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, October 31, 2008  

...as if things weren't scary enough already.

Tom O'Bedlam sets the mood.

4:02 PM


Fouad Ajami on Obama and the politics of crowds. Excerpt:

My boyhood, and the Arab political culture I have been chronicling for well over three decades, are anchored in the Arab world. And the tragedy of Arab political culture has been the unending expectation of the crowd — the street, we call it — in the redeemer who will put an end to the decline, who will restore faded splendor and greatness.

Via Betsy, who has some interesting commentary:

I heard Mark Steyn say the other day that so many schools today have posters with abstract nouns in the halls like Achievement, Effort, and Character and that it’s no coincidence that a generation educated among such posters would fall hard for a candidate of Hope and Change.

Cross-posted at Chicago Boyz.

5:00 AM

Thursday, October 30, 2008  

First Republican vote at 89.

3:07 PM


The second part of this post is now up at Chicago Boyz.

6:07 AM


Evolving Excellence continues his manufacturing tour of Japan. This whole series is well worth reading.

6:04 AM

Wednesday, October 29, 2008  

Robert Avrech went to a script conference the other day, and ran straight into the Inquisition.

(cross-posted at Chicago Boyz)

5:41 AM

Tuesday, October 28, 2008  

See my post at Chicago Boyz.

2:33 PM


Evolving Excellence visits Toyota in Kyushu.

9:24 AM

Monday, October 27, 2008  

In their BusinessWeek column, Mr and Ms Welch list some factors providing grounds for optimism about the economy. See my Chicago Boyz post for reasons why I think these factors would be undercut by an Obama victory at the polls.

2:23 PM

Sunday, October 26, 2008  

Back in April, the LA Times reported that Barack Obama was present at a going-away party for Rashid Khalidi, "an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights" who was leaving Chicago for a new job in NYC:

A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

The tone of the evening was, pretty clearly, very anti-Israel. According to the New York Sun, the attendees also included the ex-Weatherman domestic terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers.

The event was videotaped, and the LA Times reporter explicitly stated that "the event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times." However, the LA Times is apparently refusing to release this videotape, which clearly could be very damaging to Obama's Presidential chances. Charles Johnson of LGF:

If true, this is media malfeasance of an almost astounding degree. They have a video that could change the stakes in this election and they’re hiding it. And they’ve been hiding it since last April.

Additional light on the views of Mr Khalidi (who has denied having been a PLO operative) are shed by his statements here. Note his use of the phrase "Zionist propaganda tool."

See also Bookworm.

6:59 PM


A couple of interesting-looking books by bloggers are coming out in the near future:

From Roger Simon comes Blacklisting Myself, which is about his experiences living and working in Hollywood while challenging the prevailing orthodoxy.

From Sgt Mom, who writes books as Celia Hayes, comes a historical novel...well, actually, three historical novels, The Adelsverein Trilogy. It's about a largely-unknown episode in Texas history:

The Adelsverein story begins early in the 1840s, when a group of high-born and socially conscious German noblemen conceived the notion of establishing a colony of German farmers and craftsmen in Texas. Under-funded, over-extended, scammed by scallywags and beset with bad advice, the association still dispatched more than thirty-six chartered ships carrying over 7,000 immigrants to the ports of Galveston and Indianola, in the short space of five years. The gently-rolling limestone and oak-forested hill country of south-central Texas was transformed utterly into a district of neat and prosperous farms and well-laid out towns. These settlers valued culture, and comfort, order and hard work. Schools, churches, singing-societies and businesses were established almost at once. The German hill country was a world almost apart, becoming even more so with the Civil War, when its residents held out against secession and for the Union.

(Adelsverein means the "company of noble men")

Both books sound pretty interesting. Follow the links for more information.

Previous Books by Bloggers posts.

(cross-posted at Chicago Boyz)

5:53 PM

Saturday, October 25, 2008  

...most of them do, anyhow. See my post at Chicago Boyz.

7:35 AM


Here's some recently-discovered film taken in London in 1904.

The film was found in Australia--it was originally shot as a travelogue for Australians curious about life in the Old Country.

(via Erin O'Connor)


Czarist Russia, in Color
The American Depression, in Color

6:19 AM

Wednesday, October 22, 2008  

See my post at Chicago Boyz. This is the first part of a long post, which I will be extending within the next couple of days.

3:12 PM


Ralph Peters on some of the foreign policy and national security issues at stake in this election.

Those planning to cast their votes based primarily on economic issues should consider: there is a strong link between national security and the economy. If we have multiple terror attacks of the 9/11 scale (or higher), the economy will be in shreds. If the Iranians close the Straits of Hormuz, gasoline prices will soar. If the Russians bully Western Europe with sustained natural gas shortages, the result could be an actual global depression.

(cross-posted at Chicago Boyz)

6:11 AM


Scientists have found what they believe to be the world's oldest dog, who lived 31,700 years ago--much further back in time than the previous candidate for oldest dog, who was only 14,000 years old.

(via Maggie's Farm)

We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.

--Maurice Maeterlinck

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.

--Edward Hoagland

(Both quotes from Forbes, 2/8/1999)

5:49 AM

Monday, October 20, 2008  

The most expensive resource on Wall Street is short-term comfort. Investors who constantly seek comfort over the short-term ultimately give up a fortune over the long-term. In a market economy, the most reliable source of long-term gains is to provide scarce and useful resources to others when those resources are most in demand.

--fund manager John Hussman

Lots of interesting information and analysis at the link.

7:16 PM

Sunday, October 19, 2008  

Here's an interesting piece on some of Obama's advisors and their attitudes toward Israel.

This link is from Melissa, who explains why all Americans should care about political attitudes toward Israel.

7:16 AM

Friday, October 17, 2008  

See my post at Chicago Boyz.

4:01 PM


Robert Spencer:

I got off the phone a little while ago with one of the student organizers of my address tonight at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He told me that I would be led to and from the stage via secret passageway; that thirty security personnel would be on hand (in addition to my own); that attendees would have to pass through metal detectors; and that a bomb-sniffing dog would also be on hand.

The necessity for these precautions reflects the degree to which free speech is now under threat, in America and elsewhere in the western world, by those who use tactics of violent intimidation.

In the event, Spencer's talk went off without incident, due in large part to the careful precautions taken by the university administration:

I had a meeting before my talk with the very courteous, knowledgeable and efficient security chief for the university, who explained to me the measures they had in place, including placing a large number of security personnel at various points all over the hall, and having everyone who entered the venue pass through a metal detector.

Everyone who entered also had to have a ticket. On one side the ticket said, "Robert Spencer Lecture, October 16, 2008, 7:30PM. Tickets do not guarantee entry. All patrons must pass thru security screening for entry." On the other side were printed "Audience Behavior Guidelines." These included: "Audience Members Must Remain Seated...No Sticks or Standards...Noise levels that impede the program's progress or the audience's ability to hear shall not be permitted....Objects may not be thrown: The throwing of any objects will not be tolerated" and "Force or Violence Notification: Behavior that infringes on the safety of others or endangers university property shall not be permitted.

The Rushdiean security precautions and these warnings were all necessary because of the fascist tactics of trying to intimidate and shout down opponents that students and others at UWM have employed in the past against speakers such as David Horowitz and Walid Shoebat.

Good for the UWM administration, and especially for its security officials, for doing the right thing in this case. But it is very sad that--in the United States of America--such elaborate precautions should be necessary to protect an ordinary exercise of free speech.

Threats of violence, primarily from radical Islamists and from various kinds of leftists, are already having a chilling effect on free speech, the free press, and freedom of research. (viz the fire bombings of scientists' homes by "animal rights" activists.) Laws against violence and threats of violence need to be rigorously enforced, and, where necessary, strengthened.

6:25 AM

Tuesday, October 14, 2008  

Speaking in France, Jesse Jackson expanded on the ways in which American foreign policy will change in an Obama administration:

Prepare for a new America: That's the message that the Rev. Jesse Jackson conveyed to participants in the first World Policy Forum, held at this French lakeside resort last week.

He promised "fundamental changes" in US foreign policy - saying America must "heal wounds" it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the "arrogance of the Bush administration."

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end.

Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

While predicting that the Obama administration will implement drastic changes in domestic policy as well, Jackson declined to be specific about what might be done. He was more willing to be concrete with regard to foreign policy, specifically the Middle East:

Jackson is especially critical of President Bush's approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"Bush was so afraid of a snafu and of upsetting Israel that he gave the whole thing a miss," Jackson says. "Barack will change that," because, as long as the Palestinians haven't seen justice, the Middle East will "remain a source of danger to us all."

More at Power Line.

Jackson doesn't have authority to speak for Obama, of course. But the attitudes he expresses here are disturbingly common in the higher reaches of the Democratic Party.

Anyone who cares about the survival and well-being of Israel needs to consider very carefully before voting for any Democratic candidate. Because American diplomatic and military support for Israel has a clear inverse relationship with the power and influence of the Democratic Party as it stands today.

And Israel's safety is something all Americans should care about, for the same reasons Europeans and Americans should have been concerned about the safety of Czechoslovakia in 1938.

Update: cross-posted at Chicago Boyz.

12:19 PM


Fund manager John Hussman on the credit crunch and the current state of the markets.

Word to the wise - don't accept advice or analysis about this crisis from anyone who failed to anticipate it in the first place. The people warning about Depression now (or even talking about it casually on the financial channels) are the same reckless jackasses who told investors that stocks were cheap and “resilient” at the highs.

5:52 AM

Monday, October 13, 2008  

See my post at Chicago Boyz.

2:20 PM

Saturday, October 11, 2008  

Unfortunately in the year XXXX the whole world was one large international workshop. A strike in the Argentine was apt to cause suffering in Berlin. A raise in the price of certain raw materials in London might spell disaster to tens of thousands of long-suffering Chinese coolies who had never even heard of the existence of the big city on the Thames. The invention of some obscure Privat-Dozent in a third-rate German university would often force dozens of Chilean banks to close their doors, while bad management on the part of an old commercial house in Gothenburg might deprive hundreds of little boys and girls in Australia of a chance to go to college.

--continued at Chicago Boyz.

8:26 PM

Thursday, October 09, 2008  

Anne Bayefsky: Why the threat of a nuclear Iran should be the primary factor in your Novermber decision.

5:08 AM

Tuesday, October 07, 2008  

Historian David McCullough:

On a winter morning on the campus of one of our finest colleges, in a lively Ivy League setting with the snow falling outside the window, I sat with a seminar of some twenty-five students, all seniors majoring in history, all honors students-the cream of the crop. "How many of you know who George Marshall was?" I asked. None. Not one.

At a large university in the Midwest, a young woman told me how glad she was to have attended my lecture, because until then, she explained, she had never realized that the original thirteen colonies were all on the eastern seaboard.

The excerpt is from an address that Mccullough gave in 1996. Anyone think this situation has gotten significantly better since then?

(via PowerLine)

5:35 PM

Sunday, October 05, 2008  

It's the fifth blogoversary for Trying to Grok.

Here's a 2004 interview with Sarah, TTG's creator.

8:17 PM

Saturday, October 04, 2008  

McCain/Palin supporters walk through the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Affluent liberals and "progressives" respond with the grace, class, and tolerance that we have come to expect of them.


(via Neptunus Lex)

Cross-posted at Chicago Boyz.

7:01 AM

Thursday, October 02, 2008  

Glenn Reynolds got an e-mail from a reader who works at a major newsroom, and received permission to post it without attribution:

Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working.

The Anchoress says:

I have a couple friends who work in the MSM, too, and one of them tells me the newsroom is (exact words) “unbelievably cavalier” about any complaints viewers register about their reports, what they ignore, their bias or the way they edit Republicans vs. the way the treat Dems. “Cavalier” as in the fix is in and they don’t even have to pretend to care what half the country thinks or wants.

Lead and Gold has thoughts on media bias, and links to this 2004 post on some of the reasons why it is so pervasive.

7:53 AM

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