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Night Descends On the American Republic

Posted by Ogged
on 10.16.04

Easily the scariest thing I've read in the past few years. Once again, I fear for the republic.

The [senior White House] aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

That's psychotic. And it's incoherent to say anything about "the way the world works" while denying the limitations of reality. Practically speaking, it's a simple confusion of great power with infinite power; a confusion you'd think would have been diagnosed by the administration currently having its ass handed to it by a few thousand ragtag Iraqis.

What's most frightening is the hostility it betrays toward "judicious study." That's Suskind's point, of course (I don't need to tell you to read the whole thing, right?). But to see that the attitude is in fact believed, as opposed to offered up for public consumption, is chilling. Not that they've forgotten the public.

And for those who don't get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. ''You think he's an idiot, don't you?'' I said, no, I didn't. ''No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!'' In this instance, the final ''you,'' of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

McKinnon is dead right that the glue that holds the right together is hatred of stereotypical educated urban lefties. Lord knows its not a shared set of values: Do you think Jewish, urban-dwelling Jonah Goldberg and any of the midwesterners quoted in the article have anything in common?

But McKinnon, who isn't the advisor quoted above, lives in his own fact-free world. Suskind plainly says he doesn't think Bush is an idiot, but McKinnon just says "No, you do." And he also ignores the massive real chunk of Democrats who are blacks, and union workers, and live in the middle of the country, and act just like their neighbors, but still think that George Bush shouldn't be president.

I don't even know what to say. Read the whole thing; get out the vote.


 

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Yet Another Mary Cheney Post

Posted by Ogged
on 10.16.04

Via Kaus, the most likely uncharitable explanation for mentioning Mary Cheney.

Perhaps bringing up the gay daughter won't work with people who are already fond of Bush and Cheney and likely to respond by circling the wagons around them. But it could be savvy politics in trying to neutralize the issue with a bloc of voters Kerry badly needs who are predisposed to dislike the Republican ticket. I don't know how this gambit played with African-Americans, but if you think about it logically, they seem like the most likely target audience.

That's smart political analysis (the rest of the post fills it out a bit). Initially, I thought the intended audience for the remark was undecided moderates, but this makes more sense. Which is not to say that I now think that that's what Kerry was up to. It's also possible that he was both shaming Bush and pandering to African-Americans. Unless someone from Kerry's strategy sessions decides to talk, we'll never know (an epistemic fact that really ought to cool the "you're insensitive," "no, you're a closet homophobe" talk).


 

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Issues

Posted by Ogged
on 10.16.04

A very helpful post from Kos about why Kerry is talking about what he's talking about.

The Draft. It's the Democrats' "October Surprise", and the GOP is scared shitless. It polls through the roof -- suburban women will become single-issue voters on it. They don't want their children sent off to fight Bush's disastrous wars. 18-25 year olds are suddenly realizing their vote means something -- perhaps life and death. As Trapper John notes below, it's so potent an issue, that Ed Gillespie, RNC chair, has threatened Rock the Vote for using it.
Remember, if we have learned anything, it's that people can tolerate war as long as it's someone else doing the dying. The threat of a Draft paints the poor Iraq news in a different light to many voters.
Outsourcing. I've seen the issue move numbers 10-20 points in private polling for several House races, and by smaller but significant margins in national polling. It's electoral gold, and has helped Democrats like SC's Inez Tenenbaum remain competitive in hostile Red territory.
Gas prices. Prices at the pump have strangely not kept up with the rising cost of crude. Is there a concerted effort by Big Oil to avoid costing the adminstratiing the election? But prices are rising nevertheless. And people will tolerate a lot of things, high prices isn't one of them.
Flu shots. This excellent diary looks at swing state headlines, and sees the flu shot issue dominating.

The draft is the big one, of course. I know Republicans say that draft talk is scare-mongering, but if someone knows of a Republican rebuttal that addresses the fact that we don't have enough troops if we need to fight another war, I'd like to see it.


 

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You Can't Say That On Television

Posted by Ogged
on 10.16.04

Just watch Jon Stewart on Crossfire.

What's really amazing is that what Stewart says isn't even controversial; but public discourse (particularly television) so thoroughly denies its own nature (as theater, for an indeterminate audience), that just saying so while taking part in it causes the whole edifice to sway. Carlson and Begala aren't playing their parts by the end of the first segment; they're rattled, and they're rattled by what they know is true.

How very appropriate that it was Tucker Carlson who offered this assessment of Bush media handler Karen Hughes.

I've obviously been lied to a lot by campaign operatives, but the striking thing about the way she lied was she knew I knew she was lying, and she did it anyway. There is no word in English that captures that. It almost crosses over from bravado into mental illness.

link via the poor man


 

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Perhaps the Last Mary Cheney Post

Posted by Ogged
on 10.16.04

Tim Noah's article on the Mary Cheney comment is very good and short enough to do without an excerpt. I think baa and Paul are the only ones unconvinced so far--does this help, guys?


 

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Aww

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again: we definitely have the most fun in the comments around here, and this week it's been smart and sharp and still somehow polite. Great stuff. So, to the new folks and the old-timers, thanks, bitches.


 

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Mud Baths!

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

If you're an Iranian male of a certain age, you really should think twice before posting a personal ad. What is this guy's deal with showers, cleanliness, and hygeine? And I love that he's looking for someone within 5000 miles of where he lives. We are an inclusive people. But we're really nasty to each other...

Also, George Hamilton is going to kill him.


 

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A Bit of Honesty

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

The Poor Man beats me to it. Do not miss the transcript of Jon Stewart on Crossfire.


 

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Laws and Other Inconveniences

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

Two things from Michael Froomkin.

Yaser Hamdi was compelled to give up his citizenship as a condition of his release (without charges) from Guantanamo. Apparently, as a native born citizen, he can't be compelled to do that. Froomkin writes,

Isn't it somewhat, um, scary when the government can lock a citizen up in solitary for three years, deny access to lawyers or family, then say, "Hey, no need for a trial or anything messy like that: We'll let you out of solitary if you agree to permanent exile?".
It sounds Soviet to me.

Yes, but his name is Hamdi, so no one thinks he's a "real" citizen anyway.

Then there's this story, which really says it all about the Bush campaign.

Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and escorted from the event after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Protect our civil liberties."

Because our President just won't stand for that shit.


 

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Star

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

This, on the other hand, is not offensive at all.


 

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Worn Out

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

Brett Marston has the succinct summation.

Bush is quite possibly the only incumbent President in recent history who appears less qualified to be President now than he did when he took office, and in 2000 Bush was arguably barely qualified to begin with.

 

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Everybody Loves Gays Day

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

I'm sorry, liberal buddies, but I'm finding this "mentioning she's gay is only a problem if you think being gay is a problem" a tad disingenuous. It doesn't matter what we liberals think about homosexuality, and it doesn't even much matter what John Kerry thinks about it; the fact is that homosexuality is a politicaly charged and divisive topic, not at all like being tall, or having Down syndrome. You convinced me that there are non-yucky political reasons for Kerry and Edwards to have mentioned it, but you can't pretend that a presidential candidate (and his vice-president) mentioning it in debates didn't mean anything by it. Insofar as quite reasonable liberals can see the mentions as an appeal to homophobia, the proper defense of them is to say what else they can be--being suspicious isn't necessarily a sign of bigotry, just a recognition that bigotry exists.

UPDATE: I think I wasn't clear. I'm not still objecting to the mention. I'm saying that the argument--which I've seen, off the top of my head, at Matt Yglesias, John & Belle, and Michael Berube--that only people who have some latent discomfort with homosexuality would find Kerry's mention of it objectionable, to be unconvincing.


 

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Those Are Mine

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

The Times runs an alarmist article today, with the headline, "Nader Emerging as the Threat Democrats Feared." The gist is that Nader is polling best in states where the race between Kerry and Bush is closest. The New Republic runs almost the same article today.

But are any of these Nader voters potential Kerry voters? I'm inclined to believe that they'd be voting for some minor party candidate, or not voting at all. You can't just take the percentage of Nader voters, add it to the Kerry voters, and believe that you have the number of potential Kerry votes, if only the Naderites would come to their senses. Of course, I have no evidence for this; just the naive belief that no one could be so stupid twice.


 

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The Old Days, and Long Nights

Posted by Ogged
on 10.15.04

Power was out at my place last night, so I had a quiet dinner by flashlight and got to bed at a decent hour. So, is the light bulb responsible for the decline of civilization, or what? It's must be much easier to write masterworks and not be grumpy when you get enough sleep.


 

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Atonement

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

The New York Times atones (a bit) for its awful Derrida obituary by running a very good column by Mark Taylor, who actually knows his stuff. (Though I think he overstates the case by including Derrida with Heidegger and Wittgenstein...but that doesn't really matter.)


 

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The Truth Will Piss You Off

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

First, take a look at what the fuss is about. Here's a page from the Kerry/Edwards Colorado election day manual.

Drudge "reads" this as: "CHARGE VOTER INTIMIDATION, EVEN IF NONE EXISTS" (That's a "World Exclusive," naturally.)

Of course, anyone who actually reads the text can see that it says no such thing. In brief, it says, "we expect voter intimidation, make sure people are talking about it."

Drudge's reading was so tenuous that I just chuckled and assumed that not even the faithful would give this any credence. That was before I read Stephen Green, the "Vodka Pundit," who I found via an Insta-link that I clicked in a moment of weakness. Apparently, the Democrats are turning the country into a banana republic by undermining the citizenry's faith in our electoral process. Apparently, he can't believe how low they've sunk. Apparently, they've really sunk low.

Two things amaze. He doesn't even bother to give a reading of the memo. He just says "If Drudge has it right...." Which I don't even take to mean, "If Drudge is reading it correctly," but "If this is authentic." Then, he lists a series of Democratic abuses regarding voter fraud, forgetting, I suppose, that Democratic transgressions cut against his point--don't sully "the reputation of the world's oldest continuously-functioning democracy"!--just as much as Republican transgressions. And, naturally, he doesn't mention the brewing scandal of the season, the Sproul-GOP-funded shredding of the registrations of Democrats. Nor does he mention an NAACP report (PDF) detailing instances of voter intimidation by Republicans.

Ultimately, it's an almost perfect "Why do the facts hate America?" post: Nevermind the instances of voter fraud that I'm mentioning (and the ones I'm not mentioning); talking about the possibility of voter fraud undermines confidence in the system! I think he's sincere. I don't think he's being a hack and I don't see any deliberate falsehoods, it's just a bizarre reaction to unpleasant truths.


 

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An Ad

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

Ok, I defer to a majority of smart folks: the ad didn't do much for me, but maybe you'll disagree.

via yglesias, schmitt, and kleiman


 

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Yup

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

Start with this post, and read the two just below it as well; three spot-on must-reads from Josh Marshall.


 

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Scary

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

Walking along today, I did a double-take because I thought I saw an alien in someone's car. But it was just an old lady in the passenger seat. Somewhere I read recently that what we really fear and fail to confront isn't death, but aging. Profound, I'd say.


 

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Judgment

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

Wonkette's liveblogging takes the cake.

Did you see Wolcott calling her "that meek librarian with the Ann-Margret moves"? Excellent.


 

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Imagination Unconstrained By Reason

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

Just to make sure you're following the hot rumor(s): Bush still has his bulge, so he's either wired, or there's something going on related to the fact that he seems to have skipped his physical this year, which makes the fact that lip readers claim that he asked John Kerry if they could talk later that night a sign that 1) Bonesman are conspiring to rule the world or 2) Bush is going to drop out of the race.


 

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On A Curve

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

A note about debate evaluations. There are two ways to judge debate performances, and bloggers don't always distinguish between which they're doing. You can evaluate them as a citizen with your own preferences and concerns, or you can evaluate them as someone trying to gauge their political efficacy. I hope it's clear that I've been doing the latter. Do I really think, as a citizen, that Bush's answer on faith was "better" than Kerry's? No, I think it was horseshit. But I, like other folks, have some vague notion of the undecided voter's mind, and I try to imagine how the answers are resonating there.


 

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At Last, Where You've Been

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

You know, Google really does rock.

Google Inc. released a free tool today that lets people simultaneously search the Web and their personal computers for information ... Google's new software, available as a free download at http://desktop.google.com, not only indexes the full text of e-mail messages and word processing documents, but also gives people the option of creating a searchable archive of all Web pages they visit and all instant messages they send and receive with AOL software.

The searchable browsing history alone is gold. Unfortunately, it only seems to support Internet Explorer [I'M WRONG, see comments...] and Microsoft Office files, but I hope the good folks at Mozilla can port it for Firefox.


 

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Mary

Posted by Ogged
on 10.14.04

I still haven't articulated to my satisfaction what I found objectionable about John Edwards' mention of Mary Cheney (or Kerry's last night), but as it seems to be the Right's major charge coming out of the debate, I thought Andrew Sullivan's reaction was worth posting in full.

I keep getting emails asserting that Kerry's mentioning of Mary Cheney is somehow offensive or gratuitous or a "low blow". Huh? Mary Cheney is out of the closet and a member, with her partner, of the vice-president's family. That's a public fact. No one's privacy is being invaded by mentioning this. When Kerry cites Bush's wife or daughters, no one says it's a "low blow." The double standards are entirely a function of people's lingering prejudice against gay people. And by mentioning it, Kerry showed something important. This issue is not an abstract one. It's a concrete, human and real one. It affects many families, and Bush has decided to use this cynically as a divisive weapon in an election campaign. He deserves to be held to account for this - and how much more effective than showing a real person whose relationship and dignity he has attacked and minimized? Does this makes Bush's base uncomfortable? Well, good. It's about time they were made uncomfortable in their acquiescence to discrimination. Does it make Bush uncomfortable? Even better. His decision to bar gay couples from having any protections for their relationships in the constitution is not just a direct attack on the family member of the vice-president. It's an attack on all families with gay members - and on the family as an institution. That's a central issue in this campaign, a key indictment of Bush's record and more than relevant to any debate. For four years, this president has tried to make gay people invisible, to avoid any mention of us, to pretend we don't exist. Well, we do. Right in front of him.

MORE: I see that Paul at locussolus also had concerns (in comments) when Edwards mentioned Mary.

It's about coopting the opposition's homophobia and using at against them, but also against [Mary] at the same time.

That's helpful, but let me try this question, and it's really a question, I'm persuadable on this point: What is the purpose of mentioning that Mary Cheney is a lesbian? I'm not asking for a justification (she works for the campaign, she's fair game, etc.), I'm curious what you all think the point of mentioning her is. I'm also not asking about just any effect, e.g., "it makes gays and lesbians more visible." Fine, but I won't believe that that's why Kerry brought it up. So why did he?

AND: Here's James Wolcott's very good answer.

I think what Kerry did was quite ingenious and useful: he deflected any future attempt to paint Democrats as the party of heathen sodomites by pointing out that the vice president's daughter is lesbian, the vice president and his wife love their daughter, sexual preference crosses political lines, so take this cultural wedge issue and stick it where it ouches--and got this across in such a caring, sharing way.

Ok, so Kerry's shrinking the box Bush and Cheney are in: they can't go all rabid anti-gay, because, well, you know about Cheney's daughter. Hmm.

OK: Those are good answers in the comments. I'm convinced. Hey, did you know that MARY CHENEY IS A LESBIAN!?!


 

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Osama

Posted by Ogged
on 10.13.04

Not liveblogging, but Bush just said he never said he wasn't worried about Osama. Check it out.

"So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. . . . I truly am not that concerned about him."

I never met John Edwards...

SHIT: Bush did meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, contra Kerry's assertion. He should have stopped with NAACP.

THE END: I thought Kerry dominated the first third of the debate, but more touchy-feely questions brought Bush back. Bush was just far better on his faith and about the women in his life. And Bush's closing was better, and last, which is a big advantage. I know it seems trivial, but I think Kerry's Congressional Black Caucus lie really hurts, because otherwise the fact checking could have focused on Bush's Osama lie.

So, the debates don't decide the election. I expect the polls will stay even, and it will be a bitter and frantic three weeks. Get out the vote folks, anything you can do.


 

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Yo G

Posted by Ogged
on 10.13.04

New find Monkeyface (of the harpy craigslist ad) comes through with a real list.

I also cross off names - and in the case of the letter "G," whole letters of the alphabet. I think engineers are weird - not like freaky midget-sex weird but like alphabetize their cabinets weird. I know, I've dated a few. History majors are automatically disqualified as are psych majors (I don't need that kind of attention). I did the older man thing with the last guy I was with but it was creepy and ultimately I'd like a guy who can mow my lawn without me worrying they're going to have a coronary. Plus, they wear creepy old man shoes. Oh, and I'm down with all kinds of religions, personal beliefs and the like, but I cannot get with the Mormon thing. I'm sorry, but any religion that says you have to wear magic underpants for protection from "impure desires" is wiggity-whack to me.

Concrete rules. No wonder she's so cheerful and happy.


 

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Snore

Posted by Ogged
on 10.13.04

It's official: I'm a woman.

Kentucky University researchers found men's loss of inhibition was three times greater than women's with the same blood alcohol levels ... It found men appeared to become more stimulated after drinking while women became more relaxed ... The men reported levels of stimulation, including aggression, confidence and loss of inhibition, which were two and a half times higher than women. In contrast, the women reported a six times higher level of sedation than the men.

Recently, a look of utter disbelief passed over my friend's face when he realized that though we spent most of our college years shit drunk together, neither of us could think of single crazy stupid thing that I'd done. (He, on the other hand, narrowly escaped death a few times, and spent one night gripped by a fear of stairs, pleading with me every time we came near some not to make him take them....)

But honestly, I'm not sure what drink has to do with it. Seems the story could just as easily be: Men more likely to do stupid shit.


 

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Blocked?

Posted by Ogged
on 10.13.04

Oh brother, I take a poll, calibrate my posting strategy, and have...absolutely nothing to say today. It happens, you know!

Surely I'll have something after the debate, right?


 

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Sensibility

Posted by Ogged
on 10.12.04
Usually, I read the Craigslist personals just for fun, but if I lived in Chicago, I would email this woman in a second. In fact, I think I'm going to email her anyway, just to express a bit of appreciation. MORE: On the internets, everyone is playing someone. She (? assuming it's a she) has a damn funny website, and catalogs responses to her ads.

 

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That Damn Two-Dimensional Model

Posted by Ogged
on 10.12.04

Matt Yglesias writes something remarkable (my emphasis).

it's hard to be a "leftist" and a partisan Democrat at the same time, and I'm much more the latter than I am the former. Real leftists find themselves worrying if they should vote for Nader with their hearts or Kerry with their heads. I think Nader's wrong on substance, all spoiling concerns aside, and the Democrats are a bit too far left for my taste.

It's an odd thing to say, because it's almost certainly not true as it stands. Yes, I also find the Democrats too far left with their protectionism, and subservience to teacher's unions, for example, but are they really too far left on drug policy, or gay marriage? The comment comes in the middle of a post about Afghanistan, so maybe I'm missing something, but it does seem a very strange thing to say.


 

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What Else Can't I Do On Vacation?

Posted by Ogged
on 10.12.04

They can do this? Any lawyers care to comment?

I sent the story to E. Volokh, asking him the same question. I'll let you know if he responds.

RESPONSE: Volokh is swamped, but says the short answer is that the US can constrain citizens abroad. Is this news only to me?


 

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How To Do Things With Blogs

Posted by Ogged
on 10.12.04

Obviously, I think blogs are great, and make possible communities and discussions that otherwise wouldn't happen. But I've never felt any blogger triumphalism, either over Trent Lott, or the CBS memos, because while blogs were instrumental in those cases, they weren't the necessary instrument: what happened might have still happened absent blogs. But if folks manage to keep Sinclair from running anti-Kerry propaganda, or just make a severe dent in how many households are subjected to it, it will be the first time that I think we can say: it wouldn't have happened without blogs. Great great work--follow the links in Atrios's post, see if you're local to one of the stations, and make a few calls.


 

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Smooth

Posted by Ogged
on 10.12.04

I'm skeptical of any speculative diagnosis, but watch the clip, it's flabbergasting.

UPDATE: The clip is down because of bandwidth issues; I'll bump this back to the top when it's available.

AVAILABLE: The clip is here.


 

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Incoming

Posted by Ogged
on 10.12.04

In the comments to this post, the apostropher tells us,

when I was single and unattached, opportunities were scarce. When I've been married, both the first time and the current one, I got hit on constantly.

Labs agrees:

I endorse A-po's comment: the opportunities are there when you can't take advantage. This has to be more than a confirmation bias, I swear it.

I've heard the same things dozens of times. Now, if we weren't blogging, perhaps we would have seen the business opportunity here. Awesome.

A 29-year-old graduate student, she is one of a dozen women who work for a New York-based Web site called Wingwomen.com, earning up to $30 an hour to accompany single men to bars and help them chat up other women. The Web site's founder, Shane Forbes, a computer programmer, started it in December after realizing he had more success with women when he went to clubs with female friends. "Every time I was with them, I would meet women," he said.

via marginal revolution


 

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And Also...

Posted by Ogged
on 10.12.04

In trying to decide how much political stuff to blog here, I assume that people read several other blogs, but it occurs to me that I might be wrong. So, to get a sense of what people are reading, if you wouldn't mind answering:

UPDATE: Thanks to all who voted. I think the picture's pretty clear: almost everyone does read at least one of those sites. I'm very curious about the ones who don't!


 

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Company

Posted by Ogged
on 10.11.04

A comment at Dan Drezner's reminds me of a question that came up recently among friends (yeah, we have totally juvenile conversations, and it's usually my fault, always steering the conversation away from serious topics): have you ever sat next to a really attractive person on a plane? The only person to say yes (and claim he slept with her--not on the plane--was a born-in-Ireland Irishman, so I'm sure he was lying). This group included the friend whose itinerary I posted a while back; he flys a lot, and he had just yelled at the person sitting next to him (which you'd think would be an even more rare occurrence), but he said no. I believe it was Unf who had once sat a few seats away while his friend laughed it up with an exotic dancer who was showing off pictures of herself, but still, a no for Unf too.

What's galling is that you almost always see at least one really attractive person, but they're always sitting elsewhere (perfectly reasonable statistical/probablistic explanations will be deleted and the posters banned). So, do some folks just have all the luck?


 

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Be Meaner!

Posted by Ogged
on 10.11.04

It's pretty well-established that I'm all about helping the ladies with love. So I read profgrrrrl's vague, too-generous-by-half list of what she requires in a suitor with dismay. So far, she's excluded short guys, smokers, and kid and cat owners. That's not enough. Everything else can be fudged or faked (not forever, but long enough to be a pain). What a grrrrl needs are some bright-line requirements and disqualifications. Here's her list, with my comments in red.

Absolutes (without these things, it couldn't work):

* Self-sufficient (financially, in everyday life; if he refers to clearing thing with mother and father, I get worried) Makes at least $60k. On a scale of 1-10, harbors hostility of at least 3, no greater than 6, toward parents.

* No kids (I was a step-kid. I was horrible. I never want to even potentially enter that scenario from the other side, so why tempt fate on it?)

* Keeps up with what is going on in the world Can name the German foreign minister known in part for his youthful activism. This is the best one-question proxy I can think of for being reasonably clued-in

* Is passionate about what he does (ex has said that if anything he can see me with another professor, an artist, a writer, a journalist) Must be either: a professor, an artist, a writer, or a journalist. Come on people.... Within the first month, must be completely distracted by something work-related during what I consider a "special" meal.

* Is passionate. Period. Yes, in that context. Women don't really need help being brutal about this, do they?

* Has own life/not clingy/not trying to own me or change me Never ever says things beginning "You just want....

* Can handle quiet time and alone time. (Being quiet together works ... going to a cafe to work, etc.) No goddam pouting when told to be quiet or go away for a while.

* Reads. Thinks. Has opinions. But is not pedantic about them. Reads. Thinks. Has opinions. But is not pedantic about them. Superman's dead, baby.

* A silly side. A light side. A similar sense of humor. Shares cultural references and whatnot. First instinct is to laugh at a joke, not to make another one.

* Likes music. Live music, too. And movies. And travel. Who doesn't like music?

* Not conservative (how to Carville/Matlin do it?). Doesn't think Hispanics are lazy.

* Observant. (If you don't notice that I just chopped 3 inches off my hair, we have a problem) An example! Hooray! But too observant is no good either.

Flexibles (bonus points, some more important than others, but there are probably workarounds):

* Cooks. Cooking together is fun. And veggie-friendly is good, too.

* Neat and clean. Not obsessively so, though.

* Drinks or is OK with the fact that I can, do, and will.

* No smoking.

* No cats.

* Appreciates art. Willing to go to cultural events. Sporting events, generally speaking, do not count.

* Likes to dance or is willing to try.

Shallows (I hate to admit them, but yeah, these things do matter):

* taller than me (generally not a problem)

* "bigger" than me (not overly wiry, although sometimes if quite tall it is OK; generally not a problem, though)

* physically fit (can keep up with me!)

* has sense of style (or is open to getting one? This is in the vein of black sneakers do not go with every outfit, you really do need to get a haircut more than once a year, $30 really is not too much to spend on a sweater -- in fact is a good deal)


 

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Successish

Posted by Ogged
on 10.11.04

In an attempt to be gracious, I should note that George Bush is still an idiot and a vote for him is still a vote to tear down the republic, but elections in Afghanistan seem to have gone about as well as could be expected.


 

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Erin Gray Teaches Tai Chi

Posted by Ogged
on 10.11.04

I can't believe I haven't heard this yet about the Bush Bulge: Twiki, Dr. Theopolis.


 

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Invade Egypt

Posted by Ogged
on 10.11.04

Killing terrorists is nice, and we all like to do it, but here's the problem.

Egyptian security forces investigating the resort bombings that killed at least 33 people were concentrating their hunt Sunday on a group of previously unknown Egyptian militants. An Egyptian security official involved in the search conceded that "the perpetrators are Egyptians" but added that they had "help from someone outside."

All together now: the supply of terrorists is not finite, and the only way to win the "War on Terror" is to keep regular folks from becoming terrorists. I'm usually not thrilled with John Kerry's alliances, coalitions, and cooperation talk: I figure people really want to hear that he has a really big gun, but when I read stories like this, I think, thank god he understands.

That said, part of the reason John Edwards' answer on the Israeli/Palestinian situation was so dispiriting (the answer in which he didn't mention the Palestinians and just reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself), was that it indicated a Kerry administration would be no better than a Bush administration at healing the gaping wound that infects everything around it. Of course, now we've added Iraq to the list of places where American military hardware is killing Arabs. Happy talk notwithstanding, people tend not to see the justice of your cause and the nobility of your motives when you're killing them.


 

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Christopher Reeve

Posted by Ogged
on 10.11.04

Bah. Terrible news. Christopher Reeve has died. We knew him because of Superman, but we'll mourn Christopher Reeve. He was inspiring, and his death is the more sad because one sensed that he really did have hope, and believed that his determination could help him be cured. But death, of course, is merciless.

I SHOULD HAVE ADDED: Death is merciless, and love, apparently, equally steadfast. Spare a thought for Reeve's wife, Dana, who, as far as I can tell, was entirely devoted to Reeve, and perfectly gracious about the demands that his accident and celebrity created.

UPDATE 08-09-05: No, Dana Reeve is not a smoker.


 

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Just Wondering

Posted by Ogged
on 10.10.04

Pure speculation: Can Zarqawi really be responsible for all the things we hear he's responsible for? Isn't it odd that the Bushies would make him seem so important when we already have Osama uncaptured: who wants to be 0 for 2 when he can be 0 for 1? Mightn't the Bushies think they can dodge a lot of "October surprise" told-ya-so's if they produce Zarqawi instead of Osama?


 

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