« Open Link Thread | Main | Ask The Expert »

December 05, 2007

The Four Best Paragraphs I've Read Today


Riding my bike this morning, I coasted down the left-hand side of M Street, in the gap between the traffic and parked cars. The light was red but clearly about to change. Suddenly the driver's side door of the car one length in front and to the right of me began to swing open, and a leg emerged. I skidded to a halt, cursed and glared at the driver.

But his face was totally blank, uncomprehending, and remained so as he slowly reversed his motions. Why shouldn't he suddenly abandon his car and start wandering around as the light changed? It's still locomotion, after all. And in this dumbfounding urban hallucination, where even frozen water can fall from the sky, who's to say that one way of navigating the dreamscape is more valid than another?


Noah Millman and Russell Arben Fox offer their views of what Mitt Romney ought to say in his big speech about religion. Probably he should stay in keeping with his main campaign themes and just tell Republican primary voters that he's willing to say whatever they want him to say about Mormonism and explain that he's only had trouble with this issue because it's not clear what people want from him.

Daniel Davies:

although the Mearsheimer & Walt “Israel Lobby” does have a referent which is a real and definable set of groups and institutions, this lobby really doesn’t have all that much to do with Israel. Every time this slightly scary bunch of warlike, paranoid and rather right-wing people are asked to make a choice between the national interests of Israel and their own vanity politics, it’s Israel that gets shafted. Any concern over “divided loyalties” or what have you is completely misplaced – the “Israel Lobby” are nationalists of a completely imaginary state, one which has no meaningful politics of its own, no need to compromise with reality and no national interests other than constant war.

December 5, 2007 | Permalink


Daniel Davies wins, but Matt comes in a very close second.

Posted by: Tom Hilton | Dec 5, 2007 8:01:08 PM

A little more on bikes and car doors.

Posted by: Sean | Dec 5, 2007 9:34:03 PM

Speaking of open threads, and of outsourcing your blogging to others: everyone should check out Consumerist's awesome liveblog of the Senate hearing on abusive credit card practices
好秘书 呼吸网 肿瘤网

Posted by: kfrf | Dec 5, 2007 10:23:01 PM

I think bike riding is great, so I'm really not trying to kick off a drivers vs. cyclists flame war. But whether or not drivers should check for oncoming bike traffic before opening their car doors, bikers really need to keep in mind that for many drivers, having a bicyclist near them in traffic is a very low-frequency event, and having one pass by as they're getting out of their car is extremely low frequency, and that it's actually kind of tricky to check for a cyclist coming from behind when you're sitting in a parked car.

Posted by: Christopher M | Dec 5, 2007 11:17:58 PM

Christopher: I'm the guy who wrote the linked post, and agree completely. But that's what made the whole thing so infuriating: yes, you need to be on the lookout for parked cars suddenly sprouting doors. But cars that are in the traffic lanes?! Should we really have to look out for drivers suddenly alighting from their cars, swinging their doors open in the middle of the street? It was bizarre.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 5, 2007 11:38:22 PM

Unfortunately, a bicyclist in Manhattan was killed yesterday in an incident similar to Tom's involving a car passenger who opened his door in oncoming traffic.

Posted by: Patience | Dec 6, 2007 10:38:10 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.