Sunday, October 30, 2005

Watchoo talkin' 'bout MoDo?

It's a 5200 word exploration by Maureen Dowd on why she can't find romantic happiness, and what's wrong with today's women--too much for me to parse. But this part irritated me:
Many women now do not think of domestic life as a "comfortable concentration camp," as Betty Friedan wrote in "The Feminine Mystique," where they are losing their identities and turning into "anonymous biological robots in a docile mass." Now they want to be Mrs. Anonymous Biological Robot in a Docile Mass. They dream of being rescued - to flirt, to shop, to stay home and be taken care of. They shop for "Stepford Fashions" - matching shoes and ladylike bags and the 50's-style satin, lace and chiffon party dresses featured in InStyle layouts - and spend their days at the gym trying for Wisteria Lane waistlines.
Of course she's talking about the two-dimensional women in the fashionable crowds of New York, but still, if this is being "taken care of" I should have married a richer man. I'd
like to point out her insensitive remarks regarding women of suburbs. We don't walk to the market, drycleaners and other errands, we drive. We have to drive. And we don't cook on plate warmers; our kitchens are full. That combination makes for broad waistlines. If we don't go to the gym, we're more likely to put on weight, compared to our counter-parts in the city.

A lot of this article is a re-hashing of an article she did a year or so ago. She even used some of the same quotes, I think.

I find her point of view very baby-boomer centric, and I'm not talking about the comparison with gen x or y. Her study of pre-baby boomer women doesn't go any farther than the books and advice her mother gave her: " The third, when I was 25, was "How to Catch and Hold a Man," by Yvonne Antelle."

It is absurd to judge generations of women by a few books. My guess is women today, baby boomers and women of generations' past weren't all that different from each other. Some wanted to work, but didn't or couldn't because of cultural expectations, family expecations, or childrearing duties--basically what life handed to them. Some went to work, cultural expectations be damned. My grandmother was one of them.

Many women, myself not included, are extraordinary domestic managers who create beautiful homes, sumptuous meals and orderly homes. Me? I suspect I'm like most, somewhere in between. But that's because--Maureen, if you're reading this--I'm human. I don't easily fit into some writer's pre-conceived notion of what I should or should not be doing. And neither do you--give yourself a break, why don't ya?

Update: Roger Simon reminds me:
Dowd seems to have missed the most astonishing statistic to be revealed lately. Fifty-seven percent of the college population is now female. Men are going to have to get used to intelligent women or turn celibate. An incipient social revolution may be in the cards that will dwarf the bra burning of the sixties.
Who knows?
Art as therapy

I think I'm particularly interested in the comment about "procedural memory."

At the Modern, which plans to expand the Alzheimer's program next year to families and other care providers, the effects of the tours are often striking and seem to speak - in a world of reproduction - to the power of the original. (For now, the tours focus on representational art, on the theory that it's an easier touchstone for narratives and memories. There are no Pollocks, for example.)

<>Besides improving patients' moods for hours and even days, the tours seem to demonstrate that the disease, while diminishing sufferers' abilities in so many ways, can also sometimes spark interpretive and expressive powers that had previously lay hidden. Mr. Rosen, for instance, who had little interest in art when he was younger, talked with ease and inventiveness about the composition of Rousseau's "Sleeping Gypsy."

(snip)

One avenue of thinking about both music and art, he said, is that it engages parts of the brain that remain intact long after the onset of dementia and that have to do with procedural memory - the kind that governs routine activities like walking, eating, shaving. One musician whom Dr. Sacks has observed has almost entirely lost his memory, but his musical memory is intact. "Nietzsche used to say that we listened to music with our muscles," he said. The question is whether a similar mechanism is at work in making and looking at art.

The National Institute on Aging held a conference in Alexandria, Va., last year to allow researchers to compare notes on Alzheimer's and artistic activity. One speaker, Bruce L. Miller, clinical director of the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco, said he believed that even sitting and looking at art is much more active than most people assume, and such activity could have positive effects on damaged brains.

"There's a lot of general excitement in this area, but not much known about it," he said later in an interview. "I think there is, tucked in there, a research question that really hasn't been answered yet, which is: by looking at or making art, is there a way to improve the brains of those with Alzheimer's?"

Saturday, October 29, 2005

No Arnold fans allowed!

Free speech for me but not for thee.
Snacks

  • Israel Agrees To Be Wiped Off Map

  • PostWatch has a useful running item called Iraq in the Post Today, including page numbers. You'll never guess where they place UN Oil-for-Food stories.

  • Michelle Malkin fills in what the NYT's left out of their "2000 Dead" article.

  • Althouse asks,
  • At the time of the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate scandal, we scorned a President livid about leakers and made heroes out of journalists who found sources and revealed secrets. Now we are in a new era, with a different President and a different war, and the journalists slip into a different position. Oh, it's all different -- you may say -- when the leak comes from the Administration, by those who would preserve the position of the powerful, in the interest of supporting a war. Are you sure you shouldn't worry about the free press right now?
I guess that last one is more something to chew on for a while. I'm having a hard time separating my feelings and thoughts on this matter.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"HUGE breakthrough at swing class. HUGE."

I dub thee Pat Reynolds Charles Grodin of the blogosphere, cranky, cynical, hilarious and not at all to be taken seriously--what with suing people for bad haircuts and whatnot.
More from Peyton Place

In other news: the FBI have discovered a second body on a ranch 15 miles west of Jourdanton, within one year. Neither have been identified.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Millions freed

Bill at INDC took a long blog nap that he's slowly waking up from and I'm so glad. After he gets past his "moment of editorial disgust," he brings us to rosenblog, who gives us some statistical perspective on military deaths, and then has this to say,
Today the news-hungry media reports each death in an agonizing, repetitive fashion. One learns of a death in the morning newspapers, hears about it on radio on the way to work, sees it on CNN during lunch time, and the cycle repeats itself for few more hours in the evening, capped by a special on Nightline. The effect is that the impact of each death is sensationally and numbingly magnified without any reference to the contexts, such as toppling a murderous dictatorship, defeating a sponsor of terrorism and bringing freedom to an oppressed people.
My my my bold. I guess that means I wholeheartedly agree with rosenblog and I think he put it very nicely.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fantastico!

A new RAND study shows that Hispanic immigrants to the United States and their children move up the economic and educational ladder across generations just as quickly as European immigrants did generations earlier.

"These findings run counter to the prevailing view that there is something in the system that holds Hispanic immigrants back," RAND economist James P. Smith said. "Based upon our experience with history, the children and grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants progress up the educational and income ladder in the same way as immigrants who came here from European countries."

While these generational improvements exist for all Hispanics combined, they also characterize the most numerically important Hispanic group — those from Mexico.

(Via Vodkapundit)
Wrong way Galloway

Via Instapundit, The London Times brings us this:

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will refer the Respect Party MP for possible prosecution after concluding that he gave “false and misleading” testimony at his appearance before the panel in May.



The sub-committee claimed that, through intermediaries, Mr Galloway and the Mariam Appeal were granted eight allocations of Iraqi crude oil totalling 23 million barrels from 1999 to 2003.

It will also forward the new information to British authorities, saying it raised questions about Mr Galloway’s financial disclosure and the payment of illegal kickbacks to Iraq. “We have what we would call the smoking gun,” said Senator Norm Coleman, the sub-committee’s Republican chairman.

It doesn't look like he is sincerely anti-war, which makes me feel bad for all the sincere anti-war protesters who unwittingly hooked up with him. Those that did so wittingly, I don't feel so bad for. My guess, if he can squirm his way out of this, he'll do so laughing all the way to the bank.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Passion Tea

Jay Tea writes that he's pushed a blogger out the exit door of the blogosphere.
This guy had very strong feelings about quite a few issues, and if anyone had the nerve to challenge him (let alone prove him wrong), he'd get incredibly bent out of shape. Personal attacks, profanities, and utter non sequiturs would start flying, as he'd work himself into a righteous dither. Unfortunately for him, it was all heat and no light, as he was regularly unable to defend his positions.

When one gets as "passionate" about matters as this guy did, it quickly becomes far less about the facts and far more about defending oneself -- and attacking those who dare question you. And what happens when you're wrong? At what point does reason triumph and the passionate one separate himself from the losing issue?

In my case, months later, at least. Actually, I think my hesitancy to engage in debate is more about the fear of not being liked.

You like me, don't you?

Also, many people who engage in debate don't do it very politely. A guy I used to be friends with had this annoying habit of starting his emails to me, "I had to laugh when I read on your blog..." even when I wasn't trying to be funny. It got worse from there, so I stopped communicating with him.
"Dictatorship to democracy"

Omar of Iraq the Model:
Our goal is to contribute to the world’s understanding of our country through our blog. We cannot reverse the damage inflicted by some of the media but at least we could try.

The name ‘Iraq the Model’ was Mohammed’s choice and I didn’t hesitate a second to accept it. We do believe that our country can and will be a model for the region and the rest of the world, a model for drastic change from dictatorship to democracy in a region where democracy is an anomaly. We haven’t reached our goal yet, but we think we’re not that far from it.

A camera crew is all I need!

What is happening in Jourdanton, Texas? The mayor's common-law husband indicted for murdering their neighbor, and then he points a finger at her, the mayor resigns, but not before pulling a fast-one on the city council and setting up her campaign manager, a woman not well-liked according to my sources, to take her place. The town crying foul at this unelected woman, who also according to my source, ran for and did not win in a city council election. City employees bringing national media attention, by budgeting for euthenasia of stray dogs, but actually drowning them instead. An Atascosa county grand jury refused to indict. And now, the appointed mayor is trying to fire both the city manager and the sherriff against the town's wishes.

And me without a camera crew!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Outta here!

Well, not yet. As soon as hubby gets home. He promised to try to sneak out early, but since the electricity went out in his office yesterday at 4:00, my guess is he'll have to make up some time this afternoon, Friday afternoon. Always Friday afternoon.

When he does get home, we're off to S. Texas to visit relatives. I wish you all a restful weekend!
Ouch!

An allegedly happy day at school. Nah, it couldn't have been fun, I say. Yes, Mom! It was fun! I love school!

This is interesting to hear since I generally hear I don't want to go to school! It's too hard! What's hard, I ask? The paperwork, she says. Hmm...we'll need further investigation.

But that's about as deep as it gets. She doesn't fuss about going to school, just generally says she doesn't want to, though she seems happy enough.

And then the dagger (scroll to botton): Chloe says she doesn't want to play with me anymore. She says she won't come over to my house anymore.

She doesn't look hurt as she recants these events, just confused. The hurt, I suppose recall will come later. Are you being nice to Chloe? Yes. Are you sure? Ye-es. Have you ever told her you don't want to play with her? No. (This is at odds with what her teacher, Miss Julie told me in a phone conversation. The conversation was not about her relationship with Chloe, but it came up.)

Well then, if you're sure you're being nice to her, and she still doesn't want to play with you, then don't play with her. This is a problem with Chloe, not you.

There. That was a nice satisfying reply. Anything else troubling you?

But I want to play with Chloe.

Ah. Well. If you're being a nice little girl, there's no reason for Chloe to not want to play with you, unless she's not being nice, and you don't want to play with someone who's not nice, do you?

No.

Good.

How on earth do I know if I've told her the right thing? I should have at least added, anyone in their right mind would want to play with you because you are super-duper special terrific! Which I wholeheartedly believe, but even a four-year-old can sense an over-the-top mom answer.

Ah--think I'll go back to school for a master's in momming. Until then, I'll keep winging it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

News or editorial?

Via James Taranto (link not yet available) comes this AP story on the CNN website:
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's CIA-leak inquiry is focusing attention on what long has been a tactic of U.S. President George W. Bush's administration: slash-and-burn assaults on its critics, particularly those opposed to the president's Iraq war policies.

If top officials are indicted, it could seriously erode the administration's credibility and prove yet another embarrassment to Bush on the larger issue of how he and his national security team marshaled information -- much of it later shown to be inaccurate -- to support their case for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

More than just their two lead paragraphs, the experts quoted have also made up their minds:
"The grand jury investigation has the possibility of really shining a light on the credibility of the administration, how officials tried to undermine those who were criticizing them and how they then covered up that attempt," American University political scientist James Thurber said.

"The question of whether the vice president was involved, we'll probably never know. But it was pretty close to him," said Thurber. He questioned whether Rove and Libby would have operated "on their own" in discussing Wilson's wife with reporters.
Sounds like to Thurber the question is not whether a crime has occured, but how the crime occured. Say, when did all this Wilson stuff start anyway?
It came at a particularly difficult time for the president and his aides. The war clearly was not going well, despite Bush's "mission accomplished" speech two months earlier. And Bush was already reeling from criticism over mentioning the African yellowcake connection -- which turned out to be based on faulty British intelligence -- in his State of the Union address.
(My bold.) Again, recall this is a news story, not an editorial. Also, my recollection is that the Brits stood by their intelligence. I'll have to dig around to see if I missed something.

Who else did the AP talk to?
"This is an administration that was trying to play hardball at every level," said Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign policy scholar at the Brookings Institution. "And that's what they were doing with Wilson. And he of course was playing hardball, too. It was an ugly back and forth."
Well, as long as there is somebody to speak for the administration's side!

That is all for now.
Miers is Borked!

From Robert Bork's piece in today's OpinionJournal, the definition of originalism:
For the past 20 years conservatives have been articulating the philosophy of originalism, the only approach that can make judicial review democratically legitimate. Originalism simply means that the judge must discern from the relevant materials--debates at the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers, newspaper accounts of the time, debates in the state ratifying conventions, and the like--the principles the ratifiers understood themselves to be enacting. The remainder of the task is to apply those principles to unforeseen circumstances, a task that law performs all the time. Any philosophy that does not confine judges to the original understanding inevitably makes the Constitution the plaything of willful judges.


Explainer

I like Byron York's pieces. I think of them as explainer pieces. In his latest he looks at the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act and the 1917 Espionage Act that Patrick Fitzgerald can use to indict whoever leaked Valerie Plame's name.
"At the end of the day," says the former intelligence official, "this could end up being a situation where there wasn't a crime until there was an investigation."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wasting time?

If I'm doing this when I'm normally reading or writing blog stuff, what am I doing when I'm blogging?

Monday, October 17, 2005

From the desk of the president of the United States

This is too funny:

Kickass43: yo dick

Kickass43: u there

Kickass43: its not 2 late.

Kickass43: the sox games still on :(

Veepman: THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS OFFLINE

Kickass43: o man

Kickass43: hey condi wazzup

Kickass43: u there girlfrien

SecStateUSA: THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES IS OUT OF THE COUNTRY. PLEASE CONTACT SECRETARY RICE’S OFFICE SHOULD YOU REQUIRE FURTHER ASSISTANCE.
Kickass43: karl

Kickass43: how bout u???

Kickass43: they aint got nuddin on u

Kickass43: u de man

WonderBoy: KARL ROVE WILL BE OFFLINE UNTIL NOVEMBER 2006

Kickass43: ain’t no 1

Kickass43: hey Scooter

Kickass43: wat bout u

Chiefscooty: I. LEWIS LIBBY HAS NO COMMENT AT THIS TIME. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE.

Kickass43: heck

Kickass43: my posses awol

Kickass43: waz happenin Karen

Kickarabbootay: Undersecretary Hughes cares about what you have to say. She is offline right now because is doing important work on behalf of the President and for all Americans, whatever their faith or background. She will be happy to discuss your concerns at another time.

Kickass43: shud never have let her go

Kickass43: thats y im in this dam mess

Kickass43: she kept my sorry ass in line

Kickass43: Yo danny boy

BigBartlett: It is important for conservatives to reserve judgment, give the candidate a chance to prove herself at the hearings, and trust the president.

Kickass43: ???

Kickass43: Dano its me :)

BigBartett: It is important for conservatives to reserve judgment, give the candidate a chance to prove herself at the hearings, and trust the president.

Kickass43: thats yr frikkin away message????

BigBartlett: It is important for conservatives to reserve judgment, give the candidate a chance to prove herself at the hearings, and trust the president.

(Via Gay Patriot.)
Waitress!

Jonah Goldberg hunts down a WaPo piece on Nexis--not the web--and wants someone from the Republican Party to send Dean a thank-you note:

"The DNC has identified four critical segments of the U.S. electorate," this attendee wrote. "1. Merlot Democrats: We are the base."

Dean mentioned three other categories in this talk: "Patriotic Democrats," who often leave the party because of the Republican emphasis on moral values and the war on terrorism; "Regular Republicans," which is the other party's base; and "Backlash Republicans" who are troubled by the direction of the country and would, perhaps, vote Democratic.

No mention was made of other political subsets, such as "Dewar's Libertarians" and "Organic Syrah Greens."
Is chardonnay too twentieth century?
DOOP

Bill at INDC asks and answers:
How could the UN top the previously disturbing irony of Libya chairing a human rights commission? Easy, just invite Robert Mugabe to address a hunger conference:
Via a later post [Added: by Dorkafork], Mugabe's speech:

Mugabe departed from his text at a ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to accuse Bush and Blair of illegally invading Iraq and looking to unseat governments elsewhere.

"Must we allow these men, the two unholy men of our millennium, who in the same way as Hitler and Mussolini formed (an) unholy alliance ... to attack an innocent country?" he said, occasionally gesticulating for emphasis.

I'll bet the gesticulating really brought home his point.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Weekend getaway!

Back from the lake. Weekend was a marvelous success!
www.flickr.com








Nancy M's photos tagged with LakeMore of Nancy M's photos tagged with Lake



Friday, October 14, 2005

Hands off!

NBC's Andrea Mitchell gets roughed up by Sudanese security thugs.
Rice demanded -- and later received, on her departure -- a formal apology for that and other incidents during the secretary of state's brief trip to Darfur. During the meeting between Rice and Bashir, several U.S. officials weren't allowed to enter the room, and Rice's assistant Jim Wilkinson was slammed against the wall by Sudanese security forces when he tried to get into the room.
Good grief. No freedom of the press in Sudan. (Via Gateway Pundit.)
Not feeling so fresh?

From the WSJ editorial page: "the war in Iraq was not only an act of national liberation but also of international political hygiene."

Political hygiene--ha!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Davis-Bacon

Good discussion on the law that sets wages and how it's affecting New Orleans. Just keep scrolling up!
Novel idea

I really think Tom Wolfe should write the entire Valerie Plame/Judy Miller story as literary non-fiction. It would surpass even Bonfire of the Vanities. I'll bet he could even use that title.

On the other hand, an Earle-Delay story would be entertaining too!
There oughtta be a law!

You would think that going to bed late would produce the need to sleep in for a toddler, wouldn't you? You'd be WRONG. Brendan has not only been waking up earlier in general, he woke up at the painful hour of 5:30 this morning. He doesn't so much wake up, actually, as he just cries out his heart in his sleep. My rule is that should this occur prior to 6:00, it is to be ignored until he falls back into a deeper sleep. This morning it took him a very long time to fall back asleep, and when he did, he repeated the whole thing over again just before 6:30. So it was up and at 'em early for me as is fast becoming the usual.

I'd hoped the pre-dawn hours of babyhood were over, but they're indeed back just in time to get me ready for getting his older sister ready for elementary school next year, which I assume will also be in the pre-dawn hours.

We seem to be relatviely healthy here, so I cancelled a playdate for Emma because her friend's family had the big bad stomach bug this week, and though she didn't catch it, I couldn't risk sick kids on a weekend cabin-camping trip. Emma is so looking forward to it. I want it to go just right. Sigh. Major guilt, but I had to take pre-emptive action to keep everybody well.

More if time allows. If time does not allow, I'll see ya next week.
What are the rules?

How come the National Review Online's Media Blog can quote long passages of NYT's op-ed columnists? I'm not seeing anyone else doing it. Spruiell quotes John Tierney on journalism bias.
The problem isn't so much the stories that appear as the ones that no one thinks to do. Journalists naturally tend to pursue questions that interest them. So when you have a press corps that's heavily Democratic — more than 80 percent, according to some surveys of Washington journalists — they tend to do stories that reflect Democrats' interests.
Very true, very true.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Vital stats

Help! I keep losing this post every time I try to publish it! It's as though someone doesn't want me to compile this vital information!

I don't know exactly where I'm going with this, except to compile the actual number of journalists in big media to gain some perspective on the influence of a relatively small number of people who generally share the same political values (link to come) on world politics.

Here are AP's stats, according to their webpage:
  • 242 total bureaus worldwide
  • 1,700 U.S. daily, weekly, non-English and college newspapers
  • 5,000 radio/TV outlets taking AP
  • 1000 AP Radio Network affiliates taking AP Network News
  • 330 International broadcasters who receive AP's global video news service, APTN, and SNTV, a sports joint venture video service.
  • 8,500 International subscribers who receive AP news and photos
  • 121 number of countries served by AP
  • 5 languages, including English, German, Dutch, French and Spanish. The report is translated into many more languages by international subscribers.
  • 3,700 AP editorial, communications and administrative employees worldwide
Only 3700?

How 'bout Reuters?
  • Founded in London in 1851
  • Around 330,000 professional users
  • Approximately 15,000 staff in 91 countries
  • World's largest international multimedia news agency - 2,300 editorial staff, journalists, photographers and camera operators in 196 bureaux serving approximately 130 countries
  • In 2004 Reuters filed over two and a half million news items, including 440,000 alerts, from 209 countries around the world published in 18 languages.
  • Real-time data provided on 5.5 million financial records
  • More than 200 million data records maintained and updated containing over 3,000 billion discrete data points (or record fields)
  • Information on 35,000 companies worldwide
  • Financial information from over 300 exchanges and OTC markets
  • Financial data updated over 8,000 times per second, and at peak time more than 23,000 times per second
  • More than 4,000 clients contribute prices, opinions and analysis
  • Reuters Group 2004 revenue £2.9 billion *
  • Constituent of FTSE100 index
  • Listed on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ exchanges: RTR and RTRSY (respectively)
  • Reuters is among the most read news sources on the Internet reaching millions in their offices, homes or on PDAs
NYT's? You search the site--I can't find it!

Washington Post?

Full-time employee counts as of September 2004:

News & Editorial: 784
Business: 1027
Production: 851
Huh, interesting ratio, huh?

More to come as I find time. Please send your suggestions.
"It’s like watching the ocean through a pinhole"

Times Square cam. Via Lileks.
Shafer v. Collier

Jack Shafer:
National-security reporters—none of whom have clearances—receive classified information for a living. If the government used espionage law to investigate government leaks to the press, the effect would be an unofficial secrets act criminalizing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of annual conversations between sources and reporters.
(snip)
For one thing, no Department of Defense, National Security Council, Department of State, or White House staffer with security clearances would ever speak—on or off the record—to any reporter about any sensitive topic. The sheer legal exposure would prove too much. Knowing they're explicitly liable for indictment, they'll just stop talking to reporters.
Will Colllier:
Well, damnit, good. I've got news for you, Jack--what they're doing is already illegal. Right or wrong, it's the law, and they're breaking it every time they leak something that's classified to a newspaper employee.
Advantage: Collier.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I can't get enough NYT's criticism!

Jay Rosen:
The breakdown in controls in reporting Weapons of Mass Destruction is, of course a factor— along with earlier episodes: Jayson Blair, Wen Ho Lee, Paul Krugman’s correction trauma. It’s an accumulation of things; the Post is just more agile, better able to adjust to a changing world, and to the exploding marketplace in news and views.
The Post? We're doomed!
"She wanted to hide in the generous indifference of cities."

On the nightstand (to borrow a phrase from Vodkapundit)--I'm reading Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. First published in 1920, it's about a city girl who marries a country doctor for love and for the idealistic goal of reforming his country midwestern Minnesota town into a cultured city. Obviously, the town's denizens resent her immediately and the gossip flies.

I'm only a third of the way through, but so far, I miss the affectionate tone of Jane Austen or Edith Wharton. Other than that, it's pretty good.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I'm hit!

I mentioned a few posts below, that if I could have taken the stomach virus bullet for my toddler, I would have. Well, said bullet wound its way through my husband, piercing me in the gut and then wreaked havoc for a solid six hours, while my husband was trying to regain strength, sleep and watch the kids because I couldn't get up.

Gene took the day off Monday and half a day yesterday to give me some extra time to recuperate. Then Emma got hit, but she seems to be doing okay. Still, I kept her out of school today because of a low fever last night. So what's the pattern? What's the timeline?
  • Baby hit five times Saturday evening, Sunday morning.
  • Dad hit Sunday night.
  • Mom shelled Monday afternoon to early evening.
  • Sister takes a bullet (or three) Monday night.
  • Baby takes another round Tuesday morning, stinks ups sister's room. (I still cannot get the smell out!)
  • Tuesday afternoon, the pediatrician says, "Eh--could be off and on for another ten days for the kids. With adults, these things tend to end in 24 hours."
Today I took the kids to Cici's pizza, where they don't take credit or debit cards by the way, to try to inspire us to eat. We did a little eating, stopped by the grocery store. I don't know about the kids, but I'm exhausted. Posts about interesting things will resume when I'm stronger.

Monday, October 03, 2005

NYTs editorial corrections

More on the NYT's editorial corrections (via Instapundit):
A friend of mine, Phil Carter, who by the way, is enjoying his last week in the States before heading to Iraq with his Army Reserve unit, wrote an op/ed for the paper in July. Hours after the print edition hit the street, I got this email from Phil:

Those of you who receive the New York Times print edition will see an op-ed under my byline. Please disregard this op-ed in its entirety. The New York Times print edition contains an erroneous version containing an editor's suggested language which I neither wrote nor approved, nor would ever write or approve. I am seeking a correction of this matter, but felt compelled by the subject matter to send a note . . . disavowing the article.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Times readers spared truth by Gail Collins

Without reading the New York Times on a day-to-day weekly basis, I've begun to suspect that editorial page editor Gail Collins is doing the Grey Lady a disservice in her position. Exhibit A:
This [use of statistics in editorial on aid to Africa] is naughty in two ways. First, comparing the ten year cost of a tax bill to the one year cost of aid is not the done thing in economics circles--any more than you can compare the amount you'll spend on food over the next decade to the amount you'll spend on your mortgage over the nex year, and declare that you spend more on food than shelter. And second of all, it is not quite playing the straight bat to include all the costs of the bill, and accidentally leave out the revenue generation.
Exhibit 2: James Taranto points out that where the NYT's criticized the Iraq constituion :
The draft constitution given to Iraq's national assembly last night does little to advance the prospects for a unified and peaceful Iraq. Nor does it reflect well on the Bush administration, which let its politically motivated obsession with an arbitrary deadline trump its responsibility to promote inclusiveness, women's rights and the rule of law.
Yet the NYT's heralded the Afghanistan constitution as one that
"offers hope that the beleaguered nation can finally evolve into a modern, democratic state. . . . And it balances the goal of an Islamic state with the promise to abide by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. America's ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, was right to call it "one of the most enlightened constitutions in the Islamic world."
Pretty inconsistent, I'd say, and sloppily so. JT says,
"Gail Collins & Co. are heavily invested in the idea that America shouldn't have liberated in Iraq in the first place. Failure in Iraq--unlike in Afghanistan--would vindicate them, and that is why they are so eager to find signs of it."
Exhibit III comes to us via Ann Althouse today:
After publishing his third correction on the Web, Krugman asked Collins, she wrote, "if he could refrain from revisiting the subject yet again in print. I agreed, feeling we had reached the point of cruelty to readers. But I was wrong. The correction should have run in the same newspaper where the original error and all its little offspring had appeared."
That's very kind, but uh ...I think we can handle the truth. She does add, however,
Collins also announced that the paper would henceforth be running regular corrections and "for the record" explanations under the Times' editorials. Today she published several in the "for the record" category. One notes that Krugman, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich all incorrectly stated that former FEMA director Michael Brown went to college with his predecessor Joe Allbaugh. Another corrects where Mick Jagger made a certain statement about economics.
Excellent! I can't wait to not read them! Here's the correction she had to pull out of Krugman:
"In describing the results of the ballot study by the group led by The Miami Herald in his column of Aug. 26, Paul Krugman relied on the Herald report, which listed only three hypothetical statewide recounts, two of which went to Al Gore. There was, however, a fourth recount, which would have gone to George W. Bush. In this case, the two stricter-standard recounts went to Mr. Bush. A later study, by a group that included The New York Times, used two methods to count ballots: relying on the judgment of a majority of those examining each ballot, or requiring unanimity. Mr. Gore lost one hypothetical recount on the unanimity basis."
Althouse comments:
Obviously, this is a tremendously important matter to be precise about. There are many people walking around today who believe the recount, if it had continued, would have given the election to Gore. Distorted perceptions about the media recount have long served the interests of those who want to portray Bush's presidency as illegitimate. The notion that getting the correction right was a matter of bugging people with too many picky things from the past, a "cruelty" that readers should be spared? The only people who can believe that, I think, are those who now, as then, want to make the Bush presidency look illegitimate.
Me me me

Boy, I haven't written in a while. For a few days I even forgot I had a blog. My week started out with a delightful drive to my parents' home 250 miles south. We took a circuitous route--kind of like Dallas to Houston via Los Angeles--to escape Rita traffic, thereby doubling the usual drive time.

But the scenery and the company doubled the enjoyment too. It's been a long time since I had a road trip with my folks, and even though I drove, it was a relaxed and happy journey. We talked politics--family and national, we talked child-rearing--mine and theirs, we just talked.

Our week ended with some friends volunteering to watch the kids so that we could see the movie Serenity. Firefly groupies (all thirteen of them) flocked to the theatres this weekend to catch the premiere of the short-lived, much-lamented television sci-fi drama come to life on the big screen. Good flick. Satisfying, if gritty ending.

My son rewarded this nice couple by throwing up on them three times in the four hours we were away. Colleen cautioned perhaps no more Taco Hell for the kids, but I think the stomach trauma could have partly been caused by the excitement of seeing her dogs. He goes nuts over her dogs. (This does not bode well for the only non-pet person in the house.) In any case, he vomited two more times after we brought him home before calling it quits. Each time he just looked at me with a what the hell expression?

What the hell, indeed? I'm sorry, little guy. I wish I could have taken that bullet for you.

In between the beginning and end of last week, an old airline friend found me via google. Since I've moved my blog to blogger, Bystander is the first to pop up in a search of my name. Cool, eh? A year ago, he sold all his belongings, bought an Isuzu Trooper and moved to Costa Rica with his cat Sara. Sounds like me ten years ago.

After our airline went kaput, he'd gone back into hotel work in San Francisco, while I worked in fashion in New York. After a couple years of not hearing from each other, I came upon his work number and called him up. He answered on the speaker phone. Without saying who I was, I whispered, "Greg--they're after me! It won't be long now."

Pause.

"You know too much," he answered.

Hee hee hee. Some friends are like that, and I hope he always will be.

I lost a contest at the gym for person who takes the most classes for the month of September. I had a pretty good lead until Shannon decided to go to two classes a day in the last week. I refused to break my no-gym-on-Thursday rule and skipped Sunday spin to drive to Houston, but even with both of those, she'd a had me by one class. Apparently I've been to 24 classes and she eeked me out by three. What the award is, we don't yet know. I'm betting it'll be a t-shirt or something lame, but if it's a weekend stay at the Gaylord Texan, I may have to invite Shannon to put on the boxing gloves with me.

The gym manager, Stacie, held a seminar on nutrition Tuesday evening. She thinks I'm getting half the protein I need, so I'm trying a supplement. I admit to feeling the first three symptoms of overtraining listed here, (they miraculously disappeared after a 7-layer burrito yesterday however) and I seem to be stuck at some immovable plateau in weight loss. Not that I need to lose weight--I'm just mystified that with the intense workouts I'm not losing weight.

I told Stacie I was probably eating 1800 calories a day. She told me to write down three days of eating. Today is day 3. It does not look good. I don't think my 1800-calories assertion stands up to scrutiny, though I haven't given it a detailed analysis--I do however write detailed notes by each entry like, but I hardly ever go to the movies! or I usually stop at one! I don't mean to be defensive--I just remember during the seminar, when we were discussing meals and snacks, she looked at me accusingly and asked, "Are you snacking with the kids?" No! I swear it!

All of this exercise and diet riot may prove a waste of time if my elbows keep me from working out anyway. I definitely have to quit biceps, triceps, push-ups, and bag punching, but I also may have to quit picking up gallons of milk, jugs of laundry detergent and, say, the odd tall glass of water. There are other classes besides weights, but I cannot muster the rhythem to do step, and I can't sacrifice any more family time in the evenings for more yoga or that fourth spin class.

Speaking of family, baby is napping, pre-schooler is watching toons and the husband is hammering something on his truck. How does that saying go? And all is right with the world? All is right with the world.