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To coin a phrase

[The Day After Labor Day: My advice, as always, is to keep your head down and avoid eye contact with the bosses or any other suddenly energetic and purpose-driven person in your life who is back from vacation loaded for bear. These people will have plans for you. HIDE.]

The Post's most-read story over the long weekend was Jamie Stiehm's piece on the alleged misattribution to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., of a quote stitched into the Oval Office rug. King didn't say that originally: It was a phrase he appropriated from some cat who lived in the 1800s.

But I bet that guy lifted it from someone else.

Originality is overrated. Creativity requires constant appropriation. Everything has an antecedent. The purely original idea is rare. This is why it's hard to figure out conclusively who invented baseball. Or the light bulb. Part of Edison's genius was promotion; this is why hardly anyone talks about Tesla.

Jack Shafer at Slate had just written a column about Philip Graham's famous dictum that journalism is "the first rough draft of history," saying that Graham probably didn't coin the phrase but rather adopted it after it had been developed by Post editorial writer Alan Barth.

In both cases, I think the promotion of the phrase is as important as the coining. The Oval Office rug isn't really in error: King said those exact words, prominently, repeatedly, during the consequential Civil Rights movement. We do not expect rugs to come with footnotes (maybe there could be a footnote on a throw rug nearby?).

Part of the creative process is knowing what to emphasize and what to downplay or delete. This is called editing. Editors don't typically create raw material, but rather help shape it, and typically focus on sharpening the point of the piece and fashioning a coherent "nut graph" that tells you what's really significant.

The greatest appropriator of them all was Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence is a monument to the art of lifting someone else's words.

Jefferson's most famous passage was a rewrite of the opening line of George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights:

"That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."

Jefferson's version is much better. But don't accuse him of being original.

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 7, 2010; 8:10 AM ET
 
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Comments

Look out for #1, and don't step in #2

Posted by: GomerGross | September 7, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

There is no new thing under the Sun. You can quote me on that.

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 7, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

What about over the Sun? Behind? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse


Good thought, Joel. Having spent Sunday at a Shakespeare outdoors, it is reasonable to note that the oft quoted bard reworked older Italian plays to write his classics.

That said, originality is so rare, it does deserve a place of honor. Like Einstein's insight to treat time as a variable, it can have amazing ramifications.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 7, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

...um...speaking of editing, I seem to have mudged myself. Which I suppose is appropriate as well as on kit, in a way. Anyway:

Front page: "Petraeus decries Koran burning"

Politics page: "Petraeus: Don't burn Qurans" (An AP wire story.)

Nakamura's story: "Petraeus condemns Fla. church's plan to burn Korans
David Nakamura (Edition)
"...a Florida church to burn copies of the Koran this weekend..."

On Faith column: "Gen. Petraeus says Dove World's Koran burning endangers troops
By Elizabeth Tenety "It's easy to dismiss Florida Dove World Outreach Center pastor Terry Jones' planned "International Burn a Koran Day" as..."

Why can't they spell the name of this book the same way twice? Because the Associated Press uses "Quran" as the preferred spelling -- although it also says to defer to the "house" preference if it is different.

But of course, nobody at the Post any more understands copy editing, a lost art similar to necromancy, alchemy, and transmogrification of metals.

(In case you are wondering, yes, a house editor is very much ALLOWED and is SUPPOSED to go in and change AP and other wire copy to match the house rule book. That is, if anyone in the Post online section has one. This is what is nowadays mockingly referred to as "old technology," a.k.a. "soooooo 20th century.")

---------

And no, I'm not gonna tell you who wrote a lot of George Mason's stuff for him. No receipts, no documentation. Guy was a tightwad, and paid me off the books, so I can't prove anything. Usually something like a ham, a dozen ears of corn, and maybe a bottle of port, whatever he had and could pass me out the window without his butler getting all in his face.

And then, a couple a years later, I'm in Philadelphia on a temp scribe job, and I'm editing this guy Jefferson's stuff, and I'm like, "whoa!!! this is deja vu all overr again!!" So I say, "Tom, can I tweak this a bit? Instead of life and liberty pursuing and obtaining happiness and all, how about just plain old 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'?" And he sez to me, "Sure, mudge, go ahead. I'm beat. Go ahead and rewrite it however you think best, and leave me a copy on the desk. And make sure Franklin gets a copy. I'm going to bed."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Ask not what the Achenblog can do for you, ask what you can do for your Achenblog.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I regret that I have but one Achenblog to read for my country.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

And a Front Page Alert, as well...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Morning, y'all!

I love this kit. It's about words, originality and actually has a rug in it - right up my alleyway. Oddly enough, TCM yesterday ran a short from the 1930s about how old (and "purloined") some of the phrases from the Bill of Rights actually are.
______________

yello was the boodler who was technically 'mudged this morning.

"I'm 46. My son is 20. My diaper changing days are long past. My wife jokes that it's time for me to find that trophy wife and start over. I think she is just angling for someone else to have to take care of me in my dotage."
Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 9:14 AM

yello, bite your tongue.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

A boodler by any other name . . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Hillel said "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."

Then some other Jewish civil rights leader went and said "Do to others as you want them to do to you."

The nerve.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The guy who tried making light bulb filaments from tungsten - now that guy had a truly original idea. What was his name, again?

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 7, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse


Another sign of incompetence by this White House and now we're being told "Well so and so probably copied this from another so and so."

No excuses.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Posted by: janet8 | September 7, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I have nothing original to contribute, therefore I will be quiet.

Posted by: slyness | September 7, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Janet, go pound sand.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Someone probably said that before me, right? Good kit, JA! We often repeat the words of others without giving it any thought whatsoever. I think the problem comes in when we claim those words as belonging to us. The Bible is a beautiful book, with life lessons for everyone, and quoting this book as well as living it, would add much to the world.

So true, Science Tim!

Finally got connected, had to call the Internet folks.

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend, but now it's time for work.

There's a political ad running here of the Honorable Richard Burr, state senator from North Carolina. In this ad he is going around a small town smiling, speaking, and shaking hands with folks. In the ad, he acts very caring, listening to the folks, and being really friendly and down home, if you will. On the surface it looks like a regular political ad. But if you look closely, everyone one he talks and smiles with is of his own race. There's not one African-American in this ad, not one. It looks like a Glen Beck rally!

Slyness, how was the parade? It's suppose to be hot, hot, here. Back to summer weather. Oh, well, it's all good.

Have a remarkable day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 7, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Comments are closed on the Stiehm column. Expect blowback to land in the Achenblog.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

janet8, "two wrongs don't make a right" - how original, can I copy that?

Posted by: badsneakers | September 7, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

But two Wrights make an airplane. And three rights make a left.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I think that along about 9th grade, every English class should devote about a week to Bartlett's, the what, why and how.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 7, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

[off-kit . . . yello, here's the *wink* I left off the tongue-biting tweak. ;)]

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of possible originality, I remember watching the Linklater film "A Scanner Darkly", based on Phillip K. Dick's novel. The movie has a fair amount of fine prose that discloses the work of a serious writer. Whether Dick or Linklater, I don't know, but probably Dick.

Gen. Petraeus perhaps gave that small, probably broke, little "church" in Hogtown too much attention. Maybe better to point out that pastors with ultra-conservative views once burned copies of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, claiming it was satanic, or at least anti-Christian. They still don't like any of the modern translations based on the oldest and best available manuscripts.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 7, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

*ahem*

*copyright law lecture alert*

Under the US Copyright Law, there is a requirement for originality. The requirement is that essentially the copyrightable portions of the work (the expression of facts merely as facts are not copyrightable) are "original" to the author. In an international context, however, even if copyright protection is obtained here and other countries will protect it there (wherever "there" is and in accordance with international treaties), the protection mechanism falls through the template slot of "national treatment." National treatment means that the copyright will be enforced in accordance with local copyright laws. And, yes, I'm coming to my point in regard to originality. In other countries (Sweden among them) "originality" is often given a truly subjective analysis. That is, while we have all read books that are incredibly awful, the true author of that awfulness is entitled to copyright protection in the US. In other countries, the author of that awfulness may meet up with sharply restricted enforcement (if any at all) of his/her copyright in those countries because of the degree of "awfulness" of the work.

Originality is different in different contexts, you see.

You may now get on with yer morning nap. There will, however, be a quiz later.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 7, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I do not have anything to add re originality, I am well aware much of what I say is reused cliches or trite so I will not cast aspersions on anyone else.

I do have a funny religious story. Driving around the other day with my daughter and her friend, the friend who accompanied us to Montreal. We were talking about Christmas, and she retold the story of when she discovered, just a few years prior (age 12), that Christmas was in fact a religious holiday and was not just about presents. It made me laugh, since being raised without attending any religious services, a religious connection just didn't click with her. She is a very bright girl, well manner and kind but just has no religious background. I commented that I thought many in their generation would be the same and they agreed (well in this area anyways).

Posted by: dmd3 | September 7, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I am startled, too, Janet8 (may I call you janet8? I shouldn't like to presume too much). How dare Obama have his rug quote what Martin Luther King actually, repeatedly, demonstrably said in public and on the record, in memorable speeches of great power and passion, without carefully noting that King's memorable words were partially derived from a lengthy and largely forgotten text published a century earlier. The nerve! The breathtaking scale of incompetence! I mean, the previous incumbent made his share of mistakes in office, sure, but he never had a rug installed RIGHT THERE iIN THE OVAL OFFICE that was practically a SHRINE to POOR SCHOLARSHIP! And were you aware that Martin Luther King, Jr., was not the first religious guy to claim that name? There was another dude back in, oh, Germany or Russia or some place, that, like, nailed the doctoral dissertations ("theses") of 97 students to a church door? Man, not only are these Demoncrats not good scholars and not original, they can't even think up good, original, decently American names for their kids and they hate good scholarship so much that they nail kids' essays to Church doors and make fun of them -- both the Church, AND the students! Godless Commies, the whole lot of 'em! IMPEACH OBAMA FOR PLAGIARISM, TODAY!

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 7, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

*Faxing Tim a pry bar to dislodge his tongue from his cheek*

Posted by: Raysmom | September 7, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse


On the other hand, the beige on beige in the Oval Office deserves full criticism.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 7, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Got a rather disturbing e-mail from #3 dottir this morning. The subject line said: "It's Official!"

The text said: "I'm off the market!"

This could refer to the guy she's been seeing a lot of recently.

However, it may also mean she's been sold into slavery to some shady Middle Eastern oil sheik, which I guess I could live with. I mean, she's dated weirder guys before.

It might also mean she no longer indulges in day trading and stock market manipulation, although I doubt this one, because I don't think she knows what the stock market is, and thinks a mutual fund is when two people tickle each other. (No, Tim, don't expect to find her on the staff of the NASA Ares engineering team.)

I suppose she could have entered a nunnery, but I wouldn't be that lucky. Anyway, she's not Catholic, so far as I'm aware, in case that turns out to be disqualifying.

So far she has not responded to e-mails asking for clarification, which tends to support the kidnap hypothesis.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Hi all, hope you enjoyed the weekend!

If someone comes up with a catchier way of phrasing an idea, even if it's paraphrasing, should the original get the credit, or the one who made it a soundbite? If a band remakes an obscure song and has a hit, the original is generally only attributed in the liner notes. The band that made it famous will be immortalized in connection to it in charts and trivia games. I don't really have an issue with the King attribution. He put it on the national stage and popularized it.

Anyway, just my rambling two cents. Back to work. I'm learning to use a new software package, so it's tutorial day. Joy.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | September 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

edbyronadams, they haven't moved the houseplants back inside for the winter after sunning them on the back porch all summer. They'll green that beige up real soon.

Loved it, SciTim.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

SciTim, I sooooo *heart* you, but you know that Janet8 will *not* get that! You do know that, don't you????

Posted by: ftb3 | September 7, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Get what?

Posted by: ScienceTim | September 7, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how original this is, but Jennifer O.'s evaluation of the oil in the gulf is two cuts above most reporting:
http://twistedphysics.typepad.com/cocktail_party_physics/2010/08/what-do-we-mean-by-how-much-oil-is-left-in-the-gulf.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

mudge,
So what's her Facebook status? They don't let me pick me both 'In A Relationship' and 'It's Complicated' at the same time.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Have you looked at Google this morning? It has a really clever design -- but no easy way to find out what it represents.

Posted by: nellie4 | September 7, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, 'Mudge!

I think...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Not that it would matter to those who think a new rug is a bigger deal than getting involved in a ground war in Asia (Vizzini), but no attribution is given on the rug. It's just the quotes. I don't think Obama has commented on it anywhere.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 7, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing, nellie... Perhaps it's an anniversary of Brownian motion or something? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey, who calibrated that thing?!
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/62985/title/Changing_one_of_natures_constants

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 7, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

On the Today Show this morning they are talking about the Prep look for school clothes. One example was the Prep look of Michelle Obama. A comment was something like this ‘well she went to Princeton so she naturally would have prepyness (sp) rub off on her.’
I think there is an example of that not necessarily being true.

Posted by: bh72 | September 7, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

This *could* get expensive, Scotty. That's what I'm afraid of.

Went to the Google site. Nothing.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I first saw today's Google logo when I was searching for a song. I didn't know what lyrics I might be singing if I followed all the bouncing balls at once. Boogie-Google-Woogie?

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Just make sure you have SafeSearch 'on' before you Goggle 'google balls'. Trust me on this.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Good Gosh. If you haven't stumbled upon this link in Ezra Klein's wonkbook yet, here's a fabulous article on William Shatner: "The Many Iterations of William Shatner" (New York Times Magazine) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazine/05Shatner-t.html?pagewanted=1&wpisrc=nl_wonk&_r=2&ref=magazine

Warmest Regards,

CowTown

Posted by: jp1954 | September 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Cows. Sure wish you'd post more often.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle! If you haven't already visited Arcade Fire's interactive video (as mentioned on NPR recently) you need to. Warning, can induce a little melancholia-
http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

On originality I got nothing, but I believe I'm in good company.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 7, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Wilde say that, frosti? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Google has most everyone confused, it seems...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/2010/09/google_bouncing-balls_logo_amu.html

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

And I see what you did there, 'Mudge. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry Mudge. A woman doesn't have to be Catholic to be sequestered in the care of the good nuns. I've checked.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 7, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

But does she have to consent, Padouk, or can it be done against her will?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

And to the kit. Although originality is important, the real accomplishment is popularizing something. You see this all the time in technology.

Some obscure person in a small garage workshop might come up with a crude prototype of something and then abandon it. Then, years later, another person might take that prototype, or rediscover the same idea, and make a going proposition out of it. The latter is the one who deserves the real kudos.

So in the case of quotes, there really is a difference between saying it first and saying it best. It isn't enough to say something great, you also have to get others to listen.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 7, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

And don't misspell 'Google' as 'giggle', 'jiggle', or 'ogle' either. Where is that 'clear browser history' button?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure there are a fair number of communities of Buddhist nuns. Maybe that's an option.

Posted by: bobsewell | September 7, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

[Begin News Segment]

Megyn Kelly: Good Morning and welcome to Fox News, I'm Megyn Kelly. Our first story: Is Obama Condoning Plagiarism in the White House? Rick Reichmuth reports.

Rick Reichmuth: Good moring, Kelly. Yes, it appears that the new rug that was part of the Oval Office remodeling project included a phrase that was plagiarized from one of America's early patriots!

[Close-up of new carpet] This new carpet was installed as part of the Obama Administration's recent remodeling of the Oval Office. It includes this phrase embroidered into the carpet: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Rick Reichmuth: However, Fox News has learned that the person who first wrote these words was Theodore Parker, a Boston minister who died in 1860. Nowhere on the carpet is Reverend Parker given any credit for the famous sentence!

Rick Reichmuth: As you can imagine, this has created an uproar in Washington.

Newt Gingrich: How can this president pretend to act as moral exemplar to the American people if he celebrates plagiarists in the Oval Office carpet. I'm mean, this is serious! The Oval Office carpet is sacred to the United States. Such wanton immorality in the Oval Office is a grevious insult to the American people and a stain on our national honor!

Rick Reichmuth: And, this just in, Megyn, Governor Sara Palin just sent a Twitter message stating, "The American people should tell the president not to pal around with plagerizers!" Back to you Megyn:

Megyn Kelly: Thanks Rick. Up next, is September's cooling trend proof that global warming is a hoax? Stay with us.

[Cut to Commercial]

Warmest Regards,


CowTown

Posted by: jp1954 | September 7, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Cowtown, please tell me that is one of your fabulous bits of satire, one can never tell with Fox News.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 7, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Cowtown,
Fox News is gonna sue you for plagiarism.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Or hire him as a writer, yello...

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Just saw this news tease link--

Video: 'They talk about me like a dog,' Obama says

I wonder if the president's next words were:

"Talkin' 'bout the clothes I wear
But they don't realize they're the ones who're square."

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 7, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Oprah Winfrey is among the 2010 Kennedy Center honorees. That's an interesting choice.

Posted by: bobsewell | September 7, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I was waiting for the KenCen Honors topic to arise. I've always felt that, while one can quibble with certain choices, most of the honorees over the years have been more than deserving. I don't see anything wrong with Oprah being included - she's certainly an icon and has contributed in her own way to the arts during her career. And I'm not really a fan of hers to be honest.

I wuz glad to see that Merle is being honored myself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-tsVMHuHrs

Of course, Sir Paul won my heart when I was only eleven. I threw him over for Lennon a few years later. *sigh*

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Actually, talitha, I had a crush on George Harrison when I was a teenager. Can't figure out why, now.

Um, maybe because I'm 50 years older . . . . ?

Posted by: ftb3 | September 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly not going to second-guess the wisdom of the Kennedy Center! Just thought it was an interesting choice.

Posted by: bobsewell | September 7, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, go ahead, yellojkt, make me feel older.
Wings, indeed!


Warmest Regards,

CowTown

Posted by: jp1954 | September 7, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

It's a tad ironic that the topic of this might have been borrowed from a Guardian article back in July:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/03/oliver-burkeman-innovate-and-die

In essence, it says the same exact thing.

Posted by: Ben84 | September 7, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Every dog has his (or her) day and every idea has its time. But it is interesting with "new" things to go back and see how many came close - but missed.


Mostly, the new concepts tht we all pay attention to are valuable and important.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | September 7, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sure. Give the KCH to McCartney, just because he's listed in the Guinness Book Of Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history with sales of 100 million singles and 60 gold, who has written/co written 188 charted records, of which 91 reached the Top 10 and 33 made it to No. 1 totalling 1,662 weeks on the chart (up to the beginning of 2008), including 32 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including 21 with the Beatles.

He's still a pot-smoking furriner. I think they gave it to him because he wrote "Michelle," and the Obamas wanna kiss up to him.

I mean, face it: it's not like he wrote "Singing in the Methane," or anything like that.

*sniffs disdainfully*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Notice:

To All Creation -

You believe you've thought of, done, or written something *new*?

Ha!

I don't think so.

Everything - literally, Everything - sprang from My mind.

Sure, it looks like a probabilistic 'verse to *you,* but things are arranged so that anything *can* and *does* happen. Infinite determinism is indistinguishable from a probabalistic Creation -- from your perspective.

Free will? Ha! Don't get me started. It's the punch line to more jokes than you people will ever know (But it keeps the theologians happy).

Believe me, you'll thank Me for this later.

'cause your Afterlife of Paying for Your Sins includes an awful lot of royalites and payouts for copyright infringement.

(Hint: Consider All-Encompassing Copyright Insurance).

Sincerely,
Your Creator

PS. I know what you're thinking.
Yes, even Sarah Palin.

Enjoy.
YC

Posted by: -bc- | September 7, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Still sniffing, eh, Mudge?

*ducking and coughing*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 7, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Although I imagine Jane Asher is a bit put out.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

At the top of the Politics portal page there is this headline. I swear I'm not making this up.

"GOP trying to make Boehner more human."

It's bad enough they think Obama was born in Kenya.

But jeez, I'd give anything if this gave rise to another "Birther" movement.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Doncha worry your purty lil head 'bout it, Mudge. Dat guy whose gettin' dem dar awards hain't no Paul McCarney, anywho.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | September 7, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Would it be possible to make Boehner look less human?

Can we get Decker to run a test on him? That's really too much to hope because he would have expired by now.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

They've got to make "Boehner look more human". Now I wonder how that works, you know, the more human part. Do we cross his eyes or paste a smile, take pictures of him with babies, what? How does one humanize a person that believes people like me shouldn't even breath, much less, live in the White House? Sounds really tricky to me. Should be interesting.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 7, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Cow Town that is so funny! Mudge you found your daughter yet?

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 7, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think I've killed the boodle, let me see if I can find the door. Should check these things(finding the door, etc.) out before doing the deed.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 7, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if this is redundant, I haven't backboodled very far.

Mike Edwards, former ELO cellist, was killed over the weekend by a runaway bale of hay.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postmortem/2010/09/elo-member-mike-edwards-dies-a.html

Posted by: MoftheMountain | September 7, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Sort of, Cassandra. All she wrote back was that this guy was a "keeper."

The story of the suicide at Virginia Quarterly is pretty interesting: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/07/AR2010090702510.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010090702532

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Keeper" could mean all sorts of things depending on the context. It's a good thing in the piscatorial context, in the penal context not so much.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 7, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Good point, kguy. Also, I should remember that she lives just a few blocks from the National Zoo.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else getting tired of all the bellyaching coming from the right side of the spectrum? I'm really disappointed in my fellow Americans who feel such hatred for our President. I know this is a free-speech country and all, but what happened to respect for the Office of the President? And, what happened to common sense, decency and plain old polite manners? Just sick of it all.

And, burning the Koran (or Quran, or however you want to spell it) seems just ridiculous. Didn't we ban book burning in something like the 1930s?

Sigh...

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | September 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Or is it just something we Americans do? Hate on our President?
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129698830&sc=fb&cc=fp

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | September 7, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Though old the thought and oft exprest,
'Tis his at last who says it best.
        — James Russell Lowell, "For an Autograph"

Posted by: WGNC | September 7, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Someone just send me this link, I think it is appropriate for Mudge today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZa7hU6tP_s&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: dmd3 | September 7, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-02/washington-leads-u-s-cities-in-vehicle-accidents-followed-by-baltimore.html

Nearly quittin' time- LET"S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
Cue Hill Street Blues theme.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 7, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, you can burn all of the books, Bibles, flags, etc, that you can afford to acquire. While bearing in mind applicable local fire regulations.

Posted by: bobsewell | September 7, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Idly wondering if this league has need of more referees.

http://www.upi.com/enl-win/50b65ff575e229924c078af66c2388ea/

Posted by: kguy1 | September 7, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Actualy, the only proper way to dispose of an American flag is to burn it, with due ceremony, of course. That's an ideal job for Cub Scout packs to do at campouts.

I quickly learned, however, that a detailed explanation was required to be repeated each year prior to the ceremony, to ensure that everybody present clearly understood that we weren't of bunch of: Godless, America-hating, flag-burning, left-wingnuts.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | September 7, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

kguy,
re your 4:08. Actually, the refs have to pay the league to work there. A lot!!

Wondering just how they the get the grass stains outta *those* jerseys.

Posted by: Don_from_I-270 | September 7, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Love the Dad Life clip, dmd.

Although I don't wear drugstore sunglasses. (Progressive lens.)

MountainMan, you are preaching to this here choir 'bout the Wingnut whining and hatin'.

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

Guess the guy in FL is gonna go through with his little performance. If this kills any of our soldiers and other civilians out there fighting the war in the Middle East, will these deaths be attributed to "friendly fire?"

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | September 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

(Don't wanna brag, but I had a little sumpthin' to do with getting "Koran" spelled consistently. Just sayin'.) (I have no other magic powers that I'm aware of, however.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

This is full of originality and new ideas, and has been released recently:
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection by Gardner Dozois
Just ordered mine.

RD, old friend, I wonder why it is always you who slams originality and good ideas as insufficient. Scratching my head.

Here's an oldie but a goody. My mom uses this on occasion through the years: "The mill wheels of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine" (her version)
Where did it come from?
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091115183353AAsejjd

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 7, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

It's not plagiarizing it's reyccling. It's good for the environment.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 7, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Mudge,

Someone has not only copped your handle, but he added a first name to it, too:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/dont_raise_the_retirement_age.html

I saw that VQR article. Very sad situation.

Posted by: -pj- | September 7, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"So, how's it going?"

Karl Rove's voice was tentative and uncharactoristically soft as he asked the question. Perhaps he was trying not to startle Ron Kemp. After all, the technician's long, thin screwdriver was deep inside the back of John Boehner's head. And the tip of Kemp's rigid tongue was protruding from his mouth like a tiny pink rhinoceros horn, indicating that he was concentrating.

"Not so well," Kemp muttered, his gaze into Boehner's brain cavity unbroken. A few fiberoptic lines hung from the opening of the cavity, but they - like Boehner's head - hung motionless. "The problem is, his humanizer is set to such tight tolerances even a slight turn creates substantial changes."

"Watch this," Kemp spoke, as he made an almost inperceptible right turn with his screwdriver. "Now, John, tell us about your father."

"Dad. Owned a bar. Called me Johnny." Boehner's voice was utterly cold and toneless.

"Cripes," Rove said, "That's awful. So what happens when you turn to the left?"

Kemp sighed and carefully manipulated the screwdriver. "Ok, John, tell us about your father."

"Daddy? Daddy? Gosh, it's been so long since I've seen you! God, I miss you SO MUCH!" Boehner plunged his face into his hands and began to weep inconsolably.

"No, no, no!" We can't have him blubbering! The speaker of the house has to be tough! A rock! Not a crying wussie!"

"That's the problem," Kemp shrugged, "It's like there are only three settings: Diva, normal, and Mr. Spock."

"All right," Rove sighed, "Put him back on normal. Maybe we can change the script to make him more human."

"Will do, sir," Kemp replied.

Rove turned to leave, then stopped. "Oh, Ron, one more thing."

"Sir?" Kemp raised his eyebrows in inquiry.

"Do something about his color. Real humans don't look like that."


Respectfully Submitted,

CowTown

Posted by: jp1954 | September 7, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Jean-Pierre, you are in fine form.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 7, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

For kguy, thought of you when I read this,

http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/09/07/lightbox-fantastic/

Posted by: dmd3 | September 7, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse


I couldn't agree with Achenbach more. We'll remember King's and Lincoln's words, because they wove them into speeches that deeply touched people in a particular particular context: who will Jamie Stiehm's cavils?

Posted by: rick5 | September 7, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhhhh, the delectible Cow Town . . . . .

Couldn't have said it better myself (mainly 'cuz I'm still coughing my brains out). What a dear, sweet story. I just, well, I just simply *loved* it!

Boehner as a no-brainer. Simply perfecto.

Psssst. It's good to see you back.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 7, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I've made some fine mashed potatoes for the shepards pie. I turned the previous two batches to glue, so I'm inordinately happy with the result. Getting mashed potatoes rights one time out of three, I better keep my day job and Gordon Ramsey can sleep tight.

Some fall colours.
http://picasaweb.google.ca/ShriekingDenizen/FallColours#

I'm neither that big bellied nor pregnant; I had swallowed a basketball by mistake.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 7, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Those are some mighty tall sunflowers.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 7, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The VLP is simply gorgeous, Shriek, even if VL (or TG en français).

Posted by: ftb3 | September 7, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Gorgeous pictures shrieking. Thanks for sharing. I noticed on my drive home tonight that there is a yellowish/brownish tinge to everything suddenly.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 7, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Cow Town (Jean-Pierre?)!

In fact, thanks to all of you boodlers for the thought-provoking and entertaining links and general hilarity today. Much needed and appreciated.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

This seems made for the Boodle: a punctuation haiku contest...

http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/

Posted by: -TBG- | September 7, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Lots of boodle-inspiring links in Twitter this evening...

http://www.readymade.com/blog/design/2010/09/07/the_new_wooden_blocks

Posted by: -TBG- | September 7, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, that was a bit of an inside joke. CowTown changed is handle when registration became the norm.

They are either tall sunflower or I am very short. The tallest is about 10ft high actually. I should have planted them earlier, they are capable of 13-14ft growth.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 7, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Great pictures Shriek.

Since I am randomly linking today, saw this for Talitha, (note to Frosti it is an NFB link - you have been warned).

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

Posted by: dmd3 | September 7, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Bwah ha ha CowTown! Rock on!

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 7, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow,dmd --- way to my heart. I'll save it for later when I can watch it in relative peace and quiet. My days of reenacting may be numbered but my love for Nova Scotia and history will go on and on. Thanks!

TBG - I like that ReadyMade site!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Pure genius, CowTown, thanks!

SD, I noticed blooming coneflowers behind the dragonfly. Mine are so long gone...

The story about the suicide rang a bell for me: Mr. T's current supervisor drove an employee to suicide several years ago. He denies any responsibility, just like the guy at VQR. It was particularly bad for Mr. T because he hired that employee and had worked to make him successful. As I said last week, there's nothing quite so bad as a supervisor who is a bully.

Posted by: slyness | September 7, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, some reenactor giving you guff? Say the word and I'll be up there with my Charleville. I believe it is a 1766 model. Hopefully the perpetrator is a Yank, as it would be fitting to be done in with the Charleville.

If the miscreant is of French decent, there could be trouble. My brown bess arrived with a soft strike plate and has been consistently inconsistent ever since.


Posted by: baldinho | September 7, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought about your statement when I read that sad story today, slyness.

I had a bullying supervisor once. Fortunately for me, I was moved to a different department during a reorganization. But you'd think the company would notice when the third or fourth person quit without having a job to go to.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 7, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I need an original catchphrase that can be attributed to me in perpetuity.


How about: If first you don't succeed, go negative.

Or: They call them think tanks because they'd be lying if they called them know tanks.

Posted by: baldinho | September 7, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

TBG, Slyness, (you know this)

Bullies at work, and in families, are so clever, so very clever. And, before you know this, the web of fear, deceit, and "ordinariness"....this is going on where I work right now. I am not in the crosshairs but can occasionally say to the two people who are, 1) I believe you. 2) You are not hallucinating and 3) Report OUTSIDE of the direct supervisor structure.

Universities are usually great places to work. However, these same places I believe are more vulnerable, "This cannot happen here....we deal in knowledge, ideas, free discussion."

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Funny boodle today, thanks.

TBG is this too macabre?

The sentence has passed;
death by a firing squad.
One shot. Period.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | September 7, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely, CqP. And if you're fortunate enough not to be in the crosshairs NOW, that's no guarantee you won't be, in the future.

What really frosts me is how far a$$hats get without being slapped down. But I've seen the bullying before, been a victim, and eventually it catches up, if the person stays with the organization long enough. The damage is incalculable. And inexcusable. And unforgivable.

Posted by: slyness | September 7, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Slyness, I used to think this but no longer. Sometimes bullies insinuate themselves into positions and manage to stay OR are passed around through through promotion or management assignment on the 18th month or five year plan. If you read about corporate leader personalities, a moderate degree of narcissism is pretty standard.

I used to think that systems righted themselves but ... no longer.

The odd and non horizontal and subject-specialty focus of U-culture does not mean he will be my problem...would have been my problem years ago in a many other institutions. The only thing I can do, which I have, is report his foul language, which, trust me, is so beyond offensive that I can't still believe that these phrases could be strung together....we think that workplace violence is postal-going workers....which it is....but the "ordinary" bullying, very hard to address.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Baldinho, thanks for that offer of firepower. Wish it was that simple but you gave me a good laugh.

I've only been bullied once in the workplace (about 15 years ago) and it was by the owner of a small business so there was no recourse or appeal higher up. He would sabotage his staff by doing things like changing the inventory/point-of-sale softwear in the computers overnight and not tell us. Then he'd intimidate and berate us in front of customers when the inevitable would occur. Sick! I lasted about a month before waving good-bye.

The UVA story gave me flashbacks and made me very angry and sad for those in that situation and in others of similar circumstances.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

PJ -- thanks for the McGarrigle music clip last kit. Very nice.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

dmd-thanks for the NFB warning for that link. I do have it open in another window, but have promised myself not to play it until this evening's chores are done.

My year is made. A constituent just dropped by the house and told me I've done a wonderful job and will be missed when my term is up at the end of the year. I'm tempted to pull a Palin and resign right now-when I go to the post office tomorrow someone will surely have something less wonderful to say.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | September 7, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

McGarrigles ---

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5OiMfM3txk&feature=related

My favorite of their's is "My Town" but I couldn't find a link for it.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Just watching the Dirty Harry movie, him assigned to the murder but called into the mayor's office, and the mayor asks him what he's doing and Harry says, I'm in here talking to you.

Petraeus has to take time out of his day and go on the record and TV etc. and advise against Koran burnings.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 7, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I am doing likewise with your Arcade Fire site Frosti - very cool and such a great band.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 7, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Frosti that was so cool.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 7, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Jumper... there are only 50 members of that church. Why is ANYONE paying any attention to their actions?

I started to think how odd it is that 50 idiots in Florida can cause such a mess, but then I remembered all those idiots in Florida in 2000 and the mess they helped cause.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 7, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I have not yet begun to fight... for the right.... to paaaaaaaarty!

-John Paul Beastie Boy

Posted by: baldinho | September 7, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Baldinho-

My mom loves that song. She bought the 45 when it was first released.

Good times.

Posted by: Moose13 | September 7, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced that suicide story is just or only about bullying; in fact, I suspect it is a secondary element. I think there are at least two other issues there as well. The first is the the poet/manager guy brought in a 24-year-old woman of very little experience and expertise, but who was financially connected to a million-dollar endowment. Unceremoniously, this woman almost immediately began taking over, running the journal and especially doing the high-level liaison with the incoming UVA president, etc., jobs Kebvin should have and could have been doing. Basically, what that amounts to is after years and years being the #2 guy and the defacto manager, Kevin is now displaced AND taking orders from a snot-nosed kid literally less than half his age, who got her job not through skill or talent, but through money (quite clearly)...and who knows what else beside. Let your dirty minds run free, or not, as you prefer.

The second element at play, I think, is the combined element of both betrayal and abandonment. Bad Poet Guy had basically abandoned the journal and all his friends and colleagues, and gone away on sabbatical for a year or whatever. That would be okay if all the lines of communication were clear and the chain of command preserved -- if he'd said, okay, I'm gone for a year, and Kevin's acting boss until I get back. But although it doesn't say that, the implication is nothing like that happened. Bad Poet Guy takes off for Europe leaving rich, young bimbo gal in charge. That's not only abandonment, it's also betrayal. BPG and Kevin had been friends and colleagues; that deteriorated, and it's not too clear why. But people agree Kevin was the good guy and doing a good job running the journal on a day-to-day basis. We have no evidence he did anything wrong, except for a few complaints from BPG that in fact might have been BS. We know BPG way overstepped his bounds when he suspended Kevin and the other guy for a week and was reprimanded by the school.

Kevin was also "abandoned" in the sense that he made no less than 11 attempts to get help. Eleven! and he got zip for it.

On top of that, the UVA president who had been such a benefactor and mentor retired, leaving a new, uncertain incoming president. That's technically not abandonment...but it does represent a loss and a grieving process for Kevin.

I didn't see a whole lot of bullying in that story, but I saw a whole ----load of betrayal and abandonment, and this to a guy who had separate depression issues on top of everything else. Granted, BPGuy was a lousy boss on a handful of different levels, but whatever bullying there was just seems to me to be one of five or six character flaws and bad decisions, not the sole or major defining one.

But yes, I think there's blood on BPGuy's hands, and on the girl's as well.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 7, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

More on the Google logo.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/comic-riffs/2010/09/animation_of_the_day_the_googl.html

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Two of my favorite Kate and Anna McGarrigle songs:

NaCl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4N3rVa2ePM

Foolish You:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPMm0MK0N2M

Posted by: -pj- | September 7, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you are largely right. But, the act to suspend two employees was an abuse of power, which is a kind of bullying: power.

Bullying is about power. And, my goodness, to travel without a clear acting manager plan/bright young golden thing, well, some of the "worsiest" bullies are the passive-aggressive MOI? beings.


Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I understand what you mean when you say there wasn't so much "overt" bullying in the UVA story. But abandonment and betrayal can be actions that are passive-aggressive and covert forms of bullying and control that can leave the "victim" feeling just as beat up emotionally as profanity, etc. Does that make sense?

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

As part of your first point, Mudge, the line in the story that leaped out at me was that BPG spent three-quarters of the review's endowment while sprucing up the review. That strikes me as serious financial mismanagement and seems why he brought in the young woman. Also suspending a couple of members of a small organization because of a little spat in a meeting is poor management.

Posted by: -pj- | September 7, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Talitha, you are right. Never doubt that. Ever.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

CqP, synchronization or mind-meld?

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Woof and Warp, T.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Steel velvet, C.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K82nMSy-IWQ&feature=related

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I understand your p[oints about BPG's passive-aggressive behavior, and agree. However, I don't tend to call that bullying. Sure, I'll go along with "control," but control freaks aren't also bullies; they are their own kind of neurotic. I tend to take the definition of "bullying" and "bully" somewhat narrowly. To me, the bully has to operate pretty much in-person and face-to-face, not long distance or by e-mail or whatever. The relationship between the bully and the victim, I think, has to be direct, and there has to be a dynamic back-and-forth in their relationship, which probably includes a certain amount of fear and humiliation on the part of the victim, but also a sadistic pleasure in the bully. And I didn't see much of that. Sure, there are plenty of a-hats running around throwing their weight around -- but I don't see that as bullying. It's just being an a-hat. In my view, anyway.

Maybe another way to say it is that I don't think bullying can be "covert." I just define bullying as necessarily overt, rightly or wrongly.

Passiver-aggressive is a whole different kettle of fish, at least that's what I think.

Also, you can call it "sexism," if you want -- but I think a 24-year-old girl of no known talent and expertise coming in by virtue of her money trowing her weight around and telling an experienced 52-year-old guy what to do and humiliating him by meeting with the new UVA brass is fraught with all sorts of problems, none of which I would classify as "bullying." But I can see Kevin looking at the situation and seeing no way out of it, and seeing no hope, combined with 11 different "rejections" of his asking for help, and simply seeing no solution for himself.

I really do think bullying has to be face-to-face; there has to be that dynamic between the two. I also think the bully has to have some self-awareness of the what he (she?) is doing to the victim -- and I don't see that here. Yes, BPGuy did some bad stuff -- but I don't see the glint in his ye that he was specifically doing it to Kevin. If anything, what I see is rather more like indifference to whatever Kevin was feeling. And I think Kevin saw this indifference not as bullying but as abandonment.

Also, that journal wasn't "built" just by BPGuy alone; it was him AND Kevin. Kevin had some sense of ownership of that journal, and not only did BPGuy abandon Kevin, he abandoned the journal, too, and left it to some snot-nosed kid to run. That just hadda hurt like hell. Kevin and BPGuy had built it together.

I think there's also a pretty clear, and very strong subtext running all through this about the relationship between BPGuy and Kevin. This was a personal and emotional betrayal and abandonment, whether there was an actual relationship between the two men or not. I'm not suggesting a homoerotic relationship, necessarily, but there was a clear, deep friendship between them, and it was broken by BPGuy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 7, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mudge! Really? people need to be aware of their power plays for bully definition? I do not think so. Bullying is about asymmetrical control.

And, yes, so much poor and inane management and the personal betrayal...lots going on here. U-climes often are absent sound management. No training on that, really.
---
I see your points, though. But, will still argue for bullying as the wielding asymmetrically of power.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Patric Duffy is shilling for Miracle Ear. I am now officially old. And, we should all go the ME for a free exam. Might be ear wax, oh Patrick, thank you for the information. How are things on the big spread near Dallas?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, CqP. *All* wielding of power is somewhat asymmetrical, by definition. The person who has it uses it, and the other person/people submit. But just defining it as a use/abuse of power leaves out the elements of sadism, and humiliation that go with it.

We all run into abuses of power all the time, very often impersonally and by people/agencies that often have no self-awareness they are doing it. But a bully always "knows," even if the event itself onl;y lasts a few seconds. The 8th-grade bully who steals some 5th grader's lunch money may interact for only a few seconds with the 5th grader, and then the bully goes away without a second-thought about the 5th grader. Their interaction and "relationship" only lasted a few seconds for the bully, and then he moves on to something else.

Using/abusing power is not the same thing as willfully inflicting pain. Typically the bully inflicts the pain and asserts the control -- but then he's gone, he moves on to something else. The person who sticks around and continually inflicts pain and stays to watch it -- that is a wholly different kind of sociopath, at least I think. The bully just moves on to the next victim, possibly with no special memory of the event, which is fleeting; the sadist stays to watch and savor. That's the *really* sick puppy.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | September 7, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

And sadism on the spectrum. I could narrow and you can broaden to find the Venn center. I will say that you are missing the girl dynamic of bullying or shall we say social meanness reserved for some and not for others. The target, rather than scattershot is also part of the situation. Am fading. Shall listen to music and stop with the thoughts.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 7, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

CQP, is it any wonder the Man from Atlantis might have hearing issues? Perhaps not wax, but a spectacular case of water in the ear, not to mention some hellacious pressure pops.

Cheez, woulda been nice to have him around to help out in the Gulf about a month ago, wouldn't it?

Manimal, too, now that I think about it.

On another note, could "bullying" be in the eye of the beholder?

[Please note that I did not say that I'd hit a "bullyeye" with that comment.]

bc

Posted by: -bc- | September 7, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Sweet dreams, CqP. check your box.

'Mudge my strength is also fading or I might debate further with you. Food for thought in what you say and I may be too close to these issues right now to be objective. Sleep well.

Goodnight, boodle.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 7, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

shrieking_denizen -- your sunflower pictures are wonderful. I have never seen such tall sunflowers...unless you are really, really short.

Posted by: Windy3 | September 7, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

So many thoughtful and friendly comments to this article. Thanks everyone. :)

Posted by: a_fed_at_home | September 7, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Can't think of a conection for this link except that it is something to enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuS1cCnG8xc&feature=related

Posted by: dmd3 | September 7, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of originality, medicine has a profoundly conservative bent. Standard procedures. Lately, evidence-based medicine. Knowing what not to do is important.

Along those lines, I don't know yet whether I'm helping or wrecking my back at the beach.

I might have a small garden picture gallery tomorrow.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 7, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to seeing your gardens, DotC, after reading of them for so many years.

Posted by: Yoki | September 8, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm eagerly awaiting the pictures DotC. Your garden changes all the time though, you should post regular updates.

With regard to not do anything when necessary I agree but grumpily. Being told to wait and see when I was sure my stomach might explode any second was not what I was expected. But they were right.

The VLP is having a rough night. Many strong thunderstorms rolled by. When he was banished from the bedrooms (who needs a giant dog trying to get under the bed or pushing the night table around?) he buried his head in a laundry basket in the windowless corridor. What a wuss.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 8, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Windy, these are special variety bred for height. Giant Russian is probably the most popular one but these were named Kong. They are probably issued from Giant Russians but they are making side branches.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 8, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Hah! Shriek, Ms. Libby is another wuss. She goes as far down as possible (Himself's concrete-floored furnace room) and then tries to dig further (so far without success). I just feel bad for her anxious self, given that we have thunderstorms daily between early July and mid-September, annually.

Posted by: Yoki | September 8, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Got to love them, warts and all. 'gnight.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 8, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning, friends. Yes, I'm here early, getting ready for school. I'm officially back in the saddle. It is busy Wednesday, and me still wanting to hug the bed. Not a chance.

Have a wonderful and exciting day, folks, and much love to all.

Love the second story, Cow Town. Boehner needs serious work if humanizing him is the game. He's always looked like one of those prison guards one sees on television. I'm sure there's some PR firm willing to take on the task, although I suspect they will earn every dollar they charge. May very well be a boost for business.

Morning, Dawn Patrol!!

Slyness, how you doing? Vacation over? Hope it was lovely.

Glad to hear it, Mudge. I'm going to take "keeper" in the positive sense.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 8, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Just posted -- JA's latest on the Gulf disastrahoochie:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/08/AR2010090801554.html

Hi Cassandra!!! *HUGSSSSSSSSS* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 8, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

The BP executive summary is here:

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/local_assets/downloads_pdfs/Deepwater_Horizon_Accident_Investigation_Report_Executive_summary.pdf

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning to everyone. We are at the time of the year where my commute coincides with sunrise. And this one was a winner.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 8, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

And happy Rosh Hashanah!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | September 8, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Every day we're here for the sunrise is a winner, Padouk!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 8, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Hi Cassandra! Yes, we had a lovely weekend, the weather was beautiful and we enjoyed being with friends.

Mr. T and I are walking in the dark these days; the streetlights are on for the entire time, and the lights in the carport come on when we return. At least the temperature is bearable, at 0600 hours.

The temperature will reach 90 here today, yet again, but autumn is coming. There is no intensity in the heat, we know that summer is waning.

Posted by: slyness | September 8, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

And since we're still in the "nothing's original" Kit:

I wonder, does Bowzer celebrate Rosh Hasha-na-na?

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 8, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

From the BP Deepwater Horizon report:

"The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system probably transferred a gas-rich mixture into the engine rooms, causing at least one engine to overspeed, creating a potential source of ignition."

Yeah, blame the air conditioning.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

ftb, I got an e-mail from Amazon this morning advising me the second "Millenium" movie, The Girl Who Played With Fire, will be released on Oct. 26. Hope the third comes out in time for xmas.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Morning everybody. Cowtown, you are very inventive and funny! ftb, hope you are feeling better. Great pics, SD.

T-storm brewing here bringing a cool front with it. dmd, my moon flowers seem to march to a different drummer (to coin a phrase). One opened late on Monday night and one opened around 5 last night. Got a picture of it, very pretty and smells lightly fragrant. More buds so hoping to catch one in the act eventually if my work schedule permits.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 8, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I may have mislead you on the moonflowers opening, some open in early evening others through the night, and if cloudy some will open in the morning, think it may depend on how warm it is. The scent intensifies with heat and humidity.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 8, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Aha! Thanks dmd. That explains a lot.

Still rumbling but no rain, everything seems to slide off to the north, same as has happened all summer. Darn, I love a good t-storm!

Posted by: badsneakers | September 8, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, I've done a bit of back-boodling, and I gotta tell ya, Shriek, that because I'm on a conference call right now (yeah, I know . . .), I had to glom onto the "mute" button so I could roar out loud about your poor wussy VLP during the thunder storm. His cover shall now and forever be blown (as the Very Large thing that he is). Hysterical (and, yes, I'm also laughing "with" him (as well as "at" him)).

Snukie -- another roar-out to you for your brilliant Bowser comment.

*give that guy a latke with a kugel chaser*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 8, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

OK, guys. I'm really steamed here.

Why in the world is anyone giving any air time to these idiots in Florida? We're talking about one stupid guy and his 50 stupid followers.

If the media weren't giving them any coverage, no one would even know about them.

(I know the real answer; I just need to vent.)

Posted by: -TBG- | September 8, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing the circuses (curcui?) the media creates, TBG? So incredibly stupid and frustrating.

Does the preacher know that the Koran contains stories from the Old Testament? I'll bet he doesn't.

Posted by: slyness | September 8, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

TBG, it makes me feel better to think of it this way, let say a group of non-Christians decided to get together in Florida to burn the Bible. Think about the news that would generate!

OK it really doesn't make me feel better as I know that situation would probably get really ugly, really fast.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 8, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The solution to this is simple. We supply the Florida nutbag preacher with 1,000 copies of the Arabic language edition of "The Complete Bacon Lover's Cookbook" and tell him they are "special Korans straight from Saudi Arabia." He gleefully burns 'em. The Islamic world sees the video and has a good laugh. Case closed.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 8, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

A GREAT BIG THANKS to all boodle members who sent the comfort package to my mom and my family.It arrived a little while ago and is already being enjoyed.Thank you for making a trying time alot more bearable.You folks are the best!!!!!!
And mom has already decided that while we will put most of this out for our family to enjoy,a few certain things will be saved for us (her and I) to enjoy in the weeks to follow.

Also another GREAT BIG THANKS to LiT,who has been a comforting friend throughout this whole ordeal.Friends like you come along once in a lifetime and end up being life long friends.You are the BEST friend anyone could ever have.

On a funny note and we all try to laugh during tough times.The card said from the
"Broodle"

God Bless yaw!!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | September 8, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Angelina Jolie's chimed in on the idiots in Florida (she's agin 'em). That should help.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 8, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Just had a huge coughing relapse and headed for the opiate, which means that I'm gonna be a mess (albeit sleeping) during the day and I've got work to do. *carp*

kguy -- good idea! Put a beard and a turban on this church leader in Florida and he'd be indistinguishable from any al Quaeda nutcase. Un-effing-believable! And whereeeeeeeeeee are all the Rethuglicans on this???

*getting increasingly loopy ... not that you can tell, alas*

Posted by: ftb3 | September 8, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy

Good thoughts your way for you and family. We love you too.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 8, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

New topic, from today's Post. There's a story about the shut down of GE's last incadescent light bulb plant in Winchester. Kinda sad in its own right, but perhaps a larger commentary about some of the reasons our economy isn't bouncing back. GE essentially invented the CFL, but decided it was too expensive to produce here. Years later a Chinese entrepenur took up the idea, worked out the production kinks, and now sells a substantial percentage of the CFL lamps here at a price GE can't come close to meeting.

Posted by: ebtnut | September 8, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

When I hear of the things that people want to do like the minister in Florida, I keep thinking I must be reading a different Bible because I don't get that. I mean seriously, the Scripture I read doesn't point to that direction, and what I take away from that Scripture would never lead me to do something that bizarre. It sounds like someone is playing God, and the Bible doesn't teach that. Yes, we emulate the risen Saviour, Jesus, but Jesus didn't go around burning stuff. He helped people, soothe their sick bodies, spirit, and mind.

And His directive to mankind was clear, love ye one another as I have loved you. Where is the love in burning a religious book or doing harm to anyone? I don't get that. Perhaps I'm missing something. Maybe I need to take another class in reading or my processing skills are on the blink. Christ was humble, meek, never fought back, never opened his mouth, took what came, and what came from man wasn't good, yet he still called us friends.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 8, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

greenwithenvy, echoing your feelings about the lovely generousity of spirit within this boodle community and sending my best to you and your mother.

Hey, you-two-know-who-you-are, clue me in next time so I can help, too. ;)

TBG, I'm spitting peach pits and watermelon seeds at that Florida bunch. Been mad about it for a month or more. Hatefulness and ignorance always ride in tandem, eh?

Question for DaveoftheCoonties ---
In the spring I planted a few morning glory seeds in all the usual places. But this summer I have had three huge entanglements blooming merrily that are apparently volunteers from last year. I've never had an annual re-seed and perform that way here in the valley. Thoughts? Can I expect a repeat next year?

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

ebtnut,
I read that article this morning with mixed feelings. The Chinese guy is thinking of opening a plant in the US to capture the 'Buy American' market.

Does anybody remember the GE commercials from the 90s that touted their investment in a light bulb factory in Czechoslovakia?

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The BP report is self-serving (but of course it is). The references to a 'series of events' makes it sound like acts of god/nature, rather than referring to a 'series of (bad) decisions.' Failure of the mud, failure of a shoe track barrier, failure of the blow-out preventer, but the human errors pointed to weren't theirs. BP 'incorrectly accepted' test results, but Transocean 'failed to recognize....'. how very fortunate of BP to have had whipping boys on site.

GWE, yeah yeah yeah. Next time I get stuck in the rapids, I'll play Cleopatra on the Nile and you can pull me out.

Posted by: LostInThought | September 8, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Well, Cassandra, there is that little episode in the temple when Jesus drove out the moneylenders. I reckon he may have had a bit of righteous indignation every once in a while. But you know I agree that he generally faced down hypocrites with firm truth and a gentle spirit.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

LiT,
My translation of the BP report:

My God, did a whole bunch of things go wrong all in a row. If only we had spent a little time or money on any of these, this could have been prevented.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I thought about that too. Yet he threw the table over, not the humans. And I didn't read where He burned it. Righteous anger, I suppose, for making God's house a business venture. I suspect we could use some of that today? But my overall point was Christ went about doing good, helping people, and the biggie, He died for all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

EBT wrote: "...but perhaps a larger commentary about some of the reasons our economy isn't bouncing back."

The first major problem is our expectations, and the false notion that "economies bounce back." The fact seems to be, economies do not "bounce back" (not railing at you, EBT, just railing in general). From the very gitgo, both Bush and Obama (and all their economic advisors) have told us, over and over again, that economic recovery is a long, slow and bumpy process. Nevertheless, as a nation, we persist in the ill-informed notion that the economy can and/or should "bounce back," and that if it doesn't, well clearly it's all Obama's fault.

This, of course, is nonsense. But we persist in ignoring what our own economists are telling us.

Got this e-mail the other day from a friend:

"Why America isn't working
By Kenneth Rogoff
Project Syndicate
Posted: 09/05/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

"As the U.S. economy limps toward the second anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, anemic growth has left unemployment mired near 10 percent, with little prospect of significant improvement anytime soon. Little wonder that, with mid-term congressional elections coming in November, Americans are angrily asking why the government's hyper-aggressive stimulus policies have not turned things around.

"What more, if anything, can be done?

"The honest answer — but one that few voters want to hear — is that there is no magic bullet. It took more than a decade to dig today's hole, and climbing out of it will take awhile, too.

"As Carmen Reinhart and I warned in our 2009 book on the 800-year history of financial crises (with the ironic title "This Time is Different"), slow, protracted recovery with sustained high unemployment is the norm in the aftermath of a deep financial crisis."

-------

But we live in an age of instant gratification, instant analysis, instant punditry, adn one in which the notion of "have a little patience" is just soooooooooooo 20th century (if not 19th).

No one seems to remember that it took nearly 15 years and a World War to "bounce back" from the Great Depression of 1929.

And the great irony now, of course, if that people are now going to vote for the GOP, the party that got us into this mess and did its damndest to block every effort of recovery Obama (and Bush) tried to implement.

Go figure.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Time to go, much work ahead. It's good to drop by and talk with friends. Enjoy your day.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 8, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Changing the subject -- because thinking about the coming election (and the one in 2012) makes me too upset -- Google is playing with their logo again, and again, I don't know what it means.

Posted by: nellie4 | September 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

You are, indeed, right, Cassandra. But if Jesus were alive today, his nonviolence would cause him to be labelled a "wuss" by many of those so-called "Christians" and his inclusiveness and embrace of others less fortunate would be derided as socialist. Those with the crosses snuggling their self-righteous necks would be first in line to send him death threats, if not even carry out the act.

Mudge, it's very true that the dumbest among us are narcissistic 3 year olds (no matter how old they are), who believe they are the most deserving of everything in the world, believe they are immortal and are willing to ride roughshod over anyone and anything in their way. This also goes along with the bully thread of earlier, I think.

Of course, thinking and pondering and considering and analyzing take time, and those intellectual activities are also elitist, as if Paris (*gag*) HIlton doesn't engage in such, then it's not worth doing -- and look at all the money she has (or expects to have)?

Do I sound smarter, now that I'm back on the "drug"? (but at least I've stopped cough-gaggin for now). . . . .

Posted by: ftb3 | September 8, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

With you all the way, Cassandra!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

nellie, I think the latest Google logo event has something to do with an Ice Age. Whether it's the last one or the next one, I"m not sure.

Posted by: MsJS | September 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Here is a very interesting list, NFL teams in order of mascot name relevance to their home city:

http://www.theawl.com/2010/09/listicle-without-commentary-the-nfl-in-order-of-a-team-names-significance-to-its-home-city

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

MsJS, I was agreeing with you until I looked at Google again, and the colors are back. Perhaps someone just didn't copy in all the code earlier this morning.

Posted by: nellie4 | September 8, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

When I go to Google.com from here (work), I don't see any of the cool things they do with the logo. Anybody know why? (Using IE7.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Shucks, nellie, I was thinking they knew something the rest of us didn't.

An impending Ice Age sure would make a lot of the other headlines of the day puny in comparison.

Posted by: MsJS | September 8, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

yello, I don thin that list means what you thin it means.

"The NFL in Order of a Team Name's Significance to its Home City," for instance, if they were still the Baltimore Colts they wouldn't be #30 on this list.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 8, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Here is the live Google press conference:

http://www.youtube.com/google

Nothing to see yet.


kguy,
It's all depends on what you mean by 'home city'. The Utah Jazz borders on oxymoronic.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

In light of the order of the list, I interpreted it to mean "How important is it to the people of Green Bay that the local team be called the Packers and not the Pantywaists?" Of course I would argue with much of the list- Ravens too high, Raiders too low- but if you look at the list, particularly the bottom half, you see cities which are either poor sports towns or have only a short history with the team or both.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 8, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

In light of the order of the list, I interpreted it to mean "How important is it to the people of Green Bay that the local team be called the Packers and not the Pantywaists?" Of course I would argue with much of the list- Ravens too high, Raiders too low- but if you look at the list, particularly the bottom half, you see cities which are either poor sports towns or have only a short history with the team or both.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 8, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

That the Chicago Bears are #22 on this list is pretty arbitrary, yello.

As I understand it, when the team changed its name from the Staleys, it adopted a version of the local baseball team's name. This was considered pretty standard at the time. Hence the version of the "Cubs" it adopted, was the "Bears".

Meanwhile, the Cubs got their name from a reporter who, in discussing the new young talent the team had recently acquired around the beginning of the 20th century, referred to the new young players as cubs. It gained in popularity and became the official team name a few years later.

How that translates to a #22 ranking is beyond me.

Posted by: MsJS | September 8, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm not mad at those idiots in Florida. They're stupid. They're ignorant. They're certainly not the Christians they claim to be. But there are a lot of folks out there like that and they have every right to be as stupid as they care to be.

Of course, I don't LIKE them or agree with what they're doing.

I AM mad as he11 at the press for giving those idiots coverage. We wouldn't even know about their plans if we weren't hearing about it day and night.

How would the people in Kandahar even know about this event if it weren't being covered ad nauseum by the so-called "mainstream media" here?

A handful of stupid, ignorant, racist, xenophobic fools are causing an uproar to society. How in the world did this happen? Where do we go from here?

It's got to stop.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Google Instant: It now delivers search results before you finishing typing the query.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

MsJS,
There are no bears in Chicago. There are a lot of (unemployed/former) steelworkers in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I am finally back, if not precisely up to speed. We had a very nice weekend.

In no particular order: hugs to greenwithenvy, hugs to talitha. howdy chloebug, keep popping out. kudos to Cowtown. Shrieking denizen, your yard is full of aliens masquerading as cheerful if menacing flora.

TBG, I agree that entirely too much attention has been paid to the Florida idiots. However, I think I read that they have a Web presence and may have publicized their Day Glorifying Religious Violence and Intolerance on the Web. If so, the news would have reached the ear of Muslims, eventually, worldwide even without mainstream media emphasis.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 8, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Google assures me that:

"BearNaked/Chicago is a gay, social, sexual, nudist group for "Bears", other hairy men, and their admirers."

They might be miffed if the team changed its name.

Posted by: bobsewell | September 8, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

bob-s,
Now I am going to snicker like a twelve year old every time I hear 'Chicago Bears'. Maybe they can add a team called the Nashville Nellies.

Perhaps Hogbutchers would be a more literary and appropriate team name.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I concur whole-heartedly with TBG. It isn't that the press "shouldn't" cover the event in Florida; it is that the story deserves perhaps only three paragraphs (if that) in the local paper, the Murky Glades Hand Sanitzer Gazette.

The other side of the coin is that Gen. Petraeus has likewise vastly overplayed his hand, which is to complain (equally publicly and equally over-covered) that the Florida story gives aid and comfort to the enemy, yadda yadda. The fact is, we all heard that same general form of argument during the Vietnam War that covering a demonstration or whatever gave aid and comfort to Victor Charlie, or whatever.

To whatever (limited, I think) extent it may be true that coverage of some sort of event gives "aid and comfort" to "the "enemy," well, so be it; the's the price of a free press and the right to free speech and public expression of it. If the "enemy" chooses to misinterpret what it reads in America's newspapers, that's the enemy's problem, not ours.

One doesn't "shut up" about a war one feels strongly about just so the enemy can falsely conclude something about you. It generally helps, in warfare, to assume one's enemy isn't a total idiot and unable to assess your country's feelings and intentions just from reading the Drudge Report or Mother Jones.

At the height of the Vietnam War, just about half the entire country had turned against the war. Just how the hell do you get half the country to sit down and shut up (even assuming you had such a power)? How do you hide that fact from a reasonably sentient opponent?

In any case, "properly conveying" a nation's intent and resolve to an enemy is especially pointless when the enemy in question simply doesn't give a ---- in the woods what you think anyway, and is barely even capable of understanding your point of view. That al Qaeda or bin Laden or some other miscreant may "use" the Florida thing for propaganda purposes is irrelevant. Yeah, they will. So effing what? The War on Tarrah will not be nudged a single millimeter one way or the other based on what some idiot peckerwood preacher armed with a Zippo lighter does in Turkeyneck, Florida.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I know, Ivansmom, but there are a zillion wacko websites out there pushing all kinds of zany, crazy ideas.

But the "mainstream" publicity these doofuses are getting appears to lend them some credence to their actions.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Or perhaps the Chicago Shoulders?

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I see your point. It does no real good to be angry at the Florida congregation themselves. And I know that the explosion of news reports is fueling itself at this point. But isn't anger at the press just shooting the messenger? I'm just not sure about that, honestly.

FWIW, I first heard about this right here on the boodle when (I think it was) yello posted a small blurb from the Gainesville paper weeks ago.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

My thought, to, SN -- Carl Sanders' big shoulders moniker for the Shy-town bruisers.

Ravens -- literary, which is worthy in so many ways.

Packers -- for their labor/working stiff panache...

But, the best team name from my little world would be, drumrollll

The Belt High School Buckles.

Really -- in the Judith Mountains of Montana.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Don't ask me what they should rename the Dallas Cowboys, Scotty. Don't do it. Don't. Even. Go. There.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

too! SCC for now and in the future. Am test driving the

e-reader
Kindle

this week for work. Apparently, the big winner to be is the Nook. Now, why these techno-deciders did not include that device in my packet, I do not know.

Who is a Nookie? Frost?


Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 8, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* Once upon a time, back in the day, getting some nookie was the very pinnacle of one's desires.

No more, alas. No more.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

And a good Rosh Hashanah to those who celebrate it this evening and tomorrow. {Interesting that so many New Year's celebrations involve the blowing of horns, isn't it?)

Re. the BP report, put me down as another of those who will look it over with a grain of salt and consider the source. From BP's perspective, it makes sense to do a thorough investigation and be first with a full report - all other investigations and reports will likely be obliged to refer to it going forward. {This could be helpful for dealing with criminal investigations and juries/jurors (grand or otherwise), I would think).

gwe, you're welcome. You and your family are in hearts and minds out here in the Broodle (oy).

NFL team name relevance - well, didn't the Giant and Cardinal baseball *and* football teams play in the same cities once upon a time? Had some degree of self-relevance at once upon a time. yello, you *know* the Jazz is basketball - but to your point, it is indeed oxymoronic that they kept the name in Utah. I expect the Jazz to move to Key West next.

TBG, sometimes the world changes on a single person. Hitler, Napoleon, Stalin. The fight still goes on. We humans are a contradictory bunch, aren't we?

Have a good day, folks.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | September 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

CQP - don't forget the Belfry Bats.

Posted by: woofin | September 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm only shooting the messenger, Talitha, because THERE IS NO MESSAGE.

This is a meaningless act of drivel by a stupid assortment of ignorant, racist people.

If there is a message at all, it is: "We are stupid, ignorant, racist group of people."

Posted by: -TBG- | September 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

And Gen. Petraeus is wrong. The act of burning the Koran is not going to harm our troops. It's the incessant COVERAGE of this small group of ignorant, racist people that is going to harm our troops.

Covering nationwide protesting of war isn't the same thing as covering a small group of people who do not in any way represent the attitude of most Americans.

The protests during the Vietnam War DID represent what most Americans felt. That's why in the end, they actually worked.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 8, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

TBG, loved your rant.

I do hope, a VERY large crowd assembles as said event, to show their protest for the actions of that wacked out Rev. and his flock, a multi-faith/athiest/agnostic/wiccan combo would be nice.

At this point the news is out and it seems to ignore it would be to condone, protest that is my answer, which is much tamer than ealier possibilities I have had, that are not fit for public discussion.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 8, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Well then 'Mudge, how about the Mavericks? Or the Stars? :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 8, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

dmd... Thanks. But I think a large crowd is only going to show the Muslim world that a large crowd gathered to burn the Koran.

Picture the anti-American protests we see on Al Jazeera. Can you tell who is protesting what? No. We just see a large crowd and somewhere in there a flag is being burned.

What if one guy is burning the flag and the rest of the people are telling him to stop? Can we tell that? No.

The best thing that could happen is for no one to pay attention. If no one is paying attention, they won't even do it.

Posted by: -TBG- | September 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

TBG, I take it you donn't look at any comment/message boards regarding the islamic community center in NYC, then. That ignorance and racism is alive and well far beyond that little crowd in Florida, unfortunately.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

talitha,
Yes, I did. Blame me. I saw the article on Gawker and posted the link mostly because of the Joel-Gainesville connection. Never in my wildest imagination would this guy become such a celebrity and/or lightning rod.

I had to spend a half hour this weekend listening to my father rant about how radical Wahabbi-ist (sp?) clerics infiltrate and take-over mainstream Muslim communities. He then started spouting the 'The Koran tells Muslims its okay to lie to and kill infidels' canard.

There is a lot of hatred, misinformation, and deception out there. And a lot of it is fanned by the media which by decrying it but also discussing it throws these fundamentalist idiots into the briar patch as they want. Rather than giving this guy a platform, we should be explaining how these actions go against our core principles. The quicker 9/11 is past and this idiot is allowed to slink back under his rock, the better.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Zackerly, TBG. U go, girl. Rock on.

Mavericks? Stars? Not on my radar, Scotty. I like to keep my loathing pretty tightly focused on just one team in just one sport.

Don Meredith excluded, of course. I like Don. He gets a pass. Nobody else. May all the rest of them have boils on their hemorrhoids.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

CqP, just in case you wanna diversify your teaching a little bit, there''s this WaPo headline and story:

"University offers English class on zombies" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/08/AR2010090802944.html?hpid=moreheadlines Insert generic political, social, religious or multicultural Glenn Beck/Ann Coulter joke here.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Thinking back, Gainesville is one of many university towns where the dumpsters were once plastered with KILL THE SHAH fliers. I never figured out how the experts in Washington failed to realize that the Iranian monarch was in trouble.

I'm prepping a few photos from little Heathcote Botanical Garden in Ft Pierce, where I was weeding and clipping this morning.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | September 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Totally off off topic-

http://thedailywh.at/post/1086550574/headshot-of-the-day-pow-right-in-the-kisser#disqus_thread

Everson Walls, Mudge? Everson Walls, who gave his former teammate a kidney, gets boils on the rhoids? Harsh.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 8, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, thanks. Now, can we get a HS team?

Zaneville Zombies?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually, though, it has been bothering me a little bit aboput how we (meaning right-thinking liberals all over the country) have been demonizing Gainesville, or Florida, over this wack job. It's really not fair-- a crackpot like this preacher could have popped up pretty much anywhere in this country. Fred Phelps, that miserable POS preacher who protests gay soldiers' funerals, is from Topeka, Kansas. Jim Jones of the Jonestown Massacre was from Indiana and lived in California. Marshall Applewhite of the Heaven's Gate suicide cult was from Spur, Texas (okay, maybe a bad example). Aimee Semple McPherson, another crackpot evangelist, was born in someplace called Canada (I did a Google search, but couldn't find which state that was in).

So really, this nut case could have come from just about anywhere.

Wasilla, Alaska, for instance.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 8, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

High school, you say? OK then-

http://www.hoopeston.k12.il.us/buildings/highschool/index.htm

Posted by: kguy1 | September 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Well if we rolled in my other, best left unmentioned ideas, I do believe those around the world would definitely get the idea that the large crowd is not supporting the wacko's.

I do get your point TBG, but it makes me mad that they can do what they are, as I mentioned previously were the situations reversed I do not believe world perception of why the crowd was there would matter, and yet in this case protesting for the best reasons is discouraged, dang.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I think I have issues from being to young to protest in the 60's :-)

Posted by: dmd3 | September 8, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I had you pegged for Oregon State.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | September 8, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Beaver shot:

http://blog.oregonlive.com/beavers/2007/07/benny2.jpg

Posted by: yellojkt | September 8, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

From Capeheart's PostPartisan yesterday:

"A Facebook friend instant messaged me last night with an idea to counter Jones. 'People should, leading up to and on the day of, go out and BUY a copy of the Koran to counter the bigot's act. people of ALL faiths' he wrote."

A comment followed:

"Better than going out and buying it, people should organize an International Read The Koran day.

Get small groups together to read passages in public places. Maybe discuss how the passages relate to western cultural practices.

P.S. It would be great if this could be done without mentioning terrorism, extremism, Palestine or Israel at all, since these are polarizing issues. Instead it would be nice simply to get people together to appreciate our differences."



Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Kguy! Thanks.

Cornjerkers! Like Huskers but better or worser!

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 8, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

And now for something completely different ...

For those of you who might be interested in vintage baseball (they play by 1860s rules and catch bare-handed (no wussy mitts for them, man!)), check out one of the finest vintage baseball teams ever -- http://www.rochestergrangers.com/, (Disclaimer, a dear lawyer friend of mine is on the team).

It's pretty cool, and I've been told that most of them are at least older than 40, some are in their 50s and perhaps there are some more whippersnappers in their 60s -- AND they cream current high school teams in demonstration games. The Grangers are doing great this season -- certainly better than the Tigers (grrrr), that's for sure.

TBG -- I'm with you, rantwise.

Posted by: ftb3 | September 8, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Hi all!

I like this team for ridiculous names: http://www.biscuitsbaseball.com/

I do like the Belt High School Buckles though, CqP. I have a friend who collects minor league team merchandise, and that might beat anything he's found so far.

One loan down today, I had high hopes the other would go through by the end of the week, but they said there's no way they can process it that fast, so we will have to wait until hubby gets back from training late next week. One more week until house (again), and another weekend opportunity for renovation before move-in missed.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | September 8, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh definitely better, CQP. Their mascot is "The Jerky."

Posted by: kguy1 | September 8, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

CQP, I'd be very interested to know how difficult it might be to load a public-domain book txt file into that reader.

Re: idiot preacher, perhaps a lifelike effigy might be constructed. His face is very copy-able onto a big dummy.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 8, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Jumper -- used to use Pluckr to load books to a Palm Pilot....will be trying all sorts of bookies tonight. The devices are charging even as we type....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 8, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

ftb, loved the Rochchester Grangers site and I'd love to see a game firsthand. The pix were fun.

It brought to mind a historical novel I read some time ago by Thomas Dyja, Play for the Kingdom. He used a series of baseball matches between Northern and Southern solders (based on historic fact) to illustrate the conflict of the Civil War. I found that the device was well used to show how these men struggled to stay human amidst the worst kind of endeavor. And the play-by-play, considering the primitive settings, were delightful to read.

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

scc: 'was' delightful

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I watched quite a bit of the news last night. CNN in particular was flogging two dead donkeys with gusto. They had the Gainesville Moron on a loop and they were making hay of all the heinous crimes of the Congressional Black (Democratic) Caucus. To me, there was no news in either subject. But on and on they went.
By the way, I think the good Rev. Fahrenheit 451 doesn't have three grey cells to synapse together. He sounded like a massive twit.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 8, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Rev has website which may take comments. I have not tried.

Posted by: Jumper1 | September 8, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

PeeChee folders, Oatmeal style:
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/peechee

And, because more bear is always good:
http://www.thingsbearslove.com/

And, if this a repost, I am bery,bery sorry but not that much.

Paging RD and Frosti, 'specially because he is PeeCheeMan while Frosti is BearGrrrrl.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 8, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the sun has set... Happy New Year!

Posted by: -TBG- | September 8, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Scary thought of the night: what if the internet has truly changed the way politics is done in the US and the way people get their information.... and it is only getting started? How much worse could it get?

Off to rewatch "Idiocracy".

Posted by: baldinho | September 8, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn_XsOUC9s0&ob=av3e

Good song from some old dogs. Fits into my rant.

Posted by: baldinho | September 8, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

If the GOP takes the House, will the GOP in the Senate still filibuster everything?

Posted by: baldinho | September 8, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Remember how the private sector was lean and mean and the public sector was bloated and could cut 25% of staff without noticing?

This article got my interest. As a former defense industry employee, I am not shocked at all. Does anyone think that Lockheed will miss these folks that much?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/08/AR2010090804316.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: baldinho | September 8, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, y'all.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 8, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the Comedy Newtwork here, I get to watch Jon Stewart at 10:00 pm tonight, her and John Oliver are Brilliant tonight.

Posted by: dmd3 | September 8, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, Ivansmom. L'shanah tovah!

Posted by: Bob-S | September 8, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to some Comedy Central merriment at 11 myself, dmd.

Shana tova umetukah!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I read right by TBG's initial greeting.

I'm not Jewish, and am not identified as holding close to any particular religious sentiment. But I wholeheartedly believe that many traditions are useful and healing. Earlier, I walked down to (and into) the nearby creek and emptied my pockets of some useless baggage, and made a few promises. Came back and had some apple slices dipped in honey. Tasty!

Posted by: Bob-S | September 8, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Poems for the New Year
Velveteen Rabbi

One here:

2010: ROCKING CHAIR

The exalted throne on high
is a gliding rocker.
God watches us with kind eyes

rejoicing when we figure out
how to fit two pieces together
and create something new

looking on us with compassion
when we struggle for balance
and thirst for what we can't name.

On the birthday of creation
God remembers
every moment of our lives.

The sages of the Talmud knew
more than the wobbly calf wants to suck
the mother yearns to give milk

God is the same way
overflowing with blessings, and yet
we turn our faces away and wail.

When will we learn?
God's lap is always open
all we have to do is return.

More here:
http://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/new-years-poems.html

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 8, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

That Passeth All Understanding

An awe so quiet
I don't know when it began.

A gratitude
had begun
to sing in me.

Was there
some moment
dividing
song from no song?

When does dewfall begin?

When does night
fold its arms over our hearts
to cherish them?

When is daybreak?

Denise Levertov, Oblique Prayers
New Directions, New York, 1984

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | September 8, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Hug to CqP ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | September 8, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Careful, talitha1.

Posted by: Yoki | September 9, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

just talitha, yoki
no
1

Posted by: talitha1 | September 9, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

sorry, Talitha.

Posted by: Yoki | September 9, 2010 2:16 AM | Report abuse

sorry, Talitha.

Posted by: Yoki | September 9, 2010 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Before Terry Jones was in Florida, he was in Germany. He was expelled by members of the congregation. He is delusional.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,716409,00.html

Posted by: rainforest1 | September 9, 2010 4:07 AM | Report abuse

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

Morning,friends. If you're a praying person, I need your prayers this morning. If you don't pray, I still need your prayers this morning. I'm on my way to the hospital. Doing missionary work, big time.

Have a lovely day, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | September 9, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

We're pulling for you, Cassandra.

Tough, cranky morning, begone! I'll be in a good mood all day, due in part to this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn1CXbf2xF8

Posted by: baldinho | September 9, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm praying, Cassandra. And I hope all will be well with you and the person you are supporting.

Another beautiful morning, I have so much to be thankful for. And responsibility for using my gifts well. So onward.

Posted by: slyness | September 9, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

*HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS* Cassandra. Be well!

Not much to say today, apart from the fact that some things aren't really poll-worthy... *SIGH*

*off-to-find-a-sugar-and-caffeine-fix Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

hmmmmmmmmmmmm... Could have sworn this already went through:

*HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS* Cassandra, be well!!

Not much to say apart from not every topic is worthy of an opinion poll... *SIGH*

*off-to-find-a-sugar-and-caffeine-fix Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least those were slightly different... *eye roll* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra, you are in my prayers.

Nippy morning here but a nice change from the humidity. The Colbert Report last night was terrific - audience full of service people, Biden passing out hot dogs, Ordierno accepting a 'wig' from Colbert. I realize that he is an entertainer, but Colbert usually manages to pull off his stunts and gags with at least some measure of class and good will. Admirable trait and something the rethugs don't 'get' at all.

Posted by: badsneakers | September 9, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I was just browsing through the National Press Club's event calendar and came across this:

1000 Architects & Engineers Present Explosive Evidence at World Trade Center on 9/11

Sure to be plenty of tinfoil available, methinks... *SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 9, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

New kits! Dispersants!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | September 9, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

New Kit! BP Bly report.

Posted by: Ivansmom | September 9, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Add my voice to the choir at your back, Cassandra.

What Sneaks said about Colbert's show last night. I especially enjoyed the rapid fire The Word segment on the "end of the war in Iraq" . . . you'll just have to see it for yourself. Biden as the hotdog vendor was cool, too.

Thanks for the song, baldinho - I think. I may have to Beethovan-up to shake the echo.

Have a good Thursday!

Posted by: talitha1 | September 9, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

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