Saturday, May 15, 2004

Bush Admin:Congress :: Eric Cartman:His Mom 

"Eric, your Iraq field trip is going to cost nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars. That's more than we spent on WWI"

"G--DAMN IT MOM!! I told you not to interrupt me when I'm fighting evil and spreading the Almighty's gift of Freedom!!!"


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But if anyone is positioned to afford such folly, it's us.

From Stephen Roach at Morgan Stanley:
Based on revised IMF data, it now appears that the United States accounted for fully 98% of the cumulative growth in world GDP over the seven-year period, 1995 to 2002 (the prior data put that share at 96%). America’s growth contribution over that interval was more than three times its 30% share in the global economy. Conversely, this calculation also means that the remainder of the world economy — some 70% of global output — collectively accounted for only 2% of the cumulative increase in world GDP over the 1995 to 2002 time frame. This is a truly astonishing result. Never before has the modern-day world economy experienced such a protracted period of unbalanced growth.


Though Roach thinks an uncomfortable "rebalancing" is ahead, I simply can't help but marvel at America's continued economic dominance. Frankly, it's hard to fathom how privileged we are economically (and militarily), no matter who is running the show.

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When your SigOth asks: Do you think she's pretty? 

Vomit the Lukewarm takes on this hazardous question philosophically, but let me also add the correct answer:

"Well, maybe. In a superficial way, of course."

Pause as if considering the subject's looks for the first time. Then:

"But she's not really my type."

After the inevitable response, 'so what is your type?', compliment your SigOth in the most romantic way possible and do whatever it takes to halt this line of questioning. Use a charming non-answer, change topic, filibuster, physically embrace, or even abruptly leave; just don't go there... trust me.
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Last night 

While others saw entertaining shows, the inlaws babysat our Colicky Loinfruit so my Lovely and I could eat at Juan's (yum) and enjoy Mean Girls .

I must report to the cool people who missed it, that Amy Sedaris was hilarious on Letterman. She did a remote from a street in her Greenwich Village neighborhood, and while passing a nearby porn video shop, she noted that Internal Sunshine of the Spotless Behind was still available. That's almost as good a porn title-- in terms of funny takeoffs on real films-- as my fave, courtesy of Jiminy Glick: Something Liquid This Way Comes.

Top that one.
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Friday, May 14, 2004

When I say "Bitch", no one laughs 

This is why.


---
Also, go see the greatest artist since 1970 at One Eyed Jacks tonight.
I know Ratboy the 2nd wouldn't miss it.
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Port Security 

Keep your wine storage locked, especially when guests are over.

Pause>




Pause>




Bueller?>




Pause>

Nary a chuckle? Well then you might as well learn that from FY 2002-2004 President Bush has proposed no monies for specific Port Security programs. The Coast Guard says we need $8 billion. To top it off, Sec. Tom Ridge tells us we'll just have to pay for it ourselves-- that is, New Orleans will have to accept the costs and risks for Port Security although the Mississippi river services most of the country.

As the govt continues to funnel privates and benjamins into Iraq, we'll simply have to "make do" when it comes to securing our own port from a terrorist WMD. Not a federal issue, apparently.

Did I mention that Osama Bin Laden formed an Al-Qaeda 'Navy'?

Hell even Tony Soprano was disturbed by it this week.
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Thursday, May 13, 2004

Neighborhood News  

New Orleans WWL Channel 4 is having auditions for a local version of American Idol.

Participate, and redeem the injustice done to George Huff and--certainly-- to La Toya London. And you know they want to draw in some clueless tin ears for the crucial "She Bang" blooper reel....


Oyster's N.O. Area Weather Recast:
Nighttime Storms and Tornado Warnings promote dyspepsia.
(Especially acute among fathers worried about raising newborns in a darkening world.)

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Great Caesar's Ghost! It's all but over. 

A poll taken in April-- before the prison abuse scandal broke-- reveals that most Iraqis want the U.S. military to leave immediately.


For the first time, according to Dulame's poll, a majority of Iraqis said they'd feel safer if the U.S. military withdrew immediately.

A year ago, just 17 percent of Iraqis wanted the troops gone, according to Dulame's respected research center in Baghdad. Now, the disturbing new results mirror what most Iraqis and many international observers have said for months: Give it up. Go home. This just isn't working.

...

"We'd like the Americans to go, even if that means a sectarian war," Ahmed al-Baghdadi, a Shiite cleric, told the cheering crowd. "It would be a war among our boys, and old guys like us would be able to settle it quickly."

Link via The Poor Man


Now after you read that report, and hear guys like General Richard Myers saying "There is no way to militarily lose in Iraq" but "there is also no way to militarily win in Iraq"

and even Rumsfeld murmuring that "it's possible" the mission could fail.

It will at some point hit you (if it already hasn't) that:

Iraq will be one of the grandest, most expensive misadventures in world history. No WMD, no Al Qaeda link, deadly guerrila attacks, massive religious/ethnic/tribal division, graphic evidence of American torture and humiliation, 30-40% unemployment, hundreds of billions in costs, thousands of casualties, crippled global prestige...etc etc

The cake hasn't finished baking, of course, but that's a nasty combination of ingredients. It's really starting to smell, and we're in for a long, bad aftertaste.

Please hold the cooks responsible.

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5/14 update: Another April Iraq poll shows 82% disapproval of U.S. occupation.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Phoebe Cates has left the pool 

I can't help myself. Tits this nice should be shared.
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Who is the greatest artist since 1970? 

Any medium-- words, music, paint, lawn ornaments... But works before 1970 can't be factored.

My initial answer is David Bowie...... or Mr. Quintron.
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Well, how is history likely to judge your Iraq war?  

“And [President Bush] said, ‘History,’ and then he took his hands out of his pocket and kind of shrugged and extended his hands as if this is a way off. And then he said,
History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.’

This dismissal courtesy of a Yale graduate-- history major.

I'd say the world stage is a helluva place for remedial coursework, especially when the lessons are in blood and treasure. (No coasting by on "Gentleman's 'C's", either.)


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Speaking of degrees and, um, learning, apparently the Assistant Secretary of Defense has a bogus degree from a defunct Picayune, MS "diploma mill" which Louisiana helped shut down. It's surprising that internet searches haven't exposed more of these frauds. Well, if the assistant secretary is fired, perhaps he can write books on relationships and charge $30k-$50k per lecture like this cheeseball, whose "PhD" is from a private, nonaccredited correspondence school . His "doctorate" accompanies a B.A. and M.A. in the rigorous Science of Creative Intelligence from the Maharishi European Research University in Switzerland. What a joke-- everyone knows that MERU is primarily a party school...

For a cool, fast-moving presentation on online diploma mills, look at this. Some of these posers are actually making clinical judgments. Yikes.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Freezehead 

An indulgent and removed practice, it was only a matter of time before I "blogged". Perhaps I needed to allay concerns that fatherhood meant mental freeze. Or perhaps, inflamed with jealousy over my wife's ability to reproduce, I simply had to create something.

No matter, soon shareable PersonalWebs and all sorts of newer cool stuff will make YRHT terribly quaint(if not already). In the meantime I aim to uplift and inspire-- give birth, if you will. If I can provide some friction for thought, that might be useful as well. (If not, then consider the value of friction in non-mental events.)

Shake things up, and seek out "rough truths" that scrape your old assumptions.

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Unfortunately, I learned Professor Renford Bambrough died. I'll always remember his axiom that "without friction, there is no thought". A guest lecturer at my alma mater, Bambrough conducted a course on Wittgenstein's Investigations in '94. Six students and I conversed regularly with a man who had learned personally from Ludwig Wittgenstein (arguably the greatest 20th century philosopher) and John Wisdom. In the Socratic style, he led with questions which exposed our "blindnesses" as he called them. Dr. Bambrough was tremendously impressive, and one time observed that I seemed to often "go about things the hard way". I replied, "Yes, that sounds like me." He enjoyed that phrasing.

'I know that you know all this, but I also know, from some things that some of you and some others have said and written, that you need to be reminded of what you know.'
---Renford Bambrough

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Life's a Grill (and Death Stinks) 

Is George "heavy hands" Foreman crazy or does he have life by the tail? Or both? And what was the sequence? A recent interview with the un-retired pugilist, age 55:

Fast Company: With all these commitments, and now training, you must never sleep. What's driving you?

Foreman: You just don't want to waste your time. In 1977, I got hit and was dead for a split second--and I saw everything crumble like a piece of paper. After that, the smell of death never leaves you. You don't want to live six hours a day--you start squeezing in 26.


Even when grilling lower fat hamburgers, George can't escape death's stench, yet he's always quick to grin and laugh.

How authentic is this sweet scientist?

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Monday, May 10, 2004

Inspirational First Post 

Do it. Now. Do it.


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Assuming it's accomplished and you've returned to reflect after a fine effort dancing or dragonslaying (while perhaps listening to this) allow me to distill years of philosophical audits into a single, explicit phrase:

To what extent can truth endure incorporation? That is the question, that is the experiment.

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