The Post-Postmodernist

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Loose Lips

Bummer Dietz notes that the Los Angles Times is disclosing American troop movements on Page 1.

It's common knowledge that America's enemies have always gotten some of their best intelligence simply by reading our newspapers. "Anonymous" intelligence officials in the Pentagon seem to be happy to break their secrecy oaths and endanger national security and the lives of American soldiers to "get the truth out." How noble. How idealistic. How... what's that word? Treasonous.

"Ramadi is literally a bloody stalemate," the intelligence official said. "The governor is a prisoner in his own provincial capital building."An attack on Ramadi would force U.S. commanders to draw on significant manpower to clear out and then stabilize the region, as well as to prepare contingencies for any backlash.

"You can't do that and withdraw at the same time," said another military officer.

Read the whole disgusting thing.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The New Royal Class

"You Can't Arrest Me, I'm a Basketball Player."

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas and forward Awvee Storey have been arrested on charges of disobeying police.

Storey was blocking traffic in the middle of a busy street when an officer told him to get back to the sidewalk Saturday night, according to police reports. Storey didn’t get out of the street, and the officer arrested him and charged him with failure to obey a command.

While police were arresting Storey, Arenas got out of a vehicle and walked toward the arresting officers. According to reports, an officer told Arenas to get back in his vehicle, but he refused, saying he wanted to stand next to his teammate. The officer took Arenas into custody and charged him with resisting without violence.

As Arenas was being arrested, according to reports, he said, “You can’t arrest me. I’m a basketball player. I play for the Washington Wizards, and I’m not going to leave my teammate.”

For more information on the legal precedent behind this case, please refer to a very relevant citation, Maverick v. U.S. Navy, a case made famous for its establishment of "The Wingman Doctrine."

They Sued for Millions: The Case of the $3 Million Pickle Jar

A new feature to The Post-Postmodernist: A Quasi-Daily Supply of Strange, Sad, Ironic, Infuriating, and Bizarre lawsuits which hold only the enormity of their verdict or settlement amounts in common. No internet urban legends here. These are are all the real deal. Let's start off with a classic (or should that be Vlasic?):

“Hurt Back Opening Big Pickle Jar: $3 Million"

Vandevender v. Sheetz, Inc., 200 W.Va. 591, 490 S.E.2d 678 (1997): Plaintiff’s Counsel: David M. Hammer, Hammer, Ferretti & Schiavoni; Hagerstown, MD

Cheryl Vandevender sued her employer, the Sheetz convenience store, after injuring her back while trying to open up a giant pickle jar (the kind that sits on the counter, right next to the giant jar of pickled pigs' feet...). When she returned to work, she brought a note from her doctor stating that she would no longer be able to lift anything heavier than 15 lbs. This was unacceptable to Sheetz management, and she was fired.

She sued Sheetz, and won almost $3 million in a jury verdict. Sheetz appealed all the way to West Virginia's State Supreme Court, but lost. In his dissenting opinion, West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Maynard wrote:

Cheryl Vandevender was essentially out of work for four weeks. She also suffered other minor mistreatment. For this, she received $123,866 in compensatory damages, $170,000 for noneconomic damages, and almost 2.7 million dollars in punitive damages.

But even if a punitive damages award were authorized here, an award of $2,232,740 is simply too much under the facts of this case. The task of determining what constitutes an excessive punitive damages award, in light of due process guarantees, is extremely difficult, and not given to bright line rules. Admittedly, I do not have all the answers in making such a determination, and frankly, I can't presently state what the terms of a good rule should be. I am reminded, however, of United State Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's comment that although he could not define hard-core pornography, ‘I know it when I see it.’ Likewise, I know an excessive punitive damages award when I see one, and I see one here. I would call this one hard-core. Therefore, I dissent.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Powerline Accuses the Wrong Guy?

Someone using that the same IP as the person who threatened Charles,, identifies himself as "Dave" here, second to last entry at bottom of page.

Then, he gives his mobile number to a girl he's trying to hook up with in his trip to Bulgaria last year:

Posted on: 01 Sep 2005, 14:35
Posted by: Dave (
Subject: Emma & any one whos up for a laugh 2nd to 9th sep

Fancy meeting for a drink and laugh in sunny beach just txt us on [deleted-see below], just checked the 5 day forecast it's gonna be hot!!!

And here, he gives his age:

Posted on: 31 Aug 2005, 20:41
Posted by: Dave (
Subject: Emma

Yeah, we will see about that, drinking competition is on then. We've bought an apartment over there so were staying there. I'm 28 and my mate is 27, how old are you?

That was posted last year, making him 29 now.

And here, he tells her that he and his friend are flying out of Stansted Airport (45 minutes from London):

Posted on: 31 Aug 2005, 15:34
Posted by: dave (
Subject: Emma

we're flying from Stansted on 2nd, where you flying from? if on same flight we can get hammered, us london boys can't drink as much as you northen lasses..want to bet!!

So, assuming the same person is using the same IP address this year as last (and apologies to Dave who was using it as the time, if not): our anonymous friend at Reuters who gave his fake email as and looks forward to the day that Charles and his readers, including, uh, me, get their "throats slit" [may be] a 29-year old, male Reuters tech employee named Dave, who has varying interests, including microprocessors and building high-tech clocks....

He also seems to be interested in Indian food, at least according to this page, which also clearly indicates that the IP is coming from Sweden but belongs to Reuters Docklands Tech Centre in England - same as was the case with Charles' threat-email:
Fri May 5 15:33:23 2006
AS16050 Reuters Docklands resiliancy
MSIE 6.0
Today: 0
Ever: 2

And lo' and behold, Reuter's Dockland Tech Centre is the home of, started by the Reuters Foundation, as described thus:

What is AlertNet?
Reuters AlertNet is a humanitarian news network based around a popular website. It aims to keep relief professionals and the wider public up-to-date on humanitarian crises around the globe.

It was started in 1997 by Reuters Foundation - an educational and humanitarian trust..."

Several caveats and disclaimers. I am not saying [deleted] sent the email to Charles. I am not saying that the "Dave" who used the same IP as the one used to send Charles his email is [deleted]. I am even not saying that the "Dave" who used the same IP to flirt with girls about his impending trip to Bulgaria last year is the person using that IP this year.

But. I do think that Powerline needs to retract their statement that,
Charles was able to trace his IP address around the globe, and it quickly emerged that the miscreant was Inayat Bunglawala.
in their post entitled, "A Reuters Employee Threatens the Wrong Guy" there is more than a shadow of a doubt that Bungawala did any such thing.

{UPDATE: In the comments at LGF, Crosspatch points out that, "our people in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles all appear to be coming from that same single IP address in the SF Bay area. IP address doesn't mean squat except what network it's coming from."

A little more net-searching reveals as much. You can find Arun, and a Ayanami, and a Pedro, a Wipoosi (whose location he lists as Thailand), and a Terry all attached to the IP number used by the death-threatist. I am thus deleting one of the names I put forward as a possible user of that IP number, since there doesnt' seem to be any static attachment to any particular computer at Reuters, at least to our external eyes.}

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Unbreakable Wineglass

Behold the Unbreakable Wineglass (and after you behold it, it's okay if you bedrop it):

Kwarx glass is handblown crystal and is supposed to retain lustre and transparency as well as being unbreakable.

It is certainly robust. David Cobbold, who presented the glasses (pictured), said 'They are virtually unbreakable.' He then banged his on his table to illustrate the point. Journalists enthusiastically followed suit, but none succeeded in breaking the glass.

Would it be immature of me to suggest that the Unbreakable Wineglass could be the newest practical joke at Jewish weddings? Stomp that!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jesse MacBeth's War Stories: Plagiarized from TV's Lost?

Over at via Hot Air I followed the link to pretend-Ranger/Torturer/Genocidal Killer Jesse MacBeth's blog entry from March 24th, 2006., when suddenly it occured to me that his story seemed eerily familiar... in fact, it sounded EXACTLY like what American interrogators threatened Sayid with in Episode 38 of ABC's series, "Lost," entitled, "One of Them," which aired Wednesday, February 15, 2006.

I am not a huge Lost fan, so I don't remember chapter and verse of the episode, but the (run-on) sentence of Jesse's that really rang the bell for me was:

we would execute their youngest son or daughter befor them and asked them again and then executed there next child and so on till everyone was dead.

I think that this torture-scenario is exactly what the American interrogator threatened to do to Sayid if he did not comply and assist them in the interrogation/torture of his fellow Iraqi. And gee, it was just on TV five weeks before Jessie's "confession" of his "war crimes."

Any Lost fans out there care to comment?

You Light Up My Life

Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success" GWB, 11/20/01

Iran's testing of a nuclear-capable long range missile didn't go so well today (only "partly successful" (aw!)), and I have ahunch or two as to the reason why.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

British Geneticists: "We'll Cure Cancer in Five Years"

Very good news from England.

Scientists in Manchester say a cure for all types of cancer could be available on the NHS within five years.

The world's first patient trials in a technique which genetically engineers cells will take place at the city's Christie Hospital later this year.

The treatment - gene-modified t-cell therapy - could replace more intrusive treatments like chemotherapy.

The cells are fitted with a "tracker" device to kill cancer cells before being injected back into the patient.

Professor Robert Hawkins, clinical director of Medical oncology at the hospital, says the initial results of lab tests have been "spectacular".

In the lab we have seen spectacular results in lung tumours and in the brain. It's remarkable
Professor Robert Hawkins

More traditional treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy destroy both healthy and cancerous cells.

The new system makes the body naturally seek out and kill tumours by boosting the infection-fighting t-cells.

The body does not naturally have enough of these cells to combat huge tumours, and cancer cells often develop protective mechanisms to avoid them being recognised by the body as a disease.

Doctors will take blood samples from cancer patients to extract t-cells. They then genetically modify the t-cells, attaching an antibody which works like a tracking device to enable the t-cells to zone in on cancer tumours.

The t-cells are then multiplied a thousand-fold over a two-week period and injected back into the patient's body.

Professor Hawkins is appealing for funds to build a lab to genetically engineer t-cells, so that the treatment can be available for patients that cancer drugs, chemotherapy and radiotherapy have already failed.

He said: "In the lab we have seen spectacular results in lung tumours and in the brain. It's remarkable.

"Given as an injection, it could get rid of a widespread range of tumours."

Very good news indeed, and more evidence that, as a friend of mine put it recently, "you need to remember that the most transformative invention of this century has not been invented yet."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Mainstreaming of Kos

Brilliant piece of Photoshopping from the Master, Allahpundit.

Attention Democrats: Please listen to Kos.

Rep. Murtha: First to Fight Incite

Another Alzheimer's outburst from Col. "Code Pink" Murtha as he accuses his fellow Marines of killing "innocent civilians in cold blood" before all the facts are in.

The Marines should strip him of his rank, and the House should censure him.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Elephant Sneers at Treadmill

Okay, the obsession with fitness has officially gone too far.

it's the trainers at the Alaska Zoo who are breaking a sweat trying to coax Maggie the elephant onto the world's first treadmill for a pachyderm.

Despite months of training using treats to entice the elephant to work out, the sometimes cantankerous African elephant is not much interested in using her treadmill to go for a brisk morning walk, or for that matter an afternoon or evening walk.

This should remove any doubt that elephants are among the most intelligent of all mammals, with a brain that is as convoluted as ours is (indicating its expansion beyond cranial capacity has caused it to fold in on itself) and four times the size.

Reminds me of one of my favorite short stories, by the brilliant William Kotzwinkle, Elephant Bangs Train.

Kos Runs a Poll Approved by the Chairman

Charles writes of the Death of the Intelligent Left, and almost by magic, the Kos Kidz deliver.

Here's their latest poll:


Should Bush and Cheney be impeached for crimes against the constitution and this nation?

( ) Damn straight

Yes, there is only one option for voting given. Now you know how Saddam and Mao got those miraculous 99.9% reelection results! The People have spoken!

The "logic" of the Kos post, and of the Left's general obsession with polls, is discussed here: Glenn Greenwald & Argument ad Populum.

Someone please tell them that the only polls that matter happen every two, four, and six years.

The Amazing Racist Goes Postal

The Amazing Racist is number one on iFilm's viral video list at the moment.

The guy is a POS, obviously, and I do not approve. I was pretty much stone-faced and frowning through the whole thing, but I'm ashamed to admit, I did laugh at the final "punchline."

To me, the strange thing about the video is that The Amazing Racist himself seems fairly bright and educated. That there is so much hostility towards illegals to drive someone who doesn't seem like a 78 IQ, knuckle-dragging KKKer to do something this hateful would have surprised me up until the last year or so.

What has changed? Well, I did notice he's driving a truck. Probably a working guy. Maybe an electrician. Maybe an unemployed electrician...

Bummer Dietz predicted that exactly this sort of thing would happen:

Imagine you're an electrician for a large company. Imagine every day your boss pulls into the parking lot, there are several hundred people along the driveway with signs begging the boss to fire you and hire one of them, for half your salary. And no health or retirement benefits. And 30% longer hours. And not a single person in that line has his electrical contractor's license. They are all illegal workers.

If you were subjected to that scenario, everyday, you would soon go postal. Or threaten your government to do something. Or, you might also just get fired. Welcome to the average work day of blue collar workers in Southern California. And elsewhere. [emphasis mine]

A scenario like that, I submit, is what made this man become The Amazing Racist.

Fame being what it is, I also think he probably will live to regret, and to pay for, his notoriety....

Thou Shalt Not Share

How to Share iTunes in Three Easy Steps:

Step 1: Download Hamachi and create a network.
Step 2. Turn 'Share my music' on in iTunes.
Step 3: Give your friends your network's password.

[UPDATE: A friend of mine called me to the mat on making this post public, since I seem to be encouraging the stealing of intellectual property, which, basically, is what the P2P networks have been rightfully accused of doing. I countered that this sort of "sharing," since it requires giving out your password to your network account, is really no different than giving someone the keys to your house and telling him its okay to drop by when you're not home and borrow some CDs off the shelf. He then countered by pointing out that someone could just set up a server with the music on it, distribute the password willynilly to anyone, and voila, instant Apple-crushing ad hoc P2P. He is right to be skeptical and pessimistic, of course, since essential human nature does not change, even though the technological circumstances do, and people will invariably game the system to steal.]

Monday, May 15, 2006

Position Sought

I've been looking for a new job, and I think I may have found it. NASA is paying people to lie in bed for months at a time.

Memento Mori

Fascinating online collection of death masks.

The Shakespeare death mask has been authenticated recently. Top row:: Willy the Shakes, William Tecumseh Sherman and US Grant. Second row:: John C. Calhoun, Mary Queen of Scots, Isaac Newton, Friedrich Nietzsche. Third Row:: Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Robert E. Lee. Fourth Row: Freddy the Great.

Bipolar New Yorkers Can Now Take Lithium in a Convenient New Cab Form

Hybrid taxis are hitting the streets in New York.

The lithium PT Cruisers, already being produced by Hybrid Technologies for Paratransit, a large, California-based transportation non-profit, use a 320V battery pack that offers a cycle life of more than 1,500 charges. According to the company, the taxi has a range of up to 150 miles, and can be fully charged in 5 - 6 hours using a conventional 110 volt current

Nice, but still no Methana.

It's the End of The Radio World As We Know It

More people now listen to radio broadcasts via the internet than they do via actual radio radio.

Stick another fork in the Dinosaur Media, who are now trying to save their own bacon with a heaping helping of, er, Whoopi Goldberg.

NBC trotted out Whoopi to try to save Thursday night, and look what happened to them.

Not to boast (well, sort of to boast), but I predicted this day would come ten years ago.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

U.S. Is a "Paper Tiger," says Toilet Paper Tiger

Chavez calls U.S. a 'Paper Tiger,' vows to give low cost oil to Europe's poor.

Several funny things about this story.

First, Venezuela's incompetently run neo-Marxist Chavez government has screwed up the country so much that 1) all new drilling has shut down in the country; 2) their state oil company says it needs to borrow $20 billion to keep its checks from bouncing; and 3) it is buying oil from Russia to fulfill its contracts. (Note: First Maxim of Capitalism -- money goes where it is well-treated, and leaves where it is not.)

Second, Venezuela has a population of 25 million but their gross revenue from oil sales is only 24 billion, meaning about $1000 per capita and accounting for one-third of their entire GDP and 80% of their export earnings. And yet, Chavez has somehow convinced his adoring subjects that Venezuela is a big, rich playa who can afford to give out oil to "poor" people in countries whose GDP and standards of living dwarf his own.

Third, in case he hasn't been reading the papers, Chavez should be informed that the US just knocked over two countries, breaking their flags without breaking a sweat (apologies to Mother Sheehan), which seems more like the behavior of an *actual* tiger than that of the paper variety.

Candid Camera for Cabbie IT Guy

Brilliant comedy-trouvé at the BBC as an unwitting cabdriver is mistaken for the expert on the digital music industry that he was at the studio to pick up. The cabbie gamely holds his own and bluffs his way through the whole TV interview. The look on his face when he realizes what's happened is hysterical. Man, talk about grace under pressure!

Almost as funny is that the real expert who was supposed to be interviewed was irate as he watched from the greenroom. Heh.

[Update: The "Cabbie" has a name, Guy Goma, and it turns out, he was not a cabbie, but rather was at the BBC to apply for a high-level IT job. Still hilarious.]

Lambo, Lambo on the Wall

Sconce ala Newport.

The car will hang over a solid glass staircase leading to Moriarty's wine cellar. The car also will plug into the home's electrical system so its inside lights can be switched on.

The homeowner sounds a little more interesting than the average behind-the-Orange-Curtain millionaire:

Moriarty, 58, is known for his irreverent tastes. In the 1980s, he organized exotic costume parties, such as his "Pimps, Hookers, Drug Dealers and Lawyers Ball," that drew about 3,000 revelers.

As a teen, he toiled in the lima bean fields that his uncle, Henry Segerstrom, transformed into South Coast Plaza.

More recently, he planted a small vineyard on his 3.5-acre estate and began bottling prize-winning wines under such labels as "Wretched Excess" and "The Idle Rich."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Moonbat Smackdown

At Hot Air, there's a link to great footage of Buzz Aldrin decking a true Moonbat who accused him of being a coward and a liar in covering up the "fake" moon landing.

Nice to know that Aldrin won't go to jail, as inflammatory speech like that isn't protected and can be legal justification for punching someone's teeth in. The precedent is actually called, "fighting words."

The Li'lest Moonbat clip is definitely worth a smirk too. I know it's been said that arguing with a Leftist is like arguing with a child, so this stunt is a pretty good accidental self-parody of what passes for rhetoric on the Left these days.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


A professor of optics at the University of Rochester has gotten light to move backwards in time, at a rate faster than light.

"It's weird stuff," says Boyd. "We sent a pulse through an optical fiber, and before its peak even entered the fiber, it was exiting the other end. Through experiments we were able to see that the pulse inside the fiber was actually moving backward, linking the input and output pulses... [snip] "I know this all sounds weird, but this is the way the world works," says Boyd."

No weirder than the Many Worlds Interpretation of Bell's Theory, which is nicely illustrated in this java-tutorial on Feynmann's Two-Slit Experiment aka The Most Beautiful Experiment in Physics.

If there are an infinite number of realities constantly coming into being, sandwiching our own, it only makes sense that some of them are going backwards! If interested, check out "What the #$*! Do We Know?" Trailer here.

L.A.'s Most Wanted? You Bet!

Though there are many, many attractive people on Los Angeles' Most Wanted Felons, by far my favorite is this amoral yet adorabe French femme fatale.

Suspect deposited into her personal bank account two stolen and forged checks in the amount of $136,500.00. The suspect withdrew the funds prior to the discovery of the theft and fraud. The suspect is articulate and claims to work in fashion design. The suspect dresses in very expensive looking clothes and speaks with a French accent. The suspect speaks five languages fluently: English, French, Italian, Thai and Spanish. The suspect can also speak some Arabic. The suspect is known to frequent the following areas: The Fairfax District in Wilshire and Hollywood Areas; Hollywood; Ocean Front Walk in Pacific Area; and West Hollywood. Suspect is known to be in the company of Ilan Schachar, (Male, White 07-08-57) who currently has an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for 459 PC - Burglary.

(Also, after looking at the last names of everyone on the list, would it be bad to hypothesize that some immigrants are doing the crimes that Americans won't do anymore?)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Google Earth Captures Sadr City Battle?

Unlike Google News, Google Earth actually gives an objective perspective on the war in Iraq.

Michael Moore'e Minutemen Exercise Their First Amendment Rights

Horrifying story from Iraq of the execution of female journalist Atwar Bahjat, one of the country’s top TV journalists.

Beheaded and tortured with an electric drill, she died for expressing her beliefs -- and was murdered by men expressing theirs.

[update - turns out the video was not of Bahjat, but of someone else the jihadis tortured and killed]


Shocking pictures from Iraq. We can only hope that President Sheehan will someday put a stop to this. Think of the children!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Eat Like a Man

In the Pathetically Politically Correct universe that the advertising business has become, men (and especially white men) have become the punchline for almost every joke in almost every ad, since pressure groups from every other conceivable demographic threaten "Boycott!" at any instance of their precious group being mocked or caricaturized. Radical Marxism's Long March Through the Institutions has been wildly successful.

Newton's Third Law being what it is, blowback was inevitable. Here is an ad from Burger King that loudly proclaims, "I Am Man, Hear Me Roar."

Epilogue: the ad only ran once, [UPDATE: apparently it has run muich more than once, see comment #1, here, and various comments a referred link - ed.] then was pulled because of complaints from feminist groups because it exhibits "gender discrimination."

David Ogilvy is spinning in his grave.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The 13th Root of a 200-Digit Number. In Your Head. Starting... now!

On April 6th, 2005, Alexis Lemaire from France became the first human to calculate mentally the 13th root of a 200-digit number. He took 742 attempts and 513.55 seconds, exactly 500 seconds more than his first world record in 13.55 seconds with 100 digits.


His correct answer was 2391481494636373.

I know exactly what you're thinking: 742 attempts? HOW LAME!

Yeah, I know, it's the last three digits that are the hardest. I was like all totally 2391481494636378, too. Feeling your pain.

Glenn Greenwald & Argumentum ad Populum

Charles points to this bit of sniffery from lefty Glenn Greenwald in defense of Ray McGovern

Ever notice that The Left is OBSESSED with polls?

"Bush is wrong! 68% of the country says so!"

Pointing out that the only polls that actually matter happen every two, four, and six years actually causes steam to come from their ears.

Also, pointing out how polls can be manipulated through oversampling Democrats and slanting the phrasing of questions, or the order of questions, will not make them hug you, either.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Kennedy: Just Playing By the Rules...

Sen. Kennedy's son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), played the Stay Out of Jail Free Card:

Section. 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of thc United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

The Capitol Police were legally obligated to let him go.

BUT. Now that he has been exposed for abusing Congressional privilege by lying about being en route to a vote (if the kid actually had any brains, he would have maintained that he was just returning from a vote, in which case, the same immunity would apply), he should either be censured or removed or resign.

The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them. ~ Confucius