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Archive for May, 2003

May 15th, 2003 by pete

Late Night Reading

Really enjoyed this article by Danny Drezner in The New Republic about the futility of conspiracy theories. And not just “Jews control the media” conspiracy theories, but also the NY Times backed assertion that Neo-cons have crept in and taken the helm of US foreign policy. (Pat Buchanan anyone?) Highly recommended, in part because it inadvertently led to a 45-minute debate with Dave the maintenance guy over whether or not our government was behind both Pearl Harbor and September 11th. I never used to buy that kind of wackiness, but hell, now I’m convinced. But it’s 2 a.m., and this is mostly the booze talking.

May 14th, 2003 by Bret

On Management Styles

The NYT’s scandal story continues to roll along, but perhaps the most interesting aspect is how the Jayson Blair problem has precipitated a storm over Howell Raines’s entire tenure. His quote:

You believe the newsroom is too hierarchical, that my ideas get acted on and others get ignored. I heard that you were convinced there’s a star system that singles out my favorites for elevation. … Fear is a problem to such extent, I was told, that editors are scared to bring me bad news.

Wow, all this and he’s going to keep his job. He’s taken a hammer to the Gray Lady and they’re going to keep letting him swing away. I don’t even think this is a liberal/conservative issue: it’s a generational problem in which people our parents’ age bracket think they have a great many answers that improve on the past, when often they are simply reinventing the wheel. And reinventing it unsuccessfully.

And … can anyone explain why the fact that the UK won’t join the Euro makes me feel somehow more at ease?

May 14th, 2003 by pete

The Funny

The current story on McSweeney’s is really funny, but the Unpublished Coda To Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is simply hilarious. The first paragraph is brilliant.

And I would direct you (or redirect for you Sullivan-philes) to the Late Show Top Ten Signs Something is Wrong At The New York Times. #10 is my favorite…

May 14th, 2003 by Timothy

Identity Politics

Steven Den Beste is at it again, with a brilliant dissection of the identity politics issue. He links to this story in the Washington Times. Interesting that immigrants don’t want to classify themselves by race. I guess they’re smart enough to see through the baiting and try to make their way as individuals.

May 14th, 2003 by Bret

So It’s Entirely Possible…

That I’ve never properly used leisure time properly. Apparently leisure time is actually time spent doing something meaningful … so either the entire time I pump into this rag is leisure time or I’ve never had real leisure time. Hmm …

May 14th, 2003 by Timothy

More on Guns

Via Instapundit, there is a weekly survey of anti-gun media bias up over at Alphecca. There’s also a nice dissection of campus gun bans.

May 14th, 2003 by Colin

The search has ended

UPDATE: Looks like the search for a Klingon interpreter has been called off… thank Durgath!

May 13th, 2003 by Timothy

This Thursday, Thursday, THURSDAY!

There will be a total lunar eclipse. It begins at about 7:03pm PDT and goes until about 9:07pm PDT. It’ll be sweet.

May 13th, 2003 by Bret

Where Libertarianism and Conservatism Collide

A more thoughtful examination of the Bennett affair has been performed by the venerable WFB, and it’s definitely worth the quick read. It deals with, quite well, the joy many take in the downfall of a “secular catechist of virtue” and where conservatism and libertarianism intersect.

At root is a protest against the very credentials of virtue. And that isn’t something being done by libertarians, it is the creeping vine of philosophical libertinism. There are people out there who don’t want to say they are opposed to virtues, but who don’t really want other people around to postulate the need for virtue.

As I have discussed with the equally venerable Mr. Ruff, I am quite concerned that while the good aspects of libertarianism will allow more people the personal responsibility and freedoms they deserve, there is a linked effort to remove virtue from the entirety of the public discourse. To do so would coarsen our society to its most base, most unfortunate tendencies, I think. This is probably the core issue facing the right as it tries to merge and blend two very different philosophies.

May 13th, 2003 by pete

Dennis Miller, speaking about the Democratic candidates on Hannity and Colmes….

Well, first off, I should say I watched the debate the other night.  And I haven’t seen a starting nine like that since the ’62 Mets.  I’m surprised the moderator — I’m surprised the moderator wasn’t Marvelous Marv Throneberry, for God’s sake.  That was a — that was a ragtag unit they’re throwing out there.


Most of America thinks Cheney is a really cool, calm, collected and, indeed, lethal guy who they want to re-elect.  I’m surprised he’s stepping up to the task again, because quite frankly with the bad ticker, I didn’t know — I thought he might go on the road and perform the Angina Monologues.  But the simple fact is, that heart skips more frequently than Richard Simmons on his way to an NSYNC concert.

May 12th, 2003 by pete

Walkout by angry Democrats halts work at Texas House

AUSTIN — Outnumbered by House Republicans determined to pass a congressional redistricting bill, all but a few Democrats went into hiding today to keep the House from meeting. The House’s GOP leader responded by ordering state troopers to find and arrest the missing lawmakers.

This is a crazy story. Check it out…

May 12th, 2003 by Bret

NRO’s VDH has a good idea as part of America’s future military: a peacekeeping force which would specialize in restoring civilian rule and maintaining security after the U.S. kicks ass in relatively short order. It may be built on an arrogant notion, but probabaly a correct one. Conservatives are traditionally loathe to engage in peacekeeping or nation-building, but we are even more loathe to lose a war on terror and still even more despising of failure having engaged ourselves in such a battle.

And, those of you interested in conservative criticism of Bush, look here at the Weekly Standard article questioning the tax cut debate from the Bushies.

Finally … anyone seen Pete? I haven’t heard nor seen him since that evil Evenson was in town … I think something’s afoot!

May 12th, 2003 by olly

The Voice Of Centcom

Someone named Russell Smith is very upset with CNN. Not for its supposed anti-war slant – otherwise I probably wouldn’t be the one posting this link – but quite the reverse.

This recalls an argument we had a while back about the institutional biases of the major news providers; I still think CNN is in a no-win situation, and this article points up some of the reasons why. A doomed attempt at objectivity – or, even more modestly, an attempt at sobriety – can always be interpreted as providing tacit support for the other side – whichever side that happens to be.

This guy happens to be a fruit loop, but that’s part of the fun. (And I think some of the criticism of CNN for not being gung-ho enough has also been fairly screwy.)

For a much funnier riposte to Mr Smith than I can come up with, here is a post to the Thomas Pynchon discussion list, from whence this tragic story came. (The author of the linked post is, given such material, reliably golden and thoroughly worth reading.)

May 12th, 2003 by Colin

Oregon has no “Jbatlh” (honor)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Position Available: Interpreter, must be fluent in Klingon. The language created for the “Star Trek” TV series and movies is one of about 55 needed by the office that treats mental health patients in metropolitan Multnomah County. Read the article.

Good to see that we’re cutting teachers and police but hiring people that speak Klingon.

May 12th, 2003 by Zach

No Shakespeare…No Shit…Well…some shit

Researchers in London (that’s in England folks) have made an attempt to see if, in fact, monkeys could eventually type Shakespeare. With enough monkeys, typewriters and time, this project could actually produce some results. However, with only 6 monkeys and one computer, results sort of resemble a typical night in my room.

According to the researchers, the monkeys seemed preoccupied with bashing the hell out of the computer with stones, and of course, deficating and urinating on it as well.

In completely unrelated news, the release date of the new HATE issue has further been set back, due to some…unforseen…creative differences.