Uh… open thread?

Ta-Nehisi is around, but no open thread appears to be forthcoming! And so, I give you one here.

My cleaning is done, but my mind is elsewhere, as I set up the kitchen (different sets of dishes, pots, pans, etc, etc for the holiday) and cook and check in with folks back home and… like that. However! I’m around-ish, not like yesterday. As always, if you get stuck in moderation, I’ll free you soon!

Standard FYI clause: My rule of thumb is that I wait for 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

176 Comments

  1. Today in nieclings, I offered to knit my SIL a uterus for when she needs to give “the talk.”
    http://www.governmentfreevjj.com/

  2. Blogflog, etc.
    Dr Who RPG!
    The best Meme to come out of 2012 so far: Hillary Texting People.
    New OK Go!
    and of course, Idol eliminations.
    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

    • wearyvoter

       /  April 6, 2012

      So far, Dr Who RPG and the Hillary texting people has been the best use of my time during vacation hours afternoon. Admittedly, I’ve also loaded supper into the crockpot, but those links were much more fun.

    • Shit. i gotta roll from work if I have any hope of being ready for the seder tonight. The OTAN still isn’t open. Can someone blogflog me?

      Thanks!

      • Well, I can’t, as I’m about to hit the Seder myself (…and I frankly suspect it’s just not going to appear today…), but I did correct your typo (“home” -> “hope”).

        Because I’m a giver.

        • You rule! I’m still attachted to my phone–they haven’t taken it away from me yet, and no one’s in my face for being anti-social yet. Once the Newshour goes off and dinner commences, that’ll be that though.
          Pesach same’ach.

  3. In the Marion Barry thread he suggested that there’s going to be an open thread today, but we’ll have to keep a watch out.

    • But I’ll blog flog just in case:

      http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/04/whisky-review-speyside-showdown.html

      Reviewing 12 year old, sherried Speyside whiskies from Aberlour, Glenfarclas and Macallan. Giving away the lede a bit, I actually thought that their quality was close to inversely proportional with their prices.

      • mythopoeia

         /  April 6, 2012

        So recently I saw advertised at a restaurant a drink that had…let me remember this correctly…citrus vodka, St. Germain, basil, agave, and one other ingredient I can’t recall. It did, however, sound pretty well like my perfect drink. If I were to attempt to recreate this, what proportions should I use?

        • Was it a sour or a pure spirits/sweeteners drink?

          • mythopoeia

             /  April 6, 2012

            I think pure spirits/sweeteners. The place had a lot of emphasis on fresh ingredients.

            Also, thanks! I realize my above post sounds kind of peremptory when I was in fact going for “pick Jordan’s brain because he knows all this stuff so well.”

            • To quote a friend: “You’re like a charity or Jesus, but for booze!”

              If I was going to hazard a guess, go for something like:

              1.5 oz citrus vodka
              0.5 oz St. Germain
              0.25 oz agave syrup
              2 dashes Fee’s Old Fashioned Bitters (or something else kind of savory)
              a few basil leafs

              Gently muddle basil leafs with agave syrup, add other ingredients, stir with ice for 15 seconds and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

              The other way I can see it working is as a Mojito-style drink, in which case you should omit the bitters, but leave everything else and top with a bunch of crushed ice and chilled soda water.

              • mythopoeia

                 /  April 6, 2012

                Did I mention my birthday is coming up?

                Now I just have to find a cocktail strainer…

                • Try to find a restaurant supply store that’s open to the general public. They usually have super cheap cocktail equipment.

                • David L

                   /  April 6, 2012

                  I got one at Target a couple yearsago. Don’tthink it was more than $15.

                • Bookwoman

                   /  April 6, 2012

                  There are lots of restaurant supply stores on the LES. And one at 17th & Bway: http://broadwayrestaurantsupply.com/

                • carlosthedwarf

                   /  April 6, 2012

                  My boss will know the best of the restaurant supply stores. I will ask him for you.

        • taylor16

           /  April 6, 2012

          This sounds exactly like a drink that my husband makes at work as well, although I have no idea what the exact recipe is.

          If you don’t figure it out and repost in Monday’s OTAN, I can ask him for his recipe.

          Yay for drinking!! Heh.

      • Blogflog whenever and wherever possible!

    • I see that – very confusing!

      He’s a mystery, that man is.

  4. David L

     /  April 6, 2012

    I told myself I was going to take advantage of the day off from work to be productive. It’s 1 PM and I have done nothing.

    I don’t necessarily consider this a bad thing.

    • helensprogeny

       /  April 6, 2012

      I thought I was going to have to work today and unexpectedly don’t. It’s 11:10am in my world and I’m still in my jammies lounging on my couch. I think this is highly productive behavior. Which brings me to my favorite quote of all time:

      “It takes a lot of time being a genius, you have to sit around so much, doing nothing.” Gertrude Stein

      • David L

         /  April 6, 2012

        The type of productivity I was aiming for today involves cleaning pots and vacuums and such.

        Mental productivity, I basically burned myself out on during the week.

        • helensprogeny

           /  April 6, 2012

          Mine is just the opposite. My job is intensely physical, so sitting around reading Coates is my recreation. Sadly, my pots and my vacuuming – well, they get done when they get done.

    • That’s the sort of taking advantage of a day off of work I can get behind.

    • David L

       /  April 6, 2012

      Now my productivity will have to include some garden work. I went on a little shopping spree in the garden department at Home Depot after lunch.

  5. Captain_Button

     /  April 6, 2012

    As a follow-on to the request for contrasting mid-20th century science fiction books subthread yesterday.

    I’d really counsel against any Heinlein. It hurts me to say that, but there is is just so much BS about Heinlein out there, pro and con, that expecting anything but the discussion group version of a flamewar is unrealistic.

  6. baiskeli

     /  April 6, 2012

    I’ve read 2 articles that indicate to me we have a 2 tiered justice system based on race.

    In addition to the Trayvon Martin case there is;

    The Kenneth Chamberlain case (read the whole thing, it defies description, accidentally trigger your medical alert, get called the n word by cops and then shot to death).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/apr/05/echoes-trayvon-martin-kenneth-chamberlain-sr

    “My name is Kenneth Chamberlain. This is my sworn testimony. White Plains police are going to come in here and kill me.” And that’s just what they did.

    In the early hours of Saturday 19 November, 2011, US marine veteran Kenneth Chamberlain Sr accidentally hit his LifeAid medical-alert pendant, presumably while sleeping. The 68-year-old retired corrections officer had a heart condition, but wasn’t in need of help that dawn. Within two hours, the White Plains, NY, police department had broken down his apartment door and shot him dead. Chamberlain Sr was African-American. As with Trayvon Martin, the black teenager recently killed in Florida, there are recordings of the events which include a racial slur directed at the victim.

    Chamberlain Jr repeated what he heard his father say on the tape: “He says, ‘I’m a 68-year-old man with a heart condition. Why are you doing this to me?’ … You also hear him pleading with the officers again, over and over. And at one point, that’s when the expletive is used by one of the police officers.” One of Chamberlain Jr’s lawyers, Mayo Bartlett, told me about the racial slur. Bartlett is a former Westchester county prosecutor, so he knows the ropes. He was explicit in recounting what he heard on the recording.

    “Kenneth Chamberlain Sr said to the police, ‘I’m a sick old man.’ One of the police officers replied, ‘We don’t give a fuck, nigger!’” The recording also includes a taunt from the police, as related by Bartlett, “Open the door, Kenny, you’re a grown-ass man!” It was when Chamberlain Jr related how the police mocked his father’s military service that he broke down. “He said, ‘Semper fi.’ So they said, ‘Oh, you’re a marine. Hoo-rah. Hoo-rah.’ And this is somebody that served this country. Why would you even say that to him?” Chamberlain Jr wept as he held his father’s marine ring and veterans administration card.

    The LifeAid operator that November morning, hearing the exchange live, called the White Plains police in a desperate attempt to cancel the call for emergency medical aid. Chamberlain Sr’s niece, who lives in the building, ran down, trying to intervene. Chamberlain Sr’s sister was on her mobile, offering to talk to her brother. The police denied any attempt at help. One was heard on the recording saying “we don’t need any mediator”.

    The cop who killed Chamberlain, Anthony Carelli, is due in court on brutality charges stemming from another incident where he roughed up and beat handcuffed handcuffed brothers while calling them Ragheads (they’re Jordanian).

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/sources-identify-white-plains-anthony-carelli-triggerman-fatal-shooting-retired-marine-article-1.1056394

    Second, Strip Search case just ruled on by the Supreme Court

    On the Strip Search case, which I first heard on NPR yesterday, as soon as they begun explaining the circumstances of the initial stop and arrest, I remember thinking Dude has to be black!. And sadly, I was right. There is the god-awful Supreme Court ruling on this, but I can’t help but wonder whether we would even have this case if Florence were not black.

    April Florence is stopped for speeding in her car, her husband, Albert Florence is in the passenger seat (note that a ticket was never issued for the speeding)

    A check is done on Mr Florence (rather weird they’d do a check on the passenger, but he was the owner of the car), and he has an outstanding warrant based on an unpaid parking ticket fine (computer error, he had actually paid the fine)
    Florence gets thrown in jail for a week! and is invasively strip-searched twice. Note that failure to pay a fine is not a crime in New Jersey.

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/04/strip_searches_ok_for_minor_of.html

    The first strip search of Florence took place in the Burlington County Jail in southern New Jersey. Six days later, Florence had not received a hearing and remained in custody. Transferred to another county jail in Newark, he was strip-searched again.
    The next day, a judge dismissed all charges. Florence’s lawsuit soon followed.
    He may still pursue other claims, including that he never should have been arrested.

    Florence’s problems arose in March 2005, as he was heading to dinner at his mother-in-law’s house with his pregnant wife and 4-year-old child. His wife, April, was driving when a state trooper stopped the family SUV on a New Jersey highway.
    Florence identified himself as the vehicle’s owner and the trooper, checking records, found an outstanding warrant for an unpaid fine. Florence, who is African-American, had been stopped several times before, and he carried a letter to the effect that the fine, for fleeing a traffic stop several years earlier, had been paid.

    Dude had been stopped several times, cause of that, he actually carried a letter that stated he’d paid the fine, but he still got thrown in jail. The mind boggles. A week in jail, strip searched twice, no one bothered to verify the warrant, even when Florence had a letter stating he had paid the fine!

    I probably have race on the mind, but it’s hard not to when you see something that appears so blatant and have people (not here) argue that it has nothing to do with race.

    • It is horrendous. Actually “horrendous” is too mild a word. I can’t think of any word that is strong enough.

      Esp. the Chamberlain case. Kill an old man in his own home for like, no reason? Have they provided any justification at all? People are going to stop using medical alert systems if they lead to death.

    • socioprof

       /  April 6, 2012

      The trifecta: http://www.suntimes.com/news/11680969-452/mary-mitchell-chicago-has-its-own-trayvon-martin-like-scandal.html

      A Black railroad cop and former member of CPD, Howard Morgan, was shot 28 times by White CPD officers after (he claims) he identified himself as a law enforcement official after they stopped him during a traffic violation. The CPD cops say Morgan drew on them first and they were endangered and responded accordingly with 28 shots hitting him, 21 of which were to his back. Morgan, who was left for dead, survived and was sentenced to 40 years for attempted murder earlier this week. This was his second trial, the first of which ended in his acquittal on aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm and a deadlocked jury on the attempted murder charges in 2007. A mistrial was declared and he was re-tried and convicted at the beginning of this year. Evidence was lost, witnesses say he never fired a gun, Morgan was not tested for gunpowder residue, his vehicle was confiscated and destroyed without being examined for any evidence. Morgan is 61 and will essentially serve a life sentence.

      • As someone said, he got charged with attempted murder after being attemptedly murdered.

      • taylor16

         /  April 6, 2012

        My god. That’s horrifying. Horrifying. I don’t even know what to say other than that.

      • baiskeli

         /  April 6, 2012

        That is horrible, and just boggles the mind. How do people live with themselves!

    • Byrk

       /  April 6, 2012

      But if the mandate stands, you could be forced to by broccoli! Broccoli!

  7. dmf

     /  April 6, 2012

    for fridays and a welcome bit of spring after an all too early start of summer:

    Everything I thought I wanted
    is right here,
    particularly when the sun
    is making such a comeback,

    and the lilac engorged
    with purple has recovered
    from its severe pruning,
    and you will be back soon

    to dispel whatever it is
    that overtakes me like leaf blight,
    even on a day like this. I can still
    hear remnants of the rain

    in the swollen stream
    behind the house, in the faint
    dripping under the eaves,
    persistent as memory.

    And all the things I didn’t think
    I wanted, cut like the lilac back
    to the root, push up again
    from underground.

    “After a Month of Rain” by Linda Pastan

  8. It’s weird when things aren’t on youtube. Here’s a bunch of songs for Friday but I was just looking for one of them, it starts at about 2:25 or so.

  9. Medical Question for Horde:

    I have two joints giving me trouble – a wrist and a knee. These are both exercise-related problems.

    I went to my general practitioner, then an Orthopedist, for the wrist, and was given some advice that didn’t work and a steroid injection that didn’t work, respectively.

    My question — should I just go to a physical therapist directly? I feel like that’s what I need, and I don’t want to spend another few hundred bucks on the doctor.

    • dmf

       /  April 6, 2012

      tendons, muscles, bones? if you need stretching and strength than a pt will be helpful

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 6, 2012

      Yes, or a physiatrist, which is an MD who specializes in rehabilitative medicine.

    • If they’re sports related injuries, go to a sports doc. They’ll probably have more experience with those kinds of injuries and can also probably suggest ways to both get the injuries to heal and ways to prevent causing the same kinds of damage in the future.

    • helensprogeny

       /  April 6, 2012

      Depending on the kind of injury you have, the state of your insurance and (alternatively) the state of you wallet, a massage therapist might be able to help.

      I’m also going to risk the wrath of the Horde and recommend acupuncture. (Hey, I gotta cheer for my world-view, right?) Non-invasive, less expensive than a Western doctor.

      Whatever you do, hope you’re feeling better soon!

      • dmf

         /  April 6, 2012

        might help a bit if pinched nerves are the problem otherwise not so much

    • taylor16

       /  April 6, 2012

      A sports medicine doctor might be a good call, as Jordan said – they might be able to help you avoid re-injuring yourself in the future by recommending modified exercise or giving you a brace or something like that. They might also be able to give you a cheap anti-inflammatory that can help … that’s what I take for my knee.

      A physical therapist might be a good call, but be careful if you have insurance … a lot of insurances require you to have a referral to PT from a doctor before they’ll pay for it, so check your benefits.

      If you’re uninsured, a call to a PT office might be a good idea. Cheaper than another doctor’s visit, most likely.

    • ExpatJK

       /  April 6, 2012

      I have had excellent PT experiences for treating sports injuries, as well as managing some RSI issues.

  10. Because I can’t wait for TNC’s open thread either: I finally got around to watching the first episode of “Sherlock,” with Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s been a long time since I read “A Study in Scarlet,” but I think they did a good job of updating it for the 21st century. Also think that Steven Moffat’s Sherlock Holmes bears a distinct resemblance to Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who.

    • The second episode kind of eats a dick.

      • Hmm, it looks like that one’s not based on a Conan Doyle story. (Don’t know if it matters.)

        Oh, I forgot to mention that the bit where Watson admits his limp is psychosomatic and he was really shot in the shoulder is an in-joke. ACD kept forgetting where he had said Watson was wounded in previous stories, so it moves around a lot.

        • It probably matters. Sherlock is a show where you can probably just skip the shitty episodes and enjoy the experience more.

          • Having skimmed the episode summaries on IMDB, I am now looking forward to dominatrix Irene Adler and giant mutant Hounds of Baskerville.

  11. efgoldman

     /  April 6, 2012

    Emily, I asked yesterday, not realizing you weren’t around:
    Its both Pesach and Shabbat tonight, therefore extra-long Seder. How are the kids at holding on through that. I know that I used to hate it. Of course, my grandfather was a read every page kind of guy.

    • We’re at a different family than usual this year – I have no idea how it’ll go! They’re not as observant as we are though, and have great sense of humor + 28 guests, so I’m figuring it’ll be just-barely-controlled chaos that doesn’t go on over-long. I’m bringing cake!

      • efgoldman

         /  April 6, 2012

        I’m bringing cake!
        Passover cake, at least as manufactured by my aunts, was always extra-dry. Yuck.I’m guessing yours is better.
        But macaroons are the one true Passover dessert.

        • R_Bargis

           /  April 6, 2012

          Goodness I miss being at college with a bunch of Jews. So much good food and fellowship on Pesach! And then we’d return the favor with mimosas and chocolate bunnies on Easter.

        • Oh, no, mine is awesome. It’s so good, my daughter talks about it all year and in fact asked for it to be her birthday cake last year (which created some real cognitive dissonance for me in the kitchen — I was making it with all the wrong utensils!)

          I got the recipe from an old boyfriend’s mom (source of most of my Pesah recipes, actually): It’s a chocolate sponge cake (though I didn’t realize that until, like, two years ago. I just thought of it as Pesah Cake), topped with whipped cream and chocolate.

          Dude.

          • MightBeLying

             /  April 6, 2012

            Chag sameach and recipe please when you return!

  12. Ian

     /  April 6, 2012

    When last we met State Rep. Alan Dick (Nenana), he was apologizing for saying that woman should not be able to have an abortion without permission from the father. Now he’s trying to mandate university course curriculum consistent with the state constitution’s language on resource development. HB 352 reads:

    “The Board of Regents may adopt reasonable rules, orders, and plans with reasonable penalties for the good government of the university and for the regulation of the Board of Regents;
    (2) determine and regulate the course of instruction in the university with the advice of the president; a course of instruction for environmental education must be based on (A) the constitutional principles of
    (i) utilization, maintenance, and sustained yield of all natural resources belonging to the state, including fish, forests, wildlife, land, water, and other renewable resources; and (ii) utilization and development of all nonrenewable resources in addition to encouragement of balancing resource development and conservation under (a) of this section;
    (B) scientific principles, without bias and without regard to personal opinion;”

    There’s no way this passes, but I should point out that Dick chairs the Education Committee.

    • Electronic_Neko

       /  April 6, 2012

      Given his apparent interest in propaganda, it doesn’t surprise me that he is on the Education comittee.

      Ugh. There’s that small government mindframe at work, huh?

      • Ian

         /  April 6, 2012

        He’s a good soldier in Governor Parnell’s campaign to transform Alaska into one giant moose ranch.

        • A giant moose ranch sounds like a terrifying place.

          “It’s not a question of if you’ll get trampled, but when you’ll get trampled.”

          • Ian

             /  April 6, 2012

            You’ll be armed. In fact, you will have paid a great deal of money to be walking around on the moose ranch with your gun.

            • I don’t think you could *pay* me to enter a giant moose ranch, no matter how well armed I was. Them things is dangerous.

              • Ian

                 /  April 6, 2012

                That’s cool. If killing moose isn’t your thing, you can just set up an offshore platform in the Beaufort Sea. We’re here for you. We don’t want you to leave the state empty handed.

                • “Alaska: the state no one leaves empty handed” has a certain homey ring to it, but it neglects to mention how bloody your hands might be.

                  • Ian

                     /  April 6, 2012

                    We had an aborted tourism campaign a couple of years ago centered around the slogan “Alaska: B4UDIE.” Not kidding. Especially funny when you consider the advanced age of the average package tourist up here. You don’t want to be reminding these people about death.

        • efgoldman

           /  April 7, 2012

          Alaska’s the only Northern state with room for Giant Mooses. The wouldn’t fit in Maine.
          But how can anyone, except maybe Caribou Barbie, shoot Bullwinkle?

          • Bookwoman

             /  April 7, 2012

            But Boris, ve must kill Moose and Squirrel!

  13. dmf

     /  April 6, 2012

  14. intangir

     /  April 6, 2012

    I haven’t had a chance to actually watch this piece yet but this

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#46973330

    seems completely incredible – basically, the Republican controlled Michigan legislature has been passing over 95% of its bills (over 500 total!) with an ‘effective immediately’ clause despite lacking the 2/3 majority required by the Michigan constitution to include such a clause. This means that laws such as the much contested Emergency Manager law (which allows the Governor to appoint emergency managers with sweeping powers to oversee cities and school districts with serious budget problems) were acted on almost a full year before they should have been.

    Almost as incredible is that its taken a year for this to really come to light – apparently the state’s Democrats either didn’t realize what was going on or didn’t want to make any noise about it. Neither option is really encouraging.

    Any other Michigan residents have thoughts about this? I’ve been getting progressively more upset with the emergency manager law every time I hear about it but this is really a whole other level of awful.

    • How did the Democrats in the legislature not realize what was going on? How could they not be aware that the Republicans didn’t have a 2/3 majority? And why would they not complain?

      • efgoldman

         /  April 7, 2012

        Kevin Drum explains, sans hysteria:

        If I had to guess, I’d say that gaveling through immediate effect is hardly unprecedented, and Democrats obviously didn’t scream very loudly about this when the emergency manager law was passed last year. At the same time, it’s also not automatic. Big, controversial bills often require a roll call vote for immediate effect, but Michigan Republicans, imbued with tea party spirit, have decided to ignore this and use it for every bill they pass.

        http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/04/michigan-republicans-blowing-up-norm-politics

    • Maddow’s been on fire lately. I don’t have TV so I only watch her when someone I do read flogs a piece of hers, but they seem to be popping up with more regularity of late. I thought this story was appalling. And the Democrats seem to have been mostly asleep, and when they did finally wake up to the fact the Republicans were passing things “to be immediately implemented” without the necessary 2/3 majority (this is at the end of the clip), the Republican Speaker just steamrolled ’em, or at least that’s how I interpreted the last bit.

  15. Just an FYI, if you hadn’t seen it already –

    USA network is presenting a special 50th anniversary airing of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ 8pm EST on Saturday, April 7. Intro to the program by President Barack Obama. I *own* TKAM on DVD and I suspect I’ll still watch this.

    In other news, anti-Obama wingnuts burning copies of the book and movie starting in 3…2…1…

    • Ian

       /  April 6, 2012

      How will they find an unbiased jury for the Tom Robinson trial after the president essentially declares him innocent on television?

      • Bookwoman

         /  April 6, 2012

        Likelikelikelike.

        OT, but the other night I was watching an early ’60s British movie on TCM (The L-Shaped Room), and there was Brock Peters, playing the next-door neighbor of Leslie Caron.

      • ExpatJK

         /  April 6, 2012

        WIN

  16. Sorn

     /  April 6, 2012

    It feels a bit wrong to do this here, but there isn’t any place at TNC’s to do it. Before I do though I want to wish Emily and all the rest a happy passover. Next Year in Jerusalem! If they ever find a way to stop the violence.

    Anyway because it’s Good Friday. I posted this last year, or maybe the year before, but it still gets me every time. Especially now since I’m Reading Stephen Oates’s beautiful book With Malice Toward None:

    The Martyr

    Herman Melville

    Good Friday was the day
    Of the prodigy and crime,
    When they killed him in his pity,
    When they killed him in his prime
    Of clemency and calm–
    When with yearning he was filled
    To redeem the evil-willed,
    And, though conqueror, be kind;
    But they killed him in his kindness,
    In their madness and their blindness,
    And they killed him from behind.

    There is sobbing of the strong,
    And a pall upon the land;
    But the People in their weeping
    Bare the iron hand;
    Beware the People weeping
    When they bare the iron hand.

    He lieth in his blood–
    The father in his face;
    They have killed him, the Forgiver–
    The Avenger takes his place,
    The Avenger wisely stern,
    Who in righteousness shall do
    What the heavens call him to,
    And the parricides remand;
    For they killed him in his kindness,
    In their madness and their blindness,
    And his blood is on their hand.

    There is sobbing of the strong,
    And a pall upon the land;
    But the People in their weeping
    Bare the iron hand;
    Beware the People weeping
    When they bare the iron hand.

    • dmf

       /  April 6, 2012

      some things bear repeating, are you school bound?

      • Sorn

         /  April 6, 2012

        Yes. I was accepted into the M.A. Program at the University of Montana. I’m hoping that this is the next step to one of those schools.

        • dmf

           /  April 7, 2012

          congrats that’s great, one step at a time is a fine way to go and will give you a chance to find a topic and therefore a major prof. that interests you enough to do a dissertation down the road.

    • CitizenE

       /  April 7, 2012

      “Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.” Ishmael, “The Spouter Inn,” Moby Dick, Herman Melville.

      “Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. And what do I wish that Queequeg would do with me. Why, unite with me in my particular Presbyterian worship. Consequently, I must unite with him in his; ergo, I must turn idolator. So I kindled the shavings; helped prop up the innocent litttle idol; offere him burnt biscuit with Queequeg; salaamed before him twice or thrice; kissed his nose; and that done, we undressed and went to bed, at peace with our consciences and all the world. But we did not go to sleep without some little chat.

      How is it I know not: but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to eache other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts’ honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg–a cozy loving pair.”
      Ishmael, “A Bosom Friend,” Moby Dick, Herman Melville.

      • Sorn

         /  April 7, 2012

        Thanks for this E., I’m ashamed to say that Moby Dick is one of those books I haven’t read.

  17. Do you want to see what the pseudo intellectual version of screaming “Niggers!” at the top of your lungs is?

    http://takimag.com/article/the_talk_nonblack_version_john_derbyshire/print#disqus_thread

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 6, 2012

      That is absolutely horrifying. And the comments! I’ll just stay safely over here with the Horde, thank you very much.

      • baiskeli

         /  April 6, 2012

        Here’s the rule to not breaking your computer monitor or going hoarse from cursing.

        1: Unmoderated comments on thoughtfully written articles tend to devolve into a cesspool. It’s kind of like entropy.

        2: Moderated comments on articles written by racist/sexist jerks start out being cesspools and devolve from there.

        3: Unmoderated comments on articles written by racist/sexist jerks, aspire to one day rise to the level of being cesspools. They are the equivalent of using battery acid in place of eye-drops.

        So, don’t read the comments.

        • Bookwoman

           /  April 6, 2012

          Thank you. An excellent rule. The only blogger I read regularly aside from TNC (and Emily, of course!) is Sully, and he doesn’t have comments.

          • baiskeli

             /  April 6, 2012

            You’re welcome. I was being tongue in cheek, but other than TNC, Emily Hauser and a few other sites, I stay out of unmoderated comments to preserve my insanity.

            • baiskeli

               /  April 6, 2012

              Freudian slip. sanity, not insanity

            • stephen matlock

               /  April 6, 2012

              I immediately thought “THAT’S RIGHT!” and then you tried to all like fix with some excuse of “Oh, that was a Freudian slip” but no not at all was that a mistake, dude.

    • Ian

       /  April 6, 2012

      Holy shit. Usually I read something like that with an eye towards pulling out something funny, but this is the best I’ve got:

      “A small cohort of blacks—in my experience, around five percent—is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us.”

      If this is from personal experience, we need to swap in “John Derbyshire” for “whites,” in which case 5% ferocious hostility sounds unrealistically low for any ethnic group. Seriously, everything in that column is even less funny than the sentence I quoted. Don’t read it unless you’re open to spending the rest of the day in a murderous rage.

      • The percent thing is funny. I once read a comment saying that there was a 30% chance of Obama being Muslim. The person did not explain how they arrived at this exact number, but I really wish they had.

        • Ian

           /  April 6, 2012

          Derbyshire studied math at University College London, so that 5% is probably right on. On the other hand, he has not won the Fields Medal, which is a deficiency he shares with all black people.

          BTW, where do you keep your Fields Medal? Mine hangs from the neck of a taxidermied sheep in my smoking room.

          • stephen matlock

             /  April 6, 2012

            “On the other hand, he has not won the Fields Medal, which is a deficiency he shares with all black people.”

            I laughed, but in not a good way.

            • Ian

               /  April 6, 2012

              You have to follow Craig’s link to get the joke, but it would be better for you if you didn’t follow Craig’s link.

    • baiskeli

       /  April 6, 2012

      Ugh!!!

      Eeewww, eeeewww, ewwwww, eeeeewwwwww!!!! I’ve got racist cooties on me!

      But then, I’m probably too stupid to appreciate the fine prose, research skills and deep thought that went into that article (of course presented with a fine British accent)🙂 (I need to figure out the smiley for eye-roll)

      (11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”

    • baiskeli

       /  April 6, 2012

      This is the same guy whose latest book has a chapter entitled “The Case Against Female Suffrage.” . Dude seems to have a hard-on (or anti-hard-on) for anyone not male, white and upper middle class.

      His racism is not surprising, what is surprising is the number of mainstream figures quoting his work

      • Oh, he still has a gig over at NRO as of today. He’s not just someone that mainstream conservatives quote; he’s employed by the mainstream conservative movement.

        • baiskeli

           /  April 6, 2012

          Damn! I didn’t realize that.

          I wonder why some conservatives have a hard time attracting blacks. I’ll stay right here on my ‘Democratic Plantation’ thank you very much!

          • stephen matlock

             /  April 6, 2012

            “I wonder why some conservatives have a hard time attracting blacks.”

            Ya think?

          • This one is starting to build enough momentum that I think NRO will probably eventually can him.

      • Yeah. I have a bad feeling there’s going to be plenty of confused sputtering from people who used to use variants of the phrase “Oh, that John Derbyshire…” about how this is so beyond the pale, but he honestly crossed that line decades ago. This is just that much harder to ignore.

        • helensprogeny

           /  April 6, 2012

          If it’s as bad as everyone says (I decline to wade in and find out first hand), Mr. Derbyshire might just be about to find out what his colleague Mr. Limbaugh has recently discovered: there IS a line. You can go so far and no farther. Once you cross that line, the balance tips and is no longer in your favor. Piss enough people off often enough and you can actually damage yourself.

          We can only hope. And may the rest of his ilk follow suit as quickly as possible.

    • My jaw hit the floor somewhere in the 10 subpoint range.

      • wearyvoter

         /  April 6, 2012

        That article in and of itself needs an EPA superfund cleanup grant. I waded about ankle deep into the comments, then decided I should just get out. Aneurysms tend to run in my family, and I could feel one starting to rupture.

    • helensprogeny

       /  April 6, 2012

      Having been duly forewarned by the comments here responding to the comments there, I’m choosing to pick my skirts up and tiptoe around the shit rather than clicking and plowing through the middle. Who ARE these people and what on earth went wrong in their lives that they arrive at these places?

  18. Ian

     /  April 6, 2012

    You’d think that people who live in Alaska would not look at frost heaves in the pavement in the spring and then call me in a panic thinking they signal dangerous seismic activity. You really would think that. But you’d be wrong.

    • I try, very hard if not always successfully, to never underestimate peoples’ stupidity.

      • helensprogeny

         /  April 6, 2012

        Oh, liked!

        (OT, but I just wanted to make sure I wished you a Happy Passover. I hope you have a blessed and joyous time.)

      • Ian

         /  April 6, 2012

        At least she didn’t want to tell me about her terrifying prophecy dream. That guy was hard to get off the phone.

  19. carlosthedwarf

     /  April 6, 2012

    Today in fun things: It’s beautiful today, and in between running to starbucks to caffeinate and running to fairway to buy charoset ingredients, I was able to take a few minutes to just enjoy the drive with my music blasting out my open sunroof.

    Today in unfun things: In the course of making said charoset, I cut open my finger while opening a bottle of wine.

    Today in awkward things: My half-brother’s girlfriend accidentally emailed me a topless photo of herself.

    Happy holiday, everyone.

    • Ian

       /  April 6, 2012

      Accidentally. Right.

      • carlosthedwarf

         /  April 6, 2012

        His email address and mine are one letter different from each other. I accidentally get emails intended to him from time to time. Usually his friends sending sports-related inside jokes. This is the first time it’s ever been anything racy.

        • Ian

           /  April 6, 2012

          I have the same exact name as the guy two floors up, and it’s not a common name. So far the mail has been disappointing.

          • I don’t have a name that’s like anyone’s and I feel like there’s a whole world of unsolicited tittays that’s just passing me by. Stupid uncommon name.

    • You play for the other team, right? So it’s not something that will permanently enter your Spank Bank whether you want it to or not?

    • David L

       /  April 6, 2012

      At least she will rest secure in the knowledge that you probably weren’t all that turned on by it.

    • Ian

       /  April 6, 2012

      Apparently everybody knows something I don’t know. Again.

    • DOH.

      Did you say anything?

      • carlosthedwarf

         /  April 6, 2012

        I don’t have a particularly close relationship with him, and I’ve only met her twice, so no.

    • I’m so proud of myself – after all the cleaning and setting up and (a little bit of) cooking, the only damage I’ve sustained is a smallish (quarter-sized) bruise on the inside of one leg.

      This must be a record for me.

  20. RIGHT.

    I’M OUT, Y’ALL!

    But carry on, and a Happy Whatever to all and everyone! If Passover, if Easter, if Spring, if Weekend — whatever! May it be happy and full of all good things.

    xo
    ee

  21. stephen matlock

     /  April 6, 2012

    Dilemma:

    I bought three expensive chocolates at Godiva’s.

    Two of them are rosemary-caramels. One is a milk-chocolate truffle.

    I ate one of the rosemary-caramels.

    Do I eat the other caramel, and just leave the milk chocolate for my wife, or eat both of them and give her a bag of M&Ms?

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 6, 2012

      I think I speak for wives everywhere when I say, be a mensch and leave her the milk chocolate. Because if she finds out you ate them all, she’ll cut you.

      • wearyvoter

         /  April 6, 2012

        Once again, I regret that WordPress is lacking in the “like” button department.

    • You should eat all the candies you bought and then give her the empty box along with a brown paper sack filled with unsorted, generic grocery store jellybeans and say, I thought of you baby.

    • helensprogeny

       /  April 6, 2012

      You eat the other chocolates and go back to Godiva and get her a whole box. Because women need chocolate. Real chocolate. Expensive chocolate. AND LOTS OF IT. Keep the M&Ms for yourself.

  22. Ian

     /  April 6, 2012

    Just eat the Godivas and keep your mouth shut about the whole sordid business. If you come home with a bag of M&Ms and nothing for you, she’s going to know something’s up.

    • Ian

       /  April 6, 2012

      I want to double down on this, just in the interest of helping you fulfill a side of yourself that you might not be aware of. What were you thinking when you bought an odd number of chocolates? Whether you knew it or not, you already wanted to do something sneaky. Don’t hold back now. Eat all three. Keep it a secret. Deep down this is what you always wanted.

      • watson42

         /  April 6, 2012

        I cannot tell you how deeply I regret that there is no “like” button for this comment.

  23. http://bit.ly/I2FAvC

    Really the only thing I can create on the KEEP CALM website, honestly…

  24. neighbors73

     /  April 6, 2012

    You guys are funny. I want a weekend open thread. Why can’t we have that?

    I’m reading Jane Eyre for my bookclub. I’m no fan of the Victorians—and it’s shit like this that’s why. B.O.R.I.N.G.

    • caoil

       /  April 6, 2012

      No reason why not! We’re nice people, we can have nice things, like a weekend open thread!

    • helensprogeny

       /  April 6, 2012

      I’m totally up for a weekend OTAN. Unless Emily closes the student lounge at some point, the thread will be open: post away. I don’t celebrate either holiday so aside from having to work tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be around and checking to see if anyone else is here. Hopefully, you will be. 🙂

      And good luck with Jane. I’m not much on the Victorians either. But then, I’m not really one for “literature” of late. I burned out on “important” books in academia. Now it’s well-written fluff for me!

  25. Here’s another song. This one is for the Derb.

  26. David L

     /  April 6, 2012

    From a list of Austin police officers killed in the line of duty (after one was shot point blank and killed early this morning):

    Officer John Gaines, 50

    Shot by George Booth, a deputy constable, at Sixth and Trinity streets Nov. 19, 1913. Booth, a white man, had been making a disturbance. Gaines, the only African American officer on the force, was barred from arresting whites and was calling for backup when he was killed.

    http://www.statesman.com/news/local/austin-officers-whove-died-in-the-line-of-2288164.html

  27. dmf

     /  April 8, 2012

  28. wearyvoter

     /  April 8, 2012

    Happy Easter! Today’s checklist: Brunch-completed. Long walk to brunch: Completed. (Only 3.7 miles to my next level at Nike+. The next level after that is 900 miles away.) Spousal unit and I are going out for one more long walk around 5 so I can hit level blue today.

    • caoil

       /  April 8, 2012

      Wow. You have waaayyy more motivation than I do! Kudos to you for getting out there.🙂

      I’m being dragged to Home Depot at some point very soon, so I expect to be exhausted after that trek. I am going to try to spend the remainder of the afternoon reading, with the heating pad on.

      • wearyvoter

         /  April 8, 2012

        Nike+ is not for the OCD-inclined. (And I am.) It took me two years to get to this level. (Second, seasonal job ruins evening walks during the week.) I accidentally bumped the pause button during the five o’clock walk today, so we went a couple of miles longer than we planned to make up the gap. I’m walking/staggering a 5K in three weeks, and I’ve only been doing 2-mile bursts outdoors, so this is the longest walk I’ve taken (non-treadmill) since I signed up. It’s on the course for the Illinois Marathon, and at least it’s a reasonably flat course. 5K gets everyone from casual runners to parents pushing strollers, so I won’t finish at the back of the pack, anyway.