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June 17, 2006


First! (as they say on Atrios)

Good luck on the duck!

I have a head cold. My best friend thinks it is psychosomatic given the circumstances o this last week: 1. we're moving 2. I found out that under NCLB I might not be able to teach any more 3. on the last day of school a coworker got mad at me and spent the whole day badmouthing me (the head custodian--one of the nigh crew people threw away a whole bunch of my personal stuff in cluding all my evauations, transcripts eic which I need so I can see if I am still employable or not. The head's reaction was defensive in the extreme) So it is all a bit too much of an adventure and I developed a cough and a sinus headache.

Which has taken a lot of the fun out of waking up in a new home. But I will liven up shortly and by the middle of the week I might be out birding, too. I plan to get hooked up with the local AUdubon group because I'm not good at finding obscure birds on my own.

"small, gooselike" - odd.

Since it's an open thread, what I wrote at the aging Haditha thread, with slight modification for improvement: Crucial new information on Haditha.

It appears you were right, Lizardbreath.

The wounds of the dead Iraqis, as seen in photographs and viewed by the morgue director, were not consistent with attacks by fragmentation grenades and indiscriminate rifle fire, Colonel Watt found. The civilian survivors said the victims were shot at close range, some while trying to protect their children or praying for their lives. The death certificates Colonel Watt examined were chillingly succinct: well-aimed shots to the head and chest.
(There's a lot more.)

I'm still looking forward to Charles to pay his weekly visit to the blog to continue the discussion at the Haditha thread.


A former mathematics teacher of mine has just completed a bike ride across the world. Yes, the world. He and his wife started in Paris and rode to the Pacific Ocean, flew to San Fran, and biked to the east coast. Pretty incredible. I can't wait to hear the stories.

This could have been discussed in the Dems/Libertarian thread, but after 300+ posts I might have missed it. What do our resident libertarians think of the Supreme Court knock and announce decision, especially since Republicans appointed the 2 justices that swung the decision?

It appears you were right, Lizardbreath.

Eh, you may still have been right that I leapt to conclusions prematurely.

What do our resident libertarians think of the Supreme Court knock and announce decision, especially since Republicans appointed the 2 justices that swung the decision?

I can't speak for anyone but me, but I think it's crap, just like I've thought most of the things the court has decided in the last 5-6 years have been crap, designed only to tear down decades of civil rights protections, weaken the church/state wall, and preserve the accumulation of federal power. (The occasional Lawrence notwith.) I don't support the Republicans anyway, so I don't know why you think I might need to be in a position to support their judges.

"This could have been discussed in the Dems/Libertarian thread, but after 300+ posts I might have missed it."

Yes. Here.

You've probably read about Hudson v. Michigan.

This is a perfect example of an issue for an alliance between libertarians and liberals. Here is what both a liberal (more or less -- me) and a writer for the Cato Institute think, as well as the NY Times editorial board..

Then here.
What do you think of my post about Hudson v. Michigan?
Then here.
Back on topic, that is, about libertarianism and Democrats, Jim Henley writes about Hudson. Sample:
There are two strains of libertarian thought that stand definitively rebuked by recent history. The first is that we should prefer Republicans because they’ll appoint “good judges.” But for the most part, the Republican Party in power has appointed “law-and-order” conservatives who who are maybe willing to counsel a little less of both for the sort of corporations who can afford to hire lawyers cleared for the Supreme Court bar. There was a moment in the 1990s when the Supreme Court flirted with systematically reining in the Commerce Clause, but the Court clearly got cold feet on that score. In the Bush II era the Court has become a rubber stamp for government power at all levels, by design: that is what the Republican Party in power wants it to be.

The second is [...]

So read the rest, why doncha?
So, do feel free to respond, everyone. It's fairly irritating to write this many times (I count four, altogether -- I don't write on my own blog just to talk to myself), and have it be as if it never happened. Why do I bother? Grump, grump, crank, sourpuss, sassafrass.


I agree, and normally I'd respond U! S! A! U! S! A! but, well, the ref beats his wife.

Any luck spotting the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck?

That's interesting about the 3-year-old; but wouldn't it be great if it were Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez that his parents were watching instead of the "News" Hour.

When I was 4, I had an argument with my uncle about the Vice-President. He said the Vice-President was Spiro Agnew, and I said it was Uncle Sam.

How I got the idea that Uncle Sam was the Vice-President, I do not know.

Yes -- I did see the BBWD. It was really lovely -- first, standing in the shade, as if to say: look how gorgeous I am!, and then swimming about trying (generally unsuccessfully) to get to the bread crumbs people were throwing ahead of some very pushy adolescent geese. Also, about half the time, swimming in the wrong direction (food-wise), making me think: oh, so that's how you got so lost!

"How I got the idea that Uncle Sam was the Vice-President, I do not know."

He would have been a better choice. Despite being fictional.

But who wouldn't have? (Nightmare thought: the FBI somehow never investigated Agnew, didn't nab him on his taking bribes, Nixon resigns, and Agnew becomes President; Jerry Ford wasn't the brightest President we ever had, but he was a genius of Jeffersonian maturity and honesty compared to Agnew.)

A review of the latest Chomsky for you, Donald Johnson!

Incidentally, I gots lots of new posts today and yesterday; just a reminder. Read them while they're fresh!

Gary, thanks for the pointer. I don't disagree with the reviewer, exactly, though I would put everything less harshly. But what numbskull made this selection, supposedly of Chomsky's "Key political works"?

Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War and US Political Culture (1993); 9/11 (2001); Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (2003).

Hegemony or Survival, okay, that's just a book editor at work: it's still in print, it's the book preceding the one being reviewed, and it's something of an overview.

But no one seriously assessing Chomsky's impact would leave out The New Mandarins or The Fateful Triangle...

By the way, I heartily recommend Chomsky's talk at West Point, on the quality of argument by prominent just war theorists who've written about the Iraq invasion. (Spoiler: low quality. But catch the video on C-SPAN to get the full fish-in-a-barrel effect.)

@ lily: That's so wrong! Take care of yourself, and I hope your materials are reccoverable. And that you'll be able to keep teaching if you want to.

NCLB is steadily driving the best teachers out of public schools, and I'm beginning to think that might be the point of the whole boondoggle (along with enriching the politically-connected publishers of the materials required under the program).

Coincidentally, Gary, I just read a review of a review of Chomsky's book at this blog

Hope that link works.

Speaking for myself, I think the hostile reviewer of Chomsky makes the same mistake he accuses Chomsky of making. He's got a point, but he exaggerates it. And Chomsky is guilty of sympathy for Milosevic in the same way that anyone who opposed the Iraq War and said that the Bush Administration lied about WMD's is guilty of sympathy for Saddam. Of course Noam is often equally harsh and arguably unfair to some of the people he criticizes, so in some cosmic way I suppose it balances out

But hopefully I will display considerable willpower and not go any further with this. I think Noam is right the majority of the time, but don't want to defend everything he's ever said, or the style in which he sometimes says it.

As this is an open thread, and the thread where Vietnam last came up, with drngo and I and others discussing the history there, in Charles' usual absence, is aging, I note this, in that context:

[...] Trade talks between House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Republican of Illinois, and his Vietnamese counterpart turned into a lovefest here recently, choreographed by the hosts to show their affection for America.

"At last we're having dinner together," said Nguyen Van An, the leader of the Vietnamese National Assembly, as he hugged the speaker and presented a copy of a letter from Ho Chi Minh to President Harry S. Truman appealing for American help against the French. "We should have met 60 years ago."

Mr. Hastert's presence in April was part of a larger dance that has since starred Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld as visitors, and will feature President Bush when he attends the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting here this fall. Vietnam's leaders have made plain they want the United States on their side for equilibrium against China, a longtime occupier. Vietnam, though an ideological ally of Beijing, fears an expanding Chinese sphere of influence and being reduced to an economic appendage by China, its northern neighbor.

And so it could have been in the Fifties and Sixties.

Donald: "Hope that link works."

Yes, and no. The link to the blog works fine.

However, since a month from now or so, the post you were intended to point to will be gone from the front page, and as it is, one has to scroll about, or do a "find" for "chomsky" to find the post you were writing of, what you want to do is link to the individual post, via the "permalink," which is at the bottom of the specific post. (Not all blogs indicate the permalink by word; some use an icon, and you simply have to run your cursor over all the plausible looking icons to figure out which is correct; also, don't confuse a "permalink" with a "trackback" [about which don't ask]; lastly, though most blogs use permalinks for posts, a few do not, the swine.)

The specific (not short) post is here.

Dang it. More html stuff to learn. I was kinda hoping to coast by on what I learned last week.

Well, after that bracing dose of Leninology, I admit: I did disagree with the reviewer of the Chomsky book, but was minimizing and repressing my reactions for the sake of not sparking off one of those long, tedious back-and-forths that there are already too many of. So thanks, Donald (and Gary for the permalink), for keeping me honest.

We'll take it easy for the rest of the month, Donald. ;)

Knowing how to link, and using permalinks should carry you a long way.

"Dang it. More html stuff to learn."

No new HTML involved. Just look at the bottom of the post, observe where it says "permalink" (or on some blogs, the relevant icon, which might be a "link" [as in a chain] icon), and right-click "copy link" and paste it in where the URL goes in what you've already learned.

No new HTML involved at all.

My take on Chomsky is pretty much the same as Peter Beaumont's, but I've not read the specific book in question.

So, gary, you hear Chloe from 24 as well? Good to know.

Actually, as I've mentioned before, Chomsky's prose is pretty atrocious, he's 'best' (for better or worse) when speaking. Here's a link to a cbc interview that shows that off.

I predict that this will start a blog s**tstorm the likes of which even god has never seen (unless this is all old news and I missed it the first time).

"So, gary, you hear Chloe from 24 as well?"

I've written about my situation re 24 at my blog a number of times, including over the weekend, actually.

"(unless this is all old news and I missed it the first time)."

In the sense that it's been going on since last week.

In the sense that it's been going on since last week.

Dammit! I knew it!!!

I've written about my situation re 24 at my blog a number of times, including over the weekend, actually.

I don't recall you imagining Chomsky in Chloe's voice, actually, but then, I could have easily missed it. However, if you think it is a good way to open a serious review to imagine the book being read in various characters (Goofy? Donald Duck? Darth Vader?), I leave you to it.

"Dammit! I knew it!!!"

Well, only since Friday or so.

Also, we have have a new Sekrit Signal, but we'll only tell you if you're cool enough.

And get a new pair of sneakers. Those kind are so last week.

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