Friday, February 27, 2009

What a way to go out!

Man collapses after Viagra fueled 12-hour threesome.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Speechifier in Chief

Gene Healy takes a look at the incredible increase in the importance of presidential speeches over the years.
When 19th-century candidates spoke publicly, they sometimes felt compelled to apologize, as 1872 Democratic contender Horace Greeley did, for breaking "the unwritten law of our country that a candidate for President may not make speeches."

From Washington to Jackson, presidents gave about three speeches a year on average. In his first year in office, President Clinton gave over 600. Things have changed, but it's not clear they've changed for the better.

He adds that Thomas Jefferson;

disapproved of his two predecessors giving the [State of the Union address] in person before Congress assembled. Jefferson saw that practice as "an English habit, tending to familiarize the public with monarchical ideas," much like the British king's "speech from the throne."

So our third president wrote out his SOTU speeches and had them hand-delivered to Congress. The Jeffersonian custom held for over 100 years, until the power-hungry Woodrow Wilson overthrew it. Of 219 SOTUs, only 71 have been delivered in person.

This, however, is the money quote;
Today's president is a constitutional monstrosity: a national talk-show host with nuclear weapons.

The Nietzsche Family Circus

"When one has finished building one's house, one suddenly realizes that in the process one has learned something that one really needed to know in the worst way - before one began."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama's Elf

I don't know about you, but this video cracked me up.

Manufacturing Guilt

Here's an absolutely infuriating story from Radley Balko. He has uncovered some deeply disturbing video of forensic scientist Michael West using a dental mold to place bite marks on a 23-month old corpse.

Those bite marks were then used to positively "identify" her alleged killer - who is now on death row. They were the only physical evidence linking him to the killing.

This wasn't the only time West "found" bite marks during autopsy that other examiners "missed."

In fact, this is probably only the tip of the iceberg. This video was taken in 1993, and both West and the other examiner involved are still practicing today. In the article, Radley Balko casts some more light on the horrifying records of these two men.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Great Lead Panic

Walter Olson had a fantastic rant today about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which took effect on February 10.

He provides multiple links to heartbreaking stories of small businesses, libraries and charities damaged or destroyed by this law, which is ostensibly For the Children.