"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
- Mark Twain

"Anyone who combines politics and baseball is an idiot, because everyone knows that ping-pong is the greatest sport. Oh, and I'm really a Communist who hates NASCAR and listens to Joan Baez in the dark.
-- Glenn Reynolds

About the author
Andre Vladimir Sebastian is a figment of your imagination. Honestly, you really could have done better than him, now couldn't you? Next time, put a little effort into it.

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Pretending to be a quality blog since 3/09/2003.

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The Brilliant Bloom
The Atlantic has a great interview with Harold Bloom. If you have any interest in literature whatsoever, you really should read it. Here are a few choice quotes:

If you spend a lifetime reading and teaching and writing, I would think that the proper attitude to take toward Shakespeare, toward Dante, toward Cervantes, toward Geoffrey Chaucer, toward Tolstoy, toward Plato—the great figures—is indeed awe, wonder, gratitude, deep appreciation. I can't really understand any other stance in relation to them. I mean, they have formed our minds.

What theory did the great critics have? Critics like Dr. Samuel Johnson or William Hazlitt? Those who adopt a theory are simply imitating somebody else. I believe firmly that, in the end, all useful criticism is based upon experience. An experience of teaching, an experience of reading, one's experience of writing—and most of all, one's experience of living. Just as wisdom, in the end, is purely personal. There can be no method except the Self.

  posted by AVS @ 25.7.03


How'd That Get In There?
What do you know, an unbiased and fair story about Iraqi reaction to the killing of the Hussein boys -- in The New York Times.

  posted by AVS @ 25.7.03

Still Fearful
This is why $25 million is not too much to pay to find Saddam, and why we should have tried to capture Uday and Qusay instead of killing them in combat.

  posted by AVS @ 25.7.03

Let Them In!
I love these guys! Eleven Cubans (if you include the baby) drove a 1951 Chevy pickup to the beach, outfitted it with pontoons, stuck a propeller onto the drive shaft, and drove the sucker to within 40 miles of Florida! "We thought that they would let us in because it was so outrageous," one of them told the AP. "If they had let us get to Key West, we would have been able to drive it right onto the sand." (Just like James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me.) With that kind of ingenuity, this crew could be millionaires in a decade. Alas, Customs sent them back to prison, er, Cuba, to await who knows what fate -- most likely prison -- and that's the part of this story that is most outrageous of all.

  posted by AVS @ 24.7.03


Say It Ain't So, Joey
Boy, does this have "flop" written all over it.

  posted by AVS @ 24.7.03

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme The News
Yet Another public official has falsely claimed to have a Ph.D. You'd think people in the public eye would've learned by now not to lie on their resumes.

  posted by AVS @ 24.7.03

Willie & Dennis
I knew Willie Nelson was a little bit off. But I didn't know he was so far off that he'd become a Dennis Kucinich supporter.

  posted by AVS @ 24.7.03

Sad Day For NYC
A city council candidate in New York City shot to death his main political rival today, councilman James Davis -- in City Hall -- then died in a hail of gunfire unleashed by a police officer who was nearby. Davis, of Brooklyn, was a former NYPD officer. Both the assailaint, Othniel Askew, and Davis somehow walked into City Hall, which has metal detectors, without anyone discovering that they were armed. Davis never had a chance to draw his holstered gun. Ironically, Davis was founder of Love Yourself, Stop The Violence, a group he formed to teach children how to solve their problems in nonviolent ways. According to the group's Web site, Davis convinced Toys R Us to stop selling toy guns that looked like real guns, not because he was anit-gun, which he obviously was not, but because police were shooting kids who were pretending the toy guns were real. He also took on MTV for the violent content of some music videos.

In an open letter on his Web site, Davis comes across as a sensible, caring guy, who really wanted to change his community for the better:

Too often I have seen little boys and girls, with their beautiful faces, lying inside tiny coffins -- their lives stolen much too soon. Too frequently I hear the cries of grief as mothers and fathers gaze upon the lifeless bodies of their young children. It is the spirit of these slain children which drives me to continue fighting to stop the senseless killings in urban America.

Many children in urban America grow up amid gang violence, poor housing conditions and overcrowded schools. There is graffiti on street corners, single parent households, drug abuse, teen pregnancies and unemployment. Families are torn apart because the fathers are in jail and the mothers are on crack cocaine. Too many men create babies then turn their backs on helping to raise them. In this hostile environment, keeping families together is nearly impossible. As a result, the streets are raising our children and the effect is a community ravaged by crime, violence and drug addicts. Identifying the problem is only the first step, now the question is, how do we fix it?

To correct the problem we have to look inward and fix the problem in the home. Raising children in a safe and healthy environment requires mending broken family structures and relationships. Many families need two incomes to survive, and consequently, children are frequently left unsupervised. Lack of supervision often leads to criminal behavior, so it's important for children to have after-school programs that offer tutoring, computer training, reading, writing, math, speech and language workshops to keep them occupied with worthwhile endeavors....

I have heard parents say, "the violence in the streets is not my problem, I raised my child properly." Their vision is too narrow. They fail to see that if the child next door or down the block or in the next neighborhood succumbs to the lure of drugs and street violence, the poisonous disease of crime and drug abuse will spread to their neighborhood, their block and even their child. To fix the problem we must provide a safety net on the street. If a child has to be left alone for a few hours each day because his or her parent is working, there should be other adults from the community to step in and supervise that child and occupy him or her with meaningful and educational projects. With safety nets such as these in place in the community, we stand a better chance of preventing that child from falling into the bottomless pit of crime and violence.

I don't know Davis' politics, but this sounds like a very culturally conservative message to me. If more men in inner-city America were living what James Davis preached, this would be a better country.

  posted by AVS @ 23.7.03


Biased Blog Story
The Boston Globe does a story on the convergence of blogs and politics -- and focuses entirely on left-wing bloggers. No mention of good, conservative Massachusetts bloggers like Viking Pundit.

  posted by AVS @ 23.7.03

Military and Media in Iraq
Donald Sensing over at One Hand Clapping has some good posts on Iraq, including a letter from a U.S. Special Forces soldier who criticizes the media's coverage.

  posted by AVS @ 21.7.03

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