Life Imitates Ted (again)

by Henry Farrell on June 26, 2007

“Norman Podhoretz”: on the _National Review Cruise_, 2007.

“Aren’t you embarrassed by the absence of these weapons?” Buckley snaps at Podhoretz. He has just explained that he supported the war reluctantly, because Dick Cheney convinced him Saddam Hussein had WMD primed to be fired. “No,” Podhoretz replies. “As I say, they were shipped to Syria. During Gulf war one, the entire Iraqi air force was hidden in the deserts in Iran.” He says he is “heartbroken” by this “rise of defeatism on the right.” He adds, apropos of nothing, “There was nobody better than Don Rumsfeld. This defeatist talk only contributes to the impression we are losing, when I think we’re winning.” The audience cheers Podhoretz. The nuanced doubts of Bill Buckley leave them confused. Doesn’t he sound like the liberal media? Later, over dinner, a tablemate from Denver calls Buckley “a coward.” His wife nods and says, “Buckley’s an old man,” tapping her head with her finger to suggest dementia.

“Ted Barlow”: on the _National Review Cruise_, 2003.

4:00 (Lounge 3) Seminar: Dealing with Cognitive Dissonance: Economics

Lie down and relax, as the staff of the National Review explain, in soothing tones, how the massive growth in government spending, net loss of jobs, the steel tariff, and explosive deficit growth during the Bush presidency are all part of a clever, clever plan. So clever. (Featuring ambient mix by Mobius Dick- Glenn Reynolds samples the first Orb album in its entirety and then adds, “Indeed” in a dreamy voice. CDs available.) (Note: Dealing with Cognitive Dissonance: Iraq attracted more interest than anticipated. We will cover WMDs in a special session on Thursday)

Looks like the Thursday session ended up getting delayed again …

I’d prefer an ordinary afternoon…

by Eszter Hargittai on June 26, 2007

Comparing the hills during and after the fire

Just this morning I was contemplating how horrible it must be for the people who suddenly lost their homes in the fire around Lake Tahoe. By the afternoon I was watching firefighters from my office window battle flames on Stanford’s hills.

I was sitting at my desk already unable to work having just received word about the death of Peter Marris, Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at UCLA, dear husband of Dolores Hayden who was a fellow Fellow at CASBS this year. The two of them had to end their year at the Center early, because Peter was sick, but I don’t think any of us expected things to escalate so quickly.

Unable to concentrate on work, I turned around to look at the beautiful view from my office. I spotted some big red flames. Soon I realized that a large area around it was completely black with smoke and flames on the periphery. Eventually sirens and helicopters appeared, as did firefighters. Some of the smoke was now white not just black, apparently a good sign. But not all the black smoke disappeared and an hour later there was still much activity. I went to an event and by the time I got back to my office, another hillside was completely black (see the difference in the left area of the two photos above).

How quickly things can change.