• Bush,  Politics,  Wal-Mart

    Extremely well put

    Instapundit on Wal-Mart

    You know, to me Wal-Mart is a lot like George W. Bush. It’s not that I’m that big a fan in the abstract, really, it’s just that the viciousness and stupidity revealed in its enemies tends to make me view it more favorably than I otherwise would.

    Which says it exactly right. For someone I didn’t vote for and for a place I rarely go (and when I do, it’s usually because of the hours, and not the price) I’ve spent a fair amount of time defending both. Ditto for the pro-lifers. Hmmm.

  • Budget

    An interesting graph

    I recently came across this somewhat useful chart as a link off of digg.com.

    It displays the discretionary budges and it quite useful in that regard. However, it does not show entitlements. Given that entitlements such as Medicaid and Social Security make up about two thirds of the total federal spending, this seems quite odd to not include.

    The creator of the graph’s explanation for not including these figures is that “Congress has no control over mandatory expenditures”. These expenditures are mandatory in the sense that they are automatically renewed and their numbers altered by formula ever year, with no congressional vote needed to reauthorize them. However, a simple majority could reduce the expenditures on these things to zero.

    Comments Off on An interesting graph
  • Politics


    John & Al, Paris & Nicole

    Kerry has become the Paris Hilton to Al Gore’s Nicole Ritchie on the stage of American politics: creatures whose fame has become self-sustaining; and who remain in the public eye not because of any achievement or acumen, but who are simply famous for being famous.

    Kind of like Dan Quayle when you think about it.

  • Abortion,  Music,  Pirates,  Sheehan

    Thursday rapid fire

    • The art of bootstrapping in a small business.
    • A cool article on facial recognition technology
    • The navy still chases pirates!
    • The best old-time record collector ever. Adam and Stephanie will be this guy in 40 years.
    • A revealing interview with Cindy Sheehan – after reading the interview she just seems like a sad, pathetic creature and not the self-serving caricature she originally seemed to be. How she’s paying for her crusade is a question that to my knowledge no on has asked.
    • A relatively old article about Roe V Wade, choice quotes

      “Abortion rights have been slowly whittled away while we haven’t even been looking,” said Kitty Striker, 22, who decorated her hair with small coat hanger replicas for the protest. “That’s what’s so shocking and so scary to me.”

      Decorated her hair with small coat hanger “replicas”? Isn’t that like a holocaust survivor decorating herself with swastikas?

  • Biz,  Bush,  Industry

    Finally Bush does something right

    This sort of makes up for the steel tariffs, assuming he holds to it.

    Report: Bush Says Gov’t Might Not Bail Out U.S. Automakers

    NEW YORK — President Bush is offering no encouragement to any U.S. automobile companies that might be thinking about turning to the federal government for a financial bailout.

    “I think it’s very important for the market to function,” he said in an interview in the Thursday editions of The Wall Street Journal.

    He said companies need to manufacture “a product that’s relevant” and that his administration has discussed new fuel technologies with the nation’s top two auto makers.

    “As these automobile manufacturers compete for market share and use technology to try to get consumers to buy their product, they also will be helping America become less dependent on foreign sources of oil,” Bush said.

    He repeats this whole foreign oil canard, as did 60 minutes last week (“dependence” is a poor description of our current situation, which is wholly dependent on price anyway, also, we use less foreign oil (as a percentage) as the price increases) but there’s been a lot of corporate welfare in this administration, probably more than Clinton’s and it’s nice to see it NOT happening somewhere.

    Comments Off on Finally Bush does something right
  • History,  Weirdness

    Quote of the moment

    Kin Hubbard

    Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune.


    From The Corner

    How does Kanye West, self-confessed porn addict (confessed in this cover story!) pose as Jesus on the news stands? Rolling Stone’s theology is interesting: they’re tongue-in-cheek about Jesus and genuflect under the ashes of dope fiend Hunter S. Thompson.

    While at one time I was was a huge fan of HST (and still am to some extent) and a supporter of the right to die, he did:

    • Shoot himself, thereby proving a messy cleanup for someone, most probably a family member or friend. Totally unnecessary due to his drug connections.
    • Shoot himself while his kids were in the house. As far as anyone can determine there was nothing special about the time. That’s far worse than the above I think.

    That should be enough to taint his memory.

    Comments Off on Quote of the moment
  • America,  Atlanta,  Weirdness

    Tuesday afternoon news roundup

    While I’m stuck on some SQL problems (use SQLite only if necessary), here is a quick roundup

    • ‘American Taliban’ Father Urges Clemency – What does it take to lose your citizenship? I would think joining a foreign army should do it fairly easily, but it would seem not.

      In the spring of 2001, John Walker Lindh told his parents he was going to dodge the desert heat and spend the summer in the mountains of Pakistan. He did not tell his parents that he planned to cross into Afghanistan and join the Taliban army.

      The younger Lindh saw bin Laden speak twice while he was training in Afghanistan, but had no idea that he was involved in terrorism against the U.S., his father said.

      On Thursday, Frank Lindh emphasized that John Walker Lindh was involved in an Afghan war, not a fight against the U.S., when the Muslim convert joined the Taliban army to fight the Northern Alliance. He noted that the U.S. once supported Taliban fighters when they were fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

      This is either a blatant lie or a remarkably large error. The Taliban formed after the Soviets left and Northern Alliance was mostly composed of anti-Soviet fighters. Leave alone the fact Lindh could attend an al-Qaida training camp (one of whose main reasons to exist (though not it’s only one) is to kill Americans) and not know anything about it’s goals, let alone it’s many public declarations to that effect.

    • Larry Franklin got 12 years for passing secrets to the Israelis. Seems a bit low to me.
    • Maryland’s latest anti-Walmart legislation may come back to haunt them. The company may not build a warehouse in one of Maryland’s poorest counties.

      It’s always amazing to me how people think that the way to help people is to limit options, whether it be 12 year olds building toys in Malaysia or 70 year old Walmart greeters. If they had better options, they would take them, why remove the best available choice to them?

    • Russians endure, cheer frigid winter – curiously no mention is made of global warming. Since Russia contains one sixth of the earth, you would think this would be significant one way or the other. They certainly do stories about a lot less.
    • Patients suspect they’ve been given tissue stolen from corpses
    • Atlanta saves itself from people who would otherwise live in the suburbs. Isn’t mandating housing size a strike against diversity?
    • Check out the fiddle tune book.
    • Home genetic testing – find your true heritage for a remarkably low price.
    Comments Off on Tuesday afternoon news roundup