I’m back from the Austrian bash in Mississauga, where I heard some good papers and toured the nature trail along the powerful-purty Credit River (which despite recent unpleasantness has not dried up!).
Inter alia I heard an interesting story about John McCain; apparently DC’s two airports used to have an agreement whereby Dulles would specialise in flights to the west coast while National wouldn’t fly any farther than Dallas. But McCain was unhappy about this, since he would fly frequently to Phoenix and didn’t like having to trek out each time to the inconvenient Dulles instead of the nearby National; so he sponsored legislation forcing the airports to change their policy. But it would have looked bad, i.e. too obvious (despite causing less bother to the airports), to make the change only for Phoenix, so he required it to be made across the board. Ah yes, country first.
Speaking electionwise, for years the Libertarian Party has fumed about the two 19th-century parties’ candidates’ refusal to debate third-party candidates. But now apparently the LP’s current candidate, Bob Barr, “has made it clear that he will only debate Mr. Nader and no one else” – thereby scuttling the LP’s nearly four-decades-old policy and undermining its ability to argue for its own inclusion in debates in the future. Barr keeps finding new ways to be even more of a disaster than I had predicted.
In less annoying news, this story (conical hat tip to LRC) contains the following intriguing passage:
Ancient, 26,000-year-old footprints made by a child and a dog at Chauvet Cave, France, support the pet notion. Torch wipes accompanying the prints indicate the child held a torch while navigating the dark corridors accompanied by a dog.