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Karl Rove's Playbook


Name those mountains! Hint: They're not the Appalachians. Or the Ozarks. Or the "Florida Ridge." [Photo by Angus Yates.]


The title of this item is in homage to the Craig Stoltz blog rule of having catchy headlines. Not that we're inviting a Rovestorm or anything (though I have, as a precaution, stocked up on batteries, water and canned food). But read the piece today in The Post on McCain's swift-boating -- excuse me, criticism -- of Obama for not visiting the wounded troops (859 comments and counting on that story), and a similar piece in The Times. The Times editorial board says it's the Rove legacy: "The candidate who started out talking about high-minded, civil debate has wholeheartedly adopted Mr. Rove's low-minded and uncivil playbook." [Via Memeorandum, here's the conservative take: "One thing is certain -- he did cancel the trip. We don't need any evidence of that and it is damning in and of itself. Whatever the rationale."]


I occasionally wander over to National Geographic to type up a science story, and I'm fortunate to have worked for many years with research editor Heidi Schultz, who, in addition to being a polymath, somehow finds time to run a tap dancing troupe called Tappening (or, to be more precise, "Heidi Schultz's Tappening"). She's a great talent, and on Saturday night she and her compatriates will perform one of their numbers as part of a free event at Carter Barron. Here's the review of Tappening's recent performance at the Atlas theater on H street (which I saw -- great fun, exhuberant, exciting).


My neighborhood got a 43 on the walkability scale (hat tip to frostbitten in the boodle). Weirdly, the neighborhood where I grew up in Gainesville got a 52 even though no one walks anywhere in Gainesville. People ride bikes, but they don't walk. If you're walking in Gainesville people think you're an escaped convict.


More from The Post:

Ruth Marcus on the Vast Criminal Enterprise.

Note the final phrase in this piece on Ted Stevens: "a fitting reward for the meanest man in Washington."

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 30, 2008; 8:09 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Vast Criminal Enterprise
Next: Aliens R Us


Wasn't there a perjorative line about walking in *To Kill a Mockingbird?"

Posted by: dbG | July 30, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Glad the boss keep on blogging. Hi, Cassandra. Havn't heard of martooni for a while.

Posted by: daiwanlan | July 30, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I see it. Still not awake on my second awakening of the morning.

Posted by: dbG | July 30, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Have we entered some sort of bizarre reality show challenge where only the candidate that has met the most injured soldiers moves on to the next phase? I've mentioned here several times that the only poll-tested chance McCain has is to paint Obama as some sort of troop hater. The Obama camp better find a way to tamp this one down fast. My guess is some sort of veteran's program proposal where he can say, "Who is really supporting the troops?"

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

McCain is using the troops the same way Bush has--as hostages.

As to the photo--if those aren't the Dolomites it must be Frienship Heights.

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 30, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

More on the photo --Notice the two bods admiring the grandeur of the scenery and musing on their own insignificance, while trying to decide which rock to take home.

Posted by: Brag | July 30, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Great picture of Mount Dora.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If you're walking in Gainesville people think you're an escaped convict.

The same is true in upscale Palm Beach. A friend who moved there reported getting stopped by the police when he was out jogging. He explained he did it for exercise, but he continued to be stopped. So he got a dog to go with him and wasn't stopped again. Because, as he explained, "Every fool knows a dog needs exercise."

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Okay, couple 'O tings...
1st: I KNEW that I shoulda bought that 1.2mil house on 3 acres five years ago with that 2percent A.R.M. Dang! Instead, here I am in my 250k handyman special (which I can afford, only 'cause I didn't expect to be bailed out by the guvment). Did I say Dang?
2nd: Tim Kane for VP? Whaaaat? He hasn't even had time to be a governor...
Okay, 1 more thing. I just found out that I have a "disrupted" tendon in my ankle (that's med=speak for "tear"). I think I'll "disrupt" the coupons from today's food section now.

Posted by: Dmon | July 30, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Joel, you know that you left the mountains' name in the image's filename, right?

Posted by: byoolin | July 30, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

byoolin, now THAT cracked me up.

Posted by: Jumper | July 30, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

St. Stephens Indian Mission at Wind River is nearby, by Wyoming standards of distance measure.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

just a quick drop in to say hi. can't linger and play.

i love the wind river mountains!! i miss wyoming.

as for rovian tactics -- i agree obama had better get crackin' on preemptive offense. but on the other hand, there was an article in nyt today on how some republicans are dismayed to see mccain go so negative so early. he promised a "nice" campaign. and it's normally surrogates who do the dirty dishing.

as for kaine, i just don't get it! he brings nothing to the table at all. if obama chooses him, i gotta wonder about his vaunted political instincts.

hi to cassandra, scottynuke, TBG, dmd, mudge, and the whole rest of the gang.

oh yeah, a quick note on my cancer -- i don't have to do chemo!! the oncotype revealed a very non-aggressive cancer.

Posted by: nelson | July 30, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Good news, nelson! Hang in there.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Here when people walk we assume their DUI conviction caught up with them.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 30, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

back to work today, Just a reminder, you are never to old to color with crayons!!!

Have a Great day everyone!!! Stay cool if you can

Posted by: greenwithenvy | July 30, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Obama implying that the campaign was told that the guy who was getting him in the door would be violating the Hatch Act?

Also..."One thing is certain -- he did cancel the trip. We don't need any evidence of that and it is damning in and of itself. Whatever the rationale.".... doesn't this speak to the attitude of the current administration, that staying the course no matter the circumstance is the way to go, d@mn the consequences?

Very sorry I missed the BPH. Sounds like a good time was had by all. Hopefully, I'll be at the next.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 30, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Wait...I just realized the glitch in my thought process....the RNC thinks that violating the Hatch Act is no big deal.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 30, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Hatch Act? Isn't that why that Survivor winner went to jail?

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Did a little quick research - I think the RNC might still be under the impression that the Hatch Act has to do with Gummint Agricultural facilities.

Er, I hope no one's thinking of Iraq that way...


Posted by: bc | July 30, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

nice photo... I'm think'in the Alpes?

Posted by: Miss Toronto | July 30, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

ah, yes, the file name... so it's Wyoming! reminds me of the landscape in the movie 'The Bear'... great film.

Posted by: Miss Toronto | July 30, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse


Dang technology.

Posted by: Achenbach | July 30, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Joel's just trying to cement his nomination for Least Internet-Savvy Science Reporter.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's a news flash for both campaigns- 99.99% of soldiers would rather they not see any high muckety mucks darken their hospital room doors. The visit just throws a lot of people into action doing things that take away from patient care. Same goes for Thanksgiving meals with "the troops." No, I don't want to give up my holiday flying/escorting/greeting your sorry "this isn't political, I'm supporting our brave men and women" a$$. Another news flash, not everyone in the military is a hero-some are jerks and wastes of oxygen, some are jerks and wastes of oxygen, and also heroes. You won't ever know them by visiting-with or without staff.

Frostdaddy made a good point about McCain at our family reunion "He's been out of the navy almost as long as I've been out of the army. I'm a great-grandfather, what do I know about today's soldiers?"

Posted by: frostbitten | July 30, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Internet-Savvy" as when Sen. Ted Stevens called the internet "those tubes."

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

A year ago, Joel didn't know how to post pictures. At least he's trainable.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Marcus Brauchli will help "navigate the new world of media" without erecting bollards.

I continue to recommend Tibor Szegy-Legy for italics and diacriticals. (I borrowed bollards from yesterdays Panabasis blog.)

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Ah, politics. Doncha just loove the way Ted Stevens is flaming out? He's 84. It's Time for Him to Go Home. More proof that what goes around, comes around.

It's a shame for a long career to end in such ignominity. But yeah, payback is sweet.

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Which reminds me: where's the blogroll?
Which reminds me: I saw someone on TV who deep-fried cinnamon rolls to cook them. Yes!

Posted by: Jumper | July 30, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The Stevens indictment, slyness, fuels the adage "power corrupts..."

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I went looking for Ambrose Bierce, and I found so much more (from

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
-- Samuel Johnson, quoted by Boswell

"In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary, patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first."
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Added to Johnson's aphorism: "But there is something even worse: it is the first, last, and middle range of fools."
-- H. L. Mencken, November 7, 1926, p. 3E.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 30, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I think the blogrolls are now in the breadbox at Kim's Kitchen, aka Mighty Appetite.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I have to come up with a mnemonic to remember that cooking blog. Right now I'm picturing Woody Allen drooling over some fresh baked rolls. Too obscure?

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Frostbitten, if that was the message subtly coached to Obama re hospital visits, as well as the issue of wounded soldiers being on TV without their consent, I'm glad he listened, no matter how it looked.

I expect there ARE times to do that kind of visit, but with 3 network anchors in tow during a campaign is probably not one of them.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 30, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Mencken's cynicism is further evidenced: "Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it." *A Mencken Chrestomathy* (1949) Ch.30, p.6l6

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Here are some real rolls:

Click here: YouTube - Russian-Bar Acrobatic

Posted by: Alexey Braguine | July 30, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

This link should work for the real rolls

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Kim of kitchen fame may be flattered by a "Mighty Aprhodite" mnemonic, but I think remembering that A Mighty Appetite is the first (among equals) to be listed on the Wapo blog directory should suffice. Ideally, Achenblog should be first under the Arts category in recognition of its photographic addition.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

So nice to see nelson here, and such good news! Yay, nelson!

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I've been stopped by police while walking and while running, both in Florida and in Oklahoma. OK residents think it's very strange -- and somehow dangerous -- to be on the street without a vehicle. The Florida cop just thought I was in a bad neighborhood. Maybe so, but it's *my* neighborhood, so it's where I jog, regardless.

My mother (still living in the small town I grew up in) took her car to be repaired "across the river" about 2 miles from her house, and walked back home, or tried to. She was stopped on the bridge by a police officer, and he wouldn't accept that she was fine walking home. He insisted that she get in the patrol car and he drove her to her house. Oklahoma humor being what it is, you can imagine that the neighbors will never let her live that down.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 30, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Shiloh, Lord Acton, indeed, IIRC...

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

yello-I am so glad it's not just me. Last night I typed "Mighty Appetitie" twice in a comment before I got it right. I'm still saying it that way in my head.

Posted by: frostbitten | July 30, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Karen, I chuckled at the idea of your mother being escorted home as a streetwalker. If she has a sense of humor that would counter the neighbors never letting her live it down.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

YAY nelson!!

And I thought that was a river's-eye view of Great Falls...


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Hope that you are feeling better, Scotty.

Nelson, all the best to you.

Getting old really bites, doesn't it?

dbG, not the long, gray line. Rather, it is disparigingly known as "Turnbuckle Tech", the USMMA. Yesterday, I linked to an MSNBC account of the new Princeton review that ranked it as having the most unhappy student body.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | July 30, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Saw a brief promo for "W" by Oliver Stone. I am convinced that Kurtwood Smith, aka Clarence Boddiker, should have played Rumsfeld.
The actor playing Tony Blair doesn't resemble Blair either.

Posted by: Jumper | July 30, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Joel take note: The Princeton Review rated UF, Gainesville as the #1 party school, and Middlebury College, VT as #1 in professors. You may consider heading back there during your New England sojourn. I added one of your Middlebury photos to my pix file.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Good news Nelson!

Posted by: frostbitten | July 30, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm tolerably well, Don. Apart from the liquid diet stuff... *SIGHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Take care, Scotty. Sending light but flavorful elixirs through the fax.

Nelson! Good news for you and a sighting (you!) for us.

Lurking at the Mighty App blog. When does JA leave?

Posted by: College Parkian | July 30, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Not so quick to shove Joel out the door. A ten day vacation usually means a full weekend to weekend plus a Friday or Monday at either end. Unless he's counting working days which is two full weeks or 16 calendar days. Oh man, I'm suffering withdrawal already.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I feel sort of sorry for the Appetite regulars.

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The regulars? Up until our invasion, they've had a dozen or fewer comments a post. I would voted for taking over Raw Fisher. They seem like a livelier bunch.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

So right, yello. Not to pan (pardon the pun) Kim's kitchen blog, but until the boodlers came along it was on slow simmer. I think I have early burn out on it (pardon the pun).

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I have a guest kit I am posting shortly by a young journalist named Nick Mott.


... major news ...

Gibson and Manteuffel will return for a couple of days next week...Starting Monday.

I'm also going to post some archival stuff I think...and maybe a few snapshots from the road.

So it won't be so totally dark around here after all!

Posted by: Achenbach | July 30, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I think what did me in was "...sometimes it takes a village to make supper," conjuring up in my mind a starving African tribe scraping together meagre resources while an American couple stress out over how to prepare a five pound eye round roast - after shrimp with two dipping sauces - for 5 couples.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's be a bit restrained at Mighty App...but join in. Hey, we do food quite well.

Not on topic at all, but some might appreciate this:

Hey, I read On Faith, the WaPo/Newsweek mashup. I seldom like what is there. (And me a faithey person, too. Go figure.)

However, that link will explain what I am about professionally. Really. I have been a Christic Environmentalist since about 1980 all due to reading Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's books in college. I wrote my senior thesis on Chardin and evolution. I forced the University of Maryland Policy school to give me an environmental policy degree back in next phase of work on discourse in ecological economics comes directly out of my faith life.

Warning: Some apologetics within the piece about Pope Benedict. I do not feel warmth toward him as I did JPII. But my favorite pope is John 23rd, who touched my cheek when I was about six months old, long ago and far away.

Warning: Also, you will read the seamless garment approach to the sacredness of all life.

However, look at the two analogies about

Mother Earth as a Tomato Plant AND
Mother Earth as a Mighty Tree and we (people and culture) in a Treehouse in Said Tree.

i like the Tree/Treehouse analogy better.

Carry on, dear boodlers.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 30, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, thank goodness, Joel! Those crickets were chirping something fierce over at the Mighty Appeboodle. I could hear them closing in. Circling round. After a while, the chirping changed its tone -- not stridulation any longer, but the sounds of a thousand tiny knives stroking across a thousand tiny whetstones. It was kinda scary.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 30, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm impressed, CP. This Baptist girl tried to read Chardin in college and got nowhere. The treehouse analogy I understand!

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh, I think you are being ironic. Mighty Appetite is full of details (like we do) and box canyons of joy defined as good food (which we do well here, too; consider if you will the many virtues of mayo,,,,)

I am so grateful to be able to think about entertaining friends and family with delicious food. The poor want what we have, even if they prepare cassava and peanut soup and perfectly roasted young goat, instead of surf and turf with two sauces.

Can we take pleasure before us, be grateful, share this bounty, and vow to work so other may sit at tables like ours?


Posted by: College Parkian | July 30, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel, that is wonderful news. I am hugely fond of both Ms. Manteuffel and Ms. Gibson. But please do not tell them this because I am, of course, a married man and I don't want to, you know, lead them on.

My address scored an 18. Heck, it can't even drink. This low score is because I am bordered by an institution of higher education, a cemetery, and a facility for mentally disabled persons.

Which has its advantages.

I am back home alone this evening. The dependents shall be joining me next week. This allows me to indulge in the transitory pleasures of bachelorhood. (Up to a point, of course.) This evening I am dining on chicken patties and kale. The latter provided by a charming woman not unknown to the boodle.

I went to the local video store (You know the one TBG. By The Outback) and secured several DVDs to watch. By which I mean "The Fountain," "The Darjeeling Limited," and "Marie Antoinette."

Do I know how to party or what?

Anyway, I hope Joel and his family have a wonderful road trip.

Goodness knows they have earned it.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 30, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

THE PHENOMENON OF MAN remains a Teilhard favorite from my college days (at an SJ school) where my interest was looked upon with disfavor.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Now, it is I who feels sorry for the denizens of Mighty Appetite. I went there and left my paw marks on the servillietes.
(their equivalent of macassars.

Posted by: Brag | July 30, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to hearing from Ms. Gibson and Ms. Manteuffel. And I'm very, very grateful Achenblog won't go dark. Yes, my name is slyness and I am achenaddicted.

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I read PdTC with priests who knew both theology, biology, and philosophy, so I was shepherded well. The best quote is about love and energy.

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Huzzah for the Kit-Pinch-Hitters: we shall have such fun. And Slyness, apparently R.Manteuffel is a kindred Christic-type. RDP pointed us to one of her columns a few weeks ago.

I will post a query to Mighty App (reminds me of Mighty Mo) about authentic North Plains barbeque...hint: no sauce, no vinegar, no catsup.....but what I grew up heating as B-B-Q.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 30, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

eating as BBQ, which was also heated..

Party at RDP's house. Bring your own pie and a New Line Cinema movie to share.

Posted by: College Parkian | July 30, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy! I'll be there in a little while! The only movie I have is Sense and Sensibility, is it okay if I bring it?

I do like that quote, CP. Rediscovering fire, that would be an excellent title for a book by Achenbach, wouldn't it?

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

CP - just call first and I have an open house.

I just finished watching Marie Antoinette. I loved, loved, loved it. I think it was the music that really did it for me. I mean, the musical stylings of "Bow Wow Wow" take me back to my college days.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 30, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yipee! Caitlin and Rachel are my favorite babysitters. I promise to put on my pajamas and go to bed when they tell me to the first time.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Most Honorable PlainTim

First let me begin by telling you how sorry I am to be reminded of your Father's unfortunate experience. I would never think to speak lightly of such pain. If I have done so, please accept my heart felt apologies.

But I beg to ask you, what or who is to blame for his experience. Surely not your Father, that is obvious. The gun? The gun cannot think and cannot act on its own. How about the man behind the gun? I will not pretend to know the circumstances that led to the shooting or to know the shooter but
statistically he will be a career criminal (if a juvenile we will probably not know his record because it is "sealed"), with previous assaults and incarcerations. And he is probably, or soon will be, out on parole or release at this moment. How close am I?

So I ask you again. Where is the problem? If you were to spend any time talking with those who are "Pro-gun" (as I have identified myself several times here) you will find they are also overwhelmingly "pro-law" and "pro-justice". In our darker moments we envision violent criminals hanging or being packed by the thousands into container ships, scuttled about 500 miles out at sea. As a 20 year Navy man I can think of no more cruel, nor deserved, fate. But we would settle for permanent incarceration.

Now tell me PlainTim, what did you wish for your Father's attacker?

And also tell me truthfully, did you not wish you were by your Father's side when he was attacked? And, truthfully PlainTim, what else did you wish for?

What of the gun? Cheap and Special? Just rhetoric to raise the blood pressure. Shame on you, you can do better. Read your newspaper. The criminal uses sticks, stones, knives, bats, pipes, and golf clubs. If he (or she) is big enough, strong
enough, and mean enough, he just uses his fists and feet.

PlainTim, I have worn a gun, legally concealed, for nearly 40 years when I could. No one has ever known when I was carrying nor have they seen me take that gun out of it's holster except when I was in my own home. Not my wife, not my daughter, not my friends, not my shooting buddies, not my neighbors, and not the police. If I had been with your Father, and if we had been in DC, I would not have had it with me because I abide by the law. Unlike your Father's attacker. We'd have both been shot. How much sense does that make to you, given your truthful answers to my above questions?

I have had two relatives killed and another, a treasured aunt, horribly disfigured. Who did it? Criminals in cars; speeding, drunk, stoned, without license or insurance. All of them repeat offenders. I don't have the figures in front of me but 40,000+ dead and 200,000+ injured in car accidents every year? Sound about right to you? You know where I'm going with this, don't you. We have tried to outlaw drugs and alcohol. Where is your outrage against cars?

I have also been reading this blog for several years now. This is the most articulate, knowledgeable, thoughtful, and logical group of people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Ya'll are occasionally funny too. PlainTim, I consider you to be at the top of an elite bunch. I say this even though we are virtually polar opposites on so many issues. So tell me, where is that knowledge, thoughtfulness, and logic? From my perspective, it has gone out the window. Replaced by a purely emotional (and even understandable) response. Your Father has been shot, Mr. Brady has been shot. Result is a purely emotional response. Emotional responses are human, but they are also untenable in the long run and when applied to everyone else.

Now I'm going to deliver a low blow along with a confession. Emotional response, fostered and encouraged by this current President and administration (who I voted for, God forgive me) has brought this country to its absolute lowest moral point in its history. So why is an emotional response to lawful gun ownership any better?

Who are you to tell me that I cannot defend my wife, my daughter, my friends, and myself in any place and in a manner that I morally have a right to?

As for my previous post, you had it in one (you got it right the first time). It was an attempt at satire but is not all satire not just an attempt? So I'm not the New Yorker. Shiloh also got that it was satire, just not the real point. The bit about the cameras was just extra umbrage on my part to try to make it more obvious that it was satire.

The leading sentence is absolutely true. The gun factory was involved in the illegal activity. Just not criminally. This and the third paragraph was an obvious acknowledgment to the clap-trap the anti-gunners toss out to the media every day. You ought to read it sometime, it would be hilarious if it were not so pathetic.

Last, DC's mayor and lawmakers have been in full support of the mayor of NY in his pursuit of out-of-state gun retailers. NY City has sent undercover cops and informants (i.e. criminals) to other states, including this great state of SC, to purchase firearms by lying on the federal firearms forms and using **government produced** false identification that passes the background check. My stating that a gun factory in MD was in proximity to and affecting DC is hardly a stretch if NY, backed by DC, can swim in Charleston Harbor.

Shiloh, thanks for the support. I, on the other hand, happen to agree with SCOTUS on the "well armed militia" interpretation (Surprise!). Have you read the decision? If so, why are they wrong?


Posted by: DLD | July 30, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

CP.. I called you but didn't answer. I had coffee alone this afternoon.


Posted by: TBG | July 30, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Kids, brush up. Rachel is the blonde and Caitlin is the brunette. And I expect EVERYbody to be on their best behavior. Yes, I'm looking at you,... well, you know who you are.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear my my gracious goodness and apologies, dearest TBG. I have been doing double time on work and family items to see you on THURSDAY....this is my confusion. And, I missed YOU!!!!!!

Posted by: College Parkian | July 30, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, CP.. I still love you. How are the ribs?

Posted by: TBG | July 30, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Puttering about in the kitchen sipping Chardonnay - while preparing leftover rice and chicken as fried rice - and musing on titles for Joel's books, I settled on "The Phenomenology of Everyday Foods" as most apt for the moment; irony aside, sarcasm evident.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of guns, the irony in this news story is triple thick (h/t to Wonkette):

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd go with "The Phenomenology of Man Food".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

That was me at 7:03 boodlehogging.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh good golly. The same actor who played Louie in Marie Antoinette is in Darjeeling Limited.

This explains so much.

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 30, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Admittedly, DLD, I have only read brief reports of the SCOTUS (limited) decision on the right to bear arms, but I'm hardly surprised that you agree with the "well armed militia" opinions which do not have, from my reading, any real import on Bill of Rights interpretations and apply only to DC. Like Voltaire (attributed), I may not agree with your opinions, but will defend to the death your right to express them. At least I got the satire intended, albeit tangentially.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

My sister sent me this today... it's a great illustration of how all kids have different skills and talents and learning styles. I wish every teacher and administrator would watch it.

It's called "Animal School."

Posted by: TBG | July 30, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"Animal School" has something to recommend it, but "Animal Farm" by Orwell may be more pertinent to the contemporary world. I think Aesop's fable about the ant(s) and the grasshopper may be more effective as child guidance...basics have a place.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

My neighborhood got a 55 rating. That's kinda silly because about a third of their suggested places that I could walk to are on the other side of major road from where I live. I really don't think I should walk across the Beltway to go to a movie or to a restaurant!

Posted by: pj | July 30, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Dag, RD, why didn't ya invite me over to watch "The Fountain?"

Been meaning to see that for awhile now...

Overall, I thought MA was an OK film, but I wasn't all that impressed with it. Maybe it was because I'm just not a Bow Wow Wow fan.

On the other hand, I watched Branagh's adapation of "Henry V" (gotta be the fourth or fifth time) with my oldest daughters the other day, so I'm somewhat spoiled at the moment.

Amusing to see Christian Bale as a child actor in the movie, my girls were tickled that he's portraying Batman now.


Posted by: bc | July 30, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse


RD, I really loved The Darjeeling Limited. It was marketed as a comedy but was in fact an indie what?

Love love love it. Along with Marie Antoinette (which I agree was brilliant) and The Imposters (see a theme developing here? there is something about proper nouns and the definite article.)

Ah, if only we had italics!

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, DLD.

Many issues. Let's see... you gave me a long argument, so I have a long response. I have been previewing what I write and thus lost the original blog page, so my response may miss something.

My response to your original post was intemperate because you assigned ludicrous actions and opinions to the people that you wish to argue against in order to help them look foolish. They don't need your help. If their opinions are ludicrous and asinine, then you have no need to exaggerate or fantasize. You weaken your own case by giving them indefensible positions so that you can argue against them.

Dad is fine now. He was shot in St. Louis, MO, with an inexpensive and low-quality handgun, the kind that is effective only at short range. He is OK because he was at modest (and increasing!) range when fired upon. These guns are the principal target of gun-control efforts like the Brady campaign because they are "disposable" weapons that are available on short notice and their only conceivable use is to assault or injure a human at short range. No excuses about target-shooting or home defense are credible -- you have to choose to be at close range in order for such a gun to be effective. Dad's assailant never was arrested. Because of the untraceability of such guns, there was never any hope that he would be. He was young, but probably not a juvenile. My wish is of no consequence -- the law is supposed to be for justice, not vengeance. That's why victims are not asked to judge cases.

It is true that a criminal can use a bludgeon or knife. However, it takes less skill to kill or injure with a gun than with a hand weapon of similar concealability. The argument that a criminal could choose some other weapon is a strawman. A skilled opponent can defend against a handheld weapon. No level of skill can defend from a gun. This is true for both the attacker and the attacked. What makes a difference is the willingness to use lethal force. A criminal always must be assumed to be more willing to use lethal force, because he chooses to initiate the criminal transaction. A criminal with a gun thus always has the tactical advantage.

I cannot see how concealed weapons make an individual or the populace safer. For a gun to be an effective defense, it must be used before the criminal employs his gun, but that is itself a major crime, because it is not self-defense. If the gun-owner pulls out his gun after the criminal has shown his own, there are three possibilities:
(1) the legal owner is a quick-draw champ and fires before the criminal's gun is fired. Quick-draw gives notoriously poor accuracy. If there are bystanders near or behind the criminal, they are more likely to be hit, simply because innocent persons are more numerous than guilty ones. However, it is possible the criminal will be disabled by a shot
(2) the legal owner has been fired upon, but is not yet disabled or killed -- either he was missed, or he can stand the injury. Realistically, he is impaired or still quick-drawing (but not quick enough). Again, accurate return fire is unlikely but not impossible. Bystanders remain the most probable victims.
(3) the legal owner is hit and is dead or disabled. His handgun is now in the possession of the criminal.

Effective self-defense is possible. But is it likely? Cops and FBI go through rigorous training for this purpose. This is not true for individual gun-owners, not at the same level of intensity.

I will accept that you have extraordinary skill and self-control, but that is demonstrably not true for the majority of gun owners. My understanding is that statistically, in the majority of cases in which a gun is used within the home, it is used against a member of the household -- either by the home-invading criminal, or by another member of the household. Outside of the home, gun ownership is no deterrent. That experiment has been tried in the U.S. -- gun-ownership was widespread on the American frontier West. I do not recall a reputation for peace enforced by deterrence. The knowledge that my opponent may be armed encourages me to use ambush, and to shoot to kill. It affects my tactics (shoot first) not my strategy (rob people).

Gun-control is statistical, like any public health measure. Anecdotal evidence and special cases are not a sound counter-argument. Guns used against humans by legal owners in effective self-defense are a vanishingly small fraction of cases. This is like the Ticking Time-Bomb Scenario that is used to argue for legal torture -- yes, there is a possible circumstance, but it is the least likely of actual occurrences.

Police officers are empowered to use guns for the same reason that doctors are empowered to administer drugs -- they have rigorous and well-supervised training, close active-duty supervision, special equipment beyond the gun (or drug) alone, and extensive support. Cops carry powerful high-quality guns and are trained to fire accurately under pressure. They do not engage in quick-draw contests. They attempt to avoid armed conflict unless they have enough back-up to overwhelm opponents. A police officer, with supervision, is empowered to shoot first. An individual gun-owner does not have a cop's advantages, both legal and tactical.

It is false to equate gun deaths and auto accidents. The number of autos in daily use is much larger than the number of guns in daily use. Injury is incidental to the intended use of autos, whereas for a concealed handgun, it is the purpose, whether or not it ever is actually used. In DC, there is a murder rate of often more than 300 per year. DC has, what -- a million people? So a per capita murder rate of .03%. Assuming this is about twice the rest of the country, we're talking about a per capita murder rate of about 0.015% nationwide. What is the per capita death rate nationwide? If there are about 50K auto fatalities per year (I believe this is an overestimate, from 20 years ago when autos were less safe), compared to about 330 million people, that gives a fatality rate of about 0.015%. Amazingly (I did not plan this), the numbers are near-identical. Given where I made overestimates vs. underestimates, I think guns are a more probable mode of death. Fewer guns = fewer gun deaths. Same as for cars, except that cars serve a demonstrable social purpose in routine use.

Individual gun-ownership may make a fellow feel safer, but I see no credible argument that the population is made safer by concealed weapons. The one circumstance in which I can concede it makes sense for an individual to carry a concealed weapon is if the individual has reason to believe himself a high-value target sought by armed criminals more than the rest of the population. A courier of valuables. That's the only case I can think of.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 30, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, I know a grasshopper who used to be an ant. Sad events transpired, she lost her property, and she married another grasshopper. Now they're hopping all over the place, with creaking legs.

DLD, I'm grateful that the Dems yanked gun control off their platform after 2000. I don't think it was the right approach to deal with firearm violence, but at least the good of it was that it got a lot of hunters organized.

We may well need that to fight the next front-- dog control via mandatory spay-neuter, BSLs, draconian pet limits, and other measures designed to make it impossible to raise and work a dog.

I invite you to this:

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 30, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

"Italics, Italics!!" shouted Gurney Halleck

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Yello, I'm a firm believer in personal anarchy (although I did love your comment today in the Mighty App).

If you want to camp by a different stream and leave a trail of breadcrumbs (or not) for us when you go, I'm all for it. I'll even drink the Kool-aid. Sugar-free, of course. :-)

Posted by: dbG | July 30, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Cooking dreams? I once dreamed a kind of insane Julia Childs who believed in preparing from scratch.

Unfortunately the recipe of the day was "rabbit stew" and she was talking about first catch the rabbit... and then she was wielding a butcher's cleaver about and there was a bit of blood about. Then I found that some real-tv chefs have done just that-- with chickens on TV.

I ate vegetarian for a few days after that dream, I think.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 30, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I am kinda amazed by the number of people who were involved in both "Marie Antoinette" and "The Darjeeling Limited."

Anyway, that's enough for one night. Will watch "The Fountain" tomorrow when I get home from work.

Hasta Mañana

Posted by: RD Padouk | July 30, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Two fairly cogent and lengthy posts on guns, or more specifically - gun control - leave me at the same impasse carefully avoided by the recent SCOTUS decision. I think the ratiocination about handguns is avoidable if SCOTUS rules in the future that muskets and their contemporary, AK 47s, for example, are permissible. Satirical, cynical, ironic, and sarcastic rulings are not impermissible.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Trans-specie ants, Wilbrod, are left to their limited devices. I'll bet she was hopping mad about the switch.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

RD... I think you're looking a little peaked.. maybe you better stay home from work tomorrow to recuperate. Watch a movie or something.

Posted by: TBG | July 30, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

The one thing I didn't like about Marie Antoinette was the music. In some places, but not all, the music was too much, too strong, where a subtler hand should have prevailed. But the music at the ball was brilliantly concieved.

Speaking of movies, has anyone seen 'When did You Last see your Father' with Jim Broadbent and Coling Firth? I saw a preview and it looked interesting.

I travel past Elk Island National Park on my trek to work now, and each day see the same pair of bison. Or at least I think they are the same bison. I'm thinking of calling them Fred and Ethel.

Even if I can't tell if one is a Fred and the other is a, you know, Ethel.

Posted by: dr | July 30, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Where is Curmudgeon? Please?

Posted by: nellie | July 30, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The Mertz Bison of Elk Island may work as an Achenbach piece in National Geographic.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Scc conceived i before e except after c. Dang it all.

Posted by: dr | July 30, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

In the wild west people were asked to check their guns before entering saloons, etc. Nothing wrong with that.

The college I'll attend actually has a room for dressing wild game (lots of good hunting nearby), but they also have a gun check policy-- no guns (or ammo) allowed in the dorms or on campus.

DLD would be tossed out if he was found to carry a concealed weapon on campus; doesn't matter if he's licensed and legal for concealed carry-- it's not like everybody else is toting illegal weapons, either. Same rules.

That's what I call gun control. Not penalizing people the right to own guns for home defense or hunting.

Of course, I'm not sure how many of us would like to be patted down and asked if we has any guns to check before entering, but heck, that'd be a better idea than assuming nobody has a gun until a nutcase turns out to have brought one in. A lot of bar shootings would have been prevented by this measure alone.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 30, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Nellie, I'm here. Been lurking for the last hour or so, and catching up on both this boodle as well as the Mighty A blog.

I'm pretty tired, but I had a rather extraordinary day, an incredible day, in a lot of respects. I'm not quite ready to talk about it, and I still have a lot to process. Maybe tomorrow, after I sleep on it. (With this build-up, I know the actual story will be quite anticlimactic.) (Not that it matters, but three Boodlers knew beforehand what I was gonna do today.)

And then coming back from said event on the Orange Line (DC subway route, for you furriners), there was some problem and the trains were held up for a better part of an hour. So I spent nearly an hour standing on a subway train packed in like sardines, with little or no AC. Welcome to life in the city. And because the line had been stopped for so long, when it finally start to move the next stations were jammed with waiting people, who jammed themselves onto our already jammed cars.

I know this would have driven lots of people batty, but I've always been pretty comfortable in large crowds (my record: 3 million people, in lower NY in 1976 at the Bicentennial), and today's thing on the Metro didn't bother me. I actually didn't get back to the office until 5:10 (which is why I hadn't boodled all day), just in time to fill out my time sheet and close down my computer for the day, and catch the bus home.

So glad to have Nelson back, and to hear the good news. And I'm glad Miss Toronto dropped in the other day. As Alec Guiness says in "Tunes of Glory" (fantastic movie): "All ma wee bairns!"

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 30, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The leap of faith that Teilhard de Chardin made from biological>sociologica>spiritual evolution was phenomenal. From a Darwinian standpoint, simple "survival of the fittest" may have depended on firearms at one point in human evolution, as in the wild west. Did our genetic pool improve because of shootouts? Maybe so, but did our chance of survival as a specie increase? Maybe not.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I was going to stay out of it. Really I was. But I have a secret crush on some of the Tims, so I gotta jump in here.

I don't think P'Tim said anything about you can't defend someone. (The 'who are you' part is a trick question when it comes to the Tims). I also was really lost by the comment about a moral right to gun ownership.

About Beretta being involved...weren't they involved in the sense that they (or their cameras) were witnesses? I don't understand what illegal thing they supposedly did.

I also wanted to say that concealed weapons aren't invisible to all. Some of us see the way a jacket doesn't sit exactly right over a shoulder holster (even with the gun in your armpit), or the way a jacket catches for a second when there's a gun in a waistband, or the way a pair of jeans gets tucked up for a second or two on an ankle holster (gun or knife)in way that's different from a pair of boots. A pea-shooter in a bra can only be carried off by bustier women. I guess what I'm saying might be surprised who notices a 'concealed' weapon.

Posted by: LostInThought | July 30, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

The "tone," Cur, speaks for you. I hope it's just weariness, but fear otherwise. Just remember your stalwart friend, humor.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Yo, 'Mudge!

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

No, I'm fine, Shiloh, really. Just tired. It was a good day. Really.

Screw it: I'll give you the headline: I had lunch today with my "ex," my "ex" from 40 years ago (we broke up 36 years ago. Hint: it wasn't my idea. I'd asked her to marry me [twice, but one doesn't count, cuz it was in the middle of an argument]). We'd been planning to have this lunch a year ago, but a few days before she was supposed to come to town her mother died, so we postponed it. So she came to town yesterday with her sig. other, who is attending some sort of legal convention.

We had lunch at McCormick & Schmicks, official home of the BPH (ran into our waitress, Charise, who said to say Hi to the BPH crowd).

The lunch lasted four hours. For the last two, we were the only two people in the dining room. We haven't seen each other face-to-face in, oh, 15 to 20 years, but we've written letters (with actual handwriting and typing, on dead-tree stock, so 19th century, I know) off and on for many years, and have been in semi-regular e-mail communication once or twice a months for several years.

I had some old photographs of her or us together from "back when," and had copies made, which I gave her.

My wife doesn't know.

OK, so much for the headlines (Yes, I write long headlines.). That may be all yer gonna get, I dunno.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 30, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Yoki. Her. And it was "that" photo.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 30, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Well said, *Tim.

I would add a couple of things here:

DLD, I don't see anywhere in any of the articles indicating how the factory is doing anything illegal or wrong or involved in the street racing. Were you talking about having security cameras around their facility? It *is* a firearms factory, after all. They'd be negligent if they did not have reasonable security measures.

Are they beholden to report every possible illegal incident captured on their cameras but not on their property? I don't think that's reasonable and certainly does not indicate complicity to me.

I would also add that I don't think anyone has a moral right to a handgun any more than anyone has a moral right to operate a motor vehicle. They're privilages granted and regulated by the government, IMO.

You certainly have the moral right to defend yourself and your family *within the law* in that place at that time, no more, no less.

And you'd be held responsible for your actions in those circumstances, as would I or anyone else.


Posted by: bc | July 30, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Bless your dear heart, Mr. Curmudgeon.

Posted by: Yoki9 | July 30, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

It's nice when you can catch up like that, Mudge. Sleep well, and please know we won't tell.

Tonight, I participated in a surprise party for a friend who's turning 50 next week. Happy company, lots of laughs, good food, sll sdded up to a lovely evening.

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, glad you were among the missing for a good cause. Seeing/hearing from someone who was a "good" part of one's past is one of the most satisfying things that can occur.

Posted by: nellie | July 30, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh, good point there.

I once got in an argument about "survival of the fittest" and how disablity figured into that. He used nearsightedness as an example of an "bad" trait.

I pointed out that au contraire, nearsightedness would have both improved ability for close work and an interest in avoiding hunting. Therefore, a hypothetical nearsighted hunter-gatherer might well have devised the first fishing nets, traps, snares, and other mechanisms that in fact would actually improve on the he-man gambit of facing down boars directly.

You see a taste of this in Roman-greek mythology with Vulcan/Hephaestus, the lame god who was the richest of all and who had the hottest girl around too.

I think to look at "survival of the fittest" in terms of comparing individuals vs individual is a mistake.

Darwin simply meant that those who can't adapt successfully to this endlessly complex world will die before they reproduce.

The final record of Darwinan success may be the "unfit", affable guy guy who had plenty of kids, truckloads more grandkids and tons more great-grandchildren, vs the superlatively fit guy who got himself shot dead at age 19.

And culturally, it's sure not the loner with a gun who is the "fittest" to spread his ideas and influence. There's a reason why forced coups by individuals or small groups tend to cause instability and fail, rather than cause lasting change.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 30, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

It's worse than I imagined, Cur. Having a 4 hour lunch with my ex of 20+ years ago would be pure torture. Her opinionated diatribes were the dividing line between my liberalism and her "ME" generation focus. God granted me the wisdom to never pick another woman like that. Mine was toxic, I hope yours was less life threatening.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 30, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

My very firm position on guns: Nobody knows their significant other well enough to keep a loaded weapon in the house.

You are such a tease.

My wife just joined Facebook so she can stalk our son at college. She's also been hunting down old friends. So far she has found two guys from the Baptist college she went to. They're both gay now.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

It needs your blessing, Yoki. The poor thing took a pounding today. A pounding.

Gotta go to bed. No sugarplums dancing in my head tonight, just ghosts.

Just ghosts.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 30, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear, Mudge. What Yoki said.

Posted by: Wilbrod | July 30, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The Bush/McCain line on more drilling took a questionable non-partican jump today. This appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle this evening.

Feds press Congress to lift oil drilling ban
David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The U.S. Interior Department ratcheted up the pressure on Congress Wednesday to open more of the country's coastline to offshore oil drilling, a move petroleum companies have sought for decades.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said his department will lay the groundwork for selling undersea oil-drilling leases on the outer continental shelf, including areas now protected by a congressional ban. Republicans are pushing hard to end the moratorium, which was imposed in 1982 and covers most of the East and West coasts.



'But leading congressional Democrats remain adamantly opposed to lifting the ban. They note that most of the estimated oil reserves on the outer continental shelf - about 79 percent - lie in areas that are already open to drilling.

"This is nothing more than a political stunt to divert attention from the high gas prices that have resulted from having two oil men in the White House," California Sen. Barbara Boxer said Wednesday.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opposes offshore drilling. Earlier this week, the Republican governor touted an agreement with his counterparts in Oregon and Washington to work together to protect the coastal environment, an agreement that includes rejecting offshore oil drilling.'

Kempthorne said his department could have new leases ready by '2011'!

That will really bring down the current gas prices by the election.

Posted by: bh | July 30, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Gas prices will come down before the November election, probably to $2.99 or less in a red herring effort to show republicans working for the masses.

Posted by: Shiloh | July 31, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I see that I said a lot of stuff, at stupefying length. I shall say no more. Chew on it, or ignore it, I'm done with it until I get around to creating my own blog one o' these days. I figure that a blog post with a provocative title like "Why Guns Are Bad" or "Why Gun Owners Have Male Pattern Baldness - Even the Chicks!" would be sure to gin up some traffic. I already have parts 1 & 2 figured out. Maybe it would have to become a 3-parter.

Posted by: PlainTim | July 31, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

A dead zone in the blog?

Posted by: Shiloh | July 31, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I'll see your two gay Baptists and raise the stakes. The ScienceSpouse found that her high school and college boyfriend is now a woman.

For myself, I am sorta bemused by the number of former girlfriends who have switched teams (as of the last time I heard -- maybe they are free agents), but a probability calculation based on the Kinsey estimate of 10% gay in the population indicates that the probabilities do not support the hypothesis that it's something about me. Really. I'm almost certain.

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 31, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Another fine provocative blog title: "My Gay Dating History."

Posted by: ScienceTim | July 31, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Yep, *Tim, that'd be provocative alright... *L*

'Mudge, I'm happy to see another example of "ex"-isting in a pleasant manner. Sometimes love ends in a supernova and cannot be salvaged, but I think it's better when both sides can still garner some warmth from properly sustained embers.

Hey, sorry for the heat metaphors in the middle of summer, but whadda ya gonna do?

Glad to hear the babysitters have been lined up, and I wish JA a very happy vacation. Won't bother wishing him an unplugged one, tho. :-)

Well, I'm better today (in some regards) and therefore time to get ready for work (dangit).

*almost-properly-caffeinated-but-not-really-properly-motivated Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 31, 2008 4:51 AM | Report abuse


I already wrote that post for me:

It's only been one as far as I know. I didn't date that much.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2008 6:05 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Scotty, sounds like you're feeling a little better, tho' perhaps not quite up to the (manly) challenge of a Philly cheesesteak with pizza sauce, friend onions and peppers. (Sorry; hope that didn't turn you green. Take care of that diverticulitis.)

I see where Pope Benedict has been paying some attention to our friend CP and her friend Teilhard de Chardin. ( He ought to spend more time paying attention to CP, in my view, on a wide range of issues.

Not much else to comment on today. Not much in the op-ed section, but the main stories on Gates' military strategy, Bush's overhaul of the intel community, and McCain's bumbling, Rovian campaign are all somewhat distressing.

Cassandra, you up and about yet? C'mon, we got to get Scotty some backup; can't let him fly the Dawn Patrol all alone while he's sucking down a bottle of milk and some Pepto Bismol.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 31, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Fried onions. Not friend onions. In many situations onions are not our friends.

I suppose it could have been worse: fiend onions.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 31, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Opps, sorry, yello, didn't mean to ignore the fact that you're up, too, and flying wingman for Scotty.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | July 31, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I hate to say it but the ex-boyfriends being gay sounds a bit like "we sent the puppy off to live on a farm." Very convenient. If there's a reunion, I advise you to go along.

You did watch "Three's Company," didn't you?

= = =

On the gun debate, I offer this story from this morning's Miami Herald:

There was a better version of the story in the dead tree Herald but I have to dash...

Have a great day, everybody!

Posted by: kbertocci | July 31, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm up and have just made a startling discovery.

Tuesday evening, a woman drove up and came to our back door, looking for a home in the neighborhood. We got out the directory and sent her on to the right house.

This morning I see the story in the paper and make the connection. The guy whose home she was seeking was killed that afternoon, trying to evict a deadbeat from an apartment he owned.

A suspect has been arrested. But the murder of a neighbor, even someone I didn't know, is still a shocker.

Posted by: slyness | July 31, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I'm glad Joel found some subs 'cause I wouldn't want to wait for a 4000 comment boodle to load.
Subs can be lots of fun too. We could all switch to pig latin at noon the the day the first sub posts.

Maybe not. Ignoring it would be funnier than the gag, but you get the idear.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 31, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, morning, friends. Mudge, you're something else. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. The wife doesn't read the blog?

Nelson, glad to hear from you, too. And thankful for the good news.

Scotty, didn't know you were on the ailing list. It sounds as if you're slowly returning to normal. I suffer from that same thing. Sometimes I'm actually afraid to eat.

Slyness, you might not want to hear this, but surprise is not a word I would use for your city. According to the news from there, these things happen a lot. Yet when it happens in people's backyard it can be surprising.

Kbert, I read that article this morning, and I laughed a lot. It was good writing, and enjoyable reading.

Martooni, come out, and good morning to all.*waving*

I will read the kit later, I'm running so late this morning. The bathtub calls, and the water is probably cold by now. Have a good day, folks. It is still hot here. Check on the elderly. The field trip with the kids went good yesterday. And the chicken was delicious.

Shiloh, I'm Baptist.

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | July 31, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

I can't find a link but there's an item on the TV about a decapitation on inter-city bus near Edmonton. The other passangers were able to defend themselves with auto tools.
When I google "stabbing" Canadian items predominate.
Velly interesting.

Posted by: Boko999 | July 31, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

cassandra, "normal" is a VERY relative term where I'm concerned. :-)

'Mudge, grilled onions? Sorta friendly. Fresh? Definitely fiendish. Pureed onions for the liquid diet? Ah... No.


Posted by: Scottynuke | July 31, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

New (Guest) Kit!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | July 31, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Good to hear Mudge had a good afternoon.

Revving engine to catch up with damn patrol.

Got side tracked reading about Gate's new plan for military and other such stuff and a bit of flamming in the rag up north.

Posted by: Brag | July 31, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm way late as usual, but the photo sure looks like the mountain at the rear of the visitor center at the top of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park.

I know it's not since the title says it's in Wind River country but the resemblance is uncanny.

Posted by: markwa | July 31, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Shiloh, I passed your kind remarks on to Tibor S.L., who is very proud indeed of his italics and diacriticals - I think he has the html diacritical codes memorized, the creature.

Posted by: Ponto | August 1, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

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