Archive for May, 2007

Freak Out!

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Ha! I knew people were getting too bent out of shape over the Muslim poll:

A reader writes:

What hasn’t been talked about much in the just released Pew poll is that, while 47 percent consider themselves Muslim first and American second, 42 percent consider themselves Christian first and American second.

And while 43 percent of American Muslims think mosques/churches should express views on political/social issues, 54 percent of American Christians think likewise.

I certainly hope America has enough genius to assimilate those Christians, too.

Another adds:

Clearly, there are troubling aspects to the poll, the suicide bombing response in particular. However, when it comes to issues of governance and influence there are parallels. A Pew poll from August 24, 2006 yielded the following: “(S)ix-in-ten white evangelical Protestants say that the Bible should be the guiding principle in making laws when it conflicts with the will of the people.”

From the same 2006 poll, 67 percent of those polled believe “the U.S. is a Christian nation.”

I would also add that 5% of Muslim liking Al-Quaeda is nothing to panic over. You can get 5% of people to agree to anything. And while it’s a concern that 20% of Muslims think suicide bombings are OK, I wonder what percentage of Christians think bombing abortion clinics or stoning gays is OK.

It is distressing that only 25% of Muslims accept the truth of 9/11. But then again, many Americans won’t accept the truth about JFK. What else do I have to say? People are stupid, Muslim, Christian, Jew or atheist, idiocy is universal.

+$$$ = ???

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

You say that public school districts spend as much money as they possibly can, no matter what it does to education.

Wait wait wait. I can’t grasp it. Public officials are always frugal with our money, aren’t they? Having the schools controlled by politics guarantees efficiency, no?

Drop

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Traffic on this site just dropped dramatically. Having posted about it, I will probably now see the traffic go right back up to new heights. But hopefully, the registration and askimet implementation are having an effect. The spammers can’t post here, for now.

Scientific Progress Goes Boink!

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Remember how you were supposed to eat something like 15 servings of tomatoes a weak to prevent prostate cancer?

Er, not so much..

Hat tip, Freakonomics.

Bravo!

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

When I was a grad student, Chris used to talk a lot of smack about Joe Paterno. According to him, JoePa wasn’t just a great coach, he was a great man.

Damn him. It’s all true.

This is easily the greatest punishment in recent collegiate history, an absolutely diabolical, telling, high-impact bit of discipline that should remind one and all that what Paterno has been doing out in State College, Pa., all these years is more than just win 363 football games, including 20 the past two seasons.

In a coaching business so full of phonies who talk character only to bend the rules, who consider the definition of discipline a player’s weight-room attendance, who wouldn’t dare pull something like this because it might hurt recruiting, here’s Joe Pa, four decades on the job and not giving a damn.

Except about what’s right.

You paying attention, Bobby Bowden? If wonder if the NCAA will step in and put a stop to this. It will make the slimeballs who run most of the big programs look bad.

Linkorama

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

I’m working on two big posts on immigration. In the meantime….

  • Why I’m sometimes embarassed to life in Texas.
  • Yeah, right. I call BS.

    In a recent study, sociologist Diane Felmee found only a third of women said looks were the first thing that attracted them to a man. Most preferred a sense of humour or financial and career success.

    This has never been my experience. And I mean ever. I have known precisely one woman in my life who preferred geeky men. She was also my first girlfriend (and eventually moved on to better looking ones).

    No, these are women who want to have their cake and eat it, too. When they’re young, they want to have sex with hot men. And now that they’re older, they want to settle down with the other ones. And the plain or ugly men are supposed to settle for never having a wild and crazy youth. Garbage.

  • Johns Stossel breaks out the nun-chucks on ethanol. If you’ve read my blog (cue crickets chirping), you know how I feel about this boondoggle. On this blog, we obey the laws of thermodynamics.
  • The Cost

    Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

    A lot of Right-Wing chatter will center on Heritage’s report that illegal immigrants are costing the nation $89 billion a year.

    Here’s what they’re ignorning. This has little do with illegals and everything to do with the de facto welfare state. Unless you are earning at least $50,000 in this country (and half of us aren’t), you are getting more in government services than you are paying for. It’s called the progressive tax.

    But only a fool, only an idiot, only a reactionary moron would say that the best thing to do would be to get rid of the low-wage workers. That’s the tricky thing about economics. The numbers don’t tell the story. Without all the low-wage earners, the economy ceases to function. The low-wage guys picking oranges, building houses and sweeping floors enable the millionaire farmers, home-builders and stock brokers that really pay the bills in this country.

    Remember, it wasn’t the lowest third of their economy that the Golgafrinchans disposed of.

    Update: Something else I thought of. Illegal immigration is a generational thing. The current generation of illegals are low-skill workers. But their children, better-educated, english-speaking and Americanized, are going to move up the socioeconomic ladder quickly.

    All waves of immigrants have started out poor. It’s the children they bring here — children we need to keep our Medicare and Social Security ponzi schemes afloat — that really benefit the nation.

    Christian Hysteria

    Monday, May 21st, 2007

    The latest. Apparently, book sellers can sell both Christian books and porn. The horror. The horror.

    I wonder what they’d do if they found out the my library of 1100 books includes the New Testament, three copies of the old, the Koran, commentaries on all of the above as well as Lolita, Gravity’s Rainbow and the Origin of Species.

    Hangings too good for me.

    A Sign of Age

    Saturday, May 19th, 2007

    I turned 35 last week. I’ll write more on that later. But as I get older, I find myself becoming more interest in horse-racing. I guess this is part of the metamorphosis into a cigar-chomping Republic-, er, cigar-chomping conservative. So I was disappointed that we are going to have to wait yet another year for a Triple Crown winner.

    I actually wonder if we will ever see another Triple Crown horse. The sport has become so hyper-competitive, the field so vast, the pressure so high that the only hope is another Gift of the Horse Gods..

    Argh!

    Saturday, May 19th, 2007

    Dammit. The Braves got rained out last night. It was supposed to be a TBS broadcast. But because the game was rescheduled for this afternoon, I can’t watch it on TBS or on MLB.TV. The reason is that any games played in FOX’s window from noon to 6 pm are automatically blacked out of MLB.TV and can only be broadcast by local networks. If it ain’t on FOX during that time, you can’t watch it Extra Innings or MLB.TV or any national cable channel. In fact, I suspect that if I had someone use an iSight to stream it from New England, they’d break my legs.

    This is insane. This is second time in two months MLB.TV has screwed me. First I couldn’t watch Mark Buerhle’s no-hitter because my home is in a Texas Rangers blackout zone even while my body isn’t. And now I can’t watch Dice-K and my Braves because a rain delay put us into the Fox bubble.

    I suspect that as long as they are raking in the cash, however, MLB won’t care about the real fans.

    PO = PU

    Friday, May 18th, 2007

    A good article on why the Post Office should be privatized.

    Most of the important stuff Americans buy – food, clothing, and shelter – is produced almost entirely by the private sector. The result? Nearly everyone is fed, clothed and housed.

    What’s so special about mail delivery that the government must do it? No one seems to have a good explanation. It’s in the Constitution that the federal government can create post offices – but it doesn’t say the government has to do that, and it certainly does not legalize any postal monopoly.

    The reason the Post Office can’t be privatized is that you have a gigantic overpaid group of postal service employees who would suddenly be armed, angry and out of work.

    Well, there’s also that rural mail would be more expensive. But frankly, as someone who has chosen to live in a semi-rural area, I don’t need any government subsidies.

    You Can’t Resist

    Friday, May 18th, 2007

    A post that pits breasts against government now can you?

    You have to love this. The government is paying lots of money to make poor children less healthy. Wonderful.

    I love this not just because it involves breasts but because it illustrates to me the fundamental problem of government. We have here a program that is well-intentioned. How can you argue with a program that feeds poor infants, shielding them from the bad life choices of their parents? It is well-funded, well-supported and popular.

    And it’s harming the very people it intends to help. The kids lose because they drink formula instead of breast milk. The taxpayers lose because they are forking over money for this nonsense. Mothers who are unable or unwilling to breastfeed lose because the formula is more expensive. The winners are the government employees, the formula makers and the politicians.

    Another Triumph

    Friday, May 18th, 2007

    Oh, things are going so well in Iraq:

    Authorities in northern Iraq have arrested four people in connection with the “honor killing” last month of a Kurdish teen — a startling, morbid pummeling caught on a mobile phone video camera and broadcast around the world.

    The case portrays the tragedy and brutality of honor killings in the Muslim world. Honor killings take place when family members kill relatives, almost always female, because they feel the relatives’ actions have shamed the family.

    In this case, Dua Khalil, a 17-year-old Kurdish girl whose religion is Yazidi, was dragged into a crowd in a headlock with police looking on and kicked, beaten and stoned to death last month. (Watch the attack, and what authorities are doing about it )

    Authorities believe she was killed for being seen with a Sunni Muslim man. She had not married him or converted, but her attackers believed she had, a top official in Nineveh province said. The Yazidis, who observe an ancient Middle Eastern religion, look down on mixing with people of another faith.

    This is Kurd Iraq, where things are going well. The police stood around and watched because she might have been associating with a non-Yazidi.

    To BR or not to BR?

    Friday, May 18th, 2007

    FINALLY, Brannagh’s version of Hamlet is coming out on DVD. Christ, it’s only been like ten years. The studio that made absolutely sure we had Basic Instinct 2 on DVD at the earliest possible moment sat on this masterpiece for a decade.

    Of course, since it’s in 70mm, it’s a legitimate question of whether I should wait until a) the high-def DVD wars are over and one format triumphs; b) the price of the platers comes down. I’ve been thinking more and more about declaring a moratorium on DVD buying until the high-def fight is finished (of course, I’d have to have a high-def TV first). I hate buying movies six times.

    Fortunately, the quality of movies being pooped out by Hollywood these days has cut by DVD purchases on its own.