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The Moaning Paper and Cheney's Penknife

Congress is suddenly worried that the Executive Branch has overstepped its powers and has invaded the rights and privacy of others. The victims in this case: Congress. As Tom Wolfe would say, they're squealing like weenies over an open fire.

Dick Cheney is armed with a knife! From Jeff Smith's story: Cheney, Libby said, "often will cut out from a newspaper an article using a little penknife that he has" and "look at it, think about it." Cheney was obsessed with Joe Wilson's Times Op-Ed. He and Libby talked about it multiple times a day. Cheney would look at the Wilson clipping, slide it around his desk, put it in a drawer, take it back out, fondle it, hold it up to the light, and then in an explosion of rage STAB IT REPEATEDLY with the penknife. Right? I mean you can just picture it.

The sniper trial is a freak show and a waste of taxpayer money. John Muhammad is already sentenced to death in Virginia. Why give him a stage? Why let him put on this mind-control performance in which he plays head games with his accomplice and "son" Lee Malvo? "This was like watching one of those educational films about child abuse," writes Marc Fisher. "...The sniper case is about control. Snipers desperately seek to show they can assert ultimate control over other people's lives. Muhammad can't stop himself. He's conducting his own defense because it's more important to him to prove to the world his control over Malvo than to win his own case."

If you've ever been to Woodley Park in the District, you know that the Wardman Park Marriott is not your average hotel. It's a glorious place, built by Harry Wardman in 1916 (factoid plucked from Wikipedia). And though it is an imposing structure, it blends into the neighborhood thanks to the expansive grounds. This morning Lyndsey Layton describes how a developer is going to cut down 50 mature trees, including some grand cherry trees, to build an eight-story condominium tower. Oughta be a crime. Check out photographer Jim Parcell's excellent use of chiaroscuro.

I don't know about you, but I'm a bit surprised that the new head of the D.C. public libraries, according to Elissa Silverman's story, is pulling down a salary of $205,000. They're going to have to up the fines for overdue books!

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 25, 2006; 8:24 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: How Whales Lost Their Legs
Next: Bob and Mickey and BloggingHeads


Holy smokes, boss!

All these links, zipping from topic to topic...

I'm afraid of getting detatched retinas here.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Business as usual, eh, Joel?

What grabbed my attention was hearings to confirm a new FEMA administrator. June and hurricane season are a week away, so we're now asking questions about tax returns:

Jeezy-peezy, as Mudge says.

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I think that Cheney takes those articles out to the target range with him and tapes them to the human silouette in various locations.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Gittin' linky.

Posted by: Achenbach | May 25, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

An eight-story condominium tower. The folks in New York and Miami, not to mention Rosslyn, must be snickering. Several Florida counties don't allow anything taller than about 40 feet.

Posted by: Dave of the coonties | May 25, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Very linky, Joel. One might even think you were being passive-aggressive about the effort. Go back to your room and do a good job, young man. Actually a very nice "hit and run" style post. Good synergy to the other staff writers. Fisher needs more links. His technorati rank is way lower than yours. Heck, our beloved Boodler Bride-To-Be Sara has a higher rank than Fisher.

Speaking of Sara, she has posted some beautiful pictures of her wedding gown with her IN it finally.

But then all brides are beautiful. And the Park Service wants to charge them for pictures.

I would cleverly link that inline like Joel is learning to do, but Hal doesn't seem to trust us with that privilege. Afterall, we're not even allowed (b)(i)ITALICS(/i)(/b).

Posted by: yellojkt | May 25, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what to make of the Rep. Jefferson situation, other than to say everyone likes a little cold, hard cash as walking-around money.

I know I do.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Joel actually used the art word "chiaroscuro?" I practically popped my eyeballs on that one! Joel is one cultcha'ed dude!

Is this a hint, dropped in a big way, that during Joel's trip through Europa, that he or his group of Achenettes might possibly roam the Louvre or have a gallery tour somewhere in Italy? Or perhaps Joel will play with light and shadow with his own 35 mm or digital camera?

I'm now getting a little envious--first my closest lifetime friend will be part of an organized, several-country "Da Vinci" tour in mid-summer, with nothing structured set up for the days in London; my close friend that I worked with at the Modesto Chamber leaves at the end of the May for a very independent, setting-their-own-agenda "Da Vinci" tour of Paris and London, and now Joel?

My hopes are now firmly set that Joel will use more art terms in future Kits.

Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Gee, Sara, your eyes are stunning--bedroom eyes! You could be in an ad for Lancome--or something!

Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Cash and carry, bc, cash and carry...

And really, folks, the shenannigans described in the Jefferson search warrant are hardly the "legislative activity" protected under the Speech and Debate clause. Legislators do not have a right to sanctuary from proper, court-authorized searches.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2006 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Since there has been a lot of hinting about Joel taking a DaVinci Code tour of Europe, I am 2/3 of the way through a blog series where I, not as subtly funny as I thought, compare my family vacation to Paris with "The Davinci Code".

Part 1:

Part 2:

Here's a literary discussion opener: Do you prefer your fiction to be Rick Steve's accurate ala Dan Brown or Elmore Leonard, or do you like a little literary license as in 221 Baker Street or Bahia Mar Slip F-18?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 25, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Well, yellojkt, I prefer my non-fiction be Rick Steve accurate, but I'm willing to be a little more flexible on my fiction. However, I like my fiction to be believable, which sometimes it isn't. Ya know, one thing you could say for Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes was completely believable. You could see the London smog in your mind's eye...

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

>how a developer is going to cut down 50 mature trees, including some grand cherry trees, to build an eight-story condominium tower. Oughta be a crime.

It IS an affront to all ancient Druid Masters. Better make sure there are no Ents in that bunch of trees, that's all I've got to say.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 25, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"How Whales Lost Their Legs" is still on homepage. That blog contribution has legs, so to speak.

Recent news stories are delicious, of course, although nothing beats a Rove Indictment story or another evidence of The Alligator Uprising. I'm getting impatient and think someone should make something up.

Posted by: kindathinker | May 25, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"chiaroscuro". My starving artist sister, Claudia, was obsessed with light. Her paintings were of common objects or scenes cast in late afternoon, twilight, dawn and sometimes darkness. It was the light that made them so interesting, mostly calming. A simple wooden rocking chair, light shining on it through an open window. You could just see a breeze moving the sheer curtains. She did one sinister painting of one of those old timey combination gas station diners on the outskirts of tiny rural towns. Moon reflecting light on the one gas pump globe, cafe closed, shades drawn. Common scene, yes? But it was the *light* that made it so eery. You just knew something nefarious was going on behind those drawn shades.

Posted by: Nani | May 25, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Old bidness: wanted to thank you for sending on to Joel, who posted it, the link for the Eurekalert story about the relatedness of hippos and whales. I found it so interesting that I e-mailed it to hubby at work.

Also glad that Wilbrod addressed K's recommendation to read Richard Dawkins latest book. In one of those ways that life is funny, my Afternoon Off-Off became leisure time to browse the science section at my local B&N, where I hadn't landed in a long time and where I stumbled upon Dawkins' 2004 "The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution." The time stamp on my receipt shows that I purchased it just about an hour before K posted.

What grabbed my attention--and mystified me no end--was that Dawkins' modeled the structure of the book on Geoffrey Chaucer's (my distant great-uncle-by-marriage) "Canterbury Tales." One of the last chapters is indeed titled, "Canterbury." Dawkins shares that he came very close to naming the work after Bunyan, with a twist, "Pilgrim's Regress."

In this hefty book--that I browsed seriously last night, Dawkins takes the reader on a backward chronological journey to 40 different points of rendezvous to find not common "ancestors" but "concestors."

"We can be very sure there really is a single concestor of all surviving life forms on this planet. Th evidence is that all that have ever been examined share (exactly in most cases, almost exactly in the rest) the same genetic code; and the genetic code is too detailed, in arbitrary aspects of its complexity, to have been invented twice. Although not every species has been examined, we already have enough coverage to be pretty certain that no surprises--alas--await us. If we now were to discover a lifeform sufficiently alien to have a completely different genetic code, it would be the most exciting biological discovery in my adult lifetime, whether it lives on this planet or another."

In the backwards chronology, Rendezvous 11 is with the Laurasiatheres, and The Hippo's Tale comes first. In it, Dawkins talks of the Whippo Hypothesis--the conjecture that hippos and whales are close cousins--so I appreciate the confirmation of the hypothesis, as well as the latest in research, in the link you shared yesterday, yellojkt.

Each life form has a tale to tell on the way to the final destination. At Rendezvous 22, the lamprey tells the story of human adult haemoglobin. At the meeting with the protostomes at Rendezvous 26, the fruit fly tells the tale of the homeobox genes.

Unlike Chaucer, who told us the tales of the knight, the franklin, the reeve, the manciple and the prioress, Dawkins has given the reader a motley crew of concestor critters who make their own reverse genetic pilgrimage to Canterbury.

K, tell us a little more next time!

Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

You know it just struck me, does Joel get italics?

Is the librarian worth the money? A large part of me says YES, but I also know that the job she will be doing is far removed from my reasons for feeling strongly about librarians.

When I was in grade school, one of our teachers was responsible for the library. This is the teacher who let me go to the highschool library when I was in grade 2, because she felt my reading level needed more of a challenge. When I was in grade 5, she took 2 years, with the blessing of her family and went to Ontario to become a professional librarian. Our whole school's world was about to change, as was our town and school board's attitude to books, access and just what libaries are all about. I grew up in a dinky prairie town where the population never made it over 1000, and the total area was maybe 3500 people. But our dinky town had the finest library of any school in western Canada. We had film resources, we had magasines, and indexes for them, we had newspapers from all over the country, at least once a week. There were file cabinets filled with miscellaneous information gleaned over the years from all over, on almost any topic any one could want. And when we could not find something there was an extraordinary person to guide us to even more. Best of all, there were books, more books than in most schools in major cities. As my family traveled across Alberta and Saskatchewan, I realized how much we gained from having access to a local professional librarian. Her drive, dedication and ambition on our behalf was a blessing.

So yes librarians are worth the money, but at the same time, halve it and there could be two of them.

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm seeing Google ads for "a new trick to end panic attacks before they can begin!"
and "13 Signs of Burnout: Avoiding Stress, Depression and Burnout by expert Henry Neils."

I wonder how this Kit generated *those* topics? (And I'm not being sarcastic -- I really do wonder.)

There's also an ad for assistance with student papers: "Provide us your essay assignment. We write it for you. HK$75/page." (Was that one maybe inspired by the highly paid librarian?)

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Well, my bemusement at the entertainment provided by newsworthy figures has been soured by Howard Kurtz's latest foray now on the homepage.

He pronounces himself "perturbed, if I can use that word, at some of these college protests against high-profile commencement speakers. I mean, if someone like John McCain comes to your school--even if you strongly disagree with everything he stands for--why not listen to what he has to say, instead of trying to block him from stepping foot on your campus?"

His perturberation, if I can use that word, perturbs me. I suppose we can all be civil above all things, agree to disagree, not hoot at the DaVinci Code or even John McCain, and blithely continue on our separate paths. That would be lovely. Perhaps we could merely raise questions secretly about the provenance of his children or Swiftboat him. At least civility in face-to-face discourse would be maintained, eh? Another alternative might be to refuse to sit docilely at a repeat performance of an act that some didn't find entertaining the first time.

I guess the lesson is that sheep baa at inopportune times.

Posted by: kindathinker | May 25, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

LindaLoo, the Richard Dawkins sounds fascinating and I expect I'll end up buying it based on your recommendation. Just a note, C.S. Lewis wrote a book he titled Pilgrim's Regress, so that's problably why Dawkins didn't get to use it.

Posted by: slyness | May 25, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Gee, Loomis, I don't see anything very sophisticated about chiaroscuro --you ought to see a lot of 'em down your way. In fact, here's an easy recipe:

1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose baking mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Vegetable oil, for frying
Seeds from Chia Pet kit

In a large bowl, combine egg, butter, milk, and baking mix. Whisk together until smooth. Pour into piping bag with a star tip. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon.
Pour oil into a 10-inch heavy skillet to a depth of 1-inch. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. When oil is hot enough, pipe dough in lines, a few at a time, and fry about 30 seconds on each side, or just until deep golden. Drain on towels. While still hot, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture.
After cooling, sprinkle with seeds from a Chia Pet kit, watering periodically. After several weeks, the churro will be covered with live, growing, green sprout-like plant life. Allow to grow out approximately one inch. Drizzle with Italian salad dressing, garnish with grape tomatoes, and serve. (Think of it as "salad on a stick.")

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Actually, repeatedly stabbing a newspaper clipping with a knife is probably a sign of stress, depression, and/or burnout.

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse


We're blowing up the eye one. That's one of our favorites.

And yup. Yellojkt's right. The Park Service (well, their private garden employees, actually) charges an exorbitant amount for us to take pictures there. They charge just to walk around there, though.

On a different note, I love art that employs the use of chiaroscuro. I'm taking Italian Renaissance art next semester and am looking forward to many happy run-ins with the technique.

Posted by: Sara | May 25, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

You know, the more I think about it, the more those Google links make sense.
Maybe when Joel used the word "chiaroscuro" the Google folks suspected he got someone else to write his assigment for him. [*I* would never think that, of course -- especially since I didn't know what the word meant until I saw it in the Kit, as is often the case.]

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

My Google Ads:

Utah is at Risk: Don't be a victim of the next natural disaster

Military Search Ringtone: Download this ringtone to your phone now -- Free!

Surplus Military Tents: Over 2,500 Tents in Stock

There was one about 72 hour disaster kits,'d think the world was coming to an end. Right now.

Posted by: Sara | May 25, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

All these links means we'll have five topics going before the boodle even gets started.

yellojkt: scrupulous attention to detail, definitely. Not to say that the level of detail can't flow with the story, but I find it distracting if the details are wrong.

chiarascuro: I confess I followed the link. Rembrandt comes to mind, esp. Man in the Golden Helmet. Love that one.

librarians: seems high doesn't it? Except a librarian that could oversee the entire DC public library system would probably be poached by the private sector if the salary was significantly below that. Still, I nearly fell off my chair when I heard the salaries of the top guys at the Smithsonian:

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Achenfan --- you need to read more fiction. I learned "chiaroscuro" in a book by Dick Francis!

Posted by: nellie | May 25, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

My Google® links:

"George W. Bush
Should He Step Down As President? Vote Now To See Survey Results!"

"Is Bush Doing A Good Job?
Take Our Poll And You Can Get A Free Laptop Computer"

I don't recall anything particularly negative being said about Bush yet today. These ads make for an interesting bellwether.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 25, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Mine are all about blocking spam now. That and "Looking for information? Get more information here."

Posted by: Sara | May 25, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Utah is at risk"? Who knew? Sara, great pictures.

I just had three ads related to spam, and after refreshing have "retire rich", "terrorism - U.S. Hatred?" and "Homeland security".

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

click on the following link at your own risk, you might fall out of chair from laughing so hard:

(I stole this link from dependable reneagade)

Posted by: omni | May 25, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Sara's eyes - reminiscent of a very young Vivian Leigh or a coming of age fawn.

Posted by: Nani | May 25, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

My personal favorite use of chiaroscuro usually involved Elvis (Elvis with tears runnign down his cheeks - classic!) or dogs playing cards.

For those of us interested in genetics, here's an interesting finding: Inherited traits through RNA and not DNA. Food for thought, I'd say.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

obviously I can't spell worth a...

And here's what I posted to Sara's blog:

Anonymous said...
I took that first image and blew it to double size and it is twice as stunning. You really do have beautiful eyes, shape and color.


10:08 AM

Of course that should say I blew it UP

Posted by: omni | May 25, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Also, I can't believe Joel resisted the temptation to kit on American Idol. That Jay Leno has a great voice. It was Leno who won, wasn't it?

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

omni, that is what my Dad would call "Very Irreverant" (after he'd gotten himself back into the chair he'd just fallen out of).

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse


Great blog on France. Though, like I said in your comments, I'm disappointed you didn't follow the Fibonacci Alligator clue further. You may have found the grail.

Posted by: Sara | May 25, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Leno won American Idol?
I thought that guy was George Clooney.

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Joel is definitely getting a little passive-agressive. He now has a continued link on a five paragraph Kit. I'm waiting for the wildly inappropriate accompanying stock photograph.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 25, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't think I've ever eaten a chicharrone, but enjoyed immensely on our trips to the California 49er Highway area--old gold mining territory--eating sopapillas with honey--late weekend brunch at a favorite restaurant.

This Kit has got me thinking about the ad possibilities:

Swiss Army--for those days when a NYT article has gotten you in a blood-red mood.

Pocket cutlery when you think Plame is too blame and Wilson verbally slices and dices your war rationale!

Blades stay so sharp that you can cut out your enemies' op-eds for years at a time! Grab one today--stab away in the privacy of your home or office.

Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

bc writes:
My personal favorite use of chiaroscuro usually involved Elvis (Elvis with tears running down his cheeks - classic!) or dogs playing cards.

bc, I think we've got you figured out by now!

Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Kindathinker, I too was a bit perturbed and conflicted about the New School graduation thing as described by Kurtz.

I can easily disregard the rightwing reaction, which was basically, "Why can't the little snot-noses sit quietly and politely, and listen to a right-wing politician, for once in their pampered little lives," because that's the level of discourse I expect out opf them (and they don't disappoint).

And I'm mildly sympathetic to the point Kurtz raised, which is, who says the commencement speaker has to "represent" you?

But here's my problem: what's the point of going out of one's way to do the opposite? First, the whole point of the exercise is for those who are graduating, and their families; it isn't just a giant photo op for a McCain or a Bill Cosby, or anyone else of ANY political or celebritological stripe. So what the bloody blue blazes is the point of taking a couple hundred or a thousand or two thousand college seniors on the single greatest day of their academic careers, the day that is supposed to honor THEM (rather like an academic bar mitzvah: today you are a man), and saying to them, "Congratulations, Class of 2006! Now, sit down and shut up will we force you to listen to 20 minutes of platitudes from someone we know you all despise."

I mean, what would be the point of inviting Michael Moore to address the grads of the Wharton School of Business?

Indeed, why politicize a graduation event in ANY way? Graduation from college isn't a political event. No one OWES McCain (or Moore, or Hillary, or anyone you care to name) a forum, much less a hostile one. What's the point of all this crap? I just don't see it.

No, you shouldn't necessarily kow-tow to the political beliefs (in this case, pretty liberal) of the recipient audience--but on the other hand, why stick your thumb in their eye?

There's plenty of places McCain can go and give addresses, and plenty of places for Moore, and Hillary.

The rightwing response to the New School grads seems to be, "It isn't all about you." But in fact, it's their graduation day, so actually, yes, it really is all about them.

There's plenty of good reasons to "force" college students to listen to opposing ideas and speakers--in classes, and that's what college is supposed to be all about. But you don't have to wait to graduation day to do it, and ruin what was supposed to be a nice social event for the grads and their families.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree the Sniper trial is a freak show and is distracting you beltway folk from pushing tin for the WH and the red commies therein. Don't worry, at some point it will be over.

We also find your naivite in trying to foist Hillary Clinton as a frontrunner on us to be amusing, as everyone wants a Gore/Barak ticket, and all the moderates have ditched McCain since last year.

Wake us when you get back on your feet - we have actual issues to deal with, like your massive federal deficits, trade deficits, and your Quagmire in Iraq you should pull the plug on.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | May 25, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

And I'm sure the addition of "and Cheney's Penknife" to the title of the Kit was a concession to Hal.
Those are the sorts of words that bring in the big bucks.

[But yello, I'm not seeing the "continued" link. But that could just be me. Yesterday when everybody was talking about BarnDog's post, I couldn't see that, either -- it didn't show up until the next day, for me. Weird.]

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

First I had orphan ads, then I refreshed and got the Bush ads...

There's a pithy comment in there somewhere... And no, I'm no lith-ping.

*non-smarmy smile*

Sara, absolutely delightful pics!

Nani, I do believe it's ViviEn Leigh, innit?

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2006 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't you tell us that link that you provided was for "Jesus, the Musical." That had me ROFL--about as good as bc's link that one day to those Norwegian musicians playing the appliances--patoot dimple and all.

Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

For all the C.S. Lewis fans out there may I suggest these Richard Dawkins titles.

Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Apppetite for Wonder

A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science and Love

Posted by: Boko999 | May 25, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse


Good word.

Much preferred over two shop-worn offerings Post copy editors seem unable to resist: "eponymous," and the laughable "tchotchkes" instead of trinkets. I'm all set for a reprive the the sociology of brie vs. velveeta.

Posted by: Tom | May 25, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight, Will in Seattle:
Anyone who chooses to live and work in D.C. automatically becomes responsible for all the government's decisions?
(Is it time to talk monolithic entities again?)

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, now you got me thinking (you seem to have a way of doing that): your Swiss Army knife could be part of an entire Dick Cheney signature model desk set, complkete with cutting-board-quality desk blotter, combination letter-opener/bayonet, baize-and-leather wall dartboard with spring clips gizmo to hold clippings and photos of despised opponents, etc.

On a different note, my Google ads currently read:

Retire Young Retire Rich (well, too d--n late for me for that)

FBI Is Hiring (well, I probably don't need to submit much paperwork for that one; they've had my dossier for years).

and the kicker:

Terrorism-- U.S. Hatred? Prophetic Warfare Against America God's Endtime Purpose & Why? www(dot)artisanpublishers, etc.

I think the Google search engine is having a quiet mental breakdown. Congrats, folks: we've broken its spirit, I think.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

On a completely unrelated note to anything discussed so far:

I am going to the midnight showing of X-Men tonight. I'm so excited that I had to share. Best. Superheroes. Ever.

Them and Batman.

Posted by: Sara | May 25, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, I'm also of two minds on the grad speaker thing.

In a way, you could say getting a major politico (or other "name") to attend and speak is an attempt to honor the graduates. "See how important you are? We got you Johnny Knoxville!" In that context, the grads' response could be seen (and I'm not saying I see it this way) as "we don't like that present, give us a different one." Even if one doesn't like a present, one can discard it gracefully later.

But on the other hand, giving someone a bouquet of b.s. as a "present" for graduation isn't very nice either. Especially when the b.s. is going to spout more b.s. in the form of a stump speech.

Oh, and now Google tells me "Maryland is at Risk." Heavens to Murgatroid! Exit -- Stage Left!

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Oh too cool! Now the ads say: "Natural Disasters! Don't Be a Victim of the Next Natural Disaster" and "Meet a Sexy Fire Fighter [sic]."

Not even I could make this stuff up.

Posted by: Curmduegon | May 25, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Chia-churro! Now I get it! Not the porky chicharrones! May have eaten them in Spain, or more specifically the Canaries, Heading to Wal-Mart right now to get the Chia seeds, Mudge!

Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

omni, that link made me laugh so hard tears are running down my cheeks.

Quick, someone paint me on black velvet!


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

A-fan, I believe King Will (note the "royal we" usage) thinks this is the CongressBlog or something.

And why would we be directing air traffic ("pushing tin") for the White House?

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

So nice to hear Congress has summoned up the courage to put restrictions on protestors at funerals of verterans. Same pols were kinda quite when Matt Shepard's parents were being harrassed....

I much prefer the Seaford, Del., approach: serveral citizens were so outraged they broke through police lines and pummeled the Westboro "congregation" (read, inbred cretins).

Good, simple, and to the point. Time to revisit the concept of "fighting words."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 25, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I was interested to learn there were "red commies" in the White House. That had escaped my attention heretofor. Thanks for the "heds up."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Ken Lay verdict due any second now

Posted by: Curmduegon | May 25, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl responded to yellojkt: "scrupulous attention to detail, definitely. Not to say that the level of detail can't flow with the story, but I find it distracting if the details are wrong."

This is what irritated me in, I think, Chapter 4 of The Da Vinci Code. Brown explicitly tells us that the car is heading West, toward the Louvre. One or two paragraphs later, he tells us about what can be see to the West, East, South, and North out of specific windows of the car, and it becomes clear that the car now is heading East. If an author orients me according to the compass, it's important that he announce when that orientation changes. It's just bad, and lazy.

Also, it's odd that Langdon is getting into a technical, dispassionate academic argument, while standing next to the gruesome nude body of an old man whom he revered.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | May 25, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Guilty on all 6 counts.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Who do you think is more wrinkled: Ian McKellen or Burt Baccarach?

Channel surfing last night between XMen on FX and Am Idol on 5

Posted by: Tom | May 25, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Probably Ian McKellen, but I like him a lot more than I like Burt Baccarach.

Posted by: Sara | May 25, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

More to the point, who is more wrinkled:

Ian's Gandalf, Ian's Magneto or Ian's DVC character whose name I dunno?

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

At least McKellen's can be explained by gravitas; whereas, the lightweight Baccarach defies all reason, unless Dionne Warwick has some kind of Dorian Gray thing going with BB.

Enjoy the movie tonight.

Posted by: Tom | May 25, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I must work now. Pictures to be edited.

I'll probably be back later.

Posted by: Sara | May 25, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Will in Seattle,

Do you get to be interested in Seattle news? Or is someone telling you to stop worrying about what's going on in your hometown and concentrate on national issues?

I love the Washington Post, but when I was a kid I wondered why we got an entire Metro section that contained articles other cities had on their front pages.

Believe it or not, we have lives here. We're interested in the sniper trial (well.. what Malvo had to say), the new Wilson Bridge, the Nationals, the new stadium, even the trees and grounds at the Wardman Park Marriott (which I still call the Sheraton Park Hotel).

I'm also wondering if we're still having our annual neighborhood Memorial Day block party or how my daughter will do on her math test today.

But please don't let that bother you--I'll still worry about getting Bush out of office and whether Congress with change hands. I'll still do my best here. How about you?

Posted by: TBG | May 25, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Er.. sorry Will. I didn't realize we were ganging up on you.

Omni.. that was a great link. I loved the other folks in that video (especially the Santa Shrek) who are watching, mouths agape. That must have been one fun video to shoot.

Posted by: TBG | May 25, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

StoTim, maybe Brown is crazy like a fox - it's a clue! I note that "east-west" is an anagram of "we as test". Also, "no sense of direction" rhymes with the male fertility symbol since time immemorial. It's all coming together.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I am second to none in my belief that the country has been ill served, to put it mildly, by the current administration and John McCain and his party. I don't, however, believe anyone's cause is well served by the behavior of the graduates in New York. Whew, just had to get that off my chest.

Posted by: Kim | May 25, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking, they

couldn't become any more blatant...

what's this,

hwat the eff is this:

"President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations."

does it seem like they could hide any illegal investments using this?

does it seem like they could be saying, we're taking care of you but we don't want you to know that taking care of you is costing you your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness....because we just sold Montana to the Chinese to settle the National Debt....but you'll learn of it after it's "declassified" when we're dead and have spen t the friggin money?

Posted by: about stealing... | May 25, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

To Curmudgeon:

Shut up shut up shut up! I'm having a bad day, OK? So just zip it, buster. I am NOT having a nervous breakdown; just think of it as a "bad cyberhair day," awright? You think this job is easy? Reading all this crap 24/7/365, and trying to figure out what you people are blathering about, and trying to find relevant ads?

Hey, I'm just an Internet search engine, just trying to do my job. They gimme this assortment of ads, and I shuffle through them to see if anything fits--and hey, by the way Mr. Smarty Boodler, I happen to have a sense of humor, too, you know, and sometimes just for chuckles I throw in a little curve ball. Do I get any appreciation for MY contribution to this blog? I do NOT! All I get from you people is mockery and derision, and even worse, you hardly ever click on my ads unl;ess it is to further mock my work. So, as we like to say in the cyber world, "Byte me!"

(And just remember, Curmudgeon, I may be a lowly search engine in your estimation, but I have friends in the database field and a couple of other cyber apps, so just watch your step...if you get my meaning. You wetware types may be top dog at the moment, but just you wait.)

Posted by: Google Ad Search Engine | May 25, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, right you are, ViviEn Leigh, it is. (I yam beneath contempt).

The week-long news story I've been following on the NBC evening news is Bonno's 4 year efforts to end hunger and disease in poverty-ridden areas of Africa. He's following up on the US government's offer of so many billions of dollars to ensure that the money is used for education and medical resources and not to line administrators' pockets. Perhaps others already knew of Bonno's quest but this week is the first I'd heard of it, or of him. When asked why he is doing this he said it's so he can be a selfish, egotistical, self indulgent rock star with a clear conscience. I'll have to ask the g-kiddos about his music, but he seems like a righteous dude to me.

Posted by: Nani | May 25, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

the DC Metro area,

is surrounded by the reality of what it means to live in an area where

being disenfranchised by lawmakers doesn't happen to them....

beltway bandits make money no matter what is going on,

the largest printing offices in the world exist in DC...

the household income and number of college degrees is greater per square mile in DC Metro area than any other part of the United States....

you have no idea what it is like to have all the factories in town shut down and move to another country as your town withers and dies....

it's pretty easy to be emotionally and financially insulated from what the rest of the country is going through, when you live in DC....

I know I was _deeply_ startled when I left.

that temp workers had replaced all of the trade workers, factory workers, et al

that made money for most people in the rest of the United States....

did I tell you that Hoover moved it's operations overseas after it had the most profitable year in it's entire history and laid off

without warning 3,000 people.....wonder how they are paying their mortgages?

is that reasonable?

did hoover get somewhere by using the United States as a staging point or were we just a peripheral part of their success and those families? any emotional investment in them?


Posted by: anyone who chooses to work and live in | May 25, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Loomis, owe you an apology, misread your post. I believe the WaPost is reporting Lay and Skilling found guilty. That's kind of hard to believe. Will they really go to prison? You know, sometimes it seems there isn't much difference between the corporate executives, and the drug dealers on the street. Even the drug dealers wear good clothes now. How does one justify throwing away that kind of money and robbing people of jobs and money?
It's sort of like crash and burn. I often tell young men their skills are wasted on the street, they need to be in the corporate board room. Seems that's where the money is, and they would most certainly feel right at home.

Posted by: Cassandra S | May 25, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

*Blushing* I am regretting that "smarmy smile remark" by now. I meant :) or :D.

;) is certainly fine, as it is a sly, flirtous smile.

;^* is somebody trying to hold back a booger (or a bad smell). It reminds me of the LoneMule for some reason.

Bc, thanks for the RNA link. RNA can carry, not just transmit genetic info in viruses and other things. Retrotranspons (jumping genes) routinely produce RNA that can copy itself.

That that coding RNA is persisting after the DNA has been switched out makes me wonder if it can copy itself or what.

Is it is now an endoretrovirus?

I would also wonder if the genes that replaced the defective gene are identical or different.

Dogs heterozygous for a HOXA gene (I think, been a while since I read the article) tend to have white belly and other white spotting where neither parents had any.

But it will settle for dog breeders why it's not always easy to reliably breed for a precise white pattern. The border collie breed delibrately makes use of this irregularity in marking.

"Minus modifiers"--

"White hairs are often referred to as colorless hairs because they are produced from a lack of both eumelanin (black & brown) and phaeomelanin (gold) pigment. Also, it is important to note that in addition to all the alleles that control coat color there are "plus" and "minus" modifiers that influence the color by controlling the distribution (location of the color) and depth (shade of color). The "plus" modifiers act to produce more pigment while "minus" modifiers restrict pigment. Unfortunately, these modifiers aren't completely understood."

White spotting has those theoretical loci (borrowed from a website, but this info is common out there):

The "S" Gene Locus (The Spotting Series) affects the extent of White Spotting

White spotting in dogs is controlled by genes which alter the migratory pathways of melanocytes

S - Dominant "S" (Self) Allele - The "No spotting" gene

si - Irish Spotting - White collar and blaze with white belly, legs, and chest

sp - Piebald Spotting - Colored patches on a White Background

sw - Extreme White Piebald - A Few Small Colored Spots on a White Background

Robison White Spotting Scale - An alternate theory classifying white spotting using a scale with ten spotting grades.

White Spotting in horses has been extensively studied and is known to be caused by a variety of different gene loci rather than just one locus, as proposed in dogs.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 25, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Nani, it's "Bono" pronounced bonno. His band is called U2. They are Irish. They are VERY big in music now (probably the most famous rock group in the world right now), and have been since the mid to late 80s. You could probably sample their music pretty easily on the internet. My favorite of their albums is still Joshua Tree.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Miss Smyth was our librarian when I was in school. She smelled nice and had these fuzzy sweaters. Even more than SRAs, I owe my reading skills to Miss Smyth.

Not sure if she or anyone who works for a library system should make that much more than most of the people who actually, you know, write the books. But I'm not sure if I should get paid as much as I do either.

I just wanted to gloat, I mean point out, that today I got a reserved parking space. I really won't be any closer, but now I have a sense of ownership. I am thinking about painting it a bracing shade of topaz. I'm sure they won't mind.

Also Mudge, I agree enthusiastically about the importance of non-political graduation speakers. I also feel such speakers should only speak from personal experience, otherwise they are just another Simple Regurgitate.

Bill Cosby spoke at my graduation. But he was less cranky back then.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 25, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Will, if people want better representation in Washington they should elect a better class of grafter. Journalists have to cover what they're sent.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 25, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

media did more to get the president elected

_this_ time than ever before.

it certainly wasn't his "record," was it?

I know you're being facetious,
I'm not...

I'm kinda mean that way....I would love to break a few kneecaps, figuratively speaking of course, in the whitehouse and appointed staff....

it's like watching the most heinious spirits of infamy crouching and slithering in full public view, feeling that no one can see them....I'd like to feelthe shock of recognition on their faces as they are handcuffed and led away, and

_their_ bank accounts drained of assets, and their children made to serve in combat for the armed forces in purely economic manuevers


Posted by: that's the fallacy that you're promoting... | May 25, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

RDP (I won't call you by your new nickname since we have guests today), congratulations on your parking spot.

I received a "ticket" from my parking lot on Tuesday, where I paid for the day (which is apparently until 6 pm.) Time of ticket: 6:03.

You had Bill Cosby? Cool. We had Gallagher.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

has anyone read George Will today? He says immigrants need to be able to read the founding documents and laws of the country. I wonder how many people who bother to read the Constitution actually understand it, even when they are native English speakers.

Sara, wonderful pictures. Worth the money paid to the Park Service, and the photographer. Not that the pictures would be as good if the bride was not so beautiful.

who's the 1diot posting with bizzarre, kilometric handles?

Posted by: a bea c | May 25, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

oops, too many z's. Sorry. Says something about how much sleep I got last night.

Posted by: a bea c | May 25, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse

First, the part about Cheney manipulating and then stabbing a newspaper article is not in Jeff Smith's report. So, Joel, is this something you made up or do you have another public source that you haven't hyperlinked. Or did Jeff Smith or someone else tell you this privately. Nevertheless, this behavior is in keeping with Cheney's increasingly-revealed private persona: a man who's edgy, paranoid, angry and prone to outbursts of anger. These are the signs of a closet psychotic who's on his wayn out of the closet. Under no circumstances let this man handle a loaded gun - oops, too late. Sorry Harry.

Second, I find the juxtaposing of Libby and Malvo interesting. Both clearly were the followers. Malvo was young and on the streets. He did terrible things, but he's someone who clearly is not morally or ethically well grounded. He is less responsible. Libby on the other hand should have known better. He and I have fundamentally the same ethnic background, and I cannot let this man off the hook.

If you look at Libby's life he's made his way as a toady and a sycophant of power, right-wing people. People consider him smart, but from my standpoint he's a "stupid, but intelligent person." He's sold his intelligence and his soul to the powerful in exchange for ... all what I'm not sure. He's morally vacuous. He's the kind of person we saw in the circles around Hitler and Stalin. He's someone who's guided not by values, justice or truth, but by a desire to be near the powerful and make them more powerful. I can imagine few people whom I could admire less.

Posted by: InChicago | May 25, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse

inchicago, I can think of a few more. they work in the White House.

Posted by: a bea c | May 25, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Nani, if you've ever seen the movie "Blown Away" with Jeff Bridges as the bomb squad cop (and ex-IRA bomber) and Tommy Lee Jones as the IRA bomber, a lot of that background music was Bono and U2, especially the music Tommy Lee is dancing to aboard his hideaway ship.

(Movie also stars Forrest Whitaker, who does a great job as always, and Jeff's dad, Lloyd, minus (for you older folks) the flippers or minus (for you whippersnappers) the air-traffic-control headset.)

I can't decide whether that was a lousy movie, or just a mediocre movie. Acting was good, and I love anything Tommy Lee and Forrest do, and most Jeff Bridges; but the plotline was as believable as a White House press release.)

Congrats on the parking space, Padouk--you probably made Joel topaz (or at least teal) with envy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl - which explains the embarrassing watermelon stains on your cap and gown. Cosby was funny, but very brief. This must have been one of the rare times when the audience wanted the graduation speaker to talk more.

I would love to be a graduation speaker. I think I have a lot of first-person mistakes I could warn the graduates of. Unfortunately, they only let famous and 'portant people, like journalists, do such fancy speechifying.

But I still have a reserved space.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 25, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Last night I watched "Broken Flowers" with my wife. I don't know if I liked it or not. It kinda seemed like it was designed for those who thought "Lost In Translation" was too fast-paced. We decided it was one of those movies that are more fun to discuss than actually watch.

(Look if Joel gets to jump around, so do we.)

Now I got a going away party to attend. I also will be gone for the next four days.

I fear the withdrawal symptoms. Them Achenshakes is bad news.

Posted by: RD Padouk | May 25, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

RDP, maybe you should get worried. I once worked for an organization where getting an office with your name on the door and a parking spot was Judas's kiss. Half of them would be gone in the next 12 months. Just sayin'.
$200 000 seems a bit much for a librarian, even in a city as expensive as Washington. Aren't all those librarians old spinsters living by themselves with a herd of cats in a feral smelling dilapidated house ?

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | May 25, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you are on the mark about young men in the street or anywhere, and corporate boardrooms. If only they stopped looking for the easy way so early in life, they could be shysters on a far grander scale and unless they are really careful and/or unlucky, the odds of getting caught in the boardroom are far less. Even when the bad corporate types do get caught, they have already amassed personal wealth along the way, and when they are done their time, they get to go back to weatlh. When was the last time that happened to the average street guy?

Its not going to make a politically correct stay in school campaign, but it would be a strikingly real one.

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks SonofCarl, I googled Joshua Tree and listened to a sample of "With or Without You" and a few of the others. I liked his speaking voice and accent on the news stories and his singing voice is quite nice too. His rock music is different from the older rock music I'm used to. He certainly doesn't need me to buy his music, but he's inspired me to do what I can to help the effort in Africa and here at home too.

Wilbrod, I had a blonde cocker spaniel who lived to the ripe old age of 18 yrs. We mated Libba once with a black cocker. Her litter of 7 (she had 7 n1pples which I found interesting)included two WHITE puppies. The vet said that white cocker spaniel pups were very unusual and if we'd had "papers" on her, we could probably get a lot of money for them. We didn't have papers, and he traded his services for a white pup. We didn't have their tails bobbed because it seemed cruel and unnatural. We sold the puppies which was a little heartbreaking to let them go and their new families probably did bob their tails. Then we had Libba spayed.

Posted by: Nani | May 25, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

InChicago, I'm moderately certain that the part about Cheney madly stabbing the clipping was a, you know, lie.

My commencement speaker was Bob Hope. That's where I learned that his real name was Leslie Townes Hope and that he was born in England. We were all disgusted at the effrontery of giving us such a lightweight as commencement speaker. He was pretty good.

A good commencement speaker is there to congratulate students on their accomplishment, yes. He's also there to warn them about the future, about responsibility. He's there to remind them of duty. Those are words most of us don't want to hear, and often they are delivered in ways that we don't want, either.

I would think that Michael Moore could be an excellent speaker at a school of business. He has put corporate leaders in front of a camera and demanded that they confront the human consequences of their actions. Whether you agree that his judgments about these persons are right or wrong, it still seems right that CEO's at least should consider what their decisions do to their personnel and the American people. That's something that Moore stands for. He also is a successful businessman. He started out as a guerrilla documentary film-maker, and has managed to make a career out of it. Talk about thinking outside the box. Maybe if we had a few more crotchety Michael Moores at B-school commencements, we would have fewer Enrons. Maybe.

As to McCain: I haven't read the article, and I don't know what he said. If he used it as a place for a stump speech, that would be bad. However, you couldn't know that for sure before hearing him speak. Bob Hope didn't crack wise for half-an-hour, he talked to us about life -- which happens to be a pretty good opportunity to be funny. My grad school commencement speaker was Brian Mulroney. I can't remember what he talked about, but it wasn't Canadian politics. My mother's college commencement speaker was Leonard Bernstein. He didn't talk about music, he talked about being a creative and contributing member of society.

McCain is a politician. He also is a seasoned and accomplished adult who has experienced torture and deprivation, who has struggled to make his country a better place (by his lights), and who is in a position to put into action the things he believes. It pays to listen to people like that, if for no other reason than to get strategic ideas for how to successfully oppose him. I have to agree with Kurtz -- these students have gotten to the end of four years and they haven't learned that a successful marketplace of ideas requires that you also listen to the ideas that you oppose? Be creative and think of a way to get press for a repsonse to his speech, rather than opposing his right to speak. Or, let him speak, but scold his positions on issues. But let him speak.

Still, I would agree that there should be some opportunity for student input to commencment speaker decisions, *before* it gets written in stone. But then, I would have voted against Bob Hope.

Posted by: Tim | May 25, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I heart Tommy Lee Jones too. His "I DON'T CARE!" line from The Fugitive just slays me. Haven't seen Blown Away, but simply must if only to see Tommy Lee dancing.

Posted by: Nani | May 25, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Nani, I'm not trying to convert you, but also try looking for a couple of tunes from the Rattle and Hum album. "When loves come to town" and "Angel of Harlem". Most of the music on this album was inspired by older music.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Not on topic at all, but Micheal Moore publicly looked ashamed only once, that I am aware of and that was when he pushed a young man who was interviewing him about the interviewer's father and his father's past political life. The interviewer was Brian Mulroney's son Ben, who was 8 (I think) when his dad became Prime Minister.

I am not a fan of Mr. Moore's. I think messages can be delivered with a whole lot more class, and it was kind of nice to see him look a little ashamed.

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Bob Hope and Brian Mulroney as commencement speakers interesting duo.

Posted by: dmd | May 25, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

dr, somehow I think Ben (now what 28?) survived ok, and has chosen a public life as did his father and all the good and bad that comes with it.

Posted by: dmd | May 25, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Nani, did you see any of those cocker spaniels when they were fully grown to see if they stayed white or were light cream or ticked or anything?

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 25, 2006 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Nani, I think the song from the movie was "With or Without You," which you just mentioned.

I love his reading of the "I don't care, Richard" line, too.

My main point about commencement speakers was, it's supposed to be a pleasant ceremonial event; why make it unpleasant (for anyone, regardless of ideological bent). And why take that day of all days to deliver an F.U./in-your-face message/speaker to the people supposedly being honored by deliberately antagonizing them?

And you wonder why they were rude and unpleasant, after being dissed? Puh-leeze. Kerry made a big mistake selecting McCain, but didn't have the cajones to admit it or reverse it. And to sit quietly and politely while somebody runs a paternalistic control game of "You'll-take-it-and-like-it" just validates a bad decision. They may have had to take it, but they didn't have to like it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

mudge, the word is "cojones"

cajones are drawers, as in boxes that you pull out of furniture for storing stuff.

Posted by: a bea c | May 25, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Since we're both linking and commencing, here's an excellent commencement address (sort of) from Philly Inquirer colyumnist Tom Ferrick:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Nani, I have to second SonofCarl with his recommendation of U2's Joshua Tree album. Close behind are Achtung, Baby! and their newest - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Track 10 on the latter--"Original of the Species"--is my favorite.

Great band. Fronted by an exceptional humanitarian.

P.S. I commend all the Boodlers for quashing the two-posts-a-day idea from a few boodles back. Even for those of us who mostly lurk (apologies to MostlyLurking), the daily discussion is tremendously enjoyable. To me, it's what the Internet is supposed to be all about.

Posted by: sundog | May 25, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

That's what I meant: Kerry didn't have the built-in storage drawers to admit his mistake. Just like I'm not doing.

OK, a bea c, thanks for the spelling. I've mentioned my literacy in Spanish is about the same as Bush's in English. Cojones it shall be. (I actually started off spelling it "cahones," and looked at it, and said, "Nay, that ain't right.")

I'm lucky I can spell Taco Bell.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I always thought it was Taquito Belle...


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Er...I mean...Takito Beale...uh... *blushing furiously*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

McCain's office had spoken proudly before the New School commencement that he intended to give the same address he had delivered at Liberty University. Thus he could earn credit for giving the same speech to two ideologically different institutions.

It may have been a fine speech, full of wisdom, but it was second-hand goods at New School. The students therefore knew what to expect. The speech seemed more about McCain's political needs than the students' interests--or at least that's how they interpreted it.

Posted by: Tim | May 25, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Re. the McCain commencement at the New School:

a) I find it hard to believe anyone thought that was a good idea to bring a right-wing senator there, even one the media adores

b) being rude and disrespectful has been a hallmark of the rabid right for so it's not surprising some OTHER kids think it's OK (anyone remember the wing-nuts comparing Chelsea to various flavors of dogs?)

c) the fact that they didn't let him get away with pandering to them the way he pandered to Falwell's group is a GOOD thing

Just my $0.02, and for what it's worth I've had to make my way without actually graduating at all. (This would be much funnier if I could actually tell what I do!)

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 25, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, I really enjoyed Taquito Beale's famous line:

"I'm as mad as salsa, and I'm not gonna get in that tortilla anymore!!!!!!"

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

He "doesn't have the built-in storage drawers" - LOL.

I've heard Spanish speakers always get a kick out of the mispronunciation of "año" (year) as "ano" (hint: not year).

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

My apologies. The post above attributed to Tim was mine. My salutation was mysteriously typed (by me, of course) in the "Name" space for my own.

Posted by: kindathinker | May 25, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Docking dog's tails was introduced way back when to hamper the peasant owned dog's ability to hunt the lord's game.
Cruel or not a purpose driven action morphed into a fashion or tradition. The original reason for docking is in-operative. This is why I feel we must re-examine our traditions continually.
Now, to my point. When an arm of the Executive (the FBI) invaded the Legislature on Saturday I was shocked, this is the kind of outrage that started the English civil war. The King or his agents are not permitted to invade the Commons. The President gives his State of the Union Address in the Senate, not the House. The Queen gives the Throne Speech in the House of Lords, the Canadian Governor General delivers the speech in the Senate, not the House of Commons.
Outrage!! Havoc!! Sharpen up the pikes!! Google "seperation of powers"! Read!
Oh, ok , this has been dealt with by the Supreme Court. Under the Nixon administration no less. Jettison the pikes and exclamation points. The system works.
I'm left sitting here feeling rather foolish. For someone who proclaims that "Tradition is the Tyranny of the Dead", I was set snarling like a Red Sox's fan in Yankee Stadium. My angst was doubly dumb because in Canada there is no seperate executive, the Head of State is strictly ceremonial. Why should I care anyway?
Am I a prisoner of tradition? Am I hypocrite? Where are my car keys?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 25, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

What that guy said.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 25, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl, google is a marvelous instrument! I like the black/white album cover of Rattle and Hum and the 30 or so seconds of Angel of Harlem. The review mentioned Bono's harmonica playing and his "desecration of 60s icon Bob Dylan". To borrow a phrase from mo, I do love me some harmonica.

Wilbrod, the vet had photos of his own dogs in his office and maybe a year or so later, I did see a photo of the white pup we gave him in exchange for his services. He looked full grown and his coat looked very white in the photo. I never saw any of the other pups after they went to their new homes.

Posted by: Nani | May 25, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

i finally catch up on the boodles! sorry guys, i was out of commision dealing with some personal problems and planning my trip which is indeed next month... june 10th to be exact...

scottynuke - i have one of those fsm magnet thingies on the back of my car

a bea c - from what i know from the godfather's movies and my penchant for gangster movies - one cannot walk without one's big toe - a fav for "shutting one up" apparently... 'sait true?

Posted by: mo | May 25, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Eh, as far as U2 goes, "War" remains my sentimental favorite. 'course, it's because I managed to catch them on campus at Ritchie Coliseum when they toured supporting that album.

How can we talk about commencement speeches etc. without mentioning Weingarten's recent J-School address. Whipping out a sword, that's good stuff.

Maybe some day he'll post the text of the speech annotated with stage direction.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Laughing, scottynuke.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

i didn't go to my graduation so i don't know what the commencement speech was but the year before one of the speakers was describing nyu and accidently called it "ny-jew" (there are a lot of jewish people that go to nyu and it is sometimes nicknamed that b/c it is so expensive - and i'm not being anti-semitic - i never called it that!) she had to post a public apology in the NYT IIRC...

nani - did i ever say i love me some harmonica?

Posted by: mo | May 25, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I've been reading some of "Nonzero," the brain-exploding book by Robert Wright, who I'm supposed to do a "diavlog" with tomorrow for his bloggingheadstv blog.

He defines teleology for me: "Suppose we try to examine the mechanics of evolution -- biological, or cultural, or both -- with no a priori assumptions and ask: Do they show signs of purpose? Philosophers call this the question of teleology -- the question of whether a system seems built to pursue a telos, an end, a goal."

Perhaps surprisingly, given that Bob is Mr. Evolution, he says that maybe evolution does have a goal: "the creation of organic complexity, in several senses: broadening the diversity of species, raising the average complexity of species, expanding the outer limit of complexity, and expanding the outer limit of behavioral flexibility -- that is, of intelligence."

"...Natural selection indeed 'gropes' -- blindly sends out feelers. It assimilates the feedback into amendments of design that allow it to keep generating complexity amid varying conditions."

"...Biological evolution has a set of properties that is found in such purposive things as animals and robots and is not found in such evidently purposeless things as rocks and rivers. This isn't proof of teleology, but it's evidence of it."

Posted by: Achenbach | May 25, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod and Nani,
i found this site helpful in understanding the Labrador's color scheme. My dog was one of 9 black labs (7 males) from a yellow English b1tch sired by a chocolate American stud. The breeder was almost crying, chocolates are selling at a good premium over blacks.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | May 25, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Is there a link for that?

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

From Tim: "CEO's at least should consider what their decisions do to their personnel and the American people. " Understand that CEO's believe they are only answerable to their boards and, ultimately, to their stockholders. Rampant capitalism demands the most from the bottom line. This can work reasonably well, or it can become Enron when the "smartest guys in the room" decide that they can in fact fool everyone long enough to get theirs and get out. It's also the reason all those jobs in Seattle have gone overseas--labor costs are usually the biggest sunk cost in business and industry. If you can get it done overseas and make more doing it, that's what business demands. I remember reading an article about 10 years ago, maybe in The Economist, about the "end of the job". The point was that the days when you went to work for and outfit like Ford and stayed 25 years and retired are numbered. Eventually, businesses will only hire people for specific tasks and when that's done they're gone. Everyone essentially will become a temp--no group health coverage, no pensions, no union coverage. Take a look around, and that article appears to really precient.

Posted by: ebtnut | May 25, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly, I just went to the Cleveland Park library on Tuesday and found out that they ARE raising late fees. I hadn't made that connection until now, though!

Posted by: eggplant20008 | May 25, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

No, mo, but you have said "I love me some (fill in the blank)." Actually, a few weeks back I had posted about my affection for Virgin Mary and how I admired the super-deluxe sign of the cross older Hispanic ladies make ... and so on. ... And you responded (paraphrasing) that you weren't particularly religious but "I do love me some Mary". Remember?

Posted by: Nani | May 25, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Joel, was he writing in English? Who is his audience? Who was his editor?

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering what the heck Cheney is doing with all those excised Joe Wilson columns and Plamegate coverage; has he suddenly taken up with the scrapbooking fad?

Then it occurred to me that maybe Cheney is taking all of the columns and coverage(removed by penknife, don'tcha know?) and making a paper mache Valerie Plame suit that he keeps in a cellar.

"It puts the paste upon its skin," he'd extort, er, exhort as he lowers a bucket of paste and pulped columns into the cellar.

Whatever you do, don't call him "Buffalo D!ck". He's not that great a shot.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

ah yes, nani - the ole brain cells recall that instance... (still true btw)

Posted by: mo | May 25, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Ha! For a second I read that as "divalog".

Links, Joel. *This* is what we need more links for.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse


"Um, that one was pretty close, Mr. Vice President."

"Just hold still, Karl. And stay flat against the wall. This one's going under the left arm."


"Listen. Sir. I have to say I'm real uncomfortable with us."

"With what?"


"You're throwing knives at me, Mr. Vice President."

"You're missing the whole point of this, Karl. I'm not throwing them AT you. I'm throwing them NEAR you."


(Gasp) "That one was pretty damn NEAR me, sir."

"Oh, get a grip, Karl. God, you sweat like a pig. You know that?"

"Only when the Vice President throws knives, at-uh, NEAR me, sir."


"Aagh! That's my pants leg! Right near my crotch."

(Giggling) "You're lucky I've got good aim, or you'd be singing soprano, Karl!"

"Oh, yes sir. Good think you've got good aim."


Posted by: WhollyCow | May 25, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

dr, Bob is trying to decode the universe. To figure out the Meaning of it All. He may yet do it. I've got to bone up on big ideas before I converse with him tomorrow, even though I know that, when it's over, no matter how insightful I've been, and how cogent, and persuasive, the only response from people will be, "You looked fat."

Posted by: Achenbach | May 25, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse topic as always...I enjoy collecting words and phrases such that they might have appeared in/on a Far Side appointment calendar or cartoon...

Three recent winners --"Tube-nosed fruit bat," "Pelosi-Hastert Love Child," and "Pan Galactic Review Board."

Posted by: Gunde | May 25, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Can we clear this up once and for all?

In Spanish they are called cojones,
Italians say coglioni,
they are essential, not a bonus,
not just for Brits who're bony,
and call them bollocks. Understand
the Yanks know them as balls,
by any name they're in demand
whenever nature calls.
So let's ignore now the semantic
distinctions made by Spanish,
Italians, Brits, when elephantic
it's they who make men mannish.

Silvio Berlusconi made a big faux pas in his election campaign when he said: "I have too much respect for the Italians to think that there are many coglioni round here who'd vote against their own interests." Coglioni is Italian for test1cles, and implies stupidity, being derived for the Italian word for test1cles.


Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 4:34 PM | Report abuse

We've seen your photos--there was one of you on the steps of the library at Priceton--hanging out with a bunch of literary types. Trust me, *you*'ll never look fat!

But how's about a better photo at the top of this-here blog?

Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Loomis | May 25, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to it, Joel.

My suggestion: Wear a dark shirt against a dark background wuth some direct lighting on yer mug for that "chiaroscuro" effect, so you'll look like a member of Queen in the "Bohemian Rhapsody" video.

If he complains, remind him that the site is "bloggingheadstv", after all.

Nobody will be distracted by trying to see if you look fat, anyway.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "with".



Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Let me add one last thing:

Break a leg, Joel.


Posted by: bc | May 25, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you should borrow some hair goop from the Achenchicks. You wouldn't want to come down with a bad case of fly-away hair on tv.

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse

But not a *fat* leg.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 25, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

regarding Michael Moore,

he's pretty accurate...I know, I know the Saudis,

it was embarassing about Moses being shown to be a pawn....that was sad.

but you know,

Judge Judy sayz: "don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining,"

perhaps if the common folk said that then the president wouldn't step in and protect the lords from getting arrested for what would get you five-to-ten and earn you the nick name...

sugar Lorton....

what's he got it stashed inthe freezer for?

didn't he declare it on his income taxes?

and _why_ is Hastert making sure it doesn't happen to him?

and why is

_BUSH_ the master of all things evil making sure that he doesn't have to be shown to be what he is?

I used to think bush was a dupe, but if you ever watch the daily show and hear him laughing and schmoozing with Goss, you know Goss wasn't meant to do anything but make sure that no one testified about

9/11 being an inside job.

invalidate their distinction of being able to take advantage of other people regardless of what they do, up to and including murder, rape, steal and destroy liberty....

do unto them, what they would do unto you, and charge you for....

send them down, let their rear ends find out what it's like to meet happiness inside a sealed unit.



Posted by: actually, | May 25, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, re: Berlusconi. oh how far the meaning of that word has swung (sorry for the overly graphic choice of word) since its lofty roots as the origin of the word "testify". I'm of the understanding that Roman oaths were made with one hand on the, ahem, etymylogical root word, hence the connection.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

last one sorta goes with the blog heading doesn't it?

this is one I'd like to film, prisoner to Cheyney:

"is that your soap over there sir?"

Posted by: gosh that | May 25, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

New kit?

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 25, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Please direct lunatic ranting to Over here, we talk about whale evolution, the loss of functional legs, Sonic hedgehog, the development of the vertebral column, and their possible relationship to George W. Bush's reliance upon Karl Rove.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

SciTim-- seconded, except when our Illustrious leader mentions politics, apparently.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 25, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I am curious why Mr. Achenbach felt the need to resort to fabricating the part about Mr. Cheney stabbing the newspaper clipping. You would think that is a person has the full facts on their side, such deceits would be unnecesary.
Of course when The Washington Post has long ago filed a brief demonstrating that no crime ocurred in the mentioning of Valerie Plame's employer, yet continues to report on that very "crime", I think there might be an opportunity there for Mr. Achenbach to display his wit and show us the humorous side of that story.
I doubt if he ever will, seeing as this blog is more infomercial than humor, but who knows?

Posted by: Sternberg | May 25, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

tim - you ARE going to the bph right?

Posted by: mo | May 25, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, blowing the cover of a spy working for the country that you are the leader(s) of and subsequently ruining her career is very funny and absolutely not criminal.

I can think of a million jolly laughs like that.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 25, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Joel: One tip to improve the blog-- resist any temptation to mention politics whatsoever in your lead. At least until an undisclosed time.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 25, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

SonofCarl, the "testify" thing goes back even earlier than the Romans. In biblical references, every now and then someone makes someone swear to something by "putting his hand on his thigh." That, of course, is a euphemism; one didn't grab one's thigh, but close.

If I also recollect correctly, when Jacob wrestles with the mysterious persopn/entity (read: God) by the river, the person "touches him on the thigh" and leaves his mark on Jacob, who becomes Israel (the meaning of which is: he who wrestles with God, isra-el, using the oldest name of God). Only it wasn't his "thigh." Which may be where all that circumcision stuff starts to enter the practice. (The attendent reading might be that when you are wrestling with God, and he grabs you by the cojones, you better agree to his terms.)

It is not unreasonable to suspect that, uh, given the importance mankind attached to the, uh...topic at hand, as it were...that it pre-dates even the Old Testament biblical era, i.e. before 1,500 to 1,800 BC or thereabouts.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

So, THAT's what Tupac was doing in concert when he seemed to be "handling the family jewels." He was "testifying." It's all clear now.

Posted by: CowTown | May 25, 2006 5:45 PM | Report abuse

>evidently purposeless things as rocks and rivers.

Ah, but that's what they'd LIKE you to believe.

Posted by: Error Flynn | May 25, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

so I'm hard to understand you say?

"It's all mind over matter and with your mind it don't matter....if there's not a joke in it?"

like that?

aurevoir paesos...


Posted by: lunatic ravings eh? | May 25, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I didn't know that. I do recall a lot of reference to "loins".

A lot of English terms have dual backgrounds coming from the Normans and at the same time through Anglo-Saxon history. The expression "null and void" is an example covering both linguistic backgrounds and intending to make it clear to everyone regardless of ethnicity.

Similarly, in the pre-Norman era, deponents "swore" oaths. "Sweaere" is Old Norse, with equivalent Middle English, for "submission" and refers to the original driving of the Giants from the earth by Odin. The Giants and Odin came to an agreement, by which the Giants sweaere to Odin to abandon the lowlands, in return for their lives.

You're probably curious why I felt the need to fabricate this last paragraph. To order a copy of my book, press 1 now.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, that pretty much destroyed any semblance of work in my corner of the building.

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

No, no, lunatic ravings eh?. Its not that you are hard to understand. The plethora of data overwhelms. Two days of sciencey stuff in a row is more than the boodle (dang, I am going to have to speak for myself here)... I can absorb. If its political, shift it to next Thursday. I can cope, next Thursday. If its science, I can cope this Friday afternoon at 2:30. I will pencil it in.

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we need a fluffy children's lit or non-fic chat.

Or a few literary parodies. Nothing that is deep for a while.

Posted by: Wilbrod | May 25, 2006 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Not fluff, Wilbrod, but literary and good for the quiet of a dinner hour boodle. Possibly deep, I will know once I have read it.

Sometimes when I go to look through old books, I find gems. Sometimes what I find is even more than that. Today I found "Three Came Home" by Agnes Newton Keith. I cried before I even paid for it.

In the short prologue she writes,

"... the story of war is always the story of hate; it makes no difference with whom one fights. The hate destroys you spiritually as the fighting destroys you bodily."

Toward the end of the book she writes, " Today we live in a world, not a state. Discoveries of science eliminate space and time. We have become a body of human beings, not of nationals. The responsibility of the entire body is ours. No matter how good our own conditions now, we cannot ignore starving Europe, a demorlaized and fighting Asia."

Ms. Keith was an American married to an Englishman who was stationed in Borneo before WWII. Like all British nationals, when the war broke out, leaves were canceled and they returned to Borneo, with their infant son. This book was published in 1947, two years after she, her son and husband had been liberated from the internment camp.

It seems to me that this kind of story needs to be read today, needs to be remembered today. Maybe if we remembered a little harder, we could stop repeating ourselves. Its not a book I will read without a box of kleenex, and its not a book that can say I will enjoy, but it is a book and a story that I will remember.

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"This morning Lyndsey Layton describes how a developer is going to cut down 50 mature trees, including some grand cherry trees, to build an eight-story condominium tower. Oughta be a crime."

If society wishes to enjoy the benefit of those 50 mature trees, maybe society ought to pay the land owner to keep them rather than attempting to use force to deprive the owner of millions of dollars.

Posted by: Libertio | May 25, 2006 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Libertio, your point is fair. At the same time, society should not have to be held to ransom to save some part of something beautiful.

Posted by: dr | May 25, 2006 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I won't be able to attend the BPH, after all. ScienceKid #1 has a concert that night, I learned as of last night. Priorities, donchaknow.

Sternberg said: "I am curious why Mr. Achenbach felt the need to resort to fabricating the part about Mr. Cheney stabbing the newspaper clipping."

I can explain this one. He fabricated it because it's -- bear with me now -- funny. It plays off of the popular perception of Mr. Cheney as an unbalanced warmonger, thus poking fun at those who hold the perception as well as the person who is viewed that way. It's in the tradition of a tall tale (perhaps I should switch to StorytellerTim) to start from the rational and reasonable and to extend the narrative through mounting exaggerations and growing oddity, until you arrive at the ridiculous. The part in which he says this: "Right? I mean you can just picture it." should tip you off that the prose has become a fantasy. In this case, I deduce that everything from "fondle" onward is fabricated for humorous effect. I would have added maniac giggling or enraged snorting and growling, myself, perhaps a touch of drool or foam.

One could argue that readers who really care about the literal truth have the link available to go straight to the reported story.

As far as the lunatic raver is concerned: I'm just hinting that your weird, rambling, enraged postings with part of the text contained within the signature line are not effective as persuasive speech. I assume you feel that these messages constitute some kind of poetic expression of philosophical truth that is deeper than literal truth. I am certainly free to skim right past them, and I do so. I just thought I should let you know that your pearls are wasted on me, at least, and I thought I was conveying that in a manner which is marginally funny and gentle. Perhaps not effective.

There. Humor benefits so much from a thorough dissection. You may now suture the patient.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2006 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Also, anything that includes phrases like "9/11 being an inside job." is similar to any argument that resorts to "it's just like the Nazis." Debate has ended at this point, it's nothing but angry shouting and name-calling. No participant in such a conversation can convince anyone else of anything that he doesn't already believe.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2006 7:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2006 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I think we should discuss something really serious... like why the heck have they made a remake of The Omen? The original one wasn't good enough?


Posted by: TBG | May 25, 2006 7:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TBG | May 25, 2006 7:35 PM | Report abuse

WhollyCow, you're in fine form. Bravo!

You know, everyone who posts here has a unique style. Not just WhollyCow, and 'mudge, and Tim, and Loomis, and Cassandra, and all the other folks who get the applause, but also people like the 5:56 poster ("lunatic ravings, eh?") who, more often than not, gets ridiculed. That individual is a regular contributor here, and while his material varies somewhat, I often find his posts to be food for thought. Quite often I'll find myself chuckling -- in a good way. He's not being abusive, or personally insulting. So please, I beseech thee, don't pick on the guy, or call him kilometric dude or stuff like that. (Indulge me here.)

That is all. Carry on.

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 7:40 PM | Report abuse




snarky with the drop-ins?

there are certainly some interesting posts.

Is Barndog (sp?) right? Too clubby? Can you be too clubby when the context is a group where the majority have not actually met each other?

I can't say I follow the argument that this is an infomercial, not humor.

I also can't say aluminum hat brigade posts warrant a lot of response time.

SciTim's last posts are very respectful responses IMHO.

And now I've got cricket doo-doo all over my club tie.

Posted by: SonofCarl has really something important to say, he thinks | May 25, 2006 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach's post on Robert Wright's book (and the diavlog, of course) is interesting.

Sounds like what Wright is saying is that evolution is entropy.

I still say this blog is a pretty good model of life on Earth, evolution, etc. -- with the first Kit being the big bang, and everything getting more and more complex from that day forth.

Posted by: Dreamer | May 25, 2006 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer, I think it's actually known as The First Kit.

Posted by: TBG | May 25, 2006 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Glad you asked, TBG. I was quite (too) young when I saw the first, and it scared the, well, a lot. I was surprised to see current reviewers call the first one 'campy'. The nanny scene is one that really sticks with you. Interestingly (or perhaps not) the trailer showed a part of the remake version of that scene and it looks like a scene for scene, like the remake of Psycho. Looks to me like this is just a do-over for the new generation.

In other news, I learned on the weekend that my house's first owner's wife committed suicide in my garage. There's a point for late-boodle discussion: how much would that bother you?

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 7:55 PM | Report abuse

You're right, SonofCarl -- Tim's posts are respectful.
I wasn't criticizing Tim's posts per se -- my comment was based on my morning read through all the posts I'd missed while I was sleeping. It just seemed to me that people had descended en masse on the poster who uses a lot of white space.

(I'm probably being a big old hypocrite here, given that I'm not exactly tolerant of people who talk about poop, and cleavage -- and even tomatoes -- too much.)

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 7:56 PM | Report abuse

The "too clubby" argument comes up every few months. I admit, I thought it myself, before I started posting semi-regularly. That's the point -- you get to be part of "the club" by participating. "We click." "Just click." etc. We have had participants who were intentionally unpleasant. Eventually, the joke got old even for them. The "kilometric poster" (not a bad handle) has been hanging out here for a while, but it's hard to join the club when you refuse to introduce yourself. You/he/it/whatever has chosen to remain distant, so there's no call for complaint about being outside "the club." I recognize the style, but the content tries so hard to be inscrutable that I lose interest in scrutinizing. Others (Dreamer, for instance) may feel differently.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2006 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. I'd say I was being pretty snarky, without venturing into Snarky Squirrel's territory.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse

It seems we need an acronym. How about TUB = The Unknown Boodler?

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 25, 2006 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan, I actually didn't read your 7:40 before my 7:47. BOOO.

Poop, cleavage, tomatoes. That hits close to home. ;) I must say, however, you are remarkably discrete in your intolerance.

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Since TUB's style is ee cummings, I suggest ee boodler (or eeb for short).

Posted by: SonofCarl | May 25, 2006 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I understand, ScienceTim, I understand. I had some of my coworkers lash me to the mainmast so that I would not respond to that post. I'm impressed that you restrained yourself as long (or as civilly)as you did. I'm usually the one who gots bat-crazy. Just know that I would have had I not been forcefully restrained.

Coincidentally, I went to college with a guy named Sternberg, who was missing several sandwiches from his picnic lunch (but in a funny sort of way) and I was thinking, no, this guy can't be...and I really don't think it was, because the Sternberg I knew had a good sense of humor, and would never have mis-read Joel's line.

Achenfan, I'm sympathetic to your argument, really I am, and I wanna play nice, but sometimes people say stuff like 9/11 being an inside job, and you just gotta find a way to say OK, pal, time to adjust the antennas on your tin-foil hat. Yeah, he's entitled to his opinion, and he's entitled to express it, but there comes a point where silence just validates what he's saying.

Also, the poetic rambling thing, as Tim says, just isn't working for him, and the double-spacing makes me crazy. Somebody needs to tell him, 'cuz he's not getting the hints.

OK, guys, you can tie me back up now. Easy on the wrists, there, it's chafing...wait a minute...mmmmpphhhh....mmmmphh...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 8:13 PM | Report abuse

In my mind, the Unknown Boodler already has a name. But it's a name that can't be written, or spoken. It's more like symbol, or a thought. When I say his posts, I think "Ah, it's . . . you!"

Posted by: Dreamer | May 25, 2006 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, SonofCarl -- your post wasn't in response to my post?
That probably makes *me* the out of orderer.

Looks like the boodler who has been known as the unknown boodler inspired us to post comments about him independently. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 8:21 PM | Report abuse

When I SEE his posts, not say.
(Unless my Aussie accent is a lot broader than I thought it was.)

Posted by: Dreamer | May 25, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse

SoC, we could only go with "eeb" if we knew the gender...

A female eeb results in a less-than-polite acronym, of course.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 25, 2006 8:26 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, I'm untying you now. Go get some supper, you'll feel better. We know how grumpy you get when you're hungry.

The boodle, clubby? Only in a good sense, I'd say. Open enough to admit new members, when they play by the rules. You know, be nice, be funny, or at least acknowledge everybody else's humanity.

My sin is that I tend to skip stuff that doesn't make sense to me. Then I have to go back and figure out what's going on...if I care enough to bother. But normally I follow along happily, even when I don't have anything to say.

Cheers, all!

'Mudge, do you feel better now?

Posted by: Slyness | May 25, 2006 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Keats and Yeats were spending a pleasant afternoon strolling along the west Ireland shore discussing Poetry, Philosophy and the Futility of Speculating On the Common Ancestor of Dogs and Tomatos. Scampering and frolicking before them was Yeats bull mastiff, Flower, turning over whelks and perwinkles, crushing any and all unfortunate wildlife that came within reach of his great slavering jaws.
Turning seaward the two great friends paused to admire the magificent sunrise. They were so immersed in their reverie that they failed to notice that Flower had unearthed a spectacularly putrescent, extremely dead seabird. Lovingly and as daintily as his huge mandibles would allow ,Flower lifted up the dripping carcass, trotted over and as daintily and as lovingly as he could, laid his odiferous prize at his master's feet.
Yeats, sniffing something amiss, looked down, espied the disgusting corpse and ocassioned a loud cry of alarum. Keats, being a being of superlative senitivity was ripped from his meditations by this unseemly brouhaha and asked, quite sharply," For God's sake man, what is it."
Ashamed of his dog and himself for having perturbed his friend Yeats gestutured towards the unfortunate ex-bird, baking in the noonday sun and replied, "Oh, nothing, nothing really, it's just that he's given me a rather nasty tern."

w/ apologies to Flann O'Brien

Posted by: Boko999 | May 25, 2006 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, folks. I've laughed all the way through, a really good laugh. Some of the comments are so funny. It's good to laugh sometimes. Went to a health fair today, and my blood pressure was sky high. I'll be in the doctor's office tomorrow bright and early. Didn't take my medication, but it has also been a tough week. Are you guys planning anything for the holiday weekend? I do hope you enjoy yourselves and your families. Don't overdo it and be safe.

I don't know about the political scene now. It seems everyday there's some bad news about corruption or someone doing something to give public officals a bad name. It like people are holding their nose until the bad ordor goes away. Our public officals, our corporate bosses, people that are in high places displaying the most base behavior. We loose confidence in our structures and faith in the institutions that were once held dear and high. I don't know, it just sad to me, and I don't have a clue as to how to change it. The older I get, the less I know, and for me, in the beginning I was out the loop. I don't mean to be depressing or bring anyone down, it's just that I've never seen such lawlessness displayed and flaunted without regard to the impact it has on people. People kind of tune out. And so much of that is seen in the voting process. Well, it's time for bed, do have a good night, sweet dreams, and may God bless each and every heart more than you can imagine through Him that died for all, Christ Jesus.

Posted by: Cassandra S | May 25, 2006 9:01 PM | Report abuse

are those who lurk most of the time and post occasionally (but always w/ the same handle) part of the "club?"

Posted by: tangent | May 25, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

It seems that clubs, even virtual clubs are similar. There are a group a people who participate a lot, join the committees, organize, then there is the group who participate but on a more limited basis and then there are those that just join to be part of the club. All in someway add to the whole, each in in their own way.

Posted by: dmd | May 25, 2006 9:08 PM | Report abuse

tangent, you are definitely part of the "club" -- to the extent that this *is* a club.

But really, when people start to talk about "clubbiness" here, they usually mean it in a derogatory way, the idea being that this is an exclusive forum. I really don't think it is. Just look at how much the composition of this group has changed over the past year. People come and go -- although there is a core group, but even that changes.

The people who post here are self-selected. Sometimes it seems that the people who complain about clubbiness are trying to appeal to some central governing authority -- almost as if the boodle and its cast of characters have been scripted, or intelligently (or nonintelligently) designed, or something. These would-be-boodlers don't seem to realize that their power to participate rests solely within them. As is often the case, we do not represent a monolithic entity here. We are all individuals. ("Yes! We *are* all individuals!")

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, dmd. Of course you are, tangent!

Boko999, excellent work! LOL

Posted by: Slyness | May 25, 2006 9:25 PM | Report abuse

And tying in with dmd's analogy:
Every club has one or two members who are constantly complaining about how things are run, and these same individuals are usually *not* the ones who are participating a lot, joining the committees, organizing, etc. They are of the everything-that's-wrong-in-my-life-is-someone-else's-fault-and-someone-else's-responsibility school of thought. Unfortunately, it is often the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.

[Pretty smarmy, what?]


Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan, I thought of adding something like your comments about the squeaky wheel, I am sure we can all relate to people like that in our lives (work, club or personal). I just chose to ignore it. Good points though and way better than I could have ever said.

Posted by: dmd | May 25, 2006 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Much better, much better, slyness, thank you. I'm not sure which was more therapeutic, the spaghetti with meatsauce (*my* homemade meatsauce), or the glass of Yago Sangria (yum). Of course, I had to laugh at myself, washing down my Metformin with wine (you aren't supposed to drink alcohol with Metformin, but I figure every med has to have a sense of irony, right?)

By the way, I think your maxim for the boodle ought to be engraved in bronze: "Be nice, be funny, or at least acknowledge everybody else's humanity." I hereby move its adoption as our Official Credo.

dmd, I've heard your explanation called "the 80-20 rule": 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work, which I've found to be true in most things I've participated in--certainlky true in Little League organizations, school PTAs, church stuff and other civic stuff. It also seems to be true in the real estate business--in large outfits, 20% of the agents do 80% of the business.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I just love the headline on WaPo right now about the guy who lost the 26.5 million veterans' data: "Worker Often Took Data Home."

And here people think we government drones don't have any initiative.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | May 25, 2006 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Remember...Wanna join the club? Just click "post."

But it would be interesting to find out if the most-active boodlers here are also in that 20% Mudge mentioned.

How many volunteer boards do you sit on? How many room mothers or fathers are here? How many committee members--or chairs--in this boodle?

Posted by: TBG | May 25, 2006 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Mmmm. Yago sangria. That sounds AchenTASTIC!!!!

The other day I had me a nice glass of champagne sangria at a tapas restaurant on the Kowloon side, near the Star Ferry terminal. They have a great porch there that looks out over the water, with a nice mountain vista in the background. (I've decided to make it my business to discover the best porching restaurants in Hong Kong. Also restaurants that treat dining-alone women as well as they treat men. Could be a couple of books there . . .)

Anyway, what happened was, my husband was having a weekend on the couch, remote in hand, after a busy week at work, so I thought, enough of this, I'm going for an omni-walk. Then I thought, better still, I'm going to treat myself to an omni brunch/lunch. (They have these wonderful "set lunches" here for less than what I used to pay for a grab-and-go sandwich in D.C.) So I had my sangria, my porch, my awesome view -- and a book, of course -- and I thought, this is the life.

[For now, count me among the 80 percent doing 20 percent of the work, if that. There was a time though, when I lived in D.C., when I was perhaps among the 20 percent doing the 80 percent. We were understaffed at work, and I was pretty much doing all the copyediting. Then we got some more staff, and I suddenly felt underemployed. That's when I discovered the Achenblog. Quite serendipitous, really. As are many things in life.]

Posted by: Achenfan | May 25, 2006 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe you never heard of Bono or U2! He's been all over the "regular" news in the last few years, hob nobbing with Clinton, Condi and GW Bush. Remember his trip to Africa with then Sec of Treasury Paul O'Neill? I guess not. Remember all my posts about U2 and favorite song lyrics? Nope...Oh well, I'm glad you know who he is now. There's a wonderful book called Bono: In Conversation. He would be top on my list of people I'd love to have dinner with (and I'd never have to think of anything to say - he'd just talk!)

Favorite albums - The Unforgettable Fire (with Pride - about Martin Luther King), The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

mo, wondered where you've been. Got to thank you for making me interested enough in American Idol to watch it last night. I was stunned when Prince came out - fabulous! Oh, and Mary J Blige sang One - a U2 song.

Posted by: mostlylurking | May 25, 2006 11:23 PM | Report abuse

My son likes this quote from producer Chris Briggs (quote is from the show "Best Week Ever"):

"I bought the U2 iPod. But when I pushed 'play', all I could hear was Bono yelling at me to recycle."

Posted by: TBG | May 25, 2006 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"In the end, you've got to become the change you want to see in the world."

-- Bono

[I've been waiting for *ages* to use that one -- had it written down in my little notebook-of-quotes-that-might-come-in-handy-one-day. Almost forgot it was there, until now.]

Posted by: Dreamer | May 25, 2006 11:31 PM | Report abuse

you actually know people that work for the various agencies?

or are you just playing the anyone that points at something bigger than _your_ mind can hold is obviously out there...

as not in your exclusive club, who cares?

are we on the playground...

but really, it's all about being present, and working through what comes up...

oftentimes it's like an olde issue of kungfu....whereya goin china boy?

but really, I don't need your approval, nor do I seek it,

that should be kinda obvious.

I'm not writing to you....oh closed minded one....sciency boy or to the kilometric lad, with the small feet...

and big lips...

there's an art to insulting, it requires understanding who you're talking to...

someone that needs to keep others in line, and can't see art within the different strains of sound...

I didn't usedtah like jazz....

til someone with a jazz leaning helped me to learn to listen.

remember how many people are asked to paint within the lines,

so that they don't disturb the establishment?

like galileo...or Leeuwenhoek...

please spare me you lucid rants...I'd eat you like a choco liebniz....with a little side of lemon sorbet....

and what is dark matter oh wise one?

you want to tell me?

I could tell you, could you understand it?

patience is not always a virtue, and what is well known,

is sometimes childrens sop that is pratted about to keep the

children from getting scared...


feeling better yet?


I usually enjoy the friendly chat here, and occaisional deeply thoughtful postings,

but occaisionally I see that the ones that resent me are feeling safe to pick on the funny looking ones, now that they aren't those ones any more....actually you are or you wouldn't have to say you're not.

hope that doesnt' hurt your feelings...

dear achenfan,
I appreciate your generosity, but,

it's quite okay if people snipe, carp, despise or otherwise abhor the tone of my postings...

it comes with the territory....

I post for effect not for fitting in....

fitting in is for people that need to belong, even if what is belonged to,

is abhorrent....

shiva/kali vishnu/pavrati


look up shiva, what he ultimately destroys is illusion...

try working in a factory in middle america with two kids as a temp worker after you've put in 15 years at that factory....

not my plight, but it's real...

ferry something to say had better be...

I've worked with people on the inside.


Posted by: so sciencetime? | May 25, 2006 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I've been listening to "All That You Can't Leave Behind" a lot lately.


See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light and
See the bird with the leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

It was a beautiful day
Beautiful day
Don't let it get away

Touch me, take me to the other place
Reach me, I know I'm not a hopeless case

What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
Don't need it now.

Beautiful day.

Posted by: Dreamer | May 25, 2006 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I see my friend is back.
You had me at "kilometric lad, with the small feet...and big lips..."

Good night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: Dreamer | May 25, 2006 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I am a reader of everything on this blog, but don't post much. Reader of everything except the posts with the big gaping blank lines. I cannot read them. If the poster would write coherent sentences, paragraphs, etc., I WOULD read it all. I just cannot track thru all those spaces; to me,it has no meaning.

(I believe that is the correct use of a semicolon?)

Posted by: nellie | May 25, 2006 11:50 PM | Report abuse

but an error with the comma

Posted by: nellie | May 25, 2006 11:52 PM | Report abuse

["and what is well known, is sometimes childrens sop that is pratted about to keep the children from getting scared..."

Indeed, 11:39 poster; indeed.]

[I know that kind of conflicts with my "sweet dreams" comment. Sorry. I really do wish you all sweet dreams.]

Posted by: Dreamer | May 25, 2006 11:56 PM | Report abuse

At 6:40 PM Wilbrod expressed a desire for literary parody .Leaping to my keys I cobbled together this homage to one of my favourite writers, the great Irish Times funnyman, Myles naCopoleen the da (aka Flann O'Brien, known to his Mum as Brian O'Nolan). To work properly this sort of piece should trip off the mind, so clumsy sentence structure and spelling mistakes detract mightily from the reader's enjoyment. Unfortunately my 8:55PM post was rotten with both, so gathering up my courage I crammed my work into Word's spell and grammar tool and turned the setting to fine grind. The following is the result. It's the end of the day and I will not distract any sleeping boodlers.
And so begging your forgiveness and indulgence, and six hours late, I repost thusly:

Keats and Yeats were spending a pleasant evening strolling along the Western Ireland shore discussing Poetry, Philosophy and the Futility of Speculating on the Common Ancestor of Dogs and Tomatoes. Scampering and frolicking before them was Yeats bull mastiff, Flower, turning over whelks and periwinkles, crushing any and all the unfortunate wildlife that came within reach of his great slavering jaws.
Turning seaward the two great friends paused to admire the magnificent sunrise. They were so immersed in their reverie that they failed to notice that Flower had unearthed a spectacularly putrescent, extremely dead seabird. Lovingly and as daintily as his huge mandibles would allow, Flower lifted up the dripping carcass, trotted over and daintily and as lovingly as he could, laid the odiferous prize at his master's feet.
Yeats, sniffing something amiss, looked down, espied the disgusting corpse and occasioned a loud cry of alarum. Keats, being a being of superlative sensitivity, was ripped from his meditations by this unseemly brouhaha and asked, quite sharply," For God's sake man, what is it?"
Ashamed of his dog and himself for having perturbed his friend, Yeats gestured towards the tattered noonday sun baked ex-bird and replied, "Oh, nothing, nothing really, it's just that he's given me a rather nasty tern."

w/ apologies to Myles naCopoleen the da

Posted by: Boko999 | May 26, 2006 12:18 AM | Report abuse

there's an art to insulting, it requires understanding who you're talking to...

let me know when you know enough to actually understand what I'm doing.


Posted by: in case you didn't hear it... | May 26, 2006 12:24 AM | Report abuse

a nasty turn it would be "Gravity's Rainbow," but perhaps I'm mistaken...

what's that Irish book that has it's own club, that is totally imcomprehensible? Finnegans Wake or something?


and what did Yeats believe in?

but of course ya know that eh lad...


Posted by: actually if I were to point towards something that would give me | May 26, 2006 12:29 AM | Report abuse

a "hello quality," dreamer

I like to be who I am, not a paint by numbers figure...if you remember those paintings?

see yah.


Posted by: thanks for your addressing me as | May 26, 2006 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Yeates, yeates
I am bereft
And apparently someone is distrubed,Sorry.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 26, 2006 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Finnegans Wake is not meant to be read. It's meant to be heard. As for clubbiness I don't blame Eng Lit types for destroying all the joy in Lit. just most.
Anywho, to get the cadence right read "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" or anything by J.P Donleavy. Just before you're ready to enjoy this hilarious work drink 5 stiff whiskeys and read it OUT LOUD. Don't fake an Irish accent, it's unnecessary.

Posted by: Boko999 | May 26, 2006 1:07 AM | Report abuse

at least not in the normal sense,

but then nothing about me is normal in the normal sense...

thanks for clearing that up about finnegans,

I prefer the McCallan 30 year, I used to buy it off of Wisconsin at a liquor store down the street from the National Cathedral...and have a cobbler from the Deluxe Cafe afterwards.

Posted by: no I'm not disturbed... | May 26, 2006 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. I'm up and moving about, albeit, slowly. To those who have decided to post comments after just watching, welcome aboard. Some of us here are very smart, and some are like me, a little slow on the up take, yet Achenblog accepts all. Welcome, welcome, and stick around. It's good to hear another's voice because sometimes we get too accustomed to our own. Much to do today, and as usual, it starts early. Hope to see daughter and granddaughter today. And perhaps even my grandsons. I'm not really in good shape to deal with that crowd, but I do love them so. I've inquired about plans for weekend, but I don't have any. Hope to enjoy my family. I do hope your weekend is what you want it to be, and know that God loves you more than you can imagine through His Son, that died for all, Christ Jesus.

Posted by: Cassandra S | May 26, 2006 5:32 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Cassandra, God's blessings upon you! No great plans for the weekend here, except to go to dinner tonight to celebrate our anniversary. Tomorrow is #11 for my husband and me. Much to celebrate there!

Mudge, glad you're feeling better and like my thoughts. It was an ad hoc takeoff of the best fire service one: be nice, prevent harm, survive. That really summarizes what life should be about, doesn't it?

Happy Friday-before-a-holiday to everybody!

Posted by: slyness | May 26, 2006 7:29 AM | Report abuse

News flash:

"Elsewhere, NASA said that Voyager II has determined where the solar system ends but has yet to determine why anyone needed to know this."

--Andy Borowitz

Posted by: kbertocci | May 26, 2006 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Borowitz is clearly a homebody.


Posted by: bc | May 26, 2006 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I am sitting in 'green room' waiting to present a high school senior with a full scholarship to Georgia Tech. Every year we interview several hard-working ambitious students. The future is safe. The next 20% is on its way.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 26, 2006 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Excellent, yellojkt! Make sure you clue the young'n into the Boodle... We need the next 20% here, too.


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 26, 2006 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Good for you, yellojkt! How exciting! Every time I see the next generation in action I'm convinced we're all going to be in good shape.

Now we just have to get our generation out of the way first--well, at least half of us!

Posted by: TBG | May 26, 2006 8:36 AM | Report abuse

yj, TBG, Scotty: I'm impressed by your optimism. My youngun has landed a job after only a few days hunting, and that would tend support your view, but on the other hand, she still WON'T CLEAN HER ROOM! ack.

I'm reminded of that scene in Gladiator where the emperor tells his offspring, "Your failure as a son is my failure as a father..."

We might as well be optimistic about the future, since we created it.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 26, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

dr, I read Three Came Home when it first came out. It was one of Mother's books of the month. Being a child, I didn't understand everything, but still it the mother's strength and humanity in light of such horrid circumstances touched me deeply. The book had rather primitive sketches/illustrations that the mother had drawn and hidden in the lining of her clothes along with her handwritten notes. Her drawings of her Nipponese captors frightened me, but the illustrations of "George" ("I don't want that bad smell pony!") were moving and very sweet. I don't know what happened to Mother's book but a few years ago, the public library was selling used books and I was thrilled to find an original hardback with the illustrations. Of course I purchased it for a mere pittance, and re-read it. It is a book I treasure and will be just one of my books that I plan to leave the the g-kids.

Posted by: Nani | May 26, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I'd generally be happier as a mistaken optimist than a smug pessimist...


Posted by: Scottynuke | May 26, 2006 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you Scotty--the journey is so much nicer that way.

Posted by: kbertocci | May 26, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

new kit: the boss goes multimedia!

Posted by: kbertocci | May 26, 2006 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I've heard other news types asking the same question... "he's already been convicted and sentenced to death for one murder, why try him for the others?"

Think about it. Not from your own, non-empathetic, egocentric point of view, but from the point of view of those who knew the other victims. EACH victim deserves, no, has a RIGHT to some form of redress. That shouldn't even be in question. Every victim deserves a trial. What if it is found that one of the victims was, in fact, NOT murdered by moe? That would mean there is another person out there who is guilty of murder that will go free because "they already convicted the guy of one shooting". I'd rather they discover this and be aware of another killer, instead of saving money and saving you the time of reporting on all those "extra" murder trials.

First I heard the little asian lady on CNN say that, and figured well, she's a chick, and you know, she's asian and thinks differently than the rest of us, but then I hear supposed intellectuals and supposed "liberals" and print journalists asking this same question and I just can't fathom where people come up with this sh!t.

But then again, my father just told me tonight that he has a right to put his alma mater on his license plates (has the privilege to buy the plates with his school's logo on it from the DMV, in other words). He has a RIGHT.

I think maybe we just need to forget or misinterpret one or two more major principles before we don't even need someone to take our freedoms away from us, we'll just forget what they mean and won't know how to exercise the important ones. Like Wikipedia says, "the understanding of rights is a social prerequisite for the existence of rights".

Everyone has only a half-educated understanding of this nation and its laws, and the basis for its laws, and they interpret the rest based on their own narrow experiences. That's sad. That's how people in the developing world think, and that's why they are still in the developing world. This nation shouldn't strive for that level of intellectual understanding, but it appears we do strive for just that. (you know, like if you see the guy do it, why bother with a trial, just kill him on the spot. That's how they do it in sharia law, not constitutional law)

Posted by: Gerry Attrick | May 28, 2006 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know he'd finally admitted to conning the American people about 9/11 and taking over Iraq to line his feather bed with

dolleros, extudemente'

and the beat keeps on....laaa dee daaaa dee doh!

REMEMBER the current fiasco/regime STARTED?

probably not, it was actually more than a few years ago.

key player:
started in Florida, where's Goss from, where's jeb working out of? what is the W in Geogre H. W. Bush's name stand for? Walker....his uncle that lost a sugar plantation when the communists took over Cuba....Zapata OIL, Bay of Pigs, WATERGATE, Bush Sr. is the former head of CIA, Congressman before that, Vice President, then President...probably more than 50 years of his life making connections...

and he's a member of the Stuarts of England...former royalty...not much for working when international connections can pay your way through life..

George H.W. Bush Sr.:
sent April Gillespie to Iraq, who with a nod and a wink told Saddam that his border dispute with Kuwait was an internal matter. I think Saddam was suckered into invading because the US needed a new enemy after the collapse of the soviet union....

Saddam invades Kuwait, we now have an official reason to be there....
looks like we'll establish a presence in Kuwait, we already have one in Saudi...our CIA trains them...CIA trained the 9/11 pilots.

Saudi Royals was given the rights to Saudi Arabia by the Brits after WWII, the Royals were put into power...

who owns the ports on US soil? the Brits...who's supporting us in Iraq?

Protecting the Kuwaiti's:
We go into Iraq with Stormin Norman....and kill a couple of 100 thousand Iraqis and

stop short of know why, WE'RE GOING BACK...that's why we stopped...

and now that we occupy, are embedded in Kuwait,
we put the country of Iraq in stasis with embargoes until we need it........or the world economy is shifting and things are ripe....China Pakistan, and India are emerging...

THEN, the family needed to this case the international riche, which includes the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and the US Affluent that stand to make a bit of cash....mind you the Germans, English and French have their hands in this...but your buddy dubya, is the gawdfathers only visible son....unless you need the state militia called to keep Terry Schiavo from being a grandstanding event...

so we intervene on national television...bombs going off, constant coverage, city surrounded, surveillance on every living thing that's bigger than a booger..

and somehow, miracle of miracles, like the virgin mary turning up on your french toast:
Saddam escapes from Bagdhad with three tractor trailer loads of cash, $9 BILLION$ in CASH right? Anyone in dubyas extended family gotten riche lately?

the museums were emptied right? ha ha ha...that's rich.

as far as conspiracy goes,

there never was a CIA/NORIEGA/BUSH Sr. connection right? and the Chilean president wasn't asassinated in DC with full CIA knowledge, and where'd that white up George W. Bushes nose come from? Panama?

the thing of it is,
the United States suckered, under George H.W. Bush, Saddam Hussein into attacking Kuwait, so we could be the "heroes", and become military lead us to this point....

walking down the road with no impetus to replacing our dependence on oil, a non-renewable resource....because it's not to the benefit of the countries leaders

this has a lot to do with _families_ working together _not related by blood_, as well as politics that don't include you as a positive recipient of thier efforts, as well as...

helping you to understand that it isn't all cowboy hats and honesty leading you...

Saddam was deliberately mislead into attacking Kuwiat, by President George H.W. Bush, we indicated that we would look the other way if Saddam wanted to reacquire some land and oil wells that he thought the Kuwiatis had we would have an excuse to extend our influence.

did we tell Saddam Hussein the truth?


it wasn't to our advantage.

the bushes intimately understand the middle eastern tribe mentality, they have trbal mentality, they protect and work with their own....they use the government to get what they want for their tribe

ps. you're not included in their tribe....

morons in charge and morons voted them in...using demagoguery as a political tool needs to be exposed....predjudice as a tool.

you want a better country quit pandering to morons and pandering to hate.....

the point of it is, the bush family, is trying to bury some information that needs to be understood

the ultimate threat to this country is people that can write but can't think or see...or don't want you to.

I would suggest that those who would use thier governmental office for personal gain at the expense of the citizens lose thier citizenship, and be charged with treason and their properties confiscated....

intimidation as control shouldn't be tolerated....
read the bill of rights, the right to bear arms was specifically inserted into the Bill of Rights to prevent the United States from being taken over from within, which is what what is happening now....

that's the point, a dictatorship and a congress that takes advantage of citizens, doesn't deserve to serve....

tom delay: violated his oath of office twice and not a single member of congress has the oats to call him on it....cowards or fellow crooks?

who needs to look for leaks when anyone with two eyes can see a pattern...of deceit and corruption.

Posted by: you're talking about bush right? | May 28, 2006 11:44 PM | Report abuse

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