I'd never heard this until this morning, when the GM of my public radio station read it. Michael Titterton is originally from England, so imagine this read in a slightly BBC accent. The author is Henry Beard. The text is from Flint River Ranch Pet Food.
On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting,
I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.
Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,
Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.
"Raven's very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o'er the floor,
"There is nothing I like more"
Soft upon the rug I treaded, calm and careful as I headed
Towards his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.
While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,
Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;
For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor,
Bric-a-brac and junk galore.
Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,
In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents' worth - "Nevermore."
While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,
Then I crouched and quickly leapt up, pouncing on the feathered bore.
Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore -
Only this and not much more.
"Oooo!" my pickled poet cried out, "Pussycat, it's time I dried out!
Never sat I in my hideout talking to a bird before;
How I've wallowed in self-pity, while my gallant, valiant kitty
Put an end to that damned ditty" - then I heard him start to snore.
Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,
Jumped - and smashed it on the floor.
Lamb chops--check. Fresh spinach--check. Baking potatoes--check. Birthday card--check. Birthday gift--ch...yikes!
A somewhat querulous Karl Marx speaks from the grave. Sample:
KM: Hegel Schmegel. I must tell you a secret: I never actually read, except in the most cursory fashion, Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit or his Science of Logic. Life's too short.
DS: This will be a bit of a shock in some quarters.
KM: People should read the great English economists, Adam Smith and David Ricardo. Well, not really English: one's a Scot, the other a Sephardic Jew-clever people of good stock, who know the value of money. Germans like Hegel transform hats into ideas. I prefer the Brits who transform ideas into hats.
Funny stuff, with a point (I think). Link lifted from Max.
Three Safeways, three Times Supermarkets, one Foodland, one Yamasin Meat Market. Those are places I've unsuccessfully been to find two lamb racks or a mess of loin chops which my sister wants for her birthday dinner Thursday night. Anybody wanna ship me a sheep?
Update: My sheep came in! Went to Costco (after calling) with a friend who's a member and got 4+ pounds of 1-inch thick loin chops @ $6.99/lb. Yum!
Following links, I found the winner of "Most Horrific Blog-Name Pun" for the month of October: Code: The Web Socket. It's medically oriented, but don't let that stop you.
Linkmeister's corollary to Murphy's Law: Your need to use a restroom will vary directly with the number of levels of parking needed to navigate before finding an empty space, walking to the elevator lobby, and finally entering the building.
I have had more fun wandering around London and riding the Tube than I have in almost any other city I can think of, so this was a joy to find (via Unfogged). It's a list of London bloggers (862!) sorted into Tube station order. Fun stuff, but where's D? He may very well be there, but without knowing his station, he's lost as far as I'm concerned!
I rarely read Jimmy Breslin, mostly because I forget he's out there. His latest column asks a good question: how come we haven't caught Osama? Why, in fact, have we (meaning the Bushies) decided to ignore him? (Link lifted from Electrolite's comments).
Old-fashioned or highball? Well, depends on how much you want to pour.
I didn't major in economics, mostly because the school didn't offer a specific major at the time; my degree is the basic Bachelor's of Bus. Ad. I did, however, take four courses in the subject, because I enjoyed it (all cracks about the dismal science will be ignored). However, one can always learn more, and the 'Net has greatly expanded the opportunities to do so. If I can find the time (and the books), I think I'll audit Brad DeLong's course in Econ 210A. By the way, if you want textbooks at a cheaper price, try going overseas.
The differences are often significant: "Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, Third Edition," for example, lists for $146.15 on the American Amazon site, but can be had for $63.48, plus $8.05 shipping, from the British one. And "Linear System Theory and Design, Third Edition" is $110 in the United States, but $41.76, or $49.81 with shipping, in Britain.
If that little pricing example doesn't take, I despair of college students everywhere.
There are probably many good articles in the current issue of the New York Review of Books; I've read three, and I recommend each: Russell Baker's review of Paul Krugman's new book, Joan Didion's review of the latest episode of the Left Behind series, and Ronald Dworkin's feature article on terrorism and civil liberties.
New additions to the blogroll, because these folks find pharma news I might miss:
If any of those subjects interest you, check 'em out.
Frank Rich is not impressed with the Republican party's sudden discovery of Hollywood "cool," at least as personified by its embrace of Governor Arnold.
Business Week to Bush: California's recall result might not be the best thing that's happened to you or your party.
If you use a Fujitsu hard drive, you may be eligible for a little cash. Of course, the site you're supposed to go to to see the terms of this settlement gives me an alarm saying I'm not authorized to see it, but what the heck; maybe you'll have better luck.
The Slacktivist is doing some Lit-Crit on the Left Behind series. Skits confesses she loves to polka. Solonor has found an instruction manual for building the Christmas Story lamp. Tina has bullseyes painted on the family cars. Suzette has found a ketchup recipe (no word on whether it goes into the Soup Lady archives). Faith has dating troubles (and oven troubles too), while Jen went to see Eddie Izzard (whose schtick I hope is more recognizable to some of you than it is to me). Skatemom finished the Race for the Cure in 31:13, which is a helluva lot faster than I would have. Ali is presently unemployed, but it hasn't kept her from contracting earworms, while Jill is planning a trip and weighing her options. Shelley has found a liberal in Utah (shocking, I know), while her husband is anxiously awaiting the latest version of Apple's OS. Moosie has had to put the motorcycles up for the winter, and Batty has gone hog wild for Halloween again.
This concludes today's episode of As the Blogosphere Turns, compiled to avoid biting nails while the Marlins are hanging on to a 3-1 lead in the
7th 8th inning.
For fun and decadence, go click the links for Jon's Thanksgiving menus for the past four years. Disclaimer: I have no idea whether he's telling the truth or having us all on.
Here's some sound reasoning for you: 36 Reasons to Vote For Bush and Republicans in 2004. Samples:
Vote for President Bush and Republican Senators and Congressmen if:
That's only five; you'll have to click the link to see the remainder. Some I agree with, some I don't. The author is a freelance satirist who calls himself "a former staunch conservative Republican who will vote for Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) a progressive, populist in 2004 for his utmost honesty, integrity, common sense, and well thought out positions on all the important issues facing our country." If you read the others, you'll note that he does have that old-time Republican isolationist attitude towards foreign aid, which I emphatically do not share. (Link lifted from The Left Coaster).
Sy Hersh has a new article in the New Yorker which pretty much confirms what many have thought: the Bush Administration heard only the intelligence it wanted to hear and ignored that which it didn't. "...the new Pentagon leadership wanted to focus not on what could go wrong but on what would go right." It ignored an analysis of its assumptions which attempted to determine what might happen if those assumptions were proven to be wrong.
Chalabi’s defector reports were now flowing from the Pentagon directly to the Vice-President’s office, and then on to the President, with little prior evaluation by intelligence professionals.
A routine settled in: the Pentagon’s defector reports, classified “secret,” would be funnelled to newspapers, but subsequent C.I.A. and INR analyses of the reports—invariably scathing but also classified—would remain secret.
There's quite a lot of detail in this article, particularly about Niger and documents purporting to prove that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium there. There's also the tantalizing and terrifying idea that some of those documents (which have been shown to be forged) were actually created by CIA personnel in order to trip up the Administration. If that's true, and Hersh says the story is making the rounds at Langley, this country's intelligence gathering system is clearly out of whack; no matter how angry CIA was at the people misusing or ignoring its work, forging documents to make the Administration look bad was unprofessional and potentially calamitous.
From the LA Times (reg. required...try bselig for both userid and password): Our boy Ashcroft has decided to use an 1872 law to stifle Greenpeace, and by extension, any other group inclined to object to Administration activities.
A New York court in 1872 described the law as both "inartistic and obscure." An Oregon court in 1890 described the purpose of the law as preventing "the evil" of "sailor-mongers [who] get on board vessels and by the help of intoxicants, and the use of other means, often savoring of violence, get the crews ashore and leave the vessel without help to manage or care for her."
Of course, there did not appear to be many sailors on the APL Jade being lured out to join Greenpeace. But proceeding against two protesters on trivial misdemeanor charges wasn't enough for the Justice Department. So it decided to treat Greenpeace activists not as protesters but as sailor-mongers.
This man has become the most dangerous enemy the First Amendment has had in years.
News item: "Despite deepening concerns about his health, an ailing Pope John Paul II told cardinals and bishops gathered at the Vatican on Saturday that he would remain in office for 'as long as God wants.'"
I don't agree with this Pope on much of anything, but it's his own business and that of his followers whether he resigns or not. The chattering classes (particularly the non-Catholic ones) should shut up.
Why is it that local television news people can report on a Democratic Presidential candidate's visit to the state and be unable to pronounce the man's name? It's Ku-CIN-ich, not KU-cin-ich, dammit! I heard this twice Friday night, on two different stations, and it annoys me. I also wonder how big a "free speech zone" our illustrious President will have around him while here.
Word people and crossword players, rejoice. Here's a site where you can waste hours of time ostensibly looking for the answer to 47 Down, while actually just enjoying the English language in all its permutations and combinations. This is why I still read newspaper feature articles and columns; I'd never have found this without that. (Side note: the proprietor even has a LiveJournal; he's Canadian, so he talks about life in Montreal and other environs north of the border, for those who want a non-American perspective).
Got WordStar? Multi-Mate? Lotus 1-2-3? Somebody had better keep copies of those programs, or heaven knows how much data will become irretrievable.
Kahle's organization is seeking exemptions from DMCA provisions that prohibit the archiving of software titles. If the Copyright Office says no, Kahle fears millions of programs eventually will be lost forever.
A new survey concludes Americans supported Bush's tax cuts out of "unenlightened self-interest." More bluntly, the survey found its respondents were clueless.
Middle- and lower-income Americans supported tax cuts they suspected went largely to the rich because they thought they, too, would benefit, if only by a small amount, and because they failed to connect the tax cuts to rising inequality, their future tax burden, or the availability of government services.One devoutly hopes they'll wake up by November 2004.
Wil Wheaton (yes, the formerly-vilified) has a rather pointed and poignant (and downright hilarious) Open Letter to the poor schlub who inadvertently got in the way of Alou's fielding attempt Monday night. (Link lifted from Elayne).
Why, yes, I am posting item by item today. Could it be pre-game nerves, you think?
Top 10 list of data disasters from a British data recovery firm:
Oh my. If there's a more storied rivalry in baseball (other than Dodgers-Giants) I can't imagine it. The Sox have finished second to the Yankees in their division each of the past six years. Pedro Martinez against Roger Clemens, Part II. I can't wait.
Update: I don't believe it. First the Cubs get within five outs in Game Six and lose, and now the Red Sox do the same thing? There's no room in baseball for sentimental favorites, I guess.
I'm going off to rend garments and gnash teeth.
GO CUBS! Update: Well, hell.
GO SOX! Update: Phew!
Fingers crossed, curses banished!
Mr. Allen has completed the initial version of the MT comment spam blacklist plug-in. Go forth and download.
It's early, I know, but here's an enlightening chart showing side-by-side comparisons of the current major Presidential candidates' (including the current occupant of the White House) health plan proposals. President Bush's efforts seem to lag.
I saw this quoted in our newspaper's Focus section today, and I went looking for the source. Since the legislative session was closed to the public, this is the best I could find. I'm a little surprised it hasn't made more news, since it was reported on September 25, but anyway...Delay has declared open season on coastlines, mountains, and anywhere else energy might be found, no matter any other value those places might have.
DeLay: ANWR a "Precedent"
On Tuesday, during a closed-door session of the House GOP leadership, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) said that the battle in Congress to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration is a fight over whether energy exploration will be allowed in similarly sensitive areas in the future, a statement that surprised even Republicans in the room. (My emphasis)
Nice, huh? If you want to know more about what the second-most powerful man in the U.S. House is up to, check out the Tom Delay Watch section of U.S. Politics Today. That site has "Newsletters on every Governor, member of Congress, other political figures, groups and issues. Select from 800+ reports delivered by email daily." It could be a very useful tool.
If you're getting hit with this junk, typically on older posts, Jay Allen expects to have an MT plug-in for it on Monday.
So far I've probably had about a dozen; I blocked a couple of IP addresses, but that's hardly the most effective way of stopping this crap, so let's all hope Jay's fix works.
This isn't the first baseball item I've posted this October, and it won't be the last, I'm sure. It might, however, have more historical value than the others. Walter O'Malley, who owned the Brooklyn and then Los Angeles Dodgers, would have celebrated his 100th birthday on October 9th. In his honor, his family has created a website with an absolute mother lode of memorabilia, including much correspondence regarding the move from Brooklyn to L.A, reports from engineers about stadium siting in both cities, yearbooks, autographed baseball pix, and much more. It's a treasure trove of baseball information for any baseball fan.
Oh Lord. The Vatican is apparently advising that condoms don't stop the transmission of HIV, so they shouldn't be used.
In an interview, one of the Vatican's most senior cardinals Alfonso Lopez Trujillo suggested HIV could even pass through condoms.
"The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom," he says.
Um, Your Eminence? If you want your flock to increase, it needs to be alive.
President Bush talking about Cuba in the Rose Garden today:
A good soul in America who wants to be a tourist goes to a foreign-owned resort, pays the hotel bill -- that money goes to the government. The government, in turn, pays the workers a pittance...
"In 78 job classifications that the group (that being the Economic Policy Institute) examined out of 257 white-collar occupations, an estimated 8 million workers would lose their right to overtime pay," including emergency medical technicians, paralegals, licensed practical nurses, draftsmen, surveyors, reporters, editors, chefs, cooks, dental hygienists and health technicians.
Why does George Bush care more for Cuban workers than he does for American workers?
Writing about the blogging phenomenon, the editor of Samizdata says "Politicians are not the natural friends of commentary bloggers, they are their natural prey". Anybody who spends any time reading political blogs knows this already, of course, but it's a well-turned phrase.
Here's some more political discussion, this time about the evolution of the web as used by candidates. I liked this phrase, because it defines "push" and "pull" in terms of media formats: "Television is a push medium—political messages come to you whether you want them or not. The Web is a pull medium—you have to actively seek out information."
Once again the MacArthur and Nobel Committees have overlooked me (well, the Peace Prize isn't due to be announced till tomorrow, but I don't think I was nominated this year). What do I gotta do here? Sheesh!
Ladies and gentlemen, Kevin Drum has done us a service: he has described the 20th century-early 21st century Republican party in the United States, in its own words. It even has a loyalty oath.
Is it any wonder some of us in the center and on the left look at some of the party's loudest partisans with loathing? Here are some of the objectives they proclaim: take back the Panama Canal; criminalize homosexuality; return to the gold standard; abolish the income tax. The people who espouse this gibberish would see the country return to the 19th century if they could, and they're dead serious.
Something to keep in mind when next you vote.
Forbes magazine is collecting a list of what its reviewers call Best Blogs. Obviously it's subjective, but the editors have been clever; they've asked bloggers themselves. Among the categories so far: Travel, Econ, Sports, Medical, Tech, Media and Movies.
This is unfair. "Sonic Drive-In, a fast-food company, is partying at the Hawaii Convention Center this week as part of its 50th birthday celebrations." Why unfair? I've been seeing ads for this outfit for years on TV, yet there's not a single one of their restaurants in the state. Are they any good?
I wish I knew what was going on! Back here I complained that my C drive had suddenly been eaten by an unidentified 700MB monster; as of yesterday afternoon I was back up to 1GB available space on it, and I haven't done anything! To quote a local entertainer, "I am so confused."
How does one go about changing the birthplace on one's birth certificate?
I was born in the Golden State a thousand years ago, so perhaps I have a greater interest in its doings than others not so blessed. I find it really hard to believe that otherwise sensible human beings would elect a misogynistic pampered Hollywood star whose sole announced policy plan seems to be "I'll fix it when I get elected; trust me." For those who think "Hey. They elected Reagan governor, didn't they?" I say to you, Reagan had been espousing public policy ideas for years before he ran for the office; he was a known quantity. Schwarzenegger is tabula rasa material.
Polls close in a few hours; I sure hope my faith in those voters is well-placed.
Even when the Sox win, the hometown paper manages to fill its readers with foreboding:
"The fearless, mostly hairless Red Sox completed a comeback to advance to the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, starting Wednesday night in the House That You-Know-Who Built."
"Next stop: Fort Steinbrenner, the Bronx, where the Sox and Yankees will open the best-of-seven AL Championship Series tomorrow for a berth in the World Series."
Sheesh, guys! Relax and enjoy it!
I'm a Dodgers fan, and I was drained after that game. So was my mother the occasional baseball fan. Hats off to the Sox.
While watching that incredible Sox-A's game yesterday, I finished reading Koufax, by Jane Leavy. It's a very good biography of the pitcher, but it's also an interesting study of what Koufax did (not by design, it seems) for American Jews by not pitching the first game of the 1965 World Series, which was scheduled on Yom Kippur.
Another interesting item she covers: while Koufax and Drysdale held out for more money prior to the 1966 season (collectively; that's what was new about this players' holdout), Marvin Miller was travelling the spring training camps stumping for a more active players' union, and the action by the Dodgers' two star pitchers was topic number one among the players. Leavy calls this the first baby steps of the free agent revolution, followed later by Curt Flood's reserve clause lawsuit and the Seitz arbitration decision giving Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally the right to offer their services to all major league teams. I'd never thought of that before, but she's right. Koufax himself calls it a union, albeit a small one. It's a good book.
Can this be true? I use my share of Stouffers meals, but I still cook dinner at least four times a week. How about you? Vote in the poll over there on the right.
My blogbuddy Jen has hit a small health snag, and she could use some good thoughts right now, so please direct them her way.
You're facing a budget deficit of $400-$500 billion this year and rising, so the obvious thing to do is reduce corporate taxes, right? Oh, and give companies an incentive to move jobs offshore, too.
Supporters say the six-month tax holiday could lure as much as $300 billion back into the United States, which in turn would increase investment and create jobs.Sometimes I think somebody needs to stand in the well of the Senate and yell "Hey! Mush for brains! Think like normal people!"
"The company that left Louisiana is going to pay a 5 percent tax on the widgets they make overseas, and the company that stayed in Louisiana is going to pay a 35 percent tax," said Senator John B. Breaux, Democrat of Louisiana. "If that isn't an incentive to leave, I don't know what is."
Critics also warn that there is no guarantee that the companies will invest their repatriated profits in new factories or larger work forces. Indeed, Republican lawmakers defeated an amendment offered by Mr. Breaux on Wednesday that would have required companies to reinvest their foreign profits in things like new equipment. (My emphasis)
Ah, you say, but in Iraq there's more thought being given to how economics works, right? Well, no.
One would have thought that the failures of swift and sudden free market changes in Russia in the 1990's would have made even extremist economists cautious.That's right, boys and girls. The plan is for the top corporate and personal tax rate to be capped at 15%. Forget the fact that the country's entire public sector infrastructure needs to be rebuilt; just imagine how small a safety net there will be for a population which has an estimated unemployment rate of between 50% and 60% if tax revenues are so limited. "The current plan is supported neither by theory nor experience, only by the wishful ideological thinking of its advocates."
But never mind such historical lessons. The Iraqi planners, apparently including the Bush administration, seem to assume they can simply wipe the slate clean.
It's as though these planners feel like they have an entire country to try their theories on, and they're all rubbing their hands together in glee. The fact that there's a heavily armed population of 25 million which might not agree with them doesn't seem to have entered their minds.
Mush for brains indeed.
It's interesting that some public figures have no hesitation in giving interviews to bloggers, although some bloggers are obviously more equal than others. Josh Marshall interviewed General Wesley Clark yesterday; if you're interested in the General, it's enlightening. He discusses economics, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and other troubling items on the United States' to-do list.
Since the Dodgers finished second in their division (again) to the hated Giants (again), I need to figure out who I'm rooting for here. Because of the noted perfidy of the Giants (think Bobby Thomson in 1951, the 3-game playoff in 1962, and Joe Morgan's home run that gave the pennant to Atlanta in 1982), I can't root for them. That means I'm rooting for the Marlins in that series, and of course the Cubbies are sentimental favorites in the other one; I'm tired of Atlanta. The Braves have now been in the playoffs for 12 consecutive years and have failed all but once; time for them to move on.
In the American League I have the same problem with the Yankees; they've been there so often, and besides they've done horrible things to the Dodgers over the years, so I'm rooting for the Twins (who used to be the Washington Senators, and thus were once sort of a home town team of mine). The other Series? How can I root for anyone but the Red Sox? I remember the A's beating the Dodgers in 1974, and besides, the Red Sox have been heartbroken nearly as long as (and have come much closer than) the Cubs.
Do I think I've picked the winners? Heck no. That's just the first round; I'm sure I'll be disappointed (that's what baseball does to you--it disappoints). I'll have new choices once the next round starts.
Who's picking whom?