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Welcome to America, George Allen

Perhaps George Allen needs to spend more time in America and less in the United States Senate. Allen sees a person of color in an otherwise all-white crowd, singles him out and calls him "macaca." Any attempt to probe Allen's brain in search of the etymology of this term would surely be a perilous journey. He may have overheard it at a kegger back in college. Maybe he invented the word on the spot. It doesn't have the ring of a compliment, whatever it means.

"I don't know what it means," Allen told our reporter. As a senator, he has a Constitutional right to say things that not only don't make sense to listeners, but that even he can't decipher. This is called senatorial privilege.

More revealing is his remark, "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." Perhaps the senator is of the belief that anyone who looks Asian or exotic just stepped off a boat. S.R. Sidarth, however, was born in Fairfax County. He is an American.

America is increasingly a nation of many hues. "Multiculturalism" isn't a liberal buzzword, it's a demographic fact. On the very same front page as the story about Allen, we see an article stating that the Washington metro area now has more than one million immigrants. To judge by the accompanying graphic, most of them live in Allen's state.

Welcome to America, Senator Allen. Welcome to the real world of Virginia.


From Iraq: Please read this great Joshua Partlow story about empty cinemas in Baghdad and the decay of the artistic community. The quote at the end is beautiful:

"I know my cello will not probably stop car bombs," he went on. "But I will still think the sound of the cello, and the sound of the orchestra, and the civilized sound of music, could be, should be, stronger than the sound of the car bomb."


Farhi sacks Mr. Tony. I thought he did fine, but the three-man booth is going to cramp his style. Via Technorati: This is a well-written blog for Redskins fans. It dumps all over the MNF experiment with Tony, and the switch to cable.


NASA "can't find" the tape of the moon landing. AND YOU STILL THINK IT WASN'T FAKED???

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 15, 2006; 8:02 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Monday Morning Quarterback
Next: Bruno Kirby


Repost from previous kit since it may or may not return:

Money quote from the Farhi article: "It was enough to make one yearn for Dennis Miller."

I really haven't figured out the whole point of this good cop/bad cop routine they're pulling. MNF is on ESPN for goodness sake. Nobody is watching except real fans and people with points available in their fantasy league. It's not like they are going to go back to cheerleader championships on Monday nights from when ABC didn't want any real sports cannibalizing ratings.

The gaffe won't seriously hurt George Allen. Brown people weren't going to vote for him anyway. And he scores points with the Confedate flag window sticker bunch for getting picked on by the liberal mainstream media. Wonkette is all over this story, having done about five bits about it in two days.

What do you call an Indian-American in southwest Virginia?

a. Macaca.
b. A visitor.
c. Dead by sundown.
d. Boy.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 15, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Confederate flags and racial slurs.

Let's hope this destroys this bigots political career.

Come on Virginia, show some decency.

Posted by: Goodbye to Mr. Allen | August 15, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

What a coinkydink! I sang "George Allen, Welcome to America" into my laptop last night.

Posted by: just john | August 15, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Macaca" is an insult back where Allen's mom came from, Tunisia. It's pretty much on a par with "n****r." Coincidence? Under the circumstances? Not likely.

Posted by: Rich | August 15, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I used to say to friends and anyone that would listen that African-Americans suffer from what is now
not called slavery per se, but bondage with a new twist. The word I'm looking for fails me now. It's a situation wherein you don't really see the bars, but you know that they are there. You don't see the limits, but you know they exist. Jim Crow has become invisible, but yet he still exists. It is hurtful, very hurtful. Why would anyone vote for someone like that? Why would his political aspirations not change because he lightly says he doesn't know what the word means relieving him of any responsibility? Is this someone that the people want representing them? If so, it speaks volumes about our society, and none of it good.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 15, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra writes:
It's a situation wherein you don't really see the bars, but you know that they are there. You don't see the limits, but you know they exist.

Where I came from, this short definition was called "the glass ceiling." Also known as "the pink collar ghetto." Good news about the new head of PepsiCo--Yale grad and all.

Posted by: Loomis | August 15, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Nasa is a typical government organisation. It will turn up in a basement somewhere in oh 30 40 years and they will realize that some schmoe just forgot to label the box.

If my Grandfather was alive, he'd be saying see, see....

Posted by: dr | August 15, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Like Mr. Allen doesn't know what "ca-ca" means...

I wonder if Mr. Allen may have heard his dad utter that phrase when he (GA Sr) was coaching the Washington NFL Franchise.

I'd made a comment about the fact that the camera pointing at a TV monitor was actually done at a recieving station in Austrailia (and that's where the original tapes were made), but for some reason the previous Boodling is eluding my browser right now.


Posted by: bc | August 15, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Before I looked at the link I expected Allen to be older, wrong he's my age. I read his quote and can find no way it could possibly be spun in a positive light. How was he to know the man he was referring to wasn't born and raised in the US.

Cassandra I can only say to you that voting is the key. I do not believe in voting for a single issue, but there are some things that must be seriously weighed and racial comments are one.

Posted by: dmd | August 15, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Here is a copy of my email to Senator Allen sent via his website. The website gets personal information and then asks you to select a topic from a list - hence my reference to that at the outset.

Dear Senator Allen:

I chose "Intelligence" as the Topic in your list since you did not include "racism" or "stupidity" and lack of "Intelligence" seems best as a fit for your racist and demeaning remark directed at an Indian whom you called a "Macaca."
It is truly amazing that you of all people -- with your history of displaying a confederate flag in your living room and wearing a confederate flag lapel pin -- would not have realized the need not just for discretion, but the crying need to open your mind and perhaps your heart.
Perhaps it is too much to ask you to "like" people who you think are inferior because of their color, but it is a fair bet that the average Indian in the United States is a lot smarter than you are.
What is also truly appalling is that you and your staff have tried to cover up instead of having you step forward like a man and apologize for this display of your underlying attitude. It's not too late to correct it, but I sure hope you never get to be President.
Like George Romney who said he was brainwashed, you might as well learn Japanese and say "Sayonara" to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
On the other hand, you are a pretty good caricature of a Redneck, so keep up the comedy routine.
Good luck.

Posted by: Anil Madan | August 15, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Allen once claimed that as a teenager, he believed that the Confederate flag was a symbol of general rebellion. Did any of you believe that? It sounded like he had been watching too many episodes of "Dukes of Hazzard."

While I don't know about the backgrounds of Allen and Trent Lott, I suspect they grew up relatively sheltered in racial terms. The only non-whites they may have known were domestic servants. They may have reached maturing never understanding what the civil rights movement was about. Or their parents may have brainwashed them to believe that MLK and his colleagues were troublemakers threatening domestic tranquility. Not necessarily racism but more of a befuddled cluelessness about other people.

That might explain why Allen didn't seem to know that the Confederate flag is stained with the blood of MLK, Medgar Evers and the other civil rights martyrs. That might explain Lott's deplorable defense of Strom Thurmond's legacy. (Of course, it may be a simple as the two of them being Bob Jones-type fundamentalists who really believe God intended for the races to be separate.)

Posted by: Tonio | August 15, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Mr. Allen doesn't really want to BE governor or president after all. Or, perhaps he felt the campaign was getting to be too easy and thought he'd try to increase the level of difficulty for a greater "challange." Or, maybe he thinks "Macaca," is a pretty exotic bird, and was trying to compliment the brown-skinned audience member. Or, perhaps he lost his glasses and actually thought the brown-skinned audience member was, indeed, a beautiful exotic bird known as an Indonesian Brown Macacatiel, and just got the name wrong. Or, perhaps he lost his glasses and actually thought there was a large wild monkey in the crowd endangering other members of the audience. Or, perhaps Mr. Allen recently adopted a brown-skinned child and calls him "Macaca," as an endearing nickname.
Or, maybe he's just toast.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

There are numerous sites on the web that point out that this term is a derivative of macaque, a genus of monkey, and that it is used in Europe and Latin America to refer to Arabs, especially from North Africa. Allen's mother is described in Wikipedia as "a Jewish immigrant of Tunisian/Italian/French background". The suspicion is that he learned this term at home.


Macaque - Belgium (French) - an Arab or a Negro; derived from macaque monkeys

Posted by: THS | August 15, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

dr, that's likely true but many criminal cases have been lost over poor "continuity". As I mentioned in the last boodle, you would think that just maybe once the conspiracy theories started in, oh, August 1969 that would try to keep track of these things.

One of the biggest surprises in my career has been that big corporation does not necessarily equal good record keeping. It has been frankly embarrassing a few times acting for big institutions that have suprisingly poor document production about the incident at issue.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 15, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of the new Pepsico CEO, it wasn't long ago that Yale's undergrad program was all-male. Do I recall that an excuse for allowing women in, was the expectation that they'd boost enrollment in the arts and literature majors that male students shunned? Not to mention that it would be a boon to alumni without male offspring?

[disclosure: I'm a product of state universities, so it's fun to poke at the Elite]

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 15, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Macaca?" Are you sure?

Virginians have long used a term to describe a dark-skinned person who wasn't quite dark enough to be "black." It is the word "MULATTO," and like "quadroon" and "octoroon," most civilized persons in this century try not to use those words to describe persons of color.

Posted by: MichaelB | August 15, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Loserville, Mr Allen!

(the macaca quote is going to jeopardize Allen's presidential ambitions)

Posted by: sobers | August 15, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

macaca - that's too obscure to be anything but the slur that's already been discussed.

When I read the story I actually thought maybe he meant "Macaw" as in parrot, since immediately before that he talked about a yellow shirt. His non-response pretty much indicates he was not just referring to a colorful shirt, however.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 15, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Or, perhaps he was hungry and was remarking about "machaca," which is food. And, he thought the brown-skinned person was a machaca vendor. Or, maybe he thought he saw his long-time friend, "Mike Haka," and was calling out to him, but was misinterpreted. Or, maybe he was suffering from sunstroke and started babbling gibberish like, "macaca," "gizbartet," and "bandersnatch" while in a delusionary stupor. Or, perhaps a person he trusted told him that "macaca" means "honored stranger," and he thought he was giving a polite greeting to the brown-skinned audience member. Or, perhaps Mr. Allen was having a seizure and was really trying to say, "Sir, do you have a question?"

I mean, you know, there could be a number of reasons why he said what he said. Let's not jump to conclusions.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The pathetic comments made by George Allen bring forth another question: Who are the "real" Virginians? Are they people that share his views or will they vote to defeat him?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Reposting from the previous kit (I wondered where all you people went to!)

FYI, from the Weingarten chat:

What's in a name?: Hi Gene. Thought you'd get a kick out of this- I was on the Metro recently and was seated behind a young woman and her daughter. Little girl was about 18 months, and we're playing and giggling across the seat. She was adorable. I asked the mother what her name was. She said -- and I am not making this up -- "Cialis."


Not sure why she would name her child after an erectile dysfunction drug, but there you go. I vote her a "Toxic Parent," cause that's just WRONG.

Gene Weingarten: Wow! Is that how it was spelled. Not that it matters, I guess. You name a kid Dyareea, it's still pretty bad.

Maybe she was named as a testament to how she was conceived. Achenbach named his daughter Paris because Paris was a particularly important romantic venue in the birth of that child.


On a separate matter, until yesterday I never in my life heard the word "macaca," much less used as a slur. I've heard of macaque monkies, but just as monkies. (Not that it makes any difference re: Allen putting his foot in his mouth; my only point is that to me it seems to be a pretty obscure/regional word. Just when you think that you've heard every foul, loathesome, disgusting things people can say, along comes a new one.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 15, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

SofC, in my capacity as a gratuitous document producer and filer, I know that the size of the company is inversely proportional to the ability of said company to find its doucments. I'm sure that it has been proven that urgent need for a particular document is also inversely proportional to the ability to locate said document. I would also posit that the more people who know something should be kept for posterity, the more likely it will be lost.

These things never surprise me.

Posted by: dr | August 15, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

bc, There is a very nice Australian movie made in 2000 about their connection to the Apollo mission and the televised moonwalk called 'The Dish'. If you are ever in the mood for light and very worthwhile entertainment, this fits the bill. A nice bit of Aussie humour.

Posted by: dr | August 15, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

seems like a comment one would make to HELP get elected in Virginia.

Allen's got nothing to worry about on this one.

He's prime governing material for contemporary America

Posted by: dave | August 15, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, it was this exchange in Wiengarten's chat that sent me to the floor laughing:

Falls Church, Va.: I need your advice from a male's side. My boyfriend eats like a pig, really it has started to make me sick to my stomach when we eat together. He sucks on his teeth, picks at his teeth with his fingers, and never uses a napkin! I know he was raised better but he doesn't care. How do I tell him to shape up but be nice about it?

Gene Weingarten: One word: Lysistrata.

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Or, perhaps the audience member asked if Mr. Allen new of a good golf course in Northern California that also served premium wines, and Mr. Allen actually responded, "Mayacama." Or, perhaps the brown-skinned audience member was actually a pick-pocket, and Mr. Allen saw him making off with his car keys and cried out, "Hey, those are my Car Keys!" Or, perhaps the brown-skinned audience member was actually a confederate planted by Karl Rove so he could be symbolically humiliated before a crowd of redneck supporters.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I also should state that the televised moonwalk is something I never saw, except in reruns. What I have always felt was the single most important world event of my youth, and I missed it. I was at summer camp, and some less than intelligent person (who was likely a preist) decided mass should be scheduled for while the moonwalk was happening. Almost 40 years later, and I find I'm still teed off.

Posted by: dr | August 15, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

dr, I think Achenfan mentioned, nay, *recommended*, "The Dish" to me at some point.

Thanks for the reminder.

I must admit, "macaca" is a new one to me, too.


Posted by: bc | August 15, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey dr, what time zone were you in? IIRC, the first moonwalk occurred in the early hours of the morn EDT, between midnight and 2 a.m.

Do I remember that correctly?

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Well a lot of things can be said about Sen. Allen, but I would hope (and I know that may be too much to ask on an anonymous comment section) that people would know WHO he was before they began impugning him.

Tonio believes that Sen. Allen was raised surrounded exclusively by whites. While the Washington Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, I am pretty sure that there were quite a few African Americans on the team by the time George Allen came to town to coach them, meaning that as a teenager, Sen. Allen would have at least interacted with some of them. Given the reverential-sounding praise that Deacon Jones heaps on his coach in NFL Films interviews, I would guess that Coach Allen was not racist. (Of course, whether Coach Allen, who would make Joe Gibbs look lazy as a head coach, was ever around to raise his son, is another question.)

As for Sen. Allen, I've never understood his fascination with the Confederacy. He is, after all, not a Virginian but a Californian.

Posted by: OD | August 15, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

slyness... I had to look that up, and even after doing so did not immediately make the connection. But when the connection *was* made.... my monitor was overdue for an iced tea bath anyway.

Posted by: martooni | August 15, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I believe Mr. Allen is NOT the first politican to practice using words whose meanings are seemingly unbeknowst to them. I had never heard of the word "macaca" before and even if I had, I wouldn't know how to use it!

Why would anyone use a word to describe someone who is foreign without even knowing the meaning? Unless, of course, they knew the meaning but used the "I had no idea what it meant" defense to deflect criticism.

Posted by: KJ | August 15, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

In another weird Achencoincidence, George Allen Sr. was Head Coach of the Washington NFL Franchise during the time of the Apollo luanr landings (after the late great Vince Lombardi).

And yes, I remember Lombardi and the Apollo 11 landing on TV. We ate dinner in front of the TV, which was a big deal for us at the time. Armstrong stepped out at some point after dessert, IIRC.


Posted by: bc | August 15, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

15 years ago, a Hopkins postdoc was compelled to go back to the Apollo 17 telemetry for some irreplaceable data. What he found was that all the Apollo telemetry tapes were on antique 8-channel magtape, having never been transferrred to new tapes (for safety), to modern media (for convenience and continued access), or simply backed up -- only one copy of anything. The tapes were stuffed into cardboard boxes in a leaky basement in Hunstville, AL, with mold and mildew visibly and olfactorily present. There were some newspaper articles published within the next year or so about the appalling state of NASA's data storage. It turns out that NASA had no proper record-storage facilties. It wasn't part of what got funded during the race to the Moon.

The problem is that NASA and Congress bought into the story line that NASA's historical legacy would be carried, not by its historic artifacts and records, but by its future public accomplishments. NASA was, once, an agency of the future. The moment that something had been done, it became old news. By the time it became apparent that NASA had a need to keep its Apollo records for the benefit of all mankind, Apollo was no longer a part of the NASA mission and Congress had no interest in preserving it -- i.e., in putting up the money.

The lack of good videotape of Neil Armstrong stepping on the Moon is an embarrassment. The lack of retrievable data from the whole series of missions is a crime.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 15, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, slyness, you remember it correctly. If memory serves, it was close to 2 a.m. EDT. I stayed up late, and with my father, to watch it. Very thrilling, at the time. But then, like most kids of my generation, we were enthralled with rockets and the astronauts, Shephard, Glenn, NASA, the whole nine yards, so it was just an extension and culmination of everything that had gone before.

Not too many years ago, I wrote half a dozen newspaper stories about astronauts, and had been planning on interviewing Willie McCool after his shuttle flight. I wound up writing a story about his life and a major incident in his test pilot career instead. (Test pilots were part of my beat area on the newspaper I was working for at the time.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 15, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, it had to have been eariler than midnight, I don't think I would have been able to stay up that late. My guess is 9-10 PM.


Posted by: bc | August 15, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Armstrong's first steps on the Moon (or, for the tin-foil hat crowd, "Armstrong's" "first steps" on the "Moon") occurred around 10 pm Eastern time, I think. It was originally scheduled for later but they moved it up. We were camping in Maine and the owners of the campground moved a small TV out of their office so we could watch. It was a chilly night with drizzling rain but we were all thrilled to watch.

I also have not heard the word 'macaca' but it scans in the phrase "the wind played a dreadful macaca" from a McCartney song.

Posted by: pj | August 15, 2006 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Those were exciting times, weren't they, Mudge? We had a close family friend who was labor relations director for NASA, so we visited that part of Florida often and got to see a lot of the space program up close. He got my parents into the VIP viewing stand for the launch of Apollo 13, and my mother always remembered how loud it was. That didn't come across on TV, of course. My brother still has the patches for all the missions. And *I* have the photo of my brother, aged 2, on the beach at Melbourne where we had gone to watch a launch, in his birthday suit.

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

My grandfather worked on NASA's lunar programs, I was fortunate to see and do some pretty neat stuff as a kid, but I didn't appreciate it until later.


Posted by: bc | August 15, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, go to the library and check out Lysistrata. You'll enjoy it. I saw a production of it years ago and laughed my head off. Amazing how some comedy transcends the centuries.

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

slyness... I sorta remember reading it back in high school, but I'm definitely going to revisit it. The Wikipedia entry covered the highlights -- and also proved how dense I can be after eating lunch. There I was reading and re-reading the entry trying to make the connection to what you posted from Gene's blog -- for like ten minutes -- when I finally noticed "withholding sex" in red letters that had been staring at me the entire time.

I need a nap. Or more coffee.

Posted by: martooni | August 15, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad some of the teflon is finally peeling of George Allen. I can not think of one thing, in a positive sense he he has done as either gov. or senator.
He is such a smooth operator I was worried he would get yet another "good ole boy" pass.
But most importantly hopefully it will serve as a wake up call to some local democratic leaders (at the state and county level) to get motivated and start more activly (passionately--as I have seen in campaigns for others) supporting Jim Webb. They are tepid about Webb--not because he is not a great candidate and eminently well qualified to be senator but because he does not seem to highly skilled at the important political attibute of stoking the egos these folks. (Webb is a Marine after all--honest and direct)
All I can say is they better get moving, start mobilizing the local troops, help Webb get money to campaign etc., or they will be moaning about Sen. Allen or even worse President Allen.

Posted by: Richard | August 15, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

This is strange--I looked up the times, and they don't match my memory, but I guess they're right and I'm wrong. But they landed on the moon at 20:17 UDT (which would have been 2:17 p.m. EDT) and did the moonwalk at 2:56 UDT (8:17 p.m. EDT), so bc was right--after dinner, on the East Coast.

slyness, I always wanted to go to Canaveral and see a launch, but never had the opportunity.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 15, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I can belive that he is stupid enough to not know what it meant.

Posted by: RN | August 15, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

OD, thanks for the clarification. You're right that I don't know much about Allen's background.

My suggestion that Allen was raised in an racially sheltered environment was a semi-educated guess, based on his fascination with the Confederacy. I've met a couple of Southern aristocrats who still see the Civil War as "the war of northern aggression," although they aren't explicity racist. I was guessing that Allen fit that profile.

But as you rightly pointed out, a person can be raised by non-racist parents and grow up knowing people of all races, and still believe in the Margaret Mitchell "Lost Cause" myth.

Posted by: Tonio | August 15, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

dr, I missed the live telecast of the moonwalk, too, but haven't really felt deprived. My family was on a camping vacation, and I don't even know if I was aware of the moon landing at the time. I certainly was, afterwards, though. Soon after the event, I created a needlework picture (from a printed kit) of Armstrong stepping on the lunar surface, with the date and his famous quote. It included a lovely depiction of the Earth up in the sky. My parents still have that picture hanging in their dining room.

I'm trying to, make a point here, something about journalism vs. art. But I'm failing.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 15, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* Not the first time, nor the last, that my memory has failed me. Oh well.

Mudge, you should go and see a launch. They still do them, you know. I would think a shuttle launch would be one of the most impressive ever.

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Macaca sounds like a cognate of the French macaque -- a monkey. Allen should know a monkey when he sees one.

Posted by: candide | August 15, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

02:56 in UDT should be around 21:56 in EDT if this UDT is the same as Greenwich Meridian Time GMT a.k.a. Zulu time by the military. It also jives with my memory of a warm summer night in Quebec city back in 69, but I may be wrong. The 70s were hard on my little grey cells. A guy with a COLOR tv put the set on the lawn of the appartment building we were living in at the time. The color tv was useless for the lunar broadcast though.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 15, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Right Candide, macaque is a popular racial epitet in French. Not to start another "tempête dans un verre d'eau", but Captain Haddock (Tintin's buddy) often makes tirade of the sort at locals of a darker complexion.
" Macaques! Bachi-Bouzouks! Tonnerre de Brest !"

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 15, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I would have sworn that it was dark when Armstrong walked. It wouldn't have been dark at quarter after 8 on July 20 in Maine. My mind could be playing tricks on me, though.

Posted by: pj | August 15, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Macaca" is the feminine of the Brazilian-Portuguese word for monkey, generally used in a pejorative sense. As in:

"What's this all about, Jo-Jo?" I asked, my heart beginning to race. "Where's Fernando?"
"I take care of that macaco. And you don't ask any more questions."
I found it in a listing of Brazilian slang.

Posted by: Wayne McCoy | August 15, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Any native French speaker will recognize instantly the racist epithet of "Macaque". The ugly word is applied to any person of color or non-caucasian origin.
With a French speaking Tunisian mother, George Allen knows exactly what it means.

He should stop inventing poor excuses (mohawk, indeed!), and throw the towel. When you are in a hole, stop digging, senator. Virginia voters are not idiots.

Posted by: Gewirr | August 15, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Allen's remark and his cronies' excuses are full of "caca". Don't forget the most divisive words uttered in this young century..."Either you are with us or against us" by con-man par excellence before going into the disastrous and unnecessary war ....

Posted by: He meant mi casa | August 15, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what time the first steps on the moon were taken. I seem to remember watching it on an Emerson portable on a picnic table. We were camping in Wisconsin at the time. Fuzzy picture...

Posted by: jack | August 15, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

This clears up the times for the moon landing/walk. I was a little young to remember was it shown live or taped delayed?

Posted by: dmd | August 15, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

From a NASA historical website at

Armstrong landed at 16:17 EDT and walked out six hours later, i.e around 22:00 or 10PM. So it was dark indeed here on the Right shore.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 15, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Mr. Allen was attempting to bring his followers and believers together using such a foul word as that. We have to remember that in the South some things are done in a different way. Who can forget the senate race between Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt where a white hand and a black hand was used in a political ad that put Jesse Helms over the top? It's a code language and those who need to know, know the codes. It brings them together without flaunting a whole lot. And the sad thing about all of it is that it holds back Black and White, depriving the nation of the talents of both races as well as the emotional ties that could be forged if we would just let it go. *sigh*

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 15, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, dmd. I think they showed it live, but as this whole thread indicates, my memory isn't to be trusted.

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

dmd it was live.
Well, as live as the transmission delay from the Moon to Austrailia to Houston to the broadcast network feeds, that it.


Posted by: bc | August 15, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

UT is five hours ahead of EST, but as this was July UT is four hours ahead of EDT. This puts the walk (IF IT REALLY HAPPENED,hehe) at 10:56:15 EDT. This actually happened on my seventh birthday and my parents let my brother and I stay up to watch. One of the nicest presents I ever got.

Posted by: omni | August 15, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

****The pathetic comments made by George Allen bring forth another question: Who are the "real" Virginians? Are they people that share his views or will they vote to defeat him?****

Even though I live in Virginia, it's idiots like George Allen that make me describe myself as living in "the DC area." I will definitely vote against him (again).

Posted by: Lily | August 15, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

slyness, am I right in remembering that you are only three or four days younger than me? If so, you were in the same grades I was during all those early Mercury missions. I remember all those failed Vanguard rockets (though they weren't broadcast "live") toppling over on the pads and otherwise blowing up. Having seen them, this made the first launch of Shephard about as tense and nerve-wracking as anything I remember. I can't remember if it was Shepard or Glenn, but I remember being in 9th grade biology class (Mr. Grove's room) when they set up a TV, and we all watched the launch. (Having a TV in a classroom was virtually unheard of, and stopping ordinary lessons for an event was also pretty much uniquely confined to space shots.) I always thought Grissom was the coolest of the Originals (and he was Navy)(and didn't learn until Tom Wolfe's book he was also the wild man of the bunch), so was very upset when he died.

A lot of people remember Cronkite's reaction to the moon landing, but I always thought Jules Bergman did a great job in general, and he was always the guy they cut to whenever a technical explanation was needed.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 15, 2006 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I seem to recall it was mid afternoon central standard time. It must be the landing that the priest announced. See, now that really ticks me off. Because I don't even know. You read about it, but you know, its not like really knowing. Stupid camp.

The race to the moon caught my imagination. The frequency of the launches and the pace of the missions made it something that was never far out of the news all through the 60's and early 70's. My dad felt the same as I did, and we frequently watched launches and splashdowns, him and I huddled around the set. It was imagination, it was magic, it was science, it was all the finest things that mankind ever could and would be all wrapped up into one package being shot up into the sky to orbit and eventually land. I don't know why it caught me like that, but it surrounded and defined me as much as books. Most people I know just look at me funny when I say things like that, but in my imagination I was in that room, listening right along with all the grownups.

That is the saddest thing SciTim, if they did not give it even a little bit of its due when they stored the data. It is so very much part of how those days were. Always forward, only forward. That was the 70's in a nutshell.

Posted by: dr | August 15, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I reiterate (to Tonio, and Lily) that Allen is NOT a "real Virginian" (especially given that there are residents that can trace their family back 400 years, and he doesn't even go back 40). He's not even a real southerner.

There's a lot of reasons people "adopt" the Old South, or are just fascinated by its history. I suspect a young, impressionable Californian whose father was one of the most powerful men in the city decided that he was going to make himself a Virginian, and that would be his identity (although I'm surprised that his fellow students at UVa let him get away with it). He has a brother who is in football and a sister who idolized their father, but George Allen went into politics... why? And why adopt the posture of being a "good ole boy" when that wasn't his family at all?

Strange stuff, indeed, and probably too complicated for me to conduct pop-psychology-from-afar on him. I miss the days of Chuck Robb, when the extent of a scandal was just getting a rub-down from Ms. Virginia.

Posted by: OD | August 15, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I was a little too young to remember the moonwalk firsthand, but I do vividly remember the Martian lander beaming back photos one painfully slow strip at a time. I remember being so sure that we'd see a little green man waving back -- and how disappointed I was when all there was to see was rocks and dust.

Posted by: martooni | August 15, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Racial hatred is an insidious disease, a killer of nations. It's like a bad sore, that ooozes and spreads germs, and causes all kinds of chaos and mayhem. And I can't say it enough, in America it will be the death of us as a strong and vibrant country. Terrorists want us dead, but our death will come from inside if we don't fight will everything in us to stop this cancer. We allow these folks to take the helm of top positions in our country and dictate policy, and we know from whence they come. We need to get on board in a united front to stop this. And it doesn't matter the person or people doing these things, it is unacceptable. Only when apologized and sincerely made different can we trust these folks, but with such a lame excuse given by this person, please.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 15, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I have the walk down to the seconds. That should put to rest all speculation as to when it happened, OK. And yes, the landing was at 4:17:40 p.m. EDT. so there...

Posted by: omni | August 15, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Can you believe it will soon be forty years since Apollo 11?

Forty years prior to that date was 1929 (intended as an obvious, yet thought provoking comment)

dr, my experience with the phenomenon of misplacing important documents is that somebody, at somepoint, pulls out the document for briefing or review, and then it gets mislaid into the Pensky file (Seinfeldism).

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 15, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I have 1 whole file that is missing. Factor Forms. I saw it last in 1997, September, when I gave it to my boss. Ever since then every once in a while we go looking for it.

I should have thought of the Pensky file. I'm certain that among the thousands of files we have a Pensky file.

40 years since Apollo makes me feel really old.

Posted by: dr | August 15, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The original NASA tapes are in the same government warehouse as the Ark, where it was placed after Indie saved it from the Nazis.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 15, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'm 53. I remember Eisenhower being president, but the first presidential election I remember is Kennedy/Nixon. The first international event I remember is the Cuban missile crisis...oh, I remember the fear. The space program was something even little kids could be proud of. I remember that too.

Posted by: slyness | August 15, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Joel, please spare us your fake outrage over Allen's remarks. Howard Dean makes a racist joke about the black service staff at a posh hotel and you have nothing to say. Hillary Clinton makes a racist joke about Indians working at convenience stores and you have nothing to say. Joe Biden states in front of a C-Span audience that "you cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent" and you have nothing to say.
Ned Lamont hires a bootlick that draws an ugly, racist cartoon of Lieberman in black face and you have nothing to say. Republican Lt. Governor of Maryland and senatorial candidate, Michael Steele, is subjected to ugly racist remarks from Maryland Democrats and you have nothing to say. Now we're all supposed to believe that you and the lefties that parrot your views in the comments here are simply shocked over these horrible remarks by Allen. Isn't it time for the liberals to admit to their own blatant racism these last five years and get their own house in order regarding ugly racist sentiments.
Give it a rest.

Posted by: TJ | August 15, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, *Mudge*. Dude!

The late, great Jules Bergman was on ABC with Frank Reynolds and Howard K Smith (and Harry Reasoner, maybe?).

Unka Walter was on CBS.

Yeah, we switched between the two too.


Posted by: bc | August 15, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

TJ bringing the irony, nice.

Good thing the Democrats aren't a race.


Posted by: bc | August 15, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sen. Allen - This "Macaca" Indian is moving to Northern Virgnia next year, but guess what? As an Independent, I'm not votin' for you or your party of bigots in this lifetime! If your party really had been the party of my hero Abe Lincoln, as your fearless leader told the NAACP a few weeks ago, I would have voted for you. But look around you for Uncle Abe's successors. Didn't find any, did ya? Cuz' there ain't any! Good luck holdin' on to your senate seat. I hope you get whipped at the elections come November '06! Try and collect that Senate retirement check! Oh, and better luck yet runnin' for President! If you are even foolish enough to do that, that is! The bloggers will nail if you if you try and run for President! You're on tape! But then you were foolish enough to have your bigotry taped! Sigh... Maybe I'll welcome you to Virginia and the Brave New World once you're out of the Senate! Ciao!

Posted by: jap219 | August 15, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Earlier in the day I asked my mother what the word "animation" meant in association with a recreation of the lunar landing. She explained it was like Donald Duck, thus confusing me even more. My younger brother was angry about something and buried his face in the plaid couch despite my father's warning that these things happened but once in a million years. The images were blurry and un-earthly, as was appropriate. The phrase "Live from the Moon" was printed in glowing white letters as if we might not understand what this was all about. That bit about the "one small step" may have been a cosmic flubbed line - but the cadence still rocked. Neil moved liked a ghost as he bounced around the LM. What I remember most was thinking that I would probably remember this moment forever.
I just never dreamt that a memory might one day be all that was left.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 15, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge, I'm the one who's only a few days younger than you are (and I really feel the difference too. . . .). I also remember the touch-down and landing on the moon, as well as Armstrong's touch-down. It was indeed way early in the morning (after midnight) eastern time. Very, very exciting. I even got a piece of moon rock at Goddard way back when. Incredibly cool.

As for Allen, jeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzz. Just when you think people can't get any more stupid, they just, well, astound you. And not only Allen is brainless and clueless, all those who buy into this knuckle-dragging idiocy are brainless and stupid, as well. Just shows how really, truly powerless and inferior they really, truly are.

As for knuckle-dragging in and of itself, to all my gorilla friends out there (and you know who you are) I do not mean to cast asperions upon ya. Nor do I wish to invoke guilt of association in the existential sense. Just couldn't think of a different description. You see. . . .

So, Mudge, whatcha gonna do on your day? Mine's two weeks from today. Somehow, 60 doesn't seem so old anymore (nor does 150, its being the new 130). I'm getting feted and one of my friends has bought me a one-hour-and-one-half massage for my day. Can hardly, hardly, hardly wait. . . . . Makes it all worth it, you know?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 15, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Probably too late to comment, but Macaca is not only the local name for Macaque in Tunisia...

The Rhesus monkey (common in India) has the scientific name of Macaca mulatta. MULATTA. I'd have been spitting nails if I was addressed like that.

I had to learn as a child that "monkey" was considered insulting even if I didn't mean it that way. Too bad his mum didn't raise him right, but then again, the H.M.S. Macaca has sailed.

(On the bright side, if he's really that ignorant about Darwinian sensibilities, maybe he calls W. "Chimp" to his face.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I am a native Virginian, my family goes back to 1636 as well as a Powhatan Indian 7-great grandmother, and George Allen has always disgusted me. His faux cowboy schtick, his decorating the Governor's Mansion in Richmond with heads and skins of dead animals, his moronic slyness, or is it his sly moronity? I consider him an embarassment to Virginia. But just like with our current pres, all it takes is duping enough people to get the votes to win, by however small a "mandate." A President Allen? We'd think Bush 2 was the good old days. The man is a slick phony.

Posted by: Nancy | August 15, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

May I add a twist (sorry if I missed it prior if someone mentioned it) but what I was most upset with was Mr. Allen's faux apology conveyed in the general direction of the young man who was singled out by this amazing bigot...

Allen extended the "if HE was offended, then he is sorry about it" .... well, well, well...

Sen. Allen doesn't think AT ALL that he may have offended tens of thousands of his own constituents and also feels no remorse at his choice of words towards that group.

Let's get real here folks. Allen's apology to the reporter was little more than, if the young man can't take it, then I'm sorry. There was no feeling that he had done anything wrong, I have since heard that one of Allen's senior advisors even used a swear word in suggesting that the senator had done nothing wrong.

One can only figure that Allen feels that there are some minorities that you don't insult to remain atop the political dogpile, but there are others that are just free targets for ridicule.

I would suggest that voting out of office overt bigots is a reasonable "single issue." How can you govern the people if you have disdain for a good portion of the population? Furthermore, is it wise to give the public forum to such an individual?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | August 15, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, bc... I caught the irony in TJ's post too (coffee must be finally kicking in).

Posted by: martooni | August 15, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not Senator Allen understood the meaning of the term "macaca," it is clear from the context that Allen intended to single out the object of his remarks and demean him, most likely because of the man's race since he was the only non-white person in the audience.
The fact that more Americans are not offended by Allen's remarks and his mean-spiritedness speaks volumes about what kind of society we have become. This incident also suggests that the South has not really changed all that much.

Posted by: Skye | August 15, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

firsttimeblogger, I will think of you on your birthday as my daughter shares the same date with you. Hope you and Mudge enjoy your birthdays.

Posted by: dmd | August 15, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

That's right, firsttimeblogger, you're the one--sorry I forgot who it was.

Me, I'm trying to forget the whole thing. We had planned a dinner cruise on our boat for my brother and sister-in-law, and for the two couples who are my best friends. But I just learned this weekend that the boat has a leak, probably in the fuel tank, and it's being hauled out today. Repairs are going to be very difficult and expensive, and also wipe out this entire season, what's left of it. So, no dinner cruise. (I'm more bummed out about the boat than about anything having to do with my birthday.) All I hope is nobody does any of that "Over the Hill" crap. I was "over the hill" two decades ago. All three couples are coming over to be house guests for the weekend, which means my wife is going to drive me nuts vacuuming the driveway and the attic, re-painting whatever it is she'll want to re-paint, re-paving the street, and generally making me crazy. And then I'll have to cook (which I like doing, but still...).

If I had my druthers, I'd druther forget the whole thing.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 15, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Looks to me like you libs are pretty good at the ol' racism game yourselves:

"You think the Republican National Committee could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here." - Howard Dean

"He ran a gas station down in St. Louis." - Hillary Clinton introducing a quote by Gandhi.

You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." -Joe Biden

If you were truly that enaraged over Allen's remarks, you must have been equally incensed by these remarks made by prominent Democrats. You did protest these Democrats with great fervor when they made these remarks? Right? Right?

Posted by: Parade Rainer | August 15, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Well now according to Wikipedia his mother was a North African Jew. Gee one wonders what the good ole boys of Virginia would think if they really find out about it. That their good ole boy senator not only has semitic but possibly 'african' blood in him? What would they call him now? A half breed macaca?

Posted by: Mc Caca | August 15, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Parade Rainer, do you really believe that the remarks you quoted are in the same category as calling someone "monkey"?

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 15, 2006 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Nancy, for pointing out that Allen doesn't even embody old Virginia. I don't have the 1636 Virginian part to lend credibility to my statement (my stupid ancestors got on the wrong boat and ended up in 1620 Massachussetts instead). Which brings me to my second point: sadly, Skye, if you think such racism is limited to the South, then you are willfully ignoring a lot of overt racism all over the country.

I've always said the most racist people I've ever met were from either Connecticut or Ohio.

Posted by: OD | August 15, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Although macaca is a new one on me, today we learn it is an old term. Too bad you did not look into it further.

Posted by: Bartolo | August 15, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Parade Rainer, do you see any difference between the comments that you point to and those of Allen?

And to your question, guess what!? Many Dems didn't like the lines you pointed out either. Unlike the majority of Republicans, we don't spend a great deal of energy excusing inexcusable behavior.

I am not a fan of Clinton at all, but, she truly apologized for that one.

In fact, Mrs. Clinton referred to that incident as a really lame attempt at humor. ... that's a hint for you, Parade.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | August 15, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and I skewered Hillary (I especially despise her politics) and Biden for their nonsensical comments is not all black and white, liberal and a "lib" I accept nothing from anyone, without questioning and being skeptical!

Posted by: jap219 | August 15, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Allen's "macaca" remark was racist and beyond the pale, but, in context, his comment "Welcome to America" was clearly a jab at "out of touch" liberals, not immigrants.

Posted by: student | August 15, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse


Allen didn't even know what he was saying (which doesn't make him saying it any less stupid).

Clinton, Dean, and Biden, however, knew PRECISELY the racist slant that they were going for and that makes their remarks all the more ugly and inexcusable. (Excuses, though, are precisely what the press and the left-wing gave them). Clinton, Dean and Biden perpetuated an ugly stereo-type of menial labor being the only means of employment suitable to Indian and black minorities and no one on the left or in the press was upset by this. If you're going to hold Allen to harsh standards for his remarks then Dean, Biden and Clinton should be held to the same standards and forced out of politics and made to work in 7-11s as well.

Posted by: Parade Rainer | August 15, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like some peeps are cutting and pasting from their favorite conservative blogs, judging from the content of Parade and TJ's posts. Attribution please.

Posted by: CowTown | August 15, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I always admired Coach Allen. Had he been alive, I wonder how ashamed he would be hearing his son's remark! Here is guy who was a senator for six years and a Governor for a prestigious OLD State for four years or more; yet he has such a foul mind! If the virginians have any sense of fairplay, they would send him and his staff home come novemebr! According to Post, his campaign manager said that he has nothing to apologise! WOW! Happy Christmas fellows!

Posted by: Krishna | August 15, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"going to hold Allen to harsh standards"???

So THAT's what we're doing! I hadn't realized...

Of course, if you're naive (or apologist)enough to believe somebody would use a phrase like that which he claims he didn't know the meaning of, perhaps it really does seem a little "harsh."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 15, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Parade Rainer, you need to back down. First, as jap219 (and we're talking about NOT reinforcing stereotypes, what the hell is that?) pointed out, not all life is liberal vs. conservative, democrat vs. republic. Calm down, and take a deep breath. What do you believe? Good, now stick to those principles and don't get distracted by the paranthetical (D) or (R) after every politicians' name.

Second, if you want to get into underlying intent and windows into racism: Biden's comment is on par with Allen's. I have no idea what lead him to make that comment and I have no idea what context it was in (possibly relevant, but probably not enough to save him). Biden is a blowhard, I leave it to the Delawarians to vote him out of office. Clinton's and Dean's comments strike me more as sad attempts at zingers in some lame fundraising speech. If they apologized (sincerely), then I'd let it go.

Third, if you want to just dump on the "MSM" (as everyone who haunts the comment sections of THE WASHINGTON POST is obsessed with doing), I suggest you move along to more relevant issues. For one thing, it makes more sense for Joel to criticize and make a big deal out of what Sen. Allen said -- since the Post serves the residents of Virginia, it is infinitely more relevant than what some other Senator said. But I'm sure you've caught on to some sort of uber-editorial board for the Post and NYTimes that dictates what they can and cannot report on. Congratulations.

Posted by: OD | August 15, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Allen didn't even know what he was saying (which doesn't make him saying it any less stupid).

Posted by: Parade Rainer | August 15, 2006 04:55 PM

A presidential pretender didn't know what he was saying? You got any lamer excuse? You hicks are so easily played it's funny....

Senator macaca is an African American?


Posted by: senator macaca | August 15, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse


Nice try, but out of at least 100 people that I have talked to today who saw this, you were a minority of 100 to your self as 1.


If you watch the video the poor Senator was caught pointing to the Indian American and clearly suggesting that he was an immigrant. Student, if you were to read some of the other articles on the front page of today's Washington Post online you will find a very interesting article about the immigrant population of this nation and particularly this area.

Allen's clear effort was to point at this kid and suggest that he didn't know America. Clearly, the poor fellow has a better understanding of the Senator today than most of us.

Nice try at issue management, student.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | August 15, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Parade Rainer, thanks for your reply.

A lot of the discussion today has been on what "macaca" means, and frankly, a lot of people aren't believing that he didn't know what the word was when he said it.

To be clear, if he did know, the implication of the word is that the subject is somewhat less than human.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 15, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually Parade Rainer, I have no problem with that concept.

Although I think Dean would be better suited practicing medicine, and I wouldn't really want to order a slurpee and surgery to go from a 7-11.

And, what stereotype about menial labor and people of color?

I read Dean's remarks as implying that the Republican National Committee has made no effort to seriously recruit people of color and hire them for anything.

Implying an organization is so exclusionary to people of color that they'd have to ASK the hotel they're staying at to bring their employees in if it suddenly became important to have a photo op with "racial diversity in".

Induitably nasty. But not without a grain of truth. National leadership:

Very diverse looking, indeed.

State leadership:

Keep clicking on all 50 states. If you find a black person in any of the leadership of the state parties, inform me of the state and the person so named.

I found a Mr. Yue in Washington State, that's it., and I checked around 13 states.

Sometimes a charge is really ugly cuz it's true. I don't think Dean should have gone there, but illustrative.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Having been a military brat, I don't think I've ever tried to pretend to be a local. Apart from the little stuff like wearing jeans to work in Wyoming and Nordstrom shirts in Portland. It's beyond me to put on a decent north Florida accent, as I was reminded over the weekend when I ran into a guy native to Green Cove Springs. He was being a good dad, getting his kid traction pads for the surfboard.

". . . a sport open only to the absurdly dedicated--it takes years to master the rudiments of surfing, and constant practice to maintain even basic competence . . ."
William Finnegan.
See the New Yorker website.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 15, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

No-one around here has a clue as to what the word "Macaca" means.
I guess it takes one to know one

Posted by: Jay | August 15, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

And fish don't have a word for water. Yadda yadda.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, dmd. And a glorious happy birthday to your daughter.

I've really never had any age phobias. I think it's a hoot to get to be 60. It's a great resting pulse rate, as are 70 and 80. Not so sure about 150, though.

Sorry about the boat, Mudge. But, hey, we're the role models for the youngsters on the Aschenblog (including the Grand Poobah Aschenbach himself), so perhaps we should comport ourselves with a modicum of dignity. HAHAHAHAHA Or. . . . perhaps we should just stick that where it belongs -- in the proverbial glove comportment.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 15, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Allen knew exactly what it meant.

He used another form of the word "macaque" which is not only a monkey, but also a racial slur used by French - speaking people to designate Arabs and Berbers from the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) and Sub-Saharan Africa. Other choice words include "bougnoule" and "bicot". All three words are even more insulting than the n... word.

Allen's mother grew up in Tunisia. Under the French occupation, French was the dominant language. Allen most likely heard his mother using that racial slur. Moreover, Allen speaks French.

Allen has no excuses, whatsoever. He deliberately used a vicious racial slur against S. R. Sidarth. He did not count on the fact that French-speaking people in this country (and others) would connect the dots to his Tunisian mother.

Allen is unfit for office.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I meant "people from Sub-Saharan Africa".

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

According whit many web sources I checked Macaca is the latin (and scientific word) for "Macaque" which is a monkey, is Allen aware of this fact?, does he know about it? or just sheer coincidence?

Did he use Macaca to avoid calling the student a monkey?

Posted by: Obxsumm | August 15, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey bc... looks like Parade Rainer has brought some irony to the party, too.

Posted by: martooni | August 15, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, Wilbrod, your 4:03 sent me off on the proverbial goose chase to see if there actually was a HMS Macaca.

I take it your reference was just that 'that ship had sailed', as I didn't find any such ship. The first alphabetical M appears to have been HMS Macedonian.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 15, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking Denizen,

You sent me back to my childhood by mentionning Capitaine Haddock. I had forgotten all about his "Macaques! Bachi-Bouzouks! Tonnerre de Brest" invectives.

This said, Herge was really a racist. Remember "Tintin au Congo"?


"No-one around here has a clue as to what the word "Macaca" means.
I guess it takes one to know one".

You obviously do not read the posts. Plenty of people know that "Macaque" is a French racial slur directed at Maghrebi and Sub-Saharan Africans.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Considering todays kit, and looking back at yesterday's French fiasco, its easy to understand how hard it is to get past our preconcieved notions about groups of people that we are not familiar with. Its easy to understand how racism starts and its also fairly easy to see that once someone misunderstands, that single misunderstanding breeds all kinds of ick, no matter how hard you work to stop it.

None of that means its ok to be racist, just that its easy to see the roots. The only thing all humanity can do is simply to keep the lines of communication open and to listen more than we speak.

Posted by: dr | August 15, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I saw the video in You Tube

"Macaca or whatever his name is", that's what Allen said, crystal clear. Even if Allen doesn't know what Macaca means, the tone was definitely derogatory and condescending, he probably tried a lame attempt to put an exotic name on a dark skinned guy, typical behavior of an ignorant and arrogant WASP/redneck.

I bet nobody would like to be called "whatever your name is", your name is what you are and should be treated with respect, whether is Joe, Kenny, Jose, Enrique, Tariq, Anwar, Toshiro, etc.

Posted by: Carl | August 15, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse


I agree it's not always left vs right and so forth. I have no love for Allen, he comes across as an idiot with these remarks. So too does Clinton, Dean and Biden and any politician, Dem or Rep, when they make racist/racial remarks in these overly race-sensitive times in which we live.

However, there is an undeniable double-standard regarding racial/racist remarks in our press and the degrees of heat that are brought down upon politicians of various political stripe. I'll give another example (and this example comes from Maryland, a state whose politics is covered by WaPo).

Lt. Gov Michael Steele is an African-American and Republican senatorial candidate who has been subjected to various ugly racial comments (Uncle Tom and the like) by black Democrats here in the Ol' Line State. The condemnations to these blatantly racist remarks were excruciatingly slow in coming (if they came at all) from Maryland Democrats, the NAACP and the Baltimore Sun. The condemnations of these remarks had to practically be beaten out of these individuals/institutions with a stick by Steele's supporters. Now, had the scenario been reversed (i.e. Democrat African-American candidate subjected to racial attacks from Republican sources) we would still be hearing the outrage from the Sun, NAACP and MD Dems (and, no doubt, the Post). This racial double standard is real and not in the eye of the beholder.

Thank you for the post though, OD, you do make good points and you sound fairly moderate (which can be a dangerous thing these days).

Posted by: Parade Rainer | August 15, 2006 5:52 PM | Report abuse

So you chose door #3.

Shockingly, the "MSM" does not follow everyone's partisan ideology and expectations in their reporting. Perhaps even less shocking is that our highly managed candidates (1) never apologize sincerely, and (2) their fellow partisans do not stick their neck out to condemn, for fear of losing to the other party. It's a fine mess we're in, mostly of our own making... it's a little hard to blame it just on "the cable news networks" or "the republicans" or "the immigrants" or "the terrorists" or whoever your boogeyman is.

It's your fault and it's my fault, and now we have to live with this mess. Anyone want to fix it, or is posting messages on the internet enough?

Posted by: OD | August 15, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone point out things like that, however I'm sure there wasn't an editorial from this liberal biased media about Sen. Hillary Clinton calling the guy who pumped her gas out west "ghandi" and claiming he owned the local 7-11. Bias, I think so.

Posted by: Ryan | August 15, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry! Yeah, your second surmise is the correct one.

Although some of those ships had the damnedest names.

Robert Swinhoe, who was born in Calcutta but English and who did a lot of birdwatching and other work in Taiwan (kind of like Darwin in the Galapagos) documented a new species of Macque in Taiwan.

The ship he sailed on?

" In June 1861 Vice-Consul Robert Swinhoe arrived in Takow (Takao, Kaohsiung) on board HMS Cockchafer....documented the Formosan Rock Monkey (Macaca cyclopis). "

He also sailed on the HMS Inflexible.

I suspect Mudge already knows about the rich tradition of she-ships with suggestive names. I'm stopping here before I coin ship-names based on suggestive sex acts. We shouldn't get TOO bawdy here.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm an MD voter and those Steele remarks ticked me off as well. Very low. It almost made me want to vote for Steele as an "in your face" vote, although I don't agree with his politics.

I think the political level of discourse is all too often allowed to wallow in the mud.
My suspicion is that Republicans simply do not protest this treatment enough. And that's telling. I mean..

In 2000, McCain basically lost in South Carolina after a rumor was spread he had an illegimate black daughter etc. This was a Rove move, well distanced from Bush's campaign.

To this day I am pretty angry that the trick worked in South Carolina and that Bush made the 2000 Presidental nomination.

I'd have been happy to have put up with an extreme conservative McCain the last 6 years rather than the shrub. That he could have lost in South Carolina due to fanning racist sentiment among the voters there..

And that's why Allen felt free to call a man "macaca" in a crowd of 400 people. For all you know, this will lock up the South Carolina primary for him.

And again, did I mention that I only found one non-white person among the state/National leadership of the RNC so far?

Disgusting. I agree with you that the Democrats should walk their talk and keep creating a much better picture of racial relations in politics.

But personally, I think it's time to give birth to a new centrist party that steals away the moderates on both sides and lets the extremists rant to themselves.

But politics always makes strange bedfellows as the saying goes. Sooner or later, a politican winds up sleeping with everybody.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Always can tell when the blog get linked to the home page. How do they decide when to do this? Personally, I'm thinking rock, paper, scissors.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 15, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

If memory serves, there was some uproar from the "Left" after Dean and Biden made their unfortunate statements. I recall some comments on Kos and other message boards I frequent (boards that have a focus more on OK politics). However, I don't think I've ever heard about Hillary's statement before today.

I'll admit to being a partisan, but I'll also be more than willing to call any of my own out for such stupid/backwards behavior.

I'm just wondering what the Senator's mother thinks about what he had to say?

Posted by: TulsaFan | August 15, 2006 6:14 PM | Report abuse

George's mama is an African Jew immigrant? And he wraps himself in the confederate flag all these years? Talk about self hating, self delusion! Yeah the South Carolina ole boys would love him down there!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Too many hits on the head playing football at UVA has made Georgey boy soft in the head or was it that all white prep school called UVA that did it?

Got to love Virgina! Pass the plantation please

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 6:33 PM | Report abuse

The problem isn't just Allen's words; it's that they're *Allen's* words.

Racially insensitive or clumsy or careless remarks by politicians can be more or less erased (except to their inveterate enemies) by a swift explanation and/or apology--UNLESS such remarks confirm other elements in the politician's profile.

Unfortunately, that's exactly Allen's problem. His racist remark over the weekend won't be seen as an aberration but as confirmation of a troubling pattern that is well documented and beyond dispute. See and for more.

Posted by: Va. J. | August 15, 2006 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it cute to watch conservatives who have been defending racists for years take baby steps toward trying to identify it? Keep at it guys, you'll get it eventually.

Posted by: B2O | August 15, 2006 6:35 PM | Report abuse

CNN should be playing the clip of Allen confuisng a mohawk with a monkey every five seconds like they did to Dean with his "war cry" whoop. IF not why not.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2006 6:36 PM | Report abuse

This "controversy," which will turn out to be limited to the Beltway media and the political correctness caucus, will fade away within, oh, 17 hours.

Posted by: Banjo | August 15, 2006 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I have a question that follows up Wilbrod's 5:55 post, having thumbed a book today titled "She-Captains"--those women who took ships' helms and were both master and commander, so to speak.

Who was the first woman, documented, to have sailed the globe, whether as passenger or ship's captain? (I do not have the answer in hand and am wondering how to source it.)

Also and off-topic, an interesting essay at the New York Times tthis afternoon titled "How to Make Sure Children are Scientifically Illiterate."

Several grafs:

The chairman of the [Kansas] school board, Dr. Steve Abrams, a veterinarian, is not merely a strict creationist. He has openly stated that he believes that God created the universe 6,500 years ago, although he was quoted in The New York Times this month as saying that his personal faith "doesn't have anything to do with science."

"I can separate them," he continued, adding, "My personal views of Scripture have no room in the science classroom."

A key concern should not be whether Dr. Abrams's religious views have a place in the classroom, but rather how someone whose religious views require a denial of essentially all modern scientific knowledge can be chairman of a state school board.

Posted by: Loomis | August 15, 2006 7:26 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe she was named as a testament to how she was conceived. Achenbach named his daughter Paris because Paris was a particularly important romantic venue in the birth of that child."

Let me just say, thank goodness I didn't follow that pattern with my son and name him "Mobile"!

My parents let me stay up and watch the moon landing, but as I was only 4 months old I don't remember it.

"40 years since Apollo makes me feel really old."


Posted by: Dooley | August 15, 2006 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Only problem with the article was the reference to multiculturalism (not capitalized because it does not merit capitalization) becoming inevitable in the US. There is only room for one culture here - Western. Lockean liberalism allows people to say what they like and trusts that the bad ideas will not survive the test of time. So Allen said something stupid, what politician doesn't? My problem is the "wake up" America aspect of Schmedley's article? One million immigrants in the DC Area? I hope we don't have to worry about our home becoming more like what these folks left behind due to their presence here? I certainly hope we don't have to worry about the instatement of a caste system in the United States (probably the # 2 reason anyone from the subcontinent is here). Let's not forget why people leave their homelands to come to the US. It's not to bring us something that they feel we lack in the "cultural" sense. It's because we've got the best the world has to offer. DO NOT EVER FORGET THIS (especially the Democratic Party)!

Posted by: Anti-multiculturalist | August 15, 2006 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Anti-multiculturalist - and what were the reasons your ancestors came? Religious intolerance, poverty, famine, or merely to seek a better life, the reasons are no different now then they have ever been.

Posted by: dmd | August 15, 2006 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Here is what I wrote to Sen. Allen on his web site today:

Dear Senator,

I am one of who you might refer to as a Macaca - an average Indian immigrant, working hard creating jobs and wealth in this great country.

Not too many years ago, your ancestors considered people of color animals.

It is not surprising that you are carrying on this great Confederate tradition of regarding anyone darker than a pinkish hue to be of simian variety.

Truth be told, we are all decedent of simians, but you may not believe so since you probably think that the earth was created 5,000 years ago.

Anyway, even in Virginia, the Macacans will speak, and you will be voted out.

In the meantime, enjoy your senatorial privileges, bigotry being one of them.

S. Jha

Posted by: S. Jha | August 15, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse


I love a little research challenge. I would start with this one:

Rose de Freycinet and the French Exploration Corvette L'Uranie (1820)

Here's a description of apparently all the circumnavigations to 1800, so I don't think you'll find anything earlier than de Freycinet.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 15, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse

To dmd:

Exactly. My ancestors came to the US because of the culture it offered and not what culture they could bring to it. They left one culture behind to embrace that formed by the children of the Enlightenment. Thanks for supporting my point of view!

Posted by: Anti-multiculturalist | August 15, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Since women were being sent to the New World by the 1600's, I doubt 1820 was the first time a woman circumnavigated the globe.

Magellan's voyage ended in only 18 survivors in 1522. Drake was second, but who was third etc?

Hmm, there were only 25 circumnavigations known until 1800.

Loomis, since you're such a history buff, you might want to start checking the mainfest and survivors of those voyages-- pirate ships seem unlikely but who knows, maybe there were saucy wenches ;),
Then, work your way forward ;).

Good luck and let us know what you find...

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

What's this about "Welcome to America"? Mr Allen should wakeup. Sidharth is as much an American as Mr. Allen.
Surely, a message for the Republican voters: Mr. Allen is a shame to represent you for your state, You deserve a literate Senator.
BTW, The guys doing the research for Mr. Allen should know that for Hindus, a "Monkey" will most likely stike a chord with the God Hanuman...nothing insulting for Sidhart I guess.

Posted by: AnandP | August 15, 2006 8:46 PM | Report abuse

A lot of plants native to Hawai'i have scientific names that were published in a tome with an amazingly long title. The Americans, not to be outdone, sent an exploring expedition to Hawai'i about the same time. It must have been a pleasanter enterprise than accompanying Fremont (he sort of invented white-water rafting in rubber boats, with predictable loss of supplies and, I think, scientific specimens).

There was so much secrecy in the 16th and 17th centuries, I wonder whether someone sneaked around the world. A book by a fellow named Bawlf, from British Columbia, tried to prove that Drake spent an inordinate amount of time sneakily charting the waters of BC and neighboring Alaska.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 15, 2006 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'll like to see multiculturalism persist in food and song, thank you very much, as I eat my thai take-out.

And the more US born citizens we have that can speak other languages fluently, the better our intelligence will be in other countries.

Americans inevitably became different from the English as we learned this new land, and we owe more to the native americans in some of our cultural concepts than we may realize.

I have friends who are becoming Americans, and they're not really interested in keeping the bad ways of the old country. However they want their children to speak their mother tongue so they can know their relatives aboard and share some of WHO they are with their children, why they left for America.

Historically an extreme intolerance for "multiculturalism" and "immigrants" and people who talk funny tends to have hurt U.S. citizens who happen to be deaf or have speech impediments.

So I'm not too wild about encouraging any kind of intolerance. We should always have an ongoing national dialogue about what it means to be American, but I'm hornswoggled if people are gonna get away with harrassing other Americans simply because they're from a different part of the counrty and have an accent that they don't recognize.

Let's face it... chitlins, deep fried tomatoes of the south. Lobster bisque from Maine. California rolls and other granola food fom California. Scrumptious Tex-mex food. Chili. Good ol' plain food in the Midwest.
Every location has its own culture, really, unless you're in a highly mobile urban area. The prevailing industry influences the culture. So if I'm in rural Idaho and see people riding horses home from school, people working at dairy and farms, etc.-- I'm not gonna believe that they have exactly the same cultural experience of being American that I have inside the Beltway.

Multiculturalism is already part of being American. Our high mobility, travel, and tendency to relocate a lot and our recent history as a nation (and until recently, a more unified media experience), shared public school systems, and our relatively consistent laws, all are really the only reason we aren't further apart culturally from other Americans.

Heck, go 100 miles and it's a totally lifestyle from DC in the Shendoah mountains.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 8:54 PM | Report abuse

My previous post got so entangled in Drake that I forgot to mention what I was posting about: "Voyage autour du monde entrepris par ordre du Roi, exécuté sur les corvettes de S.M. L'Uranie et La Physicienne pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820' (Paris 1824-44). 'Partie Historique et Nautique' by Freycinet (1825-37, 2 vols + atlas)." The voyage's botanist was Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupré.

Good thing that later French Republicans didn't burn all the copies, or at least rip out the title pages.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 15, 2006 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Anti-multiculturalism, I did not in any way shape or form support your thinking. The NA culture is a result of the combination of all the cultures that exsist here, from native on up. It is an ever changing and ever evolving culture and that is a wonderful thing. If you want a homogenous culture go find a country where that might still exist. NA was never a ment to be exclusive to any one "type" of people but was to be the new world tolerant of ALL.

Posted by: dmd | August 15, 2006 9:06 PM | Report abuse

But he didn't call him Hanuman, AnandP.

He called him a slur word in French. Big difference.

Besides, the British used to call Indians bandar-log (monkey people) and it was NOT meant kindly.

" In Rudyard Kipling's imagination, the bandar log -- monkey folk -- who overran the ruined city in the jungle and were always about to do great things but did nothing save chatter were the Asian inheritors of Britain's great imperial creation. He meant Indians but the definition would now also include Africans, Caribbeans and Chinese who are in charge of former colonies." This is from an column from 'The Hindu'- a newspaper in India.

Does that sound very respectful, holy, and non-racist to you?

Let's go further.

"There are also expressions like bandar munhan (monkey face) and rish jeha (bear-like), which the Caucasians used to describe the features of native Indians (Hindus). In Ramyan, the two native devotees of Shri Ram Chandar are depicted as a monkey (Hanuman) and a bear (Jamawant)."

The Ramayana is the epic story and one of the cornerstones of Hinduism, as the story is ancient, has considerable detail and is told in all languages in India. Half of the population of India saw the TV dramatization of the Ramayana.

Hanuman the monkey god's (or God of wind) role in that story is to assist Ram (Rama) in getting back his kidnapped wife, Sita from a demon called Ravana.

That does not mean anybody wants to be named a monkey any more than a Devotee of Apollo would have liked to be called a mouse or a rat (Apollo was also known as the mouse-god), or that a devotee of Hera would have liked to be called an ox.

So sorry, that excuse does not fly.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, on reflection, I don't find it all that surprising there were so few circumnavigations. Ultimately, going all the way around was expensive grandstanding.

PS I leave it to braver boodlers to make the inevitable comments about the name of de Freycinet's ship.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 15, 2006 9:17 PM | Report abuse

The reference to Hanuman was just an attempt to minimize the hurt for Sidhart and people identifying themselves with Sidhart and nothing much.
The intent was obvious in Mr. Allen's speech. He singled out Sidhart. No excuse for the utterance!

Posted by: AnandP | August 15, 2006 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Why does AnandP assume that Sidarth was Hindu, anyway. He could be buddhist (Siddharta Gautama was the name of the Buddha), atheist, agnostic, catholic, muslim, or evangelical christian.

Yeah that would have been a bright move. "Yeah he called him a monkey, but everybody knows Hindus LOVE to be called monkeys."

I think the French just gave us a valuable lesson a couple blogs ago.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, I'm glad to be a Tar Heel tonight!

But don't look at me, I didn't vote for Liddy Dole or Robin Hayes.

RD, I don't think it's rock/paper/scissors. I think it's whatever is most provocative that makes the home page.

That said, I think what George Allen said was inexcusable and deserves the condemnation it has generated.

Posted by: Slyness | August 15, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh okay, as long as that is clear. I am sure Sidarth will recover from the shock of being called a monkey. He probably finds the humor in that eventually...

However he may stay angry about the whole point that that his own state's senator just assumed he was not an American or a Virginian and thus a nonvoter based on his looks, and felt okay not giving him any respect. THAT is the real point.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 15, 2006 9:45 PM | Report abuse

>Why does AnandP assume that Sidarth was Hindu, anyway.
Indeed, not proper to assume Sidharth's religious belief. :|

Posted by: AnandP | August 15, 2006 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Why is macaca following mr. allen around? Achenbach, welcome to America buddy, thank goodness there are more people in this country that think like me than you. You aren't the only one on this planet.

Posted by: Hello Mr. Allen | August 15, 2006 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I hope everyone read the article about Iraq that Joel linked to. Very chilling and sad - sums up everything we did wrong. A quote from an art gallery owner: "Nobody believes in the future."

I've been reading the Jill Carroll articles on the Christian Science Monitor website. Those are quite interesting too - great insight into the insurgents' world - and why they'll be very difficult to defeat.

I have vague memories of the moon landing, although I was 17 and very excited about it. I remember it being late at night - 10 or so. I watched it with my Dad - don't remember my Mom being there, but I don't know where else she would have been, unless she couldn't stay up that late. My best friend's grandmother thought it was a hoax - and so did my friend's mother, an otherwise intelligent woman! (I didn't know that her mother didn't believe it was real till years later.)

To the poster named Skye - lovely name - one I never saw till we called our son that. And then I saw it everywhere, mainly for girls. True story - on the way home from the hospital, my husband and I had this conversation:
Husband: "Sky - S-K-Y"
Me: "E"
Husband: "E?!?"
Me: "Yes, like the island, so it looks like a name, not a nickname!"
Husband: "Oh"

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 15, 2006 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Hack, Hack , cough, harumph.... *smoke clears from allenbombstorm*

After much searching of the NASA site, I've found that we were watching the telly around the picnic table at about 9.30 p.m., CST when Mr. Armstrong set foot on the moon. The space program has always fascinated me. I have some NASA posters dating back to the moon missions and a record from Time, or something, that had sound bites on it from Mr. Cronkite's and Mr. Schirra's commentary from the beginning of the mission to the end. I was also fortunate to see Jules Bergman speak on the topic of space and science when I was a sophomore in college. Cool stuff.

Posted by: jack | August 15, 2006 11:19 PM | Report abuse

..considering there are only 100
american senators one tends to hope the
general level of public conduct from
this quite small and relative "select"
group of americans would be reflective,
sensitive and thoughtful in form and
...the house seems often enough to be
the domain of boorish and sparkless
intellect human behavior so one might
retain hope the senate would be the
better half of congress on any thinking,
acting and speaking aspects...
...being a senator still is not enough
to clear the hurdle evidently and the
list of american senators who have
managed to "mis-think,mis-speak or just
plain missed the point" is long and
sadly becomes longer often...
the apology comes too late and the
sincerity remains doubtful...
...being an american senator should be
seen as a great honor and the position
held highly on conduct and decorum.
...of course the "allens" who get into
the senate view the privilege of being
an american senator in less becoming
as with the current WH resident allen
may have confused being coarse with
being at ease...the foot is never too
far from the mouth with this sort...
...the nature of allen's racist remark
displaying something worse than simple
coarse conduct...

Posted by: an american in siam... | August 16, 2006 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Well, Anti-multiculturalist, my ancestors came here (North Carolina, 1768) in order to participate in the continued obliteration of the indigenous culture and replacement with their own, not to partake of the hard-won environmental wisdom of the indigenous population. I do not know, one way or the other, whether my ancestors also participated in bringing other people here so that their own unique cultures could be obliterated and forcibly replaced with a culture of slavery and servitude, but certainly there was a lot of that going on in the time and place at which they arrived. This is not a proud history, but it's what happened. Some of those people who were brought here against their will managed to hold onto significant portions of their own culture, and ultimately created a new culture with elements that never before were part of Western culture.To suburban white guys like me, this is most obvious in music. I still need to read Zora Neale Hurston and other writers of the Harlem renaissance. It's on my list of things to do, right after learning to play the guitar adequately (and, by the way, I am learning classical style -- not a Northern European instrumental style).

Your suggestion that everyone comes here in order to eliminate their birth culture and replace it with our wonderful Western liberalist culture is simply nonsense. Every person who comes here brings something new, usually just out of habit. When did you last eat a burrito? A Mexican invention. A pizza? An American derivative of Italian cuisine. Lo mein? Invented in California, derived from Chinese cuisine. People come here to abandon the PARTS of their own society that did not serve them well. Sometimes, that means only that they gave up the poverty, but kept most everything else. That would include the Irish, the Amish, the Germans, the Calvinists, the Catholics, the Puritans ... your point is absurd.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2006 12:25 AM | Report abuse

As I recall, Macaca mulatta is the species name for the Rhesus monkey. Is that what Allen meant to imply?

Posted by: J.V. Schnell | August 16, 2006 12:48 AM | Report abuse

an american in siam, so nice to hear from you! As always, you make wonderful points with style and grace.

If you dare, take a look at the comments on the "Cafe Society" Kit - many French people taking umbrage. Toward the end is a commentor who calls himself Mano - he lives in Bangkok (and I mentioned to him that we have another boodler from Thailand).

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 16, 2006 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone follow the market around here? The Dow was up 132 points yesterday! Finally some news to cheer about.

Posted by: ot | August 16, 2006 4:00 AM | Report abuse

about cafe society kit and kab... of the best ones i do think :-)
surely one of the greatest 20th century
inventions is this on the
a-blog you see the future first...:-)
one can imagine easily within another
5 to 10 years how the INET will promote
much more interact around the planet :-)
...i enjoyed paris very much for all its
fine architecture,urban design and many
delights of civic is
a very complete collection of these all:-)
...the cafe scene has much allure and
charm and certainly forms up in paris
nicely...coming from a midwestern mid-
sized city that qualifies as a "cowtown"
my first time in paris was for me very
wondrous indeed...from the airport we
took the train/subway...when at the
correct station we came up onto a street
scene with splashing fountain and the
sights of well preserved 19th paris...
i was mesmerized and paris remains a
most memorable city for me :-) this part of the world bangkok
with its population of about three
chicagos is very big,very much not
done to a plan and suffers much from
congestive traffic and lack of unity in
its theme/concept...very much not paris...
bangkok has its fans tho--it IS the big
game board city here in the land of
smiles...very urban,very electric and
very "bangkokian"...:-)
i have taken up more blogsites and am
now reading 5-6 netnewspapers daily and
following several blogsites as well...
needless to say there are time lines
involved both on a planetary scale and
on a personal scale...the INET is indeed
truly open-ended but the 24 hour day is
not...i expect within a century or so
the 24 hour "day" will have evolved into
something more like three 8 hour "globe
zones" as this will suit the INET better
for time,day and night measure...
finally...sounds like joel had a
nice time in france...and it looks like
the french have found the a-blog...:-)

Posted by: an american in siam... | August 16, 2006 4:35 AM | Report abuse

Here's the direct link to watch Armstrong's first steps on the moon. You'll need RealAudio to watch it.

It's interesting to note that Niel actually blew his famous line. He should have said: That's one small step for "a" man, one giant leap for mankind. The director yelled "CUT", but on the second take Buzz made Neil laugh and so they just went with the first one (even though you can briefly see the boom mic near the end of the clip).

To explore all of the Apollo missions go to the main site:

Posted by: ot | August 16, 2006 5:01 AM | Report abuse

When are the grown ups coming back. George Allens qualifications are what? Hmm. I guess being ignorant of what you are saying is great qualification in the age of Bush. I guess it is appropriate that they can't find the tapes as we can't do anything like that anymore. The great old USA isn't what it used to be I suspect it's dead and just doesn't know it yet. Somehow I wish there was some seminal statement like Those who don't learn history are condemned to relive it about the USA but am not clever. Just Depressed.

Posted by: Elgunjduts | August 16, 2006 5:42 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe he invented the word on the spot. It doesn't have the ring of a compliment, whatever it means."

Its meaning is obvious for everybosy who's occasionally paying attention to the countless wildlife reports on TV. If Aschenbach doesn't know it, maybe he should have googled:

"The macaques (genus Macaca) are Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae."

"I don't know what it means," "Allen told our reporter." Do you believe that? That someone just accidently calls an afro-american a 'monkey'? Aschenbach's reaction to this is much too tame. And where's the outcry from the rest of the media? It's a shame.

Posted by: Gray | August 16, 2006 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that the full moon and the GWOB (Global War on The Blog) were nearly coincidental.

aminsiam: Thoughtful words as always...the pols, like many others, have yet to learn to think before they speak. I was once told by a colleague, appropriately named Wylie, that racism won't truly end until we all begin to wowrship together.

Posted by: jack | August 16, 2006 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Hergé publicly apologized for the racist content of his earlier albums. You have to remember the context; Tintin au Congo was published in the 20's I believe. Tintin au Far West is also replete with Indian racism, and the Lotus Bleu series is not exactly an enlightened exposé of Chinese culture. Most of these early stories were exotic adventures, the guy was trying to present places and people he didn't actually know so he relied on clichés and prejudice. I think Hergé's racism was more an expression of his time than a personal flaw. Open discrimination was the rule throughout the Western world. The 1920-1940 period was a bad time for race relations. Eugenics was very strong in the UK; a little guy with a mustache was peddling racial superiority theories in Germany and Jim Crow laws were strictly applied in the US. Posting "no Indians" signs at hotels and bars was the rule here in Haute Maine. French Canadian couldn't join most clubs, the Navy was closed to them, etc. Not to excuse him, racism is inexcusable, but the times were different
Hergé did not only dissed sub-Saharan African, Arabs, American Indians, Chinese, and Andese people, he made a hate album at the reviled communist Russians. He later completely disowned "Tintin chez les Soviet", a virulently anti-Bolshevik album. He refused to have the album reprinted although it has been reprinted after his death. I happened to read an old copy in the late sixties: not nice.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I will repost the link when (not if, this is HUGE news to the dorkier components of the Boodle, present company included) Joel blogs about the demotion of Pluto.

Pluton? Sounds like the villian from a bad Buck Rogers rip-off. Plutoid would have been better since it suggests asteroid.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2006 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Magellan attempted to circumnavigate the world, but died in the Phillipines, though 17 of his sailors completed the voyage back to Spain.

Sir Francis Drake was the first captain to circumnavigate the globe and live to tell the tale though half his men died.

Captain James Cook was the first to attempt a west to east route on his second expedition. He was killed in Hawaii on his third trip.

Rose Freycinet was the first woman to cirtcumnavigate the globe and write of her experience.

After spending more time with "She Captains" at the bookstore last night, I discovered that it appears that a Ms. Purvis and Mary Anne Morrell of New England were sailing at about the same time as Freycinet, arriving in their ports of destination several years later and becoming pregnant, unlike Rose, while under way. The book pointed out that women sailed with their British sea captain husbands for several generations before Freycinet's adventure, but didn't mention around-the-world routes.

The book, "She Captains" gives credit to Jean Bare, disguised, as the first woman to circumnavigate the globe.

Posted by: Loomis | August 16, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The French boodle (ha!) is still going pretty strong back there. I'm enjoying it very much and have even picked up an intercultural penpal.

In case anybody can make something out of it, the French word for "joke" is "blague" and it is pronounced something like "blog."

Thanks, Joel, for allowing us to profit from your vacation experience, in so many ways!

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Uh, Gray, I don't think Sidarth is an "an afro-american." His heritage is Indian, which last time I looked was on a somewhat different continent. Asia, maybe, or Antarctica. One of them. But pretty sure not Africa.

As to Anti-Multiculturalist, well, the mind just boggles.

Allen's remark was the lead "story" on Jon Stewart's Daily Show last night. Stewart described the remakrs (without referring the racism aspect or what the word means), which puzzled me until I understood the set-up. He brought in "correspondent" Rob Corddry, who proceeded to take extreme umbrage because he himself was a Macacan from Macaca, and proud of his Macacan roots and Macacan culture, yadda yadda. This finally prompted Stewart to ask, "Uh, where exactly IS Macaca?" To which Corddry replied, "Right near Yapeepee!" And then Corddry laughed maniacally, said he couldn't believe Stewart would fall for that, etc. etc.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 9:44 AM | Report abuse

The name Pluto was trivialized and ridiculed when Disney created that character as a dog.

Posted by: j.moreno | August 16, 2006 9:44 AM | Report abuse

But it lead to a great joke in the Tv Show "Soap" where Billy Crystal, playing the gay son, starts talking about all the famous gay greeks, and he said "Plato was gay."

His mother, played by Katherine Hammonds (that redheaded lady) and the rich scatterbrain, says "Mickey Mouse's dog was gay?"

Billy Crystal (sacrastically), "Yes Mom, he and Goofy were lovers."

For some reason I STILL remember that exchange, just like other people remember dialogue from the Godfather.

The Vulcan neck pinch one was good, too.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, speaking of maniacal, did you see Stewart's interview with Samuel L. Jackson about his new movie "Snakes on a Plane?" Jackson was wired and Stewart wasn't too far behind. I'm sure it's a dumb movie but I am hoping it's funny-dumb. I am looking forward to seeing it with my daughter, who happens to own a ten foot long boa. "Everyone else in the family is rather afraid of snakes. I was too until she got him about ten years ago. Back then he was only a foot long and she more or less insisted that I touch him and hold him. She used to drive to my house with him wrapped around her arm and she once stored his "lunch" in my microwave. You haven't been truly creeped out until you have 3 or 4 live mice running around inside the microwave. I've learned to "love" him over the years, and if you drape him over your shoulders, he does give a great back massage, just keep him away from your neck.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 16, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I am prepared to take Allen at his word that he had no idea what the word "macaca" actually meant. What is really squalid about all of this is his singling out this young man in a crowd dominated by white, middle to upper class dufooses who still long for the old, white main street culture of the early twentieth century and who are so cavalierly comfortable with the idea of sending millions of illegal immigrants and their families back to Mexico, irrespective of the catastrophic consequences on those families.

It is this warped view of family values that has been brought to us by republicans like George Allen. It is that flaw in his character rather than his ignorance of other cultures and his grotesque "Aw shucks, a'hm just a down home good ol' boy" act.

Posted by: Jaxas | August 16, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Now I really have egg on my face, because I didn't know that Allen was a California transplant.

OD, you asked, "Why adopt the posture of being a 'good ole boy' when that wasn't his family at all?" Valid question, and you're right that we don't know what was in his head. I do know that aspiring politicians who adopt false personas are usually courting certain segments of voters. One pathetic example was Dukakis posing with a tank.

John Dickerson at Slate compared Allen's personality to Bush's:

>> What seemed more offensive than the word's specific meanings was its all-purpose nature. "Macaca" sounded like the fraternity TV-room appellation for "funny-looking foreigner"...

>> An even bigger political problem may be that the episode makes him look like an unserious lightweight...(Allen) mirrors too many of Bush's goofy, amiable, towel-snapping qualities. Those are all on display in the "macaca" video.

Posted by: Tonio | August 16, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

But Goofy can talk and Pluto can't. What's up with that. And that always reminds of the joke about why Mickey divorced Minnie. It wasn't because she was mentally ill, she was just....


Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Kbertucci, you made me skimmed the recent entries in the French boodle. It seems to be about half and half, some guys didn't see the Weekly Humour disclaimer and wrap themselves in the i/tricolore/i flag and spew contempt at anything American in an eerily wingnut fashion while others clearly got it. Some guys write quite well and are funny (coyote in particular, although he uses argot that would give trouble to automated translators). One guy mention that thanks to America he eats nachos which he largely prefers over having sauerkraut on the menu every night...LOL
SCC Vous êtes tous (et toutes!) les bienvenus ici!

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, that Goofy does get around, eh? He should have been on the cast of "Friends" instead of David Schwimmer.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: seule mule | August 14, 2006 03:31 PM

All right, who did this? It's on the French Blog. It's really funny. C'mon, 'fess up!

Posted by: CowTown | August 16, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the Lone Mule is vacationing in France?

Yeah, funny, but I didn't even know there was a word for "sucks" in French.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I am off to my mom's funeral today but wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and support, I will carry those thoughts with me during the next two day.

One of the greatest things my mom taught be was to be tolerant, from her I learned to be tolerant in my dealings with others, respectful of differences and to push for equality for all.

Below is a sample of the eulogy written by my brother, IMO it is beautiful, so much so none of us think we will be able to get through it, but I will try for mom.

Best wishes to all.
Someone once said "There is a common fallacy that for a woman simply having children makes one a mother--which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician." Our Mom was a mother in every sense. She didn't just give birth to us, she nurtured us, was devoted to us - but she was not a martyr to us. She had her own life and interests beyond her children, and thereby gave her four children and six grandchildren a model for our lives.

God knows she was not perfect, but then who among us is? She was committed, loving, supportive, proud and stubborn. She made her children believe that we could do whatever we wanted to do ... and then accepted whatever that was, whether it was her choice or not.

When we were children, she did everything possible to give us the best start in life. She taught us to read before we were in school, carted us to the library at every opportunity, showed us the world and encouraged us to explore it.

Mom learned to drive so that she could ferry us around to school and church and sports. Since she encouraged us in every activity imaginable, she ended spending huge amounts of time driving to swim and track meets, hockey, soccer and football games, dance classes or whatever activity one of us might be up to. If there were only two or three parents at a game, you could be sure one of them would be Mom.

Unfortunately, the fact that she learned to drive did not mean that she ever learned to navigate. Her sense of misdirection was legendary. She once phoned home trying to figure out how taking the highway from London to Burlington she had ended up on a back road in Burford. On another occasion when we were travelling in convoy to a snowmobile race in Booneville, New York, she lost sight of Dad's car ahead - it only had Ontario plates and an inconspicuous trailer full of bright yellow Ski-Doos behind it - then lost the right road and finally misplaced the Canadian border.

She even got lost by plane, when her fear of flying and Gravol consumption to control the panic made her miss connections and end up in Boston instead of Toronto!

But she always made the best of these situations. I still remember the lovely, historic inn where we ended up staying the night on the Booneville adventure, complete with a framed newspaper clipping of George Washington's inauguration. Any experience could become educational, one way or the other!

Mom wasn't just a sideline athlete. She skied and played very competitive tennis for many decades. When we were kids, back in the white-glove era before jogging and fitness clubs, I didn't realize how unusual it was for a "mother" to be sweating and swearing on the court. She showed us by example that exercise and participation was not just something for children.

That fact that one of my football coaches couldn't believe what a "babe" she was didn't hurt the family image either!

In our own ventures she encouraged us to take risks, like trying out for a team we really weren't sure we were ready for. She wasn't fazed when we got bashed around on the field or the rink, or took up rock climbing, or even, so far as I remember, on the one occasion when I jumped out of an airplane.

In the interests of broadening her children's experience, she was amazingly tolerant of the menagerie of different animals we brought into the house over the years. We liked to build mazes and oversized homes for a variety of mice, gerbils, kangaroo rats and other creatures. Given our limited construction skills, some of these animals invariably ended up going AWOL for days on end. I don't know how many other mothers would have been as complacent with the knowledge that there was a missing rodent or two prowling the house.

Posted by: dmd | August 16, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Shrieking Denizen, to help your translator :
pif = wine, but we have so many words to describe it, one of my favorite is 'nectar des dieux'; And, by the way, sauerkraut is delicious with a good beer.

Wilbrod, we have many argots words, you can't imagine.

Thank you guys for welcoming french people

Posted by: coyote | August 16, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

OMG, how dare someone say Welcome to America.

Posted by: Dakar | August 16, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, please do remember your classics.
Stinks = Pue
Sucks = Suce
It is not used as in the form i/This blog sucks!/i but it may be used used in other (buccal ?) applications.

It is funny but it wasn't from me, I would have translated "Lone Mule" by "Mule Solitaire".

Good eulogy dmd, I'm you've helped your brother.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Dakar, it's even worse than that: how dare someone say "Welcome to America" to a guy born in Fairfax, Virginia.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Dmd, a beautiful eulogy, I'm sure your mom is smiling down on your family today.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 16, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

dmd, our thoughts will be with you. You have been blessed, indeed, to have such a mother, and her loss is very sad.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse


I have no idea how you're going make it through the eulogy because I couldn't and I didn't even know your mom. She sounds like quite a woman.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: EINSAMES MAULTIER | August 16, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Nectar of the gods... nice!

Coyote, what do you call really bad wine?

(Don't tell me there is no such thing as a bad wine in France. We know you just ship it out of the country for us Americans.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful post, dmd. Peace be with you and your family. Celebrate your daughter's upcoming anniversary to the hilt. Like TBG said, the kids are most of what its all about.

Posted by: jack | August 16, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

most southerners who name their children Forrest are honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK....

Posted by: b | August 16, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Это blog воняет!

Posted by: солитарно осляк | August 16, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

oh c r a p...this blog really stepped in it!

Posted by: omni | August 16, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Bad wine : Pinard
(or anything from Australia, Chili or the Left Coast !)

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, well done. I was wondering how to make an oblique reference to that joke.

Here's a link to Haute Maine coverage of Pluto. Some of the comments are pretty funny. Personally, I've been a big fan of UB 40 and hope they get included too.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 16, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

And some people who name their children Forrest just like the name. I think we do everyone a disservice if we make assumptions about why they named a child something, and it should also be noted that if ones parent gave one a heinous name, well children are not their parents.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Loomis, what else did your book say about Jean Bare?

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 16, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Science Tim, Science Tim. Would be very interested on your take on the matter. And for that matter on Joel's.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

For clarification, the matter would be the number of planets.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse


We have few bad wines, just enough to appreciate all the good ones :-)

bad wine = vinasse, piquette, jaja, villageoise...etc
But we barely use this words, when a wine is bad, is bad, that's all. We take another bottle and try again. Talking about exportation two things to know :
'Beaujolais nouveau' is either awful here than everywhere else!
'Red bicyclette' is not french wine

I can't recommend any french wine because, varying with the area there is a lot of different taste. Each one have to try some wines to know wich one he (or she) prefer. It's a very personal choice.
I really like 'Morgon' (from Beaujolais), 'Gevrey Chambertin' (from Bourgogne), 'Madiran' (from South-West of France), 'Montlouis' (a white one from Loire valley)...cheers!


Posted by: Coyote | August 16, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

DR, sorry about the topic, but, in my opinion, after some glass of good french wine, this number varying between 9 and 18...

Seriously, according to some scientists, it seems there is a new one in solar system :Xena,

Posted by: Coyote | August 16, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm upset that Charon makes the cut as a "binary planet" but good ole Luna has to settle for moon status.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 16, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I think we will keep Pluto as the initial pluton and add, at least, Xena and Ceres as the first generic plutons.
It's so hard to think of Xena as a pluton and not a warrior princess. A pluton with a nice leather bustier maybe.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Coyote, thanks for the wine lesson. Yes, "one man's fish is the other's poisson"

I merely ask so I know how colorfully the French describe bad wine ;). Americans have many words for bad booze.

rotgut (whiskey)
swill (for wine usually)
piss (for beer usually)

also: Horse piss

Also we may just say it is bad (Gross, garbage, dreck, awful).

A favorite phrase by tasters of bad booze is also

"How can anybody drink that stuff/garbage/ etc...?"

I do not drink alcohol so I do not know all the fancy terms to describe a wine that is trop brut et sec et merde.

So now you know how to insult American wine ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

dmd -- your mother was a wonderful person. Have not been boodling lately, so I did not know she had died.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by: nelson | August 16, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. DMD when I read that eulogy, I thought this was a terrific person, and a fantastic mother. May God's peace be with you and family, and know that you are in my prayers.

American in Siam, lovely post and beautiful comment regarding what senators should be, and Paris. Always love your post.

Wilbrod, your six o'clock post was right on target in reference to Bush and McCain in South Carolina. It was indeed dirty and nasty, and all at the expense of African Americans, and no one has ever apologized for the behavior. It was the thing that put Bush over the top, and you're so right, when getting in bed with these folks, one does have a tendency to sleep with them.

The situation about slavery in America sheds much light on many issues, but what comes to mind for me is that, a war was fought to free the slaves, but we were released to our captors. The very people that made us slaves, after the war, these were the same folks that we had to live with and deal with. So how much freedom is in that situation? And to the person that says, well at least you are free, misses the whole point. Slavery was never about skin color, it was booty for the winner of skirmishes and wars. In America it took on a whole new meaning.

We have much to do in this country. Some people feel that it is a non-issue, and don't see it as important. As Sam Donaldson asked the NAACP president one time, what will you do or where will you go? I believe that pretty well sums it up.

Have a good day folks, and think about good things that we can do for one another like loving each other. I do love you folks, and I try real hard to love my fellow man regardless. It's not easy, but the things in life that matter the most are never easy. Remember that God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 16, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The brits call bad wine "plonk". I prefer gros-rouge-qui-tache, piquette or bibinne.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I think "Plutocrat" sounds stylish myself.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I didn't buy the book, "She Captains" but perused it at greater length last night. It was a sale book, so still am much tempted by it. IIRC, I think Bare (French accent mark on the last e) was the captain's paramour, so she was, in a sense, smuggled aboard and dressed in nautical pantaloons and whatever the gear of the day was.

I've been thinking more this morning about what I read of Rose Freycinet. Her intent was not to live in the sailors' world of adventure, but simply a desire to become pregnant. She and her husband had been infertile, and the prospect of him being away for several years on yet another voyage clinched her decision to accompany him on this 'round-the-world sail. The length of the voyages and time away from home port didn't support the ticking of the biological clock.

I was also much temtped last night by a Smithsonian book, also greatly reduced in price, on the Wright brothers, since i have two bloodline connections to them. Didn't realize that Henry Ford bought their Dayton, Ohio home and moved it to his museum in Michigan. Their tent and subsequent encampment on the sands of Kitty Hawk was also quite primitive by modern standards.

Posted by: Loomis | August 16, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Mudge and firstimeblogger. May you have many more, and hope your day was/is good. I don't know which day, today or yesterday?

Hello Nani and Error Flynn.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 16, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I've heard an astronomer or two claim that it is the job of astronomers to decide on the definition of what is a planet, and it's the job of society to lump it and to accept what the experts tell them to believe. You may interpret this to mean that I think this view is idiotic; never mind that the astronomer of whom I'm thinking is not a planetary astronomer, anyway, so it's kind of arrogant to be defining planet for those of us who are planetary scientists. It's arrogant, at all levels.

As Mike Brown says in the Globe and Mail article that SonofCarl linked, this kind of nitpicking definition is likely to cause society to simply ignore science and use its own functional definition for planet. That doesn't serve anyone very well, for science and society to be separated.

On the good side, Ceres moves back up to being a planet, which is how it was described when first discovered. Pluto stays a planet. I have my doubts about Charon becoming a planet that simply happens to orbit right next to Pluto, it still seems like a moon to me. 2003UB313 deserves to be a planet, if Pluto makes the cut. The problem with the definition "it's a planet if it's round," even though I mostly like it, is that it depends on what the object is made out of. That means that objects remain prone to jumping in and out of the planet category as we learn more about them. I'd rather lose Pluto as a planet, than get wishy-washy.

In order for a scientific description to be really good, I should think that the IAU vote on the proposed definition should come out like 95-to-5. I suspect that it will be more like 55-to-45, which would not be a very solid endorsement.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Wilbrod,

We use quite the same word for bad beer : pisse (and it sounds the same on both country).

In general here on planet France, when à wine is strong, we drink with special food quite strong too, like dear, wild pig...

In fact a wine 'sec' is made to be drink with a certain kind of food. For example white wine from Sancerre (which is very sec(I don't know if I could use 'dry')) is made to be drinking with fish or sea food. And that is wondefull!

I stop here because I can speak of drink for a while. This is not the subject, let's go back to xena with a leather tiny top....

PS: Joel, I know I'm new here, but a kit on your french wine experience during your holydays could be great...

Posted by: Coyote | August 16, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Thursday's calendar: Press conference

At a telephone press conference on Thursday, Aug. 17, two former U.S. general--Gen.Joseph Hoar (USMC Ret.) and Lt. Gen.Robert Gard (USA Ret.)--and a former National Security Council member Morton Halperin, will release an open letter to President Bush signed by 21 of their colleagues calling for a dramatic change in U.S. policy on Iraq and Iran on grounds that the Administration's "hard line" has proven ineffective and counterproductive in safeguarding national security.

Posted by: Loomis | August 16, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

'Gros rouge qui tache' is a very good one ( I mean, good expression but poor wine) !

Posted by: Coyote | August 16, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, Xena cannot be the name, as the character has no mythological antecedents. The standard, for now, is for planets to get Roman names (except for Uranus, which is an oddball). I don't know what Mike has proposed for 2003UB313. I have seen a claim that Persephone is a favorite. That's unlikely, since Persephone is a Greek name.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

dmd, thanks so much for sharing that great eulogy.

I'm sorry to have been AWOL, but am working on a piece for tomorrow's Style section. Any Bruno Kirby fans out there?

Posted by: Achenbach | August 16, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Tim: Since we have to use Roman names, how about Agrippina?

Posted by: ebtnut | August 16, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If I can't have Xena, which is really too bad as the name has entered the public's awareness already, we could go for Lysistrata. Lysistrata, the pluton that is holding out to become a planet.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

A Quick update to my commentary on the Plutonian situation.

Enjoy. Especially you, Mudge.


Posted by: bc | August 16, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Agrippina -- historical personage, not mythological. Otherwise, excellent.
Lysistrata -- Greek.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse


That's a wonderful eulogy for a wonderful woman. May the services be full of love and caring all around. *hugs*


'Twas doing official things most of yesterday and last night, but is it really any surprise anymore when a politico steps in it?

And speaking of stepping in it, how in the world did Wilbrod get "p1ss" past the Wirty Dird Filter???


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, maybe the filter is clogged up/out of order from all the foreign verbiage that's been through it this week!

The little guy whose job it is to "hold for consideration" all the questionable comments, we already know he's no Einstein, and trying to filter in multiple languages must have him saying, "My brain hurts!" ya know?

(And no, I'm not talking about Hal, and certainly not Joel--they are far above that sort of work)

("pisser" is a French word)

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci , I apologize for hurting you (or other), it was realy not my point.

Posted by: Coyote | August 16, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Actually, having Mr. Gumby at the controls of the Wirty Dird Filter and the Blog Post Hole makes all the sense in the world...


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

That leaves what, planet Bacchus and/or Cupid ? Strange names for outer planets/plutons that must be purty darn cold. Nah, it will stay planet Xena in my earth even if they pick the roman equivalent of Persephone; Proserpine. That's one ugly name.
You are right kbertucci, we got the Durty Würd Philter beat. The poor thing is sitting in a corner with its hands shaking so much it can't hold a pencil.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"le Péter de Mort", huh, bc? LOL!

Yes, Joel, I'm a fan of Bruno Kirby. I especially liked him in Godfather II playing young Clemenza; it was many years before I realized that was the same guy as the guy in Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, etc. He was a good actor, had nice subtlety. Sad to have lost him.

BTW, I saw your pal David Duchovny being interviewed by James Lipton on the Actor's Studio the other night; he came across as a very likeable, down-to-earth guy. I missed the first few minutes, so don't knopw if he mentioned Princeton or not. I didn't realize he wrote and directed a couple of X-Files, especially the episode where Hollywood decides to make a movie about Scully and Mulder, and casts Gary Shandling as Mulder and Tea Leoni as Scully, with Tea Leoni (playing herself) having a bit of a crush on Mulder.

(But the Actor's Studio 200th Guest Anniversary show with Dustin Hoffman was really, really outsanding, though. They are re-running it on Sept. 10, Sunday, at 10 a.m.--worth watching.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

coyote, you must have misunderstood something I said--I was trying to tell you I think you are great, I'm glad you're here.

bad French version: coyote, vous avez du mescompris quelquechose que je disais--j'ai voulu dire que vous etes formidable, je suis contente que vous soyez ici.

Just did that French version to show that I'm willing to look stupid in the interest of international friendship.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 16, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

At least planets weren't named the way some palms were--there's Washingtonia (George), Brahea (Tycho), Copernicia, and even Bismarkia (Otto von, no doubt). Fortunately, some of the most beautiful American palms are named Euterpe.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 16, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Ulysses (semi-mythological)? Aeneas?

The problem is that as pointed out, there may be 40 more where Xena/Sedna/2003UB313 came from, and Jupiter ain't producing the offspring like he used to (I guess the old "hey look, I'm a bull" line only works once).

It's a little known fact that for 73% of Pluto/Charon's orbit they are closer to the sun than Canada.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 16, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like poor SonofCarl's letting those long winters and lonely nights get to him up there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Lysistrata, the pluton that is holding out to become a planet."
This is what should happen because it says it all.

However, What about Bacchus. Surely its time to name something out there Bacchus? Or is there already something named Bacchus out there and I am once again woefully uneducated?

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

SofC, speaking of Pluto being closer to the sun than Canada, I saw geese forming up into flocks the other day. Its a sure sign of something or other.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

kbertocci, thank you again. My english is poor (and I think I'm learning a lot here reading all of you) so, sometimes I don't know if my post really said what I think...

In fact, there was a little misunderstanding, no big deal!

In fact there some common words in french which can seem very rude, but, we use it evry day (like "pisser").

So here 08h15pm I'm tired and I go home, take a coffee and do nothing of course...
good evening

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Questo blog puzza!

Posted by: Mulo Solo | August 16, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

SoC, does it means that the temperature goes from -200c to +200C ? That would make Edmonton's -45C to +35C sound reasonable.
Planet Aenas, seriously ? That's a lapsus waiting to happen.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dmd, I'm so sorry about the loss of your mother. Mine died a bit more than 11 years ago, and I still miss her and think of her every day. You will find yourself chuckling about something the two of you shared and laughing through the tears. I gave the eulogy at my mom's funeral, and came upon it the other day when straightening up (boy! that'll teach me!). Made me cry all over again. May you and your entire family remember her with love and with sorrow at her loss. Tuck her memory into your hearts and continue to carry her with you. Grieve for as long as you need to and however you want to. The first year is the hardest.

Cassandra -- Mudge's birthday is 10 days from today (I think that's correct) and mine is three days after that. Man are *WE* gonna show you all what 60 looks like!!!! Now, where's my cane?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 16, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Need a Greek name? I think they should rename UB313 Zamfir, after the master of the pan flute.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

8 days, Thursday the 24th.


Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Zeus/Jupiter actually had a lot of half-human progeny. The problem is that quite a few of them are already star names.

However, Diana would be a nice name for one of those distant balls of rock-- the goddess of moon and hunting.

Janus is good too-- the god of doors-- the furthermost planet should be called that if possible.

Minerva, Juno, Fortuna all would work.

In addition there are many lesser Roman gods- the "Lars and the penates" (household gods) are literally the 'ancestors' of our helpful brownies

They had wood statues by the hearth, and were supposed to help the household's luck.

Lars and Penates, sounds like a perfect binary pluton (Pluta?) name.

And there are lesser known gods and goddess, such as
Lucina, the goddess of childbirth, Salacia, wife of Neptune
Veiovis, the anti-Jupiter of the lower world.
"Probably a god of expiation and the protector of runaway criminals", according to Wiki.

Aquilo, god of the North wind
Bellona, the GODDESS of War.

MacBeth was called Bellona's Bridegroom in I.ii.54. That sounds like a rock band name.

Discordia is good too.

God of the East wind: Vulturnus.

One good vulture deserves another tern.

Vesta, the goddess of the hearth and of virgins.

Orcus is also an alternative for Pluto, but there's an asteroid already named this

And we can't forget The goddess Trivia, and without Portunes, how would we ever find the key for the door or get livestock through that dang gate?

And there is more...

Even if we run dry, we could move into Indian mythology. Ravana would be a good name for an pluton.

We also could try Egyptian mythology.

Baal, Bast, Nut, Ra, Amun, Ptah, Aten, Isis, Set, Geb,Shu, Thoth, all very short names.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Mudge, then mine's 5 days after -- Tuesday the 29th. Whoop-de-doo!

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 16, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

That's OK, firsttimeblogger, I've always been crazy about younger women.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

And on the 22cd I tip over to the late forties from the early forties. Re-yuck. We shall plan a well watered virtual BPH, with plenty of vinasse, bibinne, horse-piss, swill, plonk, rot-gut and gros-rouge-qui-tache and decide on the name of the next few plutons. With plenty of coffee, of course, to offset the risk to the liver.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | August 16, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

So does this mean that Mudge and firsttimeblogger are going to start yelling "get off my lawn, y'punk kids!" at us younger-uns?

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll wave my cane at you juvies.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 16, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I like Janus, but I'm not sure 2003UB313 is sufficiently two-faced to fit the name.

Vesta already is taken, for the asteroid Vesta (asteroid number 4, IIRC, after Ceres, Juno, and Pallas).

Diana -- excellent! A good name for a frigid, distant, silvery body. I hope that it's in contention for the accepted name.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Bruno Kirby fan - saddened by his passing. His work in "Good Morning Vietnam" was perfect as the nemesis and foil to Robin Williams.

George Allen - doesn't get it it, and most importantly, doesn't get that he doesn't get it. Bold words for a California-born jerk to make fun of native Virginians... He should have learned at some point there is a difference between studying the Confederacy and wishing there still was a Confederacy...

Posted by: nickduringtheday | August 16, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

What really disturbed me was that Bruno Kirby was 57. Has it really been that long since Harry met Sally? And I think he should have fought harder for the ugly table.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 16, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Bruno Kirby fan - saddened by his passing. His work in "Good Morning Vietnam" was perfect as the nemesis and foil to Robin Williams.

George Allen - doesn't get it, and most importantly, doesn't get that he doesn't get it. Bold words for a California-born jerk to make fun of native Virginians... He should have learned at some point there is a difference between studying the Confederacy and wishing there still was a Confederacy...

Posted by: nickduringtheday | August 16, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

and my birthday is sept 2 - turning 35! bleh!

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

i loved bruno kirby in the godfather! his real name is Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu, Jr. !!!!! my goodness - say that 3x fast... i don't even know how to pronounce his last name!

Posted by: mo | August 16, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

SciTim says:
"Diana -- excellent! A good name for a frigid, distant, silvery body."

What, no snappy comments? That's about as perfect setup as you'll see. C'mon people... we've got standards to uphold here.

Also, it was actually "Rosanna" by Toto that got in my head after SciTim's post, but it's a good tune for Diana as well:

All I wanna do when I wake up in the morning is see your ice
Diana, Diana
I never thought that a Pluton like you would ever apogee, Diana

All the Sun wants do in the middle of the system is hold you tight
Diana, Diana
I didn't know you were more than a distant object of frigidity, Diana

Not quite a year since her perigee, Diana yeah
Now she's gone and I have to say
You're so silvery, you're so frigid-y, Diana yeah
You're so silvery, you're so frigid-y, Diana yeah

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 16, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

No way, Mudge. My goal is to look like Cousin It by the time I hit 60.

I just thought of something (ouch, that hurt)...

I used to spend about $15/month on haircuts (now I spend $0). If I were to put that $15 in savings each month, I would have an extra $3780 by age 60 (not including compounded interest). Of course by then that amount will probably only buy me a gallon of gas, but still.

Posted by: martooni | August 16, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The word "macaca" does not exist in the Encarta dictionary. Apparently, it only exists in George Allen's mind. It may very well be the ONLY thing that exists in George Allen's mind.

Posted by: Charlie Hitchcock | August 16, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

OK, martooni, keep the hair. But go clean your room. And stay off my lawn.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, I dare you to save that $15 a month. Call me when you turn 60.

Whew, what a day. We had a visit from the Department of Homeland Security to chat about our latest grant. We had requested funding to buy 300 sets of turnout gear at $1368 per set. They came back and said that according to their survey, turnout costs $1200 per set and they were reducing what they allocated us by $50,000 and some change. So guess what. We didn't buy 300 sets of turnout gear. Our contract price is $1368; what they gave us paid for 272. And that's a problem.

Jeez, who buys that cheap stuff, anyway?

Posted by: Slyness | August 16, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't suppose they could wear flip-flops, slyness? That'd save a few bucks right there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Raincoats can be suprisingly heat resistant as well.

Also, even bringing a pearl diver all the way from Asia to teach breath holding could eliminate those bulky tanks that no one wants to wear anyway.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 16, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Zackly, SofC. Slyness, don't look on this situation as a problem; look upon it as an opportunity. *nods* After all, the Department of Homeland Security knows best.
*chokes, grabs chest, collapses onto floor*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 5:11 PM | Report abuse

*gets up off floor, dusts self off, runs to catch bus.*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 16, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, this is easy. Simply reduce your firefighting staff by 28. Viola! Problem solved. Let me know if there's more I can do for you.

Posted by: CowTown | August 16, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Better yet -- keep your firefighting staff at 300, send all 300 to work with 272 sets of equipment, and the overstaffing problem will solve itself. Evolution at work!

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 16, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Or simply divide the sets of equipment so 56 have partial equipment and 244 have the full complement.

Or, order at least 28 pieces big enough for 2 people to fit in ;).

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise, I agree with what SciTim said. I just wanted to level the playing ground a bit ;).

New gene named: Ken & Barbie gene (ken). It's part of developmental signalling and is evolutionarily plastic.

I don't know who this blogger is, but what the heck, the explanation of the name is good.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, SoC, CowTown, SciTim, Wilbrod, don't forget to send your consultants bill to DHS.

Posted by: dr | August 16, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Also, screen employees for the INDY gene ("I'm not dead yet" gene). See the "other fun gene names" link in that inkycircus blog.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh Man! Is this guy Allen for real!

He sure reminds me of Pat Buchanan who wanted all negroes to be shipped back to Africa. And who famously asked "Given the choice of a dozen Englishmen and a hundred Zulus, which one would you rather have?"

The Confeferacy lost Sen. Allen and who do you represent, the "real Virginians"?

Posted by: Madan Varma | August 16, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. I appreciate the input. The sad thing is that the $1368 is just for the turnout coat and pants. It doesn't include boots, helmet, hood, gloves, or hood. The entire ensemble runs oh, $2600-2800.

I am sooo astonished that DHS doesn't see that $1200 is only the basic turnout. The stuff is all custom-made to our specs. And we're fond of our specs.

Didja know that firefighting gear is one textile industry that won't go overseas? All done here in the USA.

Posted by: Slyness | August 16, 2006 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Persephone was suggested, but it was too Greek? Then go with the Roman, Proserpine.

Personally, I've always thought that most of the Greek names sound better than the Roman ones (Minerva?), but then I'm biased.

Posted by: GyppedOne | August 16, 2006 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I particularly like Persephone better than Proserpine... the name always made me think of "Persian-sound".

Which would be "meow", I guess. Ceres also beats "Demeter".

There are some greek god names that just don't swing like their Roman equalivent.
For instance, I kind of like Neptune to Poisedon myself, and Jupiter to Zeus and Mercury to Hermes, etc.

And would you rather call your daughter Victoria or Nike?

'Nuff said. Too bad the Romans and Greeks didn't swap names more for a more euphonious pantheon on both sides.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 16, 2006 7:37 PM | Report abuse

So nice to see Han's brother speak up at 2:16...

And I see a BBH in the imminent future...

39 on the 3rd.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2006 7:39 PM | Report abuse


You used to be an umpire in your previous life. Here's an article from USA Today about Bruce Froemming, who is umpiring his 5,000th major league game tonight. Maybe he can explain the infield fly rule as well as you can.

Posted by: pj | August 16, 2006 7:50 PM | Report abuse

But can Froemming wear a cummerbund as adroitly?

I think not.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2006 8:10 PM | Report abuse

the outrage here isn't fake.

it's not just about what george allen said, it's that he is flat-out lying when he says he doesn't know what it means. "macaque" is a french epithet for dark-skinned people in northern africa. his mother is french tunisian. allen speaks french himself. figure it out.

it's not a perilous journey at all; it's obvious. the senator is taking virginians for fools.

Posted by: p-rex | August 16, 2006 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Loved Bruno Kirby in "When Harry Met Sally." I really liked the wagon wheel table.

Posted by: Dooley | August 16, 2006 9:09 PM | Report abuse

JA, Hal, somebody...

Could you give the folks who monitor a nudge? The comments about the changed to the City Guide actually have an ad for a pyramid scheme! Those comments really need cleaning up. Thank you.


Posted by: Scottynuke | August 16, 2006 9:12 PM | Report abuse

What everyone seems to have missed is that George Felix Allen is half Arab - or pretty damn close to half. Half enough that his turban-wearing trick when he fishes on the James for catfish doesn't go down so well with his Ku Klux Clown friends. I did hear that he finds it easier to put his fishing hooks into soft cotton rather than hard waxed cotton - the likes of which he got from his South African racist friends during his support of Apartheid...kicking Nelson Mandela was a lot more fun than tailgaiting some nigra student at VCU through the hills of Charlottesville. So back to the main point: if Felix is part Arab, does he support Hezbollah and Al Qaeda? He's gotta be a closet "turrurist" - his mommy would burn his ass with a star and crescent poker if he wasn't...but I see a contradiction here. Cowboy boots Jihadist born-again Christian Racist bigot confederate flag waving anti-abortionist. One must admit - he sure has his bases covered. Damn, if he doesn't reek with Sheik...

Posted by: OhBaldOne | August 16, 2006 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I have a dream...

that one day soon, all of Loomis's relatives and all of their descendants (that covers all of us, right?) will no longer refer to things "jive"-ing when they were actually "jibe"-ing! (Of course, I'm taking a little "jab" while making a little "gibe"!)

Posted by: Bob S. | August 17, 2006 3:31 AM | Report abuse

Loomis: It occurs to me that I need to point out that I wasn't accusing you of the word misuse. I chose not to identify THAT person.

I was just trying to use (probably) stupid/odd inside Achen-humor for a reference to a large number of folks.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 17, 2006 3:39 AM | Report abuse

George Allen is a liar. HIS MOTHER WAS FRENCH TUNISIAN and spoke five languages, no matter how his campaign tries to spin this story he knew what the word "macaca," meant. The remark made by Senator Allen about an American college student born in Fairfax, Virginia, and his past history with racial insensitivity, is unacceptable from a United States Senator. It is pathetic that race is an issue in America in the 21st Century. No Senator, from Allen, Lott, or Byrd should make the comments in public they have. These men must be held to a higher standard.

Posted by: Chris J. | August 17, 2006 4:19 AM | Report abuse

Senator Allen's comment is solid evidence of his family values...If it looks like a racist comment, and it sounds like a racist comment, then it's racist comment...I smell toast.

Posted by: Charlotte | August 17, 2006 6:53 AM | Report abuse

NEW KIT! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 17, 2006 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Beer, Pluto, Bruno Kirby? What did I miss here? I thought Achenblob's topic was George Allen's squalid conduct at a GOP rally. Conservatives are oh so adept at changing the subject to the trivial when the topic at hand is an embarrassment to them.

Posted by: Jaxas | August 17, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

As many commenters above have attested, there is no doubt in the mind of anyone who can read


Macaque - Belgium (French) - an Arab or a Negro; derived from macaque monkeys)

what Allen was saying. Why do all of the Post reporters/bloggers insist on shrugging in feigned ignorance and saying "Gee, who knows what he was really saying"? Can you read or not? I have some high-school French, so I know that macaque would be pronounced macaca. Sheesh. Let's face facts, Joel and the rest of yuz. Grow some macacas!

Posted by: Seth | August 17, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

OK people, can we condemn Allen's comments without asserting that all people in Southwest VA are racist? The whooping we hear on the video are Allen supporters. As Webb commented, "Let me say one more thing about that incident: it does not represent the greatness of the people who live in that part of southwest Virginia. It does not." [ From Raising Kaine: ] I grew up there; Allen's comments do not represent me.

Allen's trying to play the regional politics card because he needs to win southwest Va. Condemn Allen, but don't take the regional "us" against "them" bait. Attempts to broadly brush people of Southwest Virginia as racist only fuels the fires of regionalism and plays right into Allen's dirty, dirty hands.

Posted by: rek | August 17, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

im a regular viewer of cspan [a rare breed]. whenever ive seen sen. allen on the floor my skin crawls. his arogance and pomposity are always in abundance. im not suprised. im 50 years old and grew up and still a big ny giant fan. his father may have been a good coach but left alot to be desired a a good person. the fruit doesnt fall far from the tree. i could go on about his tactics as a coach but i wont. perhaps sen. allen should give up politics and go into football coaching, sports are not as important as governing a country[god forbid] lets go giants

Posted by: eddie | August 17, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

say it aint so joe the honorable sen. joe lieberman has decided not accept defeat. speaking as a proud liberal democrat i dont understand how joe can run as a democrat in a primary, lose, than decide to change parties [independent]. make up your mind. now i hear that the rnc is going to back joe in the general election. sen. liebermans strong support of the war in iraq has been a thorn in the side of true democrats. over the years there have been a nunber of issues that i have sided with the sen. on. but i drew the line with the war,and he has never softened his approach. its not going well joe,face it.for the sake of the party you have represented for the country and the state of connecticut for an honorable time dont be a sore loser. relent.

Posted by: eddie | August 17, 2006 6:55 PM | Report abuse

My mother has the exact same background as George Allen. She is French Tunisian, Jewish and speaks fluent French, Italian and Arabian. I have never heard her use that term - never. In fact, I didn't know what it was when I heard it on the news. This makes me wonder, is that all George Allen could find to pick up from that side of his heritage? Sad.

Posted by: Lillian | August 17, 2006 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Either it is an amazing coincidence that George Felix Allen Jr. was able to put together a bunch of syllables that constituted the word "macaca," a word he supposedly never knew of, or George Felix Allen Jr. was well aware that "macaca" is synonymous with a vile epithet.

Given that George Felix Allen Jr. is fluent in French and his mother comes from Tunisia and that the odds of putting together three two letter syllables at random to form the word "macaca" totals well over 1 in several trillion, I vote for Allen knew what the word meant when he said it.

Posted by: big dave from queens | August 17, 2006 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Senator Macaca has recently introduced legislation on banning the duty on certain appliances. But wait; there is something really fishy here..... Bills to suspend the duty on juicers greater than 300 watts, but less than 400 watts, and oh... oops, greater than 800 watts! And what does Allen have against analog clocks on coffee makers anyway?

How about the poor SOB that imports juicers that have wattages between 401 and 799? Or the guy who sells analog clocks on coffeemakers? Or the poor guy who sells a food shredder with the motor mounted in the rear? SOMEONE is benefiting from these non cosponsored bills, but who? And is this at all different from Abramoff? Writing a bill to benefit some, while knocking out the competition, is a pretty interesting tactic. Someone with greater resources than me (like YOU) could find this out. Geez, and to think that we could be raising the minimum wage... BTW, LOVED YOUR ARTICLE.

41. S.3288 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on handheld electronic can openers. Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors

42. S.3289 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on electric knives. Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

43. S.3290 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on toaster ovens with single-slot traditional toaster opening on top of oven.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

44. S.3291 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on ice shavers.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

45. S.3292 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on dual-press sandwich makers with floating upper lid and lock.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

46. S.3293 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on electric drink mixers with tilt mixing heads and two-speed motors.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

47. S.3294 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on electric juice extractors greater than 300 watts but less than 400 watts.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

48. S.3295 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on electric juice extractors
not less than 800 watts.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

49. S.3296 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on open-top electric indoor grills.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

50. S.3297 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on electric coffee grinders. Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

51. S.3298 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on electric percolators.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

52. S.3299 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on automatic drip
coffeemakers other than those with clocks.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

53. S.3300 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on automatic drip
coffeemakers with electronic clocks.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

54. S.3301 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on electronic
under-the-cabinet mounting electric can openers.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

55. S.3303 : A bill to suspend temporarily the duty on food slicers and
shredders with top-mounted motors and replaceable mixing bowls.
Sponsor: Sen Allen, George [VA] (introduced 5/26/2006) Cosponsors (None)

Posted by: kate | August 22, 2006 11:43 PM | Report abuse

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