Daily Archives: 12/24/2010


Sunset near Toppenish

Sunset near Toppenish

Originally uploaded by BruceTheEconomist


Books: William Shatners Bio–Up Till Now

I really enjoyed this, and would recommend it.

I was (and am) a big Star Trek fan, and I knew Shatner mostly from that.  In fact though, as my well informed readers know, he’s done a lot of other things, many of them since the show.  Some of these things were less known to me.  Also, he’s lived a very interesting life.

In the book he uses all of this as great raw material.  He discusses his triumphs such winning an Emmy for Boston Legal.  He spends a lot of time on Star Trek of course, and you learn some things you may not have known about Leonard Nimoy as well, such as his growing up as a Jew in Boston and struggling with Alcoholism.  He also discusses his four marriages, including his third that ended with his wife’s death by drowning in their pool.

The book is very honest.  He is shamelessly, but with a wink engages in self promotion, à la price line.  But he also, discusses his failures and some regrets.  Regrets such as hunting down a bear with a bow and arrow, only to realize why kill such a noble creature.

Finally, William Shatner is a very funny guy.  Read the first chapter if you can and you’ll see what I mean.  If you can get the audio book.  Shatner reads it in his “Shatnerian” style.

Thumbs up.

Lots of Links


Should a Lame Duck Quack? (via The BackChannel Blog)

A couple of brief observations:

1. The 1998 elections also indicated unpopularity of the direction of the party in the power. It was a rare case where there President’s party (Clinton’s Democrats) gained seats; and
2. However, the size of the loss of the majority was a lot smaller, and the Republicans did mantain a majority.

Should a Lame Duck Quack? The latest outrage from the right is the legislation Congress is trying to pass before the 111th United States Congress adjourns.  They insist that it is wrong for anything to pass before the new Congress is sworn in.  Some of the legislation are minor things like approving the START Treaty to make it difficult for nuclear proliferation. I'm trying to remember when there was this sort of major outrage during other lame duck sessions.  Sure there' … Read More

via The BackChannel Blog


“Europe knows nothing of liberty and freedom” was asserted in a comment on another blog.

The Magna Carta? The American revolution was at least part driven by colonists feeling they were being deprived of their rights as Englishmen.

France played a crucial role in the success of that revolution.

Thousand of Germans risked their lives to escape across the Berlin wall.

Greece is the birthplace of democracy.

Many Hungarians risked their lives in a hopeless and short lived revolution against the Soviets in 1956. I could go on but I think you get the point.

Obviously in Europe’s long history there are a lot of couterexamples such as Nazi Germany, Napoleonic France and Soviet Russia. In fact that should remind us that freedom can be lost.

But I don’t think it follows that Europeans are just mindless, weak and willing pawns of the state, so as soon they do something that proves it’s a bad idea, or at least inconsistent with “freedom”.

Inspector Clouseau, We Need You! (via Still Skeptical After All These Years)

Read some of the comments on this. The comments on Jim Wheeler’s blog are always good.

Inspector Clouseau, We Need You! For those of you who may have missed the ABC News item the other day on airport security, here is an interesting item that should be a 5-alarm wakeup call for the Department of Homeland Security.  You can't make this stuff up. An Arab-looking American businessman, Farid Seif, passed through TSA security at an airport last fall with a loaded Glock pistol in his … Read More

via Still Skeptical After All These Years