Belated Friday Fun Thread: Oscar edition

by Ted on February 28, 2005

Thoughts on the Oscars? I’ve got a few under the fold.
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Nick Cohen, blogger

by Chris Bertram on February 28, 2005

As various people have noted, the “Observer has started a blog”: (or perhaps a “blog” ). Nick Cohen, darling of the pro-war lefties is, naturally, “one of the contributors”: — and recommends his favourite blogs. Many of Cohen’s recent column’s have included fulminations against the “pseudo-left” , a term which designates those who take a different view to his own on such matters as Iraq and Sheikh Qaradawi. I’m always suspicious of people with the capacity the exhibit great moral indigation against imbeciles who are stupid or venal enough to espouse positions similar to those that they themselves have only just abandoned (John Gray is another good example). Unsporting it may be, but I’d like to take this opportunity to link to “one of Cohen’s columns on Afghanistan”:,1373,582309,00.html (a war that, btw, I supported). The tone of outraged moral superiority is the same, but was, at that time, directed against different targets. Plus ça change ….

Locke in modern English

by Chris Bertram on February 28, 2005

bq. To understand political power correctly and derive it from its proper source, we must consider what state all men are naturally in. It is a state in which men are perfectly free to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and themselves, in any way they like, without asking anyone else’s permission – all this subject only to limits set by the law of nature. It is also a state of equality, in which no-one has more power and authority than anyone else; because it is simply obvious that creatures of the same species and status, all born to all the same advantages of nature and to the use of the same abilities, should also be equal ·in other ways·, with no-one being subjected to or subordinate to anyone else, unless ·God·, the lord and master of them all, were to declare clearly and explicitly his wish that some one person be raised above the others and given an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty.

The latest of Jonathan Bennett’s “renderings of the classics of early modern philosophy”: into modern English is now out on the web: the “Second Treatise of Government”: . In my experience it is a work that students find especially opaque in the original, much as I love the archaic language. (Sceptics might be interested to read “Bennett’s rationale”: for his project.)

Not the kind of bottle I need

by Kieran Healy on February 28, 2005

Inside the top of the “Jones Soda”: I just opened it says “Take Charge of Your Life and Decisions.” I’m wondering whether doing this is compatible with accepting advice from a soft-drink bottle.

Mother Drive-By’s

by Belle Waring on February 28, 2005

Via Making Light, an amazing series of posts and threads from Chez Miscarriage. The most interesting one is the thread in which Chez solicits tales of “mother drive-by’s”, horrible, critical comments from other mothers on parenting. It will take ages to read them all, but I couldn’t turn away.

Some are truly, unforgiveably evil: “At the funeral for my 16 year old daughter who took her own life. My mother in law asked how we could have let Marrissa die.”

Or this:

“I was out and about with my then two year old Sara, who has Down Syndrome. A complete stranger asked me about her “condition”. I told him she had Down’s. He made some “tsk, tsk” noise and told me that I should have had an abortion, and how she would be a drain on society, and then walked off. My jaw was completely on the ground by that point and the tears were not far behind.”

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