• But What If You Did Have To See The Planet Lip To Lip?

    From a David Brooks column , advising all those poor schmucks about to receive an insubstantial education at Harvard on how to make their Ivy experience count: Spend a year abroad. Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland believes that all major universities should require a year abroad: "All evidence suggests this, more than any other, is a transforming experience for students that lasts a lifetime." This, actually, strikes me as quite correct. I graduated college in three years -- I knew what I wanted to do, and through the blog, I was already doing it, so it made sense to concentrate -- but my great regret is that I never spent a year, a season, a semester, or even a matter of weeks abroad. Everyone I know who did escape the country, even those who seemed least likely to benefit from it, came back, if not changed, then believing they'd changed, which is about as important. My theory, based on what I saw in my friends, is that periods abroad instill a desire to be world,...
  • Quote of the Day

    Lindsay : When Jeff blames war critics for the Iraq debacle, he's confusing correlation and causation. Many of us opposed the war precisely because we foresaw a disaster. The war didn't go badly because we complained. We complained because we saw that it was going to go badly.
  • Quote of the Day 2: The Onion Rules Edition

    Democrats Vow Not To Give Up on Hopelessness : According to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Democrats are not willing to sacrifice their core values—indecision, incoherence, and disorganization—for the sake of short-term electoral gain. "Don't lose faithlessness, Democrats," Kennedy said. "The next election is ours to lose. To those who say we can't, I say: Remember Michael Dukakis. Remember Al Gore. Remember John Kerry." Kennedy said that, even if the Democrats were to regain the upper hand in the midterm elections, they would still need to agree on a platform and chart a legislative agenda—an obstacle he called "insurmountable." "Universal health care, the war in Iraq, civil liberties, a living wage, gun control—we're not even close to a consensus within our own ranks," Kennedy said. "And even if we were, we wouldn't know how to implement that consensus." "Some rising stars with leadership potential like [Sen. Barack] Obama (D-IL) and [New York State Attorney General Eliot] Spitzer have...
  • Farley Goes To War

    This post of Robert Farley's simply devastates the nascent argument that domestic opposition bears culpability for our crystallizing failure in Iraq. It's a brilliant piece on the role and historical recurrence of domestic antiwar movement and the motivations and advantages of insurgencies. It really must be read.
  • Quote of the Day: Real World 17(!) Edition

    Troy Patterson : Then there is Paula, at 24, the oldest and least-wise of the housemates. "I need a fresh start," she says in her audition tape. "I recently became kinda a little bit bulimic." And because there is no place like basic cable to work out one's health problems, MTV rolled out the red carpet for her and she scrambled upon it.
  • Link of the Day: Blogads Survey

    I know you're busy, and I know other sites are bugging you about this, but the Blogads reader survey is out, and you should really take a moment to participate. Blogads, of course, is the group making all thiws blogging financially feasible for a lot of us, so giving them a demographic hand is a good way to help ensure the success and viability of the blogs you like. But if, on question #23, you put in my blog's name, I'll get the data on you back. And I'd really appreciate that. For a year now, I've written on this site most every day, and I know from my sitemeter that it gets readers, but I really have no clue who any of you are. Knowing a bit more about my audience would, if nothing else, be pretty interesting. So do me a favor, take the survey . And name this blog on question 23.
  • Fatter Than Your Average Bears

    Looks like that lazy SoCal lifestyle is catching up with the state's bear population: "Bears with access to human food get bigger; females hit puberty quicker and have more cubs," said David Graber, a senior science advisor for the National Park Service. For example, unlike wild bear food such as acorns and berries, garbage is high in protein and fat, which is why bears crave it. Fatter female bears produce more embryos, and many bears in Southern California are having litters of two or three cubs, compared to one or two naturally, said Kevin Brennan, a wildlife biologist for the state Department of Fish and Game. A 2003 study of black bears in the Sierra Nevada found that those in urban areas and eating garbage weighed as much as 30% more than bears in wilderness areas. They also were significantly less active — restricting their range from about 150 square miles to just a few blocks in urban neighborhoods. The study was published in the Journal of Zoology. The state Fish and Game...
  • Urban Gas Tax

    I floated one over at Tapped, and folks seemed fairly hostile, so let's discuss. It would seem that, in urban area where public transport is a truly viable option, using rather draconian methods to disincentivize driving would make sense, particularly if the added cash went into further development of public transport. Lots of folks in DC take cars when they don't need to, and even more do so in SF. Now, I don't think you'll make much of a dent in petroleum usage, but it could be a good revenue stream for cities. In any case, seemed fairly innocuous to me, but since I, again, am against gas taxes, I'm not particularly wedded to it.
  • Am I Doing It Wrong?

    I'm writing a piece on Al Gore and, in one of my Google searches, came across this bit from Bob Somerby: But the boys and girls at the Prospect, the Monthly, the New Republic, still refuse to tattle about it. Their eyes are set on those big-bucks careers. Krugman, then Digby, showed that truth can be easy. But to these boys and girls, truth is hard. Heh, yeah man. If there's anything that describes my decision to enter non-profit journalism rather than law-school, it's that my eyes are set on a big-bucks career...
  • Links of the Day: Gas Tax Edition

    Good discussion on this stuff over at Tapped and Eschaton. Here's Matt , then Atrios , then me , then Atrios , then me again.