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December 2007 Archives

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Christmas like it used to be...

December 31, 2007 09:31 AM

Housing Prices: Blaming Republicans, the rich, etc, on the way down...

December 28, 2007 09:08 AM

...just like on the way up.  Mickey Kaus reminds us of the benefit to the housing "crisis":

Are you impressed with a drop in home values of 6.6% over a year? It doesn't seem like such a big correction, given the dramatic run-up in prices over the last decade or so. ... And don't declining prices make housing more... what's the word? ... affordable?** ... This evening NBC Nightly News billboarded a "housing CRISIS." (Link available here.) I thought a "housing crisis" was when people couldn't find housing, not when it got cheaper. (NBC's expert: "It's very, very difficult to find any silver lining." No it's not.) ...

He's absolutely right.  Chez NBS has been on the market since October 1, and hasn't sold yet.  But when it does sell, we'll be able to take advantage of a huge drop in prices on houses that are bigger, nicer, and in better neighborhoods than what we first thought we could afford.  It has been quite enjoyable to see houses that were once outside of our price range fall within it.   

And Mickey reminds us of who got all the blame when housing prices shot up so high in the first place:

During the runup in housing prices the air was filled with complaints from the left that the rich were bidding up the value of housing, which was becoming unaffordable for ordinary Americans whose wages were rising only slowly, etc.. Now that this process is unwinding, much of this affordability problem is presumably being corrected.

Right again.  Mrs. NBS and I are constantly astounded when we watch those HGTV "Flip that House" type of shows, and they profile some complete dump in California that lists for $650,000 while still in an unrenovated crack-house-infested-with-feral-cats condition.  How can anyone afford to live out there?  Especially the working class?  How can they possibly save up for a decent down payment?

Now that prices on the coasts are falling so dramatically, maybe people who are just starting out in life will be able to put more than 5% down, and thus won't lose all of their equity during a price slump?  And I do feel sorry for the people who are losing their homes, don't get me wrong.  But why didn't they know that if you can't put 20% down, you can't afford the house?  That's been the rule of thumb for decades. 

How'd that enormous flat screen get in my slum?

December 26, 2007 02:48 PM

Meet Sharon Jasper.  She lives in Section 8 housing in New Orleans.  She is not happy with her lot in life:

A HANO voucher covers her rent on a unit in an old Faubourg St. John home, but she said she faced several hundred dollars in deposit charges and now faces a steep utility bill.

"I'm tired of the slum landlords, and I'm tired of the slum houses," she said.

Pointing across the street to an encampment of homeless people at Duncan Plaza, Jasper said, "I might do better out here with one of these tents."

Get that?  She might do better in a homeless encampment. 

Now meet Sharon Jasper's tv:

 

Sharon says:  "I might be poor but I don't like to live poor.  I thank God for a place to live but it's pitiful what people give you."

Sharon, I give you 28% of my income every April 15.  The only thing that's pitiful is that I don't have a 60 inch flat screen tv, and you're a welfare queen and you do.  Where are my housing vouchers?  Where's my flat screen tv?  I don't like to live poor, either.  It's pitiful what people give you.  I'm still waiting for some stranger to come along and give me my flat screen tv.  Where the hell is my new flat screen tv?

HT: Nixguy. 

UPDATE: Oh my God, she's even worse than I thought.

The Enquirer says I can make money off this dang blog

Actually, they're just running an AP wire story, but it's interesting nonetheless:

NEW YORK – Zach Brooks pocketed $1,000 this month blogging about the cheap lunches he discovers around midtown Manhattan ($10 or less, preferably greasy, and if he’s lucky, served from a truck).

The site, Midtownlunch.com, is just a year and a half old and gets only about 2,000 readers daily, but it’s already earning him enough each month for a weekend trip to the Caribbean – or in his case, more fat-filled culinary escapades in the city.

In the vast and varied world of blogging, Brooks is far from alone.

It’s no longer unusual for blogs with just a couple thousand daily readers to earn nearly as many dollars a month.

Well, that may be a little bit of an exaggeration, if you ask me.  You'll notice I haven't quit my day job.  Or maybe you all just aren't clicking enough on those google ads.  Click click click!  A reader told me this weekend that she bought one of those Hillary Clinton nutcrackers off my site.  Made me so proud.  It's a good thing to not only support NBS, but the entreprenurial genius behind the Hillary Clinton nutcracker!

I also like this point from the article:

Getting paid might even help validate what may otherwise seem like a silly or obscure obsession.

Amen to that!

The paps confront a pregnant Jamie Lynn...

December 24, 2007 10:18 AM

So much better than slogging through "We Three Kings of Orient Are"

December 23, 2007 10:44 AM

The text:

Three kings from Persian lands afar To Jordan follow the pointing star: And this the quest of the travellers three, Where the new-born King of the Jews may be. Full royal gifts they bear for the King; Gold, incense, myrrh are their offering. The star shines out with a steadfast ray; The kings to Bethlehem make their way, And there in worship they bend the knee, As Mary's child in her lap they see; Their royal gifts they show to the King; Gold, incense, myrrh are their offering. Thou child of man, lo, to Bethlehem The kings are travelling, travel with them! The star of mercy, the star of grace, Shall lead thy heart to its resting-place. Gold, incense, myrrh thou canst not bring; Offer thy heart to the infant King.

While the choir sings:

How brightly shines the morning star With grace and truth from heav'n afar The Jesse tree now bloweth Of Jacobs stem and David's line For thee, my Bridegroom, King divine My soul with love o'er floweth Thy word, Thy word, Jesu, Jesu Inly feeds us, rightly leads us, life bestowing. Praise, O praise such love o'er flowing.

Sublime.

Why it is very important to be honest with your attorneys...

December 21, 2007 01:06 PM

Here we have Jamie Lynn Spears' attorneys, threatening to sue the National Enquirer for reporting a few months ago that Ms. Spears is pregnant:

 “Ms. Spears is a devout Christian with a spotless reputation, who lives in accordance with the highest moral and ethical standards in accordance with her faith.

There is no “rumor” concerning Ms. Spears’ (non-existent) pregnancy, except perhaps for the baseless “rumor” just now being created by the National Enquirer.

Ms. Spears is not pregnant. It is pathetic for the National Enquirer to attempt to create a wholly baseless “rumor” that Ms. Spears is pregnant, so it can run a malicious story and false story which would be emotionally devastating to a morally upright 16 year old girl.”

Which lead the National Enquirer to leak the Spears threat letter to Perez Hilton, who published it with unhesitant glee.  Hilarious.

Is it really a gift if you had to buy it for yourself? With your own tax dollars?

December 20, 2007 12:41 PM

It's enough to make your stomach churn. And Mom NBS, don't show this to Dad NBS. He'll blow a gasket.

Bonus question: What losing Democratic primary candidate once proudly declared "I don't want to be Santa Claus?" Triple Bonus points if you can explain why Hillary does.

Fred Thompson, Campaigner

December 19, 2007 06:27 PM

In a word, he's awful.  From Politico, we hear of a trip to a firehouse in Iowa, where the Chief offered to let him try on his hat:

Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.

“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.

In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on.  He just stood there holding it and staring at it.

Part of being a good politician is knowing what is and is not a silly hat.  A fire chief's hat is not a silly hat.  And telling Iowans that you have a silly hat rule?  Why do that?  Where's the no silly hat constituency?

Thank God, though, for smart wives:

To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head.

“You look cute,” Thompson said to her.  She did.

Cute and smart.  Why isn't she the one running again?

Jeri took off the hat and McKenzie led the Thompsons over to a fire truck.

The chief invited Thompson to climb up behind the wheel, but Thompson said, “Naw, this is fine.”  And he stood there looking at the fire truck.

Jesus, Fred.  Just get on the damn truck!

But back to Fred's no silly hat rule.  You know who wears silly hats?  Delegates to political conventions, that's who.  Fortunately for Fred, I don't think he'll be seeing many of those delegates.  And their silly, silly hats.

BIG UPDATE:  Boo hiss to the Politico for their coverage of this.  CBS was also at the firehouse with Fred, and their video does not comport with the Politico's coverage.  At all.  I'd mostly known Politico for their fairly even-handed reporting, though their Republican blogger has an irrational anti-Romney tone to his posts.  Guess that spills over to their coverage of Team Fred, too. 

If dogs don't get to go...

... I don't want to either.  From the Enquirer:

With almost all the pomp and circumstance befitting an officer’s funeral, Alec, Monroe’s police dog was buried this afternoon at the Pines Pet Cemetery near Lebanon.

Alec, a 9-year-old black German Shepherd, died unexpectedly a week ago after suffering a seizure and a stroke after finishing his shift with Officer Gregg Myers....

Police officers and 19 dogs from at least 14 departments in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton looked on as poems about the bravery and loyalty of police dogs were read graveside where Alec’s dark-stained pine casket was draped with the American flag.

Another flag flew at half-staff in the special section for service dogs where Alec will be buried later today.

Stories were shared about some of Alec’s best qualities before Mason Police Honor Guard fired a 21-gun salute.

The Rev. Brad Olson, pastor of Monroe United Methodist Church, finished the service with a prayer that Alec would make it to heaven.

“We pray you will welcome him into your eternal kingdom,” he said.

Video, here.

Wait till Barbara Walters gets the Christmas Card from the Huckabee White House

December 18, 2007 09:33 AM

She's going to hate it. It's almost worth voting for him just for that reason alone.

White House Christmas, interesting on two fronts

December 17, 2007 09:06 AM

From Lisa Schiffren, writing in The Corner at National Review:

Each year instead of the usual Christmas card, my friend Diana Bannister sends out the official White House Christmas tree ornament. Despite our treelessness, we always look forward to getting them, and hanging them from a sconce. This year, the White House ornament features a sepia-toned scene of the wedding of Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom. That was the very first White House wedding, in 1886.

I am going out on a limb here and presuming that Laura Bush chose the scene on the 2007 ornament. I suspect that it foreshadows a White House wedding to come for the engaged Jenna.

Here's hoping it's before the general election, as it will generate lots of goodwill towards the Republican administration.  And piss off all the right people in the process.

The Cleveland/Folsom match sounds like it was interesting:

While there have been several White House weddings for presidential daughters, Grover Cleveland's was the only wedding of a president himself. He was, at the time an "imposing" bachelor of 49, "just under 6 feet tall, and almost 300 lbs." Frances, a lovely young woman of 21, had been Cleveland's ward since the age of 12, when her father, who was Cleveland's law partner, died. In the accompanying booklet, the White House Historical Association tells us that "the public was captivated." (Not so clear what we would make of that today.)

Talk about a question that does not need to be answered.  The public today would be mortified.

Huckabee endorsed by.... Ted Strickland

December 14, 2007 10:33 AM

Per the Enquirer, the Governor says:

...he’s the kind of combination of conservative views in some ways, but very, almost liberal views in other ways.

He’s a very socially compassionate man who obviously has concern for the poor and the working middle class, while at the same time, having rather conservative views when it comes to a matter like abortion or gay marriage. … I think of all the Republican candidates, Mr. Huckabee would be my personal choice.

It says a lot.  Huckabee has "very, almost liberal views."  And that's the opinion of the Ohio's leading Democrat.

Apparently Barbara Walters is keeping the Christ in Christmas by making normal people sit back and yell "Oh, CHRIST!"



Can you believe? Does she even know the Old Testament isn't just a Christian thing? And doesn't she remember the card she got last year? The White House Christmas cards since the Bushes have been in have always quoted the OT, at least in the ones we've gotten (do not be impressed by this, they send out a blue billion).

HT: Today's Laura Ingraham Show, and Stand Firm.

Ike Turner

December 13, 2007 04:36 PM

Tina got beat again.

Now I understand the "green" shopping movement...

...it's an idiot tax, like lottery tickets.  Economic natural selection, but for rich, coastal people.  From The New York Times:

Some designs marketed as environment-friendly might include only a fraction of organic cotton, or a tag made of recycled paper. And some so-called green fashion may be downright silly, like the Goyard canvas shopping tote shown in the Barneys “Have a Green Holiday” catalog: the bag is $1,065, plus $310 for painted monogramming of a triangular recycle symbol in gold. The canvas, the catalog says, is “100% recyclable.”

Isn't it good to know you can recycle that $1,065 canvas bag ($1,375, if you get it monogrammed)?  What a great stewardship of resources!

And the old patchwork quilt has come full circle.  At Barney's, you can get a Duro Olowu dress that is made from a patchwork of “recycled fabric.”   And by that, he means "a mix of his own prints and some original, unused samples of leftover couture textiles he found."

It retails at $7,600.

Camille Paglia in Romney's Religion Speech

December 12, 2007 07:20 PM

The atheist was not offended:

Romney's move may have been tactically necessary to counter evangelical Protestants' rejection of Mormonism as a cult, but the speech wasn't as conceptually developed as it should have been. As an atheist, I wasn't offended by Romney's omission of nonbelievers from his narrative of American history. On the contrary, I agree with him that the founders of the U.S. social experiment were Christians (even if many were intellectual deists) and that our separation of church and state entails the rejection of an official, government-sanctioned creed rather than the obligatory erasure of references to God in civic life.

But what does Romney mean by the ongoing threat of a new "religion of secularism"? The latter term needs amplification and qualification. In my lecture on religion and the arts in America earlier this year at Colorado College, I argued that secular humanism has failed, that the avant-garde is dead, and that liberals must start acknowledging the impoverished culture that my 1960s generation has left to the young. Atheism alone is a rotting corpse. I substitute art and nature for God -- the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe.

Amen, Amen.  Or something like that.  If you can't believe in God, at least believe in art and nature.*  This sixties secular humanism crap has got to go.

*How's that for pathetically typical Anglo-Episcopal evangelism?

And from the "why didn't another loved one step in and stop this" file...

...we have this obituary from Sunday's New Orleans Times-Picayune, which was "composed, written, and submitted by [the decedent's grieving widow]. All thoughts, opinions and declarations in it are ENTIRELY hers and do not reflect input from any other persons, LIVING OR DEAD:"

EVANICK Robert Bruce Evanick (always known as Bruce to those who loved him - and those who employed him and exploited his work ethic) -- died Tuesday afternoon, December 4th, 2007. A massive heart attack killed him - despite the heroic efforts of many physicians, surgeons and nurses - in a waiting area at Ochsner Hospital. He was not an inpatient there. He was there to provide company and comfort to Brenda, his wife, whom he loved and supported, in all ways, for 32 years. Her heart is broken. He died a horrendous death, on the floor of the waiting room, at Brenda's feet. To her, he was the most kind, most gentle, and most generous person she has ever known. His death should be a warning to all those who believe that they are being used by insensitive employers. He deserved better, both in life and death. Bruce had been seduced into a sedentary and high stress life style after he moved to New Orleans by the promise of "big money" from a corporate defense law firm. Essentially, his succumbing to that seduction and his devotion to duty caused his death. Of the many shareholders in the firm for which he labored, only one took the personal initiative to call Brenda to offer her personal condolences.

Oh my.  But enough about his job, tell us about his personal life!

Several colleagues believe that Brenda and Bruce were divorced. This is not true. They lived apart for several years but were in friendly communication, especially enjoying Sunday breakfasts together....

And his passions!  What were his passions?!?

Bruce was brilliantly intelligent, with an impressive knowledge of the law and many other disciplines. Bruce's encyclopedic knowledge of sterling silver -- including the most rare and sought after makers and patterns - put him far above the average collectors. He also knew textiles intimately, including old and new quilts, embroideries from ancient to modern, laces, silks, and all forms of the highest quality handwork in fabric and thread. His appreciation of textiles included loving the custom made shirts that Brenda designed and constructed for him....

Talking about how much the decedent appreciated your own talents.  Not good for an obituary.  And why bring up the endanged Rothschilds Mynah birds?  Or the bromeliads?  The goldfish pond?  The what you say?  Well, here:

While residing in York, PA, Bruce was very much involved in the care of a large collection of exotic birds that he and Brenda collected and kept and propagated. They received permission from the federal government to keep and attempt to propagate the crucially endangered Rothschilds Mynahs. Bruce and Brenda succeeded in raising four Rothschilds (Bali) Mynahs, hand-feeding them from the day they hatched in an incubator. They also raised hundreds of rare and delicate finches and softbilled birds and exhibited them all across the USA. They won many awards, including "Exhibitor of the Year" and "Outstanding Grassroots Activist" awards for supporting the captive breeding programs for rare and endangered species. They expanded that loving care into founding and operating a wild bird rescue agency that treated and released native wild birds that had been orphaned or injured. They released many hundreds of them back to the wild. That organization still flourishes and serves today in the care of dear friends of Bruce and Brenda. While still in Pennsylvania, Bruce became a successful gardener. He expanded that knowledge and skill in Louisiana. With Brenda he amassed a collection of rare orchids, ferns, ivies and bromeliads that comprise a lush garden at their Algiers Point home. Bruce had a fabulous goldfish pond built for Brenda as a birthday gift and it still sparkles and gurgles in their garden. Bruce's death leaves a huge void in the world. It is truly a sin and a shame that only one of his fellow shareholders were moved to personally console his widow.

I think, what she's trying to say is, is that only one of his fellow shareholders called her after he died, and that she would have appreciated it if more had done so.  So what's she going to do about it?

He loved her to his last breath and would have been deeply saddened by their cold attitude. Bruce is survived by two siblings from whom he was estranged. [ed. an estrangement which, I am sure, the author of the obit played no role in, whatsoever]. The firm will be holding a Memorial Service in their office sometime on Monday, December 10, 2007. It is not known if they would welcome people from outside the firm and the firms prestigious client list. Brenda will not attend.

But it would have been quite interesting, if she had.   

She wraps it all up with a little too much information:

Bruce has been cremated and his remains will be placed in an exquisite wooden box which he loved and will remain with his grieving widow.

Emphasis added (not that it was needed).  HT: Above the Law

The thinking conservatives make their endorsement

December 11, 2007 04:49 PM

As I was telling a liberal Democrat friend (yes, I have them) earlier today, all the thinking conservatives are lining up against Huckabee.

And today, National Review makes their endorsement:

National Review Dec. 31, 2007 Cover: Mitt Romney for President

The endorsement editorial is here.  The conclusion:

More than the other primary candidates, Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws. His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same. But he is less inclined to federal activism, less tolerant of overspending, better able to defend conservative positions in debate, and more likely to demand performance from his subordinates.

I have found myself arriving at a very similar conclusion over the past few weeks.  Too bad Ohioans' votes will come too late to matter. 

The Weekly Standard has Romney's notes from his religion speech

Hilarious.  Here.

Upon leaving the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, the Huckabees Registered for Gifts

At Dillards and Target.  Tacky.  Can't a former Governor's outfit his own private sector home?

The Clintons did this too when they left the White House (as you may recall, they also stole took White House furniture and household items with them).  Not that acting like the Clintons is any excuse.

"It is not known if the Clintons shared any of these sentiments with each other."

December 10, 2007 12:18 PM

Hillary's people are complaining to the press about what Bill tells the press, and Bill's people are complaining to the press about the poor campaigning coming out of Hillary's camp:

Top Clinton campaign officials were privately furious at the former president, saying he had revived the complaint that the Clintons lack credibility, unfairly tarnishing his wife in the process.

For his part, the former president, one close associate says, has been bouncing off the walls at the campaign's ineptitude in the past few weeks. (It is not known if the Clintons shared any of these sentiments with each other).

Well why would they?  Why talk to each other when you can just have an aide call a reporter and communicate your dissatisfaction with your spouse to your spouse via a news story?

For the real political junkies...

...National Review's David Freddoso is talking about a brokered Republican convention, because there is no frontrunner (except Rudy, kind of).

You see these articles every four years and it never happens.  But it does seem a good bit more possible this time.  I know a few of Fred's Ohio delegates.  Could get interesting for them, though it's more likely to be interesting for the delegates of candidates who are actually playing to win.

Up-chuck Huck is looking for delegates if you want to be one, and so is McCain.  One of my dinner companions on Saturday night was an Up-chuck fan.  And another was threatening to not even vote Republican at all; too much tax and spending, so he's threatening to plunge us all into economic misery with a crowd who would be even worse, just to exact his revenge.

Yet another reason not to like Ron Paul's foreign policy...

...trade ties with Castro's Cuba

And: What's dumber, actually ending the embargo now, or telling an Hispanic audience in Florida that you want to end the embargo now?

If you want to know what lawyers really talk about these days...

December 7, 2007 10:29 AM

...and really, why wouldn't you?  It's all about the green, and how we don't make enough of it.  Because of the damn investment bankers!  From the American Lawyer:

Time was, lawyers were near the top of the heap. Investment bankers and other finance types have long eclipsed them, but the difference used to be one of degree. Then came private equity investors and hedge-funders, and lawyers nose-dived on the socioeconomic ladder. "Face it, we have no status," says an Am Law 100 partner of the pecking order at his sons' private school. "We go to these school functions, and this well-heeled group looks right through you. They won't give you the time of day. You're just one step ahead of the doorman."

Me no like the sound of that!  Or this tale of woe:

And what about those poor schleps making a mere $600,000 or so-the average profit per partner of The Am Law 200? Should they head for the outer boroughs, the suburbs, or Cleveland?

No!  Not Cleveland

The situation is causing a lot of strife:

It's enough to make otherwise sensible lawyers resent their clients. "You have these young people making $5 million a year," sputters one 60-something partner. What's worse, he adds, "they are inexperienced and have to be led by lawyers."

Deep down (or is it right on the surface?), lawyers feel they are smarter than the average Wall Street Joe they service. "Some seem not to have that much education," sniffs one lawyer. "Why am I doing all the thinking when I'm making a quarter of what they make?"

Fortunately, we don't really have investment bankers in Cincinnati.  But we do have plenty of resentment.  The lawyers think all the doctors make too much money, and the doctors think the lawyers are making all the money prosecuting or defending their malpractice cases, when it's really the insurance companies raking in all the doctor's dough from their hefty premiums.  And everybody's jealous of the people with successful business start-ups.  As for the trust-funders (except for some notable exceptions), their funds are drying up, and the professionals want to suck what they can off of them, before they wise up and realize they can't live like they used to.

HT: Above the Law

Is it time for an increase in the office gift exchange amount?

It always goes like this: Someone says "What limit should we put on it?" and then someone else says "Twenty-five bucks."  And then we all have to run around trying to find a crappy $25 gift for the person whose name you pulled out of a hat.  Well, it's been $25 everywhere I've ever worked, since I joined the "real" workforce.  Ten years ago.

The problem is there is nothing anyone actually wants that only costs $25.  One year I had this metal framed candle thing that I was going to give my secretary, and then my sister told me it was a gift that said "Hey, I stopped for gas on the way in to work this morning, and realized, oh crap, I have to get you a gift."  That that metal framed candle thing had cost me $25 at TJ Maxx!

This year I have a new firm and a new secretary, and the bright office idea is that we are all supposed to list three things that cost $25 and put that on the piece of paper with our name on it that gets drawn out of the hat.  The theory is that way, we'll all get something we want.

But there's NOTHING I want that costs $25.

Romney's Speech

December 6, 2007 11:15 AM

Spectacular.

Reason why I love the British press, no. 345

December 4, 2007 08:30 PM

They run things like this little gem from the BBC:

"...the tiny bitch was whisked away under an assumed name after receiving about 20 threats."

It's from an article about Leona Helmsley's dog.

HT: Althouse

Did you know that if you break American law and are overseas, the feds believe they can just come kidnap you?

Even if you're not an American citizen.  I had no idea.  From FoxNews:

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by U.S. authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that U.S. law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.

It dates back aways, folks, so don't blame Bush for some imaginary crack down on civil rights:

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.  Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

Wonderful news.  We can kidnap criminals from overseas and bring them here, but we can't won't send back the criminals who have come here just by walking over the boarder.  Lovely.

HT: The Llamas

NASA explores sex in space (face it, you've wondered about this)

A new book says NASA had a mission codenamed STS-XX.  And guess what it was about?  Per the book's author:

"The issue of sex in space is a serious one," he says. "The experiments carried out so far relate to missions planned for married couples on the future International Space Station, the successor to Mir. Scientists need to know how far sexual relations are possible without gravity."

He cites a confidential Nasa report on a space shuttle mission in 1996. A project codenamed STS-XX was to explore sexual positions possible in a weightless atmosphere.

Twenty positions were tested by computer simulation to obtain the best 10, he says. "Two guinea pigs then tested them in real zero-gravity conditions. The results were videotaped but are considered so sensitive that even Nasa was only given a censored version."

Only four positions were found possible without "mechanical assistance". The other six needed a special elastic belt and inflatable tunnel, like an open-ended sleeping bag.

A special elastic belt and inflatable tunnel.  Hot.

Armed Robbery for Tuition...

December 3, 2007 04:37 PM

...uh, since when do you need $130,000 for tuition at UC and the University of Toledo?

Can we agree now to shoot the first person who writes the Enquirer to say this shows how higher ed costs too much?  Because someone will, you know.