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The Way Forward

Posted by Ogged
on 01.14.06

Kevin is exactly right.

Sometime this summer and fall we can probably expect yet another marketing campaign from the White House, this time aimed in the direction of Iran, and before long the alternatives are going to get pretty stark: do we recommend continuing sanctions and multilateral opprobrium, or do we support air strikes? Do we "live with" Iran's nuclear program or do we do something about it? Yes or no?
All this is by way of saying that although Democrats would like the 2006 election to be about Jack Abramoff and Republican corruption, the White House still has something to say about that. George Bush is going to do his best to keep national security front and center, and Democrats had better have a more crowd-pleasing answer on this subject than they did in 2002 and 2004. Just saying.

And Atrios describes exactly how it will go. Read all of both.


 

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Yes!

Posted by Ogged
on 01.13.06

I sure hope this is well-written, because it sounds like such a promising story.

Maria Dahvana Headley grew up listening to the "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign of the 1980s. As a student at New York University in the late '90s, she applied that advice to her love life, turning down most men who asked her out and dating only intellectual, literary types. Frustrated by those guys, she reversed course, resolving to spend one year responding positively to all flirting and saying yes to literally anyone who asked her out. The ensuing 150 dates included a homeless man, several non-English speakers, 10 taxi drivers, two lesbians and a mime.

You have to be pretty carefree and generous to try something like this, but I imagine it's pretty rewarding, in a glimpse of the vast human panorama kind of way.


 

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Decisiveness

Posted by Ogged
on 01.12.06

I was checking out some gun porn, and it's hard not to laugh at the euphemisms that break out when tough guys talk about killing people.

Consumers of self-defense handguns have always suffered on the horns of a dilemma. On the one side is the need for a small, lightweight, easy-to-carry-and-conceal sidearm, and on the other side is the need for a powerful, decisive cartridge.
The problem being, if the gun was small and easy to conceal and carry, it was usually offered only in a midbore or smaller caliber. That meant it was less effective than the larger and heavier bigbore alternative.
Those opting for the bigbore-diameter alternative were forced to choose either a large pistol that was difficult to conceal and carry for long hours or a radically reduced version of the first that limited both its terminal effectiveness due to the far shorter barrel length and its reliability.

I suspect (and I say all this despite the fact that I actually kinda want a Glock 38) that the euphemisms signal some sort of deliberative seriousness, meant to distinguish the talk from swinging dick bloodlust. Of a piece with that is how seriously the article takes the possibility that the gun will be used for self-defense.

As for the caliber and magazine capacity of the Glock 38 when compared to guns like the Glock 19, the Glock 23 or the Glock 32, the best way to assess the Glock 38 is to determine what means more to you: a whole bunch of smaller bullets or a gun offering true bigbore performance.

Now, if the audience for this article is law enforcement and the military, this is all fine, but if we're talking about regular joes and their guns, am I wrong that the incidence of successful self-defense with a handgun is very low? I understand the seduction of successful self-defense stories, but seriously, for just about everyone who buys a gun, it's just never going to be an issue, and I have a hard time imaging situations where one would require a gun for self-defense in which the caliber would matter. But I'm willing to be disabused; I'm pretty sure I'm just spouting liberal orthodoxy on this.


 

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The Future

Posted by Ogged
on 01.12.06
I won't even bother to excerpt. Headline: "Man sues chatroom pals: I was humiliated beyond what 'no man could endure'"

 

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Calamity

Posted by Ogged
on 01.12.06

I was having a conversation with someone last night, and we got to talking about pandemics, and, of course, about what we would do if we were "the last person left alive" (with the proviso that we couldn't be sure of being alone). A few notes:

1. We like civilization, and sure would miss it. Division of labor and specialized knowledge: awesome! We have, for example, no idea how to grow food. Even if we managed to get some seeds to sprout, all the steps from harvesting to edible product are mysterious to us. We figured we'd eat a lot of fish, because nets are low-tech.

2. Where to live? Somewhere with a mild climate, of course, but not a place where you couldn't migrate if something unforeseen happened. Isolated landmasses (Hawaii, for instance) are right out. For someplace temperate, with access to fresh water, and availabe routes out, the Tuscany region of Italy and San Francisco, California, sounded pretty good.

3. Something of a surprising realization, but probably true: the world would be quickly overrun by animals. Rats and bunnies first, but probably deer, and dogs, then bears and such would be everywhere. Despite the bleak/romantic image of the last person alive walking down the street of a desolate city, that last person would probably have to hole up somewhere to keep all the beasts at bay.

4. Thinking about this is a pretty good psychological profiler, especially if you're not aware of that at the outset. My friend's plan was to immediately start looking for other people, and send up some sort of beacon, and find a radio, preferably one from which he could broadcast. But I was all "find an easily-defended, well-provisioned exurban structure that I can use as a base."

5. If you do find other people, and decide to procreate, there's pretty much no getting around the inbreeding problem.


 

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Did You Know...

Posted by Ogged
on 01.11.06

You can get Gmail on your phone or handheld in a usable and friendly format by going to http://m.gmail.com

And: Of course it's down now, even though it was up a few minutes ago when I checked. Oh well. It's cool when it works.

Working now!


 

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Protection

Posted by Ogged
on 01.10.06

Wait, are most twenty- and thirty-something women in our social circle on the pill?


 

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He Likes Shoes

Posted by Ogged
on 01.10.06
Scarlett Johansson has this to say about her co-star, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.
"He's a fantastic actor, intense, gorgeous and funny," she said. "But I can say for sure I never had a passionate encounter with him. He's a really sexy, brooding guy but he's very gossipy. He likes shoes and it was like having a girlfriend on the set."
There you have it. Except, didn't Johansson have a fling with Benicio del Toro? That's like necrophilia, without the stigma. So her preferences may not be universally shared. Still, gentlemen, probably best to avoid shoes for a while.

 

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Probably Not Knitters

Posted by Ogged
on 01.09.06

At the pool today, a fifty-year-old guy and a seventy-year-old guy discussed life.

FYOG - But you got married again. I would have thought that you would have learned your lesson the first time.

SYOG - My wife is a real wife. My first wife was a trophy wife.

FYOG - There's something to be said for pretty women.

SYOG - Nothing good.


 

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Things That Are Sub-Optimal

Posted by Ogged
on 01.09.06

1. A helicopter that decides to hover directly over your place of residence for half an hour early on a Sunday morning. There's nothing to see here, people!

2. An outdoor pool with a malfunctioning heating system, and water that has cooled to 68 degrees. While 68 is a great temperature for air, the amusement of being the only person in the water (except for a family of Canadians) quickly gives way to the realization that no one else is swimming laps because 68 degree water in your ear feels surprisingly like a jabbing screwdriver.


 

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To Read

Posted by Ogged
on 01.09.06

Two good posts this morning:

A sweet story from Susan on how Russian women like to be deflowered by Georgian men.

And a really good post from Becks about the importance and dearth of mentors for professional women.


 

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Apostropher, 600 Comments Too Late

Posted by Ogged
on 01.08.06

I'm satisfied that the replacement for gay should be, as the apostropher suggests, "prissy." Now you can all decide that in fact you've always been sympathetic to prissiness.


 

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The Proper Standard

Posted by Ogged
on 01.08.06

This is pretty sweet.

Italian judge Gaetano Mautone has, with that special blend of flamboyance and arrogance you really only see in the continental judiciary, ordered a priest to appear in court to prove that Jesus exists. Or at least existed. Luigi Cascioli, a militant atheist and author of The Fable of Christ, has brought a case against Father Enrico Righi after the priest lambasted the writer for questioning Christ's historical origins. Cascioli argues that there is no reliable and/or contemporary evidence that Jesus existed, which makes Father Righi guilty of "an abuse of popular credulity" and the church authorities guilty of "substitution of persons", both offences under Italian law.

...

Accordingly, the judge will require Father Righi to adduce proof that not only was there a charismatic fellow gathering followers and boundless admiration as he toured first-century Palestine, but that he was also the son of God.

I don't know how things work over in Italy, but if it's a jury trial, the priest is going to win, and we'll never hear the end of it.


 

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Box Score

Posted by Ogged
on 01.08.06

Much as I hate Kobe Bryant, who seems to be a bad person in just about every respect, 50 points (with 40 in the second half), 8 boards and 8 assists is one hell of a game. But I'm still not convinced that Phil Jackson hasn't lost it.


 

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Our Common Language

Posted by Ogged
on 01.08.06

One of the distressing things about the blog has been that just about every time we discuss what a word means--think of "earnest," "demurral," and "gay"--it quickly becomes clear that people are operating with wildly different understandings. And we're all generally competent speakers of the language. That's all, just distressing.

Oh, and I came across Bridgeplate's explanation of the importance of diaeresis, which you should read.


 

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