Except for the shoulders of Longs Peak and other mountains in the distance, almost no snow is evident in this picture taken above Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park last Friday. The lake sits at 8,830 feet. (PHOTO: Courtesy Tom Yulsman)
What if disruptive fringes, propelled by delusions they “won” battles like the debt ceiling, figure the time was never better to smash through remaining 20th C. stop signs? Got a better explanation for the deluge of regressive throwbacks who defy learning from failure, whether non-trickle-down economics, less taxes mean more jobs, education by rote, morality from the Bronze age or heavy-handed militarism – now and forever? Continue reading →
Daniel Drezner’s visit to Graceland a few years back taught him something important about writing about zombies. Fellow tourists seemed to fall into two contingents:
The first contingent was thoroughly, utterly sincere in their devotion to all things Elvis. They were hardcore fans, and Graceland was their Mecca, their Jerusalem, and their Rome…. The second group of tourists was equally delighted to be at Graceland, but for a different reason. These people took great pleasure in the kitschy nature of all things Elvis.
Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies is a “tour of a different kind of Graceland, only with a lot more footnotes. Oh, and zombies.” Continue reading →
Quite a lot has happened since we last turned to the antics of the Murdoch clan, so time for an update. First, let’s do a little score-keeping—last August we gave Rupert and James Murdoch six months in their current jobs. Well, I’ll take 50%, thank you very much, if you grant I was a bit off on the timing for James. Rupert, though, well, he’s still holding on, and in fact is giving signs that he wants to make a fight of this, depending on what this is, since there are about 84 things going on at once here. Rupert seems to be keeping potentially restless shareholders quiet by paying ridiculously high dividends. Whether this will prove to be a successful strategy over the longer term is questionable, but it has certainly worked up to now. The great thing about Murdochgate or whatever we want to call it is that it keeps on giving. Every time you think you’ve got a handle on it, something new emerges from the slime. Continue reading →
It has recently come to my attention that you thought it would be really clever to ask prospective employees for their Facebook passwords so that you could peek under the hood and see all the goodies about them that they don’t care to make public. I’m not entirely sure what it is you hoped to gain by this malicious little bit of snoopery, but I can assure you that, were our roles reversed, I would certainly not hire the likes of someone like you who thinks this is a good idea.
First, let’s visit the patently obvious. You seek to hire individuals that, for whatever reason, are willing to give their private, sensitive information to someone they barely know. Is that seriously the kind of security risk you intend to hire? If so, you’re a moron.
Second, let’s take a look at the slightly less obvious, Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. You might remember this document. It’s the one you blithely ignored when you decided it would be a great fucking idea to compromise the security of people’s accounts for your own nefarious purposes. Here’s a few choice bits you should read more closely, or even at all, for that matter. Continue reading →
At the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit on Monday (March 26), the Washington Post reported that camera crews caught President Obama and outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, apparently unaware of the presence of the all-seeing media eye, speaking with each other.
“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama can be heard telling Medvedev, apparently referring to incoming Russian president — and outgoing prime minister — Vladimir Putin.
This is a stunning gift to Romney from the Obama camp. The legitimate concern that Obama will take his re-election as a mandate to head left is likely to become an all-purpose weapon. Continue reading →
Perry went off on Tyler during an interview with the Calgary Herald — saying, “It’s his business, but I don’t want Aerosmith’s name involved with [American Idol]. We have nothing to do with it.” Continue reading →
Because I want to see ghosts,
I pass the two rooms in this hotel that are said to be haunted.
I want to see the filmy image, at the end of the hall, holding a bony finger to his lips
Telling me I’ve said enough and now is the time to listen;
Or the little girl with a twisted smile on a twisted head
Standing in a doorway inviting me in
Because there are things I need to see.
But there’s nothing but closed doors and a maid with a good morning smile. Continue reading →
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, they say. How true, how true, especially when it comes to reducing the wisdom of brilliant, complex minds to their pithiest quotes. In a recent thread on what has become of the GOP, one commenter went all-in with Henry David Thoreau’s famous (and greatly abused) edict: that government is best which governs the least. (Thoreau was actually quoting someone else, but he endorsed the idea, so let’s go with it.)
As I explained at the time, I used to be an enthusiastic young Republican and I was known to quote that line myself. Granted, I was just spouting something I’d heard others say – I hadn’t actually read Civil Disobedience. But by gods, it sounded good. It’s brief, it’s clever, it has the smell of truthiness about it and it comes with the credibility that automatically attends canonical high school reading assignments, even if we hated them at the time.
As previously noted, Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse (Basic Books, 2011), by American medieval historian Jay Rubenstein, is as readable as it seems credible. (See Sanctifying the Killing of Muslims).
At the turn of the first millennium, Rubenstein explains, Christians often referred to Muslims as Ishmaelites. When the biblical Abraham, childless, suggested that his wife Sarah allow her servant to impregnate her, Ishmael was the result. But when he finally produced an heir himself (Isaac), Abraham drove out Ishmael — called a “savage man” in Genesis — as well as Sarah. Continue reading →
Ugh. I’m no attorney and don’t even play one on TV, but after wading through only two pages of the new terms and scribbling notations like crazy, I’m inclined to just delete my account and never intentionally click through to their website again. Unless I’m horribly mistaken, I can only come up with four possible scenarios to account for their gobbledy-gook:
Product of infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters that vaguely looks like a TOS;
Cobbled together by a non-attorney copy/pasting from various random sources willy-nilly, including toilet paper packages, without fully considering the ramifications;
Cobbled together by a rather lackluster and sleep-deprived law student who had word salad for lunch; or
Cobbled together by a brilliantly mad Eeeevil intellectual property (IP) attorney in a secret underground laboratory as part of a grand conspiracy to ensnare as many people in an IP infringement net as imaginable because retaining those services was still cheaper than buying a movie studio, a music label or a death ray. Continue reading →