Saturday, October 30, 2004

On the Other Hand....

On the other hand, most of the world hopes very much that Bush loses.

Including our friends in most of the countries where we have....friends.

A selection of anti-Bush posters. Which is YOUR favorite? Mine....has to be the global test.

Cut + Run = Kerry

Some Iraqis have tried to work with the U.S. Lots of them are already dead.

In spite of that, many of those who remain hope Bush wins.

Why might they prefer Bush? Oh, I dunno. Maybe....this?

Why Let Duke Have All the Fun?

Columbia gets on the board, on the freaky "love means hate" front.

(thanks to janet, who knows things).

Fair's Fair

Ray C. Fair's model is predicting Bush 57.7 to Kerry 42.3.


Also, your tax dollars at work: Bush might win! K. Grease can't really complain, tho, since we just went and ate frozen yogurt outside. At least these people at Labor wrote a memo....

Finally: the theme song for Tuesday night may be .....Osama enchanted evening. (With apologies to Perry Como fans)

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Third Time, You Answer

If someone asks a question three times, you have to try to answer it.

My pal, The Dread Pirate Gryphon (his friends call him "The," for short*) has asked this question in three very similar ways. I will use the most recent phrasing.

Would the Chronicle have published an article entitled "The Blacks" that railed against their unfair over-representation in jazz music and professional sports? (And a corollary - would Prof. Munger have defended its publication on the same grounds?)

Answer to primary question: Probably not. Hard to say, because the newspaper is independent, and run by students. The editor of the Chronicle, Karen Hauptman, is herself Jewish, and was (IMHO) bending over backwards to be fair to this view. She might not have done the same for an article (mutatis mutandis) on "The Blacks." She also might have. My speculation: no.

Answer to corollary: Of course K. Grease's pussweiler friend, "Professor Munger," would have defended it on the same grounds. Yes. Absolutely. He already did that in the case of the Horowitz ad a few years ago. But so did Nan Keohane, bless her. In spite of abuse.

Unsolicited Bonus Answer: (And the reason I think "The" is such a cutie...) The reaction, among the faculty, to the Kurian piece has been negative, but not outraged. The reaction among the faculty to the Horowitz ad was outraged, and organized. Protests, meetings, ass-whuppin. Mea culpas.

What conclusion to draw? In my opinon, the Kurian piece was more of a personal assualt on Jewish people than the Horowitz ad was on African-Americans (this is obviously a subjective assessment, but I would defend it). Yet, the reaction to the Horowitz ad was much stronger than the reaction to the Kurian editorial. This means....that "The" has a point, much as I would like to deny it.

*His line, not mine. I can't take credit. But it did make me laugh.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Well Hung Chads

In preparation for understanding chad categories, in anticipation of weeks of arguments about how and which votes count, K. Grease has some categories for you. (Pronounce this with a fake Brit accent: "Ca-TEG-er-ees")

Ballots were categorized according to evidence of voter intent:
* Blank (no mark seen); Also called virginal chads;
* Dimpled chad, no sunlight;
* Dimpled chad, sunlight;
* Dimple with or without sunlight, off chad, within borders;
* Dimple with or without sunlight, off chad, on border above;
* one detached corner;
* two detached corners;
* three detached corners;
* four detached corners.

This is written so you can draw a line. Everything above the line, not a vote. Everything below the line, not a vote. Try it! It's fun....

A postscript: I was going to suggest that the Duke Poli Sci Men's Basketball Intramural team should be called the "Well Hung Chads." But having seen them play, perhaps the "Virginal Chads" would be a better name.

Reason, Journalism, and Kurian-ism

A terrific post from Dan Riehl.

He published an overtly anti-semitic letter in the student newspaper he edited, in the early 1980s. Got vilified by the academic left. Journalism professors burning newspapers. Very nice. Very leftist, in favor of protecting all speech they agree with. ATSRTWT.

This is why, IMHO, the Duke Chronicle did the right thing publishing the Kurian letter. In spite of what WEEKLY STANDARD said. Because, in fact, there are LOTS of faculty (not just students, I'm sayin'; FACULTY) on the left now that do believe, in more nuanced and camouflaged terms, exactly what young Phillip spurted.

Here's the thing: Everyone is acting like Duke U is the only place this is true. Here's what Protein Wisdom had to say about what he calls "this little pleasantry from Duke (the University, not the former Klan leader—though, is there really a difference these days? You decide):"

This is the point where the WEEKLY STANDARD loses the thread, and wanders off into the blackberry bushes. "Assuming Karen Hauptman is correct about this--that some significant body of Duke opinion shares Philip Kurian's disapproval of the "exorbitant Jewish privilege in the United States"--isn't that kind of a problem?" Well, yes, Mr. Scrapbook, that would be a problem. How would the problem have been solved by preventing this scabrous view from being expressed, and scrutinized? Now the FUCKING RIGHT is committing the sin of the left, and only allowing views they agree with? I expected better from you.

Wake up, you dolts! Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Chicago, Stanford: lots of faculty at all those places belive that Israel has no firm right to exist, and that oppression of the Palestinians is a new Holocaust, with the Israelis ("The Jews") playing the role of Hitler.

What the editor of the Chronicle, Karen Hauptman, said is this: In retrospect, perhaps she should have taken time to "edit some of [Kurian's] language" or use "an alternate headline." Overall, she said, "I believe we were right in printing the column," Hauptman concludes. " To not print the column because the opinion presented is offensive would be to ignore a debate that is present around us. . . . [E]ven if the Chronicle had rejected the column, the ideas Kurian expressed would still exist."

Don't blame Duke. The issue is out here in Durham, because of the Chronicle, and people who hold the views Kurian expressed so clearly now have to decide if they are really going to believe this crap, or change their minds.

At all those other universities, the boil hasn't been lanced yet. But it's festering, and swelling, under the brittle skin of forced, censored civility.

Karen Hauptman, Duke Chronicle Editor: K. Grease says--Good on ya!

Use ATSRTWT: Because Otherwise People Can Still Understand You

Help K. Grease in the crusade to reduce clutter by compressing one of the most trite phrases in the blogosphere to a single, unintelligible and unpronounceable acronym:

ATSRTWT: "As they say, read the whole thing." Pronounced "ATS-ER-TWIT".

ATSRTWT Users' Hall of Fame:
Signifying Nothing

Why do this? If you GOOGLE "as they say, read the whole thing", you will find nearly 500 exact instances. And that doesn't count all the time it appears in posts that have now been archived.

End web clutter. And be truly obscure. Use ATSRTWT!

Email K. Grease about other brave souls fighting for justice, opacity, and truth (JOT).

Monday, October 25, 2004

Osama Votes for Bush, Absentee

I like Al-Jazeera's English-language site. I do.

But some of their columnists appear to use LSD as eyedrops.

Consider this. An excerpt:

...[The] week after the Madrid attack [by Al Qaida], the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which claims to act on behalf of al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the bombing and declared a truce in Spain to see if the new government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, but warned that it was gearing up for new attacks.
This part of the declaration was widely reported. However, very few mentioned the more ominous part of that declaration, short of excerpts which were reported by the BBC and Reuters.
"What is a cause for concern is that half the American people still wrongly believe that Iraq had links with al-Qaida and a hand in the 9/11 attacks"
The declaration turned its attention to President Bush, saying: "A word for the foolish Bush. We are very keen that you do not lose in the forthcoming elections as we know very well that any big attack can bring down your government and this is what we do not want.
"We cannot get anyone who is more foolish than you, who deals with matters with force instead of wisdom and diplomacy.
"Your stupidity and religious extremism is what we want as our people will not awaken from their deep sleep except when there is an enemy.
"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilisation.
"Because of this we desire you [Bush] to be elected."
A political tactic of this calibre should have perhaps appealed to pundits and political scientists in the media.
However, al-Qaida gravely underestimates the likely political result of an attack against the US in the months leading up to the election. It would lead to a landslide victory for Bush as it would resonate with the American culture's "circle the wagons" mentality and take orders from John Wayne.
Such an attack would play to Americans' deep inner insecurity and violent reaction to any threat has had disastrous effects, and not only to the American Indians.

Of course, I may be quoting out of context. ATSRTWT*!

On the other hand, lots of journalists (and some soldiers) have started to refer to Baghdad's "Green Zone" as Fort Apache. Maybe the LSD has some clarifying effects...

*"As They Say, Read The Whole Thing." I'm trying to get it started as a new web word. Pronounced "Ats-er-twit". Spread the word. Atsrtwt.

Card's Busch Stadium, Red Sox Bush League

Quincy? Have you ever been to Quincy, Mass? Yikes.

Nice accomodations, Red Sox. A question: has it been so long since the 'Sox won a World Series that they forgot that there would be an....OPPONENT? Home team is supposed to ensure accomodations. Here is an excerpt from an article in the St Loo Post-Dispatch.

Hotel, transportation snafus rankle Cards
Joe Strauss Of the Post-Dispatch
BOSTON - The Cardinals might license a fresh slogan for their three-day experience in Boston: "I went to the World Series, and all I got was this lousy bus ride." Relying on housing suggested by the host Red Sox, the Cardinals found themselves put up at the Quincy Marriott, about 15 miles and, depending on traffic patterns, as much as 45 minutes from Fenway Park. The inconvenience caused manager Tony La Russa to express his team's disappointment over its accommodations before Sunday night's Game 2. "I understand the home team has the responsibility for making the hotel accommodations," La Russa said. "It was a real bummer to the point where a lot of us were upset and embarrassed." The weekend included a lack of late-night room service, a lack of alternative transportation to team buses and a complicated exit from Saturday's four-hour, 11-9 loss.

The hassle was enough that traveling secretary C.J. Cherre and general manager Walt Jocketty inquired at Boston hotels about availability, only to discover none could provide a large enough block of rooms. The Redbirds' travel party of about 100 includes owners, sponsors and family members in addition to team personnel. "For most of these guys, this is their first World Series experience, right?" La Russa said. "When the game is over ... if you're here, there are all kind of restaurants here. In Quincy, there wasn't anything except for the hotel that stayed open for us. We shouldn't have had this problem."
The Quincy Marriott had never housed a major league baseball team until this weekend. Its room service shuts down at 11:30 p.m. La Russa lauded the facility for putting out food for the players but was equally disappointed the spread consisted of nothing more than bar fare. "I suggested they put Boston in a hotel in Jefferson City," La Russa said, mindful that the downtown Adam's Mark is the Red Sox's team headquarters in St. Louis. Hotel availability in The Hub was at a premium over the weekend because of the World Series and the annual Head of the Charles Regatta. Since the Cardinals did not play in Boston this season, they did not have a guarantee of October hotel space typical within league cities. The Red Sox at first denied any involvement in the Cardinals' predicament before director of public relations Glenn Geffner explained the club was prepared to make 100 rooms available at the downtown Hyatt until the hotel could not guarantee such a large bloc two weeks ago. Major League Baseball also lost a bloc of 250 rooms. Without another alternative, the Red Sox steered Cherre to the Quincy hotel. Saturday's problems were compounded before the club returned to its hotel when the last of four team buses - the one carrying La Russa, some coaches and several players - became separated from the first three and a police escort.
The La Russa bus was forced to idle for more than 20 minutes until Boston police could locate the owner of an SUV blocking its way. The final bus pulled into the team hotel at 2 a.m. "I think our response should be the Red Sox buses, just because of major league security, have to get off at the Arch," La Russa said. "And they walk from the Arch to the ballpark." He added, "This is the World Series, the event of a lifetime. It's not what the World Series is supposed to be."

Don't Challenge Him!

From the Des Moines Register, via (in my case) Ed Cone:

"Yes, Kerry is liberal. But what's to fear from a liberal president? That he would run big deficits? That he would increase federal spending? That he would expand the power of the federal government over individuals' lives? Nothing Kerry could do could top what President Bush has already done in those realms."

Me, I say don't make it sound like a challenge. Kerry may be up to doing all those things and more. Nothing is more scary than a man who is convinced he knows the truth and wants to help other people based on that truth. Am I talking about Kerry, or Bush? Yes.

As for the challenge, I bet that ten years ago, Kerry and some other guy were drinking in a bar, and Kerry got dared to go marry some incredibly rich crazy woman. And you see how THAT worked out. So don't challenge him to be a bigger putz than Bush: I think Kerry could do just that.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Playing the Assassination Card

Golly. From the Guardian.

"On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?"

If you are going to invoke assassination fantasies against a sitting American president, there ought to be certain standards. How "civilized" can you be if spell the word like some narrow-backed Brit bed-wetter?