Archive for June, 2007

Mitt the Mutt

Posted on June 30th, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I think Mitt Romney’s an animal for strapping his dog to the roof of a car and driving on the highway for 12 hours…but even I wouldn’t go as far as this TIME reporter:

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals…called the incident “a lesson in cruelty that was … wrong for [his children] to witness…Thinking of the wind, the weather, the speed, the vulnerability, the isolation on the roof, it is commonsense that any dog who’s under extreme stress might show that stress by losing control of his bowels: that alone should have been sufficient indication that the dog was, basically, being tortured.” Romney, of course, has expressed support for the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques when it comes to terrorists; his campaign refused to comment about the treatment of his dog. (Emphasis added)

From how he treats his dog to condoning torture for terrorists—that’s a pretty irresponsible leap, no?

Oh, wait—the reporter is Ana Marie Cox. That explains it.

The Weirdness of Mitt Romney

Posted on June 30th, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

He strapped the family dog to the roof of his car…for a 12-hour drive. Presidential campaigns have collapsed for less…..

The freaked-out dog lost control of its bowels, at which point Romney stopped the car at a gas station, hosed down dog and car, left dog strapped to the roof, and kept driving.


The Clash of (Sic) CIvilizations

Posted on June 30th, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip, June 29 — A Mickey Mouse look-alike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas-affiliated children’s television program was beaten to death in the show’s final episode Friday.

In the final skit, the character Farfour was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour’s land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a “terrorist.”

—The Associated Press, June 30

Ann Coulter: Bitch Set Me Up*

Posted on June 29th, 2007 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Ann Coulter responds to Elizabeth Edwards’ telephone call to Hardball by claiming she was sandbagged by host Chris Matthews—whom she promptly trashes.

I doubled the ratings of the lowest-rated cable news show on Tuesday by agreeing to go on for a full hour to promote my new paperback version of “Godless” — a mistake I won’t make again….For the first time in recorded history, the show’s host did not interrupt a guest, but let Elizabeth Edwards ramble on and on, allowing her to browbeat me for being mean to her husband. …Say, did any TV host ever surprise Al Franken, Bill Maher or Arianna Huffington with a call by the wife of someone they’ve made nasty remarks about?

Apparently it is too painful for Coulter to mention the name Chris Matthews, even though Matthews has been a great boon to Coulter’s career.

Her response to Elizabeth Edwards is fascinating; she picks apart the details, while patently avoiding the larger question of whether she’s just a mean, terrible person whose contribution to political dialogue is bile and hate. Instead, she mentions (as I’ve seen her do repeatedly) that she’s written five New York Times bestsellers.

Coulter once suggested that the New York Times would have been a good target for Timothy McVeigh. But when it comes to validating the success of her work, it’s apparently good that the Times is still around.

*One of my favorite Marion Barry quotes.

Quote of the Day

Posted on June 29th, 2007 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

—Without Harvard, MIT, and other world-class universities, Boston would be Baltimore.

—Boston Globe correspondent Jonathan Unglaub, an associate professor at Brandeis, attacking anti-Harvard protesters in Cambridge.

It’s iDay

Posted on June 29th, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

In case you haven’t heard, a little thing called the iPhone goes on sale today….

Meanwhile, reports signs that the speed of AT&T’s much criticized Edge network, on which the iPhone runs when it’s not surfing Wi-Fi, has been boosted….

Shark Slaughter

Posted on June 29th, 2007 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

In the next few months, I hope, you’re going to be hearing a lot about a documentary called Sharkwater. Made by a Canadian named Rob Stewart, it’s not out in the United States yet, but will be this fall. A friend who has seen it says it’s amazing, and if you take a look at the preview linked to above, you may agree that it looks powerful.

Sharkwater tells the story of the international trade in shark fins, a commerce so lucrative that only drug smuggling can rival it. Shark fishermen around the world longline and net sharks, cutting off their fins and throwing the living animal back in the water to die. Shark meat, you see, is less lucrative than the fins, and if the fishermen kept the whole fish, they’d have less room for the valuable fins. It’s a horrific practice and it’s leading to the eradication of shark species around the globe.

In one scene in the film, Stewart came across two fishing boats near the Galapagos Islands which had put out 60 miles of longline hooks. Sixty miles. There were an estimated 16,000 baited hooks on those lines.

Americans don’t eat shark fin soup, of course. (The Chinese are the real problem here, just as the Japanese are with tuna and whales.) But we still host pointless and coarsening “monster shark” fishing tournaments, and we still eat shark.

Here’s a small thing you can do to save sharks: Don’t eat them. And if you’re in a restaurant that serves shark, please don’t order it, but instead pass a message to the chef that you don’t support the presence of shark on the menu.

It’s a small part of the solution, but it’s something.

Baby, You’re a Star

Posted on June 28th, 2007 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The fourth Indiana Jones movie is being filmed at Yale this summer….. Perhaps not coincidentally, Steven Spielberg’s son, Theo, will be a Yale sophomore in the fall.

The End of History

Posted on June 28th, 2007 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

On Larry King last night, the host asked Paris Hilton if she were strip-searched. (In the cheesiest possible way, that is a brilliant question.)

His follow-up: “Is it as gross as we think it is?”

And with that, a line was crossed….

Hilton’s response included the assertion that it was “the most humiliating experience of my life,” which begs the question: Really? Worse than, say, having a video of yourself performing oral sex distributed over the Internet?

Hilton also denies ever having used drugs, any kind of drug, other than a prescription for attention deficit disorder. But then, she also said that she read the Bible in jail.

All told, though, a typical softball interview from Larry King.

Good One, New Zealand

Posted on June 28th, 2007 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

I recently joined an e-mail campaign to try to get various countries to list spiny dogfish and porbeagle sharks on the CITES Appendix II, which would ensure some protection for the animals. (CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.)

New Zealand, one of the countries on the e-mail list, voted against the proposal. But I did get a very nice e-mail back from the Honorable Chris Carter, that country’s minister of conservation.

I represented New Zealand at the CITES meeting in the Hague. I listened to
the arguments and after very careful consideration I decided that New
Zealand could not support the proposal for a listing of the two species on
Appendix II of CITES. My main reasons for this were that only the North
East Atlantic populations of the two species met the biological and trade
criteria set out by CITES and that, in the end, a CITES listing would not
contribute greatly to changing the status of the populations of these
sharks in the affected area. A revision of EU fishing regulations would be
much more effective in protecting these local populations. What is needed
to improve the conservation status of the two shark species is proper
management of them in the North East Atlantic by the states concerned,
which to date has been conspicuously absent. The EU needs to show
leadership in resolving this issue.

Mr. Carter, I appreciate the response. New Zealand is generally outstanding on environmental issues, so I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

No response from the US yet…..