Thursday, April 24, 2003

Wow. New URL, additional attitude.

I've been thinking about this for about a week now, and I came to the conclusion that toosense was just toocute. I didn't care toomuch at the outset, but I think this is going to become a long-term thing, and I wanted to settle into a title I liked better before I started getting linkage. It will happen. I will use my mysterious Jedi powers to make it so.

Blog I will!

UPDATE: I also got rid of that annoying banner ad. I'm not going to upgrade to Plus just yet, but I figured the ad relief was the least I could do. I couldn't stand looking at it any more myself.

UPDATE: I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Lucas people never come after me for this. But I think they'd have a hard time proving that anyone would associate me with a nine-hundred-plus year old green guy. And besides, I only wish I could fight like that.
It's amazing the verbal tics that have evolved out of the current world situation. Today, in the WSJ's OpinionJournal, John Fund refers to the Senate as a potential "axis of paralysis."

I want to grow up to be part of the axis of bloggage.
Thanks to Jacob Levy at The Volokh Conspiracy for this roundup of posts on the Santorum mess.
North Korea has apparently admitted that it has nuclear weapons. According to the FOXNews article linked above, there are no indications that there will be a test of those weapons:
According to the official, a North Korean nuclear detonation would deplete by half their estimated stockpile of two weapons.
Call me crazy, because even two nukes could cause a lot of damage--maybe it was the phrasing--but that sentence made me laugh out loud.

I guess this means I've recovered from the Cold War. I just can't see NK managing to start a game of global thermonuclear war.
Bruce Bartlett has an interesting take on the "obesity epidemic." He notes the effects of all of those ex-smokers on the national waistline, and notes:
One of the curious consequences of these trends is that the poor are now more likely to be obese than the wealthy. Indeed, obesity is now a problem in developing countries where starvation was the norm not too many years ago, according to the World Health Organization.
The poor live on low-cost but highly fattening carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta, while the rich can afford the Atkins Diet, which is based on eating costly meat, fish and other high-protein foods. The former are also more likely to engage in sedentary lifestyles, while the latter are busy burning calories at expensive gyms or on their own high-tech exercise equipment. And the rich can afford the time to eat slow food instead of fast food.
Throughout most of world history, obesity was a sign of wealth and thinness a sign of poverty. In the future, the opposite may be the case.
Read it all. Warning: he says Atkins works. (Via The Center For Consumer Freedom)
I am trying to give up commenting on the Santorum flap, but this story is too good to miss. Apparently, the United Apostolic Brethren, a polygamist sect, are insulted by Senator Santorum's remarks. For some reason I find this hysterically funny. Oh, the irony...

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

And to close, some more funny stuff: Laurence Simon recounts his near death experience with a barn.
Ok, ok, I know it's a CNN link, but I'm too lazy to find one of my own, when I can steal this one from Rand Simberg. Seems they're having a little trouble with ballot issues in Alabama now. God, I miss Alabama, and I didn't even live there. I was ten whole miles away. (I will resist the temptation to extoll the virtues of Alabama's Gulf Coast, better known as The Redneck Riviera. It is a post for another time. As is the one about the famous Flora-Bama Lounge and Package. Someday.)

And for those of you who think I'm being sarcastic when I say I miss it, I'm not.
I swear this is the final roundup of Santorum commentary...well, for the moment, anyway. The subject fascinates me, because it goes to something that is near and dear to me, which is how far the implied right of privacy extends.

James Taranto has an excellent post at Best of the Web, and follows it up with a slam on the NYT, which I am always in favor of. Glenn Reynolds finally weighs in. And so do John Scalzi, David Adesnik (again) at OxBlog, and Andrew Sullivan here, here, here, and here (and he promises more to come).

But my favorites are the various Volokh Conspirators. Go read this post, and this one, and this one.

I think all of this uproar is silly. Can we all sit down and discuss this like adults now? Consenting adults?

Good. Thank you.
Dini folds. Well, sorta kinda. If you don't remember, this is the gentleman who came under fire for demanding that his students endorse evolution to get a letter of recommendation. He has reworded his website and the Justice Department has dropped the investigation, but it doesn't look like he really gave any ground, and that's not a bad thing. Last time I checked, professors were allowed to use any old criteria they wanted to determine who got a letter. Mine certainly did. Maybe somewhere out there is a set of nebulous ethical standards for this sort of thing, but I never saw any evidence of one. My professors seemed to go on standards all their own, and some of them were better than others at sorting out who deserved a boost. All this guy did is make his own standards explicit.

One is not entitled to a letter of recommendation, believe it or not. If he had been flunking people who refused to say they believe in evolution, there might be a case here. But this is just silly, and I'm glad to see it's over with only minor non-concession concessions on his part.
Megan McArdle has some sensible thoughts (and what else from her?) about why tax cuts are better than increased government spending as an economic stimulus.
Go visit this post at Happy Fun Pundit and bask in the humorous Frenchifying of John Kerry. Scroll down for more giggles.
I couldn't decide which Den Beste post to link to, so I'll just say: go read him. He's been on a roll. But don't miss this one, or this one, or this one. A small sample to get you motivated:
We won't make them into copies of us. (We couldn't if we tried, and we don't really want to anyway.) But we must now use our control over Iraq to implement Arab Civilization 2.0. By creating a prosperous, democratic, secular, liberalized nation there, we now can show the Arabs by example what is wrong with their culture which seems to give them "failure after failure after failure", by showing them an alternative which is more successful, and showing them that example in an Arab nation.
Now go.
If anyone wonders why I link to InstaPundit so often, it's because Glenn Reynolds is very, very good. And part of that is posts like this. Yes, I'm making you click through, even though it's a short post. Because it is my patriotic duty to send him readers. And because if I ever am so lucky as to get an Instalanche, I want it to be really, really big. I know I'm not ready yet, but I dream that Glenn will one day crash my server.
I had completely failed to notice that the outpouring of charity to the Iraqi people is, perhaps, below par. But Jeff Jarvis did. Go read what he has to say. Now. It's good for you.
I am dying to work on the links, the links, the links, but I don't know that I have the patience to republish the archives tonight. Maybe I'll wait until I have my fine new DSL connection next week to work on the template. But I am getting this insane urge to spiff the place up a little, and add a bunch of folk I've decided are essential reading. Must...have...patience...
I'm overdue to link to BlogDaddy Glenn, so here you go.
If this works, it would be fantastic. I could have used the pre-discharge program because my discharge was for disability, but that would have required 2 things from me I didn't have: accepting that they really were going to throw me out, and the ability to stay in the area where I started the process until after the physical, at least. Making the transition for easier for all veterans is a worthy goal.

Now if anything comes of the rumor that they are talking about sharing medical facilities...
Lucky for this puppy that she lives in Cali, not Knoxville. She would never have survived if she'd crossed paths with Glenn Reynolds.
Courtesy of FOXNews.com, here is a partial transcript of the Santorum interview. He's more interesting than the one quote we keep seeing over and over again would indicate. He eventually boils it down to saying that these matters should be left to the states. Just read it, and look past the outrageousness and look to the constitutional question. Interesting stuff.

BTW, I said yesterday that he had both stuck his foot in his mouth and raised an interesting question. No contradiction there. I just hope he isn't too surprised by the furor. It's always what they think you meant, not what you actually meant, that catches the attention of the press. And his personal distaste for homosexual acts doesn't eliminate his point, however offensive we might find him, or whether or not we agree.

Jacob Levy weighs in with a less forgiving view over at The Volokh Conspiracy.

As I've said before, I don't think the government has a legitimate interest in who you are sleeping with (providing that person is a consenting adult), but then I don't think it has a legitimate interest in much of anything past protecting property rights and providing for a national defense. But maybe that's because I really don't give a damn. As a matter of fact, the less I know about your sex life, the better.
Opinion Journal has a nice roundup of quotes from the war naysayers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Your final funny thought for the night? Treacher is STILL obsessed with that poster contest.
Andrew Sullivan on the left's insanity. Interesting stuff.
Laurence Simon has a few good words about San Francisco. Please note my ambiguous grammar, and enjoy the link.
Ok, I'm not entirely sure I'm prepared to tackle Senator Santorum having put his foot firmly in his mouth, but many others have, and I do feel compelled to blog 'em as I find 'em. We shall have to start with Jeff Jarvis, who does a beautiful job of spinning the whole thing into a cautionary tale for the formation of the Iraqi government. Then there's Michele, over at A Small Victory, who is just angry, and who has a great discussion going in her comments. Via commenter Ryan, we get a nice Scrappleface perspective on the whole thing...

See also Patrick Belton and David Adesnik at OxBlog. Visit Rand Simberg for some continuum theory and a commenter (Dr. Clausewitz) who says:
I believe FOX has reported that the quote was out of context and the full statement was not presented. Also that the newsperson in question was apparently related to a high ranking person on Kerry's staff.
Here is the link to that story on FOXNews.com.

Then, with that story in mind, go read Eugene Volokh to clear your head. Conclusion:
So it seems to me that Santorum's statement was a plausible constitutional argument; and even if it's treated as an assertion of moral similarity and not just legal similarity, it's a plausible enough assertion, so long as the claim is understood -- as I think it should be understood -- to refer to consensual behavior. Most gay rights activists would, I think, oppose criminal penalties for bigamy, polygamy, incest, and adultery that's entirely among consenting adults; they would actually endorse, I suspect, at least some level of legal and moral equivalence between these practices and gay sex, and would agree that the right to choose one's sexual partners and practices includes the right to engage in those activities.

There's nothing scandalous about Santorum asserting this similarity from the perspective of someone who opposes the decriminalization, and especially the constituional protection, of all these practices, though I myself disagree with that perspective. If there is an outrage there, it's related to the underlying liberty question of whether the government should criminalize our consensual sex lives (I think that such criminalization is indeed outrageous, though I'm not sure that it's unconstitutional), not to the quite plausible analogy that Santorum draws.
I'm sure I have left out many fine folks who have weighed in on this one, but you will no doubt find them, if you are even more interested in this one than I am. I tend to agree with Volokh that it is an interesting constitutional question rather than a scandal. And I tend to think that the government has no business legislating your sex life. But the question Mr. Santorum raises is not whether it is right or wrong to engage in homosexual activities, or whether it is right or wrong for his list to be decriminalized. The real question is whether or not there is a constitutional right to homosexual intercourse, and if so, what implications that has for declaration of a constitutional right to other forms of sexual activity.

But then again, I am quite fascinated by this implied right to privacy I keep hearing rumors of...

UPDATE: OMG, how could I have left out Andrew Sullivan? Oh, that's why. Because Salon is a pain in the ass and won't let you read the whole thing without some weird guest pass or a subscription. I knew there was a reason.
OK, DAD, it's your turn...find a link to refute this one. E-mail it to me, please, and I will post it here in all its glory.
I just thought this was interesting. It has nothing to do with war, partisan politics, or France. Enjoy something different here.
I know, I know, we're all think we're tired of France stories, but they really are just endlessly amusing...take this one, for instance.
The National Hurricane Center may call it a fluke, but maybe I should be glad I'm not living on the Gulf Coast anymore: the first tropical storm of the year has already formed and is about 460 miles from Bermuda and headed that way. The season starts June 1.

Actually, as far as I'm concerned, the storms are a small price to pay to live in my version of paradise, but I haven't been too close to the center of any of the ones I've been through. Best winds I got were tropical storm force, not hurricane force. The folks I know who have been there say it isn't something you want to do again. But none of them were dumb enough to move...
Meryl Yourish blogs about her two years of blogging. (Via InstaPundit)
Who doesn't love Ari?
Treacher is still obsessed with the poster contest, and he is gathering followers.
The Devil better put his long johns on. It's got to be getting awfully chilly in Hell right about now.

I wonder what the hell they're up to.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Ok, I'm going to bed. I'm trying to dream up a new name for this thing before I fancy it up any. Maybe I'll change it, maybe I won't. Your guess is as good as mine.
Kevin Parrott, worthy co-conspirator of Jim Treacher in the aforementioned peace poster contest, has a little rant about the CD smashers. Follow the link to his donation suggestion. (Don't worry, it makes sense in context.) Laugh. Then get that look on your face like you're really thinking about doing it...'cause you are.
Michele is on an excellent rant about the peace poster contest at brushstroke.tv. Someone's exploiting the poor armless kid again, and Michele's had enough. Couldn't have said it better myself.
Wondering what the hell fisking is? Wondering if you can get sued (successfully) over it? Go read Eugene Volokh, and your questions will be answered. Sometimes it's like he reads my mind...
And here is a very funny bit from Mr. Blair. Sample: "No fact eludes ThermoFisk, the molten media megaman!" Go read.
Even Tim Blair is poking fun at Bloomberg for the smoking ban. I'd give you a permalink, but alas, blogspot is hosed again. It's on April 22.
If anyone is feeling the strong desire to go insane, Jeff Jarvis has a good method here.
Blogging likely to be light tonight...I need to sleep, now that I've developed this obsession with unpacking that ate my whole weekend...