``I must give him his due. He has considerably cretinized me.'' Lautréamont

Pics click to enlarge.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Office Pool, 2007 (NYT)

intrasystem goals come first


Optimistic predictions took a beating in 2006, but today — in my 33rd annual office pool in this space — is my chance to recoup.

Editorial Observer: Middle School Girls Gone Wild (NYT)

stop visiting malls


What surprises me is how completely parents of even younger girls seem to have gotten in step with society’s march toward eroticized adolescence.

Under-the-Rug Oversight (NYT)

sternly worded letter suggested

The American public deserves a fuller and more open review of the National Security Agency’s illegal eavesdropping program than it has been getting from its toothless watchdog.

Cyclists, the Police and the Rest of Us (NYT)

editors inconvenienced by other leftists

As both cyclists and the police prepare for the year’s final Critical Mass ride, we’d like to see everyone gear down a notch.

The Rush to Hang Saddam Hussein (NYT)

saddam not worse than bush

Toppling Saddam Hussein did not automatically create a new and better Iraq. Executing him won’t either.

Enjoy Your Holi-Delay (NYT)

on deadline, everything is material

news flash, commercial air travel consists mostly of waiting in terminals


On Christmas, to no one's greater surprise than my own, I enjoyed some much-needed quality time at Washington Dulles International Airport's Concourse B.

War in the Horn of Africa (NYT)

its influence is military victory

just the opposite of the NYT fantasy of how the world works

in the NYT vision, Europeans get together and agree and then it happens, whatever it is they agree on.

no perverse side effects can exist in the leftist world, because they believe it has no working structure.

there is no field of economics. anything you agree on, happens.

economics consists of understanding that the opposite occurs.

Washington should use its influence to push for a swift cessation of hostilities, lest the conflict pull in neighboring countries and explode over the entire region.

Gerald R. Ford (NYT)

absolute construction means it's from the obit files

An accidental president, Gerald R. Ford was the right man summoned at the right time to begin the necessary process of healing a country exhausted by war abroad and scandal at home.

Meat and the Planet (NYT)

the economic wing of the editorial board is illiterate

the green wing is in addition looney on principle

Our health and the health of the planet depend on pushing livestock production in more sustainable directions.

Bumping in Schools (NYT)

the left runs the schools

States are unlikely to truly improve teacher quality - or spread qualified teachers more equitably throughout the schools - until they pay more attention to how teachers are trained, hired, evaluated and assigned.

An Early Test for Lawmakers (NYT)

principle : only unearned benefits supported

in this case by a vast transfer of wealth to doctors

it's important that the poor don't get the money

their job is to be poor

everybody else's job is to be poor, too

then the left is safe from mockery

Depriving children of adequate health care while giving the rich tax benefits that were intended for average Americans is flat-out wrong, and Congress must move quickly to prevent that.

Israel's Mixed Messages (NYT)

it's in israel

Amir Peretz, Israel's defense minister, has undercut the encouraging steps taken by Ehud Olmert over the weekend by approving the first new West Bank settlement in more than a decade.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Most-Avoided Conversation in Medicine (NYT)

baby boomers retire


To get better at caring for the dying, doctors could add one question to every discussion they have about patients with terminal illnesses: ``How good is this patient’s end-of-life care?''

False Hopes and Natural Disasters (NYT)

the hope is to define and take ownership of a new public problem.

this will then involve funds.

``better spent'' is not the point.

better spent is deciding where you want to live and what the risks are, the gains and the losses, and living there, and spending nothing on tsunamis.


To protect people from tsunamis, money would better be spent on early warning systems, education and evacuation planning than on preserving mangrove forests and coral reefs.

Exercise for Your Aging Brain (NYT)

or you could read an economics 101 text

if everybody stands on their toes, everybody can see :

a) better
b) the same

(a) is the leftist answer. (b) is correct.

If you’re worried that your mental powers will decline as you age, a new study offers hope that a relatively brief flurry of brain exercises can slow the mind’s deterioration.

Cleaning Up the Royalty Mess (NYT)

corporate enemy identified

Washington's royalty relief to oil companies to encourage deep-water exploration in the Gulf of Mexico needs a thorough review and, more than likely, a thorough overhaul.

America, the Exam (NYT)

indian drunkenness deplored

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to make the naturalization exam more meaningful at a time when the civics knowledge of native-born Americans is dismal.

Paying Doctors for Better Care (NYT)

adults write these editorials?

they're still paid by somebody other than the patient, and so it is still dysfunctional, even if you can define quality.

what they're trying to emulate, that was not broken, was doctors paid according to demand for them, which is what defines quality, something that's a different thing to everybody.

that was back before aid for the poor, a half century ago ; when the poor already got pro bono treatment regulated by doctors.

It is salutary that the last Congress, in its waning days, passed legislation that takes a modest step toward the goal of paying doctors based on the quality of their treatment.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Cloak and Dollar Oversight (NYT)

leftist moonbat intelligence oversight proposed

It is time to bring the almighty dollar in from the cold as a principal agent in the wily art of avoiding intelligence oversight.

Still Flying High (NYT)

devious plan puts NYT on the right side of an issue

It is important to bear in mind just how much this country has benefited from free trade at a time when protectionist sentiment is growing.

A Model for Conservation (NYT)

no tree unfenced

The deal announced by Gov. George Pataki to provide permanent protection for 51,000 acres of forest lands in upstate New York provides a template for protecting open space elsewhere.

How We Say Christmas (NYT)

democrat programs pushed

For all the push and pull of the Christmas rush, for all the sputtering of the commercial volcano that erupts at the end of every year, this is truly a holiday of modest spirit, a day of humble aspirations.

Flaws Are Detected in Microsoft’s Vista (NYT)

no-kidding news

Microsoft is facing an early crisis of confidence in the quality of its Windows Vista operating system as computer security researchers and hackers have begun to find potentially serious flaws in the system that was released to corporate customers late last month.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ocean Rescue (NYT)

regulation always good

The reauthorization of a basic law regulating fishing practices in American waters may prove to be of great importance to future ocean health.

A Real-World Army (NYT)

sun tsu at the NYT

Larger ground forces are an absolute necessity for the sort of battles America is likely to fight during the coming decades.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Do You Believe in Surnits? (NYT)

women in science follow whatever interest they can sustain, just like men


Children who believe in Santa Claus are exhibiting their very rational and scientific cognitive abilities.

A Look Under the Hoodie (NYT)

crew sock overlooked


As Rocky Balboa pulled himself out of anonymity, he brought with him what would become a mainstay of American fashion: the hooded sweatshirt.

The Way to Keep House (NYT)

legal immunity suggested


The new Democratic majority should adopt a reform agenda that will help keep the new majority out of ethical trouble — and its members out of jail.

You Can Help (NYT)

a few hundred dollars can buy her enough insects to eat for a year

Only a few hundred dollars from The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund made a huge difference in Karen Owes’s life and the lives of her children.

Fear and Bigotry in Congress (NYT)

founding fathers always favor terrorists in NYT editorials

The flap over whether one newly elected member of Congress can use the Koran rather than the Bible in a private ceremony demonstrates the founding fathers’ wise decision to avoid institutionalizing any religious faith.

No Sanctuary (NYT)

nation builder only when american interests not involved

send the troops, fine with the nyt

If Darfur’s grim tally can’t persuade the world to act, then perhaps the threat of a regional conflagration will.

Watching the Exits (NYT)

guest voter program revived

Washington is full of politicians who want to keep out terrorists and illegal immigrants, but far fewer who want to commit the time and money to a realistic discussion of how to do that.

Sexist Observation

Kroger grocery store carts pull left and right ; Home Depot carts roll straight and easy.

Why would that be?

What We Wanted to Tell You About Iran (NYT)

the declaration of democratic principles, a founding document along with the declaration of independence and the bill of rights

it's curious that we have a republic, though

which means we get to vote on people, not issues

in particular when they run for reelection


To classify information for reasons other than the safety and security of the United States and its interests is a violation of democratic principles.

Senator Brownback and the Judge (NYT)

the problem, if they'd unknot their panties, is a stop on a nomination imposed by a single senator from the same state, an honored tradition of the senate

the senator can think whatever he wants

Whether someone has attended a same-sex commitment ceremony is not a worthy litmus test to impose on someone seeking an important office.

The Bankrupt-Your-Family Calling Plan (NYT)

telephone cruelness and unusualness

The cruel and counterproductive system now in place around the country charges inmates and their families as much as six times the going rate for collect calls placed from inside state prisons.

Finding a New Comptroller (NYT)

leftist robot needed

Albany’s Democrats should pick an independent, first-rate replacement to carry on the record of reform that Alan Hevesi set before he was tarnished by scandal.

Saner Voices in Iran (NYT)

not so unpopular that the NYT wouldn't undermine Bush instead, when the choice came up

there they undermine Bush's imagined plan that something ought to be done

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the populist demagogue, is not so popular with important elements of Iranian society.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Devoted Student (NYT)

professor's worldview called into doubt by mind-numbed students


The task of thinking and teaching, especially in an age of emergent fundamentalisms, is to cultivate a faith in doubt that calls into question every certainty.

In Iraq, Let’s Fight One War at a Time (NYT)

social theory

incentive not mentioned

like suggesting we're not leaving so this violence is pointless

instead our leaving is constantly on the table, constantly just out of reach for the enemy but close enough to be worth just a little additional effort.

put on the table by the press and kept there.

Bush on the other hand says we're not leaving. for this he gets called stupid.

anxious to undermine Bush since 2000.


The sooner we start to clear and hold the Sunni areas of Baghdad, the better the odds are that the radicalization of the Iraqi Shiites can be halted.

Free Genarlow Wilson Now (NYT)

conflict of public posturings and imagined audiences

When high school students engage in consensual sexual activity, that is not the same as an adult molesting a teenager or a teenager molesting a child.

Mr. Bush’s Immigration Realism (NYT)

they're mexicans so what are they doing here

it's a mexico problem that shows up as a US social problem

however it produces an economic advantage, raising the US standard of living

take your choice

President Bush understands that many illegal immigrants are doing what they have to do to support families within a system that offers few routes to lawful entry.

Libya’s Continuing Legal Farce (NYT)

only a political settlement backed by american military muscle has a chance here

A Libyan court condemned to death six foreign medical workers on the widely discredited charge that they deliberately infected hundreds of children with the virus that causes AIDS.

Rudderless in Iraq (NYT)

or it might be going well and we're too dumb to notice

Only a political strategy, embraced by Iraqis themselves and backed by American military muscle, can have even a remote chance of altering events, and even that may be too late.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The State of Iraq: An Update (NYT)

same story template in end-of-the-year wrapping


Although it has been said before about previous new years, it seems very likely that 2007 will be make or break time in Iraq.

The Bonus Army (NYT)

you might want to consider division of labor, which makes it possible for people to systematically disagree about value, and thus to create exchanges where both sides profit

those are voluntary transactions

each one that occurs raises the standard of living of both sides

added up, it raises the standard of living of the nation

which nation has the most voluntary transactions?


To see the embodiment of our economic system in action — for better and worse — one need look no farther than Goldman Sachs.

A Dose of Reality TV for Congress (NYT)

the view

Democratic leaders should finally free up television coverage of Congressional floor debates so citizens can see the unvarnished state of the people’s forum.

Top Grades, Without the Classes (NYT)

when somebody talks about your behavior, you know they're not willing to think it's a response to something

The unethical behavior often associated with big-time college sports can easily seep outward, undermining academic standards and corrupting behavior in the university as a whole.

Talking at the Chinese (NYT)

economic illiteracy plus the French model

To ensure America’s security and competitiveness Washington has to start on a harder and higher road: saving more, borrowing less, investing in infrastructure and education, and building a safety net for workers displaced by a global economy.

Only the Jailers Are Safe (NYT)

accountability codeword suggested

Except for the few low-ranking soldiers periodically punished for abusing prisoners, the system of American military prisons in Iraq is without any accountability.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Smoky Bomb Threat (NYT)

polonium-can-it-happen-here-more-at-11 essay


The exotic murder-by-polonium of the former K.G.B. spy Alexander Litvinenko throws into question most of the previous analyses of "dirty bombs."

The City Life: Blogging the Hotel Chelsea (NYT)

play for new yorker subscribers


"Living with Legends" is a hip and literate blog about life in the red-brick and black-wrought-iron behemoth on West 23rd Street.

Too Early for Deep Thinking (NYT)

too early to attract readers, mockery works better

There’s no satisfying the desire to get to the head of the pack in the presidential primary sweepstakes.

Playing Down the Risks of a Drug (NYT)

questionable behavior deplored

Internal documents offer persuasive evidence that Eli Lilly engaged in questionable behavior to prop up its best-selling drug.

The Kremlin’s Shell Game (NYT)

Kremlin not communist enough

It appears that the Kremlin is again trying to muscle an energy company into doing its bidding, this time with environmental regulators.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Midas Touch (NYT)

americo-innumerate community


Is paper currency truly biased against the blind?

A War That Abhors a Vacuum (NYT)

drunks propose action


The debate over the future of troops in Iraq must include a sober look at the street-level impact of withdrawal.

Just Do It (NYT)

ethics theater

Procrastination is a legendary Capitol vice, and there are worrisome signs that the Democrats may already be indulging when it comes to ethics reform.

Appropriate Appropriations (NYT)

profligacy urged

Under normal circumstances, operating under old budgets would be a dereliction of lawmakers’ duty to weigh needs and resources, and spend tax dollars accordingly. But the current situation is hardly normal.

The AIDS-Malaria Connection (NYT)

DDT cocktail

A new study shows that the battles against AIDS and malaria are really one fight.

Swift Raids (NYT)

crisis in public rhetoric

Swift & Company and its workers are merely Exhibit A in an immigration system that is failing in all of its parts.

A Push for Affordable Housing (NYT)

completely understood economic problem not understood at the NYT

your ``helping'' since WWII has exactly this side effect

solution : stop helping

The City Council has an obligation to move quickly to update a law that confers undeserved benefits on developers of high-end housing while doing less and less for people who can barely afford to live here in the first place.

You’ll Work in This Town Again (NYT)

not narrowed down much


How low does a human being have to sink before Hollywood shoos him away and he can’t get an Oscar?

If You Love Lebanon, Set It Free (NYT)

victory not suggested


The best hope for American interests in the Middle East is not to isolate and minimize Hezbollah, but to further integrate it politically, socially and militarily into the Lebanese state.

Editorial Observer: A Speculator’s Guide on What’s Happening in Putin’s Russia (NYT)

murder is a form of editorial not yet adopted by the nyt

they draw the line just after treason


We may never learn who killed Alexander Litvinenko or why. But that doesn’t mean the murder doesn’t figure in Kremlin politics.

Fighting the `Prep School' Scandal (NYT)

wampum flap

The N.C.A.A. has begun to scrutinize nontraditional schools for their academic programs, but it will need to do more to address the problem of bogus ``prep schools'' for athletes.

Unfinished Business (NYT)

put the leftist lean back in the supreme court too

The departing Republican Congress has left the new Democratic majority much urgent, unfinished business to restore due process, civil liberties and the balance of powers.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Jeane Kirkpatrick and the Great Democratic Defection (NYT)

ended cold war by withholding sex

By Richard V. Allen

Not enough has been said about Jeane Kirkpatrick, ardent Democrat — and what she meant to the success of Ronald Reagan in international affairs.

The Story of the Numbers (NYT)

bad year for ridiculous opinions

Data from the Census Bureau’s 2007 Statistical Abstract outlines our demographic diversity and economic decisions, but they have a harder time showing the pressures that bear upon us every day and that shape our behavior.

And This Just in on Elections (NYT)

opposing opinions unvalued

If the Federal Election Commission won’t plug its loophole for donations made to partisan issue advocates, the courts or the new Congress should do it.

When Doing Nothing Is Better (NYT)

must be republicans in power

Almost nothing of consequence happened during this week’s special session of New York’s Legislature, which in this case was real progress.

A Big Drop in Breast Cancer (NYT)

quarter not bet

The most plausible explanation for the decline is that women by the millions abandoned or sharply cut back their use of hormone therapy.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pacts Americana? (NYT)

american opinion of what they think unmentioned


The Senate can help reverse the steep erosion of America’s standing abroad by approving a raft of treaties awaiting action.

A Second Look at Death (NYT)

if payment for organs were not illegal, you'd have more organs than you knew what to do with

the sacred reverence for aged parents would evaporate as the heirs cashed in

``where do i sign?''


If organ donation after cardiac death were pursued as diligently as donation after brain death, the number of organs available for transplant could rise significantly.

I’ll Take ‘Pork Barrel’ for $400,000 (NYT)

let's guess it's a republican

Another New York state senator has been indicted, this time charged with diverting to his own pocket more than $400,000 in state money that he earmarked for charities in his district.

Rogues and Fools (NYT)

cliche friday

never underestimating advised

importance cannot be overestimated

One should never underestimate the political power of Holocaust denial and racism, even among supposedly respectable people across the Middle East and beyond.

High-Speed Colonoscopies (NYT)

that's why it's ``too rapidly''


If your doctor performs the procedure too rapidly, he may miss some polyps that could develop into life-threatening cancers.

A Gag on Free Speech (NYT)

well-established favored

The Bush administration is trampling well-established criminal law by trying to use a subpoena to force the A.C.L.U. to hand over a classified document in its possession.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Milk of Evolution (NYT)

loss of left foot from automatic transmissions dismissed

The dynamism of human culture has always seemed to move faster than evolution itself, but a recent discovery suggests otherwise.

Congress and the Benefits of Sunshine (NYT)

credibility recommended

A heavy dose of Internet transparency should not be overlooked in the effort to repair lawmakers’ tattered credibility.

Rare Good News About AIDS (NYT)


The results in two African studies of male circumcision may be the most important development in AIDS research since the debut of antiretroviral drugs more than a decade ago.

Ships That Don’t Dare to Sail (NYT)

profiteering by producers is offset by profiteering by consumers

every voluntary transaction profits both sides.

that's why the transaction happens.

Lax government oversight and incompetence or profiteering by contractors are undermining our coastal defenses.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fighting Drug Fakes (NYT)

wild west internet deplored

power taken from government

Tempted to buy cheap medicines from a pharmacy Web site? Think twice.

Royalty Rip-Off (NYT)

perhaps there's a tiny tiny dispute about what the royalties are, in exact amount

All the royalties owed from oil and gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico need to be collected.

Consumption Gap (NYT)

saving deplored

Roth IRA's are the source of all evil

The assertion that the middle class has out-consumed the ``upper crust'' during the Bush years is false, the result of rosy assumptions that turned out to be wrong.

Reckless With Food Safety (NYT)

bloody stools are a natural opportunity for tax money and government empire for leftist causes

otherwise taco bell takes advantage of them for advertising purposes

i'd go with the authentic mexican food angle

Congress needs to provide the F.D.A. with more money and more inspectors to monitor the safety of fresh produce all the way from field to consumer.

To Save Lives in New Jersey (NYT)

you can save many more lives by banning driving

drop the live-saving card and there's not much of an argument, though

except love of the long-established

you should always copy the long-established

especially from leftist states

The New Jersey Legislature can bring the state into line with long-established medical policy - and save lives in the bargain - if it passes a set of bills that would establish municipal syringe exchange programs.

Muzzling Those Pesky Scientists (NYT)

editorial record claimed for nested dependent clauses

so what if we've fogotten the pretext for what we wanted to say

reading NYT editorials is like talking to a woman

The Bush administration has acquired a special place in regulatory history for the audacity with which it has manipulated or muzzled science that might discomfit its industrial allies or interfere with its political agenda.

The Dextrous Dictator (NYT)

apparently died a conservative if the NYT disparages his rule

usually they like tyrants

The central puzzle of the dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, who died yesterday at the age of 91, was that until recently he retained admirers in Chile and abroad.

The Road to Reliable Elections (NYT)

actual paper ballots are just such a system

you don't need an analysis

New analyses should give further support to members of Congress who plan to push next month for a strong federal law requiring voter-verified paper records.

Getting What We Pay For (NYT)

economic idiots!

you get more money from doing something somebody wants enough to pay more for

your choice of job is the first thing to consider, not how well you do it.

both you and the buyer of your stuff need to profit at the same time, which means both of you must disagree about the value of your product, the buyer valuing it more than you do.

that's why there's economic specialization to professions.

each voluntary transaction then raises the standard of living of the nation, and that's why you want an economy and voluntary transactions.

not some stupid idea of keeping people off the welfare rolls, or paying them justly.

adapt or die.

the left wants to wind up more like the soviet union.

The price of an increase in salary should be the same for lawmakers as it is for everybody else: when you do the job well, you deserve more money.

Rush to Judgment on Sex Offenders (NYT)

sex offender is soap opera attractor so is all over the news

they stand for everything you can scare women with

policy based on it is as good as you'd expect

the NYT will not offend its women of either sex by saying so

they just have slight misgivings that it may empower the right.

Civil confinement for sex offenders, tempting in principle, is deeply troubling in practice.

New Jersey Secures Itself (NYT)

regulation of dasterdly industry hitchhikes on war

New Jersey's many chemical plants offer some of the country's ripest terrorist targets, and need all the protections they can get.

Castles in the Sand (NYT)

proof that anything can be pulled from your butt and put to academic candences, once you've learned the sound.


Pragmatism, fiscal and otherwise, dictates that we cannot afford to continue the cycle of development and destruction on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

One War We Can Still Win (NYT)

the gloom meme

we're not losing in iraq either. we're fighting in iraq.

left : if there's a fight, we're losing.

but things are determined by fighting. reason is based on it. it is not self-supporting.

otherwise a strategy of global menace wins over it, and, darwin-like, takes over.

publish any mohammed cartoons recently?


There is a very real risk that the United States and NATO will lose their war with Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the other Islamist movements fighting the Afghan government.

Of Prices and Paychecks (NYT)

declining subscriber base at the NYT

might be due to its risible content, you know. did you think of that?

An economy that has not been good for jobs and wages during its strong growth phase is not likely to become so as it weakens.

Reining In the Watchdog (NYT)

only leftists can be trusted

it's a watchhorse, if you rein it in, or maybe a reindeer

Privatizing oversight of private contractors is no way to protect taxpayers.

Lobbying the Jury (NYT)

a ``fair trial'' is one where a guilty defendant has a 50% chance of getting off, provided he's not a republican

the news media stick to that

Court systems around the country should set appropriate standards to ensure that courtroom atmosphere does not deprive defendants of a fair trial.

Without Deliberate Speed (NYT)

panic on the left

President Bush has no more time to waste on “listening tours” and photo ops. The nation is in a crisis, and Americans need to hear how he plans to unwind the chaos he has unleashed in Iraq.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Reducing the Cost of Congestion (NYT)

imputed cost, on its way to justifying some tax scheme that will cost you $13 billion a year

Congestion pricing got a boost with a study from the Partnership for New York City showing that clogged streets cost New York $13 billion a year.

The City Life: How Green Was My Rally (NYT)

smoking ban kicks in


It’s now a regular thing for big-ticket politicians to go to Woodlawn, where the Irish pubs and delis have been struggling as people go back home to ride the Celtic Tiger.

Making the Highways Less Safe (NYT)

the driving menace

While avowing professionalism, a cadre of political contributors and industry insiders has brazenly relaxed federal standards for truck safety over the last six years.

About Those Other Problems (NYT)

leftist essay : why we became journalists

Along with its effort to salvage Iraq, the Iraq Study Group offers President Bush some advice: Government officials should not lie to the public or each other, especially in matters of war.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Agonies of Zimbabwe (NYT)

civil war quagmire intervention suggested

The suffering Zimbabwean people are in desperate need of protection, the sooner the better.

Sickened by Fresh Produce (NYT)

money needed, followed by regulations

It is time to give government regulators the power and resources they need to ensure the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Back to the Moon, Permanently (NYT)

global warming education

It would be a shame if an underfinanced program to return to the Moon on a permanent basis and then venture on to Mars forced reductions in research programs of higher scientific value.

Desperately Seeking Ethics (NYT)

absolute construction for uncontested facts

Charged with finding out who knew about Representative Mark Foley's sexually predatory behavior with teenage House pages, a bipartisan committee produced a report Friday that was a 91-page exercise in cowardice

Watergate Reform, R.I.P. (NYT)

free speech checked off

The 2008 presidential campaign will likely see to the effective demise of one of the most encouraging post-Watergate reforms, the creative use of public financing as an alternative to big-money donors.

Blood, Toil, Tears and Nukes (NYT)

nuclear weapons in nations with moonbat newspapers

The major powers would have a far stronger case for their calls to restrain the nuclear ambitions of countries like Iran and North Korea if they showed they were willing to reduce their own arsenals.

The Comptroller's Glass House (NYT)

winner republican

An election cannot overcome the possibility that Alan Hevesi, New York State's comptroller, violated state law.

Why the Achievement Gap Persists (NYT)

too much quality imposed on union

The teacher quality provision of No Child Left Behind deserves to be at the very top of the list when Congress revisits the law.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

At the End of the Book (NYT)

questions of ethical theater are big on the left

And if a novel ends with a bibliography, is it pomposity or an effort to come clean about one’s sources?

Cherry-Picking Campaign Promises (NYT)

make congress more responsive to the NYT, is the plan

The Democrats are reported to be wriggling out of one of their most important campaign vows: to repair Congressional oversight of the nation’s intelligence agencies.

Welcome Political Cover (NYT)

blandishment attempted

theater-over-principle meets principle-over-theater, makes suggestion

If President Bush has the capacity to seriously reassess his Iraq strategy, he will need exactly the kind of political cover that the Iraq Study Group was meant to provide.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Leave Bristol Bay Alone (NYT)

mosquitos preserved

Drilling in Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay would threaten one of the nation’s most productive fisheries without appreciably strengthening the nation’s long-term energy security.

When the Dollar Talks Back (NYT)

continuing Bush administration economic disaster shown

Investors remain largely focused on economic weakness in the United States and gathering strength in Europe — which portend a weaker dollar, no matter what anyone says.

Calorie Shock at the Counter (NYT)

nannyism unchecked in NYC

New York City’s Board of Health approved a requirement Tuesday that fast-food restaurants post the calories in their offerings in large type and in readily visible positions, which might well yield more important health dividends than the trans fats ban.

The Un-Rumsfeld (NYT)

pantomime unrecognized

Robert Gates offered just enough candor and conciliation to persuade most senators that he plans to be a very different sort of defense secretary, while deftly holding back any real information about how he plans to clean up President Bush’s mess in Iraq.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When Iraq Went Wrong (NYT)

soap opera news audience ratings


How did scenes of joyful Iraqis pulling down Saddam Hussein’s statue so quickly turn into images of car bombings, grieving mothers and burning helicopters?

Signs of Energy (NYT)

forget tools

man is the only animal that has standards imposed

The Bush administration has finally agreed to a strict timetable for establishing new energy efficiency standards. The agreement is good news for the environment.

Collapse of a Cholesterol Drug (NYT)

more government funding needed

the deal is, create a vast money flow, and you get to take a cut for your bureaucracy, for whatever it is.

selling it to the soap opera public audience of the news these days, is the only trick.

Women! you may die today.

tune in at 11 for more.

watch our sponsor's commercials

they pay us for you watching.

news business model.

The discovery that a promising experimental cholesterol drug can be deadly is a financial blow to the manufacturer and a sharp disappointment to doctors and patients who had been hoping for another breakthrough in the fight against heart disease.

Mr. Bolton Resigns (NYT)

leftist gadfly gone

let the stern statements of concern begin again

John Bolton’s decision to resign as America’s envoy to the United Nations was a wise move.

Losing the Good War (NYT)

treason unprosecuted

Because of the Bush administration’s inattention and mismanagement, the good war in Afghanistan is going wrong.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Editorial Observer: What’s Wrong With My Voting Machine? (NYT)

a republican must have won something


To the long list of recent Election Day horrors, from butterfly ballots to six-hour lines, add "vote flipping."

When Is a Fish Like a Carrot? (NYT)

salmon disrespected

To call a wild salmon organic is to demean it, since it comes from a place where the word has no meaning.

Revisiting Putin’s Soul (NYT)

fear of radition trumps love of leftist tyrants

The suspicious murders and attempted murders of Kremlin critics in recent months pose fundamental questions about Russia, and how the West should treat it.

An Assault on Local School Control (NYT)

constitution kowtow danger

Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in a pair of cases that could undo much of the work on racially integrated education.

Pfizer Ends Cholesterol Drug Development (AP)

$800 million name

suggestion : try Bipartecrot

The news is devastating to Pfizer, which had been counting on the drug to revitalize stagnant sales that have been hurt by numerous patent expirations on key products. It has said it was spending around $800 million to develop Torcetrapib.

Police: Teen Who Hit SUV With Eggs Slain (AP)

gun prankster meets egg prankster

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A 14-year-old boy who was throwing eggs at cars along with two other teenagers was shot and killed by someone who had been in a sport utility vehicle that was hit, police said.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Teaching the Elephant (NYT)

because they're one-on-one

like having a spouse is incredibly intrusive

by David Brooks

Many of today’s most effective antipoverty and educational programs are incredibly intrusive, even authoritarian.

Has He Started Talking to the Walls? (NYT)

theater critic derangement

by Frank Rich

The more President Bush loses his hold on reality, the more language is severed from its meaning altogether.

Scoops, Impact or Glory: What Motivates Reporters? (NYT)

Business darwinism overlooked.

The product of the news biz is not news.

It is you.

They sell you to advertisers.

People say they want hard news, but they don't (think city council meetings).

They only tune in for big one-off events.

So most people cannot be sold to advertisers.

Instead, the business model caters to the largest reliable demographic to be had, namely soap opera women.

It's a minority of even women, 40%, but a large one.

They're easy to attract - they tune in day in and day out, so long as there is soap opera news.

Familiar story lines, familiar crises, cartoon dilemmas.

The keys : inner struggle, soul searching and everlasting frustration.

This audience, a minority of a minority but a lot of people, edits the nation's news and restricts every public debate.

If they can't support the news biz, there is no alternative business model, and the news biz will disappear.

Blogs are the reaction of the rest of the population, but you can't build a business on that diverse group.

What motivates reporters is really a question of what motivates the surviving reporters.

The sensible ones, the ones who rebel against soap opera reduction, went out of business.

You might as well inquire what motivates soap opera women.

A dysfunction of one kind or another.

Same with journalists today.


Based on the hundreds of reporters with whom I’ve worked and competed, I’ve sorted out several major driving forces — and considered the potential dangers to good journalism those forces can present

Scoops, Impact or Glory: What Motivates Reporters? (NYT)

Business darwinism overlooked.

The product of the news biz is not news.

It is you.

They sell you to advertisers.

People say they want hard news, but they don't (think city council meetings).

They only tune in for big one-off events.

So most people cannot be sold to advertisers.

Instead, the business model caters to the largest reliable demographic to be had, namely soap opera women.

It's a minority of even women, 40%, but a large one.

They're easy to attract - they tune in day in and day out, so long as there is soap opera news.

Familiar story lines, familiar crises, cartoon dilemmas.

The keys : inner struggle, soul searching and everlasting frustration.

This audience, a minority of a minority but a lot of people, edits the nation's news and restricts every public debate.

If they can't support the news biz, there is no alternative business model, and the news biz will disappear.

Blogs are the reaction of the rest of the population, but you can't build a business on that diverse group.

What motivates reporters is really a question of what motivates the surviving reporters.

The sensible ones, the ones who rebel against soap opera reduction, went out of business.

You might as well inquire what motivates soap opera women.

A dysfunction of one kind or another.

Same with journalists today.


Based on the hundreds of reporters with whom I’ve worked and competed, I’ve sorted out several major driving forces — and considered the potential dangers to good journalism those forces can present.

Another New York Windfall (NYT)

stagnant local economy unnoticed

it's almost as if high taxes went with it

If recent history is any indication, we can count on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to impose some fiscal realism on another big budget surplus.

New on the Web: Politics as Usual (NYT)

mainstream lashes out at reduced influence


You might think that with the kind of rhetoric bloggers regularly muster against politicians, they would never work for them. But you would be wrong.

If It Feels Like a Dollar ... (NYT)

wasted posturing

they cannot see editorials, either

no readership increase from this one

The American government has not tried very hard to help those Americans who cannot see their money.

Losing the Race Against AIDS (NYT)

favorite interest group disease needs more money

Despite all the lofty goals set by world leaders, and billions of dollars thrown into the fight to quench the global AIDS pandemic in recent years, it is discouraging to learn the world is still falling behind.

Closer to and Farther From Europe (NYT)

dysfunctional bureaucracies criticized

no hint of an ethics challenge

As he left Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped his visit would bring ``civilizations progressively closer.'' The European Union should listen.

Is the New Congress to Be Believed? (NYT)

cartoon ethics

Democrats must realize that the ethics issue will test the mettle of the new Congress in its opening hours, and signal if real change is possible.

A Limited Time Offer to Iran (NYT)

making and lying in bed not raised

nor the straw that broke the camel's back

foreign policy by cliche

like book openings in chess


International interlocutors must disabuse Iran that it can have its uranium cake and eat it, too.

Politician, Police Thyself (NYT)

dispelling recommended

once you can fake sincerity, you've got it made


At a time when the public has routinely perceived Congress as corrupt, the House and Senate clearly are doing almost nothing to dispel that perception.

To Help a Family (NYT)

too late for an abortion

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund helped Dekiya Davis face the daunting challenge of caring for her two young sons.

Mexico’s New President (NYT)

needed economic reforms, in the NYT, means disaster

Felipe Calderon may have the political savvy to push through needed economic reforms.

Kafka and Katrina (NYT)

Kafka wrote, not horror, but satire of bureaucracy and hierarchy in general.

something the NYT usually recommends be created at the slightest inconvenience.

Yet they can't understand Kafka.

A federal district court this week found that FEMA’s aid application process was so convoluted and confusing as to be unconstitutional — and likened it to something out of a horror story by Kafka.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Japan, the Jury (NYT)

threat of jailing encourages compliance


By reassuring the Japanese that jury service is both feasible and valuable, Americans can play an important role in helping Japan’s new citizen juries succeed.

Puffing on Polonium (NYT)

radiation deaths curiously absent in millions


The tobacco industry has been aware at least since the 1960s that cigarettes contain significant levels of polonium, the same radioactive substance used last week to poison a former K.G.B. agent.

Mom, Dad, Buy the Broccoli (NYT)

the broccoli menace

For years, the food and drink and candy industries have made unhealthy products irresistible to those under 12. Now the question is whether they can make healthy food and behavior look even better.

Another Plan for Snowmobiles (NYT)

rednecks opposed by liberal elite

Scientific studies financed by the Clinton and Bush administrations have made it clear again and again that snowmobiles seriously degrade the environment of Yellowstone.

When the Joneses Can’t Keep Up (NYT)

econ 101 disparaged

you get high wages and low prices from voluntary economic transactions

each voluntary transaction profits both sides, otherwise it would not occur

add up the profits to both sides, and you notice the standard of living of the nation has gone up

the more voluntary transactions, the higher the standard of living

that, and not keeping the unemployed off the streets, is the point of growing the economy.

among things that reduce the number of voluntary transactions are taxes and regulation

over to you, nyt.

We should worry about the effects on society as a whole when members of the educated elite think they are grossly underpaid.

Bush, Maliki and That Memo (NYT)

dream related

The president’s advisers need to tell him all the harsh truths about Iraq in the vivid terms they require, and they need to tell him how little time he has left to act.


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