Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for March 2007

What Big Business and the Left have in common

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A desire for universal health insurance:

The struggle to establish universal health insurance, dormant for more than a decade, is back. Should it actually succeed over the next few years, historians may trace that triumph, at least in part, to a news conference on Capitol Hill — and to a most unusual figure who participated in it. The event took place in early December, just after the Democrats won back control of Congress. Its sponsor was Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, who was unveiling what would become the first universal-coverage proposal of the new political alignment. The impending change in Congressional leadership lent the announcement greater significance than usual — Wyden’s proposal would actually get a hearing, for one thing.

In many respects, the news conference seemed rather mundane. Universal health care has always been a liberal’s cause, after all, and Wyden is one of the Senate’s most liberal members, somebody who has long defined universal coverage primarily in terms of fairness and equal opportunity. Among those flanking Wyden onstage were other longtime advocates of universal coverage, including Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union. He, too, paid homage to the traditional rationale, arguing that Wyden’s plan “sets down a moral test: Why doesn’t every American have the right to the same health care as the president, the vice president, 535 members of Congress and three million federal workers?”

One of the men alongside Wyden and Stern stood out, however, politically if not visually. He was Steve Burd, chairman and C.E.O. of Safeway supermarkets. Nobody has ever accused Burd of having a bleeding heart: a former management consultant with a graduate degree in economics, he became notorious two years earlier when he helped lead California grocers into battle with their labor unions over employee medical benefits. Burd insisted that the unions accept skimpier insurance to save his company money. In the four-month walkout that ensued, newspapers ran articles about checkout clerks defaulting on their cars and homes. Union supporters blasted Burd as “evil” and “a rat.” At one point, a group of clergy members marched on Burd’s California estate, holding a prayer vigil and delivering a handwritten plea for him to compromise. He didn’t. And eventually he won, forcing major concessions from the union.

Yet here was Burd in Washington, arm in arm with one of labor’s most passionate leaders, endorsing a plan in which the government would guarantee affordable, high-quality insurance to every single American. “Our nation is facing a crisis that requires immediate attention,” Burd declared. “Working together, business, labor, government, consumer groups and health-care providers can collectively solve this problem.” And while the “working together” line had the feel of boilerplate, Burd meant it. In the year that Wyden took constructing his proposal, Burd was quietly advising him; eventually they or their staffs were conferring almost every week.

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Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 7:26 pm

How to use Web 2.0

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This is a good idea: a program to help librarians—and everyone else—know how to use Web 2.0 effectively. Read about it.

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Software, Technology

Bush’s chief campaign strategist: “I was wrong”

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Interesting admission:

In 1999, Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush’s early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal.

A top strategist for the Texas Democrats who was disappointed by the Bill Clinton years, Mr. Dowd was impressed by the pledge of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, to bring a spirit of cooperation to Washington. He switched parties, joined Mr. Bush’s political brain trust and dedicated the next six years to getting him to the Oval Office and keeping him there. In 2004, he was appointed the president’s chief campaign strategist.

Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.

In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership.

He criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq. He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a “my way or the highway” mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides.

“I really like him, which is probably why I’m so disappointed in things,” he said. He added, “I think he’s become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in.”

In speaking out, Mr. Dowd became the first member of Mr. Bush’s inner circle to break so publicly with him.

He said his decision to step forward had not come easily. But, he said, his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s presidency is so great that he feels a sense of duty to go public given his role in helping Mr. Bush gain and keep power.

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Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 1:52 pm

And the problem with torture…

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Even if you muzzle the victims so they are not allowed to talk about it (this detainee could, but Hicks can’t):

A high-level al-Qaeda suspect who was in CIA custody for more than four years has alleged that his American captors tortured him into making false confessions about terrorist attacks in the Middle East, according to newly released Pentagon transcripts of a March 14 military tribunal hearing here.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who U.S. officials believe was involved in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998 and who allegedly organized the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, told a panel of military officers that he was repeatedly tortured during his imprisonment and that he admitted taking part in numerous terrorism plots because of the mistreatment.

“The detainee states that he was tortured into confession and once he made a confession his captors were happy and they stopped torturing him,” Nashiri’s representative read to the tribunal, according to the transcript. “Also, the detainee states that he made up stories during the torture in order to get it to stop.”

Nashiri’s allegations came just days after Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, also alleged abuse during a similar hearing before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) at this island detention facility, though his claims were submitted on paper and have not been released.

It is impossible to confirm or evaluate Nashiri’s allegations regarding his interrogation by the CIA. U.S. government officials often caution that terrorists are trained to allege abuse at the hands of their captors, and portions of the 36-page transcript that appeared to detail the locations and methods of the alleged abuse were redacted. But such allegations could call into question the veracity of Nashiri’s interrogations and those of other detainees previously held at secret CIA prisons, and could make trying the men at military commissions difficult if the alleged coercion elicited misleading information.

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Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 12:38 pm

More about the Hicks trial and sentence

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It doesn’t make a lot of sense:

Australian David Hicks pleaded guilty here Friday to supporting terrorism in exchange for a nine-month prison sentence under a plea deal that forbids him from claiming he was abused in U.S. custody.

In return, Hicks, 31, will be allowed to leave Guantanamo within 60 days to serve out the sentence in his native Australia. And he will be free by New Year’s Eve.

It was a startling conclusion to the first U.S. war-crimes tribunal since World War II.

“They told us this was one of the world’s worst terrorists, and he got the sentence of a drunken driver,” said Ben Wizner, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Bush administration had originally sought life in prison for Hicks. Eight senior U.S. military officers were told they could sentence him to seven years for providing material support to terrorism, which they did.

But moments after they were ushered out of the tribunal chambers at 8:15 p.m., the presiding officer, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, disclosed that a Pentagon official had cut the deal.

Under the deal, Hicks agreed not to talk to reporters for a year, to forever waive any profit from telling his story, to renounce any claims of mistreatment or unlawful detention and to submit voluntarily to U.S. interrogation and testify at future U.S. trials or international tribunals.

The agreement drew criticism from civil liberties and human rights attorneys monitoring the trial. They were especially critical of the order forbidding Hicks from protesting any mistreatment, saying such a requirement would be unconstitutional in a civilian U.S. court.

“If the United States were not ashamed of its conduct, it wouldn’t hide behind a gag order,” Wizner said. “The agreement says he wasn’t mistreated. Why aren’t we allowed to judge for ourselves?”

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Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 12:24 pm

Book links – 5th edition

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This is a reference site to accompany the fifth edition of Guide to Gourmet Shaving: Shaving Made Enjoyable.

Information that I learn after publication of the book will be posted here. Check back from time to time.

New URL (and storefront) for Em’s Place: Check out

New vendor for EU shavers: I just learned of, an on-line vendor in the Netherlands. The actual link is rather long, but it takes you to the English-language storefront connected to the site (which is also a forum).

Handles for 3-piece razors: One of several advantages of the three-piece razor is that you can replace the razor’s current handle with one more to your liking. I have pointed out earlier that handles are available from iKon, Tradere, and Weber, and I just discovered a source of very nice handles in the UK: Rod Neep’s Pens of the Forest, already well known as a source of fine shaving brushes. Take a look.

MR GLO in the heat: I just learned that MR GLO softens remarkably at temperatures much north of 90ºF. Probably not a problem if you have air conditioning, but don’t leave it in the car in the summer…

Enormous blade bank: Take a look.

New UK on-line vendor: I just learned of the existence of The Groomed Man, which seems to have a good array of traditional wetshaving equipment and supplies.

People in Boston: Colonial Drug on Harvard Square is routinely recommended as a good source of shaving equipment and supplies, but apparently Leavitt & Peirce on the other side of Harvard Square is excellent and with much better prices and much more courteous service. See this Wicked_Edge post for details.

Liquid styptic: I mention from time to time that one can check the local drugstore for a liquid styptic that’s quite effective. I just found it on and it’s quite reasonable: $3.65 and free shipping. I think it’s definitely worth a try at that price, but take a look at the reviews: they’re all over the place, though predominantly positive. UPDATE: spurries on Wicked_Edge points out that Vermont Country Store sells 2 tubes of MNIS for $9.90, best price I’ve seen.

Proprietor of Bob’s Razor Works has passed away. I doubt that the business will continue: Bob was not only the proprietor but the craftsman: as I write in the preface, these small businesses have a cherry-blossom quality in that they bloom briefly and then are gone.

Straight-razor services: Straights regularly require honing, plus there are repairs, scale replacements, etc. offers such services—he also does work for Larry of

Art of Manliness shaving forum: A guy on Wicked_Edge just pointed out another shaving forum: the Art of Manliness Real-Shaving group.

UK cutthroat razor dealer: New to me is Seems to have quite a bit for the guy who prefers a cutthroat razor.

Canadian vendor new to me: is in Toronto.

Excellent site for identifying razors: Take a look at for razor ID. It’s in German, but Google Translate is pretty good.

The Irish Barber (in Ireland): This vendor seems to have gone out of business.

High-glycerin soaps: keep them out of the shower: A guy just complained that he goes through a bar of MR GLO in two weeks, two bars a month. He’s using the pre-shave soap in the shower and leaves it there. Glycerin (and high-glycerin soaps) are hydrophilic, so I believe the soap is absorbing water like a madman and when he uses it, a lot is already on the brink of dissolving, so the soap melts away much faster. Moral: Leave the MR GLO a the sink (or at least keep it in a airtight case in the shower).

The Slant Bar explained: A superb post, with history, explanation, photographs, and diagrams. Do not miss. Did you remember to buy a Slant Bar as your second razor?

Wicked shaving deals: Useful site for those who purchase shaving stuff.

More shaving brushes with exotic wood handles: Take a look:, Penchetta, and Stephen’s Woodworking. You already know about this one.

Another beginner razor: I just blogged the metal-handled Feather TTO, which at $15 could serve as a first razor. But look at the post.

Making your own pre-shave oil: I use oil only for the oil-pass, but some do like pre-shave oils. Here’s a good collection of recipes, including a video.

New artisanal soap maker: I just tried a soap from The Strop Shoppe and think it’s pretty good. Take a look.

New on-line vendor: I just stumbled across, a company in Missouri. Somewhat limited selection—e.g., only Merkur razors—but take a look.

New artisanal soapmaker: Try Mystic Water shaving soap—really excellent and some unusual fragrances.

Interactive beard-grain mapper: Unkas of Wicked_Edge found this neat Web 2.0 app.

New Canadian vendor: Another one new to me: Classic Edge, in Ontario, for shaving with double-edged blades or straight razors.

New UK vendor: I just learned of, which sells a good mixing of traditional wetshaving products.

Best electric razor: Some guys have no choice but to shave with an electric razor due to illness (contact dermatitis, for example, or Parkinson’s disease). This review identifies the highest-rated electric razor—the Braun Series 7 790CC—and discusses the reasons for the rating.

New eBay vendor: I haven’t tried this vendor, but have read some favorable comments: Orient Outlet.

Another Australian shaving vendor: I just learned about Himage, which (among other things) sells Mama Bear soaps.

Forum opening/closing: is now inactive. However, a new forum,, is open and now active—currently (23 Feb 12) running a contest. now gone for good. I just had a reader note to me that the site is no more and the domain name is now up for sale. Sic transit gloria mundi. Enjoy things while they blossom, for things change. – Update: Thanks to BeardedBuddha of wicked_edge, we have access still to Razor and Brush: New on-line shaving vendor in Australia. Another new on-line shaving vendor, this one in Missouri.

Replacing the knot in a vintage brush: Some old brushes have rather nice handles, and removing an old knot and putting in a new one is not difficult. Take a look at this thread at wicked_edge. Click the thread title to see photos (stunning brush) and read the thread for the how-to advice.

The Superior Shave now offers sampler packs: Take a look.

Pre-shave soaps: As mentioned earlier, I’ve been investigating alternatives to MR GLO. I think I found some excellent candidates.

Cleaning up the shaving site: I use pop-up sponges to clean up around the sink after shaving. Much more economical than using towels, which must be laundered. You can find similar sponges at Trader Joe’s and other such stores.

Moisturizing notes: In colder climes, winter’s dry air—particularly when delivered in the form of wind, but even the quiet air indoors with its desert dryness—is hard on the skin, and moisturizing balms come into their own along with shaving soaps and creams with lots of shea butter. Cade aftershave balm by l’Occitane, with a high shea-butter content, is excellent—and $30 for a tube. Primalan is an almond-oil based aftershave balm, also excellent, also $30. These are pricey but you need only a tiny amount of balm. It occurs to me that The Shave Den’s Pre-Shave Balm could, in small amounts, be a good aftershave treatment because of its ingredients: Shea Butter, Lanolin, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, and fragrance (sandalwood and oakmoss).

Of course, you can simply use almond oil directly as a balm, and straight jojoba oil also works well. But note this from kindofstephen on Wicked_Edge:

Try switching to grape seed oil vs almond oil! Less of an allergenic, and grape seed oil contains about 100% more linoleic acid than almond oil. (It’s about 70% by weight.)

Linoleic acid is anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and anti-acne as well!

Shave-stick note from movie watching: A shaving scene in a movie attracts attention, though often a safety razor will have no blade or a straight-razor will be a prop razor with a dull edge (at least I believe that’s the case when W.C. Fields tests the edge of a straight razor by drawing it down his tongue).

I just saw a very interesting 1955 movie, The Dam Busters, about a bombing mission in WWII. In one scene one of the pilots is shaving (just before the mission: my kind of guy) and uses a shave stick with a brush—but he holds the stick in his left hand uses the end as a very small puck, brushing the stick directly to load the brush. It’s done casually and with deft, practiced motions, so it’s clearly how he uses the shave stick. The film was made when “traditional” wetshaving was simply called “shaving,” and I have to believe that using a shave stick as a very tall, small-diameter puck that requires no bowl must have been common. I do like using a shave stick on my beard, but the next edition will reflect the alternate method.

MR GLO reactions: I’ve used Musgo Real Glyce Lime Oil soap (MR GLO) as my pre-fshave beard wash for years now, with nary a problem. But recently I’ve heard from two guys whose skin seemed sensitive to MR GLO, and naturally one suspects the lime oil—though, so far as MR GLO is concerned, it doesn’t much matter:  whatever it is, MR GLO must give way to some other high-glycerin soap as an alternative. Fortunately, there are many.

The take-home is that if you’re new to MR GLO, test it on the inside of your forearm one night and see how that skin looks later. And if you’re using MR GLO with no problems, don’t overdo it: stick with it strictly for pre-shave use only, not general use. Just a thought.

New Australian shaving vendor: New to me, at any rate:

New shaving forum: I just learned of The Canadian Wetshaving Community, a new forum somewhat north of here.

Sources to purchase straight razors: Some vendors in the list already sell straight razors (Vintage Razors LLC, Classic Shaving, and others), but on Wicked_Edge beershart offers this list of sources: [Multi National] [Multi National] [US] [US] [US] [UK] [DE]

He cautions that this is a list off the top of his head and may be incomplete, but I thought it might be useful for those who are considering a straight razor.

More new vendors: I have placed an order with one, but just now, so I have no experience with them. Still: is a site that does razor restoration. Dave, who runs the site, originally had, which also offered replating services, but now he’s sold that business to focus on razor restoration. The site is new, but in time I imagine he will have a range of restored vintage razors on offer. In the meantime, if you have an old treasure you would like to have look new and young once more, and it happens to be a razor, email him. He’s in the UK.

Two other new vendors are in Portugal, home of Vintage Scent. The Shave Butler is one and as the name implies focuses mainly on shaving products and equipment. The Portugal On-Line Shop is the other, with a much broader range of merchandise. The link goes directly to their shaving section. I’ve placed a order with them.

Soapstone-handled shaving brushes: These Rod Neep shaving brushes with handles turned from soapstone are just stunning. If you order, be careful about knot size: some of his brushes sport enormous knots.

Premium razor at moderate pricer: The Weber razor is a solid stainless razor with an unusual head treatment: “Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coating on the cap and comb”. The result is a smooth head with a very interesting feel on the face. The razor shaves efficiently and to me seems exceptionally comfortable: that and the construction and the innovation is what mark it as “premium” in my mind. The $55 price is interesting. The very first iKon sold for $65 (and for me was too harsh to use, though every iKon since has been supremely comfortable). The next model, the Bulldog, started at $85. Current iKon models run from $149 (the H2O) to $225 (the S3S). I imagine that the Weber prices will climb as the maker gets a better idea of their value and the true cost of manufacturing/marketing. My suggestion: get one now. It’s an admirable razor, it’s an artisanal DE safety razor, and those are scarce: the iKon, this, and what? I have no connection with this company, and the only communications I’ve had are my initial order and (just now) a fan letter. I feel that my $55 was well spent.

Important factoid regarding storage of alum block: A commenter on reddit’s Wicked_Edge just pointed to a B&B post on alum by SiBurning that contains this important paragraph:

. . . As for storing it… Although perfectly safe when dry, when wet, it forms small amounts of sulfuric acid on the surface. The acid is highly corrosive, and fumes easily, so it should be stored completely dry. It might be smart to also keep it away from any metal whatsoever. Even the small amount of sulfuric acid fumes from a wet alum block or styptic pencil can easily corrode (i.e. rust) nearby metal, including grooming tools and mounting screws. Since a bathroom is somewhat humid, some reasonable precautions might be in order for a dry block or stick, if only in case condensation forms. To be safe, I keep it in a hard plastic case, but not an air tight one, and don’t place it on or directly next to anything metal. Most important, and worth repeating, is to always keep it dry when stored. . .

And still another good pre-shave soap: I tried a Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar today, and again a very nice slippery residue. It may lack the beard-softening properties of MR GLO’s lime oil, but it seems to lead to a nice shave. I’m assuming that the story will be the same for the Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar for Acne-Prone Skin, which those who suffer from acne might want to try. Pears Transparent Soap would, I think, also work, but I’m getting some to test for sure. Next up: Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash—Original with tea-tree oil.

Another good pre-shave soap: I’m going to have to expand the pre-shave soap section in the next edition. Once I lit upon MR GLO, I did what many guys do on finding a good blade: I stopped looking. In the case of blades, I recommend continued exploration (because you may well find a brand of blade that significantly improves your shave), and in the case of pre-shave soap, I should have followed my own advice. As noted below Proraso makes a pre-shave soap that’s quite good, and now I find that Dr. Bronner’s is excellent as a pre-shave soap, both the solid bar and the liquid Castile soap. Zach’s comment here prompted me to try them, and they both work well and are readily available in the cosmetics department of health-food stores as well as on-line. Zach further notes (in a comment in this blog on a recent shave):

I recently discovered that for me, it works best if you don’t lather it at all; just apply a liberal amount onto a damp face, as if it too were simply more water.
I decanted the quart peppermint into a small attractive pump bottle and keep it with the shave gear.

I’m very happy with the results; it does not, however, replace the ritual or the time to myself, unless you use it as a pre-shave or a cleanup (oil) pass.

Another good source for badger shaving brushes: Lijun offers brushes, bowls, and stands of good quality at modest prices. Well worth checking out. Comparable to Frank Shaving.

Reference post for those fighting acne: The redditor Inequilibrium has gathered a great store of information on possible steps to take in fighting acne. If this is something you’re having to deal with, take a look. He’s done quite a thorough job. — UPDATE: And now he’s updated it: here’s his guide to fighting acne, version 2.

Better boar for face-lathering: The Omega Pro 48 is a large brush, which I like, but a boar brush better scaled for face lathering—still with ample capacity—is the Omega 20107, which NoHelmet recommended on Wicked_Edge. It is a good brush, and I find that Omega has multiple models around this size. It’s good to have choices.

MR GLO alternatives: Once I discovered the efficacy of Musgo Real Glyce Lime Oil soap (MR GLO), a pre-shave soap (wash your beard, rinse with a splash, apply lather), I stopped checking out this category, but recent problems in the availability of MR GLO have made me re-open this investigation. Proraso makes a pre-shave soap that turns out to be excellent—perhaps an even higher glycerine content that MR GLO, and without the lime-oil fragrance that causes problems for some. A blog commenter has also suggested Neutrogena facial soap as an equally good alternative, and I’ll check that out next.

New URL for Mama Bear shaving soaps: I don’t know when it happened, but the URL changed. New URL:  Link in vendor list below has been corrected.

Slant Bar information: Mantic59 pointed out this article on the Futur razor has a mention of the Slant Bar—patented by Merkur in 1916—and this article is devoted to the Slant Bar. As I emphasize in the book, the Slant Bar should be your second razor.

New source of blade sampler packs: Psywiped on Wicked_Edge points out that StraightRazor Designs offers a blade sampler pack. And Lee’s Razors also has a blade sampler pack.

New vendor: is another on-line shaving vendor new to me. I have not yet ordered from them, but wanted to bring it to your attention. On their home page they do use the odd locution of referring to a razor as a “handle”—I have no idea where that comes from, but it is simply wrong to call a straight razor a “handle” (as they do).  They do offer a blade sampler pack.

Excellent advice on shaving your body parts: Take a look at this very informative post on Wicked_Edge if you shave your body. It covers non-beard shaving quite well.

“Aggressiveness” in razors: good or bad? Sometimes the word “aggressive” is used to describe efficiency of stubble removal—e.g., the Super Speed is more aggressive than the Tech—and sometimes it’s used in a pejorative sense, meaning “harsh”—e.g., the 2011 Mühle R41 open comb is too “aggressive” (read “harsh”) for me. (Just a note: some guys like that razor—as in so many things in shaving YMMV.) Because of this ambiguity, I’m dropping the word in future editions of the book and will use “efficient” or “assertive” or “good for normal to heavy beards” or some such. This issue arose as I tried to describe the action of the Slant Bar, which shaves quite smoothly and comfortably and efficiently removes even tough, thick stubble. I was calling that “aggressive”, but blog readers pointed out that the term has strong negative connotations. So I asked them for help and got some excellent suggestions. (See the comments to this post.) In particular, note the analogy passed along by Dirty Texan: Slant is to regular DE razor as a slanted snow plow is to a straight ahead snow plow: the slanted design is more efficient and requires less effort. And HeyRememberThatTime posts an even better analogy on Wicked_Edge: Contrast the Guillotine (blade at a slant) with the Scottish Maiden, which performs the same task, but with the blade set square (with the unfortunate effect of crushing as much as cutting the neck: the Guillotine gives a clean cut). Think of that as you shave. 🙂 In the case of the razors, while a standard razor may simply push over fine/short stubble without cutting, a Slant will cut the little buggers before they have time to bend.

If you want to try a straight razor: I continually read favorable comments on, particularly the “sight unseen” deal: secondhand razors made shave-ready but without a lot of effort to restore appearance: good razors, fine edge, maybe not so pretty. At the site is a fair amount of information.

How to disassemble a Fat Boy: Excellent step-by-step instructions, with photos.

Diagram for beard mapping: In the book, I strongly recommend mapping the direction of the grain of your beard over your face. This step is particularly important for the neck, where the grain grows weird: you might well be shaving against the grain on the first pass of your neck and finishing with a pass going with the grain: the exact opposite of what you want. On Wicked_Edge this morning, dirtychrome pointed out this useful, printable map template to assist in figuring out your beard’s grain direction(s).

Problems reported with You might want to explore alternatives.

Buy/Sell/Trade thread in Reddit: I just learned about

New vendor in Australia. Thanks to commenter Inequilibrium on Wicked_Edge for pointing this out: The Shave Shed in Victoria also offers blade sampler packs. Lists have been updated.

Goodbye to the Semogue 2000: At least, goodbye from me. I have given this brush plenty of chances and worked hard to love it, but I’m throwing in the towel. The knot is splayed and will not stay together, the lather is gone after the first pass, and I’m formally divorcing the brush. I still like boar brushes (especially this one by Vie-Long, made of boar and white horsehair, and also the redoubtable Omega 10048 (“Pro 48”)). I had a previous Semogue 2000 whose knot was better, so I suspect the problem is to some extent a lack of quality control. I now recommend that you avoid Semogue brushes.

The Gillette blade-and-razor myth debunked: An interesting post on Wicked_Edge pointing out this paper (PDF) on the actual Gillette marketing strategy. [Link to PDF updated and corrected – 16 May 2012]

Razor for guys with large hands: Some guys prefer a razor with a long handle that provides a good grip. If that’s what you want, I recommend that you take a look at the Mühle Sophist R84SR: a razor with the superb new Jagger-Mühle designed head and with a long porcelain handle (that provides nice heft) and a knob at the end for a good grip going against the grain. Here’s a photo and shave description, with link to vendor.

Witch-hazel olfactory adjustment: Dickerson’s Witch Hazel is widely available, unlike Thayers, but Dickerson’s has an odor that repels some. In this Wicked_Edge thread, NoHelmet mentions that he adds a bit of tea-tree oil to his bottle of Dickerson’s and that solves the fragrance problem. Interesting comparison of ingredients of various witch hazels in the thread as well.

Tongue-in-cheek review of modern razor miracle: Found this via Wicked_Edge.

Terrific reference site: The site is in German, but it contains many excellent photos of razors clearly labeled, and the brand names and models are obvious. Worth exploring. Here’s just one entry from the “razors” category, sub-category “New, Improved“. The entry is at the top right: the little sterling silver travel razor, whose photo, when clicked, opens to show:

Corrections to book: I just heard from a reader, who points out two errors:

1) The Amazon Kindle version, location 1274, mentions that “the same fate has befallen Polsilver” – i.e., that they are out of production. That was indeed the consensus at the time the book went to print, but then they became again available—Razor Blades & More has them, for example.

2) At location 1644 I mention that the “DE98” is a favorite razor. I meant DE87, as it turns out: the one with the faux-ivory handle. Sorry about that—but at least the entire series uses the same head.

Scodioli shaving soap: I just recently have been trying these shaving soaps, and they’re good. Note that if your household, like mine, has round bowls and cups rather than square ones, you can order the soap in round pucks (rather than square, which is the default). Good lather, interesting fragrances, no problems.

The Shave Den’s Pre-Shave Balm: I have never had much success with pre-shave products: oils, gels, balms, or creams. I use them a week with and week without and I can really tell that they make any difference in my shave. One exception is Musgo Real Glyce Lime Oil soap (MR GLO), a pre-shave soap that I use to wash my beard at the sink and “rinse” with just a splash before lathering. That does work.

Now I find that The Shave Den’s pre-shave “balm” (ingredients: Shea Butter, Lanolin, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, and fragrance (sandalwood and oakmoss)) does make a positive difference. I use it as directed: rub a small amount into my beard before showering, then after the shower at the sink follow my usual routine, beginning with washing my beard with MR GLO. The balm seems to remain in place enough to provide additional lubrication and protection and I do like the ingredients. I’ll continue to test and explore, but I wanted to bring this one to your attention.

The Copper Hat in Victoria, BC: An on-line shaving vendor new to me. Take a look.

Wicked_Edge activity: I’ve become a regular at reddit’s wicked_edge shaving sub-reddit, so you’re welcome to ask me questions there. is off and running: Sharpologist is a site devoted to shaving and grooming, with videos, a group blog, and other attractions. It is the brainchild and creation of Mantic59. I am one of the contributors to the group blog and will periodically write a post there.

Another vendor new to me: Through a comment on the blog, I just learned of Shave Nation shaving supplies, located in Illinois. They do provide blade sampler packs along with a complete line of shaving equipment and supplies for both straight-edge and double-edged shaving. The proprietor also has a series of shaving videos on Youtube where he’s known as Geofatboy.

Best bay rum?: I’m sure that shavers vary as much in their reactions to bay rums as they do to, say, brands of blades, but the Captain’s Choice Bay Rum I tried this morning really seems to me to be in a new league: very bay, very rum, and not too strong on cloves. I compared it to a couple of other artisanal bay rums—Flying Bird Bay Rum, sold on and the better known Ogallala Bay Rum, and to my nose Captain’s Choice was richer and deeper and altogether more satisfying. If you like bay rum, you really should get some of this one. Much better than the commercial bay rums, as well.

How to buy and restore vintage razors: A guy on Wicked_Edge pointed out this useful post at The Art of Manliness. And in that connection, keep in mind also Razor Emporium’s razor restoration service.

Making your own shaving rack: From time to time a shaver will show a nifty razor/brush rack that he made from wire coat hangers. Some of these are quick slick. If you’re inclined to go in that direction, take a look at the Handi-Bender Wire Tool, which greatly facilitates working with the wire. At $12.75 it could pay for itself in just a few projects. (If you have kids in school, consider also the science-project potential of the tool.)

Unusually good shaving soap: Martin de Candre makes an unusually good shaving soap: dense and hard but delivering an unctuous lather at the touch of a brush. The site at the link is more or less worthless for ordering. Here you can order it. (The photo at the link shows the soap in its glass tub with a lid. The lid is only for shipment: once the soap is in use, lose the lid so the soap is can dry after use, as explained on the MdC Web site.) Although the site at the second link is in the US, the soap is still shipped from France: $39 for soap and $37 for shipping and you’re talking a high price. OTOH, the shipping is not that much more for multiple tubs of soap, so consider that possibility (group purchase or gifts). Scan down the page at the link. I got a shampoo, also astonishingly good, partly to reduce per-item shipping cost. (Note rationalization at work.)

More instructions for boar brushes: I have previously referenced the beginner guide to boar brushes that Zach wrote. A commenter on a post on this blog pointed out this guide for boar brushes and Italian soft soaps.

Tres Claveles horsehair shaving brushes: I just received an email from Juan of He writes, “Tres Claveles is not manufacturing horsehair shaving brushes. The three horsehair shaving brushes offered on the Tres Claveles web site are made by Vie-Long and merely stamped with Tres Claveles logo. The badger and boar shaving brushes I understood they source from a company in Barcelona, but it’s not certain that they are made in Spain. Most probably they are imported from somewhere else.” My advice thus would be to buy Vie-Long brushes and skip the Tres Claveles. Another Australian vendor that I encountered when looking for sources of Otoko Organics shaving soap (a soap I think is worth ordering, even from abroad).

Australian vendor: Eddie of Australia points out the vendor Himage there. Australians should check it out.

Al’s Shaving Products: An artisanal vendor new to me but has been making shaving creams and other products for a few years. He’s a straight-razor shaver and lather is particularly critical for that mode of shaving. His shaving creams were created to give him the lather he didn’t get from other sources. I tried Palermo (terrific fragrance, IMO; YMMV) and I thought the lather was exceptionally good. If you like shaving creams, you definitely should give this a try. He does sell samples, and also offers aftershave splashes and balms. has blade sampler: Add to the list of sources for blade sampler packs Currently they have only one sampler pack available, but it seems a reasonable variety and a good choice if a novice is ordering his first kit from that source. I’ll add that is well worth browsing: they stock a wide range of shaving supplies and equipment, some of which I’ve not seen elsewhere. And their range of stock seems to increase rapidly. Take a look. They are in Costa Mesa CA.

Martin de Candre shaving soap: For some reason Martin de Candre shaving soap has excited a lot of interest in the various shaving forums. The general comment is that it’s great, that it must be ordered from France, and that the shipping costs more than the (expensive) soap. I just ordered a puck from this source in the US. It’s expensive, but no more so than other high-end soaps. I’ll be using it soon, but if you’re curious, I thought I’d provide this Indiana source.

Prairie Creations is open again: Her tallow-based soap, available with or without lanolin, is quite good and well worth trying. Also: is re-open after an illness. And Mama Bear had to close her brick and mortar store but continues selling on-line. (She lost her house and all its contents in a fire in February.) Support these vendors, whose products are excellent.

Straight-razor vendor update: A reader points out that The Well-Shaved Gentleman now sells only straight-razor strops, which he makes. He has discontinued selling shave-ready straight razors.

Making your own aftershave: The book includes a recipe for a homemade aftershave balm. I just now happened across a recipe for a homemade aftershave splash. It sounds pretty good, so I’m sure I’ll try it. I think a little glycerin is a good idea, so I’ll add that also.

Kindle edition: After much prodding, I’m having the book converted to Kindle format and will be offering that as well as the hard-copy version of the book. My greatest worry concerns the photos: they tend to drift about on the Kindle when the font size is changed. But we’ll just have to see how it works. CreateSpace is doing the conversion, and the main motivation is that having the book on the Kindle will make it available in the UK (and Germany, though not, strangely, in Canada—Canadians presumably get an account and download Kindle books from there). I’m told the conversion will take about 4 weeks.

Rasage Poulin: They were closed for a bit this summer, but they’re back open for business and awaiting your orders. — Update: I tried calling and got no answer and no callback; I sent an email, but have received no response. — Update: Still no response. I’m lining them out for now.

Handmade English shaving brushes: The vendor listings already include New Forest Brushes, but I also just got some samples of Rodney Neep’s work at Pens of the Forest (which is also a fountain-pen site). He has unusual designs, and for some brushes he offers to inset a British coin of the year you specify. Here are mine.

Minimal-water shave: For those who live in hard-water areas the book discusses using distilled (aka “purified”) water, available for about $1 at drugstores (for use in steam irons, vaporizers, steamers, and the like). Though not so important for shaving creams, soft water makes an enormous difference when creating lather from shaving soap. I have found that, with very little practice, a completely comfortable three-pass shave with brush and shaving soap can easily be done with 1/2 cup of water. A gallon thus is enough water for 32 shaves: a month, easy. The trick: it takes only about a tablespoon of water to wash with MR GLO, another to rinse after that, and two more to rinse after the first two passes: you are more wetting your face rather than rinsing it. Wetting the brush actually takes relatively little water, leaving close to a quarter-cup for the final rinse: the only rinse that must be thorough.

Australian vendor: A reader has pointed out a shaving oasis in Perth: Esquires of Piccadilly. Their current site is frame-based (of all things: you don’t see that much any more), but they write that they are currently doing a re-design and will be augmenting the shaving section for on-line sales. Check ’em out.

Good info on Gillette Rockets: The Rocket is the British version of the Super Speed, but more robust and of better manufacture. Thanks to Todd O. for pointing out this useful reference post.

1. Forums

Art of Manliness Real-Shaving group    
Badger & Blade
Canadian Wetshaving Community
Damn Fine Shave   
RazorandBrush (message board)
Shave Bazaar (buy/sell/trade only)
Shave Nook    
Simply Shaving (no longer active)
Straight Razor Place
The Shave Den
The Shaving Room
Wicked Edge (where I hang out).

2. Reference

Blade widths (and the effects) (no longer on Web)
Gillette British models (gone)
Gillette Rockets (British equivalent of Super Speed)
Gillette date codes    
Mantic’s shaving videos (in German: use Google Translate for other languages)
Museum of Safety Razors
Schick Injectors     
Shaving 101
Shaving product samples
Wicked_Edge Deals (special offers on shaving stuff)    
Garry’s Sample Shop (check fragrance, test for skin sensitivity, etc.)

3. Blade Sampler Packs

Blade sampler packs are available from:

4. Vendors

Following is a list of representative vendors patronized by the wetshaving community. This list is volatile, so you may want to recheck it as new vendors come on-line.

  • = complete vendor (shaving brushes, soaps, creams, razors, blades, aftershaves)
    H = handmade shaving soap, creams, lotions, aftershaves, and so on.
    C = happy to accept calls from men seeking product advice

Al’s Shaving Products – contact form on the site – Exceptional shaving creams made by a straight-razor shaver initially for his own use. Try the 7-day pack of samples as an introduction. He also makes aftershave splashes and balms. The fragrances are excellent and he offers customer-fragranced shaving cream.

Appleton Barber Supply800-236-0456 Central Time – – Primarily of interest for great selection of aftershaves (at link).

Art of Shaving800-696-4999 Eastern Time – Art of Shaving shaving cream and soap and aftershave, Merkur (shave oil found by many to be too gummy). Soaps and brushes excellent but expensive; limited range of DE shaving equipment.

Atkinson’s – – 604-736-3368 800-803-0233 Pacific Time – Plisson – This site offers attractive handcrafted shaving brushes and DE razors (with Edwin Jagger heads). A wide variety of woods are used. It also sells supplies for making your own brushes.

Barbieria Italiana – now closed. See note here.

Barclay Crocker – sales@barclaycrocker.com800-536-1866 – Many brands of Bay Rum, Merkur, Proraso, Musgo Real (including Glyce Lime Oil pre-shave soap), Geo.F Trumper, Truefitt & Hill, Taylor of Old Bond St, Col Conk, Woods of Windsor, Caswell Massey, Shave Brushes & Mugs, Barclay Crocker Custom Scenting.

Best Grooming Tools – – Wide selection includes Col. Conk, Dovo, Erasmic, D. R. Harris, Edwin Jagger, Merkur, Muehle, Musgo Real, Parker, Proraso, Simpson, Speick, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Valobra. – 90 0224 413 2710 – – 90 0224 413 2710 – There’s also a contact form on the Web site. Located in Bursa, Turkey. – Arko, Astra, Coll, Derby, Gibbs, Permasharp, Racer, Rapira, Shark, SuperMax. Free shipping on blades.

Blankety Blanks  – – 512-263-8355 Central Time – Artisanal shaving brushes and supplies for making your own shaving brush (scroll down at link)

BM Vintage Shaving –  sales@bmvintageshaving.com760-799-5539 Pacific Time – Col. Conk, Derby, Dovo, Edwin Jagger, Gessato, Merkur, Vulfix.

Bob’s Razor Works – Beautiful handmade and custom brushes and razors: well worth a look. He also makes handles for three-piece razors, sold separately. [31 May 2012: Just received word that the proprietor has passed away.]

Bon Savon – info@bonsavon.com877-832-4635 Pacific Time – Provence Santé, Pre de Provence, Swedish Summer Soap, Lightfoot’s Shaving Soap

Bramble Berry – 877-627-7883 Pacific Time – Soapmaking supplies, including Melt & Pour Base for shaving soap: add your own fragrance.

Bull Goose Shaving Supplies – – Astra, Cyril R. Salter, Derby, Erasmic, Feather, Lord, Merkur, Omega, Proraso, Shark, Simpsons, Speick, Tabac, Taylor. Offers blade sampler packs.

Carbolic Soap Co. – Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap (best price, even with shipping from the UK)

  • Classic Edge – 416-574-1592 Eastern Time – Has straight razors in addition to DE razors. Arko, Col. Conk, Derby, Dovo, D.R. Harris, Edwin Jagger, Feather, G.B. Kent, Lea, Merkur, Palmolive, Parker, Proraso, RazoRock,

CH* Classic Shaving – info@classicshaving.com760-288-4178 Pacific Time – Cyril R. Salter, Dovo, Feather, Merkur, Proraso, Rooney, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Thiers-Issard, Truefitt & Hill, Vulfix, Zowada

Connaught Shaving – – 07963 325842 – Arko, Carter & Bond, Derby, Gillette, Merkur, Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap, Parker, Proraso, Treet. Offers blade sampler packs.

The Copper Hat – Located in Victoria, BC: They offer their own line of brushes, plus Parker and vintage safety razors, and products by Adam, Alpa, Pitralon, TrueShave, and Williams.

Cotton Blossom Crafts – DeLong, Weishi.

Crabtree & Evelyn800-272-2873 Eastern Time – Edwin Jagger, C&E Shaving creams and soaps and aftershave.

Details for Men888-680-2857 Eastern Time – – Art of Shaving, Derby, Feather, Gentlemens Refinery, Gillette, Musgo Real (including MR GLO), Pré de Provence, Proraso, Provence Santé, l’Occitane, Merkur, Muehle Pinsel, Speick, Valobra, Williamson, and others. Offers blade sampler packs.

eBarbershop – – Col. Conk, Crabtree & Evelyn, Merkur, Personna, Pinaud, Woods of Windsor — quite a wide variety of aftershaves and cologne.

eBay – At the link is a list of eBay offerings, including bulk-purchase Israeli and Derby blades, safety razors of all kinds, and the like. List sorted by newly listed, but can be resorted to find auctions ending soonest.

Elite Razor – robert.d.quinn@eliterazor.com404-918-2345 Central Time – Offers a wide variety of razors and brushes with handles custom-crafted of wood, stone, or neo-resinate. Worth browsing for special gifts for traditional shavers.

H* Em’s Place – – Crystal, Derby, Dovo, Em’s (shaving soaps and creams, aftershaves, lotions in wide variety of fragrances), Feather, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Musgo Real, Omega, Proraso, Simpsons, Speick, Tabac, My Nik Is Sealed. Also: see

C* Enchante Online – enchantetx@sbcglobal.net888-220-2927 Central Time – Derby, D.R. Harris, Feather, Geo. F. Trumper, Israeli Personna, Merkur, Shavemaster, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Wilkinson.

The English Shaving Company – –  D.R. Harris, Edwin Jagger brushes and razors, Geo. F. Trumper, Proraso; also offers the Edwin Jagger razor head by itself: make or buy the handle separately.

  • Esquires of Piccadilly – – +618 9324 1101 Perth time – Dovo, Merkur, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Vulfix.

Executive Shaving Company – Cyril R. Salter, Dovo, D.R. Harris, Edwin Jagger, Geo. F. Trumper, Rooney, Merkur, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Thiers Issard, Truefitt & Hill

Fendrihan – – info@fendrihan.com905-230-1254 Eastern time. Col. Conk, Derby, D. R. Harris, Gold Dachs, J.M. Fraser, Merkur, Musgo Real, Simpsons, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Valobra, Vulfix, Kent shaving soap (same as Mitchell’s Wool Fat). Offers blade sampler packs.

Garry’s Sample Shop – A great resource for buying samplers of various shaving products (soaps, shaving creams, aftershaves, balms, and the like) so you can test them (for example, on your forearm) to be sure that you have no sensitivities that would preclude your use. Obviously, you also get a chance to check fragrance, lathering, etc.

G.B. Kent & Sons PLC – – G.B. Kent shaving brushes (and hair brushes), Kent shaving cream and shaving soap (shaving soap is same Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap).

  • The Gentleman’s Groom Room+44 (0) 1382 801504 – Arko, Arran Aromatics, Czech & Speake, Essence of Scotland, Floris, G.B. Kent, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Omega, Osma, Parker, Simpson, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Timor.

The Gentleman’s Shop – – 01488 683536 / 684363 (UK) – Art of Shaving, Castle Forbes, Dovo, D.R. Harris, Edwin Jagger, G.B. Kent, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Rooney, Simpsons, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill. The G.B. Kent brush is an exceptional brush for soaps, and the BK4 is the best all-round size.

H The Gentlemens Refinery866-444-7428 Mountain Time. Excellent shaving creams, aftershave balms, shave oil, shaving brushes. Products manufactured by a fourth-generation barber.

Gifts and Care – –  (+34) 96 3400 220 in Spain – Lots of horsehair brushes, including horsehair and boar mix and horsehair and badger mix, in a range of grades. Also, Castle Forbes, Floïd, La Toja, Lea, Merkur, Myrsol, Proraso, Taylor of Old Bond Street. They also carry an extensive collection of makeup brushes.

H Ginger’s Garden  – Handmade “shaving-cream soap” that lathers abundantly and is available is a wide variety of fragrances. Also available is a glycerin soap. Soap comes as pucks, in tubs, or as shave sticks.

The Golden Nib – Supplies for making your own brush: badger knots, handle blanks, razor heads, and more.

  • The Groomed Man – 0844 8120465 – Cyril R. Salter, D.R. Harris, Derby, Dovo, Edwin Jagger, G.B. Kent, Merkur, Mühle, Simpsons, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Timor, Wilkinson

  • Highland MensCare – – 877-284-1887 Eastern time – Acca Kappa, Anthony Logistics, Art of Shaving, Bluebeards Original, Castle Forbes, D.R. Harris & Co., Edwin Jagger, Feather, Gentlemens Refinery, Geo. F. Trumper, G.B. Kent, Lucky Tiger, Merkur, Musgo Real, Personna, Pre de Provence, Proraso, Royall Lyme, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill, Wilkinson Sword.

  • Himage – 1300 349 020 in South Melbourne – Astra, Castle Forbes, Coates, Col. Conk, Geo. F. Trumper, Mama Bear, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill, Cyril R. Salter, Derby, Dovo, Merkur, Proraso, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Mühle, Pashana, Simpsons, Vulfix, Semogue, Thayers

Honeybee Soaps – –  Handmade shea butter shaving soaps, along with broad line of handmade creams, lotions, shampoos, and other toiletries. Wide variety of fragrances. Note: URL is

Ian Tang’s Shaving Workshop – Frank Shaving brushes: well-made but inexpensive badger shaving brushes.

iKon Razors –  Stainless iKon razors in a variety of designs, Feather blades, knobs for the Merkur Progress, stainless knurled razor handles, and other offerings.

Invisible Edge – Cutthroat razors and supplies in the UK.

* The Irish – Col. Conk, Derby, Dovo, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Mühle, Taylor of Old Bond Street,  quite a bit of very nice porcelain (mugs, bowls, scuttles) No longer in business.

  • Italian Barber –  support@italianbarber.com647-800-4622 Eastern time – Specializes in Italian shave products, but has wide range: Acca Kappa, Atkinson, Bolzano, Booster, Cella, Col. Conk, Cremo Cream, Feather, Geo. F. Trumper, iKon, J.M. Fraser, Lord, Merkur, Omega, Palmolive, Proraso, Rapira, Valobra, Wilkinson Sword.

Kell’s Original – – A variety of excellent shaving soaps made with hemp oil, aloe vera, or a combination, in a variety of fragrances, including unscented.

Kinetic BlueAstra, Dorco, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Mühle Pinsel, Penhaligon, Truefitt & Hill.  Blade sampler pack available.

Lee’s Razors – leesrazors@aol.com800-503-5001 Eastern Time – Col. Conk, Derby, Dovo, Feather, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap, Musgo Real (including Glyce Lime Oil pre-shave soap), Proraso, Simpsons, Vulfix.

London’s Bathecary434-220-0540 Eastern Time – Caswell Massey, Floris London, Geo. F. Trumper, Lightfoot’s, Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap, Penhaligon’s, Taylor of Old Bond Street.

Mama Bear – – Full line of handmade shaving soap, shaving stick, shaving cream, aftershaves, along with regular soaps. Wide variety of fragrances. Also containers (make your own shave stick), alum bar. – Does restoration, repair, honing, scale replacement, and other services for straight razors.

Men’s Biz – 1300 784 789 – – Astra, Col. Conk, Derby, Dovo, eShave, Feather, Geo. F. Trumper, Men-u, Merkur, Musgo Real, Personna, Proraso, Taylor of Old Bond Street.

men-ü800-987-6790 Central time – their own line: shaving creams and soaps, shaving brushes, and aftershaves. They offer an excellent synthetic-bristle brush.

Momentum Grooming – – 604-689-46361-877-886-4636 Pacific Time (Vancouver BC) – Merkur, Musgo Real, Proraso, True Gentleman, Truefitt & Hill

Moss Scuttle902-657-3215 Atlantic Time -The famous Moss Scuttle along with a wide variety of pottery and hooked rugs.

Mühle-Pinsel – – German company. Baxter of California, D.R. Harris, Edwin Jagger, Geo. F. Trumper, Mühle-Pinsel, Proraso.

H Mystic Water Soap for Men  – – 240-396-6831 Eastern Time – a good variety of excellent shaving soaps, tallow-based soaps using tallow from grass-fed beef raised locally in Maryland.

Nashville Knife Shop – info@nashvilleknifeshop.com812-988-9800 Central Time – Col. Conk, Cremo Cream, Derby, Dovo, D.R. Harris, Merkur, Mühle, Proraso.

Nancy Boy – contact@nancyboy.com888-746-2629 Pacific Time – Nancy Boy products, good for sensitive skin.

H Nanny’s Silly Soap Company – Many fragrances of handmade soft shaving soap.

H New Forest Brushes – Handmade fine badger shaving brushes at very reasonable prices.

  • – – Art of Shaving, Czech & Speake, Edwin Jagger, Merkur, Mühle, Proraso, Simpsons, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill

l’Occitane888-623-2880 – Cade line of shaving soap and cream, aftershave shea butter balm.

Olivia Shaving Soaps – German company. Handmade shaving soaps and creams; Crema Sapone Cella.

Pacific Shaving Company – Shaving oil, liquid styptic in applicator.

Pens of the Forest – Handmade shaving brushes and razors in unusual designs, with option of coin in base. Also sells fountain pens, penknives, etc.

The Portugal Online Shop– – – +351 962 774 286 Portugal – 444, Antiga Barbearia de Bairro, Ach Brito, Confiança, Musgo Real, Semogue. Many different pre-shave soaps available.

H Prairie Creations – Handmade shaving soaps and creams, including shave sticks. The soaps are based on tallow or tallow combined with lanolin, with choices of scented, essential oils, or unscented.

  • – – (07) 3012 7990 in Brisbane – Astra, Baxter of California, Cella, Col. Conk, Derby, eShave, Feather, Floris, Geo. F. Trumper, men-ü, Merkur, Personna, Proraso, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill.

CH* QED – qed@quod.com401-433-4045 Eastern Time – Castle Forbes, Cyril R. Salter, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Musgo Real, Omega, QEDman (his own line of soaps and lotions), Proraso, Savile Row, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill.

H Queen Charlotte Soaps, LLC – – Handmade shaving-cream-like soap.

Rasage Poulin – scott@rasagepoulin.com403-295-8448 Mountain Time – Booster, D. R. Harris, Edwin Jagger, Geo. F. Trumper, Institut Karité, J. M. Fraser, Laboratoires OSMA, Lucky Tiger, Merkur, Musgo Real, Omega, Proraso, Rooney, Semogue, sul filo del rasoio. The site seems still to be up, but it closes without warning and currently the company is not responding to email queries. I suggest you exercise care with this vendor.

Razor and Brush: Content preserved. – Has articles, history of shaving, book reviews, links to message board, sales board, various shave blogs and sites. The store, however, is now closed.  The site is gone and the domain up for sale. Razor and Brush is no more. UPDATE: The content remains available at the link.

Razor Blades & More Co. – 323-362-6201 Pacific time – has blade sampler packs; Col. Conk, Cyril R. Salter, Edwin Jagger, Floïd, La Toja, Pinaud, Proraso, Malaspina, men-ü, Mühle, Musgo Real, Omega, Palmolive, Parker, Irisch Moos, Tabac, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Wei-Shi.

Razor Emporium602-885-2725 Mountain Time – an unusual site with an emphasis on vintage razors, both DE and straight, and vintage brushes. He also carries the Pils line, both razors and brushes. He offers a replating service for razors in gold, rhodium, nickel, silver, or other metals. Inquire for details. – 888-445-0224 Eastern Time – carries a good variety of razors (which this site calls “handles” rather than “razors”), and does offer a blade sampler pack. I’ve not ordered from them. – 0422 953 284 Brisbane, Australia – Comoy, Dovo, King of shaves, Merkur, Otoko Organics, Proraso, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Shavemac, Vulfix, Truefitt & Hill, Zenith.

Retrorazor – – Derby, Weishi, starter gift-packs, shaving workshops in Seattle

  • Royal Shave – – 800-801-0769 Pacific Time – Calani, Castle Forbes, Col. Conk, Edwin Jagger, Feather, Gold Dachs, D.R. Harris, Hasslinger, G.B. Kent, Merkur, Mitchells Wool Fat, Mühle, Parker, Pils, Plisson, Simpson, Speick, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Thater, Geo. F. Trumper, Truefitt & Hill, Vulfix. – – +44 (0) 0845 009 0053 – Merkur, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Cyril R. Salter, Simpsons. Also sells vintage razors. Contact for information about replating nickel-plated razors.

Saint Charles Shave – – Handmade shaving soaps, creams, aftershaves, lotions, eau de toilettes.

H Scodioli – Etsy vendor of handmade shaving soap, cologne, and other grooming supplies.

Sesto Sento – info@sesto-senso.com301-668-5018 – Castle Forbes, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Musgo Real (including Glyce Lime Oil pre-shave soap), Omega, Pashana, Proraso, QED Shaving Sticks, Savile Row brushes, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill, Vulfix shaving cream.

Shave Center of the Internet – Altesse, Col. Conk, Dovo, Merkur, Thiers Issard.

The Shave Den Store – part of The Shave Den Forum. Nice selection of shaving soaps and creams, both with fragrance oils and essential oils, along with aftershaves, colognes, and the like. Well worth a visit. – – 732-239-2607 Eastern time – A very broad selection including items hard to find in the US, at good prices. Includes Arko, Astra, Bea, Boots, De Vergulde Hand, Delong, Derby, Edwin Jagger, Erasmic, Feather, Frank, Godrej, James Bronnley, Kappus, G.B. Kent, Lavanda, Lea, Lightfoot’s, Lord, Malizia, Merkur, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Mühle, Parker, Pitralon, Rapira, Sabi, Shark, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Timor, Treet, Valobra, Wars, Wilkinson

Shave Nation – 866-388-2088 Central Time – Cella, Col. Conk, Dovo, Edwin Jagger, Feather, Geo. F. Trumper, Mühle, Parker, Proraso, RazoRock, Taconic, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Tweezerman, Vitos. Has blade sampler packs. Lots of stuff for the straight-razor shaver.

Shavemac – – Dovo, Haslinger, Merkur, Olivesoap, Shavemac, Speick, Tabac, Weleda.

The Shaver Shop – – Col. Conk, Edwin Jagger, Geo. F. Trumper, HeadBlade, Merkur. – – (03) 9840 5900 – no DE safety razors, but blades and a selection of brushes and supplies. Possibly can be brought along to include double-edged razors.

  • – – +61 (0)430 300 635 – The Otoko Organics shaving soap (under “Modern Shaving”) is remarkable. Also, Castle Forbes, Fitjar, Frank Shaving, Goodfella, Otoko, Proraso, Simpsons, Vulfix, Weishi.

  • Shave Shed – (03) 9005 6717 in Victoria, Australia – Col. Conk, Derby, Feather, Irisch Moos, Merkur, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Palmolive Proraso, Tabac, Taylor of Old Bond Street.

  • – 424-274-2838 Central Time – Astra, Cella, D.R. Harris, Gillette, Merkur, Omega, Parker, Proraso, Rapira, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Valobra, Vie-Long, Vulfix. – – 01 5240758 – Located in Ireland. Arko, Cella, Dovo, D.R. Harris, Edwin Jagger, Feather, Floïd, Geo. F. Trumper, Merkur, Mühle, Musgo Real, Omega, Parker, Pashana, Proraso, Semogue, Simpson, Speick, Tabac, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Timor, Vitos

Shaving Shack – – 01752 898191 – Check out the Otok0 Organics in particular. Cyril Salter, Derby, Dovo of Solingen, D.R. Harris, Edwin Jagger, Erasmic, Feather, G.B. Kent & Sons, Merkur, Mitchell’s Wool Fat Soap, Musgo Real, Omega, Otoko Organics, Parker, Vulfix, Proraso, Simpsons, Speick, Tabac, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill. – –  Not a vendor, but a site that routinely reviews shaving equipment and supplies, from time to time finding things of interest to traditional wetshavers.– 647-773-1414 10:00 am – 8:00 pm Eastern time – Castle Forbes, Coates, Col. Conk, Cyril R. Salter, Dovo, Dubl Duck, Edwin Jagger, Goodfella, Merkur, Mühle, Omega, Proraso, RazoRock, Semogue, Simpsons, Tabac, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Vulfix, Wilkinson. – shoeboxshaveshop@yahoo.com786-200-2774 (between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Time) –  Anherb, Arko, Cella, Erasmic, Figaro, Fitness, Institut Karité, Lord, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Omega, Pre De Provence, PREP, Proraso, Speick, Tabac, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Treet, Weishi.Offers blade sampler packs.

Smallflower – Voice 800-252-0275 Central time – fax 773-989-8108 – Geo. F. Trumper, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Muhle Pinsel, Musgo Real (including Glyce Lime Oil pre-shave soap), Pre de Provence, Provence Santé, Proraso, Speick, Tabac.

The Soap Opera – – Voice 800-251-7627 Central Time.   Their Himalaya shaving soap (with shea butter and soy) is particularly good.

Straight Razor Designs – – Baxter of California, Castle Forbes, D.R. Harrris, Heirloom Razor, Maestro Livi, Merkur, Truefitt & Hill. Both straight and safety razor products.

Superlather – help@superlather.com727.483.5639 Eastern time – Alt Innsbruck, Erasmic, Floïd, Ingraam, Irisch Moos, Noxema, P.160, Palmolive, Pitralon, Proraso.

Tradere Razors – offers a stainless steel open-comb razor and also the handle sold separately.

  • Traditional Shaving Company — Astra, Colonel Conk, Crystal, Cyril R Salter, Derby, Edwin Jagger, Feather, Mama Bears Soaps, Merkur, Osma, Personna, Saint Charles Shave, Simpsons, Taylor of Old Bond Street, and Truefitt and Hill.

  • Traditional Shaving Supplies – – +353 1 5240 758 in Dublin, Ireland. Acca Kappa, Astra, Cella, Coates, Edwin Jagger, G.B. Kent, Feather, La Toja, Merkur, Mitchells Wool Fat, Mühle, Omega, Semogue, Simpson, Speick, Sputnik, Tabac, Timor.

Tryphon Barbiera Italiana – No longer in operation. See this note.

Tulumba – info@tulumba.com866-885-8622 Eastern Time – Arko, alum block.

C* Vintage Blades LLC – jim@vintagebladesllc.com410-357-8055 Eastern Time – Col. Conk, Dovo, D.R. Harris, Floris London, Merkur, Rooney, Shavemac, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Thayers, Truefitt & Hill, Vulfix.

Vintage Scent – Worth browsing for brands you won’t find elsewhere: 444, Confianca, Floïd, La Toja, Lavanda, LEA, Semogue

Weber Razors – – An artisanal solid stainless-steel three-piece razor, available in two models, one whose head coated with “diamond-like carbon” and another with  “ARC” (Advanced Razor Coating). They also sell the stainless handle separately.

C* The Well Shaved Gentleman443-717-3969 Eastern Time – Strops for straight razors.

West Coast Shaving – contact@westcoastshaving.com877-710-6037 Pacific Time – Cella, Gillette, Goodfella, Merkur, Mitchell, Proraso, Shavemac, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Valobra.  Offers blade sampler packs. – Secondhand straight razors of good steel restored to shaving shape. Feather Popular DE razor. Very good brushes at very good prices. Knots and other supplies to make your own razors. Free shipping. Good place for beginners to acquire a good starter kit at a low price.. Check out his free introductory guide to straight-razor shaving (PDF).


Skin care
flow; Each person can find tasks appropriate for him or her that will promote flow: rock climbing, painting or drawing, gardening, cooking, and the like. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defined the term in his studies and in the book that emerged from them, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
Cognitive dissonance; see also this interesting post
4 Ben Franklin story
Wilkinson technology
the following report
7 “What was I thinking?
eBay safety razors
9 For a wonderful account of the first-time experience, read what brderj and DEsquire say in this thread.
10 series of videos made by Mantic
11 different types
12 a cream
13 The Art of the Straight-Razor Shave (book)
The Art of the Straight-Razor Shave (PDF)
14 100% glycerine
15 Hydrosol: Herbal distillates are aqueous solutions or colloidal suspensions (hydrosols) of essential oils usually obtained by steam distillation from aromatic plants or herbs. These herbal distillates have uses as flavorings, medicine and in skin care. Herbal distillates go by many other names including floral waters, hydrosols, hydrolates, herbal waters, toilet waters, aqua vitae, and essential water. See also this explanation.
16 somewhat drier
17 synthetic bristles — Edwin Jagger synthetic-bristle brushes
18 Advantages of synthetic bristles
19 Vie-Long website
20 Horsehair anthrax scare
21 Suribachi bowl
22 Semogue 2000
23 guide to boar brushes
24 several grades
25 made by hand
26 make your own (scroll down)
27 clear differences
28 Vulfix brushes
29 Simpson brushes (1)
Simpson brushes (2) (includes Emperor 2 and 1)
Simpson brushes (3)
30 Rooney brushes (1)
Rooney brushes (2)
31 Simpsons measurements
32 Omega brushes (1)
Omega brushes (2)
33 Omega measurements
34 Shavemac brushes
35 Kent brushes (the BK4, the size I recommend; more Kent brushes here, along with Rooney and Edwin Jagger brushes)
36 from Crabtree & Evelyn
37 from The English Shaving Company (Edwin Jagger Best Badger is currently £15.32 for export: US$30.50)
38 wooden-handled brushes do just fine
39 shaving brush innovations
40 Shavemac variable-loft brush
41 One video
42 some nice accessories
43 Mühle travel brush
44 Anatomy of hairshaft
45 a stand for the brush
46 how to cleansee these videos
47 Gold Dachs Shaving Brush cleaner
48 M.A.C. brush cleaner
49 The Moss scuttle
50 Dr. Moss quotation
51 Georgetown PotteryGeorgetown Scuttle
52 Dirty Bird Pottery
53 water softener technology and options
54 Sunbeam Hot Shot; also, see this kettle, which heats water to a pre-set temperature (but no hotter)
55 Zojirushi hot-water dispenser
56 UtiliTEA kettle
57 J.M. Fraser Shaving Cream
58 high praise
59 Nancy Boy shaving cream
60 Cremo Shave Cream
61 Em’s Place shaving cream in squirt bottle
62 an illustrated guide
63 Mitchell’s Wool Fat Shaving Soap
64 Tabac soap
65 Rivivage
66 Virgilio Valobra soap
67 Bruce Everiss review of Otoko soap
68 Essence of Scotland shaving soaps: in UK; in US
69 These instructions from Classic Shaving
70 this excellent tutorial
71 How to make shaving stick (see book) More info here.
72 video referenced above
73 Mantic video
74 more information
75 a problem with the lather
76 Superlather
77 Gillette myth: giving away razors to sell blades – debunked here
78 A comment
79 Microphotographs
80 Blade reviews with photos
81 Feather Blade Safe
82 If you’re willing to undertake learning to use a straight razor, check out and also The Art of the Straight Razor Shave (paperback book; or The Art of the Straight Razor Shave (PDF file)), by Chris Moss, and also the free beginner manual (PDF) by Larry of For straight razors—sharpened, honed, and ready to shave—and accessories and advice, contact the highly regarded The Well Shaved Gentleman. For excellent introduction to straights, with diagrams, see this page.
83 these three types of razors
84 A rack
85 a good review
86 loading Progress
87 offers this advice (Futur)
88 Vision user’s manual
89 Edwin Jagger razors
90 Feather premium razor
91 Pils razor
92 common Gillette razors; also, see these Super Speeds
93 dates of Gillette razors
94 Lady Gillette photos
95 Wilkinson Sword Classic review
96 Eclipse Red Ring review
97 Schick Injector
98 GEM G-Bar
99 Schick various models
100 Pella injector blades
101 Pella single-edged blades
102 clean it
103 Maas metal polish
104 shaver noted
105 holding the tip
106 shaver has pointed out angle
107 tiny travel razor
108 tried a similar approach
109 useful diagram (PDF)
110 the basic (4-pass) method
111 advanced shaving techniques
112 Hydrolast Cutting Balm
113 Total Shaving Solution
114 All Natural Shaving Oil
115 Kinexium ST Shaving Oil
116 Gessato Pre-Shave Oil
117 Non-comedogenic chart
118 Natural 1 oz bottle
119 Cobalt blue 1 oz bottle
120 Three-razor technique
121 First Method video
122 Method shaving supplies
123 shaver’s comment on alum bar for skin condition
124 Wikipedia article on alum
125 shaver’s comment on pleasures of alum bar
126 One woman notes
127 My Nik Is Sealed
128 a lengthy review
129 Mantic59 video on aftershaves
130 Skin problems with aftershave
131 a variety of fragrances
132 a sampler package
133 Thayers Witch Hazel Aftershave
134 an entire array
135 Booster’s aftershaves
136 Proraso’s pre- and after-shave cream
137 Wikipedia perfume article
138 Mild acne photos
139 Moderate acne
140 Severe acne
141 Sulfur-based compounds
142 AcneNet
143; See also this post for additional tips that may be of help.
144 Low comedogenicity
145 Mayo Clinic articles
146 Anti-Cancer
147 Findings on sugar: NY Times article; and video of talk
148 Pictures of razor bumps and rash
149 Themba’s technique: See the threads here and here (scroll down at both links)
150 Innomed Lice Comb
151 Moore Unique Razor Bump Tool
152 Bump Fighter Razor
153 Barbicide
154 Bump Fighter
Bump Patrol
Dermagen Skin Revival System
Elicina Biological Treatment
Follique treatment
High Time Bump Stopper Products
Moore Unique Products
No Mo’ Bumps Aftershave
Prince Reigns Gel
Smart Shave Products
Tend Skin
155 Homemade version of Tend Skin
156 Eczema from shampoo
157 a beginner shaving kit
158 low-cost, high-luxury shave  
159 Bump Fighter Razor
160 recommended Omega synthetic bristle brush
161 Edwin Jagger Best Badger brushes (size Medium is best)
162 Poll on
163 “Exploring the Science of Shaving”
164 write-up on MSNBC
165 this “how-to-use” guide
166 series of videos
167 a comprehensive list

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 10:03 am

Posted in Books, Business, Daily life

The Older Grandson at his first Go tournament

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Just got a call. The Older Grandson is at his first Go tournament ever. Top players there are 8-dans (very strong), but there’s a good range. Since this is his first tournament, his rating is provisional, but he’s definitely still in the early stages of learning Go. Still: he lost his first game, but won his second. Very exciting for all of us, as you can guess.

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 9:23 am

Posted in Daily life, Games, Go/Baduk

Bush’s America

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From an Australian newspaper, about one of the “guilty” pleas from a Guantánamo detainee:

David Hicks’s father, Terry, has slammed the conditions of the Guantánamo Bay detainee’s release, under which the confessed terrorism supporter will be a free man by the end of the year.

A US military tribunal has sentenced Hicks to seven years’ jail but he will only have to serve nine months.

The US must send Hicks home within two months so he can serve his sentence in Australia.

The tribunal judge accepted Hicks’s guilty plea as part of an agreement that limited his sentence to seven years in prison, in addition to the five years he has been held at Guantánamo.

The plea agreement bars the former kangaroo skinner from speaking to the media for a year and selling his story.

He has also been banned from taking legal action against the US.

Hicks has previously said the US military abused him but in his plea agreement, he said he had “never been illegally treated while in US custody”. [But note his earlier affidavit. – LG]

Terry Hicks says his son is being forced to sign a document to say he was not mistreated.

“It’s probably a poor thing from the American side to make people sign these papers to say that they were treated OK, no abuses, when we all know that he has been abused and others have been abused,” he said.

“But if he had to do it to get out of there, then so be it.”

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Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 9:17 am

End of the Classic run

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This morning I used the last of the Classic soaps I recently received: the Lilac. The brush was the charming little Simpsons Chubby 1 Best, and the lather was good. The razor was the redoubtable Wilkinson “Sticky,” and it delivered a fine shave with whatever blade it held. Alum bar and the the Ogallala Bay Rum aftershave—and their cologne as well, why not?

Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 7:20 am

Posted in Shaving

The Census Bureau cooperated

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The Census Bureau claims that it keeps all information confidential. The claim, alas, turns out to be a lie:

Despite decades of denials, government records confirm that the U.S. Census Bureau provided the U.S. Secret Service with names and addresses of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

The Census Bureau surveys the population every decade with detailed questionnaires but is barred by law from revealing data that could be linked to specific individuals. The Second War Powers Act of 1942 temporarily repealed that protection to assist in the roundup of Japanese-Americans for imprisonment in internment camps in California and six other states during the war. The Bureau previously has acknowledged that it provided neighborhood information on Japanese-Americans for that purpose, but it has maintained that it never provided “microdata,” meaning names and specific information about them, to other agencies.

A new study of U.S. Department of Commerce documents now shows that the Census Bureau complied with an August 4, 1943, request by Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau for the names and locations of all people of Japanese ancestry in the Washington, D.C., area, according to historian Margo Anderson of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and statistician William Seltzer of Fordham University in New York City. The records, however, do not indicate that the Bureau was asked for or divulged such information for Japanese-Americans in other parts of the country.

Anderson and Seltzer discovered in 2000 that the Census Bureau released block-by-block data during WW II that alerted officials to neighborhoods in California, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Arkansas where Japanese-Americans were living. “We had suggestive but not very conclusive evidence that they had also provided microdata for surveillance,” Anderson says.

The Census Bureau had no records of such action, so the researchers turned to the records of the chief clerk of the Commerce Department, which received and had the authority to authorize interagency requests for census data under the Second War Powers Act. Anderson and Seltzer discovered copies of a memo from the secretary of the treasury (of which the Secret Service is part) to the secretary of commerce (who oversees the Census Bureau) requesting the data, and memos documenting that the Bureau had provided it [see image Census memo .]

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Written by Leisureguy

31 March 2007 at 7:15 am

Posted in Government

Uh-oh: big new scandal brewing

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Laura Rozen has it:

From 1991 to 1993, a young lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve was working as a program manager in a Pentagon intelligence office. His name was Mitchell John Wade. His boss, the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence, was Duane P. Andrews. Andrews’s job at the Pentagon was essentially to serve as intelligence advisor to the secretary of defense. The secretary of defense at the time was someone that Andrews knew well and respected immensely: Dick Cheney.

Back during the Reagan administration, Andrews had served as a professional staff member to the House Intelligence Committee, of which Cheney, then a Wyoming Republican congressman, was a prominent member. In a recent interview with a federal technology magazine, Andrews lists Cheney as his personal, lifelong hero.

In 1993, at the end of George H.W. Bush’s presidency, Cheney went on to become CEO of the oil services giant Halliburton; Andrews joined the massive government contractor SAIC, where he would rise to become CIO; and Wade, then 30 years old, moved to form his own defense contracting firm, MZM, Inc. But it wasn’t until 2002 that MZM would get its first federal government contract: a peculiar one-month, $140,000 contract from the White House, later revealed to be for providing computers, office furniture, and specialized computer programming services to the Office of the Vice President.

Wade’s company would later get three more contracts from the White House and tens of millions of dollars in contracts from the Defense Department and other federal agencies, many of them for classified intelligence work. In the summer of 2005, of course, it all began to unravel for MZM, after journalist Marcus Stern of the San Diego Union Tribune/Copley News service noticed that San Diego congressman Duke Cunningham had sold his house to a company that listed as its name a Washington, D.C. street address, 1523 New Hampshire Ave. This was the address of MZM. After an extensive investigation that led to a sprawling federal probe run out of the San Diego U.S. attorney’s office (the now-fired Carol Lam), Wade pled guilty last year and is awaiting sentencing on charges related to bribing Cunningham, who himself pled guilty on bribery-related charges and is serving out an eight year prison sentence. In February, three more indictments were issued in the case, this time against a San Diego-based defense contractor and Bush/Cheney Pioneer with whom Wade had closely worked, Brent Wilkes; Wilkes’s longtime friend-turned-CIA executive director Kyle Dustin Foggo, who is accused of steering Wilkes CIA contracts and has since resigned; and the nephew of a Greek American businessman who is accused of laundering some of Wilkes’s and Wade’s bribes to Cunningham through his mortgage company.

Cheney’s office declined to comment on why Wade’s MZM received the $140,000 contract, or describe any possible contacts with Wade. Andrews did not respond to messages left at his current company or home in northern Virginia. There is no indication that he played any role in Wade’s efforts to get federal contracts.

But this past week,

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 8:12 pm

IOKIYAR: It’s OK if you’re a Republican

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This particular acronym got a lot of use in the recent pass, and it’s still very applicable:

The White House today lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for daring to visit Syria in the coming days. White House spokesperson Dana Perino:

I do think that, as a general rule — and this would go for Speaker of the House Pelosi and this apparent trip that she is going to be taking — that we don’t think it’s a good idea. …

I’m not sure what the hopes are to — what she’s hoping to accomplish there. I know that Assad probably really wants people to come and have a photo opportunity and have tea with him, and have discussions about where they’re coming from, but we do think that’s a really bad idea.

Not only are the administration’s attacks on Pelosi hypocritical, but the timing suggests they are a partisan hit. ThinkProgress has learned that a delegation of Republicans is currently in Syria. (This has not been previously reported by the press.) Why did the White House wait until Pelosi’s imminent visit to raise this issue publicly, and not make mention of the Republicans already there?

Here’s what the White House isn’t talking about:

Republican Reps. Aderholt and Wolf are currently visiting Syria. According to a congressional official on Rep. Robert Aderholt’s (R-AL) staff, Aderholt and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) are currently visiting Israel and Syria.

Republican Rep. Hobson accompanying Pelosi on Syria visit. Speaker Pelosi will be traveling with a contingent of members of Congress to Syria. The delegation includes Reps. David Hobson (R-OH), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Nick Rahall (D-WV).

Moreover, as the AP reports, “Earlier this month, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey held talks with a senior Syrian diplomat on how Damascus was coping with a flood of Iraqi refugees, the first such talks in the Syrian capital for more than two years.”

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 3:52 pm

Gonzales can pick ’em, too

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It’s not just Bush who has an eye for incompetent and corrupt staff—Gonzales is good at it, too:

The U.S. Attorney Scandal has struck a new victim: the American taxpayer. A judge ruled Wednesday that an epic blunder by federal prosecutors in the largest tax prosecution ever means that the treasury can’t recoup at least $100 million in restitution.

Telecommunications entrepreneur Walter Anderson pled guilty to tax evasion, but U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said the binding plea agreement listed the wrong statute. This problem could have been overcome had prosecutors not failed to include any discussion of probation as is routine in such deals.

Because of the technicality, Judge Friedman said, “I’ve come to the conclusion, very reluctantly, that I have no authority to order restitution. . . . This is a very poorly drafted agreement.”

The case was prosecuted by the office of the interim U.S. Attorney for D.C., Jeffrey A. Taylor. Taylor was appointed directly by Attorney General Gonzales without Senate confirmation in November 2006 under a provision of the Patriot Act that Congress has recently voted to reverse.

Sure enough, Taylor came straight from the Bush Administration. He served as Counselor to Attorney Generals John Ashcroft and Gonzales for four years prior to his selection. Before that he worked as an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch, where he actually participated in the writing of the Patriot Act.

Jeffrey Taylor has also given hundreds of dollars to the Republican National Committee and to George W. Bush.

As the acting U.S. attorney for D.C., Taylor has the sole authority to enforce House or Senate subpoenas through citations for contempt of Congress. Even if Taylor actually chooses to prosecute an administration official for refusing to testify – which is highly unlikely – could we trust him not to screw it up?

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 2:41 pm

The war on drugs is a war on minorities

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Arianna Huffington in the LA Times:

There is a subject being forgotten in the 2008 Democratic race for the White House.

While all the major candidates are vying for the black and Latino vote, they are completely ignoring one of the most pressing issues affecting those constituencies: the failed “war on drugs” — a war that has morphed into a war on people of color.

Consider this: According to a 2006 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but they account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Or consider this: The U.S. has 260,000 people in state prisons on nonviolent drug charges; 183,200 (more than 70%) of them are black or Latino.

Such facts have been bandied about for years. But our politicians have consistently failed to take action on what has become yet another third rail of American politics, a subject to be avoided at all costs by elected officials who fear being incinerated on contact for being soft on crime.

Perhaps you hoped this would change during a spirited Democratic presidential primary? Unfortunately, a quick search of the top Democratic hopefuls’ websites reveals that not one of them — not Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, not John Edwards, not Joe Biden, not Chris Dodd, not Bill Richardson — even mentions the drug war, let alone offers any solutions.

The silence coming from Clinton and Obama is particularly deafening.

Obama has written eloquently about his own struggle with drugs but has not addressed the tragic effect the war on drugs is having on African American communities.

As for Clinton, she flew into Selma, Ala., to reinforce her image as the wife of the black community’s most beloved politician and has made much of her plan to attract female voters, but she has ignored the suffering of poor, black women right in her own backyard.

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 2:37 pm

Posted in Drug laws, Firefox

More on the bad pet food

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From today’s paper:

Scientists with the Food and Drug Administration have linked a chemical to the illness and deaths of cats eating tainted food and raised for the first time the possibility that dry pet food may have been affected as well as wet food.

F.D.A. officials said at a news conference today that they have linked the chemical melamine, which they said is used as a fertilizer in Asia, to the kidneys of the affected cats. Thousands of owners of both cats and dogs who feed their pets wet or dry food have complained that their pets have become ill, but the F.D.A. has not yet determined if those illnesses are linked to pet food.

The agency has recalled a batch of contaminated Chinese wheat gluten that was sent to many pet food manufacturers, including one that makes dry dog food.

But they said they do not know yet if the contaminated wheat gluten has been used to make pet food. And the F.D.A.’s finding was also immediately disputed by the New York State Food Laboratory, the testing facility that announced last Friday it had identified Aminopterin, a rat poison, in samples of tainted cat food.

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Cats, Daily life

Condi before Congress

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Excellent. Apparently she thought she could just ignore Congress:

At the heart of the CIA leak scandal was a false claim, made by President Bush in the infamous 16 words from his State of the Union address, that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger for a nuclear device.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has been trying for years to investigate how this fraudulent claim became part of the basis for sending our country to war, beginning with a letter to the White House two days before the war began.

The Bush administration has consistently refused his requests for information. Since the war began, Waxman has written 11 letters to Condoleezza Rice alone — she hasn’t responded to a single one.

On March 12, 2007, he wrote his first letter to Rice as committee chairman, asking that she respond by March 23. She didn’t, and Waxman has had enough:

Dear Madam Secretary:

On March 12, 2007, I sent you a letter renewing, as formal requests of the Committee, prior letter requests that I sent to you between 2003 and 2006. These requests sought information on the claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger, White House treatment of classified information, the appointment of Ambassador Jones as “special coordinator” for Iraq, and other subjects. My March 12 letter is attached.

The March 12 letter requested a response by March 23 to several of the inquiries, but the Committee received no response from you.

I now request your appearance before the Committee at a hearing on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2154, Rayburn House Office Building. At this hearing, you will be asked to provide testimony and respond to questions on the subjects outlined in the March 12 letter and the original request letters.

Henry A. Waxman

Since Waxman wrote his March 12 letter, Rice has done more than a dozen press events, including interviews with Sean Hannity and Fox & Friends. Now it’s time she spend a few hours with Congress.

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 12:43 pm

Former Rove aide asked to testify

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Thanks to Matt Hulan for pointing out this story:

Much to the chagrin of the White House, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) wants to hear from Susan Ralston.

Jack Abramoff’s former personal assistant, Ralston became Karl Rove’s assistant in 2001, where she was his “implant” at the White House.

But after a report last October by Waxman’s committee (then chaired by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA)) showed that Ralston had accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from Abramoff without compensating him, she abruptly resigned.

At the time, the White House was clear that Ralston’s resignation meant the end of the issue. “She recognized that a protracted discussion of these matterrs would be a distraction to the White House and she’s chosen to step down,” said deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino. “We support her decision and consider the matter closed.”

But it’s not closed, according to Waxman, who, in a letter sent today, invited Ralston to appear before the committee on Thursday, April 5, to answer questions about Abramoff’s access to the White House.

The hearing will also be a good opportunity for Waxman to press for more details about White House employees’ use of outside email accounts provided by the Republican National Committee. Ralston used such outside accounts when corresponding with Abramoff, even writing to him once, “I now have an RNC blackberry which you can use to e-mail me at any time. No security issues like my WH email.”

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 12:36 pm

Brace yourself: Bush lying

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Yet again:

The Bush administration has been trying to force Congress to abandon its support for an Iraq withdrawal time line by claiming that a “clean” Iraq spending bill must be signed by mid-April or U.S. troops will suffer. The Hill reported, the Pentagon and the White House have been “sounding alarms and sketching worst-case scenarios if Congress does not pass the 2007 supplemental by April 15.”

Renewing his veto threat on Wednesday, President Bush told Congress “the clock is ticking for our troops in the field“:

BUSH: Congress continues to pursue these [withdrawal] bills, and as they do, the clock is ticking for our troops in the field. Funding for our forces in Iraq will begin to run out in mid-April. Members of Congress need to stop making political statements, and start providing vital funds for our troops.

Meanwhile, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and others have been arguing that Bush is wrong, and that funds won’t dry up until June, giving plenty of time for negotiations:

Murtha says he believes the April 15 date for funds running out is incorrect. Based on the inquiries he’s made, he said, the Pentagon will start running out of money at the beginning of June.

“We’ve never had a year where they didn’t give us bad information,” said Murtha, who’s known for his contacts inside the military. “We’ve been asking people and we think it’ll be the end of May.”

Now we know who’s right. A new report from the Congressional Research Service makes clear that Bush’s deadline is completely fabricated:

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 11:23 am

Lifehacker’s Top 10 free Windows downloads

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Take a look.

Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 9:24 am

Posted in Software

More on Goodling [sic — should be “Badling”]

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What a hack:

When a college intern in the Justice Department whined that all he was doing was filing and answering phones, Monica M. Goodling took him aside. If he wanted to do “substantive work,” she told him, he was going to have to prove himself first.

The intern walked out of the office in a huff, and when he returned an hour later, Goodling took him aside again. “You’re fired,” she said.

“Some people in the office thought: ‘Wow! That was tough,’ ” said Mark Corallo, her former boss in Justice’s Office of Public Affairs, who recalled the incident. “But I thought, ‘Good for her.’ ”

Part of a generation of young religious conservatives who swept into the federal government after the election of President Bush in 2000, Goodling displayed unblinking devotion to the administration and expected others to do the same. When she started at Justice, “no job was too small for her,” and as she moved rapidly up the ranks, none “was too large,” Corallo said.

“She was the embodiment of a hardworking young conservative who believed strongly in the president and his mission,” said David Ayres, former chief of staff to Bush’s first attorney general, John D. Ashcroft.

This week, Goodling, 33, became the most prominent federal official to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before Congress since Lt. Col. Oliver L. North refused to answer questions — until he received immunity — during the 1986 Iran-contra hearings.

Goodling, now on an indefinite leave, most recently served as senior counsel to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and as Justice’s liaison to the White House. Her name appears on several e-mails about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are eager to ask her about those dismissals.

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2007 at 9:19 am

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