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Opening Arguments

Recent Comments

» rex_parvusvox : Public hangings of yesteryear
» Larry Morris : From the preparedness geek
Get ready
» Hester : You say "quick...
Forty years later
» Rebecca Mallory : Much of the history of the
A gay old time
» Rebecca Mallory : From a Hillary Clinton
Word power
» Frank Keller : This is always good for a
Anti-gun nuts
» Frank Keller : But there should be some kind
Bad idea, round 2

Sign right here, please

I've resisted the truly libertarian approach to gay marriage, which is that government shouldn't be in the marriage business in the first place. Isn't marriage too important to society for government not to be involved? But I guess I'm starting to come around, because this makes sense to me:

Drink up

You might want to think about that second drink:

People who are trying to impress a date with their good looks might want to limit themselves to one drink, a new study finds.

People in the study were rated as more attractive after one glass of wine, but not after two glasses of wine, compared with when they were sober, according to the study published Feb. 25 in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Posted in: Current events

President His Way

With all the uproar over Netanyahu's speech to Congress and the flap over Hillary Clinton's peculiar use of a personal phone account to conduct State Department business, this little gem is in danger of getting lost:

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed Monday that President Obama is "very interested" in the idea of raising taxes through unilateral executive action.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the terrorists

My word:

It was a very dark Strangelovian speech painting the picture of a dystopian world, raising the spectre of a genocidal nation, a genocidal regime spraying nuclear weapons to annihilate the whole world and the whole region. Now, obviously many people are very concerned about Iran and there is a deep lack of trust, but surely the same was said of the Soviet Union all those years ago.

He's not credible

President Obama is just not credible when he claims to have "evolved" on gay marriage. His former aid David Axelrod is more believable when he says Obama always supported gay marriage but felt he had to lie about it because it was politically expedient.

Outta my spot!

Boy, the mayor of Boston is a real wet blanket. First, he tells people to stop jumping out of second-story windows for fun, even if the snow is high enough to cushion their fall, and now he's cracking down on parking:

BOSTON - The mayor of Boston says residents who worked tirelessly to carve out parking spots during the city's multiple blizzards can no longer claim stake on those spots.

Can you hear me now?

Do we really want to know if we're not alone in the universe?

Now some SETI researchers are pushing a more aggressive agenda: Instead of just listening, we would transmit messages, targeting newly discovered planets orbiting distant stars. Through “active SETI,” we’d boldly announce our presence and try to get the conversation started.

It's a circus

The "Gotcha!" apologists

Damage control

If Barack Obama is our first "post-American president," does Jeb Bush want to be the second? Both of them are deeply unhappy with America as it exists today, and both want to fundamentally change it. Obama's thoughts about the country's failings have been extensively explored. Bush's, not so much:

Gotcha takedown right here

If you scan through the righty blogosphere (as I do) you can find a lot of bemoaning of the treatment of Scott Walker by the press now that he's the GOP front-runner, especially its habit of asking "Gotcha!" questions that never get thrown at Democrats. (Try this one: "The left made Scott Walker a candidate, the press is turning him into a force.")

Desigualdad

The New York Times drags the income inequality crusade down to self-parody: "As Cuba Shifts Toward Capitalism, Inequality Grows More Visible":

As Cuba opens the door wider to private enterprise, the gap between the haves and have-nots — and between whites and blacks — that the revolution sought to diminish is growing more evident.

[. . .]

Not so special

Another case of stolen valor:

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald falsely claimed that he served in a military special forces unit, he admitted to the Huffington Post.

Petard. Her own. Hoist by.

Oops! Chelsea Clinton loved Patricia Arrquette's Oscar speech about equal pay for women. Maybe she should talk to her mother, who, it turns out, had a slight problem in that area:

Guess again

You can find whole lists of bad predictions. I love the tech-related ones in which people pretend they can figure out what innovations will last. There was, for example. IBM Chairman Thomas Watson, who said in 1943, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." And Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of the Digital Equipment Corp., in 1977: "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

Posted in: Web/Tech

Ta-ta, TV

I've mention here a time or two, in reaction to stories about the "death of print" or the "end of newspapers" that the problem is much, much deeper. What we are actually seeing is the demise of the whole mass-marketing phenomenon in which news can ride on the back of advertising. That end is almost upon us:

They call me Mister Morris

Not here, of course. We're all just good buddies, right? But elsewhere in our life, we could do with a little more formality:

Celebrate

Posted in: Current events

A unique life

Oliver Sacks, the neurology professor who has done such a marvelous job of turning scientific jargon into plain English, has learned, at the age of 81, that he has terminal cancer. What he has written about it should be read by all who doubt the value of their lives. The concluding paragraphs:

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