Saturday, October 18, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A 15-year-old girl is accused of distributing nude photos of herself to other minors, and one state legislator is questioning whether she should be labeled a sex offender.
The Licking Valley High School student was arrested Friday after school officials discovered the materials and brought in the school's resource officer for a police investigation. After spending the weekend incarcerated, she pleaded deny Monday to both charges: illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a second-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Today I went by and saw what kind of remodeling they had in mind.
Things are changing along Market Street.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I started to write a post on this subject yesterday, evoking Mike Dukakis's response to Bernard Shaw's rape question in the 1988 Presidential debate. Conservative pundits have observed that this was a significant gaffe that labeled Dukakis as a timid intellectual unwilling to react strongly rather than a passionate take-charge leader who could handle difficult situations. It's not a huge leap to equate this let-the-law-take its-course approach to seeing the War On Terrorism as a law enforcement problem ratter than a military one. I believe this is the basic error people on the left make in dealing with today's world issues.
Consider Palin's case. A state trooper made a threat toward her family, including a threat to kill her father. She attempted to have the trooper fired, which resulted in one of her cabinet members resigning. This morning Scott Ott, who usually writes satire at Scrappleface.com, has a serious critique of troopergate here. Ott makes a lot of sense. He writes, "Republicans should embrace it as a way of telling the story of why government must be reformed. It is the perfect picture of how government bureaucracies shield the incompetent and immoral among them, and waste taxpayer dollars trying to nail concerned citizens who cry 'foul'." Read the whole thing.
Whether entirely appropriate or not, at worst Palin made an error of action over inaction. I think that is a good thing. I was reminded of Harry Truman's response to the bad review his daughter Margaret received from a Washington Post music critic. Truman sent a threatening letter defending his daughter. Stephen Green tells the story and observes "Truman's aides told him the letter was a mistake; it could only damage his image. "Wait till the mail comes in," Truman said. "I'll make you a bet that 80 percent of it is on my side of the argument." It was"
Is Troopergate good for Palin? History will tell. Personally I prefer errors of action over errors of inaction.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The upset win of Harry Truman over Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 election came after leading publications had confidently predicted Dewey's victory (e.g. New York Times headline: 'Thomas E. Dewey’s Election as President is a Foregone Conclusion.'; Life Magazine: cover with Dewey's picture and caption reading, "The Next President of the United States"). Even on election night, the media still had difficulty accepting the fact that Truman could win.Dr. Joe has a post lamenting Obama's pending election, and other folks seem to be conceding the election already as well. There is some talk about a Wilder/Bradley effect and how a McCain victory would be racist and illegitimate. I don't believe many folks think that about the Truman/Dewey result, so let's not forget 1948 if Obama loses.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wake Forest 12, Clemson 7
Ok, so it isn't the end of the world, but as Adlai Stevenson (or Abraham Lincoln) said,"I'm too old to cry, but it hurts too much to laugh."
(Interestingly, in Googling to find more about the Lincoln/Stevenson quote, I found this reference to Louis Rukeyser's using the quote in his 10/23/87 monologue. See my earlier post.
Interestingly, Ken asterisks one but spells the other out fully.
"What's crazy is this," he writes. "I was blown away by the outright racism, but these folks are f***ing undecided. They would call him a n—-r and mention how they don't know what to do because of the economy."
The notable feature here is the use of two different avoidance characters: asterisks in "f***ing", hyphens in "n—-r". I don't recall having seen this sort of typographical differentiation before.
I kind of like dirty words. If you don't, you can ignore this post.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Last year when my old Mercedes died at 300,000 mi., I bought a used 2003 Acura TL. It came with two ignition keys and remotes. The Mercedes used only a key. Locking the driver's door locked the entire car: all the doors, the trunk, and the gas filler door. It was very convenient. The car was either locked or unlocked. When unlocked, I could open the gas door or the trunk without a key.
With the Acura, things are different. I use the remote to lock the car, which is very convenient, but unlocking is more complicated. One push on the remote unlocks the driver's door, but if I have a passenger or need to put something in the back seat, I invariably have to take the remote out of my pocket to press the unlock button again to unlock those doors. If I need to put something in the trunk or fill with gas, again I must retrieve the remote and unlock those. Inconvenient.
This past week I've lost contact with my keys and am using the spare set, but I'm thinking I need to get a another set just in case .... I called the dealership to check on getting another set, and it's no problem. Just bring by proof I own the car and they can fix me right up. The only downside is that the ignition key is $25 or so, and the service department charges $40 to program it. Oh, and if I want the remote, it's only $101 more. Looks like the days when I could go over to Daryl Chambers hardware store and get a duplicate key for a buck or two are long gone.
I know this new key technology is a theft deterrent, but is it progress?
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
A couple of months after the murders, a friend proposed the possibility that O.J.'s son had committed the crimes. His theory made a lot of sense to me. I am continually amazed how few people have heard of it. Over the past many years, when I've mentioned this possibility to friends it has been met with responses ranging from skepticism to derision. There has been a book about the theory, but I haven't invested the $27 bucks in it yet. I haven't seen much on-line (i.e. free). Google lists 822 hits for "Jason Simpson" guilty, one of which is a YouTube video here, an almost unwatchable recitation that appears to be reading from some document, Dear's book perhaps.
The biggest stumbling block to this theory could be Jason's alibi. The police seem to believe his story that he was at work at the time of the murders, but is some question about that. See the above referenced you-tube clip about 4:50 in.
More than Jason's actual guilt/innocence, I am amazed how few people have even heard of this possibility. Everyone is so sure of O.J.'s guilt they don't want to consider the possibility he could be innocent. If I could find iron-clad proof that Jason was at work cooking at 9:45 that evening, I'd feel a lot surer about O. J.'s guilt.
Compare Rukyser with Jim Cramer's advice here ( beginning about a minute in). Cramer is wrong, particularly in light of the fact that all stock market investors should already have a year's reserve outside the market. If you do, you don't need to panic today at all. You have a whole year to worry before you need to panic. Time will tell whether selling now is good advice.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Uncle Pat was an avid gardener, and in early 1952 my father took some pictures of his handiwork at LMC on East Market St. Note particularly the city license plate on the purple convertible.
There were no new cars produced during the war years and production didn't really get started again until the1947 model year. My father bought a new 1947 Studebaker in late 1946, our first family car. Over the next several years, almost everyone in my maternal grandmother's extended family bought a new Studebaker. We had a family reunion in early 1952 at Ocean Drive beach, where another uncle owned Lowman's Red & White supermarket. This photo shows all the Studebakers lined up on the beach, along with a bunch of Lowman aunts, uncles, and cousins. My mother and sisters are shown around the dark blue car near the middle of the photo. My father took the picture and I don't know where I was.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Now, I realize that if we get the name changed to Blogsboro we'll need some of those g's, so Billy Jones might not support this plan, but until then, I think we need to be generous and donate some to Sarah.
For further discussion on this matter, see the Language Log entry here. (Warning: this is one of the few times you will see the mf-word used in an academic environment.)
Friday, October 03, 2008
I thought Palin looked weak in the first half of the debate, stammering answers and avoiding many questions inelegantly. After about half the debate, I got fed-up with Biden's smarmy answers and unanswerable attacks, on regulation/de-regulation, for example. I turned the channel to something more important: the Pitt/USF football game and the NLDS baseball game.
There was an interesting post and comment thread on Volokh yesterday about the legal goings-on in Sen. Ted Stevens corruption trial in Washington. It seems the prosecutor has failed to give the defense some exculpatory evidence that seriously undermined the prosecution. (The prosecution used a version of the "I Forgot!" defense.) The trial judge was taking the subject under advisement and would decide later what the penalty should be. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems he has three choices: (a) he could sanction/punish the prosecutors and let the trial proceed. (b) he could declare a mistrial. or (c) he could dismiss the charges completely.
I gather from the comments in the VC post that his decision will be made partly on how much damage he thinks has been done to the defendant's case. Some commenters thought there had not been much damage since the affected witness was still on the stand and could still be cross-examined. Others thought the damage was significant since it affected the entire defense case, from the opening statement on. I don't think any of them called for outright dismissal.
I was reminded of this today as I thought more about Joe Biden's performance last night. He made a number of inaccurate statements (see here, here, and my earlier post here). Gwen Ifill didn't correct him on any of these, so either Palin had to know enough to know how wrong Biden was in each instance, or she had to react to bogus, inaccurate assertions from Biden. It is understandable that she might be hesitant in responding/replying.
Should Biden be sanctioned or penalized for his errors and misstatements? Certainly Palin made some inaccurate statements, but Biden isn't being judged on the smoothness of his answers.
I'm thinking that maybe the appropriate response is to realize how unimportant Palin's hesitance and uncertainty in answering were. I think I'd rather have a hesitant VP than a smooth, stupid one.
recommended by the dynamic-programming analysis. On the 1604 fourth downs in the sample where the analysis implies that teams are on average better off kicking, they went for it only 9 times. But on the 1068 fourth downs where the analysis implies that teams are on average better off going for it, they kicked 959 times."
The reason for this is quite understandable: the team and the coach have different objectives. The team may want to win the game, but the coach is much more concerned about keeping his job. If the coach chooses to kick, the players get the blame/credit when the team loses/wins. If the coach chooses to go for it, when the team wins the players still get the credit, but when they lose, it's the coach (and his bad call) that gets the blame.
When watching a game on TV, note how often commentators will say, when a team is stopped with on 4th-and-1 at mid-field, "Well, now they must kick." No they mussant. If they want to win the game and don't really care who coaches the team, they will go for it!
I am reminded of this in thinking about the financial rescue/bailout bill before Congress. It is easy to understand what is going on in Washington when you realize that congressmen don't really have the citizen's interests at heart. Their overriding interest is getting re-elected, despite what that might mean for the country's citizens.
What to do about this? I don't know. If I did, I'd probably be coaching football somewhere. But at least I understand a little better what's going on in Washington.
And Tommy, don't punt so much.
What on Earth is she talking about? The United States and France may have kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon in an alternate universe, but nothing even remotely like that ever happened in this one.
Nobody – nobody – has ever kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon. Not the United States. Nor France. Not Israel. And not the Lebanese. Nobody.
Sarah Palin has literally no idea what she’s talking about.
UPDATE: Oops. It was Joe Biden that said that. Sorry, Never mind.
(From Instapundit and Michael Totten.