5/31/2004 09:57:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|Reports from a ferocious three-way battle for the Libertarian Nomination: "The 16 Alabama delegates clearly favored Russo. Stephen Gordon, Russo's campaign manager, lives in Hartselle, and Russo was the only one of the three candidates to campaign in North Alabama, visiting Huntsville in February. For Tim Cowles, the deciding factor was electability."
To quote one of the great moral philosophers of our time, nigga, please.
(via War Liberal.)|W|P|108605863991952142|W|P|third-party funhouse|W|P|10/10/2005 10:29:00 PM|W|P|classified ad script related stuff. You should take a look at it sometime.10/13/2005 10:09:00 PM|W|P|hp printer driver download5/31/2004 12:55:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|This is pretty much what the internet is for, right?: "Your Pimp Name is: Golden Brown PJ Quick"|W|P|108598290555503687|W|P|pimp name generator|W|P|5/30/2004 08:44:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|McSweeney's Internet Tendency: PROS AND CONS OF JOHN KERRY'S TOP TWENTY VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
Find your own favorite. Mine:
14. Ann Coulter, columnist
Pro: Flattering position would silence her exposing of the true evil liberal agenda
Con: Is composed entirely of spiders and deadly snakes writhing beneath a latex "skin" |W|P|108596784978491623|W|P|god speaks through satirical webzine|W|P|5/30/2004 03:34:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|Via Atrios.
Don't fuck with momma. Do not ever fuck with momma.|W|P|108594924884693458|W|P|non-cynical update|W|P|5/29/2004 11:22:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|I had previously endorsed SpamHole, but some sketchy things happened recently with the address I gave them. I am intrigued by the simplicity and wonderfulness of Mailinator. If you need a temporary e-mail address, check this out.|W|P|108589095555084366|W|P|mailinator|W|P|5/29/2004 10:42:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|Matthew Yglesias is stunned that people really say "y'all." Wow. I thought I was out of touch with the common man.
There is a Y'all Belt which stretches across most of the land mass of this country. Frankly, it's just a damned useful expression. I, despite my Yankee city-boy, son-of-a-former-English-teacher upbringing, manage to y'all with some frequency. Furthermore, despite my hippy-dippy-Yankee-left-wing-obscure-college education, I would guess that a plurality of my close friends are southerners, and a majority are denizens of the more broadly defined Y'all Belt.
Now, granted, I've picked up one or two subtle hints on Yglesias's blog which lead me to believe that he might have attended Harvard, but even Harvard must let a red-stater in now and then, right? Or can you not even crack the Crimson door without diction lessons? Can one y'all one's way into the Ivies? Inquiring minds...|W|P|108588853385724609|W|P|the y'all belt|W|P|5/29/2004 03:37:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|Two things, and then to bed:
1. The HP OfficeJet G85xi is not a good printer.
I am willing to accept that there is probably some magical computer out there with which this particular overgrown paperweight works efficently and well, but, alas, the particular iMac (purple) I am writing this on is not one of them, and that, unfortunately, is also the machine on which I have composed a bit of baroque invention sometimes known as my resume. In fact, I am certain that this particular machine must be functional when combined with other computers, because I have not heard any news reports of torch 'n pitchfork-bearing mobs burning down Hewlett-Packard headquarters.
Granted, as anyone who's seen the fine documentary film Office Space can tell you, printers as a genus are the most awful goddamned contraptions known to man, contributing little to the GNP beyond stimulating sales of Geto Boys CDs and aluminum baseball bats, but I must still shake my head in awestruck wonder at the utterly incomprehensible level unfriendliness exhibited by this machine. Never mind the fact that it's roughly two-thirds the size of the WOPR from the fine documentary film WarGames and never mind the fact that it weighs a shade more than pre-op Carnie Wilson in a diving bell, and never mind its hulking gray slablike appearance, which not only does not complement the sleek pomo hip of the purple computer next to it but also clashes with the small continent wedged under the desk in order to support the additional weight, because the truly galling thing is the software. Oh dear Lordie, the software. Not content to hum along in the background like the drivers for every other Mac-compatible printer since, oh, 198-freaking-4, this particular geegaw demands that a shadowy application known as "HP All-In-One Communications" be running at all times.
Judging by the frequency and spectacular collateral damage of this program's crashes, I'm guessing that not only was this particular piece of software concocted by poop-flinging bonobos during their breaks from typing Shakespeare on their Underwoods, but furthermore that is was coded by a special short-bus primate suicide squad who would frankly be lucky to bash out a few stage directions from Titus Andronicus, if you catch my drift.
2. Something about resumes brings out my inner Samuel L. Jackson: "'Objective'? The fuck you mean, 'Objective?' My objective is to get a job, motherfucker! What the fuck is everyone else's objective? Why the fuck do you think I'm sending you a resume?" The Microsoft Word "Resume Wizard" also recommends a line item for "interests," which means that I had to come up with actual interests besides Pointless Web Surfing, Drinking Till I Heave, Enduring Crippling Anxiety Attacks, and Failing To Impress Girls, none of which really click with the resume style I'm going for.
Basically, I'm tapped out of reasonable-sounding interests after the first two. And you can't have just two interests, because there's something magical about having three interests that makes it sound like the tip of the iceberg, activity-wise, whereas if you just list two, it sounds like those are the only things you care about, which in my case would not only make me sound pathetically narrow, but would also be a lie, because I spend way more of a typical day Failing To Impress Girls than I ever could on Writing and Soccer combined, and thus to give anyone the impression that I was a focused, locked-in writing-and-soccer machine would be a classic example of what Sartre called "bad faith."
The finalists for my third interest are "cooking," "early Enlightenment philosophy," and "contract bridge," all of which are deeply flawed in some way; yet one will be truly necessary to make me seem like a well-rounded person.|W|P|108581987774422937|W|P|righteous indignation cafe|W|P|5/28/2004 11:41:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|But I want to make sure I want to have the URL for the Worst Album Covers Ever!
Also, scroll down to the bottom for the sequel.|W|P|108576248355953703|W|P|strictly speaking, i may have posted this one before|W|P|5/27/2004 10:16:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|From Slate's Cheney Spins The Apocalypse contest:
"Previous ice ages have helped create our precious energy resources by crushing, pressurizing, and transforming ancient plant and animal life into the coal, oil, and natural gas we depend on today. The current glaciation we are experiencing is part of an ongoing natural process. Today millions of heroic Americans made the ultimate sacrifice so that they can become the hydrocarbon fuels that generations of future Americans will depend on to light and heat their homes, schools, and churches. We salute the efforts of these valiant energy warriors in moving America closer to the day we finally achieve energy independence."|W|P|108571429607424963|W|P|i laughed out loud at this|W|P|5/27/2004 02:15:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|I made a point of waiting up to watch the CSPAN repeat of this speech, which I had skimmed earlier in the day.
But when the bullet hit the bone, I simply couldn't take it. Not that there's anything substantially wrong with the message--in fact, it's a rather comprehensive summary of what went wrong in Iraq. The problem is that I (or any sane human being) cannot be reasonably expected to sit through a one-hour speech by Al Gore without turning into a gibbering wreck.
He is a good man. He is an intelligent man. He would have been an exponentially better president than the yutz who presently occupies the office. He is, by most any account, not the android he comes off as in his public appearances.
And yet...the man simply cannot speak. This matters. It is a red flag for the upcoming presidential campaign.
Setting aside the question of small sample size, look at the presidential elections since Watergate. Of the ten men who ran for president on major party tickets between 1976 and 2000, exactly two (Reagan and Clinton) were more than minimally competent public speakers. They both won twice. Carter was a winner by default because he ran against a man widely considered to be a ninny. Both Bushes won by drawing opponents who were suck-the-air-out-of-the-room dull technocrats.
It is my hypothesis that if the Democrats had a candidate with Clintonian charisma heading the ticket right now, the only question about the upcoming presidential election would be whether the Democrats could wrap up 400 electoral votes and ride his coattails to a Senate majority.
John Kerry worries me in that regard. He's going to have to figure out a way to frame himself in such a way that his natural weaknesses (like his, well, dull manner) are minimized. Gore couldn't do that, and he lost the election to a nincompoop.
The speech is a good read, though.|W|P|108564215084711290|W|P|al gore's big speech|W|P|5/27/2004 01:40:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|Read this nice story about the future junior Senator from Illinois.|W|P|108564000032963427|W|P|barack obama: official senate candidate of this blog|W|P|5/23/2004 01:41:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|Notes on Brooks:
1. I always like the Michael Kinsley read. Brotha can cold write.
2. I read Bobos in Paradise one long-ago afternoon whilst bumming around the living quarters of a (now former) inammorata. It was a breezy little piece of nothing. I find it sort of curious that that's all it takes to get onto the NYT Op-Ed page...though I suppose that the desire for balance in the editorial section leads a lot of editors to scrape the bottom of the barrel a bit in the search for someone who can fill the appropriate ideological slot. I submit to you that we are looking at the punditry equivalent of the lumbering honky power forwards who waved towels at the end of NBA benches in my formative years...they may have had it back in college, they may be occasionally useful for one or two things, they may give good interviews and really hustle, but they sure as shit aren't really earning them Big League paychecks. David Brooks is, in short, the Jack Haley of opinionating.
3. Really, when I think about it, I'm surprised he doesn't get classified more as a humorist than as a "serious" columnist. I mean no disrespect by that. Writers with a rep for humor can break unpleasant truths to an audience that doesn't want to hear 'em from Sober Analyists. As a result, opinionated wiseasses (e.g. Twain, Mencken, etc.) have had at least as much impact on the history of American public opinion as the pious bores (*cough*David Broder*cough*) who dispense 300-900 words of conventional wisdom per week. David Brooks might find that dropping the scholarly pretenses and just letting rip would do wonders for his ability to actually have an impact on his audience.
4. One of the conservative articles of faith is contempt for the social sciences, and part of me wants to see in Brooks' sloppy pseudo-scholarship an expression of this contempt. But I'm not going to bed with that idea--I don't know how much he goes along with the gentle fiction of his being a "sociologist."
5. All that having been said, and all the numerous flaws in the theory having been noted, I do believe there's a kernel of something facinating in the Red America/Blue America riff that Brooks popularized. Plenty of ideologues on the right deride liberal attacks on tax cuts for the wealthy as "class warfare." Plenty of ideologues on the left see the condition of American poor people as evidence that the "class war" has already begun, and that the rich folks have already fired a few shots. Both sides are, in short, a bit comfortable with seeing American politics in part as a material struggle between haves and have nots. And yet, the vanguard of aesthetic consumerism is a class of people who tend to vote Democratic and, moreover, are culturally way to the left of the stolid Republicans in sun-belt exurbs. This seems, at first glance anyway, to be a bit paradoxical and thus interesting.
6. Interesting enough, anyway, that I wish someone more interesting than David Brooks was looking into it.
7. So I probably won't be picking up his new book.|W|P|108529451197117912|W|P|bobos etc.|W|P|5/20/2004 02:34:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|I've lived next to a big-ass lake for most of my life.
I've seen weather reports which give the predicted temperature at the airport which is somewhat inland.
In the summertime, the temperature is usually cooler near the lake. For example, Friday's forecast is: Highs 75 to 80...except in the upper 60s along the lake.
This leads me to wonder whether what I think of as 76 degree weather is, in fact, 67 degree weather. I mean, typically, my only exposure to weather forecasts is the blurbs on the front pages of the newspapers, which typically give the expected temperature at O'Hare...so perhaps I tend to associate the higher number with the lower actual conditions, which in turn leads me to believe that I like hotter weather than I actually do.
Likewise, the lake tends to take the edge off the cold in the winter (sometimes, anyway), and the same effect would lead me to thinking I can stand colder temperatures than I actually can.
It's a tiny thing, but isn't it a bit unsettling (but not in a bad way) to have a sudden brainstorm just slightly alter the way you view yourself? Was to me.|W|P|108503848578963458|W|P||W|P|5/18/2004 12:38:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|This is as good an example of any of right-wing crowing over the discovery of a sarin-filled explosive in Iraq: "proof positive," in his words, of the existence of WMDs in Iraq.
Let us set aside the obvious question of how a reasonable person can make the logical leap required to make this discovery conclusive evidence of an Iraqi effort to mass-produce weapons of mass destruction and give them to terrorists. Basically, people who really want to believe in the wisdom and justice of the Iraq war are grasping for any available earplugs to drown out the roar of cognitive dissonance--I'm content to let them indulge their little fantasies, in large part because I don't have a chance in hell of changing their minds. I would like to address a slightly more fundamental point which has been bothering me since Day One.
The entire idea of "weapons of mass destruction" as a category is one of the more pernicious frauds of the entire Iraq war PR campaign. The "mushroom cloud" imagery which the President used in the State of the Union was an essential part of this. Grouping nuclear, biological and chemical weapons as a single category is a means by which extremely serious problems can be grouped with not so serious problems in order to lend an unwarranted air of nastiness to the not so serious problems.
Think about it. A cult, highly motivated and with significant financial resources, which made an active effort to recruit professional biologists and chemists for weapons production, releases a nerve gas attack in five seperate enclosed spaces, and the death toll is less than a tenth than that which a single Korean halfwit can manage in a single subway station armed only with a jug of gasoline.
I'm not for a minute suggesting that sarin isn't dangerous stuff. But to claim that there's something magical about chemical weapons which makes them dangerous in a way that "conventional" weapons or even killing devices improvised from everyday objects (e.g. fertilizer, gasoline, airplanes) are not is ludicrous. The effects of any forseeable terrorist attack with chemical weapons are not even remotely comparable to the effects of a hypothetical terrorist group with real nuclear or bio weapons.
There are, of course, treaties which outlaw or restrict the production and use of chemical weapons, but that has less to do with their inherent superdangerousness than with the propensity of nasty nations to use them indiscriminately against civilian targets (e. g., well, Saddam and the Kurds) and a certain instinctual moral revulsion at their effects. (Though it's worth remembering the words of a Pentagon spokesman the last time we violated the conventions of moral pleasantness in the course of taking a swing at Iraq: "I don't mean to be flippant, but there's no nice way to kill somebody in war.")
In short, insofar as the "WMD" capacity of Iraq at best consisted entirely of chemical weapons, the idea of "WMDs" as a category begins to look like a serious fraud, equivalent to my telling someone that last winter, six of the residents of my dormitory were afflicted with Horrible Diseases, a category I'm defining as AIDS, cancer, and the flu. That sounds terrible...if you don't know that all six of the cases of Horrible Diseases were, in fact, the flu.
No doubt, very few people who are reading this need to be convinced of the fundamental mendacity of the present administration. But the WMD fraud is a fine example of how properly spun half-truths are the President's greatest friends in the upcoming election. They knew in the leadup to war that the Iraqis had no substantial nuclear or bio-weapon capacity, mostly because they didn't have the infrastructure to produce such weapons, but there was a better-than-even shot that there were some sort of chemical weapons out there somewhere. By inventing a category which conflates the (possibly) real chemical weapons with the paranoid fantasy of a nuclear strike on Tulsa or Tel Aviv, at least in the minds of people who aren't paying real close attention to the news, the administration helped sell the war we're all paying for.|W|P|108485869370729258|W|P|the w.m.d. fraud|W|P|5/17/2004 11:03:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|From NPR via Eschaton, comes now a story following on from Iraq's semi-surprising qualification for the Olympic soccer tournament.
An excerpt: [T]oday, what might have been an unbridled display of pride and joy by Iraqis starve for something to rally around, it was turned into a stage-managed antiseptic media event featuring no Iraqi football fans, other than some of the cameramen recording the ceremony. [...] Even in the parking lot, there were no fans. It seemed local Iraqis weren't even aware their beloved team was here. When asked if they had a team song, one player leaned over and said, 'We're too sad to sing. Why do they keep the fans away? [...] But as one Iraqi attendee noted, for an American administration eager to publicize some good news about Iraq, the kindest thing he could call today's event was another missed opportunity.
OK, granted, it's a small thing. Unlike, say, torturing civilian prisoners, this is highly unlikely to breed a generation of terrorists. All the same, it takes a special level of incompetence to make people pissed off in the wake of winning an international soccer match against a country that I would imagine most Iraqis have a pretty hinky love-hate relationship with at best.
I understand the security concerns that preclude Bremer from being in the middle of a full stadium, even for a pep rally. But why the fuck did he have to be there in the first place? This victory was a perfect way for Iraqis to feel like they genuinely owned something.
One of the many reasons why most Americans view soccer as bizarre is because it seems to have such an oversized sense of importance for people in other countries--after all, regular people don't get that worked up over something that's just a game. Viewing it as just a game is oftentimes missing the point, though--for many people, especially people in countries where there is no public life to speak of, being a soccer supporter is a means by which people can experience the feeling of participating in meaningful-seeming social action. (Take e.g. the way that rooting for the football clubs in Barcelona or Bilbao was a means by which Spanish ethnolinguistic minorities flipped the bird at Franco.)
Insofar as it is still worth believing that there is any point to the present war, it is worth hoping that Iraq might be made into a more open and free society where all its people can genuinely have a part in shaping its future. But liberal democracy requires things like rule of law, roughly equal-ish opportunity, a concept of individual dignity and civil rights, and a population which regards itself as safe from arbitrary violence. The mere spectacle of voting every couple of years does not a democratic or free country make--look at e.g. Russia. Democratic values must be in place before democratic government can function.
A pity, then, that the present people in charge have such an ambivalent-at-best attitude towards those values, both in Iraq and in the US. If they were committed to those values, maybe they'd be thinking about the sometimes painful long-term choices which must be made in order to make Iraq (and, by extension, the world) a better and freer place, and maybe we would have had an honest national debate about the expenditure of blood (lots) and treasure (ditto) that would be necessary in order to achieve that goal, and whether that expenditure would be worth it.
Instead, we tried war on the cheap and got an occupying army in the heart of a population who hates our collective guts but are being temporarily and partially checked by fear of violent reprisal while we wait to hand over sovereignty to a ginned-up "interim government" of dubious provenance that will meaningfully survive precisely as long as it takes for people to realize that they have no voice save that which is granted by the muzzle of a Kalishnikov.
Maybe it might be worth giving the people of Iraq institutions they can call their own. Maybe we aughta let them celebrate their own freaking soccer team.|W|P|108480978233748353|W|P|a strange game. the only winning move is not to play.|W|P|10/10/2005 12:59:00 AM|W|P|Em Smith|W|P|Hey, I enjoyed your site, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a usa major league soccer site/blog. It pretty much covers usa major league soccer related stuff.
- In 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin gas in a more-or-less simultaneous coordinated series of attacks on five trains in Tokyo. 12 people died.
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usa major league soccer including links and articles to help your readers learn more about usa major league soccer.5/16/2004 08:46:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|McSweeney's Internet Tendency: An Open Letter to William Kristol, Richard Perle, and President Bush's Other Neoconservative Puppetmasters|W|P|108475841339534732|W|P|eventually i will start writing stuff again, i promise.|W|P|5/10/2004 11:46:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|!|W|P|108425078876864918|W|P|ye gods|W|P|5/08/2004 03:42:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|..:: Northsiders -vs- Southsiders ::..
A funny flash-type thing. Good if you like baseball. Hope to take a lot of crap from my Sox-lovin' friends for linking to it.|W|P|108400573159722397|W|P|da civil war|W|P|5/08/2004 12:53:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|In the annals of all-time great writing environments for moments just before the deadline, when you absolutely need no distractions, "a quiet dark house" is good. "A quiet dark house next door to a house where five attractive women ages 18 to 25, one of whom is the great unrequited love of one's life, are roaring drunk, blaring extremely tasteful music and dancing topless in front of an open window" is bad. Quite bad.|W|P|108399558176577095|W|P|we interrupt this self-imposed thesis-deadline-related blogging hiatus to bring you the following incontrovertible truth|W|P|5/05/2004 12:51:00 AM|W|P|PJ|W|P|read.|W|P|108373629964854366|W|P|pat tillman is fucking dead|W|P|5/01/2004 02:43:00 PM|W|P|PJ|W|P|How fucked are we that we're experiencing fond memories of the Reagan administration?|W|P|108344062115021922|W|P|a question|W|P| |W|P|Great blog. Interesting to see information on hp printer driver download from that perspective. I have a blog on a similar subject here |W|P|Hi, your blog has some interesting topics in it. I also have one that pretty much talks about