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Bet on America (cont.)

As you know, I'm Mr. Sunshine when it comes to America's future, with the one proviso that I fear we are hurtling toward fiscal meltdown. Oh, and that we're becoming a nation of dunderheads due to crumbling schools and distracted parents and a persistent slacker cultural aesthetic. And that our suburbs are ugly and our cars don't work. And our political system is broken. But otherwise, it's sunbeam after sunbeam! Demographics is destiny; our demographics are pretty good. So says, also, David Brooks in the Times.

He's a lot more serene, though, about the look and feel of this America of the future. I see vapid, soul-crushing suburbs; he sees high-penetration markets for his suburbaphilic books.

But I think comparing one nation to another is increasingly beside the point on an interconnected planet. We're all going to rise and fall together, is my guess -- eventually. The real question is not which country will be better off in the future, but whether human civilization as a whole can achieve sustainability. Packed into that question are a lot of other issues, of course, such as whether the sustainability is achieved elegantly or through a series of painful disruptions and harsh compromises with what we'd all really like. (Hunting and gathering, by the way, was a sustainable form of living. Just itchy.)

From my essay of a few years ago:

If you want to worry about our future, you could start with a side effect of American economic success: Our machine for wealth creation has also been a machine for income inequality. While more and more people live gilded lives, millions remain trapped in poverty. The question is: What kind of society are we trying to build? Surely not one where strip malls stretch to the horizon and countless kids disappear into role-playing games online. Geopolitical dominance doesn't guarantee that we'll have a country we can be proud of.

Technological success brings unexpected complications. A thousand years ago, it would have seemed like magic, this feat of taking rocks and liquids from the Earth, burning them and using the energy, transmitted via wires, to cool a house in the summer (also, people would have said, "What's a 'house'?"). Now we're paying a price for our ingenuity.

Some people may find that to be too much hand-wringing, saying we should trust in the ingenuity of our progeny to solve their problems. But I'm not sure that technology and capitalism left alone give you the culture you want and deserve; you need artists in the mix, and, who knows, even some government regulators and city planners and wonky types from think tanks. And leaders who can see beyond the next election.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 6, 2010; 11:35 AM ET
 
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Next: Confederates in the statehouse [Updated w/apology]

Comments

Hmmm, well let's see. What are the choices? Oh yes now I remember-

Behind door number One: Space... the Final Frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Behind door number Two: Soylent Green is people!

Posted by: kguy1 | April 6, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Foreign Policy has an interesting story on the lack of calamity from the Great Financial Crisis in developing-market countries.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/04/05/crisis_what_crisis

It's good to see that the US catching pneumonia doesn't necessarily mean that Brazil and India will be hospitalized.

Rising sea level is another matter, unless you're Switzerland or Bolivia (minus the Pacific coastline that it still claims).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

If and when you find some of those politicians who can think beyond the next fund-raiser (let alone beyond the next election) let me know. The dirty secret of capitalism is that it is grounded in the need for an under-class that will work at (or better, below) minimum wage. This maximizes the profits to corporations, who then MIGHT reinvest some of those profits in other businesses, thereby expanding the employment potential. Remember trickle-down economics? This is it in a nutshell.

On a broader front, this whole concept of the need for instant gratification is going to bite us in the back end sooner or later.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 6, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

My earlier remarks about the pronunciation of kudzu refer, of course, to the southeastern U.S. I make no assertions about the pronunciation in the parts of Asia from whence came the vigorous vine.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 6, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

ebtnut, I want the need for instant gratification to bite me in the back end NOW!

Posted by: MsJS | April 6, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

There's usually a reason for everything we do or have become. And a reason not to have done it or to go back.

I've seen the new market malls. I would hang out in an online RPG as well, given the choice.

Hunting and gathering was sustainable because when the food ran out so did the old and the weak. Of course if we ran out now we might be unpleasantly surprised at how many of us count as old and weak.

The only thing that I'm pretty sure of is that we're going to keep bouncing back and forth due to values, resources, and sometimes because we simply want to try something different.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 6, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, re your 10:06, Thiessen was the last straw for me. I had already stopped reading Samuelson after his fact-free rant about how healthcare reform was only about Obama's ego; I never bothered with Kristol since he's a) a lousy writer and b) dumb as a rock, and Krauthammer long ago turned his column into a pointless cesspool, but I still read some of the other right-wingers.

But Thiessen, man, Thiessen did it for me. By giving a platform to a man who is genuinely evil -- who would have been right at home working for the East German Stasi -- It seemed to me that Hiatt had elected to take a very low road, ginning up page views by generating "controversy." Well I stopped playing his cynical game. With (occasional) exceptions for Parker and Broder, I just don't bother to read the Post's wingnuts any more.

Probably good for my blood pressure.

Posted by: rashomon | April 6, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

>I want the need for instant gratification to bite me in the back end NOW!

By coincidence, isn't that what Steele said at their fundraiser?

Posted by: engelmann | April 6, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/women_shealth/7549959/Cleverest-women-are-the-heaviest-drinkers.html

Now fess up. Every single one of you femmes on this Boodle are sloshed, aren't ya?

Posted by: kguy1 | April 6, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Corollary to 1:40- Sarah Palin is supposedly a complete teetotaler.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 6, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

*hic*

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 6, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's something I wrote way back in ought ought 7:

"I suspect that in fifty years the notion of a dominant nation will be considered a quaint old-fashioned concept. In 2057 I predict that the world will be divided into two interleaved entities. The first will be a tightly bound association of industrialized nations so dependent upon each other that a weakness in one will ripple through the entire system. The symbiosis between nation states in this entity will be so complete that the whole notion of dominance will be moot.

The second entity will be a background of underdeveloped nations in which ideological conflict, regional disputes, and religious feuds will create a dangerously unstable maelstrom. This entity will be ever pushing and probing into the first entity, which will seek to contain it."

And I still think this is true. We are moving to a two-world scenario, and this will be the source of much mischief.

Also, I have only a vague fuzzy memory of writing the above comment. So, clearly, my mind is going.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 6, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

As long as I can get pizza all the time, I can live in that world, RD.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 6, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't you think we are already 99% there RD?

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | April 6, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

OK by me, as long as that dangerously unstable maelstrom of yours doesn't interfere with my 109th birthday party.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 6, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Alas, kguy, my heavy drinking days are but fuzzy bits of lint in the memory banks.

I was cleverererer back then, though.

Posted by: MsJS | April 6, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh rats, I always wanted to see a maelstrom, but I'm going to be dead on the predicted date.

Posted by: nellie4 | April 6, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Good one Joel...especially the rising and falling part.

For those not privy to my FB entry I experienced my first (and only...yeah, right) earthquake (okay, an aftershock) last night at exactly 9:12 PM PST in San Diego). I know the time because I was talking to my husband on the cell phone when my bed, the walls and the windows began to mildly shake...for maybe 15 seconds. WOW! My husband noted the time in case it was "the big one." It actually freaked me out a bit but was also an experience to cross off the bucket list.

Whew.

Posted by: Windy3 | April 6, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Here ya go, Windy!

http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Maps/116-33.htm

Posted by: nellie4 | April 6, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Joel's final comments about the need for a good mix reminds me a bit of SimCity Classic.

SimCity Classic was a great game. (Especially with the add-on packs where you could do cool things like turn the airplanes into dragons) It was an elegant illustration of the complex feedback mechanisms of a functioning society. But there was a weakness.

In order to get a high city-score, you needed to fulfill certain subjective criteria imposed by the omnipotent programmer. I consider this a weakness because some people might not care as much about pollution, or stadiums, or undeveloped land. And conflicts over such subjective criteria are what make the real world so fascinating.

All of which gets back to Joel's final observation. It isn't figuring out how to make the system work that is necessarily the problem. Some well defined algorithms can do that. The problem will be figuring out how to score the system when nobody can agree on what's important and what's not.

Except, of course, that nobody much likes it when the gigantic reptilian monsters show up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 6, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

DLD - I think we are a lot closer than most people realize fer sure. I think the Great Recession showed that. Next up, I suspect, will be figuring out that ecological issues obey no borders. That one will be even dicier to solve.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 6, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

According to this special test I took last year I am expected to expire on 3 December 2054.

The specificity was alarming.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 6, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the gigantic reptilian monsters will show up in the DC sewers just in time for next week's big Nuclear Security confab, RD.

Then we can all witness live on TV whether the world's nuclear nations figure out how to "score the system."

Beats reruns.

Posted by: MsJS | April 6, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Bet on America? I want the "under," and the points. (Is there a tiara at stake?)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 6, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

RD, let's paint the town red 2 Dec 2054. We'll charge it to your credit card.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 6, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Jonathon Capehart has a column called "Obama and Ricky Martin." I am truly scared to read it. Fortunately, it won't load properly on my computer (don't know why, but WaPo has been freaky all day).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 6, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

WaPo headline: "The Checkup: A tip for staying younger: Have sex "

What a cruel thing to tell a 947-year-old curmudgeon.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 6, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

RD_P, do you think you'll have time to renew before you expire? I mean, you might be able to take advantage of the opportunity at a lower price, and re-up for a longer period of time. Besides, Mudge and I will be 118, and *EYE* know we're gonna want some company, as we'll have been crabbing at one another for the longest time. Need a young whippersnapper to put life into the cave, yanno?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 6, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear -- Wilma Mankiller, first female chief of the Cherokee tribe has died. Don't know how old she was, but she apparently had pancreatic cancer. RIP.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 6, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I read the Capehart piece. It can be summarized thusly:

Martin is gay. Obama is black. And we all shrugged at the non-news.

'Course Capehart used a lot more words.

Posted by: MsJS | April 6, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Wilma Mankiller was 64. Pancreatic cancer is one of the baddest ones. It's frequently a quick trip from diagnosis to denouement.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 6, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Brooks doesn't mention that practically all U.S. population growth now is by immigration. Yet sustainable development is difficult enough with static populations. So Brooks is being quite rosy about punting our environmental problems in exchange for easy economic growth. Which is the game plan which is slowly cracking the world's environment, and increasing the number of earths needed to hold such a booming population at subsistence levels to say nothing of decent levels.

But Brooks will be dead before the piper gets paid, so what does he care?

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 6, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama is black? I hadn't realized...

Joel, next time you run into Cilizza in the hallway, tell him he needs an editor. Yesterday he had "in regards to..." Today he's got "a low nadir." Because, I guess, some nadirs can be, like, waist high, or something. On the other hand, he was discussing Michael Steele, a man who is up to his eyebrows in nadirs. (Yogi Berra woulda written that if he'd thought about it a little bit.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 6, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Actually, mudge, I believe Ralph Nadir is fairly tall, for one.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 6, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

He is, kguy--which just proves my point about low nadirs.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 6, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Is lownadir available as a nom de boodle?

Posted by: MsJS | April 6, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

But Obama is half-black.

*wondering which half, or if it moves around*

Oh, joy! The A/C is on! I feel my crabbiness coefficient nadiring and nadiring and nadiring.

*sigh*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 6, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps a low nadir is kinda like being mostly dead, but not completely dead.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 6, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Lownadir joins highzenith, faux lesbian, Hunter N. Gatherer, Missing Rink (someone pining for hockey season to return), Vera Wang, a Wall Street BDSM pub called Stocks & Bondage, Erasmus B. Dragon, existential French philosopher Ray Zondette, Greek caterer Sue Flocky, appeals court attorney Bud Uronner, Amish taxi driver Orson Buggi, bail bondsman I. Shelby Releest, and palm reader Luigi Bord are all being held for examination by the Boodle handle committee.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 6, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

*double snort*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 6, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Low...na...dir...is a little higher.

Posted by: engelmann | April 6, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

WaPo headline and deck:

Va. declares Confederate month

Gov. Bob McDonnell quietly issues proclamation designating April Confederate History Month.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/04/post_666.html?hpid=topnews

*sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 6, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I want to be VeraWang in my next boodle incarnation. Dibbsies.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | April 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

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

Hello, friends. Scotty, so sorry to hear about your FIL. Please extend my deepest sympathy to your wife and family. Keeping you and family in my prayers. And lots of hugs to you and family.


"And leaders that can see beyond the next election."

JA, excellent kit, and one of the most important sentences, if not the most important.

Grandsons back home. I enjoyed their visit, but always a little winded after everything is over. They are big guys now. Their mom calls them, and I quote, "a trip without luggage." Every time I think about that, I laugh. So true. One of them looks exactly like his father, my son. I call him by his dad's name sometimes. It's hard not to do.

It is nice and hot here. Really warm. And the bumblebees have taken over. Can't go out the door without almost kissing one of them.

Love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 6, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.

-George Carlin

Posted by: kguy1 | April 6, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

CqP, I just know there's a Wang Dang Boodle joke in there somewhere, but I can't quite come up with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxCa16-nxtM

Posted by: rashomon | April 6, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra -- very funny and I will apply that phrase to my CPBoy and his freinds. That you see your son in their faces, well, a blessing but one with an ache. I see my mother in my middle dot's face. And, interestingly, my face as it ages. Love seeing her traces. But, we often live without our parents. To live without a child is unendurable yet somehow we wake to a new day. Sigh and sweet balm to you.

Now scottyNuke lovely Mrs. and her family gather. Hold each other up and tell all the stories over and over again.


Kguy -- funny and makes me think on Eartha Kit singing Santa Baby.

E-Man wrote me a kudzuuuu pome or a kudzowwww pome last kit. Am I a

luckee duckee

or what? Quack!; or Quark as this kit's duckies might intone.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 6, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Singing dibbsie wang a boodle all day.

(tune of Polly Wolly doodle all day)

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 6, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

With all the unreliable nutcases blathering about constitutionality of individual mandates, I found this refreshingly informative and unbiased.
http://www.law.georgetown.edu/oneillinstitute/projects/reform/Papers/Individual_Mandates.pdf

Anyone catch Olbermann's hilarious denial that "the left" has wingnuts? He informed everyone that wingnuts are by definition Republican. He then explained that kooks are referred to as "moonbats" if they are on the left.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 6, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

If ScienceTim would get cracking on those yard raptors, I'd be ready for the giant reptilian monsters. Or maybe the Boy and I will train as GRMonster Tamers. Then they'll be our giant reptilian monsters. I would warn the planet, but I promise to use these monsters only for good.

Windy, just don't get caught in an earthquake - even a minor one - stepping out of the shower. I have never so acutely felt unclothed.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 6, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, Olbermann has his kook taxonomy correct.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 6, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Cassandra is right (on-Kit alert), the most important thing is leaders who can think beyond the next election. That's why public policy is so hard. The folks that sit and think all day, and may put the plans into action, aren't the ones who sell the plan or are responsible short-term. That's a tough and couragous, and sometimes lonely, job.

Speaking of tough & courageous, also gracious, intelligent and generous, I along with the rest of Oklahoma mourn Wilma Mankiller. It was my privilege and great good fortune to meet her in the last few years. She survived more pain, disease and heartache than most people get in a single lifetime, and kept an open and loving heart throughout. She was a passionate advocate for the Cherokees, tribes and sovereignty generally, women, and the poor and disposessed among us. The title of her fine collection of essays by Native American women, "Every Day is a Good Day", encapsulates her attitude towards life, with all its joys and challenges.

When she discovered her pancreatic cancer - the last stop in a long line of cancers and health challenges - she wrote, "I am mentally and spiritually prepared for this journey; a journey that all human beings will take at one time or another. I learned a long time ago that I can't control the challenges the Creator sends my way but I can control the way I think about them and deal with them." Even approaching death, she was teaching and encouraging her friends and well-wishers to embrace every aspect of life.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 6, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom -- what a sweet eulogy that was. And what a privilege and joy it must have been to meet her. I remember when she became chief and marveled with her and for her. She certainly lived a full life and a life definitely worth living. She will be remembered.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 6, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, that is a lovely tribute. We should all aspire to such confidence in facing weakness.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 6, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Ivansmom, for that lovely remembrance of a remarkable woman. I'm sure she will be missed.

Posted by: slyness | April 6, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

That was indeed a lovely eulogy Ivansmom.

And your story about the earthquake reminded me of the 1965 Pacific Northwest Earthquake, which is one of my earliest memories. My mom was in the tub, and when the shaking began she ran out clad in a towel, grabbed me, and carried me into the back yard for fear that the house would collapse.

As I recall,the towel wasn't that large and many of the neighbors had run outside as well.

Now that's maternal love.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 6, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

RD, that would certainly be a new world. A brave new world, I guess.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 6, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Good day all. Noticed this week that the pair of hawks that built a nest in my side yard three years ago and raised two chillins for a while before abandoning it are back. He has been diligently repairing the nest and she is now sitting there patiently on top of something. Very cool distraction to check in every so often out the dining room window.

I'd like to think that some part of Wilma Mankiller will somehow get into the fledgling hawks.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 6, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Did you know "moonbat" is not in the dictionary? I thought it was. But then, I live in California.

Posted by: nellie4 | April 6, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

In news from across The Pond, the UK general election will be held one month from today.

Gordon Brown, head of Labour, wants a clear mandate from all the people. David Cameron, head of the Conservatives, speaks of the "Great Unheard" the way Richard Nixon used to speak of the "Silent Majority."

Let the baby-kissing begin!

Posted by: MsJS | April 6, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Another big earthquake, this is unusual isn't it all these big quakes?

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/791254--powerful-earthquake-shakes-indonesia

Posted by: dmd3 | April 6, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, the last graph in the kit is golden.

I was off today, and (except for the 3 calls from work and hour logged in fixing stuff), I got a lot done! Taxes, spec'ing out and purchasing a new laptop and finally picking out pictures of the dogz from the hundreds offered me by the photographer (about 18 months ago). Pan-fried soba noodles for dinner.

I seriously considered buying a Mac, but got an outstanding deal on a Dell that should, in olde Techspeak, scream. And there were some "Eh, I'm tech, big deal, I can handle it," thoughts swirling too.

Was it here we had the discussion about online privacy recently? The husband of a friend send me an invitation to FB; below his invitation were about 9 pictures of people FB thought I might know (and if I had a FB account, I could contact them). I know 5 of them. I'm sure they picked them up from Linked-In, or maybe EasyPass, but, yanno, soon people won't even have to stalk you. FB will do it for them.

Have a fine night, all!

Posted by: -dbG- | April 6, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

How can "moonbat" not be in the dictionary? Wasn't Jerry Brown the poster child? I thought that was part of his official title as Governor back in the day.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 6, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

This cracks me up:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/robert_crampton/article7088167.ece

But then, I'm a Southerner, born and bred.

We got the call from the accountant last night, so I went and paid them this afternoon. Refunds due from both state and federal, not huge but it's nice not to owe anything! We agreed to use the funds to cover rail travel across the pond this summer.

dbG, I set up a FB account a couple of months ago, and I'm rather enjoying it. Lots of mundane stuff, but that's okay, life tends to be that way and we should be grateful for it. I enjoy the photos and updates from Thirddottir on her activities with the boyz. When I moaned about our slow trip to the mountains last week, my pastor linked to a story about the accident that caused the delay, which was cool. I'm pretty picky about who I'll friend and I've got the privacy settings pretty high. Otherwise, I'd get nothing done but reading FB.

On a related note, my favorite twin boyz will be TWO on Friday. Where does the time go?

Posted by: slyness | April 6, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Gov'ner MoonBEAM. But moonbat would be a charming boodle handle....paging mo, mo, mo our batgeek.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 6, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I remember Governor Moonbeam, back when Linda Ronstadt was his girlfriend. Good times.

Of course, to me, a moonbat would be a giant winged mammal who lives in a real big cave near the Sea of Tranquility.

'cause that would be cool.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 6, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Next up is earthquakes. everywhere

Posted by: omni3 | April 6, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

It was Chi. Sun-Times columnist Mike Royko who gave Jerry that nickname in 1978.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 6, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

When Mudge is very happy form he is such a MudgeBeam.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 6, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Right. Moonbeam. I remember now. I think Moonbat works pretty well too, though.

Of course, Moonbat coulda been a Zappa offspring.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 6, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I used to love reading Mike Royko. His column was also in the Philadelphia Bulletin. miss them both

Posted by: omni3 | April 6, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Just checked, Moon Unit has one child as of this moment, not named Moon Bat. same birthday as Frank. name is Mathilda Plum Doucette

Posted by: omni3 | April 6, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

*blushing in a green cheesy way*

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 6, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Dweezil's daughters are: Zola Frank Zappa and Ceylon Zappa

Ahmet Emuukha Rodan Zappa and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen Zappa have no children yet

Dweezil's given name however was Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa

Posted by: omni3 | April 6, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Folk song for MudgeBeam who is greenish:

Aiken Drum

There was a man lived in the moon,
Lived in the moon, lived in the moon,
There was a man lived in the moon,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And he played upon a ladle,
A ladle, a ladle,
And he played upon a ladle,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And his hat was made of good green cheese,
Good green cheese, good green cheese,
And his hat was made of good green cheese,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And his coat was made of good roast beef,
Good roast beef, good roast beef,
And his coat was made of good roast beef,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And his buttons were made of penny loaves,
Penny loaves, penny loaves,
And his buttons were made of penny loaves,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And his waistcoat was made of crust of pies,
Crust of pies, crust of pies,
And his waistcoat was made of crust of pies,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

His breeches were made of haggis bags,
Haggis bags, haggis bags,
His breeches were made of haggis bags,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 6, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Folk song for MudgeBeam who is greenish:

Aiken Drum

There was a man lived in the moon,
Lived in the moon, lived in the moon,
There was a man lived in the moon,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And he played upon a ladle,
A ladle, a ladle,
And he played upon a ladle,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And his hat was made of good green cheese,
Good green cheese, good green cheese,
And his hat was made of good green cheese,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And his coat was made of good roast beef,
Good roast beef, good roast beef,
And his coat was made of good roast beef,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And his buttons were made of penny loaves,
Penny loaves, penny loaves,
And his buttons were made of penny loaves,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

And his waistcoat was made of crust of pies,
Crust of pies, crust of pies,
And his waistcoat was made of crust of pies,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

His breeches were made of haggis bags,
Haggis bags, haggis bags,
His breeches were made of haggis bags,
And his name was Aiken Drum.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 6, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

dbg, I was "friended" by FaceBook a couple of months ago and when I looked at the "people I might know" it was instantly clear that they had accessed my address book.

I do not work so my contacts are few, and the contacts shown were my kids and one friend who I knew was on FB.

Which is when I closed everything down with FB. Oh yes, you can close off everything, but you can't get out! You cannot quit!

Posted by: nellie4 | April 6, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Whoopies on the long posties.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 6, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Moon Unit Zappa. There's a memory from long ago. During a brief period in the mid 1980s a significant fraction of my time was spent watching MTV, where Moon Unit was a frequent guest VJ. I always liked her. Hard to believe she is now all growed up.

I guess the same is probably true for China Kantner.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 6, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

But I did notice you can become a fan of Peter Frampton on FB, (no I did not join but seeing it made my night).

Did you all know about this - blasphemy.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/shakira-for-points-scrabble-says-go-for-it/article1525537/

Posted by: dmd3 | April 6, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Facebook asked when signing up, and some people give Facebook all their contacts. Why someone would opt to do that I don't know. I opted to not do that.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 6, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually Beyoncé wouldn't work, unless they start adding diacritics to the tiles. but Dweezil would

Posted by: omni3 | April 6, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Joel, I think there may be a formula to calculate sustainability of a human society, with variables for the technical sophistication of the citizens (which could include a factor for hygene), what said citizens expect versus what they get before a critical mass is willing to take up arms, available resources, communciations and trade capabilities, the relative wealth distribution, climate conditions, how much time they spend working to stay alive versus non-life essential persuits, how seriously they take themselves and the Universe, the amount of time since the last land war in Asia, and the society's ability to manage as these variables change (flexibility?).

Hmmm.

Have a good night, folks.

Was talking with a friend about the word "Mooonbat" and they attributed it to Robert Heinlein from some time in the late 1940s.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 6, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the third stage of a rocket bound for the moon. Moon and Bat (as in baseball bat, not nocturnal flying mammal). it's a compound word: from 1947 "Space Jockey"

As a political term it may be derived from liberal author George Monbiot

Posted by: omni3 | April 6, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Concerned about population pressure, income inequality, and the soul-crushing monotony of a societal machine that places no value on individual human life? THIS sounds like a job for... a Mad Scientist!

Will plot human domination for food. Will activate plots for money.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 6, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I always liked Jerry Brown. Rachel Maddow was talking about him tonight because he released the unedited tapes that were used against ACORN - and which showed that ACORN did nothing wrong.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/02/jerry-brown-on-acorn-no-c_n_522709.html

I didn't realize he's running for governor again. This is from a CNN article:
"He earned the nickname "Governor Moonbeam" after he proposed buying space on a satellite to enhance state communications in the event of an emergency; that's now common practice and the former governor insists he's vindicated."

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Finally I'm back...tough day at work.

Thanks nellie4! Still a lot of talk on the local news and staff at the hotel about the quake on Sunday and fairly frequent aftershocks. None today that I felt but the night isn't over, out here anyway.

Very nice tribute, Ivansmom!

And I do pray that if there is a major earthquake here I will not be in the shower! I will stand in the door frame as most have said to do. Or under a sturdy desk I have in the room.

Enjoyed RD's, Omni's, BC's and ScienceTim's rebuttals too.

And CqP's folk songs, etc. Only on the boodle. dmd3...I do hope the earth isn't really cracking up!

Posted by: Windy3 | April 7, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I suppose I should add that I thought Jerry Brown was called Gov Moonbeam because he was spiritual and New-Agey...just a bit different from the typical pol...

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

We’ve got kudzu in these parts, mostly in rubber estates. After planting the rubber trees, rubber estate owners plant kudzu between two rows of rubber trees to control soil erosion and weed. Long time ago, on our little small holding, when we re-planted the rubber trees, we planted kudzu between the rows of young rubbers trees on half the acreage and the other half with cash crop. We had to constantly keep an eye on the kudzu to prevent them from killing the young rubber trees. After the rubber trees become big, their leaves cut out the sunlight from the kudzu and they just thin out.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 7, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

As I was driving home a few minutes ago, I heard on the radio (on NPR, who really ought to know better) an announcer intone, "Oklahoma is mourning the death of Wilma Mankiller."

Well, I suppose that's true as far as it goes, but (by an order or two of magnitude) it doesn't quite go far enough. It's akin to saying, "Oklahoma is mourning the loss of [Ron Howard - Woody Guthrie - Ralph Ellison - Mickey Mantle - Jim Thorpe - Reba McEntire - Will Rogers - Jeane Kirkpatrick - James Garner - and a host of others].

I'm pretty sure that I'd feel comfortable betting my life that there are more non-Okies mourning the loss of Wilma Mankiller, for lots of reasons, than there are Oklahomans in toto.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Kudzu hasn't been a first-class pest in Florida. It's outclassed by Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum, not to be mistaken for L. palmatum, Hartford fern, a shy native of the eastern US) and skunkvine (Paederia foetida). My yard in Jacksonville suffered the city's first recorded skunkvine infestation (not my fault). It was something out of bad science fiction movies.

Word of the day over at the other newspaper: Curmudgeon
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/word-of-the-day-curmudgeon/?ref=education

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 7, 2010 3:41 AM | Report abuse

I am somehow reminded of an early-flowering crocus, C. chrysanthus, cultivar 'ladykiller'

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 7, 2010 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Harrrrummpppphhhhhh!

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 7, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you will always be our very own, special curmudgeon! You know that, don't you? :-)

Good morning, all, and hi Cassandra! Another warm day, and then it's supposed to cool down tomorrow. I'm ready already.

Yesterday was the day of oak blossoms. They have rolled into heaps at the driveway/lawn boundary; I hear the pollen count is twice as high as it was last year at this time. Hopefully we'll have rain tomorrow and that will wash some of it out of the air...

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jumper. I like that idea a lot better than FB accessing my contact list. I thought LinkedIn because everyone who might be my friend is already on LinkedIn. The ones who weren't might be friends of friends on LinkedIn. I have no idea who the person they thought most likely is.

Looks like another warm one here today. I can use the lower temperatures starting tomorrow. It's only April!

Posted by: -dbG- | April 7, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. Windy, I wasn't trying to rebut what Joel said as much as riff on it. I agree that a good mix is important to a successful culture. I'm just pointing out that defining a good mix is inherently subjective, which doesn't really contradict his overall point that it is needed.

Anyway, getting ready for a quick trip here which means carefully going over all the checklists. The many, many checklists.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

A shiny new kit is here!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 7, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Boodlers, if you're just hangin' round the Bunker today, you may want to pop back over and check out the updated Kit.

And Happy Anniversary, folks.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 7, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

*pant pant pant*

Got both cupcakes and muffins (for those wanting something less sweet). I didn't frost anything, but brought cream frosting and chocolate frosting for those who want to DIY. Oh, and jimmies and candles, too.

*just in case anyone's here instead of the current kit*

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO THE BOODLE!

Nice and cool in the bunker. And great company, to boot.

*great to know the secret handshake*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Good lord, that's an insane asylum out there.

I wonder if Joel isn't feeling a bit abashed at what he's started. I assume the bean-counting (or rather, hit-counting) online management are happy as clams about this mess.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

My family member who lives in northern VA would be surprised to learn that she is considered both a "commie" and a "Yankee".

Posted by: Manon1 | April 7, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Whew! Glad to be HERE, as opposed to THERE. What a bunch of crazies. It's okay once in a while, but good lord, what we have to put up with for page views!

I'll ice that first batch of cupcakes, MsJS. Chocolate, did you say?

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

An insane asylum, indeed. I am a bit ashamed for contributing to the bedlam.

Posted by: KBoom | April 7, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Joel just posted over there.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address in three parts (hope this goes through)

Fellow-Countrymen:

AT this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, urgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 7, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but nobody's paying attention to him, Mudge.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Paras 3 and 4

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

My grandfather, born 1892, used to read this out loud to me. Read it aloud. Is this not heart-breakingly beautiful?

And whether a theist or not (I am, as most here know, a Christic one at that), look at this way to bind us together:

LINCOLN on North and South (All Americans)
Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered.

---
I nearly weep with pathos and love of what country can be, when I read Lincoln's inspired words that day. For then. For now. For us. For all. For the ages.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 7, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

So this is the bunker, eh? I could get used to this. My eyeballs were about to explode over at the other place.

Posted by: jw703 | April 7, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, jw. Good to hear from you again.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 7, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

JW, there, there, lie down on the fainting couch. I have some soothing eyedrops made of clary sage tincture....should we pull your cowboy books off or are those stilettos?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 7, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Can someone pass me a cupcake, with chocolate frosting? And a glass of wine?

Meanwhile I may need jw to move over on the fainting couch . . . I'm still reeling from that photo of bc's knees. Oh, my[fans herself rapidly]

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | April 7, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Squirrel, plenty o room. Here is your Vouvey, but first, have a glass of ice water. Very hot here in DC today, so much so, that I really miss the ten foot piles of grey snow....spring, return, we need to get ready for the heat.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

White or red, Snarky? As I said, both at correct temperature.

I believe we have some Prosecco in Yoki's honour. It'll be in the back of the fridge.

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

*carefully swallowing all of her cupcake before speaking*

Hippo Birdie, Boodle!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28367496@N06/4500417565/

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey all! Whew! What a firestorm!

CqP. I love reading Lincoln, and my husband quotes him all the time. Quite a way with words.

Couple of good ones:
All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | April 7, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Laughing and beaming with pride: MsJS's love note by video clip to our very happiest of days is very worth the trip to flickr.

Handing Ms JS the Best Boodler of the Moment cap. Red velvet with a peacock feather....set at a rakish angle, the cap would be equally at home on an Elizabethan stage or the best of back porches (from the Peterman Collection catelog)....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 7, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Just saw your post on the firestorm boodle, slyness, thanks for thinking of me. :)

TTFN, the chiropractor awaits!

Posted by: MoftheMountain | April 7, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Hi, jw, nice to have you drop in again. Glad you found the bunker.

(formerly known as mostlylurking)

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

LOL, MsJs, that's a classic! Thanks for putting it together for us.

Gotta make sure Joel sees it...Mudge, will you send him the link?

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you, CqP!

I'm feeling quite rakish indeed. May I have a bit of that Prosecco?

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I had enough of that. Glad to see the happy hour is on over here. I believe I WILL have another IPA. Faxing a 12 to the bunker too.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 7, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

And my chapeau (set also at a rakish angle), is off to you MsJS, too. A lovely tribute to our dear Boodle.

I've planned to go see "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" on Saturday with friends (and all of us eligible for the senior citizen's discount, too!). Late afternoon show, and dinner afterwards. That'll keep us off the streets (sorta).

Is there any pistachio nut paté left over (but still "fresh")?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

This is practical, I've often wondered if there was a corner of the bunker that wasn't entirely metaphorical.

Reprising earlier post/later kit I think Mudge is right and Mr Joel accidently bumped a giant red button that should not be pressed. It's like a drunken brawl in the new kit, even by internet standards.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 7, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, the bunker was built in response to the Rovestorm. Now that was a day, fer sure! Lotsa page views and vitriol.

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Ah, but the page hits are music to WaPo's ears, qgaliana.

Glad you could make it to the bunker, BTW.

One of these days I'm going to try making pate.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! Got back from a nice lunch with a friend to find the nutcases had taken over the Boodle. Tried to read the postings and finally decided not to kill my nice false-summer buzz.

Happy birthday to the Boodle, nice card, MsJs!

Bought the Girl Who Played With Fire, ftb. I've read two chapters and I fear it's going to be an obsession just like the other book.

Nice and cool here in the bunker, is there any limeade or something similar?

Posted by: badsneakers | April 7, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Sneaks, there are plenty of limes in the fridge, I'll be glad to make you some. Hold on a couple of minutes, I gotta find a pitcher (where DOES bc put the dammed things when he's unloading the dishwasher?).

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, bunker Boodle! Thanks, MsJS, for the wonderful card. Just posted this over on the other Kit & thought I'd share:

Happy Birthday to the Boodle! Long may she meander! Howdy to jw, MoftheMountain, other occasional regulars. Y'all new folks (nutcases excepted, we usually tell by the shouting) are welcome to stick around but be warned. Soon there'll be a new Kit and we'll be talking about something completely different.

There's a lot of passion here, an occasional reasoned argument, and as Joel noted (without apparent effect, alas) a lot of name-calling. Hey, it's his blog, folks. Let's show some respect.

I think it preescient, or a fine coincidence, that on the Boodle's fifth birthday Joel posted a Kit which encouraged visits by posters many of whom apparently stopped learning to reason around kindergarten. Very subtle humor, that.

***********

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 7, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow was at work, lurking, and am at a total loss for what to say except a message to TBG about her Facebook posting of the other day, think I am beginning to see what you ment.

jw welcome back.

Mudge nice tribute to you from racerboc (sp).

Posted by: dmd3 | April 7, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and just wait until you read the third book, Sneaks, which I think is the best. I suspect that once the DVD comes out, I'll get that, too, and then wait for the movies to the second and third books and the corresponding DVDs.

I'm about halfway through "Three Cups of Tea" right now. I'm finding it very interesting, even if the writing itself could use some work.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I have an honest question and hope I am able to phrase this correctly. It is in regards to the "Southern confederacy", and those that wish to celebrate/honour it. Is it possible to separate out all the racial undertones of that, and what things would they want to remember etc.

Another question if anyone knows the answer, it would seem to me that the ideals the confederacy fought for were not exactly in the best interest of the average person, not to mention slaves - so unless you have a plantation - what was there that was so wonderful. It was an unsustainable false economy - war or not it was doomed to collapse at some point in my Northern Canadian view.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 7, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

And it's still not so wonderful, dmd. Statistics (yeah, I know, I know) put the southern states at the bottom in education and income -- consistently. The governors tend to be rich white guys (with exception, of course), who don't care about anyone but themselves and those like themselves.

And as I keep reiterating, people are *still* voting against their best interests. Still!

*shaking head and muttering*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 7, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Dmd, basically I agree with you but I think it's been so long that it's become something of a free floating symbol.

Two camps really: If you mistrust central government it's about maintaining individual liberties. If you're more conscious about social justice it's impossible to separate from the barbaric oppression of slavery.

But it's a powerful symbol so it gets coopted all the time just to push the right emotional buttons. People can wave it around for any topics that may have very little to do with the civil war and more to do with what their audience sees in it.

It's like lobbing the labels fascist or communist.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 7, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

No, I don't think so, dmd. I say that as a Southerner. It was truly a lost cause.

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Agree slyness, but that free for all on the other kit highlighted for me that the historical confederacy is very different from the myths that people have invested it with. I'm not entirely sure what they see but it sure looks like they're talking about completely different things.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 7, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Is there any Prosecco left? You have no idea how my heart lifted at the very thought.

Five years, eh? I think I delurked immediately after the Rovestorm; I'm sorry not to have been present for such a epochal event. Today surely rivals it. Thanks goodness for the Bunker, and slyness' superb stewardship of same.

Anybody around to play tonight?

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

History gets rewritten all the time. We selectively remember what we want to remember and ignore, or conveniently fail to mention, the rest.

There's a bit of a song from the musical "Wicked" that applies here. I don't remember it completely, but the gist is:

"A man's a crusader or ruthless invader.
A rich man's a thief or philanthropist.
It's all in which label is able to persist.
There are insecurities with moral ambiguities,
So we act as though they don't exist."

When I think of those lines, I'm more ar peace with the mayhem next door.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

/puts pitcher of unsweetened, iced Earl Grey on the island, a grocery bag of warm soft pretzels and a quart each of mango and lime water ice. Venison dogfood for wilbrodog/

are we out of wasabi mustard? Do I need to call out for cheesesteaks and hoagies? Anyone want a pineapple rum icee?

Update--friend's dot got a 98 acura, one owner, a mechanic, clean, 100k miles, 3k. Middle sister's ex-bf knew the guy and checked it out, being a mechanic himself. Here's hoping it lasts until she graduates and gets a job.

What's playing on the bunker's widescreen tonight? Dibs on the chair fort.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I would like to thank Slyness for her fine efforts to tidy the bunker and replenish the larder. Much appreciated. And I see you managed to sneak in a new Kinkaide well done.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 7, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I think the Confederate thing is some romanticized notion, like Gone With the Wind. I think the South was seen as backward by Northerners, even when I was a kid. So I suppose making up some better time, before the war, is what some people did. The fact that it wasn't the good old days - well, that doesn't stop people from dreaming. It's like this delusion that some people have that they'll be affected by inheritance taxes or capital gains taxes or taxes on over $250K a year. Most of us never will be.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

As an example of how history gets rewritten, Mr. A has updated the kit with a formal apology from McDonnell. McDonnell has also amended his proclamation.

That has quieted things down substantially.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

What shall we discuss next, the Mandatory Gay Babysitter Act? That should be a nice calm rational conversation, too.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

No, I want to talk about how same-sex marriage will lead directly to both the breakdown of every heterosexual marriage now existing *and* compulsory union with an animal.

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I'll be here to play witcher, Yoki. Got a bottle of prosecci in the wine cooler, too. Just lemme go get some dinner (I'm bacheloring it tonight) and I'll be back shortly.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 7, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I see Bob has just joined us, so I'll just say hippie birdy to ya, Bob, in case I don't get around to it tomorrow.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 7, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Yay, 'mudge! I'll be back in about 90 minutes.

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll drift in and out. Sneaky cook moment: I made a lasagna tonight, beloved of my family. Instead of spinach I layered it with eggplant, sauteed soft in olive oil and chopped. With any luck the Boy won't notice. He never complains when I use spinach.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 7, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh yum, Ivansmom, if there's any left over will you please bring it to the bunker? We'll be ready for a snack by the time you get here. No telling what Mudge and Yoki will have us doing in the meantime.

I may have to dig into the secret stash of Prosecco to ensure that there's enough to go around.

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I must be going, alas.

I'll leave the vanilla ice cream in the freezer and the orange-berry sauce in the fridge. Just warm the sauce up a bit before using it.

Nite nite, y'all.

Posted by: MsJS | April 7, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

g'night MsJS.

Joel's posting of the Governor's amendment doesn't seem to have cooled the rhetoric (I know, using that fine old word does a disservice to oratory everywhere) on the new Kit. *Sigh*

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Slyness! Worst-case scenario is a word game, title-battle or poetry throw-down!

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

For the women of the prairie on the boodle, an NFB film on PK Page, very interesting as she talks about her poems, art and the prairie.

A nice breather after the topic of the day, but a little long 38 min. Film is also close captioned.

http://www.nfb.ca/film/still_waters/

Posted by: dmd3 | April 7, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Is it OK if I add some Polaner All Fruit Orange Marmalade to my Vanilla Ice Cream?

Posted by: omni3 | April 7, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Hehe Yoki, I remember being surprised when I first looked up rhetoric and found out the original meaning was pretty much the opposite of how it was commonly used now.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 7, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki, ya back yet?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 7, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Whew! I can do that, Yoki, it was the thought of a strenuous running-type game that worried me. Not that I'd be good at a poetry throw-down, but I can participate...

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Um, that isn't rhetoric, They may think it is, but they are really just shouting past each other.

No matter what it is used for, good or ill, rhetoric still means the effective use of language to persuade (in the case of ill use you could say manipulate instead of persuade) but no body over there is persuading anybody

(well except us, it persuaded us to head for the bunker, mmm, this Orange Marmalade goes good with this Vanilla Ice Cream, there's more if anybody would like to try some)

Posted by: omni3 | April 7, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Okay, now I'm totally done with the nutzoids on the other side. Time to close it down!

"Women own their babies."

Oh.My.God.

Posted by: slyness | April 7, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I saw that too, slyness. What a maroon.

What's for dessert?

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm back. Sheeee's baaack.

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, omni, you make me laugh.

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Thirty white horses upon a red hill,
First they stamp, and then they champ,
And then they stand still.

Posted by: Yoki | April 7, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Whew... glad at least I got to see this fine note for our Mudge...

=====
Way to go curmudgeon6. am not a boodler, but Love your name. My dad was affectionately called Mcurmugdgeon as he was the most wise and wonderful ol' Irish curmudgeon on the planet. Even his it on his tombstone.
So a drink to the smile you brought to me face Curmudgeon6

Posted by: racerdoc | April 7, 2010 5:10 PM
=====

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

They're still not a heck of a lot of fun over there, but you can tell that they're reaching the limits of their stamina. Amateurs, I tell ya!

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Lovely Yoki.

Bob your story about the relative was wonderful.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 7, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm addicted to

http://www.merriam-webster.com/game/scrabble.htm

and have developed a crick in my trapezoid

(if you try this game remember QAT is a word, but ZEN isn't
it does seem to except some proper names, but not all
MIKE I can understand short for microphone, but LUKE???
LUKE and not ZEN??????)

Posted by: omni3 | April 7, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I just got here, even though I've been lurking in the hurricane and in the bunker all day. That is some storm! I thought the best comment was Mudge's about how some topics can't be discussed productively, at least not if the purpose is genuine dialogue. CqP, thanks for posting Lincoln's Second Inaugural. To me that is, bar none, the greatest public speech in American history. I try not to read it too often, because I want to keep it fresh. But today was a good day for it.

Posted by: woofin | April 7, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I'll have to try that Scrabble game sometime when my brain is more alert. My best friend from high school is a Scrabble fanatic - she beat the pants off me the last time I visited her. No mercy. I hadn't played since I was a kid, and we didn't really bother keeping score in my family. No competitive genes at all.

I bet my friend is aghast at the rule change that allows proper nouns.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad those horses stamp and champ and not stomp and chomp.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, yello's two posts at the very top can't be beat as a succinct summary. I am always hoping for that kind of concision and never achieve it.

seasea1, I believe the rule change is actually a rule in a variant of the game that will be marketed separately from the original... which will remain pristine.

Posted by: woofin | April 7, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes, woofin, you're right about the Scrabble rule. A local radio guy was incensed about it, then I read it was for a game to be sold in Britain, for now. Still, much umbrage at the thought.

Bob S and LiT are playing with the trolls. I have to say, they've stayed on topic.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 7, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

There's apparently no rule change in Scrabble. What there is is a NEW game being introduced by Mattel, which owns the Scrabble rights outside North America (Hasbro sells Scrabble here).

This new game, which will not be sold in North America, will allow proper nouns.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Well... there you go. Pays to refresh.

G'night folks. What a day, eh? Yoki... only seven more sleeps!

Posted by: -TBG- | April 7, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Much earlier, when the angry posts were coming thick & furious, I intended to post the following, but then got distracted and left it, forgotten, in a neglected Notepad window:

-- -- -- -- --

Dr. Szell: "Is it safe?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64UjaJmC35A&feature=related

This clip starts with a shot of Dustin Hoffman's bare buttocks, so avert your eyes if that sort of thing intimidates you. It doesn't last long, and doesn't hurt as much as you thought it would.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 7, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Evenin' all. So this is the word famous bunker I've heard so much about, eh? Very nice. I love what you've done with the place.

I made a valiant attempt to wade through next door but couldn't get it done. Some topics require a sense of subtlety, irony, and sympathy with the other side in order to be usefully discussed. These qualities are sadly lacking in the "conversation" that is occurring on the previous kit. Granted, the Civil War is a tough issue if you have anything emotionally invested in it. What is interesting to me is how many people still do have "skin in the game" as we say, even 150 years later. It does not surprise me that folks would wish to be proud of their heritage, nor that they would react poorly to slights (perceived or real). It is, however, simply saddening that so many people can approach such a complex issue in a simplistic way but yet with incredible amounts of vitriol.

I may have to go back and look at James McPherson's book about soldiers motivations that came out maybe 10 years ago. I don't really remember the details of his study, just that he had some surprising findings and things aren't as black and white (sorry) as they are often portrayed.

Of course, the other discussion option is to take Gen. James Longstreet's approach to the issue: "This war comes as a nightmare. You pick your nightmare side, you put your head down and you win."* Again though there would be little point in discussing anything if this is your viewpoint so might as well stay out of the shout fest.

Anyway, I'm meandering badly here. It's late and I'm tired.

Have a good night everyone.

*I'm not sure whether this is a legitimate quote or not. I've read and reread The Killer Angels so many times that separating historical fact from the fiction has become difficult.

Posted by: cowhand214 | April 8, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Are there any cupcakes left?

woofin (and TBG), thanks for your kind words about my first two posts. I was boodling on my Droid so I had to be succinct. Otherwise I might have been much less pithy.

In my work I deal with a lot of working class rural Virginians (read rednecks) and I have learned to bite my tongue. One night I had to listen to a tale about how Nathan Bedford Forrest was misunderstood.

But my hot button is the 'states rights' trope. A Confederacy sympathizing coworker once tried to use states rights in an argument and I said "Didn't we fight a war to settle that issue?"

Slyness, love the additions to the official Bunker photo.

And the more rabid commenters today confirmed that I can take 'crypto' out of my usual description of die-hard secessionists.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 8, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Aww, yeller, they're just plain ol' folks.

-- -- -- -- -- --

Jim: [consoling Bart] "What did you expect? 'Welcome, sonny?' 'Make yourself at home?' 'Marry my daughter?' You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHqL7dNujNc

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Aww, jeez. I just realized something. For years I declined to read "The Killer Angles" because I thought it was about billiards and/or trigonometry.

That's not it, is it?

Posted by: bobsewell | April 8, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Boodle!!

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 8, 2010 4:07 AM | Report abuse

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