Friday, 31 July 2009

In Passing

Why yes, I’ll review that book...

Arbitrary Alice Dept

...want me to recode your site, too?

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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

In Passing

If you’d wondered where all that bad American business-speak went...

Pure Dilbert Dept.’s alive and well in the British government:
“The Met has a dress code policy which states that only approved corporate badging may be used...”
(That’s a government spokesman.  Talking about the police department.)

Things may get bad here, but I still can’t imagine any of our corporate apparatchiks allowing such buzzword-laden jargon into any public statement.

Pity the report says nothing about the reporters’ reaction.  Hope it was derisive laughter.

Via:  doubleplusundead

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In Passing

WTF? design

Remember: Somebody got paid to come up with this Dept.
’97 Taurus Vulcan 123K miles:

Experiencing loss of: power steering assist, all window controls (none are lit up), rear window defrost controls, half of the MFS controls (only Hi, Lo, and turn signals work), and radio only when car is in R, (D), D, and 1.  Everything functions fine when put into P or N.
One component.
Give up?  (Unbelievable!)

Via:  Rittenhouse, who owns one.

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In Passing

Wrong foot, The, Getting off on...

Today’s example: Jeffrey Michael, quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times:

“We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization.”

Via:  Gabe at Ace  (who says: “On behalf of lawyers everywhere: Thank you!”)

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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

In Passing

Nah, didn’t happen...

Lileks on Watchmen:

One exchange stuck out - by which I mean, it made me roll my eyes so hard I almost tipped the couch over.  “What happened to the American Dream?” Owl-guy says to the Comedian, after they’ve dispatched a late-night demonstration demanding more police, instead of masked vigilantes.  “It came true!” grins the Comedian, meaning, all the violence and oppression and fear and war.  The dream was always a nightmare.  It wasn’t about a family and a place of your own and a car and a plot of land where your kids could play; it was really about pedophiliac murderers in filthy apartments and Nixon’s third term and the repression of.alternative energy, and other inevitable consequences of the fascist model masquerading as liberal democracy.

(Links added, 2nd link via IPNote: This post intended more as snarky sideswipe than as great profundity!)

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Spreading the credit

I guess that it’s a good thing that whenever I start to develop that know-it-all attitude I get a reminder that I’m not always up-to-date on the latest web fads.  This particular one reached me late, with no information about its creator.  Now that I know about it, I thought others might like to know, too.

In mid-May I received an e-mail (with the subject line: “FW: Cat Movie!!”) with this animation attached:

It was new to me, but, as it turned out, not new to the net.[1]  (Sissy Willis had written about it a year and one-half ago.)  I blame missing it on the lack of Flash on my system coupled with my creaky dialup, which has encouraged me to discourage my correspondents from sending me enormous files.  But this time someone did, and fortunately for me someone else, somewhere along the line, had WMV-ed it, so I was finally able to view it.

Unfortunately, like a lot of stuff on the web, the version I got came with no information about it.  Fortunately, a couple of days ago (in a post about cats who control their owners), Sissy linked to her earlier one.  So, off I went to find out more.

The cat is called (simply enough) “Simon’s Cat,” and his perpetrator is animator Simon Tofield, who is associated with Tandem Films, London [site requires Flash, unfortunately].  This particular film, Cat Man Do, is the first of (so far) four short Simon’s Cat animations, all of which can be found at the not-so-much-Flash official Simon’s Cat site

There’s also a book, which is due out in October.

So, now you know.


[1]  If it should happen that you are one of the five people on the net who have managed not to see this yet... well, go look (and then come back)!

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In Passing

Keep ’em busy

Ilya Somin:

Members of bar exam boards.. and presidents and other high officials of state bar associations should be required to take and pass the bar exam every year by getting the same passing score that they require of ordinary test takers.  Any who fail to pass should be immediately dismissed from their positions, and their failure publicly announced (perhaps at a special press conference by the state attorney general).  And they should be barred from ever holding those positions again until - you guessed it - they take and pass the exam.

After all, if the bar exam covers material that any practicing lawyer should know, then surely the lawyers who lead the state bar and administer the bar exam system itself should be required to know it.  If they don’t, how can they possibly be qualified for the offices they hold?  Surely it’s no excuse to say that they knew it back when they themselves took the test, but have since forgotten.  How could any client rely on a lawyer who is ignorant of basic professional knowledge, even if he may have known it years ago?
Not to mention that with all those lawyers occupied with re-passing the exam, they’d have that much less time for harassing the rest of us.

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Friday, 24 July 2009

In Passing

“A statistical tie with Sarah Palin”

Instapundit notes that Rasmussen’s 51% disapproval figure for Obama effectively ties (within margin of error) Sarah Palin’s 53%“Doubly astounding given the disparate press treatment[1] they’ve gotten,” he says.  “I doubt the media coverage will emphasize that.”  Me neither.


[1] LATER 090727 21:41: Cynthia sez:
...With the entire mainstream media establishment AND the Democratic Party AND feminists AND the left blogosphere — and way too many backstabbing conservatives whose elitist sense of entitlement means the world no longer makes sense to them when an upstart like Gov. Palin with a state university degree can beat the Ivy League and plutocratic aristocracy — ALL working night and day to destroy Gov. Palin, a -13 percent negative rating is the BEST they could do?


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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

In Passing

Honduras serves notice on Venezuela; rattles sabres

Xinhua Agency:

Honduras’ interim government on Tuesday gave 72 hours to Venezuelan diplomats to leave, accusing them of threatening to use force and interfering into the country’s internal affairs.

“The Foreign Ministry has requested the honorable embassy of Venezuela the withdrawal of its administrative, technical and diplomatic staff in a term of 72 hours due to the threats of using force, the interference in internal issues as well as the lack of respect to the territorial integrity,” Deputy Foreign Minister Martha Lorena Alvarado said.

The request, however, was turned down by Vezezuelan diplomats who said they would not leave Honduras and would not obey the order of any coup government not recognized by Venezuela.
As diplomat-speak goes, the Foreign Ministry’s announcement is rather strong.  Typically, should some second secretary get caught with his hand in the cookie jar (or in bed with the prime minister's sister), he’s simply declared “persona non grata” and tossed out without further explanation.  By listing specific reasons (“threats of using force, the interference in internal issues.., lack of respect to the territorial integrity”), the DFM has upped the volume on this one.[1]  Note also that any one of the three reasons given could be grounds for a declaration of war.

Question for the international lawyers out there:  If the Venezuelans are still in Honduras at the end of the 72-hour period, does that mean they forfeit any diplomatic immunity?

Link via Ace.
[1]  Interference in the internal affairs of the host country is a violation of the Vienna Convention (Art.41§1).

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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

In Passing

When “compromise” means “giving them half of what they ask for”

Policy wonks arguing with true believers  Dept.

And I once held the opinion that Arnold Kling was a smart guy...
1.  We are here whenever President Obama wants to try to stop the insanity on Capitol Hill.  Instead, he keeps outsourcing his policies to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  Thus, the stimulus that will take effect two years after the recession started.  Thus, the cap and trade bill that is mostly corporate welfare with a smidgen of CO2 reduction.  And thus a health care bill that worsens the outlook for government spending on health care.
And thus, Arnold assumes that the President has no idea of what his allies in Congress have been up to, that their actions don’t match the President’s desires, and that all these unfortunate consequences were accidental and unintended.
2.  We will help the President convert the tax deductibility of health benefits to a refundable tax credit, as supported by economists of all political persuasions.  That would help pay for reform and also help “bend the cost curve.”
...assuming that “reform” and “bending the cost curve” are actual goals of the president’s program, rather than pretexts.
3.  We will help the President convert Medicare and Medicaid to means-tested and illness-tested vouchers, which would give the United States what other countries have--a fixed budget for health care, rather than an open-ended spending commitment.
...assuming that the Democrats want a program that’s “fixed-budget” rather than an “open ended” one designed to create more and more dependants.
4.  We will support comparative effectiveness research, as long as it is used in the context of a system where patients and doctors make decisions, rather than have rationing imposed on them from the government.
...assuming that the President’s goal is to improve medical care, not tell people what to do.

Kling titles his post “Why I am Not a Republican.”  I’m glad he’s not, his “wet” beltway libertarianism would make him another part of the problem.

UPDATE 090722 21:25:  In the spirit of the above (but with less charity and more rage‘n’snark), “eddiebear” goes after David Brooks.

Kling Via:  Insty.

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