Perhaps Senator Obama ought to be more willing to speak — or to have someone speak on his behalf

WGN Radio’s Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg is under fire from the Obama campaign for hosting “slimy character assassin [Stanley] Kurtz”.

[Executive producer Zack] Christenson said the Obama campaign was asked to have someone appear on the show and declined the request.

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Why even have we conventions anymore?

Seriously, as meaningless as they are, why have to endure them? Are our “leaders” really so self-indulgent — and the media so sycophantically accommodating — that we continue these week-long parades of platitudes, populist appeals, pedantic lectures on oil policy (or whichever issue you prefer), improbable promises, and pathetic pandering (not to mention presumptuousness!)? Personally — and this probably puts me in a hardly measurable minority –, I should like to see us do away with presidential primaries, reverting, instead, to conventions at which party members decide upon a nominee after arguing, bickering, and back-room dealings. That, or the end of the conventions. Or both? Or the end of the Repulocratic duopoly. Or the fiction that is the modern state, particularly in the absurdly abstract form known as the United States of America.

“Eye of the Tiger”? Really? I want to shoot myself. I need to change the channel.

Harry Reid: Which is worse?

His dry-professor-like terrible public speaking, his tremendously un-charming inability to come off as truly intellectual or a veritable man of the people, or his hair?

Seriously, watching him speak at the DNC directs my mind to thoughts of my freshman year calculus course at eight thirty a.m., a third of the classes of which I missed intentionally.

No, it is not time to elect Barack Obama President of the United States.

Wal-Mart math

I’ll have much more (I hope!) to offer on this later. For now, though, I want to list a couple of statistics and then to return to my hard cider, which I enjoy before I must, somewhat unwillingly (I drove a John Deere tonight! I never have that opportunity in Maryland.), leave Indiana for the East Coast. These are really loose figures — and this is a really rambling post –, but they should give the reader some idea of the massive amount of ground coverage detailed.

At any given time, approximately three hundred and fifty Wal-Mart stores sit empty, the victims of relocation and/or expansion.

In Nineteen ninety-nine, the average empty Wal-Mart covered sixty-two thousand and fifty-seven square feet.

That’s about five hundred acres. Area dedicated to parking at a Wal-Mart sometimes as much as triples the acreage of the store. Estimating conservatively, we’ll go with two-and-one-half times. That takes us to about twelve hundred and fifty acres.

Think, now, about how many more Wal-Marts have, probably, closed their doors, about the increased size of stores — and the size of Supercenters and concomitant parking lots –, and the number of abandoned Home Depots, Lowe’s, and so forth. And don’t forget about shopping malls and strip malls. Stacy Mitchell, in 2000, wrote that, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, about five hundred million square feet of retail space sat empty (almost eleven thousand, five hundred acres!); acres of unused asphalt surround most of those vacant spaces.

Anyone not see something wrong with this?

More on this — with a point! — and, I hope, much more web-logging, once my respite in the Hoosier State ends and I return to the Free (except for all of those taxes) State

New online magazine

Courtesy of James Poulos and Peter Suderman, Culture 11

Eleven-year-old says, “No!” to planners; this planning student rejoices.

Courtesy of Mr Schwenkler, I learn that Katie and Sabrina Lewis have regained the right to operate their front-yard produce stand in Clayton, Socialist Paradise California.

[E]leven-year-old Sam Albertsen had another solution [to alleged reasons for shutting down the Fisher-Price fruit pavilion]:

“If people have traffic issues, they can fix it,” he said, referring to the Lewises. “Tell them what the problem is, and they’ll fix it.” [My emphasis, for awesome anti-statism from a budding libertarian. – NPO]

Seriously, urban planners are so lame.

If you’ve, wisely, missed the DNC . . .

enjoy Will and Nicola’s awesome live-web-logging. Here, too.