Monthly Archives: January 2006

Quote of the moment

I came across this on Wikipedia

“Life… is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable, because all you get back is another box of chocolates. You’re stuck with this undefinable whipped-mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there’s nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while, there’s a peanut butter cup, or an English toffee. But they’re gone too fast, the taste is fleeting. So you end up with nothing but broken bits, filled with hardened jelly and teeth-crunching nuts, and if you’re desperate enough to eat those, all you’ve got left… is an empty box… filled with useless, brown paper wrappers.”

How is this possible

Amazon, Maher to swim in ‘Fishbowl’
“New 30-minute entertainment Web program will make its debut June 1, exclusively on”

How is Bill Maher still popular, much less more popular than ever? His delivery, never a strong suit of his, has gotten more tortured than ever, or at least it was before I quit watching him. He also prefaced every line with “Isn’t it really….”.

I find a lot of left-wing comics (Mark Maron, Jon Stewart has come back quite a bit after a bad slump) funny, so I don’t think it’s that his politics are offensive to me, he just seems about as funny as an episode of Mama’s Family these days.

De gustibus non est disputandum I suppose.

Quite good

So last night, I finally saw Walk the Line last night (finally) and I was quite impressed. A surprisingly good performance by Reese Witherspoon and Joachim Phoenix as well. It does end in the late 60s and leaves a lot of his life uncovered, but that’s probably just as well.


This why I like the Agitator

Former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes got it right when he said, “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.”

The Holmes quote is popular with the anti-smoking crowd. But it’s not quite accurate. The Ban the Ban folks always responded to it by saying that given that patronizing smoking bars is strictly voluntary, the proper analogy would be for you to run full speed into my closed fist, then complain when you walk away with a bloody nose.

Frankly, even that is probably giving them too much credit. Given the science on secondhand smoke, you’d have to run into my fist several dozen times per day for about 30 years before you’d even begin to see the first signs of a bloody nose. But of course, as soon as one person out of several thousand did get a bloody nose, you’d start agitating for laws calling for the arrest and imprisonment of people who stand around with close fists, lest some anti-smoking activist accidentally bump into one.

This article had me enraged for about an hour

Really, an hour. Here is money quote

Junk-food suit targets Nickelodeon, Kellogg

“But then they turn on Nickelodeon and see all those enticing junk-food ads,” Carlson said. “Adding insult to injury, we enter the grocery store and see our beloved Nick characters plastered on all those junky snacks and cereals.”

Carlson and another plaintiff, Andrew Leong of Brookline, Massachusetts, spoke at a news conference organized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

They intend to sue Kellogg and Nickelodeon parent Viacom Inc. in state court in Massachusetts and served the required 30 days’ notice on Wednesday.

“For over 30 years, public health advocates have urged companies to stop marketing junk food to children,” said Susan Linn of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “Even as rates of childhood obesity have soared, neither Viacom nor Kellogg has listened.”

It’s as if this woman’s children have their own money and do their own grocery shopping. Furthermore, I have it on good authority that children existing before television. Why not just take that away? Why aren’t we calling in some sort of family services on people who can’t control their kids?

And campaign for a commercial free childhood?

Quick roundup

  • It’s depressing that two senators don’t realize how off they are. If you want to characterize the Republican majority in the House of Representatives negatively, then the proper term is fascism (taken literally, strength in numbers, and a dictatorship thereof) rather than a plantation, the relevant characteristic being oppression of the many by the few. All to work in a racial angle I suppose.
  • Tom MacGuire has more interesting thoughts on the NSA wiretapping thing. Still, why not change the law though?
  • An interesting post from the Belmont Club “A stone killer is never idle in a lawless Third World country”
  • America’s possible action on Iran:. Evidently some lessons were learned from the lack of immediate American response to Afghanistan after 9-11.
  • The Great War of 2007 – very scary possible history.