Quickies 4

A link log from the Land of Lincoln

Experience past quickies: one. two. three.
More recent quickies

November 2003

Thursday 29
If you don't like Bush, this material won't change your mind, but it will correct some of your thinking. If you're a Bush supporter, you will be disappointed to learn that in the eyes of professionals, and for good reasons, this president is making some potentially dangerous mistakes.

These two dozen presidential experts have placed the Bush II presidency in a nutshell, with its strengths and weaknesses laid bare. Absent another terror attack in the United States, this assessment will likely still be reasonably accurate at the time of the next Presidential election.
Here is Lincoln's sickening proclamation.
George W Bush's Resume
A kind of Sign

Thursday 27: Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Top Turkeys
Speaking of turkeys, Bush was in Baghdad today
Post a sign, take a picture, get on this site, feel special
The Historic Tale Construction Kit+Funny geeks=Slight Comedy
Umberto Eco likes books. So do I. Probably the most perfect invention ever.
Drug laws turn more draconian
Members of the Judiciary Committee are spying on Democrats in the Senate.

Wednesday 26:
"Criminals are totally taken aback," said Ajuelos. "Some don't even try to run away when they see us. We're tall on our blades, and very fast. They know they don't have a chance to escape."
Around 14,000 people are infected with HIV every day A record number of people were infected with HIV around the world this year, a report says. Figures from UN Aids and the World Health Organization put the number of new infections at five million. The report also estimates that three million people died from the disease this year. But it warns that the figures could rise sharply in the years ahead, with Eastern Europe and Central Asia on the verge of epidemics.
Why do we fund quacks?
Hamas West Bank leader Adnan Asfour said the movement will agree to handing over its weapons only after the sovereign State of Palestine is established with full independence. Hamas, he said, would not accept any cease-fire or hudna if the Palestinian Authority intends to base it on the revival of the road map process.
We must not only make politics a part of our culture but make our culture a part of our politics. The first political campaign in which I took part - at the age of 12 in Philadelphia - featured a candidate who made ten to twelve appearances every evening on different street corners, preceded by a string band that attracted the crowd. By the time, he was finished he held an outdoor rally for 12,000 in front of city hall. How often have you seen that?

I remember something else from that period - a record my father brought home of labor songs. I do not remember anything anyone said from that time, but I do recall bits and pieces of those songs. As Joe Hill said, 'A pamphlet, no matter how well-written, is read once and then thrown away - but a song lasts forever."

There are folks who understand this. For example, the punk rock movement has stood out over the past two decades, not just as an accessory to politics but as politics itself waiting for the political activists to take over.

This is no unusual. After all Billy Holliday sang about lynching long before the civil rights movement took off.
Sam Smith shows he's not shy to support songs and certainly knows what to sing. But things are not so clear these days.
For example, knowing what you know now, would you have been an abolitionist in 1820, a feminist in 1870, a labor organizer in 1890? Or would you have said, why bother? In 1848 the first women's conference was held at Seneca Falls. Of the three hundred persons there, only one woman lived long enough to vote. Would you have gone to Seneca Falls anyway?

The trouble is we know how that one turned out. We don't know how this meeting will turn out. And precisely because any of us who attempt to change history's course are wandering in the wilderness, we need each other, we need sources of courage, and we need the music and the art to carry use through until the laws and policies make sense.
...the Bush administration — which likes to portray itself as the inheritor of Reagan-like optimism — actually has a Nixonian habit of demonizing its opponents.

For example, here's President Bush on critics of his economic policies: "Some say, well, maybe the recession should have been deeper. It bothers me when people say that." Because he used the word "some," he didn't literally lie — no doubt a careful search will find someone, somewhere, who says the recession should have been deeper. But he clearly intended to suggest that those who disagree with his policies don't care about helping the economy.

And that's nothing compared with the tactics now being used on foreign policy.

The campaign against "political hate speech" originates with the Republican National Committee. But last week the committee unveiled its first ad for the 2004 campaign, and it's as hateful as they come. "Some are now attacking the president for attacking the terrorists," it declares.

Again, there's that weasel word "some." No doubt someone doesn't believe that we should attack terrorists. But the serious criticism of the president, as the committee knows very well, is the reverse: that after an initial victory in Afghanistan he shifted his attention — and crucial resources — from fighting terrorism to other projects.
Paul Krugam shows he's not shy in saying whom he's talking about. "Some" is something to avoid. If you got an example use it, otherwise STFU!
In his forthcoming book, "The Progress Paradox," Gregg Easterbrook piles on the happy tidings. The air is cleaner. The water is cleaner and we are using less of it. Our homes have doubled in size in a generation and home ownership rates are at an all-time high. There are now fewer highway deaths in the U.S. than in 1970, even though the number of miles driven has shot up by 75 percent.
David Brooks shows he's not shy in supporting one of the most scientifically inept writers of pro-pollution propaganda.

Tuesday 25:
"You can't beat the prices," said the hotel cashier, who makes $400 a week. "I come here because it's cheap."

Across town, another mother also is familiar with the Supercenter's low prices. Kelly Gray, the chief breadwinner for five children, lost her job as a Raley's grocery clerk last December after Wal-Mart expanded into the supermarket business here. California-based Raley's closed all 18 of its stores in the area, laying off 1,400 workers.

Gray earned $14.68 an hour with a pension and family health insurance. Wal-Mart grocery workers typically make less than $9 an hour.

"It's like somebody came and broke into your home and took something huge and important away from you," said the 36-year-old. "I was scared. I cried. I shook."

Wal-Mart gives. And Wal-Mart takes away.
The AARP's Washington headquarters, in a stunning reversal, has endorsed the current Medicare prescription drug plan.

A Public Citizen analysis of the AARP's finances, however, reveals a long list of potential conflicts of interest. AARP's financial records show that, if the bill is passed, the group stands to make tens of millions of dollars through its various commercial health care ventures. A representative for AARP acknowledged Friday in the New York Times that about 24% of the AARP's revenues come from their health insurance-related activites.
The Medicare bill has $86 billion worth of corporate welfare that should have either A)never been in the bill in the first place. B) Made available for the folks paying for their own health care. But as we all know Republicans help the poor by giving money to corporations.
It may also focus attention on his ties to HCA, the hospital chain founded by his family, observers said.

With Sen. Frist as majority leader, "you now have a spokesman on health issues who is not simply a policy maker but someone with an M.D. behind his name who understands health care from the inside," said Chip Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals.

Sen. Frist's likely election to the majority leader post already is raising new questions about his ties to HCA. The chain was founded by his father and is now run by his brother, Thomas Frist.
Patriot 2 passed without a peep. Executive powers have been expanded without judical oversight. Will it make us safer from the terrorists, while making us less safe from government abuses? Hell, I'm not even convinced about the former.
Here's a clue for Dean. Ted Rall's support is not something to draw attention to

Saturday 22:
Read "Minding the Gap" and you won't be able to do that anymore. Researched by Loyola University's Center for Urban Research and Learning, the report combines findings from the 1990 and 2000 census counts, along with health studies, economic surveys and other existing sources to paint a comprehensive picture of what life is like for blacks and whites in Chicago.

You can thumb through it and, on virtually any page, find numbers that will take your breath away.

Whites are 125 percent more likely to use marijuana than blacks; 181 percent more likely to use cocaine; 431 percent more likely to use inhalants; 516 percent more likely to use LSD.

And yet blacks account for 79 percent of all drug arrests.

Follow that number where it leads -- to prison, to a lack of education, to a lack of job opportunities -- and you start to get the idea that all of this is way more complicated than you want to think it is. Do all the well-meaning, moral algebra you want and you just can't make that number -- 79 percent -- look fair.
Minding the Gap: An Assessment of Racial Disparity in Metropolitan Chicago, the first research project of the Human Relations Foundation/Jane Addams Policy Initiative, focuses on seven different quality of life measurements:

* income, wealth & employment
* transportation
* education
* housing
* health
* law enforcement, crime and justice system
* health and welfare of children

Using information from a variety of sources, the report focuses on the gap between whites, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans.
Free and responsible government by popular consent just can't exist without an informed public. That's a cliché, I know, but I agree with the presidential candidate who once said that truisms are true and clichés mean what they say (an observation that no doubt helped to lose him the election.) It's a reality: democracy can't exist without an informed public. Here's an example: Only 13% of eligible young people cast ballots in the last presidential election. A recent National Youth Survey revealed that only half of the fifteen hundred young people polled believe that voting is important, and only 46% think they can make a difference in solving community problems. We're talking here about one quarter of the electorate. The Carnegie Corporation conducted a youth challenge quiz of l5-24 year-olds and asked them, "Why don't more young people vote or get involved?" Of the nearly two thousand respondents, the main answer was that they did not have enough information about issues and candidates. Let me rewind and say it again: democracy can't exist without an informed public. So I say without qualification that it's not simply the cause of journalism that's at stake today, but the cause of American liberty itself. As Tom Paine put it, "The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth." He was talking about the cause of a revolutionary America in 1776. But that revolution ran in good part on the energies of a rambunctious, though tiny press. Freedom and freedom of communications were birth-twins in the future United States. They grew up together, and neither has fared very well in the other's absence. Boom times for the one have been boom times for the other.
George W Bush's Whitehall address yesterday represented the boldest challenge to the conventional wisdom of the British and European elites since Woodrow Wilson preached the rights of self-determination of smaller nations after the First World War.

A summary of that wisdom would go like this: (a) terrorism cannot be defeated in the long run, its perpetrators sooner or later have to be treated with, and their legitimate demands met in some form or other; (b) the Muslim world, and specifically the Arab portion of it, is culturally unsuited to freedom and democracy; (c) the Arab-Israeli dispute lies at the heart of the ills of the Middle East; (d) Israel is principally at fault in that conflict and must be pressured into making most concessions; (e) it is the EU that has played the lead role in bringing about the peace and prosperity of the Continent since 1945; (f) wongdoers on the international scene should be treated with via multilateral forums such as the UN and associated bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency; (g) endless discussion in such bodies is therapeutic in and of itself, and is invariably preferable to the use of force.

Monday 17:
What do philosophers talk about in the morning? According to David Steele, editorial director of Open Court’s Popular Culture and Philosophy series, it’s Seinfeld and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And so the idea for the hugely successful series was born. First came Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing, followed by The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh of Homer and The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale coming soon.
Baghdad is becoming the graffiti capitol of the world
"No to the pro-Saddam Al Jazeera channel in Iraq,"
"Media distortion is a stab in the back."
"Islam is the solution,"
"Democracy is the solution,"
"Glory to both the Sunni and Shi'ite martyrs of Islam,"
"Free nation, happy people..."
But apart from general references to "independence" and "freedom," there is a marked absence of graffiti commentary on the U.S. military occupation.

"I haven't noticed anything against the Americans, but they are present all over Baghdad, so who's going to trouble themselves?" Yasiry said.
People with implicit racial prejudices are left mentally exhausted after interacting with someone from a different race, perhaps because they are trying to quell their feelings.

The new study, the first of its kind, shows that areas in the brain associated with self-control light up in white people with implicit racial biases when they are shown images of black people.

Furthermore, the study showed that the level of this brain activity correlated very closely with poor performance in a test of thinking ability given right after a face-to-face interview with a black person. The researchers believe this indicates that the subject's mental resources have been temporarily drained by their efforts to suppress their prejudices.
squirrel thief
Baby Rhino
jaguar cub
The Persistent Spectre: Natural Law, International Order and the Limits of Legal Positivism
Again: One wishes, for the sake of the whole planet, that the people in and around the White House nowadays truly mean it when they say, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” and that they respect as children of God the losers, the nobodies so loved by Jesus in the Beatitudes, in His Sermon on the Mount: the poor in spirit, they that mourn, the meek, the merciful, the peace makers and so on.

But such is obviously not the case. George W. Bush smirks and gloats unmercifully as he boasts of his readiness to loose more than a hundred cruise missiles, what I call “Timothy McVeighs,” into the midst of the general population of Iraq, nearly half of whom are children, little boys and girls under the age of 15.

His domestic policies, whose viciousness is peewee in comparison with what he is so eager to do to foreigners who don’t look like him and talk like him, who don’t have names like his, nonetheless inflict pain on those Americans of the sort enumerated in the Beatitudes, by depriving them of decent health care and educations, and of food, shelter and clothing when times are bad. It seems quite possible that his opinion of the American people has been formed while watching the Jerry Springer Show, which is Republican propaganda of the most pernicious kind.

Sunday 16:
A teacher who used a poem containing crude humor and adult language as a classroom exercise at Dunedin Highland Middle School is under investigation by the school district.

The poem, which was given to 25 eighth graders, contains words and phrases such as: "douche," "there is no prostitute for careful editing," and "Sleazy Street." Students were asked to correct the poem in class using editing symbols.

One parent filed a complaint with the Office of Professional Standards last month about the assignment, saying she found the poem to be "offensive and sexually harassing," as described by the Pinellas County Code of Student Conduct. Lisa Porthouse also has pulled her 13-year-old daughter out of the school.
So I got myself a spell checker and figured I was on Sleazy Street.

But there are several missed aches
that a spell chukker can¹t can¹t catch catch.
For instant, if you accidentally leave a word
your spell exchequer won¹t put it in you.
And God for billing purposes only
you should have serial problems with Tori Spelling
your spell Chekhov might replace a word
with one you had absolutely no detention of using.
Because what do you want it to douch?
It only does what you tell it to douche.
You¹re the one with your hand on the mouth going clit, clit, clit.
It just goes to show you how embargo
one careless clit of the mouth can be.

Which reminds me of this one time during my Junior Mint.
The teacher read my entire paper on A Sale of Two Titties
out loud to all of my assmates.
I¹m not joking, I¹m totally cereal.
It was the most humidifying experience of my life,
being laughed at pubically.

So do yourself a flavor and follow these two Pisces of advice:
One: There is no prostitute for careful editing.
And three: When it comes to proofreading,
the red penis your friend.

One: This poem sucks. Far too obvious a joke. Ha HA!
Two: Lisa Porthouse is just being silly. I've seen and written worse at that "tender" age.
Three: The teach has bad taste in poetry, but it's hardly worth a lawsuit. Four: Hulk Hogan is Terry Bollea.
Sixteen-year-old Ryan Richter got kicked out of school Monday morning for a stick-figure drawing that another student thought was a violent threat.

Richter, a LaBelle High School sophomore, sketched a figure shooting another figure. He did the sketch in a recent geometry class and passed it along to a friend and thought nothing else of it.

The classroom doodling, however, got him suspended for a week and as of Monday’s disciplinary hearing, got him kicked out of LaBelle High and recommended for a 45-day stint in Hendry County’s alternative high school.
By passing I-75, the initiative making marijuana possession Seattle cops' "lowest law-enforcement priority," in September, voters handed potheads a pass to indulge in their favorite illicit substance without police interference. Starting in September, Seattle cops were ordered to ignore small-time possession and only arrest dope fiends dumb enough to flaunt their pot use in public.

By all evidence, Seattle's streets have not--contrary to some I-75 opponents' claims--been overrun with zonked-out hippies in VW buses veering, bong in hand, into oncoming traffic. In fact, since the initiative passed in September, just nine pot busts have gone to City Attorney Tom Carr's office for prosecution. Which raises the inevitable question: Just how dumb do you have to be to get arrested for pot in post-I-75 Seattle? Four of Seattle's stupidest potheads--either prosecuted or busted post-I-75-- provide answers and a few cautionary lessons.
Last Sunday I opined that many of the best books of the last decade never even made the Giller Prize shortlist and, by way of example, cited Guy Vanderhaeghe's 2000 novel The Last Crossing. The next day I walked into the Star and one of my colleagues pointed his finger at me. "That Vanderhaeghe book was one of the worst novels I've ever read," he said. "The characters were boring! The story was boring!" He gave me an intense look, as if trying to fathom a mystery. "Why did you like it?"

Why? Answer me that, Canlit man! We members of the reading public want to know! I said something about the limpid prose of the novel, and made a break for my office. (If you're ever challenged about a literary opinion, always cite "limpid prose.")
Highway police who stopped a driver they believed was using his cell phone erred twice. First, he was just scratching his ear. Second, he was a lawyer.
The charge: driving while "holding his ear with his right hand in a permanent fashion."
Valdivielso wrote: "To presume that this unconscious act cannot be performed would lead us to the absurd situation of having to wait to stop the vehicle in a place that does not pose a danger for other occupants of the road in order to scratch, by which time, depending on how bad the itch is, I probably would have crashed before finding an adequate place to stop, or the itch would have gone away, reducing the pleasure I get from scratching."
Sniffles and Mary Jane
10 cool library manuevers for writers
Unlike David Kamp, I'm not a practitioner of what I like to call "snark," a word fungus that has completely destroyed the once-noble profession of book reviewing. A review is snarky by definition if it criticizes something written by me or by my friends, and particularly if it refers to me as "an ordinary humor dork, yet another doughy, 35-ish white man with a goatee and thinning hair." Reviews should only praise books in general, and should always give a flattering impression of the writer's appearance in particular. Would the great Lionel Trilling, whose wife Diana used to provide me with a weekly hummer, ever have referred to, say, John O'Hara as a "doughy 35-ish white man?" I think not. These are books we're writing here, people! Sacred objects of a bygone age! Books! How dare you criticize me, David Kamp? Have you no shame, man? Have you no respect for the temple of literature?

Further complicating the situation is the fact that David Kamp has been stalking me for nearly a year. The editors of the Times should have known this. Assigning him this review was a clear conflict of interest.
Gore Vidal compares old and new
This maximalist vision—which, in the absence of weapons of mass destruction President Bush and others in his Administration have been playing up as a rationale for the war and its punishing sequel—is morally attractive and strategically astute, but programmatically inordinate. To transform Araby and dry up the roots of terror: that sounds like an objective worth paying any price or bearing any burden to achieve. But who will pay that price? Other people's kids who would not know Tom Friedman from a cord of wood. Yet his views, his vision, could get them killed.
These troublemakers were, by definition, activists (active: 1. In action, moving. 2. Causing or initiating change. 3. Engaging, contributing, participating). They felt that what they did counted and that they themselves counted..
How Characters Became the Masters and the Author Their Apprentice

Wednesday 12:
The duToitification of the Western Conservative
Chicken Hawk Down
Lt. Smash doesn't get it. He outs himself as a moron.
"While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome."

Friday 6:
And I was worried about China's population growth...
"A new reckoning is under way in India over how best to stabilize a population that is set to surpass China's as the world's biggest by midcentury."
Looting Iraq: the new economic plan. HEY Iraqis! Did you think Saddam was bad? Wait until we make an Enron out of your Whole Country! HAIL KING BUSH!
"Congress is about to send billions and billions of dollars to a place where there is no functioning government, under a plan with too little accountability and too few financial controls," said Leahy. "That's a formula for mischief. We need strong disincentives for those who would defraud taxpayers, and removing this protection is another major blot on this bill."

"We are about to spend a lot of money in Iraq, quickly and with few real controls on how it is spent," said Feinstein. "The least we can do is prevent private companies from taking advantage of the American Government, its people, and the men and women who are risking their lives every day to make Iraq, and the world, a better, safer place to live. It was a mistake to strip the anti-profiteering provision from the conference report, and restoring it through this bill would send a clear signal that this kind of activity will not be tolerated."

"When the Senate Appropriations Committee considered this supplemental request, Senators Leahy, Feinstein, and I joined together to criminalize war profiteering -- price gouging and fraud -- with the same law that was passed during World War II. Yet this amendment, was stripped out of the final bill," said Durbin. "I fail to understand how anyone can be opposed to prosecuting those who want to defraud and overcharge the United States government and the American taxpayers."
No hickey for You!
"The presence of our troops there makes it essentially antithetical to the stabilization of Iraq. Our troops are targets. My plan is this: Let the U.S. get out, but with these terms. First of all, the U.N. handles all the oil revenues. Those resources belong to the Iraqi people. Number two: The U.N. handles all the contracts. There can't be anymore Halliburton deals, can't be any more big contracts for administration contributors. It's time that we end war profiteering."

"America almost pulled the world into supporting the invasion, and America may be able to pull the world community into an agreement that still permits the U.S. to have control over these aspects. But we're not going to reach a solution. It will keep breaking down until the U.N. gets in fully, with the members providing troops. Until we get the U.S. out, we're never going to have peace there. And the U.N. has to handle the cause of building a new government, which is not a puppet government of the United States. If we insist on the right to choose, then Iraq becomes our fifty-first state. Which it may well be on its way to becoming, based on the amount of money we're spending there. "
GIJOE rework public messages
"A judge in a custodial hearing mandated that one of the parents must stay home to look after the children in order for Vaughn to retain full custody of the two."

" Vaughn, 40, went back to Iraq. Simone, 30, stayed - without the Army's permission. Now she faces dismissal and even jail time."

""I was told by the Army ... to get on a plane," Simone said Saturday night. "I even told them it was unlawful and they said 'I don't care, get on a plane.' It's against the law for me to abandon my children. I can no sooner walk out on my children than I can rob a bank just because the Army told me to.""

Wednesday 5:
"Around this time I started to write a diary, chiefly as a way to practice my writing skills. Since there is no need to monitor the quality or interest of what is being written, the diary is an ideal form for developing the technique of writing, and for taking the anxiety out of it. No one will correct your grammar and spelling, or make fun of your naive thoughts and banal phrases, so you are free to get on to friendly terms with the language you speak. I would often try out new words I had learned - the dictionary had become my friend, rather than a standard I was failing to live up to - secure in the knowledge that solecism would not lead to embarrassment. A few hundred words a day, complemented by steady reading, will soon produce a passable prose style. The habit of daily reflection also fosters a critical sense, and an articulacy about what is going on; moral acuity can grow from this, as well as self-knowledge. Yes, a diary can seem like self-indulgent wallowing in the trivial details of day to day life, but it is the form, not the content, that counts. I have never read any of my old diaries, and I haven't written one for over 20 years, but I do think that composing them helped teach me how to write and even how to think. Everyone should have one, starting young."
"The physical grace and delicacy of the Cambodians, and their friendly good humor, sits ill with the abysmal brutality of the Khmer Rouge, and raises questions akin to those raised by stories of concentration camp commandants who wept over Winterreise after a hard day’s genocide. But if westernization proceeds too far or too fast in Cambodia, the puzzle will dissolve itself: there won’t be much physical grace left to puzzle the observer. In neighboring Bangkok, I was astonished to see how fat and lumpen many Thai children, at least of the middle class, had become. They seem, from the moment they are released from school, to need to eat their own body weight in two hours, like insectivorous shrews. Lacking the shrews’ high metabolic rate, however, they quickly grow fat, and many of them waddle rather than walk. Gone is the almost feline elegance of South-East Asia."
"Psychologists have been quarreling over the Rorschach Inkblot Test for half a century. From 1950 to the present, most psychologists in clinical practice have treasured the test as one of their most precious tools. And for nearly that long, their scientific colleagues have been trying to persuade them that the test is well-nigh worthless, a pseudoscientific modern variant on tea leaf reading and Tarot cards."
"Job cuts announced by U.S. companies more than doubled in October from the previous month, providing more evidence that the nation's economy is in a period of jobless expansion, according to a report from an outplacement firm."
"Academic economists often cite Stein's Law, a principle enunciated by the late Herbert Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Nixon administration. The law comes with various wordings; my favorite is: "Things that can't go on forever, don't." Believe it or not, that's a useful reminder."

"For we're now led by men who think that macho posturing makes Stein's Law go away. On issues ranging from budgets to foreign policy, they insist that we can sustain the unsustainable. And when challenged to explain how, they engage in magical thinking."

"The prime example I have hammered on in this column is, of course, the federal budget. Realistic budget projections say that current policies aren't remotely sustainable. For example, a month ago a joint report of the Committee for Economic Development (a business group), the bipartisan Concord Coalition and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded that under current policies, federal debt would rise by $5 trillion over the next decade. And then baby boomers will start collecting benefits, and our debt will really explode."
"Today's Boston Globe carries two contrasting front-page stories. "As economy gains, outsourcing surges" talks about how American workers at for-profit companies must compete with 84 million Filipinos, many of whom are well-educated, speak good English, and are delighted to work for $300/month. Things are looking more cheerful for U.S. workers in the not-for-profit sector. A front-page story on Boston University's search for a new president revealed that the school decided to pay Dan Goldin $1.8 million in exchange for... not working at all. Considering that Mr. Goldin had yet to start his job, that's a pretty good hourly rate. You could hire a staff of 45 Filipino engineers for ten years with that $1.8 mil!"
" More disturbing, but even less surprising, was the reaction among liberals to Limbaugh's shockingly dignified announcement on October 10 that he suffered from addiction and was taking a 30-day leave from his show to seek treatment. A list of comments Limbaugh had made regarding drug abuse over the decade and a half he's had his nationally syndicated show quickly made the e-mail rounds, and freelance and professional pundits alike chortled with schadenfreude as they compared current headlines with such hyperbolic Rushisms as "We have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs … so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up.""
David Gordon faces off the author of Just War Against Terror after David's review
Mutual funds mismanagement criminal and may involve as many as half the funds out there
Q: I'm a second year student in the securities studies graduate program here. My question is in the PBS Frontline documentary, Truth, War and Consequences that aired this October and that you can see on their web site, a U.S. tank crew comes across a few men and a boy who had stolen a few pieces of wood. The U.S. soldiers made the men and the boy step aside, then they opened fire on the car with handguns for fun before running it over twice with their tank. One of the soldiers then said something along the lines of this is what happens when you loot.

It turns out that the driver of the car was a taxi driver and the car was his only means of making a living.

My question is, will you make a personal commitment here today to look into this incident and see that the soldiers involved are punished and the owner of the car given a new vehicle and other compensation?

Wolfowitz: We are looking into it. Mistakes, pretty ugly mistakes can get made in wartime. That is, again, one of the reasons why if you can find a peaceful way to resolve things it is so much better.

I would remind everybody here, I don't think you need much reminding, it wasn't so long before that incident when people were saying why don't you shoot a few looters in Baghdad because this looting is causing terrible disruption, it's causing the looting of the National Museum, although that begins to look as though it may have been a different kind of activity. Looting has been a serious problem. I don't know what mistakes, why those mistakes were made in the particular incident that you described.

I do know that the best way to change that situation is not to put more American troops into Iraq to deal with the security problems there. It's to get more and more Iraqis on the front lines. They are much less likely to make those mistakes, and if they do make those mistakes it's an issue, not between the United States and the Iraqi people, but between Iraqis.

That was a legitimate question and we're looking into it. Thank you.

Q: I hope the press holds you to it. [Applause]
"The Iraq supplemental conference report before the Senate today has been widely described as a victory for President Bush. If hardball politics and lock-step partisanship are the stuff of which victory is made, then I suppose the assessments are accurate. But if reasoned discourse, integrity and accountability are the measures of true victory, then this package falls far short of the mark."

"In the end, the president wrung virtually every important concession he sought from the House-Senate conference committee. Key provisions that the Senate had debated extensively, voted on, and included in its version of the bill—such as providing half of the Iraq reconstruction funding in the form of loans instead of grants—were thrown overboard in the conference agreement. Senators who had made compelling arguments on the Senate floor only days earlier to limit American taxpayers' liability by providing some of the Iraq reconstruction aid in the form of loans suddenly reversed their position in conference and bowed to the power of the presidency."

"Before us today is a massive $87 billion supplemental appropriations package that commits this nation to a long and costly occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, and yet the collective wisdom of the House and Senate appropriations conference that produced it was little more than a shadow play, choreographed to stifle dissent and rubber stamp the president's request. "
" You may not know it, but every month a magazine appears in the Current Affairs section of the magazine rack at your local Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstore called Liberty. Liberty typically showcases various facets of libertarian and quasi-libertarian thought. Usually there's a cover story that might grab a casual browser's attention, and stuff of varying quality inside, some of which would be of interest to a broad audience and much of which would be of interest to a rather narrow libertarian audience"

Tuesday 4: Giving it to the Gipper
"The New York Times said the announcement would be the first time a major broadcast network has removed a completed project from its schedule because of political pressure and under the threat of an advertising boycott."

Republicans and conservative groups thought Reagan was getting a fair shake on how he treated AIDS. Hmmmm.
"President Ronald Reagan, sidestepping the central recommendations of his own AIDS commission, yesterday released a plan of action for the AIDS epidemic that fails to support national antidiscrimination laws aimed at protecting the growing number of people hit by the deadly disease."

"Instead, he referred proposals for antidiscrimination legislation to the attorney general for a 30-day review. Such a process would indefinitely delay federal action on what many saw as the commission's key recommendation."

"Reagan ordered federal officials not to discriminate against federal employees infected with the AIDS virus as long as they are physically able to work. And he urged businesses, unions and schools to voluntarily adopt similar antidiscrimination protections. Other commission recommendations, which were submitted June 24, were not addressed in the 10-point plan, including pleas for a major federal commitment to drug-treatment programs, and calls for increased expenditures in the war on AIDS. The president referred budgetary requests for further review by the Office of Management and Budget. "
"President Reagan´s failure to act decisively on the AIDS crisis has slowed progress in curbing the epidemic and could be costing lives, Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) charged Thursday."
"We are losing the war against AIDS. The Reagan administration´s lack of leadership and commitment against this horrible disease is allowing us to lose. The president can´t even bring himself to say the name of the enemy. He has yet to make any public statement on the issue, and his administration acts as if the whole problem will magically disappear."

"The most easily identified problem is money. The administration has cut research budgets by millions of dollars, while the nation´s treatment costs have already run into the billions. Respected government health officials have come to the Congress, defending the administration line that everything that needs to be done is being done. But at the same time, these officials are writing desperate memos to budget officers, warning of urgent needs and catastrophic possibilities."
" In June of 1994, Tibor conceived and helped create an image of Ronald Reagan for Colors - - showing Reagan’s face, manipulated electronically, as if he had contracted AIDS. Reagan was villainous in Tibor’s eyes for having done virtually nothing during his administration to address the concerns of people with AIDS. To make the leap and visually give Reagan AIDS was so shocking and so courageous. The text that accompanied the photograph was a fake obituary that spoke to how Reagan was a national hero because he not only admitted that he had AIDS but he had diverted funds from the defense department to fight it. It said that we mourned the loss of a courageous leader who had done all the right things from the very beginning when AIDS was first becoming an epidemic. It was photography as political parody."
"For Reagan, AIDS presented a number of potentially serious political risks. As a presidential candidate, Reagan promised to eliminate the role of the federal government in the limited American welfare state, as well as to raise questions of morality and family in social policy. When AIDS was first reported in 1981, Reagan had recently assumed office and had begun to address the conservative agenda by slashing social programs and cutting taxes and by embracing conservative moral principles. As a result, Reagan never mentioned AIDS publicly until 1987. Most observers contend that AIDS research and public education were not funded adequately in the early years of the epidemic, at a time when research and public education could have saved lives."
"In fact, rather than providing for the public welfare, Reagan and his closest advisors effectively muzzled then-Surgeon Gen. C. Everett Koop to stop him from discussing AIDS publicly until midway through Reagan's second term. It took the death of movie star Rock Hudson in 1985 and the Oct. 22, 1986, release of the surgeon general's report on acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which advocated massive public education and a condom distribution program, for Reagan to change his personal views. Even then, his response was at best "halting and ineffective," according to presidential biographer and veteran Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon."
" Albert Gore gets crucified for remarking he helped create the Internet, Reagan got away with much more. He lied about the Iran-contra affair, stating at first his administration did not trade weapons for hostages. (Morris makes the point that even when Reagan eventually conceded this was false, he maintained he still believed it to be true. Such were Reagan's powers of belief.) While commander-in-chief, he commented that submarine-based nuclear missiles once launched could be recalled. They cannot. Of the brutal military in El Salvador, he said, "We are helping the forces that are supporting human rights in El Salvador." Justifying his constructive engagement policy with the racist government of South Africa, he said, "Can we abandon this country that has stood beside us in every war we've ever fought?" The leaders of the ruling Afrikaners of South Africa had been Nazi sympathizers."

"He claimed real earnings were increasing when they were decreasing. In 1983, he maintained, "There is today in the United States as much forest as there was when Washington was at Valley Forge." Wrong. The US Forest Service estimated only about 30 percent of forest lands of 1775 still existed 208 years later. He once told the story of a brave WWII bomber commander who stayed behind with an injured subordinate and went down with the plane, noting that this commander was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Lars-Erik Nelson of the New York Daily News checked and found no such event had occurred--except in a 1944 movie. In 1985, Reagan quipped, "I've been told that in the Russian language there isn't even a word for freedom." (It's svoboda.) There are scores of other "Reagan untrusims" recorded in Green's book. "
"My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
"Reagan testifies to the Tower Board for a second time. His testimony is inconsistent and confused. The Board pointed out Reagan hadn’t known about August shipment of anti-tank missiles, but Reagan had said he DID know. When asked for an explanation, Reagan picked up a briefing memo he had been provided and read aloud: "If the question comes up at the Tower Board meeting, you might want to say that you were surprised.""

Saturday 1:
Ex Is The Atlantic Monthly celebrating torture?
Ex Fox News employee Charlie Reina exposes how management there guides the Rebuplican slant on the news
October 2003

Friday 31: Halloween, where people freak out about "Satan worshippers" giving out free candy.
Now enjoy KISS at 1/3 the size!
"...Keith Winstein and Josh Mandel, drew the idea for their campus-wide network from a blend of libraries and from radio. Their effort, the Libraries Access to Music Project, which is backed by M.I.T. and financed by research money from the Microsoft Corporation, will provide music from some 3,500 CD's through a novel source: the university's cable television network..."

"Students have been using a test version for months, and Mr. Winstein said the system was still evolving. The prototype, for example, shows the name of the person who is programming whatever 80-minute block of music is playing. Mr. Winstein said he once received an e-mail message from a fellow student complimenting him on his choice of music (Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 8) and telling him "I'd like to get to know you better." She signed the note, "Sex depraved freshman.""

"Mr. Winstein, who has a girlfriend, politely declined the offer, and said he realized that he might need to add a feature that would let users control the system anonymously. "
William Gates Sr. on the Estate tax
Consent of the Governed:The reign of corporations and the fight for democracy
The Bowlingual translator
"This is the OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF VICKI MULLINS. Do NOT be fooled by any imitation websites out there."

Thursday 30: Almost Halloween, where goths are in fashion for the day
"Donald Luskin threatens to sue and "out" blogger Atrios."
The connection between math and art
Free Speech Zones adopted by White House
Jessica Lynch disses Mohammed al-Rehaief

Wednesday 29:
Dean in the pocket of energy industry?
Annotated, The Raven
Fibonacci puzzles
"A Japanese woman in her 20s is seeking asylum in North Korea after swimming across a river from China, government sources said Tuesday.

Her action is not politically motivated, according to the sources. North Korean government officials are questioning the woman, but have not decided whether to grant her asylum. The Japanese Foreign Ministry is set to urge North Korea to respect her will and ensure her safety."

Saturday 25:
From Fresh Air:
Terry Gross: Right. OK. So when you cross that, maybe you're making, like, $20,000 or something. That's not going to help you with the estate tax. I mean, you're talking about $2 million. That's a line people don't cross a lot. That's -- I don't think that's ...

Grover Norquist: Yeah, the good news about the move to abolish the death tax, the tax where they come and look at how much money you've got when you die, how much gold is in your teeth and they want half of it, is that -- you're right, there's an exemption for -- I don't know -- maybe a million dollars now, and it's scheduled to go up a little bit. However, 70 percent of the American people want to abolish that tax. Congress, the House and Senate, have three times voted to abolish it. The president supports abolishing it, so that tax is going to be abolished. I think it speaks very much to the health of the nation that 70-plus percent of Americans want to abolish the death tax, because they see it as fundamentally unjust. The argument that some who played at the politics of hate and envy and class division will say, 'Yes, well, that's only 2 percent,' or as people get richer 5 percent in the near future of Americans likely to have to pay that tax.

I mean, that's the morality of the Holocaust. 'Well, it's only a small percentage,' you know. 'I mean, it's not you, it's somebody else.'

And this country, people who may not make earning a lot of money the centerpiece of their lives, they may have other things to focus on, they just say it's not just. If you've paid taxes on your income once, the government should leave you alone. Shouldn't come back and try and tax you again.

Friday 24:
20 google tips
Show me the money
In defense of the f word
" My cousin,after his 3rd beer, is the smartest person on this planet.
For some reason we started talking about whether Bush will have another term on the big chair in the White House. I thought he's out because of all the trouble in Iraq. My cousin puts down his beer and tells me that I am a fool, because:
'Bush is the Devil himself, and you can't beat a Shaitan. Saddam will magically appear in cuffs two months before the elections and American soldiers will be at their homes partying by New Year's. The ground will start spitting up WMD's and al-Qaeda links the moment he touches the ground with his nose, and he will be the next american president'. he puts his beer down and tells me my tuna salad is the worst ever. "
"Viewed on August 18, 2003 "How do Americans do it?" asked the stunned Australian. He had zinc oxide and a twisted-up look of absolute bafflement on his face, as we spoke on a remote Fijian shore. I'd seen that expression before, on German, Swiss and British travelers. It was the kind of amazement that might greet someone who had survived six months at sea in a rowboat.

The feat he was referring to is how Americans manage to live with the stingiest vacations in the industrialized world - 8.1 days after a year on the job, 10.2 days after three years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics."
Life in the Cauldron
NATO is having a summit meeting but..." President Bush, as leader of the free world, is naturally the indispensable star at these gatherings. And this would be part of a very busy diplomatic spring for him. In addition to the summit, he has the 60th anniversary of D-Day in France on June 6 (wouldn't do to be out-patriotic-ed by Ronald Reagan from the 40th), then two days later the G-8 economic summit in Atlanta.

But the White House discovered a huge problem. Seems the proposed NATO dates conflicted with the graduations of the Bush daughters from college in Texas and Connecticut. So the administration has informed the rest of NATO that they would have to change their schedule or Bush wouldn't come." Family values > international treaties

Thursday 23: No justice in Guantanamo? American ideals are lost to American rage
"A diverse group of ex-judges, diplomats and former military lawyers is urging the US Supreme Court to intervene on behalf of hundreds of men being held without trial by the government."
"The International Red Cross say it is unacceptable that the United States continues to detain more than 600 people at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba without charges or prospect of a timely trial."
"Judges and lawyers from around the world yesterday condemned the US treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba as a violation of international law."

Sunday 19:
Castro the book reviewer?
"The designer of a pioneering robot capable of showing emotions were putting the finishing touches to his creation today before it goes on public display for the first time."
Rude Blues
Who armed the Taliban?
George Bush Sr.'s 2003 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service goes to Ted

Wednesday 15: the amazing gathering of a tags, Whoopie!
The boring and entirely pointless ritual of reciting the pledge in public schools has finally come before the Supreme Court (I can't believe we're paying for all this), because their are actual adults that claim people need to recite it. I guess they never read the Constitution or at least they don't understand it.
" Still, there's no question that the U.S. has the resources to climb out of its financial hole. The question is whether it has the political will.

There is now a huge structural gap — that is, a gap that won't go away even if the economy recovers — between U.S. spending and revenue. For the time being, borrowing can fill that gap. But eventually there must be either a large tax increase or major cuts in popular programs. If our political system can't bring itself to choose one alternative or the other — and so far the commander in chief refuses even to admit that we have a problem — we will eventually face a nasty financial crisis."
Riddle me this Batman
American troops have learned from the Israelis. Collective punisment of farmers by bulldozer. That's right! We're winning over the hearts and minds of ordinary Iraqis through the same techniques that perpetuate the ping pong violence in Israel.
Whether or not you are a morning person is determined in part from your genes.
According to a poll by Opinion Dynamics Corporation, 92% of Americans believe in God and 71 % believe in the devil, yet they were not asked whether or not they believed they were Morgan Freeman and Al Pacino. How are we supposed to know whether or not people have migrated from believing in George Burns and Jack Nickleson?
The boring and entirely pointless ritual of reciting the pledge in public schools has finally come before the Supreme Court (I can't believe we're paying for all this), because their are actual adults that claim people need to recite it. I guess they never read the Constitution or at least they don't understand it.
After the White House illegally destroyed his wife's career in the CIA, Joseph Wilson fires back with claims that they distorted over 50 war stories. These stories were not changed to protect troops, but to sell the war to the American public.
Of course, the Japanese develop martial arts robots first.

Tuesday 14: back at it
"The story has a number of interesting lessons. First it shows the terrible consequences of being a bit too early. Nobody was interested in Atanasoff's project in the late 1930s and it did not seem worth funding to the point that minor obstacles such as the punchcard reader problem could be overcome. If Atanasoff had only been a few years later he might have played a major role in massive federally funded projects.

A second lesson from the story is that there isn't all that much true innovation in the engineering world. People working independently at disparate sites often came up with similar solutions (except for Mauchly, of course, who had the opportunity to stand directly on the shoulders of Atanasoff). Only one team, however, can get a patent and it turned out that this one was mired at the Patent Office for about 20 years following the design of the ENIAC."
"I've written the Linux column for Shopper ever since it was founded, in issue 131: I just handed in the column for issue 191, a chain of sixty unbroken columns filed along the way. And I find that I simply cannot be arsed to deal with the clowns who have taken over the head office any more. Until April I had complete editorial content autonomy in my column -- the nearest thing to academic tenure you'll ever find in journalism. (In one famous incident MacBiter, the Mac columnist, filed two pages of copy consisting of a discussion of his haemorrhoids and speculating on which members of editorial staff also suffered from the embarrassing itch. Not only did they run it -- they commissioned a cartoon to run alongside it. And, having gotten it out of his system, MacBiter was back on biting form in the next issue. Not bad, considering that twelve years of waxing sarcastic about Steve Jobs every month can burn out even the most hardened cynic.) But since April I've been treated like a clueless office intern by a bunch of office seat warmers who were still in high school when I began writing this column."
" We now know that our government and military officials grossly underestimated the problems they would face in conquering and occupying Iraq. They were prepared to take care only of what was most important to them. Baghdad's Ministry of Oil was quickly secured while the museums were ransacked, the universities destroyed, the bureaucracies reduced to rubble, the police forces dismantled, the hospitals crippled, and the libraries torched. An alienated population and ever-increasing guerrilla warfare loom large upon the horizon. The terrible quagmire we are entering is matched only by the depth of denial in Washington. Our government needs to swallow its pride, for the good of all concerned, and follow the advice of France and Germany by turning Iraq's reconstruction over to the United Nations. To call France and Germany our enemies, as certain pundits have done, is like calling someone an enemy who takes car keys away from a drunk."
" Big Media companies keep getting bigger -- with more and more power over our lives. This week's deal between General Electric (GE) and Vivendi means that GE'S NBC, which helped elect Arnold Schwarzenegger governor of California, has just picked up not only Universal Studios, but the USA, Trio and Sci-fi cable channels to go with CNBC and MSNBC, all part now of a $43 billion empire.

The flimflam-ery goes on. In 33 other cities, stations that are supposed to be competitors have found clever ways to undermine the existing rules, mergers and takeovers, for example. Remember when Viacom married CBS and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp ponied up for the television stations owned by Chris-Craft? Those deals put both conglomerates in violation of the rule that no one company can control stations that reach more than 35 percent of the total audience. But so what? The FCC just rolled over, winked, and gave both conglomerates temporary waivers of the rule. "
"Q: During night, when it's dark, I rub my (closed) eyes. When I rub in the corner next to my nose, I see something white moving simultaneously with my finger in the opposite corner of my eye. What is that?"
"The Skull and Bones Society admitted to Apache leaders 17 years ago that they had a skull they call "Geronimo’s" in their secret cult museum in New Haven, Conn. Still, his remains have not been returned.

Raleigh Thompson, former San Carlos Apache tribal councilman for 16 years, said it is time to bring Geronimo home to be buried in the mountains that he loved.

"Geronimo left his rifle and peace pipe here when they took him away," Thompson said.

"When Geronimo was taken from this land, he wanted to come back and be buried on San Carlos in the Triplet Mountains."

During an interview at the Mount Graham Sacred Run, Thompson said he was present in New York when the Skull and Bones Society admitted that it held Geronimo’s remains in 1986.

"They dug up Geronimo’s body in 1918. His body is at the Skull and Bones Museum. Grandfather Prescott Bush dug it up," Thompson said.

The grave robbing was exposed when Apache leaders received a photo and information in the 1980s. The informant, fearing for his life and never identified, provided Apache leaders with a photo of the cult museum’s display of Geronimo’s remains in a glass cage. The informant also provided a copy of a Skull and Bones Society log book, in which the 1918 grave robbery was recorded.

According to the Skull and Bones log book entry, Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W. Bush, and five other officers at Fort Sill, Okla., desecrated Geronimo’s grave."
IU Offers Class On Reality TV
Identical soldier letters to US newspapers describe accomplishments in Iraq
" Schwarzenegger said his transition team has "no White House connection." But the group includes Republican businessman Gerald Parsky, the White House's political liaison in California. Parsky and state Senate Republican leader Jim Brulte, who is also on the team, are confidants of White House political strategist Karl Rove.

Other Republicans include former governor Pete Wilson, former secretary of State George Shultz, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and businessman Bill Simon, who dropped out of the recall campaign. Ivan Reitman, director of three Schwarzenegger movie comedies, adds a Hollywood flavor to the group."
Since January 2000, More Than 10,600 Sailors Have Deserted the US Navy
"In his continuing criticism of the Los Angeles Times for printing stories about Arnold Schwarzenegger's alleged record of groping and sexual assault, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly (10/8/03) pointed to what he saw as a double standard: "Do you think the L.A. Times sent a squad of reporters to Arkansas to investigate Bill Clinton's problems with women? No, it did not."

In fact, the L.A. Times did investigate Clinton sex stories in Arkansas. A 4,000-word piece appeared on the paper's front page on December 21, 1993, running under the headline "Troopers Say Clinton Sought Silence on Personal Affairs." This article was one of the first to report on the scandal known as "Troopergate," which led to Paula Jones' lawsuit against Clinton and thus indirectly to Clinton's impeachment. "
Snooty article. Programmers may be nerds, but to say it doesn't take creativity to code shows you know nothing about it.

Sunday 05:
Man ticketed for warning other drivers of officer
"The Washington Redskins football franchise can keep its trademark name and logo because a group of activists did not provide enough evidence that the team's moniker was disparaging to Native Americans, a judge ruled yesterday."
"'His daddy insisted on it because Timberlands were the pride of his wardrobe. The alternative was Reebok,' said the 32-year-old nurse, who is now divorced.

'I wanted Kevin.'"
The Origins of Popular Superstitions and Customs
Review of Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence
"SINCE HIS ONSCREEN debut in 1928, Mickey Mouse has been an icon of childhood innocence. But in recent years, the famous rodent has also found himself at the center of a contentious debate over the reach of copyright law. In 1998, the Walt Disney Corporation and other entertainment giants successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, which delayed the entrance of creative works into the public domain until up to 70 years after their creator's death. Derided as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act and challenged in the courts on First Amendment and other grounds, the law was upheld by the Supreme Court last January.

But this was not the first time Mickey's corporate handlers had sought to keep him on a tight leash. In the 1970s, the underground cartoonist Dan O'Neill risked a life-destroying lawsuit and jail time when he published a series of raunchy Mickey-taunting comics. Along the way, O'Neill recruited scores of followers into two of the wackiest groups to emerge from the counterculture of the 1970s: the Air Pirates and the Mouse Liberation Front."
In Defense of the Essay
The Only God is the God of War On Blood Meridian, an American Myth
Quantum Consciousness
Benjamin Franklin, Civic Scientist: "That early American prototype of a civic scientist would probably address many of today's concerns with wisdom, practicality, and a deep sense of civic responsibility."
Republicans Relaunch the Antigay Culture Wars
"How liberal is David Cole?

Well, he has defended flag burners and Palestinian Marxist-Leninists and a performance artist famous for smearing her naked body with chocolate syrup to make some kind of statement about something or other. That's pretty liberal. "
Among Best-Selling Authors the Daggers Are Out
Illusionist ignores critics to play Russian roulette on TV

Saturday 04:
Google's adsense under fire
Kazumi Nonaka's art
"Global warming will never bring a 'doomsday scenario' a team of Swedish scientists say -- because oil and gas are running out much faster than thought. Oil production levels will hit their maximum soon after 2010. 'The decline of oil and gas will affect the world population more than climate change.'"
Behind the makeup
"Is Rush Limbaugh's sudden deafness and recent involvement in a painkiller drug investigation simply a coincidence?"
Harmonize with Horses
What is the point of blogging anyway? Damn, I have no clue...
Roses are red/Violets are blue/Oh my, lump in the bed/How I've missed you.
Roses are redder/Bluer am I/Seeing you kissed by that charming French guy.
The dogs and the cat, they missed you too/Barney's still mad you dropped him, he ate your shoe/The distance, my dear, has been such a barrier/Next time you want an adventure, just land on a carrier.
"The three common mistaken impressions are that:
" The World Beard and Moustache Championships will take place in Carson City, Nevada, on November 1, 2003. ?A panel of distinguished judges will determine which beards and moustaches in seventeen separate categories merit their owners the championship trophies and the coveted world champion titles. Special prizes will also be awarded to the youngest contestant, the contestant who traveled the farthest to attend, and the people's favorite."
Nan no mo signups have begun
Fell from the sky

Friday 03: All about Race
"Nearly one-third of black people living in Canada feel they have experienced racism in the past five years, a new Statistics Canada study says."
"If we see the human race as equal and treat each other with justice, we'll eliminate fear."
"I don't think racism is a social condition. It's a psychological condition."
"the wall of racism which destroys peace."
"John Dennis of WEEI-AM apologized to listeners Wednesday for the remark he made two days earlier after seeing a newspaper photograph of the gorilla standing by a bus stop. He said the animal was "probably a Metco gorilla waiting for a bus."

The state-run busing program lets minority children from the inner city attend schools in nearby suburbs. "
Dusty and science
"Mr. Baker may have been a bit too candid for his own good, but his statements were not malicious harmful, discriminatory and, moreover, they were historically accurate. I would not oppose the Cubs reprimanding him, but firing would be overkill."
Rush and race
"The rest of the panel was talking football. Limbaugh turned it into race. That's what racists do."
"Maybe it says something about how far America has come with the problem of racism in the early 21st century. Maybe we're witnessing a change for the better where race and color of skin is starting to take a back seat to what really matters in the world. For a comment such as Limbaugh's to go unnoticed for a half-week is unheard of."

Thursday 02:
The greed and cynicism of George Bush
extelligence: "Extelligence is all of the 'cultural capital' that is available to us in the form of tribal legends, folklore, nursery tales, books, videotapes, CD-ROMs, and so on"
“You’ll Learn Not To Cry”: Child Combatants in Colombia
" UHDV displays images with 4,000 horizontal scanning lines, compared to the 1,000 offered by the current state-of-the-art high definition television (HDTV) technology and just 625 for standard TV broadcasts. When horizontal and vertical scanning are both taken into account a UHDV picture contains 16 times the number of pixels ? individual image components - of HDTV....footage was then shown to members of the public on a 4x7m wide-angle screen provoking, according to Mitani, gasps of astonishment. Some viewers even experienced nausea because of the ultra realistic visual effect of speed without the usual physical sensation of movement."
"The normal person classifies an object, and then forgets about it, even though that object is much more complex and interesting than he or she thinks. The creative person, by contrast, is always open to new possibilities."
"The trapped teenager was screaming in pain in the wreck of his Tarago, with its rear engulfed in flames.
They grabbed the six-pack of Victoria Bitter they had intended to share after a day's work and sprayed beer all over the trapped 18-year-old.
"We had no other choice, there was no water, we just grabbed it and poured it on him but the flames kept coming back," Mark Chippindale said."
"She's gone into hiding at the moment in case people think she really does have four breasts."
This site: