RIP William F Buckley

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

The New York Times is reporting that Buckley has died. Not unlike the brand of conservatism for which he stood.  (Buckley was an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration, and the whole neocon movement). Like him or hate him though, he was a giant. Ezra Klein: As a slightly more general point, in the last two or three years, a … Read More

Can You Name The 11 Planets?

Ken AshfordScience & Technology1 Comment

Eleven planets?  Yup.  Makes my head explode, too. For future reference (in case you get on a game show), they are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris. "My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants".  That’s the mnemonic device.

The Last Primary Debate

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

Last night, and I didn’t watch it.  It was probably the most important one for Hillary and Obama, especially Hillary. Man, there were twenty of those things on the Dem side, and I don’t think I saw a single one.  I don’t know.  I think they are too canned.  And the questions that get asked — they tend to be … Read More

15 Years Ago Today

Ken AshfordHistory, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

I am republishing a portion from an earlier post (written in September 2006): February 26, 1993 I was a third-year law student at NYU in 1993.  As any third-year law student will tell you, a 3L’s focus in the second semester is not so much on completing law school and passing law school exams, but preparing for the impending bar … Read More

Immigrant More Law-Abiding Than The Rest Of Us

Ken AshfordImmigration and XenophobiaLeave a Comment

One of the right wing’s favorite anti-immigrant claims is that immigrants are dangerous and commit high levels of crime. A new report by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, however, finds that these claims are baseless: “In California, as in the rest of the nation, immigrants … have extremely low rates of criminal activity,” said Kristin Butcher, a co-author … Read More

That Yeats Could Turn A Phrase

Ken AshfordPersonalLeave a Comment

When by my solitary hearth I sit, When no fair dreams before my “mind’s eye” flit, And the bare heath of life presents no bloom; Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed, And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head. Whene’er I wander, at the fall of night, Where woven boughs shut out the moon’s bright ray, Should sad Despondency … Read More

What “Pro-Choice” Means (And Courting The Evangelical Vote)

Ken AshfordElection 2008, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

From a Salon interview with author Amy Sullivan ("The Party Faithful"), a Christian evangelical who is a Democrat: You’re pro-choice. Does that interfere with being an evangelical? Well, I don’t like the [pro-choice] label. I guess the reason I wrote about abortion the way I did in the book is because I have serious moral concerns about abortion, but I … Read More

You Have To Wonder….

Ken AshfordRight Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

I understand that many on the right really really really hate Islam — the entire religion — simply because of the extremist element within that religion contain some terribly bad people. But you have to wonder about a winger who is do dedicated to his anti-Islamic beliefs that he says he will commit suicide as a sign of protest against … Read More

Britney Spears: Future Ain’t Looking Good

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

As a brunette (age 36): As a blonde (age 46): The above simlulated photos were created by a company of experts specializing in "age art".  Typically, they are hired as forensic specialists to create pictures of missing children as they would look like several years later. But for giggles and grins, they applied their skills to Britney.

Elmo Making Death Threats

Ken AshfordRandom MusingsLeave a Comment

Ok then: LITHIA – A Lithia family says a cuddly, programmable Elmo doll revealed its dark side yesterday after fresh batteries were installed. Instead of singing songs or reciting the favorite color of its 2-year-old owner, James Bowman, the doll started making death threats, the family says. With a squeeze of its fuzzy belly, the Sesame Street character now says, … Read More