The demographics of evil

I haven't read former ambassador Mark Palmer's new book, Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators by 2025, which has the two-edged honor of being touted by U.S. Department of State. Ousting dictators is, of course, a Good Thing. Palmer's reference to the "world's last dictators," however, seems a [Read More...]

Gay friends

Just heard "conservative commentator" Andrew Sullivan (who apparently also has a blog of some sort) on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" discussing the topic of gay marriage and the likelihood that a constitutional amendment banning such unions might become an issue in this year's election. After one 26-year-old caller argued for a live-and-let-live perspective — [Read More...]

Implausible predictions

Inspired by New York Times columnist William Safire's wacky predictions for the new year, I submit the following list of my own, which may or may not be less plausible than Safire's. I invite your own implausible predictions in the comments below. 1. A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, describes another unnamed [Read More...]

The Girls of Summer

Throughout the 162 games of summer WFAN is the default setting on my car radio. The reception for the New York station isn't the greatest here in the Delaware Valley, and I have little occasion to tune it in during the long, dark winter that begins in late October and doesn't end until pitchers and [Read More...]

When cities collapse

The news coming out of southeastern Iran is horrifying. Estimates now range from 22,000 to more than 30,000 dead. Thousands more have lost everything and are without shelter in the winter cold. Atrios provides a link to the National Iranian-American Council, which offers suggestions for how you can help the earthquake victims. I was pleased [Read More...]

Advent candle

After "It's a Wonderful Life," my next favorite semi-sappy holiday tradition is reading this Anne Lamott piece. It's set in an AA meeting "full of low-bottom drunks and junkies — people from nearby halfway houses, bikers, jazz musicians …" Anyway, just go read it. And happy holidays. [Read more...]

Dueling spam

Since switching over to typepad, I've been delighted by the quality of the comments and commenters here. (If you're not reading the comments, you're missing out on most of the best lines.) Except, that is, for one guy named "Viagra." His comments don't have anything to do with the post in question — he just [Read More...]

When Omnibus Bills Attack!

(The following is from an article for an upcoming issue of PRISM magazine. Frankly, the lead-time for that bimonthly is so long I've lost track of when this will be published — it could be July/August 2005.) A summer camp counselor once told me, "If you can't tie a good knot, tie a lot of [Read More...]