Friday, September 30, 2005

Quote of the (Fri)day

In addition to last night's late night installment of a perfectly random Moby Dick quote taken from the front page of a book at the "new" Domus (the Pogue's Frigate), here is a multitude of sport's dumbest quotes. There are some beauties, and it is tough to select just one to get you excited to click the link and read 'em all. But the deadpan classic has to be as follows:
Darrel Chaney on how management could keep the Braves on their toes:
"Raise the Urinals."

It's another Rum and Coke Friday, and there is a (relatively) blue sky rolling in from the ocean. I love that these come around every single week.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Nothing... Wonderful in signs, and Significant in wonders!

Words are sometimes ridiculous.
People, even more so:

Signs and wonders, eh? Pity if there is nothing wonderful in signs, and significant in wonders! There's a clue somewhere; wait a bit; hist - hark! By Jove, I have it! Look you, Doubloon...

'Tis a right-straight mystery. Yet who holds le secret?

Paddy Power Have Declared...

Is this a first? Under no obligation to do so and, absurdly, a mere 7 games into a 38 game Premiership season, Irish bookie Paddy Power have taken the bold step of paying out all bets on Chelsea to retain their title. The Press Release is hilarious:
'Chelsea are clear of the pack and not looking like they will be caught,' the
company said. 'Accordingly, Paddy Power have declared the title race over...'

An embarrassing slap in the face to the other 19 teams. Liverpool has only played 5 (five!) of their 38 games! Even more hilarious is the fact that the move is not unprecedented. The Soccernet article notes that a similar early pay out on Arsenal in the 02-03 season backfired when Manchester United caught them at the wire.

Perhaps the Irish are looking to lay a curse on the frontrunners? Here's hoping.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Severing Old Ties

Jeffrey Simpson [Google's backdoor here] on yesterday's GG ceremony with the unstated question that should be on our collective mind:
So how is the process to begin of transforming this office into the country's de facto and de jure head of state -- of saying that we have matured sufficiently as a country to bid a respectful adieu to an old tie that might have served Canada well when it was a different kind of place from the one personified yesterday by the new Governor-General?

Once King Charles starts gracing the back of our coins, it will only be a matter of time. Time for a high-profile politician to grab hold of the issue and forward the debate. Calling all leaders.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Another MP Wades Into the 'sphere

Welcome James Moore's new effort. Keep your eye on him - a relatively young, articulate Westerner who Calgarygrit has pegged as a future PM. Slowly but surely, the medium's usage and usefulness expands.

Still out there, McNair? I guess we still await the first Liberal MP to set up shop in blogger. Come to think of it, though, have any of your 5 wishes from June 23rd come true?

"...Before They Became the Box"

Heh. Nice Wellsian twist on the most annoying of all cliches.

Friday, September 23, 2005

"You are faster than you think"

The title above: a great ad circa last year on the underground in Munchen, timely in the memoria to Sir Terry Fox, and (less ceremonially) my recent flight path to Toronto.

How else to explain the oh-so-short time from my apartment to an exit from the shuttle at the Royal York. Not a bad place to drink pints of Guinness, is the old Irish Embassy at Yonge/Wellington. Never fully discovered the identity of the classic Irishman skulling a pint pictured above the bar, but will soon enough. Once again, the Irish writers poster featured prominently. And also some acknowlegment of the unheralded aspects of Tom Jefferson's genius, as "america's foremost XVIII Century wine connoisseur and viticultural expert". Who knew?

There is something lovely about flying over/into a city, noticing the skyscrapers and landmarks from the aircraft window (does anyone really call the SkyDome the "Rogers Centre?) and remarking to the fellow passenger that you will be living it up, pint in hand, amidst the downtown in a matter of moments... Get thee there, I say, as old Hamlet quotes the demands to Yorick's skull. Which calls for the full repetition of possibly the loveliest of the (fri)day quotes. Because this time it's by Shakespeare.

But for the reminiscing of the old days of Oktoberfest, "get thee to my lady's chamber" or "a fellow of infinite jest" or "excellent fancy" or "flashes of merriment" or "make her laugh at that" would all serve as excellent titles to the post above. Though I do like the notion that everyone is "faster" than they think. Time wins anyway. Regardless of context. Even versus Tim R. AWOL Cooper. Where are you buddy? Tomorrow is the wedding of Heather Patterson. Pictures to follow. But to the genius of Shakespearean words:
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.

Monday, September 19, 2005

What (40% of) Canadians Want

Good news. Our 3 main federal parties seem to know what we all want:

"That would be a confidence vote by definition," Mr. Layton told reporters. "I can tell you where we're going to stand on that one: firmly opposed, as will the vast majority of Canadians."

Liberal MP Françoise Boivin (Gatineau, Que.) told The Hill Times that although the Liberals will be ready if an election is called in the fall, she speculated that it's highly unlikely. She said that if the opposition parties tried to defeat the government in the upcoming session, they'll have to face public backlash because Canadians want to see the two Gomery reports before they cast their votes.

Conservative House Leader Jay Hill (Prince George-Peace River, B.C.) told The Hill Times that he can't prejudge what his party will do in terms of trying to defeat the Liberals before Justice Gomery reports. "Every day is a new day," he said. "We take everything one at a time and weigh everything day by day to see if it's in Canada's best interest. Our intention is to wait until he reports because that's what Canadians want."
Heh. Such a cheap and easy political out, as if Canadian opinion on any issue were so clear cut. Frankly, they are often divided almost straight down the middle. Our MPs would do well to read the latest Leger Poll. One telling example: opinion is divided 45 - 41% on whether the Opposition should defeat the Liberal minority this Fall.

I am tired of listening to this ridiculous substitute for a lack of any argument on the correctness or desirability of a given position. Our stance is correct not because it has merit, or is principled, but because it is "what Canadians want". At least Layton attempted to qualify his usage with the words "vast majority", though I venture to say his assessment is still starkly wrong.

This is the level of debate in Canada these days - plain assertions backed up by a self-assurance that basically the entire country is on side. Perhaps that is the mindset that develops when it only takes 40% of Canadians to gain complete control over the workings of the federal government.

Put that way, it makes sense. So next time you hear a federal Canadian politician blathering on about what Canadians want - just add the 40% in front. It rather explains why both sides could make opposing statements and still technically be accurate.

How embarrassing. But neither the media nor the population demand anything more. There is a true poverty of discussion on ideas, and the country as a whole is the worse for it. Still no real new thoughts, plans, or proposals on healthcare reform - from anyone - 102 days and counting since the Chaoulli SCC case. Don't worry though. As the Prime Minister so heartily reminded us in the days after the ruling, "We're not going to have a two-tier health-care system in this country... Nobody wants that."

Easier to avoid tough questions/decisions if you deny something's existence, I suppose. But you can throw your "politics of achievement" out the window.

Alas, for leadership. If only we could import the British press for a few months. They'd at least delight in ripping these pretenders to shreds.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The World's Biggest Fair

It begins today. Last year we were there, and what a time. I hope old Max, Raphael and his high school posse, and the lovely Elena are at it again. Some day we'll be back. But next up on the epic list is Carnivale or Mardi Gras.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Beat Poem

Just discovered last night (and ridiculed for my habit of printing off poetry and reading it over liquor at the bar) are the following gems from Richard Brautigan's The Pill versus the Springhill Mine Disaster. Marvelous. A great collection of selected others is here.

This one is far from my favorite, incomprehensible in fact, but appropriate given our namesake. Do go and spend some time reading some of the other Baudelaire inspired writings. Genius in the Kerouacian way. I have printed off a whole new list for a late afternoon beginning of Keith's here.


When I was hitch-hiking down to Big Sur, Moby Dick stopped and picked
me up. He was driving a truckload of sea gulls to San Luis Obispo.

"Do you like being a truckdriver better than youdo a whale?" I asked. "Yeah," Moby Dick said. "Hoffa is a lot better to us whales than Captain Ahab ever was.

The old fart."

Have a sweet weekend - I note as I write (most of these dates are still on Greenwich Mean Time) that the Happy Hour at Tiger has just come to an end. Here's hoping that TRAC has a few pitchers or wine bottles on his table as I get set to find some of mine own on this side...

The "Indispensible" Principle

Stuff like this annoys me:

"For sincere friends of freedom..."

Forget the context, forget the speaker. It seems an incessant refrain from Republicans and NeoCons down south. If you don't support the intervention in Iraq, you are somehow "anti-freedom".

Friends of Freedom. What a joke. As if the poor, homeless, and uneducated could be considered "free" simply because they have the right (not the ability) to trade across borders. An inherent aspect of my political philosophy will always involve an examination of proposals regarding the treatment of society's most unfortunate.

Only the most ardent communist ever called for equality of result. Equality of opportunity is simply not "freedom from...". It is also, on an equally important level, the "freedom to...". As a society we have a moral responsibility to our neighbours, and sorry but the best way to organize such an effort efficiently is through a central government-type system accountable to its constituents. I have a few other quotes for this Friday, but the truest and most guiding is this simple, masterful verse from Whitman's Leaves of Grass.


"OF Equality—As if it harm’d me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself—As if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same."

That's it. In my mind, the true vice of Bush (and Cheney, and Haliburton, and - heck - lots of Democrats) is the criminal neglect of this core principle. As if it were not indispensible. Not just an American "dream", but - purchance, someday - a global reality. A wonderful thought on which to begin another Rum and Coke Friday! ;-)

Quote of the (Fri)day

It goes to Scott Brison, who I talked briefly with last night as he made a surprise appearance at a Young Liberal function I crashed pre-Domus (free beer!) to welcome Reg Alcock on his visit to Halifax. It goes a long way toward explaining how Liberals imagine themselves - and how they have successfully positioned themselves over the coveted "center":
"We're the only party that can defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the
Canadian Taxpayer."
Beautiful (and revealing) in its simplicity, non? The left will howl that the Liberals drag their feet terribly in implementing our principled, progressive ideals (where was Paul Martin, M.P., when some of these key Charter-related votes came up in the House) while Conservatives will mock the very notion that Liberals have been responsible handlers of taxpayer monies.

Still, this powerful notion lingers. The single greatest failing of the NDP is that they still can't convince a super-centrist like Jeffrey Simpson that they would be responsible guardians of the Treasury. That column that basically laughs at them appears every election. That's one of the reasons I'll drift Green - they get it. You can be pragmatically left-wing and believe deficits are crucial. Let's address it explicitly. Until Layton does, his party will always be marginal.

Conversely, the Tories - at least, in the public's perception (which is everything) - are seen as threatening progressive rights. Anger. Fear. Back to the old days - of discrimination, abortion, capital punishment, etc... Until they address that, forget government. Most bloggers on the right know this, and were ashamed to watch Harper go to the wall to prevent the "devastating effects" of same-sex marriage. In ten years, polysci students will look back at that as the most bone-headed maneuver in recent Canadian political history.

Opposition parties need to accept that the Liberals have a natural, default advantage. Accept the cliches as a given. To form a government, you need to beat THEM - you have to stop complaining about how everything seems skewed in their favour at a generic level. Ties go to who we have grown comfortable with. So just go out, be smarter/faster/better, and win. The country, and the Liberal party, will be better for it in the long term.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Notes and Quotes from the Dish

If you aren't reading Andrew Sullivan's blog, the Daily Dish, you are missing out. He's a perennial favorite of Cooper's as a wonderful libertarian/conservative spokesman. He's also extremely quick witted, well read, consistently interesting, and the rare independent who's not afraid (in fact, he's eager) to call a spade a spade.

Perhaps my fondness for his commentary grows when we're in full agreement, but that's not the point. Sullivan is a highly insightful and original voice of the blogosphere. The past several days have seen a slew of great posts. Here are some selected highlights from his site the last few days, but click on the links to read the posts in their entirety, or just go over and scroll:

(1) Bush ponders what's possible at the UN.

(2) "No liberal Democrat would ever have managed to spend as much and as incompetently as this administration." What was Howard Dean's line about balancing the budget? Oh yeah: "No Republican president has balanced the budget in this country in 34 years. If you want to trust somebody with your taxpayer dollars, you'd better elect a Democrat because the Republicans can't manage money."

(3) Also: "This is what conservatism has now come to mean: the worst aspects of big government liberalism with the worst aspects of meddling in the moral decisions of people's private lives." Another blistering, concise attack on the Republican clowns in charge. Why can't the Democrats make the case just as easily?

(4) The Onion predicts the future.

(5) "After all that money poured into homeland defense, we still have no capacity to act swiftly to save lives after a major attack. This is not only a betrayal of his campaign promises; it's a betrayal of war leadership; and, much worse, it's an invitation to our enemies to attack." In that sentence, along with a cry for fiscal sanity, you have the first Democratic talking points for 2006.

(5) Tom Delay visits a shelter post-Katrina: The congressman likened their stay to being at camp and asked, ``Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?''

Sunday, September 11, 2005

September 11th

My second day of law school. Never to be forgotten.

Via instapundit, here's an excellent commemorative slideshow. I am in full agreement with an old post of McNair's that anti-American diatribes make me sick, and the smugness with which too many view our neighbours is damn frustrating.

The type of relativism evident in Heather Mallick's Globe column yesterday is still all too evident. Criticize the current administration, fine. But do you really need to compare Bush to Chairman Mao and Joseph Stalin to make a point?
Remember the American Century? It was a lot like the Great Leap Forward. For there was another man once who thought about his own populace the way Mr. Bush does about his. He, too, had his privileged court of acolytes, fine homes and a yearning for superpowerdom that allowed him to send food aid around the
Communist world, as his people starved. He, too, had a vast voiceless population
living in astonishing poverty even as other world leaders (like Richard Nixon) paid him homage. His name was Mao Zedong.

Just as Barbara Bush casually points out that underprivileged flood victims are actually better off now, Mao dismissed the suffering of the peasantry as they starved to build his shoddy steelworks and collapsing pointless dams. (Odd how China and the United States are both crazy for dams.) Mao cared no more for his peasant dam-builders than Stalin did for the welfare of his own troops and citizenry.

Simply unbelievable.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Hear, Hear

TDH Strategies, September 9th:
"Herein lies the crux of the problem with politicians these days - they are so concerned with winning that they aren't prepared to lead. Leadership involves risk, and it takes courage to not be afraid of losing their grip on power."

Exactly. This has long been a criticism of mine re: the federal Liberals and their party stalwarts. Sometimes you get the sense that they don't much care what ultimate decisions are made, so long as they are the ones to make them. If I respect anything of Harper and the Tories, it is their (seeming) conviction that there are some matters of principle that they would bring to the government, that they are prepared to lose an election over, even as I disagree with much of their platform.

Following the so-called "will of the people" is a central element in any democracy, don't get me wrong. But real leadership involves bringing ideas to the table as well, and persuading/convincing a majority of their value. We haven't had those type of arguments and contests in Canada at the federal level for awhile. And all political parties are to blame for it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Year (and a day) in the Life of Ahab

Almost completely overlooked the fact that Ahab's blogging is officially in its second year, begun drunkenly as it was 366 days ago on September 8th, 2004, in the Marienplatz station beneath Munchen's Glockespiel, of all places. Through Oktoberfest and Oxford and back again, the eclectic commentary and eccentric political musings should continue - at various bursts and wanes of enthusiasm - for a few more to come. Or so we hope.

In preparing a scrapbook of sorts before the assorted souvenirs from the year abroad get dumped into a box somewhere, it has been fun returning to powerful in-the-moment sentiments captured in mere words. Time. How quickly it passes.

As for my fellow compatriot, he seems to have fallen off (on?) the wagon, and repeated attempts to verify his online whereabouts have thus far proven unsuccessful. We await his return with great expectations. Onward.

Quote of the (Fri)day

The Federal Court says "Nice try, No dice" in dismissing an appeal in Samson Indian Band & Nation v. Canada, 1998. So sorry:
8. Despite the unduly and unnecessarily prolix, repetitive and ingenious submissions made by counsel for the appellants, we are all of the view that the appeals are devoid of any merit whatsoever and we will dismiss them summarily.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ageless Agassi

In one of those happy moments where you just happen to be in the right place at the right time to witness a sporting moment through its entirety, last night I decided to watch the Blake-Agassi Quarterfinal at the U.S. Open.

At 6-3, 6-3, and Blake up a break in the 3rd, it was all but over. Agassi looked completely outclassed with no hope of recovery.

But I have witnessed Liverpool comeback from the dead to win the Champions League Final this past year in the greatest football match I'll ever know and remember clearly watching the Buffalo Bills perform the most spectacular of miracles in overcoming a 35-3 deficit in the second half way back in 1992. And in sport, you never know.

Somehow Agassi recovered/survived/triumphed, and is now en route to the semi-finals this weekend in his 20th consecutive U.S. Open. Both players hit shots of sublime skill ("inside-out forehand return winners"), the atmosphere at Flushing Meadows grew electric with chants of "Andre", and the outcome as glorious as it was inevitable. In 20 U.S. Opens, Agassi had never comeback from a 2 sets to love deficit. What a 2hr 51 min valediction! Even the great John McEnroe was left speechless and thankful to the gods of tennis in the commentating booth. A marvelous, marvelous performance by a legend and icon of the game.

Simply magnificent. Language only takes you so far in describing it, and then you are into the asterisks. Simon Barnes nails the sentiment dead on in yet another brilliant sporting column, maybe the column of the year, in another context. ****. Go read it for its truth.

That’s sport. That’s ****ing sport for you: always at one emotional extreme or another, and always filled with lavish numbers of these hard, offensive, irresistible more-than-words.

Sport. ****ing hell.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

They Never, Ever Learn

September 25th, 2000:

"Will the Prime Minister, who disagrees with his finance minister on the high marginal rates of taxes and who now disagrees with his MPs, do one of two things? Will he either resign because he has no support over there or call an election based on his record of being the highest taxing leader in the G-7 countries?

-Stockwell Day, leader of the Canadian Alliance, in the House of Commons, providing Chretien with the excuse needed to call an early election later that Fall and leading to another Liberal majority government.

September 7th, 2005:
"The Liberal party thinks they've got great polls? Call the election - we've got the money, we've got the candidates, so ask them what the problem is."

-Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, on the eve National Caucus
Meeting, providing Martin with a possible excuse for an early election later that Fall, one most likely to lead to another Liberal majority government.

"Well, I followed the instructions!"

Classic Seinfeld scene tonight from "The Stranded" that I had not really noticed before. Its absurdity had me laughing hysterically, though I suppose it is one of those clips you need to see:

Cut back to Kramer and Steve, they're obviously tanked. Kramer is in the middle
of a story.

Kramer: So, I'm chasing these doves down the street and she's screaming at the top of her lungs, and then when the magician comes back from Europe, two of them turned brown! Well I followed the instructions!

They both erupt in raucous laughter.

Steve (hysterical): Ah, they turned brown!! Brown!!

Long may television's funniest show live on in re-runs.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

World Cup Briefing

A few notes, as the Premiership pauses for World Cup qualifying:

(1) Well done to the Aussies once again, the perennial champs of the Oceanic Qualifying Group, as they are now one step from Germany. The major task remains however, as a friend from St. Hugh's lamented to me over pints back at Oxford. They must play the 5th place team in South America to make it through. Yoikes.

(2) The Americans are showing surprising form. I had to get my ears checked when I heard that FIFA ranks them 6th in the world, ahead of the likes of England, France, Germany, and Italy - and that's BEFORE victory over #5 Mexico to win the group. That just doesn't make sense. I still think sportsinteraction.com's odds that the U.S. will win the World Cup in either 2006 or 2010 (currently paying 19 to 1) are overblown. But who knows.

(3) Please let this be England's year. The articling schedule might just enable me to make a return overseas for a few days in June-July 2006. Oh, to be in London during England's quest for world cup glory! This year might just be the last best shot for awhile. One can dream.

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Mockery?

Cherniak thinks Bush is making a "mockery" of the U.S. Supreme Court with the nomination of John Roberts for Chief Justice, partly because of his lack of experience as a judge. But according to wikipedia:
Most Chief Justices, like William Howard Taft (a former President himself) and Earl Warren, are nominated to the highest position on the Court without any previous experience on the Court, or indeed in the entire United States Judiciary.
And say what you will about Roberts, the man has one heck of a resume. Dick Morris was probably right back in July when he noted the deftness of this particular choice. The simple fact is that the structure of the (re) nomination requirement means it's almost too politically explosive to submit someone on the current bench.

I'm unlikely to be pleased with any judicial nominee of Bush's. I do know I'd definitely rather Roberts over Scalia.

The New Chief

As usual, SCOTUSblog has the best early commentary on the confirmation of the new Supremes. Especially instructive is this post on the tactics behind the swift decision to appoint Roberts Chief. Lots to contemplate.

The Roberts nomination has Liberal groups up in arms down South but, absent any as-yet-undiscovered silver bullet, this will almost certainly pass. Sad as it is to concede, this fight was really lost last November. Given those stakes, I wonder if an argument for mandatory retirement will ever get off the ground - considering Roberts could very well sit at the head of the Court for 30-40 years. Needless to say, his first few decisions will be fascinating to read.

The focus will soon swing significantly toward the new nominee - and the framing wars have begun in earnest. At this point, my money's on Justice Edith Clement.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

"The Central Issue of this Presidency"

It remains a question of basic competence, says conservative Andrew Sullivan, in a comprehensive and definitive take on Katrina and the aftermath for the Sunday Times. Read the whole thing. The depth of the tragedy continues to stagger the mind as more and more information comes to light. Just heart-breaking.

UPDATE: a prescient column by David Brooks at the NYT on the development of a possible seismic shift in American politics. Money quote:
Katrina means that the political culture, already sour and bloody-minded in many quarters, will shift. There will be a reaction. There will be more impatience for something new. There is going to be some sort of big bang as people respond to the cumulative blows of bad events and try to fundamentally change the way things are.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Big Easy Recovers

I don't like incessant reporting on national disasters. I don't like how the news always leads with stories of crime, death, and violence in the shocking, instead of the greater and more imporant reporting on the structural catastrophes in our world that, for example, lead to one African dying of malnourishment every 3 seconds. But the sinking of New Orleans is tragic on a majestic scale. I mourn for those caught, trapped, or dying in the Bayou - but I must admit that my prior concern is for the city itself.

Such a city.

On the home leg of the Kerouac-Cassidy holy trinity (NY - LA - Mexico City - NY) and also home to one of the world's greatest celebrations of all. This is not the time for patronising comments that America (or more particularly the South) is violent, full of guns, and forgets its underclass. I am not surprised that this vacation President's administration has been almost completely ineffectual in assisting with the disaster, but that also is a political judgment from across the aisle, and there will be a time for that strong criticism (Democrats for the House?). Bush never seems to get his comeuppance, though his failings on this issue are pretty obvious and provides greater evidence that he'll never ever be remembered as a great (or even good) Commander-in-Chief. Comments that God has washed away a valley of sin and wickedness are that much more disgusting and disgraceful.

It is time to mobilize, to help out (notice Moveon's incredible location of 34,000 beds in 24 hours), to contribute. And to commit. Easily done. Ahab declares a pilgrimage for February 28th, 2006. Mardi Gras. Likely to be one of the most special and beautiful of celebrations of them all. See you there, for jazz, song, and festival. Gongshow and TC, I'm looking to you.

Like New York, my money's on N'Orleans. The Big Easy recovers. And even Stronger than before.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

(No) Labour Day Weekend

I had no real plans for the upcoming Labour Day Weekend - until now:
A&E Details '24' Airings, Season Four Marathon
By Brian Ford Sullivan

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- A&E has detailed its launch plans for its off-network run of the FOX series "24." It all begins with a special marathon of the show's recently completed fourth season over Labor Day weekend. Episodes 1-9 will run Sunday, September 4 from 2 p.m.-11 p.m. eastern with episodes 10-24 on Monday, September 5 from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. eastern.

Perfect - and I won't even have to spend anything to rent the DVDs.


Because the most randomly absurd justifications for "all-night public revelry" are almost always the best, Ahab salutes the citizens and pilgrims of Bunol in Spain on yet another successful throwing of the tomatoes. One fine August 31st, there we'll be.

Kaplan's Lousy Analogy Watch

Another in Fred Kaplan's classic series debunking lousy Bush analogies of the Iraq War. Over at Slate, he expertly puts to shame the recent comparison to World War II. Money quote:
"As with his constitutional comparison, it's a tossup which aspect of this rhetorical game is more egregious: the fact that the two wars are so vastly different in nearly every way imaginable, or the fact that, if they were as similar as President Bush proclaims, he is doing so remarkably little to wage this one."

For previous mocking of Bush's attempts to strain history for partisan political purposes - Philadelphia 1787 is not remotely comparable to Baghdad 2005, nor is an analogy of the democratic process in the Phillipines at all comforting. The post-WWII reconstruction comparisons were also torn apart back in 2003.