Thursday, 31 January 2008

Linkage

Our dysfunctional nomination process


“Anyone willing to do what is required to become president of the United States is thereby barred from taking that office.” – text of the “Greenspan amendment”

Two related posts:

Morgan Freeberg, at House of Eratosthenes:
Now, here, we have a situation where none of the listed candidates have much of an idea about what they would do.  I’m tellin’ ya, something is going on here.  I’m not that old.  I remember when that was what it was all about.  But we’ve become so obsessed with full heads o’hair, sparkly smiles, twinkling eyes, charisma-charisma-charisma, the gift of jibber-jabber and making people feel good…what the hell do I know about any of these people?  I mean, really?
Andrew Ferguson, in The Weekly Standard:
The premise seems to be that vein-popping ambition, unrestrained avidity, is a necessary if not sufficient quality for someone who wants to hold the highest political position in a democratic country.

Read them.  Then think about what we might do to change things.


Via: DP (Freeberg), IP (Ferguson)

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Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Linkage

Chicago's most beautiful cat


The Tribune's RedEye has selected the 32 finalists for its first annual “Chicago’s Most Beautiful Cat” tournament.  (Several are shelter/rescue kitties. Hurrah!)  Here are five of the finalists:
Five of the finalists
First round voting is now through noon C.S.T. on January 31, with the “sweet sixteen” voting beginning immediately after.

UPDATE 080131 22:49: Willow and Mully made the “sweet sixteen.”

View all the nominees and vote here.

Hatttip: jek

More cat stuff: Didn’t know IndyFeral did a calendar, but they do and now it’s on sale.

Via: Wildrun

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Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Linkage

Politically inconvenient


Claudia Rosett points out the sudden disappearance of Hesham Islam's Pentagon profile (turn on the lights, and the roaches scurry away).

Then there's the there-yesterday-gone-today speech at the State Department website (guess we can't handle the truth).

Seems the “memory hole” is alive, well, and living in Washington.


Via: Instapundit

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Linkage

British sur-reality


Mark Steyn makes a prediction:

My favorite headline of the year so far comes from The Daily Mail in Britain: “Government Renames Islamic Terrorism As ‘Anti-Islamic Activity’ To Woo Muslims.”
...
So, henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated “anti-Islamic activity.”
...
[Which] should add a certain surreal quality to BBC news bulletins: “The Prime Minister today condemned the latest anti-Islamic activity as he picked through the rubble of Downing Street looking for his 2008 Wahhabi Community Outreach Award. In a related incident, the anti-Islamic activists who blew up Buckingham Palace have unfortunately caused the postponement of the Queen's annual Ramadan banquet.”


Via: Instapundit

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Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Linkage

If he keeps this up...


C.G. Hill will have to turn in his curmudgeon credentials.

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Saturday, 19 January 2008

Linkage

"Hurry, Smithers, my smelling-salts!"


Teresa covers a “tremendous upheaval in the ranks of Romance Writers.”

Black-footed ferrets are involved.

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Friday, 18 January 2008

Linkage

"Too True" department



*...as taught in American schools.

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Thursday, 17 January 2008

Linkage

Another world


Things are just different in Packer Nation:

You know it's Wisconsin when the Sheriff's spokesman goes out of his way to point out that there's still a chance the kid may have been a Packer fan:
The boy's refusal to wear the jersey may have just been rebellion, he said. "We've been unable to uncover any evidence to suggest that this boy was not a Packers fan," Smith said. - Associated Press story posted by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Read on...

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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Linkage

I-35W bridge: another datapoint


The gusset plates were undersized:

The collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge may have originated with the failure of gusset plates that were sized a half-inch too thin in the original 1960s design, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Tuesday.
...
The NTSB also warned bridge engineers nationwide... to review the designs and recalculate maximum loads on the estimated 12,600 similar steel deck truss bridges.
...
The sizing error occurred in the original design process at Sverdrup & Parcel, a St. Louis firm that was later acquired by Jacobs Engineering. Because original work papers are missing, investigators don't know whether it was a math mistake or other miscue, [NTSB chairman Mark] Rosenker said.

He said no deficiencies have been found in the bridge's steel or concrete.


UPDATE 080117 15:21: Glenn Reynolds points to a Popular Mechanics story which includes this curious sentence:
The findings confirmed forecasts by investigators from three months after the collapse—plus engineering experts in the immediate aftermath— and underscored the dire state of America’s crumbling infrastructure.
’Scuse me, but how does a design mistake made during the Johnson administration (and not caught until now) have anything to do with the overall state of America's infrastructure today? Less spin, please.

Links to previous posts after the break...
more...

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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Linkage

The perfect China story


...including “all the threads of the modern, Chinese narrative”:

  • Social Issues
  • Sex
  • Corruption
  • Mass Incidents
  • Ants
Now, read on...

Via boingboing via Lileks.

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