Critical Section

Monday,  01/21/08  07:30 PM

Blogging I be...  Yoda I be not.

I saw where Ann Althouse had a similar (although more sarcastic) take to mine on the CNN story about black women voters.  This ties in nicely with Christopher Hitchens article in Slate: Huck's free pass (Why are the media ignoring Mike Huckabee's remarks about the Confederate flag?)  "In this country, it seems that you can always get an argument going about "race" as long as it is guaranteed to be phony, but never when it is real."  That really does seem to be the case.  Any real discussion about race is off the table as being too explosive.

Kind of like what happened with James Watson, the Nobel-prizewinning biochemist who discovered the structure of DNA; he told the inconvenient truth, and faced the consequences.  Even if you disagreed with him, you could have the debate, but in today's environment even having that discussion was impossible.

BTW, if I ever had any thoughts about voting for Huckabee, and I don't think I did, this would have killed them dead.  At this point he is just taking up bandwidth in the conversation, he's no longer a serious candidate.

Gary Kamiya thinks the Republicans are a Dead party walking.  "The GOP candidates are a feeble group of Bush imitators tied to his disastrous war. And unless the surge turns into a miracle, even front-runner McCain won't beat a Democrat."  This is reckless precelebration.  The Republicans might be the Dems best friends, but they are their own worst enemies.

Steven Dubner and Steven Levitt - of Freakonomics fame - consider Unintended Consequences in the NYTimes today.  "Does this mean that every law designed to help endangered animals, poor people, and the disabled is bound to fail?  Of course not.  But... if there is any law more powerful than the ones constructed in a place like Washington, it is the law of unintended consequences."  So very true, most of the time when the government tries to get involved, they don't help.  Ann Althouse notes: "Reading this terrific essay, I thought it should be necessary to acknowledge the famous Ronald Reagan line: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'""  Absolutely, and well worth keeping in mind as we watch the Presidential candidates promise to get our government involved to fix everything.

One more political note, I often enjoy James Taranto's column in the WSJ.  Today he notes: "This column generally tries to avoid taking shots at Andrew Sullivan, on the theory that it would be unsporting to do so. But a post over the weekend is so crazy that it's worth noting.Here it is, and yes it is crazy.  I've come a long way on Andrew Sullivan, from liking him, to disliking him, to being rather disturbed by him, to ignoring him.  As James says, "Sullivan thus becomes the only person ever to suggest that there's a vast right-wing conspiracy working for Mrs. Clinton."  Blech.

Floyd Landis in yellowLongtime readers know, I'm a huge fan of Floyd Landis, disgraced winner of the 2006 Tour de France.  Velonews carries an interesting interview with him.  You might think he hasn't proven his innocence, I think he hasn't been proven guilty.  Either way it is too bad it lingers...

uncov: failSo this is rather sad: Ted Dziuba of Uncov posted about the Crunchies awards (Crunchies. Ingredients: Fail), and winds up "Oh, right. One more thing. This is the last Uncov. Ever. I have been getting tired of it, and this has been manifesting itself in my writing. After seeing the spectacle at the Crunchies, I think it's finally time to quit."  Noooo!!!!!!!  What will we do without Uncov?  Already "Fail" has become a part of my daily lexicon, and when I use it people know exactly what I mean.  Maybe the Crunchies hangover will wear off, we can only hope.

Cory Doctorow notes we have Wubi!  "It's an installer package that lets Windows users install Ubuntu Linux like any other Windows app, without worrying about disk partitions and whatnot."  Sounds cool, but I suspect it is a dancing bear; that is, the fact that it does what it does is cool, but not useful.  Still, might be worth a try as an alternative to real work some afternoon :)

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained