Krugman's Year That Was
While we ordinarily try to avoid the dirty scrum of politics here at Eisengeiste, we will link to Paul Krugman's scathing review of the Bush administration's annus incompetus.
Confounding the calumniators and apostates
While we ordinarily try to avoid the dirty scrum of politics here at Eisengeiste, we will link to Paul Krugman's scathing review of the Bush administration's annus incompetus.
The National Enquirer (required weekly reading in our household) recently published the following apology. Since they unaccountably put it on page 30, we thought we would give it additional exposure by reprinting it here in full for the gi-normous Eisengeiste reading audience:
"A cover story we ran entitled 'Teri Hatcher—Amazing Bedroom secrets' was based on an interview sold to us by an experienced freelance journalist who we now believe never actually conducted the interview. … Ms. Hatcher has never engaged in sexual relations with men in a van parked on her property, nor does she leave her child alone in her house while having 'steamy romps' with men in a 'passion wagon.' … We also published a story suggesting that Ms. Hatcher … had become 'desperately thin' and was 'wasting away.' … We now know that during the past seven years, her weight has fluctuated by only three pounds—a result of healthy diet, moderate exercise and a good metabolism. Ms. Hatcher is fit and looks great, and her healthy appearance is nothing new."From the excellent Wikipedia article on The Enquirer: "Celebrity stories broken in the Enquirer have generally been proven true; for example, it was the Enquirer that uncovered in 2001 that the Rev. Jesse Jackson had an illegitimate child. Details of the Monica Lewinsky affair would normally have been untouched by the mainstream press had the details not been already made public knowledge by the Enquirer. The Enquirer was also regarded as having, by some distance, the best media coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, even by academics studying the case and regular news pundits."
Microsoft acknowledged the release of exploit code that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code when someone visits a Web site that contains a specially crafted Windows Metafile (WMF) image. Security authority Secunia labeled the vulnerability "staggeringly unbelievably incredibly totally critical and the fate of humanity depends on its supression."
Shows you where all U.S. commercial flights are right now.
It's been done before, but rarely this well.
This book demonstrates that the Bible evolved over time and that many of its key sources were copied and re-copied, with errors introduced at each stage of the process. I heard an excellent interview with the author, a former evangelical, and his arguments were clear and well-presented. He got a 'question' via e-mail from some fundamentalist accusing him of making a fetish of textual analysis. His response was basically: you're the folks who worship a book, sorry this is inconvenient for you.
Based on my conversation tonight with the Laird and the First Sea Lord, I submit the following:
Ok, season's over, why pollute the IAYPA stats with meaningless final game performances?
John Foose, my father-in-law, passed away on Christmas day at about noon, EST. He was attended by his daughter, Michelle, his son, Francis, and his girlfriend, Eleanor. Full obit to follow.
NFL Record, Most Touchdowns, Single Season: 27 - Priest Holmes, and, as of yesterday, Shaun Alexander. If he scores in Green Bay next week, he gets the record all to himself.
South of the Line, inland from far Durban,
As every schoolchild knows, G.K. Chesterton was a popular author and raconteur in early 20th-century England, a close friend of the estimable Hillaire Belloc. Shaw called them Chesterbelloc, and Belloc wrote this magnificent defense of Chesterton after he had been critized by an Oxford Don.
One [error about Christmas] is that Christmas should be observed as a time of jubilation. This is (I admit) is quite a recent idea. It never entered into the tousled heads of the shepherds by night, when the light of the angel of the Lord shone about them and they arose and went to do homage to the Christ child. It never entered into the heads of the Three Wise Men. They did not bring their gifts as a joke, but as an awful oblation. It never entered into the heads of the saints and scholars, the poets and painters, of the Middle Ages. Looking back across the years they saw in that dark and ungarnished manger only a shrinking woman, a brooding man, and a child born to sorrow. The philomaths of the eighteenth century, looking back, saw nothing at all. It is not the least of the glories of the Victorian era that it rediscovered Christmas. It is not the least of the mistakes of the Victorian era that it supposed Christmas to be a feast.
A few years ago I was reading through a book of Roberston Davies' newspaper book reviews from the 40s and 50s (the wonderful The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies). He recommended a peculiar book I had never heard of before, Max Beerbohm's A Christmas Garland. It consists of Christmas stories, written by Beerbohm in the style of his contemporaries - people like Joseph Conrad, G.K. Chesterton, Rudyard Kipling, and Thomas Hardy.
"Wot wusyer doin' hup there?" asked Judlip, tightening the grip.
"I'm S-Santa Claus, Sir. P-please Sir, let me go."
"Hold him," I shouted, "He's a German."
"It's my dooty to caution yer that wotever yer say now may be used in hevidence against yer, yer old sinner. Pick up that there sack an' come along o' me."
The captive snivelled something about peace on earth, good will to men.
"Yuss," said Judlip. "That's in the Noo Testament, ain't it? The Noo Testament contains some uncommon nice readin' for old gents 'n young ladies. But it ain't included in the librery of the Force."
"That snowman is gonna put this town on the map!"
This lady explains the bullfrog cannibalism thing:
The left side of the Seattle O-line will be going to the Pro Bowl (Jones, Hutchinson), as well as Hasselbeck, Alexander, and, for the first time in his 12-year career with the Seahawks, Mack Strong. Huzzah!
How bad is the secret domestic NSA surveillance?
On December 20, 2005, [Federal judge] Jones ruled that the Dover mandate was unconstitutional and barred intelligent design from being taught in public school science classrooms.
There is an item, slightly more newsworthy than the Memphis DVD release scoop, in today's Anchorage Daily News about a large snowman.
The Memphis Eyewitness News Team must be very proud.
Stop the presses! There was actually something funny on Saturday Night Live:
With all the things we hear nowadays about Asian species coming into our country and unbalancing our ecosystems, it's nice to know that America can still give as good as it gets. Take the humble bullfrog, for example. They've conquered our continent, and now they're moving on Canada, France, Venezuela, and beyond.
Cheney in Iraq. And there was much rejoicing.
Well, I found Kea: Bird of Paradox for sale on The Internets and got a copy. This is the definitive book on the parrot I've mentioned before, which lives only on the south island of New Zealand. Some salient points:
... computer animation of all commercial flights over the course of one day.
From today's Washington Post:
On Thursday, Bandow resigned from the Cato Institute after confirming a report by BusinessWeek Online that said Abramoff paid him for writing between a dozen and 24 articles over nearly a decade. The Washington think-tank's Web site Friday referred to Bandow as a "former senior fellow."
"The shameful truth is that had Williams' four victims been black, the overwhelming likelihood is that he would still be alive today, one of the many anonymous convicted murderers who occupy our state prisons.
...And 2% angry.
FBI: A moroccan girl is enslaved by her relatives, beaten, withdrawn from school and forced to work at a Tacoma espresso stand, 14 hours a day without pay.
Wikipedia has an excellent, thoughtful article on the "Ha! Ha!" guy. Britannica eat your heart out.
The early ACLU reaction is to consider the Bush NSA unleashing as potentially illegal and deserving formal criminal investigation. This is, I believe, an appropriate response. This is MASSIVELY illegal, and I fear little will happen. (The previous sentence was written immediately before the following happened:)
"Eavesdropping on conversations of U.S citizens and others in the United States without a court order and without complying with the procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is both illegal and unconstitutional. The administration is claiming extraordinaryI have assumed for years that the NSA was doing something like this; I "forget" who mentioned it, but there was a discussion where a retired NSA guy was quoted who said sure we do this, but there's a six-month backlog for translation.
presidential powers at the expense of civil liberties and is putting the
president above the law. Congress must investigate this report
thoroughly. We also call upon Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to
appoint a special prosecutor to independently investigate whether crimes
have been committed.
"The Patriot Act already provides law enforcement a wide array of
surveillance powers and it vastly expands the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act. These disclosures show that the kinds of safeguards
many members of Congress are trying to build into the Patriot Act are
The Seahawks' Mack Strong has a report: just the sort of report you would think the Strong Report would be like.
I propose a new category of movie, the Hip Chick Flick. This is a movie that combines Chick Flick sentiment with Art House themes, personnel, and narrative apparatus. Examples might include The Joy Luck Club or Aimée & Jaguar.
Read this over-cautious article from the NYT, exposing the NSA's DOMESTIC warrantless surveillance of Americans, without even a required-to-approve warrant from the secret FISA court. I say over-cautious because -and this would only be reasonable speculation, which is a higher standard than the NSA has to use - it's almost certain the program is much larger and more commonly applied than the article's tone wants to suggest, and there is no reason to credit the idea that the Bush administration is not using it to monitor political enemies.
... should sue these guys.
Now an NAACP leader is denouncing him. He is a traitor to his race, apparently, because he doesn't run as much as he used to. Perhaps the NAACP should be briefed on the effects of cracked ribs and hernias...
Michael Palin's Himalaya is a treat, and not just because he sings 'The Lumberjack Song' to a Bhutanese monk (although that's reason enough).
"[Iran's insane President] launched a fresh attack on Wednesday, dismissing the Holocaust as a "myth" and saying the Jewish state should be moved as far away as Alaska."
Except for the fact that it didn't actually shoot anything down.
Obfuscitor - Temporarily relieves symptoms of comprehension in pharmaceutical consumers
Your administration is deeply unpopular both at home and around the world. Do you:
...Diebold's CEO is his-to-ree.
Israel getting ready to attack Iran.
"Pope denounces materialism from balcony of marble, gold-domed building in midst of jewel-encrusted religious icons while wearing giant gold cross..."
As the governor prepares to approach a life-or-death decision for which he prepared by taking steroids, lifting weights, going to parties, and starring in muscle movies, I got to thinking about murder.
Sadly, if not surprisingly, Richard Pryor is dead.
Honey Bunches of Alienation
Here. It's been a good fund-raiser, that's for sure.
A bullshit compromise on the Patriot Act - which would make permanent certain dangerous sections, and extend others, was substituted for a more reasonable proposal and will go the Congress for a vote, probably next week. It's running into the real threat of a filibuster.
But three Senate Democrats and three Republicans issued a statement saying they were "gravely disappointed" that Specter and others agreed during House-Senate negotiations to drop "modest protections for civil liberties" that were included in a version the Senate had passed unanimously this year. They predicted the Senate will reject the compromise bill.
The six were Republican Sens. Larry Craig of Idaho, John Sununu of New Hampshire and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Democrats Richard Durbin of Illinois, Kenneth Salazar of Colorado and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Feingold vowed to launch a filibuster, which would scuttle the Patriot Act extension unless 60 senators opposed his effort. Some Republicans said Democrats would be foolhardy to block an "anti-terrorism" bill on the eve of an election year.
Also criticizing the bill Thursday were Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat; and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
My paraphrase of the Patriot Act: It's a free country until otherwise posted. Or not posted.
They waited 'til I was 44 to invent chess-boxing! I would have a contender, I'm telling you right now. In my day I could kick the ass of every chess master in town, and I could bamboozle a Blackmar-Diemer gambit on the finest boxers in the nation.
From this week's Nature (Tegmark and Bostrom, Nature 438, 754):
Bloomberg columnist Scott Soshnick wonders why they're talking about the Championship selection process, and not academic achievement. Me too.
(CEO) Schultz himself stopped in at one of the New York stores this past summer, according to (IWW Organizer) Gross, who was in the store at the time. "I challenged him to sit down and talk," Gross says. "He said 'no' and walked away, visibly nervous."
Schultz might have good reason to be nervous: the nonunion company has more than 100,000 employees. ...Vancouver's 10 Starbucks are organized.And a Double Tall No Foam Half-Caff there for Big Bill Haywood.
Houshang Qajar, 53, said crisis management was nonexistent in Iran... "We need competent managers. That is what our country lacks."
The Laird has led the way: the Seattle PI says it's okay. We can say things like:
Be obnoxious: you're on top. Tell Cowboys fans that coach Bill Parcells is overrated.
Don't let up when it comes to the New Yorkers. Ask them how long Jeremy Shockey practices his victory dances?
Live large. This is your time. Shutouts on "MNF" allow for lunacy. Eight wins in a row allow for logic to leave the building.
Your rivals have lost their best comeback line, "but you're a Seahawk fan."
Having the best playcaller, best running back, best offensive line and a really solid quarterback can get you giddy.
Have you dreamed? He you envisioned Rocky Bernard sacking Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning and forcing a fumble at Ford Field. Does Lofa Tatupu pick up the fumble and carry it into the end zone?
"I have talked with three significant historians in the past few months who would not say it in public, but who are saying privately that Bush will be remembered as the worst of the presidents."
An unnamed non-evolutionary force spontaneously creates the giant nocturnal cliff-dwelling woolly flying squirrel of Pakistan, which subsists primarily on pine needles.
For our lady readers, Viggo Mortensen has co-created a hauntingly beautiful book about a friend's developmentally-disabled older brother.
One of the sirens from O Brother Where Art Thou? is Christy Taylor, who was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Her other films look...interesting.
Listening to John McCain on "Fresh Air" I am once again tempted to believe in his existence as an autonomous biological entity. But when I cast my mind back to the betrayal of John Kerry, membership in the Keating Five, and a variety of his ultra-right positions, I always have to return to the default assumption that he is in fact a wax anderoid. Isn't that always the safest and most reasonable position to take in evaluating national political figures-- go down the list and see if it doesn't work. (McCain is now saying he would never look back in anger at Bush smearing his adopted daughter as the product his consorting with a black prostitute. No actual human could say that.) Incidentally, we can thank Linda Tripp and Ken Starr for solid evidence of Bill Clinton's membership in the biological community, since they carefully documented the emission of his precious bodily fluid (incidentally, Starr should think about getting into the porn industry, becauase parts of that report are HOT!)
So, from the Hall of Fame, I would put down Montana as your straight "A" student, and maybe Staubach and Young as other guys who do well on this list.
And you can add Tom Brady. Sports Illustrated has it right.
The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family has closed all its Wells Fargo accounts because the San Francisco bank contributed to a gay rights group that promised to use the funds to "fight ... the anti-gay industry."
Or was it just me?
"[San Diego] has quietly dethroned itself and dropped the self-proclaimed title "America's Finest City" from its official Web site.
Only God in his wisdom knows why he designed highly intelligent, playful, destructive, carnivorous, sheep-pecking alpine parrots.
Until today I've assiduously avoided the Sea Lord's headline blog, so doing saving hundreds of hours of work time at the computer. Now I have given in to weakness. It's horrendously, addictively funny. My nominee for hall of fame:
this site from the Museum of the City of San Francisco with a great pictorial history of the city in 30s and 40s, a perfect resource for the Rebar for Tootsie Rolls world. It includes the German-American Bund, an ACTUAL San Francisco nazi organization (!!) in the late 1930's, here valiantly protested by Musicians Local 6. The old Nazi building is still there, at Polk and Turk.
The state office of Wells-Fargo apologizes for a fundraising letter for the far-right Pacific Legal Foundation for attacking the Department of Fish and Wildlife, if not actual fish and wildlife, which the PLF cheerfully continues.
Wells Fargo Alaska has supported the (Pacific) legal foundation for the past five or six years, said Junge. During the group's fundraising campaign this autumn, Wells Fargo Alaska matched every contribution up to $15,000, Junge said.
An innocent German man grabbed by the CIA ( definitely not named Berthold Brownshirtenschitz) was tortured in Afghanistan and has set off another stink about renditions. AP is reporting:
I idly wonder whether due process might have been set up over the last 1000 years for some kind of reason. When you add in that over half the people we put in Guantanamo were eventually let go, with I'm sure no lasting resentment of any kind, it might be worth suggesting some type of neutral judging guy might use some principles we've all worked out over a long time to evaluate people accused of doing bad things, so the United States of America stops running around torturing innocent people.
CIA officials have said "renditions" - the capture and transfer of a suspect for interrogation - are among the best ways to deal with potential terrorists.
The CIA and other intelligence agencies have captured an estimated 3,000 people, including several key al-Qaida leaders.
One official told the (Washington) Post that about three dozen names are being investigated for what the agency calls "erroneous renditions." Others say it's fewer.
Before-and-after pictures of a house FEMA says is not damaged enough to qualify for aid.