Official: Cindy Sheehan succumbs to Karl Rove Orbital Mind-Control Lasers

And the really sad thing is, there’s probably some clueless dimwit among the Republicans who’s not clapping his hands with glee…

anyway, Cindy Sheehan just got herself arrested and tossed from Congress for trying to demonstrate in the chamber… a no-no. Not realizing that her actions are worth a steady 3% Republican voter turn-out, she probably regards her actions as a great fundraising and moral victory…

Somebody, please! Release this woman from the horrible mental enslavement that Rove has inflicted upon her!

But not until 2007.

Kitty brought me a six-pointer yesterday…

Other unlikely creations can be found here. Some of which are probably better candidates, but definitely wouldn’t be work-safe, unless you work for MTV…

The utter hypocrisy of Big Education

Just because I’m training to be a teacher doesn’t mean my eyes aren’t wide-open about the way the Education Mafia plays ball. Take for instance, this MSNBC/Newsweak cover story regarding making classroom adjustments, including sex-segregated classrooms, in order to account for the strong differences in cognitive development between girls and boys.

1. School was in trouble.
2. School made changes.
3. School sees dramatic improvements.

(wait for it)

4. Education specialists “gravely concerned.”

Yep. The same people who have been telling everybody to bend over backwards to account for differences in learning strategies, even differences that are now confirmed by brain scan, are now deeply concerned about doing so when there might be an actual, documentable difference in learning strategies between the sexes involved. Which, if said enlightened Educrats would do so much as listen to a single PE coach, is something that ought to be blatantly obvious to the Education Einsteins from Day One.

So now you get legions of the “concerned” enlightened, afraid that recognizing some of these differences and trying not to actually not fail boys in school, is somehow threatening a return to a “Handmaiden’s Tale” version of the 19th century, in which schools… guess what… often failed girls with learning strategies mostly designed for boys.

“Think of them as individuals,” says the critics? That’s precisely what these collectivist bumblefucks are refusing to do. Can the proponents of “outcome-based education” possibly fault education that results in superior outcomes? Oh, you bet they can: just threaten one of their little religious ideologies, and you’ll see these Junior Ministers of the High Priest Vulture Elite(*) toss outcomes right out the window.

*Coined by the Diplomad, an anonymous Foreign-Service blog that is now defunct, here. Said definition should be expanded to include any power group that claims to exist solely for the benefit of others or the improvement of the downtrodden, yet whose actual day-to-day business involves attempting to conceal brazenly self-motivated activity behind a wall of meaningless cant interpretable only by the enlightened initiated.

My buddy’s pregnant…

Well, actually, she was never my buddy… she was my kinda-sorta-constantly-completely-misunderstanding-each-other-or-else-we-might-have-been-incredible-friends partner in confusion.

Yep, it’s Mel… and she’s apparently already got a bun in the oven: caught it over on her blog, where her sister just whipped out the Amazing BabyBlanket Crochet, Mark I.

Go Mel!

(Us, not yet. But trying.)

No wonder us “regular Joes” can’t figure it out.

We all know that Iran’s elections, Jimmy Carter to the contrary, were complete shite. But now there’s a major cleric admitting that Ahmadinejad was brought to power directly by the Basij interfering in the election?

Okay, duh, we know they were involved. So what?

Well, if you’re currently wincing at the thought of being the guy in the hotseat on Pennsylvania Avenue wondering whether to put more emphasis on airstrikes or on regime subversion, the answer is, “we care a lot…”

Viktor Orban accuses socialists of capitalism…

Unfortunately, all I have is a summary piece, since most of the Hungarian newspapers online are strictly pay-only… but if you wanted an instant description that things are more complicated than they seem, there you go…

The explosive Crimea

Looks like the Washington Post has finally had a chance to wake up and smell the Black Sea Fleet.

Ka-boom, Rico?
Yes, Rico, Ka-boom.

How Julie Skeesick can make felt faster.

Yep, Joe, this is a trick I stumbled onto that might partially repay a rabbit hide-glue effort…
it’s a neat trick, too.

You will need:
1. one bamboo screen or equivalent.
2. hot water and soap
3. a batt of wool ready for pre-felting
4. an old broken plastic blind or other plastic sheeting, smooth
5. A fifteen-dollar 1/4-sheet random-orbit palm sander (if you want to be all crazy-go-nuts and use a 1/2-sheet sander, go for it, but a cheap used one is fine)

Instructions:
1. Wet-felt your batt, however makes sense to you (I’m laying the batt on a reed blind and rolling it for ten minutes in the bathtub).
2. Take your pre-felted batt in its “oh, yay, I’m a single piece now” arrangement, and lay it out on plastic sheeting.
3. Take sander (without any sand-paper!), and place it on the edges of the felt sheet. Pick it up and put it down until you have the majority of the loose surface strands under control and behaving.
4. Begin to “sand” the felt. I’m finding that small circles felt the material down quickly, but tend to grab a few staples and twist them up, whereas long strokes (always going the same way) tends to make them lie down, but aren’t as effective at getting them all to hold together.

Using a batt pre-made off a carding machine, I made a 2’x4′ piece of felt inside an hour, and it has stayed compact as it dries.

Ethanol more practical than thought?

According to an article summary on Terra Daily, some of the bright boys and girls from UC Berserkely have figured out that the previous studies on ethanol involved some pretty hefty assumptions, and were significantly more pessimistic than previously thought:

  • Ethanol’s efficiency isn’t as bass-ackward as assumed, and probably would do no more environmental damage than now.
  • Ethanol could become, if cellulose technology improves, a considerably more green fuel, by using all of the agricultural wastage that currently is friction in the system for farmers.

This is Good News(tm), on a variety of fronts:

Economic
  1. It means that ethanol has the potential to be a lucrative market for farmers, helping to support our agricultural base with plain-old supply and demand, rather than the effective but sledgehammerish approach currently in vogue (in more places than just the U.S.)
  2. By allowing what is effectively waste to be turned into fuel, the door gets opened up for all sorts of stuff that would normally either be landfill mass or else recycled — the dirty truth of which being that recycling frequently comes at a higher environmental cost than widely advertised, even if it doesn’t go green in terms of emissions quality, it’s still a significant “green” win.

Political

  1. Because it’s a green win (or win-win if the emissions aren’t too bad) and can be put in place with little adjustment to currently-existing facilities, it’s unlikely to breed a “turf fight” with proponents of other political solutions such as Fischer-Tropf diesel.
  2. Since we have vast agricultural land to put to the purpose, we might not be able to become an actual energy exporter, but on an energy basis — as opposed to a chemical/industrial one, for which we will always need oil — this might be one of the factors that could keep the US and China from going at each others’ throats. China’s fuel-oil supply is militarily fragile — very fragile — and while it is desperately hunting for energy alternatives, currently it’s forced to go to Africa for resources. Anything that diminishes that need and a) eases demand pressure on the global market, and b) provides opportunities for serious real-world cooperation, is in both national interests.
  3. We’re at war with Wahhabi fanatics and potentially about to have that war extended to some of their Shiite-Madhi competitors on the global terrorism franchise scene, most of whom are essentially funded by oil. Anything that eases demand on fuel-oil hurts them directly.
  4. And, on a admittedly completely puerile note, anything that sticks a red-hot poker right into the eyes of the Saudi Arabian rulers — who got this Wahhabi mess rolling in first place — just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over.

Between tar sands, biodiesel, ethanol, and Fischer-Tropf clean-coal energy, the U.S. may actually wind up an energy exporter, and unlike most petro-basketcases, an energy exporter based on industrial and technological know-how, rather than 19th-century-style resource mercantilism. It’s not here yet, but it’s coming.

Iraq cleaning house in Anbar

Omar over at Iraq the Model has a quick update on what should be the tipping point: Iraqis standing up on their own feet and taking out the garbage all by themselves.

This is what it means when we discuss intel… folks knew where the good intel was, and where to find the bad guys. Whether they trust us or their central government sufficiently to put themselves at risk, otoh, is a very different question.

Apparently that judgment call has finally been made — in our favor.

“Bullshit for the Purpose”

Is what my professor called me as I was trying to get a travel grant to get from Budapest up to Prague for a few days in order to get access to some Hussite Revolution primary sources (Geek inline-reference: that I needed in order to get a handle on Sigismund’s affairs with the Bohemian nobles, and understand why on earth they closed the land-register before the war began, rather than what usually happens, which is using the handy excuse of a war to start cutting each others’ throats).

Another way you could call it, would be “rotten mold for making great cheese.” That’s what we have here. Yep, the Malthusians are at it again. This time, it’s not overpopulation (hard to argue that when we’re in danger of getting set up for demographic collapse), but the cost of wiring up all those brown people in the developing world. Yep, we’re going to run out of copper, vanadium, and all the rest of the metals, and it’s all the fault of those electricity-craving darkies.

Which, as any economist can tell you, is bullshit, because as soon as something gets scarce, we get better at using less and less of it while coming up with less expensive alternatives.

But… then why is this article appearing on Space Daily, where cost-benefit analysis is an explicit part of every contract ever made by their professional readers?

The article is there because, bullshit or not, it’s ammo.

If you want to get off this rock and start mining asteroids for metals, what’s the fastest way to get public support for the job? Particularly, what’s the fastest way of getting folks who aren’t normally sympathetic to your argument, and would rather spend that money on foreign aid, etcetera, to see your side of things? Well, I don’t know. But I do know that “we have to mine space so that we will be able to help the developing world modernize… because otherwise raw materials will be so expensive that it would never happen,” is a pretty good one.

“Bullshit for the Purpose.” Or, as Plato put it… the Noble Lie.

Why I love the fact that Hamas won.

Yeah, I’m the guy who had a run-in with a Hamas guy and will kill him on sight (unless I think I stand a good enough chance of capturing him and getting him to the feds before he can tip anybody off).

But, this is serious good news, and I’m happy to hear that the Islamofascist fucktards have come into power. Yeah, that’s counter-intuitive. But in foreign policy, the simple and appealing answer is, unfortunately, almost always wrong… and this is no exception.

1. Fatah was hopelessly corrupt. The New Guard fought the New Guard. Neither faction gives a rat’s ass about the people, and both are hip-deep in terrorism, hardly a bunch of blushing virgins faced with the Big Bad Wolf of Hamas. (Seriously, the Algerians Arafat ran with were Bad People(tm).

2. Hamas is a bunch of Islamofascist thugs. But they’ve bothered to do some of the stuff Fatah should have been doing, such as running clinics, etc. Granted, they’ve done it for most of the wrong reasons… but Hamas winning means that the chance of that necessary social work being disrupted is minimized.

3. Fatah is now known publicly to be toothless, rather than that being known only to obsessive foreign-policy wonks. Fatah cannot be a negotiating partner, because they’re powerless.

Hamas can’t be a negotiating partner, because they hate us and all we stand for… wait a minute, how’s that follow? So long as they’re not slaughtering people wholesale, what do we care whether or not they hate us? If they step out of line, they get their teeth kicked in. If they don’t step out of line… we’ve at least gained a negotiating partner with the actual ability, if not necessarily the desire, to carry out its pledges.

And that’s a step forward. A big step forward.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have officially arrived…

Regarding my last Publius-Pundit post, I have officially been flamed as a pro-commie anti-hungarian douchebag.

Yeah. Me. Try not to make me owe you a keyboard…

That’s right, folks, I’ve been third-party trolled-behind-my-back because of an online post.

Go me!

🙂

Ilarionov Speaks.

If you’re the one out of my three regular readers who cares about international politics, read what Andrei Illarionov means when he says that The State Means Business.

It is, perhaps, the return of fascist feudalism.

Ukraine taking control of Black Sea naval facilities from Russia

Since Russia’s playing hardball with Ukraine, the latter is also occuring: Russia is in non-payment of its base leases since 1997, and the seagulls are coming home to roost. The predictably oafish Russian response (send in troops and hang a sign saying “property of Russia”) is having the equally-predictable media effect.

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