Bicycling is not a crime.

Though it may soon be, if this soon-to-be zombie-holocaust-survivor gets more popular….

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21st century prestige (ulcer alert)

You know the canard about prestige in the 21c being the guy who has a paying job?

They might be right.

I one one, welcome our new

Cthulhu f’taghn overlords from Alaska.

Bamboo Planted

Hopefully in by tomorrow.  I’ve got two spots to shore up, shadewise, and then the only reason we’ll ever run the AC is b/c of humidity, or b/c the baby still has no neck.

EDIT/UPDATE:  It’s really easy to tell clumping vs. running bamboo, I now know.  Just look at the roots.  If the roots are trying to turn into bamboo, it’s a runner, and beware.  If the roots look like Q. Random Plant, you’re probably okay.

Sullivan on Ireland: aka, Europe’s free-speech deficit

(Hat Tip:  Andrew Sullivan)

Ireland has joined the ranks of those now threatening serious fines against anybody who criticizes religion.  Any religion.  Which is a laugh riot, considering that the practice of one religion inherently constitutes the critique of other religions.

::shakes head::

When I teach my students about the difference between the American Enlightenment (aka, religious tolerance brought about by religious people) and the European Enlightenment (all hail the State, all serve the State, or else), folks get real surprised.

Cedar Fever: Or, why Texas sucks and medicine doesn’t

My wife has cedar fever.

I sent her to the doctor’s after she insisted that she was getting better and the back of my brain finally twigged to “self, she’s not coughing anything up, b/c she hasn’t used more than a single kleenex all weekend.  Plus, some of that sounds bronchial.”

So she goes to the doctor, who tells her “yeah, this stuff used to kill people a hundred years ago, here’s a bunch of prescriptions.”  So, go me, Anna’s going to get better and we’ll be hunting people down for sociability really darned soon.

Psycho kitty

In lieu of anything productive to say, I present to you:  psycho cats who chase away bears.

I don’t know what the moral here is (Yes, this is a New York story)

… it could be “don’t punch cops in the face.”

…it could also be “don’t try to do anything fun in New York City.”

Either way, it looks like yet another reason why New York sucks, and punching cops is generally a bad idea.

Pajamas Media’s best commenter

Is this guy named Klavan.  He does “Klavan on culture.”

I’m not so sure I’m into all of PJM’s stuff — especially not international reporters who stay at the most expensive hotels in town while reporting.  But Klavan’s worth a watch.

Here’s Klavan on gay marriage and rationality.  And here, even better, is bumper-sticker patrol (Visiting Artilleryman:  this one’s linked SPECIFICALLY for you, so click it, dude.)

(For those inclined to debate the issues:  fire away in the comments, as long as we all agree to smack Phelps & Co. with fireplace pokers.)

Why Goldman Sachs sucks? Recidivism?

Goldman’s role in the sweeping global disaster that was the housing bubble is not hard to trace. Here again, the basic trick was a decline in underwriting standards, although in this case the standards weren’t in IPOs but in mortgages.

All right, I’m officially a fan of Matt Taibbi.  And it’s issues precisely like this that are going to have me investing uber-conservatively, in annuities and other instruments where I can actually see the fine print before signing*, rather than having much of anything to do with stocks.  If I hadn’t been working for a company that was blatantly letting loan applicants get away with murder while the underwriters were pretty much told “suck it up or you’re out of a job,” I’d have fallen for it, too.

*not that annuities are a panacea – they can also be full of fail.  BUT, they tend to be unromantic and thus fly under the scam-radar.

Hired!

Not the mst3k version, though.

It’s not the golden ring, but it’s a paycheck.  Keeping my resume up to date and looking for actual opportunities rather than dead-ends, but I’m not going to bitch in a 10%+ unemployment context.

(more…)

Andrew Sullivan needs some perspective on Palin

Has Palin’s soap-opera been rather bizarre?  Sure.

But Sullivan’s been “all cannons on automatic” for a while now… if he’s of “no party or clique,” why hasn’t he been offering a running account of Biden, as well?  They were both, after all, VP candidates in the same race.  IF she’s fundamentally wackier than “we drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon” Biden (and that was only one of the “what planet are you from” lines he tossed off in the campaign debates), then let’s hear it.  But if she and Biden are mental bedmates, let’s spread the vituperations around, eh?

Tim Worstall at the Examiner makes a certain icky sense.

More porn = less rape?

Besides wanting to shower at the mere thought of connecting said dots, I suspect that not only is Worstall correct, but that this may also go some ways towards explaining the generally-degrading treatment of women within porn (and why “porn-for-women” is such a dramatically different beast.  Then again, porn-for-women can also be defined as HGTV, which tends to fill itself with as much misandry as its counterpart does misogyny, so….).

Perhaps, like all things, this is the evil of the boob tube (unintentional) at work — it makes you passive.  In some cases, perhaps the world benefits by making a certain sort of person more and more passive?  The rapist has that evil itch (which, unless I’m well out of date, is more to do with power than sex) satisfied via porn, and then goes out and buys a pizza or something?

Makes you wonder, then, if that idea holds up:  what’s porn-for-dictators?

4th of July: The stakes

This is why the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

From a horrifying little work by RJ Rummel (don’t read this before bed):

The one factor present in all this Chinese democide, and that in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and other such cases of genocide, is arbitrary power….

Power kills. And absolute power kills en masse. Consider–the Soviet Union, 61,911,000 people murdered; the Chinese communists, 38,000,000; the Nazis, 17,000,000; the Chinese Nationalists, 10,214,000; the Japanese militarists in World War II, 5,890,000; the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia, 2,000,000; West Pakistan over East Pakistan, 2,000,000; Turkey during and after World War I, 1,500,000; and Yugoslavia after World War II, 1,105,000.

Ilya Somin nails it.

Freedom belongs to people….not to “peoples.”

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