Re: Funny Rangel Story

1

That's really wonderful.
(And the man has the best NY voice EVA!!1!!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 9:07 AM
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2

Very funny.

Also, my morning brain read the title of the book as "Haven't Had a Bad Day Since the Other Week."


Posted by: babble | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 9:17 AM
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3

oh i love friendship loyalty stories
it's like reminder of the feeling that life is worth living


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 9:31 AM
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4

I wonder if that story is somewhat apocryphal. I've heard other people tell very similar stories.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 9:34 AM
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5

Not everyone can crack your insider AUSA code, LB. I mean *I* can, 'cause I'm savvy like that, but don't forget the rubes.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 9:45 AM
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5: it's meant as a satire of those who would deploy insider-y acronyms in a forum of plausibly non-insider readers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 9:50 AM
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7

Damn. I guess I'm not so savvy.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 9:54 AM
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8

I feel so insidery that I knew what "AUSA" stands for.

Usually I only feel insidery on the philosophy threads.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:01 AM
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9

And I always feel ousidery on the NYC threads.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:03 AM
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10

9: bet you're wearing Tevas and everything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:04 AM
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11

I understood, but the price was taking on tens of thousands of dollars of debt.


Posted by: babble | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:04 AM
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12

I have a memoir of my Appalachian Trail hike called I Haven't Had a Bath Since the Other Week


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:09 AM
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13

I understood AUSA to stand for America United States of America.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:10 AM
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14

Assistant United State of America

on behalf of Harlem, I guess.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:11 AM
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15

And here I thought it stood for Astronaut Underpant Style Analyst.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:12 AM
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16

I think it stands for Admiral for Unwhite Seamen of America. It's a navy job.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:21 AM
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17

First hit on Google is "Aberdeen University Students' Association". Followed by a code for Agence France Presse releases in English and a dumper truck manufacturer. I'm sure LB wanted to hint at all these.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:36 AM
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18

I have no idea what it stands for, but the story doesn't really need it explained, so. Don't let 'em rib you, LB.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:42 AM
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17: really, even google isn't working for you? That's weird. I just tried and the first hit for me was "Association of the United States Army", which was a bit of a surprise, but the other hits are all correct. If anyone's genuinely puzzled, it's "Assistant US Attorney".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:48 AM
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google gave me Agent of the US Army or maybe it was Association
i wondered why the army agent, then thought maybe it gets the employee benefits like lower interest education loan etc


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:50 AM
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21

Brock, I think I have a slightly different google to you. I blame Noah Webster.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:51 AM
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22

It's pronounced OW-SA! Most acronyms have too many consonants to make for good pronunciations.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 10:54 AM
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23

I read right over AUSA as "aussie" and was going strong until I got to the part about being vetted by the FBI. Didn't know you needed a background check to be an aussie, but I guess it makes sense, what with the convicts and all.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 11:01 AM
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24

The title of his memoir refers to not having a bad day since his involvement in the Battle of Kunu-Ri during the Korean War during which he got a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. It was part of the infamous action around the retreat from the Yalu River after China came into the war.

Rangel was in an all-black unit, so unlike John McCain, his wartime experience does not qualify him to be president.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:27 PM
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and a dumper truck manufacturer.

The inventor of the dump truck, Gar Wood, was from Wobegon. He later became a record-setting boat racer. You still see GarWood dump trucks here and there.

You're welcome.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:30 PM
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26

I had a similar experience when they came to my hometown (in the red state part of California) to do a background check on me for a position with DOJ. Apparently my parents' neighbors GRILLED the feds about exactly why they were there and why they needed to know anything. Kind of great, and my folks thought it was hilarious and, well, neighborly. (BTW, FWIW, I don't think they were FBI, but OMB.)


Posted by: Moira | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:32 PM
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27

What does GRILLED stand for?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:36 PM
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28

I answer these pretty frequently-- for friends, I write god bless America in the comment section in all caps. My wife thinks that I'm playing with fire by doing that.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:40 PM
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29

Weirdly, the feds asked me to confirm some of the info on Mr. B.'s security clearance. You'd think that I wouldn't exactly be considered an objective source, but, hey.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:41 PM
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30

A hippy friend of mine joined the Peace Corps in the '60s and had been in India for almost six months before the FBI got around to us for his vetting. I don't think they took that stuff too seriously and they did explain up front why they were asking questions.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:41 PM
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23: I always wondered what jokester at the Aussie equivalent of the INS put the following two questions right next to each other on the Australian customs/immigration form:

"Are you a citizen of the United Kingdom?"
"Are you a convicted felon?"


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:42 PM
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32

28 is hilarious. I was tempted to do something like that on the form I had, but decided against it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:42 PM
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33

or "hippie". Anyway, the guy had lots of tie-dyed clothing, hung out with the theater majors, and dated chicks with long straight hair.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 12:44 PM
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34

"Association of the United States Army"

Why do you need an association, U.S. Army? You're already an army.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:00 PM
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35

That kind of anecdote is what jornalists had in mind when they invented the phrase "too good to check".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:08 PM
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36

My former fellow-employees at the ice cream shop were questioned by the FBI when I was a private soldier and also a resident alien, about forty years ago. The number of such routine investigations must be in the many millions, and the number of serious results must be very low as a percentage.

I recognised the name Gar Wood. Boat racing has always had a fruitful association with auto racing, and used a lot of the same parts. The great Offenhauser engine had it's origins in a marine engine Harry Miller built in the twenties, and the Miller-marine, adapted to cars, was still winning auto races as late as 1934, when Bill Cummings won Indy with one, even though Offys, which were much stronger, were available and economical. And just as NASCAR drew on expertise and talent from moonshine, car-driving rumrunning, real race-level speedboats were used by rumrunners during prohibition, shooting out to waiting ships just beyond the three-mile limit and back before they could be intercepted, or zipping back and forth across the Detroit river. Many Canadian mariners, including members of my family, were mixed up in rumrunning on some level.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:31 PM
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37

I could swear I saw this on the West Wing.

I got a freaked out phone call from my mom after the FBI knocked on her door wanting to know [my] whereabouts during the summer of 19XX (when I was at college living at home). Then they wouldn't accept verification from her since she was a family member, so we had to track down a neighbor & one of my sister's friends. Pretty stupid.

Later, I had to do the reference checks for a few volunteer interns & weirded out several Starbucks supervisors asking them former baristas' loyalty to the United States.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:32 PM
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38

37: Redact?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:35 PM
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39

totally. boy, forgot to turn my brain on this morning.


Posted by: katherine | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:36 PM
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40

Got it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:39 PM
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41

(isn't it impressive how I redacted the year myself though? Not that it's not so difficult for anyone who reads enough unfogged comments to figure out my secret identity if so inclined, but I do try not to be google-searchable on blogs).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:40 PM
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42

41 ctd...especially for posts that reveal I still watched the West Wing in Season 6, or whenever that subplot was. thanks apo.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:42 PM
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43

I always wondered what jokester at the Aussie equivalent of the INS put the following two questions right next to each other on the Australian customs/immigration form[...]

The forms for American permanent residency are fun like that, too. They ask a whole series of questions, including whether you are planning sabotage or to overthrow the government, a Communist, a Nazi, the twelfth Cylon, part of a criminal conspiracy, planning to engage in prostitution, whether you've been arrested...

You know what the point of that declaration is? To have something easy (material misrepresentation) to deport you over in the event that you lied on the form.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:47 PM
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44

whether you are planning sabotage or to overthrow the government, a Communist, a Nazi, the twelfth Cylon, part of a criminal conspiracy, planning to engage in prostitution, whether you've been arrested...

Yes on all of them? It sounds crazy but, yes, mm hmm, I think so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:51 PM
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45

They do have some separate questions, but it's surprising the questions that get lumped together with a single checkbox. One of the form shivbunny had to fill out, and while I'm paraphrasing, I am not making this up:

"Have you ever been arrested for any crime or offense whatsoever? Have you ever engaged in prostitution, or solicited a prostitute? Have you participated in sex trafficking?"

All with *one* yes/no checkbox.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 1:55 PM
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46

Weirdly, the feds asked me to confirm some of the info on Mr. B.'s security clearance.

They often go and ask the wives some innocuous question in order to check their personal hygiene.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 2:10 PM
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Katherine,

Did you know that one of your posts at Obsidian Wings was cited in a Public Affairs Quarterly article?

http://faculty.washington.edu/jasonm/4--Mayerfeld.indd.pdf

Congratulations!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 2:22 PM
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46: It was a form, John. No one actually showed up at the house. Or obviously we'd have failed, because it's a sty.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 2:44 PM
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49

the twelfth Cylon

Isn't that the fifth Cylon? Or am I getting confused?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 3:07 PM
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50

Twelfth Cylon, Fifth Imam. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, neither is welcome here.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 3:13 PM
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51

Which West Wing subplot was that? I don't recall that one, even though I'm ashamed to admit I watched almost every episode.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 3:19 PM
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when I was a private soldier

Blackwater? KBR? The A-Team?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 3:53 PM
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53

Does that call for capitalization? Private soldier it is. One stripe, E-2, whatever.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 3:58 PM
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54

Generally, we 'muricans would say "I was a private" or "I was an Army private."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 4:06 PM
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Have you participated in sex trafficking?

Like getting it on in a car? And?? How did you answer?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 4:09 PM
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Except that that's the army I was in, then (the U.S). Seemed an ordinary usage to me.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 4:11 PM
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When my best friend was being vetted for the Foreign Service, I was visited by a retired CIA guy. It was raining, and he met me at my dorm room donning a long black trench coat and big black umbrella—totally looked the part.

I had been up all my night writing a paper about the Pinochet coup in Chile, so I was bleary eyed, and my desk area was cluttered with books and articles about Allende and Pinochet. I realized after the fact this might strike the guy as suspicious, not to mention I probably looked like I was high, being so sleep-deprived. I worried for weeks I had submarined my friend's planned career, but he eventually got his clearance.

Oh, and I laughed out loud when he asked if my friend was loyal to the United States. CIA dude was not amused.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 4:15 PM
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"Have you ever been arrested for any crime or offense whatsoever? Have you ever engaged in prostitution, or solicited a prostitute? Have you participated in sex trafficking?"

They ask all of these questions on your oral exam for naturalization. I spent months prepping my grandmother for the test -- the thing is, she speaks virtually no English whatsoever, so the test was pretty tough for her.

The key, we discovered, was that all of the questions to which you must answer "no" begin with "have you" -- i.e., have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?; have you ever been a prostitute or engaged in sex trafficking?; have you ever sold or trafficked illegal narcotics?" All of the "yes" questions begin with "do you" -- i.e., do you pledge to follow the laws of the USA, etc.

So she only had to listen for the first part of each question. When we were getting ready, she inevitably and hilariously mixed this up from time to time -- my drug-smuggling prostitute 85-year-old grandmother. Fortunately, they went very much by the book at the official exam.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 4:22 PM
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Now I remember! It's this:

"You know when I got out of the marines I hadn't been around in my old neighbourhood in Houston for a few years. I'd gotten this job offer from the Pentagon and it required a full FBI background check. After a few weeks the investigators came up to me and they said 'We can't offer you the job. We've interviewed all your old friends and neighbours. They can't confirm anything. Not even your name.'


"So I hope a plane, go back to the old block. I see my neighbours' eleven- and thirteen-year-old kids. They're sitting on the stoop, same as always, and they see me coming. They come running up to me and they are shouting, 'Tio Matt, Tio Matt' - Uncle Matt. 'Tio Matt, the Feds, they were here looking for you. We told them we never heard of you.' Eleven and thirteen... I am running for President in that Texas Primary and those kids are gonna see me do that. And that's the only statement about my skin colour I intend to make in this campaign."

- Congressman Matthew Santos, "La Palabra," The West Wing (9th March, 2005)

http://crossoverman.livejournal.com/435026.html


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 07-14-08 6:19 PM
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