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May 20, 2005 7:05 pm

Some Noted Things ...

You are invited to the wedding of our colleague, Chris Bray, and his fiancee, Ann Cherkis, this evening in Las Vegas. No need to pack your bags and fly out there at the last minute. You can see the streaming video of it here between 7:00 p.m. this evening and 3:00 a.m. tomorrow pst. In case the video is blurred, Chris says, Ann is the one in the dress. Best wishes to both of them from all the Cliopatriarchs!

History Week continues at Slate.

Shouldn't we have anticipated this? John F. Burns and Eric Schmidt,"Generals Offer a Sober Outlook on Iraqi War," New York Times, 19 May, offers a grim prospect."In interviews and briefings this week," say Burns and Schmidt,"some of the generals pulled back from recent suggestions, some by the same officers, that positive trends in Iraq could allow a major drawdown in the 138,000 American troops late this year or early in 2006. One officer suggested Wednesday that American military involvement could last ‘many years.'"

Most commencement speeches are best forgotten. George Will's"The Oddness of Everything" Newsweek, 23 May, is one that is best read and contemplated."America is currently awash in an unpleasant surplus of clanging, clashing certitudes," says Will."That is why there is a rhetorical bitterness absurdly disproportionate to our real differences. It has been well said that the spirit of liberty is the spirit of not being too sure that you are right. One way to immunize ourselves against misplaced certitude is to contemplate — even to savor — the unfathomable strangeness of everything, including ourselves." Thanks to Greg Lukianoff at The Fire for the tip.

Finally, some days it just doesn't pay to go to work. O. K., so the fence painting job was in Bethlehem, West Virginia, but is that any reason to think that a 1,500 lb. camel is going to sit in you?

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Greg James Robinson - 5/20/2005

I notice that the police said they had "protocls" for dealing with the situation. They should, by rights, have simply adapted the common-law rule for large-animal termination, summed up in the (scratic dialogue) question: "What time is it when an elephant (or camel) sits on your fencepainter?"

Robert L. Campbell - 5/20/2005


Yesterday the Mississippi IHL Board of Trustees gave Shelby Thames two years of lame-duckitude as President of the University of Southern Mississippi.

They also told him exactly what to do while he waits to be replaced.

Robert Campbell