blog report

Dumb and Dumber

November 18, 2004

The Daily Howler provides a well-deserved smackdown to Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post, who, in a column yesterday, argued that there’s nothing wrong with our voting process and it’s silly that anyone is worried about it.

Applebaum thinks that believing we need a more transparent voting system is like believing that banks could be “using secret software to steal $9.72 from your retirement account every week.” But The Howler points out that, “If banks were allowed to run audit-free systems, many banks would of course steal your money!” We think The Howler might have added: “Only a Washington Post columnist could be this dumb.”

Speaking of dumb, Andrew Sullivan brings word that an East Texas town is ending an old homecoming tradition in which boys dress like girls and vice versa. A lawyer for the conservative Liberty Legal Institute says: “It is outrageous that a school … would encourage their 4-year olds to be cross-dressers.” Who knows the life-altering implications?

Meanwhile, David Adesnik of Oxblog describes life at Yale: “Even though our professors never gave us lectures about chastity and romance, there was a firm set of ethics that pervaded campus life. One might call it libertarianism. We were taught to respect the decisions and opinions of others. We were taught that imposing our values on others is unacceptable. More often than not, living up to that ideal requires both character and courage.” The post is titled “For Ivy Leaguers Only.” We think that’s meant to be ironic.

Digby has the rundown on the hilarious “Monday Night Football”/”Desperate Housewives” promo flap. A reader wonders whether some people are upset about the fact that it showed a white woman jumping into the arms of a black man. Says Digby: “Never underestimate the ability of racists to rationalize their bigotry with calls to morality.”

And over at In the Agora, Eric Seymour has found what he describes as “one of the funniest (yet cool in a geeky sort of way) stories I’ve read in a while. A guy in Texas (where else?) has a .22 caliber rifle with a webcam and internet-enabled aiming system. His website allows people with paid memberships to shoot at paper targets. It may soon allow members to shoot at live animals.” In case you wanted to know about Seymour’s political views: “He is a staunch conservative both fiscally and socially, though his social stances are tempered by a strong sympathy with libertarian ideals.” Thanks for clearing that up.

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–Zachary Roth

Zachary Roth is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly. He also has written for The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Talking Points Memo, among other outlets.