WHERE'S TOM PAINE WHEN WE NEED HIM? The New York Times reports that Yale University just peed down its Ivy League pants. Okay, the Times didn't say that. It said that Yale Press's forthcoming book on the controversy over the Muhammed cartoons....won't have any of the cartoons. Or ANY illustrations whatsoever of Mr. M, out of fear of offending some real lunatics.
My view of this is best expressed by Reza Aslan, author of “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.”
“There were people who were annoyed [by the original publication of the cartoons], and what kind of publishing house doesn’t publish something that annoys some people? It’s not just academic cowardice, it is just silly and unnecessary.”
TODAY'S MEETING OF THE DEATH PANEL SHALL COME TO ORDER: Republicans keep spreading vicious rumors that the Democrats' health plan includes euthanasia. At least, Dem. Sen. Robert Byrd hopes it's just a rumor.
HOW LAZY AM I? The other night, I was so lazy, I wouldn't get out of the Barcalounger to pick up the remote and ended up watching 90 minutes of Ohio State football practice on the Big 10 Network...and I HATE Ohio State.
I WISH I'D WRITTEN THAT (CHAPTER 248): Great line in the review of "The Time Traveler's Wife," by Joanne Kaufman in The Wall Street Journal: "Eric Bana seems to have two modes of acting, shaven and unshaven." P.S. I think Patty Smiley has a major crush on Mr. Bana, hairy or not.
I LOVE PEACHES! I have driven 250 miles round trip to pick peaches in Kings County, CA. I was doing research for "ILLEGAL," and I wanted to accurately portray the migrants' work. But I also wanted to eat the best peaches California has to offer. They're from a third generation family farm that supplies Farmers' Markets. Commercially grown peaches (and tomoatoes etc). are bred to be hauled distances and dropped from great heights without causing a dent. This is not the peach in your grandfather's parfait. Now, here's word from China on the world's sweetest, juiciest peach. They should be eaten within 24 hours of being picked....which doubtless explains why Ridley didn't bring me any when he returned from Shanghai. Here's the story from the Wall Street Journal, entitled "The Best Peach on Earth."
THE END OF SHAME? If a woman has a 20-year affair with Bernie (Scumbag) Madoff, should she hang her head in shame or boast about it in a book? Aw shucks, you know the answer.
Sheryl Weinstein, the chief financial officer of Hadassah, an organization that invested with Madoff, will soon release a memoir entitled “Madoff’s Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie, and Me,” Ms Weinstein has been married 37 years and apparently also lost her family's savings by giving Bernie her bucks as well as her body. Story here.
PITHY QUOTE OF THE WEEK: This comes from my friend Gary Eberle, owner of Eberle Winery in Paso Robles, CA. "The difference between wine and children is you can sit down and reason with a bottle of Cabernet."