Pornography and Representation

In the last couple days, I’ve come across two interesting critiques of [Continue reading]




Another Bold Step Forward in the Fight for Iraqi Hearts and Minds

American soldiers have taken it on themselves to do some redecorating of Iraqi archaeological sites. Apparently, vandalism of the ancient city of Ur has led to the US military banning US troops from the site.

Mondays Are Looking Up!

Via the Yellow Doggerel Democrat–only about 10 minutes after it was reported–comes the very happy news that Ari Fleischer, he of the fleischering non-response, has announced his resignation from the White House staff. Fleischer plans to move into the private sector (although the line between government work and private interests has become very thin of late). Although watching a Fleischer press conference is typically far more painful than multiple root canal surgery performed by 6 monkeys using meat cleavers, I would certainly like to have seen the conference announcing his resignation.

For the Foreseeable Future

Police in St. Louis have preemptively raided homes of people involved in the BioDevastation Conference against Genetic Engineering. The activists were arrested in order to prevent their attendance at the conference this weekend and their future disruption of the World Agricultural Forum meetings which start on Sunday.

More on CharityGate

Steven Bates, the Yellow Doggerel Democrat, writes a good reply to my arguments about Bill Gate’s philanthropic urges. He correctly identifies the core of my discomfort (or one of the cores–I may not be the best judge of the merits of my argument) and offers a good argument in defense of Gates’ charity. Ultimately, his reply rests on the question of how Gates’ philanthropy differs from the charitable giving of the rest of us.

What’s Not to Love?

Jeanne D’Arc has a short post linking to an article on Salon about Bill Gates’ philanthropy. "My Microsoft-hating son will never forgive me for saying this," she writes, "but I love Bill Gates." The Salon article discusses Gates’ commitment to dispose of 95% of his massive $43 billion dollar personal wealth through charities involved in such issues as reproductive health and the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in the Third World.

A Modest Proposal

I would like to suggest a new word to be entered into the English vocabulary: “to fleischer”. Fleischering is to avoid answering a question by making a statement that is formally an answer but actually does not even address the topic of the question. For example, when asked if the president’s lack of comment on Sen. Santorum’s equation of homosexuality with incest and bestiality (and reference to priestly pedophilia as consensual homosexual intercourse) represented ” a conscious decision to just keep clear of this one?” on the part of the administration, fleischering’s namesake said:

Let me put it to you this way. The President typically never does comment on anything involving a Supreme Court case, a Supreme Court ruling or a Supreme Court finding — typically.

Culture and Copyrights

Eyeteeth has a great interview with Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of The Anarchist in the Library (which is now at the top of my “to-read” list). Vaidhyanathan discusses the ways that sharing networks–be they local communities like church groups or jam sessions or transnational structures like the Internet of global corporations–work as the medium for cultural growth and development.

Alas, Dick Cheney, We Hardly Knew Ye

Alas, Dick Cheney, We Hardly Knew Ye

Of course, that’s because you hardly let us…

The Smoking Gun managed to get a copy of an obituary mock-up for Dick Cheney accidentally made public on CNN’s website a couple days ago. Apparently most news organizations have nearly-ready-to-go obituaries in their files for famous personages, “just in case”–CNN is only unusual in having posted them to a public part of their website (a mistake which has since been remedied).

One Small Step for Liberty…

A couple of years ago, the owner of Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore said “No”. The recipients of this refusal were the North Metro Drug Task Force, who had ever-so-nicely asked if they might see the records related to a book purchase a suspected methamphetamine producer had ordered from the bookstore. Seems they had found two books on the fine art of meth-making in the suspect’s home, and an empty mailing envelope from the Tattered Cover in the trash. They were able to make their case without the Tattered Cover’s cooperation, and the baddie is now doing time