Monthly Archives: April 2010

Steve Poizner and What We Learn

Mr. A and I were listening tothis in the car on Saturday. I say listening; Mr. A was listening.I was looking for something to put my fist through:

It is a very odd chapter, all about Poizner’s first days teaching a class at Mt. Pleasant. There’s scene after scene where he’s floundering, standing in front of the class asking big, abstract questions – “would you want to live in a country where the leader didn’t want to lead? If the money issued by the government wasn’t any good, or people were treated unfairly?” None of the students respond. He’s a rookie teacher; he doesn’t know how to engage them yet. Nothing unusual there.

But here was the strange thing: the conclusion Poizner comes to – again and again during these scenes – isn’t that he’s doing anything wrong or has anything to learn as a teacher. Instead, he blames the kids. They’re tough, they’re unmotivated, they lack ambition, they’re wired differently. The students, meanwhile, in every scene in the book (I read the whole book), seem utterly lovely. Polite, they don’t interrupt, they don’t talk back, they just seem a little bored. His very worst student is a graduating senior who’s hoping to go into the Marines.

Checking school records I learned that Poizner’s unmotivated, unambitious class included one of the school valedictorians, Charles Rudy, who graduated and went to college.

First of all: Poizner in the interview comes across as a very smug guy who went into this school looking for evidence to support his conclusions which are, of course, that we don’t need public education, we need charter schools.He then goes and runs for office based on those conclusions, using the kids as a resumé-booster.

Following his time on the National Security Council, Steve spent a year “in the trenches” as a volunteer teacher at Mount Pleasant High School in East San Jose, where he taught 12th grade American government. After seeing the crisis conditions facing public schools in California, Steve demonstrated his passion for local control of schools by co-founding EdVoice and the California Charter Schools Association – the state’s leading charter school organization. Since his involvement in the charter school movement began, the number of charter schools in California has doubled.

In the trenches. Because that’s what the “inner city” is to people like this. The trenches. Not a place people live, or work, or play, or love, or die. The trenches. Some faraway land where wars are fought, by brave brave men like Poizner. “Other” places, full of “others” and the weird customs they have and the strange lives they live, so different from “ours.”

Unsurprisingly, a majority of Poizner’s book seems to be complete and total bullshit:

In his book, Poizner also talks about how dangerous the high school and the neighborhood around it are. On page 39, he writes:

The school’s neighborhood is rough, even when seen through the eyes of someone who’s not wealthy and white. Drive-by shootings happen. Kids learn to avoid bumping into strangers at the local convenience stores. Recently, the San Jose Police Department received nearly fifteen times more calls for suspicious vehicles around Mount Pleasant High than in a more affluent San Jose neighborhood. More specifically, in a year’s time, police stopped one thousand vehicles in the area. Over that same time frame, the neighborhood generated nearly 850 calls to SJPD dispatchers for disturbances, and 15 for violation by registered sex offenders.

San Jose Police Department spokesman Officer Jose Garcia told us that calls for service were not an indicator of higher crime. He said the number of vehicles stopped had more to do with whether a neighborhood is close to a highway or shopping mall than with criminal activity.

Garcia said, “the area surrounding Mt. Pleasant High School is not an area that stands out in terms of crime, compared to other parts of the city.” San Jose might have a reputation in the richer suburbs around it for being unsafe, and it was more dangerous in the 1970s and ‘80s than it is today. But the view of the city as ridden with crime is outdated. In fact, the city is one of the safest of its size in the country.

On crime, the appearance of the neighborhood, dropout rates, gang affiliation … Ira Glass pretty thoroughly defenestrates the thing. The neighborhood seems to have been seen by Poizner as dangerous because it contains black and brown people, which is not an unusual conclusion for white people to draw. A car with a flat tire is seen as a sign of degeneration, as is a barking dog. By those standards, whose ‘hood COULD pass muster? Not mine. Probably not yours.

So what kind of fact-checking was done here? What kind of verification of any of the stats Poizner spins was done by his publisher? Hey, Portfolio Hardcover, you’re the ones that have some explaining to do, once we’re done with the author. This book was printed on paper, which I’m told gives it a somewhat higher authority ranking in the D&D world of media credibility, so how can it be so wrong? Doesn’t print have standards?

But let’s get back to Poizner. From the transcript of the show:

Yvette Rodriguez: Like a lot of things he said is something that you would expect someone who doesn’t live in this neighborhood to think of us. He was just like really quick to judge. He didn’t grow up here, and he says it in his book, like where he grew up they don’t have any of this, so how is he… I’m not going to go judge him and say, you know, “he’s a rich white guy, and doesn’t know,” because I don’t know him. But yet he’s over here judging us. That’s stereotyping. I think he needs to come out and apologize I think, at least, because a lot of us felt really offended by it.

Ira Glass: When I visited the school, I went to Mr. Richard’s class and I asked the students if they had questions for you or anything that they would like me to say to you, and they had one request. One senior girl said she’d like you to admit you got things wrong. She’d like you to apologize.What do you want to say to her?

Steve Poizner: Well, no. I mean, I appreciate her feedback, and I appreciate their passion.

“I appreciate your passion” is one of those coded phrases for me, because what it really means is “you’re hysterical and emotional and shut up, because caring about stuff is rude and makes your statements suspect, whereas I’m above such uncouthcaring, so I’m automatically more right than you.” He then goes on to say this:

So here I sell my last company for a lot of money and I’m pretty financially well off, and I decide to go into Mt. Pleasant High School, and then after I teach at the school for an extended period of time, I then go back to the school every year to do guest teaching. And then my wife and I, you know, get all kinds of requests from teachers and students about certain projects and we end up donating over $80,000 to the school over a period of many years.

I gave them money, so I should get to call them lazy thugs without them complaining! What a charmer.

For what it’s worth, I have zero problem with people who leave their comfort zones and explore a life different from what they’ve always known. I have zero problem with rich people teaching in poor(er) schools or working in poor(er) areas or generally doing things to make the world a better place. What I can’t stomach are those who come out of those experiences declaring themselves completely unchanged, unaffected, secure in their superiority and sure of their beneficence, because seriously? You went through all that and that’s what you learned?

You spent a year (or a semester, in Poizner’s case, see the full evisceration for details on THAT one) in a public high school and what you came away with was that public education is hopeless? Boy, I’m sure glad you have first-hand knowledge to back that up because it in no way would be a conclusion you’d have reached sitting in your “nice” neighborhood. The one without any flat tires or barking dogs.

Schmuck.

A.

‘George Wallace Looks Great for a 90-Year-Old’

And other commentary on the Arizona search-the-illegals-or-you-know-people-you-racist-fucks-might-think-are-illegals-because-you-stopped-paying-attention-in-sixth-grade-and-also-flunked-humanity lawhere:

“It also makes it illegal to impede the flow of traffic by picking
up day laborers for work. A day laborer who gets picked up for work,
thus impeding traffic, would also be committing a criminal act.”

Yeah the *day laborer* is the criminal not the American who is
driving the goddamn car that’s ‘impeding the flow of traffic’ and
hiring them off the books for less than minimum wage. He’s just a
God-ferrin cap-pi-tal-list– yeesirre! Gotta love having people working
for you who you can have the cops haul off with no repercussions for
you if they ever dare to ask for a raise. It’s bloody AMERICAN.


I really can’t wait until they haul in the first Apache some 76 year
old sunbunny cracker calls the cops on for suspicion of national
trespass. Even though I already know it’s coming, the irony will be
thick enough to drive trucks on, and the resulting court case will put
the state in fucking receivership, which will make me larf and larf and
larf.

You know what makes me crazy about this crap? I mean, aside from the obvious racism and empowerment of short-sightedness and all the usual Minuteman-y hash of machismo and I-dare-ya? It’s not going to help anything. Nothing. No. Thing.

You can stop every Hispanic person on the street and demand his or her passport or green card. You can rifle through the private life of everybody who’s a shade darker than I am (and just for comparison’s sake, I basically glow in the dark). You can arrest and you can harass and you can sue and counter-sue and you can make the entire rest of your natural life about this. Go get a Jeep. Go ride along the border. Go exercise your right to bear arms and buy every gun you can and keep them all under your bed and stay up all night pointing them at illegal immigrants crossing your lawn. Go do all that.

IT ISN’T GOING TO DO ANYTHING. God Almighty, the reason we have the problems we have is that the world is profoundly economically unbalanced and until we fix that, you can build as high a fence around you as you want. Someone will be poor enough, desperate enough, hungry enough for a better life to climb it. No matter what you do. No matter how many people you hassle and fight and lock up. It’s going to keep happening.

All this is just therapy. It’s just nonsense, whispering to children in the dark that the monsters aren’t real.

A.

Ken Cuccinelli: What Freedoms?

Wow, what a winner the Virginia AG is. Not content withsuing the government over the unconscionable crime of attempting to insure its citizens — which, after all, any douchebag with a law degree can do — he’s got time on his hands to join the fight against those dastardlystudent journalists:

HARRISONBURG — Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli said he supports Commonwealth Attorney Marsha Garst’s search ofThe Breeze newsroom for Springfest photos on April 16.

“I support any and all legal means to gather information to build a
case against people who allegedly harmed or intended to harm law
enforcement officers,” Cuccinelli said on Friday in a statement toThe Breeze.

Cuccinelli said in a speech Thursday at Spotswood Country Club he
didn’t believe the raid was a First Amendment issue because it did not
involve news or confidential sources, according to the Daily News-Record.

He acknowledged the legal discussions and said he hoped there would
be a successful resolution that would allow Garst to secure “the
photographic evidence she needs while protecting the First Amendment
concerns of the media.”

And what’s more protection-y than raiding their offices and seizing their pictures? How did it not involve news? What the general fuck?

A.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Rooseveltcare” Edition

p>Good Monday morning, everyone!

Republicans always wonder why the rest of the word thinks they’re so heartless and greedy, or , as the Iowa GOP put it :

Who wants to be part of a political party that isn’t open or welcoming,
that’s seen as arrogant, backwards-looking, or even racist?

Who, indeed?

It’s easy to see how these image issues come about. Let’s examine them, which in this case, means donning iso gear and using long-handled tongs to pick them up…

Demand
that Republicans repeal Obamacare AND Johnsoncare and Rooseveltcare AND
ZOTcare!


Posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010
12:20:29 PM
byghostas

I am SICK. Sick and tired of coddling the Republicans. They let this
happen just as much as the voters who voted for 0bama. How? How can that
be? Easy, they started suckling the teat of socialism.

For years
the GOP has REFUSED to attack medicare or medicaid or social security.
They consider them hands off. So what happened? Voters assumed that
since other Big Government social programs were “okay” that one more
couldn’t hurt.

It’s time to stop the lies! How can we continue to
let Republicans slide by giving some social programs the okay? NO MORE
SOCIALISM! It’s time to demand that your reps and senators go forward
and say “We are repealing ALL socialism!” No 0bamacare. No Johnsoncare.
No Rooseveltcare. NO MORE CARE.

Attack at the heart if you really
want to slay the hydra, otherwise you’ll be battling its ever growing
heads forever until it devours you.

If a single Republican
continues to give any approval to the socialist programs in media
appearances or statements on their website or ANYTHING, DO NOT SUPPORT
THEM.

1
posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010 12:20:29 PM
byghostas

div class=”a2″>To: ghostas

Obamacare maybe and hopefully, but as to the other two no-wayit
is not possible without a actual civil war.

2
posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010 12:22:31 PM
byKartographer
(“.. we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our
sacred honor.”)

And we all know how that last one ended up…

To: Kartographer

Suits me. End the game of lies and cut off support to the
worthless parasites.

3
posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010 12:25:08 PM
bywally_bert
(It’s sheer elegance in its simplicity! – The Middleman)

ElderlyWoman

Wait until your turn comes, bubba.

blockquote>

To: ghostas

Exactly, this is the result of decades of people looking to the
government to provide for them. You can’t just repeal ObamaCare, you
have to go back to the root and restore the Constitution as it was
before Roosevelt
if we want to have any chance of being and staying a
free country.

5
posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010 12:28:59 PM
byWinOne4TheGipper
(Truthers to the Left of me, Birthers (pretending to be) to the Right of
me!)

Hooverville

blockquote>

To: Kartographer

so then we’re expected to sit idly by and support politicians
that support only 2/3rds of the socialist beast?

4
posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010 12:25:16 PM
byghostas

blockquote>

To: ghostas

I am just telling it like it is. Do you realy think that people

And by “People”, I mean myself.

that have paid into Social Security for over 30-40 years are just going
to say well the ‘guberment’ screwed me and took my money and now I get
none of it back and I should just write it off?

6
posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010 12:32:40 PM
byKartographer
(“.. we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our
sacred honor.”)

Sometimes cognitive dissonance and greed are uneasy partners.

To: ghostas

I appreciate your emotional involvement in an important issue but
you overlook some facts. George Bush tried to change Social Security as
one of his first acts as President. The media, the Democrat Congress,
the unions and all the other usual suspects viciously attacked him and
killed the idea.

Newt Gingrich and the Republican House put the brakes on many of Bill
Clinton’s liberal ideas. He and Hillary tried to enact national health
care themselves. If not for the Republicans in Congress Bill Clinton
would have been as bad as Obama. Without the Republicans in Congress
Obama would have done even more than he already has. Look how long it
took him to get this far on healthcare after a year of non-stop
campaigning and arm twisting.

Without Republicans, even the rinos, we would be much worse off.

I don’t know about you personally, butI often suspect many who blast
Republicans and demand a 3rd party effort are actually liberals moles
trying to dishearten and misinform conservatives.

Does that include all the Freepers who agreed with him?

Many of you demand a
candidate who is perfect according to your standards.

Sarah Palin is as close as I have seen in a long time and many of you
find fault with her.

14
posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010 1:07:43 PM
byMind-numbed Robot
(Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)

Well, we all know what happens to “liberal moles”…

To: ghostas
ghostas
Account # 276357
Signup 2007-05-12
Messages 6
articles, 10 replies

Bye-bye, troll

16
posted onTuesday, March 23, 2010 1:45:21 PM
byAdmin Moderator

Wow – that should encourage all the lurkers who have been FR members for three years to contribute.

Eventually, they’ll be down to just Jim Robinson and one Admin Moderator warily eying each other over their keyboards, ring fingers hovering over the “Enter” key.

More after the hopey-jumpy thingy…

Tagged , , , ,

The Ministry of Silly Memos

Pope Benny the Ratzinger is visiting the U.K. soon. Some bright young staffers wrote a Pythonesque memo for internal consumption only. It was leaked to the Right Wing press. Foreign Secretary David Miliband had to apologize to the Pope for thisvery silly memo.

An internal Foreign Office memo about September’s papal visit to Britain, born of a Friday afternoon brainstorming session involving a group of junior civil servants, resulted yesterday in the demotion of a young official and a formal government apology to the Vatican.

The memorandum, apparently written by staff planning events for the four-day visit byPope Benedict XVI, suggested he might like to start a helpline for abused children, sack “dodgy” bishops, open anabortionward, launch his own brand of condoms, preside at a civil partnership, perform forward rolls with children, apologise for the Spanish armada and sing a song with the Queen.

—–

Brown Suede Shoes

TheLabour Party’sonce expert spin doctors have officially lost their touch. The governing party is already losing the spin battle to the Liberal Democrats and running third in the horse race polls. And now this:

Gordon-Brown-with-Elvis-i-006

That’s right, that madcap-n-cuddly Gordon Brown hanging out with an Elvis impersonator. Gordon Brown is not zany, he’s not warm and fuzzy and he’s not going to win the crucialrocker vote and the modsare already lost. He’s a tough, intelligent and experienced man and they should stop trying to turn a grizzled bear into a teddy bear. Holy crap, another Elvis reference. Where will it end?

2236464237_a86e660388

Now that was a rather major digression. The picture above, features my frenemy NOLA bloggerMichael Homan and the marching Elvi during the 2008 Muses parade. The photo was taken by my personal Baptist preacher, Mark Gstohl.

Where the hell was I? Oh yeah the 2010 UK general election. If Labour wants to win the most seats in the next Parliament-a possibility even if they finish third in the national vote- they need to unleash Gordon and let him rip Clegg and Cameron new ones. He’s not going to win, uh, brownie points with his charming personality. He needs to stab them in the front and twist the knife and spill some of theposh boy’s blue Tory blood.

Sheesh. Prime Minister Brown and the Elvi is perhaps the most embarrassing photo-op since this American classic:

Big Chief Coolidge

—–

Weekend Question Thread

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A.

Saturday Blogwhoring Thread

Misc_trex-disco

Post away, party animals.

A.

We Can’t Go On Like This

One political custom the Brits have maintained is the use of posters. Our pols spend everything on teevee but the poster is king in the U.K for a variety of reasons too dull to go into.

Of course, the photos I’m posting fromthe Guardian involve satirical defacing of Tory Party posters two of which feature the post title:

A-vandalised-billboard-po-003
A-Conservative-party-post-004

Finally, my favorite bit of defacing:

Grafitti-spray-painted-on-001

I Can’t Call Hyperbole Here

Melissa:

I’m not even going to mince words on this one: Compelling a woman to
undergo an unnecessary vaginal probe to acquire a legal medical
procedure is fucking rape. There isn’t anyone on the planet who can
convince me that any women should have to exchange unrelated access to
her vagina forany legal medical procedure, including abortion, which itselfdoesn’t even require vaginal access in every case anymore.

During the Summer of Infertility Quack Fail Tour ’09, on our very first visit to the Doctors from Hell, which I thought was going to be a nice sit-down in the office to meet a team of people who’d be knocking me up, the nurse took my arm and said, “Come with me for your ultrasound.”

For my WHAT? For a test I wasn’t informed about in advance, to a test I flat-out refused until I spoke to the doctor. The fact that he acted like I was being extremely annoying by objecting and didn’t explain why he needed to do this — “I do this for all my patients” is not an explanation — should have been my first clue that I should run like hell. But I’m as susceptible as anyone to authority, especially to medical authority, and I felt like, “Okay, this sounds dumb, but surely they know what they’re doing.” I was angry at the lack of information but I agreed.

(You know, my every major mistake in life has come from ignoring the voice in the back of my head that says, “Don’t do this, don’t do this, don’t do this.” If you have one of those voices and you aren’t listening to it? START.)

So the test was uncomfortable, humiliating, and witnessed by a team of strangers. By the end of it I was homicidal. And this was me, relatively well-adjusted, in a perfectly healthy social situation with my husband next to me seething on my behalf, a mother I could call and whine to about it later, and nobody was lifing me about what my empty uterus was thinking or how it already was known to Jesus or any of the other crap this seems inspired to make women think. And thank merciful God, I didn’t have rape to compare it to. But it was bad enough, all the same.

Before the Infertility Tour of Fail last year, it had never really hit me just how truly ignorant about reproductive health male (and most female) pro-life lawmakers are. I’d just put their nonsense down to smuggery about sluts, general freedom-hating and panty-sniffing. And that’s in there, too, but largely? They have no idea how any of this works, the range of things that can go wrong and the range of things that can need to be done to fix them. Once you know everything that can happen inside you, it’s harder to get amped up about outlawing this or that procedure. No matter what the priest says.

We saw this in the stories that came out after George Tiller was murdered, about women who had ended up in his office because they were pregnant with desperately wanted children with whom something had gone horribly wrong, and because of our backwards-ass laws they had no way to resolve their crises. We see this now with this bullshit statement that giving someone a vaginal ultrasound is about information for the woman, with no concept of what that test is actually like, what it might mean to do that to somebody who HAS been raped, or who is scared, or who is lost, or who simply does not want it. It is a violation.

And I would have sympathy for people’s ignorance, but for that every man who suggests this kind of crap lives surrounded by women he’d only have to listen to in order to get a clear picture. Every woman who goes along with this line has friends who went through something she probably doesn’t know about. If any of them talked to women for five minutes they’d realize how completely fucking wrong this is, how invasive, how scary, and they’d back the fuck away.

A.

Malakas Of The Week…

… to find them, read Doc’s post, Jerking Off The Economy. Those are the guys, hands down or is that up and down? I don’t usually get this literal but the wanking, porn watching at work SEC employees are world, uh, beaters. That’s malakatude, pure and simple.

Thanks, Doc, I didn’t have time to write a longer post today.

Jerking off the economy

CNN reported this morning that Security and Exchange
Commission employees diddled while the economy burned.

Documents obtained by
the news outlet show that the Inspector General managed to verify that 33 SEC
employees were downloading porn on their computers
, in clear violation of the
federal ethics rules. One staffer apparently downloaded so much porn, he was
unable to keep it all on his hard drive and had to burn CDs and DVDs of the
stuff, filling several boxes with the material. This was happening as the
economy was falling apart and no one was minding the store.

It’s apparently also not just boys being boys:

“A regional office staff accountant tried to access
pornographic Web sites nearly 1,800 times, using her SEC laptop during a
two-week period. She also had about 600 pornographic images saved on the hard
drive of her laptop.”

Several things come to mind (pardon the pun) when reading
this:

First, there’s something wrong with folks who are that porn
obsessed that they can’t stop watching, downloading and hoarding porn when they
go to work. We’re not talking about people who got an email from a friend,
opened it and saw it was porn and deleted it. We’re talking about people who
had BOXES of porn because they ran out of DRIVE SPACE. How do you explain that
to your coworkers? “Hey, Bob, what’s with those 8,500 DVDs over there?” “Uh…
Home movies!”

If you work 8 hours a day and you sleep 8 hours a day, that
leaves 8 hours of complete free time for you to go home, log on and lube up. I
don’t know anyone who has ever said to me, “Doc, I jerk off about 8 hours a
day, but I’m just never done. It’s like I just can’t clear the mechanism…”

Second, most places of business vary on their level of liberality
when it comes to what you can do on a computer. Some places block sites like
YouTube and Facebook while others are pretty much open-air arenas of whatever
you want. However, almost every place I’ve ever worked has a “no porn” policy.
I couldn’t even hang a SI swimsuit calendar in one of the offices I had due to
the policy at that university regarding revealing images. (Never mind that the
younger women who came to work often wore less than what the people on the
calendar wore, but that’s another conversation for another time.) It’s pretty
clear that these folks should have had an inkling that this wasn’t a good idea
and did it anyway.

And, finally, I don’t care that they were viewing porn.

There.

I said it.

Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking member of the House oversight
committee, was railing about how horrible it is that these folks were watching
porn while the economy went down the crapper. My question to people like Issa
is why does it matter what they were watching? Had they all been watchingMarch
Madness
or videos ofa dog skateboarding, would that have been OK? Sure, the
economy is still fucked, but at least you weren’t jerking off in the office.

Our national and religious obsession with what people do or
don’t do or should or shouldn’t do with their genitalia is ridiculous. We don’t
want gay people getting married because we don’t want to think about what
they’re doing in the deep dark night with their peckers and bums. (However, if
it’s two smoking hot lesbians who are doing it on film to arouse a man… Well…
Awesome…) The Catholic church doesn’t want priests getting married because if
they’re banging some chick, they won’t have time to pray and ogle the altar
boys.The list can go on and on…

No, I don’t endorse a “let’s watch porn at work” policy. I
can’t imagine viewing porn on my work computer or viewing porn of any kind at work at all for that
matter. There are days I’m so self-conscious, I can’t take a dump at work. There
is NO WAY I could sit in the office and paddle the Gherkin to “Gentlemen prefer
Bethany.”

So, as we’re reforming our economy from the shitbox it is to something that doesn’t make Russia look well managed,
please encourage your elected officials to care less about what these idiots
were doing and focus more on what they weren’t doing.

Their jobs.

Friday Ferretblogging: Boxhab

I think the boys may need it.

Puckbox

Puckbuckybox

A.

Friday Catblogging: Cargo Blanket Edition

We have a cargo blanket that was dragged out some wintry day when we brought some plants inside to protect them from a hard freeze. Oscar and Della Street fell in love with it. It’s really warmed up so today may be the day I break their hearts. Strike that, I’ll break Oscar’s heart but Della will be indignant.

Cargo blankie

A Tale of Two Bobos

Story one:

Come 2014, I will continue to use the stockpile of incandescent
bulbs I plan to amass in the coming 4 years – and will gladly pay the
electric bill so I can have the light I prefer to have. Forgive me for
wanting the freedom to have a frigging light bulb of my choosing. I
will continue to drive a gas-guzzling Jeep Wrangler if I have to
hand-build an engine to replace it, because I freaking like to drive
it. I will continue to flush my toilet however many times it takes to
get the job done – and I will continue to take a long hot shower.

The facts are fairly clear – environmental nuts are sticking it to
America and those who indulge their nonsense are living in their own
bubble, while the rest of us focus on the simple truths of freedom,
limited government and wanting Washington the hell out of our backyard.
It is once again a time for choosing, and I choose to fight the
statists – enviro and otherwise. And I will happily fight with Mark by
my side while you, Mr. Manzi, keep talking in circles.

Story two:

“The bill is creating a new protected class of people based on the
fact that they’re not voters, they’re not taxpayers and they live on
the streets,” said Kreegal, who knows that homeless people do not vote
or have to pay sales taxes because he read this on a Republican blog.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what this Kreegel thinks about this
new legislation, because the House reps who voted for it were more
impressed by a Ft. Lauderdale homeless man’s oppression (being attacked
by teenagers, which was caught on video) than with fake oppression
stories a la Kreegel. Now an identical bill will go to the Senate, and
if it passes then will either go back to the House or Charlie Crist
will sign it in suntan lotion, if he’s feeling liberal that day. And
Paige Kreegel can go back to his favorite hobby, which is scanning the
police blotter for items aboutbums getting the shit beat out of them:

“I like to read the police blotter in my newspaper,” Kreegel said.
“I noticed that there are crimes against the homeless bums there. And
generally, they seem to be perpetrated not by members of the
Legislature or women and children, but mainly by other homeless bums
out there.”

I read these one after the other, and my brain just about
combusted, because of course Asshole Prime up there thinks the only
place for him to make a brave moral stand is on what light bulbs he
buys, what gas his car consumes, and how often he flushes his toilet.
Of course. Because Asshole the Second and millions of people just like
him have for the past 40 years at least been convincing us that there
is absolutely no way we can solve the world’s problems, because
homeless people are assholes and probably on drugs, and besides,
feeding the hungry is expensive, and if you need a doctor you can
always sell some bling.
I mean, there’s too much misery out there, so distance yourself.
Drug addicts took the drugs in the first place, so fuck them. The
homeless probably did something to be homeless. (Confidential to the
doughfaced frat rat I overheard mouthing that crap in a bar last
weekend: When I see you on the corner in a few years after you get
injured at your Five Guys job and your landlord evicts you and the cops
pick you up for that joint I could smell a block away? You will be my
exception to the rule that if I have a buck in my pocket it goes to the
first one who asks for it, you ignorant fuck.) People on welfare are
just scamming the system. Public housing is for failures. We shouldn’t
give people extra assistance for their children; they’ll just go off
the birth control. Whaddayagunnado?

div>In the face of ourobvious inability to do jack shit, what we really ought to do is
kick back, those of us lucky enough to still have a chair to kick back
in, and start aggressively not giving a fucking fuck. We’re gonna argue
about which fast food restaurant is better and if Adam Lambert should
be on TV where little kids might get the idea that eyeliner and a
faux-hawk are good ideas. We’re gonna bitch about our jobs and bitch
about our cars and bitch about our families and we’re gonna live our
lives like nothing matters because really? Nothing does. Everything
that matters is out of our hands.

Trouble is, we’re still human beings, so after about an hour of it
and three Grilled Stuft Burritos, we start to feel kind of
dissatisfied. We start to feel like there ought to be more than this.
We start to feel like maybe we should be doing something more, or else,
or different. Mercifully, then there’s Rush and Zombie Dick Nixon and Sean Hannity and John O’Neill and Michelle Bachmann and
that cockhole in the office who still thinks Seinfeld quotes prove he
is hip andit’s not creepy when he looks down your blouse just shut up
and go make him some coffee already
.

And they’re here to tell us that what really matters is what kind of
light bulbs we buy. Because that’s the only thing we can affect. That’s
the only thing we can fix. That’s the only way we can have any control
over the ongoing clusterfuck that is American society. Once you’ve excused yourself from giving a damn about anything that matters, what’s left? Lightbulbs. So take a stand. We have all this
Shakespearean glory raging inside us and so let’s take it out in a
fight to the death over how long and hot the shower should be! I will
fight gladly with you by my side Lancelot Conservatron! Today is a good
day to die!

What a bunch of crap.

A.

Adrastos, Current Affairs, Music, Of Interest

Happy Earth Day

I’m feeling vaguely tree hugger-ish today. If nothing else earth day gives me a pretext to post two early environmental tunes by Paul Kantner and Grace Slick. My understanding (probably feeble) is that these songs were at least partially inspired by the first Earth Day or as a Westwegian Yat would put it “foist oith day.”

The first song, Mother Earth, starts off sounding likeMatty Groves/Shady Grove. The second, Sunfighter, is vintage Paul Kantner. Great stuff, man. Uh oh I sound like a frakking hippie. Oh well, I used to be one before I went to the snark side…

Athenae, Terrorism

Law Enforcement & Terrorism

This tidbit is buried intoday’s dose of WHOASHIT:

In 2005, al-Qaida terrorists used the area to fireKatyusha rockets at a U.S. warship docked in the port there.

The
rockets missed the ship but hit a Jordanian army warehouse, killing a
Jordanian soldier. Eight al-Qaida terrorists were arrested and later
received prison terms ranging from seven years to death sentences.

Arrested? Prison terms? Who do these Jordanians think they are, coddling the terrorists like that? Jack Bauer would be ashamed.

A.

Athenae, So Called Liberal Media

SEO vs AP Style

Versus fuck it, let’s all just write in cuneiform and complain about those kids today and their cave paintings:

Last week, journalists reacting to the Associated Press’s announcement
that it would replace “Web site” with “website” in the AP Stylebook
pushed the phrase “AP Stylebook” onto Twitter’s trending topics list.
(FWIW, OJR’s style for the past several years has been to use
“website.”)

Most journalists approved of the news, though a few
skeptics, such as the University of Florida’s Mindy McAdams, demurred.
Though I disagree with her on this, I loved the snark of her Twitter
response: “Everyone but me is cheering AP style change to website. I
think it resembles parasite.”

I jumped in with this: “If you’re publishing online, Google style (i.e. SEO) always trumps AP style.”

And… “Really, j-schools need to ditch AP style and start teaching their students SEO instead. More valuable to their careers.”

[snippity]

SEO will help you gain new readers online. AP style will not. If need
new readers to make money, then SEO will help you more than AP style.
That’s it. It’s just the reality of publishing online today. You can
either adapt and accommodate it, or shake your fist at it and resist.

I don’t see the need to “ditch” AP style so long as most newspapers are still using it. Newspapers, we will have with us for many, many, many years, and as much as I long for the future when you can jack the paper into your head like the Matrix, we’re not there yet, and we do kids a disservice by saying X is more valuable than Y when Y is gonna be around for the first 25 years of their careers. And longer than that, if the owners of media companies pull their heads out of their asses.

(I’m not betting on it, don’t worry.)

A.