No other way to describe their thoughts, words and deeds.
'Nothing like a doormat (or two)':
Hey, Hub Blog likes doormats.
It was a fun Father's Day game to attend. ... Clement rocked.
... To bring up the heresy issue again (Wrigley vs. Fenway), I must say Fenway is looking snappy these days. Yesterday was my first game there since 2003. The outdoor cafes, the Yawkey Way bustle, the new park seats, all improvements on recent improvements. I still give the nod to Wrigley, but the Sox are doing a fine job with the park and area. It keeps getting better each year.
'Sweating with the enemy':
Never mind how the headline establishes how the story is framed
at the start, i.e. the "enemy." How about the ending? Turns out the Titanic, earth-shattering, WWII-like, life-or-death "dilemma" over whether the heroic upper-middle class protagonist should be working out at Curves really doesn't matter that much to her. ... It was the long
cover story of the Globe Magazine today. ...
So I don't get accused of a being too anti-Globe (and I am a Heraldite), how about running a far more worthy magazine cover story about a mother who is asked -- out of the blue -- by her her 16-year-old son whether he should join the Army?
Now there's a "dilemma." Joan's moving piece was about 700 words. The "Sweating with the enemy" piece was God-knows-how-long beyond worth mentioning. ... Curves vs. War. Which do you think is more important?
'Well, that was then':
More on Gov. Somersaults.
-- Radio Blogger
has more from our 'very effective governor of the Bay State' who was away from his duties again yesterday, in California, attending a Flag Day dinner, calling into the Hugh Hewitt Show, commenting on Dick Durbin's outrageous comparison of U.S. treatment of prisoners to Nazis. Mitt thinks the comments are an 'outrage.' Thank you. Very effective. For a presidential candidate. In Orange County. Who's effectively given up governing in his home state.'One-stop shopping for ...': Dan
have already pointed out Joel Brown's new Hub Arts
blog. I'd just add that it's one of the more impressive blogger debuts I've seen in a while. Chris has some good suggestions for Joel and points to an arts site (with other links) I hadn't noticed before, Modern Kicks.
Silly me. ...
'It all began about 11:30 a.m. ...':
Bostonians generally love old-fashioned armored-car-heist stories.
... Malden? Wait. 'Charlestown natives'
are mentioned. Now that makes more sense. So approaches to Malden are where future roadblocks will be automatically thrown up as well. Mark that down. Important detail. ... A blogger was reporting on the robbery attempt approximately 1 hour, 3 minutes
after the deed. Impressive.
'Speed, Style, and Beauty':
Critics of the MFA's Ralph Lauren classic car exhibit
are nuts. Hub Blog attended the exhibit last night and had a blast. My favorite: the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe. It was so strangely ugly, it was beautiful. ... But where was the Chevy Cobalt? (That's a personal joke between Carpundit and moi. Let's see if he takes the bait.) ...
... In the MFA gift shop, they were playing the mesmerizing 9-minute 'C'était un Rendezvous'
DVD over and over again. Everyone watching had a dumbfounded smile on their face. I hadn't seen or heard of the cult film before. Now I know why it's a cult film. 'We now know the truth':
OK, the Downing Street Memo is now entering the Hub Blog Fascination With Arugments Zone. ... So antiwar activists say they've uncovered the 'truth'
about the administration's intent to go to war in Iraq via the memo. How about the known fact that administration members were talking about war with Iraq hours after 9/11? How about the known fact that war plans were being drawn up in late 2001? How about the President's very public 'Axis of Evil' speech before Congress in early 2002? How about the heavy pounding of the war drums throughout 2002 -- a pounding that was so loud and ham-handed that the German election of August 2002 turned on the issue of war in Iraq? The list goes on and on. The memo is old news, lefties. Old news. ...
Bottom line: The administration was intent on war and everyone knew it at the time -- even though the administration now oddly defends itself by citing Colin Powell's now discredited WMD report to the UN in early 2003. What's up with that? Other bottom line: both sides are trying to win arguments that have absolutely nothing to do with the 'truth.'
... Speaking of the German election, here's Der Spiegel's recent recap
of Herr Schroeder's 'political masterstroke' of using the impending war and anti-Americanism in the August 2002 German elections. What did Schroeder and the German voters know nearly three years ago that antiwar activists are only now grasping? ... Hub Blog has long contended that the 2002 German election is Exhibit A in the case against the Bush administration's bungled pre-war diplomatic efforts. Without Herr Schroeder in office, there was no way France's Chirac would have led the pre-war antiwar charge alone. Without French and German pressure, Turkey probably would have allowed U.S. troops to invade from the north. With troops invading from the north, we probably would have had enough troops to crush any upstart insurgency. The U.S. is now paying the price for the administration's prewar contempt for allies and world opinion. ...Update
-- Great story by the Monitor's Dan Murphy
, future film star, on his role in a film about the Iraq war.
'Modern Marvels: The Cape Cod Canal':
The History Channel
ran a good 'Modern Marvels'
show last night on the building of the Cape Cod Canal. I had no idea how daunting and controversial the project was at the time. Author Robert Farson
was quoted in the documentary. ... Here's another book
on the Canal. ... FYI: The show repeats on June 25 at 4 p.m. Use the History Channel's search engine and type 'canal' to find more on the episode. I couldn't find a permanent link.'Statue panned every witch way':
The Salem 'Bewitched' statue
is actually worse than feared. It's nothing more than a silly corporate commercial. ... But read till the end of the article and see what a certain historian considers 'serious' treatment of witch history in Salem. The invasion of Panama? When push comes to shove, the ideological high-brow can always be counted on to out-silly the silly. ...Update
-- Speaking of high-brow silliness.
... Is it low-brow to wish the cable had snapped?'Unpoliced conversation':
The Archbishop of Canterbury
is worried about 'unpoliced conversation' over the web. Compared to 'policed conversation,' Reverend? But, curiously, Williams' main thoughts on the new medium are contained only in the lede. The rest of the article is about the sins of the traditional media. ... 'The left gets a memo': Michael Kinsley
, in an op-ed reprinted in the CSM
, says he's not buying into the fuss over the Downing Street Memo. But he's impressed with the left's 'promotional infrastructure' that's pushing the issue. ... To repeat a previous point on the memo: old news.
'Bobbie's first blog entry':
Milton's Bobbie Regan writes her first blog entry
(via her dad) about her trip to Senegal. ... Bar none, Senegal is my favorite African country and Dakar my favorite African city. I often tell people the fastest and easiest way to visit Africa, on your own, is to fly direct to Morocco via New York. Visit Casablanca, Marrakesh, Rabat or Fez (the trains are excellent -- and Marrakesh should be a mandatory stop) and then take Royal Moroccan Airlines to Dakar. From there you can take a ferry to Gambia (the sliver of a country in the middle of Senegal -- see map with blog entry) of Roots
fame. Morocco, Senegal and Gambia are all tourist friendly. They don't have the big game parks. But those are sort of fake anyway. The real treat is just being in Africa. ... Have the time of your life, Bobbie!
Stabilization vs. Fly-trap: Tom Friedman
is on target again today about Iraq: "It is very hard for moderate, unifying, national leaders to emerge in a cauldron of violence." ...
Compare that with Austin Bay's
recently dusted off 'Fly-trap' rationale of the continuing violence (not to be confused with the temporarily set-aside democratic stabilization argument): "The global war (Osama) so desired is being waged on his home turf, not in Manhattan, not in Los Angeles. Change has been brought to his world." ... Perhaps realizing the inherent contradiction between stabilization and Fly-trap, Austin adds at the very end: "QUICK UPDATE: You can have both liberation and 'fatal attraction' – and in fact we do. The Middle East is the real battlefield– and that’s where the fatal attractor is located. Liberation (liberty, freedom, democracy) is the long haul answer, for liberty breaks the cycle of tyranny and terror. In fact, a democratic Iraqi government is part of the 'fatal attraction.'" ...
... The connection between 9/11 and Saddam... No, wait, WMD ... Scratch that, it's about democracy. ... Er, it's about Fly-traps. ... Back to democray. ... No, it's Fly-traps. ...
The only decent rationale I've heard lately about Iraq came from Armchair Gen. Savin Hill, who said we probably had to throw a wrench into the Middle East not knowing what the hell to expect.
'I don't want to go home': Sox fans' invasion of Chicago
, as seen through the eyes of the media there. ... Hope they play 'My Kind of Town' when the Cubs play at Fenway. ... Theo vainly tries to catch up with Nomar.
'Hurry though, they're almost all out of 20th century':
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill, on a secret scouting mission for the invasion of Canada, lets spill another secret while on a R&R break:
"Summer in Bar Harbor, and again, my secret is safe -- no one goes to Maine in early June and apparently word has not gotten out. An incredibly wet May has made the early June bloom look much like high summer - full, lush rhododendron flowers, lupins blooming like mad, etc. Some impressionist snapshots:
" * Built in 1928, the Criterion Theater movie house has literally not changed since it was built. In gloriously faded, impossibly musty and genuine Art Deco surroundings I shovel popcorn, slurp Coke and watch the Republic fall to Darth Vader. The late show is crowded by early June standards - nearly 20 people in the cavernous interior. Someone chooses to sit in my row, five seats away. I resist the urge to pelt him with unpopped kernels.
" * While sitting by myself in the theater on another night I make a mental note never to watch The Shining alone in that theater.
" * I teach a bartender how to properly make a Dark and Stormy: tall glass, ice, two-thirds ginger beer; invert a spoon, and slowly allow the Gosling's Black Seal to drape itself over the ice (so it floats on top of the ginger beer) - and garnish with lime. Never drink it with a straw - drink the dark rum straight off the top. Found myself increasingly talking like a pirate as the night wore on.
" * On another day I hike to a boulder hundreds of feet above Jordan Pond where I can see pine and birch forrests below, glacial deposited boulders strewn around me, the crystal clear pond. This was followed by lunch on the lawn of Jordan Pond of hot lobster bisque, cold curried chicken salad and the eggy goodness of a popover butchered with huge lashings of butter and strawberry preserves. It was a noble death.
" * At the Rite Aid, there's a soda fountain. Yes, a real one. Before you die, you have to have the root beer float there, with the root beer made from their own syrup concoction. Hurry though, they're almost all out of 20th century."
'It's Chirac, stupid':
I slap my anti-French forehead and wonder, 'Why didn't I think of that?'
Sensible piece, as always, from the Economist. ...'It's time for changes. Soon.': Theo ain't happy.
... Then again, neither is George.
... Incredibly, the Sox are still only 3.5 games back. Or were.
'An incredible experience,' Part II: John
has more photos from China and a smart post on China's future.
... He's also stunned to learn that Deep Throat was unveiled
while away. Do you think we should tell him Mayor Menino resigned and Carl Yastrzemski was named acting mayor? Shhh. He'll find out.
'F&I devotees,' Part III:
OK, so this post isn't about the French and Indian War. But it is about muskets, Redcoats and war. A Hub Blog brother recently visited the Saratoga Historic Battlefield
and said it was one of the most beautiful and best preserved battlefields he's ever been to. ... And, yes, the Battles of Saratoga rank among the most decisive in world history.Update
-- Excited to learn more about Saratoga, Hub Blog just used an old Amazon gift certificate to buy Richard Ketchum's 'Saratoga.'
I also threw into the gift-certificate shopping cart Ketchum's 'Decisive Day,'
David McCullough's '1776,'
John Scalzi's sci-fi 'Old Man's War'
and James Stewart's 'Disney War'
(at the recommendation of John Ellis
). War, war, war. Do you think there's a pattern here?
'Some Kennedy people were involved': Mark Blumenthal
has a terrific post on Mark 'Deep Throat' Felt (via Mickey
) and the Nixon White House's venal attempt to tie Ted Kennedy and anti-war lefties to the attempted assassination of George Wallace. Bob Woodward used the FBI Felt as a source in that pre-Watergate investigation, showing Felt's pattern of opposing White House abuses. ... But I still think people like Mark and Mickey and others are missing an important point about Felt's relationship with Bob Woodward: the pre-Wallace/Watergate paternal friendship between the two, as noted by yours truly a few weeks ago
and made abundantly clear in Woodward's recent story
, even though Woodward seems to feign ignorance of Felt's motives. Repeat: Would Felt have leaked to anyone other than Woodward? Wasn't it Woodward who pursued Felt on both the Wallace and Watergate stories? Could there be an element of vanity at work in Woodward's professed ignorance of Felt's motives? After all, saying Felt might have taken pity on a cub reporter isn't exactly the heroic stuff of journalistic legends. ... Also repeat: Felt was no saint and was playing a complex power game with many motives at work. But he wasn't a devil either. I admire the guy, warts and all.FYI
-- Mickey also engages in a lot of splendid Kerry bashing, if the Felt topic bores you too much.Update
-- Someone wrote in to say that maybe Woodward is feigning ignorance of Felt's motives "so as not to tarnish the romantic image of Watergate." Perhaps true. Likely even. But their pre-Wallace/Watergate friendship intrigues and, I believe, explains something
about Felt's motives ...Update II
- 6.13.05 -- Well, there goes part of my theory. Felt did talk to other reporters.
But the Woodward-Felt friendship was close and Woodword did seem to get more out of him. ... OK, I'm backpeddling here.
'An incredible experience':
John, who's back from China, has the photos to prove it.
... Via Left Center Left.
The word on the Word, Part II:
Pumped up by reading the Word and the Da Vinci Code
, Hub Blog ambitiously set out to learn more about historic early Christianity, selecting Charles Freeman's 'Closing of the Western Mind.'
Big thumbs up. But with a warning: It's subtly anti-Christian (as you can tell by the title and, well, the fact Freeman's an academic Brit) that annoyingly glosses over paganism's faults (like, oh, slavery and sacrificing babies etc.). But it was fun reading about the Gospels and, especially, Paul's letters to believers. A true control freak, Paul was obviously a pivotal figure in Christianity's development -- in which, sadly, he also planted the seeds of intolerance toward Jews and sex. I also realized I had previously underestimated Roman emperors' imperial role in shaping doctrine and the church'spower structure. ... One last thing: The building of beautiful and mysterious physical churches was quite deliberate. That's one of the reasons Catholics are so mesmerized and devoted to their parishes to this day, as demonstrated by the outpouring of grief over the tragic burning of Weymouth's Sacred Heart.
'Now they have to deal with the curse of Pedro': They won't let go.
The heresy is right: Wrigley's better: Tony
is wrong and Steve
(sub.req.) is right: If you've ever been to Wrigley Field, you know there's no argument -- the seating is better, the convenience is better, the neighborhood is better. Sure it's a close call. But not that close. ... I was tempted to say, though, that the team ain't better. Not today.
'F&I devotees,' Part II:
The F&I devotees
craze keeps on rolling with the Massachusetts Historical Society's William Fowler coming out with his own book on the French and Indian War, "Empires at War."
Already have a copy and I'm looking forward to reading it. As the Amazon description notes, Fowler's tome is slimmer than the now classic "Crucible of War,"
also about the French and Indian War. ... FYI: The society's site
has a cool section on maps from the French and Indian War era.
...Hub Blog's profound pity for Cubs fans:
Sox fans should indeed have sympathy for long-suffering Cubs fans. But the suffering isn't just about their lack of winning. Cubs fans are now being subjected to non-stop manufactured curse babble.
... From a curse-peddling profiteer trying to dump the Babe contract for big bucks: "If a Yankee fans gets this and the Red Sox start slumping, the Curse of the Bambino might be back." ... Oh Christ. They just won't let go.
What's wrong with Kansas?: Here's what.
...'The gulags of our time,' Part V: Cathy Young
goes after Amnesty -- as well as the closed-mouth types. ...
Boston as non-retro retro celebrity non-hip hip:
I liked this Globe article a lot.
But how it got through the whole article about Boston-celebrity watching without mentioning The Track
or, a distant second, Names
is beyond me. Chalk one up to the newspaper wars -- not that Hub Blog isn't guilty of the same ommission sin now and then. Guess any talk of Boston's anti-retro retro celebrity non-hip hip attitude would logically lead to the obvious conclusion that a certain paper has a better ... Never mind. (Bending over backwards to be fair here, in case you didn't notice. I'm sure this post is zipping over the head over a certain chain blog
-- An email from Bill prompted me to tinker with the post so it isn't as vague toward the Globe. Sorry about that. As I was saying about ommission sins... BTW: I work for the Herald, the paper that doesn't carry Doonesbury.Update II
-- From Reader No. 1: "What about Improper Bostonian
? (The Hub's answer to 'US' magazine.)" ... Good catch. For that matter, Boston magazine.
NATO parliamentarians? What the hell are NATO parliamentarians
? ... Well, the Palestinians now have NATO 'observer status.' ... My immediate thought was, 'There has to be a French angle on this.' Sure enough, there is.
Scroll down till ya find the name of one Pierre Lellouche, a French deputy and president of the 'NATO PA.' Don't know if the Assembly is good or bad -- or for that matter the inclusion of so many non-NATO 'associate' members within the 'Assembly.' Maybe it's just a place where people can rattle their spoons. But Hub Blog's BS detector starts pinging when a defense alliance refers to an arm of itself as a 'parliament.'
... I'm also paying for it, I assume.
Woe onto those
who get into an argument with Carpundit
over cars and racing and don't have the facts right. ... Is Danika Patrick the next Annika Sorestam in terms of competing with the boys -- once? Nope. She's got it.'The little b@stards that are eating ...': Counting Sheep
goes to the garden store prepping for war and comes out wondering if she's a garden addict. ... Answer: No. Just passionate.'Faking it,' Part II:
More weekend fun on the faking-it front. The Herald
makes two points: A.) Mitt probably isn't running for a second term and B.) The comparisons to John Kerry are going to dog him. ... Eileen
has the quote that will dog him: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain it and support it."'Journey into Darkness':
I was wondering what happened to Tom. Sadly, now we know.
Happily, he's back. ...'Nature's ultimate gated community':
Next time someone describes Nantucket as a simple 'fishing village,' send 'em this link.
The class act of Shaq:
Shaquille O'Neal has offered to pay for George Mikan's funeral
, saying 'Without No. 99, there is no me.' What can you say? The only word that comes to mind is 'class.' ... Via Boston Sports Media
, which also has a look at the Celts' possible draft picks.
Not too attractive. Wish there was a way to A.) Keep Payton and B.) Get someone powerful and classy like Shaq.
... One more from BSM: David Scott's constructive criticism
for new Herald sports editor Hank Hryniewicz, henceforth to be known as 'Hank Herald.' Some sound suggestions on the increased use of blogs, especially Reiss' Pieces.
... Best line: "Good luck, Hank. You’re not walking into the depths of Hell, but I don’t see no white fluffy clouds either." ... Ah, someone who gets the Herald. Of course some feel they have to go through the snob motions of pretending they don't get it while linking to it.
The Most Boring Blog in Boston also has a post about Krispy Kreme.
Poor, poor Bostonist. It's trying so hard to be hip. ... BTW: I work for the paper that doesn't carry Doonesbury.Update
-- Mike Murphy
has more on the Celts' draft prospects. ...
'Boston fans are far too kind':
Hub Blog's favorite Ex-Sox Immortal Gods of Hub Glory -- Orlando Cabrera
-- came back to the power and majesty of Roma Boston yesterday. ... But our boys nonetheless taught the visiting Visigoths
a lesson just to be sure.
... Forget the gay bashing.
I want to know if the Sox have or had jumped some sort of shark with the overdone Queer Guy stuff. ... Wouldn't be at all surprised to see a Wally the Green Monster reception at Fenway today. ...‘The gulags of our time,' Part IV:
Amnesty International's Kate Gilmore
smugly dismisses criticism of use of the word 'gulag,' brags about cocooning recruitment trends and then warns about 'a ruthlessness that is deeply troubling.' And what could that ruthlessness possibly be? Criticism of Amnesty International. ...
Reader No. 1's observations on Peggy Noonan's own over-the-top rhetoric (see post below):
"I think Peggy overstepped in implying a direct link between Nixon's departure and certain subsequent events in Vietnam. I'm no Vietnam scholar but... Nixon's major actions on Vietnam, including cinching 1972 re-election with Henry Kissinger's October peace plan, suggest he recognized the obvious: the American public wanted OUT, and as events since show, we avoid foreign entanglements that don't directly impact us. It's hard to imagine our getting re-engaged in Southeast Asian combat after the last helicopter left the embassy roof in 1975 under a President Nixon.
"But Peggy's not at all wrong that the bitterest enemies of Nixon were -- heck, are - more concerned with him as 'Great Satan' than they ever were with Pol Pot, or with American decline in the decade of the 1970s. We live in Nixon-Hater Central and know this from our lifetimes of political and social awareness.
"And Peggy was especially on the mark here that 'History is an irony factory.' "
Hub Blog's response
-- History is indeed an irony factory. But if one is paralyzed about taking necessary actions because of the likelihood of ironic consequences, no necessary actions would be taken. That's where Peggy's logic starts to unravel into Pol Pot blather. ...
... FYI: I happen to admire Felt's Watergate action. But if you want to read a non-left/right critique of him, check out Peter Gelzinis' scathing sub.-req. column
on Felt's probable Hoover-groupie culpability in the sordid Boston FBI affairs. It's the best argument, bar none, for being cautious in praise of Felt....Update
-- I was going to mention how a Holocaust comparison must be around the corner. But Ben Stein
beat me to it. Via Andrew.
'An incredible turnaround with the Boston fans':
Sox fans instill self-esteem into Edgar Renteria
If you take a position that you never believed in but then later return to your original position, are you flip-flopping, faking, fake flip-flopping or flip-flop faking? ... Our dear Mitt
, who's looking and sounding more like John Kerry each passing day. Added proof: He'll blame the staff.Update
has more on the episode.
George Mikan, RIP: RIP.
... I had no idea how many basketball rules were changed because of him. ... Of course he wasn't as 'smooth as latter-day basketball superstars like Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson.' How about comparing him to the smooth superstar center who also changed the game and created the very next dynasty immediately after George -- Bill Russell?
‘The gulags of our time,’ Part III:
Hub Blog was only half joking the other day when I said ‘Pol Pot comparisons must be around the corner’
as far as outrageous rhetoric is concerned. Unfortunately, it wasn’t off the mark. Peggy Noonan
is tying Mark Felt to Pol Pot. … There used to be a day when conservatives rightly torched similar statements by liberals, such as how Pol Pot’s Khemer Rouge were driven to genocide by U.S. bombing of Cambodia, an infamous argument contained in the movie ‘The Killing Fields.’
… Peggy is right about one thing: “The old battle lines fall into place.” … Now about that impeachment of President Clinton for …'Lieutenant Bob Woodward ... sir':
What a great piece by Bob Woodward
on his relationship with Mark 'Deep Throat' Felt. There's been a lot of talk about Felt's motives for serving as Woodward's Watergate source. But another explanation, interwoven with Felt's personal sense of slight and integrity, jumps out of the article: a paternal friendship. One question: Would Felt have talked to any journalist other than Woodward, who befriended Felt before he became a reporter? Maybe. But I doubt it. It was Woodward who sought out Felt during the early stages of Watergate -- not the other way around. ... Say what you will about him, Woodward is simply amazing. He had Felt's direct FBI phone number by the end of his first chance encounter.'Something that's typical of high school,' Part II:
There are now calls to reexamine Massachusetts' statutory rape laws
in the wake of the Milton Academy episode. ... Alan Dershowitz
, who has a daughter attending Milton Academy: "This represents the most senseless use of prosecutorial discretion I've seen in a long time ... The laws of statutory rape are so twisted and convoluted and completely fail to reflect the reality of adolescent sexuality."'Europeans clearly love their way of life':
Far be it for Hub Blog to take issue with someone engaging in one of my favorite sports (clubbing lefties over the head), but I think David Brooks
is being a little unfair to the American Left. France's EU 'non' vote had so many mixed messages embedded within that it's too simple to say one segment of the U.S. political sphere has more to learn than another. ... Europeans clearly should love their way of life. It's more relaxed, less hectic. The problem is it's not sustainable. Meanwhile, I hear more and more Americans complaining about our highly charged, hectic lives. It seems we're all groping for some sort of balance. Maybe it's not obtainable. But I think a lot of people are yearning for something like, for lack of other words, a more 'compassionate capitalism' –- a phrase that will undoubtably make socialist lefties and laissez-faire righties cringe but somewhat accurately reflects a sentimental pragmaticism that people desire in their lives.... Here's a less partisan piece along the same line: 'Europe's Balancing Act.'
-- From Reader No. 1:
"Brooks is very right about Europeans looking at the future with fear and that being the context of the French EU vote. He is also right that American liberals fond looks to the other side of the pond are misguided (and there is an entire subliterature on this topic)...
"What Brooks misses is the possibility that the vote might signify a significant 'cocooning' where large swaths of the population reject the new form of centralization based in Brussels (even less accountable than local welfare state offices) thinking they can retreat into the safe old culture back home. There IS no way back. Tony Blankley
nails the role of globalization in the Washington Times yesterday.
"Also check out these typically acerbic and sensible observations from the Man Without Qualities."Hub Blog's response
-- I have no argument against those points. I agree with most of them. As I said, there are many mixed messages within the French vote. But one of those messages is a general and growing anxiety about where today's globalization is headed -- and it's an anxiety felt here as well. There IS, as Reader No. 1 says, no way back. But which way forward? I probably would have voted against the EU referendum, as I suspect Reader No. 1 would have too, on political grounds. But again: Which way forward? I'd submit many Americans are in the early stages of asking the same economic question as slow-paced Europeans, though coming at it from the opposite fast-paced direction.
'Something that's typical of high school':
So how many past and present non-prosecuted sex offenders do we now have in Massachusetts? Can it be measured in the hundreds of thousands or perhaps even the millions? I'm going to throw out a wild guess: I'd say, oh, one out of five people lost their virginity and/or had oral sex by the age of 16 with someone approximately their age. Sound about right? Low? High? OK, let's just go with the 20-percent figure for the sake of argument. The population of Massachusetts is about five million people -- meaning there could be ONE MILLION NON-PROSECUTED PAST AND PRESENT SEX OFFENDERS ROAMING OUR STREETS!!! ... But Norfolk County prosecutors have singled out three teen high school students to enforce a sex law that says you can't have sex with someone under the age of 16 (stories here
). The ex-Milton Academy students now face "at the minimum" being listed as "sex offenders" and "at the maximum" life in prison if convicted of statutory rape for having oral sex with a 15-year-old student. I'll withhold final judgment until details of the prosecutors' case spill out. But, somehow, I really don't think I'll feel safer knowing these boys are behind bars if convicted. After all there could be ONE MILLION NON-PROSECUTED PAST AND PRESENT SEX OFFENDERS ROAMING OUR STREETS!!! ...P.S.
-- Don't you also have a hunch, deep down, that the words "ice hockey players" played a role in the filing of charges -- with all the jock/frat boy/they're-on-scholarships connotations the description conjures up? ... Notice the constant use of the word 'players.' Not 'boys.' Not 'teens.' Not 'students.' But 'players.'Update
-- OK, this sounds a bit more sane
: three years probabtion, an apology and a cleared record after three years, though I still question filing criminal charges against them. ... Don't for a minute think I condone the boys' ugly behavior. I wasn't taught to treat women like this -- nor I assume were/are most boys. But treating it as a criminal
case ... Oops. Two years of probation and two years to clear their records. My mistake. The entire proceeding is still surreal.Update II
-- Hub Blog is losing the office-cooler/friends-calling poll on this issue. Luckily, most aren't accusing me of supporting the boys' actions. They just think sending a powerful signal to the boys was appropriate -- a view I respect but disagree with in terms of the severity of the signal. 'Deep Throat' praised -- but not of the Milton Academy variety:
So now we know who 'Deep Throat'
is -- and I happen to think W. Mark Felt is a hero. Just don't tell the teens what 'deep throat' really means. ... Gotta go to the source when reading about the figurative 'Deep Throat': the Washington Post.
Good article on Felt's career. ... Though I think Felt is a hero, albeit an undoubtably flawed and complex one with motives not always pure, I can't help but think how his case shows the FBI playing power games behind the scenes. In Boston, we know all about that, alas.
'Yeah, that cleared things up': Bruce
is still skirmishing with Boston Dirt Dogs
-- You gotta love it: 'Keith Foulke’s Loss of Velocity Linked to Herbal Supplement Recommended by Byung Hyun Kim.'Update II
-- Former Herald colleague Michael Gee
says farewell over at Bruce's site. Michael is a great sportswriter, a true gentleman and, no, he won't be delivering pizzas with the caliber of his skills. Via Adam.
Robocop to snoop on motorists, Part II:
Hub Blog is flattered and honored that Carpundit
has asked me an auto ethical question. I guess the best way to answer his question is to fall back on his own reasoned past replies (here
) in which he showed a great respect for the law and do-no-harm to cars. ... Of course, if I owned a car, the inverse would be true, as my previous post suggests. ... FYI: I ask a lot of car questions precisely because I've freely chosen not to own a car. You see, I was traumatized after I had to dump my first beauty, a 1977 Plymouth Volare station wagon, only to find out later that I was the victim of an inept mechanic. I could have driven my Volare for tens of thousands of miles more. My relationship with cars has never been the same.Update
-- Sniff, sniff. My Plymouth Volare station wagon
also had fake wood paneling. ... I'm getting very emotional now. I've opened up old wounds. ... "Your heart has given me wings"
'Did NO ONE in the Pentagon watch Lawrence of Arabia?':
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill reports in:
"Just finished 'Generation Kill'
by Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright. Hands down, best nonfiction book on Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I also read cover to cover Rick Atkinson's 'In The Company of Soldiers,'
culled from his embed with the 101st during the war's western spearhead up Highway 9 to Baghdad. Wright followed the Marines' 1st Recon Battalion, which acted as a flanker to the Marines' eastern spearhead (up Highway 7). So the two books are the 'book-ends' of the actual conflict.
"Here's the Reader's Digest version: While meant to be a test-bed of small-unit 'maneuver warfare' (aka - Boyd's warfare model
), the truth is the Marines failed to really put it into practice. Of course, more accurately one should say the Pentagon, which took the least-important detail (smaller forces) and married it to the most important (speed + chaos = success) and what resulted is a two-part conflict: winning the initial war; failure to wipe out its aftermath - the continuing insurgent/guerilla warfare. Middle Eastern countries are nation-states in names only after all - cut the cord to the ruling regime, and they'll all devolve into warring clans/ethnicities/religious sects (did NO ONE in the Pentagon watch Lawrence of Arabia?). You can't help but think of Boyd's admonition to the Marines: Fight the enemy; not the beach.
"Boyd's almost Zen-like approach to warfare managed to get watered down to a zeitgeist -- but not a practice of the Marines. We see this in the fact that the Marines 1st Recon Battalion was trained to be the kind of wild, glass-eating, behind-the-lines elite chaos unit envisioned by champions of maneuver warfare...but ended up being used as juicy, extra-easy-to-kill decoy bait (fighting not just in Humvees -- but in Humvees stripped of ANY protection, and told to attack head-on in linear fashion known kill zones). Wright reports the war from his rear seat position in one of these Humvees. In addition to reportage of the tragic and horrible, it's also unintentionally mind-bendingly funny. Imagine being stuck in the back seat of your family's worst road trip. Mom and Dad fight the whole trip, your brothers won't stop harassing you, there's never a good place to go to the bathroom -- and everyone in every town you drive through is shooting at you with AKs and RPGs."
The great 'nor'easter' debate -- truly finis:
One last post on the 'nor'easter' vs. 'NORTHeaster' debate. Thanks to the intrepid research of Dr. Universal Hub and Prof. Reader No. 1, Hub Blog's testy suggestion that 'nor'easter' was a mere recent invention has been blown out of the water.
But here's the statistical proof
, via Adam's comment page
, that the media indeed has glommed onto the word in recent years, wrongly making it look like it was a previously widely used word in New England: "From 1975 to 1980, journalists used the nor'easter spelling only once in five mentions of such storms; in the past year (2003), more than 80 percent of northeasters were spelled nor'easter. It's no more authentic than 'nucular' for nuclear or 'bicep' for biceps, but it would take a mighty wind, at this point, to blow nor'easter back into oblivion."The great torture debate -- also finis (or should be):
Backpeddling a bit, Glenn
links to this 'non-hysterical and well-documented' post
about the torture issue. So, please, no more talk about how torture hasn't happened. It did. In multiple places. By many different intelligence and military personnel. Twenty-seven murders. Much higher homicide percentage than within the U.S. prison system. ... Great quote: "Torture doesn't simply, oops, 'just happen.' " ... Another great point: "Moving forward, what do we do about it?" ...
I guess Glenn's post is his way of saying that those who allegedly engaged in hysteria and poor documentation might have been more right than those who regularly chose to stick their heads in the sand.'The EU will muddle on ...':
Hub Blog actually thought that at the last moment the French would vote 'oui' on the EU referendum, confounding the CW of the past week, not that I wanted the CW of the past week to be proven wrong. ... Anyway, here's an interesting political analysis
from the UK, pointing out how the French 'non' vote also puts Tony Blair on the defensive, though not nearly as much as M. Chirac. ...
'For a young man to have that level of depth':
Collin Kelly is a remarkable kid whose honor-the-veterans exploits
remind me of my 5-year-old nephew, who also dons camouflage jackets and loves all things vets. Asked what he wanted to do on Valentine's Day, he told my brother he wanted to bring valentine cards to military veterans at local VA hospitals. My brother was stunned and moved. So off they went to a local VA hospital, where grateful aging vets were given Valentine's Day cards. True story. ... And so is Collin's.
'Substitute AP for Boston Media and Tet Offensive for 1978':
The Sox break out of a slump, big time.
Their up-and-down, early-year antics remind me of this classic 13-month-old blog entry
from a wise fan:
"Substitute AP for Boston Media and Tet Offensive for 1978 or any other infamous Red Sox collapse that the Boston media will invoke whenever things appear to be going bad, and you should see the parallels."
Not saying the Sox are going to repeat. There's something missing on this team. But it's still early.
Hub Blog concedes 'nor'easter' debate -- still insists 'Da Vinci Code' true:
has pinpointed the probable first recorded use of 'nor'easter.'
The evidence is overwhelming. I concede the point. ... But I won't concede that its widespread use -- especially in the media -- didn't occur until relatively recently. Note the line in Weatherwise: "Weatherwise ran a feature article on nor¹easters in the December 1993/January 1994 issue, which was entitled 'New Respect for Nor'easters.'" What does that mean, huh? Are they suggesting that's the first recorded use in the modern-media era?Update
-- I'm getting the shit beat out of me on this issue. From Reader No. 1:
"I have a hazy memory of the 'nor'easter' term from heavy snowstorms in the winter of 68-69... a stronger memory of it from the Blizzard of 78.
"The American Heritage Dictionary 2000 edition considers it a regular word, according to Dictionary.COM.
Unfortunately, no word history here. Wikipedia has a useful short article
but no idea here when it came into terminology. One might infer as early as 1888, but that would just be an inference... the fact that neither of us remember it growing up in these parts suggests it is a more recent term."
Does he remember it or not? The mystery deepens.
'Choose honor': Hiawatha Bray
is going after yet more obnoxious assertions. As a member of the guild myself and as a reporter at a rival paper, I say good for Hiawatha. ... Via Instapundit.
FYI -- Context for his post can be found here.
'Preserved in 1963 amber':
From Reader No. 1:
"The Globe extracts Ted Sorenson
from an official US Government issue 'Great Society' Time Capsule. It is remarkable how many of President Kennedy's inner circle remain preserved in 1963 amber, true Liberal Conservatives. It's hard to imagine their hero, had he lived, remaining similiarily ossified, cooking up straw man arguments against televangelists and political opponents and imagining that the solution to federally funded stem cell research is the opinion of 'objective, disinterested scientists.'
"The world has changed. But I have an image of Ted and Arthur Schlesinger Jr today sitting around watching CBS news on a black and white flat screen TV wondering when Cronkite and Ed Sullivan will be back from vacation..."
'Robocop to snoop on motorists':
I don't own a car, so I like this idea a lot.
'The gulags of our time'? Part II: Carpundit
is going after the latest obnoxious war-related hyperbole. ... Gulags and now Joseph Goebbels. Pol Pot comparisons must be around the corner.
I always hated that guy, Part III:
The 'always hated' schtick is starting to bother even me. But not John's photos. Here's his latest
from China. I just hope they don't wreck all the old architecture in the city amid the building boom. ... And what about Irene the intrepid guide? Whoa. John. Jackpot. ...
They're now podcasting from museums.
If they're good enough, I think some people just might have found a new way to make a buck off of tours. Why not an audio guide to Battle Road in these parts? Or for the U.S.S. Constitution or Bunker Hill or the MFA or architecture on Beacon Hill etc.?
'Nor'easter' vs. 'NORTHeaster':
brings up a very interesting Boston argument that's been bugging me for a while. Is it 'Nor'easter' or 'NORTHeaster'? ... I'm with the Universal Hub Daughter - to a degree. I was raised in a house in which it was impossible for my mother to pronounce 'Nor'easter' because it included TWO ' r 's. She was from Somerville. So it was really something like 'Noth-eastah.' ... I would submit this whole argument is similar to those who pushed the 'Curse' vs. those who never heard of the 'Curse' until a certain sportswriter started beating it into the ground in the late 1980s. But, to be fair, many people born and raised in these parts distinctly remember 'Nor'easter.' So I say, let the tapes roll from the '78 Blizzard -- or something earlier. Let's see if they were putting such a heavy emphasis on 'Nor'easter,' which I've always assumed was a recent invention of TV types desperately trying to be local hip, or something else. ... Of course, my own way of saying it is a cross between 'Nor'easter' and 'NORTHeaster.' More like 'North-eastah,' with a very quick 'th', depending on my mood and the position of the moon and the number of gin and tonics in me.P.S.
-- The greatest piece of evidence in my favor is that national network TV people love to use 'Nor'easter', just as they loved 'The Curse,' a sure sign I'm right, or at least closer to the truth.P.S. P.S.
-- And don't get me going on how to pronounce 'beautiful.' My uncle used to say 'bee-ah-yoot-iful.'P.S.P.S.P.S.
-- Hub Blog is certainly open to the idea that 'nor'easter' is a Maine/North Shore accent (whatever) that somehow found it way into the mainstream New England lexicon. But I would argue it's a rather recent phenomenon. I don't recall its use as a youth.Update
-- Reader No. 1 is siding with Adam:
"'Nor'easter' is definitely the Boston native pronunciation, as in 'down the Nort'end.'
"'Northeaster' is clumsy, too Harvard Yard (sorry Hub Blog, no offense meant). Why would you pronounce 'th' in North if you were going to leave the 'n' off '...eastern?'
"Suburban passing for Boston native pronunciation would extend the 'r's to 'Norrreaster' - often how we hear it from nauseatingly enthusiastic weather afficianados like Dick Albert (sorry Dick, no offense meant)."Update II
has more thoughts and, while tipping his hat to the obvious logic of the network-TV argument, thinks 'nor'easter' just sounds better. I can't argue with taste and sentiment. But I still need more evidence
of the history of 'nor'easter.' I think we've fairly deduced that, yes, some people did and have historically used and heard it (Reader No. 1), while others have not (yours truly). But when did it start getting flashed onto TV screens and literally shoved into news stories, without quotes around it, as if it's a real word? When did it take over as semi-official terminology? I think -- know -- it's been recent. I will not concede the argument until someone shows me hard proof!
'God answers prayer!': Chris
is pumped about the debut of his new radio show on May 30. ... The Open Source program also has a blog.'Heading towards its inevitable final act'?: Bruce
is going after Boston Dirt Dogs
again (scroll down). ...
At times like this, a good reality check
has more on the brawl.
I always hated that guy, Part II:
John has landed in China
and is posting envy-inducing photos. ...
'The gulag of our times'?:
The historical comparison between the gulags and U.S. treatment of prisoners
is simply gross and shows Amnesty International has never really appreciated the magnitude of the carnage within the gulags. So how will Amnesty International describe Darfur from now on? ... Silent denial on one end and obnoxious hyperbole on the other. How stimulating.Update
-- Tom Friedman: 'Just shut it down.'
Slipping neighborhood notes under the windshield wipers of illegally parked cars was and is a good idea. But scraping a screwdriver
along the side of cars takes Boston street tensions to an ugly low. ...
Another auto etiquette question for Carpundit
: Keys and screwdrivers, bad. We know that. But how about throwing/placing/smearing rotten tomatoes on cars that are illegally parked? Update
-- Carpundit responds
in his typically reasoned manner. ... I also should have known that acidic tomatoes can leave stains and damaged paint. ... But what about rotten eggs and celery? Hmmm. 'It is unimpressed with those moves': Mitt's at it again.
This is one of those rare times when I tout something I'm doing at the Herald. I'm now blogging over at One Wingo Way: Herald EconoBlog.
... My plans are still to keep Hub Blog separate – with no ads or future links to or from my own work at the Herald. Hub Blog is my site, baby. Mine. But I'm excited about EconoBlog. I've already learned a lot about the institutional strengths and weaknesses of newspapers blogging, in the short time I've been posting over there. The site became officially active yesterday afternoon. ... Still haven't figured out how to get paid for blogging. They're not paying me an extra dime for the effort. Then again, I'm not getting paid for Hub Blog. ... And, man, I have to lose some weight! ...
'The Nantucket Diet': Oh please
- 7 p.m. -- I just told someone I should slap together a book called 'The Salisbury Beach Diet,'
based on my favorite foods and restaurants there.
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. Think Random House will go for it? ...I always hated that guy:
John Daley is going on my dream vacation.
OK, hate is too strong a word. How about rewording it to '... insanely jealous of...' Bon voyage, John! ... Along with China, my other top dream trips would be Rome (for the history and food) and southeast Africa (Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar, where the Hub Blog Sis and Beau-frere now live, speaking of reasons to be insanely jealous). ...
Michael Ross is trash talking
in a good way. ...
An hour ago city sweepers came through the old Hub Blog neighborhood. Numerous cars were parked on the street, forcing the sweeper to maneuver around them and miss garbage. So the city's new tow-'em campaign doesn't seem to be working all that swell either.
'No red states':
Massachusetts Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall delivered a remarkable you're-for-us-or-against-us speech
yesterday at Brandeis's commencement.
And that's precisely what it was: remarkable in its thin-skin criticism of critics. ... Are liberal activists now going to vow they won't criticize a future Supreme Court ruling they passionately don't like? Is 'judicial activism' really a 'loaded term'? Is future criticism of the courts going to be automatically viewed by Marshall as being violently hostile to an independent judiciary? ... I know Marshall was joking when she made the 'no red states' crack. But it did spill out of her mouth and suggest where her mind is at these days. I also know that some recent criticism of the courts has been way over the top. But Marshall's defense is also way over the top.
-- A few readers write in ...
Reader No. 1: "Remarkable is the word that comes to mind to describe Justice Marshall's address. At least it is honest in its elitism - she, like most but not all 'people of influence' (The Better Sort!) really does know best.
"I do agree with the Justice that the US has a remarkable record of obeying court decisions even when they are controversial. Remarkably, this even happens in red states!
"You asked the right questions of liberal judicial critics, and I think you know the answers."
And from T:
"Sometimes it's like you don't know what to believe in...did you actually read her speech? How was it over the top? How does it compare to the shrill court critics? I don't get it? I read the whole thing and it seems reasonable to me, just like the Chicago judge whose relatives were shot asking court critics to pay attention to exactly what they're saying."
That last clause's reference, also contained in Marshall's speech, makes my case about being over the top. To compare critics to deranged killers ...Update II
- 5.24 -- Eugene Volokh
has more on the speech -- and he picks up on the 'no red states' remark. ... Do you think Margaret has forgotten that the gay-marriage ruling was made on a 4-3 vote?
The word on The Word:
Just finished Irving Wallace's 'The Word,'
which many note is the publishing granddaddy of 'The Da Vinci Code'
and which is why I read it. Obviously a comparison is inevitable, and so: Close call, but Da Vinci is more crisp and fast-paced. The Word is longer and the dialogue a little weighty, but its biblical factoids are great and kept me reading right till the end. ... Written in the early 1970s, The Word also has that almost endearing Three-Days-of-the-Condor
paranoia about institutions. I almost expected Robert Redford and Cliff Robertson to appear at the end of The Word, with Cliff raising his eyebrows and taunting Robert about whether he can really trust the New York Times to print his big secret. ... Of course the institutional conspiracy minded
are still around.
... Next up: The Boston-set 'Dante Club.'
Reviews are starting to stream in for David McCullough's latest book "1776"
) and the verdict seems to be another winner for David. ... The NYT says the best part of the book is about the seige of Boston. George Washington's references to the New England rabble are hilareous -- 'exceedingly dirty and nasty' and possessing an 'unaccountable kind of stupidity.' There were also so many prostitutes around Boston that one area was called 'Mount Whoredom.' ...
Of course New Englanders had their own views of southerners. I've never been able to find the quote, but Armchair Gen. Savin Hill once told me about a book he read in which Washington pleaded with New Englanders to go south with him after the Northeast campaign was over. The rough response: No way. It's hot down there! We'll just invade Canada, thank you. ...
... Hub Blog is relieved the reviews are good, for the book's somewhat banal title conjured up images of the movie '1776.'
... But I find it hard McCullough's book can beat this.
... Is there an video/online game for the Battle of Lexington and Concord or Bunker Hill? Now that would be fun. 'The cheerful generals at the start of World War I':
Finally, someone makes the filibuster issue
interesting. See what a little war terminology can do?Closet Red Sox fan?:
Hamid Karzai wanted to throw out the first pitch
at Fenway. But, alas, we'll never know
if he has a better arm than John Kerry. ... Thank goodness most of the silly Curse talk is gone, but, hey, this is for a good cause.