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General Election Taking Shape?

The Republicans are already running against Hillary, when not trying to chop block one another. (Huckabee called last night's debate a "demolition derby." Yeah, but without the elegance, I'd say. Check it out yourself.)

The Clinton folks will bristle if you suggest that the senator is already running a general election campaign. Official word: No one's looking beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, etc., no one's overconfident, they're just going to grind ahead, one caucus and primary at a time. Three yards and a cloud of dust.

But then you hear her on the stump. Sounds like she's aiming for an Electoral College majority.

Partly it's because she doesn't mention any of her Democratic opponents. Maybe that would change if someone got within 20 percent of her in the national polls (the race is much tighter in Iowa but she's on top in the most recent poll).

What jumped out at me Saturday morning [why are things always jumping out at me? is that a verbal tic, a journalistic cliche that my tired, old fingers can't stop typing, or am actually being stalked, haunted and assaulted by various things that see me as an easy target upon which to jump out?] was a long, extemporaneous riff she did that touched on both the conflict with Islamic extremists and the proliferation of violence and porn in contemporary American culture.

Brilliantly, I bought a new digital tape recorder, and although I have yet to figure out where the Rewind button is, I think I can produce a transcript here.

In response to a question, she talked about Islamic extremism and religious fundamentalism around the world:

'I think we need to ask ourselves, why is fundamentalism rising? Why is there so much of it right now? And I think there're a couple of answers. One is that the modern world can be very scary. It cuts a lot of bonds between people. It gives women and children much more independence. And that is upsetting to more traditional societies.

'Secondly, a lot of what happens in the culture, particularly the Western culture, is very off-putting to a lot of people. People look at our TV shows -- they upset me -- our movies, the type of pornography, the violence that is commonplace, that we have just gotten so used to. I've been to Iraq, I've been to Afghanistan, I've been to 82 countries, I've been moderate Muslim countries, and I am often asked, "Why does your country tolerate the type of filth that goes into the homes of America?"

' It's a hard question to answer....It's harder to raise children in America today than it used to be. They're exposed to so many things that, frankly, if a stranger came into your home, and said or did what you let into your home on your TV set you'd call the police.'

Therein a future Clinton plank: Let's clean up our act. Would play to "values voters" who might otherwise vote Republican.


OK, as promised: A bulletin from Wine Country, also known more casually among oenophiles everywhere as "Iowa."

Yes, they make wine from grapes in Iowa, eschewing the obvious alternatives of corn and soybeans. (I've had soybean wine; the nose is distressingly "vegetal.")

Friday night after the Polk County democrat shindig I managed to harvest a glass of something red made from grapes I'd never heard of. The bottle was from the Jasper winery of Newton, Iowa. It carried the perhaps overly Hee-Hawish name of Behind the Shed Red. From the website:

"Named after the storage shed which previously neighbored the winery, this wine remains the favorite for those who like their wine dry and red. A blend of three Midwestern grape varieties (Chancellor, St. Croix, and Geneva Red), this wine is deep red in color, with bright fruit aromas of blackberry and plum, and is full-bodied with a smooth finish."

I would describe it as decadent, jiggly and pleasingly obscene, and it sure went down easy after a marathon session with the politicians at the state fairgronds.

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 22, 2007; 8:24 AM ET
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Next: Still More Dry Rain: Another Befuddled Autumn


Gee, Am I first? I guess the Repubs have forgotten to some extent Reagan's dictum-say nothing bad about another Republican. They seem to have some advantage in being able to hammer Hilleray since she's so far ahead, but it's getting tough out there.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 22, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

That's a very insightful analysis of the rise of fundamentalism and the violence that it has spawned. It certainly goes beyond the knee-jerk response of the left that extremism is because of poverty, or the equally knee-jerk response of the right that extremism is because of a hatred of freedom.

The mainstream explanation for fundamentalism is that is is a religious response to the perceived sacrilege of Christianity and Judaism combined with a political objection to western troops in traditionally Islamic lands.

But I think Senator Clinton makes some good points. To the average Muslim the instabilities of cultural change mixed with the perceived decadence of western culture is probably a much more salient cause.

The question, though, is what can we do about it? Starting a massive campaign to clean up cultural smut so that we don't offend the Islamic world is probably not terribly feasible. Not to mention in direct violation of the fundamental tenets of democracy.

And I certainly don't see what we in the West can do about modernism. Nor do I think we really want to.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 22, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Gnukit. Hmm. A TV station in Billings once had Gnus at 6:30 and 11.

Sen. Clinton, as transcribed, sounds like Tipper Gore. I see that Novak is big on Giuliani today. For some reason, I've been seeing him as such an atypical Republican that I haven't paid much attention to him. This subscriber-only story in New Scientist leads me to think Sen. Clinton is unbeatable:

"Social networking may determine political success"
14 October 2007
by Mark Buchanan
Magazine issue 2625

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 22, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

There is an old joke that goes- "Heaven is where the Police are British, the Chefs are French, the Mechanics are German, the Lovers Italian and it's all organised by the Swiss.
Hell is where the Chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, the Police are German and it's all organised by the Italians."
I would paraphrase that to say that Republican candidate from heaven would have the looks of Mitt Romney, the experience of John McCain, the sincerity of Mike Huckabee, the integrity of Ron Paul, the social values of Rudy Giuliani, and the voice of Fred Thompson. The Republican candidate from hell would have the looks of Fred Thompson, the experience of Mitt Romney, the sincerity of Rudy Giuliani, the integrity of John McCain, the social values of Mike Huckabee, and the voice of Fran Drescher.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 22, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

A gentle kit nudge considering our recent grammar discussion:

//And I think they're a couple of answers//


Posted by: dbG | October 22, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The Monday Morning QB column from Sports Illustrated's Peter King brought up something I should have mentioned earlier...

Could Fox maybe ask for a 15-second ad to close a set, instead of coming back to the game JUST as the pitcher's dealing to the plate??

And McCarver still needs to retire.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Iowa wine???? You've been out at the WaPo's expense ostensibly covering politics while you've REALLY been out quaffing merlot from Chateau Moline? Tipling a nice little riesling from Bettendorf? Sampling a nice glass of Silver Queen chardonnay with notes of ethanol and grits? How the hell can they grow grapes on sun-kissed slopes when there are no slopes in Iowa? The place is a pool table. What do you pair with a fried Snickers at the state fair? Pinot Husk?

I always get a major laugh out of the complaint about "the perceived decadence of western culture" when I see a TV show like the segment on 60 Minutes about Dubai and what they are building there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm laughing at this quote from Huckabee in the alleged GOP debate: "If she's [Hillary, of course] president, taxes go up, health care becomes the domain of the government [instead of the domain of Big Pharm and Big Insurance], spending goes out of control [like it's not out of control now due to Iraq], our military loses its morale [which at the moment is tipppy-top], and I'm not sure we'll have the courage and the will and the resolve to fight the greatest threat this country's ever faced [except Hitler, Stalin and Tojo]in Islamofascism," he said."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Hannah Montana IS more poular than Jesus.

There, I said it...

Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Joel asks an important question: "I think we need to ask ourselves, why is fundamentalism rising?" but this question deserves are far more in-depth answer. I don't have it, but I have a few ideas. Full disclosure: I'm a retired career female government executive. Never been a political appointee. My son is a USMC corporal on his second tour in the "sandbox" (Fallujah).

Here are a few more ideas we ought to be discussing:

1. Fundamentalism appeals to those least able to cope with change. Notice that those most "fundamental" in terms of Islam, including Osama, are virulently afraid of the United States. But, they aren't too fond of a lot of the world, either.

2. Fundamentalism appeals to those with minimal exposure to or ability to deal with change.

3. Fundamentalism appeals to those who find thinking for themselves physically painful, and want someone else to do the heavy lifting for them.

4. Fundamentalism appeals to those men, who finding it impossible to compete with women in the modern world, are determined to turn back the clock. Notice that most are against not only abortion and divorce (slap, slap, take it woman, and have diner ready on time) but also birth control, equal rights (not just for women, but for anyone who doesn't look like them) and are violently opposed to homosexuality, in part because it threatens, somehow, their image of what being a man is.

The important point here is that, although they don't want to admit it, there is very little difference, from where I stand, between Muslim fundamentalists and the so-called Christian fundamentalists, except that the "Christian" fundamentalists, being isolated in an essentially modern landscape, have had to pull a protective veneer between what the "claim" they want, and what they actually seem to want, which is to turn back the clock 300 years.

A pox on all of them, please.

Posted by: Va_Lady2007 | October 22, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Just how poular is Hannah Montana? Is she bi-poular?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 22, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Now, now, K-guy, don't make omni's typo the Butte of your Montana joke or you'll be going to Helena handbasket.

(Boise will be boise.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Man, it looks like there are wineries everywhere.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 22, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

(Yes, I know it's in Idaho.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

re: fundamentalism. What's that Jesuit saying about education? I think that's a big part.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 22, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

re: fundamentalism. What's that Jesuit saying about education? I think that's a big part.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 22, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, you think Idaho, but really Udaho!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

yeah, what Mudge says.

And apparently we just missed the third anniversary Iowa Wine Festival in Indianola.

Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Who you callin' a ho?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse


....."NOW RUN OUT AND VOTE REPUBLICAN AGAIN, $10 TRILLION Dollar Deficit, and counting Vetoing Health Care of kids of the working poor. Republicans give $10 Billion to Oil companies who are already raking in record Profits. out and Voter republican again!

Posted by: Tommy Birchfield | October 22, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't know wine from that place, Mudge. No need for me to have my own Private Idaho.


Posted by: bc | October 22, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I wionder if there's a town called Duncan Idaho.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I may need to open the bunker. I'm looking for the frontpage teaser but can't find it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Back to Dumbledore, the shocking, although in hindsight not unreasonable, revelation has made me question the orientation of other popular characters, including a few near and dear to the hearts of boodlers.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

BTW, is this not one of the weirder WaPo heds: "A Mighty Appetite: It's Time for Tea."

Don't know about you, but nuthin' slakes my mighty man-hunger after a hard day splitting firewood than a nice cup iof Earl Grey. Comfort food in a demitasse.

["Man-hunger" in this context not to be confused with...uh...whatever you were about to confuse it with."]

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

On topic:
The Hillary values oriented trashing of the media has never kept her from taking David Geffen's money. The good cop/bad cop b1tch-slapping of Hollywood by the Clintons is one of their most cherished tactics in having things both ways.

And to make pop culture a whipping boy for society's problems and an excuse for fundamentalism of any denomination is beyond the pale.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse


I guess anything goes when you're living in your own Private Idaho...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Chewbacca is gay? Yello, I never realized... He seemed, butch.

C3PO, sure. Starbuck, absolutely. But...Chewy?

I'm devastated.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I like your thinking, Va_Lady2007. While I was reading your first four points while thinking of my son's comments after visiting his girlfriend's Southern Baptist church this weekend.

He said it was scary. "I'm so afraid of it" were his words, because he was looking at it just like you pointed out in your penultimate paragraph.

(And thanks for giving me the chance to use the word "penultimate.")

Posted by: TBG | October 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I had high tea last year at the Park Lane Hotel in London. It's a meal. A big one.

Posted by: LostInThought | October 22, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I had to Goodle "Private Idaho" to see what you were talking about. I'm so out of it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Jesuit saying: "Give me a boy till he's 13, and I have him for life."

Go Sox!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 22, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

You amaze me, Mudge. You didn't pick up Chewbacca on your gaydar? After all, he is a "Wookie". Look, if a guy came to your house wearing only a bathmat and a bandolier and said his name was Chewy, what would you think? "Hmmmm, must be a Village People concert in town tonight."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 22, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

But do they sell Rock Lobster in Private, Idaho?

And think about. What reason did a strong, articulate guy like Chewie have to hang around a broke loser like Han if it weren't a long simmering unrequited crush. Just listen to the scream when he sees Han frozen in the carbonite. It will melt your heart.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to have to take a walk around the building to keep from laughing out loud in front of my coworkers.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Hopefully that search turned up the B-52s song I was trying to reference, although I believe there's also a movie...

k-guy, didja ever notice Chewy's bandolier was full of conditioner and other hair products?


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Not only is Hannah Montana bigger than Jesus, she's bigger than THE Boss.

$1595 vs $1350

Glad I don't have a tween girl with an upcoming birthday.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe Chewie and Han were into something else involving a bandolier.

Posted by: jack | October 22, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

We tried to get tickets to Hannah Montana, yello. Sold out in about 10 minutes. Never got through.

And she's a fictional character! Just like Dumbledore. Not that I'm implying anything... and not that there's anything wrong with it.

Posted by: TBG | October 22, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hannah Montana is not pretend! She's not! She's not! She's just as real as, like, um, like Kim Possible.

So there.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 22, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Kim Possible gets 41.9 mill on google
Hannah only 3.88

So really, she's only 1/10 as real.


Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Hannah/Miley is definitely 100% straight but Lilly is just a little, uh, tomboyish.

I know way more about Disney Channel shows than a man my age should.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

k-guy, didja ever notice Chewy's bandolier was full of conditioner and other hair products? Nah, it's econo sized containers of Listerine and Nair and compromising videos of Princess Leia and Jobba the Hut "Help me Obi Wan, you're my only hope!"

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 22, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | October 22, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Kim Possible" in quotes googlenope style is 2.08 mil vs 5.53 mil for "Hannah Montana".
Hannah RAWKS!

Actually not. That show is nearly unwatchable compared to the fairly clever (and much hotter) Kim.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Yelo, you are so wrong about Scotty. So wrong. The proof is out there.

Posted by: dr | October 22, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, friends. Just getting here. I can't for the life of me hit this computer in the morning. I've been to the g-girl's school and watched the kids eating lunch. You haven't lived until you see a bunch of four-year olds eating pizza and corn on the cobb, with a salad and fruit. Messy, is not a word that does this action justice.

As for Mrs. Clinton's take on the hatred and violence in America, can the folks asking these questions really talk? I mean haven't they raised killing to a fine art? And yes, it is bad the stuff we see on television and in the movies, but hey, we have to have our stock portifolio and we want to and have to make money. Somebody will tell kid down the road it was just make believe, after he has killed somone. My dad said two names were prominent in the debate, Ronald Reagan and Hillary Clinton. Brave bunch, a dead man and a woman.

I rode through the neighborhood that I used to live in, and it is just really sad. The county sent someone in with machinery to cut back the growth of bushes and everything else. This stuff was so close to the road, one could reach out the car window and push it back. My neighborhood looks like a picture out of a wilderness. Imagine a child living in a community such as this. He or she probably thinks everything in the world looks this way. It has to be frightening to come out of there, and see the world in a different light. It just hurts to see it, and then I feel defeated. This is America. This the land that I love. This is home. And this is the thing that will one day break the camel's back.

Got to go. I do hope your weekend was great.

If the Christian right is having a hard time trying to find a candidate to back in the Republican party, they're probably going to have to practice what they preach. Forgive and move on.

God loves us so much more than we can imgaine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 22, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

dr, there's proof of me somewhere?? Thank goodness!!! *L*

Hi Cassandra!! *extra Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse


Re. Private Idaho: I would direct you to my 10:59 AM comment.

Chewie and Han, crusin' to the Love Shack?

Who knew the Milennium Falcon was a Chrysler?


Posted by: bc | October 22, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Kim Possible always seems like she's tired.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 22, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Iowa wine. Iowa corn. Iowa wine = moonshine. Joel must've had a big time. I only hope he was able to chase it with some Sun Drop.

Posted by: jack | October 22, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, how are you doing? Thanks for the wave. I feel disconnected or something, I don't know what it is.

Slyness, Mudge, where is Martooni, and all, top of the day to you. *waving*

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 22, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Anonymous: that mapquest references Duncan Iowa, Not Duncan, Idaho.

I'm a little worried here. Some of you guys are FAR, FAR too familiar with Hanna Montana and Kim Possible (both of whom I hadda Google to figure out what you're talking about), and while you're watching them I'm watching Michelle Borth and Sonya Walger (whose rabbit seems to have finally died, BTW).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It's a side effect of having a 13 year old daughter in the house.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 22, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Does Duncan Idaho have a middle name? And if yes, is it Price??

I don't know where I heard of Kim Possible first, but Hannah Montana airs on ABC every Saturday morning 8AM.

Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse


Price should be Place

Dang it.



anonomously posting.

It just isn't my day...

Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, if it makes you feel any better, I have no idea who either Michelle Borth or Sonya Walger are.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 22, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't get HBO, so I'm stuck with the basic cable stuff. Not that I wouldn't mind some bootleg tapes of Jane Alexander getting freaky. Hint, hint...

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The fire situation in San Diego County, California is looking "much worse" than the super-bad Cedar fire of four years ago. I think insurance companies were already cancelling homeowner policies in the state due to fire risks, so rebuilding may not be as routine as in the past.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 22, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

btw, "bootleg tapes of Jane Alexander getting freaky" is no longer a Googlenope.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Kinda my point, Padouk. They are two of the actresses in HBO's steamy (to say the least) "Tell Me You Love Me" series. They (and Jane Alexander, as yello notes) have "done the deed" on the show a couple times. Very hot. Don't watch it when the kids are in the room.

Dave, 60 Minutes had a major piece on the mega-fires, which are both significantly larger and significantly more numerous than ever before. Pretty scary. We have friends in the town of Ramona, which the news said was evacuated this morning.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Southern California. It's not like they don't know these dry winds will whip wildfires way out of control. The San Diego Fire Department is terribly underfunded and understaffed, give the risks their firefighters protect. Don't ask me how I know that.

Scary is the apt term for Southern Baptists, TBG. If SonofG is interested in Baptists that aren't scary, the church across the street from the college is a good one, as is the one I attend. Tell him to let me know if he's interested.

Posted by: Slyness | October 22, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

er,um 9/9

Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, if I remember correctly, San Diego County residents have repeatedly voted down proposals to fund something resembling an adequately-staffed fire department. Several firefighters are already in critical condition due to burns. I get the impression that today's situation is unprecedented.

My intro to fire ecology was via a freshly minted assistant professor who had done pioneering work on the fire cycle in California chaparral. Much more is known now about the stupidity of building in vegetation that inevitably burns violently.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 22, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

8/9 on the quiz.

Don't get me started about Wayne Huizenga. What he did to baseball in Tampa is criminal. Actually, most of the things he ever did are probably criminal. Not than I can prove anything. Or want to confront him over it.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. I think Hillary's point was a good one, and I am as struck as many others by how well that description fits fundamentalism of all kinds. There are lots of people here who are alarmed by and uncomfortable with "modern" trends caused by more independence for women and children. There are certainly many people who deplore much of what passes for entertainment. She's quite right: much of what is said or done on TV would get a guest scolded if not thrown out of the house. It seems to me that fundamentalists (Western as well as Islamic) may confuse these separate things. It is possible to have legal and social independence, and even equality, among men, women and children, without approving or condoning the excesses of Western culture.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 22, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Today's Discussion on melting ice got into right-wing climate-change denial. I suspect it may come from several sources:
1. A fair number of right-wingers are creationists and think a great deal of "science" is fake. (My standard response is that you'd expect there to be some major oil-exploration outfits relying on creationist geology).

2. The Endangered Species Act and other government environmental intitiatives have caused a great deal of backlash (and propaganda campaigns) aimed at "junk science".

3. Right wingers generally think universities are stuffed with liberal faculty whose "research" is highly partisan. In this view, righteous conservative research is needed.

4. Economists tend to think scientists are dumb, especially when it comes to policy recommendations. I think this has something to do with the surprising credibility of Bjorn Lomborg.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 22, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

On one of the questions I was about to answer what I would do, and stopped my self and answered what I thought was done. Then I went back and changed another one from what I would have done to what I thought was done. I almost scored 7/9

Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Some of the excesses in western culture involve Sonya Walger (or her body double) on HBO. I, for one, am not complaining. We need to protect kids from material that is not age appropriate, but to return to the days of reading "Tropic of Cancer" in plain brown wrappers is not the way we should be going. I refuse to have my choices in entertainment dictated by the easiest offended denominator.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse


The troublesome aspect of the fundamentalism question is what to do about it--domestically as well as abroad.

And I still don't understand how a bunch of rebels can cross the border into Turkey, kill 17 soldiers and capture and take away 8 more. Don't the Turks have bullets in their guns? And apparently the rebels lost 34 of their own. This is all crazy. I don't blame Turkey for being ticked off.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Bjørn Lomborg's degrees and position are in political science which is to science what American cheese is to cheese.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It's meetings through Tuesday and the off to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Official stuff Thursday, then I am sneaking off to the ancestral homeland to see my blood relatives for a few days. I have been promised cookies. And red wine. But definitely the cookies.

Visiting my home town is always a challenge. Getting proper air clearance for three synchronized black helicopters is more complicated than one might think.

(Look, being delusional is one of the few pleasures in life I am legally allowed.)

Anyway, have a good week folks.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 22, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Those fires in S.Cal. make my blood run cold. I remember vividly living there during a drought in the early '90s, and being ready to pack up the photo albums and computers at a moment's notice, just in case. I hope L.A.Lurker is okay, and that her dissertation is securely backed up and portable.

Boy, I missed a couple of Boodle days and lost the chance to extol the pleasures of cheese; at least I was educated about the mysteries of restrictive and non-restrictive clauses (among my favorites!).

I should make clear that neither Hannah Montana nor Kim Possible (I agree, much smarter) are within the Vast Degenerate Media Entertainment Conspiracy. They're good clean fun. I've never seen the show to which Mudge refers but it sounds as if the same cannot be said of it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 22, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Good, clean fun? No, it ain't that. Not even dirty fun, or much fun at all. However, it IS well done and serious, and the sex parts are classy; it isn't p0rn. The relationship issues among the three couples are real and serious. It is adult stuff, though, no question about it. Such as: after you've been married for a few years and have kids, what happens to your se x life? And how do you fix it? Another couple (Walger and her husband) have fertility issues and have been trying for a year to get pregnant. Other people fidelity issues, both real and "just in your head." Lotta serious stuff there. The show really is about relationships, and the s ex is part of it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

9\9 on the quiz. Send me my Blood Sucking Vampire Maggot Capitalist Running Dog Captain of Industry Decoder Ring by return mail please. (I majored in history and minored in Know Your Enemy as an undergrad.)

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 22, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I got 8/9 on the quiz. I actually knew all the right answers but was seduced by the silly charm of one wrong one and marked the wrong circle just for fun. I too want one of kurosawaguy's Decoder Rings.

One of my undergrad philosophy professors talked a lot about understanding the Military Industrial Complex. Know Your Enemy indeed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 22, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

9/9 on the quiz.

Somehow, I don't think this qualifies me to be a CEO.

I'd heard those comments regarding values and the rise of fundmentalism from Hillary on NPR this morning, and it occurred to me that active/extreme fundamentalism is an easy way (from a political perspective) to mandate morality, as it reduces the need for personal responsibility. Fewer choices = fewer worries. When everybody does the Right Things according to the book (as they've seen what happens to those who *don't*), then peace will reign over the land.

Some might call it totalitarianism, which can be doubleplusgood if you're in the Right Group.

Me, I can be responsible for myself and my children, and *I'll* manage what they watch in my house, thank you very much.

Those SoCal fires are scary.

Speaking of scary, I see that some feel NASA should release data concerning a study of air travel incidents:

I will also be responsible for whether I read that all the way through or not. Might just put my tray table up, bring my seat to the upright and locked position, but my pillow between my knees, and wait for the air masks to drop by reading the inflight magazine instead.


Posted by: bc | October 22, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

i read that the actors have been asked if the sex is real it's that good.

I'm a BIG fan of extra sharp cheddar, but right now the only cheese in my fridge is Asiago d'allevo. It has a crumbly texture like Parmesan and a flavor that is reminiscent of sharp Cheddar and Parmesan.

Last night I had grilled Tilapia, boiled new potatoes and stir fried green beans. With grated Asiago over it all.

I want to go home right now and nibble some Asiago. In fact, I'm in the mood for some red wine, Asiago and pumpkin seeds.

Are you all getting hungry yet?

Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I got 8/9 on the quiz. I went with the hired goons for the Ford question.

Slyness.. SoG will be incredibly relieved to know that you are not part of the group he was mixing with on Sunday (he was pretty sure you weren't). He's not on a quest; he "got tricked into going to church" as he put it, to hear his girlfriend sing.

It turned into A Day With The Parents, which he survived.

Posted by: TBG | October 22, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

TBG the hired goons was the General Motors answer.

Posted by: omni | October 22, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse


Navigating the evangelical zeal of classmates at religiously affiliated southern schools is one of the hurdles of the region. A freshman will do about anything for a free brunch on Sunday morning. The best response, as with all intoxicating substances you are exposed to in college, is either "just say no" or know your limits.

My wife pretty much quit getting the bring-a-fellow-student invites when she converted to Catholicism.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Was it in Salt Lake City or a town nearby? I forget. But there was a prosecution of a local smut dealer, on "community standards" basis, and the defense lawyer had a brainstorm and unearthed the evidence that the town in question had a slightly GREATER porn consumption than U.S. average.

Now I'm not picking on Utah, just using it as an example I think pertinent to the discussion of values, etc., in more traditional cultures. I strongly suspect that the same dynamic will operate in traditionally Muslim cultures. I think more liberal cultures are able to actually come up with a more reasonable list of reasons NOT to look at porn than a less liberal culture. And that liberal parents have a greater degree of success imparting those viewpoints to their kids than other parents. All this is said keeping in mind the difference between liberal and libertine, of course.

It's a tough question, but in defense of my own culture, I'm pretty sure violent movies and porn, on the corners or back alleys of any given culture, is being vended by people who grew up there and are pretty much of that culture. In other words, I think some people have beams in their eyes who accuse me of motes.

That being said, Hillary had a good point.

Posted by: Jumper | October 22, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, bc. If you don't like what's on the telly, turn it off. If I want violence the Three Stooges, Tom and Jerry or some Foghorn Leghorn will do. If it's not appropriate for children, then it's probably not worth watching.

Posted by: jack | October 22, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

8/9 for me also. I missed Ted Turner, darn it.

In addition the the military industrial complex, we have the media complex, the big pharma/medical complex, the big oil complex, and others. How are we supposed to deal with them all?

A generation ago, my Urban Problems professor called the American Medical Association the most reactionary union in the nation. That's still true, I'm sure.

Posted by: Slyness | October 22, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Also 9/9 on the quiz, but I recognized the examples, so I'm not sure how valid the quiz iz. I still wanna ring, tho.

RDP, admit it -- you're just practicing for the 2012 Summer Olympics' new event, synchronized helicopters...


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

8/9 -Soundtrack sync vs plushy chairs.

How come no one suggests "more doctors" for health care improvement?

Posted by: Jumper | October 22, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse


I only have a "gut" feeling on that pilot survey article, but...

If you ask me to choose between years of verifiable, instrument-based data and the 30-minute recollections of a bunch of people, well-trained though they be, I tend to trust objective data.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"If it's not appropriate for children, then it's probably not worth watching."

So, jack, then you'd never watch the Sopranos? Bill Maher's show? Any Ingemar Bergman movies? The Godfather trilogy? Any Richard Pryor or George Carlin routines? Angels in America? Any Harold Pinter plays? Shakespeare in Love? Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet? or the Leo DiCaprio version of same, for that matter? Schindler's List? Saving Private Ryan? Rain Man? Good Will Hunting? Chinatown? Fargo? One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? See or read The Last Temptation of Christ? (Or Zorba the Greek)?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

TBG, the church across the street from campus and my church were both kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention years ago. Last year, the NC Baptist Convention passed a resolution that churches which accept gays can't belong, so we're outta there also. They were going to be inquisitorial about it, so we said buh-bye before they got to us.

I hope SonofG enjoyed the music and did okay with the 'rents. I also hope GFofSonofG will outgrow the upbringing. There are two major outcomes for intelligent young adults, generally speaking: one either grows into a more liberal faith, or one quits church altogether.

Posted by: Slyness | October 22, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, years in the criminal justice system have taught me that you can't trust eyewitnesses under stress. I'll take the objective data every time.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 22, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... I think she's headed for the former choice. He's already in the latter camp, but they've worked that out and respect each other's beliefs.

I've been telling folks about your church ever since you told us about the facility you built for families of hospital patients. The more I hear, the more I like. Sounds like what a church is supposed to be all about.

Posted by: TBG | October 22, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention Porkys, American Pie, Avenue Q, or Entourage.

Not helping? I'm on your side 'mudge, honest.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I gotta think that aviation close calls are under-reported. Much like police departments define crime down to make their stats look better.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

It makes one wonder exactly how those fine churgoing people are going to discern who's not gay? I can only think of one way, and it involves a public observation... The same of course applies to those who are. Or is it all okay because only deacons will be doing the checking?

How bizarre.

Posted by: Jumper | October 22, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse


This deacon isn't going to be observing anybody, anyway, anyhow.

Posted by: Slyness | October 22, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

ESL = English, second language.

Lots and lots of TLAs and some FLAs there. (three-letter acronyms, four-letter acronyms)

Posted by: Jumper | October 22, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Bumper stickers:
Ban TLAs!
Kill all extremists!
Exterminate the brutes!

Posted by: Jumper | October 22, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your support, there, yello.

*shakes head, mumbles, walks away murmuring, "I was doing so well there for a while..."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 22, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Forgot the other one:
Just say "NO" to negativism!

Posted by: Jumper | October 22, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

FLAs are also known as ETLAs - Extended Three Letter Acronyms.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 22, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm doing a bit of a drive-by.

I've been getting increasingly involved in the political side of things - watching, blogging, etc.

I've also been trying to get the writing thing going, with some moderate success.

Anyhow, I believe fundamentalism is rising due to an increased amount of uncertainty in the world. People tend to respond to unstable situations with a desire for rigidity and absolutes.

It's not just true of "Islamofascists", it's also true of the rightward turn of a majority of Americans.

Posted by: amo | October 22, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Uh, who said the data was objective, S'nuke and ivansmom? How was the data gathered?

Nobody has a camera on every square inch of the plane as it lands, so I can believe that near-collisons with birds may be underreported if the pilot took evasive action (or didn't have to do so).

If the data was collected by standard questionnaires, then the questions can be leading by how they're written, causing the respondents to omit data that may emerge in a differently worded survey later. "Well, nobody asked about THAT."

Yes, witnesses can be unreliable. But it's worth reviewing the monitoring procedures to see if some bonehead miswrote some stuff, and doing demographics and statistical analysis to see if there's a statistically significant divergence in the response to the newer surveys vs the old monitoring system.

My hunch is the monitoring systems also had a lot of human falliblity built in.

Instrumentation and other recording also are unlikely to record everything impacting the pilot's response.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a "conspiracy", although of course a pilot is going to gloss over things slightly in the wake of a solid landing to authorities.

But get the same pilots together and ask them what are their biggest gripes and what they feel endanger them most during landings, and voila, the stories come out about all the scary close calls they've had, idiotic air controllers... war stories.

Which is why reporters don't always depend on "objective data" to get the real stories.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

On language rage.

Posted by: Jumper | October 22, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, funny, isn't it?

I'm on a two day break in the action. In my matter, which involves a workplace accident, there are at least three witnesses that will swear under oath that as far as they recall, they were the first one on the scene. There are several more that arrived after. Interestingly, almost none of them have any recall about anyone else at the scene but themselves.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 22, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Went to see Cate Blanchett's Elizabethan costume drama at the movies Friday night. Let's see, the film showed Walsingham actively involved in the dungeon's torture chamber [saw "Rendition" last night--intrigued by the forward/backward time sequences in the film--looking forward to the November Redford and Streep and Cruise movie and Hank's "Charlie Wilson's War," opening in December], Elizabeth reluctantly decided to behead Mary Queen of Scots, and court favorite Sir Walter Raleigh impregnated Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting, not to mention the gruesome battle scenes that took place between the English fleet and the Spanish Armada.

And Hillary's worried about violence and morality in contemporary culture? *l*

Posted by: Loomis | October 22, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Oooh, Jumper. Timely.

Mudge, I didn't let you have the last word on your silly comma-which rule on the previous boodle.

You made it sound that we should always put a comma before "which" and that it always signifies a clause. That's not the cause, and is why I disagreed with you.

The comma rule has nothing to do with any special clause rule, and everything to do with the fact that "which" is not historically a conjunction, unlike "that", and thus never started a clause on its own.

"Which" is an pronoun and an adjective, and you do not put a comma before "which" in those cases just because it's "which".

You put a comma in when an historically used conjunction ("and" or "that") has been subsequently eliminated in written English for the sake of brevity.

"And" for instance, pops up a lot more in spoken English than it does in written English. Yet we have prescriptive rules about replacing "and" with commas for clarity in reading.

"We saw the dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, and cows."

I'm pretty sure most kids would be saying something more like, "we saw the dogs and cats and rabbits and horses and cows!"

Take a look at Shakespeare and other pre-20th century texts that which address the many uses of "which" in clauses, and you will see that ",which" is a much more recent development.

All those prescriptive "rules" editors develop derive from a failure to see the natural contractions of past grammatical forms and why they occur.

The overprescribing of commas before "which" in the matter you describe is such a rule THAT BY WHICH I will not abide.

A quote from a single editor's manual alone does not correct the whole history of English literature, AND that is a fact FOR WHICH you cannot castigate me.

I did some homework on this; I'm always happy to learn.

And I leave you with a quote from Ecceliastes 1:9-- "That which has been is that which will be."

NOT "That, which has been, is that, which will be."

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Joel asks an important question: "I think we need to ask ourselves, why is fundamentalism rising?" but this question deserves are far more in-depth answer. I don't have it, but I have a few ideas. Full disclosure: I'm a retired career female government executive. Never been a political appointee. My son is a USMC corporal on his second tour in the "sandbox" (Fallujah).

Here are a few more ideas we ought to be discussing:

1. Fundamentalism appeals to those least able to cope with change. Notice that those most "fundamental" in terms of Islam, including Osama, are virulently afraid of the United States. But, they aren't too fond of a lot of the world, either.

2. Fundamentalism appeals to those with minimal exposure to or ability to deal with change.

Posted by: | October 22, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

9/9, I'll get right to work on those decoder rings. I was thinking, something like these:

We can stamp the code on one side, alphanumerics on the other, just dial the stone on the inner, rolling, band, to decode. Dibs on the pink one.

Posted by: dbG | October 22, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I believe church families pretty much know who is gay, sometimes, not all the time. In our church, people just don't say anything. We know we have folks that are gay, but we do not insist on them outing themselves. They participate in programs in the church. I mean what else can one do? We certainly cannot judge people. And we are called to love our sisters and brothers in Christ. Can we read the heart? I do believe God is able to handle the situation, and I for one, don't mind that one bit.

It's complicated, and yet, according to Scripture, the behavior isn't what it should be, but still we have sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, endless relatives and friends that are gay. And the bottom line is we love them.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 22, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

And as long as we're hitting New Orleans, love MF's Beast of Ignorance bracelet:

Posted by: dbG | October 22, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

That would be:

Posted by: dbG | October 22, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Humans don't like a lot of change, especially if they don't have a very broad base of reference and tools to help them adapt to it.

In an predominantly oral culture, information has to be formulaic and make use of lots of mnemonic devices. Some people will think about what they have memorized, but by large, it is harder to analyze something you hold in memory alone. Repetition is a powerful tool for transmitting important information to be remembered.

What is remembered becomes important to us. They become part of our thought processes.

We often speak of "brainwashing" as something people are passively subjected to, while forgetting that people can actively choose to apply such techniques on themselves.

They can drive out uncomfortable thoughts with other information. This is probably the biggest appeal of fundamentalism; it usually prescribes a very limited view of good and evil, does not involve analytic thought, and plays to memory. It builds better habits.

But it cannot reform a man's character completely.

A man who was angry and addicted to vice can become virtuous and happier by being at peace, but his ill temper will come out at anything he does not like, as always.

Unfortunately the best way to defuse emotional issues is with rational thought and analysis, which such religious forms do not encourage.

So they do make some progress to being better people, but often become worse and more vicious to others that disagree with them because their habits are being threatened and they mistake that with their inner core.

There are many people who can become truly enlightened through the fundamentalist tradition, same in many other religious traditions. However they need to be allowed to think about the traditions and ask.

Unfortunately that can lead to vicious backlash from those who are still struggling with lesser levels of spirituality, because they're rocking the boat and threatening what people believe in.

Which is not the case at all; they're taking the next step.

In theory an enlightened man can still follow the same fundamentalist habits as before, but he will simply not care as intensely about sinners, having much more faith that they will find their way eventually, if God wills it.

Therefore, the dark side of fundamentalism can be found in any religion where people apply oral learning techniques to written text; memorizing them without deep analysis and context.

As for the gender issues, shrug.

Slavery was only officially abolished 150 years in America. That's not quite enough time for the sins of the fathers to wash away from the family legacy. I'm not surprised gender issues take longer.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, yes... "love the sinner, hate the sin".

I don't know how sinful it is to be made differently, yet it certainly leads to a lot of pain and suffering.

I know a lot of people who battle with chronic fatigue and pain, yet who are thought "lazy" because they don't do their share.

So much anger and simplistic psychology of others' actions all about.

They say we evolved to live in groups of 150 people, and here we are living in societies of thousands and millions, and connected with billions of people in many ways.
Maybe we will drive ourselves crazy if we do not develop the mental abilities to deal with this.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

That 5:26 with the URL instead of a handle sets my spambot meter a-twitchin'...

'Jes sayin.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 22, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, we should smite these who come bearing urls instead of honest handles :-p.

...Works for me, S'nuke.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I hope it was clear that the "Why is fundamentalism rising" graphs were the words of HRC, not of JLA.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 22, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I am not in a zappy mood, for some reason.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 22, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

HRC = Her Royal Candidateness
JLA = Jethro Loyal Achenbachanalia

(Pardon the punnin')

Posted by: College Parkian | October 22, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The english language has always been the most living of all languages. It kept its vitality by constantly taking in words and phrases from other languages, by invention, by the sheer force of the economic power behind the language. The more people became exposed to english, the more vital the language became.

Unitl people started to print books. So long as books were few and only for the educated wealthy classes, the rules of language and spelling didn't matter a great deal. Even the common alphabet was still changing in the 1700's. Linguistic clarity led to the general principles we call grammar today.

But that is all they are; principles we should follow, not that we must follow. Almost every 'rule' in the language has its exception.

This flagrant 'exception to the rule' rule is what keeps the language growing, vital. So sue me when my particples dangle, when my gerunds aren't gerunding, and when my tenses tense.

I think its all covered under my blanket SCC dispensation. I should probably go check the policy documents. I'm a lost cause anyway. I'll go to my rest knowing that I have once again done my part to keep the english language alive and well.

Posted by: dr | October 22, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of HRC... "If a stranger came in and said and did those things..."

Yeah, I'm sure everybody who told their kids the tale of Little Riding Hood would have let a wolf come in and try and eat them.

Stories often are about things nobody wants to experience personally, as warning stories, morality plays, as catharasis, to create experience, and as play in our most important skill-- theory of mind.

Comedy in particular often plays with what is "acceptable." I do get sometimes concerned that for many TV execs, shock value is now assumed to be comedy.

I'm sure HRC wouldn't win points for discussing what is in the bible and the Koran as "wholesome entertainment."

Let's see-- incest, genocide, mass famine, rapes, sodomy, persecution, slavery, polygamy, animal and child abuse, wars... the list goes on.

I think allowing stories to swamp reality without parental guidance and debate is the real issue here.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Sure I am busy at work during the important Kim Possible/Hanna Montana debate, a frequent topic in my household. Only to find to when I have free time everyone is back to important stuff like grammar - it's like so Unfair!! :-) Up here we also have 6teen which is apparently on par with Hanna. I like these shows for one important reason they promote peace between a six year old and and a 12 year old - some sort of mutual bonding period.

Posted by: dmd | October 22, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, SOC, ftb, PLS . . . would you require a retainer to "sue me [dr] when my particples dangle, when my gerunds aren't gerunding, and when my tenses tense?" :-)

Posted by: dbG | October 22, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Gotcha, boss, we're not pinning her words on you.

Cassandra, you are so right. We may know, but why should we say anything, and why should we judge? What was it Jesus said about throwing the first stone? ;-)

Interesting thought, Wilbrod, about groups of 150. Maybe that number is what we need to have enough variety in contact and yet have community to feel safe and connected. I wonder how many of us have that, now?

Posted by: Slyness | October 22, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, all the trailers for the new Elizabeth movie show it has a very different look to the cinematography than Blanchett's first Elizabeth. They seem to be using darker richer tones for things like clothing. Or is it just the tv I was watching the trailer on? Is it worth the bucks for the theatre, or should I wait for dvd.

You commented a while ago(at least I think you did)on Marie Antoinette from earlier this summer. It's in the cheap dvd section now, under 6 bucks. You were absolutely right about the music. It was the only really really bad thing in the whole movie. She should have used classcal peices arranged for rock bands. I've heard some and it can be breathaking. She should have had a little more faith in her audience.

Posted by: dr | October 22, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea why, but the first thing I thought of when dbg asked about retaining lawyerly types, was Calpurnias voice saying mournfully (painfully)

"Calpurnia: If I told him once, I'd told him a thousand times, "Julie, don't go-"

Flavius: Please, don't upset yourself.

Calpurnia: "Julie, don't go," I said. "It's the Ides of March. Beware already."

Flavius: Centurion, would you take Mrs. Caesar home, please?

Tiberius: Come along, ma'am. Come'along.

Calpurnia: (fading away) I told him, "Julie, don't go. don't-"

Flavius: (aside) I don't blame him for going. "

From the classic Wayne and Shuster skit, Rinse the Blood Off my Toga.

Posted by: dr | October 22, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

And just for fun I was looking when I came across this.

I wonder if Gene W and Johnny were related?

Posted by: dr | October 22, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Dr, I agree. I believe "which" is becoming a conjunctive similar to "that", and when so used shouldn't take a comma before "which". But for now that's the rule of American editors, who have gerunds to grind with bad writers.

I occasionally frequent a forum that has many teenagers on it, so I'm getting a very hazy introduction to music fads that I could care less about. Leet-speak is banned, but for certain reasons, nouns are portmanteaued into verbs.

Hence, "he facepalms" (bangs face into his palm) and "she headdesks" (hits head on the desk".

It is a rather amusing form of word coinage I can't remember seeing before.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Entirely off topic, but the boodle collectively knows everything, so here's a question: what happens to the medical bills from the lengthy illness of an uninsured person when they die? (at age 40, sigh.) Are they the responsibility of his longtime partner if they weren't legally married? Or other surviving family? If contribution toward those bills is the appropriate symbol of condolence, I'm sure I'll hear soon enough, and that's what I'll do. But I just realized that I don't know how the messed-up system works.

Posted by: bia | October 22, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Cue John P. Souza strains, 'fairgronds' [sic] is my favorite word in the kit.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 22, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Bia, something akin to this is afoot with a colleague. I believe I am repeating the lawyers among my circle correctly, who say that the estate of the dead person is responsible; no one else is, unless the decedent was legally wed (or civially unioned, if that applies).

His parents and siblings are not responsible for debt, but the first claim on the estate is held by his debtors.....

Posted by: College Parkian | October 22, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

bia, probably the deceased's estate. Others may be affected if the deceased had joint or partial ownership in property or "stuff" with the deceased.

CP, finished The Axe last night.

dbg, such a claim sounds like a difficult preposition.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 22, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CP, that's kinda what I thought. I can't imagine there's much of an estate to be claimed. For whatever there is, dividing what was his from what's hers could get complicated. I hope she doesn't have to deal with that right now.

Posted by: bia | October 22, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

And not all grammar sins may be included in the retainer clause.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

SofC -- did you like the book? I find it dark, yet strangly tender and realistic: Such suffering across the generations in that star-crossed family.

Do you have any comment on the themes for modern-day Scandinavian families?

Posted by: College Parkian | October 22, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I truly believe that meeting arab fundementalism with western fundlementalism will turn Iraq into a blackhole sucking most of the middle east into the "Final Chaotic Solution" while destroying the world's economy.

That scenario will complete global chaos cycle leading to worsening poverty allowing the fire to rage through Africa and finally to Europe. You know this is the third world war that Newt and his followers are praying for each night ?

On a more serious note, I think it would be wise that all former hippies and/or potheads (Vietnam Vets included) contribute to Clinton or Obama campaigns to get that Woodstock Project done. In fact Ben and Jerry could chime in with a "Woodstock" icecream flavor, if they don't already have one, benefitting "The Cause".

I suppose to be fair McCain's camp could sell silver spiked leather dog collars, a reference to torture, bondage or captivity, take your pick as definitions of torture vary country to country.

I really think McCain is a poster child for losers, reminding the populus of the agony of defeat which seems to never go away even through the "Fog of War". Is ashame, he is such a good man too.

Posted by: truthhurts | October 22, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

McCain helped sponsor the ADA, and took an interest in educational technology and telecommunications accessiblity thanks to his wife, a special education teacher.

It is an uphill battle to get people to care about removing barriers to disabled people's full participation in society.

I'm glad McCain and others listened back in the 80's and 90's. There are still people out in Congress who listen. Make your voice heard.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

'That' and 'which' confusion is annoying, to be sure, but what really frosts my fandannah is the use of 'impact' as a verb. That makes me want to scream!

Does anyone object to this sentence in Stephen Hunter's homage to Deborah Kerr --

"Supine on a sandy Hawaiian beach, she and another movie legend, the great Burt Lancaster, fused their god/goddess bods in a spasm of intimacy and friction (and, probably, cold wet sand) until a wave washed across them, drenching them in the spume."

Is that a nickname for an icky body part, or what?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 22, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

From AskOxford:

/spyoom/ literary

• noun froth or foam, especially that found on waves.

• verb froth or foam.

-- ORIGIN Latin spuma.

Posted by: Slyness | October 22, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

In other words, you're correct on the icky body parts only if you think about bodies of water.

It's okay if reading it had an icky impact on you.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

What a charming-looking winery Joel linked to. Gotta love the dog bit. And that wine sounds like one I might enjoy. That it goes with chocolate and a fine cigar suggests it has pretensions of being like a Bordeaux red - which is fine with me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 22, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I know what 'spume' means; I just thought that it was an awkward sentence.

Wilbrod, 'icky impact' may be available as a boodle name.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 22, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, I didn't! So you taught me something today. And yes, it's an awkward sentence. Not at all like my memory of that scene.

Posted by: Slyness | October 22, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse


"They humped like bunnies on the sunny beach before their passion was finally doused by the waves."

Cut and paste and then stick it inside a documentary about of sea lion biology.

Insert instead the caption over the Kerr-Lanchester scene:

"The giant male bellows as he awkwardly hoists himself on the smaller female..."

Then cut to a cut-out giant foot stomping all this literary effort to rubble.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

...Then whip a small, gnomish writer for making such egregious grammatical errors when describing above scene, load same writer in an cannon and fire.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

... and the bound writer lands through the side of a wooden sailing ship making a deep crater. A piratical Robert Redford with an eyepatch and dislocated jaw waves a hooked hand and "jaws" some orders.

The striped-shirt sailors go into a flurry and the Mudgalicous pirate is now kneelhauled dressed in a corset, while the hole in the ship is now patched with something extremely large and blue.

A large Deborah Kerr cut-out glides over and snatches the blue bikini bottom out of the ship, which then promptly sinks.

Cut to "The Lumberjack Song; Gladiator Edition".

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Or, as Cleopatra said to Anthony, "I am not prone to argue."

Posted by: Yoki | October 22, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

That wraps it up

Posted by: Anonymous | October 22, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse


I really can't tell you whether to go see "Elizabeth" in the theater or wait for the dvd. And I honestly can't remember what the cinematography was like in the first Elizabeth film with Blanchett versus this latter movie, so I can't say that this current Elizabeth is darker in terms of lighting or mood.

I do agree with one reviewer--and now I can't remember if it's our local guy, or one of the big-name reviewers, who said that he thought the film was overwrought in terms of set, score, and costume. Yes, at times I tended to agree with this opinion. At other moments, I thought the film was both a feast for the eye and ear and I was swept into the period. I think these stunning visual elements of set design and costume (and jewels) beg for a big screen.

What I liked is that Rush delivers a solid, credible Walsingham as he did in the previous movie. Cate steals the show, as she did last time. Clive Owen is an extremely handsome and charming Sir Walter Raleigh--an arresting Raleigh, if you will.

I don't like it when historical dramas muck with history. The flirtation and kiss between Elizabeth and Raleigh is fictional, from what I've read, although Raleigh's romance with Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting- is accurate. I needed to Google Raleigh immediately after the movie, even though it was quite late, to refresh my memory about Raleigh--who comes to a sad end when James I (James VI) takes the throne.

I had read the review to realize that Jordi Molla plays Phillip II. But a week had passed after reading a critique of Elizabeth because we had chosen to see "Michael Clayton" the night it opened instead of Elizabeth. Phillip II is quite handsome and speaks his lines, of course, in Spanish. It wasn't until the credits rolled at the end that I realized, with a small degree of shock, that Phillip II was played by Molla.

Let me say that I wouldn't have recognized the Jordi I know if I hadn't read the credits. I stood next to Molla for a few minutes at the premiere of the Alamo movie because Molla played Juan Seguin, a scruffy Juan Seguin. Molla was in character, scruffy, the night of the Alamo premiere. My friend Tony Seguin was so taken with Molla the night of the premiere because Molla was playing Tony's great-grandfather in the Alamo movie that Tony and I probably spent more time with Molla than any other A-list actor that evening, save character actor and great guy Leon Rippy.

After Elizabeth, I realized that here was one actor, Molla, who, in the space of three years, played my friend's antecedent--Juan Seguin, and who would go on to play my family's descendant, Phillip II--a descendant after Spain's royal house married into Britain's royal house. Strange, no?

I'm going to break off to see Nightline, which will have coverage of the California fires, Charlie Gibson said. I have no doubts that my nephew and my niece's husband are probably on the fire lines as firemen in San Diego County.

Posted by: Loomis | October 22, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Jumper in his 3:07pm said : I strongly suspect that the same dynamic will operate in traditionally Muslim cultures.

This is certainly true in 2 of our states where 90% of the pop are relatively strict muslims. It was info supplied by google.

Posted by: rainforest | October 22, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

This is for bc. What happened to Lewis Hamilton's car? Can the gearbox just happen like that by itself? Such a pity!

Posted by: rainforest | October 22, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"Why does your country tolerate the type of filth that goes into the homes of America?"

Good grief. I like my filth, and I hate moral busybodies. Is filth bad for me? Maybe, but I like it and that's a risk I'm willing to take. You can have my filth when you pry it from my cold dead fingers!

Posted by: Tim_G | October 22, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Is that a dare, Tim_G?

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 22, 2007 11:38 PM | Report abuse

The "excess of western culture" may be "filth" to some, but it has historic precedent from antiquity. Denial is mostly sanctimonious fundamentalism.

Posted by: S | October 22, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod: no, it's empty posturing.
S: Denial of what?

Posted by: Tim_G | October 22, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Denial of the commons right to filth, and its history.

Posted by: S | October 22, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

An addendum to my 3.09: "...if it's not appropriate for children, then it's probably not worth watching." At least not while they're up and within eye shot of the telly. I don't ordinarily make the time to watch the Sopranos, Bill Maher, Ingemar Bergman movies, House, Desparate Housewives or other stuff that's in prime time. Homework, polling the children on their day, and chores are blocked out duering that time. When my wife and I have our time, it's usually spent watching older sitcoms or something on AMC. We've chosen to expose the children to adult content when we're there to explain the nuances of such language and behaviour to them. For example, our girls are aged 141/2 and 12 and Blazing Saddles was on CMT the other night. It isn't the best example of the use of our iteration of the King's English, nor are the vignettes somethng you'd see during children's hours on PBS. I thought they had enough life experience to see the parody, so I watched it with them. I don't particularly care for depictions of violence, so when I watch the Godfather, Saving Pvt. Ryan or something along those lines, it's usually by myself having seen it at least once. My wife doesn't particularly care for those kind of movies and will usually find something else to do. I should have said that the dearth of sex, violence and less desrable use of language is a supply and demand thing. People watch it for whatever reason, there is profit in it, so it hits the airwaves. I guess it is an outlet of sorts that rids people of built up frusration. They want to be that person on TV or in the movies. My kids see and hear enough of the world on a daily basis that they don't need to see it acted out through the visual media without an adult to help them through it, when it's appropriate. I've seen most of the stuff you mentioned, 'Mudge and yello, and thoroughly enjoy it. Even the stage plays, since my brother is an actor and has been involved in his share of controversial plays. I'm gonna shut my trap now.

Posted by: jack | October 23, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

There's some lovely filth over here.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

i am in a very residential area, far from any area that would be at risk of a brush fire.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 23, 2007 1:35 AM | Report abuse

My, my.

Just checking in. Had to work today instead of taking it off like I was scheduled to, but hoping to take Thursday off instead. The work problem is mostly under control, but there are others just waiting. But I'm not oncall now - yay! I will sleep well tonight.

Be-yoo-ti-ful day here - blue sky, fairly warm. Not that I got to see much of it. While I was waiting at a traffic light this morning, there was a sort of rainbow. I was looking east - the sun was behind some thin cirrus clouds, producing a compact rainbow effect. The clouds were moving, so the colors stretched and morphed - sort of like a shell with mother-of-pearl. Very nice. (Hi, Pat.)

I still have a gourd vine that has a few small gourds on it. One has a lovely curved, long neck - it's a swan-shaped gourd, or would be if this was July instead of October. But it was a nice surprise to see today - and made me think of sevenswans, and nelson. Hope they're doing ok.

RD, hope you have a great time here. It's more wintry than fall - leaves have turned early, then blew away in the windstorm last week. My Asian pear's leaves are turning already - usually that doesn't happen till November, IIRC. If I kept a garden journal, I'd know for sure. Sigh.

Take care, everyone, especially the S Californians. I have a niece in San Diego. I was in Ramona years ago - almost moved there. But I found constant dry, sunny weather sort of wearing - was so glad to see the green Virginia hills when I flew back home. And moved to Seattle a few years after that, with its constant wet, cool weather. Which can become wearing!

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 23, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

*counting-down-to-Game-1 Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 23, 2007 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Starting early, aren't you, Snuke?

For me, it's countdown to Mr. T's fire station conference, which is Thursday to Saturday. I will be sooo glad when it's over! A friend and I will do a presentation Friday morning on how to determine the best location for a fire station, that being our area of expertise.

Today is the day for final tasks, like organizing the nametags I made yesterday and getting the financial information in order (I'm the treasurer). Tomorrow we go to the hotel and the fun begins! I hope it goes well.

Posted by: Slyness | October 23, 2007 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Slyness, I'm not much earlier than usual, although it seems I shoulda stood in bed...

*banging my head against the wall*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 23, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Just met that little bus for the little people. They're so energetic(?) at this hour of the morning. Jumping around and moving, I just wanted to go back to bed.

Morning, Scotty, Mudge, Slyness, and all.*waving*

The lead story in our local paper this morning is a unit of the National Guard is on the alert. I did not have the heart to read the whole story. I read enough to make my heart sink.

Are we seriously getting ready to engage in another war? Are we upping the antics of the ones we're alreay in? I'm not liking any of this because I believe we are being pulled in to monopolize our man power in order to stretch us thin. We have too many enemies to get thin. I hope someone knows what they're doing. I don't have the slightest idea of what I'm talking about, but my guts is flipping this morning, and that is never a good sign. It could be the roll I had for breakfast.

JA, expound on the "zappy mood" thing? I may suffer from that also.

I hope the folks in California are okay. On one end we have fire,on the other no water, and the potential for fire. It is mostly surely a time for prayer.

I do hope your day is good, and I really mean that, although mine is starting out really low. It's cloudy here this morning, so maybe some rain is in the picture for us.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 23, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Raleigh did get a nice tomb in the parish church adjacent to Westminster Abbey. For me, it was a big surprise to wander into the church and spot it, what with having spent a lot of time in Raleigh, NC as a student.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 23, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Cassandra! We're waiting for rain too, although it might be less than we'd hoped for.

The "Zapper" is what Joel uses to remove offensive posts. I'd mentioned one post from the late afternoon looked a little hinky, and Joel said it was fine.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 23, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I seem to have zapped the Boodle.... :-(

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 23, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

No Weingarten chat today. I'm crushed.

Posted by: Yoki | October 23, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

*brushes the sawdust from his eyes*

Mornin' all...

No time to back-boodle, so I'll just deal with this one...

Fundamentalism: Going back to a time that was intentionally forgotten.

Dumbledore is gay: This didn't really catch me by surprise -- all the signs were there. What surprised me was Rowling's candid no-beating-around-the-bush confirmation. You go girl!

Republicans: We still have those?

Shakes, hugs and stuff all around. Still surviving here...

Peace :-)

Posted by: martooni | October 23, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

New Orleans is flooded again. SoCal could of used that rain for sure

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Well, this is good news...

Judge Set to Lose Job, Sources Say
Panel Reportedly Votes Against Reappointment

Roy L. Pearson Jr., whose $54 million lawsuit against a Northeast Washington dry-cleaning shop was rejected in court, is about to lose his job as an administrative law judge, sources said last night...

Posted by: TBG | October 23, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Today's Wictionary word is mudra

Between 6:02 AM and 6:02 PM is Mole Day


Hate true/false

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

SCC Wiktionary
(dance, art) Any of several formal symbolic hand postures used in classical dance of India and in Hindu and Buddhist iconography.
(Hinduism) Formal body positions and postures used in yoga and meditation.

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Morning All
I beleive Cassandra has invented a new phrase. "Upping the antics".
A good description of this administration and my teenage years.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 23, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

rainforest, F1 cars use computer-controlled semi-automatic gearboxes, where electronically controlled hydraulics manage the actuation of the clutch and gearshifting mechanisms when the driver uses the clutch and gearshift controls (usually buttons or paddles).

Unfortunately, Hamilton had transmission and shifting problems early in the race, and had to reboot his trans control system and manually adjust the clutch engagement on track (Note: You should see the steering wheel those cars have, with over 100 displays and functions selectable by the driver. You won't complain about BMW's iDrive after you try to drive an F1 car...), which is why he fell so far behind so quickly. He had power to the wheels for the better part of a minute, and all was lost for him.

My manly crush upon Mr. Hamilton remains firm.

Scotty, I feel for you today, my friend.


Posted by: bc | October 23, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Please replace "He had power to the wheels for the better part of a minute, and all was lost for him," with
"He lost several things in that minute: engine power to the wheels, the race, and the World Championship."

If there's a Republican winery in Iowa, I suspect that they're using sweet grapes for their Huckabee vintage, and sour ones for their McCain.


Posted by: bc | October 23, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I have been glued to the television set this morning. The Southern California wild fires look like raging infernos. More than a quarter million people have been evacuated from their homes since the weekend--this level of evacuation not seen nationally since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

I wonder how many hours my nephew and nice's husband have been awake and on the fire lines? How exhausted are they? Firefighters are coming in from other areas and from out of state; Bush has declared those Southern California counties that are impacted as federal disaster areas. Wonder if the Camp Pendleton Marines will be brought in to assist?

I see that many San Diego residents are now being housed at Qualcomm Field, the home turf of the San Diego Chargers. My brother-in-law works for Qualcomm. There is a big fire at Poway, this location where my husband stayed for two successive years in a row, when he went to California for software training. There is a fire raging at Ramona, made famous in a play by writer Helen Hunt Jackson, who was married to Loomis descendant Edward Bissell Hunt. The family and the the San Diego fire map and its fallout seem so inextricably linked.

Off to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. I will say that when we were in San Diego just two weeks ago and picking up our rental car from Enterprise, off the Washington street exit, I noticed how dry conditions were. We had exited the rental lot and were paralleling the freeway, about to take a left and go under the freeway so that we could take another left turn and head north on I-5. I looked up to my left at the first stoplight to see the vegetation. The area was planted with typical iceplant to stablize the soil. What was weird was the iceplant was not green, but gray. When the iceplant is gray--a rather rare sight, you know you have extreme drought worries. Let's hope those Santa Anas subside (also called the devil's winds) and those fires begin to come under control.

Posted by: Loomis | October 23, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"Upping the antics" made me laugh, Cassandra. Have you ever played poker and "upped the ante?"

Posted by: Loomis | October 23, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

8/10 on the quiz. Missed Disney and Crapper, darn it.

TBG, the wheels of justice grind slow but exceedingly fine. And nobody escapes the fact that what goes around, comes around. Thanks heavens.

Posted by: Slyness | October 23, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I looked at those articles, and I will not refer to the 'Musicians for Safe Energy' by name again.

As tempting as using the term 'Mf ers' is, I think I'll stick to "Dinosaurs of Rock for Safe Energy and Publicity."

Maybe DoRfs or Dinosaurs of Rock for short.

Posted by: bc | October 23, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Conservative stalwarts Dicky and Ritchie Scaife are breaking up. It's so sad to see a nice neo-facsist couple fall out.
Unfortunately there was no pre-nup so the divorce will be messy and very revealing.

Posted by: Boko999 | October 23, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the movie info Loomis. I think I thought of it because along with superb documentaries, I have been enmeshed in movies. Lonestar has been playing all kinds of things, as has Bravo, and somewhere along the line, Elizabeth was playing. Alongside the 'Marie Antoinette' and the fascinating costume disscussions on the dvd extras, the colour of the new Elizabeth just caught my eye. I may have to sneak out to a movie some Monday night (mr dr is curling! Yes its that time of year)

New reports out of SoCal are sure not encouraging. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the weather changes, though it doesn't look good for the short term, and keep all of those who are dealing with fire and fire damage in my prayers. Stay safe people.

Joel, it sounds like very good wine, but if you look at all their products, they do have a vino they call Front Porch. Behind the Red Shed is a good second choice but...

Posted by: dr | October 23, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

5/10 on the quiz... *scrambling for more coffee*


bc, those folks qualify for far too many appropriate acronyms to list here...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 23, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone! I'm back from our little getaway and Mudge is my hero again. The winery he recommended, Stone Mountain winery was wonderful. The wines were very good, although the Bacon Hollow Revenuers he likes was too sweet for me. It really is on top of a mountatin and the last stretch of the gravel road was definitely dicey. My husband asked as we were negotiating a particularly scary hairpin turn, "Now, who recommended this winery?" But the view and wine was worth the trip. Very friendly wine taste dispenser lady (what do you call them?) We also went to Barboursville winery, a much bigger operation but also in a lovely spot and very nice wines. A great trip. I know we need the rain, but I'm so lucky that this weather held out.

Boko - hubby and I took turns reading that very article on the way home. We laughed all the way through it. Best of all is the utter, rank hypocrisy of the man. He gives all this money to these "traditional values" groups (don't get me started on them!) and is an amoral swine himself. No, no, the best part was the wife attacking the housekeeper as she walked the dog. You can't make this stuff up!

bc - no, don't use the "m" word...I love the Dinos of Rock for Safe Energy and Publicity. Very funny.

Loomis - these fires are very scary. When I was in LA last fall, I was also struck by how dry everything was...I'm glad LA lurker is safe.

On topic, please somebody tell me that Hillary Clinton doesn't have this thing all wrapped up. I cannot stand to read another article about it, so let me know if there's some conventional wisdom pointing in another direction so I can start reading about the campaign again. Or not.

Good night rainforest.

Posted by: Kim | October 23, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

8/10 on the quiz.

The Great Wall question is one I argue a lot. You can barely see the Great Wall from itself.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The original Jaime Sommers couldn't, but I bet the new Jaime Sommers could.

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

oh wait, the new Jaime is afraid to fly, so maybe not

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

6/10 on the quiz. However, I have reason to believe that 3 out of the 4 I got "wrong", I wuz robbed.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 23, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

*coming up briefly for air*

7/10 on the quiz. Don't know my sharks, hair, or Great Wall.

*re-submerging reluctantly*

Posted by: Raysmom | October 23, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Which ones are you disputing SciTim? On the internets you can find sites defending anything.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

At the risk of issuing spoilers -- Washington's dentures used bone or ivory for the teeth, but I believe the gum portion was carved wood into which the teeth were set. Many species of shark are able to maintain neutral buoyancy. And I forget the last one.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 23, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If one were inclined to conspiracy theories (which I definitely am not!), one might begin to wonder (which I definitely do not!) if the true underlying purpose of these encarta quizzes is to identify and monitor those who not believe in certain facts, such as the fact that Saddam was linked to Al Qaeda, the fact that Iraq was involved in 9\11, the fact that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the fact that there is no civil war in Iraq,the fact that if we withdraw before victory is achieved then the terrorists will have won, and lastly the undoubted fact that childrens do learn. Such ideas are probably caused by recognition that encarta is a Microsoft product and therefore (as some would have it, but not me!) tainted by the influence of known extraterrestrial Bill Gates. Of course, if the quizzes begin to ask "fact or fiction" questions about any of these points, the conspiracists (of which I am not one!) will be emboldened, unless of course the (entirely fictitious!) lobotomizing cranial implants from the NSA function as they are designed to. So you might want to be careful about your answers (if you are one of those nutjobs, which I am not!)

Posted by: name withheld | October 23, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm disputing all four I got wrong...

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Washington, Hair, Disney, Crapper.

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Since I missed the shark one too, this supports my guess:

Sharks have several adaptations that can aid their ability to be neutrally buoyant. Sharks lack true bone but instead have cartilaginous skeletons that are much lighter. Sharks also have large livers full of low-density oils, which provide some buoyancy. While sharks lack a swim bladder, some species of shark, like the sand tiger (Carcharias taurus), can actually gulp air into their stomach, which can provide additional buoyancy.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"disney crapper" is googletrio

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

And of course, you can find the opposite opinion:

Because they have no swim bladder to keep them buoyant, sharks sink when not swimming. Sharks' bodies are heavier than water. The nurse shark, skates and rays have adapted to resting on the bottom, but most sharks are constantly on the move. Moving forward with their mouths open is how sharks move water across their gills for breathing. Most cannot stop for long or move backwards as can bony fishes.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

7/10 on the quiz.

The new Password is...*exon*...BING!

Posted by: jack | October 23, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

name withheld, that was very funny. I'll lend you my tinfoil hat if you ever feel the want of one.

Posted by: Yoki | October 23, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The hair one is incorrect, also (THAT was the third one!). The length of the hair may vary as the quiz claims, but that is not the growth rate of hair That includes the growth rate, balanced by the rate of breakage.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 23, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The hair one is incorrect, also (THAT was the third one!). The length of the hair may vary as the quiz claims, but that is not the growth rate of hair That includes the growth rate, balanced by the rate of breakage.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 23, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

CP, I really liked Undset's The Axe. I'll hold off on a pick between KL and this series until I'm done. The copy I found has all four in one. One comment: a more current translation is a good thing, I trow.

Sheesh! Making me work on my day away from trial. Okay, two main things struck me.

The first one is even somewhat on-kit! One of the important aspects of "fundamentalism" is that is very rule-based, and reinforces those rules through tradition. One of the tensions in law is between "certainty" or strict application and more situational justice. I think when you read about medieval harshness regarding adultery and so on, and consider how a lot of societies today aren't that different, you have to keep in mind that part of that strictness comes from love - it isn't all about control and gynophobia. The theory goes that if you have a clear rule and harsh punishment, everyone will be better off because they know the boundaries. That this is meant for everyone's benefit, and so ingrained in culture, makes it highly resistant to overnight change. And that leads to a conclusion that in places like Afghanistan we should be aiming for baby steps on cultural issues.

As an aside, I think that people in traditional societies, both past and present, seem to devote a great deal of energy to not have the rules they otherwise support apply to THEM. That raises the only thing that I found that might be somewhat uniquely Scandinavian. More than most, Scandinavians have abandoned strict rule-based morality. Reading Undset, you have to smile when noting that among her characters it's hard to find someone that actually does fully comply with the canon law.

Second, there is a theme of vengeance and retribution that runs throughout the book. I think that's pretty close to the surface in most societies. My own experience seeing Yugoslavia in the early 90s certainly supported that opinion; once the central authority falls away it seems to become a central feature of relations between people.

And probably something about the duality of man for extra points.

Posted by: SonofCarl | October 23, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Tim, on a recent trip to Mount Vernon, Washington's dentures were on display. The gums were leather, I believe.

omni, I have it on definitive authority (an old Far Side calendar) that the inventor of the toilet was one Thomas Harrington.

Sharks sink?

Posted by: Raysmom | October 23, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Name withheld, you sound like you're read some Philip K Dick. If you haven't, you should pick up 'Valis,' my personal favorite PKD book:

On a completely different note, a friend emailed me this link to Google Maps of the San Diego area:

A simple graphic for a terrible situation.


Posted by: bc | October 23, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Eugene Robinson alert--online discussing the fires on the Calif. coast and the bigger context of global warming. 1 pm, just in case you are interested.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

From the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning:

Somehow it doesn't bother me that the cameras are helping stop crimes committed against people, but using them to discover code violations strikes me differently.

Posted by: dbG | October 23, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Just want to mention that the 3 ads below the posting box are (1) Send Money to Bangladesh; (2) Meet Pretty Muslim Girls and (3) Sexy Hillary Clinton--advertising "sexy photos" of Hillary.

Why do I have the feeling that, if I had a bedsheet with a hole in it, I would be ready to go! Seriously, the neat thing about technology is that the Post may not know what is going on at the old Boodle.

When I first got here, I had no idea that it would be such a hotbed for online sex advertising.

No wonder the managers keep whipping Joel to make him generate more "eyeballs." He is your basic threadasaurus.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

dbG!!!! Bravo(a) sorry...

There will come a point where the regulations and laws that were created only to maintain public safety while be turned into the omni-present "club" of the police state.

You can get a speeding ticket of 100 bucks without endangering anyone. You can get a $70 ticket for re-slugging a 1 hour meter.

Tickets are out of control. Add more technology and it is going to come crashing down on our shoulders.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Plesea edti my ospts yusef.

DM (3 days w/out dropping a name and counting)

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

DM, I don't have that "Meet Pretty Muslim Girls" Ad. Can you send me the link???

Hehe, you do know I'm just kidding.

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Send Money to Bangladesh
দ্রুত এবং সুরক্ষিত আজই!

Meet Pretty Muslim Girls
Meet & date beautiful Muslim girls Photos, chat, email. Join 100% free

Sexy Hillary Clinton
Log-on Now for Hillary Clinton! Sexy Photos of Hillary Clinton

omni, it must because the Post uses sophisticated target marketing including a life event monitor and offer trigger system.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 23, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Traffic tickets are a form of reverse lottery. People get randomly selected to pay the government absurd amounts of money in relation to to the size of the infracture.

Enforcement is so random and the bar to violation so low, that anybody could be given a ticket at anytime for some reason or another. It's just the unlucky few that get hit to the relief of the rest of us that have avoided the whims of chance momentarily.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Here's my number 2:

Hillary Clinton in 2008?
Do you think Hillary Clinton would be a good choice for US President?

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The chance of me getting a traffic ticket is zero.

But of course I'm an excellent driver.

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, omni, you are projected to have an interest in voting for Hillary, I'm projected to want to do woohoo with her.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

SofC -- you captured my thoughts about the rule-based culture within medieval Norway and the very human attempts to sidestep the rules and proscriptions.

Modern Scandinavians do appear to be non-rule based. They embrace a post-modern world that seems to value fairness and modesty above all (environmental concerns also) I hear from some in-laws that the attempts to create small pockets of Sharia-zones confound and frustrate Scandinavian culture and civic authority. "I guess we will have to take a stand, but taking a stand is not in our natures now." wrote one to me recently.

This stance is such a contrast to the Viking boogey-man of about 1000 years ago.

(Pardon the cultural stereotypes....)

A colleague will spend a sabbatical in Norway next year. She is reading Undset's books as one way to prepare.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 23, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not getting any fun polls, but I seem to be interested in Bill's next sex scandal.

Clinton's girl friends
Could 'mischief maker' Bill damage Hillary's presidential campaign?

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

CP, I'm all for modesty. Someone call the Republican Candidates' wives. A republican candidate needs 2 things to corner the market, a pile of money and a wife with a plunging neckline... hold on it's my wife calling ...

Hello, honey, I'm talking to CP, would you like to say hello?


Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

You brought to mind an old Berry joke that your Clintons comment brought to mind, but, with much respect to the past first lady of the first city, I will refrain.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Hi to DMichael and Mrs. DMichael,

Scandinavian modesty is not the kind bandied about by presidential candidates wives. It does not involve necklines, but the preference to be seen as not too loud: in voice, in color choices, in food spices.... As for sexuality, think of them as privately frank but not "out there" in plumage or stance. Lars, let us say, is not your standard-issue French lover or Italian Paolo.

The Marimekko thingie IS.NOT.SCANDINAVIAN. 'Tis a Finnish thing, really; and they are not ethnically or linguistically the same as the Norwegians and Swedes. Although the Swedes controlled Finland for a long time....

Help. Where is Frostbitten to explain the nuances of Scandihovia!

Posted by: College Parkian | October 23, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

DM, I have the same third as you, so I guess that means I'm projected to vote for and then...a little tit for tat you might say.

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

As for candidatial wives, does anyone know more about Dennis K's wife and the rumor that she, ahem, sports a tongue ring?

Posted by: College Parkian | October 23, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

can't believe that made it thru

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

CP, the position of Mrs DM has been allocated and is vacant, but, as yet, unfunded.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

seventh para

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

CP, the position of Mrs DM has been allocated and is vacant, but, as yet, unfunded.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

DM -- hitting my head on the keyboard. YOU were channelling Rudy Gee, who, apparently, MUST take MRs. Gee III's phone calls.

Sheesh. A she who must be obeyed?

Now I get it.

I am literal and slow on the uptake.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 23, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Omni. Wow. Imagine the White House in the Kucinich era:

bamboo flooring
vegan appetizers
hemp draperies
henna parties
votive candles made of soy and cumin

Posted by: College Parkian | October 23, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Omni --

//But of course I'm an excellent driver.//

on the driveway, right?

Posted by: nellie | October 23, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, CP, I found those videos to be shockingly humorous. We just don't seem to have any clue what to do with this stuff.

On a serious note, though I have been in a hole for a week, I would really like to point out that the noise machine to make Rep. Stark apologize for his choice of words when the man of whom his comments have been directed has, at times, joked about the issues of Iraq. ... nope, no WMD here. Entertainment, indeed.

Sorry to take this to a serious discussion spot, but I sat last night outside enjoying one of the final warm evenings of the year with some international types and I brought up the fact that Secr. Gates was surprised that NATO had no desire to contribute forces to the Afghanistan effort.

They all said, "Of course! What did he expect."

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 23, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

She is Dennis's junior by 31 years, but his superior by at least 15 inches since she is six feet tall. The tongue jewelry is a bar with two delicate balls on either side.

Shirley MacLaine attended their wedding. No source on whether or not she is a natural redhead.

The internet is a wonderful tool.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the candidates should stop choosing Marilyns and start choosing Jackies (think Elle Woods movie quote) when they are looking to wife. Some of thes ladies seem a little like wife lite.

Posted by: dr | October 23, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, dr... but to continue your Elle Woods comparison... look what happened with her! She was a Marilyn who turned out to be Jackie Deluxe!

Posted by: TBG | October 23, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse


I just watched the MTV broadcast of "Legally Blonde: The Musical" I had Tivo'd, so I got that Elle Woods reference right away. My son heard it and came into the room and asked, "Why? Just, why?"

I said that by watching it on TV, I was saving us a hundred bucks a ticket on our next trip to New York. He was skeptical. He's right. I'd probably go see Xanadu before Legally Blonde.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 23, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I have no car...

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The city of Fallbrook in San Diego County was completely evacuated last night. My niece and her fireman husband, and their fraternal twins, 2 1/2, live with my niece's in-laws in Fallbrook. Hope they're O.K. and the house is O.K.

Niece's father-in-law:

Richard Olson, who has been on the [Bonsall Union School District] board for 12 years, is the founder, president and chairman of Ice Management Systems Inc., a NASA licensee that manufactures in-flight de-icing equipment.

An innovative NASA ice removal system will be included with the first new general aviation aircraft to be introduced in the United States in 15 years. The lightweight, patented device will zap dangerous ice from wings and other aircraft parts during flight.

In 1995, NASA licensed the ice zapper, officially known as the Electro-Expulsive Separation System, to Ice Management Systems, Inc., Temecula, CA, for development and marketing. ... The ice zapper could help NASA meet its goal of greatly improving commercial aircraft safety.

Posted by: Loomis | October 23, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson's missus is definitely not lite. If anything she's top heavy.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | October 23, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The fires in California are really bad. The news only covering the fires, and so many people in shelters and having to leave home. But they are reporting that there is plenty of food and water, and even a massage therapist. When I think about New Orleans in comparison, I won't go there.

I used the word "antics" because I see whatever we're doing in Iraq and Afghanistan as something opposite than normal(for lack of a better word). Scheming, manipulating, and all that. I know I'm putting this badly, but I hope you can kind of glimpse what I'm trying to say.

I hope California gets what it needs, like rain. That fire looks mighty awesome, and no sign of cooling off.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 23, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

the santa ana winds are supposed to die down tomorrow, but unfortunately a lot more damage will be done by then.

as of today, i can smell smoke where i live in western l.a. (palms/culver city area) the haze is producing the effect that the color of the sunlight is that pretty golden color you get about an hour before sunset. it looks and feels odd at noon.

as the smoke increases, the sky turns to an apocalyptic glowing orange haze, an effect i've seen during other big fires.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 23, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

mischief, trouble, vexation, better words?

I need to go back to school for some courses in the native tongue, English.

It is really cloudy here, but not one drop of rain have we seen. Not a small drop. Minute drop. Teeny-weeny drop. I wonder if weather people get the evil eye when things get this bad?

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 23, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

lurker, breathing all that smoke can't be good for people. The smoke usually does the damage anyway. Stay safe. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Posted by: Cassandra S | October 23, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

You're right Cassandra, I remember reading somewhere that something like 75% of all fire related deaths are caused by smoke inhalation. The smoke kills you before the fire burns you.

As to rain: extremely not likely any time soon. Santa Ana and La Niña is a bad combo.

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra, we all liked "raising the antics" a lot. Don't change a thing.

Overcast but rainless here, too. Radar map shows lots of clouds over Penna., but nuthin' heading this way.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 23, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

lal: Take care out there. I'm sure the smog alert is up there.

Posted by: jack | October 23, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Our predicted showers are all out west (Manassas and Leesburg). With the wind out of the SW/SSW we'll probably have a cloudy and dry afternoon/evening/night...

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Bush said today that Europe needs a missile defense system to protect itself from Iran. I don't buy the premise for a second, but let's say I did. Here's what I then don't get: if Europe needs a shield, why doesn't Europe agree on that point and build one? Why do WE have to build it FOR them, and without apparently being asked? They have militaries. They have space programs (especially the Nation Who Cannot Be Named). Let them build the d@mn thing. (And pay for it themselves.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 23, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh, another thing. Bush says we're not gonna allow Iran to acquire/build nuclear weapons. That being so, why does Europe need a missile defense shield against weapons we're not gonna let come into being?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 23, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's a strange animated morality video:

And Post pics of the fires and smoke and...:

Posted by: omni | October 23, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Europe doesn't want the sheild BUSH wants Europe to want to have a shield.

Posted by: dmd | October 23, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I've posted a new kit, fyi.

Posted by: Achenbach | October 23, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I feel guilty posting this, but 10/10 for me.

Re Sharks sinking-- have you EVER seen a shark float on top of water? (Fins don't count). You'll never see a shark breaching like a dolphin.

Whenever I see sharks in aquariums, they're almost always bellying up to the sand bar when at rest. You see, it's advantageous for sharks to keep a low profile when scouting out suckers to play pool with, especially in low dives.

Wilbrodog wants to up the antics now. That or he wants to be a laprug.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 23, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: yxfi3ndhk8 | October 28, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: lkqoj5nl70 | October 28, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: lkqoj5nl70 | October 28, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

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