February 23, 2007

Government insanity

But I repeat myself.

The Puppy Blender links to a BoingBoing article which, frankly, I thought was an April Fool's joke until I realized it was still February:

Two Florida teenagers, Jeremy and Amber, ages 17 and 16 respectively, boyfriend and girlfriend -- snapped digital photos of themselves engaged in sexual activity. They were prosecuted under state child porn laws, and convicted. . . . In Florida, Amber and Jeremy did not break the law by having sexual relations -- even though they're both teens -- but the courts decided they were criminals for having documented it digitally.

I think that I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

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February 20, 2007

Sewing up the anti-Semitic vote

Well, it looks like Edwards is about to reach out and tag Jimmy Carter as his running mate. From the original article that Geraghty links:

There are other emerging fissures, as well. The aggressively photogenic John Edwards was cruising along, detailing his litany of liberal causes last week until, during question time, he invoked the "I" word — Israel. Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. As a chill descended on the gathering, the Edwards event was brought to a polite close

John, I know that you're desperately courting the moonbat vote for the primaries, but you might be laying it on a little thick. I'm just saying.

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So who's counting?

For those of you who want to blame Bush for the astronomical number of dead US men and women fighting in a war overseas, you might want to see how many soldiers were killed when we weren't at war:

The total military dead in the Iraq war between 2003 and this month stands at about 3,133. This is tragic, as are all deaths due to war, and we are facing a cowardly enemy unlike any other in our past that hides behind innocent citizens. Each death is blazoned in the headlines of newspapers and Internet sites. What is never compared is the number of military deaths during the Clinton administration: 1,245 in 1993; 1,109 in 1994; 1,055 in 1995; 1,008 in 1996. That's 4,417 deaths in peacetime but, of course, who's counting?

Link via Jonah.

Update: Even more perspective:


You asked for more information on military deaths. Here is a table of all military deaths, broken down by cause, over the 25 year period 1980-2004. This includes all active duty and reservists.

The gist is that soldiers are more likely to die from accidents than hostile action (combat and terrorist actions combined). The death count from accidents has been lower than the death count from hostile action. The fall in accidental deaths is greater than the increase in deaths by hostile action.

Note that there were far more military deaths in 1980, the last year of Carter's presidency, than any year of the current administration. The death rate was, also, higher. This was because of lower standards and less care in training.

The bottom line is that we're fighting this war with lower casualties than that expected from normal training accidents in a peacetime army. You should be embarassed that you didn't know this. It's a testiment to the near universal innumeracy and incompetence of the journalism profession that most journalists haven't even seriously considered looking at basic statistics and putting things in context 5 1/2 years after 9/11.

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February 12, 2007

An idea whose time has come

Presenting the Autorantic Virtual Moonbat, courtesy of Sean Gleeson:

I believe that I'll add the smaller version in the sidebar, which differs in this respect from the original:

Unlike the live chat module, which lets you talk back to the robot, the sidebar module won’t let anyone else get a word in edgewise. All you can do is click the “RANT” button and get ranted at. (Although if the robot sits idle for a couple of minutes, it gets antsy and rants without you.)

Cool. It'll be like talking politics with one of my lefty friends. KEEP YOUR PATRIARCHY OFF MY UTERUS!!!(apologies to Jeff Goldstein).

Update: I asked the AVM for some sports predictions. Q&A below the fold. more...

Posted by: Physics Geek at 11:35 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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Screwing with us some more

Don't forget that Daylight Savings Time has been changed for 2007. Now you will spring forward on the second Sunday in March, instead of the first Saturday in April. And you will fall back the first Saturday in November, instead of October.

YOu know what's the best thing about this switch? Ever since Windows 95 appeared, my computer has automatically updated its internal clock for the EST/DSt switch. Now I will have to manually update my PC's clock. It's a trivial problem to be sure, but it still pisses me off.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 12:12 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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February 05, 2007

I don't think so...

I disagree with Reynolds's assessment of John Edwards decision to hire Amanda Marcotte. In fact, I think that it was a wonderful choice because that vituperative harpy probably killed Edwards' campaign before it got fully underway.

Let's be honest: I can't be the only one who wants to know how much the Clintons are paying Amanda.

Update: Quote of the day over at Reason's blog. I'll excerpt a little bit more to put it context:

Not exactly the best defense disgraced Durham DA Mike Nifong has received, but interesting in the same way that ramblings about CIA radio transmitters in your teeth are interesting -- as a marker for raving moon-bats.

So you might be thinking, at last and at least, a presidential candidate has had the balls to hire on a full-fledged, out-front propagandist, someone boldly willing to not just fudge facts, but fuck them in the ass. A Marcotte-led Net communications op may actually give the jaded among us some reason to pay attention to this 08 election-thing -- there'd be no telling what she'd say.

Update: Patterico offers some of his thoughts on the matter:

And there was a post about Katrina looting that termed “racist fucks” anyone appalled by the looting in New Orleans. The post was titled Dear racist fucks who complained about looting, and said:

And as for the racist fucks behind this foot-dragging and lying and all those that support them, I hope that when you get to hell, after you’ve been greeted nicely by Satan and checked in by Ronald Reagan, your punishment is to be drowned over and over and over again until you fucking realize that suffering is suffering, no matter what race or class or ethnicity the people suffering are.

I responded here — and I also detailed the habit of the bloggers on her site: namely, squelching comments that they disagree with, or that make them look bad. Seems consistent with the more recent allegations of Amanda trying to cover her tracks regarding the Duke lacrosse rape case.

But hey — if John Edwards wants to have a psychotic, profane, illogical, man-hating feminist as his chief blogger, more power to him. This is much better for us than if he had hired someone unlikely to embarrass him.

Eh, I don't mean to give Amanda a hard time. It's only 99.9999% of her qualities that give the rest of them a bad name.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 09:40 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 01, 2007

Lock and load

Dan Riehl doesn't mince words in this post: It's Official: The Press Has Gone To War

And no, I don't think that he's overstating the case one little bit.

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Sad news

I hear that Molly Ivins passed away from cancer. As anyone who has read me at all the last 4+ years would know, I'm not a fan of Molly Ivins. However, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. My condolences to friends and family that she left behind.

Update: Dean is on the same page that I am, which should scare the living crap out of him.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 08:38 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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