6:18 PM Aug 31, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Ingratitude, thy name is Larry Andrews.

Last year, he and his family were evacuated to Salt Lake City, correctly described in a Reuters report as a city in "a Western state with very few black residents."

Larry has been living there for a year, helped out by the generosity of his fellow citizens.

A year later, Larry Andrews is still filled with doubts.

"We (blacks) used to live in Africa and we were moved to New Orleans and we had to adapt there," he said. "Now we are in Utah and we have to adapt here. We're tired of adapting."

Asked if his apartment living room with two computers, a television, a stereo and a boom box indicated a better life materially, he said: "What's in here, in my heart, I'm not. I'm confused. We were living better where we was."

Larry, go home. Pack up your two computers and your television and the rest of your shit and just go home.

Pious gratitude to: Florida Cracker

3:31 PM Aug 31, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Americans Hate their Fabulous Economy

Polls consistently show that Americans are rather negative about the economy, and many have wondered why that might be considering that our economy is the envy of the world (as well it should be). The source of our pessimism is a bit of a mystery, and it is one that I am going to pursue. For the moment, I'll simply note that I have identified what may be a contributing factor to our unwarranted despair: reporters rarely use charts, and that allows them to wax poetic about the "jobless recovery," "worrisome signs of inflation," "record setting deficits," and other such nonsense. Charts anchor the mind to the raw data, which makes it hard to use bumper-sticker slogans that mislead (and demoralize) more than they clarify. In any story about the economy, there is never an excuse not to use a chart, but reporters almost never do.
Lots of charty goodness...but not too onerous. Go read.

9:01 PM Aug 30, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

I'm sure they'll do much better in Lebenon:

The report revealed that peacekeepers left behind at least 20 babies they had fathered to Timorese women who are now stigmatised and in some cases ostracised by their communities.

It revealed that one UN peacekeeper from an unnamed country sexually abused two boys and two girls in the enclave of Oecussi, and in 2001, two Jordanian soldiers were evacuated home with injured penises after attempting sexual intercourse with goats.

Pious gratitude to: Tim Blair

8:54 PM Aug 30, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Ernesto turned out to be a punk. Schools were closed, and my job gave us the option to work from home today so that we wouldn't be endangered on the roads during the storm.

I'm looking out my window. It's drizzling, and the trees are moving a little.

This is most overhyped storm I've ever seen.

Unlike this one.

12:17 AM Aug 26, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

John Hinderaker finds an interesting incidence of media bias. (Admittedly, it's not difficult to find such examples, but it doesn't pay to ignore them.)

11:12 PM Aug 26, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Russell Shaw of the Huffington Post recently laid out his hopes and prayers about how the Democrats could benefit from a pre-election terrorist attack in this country.

A fisking was in order, and Caeroroia provided it.

5:24 PM Aug 25, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Sleep tight, and don't let...well, you know....

Pious gratitude to: Tim Blair

1:32 PM Aug 24, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

One of our planets is missing.

Much-maligned Pluto doesn’t make the grade under the new rules for a planet: “a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.”

Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune’s.

Instead, it will be reclassified in a new category of “dwarf planets..."

Dwarf planets? Like, in Spelljammer?

10:10 PM Aug 23, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Zombie analyzes the evidence concerning The Red Cross Ambulance Incident and concludes:

Could it be that the entire incident is a fabrication? All signs point to "Yes."

If so, the implications are enormous, both for the outcome of the war and for the credibility of the media. Most analysts agree that Israel was pressured into a ceasefire due to international outcry over how it was conducting the battle. The media informed the public that Israel was intentionally targetting civilians; the public insisted that their governments demand that Israel stand down; international pressure was applied, and Israel caved in. And of all the incidents decried in the media -- taking out infrastructure, destroying Hezbollah-associated buildings that had not been fully evacuated, and so on -- only the ambulance incident could be held up as having no possible military purpose; all the other attacks were pointed out by Israel as being intended to degrade Hezbollah's ability to fight. Aside from a handful of stray missiles and accidents or misunderstandings for which Israel apologized, only this incident was "proof" that Israel was purposely aiming at noncombatants. So reports that an Israeli missile atttack destroyed two ambulances played a role in shaping global opinion, which led to a ceasefire leaving Hezbollah intact.

But if the entire incident turns out to have been an elaborate but clumsy hoax, where does that leave the reputation of the media? Not a single reporter or editor doubted the story for a second. Or if they did, they certainly didn't inform readers of their doubts. Why did the media swallow the story hook, line and sinker? In their zeal to bash Israel, did they allow themselves, consciously or unconsciously, to be duped by Hezbollah supporters into broadcasting propaganda as news? Or is the media so eager to jump on any fresh scandal that they simply switch off their critical thinking and become absolutely credulous of any juicy tale thrown their way?

Needed: The World's Smallest Crown Royal Bag

7:02 PM Aug 22, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Billed as the smallest dice in the world, each one measures 0.3 x 0.3 x 0.3 mm (for perspective, see the photo above showing one of the die next to a 0.5-mm diameter mechanical pencil lead). The tiny dice are painstakingly crafted one by one from BsBm (brass) in a 9 hour long fabrication process that relies on the latest in micromachining technology. Each one weighs 0.00016 grams and the pips measure 0.05 mm in diameter.

Pious gratitude to: duckydan

4:51 PM Aug 21, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Look, it's not like I'm complaining, but isn't this just tempting fate?

As of yesterday (20 August) three tropical storms will have formed in the Atlantic in an "average" year, which is the same number that have formed this year so far. Because of multi-year averaging, that means that today (August 21) slightly more than three storms would have formed, making this year (statistically speaking) just below normal.

Apparently, Global Warming is to blame. Or not. Whatever.

The cooler SSTs in the Atlantic are not an isolated anomaly. In a research paper being published next month in Geophysical Research Letters, scientists will show that between 2003 and 2005, globally averaged temperatures in the upper ocean cooled rather dramatically, effectively erasing 20% of the warming that occurred over the previous 48 years.

1:54 PM Aug 21, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Ben Stein:

We’re in a war with people who want to kill us all and wreck our civilization. They’re taking it very seriously. We, on the other hand, are worrying about leveraged buyouts and special dividends and how much junk debt the newly formed private entity can support before we sell it to the ultimate sucker, the public shareholder.

10:55 AM Aug 21, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

There’s a clinical psychological term for all this, and it’s “Pissed at Daddy.”

8:41 PM Aug 19, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Religious extremist screams for Bush's impeachment.

Winkler insisted that Bush's removal was a religious imperative: "When I speak it is my desire to bring about the transformation of people and systems in order to advance the Kingdom of God even when it is painful."

Apparently, he didn't get the memo: isn't he supposed to be marching lock-step with Bush towards the Rapture or something?

12:41 PM Aug 18, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

I had an interesting conversation with a Liberal friend last night, who is four-square against the Islamofascists because of their condemnation of, among other things, the rights of women and girls. For this, I applaud her. But she said something that I thought was odd.

Making an oblique reference to this story, which describes the situation in post-battle Lebanon:

Hizbollah handed out bundles of cash on Friday to people whose homes were wrecked by Israeli bombing, consolidating the Iranian-backed group's support among Lebanon's Shi'ites and embarrassing the Beirut government.

She thought, sensibly, that it's bad stragically (for us) to have Hizbollah handing out Iranian money, since it would engender good feelings among the Lebanese for the terrorist group and for their Iranian backers.

Her earnest solution: the US should have made the vehmently anti-American, Jew-hating death-cult terrorist group a better offer, so that they'd hand out our money, apparently. "It's just money."

As if they'd take the cash....this isn't a matter of money for them; Iran has boatloads of money, and the people on the ground right there to hand it out.

I have the highest respect for my friend's intelligence and creativity; but she's not a serious thinker on this kind of thing. But, luckily, she's not unteachable.

Which puts her head-and-shoulders above most of her Leftest friends.

3:53 PM Aug 17, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

However, Nicole Kidman is hot

The problem with the gratuitous yammering is, actors and rock stars generally aren’t very bright. They are superficial. Their professional focus is on conveying emotion, whatever emotion the paycheck and the director demands at any given moment. They spend most of their time on stage, on movie sets, in Hollywood or in various vacation locales where the emphasis is not on reality. They are surrounded by staff whose jobs depend on keeping all mortal nuisances at bay. Presumeably, we’re supposed to care what they think, because we feel like we know these people, and they are everything we wish we could be. They say clever things on screen, look good and have money.

And war is bad. The tragic plight of innocents is important. These are easily grasped truths. Bitter experience shows us it is sometimes necessary to look beyond these immediate undeniable facts. This is a cruel truth. Foreign policy and war are extremely complex matters. Sometimes it has been that innocents are accidentally, tragically killed in the process of removing parties who purposefully have killed hundreds of thousands, or intended to do so. Sometimes those parties are directly responsible for the deaths of innocents when they hide and fire from among them.

This level of complexity is generally beyond the scope of the glitterati.

Read the rest!

1:46 PM Aug 13, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Bleeding-heart ignoramuses

Personally, I'd far prefer the Jews to be angry, aggressive and alive than meek, mild and dead - and that's what makes me and a minority like me feel so much like strangers in our own country, now more than ever. I've always loved being a hack, but now even that feels weird, as though I'm living among a bunch of snatched-body zombies who look like journalists but believe and say the most inhuman, evil things.

Sweet, Lovable San Francisco Anti-War Protestors....

12:40 PM Aug 13, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Really warms the heart, doesn't it?

Pious gratitude to: lgf

11:24 PM Aug 12, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

FAQ - Special "Peace In Our Time" Edition!

1) What would happen if all the Arab nations and their terrorist proxies like Hezbollah set down their arms and gave up their ambitions to drive Israel into the sea?

There would be peace in the Middle East.

2) What would happen if Israel disbanded the IDF, junked its nuclear weapons and declared to its neighbors that she would do anything to live in peace?

Israel would be annihilated, millions of its citizens killed. The term genocide could be used to describe the ensuing holocaust, but since that term has been so hopelessly debased by American academics, a new term would have to be created like super-duper-mega genocide to really capture the nature of things.

And that's just the way it is. Does anyone really dispute this?

Pious gratitude to: Instapundit

7:08 PM Aug 11, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

The thing that you should remember about this story is that cheap, untraceable cell phones are used by terrorists to trigger bombs.

Three Middle Eastern Men Found With 1000 Cell Phones

Around 1:00am August 11th three men purchased cell phones from the Wal-Mart store on M-81 near the corner of M-24 in Caro. [Michigan]. Wal-Mart places a limit on the number of cell phones that can be purchased at once, that number is three. The three men allegedly bought 80 by purchasing them three at time so that an alert wouldn't be triggered by the cash register. They also paid cash.

An alert clerk grew suspicious and called Tuscola County central dispatch. The Caro Police Department sent a unit and stopped the rented van on M-81 just east of Caro. The suspects were headed towards Bad Axe on M-81 where there is another Super Wal-Mart.

The three men were described as being of Pakistani descent but live in Texas. Police say the three, ages 19, 22, and 23 appear to be naturalized citizens. One man was driving while the other two were in the back opening the phone packages with box cutters throwing the phones in one box, batteries in another and the packaging and phone charger in another container. The suspects had 1000 other cell phones in the van. There was also a bag of receipts showing that someone was in Wisconsin the day before.

Nothing to see here...move along.

Pious gratitude to: lgf

6:03 PM Aug 11, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

5:12 PM Aug 11, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

UK Panel Asks: Why Do They Hate Airplanes?

12:50 PM Aug 9, 2006

by Rob Ritchie


Move along....

3:09 PM Aug 8, 2006by Rob Ritchie

...nothing to see here:

Feds Hunt For 11 Egyptians Missing In U.S.

U.S. authorities are searching for 11 Egyptian men who arrived in the United States last month but failed to turn up at Montana State University for a scheduled academic program.

According to the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, the men were among a larger group of students who arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York from Cairo on July 29 with valid visas.

FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko said there is no threat associated with the men.

Not yet, anyway.

Pious gratitude to: Captain Ed


4:43 PM Aug 5, 2006by Rob Ritchie

7:55 PM Aug 4, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Lileks fisks Sully

At Last It Can Be Told....

10:40 PM Aug 3, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Researchers confirm Charles V had gout

Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, whose empire stretched across Europe and included Spanish America, was diagnosed with gout by his doctors in early adulthood. By the end of his reign in 1556, he was a crippled man who could barely walk at times or ride a horse, said Dr. Pedro Luis Fernandez, a pathologist at the University of Barcelona.

Finally, scholars can put down their knives. But first, a pinky....

9:51 PM Aug 3, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

The “Left” Takes on the Qana Affair: Fisking the Daily Kos

For someone about to help us analyze controversial evidence, this is hardly a promising start. We have yet to learn one detail, and already we know which side we’re on. And why, a priori, that side should include Hizbullah and the press under their tutelage, I honestly don’t understand.

12:19 PM Aug 2, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Hizballah Is On The Ropes?

I certainly hope so.