Monthly Archives: June 2012

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Bald Aliens

Dr. A and I saw Ridley Scott’s Prometheus last weekend. We thought it was keen, groovy and swell. The film did, however, deploy one troublesome sci-fi cliche: it had a bald alien. Why are all aliens bald? Is there anti-hair bacteria floating around out there or are they all Michael Jordan fans? I firmly believe that there are hairy aliens. Just look at Mitt Romney who is clearly from the planet Weirdo...


3986342734_fca5f0cc77_o3889115254_35f2ce3766_o

Humane

Remember this, because it’s maybe the most important thing you can know to know what the world is really like: We protect our own.

Any family, any organization, any group of people you can make out of any combination of anybody anywhere, is our own. We draw circles and we work inside them, and it’s not always for nefarious reasons. We do this because the world’s too big. We have to bite it off in chunks, to make any impact at all. We pick what’s ours and we do our best with it.

But when you entrench like that, when you draw the circle too tight, when you create a power structure that turns protection into isolation, when you admit no one who’s not already admitted, your response to a problem is to make the circle smaller, and protecting your own means something much darker.

Like this:

The messages indicate former Penn State President Graham Spanier and two other former university officials knew they had a problem with Sandusky after a 2001 shower incident, but apparently first decided to handle it using a “humane” approach before contacting outside authorities whose job it is to investigate suspected abuse.

“This is a more humane and upfront way to handle this,’ wrote Gary Schultz, then vice president at the university.

More humane. For whom? The poor, put-upon child rapist? Pardon me if I give him limited access to my sympathies. I wrote up there about having to triage. I’m not immune.

It gets worse:

“The only downside forus is if the message (to Sandusky) isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it,” Spanier purportedly writes.

Because that bolded bit is the heart of it. Us. Spanier writes that the only downside forus is a public relations problem. Forget the monstrousness of that on its face, the very ordinary “bad headlines are on par with being raped as a teenager by your fucking coach” and just think aboutus. That’s where this went wrong. That’s how it all went off the rails.

Us isn’t the children in the program Sandusky was running, the poor and vulnerable children whose parents trusted these great legendary men not to turn them wrong.Us isn’t the victims, it isn’t their families, it isn’t even sick, sick Jerry Sandusky, who would have received more mercy were he a rabid dog menacing people on Main Street.Us isn’t any of those people. Look where Spanier’s drawn the circle. Look who’s inside it. Look who’s not.

Curley indicates he no longer wants to contact child welfare authorities just yet. He refers to a conversation the day before with Paterno. It’s not known what Paterno may have said to Curley.

Curley writes: “After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps.”

The athletic director apparently preferred to keep the situationan internal affair and talk things over with Sandusky instead of notifying the state’s child welfare agency to investigate Sandusky’s suspicious activity.

“I am having trouble with going to everyone, butthe person involved,” Curley allegedly continues.

The person involved. An internal affair. Think about the Catholic Church scandals, the people they express concern for and how they do it. Lip service to the victims, sure, in press conferences, but under their skins, in depositions and private conversations, their worry is for their own: The priests, the bishops, the rich donors who fund their operations. And they believe that’s all internal, and they have no need to involve outsiders. So too with this.

What is internal? Who is the person involved? You aren’t the law. You’re a person who draws a circle, who protects his own, and the law stands outside that, draws the circle around everybody. That’s the point. That’s why we have the law, so that the circle widens, and we can protect as many people as we have people at all. The person involved is the victim. The internal affair is his.

He’s part of that us, and there is no upside for him, or any of the others, once Spanier and Paterno and the others said let’s keep this inside our circle, and keep everybody else out.

A.

Weekend Question Thread

It’s been 90-100 in Chicago all week with no sign of letting up anytime soon. My plan is to go to the movies as much as possible, with long periods of sitting on the back porch aggressively not moving.

What do you do to beat the heat?

A.

If Only CNN’s Shitty Tweets Were The Problem With Journalism

Would that financial fuckwittery and generally the waste of resources in newsrooms (not to mention the EXTRA SPECIAL bonus of being sure to pit younger, less experienced reporters against older ones who resent them, so that everybody’s mad at each other instead of at the company) got a fraction of the media crit attention that CNN’s stupid Tweet misfire got.

But hey, let’s talk some more about Twitter! That’ll be GREAT.

A.

Instant analysis

I’m pleased to be right about the decision but surprised that Kennedy wasn’t a swinger today. I was also tickled that Wolf and CNN not only dropped the ball but made lame excuses about why they did it. Y’all were in a hurry to be the first and that’s the reason, which ain’t no disgrace at all.

Finally, deferring to the legislative branch makes this a conservative decision in the best sense of the word. Roberts has joined the loony radical right wing of the Court more than a few times but this time he voted like a true conservative. I hear from our ambassador to the netherworld of the Freeperati, Tommy T, that they’re going batshit and blaming Dubya. I cannot wait for Monday.

That’s all.

Friday Ferretblogging

Claire’s smallness. Let us show you it:

Photobucket

A.

Friday Catblogging: Summer in the city

Anyone shocked that it’s hot in New Orleans this week? I thought not. It’s been hot even for us and Della Street decided the other day that she didn’t want to waste any energy walking to the water bowl so she hung out next to it:

Photo(12)

If Only CNN’s Shitty Tweets Were The Problem With Journalism

Would thatfinancial fuckwittery and generally the waste of resources in newsrooms (not to mention the EXTRA SPECIAL bonus of being sure to pit younger, less experienced reporters against older ones who resent them, so that everybody’s mad at each other instead of at the company) got a fraction of the media crit attention that CNN’s stupid Tweet misfire got.

But hey, let’s talk some more about Twitter! That’ll be GREAT.

A.

Friday Catblogging: Summer in the city

Anyone shocked that it’s hot in New Orleans this week? I thought not. It’s been hot even for us and Della Street decided the other day that she didn’t want to waste any energy walking to the water bowl so she hung out next to it:

Photo(12)

Rummage Day

On the road, conducting a rummage sale. We hope, as always, that we “make table.”

Next week, I’m back.

Until then, curse about something for me.

Doc

Rummage Day

On the road, conducting a rummage sale. We hope, as always, that we “make table.”

Next week, I’m back.

Until then, curse about something for me.

Doc

Friday Ferretblogging

Claire’s smallness. Let us show you it:

Photobucket

A.

ACA Upheld

Apparently the court saw the individual mandate as a tax, which made it Constitutional. Unless you’re a teawad, in which case all taxes are theft and this is no more valid than any other tax. I’ll bring the ammo to the bunker if you bring the Cheetos.

Roberts voted with the liberals to make it a 5-4 decision.

This will ensure that young people can remain on their parents’ insurance longer, that people can no longer be kicked off their insurance the moment they get sick, and that millions more people will have access to health insurance.

Which is better than not having access to health insurance, but is not access to health CARE. We have more work as a society to do. Lots more.

A.

Branding the Damage On

And I say that as somebody whose spouse got a tattoo of their wedding date on his ring finger.
(Which was not my idea [much less my command]. I found it sweet, if a little bit fate-tempting, like isn’t this like painting on a target for the universe? That’s how this kind of stuff happens, you get your lover’s name inked on you and immediately, as if that caused it, she’s banging the fellow who does the landscaping.)
(Nevertheless, it was sweet. And nobody does our landscaping. We live in a condo. Landscaping is when I throw out the dead plants I forgot to water.)
This is gross. Look, marriage is hard enough without throwing all this cutesy bullshit at it designed to make you hate each other. The world is designed to make you hate each other and yourselves already, what with the weather and the economy and how we can’t build a washing machine that doesn’t at some point make a noise like someone stuck a squirrel in the gears, so let’s keep pimping out this adversarial view of relationships where you’re locked in a struggle to the death. Who has time for that shit? Jesus, no wonder nobody gets married now until they’re like 35, because it takes you that long to jettison all the cultural crap you’ve been loaded up with, like this idea about “preventing” cheating somehow, and decide if you really want to do this after all.
A.

Deep Supreme Court Thought

I may not be much of a lawyer nowadays but I’ve been amused by all the folks who are *absolutely* certain that the Supremes will throw out the Health Care law. It’s all based on tough questions asked at the oral argument. One thing I learned from my Con Law profs is that appellate cases are won with written briefs and that oral arguments are for show. Yeah, the raving monster loony justices were mean to the solicitor general but that doesn’t mean the law will be struck down.

What we’ll learn from tomorrow’s decision is whether or not Chief Justice Roberts minds being seen as a partisan hack. He strikes me as very image conscious, which could lead to commerce clause precedents being upheld instead of slashed and burned per the wishes of the delusional and downright demented Scalito/Thomas faction of the court. The commerce clause gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce and health care amounts to something like 1/6th of our national economy. If that ain’t commerce, I don’t know what is.

So, I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that the law will be upheld by a 6-3 vote with Kennedy and Roberts joining the sane faction of the court. The only part of the law that *might* be thrown out is the so-called individual mandate. I say so-called because mandates usually have an enforcement mechanism and this does not. It’s a man without a date or a date without a man or some such shit…

I could be wrong, I have been many times before and y’all are welcome to mock me if I am. But if Roberts and Kennedy are *really* conservatives they’ll defer to the legislative branch on this issue instead of having this opinion compared to the partisan hackery of Bush v. Gore.

Dr. Robert-s

From Album4

So it’s D-Day and not quite minus two hours to go…yesterday I saw this article by Sean Trende. He mentioned something I commented on here a couple of days ago — Scalia’s tantrum/dissent in the Arizona immigration law case was particularly childish/churlish — but then noted Tony has a history of writing petulant dissents if an important case doesn’t go his way.

So perhaps there’s some modest hope.

Trende is also pretty sure Roberts is writing the decision, hence this post’s title…and optional soundtrack. Guess we’ll see in just a bit.

Instant analysis

I’m pleased to be right about the decision but surprised that Kennedy wasn’t a swinger today. I was also tickled that Wolf and CNN not only dropped the ball but made lame excuses about why they did it. Y’all were in a hurry to be the first and that’s the reason, which ain’t no disgrace at all.

Finally, deferring to the legislative branch makes this a conservative decision in the best sense of the word. Roberts has joined the loony radical right wing of the Court more than a few times but this time he voted like a true conservative. I hear from our ambassador to the netherworld of the Freeperati, Tommy T, that they’re going batshit and blaming Dubya. I cannot wait for Monday.

That’s all.

ACA Upheld

Apparently the court saw the individual mandate as a tax, which made it Constitutional. Unless you’re a teawad, in which case all taxes are theft and this is no more valid than any other tax. I’ll bring the ammo to the bunker if you bring the Cheetos.

Roberts voted with the liberals to make it a 5-4 decision.

This will ensure that young people can remain on their parents’ insurance longer, that people can no longer be kicked off their insurance the moment they get sick, and that millions more people will have access to health insurance.

Which is better than not having access to health insurance, but is not access to health CARE. We have more work as a society to do. Lots more.

A.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Bald Aliens

Dr. A and I saw Ridley Scott’s Prometheus last weekend. We thought it was keen, groovy and swell. The film did, however, deploy one troublesome sci-fi cliche: it had a bald alien. Why are all aliens bald? Is there anti-hair bacteria floating around out there or are they all Michael Jordan fans? I firmly believe that there are hairy aliens. Just look at Mitt Romney who is clearly from the planet Weirdo...


3986342734_fca5f0cc77_o3889115254_35f2ce3766_o

Dr. Robert-s

FromAlbum4

So it’s D-Day and not quite minus two hours to go…yesterdayI saw this article by Sean Trende. He mentioned something I commented on here a couple of days ago — Scalia’s tantrum/dissent in the Arizona immigration law case was particularly childish/churlish — but then noted Tony has a history of writing petulant dissents if an important case doesn’t go his way.

So perhaps there’s some modest hope.

Trende is also pretty sure Roberts is writing the decision, hence this post’s title…andoptional soundtrack. Guess we’ll see in just a bit.