Monday, January 30, 2006

Bush goes over 50%: Instapundit sees a correlation

No doubt including Gore in the equation would strengthen the result.

As Instapundit concludes, the "Democrats would be wise to let other people represent them." But who is there?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Blogs attack from left as Democrats reach for center :: WaPo


Pretzel is to Bush as Kos is to Democrats. Except Bush survived, and the Democrats? - it's time for the Heimlich.

Virginia parish demands leader 'repent' :: The Washington Times


Leaders of the Falls Church Episcopal said in their eight-page, single-spaced letter that "no compromise on this issue is possible," although they refrained from specific threats. In the past, the parish's rector has threatened schism.
Good. No comprise is possible. Now what?

(Link via StandFirm.)

Episcopalians weigh sainthood for Marshall

Why not?

(Link via StandFirm. Sorry - their permalinks to specific articles do not appear to be working.)

Va. Episcopalians struggle with possibility of schism :: WaPo

The news in this article is that there is no news.

(Via Scott of Hybla.)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Why are conservatives always ultra-conservative? Isn't it a sign of good writing to vary your vocabulary? Next time you feel the urge to say ultra-conservative, why not use magnum-conservative instead?

After all, Al, don't you want to get back to the major league?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bush and 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.
I'm NewVirginiaChurchMan, and I endorse this message.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006

5 Strange/Weird/Quirky Things -- Blog Tag

The EclectEcon has tagged me in a blog tag game of naming 5 strange/weird/quirky things about me. Here goes,

1. It took me 11 years to submit my doctoratal dissertation to Brown University. They still awarded my PhD.*

2. Within the span of one week I broke each of my front teeth. This was in 4th grade. I can still remember the principal phoning home to tell my mother (after the second break), "it's a perfect (inverted) V."

3. I can pop my tongue off the roof of my mouth. Very loudy. It comes in handy when the Dubai Singers is in need of some percussion.

4. I worked the Washington Sailing Marina one summer back when I was in college. I had drinks on the job with Captain Tug, who used to have a kids TV show on channel 5 showing Popeye cartoons. I once took a small motorboat up the creek (4 Mile Run) that passed under Potomac Yard (a very large railroad yard), an underground channel, and emerged in Arlington 1/4 of a mile upstream from the mouth of 4 Mile Run.

5. I did the Poor Peoples' March on Washington in 1968.

*without an asterisk

Friday, January 20, 2006

Washington Post shutters blog :: Breitbart

The Washington Post shut down one of its blogs Thursday after the newspaper's ombudsman raised the ire of readers by writing that lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to the Democrats as well as to Republicans.

At the center of a congressional bribery investigation, Abramoff gave money to Republicans while he had his clients donate to both parties, though mostly to Republicans.

In her Sunday column, ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote that Abramoff "had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties," prompting a wave of nasty reader postings on

There were so many personal attacks that the newspaper's staff could not "keep the board clean, there was some pretty filthy stuff," and so the Post shut down comments on the blog, or web log, said Jim Brady, executive editor of
No doubt this behavior represents only a small slice of liberals who are loonie. But if Democrats are to regain power they have to find a way to keep the tail from wagging the dog. Indications continue to be that the dog is still too afraid to give up its tail.

Keene's police computers clash with Dunkin' Donuts system -

Good example of the ironic

Quote: The officers' in-car police computers interfere with the restaurant's computers. Officers need to disable their computer modems to avoid interfering with the Dunkin' Donuts computer system.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Sneak Peek at "Al vs. Hillary" :: Huffington

Are the Democrats so desperate that they are seriously thinking of going with Gore again (see the comments especially)? I have to remind myself that Nixon managed a resurrection.

Sen. Kennedy Severs Ties to Harvard Club :: Yahoo! News

A Washington Times story about Kennedy's Owl Club ties last week sparked criticism from Republicans who branded Kennedy a hypocrite.

Kennedy joined the Owl Club when he was a student at Harvard. Though not an active member since college, he donated about $100 to the club last October, his office said Tuesday. Kennedy has sent a letter to the club asking for his name to be removed from all official documents.
A few questions:

1. Is it possible to be branded more than once?

2. Is Hooters the club formerly known as the Owl Club?

If you don't read many of the blogs of my fellow travelers, you may have missed this:
The poor fellows had no choice but to sacrifice themselves on national TV at the behest of NOW and Daily Kos and the kookier parts of the base. It was said of the British Tommies in the trenches of the Great War that they were lions led by donkeys. In the Democratic Party, the old lions are now led by the grassroots donkeys, and, like some moth-eaten circus act, Ted and Pat Leahy and Dianne Feinstein are obliged to jump through ever more ludicrous hoops for the gratification of the base.

The media did their best to neutralize the impact of this pitiful spectacle, with expert commentators on hand to assure us that smart fellows like Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden were only going through the motions for the sake of all that fund-raising gravy. Don't worry, Ted and Chuck and Pat are way too savvy to believe this junk. Thus democratic politics reaches a new level of circular hell: The spin is that it's only spin.
Emphasis added.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wal Mart and confirmation bias :: Arnold Kling - TCS

Plain speaking Arnold Kling could not have put it more plainly:
Most of my friends are liberals. This series is the conversation I wish that I could have with them.
. . .
Chances are, you will look for some errors in my reasoning, so that you can dismiss everything that I have to say. All of us tend to read this way. We overlook flaws in the arguments of sympathetic writers, and we go all-out to find the flaws in arguments of others.
. . .
For example, in January of 2006, liberals in the state of Maryland rejoiced over passage of a law requiring Wal-Mart to pay higher health benefits to its workers. I think that they would have less smug satisfaction if they considered how this actually is likely to play out.
Read the whole thing. Especially if you are already sensing you disagree.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Pap-ist Threat :: Dynamist Blog

Virginia Postrel rants engagingly about ...

Christian pap ....
Throughout American history, Christian (largely Protestant) devotion has stretched people's minds and given them reason to think, if only within a closed system of belief. Religious practice has taught people to read, write, and speak. The rhythms and rhetoric of the Bible have given America its greatest political rhetoric, from Abraham Lincoln's to Martin Luther King's. Today's Christianity produces...George W. Bush.

Megachurch Christianity may hone organizational and business skills, but it isn't teaching believers to think about abstractions or communicate in higher than "everyday" language. No wonder megachurches combine their up-to-date media with fundamentalist doctrine. It fits well on PowerPoint--no paragraphs required. Leaving aside the validity of what they preach, today's most successful evangelicals are spreading pap.
The Purpose-Driven Life ...
While I'm sure the book inspires some people to more-fulfilling lives, Rick Warren's treatise is offensive in its audacious dodging of even the most sophomoric philosophical questions. (What about Hitler? Ted Bundy?) Just leafing through a few pages in Borders, I lost brain cells.
and free market religion ...
Yes, all of the above could be considered an extended criticism of market-based competition. In the U.S., after all, religion is the freest market. But I'm not against the system; I'm all for it. As institutional responses to modern life, I find megachurches fascinating and productive. (I even had nice things to say about their architecture, which, while purely functional, is more interesting than its low-church Baptist predecessors.) But the most successful product is not necessarily the best on all dimensions--or on the ones I care about. And criticism is also part of the system.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Staples settles pricing lawsuit with vouchers :: Boston Globe

Our courts should not be clogged with these sorts of junk lawsuits:
BOSTON --Staples Inc. has agreed to hand out vouchers worth $7.50 to as many as 76,800 shoppers to settle a class action lawsuit charging the company with violating the state's pricing regulations. Under the settlement, the vouchers will be given to the first 1,200 shoppers who visit any of the chain's 64 Massachusetts store on a yet-to-be-selected Monday, called "Consumer Day" in court papers.

If all the vouchers are distributed, the settlement would cost Staples $576,000, plus another $210,000 in fees paid to the plaintiffs' attorneys, The Boston Globe reported.

The state's pricing laws require retailers to put stickers on all items, or to install aisle scanners that allow consumers to find out the price of an item.
The products were clearly priced, no consumer was defrauded; sticking a pricetag on every item is a waste of resources. The plaintiff is merely harassing big box retailers, and by extension their customers who prefer them over other outlets.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Government's role in mine disaster :: The Boston Globe

Don Boudreaux proposes that it was not just absence of regulation, but presence of regulation that played a role in the Sago Mine tragedy.

The presence of regulation was and is the regulatory bias towards Eastern coal. Note that on Don's reasoning - with which I concur - Eastern mine workers are equals with the mining companies in favoring that bias.
If you've got the money, you can go home again but you'll probably be a stranger in your own home town.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pews in the News - Newsweek Society -

Rabbi Gellman reports on the Barna Group's findings on religious trends in America: 1. pathetic prayer, 2. decline of the black church (why? - because of the economic rise of blacks), 3. evangelicals give liberally, 4. Rabbi Phil doesn't know the Bible, 5. outside-the-box Christians driven by "moribund bureaucracy of organized church life."