Thursday, February 28, 2002

PLAGIARISE THIS!: Linking to Professor Reynolds almost seems a waste of time -- fergoshsakes, InstaPundit is my browser's home page! -- but I did want to note that he has taken to identifying politicians not merely by party affiliation and State, but rather, by their most generous corporate contributor -- i.e., Fritz Hollings (D-Disney). I think this should be encouraged and widely imitated throughout the Blogosphere, until the major network news programs steal the idea and render it stale.

WHO ELSE SHOULD BLOG? Among the celebrity and quasi-celebrity elite, I nominate:

... Alan Dershowitz ... Lewis Black ... Ron Rosenbaum ... David Mamet ... Michael Musto ... Linda Ellerbee ... H. Jon Benjamin ... Aaron Sorkin ... Lynn Samuels ... Matt Zoller Seitz ... Andy Breckman ... Ben Katchor ...

(And hey, if any of youse guys Google yourselves regularly and come across this mention -- well, what are you waiting for? Take the plunge!)

WHO SHOULD BLOG? Last week, in an idle parenthetical afterthought, I mentioned that Daniel Radosh -- formerly a contributor to NY Press and Spy magazine, and in some fashion affiliated with Modern Humorist, but lately not chalking up any new credits that manage to cross my path -- is exectly the sort of guy who should have discovered blogging by now. I miss my regular doses of Radosh wit, and if he's not writing for money these days, he should at the very least be writing for the greater glory of links and hit counts.

Ken Layne, meanwhile, gets a kick out Dan (Tom Tomorrow) Perkins' month-old blog, and looks forward to the day when all manner of preeminent journalists, musicians, politicians and media whores embrace this phenomenon. "More! I want blogs by Friedman, Safire, Dave Barry, Tony Blair, Condi Rice, Hunter Thompson, Steve Earle, Chuck D, Elmore Leonard, Jon Stewart, Courtney Love, Willie Nelson ... More Blogs Now!"

Well, if the floor is wide-open to fantasy nominations -- Who Should Blog? -- then let me propose the following candidates:

(1) Jimmy Webb, composer of MacArthur Park, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, All I Know, and a hundred more pop classics, and the author of a little how-to manual called Tunesmith. His "drinking days," with the likes of Richard Harris, Harry Nilsson and John Lennon are the stuff of legend. One of these days, I must write something in this space, at greater length, on the theory that Jimmy Webb is God.

(2) Jim Shooter, the often-vilified former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. I should say unfairly-vilified, but on the other hand, I've never had to work for him. Regardless; before he was reviled at Marvel, he was the much-beloved prodigy who scripted about four-dozen classic Legion of Super-Heroes stories for Adventure Comics before he finished high school. Years ago, I had the opportunity to correspond with Jim a little bit; I'd sure like to hear him reflect on what transpired since, and what he's up to lately.

(3) Seth McFarlane, the genius (and voice artist) behind Fox's most overlooked and underappreciated animated series, Family Guy. While he may not have invented the notion of esoteric throwaway cultural references as a form of dramatic punctuation, McFarlane has ratcheted it up to an art form in itself. Even if you don't know it yet, you're going to miss his show when it's gone.

(4) Eric Bogosian doesn't know me from a hole in the wall, but I've had the unique pleasure of washing his dishes anonymously. Eric graduated from Oberlin College in 1974, my freshman year -- and I did so much food-service temping at Oberlin's various cafeterias that year, I must surely have handled his dinner cutlery dozens of times. If you only know Eric as the over-the-top villian in Under Siege II, you're not even scratching the surface; his play (and subsequent film) SubUrbia gouges more deeply. Infrequent Bogosian meditations appear on his self-promotional website, but if he doesn't start blogging soon, I've got to find some other credible excuse to periodically pick his brains.

(5) Mike Flynn gave it a fair shot at my urging, but so far he hasn't quite gotten the hang of blogging. C'mon, Mike -- if you want to get picked up by Fox News, you've got to be willing to commit!

(6) Bill Sherman, at least, is willing to commit. But really, Bill, wouldn't a blog be more sensible?

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

SPIKE MILLIGAN: Honestly, I never really "got" the Goon Show -- culturally, it spoke to another time, another place, and most of the historical references were lost on me. But absent the inspiration of Spike Milligan and his Goon cohorts, there would have been no Monty Python, and without Python, no Fawlty Towers -- and I don't think it's a stretch to say that without the sublime Basil Fawlty paving the way for exquisitely-structured, character-driven modern television comedy, there would be literally nothing on TV worth watching today.

Friday, February 22, 2002

HOWDY, INSTAPUNDIT READERS! Bookmark and come back often! And if one of you happens to be Michael Moore -- ummm, no, I didn't actually say that you were a big fat liar. That was just a little hyperbole on Glenn's part. What I did say was ...

Thursday, February 21, 2002

REVISIONIST HISTORY: Michael Moore, you are sooooo busted!

On a promotional tour for his latest book which, as a matter of principle, I shall not name or link -- if you really care, you'll have no trouble finding it -- this afternoon Michael Moore was interviewed by the affable Leonard Lopate on New York's public radio affiliate, WNYC. (Link requires Real Audio)

Lopate usually books guests whom he likes and respects, and his puff-piece softball interview with Moore made it plain that he was sympathetic to Moore's brand of ultra-left redistribute-the-wealth liberalism. But my beef is not with Lopate or WNYC or public radio in general. Their bias is a given.

My beef is with that two-faced professional provocateur, Michael Moore, friend to the working man -- unless you happen to be working for Michael Moore. (Sorry, no supporting links -- but the truth is out there.)

Pressed to justify his support for spoiler candidate Ralph Nader, Moore takes the position that (1) Gore should have won convincingly enough that Nader's 3% showing would not have been enough to throw the election to Bush, and (2) "Let's be honest," he said to Lopate. "It was easy for me to vote for Nader. I live in New York. Gore was going to win by 20 points. But I also told people in Florida and the swing states, 'You have a different job. Your job is to stop George W. Bush.' "

In other words, if you voted for Nader in Florida and you're having fits of buyer's remorse, don't come complaining to your humble servant Michael Moore. I did my job right. You just didn't do yours.

Sorry, Mike, but -- nuhhh-uhhh. Let's put your assertion in context, shall we? Here's a snarky little paragraph you wrote on October 7, 2000:
If you need to vote for Gore because you think a free election is nothing more than a game of Tic-tac-toe ("A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush so I'm voting for Gore to block Bush, see?"), then go ahead and play that game. Games are fun. There are 100 million other Americans, though, who are planning to sit the election out because they don't like this game one damn bit.
I dunno, Mike -- let me get this straight. You were out there in the trenches, telling everyone to make a principled symbolic vote for Nader except in those cases where a single, puny little vote might actually make a difference? Doesn't wash. Either you take your principles seriously, or you don't. Who's playing games now?

Wait a minute. Moore had a twofold mission -- to generate enthusiasm for Nader where it didn't matter, and also give tacit support to Gore where it was genuinely needed. But as late as one month before the election, he sure had a funny way to demonstrate that support. Here's what he wrote on October 12, 2000:
"Mike! Back off with this Nader thing! [Moore's e-mail was saying --] Gore is going to lose!" Yes, he might. But, let me ask you -- is this Ralph Nader's fault or Al Gore's? Did Ralph Nader tell Gore to sit there like a wimp [in the debate] last night? Did Ralph Nader tell Gore to just agree with whatever drivel came out of Bush's mouth? Did Ralph Nader abandon the working class backbone of the Democratic Party for 8 years? Why the hell do you think Bush is ahead in most polls "during the greatest economic prosperity in our history?" Voters NEVER want a change when the economy is "booming." NEVER! So why do you think this is happening, my fellow members of the computer and Internet elite?

I am sorry things have turned south for Gore. As I have said before, I have met the man and I believe him to be a decent and good person. But he and his partner lost their way a long time ago. And now he is paying the price. This has NOTHING to do with Ralph Nader. It has everything to do with having the courage of your own convictions.
On October 31, 2000, in an open letter to Al Gore, Moore wrote:
According to your people, all Ralph or I have to do is wave a magic wand and the Nader voters will "come back to Gore." Look, Al, you have screwed up -- big time. ... I will not feel one iota of guilt should you screw up and lose on Tuesday. The blame I do share is that I voted for you and Bill in 1992.
It wasn't until the very day before the election, November 6, 2000, that Moore finally began to sense that his position was untenable. Accordingly, he made this tepid concession:
I completely understand that if you live in a swing state and you feel your conscience telling you that you have to vote for Gore to stop Bush, then do what you need to do. It's not how I would vote, but I understand and appreciate what you are going through. Yes, Nader needs every possible vote in all 50 states, but if you are acting on conscience instead of compromise then that is all I want you to do.
And on Election Day, 2000, Moore politely reiterated his CYA point:

I know many of you in the "swing states" feel a need to vote for Gore to stop Bush. As I've said before, I respect your decision.
And the rest is revisionist history. In today's radio interview, Moore backtracks, towing a new hastily-drawn line in the sand. Symbolic gesture in New York, pragmatic realist in Florida -- with exactly one day's notice. Gee, Mike -- it's just too bad that at least 600 of Nader's 95,000 Florida voters didn't happen to catch your Gore endorsement in time for it to make an impression.

But hey -- no time for regrets. You issued the requisite "small print" disclaimer just under the wire, so your hands are clean. Anyway, you've got a best-selling book to peddle! Scoot!

Read Ted Barlow's screenplay adaptation of the Y2K Election here.

Juan Gato provides color commentary on Michael Moore's latest self-serving promotional announcement here.

Daniel Radosh (now there's a guy who ought to be blogging daily!) digs the dirt here. Moore rebuts and Radosh dignifies him with a reply here.

Click on this link -- -- and see where you end up.

UPDATE: Naaah. Just a run-of-the-mill case of cybersquatting. Note to Patrick Ruffini: The correct URL is

ABOUT THAT GEORGIA CREMATORY GUY: So far, all we've heard are the facts. Where's all the wild speculation? So far, the Blogosphere seems to be ignoring the story en masse. C'mon, folks! You've got upwards of 300 rotting corpses strewn about the premises! What -- you need evidence of cannibalism or necrophilia before this story gains any traction? You'd all rather dash off another 1000 words on anti-American sentiment in Lichtenstein? Gimme a break.

Okay. I guess it's up to me. I figure, it must have happened like this:

Anyone who's ever run a small business knows. Some days, it all comes down to damage control. You can't keep up with the workload. The phones won't stop ringing. You're short-staffed. You've been working 22-hour days non-stop for a week, so tired that that you're literally walking into walls. Then the equipment breaks down.

What to do? The incinerator service technician comes in, gives it a quick look-see, and says he'll have to special-order a replacement part. No, it's not a stock inventory item -- might take three or four days to arrive from the factory.

Four days? That's too late! The Fnurd family is expecting to pick up the remains of Great-Aunt Zelda tomorrow morning! If I don't deliver on time, my reputation in this industry will be ruined! What to do, what to do...?

Eureka! Crematorium Guy rationalized, "Just this one time ... I'll bury the body in the back yard and give 'em an urn full of sawdust. The Fnurds will never know the difference. It's not like they'll ever have the contents inspected and spectrum-analyzed. Yeah ... that's it ... I can get away with it ... just this once."

But the trouble with "just this once," is that once you've taken a little ethical shortcut and gotten away with it, it's just that much easier to do it again. And again. And again... The stakes keep rising -- turns out, there's a son who expects to inherit the family business, but he doesn't know the awful secret. Finally --as in all great screenplays with ratcheting body counts -- the imperfect protagonist is the agent of his own downfall. He's got one more body to bury, and then he'll retire gracefully -- but something goes horribly awry. Though the endgame was completely unforeseeable, Crematory Guy still comes to an inevitable, ironic end -- BURIED ALIVE IN A TOMB OF HIS OWN MAKING!!!.

(Naaah. Pass. Say, how about that cannibalism and necrophilia angle?)

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

IT'S A FACT! My Idiot pal Barry Brooks posts this bit of interesting trivia to the Idiot's Delight Digest today...

February 20 this year will be a historic moment in time.

It will not be marked by the chiming of any clocks or the ringing of bells, but at that precise time, on that specific date, something will happen which has not occurred for 1,001 years, and will never happen again.

As the clock ticks over from 8.01pm on Wednesday, February 20, time will, for sixty seconds only, read in perfect symmetry 2002, 2002,2002, or to be more precise:

20:02, 20/02, 2002

This historic event will never have the same poignancy as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month which marks Armistice Day, but it is an event which has only ever happened once before, and is something which will never be repeated.

The last occasion that time read in such a symmetrical pattern was long before the days of the digital watch and the 24-hour clock at 10:01am on January 10, 1001.

And because the clock only goes up to 23:59, it is something that will never happen again.

UPDATE: Wrong again. Kathy Kinsley sets me straight -- "It will happen again! Unless you insist on zeros in the middle" -- and cites this example:

21:12 21/12 2112 (9:12pm Dec 21, 2112)

This evening, NPR also rattled off a short list of palindromic dates yet to come.

All of which serves to reminds me of another useless factoid: The year 1961 could be read as the same number when viewed both upside-up and upside-down. You won't be able to do that trick again until the year 6009.

MISDEMEANOR PLAGIARISM UPDATE: Apparently, almost simultaneously, Mark Evanier posted the exact same piece of trivia at POVonline. I plead not guilty.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Once upon a time, I WAS this guy:
"...This is hardly the only belief of yours with which I take extreme umbrage. I find particularly laughable your na´ve conviction that Hal's vulnerability to the color yellow damages the comic's storyline rather than adding excitement. Are you intentionally trying to miss the point with comments like, 'You would just have to shoot him with a yellow bullet'? Jumping fish hooks, how many times do I have to explain: NO, he can't use the actual BEAM to stop such a bullet, but he can GRASP solid things with it to use as a shield! And this is just one example! Think creatively, Douglas, or at least consult the Silver Age issues."

This is neither the time or the place, but one day I've got to exhume my circa-1976 correspondence files and post some of the self-righteously pissed-off letters I used to dash off very nearly every month -- sometimes under multiple false identities when I really wanted to drive home my aesthetic point! -- to the befuddled Legion Of Super-Heroes then-editor Murray Boltinoff.

(Anyone out there in the blogosphere remember the introduction of Tyroc -- Murray's misconceived effort to add racial diversity to a cast of characters which already included an assortment of unselfconsciouly green-, orange- and blue-hued super-heroes? Shortly after the patently offensive -- and quickly written-off -- character's debut, no fewer than three of my incensed alter-egos' critical LOCs were excerpted in the letter column! The poor man never knew what hit him...)

UPDATE: Test your Tyroc IQ here! Gee, I'd completely, mercifully forgetten that Tyroc's super-powers included the ability to make trees sprout tentacle-wings by shouting "IRRRRWWWW" at them. (I'm not making this up, you know.)

HOLD ME! TOUCH ME! The New York Times profiles Broadway's new Max Bialystock, the versatile British actor Henry Goodman. (Thanks to Gary Farber for the heads-up!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

QUICK THOUGHTS In the aftermath of Bush's "axis of evil" State of the Union address, one school of thought -- granted, one which is not gaining a whole lot of traction anywhere that matters -- is that "The world now thinks the U.S. has lost its mind." So says former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, anyway. Writing for the Toronto Sun, columnist Eric Margolis declares, on behalf of our wobbly allies, that Albright is "dead right."

In response, my esteemed colleague William Quick dredges up this unsettling visual image:

"This would carry a lot more weight with me if I could just get out of my head the picture of Albright wobbling and jiggling as she frantically rushed after Yassar Arafat to beg him to return to the bargaining table in Paris.

Okay. Call me an Albright Apologist if you wish. Cry to the rooftops that the Clinton administration spent its last ounce of political capital coddling terrorists, if you must.

But critics of the previous administration's foreign policy must understand that we can only now declare Arafat irrelevant precisely because Clinton and Albright already gave him every possible opportunity to rise to the challenge of playing Statesman and Peacemaker.

Had Albright not dragged Arafat back to the table, kicking and screaming -- so that he could later respond to Barak's "97% compromise" offer with Intifada II -- Powell would not now be in a position to give Israel carte blanche to defend its borders by any means necessary.

Where are we now? Arafat sits under de facto house arrest, and Israel's strategy appears to be that he will remain there until he names a successor. And yet, there's hardly a peep of outrage in the "Arab Street." The Palestinian sympathist opinion-makers may grumble at the margins, but they, too, know that Arafat is finished. That sea-change would not yet have begun to take place, except that Clinton-Albright forced him to the negotiating table where he could either succeed or fail spectacularly.

In short -- block this metaphor! -- the Bush-Powell foreign policy can successfully consign Arafat to the ash heap of history because the Clinton-Albright policy was to give him enough rope by which to hang himself. At least give them that much credit.

UPDATE: I completely glossed over the rest of Eric Margolis's anti-American screed, dismissing it as unworthy of the time it would take to properly skewer. Fortunately, Rand Simberg had no such reservations.

Monday, February 11, 2002

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: I wish this had turned out to be just another stupid Internet hoax, like the often-rumored pending tax on e-mail or the latest nonexistent missing child. But apparently, this is legit. Reports the tireless James Randi:

"The US Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management (DOE) has now bypassed the required peer-review process and spent $408,750 of our tax money field-testing a "pollution-detection device" that relies on "the ability of a human operator to sense changes in magnetic fields."

In other words, a high-tech dowsing rod. Randi continues:

Gerald Boyd, the deputy assistant secretary for Environmental Management's Office of Science and Technology (OST), says that they often perform field tests of off-the-shelf technology but that in most cases, the product has already undergone substantive testing and peer review elsewhere. ... It's unusual, Boyd says, for the department to field-test such an "immature" technology.

How about for "useless" technology, Mr. Boyd? "This is an anomaly," he says.

James Randi deserves sainthood for the good work he is doing, exposing fraud and ignorance, week in and week out, always with a sense of humor. (F'rinstance, if I were to mention to his face that he deserves sainthood, he'd doubtless just rattle off a dozen historical instances of real, canonized saints whose "miracles" were ultimately exposed as either stagecraft magic or amazingly effective P.R. -- and then feign being insulted to have been lumped in with the likes of them.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

FLAUNT IT, BABY! This morning comes word from Mark Evanier that British actor Henry (Who???) Goodman will shortly replace Nathan Lane in the Broadway production of The Producers. Mark -- who's seen darn near everyone in everything -- remarks that "Having never seen Mr. Goodman in anything, I have no idea how he'll be except, of course, you have to figure the producers of The Producers looked long and hard, and had their pick of darn near everyone."

UPDATE: Steve Malzberg's local talk-radio show on WABC floats the rumor that the Steven ("Wings") Weber is in line for the Leo Bloom role. (I dunno -- shouldn't the minimum qualification for Bloom be the appearance of youth and innocence incarnate? Weber's getting to be a tad creepy-looking at 40+.) The new cast will take over in mid-April.

A snarky aside: I'm just waiting for it to dawn on Maureen Dowd that there's grist for a whole 750-word column to be had, by drawing comparisons between The Producers and the Enron saga. "Do you realize," the Leo Bloom character would say in an unguarded moment of creative accounting theorizing, "that under the right conditions, you could make more money bankrupting a company than if you produced something of value!" (Or is that just so obvious that even Ms. Dowd can resist the temptation?)

ODD COUPLE: Someone just Googled their way into Mind Over What Matters with the following search criterion: Michelangelo Signorile and Zilber. As if the one would be the first thing that comes to mind after the other...?

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

BUSH TO NY: Drop Dead!

UPDATE: Timothy Noah steals my headline! But he makes the cynical point explicit: "Given New York's overwhelming presidential preference for Democrats, the Bushies are well aware that whatever money Bush's treasury doles out in New York won't buy him a single electoral vote in 2004."

White House Budget Director Mitch Daniel did nothing to dispell suspicions that the budget intentionally reneges on Bush's pledge, when -- in a classic moment of accidental candor -- he remarked that anybody who complained was "playing a money-grubbing game."

The irony is confounding. In the past four months, Bush has generated so much good will here that he could have won New York convincingly in 2004! All he had to do was to win the war and deliver the goods.

But now, I have to wonder if it's all just a matter of cynical political calculations. Does Bush really have a clue how much we're hurting here? The national economy may well be starting to recover, but here in lower Manhattan, we're probably looking at another five or six years of recession. If we're lucky.

(In the interests of full disclosure -- I'm still trying to run my stupid little graphics business just four blocks from the WTC site. Thankfully, none of my clients were actually victims of the attack, but many of my Financial District customers have themselves lost customers, and business has never been slower. I'd been attempting to negotiate a space-sharing arrangement with a local financial printer, but it now appears that my prospective partner is himself on the verge of going out of business. My prospects are so bleak at this point that, frankly, I'm thisclose to just packing it all in.)

So my question to Bush is this: What -- you can break the lockbox for that phony-baloney missile defense boondoggle, but you pinch pennies when it comes to rebuilding the devastated infrastructure upon which the future of, maybe, 100,000 jobs depend? I gotta wonder if President Lieberman would have different priorities...

Friday, February 01, 2002

CENSURE AND MOVE ON: As a part-time "student of human nature," what I find myself most often struggling to understand is why some people will expend their limited time and energies in an unbiased search for the truth, wherever it shall lead -- surely as noble a goal as can ever be -- while others go to great lengths, performing tortuous leaps of logic and devising fantastic fictions, to avoid facing up to truths that may be painful yet objectively self-evident.

I think that what makes Andrew Sullivan a "complicated" man -- as Michelangelo Signorile has generously described him -- is that, in the course of championing a political and social agenda (which I in no way presume to judge), Sullivan has at some point closed his mind to new information. He may have once set out on a good mission to seek and purvey truth, but lately he has become corrupted by the (real or imagined) power that has been bestowed upon him by his visibility in the mainstream media.

To maintain his visibility, fortify his career, and press his agenda forward, Sullivan must now willfully blind himself to certain difficult, painful truths -- to construct "alternate" theories of the truth where it conveniently suits his purposes -- and most especially irritating -- to designate scapegoats for real and imaginary failures of moral standing, by which to elevate his idols (Bush, Peggy Noonan, et al -- not to mention himself!) by comparison.

Without that support structure, the delicate house of cards from which he issues forth those proclamations would come tumbling down. And yet, the structure is self-defeating, because under close scrutiny the flaws are revealed and it all comes tumbling down anyway.

For one final example -- and this is what drove me to dredge up that quotation from Flatland earlier in the week --

What incredible solipsism -- what unmitigated gall -- for Sullivan to publish on his website that (liberal columnist) Joe Conason "agreed" with him about the (liberal economist) Paul Krugman's "dismaying" ethical failings. To read that throwaway remark without context, you'd think so extraordinary a meeting of minds had taken place that Shiva himself had come down from heaven to broker the deal. And Vishnu too.

In fact, the entire thrust of Conason's latest New York Observer column, beginning to end, was to lay bare the corruption of Sullivan's friend (and conservative pundit) Bill Kristol. In fact, Conason barely at all acknowledged Krugman's involvement in PunditGate with a courtesy slap-on-the-wrist, while giving Kristol a merciless professional drubbing for the far more blatant and profound ethical lapses to which he had recently admitted (and flippantly shrugged off).

Elsewhere, and more than once, Sullivan has duly noted Kristol's conflict and held him accountable. This would have been a fine opportunity to note that he and Conason were, amazingly, of one mind on the issue of Kristol's accountability.

Instead, Sullivan read 1,000 words about Bill Kristol -- the last six of which call for Kristol's resignation! -- and imagined that the point of Conason's column was located in the three sentences which mention Paul Krugman.

Amazing. Like Abbot's Point, the New Monarch of Pointland acknowledges no external facts. He perceives only his own existence, knows only his own mind, and hears only his own voice.

I'm not really interested in being a full-time anti-Sullivan crusader. My own shrillness is hurting my own ears -- and it's probably fair to say that I'm not convincing any of his supporters to look deeper and reconsider. I guess that's the part of human nature I still don't get: that some folks see only what they want to see, and disregard everything that doesn't fit their world view. But no matter. The man's house of cards is collapsing of its own weight. I've censured ... and it's time to move on.

UPDATE: Salon's Eric Boehlert asks the probing question: Why is Andrew Sullivan most angry at the one liberal journalist who cashed in? Also: Your complete guide to whose pockets were lined, and by how much.

UPDATE: WSJ Opinion Journal takes another chink out of Sully's armor for recycling a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece to a foreign paper. Sully calls it a "minor misunderstanding" for which he had profusely (and privately) apologized -- but what does "minor" mean when moral relativism is your stock in trade?

UPDATE: Ted Barlow visits Bizarro Andrew Sullivan's website here. Barlow's been at this for barely a fortnight, but already his blog is on my must-read list. I'm promoting him from Essential Pets to Substitute Essentials immediately!