Periscope Depth

now let's get it all in perspective

You caught me on a busy day, so just some links to get us started.

First, our nation’s capital has gone under martial law:

D.C. police will seal off entire neighborhoods, set up checkpoints and kick out strangers under a new program that D.C. officials hope will help them rescue the city from its out-of-control violence.

Under an executive order expected to be announced today, police Chief Cathy L. Lanier will have the authority to designate “Neighborhood Safety Zones.” At least six officers will man cordons around those zones and demand identification from people coming in and out of them. Anyone who doesn’t live there, work there or have “legitimate reason” to be there will be sent away or face arrest, documents obtained by The Examiner show.

Though the guys at Cato still aren’t getting any of my money (too many conservatives on their payroll), I do appreciate a good smackdown of National Review as much as anyone:

Andrew McCarthy:If we are detaining such a terrorist, it is because we already know he is a terrorist.

Except when they’re not terrorists.

I love the use of hypertext for irony. I love the era that’s made that possible.

In juvenile delinquency news: I can think of no better way to get children to hate Robert Frost than making them study his poetry as punishment:

More than two dozen young people who broke into Robert Frost’s former home for a beer party and trashed the place are being required to take classes in his poetry as part of their punishment.

Using “The Road Not Taken” and another poem as jumping-off points, Frost biographer Jay Parini hopes to show the vandals the error of their ways – and the redemptive power of poetry.

“I guess I was thinking that if these teens had a better understanding of who Robert Frost was and his contribution to our society, that they would be more respectful of other people’s property in the future and would also learn something from the experience,” said prosecutor John Quinn.

Now granted, vandalizing Robert Frost’s home for a wicked kegger is pretty despicable. I have no sympathy for these punks. But – seriously? You think lecturing them on poetry at gunpoint will strike them as anything but torture?

On the lighter side of things, The Smoking Gun got their hands on Iggy Pop and the Stooges’ concert rider. It’s an insane, hilarious glimpse into the mind of a bizarre man:

3 X MARSHALL VBA BASS AMPLIFIERS: Make sure they’re good ones or we’ll all end up as wormlike web-based life forms in the bass player’s online literary diarrhea. Honestly. He’s like a sort of Internet Pepys or Boswell, except without the gout and syphilis. For all I know.

He works in an ICP diss on the first page too. And there’s 17 more!

For those of you who wondered why I never backed Ron Paul during the early stages of the Republican runoff, Jim Henley explains it better than I can:

The full measure of Paul’s failure isn’t even that he’s not going to be the Republican nominee. It’s that, even since everyone else dropped out of the race but Paul and McCain, he’s still been losing to Mike Huckabee in every state where the Huckster was on the ballot except Pennsyvlania. (Paul was born in Pennsylvania.) Idaho is the only other primary state where he broke 10%. (He hit low double-digits in a few caucus states.) He has 35 delegates by CNN’s reckoning. Huckabee has 275 and Romney 255. With his $30 million in donations, he’s barely breaking the million-bucks-a-delegate mark. That’s ten times the much-ridiculed rate of Mitt Romney.

Paul failed to win any states, to move the GOP debate in his direction, to accrue significant delegates or to leverage his fund-raising into a third-party run. And word is he’s staying quiet about endorsing an independent because he doesn’t want the Congressional GOP leadership to strip him of committee assignments come the fall. Paul accomplished the one thing he’s always been good at: using political appeals to get people to send money. I don’t feel freer.

Finally, if the economics of gas prices baffle you beyond the ability to reason, I suppose prayer is a reasonable response:

unlike the customers rolling up to the station’s pumps this week, resigned to the fact that their wallets were about to take a beating, Rocky Twyman and company had a plan to bring that number tumbling down.

They would ask God to do it.

“Our pockets are empty, but we’re going to hold on to God!” Twyman, a community organizer from Rockville, said as he and seven other people formed a semicircle, held hands and sang, pleading for divine intervention to lower fuel prices.

It was the latest demonstration by Twyman’s movement, Pray at the Pump, which began in April. Since then, he has held group prayers at gas stations as far away as San Francisco, garnering international media attention and even claiming success in at least a couple of cases.

I’d get more irate, but I don’t suppose praying to lower gas prices is any more ridiculous than praying for a cancer patient to get better, or praying for your football team to win, or praying for peace in the Middle East. So who am I to throw stones?

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