ustoo Dead

Sites to see:

Essential
Almost Essential
From the Left
From the Right
Magazines and Journals
Various Weblogs and Pundits
Think Tanks
Data
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Shrill Leftist Garbage

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I can't believe I haven't mentioned this... 

But my good friend Ryan decided to ride his bike from Honduras to Colorado. Crazy? Yes. But at least he's been blogging about it. Check out GoRyanGo!

-Ziggy Stardust  23:44 EST | |

Bombing Al-Jazeera 

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Care Bears, it ain't (or, the axis of bad animation) 

Here is a children's cartoon from Iran that openely advocates suicide bombing. It's about ten minutes long, but watch the whole thing. Not safe for work.

-Miguel Sanchez  23:48 EST | |

And a pony... 

Something we all should keep in mind:

You see, wishes are totally free. It's like when you can't decide whether to daydream about being a famous Hollywood star or having amazing magical powers. Why not -- be a famous Hollywood star with amazing magical powers! Along these lines, John has developed an infallible way to improve any public policy wishes. You just wish for the thing, plus, wish that everyone would have their own pony!

-Ziggy Stardust  11:48 EST | |

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Where do you fall? 

The Durex 2004 Global Sex Survey:
  • Globally, people are having sex an average of 103 times a year with women (106) having sex more frequently than men (101)
  • 35-44 year olds are having the most sex (116) compared to just 91 times for the 16-20 age group
  • The French (137), Greeks (133) Hungarians and Serbian and Montenegrins (both 131) are having the most sex, while those in Japan (46), Hong Kong and Singapore (both 79) are the least sexually active
As to the good ol' USA, we've a grand total of 111 per capita.

There are no notes on methodology that I can find. Also, where's the breakdown by age group? What is defined as 'sex'? I expect more rigor from a condom company.

Regardless, I am lagging behind.

-Ben  17:24 EST | |

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Things I am thankful for 

I try to spend extra time thinking about this on thanksgiving (as one should). I thought I'd share a few with y'all.

Of course:
  • My family, whom I love dearly
  • My friends, whom I love as family

Lifestyle:
  • Colorado sunsets - so beautiful
  • Airplane travel - I can get anywhere in the world in less than a day
  • Skiing - I'd forgotten in recent years, but am remembering again
  • The Internets - so, so much wasted time
  • The NYT, CNN, Slate, The Economist, The New Yorker whithout which I would have even less of a clue

Work:
Other:
  • Barack Obama
  • Being born white, wealthy and American
  • Countless other things, but these came o mind

How about yous?

-Ben  22:41 EST | |

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

re: Rent the movie 

"Rent" is commodified faux bohemia on a platter, eliciting the same kind of numbing soul-sadness as children's beauty pageants, tiny dogs in expensive boots, Mahatma Gandhi in Apple ads. It's about art, activism and counterculture in the same way that a poster of a kitten hanging from a tree branch ("Hang in There!") is about commitment and heroic perseverance. It represents everything the people it pretends to stand for hate. And it doesn't even know it. Watching it feels sort of like watching "Touched by an Angel" with your grandmother and realizing that although you're clearly looking at the same thing, you're seeing something entirely different. It's awkward to behold.

-Daddy Brooklyn  19:35 EST | |

The Tantamounter 

Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm back and I don't respect intellectual property 

This article is too funny to not go on our blog--even if I have to steal it. I especially love the part about the kid whose parents make sure he knows that just because he's Caucasian, he's not condemned to be a failure in life.

The Wall Street Journal

November 19, 2005

The New White Flight
In Silicon Valley, two high schools
with outstanding academic reputations
are losing white students
as Asian students move in. Why?
By SUEIN HWANG
November 19, 2005; Page A1

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- By most measures, Monta Vista High here and Lynbrook High, in nearby San Jose, are among the nation's top public high schools. Both boast stellar test scores, an array of advanced-placement classes and a track record of sending graduates from the affluent suburbs of Silicon Valley to prestigious colleges.

But locally, they're also known for something else: white flight. Over the past 10 years, the proportion of white students at Lynbrook has fallen by nearly half, to 25% of the student body. At Monta Vista, white students make up less than one-third of the population, down from 45% -- this in a town that's half white. Some white Cupertino parents are instead sending their children to private schools or moving them to other, whiter public schools. More commonly, young white families in Silicon Valley say they are avoiding Cupertino altogether.

Whites aren't quitting the schools because the schools are failing academically. Quite the contrary: Many white parents say they're leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.

The two schools, put another way that parents rarely articulate so bluntly, are too Asian.

Cathy Gatley, co-president of Monta Vista High School's parent-teacher association, recently dissuaded a family with a young child from moving to Cupertino because there are so few young white kids left in the public schools. "This may not sound good," she confides, "but their child may be the only Caucasian kid in the class." All of Ms. Gatley's four children have attended or are currently attending Monta Vista. One son, Andrew, 17 years old, took the high-school exit exam last summer and left the school to avoid the academic pressure. He is currently working in a pet-supply store. Ms. Gatley, who is white, says she probably wouldn't have moved to Cupertino if she had anticipated how much it would change.

In the 1960s, the term "white flight" emerged to describe the rapid exodus of whites from big cities into the suburbs, a process that often resulted in the economic degradation of the remaining community. Back then, the phenomenon was mostly believed to be sparked by the growth in the population of African-Americans, and to a lesser degree Hispanics, in some major cities.

But this modern incarnation is different. Across the country, Asian-Americans have by and large been successful and accepted into middle- and upper-class communities. Silicon Valley has kept Cupertino's economy stable, and the town is almost indistinguishable from many of the suburbs around it. The shrinking number of white students hasn't hurt the academic standards of Cupertino's schools -- in fact the opposite is true.

This time the effect is more subtle: Some Asians believe that the resulting lack of diversity creates an atmosphere that is too sheltering for their children, leaving then unprepared for life in a country that is only 4% Asian overall. Moreover, many Asians share some of their white counterpart's concerns. Both groups finger newer Asian immigrants for the schools' intense competitiveness.

Some whites fear that by avoiding schools with large Asian populations parents are short-changing their own children, giving them the idea that they can't compete with Asian kids. "My parents never let me think that because I'm Caucasian, I'm not going to succeed," says Jessie Hogin, a white Monta Vista graduate.

The white exodus clearly involves race-based presumptions, not all of which are positive. One example: Asian parents are too competitive. That sounds like racism to many of Cupertino's Asian residents, who resent the fact that their growing numbers and success are causing many white families to boycott the town altogether.

"It's a stereotype of Asian parents," says Pei-Pei Yow, a Hewlett-Packard Co. manager and Chinese-American community leader who sent two kids to Monta Vista. It's like other familiar biases, she says: "You can't say everybody from the South is a redneck."

Jane Doherty, a retirement-community administrator, chose to send her two boys elsewhere. When her family moved to Cupertino from Indiana over a decade ago, Ms. Doherty says her top priority was moving into a good public-school district. She paid no heed to a real-estate agent who told her of the town's burgeoning Asian population.

She says she began to reconsider after her elder son, Matthew, entered Kennedy, the middle school that feeds Monta Vista. As he played soccer, Ms. Doherty watched a line of cars across the street deposit Asian kids for after-school study. She also attended a Monta Vista parents' night and came away worrying about the school's focus on test scores and the big-name colleges its graduates attend.

"My sense is that at Monta Vista you're competing against the child beside you," she says. Ms. Doherty says she believes the issue stems more from recent immigrants than Asians as a whole. "Obviously, the concentration of Asian students is really high, and it does flavor the school," she says.

When Matthew, now a student at Notre Dame, finished middle school eight years ago, Ms. Doherty decided to send him to Bellarmine College Preparatory, a Jesuit school that she says has a culture that "values the whole child." It's also 55% white and 24% Asian. Her younger son, Kevin, followed suit.

Kevin Doherty, 17, says he's happy his mother made the switch. Many of his old friends at Kennedy aren't happy at Monta Vista, he says. "Kids at Bellarmine have a lot of pressure to do well, too, but they want to learn and do something they want to do."

While California has seen the most pronounced cases of suburban segregation, some of the developments in Cupertino are also starting to surface in other parts of the U.S. At Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Md., known flippantly to some locals as "Won Ton," roughly 35% of students are of Asian descent. People who don't know the school tend to make assumptions about its academics, says Principal Michael Doran. "Certain stereotypes come to mind -- 'those people are good at math,' " he says.

In Tenafly, N.J., a well-to-do bedroom community near New York, the local high school says it expects Asian students to make up about 36% of its total in the next five years, compared with 27% today. The district still attracts families of all backgrounds, but Asians are particularly intent that their kids work hard and excel, says Anat Eisenberg, a local Coldwell Banker real-estate agent. "Everybody is caught into this process of driving their kids." Lawrence Mayer, Tenafly High's vice principal, says he's never heard such concerns.

Perched on the western end of the Santa Clara valley, Cupertino was for many years a primarily rural area known for its many fruit orchards. The beginnings of the tech industry brought suburbanization, and Cupertino then became a very white, quintessentially middle-class town of mostly modest ranch homes, populated by engineers and their families. Apple Computer Inc. planted its headquarters there.

As the high-tech industry prospered, so did Cupertino. Today, the orchards are a memory, replaced by numerous shopping malls and subdivisions that are home to Silicon Valley's prosperous upper-middle class. While the architecture in Cupertino is largely the same as in neighboring communities, the town of about 50,000 people now boasts Indian restaurants, tutoring centers and Asian grocers. Parents say Cupertino's top schools have become more academically intense over the past 10 years.

Asian immigrants have surged into the town, granting it a reputation -- particularly among recent Chinese and South Asian immigrants -- as a Bay Area locale of choice. Cupertino is now 41% Asian, up from 24% in 1998.

Some students struggle in Cupertino's high schools who might not elsewhere. Monta Vista's Academic Performance Index, which compares the academic performance of California's schools, reached an all-time high of 924 out of 1,000 this year, making it one of the highest-scoring high schools in Northern California. Grades are so high that a 'B' average puts a student in the bottom third of a class.

"We have great students, which has a lot of upsides," says April Scott, Monta Vista's principal. "The downside is what the kids with a 3.0 GPA think of themselves."

Ms. Scott and her counterpart at Lynbrook know what's said about their schools being too competitive and dominated by Asians. "It's easy to buy into those kinds of comments because they're loaded and powerful," says Ms. Scott, who adds that they paint an inaccurate picture of Monta Vista. Ms. Scott says many athletic programs are thriving and points to the school's many extracurricular activities. She also points out that white students represented 20% of the school's 29 National Merit Semifinalists this year.

Judy Hogin, Jessie's mother and a Cupertino real-estate agent, believes the school was good for her daughter, who is now a freshman at the University of California at San Diego. "I know it's frustrating to some people who have moved away," says Ms. Hogin, who is white. Jessie, she says, "rose to the challenge."

On a recent autumn day at Lynbrook, crowds of students spilled out of classrooms for midmorning break. Against a sea of Asian faces, the few white students were easy to pick out. One boy sat on a wall, his lighter hair and skin making him stand out from dozens of others around him. In another corner, four white male students lounged at a picnic table.

At Cupertino's top schools, administrators, parents and students say white students end up in the stereotyped role often applied to other minority groups: the underachievers. In one 9th-grade algebra class, Lynbrook's lowest-level math class, the students are an eclectic mix of whites, Asians and other racial and ethnic groups.

"Take a good look," whispered Steve Rowley, superintendent of the Fremont Union High School District, which covers the city of Cupertino as well as portions of other neighboring cities. "This doesn't look like the other classes we're going to."

On the second floor, in advanced-placement chemistry, only a couple of the 32 students are white and the rest are Asian. Some white parents, and even some students, say they suspect teachers don't take white kids as seriously as Asians.

"Many of my Asian friends were convinced that if you were Asian, you had to confirm you were smart. If you were white, you had to prove it," says Arar Han, a Monta Vista graduate who recently co-edited "Asian American X," a book of coming-of-age essays by young Asian-Americans.

Ms. Gatley, the Monta Vista PTA president, is more blunt: "White kids are thought of as the dumb kids," she says.

Cupertino's administrators and faculty, the majority of whom are white, adamantly say there's no discrimination against whites. The administrators say students of all races get along well. In fact, there's little evidence of any overt racial tension between students or between their parents.

Mr. Rowley, the school superintendent, however, concedes that a perception exists that's sometimes called "the white-boy syndrome." He describes it as: "Kids who are white feel themselves a distinct minority against a majority culture."

Mr. Rowley, who is white, enrolled his only son, Eddie, at Lynbrook. When Eddie started freshman geometry, the boy was frustrated to learn that many of the Asian students in his class had already taken the course in summer school, Mr. Rowley recalls. That gave them a big leg up.

To many of Cupertino's Asians, some of the assumptions made by white parents -- that Asians are excessively competitive and single-minded -- play into stereotypes. Top schools in nearby, whiter Palo Alto, which also have very high test scores, also feature heavy course loads, long hours of homework and overly stressed students, says Denise Pope, director of Stressed Out Students, a Stanford University program that has worked with schools in both Palo Alto and Cupertino. But whites don't seem to be avoiding those institutions, or making the same negative generalizations, Asian families note, suggesting that it's not academic competition that makes white parents uncomfortable but academic competition with Asian-Americans.

Some of Cupertino's Asian residents say they don't blame white families for leaving. After all, many of the town's Asians are fretting about the same issues. While acknowledging that the term Asian embraces a wide diversity of countries, cultures and languages, they say there's some truth to the criticisms levied against new immigrant parents, particularly those from countries such as China and India, who often put a lot of academic pressure on their children.
[Mark Seto]

Some parents and students say these various forces are creating an unhealthy cultural isolation in the schools. Monta Vista graduate Mark Seto says he wouldn't send his kids to his alma mater. "It was a sheltered little world that didn't bear a whole lot of resemblance to what the rest of the country is like," says Mr. Seto, a Chinese-American who recently graduated from Yale University. As a result, he says, "college wasn't an academic adjustment. It was a cultural adjustment."

Hung Wei, a Chinese-American living in Cupertino, has become an active campaigner in the community, encouraging Asian parents to be more aware of their children's emotional development. Ms. Wei, who is co-president of Monta Vista's PTA with Ms. Gatley, says her activism stems from the suicide of her daughter, Diana. Ms. Wei says life in Cupertino and at Monta Vista didn't prepare the young woman for life at New York University. Diana moved there in 2004 and jumped to her death from a Manhattan building two months later.

"We emphasize academics so much and protect our kids, I feel there's something lacking in our education," Ms. Wei says.

Cupertino schools are trying to address some of these issues. Monta Vista recently completed a series of seminars focused on such issues as helping parents communicate better with their kids, and Lynbrook last year revised its homework guidelines with the goal of eliminating excessive and unproductive assignments.

The moves haven't stemmed the flow of whites out of the schools. Four years ago, Lynn Rosener, a software consultant, transferred her elder son from Monta Vista to Homestead High, a Cupertino school with slightly lower test scores. At the new school, the white student body is declining at a slower rate than at Monta Vista and currently stands at 52% of the total. Friday-night football is a tradition, with big half-time shows and usually 1,000 people packing the stands. The school offers boys' volleyball, a sport at which Ms. Rosener's son was particularly talented. Monta Vista doesn't.

"It does help to have a lower Asian population," says Homestead PTA President Mary Anne Norling. "I don't think our parents are as uptight as if my kids went to Monta Vista."

-Daddy Brooklyn  20:10 EST | |

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fraught with ethical dilemma 

I have no idea what a coherent and humane public policy on prenatal genetic testing would look like. This somewhat pithy article in the Times hits on many issues, including the consequences to people living with diseases detected by genetic screening if those diseases become more rare because of increased abortions to avoid bearing disabled children. Penn State professor, blogger, and father of a son with Downs, Michael Berube, who is quoted in the story is especially thoughtful about disability issues on his blog.

One of the more controversial questions only briefly mentioned in the article regarded whether deafness should be considered a disability. And conclusions? Not any from me... but here are a couple of brief excerpts:

From Deafness is not a Disability:

It has been my experience that many view deafness as a disability, in regards to their ability to perform on the job. Some perceive those that are Deaf, or hard of hearing, as not being equal in the work force, simply because of their inability to hear. Let me assure you that deafness does not affect an individuals capacity to complete a task. Provided the Deaf individual has adequate training for a particular job duty, they are just as able to successfully complete it, as is their hearing counterpart. Yes, they may need the assistance of an interpreter; however, the need for an interpreter does not indicate a disability. Interpreters are needed for communication with those that are able to hear, not to supplement a mental or physical skill necessary for job duties.

Being Deaf does not render an individual unable to perform at a given task. Deafness does not affect their ability to type, enter data on computers, draw blueprints for an architectural project, perform a surgery, teach a classroom full of students, perform public announcements, construct buildings, operate machinery etc. They simply cannot hear. This does not mean that they are not equal to their hearing counterparts. On the contrary, they are indeed equal in all aspects of life, and are extremely able and competent.

And from the Journal of Medical Ethics:

Deaf activists often argue that deafness is not a disability. Instead, it is the constitutive condition of access to a rich and valuable culture. For this reason, they might claim, choosing deafness falls well within the bounds of the permissible; it is a choice which opens up as many and as valuable options as it closes down. They cannot deny that, on average, the deaf do much worse than the hearing on a range of significant indicators of quality of life: unemployment, education levels, income, and so on. But they argue that this is a consequence of discrimination against them, overt and covert, and not of deafness itself. If society were structured to allow for the full participation of the deaf, they maintain, the negative effects of deafness would be entirely eliminated. In this sense, deafness is strictly analogous to blackness; blacks, too, do worse, on average, than their white peers, but this is an artefact of discrimination, not a consequence of skin colour. If all the disadvantages which stem from deafness were traceable to discrimination, or even if they could all be eliminated by thoughtful planning, in the manner in which we can eliminate some of the disadvantages suffered by the wheelchair-bound by designing buildings with ramps, then this claim would be vindicated. And indeed, there is a great deal we can do to eliminate such disadvantages. We can caption television broadcasts, we can provide sign interpreters, and so forth. The internet has revolutionised the lives of many of the deaf, making communication, via email, as easy for them as it has been for most of us ever since the invention of the telephone. Though much has been done, however, and a great deal more could be achieved, we can expect the deaf always to be at some disadvantage. We are, in many ways, a logocentric culture—one which is centred around the voice. The deaf will always be cut off from the buzz of conversation, always restricted to a narrower range of jobs, always slightly alienated from the mainstream of political, social, and cultural life. Deaf culture may have its compensations, but they cannot entirely make up for this estrangement.

-Ziggy Stardust  14:19 EST | |

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pretty good waste of time 

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Perspective 

NYU's Law Students For Human Rights is Objectively Anti-Torture 

Below is an action alert created by fellow law students, please take the time to call your Senators on Monday morning.

LAW STUDENTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

***ACTION ALERT UPDATE***

Friday, November 11, 2005

WHAT HAPPENED

On Thursday, the Senate approved an egregious amendment to the military budget authorization bill (S. 1042). Sponsored by Senator Graham (R-SC), the amendment suspends habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees who have been designated as "enemy combatants" by the Executive Branch. This stealth amendment seeks to deny detainees the 'Great Writ' of habeas corpus--without any public debate.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY OR MONDAY

It's not too late! We can beat this back in the Senate before the bill is forwarded to the House. The Senate might take another vote on this issue next week. Please call your Senators today to let them know you oppose the jurisdiction-stripping provision. Go to www.senate.gov and use the easy drop menu to get the contact info for your Senators!

WHAT'S NEXT?

The latest word is that Senator Bingaman (D-NM) will be introducing a bill on Tuesday that will amend Graham's amendment. Bingaman has been a solid supporter of detainees' rights. You can ask your Senator to actively support Bingaman's proposal.

(And, if you want to get a jumpstart, you can call your House reps too!)

SAMPLE SCRIPT


Hi, this is calling from . I would like to let Senator know that I oppose the amendment that strips U.S. courts of jurisdiction to hear the habeas corpus petitions of Guantanamo detainees. This measure goes too far; habeas corpus is absolutely essential to our freedom. I hope Senator supports efforts to take this dangerous provision out of the military budget bill. Thank you.

These key Senators voted Yea on the amendment on Thursday. If you are from any of these states, let them know it is not too late for them to do the right thing!

Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) (202) 224-5344
Susan Collins (R-Maine) (202) 224-2523
Mike Dewine (R-OH) (202) 224-2315
Sam Brownback (R- KS) (202) 224-6521

Kent Conrad (D-ND) (202) 224-2043

Mary Landrieu (D-LA) (202) 224-5824

Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) (202) 224-4041

Ben Nelson (D-NE) (202) 224-6551

Ron Wyden (D-OR) (202) 224-5244

These Senators did not vote on this amendment on 11/10/05 but might help us.

Corzine (D-NJ) (202) 224-4744

Domenici (R-NM) (202) 224-6621

Hagel (R-NE) (202) 224-4224

Inouye (D-HI) (202) 224-3934

-Ziggy Stardust  19:19 EST | |

The WSJ is Objectively Pro-Torture 

And, as far as I can tell, you should be too because, otherwise, you'd favor: "unilateral disarmament in the war on terror." And that would be weak, wouldn't it?

Anyway, anyone who is in to calling their senators, should call asking them to
support the Bingaman Amendment, S. 2517, to bill # S. 1042. More information is available here.

Links via the kindly commenters at Unfogged.


-Ziggy Stardust  18:48 EST | |

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Obviously carrying this blog on my back 

Ever wonder what the difference between a cruiser and a destroyer is? Can't keep track of what military rank has what power? Want the Navy's rationale for building so many more ships?

Check out GlobalSecurity.org.

Via MY.

-Ziggy Stardust  14:42 EST | |

Friday, November 11, 2005

Why I went to law school 

I could give you a lot of reasons: social justice, politics, grad school for those who can't figure out what they want to study, etc... But--honestly--I think I went to law school to help this man out. He's even from Colorado!

-Ziggy Stardust  23:43 EST | |

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Novel experiences 

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I voted for Bloomberg. 

I'm not happy about it.

First off: I need to apologize for not introducing myself sooner. I haven't posted because I never feel like I have anything particularly useful to say -- this probably doesn't count either. My real name is Jon; I go to school with Ziggy; and thanks for letting me join up.

Anyway. Despite Ziggy's strong distaste for the man (which I in part share), I didn't feel like I had any real options. I figured as follows:

1. The federal government is incompetent at best, and actively hostile to NYC at worst. As far as they're concerned, we can all go to hell, and if anything really bad happened, they could just use it to get reelected. Bloomberg, of course, totally bought into this, which is despicable.

2. NY state government is useless, and doesn't deserve my consideration. Plus I hate Pataki much, much more than I hate Bloomberg -- he's sort of like Bloomberg, but without the skill or intelligence.

3. Bloomberg, despite making some very questionable (possibly indefensible) moral choices, is mostly competent, I think. And given that I actually live in this city, this sort of matters. Ferrer seems like a hack, and in any event I don't see him being nearly as effective in most things. And despite the appeal of Rent-Is-Too-Damn-High Guy, I don't really see him being competent either.

So I pulled the lever. If this somehow indirectly involves me endorsing the Republican party as a whole, I kind of hate myself, but so be it. Next year is what matters.

-Fuzzy Dunlop  09:10 EST | |

Monday, November 07, 2005

I won't vote for Bloomberg on principle* 

And Freddie Ferrer is incompetent, so this guy may very well get my vote tomorrow.

*The principle of hating anyone who helped Bush get reelected. McCain is also guilty.

-Ziggy Stardust  17:48 EST | |

So many reasons to dislike our President 

This dispatch explaining how Bush got so grumpy about the length of a negotiating session he left early is perhaps a trifle. But doesn't the report just encapsulate what a buffoon's man he is?

-Ziggy Stardust  17:35 EST | |

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"The year I turned 90, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin." 

If I ever write a sentence this good, I will die a happy man.

-Ziggy Stardust  21:17 EST | |

"I think Park Slope is very much about this idealized version of what being a liberal in New York is all about." 

Daddy Brooklyn* and I are not like this. I swear. Not that some of my laughter was entirely without self-identification...

*I can't make fun of this pseudonym can I?

-Ziggy Stardust  19:08 EST | |

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse 

Even in these troubled times, with the wars, economic ruin, and near constant natural disasters of biblical proportions, I always had a ray of hope shining through the clouds. A little sparkle that restored my faith in America, the America my father and grandfathers went to war for, and the potential of mankind to do good.

I have just learned that spark will forever be extinguished, trod into the cold dirt of fading memories and fading smiles. I am unlucky to be left alive, alone in the cold and confusion of a world that no longer makes sense or even seems to matter. Years from now look into the empty wiskey bottles and empty hearts and empty days, when you struggle to remember what it even was that I lost that I regret so much, look here. The bitter voice of old man time calling through the fog about lost love and lost opportunity will cut into your ears like an air raid siren. And as tears fill your eyes, don't let them blur out this fact, this cold and ugly fact that all the wishing in the world won't change: this is the last year of the McRib.

-Miguel Sanchez  01:35 EST | |

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fuzzy and I were talking in antitrust class today* 

Okay, we were using GoogleTalk, but it's similar in some respects to talking and less rude to the professor. Anyway. We were talking about a grand counterfactual: what would have happened in Iraq if the United States hadn't invaded? We passed back and forth little snippets of knowledge we had concerning Hussein's sons, the Kurds, what Iran and Turkey would have continenced, and why. Basically, we guessed about the counterfacutal using what two fairly well-read Americans in 2005 would know about Iraq's political history prior to March 2003. And of course we couldn't come to any conclusions because we hardly know anything. But does anyone? (Certainly not in the Administration, that's obvious.)

All of this is just a windy prelude to an interesting blog post by Tim Burke about meeting Juan Cole and what Cole's scholarly expertise means for the blogosphere and in politics. Enjoy.

*Neither of us are very good students in that class. So don't come to us with your price-fixing woes.

-Ziggy Stardust  17:23 EST | |

For that special man in my life: 

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

All the trendy kids are doing it. 

A short rant on how much the Denver Post Online sucks 

A lot. It sucks a lot. It took until the middle of the headline story to state whether D has passed (not everyone has Ben looking out for their interests). Or for instance, yesterday the lead story in the Denver Post was the Broncos victory. Bah! Why can't the NYT cover my old state more closely?

-Ziggy Stardust  12:10 EST | |

C,D 

Looks like I picked the wrong time to quit huffing glue 

I mean quit smoking weed. It's legal now in Denver. In a way.

In any case, the ghost of Peter Tosh is giving Denver voters a hearty "thumbs up" and kicking the ghost of Ronald Reagan in the balls.

-Miguel Sanchez  10:26 EST | |

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

So you want to know more about Alito than his nickname? 

The Pointlessness of Pseudonyms 

Yeah, they'll never find me...

Via this Slate article.

-Ziggy Stardust  14:39 EST | |

Miguel's guide to pseudonyms, p. 2 



Good Pseudonym: Lewis Carroll

+Better sounding than his real name

+Perhaps some kind of anagram I am too lazy to figure or google

-pervert

Had he lived and posted on ustoo: Prof. Frink

Bad Pseudonym: Miguel Sanchez

+It's from The Simpsons

-The simpsons? that's real original. Do you want a fucking medal?

-Can make people think you are racist

-Miguel Sanchez  10:58 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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