April 29, 2007

Greatest Car Chases In Movie History
— Ace

It's one thing to rank them. It's another thing to collect up video of the worthies and allow voting.

To add further fuel to the Ace-must-be-gay fire, I've never seen Bullitt. But I'll be checking out the car chase to see if it really is all that.

Posted by: Ace at 08:03 AM | Comments (66)
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April 28, 2007

The NFL Draft is Underway!
— Jack M.

And so far, for the 20th consecutive year, the guru's in the league have, once again, failed to make me, Jack "Elway" M., the Number 1 pick.

*Sigh*. Will my sheer athletic prowess, laser-rocket arm, and innate ability to read coverages ever be recognized by the powers that be?

After all, I'm getting sort of old to be a NFL rookie. If this terrible oversight continues, I might have to declare for the Baseball draft.

I'm gonna turn the rest of this blog entry over to my agent, Johnny M. Coldcuts, who has some thoughts on this continuing travesty.

sandwichforskippy.jpg

Listen up, bitches! You're gonna pick a raging metrosexual like Brady Quinn over "Broadway" Jack M.? And I don't mean "Broadway" as in Nathan Lane, fagmunches. I mean "Broadway" as in Namath, the original "Pied Piper of Pussy." If so, don't come crying to me when the only team you beat next year is Detroit. There's a reason they call him Jack "The Snake" M. after all. And it has more to do with than his fear of ferrets. I think.

Posted by: Jack M. at 08:28 AM | Comments (152)
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Best Photo Ever
— AndrewR

CAPE CANAVERAL, April 26 -- It might not seem like a brilliant idea, allowing a frail 65-year-old paralytic to float free from gravity aboard a rising and plunging roller-coaster stunt flight.

I disagree:

hawking.jpg


Yes, that's who you think it is, and it's only the latest in his already impressive list of accomplishments. (link NSFW)

Posted by: AndrewR at 07:01 AM | Comments (32)
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Iowahawk Skewers Dan Simpson
— LauraW.

The Disarming of America:

When hunters submit a request for their weapons, federal, state, and local checks would be made to establish that they had not been convicted of a violent crime since the last time they withdrew their weapons. To insure the guards are not gun-nut double agents, each of these guards would be guarded by two meta-guards who would themselves be made to rub gravel in their hair and hold their palms over open flames as a test of loyalty to the disarmament cause.

The whole thing is a scream.

Ace's original post on Simpson's article is here.

Posted by: LauraW. at 05:40 AM | Comments (34)
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April 27, 2007

You Don't Say: "Robert Downey Jr. is hardly the obvious choice to play [Iron Man]."
— Ace

Then again, Tony Stark was a substance abuser.

[It] is exactly that [substance-abusing] past, says director Jon Favreau (Elf), that makes Downey the only choice to play playboy millionaire and recovering alcoholic Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, the comic-book superhero who hits multiplexes next year.

...

"He struggles with his lifestyle, he struggles with the drinking," Downey says of Stark. "He faces the same issues a lot of people do."

Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Robert Downey Jr.

Can anyone doubt this is going to be the most awesomely awesome comic-book movie eveh?

The only way it could be more perfect is if they land Nathan Lane to play the Scarlet Witch.

Posted by: Ace at 03:22 PM | Comments (81)
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Naked Paris Hilton Autopsied Cadaver Sculpture Warns Teens Of Drunk Driving
— Ace

That headline makes no sense. In fairness, neither does the whole story.

Paris Hilton's naked "corpse" could provide an invaluable service to students preparing for prom this season. An interactive Public Service Announcement featuring the graphic display of a tiara-wearing, autopsied Paris Hilton with removable innards is designed to warn teenagers of the hazards of underage drinking.

The display also features Tinkerbell, Hilton's forlorn pet Chihuahua with matching tiara, and debuts in the trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood where prom-goers frequently dine, courtesy of Capla Kesting Fine Art.

"Campaign to Rescue Women of Youth" featuring "The Paris Hilton Autopsy" offers a cadaveric nude Paris Hilton, laid out with twisted body and opened abdominal cavity on a coroner's table, while her cell phone remains in her grip.

The 'unglamorous' display which includes support material from anti-drunk driving organizations counters "the disturbingly glamorized trend of Hollywood's 'girls gone wild'," according to gallery director, David Kesting.

The sculpture's vagina, I'm told, is particularly realistic, looking much like a cross between Fozzie the Bear and the Predator without his helmet.*

* At least this is what I imagine a realistic mock-up would look like.

Posted by: Ace at 03:12 PM | Comments (83)
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Giuliani, McCain Both State New Disapproval Of Civil Unions
Nuance From Giuliani

— Ace

Ryan Sager is startled, as he so frequently is, to hear conservative candidates endorsing conservative positions.

The perpetually-startled Sager is shocked, stunned, and in all other ways entirely befuddled by these announcements.

In Giuliani's case, it's a clear case of flipflopping evolution, but in McCain's, it's not quite so clear-cut; McCain was slippery in previous statements, stating he was in favor of allowing gay couples to enter in to contracts giving one another power of attorney, etc. In other words, the same sort of contractual agreements any two people, in love or not, can enter. "How generous," Sager snarks.

Well, with all due respect, marriage is mostly contractual, and similar contracts can be entered into giving any two people, essentially, the same legal obligations to each other that married couples have. Marriage is sort of an omnicontract, incorporating a host of other contracts all in one by default, but those obligations can be contracted out of -- say, by a prenup.

So yeah, no problem with gays entering contracts with each other.

True enough, the state acknowlegement of marriage carries certain rights, such as collecting a spouse's SS survivor benefit after death, and private health insurance contracts usually (but are not required to, God knows) extend to the immediate family as defined as legally-recognized spouse and children; but the bulk of what gay-marriage proponents scream about -- such as hospital visitation rights -- can be secured by contract.

Of course, this could all be handled as a private affair, without the sanction of the state. Oddly enough, it seems that it's very, very important for private-contract-championing "libertarians" to have an offical state imprimature for this particulae contract.

Almost as if it's not actually "libertarianism" itself impelling this conclusion, but simple social liberalism.


Nuance! RTFQ, Ace. Read the effin' quote.

Allah did, and Giuliani is not objecting to civil unions generally, but this particular civil unions bill (in NH), for reasons which seem... unconvincing.

Posted by: Ace at 12:58 PM | Comments (48)
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Two Shots, Two Kills: Successful Missile Defense Against Cruise Missiles
— Ace

Posted by: Ace at 12:46 PM | Comments (25)
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Abd Al-Hadi Al-Iraqi: Once A Major In Saddam's Army
— Ace

I was about to caution that these Arabic names tend to be shared by many, and this is a nom de guerre anyhow, but NBC confirms it -- this high-ranking AQ officer, just a few steps below OBL himself, was formerly a major in Saddam's army.

Begging the question the MSM doesn't dare ask: how "formerly," exactly?

Thomas Joscelyn wants to know how much, if any, contact he had with his old patron while waging terrorist war for bin Ladin in Afghanistan.

Don't we all.

Or should I say, "Don't we most."

I can imagine quite a few people who are right now beginning to shriek that this man, this poor abused misunderstood idealist, must not be asked a single question more.


I Question The Naming: SobekPundit writes:

As I pointed out before, his last name is al-Iraqi. Yeah, and he's also conveniently from Iraq. Hard to imagine a faker-sounding name than that.

Makes a damn good point. It's like Lou Gerhig dying of Lou Gerhig's disease, or of the "Moon Landing" conveniently enough landing on "The Moon."

And if you believe either of those, I have a bridge to the 21st century to sell you.

So I have to admit: This story sound like complete bullshit.

The liberals are right. There's just no way a man from Iraq would return to Iraq to fight for Al Qaeda, and certainly he wouldn't give himself the name "Al Iraqi."

"Al" means "from" or "of", and who the hell names themselves a preposition?

That would be like me calling myself "Ace To Spades" or somethin'.

Bush has conned me again. I apologize for misleading you.

Posted by: Ace at 10:36 AM | Comments (62)
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Awesomely Awesome: Democrats Lie About Petraeus' Secret Briefing, Believing They Can Get Away With It; But Mudville Gazette Proves Them Liars
— Ace

The perfect opportunity for Democrats to lie about progress in Iraq. Petraeus gives a secret briefing; no record is publically available. So the Democrats can claim Petraeus said whatever they want to claim he said, and no one can correct them.

Except for the Republicans there, of course, but who believes them? Certainly not the MSM.

Problem for the Democrats, though: While the contents of the sectet briefing are withheld from the public, he's given a lot of public statements and public testimony before Congress.

So how do the Democrats' claims about his briefing track against Petraeus' publically-known beliefs? Not terribly well, I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn.

Here's one of the smoking gun examples:

On the biggest threat to U.S. forces and stability in Iraq:

[What the Republicans Claim Petraeus Said]: Al-Qaida, the shadowy terrorist group responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and whose involvement with Iraq - later disproved - was cited by President Bush as a key reason to invade four years ago. Iran also is causing trouble.

"Al-Qaida, he made clear, continues to make this the central front in their war with us," Boehner said. "And I would remind everyone that we didn't start this war with al-Qaida, they started it. ... And they are the major foe that we face in Iraq today."


[What the Democrats Claim Petraeus Said]: Homegrown insurgents and the rampant violence between Sunnis and Shiites.

"Gen. Petraeus made it very clear that the sectarian violence was the most disruptive element," Hoyer said.

[What General Petraeus Has Said In Public Briefings]:"Iraq is, in fact, the central front of al Qaeda's global campaign."

Q: You say that Iraq is now the central focus of al Qaeda's worldwide effort. Are you saying that al Qaeda in Iraq is now the sort of principal enemy of the U.S. forces stationed there?

A: I think it is probably public enemy number one.

Hmmmm... who to believe, who to believe...

It's a real puzzler. It's a total mindfreak trying to figure one's way through this Escher painting of paradoxical facts.

Who knows what's going on here. It's like HR Giger abandoned pen and canvas in favor of the avant-garde medium of Play-Doh and bacon.

(It just works every time.)

Posted by: Ace at 10:19 AM | Comments (16)
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More On AQ Big Fish Capture
— Ace

A lot more. Not only does Allah's typically fine research uncover precisely how big this guy was -- and, let's face it, at this point when most of us hear "high level AQ leader captured" we sort of yawn -- but it's even more delicious as it just happens to squash the spin of one of our newest (or oldest?) moonbat trolls that this is all trumped-up bullshit.

Turns out that the executive order Bush signed Sept. 23, 2001 -- twelve days after Al Qaeda -- to freeze/seize the assets of terror-related groups and persons listed this feller's name just a couple of lines below Osama bin Ladin's. And a UN report on terrorists in Afghanistan, issued before 9/11, names him again, just a few lines below OBL himself.

He's been in custody since 2006. It's been kept a secret, I suppose, in order to sweet-talk him into giving up his confederates without warning them they were being given up. (I say "sweet-talk" because all the liberals assure me this is a more effective method of interrogation than coercion, and I have to imagine the CIA employed the most effective methods possible to extract information from such a high-value detainee.)

He was sent by bin Ladin to Iraq as an envoy to coordinate with Al Qaeda's then -top asset, Zarqawi. According to that notoriously rightwing rag Newsweek (which proves its right wing credentials today with this shameful shilling on behalf of one of the biggest and oldest terrorist organizations in the world, and the precursor to Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood. Zawahiri -- AQ #2 came from there.)

I have a feeling "Col. North" isn't going to post much on this subject anymore.


I Question The Lack of Timing: Gee, why wasn't this announced before the November 2006 elections, when good news in the War on Terror, and evidence of Iraq as the central front for the war on Al Qaeda, was so desperately needed?

Could it possibly be that -- stay with me -- Bush puts national security interests ahead of partisan political ones?

Nah. That's just silly. Like a commenter proposed, Bush was just waiting for the right opportunity to release this info -- to pressure the Democrats to fund the Iraq War.

Posted by: Ace at 10:07 AM | Comments (20)
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Imagine There's No Nations, and No Religion Too
Update: Not A Punking!

— Ace

It's possible to imagine either of those in theory, but in practice, it turns out to be virtually impossible.

Those most insistent that there are no external enemies (imgaine there are no nations) -- "Al Qaeda is a fictitious threat invented by Bush to justify perpetual war" -- are also the strongest partisans in favor of warring against internal enmeies (Bush, Republicans, anyone who owns a gun).

To me it's yet another example of a basic human drive -- here, the need for enemies one needs to make war upon -- simply being redirected from the traditional pathway (destroy external enemies) to a nontraditional pathway (destroy internal enemies).

Like evangelical atheism -- the imagine there's no religion part. It's pretty clear, based upon evangelical atheists' need to proselytize for their pseudoreligion, as well as their exaltation of a God-substitute to satisfy their need for a God of some kind ("science," "reason" step in to play the role of God), that, like the passionately, conventionally religious, evangelical atheists share the same fascination with the metaphysical and the same impulse for an overarching answer to the question of "Why?"

They don't believe in God, or at least "God" as the traditionally religious believe in God. But they still have that same powerful need to believe in something greater than themselves, something to provide meaning, sense, order, and succor. "God" as most understand Him is, by definition, not a permissible entity to believe in for an atheist; but the need remains, and that need is sublimated into, and satisfied by, a quasireligious belief in entitities and abstractions which are ultimately invested with most of the attributes and abilities of the traditional God. Redemption, explanation, purpose, higher power, a pathway for the betterment of oneself and mankind generally -- evangelical atheists don't call what they believe in "God," but their zealous belief in Not-God tracks fairly closely with the beliefs of the conventionally religious.

All of this is preamble to this breathtaking article by a former diplomat -- presumably a very liberal man who believes in "peace" above all else -- to essentially turn the country into a quasi police state in which enemies of the state will be hunted down and defeated. I'm pretty sure this man spends little time thinking about external enemies such as Al Qaeda -- I'd bet dollars to donuts he scoffs at such a "threat" -- but obviously spends a lot of time fretting about the "internal terrorists" in America. Namely, those who own guns.

We see this an awful lot on the left. The impulse to war and domination and subjugation of one's enemies is as strong in many of them as in the most belligerent "neocon warmonger" -- but they simply swap out internal enemies for those fictitious external enemies. The basic human impulse is there. But it's simply redirected towards an "enemy" they find more palatable to acknowlege, and more deserving of the full force and fury of the American government's power.

This "former diplomat" (who has, shock, contributed to the NYT; and, while he has no Wikipedia entry, I would imagine he wasn't promoted by the elder Bush, nor the younger, but sometime... in between) is very interested in achieving domestic "peace." But his preferred prescription for acheiving that wond'rous tranquility is a breathtaking use of coercive, and possibly violent, force against the internal enemies of America opposing him.

The disarming of America

Dan Simpson, a retired diplomat, is a member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

LAST week's tragedy at Virginia Tech in which a mentally disturbed person gunned down 32 of America's finest - intelligent young people with futures ahead of them - once again puts the phenomenon of an armed society into focus for Americans.....

When people talk about doing something about guns in America, it often comes down to this: "How could America disarm even if it wanted to? There are so many guns out there."

Because I have little or no power to influence the "if" part of the issue, I will stick with the "how." And before anyone starts to hyperventilate and think I'm a crazed liberal zealot wanting to take his gun from his cold, dead hands, let me share my experience of guns.

What follows is the obligatory "I used to shoot a Red Ryder BB gun" (seriously!) and a statement that, as diplomat assigned to the hotspot of Beirut, he learned to shoot actual weapons. He claims he doesn't have "any problem with hunting" but quickly caveats that "blowing away animals with high-powered weapons seems a pointless, no-contest affair to me." He allows that "I suppose I would enjoy the fellowship of the experience with other friends who are hunters."

So, you know, he's no crazy liberal gun grabber. He shot a B-B gun, and has no problem with hunting, except for the actual hunting part.

The walking around in the woods, sipping brandy-dosed coffee from a thermos, talking and laughing with friends? That part of hunting he's got no beef with. Just that noxious part about shooting animals.

Now, how would one disarm the American population? First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty.

The full coercive power of the state will be brought to bear against these internal enemies, these renegades. The cops coming to arrest these people would, presumably, be armed, and be authorized to use deadly force to execute an arrest against a noncompliant "criminal."

Can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, of course, as Lenin said.

Hunters would be able to deposit their hunting weapons in a centrally located arsenal, heavily guarded, from which they would be able to withdraw them each hunting season upon presentation of a valid hunting license. The weapons would be required to be redeposited at the end of the season on pain of arrest. When hunters submit a request for their weapons, federal, state, and local checks would be made to establish that they had not been convicted of a violent crime since the last time they withdrew their weapons. In the process, arsenal staff would take at least a quick look at each hunter to try to affirm that he was not obviously unhinged.

How kind of him to allow hunters access to their weapons three or four months of the year.

It would have to be the case that the term "hunting weapon" did not include anti-tank ordnance, assault weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, or other weapons of war.

Childish propaganda, because of course "hunting weapon" alrleady does not include bazookas and anti-tank weapons, which are, of course, tightly regulated. But he drops this in as if it's a novel proposal, something not already on the books, but just a common-sense idea whose time has come.

Well, it is a common-sense idea. But it's time came like 60 years ago.

It's amusing that this guy -- previously bragging on his expertise and comfort with firearms (remember: he owned a Red Ryder B-B gun, just like Ralphie) -- seems to believe that LAW rockets are common hunting weapons.

All antique or interesting non-hunting weapons would be required to be delivered to a local or regional museum, also to be under strict 24-hour-a-day guard. There they would be on display, if the owner desired, as part of an interesting exhibit of antique American weapons, as family heirlooms from proud wars past or as part of collections.

Interesting indeed. Who wouldn't want to enter a museum containing thousands of very similar old-but-by-no-means rare weapons?

And see-- all you gun owners? You're not really losing your guns so much as gaining an appreciative audience, who can share your passion for your grandfather's old service Webley.

Gun dealers could continue their work, selling hunting and antique firearms. They would be required to maintain very tight inventories. Any gun sold would be delivered immediately by the dealer to the nearest arsenal or the museum, not to the buyer.

So you can still "own" a gun in the sense you pay for it. You just don't have that lesser aspect of the notion of "ownership," i.e., actually having access to and use of the gun you "own."

But pretty much people just want to "own" stuff on paper. Like the HD TV I bought last year. I never bothered to pick it up from Circuit City -- I believe they've now made it a floor model -- but just knowing I'm technically the owner of record makes watching movies on my old beat-up 15" a "high definition" experience of sorts in its own right.

Plus, the idea that my TV is part of a "television museum" down at Circuit City -- where hundreds, nay thousands of people per week can appreciate my HD TV as they stroll by and watch two seconds of Growing Pains, fills me with a sense of pride and satsifaction.

Now here's we we get to the war on internal enemies part. Pretty creepy. And, note, we're talking about federal troopers, or at least police empowered by/deputized to the federal government, as he mentioned above. He's talking about completely repealing the Second Amendment by unilateral government action.

Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.

Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for "carrying."

Did I say he wanted to repeal the 2nd Amendment? Apparently he's more ambitious than that; he also wants to do away with the 4th Amendment. Which requires suspicion -- or a warrant -- to search someone.

But the 4th Amendment, like the 2nd Amendment, is now so outdated, I guess.

He now enthralls us with a tour-de-force legal/constitutional analysis:

The "gun lobby" would no doubt try to head off in the courts the new laws and the actions to implement them.

Way to go out on a limb there, buddy.

They might succeed in doing so, although the new approach would undoubtedly prompt new, vigorous debate on the subject. In any case, some jurisdictions would undoubtedly take the opportunity of the chronic slowness of the courts to begin implementing the new approach.

...

Ah. Some jurisdictions would be encouraged to begin acting on a law which is facially, blatantly unconstitutional before a court could state the obvious.

This guy doesn't really like the Constitution, does he?

Now comes a curious bit of leftist projection:

There could conceivably also be a rash of score-settling during hunting season as people drew out their weapons, ostensibly to shoot squirrels and deer, and began eliminating various of their perceived two-footed enemies. Given the general nature of hunting weapons and the fact that such killings are frequently time-sensitive, that seems a lesser sort of issue.

Am I to understand he believes hunters, when they've been deprived of their phallic-symbol weapons long enough, suddenly congregate in the woods to begin popping bullets at each other in a sort of anarchic mosh-pit version of The Most Dangerous Game?

That is my idea of how it could be done. The desire to do so on the part of the American people is another question altogether, but one clearly raised again by the Blacksburg tragedy.

Brilliant. Bra. Vo.

Remember: This guy used to represent America in dealings with hostile/adversarial world powers.

Feel all comfy and safe?


Thanks to Bucky. Bryan at Hot Air has similar thoughts.


A Modest Proposal? This article is so jaw-dropping that it occurred to me, as it it occurred to JeffK, this is some sort of Swiftian irony, a "modest proposal" on gun control designed precisely to illustrate what outrages true gun-grabbing would entail.

I admit -- that is a possibility. This article is so far out there -- deep into cloud-cuckoo land, beyond even where the short buses run -- that it is a genuine possibility I've been punked.

If so, it's a terrific punking. It's so hard to believe any person would suggest all this... and yet, knowing the left, it's not quite impossible to believe.

His background, though -- NYT, diplomat -- suggests to me he's serious.

But only suggests. I quite admit, this could be a serious punking, and if so, I'll be a little embarrassed to have believed it (mostly).

But only a little embarrassed. Because even if we're being punked by this guy -- even if this guy doesn't believe this moonbat twaddle -- there are, in fact, millions of Americans who believe precisely this.

There's a very conservative-leaning Pittsburgh paper (at least in terms of its editorial page), but the Post-Gazette ain't it. Here's their official editorial on the need of Congress to "Hang Tough" against Bush's warmongering, and here's their offical opinion on missile defense sites in Poland ("Miguided Missiles").

The probability that this is a punking just dropped to virtually zero.

The Terry Frisk: I mistated the conditions under which a citizen can be patted down. The general rule is "reasonable suspicion" of a crime or a warrant. There is a big exception -- the Terry frisk.

A Terry frisk is justified by the courts for police safety. If a cop is talking to someone, even someone who's neither under arrest nor suspected of a crime, he is entitled, if he has a reasonable belief his interlocutor may be armed, to pat him down for weapons. To make sure that the cop doesn't get shot in the face when he asks a difficult question.

This is a controversial ruling by the Supreme Court among liberals, as well as among strong civil-rights conservatives. Not sure how Scalia would have ruled on it when it came up in the 50's (or 60's, I forget), but I don't know he'd have voted with the majority if the case had come up in the eighties.

I do know liberals went positively apeshit in New York when Giuliani instructed police to utilize the Terry frisk exception as much as possible when interviewing suspected bad characters. Especially, of course, because many of those bad characters turned out to be black or Hispanic.

So this guy's proposal is not quite as radical on that score as it first seems (although Terry frisks still require a reasonable suspicion of someone being armed, even lawfully, during a questioning for a legitimate purpose, and this guy apparently would do away with that limitation entirely).

I'm curious if he supported Giuliani's use of the Terry frisk -- a much less constitutionally problematic use -- or if he railed against Giuliani as a fascist.

I'm also curious what he would do should these random gun-searches produce evidence of a crime -- like drug possession. Many Terry frisks wind up not revealing weapons, but drugs; because the frisk was lawful, so to is evidence seized as a result of that lawful frisk.

Given this guy's politics, I'm not sure he'd want to continue that rule in his new "cops can pat you down at any time for no reason at all" regime. I suspect if pressed on it, he'd say only guns may be seized and used as evidence of a crime, whereas drugs would merely be seized with no charges possible from the seizure, or perhaps even simply given back to the perp.


No Punking: Slublog has produced a welter of cites in the comments (just skim for the red text, morons) proving conclusively this guy is a dyed-in-the-organic-wool moonbat of the highest order. There is no Swiftian Modest Proposal thing going on here.

This lunatic means this stuff.

He would do everything possible to avoid an armed confrontation with a foreign enemy sworn to war against us.

But he's just itching to kill whole swaths of his more... problematic fellow American citizens.

Posted by: Ace at 08:58 AM | Comments (305)
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Sexy "Hobo Queen" On WWII Warplane
— Ace

I'm just not sure how I feel about this. I have strongly conflicting emotions, that whole Thantos-Eros thing...

Either way, though, my thoughts turn to my "lucky skinnin' blade."

Thanks to kjm.

Posted by: Ace at 08:00 AM | Comments (19)
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Planet Earth On The Discovery Channel
— Ace

I'm late to the party on this, but the Planet Earth series is pretty darn good. If you have Comcast, you can watch the already-aired episodes by going to "TV Entertainment" and then the Discovery Network. Other cable networks might have replays. New episodes air Sundays, but I don't know how many are left.

I don't think it's the be-all end-all of nature programs, but there's a lot of cool stuff here. Sure, the Jungles episode had the obligatory statement that the rainforest is so exquisitely balanced and delicate that a single human being dropping a burrito fart can destroy it all (and I suspect that virtually every other show claims the ecosystem under question is the "most fragile" of all), but that's one sentence of proselytizing in 44 minutes.

Here's a clip. It's about Bluebird of Paradise mating displays, which I thought was going to be lame, but it's really pretty neat. Especially the last one shown. It's downright bizarre.

Here's a clip from the Caves episode. The crystals at the end? They're real, and they're spectacular.

It's hard to get a sense of scale on these caves and formations without a human in the shot. Humans show up in the clip sporadically, but not often enough. One mound looks pretty small, but the narrator tells us it's 5 meters tall. The later crystals are over 20 feet long, growing down from the ceiling like tree roots.

And this underwater cave network, going on, I think they said, for hundreds of miles, is pretty cool. Not sure you get the full effect on either of these on YouTube, alas.

Yes, I watched the "Caves" and "Jungles" episodes. I'm a D&D/Indiana Jones dork. What else would I start out with?


Bonus Warmongering! The Jungles episode ends with a "militia" of chimps going on a raid against neighboring chimps in order to expland/protect their territory. It's kind of funny and strange to see these guys marching through the forest, single-file, as if they were a human platoon.

The attack is brief, but they do manage to kill one of the opponent tribe's children. Which they then proceed to tear apart and eat.

Chimps are cannibals, it turns out. Or at least in this sort of instance -- after a victorious battle against "enemies." Weird that they have a kind of victory ritual of cannibalism as primitive human tribesmen do.

Another Good One: Haven't actually seen this episode yet, but they're constantly running a bit of this in commercials and in the intro. It's a great white shark catching big air, bursting completely out of the water (I didn't know they could do that) as it snatches up a seal.


Posted by: Ace at 07:20 AM | Comments (35)
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Senior Al Qaeda Leader Captured Entering Iraq, Imprisoned In Gitmo
— Ace

Wait -- if he was in Iraq, obviously he can't be Al Qaeda. Because Democrats want to fight Al Qaeda, but don't want to fight in Iraq -- so he must not have been Al Qaeda. Just Al Kinda.

The Pentagon said Friday it has custody of one of Al Qaeda's most senior and most experienced operatives, an Iraqi who was attempting to return to his native country when he was captured.

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said the captive is Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. He was received by the Pentagon from the CIA, Whitman said, but the spokesman would not say where or when al-Iraqi was captured or by whom.

The Pentagon took custody of him at Guantanamo Bay this week, Whitman said.

Whitman said the terror suspect was believed responsible for plotting cross-border attacks from Pakistan on U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and that he led an effort to assassinate Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

"Abd al-Hadi (al-Iraqi) was trying to return to his native country, Iraq, to manage Al Qaeda's affairs and possibly focus on operations outside Iraq against Western targets," Whitman said, adding that the terror suspect met with Al Qaeda members in Iran. He said he did not know what time period al-Iraqi was in Iran.

Another lie. We all know that Al Qaeda could never cooperate with anyone which doesn't share its Sunni Wahabist zeaoltry.

I question the timing.

Posted by: Ace at 06:34 AM | Comments (133)
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All 8 Dems Take Private Jets To Debate
— Ace

Maybe, somehow, each of the jets' carbon production "offset" the others'. Seems like a good theory.

A flock of small jets took flight from Washington Thursday, each carrying a Democratic presidential candidate to South Carolina for the first debate of the political season.

For Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, it was wheels up shortly after they voted in favor of legislation requiring that U.S. troops begin returning home from Iraq in the fall.

No one jet pooled, no one took commercial flights to save money, fuel or emissions.

Posted by: Ace at 06:17 AM | Comments (18)
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Saudis Capture 172 "Militants" Training To Use Airplanes To Attack Oilfields
— Ace

Oil fields? Maybe these guys will actually get punished. Old-school.

Police have arrested 172 militants who were plotting to attack Saudi Arabia's oil fields, storm its prisons to free the inmates and use aircraft in their attacks, the Interior Ministry said in a statement Friday.

The militants planned to carry out suicide attacks against "public figures, oil facilities, refineries ... and military zones." The statement said some of the military targets were outside the kingdom, but it did not elaborate.

Some of the militants were being trained to fly aircraft in their attacks, the statement added, raising the spectre of more attacks like Sept. 11, 2001 in which Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked passenger planes and flew them into buildings in New York and Washington.

These militants had been "sent to other countries to study flying in preparation for using them to carry out terrorist attacks inside the kingdom," the statement said.

Posted by: Ace at 06:04 AM | Comments (65)
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Economy Slows To 1.3% GDP Growth Rate
— Ace

They had forecasted 1.8%, which I didn't think was "slow" as AP derided. But I'd call 1.3% fairly slow.

Economic growth slowed to a near crawl of 1.3 percent in the first three months of 2007, the worst performance in four years. The main culprit: the housing slump.

The fresh reading on gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, was even weaker than the 2.5 percent growth rate logged in the final three months of last year. The new figures underscored just how much momentum the economy has been losing as it copes with the strain of the troubled housing market, which has made some businesses more cautious in their spending.

Click here to visit FOXBusiness.com's Investing page.

The first-quarter GDP figure was the weakest since a 1.2 percent pace registered in the opening quarter of 2003. GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the best barometer of the country's economic fitness.

"This was tepid activity in the first quarter. The economy was taking a breather," said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics.

The performance was even weaker than what economists expected; they had forecast a growth rate of 1.8 percent.

Still, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other economists don't expect the economy to fall into a recession this year. Former Fed chief Alan Greenspan has put the odds at one in three, however.

Even though the economy slowed in the first quarter, inflation picked up — a development that will complicate the Fed's work.

If there is a recession, the media will have succeeded in what was formerly believed to be impossible -- a business cycle consisting of recession, followed by a recession, with no expansion in between.

Posted by: Ace at 06:01 AM | Comments (23)
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April 26, 2007

The Big Important Debate
— Ace

Snark from Dave Wiegel at Reason, "Gravelmania" at Instapundit.

I didn't watch it. I understand Obamessiah "forgot" that Israel was one of our closest allies. I'll bet he didn't forget France.

Posted by: Ace at 06:15 PM | Comments (47)
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Shock: Carbon Offests A Fraud
— Ace

I'm reading it, but the words just don't seem to make any sense together.

Al Gore? Lying? Hypocritically using 50 or more times the energy of an average person in America (who himself is already using 4 or 5 times the energy of the average global citizen), then inventing some bullshit about a "carbon offset" to justify his gluttous Appetite For Destruction?

The world just doesn't make any sense if this is true.

The FT investigation found:

■ Widespread instances of people and organisations buying worthless credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions.

■ Industrial companies profiting from doing very little – or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially.

■ Brokers providing services of questionable or no value.

■ A shortage of verification, making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits.

■ Companies and individuals being charged over the odds for the private purchase of European Union carbon permits that have plummeted in value because they do not result in emissions cuts.

Please, please, please don't tell me that Al Gore, Sheryl Crow, and Laurie David will actually be forced to make genuine lifestyle sacrifices, not with sham "carbon offsets" but with actual, verifiable reductions in the amount of travel they take and the square footage of the homes they own and heat (not to mention all the property they own)!

It just doesn't seem fair that they should have to give up an iota of glamor and convenience. They're the lucky ones -- Life's Winners.

I just don't think I can go on living if these people have to actually live as if they were merely lower upper class rather than upper upper class.

The Ramifications: All this time Al Gore has been telling us we must act now -- and act dramatically -- to save the Earth.

His idea of acting dramatically to reduce CO2 output was to spend a couple of grand a year to offset all the serious carbon dioxide produced by jet setting everywhere, driving everywhere in SUV's, maintaining a home that uses 20x the energy of the average American home (not to mention his villas, pied a terres, and use of other swanky friends' vacation homes, all the while his own houses were still being heated).

So, if I'm to understand this, one cannot live like a multimillionaire -- and a particularly carbon intensive multimillionaire at that -- and counter all the horrible damage being done to the world by ponying up a mere $2000 or $3000 a year?

Really?

Baffling.

Posted by: Ace at 12:18 PM | Comments (147)
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