George R.R. Martin update

by Maria on June 17, 2004

Nelly, who checks George R.R. Martin’s website pretty much every day, tells me that after almost 6 months’ silence, George is getting impatient with his impatient readers.

“I will say, just to set some rumors straight, that I am not dead, I am not dying, I am not in ill health, I have not forgotten about my readers, and I am not lounging in my hot tub drinking chilled wine with hot babes in bikinis (though I’d like to be). I have been working on this bloody book almost every bloody day (okay, except for Sundays during football season and the two days of the NFL draft) for more years than I care to contemplate, writing, rewriting, revising, and writing again, trying to make FEAST a feast in truth.”

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European Commission Presidency

by Henry on June 17, 2004

The heads of government of the various EU member states are meeting together this evening to discuss, among other things, who should replace Romano Prodi as President of the European Commission. It’s an important decision – but there isn’t a clear front-runner. For what it’s worth, my estimate of the various candidates’ chances of getting the nod.

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Shorter Dick Cheney

by Ted on June 17, 2004

Howl, howl, howl, howl.

UPDATE: Mark Kleiman might point out that this is a pretty good summary of Rumsfeld’s behavior as well. Who am I to argue? What kind of an outfit illegally orders that a prisoner be held off the books for over a year, and then forgets to interrogate him?

ANOTHER, NON-SNARKY UPDATE: Interesting point from Michael Froomkin:

People like me, who have been highly dubious about the US acceding to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court due to the real and troubling encroachment on our traditional conception of national sovereignty are really going to have to think long and hard about changing sides on this one, or at least accepting jurisdiction with regards to some of our treaty obligations. The last few months argue strongly that the US cannot always be relied on to observe its international law obligations as much as I would have thought and hoped.

I doubt that too many people will join Professor Froomkin in thinking long and hard, but these revelations will have the unfortunate effect of changing the terms of the debate. As Anne Applebaum* points out, it’s hard to see how those in power have sufficient incentives to follow stories as thoroughly as they deserve.

* corrected; thanks to Russell Arben Fox

Philosophical movies

by Chris Bertram on June 17, 2004

Thanks to “Tyler Cowen, over at Volokh”:http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2004_06_14.shtml#1087407794 , I came across “Jason Brennan’s list of movies with philosophical themes”:http://www.u.arizona.edu/~brennan/movies.htm . It’s a good list , though a bit lacking in non-American content. Possible additions? There’s already been “some blogospheric discussion”:http://users.ox.ac.uk/~magd1368/weblog/2003_09_01_archive.html#106244549368342414 of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056217/ and Christine Korsgaard’s “claim that it illustrates Kant on revolutions”:https://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/000433.html (scroll down comments). “Strictly Ballroom”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105488/ arguably deals with freedom, existentialism, and revolution. “Rashomon”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042876/ is about the epistemology of testimony. “Dr Strangelove”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/ covers the ethics of war and peace and some issues in game theory (remember the doomsday machine?). Suggestions?

UPDATE: I see “Matthew Yglesias”:http://www.matthewyglesias.com/archives/week_2004_06_13.html#003568 is also discussing this.