August 30, 2005
— Ace Even a liberal-leaning critic thinks her new act sucks:
I'm neither a liberal nor a conservative, but, after watching Assassin, I can understand why this country is so polarized. The divisions between the far right and the far left are so deep and wide as to be unbridgeable. Cho's monologue radiates hatred and bitterness towards those who do not share her convictions. She gets applause, ovations, and laughs, but it's important to remember that those in the audience share her views. (In fairness, I should mention that it's just as offensive to watch an arch conservative give a lengthy speech. I can't endure more than about 10 minutes of Rush Limbaugh's pontificating before I have to change the station.)
Passion radiates from every syllable in the comedienne's diatribe. She speaks about topical current events from early 2005, including the re-election of George W. Bush, the Terry Schiavo situation, the death of Pope John Paul II, and the war in Iraq. She makes funny faces, scrunching up her nose and holding it. And she attempts mimicry, although most of her accents sound either like a black woman from the South or an Asian with broken English. Through all of it, I chuckled once or twice, and never let loose a hearty laugh.
Thanks to Slublog, whose site is back up.
— Ace I always thought it was kinda dumb that Spidey just grew some little hairs on his hands and suddenly could stick to walls.
Turns out that's one superpower that science may soon duplicate. Attempting to mimic the surface-touching maximizing property of a gecko's feet, scientists have discovered "nanotech velcro," growing hairs at least 200 times as adhesive as found in nature.
Robots' hands will, hopefully, be able to grab items without dropping them or crushing them.
And a cool pair of Spiderman-gloves might just allow you to ascend walls.
In a recent issue of the journal Chemical Communications, the team reported that it had indeed produced synthetic hairs, with 200 times the sticking power of the ones made by nature.
Although the scientists have tested only minute amounts of the material, they estimate that if its properties hold up on a larger scale, a dime-size patch of it could support 2 to 22 pounds, depending on how densely the hairs were packed.
"Think of it almost like nano-Velcro," said Ali Dhinojwala, an associate professor of polymer science at the University of Akron.
The synthetic hairs - one ten-thousandth the width of a human hair - are made of highly flexible carbon cylinders, or nanotubes, embedded in a plastic base like bristles in a hairbrush.
The tubes are strong and practically unbreakable, Professor Dhinojwala said, adding that other groups had tried making the tubes of plastic, but it turned out to be too weak.
He said people had asked him whether the new material could be fashioned into gloves and shoes for rock climbers.
"I'm a little hesitant on going too fast," Professor Dhinojwala said. "Nature has had more time than we have had. I would hesitate to extrapolate. But the imagination is there."
The odd thing about science and engineering is that it keeps advancing in unexpected ways. You think about a cure for cancer or a flyin' car-- it doesn't give you that. But then it develops Spideygloves.
Thanks to Michael.
— Ace I'd hoped, and thought, that Katrina would be much milder than expected, but it turns out that's not the case at all.
Just go to Michelle's and keep scrolling. Hundreds dead, looting, damage at least $26 billion, 95% of of Gulf oil production shut down for the storm (and likely a lot of it will be offline even after it passes).
— Ace A half hour from now, on Rightalk. Look for Channel One at or after 4 Eastern. 3 Central. 1 Pacific.
No one ever says what mountain time is. Because you guys have more important things to worry about, like skinnin' pumas.
Greg Gutfeld of Maxim UK and the Huffington Post will be on. We'll talk about... I'm not sure. He's got a lot to say but who knows what to ask him? He's a maniac.
He may slam the Huffington Post some. How much? He's not sure. I asked him how far he'd be willing to go, and he said, "I probably shouldn't say that, but I probably will anyway."
Call in to ask him a question at 866-884-TALK. Or ask Karol or I a question at the end of the show (the last twenty minutes).
As Bill O'Reilly says, "Keep it pithy."
As he also says, "I'm just lookin' out for 'the folks.'" You know, the common people, the hoi polloi. Morons, in other words. Morons like yourselves.
— Ace At Baruch College in New York, Sept. 14th.
Admission is $12 for general admission, $5 if you have a Baruch ID. I lieu of cash, you may pay with vouchers to purchase Iraqi oil.
Thanks to Avenue B Alum.
— Ace She's doing the Lord's work. Lord Orcus, that is.
I finally figured out George Bush's NEW reason for staying in Iraq. This reason has also been co-opted by the Move America Forward (forward to what: Fascism?) and the poor mothers who would be honored if their sons were killed in George Bush's war for greed and power.
I have continually asked George Bush to quit using Casey's name the name of the other Gold Star Families for Peace loved ones to justify his continued killing. He continues to say this: 'We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission.' So the mission is now this: WE MUST CONTINUE KILLING AMERICANS BECAUSE AMERICANS HAVE ALREADY BEEN KILLED!!!
How can anyone, anyone in their right minds support this line of reasoning' I have been silent on the Gold Star Moms who still support this man and his war by saying that they deserve the right to their opinions because they are in as much pain as I am. I would challenge them, though, at this point to start thinking for themselves. Iraq DID NOT have WMD's; Iraq WAS NOT linked to Al Qaeda and 9/11; Iraq WAS NOT a threat or danger to America. How can these moms who still support George Bush and his insane war in Iraq want more innocent blood shed just because their sons or daughters have been killed' I don't understand it. I don't understand how any mother could want another mother to feel the pain we feel. I am starting to lose a little compassion for them. I know they have been as brainwashed as the rest of America, but they know the pain and heartache and they should not wish it on another. However, I still feel their pain so acutely and pray for these 'continue the murder and mayhem' moms to see the light.
Emphasis mine. Whiny delivery in original.
Eh. I understand her grief. They threaten the one thing she loves above all else-- her time in the spotlight.
What a tool. I think that's the first time I've called a woman that. It seems to fit.
Thanks again to Slu, whose site is down, which means I get all his good stuff.
Google Supports Mother Peace! If this transcript of a Google session from John From Wuzzadem can be believed, which I'm absolutely sure it can be.
— Ace He bases this on the fact that Armstrong made a commercial during a strike by commercial-actors, despite the fact that commercial-actors had given celebrity atheletes permission to make commercials during this time.
Lance's pitiful excuse at the time? Well, gee, merely that he was getting his first big sponsorship deal, and had just come out of cancer therapy, and needed to feed his family. And, you know, pay medical bills.
Olbermann ("who?") calls him a louse for this.
What's annoying about this is this is a calculated attempt to be "controversial" and get "buzz" and I'm playing right into it.
My only consolation is that Keith Olbermann is a nobody and it really doesn't matter if I mention him or not. I could mention "Bob Whitehead" too. Not like Bob Whitehead's Q factor is going to be impacted by the mention.
Gee, you don't think this out-of-the-blue, sketchy attack an Armstrong's character has anything to do with him going bike riding with Bush, do you?
The biggest, most pompous asshole you don't even realize you hate, 'cuzzin' you never even heard of him.
Thanks to Slublog.
Olbermann Fever-- Catch It! Dogstar notes:
The funniest thing about Olberman is his constant refrain that he's "on the verge" of blowing out the ratings and hitting the big time.
Month. After. Month.
On the verge. Yup, it's just a matter of time.
I gotta admit, I do appreciate Olbermann's stagey deadpan delivery. It's a very original take on Craig Kilborne's imitation of Bob Costa's imitation of Greg Kinnear's imitation of David Letterman's deadpan.
You wouldn't think someone could make such an oft-imitated styling fresh, and, of course, you'd be right.
Hey, Keith Olbermann. Byron Allen just called. He wants his blazing charisma back.
— Ace As they say, you get what you paid for.
In their case, they got, uhhh, Al Sharpton.
They should pay me to campaign for Democratic Candidates. My credentials with the black community are unquestioned.
Black people love me because I treat them just like I treat anybody else. If a black guy says, "Have a good day, sir!," I'll say, "Thank you, Mr. Black Person, and a fine day to you as well."
Hypothetically, I mean. I haven't actually ever talked to any black people.
I try to keep my distance. Avoid making eye contact. I stay out of "urban" neighborhoods.
They appreciate that I respect their privacy. I "sense" that.
An Old Link That Dave Says I Can Post: Black People Love Us.
August 29, 2005
— Ace Since "everyone knows" there was no connection between Hussein and bin Ladin, obviously there was no point in mentioning facts which would upset conventional wisdom:
AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.
When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his "pocket litter," in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.
These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?
The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them--Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir--went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq--Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.
Readers of The Weekly Standard may be familiar with the stories of Abdul Rahman Yasin, Musab Yasin, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Readers of the
9/11 Commission's final report are not. Those three individuals are nowhere mentioned in the 428 pages that comprise the body of the 9/11 Commission report. Their names do not appear among the 172 listed in Appendix B of the report, a table of individuals who are mentioned in the text. Two brief footnotes mention Shakir.
Why? Why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention Abdul Rahman Yasin, who admitted his role in the first World Trade Center attack, which killed 6 people, injured more than 1,000, and blew a hole seven stories deep in the North Tower? It's an odd omission, especially since the commission named no fewer than five of his accomplices.
Why would the 9/11 Commission neglect Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a man who was photographed assisting a 9/11 hijacker and attended perhaps the most important 9/11 planning meeting?
And why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention the overlap between the two successful plots to attack the World Trade Center?
The answer is simple: The Iraqi link didn't fit the commission's narrative.
Whenever you bring facts like this up, the "no operational link" crowd changes the subject.
Excuse me-- who's the "faith-based" community, and who's the reality-based community?
You can have your own opinions, as my Pappy used to say, but you can't have your own facts.
You can say the links between Al Qaeda and Iraq were no strong enough to justify war, but you cannot say there were "no" links between them.
That statement, in terms the left can understand, is a lie.
— Ace A Christian women's group is upset that most of the quotes on its coffee cups are liberal-pleasing ones, including a pro-gay quote from Armistad Maupin, but come on already.
Starbucks is largely an affectation of liberals. By liberals, of liberals, for liberals. Who the hell else gets all moist at the idea of a European-patterned, mall-ish coffee house?
Liberals are allowed to have their own spaces, their own companies, their own creature comforts, their own nine dollar cups of coffee.
The idea that a national standard of corporate, political, and social ethos be imposed on the country should make conservatives very afraid. Because, by and large, it's liberals who control or at least most strongly influence some of our biggest institutions. Without the right to choose one's own way, conservatives will quickly find they're forced into a way of liberals' choosing.
So let Starbucks be Starbucks. For crying out loud, no self-respecting conservative would be caught dead there anyhow.
Dunkin Donuts coffee kicks ass and is one-third the price.
— Ace Okay, for legal reasons, and for truthful reasons, I'll just say that the guy that the NY Daily News is suggesting might be the caught-on-camera subway onanist doesn't really look all that much like the owner of this New York restaurant.
Turns out one of the restaurants owned by the guy is located in a neighborhood I spend a lot of time in.
In the previous post on this, Scott noted in the comments...
[From the witness' statement:] "I saw him massaging himself and then he unzipped and pulled it out. I thought, 'I can't believe he's doing this in the middle of the day!' "
No Pocket Pool Before 9:00 PM!
I love New York!
Good stuff. "I can't believe he's doing this in the middle of the day."
Well, as people who drink before 5pm sometimes say, "It has to be the right time to publicly masturbate somewhere in the world!"
— Ace Gee willickers, I wish Bush would press Sharon into making all sorts of politically-difficult concessions to the Palestinians so that paedoterrorism like this would end!
Oh, wait, he did? Sharon forcibly removed all Israeli settlers from Gaza?
I know the answer then: More concessions!
It's just gotta work this time, I know it!
As Neville Chamberlain said, If at first you don't succeed, just give them Tel Aviv and see what happens then.
— Ace Similar to my prescriptions, but Baseball Crank elaborates and hits ones I forgot, like this one:
1. Don't Run Against The Social Right
People vote on issues; they vote on personalities; but they also vote, on a deeper level, for that hazy space between the two, a set of ideas about the world and a sense that the candidate is more on their side than the other guy. Which is another way of saying that people can vote for a candidate they don't personally like (more than 50 million people pulled the lever for John Kerry), and they can vote for a candidate they don't always agree with, but they will not vote for a candidate if they identify him as being against them. And this is particularly true of social/religious conservatives (I use the two terms here as largely synonymous, although there are culture warriors on the Right like Stanley Kurtz who aren't especially religious), who are accustomed to feeling beseiged and sneered at by the leading lights of popular culture in journalism, entertainment and academia.
The classic example of running against social conservatives was the brief and unsuccessful 1996 presidential campaign of Arlen Specter, who openly cast himself as the man to save the GOP from the Religious Right. John McCain is perhaps a more graphic example: while McCain himself has a solidly socially conservative, pro-life voting record in the Senate (he voted for both Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork for the Supreme Court, among other things), he repeatedly picked fights with social conservatives in the 2000 primaries. Many of those fights were with the crazier people on the Right - Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Bob Jones - but what mattered was that McCain went beyond simply distancing himself from those figures to openly inviting the media to play the traditional morality play of Good McCain vs. Bad Religious Right. Unsurprisingly, the voters McCain thus implicitly portrayed as villains abandoned him in droves (see here for a contemporaneous example of the push-back).
I'll mention this again: for those put off by Rudy Guiliani's "pro-abortion" position...
1) That was in New York. He will not bring a pro-abortion agenda to the federal level.
2) Bush is well-liked by social conservatives, but he is not the most forward-leaning on the pro-life position. Alan Keyes is strongly pro-life, and he has no chance of winning. Even Bush's rhetoric is not strongly pro-life, or, rather, it's pro-life, but he doesn't mention it very often.
I think the difference between Guiliani and Bush on this (and similar issues) will be one of degree.
3) This is going to be decided ultimately in the courts, and while I do imagine there's a fair probability of Guiliani appointing a moderate or liberal to the court, I imagine he'll appoint mainly conservative judges with a strong bias in favor of judicial modesty and a strong bias against judicial law-making.
4) Social conservatives should think more tactically. It's always better to win 70% of a loaf than 0% of a loaf. "Conscience" doesn't dictate that you should help elect a candidate you oppose just because the one you could support doesn't agree with you wholesale.
And one more point. During the California recall election, I got into an argument over on Free Republic about Schwarzenegger. Yes, Schwarzenegger was liberal on certain issues, I noted, but on most he was strongly conservative, and even where he was liberal, he wasn't as liberal as the Democratic alternative.
One poster ripped into me, calling me a RINO and a sell-out and the like, and urging me to have the "courage of my convictions."
The problem was, of course, that he really didn't want me to have the courage of my convictions. He wanted me to have the courage of his convictions; my convictions were different. Similar at numerous points, but different at some terms.
I think social conservatives get upset because they feel they're always expected to compromises with social-moderate conservatives, whereas the socially-moderate conservatives never compromise.
That's simply not true. Socially-moderate conservatives frequently compromise in order to keep the criticial alliance with social conservatives intact. We frequently support and defend policies which are not of our liking (or, at least, not our top preference) simply because we know that a party split would bring back unfettered liberal government.
It's just not true that social conservatives do all the compromising. If it feels that way, it's largely just because people of course are most aware of when they're not getting what they want, and less aware of when others aren't getting what they want.
— Ace The Buffalo Hummer.
You've got the lightning gun. Or, at least, this guy does, in prototype:
But the star attraction was a simple black briefcase that Bitar promised would shoot lightning bolts. He and Fry placed the briefcase (innocuous-looking, if you ignored the pointed needle a few inches long sticking out the side) on top of a carpeted podium, plugged it into a wall socket and flipped a switch. Then they stood back.
Iridescent streaks of purple lightning snaked out of the briefcase, accompanied by the deafening rattle of what sounded like an M-16, and even in the noisy hangar, conversations momentarily ceased.
"It looks like something out of a 1950s movie," one onlooker commented.
Bitar's technology is based on a technique pioneered more than 100 years ago by the eccentric Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla. The StunStrike uses an electrical charge to break down the air in front of the weapon to create a path for sparks generated by a "resonant transformer," better known as a Tesla coil. Unlike a typical Tesla coil, however, Bitar's invention uses electronics to tune and direct the spark stream. It goes about four feet.
"We can tune it all the way down so it feels like broom bristles, and all the way up to knock you down," Bitar informed a group of gawkers.
Uhh, kinda cool, I guess, but the thing has a range of four feet. You know what else can stun a man and knock him down from a range of four feet?
A baseball bat. I think I'll apply for a Pentagon grant.
The guy's lower-lethality weapons run towards the Biblical-- stuff that strikes you blind, stuns you, and projects the "Voice of God" into your head.
— Ace They've gone off their trolleys:
A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers - as long as they don't do so more than five times in a lesson. A running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be 'spoken' to at the end of the lesson.
The astonishing policy, which the school says will improve the behaviour of pupils, was condemned by parents' groups and MPs yesterday. They warned it would backfire.
"Within each lesson the teacher will initially tolerate (although not condone) the use of the f-word (or derivatives) five times and these will be tallied on the board so all students can see the running score," he wrote in the letter
"Over this number the class will be spoken to by the teacher at the end of the lesson."
Parents called the rule 'wholly irresponsible and ludicrous'.
"This appears to be a misguided attempt to speak to kids on their own level," said the father of one pupil.
Well, actually, no it's not. The teachers apparently don't get to curse back at the students.
Oscar Wilde noted, devilishly, that the best way to avoid temptation is to succumb to it.
But there really are people who think like that. For them, the best way to avoid bad behavior is to simply redefine it as not-bad behavior. Problem solved!
— Ace Well! That didn't take long:
For more than a few lefty bloggers, Pres. Bush bears a lot of responsibility for the suffering that is expected. Diarist Patricia Taylor at Daily Kos: "Historically, it is the National Guard, along with other emergency personnel, who attempt to provide emergency services to the community in disaster relief situations like Katrina. And where are these National Guard right now? Iraq."
Wampum calls it "A Bush-made catastrophe in the making..."
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Swing State Project make similar points.
So does Steve Gilliard, who writes: "The next closest thing to this is a nuclear explosion."
Just as the unhinged left credited Bill Clinton for the rising of the sun and the flowering of the fields, so too do they blame Bush for natural calamities.
Bush is like Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon. As I live in one of the bluest of all blue-state cities, I'm really worried about the coming "Hot Hail."
— Tanker As a supporter of Operation Iraqi Freedom I am sick and tired of all the morons screaming unilateral intervention. As an historian I am doubly so.
By the way, if you want to complain about lack of foreign troops, why don't you take into account the Americans, Brits, and Aussies constituting about the same percentage in Iraq as in Korea?
Of course we did have a whopping 177 Froggies helping out on D-Day!
— Ace ... is translated here.
I'm not done with it yet, but the early bits of it seem more of an expression of principles and desires than an actual blueprint for governance. I assume the "crunchy bits" come later.
I think this is interesting:
1st -- Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:
(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.
(b) No law can be passed that contradicts the principles of democracy.
(c) No law can be passed that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms outlined in this constitution.
Note that the document is vague in that (a) clause. Does (a) mean no law can contradict the rules of Islam, all of which which are undisputed, or does it mean -- hope, hope -- that no law can contradict the rules of Islam which are in fact found to be "undisputed," whereas the "disputed" rules can be contradicted by law? Seems it could be read either way.
In any event, (b) and (c) seem to guarantee democracy and freedom, and if there's a tension between democracy and freedom and the rules of Islam, the document doesn't, by its own express terms, state which will have the higher priority.
As has been pointed out, these sorts of vaguaries are common in constitutions. Ultimately most questions are settled by political/popular means, not by recourse to a previously-written guarantee. If the Iraqis want a theocratic Shari'a based state, they'll have it, whatever the constitution may say, and if they want a secular state that pays respect to Islam while not being dictated to by Islam, they'll have that too.
— Ace Way back in '97, Mother Jones magazine noted sever liberal pundits calling for the assassination of Saddam Hussein.
Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist, New York Times, Nov. 6: "Saddam Hussein is the reason God created cruise missiles. ...So if and when Saddam pushes beyond the brink, and we get that one good shot, let's make sure it's a head shot."
George Stephanopolous, former Clintonite and current ABC News analyst, on ABC'S "This Week," Nov. 9: "This is probably one of those rare cases where assassination is the more moral course...we should kill him."
Sam Donaldson, co-host of "This Week," Nov. 9: We should kill Saddam "under cover of law.... We can do business with his successor."
Jonathan Alter, Newsweek, Nov. 17: "It won't be easy to take him out. ...But we need to try, because the only language Saddam has ever understood is force."
Newsweek, Dec. 1: "Why We Should Kill Saddam."
But now that Pat Robertson has similarly called (less emphatically) for exploring the assassination option with regard to anti-American thug and dictator Hugo Chavez, the liberal media has its panties in a twist (as usual).
I don't get it. How can they be so transparent?
Mother Jones has apparently been consistent on the issue-- they're against assassination, period, and they don't like it when liberals in the media make noises about assassination, either.
But the establishment media has seen its own call for assassinations and now makes a major story about a political has-been saying something similar.
When will Sam Donaldson and George Stephanopolous and Jonathan Alter apologize for expressing such plainly-disgusting views?
— Ace At Michelle's.
The good news is that the storm, which had threatened to be one of the most catastrophic in history, is weakening, and has not sank below-sea-level N'Orleans beneath the Gulf of Mexico.
It's still bad for a lot of people, though.
And, in case you missed it, Bush may tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to lower the surging cost of oil. He's expected to announce his decision at 1 PM ET (in twenty minutes).
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