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September 14, 2005

The Carnival Of The Vanities Turns Three

The 156th edition of the Carnival of the Vanities is hosted Three years ago today, give or take a week or so, the CoTV--and the idea of blog carnivals itself, was born. As with so many blog inventions, its genesis is owed more to a desperate desire for traffic than from any more altruistic reasons. Adam Smith would have recognized it instantly, once he was brought up to speed.

Three years is of course a hideously long time on the Internet, so the CoTv is increasingly elderly and on occasion very cranky indeed as it travels from host to host. Calls for it to be retired for one reason or another have regularly appeared over the years, especially as its numerous offspring have come to dominate the ecosystem of the blogosphere.

But, like a marsupial in a placental-dominated environment, it keeps trudging on even as seemingly more fit relatives fall by the wayside. Like the possum, the CoTV is a generalist, built to survive on scraps, and while its heyday was in the Internet-equivalent of millions of years ago, it still gets along quite nicely, thank you, even burdened as it is by a creator with an over-developed sense of metaphor.

That's one reason why I've resisted calls to make it more restrictive, or to cap submissions, or anything else that would lead to a sharply drawn boundary as to what a Carnival Of The Vanities is or is not. Once a species, or a meme, in this case, evolves to fit a particular niche, it opens itself up to the possibility of exticntion when that niche vanishes, or changes--a theory that hosts of The Tangled Bank will easily recognize.

This is not to say that the Carnival Of The Vanities will not one day disappear. All things come to an end, especially those that dwell in the ecotone created by humans and computers. But, like the protuberous schnozz of many a parent, the idea it spawned will be passed on by its children.

This week, feeding the smelly, scarified beast that is the COTV:

Eretz Filastin

This Blog is Full of Crap - Five Gazans Die In Celebrations


10: Life vests were packed with C-4.
8: Lifeguards busy with morning prayers.
7: Got confused with Dead Sea, thought people couldn't drown in it.

Different River - Burning Synagogues for Peace

Yes, under the Palestinian Authority, the right to burn synagogues shall not be infringed. And the Los Angeles Times says that “Palestinian security forces appeared to have decided not to use force” implying that they aren’t behind the destruction but merely chose not to interfere, when in fact it’s official Palestinian policy to destroy the synagogues. This is as stupid as reporting that KKK “decided not to use force” to stop lynchings.

Solomonia - Burning Villages, Christian Indifference

Arab Christians are a Dhimmi people, a dwindling minority at peril to life and limb in an unfriendly sea efficient at punishing those who violate a national narrative and tribal norms if nothing else. Those living under such oppression don't always need to be kept under wraps by their jailers -- they keep themselves convinced...true-believing double-thinkers adept at displaying loyalty to the dominant culture.

Nonoverlapping Magisteria

Forward Biased - Theoretically True

The truth is that the only sciences that can offer absolute, solid proof of anything are mathematics and logic--and logic is limited in that any proofs it can offer are contingent on the validity of the postulates one starts with. No one can actually prove that he exists, or that the doorknob he just turned exists anywhere outside of his mind. So we need to lay to rest this idea of "solid proof" in favor of something actually achievable: compelling evidence.

Dr. Hartline - Religion

Of course, if we would just try to understand them and find a common ground, maybe we could all just get along. As long as we don't let Christians hold an elected office, the world will be safe for peace and democracy.

Back of the Envelope - The Great Debate

The problem is not a problem with Jesus per se, but with the metaphysical belief in dis-embodied conscious states. Spirits, which I take to be no different from conscious/thinking things (after all, what survives after you die but that part of you which thinks?) cannot be separated from the biological, causal systems which produce those conscious states. Now, one of the things I've always admired about the Christian tradition is its appreciation (except in recent times) of the flesh. Even the supposed resurrection of Jesus is understood to be a bodily resurrection.

Tangled Web

Blog Business World - Landing pages: Targeted sales makers

Most e-mail newsletter editors understand, after countless attempts, that the site home page is not the best place to send prospective customers. The page is simply too general, and is not focussed directly on conversions to paying customers. The home page is more of an introduction to the business in general. The landing page is a targeted sales page. That’s the difference.

Musings - The Devil You Know

Oh, sure, some tech snobs liken Bill Gates and Microsoft to The Devil and the AntiChrist, but face it, you pasty-legged, Macintosh-huffing zone dweebie, when Steve Jobs introduces the iPodPeople, a music player with the ability to download music, photos, OnStar service, debit card, and other software protected by GUID and DRM which you can implant directly into your freaking head, you'll line up around the block for the outpatient surgery.

Resistance Is Futile! - Our Future

We spent about 20 minutes talking about nothing but blogs and their role in the election. He seemed as eager to learn from us as we were to interrogate him. And he drove home what he hopes will be another big difference between his campaign and those of his opponents and predecessors: credit. He was quick to give credit to the people working for him, and vowed to always give credit to everyone who helps him. He made it clear that he doesn't like seeing politicians stand up and take all the credit for a team effort. I think this is wise: the better you treat the people who help you, the more they help you; the more they help you, the more successful you are.

BPWrap - Big Ideas Come Out Of Big Pencils

This new website is afflicted by the same problem that was described in a post Trial By Firefox in The Other Bloke's Blog back in March of this year. One of the websites that was also "broken" in Firefox was the Microsoft Great Plains Video Demo. Since this is Microsoft's principal Business Solution for medium and small businesses, you would think they'd do something about it.

Up With People!

Pratie Place - Attack of The Brazilians

There's so much midriff on Brazil Day there's hardly even any point in oogling. Have a midriff? Go ahead! Let it stick out! Have another deep-fried item! When you're 15 you can eat all of them you want, and your stomach won't stick out, but when it does, Brazil will not cast you out! You won't even have to take out your belly button ring.

Big Picture Small Office - The Mind Boggles

The limits of language define, for all intents and purposes, the limits of our minds. Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein understood that it is language which enables us to think; where no words exist to describe a concept, there is no concept.

What would he say, then, when words put to paper are in disorder like tossed boggle tiles? What are the limits of our understanding when the message is unsorted and the intent disarrayed?

The Idiom - The "Man" Seeks Extinction of "Hippies of the Jungle"

"Basically, they are not well evolutionarily suited to their environment," said Darth Roger, PhD. "Their evolutionary adaptations of smoking dope, free love and holding large, open air rock concerts did not do much to enhance their survival value in the cold, unforgiving world of nature. Long story short – they’re much too easy prey."

Chicken Fried Life - Arrogant Guy In Charge

First point to remember, at no time during the interview did he ever ask any questions of the contestant, ummmm, candidate. This was an endurance competition that only the strongest would survive. Could the candidate for the job sit for an eternity, listening to Arrogant Guy reminisce about the highlights of his life?

Steve Pavlina - Dealing With Difficult Relatives

For example, if you value your privacy and a relative insists on frequent unannounced drop-in visits, that may be a bottom line for you. Or if your mother-in-law, Endora, keeps turning you into barnyard animals without your consent, you might feel it’s time to put a stop to it, especially if you begin craving grass while in human form.

Mean Ol' Meany - Those Damn Great Democrats Part VII - Barbara Boxer

After being removed from New York by court order, Barbara and husband Stewart settled in California because of all the free love and drugs. Oh, and she promised to retire from the Senate in 2004.

We The Free - Keep Those Hoods On, Boyz!

Did I forget to mention that it's no coincidence the KKK and the Islamofascists all seem to be wearing the same fashionable hoods?

Miss Katrina Has A Posse

Kimmunications - What Can Katrina Teach Us About Personal Finance?

When you fail to plan, fail to create a safety net, you are at the mercy of others. Don't complain if they don't respond in the way you wanted them to. That's number three. Number four is the choices we make determine the positions we find ourselves in.

The Staple Gun - In Praise of Humans

These are not the heroes of 9/11, but they are part of its story: the people who did not need saving, for whose sake no one had to die. In those first panicked days, the death toll was estimated at over 20,000. The reasoning used by the agencies to come up with these numbers was simply: If we didn't save them, then they must have died. But humans don't die quite that easily.

The Right Place - New Orleans Rhapsody

"I see a little Chimpbushitler of a man!"
"Dubya Bush! Dubya Bush! Sole cause of global warming!"
"FBI hunts Nagin!" "Cannibals crave Cajun meat!"

Cliopatria - Don't Rebuild, Regrow

Building codes and regulations, though, should set aside by administrative fiat; anyone who "draws up" or "mocks up" or "conceptualizes" the way the city might look in two, five, ten years, should be treated like a looter and summarily.... removed from the city. Any attempt to mandate adherence to the pre-Katrina "look and feel" is also anathema: even without disasters, cities change and grow and the only way that New New Orleans will have the charm and power of Old New Orleans is if it is allowed to grow in that raw organic fashion which worked so well the first time.

The American Mind - Follow-Up Questions

Should the President have issued and unconstitutional order preventing gas stations from raising gas prices? If that would have happened you would have seen gas shortages across the country. Then Mr. Allen would be complaining that Bush should have done something about the lack of gas. Or maybe Bush should have magically created oil refineries bypassing environmentalists and NIMBYs.

Mr. Satire - Celine Dion Gives Passes To Hurricane Katrina's Poor Victims To Touch Pricey Things In Her Mansion

"Larry, the hurricane drowned me emotionally and physically. I can't drink cappuccino or latte. I can't swallow bottled water. I barely can sing, so I came here to rant about the ineffective use of the yachts and submarines to transport water to the people on the trees and rooftops," suffocated Dion, a celebrated yachtswoman.

Conservative Outpost - Katrina Underlines The Importance of Leadership

But New Orleans is different. Why? The first obvious answer is the additional problems created by broken levees and a flooded city. That has created its own logistical nightmares when it comes to trying to help those who need it. Officials at all levels of government are dealing with the results of two disasters simultaneously, instead of one. Add to that having part of a population stranded as a result of the ineptitude of local leaders, an inner city overridden with gangs and crime and a police department essentially evaporating in the storms aftermath and you’ve got anarchy.

The Nose On Your Face - Bush Family Disasters Throughout History

As with any Republican President, George W. Bush has come under attack for a myriad of issues that may or may not be within his control: a weak economy ; high unemployment; stealing the last two elections; making me miss the last episode of Entourage. Standard stuff.

Recently however, President Bush has been accused of two very serious infractions. First, he has been blamed for causing Hurricane Katrina. And second, he was seen drinking blood from the head of one of the storm's victims.

Don Surber - Environmentalism Killed People In New Orleans

The story goes that the levee should have been strengthened to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

The Los Angeles Times today blows that story wide open. Money was appropriated to do just that during the Johnson administration some 40 years ago. But it was halted in 1977 by environmentalists who sued to protect the bayou. Local fishermen went along after being promised a shipyard would be built. Like the levee improvement, the shipyard was never built.

Mark Nicodemo - A Hurricane of Myth and Blame

Nagin’s most luminous proposal has been vacation time for New Orleans police officers. He first asked the federal government to cover the cost of this well-timed idea. When denied, Nagin decided that New Orleans would pay, as if the city had nothing better to do with that money, like relocate refugees and clean its flooded streets. Regardless of the quality of the efforts of the New Orleans police, it should have been obvious to Nagin that discussions about vacations could have come at a much better time.

Liberty Cadre - Bureaucratic Idiocy

As many of you know the aftermath of Katrina has thrown up some stunning examples of why bureaucracy not only kills but does it best to make sure no one else can clean up their messes. Well I have found two more examples: first of all the state of LA ordered the Red Cross to remove food from the Superdome to make sure people didn’t come there anymore. The second example involves those genuises at PayPal who closed someone’s account because she was using it to get donations for the victims of Katrina.

Alan K. Henderson - Andrew Sullivan Grasps At Straws

FEMA isn't responsible for everyone in hurricane-prone areas to have an emergency stash of nonperishable food on hand - individuals are. FEMA isn't responsible for building flood control infrastructure - city and state governments are, and if they can't afford it they can turn to Congress and hope that the environmentalist lobby doesn't stand in the way. FEMA isn't responsible for evacuating people who can't evacuate themselves - state and city governments are. FEMA didn't block the Red Cross and Salvation Army from delivering food and supplies to hurricane survivors in the Superdome. And none of this crap is happening in Mississippi, which took the brunt of the storm.

Libertarian Leanings - Bipartisan BS

The absurd campaign is under way, with even the hurricane itself the fault of the Bush Administration. Just as Edward Kennedy gave not the slightest thought how the troops might be affected by his anti-war rhetoric and comparisons of Guantanamo to the Soviet gulag, the complaints coming from the Democrats over the response to Katrina have nothing whatever to do with the people of New Orleans who are suffering. The target is the Bush Administration. Katrina is opportunity.

Elegies, Various and Sundry

Blog d'Elisson - Lamentations: An Update

O how has the city that was once so populous remained lonely! She has become like a widow! She that was great among the States, a princess among the provinces, has become tributary.

She weeps, yea, she weeps in the night, and her tears are on her cheek; she has no comforter among all her lovers; all her elected officials have betrayed her.

Her citizens went into exile because of flood, storm, and affliction; they settled among the many States, [and] found no rest.

The People's Republic of Seabrook - Four Years Later...And What Do We Have To Show For It?

The reality, though, illustrated by the federal government’s inept, inefficient, and wholly inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina, is that Our Glorious Leader is a primarily reactive leader. If we depend on George W. Bush for proactive anything, we are only setting ourselves up to be hugely disappointed.

Isaac Schrödinger - IX . XI

"I understand why he makes fun of Osama all the time. It’s because he’s a rotten stinking Jew. But I don’t get why Leno jokes about Osama so much?"

The other guy nodded. I was speechless. I don’t know to whom he charmingly referred to as "a rotten stinking Jew," though, I was touched to hear him defend a mass-murdering psychopath. A few months later, I would find the same guy laughing heartily at the President Bush pretzel incident.

TMH’s Bacon Bits - The 9/11 Sky

So there I was, yacking on the phone to my other colleague in Baltimore about rather important this-and-thats when, just before hanging up, he told me that oh, by the way, I shouldn’t use my cell phone now since the authorities were trying to get more bandwith in the DC metroplex for emergency communications. I said hunh? and he told me about a “small plane” striking the WTC.

Dismal Science

Coyote Blog - Environmental Near-Sightedness

The single best, most intelligent thing we could do today for the environment, as far as refineries are concerned, is to let about 10 brand new ones be built with all modern technology, and let these newer refineries compete the older ones into closure. And who is blocking this single most impactfull environmental step? Environmentalists, of course.

Political Calculations - Potential Answers to the Krugman Question

Under this theory, Krugman is exploiting weaknesses in the New York Times' editorial practices that allow the newspaper's columnists to have their work published without any real fact-checking on the part of the newspaper's editors and management of any kind. As a result, Krugman is able to minimize the amount of labor he must expend in producing his column while collecting a regular paycheck.

Critical Mastiff - Are Progressive Taxes a Good Thing?

In our present fiscal situation, wealthy people and corporations pay high Federal income taxes, and poorer people pay no income taxes at all or very few. Therefore, it makes sense for our rational actor, the Federal Government, to make laws that give preference to the rich and corporations over the poor, since tax revenues respond much more quickly when the rich get richer than when the poor get less poor.

Free Money Finance - The Power of Giving

Every religion or spiritual practice that I am aware of teaches that it is in the giving you truly receive.

I've noticed lately that several of the personal finance books I've read address this issue in one way or another, and I plan to post more on it in the future. I certainly know that it's been true in my life that when I started to give away more and more to various charities, that's when my income started to rise (and kept on going up).

Financial Reference - Buyers/Sellers Remorse

The difference is that shareholders were buying and selling at exactly the wrong moments. When the fund performed well, the investors gained confidence, and cash flowed in to the fund. When the fund performed poorly, the investors lost confidence, and cash flowed out. The investors were buying at the top and selling at the bottom.

WILLisms - America's Resilient Economy

Because of the lingering flood water in New Orleans and the total destruction of communities in Mississippi, there is no quick "Home Depot Effect" that will paradoxically generate jobs and commerce. But there will be in time. It is also unlike other hurricanes, in that it has dominated the national consciousness for nearly two weeks. This "news addition" ("TV shock") effect, with people glued to their televisions for the latest live updates, can have deleterious effects on consumer spending, as we saw after 9/11.

Multiple Mentality - What Can We Do About Gas Prices?

So suck it up. Swipe your card. Pay your $2.96 per gallon. Fill your Hummer H2 with $75 worth of gas. Put spinning rims on your Escalade. It’s no one’s fault but your own.

Little Buddy!

Soccer Dad - Shooting An Easter Bunny

Anyway, in "The Hunter" Kincaid comes to Gilligan's Island and decides to hunt Gilligan. Why not Mary Ann?

Piece of the Justice

TMH’s Bacon Bits - The Roberts Hearing and the Rehnquist Counterrevolution

This leads to the argument that Roberts is very much in the Rehnquist mold. Rehnquist had been fighting to pull the court away from the liberal ideologic revolution that swept the courts in the last century and made commonplace, for example, of the notion that seeking foreign precedent for American law could in any way be acceptable behavior for any high court, let alone the SCOTUS. This will be Roberts’ charge when he takes the helm: to refocus the court on the Constitution, not on what the court decides the Constitution ought to be

Pillage Idiot - Anatomy of A Nomination

Karl will make an excellent Supreme Court Justice....

They Also Serve

poca dot - Support Our Troops

Here is how they Support Our Troops:

1. By banning military recruiters from their campuses.
2. By voting against new weapons.
3. By using the military to debate social issues.
4. By voting against arming our soldiers.
5. By calling our soldiers Nazis.
6. By not apologizing for calling our soldiers Nazis.


Bad Example - Fun Facts About Indiana: The Director's Cut

Natives of Indiana are the only people in the US who can say "French Lick" or "Ball State" without giggling.

Beaver City, however, makes EVERYONE snicker.

the skwib - The Lost Power Point Slides (William Wallace Edition)

We're covered in woad!

Boxing Alcibiades - I Know Taebo, And I'm Gonna Kick Your Ass

Taebo Chick recognizes poseur tricks like bowing to a real-world opponent for the candy-ass dick moves they are, and would never spend a half hour fantasizing about it out loud with other Taebo Chicks.

Oh, My Droogs And Brothers...

Dissecting Leftism - What The People Think About Crime

Queenslanders have savaged the state's judiciary for going easy on criminals. Just 3 per cent think Queensland courts impose sentences that reflect the crime, while 92 per cent think violent criminals should be dealt with more harshly. About 87 per cent support the introduction of a "three strikes and you're out" policy of mandatory jail terms for criminals convicted of the same offence three times.


If you'd like to host the Carnival, drop us a line. Information on how to join the Carnival can be found here. If you would like to be added to the Carnival announcement list, send an email to

September 21st - the skwib
September 28th - expatriots united
October 5th - TechnoGypsy
October 12th - The Uncredible HallQ
October 19th - The World According To Nick
October 26th - Baboon Pirates
November 2nd - Free Money Finance
November 9th - Ravings
November 16th - The Examining Room
November 23rd - Don Surber
November 30th - File It Under
December 7th - Denali Flavors
December 14th - Open
December 21st - Ravenwood's Universe
December 28th - Chicken Soup For The Damned

All other dates are currently open for hosting. Also, be sure to check out the Carnival's multitudinous offspring, most of which can be found via the Meta-Carnival.

Is there a scion of the Carnival missing? Drop us a line and let us know.

Finally, if submitting to the myriad of carnivals spawned by CoTV has proven difficult, head over to the Conservative Cat and take a look at his tool.

Posted by Bigwig at September 14, 2005 10:27 AM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.

Congratulations on having created what is probably the most successful and hardy meme ever realeased into the wilds of the Internet!

Posted by: Mr. Snitch! at September 14, 2005 12:53 PM

I asked the cats what they thought. Their opinions are forthcoming.

Posted by: Laurence Simon at September 14, 2005 12:58 PM

My trackback pings, they are not working - but I have put up a link to this most excellent Carnival Post. [And why shouldn't it be excellent? You should excuse the expression, but You Da Man.]

Posted by: Elisson at September 14, 2005 01:15 PM

A great job well done. It looks to have the legs to go on for many years.

Just for the record, it was intriguing to see the BPWrap entry under Tangled Web. It's amazing that big companies seem blind to the realities of cross-browser compatibility. However Leo Burnett corrected their oversight within 2 days. We're all still waiting for Microsoft to do the same after 10 months delay. Perhaps Firefox isn't on their radar screen.

Posted by: Barry Welford at September 14, 2005 01:23 PM

Mazeltov, Silflay Hraka.

Posted by: Jim at September 14, 2005 02:19 PM

I didn't realize it was the Carnival of the Vanities' birthday. Happy third! The Storyblogging Carnival is celebrating its first birthday this week, so it looks like we share that in common.

Posted by: Donald S. Crankshaw at September 14, 2005 02:55 PM

Happy Third Blogiversary to Carnival of the Vanities. And many more!

Posted by: Wayne Hurlbert at September 14, 2005 03:59 PM

Thanks for including me!

Posted by: Mark at September 14, 2005 04:50 PM

An excellent job on this, the best of all the carnivals. Thanks for including me in it.

Posted by: Tom Bowler at September 15, 2005 03:45 PM

What a show, what a show. The show that never ends.

Thanks again for including my post.

Posted by: The MaryHunter at September 16, 2005 09:39 AM
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