Monthly Archives:
April 2006

Syriana: Why It’s Good, Why It’s Awful

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I saw the movie Syriana last night. Here are four good things about it: It is a serious effort to examine the roots of the clash between the west and the Middle East. Director Stephen Gaghan did a fine job…

Prediction: Flight 93 Movie

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I’m not going. Are you? I can’t believe anyone who’s not a family member will go to this movie. I guess I understand why it’s important to them: they’re still coming to grips with a loved one’s death, maybe haven’t…

How Emotionally Insecure Is Bush?

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George Bush didn’t look comfortable at his press conference today. He kept getting a nervous smile, he kept making awkward jokes. Like, he told the ballsy David Gregory of NBC that he wouldn’t offer him a job at the White…

Kenneth Pollack, Iran Expert Who’s Never Been There

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I just got a copy of Ken Pollack’s latest book on Iran, The Persian Puzzle, and was shocked on flipping to page 429, the Author’s Note at the end of the book, to read that Pollack has never been to…

Hats Off to Little, Brown

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For withdawing Kaavya Visnawathan’s book. The core principle here was, a theft. It’s great to see that the victim, Megan McCafferty, has prospered from the events and that Little, Brown has behaved so honorably. Its author, Visnawathan, has my sympathy….

Filthy Dog

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Beautiful spring day, took my dogs up to the firetower. Here is Franklin, scoping out the Mighty Hudson.

Kaavya, the New Jews, and the Serial Meritocracy

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Something else bears mentioning re the Viswanathan story. Just about everyone is an Asian-American. David Zhou, the kid from the Crimson who went on national TV after he broke the story is Asian-American. Viswanathan is of course an Asian-American. So,…

I Was Wrong

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(I love saying that.) Guess Harvard kids aren’t the only ones who like the packaged lit story. The Times is now Frey-ing Viswanathan. The paper of record hops on Jon Liu’s piece this morning. But doesn’t do nearly as good…

Who Will Keep the Harvard Story Alive? Harvard Kids!

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Harvard is the most nastily competitive hive of pre-/post-/intrapubescent energy to be found anywhere this side of Pluto. Take it from me, bub. The kids who end up at Harvard have tunnel vision about success. They have been selected to…

The Packager and the Plagiarist, Continued

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I thought Kaavya Visnawathan was tough on the Today Show this morning. Katie Couric played the strict mother; she wanted her to break down like a good 19-year-old and admit she had copied straight from Megan McCafferty. When Visnawathan didn’t…

Can We Pump Up the Harvard Plagiarism Story?

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How big will the Harvard plagiarism story get? That is to say, can you and I in the feverish proportion-lacking blogosphere push it up into the 9th circle of Frey-Ratherism? You can’t deny it has real curb appeal. Harvard. A…

Harvard’s Plagiarism Scandal, the Deconstruction Begins

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If you want to know the facts about the Harvard plagiarism scandal, don’t go to the Times’ lame and protective coverage. The Harvard Crimson has thrashed the Times and all others on the Kaavya Viswanathan story. Today the Times failed…

More About Blacks Not on TV

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Last night at my friend Dave’s I watched the Fox hit Prison Break and was stunned to find out that there were no black guys in the prison. Well a couple maybe. In order to glamorize its grim setting and…

Gas Prices: What’s the Downside?

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I’m tired of the endless bellyaching about gas prices on the network news. I know, $4 gas hurts the economy and keeps obese families from taking SUV vacations to the shore. Now think of the upside: It puts some kind…

Move Over, Tony Soprano

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My little brother says the Sopranos will end with Christopher, the lieutenant played by Michael Imperioli, knocking off Tony. One thing’s clear, Christopher is upstaging Tony. Last night Imperioli was the best thing on the Sopranos. His turn in Hollywood…

How Would You Impeach Him?

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A view has taken hold on the left that the way to impeach George Bush is over the domestic spying business, his failure to get Congressional approval. The activities Russ Feingold wants to censure him for. This feels to me…

My Latest Gaffe

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I don’t know what gets into me. I was at this party last night, all new people, and had a bunch of red wine. A roaring fire, and it’s near midnight. The hardcore of the party is still there. I…

Black & Female: The Face of Duke

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Go to the Duke website and what do you get on the front page but two large images of black females and a third image of a woman of Asian descent. Just a coincidence? Hey, while you’re at it, why…

Duke Justice: Let the Smearing Begin!

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I’m an idiot; I didn’t understand the Duke story till I saw Kim Roberts talking on CNN this morning. Finally, a cast of characters. Kim Roberts is “the second stripper” in the drama, the one who didn’t allegedly get raped….

The Catholic Church Lurches Forward

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A leading cardinal has stated that condoms are “a lesser evil” than AIDS, thereby going against church doctrine. I know it’s a big job to reform Islam, but can someone spend some time on the Vatican?

A Million Degrees of Non-Separation

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One shocking thing about the MySpace.com investigation—the Kansas students allegedly plotting a massacre at their high school on the site—is the claim by MySpace that it has 72 million members. A lot of people are living online. As a blogger,…

Franco-Gate

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Julio Franco’s oldest-man-ever home run last night for the Mets has set off fresh controversy about his age. The Times stands by the official version, 47, today. But commentators on ESPN, notably Tony Rome, have been insisting that Franco is…

Double Standards

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CNN said yesterday that when President Hu got heckled on the White House lawn, the Chinese censored its international edition so no one in China saw the incident. And of course Islam is in the stone age because they don’t…