Friday, November 23, 2001

THAT'S ALL'S I CAN STAND, AND I CAN'T STANDS NO MORE! Much as I'm grateful to live in a free country where anyone can express any opinion without fear of government reprisal -- and as much as I respect his unique talents as a political cartoonist -- even I am getting a little fed up with Ted Rall now.

(Housecleaning Update: As for last week's Doonesbury flap -- for all the controversey it has generated -- the worst thing I can say about the 11/18 Sunday strip was that Garry Trudeau delivered an atypically unsubtle and graceless broadside which was, nevertheless, fundamentally true. Who seriously doesn't believe that the Bushies are using their short-term popularity to swiftly ram through as much of their unpopular right-wing agenda as possible?)

UPDATE: Thanks again for the link, InstaPundit! The great Getting Mentioned campaign continues!

REALITY CHECK: Instapundit's reader Chris Fountain reports on his observation of life in New York City:

I myself took the subway down to Wall Street last week and noticed that when a suited businessman asked for directions, three different individuals offered advice. Before September 11th, he'd have been met, in my experience, with blank stares.

Beg to differ, Chris. Maybe that would have been the case if you went back 25 years, when all of lower Manhattan was effectively a ghost town after 7:00 pm, and Charles Bronson's "Death Wish" was the hot new meme for liberals who'd been mugged once or twice.

But more recently the Wall Street area -- particularly the South Street Seaport museum and mall -- has been heavily developed as a popular tourist attraction and open-air performance space, while the entirety of the financial district has become increasingly residential in character.

With so many out-of-towners rubbing elbows with members of the community out walking their dogs and shopping the 24-hour gourmet specialty stores, strangers asking directions had become commonplace -- and giving them, a common courtesy -- long before 9/11.

Which is not to say that nothing has changed. To the extent that there was any lingering racial-ethnic distrust or discomfort in the community, that's gone now. Completely gone. Nothing like uniting against a common foreign enemy to bring us all closer together...

FREE MONEY! Is this legit? In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Michael Kubin claims to have left a manila envelope containing a few dollars in small bills under the mailbox on the northeast corner of 46th and Madison. Can someone in that neighborhood please check it out? (Thanks to Mike Flynn for the tip, which I gladly pass along to anyone else in greater need.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

We may be placing our bets on different sides of the table, but isn't Shapiro making exactly the same point I was making in this space six days ago?
Bin Laden is probably no more likely to be taken alive than was Adolf Hitler. But what would we do if bin Laden emerged from his cave waving a white flag or was handed over alive by the Afghans? As Jim Steinberg, the director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, puts it, "The worst thing that we could do is to have him killed if we could have taken him alive." Bush's rhetoric about bringing bin Laden "to justice" would seemingly mandate putting him on trial. But the president's executive order authorizing military tribunals also raises the option that the government would try him in secret in Afghanistan and then, presumably, execute him. It is hard to imagine an outcome more likely to transform bin Laden into a martyr and make a mockery of our cherished beliefs in justice.

Which is exactly why I'm still betting on this pony.

The official headquarters of Mind Over What Matters is located here:

While I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a "survivor" -- that term should be reserved for those who escaped from the Trade Center complex itself, and the adjacent buildings -- it's certainly fair to say that I was a witness. There were, in fact, moments when I feared for my life. I probably had a closer call than I'd care to admit. And for several weeks afterward -- to the extent that I was interested in writing at all -- I could only spout the most obvious, tiresome observations like "Purpose eludes me. Eloquence is banal."

Okay. I'm officially Past All That. One month ago today, I started Blogging in earnest, in an attempt to find my voice again -- to literally wrap my Mind over What Matters. This has been great fun, and great therapy -- I've done more writing in the past four weeks than in the entire previous year, and it's starting to feel good again. Maybe now I'll even find the will to finish that aging spec screenplay...

I've been a little busier than usual this week, and I don't imagine I'll do much posting over the holiday weekend -- but there will be more to come. Much more.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who's stopped by and made this all worthwhile.

Monday, November 19, 2001

SORRY. No new posts on Saturday or Sunday. Weekends are ME-time.