Archives for December, 2004

They’ll Never Kick Sand in Your Face Again

You know, since I mentioned Matt Furey, I’ve noticed that his “combat conditioning” ads aren’t just on Reason, but everywhere throughout the right-wing/libertarian blogosphere: Andrew Sullivan, Frontpagemag, etc. He’s clearly target-marketing the round-shouldered, keyboard-hunched, intellectual set. I’m picturing a bunch of geeks lathering themselves into a rage about Dan Rather and then popping out sets of Hindu pushups and wrestler’s bridges. Soon we’ll all have necks like Henry Rollins.

Or maybe not. Jim sends along this funny review of Furey from a UK ultimate fighting site. The reviewer (and BTW, this is much better writing than you get on Sherdog. Maybe it’s a British thing) notes:

Curiously enough, Furey uses the photograph of himself posing in front of the waterfall to promote his book. He looks in great shape – but the photo was taken when he was still an avid weight trainer, long before he’d met Karl Gotch and been inspired to write Combat Conditioning. On the actual CC book cover, Furey appears a lot fatter after having trained in Combat Conditioning.

The review also has links where you can get everything you need for free without paying for the Furey program.

Posted on Dec 29, 2004 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

No Smoking, Sorry


Inflate-a-Pub. (Via Boing-Boing).

Posted on Dec 29, 2004 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Everybody Loves Wesley

Check it out: the creepiest American general since Curtis Lemay thinks he’s funny:

December 26, 2004 — FORMER Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark is planning a new chapter of his career: He’s working on a sitcom.
Clark, a former U.S. Army general who lost in the Democratic primaries, is writing a television show based on his experiences.

It’s about a retired general who is reintegrating to civilian life after many years in the army.

“It’s going to be about what it’s like to be back in the real world,” said a source. Characters in the sitcom are going to be based on Clark’s real-life friends and acquaintances.

I don’t know whether that’s creepy, or funny.

Posted on Dec 28, 2004 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Blue State

Boy, the left is really taking this election hard. Look at the NYT Book Review of the New Yorker Cartoon Collection:

The appearance of this encyclopedic anthology, though it’s nominally linked to the The New Yorker’s 80th anniversary next year, can only feel a bit final and funereal, just as the volume’s slablike heft makes it feel like a tombstone. And though it would be foolish to suggest the medium has run its course and that renaissance and revival aren’t still possible (America might elect another Democratic Senate someday, too) one does sense that the cartoons have done the job they first set out to do: purging any lingering puritanism from their relatively well-heeled audience and replacing it with a smart-aleck self-awareness that suddenly — just look around — feels useless, lonely and crippling.

Posted on Dec 28, 2004 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

I’ll Kick Your Ass, Norman Vincent Peale

So yesterday, I was thinking about how I’m going to fulfill my New Year’s Resolution to get back in shape. I thought I’d check out the instructional videos and books offered by that dangerous-looking skinhead who advertises on the Reason website, the improbably named Matt Furey. But the prices were a little steep, so I looked on Amazon to see if I could pick up something used. I found that Furey has published a pamphlet that sounds custom-made for me: “How to achieve what you want without positive thinking.”

Posted on Dec 26, 2004 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

An Alan Cabal Christmas

I’d have linked to this yesterday if I remembered the URL for posting to my site. It’s not every Christmas essay that starts off with Aleister Crowley and crystal meth, but it’s as sweet in its own way as “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Posted on Dec 26, 2004 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

News Hook

So I guess the Washington Post had this detailed, three part series about murdered pregnant women all ready to go, and were just holding it until another pregnant woman got murdered in a grisly enough fashion to draw national attention? That’s kinda creepy.

Posted on Dec 21, 2004 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

No Wonder We Prefer Abstractions

For many who knew Alan before he was shot, the figure in the bed took a little time to get used to. He had been a guy who was comfortable in his body, and his was usually a body in motion. He never hesitated to jump out onto the floor of a dance club, and if there was a bridge spanning a river and it was a hot day, he’d probably jump off it, his friends said. Everyone recognized him as the guy in the bent-billed baseball cap who could be found driving around town in his GMC Sonoma pickup, fishtailing around curves if he was feeling a little adventurous, maybe hurtling off the road if he was feeling a little too adventurous. Because so many of Alan’s passions — tae kwon do, Honda motorcycles, crawling through caves — were driven by motion, his friends’ emotions were all mixed up when they first laid eyes on him….

Alan ran about 15 feet across the clearing toward Heit before he himself was hit. The bullet cored him, blowing a hole in his gut roughly the size and shape of a football. It grazed his liver, caught the spleen, destroyed 90 percent of his stomach, nipped the pancreas and bored numerous holes in the coils of his small intestine. He spun on his heels and fell onto the seat of his pants, his legs stretched straight out in front of him. His back was propped against his rucksack, and his helmet slipped over his eyes. To some of the other soldiers catching a glimpse of him there, he appeared as a figure in casual repose, a catnapper with a dark stain spreading under his shirt….

Though he recalls his childhood up through basic training, Alan indicated that he did not specifically remember Iraq. He didn’t remember being there, and didn’t even remember deploying to Kuwait. The sandstorms that filled the soldiers’ tents with grainy light had made no impression. He didn’t remember the abandoned military camps the soldiers in the 82nd Airborne had occupied as they moved toward Samawah. Rosie, however, a few weeks earlier had noticed an unusual reaction — a wide-eyed look of attention from him — as images of burned-out trucks appeared on TV. She had asked if he had seen images like those and he had nodded yes. Now, when asked again if images of burned-out trucks smoldering on a roadway sometimes flashed through his head, he raised one finger: Yes.

That’s from this Sunday’s Washington Post magazine. It tells the story of Pfc. Alan Babin, wounded last year in Samawah, Iraq. It’s one of the saddest Goddamned things I’ve ever read.

Posted on Dec 20, 2004 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments


I have a piece on the subject on Reason online this week.

Posted on Dec 19, 2004 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Me, Me, Me, Me

I have a column in today’s Orange County Register. Yes, I know, it just says “Cato Institute,” but if you go to the Commentary page it says my name. And I wrote it, I swear.

Posted on Dec 16, 2004 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Me on C-SPAN

C-Span II Book TV actually. This Saturday, tune in to see Judge Napolitano and me talk about law and liberty. Details here.

Posted on Dec 16, 2004 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Jenna in Mt. P.

My favorite member of the Bush clan (well maybe third favorite after Neal and his daughter Lauren), Jenna Bush, has applied for a job in my neighborhood at the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School. I look forward to watching her slide off her barstool at the Raven or Tonic. More likely she’s a Tonic girl. More upscale.

Posted on Dec 15, 2004 in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Self Promotion

I’ll be talking about overcriminalization at a Cato policy forum tomorrow. Judge Andrew Napolitano will also be there, talking about his new book Constitutional Chaos. If you can’t make it, watch the webcast.

Posted on Dec 13, 2004 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Get This

Does anybody else find this phrase, “so and so gets it” unbearably condescending? It’s like a little rhetorical head-pat: “he’s not all that sharp, but he understands this important point that smart people like me have long understood.” I even find it unreasonably patronizing in the case of our current president. Take this excerpt from Sunday’s Post:

“The president gets it, and this would be true for over a year,” said another U.S. official who did not want to be identified. “What really triggered it was the Khodorkovsky thing. Here was a guy who was in Washington right before” his arrest. “They took a guy who a lot of people had met and knew. From then on, the president started to get it.”

If I were the president, I’d find out what “U.S. official” was telling reporters that I “get it,” and then he’d get it.

Posted on Dec 13, 2004 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

The Ad Populum Fallacy

Title of the new Bon Jovi box set: “100 million Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong.”

Posted on Dec 12, 2004 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments