Category Archives: probably not worth posting about

September 12, 2010, 11:58 am

Making David Brooks Look Thoughtful

I don’t know why I even bother with Thomas Friedman:

Ask yourself: What made our Greatest Generation great? First, the problems they faced were huge, merciless and inescapable: the Depression, Nazism and Soviet Communism. Second, the Greatest Generation’s leaders were never afraid to ask Americans to sacrifice. Third, that generation was ready to sacrifice, and pull together, for the good of the country. And fourth, because they were ready to do hard things, they earned global leadership the only way you can, by saying: “Follow me.”

Let’s solve our problems by comparing them with Imaginary World ™, full of puppies and ponies and elves!

This is why other pundits think that George Will is an intellectual.

August 4, 2010, 6:56 am

Up to Date

From my inbox this morning (all-caps in original, emphasis mine):

GREETINGS TO YOU MY NAME IS PAUL GILBERT ANDERSON (PVT) AN AMERICAN SOLDIER SERVING IN THE MILITARY WITH THE USA ARMY 3RD INFANTRY DIVISION OPERATING IN IRAQ. WITH A VERY URGENT NEED OF ASSISTANCE I HAVE SUMMED UP COURAGE TO CONTACT YOU. I FOUND YOUR CONTACT PARTICULARS IN AN ELECTRONIC ADDRESS JOURNAL. I AM SEEKING YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE TO ASSIST ME TO CLAIM THE SUM OF ($28 MILLION USD) TWENTY EIGHT MILLION UNITED STATED DOLLARS THAT I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY AND SAFELY MOVED OUT OF IRAQ TO A SAFE COUNTRY. BEFORE I WILL GIVE YOU DETAILS OF WHERE THE FUND IS, YOU MUST ASSURE ME THAT MY SHARE WILL BE SAFE IN YOUR CARE. AS YOU CAN SEE WE ARE ALREADY PREPARING TO LEAVE IRAQ. I WISH THERE IS RISK INVOLVED I WILL NOT DO IT SO I WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT THERE IS NO RISK INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT BECAUSE THE FUND HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY …

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April 13, 2010, 8:58 am

Except for blacks. And women. And natives. And … uh, never mind.

The new round of arguments by libertarians that American liberty was at a high-water mark in 1880

Let’s consider, say, the year 1880. Here was a society in which people were free to keep everything they earned, because there was no income tax. They were also free to decide what to do with their own money—spend it, save it, invest it, donate it, or whatever. People were generally free to engage in occupations and professions without a license or permit. There were few federal economic regulations and regulatory agencies. No Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, bailouts, or so-called stimulus plans. No IRS. No Departments of Education, Energy, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor. No EPA and OSHA. No Federal Reserve. No drug laws. Few systems of public schooling. No immigration controls. No federal minimum-wage laws or price controls. A monetary system based on gold and silver …

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February 1, 2010, 5:19 pm

Big Red

I feel compelled to note that, despite a gloriously flattering article on Harvard basketball, its star Jeremy Lin, and its power-recruiting coach Tommy Amaker, the road to the Ivy Championship still goes through Ithaca, NY. It’s a two-lane, winding state highway with cars on it that will make it from 0-60 any day now, but Harvard was kind enough not to break the speed limit in Saturday’s game.

October 5, 2009, 8:00 pm

Who still cares for the American Civil War?

I like Mary Beard’s TLS blog. But this time I fear she has Gone Too Far. Or, perhaps more likely, she’s pulling our collective leg — though I don’t remember her pulling it in quite this manner before. Even out here at the veriest Edge, the cityscape is clotted with victors’ memories of the War of Eastern Aggression. Just yesterday I was out picknicking with fellow parents of future yuppies at the Black Point Battery; and of course the map is full of streets named for Vicksburg, Grant, Lincoln and the Union. (Not to speak of the Confederate general from Big Sur.)

Need we quote Faulkner again?

Image by Flickr user maduarte used under a Creative Commons license.

September 30, 2009, 10:07 am

That horse just twitched, I swear.

Robert Halford made a compelling point yesterday, which I will rephrase as a question:  given that the absolute best thing that we can say about Roman Polanski’s conduct is that he raped a drugged and drunk thirteen-year-old and that grand jury testimony by design is one-sided, why should we even bother considering it?  What he’s done is bad enough and the jerk should be in prison, runs the argument, and what he might have done is speculative enough, that the prudent thing to do should be to focus on the agreed upon facts lest speculation become a distraction.

I disagree.  While we can’t know what the facts are with a high degree of certainty, I think that knowing what the grand jury testimony said, and that although the victim forgives him, she has not recanted her claims, is highly relevant to how we think about this case.  My reasoning, such as it is, after the jump:
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August 2, 2009, 5:17 pm

Epics of Cluelessnes

Sometime the Times slides its cluelessness past slowly and subtly, in a way that leads to doubletakes rather than immediate outrage. Sometimes, however, the Times comes in through the front door and tracks mud across the carpet on its way to beat you over the head while bringing in a faint smell of rotting fish. This week, it was the latter:

  1. On July 30, the newspaper ran an article on how the Germans ease layoffs by having laid-off workers carried on payrolls that are funded partly by the laying-off company and partly by the government. They can get retraining and job help while in this position, and the psychological effect is apparently different and more beneficial than for those who are unemployed. All-in-all, an interesting and seemingly worthy attempt to deal with unemployment in a way that focuses on the health of the workers and the companies, rather than just the latter….

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July 6, 2009, 7:09 am

We only like C students who PAY to get into Yale.

Douthat:

This ideal has had a tough 10 months. It’s been tarnished by Palin herself, obviously. With her missteps, scandals, dreadful interviews and self-pitying monologues, she’s botched an essential democratic role — the ordinary citizen who takes on the elites, the up-by-your-bootstraps role embodied by politicians from Andrew Jackson down to Harry Truman.

Sarah Palin is beloved by millions because her rise suggested, however temporarily, that the old American aphorism about how anyone can grow up to be president might actually be true.

I’m sorry, what? “Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” or “humble beginnings” or “son of a millworker”  or whatever nonsense does not mean “remain mediocre your whole life and get handed the Presidency.”  Jackson was a military man.  Truman had decades of experience before becoming President.  Neither of them winked in a job…

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May 9, 2009, 9:28 am

At least it wasn’t hummus.

Our loyal readers who also surf political blogs have probably noticed the flap over Dijongate, wherein reality descends madly into satire as the blogsphere ponders the political meaning of Obama’s decision to order Dijon mustard on a hamburger (and whether the media hushed it up to make him seem like a regular Joe!)  Anxious to do our part, we at EoTAW have discovered the real reason Obama ordered spicy Dijon rather than regular yellow mustard:

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April 7, 2009, 8:45 am

Journals To Which I Won’t Be Submitting

Though I do wonder what experiences led them to charge for extra emails:

We discourage any lengthy-frequent-repetitive contacts with this journal. For the complexity of AEQ review process see Flowchart. The Journal’s ten year publishing experience suggests maximum 8 e-mail/postal contacts
between the author and AEQ as the norm

  • 1) submission
  • 2) submission clarification
  • 3) copyright
  • 4) extra contact

You must complete the above 3 in maximum 4 e-mail/postal contacts. Otherwise, your submission
will be rejected or rescheduled for consideration until the next available issue.

  • 5) reviews
  • 6) reviews clarification
  • 7) final copy
  • 8) extra contact

Exceeding eight contacts may disqualify your submission from further consideration or require $45 redactory fee. as it drives up journal’s…

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March 31, 2009, 4:16 pm

Also, it would make grades more… final, if profs were packin’.

Dear Texas Legislature,

I am given to understand that you are considering making it legal for students over the age of 21 to carry concealed weapons on campus.   The thought is that doing so would prevent mass murders like the one that happened at Virginia Tech.

It’s a pleasant daydream for these Walther Mittys.  One can imagine any number of ways, all out of bad action movies.  The tall young professor with the twinkling blue eyes, his class interrupted by a gunman, athletically rolls under the desk, brings up his weapon, and fires two shots into the torso of the assailant… the alternachick literature prof who had been a pacifist until she learned the error of her ways in Guatemala, pulls her weapon from her organic hemp rucksack, and wounds the gunman in the leg…. the elderly don with the tweed blazer and bowtie, calmly firing his antique revolver, ejaculating “You shall not …

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March 12, 2009, 10:35 am

The intended audience speaks.

Dude overheard:

Brah, you watch Watchmen yet?… Brah, you got to. It’s like 300, but the story is all like deep and sh*t.

February 22, 2009, 1:05 pm

Maybe the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

This keeps getting better and better.

First, the American Philosophical Association moves its Central Division meeting from April to February.  The Central often serves as a location for interviews for visiting appointments for the following fall, which have usually been advertised in the February “Jobs for Philosophers”, an advertising service run (I use the term loosely) by the APA.

Dates of Central Division Meeting: Feb 18-21.

Dates of publication of the JFP:  Feb. 20.*

FAIL.

But everyone’s known about this for weeks!  What’s new from the recently published JFP?

This gem of an ad:

FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY – FAU, BOCA RATON, FL. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, COUNSELING CENTER, Florida Atlantic University. The Assistant Director provides psychological services for Florida Atlantic University students and provides administrative and supervisory leadership of the Counseling Center and…

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