Welcome to the 125th edition of the Carnival of the Vanities. Many thanks to Silflay Hraka for starting the Carnival to showcase smaller blogs to a wider readership. Look for future Carnivals at these sites:
February 16th - Soccer Dad
February 23rd - Pundit Guy
March 2nd - Belief Seeking Understanding
March 9th - Solomonia
March 16th - Bird's Eye View
March 23rd - CodeBlueBlog
March 30th - Eric Berlin
April 6th - Incite
April 13th - Yea, Whatever
Future dates are open to anyone interested in hosting. While you're here, feel free to look around -- this post will tell you more about what I do here.
OK, enough of the introduction, on with the show. As is traditional, we have taken all comers regardless of their point of view. I have exercised my editorial license only in selecting the first post:
Ayn Rand Centennial
Last week would have been Ayn Rand's 100th birthday. Rand had the courage to defend individual rights and capitalism in the 40's, 50's, and 60's when socialism was running rampant, both in the intellectual community as well as in the majority of the countries represented in the UN. I had the privilege to see her speak at Northeastern University just a few months before her death, and she was feisty to the end. I remember someone asking her why she didn't believe in housewives, and Rand answering that she didn't think housewives were a matter of belief.
Bill Adams at Idler Yet has a retrospective on Ayn Rand, pop culture, and the "clear line of decent" from Les Miserable to Atlas Shrugged.
Paul Noonan of the Electric Commentary, using Mardi Gras as his starting point, makes the case that government bans on certain behaviors tend to have the perverse effect of actually promoting those behaviors or making them more intense (heck, he should see the 16th hole at the Phoenix (FBR) Open last week!)
The Peoples Republic of Seabrook (winner of the first annual Coyote award for most stunning masthead on a blog) has many problems with George Bush, but isn't ready to take Fidel Castro onto the anti-Bush team quite yet, urging the Cuban dictator to get his own house in order before calling the kettle black.
Since we are on the subject of "the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend", I will point to my own post this week urging Captains Quarters to be willing to defend an enemy when they are right.
In Britain, Tory women are apparently rebelling against all women "shortlists" for jobs, according to The Liberty Cadre, preferring to be considered for their merit, rather than their uterus.
Conservative Dialysis observes that a number folks who swore they would leave the country if Bush won a second term are actually doing just that.
In Dissecting Leftism, John Ray rounds up a number of posts taking shots at the left from nearly every direction imaginable.
What I'd Liked to Have Said provides a scorecard for the State of the Union address.
The New Federalist proposes a new party called the "New Screaming Left" built around Juan Cole and Howard Dean.
Today's Haiku: President Boxer / Takes on the Gonzales vote / Attacks Dems who say yay. (OK, the use of Haiku makes sense if you check out the post).
Solomonia reports on the recent Robert Spencer talk about the new Boston mosque, and argues that some people are still burying their head in the sand as to the dangers of radical Islam.
While certainly not shy about criticizing the media as being shaped too much by myths and too little by facts, Setting the World to Rights criticizes the Belmont Club for misusing the term "Orwellian" in describing the media.
Watcher of Weasels describes Islamic terrorists kidnapping mentally handicapped children to use as unwitting suicide bombers, and points out a perhaps small silver lining to the story: that terrorists may be running out of voluntary recruits to blow themselves up for totalitarianism.
QandO takes on the "chickenhawk fallacy", having little patience for those who want to argue that everyone who supports the war must be ex-military, or at least ready to go fight the war.
Instantmash.net comes to the conclusion that yes, the Bush administration and the US government has lost its mind by pursuing the war in Iraq.
PeakTalk finds it odd that the Vagina Monologues are now portraying the American military as a source of, rather than a solution to, violence against women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Smallest Minority argues that Saul Cornell, and not the Administration, is the one trying to redefine the Second Amendment, and provides a line-by-line fisking of Cornell's recent op-ed. Saul Cornell responds here, and the Smallest Minority rebuts.
Classical Values challenges the statistics behind the proposed San Francisco gun ban, arguing that a similar DC ban did nothing to reduce gun crime.
Crime and Punishment
Interested Participant points to a troubling story of a massive gun heist in Pennsylvania.
Baggage...and Blathering studies another woman who has killed her children, and finds only evil in a horrible tale of death by starvation.
From the "be thankful for progress files", the Examining Room of Dr. Charles brings us this story of the horrifying effects of the Tuskegee experiments on Syphilis treatment. Makes one wonder what treatments we are using today that will shock people 50 years from now.
Kevin, M.D. tells us why that famous warning at the end of Levitra ads (the dreaded 4+ hour erection) addresses a real medical problem. Please note Kevin that I have made no attempts at humor and have played this issue totally "straight".
Blog d'Elisson points out yet another reason you may not be able to fire someone, and roundly criticizes a proposed Georgia law allowing pharmacists to refuse to sell certain legal medications if they object to them on moral grounds.
Economics & Property Rights
Different River debunks the economic canard that natural disasters are good for the economy, in the context of the Asian Tsunami
The Musings of Brian J. Noggle takes on the use of eminent domain to seize people's houses for private developers or niche uses -- causing him to ask whether "ownership society" means government owns everything. More here and here.
Libertarian Leanings calls global warming "the latest rationale for folks on the left to propose some sort of rationing". Their post questions both the basis for rationing in general and the science behind global warming theory in particular.
Revealed Truth pursues a similar theme, building on an editorial by ex-Greenpeace activist Patrick Moore to argue that the environmental movement has drifted from promoting environmental protection to promoting socialism and statist controls under the guise of environmental concern.
How good are the doomster predictions of environmentalists? Yet another weird SF fan takes on this question by looking back at some writings from the 1970's.
I am bummed I have not gotten a Superbowl post yet, but I still hold out hope. Speaking of hope, what about the NHL? Jewboy at Multiple Mentality curses all sides, and offers some potential compromises to bring hockey back.
Tim Worstall has a great story of parlaying blog comments on Margot Wallstrom's EU Blog into an interview with a journalist and eventually into a full-fledged feature in the Sunday Telegraph.
Are the unread posts in Bloglines piling up? Well, Rip & Read is podcasting! Each day Charlie Quidnunc picks a few of his favorite blog posts and reads them out loud, recording them to MP3 and posting the files on his site. His most recent podcast covers Eason Jordan, the identity of Deep Throat, and bringing market pricing to regulated electricity.
Libertarian Girl has an in depth comparison of Typepad and Blogger. I won't spoil the ending but I agree 100%.
Tired of Moveable Type blogs forgetting your commenter information? The Flying Space Monkey thinks he has found the fix.
basil's blog takes on the humorous assignment to imagine Michael Moore setting out to do the research on a documentary on blogs.
Medical Madhouse combines Mary Shelly with Blogging to humorously highlight a number of interesting blogs.
Hospice Blog attempts to explain why a service that is based on the death of a loved one is so widely respected and loved. (On a personal note, I have been to a number of Hospice events here in Phoenix and the debt of gratitude that survivors universally express to Hospice for the help their loved ones got in their final days is always emotionally overwhelming).
Darleen's Place has a lovely post on thoughts about a funeral, where she remembers an extraordinary woman and how she lives on through the lives of others.
The World According to Pete has some fascinating tales from a world most of us never see. Pete works 40 hours a week with the homeless and shares some of his experiences.
Entertainment, Pop Culture & Humor
The Cliffs of Insanity (extra credit for gratuitous Princess Bride reference in a blog name) has a very funny post on strange and irritating bumper stickers. My personal advice is to slap one of Dogbert's "cops are wusses" bumper stickers on their car.
Wicked Thoughts has a funny post on greeting card messages you won't find at Hallmark (e.g. My tire was thumping / I thought it was flat / When I looked at the tire... / I noticed your cat. / Sorry! )
Wordlab comments on the incredible transition of Paul McCartney from 60's scourge of the establishment to Superbowl savior of traditional values.
The Key Monk lays into the new Napster business model, calling it the new Divx.
Right Wingnuthouse sets out to fisk John Hawkin's hubris in attempting to rank the top 10 Star Trek characters. RW lays out its own character ranking, as well as a ranking of the shows and movies as well. Pretty good stuff, but how can you rank movie IV over movie II?! No excuse for that -- You can't compare "there be whales here" to "Khhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaannnn". Also, how can you leave out Captain Pike, the only man on-screen for more time with less dialog (beeeeep) than Arnold in Terminator? [ed- sorry, I promised to play these posts without editorial comment but you hit a nerve on Star Trek]
Dodgeblogium finds a great suggestion for a rock band name, courtesy of John McCain via Dave Berry's blog (really).
Shaking Spears revisits the question of did "Stratford Will" write the "Shakespeare" plays, or was it someone else? Perhaps more importantly, the post makes the argument that who wrote the plays matters in more than just a CSI:Elizabethan England way -- "Knowing the true identity of the author of the Works of Shakespeare helps to make the plays relevant, real, and compelling for those who had previously found the plays difficult to appreciate."
Just when you were starting to think that the Carnival was all intellectual musings with no relevance, Business of Life steps up with advice on being prepared for emergencies (and yes, its more than just "wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident" which is all I can remember from what my mom taught me.)
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And that's it! If I missed anyone, it was not on purpose - blame my spam filter. I would like to say, after all the effort, "boy, I'm not going to do that again for a while", but in fact I am in 2 weeks at the Carnival of the Capitalists.
UPDATE: I seem to have missed a couple of posts in my inbox. My apologies in particular to Yet Another Weird SF Fan and QandO. These have been added. If you think you were missed, email me and I will get you in.