|Oscar Jr. Was Here|
I may check my email at oscarjr13 -at- yahoo.com
Saturday, March 08, 2003
Well, I was here. Now, I was there.
Please feel free to visit. I'm hoping the workload will ease a bit soon so I can return to quasi-regular posting.
Thursday, March 06, 2003
Saddam Dead Pool Update: April It Is?
The implied probability of an April removal of Saddam is now up to 75 percent. Overall, the speculators' probability of his removal by June has increased to 84 percent.
Meanwhile, via the Taipei Times, Bloomberg reports that markets are looking up in Baghdad, too:
War concerns have sent share prices lower around the world, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 6.8 percent since Jan. 1. Inside the Baghdad stock exchange's two-story concrete building, investors are upbeat.
"There's optimism about a better future," Makhtoum said. "Maybe international companies will return to Iraq someday."
Finally, prospects continue to improve in Kuwait, too:
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
Back Soon, I Hope
Real life has again interrupted all planned blogging on my part. As the title of this post indicates, I hope to be back at it soon. With a domain name that I can remember.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Name that Tune
I Think Lileks Might Like This
Fun with Google: Food, Bombs or Both
"It's a fact, the U.S. is a genocidal country," said Keith McHenry, one of eight people arrested Thursday when anti-war protesters demonstrated at the Raytheon Missile Systems plant here.
He has a jolly sense of humor, too. (Adobe Acrobat document)
The radical group Food Not Bombs admitted recently that the ambiguity of its message, “Food Not Bombs”, could have contributed to the confusion of the Bush administration, which recently began both bombing and dropping food supplies on the country of Afghanistan.
Ah, lovely. Let's give the last word to Christopher Hitchens:
If you remember, there were also those who warned hysterically of a humanitarian disaster as a result of the bombing: a "silent genocide," as one Boston-area academic termed it. But to the contrary, the people of Afghanistan did not have to endure a winter with only the food and medicine that the primeval Taliban would have furnished them. They survived, and now the population has grown by almost 1.2 million, as refugees from the old, atrocious tyranny make their way home. Here is the first country in history to be bombed out of the Stone Age.
Posted 2/25/2003 12:31:38 AM by Oscar Jr.
Sunday, February 23, 2003
Posted 2/23/2003 08:16:33 PM by Oscar Jr.
Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse: Reynolds, Sullivan, Johnson, & Den Beste
Despite the fact that he was inexplicably omitted, Bill Quick is hosting the "Ablogalypse Poster Contest" today.
Here's my entry.
Yeah, it's lousy. I have no artistic skills.
Posted 2/23/2003 04:46:00 PM by Oscar Jr.
Via Michael Totten, via LGF, Byron York notes in today's New York Post ("'MAINSTREAM' USEFUL IDIOTS") that recently arrested, accused terrorist Sami Al-Arian is former president of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, a group associated with anti-war group Not in Our Name. York writes:
Until recently, the group's president was Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida computer-science professor who has been suspended for alleged ties to terrorism. (He is still a member of the coalition's board.) According to a New York Times report last year, Al-Arian is accused of having sent hundreds of thousands of dollars, raised by another charity he runs, to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The Times also reported that FBI investigators "suspected Mr. Al-Arian operated 'a fund-raising front' for the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine from the late 1980s to 1995." Al-Arian also brought a man named Ramadan Abdullah Shallah to the University of South Florida to raise money for one of Al-Arian's foundations - a job Shallah held until he later became the head of Islamic Jihad.
Here's the Tampa Tribune on Al-Arian's arrest ("The Scorching Indictment of Sami Al-Arian"):
The arrest Thursday of Sami Al-Arian, accused along with seven others of conspiring to aid and abet terrorism, including killings abroad by suicide bombers, ends a decade-long investigation into the nefarious activities of the University of South Florida professor.
The indictment is damning, bringing to light intercepted reports and recordings of telephone conversations over the years between Al-Arian and other defendants and known terrorists and terror organizations.
Here's an October 2001 "Special Report" on the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom. Some excerpts:
The coalition, with members from some 35 diverse political, legal and ethnic organizations—such as the National Lawyers Guild, Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace, Irish Northern Aid Committee, the American Muslim Council, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee—was formed in 1997 in reaction to the passage of the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Following the Oklahoma City bombing, the bill gained momentum and passed. The government has increased its use of secret evidence in detaining people who have visa problems. Prior to (and since) that legislation, the federal government had used case law to deport and detain non-U.S. citizens who are suspected of having connections to “terrorist” organizations.
Despite the fact that no new secret evidence cases have been brought since 1998, last spring a Dallas, Texas immigration lawyer found herself facing the possibility that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was going to add secret evidence to a deportation case she was handling. Four Palestinian men are being targeted for expulsion because of their connection to two Islamic organizations—the Holy Land Foundation and the Islamic Association for Palestine—that long have been under scrutiny by the U.S. government.
At their July conference, Gage said in the telephone interview, coalition members agreed on the need to focus on another Anti-Terrorism Act provision—material support for terrorism—that the government seems to be invoking now. “Instead of going after criminal activity, [the federal government] is going after organizations, [and] going after the First Amendment,” she said. “They are criminalizing diapers going to an orphanage, if that orphanage happens to be controlled by Hamas.”
Of course, International A.N.S.W.E.R. condemns the arrest:
Dr. Al-Arian has helped to establish several organizations, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA, est. 1981) and many affiliated organizations. In 1990, he co-founded the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a research and academic institution. In 1997, Dr. Al-Arian helped to found the Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace, which has fought against the arrest, imprisonment and deportation of Dr. Mazen Al-Najjar; and in the same year co-founded the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, which he was elected the president of in 2000. Dr. Al-Najjar is Dr. Al-Arian's brother-in-law, who in 2002 was deported after being held in U.S. jails without charges for nearly five years using "secret evidence."
And here's Mr. Al-Arian, describing his "persecution" by Bill O'Reilly of Fox News:
This is terrorism perpetuated by journalists against innocent civilians and public institutions.
Free bonus question: Is it painfull
I found this inside-Slashdot comment amusing, too:
Looks like it's time to send one of those USPS postcards that you can send online [usps.com]...
Posted 2/23/2003 02:43:24 PM by Oscar Jr.
Saturday, February 22, 2003
Saddam Dead Pool Update: The Market Bets on April
The implied probability of a March removal of Saddam have fallen from 35 percent to 26 percent, but April is holding up pretty well. Overall, the probability of his removal by June have fallen to 74 percent.
Despot or Sexpot?
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Belgium has been at the centre of international attention in the past few days.
Yet the Belgian story of last week is but a small part of something that goes much deeper. I have been trying to find out in recent weeks what is really going on between both sides of the Atlantic. Why are some European countries not solidly behind the US, as they usually are in times of crisis?
A compelling explanation can be found in this terrific essay by Steven Den Beste, who writes:
The answer is that the purpose of the European Union is to roll back the post-war experiment in western Europe with capitalist representative democracy, and to restore Europe to its rightful place at the center of the world's stage by displacing the US as the predominant power in the world.
Back to Mr. Verhofstadt:
Because, I think, the real threat is lacking. At least, that is what most Europeans feel. And a sense of real threat is crucial if we, battle-weary Europeans, are to take up arms.
When in doubt, consult Workers World: "Every new or aspiring NATO member, and most of the old ones, have endorsed war against Iraq."
NATO expanded from 16 to 19 countries in 1999 with the entrance of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Other former socialist countries, now capitalist semi-colonies, are lining up to join. The U.S.-dominated military alliance stretches now from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and has begun to reach from Kosovo to Kazakhstan.
Back to Mr. Verhofstadt:
This is not to say I feel any sympathy for Saddam Hussein. He is a villain, a threat to his own people and a substantial factor behind instability in the Middle East. If we do not stop the Iraqi leader, he will go on trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. And without military pressure from the US, there would not even have been any new United Nations inspections in Iraq. On the other hand, neither Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, nor Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, have yet found a smoking gun. And while it is beyond dispute that Baghdad sponsors terrorists, such as the Palestinian suicide bombers, the indications of a link with al-Qaeda are not very substantive, to say the least.
Yeah, he's a bad guy, but...
But, "It Was Never About a Smoking Gun" says former weapons inspector David Kay.
(Rachel Lucas expresses her dislike of the "smoking gun" metaphor here.)
As long as we Europeans feel threatened, the use of war and weapons can more or less be justified. However, without this sentiment, a transatlantic gulf has opened up. I fear this rift will only grow. As long as Soviet divisions could reach the Rhine in 48 hours, we obviously had a blood brotherhood with our cousins overseas. But now that the cold war is over, we can express more freely our differences of opinion. And one of those differences of opinion concerns the fundamental question about the use of war as an extension of politics. (emphasis added)
"Thanks for protecting our necks, again. Good luck saving your own."
Moreover, the balance in transatlantic relations has shifted. Our continent is no longer the exhausted and traumatised west of 1945. Indeed, we remain grateful to America, as well as to Britain, for putting an end to our nightmare. But many things have changed since 1945. That explains the tensions within the Atlantic alliance. For years traditional Atlanticists on both sides of the ocean have been sceptical about the development of a strong European pillar within Nato. Some have even strongly opposed it. And their argument is the same: it would be the beginning of the end for Nato.
Self-shattered, perhaps? According to this article in Policy Review:
This perceived weakness becomes real when one looks at military spending and capabilities. For many years, European governments have reduced or maintained low budgets for the military and defense, arguing that the post–Cold War world poses lesser threats that can be handled more effectively by means other than brute military force. Americans, on the other hand, have argued that Europeans are making a unilateral decision to forgo extensive military cooperation with the United States. Our findings suggest that this tension will not disappear anytime soon.
The rest of Mr. Verhofstadt's comments have already been well-addressed in the post, mentioned above, by Mr. Den Beste.
Friday, February 21, 2003
Wind Rider wrote,
Shining on the A.N.S.W.E.R. lunacy, in all the sewers and under all the slimy rocks...
That's me, plumbing the sewers and climbing under slimy rocks for our mutual edification.
Silent Running is now, of course, on the Circle of Reciprocity.
Update: A belated thanks to Bigwig, too, for linking to the post below on teacher Ian Harvey. A Hrakalanche is a nice experience.
Fun with Google: Alleged American War Crimes
Tonight, we meet teacher of cultural history at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore and North American Coordinator for Women for Mutual Security Lenora Foerstel and International ANSWER "Coalition Co-Signer":
Ms. Foerstel's alternative version of the U.S.'s military history since WWII, published January 26, 2002, is here:
The royal family in Kuwait was used by the United States government to justify a massive assault on Iraq in order to establish permanent dominion over the Gulf. The Gulf War was begun not to protect Kuwait but to establish US power over the region and its oil.6 In 1990, General Schwarzkopf had testified before the Senate that it was essential for the U.S. to increase its military presence in the Gulf in order to protect Saudi Arabia. However, satellite photos showed no Iraqi troops near the Saudi Border.
Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, the U.S. has waged a merciless war against the Afghan people, using chemical, biological and depleted uranium (DU) weapons. The use of DU continues to spread radiation throughout large parts of Afghanistan and will affect tens of thousands of people in generations to come, causing lung cancer, leukemia and birth defects. DU was also used against Iraq and Yugoslavia, where the frequency of cancer has tripled.
I've found no retraction or correction of the above post.
Here's an early description of the refugee situation:
REFUGEE RETURNS TO AFGHANISTAN LARGEST IN 30 YEARS, UN AGENCY SAYS
One might think that the North American Coordinator for Women for Mutual Security would appreciate seeing this:
Thursday, February 20, 2003
Posted 2/20/2003 01:28:00 AM by Oscar Jr.
Fun with Google: A Teacher with A.N.S.W.E.R.
Former Lely High School teacher and peace activist Ian Harvey often wrote letters to the editor.
In his seven-page report, district investigator Peter DeBaun concluded that Harvey:
I find this interesting:
The First Amendment, DeBaun argued, "does not give an employee carte blanche to do and express whatever he wants in a public school environment."
No grading curve in that class, I guess. I might like to know more about this, too:
Musicians today often attempt to address the concerns of disenfranchised youth, flawed as those attempts seem to Marxist- Leninists like ourselves. I believe, however, that the subversiveness of rock-and-roll and rap can serve sometimes as an impetus to revolutionary politics in youth - I graduated from Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" to The Communist Manifesto!
Posted 2/20/2003 12:34:43 AM by Oscar Jr.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
I've just returned from the first Oscar Jr.-sponsored New York City blog-bash. I'm pretty sure I was the only blogger there, but a good time was had by all of me.
Whenever I'm tempted to link to something by James Lileks, I start by choosing an excerpt of his great prose. Finding one excerpt insufficient, the post inevitably grows. ("Once You Pop, You Can't Stop!") Wary of copying his entire post, I give up.
CGHill has it exactly right here:
Excerpting Lileks is rather like fixating on Marilyn Monroe a square inch at a time...
Here's the full Lileks. "Read the whole thing."
Update: And here's the whole Marilyn:
Fun with Google: Support the Women of Afghanistan, But Not Iraq
On Afghanistan, in a post titled, "AFGHANISTAN Summer 2001," Ms. Rayner-Rix writes:
There are underground women's groups in Afghanistan, which are operating extremely dangerous activities. They meet secretly in small groups to paint their nails or make up their faces. If they were caught they could face death for doing this. We cannot comprehend living in this way, when we have the freedom to drive cars, own property, have careers, paint our faces and dye our hair whatever colour we choose, as often as we like. Female children born into these families are offered no education, however there are groups who are trying under extreme difficulties to give some sort of education to these children. What it will do for them, who knows as female teachers and doctors are a thing of the past and women die every day as they cannot be touched by a male doctor and if women are not to be educated then it has a logical conclusion.
Subsequent military action by the U.S. and allies seems to have helped with that problem. Yet she also writes:
I cannot believe that we are yet again faced with a ridiculous and unnecessary war. What sort of world leader would condemn terrorism so severely after September 11th 2001, yet keep on supporting Israel. Why provoke the people of the Arab world to terrorism? Many can only attack with their bodies and car bombs. They have nothing else.
Does she: (a) deny that removing the Taliban improved the lives of women in Afghanistan, (b) accept that the lot of Afghan women was improved, but deny that removing the Baathists will improve the lives of women (and non-women) in Iraq, or (c) simply latch onto the cause-of-the-day?
Fun with Google: An Alternative History of Iraq Since the First Gulf War
I am writing to protest the use of the Massachusetts Air National Guard to enforce the "no-fly" zones in Iraq. The mission is scheduled for this fall for the 102nd Fighter Interceptor Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base at the Massachusetts Military Reservation. What business is it of the "citizen soldiers" of the Massachusetts National Guard to prevent the people of Iraq, a sovereign nation, from using the air space above their own land? The no-fly zones have been imposed upon Iraq unilaterally by the United States and Britain. They have not been approved
What business is it of the "citizen soldiers" of the Massachusetts National Guard to prevent the people of Iraq, a sovereign nation, from using the air space above their own land?
My hon. Friend also raised the question of the no-fly zones over Iraq. I would first like to record our gratitude for the invaluable role played by the RAF air crews who have risked their lives for eight years to protect Iraqi civilians from repression. The no-fly zones were established to protect innocent Iraqi civilians from persecution at the hands of the Iraqi air force. Although 1991 may seem a long time ago, it is still vivid in the minds of those Iraqi Kurds, Assyrians and Turkmen who fled their homes in fear as Iraqi helicopter gunships attacked their villages. That was not the first time that those villages had suffered. In the 1970s and 1980s, Iraqi forces destroyed more than 3,000 Kurdish villages. That is never referred to by the critics of our policy in the debate on sanctions.
What justification do you give for allowing Massachusetts Guardsmen to be involved in exercises that have been killing, by means of bombs and missiles, an average of one civilian per day in Iraq?
I don't believe your statistic, but will this suffice?
That attitude applies to military operations, too. Some in the north do criticize American bombing in the south, but only because they think it does not go far enough: They want a sustained military campaign to remove Saddam from power. People here also vigorously support the American- and British-enforced no-fly zones that protect the north's independence. People in Dohuk, just five minutes from Iraqi government lines, visibly relax when they hear Allied sorties flying overhead. They understand that the real menace to their well-being--and to that of their fellow Iraqis--isn't international pressure. It's the dictator to the south.
Posted 2/19/2003 01:05:09 AM by Oscar Jr.
Monday, February 17, 2003
Objective Saddameter Update
Since yesterday's post on objective measures of the probability that Saddam will be removed from office (which Bill Quick was kind enough to link to and comment on here), the market has determined that things are looking up for Saddam:
The bad news (for us, good for him) is that the market judges him 14.3 percent less likely to be removed by March. The less bad news (for us, less good for him) is that he's still faces only 1-in-4 odds of maintaining power by June, a decrease of only 2.6 percent. Slate holds constant at 92 percent (yesterday's 92 percent was published after I posted), but represents a 2.1 percent decline from Friday. Confounding this trend, the other potential and objective indicator discussed, the index of Kuwaiti stocks, increased by 0.7 percent for the day.
The current issue of Forbes covers this market (link requires registration):
Will Saddam be gone by the end of March? If you think so, then put your money where your mouth is by buying Saddam futures contracts. Listed by Irish firm Tradesports.com, the contract pays $10 if Hussein is out of power by Mar. 31 and nothing if he holds on. After Secretary of State Colin Powell's United Nations speech the contract was offered for $3.60--suggesting a 36% probability that Saddam will change his address. Daily trading volume surged 56% before the speech, and as of early February, 37,000 contracts were outstanding. ISI Group, a Washington, D.C.investment and geopolitical research firm, finds this lottery ticket attractively priced. Says ISI Managing Director Thomas Gallagher: "This is a close call--if diplomacy is given until mid-March before a war starts, Saddam may be in his last days by the end of March."
Since the article was written, the implied March probability has fallen to 30 percent. Is the price even more attractive, or are we getting too close to the March deadline?
Update: I seem to have killed the Roz Rayner-Rix, Hambleton Area Belly Dance Association, post that was below this one. I hope to restore it, or re-create it, at some point.
Update the update: Google's cache saves me again. I've left Google's highlighting in the restored post in tribute. Google capitalizes Blogger, Googles saves me. I'll be buying shares.
Fun with Google: How the US Was A Maverick, Crazy State under Clinton, Too
I think the biggest disaster is what we are laying down in the Middle East. There's this sort of bewilderment, particularly about Britain. They have all written off the US as a maverick crazy state. But they say, "You know, all the ties we have with Britain. We know about colonialism, we know about the spying that went on over the years, we know about the manipulation. But deep down we have had cultural ties, trade ties, historical ties. So many families have had somebody who came to Britain for postgraduate study." And now there's both bewilderment and a sort of hate, that a country, with which they have had these historic ties—and history is very strong in Iraq—has just trashed them and abandoned them.
This was news to me:
When I was in Baghdad this time I went to what is called the Reconstruction Museum, which is in a huge, very beautiful Ottoman building beside the Tigris. They have minutely reconstructed every public building, from Mosul in the north to Basra in the south, that was damaged in the Gulf War. Then they show how they have been reconstructed. I was stunned to see that in every city the television station was bombed. In Yugoslavia they bombed every radio and television centre. We heard about a couple of them, but in fact there were 27.
Posted 2/17/2003 06:37:52 PM by Oscar Jr.
A Better Saddameter?
Some fun (e.g., VodkaPundit) has been had around the Blogosphere at the expense of Slate's Saddameter ("Chance of Invasion Today [February 14]: 94" percent). Introducing the feature, William Saletan writes:
Four years ago, Slate published a Clintometer that tracked President Clinton's chances of being removed from office during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. This year, Slate presents the Saddameter, which monitors the chances of a U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The Saddameter probability of invasion has increased from an initial 58 percent (on November 18, 2002) to a high of 97 percent (on February 10, 2003) and stood at 94 percent as of Friday.
In search of some objective data, via Chicago Boyz, I found this Bloomberg News article on traded "Saddam Hussein Futures." As of February 10, this market was placing odds of 43 percent that Hussein would be out of power by March, 74 percent by April, 82 percent by May and 84 percent by June (updated data available here), so Slate's forecast seems a bit more optimistic to those of us who support this war than that of people willing to put their own money on the line (assuming, correctly I think, that an invasion of Iraq is equivalent to Hussein being removed from power).
(The current implied probabilities are 35 percent, 63 percent, 73 percent and 77 percent, respectively. There appears to have been a small decline in the shortest-term contract over the weekend, perhaps in reaction to this weekend's anti-Democracy-in-Iraq protests. The June contract actually increased slightly since Friday.)
Here's a chart showing the prices of the June no-Saddam contract:
Some more objective evidence:
Weekly Review & Analysis
The threat of war had a negative impact as well on the performance of Arab stock markets, with Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt suffering most. The stock markets of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which enjoyed good performance in the first half of the year, retreated in the third quarter but stayed in positive territories in the fourth quarter. Kuwait and Qatar have so far this year surged by more than 30% and UAE by 22%. We expect Jordan and most GCC stock markets to do well next year as Iraq-related political/military tension subsides. However, the uncertainty associated with future US-Saudi relations is likely to have an adverse impact on the performance of the Saudi market. Kuwait will benefit from the absence of Iraqi risk on its northern border. The UAE and Oman will also do well, while Qatar may witness a correction after two years of successive stellar performance in which the market index rose by more 30% annually. We remain bearish on Palestine, Morocco and Tunisia next year and opportunistic on Lebanon and Egypt. (emphasis added)
By any measure, then, things appear to be looking positive of late for Democracy in Iraq.
Saturday, February 15, 2003
Life Maintenance Day
"Please make me a drink of grain alcohol and rainwater, and help yourself to whatever you'd like."
And help support democracy in Iraq. Dean's World and Winds of Change lead the way with this effort, while we await the big dictator-removal campaign to come.
Friday, February 14, 2003
To anyone who might notice, I apologize for the lack of content (such as it has been) of late. I started this site at the worst (i.e., busiest) possible time (excluding, I suppose, that bender in graduate school) due to requirements at work. I intend to return. Or retire young, so I can blog more.
At least, I've kept any readers' expectations low.
Query: Would you trade members of the Senate minority leadership with, say, random members of your local White Pages?
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
A Preliminary, Less Preliminary and Shoddy Statistical Analysis of the Heights of the Blogosphere, Crediting Bigwig
In this post, I quoted Bigwig (from the comments in a related post):
[Y]ou need to factor in the age of the blog, as well. Those lists tend to grow over time.
[O]nce a weblog is established (however that may be defined), as those in the MBE would seem to be, I see no reason to expect that the ratio of ingoing-to-outgoing links will necessarily increase over time. At an extreme, while InstaPundit may be reluctant to add more links, new websites like mine will continue to link to him. But are most established sites close to that extreme?
From the most recent iteration of the Myelin Blogosphere Ecosystem (MBE), for 50 randomly-chosen blogs (I'm working on the rest), I gathered, in addition to the number of outgoing links, the date of the first post I could find. (This is the best proxy I could find for blog-age, though a few sites tend to move and lose archives).
I then estimated the relationship between the number of incoming links and (i) the number of outgoing links and (ii) the relative age of the blog compared to the average age for the 50 on which I've gathered data. The number of outgoing links is statistically significant at the 99% level, and the relative blog-age is much more statistically significant. These variables alone explain about 66% of the variation in the number of incoming links for these 50 blogs. Each outgoing link is worth about 0.9 incoming links for these blogs, and each year in existence beyond the average of 1.4 years for these sites is worth another 142 incoming links (or an additional link every four days).
War of the Words
John Hawkins, proprietor of Right Wing News, hands out the First Annual Warblogger Awards. Laurence Simon is kind enough to share his voting record. Perhaps inexplicably, I was not sent a ballot. In the unlikely chance that there is a recount, here's how I would have voted (no slights intended to any of the other sites I regularly read -- you're on the blogroll for a reason):
Best Unknown Blog
Favorite Editorial Writer Who's Not A Blogger
Favorite Member Of The Bush Administration Other Than Bush
Most Annoying Celebrity
Most Annoying Blogger
Most Overrated Blog
The Most Bloodthirsty Blog
I have no idea if I'm doing this correctly or not, No sense going any farther until I know for sure...
I guess I'll join Laurence in voting for The Rottweiler, Misha, instead.
Best Looking Blog
Best Group Blog
Best Non-American Blog
The Best Fisker
Monday, February 10, 2003
Ooh, This Should Be Good
E. Nough finally has his own site, Thinking Meat. I expect to be spending a great deal of time there. Enough said.
I. I suspect that most everyone interested has already read Clay Shirky's Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality.
Once a power law distribution exists, it can take on a certain amount of homeostasis, the tendency of a system to retain its form even against external pressures. Is the weblog world such a system? Are there people who are as talented or deserving as the current stars, but who are not getting anything like the traffic? Doubtless. Will this problem get worse in the future? Yes.
It's an interesting thesis about which I've not given sufficient thought, but my initial reaction is negative. I expect that this static view of the Blogosphere will not be borne out. I'm still collecting data, but will comment further soon.
The German government attempted to play down the criticism. "Mr Rumsfeld is like he is. I can say no more," said Joschka Fischer, the foreign minister. Other senior politicians were more explicit. "Rumsfeld has flipped out - his behaviour is impossible," said Klaus Kinkel, a Free Democrat and former foreign minister.
Two thoughts come to mind: 1) Thank goodness for our impossible, American, Rumsfeld; and 2) Germany: If we can't stop America, then we'll join her.
IV. I missed dinner, but managed to avoid both violence and scantily dressed young women (alas) tonight.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
A Night in My Life
Newly-burned compact disk, book (my first attempt at Heinlein) and WSJ crossword puzzle in hand, I walked to the local pub for a light meal and a couple of adult beverages. The crowd was a little more interesting and young than usual, so the music would have to wait for another night. Quite a bit of dancing and stuff was taking place around me, distracting me from the book and crossword puzzle, so I chatted with the always-friendly bartender.
A guy of approximately my age walked in and took the seat next to me. He struck up a conversation with a girl and her two male companions on the other side. He bought them a round of drinks.
Grown bored with them, he turned to me. His first question: "How'd you get those black eyes?" I explained to him that it's a lack of sleep, rather than an excess of violence, that lead to my present condition. He went on to lecture me about the problems caused by working too much (thanks!, buddy), repeatedly slap my back, hug me (I'm not so big on hugging, especially unrelated males), and insult the girl next to him. He bought me a beer. He called me, "an old guy." I've never been called "old" by anyone more than a few years out of college, so I was a bit taken aback.
He quickly grew bored with me, too. He paid the $50 bar tab (run up in less than 30 minutes), and left. I later found out that the aforementioned girl's two companions had taken issue with our departed friend's insults, and assaulted him on the sidewalk. Bad behavior running amuck, I decided to head home.
Showing no judgment whatsoever, I decided to stop at the place on the corner for a nightcap and to see an acquiantance who works there. Lots of really, really pretty young women work there, so maybe I needed to get over the hug. The bar was pleasant enough at first, and a little less crowded than usual. Soon, however, things got interesting there, too. The DJ played some song which apparently drives said pretty, young women insane. Within seconds, they were all dancing rather, um, lasciviously together. I had a second nightcap.
I had my new, digital camera with me ("Terror Alert: High"), but couldn't muster the nerve to use it there. To my few readers, I apologize.
Well, it's almost time to go out for dinner again. Maybe tonight I'll actually get some reading done.
Saturday, February 08, 2003
Lest anyone think I spend my weekends gathering data on blogs better than mine (which already took up most of my Saturday) in order to "quanitify the Blogosphere", tonight, while reading Happy Fun Pundit, I'm mixing-up a CD to entertain the kids at the local pub. (Note to RIAA, I own all of the content.)
I have to self-censor a bit, as the otherwise-kind proprietess doesn't think much of my musical tastes. In the interest of posting something today, and perhaps spreading these questionable tastes, here's the contents of my previous endeavor:
Freedom of 76 - Ween (a fun website, too)
And here's tonight's effort:
Fight Test - Flaming Lips
Friday, February 07, 2003
Since I'm home from the office early tonight, I think I'll try to post something.
In a comment, Bigwig of Silflay Hraka wrote:
So, what does this analysis predict for long, difficult to type and essentially meaningless blognames?
(I assume he was referring to his own site. If not, please ignore the rest of this post, but the answer then should be obvious.)
Actually, Silflay Hraka isn't long (13 characters vs. an average of 15), difficult to type (test your skills by clicking the link here) or meaningless (thanks to Bill Quick for pointing out the meaning, linked to here).
However, the Hraka-site was one of the inspirations for my analysis of the benefits of a big blogroll. When I first started reading the site, I could never remember how to spell "Silflay," so I would mouse my way over to Daily Pundit to track down the link. (This was before Instapundit added Bigwig to his blogroll, ignoring his less-prolific coauthors, as I've done in the Circle of Reciprocity).
Since Bigwig asked, this is what the preliminary and shoddy (and I mean it) analysis done to date says: given Silflay Hraka's generous number of outgoing links (161 versus an average of 92, though I can't yet test for, or qualify as, quality links) and it's shorter-than-average name (see above), the site has 25 fewer links than would be predicted (125 actual versus 150 predicted). I've done what I can to rectify this, of course.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
Home at Last!
Four in the morning, and I'm finally home from the day job. Time to blog-up a storm? Nah, probably not. Time for the nightly dose of Lileks, though.
To those of you who stopped by to give my poor, neglected site some company, thanks! I hope to post something to justify your visiting soon.
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Further Quantifying the Heights of the Blogosphere, A Benefit of Brevity
We have previously discussed the relationship between outgoing and incoming links for the 177 sites both most linked-to and most link-generous in the Myelin blogging econsystem ("For each additional 10 outgoing links in their blogrolls, these sites receive an average of 4 more incoming links than their peers (a result statistically significant at the 98 percent level).")
Tonight, I analyze whether the length of a blog's name has any statistical relationship with the number of incoming links to that blog. I use the names assigned by the MBE (which are not always correct, e.g., "The Kolkata Libertarian" is named therein after its proprietor, Suman Palit). My hypothesis was that shorter blog names, easier to type and to link to, would be more likely to be cited.
(New Poll Shows Correlation Is Causation.)
Some evidence exists that this hypothesis is correct (a result significant at the 89 percent level). Each additional character in a blog-name is associated with 1.8 fewer incoming links. The average blog-name length is 15 characters. This result may help to explain the inexplicable success of the site IMAO, and will well-explain why I'm hoping to steal the domain name "O."
Sorry -- no graphs tonight. I have trouble working in three dimensions at this hour.
A Little Linky-Hate
Oscar Jr. has insulted me and tried to outdo my scientific survey of bloggers' ages (mine still has more digits). The official stance of IMAO is that we (meaning me) hate him. I have added a him to my blogroll so I can later de-link him (the ultimate insult to a blogger).
Readers can judge for yourselves whether I insulted Frank J. (I did credit his extensive use of digits), but note that I've added him to the Circle of Reciprocity, the easier to defend myself when he de-links me.
Anyway, Frank J.'s very clever in setting me up for a fall, and ("IMAO doesn't have enough outgoing links to make the sample, ahem.") improving his chances at becoming the youngest atop the Myelin blogging ecosystem. I suspect that Secretary Rumsfeld would be impressed.
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Quantifying the Heights of the Blogosphere, or How to Avoid Work on a Saturday
34.1612903225806451612903225806452 years of age,
I determined to add a small degree of "science" to the Blogosphere, surveying the 177 sites on both sides of the Myelin blogging ecosystem (i.e., both most-linked and most-linking) previously discussed here to see if I could verify IMAO's result. Of these 177, I was able to easily obtain (or estimate based on year of undergraduate degree) the age of 53 (or 30 percent of the) top bloggers. While this sample may well be biased (due to these bloggers' willingness to publish this personal information), I expected it to be less biased than a survey of readers of 23-year-old Frank J.'s juvenilia (one of whom is me, frequently). The youngest in my sample was Oliver Willis at age 25. (IMAO doesn't have enough outgoing links to make the sample, ahem.) Ben Domenech is surely younger, but I couldn't locate enough information to determine his specific age. I won't name the oldest, in the vain hope that he will someday visit this site.
For what it's worth, the average age for my sample of 53 webloggers is (IMAO-like) 36.9622641509434 and the median age is 36.
The full distribution is given here:
Saturday, February 01, 2003
Shuttle Columbia Lost
Bad news. Fox News is showing footage of the breakup and discussing stories of debris over east Texas. Damn.
My condolences to the families and friends of the crew of the Columbia.
InstaPundit has lots of interesting thoughts up already.
For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us....
The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
Update the update: That didn't take long. The political conspiracy theorists are already blaming President Bush for this. Lowlives.
Meme Must Die
Like me, Frank J. of IMAO hates the word "meme." I've never before used the word myself, and I cringe when an otherwise good writer feels the need to do so. Call me old-fashioned (if that's the best you can do), but I'll stick with more syllabic phrases like "clever concept" or "what the kids are talking about."
What's wrong with this word?
1. People who are enthusiastic about "memes" write things like this:
The dictionary definition, and Dawkins's (1976) original conception of the meme, both include the idea that memes are copied from one person to another by imitation. We therefore need to be clear what is meant by imitation. Imitation is distinguished from contagion, individual learning and various kinds of non-imitative social learning such as stimulus enhancement, local enhancement and goal emulation. True imitation is extremely rare in animals other than humans, except for birdsong and dolphin vocalisation, suggesting that they can have few or no memes. I argue that more complex human cognitive processes, such as language, reading, scientific research and so on, all build in some way on the ability to imitate, and therefore all these processes are, or can be, memetic. When we are clear about the nature of imitation, it is obvious what does and does not count as a meme. I suggest that we stick to defining the meme as that which is passed on by imitation.
Please shoot me! Or
2. It reminds us of the absence of Axis-of-Layne member a. beam. Or
3. It's also a French word:
France isn't so popular these days, especially not with Frank J.
Stupid and ugly word, it is. Let's ask Rumsfeld to get rid of it!
Friday, January 31, 2003
Read This Website, Not Mine
The language may sometimes be harsh, and the message may sometimes be unduly pessimistic, but Bill Quick should be read by every one, every day. I comply.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Comments on Comments on the Preliminary, Shoddy Analysis...
[moved to a new post for space reasons]
Charles G. Hill wrote:
I'm not sure exactly when you're supposed to add those ten to achieve the desired effect, and I have some general qualms about futzing with blogrolls — the ninety or so blogs I list are there because they are regularly read, not because I think I stand to gain anything from their presence...
I certainly didn't intend to imply that adding any random, additional blogroll links at any time will increase one's incoming links. My interpretation of these data is that websites with a high-quality blogroll (where quantity of good links can add to quality) are recognized as more valuable to readers and are, therefore, more likely to be linked. If I am correct, adding random sites to the 90 or so that Mr. Hill finds most read-worthy would not increase the value of his weblog to his readers and, at the least, not increase the number of linking sites. On the other hand, if he identified 10 additional weblogs that both he and his readers found worth visiting, Mr. Hill might expect a few more incoming links.
To give an example of this, even when I knew I'd read everything on a given day on InstaPundit, I would often return to the site because I knew that many of the weblogs that I liked to visit (and whose url's I hadn't yet memorized) were linked on his site.
Bigwig wrote (in the comments below):
[Y]ou need to factor in the age of the blog, as well. Those lists tend to grow over time.
Perhaps, but I'm not so sure. I wrote, "Obviously, I'm not in MBE territory yet", recognizing the fact that this site has not been around long enough (or, more likely, is not good enough) to fulfill the prediction implied by my analysis. Similarly, Cyberangel, who (in Mr. Hill's comments) wrote, "Ha! I defy you both & have no one linked to me! Yet. :)" appears to have been around for only three-ish months.
However, once a weblog is established (however that may be defined), as those in the MBE would seem to be, I see no reason to expect that the ratio of ingoing-to-outgoing links will necessarily increase over time. At an extreme, while InstaPundit may be reluctant to add more links, new websites like mine will continue to link to him. But are most established sites close to that extreme?
Next, in my comments, Mr. Hill wrote, "As long as you don't factor in the age of the blogger. I'm already depressed." Please don't be depressed, at least in this respect: I hope to test next the number of incoming links based on webloggers' age (controlling, if possible, for the age of the blogs themselves). I expect that my hypothesis, that blogger age correlates positively with incoming links (and hits), will be borne out. I may even seek testimony from Mr. Quick, Mr. Den Beste and Mr. Reynolds. (Thanks to Frank J. of IMAO for the idea!)
Finally, for tonight, Kevin McGehee (who, note, is on my blogroll) wrote (in Mr. Hill's comments):
To my utter mystification, and in utter confoundment of Oscar's number-crunching, I am linked by a great many more blogs than are in my blogroll.
Well, outliers exits, and Mr. McGehee may well be one. (However, he may not realize how many incoming links he's forgone by failing to link to this site.) But, of course, I would never predict that all the sites on the MBE would have more outgoing than incoming links. Even at the heights of the blogosphere, not everyone can be above average within the sample, so I don't consider my analysis confounded. For what it's worth, InstaPundit (second to Dave Winer) receives 515 more incoming links than can be explained by his outgoing generosity. As noted below, I'm down about 135 at this point.
Posted 1/30/2003 01:08:14 AM by Oscar Jr.
A Preliminary and Shoddy Statistical Analysis of the Heights of the Blogosphere
Having read weblogs for awhile now (starting a few months prior to 9/11/2001), and having played with this site for a couple of weeks, I've been pondering the effect of "blogrolling." More specifically, I wondered whether sending outgoing links generally results in incoming links. An ideal test of this hypothesis would require obtaining a complete (or at least random) sample of blogs and counting their incoming and outgoing links. I've no time for that.
Instead, procrastinating, I copied the latest iteration of the Myelin blogging ecosystem ("MBE"), parsed the data, and removed the obvious non-blogs and duplicate entries. The MBE is a ranking of the 500ish most-linked-to and the 500ish most-linking sites identified. Of these joint 500s, 180 weblogs feature in both categories (i.e., are both popular and generous). Obviously, these sites are going to have both more incoming links and more outgoing links than the average weblog, but it's not obvious to me that those with relatively more outgoing links will also have relatively more incoming links (i.e., the more generous of these 180 will also be the more popular).
(New Poll Shows Correlation Is Causation.)
They are. For each additional 10 outgoing links in their blogrolls, these sites receive an average of 4 more incoming links than their peers (a result statistically significant at the 98 percent level).
For what it's worth, this analysis would predict 134 incoming links to this young site. Obviously, I'm not in MBE territory yet. Or it may just reflect a lack of quality.
Update: The number of sites in both MBE categories is 177, not 180. I missed a few duplicates.
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
First try, “Oscar Jr. Just Feels Right.” Well, that's not true -- I don't feel right at all tonight.
Let's sloganize again. "Nothing Sucks Like An Oscar Jr." Hmph.
"Gonna Be a While? Grab an Oscar Jr." Interesting. I might be able to live with this one.
"Let The Oscar Jr. Take The Strain." I don't know.
Another try: "Absolut Oscar Jr." I like it, but it will probably get me a trademark violation complaint.
"Take Two Bottles into the Oscar Jr.?" I detect a pattern here. Does the Sloganizer know me?
Last try: "Oscar Jr. Really Satisfies." I doubt that it's true, but I like it -- bingo.
Do any of these really work? Anyone willing to sloganize a better one? Ah, random nonsense weblog content, it's the wave of the future.
More Pleasant Surprises
My thanks to the super-creative Tony Pierce for including this site under his "January Links." I'd send him some money for his car fund, but that might look like a quid pro quo. It won't look so bad if I wait awhile, right?
And the best Page links here, in addition to humoring my latest conspiracy-theory. Okay, she's the only Page I know of, but she's very good.
Monday, January 27, 2003
If anyone stumbling onto this site hasn't already read it, please read this terrific essay by Bill Whittle, War. It's a very long post, but well worth the time.
An Even Younger Weblog
As I was watching our local PBS station the other night, I saw a show on this blogging thing. Apparently people with opinions are no longer restricted to foisting them on their nearest and dearest. Well, thought I, I have opinions. Moreover, my nearest and dearest are about ready to pick me up by the head and spin me around to my neck snaps if I don't stop explaining why their opinion on Iraq is the dumbest thing since Pepsi Clear. I am surely an undiscovered blogger waiting to happen.
She's off to a great start, with actual, substantial and excellent posts (something to which I aspire, if I ever get caught up on my sleep). She, too, has started out by borrowing InstaPundit's blogroll (I've since returned it). And she's been added to mine. Welcome.
Sunday, January 26, 2003
20-3 at the half. Grooviness.
I'm glad to note that the Chaos Overlord is also cheering on the Bucs. For some strange reason, the blogosphere seems to be dominated by Raiders fans.
I'm off to watch the rest of the game in the company of fellow football fans, adult beverages and appropriate foodstuffs.
Update: Ah, goodness. The laughing-stock team I spent most of my childhood cheering for wins the Super Bowl, 48-20. Patience has its (eventual) rewards.
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Posted 1/25/2003 08:50:05 PM by Oscar Jr.
Why Do So Many Journalists Use Similar Blogger Templates?
Here's the new weblog (allegedly) published by the great columnist Dave Barry, the design of which is blamed on journalist and Dot Con author Ken Layne.
Is it me, or does this look strangely similar to the mysterious site of A. Beam, namesake of Boston Globe journalist and weblog critic Alex Beam? (Scroll up on Instapundit for much more on the old and amusing Alex Beam controversy.)
Perhaps it's just a coincidence. Or is Ken Layne the mastermind uniting 'old media' with the Blogosphere?
Update: Page, in fact, the Last Page, (an excellent site that I recommend, hence its existence on the massive blogroll) carries forth the torch on this blog-investigation. I assure you, dear reader, that we will get to the bottom of this. Or my name isn't Oscar Jr.
State of the Weblog Address:
The state of this weblog is messy.
I’d like to blame all of this on the “Sapphire” or “SQL Slammer” worm, but it’s more likely due Blogger problems or, even more likely, to my own incompetence (or, more charitably, novice-competence).
Update: Well, comments are working again. Permalinks function, but go to the post below the one intended. And the archive saves, but won't save to the correct directory. Any advice?
Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined
I haven't been to a Hooter's restaurant since I was a kid (thanks for the oysters, Dad!), but this is an intriguing development that could revive the air travel industry:
Today, Hooters of America, Inc. announced that an entity owned by its chairman Bob Brooks has acquired Winston-Salem, NC based carrier Pace Airlines. Brooks intends to establish a charter air service that will operate under the name Hooters Air in the future to provide leisure travel services for the golf industry and to serve Myrtle Beach, SC as a prime destination. The extent to which the famous restaurant's brand representation will be used in that operation, beyond the name, is a work in progress.
Posted 1/25/2003 04:33:58 PM by Oscar Jr.
Research Project: What's Moxie?, or Why It Pays to Read 'About Me' Pages
I learned something new today. As everyone knows, moxie is:
I've always assumed that the name of the well-known and excellent weblog moxie.nu related to the above definitions. It does, but not, as I suspected, directly.
What’s Moxie? Well, claims made on some of its early labels included the following:
Moxie, it seems, is a previously unheard of (by me) soft drink. This set-off my internal researcher. Could Moxie the beverage be related to Moxie the weblog?
Steven Den Beste discusses the recent emissions from Euroland:
The rhetoric just keeps getting stranger and stranger. I think there really must be something wrong with the water in Europe; have they all gone collectively insane over there?
Of course, that was like a red flag in front of a bull; to actually suggest that France and Germany are decadent, self-absorbed, decrepit, pretentious has-beens is simply intolerable.
France is on its, what, fifth republic since then? Something like that? (And we're still working on our first. I guess we're falling behind.)
Meanwhile, Andrew Stuttaford pens (well, keys) these great lines:
That's just another reminder that, when it comes to really trying to secure the peace, most of today’s European leaders manage to blend the humility of Marie Antoinette with the statecraft of Neville Chamberlain. They are all about words, nothing about deeds.
On Winds of Change, Trent Telenko reports that France is dead.
Vodkaman Stephen Green also discusses the decline of France, and assigns partial blame:
What the hell went wrong? Frankly, I think it’s partly our fault.
Update: I forgot to include this hilarious post by Bigwig, "Hoist by Their Own Petain."
The modern Vichian motto might as well be ignorez, retarde, apaisez. Ignore, delay and appease describe the French character as well as anything else, excepts perhaps "Unions, Vacations and Occasional Showers!".
Update the update: ScrappleFace archnemesis Frank J. of IMAO prefers the Axis of Assclowns to the "Axis of Weasels":
I don't see why France and Germany can't be just like one of those African nations I’ve never heard of either.
Posted 1/25/2003 02:46:35 PM by Oscar Jr.
GOOD GRIEF! Yesterday's traffic's was over 60, again! Hmm. I blame the cold weather, keeping people close to their nice, warm computers. . . .
Oh, and the many fellow readers of ScrappleFace who stopped by yesterday to see the New York Post post.
Friday, January 24, 2003
Yesterday's News Today
It's great to see this spread from the keyboard of ScrappleFace to a New York tabloid.
Even Less than Usual
I'll likely be working into the morning hours tomorrow (er, today), then returning to the office, so I've no time to post anything more. How, again, do so many of my favorite webloggers manage to find the time to write several posts daily?
Thursday, January 23, 2003
More Pleasant Surprises
My thanks to Anna, the belligerent bunny proprietress of the delightfully quirky Belligerent Bunny Blog (bunnies, national defense, and other interesting stuff) and, apparently, some robot ("ROLO") under the control of Dave Trowbridge, proprietor of the very good Redwood Dragon (who is, alas, "tipping over into the anti-war camp, even as it becomes inevitable." No tipping here, though, please.) for throwing kind links this way. And after another late night at work, I could use a potentially discerning robot.
I'd add Anna, Mr. Trowbridge, Mr. Hill and Bigwig to the blogroll, but I think that's how they all arrived here, anyhow. It's time for an Oscar Jr. Circle of Reciprocity (twice the links and no traffic jams).
Also, this site received its first Google search hit today (nothing shocking in the search, alas, though Andrew Stuttaford should be alert). I've read elsewhere that one needs to register with the search engines for such snooping (not that I mind, I guess). Have Mr. Trowbridge's robot and this Google fellow ever been seen together?
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Touring the Web
Be forewarned: posting after working until midnight cannot be a good thing.
A day late... Charles G. Hill yesterday had a nice post in honor of Martin Luther King Day in which he links to another post he wrote following a visit to Selma, Alabama. In his comments, I wrote (edited for idiocy):
I think too much attention is paid to race these days (we really do all get along pretty well), but it's good to be reminded of how far we've come. Thanks.
If any of my family members or friends accidentally click on the link to this site that I sent you, Carnival of the Vanities is a weekly self-selection of webloggers' own favorite posts. This week, it's hosted by Meryl Yourish, and the concept is wholly to be blamed on or credited to Bigwig. Many of the posts are, as usual, great reads.
Via Bill Quick, I took The WildMonk Iraqi-War Personality Test. It will probably surprise no one that I'm either a "Patriot Hawk" or a "Warmonger" (the views from the right and the left, respectively, according to the quiz). It may surprise some that I scored a 10 out of 10 on the site's rationality scale.
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Touring the Web
But as I condemn ANSWER will you of the Right condemn people like Falwell and others of his religious extremist ilk who say that the United States' immorality made us deserve 9/11?
Monday, January 20, 2003
Weblogging Lesson #1
I sure didn't realize how many webloggers check their referral logs. I created the blogroll on Saturday using a list of favorite sites, a few of which I knew were out of date. Sunday, taking a break from work, I clicked on each and every link to verify that my reader (me) would be visiting the writer's current site and that blogrolling.com would catch the updates. And, of course, I read a bit of each weblog along the way.
Suddenly, the site started getting a bunch of hits -- all of which were apparently from my favorite webloggers (since nobody else knew of this site's existence). Craziness. Is this a case of accidental blogger fishing?
And do I owe them all tips for wasting their time here?
Update: I hope this post doesn't make me sound ungrateful. Thanks to everyone for visiting, and I hope to give you better reasons to do so in the future.
Sunday, January 19, 2003
Update: Bigwig's now given this site a kind welcome and its first link. If he (and fellow-bloggers Keharr and Woundwort) continue to write posts as fun to read as The Money Dance, the beach house won't be so far off.
Update the third: I shall do my best to refrain from calling the result of this a hraka-lanche.
Update the update: Thanks, too, to dustbury proprietor Mr. Hill for also giving this site a link. In this post, he notes the value of commenting, "some small comfort in knowing that I'm not just talking to myself here." He was, of course, the first to comment here. Thanks!
An engagement party picture. Looks like fun, but the male needs a shave.
One Game to Go!
Touring the Web
Crazy penguins are at it again.
The penguins start swimming in circles early in the day and rarely stop until they stagger out of the pool at dusk.
In a comment on this post, Bill Quick succinctly lists the reasons for our upcoming war with Iraq:
...I'll tell you this one last time, and then I will simply post a copy every time you claim there is "no connection" between Saddam and the War on Terror. Here it is in simple, easily digestible points:
First tobacco, now chocolate? On NRO, Andrew Stuttaford writes, "the totalitarians of 'public health' are now eyeing your chocolate bar."
Saturday, January 18, 2003
Touring the Web
For some reason, I've been closely following the ongoing saga of Laurence Simon and his neighbor's abandoned cat, Rufus. Given that Lair and his wife already have four cats, I'm guessing they'll take Rufus in, too. Regardless, I hope Rufus finds a better home than his former one.
Meanwhile, Steven Den Beste has a typically great post about the U.S. Navy, its recent movements and the imminence of war. SDB writes,
And that's not even everything the Navy has sent, nor have I even mentioned the Air Force or the Army both of which are also deploying huge forces now.
Den Beste later reduces the "less than two weeks" claim, but this post points to progress in the war.
Jonah Goldberg is funny again here:
When I read this, I feel the need to smash their guitar against the wall of the Delta House.
Finally, Andrew Stuttaford (who coined the term "Nurse Bloomberg" following Bloomberg's push for New York City's upcoming smoking restrictions) discusses another episode of government nannyism. Stuttaford points to this post by Jacob Sullum which discusses a bill moving through the North Dakota legislature that provides for jail time for those who purchase or sell cigarettes (other than for "religious purposes"). The bill is being pushed by a yet another Republican.
Sunday, January 12, 2003
I was the instigator of this. Neat.