Friday, 30 May 2008

In Passing

The real Memorial Day

Memorial Day used to fall on May 30th, not the “last Monday in May.” What changed things was the Nixon-era National Holiday Act of 1971. The same law that turned the Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday holidays into the amorphously generic “Presidents’ Day” made Memorial Day the tag end of just another three-day weekend.

My grandmother always called it “Decoration Day,” which was what it was all about: Placing flowers on the graves of soldiers fallen in (originally) the Civil War[1] and (after World War I) of any American who had died in any war.

There’s something about a mid-week holiday that heightens the sense of occasion- something we don’t get when the holiday is just the rain date for the Indianapolis 500. Congress may have realized this when, in 2000, it called for a “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3 pm every May 30th. Good start, but still not the same.

Memorial Day history, and information about efforts to restore the May 30 date, here.


[1] Memorial Day on May 30th was initially observed only in the north.  States of the former Confederacy had (and in some cases still have) different days for honoring the Confederate dead.

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Friday, 23 May 2008

In Passing

Decision marks a “victory?”

Glenn Reynolds: a victory for free speech, British prosecutors have dropped the “cult” prosecution, saying that it doesn’t make out a crime.
It’s not that much of a “victory” when the net result is that you need some bureaucrat’s opinion before you can be sure that telling the truth is allowable.  Despite the sensible outcome, the fact remains that the police response defaulted to supression,[1] and the speaker involved had to begin to prepare a defense.  Both should remain a concern for any friend of liberty.

The Guardian:
Background (BBC online):

[1] From the BBC:
A spokeswoman for City of London Police said they had received complaints about the use of the words “cult” and “scientology kills” and warned protestors their signs breached the Public Order Act.

Chief Supt Rob Bastable said: “City of London Police upholds the right to demonstrate lawfully, but we have to balance that with the right of all sections of community not to be alarmed, harassed or distressed as a result of other people's behaviour.”

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Thursday, 22 May 2008

In Passing

Really clever, Yahoo!

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In Passing

Hey Congress, how about some hearings on THIS?

Instead of wasting everyone’s time investigating NFL cheating?

Anderson told him that the desires of the base exchange customers would have no influence and play no role in their decision making process. Anderson also stated that even appeals from high ranking military officers could not persuade Anderson to carry a title. Apparently, in Anderson's mind, they outrank the Joint Chiefs of Staff when it comes to doing business on military bases.

Anderson News Company has almost a complete monopoly over the books carried on Army, Navy and Air Force book shelves in the following US states:

We’re talking about stocking a book that presently ranks #204 on Amazon sales.

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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

In Passing

Race to the bottom

“Obama promises to do his best to even the martial playing field world wide by gutting the military strength of the US — ostensibly, to divert that spending (from one of the few areas where government should be spending) to areas more in tune with his “vision” and to the vision of progressives everywhere: a militarily impotent US, whose vast economic resources are used to fund the pet social engineering projects of those too smart to wait around for sloppy and ineffectual democracy to catch up with the plans our betters have for us...” - Jeff Goldstein, who has the video

“John McCain has promised to bring Democrats into his Cabinet and work with Democrats in Congress. ... Does it mean that when Democrats disagree with him he will embrace their ideas just to get along? If so, why should voters vote Republican?” - Cal Thomas (via Daily Pundit)

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Monday, 19 May 2008

In Passing

If we were serious about energy independence... this time of record food prices, we’d spend $300 billion to fund Jerry Pournelle’s “100 1000-megawatt nuclear generators” energy program, instead of on a farm “aid” bill that will force us to pay inflated prices for sugar to make ethanol.

Of course we won’t do that.


HT:  Daily Pundit (for the Examiner link), “oa,” in comments at VFTP (For the reminder about the Frank James post).

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Friday, 16 May 2008

In Passing

Last night’s internet geekery

Seems a CMU research assistant, possibly named Tae Yano, is working on an artificial intelligence project (partially funded by DARPA) which involves analyzing posts at Little Green Footballs (among other sites). Seems she left her permissions “public.” Oops!

We here at LGF have been rollicking through your files. Interesting stuff! Would you care to let us in on the purpose of your experiment involving LGF and other blogs? If not, how about just the methodology, You have sparked quite a conversation.

*All* of your files seem to be wide open to the public. You need some CHMOD, and quick (of course, I can only speak about the files in directories I can see--but nothing seems to be missing, heh!).

Good Luck,

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In Passing

If we were serious about reducing energy prices...

...we could end the moratorium on oil shale development in Colorado.

Of course we won’t do that.

Via Instapundit, who asks, “Are these guys on the Saudi payroll, or what?”


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Thursday, 15 May 2008

In Passing

Breaking the First Rule of Business

I started to say I didn’t want a reservation, I wanted to hand her $30 and move up one freaking row, but it felt like I was on the phone with Bangalore and couldn’t get a supervisor, so I just shut up and drank
. - Ed Cone
O.G.’s First Rule of Business:
“When the customer offers you cash, for something you offer for sale, do not hesitate:
Take the damn money!

Via:  Jeff Jarvis


(Later: In an amazing string of comments at both Cone’s and Jarvis’s sites, the Elite Road Warriors make excuses for the broken system, revel in their own “elite” status, and “blame the victim” for being cheap/not doing the research/not buying in advance. Here’s a clue, guys:  As a customer, union contracts, broken reservation software, “maintaining perceived value” and “we didn’t think of that” are not my problem.  If a business wants my business, it will deal with it or die.  And for the Elite:  What happens to all those perks when your favorite airline goes bankrupt?)

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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

In Passing

Tim Blair Co-Opted, World Reels

Getting the news late, as usual...

Adjust your bookmarks, people. We’ve shifted over here.

The new site - the shiny new Daily Telegraph site - is only an hour or so old as I write and very much a work in progress. No links yet to other blogs, nor do I have any idea how comments are meant to happen. Give it (and me) a few days. - Tim Blair, May 11, 2008: “Site Moved”
’Twill be interesting to see how it works out... over the years Tim has grown quite a community; it would be extremely unfortunate for that to get lost in the process. And there’s already concern amongst the masses.

I agree with Kathy: If News had any sense, they’d implement registration (for Troll Control) and hire Andrea (right now) as moderator and gatekeeper. Kill two birds with one stone.

Meanwhile, I think I’d better run past the old place and copy down all those Detective Paco stories.

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 21:19:27 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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