Thursday, December 30, 2004

Blowing off steam: music

I was listening to some Leonard Cohen, when I heard a familiar tune called Hallelujah, from 1984's Various Positions.

At first, I couldn't place the tune, but then I recognized that I had first heard it on the West Wing, right after Simon gets shot in the convenience store robbery. The version I had heard was Jeff Buckley's ethereal 1994 remake, off Grace. Grace also had Buckley classics "Last Goodbye" and "Lover, You Should've Come Over" (which was remade, in turn, by Jamie Cullum).

So now I am (via Real Rhapsody) enjoying a Jeff Buckley-fest. Good thing, too. My mother just stopped me from doing the other thing I do when stressed, which is to shave my head.

She pointed out that I would need a good hat, first. Thanks, mom.

Yeah, me too.

(post deliberately short to avoid interference with grade-checking)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Still missing--

Amos Mortier. If you can spare $5 or $10 bucks, go to this website and contact Amos' mom. I'm sure it is hideously expensive to continue to publicize his disappearance.

Again, if Amos were a young, attractive female college student, our collective rape fascination would guarantee lots of free TV time. Instead, there have been only two newspaper stories in the past month, both of them occasioned by a fundraiser the searchers had arranged to raise money for the search.

I can't help but think that if we collectively spent a quarter of the time and money we spent unraveling the Audrey Seiler hoax on finding Amos, we would have found him.

James Joyce

December 29th, 1916 is the day that Joyce first published in full his novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

It was semi-autobiographical, retelling the evolution of Stephen Dedalus, a young writer (who would later be one of the main characters in the seminal Ulysses). It's a terrific book -- don't listen to those curmudgeons who mock Joyce as too difficult. Dedalus resolves to leave Ireland and "forge in the smithy of [his] soul the unforged conscience of [his] race." I've always been inspired by that line, which I think smacks of the attitude spurned by one of his namesakes, Daedalus.

Daedalus, of course, was the Greek inventor who forged wings for himself and for his son Icarus. Icarus, reveling in the sensation of flight and ignoring his father's admonitions, flew too close to the sun (which was much lower in those days) and fell when the wax his father used to stick the wings together melted in the heat. Stephen Dedalus, too, wants to fly away from his island, but he seems to have more than a little of Icarus in him, too, a brash sort of confidence in his own abilities. How many works of literature have really represented a new-forged conscience for the human race?

Or so I recall. It's been several years since I read the book. Perhaps I will take it up in my week off after I finish this ill-conceived beast.

To my 10 or so readers: Status

Sorry folks. I have been absent longer than I intended.

First, Christmas was as crazy as you might expect. I'd say it was good, except that I got hit with some mutant strain of flu and spent most of the last four days in bed. Delightful!

Now I have about 12 days to write the first draft of my law review submission. The research is mostly done, and I wrote an introduction last semester, but that leaves a lot of ground to cover. Worse, I'm not able to shake the feeling that my original thesis is not correct, so I am struggling to reformulate without junking the whole project.

I expect that blogging will be somewhat light while I work through the project, although I will come and blow off steam periodically, mostly by talking about poetry and music.

With kind regards,

1328 American Deaths in Iraq

Saturday, December 25, 2004

You make the call.

Did Winter like her Christmas gifts? You decide. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Tonight, I am getting ready to go out of town for Christmas. We will leave tomorrow after the Mrs. gets off work. We're doing Christmas this year at my sister's house near Minneapolis.

This is all by way of saying that I won't be posting again until probably the 26th. My warmest wishes to all of you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

That's my kid

(Overheard dialogue. SIL is my sister in law. D is my daughter.)

D: I think I have one of those canker sores on my hand.

SIL: On your hand? (incredulously).

D: Either that or I have frostbite.

SIL: You don't have frostbite. (somewhat disparagingly).

Whereupon my daughter, whose name is Frost, bit her own finger.

Matt White: inflicting his bizarre sense of humor on another generation through his progeny.

1324 American Deaths in Iraq

Bad day in Iraq today.

Lloyd Dobler

Lloyd Dobler is a great philosopher.

My question for you: Say Anything came out 1989. Lloyd articulated a rule of "draw[ing] the line at 7 unreturned phone calls." How, if at all, is that rule modified with the advent of e-mail?

I look forward to your comments.

Monday, December 20, 2004

1310 American Deaths in Iraq

Friday, December 17, 2004

Useless trivia that fascinate me

I recognized a voice today while listening to "Do You See" by Warren G. I'm talking about the voice at the beginning of the track that says

The Blues has always been totally American.
As American as apple pie,
As American as The Blues,
As American as apple pie,
The question is why.
Why should The Blues be so at home here?
Well, America provided the atmosphere.

If you search for these words on Google, you will only get Warren G lyrics. I hope this post will eventually remedy that.

The original lyrics came from Gil Scott-Heron's "The Bicentennial Blues." Gil Scott-Heron is probably most famous for his "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." I got interested in his music when I heard "Work for Peace" on WORT, a Madison community radio station.

UPDATE: The post was originally titled "useless trivia that fascinates me." I realized that "trivia" is plural, like data. Is the singular "trivium?"

UPDATE 2: Yup! I admit to being a bit of a logophile.

Jury Duty

I just checked my mail and I got summoned for jury duty in January. I suppose it wouldn't look good next year applying to the Bar if I had a forfeiture on my record for refusing to appear for jury duty.

Actually, I think I would like to do jury duty, to see what it is like. I'm just worried about the possibility of missing two weeks (or more!) of class next semester.

The Other Matt made me do it

I ordinarily disdain these quizzes, but how am I to resist the entreaty of the charming and intelligent Matt? So, one time exception.

Three Names You Go By: Matt, Matthew, Butt (my niece can't say "Matt").

Three Screennames You Have: mpwhite, mpaulwhite, inthehousealone (it's a pun, not a pickup line).

Three Things You Like About Yourself: Loyalty, Empathy, and my Metabolism, which hasn't failed me yet.

Three Things You Dislike About Yourself: I'm shy, I procrastinate, and I'll think up a third answer later.

Three Parts of Your Heritage: German, Norwegian, English

Three Things That Scare You: Failure, Being in a social situation without backup, and carnies.

Three of Your Everyday Essentials: Coffee, Food, and Intellectual Stimulation

Three Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
Shirt, Pants. Three things? My heart on my sleeve?

Three of Your Favorite Bands/Artists (at the moment): Counting Crows, The Cure, REM

Three of Your Favorite Songs at Present: Debussy, Dialogue du vent et de la mer; The Cure, Love Song; Belle and Sebastian, Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying.

Three New Things You Want to Try in the Next 12 Months: I'd like to exercise more, to read a book for pleasure, and to sleep.

Three Things You Want in a Relationship (love is a given): Loyalty, compassion, and a respect for who I am, rather than who I could be.

Two Truths and a Lie: (in no particular order)
I speak Spanish better when I've had at least two beers, I failed out of school as an undergraduate, and I have an encyclopedic memory when it comes to classifying various forms of fungus that grow on the human body. Was that too obvious?

Three Physical Things About the Opposite Sex (or same) That Appeal to You: Intelligence, sophistication, and an easy smile.

Three Things You Just Can’t Do: Vote Republican, quit drinking coffee, and play guitar.

Three of Your Favorite Hobbies: Poetry, football, politics.

Three Things You Want to do Really Badly Right Now:
Be done with school for a couple weeks, take a nap, and eat something really tasty. I'd say sex, but I never want to do sex really badly.

Three Careers You’re Considering: Lawyer. You think I have three options in mind halfway through law school? Ok, maybe a writer or a swimming-pool cleaner.

Three Places You Want to Go on Vacation: Pacific Northwest, England, or Europe

Three Kids’ Names: I named my three kids Frost (after the poet), Hale (after my grandfather), and then Winter (inevitable after the first two).

Three Things You Want to Do Before You Die: Get laser surgery on my eyes, write a novel, be a judge or a lawprof.

Three People You Want to Take this Quiz: Jennifer, Ryan, and Stephanie.

From her mother's womb untimely ripp'd...


Studying for too long

This is me, taking a study break. I am so sick of trying to memorize all the possible exceptions that make hearsay admissible that I just want to hear someone say something to me. Anything. Please. I need an interlude, but I don't want to read anything, and I doubt that trying to fix the blog's XML feed is going to be as relaxing as I'd hope.

I should be much happier in 24 hours, then happier still in four or five days, then happier still the second week of January.


I added an XML feed to the site, since I personally am constantly forgetting to read a blog unless it syndicates to my Bloglines account.

UPDATE: Of course, this post isn't coming through on the feed. Has anyone else tried this? Let me know if it works for you.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


I'm in a bit of a funk, which I guess the in inevitable result of eight hours of listening to Counting Crows and the Cure.

Love Song. God, I could listen to this all day.

Er, I guess I just did.

John Koethe, "This Morning"

To see things as they are is hard,
But leaving them alone is harder;
Snow in patches in the yard,
The vacuum in the sky, and in the soul
The movements of temptation and refusal.
I felt a day break. Nothing happened.
The windows gave upon a street
Where cars drove by as usual to the faint,
Unearthly measures of a music
Whose evasions struggled to conceal a
Disappointment all the deeper that the
Hope was for a thing I knew to be unreal.
I can't do it yet. Perhaps no one can do it yet.
The unconstructed gaze is still a fiction
Of the heart, a hope that hides
The boring truth of life within the limits
Of the real, a life whose only heaven
Is the surface of a slowly turning globe.
Yet still I want to think I woke one day to —
To what? The crystal trees, an earthly silence
And the white, unbroken snow of a first morning?


I love this line: "Snow patches in the yard, / The vacuum in the sky, and in the soul / The movements of temptation and refusal." I love the way the bleakness of the external landscape mirrors the "boring truth of life within the limits of the real, a life whose only heaven is the surface of a slowly turning globe."

The poem then, is about a disappointment at the lack of meaning that the speaker finds in the world, despite his reluctant hopes to find such a meaning. Note the opening: To see things as they are is hard, / But leaving them alone is harder. The speaker is unsure whether it is possible to perceive an objective reality (The unconstructed gaze is still a fiction / Of the heart...) without imprinting human values or narrative. The speaker concludes with a confession of a yearning for that same narrative that taints his or her "unconstructed gaze."

What do you all think about the poem?

Once upon a time, I had an English professor (Intro to Modern British Lit, Professor Baker) who would begin every other paragraph of his lecture with "The poem/novel, then, is about..." I loved that guy. I think when we did Conrad's Heart of Darkness, to my mind one of the greatest works of modernist fiction, I made a list of all the things Professor Baker said the novel was "about." It came to 43.

I leave you now to return to my study, trying to ignore the "movements of temptation and refusal" in my own soul.

Workathon, day..

...what day was it again? 10?

Studying for exams and realizing how much I have learned is what enables me to sign the financial aid paperwork that will be coming shortly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

King of the Rain

Whatever happened to the good old Adam Duritz, the guy whose heart rending vocals and angst-filled lyrics made me fall in love?

The last couple albums (Hard Candy, This Desert Life) have been pretty crappy by comparison to the first two (August and Everything After particularly, but also Recovering the Satellites). The cutting edge is off all his metaphors (elephants and circuses?). This is a band and a singer who made me swoon when I saw them perform "Round Here" in concert. Duritz has this gift for stopping, mid-song, to insert these dreamy interludes, full of references to other songs but still within the theme of the larger piece. I can't recall what it was he put in Round Here all those years ago that fit so perfectly, but if you are browsing, you might be able to find a particularly good live version of Round Here that cuts in the middle to Springsteen's "Thunder Road." It's so seamless that you'd think the original song was written that way.

UPDATE: Look at this to see some of the array of songs he interweaves.

UPDATE 2: Egads! It was a live version of Rain King that had the Thunder Road lyrics. Shame, shame on me.

1307 American Deaths in Iraq

Not Funny?

The transcript of comedian Jon Stewart's not-so-funny October debate with CNN "Crossfire" hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala was the No. 1 "blogged" news item of 2004 at, according to marketing intelligence firm Intelliseek.

Bloggers linked to the "Crossfire" transcript in their online commentaries 1,880 times in 2004...

Not so funny? Did they see Stewart? "You're hurting America."

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

An UberDork's confession

I believe that God put George R.R. Martin on the Earth so that geeks like me would stop being mad about how long it takes Robert Jordan to write a book.

It's been taking Jordan about two years a book for the last few books in Wheel of Time, which, combined with the ballooning number of characters and subplots, makes me worry that the ending of the series may die with him.

Martin, in a spectacular show of one-upmanship, released the first three books of his Song of Ice and Fire in 1997, 1999, and 2000.

The fourth book, A Feast For Crows? Coming to bookstores near you in the summer of 2005. You have to have a lot of faith in yourself to leave your fans hanging on a series for almost five years between books. I doubt this next book is the last one in the series, either, leaving me to contemplate the possibility that I might not finish a series that I began at 21 by the time I am 40.

P.S. are they actually the same guy? You be the judge.

Are they the same guy? Posted by Hello

I think maybe they are! Posted by Hello

1302 American Deaths in Iraq

Monday, December 13, 2004

1296 American Deaths in Iraq

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hateful things

via Legal Fiction, a Creative Syndicate columnist spouting eugenic crap about the Desperate Housewives ad on MNF a couple weeks ago:

But the ad's message also was that interracial sex is normal and legitimate, a fairly radical concept for both the dominant media as well as its audience.

Nevertheless, for decades, interracial couples of different sexes have been sneaked into advertising, movies and television series, and almost certainly not because of popular demand from either race. The Owens-Sheridan match is only the most notorious to date.

In the minds of those who produced the ad, race is at least as important as the moral and aesthetic norms their ad subverts.


Breaking down the sexual barriers between the races is a major weapon of cultural destruction because it means the dissolution of the cultural boundaries that define breeding and the family and, ultimately, the transmission and survival of the culture itself.

There you have it, folks. Take me out and shoot me before I hurt America again.

My Conlaw class

...on Religion and the Constitution would be much easier if Sandra Day O'Connor wasn't constantly muddling up nice clean doctrine with balancing tests and factors.

Curse you, O'Connor!

Okay, Sandra, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it baby. It's just that you make daddy so mad when you refuse to choose a test to decide if my school funding program violates the Establishment clause. Can't you see why daddy gets upset when all he wants to know is if his tacky, city-funded creche is an unconstitutional breach of church-state separation?

Day 4: desperation sets in

...wherein Matt, frazzled beyond belief, starts singing "your son is a fricking dumbass" to the words of "we wish you a merry Christmas."

4 down, 30 to go.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Day 3

of end of semester workathon.

Today, in our exciting saga, Matt:

finally figures out OSHA! Ok, sorta.
eats Rice Krispie treats by the handful!
frets about impending failure in Conlaw!

Stay tuned!

1288 American Combat Deaths in Iraq

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Wisconsin State Journal article on Blogging

Sadly, Object Permanence is not mentioned.

Ah, well, maybe next time the local press "discovers" Madison blogs. (This is the second such article this year; the local Isthmus weekly covered Madison bloggers some months ago.)

Channeling Wonkette while studying

Came across this passage in Lopez v. Silverman, 14 F.Supp.2d 405. Fun to take out of context:

The precise question in Rutherford was whether... boners who worked on the premises of a slaughterhouse were its employees for purposes of the FLSA, where the boners had been hired and were managed by a boning supervisor who had contracted separately... to establish and direct a discrete boning operation. The contract between the [employer] and the supervisor, Reed, provided that the latter would "assemble a group of skilled boners . . . who would be his employees" and over whom "he would have complete control"; that Kaiser would provide a room in its plant for the boning work... The record revealed that the boners owned their own tools; that Kaiser never attempted directly to control their hours; that Kaiser paid the boning supervisor... with the boners then sharing the proceeds; and that Kaiser's president and manager made frequent visits each day to the boning room to monitor the boners' performance and productivity.

Boning supervisor is a euphemism for a tough guy with a tricked-out ride, no doubt.

Come on, it's at least a little funny.

Day Two

...of the end of semester work-a-thon.

We'll have to see if I have the constitution to finish this monumental labor. Har har. But the evidence (tee hee) is still out.

Yours in slap-happiness,


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I hate you, Starbucks

I went to Starbucks to study today. I paid the newly exorbitant price for a large cup of coffee. I sat down, opened up my laptop, and tried to pull up my budding Labor & Employment Outline.

What came up? A page saying "you can use our wireless service for $9.99 for the day, or $29.99 for a month."

To which I wanted to say something like this.

So I went down to campus, where I am studying in the campus library. Wireless free, parking not so much.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

1281 American Combat Deaths in Iraq

Krugman on Social Security

My favorite example of their three-card-monte logic goes like this: first, they insist that the Social Security system's current surplus and the trust fund it has been accumulating with that surplus are meaningless. Social Security, they say, isn't really an independent entity - it's just part of the federal government.

If the trust fund is meaningless, by the way, that Greenspan-sponsored tax increase in the 1980's was nothing but an exercise in class warfare: taxes on working-class Americans went up, taxes on the affluent went down, and the workers have nothing to show for their sacrifice.

But never mind: the same people who claim that Social Security isn't an independent entity when it runs surpluses also insist that late next decade, when the benefit payments start to exceed the payroll tax receipts, this will represent a crisis - you see, Social Security has its own dedicated financing, and therefore must stand on its own.

There's no honest way anyone can hold both these positions, but very little about the privatizers' position is honest. They come to bury Social Security, not to save it. They aren't sincerely concerned about the possibility that the system will someday fail; they're disturbed by the system's historic success.

Monday, December 06, 2004

My favorite metaphor

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To everything on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

*******Robert Frost, The Silken Tent************

Note that the whole sonnet is a single simile describing a woman. Now that is craft. I read this poem, and I really want to meet this woman, full of delightful complexity, grounded, and yet whimsical. Of course, that's just another way of saying that I wish I could meet Frost, who, more than any other poet I really love, combines the grave and the whimsical with impossible dexterity.

Earlier today, I had the crazy urge to neglect my studying and write some poetry myself. Truthfully, I have the crazy urge to do anything but study, crazy because I have two finals this weekend, one Saturday and one Sunday. Nevertheless, if I put pen to paper and I am not ashamed of the result, I might post it here.

1278 American Combat Deaths in Iraq

37 for December so far, on a pace for 191, which would overwhelm the bloodiest months at 135.

Of course, the more months we roll back the casualty figures, the harder it becomes to insinuate that the administration held off on necessary military operations for political purposes in October.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Hateful Things

As promised yesterday, here's my response to the hateful Op-Ed published yesterday in the student newspaper, altered to blog form. The newspaper printed someone else's letter -- I get the impression that a lot of people wrote angry letters about the piece.

Mr. VerStandig,

First, you say:

After all, the clear message behind the gay marriage movement is that the legislation of morality is thoroughly unacceptable.

This is wrong. If it can even be truly said that there is a single message, it would more likely be that it is immoral to treat people differently under the law because of who they love. As for the legislation of morality, we do it all the time. I don’t think you will find any gay-marriage advocates who also say that prostitution or rape, as moral issues, should not be illegal.

Second, you advance the implicit premise that the purpose of marriage is procreation throughout:

But since homosexual couples are incapable of natural procreation, it would seem that there is no longer a decent rationale for the barring of marriage between gay, incestuous couples.

This is a faulty premise. We do not now, nor have we ever, banned non-procreative straight marriages. Employing your slippery-slope logic, the inevitable legal outcome of a procreative-only marriage policy would be an outright ban on non-procreative heterosexual marriages. Isn’t it in fact the case that there are many heterosexual marriages that are based entirely on companionship and economic arrangements? Should these be illegal to prevent an inevitable slide to gay marriage, thence incest, and perhaps thence bestiality? Furthermore, it clearly doesn’t follow that one form of non-procreative marriage necessarily leads to all others. That’s like arguing that when we decriminalized sex before marriage, we started down a slippery slope to legalized prostitution. After all, since one form of adultery was legal, it was inevitable that all others would be too, right?

Third, you argue that the chain of events will follow this sequence: gay marriage leads to gay incestuous marriage leads to straight incest. Then you go on to encourage gay civil unions. Isn’t it true that by your reasoning, gay civil unions could lead to gay incestuous civil unions, which could lead to straight incest? What is it about civil unions versus marriage that allows the state to stop the slide to incest in the case of the latter, but not the former?

Fourth, here you argue that the Supreme Court’s decision not to review the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) gives hope to those waiting for legal authorization for incest:

But now that the United States Supreme Court has declined to review the Massachusetts high courts’ controversial 4-3 ruling that opened the door for gay marriages in the New England state, there may be hope at last for those just dying to go to bed with a relative.

It’s simply not true that the Court’s refusal to hear a case is somehow equivalent to an endorsement for that case’s outcome. In this case, the SJC decided their case on state constitutional grounds. Unless there is a federal constitutional provision that supercedes the state constitution, USSC has no power to review. Can you think of a federal constitutional provision that applies? If you can, you might want to assist those who filed the appeal; they chose the infrequently utilized “Guarantee Clause” of the Constitution (arguing that the SJC’s interpretation of the state constitution infringed their right to a republican form of government). As even a cursory study of federal Constitutional Law will reveal, the Guarantee clause is rarely used, and has never to my knowledge been successfully used for the purpose of overturning a state supreme court’s interpretation of their own constitution. The Court rightly declined cert., since they would otherwise spend the next 20 years reviewing every state Supreme Court decision someone didn’t like. There are a host of other good legal and policy reasons that the Supreme Court didn’t get involved at this stage, and they no way preclude the Court’s future involvement.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of the faulty premises, logical fallacies, and legal misstatements you made in your piece. They are merely the most substantial.

BUMP AND UPDATE: It occurs to me, of course, that the writer engaged in a form of straw man argument. Mr. VS: When attacking the arguments of others, it's better when you don't construct their arguments anew out of whole cloth. It was deceitful to say that anyone except right wing ideologues argued anything that you said they did.

1265 American Combat Deaths in Iraq

Althouse: Reactions from Right and Left

On being portrayed as a "conservative blog" --

I will say this too, something I've been meaning to write for a long time. In blogging, I have repeatedly noticed the tendency toward inclusion from the right and exclusion from the left. That is, people to the right of me tend to notice the points of agreement and respond in a very positive way, overlooking or tolerating the points of disagreement. People to my left tend to notice any points of disagreement and react negatively, which I find quite boring and unattractive. Of course, it is also a terrible political strategy.

I note that Professor Althouse said it's just "a tendency" and not an absolute rule. I think there are a few of us lefties out here who prefer to note points of agreement as well. I read the professor's blog daily or at least every other day, and while I have disagreed about certain things (certainly, for instance, her conclusions about Sen. Kerry), I prefer to reserve my reflexive, knee-jerk liberal angry responses for the sort of hateful things that really deserve it. Even then, I think it's unproductive to try and silence such people. It works so much better to shine some light instead.

You don't learn anything new in an echo chamber, I guess.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Amelia Josephine Burr: "Lie Awake Song"

79. Lie-Awake Song

GOD has a house three streets away,
And every Sunday, rain or shine,
My nurse goes there her prayers to say.
She's told me of the candles fine
That, burning all night long, they keep
Because God never goes to sleep.
Then there's a steeple full of bells,
All through the dark the time it tells.
I like to hear it in the night
And think about those candles bright.
I wonder if God stays awake
For kindness, like the Furnace-man
Who comes before it's day, to make
Our house as pleasant as he can...
I like to watch the sky grow blue,
And think perhaps, the whole world through,
No one's awake but just us three—
God, and the Furnace-man, and me.

Close to the Edge

There was a pretty offensive editorial in the Badger Herald today. I wrote a sternly worded letter, taking the author to task for numerous logical fallacies and faulty legal premises. I am waiting to hear back from the editorial board, but I will publish my letter here if I don't hear back by early next week.

The pen is mightier, and all that.

1262 American Combat Deaths in Iraq

Casualty totals continue to explode.

Or perhaps they are just rolling over from last month, still.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I crave...

...interaction with an adult.

I've been studying for 6 hours, punctuated only by caring for my children. I just want to have an honest-to-god conversation with an adult about something other than family finances or child-rearing.

Movies, music, books, anyone?

Or how about some Dickinson, a piece that's appropriate for the moment:

I ’M nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

1254 American Combat Deaths in Iraq

Does anyone else find it suspicious that:

1. November precisely tied April as the bloodiest month for the U.S. in Iraq, and
2. On December 1st, we have a new casualty figure, up by 13?

Sounds like someone is managing the news cycle and didn't want to see "November Bloodiest Month in Iraq" in the headlines.

UPDATE: Now it's 1256! This casualty rate, extrapolated over the month, would result in some 465 American Combat Deaths in December. That's almost triple November, which is the bloodiest month yet (tied with April).

I am unable to find any corresponding stories in today's press about what catastrophe caused the death of 15 American soldiers in the last 24 hours.

UPDATE 2: Obviously I didn't come to Law School because of my math skills. 465/3=155. Therefore, 465 over the month would be 60 more than triple the highest monthly count, not "almost triple."