Saturday, August 06, 2005

What?
I'm listening to NPR, and I swear they just said that a plane went down off of Sicily after trying to make an emergency landing—because of 'injun' trouble.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Kudos to Novak
Michelle Malkin gets it right. Novak deserved to be ridiculed for cursing on CNN and storming off the set—and he deserves credit for a prompt and sincere apology. There was no "I'm sorry if I offended people," "I'm sorry if some people misinterpreted what I said." His is a simple "I was wrong, I apologize."

(Actually, "I apologize for my conduct and I'm sorry I did it.")

Malkin also provides some alternative apology examples that make Novak look like a champion.

What happened to science?
It seems to me that scientists no long understand the concept of causation, and how it contrasts with correlation. CNN.com reports on a USA Today piece:

Women who cross their legs provocatively, wear short skirts or massage a man's shoulders at work get fewer pay raises and promotions, according to Friday's USA Today.

The newspaper, citing a Tulane University study, said 49 percent of MBA graduates polled admitted that they have tried to advance in their careers by sometimes engaging in certain sexual behaviors, including sending flirty e-mails and wearing revealing clothing.

The respondents who said they never engaged in such activity earned an average of three promotions, versus two for the group that had employed sexuality. Those who said they never used sexuality were, on average, in the $75,000-$100,000 income range; the other group fell, on average, into the next range, $50,000 to $75,000[...]

"We argue that there are negative consequences for women who use sexuality in the workplace," Brief told the newspaper.
Maybe women who make $50,000 to $75,000 are just more likely to be the flirtatious type? I know that men who make over $100,000 are probably more likely to play golf, but that doesn't in any way mean that they're making what they do because they play golf. Maybe there's more in the study, but what CNN has provided here suggests that this Tulane group has reached a conclusion based on insufficient evidence.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

George Will talks sense about Frist
I disagree with Frist's decision, I really do. I don't think the federal government should be funding embryonic stem cell research that results in the destruction of more embryos. I'm undecided about left-over embryos from fertility clinics that would be destroyed anyway. I don't want people to fund private research, but I don't really want the government to intervene, either.

But George Will makes the important point: Frist changed his mind for the right reasons. He's voting his conscience, and he's trying to convince people of his side without hollow rhetoric. He really believes in his position, and he wants to win the debate on its merits. I respect and commend that. I think it's honorable in this day of party-line voting for a politician to stand up and say "I've changed my mind."

Now, I'm sure if a Kossack sees this, they'll start whining "then why did you criticize Kerry so much for 'flip-flopping.'"

Simple. 1)I said many times that he was not a flip-flopper, he was incable of taking a position and sticking to it on any slightly challenging issue. 2)What matters is not that a politician changes his mind, but how and why he does it. I just finished reading a short book by former Speaker Tip O'Neill, All Politics is Local. Overall the book was so-so, but he makes a few really good points. One of them is "You Can Switch a Position, but Do It Quickly and Openly." The key message is:

There is a big difference between waffling on a position and honestly changing your mind. Make sure the people know the difference.

Once Sam Rayburn [another former Speaker] changed a position. "I'd rather be right than consistent!" he declared.
Kerry couldn't make up his mind, and when he'd start to take a stand, he'd do so shakily and without any ability to explain why he "believed" his new position.

Frist has actually stayed pretty consistent, and his conclusions have changed based on a shifting set of facts. Again, I don't agree with his position, but I respect it. And I think the people who agree with me and are condemning him should be ashamed of themselves.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Updated Blogroll
Everyone rejoice. Michael Barone (in my opinion the creator of the best and most knowledgeable political commentary around—aside from my former professor, and thesis adviser David Mayhew) has finally caught up with the times and started his own blog. I have given him the coveted (yeah, right) number 3 spot on my blogroll.

I also realized the other day that my representation of the fairer sex has been severely lacking of late, and with Lexi getting out of the game (I've already removed her from my blogroll), I'd be left with only SarahK to hold up the estrogen quotient.

Of course, it's not like I don't read female bloggers. There are three female-run blogs that I read regularly and really enjoy, so it's past time to include them. I've added blogress and columnist extraordinaire Michelle Malkin for her always intelligent commentary—I've been reading her NYPost columns pretty regularly, and I first found her through a combination of InstaPundit and Townhall.com months ago. Through her periodic OpinionJournal columns, I found Bridget Johnson of GOP Vixen. She's often funny, and always observant—definitely deserving of a slot. And I added The Anchoress, who I can only recommend you read to understand—brilliant and enlightening.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the new reading material.

What's the matter with... um... what's the opposite of Kansas?
Gloria Borger outlines why I think the Democrats will continue a downward spiral for some time to come, with a specific focus on their treatment of the Roberts nomination.

The key point comes in the final paragraph:

Here's the question: What's the difference between the nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by President Bill Clinton and the nomination of Judge Roberts by President Bush? Answer: nothing. Ginsburg appeared as liberal as Roberts does conservative, yet she was approved 96 to 3. The GOP decided it would not be a party of useless litmus tests or panderers to special interests. And in the next election, Republicans made it clear she would not have been their choice. That is, after all, what elections are about.
Basically, the Dems are so concerned with winning on each issue that they've become obstructionist. They come close to winning on every issue (hence Bush's almost-constantly falling approval ratings), but it's always through a pyrrhic almost-victory. Meanwhile their numbers fall faster than his.

There's no regard for the long-term. The left wing is more concerned with screaming about Bush than about rebuilding their party to prevent another Bush from winning in the future.

As Ms. Borger points out, they can't win on Roberts, but they'll still rant and rave about him. As a result, Roberts will pass with a significantly smaller margin than Ginsburg did—but he'll still pass, and the Dems will be the ones who look bad for it.

There's a lot of room for the Dems to pick up votes throughout the country, a lot of which swung for Bush in '04. Unfortunately for them, the remainder (still a sizeable portion) had been in the Dem column to start. Even if you chase more Republican votes to the center, you can't win if you're chasing your own people away too.

Itching to buy a hybrid?
Broken Quanta continues on a running theme of his—explaining why hybrid cars don't make as much sense as people assume they do. (Hat tip - Dave Justus)

UPDATE [8/3/2005 - 14:38]: Ask, and CNN.com shall provide—if you're Toyota, that is.

CNN is reporting that Toyota intends to raise its US hybrid sales to equal 25% of its total US retail sales, with the introduction of 10 additional hybrid vehicles. And I say: of course they are!

As linked to above, Broken Quanta shows that there's quite a difference in the consumer prices of a hybrid versus a standard gas engine. Do you really think that's all contained within the added cost of production? Doubtful. In other words, Toyota knows that if it increases its hybrid sales, it improves its bottom line. Pure and simple.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Do you ever just need to hear something good?
Well, here it is. The kid is doing fine, and has a reasonably good chance of continuing along that path.

It's a terrible, and yet strangely wonderful, way to come into the world. I wish all the luck in the world to this single father.

You click it
The famous GaijinBiker of Riding Sun is currently hosting The 150th Carnival of the Vanities, of which I am a part (though it's not really my best post of all time).

Go check it out, and visit some blogs you don't normally see.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Chavez: Cardinal needs 'bullet in the head'
Cardinal: Chavez needs 'exorcism'
Seriously, that's a good way to get yourself disappeared...