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Entries from May 2009

A Sotomayor core dump

May 29th, 2009 · 54 Comments

I’ll cop to sharing some of Yglesias’ irritation at the treatment of Sonia Sotomayor, and if Republicans are managing to get a rise out of my pallid ass, I can only imagine the kind of damage they’re doing to their brand among, you know, real Latinos.  For one, it is basically impossible for me to […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Law · Sociology

Nathan Fillion is… Green Lantern

May 25th, 2009 · 7 Comments

It’s a little sad that this fan-made trailer for a non-existent movie looks a hell of a lot more appealing than most of the real ones I see.  Someone should (ahem) greenlight this for serious.

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Tags: Art & Culture · Random Cool Link

Fox Article Likely Filled With Gibberish, Experts Say

May 22nd, 2009 · 3 Comments

You’d think after seven years in DC, I’d have developed an immunity to surprise at political mendacity, but every now and then, a truly heroic example of shamelessness can still astonish me.  My morning feeds bring a doozy in the form of a putative “news” item titled “Patriot Act Likely Helped Thwart NYC Terror Plot, […]

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Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance

You Want Fries With That?

May 19th, 2009 · 22 Comments

Guesting over at Sully’s, Lane Wallace recounts how a crappy job taught him the value of a liberal arts education: In a flash, I grasped the true value of a college degree. It didn’t matter what I majored in. It didn’t even matter all that much what my grades were. What mattered was that I […]

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Tags: Academia · Art & Culture · Language and Literature

National Lampoon’s Libertarian Vacation

May 13th, 2009 · 7 Comments

I’m assuming most of the folks who would find this amusing have already seen it, but I’d been meaning to post this and kept forgetting. It is, I hope, not necessary to explain why this is funny, but not actually a good argument.

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Tags: Libertarian Theory · Random Cool Link

The Five Techniques

May 13th, 2009 · 12 Comments

I’ve been reading John Conroy’s excellent study of torture in democracies, Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People. It’s really required reading for understanding the current dispute over torture in historical context, but I want to pull out a few passages for brief comment. Here’s a description of a prolonged series of interrogations carried out in Ireland in […]

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Tags: War

Sour Grapes

May 13th, 2009 · 12 Comments

I wanted to pull up a thought from the end of the Vegan Envy post below, because it strikes me that it’s of somewhat wider application.  As everyone presumably knows, the expression “sour grapes” comes from the old Aesop fable about a fox who, after struggling and failing to reach some tasty-looking grapes, scoffs that […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

We Lose Money On Each Unit, But Make It Up Through Volume

May 13th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Jerry Taylor notes in passing that he doesn’t much care for the offerings of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, causing a dozen or so conservatives to lose their minds.  I’m relieved of any obligation to weigh in by Conor Friedersdorf, who pretty much nails it: When blowhards who alienate moderates and poison political discourse have […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Over the Line!

May 11th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Re: Wanda Sykes’ nerdprom routine about Rush Limbaugh as traitor and potential 20th hijacker whose kidneys should fail: I assumed this offered as a bit of self-conscious table-turning, given the penchant of Limbaugh & co. for slinging accusations of treason at their ideological opponents. In general, “they do it too” is a lame justification for […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Vegan Envy

May 11th, 2009 · 32 Comments

Max Fisher apparently shares my own occasional pangs of conscience about not being vegan. I’m a vegetarian of some 17 years now, but realized long ago that what really follows from my own commitments is that I should be fine with eating (most) fish but cut the dairy out of my diet—or at the very […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy