October 7, 2015

Charles P. Pierce re Bobby Jindal: "Please Punch This Man in the Dick."

Sexualized violence... it's funny because...? Exactly why is it funny to you Charles?

Multiple answers permitted: Pierce thinks this sexualized violence is funny because...
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"It's absurd to say [Ben Carson is] 'blaming the victims.'"

"He's either right or wrong about what a victim should do in such a situation. That depends only on whether his strategy would actually be effective, not whether he's 'blaming the victims.'"

The blaming-the-victims concept has grown ridiculously beyond its proper place.

We need to stand up and not be victims of the fear of being accused of blaming the victims. It's one thing to be sympathetic to people who have been victimized and not to confront these individuals with our hindsight-assisted advice about what they could have done to avoid injury. It's quite another to stifle creative thinking about what we can do in emergencies that might arise in the future.

What's so stupid about the Politico piece titled "Clinton gag gifts her GOP rivals with copies of her memoir."

1. You're obviously trying to help Hillary with her effort to come across as "fun," but you have absolutely nothing to report. Candidates have books, and they're always trying to get these books out. It's the essence of nonnews.

2. Hillary sends out a lot of copies of a book about herself. What is the "gag"? Why are you saying "gag"... other than to make it more obvious that you're propagating the message that Hillary is such a fun, fun lady.

3. "Gag" is not a good word to use when talking about the woman whose husband got the most famous blow job in the history of the world.

Anyway... the word "gag" does not appear in Hillary's "Hard Choices," but the memoir does contain some discussion of jokes. She writes:
In politics a sense of humor is essential. There are countless reasons why you have to be able to laugh at yourself.... In diplomacy, with its carefully scripted conversations across language and cultural divides, there’s less room for humor. But occasionally it comes in handy. This felt like one of those times.

In a speech at the Munich Security Conference in February, Vice President Biden had said, “It is time to press the reset button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should be working together with Russia.” I liked the idea of a “reset”... Why not present [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey]Lavrov with an actual reset button? It might get people laughing— including Lavrov— and ensure that our commitment to a fresh start, not our disagreements, made the headlines. A little unconventional, maybe, but worth a try. Lavrov and I met in the InterContinental Hotel’s Salon Panorama, named for its panoramic view of Geneva. Before we sat down, I presented him with a small green box, complete with a ribbon. While the cameras snapped away, I opened it and pulled out a bright red button on a yellow base that had been pulled off the whirlpool in the hotel.
She vandalized the hotel for that button?! Wow. Reminds me of the wreckage in the White House at the end of the Bill Clinton administration, when staffers pried the "W"s off the computer keyboards to spite George W. Bush.

"Why do so many people think he’s good? Have you looked at his paintings?"

"In real life, trees are beautiful. If you take Renoir’s word for it, you’d think trees are just a collection of green squiggles."
Renoir is considered a good painter because his work is featured in museums, [Max] Geller added. But upon further inspections of his paintings, that line of argument “seems pretty fallacious”....

The Renoir Sucks at Painting... Instagram account... has even received the wrath of Genevieve Renoir, who says she is the painter’s great-great-granddaughter.

On one photo, Genevieve commented: “When your great-great-grandfather paints anything worth $78.1m dollars … then you can criticize. In the meantime, it is safe to say that the free market has spoken and Renoir did not suck at painting.”

Geller, who turned her comment into its own post on the account, said: “I think that is one of the most absurd and insane arguments for anything, the idea that we should let the free market dictate quality.”
Ms. Renoir's argument — staunchly opposed by Geller — bears an intriguing similarity the old free-speech argument that Oliver Wendell Holmes made back in 1919: "[T]he best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market."

Would you call that — using Geller's words — "most absurd and insane argument for anything, the idea that we should let the free market dictate quality."

Another Frank Lloyd Wright house is discovered in Madison.

The house is right there where we've always seen it, on West Lawn Avenue, but it's just been figured out that it is "the 16th known example of the American System-Built House, a short-lived venture by Wright meant to provide affordable housing through predesigned homes built with factory-cut materials."
A full-page ad for American System-Built homes that Hamilton finally tracked down in the March 25, 1917, edition of the State Journal was the “missing link.”...

“Less cost – that is one amazing feature of the American System, that these beautiful homes, all Frank Lloyd Wright designs, of guaranteed materials and price, can be built for less money than the ordinary house of similar size and materials,” the ad stated.

"This shows that in China now we’ll try almost anything that we see on the Internet."

"Nobody knows what it means, but we do it anyway."
When the trend started a few months ago, it was usually just a humble bean sprout clipped to the hair and erect like a little green flagpole.... Now heads are bristling with clover, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, lavender, mushrooms, chilies, cherries, gourds and pine trees....

The most common explanation on the streets was that the floral fascinators just looked cute — “meng meng da,” in a cloying term made popular on the Internet.
IN THE COMMENTS: MadisonMan said: "Should I wear my deely-boppers in a show of support -- while playing with my klick-klacks?"

Oh, yeah, deely-boppers... That name always bothered me. I think of Dealey Plaza. But what were klick-klacks? Hmmm...

October 6, 2015

"Okay, I'm not here to embolden anyone," says Chrissie Hynde, encouraged by the NPR interviewer to think of "Brass In Pocket" as "emboldening" women.

"I don't understand why there's — You know what, I don't care what a lot of people want. You know? I'd rather say, just don't buy the f****** book, then, if I've offended someone. Don't listen to my records. Cause I'm only telling you my story, I'm not here trying to advise anyone or tell anyone what to do or tell anyone what to think, and I'm not here as a spokesperson for anyone. I'm just telling my story. So the fact that I've been — you know, it's almost like a lynch mob."

If Biden enters the race, Hillary is ready to try to crush him.

"According to the source, the [oppo] research has turned up material on Biden’s ties to Wall Street; his reluctance to support the raid that killed Osma bin Laden; and his role in the Anita Hill saga as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee."

Is that supposed to scare him off?

"This killer’s father is now lecturing us on the need for gun control and he says he has no idea how or where his son got the guns."

"Of course he doesn’t know. You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He’s a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here."

Wrote Bobby Jindal in a post titled "We fill Our Culture With Garbage, And We Reap The Result," which I read because Talking Points Memo was trashing it. Josh Marshall said: "Bobby Jindal appears to be a seriously disturbed, morally degenerate individual."

"Dressing for being burned at the stake is never a good look."

A perfect comment, here.

ADDED: Leelee Sobieski actually played the part of Joan of Arc in a movie a while back. You can see what she wore to the burning at the stake here.

AND: The Leelee Sobieski "Joan of Arc" came out in 1999, but there are numerous movies about Joan of Arc. Many have seen the great 1928 film "The Passion of Joan of Arc," directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, but that movie is the 8th on the list of movies about Joan of Arc. Second on the list is this 1899 short film "Jeanne d'Arc," directed by George Méliès, one of the first color films. Watch it:

"I think she was a bit of a hero," said Rihanna about Rachel Dolezal...

"... because she kind of flipped on society a little bit. Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black? Black is a great thing, and I think she legit changed people’s perspective a bit and woke people up.”

IN THE COMMENTS: Marty Keller said: "Name one."

For some reason that caused this song to play in my head: "You're only pretty as you feel/Only pretty as you feel inside..."

"Holding homemade signs reading 'God Hates Renoir' and 'Treacle Harms Society,' the protesters... chanted: 'Put some fingers on those hands! Give us work by Paul Gauguin!'..."

"... and 'Other art is worth your while! Renoir paints a steaming pile!'... The [Museum of Fine Arts] hasn’t commented on the fledgling movement..."

I'm glad finally somebody cares enough to do something about this longstanding travesty. Catch up with Max Geller's Renoir Sucks at Painting, which has entries like this:

ADDED: This post made me click my "Renoir" tag, and that got me to a quote from "Lady Chatterley's Lover": "Renoir said he painted his pictures with his penis... he did too, lovely pictures! I wish I did something with mine."

Hillary Clinton's new ad — exploiting Kevin McCarthy's deeply damaging line about Benghazi.

"The 30-second spot is the first one that the campaign is running nationally on cable television, underscoring the political gold mine that Clinton's team senses in McCarthy’s comments."

"This multiplication and particularization of criminal behavior creates increasing complexity without commensurate benefit."

Well played, Jerry Brown! (Via Jaltcoh.)

"This propaganda photo of a homemade Oreo cheesecake alongside a rifle and a grenade was posted to Twitter by a female jihadist from the Netherlands..."

"... in an effort to persuade other potential recruits that life is fun under the Islamic State."

Caption to a photograph...

... at a WaPo article titled "Life in the 'Islamic State': Women/‘Till martyrdom do us part.’"
In Islamic State propaganda, life for women in the self-declared caliphate is filled with love, children and the joys of domestic life, such as an Oreo dessert. But the reality is often far more harsh for women who have moved there from the Arab world, Europe or the United States, according to specialists who monitor Islamic State social media postings.
Quite aside from the reality, the dessert looks like hell. And it's out of focus. This is the propaganda? Do a Google image search on "Oreo cheesecake" and you'll immediately see a thousand better-looking Oreo cheesecakes. I'm skeptical of the idea that new recruits are fooled by the propaganda.

"The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would disclose after-the-fact changes to its opinions..."

"... a common practice that had garnered little attention until a law professor at Harvard wrote about it last year...."
Starting this term, a court statement said, “post-release edits to slip opinions on the court’s website will be highlighted and the date they occur will be noted.”
The Court is also banning "line-standers," another topic of criticism from a Harvard professor:
Michael J. Sandel, a political philosopher at Harvard, said... “Allowing line-standing companies and scalpers to sell seats in the Supreme Court is yet another instance of letting money dominate democracy... It’s at odds with equal access and undermines the dignity of the court.”

Eradicating river blindness.

I'm reading about William C. Campbell, "a master's and doctoral graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, [who] was awarded a share of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine."
River blindness... has been nearly eradicated thanks to Campbell's discoveries and the work of the Carter Center, which, working with the drug manufacturer Merck, has distributed more than 225 million free doses of the drug....

Remember "hipster racism"?

"Hipster racism, is engaging in behaviors traditionally regarded as racist and defending them as being performed ironically or satirically." It was one of "The 10 biggest race and pop culture trends of 2006."

Yeah, well, if you remember it, you'd better forget it, because it's 2015, and it could ruin your whole life.

"In Paul Theroux’s new book, 'Deep South,' the superficial stereotypes pile up at once."

"In the first scene, it’s a 'hot Sunday morning' in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and there’s mention of snake-handling and talking in tongues, poverty, holy-roller churches, a black barbershop, gun shows, college football, the requisite Faulkner quote ('The past is not dead . . . ') and even a sassy black lady ('You lost, baby?'). So far, I haven’t left the first page."

Jack Hitt hits the rueful Theroux.

That's all very interesting, but I'm just going to say a couple things about that Faulkner quote, which, Hitt slightly misses, putting "not" where the dramatic and time-related word "never" belongs: "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
This line is often paraphrased, as it was by then-Senator Barack Obama in his speech "A More Perfect Union."  In 2012, Faulkner Literary Rights LLC filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Sony Pictures Classics over a scene in the film Midnight in Paris, in which a time-traveling character says, "The past is not dead! Actually, it's not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party." In 2013, the judge dismissed Faulkner Literary Rights LLC's claim, ruling that the use of the quote in the film was de minimis and constituted "fair use." 
Obama's paraphrase was: "The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past."

The NYT looks at "Why Marco Rubio’s Chances Are Rising."

Nate Cohn writes:
A lot has changed since April, when Marco Rubio announced his presidential bid. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was the top candidate of mainstream conservative activists and donors. Jeb Bush seemed like a fund-raising juggernaut with natural appeal to the party’s moderate voters, who play an underrated role in the Republican primary process. Mr. Rubio, a broadly appealing candidate but the top choice of few, looked boxed out.

Today, Mr. Rubio isn’t blocked. Instead, he has a big opening....
I said it back on June 10th:

I originally embedded that clip in a post titled "The get-Rubio movement" — which called out the NYT:
We're seeing evidence of this movement this week with the NYT article "Marco Rubio’s Career Bedeviled by Financial Struggles" and last week's "Marco Rubio and His Wife Cited 17 Times for Traffic Infractions." These are ludicrously weak attacks. Rubio bought an $80,000 fishing boat (which the NYT called a "luxury speedboat") after he received an $800,000 and he chose to lease an Audi (a "luxury item") when he needed a car in 2015. And he's gotten 4 traffic tickets in 18 years. The main thing we learn from all that is that the NYT really wants to get him.

Let me take you back to May 22, when the NYT had a piece titled: "A Hillary Clinton Match-Up With Marco Rubio Is a Scary Thought for Democrats."...
So view the new article in that context.