URLs du Jour


  • The NYT significantly improves the quality of their op-ed page by printing Charles Murray's column on the recent online gambling bill.
    So, a month before a major election, the Republicans have allied themselves with a scattering of voters who are upset by online gambling and have outraged the millions who love it. Furthermore, judging from many hours of online chat with Internet poker players, I am willing to bet (if you'll pardon the expression) that the outraged millions are disproportionately electricians, insurance agents, police officers, mid-level managers, truck drivers, small-business owners — that is, disproportionately Republicans and Reagan Democrats.
    The fact that he's going after the GOP probably explains why he's getting Strange New Respect from the NYT.

  • Bruce Schneier is a smart guy, but this sentence from his recent Forbes.com essay (on the increasing permanance of electronic conversation) demonstrates why even smart guys can be selectively blind:
    This represents an enormous loss of freedom and liberty, and the only way to solve the problem is through legislation.
    Eyes roll. Heads shake. Millions mutter, "Yeah, sure. That'll work."

    Schneier is a good and knowledgable skeptic on security measures. But like many lefties, he's got a childlike religious faith in legislation and regulation.

  • We had some fun with James B. South, chair of the Marquette U. Philosophy department last month; although he is (self-) described as a "strong supporter of academic freedom", he was not strong enough to resist ripping down a "patently offensive" quote from a neighboring office door:
    As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government.
    The author of that patently offensive quote was Dave Barry. And, as Dave would say, I am not making this up.

    Although there have been no major new developments in the case, more people are taking notice and raining down richly-deserved ridicule on Chairman South. Marquete PoliSci prof James McAdams, who originally publicized the incident, has a bunch of links here, here, and here. The Torch is all over the matter here, here, and here. (UNH fans will also want to view this entry, where one of our university's historical free-speech follies is remembered.)

    But we're all about being fair and balanced here at Pun Salad. Coming down on Chairman South's side is Glenn Garvin, TV critic for the Miami Herald: Dave Barry must be stopped! Garvin exposes, as he puts it, "the practically unfathomable evil of Dave Barry and his plot to take over the world, one booger at a time." So you'll want to check that out too.

  • Bulletin: Howard Dean reaches out to conservatives! I haven't received his letter yet, but Iowahawk has.