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June 29, 2005


It's really worth reading a description of the Trafalgar fun. Every description I've seen is simultaneously hysterically funny and oddly melancholy.

Something about re-enacting the Battle of Trafalgar with a French aircraft carrier brightens my whole morning! Badly needed, after last night's absurd speech.

The less said about secret messages encoded in the al-Jazeera crawl, the better. (It's amusing, though, if perfectly logical, that the al-Jazeera crawl moves left to right.)

Title for the open thread? How about "Open Thread?" :)

-- Rick Robinson

Well, a false Orange Alert every once in a while is a small price to pay for keeping John Nash busy.

We thought of Open Thread, but it seemed too geeky and post-modern. We thought of Thread, Open and Open Thread: The Movie, The Book, The Ashtray but it didn't have the ring we were looking for.
we thought of Bit Bytes, Short Takes, Shortcake, and got hungry and ate lunch.

Nothing fits, just yet.

Maybe we should peruse the city municipal guides and do a Landfill Thread.

Landfill Thread. I like that.

Or maybe Spun Yarn? Knit Yarn?

Rick, I hope you linked through and saw the description of Her Royal Majesty, suffering from a cold, reviewing the fleet from her post on an Ice-Breaker. Really!

I'm actually growing obsessed by Trafalgar II. Consider--more countries were willing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the keystone of British hegemony than are willing to support the collapse of our own hegemony. Does that say people just prefer to go with winners? Or that, with two centuries of distance, the dignified British Empire looks better than ours by comparison? Does someone have Niall Ferguson's number--because I'd really like his insight on this!

"The Spool". relates to thread. first thing in my head in the morning. therefore not necessarily good.

Yes, indeed I clicked through to read about Her Majesty's sniffles.

A certain nostalgia for the British Empire might be in order. On the whole, the Brits were fairly good at imperialism, at least after their disagreeable experience in North America in the late 18th c. Having learned, they generally avoided similar awkward episodes.

Most of all, perhaps, when the British Empire passed its sell-by date, they gave it up with some dignity and even a bit of panache - snapped salutes and bagpipes playing as the Union flag was lowered for the last time over time zone after time zone. Compare to the French, who twice paid dearly for lessons that would have been extremely instructive for us, if only we'd paid attention.

-- Rick Robinson

Rick, yes, I've thought of that dignified dying of empire more than once. Sad thing is, even if we backed out with dignity now, we'd have given the "subjects" of our "empire" Hollywood and Baywatch instead of a great education, as the English did.

But we're not going to back out with dignity, are we. Instead, we've got people watching Battle of Algiers, where they seem to have taken notes as if it was the only approach.

"The Next Harrumph"?

Harrumph!!! How quaint -- they re-enact Trafalgar, we re-enact Vietnam.

WOW! Did we ever just get kicked in the shins!!!

The Australian Government has rejected an invitation from the Bush administration to participate in top-secret talks about how to deal with the rise of China.

Australia is apparently worried the meetings will offend China.

But now, after they've spilled the beans, they've not only ensured that Australia doesn't offend China, but that US does offend China, now that our secret meetings have been leaked!! This is priceless. Something I usually expect out of really catty pre-pubescent girls.

And we think we still are the dominant power in Asia??

Oops. Forgot the link. Here's another glimpse of our diplomatic genius:

At the first meeting, those attending decided to call themselves the Halibut Group.

The name grew out of an in-joke - none of the China experts there could work out how to say "halibut" in Mandarin.

Not that I know how to say halibut, either. But I can tell you how to say, "we don't have any beer" if you want me to.

Wow, that's some joke. One step short of calling it the "We Rikey Fleedom." Hardy-har-har.

As mentioned in an earlier thread, the fabulous Sen. Coburn of OK is acting pres. of the Senate right now, and, as is his wont, seems to be working a crossword puzzle to relieve the tedium. If anybody's interested, tune into C-SPAN 2 and wait for a shot of the chair.

Hmm. I need an eight-letter word for why they only let one girl go to the bathroom at a time in Oklahoma public schools.


Diminutive Assessments shortened to: Dim Ass

I still don't know how to put links, but anyway, this is a pretty good Washington Post article on the CW turning from a definite Rehnquist retirement to a definite non-retirement.


I wonder if all of this is to fake Democrats out, catch them off guard for when the retirement does happen. Some right-wing blogs are saying Rehnquist will retire on July 5, O'Connor at Labor Day, and then a third justice next year.

What bothers me about all the "O'Connor's husband is near death, she has to be with him" talk is if that was the case, why is she teaching a course during her time off? Wouldn't she be spending all her time with her husband?

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