Friday, July 12, 2002

Michael Bellisiles is at it again and Eugene Volokh finds Bellisiles' view of "history" interesting to say the least.

Matt Drudge is reporting that Rep. Dick Gephardt (D) may have gotten some sweetheart loans from DNC bagman Terry McAuliffe.

Does CNN know something about Pasadena, CA, where I grew up, that I don't? Like the presence of OIL REFINERIES?!?

There's yet another unsubstantiated, vague threat warning issued by the Feds of a possible terrorist strike on the oil refineries of Pasadena TEXAS. But CNN just now had a reporterette going off about the refineries in my old home town. And it wasn't simply a case of her getting confused and substituting the name of the well-known home of the Rose Parade; the chiron at the bottom of the screen also said "Pasadena, Calif." as she spoke. In other words, a copy writer and then an editor blew it. But, it's the poor reporterette who is now probably going to be the butt of a Texas-sized crop of jokes.

An Update: CNN seems to have caught on to the rest of the story. That being the part where Federal and local officials in Pasadena, realizing that there aren't a whole lotta oil refineries in town, call Pasadena, Texas to warn them.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Spin City...

Compare these three headlines and lead-ins. Notice anything strange?
Would you believe that all three are for the same story?


face="Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif"> Davis ekes out 7-point lead over

Field Poll shows voters against hopeful rather than for governor

href="">Lynda Gledhill, Chronicle Sacramento
width="10" height="1">
face="geneva,arial,sans-serif" size="1" color="#990000"> Thursday, July
11, 2002

href=""> src=""
width="150" height="36" border="0">

target=""> src=""
alt="Click to View" vspace="1">

-- Despite Gov. Gray Davis' problems with a state contracting scandal, a
budget deficit and criticism over his fund-raising tactics, California voters
reluctantly give him a 7-point lead over Los Angeles businessman Bill Simon,
a Field Poll released today shows.

Davis keeps lead on Simon

Despite unfavorable ratings, the governor edges his GOP rival.

By Amy Chance -- Bee Political Editor

Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Thursday, July 11, 2002

Buffeted by budget struggles, critics' focus on his fund raising and
lingering concerns over his leadership on energy issues, Gov. Gray Davis
nevertheless maintains a lead over Republican challenger Bill Simon as he
seeks re-election in November, according to a Field Poll released Wednesday.

The Democratic incumbent remains unpopular with voters, however, and his
advantage over Simon has slipped since a post-primary survey taken in April.



Posted on Thu, Jul. 11, 2002 src=""
width="46" height="13" border="0">
alt="story:PUB_DESC" border="0">
src="" width="15"
src="" width="1"

Simon cuts Davis'
lead in half

Mercury News



Republican Bill Simon has cut Democratic Gov. Gray Davis' lead
in half -- to 7 percentage points -- but voters are becoming disenchanted
with both candidates, according to a new Field Poll.

Half the electorate disapproves of Davis, and a growing number
of voters views Simon in negative terms. Some are turning to third-party
candidates, whose support has reached 9 percent, the highest level in 10


Yup... All three are covering the same Field  Poll. This is what's meant
by "spin". Two writers make bad news for Davis look good, while the third
takes bad news and makes it look worse. (Yes, this poll really is bad news
for Davis. He should be doing  much better at this point in the game.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2002



An Update: The House has passed the bill to allow trained pilots to carry firearms. Let's hope that Sen. Boxer can help find enough votes to get this through.

Is Daniel Pipes making a " target="_blank" title="Earth to FBI...">rush to judgement"? I think

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Blame it on bin Laden?

There's still more info suggesting a link between the LAX terrorist and Al Qaeda. I wonder if the FBI is reading any of these stories.

Jonah Goldberg goes after the PoMo Virus. More specifically, he takes the Postmodernists to task for their contribution to the truly stupid and obnoxious things that some people have said since 9-11. The effects of that non-value system are, of course, broader than that. Thanks to the PoMo virus, we have millions who cannot seem to tell right from wrong. And we wonder why we get behavior like at Enron or Worldcom? If there is no distinct right or wrong, then who's to say that shredding documents or faking financial records is really bad? Perhaps the corporate values at Worldcom were merely "different", but not wrong. There's a saying: "As you sow, so shall you reap." We've taught several generations that there is no objective right and wrong. They seem to have learned their lessons well.

Eugene Volokh is wondering about those City of LA recycling cans.
This makes me wonder: Has anyone tried to figure out whether the recycling program requires more trucks and more truck trips? It's possible that it doesn't, but it seems possible that it might -- I just don't know. And if it does require extra trucks and extra trips, then I wonder how one would balance the supposed environmental benefits of the recycling program stack up against the costs -- the financial costs, the environmental costs of the extra fuel consumed, the environmental costs of the extra exhaust produced, and the traffic burdens caused by the extra trucks.
He goes on to speculate as to the efficacy of government sponsored (read: politically motivated) environmental programs in general. He points out that, while he's not really an expert on environmental matters, there's something fishy about the whole thing. He has good reason to be skeptical of the "blue cans". The last I heard, the City of LA wasn't selling any of the collected recyclables. The reason? The price they'd get for the material doesn't cover the cost of collecting it. They're holding onto it in hopes that the price will rise one day.

Monday, July 08, 2002

And speaking of the FBI, when will they get around to admitting the obvious? They are currently the lead investigators in the LAX case because, as they said at the outset, this could be terrorism. But they've since all but ruled that out. The LAPD is now asking why the FBI is still claiming to be the lead agency if it wasn't terrorism. A good question.

More curious behavior from the FBI vis-s-vis leads to terrorists.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

So has this been a fun weekend or what?!?

First, we get the Egyptian terrorist shooting up the El Al counter at LAX. Then we get the FBI trying to paint this as anything but a terrorist incident. ("Maybe it was a Mexican.") Then we get the FBI admitting that, surprise surprise, the gunman killing Jews at LAX is indeed an Arab. ("OK... so he's not some Vato who left his lowered Impala double parked outside the terminal.") But of course, that doesn't mean that he's a terrorist. He got in a tiff with a neighbor about that neighbor's American flag flown post 9-11. But he's not a terrorist. FReeper Auntie Mame reports from Irvine that the terrorist troubled limo driver is alleged by neighbors to have spent hours watching PA propaganda via satellite TV. But he's not a terrorist. And the Egyptians point out that this sort of thing "happens all the time in the US", so he's not a terrorist. An employee (?), who also happens to be Arabic, reported in TV interview that the terrorist troubled limo driver would fly into a rage at every report of IDF incursions into PA territory. But he's not a terrorist. He'd narrowly escaped deportation a few years back. But after having been in the US for ~10 years and raising a family, he looked like just another immigrant. Hey... Just because he sent that American family back to Egypt, that doesn't meant that he was planning a terrorist strike incident at LAX. What? Do you think that he's a terrorist?!? I mean c'mon... it's not like he was meeting with Ayman Al-Zawahiri of Al Qeada or anything.