Sunday Links

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hawking et al. explain inflation (the cosmic kind).

The Fed allows inflation (the earthly kind).

The 13 best movie robots.

Your brain, the liar.

"Kiss my ass" says Clinton to Obama.

Vacation in a concrete pipe, a jail, or a TV tower!

BillG's top 10 greatest hits and misses.

First steps to Gattaca.

Make your own energy for fun and profit.

Think happy thoughts.

Quote of the Day

Saturday, June 28, 2008
JustOneMinute: The Great Equalizer: "The same folks who can read the Constitution and Bill of Rights and find an unassailable right to abortion and gay marriage can't find a right to possession of a firearm."

Saturday Links


(Photo H/T: The Daily Telegraph)

He does what politicians do.

Where the ozone goes.

How the other half lives.

The top 10 TED talks.

The latest Google perk.

Volcanoes to the rescue.

When love doesn't conquer all.

Hummingbirds a specialized form of nighthawks?

Christians must pay.

Watch out, bears.

Introducing Jogli.

The swimsuit of the future is now.

Cheer up. We're winning this War on Terror | Gerard Baker - Times Online

Friday, June 27, 2008
Cheer up. We're winning this War on Terror | Gerard Baker - Times Online: "And yet the evidence is now overwhelming that on all fronts, despite inevitable losses from time to time, it is we who are advancing and the enemy who is in retreat. The current mood on both sides of the Atlantic, in fact, represents a kind of curious inversion of the great French soldier's dictum: “Success against the Taleban. Enemy giving way in Iraq. Al-Qaeda on the run. Situation dire. Let's retreat!”"

Friday Links



Are passenger trains doomed in America?

Every body's talking.

Using biofuels is putting people into poverty.

1,000 more German troops for Afghanistan.

It's a fractal world after all.

The wave of Democrats.

It's baaaaaaaaaack!

Facebook takes the lead.

April 16, 1178 BCE.

Brazil the money magnet.

Fat people will pay!

The same anti-Semitic tripe

Thursday, June 26, 2008
Commentary » Blog Archive » Re: Klein and Sullivan: "Andrew Sullivan tries to put the best face possible on Joe Klein’s venom by stating that all Klein did was point out “the increasingly obvious fact that the Iraq war was in part launched to assist Israel (even though many Israelis were against it).” But of course that’s not what Klein did at all– he singled out Jews and accused them of not acting in their country’s interests but at the behest of a foreign power, Israel. What’s more, he didn’t have the intellectual honesty to say that he was making that accusation — it was just coming up, you see. You can dress it up any way you please or try to excuse it however you like, but it is the same anti-Semitic tripe that is recycled century after century."

Dodd Deserves Financial Scrutiny -- Courant.com


Dodd Deserves Financial Scrutiny -- Courant.com: "When Christopher Dodd is in the room, it's a rare occasion when he's not one of the smartest people there."


I'm sorry, but having once been a constituent of Dodd's, and having watched him on TV a fair bit since then, I'm afraid the only time he's the smartest guy in the room is when he's alone. And I wouldn't want to bet money on that.

Thursday Links



Do it yourself.

How McCain should frame the issues.

What Bill Gates really thinks.

The new face of Al Qaeda.

The world's 10 worst cities.

Spielberg to be rescued by Bollywood?

Underwater wireless broadband through time-reversal.

I hear the Earth singing.

Free foreign language courses from MIT.

The new cold war?

Quote of the Day

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I don't suppose that I could prevail upon the Obama campaign to stop pissing off Canada? | Redstate: "*Yes, feel free to argue that because the money's not obvious, the influence isn't there. The curious combination of naive political virginity and ruthless enforcement of goodthinking is one of the most entertaining aspects of the standard online Obama supporter."

Wednesday Links


Can Betz's Law be broken with cleverer technology?

Hitchcock redux.

Incarceration reduces crime.

What is it doing with all that information about us?

Can the French be put back to work?

The sea of trash.

Predicting where you'll go.

The despised President.

Watering down the math standards. Again.

The secret code hidden in the Sistine Chapel.

How to see a parallel universe.

From the "let's not report this" department. 4,000 dead in drug wars in Mexico in two years.

The mystery of glass, solved at last.

Don't check the boxes.

The mystery of the Voorwerp.

Can we trust his promises?

Tuesday Links

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


An hour to cross the Atlantic?

Diary of a failed startup.

In the pocket of Big Ethanol.

More mysteries of the Maya uncovered.

It's not easy to not drive.

When nature fights back.

When obnoxious arrogance is the right stuff.

Jascha Heifetz: Beethoven, String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 5

Monday, June 23, 2008


This I remember somehow. Though in a different context - from a summer concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I was about eight years old. So things are a bit hazy. Did I really hear this there? I think so. My Dad driving there in our Ford Galaxie 500 with a picnic dinner in the trunk. Wine for Mom and Dad. Sparkling grape juice for me. A wonderful time in which to grow up in LA.

Sunday Links

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Introducing Bored.

Tuning out news of American success.

Eight years of wrongness.

Their time has almost come.

More human feet washing onshore in British Columbia.

Let's kill two birds with one stoning.

Introducing Texter.

The Solstice Cyclists.

Paying off a debt with a daughter.

Pi as a crop circle.

The world's new cultural capital?

The growing danger of political segregation.

Saturday Links

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Who's side are we on again?

Phew! A changing physical constant of the universe is constant after all.

The virtue of hypocrisy.

The most effective politician seen in decades.

Permafrost in them thar hills.

More rats executives leaving the ship.

The passion behind the veil.

No girls need apply here either.

Yahoo the failure?

Women and men found to be different after all.

Friday Links

Friday, June 20, 2008


17 mistakes startups makes.

The first picture of a laser pulse. Wow!

Big Brother wins in Sweden.

Curing cancer with the immune system?

The Volt cometh.

Old video games resurrected.

Is REM sleep necessary for intelligence?

Iran on its heels?

Bad boys get more girls.

How wiretapping works.

Russian justice.

The ethics of stealing WiFi.

The Taleban cleared from Kandahar.

Where are the missing Tibetan protesters?

The first hydrogen cars are here.

Canada's thought police.

Wednesday Links

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The Flickr founders leave Yahoo.

Guzzle coffee, live longer.

Microsoft the underdog.

China obtains a virtual monopoly on mining rights in Peru.

The 10 highest waterfalls on Earth.

What we can learn from the oil shock.

Do mathematical formulas create reality?

To helmet or not to helmet.

What Bush got right.

Further cutting France's small military.

Electing a dead mayor.

The end of nuclear non-proliferation.

Why they hate school choice.

Chavez rising.

Gay brains look like straight brains of the opposite sex.

The EU hates democracy.

The robotic girlfriend for lonely men.

Jerry, it's not your baby.

Sunday Links

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The decline of the Senate.

The DirectX tutorials.

The end of free speech in Canada.

The visual history of Python.

Wise, honest, independent, and courageous.

Quantum mechanics revealed to be mundane complex numbers.

No more than 25 years difference allowed.

Quantum cryptography might be breakable after all.

New America vs. Old America.

The power of Google Gears.

Corruption? Naaah, couldn't be.

Check your computer for zombie-bots.

Winning the Iraq argument.

Friday Links

Friday, June 13, 2008

Evolution by random mutation observed in the lab.

Some workers are finally more equal than others.

Just which way does antimatter actually swing?

Vote for McBama.

The brain cancer vaccine.

Wealth and debt corrupting America.

A tough feminist considers Hillary.

Transistors able to resist radiation?

The battle for Turkey's soul.

China hacking Congress.

The hero of the right?

Algae oil to the rescue.

Wednesday Links

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Things are far better than you think.

Bacteria from the past resist the antibiotics of the future.

Winning the Iraq War.

Confessions of an English gigolo.

More than half the pupils in charter schools?

The beginning of the end?

Bush didn't lie, proven yet again.

Accountability in government still valued.

Better color microscopes than theoretically possible.

Mr. Obama's neighborhood.

Money for nuthin', energy for free.

The secret of his success.

A four-shot vaccine for hay fever?

Boomtimes for the Earth's biomass.

The commander-in-chief litmus test.

SIFF Day One

Monday, June 09, 2008
Posted by Alistair.

-----------------------------------------------------------



Fyodor Dostoevsky once said that there are only two types of books: those in which someone goes on a journey and those in which a man comes to town. The same line could undoubtedly be applied to narratives of all kinds, particularly the films I saw Monday at the Seattle International Film Festival. All of them involved a man coming to town, which is—as Dostoevsky so cleverly implies—the same thing as a man ending the journey he began from another town.

The first of these was Boy A, a beautiful, sad, poignant, and artfully made film. The film was directed by John Crowley from a script penned by Mark O'Rowe and was the second film both have worked on (their previous effirt was 2003's Intermission, which stars Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, and other Irish favorites). Although I have not seen Intermission, Boy A makes it abundantly clear that both men are quite naturally talented, as is the entire cast of actors, which makes the familiar argument that when looking for acting talent you should begin in Britain.



The film follows a recently paroled youth in his early twenties and his effort to fit into normal society. As we begin to know him in his everyday routine and his interactions with those around him, we are slowly shown, via flashback, the events leading up to his stint in jail. He was an unpopular and awkward boy, whose parents were indifferent and abusive. He was beaten up at school. He went friendless until he met Philip Craig (who purposefully causes a traffic accident in their first encounter). As the friendship between the two boys grows, it becomes increasingly clear that Philip (played with sadistic aplomb in a good bit of child acting by Taylor Doherty) is most likely the root cause of (the protagonist) Jack Burridge's troubles. As Jack (the brilliant Andrew Garfield) adjusts and begins to fit in with his new life he is haunted by his old life where he was ill-adjusted. And he faces the moral dilemna of honestly adjusting his old life to his new acquaintances and the very real harm that such an address could put him in.

This film was not perfect. Though the writing, directing, and acting were all stellar—particularly Garfield's Burridge, who wins you over with his good-heartedness before breaking your own heart—the film lacked in a grand philosophic message. Although Jack is a soul who deserves forgiveness, the film does not argue that all sinners are (although it flirts with the idea) exempt from simply being evil (as the chilling sociopathic child Philip Craig demonstrates). It takes on the subject of redemption—one of the greatest literary themes, as Dostoevsky himself proved—and whether it is possible; and although it argues that it should be possible it doesn't do enough to settle the matter one way or another. The film makes the mistake—one of its few—of having Jack commit an event that is, or at least it is meant to be, the exact negation of the horrible act that led him into prison in the first place. This is a mistake not only because it is a bit hackneyed, but also because it weakens the very essence of Jack's redemption. Redemption is not an act, but an existential transformation, from someone who is weak to someone who is strong. Jack proves that he has fulfilled this transformation in his goodly treatment of the people in his life and his standing, at every minute, for compassion. This is, if anything, the philosophical message of the film. It is a fairy tale for all of us who were lonely, unhappy, and misunderstood as children (junior high?), capable of ignominious acts in our weakness (even if it was just lashing out at our parents), who somehow became happy, functioning members of adult society. But where did that childhood go? And how did we get from boy a to man b? These are questions whose answers are unknown to both the filmmakers and me.


The second film I saw, The Children of Huang Shi, was much less memorable or enjoyable, though it ambitiously set out to be both. Here is a film that attempts epic status as well as the kind of emotional resonance of a man who is won over into humanitarianism despite himself (cf. the great Schindler's List and the also great Red Beard). Its failure at pulling off the first follows from its failure to pull off the second. It has a lot of things going for it that good epics have. It has a great, relatively unexplored back-drop, Japanese occupied China in the 1930s, which allows almost limitless potential for any number of country-spanning adventures, occasionally punctuated by Japanese soldiers and communist on nationalist squabbling. And director Roger Spottiswoode gives a valiant attempt at producing such an epic, with great photography of beautifully huge landscapes, excellent set-pieces and costumes, and an all-star-ish cast (at least by SIFF standards) which includes Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Chow Yun-Fat, and Michelle Yeoh. The problems come when the film asks us to invest emotionally in its characters when it clearly has no interest in doing so itself. They exclusively exist to advance the plot.

So let us turn to the plot. A British journalist (Rhys Meyers) comes to China to investigate what's going on, after witnessing the horrors inflicted by the Japanese military in Nanking he is shuttled away to safety in a boy's orphanage. At first he plans to leave immediately, viewing the boys as animalistic brats, but eventually he is convinced of their humanity and of his duty to them. After the war with Japan makes it unsafe to remain where they are, he leads the boys on a perilous journey to the western edge of China, where no one will interfere with their lives.


As mentioned, all the characters exist solely to forward this plot and offer up no convincing portraits of real human beings. This is particularly true of the orphans, who often exist solely to make a single point (that one shows how the Chinese have a strong tradition of farming, this one shows how the children are interested in English and the West, that one shows how the children are hurt by the war, etc.). What's worse, the story and its talking points are told and not shown (so that one character will say something like "that's Ching, he's been really hurt by this war. His family were government officials and they were killed right in front of him.") Then Ching (which, as you might have guessed, is probably not the name of the actual character I am thinking of) will fade into the background until his anger at the Japanese becomes useful. All of the characters are easily and early cast as either good guys or bad guys, and therefore the revelations about their natures ("I'm an opium addict!" "My parents are pacifists, but I want to fight!") seem as forced as twists in a soap opera and make absolutely no difference one way or another in the outcome of how the characters are viewed. They therefore exist merely as a way to kill time and stretch the plot out to "epic" proportions.

Which is precisely why the movie failed as an epic, because I didn't care about or believe in the characters, I wasn't at all impressed by how momentous their journey across China was. Rhys Meyers was likable enough, but I didn't buy his devotion to the kids, partially due to the fact that the kids were shown for their cuteness and not for their humanity (contrast this with Schindler's Jews), and partially due to Rhys Meyers's inability to sell it as an actor. Couple this with Radha Mitchell's portrayal of Rhys Meyers's requisite love interest, which was cold, unconvincing, and annoying, and the completely needless characters of Yun-Fat and Yeoh and you have a movie filled with incomplete, simplistic, and unbelievable people. This is mostly the screenwriter's onus, but good acting and directing should be able to make the limitations of a weak character non-existent (cf. Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man). As it stands, Spottiswoode was too busy directing the landscape to be bothered with the actors, who were in too far over there heads to pull the thing off. That isn't to say that this was a film completely without merits. As I said, the setting (both in time and place) was quite interesting, and it contained awesome locations, beautifully photographed. But its flaws are too great to recommend it.

The third and final film I saw on Monday was Still Life (Sanxia haoren), a film from China shot on and around the Yangtze river before the area was flooded by the completion of the Three Gorge dam in 2006, which has been in festival circulation as long as it has existed. It is a beautiful and quiet film, whose subject—the clash between traditional and modern China—and plot—two plots actually, one about a man searching for his wife the other about a woman searching for her husband—take a backseat to its misty images. I am still in awe of a shot that captures a man and woman standing together in a brick building with a gaping hole through which the remnants of an abandoned and half destroyed downtown are visible. As the two stand there, one of the buildings is demolished and gently crumbles from its place amidst the gray-brown rain-soaked sky and lush green hills.


The movie's characters inhabit a beautiful, haunted world made all the more amazing for the fact that it will soon cease to exist. This is part of the film's plot as well as its reality and it lends everything an air of tragic poetry. The film begins with a man arriving in Fengjie from the upriver region of Shanxi in search of his wife. He has an address she left him sixteen years ago when she ran away. He gives this address to a cabbie on a motorcycle who, after some bargaining, agrees to take him to the address. He finds when he arrives that the motorcycle cabbie has tricked him, that the street where his wife lived has been flooded by the river in the damming of one of the first two gorges. He travels back to a town filled with the rubble of destroyed buildings spray-painted with what will be the water level after the final gorge is dammed. He asks around and finds that his wife's brother still lives in town.

He visits his brother-in-law at his place of work, on a ferry, and asks him where his sister is. He is told that he seems like a nice man but that he should return home. This thinly veiled threat is underscored by the men who (hilariously) pour out of the ship's bellows and into its cabin, one after another, to hungrily slurp down noodles and menacingly eye the protagonist. This scene reveals a few things about Fengjie's inhabitants. They are scrappy; they work hard and eat, when they can, with great vigor; they accept situations as they are, trusting the instincts of their fellows, even if it comes to fighting for those instincts, and distrusting strangers; and there are lots of them, all around.


The man slowly settles into this life, deciding to live in Fengjie and wait on the off chance that his wife will show up with his sixteen-year-old daughter. He gets work doing what needs doing, which in this soon-to-be-submerged city means tearing down buildings. And as he gazes out on the Yangtze the movie looks away, turning instead to a woman searching for her husband. She belongs to a different class than the first man and her husband has some lofty position in some favored industry. She inhabits a different Fengjie as she is shepherded around to fancy dining and dancing by a kindly, but twitchy man who knows her husband. But despite their differences, it is clear that the two characters share a hurt spirit that cannot easily be mended. Their worlds bump into each other in funny ways, as when a friend of the husband (the first husband) is hired to commit a crime by another man (the second husband). But their worlds are not so far off as one might think and strange juxtapositions give Fengjie its haunted and beautiful nature. In one scene a couple dances the waltz in evening attire on the exposed beams of a ruined skyscraper, perched over a beach strewn with debris.

At the end of climactic moments, the camera will move away from the actors to focus on the objects that are cluttered everywhere. The name of the objects will appear on the screen to reveal one meaning of the title's double entender (the other meaning presumably refers to the stillness with which the protagonists have suffered). I liked this movie a lot, for the glimpse of a live ghost town, for its depiction of rural China, and for the poetry with which it is accomplished. I did not, however, love it. After awhile one gets the feeling that the still objects (cigarette, mints, tea) are just as alive for the camera as the film's characters, which is to say, not very alive. I loved Fengjie as a mythical pre-Atlantis, but I loved its citizens even more, and I wanted to see them less as backdrop for the story of a lost world and China in transition, and more as the subjects in whom a doomed home and changing homeland created dramatic effect to which I could relate. Sadly this is not what we get.



The movie's final shot is once again the space the characters have just inhabited, but this time the scale of the picture is large. The camera shows two buildings, between them is stretched a rope, across which a man walks, carefully balancing so as not to fall. I took it as a metaphor for the path China's people must now walk, remembering their past, honoring their traditional rural roots, while moving into the future. Careful not to let nostalgia or overenthusiasm at what will be pull them down (symbolic for the fates of the spouses if not the heroes). I wish I could say that Still Life passes this test, but it is a movie stuck in time.

Sunday Links

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Politics, policy, and polity (and politicking).

Stronger than cast iron.

What she's playing for now.

Some oil facts.

What billions can buy you.

Arbeit may not macht frei, but it often makes people glücklich instead.

The ultimate guide to motivation.

J.K. Rowling speaks.

Introducing Thinkbase.

A reflection of a reflection.

Show trials brought to the English-speaking world.

The Kyoto UN scam.

When principle beat pork.

A Paean To A Generation's Sacrifice

Friday, June 06, 2008
Normandy,
The Atlantic,
Tinian, Saipan,
The Pacific,
Breakout, Hedgerows,
Phillipines,
Bulge,
Iwo Jima,
Okinawa,
In the air, on land and on the sea.

From June 6, 1944 to August, 1945,
These battles went by,
One by one,
All of them won
By rookies
And veterans with less than three years as warriors,
Mostly amateur soldiers, sailors, airmen.

Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, White,
Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jewish, Bhuddist, Animist, Agnostic, Atheist,
English, French, Italian, Slav, Russian, German, Japanese, African, Chinese, all
Americans.

Northerners, Southerners,
Easterners, Westerners,
Midwesterners, from every state in the Union.

Democrats, Republicans, Communists,
Liberals, Conservatives.

More than one hundred thousand died.
Even more wounded,
And the rest of them lived.

So we could be free today.

God Bless Them All.

Susan Estrich Channels Flares

Money quote:

Hillary as a Third Party Candidate?
By Susan Estrich

Say it ain't so Joe. I mean, Hillary.

I don't believe it. But my friends in Obama-land, the place where all good Democrats are, or are heading to, are worried.

The concern is that Hillary could take a page from the book of one Joe Lieberman, once and former good Democrat, and decide that having lost out on his party's nomination to someone he couldn't see winning a general election, the better option (for him) was to run himself in the fall. Which he did. And won. Beating the liberal Democrat who had beaten him in the primary.

Of course, in Lieberman's case, it was his senate seat, which had been his for some time, in a state where he'd been winning for some time, in a contest where the fate of the Supreme Court, the federal courts, the environment, the right to choose, and a few other things like that didn't hang in the balance.

Could Hillary be planning to run as a third party candidate, to try to find the space between McCain and Obama, and fill it, and do what no one has done before at the national level?


Her answer:

Naah.

Quotation du Jour

"There is a fine line between admirable tenacity and delusional denial, and Clinton tiptoed across it."

--George Will

Friday Links


It's going to get worse.

Welcome to Obamatopia.

Being realistic and fair about the recent series.

Declining math standards.

He who transcends the Sixties wins.

300 calories.

The smell of burning furniture.

Why do so many exaggerate about racism?

Inhale your way to smaller brain parts.

Cause for rejoicing.

Levitation becomes fact (in theory).

If you are so inclined...

Thursday, June 05, 2008
Ace and ChicagoBoyz are blegging for contributions for the Walter Reed Army Medical Center's library of video games and movies. There's a wish list at Amazon. I have no way to check this out but it is a relatively small risk. Set the Shipping Address to "Cause" on checkout if you want to use the wishlist and send it direct. Or use the WRAMC link above if you'd like to help in some other way.

Wednesday Links

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Close to winning in Afghanistan.

Spy vs. Spy—the Internet version.

A tale of two tattles.

The strangest looking mammals.

What dictionaries tell us about our brains.

Wir lieben Obama!

The 1-room schoolhouse for the 21st century.

Logarithms are us.

Why Al Qaida is failing.

Cutting the corporate tax because it's the right thing to do.

Blowing up the Danes.

The dangers of old dad.

Billboards that watch you.

Christian martyrs in China.

No jokes please, we're Russian.

4006

Tuesday, June 03, 2008
By the way, that was our 4005th post just now.

Might as well enjoy it since we didn't mention #4000.

Is this a trick question?

It's not in my bailiwick, so maybe I'm missing something, but why is anyone even considering this cap-and-trade nonsense rather than a carbon tax? They're both taxes, except that a carbon tax doesn't give the government huge new powers over the means of production,.... Mark Krikorian (who I normally think is a moron but he's got this one)

According to ALGORE, I Am A "Democratic activist" -- Aren't We All?

Sunday, June 01, 2008
Yesterday, I received a "personal letter" from that Guru of Gaia, ALGORE. He was cadging funds from the faithful. I guess my Democratic roots of the late '70s and early '80s(I was a volunteer for the Small Business Committee of the DNC) have not been clipped yet.

In any event, our Guru lectures me, among other things, in his usual understated prose:

After stampeding our country to war with Iraq on fabricated evidence, George Bush allowed a terrible mistake to become an even more terrible catastrophe through lack of leadership----and five years later we are still no closer to an honorable solution.

The "Bush Tax Cuts" trumpeted as a cure-all for our economy have drained our treasury and weakened our dollar--- even as home foreclosures for middle-class Americans soar along with our federal deficit.

George Bush, Dick Cheney and their backers in the Senate have fought endlessly to avoid making the hard choices necessary to address global warming --- and have increased our dependence on foreign oil and dirty coal.

The simple truth is we must not only win the White House, we must defeat those senators who have done almost as much damage as George Bush and Dick Cheney. They have been enablers for the administration. They have even turned a blind eye to torture and warrantless wiretapping of American Citizens


I guess it's time for me to form Democrats For Republicans. I just love the status quo, and I hate change.

Besides, no one could be more evil than Bush and Cheney. And we're getting rid of them in January. It is a sure thing.

Mirabile Dictu -- WAPO Channels Flares' May 31 Post

From an editorial in this morning's WAPO:

Eighteen American soldiers died in May, the lowest total of the war and an 86 percent drop from the 126 who died in May 2007.

But WAPO's spin moves in the direction Barry Dauphin predicted at 10:15 last night:

If the positive trends continue, proponents of withdrawing most U.S. troops, such as Mr. Obama, might be able to responsibly carry out further pullouts next year. Still, the likely Democratic nominee needs a plan for Iraq based on sustaining an improving situation, rather than abandoning a failed enterprise. That will mean tying withdrawals to the evolution of the Iraqi army and government, rather than an arbitrary timetable; Iraq's 2009 elections will be crucial. It also should mean providing enough troops and air power to continue backing up Iraqi army operations such as those in Basra and Sadr City. When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.


We're inside their OODA Loop, Barry.

Sunday Links


CIA: US gaining big on Al-Qaida.

Cracking the brain's code.

China's cyber-militia.

Redefining marriage as between one man and several women.

Advantage Crichton.

The Book of the Policeman.

Buy Ford.

The Book of Optics.

Bush is keeping America safe.

Avoid paying retail.

An economic reality check.