Clearly, Your Humble Blogger will never again have the opportunity to devote a period of sustained concentration to thinking, or for that matter to typing. I am just about able to bookmark the odd thing of interest, to indicate to myself the possibility of perhaps thinking about it, and then perhaps, if I thought any particularly thinky thoughts, writing about it. Sadly, this will not happen. So, just in case some Gentle Reader would like to think my thinky thoughts for me, here are some of the things I have considered thinking about recently...
- Mark Schmitt had a long piece in Democracy called Mismatching Funds. Let’s be clear—I didn’t even finish reading this one.
- Among the zillion potentially-interesting things brought to my attention by the Foreign Policy blog was this note on the demographics of the Middle East (and China), pointing out that a majority of men are still single by the time they reach 30. I think I would have had something to say about demographics and numbers, possibly in conjunction with the article I didn’t bookmark about how there were more unmarried women than married women in America, and how that was so clearly a totally different thing.
- A note by Matthew Yglesias about Teams mentions that Senator Clinton has essentially retained the more interventionist elements of President Clinton’s foreign policy team, but Barack Obama has some of the “less militaristic ones”. This reminded me that I don’t think I have mentioned Your Massive Election Central Guide To 2008 Prez Campaign Staffs. They claim that they will be updating it regularly, but ... not so much, lately. Well, they’ve been busy. Anyway, the list is mostly baffling at this point, because I haven’t done the important step of finding out who the hell everybody is. But when I keep hocking about how important it is to know who the candidates advisors will be? These people probably won’t be in the inner circle of policy advisors, but they very likely have worked for the people who will be.
- Just in case it comes up:
Heut' kommt der Franz zu mir
Freut sich die Lies.
Ob er aber über Oberammergau
Oder aber über Unterammergau
Oder aber überhaupt nicht kommt
Ist nicht gewiss
- I came across The Wikipedia Game, and it sounds moderately entertaining, and besides, a useful introduction to the idea of hypertext. I may well be attempting to introduce a gentleman who is entirely unfamiliar with computers to the World Wide Web soon, and I am looking for tips and tricks. The problem will be (I think) the basic paradigm, which I learned so long ago I don’t remember not knowing it.
- It is far too late to purchase things from the auction of Angels Star Collection of Film & TV Costumes, but I draw your attention to a truly unfortunate waistcoat. Nice sporran, though. On a philosophical note, discovering that many of the Doctor Who outfits were used for promotions only, rather than in the filming of episodes, radically decreased my interest in them. Why? I mean, the costumes were made by Angels, who made the used-in-filming costumes. They were made for the actors, and worn by them. They are real costumes, vaddevah dat means. But not real enough, somehow.
- Those persons interested in the conversations recently about anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, and about Judaism and Zionism, and all that, may well be nearly as fascinated as I was by the Foreward and Introduction to a 2005 web publication of Steve Cohen’s 1985 booklet That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic. The host and publisher, Engage, decided to republish the thing, and then found out that, to quote from Jane Ashworth’s introduction, “he turned out an Introduction with which I hardly agree on any point.” They published it anyway.
- The Republicans are part of an Internationalist movement? Who knew? (answer: Wikipedia, of course, and Mark Liberman over at the Language Log)
- No link, but the question was brought up at Purim time: To what extent is Mordechai a model for the Diaspora Jew? To what extent is Persia under Ahasueros a model for what the Diaspora should be? Should a good Jew have knelt to Haman, rather than setting off a genocidal rampage? Should a good Jew have avoided Haman, rather than confronting him at the gate with a refusal to kneel?
- George Lardner Jr. writes in the New York Times about the presidential pardon in A High Price for Freedom. He makes some good points, and lays out some interesting parts of the history, but he concludes by saying “No matter what one thinks of the folks in the White House, it seems clear that they have been put in a bind by the Supreme Court’s bad precedents.” Er, no. They have been put in a bind by breaking the law. True, the Supreme Court isn’t all that helpful, here, but they did not put Our Only President in a bind. As unofficial communications advisor to the next Democratic Administration, may I suggest the following memo go out to all staff to be appointed?
As has been seen in recent years, the POTUS can be embarrassed by requests for pardons, and the decision whether or not to pardon a staff member has no good outcome. Therefore, in order to facilitate the advancement of our agenda, to govern effectively, and to serve our President and our Country, the White House requests that all employees follow the fucking laws, you cocksuckers!
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,