Sine Qua Non Pundit

And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good -- Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ------ ------ ------ ------ E-mail: charlesaustin@earthlink.net

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Sunday, April 20, 2003
 

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

Many bloggers seem to be disappearing. Is it Easter? (Was it Lent?) Is it spring? Is it liberation fatigue? Well, probably some of all of these. But in my case, it is mostly work which hasn't left many cycles for anything else the last few weeks. I'm not formally announcing a hiatus, but expect light posting for at least three more weeks. My apologies, but I can't get to my e-mails or comments at this time.

In the meantime, forty years ago this month, Richard Feynman gave three lectures as part of the John Danz Lecture Series at the University of Washington Graduate School. These three lectures -- The Uncertainty of Science, The Uncertainty of Values, and This Unscientific Age -- have been reprinted in book form as The Meaning of it All. Many may remember Dr. Feynman from his work on the Rogers Commision assembled to look into the Challenger accident. Those with some knowledge or training in physics may know him better for an incredible body of work, starting with the Manhattan Project, that led to a Nobel Prize for his contributions to quantum electrodynamics. What amazed me most was how well Dr. Feynman's observations on science, pseudoscience, the media, politics, the future have held up over 40 years. It's a short book and only $10.50 at Amazon.com. I highly recommend it. And if you like Dr. Feynman's observations on something other than physics, you may be interested in moving on to his true area of expertise or his pedagogical contributions.

See you again soon.

DOWNDATE: Long time passing... a few more miscellaneous notes...

I picked up a couple of cases of wine recently and filled out the second case with an Australian McLaren Vale Shiraz from Possums Vineyard (2001). Before I read Terry Oglesby, I don't think I would have ever considered buying something like this. I'll let you know how it is after I open it sometime later this year. But I'm curious Terry, did you really mean "sweatheart?" Not that it doesn't fit.

Never apologize for leaving comments or engaging in a back and forth on my site. I love it -- or rather, I will when I have a chance to read them all! Really Janis, it's ok. FWIW, I'm am seriously opposed to the concept of "hate crimes" because it is to close to the concept of "thought crimes." I engaged in a discussion sometime back with someone who asked whether or not it helped provide a motive, and I indicated that "hate" could indeed be used to provide a motive, but that's as far as you can take it. Sorry, but I lack the time to hash it all out again now.

It has been really hard to watch Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. Those from the Left on his panel discussions tend to sound like living, breathing, talking points memos, and nothing else. It has only been a select couple of panelists like Larry Miller and, to a lesser extent, Dennis Miller that have offered much interesting. But Ted Rall and Arianna Huffington? Puhleeze. Michael Eric Dyson (talking points on speed) demands respect from others, but doesn't seem to be able to offer it to others that won't accept his words as gospel (Ed. - Well, he is a Baptist minister. But even though the editor grew up in a Baptist environemnt, he doesn't remember many people who wanted to be like Mike). Unlike many others, I don't have a problem with Bill Maher. I don't share many of his views, but I think he's pretty straightfoward and honest about what he believes and why he believes it. He's also not beyond poking fun at some of the silliness of the Left. I am curious to see how long Dennis Miller's "conversion" from a Liberal to a Conservative lasts. He's a great ally to have, but I wonder if he won't eventually get just as fed up with the silliness on the Right as he did on the Left. Dennis Miller seems to have jumped into Conservatism with both feet as though the only quantums allowable in political discourse are Left and Right. The Left and Right folks that I read in the blogosphere don't think this way. We can, and do, share a lot of common ideas regarding threats and how to address persistent failures of governance while still having fundamentally different philosophies regarding the proper role and extent of the government in our lives. Can't we?

Dave Francis is a St. Louis guy working as a DJ in St. Petersburg. How cool is that?

And, of course, there's a new Carnival of the Vanities up over at Billegible.

As noted by reader Daniel, Richard Cohen did write a good column early last week (it seems like a month ago). As I have noted before, he does this about once a quarter. He immediately dropped back into the depths with his next column. I haven't had the time to even read his columns from this week, but somehow I can guess how much I would enjoy them from their titles, Religious Instruction From Secretary Paige and The Test of Peace. The Scourge will return, in about a month. Until then, I recommend avoiding Richard Cohen without another filter.

Has anything been more consciously misunderstood and misrepresented, and ridiculously exploited by the Left than the looting of the Baghdad Museum? Listening on NPR to some professor from New Hampshire who just couldn't talk without breaking up because this was worse than the loss of the library of Alexandria was just a little too much at 0645 last week.

Amitai Etzioni has a blog. I'm not sure I agree with everything, but it's interesting reading. Of course, I could say that about just about every blog I read.

Christopher Johnson has a new look.

Don't miss Dodd's weekly Caption Contests!

Since the war is over, when do we get Punditwatch back? I got a Sunday mornin' Jones and I need a fix.

Reader Michael sent along this parody of the B-52's Love Shack after being inspired by my few lines of Bobby Darin's Splish Splash in Scourge :

If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says 15 miles to . . . Bagh-dad!

I'm headin' up the Karbala highway,
Lookin' for Saddam's hideaway
Heading there to blow him away.
I got an M-1, it's as big as a whale, and we're headin' on down To old Baghdad It was made by Chrysler, it mounts a 120 So hurry up and bring your army buddies

'Cause Baghdad is a little old place where we can take out Saddam Baghdad baby, Baghdad bay-bee. Baghdad, that's where it's at,
Baghdad, that's where it's at

Everybody's movin', everybody's groovin' baby!
Tanks linin' up outside just to get down
Everybody's movin', everybody's groovin' baby
Warthogs attack! Warthogs attack!

Hop in my Abrams, it's as big as a whale
And it's about to set sail!
I got an M-1, it mounts a 120
So come along and bring your army buddies.

'Cause Baghdad is a little old place where we can take out Saddam Baghdad baby, Baghdad bay-bee.

Bang bang bang on the door baby! Knock a little louder baby! Bang bang bang on the door baby! I can't hear you Bang bang on the door baby! Bang bang on the door baby!
Who's there?... Jayy-DAMN!
Baghdad, baby Baghdad!
Baghdad, that's where it's at!


So Michael, why is it again that you don't have a blog?





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