In case you thought there was no column yesterday, it’s because I forgot to click “POST” until about noon. (“24” was on. I got frazzled.)

It was about Albania! And China! And the Saints!

Maybe go back and take a look?

As for today . . .


Here’s a generally more appealing – and potentially more effective – way to save lives until the paramedics arrive.


The estimable Alan Rogowsky: “You probably need THIS on your iPhone.”

☞ Just launched, Siri aims to be your personal assistant. Hmmm.


“Just as the founders feared, American democracy has gotten way too Democratic,” writes Kurt Andersen in New York Magazine.

. . . [I]t’s possible that the populist impulse is now too powerful for the elite to reassert control. In the old days, the elite media really did control the national political discourse; there were no partisan, splenetic cable news or ubiquitous talk-radio channels and no blogosphere to keep the populists riled up and make them feel the excitement of a mob. Until fifteen years ago, presidents and congressional leaders could pretty well manage the policy conversations, keep them on reasonable simmer. But the new technologies have, maybe permanently, turned up the political heat to boil. . . .

☞ Anderson is an elitist. But there is something to be said for choosing extraordinarily competent people, whether you are hiring them to play basketball, perform brain surgery, pilot jets, or sit in the Oval Office. Sarah Palin has many fine qualities, but “extraordinary competence” (or even just “knowing stuff”) is not one of them. George Bush had many fine qualities, too – and we didn’t know who the President of Pakistan was, either (or even why it might be important) – so almost half of us voted to give him a try.

I would argue it did not turn out well.


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