Saturday, June 25, 2005
I don't know whether the Supreme Court's eminent domain decision was,
substantively, a good thing or a bad thing. I don't know whether there
are too few obstacles in the way of regional development and
redevelopment (and that there should be more obstacles to reduce the
impact of corrupt ties between local governments and developers) or
whether there are too many obstacles (and too little gets done because
opportunities for hold-up are just too great). I do know that the
reasoning of the majority opinion seems to be really dumb. A
correspondent writes: Re: footnote 6: And while the City intends to
transfer certain of the parcels to a private developer in a long-term
lease--which developer, in turn, is expected to lease the office space
and so forth to other private tenants--the identities of those private
parties were not known when the plan was adopted. It is, of course,
difficult to accuse the government of having taken A's property to
benefit the private interests of B when the identity of B was unknown.
Well, I guess that proves that anyone who takes the time to read the
chapter of Robert Caro's The Power Broker assigned in American History
[Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal]
Further Translations from the Krugmanomicon
Shrillness … mad unholy shrillness … worming through my brainlike a
dream from which there is no awaking. The world seems different to me
now, so different from the carefree, sunlit world I once knew -
terrifying, alien, a soulless emptyness, a nameless hunger,
dead-yet-undying, an ancient, malevolent Thing whose smallest horror, were it to be apprehended
truly, would blast the mind of the strongest mortal to insensate ash. I
try to tell myself that it is just because they cancelled “Joan of
Arcadia”, but I know it is not the case … for it is not the world that
has changed, no - it is I! It is that blasphemeous book which my own
impish perversity compelled me to read, that hateful manuscript printed
out by an ancient 9-pin dot matrix printer of fiendish design, that …
that … Krugmanomicon!
How long has it been since
first I read those tenebrous pages
? A month? A week? An ocean of years? I cannot say, any more than I can
say what drove me to translate the rude, low pidgin binary written
thereon into some semblence of human ASCII. I have wandered far, since
then, ‘neath the dead and uncaring stars, twinkling in bitter malice
within the black void of space. I could not escape the shrillness of
that book, and, if truth be told, I would not have escaped it if I
could. For I am part of the shrillness now, and the shrillness is part
of me, for in a world as mad as this one, only the shrill are truly
sane! And now I have the book in my hands again - I know not how, nor
do I recall my name, and I do not care to remember either - I shall
taste this awful shrillness again, and be flung howling and babbling
into the void! Behold
the nation wrongfully into war strikes at the heart of democracy. It
would have been an unprecedented abuse of power even if the war hadn’t
turned into a military and moral quagmire. And we won’t be able to get
out of that quagmire until we face up to the reality of how we got in.
Still, some of my colleagues insist that we should let
bygones be bygones. The question, they say, is what we do now. But
they’re wrong: it’s crucial that those responsible for the war be held
Let me explain. The United States will soon have
to start reducing force levels in Iraq, or risk seeing the volunteer
Army collapse. Yet the administration and its supporters have
effectively prevented any adult discussion of the need to get out.
one side, the people who sold this war, unable to face up to the fact
that their fantasies of a splendid little war have led to disaster, are
still peddling illusions: the insurgency is in its “last throes,” says
Dick Cheney. On the other, they still have moderates and even liberals
intimidated: anyone who suggests that the United States will have to
settle for something that falls far short of victory is accused of
We need to deprive these people of their
ability to mislead and intimidate. And the best way to do that is to
make it clear that the people who led us to war on false pretenses have
no credibility, and no right to lecture the rest of us about patriotism.
good news is that the public seems ready to hear that message - readier
than the media are to deliver it. Major media organizations still act
as if only a small, left-wing fringe believes that we were misled into
war, but that “fringe” now comprises much if not most of the population.
a Gallup poll taken in early April - that is, before the release of the
Downing Street Memo - 50 percent of those polled agreed with the
proposition that the administration “deliberately misled the American
public” about Iraq’s W.M.D. In a new Rasmussen poll, 49 percent said
that Mr. Bush was more responsible for the war than Saddam Hussein,
versus 44 percent who blamed Saddam.
Once the media catch up with the public, we’ll be able to start talking seriously about how to get out of Iraq.
Aaaiii! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Krugman R’lyeh wagn’nagl fhtagn! Aaaiii!!!! Aaaaaaaaiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!
- Gen. JC Christian, Patriot
My inner Frenchman is threatening to show Ofjoshua my collection of
Udders: The Magazine for Red State Men
if I don't let him post, so I guess I'll step away from the keyboard for a few minutes.
I don't like to interrupt the General, but occasionally something
happens that requires me to break through the fourth wall and speak in
my own voice. It's impossible to resist this impulse, because my heart
demands that the truth be spoken. I hope you'll forgive me for this
I'm seething with anger over Rove's
that people like you and I want our soldiers to come home in bodybags.
Such a statement is unforgivable. It would not matter if it was a
mistake, an unfortunate phrase spoken in anger. It would still be
It appears, however, that it was something more than loose words uttered at a weak moment: it's part of a
to turn those of us who opposed the war into scapegoats for its
failure. It's reminiscent of the scapegoating of Jews by German
nationalists after WWW I. This new Bush strategy transcends being
merely despicable; it is evil.
When you're the father of two beautiful
daughters, your house becomes a gathering place for young men. That was
certainly the case when my daughters were in high school. We were
lucky, most of them were good kids. I spent quite a bit of time with
them and got to know them very well.
Now they're coming home from war. The all
American boy with a heart of gold talks of his hate for "hajis" and
wishes we could nuke the place. The class clown sits in his room all
day staring at the Cartoon Channel while self medicating with pot and
booze. The nice liberal Jewish boy who melted my wife's yenta heart
tells us in a dispassionate, far-away monotone that "killing those
animals was like stepping on ants." Our "son" screams at night.
My heart breaks for these boys we adopted in their teenage years. They've lost their souls. And for what?
War does this to people. That's why it should never be entered into
unless there is no other alternative. That wasn't the case for this
war. As far as I can tell, we invaded Iraq because Bush and the necons
wanted to be remembered as great men like Roosevelt or Lincoln, or
perhaps more accurately, Augustus. It's there in the subtext of PNAC
papers for all to see. The oil is just gravy. That's evil.
My greatest hope when I started posting about
Operation Yellow Elephant was that I'd help make College Republicans a
laughing stock. It offends me that these children of privilege--I'm
referring to their most visible leadership--are so gung ho for a war
they refuse to fight. It's as if they believe that the fighting should
be left to the inferior lesser classes while they perform the
intellectual heavy lifting--it's their birthright.
We need to beat these bastards. We need to
have a presence, a non-violent presence, at the convention. Don't look
for a leader; look for a map and get down there, now. Show them that
we're not going to allow them to blame us for the evil they've
accomplished. Be creative. Think of it as open source activism.
Enjoying the calm before the storm.
The summer continues along in its usual pattern, and both ourselves and
the Europeans have yet to encounter the peak of the tourist travel
season. Already, despite the prediction of economists that this would
not happen before the end of the year, we are at $60 oil. Remember that
once we have reached peak travel for the year, then we move into the
purchase and storage of heating oil for the winter. And during both
these events demand will continue to grow, and the supply reserve that
has been stored away will gradually whittle down toward zero. Which
means that it might be optimistic to assume that oil might stay under
$75 this year, let alone next.
Next year actually may not get
much worse than this, since there are some new projects that should
pump oil into the supply, but it all depends on how fast existing
fields deplete, with the news on that front, to date, being
none-too-good. This is therefore going to be a time when we really
donâ€™t need to offend those who can help us the most. Bear in mind
that history has shown that giving offense in the Middle East can have
significant immediate effects, and in todayâ€™s economy the effects
will likely be more far-reaching and severe.
It therefore seems odd (as I noted last post) that the Administration is both hinting that we would encourage a change in Government structure in Saudi Arabia, and is allowing consideration of our being allowed to sue OPEC (hat tip to Past Peak.)
is fine to play the Godfather when you hold all the marbles, but when
the issue is in serious doubt, then (as we have found with Iraq)
playing out the game with a known weak hand can significantly cost us
oil supply, rather than guaranteeing it.
Apart from proving my
nerdishness, perhaps also a brief comment on why this year I came to
Alaska. I have posted earlier about this being the last quiet summer,
and thus it seemed the best time to take the trip that I have always
promised the Actress (the pseudonymous spouse) while it still remains
practical and affordable. With the price changes, and their impact,
that have now begun their inexorable movement, I do think that we made
the trip not a moment too soon.
Go to the postings for today
Technorati Tags: peak oil, oil By email@example.com (Heading out). [The Oil Drum]
Tom Delay and Dan Bartlett are defending uncle Karl. Delay
provided an articulate defense of the raging Rover, Dub couldn't have
said it any better. Dan Bartlett on the other hand spun a story only
his mother would believe. Is Olbermann right was it just Delay's
failure to practice reading through the remarks before quoting them, or
is this guy on something.?
Click on Picture to Play Quicktime Video 2.54MB 2'04
Quicktime Required (free download)...
Under the Wire.
I know Cheney promised to string up the next Administration official
who dared suggest bailing on Guantanamo. This cover, though,
demonstrates the boldness (or perhaps, the foolishness) of such a
stance. TIME doesn't do these dramatic black covers very...
Words to the wise.
Cancer, Baby writes:
So instead I give you this small piece of advice: Be very careful who
you piss off in a hospital parking lot. You can't necessarily tell that
people are sick just by looking at them, so don't...
Pointer From Idyllwild.
Ezra here. This post of Brad Plumer's on different explanations for
America's strangely absent universal health system is fantastic, you
should all read it. Moreover, I'd love to see [guest blogger] Matt
Alrighty-then. Back to vacation. ...
The Plame Affair to come off the backburner?
We should know Monday:
The justices of the Supreme Court on Thursday debated whether to take
on the cases of Matt Cooper (search), a Time magazine reporter, and
Judith Miller (search), a reporter at the New York Times. Both have
refused to comply with federal subpoenas over the outing of former CIA
official Valerie Plame's (search) identity.
The decision whether to grant certiorari, or take the... - Lambert
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7/1/2005; 6:37:38 AM.