Me: Was it good?
Friend: No. He didn't so much have sex with me as have sex on me.
"Weoo-weooo-weo-oo-WE-OOO" You know what sucks? I have lice. It's so hard to get rid of the...lousy little buggers. Girl X wishes lice would go extinct. I'm with her. Cool shit like Apatosaurus or whatever goes extinct, and we're stuck with lice? Oh, well, at least I don't have scabies. Yet. And I'm not drunk or high!
Okay, guys, sorry I'm a day late, but here's a thread. Typically of a despot, I haven't made the sacrifices I've asked of you and done the reading (I plead schoolwork and general sleep deprivation), but I will tonight, and then I'll join in the fun. Here are JM's discussion questions, curious grammar maintained:
2. Suffices it for Montaigne to detach oneself from familial and social bonds? What is the condition necessary for which that this solitude is rich? What is the sense of the asceticism Montaigne is describing?
3. How Montaigne develops him the theme of our alienation?
4. The portrait of the pedant: why is Montaigne so severe towards him? Does not one there already find the severity of classicism towards erudition?
5. In what the detachment that Montaigne proposes us is it Christian? In what also does he distance himself from the Christian ideal?
6. Montaigne criticizes successively the desire immoderated of goods of this world and the morals of renunciation. Why? Montaigne understands he the worth of ascetism Christian? What is, in this meditation, the role of the imagination? Why does Montaigne make he confidence in the power of reason for supporting unhappiness?
7. How Pascal has he transformed the analysis of Montaigne in the fragments consacrated to amusement (269, 270, 271, 272)?
Update: Okay you slackers, here's the deal. I know I'm a bad despot. You don't have to tell me. I was caught up in the end of one of my classes, and lately my love life has needed attention and emotional processing time. Plus I need time just to lie around and be Tia. But my class and my labwork are both over at least for July, and it's the weekend, so all you lamebutts read the essay and we'll pick up the discussion next week.
Just when you think Clarence Thomas couldn't possibly make any bigger of an assclown of himself, he dons the wig and big shoes and proves just how unimaginative we all are.
Justice Clarence Thomas refers to Justice John Paul Stevens' "unfamiliarity with the realities of warfare" in his dissenting opinion. ACSBlog notes: "Stevens served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945, during World War II. Thomas's official bio, by contrast, contains no experience of military service."
Time to update the entry.
1. The Tour de France scandal really sucks. I like Ivan Basso, and he didn't look like a cheater. Competition is so satisfying because, if you win, you can stick your chest out and know that you were better than everyone else. But you can't know that if you cheat. I guess the cyclists think that since everyone is cheating, it all evens out in the end. Which, apparently, is true. Shit.
2. Is the Argentinian soccer team unusually ugly or do they keep showing the same ugly guy over and over? All these vigorous part-European, part-South American studs look the same to me.
3. I haven't said that Stephen A. Smith should shut the fuck up because part of SAS's schtick is to get people to tell him to shut the fuck up, and I don't want to play his game. Nevermind that his schtick is so obviously a schtick, that no real person, even an Outspoken Black Man acts like such an ass all the time--the real problem with SAS is that he's clueless. How many times during the draft did they ask him to comment on a player when he clearly knew nothing about the guy? He'd start going on about the guy's coach, and what could be extrapolated from that. Gah.
I should be working rather than blogging today, so I'm just going to point you to Marty Lederman at Scotusblog, which comes to the same conclusion we discussed here in comments -- that the key holding in Hamdan was the Court's decision that the baseline protections of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions apply to prisoners taken in the Global War On People Who Do Bad Things:
This ruling has enormous implications for the Administration's detention and interrogation practices, because the Administration's legal conclusion that CA3 does not apply, and that we will not apply it as a matter of practice, was the key linchpin to the entire edifice of legal maneuvers that led to waterboarding, hypothermia, degradation, etc. See my post here. Per today's decision, the Administration appears to have been engaged in war crimes, which are subejct to the death penalty. Although I don't think due process would allow prosecution based on conduct previously undertaken on OLC's advice that CA3 did not apply (after all, the Chief Justice concluded, in the D.C. Circuit, that CA3 did not apply), practices going forward are bound to change, and quick. (I'm sure the memos are being drafted and distributed in the CIA and DOD even as we "speak.")
Click through -- Lederman has links.
A sweet Halle Berry moment:
The saucy minx revealed to US chat show host Conan O'Brien that her tight, rubber X-Men costume works quite well in the bedroom.
"Yeah, I wear it sometimes. You gotta keep your life spiced up. "Storm never has sex in the movies - but Storm has a lotta sex at my house."
If you listen closely, you can hear Gary gnawing off his own tongue.
Via some people and also kung-fu monkey.
Attentive readers will note that I've been away. Seriously, try this, at least in your head but preferably in real life: stop reading blogs for a few weeks, then open Instapundit. It's like waking to the detritus of last night's bender-- what the hell made that seem like a good idea? I don't mean that blog per se; I mean the idea of reading many blogs devoted to discussions of political issues that are completely unaffected by my involvement. From now on, only Fresh Pepper and Bad News Hughes.
I got hypnotized last night for the first time. The Asperger's guy did it to me. (I told him that I wasn't interested in exclusivity, that I was still seeing my ex-boyfriend, that I wasn't willing to give some of the other things he said he wanted from a relationship, either, and he seems to now be fine with all of this, so what the hell.) Anyway, I thought it wasn't going to work, because I felt so aware of everything that was going on, and I thought my awareness would constitute successful resistance, but then at one point about five minutes into it he told me that I should try to open my eyes, and I wouldn't be able to, and he was right, I couldn't! Later he told me I couldn't talk or move, and I couldn't. At one point, I really wanted to move, because my foot was in a weird and somewhat painful position against the foot of the bed I was lying on, but I could neither move nor speak to alert him to the problem. I was really happy when he said I could speak so I could tell him about my foot, and then he told me I could move it, and then I could. He tried to give me a post hypnotic suggestion, that I would forget the existence of the number six and forget that he had given me a suggestion, but that didn't work. I remembered both the suggestion and the number six. But he says that hypnotizer and hypnotizee tend to get better with practice, so maybe with time that stuff will work, although he better undo it afterwards, because it would be bad for my job performance if I didn't know about the number six.
Hamdan's been decided, and the Court has found that the tribunals at Guantanamo are illegal under both US law and the Geneva Conventions. I'll say morewhen I've read it. The split is 5-3 -- Alito, Scalia, and Thomas dissenting, and Roberts not taking part.
The older of my two younger brothers turns 18 in a couple of weeks and is going to have to register with Selective Service. I still don't think we're headed for a draft any time soon but it no longer seems completely outside the realm of possibilities, like it did when my friends turned that age.
I remember how upset my mother was when the war started in 2003 because she was afraid it would still be going on when J. turned 18 and telling her that, as much as I was sure the administration was going to screw things up over there, she didn't need to worry because there was no way we would still be at war over three years later. Looks like her intuition was better than mine.
Inspired by today's Slashdot poll, what's your favorite fictional depiction of the end of
the world civilization as we know it? It's been a long time since I've read it but I remember really liking The Stand, minus all of the religious symbolism stuff.
There's been a lot of nonsense from Republican politicians about the incredible damage done to national security by the revelations in the New York Times about US intelligence access to financial data passing through SWIFT. Given that it can't possibly be news to anyone that we've had access to this sort of data all along, how can this possibly be the case? For example, here's a question from yesterday's White House press briefing:
One quick follow-up. Two weeks after 9/11, or approximately two weeks after 9/11, the President announced that the U.S., through the Treasury Department, was going to be reaching out to banks all over the world and trying to freeze terrorist assets, and also get all information they can. And if the banks did not comply, the U.S. would stop doing business with those banks.
The news value is in the lack of judicial oversight and violations of law in the way the program was conducted, not that we were getting access to the data somehow.
Tell you what. If, after some bit of classified information comes out, it can be explained concretely what damage it does to national security, I'll agree that maybe it should have been kept secret. If the harm is too diffuse or too secret to specify? I'm really not in the mood. (Also read Dan Froomkin.)
Check out Ezra's farewell to The West Wing. Unusually, he disapproves of the fantasy world it was set in -- a world where all the arguments were over what policies were genuinely the best for America, and everyone's intentions, regardless of their politics, were good. He argues that that sort of naive faith in the honest goodwill of our political opponents is what's been wrong with liberals since the beginning of the Clinton administration.
I'm not sure if he's right, but I do know I was muttering "Yeah! That's it! Hit 'em again!" all the time I was reading it.
Not as exciting as sex talk, but I was driving home tonight with the radio on and the song I was listening to was interrupted by the Emergency Broadcast System. And it was not a test! It was an actual emergency! The Attention Signal was indeed followed by official news, information, or instructions! (Nothing too major, just flash flooding. Given our weather of late, I halfway expected them to be alerting us to plagues of locusts or frogs falling from the sky.) Made my day.
Over at Dr. B's place. Inspired by the great blowjob wars, she has posts up asking straight women, straight men, and lesbians (yeah, I don't quite get why she skipped gay men either) to talk about what they want and enjoy, or don't want and don't enjoy, about sex. She's followed with a post for everyone to talk about the other threads. If you haven't been over there already, they're all worth reading.
A federal judge has stopped all executions in Missouri until changes are made to guarantee that inmates don't suffer from the lethal injection. Leaving aside the larger death penalty question, what struck me most about the case was this:
U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. cited "numerous problems" with the state's lethal injections, including a lack of a written protocol setting drug levels and a dyslexic doctor who is in charge of mixing the three drugs used. [...] Missouri Corrections Director Larry Crawford said in a hearing before Gaitan two weeks ago that he would clarify the execution protocol. He testified after learning that the surgeon who is the sole person in charge of mixing the drugs had prepared a lower-than-expected dose of anesthesia for the last several inmates who were put to death. [...] "The court is gravely concerned that a physician who is solely responsible for correctly mixing the drugs ... has a condition which causes him confusion with regard to numbers," Gaitan wrote.
Fair enough. But instead of suspending all executions, couldn't they have just re-instituted the firing squad and brought in Carey McWilliams?
Three punks got on the subway this morning at 125th -- the one with the mohawk and big stupid chains hanging off his belt sat next to me, while his friends sat across on the other side of the car. The guy next to me gave me a sidelong glance, taking in the office clothes and copy of the Times, and called across to his friend; "Hey, how do you get rid of scabies?"
Friend [Confused, reacting as if it were a riddle] : "I don't know, how do you get rid of scabies?" [Catching on] "Oh, man, you still got those?"
Punk [scratching theatrically]: "Yeah, scabies. And, um, lice. I itch like you wouldn't believe."
Friend [playing along]: "You know, I found five bugs on my nuts this morning."
Punk: "You got crabs too?"
And so forth to 42d street.
It was so hard not to break in and explain that if they wanted to successfully gross out strangers on the subway, they were going to have to skip the occasional shower and use less hair product -- the conversation was simply unconvincing with the glossily conditioned locks and generally apparent perfect hygeine. I know I look dull, but I was in high school 15-20 years ago with boys dressed exactly like that, and they were generally better students and all-round better citizens than I was -- a search of the bags these two were carrying would clearly, but clearly, have revealed notebooks containing meticulous chemistry or calculus notes.
Give it up, guys. Punk isn't scary.
Everybody's talking about the WaPo editorial based on a recent study [PDF] that says that Americans today are lonelier than in generations past and have fewer people to confide in, especially once they reach middle age. I'm going to be a bad blogger and free ride off of other people's posts for this one because I'm kind of swamped but this seems like an interesting topic for discussion.
So the plan is apparently to draw down troops in Iraq over the next year or two. I'm a little puzzled here -- what is the administration saying with this plan? There seem to be two possibilities: things are stable enough that our current troop levels aren't needed any more; or our presence isn't doing any particular good, so we might as well go home now.
Myself, I've been convinced of the second for a while now -- is this story an indication that the administration agrees with me? Or did we win when I wasn't paying attention?
I spent the weekend at a very pleasant family wedding (Buck's cousins. I don't know them all that well, but they're awfully nice). The dance floor was occupied by the usual teenage girls dancing with small children to the hits of the 80's (one wonders what the teenage girls think of the music selection.)
Buck and I were dancing, and noticed that my sister-in-law and her husband were dancing with Newt, and seemed to be slinging him about the floor a bit without his full, enthusiastic participation. We considered rescuing him, but the song ended and he ran off with a gaggle of other small children. Later in the evening, though, I was sitting by the dance floor, having a soda with Newt, and his uncle (is he my brother-in-law? He's Buck's, but does he get to be my brother-in-law by marrying my sister-in-law?) came over and was going to haul him back out on the dance floor. Newt demurred, and the uncle responded with "You were having fun dancing with [your aunt} and me before, why not?"
Newt shot him a dirty look and said, "You were controlling me like a puppet."