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Monthly Archives: October 2005

New Blogs

October 31st, 2005 - 12:53 pm

Factoids is very new, and quite enjoyable.

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Somebody Call Al Pacino’s Agent

October 31st, 2005 - 11:55 am

To paraphrase Kevin Smith via Chris Rock, I think Brian De Palma is gonna sue somebody.

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Trouble in (the Workers’) Paradise

October 31st, 2005 - 11:43 am

Has the Eurabian Civil War already begun? It sure looks that way in Paris:

The violence began four days ago among residents of Clichy-sous-Bois over the deaths of two teenagers believed to be of African origin who were electrocuted while fleeing police.

Sixteen people were injured in violence on Friday and hundreds of residents marched on Saturday to appeal for calm and pay their respects to the dead teenagers.

It was the latest in a series of incidents in the northeastern suburbs that have attracted the attention of Sarkozy — a presidential hopeful — and become the target of his vow to get tough on crime.

In June, an 11-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet in the northern area of La Courneuve. The eastern suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine made headlines in 2002 when a 17-year-old girl was set alight by an 18-year-old boy.

Sarkozy launched a new crime offensive this month, ordering specially trained police to tackle 25 neighborhoods in cities throughout France.

On Monday, he told police officers they had the support of the French people and promised to provide extra manpower.

“For 30 years the situation has been getting worse in a number of neighborhoods. It’s not a story that’s three days, three weeks or three months old,” Sarkozy said.

Of course, I was enjoying a little hyperbole above. On the other hand, my money is on Paris.

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October 31st, 2005 - 11:12 am

When a Catholic, conservative judge like Samuel Alito upholds partial-birth abortion (even on narrow grounds in a limited case), I don’t exactly tremble in fear for the future of abortion rights in this country. However, expect to hear the worst from Alito’s opponents on the left. And when I say “Alito’s opponents,” i mean “people who would bitch about any judge even a little to the right of Eugene V. Debs.”

NOTE: For the record, I’m no fan of late-term abortions or judicial meddling in state-level affairs.

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You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

October 31st, 2005 - 10:06 am

Rosa Parks went from being told to sit at the back of the bus, to lying in state at the Capitol Rotunda with full honors.

That’s progress.

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October 31st, 2005 - 9:36 am

Samuel Alito, huh? He

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Live from the Halloween Recovery Center*

October 31st, 2005 - 9:21 am

OK, so that was fun.

*Not a real place, but it ought to be.

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Brush With Fame*

October 28th, 2005 - 8:51 pm

I’ll be celebrating Halloween here on Saturday night. If you’re going, look for the pirate wearing 12-15 pounds of leather and carrying a cat o’ many tails. Come say hi, and the first drink is on me. The second drink you can spill on your own self.

And some people think I must be kidding about the costume.

*That always sounded to me like an ad slogan for a poorly-named toothpaste.

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October 28th, 2005 - 8:35 pm

If you’re not reading Milblogging, you’re missing out. And if you wear a uniform, this might be the perfect blog clearinghouse for you.

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And Now For Something Completely Different

October 28th, 2005 - 3:17 pm

SobekPundit recently interviewed Steve, who apparently bolted town just before the interview was posted, so I’m left to pass along the link. The results… well, the results defy description, so just click:

SobekPundit interviews VodkaPundit. And Cooper Anderson. Or Anderson Cooper, or whatever that guy’s name is.

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What He Said

October 28th, 2005 - 2:26 pm

After reading the much-discussed Daniel Lyons attack on blogs in Forbes and Dan Gillmor’s (much more civil) response, my decidedly-liberal old friend Lein Shory emailed:

The article’s really quite astonishing.

You know, after reading [Gillmor's post] and the accompanying comments, it occurred to me that one reason blogs are viewed as dangerous is that they serve as means to the (at least ostensible) ends of both liberals and conservatives. Those ends are definitely not always the same, and they come from different motivations, but if liberals want “freedom of information” and conservatives want the “marketplace of ideas,” those are both at least neighboring territories, and blogs go a little ways toward making them more of a reality. Corporations, big media, the government–any entrenched power–can’t help but be nervous, and will eventually seek ways to fight them.

Lacking a more eloquent response, I’m reduced to saying, “Yep.”

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Required Reading

October 27th, 2005 - 11:33 pm

Austin Bay. Every last word.

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Friday Recipe

October 27th, 2005 - 11:28 pm

No recipe this week. Instead, an homage to my favorite cook.

If you missed the first three episodes of

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*but were afraid you’d cough up.

(And there’s even more here.)

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Shh – Don’t Tell France

October 27th, 2005 - 9:34 am

Are Europe’s states to become the new “laboratories of democracy?” That’s exactly what Timothy Garton Ash advocates in today’s Guardian:

Yet in socio-economic reform, as in culture, the strength of Europe is precisely its diversity. There is no single, universal solution, whether it be labelled “social” or “liberal”. Some countries, like Sweden, do well with a high tax burden and public spending; others do badly. Some, like Estonia, flourish with flat taxes and “liberal” (ie neo-liberal) economic policies; that doesn’t mean they’d be good for everyone. What matters is what works for you.

Europe should be like a great experimental laboratory, with countries constantly looking over each other’s shoulders and stealing each other’s best ideas. That’s how Europe became the economic powerhouse of the world in the first place, and that’s the only way we will regain our dynamism. In the jargon of contemporary business, this is called “benchmarking”. We agree on the goals: higher growth and productivity, more innovation, less unemployment, reduced poverty. We don’t all need to get there by the same route.

Sacre bleu! All this time I thought the EU was supposed to be the anti-America.

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Freedom is Slavery

October 26th, 2005 - 11:10 pm

This picture isn’t exactly news, but it’s sure worth remembering.

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Required Reading

October 26th, 2005 - 10:58 pm

Paul Horton – you know him better as “Chief Wiggles” – has gotten his book published.

Saving Babylon – The Heart of an Army Interrogator in Iraq looks like a good read. I’m ordering my copy as soon as I’m done typing this post.

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This Ain’t Rocket Science

October 26th, 2005 - 10:58 pm

President Bush lost political initiative when he pushed for Social Security reform, without ever getting behind any particular program. Then came Katrina and her aftermath, followed by the Plame Tizzy. This White House has no initiative left.

If Bush wants to start his lame duck season early, it

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October 26th, 2005 - 1:04 am

Here’s the headline:

BBC to launch Arabic channel to counter Al Jazeera

Uh… isn’t that a bit like Aryan Nation announcing that they’re starting a new ‘zine to counter KKK propaganda?

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Required Reading

October 25th, 2005 - 2:26 pm

Anne Applebaum pulls no punches when it comes to fighting bird flu:

Americans and their leaders will have to get over their love affair with intelligent design . Polls show that most don’t believe in evolution. But it is actually impossible to talk logically about bird flu, or any other rapidly evolving and constantly changing virus, without using the language of evolution — specific words such as “mutant,” “recombination,” “genome” and “selection.” Without that language, a sensible popular or political discussion, let alone a scientific discussion, is impossible: We’re stuck talking about the virus “jumping” from birds to humans, as if it were a magic bug with a mind of its own. We’re stuck thinking that a virus is a hex that can be lifted with a single lucky charm, not something that will change over time.

We’re also stuck with magic solutions: silver bullets, protective amulets, Tamiflu prescriptions. And until we are willing to elect the politicians, pay the businessmen, and support the scientists and science educators who can come up with something better, that, I’m afraid, is all the flu preparedness we’ll ever have.

She’s right – but it’s probably too little, too late to change anything before the next flu pandemic. Of course, there’s always the pandemic after next…

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Don’t Go Away Mad

October 25th, 2005 - 12:10 am

Maybe The Krauthammer Solution for dropping Harriet Miers is coming to pass:

“People can learn about Harriet Miers through hearings,” Bush said, speaking briefly to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, “but we are not going to destroy this business about people being able to walk in the Oval Office and say, ‘Mr. President, here’s my advice to you, here’s what I think is important.’ And that’s not only important for this president, it’s important for future presidents.”

Libertarians don’t like her, lots of social conservatives don’t trust her, and strict constructionists think she’s a lightweight. That’s an awful lot of Bush supporters (even tepid ones like myself) who would like to see someone – almost anyone – other than Miers appointed to the Court.

How much longer can Bush hold on to her, now that the Senate is playing by Krauthammer’s script?

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October 25th, 2005 - 12:06 am


Rosa Parks, a seamstress from Montgomery, Alabama, who would not give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955, died Monday at the age of 92. Historians mark the date of her quiet-but-revolutionary act as the start of the modern civil rights movement in the United States.

There are those who try to denigrate Parks’s legacy by claiming she and others “staged” her bus protest. But even if so, so what? Some wars are worth fighting by any means, and ending Jim Crow was one of them.

So long, Rosa, and – well fought.

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October 24th, 2005 - 11:50 pm

When you order your copy of Mommy Knows Worst, use the link straight from the source. I mean, who knows? Earning a few extra bucks through his own Amazon link might inspire Lileks to keep writing for us.

Although I understand having a mortgage is pretty damned inspiring, too.

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Despite what certain fearmongers would have you believe, there’s still plenty of heat under the melting pot:

A new RAND study shows that Hispanic immigrants to the United States and their children move up the economic and educational ladder across generations just as quickly as European immigrants did generations earlier.

“These findings run counter to the prevailing view that there is something in the system that holds Hispanic immigrants back,” RAND economist James P. Smith said. “Based upon our experience with history, the children and grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants progress up the educational and income ladder in the same way as immigrants who came here from European countries.”

While these generational improvements exist for all Hispanics combined, they also characterize the most numerically important Hispanic group

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Required Reading/Don’t Pass the Brie

October 24th, 2005 - 11:25 pm

Mark Steyn:

Indeed, when you look at it that way, the biggest globalisation success story of recent years is not McDonald’s or Disney, but Islamism: the Saudis took what was 80 years ago a severe but obscure and unimportant strain of Islam practised by Bedouins in the middle of a desert miles from anywhere and successfully exported it to the heart of Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Leeds, Buffalo. It was a strictly local virus, but the bird flew the coop. And now, instead of the quaintly parochial terrorist movements of yore, we have the first globalised insurgency.

What’s the bigger threat? A globalisation that exports cheeseburgers and pop songs or a globalisation that exports the fiercest and unhealthiest aspects of its culture? Far too many American conservatives still think the dragons are at the far fringes of the map – that, in the 21st century, America can be a 19th-century republic untroubled by the world’s pathogens because of its sheer distance from them.

Read the whole thing here.

Meanwhile, France (and its retarded stepchild, Canada) has spearheaded new UN rules allowing fragile cultures (like their own) to block the exports of dynamic cultures (such as ours). I’d suggest giving them the bird, but that joke just isn’t funny with an avian flu pandemic on the horizon.

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Hail to the Chairman

October 24th, 2005 - 11:40 am

I’ve been reading up on Bush’s pick to replace Alan Greenspan at the Fed. From what I’ve read this morning, Ben Bernanke seems like a sharp guy with real concern for price stability.

There are, of course, some naysayers, but Bernanke is more of a John Roberts than a Harriet Miers.

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Yadda Yadda Yadda

October 24th, 2005 - 12:45 am

Busy finishing two pieces tonight. One, the monster, I decided was a little too VodkaPundit to sell to anybody. So you’ll get to read it here for free in a day or two. The other one involves real money, so you can guess where most of my effort is going.

Anyway, real blogging to resume Monday.

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Department of Cool

October 22nd, 2005 - 2:23 pm

From Autoblog:

You think your MINI is small? Or maybe the clown car at the circus? Think again, because researchers at Rice University have succeeded in building a functional vehicle out of a single molecule.

The same team has developed a photon-powered motor to drop under the hood.

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You Knew This Was Coming

October 21st, 2005 - 10:09 am

Harriet Miers has a blog.

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Friday Recipe

October 21st, 2005 - 1:01 am

The Lazy Man’s Edition.

The Best Dessert Ever

You’ll need:

Some cake or torte or something involving lots of butter and eggs and chocolate.

Two glasses of tawny port.

You can find the first item at your local gourmet grocery store, and a bottle of the second item at the nice little liquor store right next to it.

Cut the decadent chocolate thingy in half, and serve on two plates. Better yet, just buy two of them and serve them right out of the little gourmet store containers. Open the port, and pour small portions into two port glasses. If you don’t have port glasses, then just use some small wine stems.

Take a bite of one, followed by a sip of the other. Repeat until everything is gone, and/or your cholesterol reaches the four-digit range.

Serves two. Or one, you pig.

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