Monday, April 16, 2007

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

I realized I owned many books that were no longer of use to me, or for that matter, anyone else. Would I ever need Windows 95? After soaking [a book] in the bathtub for a few hours, it had a new shape and purpose. Half Price Books became a regular haunt, and an abandoned house gave me a set of outdated reference books, complete with mold and neglect. Each book tells me how to begin according to its size, type of paper, and sometimes contents.


In what could prove an embarrassing new setback for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the eve of his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a group of influential conservatives and longtime Bush supporters has written a letter to the White House to call for his resignation.


Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was fired after Sen. Pete Domenici, who had been unhappy with Iglesias for some time, made a personal appeal to the White House . . . Domenici had complained about Iglesias before, at one point going to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before taking his request to the president as a last resort.

At least 34 people were killed in Baghdad on Sunday in another day punctuated by car bombings and suicide vest attacks on civilian targets of the kind that the two-month-old American security crackdown has so far been unable to restrain.


The political movement of the radical Shitte cleric Moqtada al-Sadr today ordered its six cabinet ministers to quit the Iraqi government.

Sadr officials confirmed the withdrawal at a news conference, saying it had been caused by the refusal of the Shitte prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, to set a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

The presidential campaign process usually includes an odd irony — while being a presidential candidate seems to automatically raise one’s stature, the process also makes the candidates appear small. Flaws become exaggerated, minor gaffes become major news stories, innocuous conduct is spun into controversies by a hungry media, policy positions divide supporters, and microscopic scrutiny reveals imperfections that campaigns fail to anticipate.

A presidential campaign, therefore, necessarily makes candidates look bad, just as their campaigns work 24-7 to make the candidates look great. The result is fairly predictable: voters start to wonder if there’s a savior out there who can rescue the party and save them from voting for one of the imperfect candidates. In 2004, this happened to the Dems, and helped spur Wesley Clark to enter the race.

In 2008, it’s happening again … with Fred Thompson?


When the airline industry went into a deep slump after the 2001 terrorist attacks, American Airlines' pilots, flight attendants and mechanics agreed to billions of dollars in cuts in wages and benefits to keep the carrier afloat.

Now AMR Corp., American's parent, is back in the black, so much so that 874 top executives will receive more than $150 million in stock bonuses next week.

As for the 57,000 rank-and-file employees, they're seeing red. "We made huge sacrifices," said Dana Davis, an 18-year American employee and spokeswoman for the Assn. of Professional Flight Attendants. The airline's 18,000 attendants took an across-the-board 16% pay cut and gave up vacation days. "We're not getting anything back for it," Davis said.

My inclination was to assume [Markos Moulitsas] had no idea that Kathy Sierra experienced significantly more trauma than mere run of the mill death threats. I assumed that he was tired, uninformed, and annoyed with yet another call for blogger ethics. I assumed that he did the equivalent of blogging while drunk. . . . I can't even give Markos the benefit of the doubt on a dubious post without people thinking I have some kind of ulterior motive. This hatred has arisen for a host of reasons. I'd say the two biggest reasons are his absolutely shitty administration of his site, and a pattern of dismissiveness towards women's issues.

According to surprising new federal report, which was released late on Friday so that no one would know about it, and only after Congress insisted, abstinence-only sex education classes have had "no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence." Apparently, kids who enrolled in these programs were just as likely to have sex as other kids. Unfortunately, this study comes at a bad time for abstinence-only advocates in the Bush Administration. Wade Horn, the unfortunately named point man for the administration on abstinence-only education, just resigned after overseeing a huge increase in funding for the program to over $200 million and already those who want to turn our kids into a generation of hos are buoyant.


If you settle in the South and bear children don't think that we'll automatically accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn't call 'em biscuits.
Given today's closely watched classrooms, it's incredible to think that at a public high school in Indiana in 1980, a characterful teacher was allowed to expose students to the subversive canon of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I'll never forget reading "Harrison Bergeron," from the short-story collection Welcome to the Monkey House. Harrison Bergeron is a brilliant, handsome 14-year-old boy in a dystopian future America, in which morons have taken control of the country, enforcing homogenized mediocrity on all citizens by law. Anyone who exceeds average intelligence, beauty, strength, or grace is compelled to offset his natural advantages with weighted pouches, shackles, and/or concentration-blowing headsets, so as not to demoralize the under-gifted. Harrison, illegal in his perfection, is imprisoned, then shot to death by the era's "Handicapper General." Such a story sticks with you at the idealistic age of 12. As you get older, injustice comes as less of a shock—a dull, constant throb to be dimmed by Advil and cable.

More than 30 years after his death, a "new" book by J.R.R. Tolkien goes on sale on Tuesday which may well be the author's last complete work to be published posthumously.

The documentary film “Finding Himself among the People All His Life” was screened at the People’s Palace of Culture on the occasion of the 95th birth anniversary of President Kim Il Sung.

. . . The film deals in an extensive and deep-going manner with the immortal exploits the President … It also tells legendary stories about the noble virtue and boundlessly modest and popular personality of the President who took deep care of the living of the people, once oppressed and humiliated, with warm love for them and shared joys and sorrows with them to bring happiness to them.


Headline of the Week: "Snow Won't Dampen Global Warming Rallies"

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