URLs du Jour (10/3/2005)

  • La Shawn Barber was asked to "respond" to Bill Bennett's remarks on hypothetical racially-selective abortion's effect on crime rates, and she's all over it. (Amusingly, her previous post claimed she was getting lazy about blogging. She got over that pretty darn quick.) Full of good links that will help you get up to speed on the issue, if you're not.
  • Why is government getting so big? Nathan Smith has the answer at Tech Central Station: it's clever libertarians.
  • At Reason, Tim Cavanaugh comments upon the trailer for the upcoming movie V for Vendetta. Nothing earth-shattering here, save for this description of Queen Amidala I found extremely funny:

    Portman, a thespian I wouldn't believe if she were reading the line "Your name is Tim Cavanaugh," looks as unpersuasive as ever, …

    I love that; I hope I remember to steal adapt it to my own use at some later date.

  • And Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers has a blog! How about that? First article: "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M THE NOMINEE!!!"

    Hm, waaaaait a minute …


Last Modified 2012-10-26 6:27 AM EDT

You're Not Paying Attention, Leonard

Howard Kurtz reports on the Washington Post's in-house "critiques". It's very inside-baseball stuff, so most normal people would probably be indifferent. But it's illuminatory as to the attitudes driving an allegedly influential major newspaper. What really caught my eye, was this quote from Marie Arana, editor of the "Book World" section:

The elephant in the newsroom is our narrowness. Too often, we wear liberalism on our sleeve and are intolerant of other lifestyles and opinions. . . . We're not very subtle about it at this paper: If you work here, you must be one of us. You must be liberal, progressive, a Democrat. I've been in communal gatherings in The Post, watching election returns, and have been flabbergasted to see my colleagues cheer unabashedly for the Democrats.

No real surprise there, I suppose, other than Marie's straightforward honesty. I'm far less flabbergasted than she. However, the response by Executive Editor Leonard Downie is, well, …

Downie says he is concerned if some staffers are openly displaying political preferences but that Arana's comments were valuable and "made clear that we do have a diverse staff when it comes to ideological backgrounds."

What? No, Leonard, that's exactly the opposite of what she said. Are these the reading skills you're bringing to the job of freakin' Executive Editor?

Night Moves

[Amazon Link] [4.5 stars] [IMDb Link]

I'm a fan of the private eye and film noir genres, and this is kind of both, and just a fine movie overall. Gene Hackman gives an understated and subtle performance as Harry, an ex-football player turned private investigator. His dialog is classic wise-cracking PI, and things start out as a straightforward detective story. But this movie tries to show that his profession is built on corrupt and shaky foundations (a little heavy-handedly).

Also dancing on the fine line between clever and annoying is the interplay between the movie's title and Harry's reference to "knight moves" in the chess game he's analyzing. The player he obviously identifies with had a win if only he'd seen the correct knight moves. Observes Harry: "He played something else and he lost. He must have regretted it every day of his life. I know I would have." And, sure enough, Harry misses his correct moves too.

This movie was made in 1975, and displays that era's more casual attitude towards showing boobies.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 5:57 AM EDT