Saturday, July 31, 2004

"This is like the pope coming out in favor of abortion rights."

That's what ACLU board member Wendy Kaminer said about the civil liberties group's decision to refuse to hire those on terrorist "watch lists"--the very lists that the ACLU itself has called unconstitutional.

As for the decision itself, I'm a little surprised. Even though the ACLU caved anticommunism in 1940 with the outser of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and other communists, the organization has admirably stuck to its guns since then. Even when I've disagreed with them, for example when they filed an amicus brief on behalf of Little Mussolini in his prescription drug case, or, more seriously, when they've argued that corporations have the right to lie about their labor practices, I've got to give them credit for being principled. Until now.

As for Kaminer, I'll give her credit for knowing how to turn a phrase. A contributing editor at the Atlantic (even though she hasn't written anything for them since 1999), she's the origin of the line: "A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested. A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged."

OUT: "negativity"

IN: "red meat"

Friday, July 30, 2004

The DemoCon

As the weeklong seige of my city wore on, I gradually acquired a mystical knowledge of how the whole thing works. I close my eyes, and the image becomes clear to me: Somewhere, deep in the FleetCenter, a man sits, alone, in a dark room, vigourously masturbating. He's been at it all week. And through some cosmic mechanisms that I am not yet able to articulate, he's making it all happen. The stories about how there are no stories. The protesters protesting that there are no other protesters. Reporters reporting on other reporters. Reporters reporting on bloggers. Bloggers blogging on reporters. Bloggers blogging on bloggers. Bloggers blogging on reporters reporting on bloggers. Protesters protesting other protesters. Protesters protesting on the protesting conditions. Reporters reporting on protesters protesting the protesting conditions. Protesters protesting reporters reporting on protesters. And on he wanks. He is the Prime Wanker, the cause of all subsequent wanking. Wanking wanking itself. Thank God it's over. He must be exhausted.

OUT: "Presumptive"

IN: "Wisdom"

Thursday, July 29, 2004


n : a verbal dispute; a wrangling argument