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The Soft Bigotry Of Low Expectations ... Makes People Happy

Posted by Ogged
on 05.03.08

Walking along, I saw a twenty-something scruffy white guy using all his programmer muscles to lug a case of water into an office building, and jogged over to get the door for him just as two of his cohorts, carrying their own cases of water, turned the corner. Amidst profusely thanking me, one of them asked, with heartfelt wonderment, "Are you just a passerby??"


 

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Silly Question

Posted by LizardBreath
on 05.03.08

Edwards still has those nineteen pledged delegates, right? Who he presumably has some strong personal influence over, you'd think. Normally that wouldn't matter at all, but that'd be an interesting number of delegates to drop themselves into someone's column around now.

This may have already happened and I missed it (he could have endorsed someone and I missed it -- my head's been in work and at home the last month or two), but is there any talk of people wooing Edwards for his delegatey goodness?

(Work continues spiffy: I've got this great case that I can't blog about, but will probably annoy almost all of you very slightly, but very directly.)


 

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Narrative vs. Numbers

Posted by Apostropher
on 05.03.08

Charles Blow has an interesting look at the actual favorability ratings of Clinton and Obama.

The question is this: Have white Democrats soured on Obama? Apparently not. Although his unfavorable rating from the group is up five percentage points since last summer in polls conducted by The New York Times and CBS News, his favorable rating is up just as much.

On the other hand, black Democrats' opinion of Hillary Clinton has deteriorated substantially (her favorable rating among them is down 36 percentage points over the same period). While a favorable opinion doesn't necessarily translate into a vote, this should still give the Clintons (and the superdelegates) pause. Electability cuts both ways.

Al Giordano:

So, to sum up: Look at the damn graphs. You can see that Clinton is in a staggering free-fall among African-American voters, her favorability is down 36 points while 17 percent view her more negatively than before, while Obama's favorable and negative ratings among whites have paired at five point increases. You can even see the small dip - about two percentage points - in his popularity among whites that can be attributed to the news cycles about his ex-pastor, and see that it has leveled out and is now on a straight horizontal line (meanwhile, Clinton's numbers among blacks continue on an extreme downward precipice). The greater context is that even including Obama's slight dip, he's more popular today among white voters than he ever was prior to February.

Not since Ronald Reagan has an American presidential candidate withstood such an assault in the media and seen his popularity not hurt by it, but, rather, galvanized by it. That's what is meant, in politics, by the term "Teflon."


 

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No Talking About Baseball!

Posted by Ogged
on 05.03.08

From the same guy who made the street map, a handy chart that tracks, day by day, the performance vs. payroll of Major League teams.


 

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Best Wishes For A Long And Happy Marriage

Posted by Becks
on 05.03.08

An overheard attempt to get a girl's number:

Douchebag: I'm kind of engaged right now but...

 

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Free Comic Book Day

Posted by Becks
on 05.03.08

If you hustle, you might still have time to get one. This has been a very comic booky weekend, between that and Iron Man, which I saw last night. I thought it was good but, apparently, if you're a dude the stuff after the credits is the Best Thing Ever. (Seriously, I have never seen anyone flip their shit like all of my guy friends did upon watching that last night.)

So on this very special of days, maybe you can explain what makes comic books so great to me. I've dabbled a bit (read the entire Sandman series and a few others here and there, like Preacher and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) but obviously don't have the same connection that dudes do. What is it that does it for you?


 

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On The Way

Posted by Ogged
on 05.03.08

Via Streetsblog, a supercool image of the US that shows nothing but every street, and winds up looking like a relief map. Be sure to click on the individual areas too, to get a sense of the detail. Also of note: a hell of a lot of this country is barely settled. Maybe Emerson is right about buying land in North Dakota.


 

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Protect and defend

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 05.02.08

Via VC comes this interesting story about Cal State-Fullerton firing an instructor because of her refusal to sign a loyalty oath:

But the day before class was scheduled to begin, her appointment as a lecturer abruptly ended over just the kind of issue that might have figured in her course. She lost the job because she did not sign a loyalty oath swearing to "defend" the U.S. and California constitutions "against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
The loyalty oath was added to the state Constitution by voters in 1952 to root out communists in public jobs. Now, 16 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, its main effect is to weed out religious believers, particularly Quakers and Jehovah's Witnesses.
As a Quaker from Pennsylvania and a lifelong pacifist, Gonaver objected to the California oath as an infringement of her rights of free speech and religious freedom. She offered to sign the pledge if she could attach a brief statement expressing her views, a practice allowed by other state institutions. But Cal State Fullerton rejected her statement and insisted that she sign the oath if she wanted the job.

This is very, very odd, not just on academic freedom grounds* but on "save yourselves bad press and a humiliating lawsuit" grounds. Bizarre!

Enemies foreign and domestic should be warned that I will throw heavy anthologies at them if they endanger my beloved constitution.

*Quick, get Rauchway's sorting hat to explain how I'm wrong about this.


 

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You're Still Allowed To Get Off

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.08

Porn For The Blind is awesome. There's a list of URLs and audio by volunteers describing the pictures and video found at each one. It's not just funny is a goofy way--by recontextualizing the porn, it reminds you how mannered and silly most pornography is. Thanks to Hermit Greg for the tip.


 

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Well, How Would You Like To Be A Worthless White Nigger?

Posted by Ogged
on 05.02.08

[Update: This seems to be a fake, which is to say that the audio has been doctored.]

Mickey Kantor, Bill Clinton's commerce secretary, and an advisor to Hillary Clinton, in the documentary The War Room.

(If the video won't play for you, you can download the flv file here. You'll need an flv player of some sort.)


 

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From Nixon to Reagan to Bush, old habits die hard.

Posted by Apostropher
on 05.02.08

If you haven't read Lindsay Beyerstein's article at The Raw Story, go do it now.

In two states where US attorneys are already under fire for serious allegations of political prosecutions, seven people associated with three federal cases have experienced 10 suspicious incidents including break-ins and arson.

These crimes raise serious questions about possible use of deliberate intimidation tactics not only because of who the victims are and the already wide criticism of the prosecutions to begin with, but also because of the suspicious nature of each incident individually as well as the pattern collectively. Typically burglars do not break-into an office or private residence only to rummage through documents, for example, as is the case with most of the burglaries in these two federal cases.

In Alabama, for instance, the home of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman was burglarized twice during the period of his first indictment. Nothing of value was taken, however, and according to the Siegelman family, the only items of interest to the burglars were the files in Siegelman's home office.

Siegelman's attorney experienced the same type of break-in at her office.

There's lots more—and worse—than that. The Bush administration has fought awfully hard against revealing any details whatsoever about their illegal surveillance programs, and I suspect no small part of that is that they've used it less for honest-to-god security reasons than for opposition research and good old ratfucking.


 

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Women In A War Zone

Posted by Becks
on 05.01.08

Two very different yet moving tales of women and war in the Middle East: one American and one Iraqi.


 

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Transparency

Posted by Ogged
on 05.01.08

Italian politics has a bad name, but you have to admit that it's pretty funny for the outgoing government to post the income of everyone in the country on the day they leave office.


 

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Partisanship and Profits, Past and Present

Posted by Becks
on 05.01.08

David Frum argues that the future business model of journalism looks a lot like its past and that partisanship is what can make news profitable again.

Of course, that makes the assumption that profitable news is good news. Just because Fox News is successful, doesn't mean it's factual, informative, or not crap. Partisanship may "save" journalism but is it at the cost of transforming it so that it's unrecognizable and no longer serves the interest of the reader?


 

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Bragging

Posted by Ben
on 04.30.08

Sooooo, a friend of the family managed to get my sister and her ball and chain a gig making dinner for a gathering hosted by some big foody mucky-muck in LA and attended by various other mucky-mucks, some of whom were (evidently) in an epistemic position to judge that the meal that night rivaled, if it did not exceed, meals they'd had at three-star restaurants on the Continent. Score one for anglophone gastronomy! I got to see the menu and it did indeed look pretty fucking awesome, and these things when well done always exceed one's most fevered menu-based imaginings.

Also, she just started as the executive chef at some good-seeming restaurant. Expect me to exhort the LA-based lifeforms here to go there once she's had time to mold the menu. As of now, though, I content myself in exhorting NYC-based lifeforms not to patronize either of these establishments.


 

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Dante Me

Posted by Becks
on 04.30.08

Where in the hierarchy of automotive sins would you rank my new favorite hobby, texting at red lights?


 

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The Facts Of Life

Posted by Ogged
on 04.30.08

This is pretty great.


 

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I'll Take That Merguez

Posted by Ogged
on 04.30.08

A good sandwich is, indeed, unbeatable. And the dearth of good sandwich shops is one way in which the Bay Area is inferior to any other place I've lived.


 

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Yankees Suck

Posted by Becks
on 04.29.08

I went to a Washington Nationals game tonight. It was lots of fun and they won and I had a great time and sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" and had hot dogs and beer and mocked the people on the JumboTron but one bit seemed a little off. To me, sports (and especially baseball) isn't about any intrinsic awesomeness. The whole point is to have "your team", which was the same team your father rooted for and your grandmother rooted for and has been passed down to you your whole life. Going to a game for a team absent those traditions feels weird. You're supposed to like it for the baseball?


 

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Protest

Posted by Ogged
on 04.29.08

There aren't many situations where you'd say that a t-shirt-length political slogan is effective, but I think wearing this t-shirt in Tel Aviv counts.


 

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Community Standards

Posted by Ogged
on 04.29.08

So where does Hulk Hogan lovingly oiling his daughter's ass rate on your personal ickometer? My favorite picture is of the Hulk sitting like a doting gargoyle in the background while his daughter frolics with a young man she could break in two.


 

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Bested

Posted by Becks
on 04.29.08

Living in a house of journalists, I am sometimes exposed to Shocking Truths. The most recent -- that Best Of issues of magazines and alt-weeklys are not thoroughly researched! In fact, they're usually completely phoned in, with the selection criteria being "Without trying anywhere new, what is the best place that I know of...well, not actually the best place because I don't want it to get crowded and suck...but the best place I'm willing to tell people about off the top of my head?"

Knowing this has allowed me to become more carefree in my travels, as it's easier to resist my impulse to be an Experience Maximizer. It's all bullshit.


 

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Chris Rock, Still Funny

Posted by Ogged
on 04.28.08

From a recent concert (recap):

On John McCain:

"Who's gonna be his runnin' mate? A nurse? He used to own Sidney Poitier!

On Reverend Wright:

"A 75-year-old black man who hates white people. Is there another type of 75-year-old black man? Do you realize his whole third grade class was lynched?"


 

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Growl

Posted by Becks
on 04.28.08

For the last 6 years, I've had the same waking and sleeping schedule -- wake up at 8 AM so I can roll into work around 9:30. Now I'm working with early risers and have a much longer commute so I've been waking up between 6 and 6:30. Adjusting so as not to be tired is still an ongoing process but even more difficult is figuring out a new eating schedule. I'm hungry at different times than I was before and the quantities have been redistributed throughout the day. I used to know exactly what my body wanted and when (light breakfast, lots of veggies at lunch, need a boost of protein around 3, etc.) but now I'm totally confused and find my energy crashing at random times and not able to figure out what to eat to rev it back up.


 

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Don't Call Me Dude

Posted by Ogged
on 04.28.08

Apparently people are angry today. Not as angry as this cop. And now you can be angry with him. Or, in the case of those who defended the homework-for-parents teacher, identify with him.

via henley


 

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Ok, that's enough discord

Posted by Ben
on 04.28.08

That wasn't even the sort of discord I wanted to sow.

I would like to express my frustration with Twisted now. Thank you.


 

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Practical Math

Posted by Becks
on 04.27.08

I am attempting to make a cake. I had bought exactly enough chocolate (chunks, not bars with scored pieces) - one chunk weighing .40 lbs and one chunk weighing .23 lbs. Somebody opened the .23 lb piece and ate some off of it, but I have no idea how much. I found an extra candy bar in the cabinet that is not enough to use instead of the .23 lb piece but is handily scored so I could use that to augment the chocolate amount, if I knew how much I needed. We do not have a kitchen scale.

Math nerds/MacGyvers: Without a kitchen scale, how can I figure out how much the mystery piece of chocolate weighs (possibly somehow using the .40 lb piece) so I know how much to add? Or is my recipe fucked and I need to go to the store? (Which I really don't want to do because I just got back.)


 

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Modern Love: And That's Saying Something Edition

Posted by Becks
on 04.27.08

This may be the worst Modern Love simile yet:

The awkwardness was palpable, sultry, like fondue.

As for the rest of it, she could have stopped (her writing and the relationship) after:

He continued, in all lowercase, to introduce himself.

 

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Sowing discord

Posted by Ben
on 04.27.08

Is there any writer ``in blogs'' as smug as John H.? (Perhaps "smug" isn't the right word. We can talk about it.)

Not in a good way, either. I literally couldn't finish that post. Literally! I blacked out.


 

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