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Archive for September, 2008

David Foster Wallace

[ 62 ] September 14, 2008 |

This is unfortunate. A great writer.

…what to say? Didn’t strike me as the type. He was one of my favorite contemporary writers; I didn’t find his work depressing at all.

…I suppose this wouldn’t be terribly different from learning that Roth had died, except that I didn’t expect Roth to produce good material for the next 30 years.


700 Ton Robots Coming to Kill Me

[ 26 ] September 13, 2008 |

This is troubling:

Carnegie Mellon University, whose team placed first at Urban Challenge, is partnering up with tractor-maker Caterpillar to build the world’s largest ground robot: a 700-ton robo dump truck capable of hauling 240 tons of earth.

Isn’t this always the way? If somebody can build a 700 ton robot, or a monkey-cyborg, they just go ahead and do it, without ever thinking about where that 700 ton robot is going to drop those 240 tons of earth, or where that monkey-cyborg is going to try to fling its poo.

This is a civilization laying the foundations of its own destruction, very possibly at the robotic hands of 700 ton monkey-cyborgs.

Has anyone considered the possibility that the reason McCain lies all the time even though he’s so honest and mavericky . . .

[ 24 ] September 13, 2008 |

. . . is because of the injuries he suffered as a POW?

I mean have they?

h/t Jason Zengerle.

Thanks for the Clarification

[ 27 ] September 13, 2008 |

Shorter Krauthammer:

The Bush Doctrine? It’s forty different things! It’s democracy, whiskey and sexy! It’s John Kennedy! Suck on that, Charles Gibson!

Here’s a testimony to the profound fucktacularity of the Bush years: In defending the the most ill-informed and incurious vice presidential nominee in modern American history, conservatives are reduced to pretty much conceding that they’ve been endorsing an incoherent foreign policy for eight years.

That’s "Dr. Loin Falcon" to you…

[ 0 ] September 12, 2008 |

Stooping to a new, trivial low for this blog, I offer The Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator. The instructions are a little unclear — full name? first name only? first and last? — but I went with first and last.

And so from now on, I shall be known as “Loin Falcon Palin.” As for the rest of the group:

Scott Lemiux = “Moose Roadster Palin”
Robert Farley = “Smoke Strapon Palin”
Paul Campos = “Ammo Canal Palin”
DJW = “Charcoal Sniper Palin”
Bean = “Beretta Hockey Palin.”

And for bonus Friday Cat Blogging, allow me to introduce “Spackle Camshaft Palin.”


[ 0 ] September 12, 2008 |


You’d think that $5,000 to $14,000 a year would be a small price to pay for putting violent sex offenders behind bars. Apparently, Sarah Palin disagrees.

I guess policies that prevent poor women from having legal recourse (or subjecting them to crushing debt) when they’re subject to sexual violence are the kind of thing QuasiMoDo is talking about when she celebrates Palin’s “new version” of feminism “that is purged of all the off-putting trappings of liberal attitudes and issues.” Yes, more moose-hunting, more (poor) women forced by state coercion to carry pregnancies to term or obtain abortions on the black market, more rapists free in the community because it would be “burdensome” to collect evidence when you could use the money to build a hockey rink, and more employment discrimination: feminism you can believe in, my friends!

Faux-Populist PUMA of the Day

[ 0 ] September 12, 2008 |

Lynn Forrester de Rothschild.

Look, if Obama is going to shed the “elitist” label he needs to stop talking so much about progressive economic policies and start distributing more free caviar at his rallies.

A lot of people are fixing to die in Galveston tonight

[ 25 ] September 12, 2008 |

I don’t know whether it will be dozens or hundreds, but my friend Steve the atmospheric scientist is pessimistic. He says that people aren’t sufficiently frightened of Ike because its maximum winds aren’t that high, but that it’s an enormous storm in terms of its total wind field, which means it’s going to create a huge surge. On the hurricane’s present path the surge will certainly top the Galveston sea wall, and he estimates that if the path holds your chances of living through the night if you’re still on Galveston island are probably less than 50%.

Good journalism from the Washington Post (no snark edition)

[ 10 ] September 12, 2008 |

Check out the headline and lede for this story:

Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska

By Anne E.
Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, September 12, 2008; Page A01
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 — Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would “defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since
the U.S.-led invasion.

Now that wasn’t so hard was it?

Update: Wingnuttia is naturally in an uproar, and in fact the headline and the story were softened a bit between the on-line and print editions.

Kristol’s defense is typically mendacious. There’s no doubt that what Palin said was intended to convey the idea that the U.S. invaded Iraq to destroy the people who planned and carried out 9/11. As Kornbult points out, the Bush administration pushed this line for years before being forced to discard it.

I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Palin actually believes this, although no doubt her “handlers” are even now employing flash cards or whatever to keep her from going too much further in this vein.

Random Linkage

[ 0 ] September 12, 2008 |

From about the internets…

Friday Reserve Fleet Blogging

[ 0 ] September 12, 2008 |

Identify the major vessels (by class) in this photo.

Postcard courtesy of W. Walter Rule, Jr., ACOM (ret) and Kelly M. Rule.

Don’t Look at Him, He Didn’t Do It!

[ 15 ] September 12, 2008 |

I would add that it would sure be nice if James Carville applied the same charity to fellow Democrats that he does to Saint McCain…

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