Welcome to

The Defenestration of Blog

My blog has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.


the hasidic ruling on markets and freedom of contract: "ASUR!"

The following was quoted in a FreeRepublic forum from the New York Post. No, I am not a "freeper," a friend sent it to me. Unfortunately, I cannot access the whole article. Or at least I am too lazy to check if Lexis-Nexis has the New York Post. At any rate, the most backward group in New York City has proven that they deserve their reputation by protesting the concept of supply and demand.

June 17, 2004 -- A sea of black was seeing red in Williamsburg yesterday as local Hasidim protested the skyrocketing prices of housing in Brooklyn's hippest neighborhood.

"We've been living here for 40 or 50 years, we've invested tens of millions of dollars for institutions, schools, synagogues," said protester and real-estate broker David Heimlich, 38.

"We used to pay a maximum of $250 per square foot, now they are selling apartments for $500 and up per square foot. They're starting to build for the luxury types."

Some saw the rally as a skirmish in a battle between the Hasids and the hipsters who are quickly filling up the neighborhood.

the abundance of brain-damaged creationists is proof that a higher intelligence could NOT have created us

Two can play at their game of self-referential arguments...
In a finding that is likely to intensify the debate over what to teach students about the origins of life, a poll released yesterday found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools.

The poll found that 42 percent of respondents held strict creationist views, agreeing that "living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."

In contrast, 48 percent said they believed that humans had evolved over time. But of those, 18 percent said that evolution was "guided by a supreme being," and 26 percent said that evolution occurred through natural selection. In all, 64 percent said they were open to the idea of teaching creationism in addition to evolution, while 38 percent favored replacing evolution with creationism.

Full article, NYT


is it just me

or do these look like porcupine testicles?

jacqueline duty is a fat ugly redneck

I read it here.


The last 20 Yahoo and Google search terms used to find this blog:

kraigslist.com (Yahoo)
tribadism (Yahoo)
250 miles per gallon (Yahoo)
Rove, psychoanalysis (Google)
jobs for people with law degree (Yahoo)
"Hypomanic Edge" (Google)
Robert hamburger real ultimate power and lawsuit (Yahoo)
hpv blog (Yahoo)
twisted sick minds (Yahoo)
anthony pratti (Yahoo)
+hater +ginger +abu +post (AltaVista)
Neutorgena (MSN)
Anthony Pratti with Autism (Yahoo)
redheads in hollywood (Yahoo)
kraigslist.com (Yahoo)
subhumans (Yahoo)
crackas.com (Yahoo)
NY Yankees Internship (Yahoo)

more praise for NY Times writers

John Tierney is awesome.


I have a little crush

on Virginia Postrel. Even her name is cute.

libertarian cutie Virginia Postrel
Not bad for a New York Times economics columnist!

drop out of law school, become President of the United States

TaxProfBlog points out that, of all the presidents who went to law school, more dropped out than graduated. This just goes to show you that tedious, boring work and persistence do NOT pay off.
Presidents who dropped out of law school:

Lyndon Johnson (Georgetown)
William McKinley (Albany)
Franklin Roosevelt (Columbia)
Theodore Roosevelt (Columbia)
Harry Truman (Missouri-Kansas City)
Woodrow Wilson (Virginia)

Presidents who graduated from law school:

Bill Clinton (Yale)
Gerald Ford (Yale)
Rutherford Hayes (Harvard)
Richard Nixon (Duke)
William Howard Taft (Cincinnati)

Incidentally, it seems that each of our worst presidents is on one of these lists except for Polk, Carter and Bush the younger.


lobe-damaged Christians sink to a new low

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) - Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq.

The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps' children, grandchildren and in-laws.

The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."

Full Article


positive externality

I just walked past the Krispy Kreme next to the Dupont Circle (South) Metro exit and inhaled 100 cubic centimeters of sugar.


best line on today's NY Times op-ed page

"Thomas L. Friedman is on vacation."


American rabbi suffers from severe frontal lobe damage, compares Israeli disengagement from Gaza to the Nazi Holocaust

Thanks to The Kvetcher for the pointer to this blithering idiot, Rabbi Emmanuel Feldman. I found this even scarier after reading his bio. He isn't the gadfly head of a fringe settler yeshiva. He was apparently an important figure in mainstream U.S. orthodox Judaism, the former editor in chief of the journal of the Rabbinical Council of America, and the recipient of a Phd from Emory University. Following is my dressing down of his latest blog post at Cross-Currents (isn't that a fairly Christian name for a Jewish blog?):
When Israeli soldiers entered a barricaded room in Gush Katif, out marched a group of weeping children. Their hands were held up, and each one was wearing the yellow star with the word “jude” in Germanic characters emblazoned upon it.

Do such tactics trivialize the real Holocaust? Some say so. After all, as tragic as these evictions are, these Jews are being expelled not by Nazis who wish to destroy them, but by fellow Jews who, for the most part, have tried to display gentleness and sympathy.

Nevertheless, in the air there lingers a faint Holocaust aroma: forced evacuations; barriers of barbed wire; people forbidden to enter the area; notices from the government ordering residents to pack their belongings and be ready to leave their homes by a date certain, and threatening that those not leaving voluntarily will be forcibly evicted and will lose their compensation benefits; Jews barricading themselves in synagogues while other Jews forcibly pull them out. Synagogues and yeshivot are now dark, cemeteries are uprooted, thousands of Jewish refugees are bussed into the heartland not knowing where they will spend the next night, or what their future holds, and all the while an enemy sworn to destroy Israel proclaims victory and moves into the abandoned land. To be sure, not a Holocaust, but certainly redolent of it.

Redolent of the Holocaust? Redolent my ass. The barriers of barbed wire were there to keep others out, not to keep the settlers in. The settlers who barricaded themselves in synagogues were trying to fabricate Holocaust imagery, either out of some deranged persecution complex or as part of a slick effort to influence public opinion. If you should be criticizing anyone for that sort of scene, it should be the settlers for putting soldiers in such a position.

[By the way, did not secular Zionism promise us that if we only had our own land, such things could not occur? Was not this Jewish land supposed to put an end to forced exile? And through it all, these same secular Zionists, those whose “religion” consists only of fealty to the land, look with equanimity—and some even with satisfaction—as their religion is dismantled.]

Secular zionists are not exiling anyone from the country. They still have their citizenship and all the rights and responsibilities that come with it.

Could anyone have missed the searing pain in one verse of last Shabbat’s Torah reading? In it, the Children of Israel are promised that the newly entered Land will be ready for their immediate use, with “cities which you did not build… hewed out wells that you did not hew, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant. . . .”(Dt. 6:10-11). Today’s Israeli leadership has turned the Torah on its face and has knowingly invited our mortal enemies to enter the Land and inherit vineyards and olive trees they did not plant – all in the name of a dubious peace. The prophet Zephaniah’s words ring clearly in our ears: “ki ‘Azah ‘azuvah tihyeh/for Gaza will become forsaken. . . . “(2:4)

This type of thinking is a great example of the religious zionist belief that God judges the Jewish people based on how aggresively they pursue land rather than how zealously they pursue peace.
The extraordinary drama playing out before our eyes is so irrational, so illogical, so lunatic, so beyond mortal comprehension – my adjectives fail me – that on a basic level one has the sense that Israel has been hi-jacked by madmen, that the asylum has been taken over by the inmates, that Chelm lives again. The disaster which was Oslo is only a few years old, but before our own eyes it is being tried once again – and by the very Prime Minister who once derided it.

Right. As opposed to the status quo, which was not irrational, illgogical, lunatic, and beyond mortal comprehension: 8500 people being protected by as many soldiers, living on expropriated land comprising 1/3 of an occupied territory that is home to 1.5 million people who live on less than $2 a day, all while the international community excoriates Israel for colonialism. Yeah, Feldman, you're right, the immoral secular government of Israel must be suicidal. It's too bad that you aren't Prime Minister, what with your direct line to God and all...
On a transcendental level, however, the obvious irrationality of it all, suggests that there is more here than meets the eye, and that something supernatural is taking place.

The only explanation is that Ariel Sharon, along with 60% of Israelis, were possessed by the devil and could not have done this of their own accord. Duh. Are we gonna split hairs?

No one among us can speak for Him, but it is possible that this velvet-gloved mini-Holocaust is a loving but painful tap on the shoulder, a wake-up call reminding us to consider who we are, where we come from, and where we are going.

Nobody can speak for God, but he'll do it anyway. Isn't it funny how it only took him a few paragraphs to go from asserting that the withdrawal was "not a Holocaust," to calling it a repeat of the Holocaust, differing only in size?
How does one respond? At the very least, we might consider bringing ourselves in for a spiritual tune-up. Maybe we need to inspect our praying, revisit our Torah learning, clean out our interpersonal relationships, energize our tzedakah, recharge our awareness of an omnipresent Master, re-examine our connection to Eretz Yisrael. Surely in our Creator’s mysterious ways, the seeds of redemption and Geulah are now being sowed. Perhaps some serious introspection on our part will help those seeds to sprout. This is one way we can help ensure that the trauma of this period will not have been in vain.

Spiritual tuneup? I believe what you're looking for is a mental checkup.
We should thank those children for wearing that yellow “jude.” The sight of them helps stir us from our long torpor, and challenges us to reinvigorate that genuine “jude” slumbering deep within us.

Congratulations, Rabbi Feldman. You have just made yourself the #1 useful idiot for anyone who wants to say that Jews abuse the memory of the Holocaust for tactical gains.

If only my budget and building allowed dogs...

"If you want to have a friend in Washington, get yourself a dog." - Harry Truman

worth reading

Mahalanobis goes to town on unions.


optimal schmutz theory

There's an art to maintaining the Foreman grill. You want it clean enough so that you don't gag on sight, but you want it just dirty enough that your grilled cheese sandwich has hints of last nights Jamaican jerk chicken. I've found that the key is to never wash it with soap. I plug it in and wipe it down with a wet dish towel before it gets too hot. That gets rid of the black nasty stuff but keeps your grill well within that utopian jurisdiction known as Flavor Country.


abu gingy in the blogsphere

I got long-winded, to say the least, in the comments section of a post at old college chum DJ Waletzky's blog, Casual Asides.

markets in everything

The Jerusalem Post reports that some enterprising settlers are trying to use Ebay to auction off advertising space on the outside wall of their home in a West Bank settlement slated for evacuation. They expect to rake in thousands due to the anticipated international media coverage that will beam images of their house around the world.

Last 20 Keywords

My blog counter only includes the last 20 keyword searches that directed surfers to my page. Since there have been 20 search engine hits since Friday, I figured I would post them before they're lost. As usual, I am amused by the results and think they are worth sharing. Also, this proves that Google is superior to Yahoo, as the latter seems to direct way too many people to this waste of server space known as the Defenestration of Blog.

Last 20 Keywords:

autism - penquins - movie (Yahoo)
defenestration (Google)
défenestration (MSN)
"retard " blog (Yahoo)
pope benedict star wars (Yahoo)
250 miles per gallon (Yahoo)
reasons to go to law school (Yahoo)
zaada@yahoo.com (Yahoo)
tribadism' (Yahoo)
boy laughing too loud (Yahoo)
gaza blog (Yahoo)
star wars pope (Yahoo)
in my country there's a problem (Yahoo)
Pope Benedict Star Wars (Yahoo)
funny mental retard (Yahoo)
anthony pratti (Yahoo)
redheads becoming extinct (Yahoo)
marry a shiksa (Yahoo)
gingy (Yahoo)


Financial Econ M.A. Program at Oxford

If I lived in England, I probably would have sent in an application within 10 minutes of reading about this very groovy new program:

survey [subhumans]

What is the most retarded position of the religious right?

A) Demanding the teaching of intelligent design/creationism as science
B) Opposition to same sex marriage
C) Opposition to reproductive freedoms (abortion, advice concerning abortion, contraception, sex education, and the development of STD vaccines that they believe might increase pre-marital sex)

Please answer in the comments section.

The third year of law school ought to be done away with

Raging Pundits posts an excellent editorial about how the third year of law school provides much lower marginal utility than the second and imposes costs that make it more difficult to enter public service.

Movie Review: The Aristocrats


If that opening line offended you, then you should probably steer clear of the Aristocrats. The film is for a person with both a high degree of sophistication and an appreciation for the lowbrow. Like you, since you read this page.

Go see it. A lot of theaters banned it, but it's worth going out of your way to see. It consists of about 100 of the country's top comedians giving their version and interpretation of an old vaudeville joke. I'm afraid I can't say much more without spoilers. Please, for the love of God, see it.

a helpful tip to my loyal readers

If you want to subscribe to a magazine, search for it on Ebay and you will likely find a subscription for next to nothing. Check the sellers' invariably sterling feedback, it's totally legit. I got the following subscriptions:
The Atlantic Monthly: $5
Reason: $8.79
The New Yorker: $10 (super cheap considering it's a weekly)
Men's Health: $4
Men's Fitness: $3.50
Stuff: Free throw-in
Maxim: Free throw-in

The only price-wise disappointments so far are TNR ($18) and The Economist ($75).


nuclear terrorism and mutually assured destruction Part II

On July 23 I posted about what we can do to deter Islamist nuclear terrorism. I think I've come up with a good plan.

Let's say that Osama bin Laden gets on Al Jazeera and says that there is a nuclear device somewhere in a major American city. He gives George Bush an ultimatum to start redeploying from the middle east within 24 hours.
The appropriate response would be to immediately demand that Osama bin Laden be turned in to American custody or we will start nuking the biggest Muslim cities one by one. After the first couple it will be clear that we mean business. Even if that horrific scenario doesn't bother him, it will probably bother at least one trusted confidante enough to turn him in.

Of course, the UBL ultimatum scenario is unlikely. After all, the Islamist terrorists are bloodthirsty and would want to detonate their bomb without warning so that they can kill as many people as possible. Nonetheless, we could still employ my strategy after AQ has nuked an American city.

To double our chances of getting him, we could also privately threaten the leaders of the countries that might be harboring him. Tell them to send half their militaries to run around looking for him or their capital will be the next city to get nuked.

This is morbid stuff, but it must be discussed. We are talking about a doomsday scenario in which America is facing the threat of being shut down by multiple nuclear terrorist attacks. There are a lot of moral issues that I am not considering here. But from a perspective of self-preservation, this seems like it should be on the table.

With all the Soviet nuclear warheads that have disappeared, I find it highly unlikely that Al Qaeda did NOT get their hands on a few of them. I truly fear that a nuclear atttack on the American homeland is an eventuality. I hope the government takes the appropriate steps to prove me wrong.

Brazil bitchslaps America over "global gag rule"

Kudos to this Brazilian group for calling out the faith based adminisration of George W. Bush on its backwardness. I know it's month-old news, but I just noticed this article tonight. Thanks JT for the pointer!
Until recently, the condom campaign of the group called Fio da Alma had been partly financed through the United States Agency for International Development. But no longer: rather than comply with an American demand that all foreign recipients of AIDS assistance must explicitly condemn prostitution, Brazil has decided to forgo up to $40 million in American support.

''Our feeling was that the manner in which the Usaid funds were consigned would bring harm to our program from the point of view of its scientific credibility, its ethical values and its social commitment,'' Pedro Chequer, director of the Brazilian government's AIDS program, said in an interview in Brasilía. ''We must remain faithful to the established principles of the scientific method and not allow theological beliefs and dogma to interfere.''

Full story

Why can't this blimp be more like the Hindenburg?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Yoinked from Little Green Footballs


Why are the Yankees underperforming?

Richard Justice lays the blame squarely on Steinbrenner's shoulders:
He went out and treated the Yankees like a fantasy league team. He bought Jason Giambi, Randy Johnson, Gary Sheffield, Carl Pavano and others.

He spent like no other owner in history, thinking that more money translated into more victories.

He failed to remember that it was pitching and a great TEAM that led those clubs to four championships in a five-year stretch. Those teams won, not because they necessarily had more talent, but because they had more of things that can't be measured.

Sure, they had terrific pitching. They also had guys like Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill. Their contributions could never be measured in terms of mere production.

These Yankees are different. They're like a bunch of independent contractors. And their pitching staff is a mess.

They've used 14 starters and 26 pitchers overall, including a bunch of guys let go by other teams.

That $65-million starting rotation has allowed almost five runs a game. That winter shopping spree that put Johnson, Pavano and Jaret Wright in pinstripes didn't take their age (in Johnson's case) or injury history (in the case of the other two) into account.

the federal government updates its racial taxonomy

I just stumbled upon an interesting OMB document from 8 years ago. It includes such gems as this
(13) OMB accepts the following recommendations concerning the term or terms to be used for the name of the Black category:

The name of the Black category should be changed to "Black or African American."

The category definition should remain unchanged.

Additional terms, such as Haitian or Negro, can be used if desired.


retardian economics at its worst

Separately, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said the White House should ask oil companies for a voluntary, temporarily freeze on prices that they charge gasoline distributors.

Duffy said that price controls in any form are "terribly toxic to the economy" but added he had not seen the specific proposal.

Full story
Price controls are the epitome of retardian public policy. But Nelson goes one step farther. He actually expects gas companies to voluntarily freeze their prices despite the increasing cost of oil. Why would any company follow such a costly guideline?
I predict that it won't be long before we read about Senator Nelson being asked to leave a movie theater for laughing too loud.


This is how I lived from January-June 2005

All my furniture was made of Fedex boxes. Seriously.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

quote of the day

There is no margin for error about a monstrosity that was created for the alleged purpose of preventing wars by uniting the world against any aggressor, but proceeded to unite it against any victim of aggression. The expulsion of a charter member, the Republic of China [Taiwan]—an action forbidden by the U.N.'s own Charter—was a 'moment of truth,' a naked display of the United Nations' soul.

What was Red China's qualification for membership in the U.N.? The fact that her government seized power by force, and has maintained it for twenty-two years by terror. What disqualified Nationalist China [Taiwan]? The fact that she was a friend of the United States. It was against the United States that all those beneficiaries of our foreign aid were voting at the U.N. It was hatred of the United States and the pleasure of spitting in our face that they were celebrating, as well as their liberation from morality—with savages, appropriately, doing jungle dances in the aisles.

— Ayn Rand

end of the week stat report

Notable DoB readers came from:
Lockheed Martin
Wells Fargo
University of Maryland
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
U.S. Army, Heidelberg base
Australian Ministry of Defence
Brooklyn Law School
Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital
University of Chicago

New search terms to find us included:
nuking US cities (Yahoo)
filipinos on friendster (Yahoo)
blog israel (Yahoo)
blog gaza (Yahoo)
250 miles per gallon (Yahoo)
why i like sabermetrics (Yahoo)
http://defenestrationof.blogspot.com (Google)
250 miles per gallon car (Yahoo)
"List of Supreme Court Justices" (Yahoo)
"zei gezunt" (Yahoo)
250 miles per gallon (Yahoo)
250 miles per gallon hybrid car (Yahoo)
redheads in hollywood (Yahoo)
california late paychecks labor laws (Yahoo)
obesity blog (Yahoo)
mental retard (Yahoo)

That most recent search term up top is pretty disturbing. I hope it was just a concerned citizen.


financial economics is totally sweet

It's quickly becoming my favorite field of econ. I get all jazzed up when I read this sort of thing: http://www.techcentralstation.com/080105C.html
And I'm not the type to get jazzed up over nothing.

the New Yorker doesn't know funny

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

"Dr. Silver wants me to work my way down to a ping pong paddle."

That was the caption I entered for the New Yorker cartoon caption contest.  Rather than nominate it, they chose the following crap:


(The cartoon up for voting in the above link will change next week)

news or outline of a South Park episode? You decide.

Disabled Boy Thrown Out Of Movie Theater For Laughing Too Loud
WALLKILL, N.Y. -- The family of a disabled 7-year-old boy wants an apology from a movie theater after the manager threw him out for laughing too loudly.

The parents of Anthony Pratti say it happened Sunday in Wallkill, New York, when they took their son to see "March of the Penquins."

The boy has cerebral palsy and autism. The family says he was enjoying the movie from his wheelchair when a theater worker said he was laughing too loudly, and would have to leave...


the Upper East Side is NOT the most desirable neighborhood

People who aren't from NYC have this image that there's the Upper East Side and then there's everything else. The New York Times ran this interesting article about how many people are settling for the UES because it is cheaper than the UWS, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, etc.

For those of you unfamiliar with NYC, there is still a snob factor associated with part of the UES. But it only applies to the area between Central Park and Lexington from 59th up to 96th street. The UES of this article, stretching from Lexington out to the East River, is still a fine area, but it isn't full of ultra turbo rich pre-war co-op buildings of the kind found on Fifth, Madison, and Park. It's also more densely populated than 10 Hong Kongs, which means that before trash pickup, there's an Everest of Hefty bags out on the sidestreets.


I still love bulldogs

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

truly Darwinian [Gaza Pullout]

Unintended positive consequence of the Gaza pullout: the gene pool will be better off.
Fifteen opponents of the Gaza withdrawal have barricaded themselves in the basement of a synagogue and threatened to set themselves on fire.

Authorities were trying to negotiate with the youths in Neve Dekalim, who were members of the ultra-Orthodox Chabad sect. Hundreds of teenage activists from the West Bank have flooded into Gaza to oppose the withdrawal.

The threat came just hours after a woman set herself on fire at a roadblock in Netivot in southern Israel.

Full Story

According to another source, they are New Yorkers. Good riddance!


Polish priest makes anti-Semitic remark, world yawns

"The recommendations of Brussels commissars and Washington economic gurus are threatening Poland's identity and sovereignty," he said from the pulpit. "We are filled with horror when laws are imposed upon us that are thought up by anti-Catholic Masons, Jewish bankers and hell-born atheistic socialists."


when the public sector allocates goods, it's survival of the fittest

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Yes, you read the title right. You see, when a business sells a good, it charges a market-clearing price. In other words, the market allocates the good to the buyer who is willing to pay the most for it. When government sells a good, for one cockamamie reason or another, it often charges too little. In the following case, the allocation mechanism was survival of the fittest. At the end of the day, there were two kinds of people: those who were literally trampled upon and those with $50 laptops.
An estimated 5500 people were on hand when the gates were opened. What followed can only be described as chaos as dozens rushed to get to the head of the line. People were trampled, shoved and pushed.

Dustin Coppinger, who attended the sale, said he saw an older man run over by anxious buyers, "An old man in a walker was trampled to the ground. Trampled to the ground... walked all over," he said.

Full story

8/17 update:
"County officials said they would review events and see what could be done differently for future sales."
Here's a novel idea: how about selling the old laptops on Ebay for $250 apiece and not renting a fucking race track for a day?

my armchair psychoanalysis: Chuck Schumer is a hypomanic

I'm currently reading John Gartner's book The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America. For those who aren't familiar with the temperament (it's not a disorder), it is, as the name suggests, a little bit of mania. The information I’ve gathered from today's Washington Post article about Chuck Schumer (D-NY) suggests that he is a textbook case:
He is outgoing and he craves the spotlight.
"I am a gregarious person," says Schumer, gratuitously. Over 25 years in Congress, Schumer has acquired a reputation for craving the spotlight like Bob Dole craves sunlight. (Dole, by the way, coined the oft-adapted joke that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Schumer and a camera.)

He feels little need for sleep and has boundless energy.
Schumer says that God has blessed him with unlimited energy and little need for sleep.

He is highly productive.

On one representative day last month -- July 14 -- Schumer issued news releases in which he (1) announced legislation that would reverse plans to require passports at the U.S.-Canadian border; (2) called for the "immediate release of Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Resource Study"; (3) called for the suspension of presidential adviser Karl Rove's security clearance over his alleged role in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame; (4) demanded that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff "apologize and retract statements" that he placed a higher priority on stopping "catastrophic" terrorist attacks than a smaller-scale attack on a mass transit system; and (5) suggested a list of questions that should be asked of a Supreme Court nominee.

He has racing, sometimes scattered thoughts. (In fact, hypomania is positively correlated with ADD, and the two are often confused by psychiatrists.)
Judge Roberts is clearly Topic A for Schumer these days, although it takes about 30 seconds to see that Topics B through Z are never far from his lips. Schumer is a master of asides, repeatedly excusing himself to "digress for a second" and to urge you to remind him "to tell you a great story about" so-and-so later.
"That's sort of how my mind works," Schumer says.

He is wicked smart. I don't know of any link between hypomania and intelligence, but as a borderline hypomanic, I'm just trolling for the condition.
He scored "four 800s" on his SAT, he says, including two achievement tests.


a settler's best argument against the Gaza pullout, in picture form

Photo: AP, via FoxNews

Honestly, how could a guy be right if he has an Osama beard, wears a box on his head, and sits on a rooftop gesturing at the sky?

"Here is a man who would not take it any more"

The veteran BBC newsreader Michael Buerk has complained that "almost all the big jobs in broadcasting [are] held by women," and that men have been reduced to "sperm donors".


more awesome keywords that lead people to this blog

big whoop wanna fight about it (Yahoo)
chinese takeovers (Yahoo)
pigfucking (Yahoo)
jews, cheeses (Yahoo)
"baseball card gum" (Yahoo)
hpv vaccine 2005 (Yahoo)
philip green bar mitzvah (Yahoo)
jimi hendrix facts (Yahoo)
jimi hendrix facts (Yahoo)
Gingy (Yahoo)
pugs eyes pop out (Yahoo)

And I thought people stopped using Yahoo a long time ago.


Abu Gingy creates new blog with Raging Pundits, readers rejoice!

Rick Santorum: Tragically Failed Abortion

486Hunter and I hate that chode so much that it's time to make a separate blog before Santorum hatred comes to dominate our respective sites. The blog is a project of the DoB-Raging Pundits Joint Commentary Center.



Here is more evidence of how Rick Santorum is the most malignant cancer on the body politic of this country.

Thanks to Raging Pundits for the pointer.

250 miles per gallon? No shit?!

Politicians and automakers say a car that can both reduce greenhouse gases and free America from its reliance on foreign oil is years or even decades away. Ron Gremban says such a car is parked in his garage.

It looks like a typical Toyota Prius hybrid, but in the trunk sits an 80-miles-per-gallon secret - a stack of 18 brick-sized batteries that boosts the car's high mileage with an extra electrical charge so it can burn even less fuel.

Gremban, an electrical engineer and committed environmentalist, spent several months and $3,000 tinkering with his car.

Considering our national security interest in reducing terror funding, this is something I would have no problem subsidizing as a taxpayer. Not to mention the emissions improvements.

While we're on the topic of cutting funding to terrorists, I must remind you that our government remains one of Osama bin Laden's primary sponsors. Our prohibition of heroin causes the price to be far higher than it would if it were legal. The western policy of drug prohibition means fat profits for al Qaeda's opium business.


Republicans Display the Arrogance of Power

David Boaz writes a solid little rant about how the Republicans have run amok.


i wouldn't know where to begin pointing out the lies

The caption from a photo of GWB on the OMB homepage:
The President has acted to restore economic growth, win the War on Terror, protect the homeland, improve our schools, rally the armies of compassion, and promote ownership. The 2006 Budget will help America continue to meet these goals through pro-growth policies while enforcing spending restraint across the Federal Government.

Here's what they really meant to say:
The president has helped to create the illusion of economic growth, open up new fronts in the war on terror, leave our borders unprotected, rally the armies of Christ, and promote foreign ownership of American bonds to finance his tremendous budget deficit. The 2006 budget will contribute to our future national bankruptcy by spending unprecedented amounts of money.


pricing conundrum

My high school, once a K-12 institution, recently opened a pre-school. The following is the tuition schedule for parents who want to unload their kids 5 days a week:
Two Year Olds: $16,200
Three Year Olds: $17,500
Four/Five Year Olds: $19,000

Why does it get more expensive as they get older? If anything they need less attention with age. Plus everyone knows how bad the "terrible 2s" are.

That said, there must be some strong countervaling force inverting my intuitive pricing schedule. My theory is that there is simply less demand for such service for a two or three year old. Their mom might still be raising the kid on her own, or possibly sending him to a a more affordable day care center.


search terms redux

Since I started leaving the occasional trackback, my blog's PageRank has skyrocketed, causing it to come up on the first page of peoples' search results. That means more hits. Here is what some of my visitors have been looking for lately:

pope star wars (Yahoo)
jimi hendrix father "6 fingers" (Google)
gypsy living (Yahoo)
paul krugman blog "cato institute" (Yahoo)
rick santorum church scandal (Yahoo)
funny "about me" blog profiles (Yahoo)
"Federal Reserve" and blog (Yahoo)
reasons to go to law school (Yahoo)
cooler than the other side of the pillow (Yahoo)
new york state attorney general's office blog (Yahoo)
car nice legs (Yahoo)

sweetest day of work ever?

No grown-ups, just me and the other two people my age. And there was a blackout so we were dismissed right after lunch.

Spitzer to HOT 97: the airwaves are no place for "fun" and "entertainment"

Not that I listen to the radio, but Elliot Spitzer's war on New York's radio stations is causing his name to rise up rapidly to the top of my defecation roster.
N.Y. radio station fined $240,000 for 'smackfests'
LOS ANGELES, Aug 8 (Reuters) - A New York radio station has agreed to pay $240,000 after sponsoring "smackfest" contests in which young women took turns slapping each other for a chance to win concert tickets and cash.

In a statement, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and State Athletic Commission Chairman Ron Scott Stevens said on Monday that WQHT, an FM station owned by Emmis Communications Corp. , had also agreed to donate $60,000 to a nonprofit group that promotes awareness of domestic violence.

"This agreement should be a wake-up call to all those in the entertainment industry who think outrageousness is a clever marketing strategy," Spitzer said in a statement.

The station and New York authorities agreed on the settlement after the state filed a petition against WQHT in New York state court.

Full article

curious black stereotype

From the Wikipedia entry on New York's master builder Robert Moses:
Unfortunately, many of Moses's projects were marked by racism and by disdain for the less wealthy citizens of New York City and New York State. He built hundreds of parks and recreation facilities, but just one pool in Harlem. He claimed that he could keep African-Americans from using pools in white neighborhoods by making the water too cold.




freedom-hating douchebag gets it from Raging Pundits

Take a good look at this smarmy sack of shit. His name is Ben Shapiro and he believes that people should be thrown in jail for purchasing a Playboy. I urge you to look at this post in which Raging Pundits owns his friendless ass.


Israel divestment threats have as much teeth as a 90-year-old with no dental plan

The New York Times reports that several mainline protestant churches are threatening to divest from companies that do business with Israel.

What does this mean? It means they will sell their stock if they actually go through with it. Should the targeted companies care? Not a bit. It cannot affect the companies at all. In fact, the irrational short term price drop that may result will be a buying opportunity for existing investors to double up on their position. Better yet, it could present an opportunity for the company to buy back its undervalued shares, thereby increasing earnings per share for the remaining shareholders.

The one conceivable situation in which the company's income could be hurt would be if they were planning on a issuing a secondary stock offering. That's when a public company raises capital by issuing new shares on the open market. The depressed share price would lead to either less money flowing into the company or the postponement of the offering. However, with today's lagging stock market and relatively low interest rates, companies are generally raising capital by issuing bonds, meaning a marginally lower stock price will not affect their cost of capital.

And all of this is assuming that the churches:
1) have enough shares to move markets
2) are willing to sell the shares in a time frame that does not get them the highest possible price

(1) is out of the question. The NY Times article cites that the Presbyterian church holds $60 million worth of Caterpillar, Motorola, ITT Industries, United Technologies, and Citigroup (the last of which they selected in an effort to be "even-handed" because of Citibank's alleged involvement in money laundering for Palestinian terrorists). Let's assume that that the investments are spread out more or less evenly, at $12 million each.
To gain some perspective of how small a drop in the bucket this is, take a look at the daily volume of shares traded and price per share of Motorola:
17,320,500 shares x 21.57/share=$373,603,185

Now let's calculate what proportion of the daily dealing in MOT stock would the mighty Presbyterian church be responsible for if it dumped all $12 million worth in one day.
Expressed as a percentage, that would be 3.21% of one day's trading.

In plain English, markets move more when Warren Buffet's cat farts.

(2) Let's say that every church managed to coordinate their divestment. The churches would still not unload their stock in a way that hurts them financially. These are pension funds for their employees, they can't afford to play games with the money. They will time their sales to get the highest possible price within their acceptable time frame.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is clearly overreacting. Even if every church in the country carried out some sort of divestment campaign, the effect would still be zero in the long run, as rational investors would get rich off the churches' conscience.

The moral of the story: Jesus saves, but Moses invests.


who reads the Defenestration of Blog?

By looking at the log of IP addresses every day, I can see which corporation/university/agency/ISP the visitors are coming from. Here are some of the more interesting ones, off the top of my head:
Office of the New York State Attorney General
United States Federal Reserve Bank, Boston Branch
Canadian Ministry of Wildlife and Fisheries, Newfoundland Division
Fort Benning, United States Army
Cato Institute
Honeywell Corporation
Universitet Uppsalla
Harvard University
New York University
Washington University in St. Louis
District Attorney, Clark County Nevada (that's Las Vegas)
Corporate Executive Board
United States House of Representatives
City of New York
University of Toronto

If you work somewhere interesting and didn't make the list, it's either because I forgot to include you, or your IP address only shows up in its numerical form.

does anybody know for certain who said this?

"Washington, DC is like Hollywood for for ugly people."


subhumans: they can be Jewish too

My last two posts on subhumans concerned Christian and Islamic fundamentalists. Today's subhuman is an Israeli who randomly shot dead 4 Arabs on a bus. Why?
The gunman, Nathan Zaada, was a 19-year-old soldier who was originally from Rishon Le Tzion (near Tel Aviv) and had recently turned to religion.

Full article on Yahoo News

...and just so nobody thinks I am creating a moral equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian social attitudes towards terrorism:

This terrorist will be just as reviled in Israel as he will be in Palestine. Unfortunately, when a Palestinian does something like this to Israelis, the Palestinian Authority names a street after him.

Israel must unleash its potential

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin — 109 per 10,000 people.
Israel is second in the world in terms of computer science productivity and third in the world in quality. Furthermore...first in research productivity in the areas of economics, business, mathematics, psychology and psychiatry. In chemistry, Israel ranks 4th and 5th; in molecular biology 3rd and 4th; in biology and biochemistry 5th and 10th and in physics 2nd and 9th.
Science Magazine a few months ago ranked Israeli computer science as the best in the world.
Israel is noted for its entrepreneurial spirit, rating the third highest for entrepreneurship and has the highest rate among women and among people over 55 in the world.
In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world including the highest number of biotech startups. In absolute terms, Israel has the second largest number of startup companies after the US (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
An OECD report ranked Israel 7th in the world in terms of “Patent Intensity” with Israel ranking 3rd in the year 2003 in the level of ICT patents.
According to Business Data Israel (BDI), Israel was ranked 3rd of 148 countries, in terms of number of patents per 10,000 residents, ahead of Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Britain. Indeed, in some fields, most notably in Life Sciences, Israel is a world leader in patents: Israel leads the world in medical equipment patents per capita...

Source: Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor

Israelis clearly value education and, by these numbers, are some of the most creative and entrepreneurial people in the world. That's why it's such a shame that Israel has a crappy political culture and burdensome regulatory climate. I can't think of another western government that restrains the potential of its markets as much as Israel's. Check out this story about a recent report ranking Israel second to last in a bunch of relevant categories.

The sad part is that there is no chance of these important issues getting the attention they deserve while there is so much attention focused on the conflict with the Palestinians. Even after they solve that, they will have to deal with such institutions as their bloated public sector and the rent-seeking behavior of all the groups on the dole (the ultra-orthodox, the kibbutz system).


koreans clone dog, end famine

Sorry Korea, but you totally walked right into that one.

Article at BBC News

the subhuman scorecard: chalk one up for Iran

Don Boudreaux on the recent hangings of two homosexuals in Iran:
I can only try to imagine the twisted, sick notions infecting the minds of those who believe that people should be killed for having consensual sex – minds as far from liberal as minds can be – minds rooted not in civilization but in mysticism and ignorance that produce only lethal certainty – minds belonging not to any creatures deserving to be called human, but to monsters.

Full post at Cafe Hayek

His usage of "monsters" is as close to subhuman as you can get. I'm hoping that my usage of "subhuman" to describe zealous religious fundamentalists will make its way through the blogosphere.

this just in!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The bulldog is a majestic creature.

bin laden crosses the line that separates terrorism from cartoonish villainy

As if I needed another reason to wish death on every terrorist, I just learned that Al Qaeda poisons little puppies!!! This isn't news at all. In fact it's 3 years old, but I just saw it for the first time:
In one scene, a group of unidentified men wearing Afghan-style sandals rush out of an enclosure where one of the dogs is penned. A white liquid that gives off a gas is then seen seeping in from the left. Soon, the dog begins showing physical reactions.



...and this is where American culture is inferior

Scientists have developed a vaccine to prevent women from contracting HPV, the leading cause of cervical cancer. But the Family Research Council is upset. Apparently they see HPV as part of a divine scheme to prevent youngsters from screwing:
"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex," says Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council, a Christian lobby that plans to fight a Merck campaign to make HPV vaccination mandatory for all girls by the time they enter junior high.


I don't think there's any question of what their reaction would be if somebody developed an AIDS vaccine.

Props to DovBear.

making taxi markets more efficient

Tyler Cowen, over at Marginal Revolution, writes:
Singapore has solved this problem, with a little assistance from satellite technology. Imagine Walrasian taxi markets. The taxi driver receives a satellite message on his little thingie, specifying where the customer wishes to be picked up and where he wishes to go. The cabbie, if interested, then enters a bid for how much he will charge. The customer is matched with the cabbie who enters the lowest bid. Amazing, no? And if it is raining, you have the ability to pay more to actually get a taxi.

This sounds great, but I'm surprised he makes no mention of a costless way to make this market even more efficient: ending the medallion/quota regulatory regimes that are in place in every big city.
Even if the Singaporean system were put in place in New York, the pricing outcomes, while improved, would still include the added cost of acquiring a medallion (or the economic rent resulting from limited entry, depending on how you look at it).

honor killings of rape victims in the Muslim world

I know it's "politically incorrect," but the fact is that there are some traditions in foreign cultures that are subhuman. The complete backwardness of killing the victim of a crime has got to be the most egregious example of how one culture can be definitively inferior to others. This is not to say that Pakistani culture is generally inferior to American culture, but it is certainly inferior when it comes to womens rights and justice for rape victims.



Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) gets it right, telling the U.N. that if they think they're going to control the Internet, they have a whole other thing coming:

My probe of the U.N. as Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed management that was at best, incompetent, and at worst corrupt. The first priority for the United Nations must be fundamental reform of its management and operations rather than any expansion of its authority and responsibilities. The Internet has flourished under U.S. supervision, oversight, and private sector involvement. This growth did not happen because of increased government involvement, but rather, from the opening on the Internet to commerce and private sector innovation. Subjecting the Internet and its security to the politicized control of the UN bureaucracy would be a giant and foolhardy step backwards.

Background reading from Samizdata: Part I and Part II