It occurred to me this morning that we should change the name of CVN-77, under construction as the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush, to the U.S.S. Richard M. Nixon. That way, if we ever get into a war with China, we could deploy that carrier first, because only Nixon could go to China.
OK, it's bad, but it's early.
Apparently someone named James Cadle has created a "flag of Earth" for whatever reason. Nice design, actually, but there is one problem (besides the obvious one of there being no organizational entity represented by the flag): it represents the Sun, Earth and Moon. When someone decides to set up a country on the Moon, I think they'd likely object to that.
Scott Ott of Scrappleface is one of the best satirists on the planet. In addition to his earlier success in coining the phrase "Axis of Weasels" to describe France and Germany, Ott has now come up with this bit:
[T]his story has the added credibility of coming from anonymous sources leaking selected excerpts of confidential documents to the The New York Times. And that's tantamount to journalism.
It occurs to me that maybe I should change the slogan on the blog. "A Strange Loop" is great, in that it not only does homage to Douglas Hofstadter's concept of strange loops - a series of one-way transforms that, over time, reproduce the original work - but also makes a great pun on the caerdroia that is the symbol and namesake of this blog. But I was thinking, maybe, it's time to change the slogan to something like "more accurate than NBC". "Fake but accurate", of course, has already been more appropriately applied to NBC itself.
Sore and discredited losersFar-Leftist Democrats embrace Federalism and low taxes.
I think they did this through the simple expedient of not considering the consequences of their actions whilst spouting, which tendency is frequently apparent in their governance as well, when others are so foolish as to give them the chance.
Clearly, I don't agree with the message here, but it's absolutely hilarious. It's a shame that Kerry supporters don't take themselves less seriously more often. Heck, it's a shame that most people in politics don't take themselves less seriously more often. (hat tip: The Wild Hunt)
It warms my heart to see idiots truly screwed on account of their own bad behavior. Love it.
Well, this is fantastic! It's the Kerry campaign, done as Shakespeare.
To be or not to be President: that is my platform:
Whether 'tis more nuanced to vote for before against
The 87 billion of outrageous appropriation,
Or to make my case upon the seas of health care,
And by raising taxes get it fully funded? To windsurf: to trap-shoot:
To say "I cannot bring a gun to the debate." Oh end
The heart-ache and the thousand polling shocks
This campaign is heir to, tis a consomme
Devoutly to be reheated. To be elected, to rule;
To rule: perchance to decide: ay, there's the belly rub;
For in decision what results may come
When we have pulled out and hugged Chirac
Must give us all pause: I can't get no respect
Alas, poor Rather! I knew him, Teddy: a fellow
of fine buzzcuttery, of most excellent folksiness: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my flip flops at
it. Somewhere hung that weathered ass I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your crackling hickory now, Dan? your
Aunt Milly? Your Uncle Charlie? your flashes of wild-eyed
dementia that were wont to set the TV screen ablaze? Not one
now, to mock your own thin-lipped scowl? quite chap-fallen?
Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her—
oops, beg pardon—ask her, for she can be quite
the bitch sometimes—to this favour she must
come; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Teddy, tell
me one thing.
To fair L.A. the herald now commutes
And to the Simon Castle he imputes
A muse of fire in the Sage above the pool
That he too shall play our Omlet for the fool.
UPDATE: Thanks to Gerard Van der Leun in the comments, Blogfonte has Bill Clinton advising the Kerry campaign:
Yet here, Edwards! attack, attack, for shame!
Their bile drips from the orbit of your eye,
And you are blind’d thus. There; my blessing with thee!
With these few precepts in thy memory
Damn their character. Give thy doubts no tongue,
Nor any proportioned thought the act.
Be thou familiar, and by all means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, no niceties further tied,
Shift away, or to our cause further steel;
But do not dull thy blade with soft sweetness
Lest some milquetoast, halfheart pundit wilt. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Drive the enemy partisans in disgust to flee.
Give every rumor thy ear, and each thy voice;
Earn them every man's censure, and stay on message.
Costly thy habit that niceness buys,
Politician never so sweet, gaudied;
But the apparel thus will wear the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Will be all you to this ticket pulls.
Neither an explainer nor an excuser be;
For halves oft loses both itself and friend,
And stonewalling locks you in the rigid lie.
This above all: to thine own message be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thine falsity will be found by no man.
Farewell: my nurse is here for my bath!
OK, this has to be the best take on the CBS forged documents yet. The mockery is fantastic.
It took me a few minutes to calm down enough not to spew a profanity-laden rant. In fact, I'm not there yet. Hold on a sec.
OK, that's better.
I suppose I should have seen this coming: comparing George Bush to Hitler isn't working, but there has to be something that
not tortured quite enough tortured artists and Leftist idiots can do. How about this? (hat tip: The Wild Hunt)
I'm slowly coming around to Steph's way of seeing it: this is just so pathetic it's actually funny. I mean, if people don't vote the way you think they should, it can't be that you are off the deep end of moonbattery, and your head is so far up your ass you can see your tonsils, can it? No, no! It must be...Satan:
Now, since I've decided to go for outright mockery, I've called in my lovely wife.
Isn't it funny that it's "a tragedy in two acts"? At least they know they're going to lose, and lose badly, in November. And it's presented by the "Sacred Fools" Theater Company - well, at least they've got one right: they are fools. But they are honest: if you go to their site, they quite openly tell you "you are being lied to".
Oh, and while I'm at it, they need to fire the "artist" who made the poster: the invert pentagram on Bush's forehead doesn't have the proper orientation or aspect ratio to match the head it's purportedly attached to.
Now, if Bush is Satan, does that make Texas Hell? It would explain the summers. And Houston. And Eddie Bernice Johnson. Hey, my cats are cats from Hell! COOL!
They're going to have voter registration forms in the lobby. Now, imagine Steph talking with a really exaggerated East Texas accent:
"I was all set ta vote fer George Bush, but now that I know he's Satan, I guess I'll hafta go an' vote for John Kerry. He ain't Satan; he's just French. Well, mebbe I'll go on an' vote for Bush anyways."
If I lived in LA, it might be fun to go in costume. Nah; I don't want to give them any money, considering how they would use it.
What do you want to bet that if I put on a play with John Kerry dressed as a transvestite and talking with a fake French accent, I'd be the one they call intolerant and hateful? What would be the dialogue though? "I served in ze Viet Nam - but not on ze French side!"
Oh, forget it; they're not worth any more of my time.
Here's a new feature of MS Word...
(blatantly stolen from Free Republic)
I'm just trying to piss off the Olympic organizers as much as possible.
I suppose if I really wanted to piss them off, I'd alter the image into a parody. But I'm too lazy for that.
Did I mention how much I hate link policies? It annoys me because it's an attempt to have it both ways: get exposure and use others' resources, without giving exposure or allowing others to use your resource. Bah!
OK, I thought that this shirt was hilarious the first time I saw it, but apparently some people think otherwise (the title comes from one of the early comments to that post). (Thanks to Instapundit for the link; I don't read Atrios myself, not that there's anything wrong with that. :-) The funny thing is that now free speech in support of a part of the Constitution is fascist, for some people, if the speech disagrees with their cherished beliefs.
Now I think I have to get one of these just to piss off a few humor-challenged Lefties. Maybe two; Steph would like one.
Does this (hat tip: Edge of England's Sword) mean that I own a part of President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld (after all, I'm a shareholder in Exxon Mobil). Will Greenpeace publish instructions on how I might exercise this control?
And is there a similar map of Greenpeace? I bet there'd be a much simpler map than the one they're trying to foist on us as somehow damning, and which shows Greenpeace connected to all kinds of ecoterrorists, unreconstructed stalinists and the like.
This may be the most realistic wargame design request I've ever seen. I particularly like this bit:
I want to have to choose between sending marines door-to-door to be killed in the streets or leveling the block from afar, Nuns and all, with 30 carriers. I want to have to choose between 40 dead troops or 400 dead children, and be damned to Hell by chubby pundits from the safety of their studios regardless of which way I go
This made me laugh hard enough to cry. Of course, I also have educated myself enough to know who Robespierre is.
The Canadian government is slow, but it does have a plan for dealing with gun buyers.
I'm no fan of the UN, but I don't know if I could have written this:
The United Nations, tarnished crown jewel of 20th-Century moral naivety, where murderous autocrats sit at the same table as elected men; a living icon of perfidy, oligarchy, condescension, misanthropy. Tyranny's partner and father confessor; one of the last idols of bestial will to be torn down before the rise of a fellowship of democratic nations.
If you prefer the vernacular, a dirty bunch of coldhearted bums.
GOD: Arthur! Arthur, King of the Britons! Oh, don't grovel! If
there's one thing I can't stand, it's people groveling.
GOD: And don't apologize. Every time I try to talk to someone it's
"sorry this" and "forgive me that" and "I'm not worthy". What are you
ARTHUR: I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord.
GOD: Well, don't. It's like those miserable Psalms-- they're so
depressing. Now knock it off!
The Senate renewed the historic 1994 ban on assault rifles by a thin margin of 52 for to 47 against. In another vote of 53 to 46 the bill past through denying gun shows the ability to sell firearms without doing any form of back round checks. Both bills are a continued step in the right direction concerning gun laws in the United States.
I'm just going to leave you with one phrase from the article: "tools of human assignation". Perhaps he means this (not for children nor work-safe).
Peter David sees hidden motives in Sesame Street's Ernie.
So Caroline is watching "Play With Me Sesame" at 8 AM on Noggin as she usually does. And it starts off with the following: Ernie looking into camera and saying, "We're going to go swimming today...but you're not going to need a bathing suit!"
Which made me go, "Hmmmm. Ernie's into child porn."
And then Ernie said, "In fact, you're not even going to need water!"
Which made me go, "Hmmmm. Ernie's into heavy drug use."
At which point he said, "All you have to do is what Ernie says!"
Which made me go, "Hmmmm. Ernie's a control freak."
And then I had a mental picture of toddlers trudging forward, glassy-eyed, arms oustretched, intoning, "We must do what Ernie says..."
First, get a life; you seem to have lost yours. Perhaps it's hiding behind the condescension.
Second, broaden your circle of blog reading - you haven't even touched the surface. You're still apparently caught in a self-referential local loop.
Third, if blogs are ruining your life, why are you reading this? I'm just, you know, asking.
Zinn: Gandalf mentions the evil stirring in Mordor. That's all he has to say. "It's evil." He doesn't elaborate on what's going on in Mordor, what the people are going through. They're evil because they're there.
Chomsky: I think the fact that we never actually see the enemy is quite damning. Then again, Gandalf is the greatest storyteller of all. He weaves the tales that strand Middle Earth in this state of perpetual conflict.
Zinn: He is celebrated on one hand as a great statesman, a wise man, and viewed by the people who understand the role that he actually plays as a dangerous lunatic and a war criminal. And you will notice that Gandalf's war pitch hits its highest note when the Black Riders arrive in Hobbiton. I don't think that's a coincidence.
Chomsky: This is the Triumph of the Will.
Zinn: You've spoken to me before about Mordor's lack of access to the mineral wealth that the Dwarves control.
Chomsky: If we're going to get into the socio-economic reasons why certain structures develop in certain cultures… it's mainly geographical. We have Orcs in Mordor — trapped, with no mineral resources — hemmed in by the Ash Mountains, where the "free peoples" of Middle Earth can put a city, like Osgiliath, and effectively keep the border closed.
Zinn: Don't forget the Black Gate. The Black Gate, which, as Tolkien points out, was built by Gondor. And now we jump to the Orcs chopping down the trees in Isengard.
Chomsky: A terrible thing the Orcs do here, isn't it? They destroy nature. But again, what have we seen, time and time again?
Zinn: The Orcs have no resources. They're desperate.
Chomsky: Desperate people driven to do desperate things.
It is misleading to call these Israeli policies. They are American-Israeli policies — made possible by unremitting United States military, economic and diplomatic support of Israel. This has been true since 1971 when, with American support, Israel rejected a full peace offer from Egypt, preferring expansion to security. In 1976, the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for a two-state settlement in accord with an overwhelming international consensus. The two-state proposal has the support of a majority of Americans today, and could be enacted immediately if Washington wanted to do so.
OK, why not. Frank J's having another contest, and the rules are great, except for the "minus a million dollars" bit.
(I'm really just posting this because Steph and Brian should see this, even if they don't see the IMAO contest, and be publicly shamed into entering the contest themselves.)
Following a comment from my wife, I think it would be worth taking up a collection to pay al Qaeda to shoot Michael Moore. As long as they promised to use the money only for that. And it would not matter if they broke their promise, because after Moore was dead, we could turn them in. If we made a documentary about it... oh, never mind.
Bigwig at Silflay Hraka shows the beauty of capitalism: it finds a better solution to any problem.
Talk about buttering up the Queen...
My friend Nathan is sufficiently unique that everyone who knows him defines words and phrases such as "everyone" and "no one" to explicitly exclude Nathan. I believe I have found his competition.
The Democrats have a web form where they are gathering information about how President Bush's policies have affected "the real state of America's working families." Here's my contribution:
President Bush's policies have had a direct effect on my family and myself.
Since President Bush came into office, the tax cuts he has put through have come at very opportune times, allowing me to pay bills that I otherwise would have had to struggle to afford. In addition, the increased refunds caused by these tax changes have helped in paying down my debts, incurred during the prior administration.
Further, the economic growth helped - possibly caused - by the tax changes has allowed me to resume contracting, which has increased my income substantially.
Since I left my permanent job, I have been able to procure health insurance better tailored to my needs, and at a lower total cost to me (when you consider the lower salary I was making to pay for corporate benefits).
Thanks to IMAO for the link.
Frank J has a decent "In My World" up. Best line:
"Sources are still verifying whether it is actually George W. Bush on the tape," the anchorman said, "If true, this would prove that he is alive and well and probably hiding out in the D.C. area. Bush is known to be responsible for multiple terrorist bombings... sorry, make that 'bombing of terrorists.' He is also wanted for conspiring with many other countries to commit acts of wanton unilateralism."
Before reading this, swallow anything in your mouth, move all liquids away from your computer, and don a surgical mask. Otherwise, I cannot be responsible for what gets onto your monitor while reading. My favorite bit:
I am a Democrat because I believe in helping those in need. All of us, you and I, have an obligation to those less fortunate. You go first, okay? I'm a little short this week.
OK, one more:
I am a Democrat because I believe in women's right to choose. I mean, not a church school or a tax shelter, or something like that, obviously. Let's be reasonable.
If you don't want spoilers, don't read this. However, this excerpt (no horrible spoilers, I think) sums up my reaction to the worst part of the film:
VICINITY OF CIRITH UNGOL
GOLLUM: Dead hobbitses...(mutter mutter)...won't be long now...(mutter mutter)...will try wearing Ring on toe this time; yes, precious; very beautiful...
SAM: Hey! I heard that!
FRODO: Heard what?
GOLLUM: Nothing, Master! Fat hobbit wants Ring; yes, Master.
SAM: I do not!
FRODO: I think maybe you do. Gollum wouldn't lie to me, after all.
SAM: He's trying to kill us! We're walking straight into a trap. I'm not going one step further.
FRODO: Leave, then. I'm sick of your paranoid delusions anyhow.
SAM: But I...
FRODO: Go on - get out of here. Good riddance.
SAM: But you...
FRODO: Have a nice death.
FRODO stomps off. SAM stays behind, weeping piteously.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE READ THE BOOK: ...the f**k??
FRODO gets tangled in a gigantic spider-web.
FRODO: Egads! Does this mean a gigantic spider lives here?
GOLLUM: Ha ha! Smeagol tricked you, ssstupid hobbit! Did Master know "gullible" was not in dictionary?
FRODO: Oh, dear. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to send Sam away.
SHELOB appears and starts pounding down the tunnel. FRODO lights up the star-glass and gives us an all-too-clear look at her.
ARACHNOPHOBES IN AUDIENCE: Oh...dear...God.
FRODO cuts himself loose and runs like hell - but, being FRODO, falls down. GOLLUM jumps on him.
GOLLUM: Jussst kidding about "ssstupid" comment! Nice master! Hold still so spider can eat you, yes yes.
FRODO: I have a different plan, actually.
FRODO flings GOLLUM down an abyss.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE BOOK: You know, it's interesting: even though I've read the book, I have no idea what's going on.
Before going to see Return of the King, it might be wise to keep in mind these handly tips from Instant Karma:
1. Stand up halfway through the movie and yell loudly, "Wait... where the hell is Harry Potter?"
2. Block the entrance to the theater while screaming: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" - After the movie,
say "Lucas could have done it better."
5. Point and laugh whenever someone dies.
9. At the end, complain that Gollum was offensive to Ethiopians
11. When Shelob appears, pinch the guy in front of you on the back of the neck.
12. Dress up as old ladies and reenact "The Battle of Helms Deep" Monty Python style.
15. In The Two Towers when the Ents decide to march to war, stand up and shout "RUN FOREST, RUN!"
19. Start an Orc sing-a-long.
20. Come to the premiere dressed as Frankenfurter and wander around looking terribly confused.
According to Peeve Farm, there are rumors that Steve Jobs might be tapped to head Disney - or at least be on the board. Speculation on what that would mean then follows, but one key point is missed in the speculation: No more "Mighty Ducks" sequels? Could we survive such a tragedy?
It appears that David Adesnik has taken to baiting Harry Potter fans. Time to pop some popcorn and watch the show.
My wife was born in Alabama, and her mother always says that in some places, football is a religion, but in Alabama people take it more seriously than that. Apparently so.
PINSON, Ala. -- A Pinson man was charged with attempted murder for holding a gun to his son's head and pulling the trigger in the midst of a tantrum after Alabama's double overtime loss to Arkansas Saturday.
The bullet narrowly missed 20-year-old Seth Logan, who said he picked the wrong time to ask his dad for a car, sheriff's spokesman Deputy Randy Christian said Monday.
According to the police report, Joseph Logan had been drinking alcohol and began slamming doors, tossing boxes and throwing dishes in the sink after the Crimson Tide lost its football game to Arkansas, 34-31 in double overtime Saturday.
While Joseph Logan was throwing the tantrum, Seth Logan asked for a new car.
Joseph Logan then retrieved a 9 mm pistol from his car, grabbed his son by the collar and pressed the gun to his son's forehead, the report said.
Logan threatened to shoot his son in the head, then pulled the trigger.
Seth Logan moved his head just as his father fired and the bullet whizzed past him, the report said.
Thanks to Brian for the link.
"I would point out," said another reporter, "That just because someone has a Communist viewpoint, doesn't mean they should be shot."
Rice then pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger. "It works!"
"One less Commie," Rumsfeld laugh. "Damn, I hope we finish this Iraq thing soon; I miss killing Commies. Remember when I strangled one in Nam?"
"Yeah, that was last year," Rice answered, "Caused a bit of media firestorm."
"Hey, if God didn't want us killing Commies, he wouldn't have given them necks fit for strangling."
"We still have questions," interrupted one reporter.
Rice pointed the gun at the reporter and pulled the trigger - an empty click. "Fine, what?"
"So you think this will bring peace to the Middle East?" Bush asked.
"I really don't give a rat's ass," Sharon answered, "I just wanted to see Arafat fired out of a cannon."
"We all did," Bush said with a smile as he patted Sharon on his back, "We all did."
"In other news, North Korea is now actually launching nuclear missiles at us, and we still don't give a rats ass. We now turn to our expert..."
"I just want assure everyone that the Belgians have not captured the president," White House Press Secretary announced.
"My question was about the tax cuts," said the befuddled reporter.
"Whatever." Ari took a big drink from his flask of whiskey. "Oh, and if anyone is mountain climbing and happens to see the vice president, please give us a call."
"You lost the vice president on some mountain top?" exclaimed one reporter.
"I did not say that," Ari answered, "Why do you people always have to read into everything I say?" Ari took another big drink of whiskey. "God, how many more days do I have to do this."
"Do I have to sit next to Tom Daschle?" Bush complained.
"Yes," Laura answered, "if Donald's going to make the best effort not to strangle anyone, then the least I can do is not put him next to Tom Daschle."
"Buck, why don't you tell them what you have to do to become a Marine," the teacher suggested.
"Certainly. You have to go through boot camp. There they will put you through hell. They will break down your body. They will break down your mind. They will break down your spirit. You will beg for mercy. You will not get it. You will beg for death. It will not come. If you survive - and I mean 'if' - you will be a Marine. Then you can kill foreigners. So who wants to be a Marine?"
The kids just stared at him bewildered, none of them raising their hands.
"What are you all? Fags?"
"Alright. I have to keep the world from imploding, since the rest of the countries are a bunch of idiots. The worst is France. How can I describe this to you... France is kinda like that kid in class everyone hates who reminds the teacher to give out homework." He then pointed to a geeky looking kid wearing glasses. "Probably that kid; he's France."
"But without homework," the kid responded, "how are we going..."
"Quiet, France. I'm tired of dealing with you."
All of sudden Laura started shivering. "Why does it suddenly feel so cold in here?"
"Hello," said Hillary Clinton, walking down the school hallway.
This post at A Small Victory was so much like talking to my second son, I had to post it here for later reference.
Bet on it.
I have found the funniest thing I think I've ever come across. It is a book/CD combination by Sandra Boynton (author of But Not the Hippopotamus and many other kids' books) that is a takeoff on the album Chant, and is called Grunt - the Pigorian Chant. These songs are all sung by barnyard animals, in the style of a monastic chant. All of the animals sing in Latin. Except the pigs, who sing in Pig Latin. Because no text can possibly give a sense of how funny this is, here is track two, and here are the lyrics:
|i. Spiritus||i. Spirit.|
Vox spiritus fundi
Stertunt Porci clari
We are the voice
of the spirit of the farm.
Everyone is asleep.
The famous Pigs are snoring.
|ii. Aurora [Bell tolls five]||
O, primam lucem.
Nunc venit agricola.
O, first light!
The sun is rising.
Now comes the farmer.
Ecce Macdonaldus Senex,
qui fundam habet.
Behold Old MacDonald,
who has a farm.
Et in hoc fundo,
Cum moo moo hic,
cum moo moo ibi.
Hic una moo,
ibi una moo,
ubique una moo moo.
And on this farm,
With a moo moo here,
and a moo moo there.
Here a moo,
there a moo,
everywhere a moo moo.
Et in hoc fundo,
has a farm
And on this farm,
he has some pigs.
Ni oink oink hic.
Ni oink oink ibi.
Ubi sunt Porci
No oink oink here.
No oink oink there.
So where are the Pigs
Ubi sunt Porci quoquomodo?
So where are the pigs already?
Vocat ad se frustra.
He summons in vain.
Et in Arcadia sum.
And this is pastoral paradise?
Go forth and purchase: such genius must be rewarded.
You aren't really much of your own person, but everyone around
you wishes you'd go away, so you might as well be independent. You're
sort of loud-mouthed and abrasive, but you do have a fair amount of power. You
like big trucks, big cattle, and big oil rigs. And sometimes you really
smell. But it's not all bad, you're big enough to have some soft spots
somewhere in all that redneck madness.
face="Times New Roman">Take the Country
Quiz at the Blue Pyramid
Porphyrogenitus is having fun with Canada. A lot of the points are about how difficult it is to get good health care in Canada, and how many Canadians come to the US for treatment. This reminded me of an event that happened before I stayed in Canada for a while.
In southern Florida, many Canadians apparently combine vacationing with getting health care, and so there are some clinics which not only specialize in treating Canadians, but do so on the Canadian national healthcare plan. Not knowing this at the time, while visiting my wife's parents, we drove past a building labelled "Canadian Health Care." After the initial consternation, my wife's comment:
"I'm sick, eh?"
Apparently, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (Moonbat-TX) is disturbed that hurricanes are not named after black people, and so this is somehow racist. Yeah, that's how we're keeping the blacks down: we don't name massively destructive storms after them. Ha! Back to the plantation with you!
Looking at the 2003 list of names, I suppose that means that Bill Cosby and Danny Glover don't have black enough names. Oh, well, suppose they'll just have to change their names then. There doesn't appear to be a Sheila in the next few years - maybe that's why she's upset?
Please, please, please can we have redistricting now, so that her seat will go away? Please?
I listen to NPR's news as often as I get a chance - particularly when I am in the car. This is because they actually have reasonably sober presenters and frequently bring up issues or points I had not previously considered. However, NPR's talk shows are horribly politicized. This morning, I heard something like:
Host: Does the murder of Uday and Qusay Hussein by American troops help or hurt our attempts to rebuild Iraq?
Impressively-Credentialed Raving Moonbat #1: Of course, this will be seen as a "success" for the occupation, but I think that the most casual review of the facts on the ground tells us that this is really a transient and unimportant episode, which will in the end ensure that all Iraqi people want to drink the blood of American soldiers.
ICRM#2: I couldn't agree more. It's amazing to me how the military just refuses to see how this will undermine our troops' already precarious position even worse, by making martyrs of these two relatively-unimportant figures.
ICRM#3: What I don't understand, personally, is how we can even be talking about this, when it's obvious that Resident BUSH LIED about Iraq's motives in a minor note on an addendum to a subsection of a paragraph of his State of the Union speach. This makes me ashamed to be American.
Token Reasonable Person: There seems to be something wrong with my line: there's a low banging constantly in the background. Anyway, I think that this has been a great moment in ...
Host: That was the unending drumbeat of doom. It sets the atmosphere. And that's all the time we have for today. Please tune in tomorrow, when we'll have several more impressively-credentialled raving moonbats on to discuss how tax cuts cause little babies to die abandoned in the street.
I think I'm exaggerating. Or maybe that was the BBC I was listening to.
This is really funny.
I am the very model of an Education Minister;
My arguments are tortuous, my motivation sinister;
But though my plans are ropy, and my reasons even ropier,
I'm laying the foundations of a socialist utopia.
I'm well aware the arguments the Tories use to blame us is
that schools without competition will foster ignoramuses.
But tolerating independent schools will be hypocrisy
since freedom's incompatible with genuine democracy.
I want to see that everyone learns socialism properly,
and this is only possible inside a state monopoly;
All schools that I don't recognise will therefore be prohibited
and any private tutors will be flogged or even gibbeted.
All middle-class morality I promise to eliminate;
Exams I shall abolish, since they certainly discriminate;
A college with a vacancy selecting its own candidate
will quickly wish it hadn't, when it finds I have disbanded it.
I'll throw away all covenants and charters international
with which I disagree, and which must therefore be irrational;
I short, in all of Europe from the Parthenon to Finisterre
I'll be the most intolerant, intolerable Minister.
In the comments to this CalPundit post (on the unmourned deaths of Udai and Qusay Hussein), "Mike" says:
We attack, invade, and conquer a country without U.N backing, lying repeatedly to justify our action, then we hunt down and slaughter members of the former ruler’s family. If this isn’t a war crime to be charged to Bush and his regime, it ought to be.
This is a war crime? Fine! If Saddam wins he can try us for it.
I love my wife.
Bill Kristol has a Weekly Standard column up on the Democrats' and media's attempts to turn President Bush's State of the Union comment, on Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium from Africa, into a scandal. He is pretty dismissive of the media coverage:
American journalism's frenzy over the thing--the hyperbolic, rush-to-judgment, believe-the-worst character of the coverage--has been plenty bad enough. But the Democratic party has been even worse. Here, for example, is what unsuspecting Internet visitors learn from the Democratic National Committee's website: There has been "a year-long campaign of deception involving a bogus intelligence report on Iraq's nuclear program." And who has directed this deception, for reasons so terrible, apparently, that they cannot be identified? DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe has cracked the conspiracy: "This may be the first time in recent history that a president knowingly misled the American people during the State of the Union address," he says. And "this was not a mistake. It was no oversight and it was no error."
We are so overextended, militarily, that we can't even afford send more than a few dozen marines to guard the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia.[UPDATE: We have just positioned 4,500 troops near Liberia for possible depolyment]."
I present, in a blatant attempt to get Frank J. to link to me, a pandering, brown-nosing sonnet:
If there were but one perfect site,
A treasure to beguile with prose,
humor, irony, unfair blows,
then here my browser would alight
for funny potshots from the right:
There is none but IMAO's
for reading while your laughter grows
and bringing forth of pure delight.
Sound the applause - sound the alarm!
Let no more puppies instablend,
but only monkeys come to harm.
Buck the Marine will us defend.
Rumsfeld, Chomps and Condi charm
and foes of freedom meet their end.
Jim Miller has an amusing post on the pomo BS spouted by many academics, in lieu of actually publishing something meaningful. I figured, if I were to translate this, using Babelfish, into Portugese, then back into English, I might get something more meaningful. So here we go:
We can see a socio-sexual parallel between the geography of the wilderness and the topographies of narrative in this genre, which organizes a particular spatial itinerary and social anatomy.
We can see a parallel socio-socio-sexual we enter the geography of the wild region and topographies of the narrative in this genre, that he organizes one itinerary spatial particular and one anatomy social.
Maybe if I try it in Japanese, it will be more useful...
We geography of the wilderness and spatial itinerary of specification and can look at the socio characteristic balance between topography of the story of this genre which organizes social anatomy.
Actually, I'm really not sure which is the original text any more. Oh, well.
Sort of, from Ipse Dixit. Quoted here in its entirety:
Following the latest atrocity in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Powell urged the Palestinians to issue some form of denunciation.
Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas complained that only the Palestinian side is ever required to denounce terror.
Predictably, the Palestinian denunciation later mumbles that they "deplore the murder of civilians on both sides."
Perhaps the Palestinians have a point, and so to set the record straight, I do hereby denounce the following in the name of the Jewish People:
1. All Jewish suicide bombers who have ever acted against Arabs.
2. All Arab buses blown up by Jews.
3. All Arab pizza parlors, malls, discotheques and restaurants destroyed by Jewish terrorists.
4. All airplanes hijacked by Jews since 1903.
5. All Ramadan feasts targeted by Jewish bombs.
6. All Arabs lynched in Israeli cities; all Arab Olympic athletes murdered by Jews; all Arab embassies bombed by Jews.
7. All mosques, cemeteries and religious schools fire bombed or desecrated by Jews in North Africa, France, Belgium, Germany, England or any other country.
8. The destruction of American military, governmental and civilian institutions in Kenya, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen - along with the murder of U.S. Marines and diplomatic personnel.
9. All Jewish school books which claim that Arabs poison wells, use Christian blood to bake pita, control world finance, and murdered Jesus; or that Arab elders meet secretly to plot a world takeover.
10. And I am particularly ashamed at the way my fellow Jews attacked the World Trade Center, Pentagon and civilian aircraft on September 11th, and danced in the streets to celebrate the act.
The Eleven Day Empire is beating up a bit on Michael Kinsley:
He's, unsuprisingly, pushing the "Bush lied! BUSH LIED!" storyline.
I've only got two comments. First of all, he ought to have skipped the Groucho Marx quote:
The Bush administration borrows from Groucho: "Who are you going to believe -- us or your own two eyes?"
It's overused already - find something a bit more original, Mikey...it makes you sound like part of a mindless, thoughtless herd, all parroting one another without regard to what actually...oh, right. I forgot who I was talking about.
As Glenn would say: Heh!
Via Smallest Minority, I am happy to share with you the funniest legal opinion I've ever read. The judge accuses both counsels of writing in crayon on the back of gravy stained paper place mats, and at one point advises Plaintiff's counsel not to run with sharp objects.
Tim Blair provides a most excellent example of the art of the fisk:
What is actually required is a redistribution of fertile land, of incomes and of economic power, rather than access to genetic products.Hey, it’s working in Zimbabwe.
Mark at ShaKaRee posted his results to this quiz about how closely one's political positions agree with various candidates. Even though the questions tended to have one stereotypical right-wing response, and multiple and nuanced left-wing responses, and though the "Libertarian Candidate" goes unnamed, I can not argue with the results:
I am a little bummed that everyone from Dennis Kucinich on down scored as high as they did. It's a little surprising that John Edwards rated so high, though I suspect that his and my versions of "prefer other solutions" are in fact wildly different.
So come on Mark, uncheck the box that takes third-party candidates off the ballot and let's see where the third parties fall on your scale.
Henceforth, I shall refer to Michael Moore as Occam's Stubble.
Apparently, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is peeved that they are being "persecuted" by the government of the Phillipines, against which the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has been waging war lo these many years. Herewith, an article (courtesy of the Command Post) detailing the group's story. I don't know what to call this post, since I'm not fisking the article, but the group the article is about. Anyone got a term for this?
THE secessionist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will file a formal protest before the United Nations Human Rights Commission regarding the alleged religious persecution being done by the military and its “baseless” accusations against the group.OK, first of all, d'you guys know what MILF also stands for? Let's just say I'm not linking to a representative site. Go to Google yourself!
More importantly, are you actually contending that since you view your war as a holy war, and since therefore planning the overthrow of your enemy is a religious act, then the enemy resisting by, say, hunting you down and killing you constitutes persecution for your religion, as opposed to just trying to keep you from killing them?
In a telephone interview, MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu accused the Armed Forces of waging a “despicable pattern of attacking alleged MILF camps while a religious performance is going on.”
“Our lawyers are drafting a formal protest and we will submit it to the United Nations as soon as possible. This is in order to put a stop to all these violations against us and the entire Muslim community,” Kabalu told The Manila Times.
He cited five incidents in which government forces launched offensives on MILF areas while the Muslims were deep in their early-morning prayers. These were the attacks on Sharif Aguak in Maguindanao on January 8, 1999; in Matanog, Barira Area in Camp Abu Bakar, sometime in 2000; in Buliok Complex in Pikit, North Cotabato on February 11; in Liguasan March on March 14; and in Sabacan in Kabuntalan, Maguindanao on June 20.
These attacks, Kabalu said, happened while they were having their Eid Ul Adha, or the Muslim’s early-morning prayer.
“Clearly this is religious persecution. They [military] always time their attacks during our early-morning prayers,” Kabalu said. He noted that a military officer was even quoted in a newspaper as saying that the best time to attack the MILF was during its prayer gatherings.
The officer in question was Brig. Gen. Orlando Buenaventura, former commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade and the new Armed Forces deputy chief of staff for education and training (J8).
The Times tried to get Buenaventura’s comment but he was unavailable.
Rear Adm. Edgardo M. Israel, the new Civil Relations Service commander of the Armed Forces, said, however, that Kabalu is merely trying to deceive the people by releasing “untruthful information.”
“From what Kabalu has been saying, it appears that the MILF is either not sincere [to resume peace negotiations] or the MILF high command has no control over its spokesman,” Israel said.
Besides the alleged religious persecution, Kabalu said the MILF hopes that the UN will also shed light on the government’s accusation that the MILF possesses C4 (Composition four), a dangerous explosive not available in the global market.
Around 450 kilos of C4 were allegedly recovered by the military in a recent raid on an MILF camp in Kabuntalan, Maguindanao. Kabalu insisted that the explosive was planted by the military to put the MILF in a bad light.
“This matter could only be clarified through a third party,” Kabalu said.
Also expected to be cleared up by the UN is the government’s accusation that the MILF is linked with terrorist groups like the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiah, he said.
The MILF has no legal personality before the world body and may use member nations of the Organization of Islamic Conference to represent its interests.
On Monday the MILF urged President Arroyo to issue a “clear” written policy statement on the government’s stance to resolve the rebellion problem in Mindanao.
Michael Mastura, MILF peace panel member and former Maguindanao representative, said the President’s written statement would put an end to remarks on the Mindanao problem by top Malacañang officials, including presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye.
Frank J. has the quote of the day already. In Frank's world, SecDef Rumsfeld is giving a press conference:
"North Korea says they need nuclear weapons so they can reduce the size of their military. What is your response to that?"
"I would like to remind North Korea that we also have a plan for reducing the size of their military that involves nukes. Next question."
Clinton told the audience that his Web site, which is now up and running, will soon offer his take on news events as they happen. "Now you'll know what's really going on," he promised. "Since you're not told that often these days."
Frank J once again demonstrates that you can be funny while you make a serious point.
This is just wrong. I refer, in particular, to Bigwig's, er, quotes from the Pontiff.
Tim Blair needs to leave Blogger, so I can permalink to this post:
How many weeks can webdiary say "Margo Kingston will be back on deck next week". Should we send a search party?
The Bunyip also misses Margo. My theory: the tragically successful war in Iraq has destablised the batlike sonar Margo uses to make her way to the Sydney Morning Herald each morning. She's probably bouncing off parked cars in Lithgow or Bathurst. If you see her, contact a licensed journalist trapper.
Bigwig goes overboard with SARS, pirates and China. No, really!
And here is an example of why Lileks' bleats are so widely read:
I hear little feet hit the floor upstairs; I start up the stairs, and hear the feet scurrying back to bed. By the time I get to her room she’s making fake snoring sounds. I’m raising an actress. Or a sociopath. And the difference is? Discuss.
3. If you met the host on a plane a year ago, or a reception six months ago, do not embarrass everyone by bringing it up. Unless you did something memorable, such as driving your heel into his foot while shouting I AM THE VENGEANCE OF ASHERON AND ALL HIS MINIONS the host probably won’t remember who you are. It’s nothing personal. (Unless it is.)
Steven Den Beste has the phrase of the day: Innocent until proven American.
Tim Blair has a great post about media consolidation. Since Tim's on blogspot, and their archives are frelled, I've copied the whole thing below.
TED TURNER, the vice chairman of AOL Time Warner CNN Sports Illustrated People Entertainment Weekly Fortune Money In Style Real Simple Time For Kids Sports Illustrated For Kids Teen People People en Español Fortune Small Business Business 2.0 Southern Living Progressive Farmer Southern Accents Sunset Cooking Light Coastal Living For the Love of Cross Stitch For the Love of Quilting Parenting Baby Talk Health In Style U.K. In Style Australia In Style Germany Time Asia Time Canada Time Atlantic Time Latin America Time South Pacific Wallpaper* Who Weekly Popular Science Outdoor Life Field & Stream Golf Magazine Yachting Motor Boating Salt Water Sportsman Ski Skiing Freeze This Old House TransWorld Stance TransWorld Surf TransWorld Skateboarding TransWorld Snowboarding TransWorld Motocross TransWorld Surf BMX Ride BMX Skiing Trade News TransWorld Skateboarding Business TransWorld Snowboarding Business TransWorld Surf Business BMX Business News Amateur Gardening Amateur Photographer Angler's Mail Cage & Aviary Birds Chat Country Life Cycling Weekly Horse & Hound NME Now Shooting Times & Country Magazine Woman Woman's Own Woman's Weekly Woman's Feelgood Series Woman's Own Lifestyle Series Woman's Weekly Home Series TV & Satellite Week TVTimes What's On TV Mizz Mizz Specials Webuser Caravan Magazine The Guitar Magazine VolksWorld World Soccer Beautiful Homes Bird Keeper Cars & Car Conversions Chat Passion Series Classic Boat Country Homes & Interiors Creating Beautiful Homes Cycle Sport Decanter Essentials Eventing Family Circle Golf Monthly Hi-Fi News Homes & Gardens Horse Ideal Home Land Rover World Livingetc Loaded Marie Claire MBR-Mountain Bike Rider MiniWorld Model Collector Motor Caravan Motor Boat & Yachting Motor Boats Monthly Muzik 19 Now Style Series 4x4 Park Home & Holiday Caravan Practical Boat Owner Practical Parenting Prediction Racecar Engineering The Railway Magazine Rugby World Ships Monthly Soaplife Sporting Gun Stamp Magazine The Field The Golf Uncut What Digital Camera Woman & Home Yachting Monthly Yachting World Aeroplane Monthly Superbike Women & Golf Shoot Monthly Hair Wedding & Home Women's Weekly Fiction Special International Boat Industry Farm Holiday Guides Jets Time Life Inc. Oxmoor House Lesiure Arts Sunset Books Media Networks, Inc. First Moments Targeted Media Inc. Time Inc, Custom Publishing Synapse Time Distribution Services Time Inc. Home Entertainment Time Customer Service Warner Publishing Services This Old House Ventures, Inc. TimePix Essence Communications Partners European Magazines Limited Avantages S.A. CompuServe ICQ MapQuest Moviefone Netscape AOL Music Little, Brown and Company Adult Trade Books Warner Books Little, Brown and Company Children's Publishing Bulfinch Press Warner Faith Time Warner AudioBooks Time Warner Books UK HBO Cinemax Comedy Central HBO Asia HBO Brasil HBO Czech HBO Hungary HBO India HBO Korea HBO Ole HBO Poland HBO Romania A&E Mundo E! Latin America SET Latin America WBTV Latin America Latin America History Channel New Line Cinema Fine Line Features Bay News 9, Tampa, FL Central Florida News 13, Orlando, FL News 8 Austin, TX NY1 News, New York, NY R/News, New York, NY News 14, Carolina Time Warner Telecom, Inc. inDemand Kansas City Cable Partners Texas Cable Partners TBS Superstation Turner Network Television Cartoon Network Turner Classic Movies Turner South Boomerang TCM Europe Cartoon Network Europe TNT Latin America Cartoon Network Latin America TCM & Cartoon Newtwork Asia Pacific CNN International CNNfn CNN en Español CNNRadio CNN Newsource CNNMoney.com CNN Student News CNNSI.com Cartoon Network Japan Court TV CETV Castle Rock Entertainment Telepictures Productions Warner Home Video Warner Bros. Consumer Products Warner Bros. International Theatre Looney Tunes Hanna-Barbera DC Comics MAD Magazine The Atlantic Recording Corporation Elektra Entertainment Group Inc. Warner Bros. Records Inc. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. Alternative Distribution Alliance Giant Merchandising Rhino Entertainment WMG Soundtracks Ivy Hill Corporation, claims that too few people own too many media organisations.
"It's not healthy," Turner added.
His Majesty demands death threats. See:
I DEMAND death threats!!!
Rarr! I am the Rumsfeld Strangler, and I am going to strangle you! RARR!
A Small Victory has a Puce limerick contest. CLICK
In A.D. 2101
War was beginning.
Captain: What happen ?
Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb
Operator: We get signal
Captain: What !
Operator: Main screen turn on
Captain: It's You !!
Cats: How are you gentlemen !!
Cats: All your base are belong to us
Cats: You are on the way to destruction
Captain: What you say !!
Cats: You have no chance to survive make your time
Cats: HA HA HA HA ....
Captain: Take off every 'zig'
Captain: You know what you doing
Captain: Move 'zig'
Captain: For great justice
I have been this week on a business trip to Chicago. Yesterday, I ran across a man wearing a "No War" button. Sadly, he turned out to be fairly intelligent, and broke off his conversation with me in less than five minutes.
This afternoon, walking back from work to the hotel, I saw three young men from Greenpeace on the sidewalk on my side of the street. I smiled at my inner thoughts ("And me without a baseball bat...") and I guess that one of the young men took this as a welcoming expression, and asked me to talk to him about energy policy.
Joe, as he turned out to be named, was actually a very nice guy. He explained that they were trying "to raise money to fight Bush's disastrous energy plan." He went on to give a little spiel about what they were trying to do, and asked if I were interested in joining.
I tried to give him an out: "I really don't agree with a lot of Greenpeace's policies, so that would not really be appropriate for me to do."
Joe didn't take the out: "Can you give me an example of something you don't agree with?"
Me: "Well, I can give you several, but I don't have the time to go on at that kind of length. I'll give you one, though. In California, there are windmills all over the hills, but they seldom run. The reason is that these tend to chop up birds in flight, including endangered migratory birds. Greenpeace fought hard to get California to pay for putting in the windmills, and Friends of the Earth, I think it was, fought hard to get California to shut them down. So in the end, all that ended up happening was that California taxpayers spent a lot of money to put a large number of metal poles on their hills. Not really a good use of public funds, I think."
Joe: [blink blink...thinking for a moment] "I see what you mean, but don't you think that we need a cleaner alternative?"
Me: "Alternative to what, exactly?"
Joe: "To fossil fuels, like oil, coal and natural gas. They pollute the environment when we burn them, and Bush's plan increases our dependence on oil, which means that there will be more oil spills like the Prestige, and more strip mining, which destroys the environment. I used to work for a company which made microturbines, but Bush cut funding for alternative energy research and our clients went elsewhere."
Me: "Wasn't the Prestige a Greek ship? And wasn't it taking oil from Russia or Latvia or something like that to Singapore? "
Me: "I guess you were just using that as an example, though. I certainly think that it would be nice to have alternatives, but I don't see any, really. None of the clean 'alternative' sources work very well, when you think about it, nuclear isn't politically possible, and none of the really good-looking alternatives will be here for years yet."
Joe: "Well, if Bush hadn't cut funding for alternative..."
Me: "Oh, I don't really think that's a problem. In fact, it's really a good thing, because if the alternatives were feasible, they'd work without the government funding. Funding things through the government just leads people to make bad choices and it's really destructive, ultimately. I'd rather let people make their own choices of alternatives, then have the government choose for all of us."
Joe: "But is that really worth destroying ANWR and killing all that wildlife?"
Me: "Have you been to ANWR?"
Joe: "No, have you??!"
Me: "No, and you know what? We can see more people from where we're standing than have been to ANWR in the last decade or so. It's a wasteland, and if we're going to mess up the environment somewhere, better there or in the Arabian desert than, say, West Texas, which at least makes good farmland. Anyway, they're talking about so few wells over such a large area, the average Caribou - assuming it ever sees a well - will be displaced by a couple of hundred feet. I think I can live with drilling in ANWR, really."
Joe: "Wouldn't you rather have some clean source of energy that doesn't do any damage, like solar or wind power?"
Me: "Well, really, that's not viable. You can only get solar and wind in low densities, and in a few places. The cells are pretty inefficient, and you have to ship the energy a long distance - which is pretty inefficient - and store it - which is pretty inefficient. I'm not convinced that a solar plant would generate more usable energy than it consumes to build and maintain the plant and the storage and transmission infrastructure for it. Wind's got the same problem, plus the birds, and both solar and wind energy can't be easily shipped around to where they're needed. Oil you put in a truck and put it where you need it. "
Joe: [blink blink]
Me: "There are some alternatives I'd like to see, though."
Joe: [brightening up considerably] "Like..."
Me: "Well, like fusion. That's been 15 to 20 years off for a long time now, but maybe they'll get it soon. It's theoretically possible, but frankly I don't think that they'll be able to do it with the tokamak designs. They'll need something new. Microwave power satellites would be a good choice, if you could solve a few engineering problems first, like how to build and maintain a structure like that in space, and how to get the power to the ground without having fires catch if the beam goes off target. What I'd really like to see, that is practical and available now, is to reduce the economic and regulatory burdens on nuclear fission plants. France and Japan, for instance, generate most of their electrical power from this source and have done it safely for decades."
Joe: "What about the nuclear waste?"
Me: "In comparison to coal slag and oil spills? I'll take it. Besides, we can seal it in glass, put the glass in containers, and put those in deep salt mines where they'll be safe for tens of thousands of years. Or, we could take those containers, and drop them into subduction zones in the ocean and let the waste be recycled in the molten rock it came from. Well, that would probably require us to actually drill in the subduction zones to get through the silt, so it might not be economically viable. Besides, like I said, it's not really politically viable. I suppose there is one way I'd support getting rid of the fossil fuel economy now, though."
Joe: [brightening again] "What's that?"
Me: "The population of the world prior to the industrial era was, I think, about 250 million. If I could administer the tests to see who lives, I'd consider it."
Joe: [dispiritedly] "I think I'd better go talk to some more people now."
No voices were ever raised, and we parted with a handshake. Given the rate at which Joe's compatriots were stopping people, I figure I kept three or four people from talking to Joe. Since none of them seemed to be signing up, though, I probably didn't lose them any money. Shame, that.
Connor's current homeschooling topic in math is subtraction with borrowing and addition with carrying. Today I overheard two choice quotes:
Mom: What's one hundred minus sixty.
Connor: [Thinks for a bit, mumbling out the work he's doing in his head.]Forty. It's amazing how much damage sixty can do to one hundred.
Some time later:
Connor: Hmmm...three minus nothing, so it's uncontested.
As I said, I'm "ain't ism". I ain't any ism. If there's any formal political persuasion you can put a name on, it's virtually certain that I disagree with it in some way, on at least one substantial issue – almost always because of practical evaluation of outcomes, given that I'm not particularly impressed by ideology. I'm not even 100% committed to populism, which is why I think the Founders were extremely wise to put a lot of issues off-limits to normal political discourse when they passed the Bill of Rights. The whole point of my article was that I don't think I fit into any boxes.
And much as y'all would like to claim me for your box, please include me out.
OK, so Steven goes into the category for "people whom I don't put in boxes." Check!