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::: wood s lot :::

Sunday was the second anniversary of the founding of wood s lot, the curiously named, rich and dense weblog of the mercurial Mark Woods. Could there be anyone in the FmH reading universe who doesn’t frequent wood s lot? If so, get ye hence; the fruits are ripe for the plucking, courtesy of Mark’s generosity.… Continue reading ::: wood s lot :::

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What’s The Next Big Dystopian Novel? Margaret Atwood Has Some Ideas

‘I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Margaret Atwood today, about the sudden popularity of her dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale. You can hear that story here. But there was one thing that didn’t make it into the finished piece — a moment when I asked Atwood what she thought the next big trend… Continue reading What’s The Next Big Dystopian Novel? Margaret Atwood Has Some Ideas

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In Search of Lost Time

The author may be forgiven for her Proustian aspirations (or was the title the responsibility of her editor??); her article grapples with one of the unappreciated distressing issues of modern life, with which I have been struggling both professionally and personally. “Why, as I edge toward the end of my 40’s, has so much of… Continue reading In Search of Lost Time

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Depleted Morality:

The first signs of uranium sickness surface in troops returning from Iraq. “American soldiers also are beginning to suffer injuries from a silent and pernicious weapon material of U.S. origin—depleted uranium (DU). DU weaponry is fired by U.S. troops from the Abrams battle tank, A-10 Warthog and other systems. It is pyrophoric, burning spontaneously on… Continue reading Depleted Morality:

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You Could Get 10 Years in Prison Just for Reading This

“I have on my desk right now a copy of the new Rhode Island’homeland security’ bill proposed by Governor Carcieri. It’s an 18 page document, and right on the first page, before talking about weapons of mass destruction or poisoning the water system or anything else that a rational person might consider ‘terrorism’, it says… Continue reading You Could Get 10 Years in Prison Just for Reading This

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Not Very Damning…

“Trying to eliminate Saddam…would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible…. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq…. there was no viable ‘exit strategy’ we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling… Continue reading Not Very Damning…

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The Elusive Butterfly

I am indebted to wood s lot for pointing me to this fascinating piece by Brown University anthropologist William Beeman about the significance of the curious fact that the word for “butterfly” is different in nearly every language, even closely related European ones. (The article has a broad lsting of how you say “butterfly” in… Continue reading The Elusive Butterfly

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Inuksuk

Garret Vreeland took note of Mark Woods‘ rock-balancing meme. As one who is captivated by Inuit sculpture, I wanted to add to the meme by examining inuksuk as archetypal rock-balancing figure. Inuksuit are among the most important objects created by the Inuit who were the first people to inhabit portions of Alaska, Arctic Canada, and… Continue reading Inuksuk

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Why the Web Will Win the Culture Wars for the Left:

“The architecture of the web, and the way users navigate it, closely resembles theories about the authority and coherence of texts that liberal deconstructionist critics have offered for thirty years. Deconstructionists believe that close analysis reduces any text — novel, statute, religious work — to meaningless blather. The popular response to deconstruction has always been… Continue reading Why the Web Will Win the Culture Wars for the Left:

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" stirring dull roots with spring rain …"

Thank you, Mark, for welcoming me back from my vacation. I have to point to your compilation of pointers to George Lakoff resources, including the “Metaphor” series, essential reading on how to think about the war (scroll down). And, on the same day, Mark observes the sixth anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s death, reverently.

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Two from wood s lot that bear repointing to: Blueprint for a Prison Planet: The purpose of this piece is to introduce the reader to the possibility that much of what we typically believe about our world, notably its history and its political structure, may be some distance from the truth. In writing it is… Continue reading

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Katherine Van Wormer:

George W. Bush, ‘Dry Drunk’? [Katherine van Wormer is a Friend (Quaker), Professor of Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa, and co-author of the recent Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective (2002).] ‘Ordinarily I would not use this term. But when I came across the article ‘ “Dry Drunk” — Is Bush Making a… Continue reading Katherine Van Wormer:

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wood s lot comes back out of forced retirement after four days, thanks to the kindness of strangers.

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Calamitous

Weblogger extraordinaire Mark Woods is putting wood s lot on hiatus as he is going computerless. He does not say for exactly how long, but indicates that it will be long enough to hurt. I know I will dearly miss my daily fix and hope Mark will hurry back to the cybersphere, even if he… Continue reading Calamitous

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Weblogs by Profession:

Observation found on Seb’s Open Mind The main professions that are represented in the weblogging community are: (open source) software developers journalists librarians educators lawyers web designers and information architects knowledge management types consultants researchers Each item in the above list of professions links to a list of weblogs by members of that profession. He… Continue reading Weblogs by Profession:

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Social Action Archives

“For nearly a century the Wisconsin Historical Society has documented the major sociopolitical issues and movements in the United States, as well as the state of Wisconsin. It has often been the first and sometimes the only repository to recognize the value of documenting these movements. Today our holdings are the largest in the nation.… Continue reading Social Action Archives

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A great day in Harlem: explore jazz history through one photograph, by Art Kane. And explore Beat history through a wonderful collection of photographs, by Larry Keenan. [both via wood s lot]

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The stormtrooper tactics of the cult of scientology — both on and off the ‘net — have long been of broad concern. Readers of FmH know I’ve frequently linked to accounts of their antics. I’ve usually written the name of the cult as “s*c*i*e*n*t*o*l*o*g*y” so they wouldn’t find my comments as easily in trolling the… Continue reading

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Philippine Arrest Offers Clues to Web Of Asian Terrorists. As attention in the America-Strikes-Back® Show shifts to the role of Islamic insurgencies in Southeast Asia, I wonder whether the US notion about a global conspiracy of terrorists, reflected in stories like this from the Washington Post, is largely a self-serving fantasy-land misreading of local movements.… Continue reading

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The Cornelius Quartet by Michael Moorcock:

wood s lot pointed to this review of Moorcock’s newly-reissued tetralogy that I tried to read several months ago, hailed as a seminal fount of postmodern and cyberpunk sensibility. I was excited, not being a fan of Moorcock’s sword-and-sorcery fantasies but finding the sprawling intricate Mother London a delectable and rewarding read some years ago.… Continue reading The Cornelius Quartet by Michael Moorcock:

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A new group blog from the estimable provocateur Dr. Menlo, American Samizdat, themed so: “underground word lines especially needed by progit-heavy U.S.” It will include contributions from invited participants including “Fred Pyen of Metascene, Andrew Aab of gmtPlus9, Kirsten Anderson (founder, owner and curator of Seattle’s first and best alternative art gallery, the Roq La… Continue reading

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Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Your Books by Adrian Johns, author of The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making [via wood s lot]

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Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Your Books by Adrian Johns, author of The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making [via wood s lot]

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Congratulations to the winners of the thoughtful (I had to say that, didn’t I, being one of the 2000 medalists?) 2001 Medley Medals, including two of my ongoing favorite sites, BookNotes and wood s lot, as well as a number of others I will surely check out.

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Congratulations to the winners of the thoughtful (I had to say that, didn’t I, being one of the 2000 medalists?) 2001 Medley Medals, including two of my ongoing favorite sites, BookNotes and wood s lot, as well as a number of others I will surely check out.

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Congratulations to the winners of the thoughtful (I had to say that, didn’t I, being one of the 2000 medalists?) 2001 Medley Medals, including two of my ongoing favorite sites, BookNotes and wood s lot, as well as a number of others I will surely check out.

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Congratulations to the winners of the thoughtful (I had to say that, didn’t I, being one of the 2000 medalists?) 2001 Medley Medals, including two of my ongoing favorite sites, BookNotes and wood s lot, as well as a number of others I will surely check out.

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U.S. budget deficit projected until 2005. Grim economic reminder that not only was the government stolen from us but it’s proceeding to sell us down the river with glee: ‘Bush promised during the presidential campaign to avoid tapping Social Security except in cases of war, recession or a national emergency. “Lucky me. I hit the… Continue reading

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Torture Seeps Into Discussion by News Media: ‘…(A) growing number of voices in the mainstream news media (are) raising, if not necessarily agreeing with, the idea of torturing terrorism suspects or detainees who refuse to talk.’ Some human rights advocates say they do not mind theoretical discussions about torture, as long as disapproval is expressed… Continue reading

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Cribbed from wood s lot, a link to an effort that’s near and dear to my heart. Bad Neuro-Journalism: “…what we find to be among the worst examples of journalism about the brain appearing in the popular press. To be selected as an example of bad neuro-journalism, the article must demonstrate one (or more than… Continue reading

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wood s lot reminded us to beware of aibohphobia, the fear of palindromes. This Metafilter thread on the occasion of the palindromic date 10-02-2001 has some good ones to be afraid of. My favorite new discovery there: “Rettebs iflahd noces, eh? Ttu, but the second half is better.” Speaking of palindromes and nonsense, 9-11 is… Continue reading

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The Pacifist Weblog. Nevertheless, from Sam Smith’s Progressive Review, “…just a few reasons a non-pacifist might oppose the war: It will just lead to worse problems including increased guerilla actions. It is a war we can’t win. It is not a just war. It is unconstitutional. It violates international law including the UN Charter. It… Continue reading

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In echoing several links from wood s lot yesterday, I forgot to congratulate Mark on the first anniversary of his deep-excellence blog.

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Social Cognitive Neuroscience Goes Hollywood. Thanks to wood s lot for pointing to the American Psychological Association’s coverage of the recent first Social Cognitive Neuroscience conference in Hollywood; these are the people grappling with how minds and social environments are linked. Let me take this one step further, and recommend that you scroll down until… Continue reading

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Help build the Sep11 Attack Archive — “webArchivist.org is working with The Internet Archive in collaboration with the Library of Congress to identify and archive pages and sites related to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. We want to be sure that there is a solid historical record of… Continue reading

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I did one of those “vanity searches” for the past few weeks’ of references to Follow Me Here in other weblogs. Here’s the list that came up. Some of them are of course my — and perhaps your — tried-and-true favorites that can be found in the sidebar to this page. But there are some… Continue reading

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Zeldman: Saturday, or was it Sunday, the TV networks began running commercials again. Carrot Top shilling a 1-800 number while cracking panty jokes in a laundromat. Babes With Guns, a very special season premiere. We are blessed with a rich culture, woven from thousands of years of European, African, and Asian art, philosophy, and political… Continue reading

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As usual, look to Ethel for further enlightenment. Among much, the following: links decrying the theory that a failure of “humint” (human intelligence) is to blame reports of warnings ignored HL Mencken on the value of peaceful dissent and the peril of suppressing it protest from the right about civil liberties implications of antiterrorist crackdown… Continue reading

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Mark Twain’s Covert War with His Maker — “When Mark Twain died in 1910, he was an international superstar and an American institution. He was cheered at home and abroad for his droll wit, frontier bluffness, and corn-pone wisdom. .. Only a handful of intimates knew this revered creator of Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, and… Continue reading

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Ten People Who Decide What America Reads: a rogue’s gallery? Book [via wood s lot]

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Fightin’ word: “It’s time for the left to reclaim the term ‘anarchy’… It isn’t violence that makes the anarchist; it’s the philosophy… A nuanced debate about anarchism would lend credence to a set of ideas that challenge the status quo.” Mother Jones via wood s lot

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U.S. rejects germ warfare treaty: ‘The United States, again standing alone against most world opinion, on Wednesday rejected as unworkable a proposed international plan for enforcing a 30-year ban on using germs in warfare. “In our assessment, the draft protocol would put national security and confidential business information at risk,” Washington’s representative, Ambassador Donald Mahley,… Continue reading

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Todd Gitlin comes closest to capturing the helpless alarm I feel at American disdain for intelligence, and the continual affront to a thinking person that comes with living in such an environment. This essay, The Renaissance of Anti-Intellectualism, is a thoughtful extension of the trends discerned in Richard Hofstadter’s 1963 Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, and… Continue reading

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The blink below about the new ‘aliteracy’ has stimulated some discussion offline. While not solely, or probably even centrally, attributable to the computerization of our consciousness, it’s worth asking what technological advances are doing to the English language and language in general, as MIT media technology professor Michael Hawley does in Things That Matter: Waiting… Continue reading

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Wood s lot points to this essay from The Globe and Mail: When depression turns deadly, which asks “Can antidepressants transform despair into suicide?” Although there’s no love lost between me as a psychopharmacologist and the rapacious pharmaceutical manufacturers, the article is misleading. It’s no surprise that the manufacturer of Prozac, Eli Lilly, settles lawsuits… Continue reading

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Wood s lot also pointed me to this Guardian essay — Pete May on turning into your dad — and pulled this quote: ” It is a weird and far from pleasant feeling, this cross-generational migration of souls.” A striking metaphor, but it grabbed me also because my loose association was to the absorbing, if… Continue reading

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Center for Exorcistology “Never say the following: I rebuke you, I command you, or I adjure you. This will only make it personal and it may causeyou more attack. Try to leave the narcissism out of it. Don’t be lazy, learn this prayer of adjurement.” [via wood s lot]

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Several interesting blinks arise from catching up with wood s lot: PR to improve the freemason’s image: “Tired of being ‘mugged’ by the media, the United Grand Lodge of England has appointed a PR agency to improve the image of freemasonry. But can the spin doctors allay suspicions that the secretive organisation is pulling strings… Continue reading

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I share the esteem in which my comrade-in-arms to the north holds Bruce Cockburn, just inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Toronto Star [via wood s lot] People have been scared by his faith and his political commitment, which are IMHO foundations of his authenticity and intensity. Here, also thanks to wood s… Continue reading

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Bush’s Death Squad 2001: ‘The bill, the Terrorist Elimination Act of 2001, was introduced on Jan. 3 by Republican Bob Barr. It would nullify parts of three previous executive orders prohibiting assassination or conspiracy to commit assassination. The new bill states that, “as the threat from terrorism grows, America must continue to investigate effective ways… Continue reading

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With excitement I clicked on this link in Wood s Lot; an Interview with Samuel R. Delany! Alas, it is from 1996. Left me wondering what he’s up to now; found this interview from November, 2000. Interesting aside — he apparently interviews himself. “K. Leslie Steiner”, from the 1996 conversation, is said to be a… Continue reading

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How to become a Trump judge

Nancy Gertner writes:

‘Kavanaugh’s performance at that hearing alone should be disqualifying. His behavior and affect, the pointed and partisan nature of his accusations, resonated with this President’s incivility and name calling. He was consumed with rage at his Democrat interlocutors, fairly spitting out his answers. He treated them with disrespect, interrupting, repeating his talking points rather than answering question. When Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont asked him if he would call for an FBI investigation, to make the process more fair, he did not answer. He showed himself to be a zealot determined to get on the high court, at all costs.

With this performance, Kavanaugh became Trump’s version of what a judge should be, not unlike Trump’s version of what his attorney general should be. They were both supposed to be Trump partisans, not neutrals, and above all, ready for central casting. Trump reportedly was unhappy with Kavanaugh’s performance on “Fox News” several evenings before; Kavanaugh was “wooden,” he said, insufficiently assertive. So Kavanaugh changed his tune. Now, fully a Trump judge, he was playing to his base — President Trump. And it worked. Trump tweeted minutes after the hearing completed: ”Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him.”

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I had never heard a judge speak like that to a public audience, let alone during a confirmation hearing.

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A judge is not only supposed to be unbiased, he is also to reflect the appearance of impartiality, avoiding situations in which reasonable people can believe he is partisan. How can Kavanaugh possibly meet that requirement given what we all saw on Thursday?

Consider this: Kavanaugh is confirmed is immediately sworn in by Justice John Roberts in the chambers of the Supreme Court. And on the docket is a challenge to gerrymandering brought by Democrats in one state; or another involving accusations of voter suppression against Republicans in a swing state. What about the cases that directly challenge presidential power, like the enforceability of a subpoena brought by special counsel Robert Mueller against Trump in the Russia investigation? How can he even appear remotely impartial in these cases when his presentation so fully and completely reflected the Republican party’s rage? He cannot. He is not.

Kavanaugh will not get his reputation back whether or not he is confirmed. These accusations, that performance, scotched all such hopes. But if he cared about the Supreme Court as an institution, he would withdraw now. Of course he will not; he wants this position, no matter what the cost, so stunning is his ambition. His body of work has been the functional equivalent of a 20-year application. He was a zealot in the Kenneth Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton, and then, when it suited him to be more neutral, wrote a law review article changing his tune; no president should be subject to the treatment, the very treatment he visited on Clinton. Serious issues were raised with respect to his truthfulness in his confirmation hearings concerning his role in the Bush administration.

He categorically denied Ford’s accusations again — even when he and others confirm at least part of it. He was the thinly-disguised Bart O’Kavanaugh in Mark Judge’s book, “Wasted,’’ passed out in a car. He joined a Yale fraternity famous for its wild drunken parties. At Yale Law School, my alma mater, he touted the all night parties, broken tables, etc. most recently in a 2014 speech. It was not such a leap to Ford’s account of drunken adolescents preying on a younger woman …’

Source: How to become a Trump judge – The Boston Globe

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R.I.P. Clancy Sigal

SAM ROBERTS writes:

‘The first time Clancy Sigal went to jail he was 5. His mother, a Socialist union organizer, had been arrested in Chattanooga, Tenn., for violating social and legal norms when she convened a meeting of black and white female textile workers. Hauled away to the jailhouse, she took Clancy with her.
As an American Army sergeant in Germany, he plotted to assassinate Hermann Göring at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. A victim of the movie industry’s Communist-baiting blacklist, he represented Barbara Stanwyck and Humphrey Bogart as a Hollywood agent (but improvidently rejected James Dean and Elvis Presley as clients).
During a 30-year self-imposed exile in Britain as an antiwar radical, Mr. Sigal was the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing’s lover and flirted with suicide as a sometime patient of R. D. Laing, the iconoclastic psychiatrist.
In short, in a mixed-bag life of almost a century, Mr. Sigal had enough rambunctious experiences to fill a novel — or, in his case, several of them. He drew on his escapades in critically acclaimed memoirs and autobiographical novels, developing a cult following, especially in Britain. …’

Source: Clancy Sigal, Novelist Whose Life Was a Tale in Itself, Dies at 90 – The New York Times

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Donald Trump Nicknames

A compendium from public media sources: 70-Year-Old Toddler — Charles M. Blow and Samantha Bee Agent Orange — Anonymous Agent of Deranged Change Alpha Molester America’s Black Mole — John Oliver America’s Burst Appendix — Samantha Bee Amnesty Don — Joe Scarborough (after Trump said that he was “softening” his stance on illegal immigrants) The Angry… Continue reading Donald Trump Nicknames

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R.I.P. George Coe

Actor and Director of a Bergman Parody, Dies at 86 (New York Times obituary): ‘George Coe, a film, stage and television actor who earned an Oscar nomination for his single picture as a director — the 1968 short feature De Düva: The Dove, a mock-Swedish-inflected sendup of Ingmar Bergman that has endured as a cult favorite —… Continue reading R.I.P. George Coe

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What your favorite drink says about your politics, in one chart

‘…Democratic drinkers are more likely to sip Absolut and Grey Goose vodkas, while Republican tipplers are more likely to savor Jim Beam, Canadian Club and Crown Royal. That research comes from consumer data supplied by GFK MRI, and analyzed by Jennifer Dube of National Media Research Planning and Placement, an Alexandria-based Republican consulting firm. The… Continue reading What your favorite drink says about your politics, in one chart

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Appointments Comment

What if Governor Paterson, prompted by the squalor of his Illinois colleague’s maneuverings, were to put aside mundane calculations and take full advantage of his theoretically unfettered freedom of choice? The Senate was originally conceived as a sort of chamber of notables, but most of its members, over the years, have been notable mainly for… Continue reading Appointments Comment

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Follow the Uranium

Frank Rich, New York Times op-ed: “Well, of course, Karl Rove did it. He may not have violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, with its high threshold of criminality for outing a covert agent, but there’s no doubt he trashed Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame. We know this not only because of Matt… Continue reading Follow the Uranium

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‘Deep Throat’ Unmasks Himself as Ex-No. 2 Official at F.B.I.

At first I found W. Mark Felt’s revelation that he had been Woodward’s anonymous source somewhat anticlimactic, especially given the sense that, in failing health at 91, he had been persuaded by his daughter to uncover himself because there might be a book in it that could fund his grandchildren’s college educations. The flip side… Continue reading ‘Deep Throat’ Unmasks Himself as Ex-No. 2 Official at F.B.I.

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Faith vs. reason

Of everything I have read analyzing the first debate, Sidney Blumenthal best captures the depths of what was revealed about Bush’s fear, inadequacy, unpreparedness and inflexibility when he has to think on his feet. He concludes: “The greater his frustration in the debate, the more frequently he spoke of his difficulties in coping with “my… Continue reading Faith vs. reason

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What’s that Racket?

How high-tech equipment is destroying tennis: “This year’s men’s draw at Wimbledon is more a serving contest than a tennis tournament. Defending champion Roger Federer, who has won 106 of his last 107 service games at the All England Club, will likely face Andy Roddick and his 153 mph serve in Sunday’s final. Expect a… Continue reading What’s that Racket?

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Behind Kaitlyn’s suicide

Family questions antidepressant’s role in teen’s death (Boston Globe). Several readers have asked what I thought about this story. Readers of FmH know my position on the innuendoes about antidepressant-induced suicide. It is usually a case of inadequate monitoring by the treating physician. Here is a slightly altered version of comments I sent to the… Continue reading Behind Kaitlyn’s suicide

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The way the music died

“In ‘The Way the Music Died,’ Frontline follows the trajectory of the recording industry from its post-Woodstock heyday in the 1970s and 1980s to what one observer describes as a ‘hysteria’ of mass layoffs and bankruptcy in 2004. The documentary tells its story through the aspirations and experiences of four artists: veteran musician David Crosby,… Continue reading The way the music died

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