Site Meter

Friday, December 29, 2006

Speaking of Cloned Food

Would you eat cloned plants ?
People in Glass Houses

Former Secretary of Education William Bennett rights of Gerald Ford "If he felt so strongly about his words having a derogatory affect, how about telling Woodward not to run the interview until after Bush & Cheney are out of office?" Former Secretary Bennett is an expert on the old frowny face, but I think he meant "derogatory effect," and I used to think he was literate to.

He concludes "This is not courage, this is not decent." Well he has shown courage and decency by attacking a recently deceased man for daring to criticize the President in public (his three courageous decent alternatives do not include criticizing Bush in public unless Bush agrees to a public debate and pigs fly but do include keeping the whole disagreement secret forever). However, Former Secretary Dr Bennett is having a bit of trouble with grammer. "This is not courage, this is not decency" is English,
"This is not courageous this is not decent" is English, "This is not courage, this is not decent," is not courageous, decent or English.

And yes, the title reflects my amusement at finding myself correcting someone else's English usage.

Stephen Kinsella has left a new comment on your post "12/29/2006 12:07:00 AM":

De Nada on the link, actually I'm quite the fan of your blog. Have a happy New Year!


Thanks Steve here is the link

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "12/29/2006 12:07:00 AM":

My dear Pot, let me introduce you to Kettle.

you wrote: "Former Secretary of Education William Bennett rights ... " as well as "I used to think he was literate to."

Yet you have the nerve to blame him for writing affect rather than effect?

No doubt you will respond that your mistakes were typos, but his was something else. I think not (and so saying, disappear)!

update: Who is irony deprived ?

In fact I respond by pointing out that my use of "right" for "write" and "to" for "too" were too deliberate errors. It was a feeble attempt at humor (or Humor as the case may be). Thus the final sentence of my post.

Indeed I could have entitled it "the pot calling the kettle black" and have concluded "by the way I, of course, am the pot in question." Sad to say, however, I find "the pot calling the kettle black" to be politically incorrect and use "the snow calling the sand white" instead.

This, I fear would have caused still more confusion.

I keep re-reading anonymous's comment (or is it anonymous' comment ?) assuming I am missing the joke

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Burying the Lede

The New York Times reports "U.S. Says Captured Iranians Can Be Linked to Attacks"

Down in paragraphs 16 and 17 SABRINA TAVERNISE finally gets around to explaining where the Iranians were nabbed and what baddy they were conspiring with. Turns out to be the guy Bush just bet all of his chips on.

But the more significant raid occurred before dawn the next morning, when American forces raided a second location, the general said. The military described it as “a site in Baghdad,” but declined to release further details about the location.

Iraqi leaders said last week that the site was the compound of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, one of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite political leaders, who met with President Bush in Washington three weeks ago.

No surprise that "US" doesn't say that Bush's latest guy in Iraq can be linked with attacks on coalition forces too. Hard to hammer the Iranians too hard for consorting with dangerous Islamoloonies who met with President Bush three weeks ago.

Now arresting Bush for treason for "cleaving to the enemy in time of war" now that would make some sense.

I am upset with TAVERNISE and the Times for allowing the Bush administration to acuse the Iranians for being linked with someone in Iraq without mentioning with whom. I would report "incomplete reports of arrests in Baghdad. Coalition forces refused to explain why they had arrested people. It is speculated that this is because they have obtained proof that an Iraqi organisation whose head met with Bush 3 weeks ago has been killing US soldiers." but then that's why I'm just a blogger.
What's with Paramus ?

The city with more parking places than people.

Brad writes about it and I get a visit from it
from sitemeter.

Ireland Dublin
United States
Italy Rome, Lazio
United States
United States Englewood, Colorado
United States Paramus, New Jersey

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tweety Blew It

Watching MSNBC Tweety is interviewing Edwards. Edwards is doing very well demonstrating that he knows the name of the head of government (or state) of Canada, Mexico, Iraq, Germany and Italy and, much more important, that UCLA is second in the ap college basketball poll (he mblew Mbeki too and didn't know Harper's first name or party).

Tweety however is embarrassing himself. He brought up Bush's failure to name heads of government in 2000 but said (I am quoting from memory) "they were some pretty obscure countries, Pakistan, Cecenia, South Korea ... I forget the other one [Taiwan ndrjw]. Bush only got one, but that wasn't hard. Guessing Lee is president of South Korea you don't risk much." OOOOOOOOOOOOOPS

Tweety risked more than he thought. Lee is[n't update] (and [but] was then) the president of Taiwan. The president of South Korea (then and now) is named Roh. Lee is a rare name in Korea. When in doubt about Korea guess Kim, not Lee, Kim.


I blew it too. Lee was president of Taiwan but has long since been replace by Chen Shui-Bian who has been elected then re-elected in spite of being almost assassinated as he began to campaign for re-election.

update II: Elisabeth Edwards came on stage with John. Matthews asked Sen Edwards about Kerry's joke about not studying and going to Iraq. J Edwards said "he made a mistek" E Edwards broke in to criticize. Matthews asked her IIRC "when he comes home do you bite his balls off like that ?" She pointed out that her children were watching. Tweety asked "what happened to the Stepford wives". the booooo in North Carolina (Chapel Hill yes but still in North Carolina) was very reassuring.

Why is that man on TV ?

Monday, December 25, 2006

More Portmantomes

Tender is the Night of the Living Dead
(by Elisabetta Addis)

Tropic of Cancer Ward

Babe the Gallant Pygmalion the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Portrait of a Lady Sings the Blues

My Fair Lady in the Lake

(and combinations)

Far from the Madding Crowds and Power

The Power and the Glory of Positive Thinking

A Midsummer's Night's Dream Play

Similar to earlier

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for All Seasons

Borges Specials

The Garden of the Forking Paths of Glory

I Never Promised you a Rose Garden of Forking Paths

The Modesty of History of O

Same Author

Arms and the Man and Superman

The Sailor who Fell from Grace With the Sea of Fertility

More Mishima

The Decay of the Angels in America

Spring Snows of Killimujaro
Blast from the Past

I have been reading Jonathan Chait op eds. Generally very good, but the man is shameless about the monster error of his youth writing

At the outset of the war [in Iraq], I had no high hopes for Iraqi democracy, but I paid no attention to the possibility that the Iraqis would end up with a worse government than the one they had. It turns out, however, that there is something more awful than totalitarianism, and that is endless chaos and civil war.

The really shocking aspect is Chait's obvious confidence that this astounding confession of irresponsible thoughtlessness and total ignorance of history will not damage his reputation as a serious thinker. I'm sure he is right. The collective national idiocy was so widespread that premature thoughtfulness is a liability.

Actually the really really shocking aspect is that Atrios denounced this editorial by Chait but did not remark on the paragraph I quoted.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Taking Advantage of Medicare

One of the appalling features of the Republican prescription drug benefit plan is that the US pays private companies more than it pays the medicare administration to manage insurance. The idea is supposed to be that the private sector is more efficient. However, in fact, the private sector is less efficient (economies of scale and all that). I have no idea what mix of ideological blindness and corruption was involved, but the Republicans definitely knew that private insurers could not compete with the medicare administration without a subsidy, so they subsidized them in the name of the free market.

This apparently cost the medicare administration 5.2 Billion dollars last year

Private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans were paid an average 12.4% more per enrollee in 2005 compared with what the same enrollees would have cost in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund.

In the report, Brian Biles of George Washington University and colleagues estimate that extra payments to MA plans amounted to $922 over fee-for-service costs for each of about 5.6 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, for a total of more than $5.2 billion.


Now a lot of people complain about the absurdly high compensation of Big Business CEOs. Let's compare

$5.4 billion: The amount CEO’s from America’s 500 biggest companies earned last year, a 6 percent raise from the previous year. See who the Top 25 earners were here.

Yep that one Republiscam cost about as much as the total compensation of all 500 S&P 500 CEOs put together.

yeah $ 200 million more, but the 5.2 billion Medicare Advantage disadvantage is mostly pure waste due to inefficiency and not a transfer.

This is (barely) in the news only because former speaker Dennis Hastert grossly abused the legislative progress to send more of the money to a firm based in his state

By slipping four sentences into a big bill passed last week, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert secured a major change in Medicare policy avidly sought by a few health insurers, in particular a multinational company with headquarters in his home state, Illinois


Mr. Hastert’s provision showed up mysteriously after House and Senate negotiators had finished writing the bill. The provision was added by the House Rules Committee, just a few hours before the bill went to the House floor last week.

Congressional aides, Medicare officials and insurance lobbyists said the main proponent of the measure was the Aon Corporation and its subsidiary, Sterling Life Insurance Company. Aon, a Fortune 500 company, is based in Chicago and does business in more than 120 countries.

This act is a total violation of the barest sham of democratic procedures in the US congress. I hope the Republican party spends Aons in opposition as the US people learn about their corruption.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Brave New World

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "12/15/2006 05:01:00 PM":

Buy soma online

Friday, December 15, 2006

Waldman on Waldmann Wow
Pop Quiz from PB via MY

In the wake of Stein-gate, I've been trying to think of other questions we should ask politicians. Peter Beinart has suggestions:

Whenever government officials show up on television, interviewers should throw in a Stein question or two. For instance, who is the supreme leader of Iran?
M. Khameini
Who was Mohammed Mossadeq? Prime minister of Iran & leader of the national front. Nationalised oil wells. Said Shah's role as commander in chief was symbolic. Overthrown in coup led by Shah supported by CIA. W Churchill by not a Eden in favor of coup.
What is Bashar Assad's religion?
Moslem and, in particular, Alawite. This is a small sect. A source of stability for B Assad and dad is that Alawite's hold positions near power and all know they must hang together or they will hang separately.
Which European country colonized Lebanon?
France I think.
Can you name an Iraqi ethnic group besides Arabs and Kurds?
There are also Turkomen. Also a few Jews.

For most politicos, passing up an appearance on "Meet the Press" or "Larry King" is inconceivable, and so they'll do what Reyes is hopefully doing now: study.

Please grade me in comments.

OK now I have read MY's answers. I did better than he did. He named ex pres M Khameni as supreme leader. However, I wrote M. not A. as first initial of supreme religious guide Ali Khameini. I did not guess that his first name was Melvin.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Impressions of the Boston Globe

I used to read the Boston Globe to find out what happened long long ago. I read it before I read the New York Times, because it arrived at the 7/11 in Central square Cambride earlier (5:00 AM not 6 am) and went to bed later than the out of town edition of the Times (midnight not 10 pm). This was before I surfed the web (we are talking late 1980s).

back in the Boston Met area, I am fairly surprised to find huge stories on local news on page A1 and very little international news. I think the Globe has moved into a local news, crime and sports niche due to cable news and maybe the web.

I am not thrilled.

Over in the blogosphere, I read a lot of convincing attacks on the WAPO the NY Times and TV news. I didn't realize how little else there is out there.

Hans has left a new comment on your post "12/14/2006 03:05:00 AM":

Had the same impression in April. But what surprised me even more was the complete absence of the war in Iraq in daily life.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Senator Joe Biden displays impressive ignorance "Badr Brigade, which is the Iranian-trained outfit that works for the -- that's the Shia outfit with the Dawa (inaudible) party." The Badr brigade is, of course, with the supreme council for Islamic revolution in Iraq, not Dawa (the call).

Not quite like claiming that al Qaida is Shi'ite but very impressive. My favorite coment on Joe "not bright" Biden cam way back in the time of Iran Contra. Someone said the scandal hurt Biden's chances in 88 because it made it less fashionable to be dumb.

We all remember how Senator "not bright" got that nickname ? Has to do with Dukakis having a spot of bother about "tirare il Sasso e nascondere la mano." Anyone curious can ask in comments.

Friday, December 08, 2006

RJWaldmann on the air ... literally

12/8/06 3:00 PM Rome time 9:00 AM Boston time who knows what time it is here ?
I am sitting in aisle E of a 747 somewhere over the Atlantic (or maybe Greenland for all I know) blogging on the air.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Following Mark Kleiman

Careful readers of this space will remember Portmantomes, a great literary innovation designed to economize on reading time by combining two books into one, the more disparate the better. The concept was pioneered by Chronogram, whose readers came up with such not-to-be missed volumes as:

No Exit Voice and Loyalty

Valley of the Doll's House

Invisible Man for All Seasons

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Superman

The Little Prince and the Pauper

Long Day's Journey Into Night Flight

Long Day's Journey Into Night of the Living Dead

Jules and Lord Jim

A Streetcar Named Desire Under the Elms

Eat's, Shoots, and Leaves of Grass

The Curious incident of the Dog in the Night Time and the River

Guerillas in the Mist

A Book of Common Prayer for Owen Meany

L'Histoire d'O Henry

The Divine Commedy in Three Acts

The Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man for all Seasons

Pilgrims Progress Coexistance and Intellectual Freedom

Emma Bovary

The Return of the King of Hearts

The Martian Chronicles of Narnia

The Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

The Stranger in a Strange Land

A Doll's House on the Prarie

The Black Swan's Lake
Brad DeLong is waaaaaaay to kind to Daniel Glover
quoting only "Jerome Armstrong, Peter Daou, Tim Tagaris and Scott Shields certainly see themselves as revolutionaries, and I suspect most everyone on the list does."

Matt Stoller [attn Mr Glover Matt Stoller not Jerome Armstrong -- they are different people] has a fuller quote showing either that Glover is illiterate or that he thinks you are so he can get away with the most feeble attempt at deception that I can recall.

Brad's question (as quoted)"Which of twelve webloggers you named yesterday do you believe *billed themselves as* revolutionaries who disdained to work for candidates?"

his rude dishonest idiotic non answer

"Jerome Armstrong, Peter Daou, Tim Tagaris and Scott Shields certainly see themselves as revolutionaries, and I suspect most everyone on the list does. I never said or implied that any of them [note absence of "billed themselves as" or equivalent] disdained to work for candidates. That's obviously not the case because all of them DID work for candidates."

If this man honestly thinks that he can find a (a second ?) person stupid enough to believe his assertion that DeLong claimed that he claimed that they honestly non hypocritically did in fact disdain to work for candidates, then he is just too dumb to be a reporter, or a hack or a hack reporter.

The guy needs help finding a job he can do (from his argument I think he might need help in distinguishing his humerus and his gluteus maximus).

Oh wait now I understand. He interpreted "billing" as in "billable hours" not "top billing" and is trying to figure out what it has to do with a "duck's bill."

Looking around the web, all I can say is that Danny Glover better be glad that snark is not a lethal weapon.
Cyber parlor game via Atrios

Which revolutionary are you ?

The game is to fill in answers trying to lead to a guessable name then see if you guessed right.

I tried 2,2,2,2,1 and guessed John Calvin (close).
3,4,2,3,3, and guessed Che Guevera and the evil site blew it and gave me Spartacus.
3,4,2,4,3is Che Guevera (favorite passtime is ruling a country not mortal combat).

The site is wrong wrong wrong. Spartacus was a slave trained to be forced to fight mortal combat for public entertainment. He didn't like it. He didn't like it at all. To avoid mortal combat he revolted and tried to get out of the Roman empire so he could rule an independent bit of barbaria and got mortal combat anyway.

Che Guevera, in contrast, was close to power in Cuba and decided to go off to Bolivia for some combat. His actions in Bolivia and Congo (to be Zaire) only make sense if one recognises that, for some reason, he was determined to be martyred. That was someone who chose mortal combat over ruling a country. He got a firing squad in spite of the efforts of a CIA agent to save him. Regis Debray in contrast squealed like a pig so how did he manage to show his face in public again (not to mention in the Elysee palace).

Anyway, I had fun.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Matthew Yglesias notes that he scored 96% on the "Do You Want the Terrorists to Win" Quiz and boasts that he outscored even Jim Henley.

Yeglesias speculates "probably because as a liberal rather than a libertarian I have positive views about the United Nations."

I, however, scored a perfect 100%, because I prayed to Allah (the just the merciful) for guidance and arch rival Allah (may his name be praised) was distracted and didn't smite me.

Richard Pan has left a new comment on your post "12/04/2006 04:55:00 PM":

Bob, Hi! Special greetings from an old, old friend in Cambridge, Massachusetts! ---Richard c Pan, I owe you special apologies and may be finishing a PhD sometime! [snip], 617 [snip]

I have no idea why Richard thinks he owes me an apology.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Kevin Drum commands I obey

Please link to this post in the name of science.