Re: Good morning Saturday.

1

Do all those Caribbean countries count? 'Cause it's real hard to remember all of them.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:13 AM
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Yeah, I have to admit that when I saw that I thought, what about the island nations like the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands that look like they're just sticking out of the continental shelf - maybe she was trying to dodge a trick question. Also, does Greenland count as part of N.America, and if not what is it part of?

Yes, this gets boring pretty fast.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:22 AM
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I think this must be an intentionally misleading story. Palin probably couldn't name all 23 countries in North America including Central America and the Caribbean, but the story is worded so you think she couldn't name the three countries in North America proper.

Seriously, would you remember Saint Kitts and Nevis?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:25 AM
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Though I'm not interested in defending Palin, I'd rather we stick to the facts. There's no good evidence that she actually couldn't name the NAFTA countries, nor that she thought Africa was a country, just anonymous accusations from McCain aides who have plenty of reason to trash her. (Granted, her response that things may have been taken "out of context" was weird. Why not say, "That's completely ridiculous and not worth discussing.")

The fact that she's a vicious, red-baiting liar who has yet to find a level to which she wouldn't stoop should be enough for our enmity and scorn.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:26 AM
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Wait, why is everyone talking about St. Kitts? Wasn't it allegedly the NAFTA countries she couldn't name, not all the North American ones?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:29 AM
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It appears Sir Kraab is right. Commence mocking!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:32 AM
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I think it's telling that this came out first on Fox News from Carl Cameron. It's not the regular press that's sliming her; it's the right-wing press hoping that if they throw her under the bus they can kill any chance for a disastrous (if popular among Republicans) Palin run for the presidency. They have to kill her off now by making her look not just wrong and bad with complex legal stuff, but even stupider than the average American she pretends to be like. In fact, she appeals to those people precisely because she knows about as much as they do, which is just a bad reason for liking a candidate.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:34 AM
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It's not clear that actual McCain aides are the sources.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:37 AM
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Is Palin just being thrown under the bus for the good of the Party?

No. Just for the good of an incredibly inept and unethical campaign staff.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:37 AM
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When life hands you McCain, make McCain aides.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:38 AM
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4: Kraab beat me to it. I much prefer the power-abusing opportunistic liar stories to the "clueless" ones. In part because while the latter will be "fixed" over time, I suspect the former will be a lifetime package. And per Kraab this particular story was pushed in an out-of-context way by the world historical asswipes who ran the McCain campaign in a pathetic attempt to convince their families that they should not change their names and enter the Disgraced Campaign Aide Family Protection Program.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:38 AM
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The Republican process always has a substantial 'who's turn is it' element. She is working hard to frame 2012 as her turn, and is, so far, well in the lead on this.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:39 AM
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Seriously, would you remember Saint Kitts and Nevis?

How could anyone who's ever played Pirates forget them?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:39 AM
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4: The fact that the story has so much traction means that the image of her has settled. Most of the stories that circulated about Dan Quayle's stupidity were urban legends as well, but people were willing to believe them because of confirmation bias. Palin is in the same situation, though the base is pro-stupidity now in a way it wasn't in 1996.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:40 AM
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||

Lots of nice schadenfreude at my URL. See the freemarketers talk about Iceland's freemarket miracle.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:40 AM
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Importantly, one of Cameron's sources has already been revealed to be hoax.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:41 AM
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Look, everyone knows that the real America consists of 21 or 22 states located within the "United States" of America. Why should anyone waste time keeping track of all the unAmerican parts of North America. Massachusetts is bad enough, but Cuba? Please.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:45 AM
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One of the biggest conversations at my school right now among faculty members is how to design a classroom which helps kids get better at retrieving information or processes in different contexts than where they saw it the last time. In other words, you'll have kids who can do a proportion problem about girls and boys boarding a school bus, who then get totally flummoxed about the proportion of elements in a mole of some compound.

So that's the lens through which I'm viewing the world lately, that out-of-context retrieval of information is a huge problem for people. I don't really have a point besides that this would account for Palin's larger gaffs, if she was being drilled for the debates or something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:45 AM
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18: That's a fascinating and important problem. Do you guys have any insights?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:48 AM
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Have people seen the fake NY Times? ((Perpetrated by the Yes Men.) It's pretty nice.

On preview, the site seems to be down (it has some nice video of people's reactions), but you can see the paper itself here.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:50 AM
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However, I will say that this particular defense she offered raises many other concerns: (from Dick Cavett)

My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska's investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars.

And, she concluded, "never, ever did I talk about, well, gee, is it a country or a continent, I just don't know about this issue."

As Cavett says: It's admittedly a rare gift to produce a paragraph in which whole clumps of words could be removed without noticeably affecting the sense, if any. She's pioneering RAID-5 in spoken communication.

But as usual there is a self-serving lie behind the whole thing. Palin opposed the attempt to incorporate concerns about Darfur into the Alaska fund investment strategy, even though she trumpeted it during the debate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:51 AM
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16: But, Fox says their source is still good, as does the hoax Eisenstadt.

So, we're back to dumb.

max
['Somebody just needs to offer her a TV show, like... The Real Governor.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:53 AM
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Importantly, one of Cameron's sources has already been revealed to be hoax.

Jesus Christ, are people fucking unable to read? The Times article says *nothing* about Cameron's sourcing. Steve Benen pointed that out the day the Times article appeared.

Not to mention that the folks behind the Eisenstadt hoax have specifically denied being Cameron's source.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:54 AM
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10: We're pretty stumped.

In fact, one of my worries is that I falsely appear to be a good math teacher because I can create a very continuous context in my classroom, over days, and so the students can follow more difficult math than they could previously follow. (For example, alerting them to a detail that they may find challenging in the subsequent proof and reminding them of how they understood it before, before diving into a proof.) But then when they change contexts - say to another teacher or source, they're left totally unequipped and scrambling.

This comes up most depressingly when you work with a senior on their senior thesis project, and they seem totally unable to use any of the math from the past several years of classes. It's like, "You got an A on this test! I was there!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:55 AM
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25

That comment was supposed to be addressed to 19.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:56 AM
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Dammit, pwned. I made up for it by being more frustrated, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 10:56 AM
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The Times article says *nothing* about Cameron's sourcing.

So Eisenstadt is a fake, but he was spreading a real story that he had heard...where? On Fox? From Fox's elusive source?

I don't think walking away from the times story thinking that Eisenstadt was the source for the whole rumor is a sign of illiteracy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:01 AM
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25: That comment was supposed to be addressed to 19.

But it works with 10 as well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:03 AM
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Yes, Josh, let your frustration take over. Together, we will rule Unfogged, and never be pwned again!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:03 AM
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I can't remember who it was, but someone was on Rachel Maddow's show saying that you've got Fox on the one hand and anonymous McCain aides on the other, so in terms of a credibility rating, that's multiplying zero by zero.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:09 AM
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The NAFTA vs. North America thing can be kind of interesting, I think. Not as interesting as Heebie's butt, maybe, but not bad. Inasmuch as there's a continent question and a more general geopolitical question. If we're thinking about continents as the result of geological processes, then North America is all 23 countries, the islands are epiphenomena, and there's no such thing as Central America. Geopolitically, though, there's every reason to make distinctions between North America as represented in NAFTA, Central America as a distinct entity (although that's tricky because Mexico could go either way and might have to be subdivided), and the Caribbean (also probably subdividable).

I have a friend who used to work for the Asia Society. Someone made a joke about how strange it was that she was working for a continent, and she got quite upset. Protested vociferously that Asia was not a continent and that saying so was tantamount to racism. An otherwise very bright person, she got momentarily confused by that geospatial-versus-geopolitical thing, along with some kind of half-processed analogy to "Africa is not a country," and there we were. Although she admitted her mistake afterwards, she refuses to be embarrassed.


Posted by: Marichiweu | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:09 AM
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Although she admitted her mistake afterwards, she refuses to be embarrassed.

This woman is either a Republican or has superhuman powers of embarrassment-repellence. She should experiment with these powers socially.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:13 AM
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31: Well in fact Asia is *not* a continent and saying so is tantamount to 14th-century racism.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:15 AM
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There is, however, a place called "Asia", which is considered to be a "continent", though the word "continent" is actually meaningless.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:17 AM
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The western boundary of Asia doesn't really have any modern geographical justification.

Some 18th century Russian guy: I hear it's good to be associated with Europe.

Some other 18th century Russian guy: Let's move the Asia boundary, which some other guy just made up anyway, a little east, so we can be European too. Kind of (gated link, unfortunately).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:18 AM
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If there's no such place as Asia, then explain how just last night I enjoyed some lovely pan-Asian cuising, hmm?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:19 AM
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What, people can't tell the difference between blue countries and green countries?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:21 AM
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I enjoyed some lovely pan-Asian cuising

Pan-Asian cruising -- hott!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:22 AM
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39

You're cuising for abuising, mister.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:26 AM
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BTW, my investigations of Chukcha literature led me to a book called "The Shaman's Coat" by Anna Reid, which is a sort of pop-historical description of all the Siberian peoples. (published by Walker & Company, so it's not THAT pop). Extremely interesting.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:34 AM
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Are any of the Caribbean and Central American countries subject to NAFTA? I thought the issue was supposed to be that she didn't know who was in NAFTA.

Also, is it really true that as Mexico is to the US, Guatemala is to Mexico, economically and illegal-immigrationastically-wise?


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:37 AM
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I'm sure you meant to say, "Is Guatemala the Mexico of Mexico?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:38 AM
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35: The western boundary of Asia doesn't really have any modern geographical justification.

And was the source of great humor when it came to US officials condemning the "invasion" of Georgia given its ambiguous position right on the the imaginary borderline.

Khalilzad [US ambassador to UN - JP]: We want to make sure our Russian colleagues understand that the days of overthrowing leaders by military means...
Stewart: Careful, Khalilza. Steady...steady...
Khalilzad: The days of overthrowing leaders by military means in Europe, those days are gone...
Stewart: Yes! He did it! Those days are gone...in Europe. In the Middle East, it's morning in America.

The clip is worth watching just to recall what fucking fuckheads the media were about the whole Georgia situation, lest we forget in the glow of the election results.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:41 AM
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39: You're cuising for abuising, mister.

Super-hott!!
Have we earned the pictures yet?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:42 AM
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For soccer purposes, Georgia and the rest of the Caucasus are in Europe. So is Israel.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:44 AM
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40: Reid's book on Ukraine was well-reviewed.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:48 AM
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The count gets much higher once you start including sovereign Native American tribes as well.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:49 AM
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"For soccer purposes, Georgia and the rest of the Caucasus are in Europe. So is Israel."

and Kazakhstan!

but not Uzbekistan, even though Rivaldo is now playing there.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:52 AM
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47: but those are "nations", and this is about "countries". Um... or something like that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:55 AM
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47: Definitely.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:55 AM
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"mini-heater"?


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 12:06 PM
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And having linked to the Strange Maps blog in 50, let me put in a plug for it as a great place for geographiles and others to check in on every once in a while.

For instance top 3 entries now are:
1) A comparison of the 2008 county voting patterns in the southeast with coton production in 1860.
2) The poem Chaffinch Map of Scotland.
3) Fuzzy Britain


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 12:10 PM
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Is Reid read?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 12:15 PM
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"mini-heater"?

I've been running warm lately.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 12:22 PM
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I'm just going to take 52.3 to be a cocktail made of peach schnapps and Scrumpy Jack.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 12:23 PM
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Are any of the Caribbean and Central American countries subject to NAFTA? I thought the issue was supposed to be that she didn't know who was in NAFTA.

NAFTA is just the US, Mexico and Canada. Central America and the Dominican Republic are part of DR-CAFTA (along with the US, of course).

Also, is it really true that as Mexico is to the US, Guatemala is to Mexico, economically and illegal-immigrationastically-wise?

This is my understanding, yes, but I don't have any particularly expert knowledge.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 12:29 PM
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Ooh, 24 is tough and it's something I struggle with too. I have noticed that there are several "savants" in my classes. They ace my exams, but when I talk to them in person, they have no understanding of the concepts. All they know is how to ace my exams, and if I query them in a different way I get a blank stare. I've also noticed that every one of these "savants" are East Asian.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 2:30 PM
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Why did they add "DR" to the name of the entire treaty? Does the Caribbean not consider itself part of Central America?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 2:41 PM
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24: Is there any way to make them teach it? Group work with each other, some required tutoring of high school math students, or something? I don't know if you can scare up enough of an audience to be taught, but nothing cements a concept like explaining it to someone who doesn't know it yet.

If you can't literally make them teach it, can you give them assignments making up problems that use the concepts in different contexts? Like "You know proportions now -- write me ten word problems using proportions in different factual contexts."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 3:25 PM
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Does the Caribbean not consider itself part of Central America?

Why would it? Apart from the hundreds of miles if open sea, only Cuba, Puerto Rico and the DR have any cultural connection to Central America, and Puerto Rico is out of that game for other good reasons.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 3:36 PM
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24, etc.: The teaching literature emphasizes getting the students to draw connections to prior experience in order to increase the mental context for the course content past the realm of the course.

I do things in the classroom to encourage this, but I haven't had heaps of success. Students don't like to share a lot of their lives--even what they are doing in other classes--and I am reluctant to pry.

I'm not sure how this carries over into math education.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 3:44 PM
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OFE: Doesn't "short, dark, and dirty" mean anything to you?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 3:52 PM
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60: YOU CAN GET A DAMN FINE PIMM'S CUP IN BELIZE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED BRITISH WEST INDIES | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 3:55 PM
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Short kimosabe?

Dirty? Gnothe seauton.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 4:12 PM
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Anecdata. Please measure the whole damn country and get back to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 4:30 PM
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Belize isn't really part of Central America either.

Actually, that just goes to show that "Central America" is not a very useful concept in either a physical or cultural sense. Basically, there are two big areas of land consisting of both mainland and island parts shaped by two very different colonial histories.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 5:42 PM
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two very different colonial histories.

Only two?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 5:47 PM
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I knew someone was going to ask that. There are more, of course, but two main ones that cover much more land area than the others.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 5:49 PM
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Teo is headed down the nominalist road and will ultimately declare that there's nothing but quarks. Or maybe quantums of sense-data.

Beware! Do not follow him down that fatal path!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 5:53 PM
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Where are all the pictures of Heebie's ass?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 7:37 PM
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63 to 55.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 8:05 PM
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71 comments and no heebie ass? I call shenanigans.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11-15-08 11:38 PM
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Yeah, shenanigans. I specifically stayed out of this section to fulfill Heebie's requirement that we all be good commenters. I was considerate. I didn't want to take the chance that I would mess it up for everyone, and trust me, I could have been frigging hilarious!!

And look what that got me - bupkus, that's what. Why do chicks always go for the bad boys?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 11-17-08 9:58 AM
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