"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Friday, July 30, 2010

Full Frontal Nerdity

"The audience doesn't care about the art," she laughed. "They just want to see their favorite sci-fi pin-ups take their clothes off."

Article link is SFW. Associated videos amusing, what your great-grandfather would call "burlesque" and you would call any summer day at Ocean City.

OF COURSE there's the Orion slave girl!


Draw Nigh, O My Children!

Repeat after me:

It doesn't matter who's running the Government.
It doesn't matter who's running the Government.
It doesn't matter who's running the Government.
It doesn't matter who's running the Government.
It doesn't matter who's running the Government.
It doesn't matter who's running the Government.
It doesn't matter who's running the Government.

From yesterday's Washington Post:
White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity.

The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add just four words -- "electronic communication transactional records" -- to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user's browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the "content" of e-mail or other Internet communication.

But what officials portray as a technical clarification designed to remedy a legal ambiguity strikes industry lawyers and privacy advocates as an expansion of the power the government wields through so-called national security letters. These missives, which can be issued by an FBI field office on its own authority, require the recipient to provide the requested information and to keep the request secret. They are the mechanism the government would use to obtain the electronic records.
Government -- all Government -- acts the way it does, and arrogates more power to itself, for reasons that are almost entirely independent of who in particular is in charge. It is the nature of Government to expand, it is the nature of Government to intrude, it is the nature of the Government to "do things," whether those things make much sense or not.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Work of God

Regarding Opus Dei your host remains agnostic. Regarding its founder, St. Jose Maria Escrivá, we harbor no such ambivalence. Many official and unofficial videos are available on the internet; watch, and you will have no doubt.

We see now that Academy Award nominee Roland Joffé, director of The Mission, has written and directed a movie about the saint, to be released next year, called "There Be Dragons." While Joffé himself does not appear to be a believer, "The Mission" was thoroughgoingly Catholic.  Set during the Spanish Civil War, the trailer makes it appear to be an action flick, filled with intrigue and darkness, with more than a splash of the supernatural.


"He Woke Up From the Worst Nightmare of his Life . . . .

. . . . and realized, it was no nightmare.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Leader!

Oh my. The President wants you to sign his birthday card. No, really. Of course, Michelle and one of the princesses will be off on a junket that day, but all the same, it's important that the loyal serfs express their excitement and support.

But it is sort of refreshing to see how far we've come from the days of bad old machine politics. In the bad old days of the Chicago Machine, the ward boss would make certain that on her birthday every grandmother got a card from Mayor Daley. All Hizzoner wanted was their votes; birthday greetings unnecessary.

It's good to be the King.


"We Are No Longer Good Society"


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fruity Oaty Bars

I know there's a code word to turn you off, but I can't quite remember what it is.

Outside My Window

Click to Embiggen


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Come for the Cows, Stay for the Hallucinogens to Kick In


Oremus: O Lord, Deliver Us From Schadenfreude

Lutheran Woman Bishop [pace my children!] resigns:
BERLIN — The first woman ever elected as a Lutheran bishop has resigned from her post in northern Germany amid allegations she failed to thoroughly investigate reports of a sexually abusive pastor.

Hamburg bishop Maria Jepsen said in a statement Friday that she was stepping down from her post after coming under fire for allegedly deciding not to take action on claims that a priest within her diocese was involved in sexual abuse.

"My credibility has been put in question," Jepsen said. "Consequently, I feel that I am no longer able to spread the good word, as I vowed to do at my ordination."

Jepsen, 65, was elected bishop of the Lutheran church in northern Germany in 1992, becoming the first woman worldwide to hold the post.

In recent months, she was charged with covering up for a priest in the northern town of Ahrensburg for years, despite allegations of his sexual abuse.

"I expect that the abuse cases in Ahrensburg and elsewhere will be swiftly investigated and that the truth will come to light," Jepsen said. She has insisted that she could not recall being told of the abuse.

During her tenure, Jepsen was frequently seen at anti-discrimination rallies and demonstrations and strongly supported the rights of the unemployed and homeless people.

Germany has been rocked by a widespread abuse scandal involving allegations of sexual and physical abuse of children by priests in both the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. Hundreds of people claiming abuse have come forward since January.
Please file this under: "If only Catholic priests weren't celibate . . . ."; "If only women were priests, then there wouldn't be . . . ."; and "This Catholic pedophilia problem . . . ."


Monday, July 19, 2010

We Apologize in Advance

But sometimes we just can't help ourselves.

Courtesy of the bicoastal Hired Hand.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Presented as a Public Service


Friday, July 16, 2010

All That's Missing is Frankie and Annette

With a hat tip to Uncle Michael.


First, Assume a Can-Opener

In the real world, people get hired, they get fired, the winning run scores from third on a sacrifice fly, there are mice in the breadbox, and it really, really is time to cut your toenails.

Politics is not the real world. Economics is not the real world. And at their intersection, where one might hope for some sort of mutual cancelling of unreality, instead there is a singular discontinuity produced: a multiverse where all things possible, and all things impossible, are real.

In one of those multiverses, I sleep with Helen Mirren. Dan Mitchell, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, explains:
The White House is claiming that the so-called stimulus created between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs even though total employment has dropped by more than 2.3 million since Obama took office. The Administration justifies this legerdemain by asserting that the economy actually would have lost about 5 million jobs without the new government spending.

I’ve decided to adopt this clever strategy to spice up my social life. Next time I see my buddies, I’m going to claim that I enjoyed a week of debauchery with the Victoria’s Secret models. And if any of them are rude enough to point out that I’m lying, I’ll simply explain that I started with an assumption of spending -7 nights with the supermodels. And since I actually spent zero nights with them, that means a net of +7. Some of you may be wondering whether it makes sense to begin with an assumption of “-7 nights,” but I figure that’s okay since Keynesians begin with the assumption that you can increase your prosperity by transferring money from your left pocket to your right pocket.

Since I’m a gentleman, I’m not going to share any of the intimate details of my escapades . . . .
Helen adores my chili.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back in the Day -- 1967 Edition

[Attention Digital Punks -- analog broadcast, analog video, analog audio; get over it.]


When Parody Becomes Reality

Parody of New York Times Headline:


Real Toronto Star headline:



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Courtland Milloy is a Racist

RACISM: "1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination."

On Tuesday, a front-page story in the Washington Post had this lede:
Public confidence in President Obama has hit a new low, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. Four months before midterm elections that will define the second half of his term, nearly six in 10 voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country, and a clear majority once again disapproves of how he is dealing with the economy.
Many paragraphs later, in the story's only reference to race, the Post reports:
The president's approval ratings reached a new low among whites, at 40 percent, with his positive marks dipping under 50 percent for the first time among white college-educated women.
The raw poll data released is incomplete, and does not include any data breaking down the sample or the responses by race.

In today's Washington Post, long-time columnist Courtland Milloy provides his take on this data, and there's no mistaking what he thinks: it's all about race; white voters are a vindictive and angry crowd. That's not my interpretation, that's Mr. Milloy's declarative sentence: "And yet, with midterm elections just a few months away, the so-called white vote looms large, an angry and vindictive political force." So for a white voter to "disapprove of" or "lack confidence in" the President, he must be angry, vindictive, and a racist. Once again, Mr. Milloy's words: "Does race have anything to do with it? You betcha."

Lest you miss his point, it's not only one's opinion of the President that establishes their bona fides as a racist:
Whites, for instance, are overwhelmingly in favor of Arizona's immigration law, according to most polls. And virtually none of the surveys has shown any concern for the rights of nonwhite Hispanics who would be subject to racial profiling and illegal search and seizures. These are the same people who like to wave copies of the U.S. Constitution and claim Obama is curtailing their freedoms.
Unlike Mr. Milloy, we think that not only "nonwhite Hispanics" should be free from "racial profiling" and illegal searches, we think everyone should be. We also think that the federal immigration laws ought to be enforced or repealed. Note also Mr. Milloy's unsupported presumption that those favoring the law have no concern for the rights of nonwhite Hispanics.

What it all comes down to is Mr. Milloy's view that the legitimacy and the seriousness of your views depend upon your race. If one is white, then your disapproval of the President, or your sympathy for the Arizona statute, are not serious opinions; they do not constitute serious discourse. Your views need not be addressed with data, logic, or argument; you're a racist, end of discussion.

Don't misunderstand -- Mr. Milloy is entitled to hold whatever opinion he'd like, whether based on thoughtful analysis or bigotry. If all racists were as forthright as he, it would be easier to know who can be profitably ignored.

But we've saved the best for last. The title of Mr. Milloy's column: "A vote for doing away with race-based politics."


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

California Earthquake?

Uh oh: for Governor, Whitman (R), 46%, Brown (D), 39%. For United States Senate, Bad-Hair Babs and Carly tied.


A Republican Form of Government

The underlying theory of republican, that is representative, government is that the people are busy going about their own lives, and have not the time, the inclination, nor perhaps the capacity, to make informed and wise decisions on every public question. Accordingly, the theory goes, the people select from amongst themselves those whose wisdom, judgment and experience they trust to represent them.

By now, everyone even slightly interested in public issues is aware of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation question. To me, this looks like something that ought not to be permitted in the United States:

There's more to the story, no doubt, but (as the New York Times is fond of saying) "questions have been raised" respecting the handling of this matter by the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Perhaps what we're now seeing is a disaffected former employee; perhaps we're seeing racism; perhaps we're seeing politics influencing the Justice Department.

But certainly we can do better than this:


If You Can't Stand the Heat . . .

. . . stay out of the kitchen.

Monday, July 12, 2010

We're Ready to Deal

Someone named "Stan Cox" wrote a little piece in yesterday's Washington Post titled "In the heat wave, the case against air conditioning." Mr. Cox, moved by love for his fellow man, moral scruple respecting Mother Gaea, and the fact that he has a book to sell ($16.47, and not available in an environmentally friendly Kindle edition) explains:
Washington didn't grind to a sweaty halt last week under triple-digit temperatures. People didn't even slow down. Instead, the three-day, 100-plus-degree, record-shattering heat wave prompted Washingtonians to crank up their favorite humidity-reducing, electricity-bill-busting, fluorocarbon-filled appliance: the air conditioner.

This isn't smart. In a country that's among the world's highest greenhouse-gas emitters, air conditioning is one of the worst power-guzzlers. The energy required to air-condition American homes and retail spaces has doubled since the early 1990s. Turning buildings into refrigerators burns fossil fuels, which emits greenhouse gases, which raises global temperatures, which creates a need for -- you guessed it -- more air-conditioning.

A.C.'s obvious public-health benefits during severe heat waves do not justify its lavish use in everyday life for months on end. Less than half a century ago, America thrived with only the spottiest use of air conditioning. It could again.
He goes on to describe his Utopian vision of the future without A/C.

(In the interest of full disclosure, your humble and obedient servant grew up on a farm in a house without air conditioning, and attended grammar school in a similarly unsullied building. Mr. Cox sounds rather like one of those fellows who gets all misty-eyed and poetic respecting the virtues of hard work on the family farm, who has himself never spent a mercilessly hot Summer day shoveling chicken shit.)

But we're ready to deal, and we'll make a deal with both Mr. Cox and the Environmental Magisterium: we agree to turn off our air conditioning in the Summer, and to wear sweaters in the Winter, and to make a $100,000 contribution to the organization of alGore's choice, the day after the Congress of the United States prohibits air conditioning in the Capitol, all Congressional offices, and all automobiles used by members of Congress. Put another way, we'll believe it's a crisis as soon as the folks telling us that it's a crisis themselves start to behave as if it actually were a crisis.

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Not Tonight Honey

xkcd, via The Sweaty Bike Guy

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Gratuitous Babe Posts -- Cass Elliot Edition


Reactionaries in SF Seek Return to Days of Microwaved Kittehs

The Chronicle reports that San Francisco -- the city that gave leather chaps a bad name -- is considering casting pet stores into the outer darkness:
Sell a guinea pig, go to jail.

That's the law under consideration by San Francisco's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare. If the commission approves the ordinance at its meeting tonight, San Francisco could soon have what is believed to be the country's first ban on the sale of all pets except fish.

That includes dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, lizards and nearly every other critter, or, as the commission calls them, companion animals.

"People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don't know what they're getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized," said commission Chairwoman Sally Stephens. "That's what we'd like to stop."
But San Fran's city fathers mothers parents care-givers seem to have forgotten the bad old days, when guinea pigs died from botched back-alley euthanizations performed with dirty coat-hangers; when kittehs and peeps died horrible deaths in under-powered microwave ovens. Euthanasia for our non-human fellow beings should be safe, legal, and paid for by British Petroleum.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

Matthew 7:15-21:

In illo témpore: dixit Jesus discípulis suis: "Atténdite a falsis prophétis, qui véniunt ad vas in vestiméntis óvium, intrínsecus autem sunt lupi rapáces: a frúctibus eorum cognoscétis eos. Numquid cólligunt de spinas uvas, aut de tribulis ficus? Sic omnis arbor bona fructus bonus fact mala autem arbor malos fructus fácere: neque arbor mala bonos fructus fácere. Omnis arbor, quæ non facit fructum bonum, excidétur, et in ignem mittétur. Igitur ex frúctibus eorum cognoscétis eos. Non omnis, qui dicit mihi: Dómine, Dómine, intrábit regnum Cælórum: sed qui facit voluntátem Patris Mei, Qui in Cælis est, ipse intrábit in regnum Cælorum."

[At that time, Jesus said to his disciples:] "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Don't Panic!

Take a deep breath; hold it; exhale slowly. Close your eyes, go to your happy place. Relax. Whatever will be, will be. OK? Calm?

On Thursday Nathan Fillion tweeted the following picture, along with the message, "Together. Again."

(L - R) Joss Whedon, Alan Tudyk, Fillion, Adam Baldwin.

There appears to be nothing else; no other news, no other rumors rising above rank speculation. But hope springs eternal in the human heart.

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Yes, yes, we know it's Caturday, and provide herewith a link to the story of Oscar, the kleptomanicat.


In-Sourcing Tech Support

In the interest of full-disclosure -- and to demonstrate that we really DO have research interns here at G&S -- the original video is from 2006, and HP ultimately made this soldier happy. We've learned that HP adopted a "no questions asked" policy with respect to military personnel. Of course, had this item been shipped back to Palo Alto, the only relevant question would be "Looks like .50 caliber full-auto, right?"


Monday, July 05, 2010

Shopping Makes Men Impotent

We knew it. We knew it! Here comes the science.


Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence Day

Speech on the Occasion of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (Calvin Coolidge):
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.


Saturday, July 03, 2010



Steve Carell Leaves -- Hitler Reacts

Now that it's been confirmed that Steve Carell will not return to "The Office," we suppose it was inevitable that Hitler would react . . . badly: "You morons couldn't tell 'House' from 'Gray's Anatomy'."


The Law of Vuvuzela

Godwin's Law states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." The most important corollary of Godwin's Law is that the person who first makes the Nazi/Hitler comparison automatically loses the argument, and the discussion is over.

We propose the Law of Vuvuzela: "The longer a noise-based Internet meme goes on, the probability of a video showing professional musicians playing classical music with that noise approaches 1." First Corollary: "When this occurs, the meme is dead."

I think we're done here.


Friday, July 02, 2010

"My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend . . . ."

". . . and she took my dog. I'm gonna miss that dog."


Happy Birthday, Richard Starkey

Ringo Starr will be 70 in a few days.  This seems to us almost uniquely ridiculous.  While Sir Paul labors unsuccessfully to be relevant, only Ringo seems both to enjoy --  and to have enjoyed -- getting to be a Beatle.  The others seemed always in search of some Cosmic Meaning to their fame and status.  Richard Starkey never took himself nearly so seriously.  And Ringo is still just having a blast being Ringo Starr.  He continues to tour, now with something like the eleventh version of "Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band."

There's classic Beatles:

And then there's classic pop:


Gratuitous Babe Pics -- Bonnie Raitt Edition

Bonnie Raitt was born on November 8, 1949. Some women become more beautiful with age, while some become positively exquisite.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

All Your Kids Are Belong to Us

Attention parents who are black, gay, Jewish, Hispanic, or atheists: if you are angry at your child's teacher, or at the nice folks from Child Services, please avoid the following words (respectively): honky, breeder, goyim, gringo, and Christer.

Because if you're angry, and you use those words, we just might take your kids away from you.


What's Wrong With Bridgton, Maine?

Only one thing, really: I'm not still there.  Click to embiggen.


You're An Idiot

Did you:

A. Get a good education? You know, something extravagant and wholly beyond the means of normal people, like finishing public High School and getting a degree from the State College.

B. Avoid having children until after marriage?

C. Ever stay in a job that was less than perfect because of security, health benefits, or both?

D. Pay your bills when they were due, including your credit cards?

E. Fail to purchase things you couldn't afford to pay for?

F. Cancel that ridiculous credit card from HSBC the first time they screwed around with posting your payment and figuring out your outstanding balance?

G. Laugh at the nice young man at the bank when he explained to you 15 years ago that you could borrow a lot more money if only you'd sign up for an adjustable rate mortgage or, better yet, an interest-only loan with a balloon payment due in 10 years?

H. Quietly smile when you refinanced your 30-year mortgage with another 30-year mortgage at a time when the bank was giving away money, and the idiots were paying all of your closing costs?

I. Save first and spend second?

If you are able to answer "YES" to a majority of these questions, our economic and psychological experts here at G&S wish to advise you that: YOU ARE AN IDIOT!