Friday, June 29, 2007

Joe Klein Klassics (a Kompendium)

Inspired by Atrios, I thought I'd take the time to round up every Friedman unit (or equivalent) that belongs to Joe Klein. I've limited myself to his regular print column in Time, so there are probably more out there than this, but I think the point is well enough illustrated. Updates as I continue to find items.

June, 2007:
It is, indeed, a moment of truth in Iraq. "This is a decisive phase," a member of Petraeus' staff told me and began to laugh. "That's one of our favorite jokes. It's always a decisive phase. But this time, I guess you'd have to say, it actually is."

June, 2006:
If Baghdad isn't stabilized, the war is lost. "I know it's the cliche of the war," an Army counterinsurgency specialist told me last week. "But we'll know in the next six months—and this time, it'll be the last next six months we get."

October, 2005
Iraq's fate--well, the U.S.'s fate in Iraq--will be decided in the next six months. There are few optimists left in the Congress, intelligence community or U.S. military. But the Bush Administration harbors a gossamer strand of hope that the Dec. 15 election will finally produce a strong Iraqi government, a real coalition of Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Apparently this is now a photoblog...

Taken at the (soon to be torn down) white elevators of the old Pillsbury A Mill. Woot, or something...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More of the Cat

(because I've got nothin')

Monday, February 12, 2007

Catblog Noir

Same cat, more interesting imagery...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tucker Carlson is a Moron

Not that it's really news to anyone. Let us pretend for a moment that this guy really is the 'state climatologist' (he isn't; the position hasn't existed for almost two decades). Let us further pretend that he really is a trained climatologist (he's not; he's a meteorologist with no Ph.D). And finally, let us also pretend that he really is going to get fired (he won't be; he'll merely lose the 'right' to call himself by the title of 'state climatologist' -- a title which again he does not actually hold). Even if all of those pretend conditions were met, the Oregon Governor's actions would still be entirely appropriate.

Consider the exact same pretend scenario for a different scholarly discipline, say, mathematics. The consensus view of the mathematical community is that 2+2=4. If the Governor decides to fire the state mathematician because he keeps insisting that 2+2=96.354196, the Governor is doing the right thing. Now take that scenario and make it match up with the reality of Oregon's current situation -- in that case, there would be a crackpot sociology professor at a state university running around screaming 2+2=96.354196 and calling himself 'state mathematician' even though no such title existed. Would Tucker Carlson and Co. be horrified in that case if the Governor asked Professor Wackjob to not use a fake title anymore? Actually, as Tucker Carlson and Co. are a bunch of fucking dunces, I suppose the answer would be yes.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dumbest Talking Point Ever?

"We're cramming two days of work into five days" -- Mike Simpson (R-Idiot)

"We squeeze three days' work into five days." -- Trent Franks (R-Asinine)

At least local nutjob Michelle Bachmann manages not to mix the metaphor: "We're stretching three-day weeks into five days." This is insanity. If there is indeed a problem here, it's that Congress isn't getting enough done. If they're only accomplishing three days of work per week they should be INCREASING THE GODDAMN WORKLOAD, not shortening the schedule to match their laziness.

Am I expected to feel sorry for Wayne Gilchrist? Am I supposed to be concerned that a five day work week is just too much for these poor souls? Congress shouldn't be working five days a week -- they should be working seven days a week. Hell, eight days a week.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ted Haggard & Leftie Values Projection

It was announced with some fanfare today that Ted Haggard (the fundie preacher man last seen in a Colorado hotel room, higher than Jesus and taking it in the back door from his gay hooker/dealer) has, after three weeks of intense therapy, been officially cured of gayness. Responses from the left have been (unsurprisingly) skeptical, but I think that many critics of this process are guilty of a misunderstanding of how homosexuality is perceived among religious circles. Essentially, I think that most people on the left who are mocking and/or lamenting the degayification* process are projecting their own understanding of gayness onto the hard-line Christians, contributing to the disconnect between the two sides.

For most of us, a gay man is defined by his desires to have sex with other men. It is, with this understanding, entirely possible even for a virgin to be gay. Likewise, a man who forces himself to have sex with a woman (Dan Savage claims to have done so successfully, apparently by thinking about giant cocks the whole time) is still, to us, gay. Because it is what we believe, there is a strong temptation to assume that this is what everyone believes. It is not. To a radical Christian, I suspect that both our hypothetical virgin and our closet-case actually qualify as straight. By their logic, someone like Ted Haggard isn't gay at all -- he doesn't want to be gay, he says he's not gay, therefore he's not gay. The discrepancy between the viewpoint of the left and right is not a case of logic versus illogic, it is a matter of the definition of terms. To the JF crowd, only the man who unashamedly has sex with other men is gay. Introduce shame into the equation, and -- Presto! -- you have a straight man once again.

Ordinarily this might not be so very problematic, except that in this case many leftie commentators are essentially accusing the degayifiers* of outright lying. This is unfair; the 'therapists' in question are (I think) speaking perfectly honestly when they say that Ted Haggard isn't gay anymore. It's what they believe, and they're proud of it. The word 'gay' just means something different to them than it does to ordinary people. I in no way wish to apologize for the ridiculousness of their sham 'treatment' of the man, but in order to address what they are doing, it's worth actually understanding what they mean.

* I'm certain that degayify is a word, and no doubt its absence from the dictionary is a mere oversight. It'll be in the next edition of Webster's for sure.