Thursday, March 31, 2005

More on Leverett

By the way, the fine people over at Harry's Place recently had a discussion about Leverett (why am I the last blogger to figure out who he is?) and his views on U.S. diplomacy toward Syria and Lebanon.

Fresh Air Getting a Little Stale (ouch, that was bad)

I used to like listening to Terry Gross' interview show on NPR, Fresh Air. She's a truly inquisitive interviewer who asks probing questions that allow her guests to reveal themselves. She's not an attack dog, but that's ok, it just not her style. But over the last 2-3 years, her show has basically turned into the Why George Bush Is Really Really Wrong show. Her show has gone from an ostensibly objective interview show to a one-woman campaign to discredit the Bush Administration's foreign policy. She's put on just about every Bush foreign policy critic you can think of, and lets them go without seeking to question their convictions or provide a balance of opposing viewpoints. (Yes, she has some opposing viewpoints, but they're clearly in the minority.) And her questioning style now goes something like this: At what point did you realize that George Bush is completely wrong? And then the person explains why, and she mm hmms sagely in response.

Right now she's interviewing Flynt Leverett, former senior director for Middle Eastern affairs at the National Security Council, who has just written a book about Syria. I've actually never heard of this guy, although I pride myself somewhat nerdishly on keeping up with the cast of characters in the current foreign policy debates, but he is one of the Vets, as someone has tagged all the former Bush Administration officials who have left and turned to a life of commentary. Apparently he has been providing commentary on Middle East policy since leaving the Administration, and he doesn't like what he sees. For example, he thinks we should be more engaged with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, rather than seeking his overthrow. That's fine for him, except Terry lets him make statements of opinion as though they were fact, with no contest, and lets pass squishily non-factual statements without calling him on them. For example, she asks if Lebanon's anti-Syria rallies are the result of Bush's Iraq policy. Leverett unsurprisingly says no, and Terry moves on to the next question. Oh, ok, thanks for clearing that one up.

By contrast, she is often snarky with pro-Bush guests. After Leverett, she had on Elizabeth Dibble, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, who is allowed all of about 4 minutes to talk and with whom Terry tries to play gotcha by asking her twice to state definitively that the Administration is not seeking regime change in Syria, and then allowing embarrassing dead air time to condemn Dibble's refusal to comply.

You can find it all here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

We Built It, They Came

Good news for supporters of Title IX, the 1972 legislation barring sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funds. The Supreme Court ruled yesterday in favor of a high school coach who said he was fired after complaining of unequal treatment for his girls' basketball team. The coach wants to sue the school under Title IX, and the Court ruled 5-4 that he could do this. I have to caveat this entry by saying that I can't claim to fully understand the LEGAL issues in this case -- which, after all, should be the important ones, not the resulting POLICY outcome. Nevertheless, I was pleased to hear the Court's decision, from the policy point of view.

Title IX is primarily known as the law that helped spur the tremendous increase in girls' participation in school sports over the last 30 years. Of course, this coincided with the overall transformation of women's roles in American society; still, Title IX strikes me as one of the best rebukes for conservatives who claim that Big Government never solves anything. (Yes, there are still some who say that...) Basically, Congress said, gee it would be good to eliminate the sex disparities in school activities like sports, and then, poof, made it happen. And for the most part this has been viewed as a positive development.

Not with certain Republicans in Congress and the White House though. There have been hints that the Bush Administration and some in Congress would try to weaken Title IX. Why? Because Republicans oppose such government initiatives on the grounds that they're ineffective, of course. Oh, no, wait, Title IX has been enormously effective. Well, then, because Republicans oppose heavy-handed government attempts to legislate local and state activities, right? Oh, no, wait, that's so old-school Republican. Hmm, then, could it be, that these Republicans are just not terribly committed to ending sex discrimination, and are just a little bit retro in their view of the value and importance of girls' sports, especially in comparison to boys' sports?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Anti-states' rights conservatives and other oxymorons

Mickey Kaus complains that conservative bloggers like Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds are off-the-mark in accusing Congress of hypocrisy for violating states rights in the Terry Schiavo case. As he puts it,

"That's a fine argument if you're a states rights conservative. But what about those of us who aren't?"

Hmm, interesting from two points of view. One, Kaus officially outs himself as a conservative. After I was directed to his blog by others in blogland, I was befuddled to hear it said that he is actually a Democrat. If someone who constantly mocks Democrats and writes only of the many ways in which he disagrees with them could still be considered one...well, it's a mystery to me.

More importantly, he's blithely states that all the pro-federalist conservatives, like him, are being perfectly consistent. After all, he says, if it's ok for the federal government to overrule states on civil rights, then why not in the Terry Schiavo case. Huh? Who are all these conservatives who have been proudly declaring their preference for matters being resolved at the federal level? Mickey may well be one, but that doesn't mean he can pretend that he and his cohorts, whoever they are, were there all along, openly advertising the great conservative federalist way.

Conservatives, and their political manifestation, the Republican Party, were adamantly opposed to the 1960's federal civil rights legislation because, so they claimed, they opposed federal interference in matters properly left to the states. Republicans opposed the 1964 and 1965 civil rights bills, and then benefited from the disillusionment felt by pro-Jim Crow Southern Democrats by luring them into the Republican party. By claiming, not that the Republicans opposed equal rights for blacks, of course, but that they opposed the heavy hand of Washington legislating things that should be left to the states. Now personally, I've always thought that if you are pro-states-rights, the battle over Jim Crow laws has got to be one of the worst vessels to use for this idea: No, it's not that we're in favor of lynchings, we just support the principle of states rights. Mm hmm. Please, find another means of making your argument.

Nevertheless, use this argument they did. And while clearly, once mainstream opinion moved to accept these civil rights laws, the Republican Party did too, they continued to argue the principle of states' rights. And Republicans rode this horse all the way to the White House, and eventually to control of the Congress as well. So now that they've ridden that horse in, they're dismounting and getting on the pro-federalist one, and we're all not supposed to notice?

"Dr." Frist for President

Is anyone else rubbing their hands together in malevolent anticipation of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's prospective run as a Republican presidential candidate? From the moment he came into the national spotlight -- during the scandal over Trent Lott's remarks at Strom Thurmond's birthday, where Republicans professed to be shocked, simply shocked at Lott's praise of the former segregationist -- I've found he gives me the creeps. He's the real face of the religious wing now ascendant in the Republican party, the one that George Bush masks so well. Bush has that aw shucks, back-patting, nickname-giving demeanor, which seems non-threatening. This allows him to be the friendly, non-scary face of the activist religious right. But Bill Frist is what that group really looks like, and he gives me the willies. The footage of his speech before Congress where he "diagnosed" Terry Schiavo as not being in a persistent vegetative state* is really bad. He looks prissy, dishonest, judgmental, hypocritical -- like a bad TV preacher. So if Republicans are thinking he's their next presidential candidate, I'm all for it.

* Just to reiterate what I've said before, I'm not claiming to know the exact nature of her condition, because I don't know, and neither does Bill Frist.

Friday, March 25, 2005


For some reason the boyfriend/fiance just sent me this link. Maybe I'll try this if I have a "bachelorette" party...

Thoughtful debate

I found it frustrating to try to articulate my point yesterday -- surprisingly, it's difficult to write clearly about life, death and the meaning of it all. My opinion on this is really just focused on the political ramifications of Congress inserting itself into the process, and what this means about the Republican Party. As for the really important issue -- what should happen with this poor woman -- I am not sure. I do think it's a subject that deserves attention and some kind of national debate. I just don't think Congress was trying to encourage such a debate; they were trying to impose their determination of what should happen in a rather heavy-handed, and politically hypocritical, way.

Here are some other views that I think DO add to a thoughtful debate:

Harriet McBryde Johnson, an attorney who is disabled, wrote this article for Slate. She argues that the decision to end one's life is so momentous that it simply cannot be delegated to anyone. The practical implication, then, for situations like the Terry Schiavo case where someone is no longer able to make decisions, is that we default to keeping the person alive. I've never heard of McBryde Johnson, but she has a new book coming out with a great title: "Too Late to Die Young".

NPR's Here and Now interviewed Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley on Wednesday about the legal aspects of the case. What was a standard expert analysis piece turned suddenly personal when Turley told of his family's struggle this past winter over how to handle his father's decline due to Parkinson's disease. Turley is remarkably honest and revealing about what happened, and his view is that he, like Schiavo's parents, wanted to keep his father's feeding tube in, but that the law is clear that Congress has no place intervening in such a family dispute. You can listen to it here where it says "Latest on Terry Schiavo" (you have to listen to about 5 minutes of legal analysis before he gets to his own story) or read about it in USA Today.

Proofreading: what a concept

I'll try it. Although the linking feature doesn't seem to work right with my Mac (I assume that's the issue, as it doesn't seem to be browser related). Nor do I get a spell-check icon in my "draft post" screen. Waah waah waah.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

That was crap

Well, that post below is really bad. This is a hard issue to write about, it seems so complicated. Perhaps I'll try again another time.

The "fetishization" of life

Andrew Sullivan has a good post on the religious right's promotion of what they're now calling a "culture of life". I've been reluctant to write on this as I am not religious and therefore not really in a position to critique how religions define themselves and apply their beliefs to the world -- but Andrew is religious, so he's well qualified. I think he really nails it when he calls the absolutist stance on Terry Schiavo -- and I would add the absolutist stance on abortion -- as not respect for life but a "fetishization" of it.

It's terribly banal to point out that activist religious groups could be activists for other political issues, like health care or poverty issues, but I do think it's reasonable to ask why the activist religious right is so obsessed with influencing the political system with regard to these two issues, and framing them as defining a culture of life, while they show little interest in exerting their influence regarding issues that could affect life as it is actually lived by most people. It's not that these are unworthy issues, or even that the right's positions are completely unreasonable -- for example, I can respect that religiously-motivated people may think it's their duty to defend the interests of those who cannot defend themselves -- but I do find them strangely unable to see what I think are the obvious gray areas that abortion and the Schiavo case present. On abortion, for example, I think most people understand intuitively that a 1-month old fetus is not really quite as compellingly a baby as an 8-month old fetus (or unborn baby). Indeed, I think the right did implicitly acknowledge this in their arguments for banning late-term abortion. Frequently you would hear right-wing supporters of this legislation say, well, even abortion activists should realize that late-term abortions are repugnant. Why would they argue this, unless we can understand somehow that, while a 1-month fetus is not nothing, it isn't really as clearly a baby as an 8-month old fetus. But their absolutist stance, that clearly a 1-month old fetus has rights that are identical to that of the fully-developed mother, suggests a emphasis on defining life as simply a fact of existence, and nothing more.

Couple this with their notable lack of involvement in political issues that affect many more people's lives, and the lives of actual living people, not one-month old undeveloped fetuses, and it's hard not to conclude that they've fetishized life to mean literally, the existence of a living human form, and that this strikes them as the most compelling aspect of a "culture of life".

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

To put it more simply...

One of the few concepts that I have been able to pick up from my efforts to understand how to select my retirement portfolio is diversify, diversify, diversify. Don't put too much of your retirement funds into one type of investment. Don't put it all into safe, low-risk investments like bond funds, don't put it all into large cap or small cap, don't put it all into high risk investments or a single sector -- spread it around, to spread the risk. Well, isn't that basically what Social Security does for us? I already have my 401(k) (actually 403b) account, where I invest primarily in medium- to high-risk funds as I'm 30 years from retirement. Social security is my "tortoise" option -- it's slow, it's plodding, it'll never make me rich, but it's dependable. (In case you're going to argue that it's less dependable because of the future social security deficit problems, I think the idea that the government of the United States of America will renege on its commitment to its senior citizens is preposterous. We may incur massive debts doing it, but the U.S. will not suddenly stop paying out social security -- I'm convinced of it.)

Mr. Burns on Social Security

Harry Shearer is not only hilarious -- and a cultural icon for his work in "Spinal Tap" and the Simpsons -- but he's also a genius! Shearer has been guest-blogging over at Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo, and recently wrote on the Social Security Crisis (have you noticed that never a moment passes without a "crisis" of some sort under the Bush Administration...), noting the weird similarity between the current GOP project to reduce the economic security net provided by the government and make Americans almost entirely economically self-reliant, and the 20th century project to create a "New Soviet Man". Shearer's point is that Republicans seem to be as self-delusional as the communists were about the behavior of actual, real humans. This insight makes Shearer a genius because it's an idea I've had for awhile...

Last month, Slate published an article called called "The Hassle Factor" where the author complained that private social security accounts would just be one more "thing to manage." Although the writer was somewhat off-base in his criticism of the privatization plan, as it won't really allow us to choose our own investments as we do for 401(k)s, it was a funny article, and echoed what I often feel about is the downside to living in a free-market economy: making choices is time-consuming and a nuisance at times. Plus I'm not always that expert on the various things that I have to make decisions about. Naturally, conservative commentators were outraged at the suggestion that people might not always be the best caretakers of their own finances. Republicans now believe as an article of faith -- not fact-based analysis -- that people always know best what to do with their own money, and if we just removed our money from the grasping, stupid Government, we would create an economic utopia. But really, people ARE sometimes stupid about their own money and make poor decisions for their financial future. If they didn't, why would we have needed that bankruptcy bill, which basically says that people who are too stupid not to spend money they don't have shouldn't be given a "Get Out of Debt Free" card? Why would we always read stories about Americans' dismal savings rate if we're all so disciplined and rational with our cash? Truthfully, we're not always, and that's not an insult, it's a clear-eyed view of human nature, which is varied and imperfect. We're often prone to immediate gratification over long-term planning; we're susceptible to the lure of bright, shiny objects; some personality types love financial analysis and are skilled at it, others (read: me) are bored witless by the fine print of prospectuses and talk of "expense ratios" or "loads." But the GOP is absolutely ideologically committed to an idealized version of human behavior, and are making policy based on this ideal. As Shearer points out, "if the twentieth century taught us anything, and it didn't, it was to be very cautious about large-scale social projects based on the way people "ought to" behave."

Monday, March 21, 2005

More on the Schiavo case

I do find it curious that religious lobbying groups have taken the Terry Schiavo case as their cause. I'm not religious, so I'm agnostic, so to speak, on how religions define themselves, but it does seem odd that certain religious groups are taking the side of extraordinary medical interventions that prolong life, perhaps beyond the point where the life is meaningful. I would think this would be the more likely viewpoint of non-religious folks, who view life as being synapses connected, not religious believers who promote the concept of life being more than the physical, that it involves a spiritual dimension, a soul.

The transformation is complete

I do not have an opinion on whether Terry Schiavo should be kept alive, as I know next-to-nothing about her and what kind of life she is leading now. But what is striking about yesterday's Congressional vote to allow federal courts to intervene in this case is that we are seeing the official end of the Republican party as the party of limited government and states' rights. This is not exactly a news flash, as this process has been underway since Bush came into office in 2000. Still, it's striking how the Republicans who have control in the party now have really abandoned the ideas that led them back to power from the dark days (for them, that is) of the 1960's. They are now the party that has significantly increased federal fiscal commitments through the Medicare prescription drug program; readily supercede states' rights regarding drug policy, assisted suicide, and now this Schiavo case; and, support military interventions in situations that are not clearly in the immediate American interest (i.e., spreading democracy). I'm not necessarily against these things, mind you, just find it noteworthy that Republicans have been so easily lured by the power of the federal government. I always thought that Republican claims to be more principled in the matter of small government to have a significant baloney factor, but even I have been surprised at how quickly they have abandoned so much of what they supposedly believed in.

Friday, March 18, 2005

McGwire = Van Doren

Seeing Mark McGwire make his way to the witness table at yesterday's Congressional hearing, camera bulbs flashing, really reminded me of that scene in Quiz Show when Charles Van Doren comes to testify on the game show scandal. He's the prize, everyone wants to know whether or not he cheated, and he looks scared and overwhelmed as he approaches the witness table. Boy did McGwire have that same look yesterday.

What's Left? Shame

That's the title of Charles Krauthammer's column in today's Washington Post -- and it is the sort of discussion of which we'll be seeing more and more, if the democratic stirrings in the Middle East continue. You can find it here (although you have to sign in). In the column, he makes this point:

"...the left has always prided itself on being the great international champion of freedom and human rights. And yet, when America proposed to remove the man responsible for torturing, gassing and killing tens of thousands of Iraqis, the left suddenly turned into a champion of Westphalian sovereign inviolability. "

I didn't vote for Bush, don't really much like him, but before the Iraq war, I had numerous arguments with my liberal friends about why I supported the war. Although I have been deeply disappointed -- no, excuse me, ticked off with how the Bush Administration handled "selling" the war and reconstructing the country, I haven't jumped off the train yet because I'd been holding out the hope that, in the end, we will end up with a free, reasonably democratic Iraq. Which would, in turn, help spread a greater Middle Eastern democratizing movement. And what has been an on-going frustration with me is why none of my liberal friends have felt the same way. It's like, overnight, the foreign policy fairy went around sprinkling conservative realist dust on American liberals. I thought we on the left were supposed to be the ones who supported a foreign policy driven by democratic values, who opposed cozying up to convenient dictators. And now that we have an example of just that concept, but implemented by the bad Bushies, liberals have suddenly found their inner Pat Buchanan. Suddenly, leftists love the idea of peace without justice: Horrible dictator? Ok, but at least we're not at war.

Look, there are plenty of reasonable arguments to be made against the Bush foreign policy: it's fraught with risk, the diplomacy is ham-handed, and the "marketing" to the American public has been cagey at best, downright dishonest at worst. But, at the end of it all, if these early signs of a Middle East thaw prove to be right, the Bush Administration will have done a good thing. And frankly, I'm cheesed off that the Republicans will take all the credit for it, and liberals will have sat on the sidelines, doing their best impression of the Glum, that 70's cartoon character: "it'll never work".

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Congress is wasting your money

Yeah, I know, a "dog bites man" headline. But usually Congressional hearings don't get much attention unless they actually mean something. Approximately 95% of Congressional hearings are just pointless "information-gathering" exercises. The few that are meaningful -- Senate confirmation hearings, for example -- are the ones that get attention. The hundreds of silly ones are only of interest to a few lobbyists, congressional reporters, and the witnesses.

Except today. Where we all get to see one of those silly hearings broadcast on ESPN and reported on by the mainstream media.

Now normally, I love to defend the federal government, and Congress in particular, against those who complain that they waste time and money and don't get enough done (hint: it's GOOD that Congress is not very efficient!), but this hearing is really a sad embarrassment. Why is this committee holding this hearing? What do they except to get out of it? I gotta tell ya, folks, Mark McGwire is not going to come up and say, yup, I did cheated, I was juiced on steroids, and my home run record is a joke. Ain't gonna happen. Instead we'll get a whole lotta nothing from the players that we suspect, intelligent comment from Curt Schilling, and posturing from congressmen (and women).

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More springtime (sort of) in Boston

Ah, it's springtime, when a young (right, I'm being generous) gal's thoughts turn to...performance-enhancing drugs, of course. Congress has been attracting more attention to the steriods and baseball issue by deciding to hold hearings on the subject. Now, I have no idea why they are doing this, except maybe that they want to meet Curt Schilling (and, if so, why not just hold a Republican fundraiser...). Schilling has quite rightly expressed his dismay at having to take time off from his (already compressed) pre-season training schedule to essentially just express his opinions on steroids (he's agin 'em).

I think the use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball is an insult to the very idea of professional sports that makes them enjoyable and inspiration to watch. Why Congress should be involved is a mystery to me, but so is the view of some that this is just part of a general attack on person choice regarding drug use. Andrew Sullivan, the blogger I would most like to be when I grow up, has stated in the past that he thinks the steroid issue is just another way that society tries to limit individual choice regarding drug use. But pro sports aren't the real world, they're artificial worlds created for the express purpose of playing a specific sport. It's like the salary-cap issue. Whenever you bring that up, some genius calls a salary cap "socialism" as if the National Football League is comparable to the U.S. economy. But it's not. Pro sports leagues are entirely artifcial constructs. And sports are all about rules, rules that everyone has to follow and then compete. Why do you only get four downs in American football? Canadian football gives you three. Well, I don't know, but who cares? It's just the rule, everyone has to follow it, and then see who's clever or talented enough to succeed within the artificial constraints of the game.

In my view, steroids fall into the same category. The key here is that they are PERFORMANCE ENHANCING drugs. I agree that it's nobody's business if ball players smoke pot or snort cocain -- well, it's the business of law enforcement, since we have decided in the U.S. that the government knows best when it comes to enjoyment-enhancing drugs. But it should be no more the business of Major League Baseball if players smoke a little weed at home, than it would be the business of my boss. But steroids are different -- the key being that they give a player an advantage over a non-drug-taking player. That makes it an artifically-uneven playing field. If we have steroids, why not allow corked bats? Why not give one guy a bigger strike zone than another?

Steroids matter because they affect how the game is played.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Some Prius owners are Republicans

I am mystified as to why Mickey Kaus is so incredulous that 21% of Prius owners might be Republican:

<<21.6 percent of Prius owners are Republicans? I deny it. ... Did they weight by party I.D.? Where is Ruy Teixeira when you need him? ... P.S.: According to the survey, only 34.6 percent of the Priusers are Democrats. What about the remaining 44 percent? Were they independents--or Greens and Naderites? Democrats attempting to copy Ken Mehlman's auto-centric voter-targeting operation want to know.>>

I don't find that particularly hard to believe. First, there's the "gadget factor": One of the first people I knew who bought a hybrid was an engineer, who was at best apolitical, and somewhat conservative. However, he was also a guy who loved cars and loved gadgets. He bought a Honda Insight

Second, the Prius is hugely popular in Northern Virginia -- it's the number one market for the Prius. While NoVa is certainly more Democrat than the rest of the state, it's hardly a hotbed for radical activitists. It's not, say, Tacoma Park. Given how many Prius owners there are, would it really beggar belief that some small percentage are actually Republicans who like the idea of a cool new car, with good mileage, that gets them into the HOV lane during rush hour? Oh, and that costs a few thousand more than a comparable car -- Republicans are more likely to have the extra cash laying around...

Now, as for the story that neocons are big on hybrids...that I'm skeptical about. There may be a few, but I doubt that buying a hybrid car is now de rigeur for the neocon set.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Dan Savage on NPR

The most excellent Dan Savage in on NPR's Talk of the Nation right now. Should be a good show. He's talking about a memorable exchange over the last two "Savage Nation" columns, which proposed the idea of "drug support payments" for HIV-positive people who knowingly infect someone else. I thought it was a great column, and confirmed my impression of Dan as the most delightful sort of liberal -- one with a solid grasp on reality. He laid into a correspondent who called himself a HIV agency professional for this guy's claim that gay men shouldn't be blamed for not telling their partners they're HIV positive. It's well worth checking out:

Friday, March 04, 2005

I'll try this thing you call "linking" again

My job involves analyzing and promoting "clean electric transportation technologies" -- a fancy way of saying hybrid, fuel cell or battery-electric systems. I don't know if I'm more knowledgeable or overly cynical due to my job, but I often find that, when I read what smart commentators have to say about clean car technologies, they sound awfully naive and unaware to me. Thomas Friedman is one example; he's someone whose opinion on matters I am not expert on -- the Middle East, say -- I take seriously. But when he writes about how we should be switching to non-petroleum based transportation options, it's obvious to me that he's writing about something that he's not expert on.

Now Fareed Zakaria has written a piece called "Imagine: 500 Miles Per Gallon" on MSNBC (ok, here's goes with the link):

Zakaria is another guy who, when he writes about the Middle East and democracy, I take note. I agree with his general ideological or philosophical approach, if you will, to these issues. And I assume he's much smarter than I am about what's really going on there. But his piece contains a few ideas that, to me, broadcast his naivete on clean car technologies. Mainly, the idea that plug-in hybrids would be a better solution than the current hybrids (which don't need to be plugged in to recharge the battery). While there's no doubt that plug-ins would be better environmentally, they would be enormously difficult to sell to the public. Remember pure battery-electric cars? Not really, huh? That's because they never took off commercially, in part because of the plug in issue. In truth, people do not want to have to run a cord from their car to an outlet -- it's an inconvenience. That's one reason why Toyota and Honda didn't go for that option, and why those cars have been so successful: the fueling process is transparent to the driver.

So am I just overly cynical? Or is Zakaria too naive? And is he naive just about an issue that is not his area of expertise, or should I now question some of his other writings as well? It's a question that troubles me somewhat.

I am bad at blogging

Well, I couldn't figure out how to get the link to the "Somerville Gates" to work, and now it doesn't matter as the guy had to shut down his site due to the overwhelming number of hits. Too bad, because it was a clever satire of the Christo Gates. And showed how anybody can become famous for five minutes through the Internet. Even someone from little ole Slummerville.

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