Archive for March, 2010

Shots in the Dark Goes…Dark

Posted on March 31st, 2010 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Just a heads-up: Next week I’ll be leaving on vacation, and almost surely won’t be able to blog during it. (Check the link, you’ll see why.)

Never fear: SITD will return when I do.

Mr. Clinton Comes to Yale

Posted on March 31st, 2010 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

He’ll be delivering the Class Day address.

I usually try not to take sides between my college and my graduate school, but on this one, Yale beats Harvard hands down.

Bailing on Blackberry

Posted on March 31st, 2010 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The WSJ reports that while 92% of iPhone users wouldn’t switch to another phone, and 87% of Android users wouldn’t…

39% of BlackBerry owners said they “definitely or probably would” nab an iPhone. And roughly one-third of the participants claimed they’d snatch up an Android phone.

What’s the reason? Blackberries are still overwhelmingly associated with work—and more and more smartphone users want their phone to represent fun and creativity as well as the demands of the office.

In Florida, All Fished Out

Posted on March 31st, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Times has a really interesting piece about how there are so few fish in Florida waters that seafood joints in the state are importing fish from Asia and elsewhere. One restaurant actually labels it “local” because the distributor who sells it to them is local.

Mr. Hill, 59, a serious-sounding man in a flowered shirt, ran down the list. The salmon was from Norway. The yellowfin tuna? Frozen, from Ecuador. And the dolphin, or mahi mahi? Ecuador as well, Mr. Hill said, adding that in about a month, it could be caught locally.

The problem, of course, is that we’re eating too much fish: The oceans can’t long provide what we’re taking from them, and no one wants to admit that because, well, fish is tasty, and when it doesn’t contain mercury, healthy.

So when we overfish local waters, we fly fish in from around the world—and the environmental consequences of that aren’t so great, either. What would help is a renewed appreciation that fish is a delicacy, not an everyday food….

The Pope is Cross

Posted on March 31st, 2010 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

And he’s fighting mad, too.

The Vatican on Tuesday dismissed any notion that Pope Benedict XVI should take personal responsibility for the child-sexual-abuse scandal rocking the church, defending his management of such cases and vowing that the crisis would not interrupt what historians view as his conservative agenda for Catholics around the world.

So predictable. And so wrong—not just as a matter of morality, but as a matter of public relations. The more he fights, the longer the Church’s sex problem stays in the news, and the more it’s attached to him. Why not address it honestly? The truth will set the Church free.

It’s hard to believe that the Pope has a hotline to God when he acts like such a dolt.

Enough with the Rain Already

Posted on March 30th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

I know I’m starting to sound like Larry David, but…seriously. This is getting ridiculous.

Is It Just Me…

Posted on March 30th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

…or has this year’s Harvard Crimson been singularly boring?

I know Drew Faust isn’t generally great copy, but still…

Is Larry Summers Headed for the Door—Again?

Posted on March 29th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 27 Comments »

Fox Business News reports that he’s been “telling associates” he’s gone by the end of the year….

Gasparino quoted Wall Street executives who deal with key members of Obama’s economic team, who suggest that Summers may be unhappy in his job.

What next then? Back to Harvard? D.E. Shaw?

The Pope is Like Jesus?

Posted on March 29th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

The former Nazi appears to have a pattern of covering up child molestation by  priests. But yesterday, the New York Post reports, New York’s new archbishop, Timothy Dolan, compared the criticism of the pope to “‘the same unjust accusations, shouts of the mob and scourging at the pillar’ suffered by Christ.

“Sunday Mass is hardly the place to document the inaccuracy, bias and hyperbole of such aspersions,” Dolan told parishioners, “but Sunday Mass is indeed the time for Catholics to pray for Benedict our pope.”

“The recent tidal wave of headlines about abuse of minors by some few priests — this time in Ireland, Germany and a rerun of an old story from Wisconsin — has knocked us to our knees again,” he said.

In other words, take my word for it—the Pope is innocent.

I don’t think there are many American Catholics who will take this argument on faith. The Church has been too battered in recent years; faith in God is not the same as faith in priests.

Does anyone really believe, for example, that the number of pedophile priests was “some few”?

And labeling the Wisconsin scandal a “rerun of an old story”—even though no one’s ever heard of it before and the church has for years tried (still is trying) to hush it up—is pure political spin, cynicism in a way that challenges faith.

By the way, here’s another funny argument, from Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat (who himself, in an initiation into a similar kind of priesthood, once went skinny-dipping with William F. Buckley, Jr. But never mind.)

Emphasis added:

In reality, the scandal implicates left and right alike. The permissive sexual culture that prevailed everywhere, seminaries included, during the silly season of the ’70s deserves a share of the blame, as does that era’s overemphasis on therapy. (Again and again, bishops relied on psychiatrists rather than common sense in deciding how to handle abusive clerics.)

This is a fine example of a silly Washington habit of trying to fit everything into a conservative/liberal dichotomy—and then blaming the liberals.

Bishops turned to psychiatrists as a means of keeping these matters out of the criminal justice system—and the headlines—not because they believed in psychiatry because they were infused by the “permissive sexual culture” of the day. I’d like to see one shred of documentation of that; I’m no expert on this, but I’d bet that the Church was railing against that sexual culture.

What’s more interesting is why it turned for help to psychiatrists and not other priests.

Fish on the Brain

Posted on March 29th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The Huffington Post has a feature on the 9 problems destroying our oceans; overfishing is #1.

Here’s one thing you can do to help: Download this free iPhone app, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Guide.

It’ll tell you what fish you should avoid buying/eating, either because it’s overfished, farmed in an environmentally damaging way, or could be mercury-infused: Don’t eat chilean seabass, Atlantic cod, mahi mahi, Atlantic halibut, and so on; do have Pacific halibut, Alaskan wild salmon, and shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.

I used this app at a restaurant on Saturday night and got the answers I wanted. Who knows—the chef may have been lying—but at least he or she knew that people care where their food comes from, and that it be harvested in a sustainable fashion.