(You know, as I consider the GOP's sad slow-motion implosion in recent years, and their gradual desertion of core values like small government and fiscal responsibility, it occurs to me that the real Republicans In Name Only are the so-called "movement conservatives" currently helming the party. But I digress, and you can also read about that here and elsewhere any day of the week.)
A couple of posts on a favorite topic of actual conservatives -- economics -- start us off this week.
Dan over at Searchlight Crusade leads off with a meditation on the housing bubble: How big, how bad, and when's it gonna pop?
Answer: In some markets, the deflation has largely already taken place:
...[I]f you read my oldest articles (for instance Cold Hard Numbers) I spoke quite strongly about San Diego being in a bubble condition. I used the metaphor of "When Wile E. Coyote looks down" more than once. What has changed since then? Quite simply, I think that we've seen most of the overall hit that we're going to get. Sure, there are still idiots who think it's 2003, but if you look at the transactions that are actually happening - willing buyer, willing seller, etcetera - we're a little over twenty percent off peak prices, at least in the areas I mostly work. I consistently predicted a thirty percent decline up until about a year ago. We've now seen most of that.As a man who just did his 2006 taxes and is looking desperately for mortgage-related tax deductions (read: gonna buy a house this year), this is of more than academic interest to me, at least. Also, "when Wile E. Coyote looks down": best answer ever. Heh.
Don Surber points out that the United States, an "international pariah" if you believe the talking heads (and former Democratic presidential candidates) is still the free-trade powerhouse of the world, selling and shipping more goods than any other country:
(Barry comments: A devalued dollar is also keeping the US export market humming. )
Last year, the “international pariah” called the U.S. set a record for exports — shattering the previous record — set the year before by that “international pariah” called the U.S.Exports look to be up 13% in 2006 after rising 10% in 2005, the Washington Post reported.
Jane at Armies of Liberation observes that Yemenia, the national airline of international garden-spot and exemplar of good government Yemen, has been flying jihadis to Damascus... lots and lots of them.
Recently an Iraqi columnist accused Yemen of playing games with the international community and “carrying the stick from the middle.” He described all the publicized measures of preventing fighters from traveling to Iraq as nonsense. He said that Yemenia regularly and openly transports fighters to Damascus. He quoted one eye witness who said that on one previous flight, about 40 Jihadists flying from Sana’a to Damascus to fight in Iraq were speaking openly on the plane about their plans.
I've been having fun imagining what airport security in Yemen must be like. At the checkpoint, if they don't find a gun or bomb on you, do they give you one to take on board?
At Digger's Realm, Digger has been following the trials of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, and points out some difficulties with the ballistics evidence, rather crucial when you've got people on trial for shooting people:
... proper evidence handling wasn't followed in the case because the prosecutor Johnny Sutton had the ballistic evidence run through the Texas Department of Public Safety instead of the federal agency that handles all federal cases, the FBI.Digger also points to an audio interview with Monica Ramos, Agent Ramos's wife.
The complaint filed against the two agents included statements that ballistic evidence confirmed that the bullet had come from Ramos' weapon. Ballistics evidence, as reported by the criminalist who studied the bullet, was inconclusive as to even what type of weapon fired it.
Sorry, no amusing graphic to go along with this one.
Or the next one:
Rachel at Tinkerty Tonk notes that someone she blogged about last week wound up committing suicide (not that there's any correlation; the dead woman definitely had other things on her mind):
[The suicide] was a women's studies expert with a PhD in sociology who had been arrested for prostitution. Police alleged that she was working out of her suburban Maryland home.When you're writing about individual human tragedy, it's hard to muster up enough snark to Google up an image on the web and stick it into a RINO Sightings post. Once the tragedy reaches a certain scale, of course, that would be in perfectly good taste. I hope that Rachel and Digger don't feel cheated.
My first blog post consisted of a snarky headline, a quote and a one-liner. It was a throwaway that I justified because she lived near me. And because I was interested in the intersection of feminism and prostitution. Well, it seemed half the state of Maryland wanted to hear more about her. My traffic went up. I got tons of comments and I began getting emails about her from people who claimed to know her. Nasty emails.
At All Things Jennifer, Jennifer has something bright, clean, and good-looking for you to ogle, pace Senator Biden... and notes that out California way, the goo-goos are looking to ban the incandescent lightbulb.
Let's see if I can't combine those two concepts in a single image...
Here we go.
At Techography, BloodSpite commits a thorough fisking of William Arkin. Fiskings are fun, but hard to quote short excerpts from, and you don't want to know what came up on Google Images when I looked for "fisking," though I may have misspelled something.
(The article everyone's up in arms about is here.)
Pigilito, working the Euro-Expat tip, reminds us that some things in Europe are timeless, like the French urge to appease (Chirac) and the Italian tendency to chase skirts (Berlusconi).
Could it be time to trot out that oldie-but-goodie, the Système consultatif sur la sûreté de la France?
Finally, Eric at Classical Values takes us home with some thoughts on Al Qaida's recent attacks on women in Western dress in music stores in the Gaza -- and the possible implications for Dinesh D'Souza's proposal of an alliance between social conservatives and traditional Muslims.
Well, you knew this last graphic was coming. It's Michael Jackson in a burqa, innit?