Sunday, January 29, 2006

Google: Tiananmen? Never Happened!

Evan Coyne Maloney has a good bit on brain terminal about Google's selective social conscience:
Google has been taking a lot of flak, rightfully so, for censoring search results to satisfy the Chinese communist dictatorship.

The search engine is placing notices on each page notifying users that items have been censored at the request of the Chinese government, so it isn't quite as bad as Microsoft's actions to placate the Chinese, which include taking down entire websites without notice, rendering them inaccessible to the entire world. Google's censorship applies only to the version of the search engine aimed at the Chinese market. Still, for a company whose motto is 'Don't Be Evil,' the action is at best hypocritical, and it shows the slogan to be nothing more than empty P.R. sermonizing. . . .

What makes Google's actions even more hypocritical is that, just a week before this Google flap erupted, the company was hailed by privacy advocates for refusing to turn over to the U.S. Justice Department aggregate data on searches for child pornography. What a brave stand!

So Google has the backbone to rebuff to the U.S. government's attempts to fight child porn, but the Don't Be Evil company is willing to help China continue to repress its people by erasing moments from history like the Tiananmen Square massacre

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Encyclical Letter "Deus Caritas Est"

Pope Benendict XVI's first encyclical letter "Deus Caritas Est" ("God is Love") has been published and is available in English on the Vatican's Web site. Haven't read it yet, hope to get to it this weekend.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Greg Gutfield on the Huffington Post

Greg Gutfield has a good satire up at the Puffington Host: "Marking Sunday's anniversary of the 33-year-old Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood has launched a magazine targeting 'choicers' to be given out at clinics across the country.
'This new magazine will reflect the growing concerns and needs of women in the child-nonbearing age group,' says Melody Barron, a spokesperson.

Called 'Child-Free,' the premiere issue will feature articles and sections that target this prized demographic, as well as counter all those supermarket magazines that show actresses and models happy with their new babies and pregnancies."

It gets better. Check it out.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Z-Man #2 has a new tape, too

Al-Qaeda's al-Zawahiri praises 'martyrs' in Afghanistan in audiotape - "Al-Qaeda's number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, paid tribute to the Islamist 'martyrs' in Afghanistan, in an audiotape posted on an Islamic website purportedly from the target of an air strike last week.

The 18-minute tape, whose authenticity could not immediately be confirmed, gave no indication of when the recording was made. But the website said it was 'a new speech by Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, may God protect him'. "

Pope's First Encyclical Due This Month -

Pope's First Encyclical Due This Month - "Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday he will publish his first encyclical on the different aspects of God's love next week, adding it was 'providential' the text would be released after a period of prayer for unifying all Christians. "

Sad post in the midnight hour

R.I.P. Wilson Pickett

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sen. Patrick Leahy will vote against Samuel Alito

Leahy just announced this at a speech at Georgetown Law Center.
Alito isn't a done deal yet. It'll be interesting to see how the Dems play it. Red state Democrat senators will support, blue staters oppose, with a total just over 60 nominating Alito? This would immunize the party leadership against the wrath of the Left. They can say they didn't call for it because the votes weren't there, leaving Daily Kossacks to fume at the Ben Nelson's of the world, but not the Leahy's and Kennedy's . . . .

Or they can have a narrower loss and antagonize their base. Or they can call for a filibuster and probably lose the filibuster in the future.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The pro-life "conspiracy"

A good friend of mine on the other side of the abortion controversy writes to me that Alito looks assured of nomination because the pro-choice side was outmaneuvered by the pro-lifers, and the pro-choice activists did nothing. I have to wonder what planet he's on.
For example, here's the headline in huge, stop-the-presses font on NARAL's homepage:
The battle for the Supreme Court continues . . .
Stop Anti-Choice Alito
Help save the Supreme Court from President Bush:
Tell your Senators to oppose anti-choice Alito!
On the National Right to Life Committee page, we find . . . no call to action on Alito. The first and largest link is "PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION RETURNS TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT." No invective, no call to action, just a warning that activists should pay attention. The Alito link? The writers at the New York Post ("Headless Body Found in Topless Bar") are undoubtedly impressed with this attention grabbing headline: "Heightened Interest in Alito's Views on Abortion as Hearings Approach." The date on the linked story is December 6, 2005. That's right, they didn't even bother to call for his passage, and they didn't bother to update it once the hearings came or went. NRLC's volunteer copy editors are worth every cent they're paid.

How did I choose these pages? I simply googled the most prominent pro and anti abortion organization that I knew off.

Of course, I don't expect my friend to see that his analysis was wrong. Like most pro-choicers, he's convinced that Alito is likely to succeed because the pro-lifers were more vocal and focused on confirming him than the pro-choicers were on shutting him down. Why acknowledge anything that's actually occurring or address contrary evidence?

For the time being, the reality denial of the pro-choice sympathizers works against them.

Poor Richard's Birthday

The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary: "HAPPY 300th BIRTHDAY, BEN FRANKLIN!"

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

Cheerfully desperate, curmudgeonly in a breezy way, Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots, and Leaves is a delightful, quick read. Truss takes on the tendency of email and other rapid-response technologies to send our written communications into a world of Joycean incoherence. It's a chatty thing, with lots of diversions and asides, such as the contributions of Aldo Manuzio to the wonderful world of typesetting and punctuation. This book makes a great gift for people who love books qua books and reading qua reading.

Truss have a very pleasant sense of play. For example, in a section dealing with particular punctuation rules, she loves to display those rules she's writing about within the selfsame section. Truss is clever and lively and charming. Bookworms, give it a try. You'll like it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Are you ready, CC?

The Political Teen has a video of Ray Nagin advocating keeping New Orleans a "chocolate" city.

Isn't that charming.

I'm picturing David Duke campaigning to keep Louisiana "vanilla."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Apple Launches iMeat?

News of the Weird:
A 14-year-old girl who received a new Apple iPod opened the sealed box and found raw mystery meat inside, according to a Local 6 News report.

Rachel Cambra purchased a new high-tech iPod for her daughter as a gift this week. When she opened the sealed box, the device was missing and in its place was a piece of raw meat, the report said.

Muslim Scholars Were Paid to Aid U.S. Propaganda - New York Times

Muslim Scholars Were Paid to Aid U.S. Propaganda - New York Times:
A Pentagon contractor that paid Iraqi newspapers to print positive articles written by American soldiers has also been compensating Sunni religious scholars in Iraq in return for assistance with its propaganda work, according to current and former employees.

And this is a bad thing because . . . .? Isn't the Times always claiming that we're not winning Muslim "hearts and minds"? Shouldn't we be trying to win some?

Lazy Sunday (Chronic of Narnia)

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