Plants Want to Live, Too

Most of the moral objections used to justify giving up animal products apply just as much to plants, Natalie Angier argues. [B]efore we cede the entire moral penthouse to “committed vegetarians” and “strong ethical vegans,” we might consider that plants no more aspire to being stir-fried in a wok than a hog aspires to being […]

Manly Thoughts

If you haven’t been reading MANzine this week, here’s what you’ve missed: Can a Real Man Drive a Minivan? (James Joyner) – Despite what the advertisements may tell you, manhood has little to do with what kind of cigarettes you smoke, what car you drive, or how white your shirts could be. Emergency Flank Steak […]

Martini and Steak

A while back, in response to a snark from Andrew Exum, I noted that, “As to the side issue of whether the combination of a martini and a steak makes for a good meal, it undoubtedly does.  However, I prefer to have the martini (or perhaps two) ahead of the meal and then switch to […]

It’s Got Cheesecake Right in the Name!

Since obesity has somehow become our unofficial theme this morning, I’d be remiss not to mention Ezra Klein‘s observations about trying to eat healthy at Cheesecake Factory. On first glance, I would have figure the salmon for the lightest entree, followed by the chicken piccata, the carbonara, and the crispy beef. Not so. The salmon […]

Drinking Wine

Patrick Appel titles a post “How to Drink Wine,” providing only a link labeled “A guide.”   I’m pretty sure I know how to drink wine (pour into glass, invert slightly …) but am intrigued and click through to find Aaron Potts‘ “How to Drink Wine Like an Expert.”  I drink quite a bit of wine […]

Taxing Beer to Pay Doctors

USA Today reports on a proposal circulating in the Senate Finance Committee to fund health care through sin taxes on booze. Beer taxes would go up by 48 cents a six-pack, wine taxes would rise by 49 cents per bottle, and the tax on hard liquor would increase by 40 cents per fifth. Proceeds from […]

Obama Gutting the Military?

Andrew Exum has “a policy whereby when someone is criticized by name, they have the right to post a response.”  Having yesterday taken exception to a WSJ editorial by AEI’s Thomas Donnelly and Gary Schmitt arguing that Obama and Gates are “gutting the military” and received a lengthy email response from Donnelly, he reprints it […]

Extreme Beer

Burkhard Bilger explores the rise of craft beers for The New Yorker. “When you’re trying to create new brewing techniques and beer styles, you have to have a certain recklessness,” Jim Koch, whose Boston Beer Company brews Samuel Adams, and who coined the term “extreme beer,” told me. “Sam has that. He’s fearless, but he’s […]

Presidential Succession Crisis?

Bruce Ackerman has read a novel and heard unsubstantiated rumors and from these concocted a Constitutional crisis which he’s convinced the folks at Slate to publish. New Yorker writer Jane Mayer’s new book, The Dark Side, opens with a shocker. Apparently sometime in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan issued a “secret executive order” that in […]

Anheuser-Busch Sold for $50 Billion

Anheuser-Busch agreed to sell to Belgium’s InBev last night, demonstrating that all the howls about American pride were mere haggling over price.   All it took was raising the offer to $70 per share from $65 per share — “a 27 percent premium over Anheuser’s record-high stock price in October 2002” — and giving a Busch […]

No Beer, No Civilization (Updated)

George Will has been at the top of the pundit game for so long that you’d think he’d have joined a sizable number of his peers in seemingly dusting off one of their stock columns every week. Not so. Will’s latest installment is on the virtues of beer. “The search for unpolluted drinking water is […]

A Difference, Not a Defect

In reference to James’ post below, it’s worth pointing out that a biological cause for homosexuality does not, in any sense of the word, make for a birth defect, and we should be careful how we define the phrase. Calling homosexuality a “birth defect” (as some will no doubt begin to do so), implies that […]

Summer Drink List

James Poulous and Rod Dreher weigh in with their recommended adult libations for the summertime. Not surprisingly, since these things are mostly a matter of personal taste, there’s significant disagreement in the lists. Poulous touts the wonders of Red Stripe, Jamaica’s national beer, while Dreher advises readers to eschew brew altogether and stick to wheat […]

LifeLock Pitchman Has Identity Stolen

ID protection Guru Todd Davis is being sued for fraud. Todd Davis has dared criminals for two years to try stealing his identity: Ads for his fraud-prevention company, LifeLock, even offer his Social Security number next to his smiling mug. Now, Lifelock customers in Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia are suing Davis, claiming his […]

Robert Mondavi Dies at 94

California wine impresario Robert Mondavi has died at the ripe old age of 94. Robert Mondavi, the man hailed as the ambassador of the Napa Valley and the godfather of California wine, no longer owned a winery when he died today at his home in Yountville at the age of 94. The winery that bears […]

Baghdad Luxury Hotels and Condos

The Pentagon is backing a massive development project financed by Marriott and others to gentrify Baghdad. Forget the rocket attacks, concrete blast walls and lack of a sewer system. Now try to imagine luxury hotels, a shopping center and even condos in the heart of Baghdad. That’s all part of a five-year development “dream list” […]

What Makes Someone an Elitist?

The rule of thumb for American politics in the media appears to be classifying politicians as being on the “beer-track” or “wine-track”, or, in the alternative Hillary Clinton formation, “Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ Donuts”. In other words, if you prefer wine over beer or Starbucks over Dunkin’ Donuts, then you are an “elitist”, and if not, […]

Hitchens Calls Sully ‘Lesbian’

A Media Matters report of remarks made by Christopher Hitchens in a weekend television debate with Andrew Sullivan is getting some blogospheric attention. On the April 5 edition of MSNBC’s Tim Russert, Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens debated the significance for Sen. Barack Obama of comments made by his former pastor Jeremiah Wright about a […]

Barack Obama and Hank Williams, Jr.

Dan Martin has some advice for Barack Obama: Listen to some Hank. Barack Obama’s candidacy enjoys broad support and seems to be unified in ways most candidates could only dream of prior to the internet and text messaging age. Obama’s wide support, horizontal networking, and ability to inspire various demographics have thrust him within reach […]

Utah: Behind the Zion Curtain

Just when post-Mitt Romney everyone says Mormons are normal, Wine coolers to be banished from grocery stores SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gov. Jon Huntsman has signed a bill into law that will ban wine coolers from grocery stores. Huntsman says he doesn’t like the law, but he signed it Wednesday because it also increases […]

Beer vs. Wine Vote

The 2008 presidential election will come down to beer drinkers vs. wine drinkers, if a silly new poll is to be believed. Beer drinkers appear more likely to vote for Sen. John McCain in November, while those who enjoy wine say they’re more likely to vote Democratic in the fall. Among registered voters who prefer […]

$11,000 Coffee Maker

Paul Adams asks, “Could a Coffee Maker Be Worth $11,000?” The short answer is No, at least at the household level, barring the return of Carteresque inflation. But the machine in question, the Clover 1s, isn’t aimed at consumers but rather coffee shops. And it sounds pretty spiffy: It brews coffee like a French press, […]

Mike Huckabee (Finally) Withdraws

Now that John McCain has mathematically sewn up the nomination even without the delegates Mitt Romney pledged to him, Mike Huckabee has given up his candidacy. Calling his White House bid the “journey of a lifetime”, Huckabee spoke Tuesday night from Irving, TX commending McCain on an “honorable campaign” and emphasizing his commitment to the […]

Unbearable Whiteness of Blogging

The Unfogged gang has three posts in as many days about a wildly popular new blog about which I was previously unaware called Stuff White People Like. It’s the kind of blog only white people could like: a blog about white people written by white people for other white people that makes fun of white […]

South Carolina Post-Mortem, Democrat Edition

As Chris Lawrence posted last night, Barack Obama handily won the South Carolina Democratic primary and native son John Edwards came in third. The results, with a record turnout, were stunning: Obama has long been projected to win, of course, but the RealClearPolitics average of the recent polls had it much closer: 38.4 to 26.8 […]

On Bookstores And Conservative Books

There’s been a lot of discussion around the blogosphere about the, um, difficulty some brick-and-mortar bookstores seem to have in ensuring that customers can acquire a copy of Jonah Goldberg’s new book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (Amazon sales rank as of this posting: […]

Belgium Divided

Sarah Laitner has an interesting piece in today’s Financial Times about the Balkanization of Belgium. Belgium, divided between Flanders, its wealthy Dutch-speaking north, and francophone Wallonia in the south, has chugged along without a new federal government for a record 165 days. Since elections in June, the bickering parties in a centre-right would-be coalition have […]

Wine Experts Frauds?

Jonah Lehrer points to repeated experiments showing that wine “experts” have almost no agreement when conducting blind taste tests, are completely influenced by the labels on a wine bottle, and can’t even distinguish white wines from red! What these experiments neatly demonstrate is that the taste of a wine, like the taste of everything, is […]

Troops Being Force-Fed Christianity?

Jane Lampman of the Christian Science Monitor reports on several cases where American troops felt they were force-fed evangelical Christian beliefs and castigated for their own dissenting views. The piece is somewhat disjointed and is simply a series of anecdotes, allegations, and rehashed incidents, some only tangentially related to the charge. The retired colonel and […]

National Toast: Drink a Beer for Michael Jackson

No, not the one-gloved one, the late beer and scotch-drinking Michael Jackson. We are talking about The Beerhunter here. As a fitting wake for the top writer of malted beverages, on Sunday September 30, at 9PM EST (OK, the USA is still on Daylight Savings, so maybe add or subtract one, or drink a beer […]

Bainbridge Goes Back to the Future

Steve Bainbridge has turned his single blog into a hub site for three separate blogs focused on punditry, business law, and wine. This follows his having done the same thing last year and then deciding to go back to the single blog approach. What has been will be again, what has been done will be […]

Sen. Larry Craig Hits on Male Cop in Restroom

Senator Larry Craig apparently likes to make creepy advances on strange men in airport bathrooms. Unfortunately for him, one of his random targets was a Minneapolis airport policeman. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according […]

A Tale of Two Op-Eds

Steve Benen laments that the recent op-ed by Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack got so much attention while the one by seven junior enlisted veterans of the war has, in the words of Greg Sargent, “been met with near-total silence.” In terms of blog coverage, at least, that’s not the case. The latter op-ed, published […]

Athens, Alabama May Ban Alcohol Sales

Voters in Athens, Alabama today have a chance to vote on a referendum which would make the city “dry” or, as AP’s Jay Reeves puts it, “return this northern Alabama city to the days of Prohibition.” Really, though, this is nothing particularly radical. As readers discover a few paragraphs in, Athens only went “wet” four […]

Late Night OTB – Townes Van Zandt

“Waitin’ Around to Die” from the lengendary Townes Van Zandt, reportedly from 1977’s “Heartworn Highway” documentary:

Al Qaeda’s Role in Iraq

Michael Gordon and Jim Rutenberg argue in today’s NYT that the Bush administration has consistently exaggerated the role of al Qaeda in Iraq for propaganda purposes. That’s undeniably true. “Al Qaeda” is a powerful buzz word and both the terrorists and politicians play it up for effect. In the case of the administration, they made […]

Iraq Round-Up

A number of news stories and posts on Iraq caught my eye this morning. Attack on Green Zone A volley of mortars has struck the Green Zone in Baghdad: A number of mortars have hit Baghdad’s Green Zone, with eyewitnesses reporting smoke rising from the area around the US embassy. About 10 mortars landed in […]

Tennessee ID’s Beer Buyers Regardless of Age

Tennessee now requires everyone to show an ID card to buy beer. Comer Wilson hasn’t had to show his ID to buy beer in a while. Maybe it’s the 66-year-old man’s long white beard. Starting Sunday, gray hair won’t be good enough. Wilson and everyone else will be required to show identification before buying beer […]

Comic Books Top Stocks as Investment

Rare comic books have been among the best-performing investment vehicles.

Why We’re So Damned Fat

Cass Sunstein and Richard Thale review Brian Wansink’s new book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, for The New Republic. While acknowledging changes in the economy that allow people to afford a wide variety of tasty food while exerting less physical labor, issues of self-control, and the usual culprits, Wansink argues that […]

Cheap Wine Works Fine

debunks Julia Childs’ dictum “Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink.” Cooking is a great leveler, removing most of the subtlety from fine wines and smoothing off the rough edges of cheaper ones. Furthermore, “In 1961, when Mrs. Child handed down her edict in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, decent wines at the […]

Guinness Sales Falling in Ireland

Sales of Guinness are plummeting in its native Ireland, as wealthier consumers are sipping Chardonnay and cider. “You’ll still sell Guinness, but you’ll sell the likes of wheat beers, beers from the Czech Republic, beers from Poland,” said Eddy Martin, who runs the Bailey Bar. “Beer sales are declining while the amount of wine is […]

Winemaker Ernest Gallo Dies at 97

Ernest Gallo has died. Ernest Gallo, 97, who with his brother Julio reaped riches from California grapes, shaping the drinking habits of a nation and creating a wine fortune from a small investment, died March 6 at his home in Modesto, Calif. A reticent man who was seldom interviewed, Mr. Gallo was the dynamic, hard-driving […]

Professor Bainbridge Magazine Now Blog Again

Steve Bainbridge has announced that his experiment with a multi-blog magazine format is ending and he is re-consolidating has activities at his old domain, ProfessorBainbridge.com®. The consolidated blog will focus on law, business, and economics, serving as an on-line adjunct to my scholarship and teaching (indeed, I’m posting links to both the PowerPoint slides from […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Binge and Purge Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Libby Trial: Biased Jury Pool Delays Opening Arguments

Judge Reggie Walton has had to readjust his plans for the Scooter Libby trial to deal with a jury pool so overwhelmingly biased against the Bush administration, according to AP’s Matt Apuzzo. Opening arguments have been pushed back to next Tuesday, even though they were supposed to take place Monday. Walton set a Monday through […]

Highlights of the Iraq Strategy Review Slideshow

The Highlights of the Iraq Strategy Review Slideshow is now available on the White House website in PDF format. It’s a PowerPoint style presentation. The most interesting piece is Slide 7, Key Assumptions: I’m not sure that all the new assumptions are more accurate than the old ones–or even that they are all “assumptions.” I […]

New Years View From Europe on NATO

Providing Peace in Our Time on Our Continent In Europe the end of 2006 is a time to reflect on the prospects for peace in our time on our continent. It is also a time to reflect on whether the United States will continue to safeguard Europe and Europe’s interests and at what cost? The […]

Professor Bainbridge Relaunch

Steve Bainbridge has made his return to the blogosphere with a new design and three blogs instead of two: Professor Bainbridge’s Business Associations Blog This is my professional blog, which serves as an extension of my academic scholarship. The subjects about which I post here – law, business, and economics – will be of interest […]

Wine Review: Etude Rose Pinot Noir (Carneros) 2005

Regular readers of my blog know that wine reviews long were a featured part of the blog, so much so that I eventually carved out a separate blog just to chat about wine. When Sue finishes reconstructing my site, wine and food will again be a major part of the mix. In the meanwhile, perhaps […]

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