Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Rogue state"

Could we please stop talking about how Iran is a "rogue state" like it's the only one on Earth? Let's take Zimbabwe, where the current government has undertaken an intense and borderline unbelievable campaign of suppression to further its stated intent of remaining in power forever and ever. Or Burma, where the military junta moved the capital out of paranoia and has kept the country's elected leader under house arrest for more years than I have fingers. Or, for Christ's sake, Turkmenistan, where the demented leader has banned opera, libraries, and beards, and recommends that people chew on bones instead of going to the dentist. Seriously, I am not making this stuff up.

Iran has a nutjob for a president. But--and this is the key--he has no real power. He doesn't have his finger on any big red nuclear button. He's all talk and no walk. I don't think heads of state should be able to talk about wiping their neighbors off the map without feeling any international repercussions. But Iran isn't any more of a "rogue state" than its neighbors in the middle east or any one of the dozens of other oppressive regimes around the world. As for nuclear weapons, you know who else has them? Pakistan, home of Al Qaeda. And also, North Korea, a country we have tried to bribe time after time after time to stop.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It has to be said

John McCain is running a bastard's campaign. I don't want to think he's a bastard, but he's not really leaving me a lot of choice here.

"[Barack Obama] made time to go to the gym, but cancelled a visit with wounded troops...."

That's a line from McCain's new ad, "Troops." (Here: click on the tab "TV Ad: Troops.") The thing that makes me use the word "bastard" is that the basketball footage in the ad is from Obama's visit with troops. He's in a gym surrounded by military uniforms! Of course, the footage as used in the ad is so blurry that it's hard to see the men and women standing around him. I have no idea if that was deliberate, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My tumor was driving

You know the (recent?) practice of playing down reputation-breaking incidents by admitting to alcoholism. See, e.g., Mel Gibson. Now, just days after running down a pedestrian and attempting to leave the scene--despite reports that the man was splayed on his windshield--Robert Novak, age 77, has said he has a brain tumor. Novak isn't using the tumor explicitly as an excuse for hitting the guy, but he did say that he didn't know he had hit anyone, and the papers are saying that it's unclear whether his tumor contributed to the accident.

This all adds fuel to my long-held belief that everyone over 65 should be required to undergo random driving inspections. At the same time, it supports the implicit conclusion that if you're famous, you can find excuses to get you out of consequences for the bad things you do.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Watching the USA-Canada basketball exhibition game. Guess who's sitting next to Bill Gates?



Thursday, July 17, 2008

hi sai, are you happy?

Sai Sai,

Now have you state show?
I also sing with you, allow me.
I'm not famous singer.
But i want to sing.
I admire you.
I want to meet you at 20.7.2008 (Sun day) with your state show.  OK.
I'm chin and myanmar.
I'm a girl and not married.
My mail address is [email].
OK, please send me your mail, once.

Best regard,
[Poor misguided girl]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Talking about the satirical Obama New Yorker cover, Matt Yglesias says:
I found the image to be neither especially funny as satire, nor especially outrageous as bad satire. The problem, though, is that the actually existing whispering campaign against Obama is so severe that it doesn't really admit of satire-by-exaggeration.

I've been reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead before bed. Whisper campaigns are one of the situations where her crazy reality actually becomes true, where her drooling beast comes to life. Take this exchange, for instance:

Me: Hey man, what do you think of Barack Obama?
Whisper Campaign Victim: Oh, well, isn't he a Muslim?
Me: What? No! He's Christian dude. Don't you remember his reverend making all those headlines a while back?
WCV: Well, yeah, but I still think he's a Muslim.
Me: What?! Why do you think that?
WCV: His middle name's Hussain, isn't it?
Me: Sure, but what does that have anything to do with it?
WCV: And didn't he go to one of those madrassas, where they teach you how to blow up American soldiers?
Me: Dude, most schools in Indonesia are Muslim, and CNN even said that story was false. Seriously, you still think he's Muslim?
WCV: He feels like a Muslim.
Me: We're talking about a fact! What do feelings have to do with it?
WCV: You can have your opinion, and I'll have mine.
Me: I give up.

If you don't believe something like this is possible, I've got a cabbie down in Key West that I'd like you to meet.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thoughts on Crazy Paparazzi

Over at What Would Tyler Durden Do (generally NSFW), the author writes:
How is it legal that someone is allowed to stand in front of a moving car and repeatedly hit the driver in the eyes with bright flashing lights? Is that not a violation of the drivers rights? I'm assuming Tobey Maguire is wondering the same thing, as last night he was trying to drive his SUV when he lost it and yelled at the paparazzi, screaming, “"get the fuck out of the way, I can't see. There are cars here motherfuckers." And good for him. You’re not even allowed to take flash pictures of fish at the zoo, yet for some reason it's okay to blind people while they try to aim a V12 engine. Why not just sound an air horn off in their ear too, or throw a snake in their lap. No rules, right?
I've been pondering this topic recently. If a jaywalker crosses the road against the light and not in a crosswalk, and he is hit by a car driving at the speed limit with the right of way, whose fault is that? The jaywalker's, right? Shouldn't the same thing happen with these crazy photographers? Every time Britney Spears runs over some jackass photographer's foot, there are stories all over the news. But the guy was asking for it! He was standing close enough to a moving vehicle to have his foot run over, while flashing blinding lights in the eyes of the driver--isn't that some sort of defense? I know it sounds harsh, but why can't the people harassed by the paparazzi just run them over?

Answer: because they'll get sued, that's why. Ahh, lawyers. They solve all problems.

Old Folks Doing Their Thing, You Know

At Trivia last night my team got a question that sparked some heated discussion at our table: what percentage of old people (65+) regularly engage in sexual activity? We answered 69%, partially in homage to the topic at hand. (My guess was 70%.) Of course, our team had its share of naysayers, convinced that grannies can't get it on or that, even with viagra, the physics of the act of love just weren't possible for people with canes and walkers. This despite recent evidence of rampant STI transmission in retirement communities and assisted living facilities.

Luckily, the more optimistic among us won out. The correct answer: 68%.

Why are people so weirded out by the thought of elderly sex? I mean, why not? As long as people are aware of what's going on and consenting, the idea doesn't bother me. Although, since I brought it up, the consent issues can get pretty thorny, especially as older people grapple with demenia and families get involved. See, e.g., this heartbreaking tale from Slate.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Friend

A while back I was reading through the archives of Crescat Sententia, which went offline right before I started law school. It had a recurring segment of 20 questions for interesting bloggers, which is where I was introduced to Matthew Yglesias:
18: What does Matt Yglesias look for in a woman?
I think the more relevant question may be what sort of woman is looking for a Matt Yglesias. I seem to always wind up dating vegans, which doesn't work all that well with my food-consumption patters. I dunno if that means I'm really looking for a carnivore or if vegans are my type or maybe I should compromise and find a vegetarian and we can go cheese shopping together. Seriously, though, it's pretty hard to say. Like all single people, the one thing my previous relationships have all had in common is failure, so I clearly don't really know what I'm doing.

Yes, yes, I'm a little slow on the uptake here--he's been blogging for several years now. Anyway, I've been reading his stuff for the past few days, and I like. You can meet him too, right here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Stalker Is Back?

Today, 3 people found the GW Law Student Blog by running an Internet search for my name. Yesterday, it was 5 people. My name is the 14th most common term of all time used to find the blog. Weird!