URLs du Jour


  • Dear reader, are you a brain-dead liberal? Worry not, for if there's hope for David Mamet, there's hope for you. [Warning: the excerpt below contains a word you can get by with saying only one to three times in a PG-13 movie.]
    As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.

    These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me. We were riding along and listening to NPR. I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the fuck up. "?" she prompted. And her terse, elegant summation, as always, awakened me to a deeper truth: I had been listening to NPR and reading various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place. Further: I found I had been—rather charmingly, I thought—referring to myself for years as "a brain-dead liberal," and to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."

    Read the whole thing. Then go watch The Spanish Prisoner again. David Mamet's wife is Rebecca Pidgeon.

  • Dubya has words on the Fairness Doctrine, while speaking to the National Religious Broadcasters 2008 Convention:
    … there's an effort afoot that would jeopardize your right to express your views on public airways. Some members of Congress want to reinstate a regulation that was repealed 20 years ago. It has the Orwellian name called the Fairness Doctrine. Supporters of this regulation say we need to mandate that any discussion of so-called controversial issues on the public airwaves includes equal time for all sides. This means that many programs wanting to stay on the air would have to meet Washington's definition of balance. Of course, for some in Washington, the only opinions that require balancing are the ones they don't like.
    The website notes, helpfully, that this was met with (Laughter and Applause). Applause here too. (Via Extreme Mortman.)

  • General proposition: Democrats aren't serious about Social Security reform. The latest data point in support of that proposition is here, an article from former Social Security principal deputy commissioner Andrew Biggs on Obama's reform proposal:
    The problem is two-fold: His proposal would be a very large tax hike, yet it won't be enough.
    "Other than that, though, it's fine." The longer we avoid reality now, the more painful things will be in a couple decades.

    But perhaps by 2030 or so, Purina will offer cheap "Geezer Chow" in those forty-pound bags. Here's hopin'!

  • From Chapter One in How Not to Design a Hybrid Bus:
    The Municipal Railway will not use buses from its new hybrid fleet on one line that runs through the public housing projects in San Francisco's Hunters Point neighborhood until officials can stop troublemakers there from turning off the buses' power switches.

    Muni drivers have reported over the last couple of weeks that people have been shutting down the power on their buses by flipping a switch that can be accessed easily through an unlocked panel on the outside of the bus.

    (Via the Bleat.)

  • Three words: Food Court Musical.