September 18, 2006

Zarqawi: A little love from above

Bluto's first Youtube movie. It's got a good beat, and you can dance on Zarqawi's grave to it.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:25 PM | Comments |

October 03, 2005

The Blog Sabbath Caption Contest; APSA 2005

Caption this photo of Rusty after hours at this year's APSA Convention (or was it Conference?).

Winner will be announced on Monday afternoon. Or not, I may not be alive after this one.

We have a winner, Stephen:

"I'm gonna show him my C3P Oh face."

Honorable mention, Howie, for:

"I seem to be made to suffer." (obligatory script reference. Nicely done)

Dishonorable mention, Dan, for:

"Rusty - Be sure and check your email I'm sending you something you'll want to see." (I'm not Rusty, but I checked my email anyway.)

Thanks to all the great entries, I'm going into hiding now.

By Vinnie at 05:03 PM | Comments |

September 05, 2005

Llama Ambush

I've made it back in one piece from the American Political Science Association's annual meeting. The highlight of this year's journey was finally meeting Steve the Llama Butcher who, to my great delight, never let out a single orgle. (Although I did hear the cry of 'yips' at the conslusion of his panel).

Mad Dog Vinnie and the other Jawa bloggers got together and told me that if I ever do any more lame APSA posts that they'll hunt me down, shoot me, grind up my remains, make sausages, and then send them to Wonkette in a Hilshire Farms gift basket. He was being seriously.

I promise, on the grave of my dead father Inego Montoya, to never blog a political science convention again. Unless there are strippers. That would make a good post!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:56 PM | Comments |

September 03, 2005

A Not-So-Sunny Day in the Capital

I won't elaborate, but I'm now completely convinced that we're in a war with "the liberals" (meaning, the Social Democrats) just as much as we're in a war with "irreconcibable Islam." I'm also beginning to think that, at least as an organizing principle, we ought to start pushing to change the "working Capital" of the US from DC to Omaha, Nebraska. And it's not that I hate Omaha all that much, but it's a lot closer to the "middle" of the country than any place else I can think of, in just about every way I can imagine.

And the parking lots are epic.

Keep DC as a symbolic totem.

By Demosophist at 08:17 AM | Comments |

September 02, 2005

APSA Blog

All APSA related posts can now be found at The Jawa Report's APSA archives

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:12 PM | Comments |

APSA Blogging, Day #3: Claremont Roundtable: Bloggers and the Future of American Politics

Above (click for larger image): Paul Mirengoff of Powerline speaks at the American Political Science Association. Next to Paul (from left to right) is John Klenker of the Claremont Review of Books, Scott Johnson, also of Powerline, Peter Cannellos, of the Boston Globe, and Bill Gertz, of the Washington Times. (Bad photo, I know, but it's from a camera phone). Charmaine of Reasoned Audacity sat right behind me and has a few better photos here.

Report from the panel: Wasn't able to stick around and meet Paul or Scott from Powerline because I had to rush off to a job interview.

Two memorable observations from the panel. First, a heated exchange betwen Peter Cannelos and Scott Johnson.

Peter accused Scott of engaging in conspiracy theory tactics. By not mentioning the fact that the Globe had run a front page story about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Powerline had selected out information to make it look like The Globe was not covering the story in a balanced way. This ommission paints a picture of a conspiracy. Thus, this shows that blogs can be a negative force and are not very reliable. Peter seemed to take one of Scott's posts personally.

Scott came right back at Peter, and he seemed visibly annoyed. Scott made sure to point out that The Globe had done a generally better job of covering the 2004 campaign in a fair manner than other MSM outlets. However, he pointed out The Globe's non-coverage of Kerry's 'Christmas in Cambodia' lie. That, he asserted, should have been a major story.

Peter then made a pretty outrageous claim. The facts, he said, about the Kerry
'Christmas in Cambodia' story were in dispute. Some veterans, he claimed, said that they might have been in Cambodia--it was really hard to tell. This, even though Kerry eventually admitted the story was a fabrication.

Peter then acquiesced to one point: this kind of criticism of the MSM is a valid funtion and helps the MSM do their jobs better.

Scott then made it clear that saying there is bias in the MSM is not constructing a conspiracy theory. I, he said, do not believe in conspiracy theories.

Later, during the audience question and answer period, Michael Barone showed up announcing himself as 'a new blogger.' I hadn't noticed him before as he was sitting in the back. What was interesting about Barone's comments was that he seemed to know a lot about bloggers. Often times public media figures start a 'blog' and really aren't part of the community. Barone seems connected.

Other notable discussion at the panel included Captain Ed's coverage of the developing Able Danger story and Powerline's reluctance to comment on the scandal. Paul used this as evidence that some of the major blogs have a self correcting mechanism. Blogs with large readerships risk alienation when they cannot verify their claims.

The most annoying sentence uttered at the panel, and I think it was Scott who said it, was when he mentioned Bill Ardolino of INDC Journal, the man who is determined to make 'orgle' an acceptable term. Anyway, we love Bill's stuff, but, what, no love for The Jawa?

PS-Super-sekret message to Charmaine. Rusty Shackleford blogs anonymously, but I saw you there. I was sitting right in front of you.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:53 PM | Comments |

APSA Blogging, Day 3: Hangovers

Hung out with some fellow anonymous political scientist bloggers last night. We met up with the not-so-anonymous Daniel Drezner. He's good people.

Next door, Cornell West was at a party. Wait, that guy is a political scientist. I thought he was a hip-hop artist or something?

Two worlds colliding. You know about the worlds. A non-blogging, not-in-the-know about "Rusty Shackleford", friend from grad school was hanging out at the party with us. Turns out, he and Steve the Llamabutcher know each other. Small world. Awkward, since none of could talk about blogging around him. Best to keep academic world and blog worlds apart.

If you have to make a choice between going to a party hosted by libertarians or conservatives, go to the libertarian party. Just trust me on this one.

Best. Advice. Ever: Never challenge Steve the Llama Butcher or Professor Chaos to a drinking game.

Addendum: Is Professor Chaos gay? I mean, that chick might as well had a neon sign saying, "hit on me" over her head. Even offering Chaos money couldn't get him to budge. And she was hot. Gay? Definitely. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:43 AM | Comments |

September 01, 2005

APSA Blogging, Day 2: Claremont Institute Panel on A Neocon Conspiracy

Above (click for bigger pic): The guy in front of me falls asleep during Michael Ledeen's talk.

Panel 3, Sponsored by the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy

A Neo-Conservative Conspiracy? Principles and objectives of Bush's Foreign Policy: A Roundtable

Excellent roundtable. Most of these academic panels put me to sleep. Not this one. Unfortunately, the guy sitting in front of me wasn't as into the talks as me. I couldn't resist snapping a picture of him with my cell phone. That's Michael Ladeen, author of War Against the Terror Master, in the background talking.

Speaker 1: Adam Wolfson, former editor of Public Interest

Wolfson began by talking about how Bush outrages both Realists and Idealists. Later, Wolfson would claim that Bush is a Hamiltonian Realist. Hamiltonian Realists believe that the character of opposing regimes is somehow connected to our national security.

Bush is also not a Wilsonian Idealist, as some on the Right like to accuse him --think Pat Buchanan. This is evidenced by Bush's willingness to selectively apply his idealism. Think Cuba. After the Cold War, Cuba ceased to be threat. Bush's unwillingness to invade Cuba does not reveal a hypocrisy, as many on the Left like to accuse, rather it is consistent with a Realist foreign policy. No threat, no need for regime change. Iraq, on the other hand, was a threat and therefore only by regime change could we ensure the long-term national interests of the country.

Wolfson reminded us, though, that the cause-effect relationship between democracy, peace, and our national interest is a theory we are trying to test. It could very well be that the theory is wrong. Bringing democracy to the Middle East may not, in fact, bring peace and serve our interests in the long run. Let's hope the theory is right.

Random thought : This guy should definitely blog.

Speaker 2, Gerard Alexander University of Virginia

Alexander said something so obvious, yet so profound, that it needs to be said over and over.

Throughout most of history (with some major exceptions) states were at risk of vanishing (since war was an elite endeavor), not large numbers of citizens.

For the first time in history, (among the industrialized nations) there is absolutely no danger of states disappearing, but there is an increasing danger that large numbers of their citizens are at risk of being killed.

Dr. Alexander then went on to build on Wolfsnon's Wilsonian Realist argument--without using that term. The so-called 'NeoCon' agenda is based on a cause-effect theory. For instance, would the 'Realists' during WWII have argued that once Allied forces reached the borders of Germany that we stop? No, there is an implicit assumption that the hyper-aggression of Hitler's regime was somehow connected to Nazi ideology. It was only through changing that regime that America's national interests were served.

The nature of opposing regimes is related to ou nations security. Alexander was confident that the policies of pre-emptive war and building a larger military would not change even if a Democratic President were elected. Even if that President would be less willing to commit our troops to a preemptive war, they would not renounce the doctrine altogether. However, he too admitted the jury was still out on whether or not democratization in Iraq and Afghanistan would necessarily be in our nation's interests (or even be possible), but he was optimistic about its potential prospect.

Last speaker, Michael Ledeen, columnist for NRO and author of 'The War Against the Terror Masters.'

Of all the speakers Ledeen seemed most like the classical charicature of a 'Neo-Con'. He began his talk by saying the problems we are facing in Iraq now are because we waited too long to invade after Afghanistan? Who is to blame for our failures there? Tony Blair's lawyers who insisted we wait for U.N. approval giving the Iranian and Syrian regimes ample time to plan the 'Lebanonization' of Iraq.

Iran, not Iraq, was and remains the biggest threat to U.S. security. Iran, he emphasized, is behind the largest terrorist organizations in the world. The biggest threat to Iran and Syria, he claimed, are the creation of free societies in the Middle East. Both nations have citizens eager to throw off the yokes of their masters. In order to protect their own regimes these two countries are trying to thwart the democratization of Iraq.

Lest Left-wing conspiracy theorists cry foul, Ledeen was adamant that there is no need to invade Iran. Rather, he says, we should support indigenous efforts to overthrow the Mullah's regime. We should be doing much more to broadcast pro-democracy messages directly to the Iranian people. 70% or more of the Iranian people want to end the reign of the Mullahs, all they need is the encouragement and unwaivering support of the U.S. Unfortunately, Bush is not doing nearly enough to help them.

-----

Random thoughts: The audience seemed to be very pleased with the panelists. This was the only panel I have been to at this conference that people seemed genuinely reluctant to leave. There was a lot of back and forth discussion between the audience and the speakers.

One such exchange was on what the Democratic party's foriegn policy is. Nobody could really come up with the answer. Why, people asked each other, were Democrats so quick to criticize every move made by the President but never offer any advice on what should be done in future decisions (critiquing a past move is not really advice)?

Ledeen strolled up to the microphone and said, "Hegel. It's all about Hegel." The basic ideas of the Left come from the realities of the 18th and 19th centuries. Ideas, such as class struggle, offered a plausible explanation of reality given the facts of past centures. The paradigm of the Left also offered a roadmap for how to improve the world given a particular set of facts. Those facts, though, have changed. The Left, then, is faced with a new set of facts that their basic paradigm is unable to explan and therefore is unable to inform the believer on how to improve social conditions. The theory no longer is able to inform us as to how to make decisions. All we are left with is a paradigm of criticisms. The last gasping breath of a dying ideology.

I hope he is right, but very much doubt it. Leftism, from what I have seen, is in no danger of dying. In academia, especially, it thrives and continues to spread to a new generation.

Perhaps the greatest thing about this panel was the fact that 30-40 non-Leftists were able to find each other in a sea of 6,000 college professors, the vast majority of whom are somewhere on the Left. Claremont sponsored events are oasis where the weary can come, rest, and recharge their batteries before heading back into a mostly hostile environment.

---
This post blogged from the dungeon that Professor Chaos calls an apartment in downtown D.C. I'll be heading back to the convention tonight for an IHS sponsored party. See ya there.

P.S.-Chaos uses this overgrown calculator called a 'Macintosh'. I really hate this crappy computer. If there are typos or errors in this post it's because I'll do anything to get off of this computer. Stupid Mac-Nazi.......

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:34 PM | Comments |

APSA Blogging, Day 2: Random Thoughts III

Some kind of Llama related panel.

Yips. Orgle.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:17 PM | Comments |

APSA Blogging, Day 2: Random Thoughts II

10:15 a.m. Panel 7.1
That '70s Decade and the Politics of Paradigm Change.

My hand is, like, so big. Where are the Cheetos?

UPDATE: That paradign shift so harshed my mellow.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:14 PM | Comments |

APSA blogging, Day 2: Random Thoughts I

8:00 a.m. Panel 3.1
(EN)Gendering Democrcy in Comparative Contexts.

Hey, they're all chicks. Score.

UPDATE: Razors. Ever heard of them? Ewwww....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:08 PM | Comments |

APSA, Day 1: Random observations

In the time it took to write this post four political scientists, sitting at different panels at the conference, used the words hypocrisy and Bush in the same sentence. 16 others chuckled knowingly, while at least one audience member was busy checking out the rack on that discussant.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:09 AM | Comments |