Archive for June, 2003

Photo post from cell phone

Sunday, June 29th, 2003


At the gay pride parade. So fun!

Photo post from cell phone

Saturday, June 28th, 2003


View from the top of the Empire State Building!

Photo post from cell phone

Saturday, June 28th, 2003


We’re at Ground Zero.


Friday, June 27th, 2003

I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of Becky and Shannon. I think Becky, in classic Becky fashion, may have forgotten her cell phone in Buffalo, as I haven’t heard from her and haven’t been able to reach her on the road. Oh, well. They should be here soon. The plan is to buy half-price TKTS tickets for a Broadway show tonight and have dinner in Times Square before the show. Shannon, who has never been to New York City before, is very excited. Tomorrow we’ll do a bunch of touristy stuff, and then on Sunday, we’ll watch the gay-pride parade — which should be even, uh, gayer than usual, thanks to the sodomy ruling. (Although, last time I checked, sodomy was only legal in private… I wonder if that will be tested on Fifth Avenue this weekend…)

Speaking of which, I don’t think the Supreme Court has yet legalized any additional sex acts. Bummer, eh, Andrew? I guess I’ll have to stick the classics. (Avert your eyes, young readers!) Heh.

The check’s not in the mail

Friday, June 27th, 2003

About 1,600 of the 3,500 Connecticut state employees who took early retirement on June 1 will be receiving their first pension checks a month late, around August 1 instead of July 1. My dad is among them. (My mom, also a June 1 retiree, got her check on time, thank goodness.)

The retirement division of the Comptroller’s office is overwhelmed with the workload — they’re working 12-hour days, 7 days a week, and they still can’t process the applications fast enough — in part because 1,000 applications were turned in during the final five days before the May 30 deadline. (More broadly, of the three allowed early-retirement dates this past spring, 3,500 of 4,650 retirees chose the final date, June 1.)

My dad is writing a supportive letter to the retirement division folks thanking them for their hard work. The delay is not their fault; it’s the governor’s fault, for cutting back the state workforce so drastically and indiscriminately, and (dare I say) the fault of the Last-minute Louies who waited to turn in their paperwork (not that I should talk).

Stay, Miami, stay

Friday, June 27th, 2003

The Big East-ACC battle will apparently be settled on Monday.


Thursday, June 26th, 2003

Glenn Reynolds is taking a vacation. No InstaPundit for a week? Oh, the humanity!

I’m not taking a vacation, but I expect blogging to be light for the next few days, as I’ll be visiting with Becky, her friend Shannon from Buffalo, our old freshman- and sophomore-year friend Vicki from USC, and our fellow USC ’03 grad Adrienne (see her quote at left), all of whom are converging on New York City this weekend. Perhaps I’ll post a few Moblog entries from my cell phone, but otherwise, don’t expect much.

UPDATE: Before I go… I’ve been very remiss in not posting about yesterday’s major WMD discovery (though it has already been commented upon extensively below). The story was scandalously underplayed in the New York Times today, but I wouldn’t want my news judgment to be associated with that rifraff, so rest assured, I think it’s important news… I was just too lazy to post about it. :) Anyway, yeah, an Iraqi scientist turned over a key nuclear-bomb component that Saddam Hussein ordered him to bury in his back yard 12 years ago. This may not be a smoking gun…

U.S. officials emphasized that this was not evidence Iraq had a nuclear weapon — but it was evidence the Iraqis concealed plans to reconstitute their nuclear program as soon as the world was no longer looking.

…but it basically proves that the neocons were fundamentally right all along when they said that regime change was the only way disarmament in Iraq was ever going to be achieved. As long as Saddam was in power, he was always going to pursue a nuclear program; he never made a genuine commitment to disarmament, and he never would have. As soon as the world was no longer looking, he would have resumed his evil schemes.

Thank God he’s gone now, so we won’t have to deal with a nuclear Iraq five or ten years down the road, like we would have if France and company had had their way.

Oh, and by the way, it’s also a “material breach” that Hans Blix never found… and never could have been expected to find, without Saddam being removed from power, thus freeing the scientists to tell what they knew. In other words, giving the inspectors more time would never have produced this result. Only a war, and regime change, could have. And did.

War: what is it good for? Occasionally, something.

If that’s not enough WMD evidence for you, it seems there may be more where it came from in the next few days. If so, won’t that make all the “Bush lied” folks look silly?

R.I.P., Strom

Thursday, June 26th, 2003

Strom Thurmond has died at age 100. May he rest in peace.

I can’t help but think it’s a little ironic that the old Southern archconservative will have his newspaper obituaries forever etched on historical front pages alongside headlines trumpeting the repeal of sodomy laws.

More on the sodomy ruling

Thursday, June 26th, 2003

Andrew Sullivan rejoices: “Each day now, I can feel freedom dawning in this land again. The struggle of so many for so long is beginning to come true. What a privilege, what a joy, to be alive to witness it.”


Thursday, June 26th, 2003

The Supreme Court has struck down the Texas sodomy law. Hip hip, hooray!

UPDATE: Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas dissented. “The court has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda,” Scalia wrote, according to the New York Times “The court has taken sides in the culture war.”

Yeah, I guess the side of the “culture” that believes consenting adults should be able to have sex behind closed doors without government intrusion has won out over the, uh, other side.

Those pesky WMDs

Wednesday, June 25th, 2003

George F. Will, hardly an anti-war lefty, has chimed in on the where-are-the-WMDs debate with the observation that “the doctrine of preemption — the core of the president’s foreign policy — is in jeopardy.” He explains:

To govern is to choose, almost always on the basis of very imperfect information. But preemption presupposes the ability to know things — to know about threats with a degree of certainty not requisite for decisions less momentous than those for waging war.

Some say the war was justified even if WMD are not found nor their destruction explained, because the world is “better off” without Saddam Hussein. Of course it is better off. But unless one is prepared to postulate a U.S. right, perhaps even a duty, to militarily dismantle any tyranny — on to Burma? — it is unacceptable to argue that Hussein’s mass graves and torture chambers suffice as retrospective justifications for preemptive war. Americans seem sanguine about the failure — so far — to validate the war’s premise about the threat posed by Hussein’s WMD, but a long-term failure would unravel much of this president’s policy and rhetoric.

Will argues, convincingly, that “a vast multinational conspiracy of bad faith, using fictitious WMD as a pretext for war, is a wildly implausible explanation of the failure to find WMD.” (Among the conspirators in such a scenario, he says, would be President Clinton, Hans Blix, the British, French, and German intelligence agencies, and Saddam Hussein.) But that bit of sanity, sadly lacking on the Left, does not alter Will’s conviction that the WMD question cannot go unanswered:

For the president, the missing weapons are not a political problem. Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, says Americans are happily focused on Iraqis liberated rather than WMD not found, so we “feel good about ourselves.”

But unless America’s foreign policy is New Age therapy to make the public feel mellow, feeling good about the consequences of an action does not obviate the need to assess the original rationale for the action.

Until WMD are found, or their absence accounted for, there is urgent explaining to be done.

Well said.

Mazel tov!

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

My gallery of photos from Josh and Joanna Rubin’s wedding Sunday is now online! Here are a few highlights:

In keeping with tradition, Josh lowers the veil over his bride’s face before the ceremony.

The bride and groom are married.

Josh leads Joanna, now his wife, back down the aisle.

Josh is carried around by his friends on the dance floor at the reception.

Josh and Joanna share their first dance as husband and wife.

Josh poses with me and our mutual friend, Kate, who drove me down to Maryland for the ceremony.

Like I said, those photos are just a sample. Please check out whole gallery!

Congratulations, Josh and Joanna!

A future kitten-blogger?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

You’ve met Toby; now meet Ugmo, Becky’s friend Shannon’s tiny kitten, born on May 14, 2003, and photographed on her one-month birthday:

(Well, you’re not really meeting her for the first time. Ugmo was already featured in Moblog posts here and here.)

Anyway, more Ugmo photos can be found here!

New York, New York

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

I’m up-and-blogging from the apartment in New York! The phone line works and the laptop is online. Hip hip, hooray!

Meanwhile, in Buffalo, Becky and Toby each posted to their respective blogs for the first time in several weeks today.

Back to the city

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

In about an hour, I’ll be hopping on a Greyhound bus and heading back to New York. We finally got the phone-line working in the apartment, and my laptop continues to sputter along, so I should be able to connect to the Internet, at last, without going to Kinko’s or an Internet cafe. In other words, my Moblog may finally stop dominating the homepage.

I plan to post the promised pictures (of the burned-out car on the Tappan Zee Bridge, and of Josh’s wedding) later today or tonight. Sorry for the delay, but uh, I’ve been, uh, lazy… I mean, busy. :)