Re: Everybody Everywhere Is Crazy

1

Why can't they just say "Sex worker! Sex worker! Sex worker!"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:18 AM
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Next thing you know they're going to ban "Merry Fucking Christmas"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:20 AM
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Bitch better have my money


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:21 AM
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Oh God this prefigures another round of irritating culture war bullshit does it not?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:22 AM
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4: merry fucking christmas.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:23 AM
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Can't we even finish the War on Thanksgiving before we start in on the War on Christmas?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:24 AM
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6: enjoy fucking your turkey.

Hm, that sentence looks wrong somehow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:25 AM
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warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could frighten children

Because that's what Daddy's always yelling at Mommy?


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:25 AM
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The world would be better were I allowed to blowtorch the war on Christmas types.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:30 AM
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10

Speaking of crazy, Lance Armstrong vs. Ashely Olsen? wtf?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:31 AM
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10 reveals a creepy, Oggedian view, of relationships.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:35 AM
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"vs" in the mash-up sense, of course.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:36 AM
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7 - Don't bring that up, please, lest someone link to that picture in the archives.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:37 AM
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Be fair. Fat guy wearing a fur-lined red suit and a jaunty hat? They're not making this up out of nothing.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:39 AM
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there be dragons in the archives, aye.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:39 AM
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13: Becks has been traumatized by the crab dip.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:41 AM
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14: yeah but Santa's more into elf pimpin'. Women have nothing to fear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:41 AM
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Lance Armstrong vs. Ashely Olsen

Ew.

Also, from the article: One disgruntled Santa told the newspaper a recruitment firm warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could frighten children

Seriously? A giant bearded fat guy saying "ha ha ha" is less scary than "ho ho ho"? I think Santa should say "muahahahaha."


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:41 AM
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10: Whom are you accusing of crazy? I thought Crispin Glover vs. Courtney Peldon was as good as crazy got. If I were Ashley Olsen, I'd be taking advantage of Lance for as long as I could, especially now that he's done training. And if I were Lance, and I'd spent all my public goodwill dumping Sheryl Crow, I'd be looking for some 20-year-old hobo-lookin' quasi-celeb to make things right.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:42 AM
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"Do you want some candy, little boy?" And he should have a white van, not a sleigh.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:42 AM
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now that he's done training

Lance just ran the NY marathon in 2:46.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:43 AM
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"Hello Santa!"

"HUALGLAHALGHALUAHGL"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:45 AM
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Done with bike training, anyhow. I'm guessing a marathon doesn't take nights in the low-oxygen tent, which I always imagined as a probable mood-killer for la Crow.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:45 AM
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Eh. Olson's fifteen years younger than he is. It's a lot, but not obscene, and not out of line with Hollywood values. It seems creepier because we (OK, I) saw her when she was like two on Full House.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:47 AM
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24: it's creepy because he saw her when she was like two on Full House.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:48 AM
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Huh. Lance is younger than I thought.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:49 AM
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25: Creepiest thing in Armstrong's house: the Full House boxed set.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:51 AM
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17: Are there no women elves? Sexist.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:52 AM
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Someone make the "box set" pun already. It's killing me.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:53 AM
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25: By that standard, almost no one can date the Olsens. There are re-runs. OTOH, Ashley, along with everyone else in America, knows nearly everything about Lance's body, which is practically public property.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:53 AM
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I prostituted out loud.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:54 AM
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I don't think that Lance should work his testicle as hard as he does.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:54 AM
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Seriously? A giant bearded fat guy saying "ha ha ha" is less scary than "ho ho ho"? I think Santa should say "muahahahaha."

HEY HEY HEY! I'M FAAAAAAAT SANTA!


Posted by: OPINIONATED SAINT NICHOLAS | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:54 AM
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30: That's why the actress who played Hermione Granger can never have sex.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:55 AM
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compared to the actor who played Harry Potter, who can have sex with a horse or whatever that was.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:56 AM
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28: hey, take it up with big guy. I just report what I see in Rankin & Bass movies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:57 AM
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I thought Lance was wholesomely married.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:57 AM
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35: Oh, I think it's OK for her to have sex with a horse or whatever. Maybe we'll think the horse is pretty pervy, but I doubt it cares.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:57 AM
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You people get everything wrong. The problem with AO is that she looks like an emaciated elf.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:58 AM
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39: Santa has needs, you see.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:59 AM
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37: Used to be. Divorce, then Sheryl, then break-up (divorce?), then Ashley.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 11:59 AM
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42

This will certainly not cause any parents to be pressed to explain why Santa is saying "ha" instead of "ho" now. Nosir.

True fact: Jerkcity once stole a strip from me. I'm still not sure how.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:00 PM
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43

I hear he's cheating on Ashley with Hannah Montana.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:00 PM
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42 raises many questions, not least of which is how you steal something with a chat log. Neither least of which is what the hell comic do you write, mano?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:01 PM
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You steal it from another chat log, obviously. All I know is I said it and then a week later it was in Jerkcity. Not a coincidence!


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:04 PM
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45: some of them do (or did) hang out on EFNet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:06 PM
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42,45: There are only a finite number of permutations of cocksucking jokes, you know.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:08 PM
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she looks like an emaciated elf

This is supposed to be a problem?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:09 PM
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47 is inconsistent with infinite fellatio.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:10 PM
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50

you folks do know that they have been telling department store Santas to just laugh in a normal friendly manner rather than bellowing, for the last like twenty years, yeah? Because it frightens children. Newspapers have been running versions of this story every year for about the same amount of time, although I admit that this is the first one which tries to pretend it's because "Ho" is slang for "whore". Which it isn't in Australia, anyway.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:13 PM
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My son's HS class did the ho-ho-ho Santa joke in a skit 10-15 years ago already.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:16 PM
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"Ho" is slang for "Paul HOgan" in Australia. Hence the ban.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:17 PM
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50: Hmmm. Our department store Santas don't seem to have gotten the memo.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:18 PM
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54

I never liked Santa, either in concept or in his various incarnations. Always seemed like a suspicious creep to me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:20 PM
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54: sizeist. Also displaying noted anti-caribou bias only partially mitigated by distate for fur-wearing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:23 PM
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54: I'm certain everybody's already seen this photo gallery of little kids getting scared shitless by Santa, but it never fails to crack me up.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:23 PM
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53: is Canadian Santa regular size now, what with the exchange rate?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:23 PM
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There's a domestic glut of Canadian Santas, and they're all stronger and weirder than ever before.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:27 PM
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5: It wasn't the fat that scared me. It was the fact that my mom spent most of my childhood terrifying me with stories about how adults are all out to kidnap and rape little kids. It kept me from running away, because I had to assume anywhere outside my house would be worse than it was at home, but I never could understand why, once a year, it seemed perfectly appropriate to plop me on some complete stranger's lap, where I'd be asked lots of private questions about my behavior. (shudder)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:30 PM
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59 to 55


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:31 PM
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once a year, it seemed perfectly appropriate to plop me on some complete stranger's lap, where I'd be asked lots of private questions about my behavior

It's UnfoggeDCon!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:32 PM
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Here's a deeply personal question for the group: was anyone ever plopped in Santa's lap and discovered that St. Nick had wood? It's a horrible thing to think, but it seems like something that could happen.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:36 PM
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Am I going to hell for not doing the whole "Santa" thing with my kid? He'll be about 18 months at Christmas, so this would be his first year of Santa indoctrination. But my wife and I think lying to kids is bad, so we've decided against it. Is this going to get him beat up years down the road?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:36 PM
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she looks like an emaciated elf

This is supposed to be a problem?

The well fed elves have such lovely curves.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:38 PM
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62: I am sure this happens all the time, but most of the kids on Santa's lap are too little to recognize it as such.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:39 PM
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66

For better or worse, Santa made AWB the person she is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:43 PM
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65: Maybe "lump of coal" is a euphemism?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:44 PM
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But my wife and I think lying to kids is bad, so we've decided against it.

Are you trying to imply something about Santa Claus? Because I'm not following. I've seen him with my own eyes!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:45 PM
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OT: Hey, Cala (and others consorting with or being foreigners). Guess what? After 25 years, one has to renew a green card. And has to remember a shitload of silly details no one on earth would bother remembering -- which office did what with respect to processing, what kind of visa got changed when, where exactly entry was accomplished.

A person has two choices: write it all down, and put it someplace where 25 years of moving and life-changing won't disturb it, or make each step memorable, by causing trouble enough to make a scene.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:47 PM
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Is this going to get him beat up years down the road?

My parents never tried to fool me with Santa, and all the beatings I received down the road had absolutely nothing to do with that.

62: Santa was just checking my temperature, and you have to go turn it into something dirty.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:48 PM
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69: doesn't matter. after next years election, everyone will be leaving anyway. if they can.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:50 PM
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I've seen hims lump of coal with my own eyes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:51 PM
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Spike, if it makes you feel any better, we've decided not to lie to our kid about Santa, either. We're going to try and keep the season focused on its original purpose: lying to him about the virgin birth of Jesus.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:51 PM
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68 made laugh heartily.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:52 PM
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I think lying to kids is bad
Good luck with that one. Ours thinks that Santa is a useful fiction, and seems to be suffering no social consequences. He also thinks that too many commercials will turn his brain into boogers, because that's what I told him.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:55 PM
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69: Is 25 years still true? I think it's a ten-year card these days (permanent residency is permanent, but the card isn't.)

We have two file folders so far. One for the fiance visa, one for the adjustment of status petition, and they keep getting filled with all sorts of junk. We're still waiting for them to get around to his petition.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:56 PM
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Guess what? After 25 years, one has to renew a green card.

Huh, my dad's coming up on that in a year or so. Maybe that's why he's finally looking at becoming a citizen, less paperwork that way.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:57 PM
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Am I going to hell for not doing the whole "Santa" thing with my kid?

Not if he keeps the secret to himself. Woe be unto you when the call from Jimmy's mom comes in 1st grade about spilling the beans and "ruining Christmas for everybody".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:57 PM
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79

What's that got to do with lying to kids?


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 12:57 PM
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Does anyone know if the "War on Christmas" stuff ever went so far as to demand "protection" of Santa and Christmas trees as "religious freedom"? I bet it happens all the time. I attended a brilliant talk recently about how "religious freedom" gets used as a defense of a whole lot of cultural norms that have fuck-all to do with any religious doctrine.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:00 PM
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78: Right. Better to just tell little Jimmy yourself.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:03 PM
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Guess what? After 25 years, one has to renew a green card

True. I renewed mine in 1994; my last one was pink. Then after a few more years I decided it was past time to just do it and become a citizen.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:05 PM
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80: It's an argument which has been deployed at times.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:06 PM
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78: Yeah, I think we are going to need to tie it into a lesson about "some people believe ridiculous things.... best to just let them be."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:11 PM
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83: Oh, those are really awful. Most conservatives don't want to admit is that they are anxious about the loss of the universality of their WASP-centric cultural references. It's not that they're worried about the eternal souls of non-Christians, or about the possibility that Christians will be intimidated out of testifying their faith, but that people don't get their jokes anymore, and don't constantly serve as a mirror for themselves.

I've got several evangelicals in my class this semester (sort of rare for this school). My class is deeply invested in the history of ethics and religious practice w/r/t literature, so usually it provides common ground for religious and non-religious types. But this semester, I've got a kid who is just pissed as hell that he can't openly laugh whenever I talk about the execution and imprisonment of homosexuals. I can deal with students who have moral issues with queer sex, and I know how to talk to them about it, but, even in the context of conversations about compassion and empathy as a basis for ethics, he feels totally oppressed when I ask him what he's giggling about, to share his funny joke about stoning sodomites with the class.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:14 PM
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Am I going to hell for not doing the whole "Santa" thing with my kid?

Nah. Just make sure he knows that other people's parents DO lie to them. Present it as a big game that everyone goes along with - it's not hard to do.

We came clean to the older two when #2 was 4 1/2 and hysterical on Christmas Eve about a strange man coming into her bedroom. Fair enough. I've carefully not ever said anything to the younger two about Father Christmas, but the older two do, and obviously they hear it everywhere. The 5 year old asked me the other day if Santa and Rudolph were real, to which I replied no - she stared at me like I was an idiot and said "They must be; otherwise how would we get our presents? Duh!"

I'm a bit worried about the 7 year old - he's a love, but inclined to take things a bit too seriously. And he believes people (at least those who don't have a proven record of lying to him). I worry that he *will* be one of those kids whose pissed off that he's been decieved all these years.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:14 PM
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Christ, I mean of course DECEIVED! I wrote athiest elsewhere earlier, my fingers are fucked tonight.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:16 PM
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88

You Santa haters are just wrong, man. PK still believes in Santa, though I'm wondering how much longer this will be the case. He gets really angry at the kids in school who try to tell him that Santa doesn't exist, but God does. "Santa brings you presents. What does God do? Nothing! Obviously Santa exists and God doesn't!"

Also, the "I don't want to lie to kids" thing is ridiiculous perhaps somewhat fallacious. What are you going to do when the kid insists he's Harry Potter and you're Professor McGonagle?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:17 PM
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89

Based on your descriptions (in this thread and elsewhere), your class sounds really good, AWB. I wish I could take it.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:17 PM
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90

Santa's a nasty concept for kids in poorer families. Sitting around at school trying to figure out whether rich kids are so much better behaved than you blows.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:17 PM
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91

Explain that the poet lieth not, for he nothing affirmeth?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:17 PM
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92

91: they are, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:18 PM
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the universality of their WASP-centric cultural references

Dude, that's what made America GREAT!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:18 PM
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Present it as a big game that everyone goes along with

This strikes me as much nicer all around than "don't disturb the poor deluded masses, dear."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:20 PM
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93: I went to a dentist in KC who spent the entire process talking about how guns must stay legal, if only to remind us how "we" made this country great by blowing all those damned Indians to hell. He said it so matter-of-factly, and there was nothing I could do! Instruments in my mouth!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:21 PM
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Santa is a useful fiction

My niece has no trouble understanding this and also understanding she shouldn't say anything to the goyim.

Hanukkah Harry on the hand . . .


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:22 PM
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88: With regard to the Harry Potter comparison, I think there is a big difference between an afternoon game of "pretend", and asking the kid to participate in an ongoing Big Lie wherein material gifts are presented as a reward for good behavior.

Of course, my kid is not old enough to ask for bribes yet, so that perspective may change in time...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:23 PM
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89: Thanks, Brock! I've taught the damn thing so many times I'm starting to get that weird sensation where I look out at my students and think, "But I've lectured on this same thing 10 times! Why is this a surprise to you?"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:23 PM
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Actually, I guess she's not been told "useful fiction" so much as "that's their tradition," along the lines of 94.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:23 PM
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100

Apparently the prostitute portion of the article isn't correct:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10475747


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:24 PM
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101

It's why infected blankets have to stay legal.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:24 PM
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102

Instruments in my mouth!
Well, better this than having the argument first, then the dental work. Seen "Marathon Man"?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:25 PM
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103

I love me some infected blankets around Christmas time...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:26 PM
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104

My childhood included elaborate plans to prove Santa's existence - hidden video cameras, body doubles under the covers. I can't remember whether I sincerely believed at age five or whatever whether the guy was real, but his presence was a given regardless. At any rate, staying up late proved too much of a challenge; I don't think I particularly wanted to find out.

Also, re: War on Christmas, does this make Australia another Godless liberal coast, on par with New England and California, or what? I mean, they speak English, kind of, so they're like an American principality, right?


Posted by: Jim Sligh | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:26 PM
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102: I have dentist issues. I will never see Marathon Man.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:26 PM
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After 25 years, one has to renew a green card.

People who got their cards in the 1980s usually did not have any expiration date. Cards issued these days have a maximum of 10 years (less if you just got married and they want to be sure you're going to stay married).

There's a proposal now that all green card holders will have to "renew" (meaning replace) their cards, as a way of bringing the 1980s-era folks up to date.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:27 PM
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107

My parents de-mystified Santa when I was old enough to speak. Never missed it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:29 PM
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86:

Just make sure he knows that other people's parents DO lie to them. Present it as a big game that everyone goes along with - it's not hard to do.

Creepy. Start 'em young. Creepy, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:31 PM
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106: If you just got married, you only get a conditional green card, meaning you have to file to remove conditions in two years to show good intentions. (If you divorce before then, you can file to remove conditions on your own as long as you can show you entered into the marriage in good faith.)

There's a weird group of people -- mid 80s green cards sometimes -- caught between the old rules and the new rules such that if they come forward to renew their cards, they'll be deported for being officially out of status. But if they don't renew their cards, they're violating a law.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:32 PM
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104. Several years ago, after placing the presents under the tree and havinfg a bite of the cookie and a sip of the milk, my wife suggested that I place some of the soot from the fireplace outside of the hearth, to simulate the arrival of Pere Noel. Which I did. It was late, and time for bed, so off we go. What I did not realize was that I had inadvertantly gotten some soot on the soles of my shoes, which I then tracked into the bathroom when I used the facilities. Wide eyed wonder Christmas morning when the kids excitedly told me that Santa had used our toilet.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:34 PM
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110: Santa's old. Sometimes when nature calls, he can't wait.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:41 PM
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13: you mean this post?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:46 PM
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Well, for god's sake, you don't tell your kid that Santa "rewards good children." That's fucked up. You just tell him that Santa brings children presents, all children, and that's it. I do remember someone telling him about the "good children" thing and his asking me about that and my saying that some people say that to try to get children to be good but that really, Santa brings presents to all kids and his response that "well, there's no such thing as a kid that's always bad, anyway."

It's totally bizarre, b/c PK has had school friends who didn't get things from Santa and didn't celebrate Christmas, and yet he's cool with the cognitive dissonance.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:48 PM
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111. Somehow there was no problem with understanding that one could be a mythological being and have basic biological funtion. I mean he eats the cookies and drinks the milk, it has to go somewhere. Maybe similar to the way Greek gods keep fornicating and having little heroes and monsters as offspring.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:48 PM
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The first Christmas that Rory was aware of Santa, she was terrified: we had to leave him a note to not come into the house but to throw the presents in through the door and had to assure her that we'd carefully canvased the living room to make sure he was gone before she would leave her room Christmas morning.

Her first handwritten letter to Santa is about how she whines too much and doesn't deserve very many presents. (Santa may have overcompensated a bit that year to reassure her.)

I was going to share those anecdotes as "cute stories," but suddenly it occures to me that they are more "stories that show why Santa is a dmaging lie." I am a bad mother.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:49 PM
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122: Gahh!!!!! Hadn't seen that before. Should have heeded the warnings. Now its burned into my retinas


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:49 PM
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PK still believes in Santa

Geez, B. Update the bullshit already.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:50 PM
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114: You've never heard kids wonder if rain is God's pee? I think the presumption runs in favor of biological function for mythological beings. At the very least, it's delightful to consider that they have it.

Shorter: Everybody poops.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:50 PM
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118: I'm more amused by thunder as God's flatulence.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:52 PM
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112: The best thing about that post is that with SafeSearch off, the link is one of the top Google Image results for "Ben w-lfs-n".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:53 PM
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115b makes me tear up a little.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:53 PM
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116: Don't look at this, Spike. I'm warning you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:53 PM
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Meh. PK's tears asking me to cross "mouse" off his letter to Santa when he was three--"because even though that's all I want, it wouldn't be safe because of the cat!" and his utter amazed joy when Santa left him two mice and a note explaining that "his (Santa's) own mice had had babies" and that he'd "had a stern word with the cat" but that just in case we should be careful--and PK still saying occasionally, four years later, that the cat really must have listened to Santa because she's never bothered the mice--well, if that's what "lying to kids" means, I'll lie to him any day of the week.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:58 PM
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MY EYES!!!!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 1:58 PM
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"I'll lie to him any day of the week."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:00 PM
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Oh, man. I love the "Santa's own mice had babies" part.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:00 PM
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I thought you were going to link to this, apo.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:03 PM
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126: It's important for children to learn to wash their hands, Apo. He can learn the truth that mama lets any old hobo lick her butthole when he gets older.

125: Thanks. He was so in awe that morning. It was just a really fabulous day.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:03 PM
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121: Santa teared up a little, too. Santa then left a note saying that when he got really exhausted from delivering all the presents, he sometimes gets cranky, too, and maybe they both just needed a break. He also broke every gift she got that year into separately wrapped component parts because obviously the more separately wrapped items, the more value as a person.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:03 PM
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Rory's been asking for a rat, a gerbil, or a lizard. If she settles on one of the rodents before Christmas, I may steal your line. If she sticks with the reptile, she'll learn to be content without a pet.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:06 PM
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I actually like the idea of minor spirits, household gods, sprites, and beings with supernatural and limited powers.
Statues of such beings are a useful fiction for concentrating ones feelings about a place or time; they don't seem all that different from gravestones or other funerary objects. A minor deity of the first snowstorm would get some of my incense, even if I didn't believe in her.
The place-with-ancestor photos common in so many catholic households has the same mood-- not quite ancestor worship, but I'd hate to be the one whose drunken lurch knocks granduncle's photograph off the wall and cracks the glass.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:06 PM
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130: FWIW, reptiles live longer (I think) and are much less messy to clean up after. But if you want her to *really* be bowled over by the Christmas pet, then tell her for a year or so all the reasons why you're very sorry, but you can't possibly get her one.

God, it still just makes my heart break a little.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:08 PM
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130: If it's possible to sway her at all, rats are sweet and fairly hardy, compared to other low-maintenance pets. I've never had one, but friends claim they're even better friends for kids than good hamsters.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:09 PM
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You know what people should give as pets? Clams. They're unexciting, but you could hand those things down between generations.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:10 PM
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Rats are awesome pets. But you have to be braced for their developing mammary tumors after a couple years.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:11 PM
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130 - oh, hope she goes for a rat; they're much more interesting than gerbils. (We've had both.) You need 2 though!

Objectively, I can see the cuteness in the Santa stories. They do make me a little queasy though. I have a friend whose 11 year old still claims to believe - I find this deeply disturbing. My friend thinks I'm a monster for sucking all the magic out of Christmas.

Creepy. Start 'em young. Creepy, though.

Which bit's creepy, parsimon?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:11 PM
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I have a friend whose 11 year old still claims to believe - I find this deeply disturbing.

Why? People can have emotional attachments to fictions. If it comforts her, what difference does it make?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:13 PM
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Rory needs a monkey. I will hook her up.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:13 PM
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But if you want her to *really* be bowled over by the Christmas pet, then tell her for a year or so all the reasons why you're very sorry, but you can't possibly get her one.

Yes, the Santa lie is way more powerful if you take the time to set it up by lying about NOT getting her the present first!

I think I lost my Christmas spirit somewhere.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:14 PM
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139: So evil! No, the thing is, I really *didn't* want a mouse, because I knew they didn't live too long and I was worried about the cat. It just got to the point where I could tell it was breaking his little heart, and so I decided we'd do it and I'd be on constant cat guard and keep my fingers crossed.

It turned out to not be that difficult--first, because PK was always *very* good about keeping the bathroom door closed (he does love his mice) and second because I honestly think that the cat understands that the mice are somehow associated with PK, and therefore wants nothing to do with them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:18 PM
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138 - Oh, I don't know. It just freaks me out a bit. Emotional attachments to fictions - sure thing, but when I was 11 I was in love with Holden Caulfield,and was perfectly aware he was fictional. I didn't still think FC was *real*.

I don't have a rational argument against it, it's an emotional reaction on my part. Small children believing is fine by me. Now young Ernest's 7, which is the oldest of any of my kids have got to still un-disillusioned, and it makes me feel odd. I feel like I'm going to blurt it out to him any minute and make him cry.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:18 PM
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I agree with 131. Doesn't apply to Santa though, for me; more dignified if the small gods involved weren't produced by Coca-Cola.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:20 PM
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Why? People can have emotional attachments to fictions. If it comforts her, what difference does it make?

A former roommate of molly's was known for 2 things:

1. Her ability to convince herself on the basis of very small behaviors that boys she was distantly acquainted with were secretly in love with her. She would often spin tales of whole relationships--chaste, but emotionally fraught--out of occasional interaction with, say, a copier repair person.

2. Her piety and close personal relationship with Jesus.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:24 PM
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143.1 is the plot of an excellent novel called The Female Quixote, the point of which, of course, is that reading romances makes people crazy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:26 PM
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1. Her ability to convince herself on the basis of very small behaviors that boys she was distantly acquainted with were secretly in love with her. She would often spin tales of whole relationships--chaste, but emotionally fraught--out of occasional interaction with, say, a copier repair person.

Are you trying to tell me that you like me?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:26 PM
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136:

Which bit's creepy, parsimon?

Quoting your original:

Just make sure he knows that other people's parents DO lie to them. Present it as a big game that everyone goes along with - it's not hard to do.

I was mostly making an ironic comment inspired by your phrasing there: that could as well describe any number of sociopolitical scenarios. People's parents DO lie to them, a game that everybody plays. About, say, equal opportunity, race and class, the political economy.

There's a controversial bumper sticker: "Tell the children the truth"

But of course that doesn't have anything to do with Santa; I was just taken by the parallel.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:29 PM
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Modern children are perplexed by somebody pretending to laugh in person, but would understand it if Santa used alternating bursts of "LOL" and "ROTFL".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:31 PM
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Rory needs a monkey. I will hook her up.

To a monkey?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:34 PM
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I feel like I'm going to blurt it out to him any minute and make him cry.

Oh god, I hear you there. So far I always remember which presents were from Santa and which weren't, but I'm terrified that someday I'll say the wrong thing.

Re. attachments to fictions, here's the thing, and it's hard to explain. You know how for some kids, their stuffed animals are REAL, or they NEED their blankets or whatever? I think that that sort of thing is really important, and that it's unhealthy to decide that a kid is "too old for that" and take it away from her. Whether this is because of LW's formulation that such things are a useful fiction for concentrating ones feelings about a place or time, or because they can serve as comforting objects against normal fears--and you can see, I think, why such objects would need to seem "real"--or something else entirely, I really don't know. Maybe "real" is just a metaphor for "important" for some kids, no idea.

But I "believed" my stuffed rabbit was "real" well into young adulthood, and in some weird way I still kinda do. Sure, if pressed, I know that's nonsense, but even in college I often had guilt feelings if I forgot about him for a few weeks, and it would have been difficult for me to admit out loud that I knew he wasn't "real." Maybe I was deeply damaged in childhood by the Santa myth or whatever, but on some level I think that these kind of stories must serve an important purpose to a lot of people, or they wouldn't stick around (and people wouldn't accuse the skeptics of "hating Christmas" or what have you).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:35 PM
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these kind of stories must serve an important purpose

Getting consumers to spend more during the 4th quarter, yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:37 PM
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My objection to the reptiles is strictly feeding. Live crickets? Out. Live or frozen mice? Out. I was sold on the bearded dragon until we talked about feeding.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:38 PM
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Live crickets? Out. Live or frozen mice? Out. I was sold on the bearded dragon until we talked about feeding.

This is where the option in #134 becomes more attractive.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:40 PM
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I think that that sort of thing is really important, and that it's unhealthy to decide that a kid is "too old for that" and take it away from her.

Oh God, yes. I still have strong feelings about my parents taking my blankie away from me. I can't have been much older than 4, but I still harbor some resentment.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:41 PM
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An acquaintance whose father was a diplomat had pet monkeys in Africa. She learned to pretend to groom them and eat the fleas, which is an essential part of monkey sociality.

But I suppose that PETA would be all "Don't lie to monkeys!" about this. "Monkeys are people too. If you really loved them, you'd really eat their fleas."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:41 PM
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But I "believed" my stuffed rabbit was "real" well into young adulthood, and in some weird way I still kinda do.

And we are supposed to take you as an example of mental health?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:43 PM
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Fleas are people too, John.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:43 PM
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But I "believed" my stuffed rabbit was "real" well into young adulthood, and in some weird way I still kinda do.

You're just taunting me, B. I'm not going to bite.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:43 PM
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148 Always mount a scratch monkey


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:44 PM
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155: No, you're supposed to take me as an example of being honest about one's mockable traits, and saying that empathy with harmless craziness that you don't quite understand is not a bad thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:44 PM
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God, seriously, when Mr. B. put my stuffed rabbit IN THE WASH a few years back and it SHRUNK AND DIDN'T SMELL THE SAME I was just furious at him.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:45 PM
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An acquaintance whose father was a diplomat had pet monkeys in Africa. She learned to pretend to groom them and eat the fleas, which is an essential part of monkey sociality.

I would have offered to give Becks an opportunity to monkey groom, but she didnt tell me she was in Richmond.

If anyone is traveling through Richmond to DC Unfogged, I will let them monkey groom.


(It is actually pretty cool.)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:46 PM
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156: The animal rightsers I know give exemptions for non-human carnivores (insectivores), in this case the monkey. Presumably there's some kind of principal / agent kind of proxy authorization to eat fleas on behalf of the monkey.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:46 PM
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162: What if the monkeys are riding dogs, and chasing you with tazers?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:47 PM
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154: Actually the monkeys weren't really pets, IIRC. They were just friendly monkeys from the neighborhood who voluntarily joined the family.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:51 PM
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153: When I was seventeen, I was tasked with driving my four-year-old niece to the airport to return home after a visit. Being a forgetful seventeen-year-old, I left the most important thing - the blanket - at home.

When I got to the airport, I realized my mistake, and lied to the child, telling her that her blanket was in her carry-on luggage, which had already been put on board by the helpful flight attendant. Before the plane takes off, the flight attendant brings my niece off the plane, crying. My niece had asked for the blanket, and the flight attendant had opened the luggage looking for it.

At this point, I had to confess to my lie, and my niece began to cry even louder. Not so much cry, as howl.

Of course, since the house was an hour from the airport, going back and getting the blanket was not an option. So back on the plane she went.

I was told later that she had cried all the way from Memphis to DC.

I attribute all my bad flying experiences to bad karma resulting from this incident. I have yet to pay for the suffering of all the passengers on that flight.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:51 PM
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Brock, I know of A scientist and his family who felt strongly that they shouldn't lie to their children about Santa Claus. They celebrated St. Nicholas' day which is in early December. I believe that Father Christmas/ Santa Claus was first conflated with St. Nicholas in Clement Clarke Moore's poem The Night Before Christmas, but St. Nicholas was a real person.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:52 PM
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Zadfrack, you *did* mail her the blanket as soon as you got home. Right?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:53 PM
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166: Mr. B's parents did the same thing. Of course, they also refused to talk about sex, so.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:54 PM
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Yeah, I can get the soft toy/blankie thing. Neither I nor my children have done it, but I like to think I wouldn't be an arse about it if they did.

Ernest still talks about my mum 'lying' to him this summer. We were at these woods, and the story was that little people called Twiggles lived in houses in the trees (the houses were there), and my mum claimed to see one peeping out from its house. He just completely believed her, there was no playing along or whatever, he honestly thought that if she said it it was true. We had to explain to him later that she was just entering into the spirit of the place. He wasn't angry or upset, but he was quite shocked, and like I said, still talks about the day Gammer lied to him. I can see him going on about us lying about FC until .. well, forever.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:58 PM
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Mr. B's parents did the same thing. Of course, they also refused to talk about sex, so.

But that didn't stop him from believing, I hope!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 2:59 PM
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162: Very few animal rights people oppose carnivorism in nonhuman animals, and there are many arguments given to support this position, mostly based on agency and moral responsibility.

The problem is that they all fail, because we have a duty to prevent killings even if they are committed by crazy people or others who aren't moral agents. Dale Jamieson and others have argued that this is a serious problem that needs to be resolved. I don't see a way out, though.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:00 PM
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167: Oh, yes! Shipped via FedEx the next day. Or "Federal Express", as it was known at the time.

I'm told she kept up the antics as best she could until it arrived.

By general agreement of all family members, she really was a terrible toddler. I suspect that dealing with her was the root of my desire to have no children of my own.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:00 PM
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I ridiculed my cousin's invisible friend at the dinner table once. That was the last time she ate with us.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:00 PM
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I don't get worked up about lying to my kids; they do it to me all the time. "One day, a shark pooped on my head."* Yeah, right. See if I ever trust you again.

*actual quote


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:02 PM
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stop him from believing
Most men don't actually believe in sex, but maintain polite interest as a useful fiction.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:02 PM
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I come late to this thread. Santa's a carnivore who stole somebody's blankie?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:03 PM
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Most men don't actually believe in sex the female orgasm, but maintain polite interest as a useful fiction.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:05 PM
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Hey lawyers, I'm looking for examples of legal rights that aren't statutory rights. The only one I can think of right now is the right to an abortion in the first trimester. The examples need to be common enough that first year undergraduates would recognize them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:06 PM
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176: Metaphorically. He eats children's trust, and the blankie is the True Meaning of Jesus.


Posted by: Jim Sligh | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:07 PM
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Depends on the state, but I'm pretty sure in at least some states attorney-client privilege is common-law rather than statutory.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:09 PM
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You want positive rights or negative rights?

What about like, the right to not be searched by the police unless they have a) a warrant, or b) probable cause?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:09 PM
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175: I keep telling you all this, and no one believes me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:09 PM
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It seems to me like anything for which you would properly sue under the Constution would be something other than a statutory right (even if there is also a statute that protects such rights). I mean, the Constitution is law, and thus, a statute, but "no cruel and unusual punishment" doesn't mean much without some opinions saying what the hell that means.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:11 PM
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The right to travel from state to state, and some kind of right to control your children's education (which makes it unconstitutional to ban German language schools). Google these to make sure I know what I'm talking about -- I don't have time to check, and I'm pulling them out of law school which is getting remote.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:11 PM
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legal rights that aren't statutory rights

In most states, most rights that are the subject of lawsuits between people are not statutory, they are common law. The law of contracts and the law of torts are mostly still common law in most states. It is only the criminal law that is fully codified.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:13 PM
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It would help if you clarified what "non-statutory" means to you--what are you hoping to illustrate? I ask because I wouldn't have considered abortion a particularly good example, depending on what you're trying to say. Are you looking for common law, constitutional rights, or what?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:15 PM
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The implied warranty of habitability in a residential lease is not statutory. In layman's terms, this means that if you enter into a residential lease, the landlord has to keep the place such that it's fit for someone to live it (this includes heat if you live in a cold climate and suchlike).


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:15 PM
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185: I figured that 'rights' meant something more like 'civil rights' than 'legal rights'. I mean, you've got the right to damages if someone commits battery against you, and that's common-law most places, but I don't think it's what he wanted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:16 PM
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187: in many (? at least some...) states this is statutory.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:17 PM
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The all-important right to consume pornography is not statutory.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:18 PM
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I try not to pay attention to immigration rules; I just know that the wife got a green card in 1983, and has to "renew" (her word) in early 2008. Her bag was stolen several years ago, and she'd had to get a replacement card. I have no idea if that has any bearing.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:19 PM
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I'm teaching about the commonly asserted "right to health care." The textbook I'm using distinguishes moral rights, legal rights, statutory rights (as a subset of legal rights) and political rights. I need examples to illustrate all of these in an online presentation and then again later on a test I'm writing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:19 PM
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this includes heat if you live in a cold climate and suchlike

Can you explain this to the Flophouse landlord?


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:19 PM
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The right to privacy - in most states, not statutory.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:22 PM
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178

"Hey lawyers, I'm looking for examples of legal rights that aren't statutory rights. The only one I can think of right now is the right to an abortion in the first trimester. The examples need to be common enough that first year undergraduates would recognize them."

You don't actually have the right to an abortion, the government just can't prohibit you from getting one. There are lots of things that the government can't prohibt like flag burning or anal sex or most speech etc.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:22 PM
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193: Are they not giving you heat? Dude, you should do something about that. Deduct rent. An unheated apartment is a big problem.

This doesn't constitute legal advice, etc.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:22 PM
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The right to not stand up during the pledge of allegiance, that sort of thing.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:22 PM
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178 -- You have the right to remain silent.

On a less serious note, here's the Tubes' account:

Well, you can't have that, but if you're an American citizen you are entitled to:
a heated kidney shaped pool,
a microwave oven--don't watch the food cook,
a Dyna-Gym--I'll personally demonstrate it in the privacy of your own home,
a king-size Titanic unsinkable Molly Brown waterbed with polybendum,
a foolproof plan and an airtight alibi,
real simulated Indian jewelry,
a Gucci shoetree,
a year's supply of antibiotics,
a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth
and Bob Dylan's new unlisted phone number,
a beautifully restored 3rd Reich swizzle stick,
Rosemary's baby,
a dream date in kneepads with Paul Williams,
a new Matador, a new mastodon,
a Maverick, a Mustang, a Montego,
a Merc Montclair, a Mark IV, a meteor,
a Mercedes, an MG, or a Malibu,
a Mort Moriarty, a Maserati, a Mac truck,
a Mazda, a new Monza, or a moped,
a Winnebago--Hell, a herd of Winnebago's we're giving 'em away,
or how about a McCulloch chainsaw,
a Las Vegas wedding,
a Mexican divorce,
a solid gold Kama Sutra coffee pot


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:22 PM
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Hmm. I'm not sure what your textbook is getting at. The distinction between "legal" and "political", especially with "statutory" carved out separately, seems fuzzy. What's a legal right vs. a political right? On which side is the right to free speech? The right to vote?

I recommend you skip this portion of the textbook altogether, and teach some other material.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:23 PM
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We've had less-hot radiators so far this season and I love it. Normally the place gets unbearably hot, and my room doesn't have an outside window (and I keep the door closed to keep out the cat). It's so nice to wake up to a slight chill.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:23 PM
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192: So you want a right that isn't a statutory right, but is a political right?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:24 PM
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192, 199: Yeah, what Brock said. That sounds like a screwy framework.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:24 PM
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201: isn't statutory or political, I think. I'd need someone to define those terms more precisely before I even hazard a guess at this point.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:25 PM
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South African constitutional scholarship often refers to "blue rights" (civil), "red rights" (economic) and "green rights" (health and environment-related). Sorry, no citation, I'm working on deadline.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:28 PM
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Yeah, normally I just distinguish legal and moral rights, and leave it at that. I thought distinguishing statutory and non statutory legal rights might be helpful here, since I wanted to get across the idea that you might have a legal right to something even if it isn't written down specifically somewhere. I was going to ignore "political rights" as a redundancy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:28 PM
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178-If the right to a first trimester abortion is an example of what you're looking for, why not any of the other familiar constitutional rights?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:30 PM
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Not sure the distinctions are right, but...

moral right: right not to be used as a means, right to have promises kept.
legal, non-statutory right: making a private contract, common law spouse stuff.
statutory right: freedom of information act, HIPAA
political right: freedom of assembly, religion


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:31 PM
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196 - When they came out and inspected the furnace this year, the guy they sent apparently ran upstairs wide-eyed gesturing wildly and explained that had we turned on the head, we all would have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. We've been trying to get them to install a new furnace that won't, like, kill us. If all goes to plan, we should have a new one tomorrow.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:33 PM
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God, that's a mess, though. I'm guessing the categories are mean to be exclusive, but it's like carving nature with a hacksaw.

moral right: not to have one's spouse throw out the takeout menus.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:34 PM
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Not that I get to complain too much, as I've spent most of this time in my warm NYC apartment.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:34 PM
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I assume Cala's examples in 207 are the sorts of things rob's textbook is getting at, but something tells me the book wasn't writetn by a lawyer, because I'm just not sure those categories hold up very well.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:35 PM
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Isn't a human right a kind of political right that isn't necessarily honored by law?


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:36 PM
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205: Oh, for non-statutory legal rights, Idealist had it, common-law torts are the easy example. You have a right not to be injured by someone else's negligence, and that right is enforceable in court -- you can get damages. But in most states, there's no statute giving you that right. (The federal structure of the US is maddening in this regard; there could be a statute saying almost anything in some state and I wouldn't know.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:38 PM
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211: They wouldn't hold up for a philosopher either.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:38 PM
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asking the kid to participate in an ongoing Big Lie wherein material gifts are presented as a reward for good behavior.

it's called capitalism and it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon.

Not lie to children? Are you mad? The boy is more intelligent than me, more charming and has a better relationship with his mother. Systematic dishonesty and ratlike cunning are the only edge I have left and I'm damned if I'll stop using it. I have brought him up in the tradition of English religious education, to believe that the Holy Trinity consists of Baby Jesus (whose birthday is Christmas), Jesus (whose birthday is Easter) and the Queen (whose birthday is the summer holidays).


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:38 PM
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182: It's not that we don't believe you; it's just that you keep telling us.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:39 PM
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214: funnily enough that's what John Rawls said about the second hand underpants he sold me.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:40 PM
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I was reading statutory as something like Aquinas' human law: something that's not reducible to a worry about human dignity or (for him) God's command, but something like speed limits or rules for petitions or something.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:40 PM
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Who's more the fool, the fool or the fool that buys his second-hand underpants?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:41 PM
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When they came out and inspected the furnace this year, the guy they sent apparently ran upstairs wide-eyed gesturing wildly and explained that had we turned on the head, we all would have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. We've been trying to get them to install a new furnace that won't, like, kill us. If all goes to plan, we should have a new one tomorrow.

Hey, that happened to us last year! Except that the CO alarm actually did go off, and they told us that we would have only died if we had been sleeping in the basement next to the furnace instead of two floors up. Which we contemplated doing, later in the winter, when it crapped out four times per night and had to be re-started. I sympathized with the landlord trying to get that piece of crap to last one more winter before it had to be replaced, because it probably would have been a lot easier and cheaper to replace it in May than in February, but seriously, dude, it was uninhabitable. And there were plenty of other reasons to give this guy no benefit of the doubt at all.

Wait, what were we talking about? Santa has the right to have blankies fed-exed to him, but it isn't in the constitution?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:41 PM
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I have brought him up in the tradition of English religious education, to believe that the Holy Trinity consists of Baby Jesus (whose birthday is Christmas), Jesus (whose birthday is Easter) and the Queen (whose birthday is the summer holidays).

For some reason, I am reminded of both (i) Lewis' toddler's Easter hymn: "Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen!" and (ii) Ricky Bobby saying grace.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:42 PM
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to believe that the Holy Trinity consists of Baby Jesus (whose birthday is Christmas), Jesus (whose birthday is Easter) and the Queen (whose birthday is the summer holidays).

I have no idea why I find this so funny.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 3:45 PM
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Helpy-chalk, iirc, California's Public Trust Doctrine asserts a non-statutory collective water right to the people of the state. All your students should know that one.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:05 PM
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It's funny because it's true.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:10 PM
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223: Is that a right asserted as an appeal to water-rich municipalities to share with the water-poor, or to rouse the collective force against those price-gouging, water-hoarding bastards in [insert Western state name here]?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:11 PM
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It is a right that the water bodies of the state can't be sucked dry. It was established in the Mono Lake Decision, out of not-much, and said that we all own this lake, and no matter what L.A.'s statutory right to the water is, they aren't allowed to suck it dry. They have to leave us some kind of lake.

It isn't some crazy-talk, like making water-rich municipalities share with the water poor. That would be communism.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:18 PM
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These parts of the Montana Constitution are pretty inspiring:

Section 2. Self-government. The people have the exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state. They may alter or abolish the constitution and form of government whenever they deem it necessary.

Section 3. Inalienable rights. All persons are born free and have certain inalienable rights. They include the right to a clean and healthful environment and the rights of pursuing life's basic necessities, enjoying and defending their lives and liberties, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and seeking their safety, health and happiness in all lawful ways. In enjoying these rights, all persons recognize corresponding responsibilities.

Section 4. Individual dignity. The dignity of the human being is inviolable. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. Neither the state nor any person, firm, corporation, or institution shall discriminate against any person in the exercise of his civil or political rights on account of race, color, sex, culture, social origin or condition, or political or religious ideas.



Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:21 PM
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The Montana Constitution also protects water rights:

Section 3. Water rights.

(1) All existing rights to the use of any waters for any useful or beneficial purpose are hereby recognized and confirmed.

(2) The use of all water that is now or may hereafter be appropriated for sale, rent, distribution, or other beneficial use, the right of way over the lands of others for all ditches, drains, flumes, canals, and aqueducts necessarily used in connection therewith, and the sites for reservoirs necessary for collecting and storing water shall be held to be a public use.

(3) All surface, underground, flood, and atmospheric waters within the boundaries of the state are the property of the state for the use of its people and are subject to appropriation for beneficial uses as provided by law.

(4) The legislature shall provide for the administration, control, and regulation of water rights and shall establish a system of centralized records, in addition to the present system of local records.

I cite these not just because they are cool, but also as a reminder that most of our rights in the US are matters of state, rather than federal law.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:24 PM
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They have to leave us some kind of lake.

"Some kind of lake" is the sort of thing that inflates and deflates, like a lung, depending on who's talking.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:31 PM
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Still better than nothing, though. And it might be a lot of lake, if you get the right judge.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:33 PM
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227 & 228: Illinois Constitution has some great stuff in it too; my professor George Anastaplo believed state constitutional law was a great untapped resource, and he convinced me, but I haven't noticed any uptick in its use in 20 years.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:37 PM
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231 -- Montana has been wrestling with these sections in recent years. There's been some movement on the right to a clean and healthful environment, and I think there will be an argument (if there hasn't yet been) about the death penalty and individual dignity.

And here's another, by the way: Section 10. Right of privacy. The right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest.



Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:44 PM
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OK, one final one. The well written analogue to the federal Second Amendment:

Section 12. Right to bear arms. The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:48 PM
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233: "and property"? Does the defense of property constitute an affirmative defense against charges of homicide, assault, etc.?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 4:56 PM
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"Ho" is slang for "whore". Which it isn't in Australia, anyway.

Largely true, but for a while in 2003-04 it was "skanky ho"-this and "skanky ho"-that all over the place, after the then (Labor Party) Opposition leader Mark Latham accused Janet Albrechtson (local right-wing columnist) of being one.

Interesting case, Latham. OK policies, but had some anger-management issues. Broke a cabbie's arm once, in a fight over the fare ... Got quite publicly self-destructive after losing the last election and disappeared from public life...


Posted by: Amit | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 6:08 PM
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234: It does here.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 6:19 PM
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35
compared to the actor who played Harry Potter, who can have sex with a horse or whatever that was.

But not with Diana Rigg.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 11-15-07 9:56 PM
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Rats are truly great pets, very affectionate, and have a heartbreakingly short lifespan.


Posted by: Pantene | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 6:52 AM
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Are they not giving you heat? Dude, you should do something about that.

Definitely, especially since you're in D.C., where the law is very pro-tenant (on things like this, anyway).


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:30 AM
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Opossums are also very affectionate, though not very playful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:35 AM
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The right to not stand up during the pledge of allegiance, that sort of thing.

I may have told this story here before, but since I don't have access to the magical archives searching . . .

I was once with friends at a community event, and we didn't stand during the presentation of the colors. The woman next to us, with whom I had been chatting amicably, told us to stand, and I said that I don't stand for the flag.* She said don't you appreciate The Freedom of America, etc., and I said, yeah, including the freedom not to stand for the flag. She then said the meanest thing anyone has ever said to me: "I wish you nothing but bad luck."

*Which isn't strictly true. I do, sometimes. But I never say the pledge.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:43 AM
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241: There's a google search box in the left sidebar. It seems to be working these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:47 AM
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242: It doesn't seem to work especially well. It brings up some things, but not others. Yahoo search seems to work a little better, but it still doesn't find things I'm pretty sure are there.

Also, I'm lazy.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:54 AM
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Always a good explanation. Drat, though, I thought the googleyahoohole had closed up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 8:59 AM
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It's mostly closed.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:01 AM
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241:

I like Sir Kraab more and more, despite my frustration with not knowing which glasses she bought.

I think she and my gf would be best buddies.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:02 AM
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Also, I'm lazy.

You should have just used that to explain not standing up during the anthem.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:02 AM
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You should have just used that to explain not standing up during the anthem.

Correct response: "I hurt my hip in the war effort."

When asked what you were doing, "preparing to create future warriors for our country."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:05 AM
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will, man, would I leave you hanging? I posted the glasses pic a couple of weeks ago.

I think she and my gf would be best buddies.

Are you and your gf coming to UnfoggeDCon? I think you said you were at some point.

(You like me more and more, but I'm going to be best buddies with her but not you? Sexist.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 9:21 AM
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Excellent choice.

(You like me more and more, but I'm going to be best buddies with her but not you? Sexist.)

I thought it was understood that we would already had a very special relationship.

DC Unfogged was unfortunately scheduled during my kid weekend. We will see though. My kids love to dance.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:14 AM
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we would already had a very special relationship

Indeed.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:20 AM
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251:

You didn't swing at my softball?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-16-07 10:24 AM
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