Sizzle: A reporter for a certain national newspaper who says I “seared him” in my blog a while back for a story he wrote about the blurring of lines between edit and advertising, e-mailed me today to let me know there are a group of professors who see things differently from me who were compelled to do something about it.

First, as the seven readers of this weblog know, I hate it when people think I’m “searing” them just because I resort to cheap-shots and sarcasm to attack their point-of-view. I would never want to “sear” people. That sounds so, I don’t know, personal. And I’m not the searing kind. Oh, wait. Except in the case of those professors.

Traveling man

Traveling man: Just got back to town after a drive from Atlanta to Nashville and several hours of listening to some pioneering podcasters. I’ll discuss those sometime later this weekend. In the meantime, you can read my earlier post on the topic. If you missed out on the first days of blogging, here’s your chance to be on the ground floor of the next next thing. But that’s later.

I had to jump on my blog to clear out my in-box of vaporzine sightings. Thanks to Eddie Rider who sent me three this morning (one, however calls itself a magazine but is really a website that updates once a month, which is something, but it’s not what I blog about here).

The first one has no link, but comes with this quotation from somewhere: “American Media is developing Sly, a new health and fitness monthly aimed at older men, which would feature Stallone on the cover of each issue.” (Wait, this is October 1, not April 1, right?)

The other story is not actually about a vaporzine, as it apparently is already on the streets of Detroit, but I don’t have time to do another post. It’s a new magazine called Strut and its creators “hope their monthly will appeal to women’s intellects without being too heavy and intellectual,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

(Eddie even suggested the bumper music [links to come later]: Strutter (Kiss) and Eye of the Tiger (Survivor))


Flashback: As I watched the debate last night while IMing with a person of a different persuasion, I typed in the comment “Amy Carter” at the point where Kerry started talking about “nuclear proliferation.” First, here are the two similar-sounding sound bites from last night and the famous “Amy Debate” of 1980:

Last night’s debate:

JIM LEHRER: If you are elected president, what will you take to that office thinking is the single most serious threat to the national security to the United States?

KERRY: Nuclear proliferation. Nuclear proliferation. There’s some 600-plus tons of unsecured material still in the former Soviet Union and Russia. At the rate that the president is currently securing it, it’ll take 13 years to get it. I did a lot of work on this. I wrote a book about it several years ago — six, seven years ago — called “The New War,” which saw the difficulties of this international criminal network. And back then, we intercepted a suitcase in a Middle Eastern country with nuclear materials in it. And the black market sale price was about $250 million. Now, there are terrorists trying to get their hands on that stuff today. And this president, I regret to say, has secured less nuclear material in the last two years since 9/11 than we did in the two years preceding 9/11.

The Second 1980 Presidential DebateOctober 28, 1980

HOWARD K. SMITH: President Carter, you have the last word on this question.

CARTER: I think, to close out this discussion, it would be better to put into perspective what we’re talking about. I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said she thought nuclear weaponry – and the control of nuclear arms. This is a formidable force. Some of these weapons have 10 megatons of explosion. If you put 50 tons of TNT in each one of railroad cars, you would have a carload of TNT – a trainload of TNT stretching across this nation. That’s one major war explosion in a warhead. We have thousands, equivalent of megaton, or million tons, of TNT warheads. The control of these weapons is the single major responsibility of a President, and to cast out this commitment of all Presidents, because of some slight technicalities that can be corrected, is a very dangerous approach.

First, let me say I agree with John Kerry and Amy Carter (and Jim Lileks for that matter, but I don’t have time to search down a link to his essay on this topic). However, I find both answers far removed from the personal fear I have regarding a terrorist walking around with a suitcase containing a nuclear device. First Kerry and Carter attempt to establish their expertise on the topic in, well, interesting ways: “I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy.” “I wrote a book about it several years ago.” Then they wade into some statistical didactics that leave viewers scratching their heads. “Nuclear proliferation.” “Nuclear weaponry.” In 2004, those terms seem so academic and, what, Cold War era?

Why not say something like, “If the war on terror has several fronts, the Normandy invasion of this war should be aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons…and that includes our own.” Beschloss was right: Adlai Stevenson vs. John Wayne. (Halley, on the other hand, thinks it was Abe Lincoln vs. Alfred E. Neuman [although her spelling of his name shows she hasn’t wasted as much time with Mad Magazine as I have]. See what I mean? Inkblot test.)