Sunday, May 29, 2005

What up Warren Beatty!

Warren Beatty has some good things to say!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Well the moderates got 'round the table and yanked the iron out of the fire. Good for them! Bipartisanship saves the day and the center is truly holding! I was wondering, though, why this particular compromise is a good deal. Wasn't it the Conventional Left Wisdom that Brown was a lunatic? And didn't they just agree to give her an up or down vote thereby ensuring her confirmation? Maybe I should have a cup of coffee and think on it first - but that's sure what it sounds like. I will say I'm glad about one thing however. This little bit of parlimentary theatre is over and done with and the phrase "nuclear option" can take it's rightful place next to "Travelgate" in the dustbin of history. Now we can get back to the people's business.

Update: Kos has the, erm, realists take on the positives.

Monday, May 23, 2005

High Fidelity, Pt. 2

This is the super rushed, I don't have an Internet connection anymore so I'm doing this in 5 minutes at a cafe version. Maybe that's the most honest way to do these things?

Top Five Lyrics that move your heart

1. "Graceland" - Paul Simon

2. "The Circus Band" - Charles Ives

3. "Blue Eyed Boston Boy" - traditional

4. "Autumn in New York" (Vernon Duke?) - only since Sept 2001

5. "Wrapped Up and Tangled Up in Jesus" - Rev. Charlie Jackson

Top Five Instrumentals

1. "Tighten Up" - ?

2. Everything the Meters ever did

3. "Green Arrow" (??? the one with the crickets) - Yo La Tengo

4. "Building Steam with a Grain of Salt" - DJ Shadow

5. "Do Not Fire!!!" - Madvillian

Top Five Live Music Experiences

1. tie: George Porter Jr., June Yamagishi, and Johnny Vidocovich, Old Point Bar, Algiers Point, LA, April 2002, and Kermit Ruffins and his BBQ band, Vaughn's, New Orleans, April 2002

2. Roy Hargrove, Blues Alley, Washington, 1998

3. Steely Dan, Merriweather Post Pavilion, 2000

4. Anointed Praise (local Baltimore high-schoolers' R&B gospel band), Creative Alliance, December 2002

5. Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Funk Box, Baltimore, April 2005

Top Five Artists You Think More People Should Listen To

1. Charles Ives

2. Thelonious Monk

3. Reverend Charlie Jackson

4. Michael McDonald

5. Michael McDonald

Top Five Albums You Must Hear From Start to Finish

1. "A Love Supreme" - John Coltrane

2. "Free Jazz" - Ornette Coleman

3. "I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One" - Yo La Tengo

4. "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison" - Johnny Cash

5. "The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society" - The Kinks

Top Five Top Five Musical Heros

1. Charleses Ives and Mingus

2. Thelonious Monk

3. Evanses Gil and Bill

4. Anne Briggs

5. Matthew Herbert

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Supermodel Workout Plan...Now with Silicosis

Holy Fucking Shit. I can’t believe they put this on TV. I can’t believe they made it have a Paul Robeson soundtrack. I can’t believe they think we’re going to buy this. But wait…we’re buying it. I can’t believe nobody’s making a big deal about this. Are you effin' kidding me?

Squares On Both Sides

All this talk of going nukular, especially Frist's predictable hypocrisy, has got me a little prickly. Most offensive is this bit:

"I do not rise for party. I rise for principle," Frist said moments after calling up Owen's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? When someone - especially a politician - starts talking about "principle" they're more likely attempting to attach some moral weight to their selfish desires. Very few people have enough real moral conviction to simply say "I deserve what I want because I want it and that is why you should give it to me." This is unfortunate; it leads to time wasting, money spending, and even war that could all be avoided if the people involved were willing to admit what greedy little babies they are. If we stopped pretending that, at least in the political class, such a thing as "principle" exists, the whole foundation of our politics would change: No more pointless pundit pontifications, no more chat shows, no more partisan bickering. Debates would be shorter because it's impossible to have a rational debate about desire, and all these useless "showdowns" would never take place; the public wouldn't stand for it. They'd constantly be asking "ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?", something we all ought to be doing, all the time, already.

In the case at hand there is no principle, Constitutional or otherwise, at stake. I'd have more respect for Frist if he'd just say "I rise because I really hate having to deal with all this parlimentary style crap. I just want my word to be the law. So shut up, jerks, and do what I say!"

Update: From comments by our our penguin friend.

A principled politician is one who stays bought after you bribe him.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Talkin' 'Bout Nature

Happy 15th eruption anniversary, you big evil mountain, you.


Rox Populi has all the best quizes.

You scored as Materialist. Materialism stresses the essence of fundamental particles. Everything that exists is purely physical matter and there is no special force that holds life together. You believe that anything can be explained by breaking it up into its pieces. i.e. the big picture can be understood by its smaller elements.





Cultural Creative












What is Your World View? (corrected...hopefully)
created with

A Piece Of Lemon and a Large Gold Brick

Was going to write thoughts on "Hitchikers Guide" movie because I saw it this weekend. However, Harry at Crooked Timber says everything I was going to.

Better Late Than Never

12thharmonic passed us a meme and I totally missed it! Sorry I'm late. I invite all RUFNKM staff to post their own responses.

The High Fidelity Meme
Top Five Lyrics that move your heart

  1. "Peking Spring" - Mission of Burma

  2. "Greeetings To The New Brunette" - Billy Bragg

  3. "Gimmie Danger" - Iggy and the Stooges

  4. "Good Morning Heartache" - Billie Holiday(the later version off "Lady Sings The Blues", I think)

  5. "At Home He's A Tourist" - Gang of Four

Top Five Instrumentals

  1. "Kaz Hayashi '01" - Oxes

  2. "Ry Cooder" - Tortise

  3. "Expressway To Your Heart" - Booker T. and the M.G.'s

  4. "The Loop" - DJ Krush

  5. "Ocean Beach" - The Mermen

Top Five Live Music Experiences

  1. Ride at the Edge in Palo Alto, CA 1991 (Stop chuckling. They effin' ruled you and your mom. You had to be there.)

  2. Oxes at the Ottobar in Baltimore 2005

  3. Battles at the 2003 Hampden Street Fair(or whatever it was called)

  4. Slint at the 9:30 in Washington, DC 2005(no, I didn't see the OG Slint because they never toured the west coast, at least as far as I am aware)

  5. Yo La Tengo at Bottom of the Hill, SF CA 1999

Top Five Artists You Think More People Should Listen To

  1. Oxes

  2. Lungfish

  3. Dark Water Transit

  4. Battles

  5. Uncle Shake

Top Five Albums You Must Hear From Start to Finish

  1. "Coltrane" - John Coltrane Quartet

  2. "New Day Rising" - Husker Du

  3. "Perfect Prescription"(Original version) - Spacemen 3

  4. "White Light/White Heat" - Velvet Underground

  5. "The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society" - The Kinks

Top Five Top Five Musical Heros

  1. Sterling Morrison

  2. James Taylor

  3. John Fahey

  4. Marc Ribot

  5. Billie Holiday

I pass this to the Shank, eebmore, Seadragon, Price and Snay.

Poor Guy

Trembling hands and bloodshot eyes? Now we have no love for Hitch but at least two of us would cop to being "drink-soaked ex-Trotskyists" - maybe one without the "ex". So we offer a little solidarity. Some things are fair game, some things aren't. Personally I think it's only fair to attack Hitch's for being a drunk when it's an endnote to attacking him for being non-sensical. So "Dude, that makes no effin' sense! What, are you effin' drunk?" is totally fair while "Wadda you know, ya drunk?" is not. Of course if you're going to go the low road with Hitch (which we tend to avoid because at RUFNKM we prefer the high road even if sometimes we sprain our ankles and stumble a bit - I guess this makes us "medium roaders") there are far better alternatives:

  • His dress sense: The man wears pink shirts with white suits on television. Yes, this is a far worse offense than tweed. The rule at RUFNKM is if you can't be stylish, it's better to look dumpy than to dress like Tom Wolfe.

  • Personal grooming: He is clearly balding, but insists on going without hair cuts for extended periods. There is nothing lamer than a man who is balding having long hair. It smacks of an immature desire to maintain one's youth even as one slides into middle age. Wolcott, we love you, but you are on notice. Exceptions are people who've been in the military; it's much less lame if you've had a crew-cut forced on you.

  • His physique: The man is fat and getting fatter all the time. He has no excuse for this. Everyone knows, no matter how much beer you drink and how much roast beef you eat, if you smoke enough cigarettes and drink enough coffee you don't get fat. This also points up that he's probably lying about how much he smokes - meaning he is also a total poser (not poseur: it's the punk-rock term, not the French).

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In Other News

My professional life just got really interesting.


Maybe if he had actually quit the revolutionary left he wouldn't have to split such tiny hairs. We're engaged in a life or death struggle with Islamic Facists and the Time's chosen designator deserves a whole column? Where's the dedication for that all encompasing single issue? You know, O'Reilly insisted it was an insurgency instead of something else. You just can't please anyone.

It's funny, because when I hear "insurgent" I think of a person taking up violent guerilla tactics against a civilian government. As Horowitz could tell you, though, leftists never lose their attraction to violent upheaval just for violent upheaval's sake. Maybe this is why for Hitch, unlike most civilized people, the notion of "insurgent" isn't "axiomatically pejorative" enough. Good lord, man, we know they're evil. It doesn't matter what you call them.

A Plea

Can we please stop pretending that our friends in Washington have interest in anything but their own backsides - including how much they bulge when their wallets are stuffed into the back pockets of their trousers? Can we please stop pretending that the administration is made up of flawed-yet-honorable characters? Can we please stop pretending anyone in the government gives a rats-ass about morality, ethics, or integrity and start talking honestly about how each side intends to screw us? It'd make for a far more useful debate.

Strong Typing

This is actually really cool (Link from Norbizness). The Pew people are, in my opinion, solid researchers and they survey interesting issues. I've mentioned before that I find everyone's sudden rush to discover the nuances of our political spectrum somewhat disingenious. However, this is a decent attempt at empirical classification, so yay for Pew! I came out solidly liberal. Even though their inferences on some issues are more than a little off-base their basic summary was pretty accurate.

Guilty As Charged

Yesterday a certain Baltimore blogger, in comments on his blog, called me a dork. Yes. I am. And I don't care because tweed is-so cool.

Link via Rox Populi

Wither Grazing?

This is sort of for Benn.

I'm just curious. At least once a week I read that the Moose "grazes in the political center" - normally in the midst of some ass-lick pean to John McCain's maverick ability to, on rare occaisions, be sensible when everyone else is being blatantly partisan. So why no comment on the virtual march we posted about yesterday? It's got all the markings of something that should make the Moose galumph (yeah, I checked, it's a word) in glee: military guys from both parties engaging in a bipartisan effort to further national greatness, and John McCain going against party line based on - wonder of wonders - evidence. Should be just his cup of warm milk. Oh well. Better to fantasize and (this section deleted because we're not the The Rude One) about what McCain could do than acknowledge something actually being done.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Beaten To The Punch, Twice

Cooper catches Rummy offering us a platitude and, in a roundabout way, asks, ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

Ailes asks the obvious of John Podhoretz.

Update:Actually, three times: Read it at The Shank.

Update II:And when you're done asking "ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?" go find the answer at Sadly, No.

Virtually Pave The Earth

Hah! Not really. Blah blah earth. Who cares? The good General, that's who. Also John McCain being cooler than he was all through 2004. Can I say that I cared about the earth before these two guys said it was cool? Plus, I dig the march that doesn't require me to hold some lame sign in a throng of other people while the sun burns the skin from my skull. Who wouldn't? So sign up already.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Why labor movements still matter:

The IUF is requesting international support for a campaign to free three imprisoned trade union leaders in Eritrea. Tewelde Ghebremedhin, Chairperson of the IUF-affiliated Food, Beverages, Hotels, Tourism, Agriculture and Tobacco Workers Federation and Minase Andezion, secretary of the textile and leather workers' federation, were arrested by security police on March 30 and remain in detention. According to their information, Brothers Ghebremedhin and Andezion were arrested in the offices of the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers, the national trade union center. On April 9, police arrested Habtom Weldemicael, who heads the Coca-Cola Workers Union and is a member of the food and beverage workers' federation executive. According to some reports, Weldemicael was urging workers to consider industrial action to defend the catastrophic decline in workers' living standards. As far as the IUF has been able to ascertain, the three are being held incommunicado without charges beyond the constitutionally mandated 48 hours within which arrested persons must be brought before a magistrate. Reports indicate that they are being held in a secret security prison in Asmara.

Please sign.

Info on Eritrea.

Glass Tacs

Cooper sums up. Have a little faith? Don't I wish.

Believe It Or Not

Somerby promises a critique of Margeret Carlson discussing the Dan Rosen trial on Hardball. He's clearly leaving comment on Tony Blankley's performance to people like, well, us. So:

BLANKLEY: As you understand, that‘s the way—that‘s the way this town works. A conservative Republican is going to get it from the media. And a Hillary is not. We know that.

ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? You have got to be either insane, ignorant, or a liar to claim liberal media bias in favor of Hillary. Wether she deserves it or not the media loves to give it to Hillary. Remember Whitewater? Remember Vince Foster? Remember "Travelgate"? I do, because even though at the time I couldn't have cared less about the fate of the Clintons, whenever I listened to the liberal NPR between 1993 and 1998 I always effin' heard about that stuff, even after it was no longer relevent! I'm eagerly awaiting her presidential bid because then Fox can have a spin-off 24 Hour Hillary Is Evil Network. I'm really looking forward to the panel discussions interspersed with archived footage of Barbara Olsen's appearences on Larry King. They can just chain Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Christopher Hitchens, James B. Stewart, Dick Morris, Bill O'Reilly and Peggy Noonan to comfortable chairs, give them meth IV drips, and let'em rip. They'll never shut the eff up! It'll be great, like a Tommy-Lee drum solo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Get Bent

Ahem. Jerk really oughtta name some effin' names and stop engaging in the "some on the left" libel. Naomi Klein doesn't count, because he missed the entire point of her article. Ramsey who? Or the other guy who's name I forget - Ward something? For having "left the left" for fame and fortune amongst the power-elite, he sure likes to pretend he still lives in the Pacifica ghetto. Hitchens really is becoming Horowitz. Here's a memo for our fearless contrarian intellectual: Just because people don't say "I hate fanatical Islam" often enough for your liking doesn't mean they're in league with it. By this very same logic, "some on the neo-conservative right" are complicit in the state(Texas) sponsored murder of innocent American citizens. Yeah, this means Hitch. More plainly, one anti-death penalty piece a year does not cancel out the support you give the man who carried out those murders. Heal thyself, or at least get some coffee.

Extra Local

Via Benn at the Shank we get this. I actually saw this on the front page of the Sun, but I didn't have time to read the article. 17th? ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME? At least, like in many things, we're doing better than DC.

On Returning

Alright. Since Kansas is busy redoing Scopes and we clearly worship at the alter of Mencken it is time to let old Hank out of the box. It is also time for a little pontification. As I wrote yesterday, I do not understand how the good people of Kansas hope to benefit by teaching bad science in their science classes. The old Monkey Trial was all about ideology too; but the dispute made sense.

Both HL Mencken and WJ Bryant misunderstood the consequences of evolution. What's more, they both misunderstood in exactly the same way. In evolution they saw the potential for a scientific justification for social divisions. Bryan - Populist and populist to a fault - thought that a little ignorance was better than the possibility of scientific justifications for oppression. Mencken the meritocrat welcomed any scientific validition of his superiority to everyone else.

Both of them, in so many ways, got it totally wrong. Evolution is strictly an example of how good science is done. It's also a great example of how the application of the scientific method can lead to results which contradict one's worldview. That's the point of scientific inquiry: you don't get to decide on the results - something both Bryan and Mencken were trying to do. They got something else wrong too. Results in one field don't extend to another just because, by analogy, it seems they should. "Survival of the fittest" doesn't extend to economics - at least there isn't much data one way or the other to draw that conclusion. This leads to the crucial point that both of them missed. Educating the populace in the discipline of science - and critical thinking - doesn't lead to oppression. It enables every day people to make sense of their world and improve their lot in life. It's one of the great - if not the best - social equalizers around. Much the same way that the Protestant revolution removed the power of "the word" from the priesthood and placed it in the hands of the common people, good science education gives everyone the tools to call BS on their leaders (and anyone else) when those leaders try to pull BS.

This is why, when I read about what's happening in Kansas and elsewhere, I envision a group of people screaming at the top of their lungs "We demand you cut off our hands!" The goals of this new "revolution" are clear. It's to destroy everything that gives everyday people power. It's giving Mencken, the godfather of elitist liberals, every thing he wants. All in the name of WJ Bryan.

Biting In The Clinches

I don't normally look to the Moose for humor, but this had me laughing out loud. And no, it's not because he sorta kinda endorses a Hillary Clinton candidacy. I don't find that funny nor do I find it scary. I think Hillary Clinton would be a fine candidate and a fine President. I just think Clark would be better. Duh. No, the post is just effin' funny.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Kansans Still Anwering That Question

Thoughts from Kansas sums up the story so far, with links. The thing that drives me batty, continually, is that even very smart people don't directly address the really serious issue, although TfK gets at it. Yes, the war is on "naturalism". But rarely is the question asked: who benefits from the war, and who benefits if "naturalism" is destroyed? There's only one group of people who benefit from the enforced ignorance of the general population, and that group of people doesn't have the general population's best interest at heart.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Game On!

I want to know the odds. The memo itself is sort of old news - by blogtopian standards. However, there's a bit of fumbling on the right. I want to know the odds that someone at LGF will scream "Forgery!" passing the buck to Powerline who will "analyze" it as such, at which point Reynolds or Sullivan will link to it and in high thoughtful tones say "Well, it certainly appears there's a possiblity that the memo is a forgery. My college degree says it's likely." At what point does the story become "is it a forgery?"

The current excuse that "We didn't go to Iraq for WMD!!!! We went for purple fingers!!!" isn't going to fly much longer is it? I listened Powel's speech at the UN - granted, I was at a liquor store, so my memory might be a little hazy - but it seemed he was presenting evidence of WMD programs, not evidence of Saddam's tyranny, in order to get a UN resolution. Besides, WMD not being the "only reason" doesn't change the fact that the evidence was, in the best sense exaggerated, in the worst sense fabricated. I wonder why? Weren't there plenty of Americans who would have said "Yes, go!" just because Bush said we had to? Well, I guess the same people who are saying "WMD wasn't the reason!" are the same people who didn't need a reason other than Bush's desire anyway.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

More What He Said

Often Juan Cole, as is a professors prerogative, can write painfully verbose prose. When he doesn't he's an effin' Uzi of right-on.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Man Says It.

And you should read it.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Ailes Didn't Take The Bait

So I will: Isn't this what they do every time they play a show?


Via Pharyngula:

I am:
"You're probably one of those people who still thinks that getting a blowjob is not an impeachable offense."

Are You A Republican?