Paging Dr. Perfect —

Maureen Dowd assesses the Frist choice:

He’s a Princeton grad and Harvard med school grad who flies planes and owns a house in Nantucket. He looks like a TV anchor, and has a far smoother bedside manner than Tom DeLay and Dick Armey.

Senator Clinton was hoping that Mr. Rove and Mr. Lott would overreach with a majority Senate, and frighten suburbanites.

But now in 2008, St. Hillary might face Dr. Perfect. NY Times

Interestingly, Dowd seems to feel that Bush and Rove have 2004 sewn up tight, and that attentions should turn to the balance for 2008. In the meanwhile, a CNN poll finds Hillary Clinton would lead the Democratic pack if she chose to make a 2004 White House bid. What a disaster.


lake effect

is back publishing this week. Scroll down past the December 19th post and all of a sudden you’re back at October 10th and, before that, September 2nd, with little from Dan Hartung by way of explanation or apology beyond his October comment that it is for “personal reasons I won’t discuss here.” Glad to have him back, even though his mission, which I read as a thoughtful exposé of the follies of kneejerk leftism, strangely leaves him sparing the warmongers similar courteous scrutiny.


Eat, drink, be merry:

“Charities, cops, government bodies, men of the cloth and economists are falling over themselves to warn us of the financial, familial, emotional, stressful, criminal and diet-related disasters that make up the holidays. From disease-spreading office parties to wife-beating on Boxing Day, from getting robbed on the high street to falling out with your family, Christmas seems to have become one long holiday from hell. Or as a happy-clapper vicar puts it: ‘Over the Christmas period, more people attempt suicide, more families break up, there are more arguments, and people can’t stand it….’

What ever happened to goodwill, good cheer and having a good time? To carefree celebrations with family (sometimes a burden) and friends (often a laugh)? Forget it. Now we have a not-so-festive season that is apparently a straining, stressful and depressing time that can push even the most rational adult over the edge of too much turkey, booze and selection boxes. So let us give praise that there are more than three wise men to help us through the yuletide psychological traumas.” sp!ked


First Local Government in the United States Refuses to Recognize Corporate Claims to Civil Rights:

Bans Corporate Involvement in Governing:

“There is now an escalation of events in Pennsylvania regarding corporate personhood.

The elected officials of Porter Township, Pennsylvania, have passed a law declaring that corporations operating in that township may not claim civil and constitutional privileges. A unanimous vote cast on December 9, 2002, evolved out of long-time efforts by citizens and public officials to bar corporations from dumping toxic sludge on township lands.

The new law declares that corporations allowed to do business within Porter Township possess none of the human rights that corporations have been wielding to overrule democratic processes and rule over communities.”


R.I.P. John Mellor:

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Dead at Fifty of an apparent heart attack… and better known as Joe Strummer, singer, songwriter and guitarist for the Clash, ‘the only band that matters.’ And I agree, at least as far as punk went. There was a cliché that punk was less a musical genre than a state of mind. I never cared much for the Sex Pistols, had only a passing interest in the Ramones (despite growing up with several of them), but, ahhh, the Clash, that was when punk became music, with melodiousness and proto-worldbeat sensibility. Then there was the righteous politics. No, more than anything else was the fact that they were utterly incendiary.

“Do you know those shots from above a rocket gantry, especially those Sixties, early-color shots of Cape Kennedy or Cape Canaveral? There’s that moment after they count down, ‘Three, two, one . . .’ when clouds of smoke billow from the rocket and then it begins to thrust and burn a whole in the atmosphere — that would be the feeling of a Clash show. And it would seem about that length of time too,” said Strummer about the Clash experience.

It looked as if the Clash were going to regroup for their March induction into the R’n’R Hall of Fame. I’ll always be grateful, as well, that Strummer had the audacity to fill in for Shane McGowan with the Pogues. [The Mescaleros, his current project, aren’t half bad either.] Go listen to Combat Rock, especially if you haven’t in awhile… and play it loud.


High-tech billboards tune in to drivers’ tastes.

Roadside signs coming to Bay Area listen to car radios, then adjust pitch: ‘The billboard is listening.

In an advertising ploy right out of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, electronic billboards in the Bay Area and Sacramento are being equipped to profile commuters as they whiz by — and then instantly personalize freeway ads based on the wealth and habits of those drivers.’ San Francisco Chronicle


Buy a Flight Manual…

…and Get a Grand Jury Subpoena?

For a variety of obvious reasons, the federal government today is cracking down on aviation security nationwide. Whether or not the attempt will succeed is anyone’s guess.

I speak from experience.

A few months back, I successfully bid on an E-Bay item, advertised as a CD-ROM B-737 ground-school course. I was sure that Boeing had made such a CD-ROM, but there was no particular indication that such an object would contain sensitive or even proprietary information. The ad described the manual as “siimilar to that used by major airlines.”

So I made the purchase and, in good time, the instructional CD-ROM arrived at my house.

Then, as they say, the manure hit the air compressor. [via Declan McCullagh’s Politech mailing list]