Yes, you read that right. Actual tranplanting of human faces.
I suppose this is good technology for burn victims, and the like. And we all remember some folks from our past that could have used a new face. Perhaps some of us were those very same people.
But still. Face transplants? Is this really a good idea?
How long before some lawyer sues an insurance company on behalf of some fugly-ass client who demands coverage to get a face that is both newer and less-fugly-ass because it is discriminatory to have to go through life all fugly and whatnot?
A violation of my rights, bitch! My right to not be all fugly and whatnot!
Start your timers.
That headline is a real prize. The White House stalls a rabid press corps for one day, and it's got a timer on it already.
I anxiously await day 12, myself. Though day 284 can be good, too.
And as we all know, it's always good to see headlines that start timers until somebody resigns. This is what the First Amendment, after all, is all about: regime change!
Other headlines we can expect:
"40 Years and Counting: Kennedy Still a Tool"
"Media Enters Year 33 of Self-Regarding Uselessness"
"Democrats Celebrate 40 Years of Clueless Pandering to Special Interests"
That rarest of birds! A Lefty with common sense ...
Are we perhaps witnessing a watershed moment in the Loony Left's slow, grinding descent into insanity?
Nick Cohen, the author of the above, raises some excellent points.
In these bleak days, it's worth remembering what was said after September 2001. A backward glance shows that before the war against the Taliban and long before the war against Saddam Hussein, there were many who had determined that 'we had it coming'. They had to convince themselves that Islamism was a Western creation: a comprehensible reaction to the International Monetary Fund or hanging chads in Florida or whatever else was agitating them, rather than an autonomous psychopathic force with reasons of its own. In the years since, this manic masochism has spread like bindweed and strangled leftish and much conservative thought.
All kinds of hypocrisy remained unchallenged. In my world of liberal London, social success at the dinner table belonged to the man who could simultaneously maintain that we've got it coming but that nothing was going to come; that indiscriminate murder would be Tony Blair's fault but there wouldn't be indiscriminate murder because 'the threat' was a phantom menace invented by Blair to scare the cowed electorate into supporting him.
The entire column is a must-read.
On Thursday, before the police had made one arrest, before one terrorist group had claimed responsibility, before one body had been carried from the wreckage, let alone been identified and allowed to rest in peace, cocksure voices filled with righteousness were proclaiming that the real murderers weren't the real murderers but the Prime Minister. I'm not thinking of George Galloway and the other saluters of Saddam, but of upright men and women who sat down to write letters to respectable newspapers within minutes of hearing the news.
'Hang your head in shame, Mr Blair. Better still, resign - and whoever takes over immediately withdraw all our forces from Iraq and Afghanistan,' wrote the Rev Mike Ketley, who is a vicar, for God's sake, but has no qualms about leaving Afghanistan to the Taliban and al-Qaeda or Iraq to the Baath party and al-Qaeda. 'Let's stop this murder and put on trial those criminals who are within our jurisdiction,' began Patrick Daly of south London in an apparently promising letter to the Independent. But, inevitably, he didn't mean the bombers. 'Let's start with the British government.'
And so it went on. At no point did they grasp that Islamism was a reactionary movement as great as fascism, which had claimed millions of mainly Muslim lives in the Sudan, Iran, Algeria and Afghanistan and is claiming thousands in Iraq. As with fascism, it takes a resolute dunderheadedness to put all the responsibility on democratic governments for its existence.
The Al Qaeda have characterized the attack on London as 'punishment' for Britain's temerity to resist the inevitability of Islam. It is the kind of punishment these self-ordained masters of the universe are accustomed to meting out against harem women and insolent slaves. A few administered licks, and no doubt the cowardly kuffar will crawl back to his place. The tragedy is that Al Qaeda's perception is perfectly correct when applied to the Left, for whom no position is too supine, no degradation too shameful to endure; but incorrect for the vast majority of humans, in whom the instinct for self-preservation has not yet been extinguished. It will result in history's greatest case of mistaken identity; the mismatch that should never have happened. The enemy is even now dying at our feet, where we should kick him and kick him again.Emphasis added.
Wretchard's assessment of the Left -- "no position is too supine, no degradation too shameful to endure" -- might read as a bit harsh, to some.
But along comes George Galloway, the poster boy for the Hard Left:
We argued ... that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the Government ignoring such warnings.
So, in other words, we must bend to the will of thugs and murderers who want to continue to run their death camps on the other side of the world -- cultivating the very terrorism that Galloway both condemns, and blames squarely on the wrong people -- because they might kill a few of us.
If that isn't running away with your tail between your legs, I don't know what is.
Happens all the time, of course. Well, no; actually, it never happens. But it could. And if it did, oh, brother, look out! Yellow stars and death camps!
And so, according to this theory, we must get politically atwitter about this theoretical potential suspension of our non-existent library rights. Can't trust a certified psycho like a Republican Attorney General, ya know!
He has nothing better to do, apparently, than search the library records of innocent people. Or more accurately, to keep that option open, so that he can choose the exact opportunity to pounce on unsuspecting library patrons. The cads.
Of course, I'm sure that the ALA and all their brothers-in-books were similarly hyperventilating about the reign of Janet Reno, using the FBI to investigate Clinton's political enemies. You know, just like Nixon. Remember him? King of the Evil Republicans. Clinton, even though he did the same thing, is perceived so much differently. Imagine that.
Or the various actual killings, attributed to mismanagement of both FBI and ATF, like the Branch Davidian debacle at Waco, or the Randy Weaver episode. You heard about that, didn't you? An FBI sniper shot and killed Weaver's wife, while she was holding a weapon. Nope, check that, it was her baby. Odd choice of weapon, that. At Waco, federal agents heard the screams and cries of children as they burned to death, as a direct result of the actions of those agents.
So when an out-of-control Dept. of Justice led by an out-of-control Attorney General, kills real live mothers and children, while a Democrat is in office, that's just one of those things. Sorry!
But when a law such as the Patriot Act is passed by both Houses of Congress, attempting to level the playing field for prosecutors trying to track down real live terrorists, while a Republican is in office, that is the beginning of the end for freedom in this country.
I'm so glad we have that cleared up.
Resolved: that Justice Stepehn Breyer is the most ridiculous and sorry excuse for a Supreme Court Justice in, well, forever.
The competition, however, is fierce, especially of late, with the Ten Commandments decision, followed by the Eminent Domain decision.
Even so, Mark Steyn's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times makes the case:
His grounds for doing so were that the Texas Commandments had been there 40 years and were thus part of ''a broader moral and historical message reflective of a cultural heritage,'' whereas the Kentucky Commandments were newer and "a more contemporary state effort to focus attention upon a religious text is certainly likely to prove divisive.''Question. Why would the Founders have written a Constitution with clear, concise, inviolable rules, if what they really wanted was for touchy-feely equivocating intellectuals to split the difference, across the board?
Really? Not as "certainly likely" to prove divisive as grandfathering the display of some Commandments but not others, so that the only way to be sure yours is constitutional is to sue over it. For one thing, Justice Breyer didn't identify the year in which he believes the Commandments ceased to be constitutional. Nineteen-sixty-eight? Nineteen-seventy-three? Maybe a sliding scale? If you put up the Commandments before 1965, you can have all Ten; between 1966 and 1979, you can have six firm Commandments plus a couple of strong recommendations; from 1980 to 1991, it's two Commandments and half a dozen lifestyle tips?
To be sure, the Supreme Court took other factors than the year of manufacture into consideration -- whether the display was inside or out, whether it was surrounded by a full supporting cast of religious artifacts or secular knick-knacks, etc. But it's hard to discern any principles here, at least when compared to their one-size-fits-all abortion absolutism. To the best of my knowledge, Justice Breyer has never claimed you can have a first-trimester abortion in the parking lot but for the full partial-birth you have to be indoors.
There is a very simple observation I'll make here: those who advocate such foolish meddling with the United States Constitution are, by definition, advocating the replacement of it, with a form of progressive Big Government, where those who are smarter than you and I, or so the theory goes, get to rule over every detail of our lives.
Which is fine, for some, I guess. To them I say, move to Europe, then.
They've already got that system, plus high taxes, 10% unemployment rates, abortion on demand, militant secularism, and a complete lack of confidence in who they are as a people, which results in a complete lack of will to defend themselves, both militarily and socially.
If that sounds like the path that we too are headed down, congratulations, have a cookie.
As for me, no thanks, I'm trying to cut down.
UPDATE: See also, Thomas Sowell, Property Rites.
This would mean that a man elected president by an Islamic-run country that has preached American hatred for more than 25 years actually elected one of the men who led the hostage-taking operation.
What are the odds?
This morning, after learning that the Supreme Court had deemed unconstitutional the display of the Ten Commandments inside two Kentucky courthouses but had upheld a similar display on the state capitol grounds in Texas, I surmised that some absurd hair-splitting had occurred. It turns to be worse than I thought.
As one might expect, eight of the nine Justices thought that the outcome in the two cases should be the same. Because one Justice disagreed, the cases had different outcomes. In this instance, the one Justice was Breyer. That's a bit of a surprise; usually it's O'Connor or Kennedy. It's refreshing to see both of them see marginalized for a change.
So what made the difference for Breyer? As Ed Whelan noted earlier today, it was the fact that no one had complained about the Texas display for 40 years, whereas the Kentucky displays had caused agitation from the beginning. Breyer finds this fact "determinative" (see pages 5-6 of his concurring opinion, which I'm not able to link to, but can be accessed through Whelan's post at NRO's Bench Memos).
So, according to Breyer, the Supreme Court is now justified in gauging public opinion on a purely Constitutional question.
In fact, rumor has it that they intend to setup a series of Supreme Court 1-800 numbers to assist them in the future, with opposing viewpoints, like 1-888-RELIGIONISEVIL vs. 1-888-WECANNOTREADPLAINENGLISH, 1-888-DIEBITCH vs. 1-888-LETTHEVEGETABLELIVE, 1-888-BUSHLIED vs. 1-888-BUSHJUSTPLAINSUCKS, and 1-888-WEHATETHEMILITARY vs. 1-888-NOTORTUREATGITMO.
To comment, call 1-888-WERULEANDDON'TYOUEVERFORGET IT.
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Sen. Richard J. Durbin yesterday said he was "sorry" after parsing words for a week about his remarks comparing U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to those of Nazi and Soviet regimes. He apologized on the Senate floor.
"I'm sorry if anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time," said Mr. Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate.
"I'm also sorry if anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military. I went to Iraq just a few months ago," he said, pausing and appearing to tear up at one point during the five-minute speech. "When you look at the eyes of the soldiers you see your son and daughter. They are the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them. Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line. To them, I extend my heartfelt apologies."
"I'm sorry if ..." ? What the hell does that mean? If your teenager came home drunk and threw up on the living room rug, would "I'm sorry if you thought I was drunk" really do the trick?
No, because he was drunk, and he did throw up on the rug. "If" has no place in the discussion.
Sorry, not buying any of this act.
Apologies aren't conditional. They aren't offered to you only "if" you, as the listener, had some set of emotions and feelings wash over you.
The problem here is that this is not about how he makes us "feel"; it's about what he himself said, because of what he believes. Or does he actually want to claim now that he said all that even though he didn't believe it, just to score political points? Which is it? With inflammatory rhetoric like that, either you believe what you say to your core, or you don't.
So if he still holds such beliefs, is any of this really all better now? And if he doesn't hold such beliefs, where is the apology for cynically playing us for fools?
Our focus on "feelings" in today's world just drives me nuts. "Feelings" can vary from one person to another. They are too subjective. They must be purged from the national dialogue.
Apologies are about contrition and forgiveness. "If" won't cut it.
Our entire system of government is based on liberty. That's why the Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower, remember? Durbin slandered all of that, including our Constitution, by comparing our conduct at Guantanamo with the worst regimes to ever inhabit the planet. He provided the enemy with propaganda during wartime. And he did it for political gain.
Those things are bad enough. But worst of all, he said it on the floor of the United States Senate because he actually believes it. He, along with many other prominent Democrats in Congress, actually believes that turning up the A/C and letting prisoners soil themselves equates us with Joseph Stalin. That is an insult of immeasurable proportions, and it is patently ridiculous, and anybody who has ever spent an hour reading any type of history about Stalin knows it.
That is what he needs to apologize for. And you don't need the word "if", or "feelings", to express that.
This excellent post by Baseball Crank, and particularly this point within it, got me to thinking:
Isn't it obviously the fact that the bulk of the American people don't much care to complain about a little rough treatment for actual, bona fide terrorists who would slit the throat of a young child if they could?Yes. These people saw off heads! They use a limb saw to cut through the neck of a living person, and they enjoy the victim's screaming. They, quite literally, live for it. They believe they are rewarded in heaven for it. Let's run through that again, out loud, real slow.
They believe they are rewarded in heaven for sawing through the neck of any non-Muslim, and watching the blood spurt all over the room and themselves, and then triumphantly holding up the head of the still-alive-but-not-for-long victim.
Durbin thinks we should go easy on these people, that turning the air conditioning up way high is too harsh for them.
If he isn't a shill for the jihadis, he sure talks like one.
We don't really need U.S. Senators providing propaganda for Islamic terrorists; call me crazy.
Durbin, like so many others these days, has missed the clue train. So I'll point it out to them:
The only thing stopping further mass murder of Americans is our national will to prevent it. OK, two things. National will, and the current lack of ability to deliver nukes upon our shores. Which the Iranians and North Koreans are working on.
Durbin and his cohorts are doing their best to kill that national will. Which makes him, and here I'm paraphrasing Orwell, "objectively pro-jihadi".
Is that inflammatory? Oops. Tough shit. It's what he is. Prove me wrong.
So I'd go much further on this point: those who focus on any of these alleged mistreatments need a Big Frosty Glass of Perspective. War creates conditions that lead to occasional lapses. Focusing on those lapses, during the war, rather than on shoring up national will to win the war, is suicide.
And yes, this war may last decades. Too bad. It ain't 1978 any more, and we can't engulf ourselves in self-loathing from the post-Watergate and post-Vietnam eras, and have a pity party, about how mean we are, and how we screw up the lives of all the little brown people. To quote the Dems: Move on!
Self-loathing is for losers.
Cowboy up. We still have a debt to pay for 243 dead Marines in Beirut in 1983, for God's sake.
Islam, and the Arab world in general, understand one thing really well: power. Those who have it, use it, and those who use it, gain respect.
They have two things that help them: religious zealotry, and a nihilistic death cult, shown as a willingness to both kill innocents and die themselves. They are lacking only the means to commit mass murder of Americans. Oh, wait, they already did! Multiple times. And they would do so again, forever, and ever, because it's how they think. Our increased sense of national will to prevent attacks on our shores has stopped multiple attempts already. This is a good thing, no?
The terrorists and unlawful combatants captured and imprisosed at Gitmo are quite simply not like Americans. They don't value freedom, or Western liberal traditions. They will do anything in their power to kill any American they can.
As "unlawful combatants", they could have been shot when they were taken into custody; they are entitled to no Geneva Convention protections. There is well-established precedent for such things. I would like to think the only reason they were imprisoned, instead, is for the intel they could provide; this intel has been of great value, from what I've read.
You have to be ruthless against such people. If you're too wrapped up in hand-wringing and self-examination, you've lost the battle of wills already, and it's probably just a matter of time before you lose the big battles too. Self-loathing is not good for us as a country. Hence, we should stop doing it.
So, please shut the hell up, Dick Durbin. For the good of the country.
Wait! Really! No shit. We are totally serious here.
Now, of course, we await the thunderous cascade of contrition and apologia directed towards Larry Summers, president of Harvard University, who said much the same thing earlier this year; he was nearly forced to resign, after the ensuing idiotic brouhaha by the supposed "intellectuals" inhabiting that institution.
What they actually are is "brainwashed".
Any parent, of course, could tell you that boys and girls are, generally speaking, just different. And have been different for oh, let's see, add the 4, carry the 1 ..... eternity. Freaking forever.
Proving, yet again, that some things are so stupid, only an intellectual would believe them.
Strong Clue: Immediately upon moving in, they dig up their entire front lawn AND front walk, and replace it with pallets of bricks and piles of dirt, and a gaping hole where the walk and front stoop used to be. As I write this, lawyers are probably out recruiting folks to fall into those holes.
Very strong clue: When they leave it that way -- for 8 months.
Another very strong clue: On a recent evening as I'm driving by, I spy the mom and the two kids attempting to "deal" ... the older boy is hacking at the weeds with an old-fashioned hedge-clipper ... the kind that nobody uses anymore, with the advent of electric hedge trimmers twenty years ago ... one at a time ... chop, chop, chop ... and some of the weeds are so tall the kid doesn't really have to bend over at all ... and then there's the whole "you have to pull up the roots or you're wasting your time" thing. The mom, in a scene straight from a slave labor camp, is using a pickaxe to make feeble scratches in the huge mounds of dirt ... I have no idea what the hell she is doing, and I'm quite sure, neither does she. Dad is nowhere in sight ... drunk on the couch, perhaps. At least the couch is inside the house. For now.
From the misconduct article:
The new survey also hints that much scientific misconduct is the result of frustrations and injustices built into the modern system of scientific rewards. [...]
"Science has changed a lot in terms of its competitiveness, the level of funding and the commercial pressures on scientists," Martinson said. "We've turned science into a big business but failed to note that some of the rules of science don't fit well with that model."
From the strategy article:
So science is big business, focused on raising money. And science is politics, focused on raising money. Hmmmmm..
HOUSTON - Scientists gather routinely at the Texas Medical Center to share research. But they are meeting this weekend in enemy territory for a war-room session on political strategy.
Advocates of embryonic stem cell research from the fields of academia, politics, health care and medicine — including South Korean cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-suk — are plotting ways to quell opposition and get the research money flowing.
[...]"This is a war on behalf of science," said Neal Lane, a senior research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, a co-sponsor of the meeting.
OK, I'll ask ..... when is it, just, you know, science?
Stop! The jizz you save
May be your own
Junior look both ways
Before you touch it
You're headed for a danger zone
I'll be therrrrre
I'll be therrrrre
Just call my name
And I'll be there
Giving you oral love in the shower but please please PLEASE don't tell anybody!
I'm literally COUNTING THE HOURS until this stupid Michael Jackson trial is over, so that the media will QUIT TALKING ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.
Seriously, it's time to retire to the veranda, and have a tall frosty glass of Shut The Fuck Up.
I try to ignore this coverage at every pass. I don't even watch TV news, and I rarely choose to click on any such stories on the 'Net, and I STILL think its way overexposed. Though I wonder if maybe, just maybe, they painted him as a pervert who exploits children, instead of a Big Fluffy Entertainer of Indeterminate Gender and Color, I might have some mild level of interest in hearing what these media whores have to say about it. But they don't, and so, I don't. Big shocker there, I know.
Of course, once the trial IS over, we won't get to read gems like this opening paragraph from a Reuters story of last week:
Character assassination? So when a dangerous (alleged) perv, who has been manipulating and molesting children for years, finally goes to trial, and the prosecution makes closing arguments, and lists out all the disgusting details in one session, this is "character assassination" now?
SANTA MARIA, Calif. (Reuters) - Michael Jackson was portrayed on Thursday as a serial pedophile, an alcoholic and a man obsessed with pornography as prosecutors summed up their child sex abuse case with a blistering character assassination of one of the world's best-known entertainers.
Huh. The media really REALLY needs to extract its lips from Michael Jackson's hind end. Or wherever else those lips might be ...
Were I the editor of that story, I'd have amended it to read "... a nearly unbelievable array of lurid testimony, provided by multiple witnesses, describing various young victims who entrusted their innocence, and therefore their future, to a devious (alleged) pervert."
We've already had to read enough descriptions of fellatio performed by Jackson on his young and trusting victims; we don't need yet more examples of same performed by the media on him.
One of the few things that is more frightening, though, is a punky lesbian driving a Honda with 20 nearly-incomprehensible bumper stickers attached. People who are so proud of their snarky ignorance of how the world works simply amaze me. Why would you think everybody in traffic is desperate to know your views of the military: "Join the Army: Travel to exotic, distant lands, meet exciting, unique people, and kill them" ?
OK, can you really be that stupid?
Oh, right, of course you're that stupid, you have TWENTY BUMPER STICKERS on a fairly new Honda Accord, which renders its nearly devoid of value as a trade-in. But you've got the snarky bumper stickers, so, you know, it's cool.
Following Sunday's vote in France, on Wednesday Dutch voters get to express their opinion on the proposed ''European Constitution.'' Heartening to see democracy in action, notwithstanding the European elite's hysterical warnings that, without the constitution, the continent will be set back on the path to Auschwitz. I haven't seen the official ballot, but the choice seems to be: "Check Box A to support the new constitution; check Box B for genocide and conflagration."
European attitudes about governance are strange. They gave us Napoleon and King Leopold, and in their attempt to cast off the chains of the past, they would rather entrust decisions to an unelected, corrupt, and disdainful trans-national government, than to an unelected, corrupt, and disdainful king.
Let's take a spin to Crosswalk.com, for instance. Did you know ...
- Ford Motor Co. donates up to $1,000, for every purchase of a Jaguar or Land Rover, to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation? (link)
- The Saudi government routinely "either incinerates or dumps Bibles, crosses and other Christian paraphernalia"? (link)
Hey, haha, guess what? He's talking to you on his cell phone while using the fucking URINAL.
One hand on the phone, one on his winky. Shit happens.
Brought to you by the Wonderful World of Cell Phones!
Living Memorial Day every day -- Last Memorial Day, Cpl. Christopher Zimny visited his parents, Ted and Barbara, in Glenview, enjoying the three-day weekend before heading back to Iraq. On Memorial Day this year, his parents plan to visit his grave. For the Zimny family, the holiday is not a kickoff to summer, but a time to remember their son, beginning with a pre-Memorial Day gathering at the Marine's former high school in Glenview.
Readers share Memorial Day heartfelt wishes -- The following are a few comments I received after Friday's column. In it, I talked about how Memorial Day shouldn't be just another day off, the importance of supporting our troops and my decision to fly the flag and then not to.
Marines don't stay at home -- Marine Sgt. Sean Arnold didn’t have to spend the past eight months away from his family and friends. He didn’t have to quit his job and give up college to ride scout on the back of a light-armored vehicle on the outskirts of Fallujah during last year’s offensive in Iraq.
Making a difference - here and there -- On the Riverwalk in front of the flagpoles is the Naperville Roll of Honor Memorial, listing all city residents killed in this nation's wars. The names are etched in gold on a black background surrounded by a gold border. When the sun hits the names, they stand out prominently, as befitting those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day is a time of reflection for survivors to think about and honor fallen family and friends. To them, the names on the plaque go beyond that rightful place of honor where they reside. They represent people who were part of their lives. With this year being the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, we tell the story of one of the names on the plaque. Ed Sieben was the first Naperville resident killed in Vietnam. And this was his journey, which took him from the joys of high school days and achievement on the track and basketball court to a world on the other end of the spectrum from then small-town Naperville.
Couple begins scholarship in memory of fallen Aurora Marine -- John and Pat Heneghan never met Hector Ramos. What they knew of the young man, they read in the paper. That the 20-year-old East High graduate was one of 30 U.S. Marines killed in January when their helicopter crashed in a sandstorm near the volatile town of Rutbah. That Hector Ramos — honor roll student, theater star, marketing club president, loving brother, son and friend — was one of Aurora's finest young men.
In Hollywood, he fits right in. Which is why Red America -- the "values" voters -- hates Hollywood.