Kevin Drum links to a sneering essay by Los Angeles Times film critic Richard Schickel, "Not everybody's a critic." Schickel gives the public two thumbs down, suggesting that the hoi polloi have not proven "their right to an opinion." It's a typical condescending rant of the sort one often encounters — a circular, question-begging dismissal [Read More...]


"Security beefed up at Cedar Rapids Public Library" was a memorable piece from The Onion — memorable because coming less than a month after the Sept. 11 attacks, it offered a healthy dose of perspective while much of the "real" news media was still in hysterical-panic mode. But while the Cedar Rapids Public Library probably [Read More...]


This was pretty much me the last three days. So, um, did I miss anything? [Read more...]

April showers

Things I've bookmarked this month but probably won't get around to writing about. * * * * * * * * * Dear South Asia, Human beings hug and kiss. This is not obscene. This is not wrong. The rest of us are kind of worried about those of you who seem to think it [Read More...]


Naomi Wolf's "Fascist America in 10 easy steps" has gotten quite a bit of attention. It's a worrisome list. Wolf's use of the "F-word" has prompted a lot of NABA-NABA, all of which might be true but is, as always with NABA-ism, an irrelevant response. "NABA," again, stands for "Not As Bad As." As in, [Read More...]

You’re the lucky one under the sun

Here's an issue on which The American Prospect, The National Review, Mother Jones, The American Spectator and The Nation all agree: a 20-percent postal rate increase for small magazines would be a devastating blow to freedom of the press and to the diversity of our national conversation. Avedon Carol provides several links of importance to [Read More...]

The worst

When the nor'easter relented enough Monday evening for PECO to get the power back on, I learned about the horrible news from Virginia Tech. Just awful. The tragic facts stream through the prism of cable news. The studied somber tones that barely mask the eager excitement over the Big Story. From every outlet, giddy superlatives. [Read More...]


Sixty years ago today, we started fixing something that was broken. AP file photo of Brooklyn Dodgers teammates (from left) John Jorgensen, Pee Wee Reese, Ed Stanky and Jackie Robinson on April 15, 1947. [Read more...]