Technology

Blood On The Track
and
August 14, 2007

The New York Times, reflecting on the recent day Eliot Spitzer spent at the racetrack, reveals that the New York governor comes by his NASCAR fandom honestly: Ever since he married his North Carolina-born wife, whose brother is a top engineer at Hendrick Motorsports, one of Nascar's top teams, Mr. Spitzer has followed stock car racing, and has made Jeff Gordon, a Hendrick driver, his favorite. Here's the problem, though.

Genetic Values
and
August 14, 2007

"All the vulgar issues of life were a matter of indifference to this lofty soul, to whom nothing had yet afforded a profound emotion."--Stendhal, "The Rose and The Green" (tr. Richard Howard) Only weeks after the first complete human genome, that of the great bio-chemist James Watson, was posted on the internet, we are getting reports of theories of transformation influenced by wondrous confidence in genetic determinism.

Global Warming Debunked! (or Not...)
and
August 13, 2007

A few days ago, a bunch of conservative bloggers had themselves a little uproar. Noel Sheppard wrote, "[A] government agency is actually participating in a fraud against the American people." Fraud! The culprit, it seems, was James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute. "[L]eftist hero James Hansen is behind this deliberate fraud," wrote The Ace. "He should be frog-marched out of his office." A different blogger, Ace of Spades, agreed: "Fire him.

Gays For Giuliani?
and
August 07, 2007

As we all know, liberals believe in the equality and dignity of gay people and conservatives don't. Which is why the video circulating on the internets, linked to here by Steve Miller of the Independent Gay Forum, "Gays for Giuliani," makes so much sense. A disingenuous attempt to scare Republican primary voters, it comes with this message: I made this ad to remind Rudy who he was when he was mayor and to let Republican primary voters have some idea on the man they're voting for. Never mind the awful grammar.

A Note
and
August 06, 2007

Marty Peretz is on vacation without Internet access in Lucca, Italy. Posting will resume once he's back online.

The Mystery Of Bush's Unpopularity
and
July 25, 2007

The Washington Post's Peter Baker has an article today on President Bush's massive unpopularity. Oddly, Baker treats the phenomenon as both hard to explain and largely unrelated to anything Bush has done: Yet Bush's political troubles seem to go beyond particular policies.

Bourne Or Bond?
and
July 25, 2007

The third Jason Bourne movie may be getting good reviews, but this Matt Damon interview is pretty dumb: Matt Damon's amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne shares initials with another notorious screen operative. But other than that, Damon doesn't see any similarities between Bourne and James Bond.Bond is "an imperialist and he's a misogynist. He kills people and laughs and sips martinis and wisecracks about it," Damon, 36, told The Associated Press in an interview."Bourne is this paranoid guy. He's on the run. He's not the government. The government is after him.

No Pains For Labour
and
July 20, 2007

Two interesting developments in Britain: The first is that authorities have decided they do not have enough evidence to charge anyone in the Labour Party's "Cash For Honours" scandal. The second is that Gordon Brown "passed his first test," as Labour won two big by-elections last night. In both cases, David Cameron's conservatives trailed the Liberal Democrats and wound up in third place. As The Daily Telegraph reports, this makes it more likely that Brown and Labour will call early elections. You can read David Goodhart's assessment of Brown in this week's TNR here. --Isaac Chotiner

Constitutional Gridlock And Presidential Dictatorship
and
July 20, 2007

By Sanford Levinson I'm about to go off to New Zealand, one of the last countries in the world not to have a written constitution and to be firmly committed to parliamentary sovereignty (though some judges are reasonably forceful in enforcing the relatively new Bill of Rights (that, however, explicitly denies the power of what we call "judicial review," i.e., the ability of courts to invalidate legislation).

Yo Ho Ho
and
July 19, 2007

By David A. Bell Along with all the records to be set by the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on Saturday is one that the authors and publishers are not going to be happy about. Already, even before publication, it is certainly the most widely-pirated e-book of all time.

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