Ripley. I just realized that I'm in a town that bears the same name of one of the biggest kick-ass movie heroines of all time. (Well, if you stop with Aliens, and don't even go to Alien Cubed or that Frankenstein monster with Winona Ryder.)
Anyway. Everything that could go wrong today, did, so I started three hours later than I'd planned. And, uh, I don't think that word means what you think it means. That's my favorite phrase from The Princess Bride. It means I was dead wrong on the amount of drive time from Richmond, VA to Columbus, OH.
Anyway, I noticed something about West Virginia that I thought I'd share with you all: Man, does this state have a lot of mountains. Is there any part of West Virginia that does not have mountains? I mean, yeah, it makes for a damned pretty ride (pictures to come tomorrow), but I gotta tell you, driving through the mountains is a lot of work. Which brings me to a really bad joke:
I thought that one up all by myself, because I never did get around to taping my new CDs, and W.VA radio stations suck. That's suck with a capital STINK. I didn't get a new rock station until I hit Charleston, and I wasn't going to stop in Charleston because of that weird sniper shit going down. I went straight through. Nuh-uh. DC Sniper, been there, done that, do not want the t-shirt.
Tired. Early to bed tonight, so I can get my free Continental breakfast from the Holiday Inn Express (already saved about half the AAA fee on the discount I got here). I like the hotel a lot, except their Internet connection is, uh, you get to put a phone line into their phone. There are two phone jacks in the lamp. They do not connect to a phone. I tried them. They are useless. Perhaps they're actually some sort of decoration on the base of the lamp.
On the other hand, there's a fridge in my room, a reclinercomfortable! I already tried ita coffee maker, and the service is excellent, though the two guys behind the desk look barely old enough to shave.
More tomorrow. I'm going to put my feet up in the recliner and maybe see if there's anything good on the hotel TV. I saw a satellite dish out there. permalink
I put a new rule in my email filters. It directed nearly all of the email I've been getting the last three days into a junk folder. I think I typed O's instead of zeros. (I was trying to get rid of Nigerian scam email and other email with money in it.) So I haven't been getting much email since Wednesday. (Update: Oh, this is really embarrassing. I didn't mistake letters for numbers. I just didn't realize that three zeros weren't enough. Every email has 2003 in it, and another zero somewhere, and the filter really executes a crappy search. So nearly every email got slagged.)
Whoops. And here I was feeling a bit lonely and left out, thinking nobody loved me because I didn't have any email.
Anyway, I've just gone through it, and if any of you are wondering why I've been so rude, that's why. Well, unless I didn't want to answer you, in which case, there's no excuse for my being rude. Or I simply didn't want to answer your email, which is not necessarily rude. It's all relative.
Tomorrow is a travel day. (I'm writing this Friday night, but dating it Saturday, so I should be saying, "Today is a travel day," because it's that time-warp thingie that I've had since I make my own permalinks and they're not datestamped. Help! I think I'm stuck inside a parenthetical statement and can't get out!)
Ahem. I hope to have some kind of Internet connection when I finally stop driving for the day. We'll just have to see how modern Best Western is these days. (Actually, I'm not quite sure where I'm going to stop. But I can guarantee it won't be one of those fancy hotels Instapundit gets put up in when he goes from city to city, expounding on the Internet phenomenon.)
I'll be posting about my fabulous trip west on I-64. Wind Rider was waxing so poetic about it, I got to wishing he'd just shut up because his telling me what a sucky drive it was was making me dread it even more. Not that he should feel guilty about it or anything. Oh, hell, of course he should. Feeling guilty yet, huh? Huh?
Good. You can buy me a drink when I get back, then. Next weekend. permalink
It is my current misfortune. I am being misunderstood, misused, and misandrized (or is that misogynized, and why does that sound really dirty?). I have been misquoted, mistaken, misread, missed not at all, misted by the goddamn rain (actually, it was more like poured on, but "poured" doesn't begin with "mis" and I simply have to fit the theme here), and misspent far too much of my time on this misery-disguised-as-mischance.
My thoughts and words have been misapplied, misbelieved, misarranged, misdirected, misreported, misjudged, and probably even misnomered. In the ensuing mise en scene, misericords emerged, as a result of a miscalculation on the part of the mister who mistook stirring up a little mischief for what is closer to both misconception and miscoloring, causing the missive to miscarry.
One would have to say that the original thought was misadvised. One might even say there was a miscalculation involved. But rest assured, this misdeed was no mischance or misdeal, though an argument can be made that it was misbegotten, misemployed, and miscreated.
Be that as it may, this Ms. misestimated the mischief making. My mistake. However, I did not missay, though others have mislabeled me that way.
If you have been throughly misdirected by the misemployment of the many "mis"es above, then don't sweat it, you haven't misunderstood a thing. (Wow, did you know that "misogamy" means "hatred of marriage"? Who knew there was a word for confirmed bachelorhood?)
Anyway, I just thought I'd whine in public. All of the cool kids are doing it. Ah, misery, misery. It was a mishap, I swear. I was miscast as the villain! Misconduct? Not me. It was a mistake, perhaps, but due to your misinterpretation.
I'm going to a conference on Jewish education tomorrow, and will be gone for a few days. There is a pre-conference option that I declined, which would have had me arriving sometime yesterday. (I had no desire to spend a full week in Columbus. Yeah, I'm a northeastern-born snob; once you've lived in the New York Metro area, the rest of the country has to work harder to keep your attention.)
Just imagine: I'd have arrived in Columbus sometime after 4 p.m. EST, so the blackout would have been in full force for several hours. Stuck on a college campus in August with no power.
I am so glad I declined the pre-conference activities. permalink
By the way, today is the day the blogosphere laughs at Fox News' stupid lawsuit against Al Franken.
Because we're fair and balanced. (And Spike, too!) permalink
When it comes to the PA, the ways are infinite. Now they're adding "confiscated" Qassam rockets to their inventory of weapons.
And while we're checking, let's see how the cease-fire is going:
Yep. It's the Israelis who are threatening the "peace" of the hudna. permalink
So I'm switching from network news to network news to network news, and I'm currently watching CBS, which Dan Rather says is broadcasting from New York City, and my question for him is: How?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, backup generators. I know. So I guess we won't be treated to the spectacle of our favorite news anchors sweating like pigs as they report on the blackout.
On the other hand, if I remember correctly, we were told that this kind of blackout was never supposed to happen ever again. I suppose it's a good thing that the FBI isn't running the power grid, because then nobody would get fired after they figure out who screwed up.
Oh, and by the way, did I remember to mention how glad I am that I live in Richmond now, where my AC is going nicely, thanks, and not Montclair, NJ, which is probably out. (If Newark is out, money says Montclair is out, too.)
If I were working in NYC, I'd probably find someplace to eat dinner, and take my sweet time at it. Because this is one of those moments where you're going to have a minimum three-hour wait at Port Authority to get on a bus home. I imagine the wait will be even longer than normal, since the trains aren't running. permalink
Marduk thought that my post on Worf's counter-surfing tendencies were a slur on dogs in general. So he put up a series of pictures proving that his Golden is, well, a Golden. (I won't impugn the intelligence of Goldens, because obviously, Marduk has manage to train his. I expect it was an expensive undertaking.) Well, in spite of his libels, I was merely pointing out something that is a trait of the Rhodesian Ridgeback species, not insulting dogs as a whole.
This, however, may be the part you need to see, Marduk:
Gee. That sounds almost like, well, cats. No wonder I like Worf.
In closing, I leave you with this (unPhotoshopped) picture:
Obedience. Sure. Worf dropped my sneakerafter Sorena and I cornered him and she grabbed hold of his muzzle and pulled the sneaker out. permalink
David Lee (no relation) sent me a letter with more information on General Lee and President Jeff Davis. (By the way, Davis is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Nice tomb. Big statue.)
Robert Prather decided to invite people to make thoughtful contributions to a list of greatest Americans, using an ordered methodology. And guess what? I don't think the list is sexist, or foolish, or suffers from any of the previous problems the various other lists have had.
Go ahead, check it out. I've been slow in posting about it. permalink
Okay. I know very little about the Civil War beyond what I was taught in school, the articles I have read about it since, and, of course, the Ken Burns documentary. On the other hand, I know some Kiwis who are pretty knowledgeable about it, and Tom Paine thinks I was baiting him. (Nope, Tom, I don't do that. I truly didn't know.) But here's what Tom has to say about why Davis belongs on that list:
To which my answer has to be: Oh.
Thanks, Tom. (By the way, I'm going to be sending a CD with the photos of your trip to VA your way. Email me your address.)
And while you're at Silent Running, don't miss Wind Rider's post on why the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are some rather frightening casualty estimates in that post.
You know, there are two incidents in 20th century American history that I'm fairly well-versed on, and both are because I had a superb teacher for American History in my senior year of high school. I took part in a class debate over Lt. William Calley's role in the My Lai massacre, and wrote a paper on the dropping of the atomic bombs. Both of them made me research both sides of the argument, and figure out for myself what I thought about them. In neither case did my teacher try to indoctrinate us into thinking her way. And she was young, fairly fresh out of college, which put her squarely in the middle of the sixties protests. I don't remember her name, but I'll never forget what a wonderful teacher she was. One might well call her fair and balanced. permalink
I'm adding a subtitle to my weblog. Because it's funny. And it proves a point. And while I'm at it, Spike Lee can come and get me, too.
Bring it on, boys. permalink
Don't just read the excerpt; read the entire essay. There's a point made only briefly (I put it in boldface) that reached up and slapped me on the head. The easy access immigrants and visitors have had to America is being changed due to 9/11. One of the mainstays of America's vitality is our status as a nation of immigrants. We're going to have to tread carefully with any changes in immigration laws to prevent long-term damage to ourselves. To put it selfishly, it is in our best interests to continue the brain drain that takes the world's best and brightest and turns them into Americans. Which is not to say that we would necessarily stagnatebut we could lose an Einstein if we're not careful. permalink
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a habit politely known as "counter-surfing." Less politely, it's called "stealing food." Every night after dinner, Heidi cannot leave the kitchen without dogproofing it. And the dogproofing has gotten more and more difficult, because Worf has grown into a bigger and better thief. He eats fruit now, which he never used to, so forget about leaving that bowl of fruit out in the open. He tries to raid the garbage and compost cans on a regular basis. He has gotten into cooling birthday cakes, knocked down the dog biscuit jar (that I gave them for Christmas) and ate all the buiscuts, licks the dishes as they go into the dishwasher, he tries to lick pans that held food, and if he could figure out how to use a ladder, he would.
While I was at Heidi's over the weekend, I caught a shot of Worf counter-surfing. Prior to this shot, he was surveying the kitchen from his other surfing position, with his hind legs on the ground and his forelegs on a kitchen chair, so he could stand up to full height and look for food. Unfortunately, he moved before I could get the full picture. But I did get this one.
Alas, it's before breakfast. The kitchen is clean. Nothing to steal. permalink
Lynn's been in fine fettle (isn't that a cool word?) lately. Her latest on several subjects: Bill O'Reilly and secular conspiracy theorists (that's the first time I've heard the Jews bunched into a secular conspiracy), the shudna (we're such fatalists, she and I), and the Esmay gratitude bullshit. (Hm. Swearing again. Why is that, I wonder?)
Mac Thomason has the latest episode in The Adventures of Captain Euro, which he calls "the least action-packed adventure ever." Mac, Mac, Mac, you really are going to have to learn how to plug your characters better. (This one involves smelly Frenchmen. But of course.)
Lair Simon has a really funny alphabet song based on the order of the gazillion candidates for governor of California. And he sings it himself!
Speaking of that, did anyone else notice that Lileks changed the words to "puhmanent link" in his Arnold post? Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and look to the left. Subtle, and hilarious. permalink
Two suicide bombers struck in Israel today. One was in a suburb of Tel Aviv. The second was in the West Bank.
One of the consequences, which I'm sure we'll hear Arafat screaming about:
All prisoner releases have been halted.
What cease-fire? permalink
The Steve Hinkle case, where a student is being disciplined for putting up a flier that "offended" several students in the [public] meeting room where he attempted to post it, has been discussed on a number of blogs. Joanne Jacobs led me to the transcript on the FIRE website, where I found this gem:
The irony is almost too funny for words. The Bible study was supposed to be on how you're supposed to feel about your neighbors, but they were too busy being unneighborly and upset to get back to that particular Bible lesson.
When I read things like this, I often wonder how some people manage to dress themselves in the morning. permalink
The left side of the blogosphere has answered John Hawkins' call for their opinions on the 20 worst Americans in history. As I predicted, the list makes them look about as petty and foolish as the list right-wing bloggers made.
Of course, Ronald Reagan made the list. So did George W. Bush and Richard Nixon. But then, so did Richard Mellon Scaife, Pat Robertson, and Oliver North. Jerry Falwell made honorable mention.
I have an idea. Can we change the name of the list to "The 20 Worst Americans And While We're At It, People We Disagree With and, Uh, Hate" list? Because none of those men come close to deserving to be on that list.
On the other hand, I don't find this one sexist at all. Ann Coulter didn't even get an honorable mention. Guess liberals don't have as much of a problem with women as conservatives seem to have.
I'm really curious, though. How can you have Jeff Davis on that list, but not Robert E. Lee? If the south didn't have Davis, nothing really would have changed. If the south didn't have Lee, the war would have been completely different. And the concept is the same: Jeff Davis was the president of the Confederacy. Robert E. Lee led the troops. If one belongs on that list, the other surely does.
Then again, there's very little logical about a list that turns into an "I hate this guy, so he's got to be one of the 20 worst Americans in history" list.
I'll pass on any future lists, thank you. permalink
Gil is in the IDF reserves, like many Israelis. He has this to say about the Hizbullah attack that killed a sixteen-year-old boy:
Imshin is vacationing on the Mediterranean coast. You know, when I get my finances in order, I'm heading out to Israel for a visit. That's a promise.
My best friend is very worried that I may never come back to the U.S. She has good reason. The call of aliya is getting stronger and stronger.
Crossing the Rubicon is a weblog that I've seen in my referrers once or twice. I'll be stopping to read it a lot more frequently. There is simply too much to link to, just go and start reading, and give yourself some time, because you're going to be as hooked as I was. (I'm starving. Must--have--food. And yet, I couldn't stop reading.)
I think this is rather a perfect poem for the current controversy about gratitude. I found it on Gail's weblog.
All right, I lied. I can link to some more. The lead post is a poem about breast cancer that simply takes your breath away. Gail sure knows how to pick them. (Boy, that last link sounds familiar to me, and will doubtlessly strike a chord with Michele.) permalink
Professor Eugene Volokh is answering Roger Simon and Charles Johnson regarding his taking (or not taking) a stand on the Berkeley incident:
David Bernstein answers his critics on the issue as well.
On another issue, Judith Weiss responds to Dean. I don't believe he's going to like the response.
Kate's got a pretty funny and brief answer to my post from yesterday. But Kate, I'm still not seeing any factual cites. The burden of evidence is on the person who brings up the theorem. Otherwise, we're just chatting, well, AIMlessly.
Happy Monday, all. permalink
Dean and Rosemary think that women should say thank you to our male forebears and peers for being so gracious as to give us the right to vote, equal opportunity in the workplace, the ability to hold the same jobs as men, and the freedom to choose our own careers. Dean buttresses his argument by pointing outhold on to your hats here, this is a startling revelationthat all women don't think the same way. Apparently, some women didn't think that women should have the vote. And these were strong, intelligent women of the time! Why, it's almost as if they had a brain and could think for themselves. He uses as evidence two political cartoons from the era that, er, let's quote:
Hm. Two political cartoons can do that much? Say, let's go use our own two cartoons. Let's see what Tony Auth's latest cartoon on the Israeli separation fence and this old Nazi cartoon says about attitudes towards Jews in 21st century America and 20th century Germany, shall we? I mean, going by that example of scholarly research, we've got some great theories we can cook up.
Dean further uses as evidence a book written in 1897 by (gasp!) a woman, which he has browsed, who disagrees with much of what the Suffragists claim. One browsed book, two cartoons. Our factual case is made, we can stop now. (By the way, I browsed it, too. I think I read, like, two whole pages. Seemed to me like the writings of a resentful anti-Suffragette. But I may not have browsed enough. Or perhaps I'm just busy building a straw woman to tear down.)
All of this is frankly distraction from the greater point. The point is gratitude. Dean says we should be thankful to our forebears for giving us the vote, and to men today for passing the equal opportunity laws that allow us to work in the same jobs as men. He also seems to think we should be grateful to him, but I'm really missing that connection. He says he's not whoring for links, but I'm still not seeing a link to Judith or me in his original post. Rosemary, guess you didn't do such a good job cleaning up after your husband.
So the issue is gratitude. There are many good comments by people like John Kusch and this guy David, who get their asses handed to them for daring to have "lefty" opinions. Let's take a quick look at those lefty opinions (David uses the name "mithras" in these comments):
That doesn't look like a lefty opinion to me. It looks like, well, an opinion. But wait, there's more name-calling. Dean says:
Um, Dean, I'm thinking the only sexist, condescending remarks here are being spouted by you. Rights are given by consensus, are they? Howcondescending.
But getting back to the gratitude thing: Rosemary made some pretty big assumptions regarding my quoting Ilyka yesterday, and also managed to cherry-pick the quotes I used and leave out the most pertinent part. This is her take on women's rights:
Yeah, whatever. Prove that we deserved our rights. Uh-huh. Sure. Now, children, if you're very, very good during your doctor's visit today, I'll treat you to ice cream on the way home! Okay? Would you like that? Good!
If that's not the infantilization of an entire gender, I don't know what is. So once we proved we deserved those rights, then we're supposed to be grateful to men for giving them to us?
Once again, I'm going to quote a man, John Kusch (oh, my, the UltraFeminist Squad is going to send their Hit Femmes after me and throw me into Sexist Mind Control Recovery until I stop doing this):
I suppose it's possible, John, but I'm of the opinion that it will be a cold day in hell that I thank someone for "giving" me what our founders quite clearly described as "inalienable rights." The fact that they didn't include women and blacks does not take away one whit from the fact that those rights are due all people, and both genders. And yeah, while I'm at it, sexual orientation as well. Gay rights? Yep. And I'm not even going to ask you to prove you deserve them.
I wrote this last night, before Dean and Rosemary added their latest posts. I'll get to those later.
So those two posts that I mentioned yesterday, the first where Dean asks women what they like about men, and the second where he and Kate have a discussion about women, have descended into the post from Dean below, which was originally written by him as a comment to Judith Weiss. It's rather a vitriolic response to Judith, so I think I'd have to say that if I'd read that comment first, I wouldn't have been as sweet to Dean as I was here. Wow, does he have issues with feminists or what?
Dean: I'm a feminist, and proud of it. I'm sorry that you feel threatened by women who admit to and like being feminists. I'm sorry that you think we ought to be grateful that men "gave" us our civil rights. I'm even more sorry that you think whites "gave" blacks their civil rights. Because what happened is exactly what Ilyka said on his blog (which I reference below), and what Jerry Kindall said in your comments:
It's right there in the Constitution, in fact. Look at the ninth and tenth Amendments:
I have nothing more to add to that, except that I am extremely grateful to the Framers for being such wise and far-seeing people. And that's about all the gratitude you're going to get on this issue.
As for Dean and Kate's conversation on women, first, this excerpt:
Talk about generalizing: Anecdotal observations, no factual cites anywhere (though there's one that can back up your argument and nail it to feminists at the same timea tale of the infighting that occurred in the women's movement over the decades, reviewed by Salon ages ago).
Frankly, what Dean and Kate's conversation resembles more than anything is a couple of high schoolers talking about the evil bitches that they can't stand. I can give you the opposite anecdotal evidence, having worked for both men and women, and having been in charge of both men and women. My worst bosses have been men. But that's not convincing evidence for a theory that men make lousy bosses.
Feminism was gaining major footholds when I was a teenager. I was a feminist from early on, partly because my mother was a divorcée when women simply didn't get divorced, and raised three children on her own with minimal financial and other help from my father. (My father, by the way, was as sexist as they come.)
My mother was my and my brothers' role model. Well, my younger brother says I was his role model, too. (His wife never thanked me, perhaps I should be like Dean and tell her how grateful she should be to me.) And I remember hearing in high school that some feministsnot all of themwere trying to say there were no differences between the sexes. We laughed at that, young as we were. You'd have to be pretty stupid to agree with it, we thought. This view was held by a tiny minoritycan you name two or three well-known feminists who hold this view, Dean? I can't yet it's been thrown in our faces for thirty years. Using this issue to tar feminists is like saying Ann Coulter represents mainstream conservative views. It's a pretty crappy debating tactic.
Now, Dean may be blowing smoke out of his ass on this whole topic because it generates links and pisses off a lot of women. Or he may mean what he says. I'm pretty sure Kate means what she says. But they both need to come up with more than anecdotes if they're going to expect me to buy their argument. I'm thinking that women in an African village living on subsistence farming aren't going to act like modern American soccer moms at all. I'm thinking that Chinese peasants in a mountain village aren't worrying too much about whether or not their best friends are doing them wrong. I'm thinking that the last thing an Afghan woman has to worry about is if her female boss is treating her right. Whoops, no female bosses in Afghanistan. My bad.
As to what I like about men: Besides the obvious physical differences (I think the male torso is the most beautiful form in the world), I'm mighty fond of a man who doesn't feel threatened by a strong, feminist woman. permalink
But then, he actually brings up an extremely good point. American women could not have gotten voting rights had the men of American not "given" them to us. Should I, then, say thanks to Dean's (and my) forebears for voting yes on the 19th Amendment?
Well, Ilyka wrote about that very concept last week. I think I'll let her speak for me, as her words are so appropos for Dean's little incitement.
Now, I have some serious problems with Ilyka's bad apple theories, and I frankly disagree entirely with her take in the next post in the seriesbut it's oh so nice to tweak Dean right back, without having to have written the words myself.
Ah, Dean. If only you were as well-read as I, perhaps you would stop pulling the tiger's tail. But hey, Ilyka, thanks for saving me the trouble of doing it myself. permalink
Meryl K. Evans, a.k.a. the other Meryl, or my name-twin down in Texas, had cochlear implants. And of course, she blogged it. There's a whole weblog devoted to the story before, during, and after the implants. And there's this post on how it felt to hear through them for the first time:
Go and read, because this is the kind of information that blogging does best: The human side of the story, from a first-person point of view.
Beat that, Rush. permalink
There are a lot of things to discuss today, but damn, I'm tired. And I've got errands to run, resumes to send out, things to do. So I'll post later. (Damn! My delete key is working again, after a week of no deletes and no dashes or sixes! Yay!)
For now, there's Judith Weiss' one-year anniversary at Kesher Talk.
Update: The Supergenius disagrees with me, too.
By the way, if you're not reading The Warren, you're missing one of the best new entries to the blogosphere. Yes, I'm publicizing the blog of a blogger who disagrees with me on an issue that's near and dear to my heart. That's why I'm so much better than the other schlubs. (It may be time for another "Better than you" post.) Oh, that, and the fact that Blackavar doesn't sling insults, but uses rational arguments to disagree with me. That's all I've ever asked from a dissenting opinion.
Apparently, there's an interview-the-blogger fad going around. I would like to save you all a considerable amount of time by posting my answers to your questions: None of your business, none of your damned business, and none of your effing business.
Hope that helps.
The Philosophical Cowboy has a Kuwaiti review of what it's like to vacation in Saudi Arabia. No, really.
And I think I am now caught up on my linkage and correspondence for the nonce (oooh, kewl Shakespearean word thrown in for the hell of it), so I'm outta here (oooh, cool 20th-century slang thrown in so you don't look like a dork).
You see, there really is no need to sling insults at me. I do that just fine on my own. permalink
Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.