Same Sex Marriage Breakdown

by Kieran Healy on October 19, 2005

Since my “earlier post about it”:, Maggie Gallagher’s guest appearance at the Volokh Conspiracy has taken a “rapid”: “turn”: for the “worse”: She keeps putting up scattershot posts that resolutely fail to engage with any of the reasonable questions and criticisms an increasingly exasperated group of commenters have repeatedly offered her. It irritates the commenters no end that she begins posts with phrases like “Let me clarify” and then doesn’t clear anything up. Gallagher now seems reduced to presenting quotes from sociologists allegedly intent on destroying civilization — surely the last refuge of a desperate conservative.

Aberrations, bastardizations and cabals

by Henry Farrell on October 19, 2005

“This”:, from Powell’s former chief-of-staff, is worth reading. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more score-settling speeches like this as message discipline among former administration types breaks down irrevocably. Scroll down – the venomous stuff is mostly towards the bottom.

bq. But the case that I saw for 4 plus years was a case that I have never seen in my studies of aberration, bastardizations, [UI], changes to the national security [UI] process. What I saw was a cabal between the Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the Secretary of Defense and [UI] on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.

bq. Read George Packer’s book The Assassin’s [Gate] if you haven’t already. George Packer, a New Yorker, reporter for The New Yorker, has got it right. I just finished it and I usually put marginalia in a book but, let me tell you, I had to get extra pages to write on. And I wish, I wish I had been able to help George Packer write that book. In some places I could have given him a hell of a lot more specifics than he’s got. But if you want to read how the Cheney Rumsfeld cabal flummoxed the process, read that book. And, of course, there are other names in there, Under Secretary of Defense Douglas [Feith], whom most of you probably know Tommy Frank said was stupidest blankety blank man in the world. He was. Let me testify to that. He was. Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man.

bq. And yet, and yet, after the Secretary of State agrees to a $400 billion department, rather than a $30 billion department, having control, at least in the immediate post-war period in Iraq, this man is put in charge. Not only is he put in charge, he is given carte blanche to tell the State Department to go screw themselves in a closet somewhere. That’s not making excuses for the State Department. …

bq. [UI] tell you how many contractors who did billion dollars or so business with the Defense Department that we have in 1988 and how many do we have now. And they’re always working together. If one of them is the lead on the satellite program, I hope there’s some Lockheed and Grumman and others here today [UI] if one of them’s a lead on satellites, the others are subs. And they’ve learned their lesson there in every state.

bq. They’ve got every Congressman, every Senator, they got it covered. Now, it’s not to say that they aren’t smart businessmen. They are, and women. They are. But it’s something we should be looking at, something we should be looking at. So you’ve got this collegiality there between the Secretary of Defense and the Vice President. And then you’ve got a President who is not versed in international relations. And not too much interested in them either.

Labour divided

by Henry Farrell on October 19, 2005

Confused by the internecine warfare in the US labour movement? Jim McNeill’s “new article”: for _Dissent_ is the best account that I’ve seen, giving a fair shake to both sides of the dispute.

Compelling Explanations

by Belle Waring on October 19, 2005

Wow, sign me up.

A leading architect of the intelligent-design movement defended his ideas in a federal courtroom on Tuesday and acknowledged that under his definition of a scientific theory, astrology would fit as neatly as intelligent design….

Listening from the front row of the courtroom, a school board member said he found Professor Behe’s testimony reaffirming. “Doesn’t it sound like he knows what he’s talking about?” said the Rev. Ed Rowand, a board member and church pastor.

Yeah, dude. It totally sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Also, did I ever tell you about the time I made a gravity bong? I cut off the bottom of a 2-liter bottle, and put it in the pool, and then….

Damn you, liberal elites!!

Wait, did you know that you can use a fish tank compressor and a gas mask to make an electric bong? Seriously dude, you have to listen to this. OMG, and did I ever tell you about this amazing juice fast I went on? You just use Grade B maple syrup and lemon juice… No, you have to promise me you’ll try this juice fast!

Civil Service

by Belle Waring on October 19, 2005

There is a fascinating article in the Washington Post today about Army Corps of Engineers whistleblower Bunnatine Greenhouse, who was demoted after denouncing a no-bid contract for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root. Often, in stories like these, the author will more or less stipulate that the subject’s life is “inspiring.” Mrs. Greenhouse’s life truly is inspiring:

Lost in the middle of cotton country in the Louisiana delta at the mid-century, Bunnatine Hayes and her siblings clung to such self-confidence like a life raft. Their parents, Chris and Savannah Hayes, were uneducated and numbingly poor, stuck in a world run by richer, more powerful whites. They raised their children with a ferocious, almost frightening drive. [click to continue…]