Archive for November, 2007

Drop That Hug Right Now!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

More zero tolerance nonsense. Ridiculous.

One Year From Now

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Well, I guess I’ll play pundit today – not that I’m ever a model of restraint with my self-important opinions. But let’s look ahead to the 2008 election. I’ll only stick to the candidates who have a chance in hell. It’s a pity, since I like Bill Richardson and Ron Paul. But this is punditry cum prediction.

  • Hillary: If she can use one name, I can. She seems inevitable. But so did Musky. I can’t stand her and I’m relieved that the real Hillary – brutal, manipulative, cynical and arrogant – is coming out. I just don’t think enough people are paying attention and will vote for her just for the thrill of having the first woman president.
  • Barack Obama: I like him, which is not necessarily a good thing. The best thing about Barack, as said by Sullivan, is that his election would finish the Baby Boomers once and for all as a political force. A lot of people are writing him off. But think about it. At this point in 2003, who knew who John Kerry was? (Actually, at this point in 2004, who knew who John Kerry was?). People like Barack; they don’t like Hillary.
  • John Edwards: The only other viable Democrat. I’m well know for loathing the Fetus Whisperer. He hasn’t got a chance. Thankfully. I suppose it’s remotely possible he could pull of a Kerry – he’s got all that lawyer money. But don’t bet on it.
  • John McCain: I disagree with him on a lot of issues, but he would repair our image aboard, end torture and continue the fight in the War on Terror. He’s also a true conservative and a good man – which is why he has no chance.
  • Mitt Romney: Peaked early and his flip-flopping is hurting him. Good. He’s too oily for me.
  • Rudy Giuliani: As time goes on, he is being revealed for the power-hungry asshole that he is. Right now, he’s the front-runner. But I can’t think that anyone so nasty can get the nomination.
  • Mike Huckabee: I can’t stand him. He’s a radical religious right, nanny-state, big government “conservative” who will basically offer us four more years of Bush. I’m going out on a limb here — I think he gets the nomination. Yeah, I said it. The religious right loves him. The Fair Tax Movementarians like him. He’s a dreadful candidate and will get slaughtered by just about any Democrat. But he will get the nomination.
  • Fred Thompson: I’m liking him more and more. He’s one of the few mainstream candidates who seems to give a shit about the Constitution. I don’t think he’ll get the nomination – he lacks the oomph and the religious right is likely to bail since he won’t support the marriage ammendment, won’t outlaw abortion and has a young pretty wife.
  • If I had to pick now, I’d say that Hillary beats Huckabee a year from now. But Obama has a chance – if he plays his cards right. My preference? In order, I’d say Thompson, McCain, Romney, Obama, third party candidate, Huckabee, Clinton, Edwards, Giuliani. Yes, I would probably support Hillary over Giuliani. I never, in a million years, thought I’d type those words. Both are nasty individuals who would happily destroy the Constitution to empower themselves. But at least with Hillary, the Republicans might oppose it.

    If this were 2000 or even 2004, I would support Giuliani over Hillary. But Rudy is the last thing we need after the damage Bush has done to our political system.

    Monday Linkorama

    Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
  • I’m a big supporter of free speech in academia and I oppose the flag-burning ammendment. Still. What an asshole.
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the biggest impediment to global warming being taken seriously is the tendency for supporters to link everything to it, including Darfur, for some reason.
  • Simulated drowning isn’t torture? Well, maybe half-drowning is.
  • John Ashcroft makes the case that the phone companies should not be sued for complying with government surveillance demands.

    Longstanding principles of law hold that an American corporation is entitled to rely on assurances of legality from officials responsible for government activities. The public officials in question might be right or wrong about the advisability or legality of what they are doing, but it is their responsibility, not the company’s, to deal with the consequences if they are wrong.

    To deny immunity under these circumstances would be extraordinarily unfair to any cooperating carriers. By what principle of justice should anyone face potentially ruinous liability for cooperating with intelligence activities that are authorized by the president and whose legality has been reviewed and approved by our most senior legal officials?

    He makes a good case. (Hat Tip: Overlawyered.com, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite all-purpose blogs.)

  • Balko on California’s attempt at criminal justice reform. I’ve moved quite a bit on this issue. I used to be more in the “hang ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out” camp. I’m still very much a law-and-order type who thinks some criminals should be tossed in prison for the rest of their lives. But I’m getting more and more leary of the “tough-guy” attitudes.
  • Well, Crap

    Sunday, November 4th, 2007

    Dammit. I was really hoping the Colts would win today. I’m getting a little sick of Tom Brady’s pouting, Belichek’s cheating and score-running-upping and the media’s dick-sucking.

    I have no doubt if Marvin Harrison had been healthy, the Colts would have won.

    OK

    Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

    This veto has to be seen to be believed.

    And even then, I don’t believe it. Even worse, the legislature banned this sort of things, but the governor did it anyway because the ban applied to letter and not numerals.

    Lawyers…

    Friday Nights Linksorama

    Friday, November 2nd, 2007
  • Nice work, if you can get it. Wish I could get paid half a billion dollars for shuffling papers.
  • An Islamic cleric explains how to beat your wife. I was actually expecting something much worse. He regards women as children, which is an improvement, I guess, over regarding them as animals. The scary thing is, he’s a liberal by Middle Eastern standards.
  • Ah, cat butter. The salad days are over for Mac users.
  • At last they find a way to honor John Jordan O’Neill. Fantastic.
  • Megan McCardle on the importance of failure. As a scientist, I can tell you that an experiment that works precisely as planned tells you nothing.

    Failure, to put it bluntly, works. Failure is nature’s way of telling you “Hey, that doesn’t work!” The American economy is vastly strengthened by the fact that companies are allowed to fail–and also by the fact that our crazy culture encourages us to try things that don’t work.

    In the first few iterations, this often looks inferior to a centralized system. Look, the critics say, they sat down and planned it all! Compare that to our messy, fragmented market where half the stuff doesn’t work!

    It can take a decade or more before the cracks in the planning appear. The planners, it turns out, didn’t foresee that the world would change, and now the giant, planned system can’t cope.

    Speak it, sister.

  • Zapping Virii

    Thursday, November 1st, 2007

    Cool:

    A physicist and his biologist son destroyed a common virus using a superfast pulsing laser, without harming healthy cells. The discovery could lead to new treatments for viruses like HIV that have no cure.

    “We have demonstrated a technique of using a laser to excite vibrations on the shield of a virus and damage it, so that it’s no longer functional,” said Kong-Thon Tsen, a professor of physics at Arizona State University. “We’re testing it on HIV and hepatitis right now.”

    This is such a good idea, I’ll have to steal it for a short story.

    Bias

    Thursday, November 1st, 2007

    An interesting study from Journalism.org on media bias. It tracks postive and negative coverage of Presidential candidates. There is nothing surprising here and nothing that will make the libs shut up about Fox news. But for the record:

  • They find newspapers are heavily biased toward Democrats. No surprises here. I’ve made a recurrring feature on how the NYT editorial page is basically a faxed-in Democrat party platform.
  • A fairly large bias on ABC/CBS/NBC toward Democrats. PBS tends to be negative on everyone.
  • Cable news is far more balanced. CNN and MSNBC have an anti-Republican title, FOX has a pro-Republican tilt.
  • Interestingly, conservative talk radio is more balanced than liberal, although both are very partisan. I have no problem with this — talk radio is opinion not news. Conservative talk radio is generally far more positive on Republicans and more negative on Democrats. But liberal talk radio, with the exception of Hillary, is incredibly partisan. Again, to be fair, this reflects more of conservative disaffection for the current GOP crop. And before Neal Boortz and Rush Limbaugh say, “See! It’s fair! Equal bias!” conservative talk radio has three times as much airtime as liberal radio.
  • It comes as no surprise to me that NPR is fairly partisan Democrat.
  • So, the liberal can scream about Fox News and talk radio and have the facts on their side. But they need to at least acknowledge that ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, CNN, MSNBC and every newspaper is biased left. Why can’t they just admit this? Why does “bias” only exist when it’s conservative bias?

    Oh, I keep forgetting. Because Democrats are always right. The reason there is much more positive coverage of Dems than the GOP is because the Dems are so superior. Why, it shows incredible conservative bias that the tilt is 100% toward Democrats!