It's remarkable enough that a bat somehow made its way into San Antonio's AT&T Center and buzzed the court during the Spurs-Kings game. It's more remarkable still that Spurs guard Manu Ginobli was able to pluck the flying critter right out of the air for disposal. But for all this to happen on Halloween night? Yes, I know I'm late to this. But I'm suffering from my own ironic seasonal mishap--involving pumpkin vines and a torn tendon: don't ask--and as a result have some catching up to do.
The WaPo has a piece today about the burgeoning market in prenatal devices promising to make your fetus smarter by doing things like playing him/her Mozart in utero. None of these manufacturers have any real proof that their products are worth a damn.
Earlier this month, Barack Obama apparently completed an anti-free-market trifecta, adding "protectionist" to a rap sheet that already included "deficit spender" and "serial nationalizer." And not just any protectionist, mind you. In the words of former Bush spokesman Tony Fratto, Obama will hereafter be known as "the president who ‘lost' trade for America." The following day, the Wall Street Journal editorial page elaborated: "America now has its first protectionist President since Herbert Hoover." So what did Obama do to earn this unsavory distinction?
The best part of Michael Jordan's oddly vindictive but revealing induction speech at the Basketball Hall of Fame was his story about Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell: "I was in Chicago in 1994 and at this time I had no thoughts of coming back and playing the game of basketball," Jordan said. "Bryon Russell came over to me and said, 'Why'd you quit? You know I could guard you.’ When I did come back in 1995 and we played Utah in '96, I'm at the center circle and Bryon Russell is standing next to me.
Shiberghan, Afghanistan (one day before the election)—There was no mistaking the general’s “castle.” Its pastel-colored two-storey walls and lapis cupolas shocking amidst the drabness of the surrounding neighborhood. Somewhere inside the compound was General Abdul Rashid Dostum, the most notorious of Afghanistan’s warlords. In almost three decades as a militia leader, Dostum has earned a reputation for ruthless brutality towards enemies, as well as an opportunist’s disregard for alliances, which have shifted without notice.
A presidential election marred by allegations of fraud, rising casualties of American soldiers, even a few disturbing discoveries about the civilians hired to guard our embassy there--we figured it was about time to talk to terrorism expert Peter Bergen, who was in Afghanistan last month, to get his take on the situation there and what it will take to improve it. TNR: What is your sense of the election’s validity? Bergen: Of course there was fraud--the question is one of scale. I was there for the 2004 election and there were claims of fraud at that time.
When Barack Obama pledged to leave Iraq during the 2008 campaign, he took care to address concerns that al Qaeda would set up shop there after the Americans left. For instance: In order to end this war responsibly, I will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. We can responsibly remove 1 to 2 combat brigades each month. If we start with the number of brigades we have in Iraq today, we can remove all of them 16 months.
A couple days ago, researchers released a study saying that overweight people had significantly less brain tissue than slim people. The crude takeaway: Fat people get stupid. As if obese Americans needed any more stigma! Indeed, the debate lately has turned towards making fat people personally responsible for the effects of their excess poundage. And maybe they should be, right? Obesity is tremendously costly from a public health standpoint--to the tune of $147 billion a year. David Leonhardt Some economists think the obese should pay higher insurance premiums.
The Union Bank of Switzerland, now called UBS, always seems to have problems with its past. And actually for most of the last 60 years it has had problems with its Jewish customers who had been murdered by the Nazis. Somehow, the bank couldn't find their records. Or, since there were no proper death certificates (issuing them was not a habit in the Sobibor death camp), there was no way of knowing which of them were actually dead. And, in any case, absolute silence was the deal between the counting houses and their depositors. Moreover, the secrecy of Swiss banks was their bond.
About ten days after the start of Iran's insurrection, I asked a senior administration official what, if anything, the White House knew about the people behind the demonstrations. His reply: "I think it is fair to say senior administration officials are busily trying to understand how the opposition is generated and where it came from." In other words, there's a lot about the protesters we still don't know. True, Mir Hossein Mousavi and the people directly surrounding him are known quantities in the U.S. intelligence community.