picture me giving a damn...


if u want a nice overview, with relevant links, of the cia-white house scandal u probably won't do better than jack shafer's slate piece, The Plame Game. on stuff like this, this is exactly the sort of coverage we need: levelheaded, probing and non-partisan. much more worthwhile than some of the inherently biased, hysterical yammerings of those who want to already declare this a full-blown scandal without having all of the facts at their disposal; or the jawbreakingly yawn-inducing blogorrhea on the subject from the likes of josh marshall in his talking points memo.some people are so chomping at the bit to nail bush and the administration for something, anything, that i guess they don't mind looking a wee bit silly and pathetic in the process. but then again, these are same sort of folk who actually take michael moore and his retarded paranoia and selfloathing seriously...

for some reason i have yet to deterimine, i was having archiving problems and posts from august haven't been available for the last couple of weeks. but i've fixed the problem and the whole blog should now be accessible.

tony blair has more integrity, intelligence and eloquence than any other leader on the planet. and bigger cajones, too- the likes of schroeder, putin and chirac look like simpering eunuchs next to him. the u.s. is extremely lucky to have him as an ally and fellow crusader. here's hoping he'll continue kicking ass and maintain his prime ministership for years to come.


it's soooo nice to be loved. but i suspect it's even nicer to be loved by me. right, marsha?


so about the recall. i could actually give a rat's ass about what's going on with it; my interest in fiscal policy is remarkably low. while i don't think arnold would be a horrible choice, i'm quietly hoping cruz bustamante wins and teaches some of these arrogant and petty republicans a lesson. the recall drive shouldn't have happened in the first place- it's an illegitimate farce. so perhaps i do give a bit more than a rat's ass about it; but just barely. i watched most of the debate the other nite and only the immigration issues really interested me. i'm absolutely against immigration restrictions and was seething on my couch as i witnessed both arnold and mcclintock shamelessly and disingenuously invoke our war on terror as a justification for making life even more difficult for illegal immigrants. and i thought cruz, who impressed me with his bearing and his responses all night, was particularly eloquent in conveying the importance of immigrants, both legal and illegal, on california's economy and the moral imperative in treating them like people, with dignity and compassion, and not a nuisance or a threat.

regarding tax issues and fiscal policy, i think very rarely will u see me weigh in on such matters. do we tax too much or too little? should we raise their taxes, or theirs? i really don't know and i won't pretend to. obviously these are important matters and i'll let others ceaselessly debate them. i mean, i have vague ideas on what seems important. i used to say that i was a fiscal conservative, tho i'm not so sure anymore. are the rich actually carrying their fair share of the burden? many times i think not. i am against overtaxing and regulating business, though- free markets, i feel, are beneficial to everyone in the long run. but i don't strictly believe in "trickle down" economics and notions that if we take care of the wealthy first and foremost, then the less privileged will reap their due reward. that seems like cynical horseshit to me. i do believe that many "liberals" have a sort of neurotic fixation on the notion that spending more money on helpful programs is the primary, sometimes sole, key to their success. those ideas tend to align themselves with other simplistic utopian notions like if we just ignore the fascism and brutality that happens to be our global curse, maybe it'll just go away; or if we just think good thoughts and put out a constant, positive cosmic vibe all the tyrants and monsters of our modern times will quietly disappear. unicorns leaping over rainbows, ostriches burrowing in the sand...

oops, i digress. so, very little fiscal policy arguments from me. i'm running out of rat asses.


"My vision is to make the most diverse state on earth, and we have people from every planet on the earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every, of people from every planet, of every country on earth," he said.- Gov. Gray Davis, yesterday at a townhall meeting in Sacramento.

holyshit! that's impressive! if i were californian, i'd vote against the recall cuz i think it's eminently cool to have a governor who stumps while tripping his balls off, is more delusional than the son of sam, or actually has knowledge of visitors from other planets living amongst us that he's willing to share to the people! every planet, goddamnit!
thanks to SFGate.com (via chicago boyz) for the quote.

omigod, almost forgot...saw interpol the other nite at the ogden theater. supertasty show- they rocked the palace to the ground. i'm telling u, altho they have only one album out and everyone in the band is still in his early 20s, i feel confident in proclaiming these guys as a major force in the music world. interpol swooped down onto the scene with a captivating, assured debut (turn on the bright lights) as dazzling as any in years. i am so looking forward to their follow-up.

hey, who wants to read an engaging discussion between four bright people on the nature and scope of liberalism, foreign policy and the role of the united states in promoting freedom globally? can i see a show of hands?! c'mon, get 'em up, suckas!

er...uhhhh...hmmmm. good enough! i send u over to reasononline for this well deserved treat.



merde in france links to a bbc article about the increasing number of jews who feel compelled to leave france for israel because of the troubling increase in antisemitism there.

dissident frogman has listed me on his blog roll! woohooo!!! kids, i could be on my way to bigger and better things! merci, monsieur frogman. i urge all y'all to check out frogman's wonderful page- it's one of the coolest and handsomest ones out there.


actually mr. sullivan has many impeccable comments on wesley clark, among other things. i'm just going to point u to his website and quote one of his posts in full.
THE CYNICISM BEHIND CLARK: I bumped into a few of my many lefty friends this weekend, who were almost all enthusiastic about Wesley Clark. I was particularly amused by the far-left counter-cultural National Gay Lesbian Task Force getting solidly behind a general who almost started World War III with the Russians. None of them cared much about Clark's actual positions, however. All they cared about is his perceived ability to win. One explained that the white-hot rage at Bush had now tippled over into a cold determination to beat him, by whatever means necessary. I have to say I respect this kind of political argument. But it also strikes me that the left really cannot criticize Bush as a cipher for other forces aligned behind him, when they are doing exactly the same with a general they view as a purely Potemkin figure. "Look, if it means we get Gene Sperling and Robert Rubin running the country again, I don't much care who they put up as a front-man," one partisan gleefully explained. All of this reminds me of Bill Kristol's flirtation with Colin Powell as a Republican candidate a few years back. Why the Powell boomlet? He was black and could win. Er, that was it. Powell was a cipher to innoculate the Republicans from seeming too white-bread. Similarly, Clark is a perceived winner and a cipher to innoculate the Democrats from seeming ... what, exactly? Unpatriotic? Weak on defense? Out of the cultural mainstream? Who knows? It all smacks of phoniness and opportunism to me. And it's a clear sign that those who control big Democratic money are worried (I'm with Safire on that). If I were a Dem, it would make me want to vote for Dean even more. After all, what would be healthiest for the future of the Democrats - a party still run by principle-free sleazeballs like McAuliffe and the Clintons or one built up from the grass roots by people with passion and ideas?


andrew sullivan points the way once again. he links to a FAIR (fairness and accuracy in reporting) report which exposes the wishywashy views of Wesley Clark regarding the iraqi war. clark has been curiously labeled as an "anti-war candidate" yet in the last year or so has run the gamut from being a tepid critic of the war to one of it's most visible supporters. he cannot seem to make up his mind about the iraqi conflict nor provide any original insight. but, of course, as talk of "quagmire" increases he starts "taking a stand" and retroactively criticizes the war and our decision to go there in the first place. yet, in the london times back in april he wrote: "Liberation is at hand. Liberation-- the powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering doubt and reinforces bold actions," and a few months earlier on cnn when asked by miles o'brien about wmds: iraq "does have weapons of mass destruction." after o'brien asked, "and you could say that categorically?" clark was resolute: "Absolutely". what a weasel! clark is such a tool that i don't doubt that he has a solid chance of winning the democratic nomination. and that's so very sad, too, because i would love for there to be a strong, viable Democratic alternative to the hokey, embarrassing conservatism of dubya. one who valiantly supports the war in iraq and the global struggle against tyranny and brutality, countering the general will of the democratic party and their increasing churlishness and infantile decadence, yet who can also promote social liberalism and progressive domestic politics. the closest we have is joe lieberman, who, besides being obviously creepy in the charisma/personality department, is pro-death penalty, a fatal no-no in my book (i would never ever vote for a pro deathpenalty candidate). this doesn't make him a republican wannabe, tho, as others have simplistically pointed out- just because he doesn't tow the party line on every single Democratic party issue doesn't make him republican- leave it to the lemmings and intellectually unimaginative in the party to only see crude distinctions and categories.

i know there are social progressives/foreign policy hawks out there with keen intellect, stirring creativity and a pragmatic worldview. i read them pretty much on a daily basis- why isn't one of them running and truly shaking up the process??! u know i would, but my sordid background would probably sink me. i gave up hookers and crack years ago but i'm afraid those things will always be with me. too bad so sad cuz i would kick ass as your potus...


"and i was born in the backseat of a greyhound bus, rolling down highway 41..."

and i'm not just saying that cuz my colorado buffaloes got spanked by florida state today. i've always felt this way, even when the cu buffs won the national championship. college football and hoops are fun, especially when you're at the game, but they'll never compare to their professional counterparts.

my favorite sport in the whole wide wonderful world is pro football- nothing to me comes close to touching the nfl when it comes to sheer athleticism, dazzling playmaking, strategy and intrigue in play calling, and storied rivalries. all of u freaks who think college football is superior have nothing to stand on- except for tired cliches like "it's more pure! it's more exciting cuz they're playing for the game! it's uncorrupted by money and professionalism!". whatever. those have always been trite, overblown and empty arguments to me (and wrong- college players are playing for, and have been corrupted by, money). one could logically extend that silly line of argument and say that high school football is better, or even more so: peewee league football. so keep exalting 3rd rate amateurs and watch them be "exciting" and "pure" and i'll watch the greatest, most gifted athletes on the planet play the coolest sport ever devised by man. i am indeed ready for some football.

but there is one deep flaw in football that i hope will be rectified in my lifetime: the kicking game. why is it that the game so many times, after it's been an 11 players vs. 11 players battle most of the game, comes down to one dude (who really isn't, at least spiritually and integrally, a part of the "team") and his squirrely fieldgoal/fieldgoal miss? i think that's just bizarre. way too much drama and weight is placed on this capricious and incongruous facet of the game. and i think PATs are even sillier: they're idiotic, anticlimactic afterthoughts that i can't imagine anyone would miss if we dispensed with them. the kicking game (save for punting and kickoffs) is just not harmonious with the rest of the game: it's bad football feng shui. seriously, dudes, get rid of it. one day, before the league does anything to that effect, there will be a head coach with the cajones and the vision who will never have his team kick PATs; his (her!) team will always go for the two points after scoring a touchdown and when the team is in "fieldgoal range" on fourth down will forgo the fieldgoal opportunity and go for it- keep the drive alive and strive strive strive to get those 6 points. what a glorious day that will be.

discuss amongst yourselves.


holyshitgoddamn. brothers and sisters let me tell u that it has been one hectic busy week! no time to blog, so sad so sad. it's 10:00 in the pm and i'm just getting off work- hopefully it'll settle down tomorrow and i can resume my kaiserly duties. in the meantime check out the latest from friedman in the ny times. good schtuff...

sweet dreams, mis niños...


via andrew sullivan, the necessity and prudence of the u.s. alliance with pakistan is called into question by bernard-henri levy in a persuasive article in the washington post. as with our alliance with saudi arabia in our war against terror, one has to realize such ties, while suspect and seemingly contradictory on many fronts, may also be beneficial after all the pros and cons are weighed. or maybe not. these affairs are by nature murky and very difficult to objectively assess- shaking hands with the devil is always a complicated affair in the quest to do something ultimately good. but we have to constantly scrutinize these uneasy, beneficial-detrimental alliances and make sure we don't lose sight of what's sensible and just.


which reminds me. in general, i'm a huge sweeping fiendish lover of beverages. i'm always drinking something during my waking hours, usually water, coffee, sodas and fruit drinks during a normal workday. when i go to restaurants i have a hard time choosing what to drink and limiting myself to one or two things. like at breakfast or brunch i can't pass up the opportunity to order a bloody mary (sometimes a mimosa) but i also need my coffee. and ice water. and, since it is breakfast: fresh squeezed orange juice. a while back i was at a dinner at an italian restaurant with my parents and siblings and they were slightly incredulous (why? they know me!) as i ordered in succession during the meal: a beer, a glass of vino, ice water, another beer, more wine, an italian soda and, finally, coffee. they still give me shit for that. when i'm out at a bar or a party i'm constantly sipping on my drink and i always end up drinking more than i had intended; and if i'm at an open bar, forget about it- someone's usually carrying me home. if i'm on airplane, even if i'm horrendously sleepy like i usually am when i'm traveling, i make sure i stay awake to catch the beverage service cuz if i happen to snooze and miss it i get terribly sad like i missed out, because of some cruel, random circumstance, on the second coming, or a dream date with brooke burke. an opportunity tragically lost forever...

last hockey season i went with my buddy, scott, to catch an Avs game at the pepsi center (super big UP to my beloved avalanche who are going to bring the cup back to denver this year! bring it!). in the arena, right before the start of the game, we went to one of the stands and ordered some food. and beverages. i got a bottle of beer and a bottle of water, along with a tray full of sport arena food. scott mentioned my dual beverage strategy. i said, "hell yeah, i'm Mr. Beverage." i had my heavy winter coat with me, too warm to wear inside, under one arm, the food tray in my right hand, water bottle in my left, and my beer pinched between my arm and my side in an awkward position. the guy at the stand had kindly opened the beer for me, something i had temporarily forgotten. i was making my way through the crowd, zigzagging across the concourse, when i heard scott yelling from behind me, "yo, rich, you're spilling your beer! it's going everywhere!". indeed. i stopped and looked at my bottle, which was about 19/20ths empty, glanced back and saw that i had, Hansel-like, left a trail of beer from where i was now standing all the way back to the cart. scott caught up to me and saw the crushed look on my face. "sometimes there's a downside to being Mr. Beverage", he said. i could only nod wistfully in agreement at those wise words.

for the past week or so we have been out of coffee filters at work. somebody somewhere is slacking bigtime. so a fellow coworker came up with the ingenious idea of using papertowels as filters which really seemed brilliant and resourceful at the time, considering i can't go 10 minutes during the workday without refilling my cup and being without this divine beverage is an unspeakable horror to me. but there's an annoying catch to this novel idea- the coffee tastes like papertowels. it really sucks. i'm not a big fan of the coffee tasting like papertowels. in fact, i hate it and one of my primary goals in life from here on out is to make sure i never drink coffee that tastes like papertowels ever again. it's not that the taste is strong or rancid, it's not- i bet some people wouldn't even notice in their ignorant and indiscriminating ways. but it's there- a bland, dumb evil taste that settles in the mouth, the nose and the throat. i would go clinically insane if i had to drink this stuff on a regular basis. i would rather have my left testicle removed than to have to drink this swill everyday- and i'm quite fond of my left testicle. no mas, dice ricardo. no mas.

christopher hitchens' essays after 9/11 and his subsequent departure from the nation were indispensable and galvanizing influences on my worldview and geopolitical thought process, which is obvious to anyone who reads my stuff here or converses with me on any serious level. stop smiling has a cool article on the events leading up to and surrounding hitchens' exit from the most popular and respected leftist publication in the country.
“I have come to realize that [The Nation]… is becoming the voice and the echo chamber of those who truly believe that [Attorney General] John Ashcroft is a greater menace than Osama bin Laden… In these circumstances it seems to me false to continue the association, which is why I have decided to make this ‘Minority Report’ my last one.”...“I can only hint at how much I despise a Left that thinks of Osama bin Laden as a slightly misguided anti-imperialist,” he wrote. “Instead of internationalism, we find among the Left now a sort of affectless, neutralist, smirking isolationism” and “a masochistic refusal to admit that our own civil society has any merit.”
he hits the nail on the head more often than any other writer in our time.


don't u find it interesting that in the realm of dirty talk, penis jokes and phallic references are a-dime-a-dozen while references to the vagina are still considered somewhat of a taboo and make many squeamish? i've heard people refer to other guys as being "dicks" a million times without creating a stir but when someone is referred to as a "cunt" it causes many people to freak (especially women- why?!), or at the very least raise their eyebrows. why this curious double standard? in a new book by catherine blackledge, The Story of V- "a comprehensive investigation into the history, culture and power of female genitalia", this fascinating cultural anomaly and related issues are explored. check out a review in the guardian unlimited here. via arts & literature daily.

a savory article in foreign policy magazine by Fouad Ajami on the dichotomous nature of antiamericanism.

william saletan in slate, with an unconvincing, lackluster article shooting down bush's reasons for fighting in iraq:
"The second argument is equally fraught with implications. Yes, tyranny breeds terrorism. But if the "war on terror" requires us to overthrow tyrants just because they're tyrants, we'll be at war for the rest of your life."
no shit! yes, the nature of tyranny on this planet requires us to do something about it, and the fact that it is such a strong, widespread global condition (mainly because "free" countries have done very little to stop it) means that we will, and should, be doing battle against it for the rest of our lives. what the fuck is the alternative? neurotic handwringing and sheepish limpdicked policies? burying our heads in the sand and going about our privileged existence while others suffer? oh, disgusting bourgeois complacency! ineptitude and indifference! fighting tyranny and freeing people from it's grasp is a noble, necessary pursuit. in fact, it should be everyone's ultimate, lifelong battle. why can't people see that?

saletan actually supported the war in iraq, but only because iraq was in violation of u.n. mandates. c'mon! isn't it far more meaningful and vital (not to mention morally responsible) to be fighting against the brutal fascist thugs of the world who terrorize, imprison and murder millions than it is to fight to "preserve the credibility of international law enforcement"? what a desiccated and lifeless rationale!


christopher hitchens in slate, with his usual intelligence and gusto.

so...bush's speech last nite was solid. clearly reminding us why we're in iraq in the first place, our successes and pitfalls there, and outlining u.s. success against terrorism since 9/11 (not mutually exclusive!), his speech was straightforward, honest and measured. he gave a candid accounting of the funds needed for us to continue and he reached out in promoting increased international cooperation and presence in iraq. i don't know, is 87 billion dollars enough? too much? i have no clue. i'm not an economist, nor a geopolitical strategist, nor an expert in rebuilding countries. bush says that our current number of 130,000 troops there are adequate. fine, but if that turns out not to be enough then we should send more without hesitation. but the main theme, one that needs to be pushed over and over again, and one that underlined bush's address, is that we have to see this through.

enough. time to halt (at least temporarily) my searing tirades against the antiwar left, that circle jerk of angst and spittle, and focus more on what's going on over in iraq right now. obviously, it's not a pretty picture: but who said it was going to be? all of us pragmatic neo-liberals (read your ken pollack and christopher hitchens!)knew that after major combat operations were over the real battle would begin. there's still a decent chance that the u.s. and others could fuck this all up- we have to be vigilant, wise and strong in our follow through. it's going to take many years and a lot of effort. it's going to take billions of dollars. it's going to take multinational cooperation (whether with the u.n. or not). and it's all going to be worth it.


to me it's absolutely stunning that not a single mature, sophisticated idea has developed from the antiwar left. it's just a messy confluence of visceral, knee-jerk reactions and prejudices, decaying cliches, junior high formulations, and sullen, redfaced posturing. completely backed by woefully little geopolitical scholarship and an appalling deficit of historical understanding- these people don't read! kick it over to policy review to get a lacerating analysis of this situation, especially in regards to the banal judgments many make when looking back on u.s. foreign policy decisions with their usual goofy, softheaded selfrighteousness. the article, Foreign Policy Immaculately Conceived, tells us that people who engage in this sort of simplistic, frankly uneducated bluster are participants in the immaculate conception theory of u.s. foreign policy:
"The immaculate conception theory of U.S. foreign policy operates from three central premises. The first is that foreign policy decisions always involve one and only one major interest or principle at a time. The second is that it is always possible to know the direct and peripheral impact of crisis-driven decisions several months or years into the future. The third is that U.S. foreign policy decisions are always taken with all principals in agreement and are implemented down the line as those principals intend - in short, they are logically coherent."

he goes on with several examples including our support of the afghan mujahedeen against the soviets in the 80s, the shah of iran over islamic fundamentalists, the first gulf war and other geopolitical episodes:
"...suffice it to so say that since countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia were undemocratic long before the United States ever began to support their governments, the argument that the United States is somehow responsible for their being undemocratic is a little hard to follow. However they came to be undemocratic, U.S. support does implicate us in their misanthropies - true enough. But once again, it is a mistake to think that one and only one set of interests is at play at one time. The proper question to ask is: What have been the interests and principles - plural - at issue, and what have been the available alternative policy choices to deal with them, particularly when a given action may advance one interest at the cost of retarding the achievement of another? Was the United States ever in a position merely to wave its hand and bring democracy to Egypt or Saudi Arabia? Would it have been responsible to try to do so in light of the other strategic interests we held in common with these countries - the utility of their anti-Soviet postures, their role in preserving the stability of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, their contribution to moderating the price of oil and hence aiding the health of the international economy, and others besides? Not only were these no small matters, neither were they bereft of moral implications. It is not morality but moral posturing to wear human rights concerns on one's sleeve, indicating as it usually does one's favoritism for intentions over consequences, while simultaneously presuming that concern for the structural elements of international peace and prosperity are the domain of the cold, gray overseers of corporate and national equities. This verges on ethical illiteracy."

bravo. interestingly enough, the author is obviously somewhat pessimistic about our current situation in iraq (but not, apparently, against the war in general- so the veracity of my first sentence remains intact- ha!). anyway, read the whole article.


via instapundit, here's a genuine and pragmatic feminist perspective over at electric venom. this is what true feminism should stand for, not the hysterical and irrelevant rantings that have been the cornerstone of american feminism for three decades. as i've said in a previous post, what takes place in tyrannical, medieval countries worldwide is realand horrible objectification and exploitation of women. when people incessantly whine about such non-issues such as how women are portrayed in playboy, beer commericals and rap videos, and make it the focal point of their "feminism", it makes them look silly and inevitably dilutes and trivializes the entire issue...


good news of a sort coming out of the 9th circuit yesterday in their commutation of death sentences for those sentenced by judges and not juries. it's definitely only limited good news- we're still a long way from banishing once and for all the crude, deeply flawed abomination that is capital punishment.


"it's already been broughten!"

a nod to one of my favorite movies of last year, not another teen movie. so...
to those pushing or apologizing for fascism in all of its forms and disguises, to those who can't conceive of a intelligible worldview or geopolitical mode without lamely casting the united states as ultimate demon, to those whose vision of liberalism is a safe bourgeois suburban existence for oneself completely removed from all of the strife and cruelty in the world (poseurs!), i say bring it.

bring it the fuck on.

saw c&c up in smoke last nite. rocks. the part where the girl snorts ajax gets me everytime. fell asleep to interpol's turn on the bright lights. leif erikson: "she swears i'm just prey for the female...my sentimental side should be held with kid gloves...her rabid glow is like braille to the night". lovely and brilliant. they come to denver september 23. i'm psyched. september in colorado rocks. peerless weather. redoing the lighting in my living room. nice lights are expensive. home owning blows. but it also rocks. kickin' it at work old school today. as in there's very little to do. que lastima! my good buddy greg just sent me photos of his climbing expedition in british colombia. pantyhead jotoGreg choppin broccoli bustin his collar bone with his mad beard rocks. he rocks eternal. one time i went camping with jotoGreg and others and he passed out outside mostly nekkid in freezing temperatures while i was fully dressed in a tent and covered with sleeping bag and blankets (and i still shivered and clattered my teeth half the nite!) and we woke up the next morning and there he was asleep on the rock. alive! old school shoutout to jotoGreg. cu rocks. csu blows. (ha!). got me a satellite tv hook-up friday. a very good deal cuz the condo association subsidizes a good portion of it. that rocks. i now have like 6 hbo channels. rocks. but the 1st full day i had it i was watching the cu-csu game and a major rainstorm hit. fucked up the satellite. that blew. it was only outta commission for like 10 minutes or so, but, goddamn, are they really that fickle? good thing i live in a desert, it hardly ever rains or snows here. postmenopausal politics blow. smallminded people blow. smallminded people who have the gall to look down on others blow eternal. i think i've forgotten to pay my parking today. i have about 20 tickets and am just about due for one of them ghastly yellow boots to be slapped on my beloved amethyst m3. that would blow.

what a horrible month of birthdays! is it just me, or was like 80% of humanity born in september??! goddamn. goddamn, i say...

Two Years of Gibberish. succint and apt title of geoffrey wheatcroft's article in the current issue of prospect where he takes to task the ineffectual, masterbatory response of the left to 9-11.

the night i found out that daniel pearl was savagely killed on videotape for all the world to see was an emotionally draining one for me. feeling more rage and crushing sadness that night than i did on 9-11 (a day that produced far more shock and confusion than rage, which would come later in a slow, controlled surge, rising with my intellectual and moral fortification) i remember informing a friend over the phone when i first heard and nearly breaking down. bernard-henri levy, "France's most famous man of letters and noble causes" has written a book called who killed daniel pearl? (the english-language edition has just come out) an investigation written from the vantage point and attitude of "a writer, philosopher and journalist". Levy was mentioned, along with his book, in the new yorker article i posted about last week regarding certain french intellectuals and anti-antiamericanism. despite their minority status in that silly land of impertinent jellyfish, this small circle with forceful presence and facility of fresh ideas are giving the french a modicum of respectability. anyway, the book sounds fascinating and should be my next read. check out a profile of levy and a review of the book here (via arts and literature daily).

christopher hitchens weighs in on the ten commandments debate with a smart and funny bit in slate. as usual with any topic he chooses to write about, hitchens is the best writer on the subject. the usual whiny, selfrighteous pseudoliberal argument almost inexplicably forces me towards justice moore just out of spite but the hitch comes out and once again saves the day with humor and a sparkling logic...

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