Friday, March 24, 2006

The Pakistani Punishment: You’re Grounded

Police in Lahore, Pakistan arrested over 1,000 people this week for violating a recent government ban, going so far as to suggest that they would prosecute violators under the nation’s anti-terrorism laws. What is this dastardly conduct which the government is so vigorously attempting to stamp out? Yes, as you probably guessed, the provincial poobahs have banned…kite flying. It seems that sometimes people get cut by the strings. Which are considered unduly sharp. Thank goodness Pakistan doesn’t have any real problems to deal with.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Civil Union of Libertarians and Conservatives

Somehow I escaped being quoted in this story in The Hill, despite the author hitting up two of the other panelists from my recent brush with public speaking (audio here).


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Terrorist Life Imitates Terrorist Art?

Perhaps it's just me, but the ETA terrorists who announced their ceasefire with the Spanish government today look a lot like V from V for Vendetta. All they need to do is draw on a saucy 17th century goatee and they're pretty much there.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Multitasking in the Capitol

A colleague and I attended the Senate Republican Conference's press event for bloggers and "niche press" held in the Capitol's Lyndon Johnson Room (S-211) this afternoon. The Senators there (Santorum, Bond, Alexander, Cornyn, Thune and Coleman) were happy to provide the attendees with their opinions on border security (they were for it), high energy prices (against) and educational opportunity for all of America's children (in support). As the picture shows, there's nothing busier than a live-blogging Washington, D.C. professional with a BlackBerry.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monster’s Ball

Fans of the Second Amendment will be happy to hear that prostitutes in Florida are on their side. Hookers in Daytona Beach are arming themselves against a suspected serial killer thought to have murdered three women so far. "We will get him first," streetwalker Tonya Richardson said. "Yeah, we are going to get him first. When we find him, he is going to be sorry. It is as simple as that." Best of luck, ladies. More female fans of guns rights (though not necessarily prostitutes) can be found here.


Monday, March 13, 2006

How to Write Your Own Happy Ending

My disturbing fascination with the fringe elements of the fan fiction universe has finally received some minor literary cover with a mention in a recent Times article about happy and sad sendings in novels:

"Literature is constantly being refashioned, if not actually rewritten. The whole of Austen has recently been repackaged as chick-lit, complete with pastel covers and skinny women with handbags. So-called fanfiction is booming, on websites where amateur writers continue their favourite stories: the further adventures of the Darcys, the Hobbits, Sherlock Holmes and Captain Kirk. The website has more than 200,000 Harry Potter stories that J. K. Rowling never wrote."

That general level of interest seems reasonable enough, even if the numerical total is initially surprising. It's when you get to the 71 She-Ra, Princess of Power stories, the 272 Voltron stories and the 6,544 Sonic the Hedgehog stories that things become difficult.


Friday, March 10, 2006

What a Girl Wants

Via a strange twist of fate set in motion by my colleague Brooke, I ended up being the token male panelist last night on a roundtable discussion hosted by the America's Future Foundation titled "What Does the Right Want from Its Women?" Despite being neither a conservative nor a female, I was happy to participate and was delighted to be seated next to fellow panelist and noted conservative counter-feminist Christina Hoff Sommers. We didn't resolve the question entirely, but there were several mentions of The Vagina Monologues, so at least the conversation didn't get too dull.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Real Art Doesn't Care Where it Passes Out

Fine art plus unlimited martinis for only $30? Sounds like the bargain of a lifetime.

Hirohito Warned About Nagasaki

In horribly shocking news, the Associated Press reports that President Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff were warned before landfall was made that Hurricane Katrina could cause severe damage and kill people. Really? A Category 5 hurricane is capable of causing massive destruction in a below-ocean level city especially prone to flooding?

Did the executive branch mismanage the disaster response? Probably. But current headlines like "Bush Warned About Katrina" carry with them the unstated implication that he could have somehow waved a wand and wished Katrina away. Morgan Freeman was warned about the meteor heading toward earth, but that doesn't make him responsible for everyone who died when it hit.