News Archives
HomeWeatherIn the NewsWhat's for dinner?Lovely Family

Friday January 20, 2006

This from L. Brent Bozell's Media Research Center:

Apparently, not even the communists are socialistic enough for the New York Times. The front-page of Saturday's Times featured a large photo of an ill Chinese man with the headline "Wealth Grows, but Health Care Withers in China." The sub-headline explained: "Rural Areas Lag With Fall of Socialized Medicine."

For the January 14 New York Times story:

Reporter Howard W. French rued the fact that Chinese communist leaders are discarding elements of Mao's system: "Until the beginning of the reform period in the early 1980's, China's socialized medical system, with 'barefoot doctors' at its core, worked public health wonders. From 1952 to 1982 infant mortality fell from 200 per 1,000 live births to 34, and life expectancy increased from about 35 years to 68, according to a recent study published by The New England Journal of Medicine."

As for the purported health benefits of Mao's version of communism, estimates of the number of deaths vary widely, but most are in the tens of millions. Check:

I am not averse to saying that someone who I disagree with politically has done a "stand up" thing. I think Harry Reid's letter of apology to Repulican Senators was the right thing to do.:

"I am writing to apologize for the tone of this document and the decision to single out individual senators for criticism in it," Reid said of the 27-page statement sent by his communications office Tuesday.

Of course, the linked article from the Washington Post was full of Reid did not see the [original] document before it was e-mailed and lots of completely irrevelant charges such as In July 2003, a Republican committee chairman in the House tried to get the Capitol Police to evict lounging Democratic lawmakers from a meeting room. Doesn't that seem petty? I'm above all that. Not so the WaPo.

As Richard W. Rahn says, It's not Rocket Science:

Suppose you were appointed global economic czar, and your task was to bring the world's per capita income up to the level of Ireland's (almost that of the U.S.). Would you:

(A) Insist the world's rich nations transfer substantial wealth though massive foreign aid to the poor nations?

(B) Insist all nations adopt policies that would make them as economically free as the top 10 freest economies today?

If you answered "B," go to the head of the class. This shows you have a good understanding of both history and economic reality about what works and what doesn't.

If you answered "A," welcome to the Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder school of willful economic ignorance. Graduates of this school are well represented among international institutions, such as the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; the political left; and the media elites in such places as the New York Times editorial pages, the BBC and National Public Radio.

Much has been made of the antics of Kennedy, Schumer, et. al. during the Alito hearings, but this little quote from Herb Kohl D-WI should make you cringe:

The neutral approach, that of the judge just applying the law, is very often inadequate to ensure social progress, right historic wrongs and protect civil liberties so essential to our democracy.

Common sense would leave one to believe that Senators would not like to have their legislative powers usurped by the Judicial Branch; however, far-left liberal Senators know that they cannot get their agenda passed with votes.

Not Sci-fi anymore. Magnetic levitation elevators are coming to Japan:

Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp. said the elevators would be the first in the world to employ magnetic levitation — a technology capable of suspending objects in midair through combination of magnetic attraction and repulsion.

Maglev technology has already been used to develop high-speed trains. The only passenger-carrying maglev train in the world links Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, to the city center at up to 267 miles per hour.

The darn racist weather is just gunnin' for the black man, or so goes the story on the BET website:

That’s bad news, especially for African Americans. Citing Katrina as a case-in-point, some environmentalists say global warming impacts minorities and the disadvantaged harder than other groups. If global warming gets worse, many African-American communities will be more vulnerable to breathing ailments, insect-carried diseases and heat-related illness and death.

But, of course, it's all the fault of the white man:

Relatively, Blacks are environmental Good Samaritans. Per capita, we emit approximately 20 percent less carbon dioxide than Whites – well below 2020 targets set by the U.S. Climate Stewardship Act. Not only do we use more energy-conserving public transportation, we spend considerably less per capita on energy-intensive material goods. Yet Blacks are exposed to worse air pollution than Whites in every major metropolitan area.

And since we're on the topic of "per capita" many will find it interesting to note that "per capita" fewer blacks than whites were killed by Katrina:

But the state's demographic information suggests that whites in New Orleans died at a higher rate than minorities. According to the 2000 census, whites make up 28 percent of the city's population, but the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals indicates that whites constitute 36.6 percent of the storm's fatalities in the city.African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population and 59.1 percent of the deceased.

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals data is here.

The ELF's have been busy:

Using improvised incendiary devices made from milk jugs, petroleum products and homemade timers, they carried out attacks between 1996 and 2001, the indictment alleged. Targets included U.S. Forest Service ranger stations, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wild horse facilities, lumber companies, meat processing companies, a ski area and the power line, the indictment said.

Wednesday January 18, 2006

I'm glad to see CNN taking a rightward step towards the middle. Yesterday was Glenn Beck; today it's J.C. Watts:

CNN has found a new conservative commentator: Former Republican congressman J.C. Watts Jr. "will join CNN as a regular contributor to offer analysis on politics and policy for programs throughout the network," Jon Klein announced today.

Apparently, some are not enamoured.

Seems the Pakistani's are now acknowledging that we did kill some terrorists in our bombing raid in Pakistan:

Pakistani intelligence agents hunted Wednesday for the graves of four al-Qaida militants believed killed in an airstrike near the Afghan border bodies that reportedly were whisked away by surviving comrades.

ABC News reported that a master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert for al-Qaida was killed in the attack on the village of Damadola last week. He was identified as Midhat Mursi, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, who ran an al-Qaida training camp and has a $5 million reward on his head.

CNN has the story too. Interesting though, how just two days ago when it was first believed that the strike missed the intended targets, there was a whole news cycle about the killing of innocent women and children. Now that it looks like we actually did kill some terrorists, no one will report it as such. The CNN headline, Egyptians killed in Strike masks the point entirely, while the ABC headline does at least acknowledge that Strike Reportedly Kills al-Qaida Militants.

I'm so glad that we have the media to take that information and tell you what it means.

Michael (faster, please) Ledeen, arguing that there's a better way to deal with Iran than to bomb their nuke plants:

You want to bomb the nuclear facilities? Do you really believe that our intelligence community is capable of identifying them? The same crowd that did all that yeoman work on Saddam's Iraq? The CIA that once received accurate information on Iranian schemes in Afghanistan, only to walk away from the sources that provided it? The CIA that, three times in the past 15 years or so, seems to have had its entire "network" inside Iran rolled up by the mullahs? And even if you believe that we have good information about the nuclear sites, are you prepared to deal with the political consequences, in Iran and throughout the region? Do we even know, with any degree of reliability, what those are? Look at the problems we now face in Pakistan, after a handful of innocents were killed in an assault against a presumed terrorist gathering. Then imagine, if you can, the problems following hundreds, or thousands of innocents killed in raids inside Iran. Are you prepared for that?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Lileks is my muse. Here's what he wishes a Supreme Court nominee would say in the confirmation hearing:

“Gentlemen, and I use the terms in conformance with its most elastic definition, I submit to this appearance with equal amounts of rue and bemusement, particularly since it falls during the time I usually thrash my footman for sins both real and contemplated. It seems I must explain myself to a series of low-born mountebanks and trust-fund wastrels, in order to ingratiate myself with the herd of sheep over whom my rulings will fall. Very well.

“I was born in a manger, surrounded by farm animals, attended by wandering kings – Mother had entered one of her rustic moods, and had the servants build a crèche in the west ballroom. The kings were authentic, mostly second-tier low-country rabble – but one of them, a rather sweaty Belgian, told my mother I had the mark of greatness on me. He referred of course to this birthmark on my skull in the shape of the Masonic emblem; it is the reason I shave my head, of course. In any case, I attended expensive colleges, served as judge for two decades, translated the Federalist Papers into six languages. I will rule according to the words of the Constitution, and damn the consequences. Now if you don’t mind, I am late for my weekly colonic irrigation with a solution of ambergris and champagne. So get on with it..”

Monday January 16, 2006

Check out the snowflake gallery.

Are we really serious about homeland security? I think not:

On December 2, a 50-year-old Egyptian man claiming to be an Iowa State University student arrived from overseas wearing an unusual pair of shoes. The man told immigration officials that his name was Gamal Badawi (not to be confused with the same-named Gamal Al Badawi, al Qaeda's leader in Yemen, who was sentenced to death in 2004 for his involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole. His sentence was changed to 15 years in prison, but he has since escaped and his whereabouts are unknown). According to CBS 2 investigative reporter Scott Weinberger, "Badawi was wearing high-top sneakers that, CBS 2 was told, had tape around them and rubber bands sticking out of them." Also according to Weinberger, at the time that Badawi had passed through U.S. Customs with his unusual shoes and entered the airport to make a connecting flight, "the computerized system that takes a visitor's fingerprints and checks it against various databases -- including the terror watch list" -- was down. So it appears that when the system is down, immigration officials simply clear people without checking them and, in this case, they cleared Badawi.

Federal sources told CBS 2 that Badawi then headed toward his next gate -- to catch a Delta flight to Iowa via Chicago -- when a TSA screener stopped him. Badawi's shoes were checked for explosives and the results tested positive -- five times. "The reading for explosives was off the charts," Weinberger reported, quoting one federal source, calling the resultant reading for explosives "the highest ever." The TSA kept the unusual sneakers but let Badawi continue on his travels. He missed his connection to Iowa, spent the night at JFK and then caught a flight on Saturday. (The incident is still under investigation.)

Thomas Brewton writes on Iran and 'World Opinion':

One has to wonder whether the truth ever will sink into the liberal-Progressive consciousness. Almost a full century of feckless pursuit of world peace via public meetings, first in the League of Nations, now in the UN, presents us with an unblemished record of failure. The League did nothing to stop Japan's rape of China or Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia, and certainly nothing to arrest Hitler's conquests. Only when the United States unilaterally took military action, sometimes marginally supported by UN members as in Korea, has the UN 'worked.'

Well of course we dare not offend the habitually criminal:

A DETECTIVE is facing disciplinary action by his force for referring to a career criminal as “pondlife” in a private conversation with another officer. The detective constable, who faces possible dismissal from his job, has been told that the criminal “might have been offended” had he heard the remark, although he was not present at the time.

Those untrustworthy bloggers in their pajamas are once again nipping at the heels of the New York Times:

It appears that the Times, once-upon-a-time regarded as the last word in reliability when it comes to checking before publishing (which makes them so much better than blogs, of course), has run a fake photo on the home page of its website. The photo has since been removed from the home page, but still can be seen here.

The picture shows a sad little boy, with a turbaned man next to him, a little bit further from the camera, amid the ruins of a house. Other men and boys peer in from the background. The photo is captioned

“Pakistani men with the remains of a missile fired at a house in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border.”

The only problem is that the long cylindrical item with a conical tip pictured with the boy and the man is not a missile at all. It is an old artillery shell. Not something that would have been fired from a Predator. Indeed, something that must have been found elsewhere and posed with the ruins and the little boy as a means at pulling of the heartstrings of the gullible readers of the New York Times.

Others, such as The Confederate Yankee don't think this was a botched attempt at all, nor were all the victims quite so innocent.

Terrorists were targeted at these locations by what appears to certainly be human intelligence working in conjunction with aerial surveillance and targeting. Only a human source (or communications monitoring—perhaps by NSA?) would be able to find out that al-Zawahiri was invited to dinner at this home, and it is reasonable for a circling drone or any operators on the ground to surmise that a small ground of armed men arriving at the specified location at the specified time might very well contain their target. This was not a case of an intelligence failure, but a case of one fewer terrorist showing up for dinner.

Because I just know that, someday, my 200GB hard drive simply won't be enough: New Technology Boosts Hard Drive Capacity :

The new approach that aligns bits of data vertically rather than horizontally enables Seagate — and other drive vendors — to further boost the density of drives without increasing the risk of scrambling data.