URLs du Jour


  • A much younger version of your blogger once stood in line behind George F. Will at a Shakey's Pizza Parlor in Bethesda, Maryland. And he will never forget Mr. Will's words to his wife that day:

    Honey, do you want beer, or root beer, or what?

    That story has nothing to do with anything, but your blogger nevertheless likes to tell it. According to their website, the Shakey's nearest to Pun Salad World Headquaters is 1009 miles away, in Warner Robins, Georgia. And, what do you know, there it is.

  • Today at Newsweek, Mr. Will notes that not only are an increasing number of Americans disbelieving President Obama, they "do not believe that he believes what he says." Arguably worse! Among the contributing factors is the one we ranted on a couple days ago:

    He says America's health-care system is going to wrack and ruin and requires root-and-branch reform--but that if you like your health care (as a large majority of Americans do), nothing will change for you. His slippery new formulation is that nothing in his plan will "require" anyone to change coverage. He used to say, "If you like your health-care plan, you'll be able to keep your health-care plan, period." He had to stop saying that because various disinterested analysts agree that his plan will give many employers incentives to stop providing coverage for employees.

  • At the American Spectator, Peter Ferrara similarly hooks the president's speech up to a lie detector, and notes the needles twitching wildly, lights flashing, and smoke coming out of various orifices:

    If you are one of the almost 12 million Americans with low cost Health Savings Account insurance plans or similar high deductible plans, and you like it, too bad, because Obama's promise of allowing you to keep your plan does not apply to you, just as it does not apply to the 10 million seniors with Medicare Advantage, or the 88 million estimated to be dumped into the Obama/Democrat "public option." Obama offered the nation another calculated deception last Wednesday when he proclaimed "nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have." No, nothing will require it, it will just have that effect, as Obama knows, which is why he so carefully and misleadingly phrased it this way.

  • But if you'd like to get away from Obamacare for awhile, you can read the sad story of yet another effort to run a public institution of higher education (specifically, East Georgia College) via arbitrary whim:

    Professor Thomas Thibeault made the mistake of pointing out--at a sexual harassment training seminar--that the school's sexual harassment policy contained no protection for the falsely accused. Two days later, in a Kafkaesque irony, Thibeault was fired by the college president for sexual harassment. More than a month later, despite multiple requests for information, Thibeault has never received a statement of the charges against him, nor any evidence, nor any idea of whether there is actually an accuser, nor any hearing.

    If Kafka had never written, I wonder what we'd call these kinds of proceedings?

  • I suspect that given the chance to do so, about 5-10% of the respondents in a random polling sample will falsely claim to hold bizarre and extreme views. Just to mess with the pollster's mind, man.

    I wonder how you could test that hypothesis?

  • Google sends a lot of people our way looking for ginormous rubber duck images, due to this 2007 post. We are happy to oblige with a slightly newer pic:

    [Ginormous Rubber Duck]

    That's the 26-meter one in Nantes. Also available in slightly-less-ginormous 12-meter and 5-meter versions. There's a video at—where else?—Cute Overload

Last Modified 2012-10-05 2:20 PM EST

P Is For Peril

[Amazon Link]

Another outing for the intrepid private eye Kinsey Millhone, this one being number … um…

% perl -e 'print ord('P') - ord('A') + 1, "\n";'
… number 16 in Sue Grafton's conveniently-titled series. Ms. Grafton's U book is coming out in December, which puts me five behind. (I did that calculation on my fingers.)

In this one, Kinsey is hired to find a missing doctor, by the missing doctor's ex-wife. In a subplot, Kinsey also needs to find some new, affordable office space, as her current arrangement is becoming increasingly untenable. Both efforts immediately get complicated, as (a) Kinsey gets involved in the innermost workings of the family and work associates of the missing doc; (b) she finds an ideal office, but her prospective landlords are a pair of brothers with a shady past, and (worse) one develops kind of a romantic obsession with Kinsey. Nevertheless, she does some real detecting here; and, yes, at one point she's in actual peril.

I found this installment in the series to be a significant improvement over the ones immediately preceding. As always, Kinsey is a sharp-eyed observer of her environment and others, and she's not so hot at self-reflection. (Although the books are written with Kinsey first-person narrating, Ms. Grafton somehow wangles to reveal more about Kinsey than Kinsey knows herself. Good trick.)

As an extra current-events bonus, Medicare fraud is involved.

I should also note that Ms. Grafton seems to cut back here on the semi-annoying habit of including piles of irrelevant details, for which I previously awarded her the title "The Queen of Pointless Description".

Last Modified 2012-10-05 2:28 PM EST