Re: The conservative movement is an aesthetic movement that precedes a bowel movement

1

Resume analogy ban.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:02 PM
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Holbo's post on Dead Right is the best thing he's ever done.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:12 PM
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Let me also hate on libertarians who oppose government aid to the poor because coercive redistribution makes virtue impossible denies them an opportunity to feel good about themselves.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:13 PM
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Teenagers who use condoms to avoid pregnancy are not the true nonpregnant teenagers.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:15 PM
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2: the best post he's ever written, or the best thing he's ever done? The latter would surprise me, but I don't know the man.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:16 PM
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Teenagers who use condoms to avoid pregnancy are not the true nonpregnant teenagers.

Yet another unexpected consequence of Goedel's incompleteness theorem.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:17 PM
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As if even the most excellent excellence in a field outside of blogging could top excellence within that field, Brock. As if.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:22 PM
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Aren't we being a little hypocritical, if Charles Murray were a bitter, lonely alcoholic with no political ambitions and a devastating prose style we'd likely find him laudably entertaining. Just because he thinks his awful, misanthropic ideas make for sound, humane public policy we judge him an asshole? Liberals!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:23 PM
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Have you heard about middle schoolers and their shocking "diagonal lemma" parties?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:25 PM
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I liked Holbo's book on Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer, & Vienna

Ahh, a letter to Sirota ...showing where Obama's middleclass taxcuts went.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:25 PM
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He has a book?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:30 PM
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If Murray were bitter and lonely it would at least lend some credibility to his claim that suffering is good for the soul. As it is, listening to him is like a demented version of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch performed by the Royal House of Windsor.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:31 PM
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Googling the man to see if he has a book, I came across his wedding announcement, where I learned that he was at the time writing a "dessertation".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:32 PM
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I'd forgotten about it, but IIRC Ross Douthat is a believer in Murray style race IQ bullshit, but is sneaky about it.

It may also be that he only showed hints of being a believer in it, I don't recall exactly how I got the impression.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:32 PM
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"Acks-blay are-ay herently-nay upid-stay."

It's subtle, but it's in there.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:36 PM
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And that reminded me of this:

WTF?
October 14th, 2006

Ross Douthat: Liberalism has science and progress to pursue--and ultimately immortality, the real goal but also the one that rarely dares to speak its name--whereas conservatives have ... well, a host of goals, most of them in tension with one another.

Posted in US politics | No Comments »


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:37 PM
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OK, so turns out it wasn't Standpipe that the CIA was after.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:38 PM
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At every middle school "diagonal lemma" party, there is at least one middle schooler who has had an abortion. (Axiom of Choice.)


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:38 PM
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If Murray were bitter and lonely it would at least lend some credibility to his claim that suffering is good for the soul.

You've got that exactly backward. If Murray were bitter and lonely, it would lend some credibility to the claim that bitter, lonely people are assholes.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:38 PM
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13: Holbo's Baked Wittgenstein was brilliant, and assured him a successful career in the field of pastrosophy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:38 PM
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Since the dawn of time, liberals have yearned to usurp God's dominion over life and death.


Posted by: Ross Douthat | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:40 PM
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13: Holy shit, I did not know this about Belle:

The bride is a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of New York, and of Jay Gould, the railroad magnate.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:41 PM
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That's pretty gloriously loony, actually. Too bad I didn't think of it later. I should email Sadly no or someone.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:43 PM
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There's no money like old money.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:43 PM
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Too bad I didn't think of it later.

There's still time!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:45 PM
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18: And one middle-schooler is either not there or standing absolutely straight up and down.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:47 PM
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Too bad I didn't think of it later.

I may have to adopt this one for special occasions.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:53 PM
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You can partition any middle schooler such that by recombining the pieces you obtain two middle schoolers identical to the original, except even more appealing to John Derbyshire.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:53 PM
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And, once again, I fail to get to the end of Holbo's Donner Party Conservatism post.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:56 PM
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As right wing bloviaters go, I vastly prefer the reactionary ecstatic that hilzoy found.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 3:58 PM
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11:Well, I read it online, and since it makes Dead Right look like an aphorism, I wasn't comfortable calling it a "post" or "essay."

I like dissertations.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:04 PM
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bob mcmanus is the true bob mcmanus.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:05 PM
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BTW, I have a certain level of empathy with Murray's underlying premise - that a little suffering makes comfort all the more enjoyable* - but the idea that a life that includes universal healthcare excludes the possibility of suffering seems a little, uh, blinkered.

* I believe the iconic example is the foot outside the comforter


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:10 PM
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22: I knew she was seriously Old Line, but the Suyvesant-Gould combo is pretty potent. As a mongrel white American with no distinction, I'm always a bit... awed?... at people like that. Hell, Emerson has that effect on me. All I've got is a bit of dubious anecdata about my mom's mom and my dad's dad's history with Chicago Faucets ("Last as long as the building").


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:14 PM
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22:Also, I think, Waring Blenders.

She posted a picture of a Gold Coast house that is in the extended family.

But as I understand it, Belle is the daughter of trustfund hippies, and wasn't debuted at the Ritz, or anything. I could be wrong, and I don't mean to be insulting or demeaning or anything. 4th generation oldmoney must be wastrels, and TFH's have been at the core of countercultures for millenia. Cato the Youngerest, for example.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:15 PM
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OT bleg:

Is there some trick to getting the sugar in an Old Fashioned to dissolve? I'm using a sugar cube (authentic!) and muddling prior to adding the bourbon, but there's always a puddle of sugar at the bottom.



Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:15 PM
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32:Been around here for years, and I still don't get the joke about Standpipe Bridgeplate or his blog.

I think he's Yggles.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:17 PM
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TFH's have been at the core of countercultures for millenia

At the core? Really?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:18 PM
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35:I thought you used "simple syrup", which you can buy for mixing


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:18 PM
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BTW, I have a certain level of empathy with Murray's underlying premise - that a little suffering makes comfort all the more enjoyable* - but the idea that a life that includes universal healthcare excludes the possibility of suffering seems a little, uh, blinkered.

Yep. What's wrong, on Murray's own account, of making it possible for the otherwise-destitute to overcome more interesting classes of adversity than those of grinding poverty?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:18 PM
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As long as I'm yammering here:

||

These people want to build a tacky restaurant in an area for which I'm on a Design Review Committee. I didn't have a high opinion of them based on the architecture, but I was unprepared for the horror of the website (and I don't just mean the eye-bleeding aesthetics).

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:19 PM
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*with making it possible


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:19 PM
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43

I like this little sequence:

What explains Europe's military impotence? I am surely simplifying, but this has to be part of it: If the purpose of life is to while away the time as pleasantly as possible, what can be worth dying for?

I stand in awe of Europe's past. Which makes Europe's present all the more dispiriting.

Shorter Charles Murray: The Thirty Years' War ROOLZ!!!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:20 PM
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Wow, that guy needs a road-flare enema.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:22 PM
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At the core? Really?

Not to step on Bob's toes, but I kind of buy this.

35:I thought you used "simple syrup", which you can buy for mixing

Sure that would be the easy way. No, seriously, I'm pretty keen on the soaking of the cube with the bitters. I suppose it would taste the same with the syrup (which I use for making Bridgette Bardots, an excellent bourbon-based egg nog), but, you know - it's called an Old Fashioned. I feel an obligation to history here.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:22 PM
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40: Right. The problem with grinding poverty is that it's just so uninteresting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:22 PM
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Wow, that guy needs a road-flare enema.

The web designer or the restaurateur?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:23 PM
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Right. The problem with grinding poverty is that it's just so uninteresting.

That's pretty much a maximally uncharitable reading of what I wrote.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:27 PM
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Let me also hate on libertarians who oppose government aid to the poor because coercive redistribution makes virtue impossible denies them an opportunity to feel good about themselves.

Yeah, I hate this. Someone claims that the school free lunch (also breakfast at some) programs were humiliating failures? Hello? They were my classmates! They already knew we were poor! At least they also knew I wasn't hungry.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:28 PM
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50

The web designer or the restaurateur?
Charles Murray.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:29 PM
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49: A comfortably UMC person can imagine the humiliation of being known to be poor. They cannot conceive the misery of being poor. Decent people will go beyond their empathy and focus on the latter; assholes can't get out of their own heads, and obsess on the former.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:34 PM
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50: There used to be a guy who commented here - called TJ - who would've said something witty to 47. Oh well. I guess he's gone.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:35 PM
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48: Not uncharitable to you; I assumed that's not what you meant. I just felt like practicing making outrageous statements.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:35 PM
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54

Sorry, carry on.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:36 PM
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Okay, okay, on ascetic progressivism

Three Faces of the Left Stirling Newberry, who has become more readable recently. Group Three, the "techno-visionairies, and searchers for a personal autonomy" of course reminded of the all the Utopian Communities, like Oneida.

James Howard Kunstler made me laugh out loud, as Dennis Perrin, and IOZ so often do. "...enough black swans to blot out the sun."

Everything that we're doing right now is engineered to avoid reality, to sustain the unsustainable, to recover the unrecoverable, when the mandate of reality compels us to face our losses in order to move on to the next chapter of a collective American life. The next chapter would be a society that runs on a much more local and modest scale, centered on essential activities like growing food, requiring harder physical work, and focused attention -- in other words, the opposite of a society lost in abstractions, long-range daisy chains of off-loaded responsibility, and incessant pleasure-seeking.
...JHK

I hate asceticism so much as to hold MY's Pigovian disposition seriously against him. I may live a marginally ascetic lifestyle, but I consider it a moral failing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:38 PM
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until the achievements part it was sounding pretty buddhist, suffering and extinguishing desires, but buddhists achieve nothing except inner peace
so it's unAmerican then
i was to say it's not exceptional


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:39 PM
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The next chapter would be a society that runs on a much more local and modest scale, centered on essential activities like growing food, requiring harder physical work, and focused attention -- in other words, the opposite of a society lost in abstractions, long-range daisy chains of off-loaded responsibility, and incessant pleasure-seeking.

This sounds familiar.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:42 PM
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57:Maybe we could turn this into a BSG Finale thread.

"Get back to the land and set our soul free."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:51 PM
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56: Murray should write a turgid exploitation novel about his first marriage: I Married A Buddhist!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:54 PM
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This sounds familiar.

Battlestar Galactica finale?

I'm truly ambivalent about sentiments such as JHK's. I recognize the flaws - the alluring aesthetic of the sufferings of others - but I also think that push-button sensibility of our society makes for real problems. As a for-example, heavy curtains, drawn nightly, on every window in the heating climates, would make a small but real difference in our national energy budget. But quotidian chores like that are beyond the pale in our society, even when they have real, and not only aesthetic, benefits.

Such tradeoffs are pervasive, and I don't see how you rectify them without facing up to them - which in practice means either moralizing about them or waiting for Peak Oil and/or massive carbon taxation to provide economic incentives for people to do things that they could just as well be doing now.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:55 PM
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what i said wrong, Mn? I said only that not only Americans are suffering, but a lot of other people and even like voluntarily


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:57 PM
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Nicely pwned, bob.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 4:57 PM
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The JHK passage bob quotes draws a false dichotomy: it's not the case that we must choose between either a back-to-the-land, sweat-of-our-brow reality-based experience or an abstracted, pleasure-seeking, responsibility-avoiding one.

Leaving aside the labored construction of that sentence, I'd need to see a separate argument that there's a slippery slope from government assistance to decadence, or one from hard physical labor for all to sustainability.

That said, of course, it's going to take some time for people to get it through their thick skulls that what JRoth calls our pushbutton sensibility is juvenile. I have no objection to moralizing about it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:08 PM
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By 'Hector", in Yggles mostly worthless comment section, quoted he wrote"Sorel".

This is hardly necessarily a right-wing critique either- it was in large part Sorel's left-wing critique of capitalism. Sorel was smart enough to see that capitalism produced untold wealth, comfort and freedom, and he hated it for that very reason. The aim of society should be to encourage the development of virtue in its citizens, and virtue is possible only in a society in which individuals are constantly struggling against evil, and constantly called upon to sacrifice themselves for the collective. Sorel's utopia of autonomous mountain communes, inhabited by selfless, heroic workers who cared nothing for themselves and everything for the collective, driven by a perpetual state of frenzied rage against the decadence of modern capitalism, is to me a much more compelling vision than Yglesias' cosmopolitan utopia of TiVo, fast cars, lattes, and blow-jobs.

The future I predict was described in Robert Silverbergs's World Inside. Brave New World as reinterpreted by a 1970 Angeleno. Not so bad, really.

No fast cars, Hector.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:11 PM
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Is anyone bothering to read Murray's original speech, by the way? Here. I decided to take a look chiefly because I've been puzzled that the AEI, which I'd thought was still maintaining the pretense of being fairly sober and even-handed, would have invited him to speak.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:13 PM
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Battlestar Galactica finale?

No, actually, but it seems such ideas are everywhere these days.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:15 PM
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I've been puzzled that the AEI, which I'd thought was still maintaining the pretense of being fairly sober and even-handed, would have invited him to speak.

They mostly threw that pretense out the window ages ago.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:18 PM
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They mostly threw that pretense out the window ages ago.

To be fair, parsimon's on dialup.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:21 PM
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Indeed, I have not been following the fortunes of the AEI, as you can see.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:22 PM
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turgid exploitation novel

!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:26 PM
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61: read, you know that Carly Simon song? That wasn't about you either.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:28 PM
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John's name is spelled Holbø, you dummies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:28 PM
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I know what you're thinking.

Holbø himself is none too smart. Belle might correct him, but she's a Latinist and is only willing to recognize the three Latin vowels.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:35 PM
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As they did without monarchy and slavery, so they also got on without the stock exchange, the advertisement, the secret police, and the bomb. Yet I repeat that these were not simple folk, not dulcet shepherds, noble savages, bland utopians. They were not less complex than us. The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can't lick 'em, join 'em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe a happy man, nor make any celebration of joy. How can I tell you about the people of Omelas? They were not naive and happy children - though their children were, in fact, happy. They were mature, intelligent, passionate adults whose lives were not wretched. O miracle! but I wish I could describe it better. I wish I could convince you.

How 'bout we make Charles Murray the kid in the basement?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:51 PM
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71 you called me 56 and then tell me it was not about me, i don't understand
56 in this thread looks like me


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:51 PM
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Kraab, what are you quoting?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:55 PM
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Sorry, I hadn't finished reading it - is that LeGuin? I didn't remember that being the narrative voice in that story.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 5:57 PM
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77: Indeed.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:02 PM
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"Get back to the land and set our soul free."

We are stardust.

This is, uh, interesting.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:06 PM
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Hmm. Is David Lynch reading this thread?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:07 PM
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It's like Mother Theresa's bloviations on the virtues of suffering. Anyone who calls the suffering of another a virtue is probably blinded by their own privilege and should be mocked for their smug dickishness.


Posted by: Frostbite | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:11 PM
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65:
I don't think it was ever the purpose of AEI to appear even-handed as much as to change what appears to be even-handed. And that means mainstreaming guys like Murray and their ideas.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:17 PM
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36: It's probably antithetical to your (old fashioned) goals, but how about warming the bitters?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:24 PM
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The LeGuin story was almost certainly cribbed from a line in William James. He used a similar case to set the limit of a certain kind of consequentialism (i.e., as something so wrong it could not be defended.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:27 PM
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Man. The Murray speech is so fucking annoying and therefore depressing because it's so tired, so retread. The Rushkoff piece ben linked in 79 is just flat-out depressing for how we have done this to ourselves and each other. I'm getting all emotional about this shit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:29 PM
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From the link in 179.3: If you had spent the last decade, as I have, reviewing the way a centralized economic plan ravaged the real world over the past 500 years, you would appreciate the current financial meltdown for what it is: a comeuppance.

"Uh, interesting" pretty much sums it up.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:31 PM
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84: I believe she's said as much. Linked here (I think) not long ago - maybe the wikipedia entry on Omelas? It's not clear to me just what it has to do with Murray, in any case. I guess the thought might be that Murray supports the notion that there will always be (the) poor, that there in fact must be (some who are) suffering? But the ideas in that story are much more complex than anything Murray's after.

No matter, really.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:36 PM
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87: In either a preface to the collectionor a subtitle of the story itself, as I recall.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:39 PM
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81: Much as I loathe Hitchens for other reasons, I am eternally grateful for his takedown of Mother Teresa.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:45 PM
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The LeGuin story was almost certainly cribbed from a line in William James.

In fact she referred to it as "variations on a theme by William James."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:46 PM
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Murray's view sounds a bit like a reverse Tocqueville, with happiness substituted for ambition and the continents reversed.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:47 PM
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87: People like Murray make me think of that passage, not necessarily the whole story, because they're always claiming that suffering is ennobling, or what you think is happiness really isn't, and you're just naive anyway.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:53 PM
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You can't make Omelas without breaking eggheads.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:53 PM
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Even while being enobled by suffering, one often feels that one would rather be sharing a nice dinner and a couple of bottles of wine with one's friends. So strange how that works.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:58 PM
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33
BTW, I have a certain level of empathy with Murray's underlying premise - that a little suffering makes comfort all the more enjoyable

If you're talking about daily life, there's no need for empathy; it's factually correct. In fact, it's a banal truism which goes without saying for most people over the age of 10. If you're talking about social policy and political preference, though, it deserves all the derision it's getting here and at MY's place.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 6:58 PM
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92: The suffering is ennobling theme is christian, isn't it? Murray's take on American exceptionalism trades on the protestant work ethic, blah blah blah.

I'm going to watch Heroes and have an omelet with mustard greens, red onions, kalamata olives and maybe some feta cheese.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 7:02 PM
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I don't think it was ever the purpose of AEI to appear even-handed as much as to change what appears to be even-handed.

Yup, exactly.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 7:04 PM
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Also closely related: the need to exaggerate external threats so that so-called Greatest Generation can't hog all the glory.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 7:07 PM
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I am doing dishes the hard Nietzschean way: one-handed with my left hand. A broken glass sliced a horseshoe of skin off my knuckle. This will make me stronger.

Three sinks full of dishes. The beloved grandnephew and parents were just over.

At four y.o. the grandnephew is starting to enjoy role playing games. Not the video kinds, the archaic meatspace kind when you pretend that that there's a man at the front door bringing you your scary mailorder shark.

When the game's over he says "I'm not playing that game now" in a flat, condescending, "Why do I always have to explain things?" voice.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 7:26 PM
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Much as I loathe Hitchens for other reasons, I am eternally grateful for his takedown of Mother Teresa.

God yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 7:29 PM
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And Kissinger. And Di.

He just went bad. A friend conjectured that he had become tired of being Cockburn Lite at The Nation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 7:35 PM
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It pleases me greatly to imagine Emerson playing scary mailorder shark games with his grandnephew.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 7:41 PM
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ennobling, i'm not sure, some people get bitter and cruel i think from suffering, but people can endure pain and suffering more than pleasure and happiness
if you feel constant pleasure, love, happiness you'll get desensitized and not able to feel pleasure anymore as if there is some physiological threshold to get used, so the speechmaker mentioned that
one who knows suffering can empathise to the others' pain, but if one knows only pain and suffering, then again it would lead only to cruelty
but should not of course force others to accept suffering like politically, one comes to that conclusion solitarily and voluntarily in the natural course of one's life imo


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:16 PM
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Murray's idea of happiness through suffering would be more convincing if he'd given his speech while cheerfully undergoing the death of a thousand cuts or being fed into a wood chipper.

Is there some trick to getting the sugar in an Old Fashioned to dissolve?

More bourbon! (The handy answer to many of life's questions.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:17 PM
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Sugar doesn't dissolve well in alcohol, actually, which is why a splash of water is customary.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:20 PM
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101.2: I spoke to Cockburn on the phone once! He spoke dismissively of The Nation; this was after he'd launched C/ounterpunch. I didn't quite know what to say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:22 PM
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Maybe he was speaking dismissively merely of the nation.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:24 PM
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if you feel constant pleasure, love, happiness you'll get desensitized

What a terrible fate!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:24 PM
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I see that Cockburn's maintaining his contrarian cred these days by joining the climate-change deniers. Puts the 'cock' in 'Cockburn', it does.

105: Given a sufficient quantity of bourbon, the sugar will dissolve. Just keep pouring.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:30 PM
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I didn't quite know what to say

A Groucho Marxist wouldn't write for a leftist magazine that would publish his work.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:31 PM
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Oh, Murray couldn't give a flying f*ck about anyone's happiness or misery other than his own. And he is deeply and firmly committed to whatever tends to his own comfort, I strongly suspect, and probably lives in a large house (if not quite a "stately home," I wouldn't credit him with that much "taste") with a 2-car garage and central AC. He objects to the Euro-plan of health care and holidays for all, not from any elevated politico-philosophical principles, but just because he, quite vulgarly, sees it all as a zero-sum game: if Joe Sixpack is not suffering anxiety and privation to the nth degree, then Charles Murray, a nobody unless we say that he is otherwise, does not enjoy status and privilege to the inverse of that nth degree.

Waste of time to interrogate his motives any further than that, much less take him seriously.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:41 PM
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I heard him speak a decade or so ago and he had a weirdly spiritual vibe: "Heaven is within us", or something like that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:44 PM
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105: Aha! Would try, except that AB & I had the rare treat of a night out at Kelly's with a single friend, and I'm remarkably drunk for a monday night. Not that I won't give due consideration to 109.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:46 PM
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I've looked at some of the Chi-school economists (FH Knight and James Buchanan) and they're unambiguous about the moral value of suffering, either as punishment for cheaters and loafers, and incentives for others (Buchanan's words) or to remind people that money isn't everything (Knight). I believe that they are advocates of the Mellonist "purge the rottenness" liquidationist theory that depressions are good things.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:49 PM
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Alternately, you can make some simple syrup.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:50 PM
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112: Who, Cockburn? Surely not.

If Cockburn's joined the climate-change deniers, I'm not surprised, but I honestly can't make the guy out. Charley gets it right at 110.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:51 PM
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What! There is nothing more difficult than making simple syrup. You can tell from the name.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 8:58 PM
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Puts the 'cock' in 'Cockburn', it does.

Actually, I'm pretty sure the 'cock' in 'Cockburn' is pronounced something like like the 'Cock' in 'Cockburn,' which rhymes like 'roe' and not like 'rock.' But I take your point, nevertheless. I'm just trying to put in a good word for Bruce Cockburn.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:03 PM
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116: It was weird. The guy seemed to be losing it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:03 PM
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What a terrible fate!
aha, so one has to know ups and downs so that to not get used, when up to feel gratitude when down to feel hope, if it's always the same unchanging, good or bad, and from the very beginning then it's like uninteresting


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:06 PM
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Nothing simple is ever easy, as they say, and I learned how true that old saw was the first time I set out to make simple syrup. I can still remember it …


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:08 PM
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118: Yes. It was a strictly visual joke.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:09 PM
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111: Waste of time to interrogate his motives any further than that, much less take him seriously.

MC, I wouldn't be interested in interrogating his motives myself; I'm chiefly interested in his impact, if any. Pointing out that someone arguing for a curb to our alleged excesses might himself live in a well-appointed home is one step shy of an ad hominem response. (Let's not forget those who delved into Al Gore's personal arrangements.)

If AEI is more or less widely known to be a crank outfit, fine, no problem. I'm not concerned about the yahoos over at The Corner, obviously. It would just be nice to find a reasoned way to address the mess of variants on the self-reliance-is-good-in-itself arguments that are cropping up lately. They're coming from both left and right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:10 PM
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Is 121 the start of a Modern Love column?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:10 PM
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I don't think anyone's questioning his motives, or taking him especialy seriously, MC. I for one am just enjoying the exercise of plotting his exact coordinates in dickspace.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:12 PM
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Re: Old Fashioneds

1) Yum! One of my favorite cocktails, if made properly. Which they usually aren't. Alas. I'd love to be able to have one out on a somewhat regular basis, but as it is most bartenders screw them up. So it's mostly a home cocktail.

2) You say "and muddling prior to adding the bourbon". Are you just muddling the bitters-soaked sugar cube by itself, or have you added a little triangle slice of orange and a maraschino cherry by that point? I usually find they add enough liquid to get the job done. If not, just a wee splash of soda helps, as has been mentioned (sort of) above.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:13 PM
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122: So what you're saying is that you've seen his penis?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:14 PM
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I think that a lot of the weirdness of modern life comes from people who are fairly secure and fairly comfortable, but bored out of their skulls. Whatever the causes of WWI were, a lot of people seemingly welcomed it out of sheer boredom.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:15 PM
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119: Oh, it really was Cockburn? I thought maybe you meant Murray. Weird. I haven't read him for a while now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:15 PM
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It would just be nice to find a reasoned way to address the mess of variants on the self-reliance-is-good-in-itself arguments that are cropping up lately. They're coming from both left and right.

Let's start with some effective taxes on gifts and estates, just to make sure that the Murrays of the world really mean what they say about the virtues of having to make your own way. No sense engaging if they don't even take the argument seriously enough to apply it to their own offspring, who, by the way, already have a nice leg up from having been raised and educated in privilege.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:15 PM
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Is 121 the start of a Modern Love column?

Yes. I burnt the sugar and scalded my hand—a mixture of the sweet and scarring that neatly foreshadows the relationship to come—and had to go to the ER, where I found myself explaining in stammering tones to the orthopædist who treated me how I had got into the mess. She turned out to be a fellow appreciator of fine cocktails, and I left with a skin graft and a date.

Blah blah blah.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:17 PM
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have you added a little triangle slice of orange and a maraschino cherry by that point? I usually find they add enough liquid to get the job done.

I thought you said you liked them properly made?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:18 PM
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"I felt that I had dissolved into the relationship, my sparkling granules of individuality obscured in the liquid sameness of it all, and wondered how it was possible given that it was two parts sugar to only one of water."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:19 PM
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"Even after all I went through, I don't regret the relationship now. It began with a new patch of skin being incorporated into my hand, but by the time it ended a whole set of new experiences and perspectives had literally been incorporated into my life."


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:22 PM
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Thanks, M/tch. I use lemon, not orange, but yes, the muddling includes the fruit. Maybe I just need to commit more.

It is true that my last simple syrup was a disaster. But prior ones succeeded. Now I have a box of sugar cubes, and so old fashioned Old Fashioneds I shall have.

PS I don't think it's ad hominem to note when an advocate of virtuous austerity lives an inaustere life. To say that others should suffer so that they might be happy while eschewing suffering for oneself is monstrous. Al Gore doesn't enter into it because A. Carbon offsets (which don't apply to moralists) and B. His point isn't about absolute carbon levels, but about efficiency.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:22 PM
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Was the "froky" incident sparked by an episode of Modern Love? I'm still playing mental whack-a-mole with "froky", alas. I could be using those neurons for pop music trivia.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:23 PM
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130: That's not working for me, NPH.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:24 PM
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Yes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:24 PM
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Girlfriend experience, Standpipe.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:25 PM
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The Old Fashioned may have been the first drink ever called a cocktail, pronounced to rhyme with "roe tail".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:25 PM
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I thought you said you liked them properly made?

Lay some knowledge on us then, new guy.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:25 PM
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I think by now the froky black table has finally far surpassed the whimpster in links from unfogged comments.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:27 PM
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Girlfriend experience, Standpipe

Not bad, but it's no "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot".


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:27 PM
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135.3: Murray nowhere says that people must suffer in order to be happy; that's the gloss that's been put on it. His claim is rather that self-reliance (individual, family, community-wide) provides one of the essentials of a well-lived life. It's an anti-welfare state argument.

Since Murray doesn't take welfare, you can point out that he has a nice home all you like, and he's just going to respond that he worked for it himself. No handouts. (Yes, it's all totally retarded, but that's the story.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:30 PM
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144: But what's your problem with 130?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:32 PM
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There is a longstanding political tradition - often associated with small r republicanism - that too much comfort/luxury will cause a people to lose their vigilance against tyranny and lead to the downfall of a republic, but it goes along with a belief that too much misery and suffering among the lower classes will make it easier for them to be used to take down a republic - or lead to a mass popular revolt that ends in despotism. To put it another way: MIDDLE CLASS RULEZ, EVERYONE ELSE DROOLZ*

*This quote has been attributed, perhaps erroneously, to Hume.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:32 PM
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Pointing out that someone arguing for a curb to our alleged excesses might himself live in a well-appointed home is one step shy of an ad hominem response.

Fair enough. And just for the record, I don't exactly expect the members of a cultural elite to bend themselves over backwards to live non-elitistly, or even non-elitishly. But since Murray seems to make much of an American heartland prairie-hard deprivation which he contrasts unfavourably to a Euro-soft comfortable decadence, I thought it worth speculating that he himself probably lives like a Euro-wimp in the American style (with a 2-car garage and such), never shopping Walmart if he can help it (from the thought of which contingency he positively shudders) whilst pretending to be on a wavelength with the local Walmart greeter who only dreams of a double-wide (trailer home, I mean) with full (plumbing-like, I mean) hook-up.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:32 PM
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No cherries.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:33 PM
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WTF was an orthopedist doing treating a burn?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:34 PM
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148: That's crazy talk, ben.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:34 PM
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So what you're saying is that you've seen his penis?

Not just his penis—his penis burn. He'd been hiking in Switzerland, see.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:35 PM
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149: It was a foot burn, John. Duh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:36 PM
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The hospital was understaffed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:36 PM
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So far as I can find out what the classes are who are respectively endowed with the rights and duties of posing and solving social problems, they are as follows: Those who are bound to solve the problems are the rich, comfortable, prosperous, virtuous, respectable, educated, and healthy; those whose right it is to set the problems are those who have been less fortunate or less successful in the struggle for existence. The problem itself seems to be, How shall the latter be made as comfortable as the former? To solve this problem, and make us all equally well off, is assumed to be the duty of the former class; the penalty, if they fail of this, is to be bloodshed and destruction. If they cannot make everybody else as well off as themselves, they are to be brought down to the same misery as others.


Posted by: w g sumner | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:37 PM
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Neb only sees doctors with ligatures.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:37 PM
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I would like nothing more than to put this penis business behind us.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:39 PM
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I would prefer an Old Fashioned.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:43 PM
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The orthopedist was overcome with lust upon seeing Nosfetaru walk manfully through the door, not showing any sign that he was in excruciating pain. "This one is mine", she cried, as she elbowed past the burn specialist while unbuttoning the top two buttons of her blouse.
The relationship was short but intense. "Fuck you and your fucking 'æ'" she yelled. "I'm not going to put up with a fucking grammar queen even if he can keep it up for four hours without Viagra".

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:45 PM
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145: But what's your problem with 130?

I suppose mostly that an effective response to the Murray line of thought would be better to challenge so-called corporate welfare than to raise the question of estate taxes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:46 PM
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If I told you only an idiot gets a burn on his penis would you hold it against me?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:51 PM
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159: Corporations aren't people and therefore aren't very good at self-reliance.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:55 PM
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I would, JP, if you were a poultice.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:56 PM
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160:Friction burns? Rug burns? Sunburns? Side burns George Burns?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:57 PM
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162: Pronounced "pool-tee-chay," meaning "hen" in Italian.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:57 PM
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Pronounced "pool-tee-chay," meaning "hen" in Italian.

As any fowl kno.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 9:59 PM
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I can be whatever you need me to be. I'm flexib-LAY.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 10:03 PM
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Standpipe must be on Spring Break.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 10:06 PM
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I'm commenting in between takes of Bridgeplates Gone Wild.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 10:21 PM
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If this is what happens between takes, man! The film itself must be something!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 10:24 PM
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The film itself must be something!

You've been reading Kant again, haven't you.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 10:32 PM
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But Immanuel Kant pun.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 10:40 PM
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Actually, yes. The Analogy Bans of Experience.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 10:41 PM
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What explains Europe's military impotence?

Two fucking world wars, Verdun, Coventry and Dresden, you cunt. What explains America's military tourism?

[OK, that to CM, nothing personal]


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:31 AM
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re: 173

Quite.


Posted by: natatarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 3:02 AM
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I think read's point is basically sound. We wouldn't be human if we didn't have both ups and downs and can appreciate the great days for having experienced the not so great.

She's clearly stating that she thinks that terrible and constangt suffering is the opposite of enobling and her point doesn't pertain to public policy. Still, I thought it was well put.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 5:45 AM
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O man...I wish I could yammer more often.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 5:54 AM
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What explains America's military tourism?

Those frequent flyer miles ain't earning themselves, guys.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 6:04 AM
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oh, thank you, BG!
get used (to something) i meant, nda, mistakes
i have some trouble to decide how to experience ups though, personally i would just rely on some good luck
if to rise above self and achieve something it becomes objectivist i've learned recently, but then it would get negated by some down period later anyway so maybe it's not that bad


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 6:11 AM
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Not just his penis--his penis burn. He'd been hiking in Switzerland, see.

Yeah, naked fondue parties really are a terrible idea.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 6:43 AM
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173 is very well put, and on behalf of Americans everywhere, I say no personal offense taken.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 6:45 AM
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The secret of war is having wars only in foreign countries, but in WWI/WWII Europe forget that, and they lost their spirit. I believe that the Civil War reduced American military enthusiasm too; Roosevelt, Hearst, et al had to work pretty hard to pump up enthusiasm, and even 15 years later there was little enthusiasm for entry into WWI.

But we've changed.

Sweden fought a lot of wars in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, always on foreign ground and often with mostly-foreign troops and money. "Stockholm was built with German gold". They've never been invaded so I guess their present anti-war feeling has been learned from others' experiences.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 7:22 AM
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The imperial coat of arms was not an instance of the later minimalist Swedish aesthetic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 7:28 AM
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I'm wondering whether that coat of arms wasn't a Wiki fart. It's labelled "Hessen-Kassel" which is German (though at times a Swedish ally / possession). It's a lovely extravagence, however, suitable for drug meditations in my opinion.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 7:34 AM
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It must be King Fredrik's version of the coat of arms, with the Hessen-Kassel coat of arms in the middle. There are a various other differences with the present coat of arms.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 7:41 AM
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Hessen-Kassel just like to lay it on thick. Impressive for such a small state. It's sort of post-modern, laying on the cliches until they scream.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 7:41 AM
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It reminds me a little of the Dancing Hampsters gif.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 7:44 AM
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No offense to Hessen-Kassel. I'm sure they have a rich historical and cultural tradition, with the castles and the pastries and the inbred nobility and the peasant girls in coloful costumes, and so on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 7:46 AM
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The first royal family to include animation in their coat of arms will win the internets empire.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 7:51 AM
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but in WWI/WWII Europe forget that, and they lost their spirit.

Lost their spirit?

It's phrases like that that could get a person quite annoyed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:16 AM
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Well, if they've got their spirit back, annoyed Scotland can go invade someone. I suggest the Faroes as a starter. That way they can provide diversionary support to their Canadian brothers in their struggle to keep Hans Island, which has always been part of the Canadian fatherland.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:22 AM
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189. I suspect Emerson of heavy handed irony there.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:22 AM
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I suggest the Faroes as a starter

They already did that. The Lovat Scouts and the Cameronians. But they got bored and went home, as you would.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:29 AM
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An independent Scotland would have been bankrupted, Iceland style, by HBOS/RBS. They'd have had no choice -- no choice, I tell you -- but to resume pwning other countries.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:30 AM
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Because that had worked so well for them in the past?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:36 AM
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re: 194

Pretty well. You see, there was this thing called the British Empire ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:39 AM
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Last time the Scots bankrupted themselves with ill-advised investment decisions, the English took them over as the price of the bail out. Google "Darien scheme".


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:40 AM
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re: 196

Yeah, I know. The actual history a tad more complicated, but yeah, not entirely false.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:41 AM
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Oh yeah, I saw that Laurel and Hardy movie, where they accidentally joined the British army and were immediately dressed up as Scotsmen and sent to India.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:46 AM
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198: That part where they kept knocking down Gandhi as they turned around with the ladder was hilarious.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:48 AM
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My grandfather was in both the British Army (in India) and, for a while, in the Indian Army (post-independence).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:50 AM
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Isn't it high treason or something to join a foreign army?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:52 AM
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I think it was Niall Ferguson who wrote this stupid article back in about 2003 saying basically that the US needed to figure out who its equivalent of Scots were in order to successfully pursue its benevolent imperial destiny. Or some shit(e) like that.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:54 AM
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re: 201

There was some sort of a deal where for 3 years after independence a number of British officers and senior non-coms stayed behind as part of the Indian Army. It was part of the transition from the Indian Army [as part of the British Empire and the Army of india] to an independent Indian Army.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:55 AM
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who its equivalent of Scots were

Canadians!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:55 AM
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201: Yet somehow they seemed more concerned with being punished by the British for deserting, than being punished by the Americans for treason.

My great-great-grandfather was supposedly in the British Army in India, and then stationed in Canada, where he stayed after independence. I have no evidence for the India part though.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:55 AM
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202. Not hard to figure out. But the Canadians have more sense.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:56 AM
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Joe Stilwell didn't commit treason by working for the Chinese army either.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:57 AM
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In fact, Googling, the Chief of Staff for the Indian Army for the first 2 years after independence [including the first war they fought after partition] was a Brit.

My grandfather was a non-com, not an officer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 8:59 AM
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206: I'm pretty sure he was thinking it would be Puerto Ricans or African-Americans or something like that. Mean poor people with aspirations was the formula, IIRC.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:05 AM
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re: 209

Slightly different, I suspect. The role of the Scots in the British Empire wasn't really just to provide violent poor people as cannon fodder.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:07 AM
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We should probably rely on American Samoans, on the off-chance that pantslessness is an important part of the formula.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:08 AM
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210: True, we're forgetting the comic engineers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:08 AM
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Or Scotch-Irish.

After the Civil War Minnesota proposed that after the U.S. bought Alaska and annex what is now Western Canada, but the stick-in-the-muds in DC were not open to forward-looking thinking. At that time Western Canada had come kind of territorial status and was dominated by Metis (mixed race French), who also were a factor in Minnesota. In the 1860s "The French Vote" was the euphemism for the Metis vote.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:12 AM
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off-chance that pantslessness is an important part of the formula.

Shouldn't it be a part of every formula?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:14 AM
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210: It wasn't for use as cannon fodder. His assertion was something along the lines of that because they were excluded from most other avenues for advancement in British society but were ambitious, the military provided a natural outlet for them to advance themselves and at the same time the goals of the empire.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:18 AM
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Speaking of pantslessness, on Fresh Air last night Terry couldn't stop talking about Jason Segel's wang. It was cute, actually.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:18 AM
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214: Not when there's fondue involved.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:20 AM
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It was cute, actually.

His wang?

On the radio??


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:21 AM
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re: 215

Yeah, and also they were well-educated, and drawn from both middle-class and working-class backgrounds. There isn't a strict parallel with any group in the US, I'd have thought. Of course if the US was to annex Canada....


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:22 AM
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219: If I'm remembering the article correctly (and I should just go look it up, but I can't be bothered), he was recommending that we figure out who our "Scots" were, but he didn't identify them.

I don't think Canadians would fit the bill though. They don't have a funny enough accent to easily distinguish them for social exclusion so that the military seems like a good idea.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:28 AM
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We should probably rely on American Samoans

Why not? Someone's got to speak up for the Samoan Dream. Regarding the topic: Charles Murray is a dick; Alex Cockburn is a dick; and Doug Rushkoff is a dick, too.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:28 AM
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217 to 216.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:30 AM
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218: Terry was like, "I want to ask you another question about your package, because I have a little theory about it, and I was thinking about it in the car today, and I want to run it by you to see what you think..."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:30 AM
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Of course if the US was to annex Canada....

They'd find out what having a war on your doorstep was really about.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:38 AM
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Wouldn't American Muslims fit the bill as "our Scots"?

I get to visit a mosque soon and eat sambusas! Yay!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:42 AM
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221: But Rushkoff is so much less a dick that Murray, it's not even funny. Cockburn seems to be developing a bad case of Norman Mailer Syndrome. (I.e. White guy writer starts out with fairly solid left politics and as he accumulates power, he rapidly moves into right-wing asshaberdashery.)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:45 AM
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You could make an argument for Americans of East Asian origin -- disproportionately highly educated, but not overrepresented (or as disproportionately overrepresented) in occupations involving political or economic power? Lots of doctors, lots of engineers (this is already sounding Scottish, right?) but not nearly as many bankers, politicians, or CEOs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:45 AM
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re: 227

if they were violent alcoholics, it sounds perfect! They are already [stereotypically] short.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:46 AM
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Cockburn? Hitchens very dramatically so.

Mailer's sexual politics was always horrible, and his political and intellectual framework kitschy existential crap. He was a writing machine, though, if you like that kind of thing.

Few political writers have it working on both cylinders. Most of them are either political only with reservations, or not very good writers, or both.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:49 AM
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Wouldn't American Muslims fit the bill as "our Scots"?

Not really. Not enough of them, for one. There really isn't an American equivalent of highly educated, middle-to-working-class, and excluded such that the military looks like a promising way to improve one's social status. (Not that we're perfect, it's just that our excluded groups tend to be excluded because of lack of access to education.) Maybe some immigrant groups at certain periods.

We could try to invade Canada.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:49 AM
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American Muslims

Racist.

Yum about the sambusas. What type?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:50 AM
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Scots aren't dark, dirty, and short, are they?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:50 AM
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232: Silly, that's the Welsh.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:53 AM
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re: 232

Apart from the big ginger headed slightly stupid ones from the north and west, yes, mostly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 9:53 AM
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But Rushkoff is so much less a dick that Murray, it's not even funny.

I'm happy to let Rushkoff cop to a much lesser degree of dickishness, but still, when you write crap like--

"In a perfect world, the stock market would decline another 70 or 80 percent along with the shuttering of about that fraction of our nation's banks. Yes, unemployment would rise as hundreds of thousands of formerly well-paid brokers and bankers lost their jobs; but at least they would no longer be extracting wealth at our expense."

--with little to no acknowledgment of how much suffering among people who aren't well-paid brokers and bankers your perfect world will produce, then you are either bloviating or just being a dick.

" Don't let them do your money. We should do our own. Their money is programmed. It's Microsoft. Our money is Linux. Bottom up."

That sounds like Ron Paul eVolution nonsense. What does it even mean?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:10 AM
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I have missed Mr/s Bridgeplate.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:13 AM
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Thanks, B, it's kind of you to say.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:22 AM
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235: But isn't it clear that finance should take up a much smaller portion of the economy than it has been? I thought that since 1980, the financial sector has been taking up an ever expanding portion of GDP, leaving the economy vulnerable to boom bust cycles of the sort we are now seeing.

One way or another, we will have to close a lot of financial institutions. Get rid of the parts of the financial sector that are just gambling and go back to actually providing capital to people who make things.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:29 AM
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234: Aw. My Scot is big and ginger, but dead clever, really.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:34 AM
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238:But isn't it clear that finance should take up a much smaller portion of the economy than it has been?

FWIW, the Newberry post in 55 divides the Democratic Party into three parts

1) The Clinton/Obama/DLC/Rubin/etc crowd who believe that finance is what America now does, what it has to sell to the world. For them, to shrink finance is destroy America and seriously damage the world

2) Unions who want to return to Fordism

3) nerd hippie geeks

I kinda short-shrifted 2 & 3, read if you care. And each economic program has a corresponding political ideology, which serves the interest of its members while weakening its opposition.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:41 AM
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re: 239

I'm kidding. But literary stereotype (a bit, I'm exaggerating) tends towards the brawny, good-natured, fair-haired/ginger Highlander versus dark, short, sneaky urban/Lowlanders.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:48 AM
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I'll recalibrate my Scot stereotypes.

Google finds nothing for "dark, dirty, and short", no matter how you arrange the words or tweak the commas. The DDS police are at work. Brin and/or Page must be dark or short.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:50 AM
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I don't have time to read the whole Rushkoff piece, but it looks like standard issue left-nostalgia-primitivism of the Wendell Berry school. It has all the classic faults, mostly a broad-stroke, idealized history with little empirical backing. But there is a substantial bit of truth behind this viewpoint, one that Frum and Murray are also latching onto, but in a more authoritarian fashion.

Coincidentally, I am showing Rushkoff's Frontline piece on advertising in my critical thinking class. I should learn more about his perspective.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 10:53 AM
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242: Huh?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:04 AM
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Related: This (or what it links to) has been linked here before. Generally amusing and accurate.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:06 AM
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re; 245

Yeah, the classic Exile.ru chart. Still funny.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:10 AM
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241: Hee. Yes, my broad-brushed Scots stereotyping is roughly the same: wee, dark Picty ones v. big, fair Viking ones.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:11 AM
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re: 247

Yeah, the quasi-ethnic divide more or less follows the line of the Great Glen.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:13 AM
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That is, in stereotypes, I mean. Not in reality.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:13 AM
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It's blocked here at work for some reason, but I remember loving that the Belgians' view of everyone else in Europe was something like "drinks bad beer". So so true.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:14 AM
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standard issue left-nostalgia-primitivism of the Wendell Berry school

Kunstler and Murray are sisters under the skin. Very much in favour of the virtuous poor, so long as they stay that way (and especially the second bit).


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:14 AM
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re: 251

It's a fairly rich seam, that. You find it in a lot of middle-class Greens, as well.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:16 AM
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252: "a fairly rich seam" s/b "fertile ground"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:20 AM
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I appreciate the middle-class green variant when they actually walk the walk, because those folks generally have lots of fresh vegetables and know how to fix things. We go out of our way to befriend such people.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:21 AM
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254: a few chickens out back is becoming an increasingly common feature too, at least around here, which can make house-sitting both more interesting and more delicious fresheggwise.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:25 AM
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Isn't it high treason or something to join a foreign army?

only in time of war. Things like the Gurkhas or the Legion are OK. Lots of armies don't let foreigners in but it's not treason.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:26 AM
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Further to 256, weren't there American (non-Canadian) pilots who fought in WWI as volunteers before the U.S. entered the war?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:32 AM
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I think it's not unusual for American citizens to serve in the ROK army, because every male adult of Korean descent is obligated to complete a term of compulsory military service, regardless of citizenship. So even American citizens can get drafted if they go to Korea. My sister and I both did a post-college Korea trip with my parents; but my parents elected to take my brother to Hawaii instead.

But you know, it builds character, and afterwards you can go back to the U.S.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:38 AM
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re: 257

I think there were some in WWII before the US entered the war, too. Certainly lots of people from all over fought in the Spanish Civil War.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:39 AM
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203: Also, India remained part of the Commonwealth from 1947 until 1950, when it became a republic.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:40 AM
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257 - The Escadrille LaFayette. It included the US's first black fighter pilot, who was reduced to ground crew after the Escadrille was incorporated into the US Army, despite the fact that he had several kills.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:40 AM
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257: there were indeed: notably the Escadrille Lafayette, who tore up the skies over the Sacred Road in 1916; and the Eagle Squadrons of American volunteers in the RAF in 1941.
There were even seven American pilots in the Battle of Britain; I think, though, that they were fighting either in British squadrons or while pretending to be Canadians. Most of the American pilots returned to the US forces after America eventually entered the war in late 1941.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:43 AM
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while pretending to be Canadians

Not the least part of their heroism was their sustaining the pretence even in the throes of battle: "The plane's on fire! I'm going to have to bail oot! If I don't make it, make sure someone takes care of my pet beaver!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:48 AM
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263: not to mention their dogged insistence on repeating all radio transmissions in French.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:49 AM
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"Mayday! M'aider! Mayday! M'aider!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:50 AM
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There is an amazingly terrible early Tom Hanks film in which he plays an American serving in the RAF and stationed in Jerusalem (where he falls in love with a beautiful sephardic girl, etc.).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:51 AM
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255: I may possibly have missed a key permute, but it makes more sense to blame Google.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:54 AM
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My other grandfather was stationed in Jerusalem at one point, although I think when he was there the Irgun/Hagganah were mostly trying to kill him.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:55 AM
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He probably got off with my mother then. She seems to have made the best of the situation when she wasn't running away from Yitzhak Shamir.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:57 AM
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But they were beautiful, right?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:57 AM
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OFE's mother yes, Natargachm's grandfather no.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:59 AM
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Maybe not Jerusalem. Palestine, anyway, right before '48. I don't know where the RAF were based, but wherever that was, there.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 11:59 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:03 PM
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||
Back on topic after all this time, did anybody notice this beauty from Charles Murray chez De Long?
|>

I'm not exactly where my mum went in Palestine. She was touring with an army entertainment group in 1946, and I know she arrived in Jerusalem either the day or the day after the King David Hotel went up.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:04 PM
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274: That's got to be a unfair report of an offhand joke -- I hold no brief for Murray, but no one in his position could plausibly have said that straight. He's still an ass, of course.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:06 PM
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272: In the movie (!) the RAF are definitely in Jerusalem.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:08 PM
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Tom Hanks was OFE's grandfather?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:09 PM
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277: ttaM's grandfather, silly. OFE's mum was the beautiful sephardic girl.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:10 PM
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278: At any point in the movie, did Tom Hanks have to dress up as a beautiful sephardic girl in order to find lodging?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:17 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:20 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:20 PM
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I suppose he still is ttam's grandfather then. No divorce for kin.

How's Katie Holmes doing, ttaM? I personally think that it's risky to marry demented fanatics with enormous egos, but some people live for excitement.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:21 PM
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281: I know I shouldn't respond, but do I understand you to be correcting the misapprehension that the Queen of England is Catholic? Because I think most people were way ahead of you on that one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:28 PM
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Don't sell your birthright for a mess of pastry, LB.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:53 PM
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How's Katie Holmes doing, ttaM? I personally think that it's risky to marry demented fanatics with enormous egos, but some people live for excitement.

I don't understand this.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:54 PM
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You mean Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise are two different people?

I should get out more, I guess. I though they were pen names of some sort.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:55 PM
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285: The joke was your grandfather was Tom Hanks. Emerson has confused him for Tom Cruise (or so he wants us to think . . .).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 12:55 PM
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re: 286/287

Ah, ok.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:01 PM
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All white people look alike to John.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:06 PM
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#282. Coincidentally, Professor Althouse has announced her engagement with a commenter on her blog. (A mere commenter!) Here's wishing the bride and groom many years of happiness, a well-stocked wine cellar, and a Pajamas Media gig of their very own.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:07 PM
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290: Somewhere, Labs is snarling with frustrated rage. Or perhaps, with simple frustration....


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:10 PM
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||

Do you all chuckle in your gmail accounts at the bright red "New stuff in Labs!" link?

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:11 PM
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You never know what you'll find in Labs.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:14 PM
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There is an amazingly terrible early Tom Hanks film

The only adjective doing any work in this phrase is "early."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:19 PM
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at the bright colon red

I do, actually.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:19 PM
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294: Hey, I liked "Big".


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:23 PM
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290: I'm sort of fascinated by this as it seems they had never met until the visit that resulted in the engagement.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:24 PM
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296: I'm sorry.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:32 PM
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298: You were responsible for Big? I'm afraid a vebal apology isn't going to be enough, B.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:41 PM
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Kobe! Kobi! Kobé!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 1:44 PM
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299 is the basest slander.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:00 PM
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a.cockburn's disbelief in human-cased climate change isn't new, i first noticed it a coupla years back -- i doubt it's rightwing-moving, i imagine he gets it from some of his stranger eco-pol pals, but c/punch has always run a certain amount of stuff that's there bcz he knows it teases


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:01 PM
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cased based


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:02 PM
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cased based


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:02 PM
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262: Like Shorty Keogh; so called because he had to pack a cushion under his seat-pack 'chute to see over the reflector gunsight in his Spitfire, being 4'10". He originally came to join the Finns against the Russians, but they signed terms before he could get there, he tried to sign up with the French but had to get out of France in a hurry, and eventually joined the RAF. Posted to 609 (WEST YORKSHIRE) Squadron, then 71 (EAGLE) Squadron when the various Americans were tracked down and rolled into one foreign legion. Killed in action 15/2/1941.

609 was originally an Auxiliary Air Force part-time reserve unit, but it ended up being something of a foreign legion itself, at one point it had a Belgian commander.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:05 PM
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The LaRouchies are also denialists in a bi way.

Contrarians have to have something.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:38 PM
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g


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:39 PM
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The LaRouchies are also denialists in a bi way.

I had more fun trying too interpret this before I realized it was a typo.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-24-09 2:39 PM
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I'm sort of fascinated by this as it seems they had never met until the visit that resulted in the engagement.

And the next thing you know, he's buying her a ring at Tiffany's! (or so he coyly implies, in that comment where he, well, links to Tiffany & Co.).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 7:51 AM
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Apparently, they conducted an epistolary courtship for a several years prior, yet never did they meet until that fateful day. Two more people lost to marriage! O, how this must cut Emerson to the quick. Take heart, my friend; take heart. Together these two may yet produce the greatest Modern Love column ever.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:19 AM
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i like Big, the salutation the boys use is so funny and heartwarming


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 9:22 AM
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I'm confident that both will be punished.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-25-09 4:22 PM
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