Anonymity

Speaking as someone who doesn’t blog under his full name to avoid professional and personal complications, I think James Joyner has the best take on l’affaire publius (background here). And speaking of Internet anonymity, H.C. Johns has recently been on the case, riffing off of this entertaining Craigslist article. He was also kind enough to…

making things up, public education edition

One frustrating aspect of the education debate in this culture, for those who defend public school like I do, is that the vigor and frequency with which conservatives have pointed to failing public schools have created an atmosphere where people casually assume a majority or even all public schools are just inherently failing. That’s not…

Interns Galore!

As a long-ago DC summer intern and a six-plus year DC commuter, this site is pure  genius.  I’ve got a lot of favorite posts, but for anyone at all familiar with the Capitol Building, this is absurd/funny on about 10 different levels (ok, at least 3): Recently, an intern with a tour group decided to…

comments

I think a good blog should have easy to use, attractive, intuitive comments.  This is one of the great failures of blogs like The Plank, which are fine blogs with terrible comments sections.  Yglesias has consistently dozens of comments on his blog, but they’re not terribly fun. 

Nationalism as Prerequisite for Pluralism

Freddie’s argument that the premise of founding a state with an explicit ethnic nationalism basis leads to intolerance and hatred of groups outside that ethnicity strikes me, on the one hand, as basically correct.  Certainly, it would seem to inevitably promote a certain degree of jingoism, and definitely will create distrust of those of a different…

Diplomacy

I have my own issues with Obama’s recent appearance in Cairo, but one criticism I find rather baffling is that his speech implied moral equivalence between the United States’ actions and the policies of Middle Eastern dictators. Here’s Legal Insurrection: [OBAMA] “The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to…

ethnic nationalism inevitably breeds hate

Via Gawker. As Gawker is quick to point out, you shouldn’t take the lame drunken ramblings of some small slice of any population as dispositive of anything at all. All we know from watching stuff like this is that this sentiment exists; it doesn’t say anything at all about what percentage of the people in…

a reading list for fantasy enthusiasts (II)

My initial reaction to E.D.’s latest post was something along the lines of “oh dear, I’m not sure we need a comprehensive rundown of our favorite erotic fiction.” Fortunately, he’s talking about the other fantasy genre, so I’m happy to chime in with my recommendations. My (short) list is proudly traditional and leans rather heavily…

NBA Finals Open Thread

Got any wild predictions? Irresponsible betting advice? An over/under for the number of times Kobe sneers at no one in particular after draining another nasty jumper? I’m tentatively picking the Lakers in six, but after a surprisingly unpredictable playoff season, all bets are off. Sound off in comments with your own thoughts.

(Comedic) Quote of the Day

“[In the year 3,000] Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook will merge to create one super-giant time wasting website called:  YOU-TWIT-FACE.” –Conan O’Brien Bonus genius David Letterman takedown of the NBC “Inside the White House” special.  Mindy Cohn makes any appearance.

a quote for a sunny morning

“An African-American President with Muslim roots stands before the Muslim world and defends the right of Jews to a nation of their own in their ancestral homeland, and then denounces in vociferous terms the evil of Holocaust denial, and right-wing Israelis go forth and complain that the President is unsympathetic to the housing needs of…

bad analogies

I was out for drinks with friends and Israel came up in the conversation.  A friend of mine said that she’d heard somewhere – Fox maybe? – that if you likened Gaza to a Nazi concentration camp you were an anti-Semite, and isn’t that ridiculous?  Can’t we criticize the Israeli government’s policy without being anti-Semitic?…

I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Went Crazy

So I spent 35-45 minutes today trying to get a fly out of my bedroom.  You know it’s bad when you (I in this case) starting talking to the fly.  Reasoning with it (him/her?).  e.g. “Come on, the only way out is through this empty Feta Cheese container I’m holding.  You know you wanna go. …

5-And-A-Half Stories About The Same Thing

Coleman Collins, D-League journeyman, former Euro-basketballer, and a pretty entertaining author, is now contributing to TrueHoop. A taste: I was walking through Amsterdam the other day when I crossed paths with two German women, one of whom stopped directly in front of me, looked me up and down, and turned over her shoulder to yell…

Ah, Abortion

~by sidereal When I’m asked for my opinion on abortion (or when I give it unprompted) I have to decide how long a conversation I want to have.  If I want it over with, I use the crude political vernacular and say I’m a ‘progressive pro-lifer’.  If I don’t mind exploring the issue a little…

Doubling Down

There seems to be quite the fooferaw over responding to the Tiller murder developing between several bloggers that I respect: Publius and Hilzoy at ObsidianWings, and Megan McArdle.  A quick summary:  Agreeing with an Ezra Klein post in essence calling (correctly) the murder an act of political terrorism, Hilzoy wrote that Congress should respond to the murder…

Justifying Abortion

This fascinating paper on abortion has probably been circulating for some time, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to read it. A brief note about the author’s hypotheticals: I suspect the pro-life response to many of these scenarios would be similar to torture opponents’ rejoinder to the ticking time bomb: “Yes,…

Honest to god,

I can’t imagine a stupider course of action, given this country’s demographics and demographics to be, than for one party or ideology to loudly assume a lack of qualifications for an eminently qualified person because she’s Hispanic. Seriously. It’s like Republicans are trying to become as relevant as the Whigs.

not nearly enough

From hilzoy: “I am strongly pro-choice, but I think it is perfectly possible to be opposed to abortion on principled grounds, and I think that it would be an enormous mistake to conflate all people who are opposed to abortions with either Dr. Tiller’s killer or the likes of Operation Rescue. That said, large elements…

WWJD?

Alex Knapp has the definitive take on whether Jesus would have waterboarded, as some have claimed.  It’s definitive because Alex went through the trouble of interviewing the Man Himself.  A little snippet: So let’s just ask the question right off the bat: should Americans use torture–sorry, enhanced interrogation techniques? Jesus Christ: Put your sword back…