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March 21, 2002

Big fat idiot

In the blogosphere, Michael Moore bashing is practically an olympic sport. As such, Jame Lileks takes the gold medal.

Absolute ego corrupts, absolutely. Mr. Moore, one suspects, will spend ten minutes at the podium denouncing tax cuts, and two hours denouncing his accountant for failing to write off a bottle of Dasani he drank on the book tour as a business expense. Heís a good multimillionaire, you see, but those other guys got their money the old-fashioned way: they snuck into the homes of the Working Poor and stole the golden eggs the exhausted laborers lay during the night.The only guy who earned his millions is Our Man Mike. Perhaps to show his good will, he's instructed his accountants to pay the pre-Bush estate tax rate in the event of his demise, instead of bequeathing it all to his daughter. It's not like she earned it, anyway.
Read the rest.

March 23, 2002

The benefits of blogging

Perhaps I'm just unobservant, but a few months ago, I had never read anything by Mark Steyn

So you can see why the President was 'plenty hot'. If it's too much to expect the INS not to issue visas to living terrorists, they could at least stop issuing them to dead terrorists, especially famous dead ones whose names and faces have been in all the papers. INS commissioner James Ziglar said there had been 'a breakdown in communication' and, under pressure to reassure Americans that federal employees cannot give visas to al-Qa'eda members with impunity, acted swiftly by moving four INS officers 'sideways'. For example, Janis Sposato has been transferred to the post of 'assistant deputy executive associate commissioner for immigration services'. I'm not sure what post Ms Sposato was transferred sideways from -- possibly that of associate executive deputy assistant commissioner. At any rate, this is a serious blow for Ms Sposato. It may well be that her dreams of rising to deputy executive associate assistant commissioner, and perhaps one day even assistant associate deputy executive commissioner, have gone up in smoke. I shouldn't be surprised if none of the other assistant deputy executive associates want to associate with her or the associate executive deputy assistants want to assist her.
There's more; Steyn skewers all of Washington for not realizing that there's a war going on.

September 12, 2003

Is There A President Named "Nychole" In Our Future?

Speaking of names, a brave person has written an exposť on the dark, sordid world of baby-naming message boards. There are women out there who want to name their children Kesleigh, Cam'rom, CrystalLynn, and Gwennog. They must be stopped.

September 18, 2003

Orange Power!

Astronaut Pete Conrad planted a Princeton flag on the moon when he was there back in 1969. (Don't worry, other Ivy alums, we came in peace.) Not nearly as cool, but cool nonetheless, is a soldier claiming Iraqi water towers for the University of Tennessee.

November 5, 2003

At least it wasn't Cop Killer

Well, I think it's funny. It's not like he did it in the courtroom.

January 22, 2004

Going, going, gone!

Is it wrong of me to find this funny?


Update: Use this URL instead. (But note that the scoring for this new link is different, so ignore the scores posted here.)

Continue reading "Going, going, gone!" »

February 2, 2004

Revenge of the birds

Tee hee.


(See this entry if you don't get it.)

February 5, 2004

Stupid White Man

First he endorses Wesley Clark, and now this?

A high school senior's choice for a work-study job was a little too racy in the eyes of her superintendent.

Laura Williams, 17, took a job about a month ago as a hostess at a Hooters restaurant, the national chain known for its scantily clad waitresses.

Superintendent Michael Moore has asked Williams to quit, saying the job is not appropriate for a work-study program.

"I have questions in my mind because of the advertising and sexual connotations," Moore said.

What questions? Maybe I can help explain.

Hmm. Given that Hooters is a "family restaurant" (No, really; just ask them!), I wonder if the school can legally 'discriminate' against them based on their advertising. Doesn't sound content-neutral to me. I smell lawsuit! (Or maybe that's just greasy buffalo wings.)

March 21, 2004

But did she get married?

They can't get the big ones right, but boy are they all over the little ones. From the New York Times' Sunday Styles section this week:

Editor's Note

A report on Feb. 15 about the wedding of Riva Golan Ritvo and Alan Bruce Slifka included an erroneous account of the bride's education, which she supplied.

Ms. Ritvo, a child therapist, did not graduate from the University of Pennsylvania or receive a master's degree in occupational therapy or a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Southern California. Though she attended Penn for a time, her bachelor's degree, in occupational therapy, is from U.S.C.

The Times should have corroborated the credentials before publishing the report.

Repeat: "which she supplied." Which raises the question: who turned her in?

March 22, 2004

A nice place to visit, but...

Via Crescat Sententia, this useful travel story from the Economist:

He has perhaps the world's hardest job, but very little to do. Abdi Jimale Osman is Somalia's minister of tourism. His inbox is always empty; unsurprisingly, given that his anarchic homeland has not had a single officially acknowledged tourist in 14 years.
You know what they say: read the rest.

I wonder what that job pays, anyway.

July 21, 2004

With friends like these...

A New Jersey teenager has turned up missing, presumed dead, and police have a suspect. But not everyone agrees:

Outside the courthouse, Stan Kilmartin, 30, who said he was a friend of Mr. Fuller's, said he was surprised by the murder charge.

"What does he do? Truthfully? He robs drug dealers," said Mr. Kilmartin. "He's a thief, but I wouldn't describe him as a pedophile or a rapist.''

Gee, thanks. Can I use you as a character reference, Mr. Kilmartin?

September 4, 2004

Moo!

Things I learned this week: Cows don't have wheels.

This insight comes to us from Ohio, and Justice William Bedsworth, an appellate court judge in California, is upset:

I set my sights on the perfect paragraph. That seemed high enough to keep people from tripping over and low enough to be doable. I figured I had twelve years before the electorate got wise to me and threw me out at the end of my term, and in that time I should be able to write one perfect paragraph.

I may have been right. Iím halfway through my term now and havenít done it yet, but Iíve written a few I liked that survived the Supreme Courtís scythe. It may be that another six years of honing my skills might have resulted in one perfect paragraph. But Iím afraid my heartís not in it anymore.

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Appellate District in Portage County, Ohio, did it a few months ago. And now anything I wrote would be a pale imitation of their Gatsby paragraph.

Say what you will about me, I know when Iím beat. Here is the first paragraph of Mayor v. Wedding, 2003 WL 22931354 (Ohio App. 11 Dist.) : ďIn this case we are called on to determine whether a cow is an uninsured motor vehicle under appellantsí insurance policy. We hold that it is not.Ē

Which is lucky, because if a cow were a motor vehicle, there's no telling what a chicken would be. (Link via Howard Bashman.)


But note this: the insurance company "won" the suit, but only after a lawsuit was filed, motions were made and briefs written in support, a judge issued his decision, an appeal was filed, more briefs were written, and then the appellate court issued its short but humorous decision [Word file], finding that since cows don't have wheels, they can't be motor vehicles. Here's a serious question: how much do you think this cost? How many hours, how many tens of thousands of dollars? (That doesn't even count the time of four judges.)

The insurance company may have "won" the case, but there were no winners there. Except, of course, the attorneys. Tort reform, anyone?

September 20, 2004

The Museum Of Bad Art

No, not the Whitney. There's another Museum of Bad Art. (My favorite piece: "Sunday On The Pot With George").

October 10, 2004

Maybe, maybe not?

From the incomparable Mark Steyn on the second presidential debate:

And, if you want to know the real difference, after 90 minutes of debate it came in the final exchange of the night: "The truth of that matter," said Bush, "is, if you listen carefully, Saddam would still be in power if he [Kerry] were the President of the United States."

Kerry replied: "Not necessarily."

That's John Kerry: the "not necessarily" candidate. Saddam might not necessarily be in power. He might have been hit by the Number 37 bus while crossing the street at the intersection of Saddam Hussein Boulevard and Saddam Hussein Parkway in downtown Tikrit. He might have put his back out with one of his more vigorous concubines and been forced to hand over to Uday or Qusay. He might have stiffed Chirac in some backdoor deal and been taken out by some anthrax-laced Quality Street planted by an elite French commando unit.

But, on the other hand, not necessarily. That's the difference: Bush believes America needs to shape events in the world; Kerry doesn't and, even if he did, because he doesn't know how he'd want to shape them the events would end up shaping him. There would be lots of discussion. Frenchmen would be involved. And, in the end, President Kerry could claim that however things turned out was what he wanted all along because, on Saddam and Iran and North Korea and a whole lot more, who the hell can say with confidence what Kerry wants anyway? How it would all turn out is anybody's guess.

On the other hand, Kerry does have a plan. I know, because he said so.

October 11, 2004

Hey, look at me! Pretty please?

Cute story in the Washington Post about "'C-List' Debate Spinners": that is, people ready, willing, and able to spin -- if only they could get someone to listen.

In large part, the social anthropology of this setting mimics the dynamic of the teenage dance. There are the popular kids: A-list spinners who are mobbed by reporters and bathed in TV lights. [...]

At the other end of the spectrum are the awkward loners, the C-list spinners: They are mid-level campaign staffers, obscure public officials like Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion and celebrities such as [Ron] Silver, known for his roles in TV dramas "The West Wing" and "Chicago Hope" and such films as "Reversal of Fortune." Silver is unencumbered by attention. He is fidgety, eager to talk, his presence announced by two Bush-Cheney volunteers holding "Ron Silver" signs over his head.

"Bush dominated this thing, clearly," Silver says to one of the volunteers. If only a reporter were here to listen. Wait, here comes one.

"Bush dominated, clearly," Silver tells the reporter, for a student-run radio station at the university. A second radio reporter stops to listen, which for Silver would constitute a mob scene -- except that the reporter runs off to join a cluster around Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state.

If a spin doctor spins in a forest and nobody's there, does he make a sound?

March 8, 2005

Close, but no cigar

Damn. And I was sure my $16,750 bid would be good enough. No such luck.

October 30, 2005

A word for everything

I am a long-time subscriber to the fabulous "Word A Day" email newsletter from Wordsmith.org.

Last Friday's AWAD finally revealed a word to describe my approach to life, my new favorite word:

velleity (vuh-LEE-i-tee) noun

Volition at its faintest.

[From Latin velle (to wish), ultimately from Indo-European root wel- (to wish, will) which is also the ancestor of well, will, wealth, wallop, gallop, voluptuous, and voluntary.]

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus.

Finally, a word to describe a few of those things we can't wait to do: filling out tax forms, for example.

Velleity is volition at its weakest. It's a mere wish or inclination, without any accompanying effort. But who could tell just by looking at the word?

So next time you're late in filing your tax return and the tax department sends a reminder, just send them a polite letter vouching for your velleity. The taxman will think the check (or cheque, as our Canadian grammar guru Carolanne Reynolds would write) is coming soon and you've been completely forthright.

It also describes my approach to blogging, unfortunately.

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