another oc gang rape folo

Another update on the Orange County gang rape case — this time on the victim’s cross-examination by Joe Cavallo, seemingly the most repugnant of the defense attorneys.
R. Scott Moxley, the reporter, reminds me in style of Mencken at the Scopes trial, back in the days when bias was expected from reporters. Unlike the folks from the L.A. Times and the other dailies, Moxley’s free to toss aside objectivity and report things as he sees them — in this case, coated with a thick layer of disgust.

travis morrison’s top 100

Travis Morrison has posted his 100 favorite albums of all time. He does it in what strikes me as a fundamentally honest way:
It got me to thinking–hey, what the hell are my Top 100? And really, really, what 100 records have I listened to the most? Not the records I want everyone to think I listened to the most. Not Albert Ayler, although Live at the Village Vanguard is pretty unreal. Not the Nurse With Wound record I would love to claim to be my ninth-favorite of all time, in certain company. What records did I really just play over and over again? What got the most spins, regardless of any other factor?
The list shows him, surprisingly, stuck in 1987-1992. But you have to admire a man with the self-shaming capacity to name OMD’s Dazzle Ships to his personal top 20.

old blogger site

As some of you may know, Blogger recently redesigned. I wanted to see what it looked like, so I logged into my Blogger account for the first time in forever. And I realized that all my old posts from an earlier, non-public iteration of this weblog were still stuffed deep in Blogger’s craw.
Note: We’re not talking about the first iteration of this blog — that would be these two abortive posts from May 2000, back in my Toledo days. Nor are we talking about the first version of, which was a modified version of this page. (Love that purple mug shot!) And we’re certainly not talking about my first web page, the enchantingly titled Cajun OnLine. (Love that capital L!) It was, I believe, lost to a tragic Yale server accident circa 1994.
But we are talking about my first sustained attempt at blogging, in December 2000 — nearly a year before the launch of the current site.
I know you’re all waiting with baited breath, so here it is. (The template is new, since the old one was lost long ago. But the old color scheme was red and gray.) I apologize now for that first entry on December 6.

chandawatch, french 04

Yes, friends, it’s that time of year again. Time for another installment of that franchise we’ve all come to know and love: ChandaWatch.
(For newish readers, I went to high school with Chanda Rubin, one of the world’s top women’s tennis players. So, for the last two years, I’ve posted updates on her career here, focusing on her progress through the grand slams. Also, this gives me an excuse to mention the names of many women’s tennis stars — a pattern which, when combined with out-of-context use of the word “naked,” leads to many, many Google hits. If only I had a nickel for every “anastasia myskina naked” search that leads’s way.)
Anyway, seeds were announced for the French Open today. Chanda’s the 13 seed this time around, a bit lower than normal. That’s no doubt because of her recent knee problems. (She had left knee surgery in both 2001 and 2002; she tweaked the knee again whooping up on Rita Grande in February.) Chanda took three months off and had her first match back on Wednesday. Unfortunately, she lost to Trotskyite nobody Alina Jidkova, 6-7, 7-6, 4-6. In other words, the knee’s not exactly 100 percent.
Anyway, as the bracket lines up, Chanda is favored by seed through to the fourth round, facing a qualifier and then (if seeds hold) the Zimbabwan Cara Black and the Colombian Fabiola Zuluaga. Then would come Venus Williams and a likely demise. (At least that’s how it worked out in 2002 at Roland Garros.) But cross your fingers anyway, everyone.

veterans of future wars

We all know how strapped for manpower the military is at the moment. I read the other day that of the Army’s 10 active-duty divisions, nine are either in Iraq and Afghanistan or on their way there. There are rumblings of a draft, and we’re hearing about inactive reservists and past military types being called back into service. In some ways, it’s looking like everyone is going to be involved in the war effort at one point or another.
So maybe it’s time to revive an old idea: The Veterans of Future Wars.
Times were tough during the Great Depression. To ease the economic pain a little, veterans of World War One lobbied Congress to pay them their war bonuses ten years early. Congress readily acquiesced and passed the Harrison Bonus Bill in January 1936.
This pre-payment was a source of inspiration for Lewis Gorin, a senior at Princeton University. It seemed logical to him that if present-day veterans could get their war bonuses early, why shouldn’t future veterans also receive their money up-front

sy hersh is the man

It’s well established that I’m a Sy Hersh groupie. He’s such a wonderfully tough old bastard, and he’s been kicking ass on the Iraqi prison story.
Here’s another piece on him (and, more broadly, The New Yorker’s war coverage) in the Boston Globe. (Written by the potentially Cajun Don Aucoin.) My favorite quote is the last one, after Aucoin apparently has gotten gruff ol’ Sy saying nice things about New Yorker editor David Remnick:
“You’ve got me saying nice things about my boss. I’m going to lose my Guild membership. I’m out of here. Goodbye.”