Saturday, February 14, 2004

Frisco's Roy Moore

Wait until the people who fussed about an engraved rock hear about this: Gavin Newsom, the new mayor of San Francisco, is defying the California Constitution, which voters amended in 2000 to codify the definition of marriage. At Newsom's order, the Associated Press reports, 'city authorities officiated at the marriage of a lesbian couple Thursday and said they will issue more gay marriage licenses.'
Well, this sort of thing has happened before, most recently when Roy Moore, then chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, refused to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse grounds despite judicial rulings that the monument's presence was unconstitutional. Moore was removed from office for defying the law. What will happen to Newsom?"

Well, what happened to Roy Moore? I say Newsom should be tossed from office, and forced to pay out of his pocket for all expenses the state of California will incur in undoing his mischief.

Ripped off wholesale from OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today

Til death do us marry?

Some singles just can't imagine being any other way. Suggest marriage and children and they might say something like "over my dead body". OK - we can deal with that.

For example, Chuck Simmins notes that you can get married after death.

But that's not the important question - far more people would be interested in sex after death. Have faith - according to no less an authority than Lily Tomlin, "There will be sex after death, we just will not be able to feel it."

"Not that there's anything wrong with that...", or who's the bigot?

: "OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government on Friday condemned a show by U.S. late-night television host Conan O'Brien that insulted people in French-speaking Quebec and seemed to suggest everyone in the province was homosexual."

Of course that's not true - they forgot about the tourists.

Those touchy Quebecers. Damien Penny has a different angle here. Colby Cosh has another issue that has their panties in a wad here.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Getting the nuts out of politics

Being from the Midwest, I haven't been able to escape a certain minimal knowledge of practical agriculture. Being male, one aspect of this has always carried a morbid fascination - castration.

Yeah, I know. Critters bound for the table will be better tasting and more tender if they're cut first. Those undesirable for future breeding can be taken out of the gene pool. And work animals are easier to control if they aren't constantly thinking about getting laid.

And if you're a boy with a particularly good singing voice, it can be preserved forever through castration. That's not hypothetical - although it was frowned on and commonly blamed on wild boars or disease, any number of poor boys with good voices used to be castrated. It was a good career path, lifting them out of poverty. Read more about them here.

I'm starting to think that castration ought to be a prerequisite for certain other career paths too. For instance, politics. If, say, you are living off heiresses and still can't keep your hands off the help or other women, perhaps you should be forced to choose between castration or quitting politics.

And if we judge by their views on feminism and foreign policy, I'm surprised that the Democrats haven't proposed this themselves.

Of course I'm not serious. But I'm tired of otherwise intelligent and responsible people acting as if the sex lives of politicians cannot possibly matter, with no more apparent justification than the hope that it spites Jerry Falwell.

And now I'll turn it over to Lileks.

The world of the wet willie

Well, that title is a little ambitious - I have a few blanks to fill in yet. But the latest installment in NWA's "Explorations in Popular Anthropology" series has begun. (You missed the first one?)

It started yesterday. I was restless and one of my Indian coworkers walked by. Like many Indians, he speaks several languages - his native language is Telugu, but he can speak Hindi and Tamil too. Terrific - what with his being heir to three great cultures, I'll ask him if he's ever heard of a "wet willie".

He hadn't. I explained that this consisted of licking or otherwise wetting a finger, then sticking it in someone's ear. He immediately started laughing - yes, they do that where he comes from too.

Is this something that arose spontaneously around the world, or is it all traceable to Cro-Magnon or even pre-human times? Perhaps that fountain of philology Dr. Weevil can tell us if there is a Latin or Greek word for this phenomenon. Could it have impacted history? - could, say, Socrates' death sentence have been a consequence of one-too-many wet willies? Is there a question less worthy of investigation than that? If there isn't, then where do I sign up for my government grant?

Perhaps some of you have suggestions for further explorations in cultural anthropology. Failing that, I might have found a roadmap here.

Thursday, February 12, 2004


Courtesy of Little Miss Attila

Look who Bush has behind him

We'll let James Joyner tell it here. Maybe Tim Russert can ask about this next time.

Whoops - better link here.

Police arrested a 25-year-old college senior Wednesday on charges of conspiring to murder for operating a killer-for-hire Web site and taking thousands of dollars from his customers.

Does she think he's just a toy?

After 43 years, one of the most famous couples in the world splits up.

Geeky gifts

Have you ever wanted your own Klein bottle, which has zero volume and only one side? How about a Stirling engine that will run for 10 minutes on the heat from your cup of coffee? Or an instrument that you play without touching it, via gestures?

From Discover Magazine.

Kerrying on...



**World Exclusive**
**Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**

A frantic behind-the-scenes drama is unfolding around Sen. John Kerry and his quest to lockup the Democratic nomination for president, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

Intrigue surrounds a woman who recently fled the country, reportedly at the prodding of Kerry, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

A serious investigation of the woman and the nature of her relationship with Sen. John Kerry has been underway at TIME magazine, ABC NEWS, the WASHINGTON POST and the ASSOCIATED PRESS, where the woman in question once worked."

More at DRUDGE REPORT 2004©So who is it this time? Another heiress? Or was he slumming?

She probably doesn't like crackers either

Glenn Reynolds has already linked to this about another ornery bake sale in Colorado. But I wanted to highlight this part:
"The College Republicans are having a bake sale because they think it's funny," said Nicole Houston, President of the Black Student Alliance, at the UMC rally. "It's not...we need to make sure we don't have these racist cookies on our campus."
Racist cookies - what a concept. I wonder if she eats Oreos?

Is this only the tip of a major food conspiracy? I've seen white chocolate morsels for baking. That dastardly multinational conglomerate Nestle markets white chocolate bars. Hershey's has been selling Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with white chocolate on the outside. But you've never seen anyone selling brown vanilla, now have you?

Somebody call Al Sharpton.

"57 varieties of outsourcing"

Glenn Reynolds points to an article about outsourcing by Kerry's wife's business, H. J. Heinz, here.

I hate to be fair to Kerry, but I'm betting that those factories produce product for the locals - it's not likely that Heinz type products would be profitable if they had to be imported in either direction. I'd be happy to be wrong though.

Bill Clinton on WMDs

Fritz Schrank takes us back to 1998 here.


An interesting article in Technology Review. It's not quite ready for consumers yet in terms of size or cost, but it's a technology worth keeping an eye on.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Gen. Giap: Kerry's Group Helped Hanoi Defeat U.S.

From NewsMax

And follow this for a picture of John Kerry and Jane Fonda at an antiwar rally. Now tell me again why a Vietnam veteran should give this creep the time of day.

Conservatives too stupid to hire?

"We try to hire the best, smartest people available," Brandon said of his philosophy hires. "If, as John Stuart Mill said, stupid people are generally conservative, then there are lots of conservatives we will never hire.
What a jackass. One would presume that a Western philosophy educator would be more familiar with Mill, quote him accurately, and come up with more than his most bigoted statements.

Here's another quote from Mill:
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. ...A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice—a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice—is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature, who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Hmm - who do you suppose Mill would call "the Stupid Party" now?

And I wonder what he has to say about the Florida Democrats who couldn't even fill out their ballots?

From One Hand Clapping

Black History Month NWA style

A few days ago I needed some stamps and hoofed it to the nearest DC post office. The weather was obnoxious, so it turned out that I was the only one there besides three postal service employees. Befitting the population distribution in DC, all were black - one was a man who looked old enough to remember the bad old days well enough, and the other two appeared to be late-thirtyish women.

The stamp machine didn't work and I didn't want a pocket full of dollar coins for change, so I went to the counter. I was given 3 Paul Robeson stamps. I commented about him being a Communist. The women weren't unpleasant, but they were skeptical. The man sounded offended.

I told them that there was no doubt that Paul Robeson was a very talented man. He was a successful college athlete and a world-renowned singer. But doggone it, he was a Communist, like many others of his time.

The man didn't seem satisfied. Fair enough - Paul Robeson wasn't the only prominent black accused of Communist ties. But then it was also true that the Communists had tried to get their hands on the civil rights movement dating back at least to the Scottsboro boys, and getting a man of Robeson's stature was a coup. Men like A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters kept them out.

I wouldn't say that the environment became hostile, but the man didn't appear pleased as I left. I promised to bring back some information from the Web to substantiate what I was saying.

I was back about an hour later with screen prints from the History Channel describing Robeson including the Communism, some prominent black organization that acknowledged the Communism, and the Young Communist League claiming him. By then the man I was looking for wasn't visible and the place was busier. I saw one of the women who had been there earlier, handed her the paper and said it was for whoever might be interested. She grinned and I assume it made it to the target.

I haven't seen the man since. My guess is that he still isn't convinced.

I'm easy

Politics doesn't have to be nasty. For instance, consider this:
Last week, Democrat City Councilwoman Gale Brewer introduced a resolution calling on the Republican National Committee "to repudiate the irresponsible and dangerous policies of the National Rifle Association,"
OK. Let it never be said that I'm in favor of irresponsible and dangerous policies of any organization.

Want examples? - these quotes were offered:
Florida-based board member Marion Hammer notes that "owning a gun is not a crime"; national board member Jeff Cooper argues that Americans "ought to choose assimilation over diversity"; provocateur/rocker Ted Nugent says he will wear the Confederate flag "forever"
Yep, it's time to get medieval all right.

Yeah, yeah, guns in irresponsible hands can cause problems. But IMO this level of antipathy for guns is pathological. Could there be a cure?

I propose a simple test. The subject has to spend a night locked in one of two prison cells. One has a loaded gun, and the other has someone like Edmund Kemper, a 6' 8" 300+ pound serial killer who murdered his mother. Then perhaps they'll be able to grasp the very simple concept that "guns don't kill people, people kill people".