Thursday, June 28, 2007


The SCOTUS Ruling on Campaign Finance Reform

I actually am of mixed opinions about campaign finance reform in general, so I figure I won't post on whether or not I agree with the law SCOTUS struck down, however, two things have been bugging me about this ruling and its coverage in the media:

(1) Why do they always say "unions and corporations" as if the two are on equal footing here? It seems to me corporations can and do pump in a lot more money than unions do. What is the agenda behind trying to equate the two as if they had equal power and say? Hmm ...

(2) How do corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals?

Perhaps one of the law-talking folks who read this blog can fill us in on the case law here, but you'd think a strict constructionist would note that the Bill of Rights does not include rights for corporations and the original intent of many who pushed for the Bill of Rights was that corporations shouldn't even exist in the first place, and certainly not for the Bill of Rights to apply to corporations (or, for that matter, some of the Founders would be upset about us applying the Bill of Rights to people other than land-owning, non-Catholic white males, so we shouldn't always go by original intent ... and one wonders about someone, um, named Scalia being so keen to do so in other cases if not in this one).

At the very least, corporations are a legal fiction of an individual for the purposes of doing business. Thus, shouldn't corporations only have the rights of an individual, e.g. free speech (or in this case, paid advertising) only as much as they relate to the corporation's reason for being, i.e. to do business? (Of course, I'm not saying corporations shouldn't do extra-curricular things like charity, etc., but, in doing such things outside of business, they needn't have the same protections as individuals). So it might rightly be considered, IMHO, unconstitutional to prohibit corporations from funding issues ads related to business matters (why they exist) but it certainly should not be un-constitutional to prohibit corporations from funding non-business related paid political speech.

Thus, if the corporation in question wanted to fund an ad against Feingold (the irony that he was the target seems to have been lost on the media which usually loves to point out this sort of irony involving 'reformers' in order to advance a general, elite-friendly futility thesis regarding political reforms), they might have a right to fund an ad saying "call Feingold and ask him why he's bad for business". But that's not what happened: the ad said approximately "call Feingold and ask him why he loves abortions".

There is something fundamentally dishonest here. Unless the corporation in question had an interest in opposing abortion legislation, the corporation doesn't have any legal rights here. The corporation is a fictive, legal person only in order to efficiently deal with business and related issues, not to speak out on abortion. And anyway, since when do we have a right to be misleading or dishonest?

If the corporation wanted to run an ad against Feingold 'cause they felt he was bad for business, they should have done so, and perhaps federal law shouldn't interfere with this. But to hide a corporate agenda behind social conservatism? That's dishonest, has nothing to do with the reason for having a corporation as a legal, fictive individual, and thus corporations should not, in this sphere be treated as individuals with free speech rights.

OTOH, the Democrats should be all over this as it perfectly illustrates how the GOP tries to smuggle a corporatist agenda under the radar using social conservatism to get out the votes, etc., nu?


Moore and the Legacy of Reagan

A review of SiCKO (which I've not yet seen) that is more than a review (as good reviews often are): remember who Reagan was and what he really stood for and what his political legacy really is ... and, who won the class war and how.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Shorter NPR's Favorite WSJ Journalist*

"I don't understand why people think globalization's economic benefits accumulate only at the top. I guess Congress'll have to engage in a necessary evil and raise taxes to keep the unwashed masses happy. "

Translation: "Why are people so irrational according to what I learned in Econ 101 when Econ 101 also told me people are always rational? If I thought about that and the possibility that basing my commentary on Econ 101 level analysis would be the equivalent of commenting on the mysteries of 'friction' and anisotropic tumbling when in Physics 101 we learned that all cows rolling down hills are spherical and frictionless, my head would explode, so I guess I'll just repeat 'conventional wisdom' that, if accepted, will make my upper-class readership and bosses rich ... after all, they pay my bills and I know what side my bread is buttered on"

*Sadly, No! (IIRC) has the necessary references for the "shorter X" concept

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Inside Blogball

Would a post titled:

And I thought I liked Onion Rings So Much ...

with the body reading:

... simply 'cause I'm allergic to milk and therefore can't readily find ones that I can eat, so they are a treat. I never realized me being a heterosexual male had anything to do with it.

And then linked to not even a post describing what I'm talking about, but rather just said, Sadly, No!

... be too obscure for people to get?

Anyway, make sure you have a cloth to wipe off your computer monitor if you're drinking water or coffee or whatever while reading the link ... if you're up on various bits of bloggy goodness, it's too funny ...

Monday, June 18, 2007


Sauced Goose and Gander or Living and Dying by the Sword

If the indictments against US operatives are thrown out by an Italian Constitutional Court, it'll be because those indictments were made based on evidence involving state secrets. So -- the use of secret evidence is good enough when going after Dreyfuss, er, people of faiths different than most Americans whom our President labels as terrorists, but when it's used against US operatives, it's another question entirely?

Or, given the old bromides to which the title alludes, will we see the US submitting a brief in the Italian court saying it's A-OK to use secret evidence?

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Middle East Updates

NPR (Nice Polite Republicans, formerly, until they went to the other-side of Middle East debates bias wise, National Palestinian Radio) has gone back to its roots: from regurgitating Republican spin to regurgitating Fatah spin. According to the regurgitation, what's happened in Gaza was a coup-d'etat. Umm ... if it wasn't my imagination, Hamas did win the elections in the Palestinian territories? Of course, the international community might have had to respond to such a win in a manner different than "Mazal Tov!": insert comparison to the Nazis winning German elections here, although also note how it must play out on the Palestinian street that we're always making noise about elections and how bad corruption is and when they finally have an election and kick out the corrupt-so-called-leaders, the international community responds by saying "oops, Palestinians, you made the wrong choice"?

Anyway, though, the violence in Gaza is horrible. But a coup-d'etat? Is there a such thing as an auto-coup-d'etat? If anything, what's happened in the West Bank with Fatah seizing power is a coup-d'etat.

A moral judgment about what's right and wrong is one thing, but let's not go the way of the fabled PC police of fifteen years or so ago and insist on calling things other than what they are simply so that our language matches our judgment. I remember having a debate with a GOoPer who insisted that we didn't invade Iraq nor are we occupying Iraq simply because what we did was (in his view) justified -- whether or not it was justified, it was what it was and it's wrong for us to avoid calling things what they are simply because it's easier to argue the morality calling things by different names. If you can't argue the morality using proper names, maybe your argument is wrong.

And speaking of arguments, Israel's been attacked once again. How much ya wanna bet that Israel will respond in a counter-productive manner? That they will "in a show of strength" only show that they have been made afraid by these rockets and hence will show the terrorists who launched the rockets that their terror worked? That they will "in a show of strength" hide behind superior technology and show the other side that they are as cowardly as those who hide behind civilian populations to launch rockets? After all, what's the difference in bravery between one hiding behind civilians and launching rockets and one hiding in an airplane and launching bombs? Oh yes, the former has an excuse for bad targeting!

OTOH, how many of the people who would complain about any Israeli response -- and not on the basis that Israel's being counterproductive in its response but rather they are piqued that Israel responds at all -- would be happy if their own country didn't respond to rocket attacks if they were the ones getting hurt or even their homes damaged?

People like me talk about chickenhawks, but it seems to me there are also in this great big world of ours, blessed as it is with the grand variety of God's creation, chickendoves. It doesn't take much bravery to send other people's kids to war; nor does it take much bravery to tell a people under attack to follow the advice of the Prophet Jeremiah and turn the other cheek so that it is clear to everyone what fools are your enemies -- but it takes a lot of bravery to do either yourself.

On yet another hand (how is it that we Jews always manage to have at least three hands?), just as some degree of hypocrisy is necessary to be a moral leader (which lesson is understood by people of many faiths, but which was lost on some of the Protestant reformers and their ideological descendents, both left and right, today who read the Christian Bible's condemnations of hypocrisy too closely and the other parts of their Bible not closely enough: nobody is perfect but someone has to speak in favor of at least the striving to moral perfection), some degree of chickenhawkery and chickendovery is necessary for a society to have the correct response to violent threats.

In America, we see chickenhawkery run amok, because for too many people with political power and the power to shape the agendas and world-views of even those with kids in the military (Joe Sixpack might not trust Tom Pundit, but Joe figures, thanks to decades of GOP ref-working, Tom to be a liberal and "if even the liberal Tom Pundit says we should go to war, who am I, even if it's my kids not his who have their necks on the line, to question") war has no real personal or even financial cost (c.f. Eisenhower: it has a benefit). Among the liberal bourgeoise world wide we see chickendovery run amok: we are insulated largely from violent attacks (and when we aren't, e.g. 9/11, notice how quickly the chickendoves turn into chickenhawks!) so we have no idea the bravery involved in heeding the moral advice of Jeremiah.

However, in Israel, the fighting is too close for chickendovery. And military service is too universal for chickenhawkery. Perhaps I'm just trying to justify my own chickenhawkery ("the only way Israel can show strength is by using ground troops rather than hiding behind its superior technology") and chickendovery ("Israel should be more restrained in its responses"), but it seems to me Israel suffers from a lack of chickenhawkery and chickendovery -- I guess you can say that Israel is, if only geographically, too small for anyone in the country to have any sense of objective (lit.) distance about various problems (is this a general problem of small countries? an argument for centralization in bigger countries?) -- in its refusal to either restrain itself from responding to provocations specifically designed to get Israel to screw up by engaging in a counterproductive response or to actually commit ground troops to really engage enemies (even at the height of Israel's so-called occupations, how much direct engagement did Israel have with it's presumed enemies vs. how much of the occupation was carried out behind check-points and other defensive postures?).

Maybe we can export some of our chickenhawks ("so Dr. Neo-Con, you say we Jews should be more attached to Israel? Howabout you first? Why don't you make Aliyah already?") and our chickendoves ("so Prof. Hippy-Peacenik, you say someone needs to help the poor Palestinians out? Why don't you go to the Occupied Territories and help out there?") to the region? On second though, maybe not. When under fire, we chickenhawks and chickendoves tend to abandon the hawk and dove parts and reveal ourselves as the chickens we are.


Sunday Apikoros Blogging

I was a bad Jew this last Shabbos, in various (both incompetent and improper: the latter, as well as referring to the intended substance of this post and the meaning of the adjective form of the literal English translation of Apikoros, is whence the title of this post) senses of the word.

As to the first sense, the synagogue was short various regulars, and it was Rosh Chodesh, which means there was a special Maftir reading, an excerpt from Parshas Pinchas, as well as two scrolls to lift in Hagba. I guess because my Bar Mitzvah portion was Pinchas, I got assigned to read the Maftir, which isn't long but given my lack of Torah reading skill it's more than I typically can handle. On top of this, they forgot to send me a reminder that I was chanting Torah this week, and I didn't realize I was reading until I happened to check the list on Wed. I guess they must have figured that I'd know the reading since my Bar Mitzvah portion was Pinchas, but they forget (why do people assume my background is Orthodox? I guess it's the way I daven?) I was raised Reform and in our synagogue, we read excerpts from the Torah (appropriately for me as a feminist, I read the part about the daughters of Zelophachad ... but not the part about the sacrifices) not the whole parsha or even the triennial cycle sub-portion.

So here I was, already not really ready to read Torah, and we are short people to Gabbai. So I volunteer (before getting volunteered) to Gabbai for the regular readings, which means I'm not sitting in the back practicing before I'm on stage. Moreover, there are two scrolls and only one gezunte person to be Hagba. So guess who stupidly volunteers to be Hagba?

Well, let's just say that I am way out of shape: I used to be able to do a real Hagba (showing the assembled worshippers 3+ columns and all that), but this time it was a miracle we all aren't fasting -- at least the Torah was not dropped. But I was shaken up enough (did I mention, I was also under-caffeinated? I forgot to clean my tea strainer, so I had white tea, which I have in bag form, as opposed to my usual Sat. morning mate) that, with my lack of practice, the maftir was a fiasco. So, in the sense of incompetence, I was, alas, a bad Jew this Shabbos.

Now onto the second sense: it was a hot day so I stopped for some ice at Baskin Robbins. And I have some bad news -- they have apparently updated the recipe for their famous Daiquiri Ice. Before there were fancy sorbets and an amazing variety fake ice-cream (although whatever happened to Neapolitan flavor Mocho Mix Frozen dessert? I appreciated all the fancy flavors when they first came out, and still do, but sometimes a feller craves Neapolitan, nu?) for us milk allergic folks, there was the treasure of Baskin Robbins Daiquiri Ice -- a concoction that tasted like it was made with the best and most flavorful of Dominican rums and with just enough lime to give it a refreshing hint of citrus flavor and tartness.

One time I remember I so craved Daiquiri Ice, I went hopping (with a friend of mine who must have thought I was crazy) from Baskin Robbins to Baskin Robbins, none of which had this product, so I eventually settled for a real Daiquiri from a bar (which didn't have any Ron Barcelo or even Bruegel, so it wasn't quite the same). But now they've changed the recipe. I gave it a try, and got my just rewards for violating the Shabbos: I never thought I'd say this about anything, but there's too much lime! The Daiquiri Ice no longer tasted like a fine Daiquiri, but rather like lime ice with a hint of rum to it. So first they made it so you can't find Neapolitan Mocha Mix frozen dessert and now no more Daiquiri ice that tastes better than a real Daiquiri? I'm too young to be an alter-kocker lamenting about whatever happened to the simple pleasures they had in my youth!

Later on I probably jumped the gun on the end of Shabbos and lit up maybe a bit to soon. This was more rewarded, however. I tried the maduro version of the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur (not the1066 line's maduro version, the Dark Knight -- I do prefer CT wrappers to Cameron ones). While the cigar was a bit too peppery on the match, it proved to be quite a cigar. It was similar enough to the Onyx Reserve (also a CT wrapper) that it was what I like, but different enough to be a nice change of pace. It was very woodsy and leathery and the sort of cigar that probably left me smelling in a way that would cause the media types to forget about Fred Thompson and wonder why I'm not running for president. And it had the wintergreen toward the end, all the right coffee and tea notes and even a bit of a kumquat finish as I like.

I'm not sure which I like better, and the Onyx Reserve is cheaper, but it's good to have variety, nu? After all, and c.f. a previous comment on my blog from Mr. Letraca, I'm more of an Epicure than an Essentialist by philosophy, so why should I be such an Essentialist in terms of my tastes?

Anyway, I guess I just have more to atone for at Yom Kippur, nu? At least the Earth hasn't swallowed me like it swallowed Korach (see, I tied this all into last week's Parsha), not yet anyway.


Sitting in Lab

Kinda working (need to work more) ... trying to not have 2 cups of coffee since it's a weekday ... but ...

caffeine's a helluva drug ...

Anyway, when I done with this phase of the project, I'll "reward" myself by posting some more stuff here ...


Sitting in Lab

Kinda working (need to work more) ... trying to not have 2 cups of coffee since it's a weekday ... but ...

caffeine's a helluva drug ...

Anyway, when I done with this phase of the project, I'll "reward" myself by posting some more stuff here ...

Update: Wow! I meant, of course, "weekend" not "weekday" ... and talk about those typos ... looking back on this post, I guess I did need that second cup of coffee I eventually took. Which is what I need right now ... another cup of coffee (so pardon any typos in this correction of typos ;) ).

As I said: caffeine's a helluva drug!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Follow Up Regarding Israel/Palestine

Just to clarify things: in saying Israel needs to come to term with it's role in the "catastrophe", I do not mean to take any sides in the debate as to how the Palestinian refugees came to be refugees. What is the case is that, even though the life of such families in what is now Israel was certainly not the golden way they remember it through the rose colored glasses of nostalgia, it was certainly better than life in a refugee camp. And since, no matter who's to blame for what, if Israel didn't exist, these people wouldn't be in refugee camps, at some level Israel is culpable. And, in order to negotiate in good faith, Israel must come to terms with this fact of its existence: the land of Israel once had a reasonable percentage of Arabs in its population and now it doesn't. That is a de facto ethnic cleansing and to deny that reality, no matter what the intentions of who were or who's really to blame, is to be part of a collective psychosis (denying reality).

On the other hand, it is a psychotic delusion among too many in the Arab world and on the left that the de facto ethnic cleansing surrounding Israel's birth was something (at the time) considered to be completely beyond the pale. At the time, such mass populations transfers were seen as positive and perhaps the only way to keep peace.

Indeed, if we look at many historical hot-spots (Germany's borders, for example) that cooled down in the last half of the 20th century, it is the population transfers of millions of people, on a scale far exceeding that of the Palestinian/Arab-Jewish population exchange, that has allowed the peace to be kept. For that matter, if we look at current and recent hot-spots, we see that many are cases where the population transfers either did not happen post-WWII (the former Yugoslavia) or were not accepted by at least one side (Israel/Palestine). In fact, many of these cases are ones in which dictators or dominant ethnic groups used "reverse ethnic cleansing" to forcibly mix populations to either prevent the formation of separatist ethnic enclaves (Yugoslavia under Tito) or to ensure control by a dominant ethnic group of territory (Israel's settlements on occupied territory, Saddam Hussein moving Sunni Arabs into Kurdish cities): when the dictator is gone or the dominant ethnic group cedes some power, civil war seems to inevitably result.

I am not advocating mass population transfers as the primary way to world peace, but I'm pointing out that, in the context of the times of Israel's formation, mass population transfers were not only condoned but in fact were considered salubrious. For the Arab world or the left to pretend otherwise is a psychotic denial of historical reality with rather severe consequences: not only does this denial breed a grudging, reactionary mindset that prevents the Middle East from moving forward into a new era of peace and development, but it directly prevents the Palestinian people from being allowed to form a new society based not on looking to some past that will never be recovered (and Israel needs to acknowledge the trauma of this) -- the Palestinian people are kept in horrid refugee camps not by Israeli nefariousness but by those who would deny the reality of population transfers as something deemed salubrious.

As the song goes "you don't have to live like a refugee". The sooner this is realized, the better.


Are You Sure It's not Political?

Fresh Air's normally quite perceptive linguist missed a beat last night. He pointed out that our current use of expletives has less to do with the sexual revolution and 'Hollywood cultural elitists', which the culture warriors on the right blame (I'll forgive him for not pointing out the anti-Semitism of the cultural right, here), and more to do with the absorption of the working class language of 100 years ago by soldiers in the world wars. He then contrasted this very real history with the version given by the cultural right, the latter he claimed was the one with political implications. But while Marxism may be out of fashion and anyway I'm no Marxist, his explanation (which seems reasonable to me -- and he's the expert) certainly has political implications of its own, which implications might be what, underneath the rhetoric, is really what rankles the right.

The implication is that in its egalitarianism, coarse language represents exactly the kind of tie between the middle, working and lower classes that the right has tired to sever with its divide and conquer approach to class warfare (of which they accuse us of waging?). It's high time we all stop ignoring class as an issue in American culture. The cultural right is able to perhaps deceive even themselves about their true, class-related goals, but class is even more of an issue here than "culture", nu? It's high time the cultural right is called on their classism. Of course, in order for that to happen the cultural left needs to realize they've not exactly been angels in this whole effort to cover up class issues ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Weekly Parsha Blogging

Eric Alterman on last week's parsha.

My gf's Rabbi connected the parsha to the 6 Days' War: even us liberals should not forget that such a strong threat as Israel experienced is tantamount to an invasion (and if you look at the blogs you can see some interesting double talk about this -- one feller claimed that if the situation were reversed, he would have been against Egypt invading Israel and then went on to contradict himself later in the same post) and, as such, Israel by rights does get to keep the occupied territories.

In general, before there is peace, Israel needs to face up to the degree to which its very existance did cause a very real catastrophy for many people. But, OTOH, the Palestinians need to realize that, contrary to what the international community is telling them, Israel has, by the standards of the international community when applied to anyone else but Israel, every right to formally annex the occupied territories, expel the Palestinians, etc (as Israel gained territory in a fundamentally defensive war, and countries have always been allowed to keep such territory, especially when their security is at stake). And the international community needs to stop aiding and abetting the refugee crisis by committing itself to refugee resettlement as it has done in almost all other long-term refugee situations and to face up to the behaviors of many nations, many of which do deserve condemnation, which it somehow only manages to condemn when Israel engages in them.

Of course, we Jews need to also realize the corrosive and fundamentally anti-Jewish nature of Zionist moral relativism (just because other countries get away with it does not make it right for Israel to do -- we Jews, pace Herzl, are not like any other people ... ya know that whole B'ris haTorah thing and all?) ... but that's another blog post, nu?

Monday, June 11, 2007


Not too Spicy

I figured out that a friend of mine would like the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur 1066 cigar, which indeed he does. I like the Onyx Reserve. Interestingly, he finds the Onyx reserve too "spicy" while I find the Excalibur 1066 too spicy -- I guess we have different "spice" triggers.

But I also like (having split one with him -- why didn't we think of cutting cigars in half sooner?) the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur (i.e. the natural CT rather than Camaroon wrapper). Maybe I should try the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur maduro? I've been looking for some variety in cigars lately ...


Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Is it my imagination or is the Dem. leadership in Congress really screwing things up?

First they aren't able to stand up to Bush & CO about timelines and such because they are afraid of the backlash of defunding the war being spun as being against the troops (which fear -- whatever happened to the Dems. being the party of Franklin Delano "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" Roosevelt? -- of course and rightly so, turns people off from the Dems. as they feel the Dems. care only about political calculations): if they could have just got out a simple, resonating message ("does your boss ever not give you a timeline and/or benchmarks? so why should we who represent you, the people who are collectively the President's boss -- you're his commander and unless you're in the military, he's not your commander -- not give the President a timeline for his work?"), they would have been seen as bravely going against what would be, according to the punditocracy, politically expedient and moving towards peace.

Then, of course, we have the immigration debacle. No matter what happens now, the Dems. will be blamed: "Reid couldn't get the bill through", etc. If the bill works well, the President gets the credit, but if it fails, it'll be blamed on the Dems. ...

And now the Dems. are still trying to have a Yurpean style "no confidence" vote for Gonzo? If you don't trust him, subpeona him to testify, under oath, before Congress -- and impeach him if he doesn't cooperate or lies. That's the American system! Doing things the Yurpean way will just continue the stereotype of Dems. as effete, etc.

So what's with the Dem. leadership? The Pres. is un-popular, etc. And they are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory yet again? And they wonder why people don't trust Dems. to fight terrorists if Dems. can't even check the GOP?


Pardon any typos, etc. I was up too late last night ...


A Name for a Blog

If someone is wanting to start a blog, but is stuck on what to call it, following me telling an oldie but goodie joke in the comments to this post, the Mad Priest asks that someone start a blog called "It's Simchas Torah in my Pants" -- so why not take him up on the offer if no-one's done so already.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Why Liberals Shouldn't Gloat over Wolfie's Downfall

... 'cause of who's responsible for said downfall.

Not that I'm cryin' any tears for Wolfowitz, but as I said before, he was entrapped: how would we liberals respond if some young kid was similarly entrapped by a cop seeking to make a drug arrest?

Wolfowitz may have been no angel, but he was a victim of a so-called ethics board in an organization that is, well, not famous for its ethics about conflicts of interest -- so their criticism of Wolfie was a little, er, rich ... even as Wolfowitz was being a hypocrite -- pointing out the corruption aided and abetted by the World Bank even as he himself ended up without clean hands. He may be a Bushie through and through, but we liberals should not think he Cheney'd the World Bank. We need to remember it was Cheney'd to begin with -- and we need to get back to fighting such organizations' ability to Cheney over 3rd World countries (which is a good part of "why the hate us"(TM) -- they don't hate us for our freedoms but for keeping them from having theirs) and not spend time gloating over the downfall of people who really are our erstwhile allies in this fight, even if they've been our enemies in other policy disagreements.

I know I've said this before, but it's been brought home to me again by Daniel Schorr's latest commentary praising GW Bush for being "right" in nominating Zoellick for the World Bank presidency. Demonstrating his own pro-aristocratic biases, Schorr claimed Zoellick was "non-ideological". WTF? Zoellick is one of the strongest proponants of the so-called "pro free trade" ideology of the so-called "neoliberal consensus". If the Yurpeans that gave Wolfowitz the boot lurve themselves some Zoellick, as Schorr claims, that says something about those particular Yurpeans and their real agenda.

Now, I'm no "realist" who believes "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", so I don't think this necessarily makes Wolfie my political ally. But, I guess in an effort to actually be the "realists" neo-cons claim us to be (the same looking into the abyss phenomenon of which we see so often in neo-cons), some liberals have decided that the enemy of a Bushie is a friend -- at least de facto as judged by their gloating and schadenfreude.

Let's remember that we moonbats are emphatically not "realists" -- Wolfie may not have been the best choice for the World Bank presidency, but he did strike some raw nerves that needed striking. His replacement, lurved as he is by some who are the enemies of our enemies, is gonna soothe those nerves. But as much as we may lurve us some diplomacy sadly lacking in Bush & CO, not all nerves need to be soothed. It was far better even for our image abroad for us in the long run given why people hate us to have even a hated-abroad and ideologically divisive figure like Wolfie in charge of the World Bank than to have a "non-ideological" figure standing for a growth-stiffling status quo person like Zoellick in charge.

And only someone biased by becoming the sort of dragon he used to fight would think that Bush did the "right" thing ...


Beha'alotcha Blogging

Some have suggested that this parsha actually focuses on leadership as well as "followership": Moses, reaching bottom due to being overburdoned, finally learns the humility and ability to welcome rather than feel threatened by, those who would share with him the mantle of leadership. However, just as leaders must learn to be humble and welcome those who seek the mantle of leadership as helpers rather than competition, "followers" must step up to the plate rather than merely grumble about their leaders.

Not that I, being a blogger, have learned that lesson ;)

Friday, June 01, 2007


This Post Ends with the Rant of the Day

I've had so many things about which I've wanted to blog, but I've been so busy getting a paper out that I've not had a chance to blog them before I've forgot them. Does anybody know how to search for comments I've made on other blogs using google? This'd be the way to learn what I've been thinking -- as if anybody cares.

Anyhoo -- what's the deal with journal abbreviations? Why not just use the full titles or use whatever abbreviations people actually use? Why have a standard list of abbreviations that no-one uses except when writing bibliographies? And if you must have such a list (for automation), why not automate the process even more than EndNote currently does?

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