Links and Minifeatures 11 27 Sunday

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Here's the website:

Here's the news story: Couple Sues Operators of Evolution Site

Three words: Get. Over. It.

Evolution may not be scientific fact, but it is a scientific theory supported by as much evidence as relativity or quantum mechanics. It was formulated based upon observed evidence. It can be debunked at any time by facts which actually contradict it. We just don't know of any. It is true that it is only the best idea we have so far and that it is possible that we'll come up with something better some day. But thus far subsequent discoveries (in multiple disciplines, yet! Engineering. Mathematics. Physics. Genetics.) have strengthened and reinforced evolutionary theory and our understanding of it. The fershluggin' Catholic Church, of all the world famous stick in the mud institutions, accepts evolutionary theory as the explanation which best fits observed facts.

Get. Over. It.


This is political grandstanding. But notice how the groups accused of abuse - Allawi's fellow Shia - are buried in the third paragraph? For scanners of news who may not read the whole story, the obvious implication is that it's americans who are doing it. Nor does the one place we have found (and dismantled and freed the prisoners) equate to what Saddam Hussein was doing on a wholesale scale. I'm not in any way defending the perpetrators, mind you, and I'll bet that those victimized suffered every bit as much pain as Saddam's victims. Nonetheless, there is a pretty significant difference in scale.

On the subject of Iraq and their upcoming elections, Iraq the Model has an article on the differences in how the votes will be counted in the upcoming election. The way he explains it, it makes a lot of sense. This way a small party that doesn't get the votes for a seat in any one province can still get one - or a few - through amalgamation.


Here's an article on the incredible Dr. Bose and what he's been up to lately.


My wife and I got a volunteer babysitter and decided to go see "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" at a theater on Friday. Great movie, easily better than the last two in the series, and we loved the way the mood changed on a dime at the end.

Nonetheless, we were very conscious that we were going to a maul mall on Black Friday, and were pleasantly surprised at the ease of getting in and getting around. There's even a Wal-Mart in the one we went to (Parkway Plaza), right next to the entrance we used. The crowd wasn't as thick as we've seen on ordinary weekend days. this article confirms what I thought then. Given earlier reports of relatively heavy shopping traffic, the phrase "whistling past the graveyard" popped into my mind. It's not that bad. But I suspect when everything's over that it'll be a disappointing season.


Captain's Quarters has a thoughtful, dead-on analysis of the situation in Iraq (and incidentally, the Donkeys as exemplified by Senator Joe Biden, D - Denial getting it completely wrong).

We're doing better than we did in WWII. That the Iraqis only have one level one battalion means they've got one more than France has today.

Jawa Report has more, with an interview of the commander of the multinational corps in Iraq about the consequences of pulling out now.


Speaking of Iraq, Michelle Malkin has a report that Bruce Willis is intending to make a movie based upon the service of the "deuce-four" as reported by Michael Yon. Bruce seems to be different from the average Hollywood personality, in that he "Gets It" as regards the War on Terror.

Captain's Quarters has more.


Powerline has an excellent snippet on the cooperation between North Korea and Iran.

Personally, I don't find their cooperation to be any stranger than the cooperation between United States and Soviet Union during World War II.

While we're on the subject of Iran, Chequer Board has an article about the President of Iran being in far worse trouble than our own has ever thought about being in. Seems Parliament has denied him three different choices for Oil Minister. A rough equivalent might be Congress voting down three nominees for Secretary of Defense, less than six months into his term. Ouch.


Balloon Juice has an excellent article of the sort the Donkeys dread. Despite Donkey control of most major media outlets, the public "gets it" , and realizes that Donkey criticism of the war is intended for political advantage.

HT to Wizbang for the link to this Big Lizards article about the Afghanistan effect. In reverse. The pravda (official truth, as espoused by most legacy media) says that Iraq is Vietnam: unwinnable and creating further problems. My take is that even Vietnam's problems were mostly mental, and if we'd have had the guts to hang tough despite the liberals in our own ranks sabotaging us, we would have won the war as we won on all of the battlefields except propaganda. Big Lizards' theme is that Iraq could well be the downfall of our self appointed elites, much as Afghanistan was for the communist party in the soviet union. Who are the people going to believe once the troops come back: The mainstream media, who the vast majority of us know are incompetent boobs with their own axes to grind, or their own brother, sister, cousin, or neighbor?

(Think to all of the news stories you have ever witnessed or known some of those involved personally. What's the media's batting average in getting it right? I've been witness to a couple, involved in the aftermath of others, and known those involved firsthand in many more, and the aggregate batting average is so low it wouldn't be tolerated in a pitcher. Even in a league that uses the designated hitter rule.)

I do see a problem with this in that the military is concentrated in so-called "red" states and regions of the country, and so most of the effort will be coals to Newcastle. On the other hand, enough will spill over to the purple or blue states to make a real difference.


Language warning, but it does need to be that explicit to get through to some people: Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has the best piece on the mindset necessary to defend yourself in case of violent thugs.

Money quote: "Remember: There are two sides to every story, your side and his side. Make sure he ain't telling his."


A sign that there is hope for this world after all over at Armies of Liberation. Oppressed by the Saleh regime for twenty-seven years now, the political opposition is uniting, and their main platform for the election is... a constitutional government! I really hope it doesn't come to bullets to get rid of Saleh, whose regime is collapsing on multiple fronts. I hope the opposition is prepared either way, but would really prefer the transition happen peacefully.


Captain's Quarters also has an expansion of the confrontation that the Border Patrol lost with Mexican smugglers (and possibly the Mexican Army!). They were outgunned and unable to take the actions that their mandate required of them.

It's past time we took control of our border. If this requires a concrete fence thirty meters high with barbed wire all over it, so be it.


Wizbang has an excellent post up about that Eeevil John Bolton and the horrible things he's done. Like financial reform, condemning Hisbollah attacks upon Israel as terrorist, bringing real pressure to bear on Syria, etcetera. The subject came up in conversation the other day, and I said Reid's best option here is offering to quietly confirm Bolton as a rider on some other unrelated legislation.


If you haven't seen Farenheit 1861 yet, take the two minutes to do so. You'll laugh. You'll cry.


Captain's Quarters also has an article on the Iranian way of saying thanks for supporting them against the West: training Chechen terrorists.


Forward Biased uses this link which goes to Editor:Myself

to illustrate the need for anonymity on the web. Evidently, the border folks googled his name at the crossing, although they declined to let him in only when they discovered he was actually an illegal resident. I can only agree with Forward Biased in the context of not allowing your criminal deeds to come to light, which is just plain stupid. You really shouldn't write about something that's going to cause you legal difficulty.

On the other hand, if everyone gets racked up for stupid little stuff, that's good impetus to change the law making stupid little stuff illegal. I don't agree that this was stupid little stuff, but I'm prepared to debate against that position. Many people misunderstand the purposes of the fourth and fifth amendment. They are not in place to shackle the government in its quest to prove actual illegalities. They are there so the government can't go looking for illegalities on apparently law abiding citizens that it (or some parts of it) may wish to persecute for whatever reason. If the cop on the corner Googles you and finds out you're wanted for rape, murder, and failure to pay parking tickets, that's a good thing, as long as you are indeed wanted for rape, murder, and failure to pay parking tickets.

Now there are some, me included, who don't think failure to pay parking tickets should constitute an arrestible offense. That's an entirely different debate, and the one I should like to force us to have. If, in order to have it, I have to debate over whether rape and murder should be arrestible offenses, I'm willing to have that debate. What I am not willing to do is force us into any kind of informational dark age when the cop has the tools at their fingertips to tell if this is a a person they need to Concern Themselves With. No malice, but I believe the cops in question did exactly the right things for exactly the right reasons, and should be praised for it. If you don't like what the cops did, attempt change the law on which their decision-making is based. Because what he and Forward Biased saying with what was written reduces to merely "I don't want to be bothered."


TMH's Bacon Bits has a wonderful story about the necessary end result of assimilating those who come to this country and their children. "I'm Amelican now."

They must think of themselves as American. Not hyphenated-american. American must have sole pride of first place. Afterwards they can remember (with pride) the "old country", or wherever their ancestors came from, and I'll be happy to oblige them whether their special day is St. Patricks or Cinco de Mayo or Juneteenth. But people who describe themselves as hyphenated-Americans tell me that the other part is more important than the American, practically begging me to label them as deserving of second class status. Because we're all in this together, wherever our ancestors came from, and those who do not realize this truth and live it every day are not, in their hearts, Americans.


Anarchangel has an excellent article that details why our current approach to airline security is wrong. The correct thing, IMHO, would be to ask everyone boarding if they are armed, and if not the next question should be "Would you like to borrow a weapon?" and then after your right thumbprint has been run against a database of convicted felons, they give you a loaner for the duration of the flight. Something standardized, of course, like a 9mm. We might have a few shootings until everybody got the idea that this is for real and they are expected to act like responsible adults, but the end result would be more secure than you can buy with any level of protection. I trust my fellow americans to respond correctly en masse to an obvious threat a lot more than I trust bureaucrats hobbled by political considerations and fear of giving offense to keep the threats off the plane entirely.


Belmont Club has a very thoughtful article on the nature of modern warfare.


Big Cat Chronicles has an excellent article on upcoming Medicare Part D, including resources. I suspect it's going to a boondoggle to beggar the long term care insurance issues. People buy based on emotional "hot button" issues, not based upon the rational thing to do once you have investigated - otherwise every person in a state that has a partnership for long term care would have one of those policies - and Congress would pass by acclamation a recission of the law against the creation of any more.


What he said: BlackFive has an excellent editorial up entitled "Beyond Neocon - Rise of the Rational Hawk."


Out of time on this fine Sunday afternoon. I already have a new article set to go for tomorrow morning. Later!


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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on November 27, 2005 8:25 PM.

Games Lenders Play (Part IV) was the previous entry in this blog.

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