non-political scientists studying political diseases?

While I’ve discussed a couple of studies recently (and I’m open to the possibility that too much obsession with politics is not good for one’s mental health), I nonetheless see a twofold problem in applying the medical model to politics. One is the tendency of politics to creep into things that are not normally thought […]

Emergency blog power

Here’s something to do with an old lawnmower engine: turn it into a power generator. All you need is a car alternator, a couple of pulleys, a bracket and the time to put it together. Brutally simple. The finished project looks like this: Whether to add the power inverter depends on what you want to […]

I’ll try to be more likely to not conform to these statistics

According to the statistics in a new national study, I am more likely to not use turn signals than to use them: A new national survey reveals that 57% of American drivers admit they don’t use their turn signal when changing lanes, but what is most startling are the excuses drivers gave. Hey, that’s 57% […]

No alternative but to whine about alternatives . . .

Here’s something worth whining about! A new “scientific” (that word again) study shows that whiny, complaining children grow up to be conservative, while children described as “confident, resilient, self-reliant” grew up to be liberals: The study from the Journal of Research Into Personality isn’t going to make the UC Berkeley professor who published it any […]

Did anyone think our Islamic allies would be nice?

When I criticized Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s medieval and murderous statements, I didn’t mean to suggest that gays were the only victims of fundamentalist Islamic persecution or that Iraq was in any way unique in that regard. Far from it. The reason I’m especially concerned about Iraq is because not only did we go there to […]


Means saying who’s boss. . .

Encouraging crime?

Today’s Inquirer reports a demonstration in Trenton, NJ against legislation by Congressman James Sensenbrenner which would (among many other things) make illegal alien status a felony. Earlier, a much bigger demonstration in Chicago drew an angry crowd of 100,000 — dwarfing any of this past weekend’s antiwar demonstrations. Almost everyone agrees that illegal immigration is […]

If Sistani is the answer, then what was the question?

Writing for the National Review, Andrew McCarthy takes a long look at Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s utterances on homosexuality (which I discussed earlier) and other subjects. While the earlier reports were inaccurate and the uproar is new, Sistani’s actual opinions are neither new nor (unfortunately) unusual. Sistani is a thoroughly medieval man, and like it or […]

Patriarchal peeing contest?

The front page of yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer featured an irresistible story about Philly’s latest urinal quagmire. I mean, who could resist this headline? City plumbers union says no way to no-flush urinals A political fissure has developed between environmentalists (who love the no-flush urinals because they don’t waste water) and the plumbers’ union (which wants […]

The citing of the RINO sightings’ insights

This week’s RINO Sightings Carnival is hosted by Doug Mataconis at his excellent Blog, “Below the Beltway.” In addition to reviewing the many fine posts, Doug links to his own reflections on a Peggy Noonan editorial and asks a question on the minds of many: Have the Republicans been snookered? That’s good question, and I […]

Buried treasure can be a gas

While shopping at the supermarket, yesterday, I forgot my common sense instincts and committed a spontaneous act of frivolity. (And now I’m now wondering about the moral dynamics, if any.) When I opened the trunk of my used car (it was “pre-owned” by persons unknown to me), I noticed a round piece of plastic wedged […]

On being “part of the problem”

Via Dean Esmay, I found Joe Gandelman’s very important post on a very thorny subject: politics and emotion. MRI studies confirm that people who will not listen to reason may be slaves to their ventromedial prefrontal cortexes! Apparently, information that relates to politics is not processed by political partisans the same way that normal people […]

Potentially bad news

I hope this story is not true: (London) As Iraq sinks closer and closer to all-out civil war the country’s most influential Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is reportedly calling for death to gays and Sunni Moslems. Sunni Arabs, who have run Iraq since its creation nearly 90 years ago, total barely a fifth of […]

Goldwater Liberals, unite!

In addition to the fear of being called right wing (discussed infra), there’s also a form of intimidation which can only be called the fear of being called left wing or liberal. Or at least, of being insufficiently right wing. Yet it must be remembered that in logic, to refuse to succumb to the fear […]

Postponing procrastination accelerates inevitable slowdowns!

While I’d hesitate to draw too many moral lessons from computer related nightmares, the problem I have been having for the last fourteen hours results from procrastination. (Which might be a moral lesson, of sorts.) And sheer clutter. My main hard drive filled to over 90% capacity, and it was slowing everything down. I knew […]

But who’s responsible for impulses?

For some reason, TJ’s book made me want to play liberal Devil’s Advocate and revisit the gun control impulse. Impulse is indeed what it’s all about. Return once again to this remark by Philadelphia’s Police Commissioner: At this point, right now, we have over 32,000 people in Philly who have permits to carry (and) actually […]

yearning in anticipation . . .

Anyone who’s a regular reader will know that T.J. Marshman is a regular commenter here. He’s also an excellent dialogue writer — intuitive enough to actually get inside the minds of al Qaida’s leadership, and see through their recent, pre-9/11 level chatter. (This remarkable ability was noticed by Glenn Reynolds yesterday.) Anyway, if T.J. can […]

Lies, damn lies, and statistics communitarianism!

At this point, right now, we have over 32,000 people in Philly who have permits to carry (and) actually walk the streets of Philly with a gun. We only have 6,400 police officers. We’re outnumbered nearly 5-to-1 with people who are on the streets with guns… — Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson For every child […]

My ongoing product placement issues . . .

While there’s no proof that this blog is funded by the tobacco lobby, I did find an online test which has revealed the true identity of my inner drink: You Are Coke A true original and classic, you represent the best of everything you can offer. Just the right amount of sweet, just the right […]

But what about the REAL magic guns?

Earlier I was asked how huge earth movements like this could be blamed on Bush: Geologist Dereje Ayalew and his colleagues from Addis Ababa University were amazed — and frightened. They had only just stepped out of their helicopter onto the desert plains of central Ethiopia when the ground began to shake under their feet. […]