Friday, 29 June 2007


William Bennett on not teaching history is a double tragedy: a) our children no longer know their country’s history and b) the story they do not know is the greatest political story ever told.
Read the whole thing.

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Thursday, 28 June 2007


A question that still needs answering

LocoPunk: Immigration Politics: Where's the Dark Matter? (excerpt)

If there's any one attribute that characterizes Republican members of Congress, it's gutlessness... The Republican side of Congress has been meek and almost silent during the prolonged stretches of time when George Bush needed their support on the war, Social Security reform, over-the-top partisan charges of lying and corruption, and other controversies...

Yet... numerous Republicans in both the Senate and the House look almost fearless in their defense of a legislative compromise with Teddy Kennedy (of all people!) for the purpose of ramming a carelessly written time bomb of an immigration bill through the United States Congress... Lindsey Graham blithely tosses around terms like 'bigotry,' John McCain gets in the face of rank-and-file Republicans in New Hampshire with a challenge to propose a better idea or shut up... All this in the context of the fact that the polls do NOT show a universal mandate for passage of some kind of a comprehensive immigration bill, no matter how half-assed and fraudulent its enforcement provisions are...

What lobby or combination of lobbies is so omnipotent as to transform lifelong political cowards into reckless gamblers who sneer right in the faces of the voters who put them in office? Where's the benefit that outweighs the enormity of the risk? What's worth the potential cost of giving the opposition a generation-long veto-proof majority in Congress?
Dark Matter. The stuff we can't see that has to be there anyway.

UPDATE 070628 22:43: Theories floated at AOS.

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The "Six Year" Party

"The Cranky Neocon" at Six Meat Buffet proposes a platform, and calls for volunteers:

Give us six years at the helm of our Great Republic and we promise the following:
  • We shall accept no money from any business or activist group. Only individual donors.
  • We shall not bring money back to our home districts except that which has been clearly specified in a publicly accessible spending bill.
  • We shall do away with useless government programs.
  • We shall do away with Peanut and excessive farm subsidies.
  • Each elected official in our party will run for one and only one term.
  • We shall not be personally involved in any real estate, arms procurement or other business transactions that would benefit any friends, family or associate.
  • We will fund a real, tangible border fence.
  • We will craft a real and healthy immigration policy that provides for inexpensive agricultural labor.
  • We shall not craft any feel-good legislation that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
  • We shall not craft any social engineering legislation which federally recognizes a homosexual civil union as “marriage”.
  • We shall defund any costly symbolic programs like the “War on Drugs"
Not a bad start... Of course, the devil is always in the details.

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Saturday, 16 June 2007


Victorian-ized technology

(click image)
Via Andrea Harris, who wants one.

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Monday, 11 June 2007


Linkety Linkety

Sopranos by Checkov

Stanislavsky told Checkov something that is a sort of matrix for all drama, "If you leave a loaded gun on the table, it has to go off before the play ends." In other words, it's a play and not real life. You must tie certain things up.

Well in the Sopranos there were rifles, pistols, and machine guns left sitting on the table and none of them went off. A totally shitty ending, one that Stanislavsky would not have allowed, no matter how good the writing. Were the Sopranos a play it would close out of town...

And the first thing we'll do (a.k.a. "Don't you know there's a war on?  Part XXVII")
There may be an unlimited supply of explosives in Iraq, but there is not an unlimited supply of people who know how to wire the detonators. In 2004, CIA operatives in Iraq believed that they had identified the signatures of 11 bomb makers. They proposed a diabolical -- but potentially effective -- sabotage program that would have flooded Iraq with booby-trapped detonators designed to explode in the bomb makers' hands. But the CIA general counsel's office said no. The lawyers claimed that the agency lacked authority for such an operation, one source recalled. -- David Ignatius (bolding by Rich Lowry)

Congrats to LGF, back on the air after Saturday's drive crash.

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Sunday, 10 June 2007


If the Munchkins had been Minnesotans

Silly (but telling) stereotypical one-liner in the third paragraph.

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Friday, 08 June 2007


Magic (?) box

(Day late, but wotthehel!)

Today in 1946 [actually June 7th, see note], television in Britain resumed after the war. The announcer Leslie Mitchell said: "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted ..."
Which is sufficient excuse for posting some television history links:
John Logie Baird, with early TV system
John Logie Baird produced the first moving television image (in 1925) and the first public transmissions (at 30 lines!) in 1930.

Test Cards -- rarely seen nowadays.

Indian Head Monoscope ImageNot from a card, but from a tube. The RCA "Indian Head" monoscope image. Chuck Pharis recovered the original artwork, and has prints for sale.

Teletext never got off the ground in the U.S., but elsewhere...

Uncle Miltie with NBC cameraNBC, ABC, and CBS color presentation logos from the '50s and '60s. (That's not a logo, that's Uncle Miltie!)
More to come...

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Saturday, 02 June 2007


Engineer's Disease

"You are suffering from Stage Three Engineer's Disease.  There is no cure.  You will spend your retirement building live steam models."
Our host makes a diagnosis (start here, then scroll up to comment #1, then the rest of the way).  Yes.

Update:  A warning of dire consequences.

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Friday, 01 June 2007


Mind-bogglingly tone-deaf

The London 2012 Olympic Committee tries some viral marketing of their announcement of the Offical London 2012 brand. Diamond Geezer provides coverage snarkage of the Official Four-Day Online Awareness Campaign:

Presumably this is the great and thrilling moment when someone fires up a Powerpoint presentation and reveals
  • the London 2012 brand all-inclusive slogan
  • the London 2012 brand swirly logo wotsit
  • the London 2012 brand mission statement thingy
I bet you can't wait.

The whole bluddy story is: here.

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