Monday, March 31

Somebody does it better

Radiohead tries a Bond theme. I like the original Carly Simon version too, as seen here with the opening credits of "The Spy Who Loved Me."

Friday, March 28

Mission accomplished in Kuwait — now let's go

In this column about John McCain and the possibility that U.S. troops may remain in Iraq for 100 years, Charles Krauthammer asks: "The U.S. (with allies) occupied Kuwait in 1991 and has remained there with a major military presence for 17 years. I’ve yet to hear any serious person of either party call for a pullout from Kuwait."

Well, if no "serious person" will do that, I will. The United States should not have troops in Kuwait. Here's why:
  • Kuwait is not threatened by its neighbors, nor a threat to attack anyone else. The only reason U.S. forces came to be in Kuwait was the first Gulf War. They stayed when it was over because Saddam Hussein, who had invaded Kuwait in 1990, stayed in power. Saddam is gone now — in fact, he's dead. The other country that borders Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, is not likely to launch an invasion anytime soon.
  • Kuwait has plenty of resources to pay for its own military. It's one of the richest countries in the world thanks to its oil industry. It doesn't need our charity and can pay to protect itself.
  • Kuwait is marginal as a democracy. It's better than many of the countries in the region on human rights, but that's not saying much. Women did not get the right to vote until 2005. People are sent to jail for not following a dress code. Kuwait has been cited by the State Department for not doing enough to stop human trafficking.
So Kuwait is not threatened or a threat. It can fend for itself. It doesn't share our values. So why do our troops stay there, and for how much longer?

On a related note, some people are finally getting around to determining the financial cost of the Iraq war. At as much as $5,000 per second, it's not cheap.

Wednesday, March 26

So much younger then

With the new R.E.M. disc "Accelerate" getting praised and panned, perhaps it's best to move ahead cautiously on the band's future.

To see whether you like the stripped-down sound, take a listen to the band's recent show from SXSW. Read this article to see whether Stipe, Mills and Buck are really at peace with the retirement of drummer Bill Berry.

Alternatively, just relive the old days by watching the video above.

Sunday, March 23

Happy Easter to all my peeps

The Washington Post contest for peep dioramas is worth a look. Inspirations include the Coen brothers, Larry Craig, the Beatles and SpongeBob Squarepants.

Friday, March 21

Soothing the itch of the savage kraken

I love Japan.

A stench in the land of the mouse

The Orlando airport reeks of dead rats.

Thursday, March 20

All you'd want to know...

...about rechargeable batteries

Dan Kennedy on the record biz

The A.V. Club interviews Dan Kennedy, author of "Rock On: An Office Power Ballad," which is really quite good if you like that sort of thing.

AVC: So what's different about the modern industry that's triggered its supposed decline?

DK: Apparently at some point, the record business turned into some 45-year-old white guy with a law degree and a masters in marketing, who has a tan in the middle of winter and three houses, and he calls music "units." Somewhere, something got lost.

Wednesday, March 19

Hef, Twisted Sister back Barack Obama

Just when you thought the pastor was trouble enough: Now the guitarist for Twisted Sister wants to rock with Barack Obama, and Playboy kingpin Hugh Hefner favors him too.

Speaking of pastors, I would love to know more about what the pastors of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter have said in the past. They do go to church every week, don't they?

Best automobile (non-)review evar.

Jeremy Clarkson briefly mentions the Renault Laguna Sport Tourer Dynamique

Tuesday, March 18

Arthur C. Clarke is no longer with us

Somehow fittingly, the famed sci-fi scribe lives to see 2001, but not 2010. So it goes.

Sunday, March 16

LISTS: Weirdest search terms used to find this blog

Of the roughly 67 visitors this blog has each day, the majority arrive via Google searches, with Google Images leading the way.

We thank our faithful readers who come here for the written words and carefully selected links accompanied by the occasional illustration. We do it all for you. For the rest of you, thanks for visiting anyway.

With those pop-in visitors in mind, we offer (in "Countdown" style) the top 5 weirdest search terms that people used to get here recently:

5. Mayberry reality

4. Tentacled sea creature

3. Woman suckles pet monkey movie

2. Survivors nude

1. Nude elves

We hope you all found what you were looking for. (Related posts here and here.)

Wednesday, March 12

Whither Vitter?

Eliot Spitzer, the governor of New York, has resigned roughly 48 hours after he was named in a prostitution scandal. David Vitter, a U.S. senator from Louisiana, remains in office nine months after his name surfaced in a similar scandal.

Why the difference? Just askin'.

Friday, March 7

Possible Dullard Feat of Strength

Visit the Beer Can House in Houston, Texas.

Curb her enthusiasm

Larry David on Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday, March 4

Gary Gygax is no longer with us

The founder of D&D runs out of hit points at age 69. So it goes.

UPDATE: A good Gygax remembrance.

Travis Pastrana, a man who needs more trust issues

I have a lot of great friends, but I wouldn't even trust my wife to save my ass after jumping out of a plane with no parachute.

Monday, March 3

Wiki-dump and eBay revenge

What do you do when your kinda-boyfriend ends it through Wikipedia? Use eBay to sell the stuff he left in your apartment.

That is apparently what took place in the short-lived relationship between Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales and Rachel Marsden, a Coulter-esque pundit who once had to be escorted from the Fox News studios for erratic behavior. Read it all here.