The Locker Room

August 02, 2006

Dixie Chicks can't stand the heat

Posted by Jon Ham at 5:04 PM

Literally. Their Jones Beach, NY, concert was called off due to the weather. 

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Easley responds to Decker plea

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:28 PM

You'll find details here and here.

The governor calls the current scandal a "blight on the state." 

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Lorie has her dander up

Posted by Jon Ham at 4:06 PM

I love it when she gets this way

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Senators are above average citizens

Posted by Michael Moore at 1:03 PM

This article in the New York Times, tells how some U.S. Senators are troubled that they have to ride elevators with tourists.  I just like the Times input of how ole Strom confronted female colleagues on the elevators.    

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Re: Alabama Man

Posted by Shannon Blosser at 12:46 AM


I will admit my guilt, but I will also blame Fox News for using the word "Alabaman" on their front page.

However, if it was a West Virginian, I'm sure there was a couch burning somewhere. Ah, memories of West Virginia University victories.

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Re: Alabama man

Posted by Jon Ham at 12:01 AM

Shannon,  "Alabamans" is like nails on a chalkboard to Alabamians. I understand, however, that this is a nuance lost to people who didn't hear George Wallace use "Alabamians" in nearly every paragraph of his speeches while governor. So, no reason for a West Virginianian to know that.

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Re: the libertarian disadvantage

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:59 AM

Roy, essentially the difference is an outcropping of the difference in general between libertarians and the "liberal" statists. Statists look to centralized government to solve their problems; libertarians look to individuals to solve their own problems among themselves without having them compounded by intrusive state meddling. Thus, the statists' approach to shutting down offensive ideas is to resort to the power of the state to force an opponent to shut up. The libertarian's approach to shutting down offensive ideas is to persuade an opponent to the superiority of an idea — and barring that, to make the opponent too embarrassed to continue to expound upon an untenable notion (reductio ad abstinentis).

Libertarians, in other words, expect the individual to bear the responsibility of shutting up when he's been shown to be peddling manure.

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Re: Be afraid (The liberatrian disadvantage in debating the environmentalist left)

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 11:50 AM

Regarding the coercive tactics of the environmentalist left meant to silence debate on global warming, we on the more libertarian side of things are at a distinct disadvantage. In fact this disadvantage applies to much of the left-right debate in general. This quote from Ayn Rand points to the problem. Rand argues that libertarian morality dictates that:

[People] can deal with one another only in terms of and by means of reason, i.e., by means of discussion, persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit. The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial.
From "What is Capitalism" in Capitalism the Uknown Ideal

In other words, our morality prevents us from using coercion to shut down our opponents. The willingness to use intimidation tactics and the threat of violence, which is inherent in the legal goings-on in California, opens up a wide range of possible tactics for the enviro fascists. These are tactics that those of us on the skeptical side, at least those of us who are libertarians (which includes several on the eco-gestapo target list mentioned in the law suit), morally do not have.

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Alabama man shows too much love for country

Posted by Shannon Blosser at 11:36 AM

Now this from the "What Happens When You Have too Much to Drink File", an Alabaman was arrested for waving the American Flag while nude along an Alabama highway.

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Dems keep bashing Joe!

Posted by Michael Moore at 11:30 AM

This kind of upsets me, just because Joe Lieberman is a man who sticks to his guns on foreign policy the ultra liberals have decided to keep bashing Joe. 

VIA: Drudgereport 

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Can anything be done about miserable college courses?

Posted by George Leef at 10:06 AM

That is the question Professor Walter Williams asks in his column today. He sees the problem with foolish, politicized courses (which would be bad enough with highly educated students, but as Williams points out, many college students today struggle with literacy and have a very weak foundation of basic knowledge) as rooted in the unwillingness of trustees to step in when they need to. Williams suggests that boards of trustees should hire an ombudsman whose job would be to carefully evaluate the school's curriculum and report to them. Most trustees are too busy to do that on their own. I think that's an excellent idea.

When they get down to oversight, a good rule of thumb for trustees would be to say that courses will be about the teaching of bodies of knowledge in academic disciplines. Of course, that leaves room for theories and opinions, but rules out courses that are nothing but theories and opinions, such as "The Unbearable Whiteness of Barbie," which Williams criticizes. If professors want to spout off on their own ideas, they have academic journals and blogs for that. Undergraduate courses ought to be devoted to the dissemination of knowledge.

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More on stem cells

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:40 AM

Most debate about federal funding for embryonic stem cell research has focused on the moral issue.

That's not a bad thing. The issue lends itself to a major moral debate.

What's drawn less discussion is the "big government" element of the debate. Why should the federal government be involved?

In this week's TIME article "The Politics of Science," Nancy Gibbs reports (with no attribution, by the way):

But to make a wedge issue work, it helps to have a crisis--or, as the gay-marriage issue showed, to manufacture one. As private research continues even without federal funds and Governors like California's Arnold Schwarzenegger rush in to fill the void with state money, voters end up concluding that Bush's veto is not likely to prevent science from going forward in some way.

Companion articles discuss state-based stem cell initiatives, along with private efforts at Harvard and other research sites.

Given the fact that private money is flowing toward this research, doesn't it make sense to allow entrepreneurs and scientists to do the heavy lifting? 

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Re: Calif. AG vs. global-warming-"crisis" skeptics

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:37 AM

"[S]keptics have proven extraordinarily adept at draining the issue of all sense of crisis..."

Boy, and that's a real kick in the pants, after all the time the environmentalists have devoted to deliberately overstating the issue to make it sound like a crisis.

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Pounding the Redistribution Drum, Again

Posted by John Hood at 09:11 AM

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington spends a great deal of its time and effort trying to convince politicians and the public that the American Dream is faltering, the rich is gaining at the expense of the poor, and other trendy ideas from, say, 1933. In its latest missive, CBPP reports the findings of a paper in the Quarterly Journal of Economics that uses statistical estimates to gauge disparities in reported U.S. incomes all the way back to 1913. Naturally, the conclusion is that the share of “national income” claimed by the top one percent of households is now at its post-war high. I thought the authors would go ahead and cite this portend as among the signs of the Apocalypse, but perhaps the End Times paper is next in the queue. (Not all economists read the data as tendentiously, by the way.)

Seriously, these analyses based on income reported to the Internal Revenue Service are fruits from a poisoned tree. Surely there is no need to explain why various individuals, rich and not-so-rich, may not fully report their true economic condition to the taxman. Other evidence persuasively suggests that measuring household consumption, not income, is the best way to gauge living standards and eliminate biases related to tax sheltering, the underground economy, temporary gains or losses, and other issues. And even that change is insufficient to depict the reality of daily life for most Americans, because the measurements inadequately capture non-wage forms of compensation such as health care and changes in the options and quality of the goods and services available to all but the very poorest of the poor.

The good news is that after decades of being subjected to the constant beating of the income-redistribution drum, Americans still prefer a more traditional rhythm. In polls, the vast majority continue to express satisfaction with their own economic condition, optimism about the future, and confidence that their children will have more economic choices and opportunities than they will.

But, yeah, Americans are upset about gas prices, no question about it.

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Be afraid-environmentalists really are fascists and they are powerful.

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 09:00 AM

Environmental groups and the California state AG are trying to legally shut down debate on global warming. This article by Steve Milloy at explains what's going on. It is clear that representatives from these groups and their court of "political" scientists, which includes some local propagandists like Duke University's William Schlesinger, are unwilling to debate the Pat Michaels, David Ballings, and Fred Singers of the world but they are finding out that simply refusing to debate them is not enough to silence them. They are still (occasionally) forced to confront the arguments of actual climate scientists. Like all good fascists, no opposition can be tolerated, so now groups like Environmental Defense, who had revenues of over $50 million in 2003, are worried that these global warming skeptics might be getting a few hundred thousand dollars from the industries that move our cars, get us to work, light, heat and cool our houses, fly us around the world, etc. Specifically here's what's going on:

"The State of California has filed a request in federal court to force auto makers to disclose all documents and communications between the companies and the so-called “climate skeptics.” California accuses the climate skeptics of playing a “major role in spreading disinformation about global warming...California has been joined in the lawsuit by environmental activist groups including, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense.

In a pre-trial discovery motion, California and the environmental groups asked for:

All DOCUMENTS relating to both GLOBAL WARMING and to any of the following individuals: S. Fred Singer, James Glassman, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, Patrick J. Michaels, Thomas Gale Moore, Robert C. Balling, Jr., Sherwood B. Idso, Craig D. Idso, Keith E. Idso, Sallie Baliunas, Paul Reiter, Chris Homer [sic], Ross McKitrick, Julian Morris, Frederick Seitz, Willie Soon, and Steven Milloy, including but not limited to:

a.    All DOCUMENTS relating to any communications between YOU and these individuals, and
b.    All DOCUMENTS relating to YOUR relationship (or the relationship of any automobile manufacturer or association of automobile manufacturers) with any of them, including but not limited to payments directly or indirectly from YOU or any other automobile manufacturer or association of automobile manufacturer to any of them.

The state then goes on to quote from Ross Gelbspan’s book entitled, “The Heat Is On”:

Ever since climate change took center stage at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Pat Michaels and Robert Balling, together with Sherwood Idso, S. Fred Singer, Richard S. Lindzen, and a few other high-profile greenhouse skeptics have proven extraordinarily adept at draining the issue of all sense of crisis. They have made frequent pronouncements on radio and television programs, including a number of appearances by some of them on the Rush Limbaugh show; their interviews, columns, and letters have appeared in newspapers ranging from local weeklies to The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. In the process they have helped create a broad public belief that the question of climate change is hopelessly mired in unknowns….

The tiny group of dissenting scientists have been given prominent public visibility and congressional influence out of all proportion to their standing in the scientific community on the issue of global warming. They have used this platform to pound widely amplified drumbeats of doubt about climate change. These doubts are repeated by virtually every climate-related story in every news-papers and every TV and radio news outlet in the country.

By keeping the discussion focused on whether there really is a problem, these dozen or so dissidents—contradicting the consensus view held by 2,500 of the world’s top climate scientists—have until now prevented discussion about how to address the problem.

California then asserts that:

As set forth above, Defendants are entitled to review the documents most likely to contain internal dissent at the manufacturers and the most likely such documents are those dealing with the tactics of entities like the GCC and individuals like the “climate skeptics.”

What else can be said other than Sieg Heil!


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Faux education

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:29 AM

This article focuses on the silliness linked to academic studies of the Middle East, but I suspect George and his colleagues could substitute many other academic disciplines and find similar results.

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Just had to mention

Posted by Jon Ham at 08:24 AM

Someone I know very well is featured in Chris Muir's "Day By Day" cartoon today. In case you don't know, the "Right Roots" project is an effort to raise campaign funds for conservative candidates in tight races. My daughter is among the bloggers who founded the group. North Carolina is well-represented. Right Wing News' John Hawkins and Wizbang's Lorie Byrd also are among the founders.

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Everywhere is freaks and hairies

Posted by Paul Chesser at 07:23 AM

I'd love to change the world of newspapers, especially when they publish drivel.

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