Politics, culture, business, and technology

I also blog at ChicagoBoyz.


Selected Posts:
Sleeping with the Enemy
Dancing for the Boa Constrictor
Koestler on Nuance
A Look into the Abyss
Hospital Automation
Made in America
Politicians Behaving Badly
Critics and Doers
Foundations of Bigotry?
Bonhoeffer and Iraq
Misvaluing Manufacturing
Journalism's Nuremberg?
No Steak for You!
An Academic Bubble?
Repent Now
Enemies of Civilization
Molly & the Media
Misquantifying Terrorism
Education or Indoctrination?
Dark Satanic Mills
Political Violence Superheated 'steem
PC and Pearl Harbor
Veterans' Day Musings
Arming Airline Pilots
Pups for Peace
Baghdad on the Rhine

Book Reviews:
Forging a Rebel
The Logic of Failure
The Innovator's Solution
They Made America
On the Rails: A Woman's Journey

arts & letters daily
natalie solent
critical mass
john bruce
joanne jacobs
number 2 pencil
roger l simon
common sense and wonder
sheila o'malley
invisible adjunct
red bird rising
academic game
rachel lucas
betsy's page
one hand clapping
a schoolyard blog
joy of knitting
lead and gold
damian penny
annika's journal
little miss attila
no credentials
university diaries
trying to grok
a constrained vision
victory soap
business pundit
right reason
quid nomen illius?
sister toldjah
the anchoress
reflecting light
dr sanity
all things beautiful
dean esmay
brand mantra
economics unbound
dr melissa
dr helen
right on the left coast
digital Rules
college affordability
the energy blog
tinkerty tonk
meryl yourish
kesher talk
assistant village idiot
evolving excellence
neptunus lex
the daily brief
roger scruton
bookworm room
villainous company
lean blog

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Friday, January 30, 2009  

See my post at Chicago Boyz.

8:10 AM

Tuesday, January 27, 2009  

Neptunus Lex reflects on a less-than-perfect carrier landing, a verbal interchange that probably shouldn't have happened, and the nature of leadership. Also relevant to those who are not attack pilots or naval officers; indeed, worthwhile reading for anyone who holds any kind of position of authority.

The Colossus of Rhodey writes about the lust for moral ambiguity, particularly in popular entertainment.

Josephfouche, writing at ChicagoBoyz, draws an interesting parallel between the thoughts of the military theorist Carl von Clausewitz and the recent work of Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan).

John Hussman has thoughts on the true causes of the recession and the potential cures thereof.

Philip Howard on How Modern Law Makes Us Powerless.

7:31 AM

Saturday, January 24, 2009  

The Macintosh computer celebrates its 25th anniversary today. Which reminds me of something Rich Karlgaard wrote last week in reflecting on his own rocky relationship with Steve Jobs:

"Steve Jobs had fallen in love with typography while at Reed College..."

Jobs actually dropped out of Reed after one semester, but hung around and audited a few courses, including one on calligraphy.

What if Jobs had followed a more typical educational path, majoring in business or in electrical engineering and taking only required electives? He would probably have never been exposed to typography, and the history of the computer industry would have been very different.

And Steve would have been a lot less wealthy.

6:21 AM


Went to see Defiance a couple of days ago. This is the story (based on real events) of a group of Jews in Nazi-occupied Byelorussia who obtained weapons, moved deep into the forest, and established a community there, sometimes joining with Russian partisans for raids on German troops and on local collaborators.

This post (via a comment by Eric at Bookworm) indicates that many "official" reviewers did not like this movie very much, and cites an absolutely bizarre passage in a review published by CNN:

It's a remarkable story, one that should have inspired a more exciting and original movie than this sluggish compendium of earnest debates and hackneyed battle scenes.

The timing is unfortunate. For a story that has gone neglected for the best part of 60 years, this is hardly the ideal week to be extolling heroic Jewish resistance fighters. Ari Folman's angst-laden nonfiction animated film, "Waltz With Bashir," is altogether more relevant.

Zwick's Hollywood liberal credentials are not in doubt, but his films have a surprisingly gung-ho undercurrent (they include such martial adventures as "The Last Samurai," "Glory," "The Siege," "Legends of the Fall" and "Courage Under Fire").

So, films are now supposed to be assessed based on the "Hollywood liberal credentials" of their directors? And the past heroism of Jews fighting their would-be murderers must only be portrayed and celebrated when Jews are not currently fighting other would be murderers?

Americans must no longer allow their opinions on movies, or on anything else, to be mediated by the court scribes of the old media. For movies as for books, reviews by "nonprofessionals" posted on blogs and on sites like Amazon are generally much more enlightening than those by the "professionals."

Defiance will not go down as one of the great movies of all time, but it holds your interest and it tells a story that ought to be better known. Go and see it if you have a chance.

cross-posted at Chicago Boyz

6:09 AM

Wednesday, January 21, 2009  

Secret Lives of Scientists has some interesting pictures, taken with electron microscopes.

7:56 AM

Saturday, January 17, 2009  

Zombie has extensive photo and video coverage of anti-Israel demonstrations around the world. Not pleasant viewing, but it's important to understand how much of this stuff is going on and just how virulent it is.

Here's a video about the inculcation of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic beliefs in Palestinian children, and the use of these children as human shields by Hamas.

A report on the sinister activities of the United Nations agency known as UNWRA.

On a much more positive note, here's coverage of a pro-Israel demonstration in Italy. Fiamma Nirenstein, a journalist and new member of the Italian Parliament, believes that the obvious thuggishness of Hamas is leading to a revusion agains the "progressive" justification and romanticization of terrorist violence. I hope she is right, but I'm less sanguine. Many of those who identify as "progressives" feel such rage against their own societies that they have no anger left for the terrorist enemies of civilization, and are indeed all too willing to make common cause with these enemies.

Cross-posted at Chicago Boyz.

5:49 AM

Thursday, January 15, 2009  

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him

--G K Chesterton

(I'm not sure where the above image originated--I first saw it on Robert Avrech's blog, but it's apparently been around for some time. In any event, it's a brilliant piece of work.)

Update: The cost of hate: the Gaza Riviera that could have been.

2:16 PM

Tuesday, January 13, 2009  

Check out the Elevator Safety and Economic Opportunity Act of 2009. At Chicago Boyz.

6:47 AM

Monday, January 12, 2009  

Joe Wurlzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber) is on the scene in this PJTV video hosted by Roger Simon.

6:36 AM

Sunday, January 11, 2009  

Bookworm, herself a lawyer, takes apart a law professor's assertion that Israel's actions in Gaza are in violation of international law.

Daniel Jackson, a Rabbi living in Israel, takes issue with a very negative cover story in Time magazine.

The Reverend Dr Mark Durie, Vicar of Caulfield, speaks out against Israel-bashing.

UPDATE: Yesterday, Naomi Klein called for a worldwide boycott against Israel. David Hirsh has a devastating response.

via Meryl Yourish, who has an extensive set of posts about events in Gaza and media coverage thereof.

5:33 AM

Friday, January 09, 2009  

Back in December, I posted about legislation which was passed to protect children from harmful substances in clothing, toys, and other products. However well-intentioned this legislation may have been, it was apparently drafted without proper attention to the practical issues involved with compliance, and it appears that it will devastate the businesses of many companies--especially small ones--and will greatly reduce product diversity.

It appears that homecrafters may also run into trouble with this law: where knitting and government meet.

Cross-posted at Chicago Boyz

3:46 PM

Thursday, January 08, 2009  

...seems to have lost any vestigial connection to reality that he might have had:

..this fragile truce was partially broken on Nov. 4, when Israel launched an attack in Gaza to destroy a defensive tunnel being dug by Hamas...

Most Democrats aren't as extreme on the subject of Israel as is Carter: still, they tend to be much more negative toward Israel than are Republicans:

A Rasmussen poll conducted in the last week of 2008 found that while 62 percent of Republicans backed Israel’s action in Gaza, only 31 percent of Democrats did. Almost three-quarters of Republicans blamed Hamas for starting this war; only a minority of Democrats agreed. Republicans are 20 points more friendly toward Israel than Democrats.

At the link, David Frum analyzes some of the reasons for these differences.

UPDATE: Bookworm overhears comments by another Marin County liberal...who thinks Carter's statements were right on, and who says, concerning the Israelis and the rocket attacks:

Well, it’s just one town in Israel. They should leave.

2:44 PM

Wednesday, January 07, 2009  

Roger Simon:

If your only information about the current Middle East crisis came from CNN, you’d think it boiled down to a bunch of high-tech Israeli bullies running around Gaza torturing Palestinian women and children, while tossing smart bombs on hospitals and blowing up UN schools with Merkava tanks. Almost no context is given. That Israel had done virtually nothing for the three years since voluntarily withdrawing from Gaza but grin and bare it, as missiles after missile, many courtesy of Iran, flew willy-nilly into the Southern part of their country – a fusillade no nation on Earth, civilized or uncivilized, would begin to tolerate – is barely mentioned or mumbled into a half-audible mike...

Read the whole thing. Roger also announces a new Pajamas TV site, with direct reporting from bloggers in Israel.

Also see Steve Emerson on The New York Times and Hamas.

7:39 AM


Thoughts from Mark Steyn and Ed Driscoll.

7:06 AM

Tuesday, January 06, 2009  

Bookworm tries to discuss the situation in Gaza with a Marin County liberal.

10:47 AM

Monday, January 05, 2009  

…could someone please remind me?

Because based on the images and stories below, it seems like it might be 1932 in Germany, as Nazi street thugs work to complete the destruction of the Weimar Republic.

Or it might be 1928 in one of those American cities where the Ku Klux Klan is running rampant.

Here are reports and videos from some of the anti-Israel (and often openly anti-Semitic) demonstrations that have been held around the world since Israel launched its Gaza incursion...(continued at Chicago Boyz)

1:56 PM

Sunday, January 04, 2009  

Lots of coverage at Sense of Events; see also this at Robert Avrech's blog.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn has a thoughtful column.

6:32 AM

Saturday, January 03, 2009  

Went to see the film last Tuesday, and I agree with Lex (of Chicago Boyz) that it is well worth seeing. Cruise does a credible job as Stauffenberg, and most of the acting is well done, although the mix of accents…a lot of American English and various flavors of English-English, plus a bit of German…was slightly bizarre. I was particularly impressed with Halina Reijn’s portrayal of a minor character, Margarethe van Oven (secretary to the conspirators.) She had almost no speaking lines, but has a wonderfully expressive face, and uses it well to portray her character’s emotions.

One aspect of the film, though, seems to me to be unjust and historically inaccurate.

continued at Chicago Boyz

8:19 AM

Thursday, January 01, 2009  

Today is the 117th birthday of Ellis Island. Sheila O'Malley has pictures and an essay.

11:36 AM


Hope you enjoyed the extra day and the extra second more than Microsoft did.

6:26 AM

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