Thursday, July 28, 2005

Happy Birthday, Alex!

Yet another important birthday has come around and, once again, I forgot to send a card. One would think that in the United States of America, the world's greatest Democracy, I would be able to figure out a way to remind me of these special days. Oh, well. I doubt that the "Birthday Boy" will miss my card anyway.

[Thanks to ASI's Blog)

You Can't Prove That, Rusty

Thought for the day:

Can you prove that you can't prove a negative?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Lunar Exploration

Normblog has a nifty link to Google Moon. It shows where the various moon landings took place and allows you to zoom in or out.

(HINT: Zoom all the way in to see what the astronauts saw when they landed on the moon.)

On Giving Credit, Unappreciated

Milk and Cookies has video of how well Bill Gates takes a compliment. Well, it was intended as a compliment.

(Fade to "Blue Screen of Death")

[HT: Linkbunnies]

Thursday, July 21, 2005

No One Is That Pretty

Is it possible for an accused sexual abuser of children to be too pretty to go to jail?
A teacher accused of repeatedly seducing a 14-year-old pupil is too pretty to go to jail, her lawyers argue. Debra Lafave, 24, faces up to 30 years in a Florida jail on charges including lascivious battery.

Her lawyer told a pre-trial hearing: "To place Debbie into a state women's penitentiary, to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hellhole, is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions."

Ms Lafave, a former pin-up model, will claim she was insane due to emotional stress and did not know right from wrong when she had sex numerous times with Matthew Merchant while she was a middle-school reading teacher.

[The boy] said Lafave told him her marriage was in trouble and that she was aroused by the fact that having sex with him was not allowed.

I've got news for Ms Lafave and her attorney - prison is not supposed to be a day spa. Bad people go to prison. Assuming she did what she is accused of, she's a bad person - pretty or not. Then they have the nerve to assert an insanity defense and that she did not know right from wrong. Oh, I forgot. We're enlightened now. If it arouses us it's right. If not, it's wrong.

Now that I think about it, she IS insane.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

This Story Has Legs

Sociologist/hottie Salma Hayek reports her exhaustive study of domestic violence to the US Senate:
"Not long ago, I had to do some research for a part ... I talked to 13 women who were in jail for life," she said. "I was very surprised to see how crucial the background in domestic violence was for every one of them. I was completely distracted from my research, it was so moving and compelling," the actress added. "I believe that America very strongly strives to be a nation of security, safety, but how can we feel safe if such a high percentage of American families don't feel safe in their own homes?"

First, there is no way that the extremely attractive Ms. Hayek was asked to appear before the US Senate for any reason other than the fact that she is the extremely attractive Ms. Hayek.

Second, she talks to 13 women serving life sentences (read: murderers) and extrapolates that "such a high percentage of American families don't feel safe in their own homes?" How can she take a small number of societal deviants and apply their life experience to the rest of society? It's not like she's developing the MMPI. Besides, we don't feel safe in our homes because known criminals and child molesters are being released from prison so they can continue to ravage society.

Don't get me wrong. I think domestic violence is a problem society ought to deal with. I just don't think having celebrities waste the time of our public officials will help. Why can't the Senators just go buy a FHM like their constituents?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Kill Da Wabbit

Fowwow dis wink, but be vewy, vewy cawfuw.

Follow the Winds of Change

Winds of Change has a Flash Presentation which puts al Qaeda's global attacks since 1998 in perspective.
The purpose of the presentation is to graphically demonstrate al Qaeda’s ability to conduct mass casualty assaults on a global scale. This presentation by no means documents every single al Qaeda attack...

There have been 30 major mass casualty attacks directed against the United States, Britain, France, Spain, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and North Osetia. 14 of the 30 attacks were conducted prior to the invasion of Iraq , making claims of the occupation of Iraq as a casus belli for al Qaeda’s terrorism to be disingenuous at best. 4,895 people have been killed in these attacks, and 12,345 plus have been wounded. The majority of the countries attacked are Muslim countries. And although not stated, the vast majority of the victims of al Qaeda's violence are Muslims.

[HT: Mil Blogger Black Five]

On the Clash of Civilizations, Part 1

Charles Krauthammer:
One of the reasons Westerners were so unprepared for this wave of Islamist terrorism, not just militarily but psychologically, is sheer disbelief. It shockingly contradicts Western notions of progress. The savagery of Bouyeri's act, mirroring the ritual human slaughter by Zarqawi or Daniel Pearl's beheaders, is a return to a primitiveness that we in the West had assumed a progressive history had left behind.

Our first response was, therefore, to simply sweep this contradiction under the rug. Put the first World Trade Center bombers on trial and think it will solve the problem. Even today, there are many Americans and even more Europeans who believe that after 9/11 the United States should just have done Afghanistan -- depose the Taliban and destroy al Qaeda's sanctuary -- and gone no further, thinking that would solve the problem.

But the problem is far deeper. It is essentially a civil war within a rival civilization in which the most primitive elements are seeking to gain the upper hand.

Mona Charen:
Radical Islam is unlike any other modern religion. Imagine being afraid of someone because he had recently become a committed Christian, or Buddhist, or Jew, or Hindu? And indeed, most Muslims around the world are peaceable. But radical Islam is like a throwback to violent cults of mankind's more primitive past. We know that Aztecs cut the hearts out of young men and women as they offered them to the gods. We know that many early civilizations practiced child sacrifice. People are evidently capable of any atrocity, provided they are convinced that the act is ordained by God -- or some substitute for God, like Nazism or communism. And it is a most powerful idea indeed that can induce young, healthy men not just to kill infidels but to kill themselves for the satisfaction of killing infidels.

We have declared a war on terror, but the critics of this imprecision in language are right. Failing to name the true enemy obscures our task. The enemy is Islamism -- the radical interpretation of Islam that sanctions violent jihad, and whose grievances include, to paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, the unveiled female face, the existence of the Jews, the existence of Hindus, music, literature, democracy, and nearly everything we hold dear.

Until we clarify the enemy, we fumble about in the dark when it comes to fighting this war.

If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words

I don't think this will be much help in fighting the terrorists . . . but it can't hurt.

. . . To the Shores of Tripoli

Retired General William Westmoreland died on Monday at the age of 1,820 . . . Er, sorry. He was actually 91 years old.

In all seriousness, General Westmoreland gave many years of fine service to this country. Thank you, General, for your service.

Monday, July 18, 2005

It's The Multiculturalism, Stupid

Mark Steyn on the "multiculti" vs. common sense.

God/Jehovah/Allah/Buddha/Vishnu-Brahma-Shiva/Gaia/Nietzsche/ACLU help us.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Not Quite What We Had In Mind

Many in the West have wished that Muslims would publicly denounce terrorism especially in the aftermath of the July 7th attacks on London. Little Green Footballs reports that the Muslim Association of Britain demonstrated against terror today . . . depending on one's definition of the word "terror".

A Little Too Close to Home

National Review Online contributor Clifford D. May thinks he knows who outed the not-so-secret CIA agent Valerie Plame.

HINT: It involves The Nation's David Corn who wrote the book "The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception" and who's website URL is

Saturday, July 16, 2005

They Were Not Depressed - They Were Murderers

Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker referred to a quote from this article in The Sun Online:
There is also speculation the four bombers were DUPED into carrying their bombs without realising they would explode while still in their possession. Sir Ian admitted it was “puzzling” that the gang were carrying personal identity documents. The bombers had also bought a pay-and-display ticket for their hire car at Luton Railway Station. One security source said: “It is odd that they bought that parking ticket — not what you would do if you knew you were about to die. There is a slim possibility they were set up — the bombs primed to go off earlier than they expected.”

Hinderaker added his response to this suggestion:
Seems highly unlikely. On the other hand, there were reports that most of the September 11 terrorists didn't know that they were on a suicide mission.

I agree that it seems unlikely. What seems more likely is that they were trying to appear normal in order to complete their murderous attacks. If one of them had been stopped on the way to the Underground, a young Muslim man wearing a backpack and possessing no identification might invite further inquiry. They would have purchased the parking ticket for the same reason.

There is a flaw in the analysis by Sir Ian and the unnamed security source. They assume that a terrorist willing to himself up in order to maim and kill would behave like someone who is depressed and suicidal. The London terrorists weren't suicidal. They were carrying out a plan. They weren't thinking, "Oh, why bother. I'll be dead soon anyway." They were thinking, "What must I do to make sure I complete my mission." They were not victims. They were cold, calculating murderers.

Hinderaker pointed out, that most of the September 11th terrorists were unaware they were on a suicide mission. (I think it is more likely that they didn't know most of the details of the plan for operational security reasons.) However, after September 11th, it's hard to believe that any terrorist could be that naive.

Like a Blog to the Plame

I was going to ignore the "Wilson Lied - Sadam Tried" story because virtually every blogger has written something about it and I didn't think I had anything new to add. However, I have gotten really tired of the formerly clever "Plame Game" cliche, and decided to come up with a new one. I tilled my well fertilized mind and . . voila! I came up with "Like a Blog to the Plame." Of course, my first thought was that someone must have used it already so I Googled it. The closest thing I could find was a political cartoon by some Bush-hating Democrat hack who used the line "Karl Rove: Like a moth to the Plame".

This means that, according to Google, I have finally come up with a unique idea. Alas, it only took 44+ years. The irony is that, with my readership stats, it'll take another 44 years before anyone will read this post. *Dejected Sigh.*

By the way, if you're looking for a rundown of the whole Plame story, Fat Steve has it here - complete with links.

[If I was wearing a hat, I'd tip it to Glenn]

Friday, July 15, 2005

Who Are You?

I am Spock. Click on the image below to find out who you are.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

(HT: HH)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Happy Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day to all our friends across the pond.

Oh, come on. That was just a little light hearted humor. If I really wanted to be mean, I would have said something about Jacques Chirac.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Elvis Cup

No, it's not what you think.

Honey, Did You Fill the Tank?

The first space shuttle launch in 2 1/2 years was delayed today because they forgot to fill 'er up. NASA claims it was a faulty fuel gauge, but that seems unlikely with all the money they've spent building the thing. Of course, it could be a GM product. At any rate, I'm guessing someone ran a few errands and didn't top it off before parking it on the launch pad. I even have a prime suspect. This Washington Post article gives us a clue:
"All I can say is shucks," deputy shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said at a news conference of grim-faced NASA managers.

On a more serious note, the article goes on to say:
Similar fuel-gauge problems cropped up intermittently during a test of Discovery back in April. The external fuel tank, cables and other electronics were replaced, and even though NASA could not explain the failure, officials thought the problem was resolved and pressed ahead with launch.

Just a day earlier, the window cover caused damage to some of Discovery's thermal tiles _ the very thing that NASA had worked so hard to avoid after Columbia's wing was pierced at liftoff by a chunk of foam insulation from the fuel tank. Discovery's tiles were quickly replaced.

And we're actually sending people up in these things? Maybe it's time NASA gave Richard Branson a call.

MacLaurin Institute MP3s

The MacLaurin Institute is a non-profit organization that seeks to bring the Christian world view into the marketplace of ideas on the University of Minnesota campus. Each year the MacLaurin Institute brings lecturers to the U of M campus to address philosophical, theological and social issues. MacLaurin provides many of the past lectures and conferences free of charge as MP3s. They can be downloaded here. While the sound quality is not always good, the price is right and you just might learn something.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Post-trauma Counseling Harmful

According to Simon Wessely, a Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, immediate counselling after a traumatic experience often left people with long-term psychiatric distress. Regarding the victims of the terrorist attacks in London he offered the following advice:
"At the moment what they need is practical support from us and friends and families. The time for the kind of psychology and psychiatry and the counselling, our time may come later, but it isn't now."
It sounds so obvious, doesn't it? The assumption is that we are normally functioning human beings and have the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with this sort of thing. Wouldn't it be great if our local public schools could understand that you don't need dozens of professional counselors to deal with school shootings or tragic auto accidents. All you need is a little old fashioned compassion . . . but that doesn't come with a government subsidy.

LGF Bounces Back

Little Green Footballs is up and running again. Enjoy.

Milan Rogues

The Italians can take a hint. According to this BBC report, the Italian police have just completed a two-day anti-terror raid. They arrested 142 people, 83 of which were non-EU citizens. They also found 3.3 pounds of explosives. I doubt they were fireworks left over from a July 4th celebration. By the way, of the 83 non-EUs arrested, deportation orders have already been issued on 52 of them. It's a little easier when you don't have the ACLU to muck things up.

Where'd They Go?

If you are wondering what happened to Little Green Footballs, they lost their hard drive. There's an announcement about it here on Roger L. Simon's blog.

It's Always Worked Before . . .

The Brits have a "secret weapon" which makes them invincible. It gives new meaning to the phrase, "Taking your lumps."

(HT: Cabalamat Journal)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Law of Unintended Consequences

So far, my favorite quote regarding today's al-Qaeda attacks on London is from London-based Europhobia:

“I tell you what, if this is an “Islamic” terrorist attack,
they’re doing a piss-poor job. The pubs are all packed out, people
sipping their pints happily, all a tad pissed off, but basically fine
with it. Nice one, Al Quaeda - you profess to be from a teetotal
religion, and you’ve given the pub trade a massive mid-week boost.”

Not only that, but they've also given the Brits a reason to continue participating in and supporting the USA in the war on Terror. Nice job guys.

(HT: Tim Blair)


The BBC reports another "unintended consequence" of the London attacks:
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has said he has no plans to withdraw Japanese forces from Iraq, after a series of bombings in London.

The attacks and Japan's operation in Iraq "should not be directly linked", Mr. Koizumi said...

...South Korea, with Japan a key Asian member of the US-led coalition with troops in Iraq, said the London bombings were "cruel and inhumane crimes".

"Our government declares an intention once again to work actively together with the international community to root out terrorism," it said in a statement, the AFP news agency reported.

London al-Qaeda Attacks

Glenn Reynolds and Chrenkoff have multiple links regarding the London attacks.

UK Blogs Aggregator.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The First Minnesota Remembered

In his post titled Last Full Measure The Big Trunk over at Powerline reminds us of the sacrifice made by the First Minnesota at the Battle of Gettysburg 141 years ago. Read his post, follow the links and remember what they did to advance the ideals upon which this great country was founded.