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Wed Mar 11, 2015 at 06:49 AM PDT

Remembering 3/11/2011

by Last Years Man

Four years ago, today, I was standing in an office in Moto-azabu, Tokyo, when for a full minute, the world around me slipped beyond all semblance of control. I can recall, even now, the convulsions, the way they seemed to be building to a climax that never came, the way they grew ever stronger in an almost defiant manner, daring us to believe that it was going to end. The way the suspended light fixtures on the ceiling above me thrashed to and fro and seemed, at any second, poised to collapse along with the ceiling over our heads. Myself and the people that I was with at the time were spared from the most significant of the drama. But we knew, even standing without injury in the quake's aftermath, that something had changed. That this had been different. That something of undefinable impact had happened and it was only the magnitude of that something that was still in question. We would learn the magnitude soon enough.

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There's a new story up at fox.com with some rather detailed quotes from an anonymous source at the Ferguson police department. While Fox predictably leads with the sensationalist (and wholly subjective) comment that Wilson was 'beaten severely,' if you look at what the source is saying, couched behind the sensational language, there are actually several concessions and new bits of information. For one, it seems the FPD is no longer involved in the investigation and the evidence for the grand jury probe is being prepared by St. Louis police. The FPD is obviously not happy about this and has basically gone into a full PR broadside at their critics while also playing Wilson's advocate in the press. In doing so however, they have already been forced to change several parts of Wilson's story due to the emerging consensus described in today's NYT.

For those of you who care to cross the dividing line and read the article at fox, you can find it here. For those who don't have the stomach, I will quote the key parts below.

http://www.foxnews.com/...

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There's something I've been trying to put my finger on for a long time - an essential element that seperates Obama's governing style from that of not only other presidents, but most other politicians in general. It's the thing that's been his greatest source of success and the cause of his most ineffective moments. It's what causes a good number of you to lose hair follicles every time he opens his mouth. And in short, it comes down to this: Barack Obama, really and truly, does not like to fight.

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Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:14 AM PDT

The McCain Effect

by Last Years Man

I'm going to make a couple of predictions here and no doubt a lot of you are going to be skeptical. First off, Obama is going to win the electoral college. handily. Second, Obama is going to lose the popular vote. Again, handily. Possibly by as many as five points.

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Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 10:16 PM PDT

The Anecdote of the Jar

by Last Years Man

Per one of my favorite poets, Wallace Stevens:

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

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Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 08:55 AM PDT

Andrew Sullivan Nails It Again

by Last Years Man

Right now a lot of us are struggling to wrap our heads around McCain's VP pick and also testing the waters for possible torpedo runs.

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I've got news that is going to shock you so hard your spleen will evaporate. It's going to make Michael Phelps's 8 gold medals look as stale as an 80's cereal commercial and eradicate the remaining follicles of Joe Biden's hair. You WILL REMEMBER where you were when you heard this window shattering, firmament shaking, oceanic tidal wave of an announcement. You will feel tingles all over your body like you haven't since the last time you slept sitting up on a greyhound bus. No... this is it folks.

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H/T to the commenters in Setrak's diary, especially Paul Anderson

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Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 10:58 PM PDT

Spain... We Need to Talk

by Last Years Man

Pardon me but the only words I have upon seeing this are WTF?!?!

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Over at Time, Swampland contributor Jay Newton Small has an article up about the effects of Obama's candidacy on Oahu. It's a pretty interesting article with a lot of amusing side notes (like Japanese tourists visiting Punahou and taking snap shots of a tree Obama may have climbed). It brought my attention to something I hadn't thought much about - that if elected, Obama would not only be the first black president but also the first native Hawaiian. Hey, pretty cool.

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There were several diaries written on Hiroshima yesterday, some condeming the attacks, some defending them as an ugly but necessary tactic to end the war. In particular, this diary offered a detailed and well sourced analysis of claims that Japan was on the verge of surrender.

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Let me start off by saying this is not a conspiracy theory diary. It is simply me introducing some questions into the debate that I feel are worth asking.

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