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The (Alleged) Killer Next Door



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Derrick Lee, the south Louisiana serial killer suspect cops are searching for, lives down the road from my family in Starhill, Louisiana, a wide spot in the road just south of St. Francisville. My sister was in school with Lee. She taught his son this year in middle school — until Lee abruptly withdrew the boy three weeks ago, and vanished. And to think I was so relieved during the killer’s spree that my family seemed safe, because the killer seemed to be doing all his work south of Starhill. My shaken sister told my dad today, when the news broke, that if Derrick Lee had come to her door, she would have let him in, because she knows him. Lee is considered armed and dangerous. Dear God, you just never know about people, do you?

True Confessions



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I prefer the Sci-Fi Channel’s New Year’s Day Twilight Zone marathon. (Boy is the Corner’s hipness in question now….)

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Fyi



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The flying rubber vomit episode of Star Trek is now on the sci-fi channel.

Web Briefing: December 28, 2014

Future-Federalism



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From a reader (with NCC-1701 in his email address):

While [The Original Stark Trek] was not clear on the point, my impression was that the Federation limited the death penalty to one offense, individual planets might have greater flexibility. This would be akin to a limited federal death penalty in the US with broader use at the state level.

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Re: Jonah and Star Trek



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And notice how nice I am being today.

More Trek and Death Penalty



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You might have noticed I am flagrantly defying the K-Lo anti-Trek General Order because today is a holiday. Anyway, it should be noted that the Federation maintained the death penalty in the original series. As we know from the episode titled “The Menagerie” General Order Number Seven forbade contact of any kind with the planet Talos 4. Violation of GO #7 was punishable by death. It was the only capital offense left on the books.

Star Trek & The Death Penalty



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From a reader:

I know this is out of nowhere, but I was watching a marathon of the original Star Trek on SciFi and saw the episode in which Dr Daystrom created and installed on the Enterprise M5, the computer which could run an entire starship. M5, of course, runs amok, taking control of the Enterprise and killing hundreds on other ships in war games. M5 refuses to let itself “die.”

When Daystrom flips out, Kirk is left to talk M5 into releasing control of the ship. Kirk does so by pointing out that M5 has murdered, that it knows that murder is contrary to “the laws of God and man,” and that the penalty for murder is death. M5 then allows itself to be disconnected.

I guess you never know when the death penalty will come in handy.

Gotta run now–”The Trouble with Tribbles” is starting now.

Murtaugh On Herbert



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Charles Murtaugh has a great post on Bob Herbert’s column . Herbert is enraged that anyone anywhere get away with defying the NYC smoking ban. The Oak Bar at the Plaza has apparently exempted itself from the City’s absurd policies. Murtaugh noticed that Herbert is now crediting his assistant for doing his actual legwork, something Herbert has never done before. Murtaugh rightly suspects that Herbert is covering his butt given the new realities at the Times. This could be the start of all sorts of fun because I know for a fact Herbert is hardly alone. Maureen Dowd, for example, has a minion who does much of her gruntwork for her as do many other columnists (I used to be Ben Wattenberg’s researcher for example). Let the full-disclosures fly!

Tree of Life?



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I don’t know what to think about this. Instead of the deep freeze Ted Williams could have been reincarnated as a baseball bat, I suppose.

Uday Is a Bad Man



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A horrifying and riveting account in Time magazine.

Colonel Collins (More)



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It looks as if the Colonel may be on his way to vindication. Sadly, there’s no doubt, however, that this contretemps has stirred up some Anglo-American tension, of which this article is a sometimes sensible, sometimes petulant, example.

It is to be hoped that the facts of this case allow the whole tawdry affair to be forgotten quickly. What should be remembered is the bravery, professionalism and sacrifices of the troops – American and British – in the Iraq war. They were a credit to themselves, their countries and this finest – and most enduring- of alliances.

Return of The Idol



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According to this report in the Independent, the authorities in Berlin are contemplating re-erecting a statue of a former tyrant, a mass-murderer who is a disgrace to history. No, not the one with the toothbrush moustache, but the one with the beard, the killer who gave himself the name Lenin. Apparently – and disgustingly – “Berlin’s Communist past has become more fashionable.”

I saw the statue in question before it was taken down. To be frank, it was impressive in a boot stamping on the face of humanity forever sort of way. The Independent’s correspondent sees the original removal of the statue “as a symbol of the West’s willful destruction of East Germany’s identity”. Apparently we are meant to think that this was a bad thing.

But why stop there? After all, in 1945 the West took part in the “willful destruction” of the Third Reich’s identity, something that, logically, ought to still pain the Independent. There are, I’m sure, still a few old Hitler statues lying around somewhere in Germany.

Should they be put up again too?


America The Bad



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This piece is worth reading as an example of where the more eloquent members of Europe’s anti-American left now stand. However, before reading this article, sit down, take whatever blood pressure medication you are on and pour a stiff drink.

For those that don’t know, the writer, Martin Jacques, is a former editor of Marxism Today, a fact which should surprise nobody.

Eurovision - The Post-Mortem



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From the Guardian:

“Louis Walsh, a judge on the ITV talent show Popstars and a veteran pop band manager, said: “It’s like somebody went into Boots [a pharmacy chain], found the first person they saw behind the counter, asked them if they could sing and they said ‘no’, but they picked them anyway…

Meanwhile, Jemini embarked on an intensive period of promotion for their losing record, which is released today. With Britain’s famed capacity to favour the underdog, their failure may yet be the key to future success; coming last may prove much more lucrative than finishing third or fourth.


The group’s female member, Gemma Abbey, said: “Nul points – there you go, maybe that’s what we should change our name to.”


The Guardian’s report also contains a brief survey of previous entrants that have failed to score any points. Amongst the low lights a Belgian singer by the name of Fud Leclercq (no laughing in the back of the class, yes, Jonah, that means you), a Finn called Kojo who sang an environmentalist ditty while hitting himself on the head, a habit that may have explained his political beliefs in the first place. Swiss tap-dancer Gunvor Guggisberg was awarded nul points for his efforts in 1998, but Norway retains its role as the land of Eurovision strike outs, the “most notorious” of their four nul-pointers was, according to the Guardian, “Jahn Teigen, who in 1978 performed a song called Mile After Mile. His routine included doing the splits in mid-air while snapping his braces. Teigen called his Eurovision failure “the proudest moment of my life” and anticipated it would make him a star. It did not and he now owns a brewery.”

Well, there are worse fates.


Colonel Collins



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More on this sad business.

Eu Constitution: The Shame Continues



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Well, here’s a surprise. Tony Blair may not want Brits to vote on the proposed EU ‘constitution’, but its architect seems to disagree.

Drew and The Neocons



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Elizabeth Drew has a long piece in the New York Review of Books on “the neocons.” Trust me, I’m not going to get into the weeds on this again, but it’s worth noting that in the context of her article, the neocons are all the most right-wing figures in government. In other words to be right-wing — at least from the NYRB crowd — is to be a neocon, which is precisely the opposite argument from the self-proclaimed denizens of the far right. Also, on a more pedantic front. Ms. Drew writes that Richard Perle “has held only one government position—that of an assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan administration” in the same paragraph that she says Perle once served on Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s Senate staff. One of us needs to check the constitution, but I could swear that working for the Senate (a co-equal branch of government) constituted working for the government.

Eurovision: The Shame Continues



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The darkest hour in Britain’s long history – last weekend’s Eurovision humiliation in Riga – has been put down by many (including me) to resentment over the UK’s support for the Iraq war, a worrying geopolitical development given that many of the voters were from the ‘New Europe’. However, I have to admit that, ahem, I had never actually heard the British entry, something that makes this e-mail (from John in Dublin) deeply, deeply disturbing:

“Writing from Dublin, I can tell you that Britain’s zero points were actually justified. Their act was AWFUL! The lead singer was so off key that it was painful to watch. And, the song was terrible too.

In Ireland, and across much of Europe now, the voting is done by phone. That means that it was Ireland’s children, who, for the most part, voted zero points for the UK entry. I sincerely doubt that the children’s lack of votes for the British song had much to do with the war.”

I suspect that John may well have a point.


Mickey Mouse as Your Best Man



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Couples having Magic Kingdom weddings:


Just as important, couples are shedding their inhibitions and indulging their inner Goofy. “So many traditions are going out of life that people are creating their own,” said David Popenoe, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University and co-director of the National Marriage Project, which analyzes marriage trends. “Consider the Elvis wedding in Las Vegas or even this. Obviously Disney has ingrained itself in our minds.”

Diiulio On Bennett



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John DiIulio has a defense of Bill Bennett in the Washington Post today:


So let me make a final bet on Bennett. The ex-high roller has never pretended to be a holy roller, but, at least as I see him, his God-given gifts as an intellectual, a public communicator and a political figure pale by comparison to his deeper spiritual being and potential. I bet that, in the end, it matters not whether he loses power, position or paydays, or whether some former friends and supporters abandon him.

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