Monday, May 31, 2010

The Greatest Shakespeare Hoax

Almost pulled it off...

underground exploring

I'm a big fan of Cities of the Underworld, although I'm more of an armchair explorer. Living in NYC and taking the subway everyday got me thinking about all the abandoned tunnels under such a densely packed town, and the hook was in.

Here are some places to whet your palate as well.

Biggest book in the world

In Burma.

Like Afghanistan under the Taliban, it is a wonder that anything precious still exists in that country.

Sinkhole

I suppose this should make me feel better about my yard. but it really doesn't

Israel/Gaza primer

A New Yorker piece from last November.

Making a Palestinian ghetto isn't what g-d envisioned for his people, I'm guessing.

No health care program for 9/11 heros

GOP argues against health care program for 9/11 rescue workers, calling it an "entitlement program."

Sigh. Somebody check whether the GOP has been replaced by pod people who learned political behavior from bad Politico columns.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

False decline of the US Navy

Dated a little (from 2007), but worth keeping in mind as the Tea Party members shriek about Obama killing the military.

The United States Navy currently operates eleven aircraft carriers. The oldest and least capable is faster, one third larger, and carries three times the aircraft of Admiral Kuznetsov, the largest carrier in the Russian Navy. Unlike China’s only aircraft carrier, the former Russian Varyag, American carriers have engines and are capable of self-propulsion. The only carrier in Indian service is fifty years old and a quarter the size of its American counterparts. No navy besides the United States' has more than one aircraft carrier capable of flying modern fixed wing aircraft. The United States enjoys similar dominance in surface combat vessels and submarines, operating twenty-two cruisers, fifty destroyers, fifty-five nuclear attack submarines, and ten amphibious assault ships (vessels roughly equivalent to most foreign aircraft carriers). In every category the U.S. Navy combines presumptive numerical superiority with a significant ship-to-ship advantage over any foreign navy.

The real question one should ask is: Does this help or hurt military readiness? Usually, however, we're faced with a cherry-picker who insists that Obama is letting the terrorists in the front door because he killed off this or that weapons program (which usually the military didn't want and was foisted on them by a Congressman looking to have it be put together in his home district. Military spending is billions of dollars of earmarks all given the green light by conservatives because it all goes toward "the military").

New Limbaugh book reviewed

It might seem ominous for an intellectual movement to be led by a man who does not think creatively, who does not respect the other side of the argument and who frequently says things that are not intended as truth. But neither Limbaugh nor Chafets is troubled...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rand Paul

Rand Paul: Sounding the alarm against the NAFTA Superhighway

Maybe he's backing out of his Meet the Press appearance to get the crazy out of his system.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SFW Porn Channel promos

American Apparel taken to task for its claim to be average

Great spoof photo series using a differently-abled model.

This statement in the story is just disingenuous, at best:

"Why does Jes's body have a shock value? Why is it that people's disabilities are so unseen that there's a shock value there? There shouldn't be."

Of course it has shock value. If it didn't, the whole purpose of the spoof would be gone. This is a good spoof without the need for pedestal-making.

Sestak surging

It looks like Sestak is really moving in the race against Specter. Good for him. I was impressed with him during the town hall debates on the health care bill, and Sestak has the resume and the rhetorical chops to be a very good US Senator.

Specter's biggest appeal all along is that he would give the Dems another seat (and that he would beat Toomey in the general election). More and more, however, voters aren't really buying it.

Ironically, Obama's election in 2008 (running on the case, essentially, that competence matters more than party) would short circuit Specter's main appeal to voters in this state.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New SCOTUS nominee

I'll leave it to be big boys to debate the minutia of whether Kagan is suitable for the Supreme Court. [IMO anyone who isn't a clearly stupid nominee should be ratified--about the only ones I didn't think should be were Miers, Thomas, and maybe Bork].

But to throw some cold water on some anticipated screeds, here is a comprehensive list of SCOTUS members without prior judicial experience.

The interesting factoid (to me, anyway): The four longest servicing Chief Justices all had no judicial experience prior to being ratified for SCOTUS: Marshall, Taney, Fuller and Rehnquist.

A poem to die for

This link doesn't make it clear, but it was the original poet who was killed, not the translator.

Unlike Rubin, in another NRO piece, I don't believe this is cause for us to become the Kurdish police. But it is an opportunity to wonder why we are so quick to back people who can be pretty nasty sometimes.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bill Murray reads poems to construction workers

I was just down at Poets House a week or so ago--beautiful place right there near the river. And I came across this youtube by accident of Bill Murray reading the the guys putting it together. Good stuff:

GOP online ideas farm shut down

GOP shuts down web site which was intended to generate new GOP ideas.

write you own snark here.