August 8, 2007 - August 1, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
He broke the record. Hip hip hooray.
756. That's a lot of homeruns. Bud Selig should have been there. But he
Barry Bonds hit No. 756 to the deepest
part of the ballpark Tuesday night, and hammered home the point: Like
him or not, legitimate or not, he is baseball's new home run king.
Bonds broke Hank Aaron's storied record in the fifth inning, hitting a
3-2 pitch from Washington's Mike Bacsik 435 feet to right-center field.
Three days earlier, Bonds tied the Hammer with a shot to left-center in
"Thank you very much. I got to thank all of you, all the fans here in
San Francisco. It's been fantastic," he said shortly after crossing
home plate, his godfather, Willie Mays, at his side.
Conspicuous by their absence were the commissioner and Aaron himself.
Though he was on hand for the tying homer, deciding to put baseball
history ahead of the steroid allegations that have plagued the Giants
slugger, Bud Selig wasn't there for the record-breaker.
Steroid allegations? Who knew? I thought the reason Bonds was suspect
had to do with his elbow
...Barry Bonds is guilty of the
use of something that confers extraordinarily unfair mechanical
advantage: the “armor” that he wears on his right elbow. Amid the press
frenzy over Bonds’ unnatural bulk, the true role of the object on his
right arm has simply gone unnoticed.
This is unfortunate, because by my estimate, Bonds’ front arm “armor”
may have contributed no fewer than 75 to 100 home runs to his already
For years, sportswriters remarked that his massive "protective" gear –
unequaled in all of baseball -- permits Bonds to lean over the plate
without fear of being hit by a pitch. Thus situated, Bonds can handle
the outside pitch (where most pitchers live) unusually well. This is
unfair advantage enough, but no longer controversial. However, it is
only one of at least seven (largely unexplored) advantages conferred by
Anyway.. The commissioner should have been there to congratulate the
first player to have taken baseball beyond ordinary human limitations.
But he had a good reason for being absent. He was attending field
trials for a new kind of pitcher's glove being developed in Japan. In
this era of arms so fragile that managers who used to make tactical
decisions during games now spend their time counting pitches, the new
glove could be a career saver. Not only does it protect pitchers from
damaging their arms, it also seems to enable otherwise ordinary hurlers
to throw 140 mph fastballs. Without steroids.
pitching. Drug free.
It's poignant in a way. Barry Bonds is probably the last baseball
player who's going to hit more than 700 homeruns. The commish is going
to see to that. On the whole, it's a good thing. The national pastime
has to get past its current obsession with drugs. And everybody likes
to see a no-hitter. Don't they? Sure they do, Bud.
Barry's happy too. 756. It's a record he'll enjoy for a long time to
Click here for the carbon
cruise of your life.
HINT: Go for the full-screen option.
. Now that New York is underwater
it's time to get serious about cutting back on the old CO2. We've
how CO2 could be cut in half instantaneously, and the video above is a
demonstration of how much fun it could be. Something for our buddies at
Shakespeare's Sister to think about. We know they want to save the
planet. But are they ready to do it in style? You tell us.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Why is this woman smirking?
Lefty bloggers were scornful about the objections conservative bloggers
posed to The New Republic
soldier in Iraq, Scott Thomas. Now that Thomas has confessed himself a
liar to the military, some of the bloggers lefties attacked are pulling
in their horns. CadillacTight
for example, says:
Several bloggers will also be deeply
embarrassed by their support of Beauchamp and TNR (I’m not going to
name names here, these bloggers know who they are), but I suspect their
method of dealing with the embarrassment will be the usual — They’ll
just stop writing about the incident, and pretend their previous
attacks never happened.
While I applaud such restraint, I don't feel any obligation to share
it. The real work on this story was done by Michelle Malkin, Ace of
Spades, McQ, and many others. (I only contributed some snark
on the fact-checking farce.) They should take their bows and rest on
their laurels. But a little more work is called for. I think the fuzzy
nature of lefty thinking in this affair is worth
examining further. I also think they will return to the fray with the
claim that Beauchamp's confession to the military was coerced and
therefore meaningless. Unfortunately for them, however, their position
is indefensible even without the findings of the military
investigation, and I can prove it.
The blogger who calls herself Shakespeare's Sister is a perfect case in
point.She was quick to leap to the defense of TNR and Thomas. As
TNR's corrections and qualifications accumulated, she grew ever more
superior and dismissive in her postings. The following excerpt
is really all we need to expose her rhetorical poverty:
of the behavior and incidents Beauchamp described were confirmed by
other soldiers in Beauchamp's unit. In one of the incidents -- the one
where Beauchamp and another soldier mocked a woman with a disfigured
face -- the incident was confirmed but it turned out it happened in
Kuwait, not Iraq, while Beauchamp's unit was waiting to deploy to Iraq.
When told about this discrepancy, Beauchamp immediately acknowledged
the mistake. Have you ever
remembered an incident accurately, and you know it happened that way,
but you just get the time or the place mixed up? Apparently that
never happens to right-wingers who are blinded by their ideological
hatred for anyone who implies that U.S. troops could ever be anything
but blameless, noble heroes... [italics
A couple of points here. First, the question should read "Have you ever
gotten the time and
mixed up?" If you have done this with an incident that occurred as
recently as a year or two ago, I'd expect you'd also be willing to
amend the first part of the question to read, "Have you ever thought you
remembered an incident
accurately...," because there is no definition of accurate it conforms
The best case here is that it's an instance of incomplete or convenient
memory, which means that possibly crucial context is missing. For
example, it may not be important that I can't remember exactly when I
broke that crystal vase if it's the vivid sensation of the shattering
itself that's my reason for remembering the incident at all. But if my
real reason for remembering is that my wife never forgave me for it and
our married life afterwards was permanently poisoned, then I have lost
indispensable information if I can't recall exactly when
it happened. My supposedly
accurate memory may be false as a milestone of my life. I am compelled
to consider the possibility that I have conveniently assigned the blame
for my failed marriage to the breaking of the vase, which could have
been just one of a sequence of ugly events, one ironically memorable
for the fact that this time it wasn't my fault. Timing is important. A
journalist who is careless about keeping events in their proper
sequence is concocting a narrative, not reporting the facts; i.e., he
is not doing journalism.
The middle ground, particularly when it's the place that gets "mixed
up," is that it's altogether a false memory. Accurate memory is a time
machine -- it enables us to relive the actual experience to some
degree. We see the images again, hear the sounds again, smell the
smells again. But if the images we see are from a different place, then
they are not the right images and the so-called memory is false. What
has happened in this case is that I know or believe an incident
occurred, and my brain -- lacking any real memory of it -- has
fabricated one for me. It may seem real, but it just isn't. This
happens to all of us quite a lot. Quick, think of the last time you
went swimming. Did you see a picture of yourself swimming? (Most people
do.) That's not a memory. Our memories all have gaps, and we stitch up
the gaps with fabrications so that our experience seems continuous. But
false memory is dangerous if we can't tell the difference between it
and reality, and it belongs nowhere in anything which purports to be
There's one other problem with getting the place "mixed up." It means necessarily
that we also got the
time wrong. Because none of us has the ability to be in two places at
once. Place is doubly important.
The worst case, of course, is that a memory has been deliberately
falsified or made up out of whole cloth. Needless to say this
constitutes a lie by any definition.
Shakespeare's Sister appears to be saying that anything less than
deliberate fabrication is not a lie. That's the point of her asking us
to remember our own memory lapses with respect to time and place. But
hers is a specious argument. In our interior lives, convenient or false
memories may not be a sin. The situation changes at once, though, if we
are asked to swear to a convenient or false memory under oath. Now we
have an obligation to separate what is real from what is artificial
because misremembering can cause injustice. In that sense it is
tantamount to perjury, a de facto lie.
The position of a journalist is even more serious. He is not being
summoned to remember by some outside agent. He is volunteering to
provide factual information which if it employs memory will also be
reinforced by research. If he fails in this duty he is worse than a
mistaken eyewitness on the stand. He is, in fact, a tacit and
unscrupulous liar. If he further proposes that the incidents he reports
on have some larger meaning that should affect our perspective on the
overall context from which his account is derived, then he is a
dishonest propagandist and nothing more.
There's no need to reassert the relevance of the fact that Thomas
substituted Iraq for Kuwait in his first incident report and therefore
put the supposed result of his desensitization via war before its
cause. Getting the time and place wrong in this way is only a mistake
when it occurs in the privacy of your own head. When it occurs in
print, under the rubric of nonfiction, it is false reporting,
unforgivable, and morally indistinguishable from a deliberate lie.
And this much has already been admitted to by TNR and Scott Thomas.
Shakespeare's Sister can impugn the honesty of the military process
that has subsequently played out all she wants. It will not correct the
fundamental error of her attempt to equate the vagaries of private
recollection with the responsibilities of professional journalism. Case
All that's left is wondering about what's really going on inside the head
of Shakespeare's Sister. Is she a flat-out dolt? A shallow poseur who
enjoys attacking the right more than she cares about truth? Or is she
just the sad dupe of a tainted political perspective she loves so much
she can't bear to recognize its corruptions?
Well, if it's any help, here's an intriguing quote from her brother
If you did wed my sister for her
wealth, Then for her wealth's sake use her with more kindness: Or if
you like elsewhere, do it by stealth; Muffle your false love with some
show of blindness: Let not my sister read it in your eye; Be not thy
tongue thy own shame's orator; Look sweet, spear fair, become
disloyalty; Apparel vice like
; Bear a fair presence, though your heart be
tainted; Teach sin the carriage of a holy saint; Be secret-false: what
need she be acquainted?
Comedy of Errors (Luciana at III, ii)
You've got to admit there's been "some show of blindness" here. But the
comedy isn't all that funny.
I guess I've been told
Shakespeare's Sister is actually a cousin of Prince, i.e., she's now the girl
"Formerly known as Shakespeare's Sister." ???. Think I'm kidding? That's how she signs off. (If I'd caught her before she changed her name, would that have made her responsible for her lunacy? Nah.)
Apparently, any critic who quarrels with this blog's logic must first
identify which of the following "group blog" contributors is Kathy and
which is Melissa (of which one of them is presumably Shakespeare's
Sister -- a.k.a. the girl in the photograph labelled 'Shakespeare's Sister'). So help me out. Who's who?
Give up? Me too. The scathing response is, alas, bravado. If
"Shakespeare's Sister" isn't the Shakespeare's Sister of the
photograph, or Misty or SomewateryTart, we're still supposed to know
that she's really Kathy or Melissa instead? And does that change the
argument in any way at all? No. It doesn't. I don't care who's who at
this moronic blog. My suspicion is that they're all equally (mal)adroit at debating issues on the merits, including the pitiful-looking males of the hive. If the queen bee of
Shakespeare's Sister -- regardless of what name she chooses to hide
behind -- hangs her whole rebuttal on an assertion of
mistaken identity, it means either that she has no response or she's
throwing some unnamed co-blogger (still unidentified) under the bus --
somebody else made that idiotic argument, not me!!!!
My guess is, there's no one at Shakespeare's Sister who's willing or
able to refute the argument made above. Does that make me a douche? I
don't think so. Call it another case of mistaken identity. I'm not made
of rubber or related products. I'm almost never filled with vinegar and
water. And there's no part of my anatomy that resembles a quarter-inch
tube which enters a female to the accompaniment of a bored sigh.
Instapunked? You betcha.
All right. Now it's getting clearer. The graphic above is obsolete.
They got rid of her. The original sister was a dog. She also
wasn't smart enough about politics. Or something. That's why the whole
crushing burden fell on Melissa or Kathy, who were smart as a whip
about, well, all kinds of things, including the completely criminal
behavior of the Republicans in Saddam's Iraq and other peace-loving
muslimish countries. But the new star of the Shakespeare's Sister blog
is really really
you can understand how she'd resent being pictured like some four-eyed
geek when what she like totally looks like is a total babe:
Melissa or Kathy or so
Cool? I hate to be a pain, but I'm still not buying. Their whole line
gushing floods of
thought -- and all their commenters --is
you honestly believe I don't want Melissa or Kathy to be smart? Of
course I do. It's just so disappointing that they're not. Smart, I
mean. Yeah, I know they probably got prestigious degrees from
prestigious universities, and everybody always said how they were so
smart and everything, but... you know. If either Melissa or Kathy were really
smart, we'd also know which
was which. Wouldn't we?
Honestly, the thing that troubles us most is that all the young liberal
firebrands are probably just as willing as Melissa or Kelly to rip off
that bikini and sexually attack the latest man of their dreams. In a
way that's good. It really is. But where does it leave the sister of
William Shakespeare? We shudder to think of it.
But Melissa and/or Kathy will work it out.
Won't they? God knows they're smart enough. Right?
Here's their newest
, laughing their heads off at InstaPunk, which sure beats having to explain their lame-brained defense of The New Republic. Note that they have
yet to address a single point made here about the Scott Thomas
(Beauchamp) mess. CadillacTight was right. I gave them too much credit.
But at least they're having fun.