Nov
30
2010
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I am extending my Thanksgiving break.

Mostly because I didn’t actually really have one. I may be back today; I may be back tomorrow; I’ll certainly be back Thursday.

Nov
29
2010
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DO NOT WANT

Well, this sucks.

Irvin Kershner, who directed the Star Wars sequel “The Empire Strikes Back” and the James Bond film “Never Say Never Again,” has died at age 87.

Especially since now there’s nothing stopping George Lucas from memory-holing “I know.”

Moe Lane
(more…)

Nov
29
2010
4

#rsrh On Reid and NRA renewals.

Ignoring the NRA’s get-eaten-last strategy for the moment… I dunno, Glenn.  Based on the numbers: if we’re spotting an additional five points to the Senate races then if Reid had lost he’d have been joined with Bennett and Murray, making the end result a 50/50 tie and Joe Biden expected to explicitly sign off on all the legislation that gets passed in the 112th Congress.  That would have been fun.

But what’s done is done.

Nov
29
2010
1

#rsrh Iranian nuclear scientist assassination…

…using magnetic bombs?

The assassins, riding motorcycles, tossed bombs at — or attached them to — vehicles of the two Shahid Behesti University professors as they drove with their spouses en route to work between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m..

“A Pulsar motorbike drove close to Dr. Shahriari’s car and stuck a bomb on his car which after a few seconds exploded,” Tehran police chief Hossein Sajednia was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Via Gateway Pundit/RightNetwork, via Instapundit. One nuclear scientist killed, one wounded – also wounded were their wives, and at least one driver.  The Iranians are blaming Israel, of course… despite the fact that this would be precisely the sort of cinematic attack that generally stays in cinemas*.  That would be because you don’t start a war to kill two scientists; and if Mossad had done this, it would have been an act of war.

On the other hand: between this situation and the Stuxnet worm, this entire Iranian nuke situation is starting to get an action-movie feel to it.  Which is not actually a good thing, given a). the number of extras that typically die in action movies and b). the amount of real estate that typically gets blown up…

Moe Lane (more…)

Nov
29
2010
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#rsrh QotD, Andrew Malcolm edition.

If you’re not reading Andrew Malcolm… um, why is that, anyway? From his latest:

Palin should only hope Obama was telling the truth about his inattentiveness to her activities. That would be repeating the same mistake some of Obama’s Democrat competitors made back in 2006-07.

They thought that an inexperienced elected state official who’d quit that job to run for higher office, who could give a real good speech but had zero foreign policy experience and who had only written a couple of best-selling books, could not possibly present a serious political challenge to established Washington veterans.

And we all know now how accurate that thinking was.

Man, there are levels to that.  And read the whole thing.

Nov
28
2010
2

RIP, Leslie Nielsen.

He was 84.

He was great in Forbidden Planet, too.

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Nov
28
2010
7

Assange keeps digging Wikileaks’ grave.

Accused rapist Julian Assange* continued to justify the upcoming backlash against transparency this weekend by promising to illegally release more classified government documents on the notorious site Wikileaks. These documents in particular are apparently State Department diplomatic cables: up until, oh, today, those documents were typically much more blunt and ambiguity-free than the standard State Department bumpf, mostly because nobody out there considered that anyone would be insane enough to release them even if they had access. This will likely change – quickly – now that the diplomatic corps knows that its private communications are insecure; in other words, from now on the folks in the striped-pants brigade are going to be as mealy-mouthed in private as they are in public. As Allahpundit noted above, the Left should keep this in mind when trying in the future to boost State at Defense’s expense: Assange just made that harder for you.

And I will also note that, while I will happily ding President Obama for both his wrong actions and for not living up to his own side’s previously-established standards of behavior, this line of attack by Wikileaks is made up of pure garbage designed to weaken both my country and my government. The President needs his ambassadors to know what he wants; they need to be able to tell him what he can get. So it’s stupid to not be blunt and forthright in private about matters that require a softer public touch. It’s even more stupid for Wikileaks to keep publicly attacking the USA like this.

Because when the backlash comes, it’s going to splatter.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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Nov
28
2010
2

Traveling… is unpleasant.

Over now, except for the jangling nerves. Probably see all y’all tomorrow.

Nov
27
2010
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Causality in Prince of Persia is seriously messed up.

I mean.  Seriously messed up.

Also: ostriches are not actually suicidal.

Otherwise, it’s not actually all that bad, provided that you turn off the parts of your brain dedicated to medieval Middle Eastern history.

Nov
27
2010
6

#rsrh The true damage of the Stuxnet Worm.

Allahpundit wonders whether the Stuxnet worm that just bollixed up Iran’s nuclear weapons program can really be considered a success, given that we know about it now.  I would say so:

As Iranians struggled with the setbacks, they began searching for signs of sabotage. From inside Iran there have been unconfirmed reports that the head of the plant was fired shortly after the worm wended its way into the system and began creating technical problems, and that some scientists who were suspected of espionage disappeared or were executed. And counter intelligence agents began monitoring all communications between scientists at the site, creating a climate of fear and paranoia.

[snip]

One additional impact that can be attributed to the worm, according to David Albright of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is that “the lives of the scientists working in the facility have become a living hell because of counter-intelligence agents brought into the plant” to battle the breach. Ironically, even after its discovery, the worm has succeeded in slowing down Iran’s reputed effort to build an atomic weapon.

I suggest that there’s nothing “ironic” about this.  Anybody can wreck a physical plant.  Wrecking the social network that a scientific/engineering project depends on to function properly causes a lot more damage. And nothing does more damage to a social network than randomly – and incorrectly – executing random members of it for espionage.

I’d feel bad about the executions, except of course that the Iranian bombs have already been earmarked for incinerating people who don’t deserve it; so [expletive deleted] those guys.

Moe Lane

Nov
27
2010
1

Tancredo whines about GOP unity.

Ah, what a difference an election makes.  Back in October, Tom Tancredo mocking the GOP:

“What’s the point? I mean, if I can be more effective as governor, if the Republicans in the legislature are going to have their feelings hurt or whatever, then I’ll consider it. But really what’s the purpose? What do I need from [GOP Chairman] Dick Wadhams? Why would I argue anymore with the head of what might soon be a minor party?

This November, Tancredo is ready to start the healing. He’s even ready to join back up:

Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) wants moderate Republicans and conservatives in Colorado to meet so they can come together to prevent divides that could lead to election losses.

Funny, we have something like that already: it’s called a ‘Republican primary,’ and if Tancredo wants to participate in our next one,he’s welcome to.  Admittedly, if he had in the last one Tancredo would have actually had to do real work if he wanted to get the nomination (instead of trying to play white knight), but life is full of these little road bumps.  Such as dealing with all those aggravated Republicans out there who are annoyed with Tancredo for almost mucking up the Colorado GOP for the next election cycle and certainly* getting Michael Bennet re-elected.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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Nov
27
2010
7

#rsrh Break up bankrupted states?

Like Glenn Reynolds, I’m sure that there are all sorts of reasons that argue against this Volokh Conspiracy commenter’s position that if we do allow states to go bankrupt then we should also require them to lose their state status and be bounced back down to territorial status again.  But the idea of taking say, California, yanking it out of statehood for ten years… then readmitting it as the three or so states that it should be appeals.

Hoo, boy, yes, it appeals.

Moe Lane

PS: Texas should also probably be about three states or so, but Texas is also not in imminent danger of default.

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