Implied Dissent

Thursday, April 29, 2004

I watched Oliver Stone's "Looking for Fidel" just now. It was interesting, but I'm not sure if we can really take anything from it. There was a scene (is that the right word in a documentary?) where some Cubans who had tried to hijack a plane are interviewed and they said some unexpected things, until you remember that Castro was right there watching the whole thing. Maybe what they said denying political repression was the truth, but I don't put a lot of stock in what I saw and heard. In any case, I am in favor of us lifting the sanctions against Cuba. The way I see it, there's no such thing as a little bit of freedom. Even disregarding the fact that the sanctions also reduce my freedom, they aren't a good policy. Exposing the country to outside influences can only help end the tyranny of Fidel. Shine a light and watch the cockroaches scurry.
On the topic of Latin America, I'm not sure if I should go to Brazil, or if I should stay away. I guess the second link is an argument against in-and-out sourcing (no I didn't think of that awful joke).
I am speechless.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The URL, says it all.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

For all the lawyers in the house.
Bruce Bartlett gives us a bit of a mea culpa on Iraq. Better late than never.
I'm not sure what to make of this, Mordechai Vanunu's speech after being released from 18 years in an Israeli prison. It may be that the transcription makes him seem worse than he is, but I think he may be certifiable.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

People sometimes ask what would antiwar-types have done instead of invading Iraq. Here's one good answer.
Harry Browne breaks down the 19 dumbest things that were said last week.
Esquire apparently has a good piece on Wal-Mart in the May issue. Subscription is required, but has a good lengthy excerpt. Read the comments at the bottom too, though, for a difference perspective. Of course, linking to this post is just an excuse to mention that they (Catallarchy) blogrolled me! Dude, I made it onto a relatively big website! (Go to the main page to see it, it doesn't seem to show it in archives).

Saturday, April 17, 2004

The NBA playoffs start today. Here are my guaranteed-to-be-wrong-or-your-money-back predictions:
#1 Indiana Pacers vs #8 Boston Celtics. Indiana is much better than Boston, but has enough holes that a sweep isn't as likely as commonly thought. 4-1 Pacers.
#2 NJ Nets vs #7 NY Knicks. Jersey is a bit beat up and Marbury's dangerous, but I don't see the Knicks doing much. 4-2 Nets.
#3 Detroit Pistons vs #6 Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee is a decent team, but Detroit has been really good since getting Rasheed Wallace. 4-1 Pistons.
#4 Miami Heat vs. #5 New Orleans Hornets. New Orleans is a mess, and Miami has played well since a bad start. Fo, fo, fo. 4-0 Heat.
#1 Minnesota Timberwolves vs #8 Denver Nuggets. Denver is a dangerous team, and 'sota's never won a payoff series, but the talent difference is too great. 4-1 Wolves.
#2 LA Lakers vs #7 Houston Rockets. An intriguing matchup because of Shaq-Yao, which might make you think Houston has a chance, but they don't. 4-1 Lakers.
#3 San Antonio Spurs vs #6 Memphis Grizzlies. It's simple, Duncan may have missed too many games to be MVP this year, but he's the best player, and that team has gone all the way. Memphis may be deeper, but in the postseason you need to be top-heavy with your talent. 4-1 Spurs.
#4 Sacramento Kings vs #5 Dallas Mavericks. This should (easily) be the highest scoring matchup. Since the Kings have a little more playoff experience, home-court advantage, and are (a little) tougher, I'll choose them, but I do see signs of problems that could hold them back. 4-3 Kings.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I think my favorite part is "like all things spanish, it is dangerous."
I had an email back-and-forth with Don Luskin of Don basically has appointed himself the man to correct Paul Krugman's columns in the NY Times. Very often, Don is exactly on the mark with his criticisms. Sometimes he is not (this is one of those times). Krugman wrote a column that touched on Wolf Blitzer repeating White House character assassinations of Richard Clarke. According to Paul, Wolf was out of line, according to Don, Paul smeared Wolf. Here's the key quote from Wolf, talking to another reporter: "What administration officials have been saying since the weekend, basically, that Richard Clarke from their vantage point was a disgruntled former government official, angry because he didn't get a certain promotion. He's got a hot new book out now that he wants to promote. He wants to make a few bucks, and that his own personal life, they're also suggesting there are some weird aspects in his life. Is that the sense that you're getting, speaking to a wide range of officials?"
Now here's my email to Don:
Re: your post on Krugman's odd column (, in some ways you are right, but I must point out a error/misunderstanding. Krugman's swipe at Blitzer is more or less justified, and hopefully I can make it clear it to you why. If we change his quote a bit I think it becomes apparent what the problem is, whether or not it was intentional (I'm inclined to believe it was unintentional, but I can't say for sure). "What administration officials have been saying since the weekend, basically, is that Richard Clarke beats his wife and kids. Is that the sense that you're getting, speaking to a wide range of officials?" Do you see what's happening here? Despite the luke warm denial of the accusation by the other reporter, Wolf has effectively smeared Clarke. Hopefully you won't act like a NY Times columnist and not correct yourself.
Here's his response:
No. not at all. Wolf isn't smearing anyone. He's pointing out that the White House is saying certain things - that's news - and asking a reporter for confirmation of whether that is even so in his opinion.
Here's my attempt to be generous by asking for clarification:
I'm not sure if I understand your position. Are you saying that my contrafactual doesn't demonstrate anything? Or that if it were the case it would be fine? Or are you ignoring it completely?
Here's his nonsensical response:
Your mock example is not true to the original. It changes things entirely. It makes an assertion. It is not the wind-up to a question, as the original is.
Here's my response:
Maybe I'm a bit slow, but I still don't understand your position. How is saying "Richard Clarke beats his wife and kids" an assertion and "Richard Clarke from their vantage point was a disgruntled former government official, angry because he didn't get a certain promotion. He's got a hot new book out now that he wants to promote. He wants to make a few bucks, and that his own personal life, they're also suggesting there are some weird aspects in his life" not? Dividing up the quote, the disgruntled/angry part and the hot new book/wants to make a few bucks part could be justified as questioning his motives for saying what he has. Whether or not they are accurate is another question, but they can be justified. How is making the assertion that "there are some weird aspects in his life" legitimate at all? What does that have to do with the situation in any way? If those unnamed aspects impact his reliability that much, he should have been fired as soon as Bush came into office.
As I indirectly suggested before, I doubt that Wolf had malicious intent, but the result is the same as if he did.

I've yet to get a response from Mr. Luskin, which prompted this email:
I have a few guesses as to why you have yet to respond:
-You're thinking about it, in which case a quick note would be appropriate
-You're too busy with other matters, see above
-You know I have you in a box and thus are going to ignore me, which would make you as bad as Krugman
-You don't regard me as worth your time and are ignoring me, possibly appropriate, but still a bit rude to not respond at least that you're moving on

I feel like I may be making a mountain out of a molehill, but I find his responses and non-response at the end pretty fucking hypocritical for the leader of "The Truth Squad." Am I out of line?

Monday, April 12, 2004

Thomas Sowell on the somewhat hidden costs of guv actions.
He he.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Charley Reese gives us some insights into Arab culture and retard, I mean neo-con, culture.
With all the shit going on in Iraq, I've kind of forgotten about John Ashcroft, which I'm sure he appreciates. DiLorenzo reminds us of the danger he represents.
It's kind of funny seeing people's reactions to Condoleeza Rice's testimony from the other day. From what I've observed, everyone that you'd expect beforehand to say that she did great, says she did great. Everyone that you'd expect to say she was awful, says she was awful. I didn't watch it, since I have, what's it called? Oh yeah, a job (Jon Stewart reference). From the clips I have seen she seems to be poised and in control and all that, but I don't see how you can see this as anything but damning.
Go Governator!

Friday, April 09, 2004

I know it's been a while since I've posted, and for that I apologize. I haven't much time today, but I just had to share this. Truly there are people in the world with FAR too much money on their hands.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Very interesting. Not that I want to move to Kansas, but still.
Here's an old Onion piece that pretty much sums it all up.
Want to know where the government's priorities are?
Someday I'll make this list.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Finally, I think we've found a Democrat I can be go Maad for.
I really wish that I could support Kerry a little more enthusiastically. I would say that his overall quality as a presidential candidate is no better than Bush's, but he would be better in office due to the resulting divided government, which I very much favor to limit somewhat the damage either party can do. But always remember what Douglas Adams said.
Holy shit, is there no shame? As someone else pointed out, this pretty much proves that it isn't about safety, it's about money.
Here's Seinfeld's new American Express ad, featuring Patrick Warburton (Puddy) as Superman.
The download on this site is supposed to be really cool, but I don't think my computer will support it. Sad.
If you aren't busy, go to TT the Bear's Place Thursday the 15th for a show. The Pilot Light (see link on the right), featuring David Haskell, Joey Corcoran and Alex Turrell, are playing, as are The Beatings, The Union Ares and Scuba. I don't know if the last two are any good, but The Beatings are excellent. It should be fun.

Monday, April 05, 2004

PJ O'Rourke on his encounter with John Kerry.
A pretty good audio piece on the Bushies.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Contrast this piece on Condi Rice testifying to the 9/11 Commission, with this one. What conservatives can't seem to wrap their minds around is that most people aren't looking for gotcha politics and that sort of thing, they just want the truth about how the government has fucked things up regarding terrorism and Iraq, whether that's good or bad for Republicans or Democrats or whatever. If Dr. Rice has the truth on her side, she should testify, it's clearly in her interests to do so. If she doesn't have truth on her side, she should testify, so we can expose her as a fraud. What is most likely is that she has elements of truth on her side, and elements of truth against her, and again, in this situation, she should testify. This isn't rocket science, which isn't brain surgery.