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What Will the Democrats Do?

First, in medical news, this story on red wine is cause for celebration among the Obliterati. We're not merely going to be healthy. We're going to be immortal.

Politics: So let's say the Dems actually take control of the House and/or the Senate. What happens next?

The imposition of "a liberal San Francisco agenda," according to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt. And our troops in Iraq will run out of bullets and body armor.

"Pelosi could refuse to move a bill providing the supplemental funding needed to support our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without the necessary support and resources, troops are put at greater risk."

More Blunt talk: "While Republicans fight the War on Terror, grow our robust economy, and crack down on illegal immigration, House Democrats plot to establish a Department of Peace, raise your taxes, and minimize penalties for crack dealers."

Here's Ann Coulter's measured, calm, even-handed analysis: "Even a dying party has death throes. If Democrats win a slight majority in the House or Senate, Americans will get shrill, insane leadership of the nation in time of war. They will instantly set to work enacting a national gay marriage law, impeachment hearings, slavery reparations and a series of new federal felonies for abortion clinic protesters. The only way to get Democrats to focus on terrorists would be to convince them that the terrorists are interfering with a woman's right to choose or that commercial jetliners exploding in midair are a threat to America's wetlands."

The GOP predictions remind us of this scene:

Dr. Ray Stantz: "Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling."

Dr. Egon Spengler: "Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes... "

Winston Zeddemore: "The dead rising from the grave."

Dr. Peter Venkman: "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria."


Speaking of dogs and cats, here's "The Cat: Today's Dog," from P.J. O'Rourke, back in the day:

Cats are to dogs what modern people are to the people we used to have. Cats are slimmer, cleaner, more attractive, disloyal, and lazy. It's easy to understand why the cat has eclipsed the dog as modern America's favorite pet. People like pets to possess the same qualities they do. Cats are irresponsible and recognize no authority, yet are completely dependent on others for their material needs. Cats cannot be made to do anything useful. Cats are mean for the fun of it. In fact, cats possess so many of the same qualities as some people (expensive girlfriends, for instance) that it's often hard to tell the people and the cats apart.


William Styron, R.I.P.

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 2, 2006; 7:57 AM ET
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Next: Guest Kit: My Turn To Be In a Bad Mood


The difference between owning a cat and owning a dog is simple. Dogs are pack animals. They view their owner as a tragically misshapen dog for whom they feel an instinctive affinity. Cats are territorial predators. You can never own them; they just condescend to claim you as part of their turf.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I get more discouraged by the day. Don't you ever wonder what Pitt the Younger and his confreres would think, if they were exposed to today's political rhetoric?

Which brings me to a disagreement with RD Padouk. Dogs do not think of humans as dogs with deficits. Dog-people think of dogs as what humanity could be, if only it were better looking, kinder, more courageous and with better sensory perception.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Yoki- We are actually saying the same thing. Both dogs and people admire the former and pity the latter.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

What does having a guinea pig say about you?

We've softened the impact of having a gp by having 2 dogs and a cat as well, but still I worry. The pig has no survival instincts: it walks up to the fierce kitty, bumps up against the prey-driven dog, has its lettuce eaten by the no-prey-drive dog, and yet it manages to survive. I think the meat-eaters are stunned-to-inaction by its stupidity. (For anyone concerned about the pig's safety, his ramblings are closely supervised).

Posted by: mat | November 2, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I pretty sure the Democrats will hustle votes, take petty graft, lie and dissemble, blame the other party, and generally humiliate themselves. Why should things change?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

JA, please rely by bark to PJOR:
Cats are cats (not that there is anything wrong with this);
dogs are dogs.

Any questions?
PS. I am not related to Sparks. Woof.

Posted by: Spark Plugian | November 2, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Cats are like teenage males. they are always looking for food, and they lay around all day on the sofa. If something crashes when you are not in a room but a teen male or a cat is, the look on their faces says "What, what? Wasn't me." The other thing about cats is that I keep waiting for this one to launch, and the boys keep telling me they can't because they can barely take care of themselves.

Posted by: dr | November 2, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

BPH for Wednesday next week, right? The ScienceSpouse has granted authorization to attend. We shall celebrate electoral victories, and bemoan electoral defeats. Or, we might just drink beer, etc., and be raucous. I intend to be jocular.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute. What will be new about "shrill, insane leadership of the nation in time of war"? And judging from the local fundraisers and consistent news reports, our troops are already short of equipment, including armor. So really if the Democrats retake the House we'll have -- More Of the Same, With Cheese!!

I like cats. I own dogs, but I like cats. Nobody owns a cat.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 2, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Don't want to be picky but even without the Dems having control were there not issues with the US troops not having body armour and armoured vehicles?

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting the Styron obit, Joel. It is very nicely done. I especially like his own dispassionate description of how his work was seen differently in various countries.

Posted by: pj | November 2, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I thought cats replaced dogs as pets because people were getting too lazy to exercise or to pay attention to dogs.

Or to give them the grudging consistency that passes for loyalty in humans.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | November 2, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I have to pass on this actual quote from an ex-colonel.

"Sure, the military is not necessarily populated by America's best and brightest. But then again, neither is Congress."

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

BPH on the 8th is green across the board on my calendar.

Perhaps even with an additional participant, stay tuned...


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and on the military...

I was in the top 10 percent of my HS class and enlisted anyway. Then again, that was many many moons ago.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

West Point accepts the best and brightest. It's not so easy to get in.
I was kind of flattered but highly amused to get a recruiting letter from West Point as a junior. It sounded good, if only I actually wasn't so 4-F that they would need a new code for me.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

In cooking, quality ingredients make for good food. You have to know when to put away your urge to "create" and let the materials speak for themselves. If only I had this gift.

Joel has applied the same principle to Roy Blunt and to Ann Coulter. Just let these people speak. Satire would be redundant.

Or, as Jon Stewart has noted on The Daily Show: sometimes, it just writes itself.

Posted by: Tim | November 2, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Cats are cool but they like to attack birds...actually they like to attack anything that moves as long as smaller than they are. And leave dead heads lying at the foot of your door. Surprise!

I have a bird feeder and a dog. Woof.

Posted by: Random Commenter | November 2, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Tim, you're right. Sometimes it does write itself!

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Actually I think that military code is 4-G (T)

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I think we should write a scene where the Republicans control all three branches of the federal government.

I think that the actions and/or inactions of the Bush Administration over the past 5 years pretty much constitutes Biblical/Cecil B. DeMille-quality catastrophe.

Every time I hear the GOP trying to define the issues in this election as having to do with family values rather than incompetence and criminal mismanagement, I get angry.

We won't get fooled again (like we were in '04), will we?

I approve any tune cooties I may have planted there.


Posted by: bc | November 2, 2006 11:33 AM | Report abuse

In cooking, quality ingredients make for good food. You have to know when to put away your urge to "create" and let the materials speak for themselves. If only I had this gift.

Joel has applied the same principle to Roy Blunt and to Ann Coulter. Just let these people speak. Satire would be redundant.

Or, as Jon Stewart has noted on The Daily Show: sometimes, it just writes itself.

Posted by: Tim | November 2, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - I hear ya. Hey, I came dangerously close to joining the Air Force. I mean, it would have been dangerous for them.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Pat, I'm so sorry for the little girl; also for your brother-in-law (is that right?) (close male relative). Sky report: deep beautiful blue, with just a bare wash of thin white cloud at random. Yesterday a big hawk flew past on my way home, very close.

Belated identification:

Handle: Ivansmom

State, province, or country of residence: I'm an Okie.

Gender: I am woman, hear me roar.

Age: 46, when functioning optimally

Marital status: Yep. Ms.
Number and ages of children: one Boy, ten (also known as the Malignant Agent of Chaos)

All degrees and granting institutions: B.A., B.Mus, Rice; J.D. Harvard

Names and types of pets: 3 black Labs, formally named Dexter, Mandark, Kodak (they have "labs", see?), known collectively as Those Go***mn Animals. Wild snake in attic.

Social Security Number: I have one.

ATM PIN: I didn't get to choose this number.

Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: In possibly my most atypical Boomer characteristic, I have no experience -- even though I was invited to the parties.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 2, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Oops. I double-posted.

When Moveable Type gets stuck for several minutes after hitting "Submit," it's hard to feel confident that it posted, and the problem is just with updating my display of the Boodle.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

In the last boodle I mentioned Godel. A story goes that he supposedly saw a logical loophole in the Constitution that could impose dictatorship rule.

Since he announced this discovery the morning before he was going to his US citizenship swearing-in, his friend Einstein told him NOT to talk about it to anybody. I've had an very uneasy feeling that I know what Godel was thinking. Sounds like you are catching on as well, bc.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - I must question your self identity as a "boomer." I assert that only those who are old enough to convincingly lie about being at Woodstock are boomers. You, I, and many others in the boodle, are of that awkward demographic group known as the "Brady Bunch Generation."

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Ivansmom, but I don't think you count as a Boomer. Those of us in our mid-40's down to about 30 are in the Baby Crunch, I think. We 44-47 year olds are from the transitional period, I think.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Dogs have family. Cats have staff.

Please excuse me now; the mistress wants her catnip...

Posted by: Kate | November 2, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of Styron's death lead to thinking of undead authors. Last night, I was curious enough to buy Cormac McCarthy's latest. Gary Wills must have done well with "What Jesus Meant": he's now explaining Paul. And Carl Hiaasen's "Nature Girl" is at the store. That's a coral snake on her paddle, not a harmless king.

In the news is speculation that Daimler might perhaps sell Chrysler.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 2, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

bc, yellojkt already planted the tune cootie for that song. Glad it's on my iPod, so my brain doesn't explode before the end of the day.

Posted by: Dooley | November 2, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

We got a pair of kittens for the daughters for Christmas about 5 years ago. Kittens are real cute, then they turn into cats and become irratating animals. They do have a practical purpose though, they keep the rabbits and squirrels out of the garden.

One of our friends was appalled at our decision to raise indoor/outdoor cats citing that they only have half the life expectancy as that of a totally indoor cat. That statement alone convinced me to let them go outside whenever they wanted.

Posted by: Pat | November 2, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the little girl, Pat. I hope she does get better. I will pray for her and family.

I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvve, cats. I don't own one now, but cats have always been my favorites. I like dogs too, but just rather have a cat.

Where I live now, I would have to keep a cat inside all the time, plus there is a charge for a pet. I think pets should get fresh air, and get that air outside, although it might not be that fresh, but you know what I'm going for here.

Cassandra S --Handle
State: Tarheel
Social security no. Have one
Gender: Female, and very much so.
Age: Fifty-six
Marital status: divorced
Children: one daughter, the nerve plucker
ATM: guess
Education: Richmond Community College, Saint Andrews Presbyterian College
Glaucoma test pilot: I was invited to the party in my younger days, but did not like the refreshments.

Math and reading today. We got the state scores back for the schools in our county yesterday, and they were not good, not good at all. Math scores just awful. Sometimes it feels like one is swimming in mud.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 2, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Technicality: Boomers go from WWII up through 1960. I always heard it as "if you remember JFK's assassination", which I do. I agree that I'm barely within that range, but seem to get counted that way in surveys. Interestingly, Ivansdad was born in 1962 and has a different outlook on many things, including popular culture and music. This is probably due to childhood experience. "Brady Bunch", feh!

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 2, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Handle: mo

State, province, or country of residence: 6 miles from DC on the VA side

Gender: the one that sits to potty

Age: solidly mid-30's (tho i like to think i look younger - i certainly ACT younger)

Marital status: ummm... NOT!

Number and ages of kids: none that i know of

Names and types of pets: Aristotle (1 1/2 year old black cat mutt mix); Napoleon (unknown age snake king/corn hybrid); Sid Fishous (recently RIP - blue tetra)

All degrees and granting institutions: B of Fine Arts NYU (experimental theatre/minor in photography) in the process of a MFS (forensic science) from GWU in computer forensics

Social Security Number: i can only remember my last 4

ATM PIN: and i can never remember this one!

Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: none - what do you want? a pp test?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 2, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I remember JR's attempted assassination... where does that put me?


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, I should note that I am using the American "we".

I am a registered Independent, and did not vote for GWB in '00 or '04, because I didn't think he was intelligent enough for the job or had trustworthy friends that could handle things in his stead. I'm skewing even more Democrat these days, just to give the GOP a mandate to go home and pound sand.


Posted by: bc | November 2, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Alec Baldwin's character, Jack Donaghy, had a good line in last night's episode of "30 Rock":

Sorry I'm late - I was at Ann Coulter's 60th birthday party.

Posted by: byoolin | November 2, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Baby boomer:, although I have seen definitions that extend to 1968.

The deaf "baby boom" was directly linked to the 1964-5 and 1969 rubella epidemics affecting 12.5 million people, and causing 20,000 cases of congenital rubella syndrome. Out of those, 11,600 were born deaf.

If rubella was contracted after the 4th month of gestation, deafness tended to be the only byproduct, no mental issues (although I did tutor some with mild learning disabilities).

Earlier than that, and blindness and other severe damage also resulted as well. The epidemic in 1964-5 cost an estimated total of 840 million.

This is why every girl gets vaccinated against german measles (rubella) nowadays.

Anybody arguing about autism and vaccines should take a good look at some of the most severely impaired adult survivors of rubella out there. Rubella resurged around 1991 in CA and in PA among the Amish, slightly.

In 2003 only 7 cases were reported. As of 2004, rubella is considered no longer endemic to the United States.

Rubella is closely related to eastern/wester equine encephalitis viruses, and in fact did cause encephalitis in its time.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

By the time I finally started getting invited to the right sort of parties, it had become a matter of pride to preserve my "Streak" of abstinence, unless a really compelling case could be made in favor of getting my Test Pilot's license. For example, a lascivious offer from a desirable Test Pilot could have easily swayed me, at one time, but the offer never was made (was it? Oh, God, what if I didn't notice? Oh, man!). These days, I am resistant to such devious trickery. Really.

Also, so long as the most effective known glaucoma medication remains illegal under most circumstances, it is difficult to obtain it without complicity in a market system that motivates other crimes of a less-ambiguous nature. Weingarten has claimed that he feels this argument is specious, but I can't agree. That dime bag of pot has a little spot of somebody's blood on it. It's a highly profitable illegal market, so it attracts the sort of marketers who accept the occasional homicide as the price of doing business. Unless your product was home-grown by yourself or by someone you trust totally, then it's a part of that market.

If marijuana were legalized, I'd have no problem with it.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

bc - I'm not big into party identification either. Once you sign up the temptation to let others do the thinking for you is very strong.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Lest we forget, thanks to Joel for pointing out the health benefits of regular red wine . . . it's so fine, etc. As the days grow short and cold I really enjoy the illusion of warmth that a good glass of red wine provides. However, I've never been concerned with living LONGER -- it is living WELL I strive for. The health, intellectual, spiritual, and ethical implications of that are daunting enough, without going for distance too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 2, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, that explains my cootie. yellojkt, it's all *your* fault.

As far as Daimler selling Chrysler, that's an interesting idea. For the past couple of years, ChryCo was pulling MB along financially (at least from what I remember of the financials - I'm a stockholder). Then the MB guys engineered a coup that dumped the best top-level guy ChryCo had before he could move on to the MB/Daimler mothership and straighten things out there, now he's busy turning VW and Audi around.


Posted by: bc | November 2, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Hellooooo? Is this, like, ya know, the, um...Achenthing? Cuz that's who I'm, like, looking for? My name is Tyffani, and I'm like, a clerk at this Internet Café? It's called Larry's Last Chance Cyber Café and Authentic Navaho Indian Souvenir Shoppe? That's s'possed to be Shoppe, with, like, two p's and the e an' all, OK? I don't know why Larry spells it like that. He's really old, maybe ...40? So I guess that's how they spelt it when he went to school. Oh, I forgot. We're located, like, right on the edge of the desert, on the outskirts of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico? And I mean what a drag this place is...oh, right. The message.

Anyways, I'm, like, working the second shift last night? And it was pretty late and I was getting ready to close out the register? And just then the door blows open, and there's, like, this wind and dust cloud? "Cause it was like, this sandstorm or somethin' outside? And I'm like, criminy, I gotta close the effing door, ya know? And just then there's this, like, really, really, old, dirty hobo guy standing in the doorway? An' he's like, all dusty and dirty, and I'm all like, ewwwww? And he's like, in this funny looking bathrobe or something? Only it's got a hood? And a rope belt? And over his shoulder he's got, like, this old beat-up canteen? And some sort of bag, made out of some dead animal hide? And it has a spout and it's dripping, like, ya know, grape juice or something?

So anyways he looked pretty disgusting, and all like, "Whatever," ya know? And he says, like, "Don't be afraid, little girl, I mean you no harm." And I'm like, sure dude, and he don't know Larry's got this Smith and Wesson K-frame .357 with, like, 35-grain hollow points that we keep under the counter, like, just in case, ya know? And one day Larry gimme some lessons and I'm like, OK, old man, but I can take you out faster than a Keno girl on payday, ya know, so don't try nothing. But I don't say that, of course, 'cuz Larry wants us to be polite if we can, and not scare off too many customers.

So anyways, this old timer comes up to the counter, and he puts this piece of paper on the counter and says he wants me to go online and post this message for him, and I'm all like, sure, pops, whatever. And he picked up a pencil from the counter where the Powerball tickets machine is, and he writes on the top of his message this URL address an all, and he tells me how to post it in this blog thingamajiggy. And I'm all like, "Okayyyyeee, pops, I KNOW how to post on a blog, OK? I am so like ALL OVER Myspace dot com and You Tube, ya know?" I hate it when these old farts think just because you're under, like 50 or something you don't know anything. And then he reaches in his pocket and pulls out some change and spreads it on the counter to count out how much it's gonna cost, and I'm like,"Hey, pops, put away the bottlecaps, the Vancouver bus tokens, the lint-covered Gummi Bears and stuff, OK? Just gimme the $1.95, like, OK?" So he does. And then he puts the rest back in his pocket except this really scuzzy-lookin' Gummi Bear, which he tries to pull the lint off of, and then he just puts it in his mouth, and I'm like all "Ewwwwww!" So anyways he goes away and I watch him out the window disappear into the dust storm and he bumps into this big cactus and I hear him cussing and pulling spines out of his, ya know, I guess I'm not supposed to say the A word. So anyways that was the last I seen him. So then I go to one of the computers we got and I'm now posting his message. So, like, bye! Oh, Here it is:

Handle: Curmudgeon
State: Formerly Waldorf, MD. Now: somewhere east of the sun and west of the moon. Maybe New Mexico, Maybe Arizona, Maybe...Nevada? I'm not sure. I'm very thirty, and there's this mirage on the horizon...
Sex: Not in a very, very, very long time. But if it helps any, I lost my virginity to a serving wench out in the stable behind the coach house we stayed at near Little Storping-upon-Grimsley while Geoffrey (that's G. Chaucer, Esq., comptroller to the King) and I were leading a pilgrimage to Canterbury. Boy, let me tell you, you never forget your first serving wench.
Age: Not exactly sure, but upper three digits. Anything over 700, you tend to stop counting.
Marital status: Married, 24 years to this one.
Number and ages of children: Five: 40, 37, 26, 23, 20. Ten grandchildren ranging from 16 to 1.5 years old. Two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law. Family title: Grand Patriarch.
Pets: None presently. Formerly was master of the hounds, which in this case were three West Highland White Terriers. Some pervious expoerience with a minature schnauzer inherited from my brother's ex-girlfriend, and in my youth had lots of cats. Now highly allergic to felines.
All degrees and granting institutions: Let's see if I can remember them all:
--S.S. degree (Squire of Scribetology), Lincolnshire School of Scribes, Jesters and Tinkers, 1356 (Go, Mighty Fighting Ink-Stained Wretches!)
--Two semesters, Alchemy and Introduction to Lead-Based Transmutation of Metals, Sept., 1410--May, 1411. Flunked out for failure to memorize the periodic table of elements (earth, wind, fire and water; I kept forgetting wind). Also flunked Elements of Hermeticism and Introduction to Rosicruscianism. University of Gottingen, Lower Saxony. (Go, Mighty Fighting Lower Saxons!)
--B.S., Dick Cheney Fellow of Interrogation and Advanced Torture, Torquemada College, Palencia, Castile-Leon, Spain, 1480. Majored in Rack. Asked to leave master's program for suggesting "Iron Maiden" would make a good name for the school choir. (Go, Mighty Fighting Hammers of God!)
--A.A., Abacus Repair, DeVry University (correspondence program). Florence, Italy, 1621.
--B.A. Swashbuckling, Dread Pirate Roberts School of Buccaneering, College of the Spanish Main, Trinidad Campus, 1702. (Junior Year Abroad Program, Barbary Coast Community College, Tunisia.) (Go, Ye Mighty Fighting Heathen Swabbies!)
B.S. Journalism, Temple University, 1969 (Go, Owls!)
Hair: Salt-and-pepper. Pepper seems to be decreasing. But who am I to complain? Salt is very appropriate, being an old one.
Eyes: Yes
Distinguishing marks/features: Marked resemblance to Robert Redford. Scars from slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Old harpoon wound.
SSN: 000-00-0006 (I'm very old)
ATM PIN: 00000000000000000000002 (I'm very old)
Glaucoma Test Pilot Status: Honorably discharged circa 1979. Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star, Oak Leaves, Oregano Leaves. Flew as wingman to the legendary Richard Bong. Two tours, Blue Angels. Bailed out at 37,000 feet over Muroc Air Force Base dry lakebed during aborted air brake testing program of the discontinued XJ-96 during preparations for Operation Bogart Blunt. May have been responsible for accidentally burning down Pancho Barnes' place, but not sure--it was all kinda hazy.

Posted by: Tyffani | November 2, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I feel very similarly when I hear Weingarten's arguments about Mary Jane.

I heard an old HS classmmate was busted for growing marijuana-- one of his get-rich quick schemes, no doubt. I don't see him being a homicidal guy though. More like too stoned to pay attention to the fact he planted his little harvest next to the police station or something.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Damn right, RD. As imperfect as my cognition is, it's mine. No one needs to do it for me, or to tell me how to exercise my franchise as an American adult.

[bc, pointing to his head]
"*I'll* do all the thin'in' 'round here, Baba Looie, and *don't* you forget *it*!"

Feel free to insert your own el Kabong reference here.


Posted by: bc | November 2, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

ROTFL, Tyfanni. I wonder if he thinks he was the Host of some old tales from Canterbury. It's certainly a new form delusion, generally people like to think they're J.H.C. the Messiah or a teapot, you know?
Such specific delusions sounds almost tru-- nah.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Tyffani - You really need to foster a higher class of clientele.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse must know my oldest. If you don't, you should meet. The two of you speak the same language. By the way, are you sure it was Curmudgeon, and not Leibowitz?

Posted by: LostInThought | November 2, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

LOL! I'm surprised that pilgrim didn't claim he lost his virginity to the Wyfe of Bath. Now he just needs a bath.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Tyffani, that's *hilarious*.

Didn't you also win a Gold Bud and the nickname "The Panama Red Baron" along with the title of "High Marshal" in the Puffedwaffe?

Operation Bogart Blunt, and the reference to Pancho's...nice. You've proven you had the Right Stuff.


Posted by: bc | November 2, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

They actually pay you for this?

Posted by: Cornax | November 2, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

No, Cornax, we're all volunteers...


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I read in a church magazine "A dog receives food, shelter, and love from a human, and believes the human is God. A cat receives the same things from the human and believes that the cat is God."

Posted by: purplemartin | November 2, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about you S'nuke, but I'm getting paid to Boodle right now.


Posted by: TBG | November 2, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

That's what dogs like people to think we think. We're just gaming them.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | November 2, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

TBG gets all the cushy jobs... *SIGH*


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Does everyone else have the "Learn to Speak Teen" ad at the top right?

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Beware of Tyffani. I submit that she may not be real. I refer you to "these old farts think just because you're under, like 50 or something you don't know anything"

Wouldn't a real tyffani have said old peepuullllll instead of old farts, and it would have been like 40 since she feels Larry is old. Larry, is that you?

Its ok Larry, you can post here about the odd vision you saw last night. We won't hold it against you. We have sent search parties out for him, and should be able to stop this vision from appearing again. If you could do the boodle a favour and just set up a wine tasting station, you'll catch him. We are offering by way of a reward, of a tinfoil hat, and a personal introduction to and evening with, the Achenfish.

Posted by: dr | November 2, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Cmmrbnd or Mudge can possibly make the Nov 8 BPH?

I'm sure if Old Man Mudge somehow hitchhikes a ride on a passing turnip truck out here, he'll be very thirsty and hungry for a cheeseburger when he arrives. Oh, and he either has to stand or have the softest chair around.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I consider Boodling an intrinsic part of my cognitive process. I like to read this blog as a means of cleansing my brain between intellectual activities, much like wasabi or water crackers. Far from being a distraction it is an enhancement, nay a necessity, to a productive work day.

Yes, I too realize that I am, like, totally full of it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

This sounds like the beginning of a new PBS series: "Where in the *^*&^ World is Curmudgeon?"
This week's clue comes from "Tyffani" (that's such righteous spelling).

Posted by: CowTown | November 2, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Ah ha ha ha ha! My Google ads include "Looking for old Friends?" How very timely!

Posted by: CowTown | November 2, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA - how in sam's green hill (sam, you DO have a green hill right? or is it greener on the other side?) did i get THESE ads?

Mobile Food Equipment
New and Used Food Trucks, Van, Trailer, Carts, Kiosks, Concession

Disaster Fundraiser
Quick & Easy Profits. No Upfront Costs. Start Your Fundraiser Today!

Custom Concession Trailer
Manufacturer of Concession Trailers Barbeque Concession Trailers

Posted by: mo | November 2, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Gumshoes, we have a red-hot tip from the FBI about Curmudgeon. He was sighted tossing a boomerang while kicking a soccer ball.

Is he in:
A) Australia

B) New Zealand

C) Toys r us, goofing off after his application to be a Santa was denied, after he asked "doesn't that outfit come with a rifle?" But to give him credit, he was a bit sore after being told everybody knows how to do a santa laugh, he also said "Knowing is the easy part; saying it out loud is the hard part...would you like being called h0 h0? and being what you want for sitting on laps?"

You have one minute to decide.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I've got "Shelter from the Storm," "Emergency Shelters," and "Disaster Relief" for my Google ads.

No "Speak Like a Teen" ad, though.

Definitely RIP for William Styron, one of my writerly heroes. I was blown away by Nat Turner when it first came out, read Lie Down in Darkness, and also various mag articles and interviews he did about writing. I even thought of all major writers, he was the one who most "looked" like a novelist oughta look.

Alas, I cannot make the BPH due to a prior engagement in Wales. But I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Curmudgeon returns from his sojourn in the wilderness by then, and makes an appearance. Wouldn't surprise me a bit. No sir.

Posted by: Cmmrbnd | November 2, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Cmmrbnd, I hope so-- with a bath and a change, hopefully, but I'll look forward to the walkabout stories.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey CowTown, LTNS...

Wilbrod, is my minute up yet? Can I phone a friend?? 50/50???


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Recruit Cleared Veterans
Military Transition
Disabled Veteran Loans

for me. Sure, rub it in that I'm 4-G.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

CowTown, LTNS! *wave*

Wilbrod, is my minute up yet? Can I phone a friend? 50/50???


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I wunder where this one came from?

Water Bottles 5 & 13 Gallon Fuel Jugs, Water Jugs Gas Cans, 13 Gallon Disaster Relief

Posted by: Pat | November 2, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeeeesh, cranky 'Net connections... Sorry 'bout the double post.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Same place as Mo's did... from my post about Mudge being thirsty when coming off the turnip truck.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

You guys get all the good ads... I'm stuck with the same 'ol political ones... *kickin rox*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

In order to get a hint, you can get the right answer to this first:

What place has more sheep than people?

A) Any pro-Bush county
B) New Zealand
C) A slaughterhouse.

(Hint: all of the above answers may well be correct, so pick one so you can get your hint.)

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, I post that and look what shows up... *L*

Uniform Dating
Disappointed With Copy Cat Sites? Join The Real Deal For Free!

Military Friends connects you to all the benefits of service for free.

Looking For Old Friends?
Join for Free Find lost lovers and more.

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

i thought the disaster relief ad was the GOP sublety telling us not to vote democrat...

Posted by: mo | November 2, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Back atcha, Scottynuke! Now I've good "Uniform Dating," and "Military Friends." Does the former have to do with dating police or military people, or only dating blonds who don't snap their gum (for example)?
Veering back to topic, I think Ann Coulter would welcome a Democratic Congress. It would give her a new lease on life, since she'll have a whole new enemy to rail against.

Posted by: CowTown | November 2, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

a little something to release your minds from politics so you can focus on the important things in life... to some people anyway. Enjoy ladies!!

Posted by: Miss Toronto | November 2, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Seeing Anne Coulter and William Styron mentioned on the same page makes me feel all oogy.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 2, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, in a moment of sunstroke, puts the moves on Tyffani:

[to the tune of "A Horse With No Name"]

Well, I've got a date with a girl with no name,
It sure feels good to be back in the game.
At dessert (gummi bears with a light dusting of lint), maybe I can ask her her name;
'cause I can't pray for her without the right name.

La-la, la, lalala, la, la, la

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking for a motel bed
And the story it told of my beard that growed
Made me sad to think I was offa my meds

Posted by: Loomis | November 2, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto, 'zat safe for a work environment???


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

sorry Scotty---best viewed in a "home office" environment... I should have put a warning label on it :)

Posted by: Miss Toronto | November 2, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

In Christine Lavin's song "Cold Pizza for Breakfast", she includes the following:

Do you see what I'm gettin' at?
You tend to kill when you're skinny,
but not when you're fat!

Perhaps this is Ann Coulter's problem. Perhaps she just needs to go on dates that result in leftover pizza, which can be eaten for breakfast. Plus, it must be more difficult for her to spew her vile filth if she has pizza stuffed in her mouth. Give that woman some pizza, put a few pounds on her, and maybe she won't be such an evil-minded scary-eyed witch any longer.

I want cold pizza for breakfast;
warm Coke, to wash it down (ahhh!).
Add a couple of anchovies,
to make a girl well-rounded.

I want cold pizza for breakfast;
in a pinch, cold spaghetti will do.
But there's nothin' in the world
that I like better than
eatin' cold pizza with you.

Posted by: Tim | November 2, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

A dog in America is better off than a dog in China.

Posted by: not of The 15 | November 2, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

... but on a serious note... your neighbours to the north hope your political issues sort themselves out soon (if you know what I mean)... all the best from Kanukistan.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | November 2, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

... apologies... I meant


Posted by: Miss Toronto | November 2, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Quite excellent, Loomis.

Speaking of Ann Coulter's comment, I wonder what made the words "shrill" and "insane" pop into her head?

Posted by: Cmmrbnd | November 2, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

oh, miss t - that was very VERY naughty of you! i'm at WORK! sheesh!!

(trying to clean up the puddle of drool in my keyboard)

Posted by: mo | November 2, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto, if you know that chef please send him westward down the QEW.

Notes to SoC and Shrieking, please repost your last posts from previous boodle here!

Wilbrod, I saw your last post on that same boodle, I am so sorry.

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

From the RIP article on WS:
"Mr. Styron tried to resume work on a long-put-off war novel, but his disciplined work schedule broke down as he slipped into depression, which he attributed to the use of prescription medicine that exacerbated an inherited tendency toward melancholy. The painful experience and recovery from that disease turned into a magazine article and later a short book, 'Darkness Visible.' "

I did not know WS was Scandihovian. At the risky of stereotyping, let me say, "Uff da, lots of sad people in the Northern Climes, including Minnesota and gasp, Montana."

I appreciate Styron's courage to open a window on depression. Long before a person gets to suicide are many grey days and lost potential (like writing a novel, or playing the violin or even raking leaves).

Depression is no fun in families, either. Dogs don't like grey days but they tend to stay faithful on the matt.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 2, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

heeee! I just had to share that with the boodle... glad you enjoyed it :) i thought it was pretty clever ad campaign---those Montrealers, sheesh!

Posted by: Miss Toronto | November 2, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm always too little too late on the boodle, but here goes:

Handle: PLS (my initials, not very creative)
State: Virginia since '97 (originally South Carolina)
Social security no.: Check
Gender: Female vixen :-)
Age: 27, a mere babe in the woods
Marital status: Yes
Children: my precious 2-year-old daughter
ATM: don't you hate those fees?
Degrees conferred: B.A., economics, cum laude with departmental honors, Hollins University; J.D. expected May 2007, Washington College of Law at American University
Glaucoma test pilot: You know? I am actually going to have to get a glaucoma test at the optometrist this Saturday when he "checks" my new contacts! Something about that doesn't seem right. What are the odds of a 27-year-old having glaucoma?

Posted by: PLS | November 2, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Depends on if you have any predispositions, PLS.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Mexican President Vicente Fox Ruffles Feathers with Insensitive Remark about U.S.

MEXICO CITY -- When President Vicente Fox said Mexicans should be glad they weren't born in the United States, it was a reminder of an ugly little truth.

Aside from the U.S. economy, many Mexican citizens -- especially those living in Mexico -- don't care much for the United States.

"We are already a step ahead, having been born in Mexico. Imagine being born in the United States, oof!" Fox said Tuesday with a chuckle, according to the Associated Press, after a remark that Mexicans should be thankful for their heritage. ...

Mexicans still point with anger to the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, under which Mexico signed away about half of its territory, including what would become Texas, California and other U.S. states. ...

Among the most popular sayings regarding Mexico's perception of the U.S. is one credited to Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz, removed from power by the 1910 Mexican Revolution: "Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States."

Posted by: Loomis | November 2, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Dooley -- Can't do-ly the fossil talk Nov. 11. SOCCER CONTINUES, into November with rain date-redux.
Wonderful stuff,rec. soccer, really. But we stink this year, and I am Mom-of-the-Goalie. Ouch. Son-of-Mom-of-the-Goalie, AKA Goalie is very sanguine and nonplussed, as goalies go. "Mom, the defense broke down. Only on penalty kicks can you blame me totally, and not really even then."

Dooley, ScienceTim and TimClones? Report? YuTube post?

Dooley. Goalie is not too keen on Scientist Cliffs/Calvert Cliffs. See, we used to go often, and all we have to show for six or seven trips are two tiny shark teeth.

Where are the shark teeth shops, like the beach vendors of astonishing and ordinary shells? (Cheating, I know.)

Goalie boy is less interested in science these days. Looks like engineering material.....not that there is anything wrong with that.)

Mea culpa to engineers here. But you know, the scientists v. engineers thingie is the oldest rivalry. And, I serve both, in technical writing classes.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 2, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

GOOD AFTERNOON, TEAM -- in yet another outrageous injustice, work and other stuff have been cutting into my boodling time. But even though I know she was a one-time drop-in, it was splendid to hear from Tyffani. If she is representative of her generation, surely our great republic's future is secured.

Also, Loomis -- very VERY funny song!

Miss Toronto - I clicked on the link and got as far as the plumber before I realized that the viewing material was, perhaps, not entirely suitable for the workplace. Especially a workplace where it's one giant room with desks, like a newsroom. But will definitely save it for tonight. Yet another reason to go on living.

Yellojkt -- grand idea to have the boodle's vital stats. (It was your idea, right?) Especially all the d's (dr, dmd dBG, and now DLD.) I am going to aggregate them into one document. Then maybe Mo or someone can save the info where she keeps the achenglossary, FAQs, etc. Anyway, here are mine:

handle: annie

sex: the divine one :-)

age: I quit counting a while ago. Younger than Curmudgeon (I realize this isn't saying much), older than Wilbrod. Don't remember Kennedy's assassination or the first moon landing, but DO remember Watergate summer. I was staying in Ireland that summer with my grandmother. My mom wrote me letters and enclosed newspaper clips. They were actual letters. In that cursive handwriting that everyone's Mom used to have. On onion skin paper, because, you know, it was going AIR MAIL and the weight mattered.

Place of residence: Washington, DC -- motto (really): "Taxation without Representation." I am pretty sure we don't have an official song. And I'm pretty sure if we did, it wouldn't be something I'd want to hear or sing.

Marital status: Not married.

Children: None, to my great regret. Doting aunt to one (so far) child, 3-year-old girl, Meg aka The Nipper.

Book learnin': BA, College of William and Mary

Pets: One dog, jumbo economy size, breed indeterminate but dominant themes seem to be German Shepherd with maybe some Doberman and/or collie and/or hound of some kind. All dogs love to sniff, but he really approaches it with a work ethic, like he was bred to do it. Walking him to the end of the block takes about an hour. Luke, by name. Age also uncertain, but in February, I will have had him for 7 years so probably around 8.

Back to work. More later.

Posted by: annie | November 2, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sad to waste so many lines on Coulter's hateful commentary

Posted by: reflectivepundit | November 2, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

There you go dmd. I removed a few mistakes and typos but I left enough of them to make it a genuine sd post.

Handle: Shrieking Denizen
State, province, or country of residence: the Other federal capital, Haute Maine.
Gender: The heavy one.
Age: <50
Marital status: Living in sin since '84.
Number and ages of kids: 2 pony riding witches and 1 fungi. 19, 17 and 12 yo.
All degrees and granting institutions: B. Applied Sc. and M. Sc. (Metallurgy) from the institution founded by the first Bishop of Nouvelle-France in 1663.
Names and types of pets: Anthracite "Anthrax" the old lab and Chrysotile "Chryso"the cat, varied rasboras, corydoras, tetras and other colourful fish. We've been feeding birds for so long that the permanent trusty residents are like pets to us, so I add tens of chickadees, tens of cardinals, 2 pairs of hairy woodpeckers, a pair of downy woodpeckers, pairs of regular and red-breasted nuthatches, a bunch of mourning doves and a flock of blue jays. The crows do not trust us even if we feed them good stuff such as mice I catch in the draughty old house.
Social Insurance Number: 9 digits
Hole-in-the-wall PIN: 5 digits
Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: Super Elite Platinum, revoked about 20 years ago

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 2, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Hi annie! *waving.* Luke sounds lovely. I love approximate ages on my rescues; since Bernese don't live very long, I can comfort myself by discounting the vet's estimate. Says Libby is between 3 and 4 years old? Heck, what does he know? She might only be 2, and that gives me a nice six years with her.

Broc is 10? Nah, no way, he's probably like, 5 at most.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Annie, if you want to borrow a child, even virtually, you're welcome to the Boy. He's very tolerant of my imaginary friends. In fact, I'm a little disturbed by how well he takes this in stride.

As I may have mentioned earlier, Watergate was one reason I wound up a lawyer (another strike against Richard Nixon, for everyone counting). I was absolutely fascinated by the discussions of the Constitution and the abuse of power. In fact, I wound up a little obsessed with Nixon (hear Ivansdad & the Boy laugh at my understatement). It was with great shock somewhere in the past six years that I realized Arbusto was actually worse than the Dark Side of the Human Spirit.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 2, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Christine Lavin, one of my favorites. Got to sing "Sensitive New-Age Guys" on stage with her when she came to Martinsville a few years ago.

CP, sorry you can't make teh seminar, but I might know where you can score some sharks' teeth, once spring comes around.

Posted by: Dooley | November 2, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I loved "Biological Time Bomb" too.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse


My condolences. *hug*


College Parkian;

There's an engineering activity at Calvert Cliffs that might interest SOMOTG, yanno...


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Dooley. We will burn the secret map after we find the shark teeth.

Nuclear Engineer? ACKKK! ScottyNuke are you a NE?

Although our carbon footprints are so huge that I understand the move toward nuclear among some of the greenies.

Goalie boy also looks like he could sell life insurance, happily, and then coach soccer in the evenings. Hard-wired for happiness -- wish more people were made thusly.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 2, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

No, CollegeParkian, but I work with some... and seriously, there's a need for MANY engineering disciplines there.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The construction of the power plant in Calvert County exposed huge numbers of fossils that are now stored at the Smithsonian. Before my time, though.

Posted by: Dooley | November 2, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I think you missed your calling, stand-up. I don't doubt for one minute that you are a great lawyer, but you definitely have a second calling.

G-daughter might be here today. I hope so, I have missed her so, and my grandsons. I wish they could come too. I know they're work but I would just love for them to come for just a little while.

Posted by: Cassandra S | November 2, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I fear the PETA now.

I am also have a guessestimate on my birthday. I arrived at the shelter looking roughly 6 months old and underfed. I am PROBABLY done growing.

Best guess is that it could be valentine's day or Einstein's birthday (March 14) 2004 or somewhere in between, assuming no time travel. I'm definitely a Pisces Monkey, which probably means I am a sea monkey, the wonder pet.

Wilbrod says every year my age will get updated a week later, so by the time I'm 8 my birthday will be in April.

Posted by: Wilbrodog | November 2, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra - thank you! Nice to be back.

Repost as per dmd's request:

Handle: SonofCarl

State, province, or country of residence: Prairie Rose province, arch-nemesis of the GTA, source of N.A.'s energy independence, scourge of planetary ecosystems, Saskatchewan on steroids, B.C. on methadone

Gender: Life-affirmer.

Age: Under 40, but long past "cool".

Marital status: M. Ever notice that marital is an anagram of martial?

Number and ages of kids: 1, 1

All degrees and granting institutions: B.Comm, LL.B. (Alberta)

Social Security Number: Foreign, remember? BTW, did you know that the corporate tax rate in Alberta is 34%?

ATM PIN: Is there someone caught in an ATM machine in a burning building? (Seinfeld reference)

Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: assigned to Project Blue Book; file Classified

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 2, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I find that Tyffani fishy too but the language was priceless. I could see her switching the big wad of chewing gum from side to side in her mouth. My teenagers' written web-language is inscrutable to me and I believe it is a general condition afflicting most North American teenagers. I suspect that an old man, at least 40 years old and even maybe older than that wrote this piece.
Voice-of-reason Coulter has hit the lack of sugar wall again. She writes like others scrape their nails against a blackboard.

The NY Times had this opinion piece explaining why the vote of white small town America weighs more on the scale of power than the one of the populous cities and suburbs. Mr. Rove and cie. apparently rely very much on this imbalance to limit the damage and even keep their majorities in both houses. I find this electioneering pretty distasteful, they systematically pick the issues that will move this small constituency thus ensuring the least democratically elected Houses.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 2, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

ScottyNuke MEANT to write: there's a need for MANY engineering discipLES out there.

SN -- it is a brotherhood that sometimes lets sisters in. They have secret handshakes, banners, and mystical initiation ceremonies with sliderules and stuff.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 2, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Disciples are always nice, CP, but I really was being serious (for once); many varieties of engineer find gainful employment at places such as Calvert Cliffs. And this state of affairs is expected to continue for quite a long time.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I have a friend and colleague, an otherwise intelligent and reasonable person, who honestly sees a similarity between Nixon's behavior in office and Bill Clinton's behavior. Heck, apparently Bill's lying about his personal behavior was worse than Nixon directing his underlings in the commission of felonies in order to cover up felonies that had been committed on his behalf or that he had directed personally (the wiretapping of "enemies"). I was making fun of a rack card that I had seen advertising the Nixon library and birthplace in California. I made no claim that Nixon was in any way representative of the Republican party as a whole, but after a while shehe [sic] felt compelled to rebuke me (mildly) with "well, if you want to talk about lying in office..." Evidently, we Democrats lack the moral, ethical, and legal purity required to critique the Nixon administration, because we produced a President who boinked a woman other than his wife and lied about it.

Excuse me? Bill Clinton is no personal hero. I certainly wouldn't leave him alone with any woman dear to me. But there is no way that his misbehavior is comparable to Nixon's.

And this is why we are in so much trouble today -- because we are more concerned with the success of our "team" than we are concerned with the success of our nation, which includes members of other teams. Present company excepted, of course. Team Boodle is free of this problem, but I don't know about all those other guys...

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

ScienceTim- were you channeling one of the other Tims while wrinting that post?

Posted by: Kerric | November 2, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

More efforts by nameless hacks trying to keep the American people stupid and compliant by preventing access to the work of knowledgeable scientists:

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Kerric: no, in this case, I was still ScienceTim. The issue came up in the context of my relationship with a scientific colleague, someone who I would expect would have sufficient habit of scientific skepticism and evaluation of data to be able to see the rather gigantic differences between Nixon and Clinton.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Dooley, I understand Curmudgeon lived in Calvert County for five years. I wonder if he was one of the fossils exposed by building the CC Nuke Plant?

Posted by: Cmmrbnd | November 2, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, *Tim, I feel free to complain since I started my criticism of Nixon early & often, well before Mr. Clinton was untruthful. We could compare reprehensible lying about one's personal life, at great cost to one's wife and child and personal reputation, with untruthful statements and actions directing subordinates to commit perjury as well as commit financial fraud and break laws, or even untruthful statements and actions that commit millions of the country's dollars and resources and cost thousands of lives, but let's not.

I met Mr. Nixon in the '90s in a little Southern California town. He was on a visit, apparently at loose ends, and hanging around the courthouse. He jocularly patted me on the shoulder and wondered whether I was old enough to be a lawyer, asked for my card, in order to give me a personal autograph, and remarked, "Public Defender -- you get all the dregs." I thought of replying that none of my clients knew any Presidents to pardon their offenses, but did not, because he was just a short (really!) old guy, perfectly polite, and I wasn't raised to give offense to my elders under those circumstances. Later the tapes were published, I read his daily drivel, and really wished I had departed from my upbringing.

End of Nixon rant. I will stop now.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 2, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Could be, Cmmrbnd. I understand that most of the fossils were marine, and many could best be described as old and rather "crusty". The excavation went quite deep, and I recall seeing in a field notebook that when they got down to around 30 feet below the surface that there was a series of strange geologic sounds, including one vaguely reminiscent of the phrase "Who turned on the d*** light?!".

Posted by: Dooley | November 2, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I was at a dinner with David Lewis (former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, now UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, former leader of the Ontario NDP, and married to Michelle Landesburg, a firebrand journalist/columnist on feminist issues, media, women's health, politics, the environment and education in Canada) when he told an interesting story. He was at a reception in Washington in the mid-eighties when somebody tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Mr. Lewis, I'd like you to meeting the President."

Lewis said to us, "So I turned around, and saw it was Richard Nixon holding out his hand quite affably. I had a moment of panic, because if I did *not* shake his hand I would never be able to show my face in DC again. And if I *did,* I would never be able so show my face at home."

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Michele Landsberg

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, it may amuse you to learn that I carefully ponder these issues of when to use the variations on my handle, and that I thought out the content of my 4:21 PM post before I made my 4:00 PM post, so I could feel reasonably sure that I was posting with the right voice.

Man, I am so OCD!

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 2, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Another SCC: "meet" the President. The shoulder-tapper was not Borat.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the story Yoki, I have never been an NDP supporter, but have a great deal of respect for David Lewis.

Separate aside did you see Harper on RMR, very funny. Qudos to our politicians for going on that show.

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

To go back on topic (so VERY unusual for me OR my friend Curmudgeon), did anybody see that fascinating interview of Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan by Paula Zahn? Great viewing. Sullivan basically says Bush is nuts. You can see it at

Posted by: Cmmrbnd | November 2, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I saw that in Froomkin today, and then read the whole article. Did you notice at the end, Sullivan kind of loses his nerve? First he says Bush is delusional, and then he throws in "these people must be held accountable" which implies not insanity, but culpability.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

HOLA, TODOS/AS -- OK, here's the rest of the yellojkt questionnaire:

SSN: None. The foundation of the modern welfare state. The government issuing you a number is as Orwellian to me as them planting a microchip in your bu t t at birth. "They've given you a NUMBER and taken aWAY your name. Doo doo doo dooo, doo doo doo doo." (Apologies for any tune cootie implantation.)

PIN Number: The same as my weight. In the sense that it's a number I don't reveal except to lie about it.

Glaucoma Test Pilot Status: Drop out. Went to a couple of flight-school classes, but found out it really wasn't my thing. Switched to Heart-Attack-Preventing Beverage school, became instrument rated almost immediately, and went on to earn numerous medals and honors. It's good to find yourself, the younger the better.

Posted by: annie | November 2, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Yoki/dmd, Stephen Lewis?

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 2, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

hi folks! *waving*

handle: l.a. lurker
state, province, or country of residence: as in l.a.
gender: as in "la"
age: mid30s
marital status: no
number and ages of children: nada
all degrees and granting institutions: b.a., bay area farm; m.a., almost ph.d., from the other institution that plays at the rose bowl (and looking forward to the humor of a diploma signed by the governator).
names and types of pets: i am responsible for watering the mosquito fish in the little backyard pond (i live in a guest house behind a house). their number depends on the snacking habits of local raccoons and how recently i've chlorine-burned them by over-watering. (not planning to upgrade to higher animals for awhile.)
ssn: yes
atm pin: always based on a previously memorized number, otherwise i cannot be held responsible.
glaucoma test pilot license status: worrying that the diet dr pepper i'm currently drinking may cause a false positive.

sorry to boodle and run, but gotta get back to work...

Posted by: L.A. lurker | November 2, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Yoki-Don't you mean Stephan Lewis?

Posted by: Boko999 | November 2, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

SoC, "a rose by any other name... :), on a good day I get my kids names right occasionally, on a bad day they get called the dogs name.

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

SCC Stephen Lewis

Posted by: Boko999 | November 2, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Since we totally messed up his name here is the link to his work, I feel bad.

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, matey, whereever you are now, this one's for you.

Excellent review of Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy
By Ian W. Toll
Norton; 592 pages; $27.95

Blood Brothers

WHY was so much American and British blood shed in the early 19th century? The battles now seem more like ritualistic duels than serious warfare, especially those that took place at sea. And the whole sorry affair, culminating in the so-called War of 1812, which actually spanned 1812-15, ended in an honourable draw. Neither side won or lost anything of any significance.

In this account of the early history of the American navy, Ian Toll seeks to explain not just how this happened, but also why. He succeeds splendidly. His factual story is as exciting as any of Patrick O'Brian's fictional seafaring tales and is also suffused with the naval jargon of the day. Such terms as futtock, knight-head and shallop might not now be widely understood but they help stimulate the historical imagination.

The American Congress, reluctant to raise the necessary taxes, was initially sceptical that the new republic needed a navy at all. It was persuaded to vote the money necessary for founding a fleet led by six frigates only when freedom of the seas for American merchant ships was threatened by North African pirates, naval restrictions at ports in the West Indies and by naval blockades imposed during the wars between Britain and France after the French revolution.

The battles that eventually ensued between British and American fighting ships provide an insight into a marvellously archaic form of unfriendly fire. When, for instance, the Guerrière, a British frigate, was shot to pieces by the Constitution, an American frigate, every gallantry was observed. Captain James Dacres, who was all of 28 years old, offered his sword in a token of surrender. Captain Isaac Hull, his American counterpart, refused, as custom demanded, to accept it. Dacres offered Hull fulsome compliments on the courage and performance of his men, remarking that the American crew had fought "like tigers". The crews and surgeons of both ships then saw to the wounded and, in a ritualistic funeral, the bodies of an American officer and a British seaman were buried together at sea.

Another American captain, Stephen Decatur, was even more gallant when his frigate, the United States, destroyed a British frigate, the Macedonian. All of the personal possessions of the British officers were returned to them and Decatur gave $800 to the British captain, John Carden, to compensate him for the articles that he did not wish to take back with him to England. These included musical instruments and casks of wine. In his memoirs, Carden wrote: "I must here & always bear testimony to the marked Gentlemanly Conduct of Commodore Decatur."

Another British captain cruising off Boston went further. Assuming gallantry would take precedence over tactical advantage, he sent a note of exquisite politeness to the captain of an American frigate, challenging him to sail out to engage him in battle, since "we are short of provisions and water, and cannot stay here for long". Far from seeking to take advantage of such valuable intelligence on the enemy's vulnerability, the American captain sailed out only to be mortally wounded before his ship was seized in lethal hand-to-hand fighting by a British boarding party.

Mr Toll is persuasive when he maintains that, "in a sense that jars modern sensibilities", such men saw themselves as brother officers, "more deeply beholden to one another than to the civilian statesmen they served".

All was not sweetness and light, though. Inevitably, some naval officers were cads. As seen through American eyes, Admiral George Cockburn was the worst of them. After he destroyed towns on the eastern shore, his name was as reviled in Tidewater, Maryland, as General Sherman's was in Georgia after he burned the state from Atlanta to the sea during the American civil war. But, in Mr Toll's book, Cockburn is an exception. Most of the top naval men behaved as then befitted officers and gentlemen.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the Boodle continues to amaze. Where else would you find more than one person who has not only heard of Christine Lavin, but actually went to one of her concerts. I missed out on a SNAG sing-along at the Birchmere--to far back in the room. And note: The Birchmere is opening a satellite venue in Silver Spring soon! Definitly won't miss those trips down to Arlandria. Maybe Schooner Fare will pay us a visit on this side of the crick (Mudge, if you don't them, you should).

Posted by: ebtnut | November 2, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Ack! How stupid of me. I apologize to Stephen Lewis, and will probably take a long break.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

SoC, did you see that McLeans ranked UofA number one this year?

Of course, my #1, who attends a rival institution has a t-shirt that reads "Friends don't let friends go to UofA"

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

SCC: ..if you don't know them...
That's it, I'm going home.

Posted by: ebtnut | November 2, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

For the Canuck-impaired, what does the "A" stand for? Alberta? Alaska? Aching?

BTW, Wilbrodog would be in the doghouse right now, if I had one. He won't be boodling for a while.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I know! University of Achenblog?
In that case, I want one of those t-shirts.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

University of Achenblog... we should set that up.

UofA is the University of Alberta.

What department was #1 there Yoki?

Posted by: Kerric | November 2, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Annie, I just can't join you in condemning the modern welfare state. I grew up in upper-end poverty, later graduating to lowest-end middle class, and finally reaching my current status of comfortably middle class (at least, *I* feel comfortable about it, and I think my class is middle. That's the location of my brow, at least). We worked hard to avoid having to "take a handout" -- but it was a comfort knowing that there was an option other than immediate homelessness and starvation if things didn't work out. I'm a reasonably bright guy, but I didn't get a merit-based free ride out of it -- you have to be a few cuts above me to do that well. So, I got some of those need-based grants from the modern welfare state, plus some student loans. I was among the last few who got student loans at substantially below-market rates with deferred payment, made possible by the modern welfare state, so that I was able to graduate college and enter grad school without a crushing burden of debt.

The last few years of my grandmother's life broke my mother's personal resources, so she's not in great shape for her retirement. I expect that I will be taking a big hit on that front, when she retires, so I don't know how well I'll be doing when the time comes for me to retire. Without the modern welfare state, these things would not be merely troubling, they would spell serious privation and the dimming of my own children's hopes for their future.

The welfare state has problems, but they are mostly problems of implementation. The basic idea is a pretty good thing. Welfare fraud is largely a fantasy -- it happens, but we're mostly (not 100%) talking about poor people defrauding the system for poor wages. It may be fraud, but nobody's getting rich off of it. The biggest problem with the welfare state is that it discriminates against families that include fathers, so that it encourages the alienation of fathers and the occurrence of out-of-wedlock childbirth. IIRC, that was not part of the original plan for AFDC, that was a requirement put in by the opponents of the modern welfare state because men were supposed to look out for their own, so only single mothers were supposed to need help. That sure has worked out well, hasn't it?

Posted by: Tim | November 2, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I'm sure that if Curmudgeon was here, he'd thank you for the book review. He mentioned to me before he left that he'd just heard of the book but hadn't read any reviews of it yet, but it is a subject right down his area of expertise, he having written about the Six Frigates before in his career.

He might also point out that the final sea battle discussed in that review refers to the HMS Shannon (38 guns)/USS Chesapeake (36 guns) battle off Boston, during which the dying American capt., James Lawrence uttered the famous "Don't give up the ship!" (and then they did just that). Had Curmudgeon written that book review, he believes he would certainly have noted that famous remark in the review instead of leaving it obscure, as the reviewer does.

Curmudgeon might also point out that in Patrick O'Brian's "The Fortune of War," Aubrey and Maturin are being held as POWs in Boston in 1813, and were in fact aboard the Chesapeake during the battle, and that ship having been captured, are taken aboard the victorious Shannon and so are repatriated back to England to continue their adventures elsewhere. (This voyage back to England begins the next novel in the series, "The Surgeon's Mate.")

Curmudgeon might also enquire how Cow Town is coming in his reading of the series; when last he knew, Cows was working through "Post Captain," volume two in the series. But all that can probably wait until Curmudgeon returns.

Posted by: Cmmrbnd | November 2, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

What Tim said. My parents always took care of our family, but putting 5 kids through college would not have been possible without scholarships, pell grant, and other assistance.

Ideally welfare is short-term help through a rough patch, but when people lack the health, education and life skills to make it on their own, it becomes much more long-term and poverty does become a vicious cycle. I think to blame people for being poor does nothing to solve the problem. It is a serious problem-- too many kids grow up in poverty and have no opportunity to really learn the world enough to get out of it. Life in the inner city is nothing like life in the country.
You can't walk to the woods and enjoy nature. You can't go more than a block or two from home because it's too dangerous to wander by yourself. That narrows your horizons further.
Research show that kids who grow up poor in rich neighbhorhoods do much better, even staying poor. The effect is especially marked for young teen boys.

I think it's time to start asking WHY.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

And I know this because the boodle has turned me into an obsessive viewer of their catalogue

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy
By Ian W. Toll
Norton; 592 pages; $27.95 now selling at for 18.95

Posted by: dr | November 2, 2006 5:36 PM | Report abuse

SCC Delete And

It is a darn good thing cmmrbnd that Curmudgeon is not around today. I would not want to seem to be taunting him or send him on a trip to 'that' store.

Posted by: dr | November 2, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Tyfanni left a very importan clue on the whereabouts of 'mudge. She saw him near Truth or Consequences which is the site of the New Mexico Spaceport.

'mudge must intend to hijack a spacecraft to return in time for the BPH.

I think Tyfanni also left out an important part of the message. On the reverse side of the message was the following list:

"pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels-bring home for Emma"

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

HI, TEAM -- I was specifically referring to social security, sorry about that. I agree 100% that we have a societal obligation to help each other through rough patches or (in the case of education) to invest now in someone's dignity and future self-sufficiency.

Definitely, any decent society owes it to its members to help them cope with unpredictable hardships. But if there is anything more predictible than aging, I don't know what it might be. The underlying logic -- that society owes you something just for staying alive -- seems faulty. And I do think it has eroded people's belief that they should plan and save for their own old age.

The grayer our society gets, the more problematic this is going to be, as has been widely noted. Complications will ensue.

Posted by: annie | November 2, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Christine Lavin was a staple on the Womyn's Music Show on WMNF 88.5 in Tampa during the late 80s when I was listening to it. I have never seen her live and she may be a tough sell to the wife since she considers my taste in female folk singers suspect. She's still holding the last time we saw the Indigo Girls against me.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 2, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

hey, i LIKE the indigo girls! i spose she doesn't like ani difranco either?

Posted by: mo | November 2, 2006 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Being a New Hampshire native, I must note that the USS Constitution ("Her sides are made of iron!") was sturdily built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Although some of our Maine (not Haute) Boodlers may dispute the Granite State-edness of said shipyard.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It should also be noted that the aformentioned book is found only 3 or 4 pages into the catalogue.

I did not have to look that up either.

Posted by: dr | November 2, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Tyffani, please pass on your happy wanderer should you seen him again that I'm not sure about CowTown, but that I have been reading the Aubrey/Maturin novels after the recommendation and am now on HMS Surprise, having finished Post Captain.

(thanks also to kb)

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 2, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to report, Scotty, that Constitution was built down the road in Boston at Edmond Hartt's Shipyard. But it was another of the six, the USS Congress (36 guns, smaller than the 44-gun Old Ironsides), that was built at Portsmouth. But still a very good ship, and successfully fought by Decatur, John Rogers and James Biddle, saw a lot of action against the Barbary pirates.

Posted by: Cmmrbnd | November 2, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

My error, not Curmudgeon's. A thousand abased apologies.

If it helps any, Scotty, Portsmouth also built the USS Merrimac, later turned into the CSS Virginia, of the famous Civil War battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac (if you're a Yankee) aka the Monitor and the Virginia (if you're a Southerner). Portsmouth also built the first aircraft carrier, USS Langley, CV-1. (Technically, she was converted at Portsmouth from the collier Jupiter; the first purpose-built carrier, USS Ranger, CV-4, was built in Newport News.)

Posted by: Cmmrbnd | November 2, 2006 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Handle: ac in sj
State, province, or country of residence: California. Previously, PA, FL, NC, TX, MA, GA.
Gender: F
Age: 39
Actual Age: 51
Marital status: Not married, but not single.
Number and ages of children: Ancillary parental unit to two youngsters now in their twenties.
All degrees and granting institutions: BA in English Lit, FSU
Names and types of pets: Landlord decreed that we shall have no pets.
Social Security Number: I have one.
ATM PIN: 42?
Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: Lapsed many years ago. My flying days are now a dim memory. Not surprisingly.

Posted by: ac in sj | November 2, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I bow to Cmmrbnd's naval knowledge... But I obviously need to talk to the PR folks for the Shipyard... Hmmmm...

*muttering to self*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 2, 2006 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Is it true, Cmmrbnd, that you are not going to attend the next BPH? I think that is a shame. Just think how happy all your new Boodle friends would be to meet you, and how happy Curmudgeon would be to see you again after his wanderings. Cmmr, are you absolutely certain that you can't duck out of your previous commitment and drop in, even if only briefly, at M&S?

Oh, I guess if it were too brief you might not be there cotemporally with 'Mudge. Best not to risk it.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey y'all,
Haven't been able to post, or even lurk, much recently. It's that time of year were fiends usually referred to as "research papers" and "exams" congregate an enact vengance upon you for all the time you haven't spent in the library. (sigh) a little breathing room this week, finally.

handle: tangent (not really a regular, more of a drive thru)
state: Red Sox for school, (CT) Yankee during the summer
gender: see dr.'s 11:03
age: ibid.
marital status: maybe, in 10 years or so.
children: none that I know of.
education: in process, hope to culminate in PhD, but that's a long time in the future. we won't mention #2 in my class during high school, b/c who cares about high school?
SSN: my aunt suffered identity theft b/c some paperwork was left around.
ATM: I would give it to you, but there's not a whole in there. (yay being a poor student)

Anne Coulter= very scary individual. More scary: people actually like what she says.

Posted by: tangent | November 2, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

As I've said before, Ann Coulter is a brilliant spin doctor. A genius at it really. And she is popular because she helps those who are suffering a crisis of faith in the far right remain true to their ideological creed. Which makes them feel better.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Bowing to a Cmmdr is unnecessary. A simple tug 'o the forelock or good forehead knuckling will suffice.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 2, 2006 7:09 PM | Report abuse

tangent, that means you must be a cat. It also must mean you are a cool cat, yes?

Posted by: dr | November 2, 2006 7:25 PM | Report abuse

And here I thought he was contemplating his navel knowledge.

Posted by: TBG | November 2, 2006 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Handle: TBG
State, province, or country of residence: Born in the District of Columbia (none of the above, please note); raised in Northern Virginia
Gender: Mom
Age: Still in my 40s (yes!)
Marital status: Married to DBG (but not the boodle's dbG)
Number and ages of kids: Son of G (almost 18); Little G (13)
All degrees and granting institutions: Lotsa BS, Poli Sci, large state cow college
Social Security Number: 000-00-0001
ATM PIN: Funny you should ask...
Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: Retired
Favorite puncuation: The semi-colon

Posted by: TBG | November 2, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I think we are seeing a crisis of faith in America. Clearly, many have lost faith in conservative ideology. And even those who do not dare question their conservative ideological underpinnings are increasingly disillusioned with the political leadership of George Bush. There are even those, I suspect, who find their religious faith challenged by the failings of a President who so loudly proclaims his piety. Finally, of course, there are those who are losing faith in the institutions and cultural stability of America itself.

All of which is dangerous. For it is one of those ironies of human psychology that doubt leads to extremism. Those that fear the loss of the comforts of their faith often seek to compensate be embracing it even more dogmatically.

I fear we may be living in interesting times.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Well i think the reps are the dogs(pitt bulls) I mean look how their chewing up iraq not to mention poor kerry and none of it is even his fault, Dems are the cats because cats are just smarter than dogs by nature:)Really though the dems cant do any worse than the reps so they deserve a chance and who knows they just might get something anything done about this going nowhere war in iraq.

Posted by: sheila | November 2, 2006 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Democrats could do as Bush does. Blame the former Republican controlled Congress.

Posted by: Sean D | November 2, 2006 8:22 PM | Report abuse

ok, taking a break here (procrastinating actually).

let me add to my profile that my favorite punctuation mark is the dash.
when in doubt, don't worry, put a "-" - kind of like and/or. :-)
(ok, i know i'm probably irritating the copy editors among us.)

i'm also a big fan of parentheses...

Posted by: L.A. lurker | November 2, 2006 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes proof thats cats are the smarter ones, Who has ever seen a cat hump a tree?

Posted by: sheila | November 2, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Dash, et al.

(I like parentheses, too)

Posted by: ac in sj | November 2, 2006 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I've always been kind of partial to the rakish insouciance of the ampersand. Or maybe it's just that I like the phrase "rakish insouciance."

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I am deeply saddened by RD's post, as I have been by the last several kits and boodles (and newspapers, and radio news broadcasts). I recall ScienceTim recently posting with passion and pride to speak for the American Way (or Myth, or Legend, or Experiment) and saying that even in failure, it is both worthy and not to be abandoned. As a non-American and a born skeptic, I did not agree with all of his arguments and their foundations, but I found the declaration stirring and it seemed to me to express the best of a nation and people I love and admire, most of the time.

Now RD Padouk, for whom I cherish an unexpressed and remote, but nonetheless genuine, friendship, sounds despairing.

My education was, for all appearances in my daily life, largely useless; I am not practicing any of the three professions I thought I might when pursuing those academic goals. Nonetheless, one of the many gifts I was left with was the long view of history. One cannot study literature, history and philosophy to any effect without gradually coming to appreciate that there have always been, and always will be, successive waves of largely irrational millennial fears of doom, followed by largely irrational upswings of optimism and belief in human perfectibility.

We do live in interesting times, not just politically but environmentally and socially.

Will the nations as we now think of them survive in their present forms? Highly unlikely; these things have always been built on shifting sands. Does that mean that the loss of one noble idea heralds the loss of all? It has never been so. Societies and civilizations rise and fall, and over time most people fare better, incrementally.

There is reason that theology counts hope as a virtue. It is not something that comes to us unbidden, but a willed movement of the spirit. And once we've willed ourselves into that state, we are energized to make changes.

Again, verbosely expressed but meant from the heart, the message comes down to the simple "this too shall pass." If we exert ourselves in whatever way we can to express our goodwill.

Here endeth the lesson.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 8:43 PM | Report abuse

ok, i do know that a dash is a "--".
i tried to paste in the long, single line one from word, but it didn't go through.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | November 2, 2006 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, TBG, I'm distraught; I thought I had dibs on the semicolon. Can we share it?

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, I have a little time to catch up. The better half is in the 'Burg for a couple of days, so I'm batching it. Shiela, ROTFL! As was stated earlier, dogs have masters, cats have staff, and boy don't we know it!! I think Ann Coulter is the biggest act in town. No one with half a wit could be so dogmatically shrill ALL THE TIME. She almost makes Rick Santorum look sane. I might get back on here after CSI and post a really good rant on the state of politics. Or maybe I'll just go to bed for the next week (absentee ballot is in the mail).

Posted by: ebtnut | November 2, 2006 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto, thank you, I've sent it to everyone I know.

Wilbrod, I've found a good dishwashing detergent (Dawn) mixed with lemon juice (bottled is fine) works. In Ohio, you either knew you had skunks or you were delusional. My condolences to you and Wilbrodog.

Posted by: dbG (one of the confusing *D's* | November 2, 2006 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and did you see where Ms. Far Right is possibly facing felony voting fraud charges? What fun!

Posted by: ebtnut | November 2, 2006 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and did you see where Ms. Far Right is possibly facing felony voting fraud charges? What fun!

Posted by: ebtnut | November 2, 2006 8:55 PM | Report abuse


Or how's this: "the calm insouciance of a fish on a slab of ice."

From "The Code of the Woosters" by P.G. Wodehouse

Posted by: ac in sj | November 2, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. Hal told me my first submission wasn't accepted. Time for CSI, so we will see you later.

Posted by: ebtnut | November 2, 2006 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Dogs have owners.

Cats have staff.

Posted by: Stephany | November 2, 2006 9:01 PM | Report abuse

yoki, sorry if i boodled out of order.
we definitely need more people with long and broad views of history.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | November 2, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Kerric, #1 is not at UofA (first ranked) she's at UofC (lowest ranked). Although that doesn't bother any of us as much as you'd think. She has spent two full semesters of her three years at, first, Shenshu U in Tokyo and second, University of Tokyo, and has had been invited to attend the Masters in Asian Studies program of her choice at a good school. She's one of those people who gets an excellent education by hook or by crook, by picking the right profs and mentors. #2, on the other hand, has been forbidden to apply to UofC.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I did not mean to sound despairing. I am actually an optimist. I reject the notion that the future is bleak. Although there is bound to be pain in the years to come, as there always has been, I believe that we as a species, and America as a nation, will find a way to adapt and thrive.

That said, I do believe we are going through a period of great change, with people being forced to fundamentally alter their comfortable ideological positions. And change is always hard.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 2, 2006 9:07 PM | Report abuse

lurker, I took so long to compose that declarative and probably self-evident post, that there is no "out of order." Heavens, we could all age while I try to think of something both interesting and useful to contribute, and fail in the end!

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 9:07 PM | Report abuse

RD & Yoki: Your positions are well taken. Between loads of laundry and putting the kids to bed I've skimmed the boodle and watched bits and pieces of programming on CNN. The observation was made that Moqada al-Sadr and his Mehidi militia have 30 some odd seats in Parliament and exert a fair amount of leverage in both the Parliament and Sadr city, a slum of 2m, nearly half the population of Baghdad. Hope lies, IMHO, in the faith of the residents that al-Sadr will bring them representation in a way htat didn't exist under the old regime. The piece I watched concluded in comparing the Mehidi militia to Hezbolla. Sounds like a pretty big threat to me. This situation seems to have come about while our CIC was at the helm. I haven't heard anyone ask why we didn't contain al-Sadr when the opportunity presented itself. Moreover, the majority talking points include statements that the minority doesn't have a plan for Iraq. Like the majority does??? As the slogan goes, show me.

Posted by: jack | November 2, 2006 9:12 PM | Report abuse

It WAS gutter scrapings... foul smelling in its own right. I finally did have to douse Wilbrodog with Listerine after he refused to go in for a third bath. Listerine worked for my nose anyway.

I can see the minute he's in the doghouse, the cats come out to bash dogs behind their backs.

FYI he might be back tomorrow, so enjoy the feline evening while it lasts ;).

I've been trying all day to think of the bright side of being cold and Science magazine had an article that gave me a reason to be:

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Well RD, your post sent me in search of some good new, alas I wasn't able to find any, but I did read the random acts of kindness in one of the Toronto papers, the headlines may be awful but most people remain good hearted.

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2006 9:16 PM | Report abuse

RD said "And change is always hard"

And good! The sad thing is most of us don't court change until it is forced on us.

I'm glad you feel hopeful, RD. Mee too. Reely.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 9:18 PM | Report abuse

of course, dr. "cool cat" is pretty much my nickname. haha, ha...h..never mind.

Posted by: tangent | November 2, 2006 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Hello, all.

I've missed you. Last time I visited, we were having some sort of discussion about Religion. That's the day I found myself driving home and forgetting to pick up the kids on the way. It's been weird, but I
hope I'm back to being me. It must have been back in September. School had just started. This is the first time I venture into the comments section since then.

I just felt so overwhelmed by everything. And tired. I couldn't get anything done. I'd just had twelve weeks of vacation, so I kept telling myself I'd get back on track soon. Then my heart started acting funny. Funny enough to hurt. Then it was fear that kept me from doing anything other than listening for the next time it would stop, then jump-start and make my ears ring.

I started taking beta blockers today. I feel weird, like I've had the hicups for hours and they finally stopped. My chest feels kind of empty. My lungs feel like they shrank.

I won't bother to go back and read nine weeks worth of boodles. I'll pick up here and hope to get the jokes.

Cassandra, I got some books for you way back. I'll get them in the mail for you as soon as I can. I will also include an article out of this month's NEA magazine that made me think of you when I read it.

I'm glad to be here again.

Posted by: a bea c | November 2, 2006 9:27 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Ivansmom, great observation regarding Nixon and 43. And, what RD just said. I always lament the fact that the the younger generation doesn't have a cause. When I was growing up the country went through the sort of changes RD alluded to: JFK's assasination, the fight for civil rights, Viet Nam, MLK's assasination, RFK's assasination, mass protests, Woodstock, Earth Day, the fight for Women's rights and for the ERA, Watergate, the two seven days wars, the threat of nuclear war any number of times, the Munich Olympics debacle, and so on. The past thirty or so years have had their moments, but never quite reached the tumult of the 60's and 70's. The cause celebre is the present conflict. IMHO, the propensity of the pols to frighten has done it's share to shake the faith of the public to the point that they'll cast an uninformed vote: few will take the time to read and educate themselves regarding present and past political positions, nor the value of the alternatives. Information is gleaned from out of context sound bites and pundits that are increasigly on the fringes. Where's Error Flynn when you need him????

Posted by: jack | November 2, 2006 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"No one knows enough to be a pessimist."

-- Wayne Dyer [author of "The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way"]

Posted by: Dreamer | November 2, 2006 9:33 PM | Report abuse

A warm welcome back, a bea c...

Posted by: jack | November 2, 2006 9:34 PM | Report abuse

a bea c, glad your back and hope you feel better soon. I have been thinking of you, my eldest has one of those special teachers this year, and the change in her is great. I think often about the words you posted for me previously concerning her situation and it was helpful, thank you.

Posted by: dmd | November 2, 2006 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jack.

Posted by: a bea c | November 2, 2006 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! I am glad to hear the meds help so quickly, a bea c.

You probably shouldn't bother to read through all the old boodles. It got a little grim a week or so ago with Mudge getting a little tiffy at being potshotted by another boodler so persistently. That's why hee decided to go walkabout. We're on active curmudgeon sightings alert today.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering why I hadn't come across Mudge's postings today. I hope he comes back.

Yes, I took my first pill mid afternoon, about an hour later, I noticed my heart was not jumping but beating regularly. It feels nice.

About not being depressed, well, I'm making an effort. I can't sit around and wait for things to happen. I want to work the election (I'm an elections officer) but my husband doesn't want me to unless I'm really doing better. I have to show him I AM feeling so much better.

Posted by: a bea c | November 2, 2006 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Tyffani posted something from Mudge today,

Cmmrbnd (read yesterday's boodle) came on as Cmrrylwylwcacyutf7ergbncsa O'Fllwyiwxna whatever it was, the last living speaker of Welsh in Wales. He quickly agreed to be shortened to Cmmrbnd. He is funny and a good addition.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 9:48 PM | Report abuse

you can tell your alter ego that I've been through my boxed set of the first 5 O'Brians. As previously discussed the price of the trade paperback (paperbacks no longer available) is a little over the top around here at about cdn$19.99. The set was around $60 but the books were marked at between $16 and 20$ individually. I gave the set to the local library against a donation receipt of $90 that is worth about $25 in tax relief. I ordered the $160 21-book series (there is an unfinished novel) from Indigo. So it is going to cost me around $190 altogether for 20.5 books, not a bad deal altogether.
I've got to finish the book shelves in the basement though to host that haul...

RD P, the US of A is the most resilient nation on earth, it will survive, nay, thrive despite this hypocritical government. The government footprint in the US is very small, the country is virtually unaffected by it.
Stephen Lewis: I don't know the man but Ed Broadbent another NDP big-fromage was a regular around the hill in the past few years, I've met him often as we fed the parliament's cats. (Bunch of feral cat living on the hill). I don't care much for the NDP politics but the man is something else. He is bright, friendly and quite approachable. He makes all kind of effort to speak in French even if his French is terrible but heartfelt. He retired to take care of his sick wife. So there is at least one politician who retired for "family reason and it was actually true.

I smell something good coming from the kitchen. Got to check the medieval pork. For the smart alecs out there the recipe is medieval; the pork is rather young, I hope.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 2, 2006 9:57 PM | Report abuse

a bea c, hello. You don't know me. That's fine. Don't tell Cmmrbugeon, but I originally became entranced by the Achenboodle through your posts.

I know this sounds overly serious, and not fun and all those things we are not supposed to be, but please don't push yourself past what you can really do. If you can do the elections, and it makes you feel better to do them, and your heart rate is regular enough to support it, then go. If not, simply pull back and look after yourself.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 9:58 PM | Report abuse

My posts, Yoki? I don't post very memorable posts... but thanks.

It is nice to meet you.

Posted by: a bea c | November 2, 2006 10:02 PM | Report abuse

a bea c, glad to see your handle back in the lineup.

Posted by: nellie | November 2, 2006 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I know what Yoki means, a bea c.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Hi Nellie.

I do have good things to share. My daughter started kindergarten and loves it. My son started reading short words on his own last week. I am so proud of them.

Posted by: a bea c | November 2, 2006 10:11 PM | Report abuse

a bea c,
Welcome back! We've wondered where you were - I was hoping you were just busy. Hope the meds help - glad you checked out what was happening. There was an article in the WaPo a couple of weeks ago about a new bird species that was found in the cloud forest in Colombia - I'll try to find it and repost the link.

tangent, nice to see you too. BTW, I'm a bit worried about sparks. The last we heard from him, he was going to search out Mudge - ruh roh. Hope Tyffani will take of him (didn't sparks mention his favorite town name was Truth or Consequences, NM?!?).

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 2, 2006 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey a bea c, welcome home! Glad to hear you're doing better and glad to have you back!

Yeah, we've had some tough times recently on Achenblog. We were in a morass of comparisons between US and a European country Joel finally forbid us to name. The name-calling got tedious and we had to have a time-out. But we're all better now. Don't bother to boodle-skim, it's not worth the effort.

Thank you, RD, for your comments. Yes, change is hard when it isn't your idea. I keep thinking about yellojkt's comments about how change in the HVAC industry led to greener, more efficient and effective heating and cooling systems. May we be creative enough to make the challenges before us that good.

Posted by: Slyness | November 2, 2006 10:14 PM | Report abuse

so has SF been banned from the Boodle?

Posted by: a bea c | November 2, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse

did anyone ever harvest Mr. Stripey? I would not have been able to eat the silly tomato after all the drama.

How is Linda's eye?

How's the resident newlywed with the beautiful eyes?

Did San Antonio get rain?

Did Nani come back? After leaving for so long myself, I hope she's ok.

Posted by: a bea c | November 2, 2006 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Not exactly. We told him the truth-- that he has good comments when he doesn't try to be sacrastic and snide about Mudge, America vs (censored).

He decided On Balance was more his style of debate for now, and I think that is a good idea.
Maybe he can smack down the very parents who fed their kids that bigoted cr** that led to his kid being picked on so badly he had to withdraw her. That would be so nice for everybody.
I anticipate a very special "On Balance" guest column that I for one would read. But he's welcome to drop back in anytime the subject interests him.

Posted by: WIlbrod | November 2, 2006 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back a bea c. Your most cultured "voice" is always particularly soothing to me, for some reason. Latin affinities maybe.? I did half my MSc with a Colombian colleague, he was a perfect gentleman. We were alwayls teasing him about his name Julio Cesar Minotas xxxx xxxxx, why have that many names, really. It's nice of you to take some time from your drug trafficking/witness capping schedule to be with us ;). Take care of that ticker; that is the best you'll ever have.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 2, 2006 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, part of taking care of the ticker is getting some sleep. I will try to stop by tomorrow.

And it isn't just that it is bedtime. I can't stomach any more negative ads about Jim Webb on TV. My students will fill me in about the end of this show.

Good night!

Posted by: a bea c | November 2, 2006 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, are you OK? I saw you were dealing with a swampdawg, but you've been quiet, even so.

Posted by: Yoki | November 2, 2006 10:59 PM | Report abuse

a bea c, welcome back!

Posted by: ac in sj | November 2, 2006 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Shrieking Denizen, this is my new mantra:

"the US of A is the most resilient nation on earth, it will survive, nay, thrive despite this hypocritical government. The government footprint in the US is very small, the country is virtually unaffected by it."

I am way old enough to know this, but there is so much news pollution that I forget. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: nellie | November 2, 2006 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Handle: mostlylurking (ironically)
State, province, or country of residence: Born and raised in western PA, then to DC area, then Seattle, then VA, MT, TX, Seattle (for good, apparently)
Gender: Mom (and a bit of a mother hen)
Age: 50
Marital status: Married
Number and ages of kids: 1 son, 25
All degrees and granting institutions: Georgetown U dropout (major: Russian), many computer sciency courses at various colleges; no degree - always 3 years to go
Pets: stray black cat, sadly no horses
Social Security Number: a big one with my name on it, I hope!
ATM PIN: I can never remember
Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: retired - would gladly grow my own if it was legal
Favorite punctuation: The dash - I happily use the hyphen (and parentheses)

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 2, 2006 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to the story about the new bird species in Colombia - this is from Reuters, not the WaPo, which I couldn't find:

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 2, 2006 11:15 PM | Report abuse

a bea c, nice to see you back. You, too Slyness.

Anyway, I'm out of town again for a couple of days, have a nice weekend everyone!


Posted by: bc | November 2, 2006 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh fer cryin' out loud -
my age is not 50 - I'm sure I said:
(less than sign)Mudge, (more than sign)50

but the bot ate it.

I'm 54, ok?

Posted by: mostlylurking | November 2, 2006 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I was writing 2 blogs today and giving the dog frequent walks and preparing a sky report. It didn't help that my grammar was drifting into Outer Marswahili syntax right before dinner.

When blogging about recent science stuff on Wilbrodthegnome, it often requires a little more work than Wilbrodog, especially finding or making the pictures.

It was a gorgeous near-cloudless day-- intense blue overhead and the clouds at the two o' clock position were so pale they merely lightened the blue to "sky blue".

The golden leaves of this elm, I think, were particularly brilliant against the blue sky, and I enjoyed a little mindless leaf-watching as a flashback to being a kid.

I was tempted to write a blog on leaf aerodynamics, because I rather enjoy watching the leaf fall patterns, how you get a lazy L fall pattern, or a spin pattern. The elm leaves are very nice and medium with 3 lobes and a very long stem which minimizes the rocking pattern of the L.
It and the breezes produced a lot of interesting fall patterns. I saw a leaf do an actual 180 degree flip and then do a corkscrew twist. If I knew more about Olympic highdives, I'd be able to give you the scoring for that.

But the analysis of leaves fall will have to wait for another day, as I really need to do a long sideslip and land right between the sheets to sleep.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 11:39 PM | Report abuse

SCC: when blogging... I often have to...
I should be put to sleep for having my participles dangle out like that.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 2, 2006 11:43 PM | Report abuse

To clarify (slightly) Wilbrod's comment of November 2, 2006 10:32 PM--

In my humble opinion:
superfrenchie (he never capitalizes it, does he?) wasn't banned in any way, shape, or form. He's an awfully bright guy who's got very little patience for what he perceives as ignorance or illogic (sounds like some others here, actually!), and he tends to point it out rather more sharply than the rest of us, sometimes, mostly, kinda. He also has some specific sensitivity to subjects Français, which can magnify the tendencies mentioned above.

The 'mudge (also capable of some propensity toward the peevish, hence the handle) decided (fairly enough) that two could play the, "If I think you're being unreasonable, I'm going to call you on it, none too gently!" game. Others joined in. Fairly quickly, it got a little old.

Joel instituted (largely in jest, I'd assume. I certainly don't feel any particular inhibition about bringing something up if I think it will be interesting) a ban on discussions of France generally. Both 'mudge & super[censored] have (temporarily, one hopes] minimized input lately. I don't think anything genuinely horrible was said, I don't think pistols at dawn or permanent exile will be required.

Hey, it's a bunch of fairly bright people with fairly strong opinions. We ain't all gonna agree all of the time. The best to hope for is that most of us can safely assume (most of the time) that most of the rest of us have honorably good intentions.

I've generally felt pretty safe assuming that.

Posted by: Bob S. | November 2, 2006 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I must respectfully disagree with the idea that the U.S.A. is "the most resilient nation on Earth" -- for the simple reason that the U.S. is a relatively young nation ["nation" as opposed to chunk of land], i.e., just a few hundred years old. In the grander scheme of things, it's a little too early to declare the U.S.A. Most Resilient -- isn't it?

[I hope this comment will not result in a ban on the discussion of all things pertaining to Australia (an even younger nation, albeit a rather old chunk of land).]

Posted by: Tom fan | November 3, 2006 12:39 AM | Report abuse

[I just know one of these days I'm going to accidentally type "disrespectfully agree" instead of "respectfully disagree."]

Posted by: Tom fan | November 3, 2006 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Actually, cats are very much like P.J. O'Rourke, except for being prettier and more amusing.

Posted by: BruceMoomaw | November 3, 2006 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, well, Tom fan, we'll just see how resilient Australia is when the aboriginal folk put the final touches on their plan to rise up as one with the kangaroos and koalas and crocs to smite the imported oppressors!

Posted by: Bob S. | November 3, 2006 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back a bea c. hope you continue to get better. :)

bc, have a great trip.

jack: "I always lament the fact that the the younger generation doesn't have a cause." I was not around during the decades which you allude to, with the social upheaval and activism. And, in large part, I agree with you that my generation is largely apathetic, and even ignorant. It is ironic that in a globalized world, where information is so available, that so many people are completely unaware of the world around them. I think that we are overstimulated, even innaculated against injustice, and thus, apathetic. We are so completely bombarded by images that when something truly injust is protrayed, it just gets added to the list of things to ignore. Because we have been brought up in this culture, we are saturated.
That being said, I believe that there are extremely important issues in our world today that my generation will have to face, and have been addressed on this blog: global warming, destabability in the Middle east, growing economic gap (both globally and domestically), and genocide. Mention the word "Darfur," and most of the time I get blank stares.
I have hope that the people of my generation can get off our collective a$$. We need leaders, like MLK Jr., JFK, even people like Billy Graham or Carl Sagan, more scholarly, nontraditional leaders.
Ok, end of this tangent from tangent. apologies, too tired to preview, can i just give a general 'scc'?

Posted by: tangent | November 3, 2006 1:36 AM | Report abuse

tangent - No need for a plea of "scc". You've done better than I generally manage in a post of that length. (Or even one of this length!)

I could be wrong, but I don't really think that Jack was assigning ignorance or apathy as characteristic traits of a generation. I think (maybe) he was being a little wistful about how different the world is now. But these things tend to be cyclical.

Posted by: Bob S. | November 3, 2006 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Like the ladybugs, I was craving warmth. The heat on the 2nd floor wasn't working, and it was getting cold here in Philly.

Plumber fixed it yesterday (I love an easy fix, but *who* turned that lever off), checked everything out, stayed an hour, total cost of $110. Unimaginably cheap for here. And when I was beeped@4 to fix a recalcitrant process, the temperature was comfortable.

Here's wishing everyone in the world heat and relief from it when necessary. Good night, all.

Posted by: dbG | November 3, 2006 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Hi, a bea c, how are you? I'm not banned, I'm just censored: I can no longer spread rumors about Mudge making out with French maids.

Plus, blogging isn't my day job, you know. Actually, gigolo is my day job. As you can imagine, that keeps me busy.

Would gladly join in the discussion of "most resilient nation on Earth," but I'm afraid I'd really be up for eternal bannation, as I would give the title to Persia, which over time repelled the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Mongols, the Soviets and the British, and are as we speak repelling the US out of its borders.

But I wouldn't want to insult the troops...

Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 5:47 AM | Report abuse

Another great column by Eugene Robinson, on topic.

Posted by: dmd | November 3, 2006 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for another aspect of fall to consider: leaf trajectories.

Spark Plugian has this to say of leaves, on dry evenings with a touch of wind: Just as I start to find the perfect spot for ( ), leaves rise up at me. Then I have to start the routine all over again. College Parkian is NOT amused, as ER is about to start.

Did Wilbrodog encounter a skunk? Or did doggie roll in squirrel scat or something equally scabrous? Long ago and far away, we did bathe the Montana dogs -- Norwegian ElkhoundX, natch -- in dilute V-8 juice. Tomato slays skunk.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 3, 2006 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Handle: Bad Sneakers (Steely Dan song title)
State: Massachusetts (great place to live 7 months a year, November isn't one of them)
Gender: Grandmother and kitchen contractor
Age: Running in terror from the upcoming Big One, Mudge won't be alone much longer.
Marital Status: Happily divorced and living in sin with "S"
Number and age of children: 2 daughters, 40 and 37. Also two beautiful granddaughters, almost 8 and almost 6.
Degrees: sadly no, one year completed (history major) before getting pregnant and dropping out. Many courses taken through the years in an attempt to finish my degree, my biggest regret and one I may yet rectify.
Pets: None but two granddogs, a Great Dane and a Mastiff, When I retire I want to get an African Grey parrot.
SSN: Since moving, not even sure where the card is.
ATM PIN: Yeah right
Glaucoma Test Pilot: Well, I've been tested for it, but I'm not certified.
Favorite punctuation: I love them all except for the semicolon.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | November 3, 2006 7:35 AM | Report abuse

a bea c - Welcome back.

Alas, Mr. Stripey is gone. Yet his memory lives on in the marinara sauce of our collective memories.

Plus, I kept some seeds.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 3, 2006 7:53 AM | Report abuse


Change is inevitable, it's CLOUDS that are hard. *tsking w/a grin*

a bea c!!! *HUG*

Glad to see you back and Boodling again!! And please do take proper care of yourself.


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 3, 2006 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Handle: a bea c
State: Virginia
Gender: never in question for two powerful reasons. Some men never notice I have eyes behind my glasses.
Age: Hurtling at light speed towards 40.
Marital status: whaddayathink?!? I talk about the hubby all the time.
Number and age of kids: girl, 6, and boy, 4.
Pets: two wacky cats.
Degrees: BA, econ. MBA, HR. Alternate teacher licensure for career switchers. Post-bac certificate in educational technology. In short, student for life. When I retire, I want to be a student.
SSN: yes, plus national ID number from Colombia. Can't say the former in Spanish, and can't say the latter in English.
ATM PIN: spells a favorite word.
Glaucoma test pilot: I'm from Colombia, but don't make assumptions.
Favorite punctuation: I was known as "The Hyphenator" at a previous job.

Posted by: a bea c | November 3, 2006 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers, I hope we can still be friends, despite our semi-colon conflict.

a bea c, I'm so glad to see you back. Don't be surprised if those beta blockers tire you out a little bit at first; it'll get better soon. I know what you mean about feeling the empty place where your heart goes (physically--not emotionally). The thing I seemed to miss was not hearing my heartbeat in my ears when I put my head down to sleep at night.

I'm off the beta blockers now and my heart seems to have gone back to its regularly scheduled program. Not sure what caused it in the first place, but everyone seems to be pointing to my wacky thyroid as the culprit. (BTW, I think Hashimoto's Disease is one of the best-named diseases, don't you?)

Posted by: TBG | November 3, 2006 8:12 AM | Report abuse


The last and final time my wife and I saw the Indigo Girls, we had seen Melissa Etheridge the night before and Amy and Emily suffered badly in comparison. About every other song they traded off acoustic guitars for mandolins and fiddles, bringing the show to a dead stop while they retuned the instruments. After about six rounds of this, my wife insisted we beat the traffic out of Wolf Trap. They are now banned from the entertainment schedule.

I wouldn't even know how to bring up Ani. Susan Tedeschi is playing Ramshead tonight. No idea if there are tickets or not.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 3, 2006 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Given the bitterness of the current fight, I am hopeful that whichever party loses can manage to muster up the strength to accept defeat graciously.

I can't believe I am saying this, but one of the best examples of this was Dan Quayle. I recall after Clinton won, when the crowd was itching to get a little ugly, Dan said something along the lines of how Clinton had run a good campaign, and if he ran the country the way he campaigned we would all be all right.

It seemed a classy thing to say.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 3, 2006 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday in the kit (remember that?), Joel linked to an Anne Coulter column that didn't get completely unhinged until the second page. The first page was an expectations-lowering recap of typical midterm out-of-power party gains. Today, Chuckie K is singing the second verse.

As much as I despise Krauthammer constantly cribbing off of George Will, it bothers me even more that he is now getting talking points from that anorexic harpy (forgive the ad hominem attack (ad feminem? (no, nothing feminine about her))). In his defense I am sure he is just following the Rovian playbook for rationalizing the drubbing our "war president" is going to get next Tuesday.

My favorite punctuation is the parenthetical aside (if that counts as punctuation).

Posted by: yellojkt | November 3, 2006 8:25 AM | Report abuse

(addendum to Boodler database entry)

Favorite Punctuation: The ellipse. Not that there's anything wrong with that...


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 3, 2006 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else hear Steve I. interviewing the "Honorable" Mr.Reynolds this morning? The word of the day is avoidance.

Posted by: a bea c | November 3, 2006 8:32 AM | Report abuse

A couple of things, tangent. My students are wont for gathering information via the internet, via a simple boolean search. Few of them have sufficient background knowlege to quickly discriminate between on topic sources, primary, secondary, etc., nor the background knowlege to use a variety of search engines, nor the exprience to modify their search in the event they recieve 20m hits. In addition, the vast majority of them read and write at the most basic of levels and lack the critical reading, writing and thinking skill one increasingly needs to make sense of all of the information we're collectively bombarded with. It's my experience that learning to think and write critically is a skill gleaned form a combination of seeing it modelled and actually doing it. It doesn't help to come from a background where the adults around you and the community in general doesn't practice critical thinking. Changing this is hard, and compounded by the fact that students have test scores to worry about. Public schooling tends to be so wrapped up in teaching required standards and covering an entire curriculum in a limited amount of time, that is a balancing act to both teach the curriculum and develop solid, functining, critically thinking citizens. Case in point: there is a story outlining the collapse of some 29% of the world's fisheries,and the potential for total collapse of global fisheries by 2049. Most of my kids will get it only after and I have them read it, dissect it, write about it and do my best Chicken Little gig. Aside from that, they will generally feel powerless to do anything about it. So there: you have to be extreme in your positions in order that people have hope of making a difference...just what RD said last night.

Posted by: jack | November 3, 2006 8:38 AM | Report abuse

*preparing to chain myself to the nearest tree*

Posted by: jack | November 3, 2006 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey A B C, Good seing you again. To let you know, when I first began posting here, my heart used to race to the point where I thought it was unhelthy. I never went to the doctor about it, but the symptom went away in 2 or three months.

Sound Report:

Yesterday, I was taking the bus home and overshot my stop. There was a guy there with a strong, deep, heavy Sweedish accent who offered to help me across the divided highway. He said, "I spend my life shouting the words left, right and good. I'm a surveyor you know".

Funniest thing I heard all day, thought I would share.

Posted by: Pat | November 3, 2006 8:40 AM | Report abuse

a bea c,

Some guys find glasses sexy. I always tip the exotic dancers with specs the most. I'm not sure if that makes you feel better. I certainly doesn't reflect well on me.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 3, 2006 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Big weekend coming up...

Saturday morning, Son of G takes the SATs again; Saturday evening he and I go to see Barenaked Ladies (5th row, center floor) at the GMU Patriot Center (about 3 miles from my house).

We leave directly from the concert to head toward Slyness Country (Charlotte NC) so that Son of G can once again visit his #1 college choice: Queens University (recommended, I believe, by both Slyness and Jack).

Sunday evening I have dinner with Slyness! Another Moveable BPH in the works here. She'll be fresh from her week at the cabin so I can't wait to hear all about it and see pictures.

The part I'm most looking forward to, though, is the time spent with Son of G. He's one of my favorite people to hang out with and any time with him these days is precious, as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: TBG | November 3, 2006 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Why do I like to hang out with my son? As I was posting the 8:48 above, he sent me this email:

Is this really the best title for a school-system publication?
It's some sort of weekly in-house financial report called "Money Talks," but there is no complementary "Sh*t Walks" report on sanitation.

Posted by: TBG | November 3, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse


Now THAT's critical thinking at work! *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 3, 2006 8:55 AM | Report abuse

One of the brighter ideas I had as a teen was to express interest in Yale, which had led to visiting the campus with my dad, who had spent some time there as an Army student during World War II. He rarely said anything about his experience during that period. I recall a comment that fungus infections seemed a bigger problem than the Japanese in the south Pacific. But then again, he was put to work as a medic.

Needless to say, despite having SATs somewhat like Al Gore's, I had absolutely no chance of getting admitted, so it was just a pleasant visit.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 3, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Sky report from Metro DC: Crystal blue with nary a cloud to be seen. A "typical" early November day. Down near frost overnight, with the temps going back up in the 50's during the day. Bit of a breeze to make you glad you wore that jacket or sweater. We now return to our regular programming.

Posted by: ebtnut | November 3, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The pool is covered with a thin layer of ice. The sun rose in a cloudless pale turquoise sky today. The air was chilly and so the sunrise was a light yellow event. It is a gorgeous sunny morning now.
This is the fourth consecutive day without rain, I'm wondering if I should water the moss and algae that have started to replace the grass around here... The sump pump will finally get a well-deserved rest.

SF, how many forms of government have been in place in Persia since 1776? The American Republic is inherently robust because it was designed that way. It resisted one of the most murderous civil war in history fer crying out loud. The Republic may get damaged by incompetent politicians (am I repeating myself?) but the damage will not be permanent. If the current orgy of negative ads doesn't work for the producers of such ads their strategy will change. The less pliable congress that seems to be looming will most likely face up to an imperial presidency. The pendulum always swings back when it get to its extreme position.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 3, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

jack: I definately agree with you. I should have clarified. Clearly, the amount of information available does not lead to knowledge, let alone any sense of accuracy. Gleaning the wheat from the chaff takes critical thinking and analyzation, which are kind of hard if you're doing the 'research' an hour before class. I TA for a survery history class, and I was shocked that close to half of the students (mostly freshmen) had no idea about the difference between primary and secondary sources, and if they did know, how and when to use them. But I'm preaching to the choir, and you said it better than I could have.

Bob S.: "apathetic" and "ignorant" are words that -I- apply to my generation, granted in a generalization. Perhaps ignorant it too strong, but I don't think apathetic is.

Posted by: tangent | November 3, 2006 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Tom fan, your comment about the USA being a young country got me to thinking. We are a bit over 200 years old under our current form of government (counting from the adoption of the current Constitution). Who beats that record?

Certainly the Romans under their empire, some 500 years. The Brits would do better than that if you count from the Magna Carta. Who else? When you think about it, 200 years isn't too bad.

Posted by: Steve-2 | November 3, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Dave of the Coonties,
You're right about the fungal infections being a big problem in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

Here are three grafs from a feature story (March 27, 1996, Bakersfield Californian) written about dermatologist Dr. Norman Levan, who treated me for my smallpox-vaccine injury as a kid:

Levan earend a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California and completed medical school there in 1940. (He later earned a master's degree in humanities at St. John's College in New Mexico.)

He entered the Army Medical Corps soon after graduation and served during WWII. He was dischraged with the rank of major and earned a Bronze Star.

It was during the war, stationed at various islands and battlefronts of the Pacific, that he met an accomplished doctor who influenced Levan's later study of skin disease. Levan worked under the tutelage of Dr. Tibor Benedek, a Hungarian who "served the enemy" during WWI. Benedek was a mycologist--an expert in the study of fungal disease.

Another fascinating Hungarian for author Kati Marton to write about? There is a PubMed link to Benedek's biography, and I find his name mentioned in a paper by a Texas law professor about immigration law through JSTORS. I have no access to either.

a bea c--I am so sorry to hear of your heart problems and the racing rhythms. The only time my heart races is during a decent flirtation. *w (but true)*

Posted by: Loomis | November 3, 2006 9:44 AM | Report abuse

There is a political frou frau building here between Alberta and Saskatchewan. And you think republicans and democrats are bad.


The bottom line is that Calgary seems to be afraid of a rodent who does not wear pants.

My roots are showing, Go Riders go, and my sympathies, er a, apolgies to Yoki and those who hail from the sourthern part of our fair province.

Posted by: dr | November 3, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Most resilient? Hmmm...

The Australian Economy is a great success story

In 2006, the Australian economy was ranked the most resilient in the world for the fifth consecutive year, providing a very compelling case for business investment.

Socially, in terms of religious sentiment and respect for traditional family values, blacks are easily the most resilient of any demographically distinct group of Americans. Looking at decades of survey research, George H. Gallup Jr. has concluded that blacks, without regard to socio-economic status, are "the most religious people in America."

Posted by: Loomis | November 3, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Handle: superfrenchie (Please note that SuperFrenchie, with 2 caps, is the formal name and is to be used exclusively in rants and insults. I care about my dignity!)

State, province, or country of residence: Maryland, United States. Has also lived in Louisiana. Nationality: European.

Gender: It's Le SuperFrenchie! Very noticeable even when wearing traditional superhero attire of underwear over tights.

Age: according to most, juvenile and immature. Let's just say very young.

Marital status: Married with hot [censored] babe, but always open to suggestions (please send pic with email). Note: married in 5 minutes by the Justice of Peace in Las Vegas at a cost of $35, which included $30 to bribe the witness.

Number and ages of children: 3 officially recognized children, ages 18, 15 and 5. Names are Raphael, Vanessa and Sophie. Costly but worth it!

All degrees and granting institutions: Teacher's degree, from a freedom university.

Names and types of pets: Minou († 2005), Minette, and Caramelle, all supercats.

Social Security Number: 1 59 05 10 387 005 12 (no seriously!)

ATM PIN: 4957, but why do you wanna know?

Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: Revoked, after officials learned of my membership in the Rocky Horror Picture Show Official Fan Club.

Friends: SuperBelgie, SuperBrazilianHotBabe

Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

dr, I saw that yesterday and smiled and thought of you.

Posted by: dmd | November 3, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Jack and Tangent, it is hard to get kids thinking about things in terms different from what they hear from their parents. They grow up parroting what they hear. Until someone shows them differently, they won'd change. You also have to show them that those "global" issues don't just affect someone else.

Last spring, during the whole fence-at-the-border debate, my students and I were discussing Tejano music. Of course, the discussion became about the immigrants after about 10 seconds. The kids were all for building a fence and posting soldiers there. I asked them how many of their classrooms have a leaky roof. Then I asked them how much money it would take to build the fence. We looked up the price of cinder blocks, how big they were, and did some fancy spreadsheet work. We estimated some enormous number, I can't even remember it. Then I asked them how many schools could have the roof replaced or fixed with that, or how many new books and computers we could buy for libraries. Things eventually came back to Mexicans taking our jobs. I asked kids to raise their hands if they personally knew anyone who'd lost a job to a Mexican. Not one hand went up. I hope I taught them something.

As I've said before, I am lucky I teach an elective course. I don't have SOL tests to deal with. I can take a detour on any day and teach the kids something more useful than "dos cervezas por favor".

Yeah, I know, that IS a *VERY* useful thing to know, too.

Posted by: a bea c | November 3, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"Dos cervezas frías por favor" is the only Spanish I know. I should learn "¿Dónde está el cuarto de baño?", but that's why they have signs on the door.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 3, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

a bea c I think I would like to be a student in your class.

Posted by: dmd | November 3, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

We took a Spanish for Travelers elective when I was a senior undergrad. I speak very fractured, improper Spanish. cuanto cuesta????? Mi vaca es su vaca. Mi vaca tienens directionales.

Posted by: jack | November 3, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I want to see your cow with turn signals. Post a pic somewhere :-)

Posted by: a bea c | November 3, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Steve-2, I ain't in the mood for a fight (biking weekend with a friend is ahead) but having had the same constitution for more than 200 years is not, IMHO, a criteria for being resilient. Or some countries would be considered less than resilient, as they don't even have a Constitution (England and Israel come to mind).

Besides, seen from the outside (I know, probably irrelevant...), the US resembles more and more a theocracy, and thus either its Constitution allows it, which is nothing to be too proud of, or it doesn't and it is being made a mockery of everyday by the very people in charge of enforcing it.

Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Several years ago I started learning Spanish from CDs geared towards the "business traveler." The emphasis on phrases associated with money, hotel rooms, bars, and young women made me wonder what manner of "business" these CDs were really intended to facilitate.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 3, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

SF, you accidentally omitted SuperTongan from your list of friends.

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 3, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I've forgotten the spanish, but is "¿Dónde está el cuarto de baño?" really suitable for asking for the powder room in a restaurant?
I thought the word was el lavabo o retrete.

In ASL we don't say "bath room", we say "toilet" or a sign that indicates restroom. I once had a coworker come up and say to me "I am going to the bath room" and my cheeks nearly exploded with an effort to hold in my giggling.
I had a sudden visual of her going off to a room with a single, giant bathtub in it and nothing else.
She noticed my face changing color and my strangled squeaks and was a bit hurt anyway.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I think that falls under the category of entertainment, RD.

I'm guessing there was no spanish phrase for "So would you like to come to the meeting room with me to work out a deal?"

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Cummrbugeon? Hmmm. That's kinda growing on me.

Being a very newbie myself, I feel it's not my place to welcome you back, a bea c, or you, tangent and slyness, but I'm sure when Curmudgeon returns from his walkabout in the wastes of whatever wastes he's wandering in, he'd be more than a little pleased. I have on occasion heard him muttering contenedly about "my wee bairns," with reference to the boodle.

I find myself agreeing with Tom fan and (cough cough) SF on the question of "most resilient nation" status. It seems to me that resilience is both a question of distance -- how far from X status to its new Y status a nation has traveled -- as well as a function of time-- how quickly it has done so. Measured over millenia, SF has a pretty good point about Persia being a good candidate. Measured over much shorter times spans--and in the modern era, I think I'd have to give Germany No. 1 status, with Japan coming in a distant second. German went from being (in my humble opinion) just about the all-time worst, most loathesome, most despicable nation on earth, circa 1933-45, to a somewhat reasonable modern nation, albeit with the help of a great deal of bloodshed, some bombing, and then the Marcshall Plan. It certainly hasn't gone "from worst to first," but maybe "from worst to acceptable."

Japan, circa 1930 or so to 1945, was also pretty horrible, though not quite in the Holocaust class, but has also come a long way, baby, also due to some judicious bombing, much bloodshed, and then the aforesaid Marshall Plan, etc. So another pretty remarkable transition in a relatively short time span.

All that being said, I'm just not sure "most resilient" is an especially useful category for much discussion. Even if there was some objective way to scale it, I don't see that it tells us much. For instance, one major aspect of Japan's resilience has been its refusal to come to grips with what it did in the 1930s and 40s; it's still in major denial. One can make a pretty good argument, I think, that Japan, and perhaps Germany, were able to "bounce back" so quickly precisely because they refused to look very closely at what they'd done. I'm not generally in favor of denial, but sometimes it has its uses. (Depending, I suppose, on whether it is used for good or evil. Are you listing, Arbusto? No, thought not. But I often think denial is very underrated.)

Yes, the Krauthammer piece this morning is making me ill. He's explaining why a Dem victory with 20 or 25 House seats and 4, 5, or 6 Senate seats ain't all that much of a big deal. Speaking of denial, and its abuse.

Posted by: Cmmrbugeon | November 3, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Sixth year presidents always doom their parties." Well, in that case WHY should they even want to get the guy re-elected for a second term?

Let the guy set up his own political party to run, like Teddy and his Bull Moose Party. Alas, Teddy ran in the wrong country or he could have gotten the Bullwinkle vote.

In more recent times--I'm very sure Clinton could have run independently and won the election easily in 1996 anyway.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Compared to, say, the Byzantine empire which lasted about 1000 years, America is indeed young. Nevertheless, the United States Constitution is the oldest active Federal Constitution in the world. The system of checks and balances has endured wars, scandals, and scoundrels. It is inherently self-correcting as any examination of American history will reveal.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 3, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Although after this administration, I think we need to question whether we should make the checks stronger.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I think the UK is the one to beat in this resiliency test. Pretty darn resilient since 1688 (motto: we don't need no stinking constitution).

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 3, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I think the UK is the one to beat in this resiliency test. Pretty darn resilient since 1688 (motto: we don't need no stinking constitution).

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 3, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cmmrbugeon, emphasizes an interesting point, the importance of the Marshall plan in helping to stabilized post war Germany and Japan, it allowed the rebuilding of infrastructure, economic rehabilitation, etc. Which relates to points Ivansmom has made several times about the need to rebuild the infrastructure in Iraq.

Posted by: dmd | November 3, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The British might want a scrap of paper just to cover themselves up from the camera, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, a bea c, and take care of yourself! I missed you.

Developing critical thinking skills could help us so much with our sound-bite negativity-oriented electioneering system. [Ivansdad these days says he prefers to view politics as theater, since that's what's being done this close to elections). Alas, critical thinking skills remain in short supply. We've always tried to imbue the Boy with them, beginning with TV commercials when he was a toddler ("What are they trying to sell you?"). Now he's starting to turn them against us, so we must be doing something right. I explained to him last night that my imaginary friends refer to W as "Arbusto", and why, and discussed the politics of fear. I mentioned I thought it was un-American to call political opponents terrorist appeasers simply because they disagree. Not original, I know, but new to him.

Am posting from the evil work computer today, so I hope this goes through.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 3, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod I saw those stories yesterday, the US is 3rd from the bottom. Didn't post as I was afraid it would seem anti-US.

One question, the judiciary in the US is one of the checks is it not? What is the definition (if there is one) do they interpret the constitution (allowing in my opinion ability to adapt as society changes) or stick to the letter of the law (old though it may be).

Posted by: dmd | November 3, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

In Iraq, the existence of a simmering civil war complicates infrastructure repair. In post-war Japan and Europe people didn't keep blowing things up.

Posted by: RD Padouk | November 3, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, dmd! Infrastructure! Marshall Plan! Iraq! Afghanistan! [Fill in the blanks] End of rant.

Once again I recommend "Night Draws Near" by Anthony Shadid (Post foreign correspondent) for a look at pre-, during, and post-invasion Iraq from an inside but American point of view. Be warned, though; the last paragraph in the Afterword, quoting from a teenage girl's diary, will rip your heart out.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 3, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Son, SuperTonga was purposefully ommited from my list of friends. We've been feuding since it joined the Coalition of the Willing against my advice.

My understanding is that they are currently reconsidering, and might withdraw its troop. That would be good for my friendship with SuperTonga.

(Incidentally, the name of Tonga's troop is Joe)

Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Padouk: comparisons of rebuilding Germany/Japan are in no way applicable to Iraq. Completely different set of problems.

Now here's a story to warm the cockles of my heart, speaking of schadenfreude, for sheer depths of hypocrisy.

I am reminded of Val Kilmer's great delivery (as Doc Holiday in "Tombstone") of the line, "It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds."

Posted by: Cmmrbugeon | November 3, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

RD is right about the blowing things up.

dmd, funny you should ask. There is a huge conflict in legal interpretation of the Constitution between those who insist the document meant what the Founding Fathers said and no more, and those who insist it was designed to accomodate change over time within certain broad guidelines or precepts. Had the former been ascendant over the last century, the civil rights, civil liberties, voting, and business reforms caused by Constitutional interpretation would not have occurred. This debate is most visible, and most important, among the nine Supreme Court Justices. Their interpretation rules. The Court is split, with some Justices firmly in each camp and some taking a more pragmatic approach which is not bound to either view. That's the short version and probably more than you want to know at that.

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 3, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I tried to make a distinction between a country's resiliency and it's age, and my comment had only to do with age. How does one measure age? I propose to measure it based on "continuous single form of government" but it can be measured other ways. For the US the adoption of the constitution would be a reasonable start date. For Britian, the establishment of a parlimentary monarchy seems a reasonable start date (Magna Carta) even though they don't have a formal constitution. And the relative power between the monarchy and Parliment has changed signoificantly in the last century or so. For the Country-that-cannot-be-named it would seem the establishment of the Republic (Second?) after the defeat of Napoleon III would seem to be a good starting point. Obviously I'm leaving out all sorts of possible candidates outside The West, but I'm not too knowledeable about the history of non-western counties.

Resiliency ia a different point. The US showed a fair amount of resiliency in coming out of our own Civil War and again with the Depression of the 30s. There have been other examples of resiliencey mentioned for other countries. But really, it's not a competition.

Posted by: Steve-2 | November 3, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I agree with dmd. I would've thoroughly enjoyed having a teacher like a bea c who made my mind open up like that. Unfortunately, I wasted most of my education years in classes that simply stuffed facts into my head.

Of course, the conclusion that I take from her lesson is to think for yourself, rather than submit to the rhetoric of the day. Afterall, we all know that illegal immigration has a tremendous cost to our nation's infrastructure that rivals the cost of building the fence -- assuming the fence idea actually worked.

That said, if I could have my way, I'd make Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. all one country. I believe we could benefit greatly from each other.

Posted by: ticklishturtletoe | November 3, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, RD. I think it would be an interesting study (not done yet to my review) to actually compare the postwar reconstructions in Japan and Germany to Iraq and elsewhere.

I did a little bit of reading on this. My general sense is that Germany is a case in point of the need for large numbers of troops to lock down the country for a period (from my reading, the US sector alone had a huge amount of troops, reduced to about 500K by 1946). This was required because not everyone had bought into the whole "defeat" idea and even with the destruction Germany had endured there were specific plans for an insurgency (the werewolf brigades). Japan seems to be an example of being able to do the occupation on the cheap (comparatively) if you have the support of the local opinion maker (ie the Emperor).

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 3, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

dr, I think this whole gopher thing is outrageous. How mean-spirited can the Stamps be? More than we knew.

Comfort should be taken that the ban only shows how intimidated the team is by the awesome power of the mighty green & white. Also don't forget that the Stampeders (somewhat akin to the Flames this season) suck.

Posted by: Yoki | November 3, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Cmmrbnd: Cummrbugeon? Hmmm. That's kinda growing on me.

I can die happy.

Posted by: Yoki | November 3, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

SF, I was referring to the interesting but work-unsafe link you posted a while ago.

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 3, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Cmmrbugeon, considering my Chinese friends' opinion of Japan and the Japanese, it seems that they haven't come far at all. They haven't even come close to the degree of reconciliation with their victims as Germany has. They even celebrate their attempts at genocide.

Perhaps in the West, we hear so much about Nazi Germany's attempts at genocide, and since we're a (perhaps borderline) theocracy, empathize more closely with the Jewish holocaust. But there was certainly a holocaust inflicted by the Japanese.

Posted by: ticklishturtletoe | November 3, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Son, I know, I know. You want the link again? (google Sonia Belle...)

Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Cmmrbugeon, considering my Chinese friends' opinion of Japan and the Japanese, it seems that they haven't come far at all. They haven't even come close to the degree of reconciliation with their victims as Germany has. They even celebrate their attempts at genocide.

Perhaps in the West, we hear so much about Nazi Germany's attempts at genocide, and since we're a (perhaps borderline) theocracy, empathize more closely with the Jewish holocaust. But there was certainly a holocaust inflicted by the Japanese.

Posted by: ticklishturtletoe | November 3, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Doh! Hang time tricked me.

Posted by: ticklishturtletoe | November 3, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The large US military contingent in 1945's Germany mostly had to do with the similarly large group of our good friends and allies from Mother Russia on the other part of town... The cold war was not named yet but it had started before before the Rhine was crossed.

I meant resilience of the type of government in my initial post. Honestly, I forgot the UK, but the influence of the king/Queen has change quite a bit since the MC.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 3, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I believe the distance from the Japanese genocides (in relation to Nazi Germany) is the fact that american soliders carried home the memory of liberating all those near-skeletal concentration camp survivors; that so many did resettle in the US.
The Rape of Nanking and other acts by the Japanese didn't result in as much relocation to the US and "direct exposure" at that time. Certainly I believe what happened in Korea and China deserves a lot more acknowledgment than they have received.

And any discussion of Japan's role in WWII is always colored by the fact that we dropped 2 A-bombs on them, gave them a constitution banning them from keeping a military, and so forth.

I'm not sure theocracy had much to do with it-- certainly Japan is itself a theocracy in a way, since the Imperial family is believed to be descended from Amaterasu, and the Emperor himself was regarded as a divine being.

Nazi Germany was anti-catholic/traditional christian, and wanted to focus on a new doctrine called Positive Christianity, which changed the theology somewhat and added in aryan symbolism.

Again, we are more aware of Nazism becuase the effects wound up in the USA much more obviously. My parents were married by a concentration camp survivor who had been jailed for being a Polish Catholic Priest. I have a book of his memoirs in Dachau.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

dr- the depths to which Calgary will sink seems to know no bounds. The reaction from King Ralphy and the Stampeders is extremely disappointing. I can't beleive that so many people would support such an unCanadian ideal.

Posted by: Kerric | November 3, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I don't think you can use MC as the starting point for the UK either. It's really only significant in retrospect. A critical eye might even say that on its own the MC looks more like a power sharing arrangement in a biker gang than a constitutional document worth singing about.

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 3, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Ralph made himself King? Not that it would surprise me :)

Posted by: dmd | November 3, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

O.K., let's really look at this fence issue. Remember how Mudge was wandering in the desert and backed into a saguaro and required bad a$$ attention? Remember how I told y'all that saguaro was really coined from an old Indian word, from the Tohono O'odham. (Someone said el seguado...what in the heck is an seguando?)

Well, guess who really has their undies in a bunch over the recently Republican-backed legislation to erect 700 miles of border fence? The natives, that's who. It ran front page on Halloween, so it's current.

Tribal leaders now are engaged in a tricky juggling act, trying to stay out of the border fight while not appearing uncooperative with the government's war on terrorism.

"We've become an afterthought all over again," lamented Robert Holden, spokesman for the National Congress of American Indians, the nation's largest Indian lobbying group, representing more than 250 tribes. "Here we are, right on the front lines, yet nobody asks us what we think."

About two dozen reservations abut U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. Many tribes had lived on traditional lands for hundreds of years when the creation of these borders suddenly placed their members in different countries.

Just weeks before President Bush signed a bill authorizing the border fence, tribal representatives met last month on the Tohono O'odham reservation in southern Arizona for an unprecedented "Border Summit of the Americas," an attempt to form a united response to the government's increasingly intrusive use of their lands for national security purposes.

Speaking of Halloween, I ran over to our big box discount retailer the morning of to buy the candy (old Weight Watcher trick: buy at the last possible moment), and saw the new biography about Andrew Carnegie, which I heard discussed on the Diane Rehm show. Flipped to the index and found another Loomis: DeWitt. He was Carnegie's bookkeeper, according to the author. Our genealogy tome reveals more. He's on my branch, Samuel, born in Cincinnati. Named Moses, last in about four generations or so with that name. Couldn't stand the name Moses and went to court to officially change it to DeWitt. Wish I knew more of his story, but he's just one of several handfuls who supported, in one fashion or another, the titans of the Gilded Age.

Posted by: Loomis | November 3, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom thanks for the info, actually that is the kind of stuff that interests me a lot. My univerisity years coincided with the drafting of the constitution up here, so I was able to study it, and how it came about almost in real time.

Ours was written purposely vague, with parts to be added later by legislation and by interpretation from the Supreme court. Depending on your viewpoint either a brilliant plan or total cope out - I go with a little of both.

Posted by: dmd | November 3, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Oops, had to go to a meeting. Don't you hate it when work interferes?

My point (if anyone still cares) is that how one defines "resiliency" is key to the discussion. If resiliency is defined as the ability of a country to go through hardship and come out with their "national identity" (only way I can think to put it) still intact then the US is indeed young relative to much of the rest of the world. OTOH, if resiliency is defined as the ability of a country to go through hardship and come out with (essentially) the same form of government as they had going in, the US' 200+ years is relatively impressive.

Posted by: Steve-2 | November 3, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

So where is Curmudgeon today? Roswell? White Sands? In Mexico drinking tequila? Viva Las Vegas? Area 51, hanging out with kurosawaguy, perhaps doing an alien autopsy? Death Valley, perhaps Scotty's Castle or on the Devil's Golf Course? Lake Powell?

Posted by: Loomis | November 3, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

A day late and several dollars short, as usual. I've been reading the boodle, but have too little time to keep up or post. Anyway, here 'tis:

Handle: bigcranky

State, province, or country of residence: Tar Heel state

Gender: one or the other

Age: over 21

Marital status: M.

Number and ages of kids: 1, 16

All degrees and granting institutions: BA, economics, The College of William and Mary in Virginia, some time ago

Social Security Number: yup

ATM PIN: I never remember that

Glaucoma Test Pilot License Status: "When I was young and foolish, I did foolish things."

Posted by: bigcranky | November 3, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

ticklishturtletoe, we Canucks are already working on taking over the US. We have been sublimminally taking over for years. Please refer to Lorne Green or Celine Dion for evidence of this most secret takeover. Also note, that if Mr. Green were still alive, we would take him back, but we are not taking Celine Dion. We don't really want Conrad Black back either but Britian's getting testy.

As you can see Yoki, Kerric et al, refer to the sneakiness noted above. That hotbed of revolution, Saskatchewan(historical link to NDP), will once again subvert by sending Rider fans to the stadium enmass. They might go in looking like Stamps fans, but once inside, they will drop the red, and cheer mightily for the Green and White as usual when Saskatchewan Roughriders are in town. I suspect we shall see a lot of waving gopher tails. The Stampeders have awoken the not so sleeping or secretive giant, the Saskatchewan Riders Fan Base.

Posted by: dr | November 3, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Steve-2 writes:
OTOH, if resiliency is defined as the ability of a country to go through hardship and come out with (essentially) the same form of government as they had going in, the US' 200+ years is relatively impressive.

The glue? Capitalism.

Posted by: Loomis | November 3, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

//The Stampeders have awoken the not so sleeping or secretive giant, the Saskatchewan Riders Fan Base.

And they are energizing the base without the use of single negative ad!

Posted by: Yoki | November 3, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

FYI, in case our southern friends need some understanding of the thing that is the Riders, its a lot like the Green Bay Packers. Everyone loves them.

I'm getting all goosebumpy, just like when I talk curling.

Posted by: dr | November 3, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Loomis, we aren't really allowed to call them "the natives," are we?

Ticklish and Wilbrod, I don't see anything in my post that disagrees with yours, although I have a small semantics problem with calling the Japanese atrocities -- as awful as they were -- as "genocide" because I'm not so sure that was the basis of the Japanese intent. The German intent was to eliminate permanently and forever certain classes of people, based on race or ethnicity. I'm not sure the Japanese were doing that. Slaughter and slavery and mass murder, yes. For ethnic clensing purposes? I'm not so sure. But it's just a very, very VERY small difference.

Posted by: Cmmrbugeon | November 3, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

TBG wrote".... wacky thyroid as the culprit. (BTW, I think Hashimoto's Disease is one of the best-named diseases, don't you?)"


I have Hashi too. Great name. Disease flucuates so, YOU are not wacky. But your thyroid may be.

May I recommend two easy items, no prescrip. required? PS -- They don't interfere with synthetic thyroid hormone either.

Take selenium -- at least 200 mcg day. Selenium is an essential catalyst in thyroid conversions. You need the hormone in forms usuable within the cell.

Take some sort of omega fatty acid. Hashimoto's is an autoimmune attack on the thyroid. You cannot stem the attack, really. But you can lower the inflammation levels with O-3 and O-6 fatty acids.

Ask Wilbrod, a Queen of Biology.

Perhaps we someday boodle in person about that pesky thyroid stuff. The club is primarily pink, but some blues sing those thyroid "blues" too.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 3, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Illegal immigration does cost the US more than the fence would, but the fence won't stop illegal immigration. That was the point I was trying to make.

Posted by: a bea c | November 3, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Democracy in action, a NY Times story. Someone quietly gave the pink slip to the general auditor in Iraq (the guy who found the cases of overpayment, cases of fraud, excessive overhead cost, etc) in a Pentagon expenditure bill. Neither the original House of Rep nor the Senate version of the Bill contained the provision. It reminds me of the small fish-counting office in one western state that was closed last summer so that the water management on the heavily dammed river (Columbia, Platte, Snake?) could be done data-free. All it took was half a line in an 800 pages bill.

Cmmrbugeon, taking China as the target for genocide would be ambitious, delusional really, even back then. But the element of raw racism was certainly there.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 3, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

SF says... "Besides, seen from the outside (I know, probably irrelevant...), the US resembles more and more a theocracy, and thus either its Constitution allows it, which is nothing to be too proud of, or it doesn't and it is being made a mockery of everyday by the very people in charge of enforcing it."

Hear! Hear! Not irrelevant at all. Couldn't agree with you more.

[Rant Warning... I know I've said it before, and the timing the last time I made this same rant was awkward (I posted that rant at the very same time kbertocci was making a declaration of her faith) but here goes...]

But what really galls me is that I think Arbusto is totally faking it when he says he is a "Christian." Clearly he's not practicing true Christian beliefs (love your neighbor, turn the other cheek, etc etc) but I think he figured out years ago that he could get what he wanted by claiming to be born again.

Get into trouble with the law? Have a drinking or drug problem? Have an issue with not showing up for National Guard duty? Sure it's nice to have a rich, influential daddy, but it also really helps to say "I've changed. I'm a believer now. I am a Christian." Who's gonna argue with that? Who's really going to say, "You're lying" to someone who professes that?

Well I will say it:

You're lying, Mr. Bush. You are not a Christian at all. You don't believe a word of it. You're playing a role. I can only hope more and more people see that you're not playing it very well.

Posted by: TBG | November 3, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Capitalism is certainly one of the glues. But, take a look (for example) at Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Nary a word about capitalism in there. There's a bit more than just capitalism.

Posted by: Steve-2 | November 3, 2006 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey.. I know I'm being a little TBG-centric, but can we change the previously scheduled BPH from Wed night to Thursday night?

Jane & Michael Stern will be at an event at the Government Center (the Taj Mahal) in Fairfax on Wednesday evening. Their RoadFood books are our primary guidebooks for the Patented G Family Road Trips.

Posted by: TBG | November 3, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little cautious about supplementing with selenium because a large part of the West is "badlands" due to toxic levels of selenium. Other parts of the west have plenty of selenium in the soil, thus meaning plenty of selenium available in plants and meat. You just don't know how much you'll be getting from your food.

Eating whole grains will increase both selenium and chromium (key for balancing blood sugar) intakes.

Selenium deficiency is really a concern more for Asians due to the paucity of selenium in the soil there.

You also need magnesium to appropriately convert T3 to T4, as well as vitamin C, copper, zinc, the usual works. You can get those (and some selenium too) by eating nuts and seeds. Sunflower seeds ain't bad on pizza either ;).

Also make sure you do get ample protein and vitamin C in diet.

As for anti-inflammatories, going unsaturated oils are best, avoid corn, soybean & sunflower oils-- not only do they have excess Omega-3s, they also can carry gotriogens. Canola and olive are your best bet, and flaxseed isn't bad if you mix it really in good before serving.

I would also suggest for inflammation to look at adding turmeric as a spice in cooking; the populations in India that eat the most turmeric have the lowest incidence of Alzheimer's. None of that tiny spice can stuff, either. Buy a poundful of it. It's used at roughly half the amount of the salt that goes into the recipe for many things. It goes well to color chicken soups, as well.

Turmeric gets its yellow color from lutein, which is helpful against macular degeneration (same yellow found in eggs as well).

There's no comprehensive "thyroid diet."

Many grains (such as corn), soy, and the cruciferious vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, etc.) have what are called goitrogens which interfere with iodine uptake to your thyroid, triggering the thyroid to grow, making Hashimotos' fluctate even more.

So cook those thoroughly and don't make them a mainstay of your diet. The goitrogens do tend to be neutralized if cooked with meat. Excess "plant estrogen" or artifical estrogen can disrupt the efficency of your thyroid pills, requiring a higher dosage.

Of course, the basic advice holds: take your pills at least 1 hour before breakfast, don't consume any multivitamins in the AM, since it can lead to nausea or worse.

And just don't ask me how I know all this.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm already weighing two commitments for Thursday evening, so I wouldn't be able to make a Thursday BPH.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 3, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I've got the wacky thyroid, too, College Parkian. Not so bad as to be Hashimoto's but a health issue nonetheless. What gets me now is dry skin and cold sensitivity. Cold weather makes me miserable! I may try your recommendations and see how they help.

Beautiful clear day in the mountains. It was 19 degrees this morning on the hill above us...see paragraph above for effect on me. We are moved in and mostly rested, so of course it's almost time to go home. Thank goodness we have a visit with TBG to look forward to!

Gotta clean up before I can take pictures, tho.

Posted by: Slyness | November 3, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's something I don't get: WaPo radio just announced that Saddam Hussein's verdict will come on Sunday. Now, the timing couldn't POSSIBLY be more suspicious. But what I don't get is how anybody thinks the verdict will influence the election. Is the notion that people will vote Republican because Saddam got convicted? I just don't see the linkage. (As though anyone has any respect for the "fairness" of that ridiculous "trial," or had just no inkling of what the verdict --duh -- might be. Gee, what could the verdict be? Hmmmm. And --assuming (snicker snicker) he's found guilty, I wonder what the sentence might be. Two years probation and $100 fine and court costs? Anger management class?) Karl, Karl, Karl, what ARE you thinking?

Posted by: Cmmrbugeon | November 3, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

This is not a shot at the US, but rather applies to all "resilient" nations.

The glue has always been the bayonet for dissenters, and pragmatic compromise when that won't work.

Posted by: SonofCarl | November 3, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

For direct information on selenium needs, dietary sources, and supplementation (yeast sounds good to me):

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Not to argue or point, but to invite others to think beyond the wholesale capture of "Christian" these days:

Left-leaning evangelicals can be found gathering (nearly 30 years) at

See also the book written by Sojourner "FearLess Leader" Jim Wallis: _God's Politics: Why the Right gets is Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.

Think on the practical witness and words of the Mennonite Central Committee:

See what Bread for the World has been lobbying for, these past 25 years.

Lots more out there. I am so sad that the word "Christian" now denotes Rovian creatures.

I am more than disquieted by moves right in Christianity, but I see a range of views, including liberal ones.

In my wallet are a couple of cards:
Catholic Social teaching;
Pax Christi;
Catholic Worker (Dorothy Day)....
Any CSI investigation would reveal Jesuit-training fingerprints.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 3, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Cm...eon, perhaps the same delusional folk who stated that the violence and dissidence in Iraq would be fixed by the Saddam's overthrow, Saddam's capture, Iraqi elections, and adoption of an Iraqi constitution now believe that the long-desired but elusive result will occur with Saddam's conviction. An end to fighting and an embrace of democracy, delivered two days before U.S. elections -- what a winner on the home front!

Please see the reference above to "delusional".

Posted by: Ivansmom | November 3, 2006 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, re Hashi or hypothyroidism, see what Wilbrod says. Hmm. I may try the diet-only sources of these minerals and fatty acids in the spring.

As for winter chill, perhaps jump-starting with the supplement might help. Before I took sel. I almost quit swimming in winter because the chill to the bone almost turned me into a permana-slug.

If you eat salmon regularly -- watch out for the concerns on mercury, and the ongoing fight about farmed or wild -- you may be good on the Omegas.

(Wilbrod, what will we do when you head back to full employment?....You wrangle knowledge so well for us.)

Tumeric dumped in chicken soup. Check, Wilbrod. Thanks.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 3, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are as religious or more than Republicans.

Secondly, if this country is supposed to have a wall between church and state, shouldn't we extend that rule to political ads and statements? It seems to me that the Democrats are doing a better job of that than Republicans are, with a cost to their image.

You don't need to believe in God to do what is just and pleasing to God.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

College Parkian, I started cooking with turmeric due to Indian friends, it can be added to a lot of recipes because it has a faintly bitter, earthy taste that adds "body" without really overwhelming the taste, but it's best for well-cooked dishes.

I read that bit on selenium and I see where you're coming from, which is why I posted that url. Everybody has their own medical history which might indicate they need to supplement with selenium. Personally, I find nuts more fun than pills and easier to take ;). I love sunflower seeds and you can get a lot of magnesium from them.

This is an overview of what thyroid hormone does in the body but not so much on the nutrition front, alas.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Very late sky report, I had to take #2 daughter to hospital for a shot to help ease her back pain. Anyway, here's a report from "down the cape" as we natives say. Gorgeous blue sky accented by a few picture perfect clouds. The canal was a perfect stripe of blue bordered by russet red oak and green scrub pine. No boats or ships passing through, just deep blue swirling water.

TBG, I so completely agree with you on Arbusto's religious beliefs or lack thereof. Glad you said it, wish I had.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | November 3, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how Curmudgeon liked his breakfast at Tyffani's?

I think the term "native" is O.K. Canucks call them "First Nations," which I like even better. Other ideas?

The story of Japanese atrocities is well-documented by Maryland author Ed Regis in his 1999 "Biology of Doom." First chapter.

Capitalism mentioned in a political speech (including the Gettysburg address, delivered while Lincoln was coming down with smallpox, by the way)? You're making me laugh, Steve-2.

UT Austin history professor H.W. Brands told his students that he would give them a day off from class if they would watch Bush's televised 2004 inaugural address to determine if he used the word "capitalism."

Clever man, ol' Bill Brands. Glad he gave up being a traveling cutlery salesman and the history bug nabbed him.

Posted by: Loomis | November 3, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Why denigrate political speeches? I think you can tell a lot about the country from political speehes. Unfortunately, we looked a lot better when it was Lincoln, Kennedy and Reagan doing the speaking. Though Obama and McCain occasionally sound stirring as well. May be some hope for us yet.

Loomis, going back to something you mentioned earlier. There is a Loomis mentioned in "Path Between the Seas" McCullough's history of the Panama Canal. An Ass't Secretary of State in the Roosevelt administration. Is that another Loomis Loomis?

Posted by: Steve-2 | November 3, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod: //You don't need to believe in God to do what is just and pleasing to God.//

Example of what is pleasing to God:

"You shall have no other gods before Me."

"You shall not make for yourself any graven image"

"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain"

"Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy..."

Those are Commandments 1 to 4. This is just and pleasing to God? Not working on Saturday? Saying Godammit? Looking at most religious art?

How about #10?

"[...]You shall not covet your neigbor's manservant, or his ox, or his ass [...]"

I mean, wasn't there anything a bit more pressing than that for a supposedly just God? Like, I don't know, owning slaves?

And yes, this is what a Democrat carries on his business card while campaigning!

I mean, God is said to have drowned most of humanity in a flood and people continue to treat his worship as something that is supposed to be good? And people who do not accept that are called out of touch, and asked to be measured with their criticism? Come on!

Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse


Those are Commandments 1 to 4. This is just and pleasing to God? Not working on Saturday? NOT saying Godammit? NOT looking at most religious art?

Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I think what will happen is that this nation will return from the brink of catastrophe and start dealing with real issues that matter to middle class Americans. But the record debt and deficits don't make the choices easy, and the obstinance of the God Emperor and his comrades will force Dems to humiliate them in public.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | November 3, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Hi SF, Look for what is common in the root norms of all religion: love and compassion.

(Way too hard to chat about all the layers, some of the cultural that obscure the root teachings. But look at love and compassion; you will find this, even translating for synonyms and similar values, in all creeds.

Buddhists might call God something easier to embrace intellectually: the Godhead; what is designed and organized about the universe; the cosmos, etc. See AA for a broad notion of God, that is god or "whatever you perceive god to be."

Wilbrod's simple post reminds me of this quote from the Old Testment:

"What does God require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

You can take out "God" and substitute many ideas or codes:

the Universe
the Cosmos

You can be humble toward something.

And yes, we will all argue mightily about what justice and mercy are...actually, I think we tend to draw circles around who gets justice and mercy and who doesn't.

We have miles to go, here.

But, my two points are these:

1) don't paint all Christians with the same brush;

2) in politcal life we can begin to identify justice and mercy without specific reference to God; but those of us who profess faith are part of the conversation, too.

Posted by: College Parkian | November 3, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Steve-2: Steve, they're ALL Loomis Loomises. And even if they aren't named Loomis, they are all still related to Loomises. See the Official AchenFAQ Addendum, item 4, for sourcing. To paraphrase Firesign Theater somewhat, "We're all Loomises on this bus."

Posted by: Cmmrbnd | November 3, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

College: //Hi SF, Look for what is common in the root norms of all religion: love and compassion.//

Completely disagree. Religions tell men to stone their bride to death if she is not a virgin on her wedding night (Deuteronomy 22:13-21). The very reason you know that to be wrong and you're about to tell me that it is not to be taken to the letter is that you do NOT rely on religion for understanding what is love and compassion.

Posted by: superfrenchie | November 3, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

bienvenidos a bea c! i was holding the fort for us hispanics... it was getting heavy, glad you are back to assist! no hay otro latinos aqui! yo creo que solamente usted y yo. pero, lo siento, me espanol es muy malo...

i also have the dreaded tyroid problem... they thought it might be hashi's but i didn't have the antibodies... my script keeps getting up'd like twice a year so if it goes up much more, they are going to run more tests...

Posted by: mo | November 3, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Mo, pardon but HashiMOto....Keep checking the antibodies. Thyroid disease is linked to aging, meaning it is variable over the decades, especially 30s, 40s,50s....

So, which one of us creates to blog:
Thyroid B**** Blog

Posted by: College Parkian | November 3, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

A new phylum has been established for a brainless, gutless worm with no balls.
Also added is the statement "our common ancestor doesn't have a brain". I would add that our common ancestor doesn't have cojones and gut either.

Hummm, plus ça change plus c'est pareil for some of our specie.

Posted by: Shrieking Denizen | November 3, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

A new kit has also been established. A good one!

Posted by: dr | November 3, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse


Tu espanol no es malo. Es suficientemente bueno para entender.

I made it through the day and I didn't have to activate my heart monitor a single time. I'm so excited!! I am tired, but I don't feel like I'm running out of oxygen. It is a good tired.

Feliz fin de semana, everyone.

Posted by: a bea c | November 3, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to be able to say I'm the one in the family with a thyroid problem, but my husband "lost" his a few years ago (I call him my big cretin).

My kids know they are doomed. But at least we can get thyroid meds in bulk some day.

Posted by: TBG | November 3, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Mo, try drinking filtered water and checking your place for any excess plastics that are soft, greasy, or indeed any old cracked plastic.

Those can be sources of thyroid hormone disruptors. Perchlorates: from rocket fuel, found in food and water. It is a potent thyroid hormone disruptor.

They now are talking about revising the EPA standard for perchlorates downwards. And I am very distrustful of polychloramines and whatever else they put in the water in this area.

I know of a water-loving golden pup that got hypothyroidism before 6 months old. No family history whatsoever. They keep blaming it on genetics and inbreeding, but I don't believe the epidemic of dog hypothyroidism is anything BUT a sign of environmental toxins. My dog is fine so far-- I pour his water from the brita pitcher, not the tap.

Soft glossy plastics: have phalates which keep them soft, etc. Again, can disrupt thyroid hormones. If you have a lot of electronic stuff and no HEPA filter and don't vacuum religiously, it's very possible for the phalates to be in air from your stuff. New car smell: phalates.

Needless to say, I don't think TV dinners are very healthy as a regular thing-- all that plastic and saturated fat.

And stryofoam can decompose into PCBs from sunlight. PCBs are now banned, but still found in the environment. They're thyroid hormone disruptors, which is why they're so bad in the food chain and for fish.

Posted by: Wilbrod | November 3, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the words on fungal infections. My dad went on to become a periodontist, dealing with inflamed gums that turn out to be full of bugs and cause all sorts of problems for the Rest of the Body. And to think he really wanted to be a physicist.

a bea c
My health problems are quite different from yours (sleep apnea and a few other items), but I, too had the disturbing experience of sort of leaving the world of the awake and thinking. Best wishes!

Now, on to the already-big new boodle.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | November 4, 2006 2:49 AM | Report abuse

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