"You said I was the finest man you ever knew. Probably am. Most of humanity isn't all that goddamned fine to begin with. I am flawed. You are flawed. But we are not flawed beyond the allowable limit. And our affection for each other is not flawed at all."Robert B. Parker, Sudden Mischief
She had stopped looking at the distance and was looking, for the first time, at me.
"And every day I have loved you," I said, "has been a privilege."
She kept looking at me and then soundlessly and without warning she turned from the bridge railing and pressed her face against my chest. She didn't make a sound. Her hands hung by her side. I put my arms around her carefully. She didn't move. We stood that way for a time as the pedestrians on the bridge moved spectrally past us. After a while, Susan put her arms around my waist and tightened them. And we stood that way for a time. Finally she spoke into my chest, her voice muffled.
"Thank you," she said.
And we stood some more and didn't say anything else.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Later: This piece (via Gordon) gives useful background on the links between public-sector unions and the Democrats.
How snotty leftists reason: I know because I share their instincts, which I'm glad to say I've trained myself to ignore, having realized they're ridiculous. Allow me to demonstrate.
Snotty leftists who read this report* on a Quincy, IL, Tea Party event will likely think,
The major premise is true. The minor premise is false, but snotty leftists believe it because they overvalue the kinds of skills that earn good grades in English Lit, and so they believe, wrongly, that the conclusion is valid.
The comma after "President" shouldn't be there, and "groups" should be "group's" (both times!); Only idiots would make such mistakes; Therefore Tea Partiers are idiots.
Arguing with such people, heavily concentrated in L.A./NYC/DC and the news media and academia, is pretty much futile. They need to learn, as I eventually learned (shamefully late), that an intelligent person can be clumsy in such matters as grammar and punctuation. Until they do—and few of them ever will—they won't respect even someone as patently bright and capable, but not Ivy-League slick, as, for instance, Sarah Palin.
*No author is listed, and it reads like a press release, so I'm guessing it was written by a Tea Partier or someone sympathetic to the cause.
(Note: I've amended this item, for clarity, since I originally posted it.)
(Link via Instapundit.)
Huge problems with American temperature data, according to Marc Sheppard of American Thinker.
by 1990, NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] had deleted from its datasets all but 1,500 of the 6,000 thermometers in service around the globe. . . . 75% represents quite a drop in sampling population
* * *
stations placed in historically cooler, rural areas of higher latitude and elevation were scrapped from the data series in favor of more urban locales at lower latitudes and elevations. Consequently, post-1990 readings have been biased to the warm side not only by selective geographic location, but also by the anthropogenic heating influence of a phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island Effect [my crude understanding: a city tends to be warmer than the area surrounding it -- mg].
* * *
For example, Canada’s reporting stations dropped from 496 in 1989 to 44 in 1991, with the percentage of stations at lower elevations tripling while the numbers of those at higher elevations dropped to one. That’s right: . . . they left “one thermometer for everything north of LAT 65.”
* * *
in California, only four stations remain – one in San Francisco and three in Southern L.A. near the beach
* * *
Overall, U.S. online stations have dropped from a peak of 1,850 in 1963 to a low of 136 as of 2007
* * *
[For measurement purposes] the planet is flattened and stretched onto an 8,000-box grid. . . . Now, you might wonder just how one manages to fill 8,000 boxes using 1,500 stations.
Here’s NASA’s solution:
For each grid box, the stations within that grid box and also any station within 1200km of the center of that box are combined using the reference station method.
* * *
[Take] Hawaii for starters. It seems that all of the Aloha State’s surviving stations reside in major airports. Nonetheless, this unrepresentative hot data is what’s used to “infill” the surrounding “empty” Grid Boxes up to 1200 km out to sea. So in effect, you have “jet airport tarmacs ‘standing in’ for temperature over water 1200 km closer to the North Pole.”
An isolated problem? Hardly. . . .
* * *
“There’s a wonderful baseline for Bolivia -- a very high mountainous country -- right up until 1990 when the data ends. And if you look on the [GISS] November 2009 anomaly map, you’ll see a very red rosy hot Bolivia [boxed in blue]. But how do you get a hot Bolivia when you haven’t measured the temperature for 20 years?”
Of course, you already know the answer: GISS simply fills in the missing numbers – originally cool, as Bolivia contains proportionately more land above 10,000 feet than any other country in the world – with hot ones available in neighboring stations on a beach in Peru or somewhere in the Amazon jungle.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Individuals with enhanced abilities to inflict costs (e.g., stronger individuals) or to confer benefits (e.g., attractive individuals) have a better bargaining position in conflicts; hence, it was predicted that such individuals will be more prone to anger, prevail more in conflicts of interest, and consider themselves entitled to better treatment. These predictions were confirmed. Consistent with an evolutionary analysis, the effect of strength on anger was greater for men and the effect of attractiveness on anger was greater for women. Also as predicted, stronger men had a greater history of fighting than weaker men, and more strongly endorsed the efficacy of force to resolve conflicts—both in interpersonal and international conflicts. The fact that stronger men favored greater use of military force in international conflicts provides evidence that the internal logic of the anger program reflects the ancestral payoffs characteristic of a small-scale social world rather than rational assessments of modern payoffs in large populations.(Via Tim Blair.)
Monday, January 18, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Later: Free link here.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Later: And from a "moderate" Muslim state: "A 23-year-old British woman on holiday in Dubai told police she had been raped, only to be arrested herself for having illegal sexual intercourse." (Via Media Blog.)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Tonight I watched the relevant episodes, so I felt ready to read this at last: "Why David Tennant and Russell T Davies are leaving Doctor Who." Very entertaining, and great to know that it wasn't because of bad feeling on the show.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
In Abdulmutallab, we have a terrorist in custody who's probably a lot smarter than the Richard Reids and Zacarias Moussaouis of the world, at least based on his educational background, and who therefore may be a rich source of intelligence --and we're letting him invoke Constitutional protections that he has only by virtue of coming to our country to murder hundreds of people!
Friday, January 1, 2010
This is a bizarre division of labor. You carefully pack to avoid any liquids more than three ounces. You stand in a security line. You take off your shoes. You get your fingernail clippers confiscated. You run your carry-on bags through an X-ray machine and walk through a metal detector, with an extra wanding if your spare pocket change sets off the alarm. And after all that, it’s still your responsibility to subdue the terrorist in the next row trying to set off the pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) secreted on his body.
Happy New Year.