"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

Sunday, October 31, 2010



Saturday, October 30, 2010

The New Media: G&S On The Ground at the Rally to Restore Sanity

Glib & Superficial has a member of its editorial staff live and in person at the Rally to Restore Sanity down on the National Mall. We didn't plan it that way, of course, it just happened.

[UPDATE - 2:25 p.m.] Our reporter has provided the following pix, taken (moments ago) with an iPhone, texted to a Droid 2, and thence to Glib & Superficial.  Click to embiggen.

Our correspondent, an Anarcho-Corporatist by political persuasion, estimates the crowd to be somewhere between several hundred and 8 million.


It's the Mindset, Stupid!

There's been a tiny ripple in The Force regarding today's "Rally to Restore Sanity."  The Washington Bureau Chief of Pajamas Media was told by the events organizers, "Please note, taping for television or any other filming is strictly prohibited between 3rd and 7th Street without a media credential." See "'Rally to Restore Sanity' pledges to “strictly prohibit filming” at National Mall."

No such restriction is going to be enforced, of course. We doubt very seriously that anyone at Comedy Central ever actually thought they could do such a thing. So chill.

But that's not the point. The important thing to consider is the state of mind -- the values, expectations, and so on -- of a person who is capable of forming the thought, "We're having a public event on the National Mall, and we get to decide who can and who cannot take pictures." The assumption underlying that thought is, "Citizens may be prohibited from taking photographs on the National Mall."

We have not the slightest doubt that if les flics want to stop you from filming at the Arc de Triomphe that doing so would be tres Gallic.

The United States is not Europe. The United States is exceptional. The United States is unique. In the United States, Suits from big corporations or the Government don't get to tell us what we can and what we cannot do. We will put up with a very great deal in the interest of getting along with the other guy, but some notions are simply not American, and this is one of them.

Is it any wonder that the Suits at the networks and the cable pundits and columnists for the New York Times are mystified by the Tea Party? What they don't understand when they decry an apparent lack of a coherent political plan is that it's not about changes to federal tax policy, or relations with Hamid Karzai.

It's the mindset, stupid.


Never Disturb the Kitty . . . .

. . . . from his dreams of murder and blood.


"Every year, AA takes countless fun, sociable people, and turns them into boring sanctimonious husks of their former selves."

AA Destroying The Social Lives Of Thousands Of Once-Fun Americans


Friday, October 29, 2010

Government as Cargo Cult; Barry O as John Frum

Occasionally while surfing the Internet, I have an AHA! moment, when I run across something that's not only just right, but which evokes envy:  Rats!  I SO wish I'd written that!  And so it is today with Zombie's "Barry O, He Go: the Cargo Cult Presidency of Barack Obama," which begins:
The presidency of Barack Obama is a cargo cult. And Obama himself is the new John Frum.

But unlike traditional cargo cults, which persist despite decades of fruitless prophecies, the Barry O cult is disintegrating before our very eyes, as Hope and Change Airport — built entirely out of hollow bamboo and even hollower promises — has failed to attract the predicted heaven-sent magical prosperity.

John Frum, He Come

The title of this essay is a riff on John Frum, He Come, a now-classic book of popular anthropology which introduced the American public to the bizarre world of cargo cults in the South Pacific, especially on a small island called Tanna in what is now Vanuatu.

Shortly before WWII, a strange belief emerged on Tanna that a magically powerful American soldier appeared on the island bearing wondrous “cargo” — manufactured Western goods and packaged food, which he handed out as gifts. He called himself “John Frum,” but, after advising the villagers to return to their traditional rituals and customs, he just as quickly disappeared.

Some villagers did what John Frum recommended and began to engage in rituals, summoning him back with more of his amazing cargo. Lo and behold, it worked! Because shortly afterward, thousands of more Americans appeared — soldiers and sailors and Marines passing through on their way to defeat the Japanese, as it turned out — bearing more cargo than the Tannans could even imagine. But just like the original John Frum, the Americans quickly disappeared once more, taking their cargo with them, and once again leaving the island in poverty.

And ever since then, Tanna’s islanders have been waiting, waiting, waiting for John Frum to return with his cargo. They invoke him with dances, they sing hymns to him, they fashion simulations of American military outfits and march back and forth, and even build airport control towers out of bamboo and clear runways in the middle of nowhere, thinking that the existence of a simulated bamboo airport will somehow supernaturally induce the arrival of a cargo-laden plane.

Still, no John Frum. Yet with infinite patience, the islanders wait.
Exactly. Exactly right. An alarmingly large and growing segment of the American population has come to view a variety of things as "cargo," stuff mysteriously and miraculously conjured out of nothingness by some incomprehensible gods, and they want some -- homes, medical care, college degrees, retirement income. They have no idea where this cargo comes from, but they want some, and their worshipful eyes focused two years ago on Barack Obama.

The article concludes that disappointment and reaction have set in amongst different parts of the electorate, and that the mid-term elections are likely to see a backlash against the new John Frum. Of course that's true, but the more significant point is that while particular false messiahs may be specifically rejected at the polls, America's Cargo Cult isn't going anywhere.

Once upon a time, a District of Columbia public school teacher told my son's social studies class that all "rich people" were criminals -- that in order to have become rich (and we tremble to consider what he might have defined as "rich") someone had to have committed a crime. In his view, there was simply no way to acquire wealth other than taking it from someone else. Cargo: wealth is a thing, like a rock or a tree. Some people have some, while the cargo cultists want some.

So next time you see a political rally, or watch a politician speak, or listen to an economist explain the necessity of the next big thing, consider whether you're looking at real political discourse -- where real people have real disagreements about whether we really need to build that road or not -- or are instead viewing one or another manifestation of America's Cargo Cult, and the construction of yet another wicker transport plane, which the natives fervently believe can conjure the real thing, and they will be showered with medical care, mortgages they need not pay, and a comfortable retirement for which they've done no work. It's all just magical cargo, and they want some.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Time Traveler's Great-Grandfather

"I'm sort of amazed you haven't commented on this yet."

Charlie Chaplin's 1928 film "The Circus," was recently released on DVD. Where most DVD "extra features" consist of scenes that truly ought to have been deleted, and commentary of interest largely to relatives of the commentator, extra material related to a film made 80 years ago can't help but be interesting. In this case, that includes:
'Chaplin Today: The Circus,' documentary by Francois Ede, Deleted 10-minute sequence 'October 7-13, 1926,' Outtakes from a week of shooting Three home movies from the archives of Lord Louis Mountbatten 'The Hollywood Premiere (1928),' Reportage on the L.A. premiere 'Camera A, Camera B,' shots made simultaneously from the two cameras used 3-D Test footage by Roland Totheroh Excerpts from 'Circus Day' with Jackie Coogan -- an adaptation of a favorite children's book Photo gallery, film posters, trailers, interactive menus, and scene access.
One viewer of this extra material was a fellow named George Clarke, who is described as an "independent Irish documentary filmmaker." [We suspect this means he doesn't actually work a lot.] In looking at some of the footage, he thought he saw something odd: a random passerby, walking down the street, adopting the rather distinctive posture of . . . a person talking on a cell phone. So Clarke put together his own short documentary, so you can see for yourself:

I think this is fascinating. No matter how many times I've viewed the film: A. It looks like she's talking on a cell phone; and B. I can't figure out what else she could be doing. Put it this way: if you didn't know the pictures were 80 years old, you'd not think twice about it -- she's obviously talking on a cell phone.

Other explanations suggest the use of a primitive two-way radio (apparently tested for the first time that same year), or a hearing aid. A little bit of online research -- which I leave you to do for yourself -- shows these to be impossibilities. She's not adjusting her hair or a pair of glasses, and she's not purposely obscuring her face.  Her hand remains more or less in this odd position for quite a long time.

Of course, she's not actually using a cell phone. There are no other cell phones in 1928, even if she brought one with her from the future, so there's no one to talk to.  And do you really think we'll still be using hand-held communication devices once there's time travel?  The idea that she IS from the future, and just casually communicating with fellow travelers as she walks down the street is equally absurd. Why do so in plain view, using an instrument that those near her would find odd and inexplicable?  Moreover, given the size of movie cameras and associated equipment at the time, it's simply impossible that she doesn't know she's being filmed.

We suggest that the mysterious woman is holding nothing, and is purposely adopting a posture entirely meaningless in 1928; a posture which would remain unusual and unrecognizable until at least a half-century later. It's a clue. It's a message. And, of course, it's a joke.

But it would explain the plain envelope I received about 10 years ago, inside of which was an old photograph and a short note reading: "Be sure not to lose this picture, Great-great-grandfather, because before long, you're going to find it very, very funny. It's a photograph taken of me in 1928 or, put another way, 137 years after my birth in 2075.  Have fun with it!  Maria."  This is a copy of the photograph.

That's what I think.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tubeless Toilet Paper

No, really.
  1. Why?
  2. We think we'll wait for the steel-belted radials;
  3. No news on device automatically preventing use of last roll before new bundle put in bathroom cabinet;
  4. Cat General announces final victory in decades-long war to exterminate cardboard tubes;
  5. New product expected to have little impact on cultural divide between wadders and folders;
  6. No information released respecting backward-compatibility with the current installed base of toilet-paper-dependant devices;
  7. Toilet paper roll craft industry seeks emergency restraining order;
  8. Drunks cite safety concerns respecting use of unprotected empty spindle;
  9. Divorce rate expected to increase, as husbands unable to claim "at least I threw away the empty tube!"
  10. Market value of existing collections expected to increase.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fauquier County, Virginia, Late October, 2010


Monday, October 25, 2010

Glib & Superficial Merits Mention in The Village Voice, Right Next to Brett Favre's Penis

We were under the impression that a developer had purchased the venerable Village Voice, stripped the walls of paint to produce exposed brick, and then sold it as condominiums, each unit coming with a complimentary ficus tree. But we were wrong!

In an article entitled "Rightbloggers, Delighted to Find Black Guy Scared of Muslims, Defend Juan Williams," the Voice observes:
Glib & Superficial played off a news story about a crocodile that caused a plane crash, and suggested "a thought experiment. We won't use the word 'Muslim.' Instead, let's use the word 'crocodile.' OK? So the question is, do you qualify as a lunatic if you say, 'You know, it's certainly not completely rational, but when I see a crocodile on the plane with me, it makes me jumpy and nervous...'" Yes, he was comparing Muslims to animals, and by noticing we expect we're the real racists.
We didn't mean to compare crocodiles to Muslim terrorists, and we apologize to the Council on American-Crocodylidae Relations if we were insensitive.

We'd provide our usual thoughtful, in-depth analysis, but while reading the piece in The Voice, we were distracted by the sidebar listing that publication's most popular story as "Deadspin Photos of Brett Favre's Penis Are Going Live Tomorrow (UPDATE)."  It's a little hard to take seriously criticism from these guys, we think.

What we really want to know is why The Village Voice thinks your humble proprietor is a "he."  Sexist bastards.


Never Send an Exorcist to do a Psychiatrist's Job. And the Other Way Round.

In the Spring of 2009, author Matt Baglio published "The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist." Publishers Weekly wrote:
Journalist Baglio follows a Catholic priest through the latter's training to become an exorcist in this incisive look at the church's rite of exorcism and its use in contemporary life. Baglio began delving into the topic after hearing about a course at a Vatican-affiliated university, where he met and befriended the Rev. Gary Thomas, a priest in the diocese of San Jose, Calif. Thomas took the exorcism course at the request of his bishop and subsequently apprenticed himself to a seasoned exorcist. Keenly aware of the misunderstanding that abounds about exorcism through film images, Baglio sets about dispelling misconceptions and does so skillfully, separating the real from the imaginary in the mysterious and unsettling sphere of the demonic. Both Thomas and Baglio were changed by their exposure to the rite. Thomas grew spiritually during the process, which bolstered his desire to help his parishioners, and Baglio, previously a nominal Catholic, reconnected with his faith. For anyone seeking a serious and very human examination of this fascinating subject, one that surpasses the sensational, this is absorbing and enlightening reading.

There is now to be a movie, staring Anthony Hopkins:

In the interest of full disclosure, your author has not the slightest doubt of the existence of personal (unique, individual, identifiable) malevolent spirit beings; that is, demons. The wise will note their existence, be generally wary of their influence, and otherwise pay them no attention. Like poison, their study by the non-expert can lead to no good, and fascination can result in much harm. But -- to carry the analogy further -- we live in a world that doesn't believe in poison, denies its existence, and confidently assures itself that those who do are cranks, mentally impaired, or charlatans. Of course, that same world, at the same time, is dazzled by fictional vampires, werewolves, ghosts, angels, and so on and so forth.

Keep in mind that if you eat rat poison, it will kill you whether you believe in arsenic or not.


They Hate Our Guts, And They're Drunk on Power

P. J. O'Rourke is the mildest of men and one of the funniest people on Earth. But occasionally he loses it and turns his considerable rhetorical skill to serious subjects: "This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order."


History of Civilization

Progress is the natural and inevitable state of humanity.  From single-celled life to mammals, from crude neanderthals to modern humans capable of philosophy, art and science; from primitive hunter-gatherers to settled communities of farmers; from towns to cities to nations; from despotic divine-right monarchs to modern liberal democracy.  Prejudice, ignorance and tribalism give way to tolerance, knowledge, and humanity.  Superstition is banished by science, dogma replaced by wisdom.  The arrow of progress toward perfection points ever forward, from the past, and into the future.


Obama's Depression: Nearly 1 in 5 Unemployed (60 Minutes)


Signs & Portents


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Last Things

Our lives are lived in the present. Of the past we can do nothing but repent, reflect, and learn, all of which take place in the present. Of the future we can do nothing but prepare, hope, and submit, all of which take place in the present. Our lives are lived in the present. But each of those moments of once-present time will one day be fixed, and their significance understood only in relation to the Last Things which, unlike the moments of our lives, do not merely reflect reality, but constitute reality itself.

You will surely die, and all will surely die.

Upon your certain death your soul will be particularly and perfectly judged, a judgment from which there is neither escape nor appeal.

Heaven is the realm of those made perfectly pure and holy, who enjoy the unspeakable happiness of the immediate presence of God, face-to-face.

Purgatory is the realm of the imperfect, judged to be without unrepented mortal sin, where by God's mercy the soul is made fit to see the Face of God.

Hell is the state or place of men and angels damned for Eternity, excluded forever from the immediate knowledge of God.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

More New Old Stuff

We've cleaned up and expanded the list of links to Catholic resources and blogs over in the right-hand column. If we were energetic, we'd give a short explanation of why each has been included, what each is about, and so on. We didn't do that because we're incredibly lazy you should try them out for yourself, and come to your own conclusions.

We particularly commend to your attention Maria's Lilies. This is a group blog written by a dozen young women who range in age from 12 to 25; six of them are under 20, five are over 20, and one (well, they are girls) doesn't give her age. I've included it because these young women are not glib, they are by no means superficial, and their blog is the Anti-Glib & Superficial. Your ungracious host is old, scarred, cynical, tired, cranky, rude, intemperate, irreverent. They're not. If we are commanded to be as gentle and innocent as doves, while yet being as wise as serpents, they have the dove part down, while we have an advanced degree in herpetology. So go visit with them, don't tell them I sent you, and for their sake, don't tell them to come here.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Thought Experiment

From the Juan Williams episode, we know that it's not all right to think, "Hmmm. Those guys are Muslims. I know it's not completely rational, but I can't help but being jumpy when I'm on an airplane with 'em."

So let's do a thought experiment. We won't use the word "Muslim." Instead, let's use the word "crocodile." OK? So the question is, do you qualify as a lunatic if you say, "You know, it's certainly not completely rational, but when I see a crocodile on the plane with me, it makes me jumpy and nervous. I don't have anything against crocodiles, but on airplanes, they sort of freak me out."

That's the experiment. Think about it.

[UPDATE] It's an Instalanche! If you click on the main page and look around, I'll be your best friend.


Flaming Underwear Award -- G&S Editorial Board Decides: It's Harry Reid

It's been a very long time since the G&S Editorial Board has been able to set its pants on fire at the prospect of a particular candidate for public office actually getting elected.  And it's going to be longer still.  But, in the meantime, we are prepared to name the candidate whose defeat will cause our boxers to ignite:  Harry Reid.

It's not just the annoying voice, or the fact that he's the most mindlessly partisan member of the United States Senate.  It's not just that he lectures us like some particularly self-absorbed Presbyterian, while representing a state that wouldn't even rate an exit on I-80 if Bugsy Siegel hadn't invented Las Vegas.

Nope.  That's not it; it's that in a nation where most politicians treat the voters as if they were stupid, Harry treats the rest of us with such utter contempt that he must have convinced himself that we all have some diagnosable mental disability.

So here's to you Harry Reid; the man who saved the world, and became a millionaire on a government salary. On election day, after the polls close in Nevada, we hope to be able to raise a glass.  Oh!  It's going to be so sweet.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Male Fashion Advice

"No matter what T-shirt you select, whether it's fitted, graphic, sequined, bedazzled, crew-neck, deep-V, wifebeater, or what-have-you, it's about being proud of who you are. If you want to bust out a deep-V that's safety-cone orange because you think that's your color, then wear the hell out of that fruity shirt so everybody in the club knows that nobody owns it like you do. Set the trends, don't follow them. I wear what makes me feel good because I'm at the tip of the spear—the cutting edge of fashion that's fresh to death."

You're welcome.


There's Reality, and then there's "Reality"

Juan Williams: "You can't ignore reality." NPR: "Bigot!"


Seems Right to Us

Section 200.160 of Nevada Revised Statues provides that "Homicide is also justifiable when committed . . . [i]n the lawful defense of the slayer. . . ."

Very sensible.

Via Volokh.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chimp 1. Cops 0. Donkey Kong . . . . ahhhhhh.

Story HERE. Thirty-second commercial is worth suffering through.


So You Want to go To Law School

Hat tip to, well, you know who you are.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Border Security Funds Spent on Big Fat WHAT?!?

We thought Eliot Spitzer was the only one, but apparently this sort of thing also happens in New Mexico.  At least according to Diane Denish, the Democratic nominee for Governor. It's possible she misspoke, but her calm delivery makes us wonder.


Titanic Crew Pins Hopes on Anchor

"Democrats Pin Hopes on Obama."

Hold that thought. Halloween approaches.

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Here's what we think. Why put up with this:

When there are superior options?

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Your Mother Wears Army Boots

Sean Bielat is running against Barney Frank in Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District. In a move that has the sweet-sick odor of desperation, Barney called in Bill Clinton to campaign for him.

But in a move for which words like pathetic, embarrassing, and sick are completely inadequate, Barney sent his boyfriend over to heckle Mr. Bielat. No, really! After the most recent Frank-Bielet debate at WGBH, Mr. Bielat was out in the hallway talking to reporters when James Ready, Barney's "significant other," showed up. Barney's Jimmy provided cutting commentary ("You're not even funny!") while hiding behind his Nikon. Pay attention to Bielat's adult reaction when "confronted" on the playground by the 12-year-old fat kid in a snowsuit.

Sometimes those losers you went to High School with end up being priests, famous authors, or Bill Gates. But sometimes, they just grow up to be, well, losers.


If Only the Voters Were Jolly

Obama to fatcats: "Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument do not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we're hard-wired not to always think clearly when we're scared," Obama told the assembled Democrats, who paid $15,200 a person to attend. "And the country is scared."

Aldous Huxley, "Brave New World": "I don't understand anything," she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact. "Nothing. Least of all," she continued in another tone "why you don't take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You'd forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you'd be jolly. So jolly,"

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Paid for by the Friends of People Against the Kicking in the Face of Children."

In the great sand-kicking playground of politics, there are a lot of bizarre things your opponents might sling at out. But this is the best ever:


Friday, October 15, 2010

British Sports News

Roy Kellock Wins 46th Annual World Conker Championship

Warwickshire new boy Will Porterfield says he would surrender the Ireland captaincy if he had a realistic chance to play Test cricket for England.

Coach Warren Gatland mulling over fresh Wales deal.


Is It Our Imagination . . . . .

. . . . or are there more clever political advertisements this season? Studies show that Democrats have no sense of humor. Exhibit A, Al Franken. Conservatives and libertarians take themselves far less seriously than lefties. That's because they're likely to be more concerned with their kid's basketball game than with making sure they show up to vote on the amendment to the amended motion to return the amended bill to the committee.

Here's Joe Miller, who seeks to succeed Lisa Murkowski, the only uncloseted zombie member of the Senate:


Outside Agitators

In the interest of full disclosure, your humble proprietor has made the following political contributions so far this election cycle: Ruth McClung (Arizona's 7th CD), Sean Bielat (Massachusetts 4th CD), and Christine O'Donnell (Delaware Senate). I don't live in any of those places. Plainly, we think that there's nothing wrong with folks who can't vote for you nevertheless being interested in your election.

But comes now the news that Jim Oberstar (Minn. 8) has so far received exactly one contribution ($500) from someone living in his district. His other contributors include political action committees, Indian tribes and individuals from other districts and states. How can a guy be in Congress for 36 years and be without buddies amongst his homies?



Warning: Check Your Blood Sugar

This picture is making the rounds in cyberspace. Some things are just so darned cute that we willingly take the risk of diabetic coma. Just as people falling down is always funny, small furry animals are always adorable. It won't do to ponder that this fluff-ball will grow up and eat your kid, or shill for Al Gore.

Hat tip to That Cute Girl.

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The Family With the Pool

If you want to have a pile of friends, then just install a swimming pool. Granted, this only works if you live in a standard, middle-class neighborhood. It doesn't work in Beverly Hills (where everyone who's anyone already has a pool), but it works amongst normal people. I mean, really! Who doesn't want to have a friend who has a pool? Added child-rearing bonus: bullies would rather swim than fight.

There are other things that inspire spontaneous friendliness: snow blowers, hot tubs, four-wheel-drive trucks. You get the point. So long as you have something other people want, you'll have a load of "friends." Just ask any High School kid why the popular girls are so popular.

Which brings us to Barney Frank. Barney has a fabulous pool: he's a senior Congressman from the majority party and chairman of the House Banking Committee. Given the choice of being friendly with Barney or, say, your next-door-neighbor who sells insurance and volunteers to teach catechism classes, who wouldn't pick good ol' Barney? Let's be serious.

And if you're Barney, how cool is it to have so many good-hearted friendly friends? Way cool! Barney, for example, has a friend who is a hedge-fund manager who owns a $25 million private jet. Being friends, Barney's friend flew the Congressman and his partner to the Virgin Islands for a vacation. As reported by the Boston Herald:
The Herald reported this week that Frank and his partner, Jim Ready, made the tropical getaway just before Christmas 2009 on a jet owned by financier S. Donald Sussman, fiance of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). In addition to flying from Maine to the Virgin Islands with Sussman and Pingree, Frank and Ready stayed in Sussman’s mansion on the island, an aide told the Herald.

Frank reported the jet ride as a gift in required House financial disclosures - claiming the cost of the flight was $1,500 - but reported no other expenses related to the vacation. Aviation experts say the cost of flying a private jet between Maine and the Virgin Islands would cost as much as $30,000 each way.
We think it's particularly great that since Barney's Congressional committee oversees banking and the economy, and his friend is a hedge-fund manager, they'll have stuff in common to talk about while hitting the beach. How boring would it be if the Barnster were stuck in a tropical paradise with a gunsmith or a plumber?

Barney is frankly troubled that the little people think that there's something wrong with this. He's explained:
“They’re friends. Are you not supposed to have friends if they’re wealthy?” Frank spokesman Harry Gural said of the Newton Democrat’s relationship with S. Donald Sussman.


Frank . . . told the Herald the trip was “personal,” saying he and his partner, Jim Ready, are friends of Sussman and his fiancee, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). Gural said all four stayed at Sussman’s St. Thomas manse.
One would have to be a career politician -- with that class's invincible sense of entitlement -- to have accepted the bribe in the first place, and then to defend it. There's nothing wrong with having rich friends, just as there's nothing wrong with being friends with a powerful politician, just as there's nothing wrong with being friends with the guy down the street who just happens to have a swimming pool.

We have some practical advice for Congressman Frank respecting "friends": next time you have one of those really, really nasty intestinal viruses -- you know the kind we're talking about -- call your hedge-fund friend and see if he races over to hold your head and change your sheets. Sending the jet to take you to the Mayo Clinic doesn't count.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rich Whitey for Governor



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time to Play: "Name That Party!"

Here's a fellow who favors gun rights, wants to reign in government spending, and isn't at all happy with "Obamacare."  He's going to "take on this administration" to get that gol' durned federal Gummint "off our backs, and out of our pockets."  He doesn't mention which party he belongs to.  Hmmmmm.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunrise in Fauquier County

Moments ago. Free.  Of course it's big.  God makes big files.  Be grateful I couldn't upload the original.


"That's 10-4 . . . one elephant still outstanding."


It's Not Quite Swing, It's Not Quite Jazz, it's . . . Glenn Miller

Listen and learn, oh my children. I can lead a horse to water, but . . . .


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Welcome to 10/10/10: Today is the Answer

Each 0 or 1 in a binary number corresponds to a power of 2 depending on its position. For the number 101010 this means the 0s and 1s correspond to powers of two, from right to left, as follows: 2 to the zero power, 2 to the first power, two to the second power, and so on.

Rendering the binary 101010 into ordinary base 10 notation is as follows, where x^y means x to the yth power:

101010 -> 1 x 2^5 + 0 x 2^4 + 1 x 2^3 + 0 x 2^2 + 1 x 2^1 + 0 x 2^0 = 42,


101010 -> 1 x 32 + 0 x 16 + 1 x 8 + 0 x 4 + 1 x 2 + 0 x 1 = 42,


101010 -> 42

101010 (base 2) is 42 (base 10).


Saturday, October 09, 2010

There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days

What President Eisenhower did not explicitly point out was the likely effect of these same forces on science. Los Alamos and Oak Ridge -- anthills of brilliant physicists -- were only the start of Big Science, dependant upon the Government, the Military, and Big Industry.

Professor Harold Lewis has resigned from the American Physical Society:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence---it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d'être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it.


I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people's motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don't think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I'm not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.
Read the whole thing, including Dr. Lewis' specification of the astonishing machinations of the Society.

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Caturday Morning


Friday, October 08, 2010

Sometimes, You Just Need a Little Nick Cave


Obama Speech Sickens Supporters

WTOP Radio reports:
BOWIE, Md. - About three dozen people were treated for illness during a rally featuring President Obama at Bowie State University.

Prince George's County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady tells WTOP numerous ambulances were sent to the rally after people started fainting and became dizzy. [Welcome to my world.]

The problems could be related to warmer temperatures Thursday.  [The high temperature was 77 degrees.]
It's only fair that his supporters should share our misery.


Zombie Stimulus

No, really!

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

News You Can Use

Our intrepid staff swims upstream in the cloaca maxima that is the internet, so you can spend your time checking out the boots at Nordstroms.

Study reveals it's possible to conceal a rifle in your pants. No, no, no; get out of the gutter. We mean a rifle rifle.

If Marilyn Monroe were alive; and if she were a midget; and if she wrestled for a living, this would be her.

ZomBcon 2010
: networking for aspiring survivors, or tasty-brain target-rich environment?

Career advice: on your first day as a preschool teacher, do not tweet "preschool Start 9.30am. Think I will rape 6-7 young girls."

If the referee is a woman, and you to attempt to give her a congratulatory pat on the shoulder, but miss, you'd better hope she's a good sport.

The Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog is out, this year featuring an edible gingerbread playhouse, six feet high, five feet wide, and four feet deep, yours for the low, low price of $9,000 (plus $25,000 shipping and handling). [But wait! If you call right now, we'll send you TWO edible gingerbread playhouses . . . .]

When is a lawnmower more fun than blowing shit up? When it goes 100 mph.

More career advice, herein for the Facebook Generation: If you're going to run for Congress, it would be wise to first check out what pictures you've posted on Facebook. (Warning: not pornographic, but definitely NSFW.)


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Shouldn't it be "None of us IS perfect?"

[updated & bumped]

The only thing I know about Christine O'Donnell -- Republican candidate for Senator from Delaware -- is that the national party claimed the sky would fall if she won the party primary against "moderate" Mike Castle. Castle has held Delaware's only seat in the House of Representatives since 1993, after a hitch as Pete du Pont's hand-picked successor in the Governor's chair. We're sure Mike is a heck of a good guy, but Republican voters decided that if it was time for a change (the seat was previously warmed by Joe Biden), perhaps a 71-year-old member of the clubby Delaware political establishment wasn't the way to go.

OK, so I lied. There are two other things I know about Ms. O'Donnell: some time back she said that, as a teenager, she'd "dabbled in witchcraft." She was also part of a group promoting sexual purity in the 1990s, and as part of that program she dissed masturbation. Her message was that all sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong.

The usual suspects seem to think that the "witchcraft thing" makes her an irredeemable kook. But one would think that the Liberal Establishment should be careful before criticizing witchcraft. Aren't "Wiccans" members of a perfectly legitimate religion? Can we expect Nancy Pelosi (how many Wiccans are there in San Francisco?) to stand up and denounce practitioners of those ancient rites to be mentally deranged nut-balls? Don't hold your breath.

Which brings us to masturbation or, more properly, sexual acts outside of marriage. While it's quite true that holding such views puts her outside of the mainstream represented by the editorial board of the New York Times, it also puts her squarely in the mainstream of Christian teaching. So it would appear that her views regarding sexual morality make her no more than an eccentric with lots and lots of company.

OOPS! We lied again. There's one more thing we know about Ms. O'Donnell: her media people are geniuses.


Everyone's favorite nagging obnoxious mother-in-law, Joy Behar, has provided a "rebuttal" of Ms. O'Donnell's campaign ad:

We eschew the low-hanging-fruit as to who looks more like a witch, or who seems more in need of a supernatural make-over. What's interesting to us is that the ultra-progressive, uber-feminist Ms. Behar responds to a candidate for the United States Senate with . . . a girly cat-fight: "you're not me, you don't have hot flashes, bloating, night-sweats, or a mustache." [She actually says "bloating night sweats," but we think that's just an error in delivery. Reading from a teleprompter has confounded better men than Joy.]

So I guess it's now considered legitimate political discourse for me to say stuff like, "Hilary Clinton's not like me! She can't even grow a beard, just those scraggly chin-hairs!" We're doomed.

Just trying to keep it classy.


October, 2010

“This October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays all in one month. It happens only once in 823 years.”

Hey, wait a minute. Despite garnering a million google hits, and being the subject of at least two Facebook groups, can this possibly be true? Of course not. There are only seven possible days of the week on which any particular year can begin, and since every year has either 365 or 366 days, that gives us only 14 possible calendars.

Can you say "perpetual calendar," children? In fact, the calendar for 2010 is the same as that for 1999, 1993, and 1982. And we'll be using it again in 2021 and 2027.

Looked at another way, EVERY month with 31 days consists of 4 nice, orderly repetitions of 7-day weeks, with three days left over. Thus, EVERY 31-day month will provide us with 4 instances of each of 4 days of the week, and 5 instances of the remaining three days of the week.

And, just so you know, my birthday in 3867 is a Thursday.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hail to the Victors!

We have seen the future, and we are screwed. When real folks have to walk into real voting booths in order to exercise their franchise, we still have felons votin and people voting twice, not to mention the all-important Vote of the Living Dead.

Last week the District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics opened up its online voting site for a trial run. A sort of "let's see what happens" kind of test period, scheduled to last two weeks. A few days later they prematurely ended their cutting-edge experiment. It seems that by Friday, every time a pretend voter pretended to cast a pretend vote, the software played the Michigan Fight Song. Stating the obvious, a concerned non-profit "election integrity" organization explained: "The test pilot was apparently attacked successfully shortly after it began by a team of academic experts led by Prof. J. Alex Halderman at the University of Michigan."

This is embarrassing. Cal Tech? Nope. M.I.T.? Nope. UI-Champaign-Urbana? Nope. Michigan! Good God!  Worse, the Michigan fight song truly sucks.

Well, good luck, guys. Back to the lab, fix the code, and give it another try. Maybe you can do better next time, and attract a better class of hackers.


"9-1-1, What's Your Emergency?"

"Um, yeah, listen, you know that cop you sent over here because somebody made a noise complaint? Yeah, well, he's now naked and in the pool with my wife and two other women."



Monday, October 04, 2010


Yay! It's a quiz!

What do you think you're looking at:

Nope, you're wrong. Correct answer HERE.

And we give credit where credit is due.


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Always Funny: Blowing Up People Who Won't Do What You Want

"10:10" is a British "climate change" "environmentalist" group urging Britons to cut down their carbon emissions next year by 10%. Fair enough. We here at Glib & Superficial are, for example, launching a similar campaign urging all Americans to increase their bacon consumption next year by 10%. We think that if more people ate more bacon they'd be happier, and the world would be a better place. But we digress.

The group has produced a "mini-movie" advertisement for their movement, with admirably high production values and excellent special effects:

The Guardian reports:
Had a look? Well, I'm certain you'll agree that detonating school kids, footballers and movie stars into gory pulp for ignoring their carbon footprints is attention-grabbing. It's also got a decent sprinkling of stardust – Peter Crouch, Gillian Anderson, Radiohead and others.

But it's pretty edgy, given 10:10's aim of asking people, businesses and organisations to take positive action against global warming by cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 10% in a year, and thereby pressuring governments to act.

"Doing nothing about climate change is still a fairly common affliction, even in this day and age. What to do with those people, who are together threatening everybody's existence on this planet? Clearly we don't really think they should be blown up, that's just a joke for the mini-movie, but maybe a little amputating would be a good place to start?" jokes 10:10 founder and Age of Stupid film maker Franny Armstrong.

But why take such a risk of upsetting or alienating people, I ask her: "Because we have got about four years to stabilise global emissions and we are not anywhere near doing that. All our lives are at threat and if that's not worth jumping up and down about, I don't know what is."

"We 'killed' five people to make No Pressure – a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change," she adds.
Whoever said crazed lefty statists have no sense of humor? Not us! Nope. Here, they're clearly reaching back to their roots, and invoking Pol Pot. Now THERE was an hilarious guy!


Caturday Morning

If things were any more placid in Fauquier County, we'd all be dozing.


How Do These Things Happen?

Once again, due to a staff error, Glib & Superficial failed to note that yesterday was "World Vegetarian Day." Fortunately, it's the kick-off for "Vegetarian Awareness Month," so we'll have ample continuing opportunity to discuss this important perversion of Natural Law.

We now go live to our kitchen-cam:

Steak au Poivre

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Because It's My House, THAT's Why

And I can do anything I want around here.


Barney Who?

What if you were running for Congress against Barney Frank, 43% of the voters in your district had never heard of you, but you were only trailing by 10 percentage points?  Meet Sean Bielat.

What's that you ask?  Why, yes, there IS a way to send money.

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Common Drug Remodels Brain Structure and Activity

What if you learned that a drug you'd been routinely (put optionally) taking caused physical changes to your brain, modified how your brain operated, and that these changes were permanent? What if, when you wisely asked, "What is the effect of these changes?" you're told, "No one knows."

Now that would be scary, I'd think. Scientific American reports:
It seems that weekly we hear about some professional athlete who sullies himself and his sport through abuse of steroids. The melodrama unfolds, careers and statistics are brought low and asterisked, and everyone bemoans another fallen competitor. Yet there are millions of cases of steroid use that occur daily with barely a second thought: Millions of women take birth control pills, blithely unaware that their effects may be subtly seeping into and modulating brain structure and activity.

It is a huge experiment whose resolution will not be known for a while, but a new study in the journal Brain Research demonstrates that the effects are likely to be dramatic. It found that birth control pills have structural effects on regions of the brain that govern higher-order cognitive activities, suggesting that a woman on birth control pills may literally not be herself -- or is herself, on steroids.


Women In Tech Make More Money And Land Better Jobs Than Men

Really!  And it's hardly surprising, what with women having families to support, and men like as not to take off three or four months for paternity leave.  And, of course, there's the fact that men are just not biologically fit to take the stress and anxiety of the workplace.

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