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Go to Unfogged.com home

 

It's Fun to Stay

Posted by Ogged
on 07.03.04

Trust me on this one. Just click.


 

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Hell bent for leather

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.02.04

If you were a Judas Priest cover band that performed without clothes, you'd be called...

...wait for it...

Nudist Priest.

I tremble for humanity when I think that God is just. You got another thing comin', indeed.


 

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Unf, Not Pictured

Posted by Ogged
on 07.02.04
If you can't have peace in the Mid-East, at least you can have frat boys dropping trou. Yes, it's Guys Gone Wild. You know, we've already had a Studmuffins of Science calendar. Isn't it about time for the Studmuffins of Blogging? The men of Unfogged are ready.

 

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It's a Funny Country

Posted by Ogged
on 07.02.04

The story of Washingtonienne comes to a close (rather, begins a new chapter; wait for the tour). She's signed a book deal for $300,000.


 

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Marlon Brando

Posted by Ogged
on 07.02.04

Brando has died. I don't know how a man can die at 80, being called the greatest actor of his generation, and still leave us with the feeling that he didn't show us nearly everything he could have.

And because most of the obits won't even mention it, try to see him as Marc Antony in Julius Ceasar; electric.


 

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Plagiarism: it droppeth like a gentle rain from heaven

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.02.04

The sometimes readable Ms. Mentor takes on a dilemma:

My colleague "Phoebe" is a fraud, and the rest of us in the department have known it for years. Her dissertation, which she claimed was original work, is actually a translation of another scholar's dissertation in an obscure language, with a few extra pieces thrown in.

Well, that's no good. On the other hand,

But no one confronts Phoebe, because she does what we don't want to -- she runs the language lab. She also does it superbly, serving as a mentor to countless students.

Fair enough. God knows I wouldn't want to run the language lab. And, yes, there are circumstances in which it's better to ignore wrongdoing than to punish it, though I don't think this is one of them. At least be honest about it, though: expediency doesn't erase the moral stain, and all the silly allusions to Carol Gilligan won't change that.

Phoebe is not exactly a plagiarist. She is an appropriator. Since her degree is in foreign languages, a field where translations are acceptable dissertation topics, it could be said that her dissertation is merely mislabeled.

Riiiight. Via Critical Mass.


 

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Guru

Posted by Ogged
on 07.01.04

Seek professional help. No, wait, don't do that.

A little over a year ago, my dumb-ass husband had a one-time fling with two girls ... We broke up twice and are back together again ... I just don't know if I can get past it. We went to marriage counseling, but there is only one marriage counselor in our small town, and he's Mormon and believes in polygamy, which REALLY didn't make things better.

Too good.


 

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A List

Posted by Ogged
on 07.01.04

I'm inspired by Ted, so I'll share a bit more than usual (and someone else liked The Thin Red Line? Soulmates.) He's made a list of films and music he esteems. I'll throw in books too, but I'll keep it to one item in each category.

Film: The House is Black, by Forough Farrokhzad

It's only about twenty minutes long; a documentary made in a leper colony, with Farrokhzad's poetry as the narration. It's both entirely sympathetic and wholly unsentimental, which I take to be the true artistic disposition; and which, to my mind, makes it the most moral work of art I know.

Music: Blind Willie Johnson

Johnson is a nonpareil slide guitar player with an incomparable voice, but, more than that, he just sings to and about his god--a devout and oddly ascetic blues. Maybe the only art so selfless that I'd call it holy. (If you have iTunes, these few seconds of Nobody's Fault But Mine are a good introduction.)

Books: A tie (and may god forgive us our pretentiousness). Heidegger's Plato's Sophist and Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols.

What can I say that wouldn't diminish either of these books? The Heidegger remains, for me, the model of what it means to read and to do philosophy. His patience and care in attending to a text is very nearly inhuman. And Nietzsche, well, has anyone understood what it means to be human better than Nietzsche?


 

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Shoveling Coal for Satan

Posted by Ogged
on 07.01.04

Man, I don't even like Matt Taibbi, and by the end I was saying "Oh, Hell yeah!"

...I'm enraged by the numerous attempts at verbose, pseudoliterary, "nuanced" criticism of Moore this week by the learned priests of our business ... Michael Moore may be an ass, and impossible to like as a public figure, and a little loose with the facts, and greedy, and a shameless panderer. But he wouldn't be necessary if even one percent of the rest of us had any balls at all.
If even one reporter had stood up during a pre-Iraq Bush press conference last year and shouted, "Bullshit!" it might have made a difference.

Read it all. via palabris


 

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Starts This Week

Posted by Ogged
on 06.30.04

It's true, it's true, the Tour de France is an unbelievably brutal undertaking.

The race's founder, Henri Desgrange, wanted it to be so tough that there would be only a single finisher. He never got his wish, but the sport he set in motion takes such a savage toll on its riders that studies show that the life expectancy of a professional cyclist is barely more than fifty years.

But what about that fifty years? I'd love to know more about how that number is derived, and what period of time it covers, because, forgive me, but most of the riders are doping and that can't be good for one's health.

But, doping aside, if you have a bicycle with a speedometer, take it out one day and try riding at 28mph (the average speed for the entire 2000 mile Tour) and see if you can even go that fast, let alone sustain it. Amazing.

[Note: Unless there are two riders with the same name, I think the article means to refer to David Millar, not Miller.]

via aldaily

MORE: From the Times, on Armstrong and doping.


 

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TIPS-lite

Posted by Ogged
on 06.30.04
Bad ideas die hard.
The Department of Homeland Security this year gave $19.3 million to the American Trucking Associations...to recruit a volunteer "army" called Highway Watch. So far, 10,000 truckers have signed on to become amateur sleuths.
No harm in that, surely. And they're well trained.
Highway Watch members are instructed to look for certain kinds of behavior — not certain kinds of people. "Profiling is bad. Bad, bad, bad," Beatty said.
So they wouldn't say things like this.
...two newly initiated Highway Watch members...explained how easy it is to spot "Islamics" on the road: just look for their turbans. Quite a few of them are truck drivers, says William Westfall of Van Buren, Ark. "I'll be honest. They know they're not welcome at truck stops. There's still a lot of animosity toward Islamics." Eddie Dean of Fort Smith, Ark., also has little doubt about his ability to identify Muslims: "You can tell where they're from. You can hear their accents. They're not real clean people."
As the article points out, most turban wearers in the US aren't Muslim, but Sikh. But the ignorance of individuals aside, the major problem with making people informants is that it destroys even the presumption of a bond between citizens, and blurs the line between private citizens and agents of the state. I'm not so worried that certain "initiated" people will file stupid reports, but that everyone else will wonder who has been initiated. This is freedom of association undermined by suspicion, and the effect is to lessen the vigor of any potential opposition to the state.

 

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Gimme Vilsack!

Posted by Ogged
on 06.30.04
This sounds like hokum to me, but I'm trying to get out of the political prediction business.
Official Washington and the entire press corps will be rocked when Hillary Rodham Clinton is picked as Kerry's VP and a massive love fest will begin!
Tim Noah has done a good job explaining the right's fixation on the possibility of a Hillary run, but there's something not many people mention: Lefties don't really like Hillary. She's a strident opportunist, a calculating Clinton without the Clinton charm. Liberals rally round Hillary because the right hates her so much. If they really hate her, she must be worth defending... (Michael Moore also benefs from this tribalism.) It would be a shame if Hillary were the pick, because we have the Republicans dead to rights on the issues, and the issues wouldn't even get a look if Hillary were on the ticket. Damn, is this the trial balloon that makes Gephardt look good?

 

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Litany

Posted by Ogged
on 06.30.04

Posting this for my reference and yours, the Poor Man catalogs (with links) Bush's lies. I count twenty-one.


 

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Gladly did she learn, and gladly teach

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 06.30.04

The horrific saga of Debra Lafave continues:

Greco Middle School teacher Debra Beasley Lafave, 23, is accused of having sexual intercourse with the student in her car twice while his 15-year-old cousin drove them around the Ocala area.That is in addition to previous accusations that she had sexual relations with the student at her home and classroom at Greco...
Lafave drove the boys to a Smoothie King in Ocala and asked the cousin to drive them around, deputies said.
While the cousin drove, Lafave had sexual intercourse with the student in the back of the car, deputies said.
After the incident, they drove to a couple of stores so Lafave could buy an iPod for her husband, deputies said. She dropped the boys off at the cousin's house and returned to the Tampa area.

The ipod is a nice touch, no? I'm sure it'll distract him from the horns growing out of his head.


 

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Comedy

Posted by Ogged
on 06.30.04

Three very funny posts up at the apostropher's today.


 

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Demarcation

Posted by Ogged
on 06.30.04

I really like the guy's site and writing ("hire me" is a favorite) and kudos on integrating video, but let me swear on behalf of all the Unfogged bloggers: you will never, ever see us dancing in our bathrobes. (Yeah, you too, Labs.)


 

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On the Record

Posted by Ogged
on 06.30.04

Still trying to deliver the speculation and innuendo for which we're renowned. Seems every time John Kerry goes on vacation, a new Bush scandal erupts. Kerry is about to go on vacation.


 

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Coordination

Posted by Ogged
on 06.29.04

A very hearty congratulations to all of them, and I'm really looking forward to each one, but here, from the end of August through September, are my friends' wedding plans.

For the love of Pete. Unf will be in attendance at the last three, so expect negative blogging on those weekends. We'll probably sit down together and delete some posts.

Congratulations folks, try not to have kids all at once, ok?


 

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The Movie

Posted by Ogged
on 06.29.04

I've written and re-written a post about Fahrenheit 9/11, and I just have to admit that I'm irreconcilably ambivalent and can't resolve the issue it presents. Moore is dishonest and grossly manipulative, but I applauded anyway, because, simply, he hates Bush and so do I.

The salient question is whether demagoguery is ever justified, and I don't think the answer is obvious. I know reasonable folks like baa think I'm hysterical when I say I fear for the republic (less after yesterday's Court decisions), but my fear is genuine, and seems to me justified, and I can't ignore it. So I keep edging closer to "by any means necessary" territory. In principle, I don't see a good objection to this: surely some governments are so bad that rousing the rabble with propaganda is a small price to pay for combating them.

But I'm profoundly uncomfortable surrendering the insistence on an honest discourse. I don't know if it's possible to regain a healthy political life--whatever the administration--if our means are dishonest. I'd like to make a clever epistemological answer: while demagoguery might not be wrong in principle, our civilized presumption that we should be honest, and the unknowable corrosive effects of dishonesty, compel us to eschew it. But I don't think that works either. If the mullahs in Iran could be overthrown with a crafty and utterly false propaganda campaign, would I object? No, I don't think so.

I guess this just means that I'm no philosopher, and I'll make truth subservient to other ends. But suffering and injustice are also true, aren't they?


 

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JD 4 life

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 06.28.04

I've been reading anonymous lawyer for the past few weeks-- not as good as the late great Incompetent Attorney, but mildly amusing. You know, life-n-times of the Big Law partner, cry me a river, empty inside, &c. Now I'm thinking it's not for real, because only Snidely Whiplash says things like

Luckily, the dealership finished up the repair, and I was able to drive my actual car to work this morning. Showing up to the firm picnic on Friday, I knew what the support staff felt like. One has a Kia. Imagine, a Kia.

 

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You're Cured! And Have Two Weeks to Live

Posted by Ogged
on 06.28.04

Headlines are notoriously misleading, but is it really so difficult? The Chicago Tribune has a beaut.

Study finds hangover cure.

The study found that when taken hours before drinking, the extract can alleviate symptoms such as dry mouth and that nauseated, can't-stand-the-sight-of-food feeling.
It does not appear to ease other symptoms, such as headaches and dizziness.

Not dry mouth, please god, save me from dry mouth!


 

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See Ya

Posted by Ogged
on 06.28.04
For some reason the "transfer of sovereignty" is leading the news. Wonkette sums up nicely.
Please, don't get us wrong, we totally heart sovereignty. It's, like self-rule and shit. But as a gag gift, it's sort of overwhelming. What is this, The Kutcher Doctrine?

 

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Everyone Has a Limit

Posted by Ogged
on 06.28.04

Antonin Scalia, my new hero. From his dissent today.

Many think it not only inevitable but entirely proper that liberty give way to security in times of national crisis-—that, at the extremes of military exigency, inter arma silent leges. Whatever the general merits of the view that war silences law or modulates its voice, that view has no place in the interpretation and application of a Constitution designed precisely to confront war and, in a manner that accords with democratic principles, to accommodate it.

And keep watching Volokh for updates today.

AND: A very helpful summary by Brett Marston.

MORE: Another excellent (and a bit worrisome) summary by Brian Leiter.

Just to note: Eugene Volokh is perfectly correct here, but note that the particular defense of Thomas boils down to: "Thomas doesn't blindly follow Scalia; Thomas is strongly in favor of dictatorship!"

LAST?: Jack Balkin with another very helpful post.


 

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Pseudonymous Identity

Posted by Ogged
on 06.28.04

Hang on a cotton pickin' minute. Did I just find Best Commenter Ever abc123? Over at Drezner's site, one "anciano" makes a comment in that distinctively speculative yet assertorial style.

Richard Nixon was our last liberal President. Clinton (and Carter) were more conservative than Nixon, as Max Boot says ... Clinton talked the talk, but it was hollow talk. Clinton's deeds favored big oil and rich people, notwithstanding the myths ... Our political parties give us slogans and symbols. They are more dangerous than Islamic radicals. Richard Nixon and Henry Ford, scoundrels both, saw that a sustainable culture needs well-paid workers.

You expect me to believe that two people can think like this? Fess up abc!


 

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Mindfulness

Posted by Ogged
on 06.28.04

Ron Reagan sounds like a decent guy, and I think he puts his finger on what was special about his father (who I didn't like, so you can save the vitriol).

In private, you got what you got in public. He treated everyone the same. He was just a very warm man, and he worked hard to impress upon his children the value of kindness. He was biologically incapable of gossip. There was no smallness in him.

Well put! You really can't imagine Reagan gossiping, can you? That's also a bit inhuman, and I'm sure has it's own dark side, but it's enormously compelling, just the same.

I found the interview via Dan Drezner, who notes what Reagan Jr. has to say about Dick Cheney.

How did your mother feel about being ushered to her seat by President Bush?
Well, he did a better job than Dick Cheney did when he came to the rotunda. I felt so bad. Cheney brought my mother up to the casket, so she could pay her respects. She is in her 80's, and she has glaucoma and has trouble seeing. There were steps, and he left her there. He just stood there, letting her flounder. I don't think he's a mindful human being. That's probably the nicest way I can put it.

One tries to see disagreements as substantive, but, once again, some people are just bad people. (To put it another way, it's not credible that none of the people in government are bad people.)


 

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Skill Set

Posted by Ogged
on 06.28.04

Unlike anything having to do with philosophy, Brad DeLong has extremely helpful thoughts on why the work of the press is so shoddy. From sorta kinda knowing a few journalists myself, this really rings true.


 

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And For This Too

Posted by Ogged
on 06.28.04
Yes, the Supreme Court has issued decisions in some of the big enemy combatant cases, but I'll keep quiet until I hear from people who've had time to read the opinions...

 

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Wait For It

Posted by Ogged
on 06.28.04

Well, this is interesting. Kevin blogs a Financial Times story that claims the old forged Niger yellowcake documents are the work of some crooked Italian businessman. But then, Josh Marshall drops this rather interesting hint.

I cannot begin to describe how much I would like to say more than that. And at some later point in some later post I will do my best to explain the hows and whys of why I can't. But, for the moment, I can't.
Let me, however, offer a hypothetical that might help make sense of all this.
Let's say that certain individuals or organizations are responsible for some rather unfortunate misdeeds. And let's further postulate that such hypothetical individuals or organizations find out that some folks are on to them, that a story is in the works -- perhaps more than one -- and that it's coming right at them. Those individuals or organizations -- as shorthand, let's call them 'the bad actors' -- might well start trying to fight back, trying to gin up an alternative storyline to exculpate themselves and inculpate others. If that story made its way into the news, at a minimum, it might help the bad actors muddy the waters for when the real story comes out. You can see how such a regrettable turn of events might come to pass.

A couple of weeks ago, Josh had this to say about the story he's working on.

I and several colleagues have been working on a story that, if and when it comes to fruition --- and I'm confident it shall --- should shuffle the tectonic plates under that capital city where I normally hang my hat.

Well, the provenance of those documents just became much more intriguing.


 

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Keyser Soze

Posted by Ogged
on 06.27.04

Eric Umansky, new blogger and old Today's Papers writer, expounds on the ubiquity of Zarqawi.

As for the regular invocations of Zarqawi, by the U.S. , the media, and now guerrillas, it could all be accurate. But another possibility is that there's some sort of a feedback loop going on. That is, the administration decides that it serves its interests to hype a foreign, Osama-connected bad-guy as the source of the troubles. The media, though I sense increasing skepticism, largely repeats the line, turning Zarqawi into an iconic figure. And then maybe guerrillas, who may or may not have real connections to him, decide, "This guy's a superstar, We're on his team!"
In other words, Zarqawi could become a rallying cry, regardless of his real role.
That makes me wonder how wise it is for the U.S. to keep invoking his name.

That sounds right. It is possible, though, that the administration could benefit from creating a villian that they have a good chance of catching or killing. Since they don't seem any closer to catching Osama, it may give them a boost to make Zarqawi seem more important, and then get him. But this is speculative, even for a blog...


 

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Culture Clash

Posted by Ogged
on 06.27.04

Word to the wise: If you're going to create a monster, try not to make it your mother. A couple of years ago, I got my mom on the Internet, and now, she's constantly sending me stuff she wants me to read, usually from the lefty fringe, sometimes about Iran, and now, dear god, from Iranian personals sites. She really wants me to write to this woman. Nevermind that I don't even know where Mission Viejo, California is, how do you explain the relevance of this to your mother?

About My Match: I would like meet an average,loyal, and honest man who is in touch with his feelings and doesn't believe in pre-marital sex.

Well, no problem, there's always...oh...

ATTITUDES:

Pornography: Immoral

It doesn't say how she feels about her pent up perfect match chewing rocks and fucking chickens, but you can probably guess...


 

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