Archive for January 15th, 2009

January 15, 2009

Baindridge Syndrome, a/k/a Blogger Burnout?

Bill Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection informs us that Stephen Baindridge is cutting back on blogging, after confronting blogger burnout.

It happens. Jeff Goldstein goes through this. Dan Riehl has gone through it, and Dan tells me that Allahpundit — in the years before I became engaged in the blogosphere — famously quit blogging before being recruited to blog at Hot Air. So if it can hit Allah, it can hit anybody.

The real problem, of course, is that the effort-to-reward ratio of blogging sucks. Independent blogging isn’t going to make you rich, and you have finite influence as one cell in the massive corpus of the blogosphere. It can be massively time-consuming and, if you’re doing news/politics blogging, there is the inevitably massive let-down after the mad rush of an election season — which is true, win or lose, but probably more true when your side loses.

I’m a writer and “a writer writes” is one of the truisms I was taught long ago. Blogging is writing, it’s a good excercise in a medium I enjoy, and I doubt I’ll grow weary of it. But when I’m crunching a deadline for something else (and in fact, I’ve got a deadline approaching), there will be less blogging. A writer writes, they say, and a professional writer writes for money.

January 15, 2009

Rocket man

Jeremy Lott takes a look at every sci-fi geek’s fantasy object, the jetpack.

January 15, 2009

Tim Geithner, liberal genius

(BUMPED; UPDATE BELOW) The best and the brightest:

Timothy Geithner, whose nomination as Treasury secretary has been delayed by his past failure to pay taxes, was repeatedly advised in writing by the International Monetary Fund that he would be responsible for any Social Security and Medicare taxes he owed on income he earned at the IMF between 2001 and 2004. . . .
It’s possible some of Mr. Geithner’s problems stemmed from bad advice. In 2004, an accountant advised Mr. Geithner in writing that he did not owe employment taxes. An accountant who reviewed Mr. Geithner’s 2001 tax return also didn’t inform Mr. Geithner he owed taxes, according to an Obama aide familiar with the situation.

Oh, great. A Treasury secretary who has to rely on accountants to fill out his 1040. Hell, by that standard, I’m qualified for the Obama Cabinet. Despite the appointee’s problems, however, the New York Times assures us that “many senators are loath to rattle financial markets by rejecting someone with Mr. Geithner’s qualifications and international respect.”

It’s tautological, you see? Obama nominated a genius to his Cabinet, and we know he’s a genius because . . .? Well, after all, Obama nominated him. Quod erat demonstrandum.

UPDATE: Uh, Tim? Watch out for that bus!

January 15, 2009

Gentlemen prefer . . .

. . . Christina Hendricks? Anne Hathaway? Natalie Portman? Little Miss Atilla? Well, leave it to French “experts” to get to the bottom of this:

Top thinkers will convene in Paris’ prestigious Sorbonne University this week to try to solve a crucial academic conundrum: do gentlemen really prefer blondes?
During a series of erudite talks, experts in literature, art, music and film will examine the male fascination with fair-haired women, delve into stereotypes such as it is easier to seduce a blonde, and see whether they stand up to academic scrutiny.
The conference, called Gentlemen prefer Blondes after the Howard Hawks film starring blonde screen legend Marilyn Monroe, poses such probing questions as: “Why does the blonde exert such fascination and awaken so many fantasies?”
“Blondness awakens desire, probably because of the ambivalence it carries, from innocence to perversion, ” said organiser Marie-Camille Bouchindomme.

Hat-tip: Newsalert.

UPDATE: “There is a marked tendency for heterosexual men to be interested in women.” Stop the presses!

January 15, 2009

Environmentalism sucks . . .

. . . women and minorities hardest hit:

Hollywood’s Sundance Kid is hurting poor people.
So say some East Coast ministers and conservative activists, who took to the streets in front of a downtown Salt Lake City theater on the eve of Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival to accuse the actor of holding down low-income Americans with his opposition to oil and gas drilling near national parks in Utah.
The protesters, led by the Congress of Racial Equality’s national spokesman Niger Innis, suggested Redford should “relinquish his wealth” and live like a poor person. They complained that the filmmaker’s anti-drilling stance could lead to higher energy prices for inner-city residents, forcing them to accept a lower standard of living. . . .
A month ago, Redford, a trustee of the National Resources Defense Council, voiced support for a federal lawsuit aimed at blocking the Bush administration’s “morally criminal” attempt to auction 103,000 acres of scenic redrock desert for oil and gas drilling near Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Dinosaur National Monument.

“Scenic” desert isn’t much use to poor people who can’t afford the gasoline to go see it.

January 15, 2009

Democrat pushes for military draft

They told me if I voted Republican, kids would be forced into the army — and they were right:

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) likely will introduce his controversial legislation to reinstate the draft again this year, but he will wait until after the economic stimulus package is passed. . . .
If a draft had been in place in 2002 when members were making the decision on whether to support the war in Iraq, Rangel has said, Congress never would have approved the war resolution, because the pressure from constituents would have been too great.

I stole the joke from an obscure Lithuanian comic tradition and Instapundit, but mainly from Instapundit.

UPDATE: Commenter Tom: “Which Republican did you vote for in 2008, again?” Of course, he references my famous boast, “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Bob Barr” (click to buy the T-shirt). But while I refused to vote for Crazy Cousin John, I voted a straight Republican ticket the rest of the way, including my vote for Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD).

January 15, 2009

Republicans roll over for Hillary

The vote was 16-1 in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with Louisiana Sen. David Vitter as the only Republican with enough testicular fortitude to vote no. Jim Antle of the American Spectator:

It’s a pretty sad statement that so many Republicans are rolling over for Hillary Clinton. And the fact that many conservatives consider Hillary preferable to other alternatives shows that our political debate is continuing to drift left over time.

Tell it to Vince Foster.

January 15, 2009

It’s all a CONSPIRACY!

Paranoids everywhere, put on your tinfoil hats and brace yourself for this scary news:

President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in Tuesday will incorporate several elements out of America’s Masonic past.
One-third of the signers of the Constitution, many of the Bill of Rights signers and America’s first few presidents (except for Thomas Jefferson) were Freemasons, a fraternal organization that became public in early 18th-century England.
Although it became fabulously popular in America, at one time encompassing 10 percent of the population, Pope Clement XII condemned Freemasonry in 1738 as heretical. The latest pronouncement was issued in 1983 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict XVI – who called Masonic practices “irreconcilable” with Catholic doctrine.
Still, as the first president, George Washington had to come up with appropriate rituals for the new country. He borrowed many of them from Masonic rites he knew as “worshipful leader” of a lodge in Alexandria.

Democrat, Republican, black, white — no matter who’s the president, the Bavarian Illuminati are still secretly running the show. With able assistance, of course, from the Trilateral Commission, the Bildeburgers, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the IMF, the Federal Reserve, Bohemian Grove, Skull and Bones and — who can forget? — the Zionists.

New World Order! Blue helmets! Area 51! Neocons! Paranoids can fit a myriad of contradictions into their demented worldview. The only thing they can’t deal with is sarcasm. We now return you to the George Noory show . . .

January 15, 2009

‘Suck on that, stupid box office!’

“Professional filmmaker” Iowahawk has somehow talked himself into a gig as film-industry spokesman at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood.

January 15, 2009

The Greenwaldian style

“Tom Friedman, one of the nation’s leading propagandists for the Iraq War and a vigorous supporter of all of Israel’s wars . . .”

See? It’s the label that does the trick. Whatever Friedman’s argument, and whatever Glenn Greenwald’s argument against Friedman, where the real brilliance of Greenwaldism comes into play is in his inerrant sense of his readership’s attitude.

Iraq War = Bush/Cheney = neocon = Republican . . . and it’s showtime for the Greenwald Fan Club, cheering as heroic Glenn does battle with The Forces of Darkness.

Israel’s engagement with Hamas and Hezbollah is a very different thing than the U.S. excursion into Iraq. But this is not how Greenwald wants his reader to think, so he begins by identifying Friedman in the reader’s mind as a Bush/Cheney/AIPAC/neocon warmonger, ensuring that his readership — whom he knows the way Barry Manilow knows the old ladies in his Vegas audiences — will identify Friedman as a villain.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter what Friedman actually argues (in fact, he argues that Israel can tolerate Hamas sovereignty over Gaza, provided that Hamas will seriously enforce a ceasefire), the Greenwaldized reader will reject the argument because, after all, it’s coming from someone whom heroic Glenn has pre-identified as The Enemy.

Friedman is, so far as I can tell, offering a liberal argument for a negotiated peace, but Greenwald makes him out to be an apologist for war crimes. The Greenwaldized reader imagines heroic Glenn as Richard Widmark in Judgment at Nuremburg and Friedman’s part played by Werner Klemperer.

It is necessary that Friedman be darkly evil in order that Greenwald’s brilliant goodness might shine brighter by comparison, because the celebration of Greenwald’s brilliant goodness is the entire point of this drama, and the specific realities of the current Middle East situation are only so many stage props in the matinee. Excuse me if my seat is empty after the first intermission.