Saturday, April 30, 2005

"This place will be really great once we get rid of all those dusty books!"

"Video games are an $11 billion business and a fundamental component of teenage life. Hosting video game tournaments at your library builds community, demonstrates your library's relevance to a different audience (young adults, teens, and especially males), and allows libraries to bring content directly into users' hands. Come to this exciting MLS Tech Summit to see firsthand how Ann Arbor District Library Information Access Systems geeks worked with the teen services librarians to bring video gaming tournaments to the community.
From The Shifted Librarian


At times like this I remind myself that I started a blog to learn the function and structure of the software, and therefore I shouldn't be frustrated. :) I can't seem to delete or modify the automatic post that Haloscan creates when I use their automatic installer. Why this should affect the code in my template I don't know. An, sweet mystery...

Also, the comments made to Blogger before this aftermarket modification are still there, available from the perma-link.

EDIT: Had I gone to HaloScan's forums, I would have seen that this is a known problem, and they suggest not adding or removing a post for 24 hours after modding Blogger's template. While I am certainly not prolific, I think waiting 24 hours is a bit excessive!

Anyway, I think the issue is with republishing the blog. I find that I can get the HaloScan mod to reappear once I republish the whole blog after I create or modify a post. What connection there is, if any, I don't understand.

I changed commenting software...

I have changed to Haloscan so that folks won't be forced to use Blogger's comments, as per a reader's suggestion. Let me know if this causes you problems.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I’m shocked, SHOCKED. No, really.

U.S. Supreme Court Justices don’t read amicus briefs. Who’d a thunk it?

From Crime & Federalism.

Museum of Foreign Debt

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Three years after staging the largest debt default in modern history, Argentina on Thursday opened what may be the first Museum of Foreign Debt to teach people the perils of borrowing abroad...
Since we always do things bigger and better here in the States, perhaps we can soon open up some kind of Disneyland Debt Museaum. That should employ several hundered out-of-work IT professionals, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Awwww, she named her Jayde!

"I still don’t know if, or what, I am going to tell Jayde when the time comes. Maybe when she is nine or ten, I will sit her down and explain it to her. I just hope that she understands what happened and why I did it.

"Of course, it will be much harder to explain to her that she had a twin."
A twin that her mother had killed, and because of whom her mother is now suing as Jayde herself was not also killed. Yeah, I imagine that will take some explaining.

From Overlawyered.

Hacker deletes own hard drive


Sunday, April 24, 2005

American Diabetes Association Sells Out to Cadbury Schweppes

Today, the American Diabetes Association announced a corrupt new “multi-million dollar alliance” with Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, a major manufacturer of sweetened soft drinks that are implicated in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the United States.

“Maybe the American Diabetes Association should rename itself the American Junk Food Association,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. “What will it do for an encore? Start selling candy bars for M&M/Mars?”

“If Cadbury Schweppes really wanted to reduce the incidence of obesity and diabetes, it would stop advertising its high-sugar products, and remove them from our nation’s schools,” Ruskin said. “This is just another attempt by a major junk food corporation to obfuscate its responsibility in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the United States.”

“The American Diabetes Association should return this corrupt contribution to Cadbury Schweppes immediately,” Ruskin said.

More information about the American Diabetes Association-Cadbury Schweppes “alliance” is available at:
Taken verbatim from Commercial Alert.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Happy San Jacinto Day!

That's "Hah-SEEN-toe" to you, Scorebored! :P

Read about it from the Handbook of Texas Online!

OK, this is funny!

"I am the only hope you've got of staying out of deeper trouble than you or any student I've ever known has ever been in."
The last few minutes of this video from a biology class at Berkeley is of professor explaining the terrifying consequences that will soon befall the student that stole his laptop.
Via BoingBoing.

I am now going to go plant tomatoes, even though it is supposed to snow on Sunday. Yes, snow. It is weather like this that makes Yankees so durned mean, I am convinced.

I Owe my Soul to the Company Store

Yesterday, Jorge Arbusto signed the Bankruptcy Reform Act into law as he had vowed. Who says he doesn't keep his promises to the people who put him into office? Heart of Her Husband has some great posts here and here about the implications of this "reform" for middle America. To celebrate, I tuned into Fox News just to count the number of mortgage refinancing commercials the "Fair and Balanced" channel was running. Yes, that sound you hear is someone losing another home to Dietech. Now, if you excuse me I need to compose some morally superior post telling women that they need to quit their jobs to stay home with their children, no matter how much it hurts financially. I am a "family friendly" Republican, after all...

Monday, April 18, 2005

¡Mira Los Jotos!

Liberalism and multiculturalism are on a collision course. Thanks to Modern Tribalist for the latest:
When the call came on his cell phone, Roberto Hernandez was driving to work in San Francisco. The caller, who identified himself as Juan, said in Spanish that he had met Hernandez at a gay bar and wanted to see him again.

"Refresh my memory, there are so many Juans," said a puzzled Hernandez. The man described himself as slim with "a very nice butt." Eventually, the caller offered to give Hernandez his phone number -- then announced that the conversation was being broadcast live nationwide on the "Raul Brindis and Pepito Show," a Spanish-language morning radio program.

"Why did these people have to treat me this way?" Hernandez said of his public outing, which led the Federal Communications Commission to fine the station owner $28,000 this year. "Why the hell do they think I deserved something so brutal and humiliating?"

Such on-air mockery of gay men, lesbians and transgender people is common on Spanish-language radio and television, media watchers say, and it has raised the ire of gay rights groups.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Slime-mold Beetles Named for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld
Namesakes of the U.S. President and two of his key people might be crawling around your back yard as you read this.

Three new beetles of the genus Agathidium have been named after members of the current administration: A. bushi, A. cheneyi and A. rumsfeldi.

Two former Cornell University entomologists, Quentin Wheeler and Kelly Miller, were in charge of naming 65 new species of slime-mold beetles, which they discovered while studying the insects’ evolution and classification.
Thank you to Little Geneva for the link!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Beginning of the End

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bankruptcy legislation making it tougher for heavily indebted Americans to wipe out their obligations won final congressional approval on Thursday and President Bush said he looked forward to signing it into law.

Sought for years by banks and credit card companies that say people are abusing bankruptcy to escape repayment, the measure cleared the House of Representatives on a 302-126 vote. It passed the Senate last month by 74-25.

The bill now goes to the White House, where it is seen as part of the Republicans' legal reform agenda...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


I just received my first order from The Bulk Herb Store, which is now online. I had been meaning to order from them for years, so when they unveiled their new site, I placed an order immediately.

My only regret is that I didn’t start ordering from them sooner. Their products are fantastic! I ordered Mama’s Red Raspberry Brew and St. John’s Wort, and received my order within a week of placing it. The packaging was impeccable. Each of the 1 lb. bags of herbs were packaged in heavy-duty ziptop bags, clearly-labeled with exact ingredients, and mailed in a clean, crisp cardboard box which perfectly fit the packages. The peppermint in the pre-mixed tea is making our whole apartment smell divine, and the tea tastes as good and fresh as it smells.

I also appreciate how easy their website is to use. The site is easy to navigate, and the products are clearly and methodically described. The Pearls offer plenty of articles and other resources for those new to herbalism, and recommend several books for further reading.

Be warned, however, that if you haven’t seen a full pound of herbs it will surprise you. I am used to paying supermarket prices for tiny amounts of herbal tea, and I was flat out gobsmacked when I opened the (heavy) package and realized that it was full of what will surely be a year’s worth of tea. What a blessing for such a thrifty price!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Fannie Mae: The $30B Scandal That TV Forgot

WHY isn't TV news giving the Fannie Mae scandals the same level of coverage that it gave to Enron?

Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage association, has been battling a mounting scandal since last year. It has accounting errors of about $11 billion. That's more than 19 times larger than Enron's $567 million error. Fannie faces a Justice Department inquiry, an SEC investigation and an Office of Federal Housing Enterprise complaint.

The mess has caused the departure of CEO Franklin Raines and several other top executives. And Fannie Mae stock has dropped roughly 30 percent, from nearly $80 a share to around $55. That's an added loss of more than $20 billion.

All of this is news — $30 billion worth of news — but the only journalists out there covering it on a regular basis are print reporters. TV news is out to lunch...
Read more from The New York Post.
Thank you to Walter Yannis and Original Dissent.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

No Irish Need Apply

Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming "Help Wanted--No Irish Need Apply!" No one has ever seen one of these NINA signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent. The market for female household workers occasionally specified religion or nationality. Newspaper ads for women sometimes did include NINA, but Irish women nevertheless dominated the market for domestics because they provided a reliable supply of an essential service. Newspaper ads for men with NINA were exceedingly rare. The slogan was commonplace in upper class London by 1820; in 1862 in London there was a song, "No Irish Need Apply," purportedly by a maid looking for work. The song reached America and was modified to depict a man recently arrived in America who sees a NINA ad and confronts and beats up the culprit. The song was an immediate hit, and is the source of the myth. Evidence from the job market shows no significant discrimination against the Irish--on the contrary, employers eagerly sought them out. Some Americans feared the Irish because of their religion, their use of violence, and their threat to democratic elections. By the Civil War these fears had subsided and there were no efforts to exclude Irish immigrants. The Irish worked in gangs in job sites they could control by force. The NINA slogan told them they had to stick together against the Protestant Enemy, in terms of jobs and politics. The NINA myth justified physical assaults, and persisted because it aided ethnic solidarity. After 1940 the solidarity faded away, yet NINA remained as a powerful memory.
from "No Irish Need Apply": A Myth of Victimization
Richard Jensen (Professor of History Emeritus, University of Illinois, Chicago)
Journal of Social History 36.2 (2002) 405-429

Friday, April 08, 2005

Man arrested, cuffed after using $2 bills

Sam Francis' anarcho-tyranny in action:

A man trying to pay a fee using $2 bills was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail after clerks at a Best Buy store questioned the currency's legitimacy and called police.

According to an account in the Baltimore Sun, 57-year-old Mike Bolesta was shocked to find himself taken to the Baltimore County lockup in Cockeysville, Md., where he was handcuffed to a pole for three hours while the U.S. Secret Service was called to weigh in on the case.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Excuse Me While I Squeal Like A Little Girl

Steve Sailer has added me to his list of links! I am shocked, shocked. And delighted, of course, because I certainly don’t deserve it. My beloved husband may find it insufferable because lately I have actually caught him rolling his eyes every time I say, “You know it is quite interesting you should bring that up, honey. Steve Sailer says . . .”

Speaking of Which...

Lately I have been thinking of a particular observation of Mr. Sailer’s regarding pornography. A year ago he wrote about the business:

“I understand that this is a supply driven market -- there are a lot of women out there who want to star in dirty movies. But, this is clearly not, generally speaking, a wise career choice. If the government shut down the making of new pornography, there'd still be plenty of old product for customers to buy, but there would be fewer women wrecking their lives.”

Were that it were true. I think that the explosion of amateur porn clips on the web demonstrates that women are remarkably determined to wreck their lives, for no apparent gain. See, for example, the jail bait Hannah whom Michael Blowhard seems a bit taken with. Actually, don’t *see* the clip, because it really won’t surprise you, at least not if you watch enough HBO. The only thing more boring than young girls acting like they just invented lasciviousness is old men who pretend that young girls have just invented it.

In the comments, Michael Blowhard writes, “Part of what makes my eyes open so wide when I run across stuff like that is thinking about her parents. Were they downstairs? What do they think she's doing with that videocam? In how many teen bedrooms around the country are things like this going on?”

This is the big question for our time. I suppose in my cynicism I can understand an honest whore. A woman who makes a buck on her back at least makes a buck out of the wretchedness, but what do these girls gain by their promiscuity? Specifically, what is fueling this tremendous seller’s market, especially when by all accounts it is flooded?

Even more specifically, what is causing middle-class parents to facilitate the degradation of their daughters? It does seem clear that this kind of behavior (on the part of parents) starts before our daughters even hit puberty. The web is full of middle-brow hand-wringing regarding the sexualization of increasingly-younger children.

It is impossible to even purchase moderately modest clothing for young girls. And I don’t for one minute buy the argument that “it’s what the kids want, and we can’t stop them.” Everyone has boundaries that they will not cross. Imagine, if you will, that it has suddenly become the fashionable thing for pre-teens to dress up in neo-Nazi uniforms and run about giving Roman salutes. Do you honestly think for a moment that modern American parents wouldn’t step up and say firmly, “No, you aren’t going to dress and act that way.”? Of course not.

Therefore the only conclusion a reasonable person can draw from this is that middle-class parents want their daughters to prostitute themselves. But why? What do they stand to gain (“they” being both parents and daughters)?

In our post-Christian society, I think that middle-class parents are selling their young daughters off the same as did the pagans of yore. Instead of currency, these parents gain social status. There is no such thing as bad publicity, and notoriety is the exact same thing as glory in an age where the only evil act you can commit is to judge another. We prostitute our daughters nowadays for the same reason that pimps have always turned out pretty young women—-sexually attractive and available young women confer social status to the ones who can procure her services.

Sociologist Rodney Stark has argued about the beneficial social force of Christianity, specifically for women:

“Christian women had tremendous advantages compared to the woman next door, who was like them in every way except that she was a pagan. First, when did you get married? Most pagan girls were married off around age 11, before puberty, and they had nothing to say about it, and they got married to some 35-year-old guy. Christian women had plenty of say in the matter and tended to marry around age 18.”

In post-Christian America, girls again have no say in who enjoys their favors. They are put onto the sexual treadmill before puberty and are convinced that the only evil that may befall them comes from stepping off. Our daughters are whores because we are their pimps. We feed on their youth, we feed on their fear, and we dump them, spent before their time, once they are no longer of use to us. As in all pagan cultures, we are eating our children. Our female population is showing the effects more starkly, but they are only harbingers of what is to come.

Speaking of Junk Science...

"Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome," or CSAAS, is a prosecutor's new best friend:

According to CSAAS experts, not reporting abuse is thus consistent with suffering from child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome. So is bad behavior, trouble in school, the failure to tell an accurate story, and even the recantation of the entire allegation of abuse. In other words, every criterion usually used by the defense to discredit a witness is actually transubstantiated into evidence that is perfectly consistent with abuse.

And here's the genius: Not exhibiting these signs of CSAAS doesn't mean a child wasn't abused—just that he or she didn't get the syndrome. In other words, a noncredible witness is suffering from the syndrome, but a credible one is merely a credible witness who was legitimately abused.

CSAAS is a prosecutorial silver bullet and a fabricator's best friend. Every mistake you make is consistent with it; every mistake you don't make further confirms your credibility. No wonder prosecutors rely on it to bolster disintegrating cases. By making credibility tautological, CSAAS makes it nearly impossible to present a defense or attack an incredible witness.


Not that California courts needed CSAAS to engage in previous witch hunts, of course. But every little bit helps.

And, before anyone jumps in, I don't think that prosecuting Michael Jackson is a witch hunt. I do think that nefarious legal tactics trickle down and hurt most those least able to defend themselves. And I am sure we can all think of unpopular groups of people who are most vulnerable through their children.