New Timberite

by Henry on September 1, 2003

Welcome to a new co-blogger: “Ted Barlow”:http://tedbarlow.blogspot.com/ has very nicely agreed to come on board. Ted doesn’t need much in the way of an introduction – he’s been a voice of reason in the blogosphere for a long, long time. We’re glad to have him.

Veronica Guerin

by Chris Bertram on September 1, 2003

I went to see Joel Schumacher’s Veronica Guerin on Saturday night, and left the cinema with mixed feeings. On the one hand I’d spent a reasonably enjoyable evening watching a moderately exciting film; on the other, I felt that justice really hadn’t been done to an important true story. The characterization was pretty weak and the whole thing had a made-for-TV feel about it (it wasn’t). Cate Blanchett as Guerin was all gloss and pressure and her portrayal of the journalist was very one-dimensional (driven obsessive with a side interest in football to give the appearance of depth). Ciaran Hinds as gangster-informer was a bit better, but most of the gangster characters were straight from central casting. The key moral dilemma of the story, Guerin’s choice to put her child at risk for the sake of her cause, was far too quickly and easily dealt with. There’s another film covering the same material – When the Sky Falls – I hope it is more convincing.

Kinds of Quagmires

by Kieran Healy on September 1, 2003

In some quarters, using the word “quagmire” to describe the emerging position of the U.S. in Iraq provokes yells of rage, snarklets of glibness, or even reasoned objections. It’s fair to say that optimists like the OxBloggers have convincingly rebutted the main comparisons that have been made to Vietnam. The United States isn’t going to be losing about a hundred troops a week in an ongoing war of attrition against a dug-in enemy with strong local support. But there are other ways to get stuck in the mud.

[click to continue…]

Grand Jury Duty

by Jon Mandle on September 1, 2003

I’ve been selected to serve on a federal grand jury. It meets every other Wednesday for an entire year. I thought it would make for some interesting blogging, until we got to the part about swearing to keep the proceedings secret. Federal prosecutors bring cases to the 23 of us, and we decide whether to issue indictments. Basically, they can’t prosecute any serious crime without our saying so (and most federal crimes count as serious). The impression I get is that they will be mostly drug distribution cases (and related), immigration cases, and the occasional white-collar crime. Unfortunately, as I say, I won’t be able to tell you whether this impression turns out to be right. Right now it seems like it will be interesting – especially since we have so much power, including the ability to question witnesses ourselves – but I have the feeling come next summer, I’m going to be counting down the scheduled meetings.

Yet more conference blogging

by Henry on September 1, 2003

From one to the next … having just gotten back from the annual American Political Science Association meeting, I attended one day of the science fiction Worldcon in Toronto, stopping only to go listen to my “cousin’s band”:http://www.yaleherald.com/article.php?Article=2157, who were playing in a small club here last night. Caught up with “Patrick Nielsen Hayden”:http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/ and “Cory Doctorow”:http://www.boingboing.net/, as well as “China Mieville”:http://www.panmacmillan.com/Features/China/index.htm, who apparently sometimes reads CT. Indeed, I’ve met people who know the blog at both conferences; it’s a little unnerving for me to find out that we actually have readers, and to meet them in a non blogging context.

Early, banal impressions of the differences and similarities between the two conferences …

[click to continue…]