Wednesday, 18 November 2009

In Passing

Okay, can I declare the Zombie thing “officially over”?

Shark, jumped  Dept

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies: A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols” by Michael R. Spradlin

(Spotted yestereve at B&N while picking up a couple of classic Raymond Chandlers and yet another volume of Steven Erikson.)

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The Press

Just imagine the headlines...

...if it had been Vice President Gerald Ford.


Vice President Joe Biden was in Midtown yesterday [Tuesday] for a taping of the John Stewart show, and his security detail hit a bit of a snag while paving his way to the show.

Three advance vehicles belonging to the NYPD were moving down 49th Street near 10th Avenue when they slammed into the back of a livery cab, officials said. The cars apparently had lights and sirens on at the time, officials said.

Four people -- two NYPD officers and two civilians -- were  injured...
Vehicles used to transport U.S. Vice President Joe Biden were involved in a fatal accident Wednesday, a federal official said.

Two Secret Service employees were driving the armored sports utility vehicle and limousine in Temple Hill, Md., when they struck and killed a man at an intersection, Sgt. David Schlosser of the U.S. Park Police said...

(Of course, you can’t have an Imperial Administration™ without killing a few peasants.)

Credit goes to “Tinian” for raising the point.

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Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Armistice Day

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Tuesday, 10 November 2009


“Kelo” ends with a whimper

Ed Morrissey:

Five Supreme Court justices ruled that the seizure of private property from several residents of New London, Connecticut to make way for a new site owned by pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer met the test of “public use” for eminent domain.  A decade after New London took homes away from its citizens to sell the land to a private corporation, Pfizer has decided it doesn’t want the facility after all.
Too bad the site won’t be given back to the original residents.  But then we’re not getting our liberties back, either.

LATER (091111 22:55), LauraW drives home the lesson:
NONE of these people [the politicians or judges] are gifted with superior insight on how better to run your life or use our native resources.  But they believe that they are.  So without the brake of morality or explicit law, these geniuses and pols and town busybodies will extend professional courtesy to each other as they go about dismantling your life for some dubious utopian idea.

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In Passing

Desperately seeking excuses

Tim Blair enumerates ’em:

Mass-murderer Major Nidal Hasan has thus far been diagnosed as suffering from:

Now Time magazine offers the latest medical opinion, also prior to Hasan offering a single word of explanation himself (“Allahu akbar” evidently doesn’t count).   He’s suffering from:

Seems like every time this comes around, the legacy media and our friendly politicians attempt to drive public opinion by frantically speculating about everything except the the possibility that religious belief might possibly have something to do with what happened.  For the politicians, I believe there’s a lot of psychological displacement, coupled with the usual desire to kick a potential problem further down the road, leaving it to be handled on someone else’s watch.  But the unanimity of the chattering class is something different.  They can’t all be cowards, can they?

As I was contemplating that question, out of the blue came this, from Mark Steyn:
Major Hasan is not a card-carrying member of the Texas branch of al-Qaeda reporting to a control officer in Yemen or Waziristan...  But the pathologies that drive al-Qaeda beat within Major Hasan too, and in the end his Islamic impulses trumped his expensive Western education, his psychiatric training, his military discipline — his entire American identity.
That last sentence struck a chord; it had a very familiar sound.  Who else has let pathology trump their American identity?  What if we take Steyn’s last sentence and recast it, a little:
The pathologies that drive the Communists beat within the “progressive” intellectuals, too, and in the end their statist impulses trump their expensive Western education, their American experience — their entire American identity.
Bingo.  Why did the New York Times sacrifice its journalistic credibility to cover up Joe Stalin’s atrocities?  Why did America’s opinion leaders remain oh-so-incurious about Lee Harvey Oswald’s Communist connections?  Why, in the face of incontrovertible evidence, do so many of the self-proclaimed “freedom loving” line up with the tyrants: from Chairman Mao to Fidel Castro to Pol Pot to Hugo Chavez?  And why the endless favoring of any culture except American culture?

For the sake of the movement.  Progressive intellectualism has functioned as a kind of fifth column since the Wilson administration, forever trying to disguise its usurpations of individual liberty as “equality,” or “charity,” or “fairness.”

And like recognizes like:  The deception that Islam prescribes in its followers’ relations to the infidel, and its Muslim-first alleigance are both echoed in the clandestine working and trans-nationalism of the dedicated Communist.

So no wonder Islam is uncomfortable for the progressives.  If you’re an adherent to, oh, say, revolutionary socialism, isn’t it just possible that you might not want to shine too much light on a movement whose  techniques and outcomes closely resemble yours?  Better to yell, “Hey, look (way) over there!”

Because if it’s discovered that there’s one fifth column out there, well maybe folks might start thinking that there could possibly be another.

Daniel Pipes reviews past excuses (HT: “Stephen P”):
Noel:  Can of Worms?

HTs:  Steyn via Daily Pundit; Dr. Sanity via “Nahanni.”
Previously:  The whole world is watching

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The Press

Headline roundup...

Iowahawk culls the MSM, so you don’t have to.

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Saturday, 07 November 2009


Saving daylight: So, what’s in the account?

(My previous post, mostly about Indiana’s time follies, is here.)

If you’d like to play along at home, you can download sunrise/twilight tables for the entire year, customized to your location, from the U.S. Naval Observatory at one of these links:

First, a few definitions:
Sunrise and sunset  ...the times when the upper edge of the disk of the Sun is on the horizon, considered unobstructed relative to the location of interest. Atmospheric conditions are assumed to be average, and the location is in a level region on the Earth’s surface.

Twilight:  Before sunrise and again after sunset there are intervals of time, twilight, during which there is natural light provided by the upper atmosphere, which does receive direct sunlight and reflects part of it toward the Earth’s surface.

Civil twilight is defined to begin in the morning, and to end in the evening when the center of the Sun is geometrically 6 degrees below the horizon.  This is the limit at which twilight illumination is sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished; at the beginning of morning civil twilight, or end of evening civil twilight, the horizon is clearly defined and the brightest stars are visible under good atmospheric conditions in the absence of moonlight or other illumination. In the morning before the beginning of civil twilight and in the evening after the end of civil twilight, artificial illumination is normally required to carry on ordinary outdoor activities.

Nautical twilight is defined to begin in the morning, and to end in the evening, when the center of the sun is geometrically 12 degrees below the horizon.  At the beginning or end of nautical twilight, under good atmospheric conditions and in the absence of other illumination, general outlines of ground objects may be distinguishable, but detailed outdoor operations are not possible, and the horizon is indistinct.

Astronomical twilight
is defined to begin in the morning, and to end in the evening when the center of the Sun is geometrically 18 degrees below the horizon.  Before the beginning of astronomical twilight in the morning and after the end of astronomical twilight in the evening the Sun does not contribute to sky illumination...

Of the three types of twilight, we who live in urban areas are probably most interested in the first, Civil twilight.  Although the sun is below the horizon, during that period there’s still enough sky illumination to allow “normal activities” without artificial lighting.  (In Indiana the length of Civil twilight varies between 28 and 33 minutes.)  At the end of Civil twilight in the evening, the sky is still light; but if you plan on doing anything outdoors it’s time to turn the lights on.  During Nautical twilight sailors at sea can still make out the horizon clearly enough to do star sightings, but for those of us on land things just gradually get darker.  By the time we urbanites reach Astronomical twilight any remaining sky illumination has usually been swamped by the glow of city lights.

Now let’s look at Daylight saving, or, rather, let’s first not look at daylight saving.  Here’s a plot of the sunrise/sunset and Civil twilight data for Indianapolis for the year 2009.  Violet is darkness; the orange bands are the periods of Civil twilight:
Indiana hours of daylight

With daylight savings added, the plot looks like this:
Indiana hours of daylight - daylight savings time applied
As you can see, the major result is to extend the working day at the expense of the early morning.  But there are some other interesting effects:

If you prefer to “get up with the sun,” it’s harder to do under Daylight savings time.  Without DST, if your alarm sounds at 6:30, you’ll awaken to sunshine from April 1 to September 19 (172 days); and with enough light to walk out and get the paper from (roughly) March 14 to October 22 (223 days).  Apply DST, and sunrise comes at 6:30 or earlier only on the 63 days from May 15 to July 16, with Civil twilight beginning at 6:30 or earlier from April 21 to August 17 (119 days).  A 6 o’clock wakeup is worse: With DST, the sun is never in the sky at 6 or before (without DST: April 20-August 18 - 121 days), and Civil twilight is around for only 66 days, from May 14 to July 18.

You do get more light at the end of the day, just hope you don’t have kids to put to bed:  Even without DST the end of Civil twilight (remember, not darkness - that’s half-an-hour later) falls after 8:30 p.m. (2030) from May 22 to July 30.  Daylight saving makes the sky Civil-twilight-or-brighter from March 26 to September 9, with the latest end of Civil twilight at 9:50p.m. (2150) on June 26 and 27.  The golf courses love it, but pity the drive-in theater operators (or you, if you want to do some weeknight astronomy).

Eastbound drivers on the 7a.m. - 8a.m. morning commute also “benefitted” by getting to face the rising sun four times:  Between January 23 (sunrise 8:00) and March 7 (sunrise 7:08, at which point DST kicked in), from March 12 (8:00 daylight time) to April 19th (7:01 daylight),Rising sun lights neighborhood trees, 7:45am on November 1st. then from August 18 (7:00 daylight) to October 20 (8:00 daylight), with a final round from November 1 (7:14 standard time) to December 22 (8:00 standard).  My back-of-the-envelope calculation says DST gives them an extra 96 days of glare (and I wonder how many extra sun-in-the-eyes related accidents)!

Homeward commuters don’t have it quite as bad:  Drivers headed westbound between 5 and 6 o’clock face the sun for 29 days (from January 1 to January 28), 16 days from March 8 to March 23 (but only if their travel was 5:44 or later), and finally the 61 days from November 1 (when the end of DST moved sunset from 6:43 to 5:43) to the end of the year. Overall, 105 days under daylight, 103 without:  A wash, with the only disadvantage the sudden appearance of the setting sun on November 1.

That last congressional revision of DST dates also ensured that the latest sunrise of the year no longer falls in late December, when you might expect it. This year it took place on October 31, at 8:12 a.m..  (The latest December sunrise- actually December 30-January 8- is 8:06 a.m..  The final seven days in October have sunrises at 8:06 daylight or later, moving the end of DST to the first Sunday in November means those sunrises will always occur under daylight time.)

After the jump, “How dark is it?”


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In Passing

Paging Country Joe!

(Woulda linked this instead of quoting it, but Althouse doesn’t have her comment permlink anchors enabled.  So, in all its glory...)

Quayle said...
Gimme an F!
Gimme an I!
Gimme an S!
Gimme an K!
What's that spell ?
What's that spell ?
What's that spell ?

Yeah, come on all of you young rich men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible mess
Spendin’ too much on the tonsil-express
So give up your freedom and cough up your cash,
We're gonna have health in a flash.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we paying for ?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop: insurance scam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the money gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! We’re all gonna buy.

Well, come on doctors, let’s move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Gotta go out and black the red —
The only good patient is the one who’s dead
And you know that tumor can only be cured
If every last stiff is fully insured.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we paying for ?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop: insurance scam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the money gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! We’re all gonna buy.

Well, come on Wall Street, don't move slow,
Why man, this is Obama-go-go.
There’s plenty good money to be lost
By giving the unions a chance to boss,
Just hope and pray if the firm still tanks
They haven’t already killed the banks.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we paying for ?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop: insurance scam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the money gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! We’re all gonna buy.

Well, come on mothers throughout the land,
Insure your children with Uncle Sam.
Come on fathers, don't hesitate,
Get ‘em covered before it's too late.
When gran-mom takes her very last breath,
Give your thanks to the panel of death.

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we paying for ?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop: insurance scam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the money gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! We’re all gonna buy.

11/6/09 8:27 PM

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Friday, 06 November 2009

In Passing

“Great” minds...

Wotta “Coincidence”  Dept

4. Fnord:

Ah, Bruce Bawer, I guess that makes the soldiers who fragged officers during Vietnam terrorists too? I find it sickenming that you besmirch every muslim serving soldier, of wich there are many, because of the acts of one lone gunman. Many muslims are fighting on the US side in the war on terror, both in US uniform and in the coalition. (We Norwegians have several). Haters like you spit on their efforts.

Nov 6, 2009 - 2:18 am
Matt replied to Infidel Tiger
Fri 06 Nov 09 (05:33pm)

What difference does a name make?

Don’t you recall soldiers fragging their C.O’s in Vietnam?

Surely they were Muslim? Only Muslims can perpetuate such violence.

C’mon man this needs further investigating and a few hours of crappy mainstream media “journalism” by Fox & CNN shouldn’t be taken as the ‘word’.
Gee, almost like someone sent out a memo, innit?

(Crossposted at Daily Pundit.)

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The Press

The whole world is watching

...but all that’s on is infomercials  Dept
Bruce Bawer:
CNN [International] reporters kept hammering home the line that Hasan had been the victim of anti-Muslim prejudice by his military colleagues. Repeatedly they read out, and showed onscreen, a long statement from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemning the massacre — never mentioning, of course, CAIR’s well-established terrorist links.
Tim Blair:
The A[ustralian]BC’s Lisa Millar opened her midday report claiming to have “learned quite a lot about the gunman”, then revealed very little of it – apart from that Malik Nadal Hasan had “attracted a lot of harassment because of his last name” and “family background”.  This came about, Millar reported, despite Hasan being born and raised in the US.  Not mentioned in eight minutes of coverage: Hasan’s faith, which in a case like this is surely of interest.
America’s ABC eventually gets around to it, after listing various other biographical details.  In descending order of interest to that network:
• Hasan was an “army psychiatrist”
• He’d trained in Maryland
• He didn’t get good reports while assigned to Walter Reed
• He wasn’t married
• No kids
• His parents came from Jordan
Oh, and by the way ...
• A cousin describes him as “a pious lifelong Muslim”.
The paper [Los Angeles Times] has now whisked the original version of the story down the memory hole, and replaced it with a new one at the same Web address.  I knew they would do this, as they have a history of doing it. So I copied the whole text of the story as it appeared when I first did the post.  Read that here.  Then I copied a changed version at 6:46 p.m., after it was known that Hasan was alive.  That version also suppressed any mention of the items mentioned in this post. Read that version here.
Ace (added 091107 15:30)
Anyone See Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann Last Night?  ...Matthews and Olbermann kept trying to sell post-traumatic stress syndrome.  When it was learned this guy had never been in combat, they tried to sell the idea that he had PTSD from listening to other soldiers’ accounts of PTSD.

When it was revealed that he was Muslim, and hated the war, and was always screaming about the war, and hated Obama because he thought Obama would end the war, they continued trying to sell some kind of PTSD by proxy.

Matthews was particularly sick-making as he sounded very sympathetic notes about this poor, poor abused man, forced to deploy to a war he didn’t believe in.  Even after the facts were revealed, he was still trying to excuse this and blame this man
s mass-murder on Bushs foreign policy

I guess I don
t blame them for avoiding jumping the gun and blaming it on Sudden Jihad Syndome.  I guess I can understand the reluctance to engage in that kind of speculation.  (On the other hand, they sure were willing to speculate along the lines of every other conceivable motive.)

But once the facts came in?  And this fat butterheaded bastard is still trying to tell me that basically this is all my fault for starting a war that this poor man had to deploy to?

You can be sure that if the shooter’s name were “Timothy McVeigh Smith III” his background and ethnicity would be all over the news.  There would be no hesitency to conjecture about his motivations.  The headlines would be “WHITE SUPREMECIST or MILITIAMAN or ANTI-GOVERNMENT NEO-NAZI EXTREMIST OPENS FIRE ON SOLDIERS”.  And the AG, Homeland Secy, and FBI would be mobilized to fight right-wing extremism in a heartbeat.  Instead of giving shout-outs, Obama would be somber and lecturing us on tolerance and multiculturalism, and how this was caused by “hate radio.”

But since this was a Muslim with jihadi symnpathies, he is the real victim here, a “real American” (as his cousin stated) sent off the ledge by anti-Muslim bias and PTSD-by-proxy.
Bill Quick:
...I got up and as usual, turned on the local CBS radio channel while I shaved and did my situps.  I listen to this to get the conventional pundit wisdom, which the aptly-snarked Commie Broadcasting System delivers by the honeybucket load.

First thing up: A blabbering bimbette broadcaster telling us how awful it was that a soldier (unnamed) was forced into murderous insanity by the prospect of being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan.  She then played a tape of an army wife and mother saying, “I’d almost rather hear that he was a terrorist than that he killed ten of his fellow soldiers because he didn’t want to be deployed to Iraq.”

Lady, don’t listen to the blabbering, America-hating bimbettes of broadcasting.  He was a terrorist, a jihadi who committed mass slaughter on behalf of his religion.

And I thought, What’s the use?  The mainstream media is completely in the camp of America’s enemies...

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