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Monthly Archives: June 2007

Live Free

June 29th, 2007 - 2:19 pm

John McClaine lives–in London:

Sky News sources say one of the first police officers on the scene of the Haymarket car bomb may have saved dozens of lives by defusing the explosives before the bomb squad arrived.

It is believed the quick-thinking cop recognised that the car was wired to blow up, jumped in and disconnected the trigger device, thought to be a mobile phone.

The device, which contained 60 litres of petrol, a large amount of nails and several gas canisters, was found in the Mercedes early this morning.

Having lived in London during the 90′s and being familiar with Haymarket, I can’t even imagine the sheer carnage this so-far unnamed officer prevented with his quick thinking and sixteen miles (sorry, 25.75 kilometers) of guts. Die hard, indeed.

Missing The Point

June 25th, 2007 - 4:48 pm

Here’s Howie Kurtz today in the WaPo, gloriously missing the point regarding the recent “expose” on the political contributions of journalists:

Some of these folks remain in denial. When you become a journalist, you give up the right to back political candidates or parties with your checkbook. And in this age of federal disclosures, it always comes out.

The news outlets that don’t ban donations seem to regard them as a matter of personal preference, like joining the PTA. But they seriously underestimate the public distrust of journalists, which is only fueled by such practices. Those who work for opinion magazines or are employed as commentators have a stronger case that their views are no secret. But there is still an important distinction between rhetorically supporting a candidate and helping bankroll one.

Um, Howie, how is “public distrust of journalists” enhanced by all the newspaper and television employees who do keep their views a secret, or (more accurately) put on a phony pretense of not having any views? That’s not honesty, that’s obfuscation. I have a lot more trust in people who have enough integrity to be up-front with their views than I do in people who try to convince me that they’re perfectly objective higher beings.

Don’t be a fraud, and don’t apologize for what you think. Just be honest enough to disclose.

Much Ado About Money

June 21st, 2007 - 3:42 pm

This MSNBC story about political contributions from major media reporters has really been making the rounds today. On the one hand, it’s kind of funny, especially if you read all the stammering and backpedalling and lame excuses offered up by most of the reporters themselves. On the other hand, it’s dumb.

It’s dumb because as a few of the reporters interviewed note, there’s not a thing wrong with any of them making donations to political campaigns and/or organizations. As far as I’m concerned, they ought to be complimented on being civically involved enough to actually spend their own money–even though, as the article notes, the vast majority of that money went to causes and politicians that I personally find odious.

As I said back during the 2004 campaign, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reporters or editors or copy boys (are they still called copy boys? Nah, they’d have to be copy persons by now) having political opinions. I do think there’s something wrong when somebody interested enough in politics to get a job writing about it denies that they have political opinions, or worse, makes the incredibly pompous pronouncement (as a few on today’s list have) that their opinions have absolutely no impact on their work.

Right.

It’s fine for these guys and gals to have given money to campaigns. Frankly, I prefer it this way. Far better that they give and disclose than not give and keep their leanings a secret, pretending all the while to be higher beings capable of rising above all us poor benighted folk who don’t work for newspapers or TV stations.

The latter, unfortunately, appears to be formal policy for most of the MSM. That fundamental lack of transparency is a shame, and it’s also one of the main reasons why the press is held in such low regard these days. Pity they can’t figure that out for themselves.

That’s No Space Station

June 19th, 2007 - 3:31 pm

Okay, is it just me, or does this really look like the Shuttle is being chased by a TIE Fighter?

atlantis.jpg

Regarding Tony

June 13th, 2007 - 9:25 am

All right, it’s been a few days since the Sopranos finale. I’ve seen the episode, read the arguments, agree with some points of the criticism (I’ll grant you the denoument was not as satisfying as, say, Fredo’s last fishing trip), but I haven’t changed my initial reaction:

It was brilliant.

The final scene is Tony’s life in full: everything and everyone around him is corrupt, including his family–thanks to his own actions–and every time he looks up, he could see be a bullet, or the feds… or a waiter. It reminds me of the old coaching joke about throwing the football: only three things can happen, and two of them are bad.

Does it even matter which one it was this time?

Credit Where It’s Due

June 7th, 2007 - 7:56 am

After excoriating the management of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for dumping James Lileks’ column a couple of weeks back, I would be a cad indeed if I didn’t take a moment here to applaud that very same Strib’s decision to do, er, exactly what I said they should do: point Lileks at their online section and turn him loose. As of yesterday, James is now the poobah-in-chief of the Strib-owned buzz.mn, and there is much rejoicing.

It took a little while for them to figure things out, but all’s well that ends well in this case. Congrats to James, the Strib, and their mutual readership–which now stands a much better chance of growing than it did a week ago.

PJ Media has (wisely) closed comments on my drunkblog. If you feel the need, you can spew here.

UPDATE: Belay that order – comments are open over at PJ. That is all.

Reminder

June 5th, 2007 - 4:25 pm

We’re about 30 minutes or so away from tonight’s Debate Drunkblogging – LIVE! over at PJ Media.

UPDATE: One of the Jim Beams will have a staff member liveblogging tonight, too. Any other livebloggers, please leave a link in the comments below.

Cum On Feel The Noize

June 5th, 2007 - 12:27 pm

Here’s one I wouldn’t have predicted: Barack Obama goes after the 80′s Hair Band vote.

It Takes a Three-Day Weekend…

June 5th, 2007 - 11:54 am

…To Prepare for One Way-Too-Early Debate

Yes, I’ll be drunkblogging tonight’s Republican Presidential Debate. But you’ll have to click over to PJ Media to find me. Shouldn’t be too hard, right there on the front page and all.

Sorry I missed the Democrat’s debate on Sunday night, but it had been a very long weekend. Besides, “Extendedhangoverblogging” doesn’t sound nearly as good, and it’s also a lot less fun for everyone involved. I’ll behave better* next time, honest.

*Defined as, postponing the cocktails until the actual event, and maybe even sleeping the night before.

I’m firmly against torture, which unfortunately has become the “I have lots of black friends” or “not that there’s anything wrong with that” of the Naughts. That said, it should come as no surprise that I have problems with the CIA’s rendition program, too. That said*, I think maybe there’s more to this story than meets the eye:

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan on behalf of three Al Qaida suspects transported by the CIA under the so-called “extraordinary rendition program.”

It seems to me that the ACLU is going after Boeing’s deep pockets just because they’re the deepest pockets related to the rendition program. Isn’t that like suing GMAC because a GMAC-financed car was involved in a hit-n-run case? It’s one thing to use the courts to try and stop a government program you find reprehensible. It’s quite another to line al Qaeda’s pockets at the expense of an American company.

(more…)

Down the Memory Hole

June 1st, 2007 - 12:10 pm

It looks like the Strib has made Lileks an unperson.

Double-plus uncool.