It’s been two thousand four hundred days since 11 September 2001.

This Is a Full Service Blog

Blue Oregon editor Jeff Alworth seems to have a fascination with libertarian OSU economics prof Patrick Emerson. Back in December, they were together on the trail of a sales tax (as I chronicled here, here, here, and here), and now Emerson has begun to whine about how he has to spend literally minutes a month waiting for attendants at Oregon’s gas stations. I suppose he’ll be complaining about having to pay a deposit on bottles next.

Surprisingly, for someone who’s supposed to be versed in the black arts of economics, he seems to be under the impression that gas prices would go down if the stations did away with attendents. Since AAA says that the average price of gasoline in self-service Vancouver is roughly the same price as it is here in Portland, and that gas in Ontario is actually fifteen cents cheaper than it is in Spokane, I’m not convinced.

Anyway, he’s running a poll on full-service vs. self-service gasoline at The Oregon Economics Blog. Do me a favor and go vote in his poll to maintain Oregon’s status (along with New Jersey) as a full-service state.

To Hell With Chihuly

You want a piece of exceptional glass sculpture? Barbara found this old airport runway light bulb at a thrift store for millions of times less than what one of those garish, all-too-ubiquitous tentacled things would cost. It sits on top of an old 1930s refrigerator in a cradle handcrafted from a rubberized clothes hanger, in front of the Wall of Cats.

The Anti-Chihuly Sculpture

Speaking of the Wall of Cats, when Barbara brought home the frames, I made this little arrangement. Art is where you find it.

Wall of Frames

From the “Nobody Could Have Predicted” Department

Steve Coll, in Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, referencing a news item about President Muhammed Najibullah, the last leader of the Communist regime, just before Kabul fell to the mujahedeen in early 1992, from the International Herald Tribune:

“We have a common task—Afghanistan, the U.S.A., and the civilized world—to launch a joint struggle against fundamentalism,” Najibullah told reporters in his palace office as the mujahedin closed to within rocketing distance. “If fundamentalism comes to Afghanistan, war will continue for many years. Afghanistan will turn into a center of world smuggling for narcotic drugs. Afghanistan will be turned into a center for terrorism.


Out of the frying pan of Philadelphia (for Eschacon) and into the fire of Michigan (for Perrincon). It’s been a grueling day, as you might expect, for the hard-core "Perrin-oids" (as we devoted followers of Dennis Perrin are called). Below is a picture typical of the group, as we sit, exchanging barbs, smacking our heads against the wall in frustration at the stupidity of the fools we seemingly have to suffer this election season. Is it only April?


I can’t tell you exactly how many of us there were, but it felt crowded in there.

Eschacon in Crappy Pictures

Eschacon is sooo last weekend, and I’m probably the last person who was there who will have anything to post, but then I’m possibly too single-track to write posts and pay attention at the same time. Heck, I don’t even like to take notes. But here are a few photos, starting with the requisite panels, in the order of the day.

Having an Impact

Eschacon: Having an Impact
Digby, Jane Hamsher, NTodd, Atrios

Comedy and Political Critique

Eschacon: Comedy and Political Critique
watertiger, Trex, The Rude Pundit, Ted Rall, Thers

Creating Constitutional Accountability

Eschacon: Creating Constitutional Accountability
Scott Horton, Kagro X, Eric Johnson (Chief of Staff, Rep. Robert Wexler), Bob Fertik

Media Bias

Eschacon: Media Bias
Will Bunch, Eric Boehlert, Susie Madrak, Athenae, Spocko, Douglas K. Smith

DFH Economics

Eschacon: DFH Economics
Paul Krugman, Atrios, Echide of the Snakes

I don’t think I have much to add to the accounts of the panels. There was some decent liveblogging from Sinfonian. I was rather pleased to spend most of the day sharing a table with Spocko, his wife, and Athenae, among others, and to have gotten in the first question (on one of my favorite topics, fact-checking editorials and opinion pieces) during the Media Bias panel.

Just a few other photos to share. The Rude Pundit, in full tilt mode during the Saturday party:

Eschacon: The Rude Pundit Performs

Jane Hamsher, blogging during The Rude Pundit’s performance:

Eschacon: Jane Hamsher Blogging

And the photo I emailed to Jane of the Rude Pundit’s doll that she told me she wasn’t going to use in her post.

Eschacon: The Doll

Wall Art

When we were staying in a (relatively) budget motel outside of Birmingham last fall, we were struck by the entertaining choice of wall art, which varied a bit from the bland variety you usually run across in a motel. The photo on the left, from the wall of our bedroom, is a fairly representative example.

On the other hand, when I checked into a nationally-known motel brand’s location near the Pentagon Sunday night, I found a portrait of George Washington and a copy of the Declaration of Independence next to the bed.

Wall Art From the Britannia Stockport HotelWall Art From the Best Western Pentagon