The Lesser of Evils.

As I’ve noted before, I sometimes listen to Hugh Hewitt on the way home from work. Today, of course, the show was all about the Florida election and about the two-man race for the Republican nomination. There’s been a lot of talk about how much of a RINO (see below) John McCain is, but Hugh said that if McCain wins the nomination he will urge everyone to vote for McCain for six reasons:

John Paul Stevens, 87
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 74
Antonin Scalia, 72
Anthony Kennedy, 72
David Souter, 69
Stephen Breyer, 69.

I’m almost convinced. But John McCain is the guy who said on Don Imus’s show,

I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I’d rather have the clean government.

John McCain swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. In that single sentence he proved that he lied when he took that oath. He’s willing to do whatever he feels necessary to achieve what he believes is needed – and he is not willing to be constrained by the Constitution – the founding legal document of our government, and one expressly crafted to restrain that government.

So why should I believe that he’ll nominate strict constructionists judges that will be likely to overturn any unconstitutional laws John McCain wants passed? Remember FDR and his threat to “pack the court” with judges that would rule his way?

Sorry. That reason doesn’t fly with me, and it’s the only reason that might have.

Another Awakening.

Check this story out (via Instapundit)

Anonymous Hackers Track Saboteur, Find and Punish the Wrong Guy

Anti-Scientology agitators have repeatedly harassed and threatened violence against a 59-year-old PG&E worker and his wife, who were mistakenly flagged as pro-Scientology hackers.

John Lawson, who lives in Stockton, California with his wife Julia, began receiving threatening phone calls around 2 a.m. Saturday morning. He didn’t know why until THREAT LEVEL explained that a hacking group calling itself the g00ns (goons spelled with zeros, not goons with the letter o) posted his home address, phone number and cell numbers, as well as Julia’s Social Security number, online. The obscene and threatening calls have continued through Tuesday, according to Lawson.

The calls are just one small offshoot of an ongoing, larger attack on the Church of Scientology by a ragtag group of internet troublemakers who call themselves Anonymous. The group says it is targeting Scientology in part for its use of litigation to suppress unflattering documents on the internet.

Over the weekend, the g00ns thought they had caught a hacker who had busted into a server being used to help coordinate the online attacks and real world protests against Scientology. But Lawson says the callers have the wrong guy.

“I don’t even really know how to use a computer,” Lawson said.

His phone just keeps ringing, Lawson said, and when he answers, callers spout vulgarities and threats and then hang up. On Monday, he got a call that seemed to originate from the Virgin Islands. The caller threatened to kill him.

“They have got the wife really scared because they have my address,” Lawson said. “I think I am going to buy me a gun today just in case.”

Think he’ll be surprised about the 10-day waiting period and the difficulty near-impossibility of getting a concealed-carry permit?

Flowers for Algernon?.

If you’re unaware, that’s the title of a 1959 Science Fiction novella (one included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1) by Daniel Keyes that was made into the 1968 film Charly. In the story, surgeons alter the brain of a mentally retarded man, and he becomes brilliant – but only for a while.

I was reminded of that story by this:

Deep Brain Stimulation May Improve Recall

It brought back vivid, 30-year-old memories for patient, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) — Deep brain stimulation (DBS) may help improve memory, suggests a Canadian study that found that DBS of the brain’s hypothalamus unexpectedly prompted detailed memories in a patient.

DBS — which involves electrical stimulation of targeted brain areas — is used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, and is being studied as a potential treatment for a number of other conditions, including cluster headaches and aggressive behavior.

The team at Toronto Western Hospital was testing DBS as a potential appetite suppressant in a morbidly obese 50-year-old man. While the researchers were stimulating implanted electrode contacts in order to identify potential appetite suppressant sites in the hypothalamus, the patient reported a vivid memory of being in a park with friends when he was about 20 years old.

As the researchers increased the electrical stimulation, the memory became more vivid.

The heightened memory occurred again when the researchers repeated the test in a double-blinded setting. The electrode contacts that proved most effective at provoking memories were located close to the fornix, a bundle of fibers that carries signals within the limbic system, which is involved in memory and emotions.

In addition, electrical stimulation boosted activity in the temporal lobe and hippocampus, important components of the brain’s memory circuit.

The researchers also found that three weeks of continuous stimulation of the hypothalamus led to significant improvements in the patient’s results on two learning tests. He was also better able to remember unrelated paired objects during stimulation.

The study authors concluded that “just as DBS can influence motor and limbic circuits, it may be possible to apply electrical stimulation to modulate memory function and, in doing so, gain a better understanding of the neural substrates of memory.”

Every day, Science Fiction becomes science fact.

Too bad more people don’t enjoy the genre.

OMG.and WTF, Over?

I’m amazed these dogs don’t maul their owners in their sleep, and Rachel Lucas has nothing to fear from Sunny. Here’s a sample of what how some people abuse their pets. Click on the photo for the whole sordid tale.

Something tells me that these people need a life.

One Million.

Sometime tomorrow morning TSM will have received its one millionth site visit (according to Sitemeter.) Not bad for a third-tier gun blog.

Thanks, y’all.

I Guess the Rumors of a Disorganized Campaign Were Right.

I got a letter in the mail today from “Friends of Fred Thompson.” Click on the image for the readable version:

Check the date. Sheesh!


I’m doing some blog maintenance, and ran across a post from January of 2004 that seems relevant. Let me repost it:

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore were in an airplane crash.

They’re up in heaven, and God’s sitting on the great white throne.

God addresses Al first.

“Al, what do you believe in?”

Al replies, “Well, I believe I won that election, but that it was your will that I did not serve. And I’ve come to understand that now.”

God thinks for a second and says “Okay, very good. Come and sit at my left.”

God then addresses Bill. “Bill, what do you believe in?”

Bill replies, “I believe in forgiveness. I’ve sinned, but I’ve never held a grudge against my fellow man, and I hope no grudges are held against me.”

God thinks for a second and says “You are forgiven, my son. Come and sit at my right.”

God then addresses Hillary. “Hillary, what do you believe in?”

“I believe you’re in my chair,” she says.

Quote of the Day.

I like Cthulhu’s foreign policy of killing everyone and consuming everything, but I don’t agree with his domestic policy of killing everyone and consuming everything. Still better than Hillary. – “Sean” in a comment at Screw It.

That’s some mighty fine snark, there.

Bush Lied! Made False Statements. People Died! Assumed Room Temperature.

Resident liberal Markadelphia asked in a comment to The Church of the MSM and the New Reformation below:…overview& id=945

How, then, does the “liberal” media tells this story? These are facts, Kevin, and if the media is relaying these facts of the study is that a liberal bias?

My response:

Mark, ask yourself how the Catholic Church reacted to allegations of priests abusing women and children. There’s your answer.

These are facts, Kevin, and if the media is relaying these facts of the study is that a liberal bias?

Isn’t this a story about the failure of the media to do its job? I expect it to vanish from the face of the earth quite rapidly.

It’s not a question of the media’s liberal bias. It’s a matter of questioning the media’s authority. That is NOT ALLOWED.

Oh, and the silence of the media on this topic will, doubtlessly, be blamed on said media’s “right-wing bias.” “See? See?!?”

I forgot the other tactic – plausible deniability. Take, for example, this piece from yesterday’s CBS News:

Interrogator: Invasion Surprised Saddam

Saddam Hussein initially didn’t think the U.S. would invade Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, so he kept the fact that he had none a secret to prevent an Iranian invasion he believed could happen. The Iraqi dictator revealed this thinking to George Piro, the FBI agent assigned to interrogate him after his capture.

Why on earth would Saddam not believe the U.S. would invade Iraq? Could it have been, say, eight years of Bill Clinton? The fact that Bush the Elder didn’t do it? Constant assurances from France, Russia and China that they’d never give a green light to a UN Security Council resolution?

Inquiring minds want to know!


Piro, in his first television interview, relays this and other revelations to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley this Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Piro spent almost seven months debriefing Saddam in a plan based on winning his confidence by convincing him that Piro was an important envoy who answered to President Bush. This and being Saddam’s sole provider of items like writing materials and toiletries made the toppled Iraqi president open up to Piro, a Lebanese-American and one of the few FBI agents who spoke Arabic.

“He told me he initially miscalculated… President Bush’s intentions. He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998…a four-day aerial attack,” says Piro. “He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack.” “He didn’t believe the U.S. would invade?” asks Pelley, “No, not initially,” answers Piro.

You remember 1998, right? Operation Desert Fox? Where Clinton lied made false statements like:

Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.


This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.

And so we had to act and act now.


First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years.

Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community — led by the United States — has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday — make no mistake — he will use it again as he has in the past.

Those lies false statements.

Continuing with the CBS piece:

Once the invasion was certain, says Piro, Saddam asked his generals if they could hold the invaders for two weeks. “And at that point, it would go into what he called the secret war,” Piro tells Pelley. But Piro isn’t convinced that the insurgency was Saddam’s plan. “Well, he would like to take credit for the insurgency,” says Piro.

Saddam still wouldn’t admit he had no weapons of mass destruction, even when it was obvious there would be military action against him because of the perception he did. Because, says Piro, “For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that [faking having the weapons] would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq,” he tells Pelley.

He also intended and had the wherewithal to restart the weapons program. “Saddam still had the engineers. The folks that he needed to reconstitute his program are still there,” says Piro. “He wanted to pursue all of WMD. . .to reconstitute his entire WMD program.” This included chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, Piro says.

It took nine months to finally capture Saddam, and he bragged that he changed his routine and security to elude capture. “What he wanted to really illustrate is. . .how he was able to outsmart us,” says Piro. “He told me he changed. . .the way he traveled. He got rid of his normal vehicles. He got rid of the protective detail that he traveled with, really just to change his signature.”

Yup. Bush lied told falsehoods. He said words like “certain” and “know” when he ought to have said “possible” and “believe.”

Fucking murderer.

We’d have been far better off just dropping the sanctions against Iraq that were killing the children, and ending the “no-fly zones,” bringing our airmen home. We could trust that Saddam wouldn’t do anything untoward. He didn’t have any WMDs.

I question the timing of the CBS story whitewash.

And that Center for Public Integrity report? I find it fascinating that not one Democrat got painted with the same brush:

UPDATE: The original JSKit/Echo comment thread is available here, thanks to John Hardin.