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Archive for December, 2009

Saturday Night Science Debate

[ 0 ] December 20, 2009 |

Do anthropogenic factors play a role in climate change? Some say no:

(CNN)– In a late night posting on her Twitter feed, Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin continued to blast climate change believers Friday, calling the talks in Copenhagen, Denmark a representation of man’s “arrogance,” for believing people have an impact on nature.

“Arrogant&Naive2say man overpwers nature,” Palin tweeted.

“Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions;will cont 2 c chnges.R duty2responsbly devlop resorces4humankind/not pollute&destroy;but cant alter naturl chng,” the former Republican vice presidential nominee wrote.

More reputable experts argue that history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men:


Do You Have What it Takes to be Royalty?

[ 0 ] December 19, 2009 |

Hey; anyone who finds a principality that will elect me Prince wins a free LGM t-shirt.

India’s Carrier Fleet

[ 0 ] December 19, 2009 |

No, India will not be purchasing one of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, or at least not in the short term. The most important reason, I suspect, is that the British aren’t selling; despite a mish-mash of reports to the contrary, the Royal Navy seems as committed as ever to moving down the two carrier path, even if it guts the rest of the fleet. Reading Joshi’s article, however, I’m increasingly convinced that the purchase of the Russian Admiral Gorshkov was a serious mistake. She’s over budget, behind schedule, likely to be less capable than new Indian construction, 32 years old, and was built in Russia. I suppose that the deal may have made sense when the Russians promised that they could deliver the modified Gorshkov in 2008, thus helping to close the gap between the old Hermes and the new Indian carriers. Right now, however, Gorshkov seems the whitest of white elephants.

Kitty Hawk would have made more sense. I’m just sayin’.

Hope That There’s No Confrontration in Crimea…

[ 0 ] December 19, 2009 |

I don’t understand how I had missed this:

H/t Chet.

The Golden Slates

[ 1 ] December 18, 2009 |

LGM is proud to announce the 2009 nominees for First Annual Mikey Kaus Award For Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence in Contrarianism:

  • Jonah Weiner: Creed may be the greatest American rock band since Limp Bizkit (alas, Nickelback, being Canadian, don’t count.) I think you can understand why I think music criticism is a waste of time.
  • Armond White: Bandslam is one of the great achievements of American cinema.
  • Robert Harris: A rapist’s family members should have veto power over whether said rapist is subject to legal sanctions.
  • Lucinda Rosenfeld: If you expect your friends to not leave you unconscious in a gutter and then perhaps offer to pick you up from the hospital after you’ve been slipped a roofie, you need to lower your standards.
  • Levitt and Dubner: Passim. [See also.]

This year’s lifetime achievement awards:

Further nominations are what comments are for…

*I’ll admit that this probably crosses the arbitrary line where “contrarianism” just becomes straightforward “whoring for your powerful friends.” But I’m leaving it in because anything-for-a-buck and sucking up to powerful interests are generally integral to Slate-style contrarianism…

Bowl Mania Reminder

[ 0 ] December 18, 2009 |

Today is the last day to join the LGM Bowl Mania league, or to fill out your bracket if you’ve already joined. Remember: READ the instructions, or you might find yourself ranking the games in exactly opposite the manner you intend.

League: Lawyers, Guns and Money
Password: zevon


[ 0 ] December 18, 2009 |

I, for one, am delighted by the decision to trade a bag of moldy Fritos for Milton Bradley. I appreciate that Bradley rather goes beyond the typical “difficult player” tag, but damn, he can hit. Maybe they think that having Griffey in the clubhouse will help keep him in check?

Random Text Exchange of the Day

[ 0 ] December 18, 2009 |

Yesterday, I received a text on my US cell that read:

“Hi, I need your address xoxo.”
Fairly certain that it wasn’t from a creditor, yet completely uncertain about the source (the area code is south western Florida, and I don’t think I know anybody who lives there) I replied:
“Uhh, I’m not sure I know you.”
In English, that is usually perceived as an invitation to supply a name or something similar, right? This is what I received in response (names changed to protect the guilty):
“Love, I have had Track in the hospital i’ve never been so tired i’m broke n Todd and I are over”.
This mystery was followed by a picture message, which I can’t view as I use an ancient phone for my US cell that I originally obtained while still living in Holland back in 2002.
I’ve only had this US number for about six months or so, and I don’t circulate it all that widely, so I’m 99.99% confident that I don’t know this person. If it was my British mobile, maybe it was from someone whose number I deleted five years ago or something, but this is a mystery to me. The previous owner of my number didn’t exactly notify all of her people that her number had changed, so I received a string of calls for her for about two months. This may be of that genre.
At least Cliff Lee is still a Mariner, there’s a rumored Carlos Silva – Milton Bradley swap in the works as well (will the brilliance never cease?), and I’m eating Christmas cookies for breakfast, so some semblance of sense still remains in the universe.

English to Gibberish Translator

[ 3 ] December 18, 2009 |

This is just creepy:


[ 0 ] December 18, 2009 |

usually it’s the Michele Bachmanns and Glenn Becks of the world who afford me with soft, juicy targets, but the bloody BBC?

And watch in stunned silence as Liliane Landor, the BBC World Service acting head of Africa region, tries to cover her ass: “The programme was a dignified exchange between people who have differing beliefs”.

This isn’t even on the road approaching the suburbs of dignified.

At least both my license fee and the Foreign Office funded this exchange, so I have the pleasure of having paid for it twice.

Exchanges that Make My Month…

[ 0 ] December 18, 2009 |

At the CNAS holiday party last night:

Me: General Dunlap, it’s an honor to meet you; my name is Robert Farley.

Major General Charles Dunlap, USAF: [Looks at my head] Really? Robert Farley? You don’t have horns!

Anti-Choicers: We Still Believe Life Begins At Pregnancy And Ends At Birth

[ 0 ] December 18, 2009 |

Indeed, it’s still true. And it’s true that even if the votes he casts are much more inevitable than those of Lieberman, Nelson merits a substantial amount of contempt.

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