joke of the Day

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Hillary Clinton goes to a primary school in New York to talk about the world. After her talk she offers a question time.

One little boy puts up his hand. The Senator asks him what his name is.


“And what is your question, Kenneth?”

“I have three questions: First – whatever happened to the medical health care plan you were paid to develop during your husband’s eight years in the office as President? Second – why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office? Third – whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?”

Just then the bell rings for recess. Hillary Clinton informs the kids that they will continue after recess.

When they resume, Hillary says, “Okay, where were we? Oh, that’s right, question time. Who has a question?”

A different little boy put his hand up. Hillary asked him what his name is.


“And what is your question, Larry?”

“I have five questions: First – whatever happened to the medical health care plan you were paid to develop during your husband’s eight years in the office as President? Second – why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office? Third – whatever happened to all thosethings you took when you left the White House? Fourth – why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early? Fifth – what happened to Kenneth?”

22 Feb 2007

House of Representatives Supports US Troops, 182-246

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AP reports: House votes to “support troops,” but opposes sending additional troops to complete the mission.

Hat tip to Roger de Hauteville at Maggie’s Farm.

22 Feb 2007

Can You Believe They Tore It Down?

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Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.”
– “Farewell to Penn Station,” New York Times editorial, October 30, 1963

Hat tip to The Barrister, who writes:

There was a fervor for tearing down old buildings in urban American during the 1960s and early 70s. Many historic, but dilapidated, downtowns were bulldozed, as were countless wonderful “Union Stations” – and anything else that seemed “old”.

Today, we cherish towns like Savannah which were left untouched by the government scourge of “urban renewal.”

19th century housing was replaced by “modern” Soviet-style planned and government-subsidized housing projects (which finally are beginning to be dynamited themselves, for good reason). And the buildings were replaced with parking lots and sterile semi-high rises, and malls – that horrible concept which turns its back on the town in an effort to create an unreal, soul-less consumer paradise for the masses.

When you drive through downtown Bridgeport, CT, Hartford, or Nashville, you will be hard put to find an old building. Lucky towns escaped this frenzy of “modernization,” which I term “dehumanization.” Nobody wants to be in those sorts of downtowns.

Pennsylvania Station on the West Side of Manhattan – one of the masterpieces of the beaux-art movement – did not escape the epidemic of destruction. Grand Central Station escaped – but only barely. Just tell me – where would you rather wait 40 minutes for a train to meet your girlfriend or boyfriend – the new Penn Station, or Grand Central?..

Who would have the nerve to knock this thing down and replace it with the new (and truly terrible in every way) Madison Square Garden?

22 Feb 2007

“Unparalled Perfidy”

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Investors Business Daily condemns the House democrat leadership’s “slow bleed” strategy

As chairman of the House panel that oversees military spending, (John) Murtha plans to advance legislation next month attaching strings to the additional war funds Bush requested on Feb. 5.

Murtha plans to stop the Iraq War by placing four conditions on combat funds through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The Pentagon would have to certify that troops being sent to Iraq are “fully combat ready” with training and equipment, troops must have at least one year at home between combat deployments, combat deployments cannot be longer than a year, and extending tours of duty would be prohibited…

It’s not that the Democrats think we’re losing or that the war is unwinnable. They simply don’t want to win it. As House Minority Leader John Boehner said of Murtha’s proposals: “While American troops are fighting radical Islamic terrorists thousands of miles away, it is unthinkable that the United States Congress would move to discredit their mission, cut off their reinforcements and deny them the resources they need to succeed and return home safely.”..

Neville Chamberlain’s naivete may have helped bring on World War II, but at least he supported his country when war began. Norway’s Vidkun Quisling and France’s Vichy government under Marshal Petain may have collaborated with the Nazi enemy, but after their countries’ defeats, not before.

We’d have to go back to Benedict Arnold to find Americans as eager as Murtha & Co. to see an American defeat on the battlefield.

Read the whole thing.


But Robert Farley argues that these kinds of accusations have serious implications.

IBD seems to be claiming that the vast bulk of the Democratic Party (and no small part of the Republican) are the equivalent of the most notable traitor in American history, a man who undoubtedly would have been hanged or shot if he had been caught. The editorial has been linked to approvingly by Captain’s Quarters, Powerline (sic), Instapundit, and the Gateway Pundit. Reynolds further notes:

To some people, Vietnam wasn’t a defeat, but a victory. To them, the right side won. And lost. Naturally, they’re happy to repeat the experience.

Undoubtedly, the Perfesser and his ilk will claim that they aren’t actually calling for treason trials and executions of members of the Democratic Party. But why not? If Democrats really are the equivalent of Benedict Arnold, and if opposition to the war and the Surge is traitorous, then why shouldn’t we be tried and executed, or at least imprisoned? The rhetoric leads only one place. Either Glenn Reynolds believes that Democrats are traitors, or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, he should tell us why, and should explain why he so often suggests that Democrats have committed treasonable offenses. If he does believe that Democrats are traitors, then he ought to step up and start calling for arrests. Treason is a capital offense; there’s not really a middle ground. We’re guilty, or we’re not.

Sadly, but perhaps fortunately, Reynolds et al are too gutless to pursue the logical consequence of their accusation. So far, anyway..

The problem is that the current administration has tried to make war while neglecting this particular line of logic. America’s Vietnam experience demonstrated the capacity of the radical peace movement to use its relations with the academic clerisy and the media to turn treason and defeatism into a de rigeur fashion statement of membership in the American elite.

During WWI and WII, the wars which America won during the last century, preaching defeatism and rendering aid and comfort to the enemy were simply not tolerated.

The US Government has the obligation to the members of its armed forces whom it sends into harm’s way to prevent their service and sacrifices being made futile by the domestic demoralization of the American public by a defeatist minority of radical leftists and pacifists.

22 Feb 2007

Who’s Really Guilty?


Victoria Toensing, who in 1982 as chief council to the Senate Intelligence Committee played a key role in the drafting of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, believes the law was never violated in the case of Valerie Plame, and suggests a number of persons and entities she considers more worthy of charges in the Plame Affair than Scooter Libby.

22 Feb 2007

Coming Back Up

I found this morning that I’d had another of the SQL database corruption incidents overnight.

The last backup, it turned out, was done in the midst of an upgrade, and was consequently defective. And my support guy is out of town at a conference.

I’m lucky that I was able to get things fixed myself.

I need to restore some posts, and then we will be back in normal operation again.

My apologies to readers for the inconvenience.

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