Election thread

Watching CNN before heading in to work early (Election Night at the paper = free pizza!) and feeling grateful that I don't work for a TV station where I would have to: A) talk about the election all day even though, B) there'd be little actual election news until polls closed. They could've spent the [Read More...]

Reasserting the rule of law

The Saddam verdict and sentence aren't a surprise. The former dictator's crimes were not a secret, but a source of sick pride. He ordered the death of more than a hundred villagers to make an example out of them — so at the time he carried out the slaughter with as much attention-grabbing publicity as [Read More...]


Oy, Been a crazy couple of weeks. Annoying feature of Typepad No. 37: HTML tags left open in comments cannot be closed in subsequent comments. They can only be closed by the host/editor reopening the original comment and adding the closing tag, and if said host/editor is away from the computer for several days the [Read More...]

Making a mockery

It seems that if you mock the president, he will pretend that you're actually mocking the troops, even though he knows you're not. This latest Lack of Perspective Extravaganza tells us that: 1. John Kerry can't deliver a joke and George W. Bush can't understand one. 2. Bush is thin-skinned, petulant and disingenuous. 3. Bush [Read More...]

Pilgrimage to Please

everyone is, everything is broken "Pilgrimage," R.E.M. "Pillar to Post," Aztec Camera "Pineapple Head," Crowded House "Pink Cashmere," Prince "Pink Houses," John Cougar Mellencamp "Pink Moon," Nick Drake "Planet Telex," Radiohead "Please Don't Go," Violent Femmes "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want," The Smiths "Please Send Me Someone to Love," Fiona Apple [Read More...]


U.S. Col. Harry Summers to North Vietnamese officer: "You never defeated us in the field." North Vietnamese officer: "That is true. It is also irrelevant." That story gets repeated a lot as a reminder of what war is not. It is not a sporting event in which the winners of various battles are awarded points, [Read More...]

Little red push-pins

I used to work for a nonprofit outfit that the grant-writers referred to as a "capacity-building institution." We didn't do much ourselves, in other words, we mainly tried to get others to do things. Or, again in the parlance of our grant-writers, we sought to "inform, inspire and equip" others to act. Specifically, we wanted [Read More...]

The Royal Orphanage

The royal orphanage was overwhelmed, understaffed and underfunded. The king did what he could, but there was a war on and the royal treasury wasn't exactly overflowing. The barons and dukes and other landowners were willing to fund the royal army, but they tended to grumble when it came to contributing for the care of [Read More...]