Haven't These Morons Ever Heard of the Founder Effect? Mood:
don't ask Now Playing: "Turning Japanese" by The Vapours
I'm watching this program on the National Geographic Channel right now about some newly-discovered ---but extinct--- species of Homo sapiens that's been found on an island near Indonesia ---and it is an absolute scientific atrocity.
You can be sure that their insistence on referring to this 18,000 year-old female skeleton as being a member of a race of hobbits is all the indication you need to know that this is a stupid, soon-to-be exploded bit of pop science.
I don't know what it is about the narrative of this program that's bugging me so much, but it may be their constant reference to the ancestors of the "hobbits" who made it to what is now the island of Flores as "not know[ing] what was about to hit them" and as individuals who "shrank" to maximize their survivability in an environment with fewer resources.
Is this not the sort of shit that the clever Creationist can pick apart in his sleep? And the National Geographic Society is supplying a whole lot of easy? What the hell?
Evolution is a fact of life. Scratch that: Evolution is THE Fact of Life. It's not even a theory, friend. And, accordingly, we need to insist that influential popularizers of Science (such as the NGS) be especially careful to educate the public properly on this issue.
You do not, for instance, say that early humans migrating into the islands of the Pacific were unaware of what was "about to happen" to them in some evolutionary sense ---because it's beyond tautological! No one's "aware" of where he or she stands on the road of human evolution. No one lives long enough to shepherd or guide anything about the evolution of the human race ---and that includes History's greatest mass murderers.
Nor do you say that any one person "shrinks" in all his organs and proportions to maximize his own survivability. Even if this were true of Homo sapiens in some isolated island environment, it would not be a conscious decision ---by one or all--- and it would not be an achievable thing in the course of even a dozen generations, anyway.
I like the idea of a race of "hobbits" who lived so close to the present time. I'm not arguing against it with some heretofore secret expertise on the subject, but I am opposed to how it's being sold to the public: sensationally, presumptively, and ignorantly enough to trip even my own bullshit detector.
The "Austin Java Concept"
I'm watching a replay of some guy on one of the cable access channels pitching what he calls the "Austin Java Concept" to the Austin City Council. Apparently, he's just scored some sort of commissary contract at the new Austin City Hall.
Well, good for him. Every crunchy town needs a crunchy coffee house in its city hall.
But let me get off my shot at this guy, Rick Engel.
Rick, your Austin Java Company may be a great idea with the goatee-stroking set, but let's see what happens when you bring some of your employees over from 12th and Lamar to our City Hall. You know the ones: the surly, tattooed, and pierced off assholes you've got running the store there who can't be bothered to acknowledge the presence of anyone who's playing off-type.
If you're smart, you won't even bother transferring them into such a high-profile gig. That's because they're rude and affected. Think this town's businessmen and developers and lawyers are going to put up with some 20 year-old waif who might get around to taking their orders if she's not busy playing grab-ass with someone in the kitchen?
Let's watch and wait.
If I've ever had a good experience with one of your baristas, I cannot remember it.
Loads of Nonsense Now Playing: "Driver 8" by R.E.M.
Via Little Green Footballs comes this report saying that Italy's minister of justice is recommending that Communist propagandist Giuliana Sgrena shut her bloody gob:
Italy's justice minister urged former hostage Giuliana Sgrena on Friday to stop making "careless" accusations after being shot by US forces in Baghdad, saying she had already caused enough grief.
Sgrena has repeatedly suggesting [sic] US soldiers shot her on purpose and said on Friday she had little faith in a joint investigation by Italy and the United States into the "friendly fire" incident.
"She has created enormous problems for the government and also caused grief that perhaps was better avoided," Justice Minister Roberto Castelli told reporters in Bologna.
Whose grief might that be? Castelli knows:
"Sgrena, I think, should perhaps be more careful. She has said a load of nonsense, speaks somewhat carelessly and makes careless comments," Castelli said.
Translation: this woman is a fucking liar.
How sorry a sack of shit do you have to be to make Michael Moore, who is a traitor, look responsible and dignified?
Susan Estrich: Miserable Buffoon Now Playing: "Some Enchanted Evening" by Robert Goulet
Jesus! I didn't realize how awful the whole Susan Estrich-Michael Kinsley thing had gotten. You've heard about it, right? The old Dukakis clown (with the voice that would offend Rosie Perez) is accusing Los Angeles Times' opinion page editor (Kinsley, the old Crossfire liberal) of refusing to publish enough women writers. What, is it 1979 already?
Apparently, she's been an unbearable bitch about it, too. As Heather MacDonald writes:
Several questions present themselves: how many pieces by women that met the Times’s standards were offered during these periods? What is the ratio of men to women among experts on Iraq? Estrich never bothers to ask these questions, because for the radical feminist, being a woman is qualification enough for any topic. Any female is qualified to write on Iraq, for example, because in so doing, she is providing THE FEMALE PERSPECTIVE. (This belief in the essential difference between male and female “voices,” of course, utterly contradicts the premise of the anti-Larry Summers crusade.) Thus, to buttress her claim that Kinsley “refuses” to publish women, Estrich merely provides a few examples of women whose offerings have been rejected: “Carla Sanger . . . tells me she can't get a piece in; I have women writing to me who have submitted four piece [sic] and not gotten the courtesy of a call—and they teach gender studies at UCLA. . . .” It goes without saying, without further examination, that each of those writers deserved to be published—especially, for heaven’s sakes, the gender studies professors!
Check this out. MacDonald really kicks Estrich in the nuts.
Alright, alright, so I cried a little bit just then when Dan Rather signed off of the CBS Evening News for the last time. What's it to you? Dan Rather was an institution before I was born. He has been a witness to some of History's most important moments for more than 40 years. Think about it! Dan Rather was B.C. (Before Cable).
But not A.I. (After the Internet).
Courage, Dan Rather. I hope you spend the rest of your days doing your best work yet: honest, relevant, and even a little quirky. Have fun, y'hear?
Is This the Car That Stopped a Thousand Rounds?
I doubt that it's going to make much difference to the anti-war Left, but this is a stillframe from some video of the car in which Giuliana Sgrena was riding the other night when the Milo Minderbinder Death$quads tried to assassinate her.
"Is Arkansas in Texas?"
I don't remember exactly how she asked me this question, but I was talking with a young woman today (maybe 20, black, and unacquainted with basic hygiene) who wanted to know whether Arkansas was in or near Texas. At first, I thought she was referring to a town or something or other, but no: she did not know that Arkansas is a state. Good Christ! I started laughing, but quickly stopped to properly take it in.
Is it possible that an American citizen of her age doesn't know such a basic fact of geography? She even had to ask whether, if she made a call to someone there, would it be the same time as here in Texas.
Sorry, but if you're not suffering from some brain disorder and you've lived in this country your entire life, there's no excuse for not knowing where and what Arkansas is. Period.
Oh, No He Di'unh!
Oh, man. Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton may want to rethink their advocacy of restoring the right to vote to convicted felons. I mean, how will they rebut observations like these (from the Deacon over at the Power Line)?:
One problem with felons is that a disproportionately high number of them commit additional crimes and thus find their way back into the criminal justice system. This makes them the natural allies of the Democrats, many of whom look askance both at tough sentencing laws and judges who take a hard line against crime. These positions likely would become more pronounced if felons were enfranchised.
What's going on with Giuliana Sgrena? Is she lying about what happened at that checkpoint? Some are calling her abduction "kidnap kabuki." Some see something sinister at work. I don't know, but something's weird.
Oh! I know what it is: she's a Communist who's praying to God.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 7:17 PM CST
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Updated: Sunday, 6 March 2005 7:20 PM CST
Saturday, 5 March 2005
The very sexy Catherine Herridge was just on FOX News, talking about train wrecks and safety, and mentioned how some liquids had "spooed" out in some recent incident. She quickly corrected herself, but had a slightly more difficult time getting through the rest. At least that's how I like to interpret it.
I Fall in Love Every Time Mood:
a-ok Now Playing: "The Window Up Above" by George Jones
Boy, this is a great night! KLRU's got a George Jones concert on ---and during the pledge drive breaks, it's a few precious minutes of the incredibly delicious Leanna Holmquist.
Why isn't there a Leanna Holmquist Network? She is simply too pretty for words.
Fawn, the Nausea
I'm listening to a sound bite just now of the felon Martha Stewart rapping with the reporters now flocking to her property. She's standing too far away from the fenceline to make herself heard comfortably, but decides to engage them, anyway, in some typically narcissistic talk about the metaphysical desire for a cappuccino. The ---what?! Who cares?!
Well, the reporters do. They hush each other and hang on to every word as though it were the first pronouncement by Jesus H. Christ (v.2.0). Stewart's remarks are inane, but these lickspittles in the celebrity press just eat it up.
What a Moonbat Ponders As It's Hanging Upside Down
An asshole commenter at The Left Coaster calling itself Natty Bumpo has the following to say in regard to the shooting today of a newly-released Italian journalist, Giuliana Sgrena:
Nah, I think it was just a mistake. You're thinking too highly of the military to believe they'd have the wherewhithal to be making any kind of "informed" decision about the vehicles they fire upon. Our overmatched, undertrained and fearful soldiers just shoot up a certain percentage of civilan vehicles approaching checkpoints, that's all. (It's a war crime, but, hey, maybe helps morale by making them think they're doing something to stop terrorism!)
What a flawless pearl of wisdom from the America-hating Left! What aspect of their contempt does this statement not show to the public?
According to the Marines, the car carrying the former hostage and several Italian agents approached the checkpoint just before 9 PM at a high rate of speed. The Marines claim that they were following the rules of engagement. But they were also reacting to a vehicle behaving exactly like suicide car bombers do as they charge a Coalition position. And this asshole America-hater at The Left Coaster has the temerity to insult our boys' intelligence and experience?
Not Believing My Eyes
Daniel Schorr, that great friend of the Republican Party, is now saying that President Bush "may have had it right."
Something remarkable is happening in the Middle East - a grass-roots movement against autocracy without any significant "Great Satan" anti-American component.
In Beirut, the crowds that massed in the streets and forced the resignation of the Syrian-controlled government were demonstrating for kifaya (change) and freedom from the Syrian military that has occupied their country for more than a quarter of a century.
It certainly is amazing. Perhaps these people realize that the Great Satan is actually good for something after all.
In Egypt, too, the streets have been alive with the sound of kifaya. Apparently seeking to divert the movement for change, President Hosni Mubarak announced last weekend a change in the election law to permit competitive elections. But his likeliest challenger, Ayman Nour, is in jail for allegedly forging election documents. And this week there were demonstrations in the streets of Cairo in his support.
In the past the United States would have avoided criticizing Mr. Mubarak, a key figure in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But now Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has openly rebuked Mubarak and canceled a scheduled visit to Cairo.
Which is what some ostriches (Left and Right) call "destabilization" ---but which is a necessary risk to take in the present climate when there is much more to be gained by instilling the fear of the Great Satan into these decrepit tyrannies than in sitting on our thumbs being concerned about these mysterious "power vacuums" that might arise if we tamper too much in the affairs of the Middle East.
The movements for democratic change in Egypt and Lebanon have happened since the successful Iraqi election on Jan. 30. And one can speculate on whether Iraq has served as a beacon for democratic change in the Middle East.
No speculation needed, Daniel. The many countries of the Middle East were enormously interested ---and taken with--- the courage of eight million voters in Iraq. It's unquestionable that the intiative this President has taken in standing for democratic reforms has made all the difference.
An Old Friend
I have always loved the Buffalo Nickel, which was last minted in 1938, I believe it was. But, now, the US Mint is issuing a beautiful new Buffalo Nickel.
I am very pleased to see this.
I can't really explain why this coin means so much to me, but I suspect the answer lies partly in an old cigar box in which my Daddy used to keep the arrowheads he found along the banks of the Bosque River ---along with his uniform buttons, his mortarboard tassel, and a big handful of well-worn Buffalo Nickels.
I hope to save some of these new ones for my own son. Probably even in the same box.
No 180 on Form 180
Try out this editorial from Tom Bevan of RealClearPolitics.com ---one of the most important sites I visit.
Personally, now that Kerry lost the election I don't really care what is in his files. That said, I still think it is an absolute outrage that this man ran for president using his military service as the cornerstone of his candidacy and the media didn't bother to require him to provide full and complete access to his records. That is a courtesy we've not seen the media extend to other presidential candidates, nor does it comport with their supposed desire to "inform the public."
And now the issue is about whether John Kerry is going to be held to his repeated public promises (ones he certainly did not have to make at this point) to fully release his records by signing Form 180.
This is actually far beyond ridiculous. If there's nothing to hide, why wouldn't Kerry release all of his military service records?
You know the answer: he has something to hide. Maybe something as bad as a dishonorable discharge that Jimmy Carter later upgraded in a general amnesty.
Let's say, for the sake of asking the anti-war Left the question, that neither we nor the Israelis nor any body in Lebanon knows, for a fact, that Syria was behind the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. In which case, do the anti-Bush/anti-war/anti-ideological anti-imperialists (for want of a better term) reject the legitimacy of the people of Lebanon calling for their own liberation?
That is to ask, would it be wrong for the Lebanese people and their friends and potential friends (including, most especially, George W. Bush) to use Hariri's violent death as a pretext for applying very high pressure on Bashar al-Assad if they knew they might be (or were) wrong in attributing that assassination to Syrian operatives?
I ask this of the anti-Bush Left because they are already so contorted in finding the Daily Mistake with our pro-democracy plan in the Middle East that they may as well address this possibility, too.
I don't know how solid the evidence against Assad or any of the other kinds of terrorists is, but I am interested to know whether my comrades find fault with the impetus to the Cedar Revolution.
Man, am I glad I stopped cruising for porno for five minutes to read James Taranto's piece in today's Wall Street Journal about Jon Stewart's interview on last night's Daily Show with Nancy Soderberg. Soderberg, a Clinton-era apologist, was on the program to peddle her new book on why America is an arrogant bully. But with all that's going on in the Middle East, she and Stewart were apparently beside themselves with concern that Bush's plan is so crazy, it might just work.
At one point, Stewart exclaimed (in regards to Bu$hitler):
Do you think they're the guys to--do they understand what they've unleashed? Because at a certain point, I almost feel like, if they had just come out at the very beginning and said, "Here's my plan: I'm going to invade Iraq. We'll get rid of a bad guy because that will drain the swamp"--if they hadn't done the whole "nuclear cloud," you know, if they hadn't scared the pants off of everybody, and just said straight up, honestly, what was going on, I think I'd almost--I'd have no cognitive dissonance, no mixed feelings.
Ha, ha. Yeah. If only Bush had sold us on the war like that, Leftist craphounds like Stewart would have understood it all and given their blessing.
The whole interview was weird. Read on:
Soderberg: Well, there's still Iran and North Korea, don't forget. There's hope for the rest of us.
Stewart:: [crossing fingers] Iran and North Korea, that's true, that is true [audience laughter]. No, it's--it is--I absolutely agree with you, this is--this is the most difficult thing for me to--because, I think, I don't care for the tactics, I don't care for this, the weird arrogance, the setting up. But I gotta say, I haven't seen results like this ever in that region.
Soderberg: Well wait. It hasn't actually gotten very far. I mean, we've had--
Stewart: Oh, I'm shallow! I'm very shallow!
Soderberg: There's always hope that this might not work. No, but I think, um, it's--you know, you have changes going on in Egypt; Saudi Arabia finally had a few votes, although women couldn't participate. What's going on here in--you know, Syria's been living in the 1960s since the 1960s--it's, part of this is--
"There's always hope that this might not work."
Think on that one for a moment.
Was Soderberg kidding? Or are such sentiments entirely indicative of the Left's mentality? I have my own answer. What's yours?