Is Don Giovanni really the greatest?

1 October 2007 21:08

Just received an email from Washington National Opera touting their new production of Don Giovanni in which they claim that it’s "widely regarded as the greatest opera ever composed". Is… Continue reading


America, Hell Yeah…

1 October 2007 20:09

Like everyone else, I gotta love this Saturday Night Live response to Mahmoud "No gays in Iran" Ahmadinejad. Hat-tip: GFR


In search of a Golden Age…

28 September 2007 20:06

When I saw that The Atlantic had a feature on "The Greatest Sports Book Ever Written" in its October edition I thought, well, that’s nice but I daresay they really… Continue reading


If she had chosen to support the Washington Nationals she wouldn’t embarrass herself in this fashion…

27 September 2007 23:25

This is why people hate politicians. Just when you start thinking that it might not be terrible if Hillary Clinton becomes the next President of the United States you, hear… Continue reading


Department of Reaping What You Sow

27 September 2007 22:50

I hadn’t paid any attention to the women’s World Cup until the US manager Greg Ryan decided it was a sensible notion to switch goalkeepers before yesterday’s semi-final against Brazil,… Continue reading


So, Mr (or Mrs) Candidate…

27 September 2007 21:39

Radley Balko has some questions he’d like to ask the Presidential candidates. I particularly liked: Do you think an atheist could be president? Do you think an atheist should be?… Continue reading


Band of Five Brothers

26 September 2007 19:15

Tee hee. Slate skewers Mitt Romney. How can people vote for this phoney? (Sorry about the irritating ad prefacing the spot.)


Brown does a Biden

26 September 2007 18:20

Danny Finkelstein notices what I should have noticed. Curses. Anyway, the Hand of Shrum was all over the Great Clunking Fist’s speech to the Labour party conference: How could I… Continue reading


Gordon Brown’s Best of British

25 September 2007 21:45

Earlier this year I wrote a piece for TNR’s website suggesting that Gordon Brown’s Scottishness might become a problem for him. Well, with Labour riding high in the polls and… Continue reading


Calling a spade by its proper name

25 September 2007 20:35

James Fallows is right: it’s Burma, not Myanmar. The generals can call their country whatever they like; we’re under no obligation to follow their lead. Equally, it’s Bombay not Mumbai,… Continue reading


A local post for local people

25 September 2007 18:39

Ezra Klein looks at lifestyle amenities of the sort that bright young white folks like to have in their city and observes that Portland and Seattle score better on this… Continue reading


Fat Bastard Actually Accurate Characterisation of the Modern Scot

25 September 2007 17:41

Oh great. Who knows, perhaps this is even true. I blame Glaswegians. Obesity levels in Scotland are the second highest in the developed world behind the USA, new statistics have… Continue reading


A Facebook Agony Uncle Emerges…

25 September 2007 17:06

What’s the appropriate way to deal with a "Will you be my Facebook Friend?" request from someone you don’t know? How many damn friends should you have anyway? The estimable… Continue reading

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Fred Thompson’s message to the world: your dead don’t count

25 September 2007 5:06

Many years ago now, I had occasion to change trains at Pisa en route to Perugia and it was there, I think, that I first became aware of the Ugly… Continue reading


Gore’s Imperative…

24 September 2007 21:57

Christopher Hitchens cranks up the Will Al Gore Run? motor for another outing: On Oct. 12, we shall hear again from Oslo, and I will be very surprised indeed if… Continue reading

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Save our hyphens!

24 September 2007 20:31

The OED is giving in to the Americans and the internet, abandoning the hyphen. Some 16,000 words in the new edition of the shorter OED have lost their hyphens. Examples… Continue reading

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Department of Problem Solving

24 September 2007 20:10

Ahmadinejad at Columbia: A) Question: why do you execute homosexuals? B) Ahmadinejad answers that, well, the US has capitol punishment too… C) The President then boasts of the efficiency of… Continue reading


Ahmadinejad and Irving

24 September 2007 19:45

Reasons why jailing David Irving for "Holocaust Denial" was a bad idea, cont.: It allows Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to say that clearly there must be something to this point of view… Continue reading


Nude Polish Women Party

24 September 2007 18:41

Let’s hear it for the Polish Women’s Party: "We are beautiful, nude, proud. We are true and sincere, body and soul. This is not pornography, there is nothing to see… Continue reading

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Way of the World: Off yer bike edition…

24 September 2007 17:16

Yes, it’s from the doom-peddlers at The Daily Mail, but still… A police force has banned hundreds of its officers from riding bicycles for safety reasons. Greater Manchester Police has… Continue reading


Columbia’s Persian problem

24 September 2007 16:57

I would not have invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University today, but now that the invitation has been made it should go ahead. In general, however, I agree… Continue reading


A September Surprise?

22 September 2007 2:26

A snap election in Britain? Iain Dale sees the latest good poll for Gordon Brown and reports that the Tories think it might happen: I understand that CCHQ [Conservative Central… Continue reading


You’re so vain, I bet you think this world is about you…

20 September 2007 21:57

I’ll have more to say on Rudy Giuliani’s trip to London in due course, but first this: Rudy Giuliani was on the trans-Atlantic campaign trail Wednesday, schmoozing with conservative idol… Continue reading


VORP over arabists? Not so much. Or, more proof that games played and RBIs are junk stats.

20 September 2007 20:39

Words just about fail me. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the latest Great Moment in Public Diplomacy: "Sports is a universal language… Everybody knows that if you can play… Continue reading

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Journalism 101

20 September 2007 18:25

Paul Krugman complains that the scale of Democratic triumphs is deliberately under-played by the American media. Conspiracy! In fact, it’s quite strange how the magnitude of the Democratic victory has… Continue reading