Sunday, April 30, 2006


Via Crooked Timber we learn that John Kenneth Galbraith has died. I was just begining to appreciate the writing of the man Gore Vidal once called "that lovable old cynic", having just recently finished A Brief History of Financial Euphoria - which is probably the funniest book written about the intersection of human stupidity with economics. There are fewer and fewer public intellectuals with Galbraith's gifts of wit and clarity (among others), so his passing is doubly tragic because it points out what our culture is sometimes capable of producing - when we let it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Goodbye Cruel World?

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I dunno, press the button and find out."

Link via Snay.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Speaking of Tom Frank

As a non-reader of Time and as someone who can't stand the Rolling Stone school of counter-cultural journalism (especially the bourgeois nostalgia for the 1960's variety), I've never understood the appeal of Joe Klein. Tom Frank doesn't either.

Getting Talmudic On They Ass

Digby has a sample of some of the hilarious fashion statements available to conservatives. One of them is a t-shirt which purports to offer a caricature of liberals (along with advice on how to deal with liberals). The major problem is that the author of the thing doesn't understand that for a caricature to be funny it has to have some semblence of accuracy regarding its subject. This shirt caricatures a figment of someone's imagination. If I were a "fixing the internets" type, I'd replicate the image with the word "liberal" replaced with "Martian" and have done with it. However since I'm a liberal, I thought I'd offer some corrections, counterexamples, and commentary. That's us liberals: always trying to lend a helping hand (even to people who want to "bitch slap" us).

  • The main diet of liberals is tofu and granola. This makes them puny and easy to throw.
    I hate tofu and granola. I eat steak (a preference I'm proud to share with Tom Frank). While I've seen Dave G. eat tofu, I've seen him eat far more steak. Same goes for S.O.L. I don't think disappearingink is a vegetarian - I couldn't tell you for sure - but I do know he is not puny. While Deep Cover sometimes makes claims to vegetarianism, visits to Bill's in Essex give evidence to the contrary. None of us is easy to throw, but we've all been known to stumble.

  • Liberals will try to entice you with their twisted logic. Counter with a bitch slap.
    Let's take these in reverse order. If someone thinks that "bitch slaps" are appropriate forms of discourse then they should not be suprised when they have to take a trip to their local hospital to have their nose reset. And I won't ever bother trying to use standard methods of reason to explain something to someone who reacts with violence (purely chimpanzee behaviour, which, oddly enough, leads to...)
  • Hanging a picture of Ronald Reagan over your door will keep liberals from entering.
    It will totally fail to keep this liberal from entering (a simple "I'm busy" might suffice though). It will also fail to keep me from laughing my ass off. See, whenever I see a picture of Reagan I think of two things. The first is my junior high school buddy Richard Moon. For a 13 year old kid, he had a dead on Reagan impersonation and his favorite joke with it was to say, in his normal voice, "Mr. President, can you explain Reaganomics to us?" And then he'd put on his Reagan voice and just say "Well...welll...". The second thing Reagan's face makes me think of is a chimpanzee named Bonzo.

  • Liberals are against nuclear weapons but have yet to suggest a soy based alternative that obliterates cities.
    Whoever wrote this one is a total dumbshit. At the behest of a liberal, other, very smart liberals invented nuclear weapons. The only time nuclear weapons have been used in war occurred at the behest of a liberal. The nearest we came to using nukes post World War II was under JFK - also a liberal. I'll admit that these days liberals prefer "soft power". Put a despot in charge of a city and it'll destroy itself. As another instance, to obliterate a city you could make sure that the person in charge of the nation in which the targeted city resides is a total incompetent moron. Then just wait for a hurricane.

  • If you see a fuel efficient car, it's probably being driven by a liberal. Run it off the road with your SUV.
    This liberal takes public transportation. Does that make me an illegal immigrant, or gay? I will admit that most of my friends have fuel efficient cars. This is mostly due to not wanting to spend shitloads of money on gas when that money could be used for beer.

  • Liberals are constantly inflaming the culture war. They seem to forget which side has all the guns.
    Really? Maybe I should ask Fixer and Gord about the guns part. As for inflaming the culture war, this is the most interesting part.

    There really isn't a culture war, at least not in the way most people would understand the term. What there is instead is a very loud, very spoiled minority of people who think that their right to not have their sensibilities offended trumps all the other rights in the Constitution. This minority assumes that their offended sensibilites constitute a culture and that everything they read, see, and hear which offends them is an act of war against it. Given that humans are born with both cognitive ability and senses of sight and hearing, it's very likely all of us will read, see, or hear something which we find offensive. Most of us will grumble and grudgingly accept that some people are just rude. We might even change the channel or avoid seeing movies we think might offend us. Not so the culture warriors. I suggest that it would be better for them and better for us if they just jabbed red-hot-pokers into their eyes while standing front and center at a Motorhead show. Then they'd be blind and deaf and never have to worry about being offended. And the rest of us wouldn't have to deal with their consant bitching.

    It's really tempting to be glib and rephrase the item as "Jingos are constantly inflaming the Muslim world. They seem to forget which side has all the suicide bombers", but that's not really fair.

  • The most dangerous predator of liberals is the real world. They hide from it on college campuses.
    Well, given that this liberal never went to college and has spent the last 15 years cultivating a career, paying taxes and rent, voting, eating, and managing his money (often badly, true), I'm not sure which "real world" is preying on me. Maybe it's the one where certain natural resources on which the entire country depends are finite and yet people insist on wasting those resources. I also wonder which real world this guy, for instance, inhabits.

  • Inspired by rhyming slogans and giant puppets, liberals sometimes congregate in groups called "protests". The purpose of this is unknown.
    Ok, they've got me there. Every protest I've ever been to has been totally ineffective. However, that whole immigration demonstration thing was pretty effin' impressive and did manage to effect government policy.

  • Liberals are always whining about tolerance, but when I punch them for that, they get moody. Hey, be tolerant!
    The only tolerance I whine about is my alcohol tolerance. Since the 1990's it's gotten far too high. But if you punch me for whining about it, I promise I won't be moody. See second point.

So what have we learned? That a very vocal group of people think they are under attack from an imaginary conspiratorial enemy. They suggest combatting this delusion with violence directed at their fellow citizens. Oddly enough, this is exactly what every despot (or religious fanatic) does. Strange that citizens of a republic ought to have volunteered to become that which we're supposed to despise.

Update: Just because I don't want to use a whole other post to do this when it's kinda sorta on a related note, I suggest that all hail Retardo yet again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Here's my story:

I commute by train from my beloved Baltimore to the vile city 30 miles south of here. Its not the best set of circumstances, but its certainly better than driving for a whole host of reasons. Anyway, because I live in Hampden, and the train station is in the newly dubbed "cultural arts district," I must employ some mode of transport to get there. Busses are too unpredictable to ensure that I get to the train on time, so I used to ride my bike. It was great - a 10 minute bike ride along the almost empty Falls Road - until my bike was stolen in broad daylight from in front of the train station. Anyone who uses Penn station knows that there are usually several armed police officers and Amtrak police in front of the stations, but none of them noticed when somebody broke the U-Lock on my bike and rode away with it.

I have adjusted. I started to drive my faithful 10-year old beater of a Toyota truck to the station, parking in free spots on Calvert and Guilford near the station. I have to say that I wasn't particularly surprised to get off the train one day to find that one of my back windows was smashed in and that someone had nabbed my pocket knife and tried (unsuccessfully) to rip off my stereo, ruining my dashboard console in the process. I was more surprised when the next day, someone (maybe the same person) peeled off the plastic duct taped over my window in an effort, I guess, to steal whatever was left.

Anyway, all of this reinforced the lesson that 30 years in this city have already taught me: folks will steal anything that isn't nailed down in this town. So I was a bit surprised to hear that state's attorney Patricia Jessamy, someone who is presumably more familiar than most with the amount crime in B-more, got more than a thousand dollars worth of jewelry and personal papers stolen from her truck while attending an event at the Reginald Lewis Museum. If I can't manage to keep a Swiss army knife in my beat-up truck in broad daylight, how does Ms Jessamy expect to hold on to the untolled riches that she apparently keeps holed up in her fancy SUV?

Now, don't get me wrong, I sympathize. I have certainly grieved over the state of my truck (on which I no longer carry theft insurance) and the absence of my bike, and I'm sure that Ms Jessamy is feeling upset all of this. And I still think she should be mayor, but I just how she thought she wasn't asking for it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

We Knew It Was Liberal, but PRO TERRORIST???

Steve Clemmons alerts us to an article in the (liberallly biased because everyone says it is) Baltimore Sun written by known terrorist sympathiser Larry Wilkerson (also known as the former chief of staff to Colin Powell). The note he sounds is in perfect harmony with Kevin Phillips:

We Americans came not from a revolution but from an evolution.

Wait. You mean we aren't the product of a design?

Every Day is Earth Day at RUFNKM

A couple of weeks ago, Jay, Super Ocean Lad and I were walking (S.O.L. was really sort of sloshing, I guess) down the Wyman Park path with our canine amigos, when a strange, middle aged woman emerged from the woods with a bucket of trash. She was cleaning up the park. Good for her.

What was not so good was when she self righteously declared that we should be cleaning too, because we were obviously park users. After all it was Clean Up the Park Day, as ordained by some local non-profit or other. Of course she didn't know that we, like many dedicated park users spend time cleaning up the park daily, and her once-a-year kind of environmentalism, while sort of admirable, was not the only way to be a steward of Baltimore's filthy natural resources. We held our tongues, and even helped out a little, but came away from the incident feeling pissed off that some Roland Park yuppie (maybe she was from Stone Hill?) felt like she could talk to us that way.

Anyway, that was just a lead-in to plug this talk on Friday by a former professor of mine. (He's still a professor, I'm just not his student). Dr. Paolisso is an ethnographer and applied anthropologist who has worked on Chesapeake Bay problems for years. He's a very smart guy, and I'm sure his talk will be great. I won't be there, because I will instead be in Puerto Rico for the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Poor me. The info is below.

University of Maryland Baltimore County
Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education
Spring 2006 Seminar Series
Dr. Michael Paolisso
Department of Anthropology
University of Maryland, College Park
"Urbanization and Chesapeake Bay Environmentalism"
Friday, April 28, 2006
2:00 PM
Location: UMBC, Technology Research Center, Room 206
Driveway entrance is near Poplar Avenue and Shelbourne Road,
Building 38 on the UMBC map. Driving directions can be found at
This seminar series is free and open to the public.

***Parking policy***

Parking passes for off-campus guests in the TRC lot are required at the cost of
$4.00 per car. Parking passes may be picked up and paid for (cash only) before
seminar by stopping by the CUERE office in TRC 102 /105 and seeing a staff member.

Please contact us at 410-455-1763 with any questions regarding logistics.

View our web site at

I read the anthropology blogs so you don't have to

Via Fieldnotes, a nice piece by Terry Glavin covering the unfolding environmental crisis in British columbia. Especially interesting in this article is its emphasis on the effect of the lodgepole pine crisis on BC's native people as well as an unusually nuanced approach to tracing the source of the problem. Glavin, quoting botanist Richard Hebda, finds the source of the problem in the 140 year history of poor forest management that resulted from a drastic reduction in the native population during a smallpox epidemic.

When I lived in Northern California and spent a lot of time doing archaeology in the Sierras, I remember that one of the biggest problems in forest management was the thick, flammable understory in most of the public forests, a result of 20th century fire supression efforts. That understory transformed potentially beneficial small fires - needed for the germination of certain seeds - into devastating infernos.

Closer to home, the end of indiginous controlled burning practices nearly brought an end to the once-vast serpentine grassland which once stretched between central Maryland and New Jersey.

While humans changing and even destroying their habitats is nothing new (the destruction of the serpentine grasslands began nearly 400 years ago), the lodgepole pine crisis points to the ways that historical actions can compound contemporary problems. This is, as I feel I am forever pointing out, why disciplines that study the past are way more important to contemporary society than most folks give them credit for.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Election Eve

Its been a while since I talked about Katrina. There’s not much of an update to be optimistic about. Good news is that seven months after the flood, we finally got our grant money to do crisis counseling. However they also cut our request by a significant chunk. Not enough to cripple the program but enough to basically keep us going until barely past the anniversary mark, which is typically one of the worst stages of the post disaster -disaster for survivors. Well at least we’re not in the same boat as those states which still haven’t gotten a grant award from the feds and have had to shut down completely. And I should also note - even states like Texas had to wait until about a month and a half ago to get funds. Guess we’re all being equally neglected.

The bad news is that the situation with evacuees here has gotten so bad that its no longer a struggle with trying to get people to keep off drugs or get hooked up with local agencies. Yeah that’s still happening to an extent, but for more and more cases, the struggle now is just to keep people out of jail. I’ve come to the conclusion that we are basically going to lose a lot of people here. Despite the good intentions of the folks at SAMHSA and FEMA - and I do think there are some folks with both those outfits who are good intentioned – I think this program is headed for failure. I am seeing it head for failure every day. Its getting worse and worse. And forgive me for sounding naïve and judgmental but from my perspective, I think this disaster of failing to adequately respond is worse than the flood itself.

I didn’t see the city implode around me and I didn’t have to swim through the oil and shit and bodies. From my perspective, I’m just one of the state-level guys involved with picking up the pieces. And I’m with a state that’s probably a blip on the radar when it comes to Katrina evacuees compared to places like Texas and Arkansas.

But there are one or two big-ass problems here. Namely, our state has been shoved with a federal program to do crisis counseling with no funds or support to do anything else. We’re charged with helping people cope with mental health issues associated with the flood and its aftermath. We’re supposed to help bring people back to a level of functioning that existed prior to the disaster. But prior to this disaster, a lot of the evacuees we deal with were already living in shit situations on the streets with all sorts of co-occurring disorders. According to our grant obligations and grant capacity, we can’t do the sort of case management that is needed to help people become functional and independent. If FEMA is going to dole out money for God’s sake they should dole out enough to enable the states to help meet all the needs that exist. Not just mental health needs but employment and housing needs, problems with addictions, illiteracy and on and on. I mean it’s a pretty simple equation – if you’ve got someone who is homeless, has a drug addiction, and has a mental health disorder – well then you’ve got to have the resources to address all three of those needs in order to try and help that person. If you only address one of those needs and not the other two, that person will fail, and that is pretty much stock Social Work 101 knowledge.

So where is the money? A while ago, HHS announced some money for case management to our state. About enough to basically pay off what local agencies went into debt for to provide relief for the initial arrival of evacuees last year. Then our state was to be sub-awarded a good chunk this month through the President’s Faith-Based Initiative via a particular organization that shall go unnamed. Well we’re still waiting. That organization was supposed to announce the recipient earlier this month and they have yet to do so. I am sure they probably will make an announcement eventually, but hey - shouldn’t this money have come down the pipeline last year? Again, I wonder: Where are the priorities? Where is the common sense? We’re losing people day by day here. This is why the failure to respond is worse than the flood in my mind: because despite all the fuckups the feds have already made, they still continue to fuck it up 7 months after the fact.

What a long whine. But I do have some suggestions for any takers out there who happen to have any influence. Not that I expect that any big shots from FEMA/DHS (or SAMHSA to a lesser extent) are reading this, but oh well. First of all, at least have the honesty to track the need and follow with adequate recovery funds. If you’re going to evacuate homeless people at gunpoint to my state, send us the financial support we need to help give them a fighting chance. Secondly, when you do get the funds together, don’t bifurcate the money into a FEMA pot and a Faith-Based Initiative pot. Although I have become convinced that FBI’s have an important place at the table when it comes to disaster response, the overall response has to be coordinated in a way so that funds are concentrated and distributed to the states at one time or the same times, not strewn over a period of seven months. Finally, get your payroll straight so you can help us out to begin with. If you can pay select corporations $50 and hour per employee to guard an oil pipeline abroad, that tells me you should have enough money to spare for the states to try and care for people here.

I’ll leave it at that for tonight. We’re nearing hurricane season already and its only four months away from the anniversary.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

All Hail Retardo

Friday, April 14, 2006

Mercy Mercy

I was gonna write something about this, but the Rude One says it much better than I was going to.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Let's Toast The Maryland State Legislature!

Speaks For Itself

Speaking of contempt for the public: ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME??

Eff John McCain (And Especially All His Friends) Pt. 314159

John McCain's appeal, much like his political conviction, has always been hard to pin down. When I've discussed it with people they normally describe it in terms of his "integrity", his "maverick nature", his slight occaisional willingness to "stand on principle" and his even more slight occaisional willingness to make decisions based on evidence rather than ideology. For me, it was his "straight talk" in 2000 that nearly won me over. It didn't take long to discover - despite his insistence, to this day, that he is the one and only straight talker in politics - that it's largely posture. Now Jacob Weisberg at Slate confirms this (link via BoP) in the form of yet another fawn-fest. Among other things, he writes:

But the literal-minded left has McCain all wrong. He's trying to win over enough of his party's conservative base to win, for sure. But this is a stratagem—the only one, in fact, that gives him a shot at surviving a Republican presidential primary. Discount his repositioning a bit, and McCain looks like the same unconventional character who emerged during the Clinton years: a social progressive, a fiscal conservative, and a military hawk. Should he triumph in the primaries, we can expect this more appealing John McCain to come roaring back.

Gotcha. When someone insists they give us the "straight talk", we're being too literal when we take them at their word. We're supposed to love Senator Straight Talk because he gives us the straight talk, except when he doesn't. Straight talk is just another tool in the box; convenient for appealing to those of us completely fed up with the political class, but easily dispensed with when it's time to make the base happy. Don't we keep hearing that Kerry lost because no one knew what he stood for? Wasn't one of the biggest epithets used on Clinton "Waffler in Chief"? (And when has McCain ever been a social progressive? In one of his most revealing statements - when it was rumored he was being courted for the VP slot on the Kerry ticket - he said something to the effect that he couldn't understand why a Democrat would want a vehemently pro-life anti-entitlement conservative on the ticket. And by the way, it's not just The American Prospect that thinks he's the heir to Goldwater. McCain has spent a large part of his career cultivating that image.)

Whatever. So McCain's just another hack who wants to be President; I can still understand the appeal, at least a little. Politicians in America are so corrupt and dishonest that it's almost a pleasure to hear one pretend to be honest about what they think and what they intend to do - even if such instances of near-honesty are rare. It's even more of a pleasure to see one gently mock himself for being power-hungry (another of McCain's favorite devices). And, as The Moose constantly reminds us, it's not what a politican does or says (or how they vote) that matters; it's what they appear to be. McCain can make a rare, public, violation of orthodoxy and thus is a Great Statesman and thus should be President. Case closed.

One thing we're seeing, though, is something a little more disturbing. McCain doesn't much like the people he presumes to eventually govern (link via My Left Wing). When, during a town-hall meeting, he is challenged on a position, he wishes the meeting were cut short. When, during a speech, he gets booed, he threatens to leave. Using the Moose Calculus of Political Judgements, what we see - which is what is most important - is a grouch who is afraid of being challenged by members of the general populace; he's far more comfortable being fawned over by millionaire pundits. Now I'm all for insisting that your audience act like adults. But it appears to me that someone who dislikes being challenged by memebers of the populace at large is someone who has mistaken the office of President for the office of El Presidente'. We've had 5 years of that and I think we've pretty much had enough.

Update: Whoo-hoo! Someone else (Brilliant at Breakfast) thinks like we do! (via skippy).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Note To UFPJ

Monday, April 10, 2006

Four Days Late And One Whiskey Short...

While this post references a blog-event that occurred four days ago - a century in blogtime - please don't think it ain't timely. I promise mean and funny things will be said about Charles Johnson and thus it'll be worth your while.

Our story begins last thursday when those gutsy monitors at LGF Watch - I say "gutsy" because anyone who uses perfectly good intestinal fortitude reading LGF, when such fortitude could be used for holding down mass quantities of whiskey, has far more guts than anyone has a right to - spotted Our Man Chuckles quoting HLM. Leave it to Our Man Chuckles to pick one of the ugliest HLM aphorisms (and take it totally out of context). Some people's bloodlust knows no bounds in either gore or bad taste. The LGFWatchers duly noted that, yes, HLM was an anti-semite, and given the pro-Israel bias of Our Man Chuckles perhaps he ought to think twice about referring to HLM lest he anger the Irony Goddesses a little too much. Then, in an update, they point to a "Lizard" (someone who comments at LGF) complaining about the anti-semitism on display at LGFWatch - anti-semitism expressed by quoting HLM!

Well, we here at RUFNKM don't like pissing off the Irony Goddesses. We've got direct experience with what that entails and can promise you it ain't effin' pretty (ask jay about the time he got punched in the face for buying someone a drink). In addition, some of us RUFNKMers actually claim some fealty to a certain strain of Menckenism: the pro-beer, pro-liberty, pro-cigar-smoking, pro-teaching-of-evolution, pro-Baltimore, anti-fundamentalist, bad-driving one. So we thought it'd be illustrative of something to at least posit both something of a defense of HLM's better qualities and an offering to the Irony Goddesses to keep them happy.

While admitting HLM's ugly prejudices, one must not forget that, among other things he was as staunch an anti-Saltine (Red Stater) as they come (warning, PDF). One wonders how the average Lizard would feel knowing that Chuckles happily quotes a man who describes them and their home states as "little removed from savagery", " a vast plain of mediocrity, stupidity, lethargy" or when he writes:

The most booming sort of piety, in the South, is not incompatible with the theory that lynching is a benign institution. Two generations ago it was not incompatible with an ardent belief in slavery.

(Hark lumpen brothers! Chuckles does not repsect you for your intellect but for how you make him feel authentic; he actually is a big sissy Blue Stater! Your guns prop up his masculinity while he's secretly laughing at your savagery. I didn't want to be the one to tell you, but it's true. Can't trust Southern Californians. Elitist SOB's to a man, including The Hat...sell you and your grandmother out for a few extra points...don't think I'm effin' kidding you...)

Ok, so maybe being anti-Saltine isn't exactly admirable, so eff that. Mencken was more often than not just plain anti-American. He took Germany's side in WWI, wrote awful things about St. Wilson The Robust (that in and of itself oughtta piss off a Lizard - The Robustness of St. Wilson provides the gravitas of our current foreign policy, no?), and had the gaul to mention the "butcheries in foreign and domestic parts - mountains of dead Filipinos, Mexicans, Haitians, Dominicans, West Virginia Miners, perhaps even Prussians" - corpses stacked high in the name of the moral mission of the United Fruit Comp...err...U...S...Of...A... So it was that the greater part of HLM's spleen was reserved for the 100% American of the Chuckles and Co. variety. You can randomly crack open any HLM anthology and find at least five pieces taking dead aim (uhg, sorry...everyone always writes about Mencken using ballistic metaphors so now I'm stuck doing it too...) with both barrels (see?) at that hapless creature.

And because the Irony Goddesses desire offerings and because we must prove HLM wasn't really all bad we must now quote at length from the essay from which the "mountains of dead" comes. It's called (oh chuckle Chuckles!) "Star-Spangled Men" and...oh eff'll like it. I promise:

But even the civil arm is robbed of its just dues in the department of gauds and radioactivity, no doubt by the direct operation of military vanity and jealousy. Despite a million proofs (and perhaps a billion eloquent arguments) to the countrary, it is still the theory at the official ribbon counter that the only man who serves in a war is the man who serves in uniform. This is soft for the Bevo officer, who at least has his service stripes and spurs that gnawed into his desk, but it is hard upon his brother Elmer, the dollar-a-year man, who worked twenty hours a day for fourteen months buying soap-powder, canned asparagus and raincoats for the army of God. Elmer not only labored with inconceivable diligence; he also faced hazards of no mean order, for on the one hand was his natural prejudice in favor of a very liberal rewarding of commercial enterprise, and on the other hand were his patriotism and his fear of Atlanta Penitentiary...Even the American Legion fails them, for though it certainly does not bar non-combatants, it insists that they shall have done their non-combating in uniform.

What I propose is a variety of the Distinguished Service Medal for civilians [Sully, you get one too!] - perhaps, better still, a distinct order for civilians, closed to the military and with badges of different colors and areas to mark off varying services to democracy. Let it run, like the Japanese Paulownia, from high to low - the lowest class for the patriot who sacrificed only time, money, and a few nights' sleep; the highest for the great martyr who hung his country's altar with his dignity, his decency and his sacred honor. For Elmer and his nervous insomnia, a simple rosette, with an iron badge bearing the national motto, "Safety First"; for the university president [now blog-master] who prohibited the teaching of the enemy language in his learned grove, heaved the works of Goethe [Qutb?] out of the university library, cashiered every professor unwilling to support Woodrow [Dubya] for the first vacancy in the Trinity, took the stump for the National Security League, and made two hundred speeches in moving picture theatres - for this giant of loyal endeavor let no 100 per cent American speak of anything less than the grand cross of the order, with a gold badge in stained glass, a baldric of the nation colors, a violet plug hat with a sunburst on the side, the privilege of the floor of Congress, and a pension of $10,000 a year [don't worry Pamela, we'll adjust for inflation]. After all, the cost would not be excessive; there are not many of them. Such prodigies of patriotism are possible only to rare and gifted men."

Leave it to HLM to assume only gifted men could be prodigies of patriotism; RUFNKM is not so unevolved (which is why we gave the shout out to Pamela). In any case, it's getting late, I'm getting far too drunk to be typing, so it's time we raise our glasses to both Elmeretta and Elmer; defending our liberties (against what? only they are perceptive enough to perceive - hic!) by their very presence on the internet. We live in such better times. Cheers!

Update In The Cold Light of Sobriety: I forgot the cautionary note - which was really the important part. After 30 years of insulting his country, his country's leaders and his fellow citizen-buffoons who kept electing those leaders, Mencken was rewarded with a stroke that left him unable to write and barely able to read. He died a few years later - but not before literally crapping himself in public. That Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky have so far escaped similar fates may say something about how the forces of cosmic justice make subtle distinctions between various psychological underpinnings of dissent.

Creation Science Catapults Into 06!

Umm, 1906, but hey, they're making headway!. Turns out the circus side show is the cutting edge of creationist (and neo-creationist for you inteligent design loons) "science" education. The Lost World Museum, a museum created to promote creationism has purchased the remains of the famed Cyclops Kitty as THE CENTER PIECE of their collection. That's right, a one eyed schnozless cat is all the proof some folks need to prove the fossil record was planted by evil liberal scientists and Satan on labor day weekend 1973. Imagine what these folks would believe if they could get a two headed calf for the collection. Lobster Boy is proof that elves exist and cookies are their gifts to mankind! Kevin Padian, curator at the University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley and president of National Center for Science Education said it best, "For them, 'The Flintstones' is a documentary."

I believe it was Job who said in Leviticus 3:16, "There's a sucker born every minute."


Saturday, April 08, 2006

If the Cape Fits......

Hey All, JustHerThere sent me this lil' quiz earlier. I'm not generally one for quizes but this one was right up my alley. You see, I'd always wondered if I weren't the aquatic super vigilante known only as SuperOceanLad, what super hero would I be? I'd always assumed Superman, I mean, I look good in tights, blue and red are my colors, chicks named Lois really dig me and I am the most powerful mortal on Earth. Turns out the superhero quiz agrees, mostly. I'm 85% Superman and 85% Spiderman.

Let us know what you get! I want to see every Effer on this one!


Friday, April 07, 2006

Never Drink Alone....

That's what Me Sea Pappy used to say. Well, turns out I won't have to as houseplants like the hard stuff. Mr. Fern, I hope you like tequila, cause Big Daddy's got drinking to do!

Some quick benefits to drinking with house plants. House plants never cock block. House plants never tell your lady where you really were. House plants don't judge.

Drawbacks to drinking with house plants. House plants never drive. House plants never say, "This rounds on me!" House plants never take the bullet and talk to the ugly friend.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Personal and Political

I'm not nearly wonk enough to know the fine points of the immigration reform debate. I do know that if the Senate fails to pass the compromise bill, and instead passes something like the House bill, then an injustice will be done to at least one person. He's a longtime friend of mine who's lived in the US since he was very young, who's worked his ass off from the time he was able, who's paid his taxes and who, if the House version of the bill passes, will be sent to prison for a year and then deported to a country he hasn't seen since he was a child. All this because he had the misfortune of having parents who thought it better to live in the US than to live in a nation ravaged by a war the US was covertly waging. I'm not trying to be a bleeding heart. Quite the opposite.

I think the people who authored the House bill, and the jingos like Malkin and the Minutemen, ought to back the fuck off until they can show they are something other than lazy vindictive little shits out to punish powerless people for the crime of being powerless.

The Passing of a Hero

Just a bit of fluff, but it would seem the world lost a true hero. Desmond T. Doss Sr. was a conscientious objector during WWII. Refusing to carry a gun he served as a medic in the pacific where he was the only conscientious objector to win The Congressional Medal of Honor in Okinawa for carrying 75 wounded soldiers to safety. Doss died March 23rd.


Missing Link Found

One of the weakest arguments that creationists frequently mount against evolutionary theory -that the so-called "missing link" has never been found - just got a bit weaker. I say that it is weak because anyone with a little bit of knowledge about how evolution works knows that there is not one big missing link, but several missing pieces of a complex (but not irreducibly so) and dynamic puzzle.

I say that it just got weaker because the journal Nature is reporting this month that scientists from Harvard, University of Chicago and the Philadelphia Academy of the Sciences have recovered two sets of fossils dating to the Devonian - 383 million years ago - that fill the gap between land and sea animals. The creature, which the researchers have dubbed tiktaalik rosae , was able to breathe air and within 17 million years, animals with four fully developed limbs had come into being. Check out this synopsis in The Chronicle of Higher Ed, or listen to the nature podcast.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rant: Holoscan Sucks

I would never comment on a board with that many hoops and I think I can speak for both AverageSeaGuy and Bill.The.Hairy.Lobster when I say they will no longer post under these conditions. I've also heard the same from Mr. James. Go back to the old way!


Jay's Rude Interuption: Actually there are fewer hoops. You no longer have to do the word verification thing, and the other fields are optional. We're going to stick with Haloscan for a few days just to give people a chance to get used to it. If, by Saturday the concensus is it sucks, we'll go back.

Haloscan added?

Errr...we might have fancy haloscan comments now.
Update: Alright. Yes, we do. If this bugs people, specificially contributors, we can get rid of them. One bad thing is we aren't displaying comments not posted through haloscan, but we can get them back by ditching haloscan. Anyway. Someone post something ranty that generates comments.
Update The Second: Ok, for some reason ya'll have to register to post comments and I don't. Looking into this.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

While the Terps Got It Right...

Once again, the O's seem to have dropped the ball. John Eisenberg over at The Sun has a disheartening column about yesterday’s pregame ceremony to honor the late Elrod Hendricks.

For those of you who don't know, Hendricks was a fixture in Baltimore baseball. Known for his easy smile and his work in the community, Hendricks spent more seasons in an Orioles uniform than any one in club history. Elrod spent all or part of ten seasons catching for the O's including the 69, 70, 71 and 79 World Series Teams. Later he would serve in uniform as the Orioles bullpen coach for twenty-eight years, including the 83 World Series team, until suffering a stroke before a game last year.

Well, according to Hendricks’s widow, Merle, the team broke his heart. The O's have done that to a lot of fans lately. After going to the Series six times in seventeen years, recently they've been in a bit of a drought. A two decade drought. The handling of Hendricks, the closest thing this team has had to a soul in the organization, is yet another symptom of a sick club. His wife said it best, "really, he was always there for this organization, but when he needed them, they weren't there for him."

Go O's


Go Terps!

Normally I'd be chanting, "Maryland is gonna beat the HELL out of YOU AND YOU AND YOU AND YOU!"

But to all you Dookies out there, Maryland DID beat the HELL out of YOU (and everybody else in the field)!

Go Lady Terps! OT BABY! National Champs, what a game! Marissa Coleman has ice water in her veins. Oh, and with no senior starters and only one junior, you may have to fear the turtle for a few more years!



Don't DeLay

Which door will he pick???

DeLay, who will turn 59 on Saturday, did not say precisely when he would step down, but under Texas law he must either die, be convicted of a felony, or move out of his district to be removed from the November ballot.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Nice April Playlist

Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne (Really really good)
Shawn Colvin - A Few Small Repairs
Alicia Keys - The Diary of Alicia Keys
Macy Gray - On How Life Is
Patty Griffin - Flaming Red
The Very Best of Burt Bacharach

Yes, I love fluffy, poppy chick singers.

Conservativs Under Attack!!!!

Dear Fat Guys At The Corner,

You morons have missed the point. The point is not that there's a problem with expressing skepticism about Carroll's initial statements. The problem is whining like a spoiled teenager about how her statements didn't meet your ideological criteria when you didn't know what the eff you were talking about. The problem is not that we think she should or should not have been believed. The problem is how fundamentally gross it is for one to stuff cheet-o's into one's mouth with one hand while typing scurilous things about another person (who's just been through a trauma which you can't possibly understand) with the other. You jerks wrote petulantly about this woman as if she were a TV show you didn't like. Only spoiled teenagers think this sort of behavior is at all appropriate. Doing the "nya nya I was right" (especially when you weren't) dance, while at the same time striking a pose of indignant victimhood, doesn't make you any less pathetic.