David Kirkpatrick

February 29, 2008

Matt Drudge …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:31 pm

is an “honourless shit” according to Samizdata’s Perry de Havilland. Drudge was the most prominent “outer” of a British royal, Prince Harry, serving on the front in Afghanistan.

This revelation obviously seriously endangers Harry’s entire unit since one member would certainly be considered a “high value target” for the gang of Islamic fools, otherwise known as the Taliban, fighting against UK forces.

Here’s a graf from the link concluding with Perry’s apt epitaph for Drudge on this one:

Matt Drudge and the German Newspapers were not the first to mention where Prince Harry had been deployed, that dubious ‘honour’ goes to the Australian publication New Idea, who have at least expressed regret that they blew Prince Harry’s cover, suggesting they may be guilt of a lack of thought rather than callous disregard for someone’s safety in a war zone. The MoD kept quiet when New Idea first broke the story, suggesting they rather sensibly assumed an Australian woman’s magazine was probably not high on the reading list of many Muslim fundamentalists and indeed it took over a month for it to get picked up elsewhere. But the person who really moved this into wider circulation and got the story picked up globally was Matt Drudge. Although the Berliner Kurier and Bild also reported this, Drudge was at some point claiming this as an ‘exclusive’ and claiming the ‘credit’ for himself, so I will take him at his word and call him an honourless shit in that case.

Carbon nanotubes get even smaller

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:37 pm

From KurzweilAI.net:

Researchers demonstrate smallest possible carbon nanotube
Nanowerk Spotlight, Feb. 29, 2008Researchers in Japan have synthesized the smallest (0.4 nm diameter) single-walled carbon nanotube by using thermal decomposition of ferrocene molecules inside larger commercial-grade nanotubes.

a, b: high-resolution transmission electron microscopy images, c: simulation, d: model.
Read Original Article>>

If you can’t win …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:30 pm

at the polls, just sue.

 The Clinton campaign has turned into a mass of disorganization and back-biting. They agreed with the DNC to punish Florida and Michigan for moving their primaries up in the calendar, but now push to for those delegates since those votes have become vital for her essentially non-existent hopes.

Clinton has run the “ready to lead on day one” trope over and over, but her campaign has mismanaged a number of issues. She recently said her team has been thinking about Texas from the beginning. Evidence seems to expose her campaign had no planning after Super Tuesday where they thought she’d have the nomination wrapped up.

This looks to be true, because it was found out recently her campaign didn’t understand Texas has a two-part primary-plus-caucus this year. Confusing? Yes. Stupid? Yes, again. But it’s inexcusable for a major campaign not to understand the rules.

Clinton’s “ready to lead on day one” response to this lack of preparation? Threaten to sue and stop the caucus process.

From the linked article:

The Texas Democratic Party warned Thursday that election night caucuses scheduled for Tuesday could be delayed or disrupted after aides to Hillary Rodham Clinton threatened to sue over the party’s complicated delegate selection process.

In a letter sent out late Thursday to both the Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns, Texas Democratic Party lawyer Chad Dunn warned a lawsuit could ruin the Democrats’ effort to re-energize voters just as they are turning out in record numbers.

February 28, 2008

Militarism and the GOP

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:03 pm

Over at Taki’s Top Drawer John Zmirak laments the absolute militarism of the current GOP in a post titled “Militarism and Conservatism: Can this Marriage be Saved?”

It’s a pretty long, and very worthwhile, read.

From the linked post:

Having appeared on numerous conservative radio shows to promote other projects unrelated to foreign policy, I have had to tread lightly and watch my words, lest the subject of our current foreign adventure might arise. I quickly learned U.S. policy in Iraq is for most conservatives literally beyond discussion. It is not that these people will not debate the war; they literally cannot. Even questioning American actions abroad while our troops are in the field strikes them as a form not so much of treason as of blasphemy. It’s as if our troops were several hundred thousand Christs, and to criticize their mission amounted to jeering at Jesus on the cross. “You saved others, why don’t you save yourself?” Of course, we are doing no such thing; in fact, we’re jeering at Pilate. Not that it matters–except to the soldiers themselves, who gave more money to Ron Paul than to all the other candidates in the race combined.

The experience of trying to debate the war with otherwise sensible and thoughtful conservatives has forced me to consider the deeper connections between right wing political movements and instinctive militarism. On the one hand, conservatives claim a preference for small, localized government, low taxes, an unforced and unplanned variety of social mores and customs that vary from place to place, continuity with the past, and the primacy of prudence as the virtue that governs all the others. We favor gradual change over sudden, patchworks of hallowed customs over rationalized ideologies, and oral tradition over written books of rules.

The long knives …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:05 pm

… are already appearing in the Clinton campaign penthouse.

 From TPM Election Central:

More infighting in Camp Hillary? Clinton adviser Harold Ickes seems to stick the knife in Mark Penn in an interview with The New York Observer

“Mark Penn has run this campaign,” said Ickes in a brief phone interview this morning. “Besides Hillary Clinton, he is the single most responsible person for this campaign.“Now, he has been circumscribed to some extent by Maggie Williams,” said Ickes, who then pointed out that that was only a recent development.

When asked about the assertion by one senior Clinton official the campaign was effectively run by committee, diluting Penn’s authority, Ickes was incredulous.

“I don’t know what campaign you’re talking about,” said Ickes. “I have been at meetings where he introduces himself as the campaign’s chief strategist. I’ve heard him call himself that many times, say, ‘I am the chief strategist.’”

Asked if Penn preferred the title of chief strategist to pollster, Ickes said, “Prefer it? He insists on it!”

On top of this, there’s apparently an internal plan for a massive campaign staff walkout if Clinton loses either Texas or Ohio and refuses to concede the nomination.

Obama’s toughness on display

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:45 pm

He’s willing to face up to a controversial political subject (gay rights) in front of a very tough crowd (black evangelicals.)

Here’s a Ben Smith post:

Selling gay rights

Obama’s rally in Beaumont today was the highest-energy of this Texas swing, with a crowd that was about three-quarters black cheering at almost every turn.

An interesting moment came when he was asked a question about LGBT rights and delivered an answer that seemed to suit the questioner, listing the various attributes — race, gender, etc. — that shouldn’t trigger discrimination, to successive cheers. When he came to saying that gays and lesbians deserve equality, though, the crowd fell silent.

So he took a different tack:

“Now I’m a Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday,” he said, to a sudden wave of noisy applause and cheers.

“I hear people saying things that I don’t think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian,” he said, and the crowd seemed to come along with him this time.

The moment reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a senior figure in the national gay rights movement, who noted that Obama’s deference to some black Christian discomfort with homosexuality — his refusal to dump the “ex-gay” gospel singer Donnie McClurkin from a tour — angered some gays and lesbians; but conversely, that his ability to sell gay rights in the black church is unique and appealing.

I think gay rights should be a given, but they aren’t. The GOP is very active against gay rights, and almost no politician is willing to touch the subject other than in front of that constituency.

It says a lot about Obama,  the candidate and the man, that he’s willing to bring the topic up over and over again. Even in front of wary, and maybe hostile, crowds.

Two cool bits …

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:54 pm

… from the KurzweilAI.net newsletter.

 The first is on future-specific blogging:

Future Blogger community launched
KurzweilAI.net, Feb. 27, 2008MemeBox has announced the public beta release of Future Blogger, a blogging community dedicated to exploring the future.Visitors can post their thoughts, predictions and scenarios. Community ratings then determine page ranking for posts. The site’s Future Scanner also aggregates and organizes information about the future by year and category.

The second is on some insanely cool nanotech:

Nano makes it big
Nature News, Feb. 27, 2008Nanocomp Technologies has built a 3 foot by 6 foot sheet of woven and layered carbon nanotubes with a breaking strength stronger than stainless steel.

The sheets are also lightweight, with a density of 0.2-0.3 grams per cubic centimeter (30 times less dense than steel). The final material is paper-like and can be folded, stretched and cut with scissors.

The millimeters-long nanotubes are woven into 30nm diameter bundles, which in turn are layered on a rotating drum, where electrostatic forces hold the bundles together.
Read Original Article>>

Writing tip #1

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:56 pm

I’d probably be a terrible writing coach, but as a professional writer and editor I sometimes get asked for an easy way to improve any piece of writing.

This tip will only work on shorter pieces, but do a universal “search and delete” for all instances of the word “that.” Then go back and work with the piece putting “that” back in everywhere it’s needed. I can guarantee you’ll end up with fewer “that”s.

Many people tend to think about how they would say something before they write it. In speech most people throw in a lot of “that”s. They fit the conversation, sound fine and don’t detract at all. In writing they are often completely unnecessary and actually detract from the work.

I think most people don’t realize how disjointed actual conversation — even what sounds like very polished conversation — is on the printed page.

Sometime record about four or five minutes of a conversation (follow any local laws if you’re taping a phone conversation, of course) and completely transcribe that exchange. Leave in every “er,” every “I mean, like,” and carefully transcribe the exact words. Now read that transcription. The results may really surprise you. 

More than one in 100 jailed in US

Is the US a police state? For the first time in our history more than one in 100 United States citizens are incarcerated.

From a NYT article:

Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.

Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.

The report, from the Pew Center on the States, also found that only one in 355 white women between the ages of 35 and 39 is behind bars, but that one in 100 black women is.

The report’s methodology differed from that used by the Justice Department, which calculates the incarceration rate by using the total population rather than the adult population as the denominator. Using the department’s methodology, about one in 130 Americans is behind bars.

This situation is not cheap. Also from the linked article:

Now, with fewer resources available to the states, the report said, “prison costs are blowing a hole in state budgets.” On average, states spend almost 7 percent on their budgets on corrections, trailing only healthcare, education and transportation.

In 2007, according to the National Association of State Budgeting Officers, states spent $44 billion in tax dollars on corrections. That is up from $10.6 billion in 1987, a 127 increase once adjusted for inflation. With money from bond issues and from the federal government included, total state spending on corrections last year was $49 billion. By 2011, the report said, states are on track to spend an additional $25 billion.

It cost an average of $23,876 to imprison someone in 2005, the most recent year for which data is available. But state spending varies widely, from $45,000 a year for each inmate in Rhode Island to just $13,000 in Louisiana.

The cost of medical care is growing by 10 percent annually, the report said, a rate that will accelerate as the prison population ages.

Sure, a lot those behind bars ought to be there, but are we, as a nation, more criminal right now than any other period of our history? Asinine minimum sentencing rules, three-strikes laws and the utter failure and policy of suck that is the “war” on drugs contribute heavily to this situation.

As a society it would behoove us to remember when we turn a petty problem into a criminal offense (e.g., much of our drug statutes, turning a third-time convicted shoplifter into a felon, sentencing a women to six years for touching an adolescent’s hair) we are actually creating criminals. Maybe hardened criminals if they are forced to do hard time with actual criminals. You know — murderers, rapists, b-and-e specialists, armed thieves, child predators.

Since I’m in Texas I’d throw in cattle rustlers and trespassers, but those types don’t usually make it to trial.

Thursday video fun — Bullfrog ballet

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:14 am

From the Vancouver Aquarium 

(Hat tip: Boing Boing)

Elron plagiarized his “religion”

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:41 am

An interesting development has come to light. It seems L. Ron Hubbard completely plagiarized the “tenets” of his cult, Scientology. It’s always been assumed the hack science fiction writer simply wrote the basis of the organization.

Particularly since numerous contemporaries have gone on record quoting L. Ron announcing he intended to “create” a religion because that’s where the money was (if you’re looking for more on this, I’m pretty sure you can dig up quotes with a web search — I’d start with the author Harlan Ellison.)

As it turns out the background of L. Ron’s cult of Scientology comes from a German book published in 1934 titled, “Scientologie.”

Wow. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the faithful will attempt to discredit this discovery, but debunkers no longer have to point out a mid-level, at best, sci-fi writer “came up with” this crazy-assed “religion.” The source material is right there in print, and little thief Elron didn’t even create the story himself.

February 27, 2008

Nanotechnology advances in quantum computing

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:52 pm

More cool nanotech. This time from the KurzweilAI.net newsletter. For reference, a qubit is a unit of quantum information.

Physicists Demonstrate Qubit-Qutrit Entanglement
PhysOrg.com, Feb. 26, 2008An international team of physicists entangled a qubit with its 3D equivalent, the “qutrit,” demonstrating a new way to handle higher-dimensional quantum information carriers.

Qubit-qutrit entanglement could lead to advantages in quantum computing, such as increased security and more efficient quantum gates, and enable novel tests of quantum mechanics. A qutrit is the quantum informationanalogue of the classical trit and carries more information: it exists in superpositions of its three basics states, while a qubit can exist in superpositions of its two states.
Read Original Article>>

Beautiful nanotech image

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:28 pm

A tip of the hat to Boing Boing for pointing my browser to this awesome nanotech photo and short bit from Wired.


As described in the article:

An array of ZIF, or zeolitic imidazolate framework, crystals that were photographed by a robotic microscope using polarized light to show detail. ZIF crystals are the primary substances that Yaghi and his crew develop. The nicely formed and innately beautiful crystals at left await further testing in the lab. The finer specimens may be individually mounted and imaged using X-ray crystal diffraction.

AK-47 out, M-16 in

Filed under: et.al., Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:00 pm

In a move that can be considered both interesting, highly symbolic and simply good for many reasons, the Iraqi Army is tranistioning from the AK-47 to the US military standard, the M-16.

From the link:

The initiative marks a sharp break for a culture steeped in the traditions of the Soviet-era AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle, a symbol of revolutionary zeal and third-world simplicity that is ubiquitous among the militaries of the Middle East.

 “We in the U.S. know that the M-16 is superior to the AK … it’s more durable,” said Army Col. Stephen Scott, who’s in charge of helping the Iraqi army get all the equipment it needs to outfit its forces.

“The Iraqis have embraced that … and the fact that it is U.S. manufactured and supplied. They are very big on U.S.-produced [foreign military sales] materials,” he said in an interview with military bloggers this month.

So far, the U.S. military has helped the Iraqi army purchase 43,000 rifles – a mix of full-stock M-16A2s and compact M-4 carbines. Another 50,000 rifles are currently on order, and the objective is to outfit the entire Iraqi army with 165,000 American rifles in a one-for-one replacement of the AK-47.

“Our goal is to give every Iraqi soldier an M-16A2 or an M-4,” Scott said. “And as the Iraqi army grows, we will adjust.”

Another superdelegate …

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:32 pm

switches to Obama. This time it’s Representative John Lewis (D-GA).

Update 2/28/08: And another

A Houston state representative — and superdelegate — switches her support from Clinton to Obama.

My colleagues Charles Mahtesian and Richard Cullen have a well-timed story on the pressure facing Clinton’s black supporters like today’s defector, Senfronia Thompson:

The pressure on Clinton’s black supporters to defect has been gradually mounting, rising to the point where some elected officials are being forced to consider whether their backing for Clinton will have adverse consequences for their own political fortunes.

“It’s atmospheric pressure, a change in mood in their communities,” says University of California at Los Angeles political scientist Mark Sawyer, who studies race, ethnicity and politics. “You see people that are going out to vote that have never voted before. Do you want to be on the other side of that?”

Clinton’s latest “endorsement”

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:22 pm

The Clinton campaign has released an internet video insinuating the late Texas governor, Ann Richards, would be a strong Hillary supporter. Her two sons object to the video.

From the link:

But sons Dan and Clark Richards, partners at an Austin law firm, say nobody can know who the outspoken and opinionated former governor would have supported in the race between Clinton and Barack Obama.

“As her children, we never presumed to know her mind when alive and we are not prepared to make a claim as to who she would endorse or what she would do if she were still with us,” they wrote in an e-mail last week. “We are not granting permission for her name to be used in advertisements on behalf of either candidate.”

The e-mail, provided to The Associated Press by Dan Richards, was sent to Cathy Bonner, a friend of their mother’s and member of Richards’ administration. Bonner is working with Clinton’s campaign and sent Dan and Clark Richards an early copy of the video on Feb. 19 “to make sure you are okay with it.”

Dan Richards said in an interview Tuesday that they denied permission and he’s angry the campaign published the video anyway. He said the campaign contacted him again last Friday to ask him to reconsider, and he repeated his objections.

Another smart move from Team Clinton. As the sandcastle crumbles, her entire presidential effort is looking like a case study on how not to run a campaign.

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

Libertarian publisher endorses Obama

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:47 pm

From Reason’s Hit & Run:

Freedom Newspapers CEO Scott Flanders—he who heads up a chain of libertarian broadsheets, including the Orange County Register—is voting for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Flanders said he voted for Libertarian nominee Ed Clark in 1980 and for Bill Clinton in 1992, but has otherwise voted Republican… There was some back-and-forth over the practical vs. the philosophical approach to politics, and Flanders said that in this election, for him, “the No. 1 issue is who will get us out of Iraq.”

OK, I’m thinking, if you really mean that, there’s only one major candidate you can support. But there’s no way you are going to stand there and say you support him.

Editorial writer Steve Greenhut told Flanders he thought he was really making an argument for not voting. Not true, Flanders said, and then he did it. He said the words, “Barack Obama.” As in, that’s who any true freedom-lover should vote for.

William F. Buckley, RIP

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:13 pm

William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review and one of the architects of conservatism in the United States over the last half centry, died this morning at the age of 82.

This is from the editors at the National Review:

When Buckley started National Review — in 1955, at the age of 29 — it was not at all obvious that anti-Communists, traditionalists, constitutionalists, and enthusiasts for free markets would all be able to take shelter under the same tent. Nor was it obvious that all of these groups, even gathered together, would be able to prevail over what seemed at the time to be an inexorable collectivist tide. When Buckley wrote that the magazine would “stand athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!’” his point was to challenge the idea that history, with a capital H, pointed left. Mounting that challenge was the first step toward changing history’s direction. Which would come in due course.

Here’s a remembrance of Bill from NRO’s the Corner:

Bluntly Buckley   [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

From House whip Roy Blunt: “William F. Buckley was more than a journalist or commentator. He was the indisputable leader of the conservative movement that laid the groundwork for the Reagan Revolution. Every Republican owes him a debt of gratitude for his tireless efforts on behalf of our party and nation. “While Mr. Buckley’s successes are vast, his longest lasting influence will always be through the work of the National Review – a magazine he founded more than five decades ago to give a voice to the brand of conservativism we associate with the modern Republican Party. Even though Mr. Buckley is no longer with us, the impact he has made will forever serve as a monument to the achievements of this honorable man.”

February 26, 2008

Interested in the JFK assassination?

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:39 pm

Hit this link to a Dallas Morning News document dump.

From the link:

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins announced this week that documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy were found in a little-known vault in his office. He said his intention was to release them to the public. The documents were compiled by Henry Wade, the district attorney at the time of the assassination. Mr. Wade and his successors never made them public.

Below is one, large chunk of the documents. In the coming days, dallasnews.com will share more of them for your review.

The documents contained here are those that the district attorney’s office made available in electronic form – an estimated 90 percent of all the documents from the vault. Another 10 percent had not yet been scanned when these files were released to The Dallas Morning News.

The contents include transcripts, personal and official letters, newspaper clippings, lists of jurors, police reports, rap sheets, autopsy reports, trial notes, police notebooks, photographs and much more.

The documents appear here exactly as they were received by The News . They are neither cataloged nor indexed, and they are in no apparent order.

Given the volume, we haven’t been able to review most of the files. That’s why were calling on you. Here’s your chance to review never-seen-before materials related to the JFK assassination.

Take a look, and let us know if you see something interesting.

Nanopores that sort molecules and proteins

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:10 pm

From today’s KurzweilAI.net newsletter:

Nanopores that can recognize, separate proteins and small molecules
nanowerk, Feb. 25, 2008University of Massachusetts Amherst chemists have created nanopores that can recognize and separate small molecules and proteins based on size, charge and how strongly they are repelled by water.

It could be used in many applications including diagnostic medical tests, DNA sequencing and fuel-cell membranes.

Read Original Article>>

Clinton’s staff looks wistfully toward the exit

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:51 pm

From the Daily Dish. It looks like Clinton’s staff is already making contingency plans ,,,

After all that wine, demoralized Clinton staffers can’t wait for next week:

Advisers figure that a loss in Texas is as likely as a win in Ohio; a large number of staffers appear to be willing to quit en masse next Wednesday if there’s a split decision and Clinton gives notice that she intends to fight for another month.

Cricklers dot com

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:05 am

If you enjoy word games, go check out Cricklers. I play almost every day.

I’ll let the creators describe the online fun:

Cricklers are a new type of word puzzle.  We set out to totally re-invent the crossword puzzle for the computer age.  Traditional crossword puzzles are incredibly successful but they have several serious drawbacks: (1) They are difficult to construct, (2) Most words are short and often silly — chosen only because they fit, (3) Matching clues to numbers is a distraction, and (4) A given puzzle is usually either too easy or too hard.

Tuesday video — wind turbine self destructs

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:24 am

I found this video of a wind turbine self-destructing at Boing Boing.

 This second video of the same event was posted in the comments of the Boing Boing post

February 25, 2008

Rod Dreher’s female trouble

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:13 pm

Last week, Rod Dreher — blogger at beliefnet.com and employee of the Dallas Morning News — had a surprising post.

I’ll let Rod’s title and lede speak for him:

Thursday February 21, 2008

Category: Culture

The bride’s a slut. They call it progress.

The NYT reports today on a new trend in weddings:

The gown was almost wanton — fluid but curvy with a neckline that plummeted dangerously. “It makes me feel sexy and beautiful,” said Natasha DaSilva, who slipped it on for a fitting last week.

Later in the post he exposes his own classiness with this gem:

Natasha DaSilva, that tattoo just above your butt telegraphs to the world that you’re one classy dame. I’m sure your daughters will be so proud of you one day. “Wow, Mom, you really hooched up your wedding, didn’t you?” Dreary old me, I miss bridal hypocrisy.

Not a very christian pronouncement from the ground floor of “crunchy conservatism.” Something I’ve never really figured out. It seems to consist of hippies without the odor or fun, with regular christian church attendance thrown in for good measure.

If you follow the link in my intro, you can see where Rod “closed the comments” on the post due to “porn spammers.”

So if I get all this straight, Rod started a conversation in a misogynist gutter and then threw a hissy when the conversation remained there.

Stay classy, Rod.

With free PR like this …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:30 pm

… right wing political supporters are probably slapping foreheads around the nation.

Sure some elements of the right seem a little loony and quite desperate these days, but “political” suicide is never an answer. Not to make fun because obviously the man had some serious issues.

Here’s Ace’s (of Ace of Spades) take

Right-Wing Blogger Jumps From 150+ Foot Building To Protest Laws of Shari’a, Gravitation

He killed himself to protest the Muslim presence in the West, and to get publicity for the “right wing” cause.

Way to help out the team, buddy. Thanks! Just the PR we were looking for.

Think you can maybe find an attractive young pharmacist and shoot her in the face for selling condoms on your way out? No? Eh, don’t bother. We’ll get someone else for that. Need to get on that stat, though, we have an election coming up.

His suicide note boldly predicted:

I have no doubt the Leftist Media will spin my death as that of an insane man with few options left in life who killed himself in desperation.

Jesus… we lost him? It’s like losing Tesla. He saw the future.

Thanks to Alice H.

PS, yeah, it’s a pity, obviously he was fucked up and all and depression and insanity are horrible, but I really don’t feel like giving a suicide the martyrdom he was seeking.

The Corner weighs in …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:13 pm

on the “picture.”

Obama Pic A Mistake    [Peter Wehner]

A few thoughts on this Obama photo that was circulated by the Clinton campaign, published on the Drudge Report. The first is that it is a sign of the desperation of Team Clinton. The second is that it is pretty nasty stuff, with its “he’s a Muslim and it should bother you” undertone. For the record, Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim, and the photo should not bother anyone (I recall President Bush had to wear some pretty wild outfits when he attended the APEC summits). And third, this will backfire in a big way. Twenty-four hours from now I suspect we’ll see virtually the entire Democratic establishment, and many others, condemning this tactic. It’ll advance the storyline that the Clinton campaign is spinning out of control – lurching from melancholy valedictory comments one day to faux outrage the next – and in its dying days.

During tomorrow evening’s debate, Hillary Clinton will be on the defensive and very much regret this stupid and ugly effort.

Other than that, it was a swell idea.

Clinton campaign goes full slime

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:18 pm

It seems like if you want to go full-out slime in a campaign, it’s a good idea to start when you still have an actual chance of winning.

And, as far as dirty politics go this effort is embarrassingly feeble.

Mon Feb 25 2008 06:51:00 ET
With a week to go until the Texas and Ohio primaries, stressed Clinton staffers circulated a photo over the weekend of a "dressed" Barack Obama.The photo, taken in 2006, shows the Democrat frontrunner fitted as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya.

The senator was on a five-country tour of Africa.

"Wouldn't we be seeing this on the cover of every magazine if it were HRC?" questioned one campaign staffer, in an email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

In December, the campaign asked one of its volunteer county coordinators in Iowa to step down after the person forwarded an e-mail falsely stating that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe quickly accused the Clinton campaign Monday of 'shameful offensive fear-mongering' for circulating the snap.

Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams responds: "If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed."


EDITOR'S NOTE: Other leaders have worn local costumes:

Stick a fork in the Clinton campaign

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:58 pm

Bob Novak wonders who will break the news to Hillary that it’s over.

From the linked column:

Even before Sen. Barack Obama won his ninth straight contest against Sen. Hillary Clinton, in Wisconsin last Tuesday, wise old heads in the Democratic Party were asking this question: Who will tell her that it’s over, that she cannot win the presidential nomination and that the sooner she leaves the race, the more it will improve the party’s chances of defeating Sen. John McCain in November?

In an ideal though unattainable world, Clinton would have dropped out when it became clear even before Wisconsin that she could not be nominated. The nightmare scenario was that she would win in Wisconsin, claiming a “comeback” that would propel her to narrow victories in Texas and Ohio on March 4. That still would not have cut her a path to the nomination. But telling her then to end her candidacy and avoiding a bloody battle stretching to the party’s national convention in Denver might not have been achievable.

Exaflop computer in planning stage

More news from the KurzweilAI.net newsletter:


‘Exaflop’ Supercomputer Planning Begins
Information Week, Feb. 22, 2008

Researchers at Sandia and Oak Ridge National Laboratories have launched the Institute for Advanced Architectures to do basic research on issues such as power consumption and reliability for an exaflop (10^18 floating point operations per second) system that could have a million hundred-core processors.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Security Agency expect to need exaflop computing by 2018 for large-scale prediction, materials science analysis, fusion research, and national security problems.
Read Original Article>>

Kurzweil forecasts future tech

Here’s an interesting group of tech forecasts from Ray Kurzweil.

Kurzweil forecast future techologies that will impact game developers
KurzweilAI.net, Feb. 25, 2008

Look for the price-to-performance ratio of computers to improve a billionfold in the next 25 years, Ray Kurzweil said in a keynote speech, “The Next 20 Years of Gaming,” at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Thursday, CNET reported.

Kurzweil said game programmers should be developing ahead of the curve, considering the constantly changing face of game technology.

“We may even have the ability to accurately represent the human brain or produce convincing human language— dialog — on the fly,” Kurzweil said. “The implications and potential for the advancement of games from such technological leaps are exciting to ponder,” Wired reported.

Kurzweil’s forecasts have “obvious and exciting implications for gaming,” according to Game Helper.

By 2010, we’ll have electronics so tiny they are “embedded in the environment, our clothing, our eyeglasses”; images and video will be “written directly to our retinas” and “we will all enjoy a “ubiquitous high bandwidth connection to the Internet at all times.”

By 2029, “We will have developed a human-level non-biological intelligence; “$1,000 worth of computation = 1000 times the human brain“; and while biological intelligence is in essence “fixed,” non-biological intelligence will continue increasing exponentially, and will combine “the subtlety and pattern recognition strength of human intelligence with the speed, memory, and knowledge sharing of machine intelligence.”

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