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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?

I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.

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"The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson

"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin

"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan

"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt

"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley

"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss

"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire, the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind; and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon

"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love to chatter instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers."
-- Socrates

"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook

"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr

"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion

"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson

"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation; a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition -- to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri

"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke

"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology; it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant

"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville

"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon, but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant

"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand

"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.

"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible, and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus

"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814

"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true, the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944

"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News

"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas

"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
-- Cicero

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue." -- François, duc de La Rochefoucauld

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." -- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson

"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example." -- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance." --
H. W. Fowler

"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place." -- Kate Wilhelm

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein

"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).

"Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it."
-- Lecture IX, John Henry Cardinal Newman

“Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.”
-- John Henry Cardinal Newman

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison

"Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others."
-- Napolean I of France -- Napoleon I of France

"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128

"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)

"American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism."
-- George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States, (1920)

"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden

"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
-- Batman


Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit. He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.

The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cute panda. Don't you love pandas?

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Contents © 2001-2013 All rights reserved. Gary Farber. (The contents of e-mails to this email address of Gary Farber are subject to the possibility of being posted.)

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world

[Blogroll now far below the sea line! Dive, dive, dive!]

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Gary Farber! Jeez, the guy is practically a blogging legend, and I'm always surprised at the breadth of what he writes about.
-- PZ Meyers, Pharyngula

...Darn: I saw that Gary had commented on this thread, and thought: oh. my. god. Perfect storm. Unstoppable cannonball, immovable object. -- Hilzoy

...I think Gary Farber is a blogging god. -- P.Z. Myers, Pharyngula

...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow

‎"Gary Farber is a gentleman, a scholar and one of the gems of the blogosphere." -- Steve Hynd,

"Well argued, Gary. I hadn't seen anything that went into as much detail as I found in your blog." -- Gareth Porter

Gary Farber is your one-man internet as always, with posts on every article there is.
-- Fafnir

Guessing that Gary is ignorant of anything that has ever been written down is, in my experience, unwise.
Just saying.

-- Hilzoy

Gary Farber gets it right....
-- James Joyner, Outside The Beltway

Once again, an amazing and illuminating post.
-- Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber

I read Amygdala...with regularity, as do all sensible websurfers.
-- Jim Henley, Unqualified Offerings

Okay, he is annoying, but he still posts a lot of good stuff.
-- Avedon Carol, The Sideshow

Amygdala - So much stuff it reminds Unqualified Offerings that UO sometimes thinks of Gary Farber as "the liberal Instapundit."
-- Jim Henley

...the thoughtful and highly intelligent Gary Farber... My first reaction was that I definitely need to appease Gary Farber of Amygdala, one of the geniuses of our age.
-- Brad deLong

Gary is a perceptive, intelligent, nice guy. Some of the stuff he comes up with is insightful, witty, and stimulating. And sometimes he manages to make me groan.
-- Charlie Stross

Gary Farber is a straight shooter.
-- John Cole, Balloon Juice

I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber

Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
-- Ogged

I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow

One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.

One of my favorites....
-- Matt Welch

-- Virginia Postrel

Amygdala continues to have smart commentary on an incredible diversity of interesting links....
-- Judith Weiss

Amygdala has more interesting obscure links to more fascinating stuff that any other blog I read.
-- Judith Weiss, Kesher Talk

Gary's stuff is always good.
-- Meryl Yourish

...the level-headed Amygdala blog....
-- Geitner Simmons

The only trouble with reading Amygdala is that it makes me feel like such a slacker. That Man Farber's a linking, posting, commenting machine, I tell you!
-- John Robinson, Sore Eyes

...the all-knowing Gary Farber....
-- Edward Winkleman, Obsidian Wings

Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged

We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog

Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog


Gary is certainly a non-idiotarian 'liberal'...
-- Perry deHaviland

Recommended for the discerning reader.
-- Tim Blair

Gary Farber's great Amygdala blog.
-- Dr. Frank

Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott

Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit

My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal

If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.

Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks

I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes

Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this?
-- Natalie Solent

You nailed it... nice job."
-- James Lileks

Gary Farber is a principled liberal....
-- Bill Quick, The Daily Pundit

December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2013

Blogroll is Always In Progress:

Roger Ailes
Alas, A Blog
The American Street
The Aristocrats
Avedon Carol
Between the Hammer and the Anvil
Lindsay Beyerstein
The Big Con
CantBlogTooBusy The Center for American Progress
Chase me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry
Doghouse Riley
Kevin Drum
Fables of the Reconstruction
Gall and Gumption
Gin and Tacos
House of Substance
The Hunting of the Snark
If I Ran The Zoo
Lawyers, Guns & Money
Lotus: Surviving a Dark Time
Matters of Little Significance
Nancy Nall
Charlie Stross bastard.logic
Daniel Larison
American Conservative
American Footprints
Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
Balloon Juice
Beautiful Horizons
Bitch Ph.D.
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
Cunning Realist
Daily Kos
Debate Link
Democracy Arsenal
Edge of the American West
Ezra Klein
Glenn Greenwald 13th Floor
Hit & Run
Juan Cole
Kevin Drum
Lawyers, Guns and Money
List Project (Helping Iraqis who worked with us get out)
Marc Lynch
Mark Kleiman
Katha Pollit
Market Square
Matthew Yglesias
Megan McArdle
Metro Green
Pam's House Blend
Paul Krugman
Philosophy, et cetera
Radley Balko
Sadly, No!
Southern Appeal
Stephen Walt
Steve Clemons
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Taking It Outside
Talking Points Memo
The Poor Man
The Progressive Realist
The Sideshow
U.S. Intellectual History
Unqualified Offerings
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Monthly
William Easterly
Newsrack Blog
Ortho Bob
The Poor Man
Prog Gold
Prose Before Hos
Ted Rall
The Raw Story
Elayne Riggs
Sadly, No!
Texas Liberal
Think Progress
3 Weird Sisters
Tristram Shandy
Washington Monthly
Ian Welsh
James Wolcott
World o' Crap
Matthew Yglesias
Buzz Machine
Daniel Larison
Rightwing Film Geek About Last Night
can we all just agree
Comics Curmudgeon
Dum Luk's
Glenn Kenny
Hoarder Museum Juanita Jean
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!
Last Words of the Executed
The Phil Nugent Experience
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen
Vanishing New York
a lovely promise
a web undone
alt hippo
american street
city of brass
danger west
fierce urgency of now
get fisa right
great concavity
happening here
impeach them!
kathryn cramer
notes from the basement
talking dog
uncertain principles
unqualified offerings
what do i know
crooked timber emptywheel
ezra klein
The F-Word
glenn greenwald
schneier on security
ta-nehisi coates
talking points memo
tiny revolution
Roz Kaveney
Dave Ettlin
Henry Jenkins' Confessions of an Aca-Fan
Kathryn Cramer
Monkeys In My Pants
Pagan Prattle
As I Please
Ken MacLeod
Arthur Hlavaty
Kevin Maroney
MK Kare
Jack Heneghan
Dave Langford
Onyx Lynx Atrios
Rittenhouse Review
Public Nuisance
Scoobie Davis
Nathan Newman
Echidne Of The Snakes
First Draft
Rising Hegemon
Cab Drollery (Help Diane!
Southern Beale
The Kenosha Kid
Culture of Truth
Talk Left
Black Ag=Q< Report
Drug WarRant
Nieman Watchdog
Open Left
Meet the Bloggers
Dispatch from the Trenches
Crooks and Liars
Campaign for America's Future
Iraq Today
Daily Kos
Lefty Directory
News Hounds
The Brad Blog
Informed Comment
UN Dispatch
War and Piece
Glenn Greenwald
Schneier on Security
Jim Henley
Arthur Silber
Julian Sanchez
The Agitator
Balloon Juice
Wendy McElroy
Whoviating (LarryE)
Scott Horton
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Looking Glass
Charles Kuffner
Brad DeLong
Busy, Busy, Busy
Oliver Willis
The Carpetbagger Report Shakesville
Down With Tyranny
Professor B
Monkey Media Report
The Grumpy Forester
Ian Welsh
Pacific Views
Booman Tribune
Matthew Yglesias
The American Street
Media Bloodhound
Liz Henry's Composite
The Heretik
Arizona Eclectic
Sisyphus Shrugged
Interesting Times
Talking Dog
Liberal Desert
Under the Lobsterscope
Seeing The Forest
Sean Paul Kelley's The Agonist
King of Zembla
Mark Kleiman
Liquid List
Elayne Riggs
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Fanatical Apathy
Blue Gal
Mark Evanier
Roger Ailes
Suburban Guerrilla (Help Susie with money!)
The Mahablog
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People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost, Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry, Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny. It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out. And She of whom I must write someday.

Thursday, April 28, 2005
YOU ARE A TRAITOR AND A MEMBER OF THE REBEL ALLIANCE. I almost fell off my chair laughing when the co-anchor leaned forward into the camera and announced the second lead story in the tease for the end-of-evening tv news on the local NBC affilliate, (after the lead story, the weather: a week of rain, prolonged, repeated-over-days hail, and now a couple of days of reasonably heavy snow, which lies not-thinly on the ground, while it's 25 degrees Fahrenheit just now, after a period of weeks of shirt-sleeve, 60's-and-70's weather; typical spring in Boulder, in other words), was "Colorado's junior Senator expresses regrets for calling 'Focus On The Family' 'the 'Anti-Christ.'"

I'm just sorry he feels it necessary to step back at all (I'm still fairly cranky with Senator Salazar for his embrace of now-Attorney-General/torture-apologist Gonzalez, and his Wrong Vote on cloture on the bankruptcy bill, among other elements of the mixed bag that is his as-yet-short record in the Senate).

More here.
"From my point of view, they are the anti-Christ of the world," Salazar told the station.

Salazar, a first-term Democrat, said he was intending to call the Colorado Springs group "un-Christian," a term he began applying last week after Focus attacked his stance on judicial nominations in the Senate.

"I spoke about Jim Dobson and his efforts and used the term 'the anti-Christ,"' Salazar said in a written statement from his office. "I regret having used that term. I meant to say this approach was un-Christian, meaning self-serving and selfish."
I think he was closer the first time.

Read The Rest Scale: 2.5 out of 5 if you want a tad more detail and background. Mr. Dobson's organization's site here, if you aren't familiar with their oeuvre. It's, ah, inspirational.

4/28/2005 09:06:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 3 comments

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Friday, April 08, 2005
STILL ONGOING. SORRY. Past experience suggests that this will happen less in 2006. Meanwhile, I apologize for the ongoing breaks, and suggest I'll probably be posting quite a bit again by Monday. May your weekend be fun-filled and fulfilling.

ADDENDUM: Wednesday or Thursday? Sorry. Computer problems, alien attacks, emotional sorrows, distractions left and right, and, yet, lots of backed up links. Most of which will probably be deleted for lack of timeliness, but, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes, I'm working on my taxes, and see you all soon. Wait, it was the blizzard yesterday that stopped me, and then today the need to be in shirtsleeves.

You can't leave! The enclosed security device catches you!

4/08/2005 10:09:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 3 comments

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Monday, April 04, 2005
WE FOOL YOU BY WAITING DAYS! Since I'm still feeling too wiped to write the detailed post I'd intended to, I'll surrender with the brief summary notations that Locus Online still has the current crop of April 1st stories on the site. Next Wave of Year's Best Anthologies Planned means you should get out your credit card! Jonathan Lethem interviewed!:
"My typical protagonist has always been a conflicted youth, or developmentally arrested adult, and these three 'heroes,' if you will, offer me infinite opportunities to re-tread the same literary ground."
And, as the special science fiction term goes, more!

For those of a lower mind, Star Trek pranks are illogical. I'm mildly sorry I missed this: posted a whole series of April Fool's articles, including one that claimed Paramount had agreed to a fifth season for Star Trek: Enterprise, but only at a much-reduced budget - leading the studio to bring in South Park and Team America creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to run the show. Parker and Stone would rename the series Team Enterprise, and only use the current stars of the show to voice the puppets that would from now on be portraying their characters. "We're also gonna re-do the opening title sequence," the site quoted Stone as saying. "Record a new theme -- something bombastic, action-oriented. Y'know, something that isn't, like, totally gay."

Other April Fool's articles on the official site included a new ad banner promoting the services of legal expert Samuel T. Cogley ("If you clicked here from a banner ad and want Mr. Cogley to fight for your latinum, then please call (415) 555-GOLD"), an article on several Trek pilots that had recently been rejected (including Desperate Yeomans, Ferengi Apprentice and Klingon Eye for the Starfleet Eye), and a "non-production report" on episode 99, "The Rest is Silence." Sadly, all of the official site's April Fool's features have since been deleted.
Read The Rest Scale: If amused, you'll buy that for 2.75 quatloos out of 5; if not, stay away from them dud quantum torpedos until you can reverse their polarity through the main deflector emitter!

4/04/2005 04:01:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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THE INTERNETS, THEY IS JUST STRANGE. A large site of nothing but pictures, sounds, and stories of people sneezing. Arranged as a series of Tarot decks.

Of course.

Want to hear men in movies and tv sneeze? Here. Women here. Etc.

Okay, I know there are a zillion fetishes I've never heard of, and this was today's. Blink.

Read The Rest Scale: gesundheit.

4/04/2005 03:03:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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LOOK FOR THE SMOKE. You might possibly have heard a rumor, but I will now confirm it for you! The Pope has died! Aren't you glad you checked in here?

I doubt I'll say much more on the topic, but if you're interested in process, this article is a good summary of how the new pope will be chosen, better than this one. This will tell you a little on the temporary caretaker of the Church, Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo.

We now return to our Pope-free zone.

Read The Rest as curious.

4/04/2005 02:04:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 1 comments

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THEY'LL MELD WITH ALIENS AND COME BACK TO DESTROY EARTH FOR THIS. One of the most cockamamie stupid ideas ever.
In a cost-cutting move prompted by President Bush's moon-Mars initiative, NASA could summarily put an end to Voyager, the legendary 28-year mission that has sent a spacecraft farther from Earth than any object ever made by humans.

The probable October shutdown of a program that currently costs $4.2 million a year has caused consternation among scientists who have shepherded the twin Voyager probes on flybys of four planets and an epic journey to the frontier of interstellar space.

"There are no other plans to reach the edge of the solar system," said Stamatios Krimigis, a lead investigator for the project since before its launch in 1977. "Now we're getting all this new information, and here comes NASA saying, 'We want to pull the plug.' "

NASA officials said the possibility of cutting Voyager and several other long-running missions in the Earth-Sun Exploration Division arose in February, when the Bush administration proposed slashing the division's 2006 budget by nearly one-third -- from $75 million to $53 million.


"Voyager is the same [as Hubble] -- one of the classic American contributions to space," said research physicist Louis J. Lanzerotti, who last year led a Hubble study for the National Academies of Science. "Voyager's photographs are all over astronomy textbooks."

Dick Fisher, NASA's deputy director for the Earth-sun division, acknowledged that Voyager's looming demise is a direct result of the new budget. He said the agency based its proposed cuts on a "senior review" by outside experts who in 2003 gave Voyager a low priority among the division's 13 "extended" missions.

"If we use that set of goals, we would be looking at certain missions that would have to be terminated," Fisher said in a telephone interview. "We have to [decide] whether to sweat the rest of the budget to pay for this."

An extended mission begins when a spacecraft has finished its original task but is still able to contribute new science. The best known one underway is that of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which are exploring the Martian desert a year after the end of their 90-day "design" mission.

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, destined originally for a five-year journey to Jupiter and Saturn, have been extended repeatedly ever since. Most systems are functioning well, and both spacecraft are expected to provide usable data until their plutonium power sources are used up -- probably in 2020.

Fisher said NASA has made no final decision on the cuts but has notified project scientists of its intentions and asked for cost-trimming proposals. He said the agency will make final decisions this month, perhaps by April 15.

The other programs on the block are Ulysses, launched in 1990 to study the sun; Geotail (1992), Wind (1994) and Polar (1996), to trace the interaction between solar events and their effects on Earth; FAST (1996), to study Earth's aurora; and TRACE (1998), to investigate the solar atmosphere and magnetic fields.


The Voyager mission today has a full-time staff of 10 people, down from 300 at the height of the Grand Tour. The probes' software has no storage capability, so they must transmit their instruments' readings in real time.
These programs are not only unique and historic, but they would cost a fortune -- a true federal-budget-sized fortune, not some pissant $20 or $40 million dollars, which is less noticable from the US budget than a speck in a sneeze -- to reproduce today, and there's no possible way to put instruments where they currently are for decades. They're literally -- and using the term correctly -- invaluable in terms of what serendipitous knowledge might come to us from their continued use.

There are few more valuable uses for our tax dollars, and to cease to pay for listening to them for the sake of some fraction of a penny per year of what each of us pays is little different from stabbing out an eye to avoid the expense of wiping your sunglasses.

Write Congress. Call. Write your newspaper. Make noise until this is washed away with no chance of it happening again. (Yeah, I know, not likely, but I have a quota of exhortion to fulfill.)

Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5.

4/04/2005 01:51:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 2 comments

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ROGER ON SIN. City, that is:
If film noir was not a genre, but a hard man on mean streets with a lost lovely in his heart and a gat in his gut, his nightmares would look like "Sin City." The new movie by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller plays like a convention at the movie museum in Quentin Tarantino's subconscious. A-list action stars rub shoulders with snaky villains and sexy wenches, in a city where the streets are always wet, the cars are ragtops and everybody smokes. It's a black-and-white world, except for blood, which is red, eyes which are green, hair which is blond, and the Yellow Bastard.

This isn't an adaptation of a comic book, it's like a comic book brought to life and pumped with steroids. It contains characters who occupy stories, but to describe the characters and summarize the stories would be like replacing the weather with a weather map.

The movie is not about narrative but about style. It internalizes the harsh world of the Frank Miller "Sin City" comic books and processes it through computer effects, grotesque makeup, lurid costumes and dialogue that chops at the language of noir. The actors are mined for the archetypes they contain; Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Clive Owen and the others are rotated into a hyperdimension. We get not so much their presence as their essence; the movie is not about what the characters say or what they do, but about who they are in our wildest dreams.


I don't think "Sin City" really has a period, because it doesn't really tell a story set in time and space. It's a visualization of the pulp noir imagination, uncompromising and extreme. Yes, and brilliant.
He liked it, Mikey. It's nice to see him enthused.

Note here:
Rodriguez wanted to share directing credit with Frank Miller, author of the "Sin City" comic books, and with Quentin Tarantino, who directed one scene in the film. Told by the DGA he couldn't do that, he indeed asked about other teams, such as the Farrellys, the Hugheses and the Wachowskis, and was told they always worked as a team and joined as a team. Exceptions could not be made for individual films. At that point, he resigned from the DGA.
Some other unusual aspects of the film noted here.

I'm terribly behind in my watching movies-made-from-comics, I'm afraid; still haven't gotten to Hellboy, let alone Constantine, or a couple of others of late. So many movies, but so little time left over from the internet.

Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5 for the rest of Roger's review if interested.

4/04/2005 07:54:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 2 comments

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WHAT CABLE TV, WHERE? We won't let lack of cable tv get in the way of Battlestar Galactica blogging, since all the cool kids are doing it. No, we'll go straight to the "blog". (Who are we kidding by calling this sort of thing a "blog," though? Not only does it [and its widespread companions] not even have any links to anything, it's not even a frequently updated journal, neither personal, nor of any other kind whatever; it's just an occasionally updated web page with writing on a particular topic; if that's a "blog," then a transistor is an electric light bulb; there's nothing, of course, wrong with either, but using the word "blog" to describe nonlinking nonjournals is to destroy any useful meaning of the term.)

But, hey, I was particularly amused by this block of text of Ron Moore's:
"Hello, Ron. I have a question about Baltar you ought to answer. One of the things I liked about the original series was the way Baltar did all his chair-swiveling. Boy, he sure looked evil way the frak up there on that big pedestal. And then Lucifer or some other Cylon would come in, and there would be those big, dramatic polytonal chords, and then Baltar would slowly swivel around in his chair to face whatever had come into his room because before they came into his room, he was facing a wall, or something off screen-- who knows what was there. I'm sure there's been a lot of speculation about it. But you see, when you made the new Baltar the way he is-- that is, a non-- chair-swiveller, I didn't think the show could work at all. You've got to have a chair-swiveller in it, and there hasn't been one-- until now. Just as I'm getting used to Callis NOT being a chair-swiveller, there he is at the end of "Tigh Me Up" SWIVELING IN HIS CHAIR! Well, I must say I was very pleased with that, and so now I must ask: Was James Callis's chair-swiveling scene a tribute to John Colicos's chair-swiveling?"

Chair-swiveling is an old and honorable avocation for any accomplished and self-respecting villainous personage. How could its inclusion be anything but a loving tribute?
Yes, well, the original BG was pretty much a program for idiots (or children, if you want to insult children by assuming they're not very bright), but it did do a fair shake in over-the-top cacklingly awful melodrama, and John Colicos looms large in that field of accomplishment. Truly, he is one of the champion chair-swivelers of all time, and it's fine to see that properly, proportionately, honored.

I'll digress to make a point about the query below, which in inquiring what Moore thinks of fanfiction, says "...or do you encourage people to express themselves (with in limits) like Gene did with with the fan fiction for Star Trek?"

Which is a fairly kooky, anachronistic, thing to say. Apparently a lot of people have forgotten some trivial facts, such as that, okay, I don't claim metaphysical certitude on this, but I'm pretty sure that while Star Trek: The Original Series was on the air, Gene Roddenbery didn't lift a microscopic hair on his body to encourage fanfiction (letters to renew the show are another matter). He was entirely devoted to his show and other pilots; moreover, relatively little fanfiction existed at the time, and only a handful of dedicated Star Trek fanzines did as well.

The major phenomena, beyond regular science fiction fandom, happened after the show was dead. Off the air. Kaput. Cancelled. Non-existent. Deceased. Not just sleeping. Over. Not to be seen again. Gone.

But not forgotten. But, still, past the brief flicker of the Animated Series, and the Bantam books, no one remotely expected Star Trek to return other than at the hands of fans. Yes, there were a handful of original Trek fanzines begun not long after the show went on the air (hi, Devra!, hi, Ruth!), but it was in the Seventies, after the first significant ST convention in 1972, and after the growth of dedicated ST fanzines, mostly devoted to fan fiction, that fan fiction started to significantly flow in snowballing numbers, years after the program was gone. And I'm not even sure it's fair to say that Roddenberry ever did anything to "encourage" fan fiction whatever, other than, I suppose, not to shake his fist at anyone for it, and to not speak against it -- though why he would, I can't imagine. So to make such a comparison with any latter day tv series simply makes little sense, as such a comparison posits a parallel that doesn't exist. (Although it's certainly fascinating to see Star Trek now returning to the closest parallel situation to its state in 1970 that has existed since then, albeit still entirely different due to the extant state of Trek fandom on the internet, the still ongoing, if cut-back, publishing program at Pocket Books, and all the other ancillary outlets, such as the computer games.)

Turning back to Moore's page for a moment before I go, there's also an apparently entirely heart-felt, and rather touching, tribute to Harlan Ellison and what he's meant to Moore, below those other entries, on how Moore dealt with a crucial decision about the about-to-film pilot for the Pern tv series, using Harlan's advice, “Don’t be a whore!”

Of which there's worse advice.

Read The Rest Scale: there are other substantive entries, if you're interested in that sort of thing, including this latest, on the show and politics.

4/04/2005 06:52:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Sunday, April 03, 2005
THAT WORD DOESN'T MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS. From the listings at TV Guide (the link will only work if you register a location, etc., so don't count on seeing what I see) from an upcoming PBS American Experience documentary on Mary Pickford:
Mary Pickford wasn't quite born in a trunk, but she did make her stage debut at age 7. A star at 19, she literally blazed the trail to Hollywood.
Italics mine. So I guess the way that worked is that, at some point between the age of 7 and 19, she found herself in the mysterious and unexplored woods near a legendary place named Hollywood. No living human had ever actually been known to venture to this "Hollywood," and return, but brave little Mary had a trusty Bowie knife, almost as big as she was, and setting forth one day, she simply doggedly marched forward through the forest in the direction that myth said "Hollywood" must be in.

Slicing great chunks of bark from passing trees as she carved a path out of the wilderness, her mighty young limbs never tiring as she marked the trail, soon enough she arrived at the fabled village! Her uniquely carved path forever marked in the hitherto untouched wood, little Mary Pickford, not yet out of her teens, achieved world fame! She had literally blazed the trail to Hollywood, and all who have come since are grateful for that service immortalized in wood.

Yes, that's the way it must have been. They wouldn't write it in TV Guide if it weren't so, would they?

Read The Rest Scale: 0 out of 5.

4/03/2005 07:51:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 2 comments

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I'M SORRY FOR ELEANOR CLIFT'S LOSS, and I'm angered by people who choose to intrude into such private everyday tragedies, and I'm angered by those who spread the vicious lie that such end-of-life experiences are murder and that they inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on the patient, when the reverse is the case and the point and the lesson.

Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5.

4/03/2005 02:30:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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I PREFER SERO-TONIC WATER, though sometimes I mix all four together. Right now, sero-tonic for me; questions answered here.

Read The Rest Scale: at least Google-owned Blogger is letting me bring this to you.

4/03/2005 02:03:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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REPUBLICANS ARE CONSISTENTLY WORSE WITH THE ECONOMY than Democrats. Michael Kinsley has the poop.
Federal spending (aka "big government"): It has gone up an average of about $50 billion a year under presidents of both parties. But that breaks down as $35 billion a year under Democratic presidents and $60 billion under Republicans. If you assume that it takes a year for a president's policies to take effect, Democrats have raised spending by $40 billion a year and Republicans by $55 billion.

Leaning over backward even farther, let's start our measurement in 1981, the date when many Republicans believe that life as we know it began. The result: Democrats still have a better record at smaller government. Republican presidents added more government spending for each year they served, whether you credit them with the actual years they served or with the year that followed.


Under Republican presidents since 1960, the federal deficit has averaged $131 billion a year. Under Democrats, that figure is $30 billion. In an average Republican year, the deficit has grown by $36 billion. In the average Democratic year it has shrunk by $25 billion. The national debt has gone up more than $200 billion a year under Republican presidents and less than $100 billion a year under Democrats.


And how about this one? The average annual rise in real per capita income -- that's the statistic that puts money in your pocket. Democrats score about 30 percent higher.
If you're going to vote for spending money, you might as well at least let it be spent on the needs of the poor, the low-income, and the middle-class, and on public infrastructure, rather than on public debt, credit card companies, and the profit margins of the wealthiest.

Read The Rest Scale: 4 out of 5.

4/03/2005 01:01:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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DIDN'T ACTUALLY PLAY LT. SAAVIK. The ongoing life of Dutch politican Hirsi Ali. She's been endlessly written about, especially ever since the assassination of her colloborator on Submission, Theo van Gogh, but this is an interesting profile, nonetheless. It's verstandig, sensible.

Unlike many, I have no deep arguments to make here about the Future Of Islam In The West or somesuch; really, all the important ones seem either rather obvious, or -- could we know? -- still mysteriously obscure -- but watching the story go slowly by, slowly by, as we contend and wend our way down these new bends in the river, seems a good idea.

Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5 for more information, more views.

4/03/2005 09:58:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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WHITE BOMB OR RED? In the truly important European news, French wine terrorists are blowing each other up.
Terrorist attacks by radical wine producers on government offices in the south of France yesterday served notice that the country's wine crisis may be spinning out of control.

Sticks of dynamite were thrown at agriculture ministry offices in Montpellier and Carcassonne in the early hours, causing serious damage but no injuries. A car was also burned outside ministry offices in Nîmes.

The attacks, which were condemned by mainstream wine producers' associations, were claimed by a group called comité régional d'action viticole (Crav).

The same group was responsible for incendiary attacks on supermarkets and explosions outside the offices of wine traders in the Languedoc-Roussillon area last month.

The letters "CRAV" - a group unknown until recent weeks - were daubed on the walls of the offices attacked yesterday. There was also a telephone call claiming responsibility to the French news agency, AFP.


Violent demonstrations by the small wine producers of Languedoc - the largest vineyards in the world - have been a feature of recurrent wine crises in France since the 1950s. Fears are growing that a mass demonstration by wine growers in Narbonne on 20 April could degenerate into serious violence.

The wine growers in Languedoc - both the mainstream organisations and the unidentified radicals calling themselves Crav - are demanding that the €70m (£48m) in subsidies and special assistance for exports already promised by the French government be increased.


Apart from an increase in the €70m in special aid and €3m in export subsidies already promised, the wine growers are demanding more government cash and permission from the European Commission for the subsidised distillation of 2,500,000 hectolitres of red wine to reduce the French "wine lake", which is depressing wholesale wine prices. This is equivalent to removing 333 million bottles of wine from the market by turning them into industrial alcohol.


Within France, wine consumption has fallen to 50 litres per adult per year, compared to 100 litres in the 1960s.
For the stake of restoring solidarity with the French, we must all do our duty, and each drink 75 litres of wine as soon as possible. I shall start tomorrow!

Read The Rest Scale: 2.5 out of 5 as fascinated. Could I have some pate and fine bread, please?

4/03/2005 09:16:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 1 comments

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