That’s a nice unbeaten streak you’ve got there, Bruins. It’d be a shame if somebody came along and broke it.
The Ole Perfesser is still implying that we haven’t initiated regime change in Iran because of their secret trove of nuclear weapons. Because if the Iraq War proves anything, it’s that there’s no possible downside to razing a government and baselessly hoping that a stable pro-American government with a liberal constitution written and enforced by ponies will emerge in its place. There’s no other explanation except for that secret weapons stash nobody but Glenn Reynolds has heard of.
The most popular “warblog,” ladies and gentlemen!
Pretty old, but check out this Defense Tech post (and linked article) about Iranian efforts to keep the F-14s purchased by the Shah flying. It looks as if, contrary to some previous estimates, Iran has managed to keep a lot of F-14s in combat condition, and may even have substantially upgraded the original technology.
One of the most striking things about my recently departed friend Henry was her lack of basic cat skills. At no point in her eight odd years that I can recall did she ever intentionally scratch or bite a human being. She’s no pacifist, as she clearly demonstrated with regular attacks on weaker, smaller cats. I am convinced that she didn’t scratch or bite simply because she didn’t know that option was available to her. She lacked other basic cat skills, she couldn’t outrun a slow human such as myself, she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) hunt, and she rarely landed on her feet.
Henry routinely inspired jealousy in the humans she lived with. By arbitrarily favoring the lap of one person for weeks, then abandoning them and ignoring them for weeks at a time, in favor of other laps. It worked; she often had all her human hosts competing for her attention.
About a month ago, Henry got sick–it turned out it was her kidneys. She’s unusually young for kidney failure, and it’s possible she injested some toxins. Hoping the kidney failure was chronic and not acute, we hyrdrated her, took care of her, and hoped for the best. The last month of her life she was weak and inactive, but still enjoyed human attention and companionship. At six o’clock on December 31st, just after a feeding and some medicine, she left us. She was a wonderful, intriguing companion and the house feels empty without her.
Thanks to all who expressed their condolences in the earlier thread.
Yglesias [lighlty edited]:
The article comes to me via Martin Peretz, whose status as a cosignatory of the [Euston] Manifesto proudly demonstrates what a hollow farce it is to present the document as some kind of left position.
What’s really irritating about the column–besides trying to pretend that the Lubriderm Manifesto means anything to any audience outisde its small collection of signatories at this late date–is the fact that Cohen calls people who have been consistently saying the same things about the Iraq War since the idea was being floated (and have been conistently right where Cohen and his friends have been diastrously wrong in virtually every respect) “hindsighters.” I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.
Out On The Road, You’re Willie Loman and You’re Tom Joad, Vladimir and Estragon, Kerouac, Genghis Kahn
Light posting from me will continue for a couple of days as my vacation wraps up; it has involved more success at acquiring hockey tickets than anticipated, with more predictable compelling friends away from family responsibilities and taking advantage of the big new kitchen. Tonight involved a dinner engagement, followed by some winning ugly, which nonetheless made me happy, because it’s the last time I’ll see the Flames in Jeebus knows how long and I’m still pissed off at Florida for that ridiculous Luongo/Bertuzzi trade. Less intermittent posting should resume after the weekend.
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Interior Ministry acknowledged Thursday that an Iraqi police officer whose existence had been denied by the Iraqis and the U.S. military is in fact an active member of the force, and said he now faces arrest for speaking to the media.
Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied there was any such police employee as Capt. Jamil Hussein, said in an interview that Hussein is an officer assigned to the Khadra police station, as had been reported by The Associated Press.
The captain, whose full name is Jamil Gholaiem Hussein, was one of the sources for an AP story in late November about the burning and shooting of six people during a sectarian attack at a Sunni mosque.
The U.S. military and the Iraqi Interior Ministry raised the doubts about Hussein in questioning the veracity of the AP’s initial reporting on the incident, and the Iraqi ministry suggested that many news organization were giving a distorted, exaggerated picture of the conflict in Iraq. Some Internet bloggers spread and amplified these doubts, accusing the AP of having made up Hussein’s identity in order to disseminate false news about the war. . .
Nothing yet from TIDOS Yankee, though I would point out that today is the anniversary of the National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, declared by President James Buchanan in 1861. National “Days of Humiliation” were a regular feature of Anglo-American political life from 1648 until the early 20th century; although such days are still declared every now and again, the political language has shifted somewhat to the use of the word “humililty” rather than “humiliation.” Nevertheless, for Bob Owens, Michelle Malkin, the guy from Flopping Aces — and every right-wing soldier in the Army of Davids who linked to these wankers over the past month — today must certainly a day of humiliation in the traditional as well as the more contemporary senses.
(Thanks to my brother for passing the E&P story along.)
. . . Well, that was quick.
Several months back, my friend Jonathan Sterne wrote an especially insightful post about social class and academia. One of the few American professors gifted enough to pass through Canada’s protectionist employment barriers, Jonathan teaches communication studies at McGill, where he recently had the opportunity to eat an expensive meal and reflect on the exaggerated postures that often define the lives of professionals who imagine themselves to be more well-to-do than they actually are. The whole post is quite fantastic — there’s a discussion of shitty and/or bizarre jobs his colleagues used to hold (carnival barker, Vegas lounge singer, etc.) — but this passage in particular stood out.
Major field-wide conferences . . . are held at hotels so expensive that they decimate university travel budgets. Groups of academics routinely go out to meals at these events that they can’t really afford. Broke job candidates are expected to dress in nice, expensive suits while senior faculty interview them wearing torn jeans and a t-shirt . . . . The first month or so of an assistant professor’s career can be financially crushing as he or she is drawn into a (more) middle class lifestyle before the funds have arrived. The list goes on.
Since I officially entered the professoriate in 2002, I’ve noticed that very few of my pre-professional tics have disappeared. I’m a notorious freeloader by nature and custom, although in my own defense I should note that until I was 32 years old I never earned more than about $14,000 a year. Among friends, my exploits are apparently legendary. In graduate school, for instance, I once pulled a hamstring lunging for a box of stale (albeit still edible) mini donuts; early in the dissertation stage, I spent several days trying to find someone to set up a website that would aggregate the day’s free food across the University of Minnesota campus (e.g., boxed lunches at the med school if you can sit through a 60 minute epidemiology lecture; coffee and cheap cookies at an afternoon meeting of the English Club).
And those are only the episodes I’m prepared to discuss in public. Let me put it this way: If there were an academic equivalent to George Costanza scarfing an eclair from the top of the garbage can, that person would be me.
As an assistant professor at an underfunded public university located in one of the most expensive states in the nation, I’ve had little cause to amend my ways. At the meeting of the American Studies Association in 2003, for instance, I shared a room with seven other graduate students from my old department, all of whose travel allowances were about at generous than my own. Because my annual travel budget is barely sufficient to get me as far as Seattle, attending the major conferences in my field can be almost prohibitively expensive, absent my apparent willingness to live on (or below) the cheap. At the Organization of American Historians conference in 2005, I subsisted on appetizers and free booze for an entire weekend, spending a mere $13.75 over the course of three days, mostly by appearing surreptitiously at receptions to which I had not been invited. At a conference in Washington, DC, in November 2005, I stayed at a cheap hotel that one cab driver hadn’t heard of and another didn’t think existed any more. And these, as I said, are only the examples I’m willing to mention.
Of course, the perversity of the academic job market requires that I be grateful for this. Unlike many recent PhD’s, I was fortunate to receive a job offer from a school that — while underfunded by its state legislature — treats its faculty reasonably well. Most history professors in the US, I would imagine, don’t enjoy that luxury. And most Americans don’t have jobs that pay them to read books and speak and write about things that genuinely interest them. So to pre-empt the inevitable charges of ingratitude and unacknowledged privilege, I’ll simply announce that I’m happy to be able to do what I do for a living and that — like nearly everything short of Stage 4 cancer — things could certainly be worse.
All that being said, if any LGM readers happen to be in Atlanta for the American Historical Association conference this weekend, I’ll be shacking up at the Motel 6 near Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Feel free to drop by and share a bottle of Boone’s Farm or a six-pack of Zimas with me. Otherwise, I’ll be the guy lurking around the hors d’oeuvres tables.
The FBI files on the late Chief Justice contain some interesting information. For example, on his pooling booth goonery and his confirmation hearings with bonus John Bolton material:
In July 1986, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Rehnquist to be chief justice, the Justice Department asked the FBI to interview witnesses who were preparing to testify that Rehnquist had intimidated minority voters as a Republican Party official in Arizona in the early 1960s. According to a memo in the Rehnquist file, an unnamed FBI official cautioned that the department “should be sensitive to the possibility that Democrats could charge the Republicans of misusing the FBI and intimidating the Democrats’ witnesses.” But then-Assistant Attorney General John Bolton — who more recently served as ambassador to the United Nations — signed off on the request and said he would “accept responsibility should concerns be raised about the role of the FBI.” It is unclear whether the FBI ever interviewed the witnesses.
Court watchers will be more aware of his painkiller dependence in general, if not every detail. It does strike me that this is relevant information for a confirmation hearing:
The FBI’s 1986 report on Rehnquist’s drug dependence was not released at the time of his confirmation, though some Democratic senators wanted it made public. But it is in Rehnquist’s now-public file, and it contains new details about his behavior during his weeklong hospital stay in December 1981. One physician whose name is blocked out told the FBI that Rehnquist expressed “bizarre ideas and outrageous thoughts. He imagined, for example, that there was a CIA plot against him.”
The doctor said Rehnquist “had also gone to the lobby in his pajamas in order to try to escape.” The doctor said Rehnquist’s delirium was consistent with him suddenly stopping his apparent daily dose of 1400 milligrams of the drug — nearly three times higher than the 500-milligram maximum recommended by physicians. The doctor said, “Any physician who prescribed it was practicing very bad medicine, bordering on malpractice.”
In fairness, being all hopped up on goofballs would at least explain his Bush v. Gore concurrence, although I don’t know what excuse Scalia and Thomas have for joining it…
More school makes you live longer.
Instead, Dr. Smith and others say, what may make the biggest difference is keeping young people in school. A few extra years of school is associated with extra years of life and vastly improved health decades later, in old age.
In fairness, if this is right, DJW will bury us all…
I’m very late in wading into the Jim Crow/federalism debate, but a couple of points I haven’t seen anyone else make yet:
- Volokh is right that the “federalism permitted Jim Crow, and hence it’s bad” argument is fallacious. Just as no constitutional theory can consistently prevent normatively odious outcomes when they have substantial political support, there is no institutional arrangement that can always produce outcomes than one considers to be normatively desirable. (If asked to design a new American constitution, I would unquestionably choose a Parliamentary model with a very powerful federal government; but while I strongly believe that this would produce more congenial political outcomes from my perspective in the long run, it would also have produced much worse outcomes from my perspective than the current Madisionian framework in 2002-6.) However, I don’t think this is the real problem with “states’ rights” and Jim Crow. The bigger problem is that the slavery and Jim Crow eras demonstrate that most people who invoke federalism don’t actually care about it. From the Louisiana Purchase to the Fugitive Slave Act to the Tennessee Valley Authority, political actors who used “states’ rights” to defend slavery and apartheid had no problem with expansive (and, in many cases, constitutionally shaky) constructions of federal power so long as they were consistent with their substantive preferences. Similarly, while there were some rare exceptions (such as Barry Goldwater), most people who opposed Brown and the Civil Rights Act also opposed desegregation at the state and local level; it was a substantive preference for apartheid, not a commitment to federalism, that motivated George Wallace to invoke the 10th Amendment. To borrow Roy’s line about libertarians, people willing to routinely subvert strongly-held political commitments in favor of particular conceptions of federal/state power relations are as rare of Pieces of the True Cross.
- As much as I hate to agree to side with Ann Althouse over a blogger I respect, I couldn’t disagree with Radley Balko’s assertion that “were it not for state-mandated segregation, the private sector would have integrated on its own” more strongly. Most Jim Crow laws were largely symbolic codifications of existing practices; they ratified a social order rather than creating it. Aggressively enforced civil rights legislation was crucial to crushing apartheid because 1)within this social order, economic incentives for private actors compelled toward segregation rather than desegregation and 2)as a result, outside of a few urban centers blacks who challenged the status quo were likely to lose employment, housing and/or credit (in addition to the always-present threat of private terrorism.) To believe that Jim Crow would have withered away absent any state intervention is implausible in the extreme.
[Also at TAPPED.]
Personal to Michael Ledeen: if you’re going to defend an appallingly executed execution using a movie, couldn’t you at least use a watchable one?