Sunday, October 31, 2004

Electio ad Absurdum  

On Election Day itself, the commentators might as well be slicing open a goat or consulting the oracle at Delphi. Bush will win if it rains in Ohio. Long lines at polling places are good news for Kerry. If your cat coughs up a fur ball while watching Fox News, that means the election will be thrown into the House of Representatives.
And, once the results are known:
For the pundits, this is the moment to bring out their Gibbon, or their Tocqueville. For the cable news network bookers, this is a moment to try and find this guy Gibbon everybody is talking about (de Tocqueville sounds like he might have a foreign accent), a time to discover that he has been dead for 200 years, and a time to settle for Douglas Brinkley instead. Details are out, generalities are in.
Columnists in a mood to show off no longer assert that the Nebraska Republican primary holds the key to everything. Instead they assert that the election's meaning cannot be grasped until it is understood that the vote was, in its essence, a referendum on whether life has any meaning and that the conclusion was a ringing "perhaps."
After a year or more of this election campaign, you may feel like you're drowning in the triviality of it all. Just hold out for two more days, and you'll be swept up in history.

Then you'll really be sorry.

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Lookin' good for Bush 

The fact that he's ahead by a decent amount in the Rasmussen polls in Ohio and Florida and challenging Kerry in Pennsylvania and Michigain makes it look like Bush is the favorite going into Tuesday's election. Kerry has to upset Bush in Florida or Ohio, as well as hold onto all the Gore states, to have a chance at winning (barring any surprises).

Go Bush.

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big dog eat child 

Ridiculously funny improv group. I just saw them perform for the second time, and almost every second is funny. If you're in Chicago, go to one of their shows (if you're not easily offended, of course).

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Saturday, October 30, 2004

Casualty count redux 

Oxblog has a great roundup of the issue.

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Infamous Monsters of Filmland 

This is amazingly funny.

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Friday, October 29, 2004

I don't believe it 

80,000 Iraqis killed so far by US. I'm skeptical, to say the least.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the study. And here's a very interesting comment by TM on that link on the study that helps to air out some skepticism more cogently than I can.

Another UPDATE: A good demolishing of this study.

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New Bin Laden Tape 

The question is, how new is it? Is he really still alive?

UPDATE: Kerry is mentioned in the tape, so it can't be that old. Very interesting, to say the least.

Another UPDATE: Drudge has the transcript of the tape.

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Presidential Skulls 


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I know the stereotype isn't true, but I can appreciate a good laugh.

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Explaining the 'Anglosphere' 

Mr. Reynolds opines.

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Giving chimps a bad name 

Intelligence reigns in this election.

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The real bad guy 


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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Karl Rove Strikes Back 

He's known for rope-a-dope.

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The end of ethnicity in politics 

The End Of the 'Jewish Vote' (washingtonpost.com): "Religion is eclipsing ethnicity as a force in American politics. To be an Irish Catholic or a German Lutheran used to have real political meaning. Today those patchwork divisions, which stretch back more than a century, are fading. Increasingly, America, or at least white America, has just two political cultures: religious and secular. And next week Jews -- who have held out longer than their Christian brethren -- will finally choose sides."

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October Surprise 

If this is an October Surprise, than it's a pretty pathetic one. The middle finger is provocative in a closed setting? Not really.

UPDATE: I like Ann Althouse's take on this. It's a non-problem for Bush.

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Isaiah Berlin 

Ever want to know aboutIsaiah Berlin? Than read this article.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Total Lunar Eclipse 

Tomorrow night. Should be a good show.

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Kerry victory 

An argument presenting some possible upsides of a Kerry victory.

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The latest polls 

Here they are. You know you need your crack.

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The decline of violent crime 

A good article and a nifty chart to boot.

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Monday, October 25, 2004

Political Gridlock != Budgetary Disgression 

The Economist makes the case that a Kerry victory won't mean more control of the federal disgressionary spending.

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Borrowing encouraging saving? 

Maybe a brilliant idea that needs to be tested out?

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Some economic theory for today... 

...and a plug for the UofC. Go Maroons!

And, that has sueged me into thinking about one of our football cheers (there are many more, which a perusal of this archive will show you), which might possibly be the greatest cheer ever. Let me give it to you, since it's just priceless:
Themistocles, Thucydides,
The Peloponnesian War,
X squared, Y squared,
Who for? What for?
Who we gonna yell for?
This school is where being a nerd is cool.

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Why is Kerry losing this election? 

Here are some good reasons.

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...brings us wisdom every day. Take the following for what it is:
As I have said before, I wish this election weren't so important. But I'm afraid it is. If the Americans elected John Kerry in, oh, 1992 or 1996, that would be one thing. If they elect him in 2004 — that will tell us something disheartening.

A little story: Some time ago, England had what was called "the Metric Martyr." This was a fellow — a grocer or a butcher, I forget which — who sold his goods in imperial measures: pounds, ounces, etc. But because England is now beholden to Brussels, he was prosecuted for not using the metric system (hence, Metric Martyr).

I asked our senior editor David Pryce-Jones (a Brit), "How could the British people permit this? I mean, it's their system — the imperial system, or the English system — to begin with." David answered, "The British people wouldn't permit it. The question is whether they remain the British people."

I have thought about that story in the last few weeks.

UPDATE: The following is also a fine bit of prose and sense:
What George W. Bush is doing now is hard, often unpopular, and right. Will the Americans give him another term, so as to finish the job, or at least further it significantly? It could make a great difference in how history views him. Of course, it could also make a great difference in how history proceeds.

Another UPDATE: More from the big N:
I published a letter containing the old wisdom, "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll eat for life." Another reader wrote, "I think the more appropriate line about fishing is, 'Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll try to replace you with someone who'll give him fish every day.'"

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I hope the election's not close... 

...because the democrats trying to use a legal strategy centered around provisional ballots to sneak Kerry into office would be a 'bad thing', as they say.

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The Electoral College is Good 

It saves us from the lawyers by firewalling election crisis, when they inevitably crop up, into one or a few states.

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Models Predict Bush Victory 

We'll see if they're proven to be accurate or not.

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Crisis: The State of American History Today? 

Why can't scholarship and superb writing be combined more often?

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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Rat Neurons fly F-22 


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Bad Count Numbers 

Iraqbodycount.net is not providing statistics, but comfort to other left-wing hacks such as themselves.

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This article is right. 

There is a man who is a tool. Unfortunately for the author, he's demonstrated that he himself is the tool.

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Who's the smarter one 

Bush, at least at the time when both candidates were in the military.

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Saturday, October 23, 2004

There is no substantive moral case against the Iraq war 

Despite the fact that it may be difficult, it was the right thing to do.

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Strange Relationship 

Bush and Kerry related

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Wolves in the woods 

A very good ad.

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Michael Barone on the polls 

A must read.

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Very Interesting 

Making College Accessible (washingtonpost.com): "A close analysis of the effects of price controls on higher education also shows that they are likely to have truly perverse effects. They give states the incentive to raid their own financial aid budgets in order to hold down increases in list-price tuition."

That's why we should increase aid money instead.

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Polls Update 

Bush is up 2.8 in an average of all the polls (or 3.3 in the head to head matchup), which very high numbers a couple of the ones that I've been following (Gallup, Washpost, Rasmussen).

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Cheney calls Kerry's goosehunting outfit his "October Disguise".

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The Persian Version 

Great poem.

: "The Persian Version
Graves, Robert (1895-1985)

Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon
The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon.
As for the Greek theatrical tradition
Which represents that summer's expedition
Not as a mere reconnaissance in force
By three brigades of foot and one of horse
(Their left flank covered by some obsolete
Light craft detached from the main Persian fleet)
But as a grandiose, ill-starred attempt
To conquer Greece--they treat it with contempt;
And only incidentally refute
Major Greek claims, by stressing what repute
The Persian monarch and Persian nation
Won by this salutary demonstration:
Despite a strong defence and adverse weather
All arms combined mangificently together."

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bush up in most polls and average 

Good news. Let's hope he wins.

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October Theater 

A great piece on why baseball, which may seem slow and boring in July, is spectacularly sublime in October.

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The greatest comeback in baseball history... 

...has just been completed. The Redsocks overcome a 3-0 series defecit to win the ALCS against the New York Yankess in game seven ; final score 10-3 Socks.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A tail of Ketchup 

Interesting. We need better catsup! Or Ketchup, or whatever!

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Kerry's music video 

This is smashingly funny. Man, that music is horrible.

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UBL: Alive or Dead? 

I think he's probably dead. And if he is, we have President Bush to thank.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

International Meddling in Ohio 

I for one am not happy that Clark County, quite close to my home of Montgomery County (Clayton Ohio, suburb of Dayton Ohio-Wright Brothers birthplace-Air Force Museum, etc...), is being filled with letters written by medlesome Brits that want Kerry to win the Presidential Election. And this is not just because I support Bush. It's because thise is an internal American issue. Buzz off, foreigners, you have your own countries to run. If you're unhappy with the US, try to use diplomacy to leverage us. Gee, if that requires a military and supporting democratic causes abroad, I'm sorry.

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A picture worth a thousand words? 

Directly from the New York Times:

Not happy about the outcome of the game yesterday in the Big Apple, perhaps?

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Quote of the Day 

"Give a man fire and he will be warm for a day. Light a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life."

-Terry Pratchett

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Monday, October 18, 2004

The Wheel of Death 

This is twisted.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

We may have just had... 

...the third and final Presidential Debate, in which it looks like Bush won handily, but all I have for you is cat-blogging (look at the size of that sucker!).

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

WaPo on Presidential Stump: Kerry-Enthusiastic Response/Bush-Rockstar 

Nice to see an article that make an observation that seems to spin in favor of Bush for once.

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Monday, October 11, 2004

Poll Madness!?! 

You can tell there's only 22 days until the election because the polls look like they might be going haywire. Zogby has Kerry up by 3 points, but the WaPo poll has Bush up by 6 and ABC has Bush up by 4. The ever stable Rasmussen poll has Bush up by 4, and the traders of the IEM are still favoring Bush by 9 cents.

So, the data is still leaning in Bush's favor, but there might be some hope for Kerry; I think not, however. The Zogby poll is most likely just bad data.

But then, it could be an attempt to spin things in favor of Kerry, just like attempts by one major media outlet to hold one side more 'accountable' than the other.

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In other news... 

...a really small hamster. Yeah, I knew you'd find this exciting.

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Some sense on Iraq 

Mr. Hoagland sees the bigger picture:
The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq eliminated a criminal regime that tortured and killed on a massive scale, used its oil money to buy foreign officials and illegal technology, and did not recently manufacture or stockpile the chemical weapons it flagrantly used 15 years ago on Iraqi Kurds and Iranian soldiers.

All of those elements need to be taken into account by voters as the presidential campaign thrashes its way to resolution. Each campaign urges the electorate to buy its incomplete version of Iraq, past and present, rather than consider the total, uneven reality of that country.

The Bush administration cannot avoid the responsibility for having conflated Saddam Hussein's weapons programs and ties to terrorism into an urgent threat to U.S. citizens and interests in 2003. The final report of the Iraq Survey Group delivered by Charles A. Duelfer establishes that the Bush case was seriously overstated in that respect. The fact that the invasion enabled us to know this conclusively goes largely unmentioned.

But the emerging emphasis on what the Iraqi dictator did not do -- an emphasis being pushed by the Kerry campaign -- rushes past the lasting importance of what Hussein did do against his own people, his neighbors and the international community. He does not deserve next year's Nobel Peace Prize for not providing al Qaeda with operational support that could be detected by a less-than-perfect CIA.

The moral responsibility that the United States, the United Nations and others continue to bear for turning a blind eye to the gangster behavior of Baghdad for so long must not be obscured in the election-year blizzard of self-interested facts, semi-facts and distortions. No statue of limitations, explicit or implicit, should be extended to war crimes and corruption of the enormity of those committed by the Baathist regime.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004

Why America Leans Right 

This article is a brilliant synopsis of what must be a brilliant book on America's political culture. An absolute must read in every sense. Every 'graph is money, but here is the strong conclusion to the article (read the whole thing anyway, though!):
Conservatism rose in the aftermath of Johnson's Great Society, but skepticism about government is in the nation's genetic code. Micklethwait and Wooldridge note that in September 1935, during the Depression, Gallup polling found that twice as many Americans said FDR's administration was spending too much as said it was spending the right amount, and barely one person in 10 said it was spending too little.

After FDR's 1936 reelection, half of all Democrats polled said they wanted FDR's second term to be more conservative. Only 19 percent wanted it to be more liberal. In 1980, when Ronald Reagan won while excoriating "big government," America had lower taxes, a smaller deficit as a percentage of GDP and a less-enveloping welfare state than any other industrialized Western nation.

America, say Micklethwait and Wooldridge, is among the oldest countries in the sense that it has one of the oldest constitutional regimes. Yet it is "the only developed country in the world never to have had a left-wing government." And given the country's broad and deep conservatism, it will not soon.

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Afghan elections... 

...seem to have went fairly well. Democracy can't be expected to be perfect, especially in a newly-democratic state. It must, however, be allowed to try, so that the people may work to make their state more democratic every day.

UPDATE: The WaPo editorial staff acknowledges the tremendous progress that Afghanistan has had in the last three years:
it also would be foolish to discount the advances Afghanistan has made in the past three years. Not only has most of the country enjoyed relative peace during that time, but per capita incomes have doubled, millions of children -- including most girls -- have returned to school, and infant mortality and other health measures have improved. Kabul and other cities are booming, a national road network is under construction and 3 million refugees have returned home. Mr. Karzai recently ousted two of the most powerful warlords from their governmental positions, and about a quarter of the militia members around the country have been demobilized.
Remember that this progress couldn't have happened if the US hadn't used its military power to remover a repressive regime.

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Line of the day 

Courtesy of Mr. Lileks, that modern-day bard: "If razor blades had fallen from the sky, you'd have put your arms out wrists up."

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Bush 50 - Kerry 46 

Well, that Kerry surge centered on the 5th and 6th of October certainly died a swift death.

UPDATE: The WaPo daily tracking poll has similar numbers to the above poll, with Bush commanding a 5 point lead in their report.

With Kerry putting his foot in his mouth like saying terrorists are a 'nuisance', no wonder Bush is regaining his lead.

Of course, there's more where that came from, as everyone watching the debate on Friday knows, including Daniel Drezner: "If Kerry gets elected, you just know that his to-the-camera pledge not to raise taxes for households under $200,000 is going to bite him in the ass..." Bite him in the ass indeed.

Finally from me on this today, the IEM is continuing to show a narrowing between the two candidates from the massive 'bubble' of Bush confidence that seemed to have gripped the traders for the past few weeks.

23 days until the election.

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Oxblog may be unhappy... 

...about the result of this game, but I, on the other hand, am not=)

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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Just riciculous 

Glenn Reynolds has a post on bias in the media, especially the New York Times, nearly every day. It's just ridiculous. The public has to be noticing. The era of big media, at least in a form recognizable to now, is on the downward slope into oblivion.

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Good news from Australia 

A good conservative government that recognizes the importance of fighting the war on terror has been reelected. Excellent.

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This is significant 

For the first time ever, a candidate hit 50% of the vote in Rasmussen's survey. Not surprisingly, the candidate to do so is Bush.

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Humbling naval-gazing 

I never thought my blog would be a source for images of the Madrid terror attack, but alas, it is.

While I'm at it, let me thank all of those noble few out there that read my little blog. Your readership is greatly appreciated=)

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Bush does well in debate #2 

He either tied Kerry or beat him, either of which is a victory since he was coming from behind after the last one. Glenn Reynolds has a roundup of opinions.

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Friday, October 08, 2004

Terrorists' Candidates? 

Duh: "It is perfectly true, as Bush critics constantly point out, that many millions around the world -- from Jacques Chirac to the Arab street -- dislike Bush and want to see him defeated. It is ridiculous to pretend that bin Laden, Zarqawi and the other barbarians are not among them."

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Pejman explains how to woo a women with Monty Python and chess.

The ladies never do expect the 'spanish inquisition', if you get my drift...

(I don't. -ed) Well, neither do I, but it sounded good, right?

So, is Pejman disproving the oft-quoted UofC axioms "Where fun comes to die" and math equation proving that the environment here is sex deprived?

Maroonblog let's you decide. (How generous of you. -ed) I know, we aim to please.

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OxBlog's been reading Lileks 

The correlation is clear.

'How to Persuade American Scholars that You Are a Legitimate Academic Even When You Are the Payroll of a Communist Dictatorship.'

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Deterance is Essential 

From an article laying out a strong defence of Bush's strategy of deterence, let me post why we're fighting and why we must win lest more disasters happen.

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Thursday, October 07, 2004


Yeah, I know, it's geeky, but no geek can hear the name Genghis Khan without thinking of Kirk's immortal utterance (a website with it's own URL in dedication is great--make sure you have the sound on;). That's why I'm posting in celebration to the finding of Genghis Khan's tomb.

(Wow, it's even slang)

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John Kerry: A man of courage 

Wait, don't spill your soda in your lap. Let me continue.

John Kerry: the man with enough courage to stand for every position on every issue.

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The Oxmobile 

Why do images of Mr. Belton of Oxblog in a campy spandex suit with a cape come to mind? (perhaps this is what he has in mind to wear when he drives the Oxmobile).

Next, he'll post images of the Oxcave. Gee willickers, that'll be exciting.

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This isn't good news 

Well, unless the research leads to some sort of treament for killer flu, it isn't.

As time marches on, the ability to create such weapons become more and more accessable to those that would be willing to use them. That's why we have to beat terrorists now, and now wait until it's too late.

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I'm Jealous 

James Lileks is such a good writer, and not a bad photographer either.

Now, for a question. Which world would you rather live in?

This one?

Or this one?

I think you know my choice.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Plurality is good 

I'm glad to hear that the law against hostile learning environments is being enforced, even when the discrimination is against "white" "christian" "males". I'd like my rights to be protected just like everyone elses'.

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Strategic Thinking in Online Auctions... 

...and an amusing anecdote.

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US Space Superiority Planning 

The best defence is a good offense, as they say.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

No Taste? 

I personally find Anne-Sophie Mutter to be a not very exceptional violin soloist, although Oxblog seems to disagree. Gill Shaham is the contemporary violinist to listen too, and if you need a recording, go bust out your Heifetz!

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Vive la liberte! 

"you can take our doggie toys, but you can never take our liberty!"

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Run, it's Godzilla! 

Courtesy of Glenn Reynolds:

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Sunday, October 03, 2004

Debate Cheating? 

Debategate in the making? Or maybe Pocketgate?

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