The Locker Room

May 25, 2004

Tailpipe Trouble

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 7:10 PM

Can't tell that much from what I've found, but the same company that has provided at least some of the emission testing equipment in North Carolina has just told the city of Houston there is a problem.

In Houston cars that should've passed inspection were failed by faulty software made by Environmental Systems Products Holdings. Some 50,000 vehicles are believed to be involved.

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Yes, they'll weep for Doctorow but say nothing about John Yoo

Posted by Jon Sanders at 4:42 PM

From New York Lawyer:

"More than 240 Boalt [UC-Berkeley Law] students and alumni have signed an online petition calling for professor John Yoo to resign or to recant his opinion that the Geneva Conventions don't necessarily apply to enemy combatants swept up in the international fight against terrorism. Yoo authored a recently released memo to that effect while working for the U.S. Department of Justice in 2002."

"Resign or recant" the campus left's two r's of education.

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Clancy and Perle Near Fisticuffs

Posted by Paul Chesser at 4:42 PM

Promoting his latest book from the "Commanders" series, Tom Clancy, who co-authored "Battle Ready" with former Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, said he once "almost came to blows" with Pentagon adviser Richard Perle.

Both authors are critics of the Iraq war.

Zinni has openly attacked the war, but Clancy reluctantly acknowledged his own concerns. He declined repeatedly to comment on the war, before saying that it lacked a "casus belli," or suitable provocation.

"It troubles me greatly to say that, because I've met President Bush," Clancy said. "He's a good guy. ... I think he's well-grounded, both morally and philosophically. But good men make mistakes."

In discussing the Iraq war, both Clancy and Zinni singled out the Department of Defense for criticism. Clancy recalled a prewar encounter in Washington during which he "almost came to blows" with Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser at the time and a longtime advocate of the invasion.

"He was saying how (Secretary of State) Colin Powell was being a wuss because he was overly concerned with the lives of the troops," Clancy said. "And I said, 'Look ..., he's supposed to think that way!' And Perle didn't agree with me on that. People like that worry me."

Neither Clancy or Zinni would commit to supporting President Bush in the Fall.

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Day After Tomorrow reveals additional political bias

Posted by Chad Adams at 4:31 PM

And you thought "Day After Tomorrow" was just about getting more traction on greenhouse gases and the Kyoto Treaty. This is from the Foxnews review of the film (and it was pretty bad overall).

Unlike Pullman in "ID4," this president is a bumbling idiot, a puppet manipulated by his evil, self-motivated vice president. I guess this is supposed to be a clever reference, but it backfires instead, disarming the film and undermining it critically.

You see, when America is imperiled in a disaster film, it's the president to whom we turn as the moral compass. The hero in this case, a poorly conceived one played by Dennis Quaid can have all the adventures, but he must report ultimately to a fair and wise leader.

For example: If Batman walked in on Commissioner Gordon taking a bribe, all hope would be lost. That's what happens in "Day."

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Pension Pain

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 3:32 PM

You have to subscribe to Fortune to get the full piece, but even this intro gives a good idea of the mess politicians have made of public-sector pensions.

It is a classic public choice issue where a small number of people have great interest and influence on an issue that makes most folks' eyes glaze-over. But if and when states and localities are forced to raise taxes in order to fund the pensions I bet they'll take notice.

The full piece has a state-by-state breakdown of pension exposure, with N.C. looking to be in good shape. That, of course, is to be expected in a state where public-sector unions do not drive spending decisions.

But wait! Some state, some where is paying someone more for something? That puts North Carolina at a competitive disadvantage! Get Raleigh on the phone, we'll fix that.

Well worth a look.

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Re: Dictionary

Posted by Paul Chesser at 3:19 PM

Did you notice where the home bases were for the three dictionaries cited in the article on defining marriage? Yep -- Massachusetts, Massachusetts, and New York!

We all knew it was part of the whole conspiracy, didn't we? And I bet you'll find that all those dictionary editors vacation in Provincetown, too!

We need a dictionary based in one of the flyover states.

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Even Arnold Threw Him Out

Posted by Paul Chesser at 2:55 PM

Speaking of defining traditional families, the California legislature just about ran Rev. Ralph Drollinger out of Sacramento because he said female legislators who have small children at home are "sinful."

State lawmakers staged a "domestic revolt" Monday, some donning kitchen aprons and scarlet "M's" to protest a pastor who characterized female legislators with young children at home as sinners.

Democratic Sen. Debra Bowen went barefoot on the Senate floor, bringing along a toaster and other kitchen accessories to her desk.

"Today, I'll be serving up a billion dollars in savings for PG&E customers, identity theft legislation ... along with bacon and eggs, getting my shopping list together and preparing to can," she said.

State legislators were offended by what the Rev. Ralph Drollinger, who leads a Bible study class for lawmakers, wrote during a Bible lesson in April.

Bowen said Monday's protest was to point out that lawmakers with children "can do as good a job being parents as they can being legislators."

About a dozen male and female senators joined the protest, including Senate President Pro Tem John Burton, who presided over the Senate wearing a pink flowered apron.

Gee, I'd say the same thing here in Raleigh if it meant an opportunity to see some of our legislative leaders in drag.

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On Dictionaries, Words, & Modernity

Posted by Paul Chesser at 2:55 PM

It should not surprise anyone that the definition of the words are changing. A few hundred years ago, Rousseau proffered the unreliability of words because society itself was/is a construct. The radicalization of Rousseau in modernity has been proceeding apace ever since, and this is why the ideas are the most important thing we ought to consider.

It is interesting that Rousseau's thought is influential on both the left and the right (in paleo-con, traditional circles).

While I am not impressed with the likes of Hannity, I will note that the 1828 Websters has this to say about the definition of the word:

"The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic fidelity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children."

There's so much going on in this definition that I will refrain from the exegesis. Yet, the implications of this definition on the thinking on the left and right is profound; they find it an anathema.

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Mainstream Media

Posted by Paul Chesser at 1:54 PM

And no Jon this is NOT spam! :-) Right Wing News and more humor below:

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Re: It's Right There in the Dictionary

Posted by Donna Martinez at 1:42 PM

Apparently Bill Clinton was right after all. It just depends.

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The Justice Behind the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Posted by Donna Martinez at 1:35 PM

To learn about the background and motivations of Margaret Marshall, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who is the driving force behind the state's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, check out this story in the May/June issue of Legal Affairs magazine.

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Even the eggheads editing dictionaries have become politicized, to wit...

Posted by Jon Sanders at 1:20 PM

Paul, regarding your post on dictionaries redefining the word "marriage," surely those editors aren't being clear enough. Shouldn't the new definition of marriage, worded to legitimize same-sex marriage (ad verecundiam propter Websterum), more closely reflect the full argument in favor of same-sex marriage? For example:

marriage n 1. The condition of being a husband or wife; the relation between persons married to each other; matrimony. (Note: The term is now sometimes used with reference to and only to long-term relationships between partners of the same sex. Long-term relationships between three or more partners, between certain partners bearing kinship, between an adult and a child, between human and animalkind, or between human and object or objects, do not now qualify, nor will they ever qualify. We promise.)

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It's Right There in the Dictionar...Oh, Nevermind

Posted by Paul Chesser at 1:05 PM

Looks like Sean Hannity will have to stop using his dictionary argument when defending traditional marriage.

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Re: Doctorow

Posted by Paul Chesser at 10:55 AM

George, if audiences have the foresight to bring in cards with disapproving symbols, they might be better off carrying in their own whoopee cushions. Imagine, at the end of the speech, standing then sitting in unison!

Or, they could just offer up this derogatory phrase.

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Re: Environmental Hooey

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:26 AM

Jenna, even the screenwriter knows the movie is hooey:

"Even the Younger Dryas period happened over decades and decades," said Adamec, who read the script before shooting began.

"I looked at the screenwriter and said, 'you know, it's not realistic.' He said: 'Yes, I know -- it's a movie'."

I doubt I'll pay to see this thing in the theaters. But I confess, I can't wait to see it on cable:

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Sowell on Cosby on the problems of blacks

Posted by George Leef at 09:34 AM

By now, everyone has probably heard that Bill Cosby caused astonishment by publicly criticizing the tendency among many blacks to blame others for all their troubles. Cosby's talk was remarkable and very gutsy. Is he trying to put himself in the same company as Clarence Thomas?

Thomas Sowell liked what Cosby had to say and you can read his comments here.

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Environmental Hooey

Posted by Jenna Ashley Robinson at 08:07 AM

USA Today editorialist reveals how the author of The Coming Global Superstorm finds his writing inspiration:

In Strieber's previous work, Communion, he explained that he was told of the Earth's upcoming apocalypse by aliens. And how this knowledge was communicated is much more the purview of an adult Web site than a family newspaper.

The Coming Global Superstorm is the book behind The Day After Tomorrow, Al Gore's new favorite movie.

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Re: Doctorow's commencement address

Posted by George Leef at 08:02 AM

Jon is absolutely right. The inhospitable treatment of Doctorow at Hofstra is going to be cited as proof that the problem on campus is intolerant conservatives.

It would be so much better if, instead of booing, offended listeners had a means of expressing their distaste that did not involve a noisy interruption. Stony silence at the end of a talk is ineffective, since many people will offer perfunctory applause, enabling the speaker to walk away without realizing how his speech angered others. Turning thumbs down would probably be interpreted by the Left as proof that we embrace violence at some root level.

We need some universal symbol of disapproval -- like the universal traffic signs -- for individuals to display whenever they've had to endure an inappropriately political talk. How about a large card with a frowny face or a gray cloud?

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