Stroll Through the 'Roll on 10-9-05

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It's been awhile since my last blogroll roundup and it will be awhile before I have time to try to include so many on the 'roll, so here goes. I looked for entries written during the past week that did not cover something I have already discussed here. I might try to do this in a somewhat more abbreviated form on a somewhat regular basis.

These are in the order (more or less) they appear on my blogroll.

Cox and Forkum watch the birdie -- and the Saudi.

I'm going to point out two Cox and Forkum cartoons from the past week because one is so funny and the other is so important.

First, the funny one. Maybe it's just because birds halfway crack me up anyway, but this one about the avian flu is a well-needed dose of laughter on a story that, while important, rests on a razor's edge between having enough hype to get the attention it deserves -- and enough hype to get it incorrectly dismissed as "The sky is falling!"

Preparations for the avian flu, of course, dovetail nicely with preparations for a possible bioterrorist attack. So, while we're on the subject, we might as well take note of what our Saudi "allies" have been up to.

Armchair Intellectual on societal consequences of religion

Gideon Reich reminds me of a paper I want to take a gander at when I've more time. His discussion is also a good starting point.

This study reminds me of an interesting point. Many religious types seem to focus more on what their beliefs supposedly can do to improve society at large rather than how they can help individuals live their lives. Certainly, a better society will likely improve the lot of its citizens, but this raises an interesting question: Why not attempt to promote their faith based on what it can do directly for the prospective individual convert? Is "a better society" replacing "pie in the sky" as the promise of choice?

"Brazilian" Joke at a geezer's corner

Bothenook pokes a little fun at our Commander in Chief.

Bubblehead tells A Tale of Two Razors.

At The Stupid Shall be Punished, Bubblehead considers the recent suicide bombing in Oklahoma.

Ed Morissey delivers a sartorial beach-slapping.

Captain Ed explores stupid fashion statements from two angles and concludes that: (1) Yes, it is "fair" to "judge" someone on the basis of the outlandish aspects of their chosen attire. (2) No, an airline does not have to let you fly while dressed in a manner that appals their other customers.

The second example reminds me of the time a socialist showed up at my apartment to solicit my support for his candidate in a local election. I introduced him to the concept of private property by saying: "I am not a socialist." as I slammed the door in his face.

Chapomatic discusses war journalism.

Chap offers some very interesting thoughts on mil-blogging and journalism over at Chapomatic. Sez he: "I'd like to have it pointed out where the Constitution outlines those unique responsibilities for a Fourth Estate of Government; I don't seem to remember where that article is." There's a lot more to it than the good one-liner, so take a look.

Self-Marginalizing Leftist Visits Charlotte Capitalist

Andy Clarkson has some thoughts on why the left is foundering so badly even as the Republicans hand their own heads on a platter to the Dems.

The Complimenting Complimenter (very politely of course) complains!

He has noticed a problem with Blogger's otherwise nifty method of stopping comment spam, which was becoming a serious problem here a while back.

When I encounter the problem he describes, it is usually when I am not already logged in to Blogger. Oddly, the username and password spaces are absent, while the captcha and its answer space are present. Usually, I have forgotten that I am not logged in (or assumed that I was since the login prompts were missing) and I got the same error. But once, I noticed that just as I was to fill in the answer to the captcha for the third time, the login prompts showed up. No error that time.

Now, I just wait for the login prompts to show up. But still, we shouldn't have to wait on them, should we?

The Counterterrorism Blog on Iraq

Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's deputy in Iraq. "I've written before ... of al-Qaeda's increased efforts to tailor their message to appeasement-minded Westerners. Apparently, Zawahiri has also given some thought to how he can bolster al-Qaeda's image in the Muslim world."

(See also the second Daniel Pipes article below.)

It happens to the best of us.

James Lileks is so good, even a quick note of regret (or go to his front page) about a mistake makes good reading and offers a lesson besides! "I wrote a screedblog for today, but I made the mistake of doing some research afterwards, and discovered something that completely blew up my point."

I've been there before, as have countless other bloggers. But what separates the men from the boys is that Lileks did his retrospective research before rushing to post his screed.

A quick note of regret beats that post I wrote months ago that saw me get bloodied by my readers. Worse still, I hadn't even heard of Bonfire of the Vanities yet!

Daniel Pipes Raps on Stupid Terrorists

Pipes wonders whether a couple of his recent articles might have helped terrorists. He rightly concludes that his very funny article on stupid terrorists does not: "'Don't make dumb mistakes' is not operationally useful." He does have some concern about another article, though. "[T]here is indeed a danger of guiding Islamists to a more successful path. But I proceeded because I thought that danger is outweighed by the need to warn Westerners of what lies ahead."

Read both articles. I might quibble with Pipes on exactly how big a deal his "help" really is in the second case, but I am in complete agreement that we need to know about the internal debate going on within radical Islam.

Free Love already!

David Veksler reports on some good news: There is an effort underway to repeal the odious Wright Amendment, which limits air travel options in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Martin Lindeskog goes medieval entrepreneurial.

My fellow blogger and friend, Martin Lindeskog, has decided to start his own business! I wish him nothing but success and hope he does well in the Venture Cup!

The first link is an open thread post in which he seeks input on intellectual property matters, finding partners and capital for starting the business, and whether a nodisclosurere agreement might be a good idea.

I'm a scientist and so, predictably, have no useful advice for him. Perhaps one of my readers might have some useful ideas. If so, drop by and tell him I sent you.

Yaron Brook: Keep the internet free!

Over at the Egosphere (which seems to be undergoing some changes), is an ARI piece against UN control of the Internet. "The Internet was created in and by the land of the free, America. It has now become the object of an alarming power-grab by the world's dictatorships and their puppet, the UN."

The Resident Egoist on Fuel Efficiency

Over at Existence is Identity is an interesting and disturbing blog about three articles. While Detroit notes a shift in consumer preference for cars with greater fuel economy, some politicians are variously launching Carter-esque campaigns to urge "conservation" while others are attempting Hillary-esque shenanigans or worse.

Yes. High gas prices are being used as an excuse for the government to pick up GM's health benefits tab! Read it now.


Lubber's Line has a very interesting piece up about how microscopic organisms at sea can cause problems for submarines trying to hide. "[B]ioluminescence can gave away the position of a submarine operating on or near the surface by leaving a tell tail glow in the ship's wake."

Visual Abstractions

Have you ever looked at a painting and said something like, "This painting looks 'more real' than reality"? Robert Tracy at Illustrated Ideas explains what the artist had to do to achieve this effect. (Pun intended.)

MADD = "Prohibitionist Twits"

Glenn Reynolds points to an interesting read on the transmogrification of Mothers Against Drunk Driving into an anti-alcohol lobby.

Oh yeah, and your taxes are helping support them.

Ah! Now you're going to visit the link! I knew you would.

The Good and the Bad of Bush's Speech

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch points to a pretty good dissection of the good and the bad in Bush's recent GWOT speech.

360 Participants in Nuclear Arms Race

An LGF writer notes that "British intelligence has identified more than 360 organizations engaged in a clandestine nuclear arms race, to bring the bomb to Islamic countries."

Espionage in the White House

Michelle Malkin blogs on the traitorous "Marine" who has apparently been sending state secrets to the Philippines, and who was caught last week.

Clinton Library Funded by Bribery?

To ask whether the above is a rhetorical question would be, itself, a rhetorical question.

Vigilis points to a story in which former FBI Director Louis Freeh claims that, "Bill Clinton raised the subject [of getting permission to interview suspects in the Khobar Towers bombing] only to tell the crown prince that he understood the Saudis' reluctance to cooperate and then he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the Clinton Presidential Library."

Unsurprising and despicable, if true.

Global Temperature Cycles

Mover Mike points to an interesting story on global warming as part of a 1500 year long climate cycle.

Unisex Bathrooms

Diana Hsieh takes note of a trend I remembered from grad school that I had hoped had gone the way of the third person singular unisex pronoun (heeshee): unisex bathrooms. Thank God the multiculturalists are fighting the good fight!

TIA Radio

Zach Oakes catches something I somehow missed: TIA Daily will start a series of 90-minute webcasts. "I can't wait for the first one on the 13th -- Rob Tracinski will be interviewing Cox and Forkum."

Blog Search Comparison

Curtis Weeks puts some blog search engines through their paces at Phatic Communion. (I looked in several places and could not figure out how to get the permalink for this one entry. Good luck!)

Can the Democrats take the House?

Power Line takes a look at whether voter discontent with the spendthrift Republicans might cause them to lose the House. "The main cause for optimism is that Republicans get to run against Democrats."

Optimism? I disagree with the evaluation, but not the prediction. If the Democrats remain so bereft of new ideas that the voters still can't stand to vote for them, this means that the Republicans will remain free to continue emulating them! How can one be "optimistic" about getting Democrats when voting for Republicans?

And Democrats who care not a whit about "civil liberties", for lack of a better term, at that!

Big Screen Genetics

Over at Riding Sun, the Gaijin Biker has a really interesting post about a potential problem in Tom Cruise's gene pool.

I'm a geek.

I never follow Hollywood celebrities.

This is really weird.

Trust me.

This is one happy Democrat.

Rob Schumacher seems confident that the Democrats could score some stunning electoral gains in the near future.

The more likely scenario, I think, is that the Democrats will fail to capitalize in the short term. (See Power Line link above.) In the long term, if the Democrats do not embrace free market economics or their old heritage of defending civil liberties or both, they will become a marginalized left-wing party and the Republicans will split into a religious party and a free market party.

Serenity Reviews

Haven't seen it yet, but I will, sooner or later. Diana Hsieh as been promoting it for quite a while at Noodle Food and liked it. Blair at Secular Foxhole liked it and gave it 4/5 stars. And that guy over at Passing Thoughts has a new favorite movie!

Good War Roundup

I mentioned this once, but only as a note in a post update, so I'll mention again that there is a good roundup on the war over at Self Uncensored.

Spitzer's Abuse of Power

It's a short post over at Thrutch, but it indicates a must-read on Elliot Spitzer. "[F]rom my perspective, Spitzer's abuse of power is even more brazen than I'd previously imagined."

Shakespeare Conspiracy Update

I found this academic's thoughts on the notions that (1) "Shakespeare wasn't really (couldn't possibly have been!) Shakespeare" and (2) whether Shakespeare might have been Catholic to be very interesting reading.

Two goodies from Ultraquiet No More

Over at the group submarine blog are a couple of interesting posts well worth a look. First, Vigilis notes the latest submarine thriller to hit the book stalls, Red Star Rogue, about the circumstances behind the loss of a Soviet submarine off Hawaii in 1968. The book posits that the boat attempted to launch a nuclear missile against the United States.

A coworker told me about the book. It sounds interesting, but I suspect that Vigilis' advice not to believe everything you read applies here.

And Bubblehead plays BS detector for one Lt. Raymond Perry, who wrote on the recent collision between the USS Philadelphia and the merchant ship Yaso Aysen. "If I had seen a statement like 'Don't have a collision' in a set of standing orders, I would have laughed my ass off...."

Chortle. That's right up there with "Don't do something stupid."

That's a rap.

Man! That stroll through the 'roll took forever! Hope you liked it.

-- CAV


Today: Changed some wording, fixed some typos.

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