Friday, 13 May 2005

Nickname Derby

I nearly busted a gut when Michael Wilbon suggested the name “Golden Whizzinators” on PTI Thursday for the embattled Marquette Gold. Classic, simply classic.

The stupid question in all this is why the Marquette folks can’t just go back to “Warriors” and design a modern, non-Indian mascot, like a white dude wielding an M-16 or something. I mean, it’s hard to divorce yourself from the confederate sympathy brigade with a name like “Rebels” (Colonel Reb or no Colonel Reb), but you’d think “Warriors” would be generic enough that if they changed the logo everyone’d go, “OK, it has nothing to do with Indians now.”

MI-6 reports the obvious, news at 11

You know, I’d be stunned by this lead graf—at least, if it were written about the CIA:

Seven months before the invasion of Iraq, the head of British foreign intelligence reported to Prime Minister Tony Blair that President Bush wanted to topple Saddam Hussein by military action and warned that in Washington intelligence was “being fixed around the policy,” according to notes of a July 23, 2002, meeting with Blair at No. 10 Downing Street.

Accurate intelligence about something everyone in the whole world already knew at the time delivered by a Western intelligence service? Who’d have thunk it? Give them a cookie. (þ: memeorandum)

Yadda yadda Yalta

Long-lost blogger Jacob Levy returns to The New Republic Online with a strong defense of President Bush’s condemnation of the Yalta agreement (and, I suppose, by extension, the Tehran agreement that preceded it) between Britain, the Soviets, and the United States during World War II. Money quote:

Yalta may not be a reference that excites many Americans but it's hardly a forgotten word in Eastern Europe or the Baltics. The historical chords struck by the word "Yalta"—in a week that was, after all, mainly about striking 60-year-old historical chords—continue to evoke for many in Eastern Europe the West's betrayal of their freedom. Twenty years ago, Zbigniew Brzezinski, hardly a right-wing nutcase, wrote in Foreign Affairs that the symbolic, as opposed to the historical, meaning of Yalta had come to serve as "the synonym for betrayal." This may be an obscure thought in America. It is certainly not in Poland or the Baltics.

Levy’s argument strikes me as rather more convincing than the dopey “coded slam at FDR” nonsense peddled by David Greenburg and others. Then again, one wonders how Levy managed to write the phrase “Bush’s skillful diplomacy” with a straight face—even I got a chuckle out of that one, although in this case he’s right.

(þ: Will Baude and Pejman Yousefzadeh)

Elliptical trainers are evil

I spent all of five minutes on an elliptical trainer yesterday and my calves still hurt today. Not fun. I guess I’ll stick with the bike and treadmill.


I had lunch today with fellow Jackson blogger Shawn Lea at Char… the food was excellent (very good fried catfish and pecan pie) and the company delightful. We shall have to do it again sometime.

Shelby Thames making his own press

If you’re a college president who doesn’t like your public image, there’s always the solution of getting your PR flacks to come up with a 32-page puff piece about your “leadership” at taxpayer expense. Download it here in all its glory.

BRAC list not as bad as anticipated

James Joyner and Jeff Quinton have links to the real BRAC list, which wasn’t quite as sweeping as anticipated here. The only meaningful casualty in Mississippi is NS Pascagoula, which co-blogger Robert Prather points out is little more than a 20-year-old Trent Lott pork project.

Columbus AFB will actually gain jobs, Keesler will lose about 400 positions (about half contractor positions), and NAS Meridian only loses 16 jobs total.