Monthly Archives: December 2003

Vote to Save the Editor

Will Baude over at Crescat Sentenia is suffering from a challenge by a fellow blogger:

Imminent Death of the Editor?
Unlearned Hand writes:

I only have one wish this Christmas and that is that you never ever use an [editor] aside again. Please?

In exchange, I promise I won't have comments when my solo blog re-opens.

(For more on this particular affectation, you can read Daniel Drezner's explanation in this interview with himself.)

The tic is most famously used by Mickey Kaus, but apparently it makes some people cringe. I've always found it one of the most useful ways to mock myself (and lord knows, I need it, what with Assprat Pretentia having fallen by the wayside). But I'm in no particular mood to make my readers cringe, after all. So out of pure curiosity, I'd like to know whether you hate the “ed.” persona. Vote below. (And remember: “It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting”). [In other words, he listens only when he likes what he hears. -ed.]

Since I'm in the UK at the moment, it is maybe appropriate to report that the [Author inserts a message purporting to be from the editor-ed.] method of making asides is an old, old British journalistic device. I believe it comes from accidental editorial comments that actually got published. Certainly publications such as Private Eye and some columnists in the broadsheets, especially the less serious columns such as the diaries (miscellany), have used it for more than two decades. So it's not a Kaus thing, which would be suspect in my book, but a British thing, which may or may not be suspect in yours.

Anyway, I like the [ed] so long as it is not over-used [You better like it-ed.]. If you agree, vote to retain it on Baude's posts. When I checked the vote was only narrowly in favor, so a few votes could make a difference.

Posted in Blogs | 2 Comments

Gen. Zinni on Iraq Planning: Deception and Ignorance

Washington Post, For Vietnam Vet Anthony Zinni, Another War on Shaky Territory, tells the tale of Gen. Zinni, a reluctant spokesman for the view that the Bush-Cheney people lied to us about WMDs (and/or lied to themselves), and screwed up the occupation. And it was all preventable.

Posted in Iraq | 4 Comments

Why We Keep Getting Nigerian Spam

One reason we keep getting so much of the Nigerian spam proposing confidential business tranasactions….is they work sometimes. This sad and amazing story is about a retiree (from Florida, natch), who 'invested' all $300,000 of his retirement fund. Spotted via Slashdot.

Posted in Internet | 1 Comment

Honours and Honors: Why the UK’s Honours System Is Under Attack, and What the US Can Learn From It

The British press, and thus the British political class, are all in a lather about the Honours system; as a result of a pair of leaks, there is decent chance that the system will be reformed. Below, I give a quick summary of how the system works, then summarize both the valid and the slightly peculiar aspects of the current criticisms of it, and then discuss what I consider to be the strong case in favor of a non-monetary system of reward and praise for those who contribute to the community.

The biggest difficulties surround the implementation of an honors program in a manner that would be constitutional, fair and not stultifying. I don't have the perfect answer to that, but I do have some suggestions.

Continue reading

Posted in UK | 1 Comment

The UK is Closed for Xmas (and Boxing Day)

It used to be that the whole of the United Kingdom more or less shut down from Christmas to New Years. More recently, the shutdown has been limited to just Christmas and Boxing Day (the 26th), but the shutdown remains pretty complete. Newspapers don't publish (before the Internet I used to get a pretty bad case of news deprivation). Trains don't run. At all. All stores are closed (which when you figure that most British fridges are pretty small, means that you actually have to plan your food purchases pretty carefully so you don't run out…).

Nowadays the shutdown is a little less complete. A number of the larger department stores open on Boxing Day for their big annual sales. Walking through Didsbury this morining I noted a small number of resturants that say they will open for dinner on Boxing Day. Some years the Independent has published a vestigal paper on the 26th. Some bus compannies will run a few buses. But it's still a country locked up pretty tight.

So we'll stay home and watch the kids play with their new presents.

Posted in UK | Leave a comment

MaxSpeak Moves to MT

MaxSpeak, an economist worth your time and attention, has NEW DIGS, and he's using Movable Type.

Posted in Blogs | Leave a comment

Joshua Marshall Throws Cold Water on the ‘Saddam Was a Prisoner’ Theory

I think Marshall is one of the very best political journalists active in the US today, so I give his views a lot of weight. He's very negative about the Saddam-was-a-prisoner theory. Well, ok, it was just a theory. But someone please explain why he was in a hole that he couldn't get out of on his own. And where all the money went….

Posted in Iraq | Leave a comment