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Hey, I just met you. And this is crazy.

Posted by Stanley
on 07.14.12

No, but seriously:

Let me now announce to everyone in Iowa, I have become aware of the existence of the Original Republic for The United States of America."We the People" re-inhabited our lawful de jure (de jur- "by right of lawful establishment") government on March 30th , 2010. This is The Republic founded in 1787 and then abandoned during The Civil War in the 1860s.

It was then replaced in 1871 by the UNITED STATES CORPORATION. (de facto-without law). This Unlawful Corporate Democracy, established by the forty-first congress, has been acting as though it is the "official government" which clearly it is not! In point of fact, it is the reason why "We the People" Instead of Experiencing Freedom and Prosperity, suffer under the weight of Oppressive Statutes and an Out of Control, Monstrous National Debt which is Robbing Us and All Future Generations of Americans of Our Treasure and Our Legacy for which Our Founding Fathers' so Valiantly Fought and Died.

And Remember This! Where the de jure Republic of The United States of America exists the de facto UNITED STATES CORPORATION, having no standing, must go away!

Oh, Iowa.


 

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Clutter

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.14.12

Consider the extensive clutter in the middle-class households of the UCLA study that Megan linked to, the other day.

Are upper class households less cluttered? I have a belief that they are, based on the upper class homes that I've seen. Actually the middle class homes that I've scene haven't been terribly cluttered, either. Maybe I'm coasting on images from TV. (It occurs to me that I haven't been in a huge spread of people's homes in the past ten years.)

If it's true, that upper class homes are less cluttered - what societal force is preventing the over-accumulation of stuff? In other words, why would they be more able to purge old acquisitions? Social pressure to present a beautiful household? Hiring designers or decorators who will sternly force you to get rid of their stuff? Less angst over needing to recoup sunk costs? (I don't think it's that upper class people have bigger homes, because certainly there are plenty of middle class homes in newer developments that are far larger than upper class homes in the middle of cities.)

I suppose I'm thinking by way of analogy - the obesity epidemic corresponds with a higher production of cheap calories in this country, and disproportionately affects the lower SES classes for a whole host of (reasonably well-understood) reasons. The clutter epidemic corresponds with a higher production of cheap crap in this country. Is there something protecting wealthy people from the over-accumulation?


 

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This is true friendship

Posted by Ben
on 07.13.12

Ryan North (of Dino Comix) and Andrew Hussie (of the bewildering MS Paint Adventures) sent each other their credit cards, each is writing about what the other bought.


 

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This is like 10th world bad.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.13.12

Ezra thinks you objectively suck, Congress.


 

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Favorite words du jour

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.13.12

At the moment, I'm very fond of the word handsome. Such a handsome boy you are! You must have a current favorite word, you handsome commenter you.


 

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The Glory of Hate

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.13.12

X. Trapnel asks: Did this essay - it's from late '11 - ever get discussed at The Mineshaft?

Concluding paragraph:

"Hate is not the actual opposite of love. Hatred is the opposite of a far more insidious and menacing emotion: apathy. Hazlitt notes that "we cannot bear a state of indifference and ennui." When the tedium of our lives lulls us into nonchalance, then we are really in danger of blending into the wallpaper, of mattering little and to few. But when one hates something, one takes a stand for oneself and for one's values. Hating is important because it keeps things interesting. It allows us to take the most omnipresent and heartbreaking emotion in life -- disappointment -- and weave it into something garish and bright. Even if you are just hurling silent insults at a nemesis who doesn't know you exist, the effect is the same. You are awake."

Heebie's take: I'd always heard that apathy was the opposite of love, not the opposite of hate. Probably what they mean, technically, is that hate and love are additive inverses, and the inner product of either one of them with apathy is zero.


 

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Lilt

Posted by Stanley
on 07.12.12

A friend just sent along this song, and it's great:

And I say that as a person with an unusually strong bias against songs in 6/8 time.


 

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Divisiones

Posted by Stanley
on 07.12.12

I was looking for a particular ingredient in the grocery store yesterday, and I couldn't figure out if it would be in the Mexican-food aisle or the fake-Mexican-food aisle. And then a question occurred to me: do all the grocery stores in the US have two separate aisles for these items? Is it a Virginia peculiarity? All the grocery stores here seem to do it.

You'll have one aisle that's labeled "Ethnic Foods" or "Latino Foods" or (my favorite) "Hispanic Foods"*, and that'll have the crema mexicana and thicker tortillas and dried peppers and even things that are now getting popular with the cool kids, like coconut water. Then you have another aisle with all the Tex-Mex stuff from Old El Paso and Taco Bell.

It's an odd arrangement.

*I once had a professor who insisted on the strict definition of "hispanic" to mean "Spanish-speaking"; as a result, I always imagine walking down the "Hispanic Foods" aisle and hearing, ¡Hola! Me llamo Adobo.


 

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TV Marathons

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.12.12

Which TV shows have you binge-watched? Was it the first time you saw it? There's a difference between going back and plowing through a season of Arrested Development for the fifth time, and binge-watching a show the first time you watch it.

Binge-watching probably does compromise the quality of the show a little bit, but whatever, it's TV. Let's get over ourselves.


 

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Horrible people

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.11.12

Mr. Smearcase writes in:

Which of these people do you hate more? Courtney Love, after reading this, or whoever-the-hell, after reading this?

Apparently not parodies!

From Heebie:

OH MY FUCKING GOD. I think Courtney Love:

Every day I have my house manager, Hershey -- who I stole from the Mercer Hotel with André Balazs's blessing -- wake me up with a hot washcloth for my face, a leg rub, and a plate of toast soldiers.
Then someone always gets chicken potpie and potato salad from D.D., you know, Dean & Deluca. If I can't afford D.D., I just don't eat.
One thing from living next to Paris Hilton in L.A. ... she always had a fresh cake in her house. So I make sure someone gets a full, fresh new one every day, like marzipan. My house manager tries to put it in the fridge, but I don't like refrigeration. I know, so Portlandia of me. But I'm sorry, I'm from Portland!

destroyed more of my well-being than the Regressives:

As the children age (and multiply), the moms are burdened by the responsibility--to work, hold onto their homes, watch over their kids' social and academic lives. The boredom turns to terror. You can almost clock the moment it begins, past preschool but before kindergarten. The childbearing is over, the breastfeeding in the past, the sling donated to Housing Works. It's the moment when a mom dresses as a Harajuku girl for Halloween, or there's a full bar at a four-year-old's birthday party, or two ladies step out of book group to smoke on the stoop. It's blowjob gestures at cocktail parties followed by a-little-too hysterical laughter. It's the mother who says, "Mommy needs an Advil because she stayed up too late last night." It's fortieth birthday parties at karaoke bars.

but the Regressives generate an uncomfortable self-loathing in myself. Like I start defensively listing ways in which I'm nothing like that and never will be.


 

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Buck up!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.11.12

God I hope we never get sick of snarking on NYT wedding announcements.

Via Snarkout


 

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Threads

Posted by Stanley
on 07.11.12

I confess I find Mitt Romney's Vintage Collection oddly fetching. The logo is just so cartoonish and wobbly. And it kind of looks like Michigan. And a bird.

In contrast, the Obama team has this stylish tank top, which clearly says, "If reëlected, I will change the colors of the flag." Or my personal favorite, which promises, "We will make up new punctuation and teach it to your children in school, and there's nothing you can do to stop us."

Or, actually, I'm probably reading too much into these things.


 

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The Greatest American Novel

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.10.12

Chris Y. sends along the Great American Novel tournament.

I'm not clear what exactly constitutes a match, but when the tournament tree is revealed, feel free to place your bets here on Unfogged.


 

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Guest Post - Minivet

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.10.12

I have no strong feelings about foie gras, but I do think "Christ, what assholes" at this.

As a result of being on federal land, the Presidio Social Club (PSC) is exempt from the state-wide ban on heavenly Foie Gras. Therefore, PSC will be celebrating two important independences this July: Bastille Day for the French, and the freedom to enjoy Foie Gras for Californians.

At first reaction I said "that can't be how federal land works" - and thought some searching would give me a quick resolution, but was wrong. Certainly the Territorial Clause means Congress has the power to override any state law on federal land, but I doubt federal land-management law covers all the basic community-maintenance stuff that state and local law does, like, say, restaurant codes. The BLM site implies state laws apply where no federal law is there to take precedence, which makes sense, but maybe it depends on the type of land, or maybe state laws theoretically apply but the police aren't able to come enforce it. Is this going to stick?

On a discordant note, the US's state governments have outlived their purpose. Too big (mostly) to be accessible to residents and too small to do anything really new. Scalia's rant on the sovereignty of Arizona drove it home - what other county has the legal fiction that its subdivisions are almost-independent states? Switzerland, maybe?


 

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This Post Has Nothing To Do With Vestigial Feelings Of High School Rivalry

Posted by LizardBreath
on 07.10.12

But apparently lots of kids at Stuyvesant High School are cheating on the Regents.

I actually found the story kind of shocking. Not so much the dishonesty, that sort of thing happens. But I don't understand why Stuyvesant kids are cheating on the Regents. The Regents are, if not a lowest common denominator test, something that you're supposed to be able to pass if you've learned enough to count as really having attended high school at all. A kid in Stuyvesant should be able to pass a Regents exam cold in a class they haven't taken.

I wonder if the Regents have changed a great deal since I was in high school, or if they've become important for college admissions in a way they weren't then. When I took them, there was no reason to care if you got a perfect score or just barely passed.


 

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You suffered mightily and then died, with a yelp.

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.09.12

Via AWB, the many ways you died in Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Write your own grisly ending here.


 

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IRB, IRA

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.09.12

E. Messily sends along this link (and the post title) about how Boston College was ordered to give over interviews that someone conducted with IRA members from 2000-2006, to the UK Police.

Recorded between 2001 and 2006, interviews with several former and serving Irish Republican Army (IRA) members formed the backbone of an oral history project at the college.
The conversations were taped under the proviso that they would not be released until the participant had died, with some interviewees citing fears that the stories could lead to reprisals.

That's the problem IMO - the person organizing the study doesn't have the power to make such a promise. It's not a legal confidentiality situation. So I'm not too sympathetic that this might have a chilling effect on other researchers, because they ought to know the legal parameters of what they can and can't promise.


 

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Science Jobs

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 07.08.12

Jobs in the sciences aren't available, even though everybody is saying we need to train more people for the sciences.

Via J, Robot, who writes "I've been cautioning my undergrads for years about pursuing a Ph.D. in fields other than the hard sciences, only to discover that biologists and chemists are also screwed."


 

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