A Given Definition of Exceptional: Choose Your Own


Among neoconservatives, there is a movement to characterize the United States as “exceptional.” We are different. We are special. With an emphasis on its divine origin (Christian gods only need apply). In a series ofirregular posts, WC is examining the credibility of this claim. WC has taken flack in comments and emails for disputing that…

What Have We Done: All of the rest


WC has had some private email deploring the What Have We Done postings. The series, you will recall, have been honoring birds species in the U.S. that have gone extinct since the country was created. The emails argue that agonizing over the losses serves no purpose. WC disagrees, but admits the pieces are depressing to…

Patent Trolls, Redux


WC has railed about Patent Trolls before, specifically Paul Allen’s silly claims. WC has even written a modest field guide to trolls to assist his readers. But the Paul Allen silly claims benchmark has been surpassed by the recent claims of Lodsys, LLC: that every app developer for the iPhone has violated Lodsys’s patents, and…

What Have We Done: Numenius borealis


At one time, the Eskimo Curlew may have been one of the most numerous shorebirds in North America with a population in the millions. As many as 2 million birds per year were killed near the end of the 19th century. The last confirmed sightings were in 1962 on Galveston Island, Texas (photographed) and on Barbados in 1963 (specimen).…